Thursday, February 2

‘Within the Four Seas, all are brothers’

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Ang Lai Soon

OSTENSIBLY, after months of hibernation in winter, the first blooms herald the dawn of spring – a time of hope and rejuvenation; a time of change for the better.

Hopefully, this New Year heralds the dawn of a much kinder, fairer, gentler, more honest and more equitable global community where there is more love and affection for the family, the community, the country and the world at large.

“Within the Four Seas, all are brothers,” as the ancient Chinese saying goes.

Hopefully, this New Year also see the dawn of a more gentle and more considerate and less materialistic world ,a world where environment is also truly protected and  conserved to ensure our own long term survival.

We must respect the much abused environment, especially after the First Industrial Revolution, in the name of progress. We should endeavour to live in peace and harmony with nature.

Our cousins the orangutans have as much right to live on this earth as you and I, as have all other flora and fauna that our planet is blessed with.

Most of the world is celebrating the traditional Spring Festival on Jan 22. If we were to accept the world’s preeminent historians’ and anthropologists’ claim, the Chinese civilisation is about 7,000 years old. Notwithstanding,  it is said that China has been celebrating lunar New Year for at least 4,000 times, being the world’s oldest continuous civilisation with more than 4,000 years of recorded history.

We are observing this major event at probably the most challenging and difficult time in human history – a time like no other, and more significant for us in our multi- ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-religious country, where our diverse communities take part in all the celebrations throughout the year.

This rapidly-changing world presents many challenges to its people, whatever their nationality, their religious and ideological beliefs, their status, their age, or their gender.

These changes are being experienced throughout the world today, ranging from predicted climate changes to fundamentalist-based armed conflicts and proxy wars.

The underlying cause of this rapid change is an exponentially growing population, coupled with a rising standard of living placing an ever-growing demand of the world’s limited resources.

The Covid-19 and its deadly highly transmissible sub-variants, which cripple the entire fragile global economy, are affecting the lives of billions of people across the world, while we are ‘living with the virus’.

The human race is brought to its knees: losing jobs, unable to put food on table to feed the family, mental health of most people deteriorating, diminishing the ability to think rationally and sensibly — adding more earthly problems.

The extraordinarily ferocious climate change , with torrential rains, draughts , flooding, typhoons, Arctic winters , oven-like heatwave weather and uncontrollable wildfires are reported daily in the media.

These must be overcome.

Still, life must go on. We must face the future courageously. We must all be united to overcome the challenges, and help each other, as disunity will prolong the uncertainties.

For instance, if united in Sarawak, it’s Premier’s announcements of turning Sarawak into another Singapore; Lundu the ‘Dubai of Sarawak’; setting up a sovereign fund like world renowned Norway set to benefit all its citizens, each being a shareholder. All dreams, hopefully, would come true! A paradise on Earth!

My New Year wish, my hope and my prayer, is hoping to see my many years’ campaign to make cardiopulmonary resuscitation  (CPR) training compulsory in all institutions of learning in the country, together with the use of Automated External Defibrillator (AED) a reality.

This was agreed by a previous federal government, but could not be implemented due to many sudden changes.

The current Prime Minister, I am confident, will do it to save thousands of lives unnecessarily lost .

The healthcare system will also not be overwhelmed, as it is now.

God Bless this country. God Bless the people.

Happy New Year to all, wherever you are!