Di Bawoh Rang Ikang Kering
Random Ramblings of A Retired Retainer


Thursday, July 14, 2005
While surfing the TV channels one day, I chanced upon a "song power" video urging us to love our rivers. And the end of it, I was surprised to see that it was done on behalf of the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage. Was my ancient eyes playing tricks on me?
There is nothing wrong with the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage telling us to love our rivers. After all, our rivers are our heritage too as much as the ancient mansions (haunted or not.) Rivers are inspirations for many artists and songwriters. They must remain beautiful.
The Drainage and Irrigation Department started the "Love Our River" campaign back in 1993. It was timely. Too many of our rivers are sick and a number of them are dead. If you have ever seen Sungai Klang or Sungai Segget, you will know what I mean. I am sure these rivers and al the other rivers in the country are being resuscitated. If the Singapore River can be cleaned up, our rivers can be cleaned up too.
We tend to take our rivers for granted. We use the river just like other people use roads. In fact in some parts of the country, like Pasir Raja in Ulu Dungun, the only way to get there was by river. There are still places in Malaysia accessible only by river. We also use rivers as big garbage dumps and as our toilets. This is where we got the word ke sungai besar and ke sungai kecil. Now that we know that the water from our tap comes from the rivers, we should be more careful where we do our business. It might not be so disastrous in the old days when the population is not big and the rivers could take our waste. Now, with the effluent from factories, oil palm mills and other uncontrolled discharge finding their way into our rivers, it can but only lead to disasters. It will be a disaster for ecologyand a disaster for anglers like me. So please help to stop polluting our rivers. When you see the video on TV, regardless which Ministry produced it, pay attention, please?