Thursday, April 16, 2009

Where Malaysia is headed (Part 4)

"Progress might have been all right once,
but it has gone on too long."
- Ogden Nash


A few days ago a Pajero pulled into Pertak Village where I live and a few swarthy men emerged with surveying equipment. Their energy was rather unpleasant and they even looked like bandits or brigands, so I decided to keep an eye on them. Two of them attempted to mount the steps leading to our house and were confronted by my canine corps. The second guy was carrying a long parang and appeared likely to use it if the dogs came too close. I went down and confronted the men, asking them point blank what they were up to.

The first guy, who could have been the gang leader, muttered something about a Tenaga Nasional project. They wanted to erect a series of power pylons all the way across the hills from Bentong. This was just a preliminary survey to see if the area was suitable, the man explained.

"Well, it isn't," I said quietly. "This area is keramat (sacred) to the Orang Asli. Power pylons discharge an electrical field that disturbs the flora and fauna. I wouldn't advise it."

As they finished whatever they were doing and drove away, I was already planning to write to the CEO of Tenaga Nasional Berhad, requesting that he intervene to prevent such ugly desecration of the last remaining patch of wilderness in Selangor.

Since I relocated here in 1992, I've been forced into environmental activism more than a few times. I'm getting tired of having to coordinate protests against destructive logging, oil palm schemes, unnecessary dam projects, and misguided attempts to pollute the ecosystem with man-made electrical fields.

This is yet another reason why I'm putting so much energy into ensuring that Pakatan Rakyat takes over the federal government as soon as possible from the hardened eco-criminals in Umno/BN. At least with new faces in charge - who haven't been able to profit from unholy alliances with loggers, developers, land speculators and avaricious entrepreneurs - the voices of conservation stand a better chance of getting heard... and, hopefully, heeded.


Mahathir's myopic vision of accelerating Malaysia's industrialization program was eagerly embraced by those keen on making a fast buck by plundering our natural heritage. Indeed, his shallow and vulgar Vision 2020 was entirely founded on a grotesque misreading of the purpose of existence.

The lowest common denominator has prevailed for way too long in the parasitic domains of commerce and industry. Hiding their true motives behind convenient catch phrases like "progress and development," businessmen have promoted the fallacy of trickle-down capitalism wherein the masses are supposed to enjoy the measly crumbs left over after the corporate fat-cats have feasted to their heart's content on the choicest bits.

Look around you the next time you venture into a supermarket and make a conscious inventory of all the products stacked on the shelves without which life would be utterly miserable, even impossible. I'm willing to bet, if you apply stringent standards, that no more than 15% of the manufactured goods can be classified as absolutely essential to human existence. The other 85% or more is basically destined to be converted into landfill as soon as they have been sold and consumed.

Endless consumption is the key to industrial growth. The more people consume, the richer the corporations become, and the more sophisticated the advertising becomes.

But the moment you pause to ponder the long-term consequences of unbridled consumption as the raison d'ĂȘtre of modern life, you will begin to see a direct link between degradation of the natural environment and the aggrandizement of the human ego.

It's always scary when you opt to swallow the Red Pill and begin to see through the gigantic scam of industrialization for what it truly is: a planet-sized concentration camp fenced in by invisible barbed wire where the guards are served a better grade of food and live in greater luxury than the inmates.

As the prophet Bob Dylan once sang:

Sometimes I think this whole world
Is one big prison yard
Some of us are prisoners
The rest of us are guards


Wasn't it Mahathir who proposed the accursed Bakun Dam, even though Malaysia was producing an excess of electricity? He had this hare-brained scheme of piping the power from Sarawak to Peninsular Malaysia through a 700km undersea cable. Never mind that the dam project required the resettlement of more than 10,000 indigenous people and would result in an area of pristine rainforest the size of Singapore being inundated. Mahathir's can-do contractor crony, Ting Pek Khiing, was more than happy to clear the designated area of foliage and foist the hardwoods on the Japs.

And if that wasn't stupid enough, Mahathir also signed a secret pact in 1994 with YTL and other independent power producers (IPPs), forcing Tenaga Nasional to buy their excess electricity at an exorbitant rate. This binding contract will only expire in 2015. As a result Tenaga Nasional has had to keep increasing the household price of electricity to protect itself from bankruptcy.


In a country located directly above the Equator which receives the full strength of the Sun at least 360 days out of every year, a truly visionary leader would have invested in alternative energy decades ago. By now Malaysia would be enjoying clean, renewable - and free - solar energy, augmented by wind and tidal power. But, then, this would disallow the power-producing corporations and their Umno/BN cronies from enriching themselves at the people's expense.

Of late there has even been ominous talk of going nuclear. Can you imagine the awful hazards nuclear power would incur, especially in a country rife with corruption at all levels?

