Archive for September, 2008

Coral Reefs Should Be Alive and Kicking

September 15, 2008

I stumbled upon this website called Reef Check Malaysia while surfing the net for Crocs shoes today. The Reef Check Foundation is actually an organisation that surveys reefs and collects data to assess reefs health. In fact, it is the world’s largest international coral reef monitoring organisation. Besides monitoring reefs, Reef Check also wants to create public awareness that although we humans are damaging reefs through some of our activities such as fishing and tourism, we are also the ones who are capable of nursing them back to health. It is really up to us.

According to the website, 34% of the world’s coral reefs are in Southeast Asia and we should also be proud that 350 coral species inhabit Malaysian waters. Coral reefs are actually tiny spineless animals and generally made up of “hard corals” and “soft corals”. (I didn’t know that, hehe.) Hard corals look like hard rocks as they secrete limestone that act as their skeleton. On the other hand, soft corals resemble trees or plants. These descriptions remind me of my own experience with coral reefs when I visited Lang Tengah and Redang. It’s another huge huge world down there with oh-so-beautiful coral reefs and fishes. The trip to Lang Tengah was really really memorable as we snorkelled all three days to our hearts’ content. We explored the waters like the ocean was ours. Haha. My cousin had an underwater camera then and he took beautiful pictures of the underwater world. I thought I’d share some of them here. =)

This should be the hard coral they are talking about. The yellow and blue little corals perched on top of the big coral are called “christmas trees”. They come in many colours; red, green, yellow, blue, purple. =)

 I’m guessing these are soft corals because they look like trees. See the anemones and clown fishes between the corals?

A bigger picture of sea anemones and clown fishes. I was really lucky to get to touch one of the clown fishes when I tried scuba diving. It was just for a very short moment when that clown fish actually thought my fingers were sea anemones. I felt the clown fish; it was rubbery, not slippery as we would have thought. It’s definitely unforgettable. 

Coral reefs are very important in the marine ecosystem. Besides that, coral reefs bring income to us too, through eco-tourism. As for me, I have always been fascinated with these underwater beauties, whether they are still (as in coral reefs or lazy fishes) or moving (as in swimming, as in fishes, turtles, etc). I have always loved snorkelling and hope that I will have a diving license one day. I would definitely want to see coral reefs very much alive and kicking whenever I visit the islands. What about you? So let’s just all play our small little roles in preserving the underwater world. =)

p/s: Fai Kor, jom. Haha.

Not So Deprived After All

September 9, 2008

This is a story of how a Mak Cik Indon saved my day and made me feel less miserable. I was complaining a lot recently, mainly about how deprived I am in UTP; deprived of food, deprived of Internet connection, deprived of fun. I thought that I was living less of my life when I’m back here. I thought that life in UTP is so depressing.

Then, on the way to class on Friday afternoon with Diane, we saw a Mak Cik, hanging from the roof of the shaded path to Pocket D, with her legs trying to juggle and balance a ladder. We couldn’t understand what we were seeing till she shouted “Tolong! Tolong!”. Only then we knew that she was in danger; her ladder was falling out of position and she was hanging on to her life. Only then we knew we had to help her put her ladder back into position and help her down from the roof. So we rushed there and supported the ladder and helped her come down from the roof. She was in shock. She was actually painting the roof of the shade when the ladder went out of balance and there she was, hanging on to the roof with both her hands. If she slip, she would have fallen into the drain and suffered serious injuries. She was not wearing any helmet or any safety gear.

The Mak Cik was deprived of her own safety, working in that condition. She said she requested to be given another task as she was short and it was dangerous for her to paint the roof. Her supervisor rejected her request. If a taller man was doing the painting, he could have just jumped down easily if his ladder fell out of position. A jump like that is too high for that Mak Cik.

I am certainly deprived of the luxuries I should have, being stuck here in UTP. As bad as it seems, I am fortunate enough not to be deprived of my own safety. This struck me and I began to see how good my life is, has been and hopefully, will be. We often forget how lucky we are to be what we are, where we are and how we are. Seeing the Mak Cik hanging on to her life, I realised, life is not so bad after all. I went back home last weekend to get over my emo-ness and I am back to normal now. I don’t know when I will have these sad thoughts again but I will try to remember the Mak Cik then. =)