Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
Mine is filled with fragrant flowers. Welcome.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Ad that made Oprah Winfrey cry

I was fortunate enough to stumble upon this amazing, timeless ad that, ever since it found its ways in between the pages of magazines as a pop up, has touched the hearts of many women who read it for centuries. The text was written by then 32-year old copywriter for Wieden + Kennedy, Janet Champ, who was tasked to take on Nike's campaign for women. More than anything, Champ, who started as a receptionist with the agency and worked her way up as a full-time writer, was inspired by how women always took responsibility and care for others but themselves and decided to tell them: it's time to take care of yourself too. 

The campaign was so successful that women from around the US at the time of its release started writing and reaching out to the ad makers and Nike, telling them their personal stories that have no relation to sports or Nike products whatsoever. And perhaps that is what distinguished great ads and the rest--the ability to tap into an emotion that is central to the lives of the intended audience and inspire them.  

Oh, did I tell you that Oprah Winfrey cried when she read the ad on tv for the first time? 

Reading the text as a young woman in 2015, I have to admit that it pulled some heartstrings and nearly caused me to tear up. Regardless of time, I guess, the struggle of every woman is similar, if not the same. Growing up is always a painful and difficult process, growing an identity of your own and believing in your true self is even harder. We, women are insecure creatures and the people around us can either break or make us...but we will get a hang of this delicate balance eventually, just like our mothers and other female figures we look up to in our lives. 

The full text for the ad is available below...

You were born a daughter.
You looked up to your mother.
You looked up to your father.
You looked up at everyone.

You wanted to be a princess.
You thought you were a princess.
You wanted to own a horse.
You wanted to be a horse.
You wanted your brother to be a horse.

You wanted to wear pink.
You never wanted to wear pink.

You wanted to be a Veterinarian.
You wanted to be President.
You wanted to be the President's Veterinarian.

You were picked last for the team.
You were the best one on the team.
You refused to be on the team.

You wanted to be good in algebra.
You hid during algebra.
You wanted the boys to notice you.
You were afraid the boys would notice you.

You started to get acne.
You started to get breasts.
You started to get acne that was bigger than your breasts.

You wouldn't wear a bra.
You couldn't wait to wear a bra.
You couldn't fit into a bra.

You didn't like the way you looked.
You didn't like the way your parents looked.
You didn't want to grow up.

You had your first best friend.
You had your first date.
You had your second best friend.

You had your second first date.
You spent hours on the telephone.
You got kissed.
You got to kiss back.

You went to the prom.
You didn't go to the prom.
You went to the prom with the wrong person.

You spent hours on the telephone.

You fell in love.
You fell in love.
You fell in love.

You lost your best friend.
You lost your other best friend.

You really fell in love.

You became a steady girlfriend.
You became a significant other.


Sooner or later, you start taking yourself seriously. You know when you need a break. You know when you need a rest. You know what to get worked up about and what to get rid of. And you know when it's time to take care of yourself, for yourself. To do something that makes you stronger, faster, more complete.
Because you know it's never too late to have a life. And never too late to change one.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Reflections on the Charlie Hebdo's incident

The dramatic terror attack that killed 17 people in Paris earlier this month has all the ingredients of an action film--the heart-thumping car chase, two separate hostage crisis, a mysterious gunman on a murderous rampage and a female suspect still on the loose. In the span of the three days panic caused by two gunmen who attacked satirical cartoon Charlie Hebdo's headquarters for the comic's portrayal of the prophet Muhammad, a Muslim policeman died preventing the attackers from entering the premise while a Muslim staff at the Kosher grocery store risked his life defending the customers from the mad gunman. The number of Muslim casualty in the terror attack might seem minimal but the sociological and political consequences of the cowardice and ignorant acts of a minority who called themselves Muslims, spilled over to the rest 1.6 billion of the population. 

