Monday, April 19, 2010


by William Blake

Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,

What immortal hand or eye

Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?

On what wings dare he aspire?

What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder and what art

Could twist the sinews of thy heart?

And when thy heart began to beat,

What dread hand and what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?

What the anvil? What dread grasp

Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,

And water'd heaven with their tears,

Did He smile His work to see?

Did He who made the lamb make thee?

Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye

Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

William Blake (28 November 1757 - 12 August 1827) was an English poet, painter, and printmaker. Largely unrecognized during his lifetime, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of both the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age.

Since 1896, our national emblem has been the tiger, king of the jungle, which figures in Malaysia's coat-of-arms and many institutional crests. The tiger symbolizes courage, strength, bravery, agility, beauty and majesty.

But what have we done with our national icon? We have already killed more than 80% of them. By clearing forests without proper planning, we have deprived them of their habitats. Hunting tigers for profit to satisfy the demands of those who believe tiger meat has aphrodisiac or tonic properties has dramatically decimated the population.

This video shows how cruel hunters can be...

Today there are fewer than 500 tigers left in the wild. If the current rate of habitat destruction and poaching continues, these remaining tigers will be wiped out within a decade or less.

A nation that destroys the majestic animal that inspired its own national emblem surely cannot be called developed. We owe it to our children and their children to protect our tigers in the wild.