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Cherating, My Heart Breaks For You

Cherating Haze

“Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.” ― John Lubbock.

Throughout my entire journey in Cherating and Kemaman, I was struggling to keep the voice in my head quiet. There’s that unsettling feeling burning inside me, one I don’t know what to do with besides going on for the ride. I guess the voice of reason can’t be in silent when the ground we walk on is shaken.

We woke up on Thursday morning, a very early one at that in hopes to catch the sunrise at Cherating Beach. Honestly, the last time I remember attempting at doing this was back in Bagan Lalang, Selangor (2011). Before that, Sanur, Bali (2009). Otherwise, I wouldn’t be bothered by it. Yet on this trip, I was determined to do so. Don’t know why.

The moment we unlocked the door, my body stiffen. “Who the heck burns rubbish this early?!” I grumbled to Anis, still half awake then. Thinking it was still too dark, we took a slow walk to the beach. Still hoping, praying in fact for a good morning.

With our cameras in tow, we looked up and boy, the sky was anything but happy. Very moody actually. Slowly as time passes by, it got brighter and the photo above was the view that welcomed us. So, all that effort to catch the sunrise were put to rest when we realised it was haze all this while. It was the answer to my early morning mystery.

No wonder I woke up with rash all over my body that morning.

You would think, it being September and all, we’d be done with haze (for the year at least) but sadly, this one looked pretty bad. So bad, it continued to crawl right up to Legend Resort‘s swimming pool area. Not exactly the kind of morning you’d wanna wake up to and suddenly I got a text from Nigel;

“Just woke up. Doesn’t look like we get to see the sun today.”

You got that right buddy.

Legend Resort Cherating

And there I was, trying to figure out what I was feeling. You see, this dwarf here is sensitive to fragile things. I get so easily affected by anything – people cutting down trees or an injured animal lying helplessly. And the only thing I could do is pray for their well being, our well being. Here’s the thing, once upon a time, people kept telling me not to be too sensitive over things and I would get so repulsive because it only meant that I was not good enough. But as I grow older, I found a way to slowly mask these feelings..just not enough to have control over it hundred percent.

The thing is, it’s not that I want to be sensitive. I’m just built that way.

Having said that, when I’m greeted by such scene in front of my eyes, I have nothing but sadness and anger for Mother Nature. Here she is sacrificing herself for our benefits and all we’ve been doing is constantly raping her. I feel so ashamed, so dumbfounded because this is not a problem we’ve only just stumbled upon; in fact it has been at least 15 years since our first introduction to this filthy air YET nothing has been done to solve the issue. If anything, it had gotten worst by the year.

Where have we done wrong (or done nothing at all)? How can we face this right in the face and settle it? All we’ve ever done is complain that the weather is too hot, too humid..just not the way we wanted it to be. Never about how we can make it better. The thing is, global warming is one enemy you never want to mess with. It comes in different shapes and forms, and once it strike, it takes the entire place down without a warning. Take Europe for example when they had the cold wave last year. So many homeless people died on the streets because no one expected the weather to go as low as -39.2°C. That’s all global warming’s job and why did it happened? We keep on cutting trees like we change clothes everyday. Worst in fact.

I admit, I can be very intense when it comes to things I care deeply. Nature falls into that for some reason and when people ask me how my trip was, they were shocked when I told them I felt heartbroken for three days. “Your feed seems to say otherwise” is what they said. Which is true, I had fun but more than anything, deep inside, I was broken into pieces discovering the sacred part of Malaysia. The most beautiful yet so very fragile side of Cherating and Kemaman are under fire because of greed. Greed to develop land for their own pocket. We don’t realise this, not until it’s too late that what we have in Malaysia is perhaps one of the most richest resource in the world.

By right, we should be one of the richest country with strong economy.

Cherating Mangrove Cruise

Alas, that wasn’t the case. Not when the mentality keeps on feeding with money that can’t be brought to the grave. Much less when the earth has nothing else to offer, and then what?

I had a good session with several eco warriors who don’t even know they are fighting tooth and nail defending Mother Nature but deep in their hearts, it’s all they want to do. Listening to their struggles and quest to keep our nature together is not for the faint of heart. These are the heroes, storytellers I want to talk about in my next post. One is a firefly whisperer and another is a turtle ranger guardian. I’ll even throw in a bird lover too.

So you see, deep in Cherating lies all this secrets, her magic is not about the activities you can do but the people who help nurture and preserve the way she deserves to be. These are the kind of people we should be encouraging to live and prosper. The kind that sees the importance in loving Mother Nature for who she is and not just for what she can give you. We don’t have to go far, take LYNAS for example. It’s in Kuantan for god sake, or rather in the works to set up there. If Aussies ’emselves don’t want anything to do with it, why are we freely accepting this darkness into our territory? Again, money talks but we have 23 million voices and so far only one million has spoken about taking action against LYNAS in Kuantan, Pahang. They can tell you it’s safe, it’s not going to do any harm but truth is, it’s all bullshit. The first thing to get affected would be our ecosystem, the wild animals and their habitats. Then the locals and the rest of the world.

Why should we care so much about our environment you say?

Well, for one, you’re breathing, drinking, eating and sleeping well because of Mother Nature. Imagine if there’s no trees – there won’t be any oxygen. No clean water, no more food but processed ones and landslide happening every now and then. Can you live in that situation? Truly believe you could with those bugging you?

Cherating Beach Storm

Even when there’s a storm coming, she was able to take my breath away.

I think we need to be more aware and dedicated to taking care this environment of ours like it’s our own children. For now, do take a minute or two to Take Action! Stop Lynas. If we are not defending our rights, who else gonna do it?

This is my story, a prologue if you will to get the right message out about protecting our environment. This trip has changed so much in me, fueled my hunger to fight for the good cause even more. Therefore, I’d like to thank Anthony for inviting me on this trip. I just need to draft out the other two stories about this heartbreaking journey of mine. Someone has to write about the unpopular topics and it might not bode well with some people but let that person be me.

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11 thoughts on “Cherating, My Heart Breaks For You

  1. Nicely written. My heart breaks too reading the post. You are right. People are too greedy. And couldn’t they think that their act today will affect the next generation too?

    • Oh wow, thanks Khai for dropping by and commenting. That’s the thing, right now everyone’s busy thinking about themselves, they don’t see further than that :/ Which creates a certain kind of blindness. But the more people get involved and get active in helping out with the environment, the higher the chance of other people doing the same too 🙂

      • Hahah. I was in the Environmental Law Club back in law school. Even went to the Environmental Law talk. So the issue of environement is quite close to my heart. And yeah, you quoting Lynas is exactly correct. I saw the video ehere Aussies are rejecting the plant to be built there, and they are a much larger country. Something is fishy when they really wanna build it here.

        Man, I feel sad for our future gens… 😦

      • What shall we do then? Haha. I think the best thing to do is to explain and educate the public bout the environement. N set a good example for others to follow 🙂 n ur writing piece is very good in that sense. Mata pena lbih tajam dari mata pedang. In your case, it is mata keyboard. Haha

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