Poem for World Environment Day 2011

by Dr Zorina Khalid
12 June 2011


The ills of society
I’ve noticed it’s aplenty
People are selfish and not considerate
They just live life on a rampage
With not a bother or a thought
Did you not notice that?

Look at what’s happening to our country
Water use to glory
(Malaysia is tops in Asia for this)
Electricity wastage without feeling guilty
Because, I can afford to pay the utility.

Rubbish thrown out the window
Garbage clogging the drains and rivers
Lots of usage, lots more garbage
Don’t they ponder and bother?
How are we going to manage so much waste?

Toilets are dirty and with bad odour
Rubbish dropped on the floor, not my problem anymore
Hey! That’s the job of the cleaners
Such is the mentality of our people today

Trees are cut, hills are plundered
Come the rain, we get disastrous floods from mud
Lives are lost and disrupted
Lots of news and also anger
From the coverage in our media.

When it stops raining, taps are dried up
Again causing public furor
Finger pointing to find the cause
Or is this another God-given wrath?
Nobody seems to learn from past distraughts.

Haze returns yearly like a season
Causing discomfort and health disruption
More cars on the road, car-pool is not in fashion
Open burning is just frowned upon
No solid action to halt the problem.

This is my Malaysia
With citizens that are not bothered
Let the future be
I won’t be around to see
So why should I need to be considerate?

  1. #1 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 14 June 2011 - 10:46 am

    ///People are selfish and not considerate///- Dr Zorina Khalid.

    Its human nature to prioritize self interest. Tragically in multiethnic societies like ours its doubly more so – in neglecting not just the environment but proper system of government. Every one thinks chiefly of his own, hardly at all of the common interest when common interest itself is fragmented, and, lacking shared norms to look beyond for common interest, sectional interests based on race religion, socio-economic class gain prominence….By extension elites and people in power think of themselves & families over national interest. With power, they maximize in name of privatisation (dubbed piratisation) common national resource to the point in which they become reliant on and accustomed to it, while the costs of the exploitation are borne by the rest of countrymen. Politicians are not just created by electorate voting. They can manipulate ethnic identities to secure an electorate to vote them in. That’s what communal politics is about. And the electorate? They bear more than one identity (being Malaysian first is least important), and choose the appropriate one (race or religious affiliation according to opportunities for self interest).

  2. #2 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 14 June 2011 - 10:59 am

    Continuation from preceding posting (currently under moderation) –

    We’re in grip of “good for each, bad for all syndrome” (Tragedy of the Commons” phenomenon written by Garrett Hardin and first published in the journal Science in 1968
    Not only the so called oppressive ruling elites are caught in this syndrome. Even the oppressed do it : those capable emigrate and leave in droves leaving the poorer less educated to remain to fight the oppressors.
    Thousands of years ago Aristotle also said it – that which is common to the greatest number has the least care bestowed upon it by each until he is himself concerned as an individual and impacted negatively. We do that in relation to environment; we do that when we vote or get voted in (for self interest). Even within family unit where there are many children siblings push to the other the responsibility of aged parents who had fended for all and the latter ended up with no particular child to primarily fend or them in evening of their lives.

You must be logged in to post a comment.