Still, it's never too late to get wise and do a U-turn from the inevitable catastrophe of overdependence on fossil fuels. There are zero point technologies just waiting to be tested and implemented which have the potential of providing virtually free energy. Of course, these astonishing breakthroughs have constantly been suppressed by the incumbent power structure to keep themselves in power ad infinitum.

Can you envisage dumping the inefficient and highly polluting petrol or diesel-powered engine and opting for transport mechanisms that run on water?

This is a vast and complex topic I'm hinting at and there's no way I can do justice to it here - nor do I have enough expertise in this field to say anything original about it - but I'm totally convinced that once we successfully reclaim our power from the parasitic corporations and the secret government they support, unimaginable revelations will become accessible to everybody on Earth, not just in Malaysia.

Human beings will no longer be manipulated and exploited by the rich and powerful, and kept enslaved by their own fear and ignorance.

THERE IS NO ENERGY SHORTAGE. THE UNIVERSE OPERATES ON INFINITE ABUNDANCE. HOWEVER, WE SHALL NEVER DISCOVER THIS UNTIL WE STOP RAPING THE ENVIRONMENT AND BEGIN TO LOOK UPON MOTHER NATURE WITH PROFOUND APPRECIATION AND SPONTANEOUS REVERENCE.

I would like to see a Malaysia where we no longer have to stop people from logging and mining and other destructive activities through strict legislation (which is pretty difficult to enforce anyhow, especially when the perpetrators of serious eco-crimes happen to be good friends of, or related to, the Chief Minister).

For this to happen, we must have a clean government that is open to alternative and innovative solutions that benefit everybody - not just an elite capitalist clique.

The present model of government is diseased. It isn't grounded in a holistic perception of reality. Instead, executive decisions and policies have largely been motivated by greed and powerlust. This is the disastrous outcome when business hops into bed with politics and conspires to steal the land from right under people's feet.


The long-term well-being of the land and all its inhabitants definitely does not feature in the twisted visions of hubristic leaders like Mahathir Mohamad. Only with the end of Mahathirism will our scarred and traumatized nation begin to regain its sense of priorities.

Only then will we have the intelligence and foresight to install new leaders whose hearts have not been hardened by cynicism and whose minds are receptive to fresh inputs from unexpected sources.


Where Malaysia is headed (Part 5)


15 comments:

donplaypuks® said...

I think this guy at http://anuclearmalaysia.blogspot.
com/ may be eyeing a directly negotiated non-tendered out contract with Emu@MsPlanningunit.gov.con.my.

And you woud have read today that Tenaga turned in very bad results and expects more bad news. With 45%fixed costs payable to the extortionate Maha IPP's, Tenaga is almost on its knees waiting for the final blow from the robber-barrons, rapists and plunderers!

A monopoly facing possible bankrupty? Only in M'sia. Malaysia Bolih!!

With all the elements and nature at our disposal they will still go
take the dangerous route not having worked out the crucial issues of safety and disposal of radioactive waste.

That's what Mahathirism has means. Short cut, quick profits and long-term disaster.
http://donplaypuks.blogspot.com

The Phoenix Foundation said...

Antares!
For almost 8 years a team of people, have been working without profit on land issues/matters.
Carefully researched & documented, this team had been attempting to reach across to the PTB{powers that be} to stem the tide of destruction of land/environment/rights.
They were harrased, threatened,lost much.
With bated breath, this team received the 080308 tsunami with relief.
With much renewed hope & faith, the team, attempted to communicate with the "new governments"{NGS}.
After 13 months of letters,emails,faxes, the team has not got past the front door & have just come to know - its business as usual {like before} with the NGS.
Hence the preliminary survey team that visited your enclave!
Cheers!
Mr.M

Anonymous said...

And if that wasn't stupid enough, Mahathir also signed a secret pact in 1994 with YTL and other independent power producers (IPPs), forcing Tenaga Nasional to buy their excess electricity at an exorbitant rate. This binding contract will only expire in 2015. As a result Tenaga Nasional has had to keep increasing the household price of electricity to protect itself from bankruptcy.

=====

That is true, but YTL (the only IPP) is voluntarily for not enforcing contract of sale of excess electricity to Tenaga. Tenage only buy necessary electricry from YTL.

My estimate is Tenaga and Malaysia lost RM 10 Billion each year for this IPP get rich scheme.

http://www.nkkhoo.com/2008/12/16/tnb-has-to-pay-ipp-for-excess-power/

Miriam said...

Antares! Brilliantly truthful as always. Such inspired writing.

Anonymous said...

As usual, spot on Antares. Ponder on this, there is enough energy underground which is renewable, to power the whole World many times over, that will make hydrocarbon based energy production redundant and unnecessary.

We need righteous technicians rather that corrupt politicians to go forward and evolve to a higher level. Afterall, are we not the custodian of this mothership called EARTH?

Peace Admiral Tojo

erniejean said...

Hear Hear!!!
You couldn't have said it any better Antares.....

masterwordsmith said...

