Borneo Post on 2 Mac 2006
What the Earlier Men were worried about during their time - definitely not fuel hikes, but these dinosaurs' fossils turned into oil a million years after that causing today's problems.
Now that the New Age has arrived, the danger that lurks outside our homes are becoming more creative - and yes more smaller. The (Avian) Bird Flu viruses and the Hands, Foot & Mouth (HFM) are the real threats, even the longhouse folks call them by their scientific name now. Believe it! I was dumbfolded when my longhouse folks came over for a visit last week and asked me about the the 'H5N1' and 'HEV71' situation in Kuching. The what??
Gaining my composure I explained that the 'H5N1' (Avian flu) was quite a problem in West Malaysia and the 'Human Enterovirus 71' (HFM) is causing a lot of anxiety among the parents (like me) in Kuching as the outbreak has been detected in other major towns like Sibu, Bintulu and Miri. I have to salute the medical officers in the rural areas for really giving these rural folks a good exposure to the dangers of these diseases, down to the basic details. They had to be educated as the chickens and the other animals are running freely and loosely in the longhouse compounds.
So it was no surprise when I woke up again one morning and discovered that we had another thing to worry about.
Holiday time for the kids :)
Gee... i get tramautised whenever I wake up every morning. I try not to read the headlines nowadays. I just asked my wife to tell me what is on the front page. Anyway, its good that these efforts are being done to contain the diseases as Sarawak has to date, suffered 4 deaths from the HFM or 'HEV71'...ehem... outbreak.
Now back to the main topic about changing lifestyle. Clean hygiene if practised by all would have minimised the problem, but knowing disease outbreaks, its very hard to do war with the 'unseen' enemies. But alas, being humans, we tend to be complacent until a tsunami sweeps into our life. As the public health officers go about grading coffee shops now, we hear about complaints from the coffe shop owners that the inspections were unfair. Duh!!
Similiarly the effect of rising global oil price has affected our local economy causing our Government to quickly announce this 30 sen fuel hike and promising that there will be no more increase this year. What is it in for the ordinary folks like me? The most I heard from the newspaper is 'change our lifestyle'.
Paul Sir writes in the Borneo Post: Change Lifestyle, Use Public Transport
So far the most our wise leaders and Ministers were talking about using public transport and revived the 'car pooling' idea (formerly this was the previous Transport Minister's idea, Datuk Seri Ling Liong Sik which didn't really jive with Malaysians) to work. And so far, most of the people supporting this this are also people who are chauffeur driven to work. Yup, that's Leadership by Example the Malaysian way.
Nobody has proposed cycling to work? Or take up cycling as a third mode of transport. Hmmm.... maybe its not a popular idea. Then again, maybe the people up there have not really exhausted the options. The signals we are getting is that we should improve the public transport. Our Sarawakian top guns went to Kuala Lumpur on Sunday for a meeting with the Prime Minister.
I suppose YB Lily Yong will have her say with our leaders "Its Too Much!"
And so the modern air conditioned buses would make an entrance soon?
Yeap - how much is Sarawak getting from the RM4.4 Billion saved from the 30 sen hike. Luckily our leaders were smart enough to ask for our share
My office was quite abuzzed with activity before our Ministers and Assistant Ministers flew over to Kuala Lumpur to meet the Prime Minister. We provided the necessary information for our able leaders to request for a fair share of the RM4.4 billion saved from the 30 sen fuel hike. Hopefully it will be enough to change the scenery landscape of Sarawak?
Kuching Public Transport Study was done in May 2002 and recommendations are being made now. It was a timely study as now we can justify the figures on how to improve our Public Transport
The future of Kuching transport?
So until then, I would like to recommend cycling to all urbanites in Sarawak. I do miss that activity - I remembered I used to walk to school and upgraded myself to a bicycle later. Its fun and healthy. When I proposed it at one time, people thought I was 'crazy', especially to cycle in Malaysian weather. My wish is that they look into spending that allocation for public transport improvement in Kuching to introducing bicycle lanes. But at the moment, its not the weather I am worried about. I am more scared of the drivers in Kuching who are not really used to seeing someone on a bicycle. Especially the road bullies - they have the brain size of a T-Rex Dinosaur most of the time looking for smaller prey. Yeap - right now its just too risky to cycle in the City but I am not giving up on the idea.