Nothing quiet reveals the hypocrisy of the West much like the Charlie Hebdo incident and the subsequent chain of events that followed it. Hours after the incident, the rate of Islamophobic attack against Muslims in Paris skyrocketed, with more than 60 cases recorded but were barely highlighted in the mainstream media. The media, was then then too engaged with debates on the ideologies of terror in Islam with self-righteous pseuo-experts churning theories over theories, putting up blanket statements and unverified data on the Muslims. Charlie Hebdo's cartoons, which are offensive to not just Muslims but followers of other faiths that it mocked, became the symbol of freedom of speech, cleverly pushed aside in most of the discussion was how the religious personalities were denegrated (not that one can expect more from a publication with such class anyway). On the social media's end, the hashtag #JeSuisCharlie (I am Charlie) was paraded to symbolize global solidarity with the editorial staffs killed in the name of 'freedom of speech'. Days later, world leaders gathered in Paris to march in honor of the slain and show the terrorists that they are united against them. Looking at the list of the international representatives would make one chuckles in irony as most, if not all, of those who participated have a rather bleak track record in preserving freedom of speech in their home country (need I remind you of these?)

While the world's eyes were attached to the spectacle in Paris, not much was said about Boko Haram's deadliest massacre in Nigeria that killed more than 2,000 people just a day before the march. Nor was there much highlight on another event on the same day, the reopening of a military school in Pakistan that was attacked by Taliban insurgents who opened fire and killed more than 100 school children. It's important to note that these two attacks were orchestrated by people who also called themselves Muslims and have much higher fatality rate than the shooting in Paris. Why was there no hashtag for Boko Haram's massacre? Is there a need for a publicity stunt generated in the West like #Bringbackourgirls #KONY2012 for the plight of the Nigerians to be given attention? Or were the lives of 132 students in Pakistan measure much less than the 12 editorial staffs? Weren't the children and their family who risked their lives to go to school were also championing another tenet of human rights that is the right to education?

The Charlie Hebdo's killing was not the first incident where a small minority of Muslims reacted with violence and bloodshed towards provocations. In 2012, the US mission in Benghazi was attacked where the ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens with several of his diplomatic staffs had lost their lives. The embassy was torched to flames by an angry mob who was enraged by the portrayal of the prophet in an independent US film. Innocent people lost their lives over a stupid film that many didn't even get the chance to see and a majority of Muslims at that time faced the hard reality of Islamophobia and continuous false representation of Islam through the actions of a deviated few. And who can forget the Danish cartoon controversy that also sparked violent rots in the Muslim world, death threats and even a significant economic impact against the Danish's economy as the Arab world decided to boycott its exports? If many people just take a moment to reflect, they would notice that each of the violent reactions centre on one theme: the mockery and denigration of prophet Muhammad.

There are countless of lectures, articles and books criticising Islam as a religion but no Muslim ever hold violent protest or kill others because of them. This does not mean that the bloodshed over the mockery of the prophet by Muslims are justifiable because they're not. The prophet was never a violent man, he honors people even when they're known to be frauds and when he had the chance to give back to those who had hurt him and kill his family, he forgive them and show kindness. The prophet has a way of dealing with provocations but there are people who claim to be his followers but did the opposite of his teachings because they don't use their intellect. A Muslim is a believer if he testify that prophet Muhammad is the messenger of god and the prophet has a sacred place in the hearts of the believers. The Islamic tradition holds that no Muslim is a believer until he loves the prophet more than himself, his family and the world. Some people can become emotional when they're consumed with their love for him. But this is the perspective that most non-Muslims don't understand. In Mohamed Ghilan's article 'Why Are Muslims So Serious About Their Prophets?' he said that it is the duty of Muslims to explain to the non-Muslims on the position of prophet Muhammad in the hearts of the Muslims to which I agree completely.

It is all about love! As strange as this may sound to a non-Muslim, the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, also referred to as the Beloved, is loved, not in the sense that love is viewed in the West, but in a much deeper way than you can imagine. In fact, every time I speak or write about the Beloved ﷺ I get goose bumps all over my body and my heart races and my eyes fill up with tears out of yearning to see him.

He said that the concept is hard to understand because we have become more and more narcissistic that even the concept of love is only appreciated and adored when it benefits us as individuals. Love used to be understood as selfless and devotion to the object of our affection but it has evolve to be more 'perverse love of self'. 

"We're living in a world where nuance is no longer in our vocabulary. We're living in a cartoon world of black and white,". 

During a lecture in 2012, Sheikh Hamza Yusuf spoke about the different understandings between freedom of speech and freedom to insult. He said that people no longer understand nuances, creating misunderstanding and hatred as people misconstrue other's speech and opinions wrongly. Even when we are living in a globalised and hyper-connected world, it does not mean that all of us have the same ideals and opinions, nor hold the same things sacred.There is a need for us to abandon our sense of importance and righteousness and refrain from imposing our values on others though it does mean that we should tolerate abuse and corruption. He added that we are now living in an age of mockery where people no longer recognise that others have sensitivities and mock the values that they hold sacred just because they can. 

