While I am almost certainly sure by the end of this year our virgin forest which covers 21% (3.78 million hectares) of our Bolehland will still become a safe heaven to many jungle inhabitants, the same thing is less than convincing to a large patch of green area in the disputed but most sought after piece of estate in Sg. Buloh. The recent announcement by the higher authority as part of Greater Kay El plan has caused a considerably concern to me. (This however has nothing to do with the active jungle exploration by our younger ‘peneroka’ during the New year celebration on their virgin territories, which is also another serious issue at hand).
This expansion plan with its intention to give more breathing space to the urbanites (and to spearhead the local economy) will also translates into some possible environmental issues. As by 2015 which is 5 years from now, it is expected and quite inevitable that 3000 (three thousand) hectares of lush rubber planted area which is also a green lung – a natural engine that is obediently providing free oxygen and continuously absorbing harmful air pollutants will cease it operation and converted into tonnes of lifeless concrete jungle.
This is where the problem lies. When we chop down all the trees (rubber trees) which are also a water catchment area, a filtration system and an important buffer to the ecosystem, we are actually disrupting the natural equilibrium that all this while working very hard to maintain the balance harmony between humankind and nature. I am also almost certainly sure by the time our beloved Bolehland become a fully develop nation or if there is so little green zone left, this country at the end will be inhabited by no more than retarded hare-brains, exposed with so much air-borne pollutants further accelerated by devoid of precious oxygen. The human-wildlife conflict is also expected. Monkeys might someday become our next-door neighbors.
Doing a little bit of homework I found out that Bolehland is actually one bless nation with 62% of its land is still covered by forest, even greener than Brazil (61%), US (32) and UK (12) . Rubber plantation and rubber forest contribute significantly into the greening or our Bolehland and provide good quality air for us to breath in. Recent years we have seen a lot of natural catastrophes with direct or indirect consequences from our environmental degradation. Many more natural disaster are expected in the near future. Some even predicted the D-day. That’s actually just nature’s way of explaining why we should leave them alone and start to treat them with respect.
Recent months I have also seen and experienced how the rubber trees in my area started to become petulance and grumpy probably after hearing the exciting news. Mind you, plant is also a living thing and has it’s own soul. A main road beside the rubber estate (that is my playing ground) leading to my office has started to turn into a small running stream even with a slight drizzle. On a dry day that stretch of road has load of dimples looking as if peppered by meteorites. This has caused a considerably traffic congestion during peak hours. It is quite fun if you are driving a 4WD or into a Camel trophy adventure sort of type, but my old and battered jalopy is not built for that. This is also becomes quite annoying as my punch-card if not monitored closely will be dented with an awful mixed of red and black colors.
Actually I have no problem at all with the ambitious plans to develop our Bolehland as this will surely help our nation to prosper. But it must be done with extra caution (pembangunan lestari). I am sure the authority has by now engaged the nerdy scientist to carry out Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) when they first came out with the idea and make sure my neighborhood won’t be submerged under tones of flash mud-flood in the near future.
I believe a place without a tree is a place without a soul. As it is, rubber tree is also part of my soul.
Rubber is a monoculture plantation, plantation of a single – exotic species. Rain or shine, these beautiful trees will stand proudly and anticipate patiently to be exploited. When rubber trees bleed, the secreted latex becomes the lifeline to most of our aging smallholders , but when our rubber industries bleed and the elastic commodity stop to bounce up again, the whole nation will most likely start to weep.
The scars on the rubber tree tell a lot of stories. They bleed the white milky sap and quietly sob but willing to give away and ask for nothing in return – just like a candle. This sap from the humble rubber tree is the one that make sure the whole nation prosper and hedges our economy when the whole world collapse.
The conspicuous and distinctive pattern on each of the rubber seeds is a clonal variation. It is just like our fingerprint
All three embryos inside each fruit have to be fertilized in order for the seeds to succeed and the fruit become viable. Otherwise the rubber tree will naturally abort the fruit. Nature’s way of purifying their future progenies. Science is a divine way to understand God’s creation.
Rubber inflorescence deserves more appreciation and seldom becomes the subject of much attention. Probably because they are being overshadowed by the foul latex smell in processing the factory or less glamorous profession of rubber tappers. The scent of these rubber flowers is distinctively pleasant and can rival any upmarket perfume on one hot sunny day, when they bloom beautifully twice a year.
Disclaimer: This is my personal thought based on my personal concern and it doesn’t represents any individual or any organization especially the one that provides me with means to make sure my kitchen is continuously smoking.