Brave New World (The Star)
24 March 2011
The civil unrest in the Arab world and fears of radiation poisoning in Japan hold many lessons that Malaysia can do well to take note of.
LIBYA is being bombed; Japan is in the grips of a natural disaster as well as fears of radiation poisoning; another long-standing regime looks poised to topple in Yemen; and in Malaysia we are talking about sex videos.
As the world suffers convulsions from earthquakes and military action, we sit under our little coconut shells salivating over the latest sex scandal.
When will we grow up?
There are far more important things to worry about.
If there is anything to be learnt from the madness that is going on around the world, it is that there are some big issues to be dealt with.
If they are not, then disaster can strike.
The tragedy in Japan should make us think about two things.
The first is that nature is unpredictable and we must prepare for such unpredictability.
This is especially true in the light of recent climatic changes in the world.
Sure, it is unlikely that we will suffer a magnitude-9 earthquake; and the tsunami of 2004 is unlikely to happen again.
However, due to changes in weather patterns, we must prepare for effects like greater intensity of rainfall and rising sea levels.
We must ensure that precautions are taken to protect ourselves from these phenomena.
Another thing to ponder from the happenings in Japan is the feasibility of using nuclear power in our country.
I am worried about the safety issues surrounding a nuclear plant.
However, if the powers that be are so convinced, then let’s build our first nuclear plant in Putrajaya.
I am being facetious of course, but surely we should be looking more closely at energy-saving methods and alternative energy production.
Perhaps not on a large scale but on a smaller scale such as solar panels for individual homes.
Over in the Middle East, if Libya and Yemen are to teach us anything, it is that corruption and abuse of power will eventually lead to internal strife and turmoil.
And as hypocritical as the military action on Libya may be (for goodness sake, some of the weapons used by Muammar Gaddafi were the result of Tony Blair’s wheeling and dealing), it is a stark reminder that if things get out of hand, there will always lurk the possibility of superpower intervention.
These are big issues to think about, and they are just a few examples.
There are so many things that should cause us concern – the state of our economy, the integrity of our institutions, the plight of our indigenous peoples and our education system.
The list goes on.
These are the issues that must be debated now. Instead, I foresee yet another tawdry round of innuendoes and crass “banter” about some bedroom antics.
It would be a shame indeed that as we giggle and snicker, our country continues to roll on to an uncertain future.
All because we refuse to learn from the world around us.