Sunday, October 02, 2011
Devotees are praying for ill health
The Nine Emperor God Festival in Ampang is one of the most popular religious festivals among Chinese who come from all parts of the country. Many also come from Singapore and Thailand. Although the festival is celebrated in Penang in a big scale but nothing can match the one iurrently underway in Ampang where a million people are expected to visit.
All that is good for local tourism and businesses around Pekan Cina in Ampang. But what is worrying is the amount of smoke that goes into the environment from tons and tons of burning giant joss sticks which are lit around the clock for 10 days. To compound the disaster, crates after crates of prayer papers are also burnt in the temple compound and the ash from all the burnings are are carries by wind to residential and business areas around the temple. To add on more to the problem a big trench has been dug near the hemo-dialysis center not far from the Nine Emperor God Temple or Kew Ong Yah Temple to burn the leftover rubbish. Lorries can be seen every hour dumping rubbish at the site and the smoke has enveloped several tamans in the area. the closest being Taman Seri Merdeka where people are inhaling poisons in large doeses everyday and nobody gives a damn. MPAJ, the local council has been notified and they came around once to take some photographs. People have called up the council about the menace but until today, already the seventh day and no attempt has been made to douse the fire or penalise the culprits, who happened to be the temple and the operator of the hemo-dialysis center. What is surprising is I have been told that the former MCA president Ong Tee Kiat is someway connected to the center. Heard the other day they came and compounded a businessman for keeping his machinery, a small cement slab making machine behind his shop. An enforcement team came in a land rover and found it difficult to turn back as the other end was blocked off by a mechanic shop operator who has placed dozens of cars at the back lane of this shop. They fined the poor businessman and did nothing to the real culprit operating the mechanic shop!
When I called the MAPJ PRO department the head of department said they cannot "nab the lorry drivers who were dumping rubbish for burning at the said site. She only said the complaint has been noted. And where is the Department of Environment officers? Are the authorities blind they cannot see all those smoke everyday Taman Seri Merdeka and the areas near the temple? Who gives a damn if it is temple festival. Do they have the right to pollute the environment? The devotees who pray and knell at the temple to seek fortune and good health must stop for a moment and think. It is ridiculous to seek good health when they continue to pollute the very air they breath. Generally these Chinese are very concern about environmental issues when it affects their neighborhood but has no qualms about dumping their shit elsewhere, not giving a damn how it affects other people. The law must be stern. The government should stop mollycoddling the Chinese community. The burning of giant joss sticks and prayer papers should be banned as in other civilized countries. Even Singapore, which is predominantly Chinese the burning of giant joss sticks are banned. Even the letting off of fire crackers are banned! Now where are the NGOs? Why are these people keeping quiet when it comes to the misdeeds of the Chinese? Can somebody with some gall left in them speak up.