Dear Antares,

If only there could be more people, especially leaders, like you with such a passionate love and reverence for Mother Earth, we would not be weeping for the follies of the greedy and irresponsible groups that have no qualms about plundering and raping Mother Nature.

*sigh* When will we ever learn that we reap what we sow and worse still, the rest of us have to reap the seeds of destruction that they have sown?

For your unbending love for Mother Earth, for your zeal to raise awareness and fight for Her, you have my unending admiration and support, dear Antares.

Thanks for this post!

Have a great weekend.

hugs

navin said...

leave the Bakun Dam alone, you blardy govemen!

Antares said...

DPP - Thanks for the link to "A Nuclear Energy Malaysia" - how creepy! This guy must be the ultimate opportunist. No way I will ever endorse fission energy as an alternative - even the European nations who are stuck with it are now desperately looking for a way out of the mess. The same stupid reasoning keeps getting repeated: "The population is increasing and along with it we require more & more energy for development..." We really ought to reassess the way we've been squandering energy on useless, unnecessary & toxic industries - arms menufacturing, for example!

Jeyapalan - I hope the team you mentioned is still active & that they haven't given up hope. May it acquire more clout & a stronger say!

Anon @ 6:37AM - Thanks for the clarification on YTL's stand. Will check out the link.

Miriam - Glad to hear from you, as always. Please visit! :-)

Admiral Tojo - "Righteous technicians"... boy, do we need them now to step forward! "Corrupt politicians"... let's pull the plug on them, heh heh. You're referring to geothermal power, right? I've read a bit about it. There are so many alternatives to hydrocarbon-based fuels, the only stumbling block, as always, is the shortsighted Profit Motive.

Erniejean - Cheers! Hope to meet you someday :-)

MWS - More power to you, my dear, and much love too!

Navin - They've already destroyed the Bakun area with wholesale logging, but the project is jinxed. Every company that gets involved with Bakun starts bleeding money. May they all bleed to death!

Anonymous said...

ANTARES,
IF THERE IS ONE PERSON NEXT TO GOD, ITS YOU.YES ITS TRUE THAT TENAGA WAS FORCED TO SIGN THE ONE SIDED IPP AGREEMENT.JUST ASK TAN SRI ANI AROPE.HE WAS LET OUT TO PASTURE CAUSE HE REFUSED TO SIGN.REMEMBER TOTAL NATIONAL BLACKOUT(TNB)HAPPENED SOMEWHERE IN THE 90S(AUGUST).THIS WAS DONE ON PURPOSE TO SMEAR TNB HENCE THE BUYING OF THE EXCESS POWERS FROM THESE IP PEES.ONE MORE THING FOR YOU TO PONDER ANTARES.THESE SCUMBAGS WHO CAME TO CHECK THE SITE FOR THE PYLONS ALSO CAME TO CHECK SOMEONE OUT.TAKE CARE BRO.MAY THE POWERS OF THIS UNIVERSE BE WITH YOU ALWAYS.
D'RAJ.

Anonymous said...

YTL screwing the rakyat? But ... but ... but ... these guys are church-going Christians! It can't be true! :-)

donplaypuks® said...

I heard one story about Why Teal Elle from an 'anonymous but reliable Zionist CIA Mossad' source.

There was this senior Indian Tenaga
engineer who scffed at Why Tea Elle's costings, calling it extortionate and highway robbery at 25 cents pkw and refused to recommend passing the contract for approval.

The Why Tea Elle numero uno, that Jesus' right hand man, laughed at the engineer in front of his colleagues and said 'Next meeting you won't be sitting there blocking us!'

And sure enough, it came to pass just as the Why Tea Elle numero uno, Jesus' right hand man predicted, and the Crony over-inflated giveaway directly negotiated and non-tendered out contract was promptly carved in stone! THe engineer was transferred to the land below the wind as 'Chief Power Tolls & Load Sheds!'

The 11th Commandmend - Thou shall not commit the sin of crossing Maha Firaun!'
http://donplaypuks.blogspot.com

gnute said...

Antares! I agree wholeheartedly. Please continue to protect the beauty of Pertak, Chiling and its vicinity! Aah... Just thinking of the place makes me peaceful inside.

chapchai said...

Thanks for mentioning the dam(n) projects in Sarawak. I think TPK should repay the proceeds from the timber felling to a trust fund for the people displaced by the Bakun project. Everybody in Sarawak knows that these dam(n) projects are being implemented to enrich the already rich coffers of Taib and his cronies. We are fast losing our forestry but are powerless to stop it. Looks like there is an on-going pact between Taib and the Federal govt. (be it under Dr M, Pak Lah and now Najib) that he be left alone to do what he will with the natural resources of Sarawak and damn the people and their ancestral heritage. When PR forms the next govt. When will Sarawakians wake up and stop voting for representatives of BN?

Anonymous said...

Hi Antares

Hv u seen those tea party in the US? Kaw-kaw punya. Check it out in youtube.