Follow by email

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Again, developing to doom

My sympathies to those who lost their homes and their loved ones in the Bukit Antarabangsa tragedy. How many times have we heard the government banning construction of homes near hillsides? The nation await to hear read about those responsible for approving the projects.

At the height of the flood in Johor a few years back, I wrote these below, which still have some relevance to the issue of environmental degradation that lead to man-made disasters:

EXCERPTS FROM A PREVIOUS ARTICLE:

Why has Nature become angry with Johoreans? Have they abandoned the ethics of living closely together in the true spirit of human nature? Has corruption in all aspects of Johorean life become more unbearable than in Putrajaya and that this is a warning of worse things to come?

Are we environmentally doomed? Are we at the eleventh hour of total environmental destruction? How devastating has the impact of carbon dioxide emissions been? How serious is the depletion of the ozone layer? How much of the rainforests of the world have been destroyed? How fast are the polar ice caps melting, speeding up the looming disaster of Armageddon/ Qiamat of humankind? How many more frequent, major flash floods must we endure?

The Chinese philosopher and mystic Lao Tzu once said, ‘Man should not have carved the stone’ meaning man should not have invented things for, ‘... as Man began carving the stone, the process of destruction begins’. Light bulbs, automobiles, powerplants, factories, telephone lines, bombs and computers are inventions that have historically transformed nature. Human beings ‘carve the stone’ and build structures of power and wealth which transform or even rape Nature in the process.

Ancient philosophies and the teachings of 'revealed religion' (of the Judeo-Christian tradition) warned against the exploitation of the physical environment so that humanity would continue to be close to Nature and closer to the realisation of the Natural Self. Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, and probably the most extreme of all Hindu sects, Jainism, teaches human beings to respect living things as part of the great chain of beings.

But Western scientific ideology has taught Man to be free from not only thinking about spirits and spirituality, nature and the natural self, religion and deep reflection, but has also ‘enlightened’ human beings into mastering Nature and using its resources for the ‘progress’ of mankind. Progress, measured linearly and scientifically, is then equated with ‘civilisation’.

Famine, poverty

Civilisation carries with it the necessity for technological progress and more inventions. But if Nature is destroyed in the process of creating 'civilisations', what does being 'civilised' mean? Would 'going back to Nature' and 'destroying civilisations' be a better way to conceive the meaning of human progress? Must human beings de-evolve, de-urbanise, de-technologise and de-construct themselves in order to save Humanity from its environmental doom?

Industrialisation is a process of transforming nature to culture by the state's appropriation of natural resources. The resources are transformed into technology and techniques and applications derived from the use of science help fuel inventions. Inventions are products/artifacts of the activities of the human mind; activities that are fuelled by the need to master man's destiny and the environment. But these inventions contain ‘inert capital" in them, transforming human labour into technologies.

Technologies are then used to further transform nature into culture. Culture in this sense means the culture that comes into being as a result of human beings’ economic activities.

Modern governments, such as that of Johor, are the necessary evil – they use the state apparatuses and transform the environment by collaborating with powerful multinational corporations in speeding up the use of natural resources, leaving the land barren and human beings in famine and poverty-stricken. Enlightened citizens must collectively revolt against governments that systematically destroy the environment in the name of ‘civilisation’ and ‘progress’.

Citizens must raise the consciousness on the power of these post-modern multinational corporation in that the power these primarily Western-industrialised corporations have are used to bring destruction to the peoples of this Earth as evident in the refusal of powerful nations to ratify the Kyoto Protocol and other global treaties that are enforced to save planet Earth.

Let us reflect upon what different nations are experiencing through the process of environmental destruction and what might be the possible ways to reverse or slow down this Armageddon.

A plea to all: Help the tens of thousands of displaced Johoreans in whichever way we can. Help them through this major disaster brought about by Man's activities orchestrated under the name of state development projects. Above all, help Johoreans elect more a responsible government – one that will respect Nature and not rape it. May God help us all recover from this disaster and prevent future ones.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

What is the rational to approve CF when we have such issues later on? Did our Government authorities double check safety as their first priority? Or was it based on “La La Li Tang Pong?”

Please visit Block B at Lake View Apartment, Pandan Perdana. Kuala Lumpur. Just walk up the stairs and look at the cracks, be it on the walls or on the floor! If this building collapses one day, who will take up this responsibility of people dead/injured? The Irresponsible Developer? MPAJ? The YB? WHO???

Until this day, I am yet to get an answer. I have also written to MPAJ, Exco of Land & YB for my area. It seems to me that the person who is having the last laugh is the developer. I am sure they will still drive to work with their Mercedes even if they do decide to settle this issue later on.

I just cannot understand what is the "FORCE" behind this rational - A government officer who can make the right decision to help the people who are victims of irresponsible developers but instead prefer to take another cause of action

Why protect the irresponsible developer party when they can do the alternative?

Anyone who are victims of abusive developers, please tell us your story

Jackie

Bangsa Cina Malaysia said...

Asalamualaikum ,

inilah akibatnya mengacau alam semulajadi kurniaan Allah
yang sepatutnya di jaga dan di pelihara untuk kesejahteraan
manusia.

Ameeen

Bangsa Cina Malaysia said...

Asalamualaikum ,

inilah akibatnya mengacau alam semulajadi kurniaan Allah
yang sepatutnya di jaga dan di pelihara untuk kesejahteraan
manusia.

Ameeen

chong said...

nevertheless i must congratulate PR selangor government, fighting against all the odds, harrassment and tempation to put an end to the steep slope development, though they came in too late.

my condolesense to the unfortunates.

Anonymous said...

Wah Dr Azly,

I can't help noticing the links at the bottom. To be able to accept and listen to what other religions says is itself wise of you. As most (if not all) followers of major religions claim they are the best. Only the wise ones know what is best. For we are here on this earth only temporary. Why humans kill each other. Why there is so much hatred for our fellow humankind that even animals would not think of. I hope you can provide more guidance and lead this world to be a better place to live in.

Lecture: Edward Said

Loading...

Lecture: Noam Chomsky

Loading...

Lecture: Jacques Derrida

Loading...

Lecture: Jean Paul Sartre

Loading...

Movie: 1984

Loading...

Movie: Animal Farm

Loading...

Movie: Chicken Run

Loading...

Poems: Rumi

Loading...

Dialogue on Religion: Karen Armstrong

Loading...

Dailogue on Religion: Huston Smith

Loading...

Islam

Loading...

Humanism

Loading...

Jainism

Loading...

Sikkhism

Loading...

Hinduism

Loading...

Bahai

Loading...

Confucianism

Loading...

Taoism

Loading...

The Bhagavad Gita

Loading...

Jesus of Nazareth

Loading...

Siddharta Gautama

Loading...

Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh)

Loading...