Oxford's senior research fellow in Philosophy Brian Klug did an interesting thought experiment in his article on Charlie Hebdo's moral hysteria when he remarked about some articles 'lionising Charlie Hebdo' but have little regard over the elements that constitute freedom of expression. Does freedom of expression include the freedom to ridicule everything? Nothing is sacred, according to some. In his thought experiment, Klug asked the readers to imagine the demonstration in solidarity for the Charlie Hebdo at Place de la Republique and what they think if a man suddenly step out among the demonstrators, carrying a water gun and wearing a name badge with the name of one of the attackers. Would the protestors feel offended or respect it in the name of freedom of expression? The purpose of the experiment, however, was not to show that some people are hypocrites but that people just don't know their own minds. Unless tested, most people don't know that even they have their limits. 

They see themselves as committed to the proposition that there are no limits to freedom of expression: no subject so sensitive, no symbol so sacrosanct, that it cannot be sent up, sneered at and parodied, consequences be damned. They call this “courage” and they think it is the defining difference between them and the killers – and not just the killers but anyone who thinks there are limits to what can be said or printed. But they too have their limits. They just don’t know it. 
When people don’t know their own minds — but think they do — they are liable to be swept away by self-righteous moral passion; which is just what we don’t need as the storm clouds gather on the European horizon.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Often times, self-doubt can be the barrier for someone from knowing their true self, what they want in life and prevented them from fulfilling their potential to achieve greatness. Being pre-occupied with the voices in one's head is a distraction, whether constructed by a mind desperate to escape from facing the truth or a heart, that has shrunk too deep to brace the challenges of life. In turn, we tend to hide parts of ourselves that are worth embracing for fear of our own vulnerabilities. I am, myself,  are guilty of these traits. 

The truth is there is always more to me than what I have discovered in my 25 years (and four months) of life but I have persistently let doubt takes over every time there is an opportunity for self-discovery.  Over time, it has become an integral part of me, a 'normal', part of me. 

An unexpected encounter in the middle of last year forced me to open my eyes and admit that the traits, as described above, are blocking the door to progress in my life. Imagine having someone, who was at that time a stranger, tell you that you are 'fucked up in the head' though you might look normal from the outside. Imagine having to look into the mirror he hold up and instead of seeing yourself, you see an unrecognisable being, rough and hollow, frozen to the core, begging you to ask, Is that me?

“When a woman is frozen of feeling, when she can no longer feel herself, when her blood, her passion, no longer reach the extremities of her psyche, when she is desperate; then a fantasy life is far more pleasurable than anything else she can set her sights upon. Her little match lights, because they have no wood to burn, instead burn up the psyche as though it were a big dry log. The psyche begins to play tricks on itself; it lives now in the fantasy fire of all yearning fulfilled. This kind of fantasizing is like a lie: If you tell it often enough, you begin to believe it.” ― Clarissa Pinkola Estés

Having discovered this quote recently, I realised that That was me. And despite the best interest of the person to help me overcome it, for months, despite myself wanting to change and move on, I wasn't aware that I was still burning my little match lights, my psyche, and it took several incidences where he had to shake, bend and break me to wake me up from the fantasies. Change often comes with much struggle. Perhaps it was my ego, my over-thinking or self-doubt but the realisation didn't take place in a day--it was months, much longer than what was expected of me.

At times when I'm forced to deal with the issues, it feels like I'm in a surgical procedure where each and every piece of me is taken out one by one and washed of the impurities that have warped them like cancer all these years. Every scar from the moment it all started tendered with a layer of stronger, wiser protection before they're finally assembled again to make a living human being. A tedious and painful process, one that requires strength to deter the vengeful voices in my head that keep wanting me to burn the matchsticks.

I guess by now some of you might wonder, what happened to her? For a start, a lot and for a very long time. But what made it worse was the voices in my head that tells me its normal to be fearful and undeserving of success and love. Although I'm not the same person that I used to be last year, there is still a lot of struggle ahead. Reality is nothing like a fairy tale that might end after 10 chapters. Real-life goes on and the struggle is constant. The evil, ugly witch with a pointy hat might not be waiting around the corner with a bag of poison apples just mulling time for you to take a bite. The ugly witch is strong when its within you and the only way it could exist is if you let it. A heart needs its nourishments, it needs to be filled with love, gratitude, courage, spices and everything nice (and Gerard Butler) but if its hollow, dark and weak, the witch will creep in and poison you.

