Wednesday, January 25, 2012

550,000 new nincompoops every year

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Thinking about protecting the environment?. Here is a sobering fact. The population of Malaysia is increasing by about 550,000 (half a million) people every year (if you don’t believe me, work it out yourself : current population is about 27.5 million and the annual growth rate is about 2%).(Our population will hit 33 million by 2020)

Each year, in Malaysia alone, we get 550,000 new nincompoops screaming for food, shelter, education, jobs, health services and entertainment. To shelter them alone, we will eventually need 110,000 new houses (standard rate of 5 persons for house). Just try guessing the number of schools, hospitals, bus stations or cinemas they will need or try calculating the number of chickens, goats, eggs, soap, shampoo and toilet rolls they will soon consume each year. Then there are the millions of roti canai, teh tarik, nasi lemak, char kuew tiaw, tosai, BigMacs, pizzas, etc, etc   that they will consume. It is actually mind-boggling. Especially when you consider the fact that the country’s land area will remain constant.

I am highlighting these facts because protecting the environment will become increasingly complex and difficult in the years to come. You see, the nation, not only has to protect its environment for the future, it also has to feed and shelter its current population – now. Balancing these two goals has always been difficult and will become even more so in the future.

So, the task is upon all of us to consider these challenges rationally. I love the forests of the country and want them to remain for perpetuity. But I would be irresponsible if I were to ignore the 110,000 houses or the many hospitals or schools that must be built every year. I like the country to tranquil, green and serene all the times. But I would be irresponsible if I were to ignore the fact that the people will need jobs, education and healthcare and to provide these, industry and commerce must flourish. It is easy to shout that “our tigers, elephants and orang utans are important”. But providing good schools and hospitals are equally important. It is easy to scream that “our forests and wetlands are important”. So is providing jobs and livelihoods and roads and airports and electricity.

Folks, my point here is that ensuring economic development while conserving our natural environment is actually a very difficult task. Everyone screams “sustainable development” - not realizing that “sustainable development” needs to be operationalized for its benefits to be realized. All of us struggle with this. Sustainable development is not about protecting the orang utan alone. Sustainable development is not about controlling pollution alone. It is not about providing safe drinking water or sanitation or good roads alone. It is everything and more. And that’s why it is so difficult.

So my question, especially to all you greenies out there, how do we alleviate poverty in this country? How do we improve the quality of life and incomes of all Malaysians without sacrificing our forests, killing our monkeys or polluting our land? How do we provide housing, healthcare, food and education for the estimated 0.5 million people added to this country every year? How do we provide the necessary roads, water supply, sanitation, electricity and telecommunications to our people without clearing some of our forests or cutting down some of our hills? Please do not under-estimate this challenge.


[p.s. don’t give silly answers like changing the government will solve all the problems. It won’t].

Monyet King also says
1.One of the biggest (if not THE biggest) drivers of biodiversity loss (and environmental degradation) is consumption. The production of our food, water, clothes, books, houses, cars, bicycles, medicine, petrol, jewellery, diapers, shopping bags, iPods, iPads, iPhones, computers, mobile phones, iced Hazelnut coffee, etc, etc means that forest has to be cleared somewhere, land has to be used somewhere, wastes have to be discharged somewhere, smoke as to be discharged somewhere, minerals have to be mined somewhere, oil has to be drilled somewhere, plastics have to be manufactured somewhere, papers has to be printed somewhere, etc, etc.

2.So, it is actually very comical when a bunch of greenies go to Starbucks with their nice cars, sip their RM 14 latte, munch on their cheesecakes and fiddle with their RM 2000 mobile phones – and bitch about how the environment is being damaged and forests being cleared. Hypocrisy at its best. [not forgetting that many greenies in this country are well-to-do upper middle class folks whose personal consumption far exceeds that of the average Malaysian].

3. About the 550,000 new nincompoops, please remember that a small proportion of these fellas will think that they are smarter than the rest and go into politics.

8 comments:

Lau Kok Kok said...

How about humans take the first step by giving up meat-eating to help save the environment ?

Monyet King said...

I am not sure how giving up meat will help save the environment. Meat is actually a very efficient source of protein.

If everybody gave up meat, the source of protein and fat must come from somewhere else. And where is this somewhere else?

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Hmmm....at least the cats in this house are contributing to the growing population....yeay for neutering. There's no easy way out, as you said, Your Majesty, balance is important. Oh, not forgetting the influx of migrants as well. I wish it's as easy as playing Farm Story or City Story on the android.....you can expand the land area when you can afford it. So, how about us having that latte at Starbucks tomorrow? purrrr.....meow!

Monyet King said...

Cat,
On the question of migrants, I don't have the figures. My guess is the proportion is between 8% - 10%.

Latte ? Teh tarik better, only RM 1 :)

Anonymous said...

how about the humans educate themselves about responsible breeding? i mean, there are a lot of people who simply couldn't afford to care for their offspring but they keep having it for their misinterpreted religious views or because they want to i.e. greedy. raising children requires a lot of resources which in turn stresses our nature. if humans make knowledgeable decision about having number of offspring they should have, i think there will be less nincompoops born. plus, less children means more quality life, more quality human and less stress to the environment.

Monyet King said...

Anon 1:43 PM
Population growth rates will decline with rise in income levels. Strangely, the best way to reduce population would be to make the country rich.

Most developed countries have very low or zero population growth rates. The countries with the highest growth rates are often the poorest.

Anonymous said...

Clearly, you must have overlook the major influx of ILLEGAL FOREIGN WORKERS or commonly known as PATIs, which are also posing as major threats to Malaysia's environments and VIRGINS.

With UMNO's masterplan to give out FREE citizenships to Banglas, Indons, Nepalese, Burmese and Thais, it is also becoming increasingly DIFFICULT to feed off the overly populated masses.

It is evident that the Malays' delusion of UMNO will always look after them will become their worst downfalls as they can't get hold of the reality that they have become MINORITIES and OVERLOOKED by the government that swore to protect them.

It is also evident that Malaysia will be taking over Indonesia and the Philippines in the FOREIGN MAID/WORKER business as the country can no longer provide for the race they swore to protect.

Even Malay leaders like Idris Jala and MOOyiddin Yassin are planning to migrate to ZIMBABWE for cheaper living expenses and easier corruptions, so don't be surprise to hear them say " I am MALAY first, ZIMBABWEAN second"

hani said...

I'm contributing to the environment by NOT having babies..You're welcome.