The Future Must Be Green

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Can we afford to lose any more ecosystems? Less and less so, obviously. Since Malaysia is still a developing country, it has a chance to take a different path and do its best to balance economic development with ecological health.

The bird catchers came on Sunday, three men smoking cigarettes and talking in loud voices. They settled in the tiny padang beside my garden. “Catching birds?” I asked. “Yes, catching birds,” answered one. I pointed to some pigeons. “Catch them.” “Not them,” the man replied. He and his mates were after the wild warbly birds – the gentle and buff-coloured ones – to catch and imprison in a cage.

A visceral wave of hatred overwhelmed me. How dare they take these beautiful creatures? But, like the men fishing in the canal in Islington who aroused similar difficult emotions, these guys were just small fry.


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