What defines this junction in my life journey is the meeting with the then stranger who now encompass a big part of my life. I remember the time when I told him that he made me feel suffocated and the reaction on his face as he heard it, as if blood just drain out of his veins and his skin melts on the table surface--I remember the countless late-night drive back home after our meetings where tears just flowed from eyes as confusion, anger and frustration seep through my being, with me wishing that I could just use my bare hands to rip them off my heart. Stated in the holy book was the notion that god always notice and hears all prayers--call on me and I will answer--but the reply to each prayer can be different. When I was in my lowest form, months before meeting him, I remember spending so much time praying but not knowing exactly what to ask but the ability to remove myself from the calamity. Far from what I could expect and beyond my imagination, my prayers are now answered. I should consider myself blessed and instead of allowing my ego (mostly) to continue fighting the force, I have to open my heart to accept it. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

"Not all those who wander are lost"

In Tolkien's poem on Aragon, the line 'Not all those who wander are lost' refers to the young king's 'journey into the wild'. However, it is not until he meet Gandalf five years later, that his wandering becomes the 'great journeys and errantries' it is known to be. The line stated that Aragon's wandering years was not without a purpose but provided him with the necessary training and knowledge to be the leader he is required to be on his great journey. 

For the past few years, I feel that my foot has started on a mysterious journey without the consciousness of my heart and mind. The constant questions in my head on this 'journey' are mostly left unanswered. i have seen people my age who are aware of their journey, who some might term as 'having found their calling'. It could be a choice of career, a choice of life partner and other forms--it seems like they walk on earth knowing what they are setting their journey for and how they are going to go about and reach it. i might have picked up some clues throughout my path, I was told of the bigger picture in my Saturday classes and I hope that one day, with a clearer sense in my head and heart, that the bigger picture will manifest itself into a reality that I can carry with me. However, for now, I don't know what my calling is. There are some short-term, middle-term goals here and there but what is it that I'm supposed to thrive at in this life? 

As one gets older, the notion of finding a footing, a place in the world where one can feel a belonging to, rings louder and louder. Some of the things that I was so passionate about when I was younger have lost their magic over me and it makes me wonder whether I have been looking in the wrong direction for far too long. Have I been hanging out with the wrong crowd? Have I been stuck in the wrong career? i couldn't help but sometimes feel envious of those who are so certain about what their calling is. How can one be so sure and yet another, so clueless? 

A few days ago I read a blog post on a similar topic where the writer compared her situation to Mrs Jumbo who waited patiently for the stocks to deliver her baby while all the other mother received theirs one by one. Only when she was about to give up, the parcel containing her love and joy finally arrived. She said she shared Mrs Jumbo's sentiment as she watched her colleagues and friends who seemed to be more enlightened of their callings on earth. I was reminded of a friend I know from my Saturday class, who, a few years back was only a junior student at a university I used to go to. A persistent writer and passionate knowledge seeker, I remember a conversation we had during dinner where she expressed her worries about not knowing what lies in her future. Fast forward years later, the persistent writer and passionate knowledge seeker now has thousands of subscribers on her newsletter, who just returned from an internship with a respected and well-known academician overseas and given abundance opportunities by the people around her to pursue her studies. She has found her footing.  

She had been encouraging me to read a book written by her teacher and wanting to learn the secret of her success, I took upon her recommendation and started flipping the pages. Her journey and the book made me realise that although the journey might be set for you from the very beginning, the only guarantee that one can reach a level of 'greatness and errantries' is based solely on attitude. In her teacher's term, its the heart that dictate how the journey is set and its the heart that needs to change, ratify and mould for change to take place. Perhaps I haven't found my calling yet because I have been busy thinking about it instead of making the necessary changes that would allow for the journey to even start. 


When the rest of the world was on a holiday mood last December, the nation was hit with one of the worst natural disaster in many years. The monsoon season that visited the East Coast decided to stay longer than usual and though flooding was expected, what transpired went beyond the imagination of even out meteorological experts. 

