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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Can't afford a Venice vacation? How about Shah Alam instead?

DISCLAIMER: This is not meant to be an insensitive post, poking fun at the unfortunate flood victims, to whom my heart goes out to. That being said, read on...

I guess it's true what they say; screw with Mother Nature, and she'll screw you back two, five, even ten-fold. In a nutshell, that could very well be the bitter lesson learned from the devastating flash flooding experienced by Shah Alam over the weekend

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Just short of a year ago, the headlines rocked with news of indiscriminate and illegal logging of the forest reserve surrounding the area, particularly close to Bukit Cahaya Alam a.k.a. Bukit Cerakah.

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In March 2005, to be exact; almost one year ago. Coincidence? Is Mother Nature trying to tell us something 11 months later?

Our environment is something very fragile, it seems. One eco-system symbiotically linked to another, even if it may not be obvious. The side-effects of logging is usually the silting of rivers, due to soil run-offs after heavy downpours. The silted river, in turn, may no longer have the capacity to channel water out of a given area, resulting in flooding.

Pretty common sense stuff. No?

But human nature, unfortunately, is sometimes made of more selfish stuff. Underhanded land clearing, for the sake of lucrative development. And at the expense of nature.

And after 11 months, Mother Nature, with the help of a squall, high tide, and a (likely badly silted) Sungai Damansara - spoke up, finally, with a vengance.

And what if, after the millions of Ringgit allocated to eleviate the flash flooding, we continue to rape the land? More flooding? (And thankfully, this time, there was no loss of life) Would we still be so lucky next time?

But perhaps, if you can't stop Mother Nature vent her displeasure, some smart aleck one day's gonna think "Hey, why not take advantage of this?" - why not indeed!

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Sure is cheaper than Venice! Then, the land developers are happy, Mother Nature can vent all she wants, and more tourism to boot. What a great deal! A win-win-win situation. Except, of course, for the poor, poor residents who chose this watery hell-hole to call home. Modern day Penans. Making way for modernization, and the natural calamities that sometimes accompany it.

Mother Nature's spoken. Is anyone listening?