The heavy rain did not stop for even a breather and as the rivers overspilled, the strong current swept away houses and shop lots, most were built with wood and by hand. The victims, mostly kampung folks in the East Coast and eventually in some Northen area as well, were unprepared. There were those who even refused to be rescued thinking that the flood would subside. Just overnight, the water level rose to an unprecedented level and claimed its first casualty and then the next. Just overnight, the nation went into a panic mode.  

The story on a couple who went missing after they fell off their rescue boat broke the hearts of many and everyone who saw the picture of a school with hundreds of evacuees trapped, almost devoured by the flood in heavy rain was nervous about their safety. More than 200,000 people were displaced in a matter of weeks and the government estimated the total loss and destruction to be RM1 billion. The school term was delayed for two weeks at states affected. Thankfully the flood subside as fast as it came but the tragedy should raise many flags for us to reflect on and learn so that just in case disaster strikes again, we would not be caught off guard again. 


If I can pinpoint the most important lesson for us from the disaster is that we were SO not prepared. Almost everyone in the country knows what a 'monsoon season' is and when it usually comes but reports of villagers refusing to be 'rescued' and cooperate with authorities, people escaping the flood with nothing but the clothes on their back should serve as lessons not worth repeating in the future. Malaysia has been 'lucky' when it comes to natural disasters compared to our neighbours but given the depilating condition of our environment, we should not take anything lightly. The disaster, though might not be as deadly as the rest that hit the region, should be regarded as a warning sign that there is more to come. What happened in December proved that most of us don't know about the basic response to a disaster and our infrastructures were not built to withstand nor protect us from them. 

Take Japan for example. One of the most natural-disaster prone country in the whole world where many of its countrymen died from natural disasters--earthquake, tsunami and volcano eruption. The Kobe earthquake of 1995 that killed 6,400 made Japan reassessed its building and transport regulations and resulted in the development of buildings that were made earthquake proof and civilians who are ready . While every buildings are now equipped with earthquake emergency kits, including dry rations, drinking water, basic medical supplies, hard hats and gloves. The people were also taught basic emergency response and evacuation in case disaster hits. Now imagine if the flood victims were taught basic emergency response--perhaps we could have evaded the deaths and other forms of complications that came because of our own shortcomings. 


It's quite a sad reality in Malaysia nowadays that no matter what transpire in the national discussion, politics seems to have an invading power over it. Flood is a serious matter, a matter of national emergency. But most discussions were targeted at politicians and ministers who 'conveniently' were away on their annual leave every end of the year. People were going around and calling out names of ministers and political figures, asking about their participation in the flood relief as if these politicians have superpowers that can lift up sunken houses and make them float (they don't. money is not considered a superpower yet. except batman). At one point I was confuse about the perception that our people have on politicians and ministers...whether we see them as superheroes with capes or whether we are so divided as a nation that everything, even natural disasters, can be manipulated into a fence that we have to choose to side on. 

The politicians, seeing an opportunity, seized it. Some vocal opposition politicians treated the natural disaster as a platform to hold their rivals in the gutter. DAP's Lim Kit Siang was the loudest out of all keyboard warriors in criticising every step of the relief efforts involving the government. While others, maximise every photo-op imaginable; from pictures of them carrying sickly elderly in the blazing storm, lifting heavy supplies and handing them to villages while bracing through the strong tide of muddy flood water and perhaps, the most in-your-face rendition of the episode: a minister piloting a military helicopter used to send the supplies. More than anything, shouldn't this episode make us think twice about holding 'politicians' accountable every time there is a national issue and look beyond to see how we can respond as a nation? The same political circus took place when we lost MH370 and MH17 and one would think that an average Malaysian would feel suffocated by the overbearing noises, fakery and rhetoric by now but it seems that it is not the case. 


As always in the case of modern Malaysia, the cluttering noise of unsophisticated debate has distracted the people from large, significant issues. In this case, perhaps one of the most unforgettable moment was the photo of Prime Minister DS Najib Razak enjoying an afternoon of golf with US president Barack Obama in Hawaii while the nation was hit with one of the worst flood ever recorded.  Related to the previous post, people immediately took the opportunity to question the prime minister's leadership and even to the extent, his political career. The news channels picked up the photo, claimed the PM was reluctant to cancel his vacation despite the disaster. How true is this matter? When the picture came out and people started to accuse him of prioritising his vacation over the nation, I thought to myself whether it was logical for a politician would take a vacation overseas just to spend time with another politician? Or was he on a diplomatic mission to negotiate and discuss matters related to both countries? As it is, our negotiations on TPPA are still in a deadlock with almost no progress. Could they have talked about that while golfing? Who knows. But the prime minister's return and rather swift landing at Kelantan was timely. I can't help but be reminded of how Defense minister DS Hishamuddin Hussein was roped in as the official spokesperson for the MH370 tragedy and the different reactions these two incidents received--showing that timing can either maim or boost one's political career. 


The internet proved to be pivotal as a platform for civilians to organize relief efforts for the flood victims. Individuals with good intentions come together through Twitter, Facebook and source for donations of money and goods, coordinate the transportation and volunteers that ensure the flood victims receive the help they needed. It was amazing to witness such an outburst of good vibes and positivity among the people in a while after too many overbearing negativity of late. There is still hope for us as a nation. The presence of tragedy not just unite us as a nation but brings out the best of us, the Malaysia that we're proud of as a giving, compassionate society.

And then...

There is something undeniably disturbing with the people's obsession with sharing false information on social media regardless of the consequences of their five seconds-ego boost. The nation went through a trying year in 2014--with a mystery left unsolved, lives lost and millions of ringgit spent to address, compensate and solve the multiple crisis we faced. It seemed like a pretty serious business--even from an outsider point of view. However, the people's inclination to share unverified information, pictures taken out of context and not to mention chain messages that have no regard for the sensitivities and efforts of the people involved with these tragedies prove that we still have much work to do in order to be a mature, thinking society. Honestly, even if we achieve the developed nation status by 2020, the success would not mean anything if a majority of the population still waste time and energy on such trivial matters. 

It is one thing to exercise the freedom of speech on the internet but creating unnecessary anxiety and sensationalism to the point of slander is infantile. People seemed to forget that the freedom to express do not equate to the freedom from repercussion and there should be a sense of responsibility when using the internet to spread information. The five seconds glory of spreading falsehood is meaningless once you're caught.

Increasingly, our society become more individualistic up to the point that even a tragedy is seen as an opportunity for self-presentation. The flock of civilians from other states who drove to the disaster-hit areas in Kelantan, Terengganu just to have photo opportunities and post 'at-the-scene' selfies--otherwise known as 'disaster tourists' is a disease more collective than we would like to admit. Perhaps the same fiery desire to build one's identity and presence in internet that has motivated so many of us to share unverified info online made us feel that it's acceptable to manipulate other's sufferings for own glory.


Whether we are ready to admit it or not, disasters are more often than not the results of our own doings and neglect. When it comes to natural disasters, it is easy to pinpoint where the source of the problem is because mother nature is responsive to the changes that take place against it. Just days after the disaster broke out, news channels dedicated their coverage to deforestation and over-logging in the states affected by the flood, especially Kelantan, as if it was kept in the back burner before. Deforestation rate, for the whole of Malaysia, is at its highest level and is the fastest growing in the region. Those are not 'achievements' that we should be proud of and the uncertain weather and creeping water conflict in states like Selangor should raise some flags on how we have been managing our natural resources. The forest is a blessing that people only manage to appreciate once its gone. It's not just a blessing because of the life it contains but also because of the lives it can protect from disasters. The same month that brought us the flood, a mild landslide in Cameron Highland killed a pregnant woman and her one year old son. Just a day after that, another landslide happened at a workers quarters in CH and an Indonesia man was buried in to the ground. The year before, a mud flood killed four people and damaged more than 100 houses after the Ringlet river in CH overflowed. It is predicted that CH will see more landslides and mud floods in the future due to deforestation and  soil erosion. The deforestation rate at CH and Kelantan is not caused by farming alone but also illegal loggers who had been stealing millions-worth of the country's natural resources by taking advantage of corrupt officials and leaders, weak enforcement and regulations and the lack of societal and political will to address the issue. Despite the deaths and infrastructure damage, nothing much has changed in CH despite some efforts by the police to conduct multiple raids  on illegal workers who were taken in as farmers in the area. They could have arrested all of the migrant workers and illegals in CH but unless the authorities actually prosecute those responsible in granting land permits and allowing the soil erosion to happen under their watch, then nothing will change. Same goes with Kelantan and other states, such as Sarawak, who is recording a rather worrying rate of deforestation in the past few years. I hope these tragedies will not just bring the greater understanding of us as a society but also lessons for us to ratify and amend before its too late.