A truly Malaysian mandala

ON Merdeka morning, on a whim, we abandoned watching the parade on TV and headed for Kuantan.

We were welcomed by breezy beaches with the sun beaming down on happy families. How perfect was that after weeks of rain in KL?

The next day, we got up early for bouldering and a long walk to the cove at the north end of Teluk Chempedak.

The walk was not as thrilling as the day before — and not because of overcast skies. Where people had sat the previous evening was the rubbish they had left behind. Stacks and stacks and stacks of it.

Instead of beachcombing for colourful shells or interesting driftwood, we were looking at cigarette butts in their hundreds, burst balloons (even the prophylactic variety), disposable diapers, styrofoam food containers, plastic forks and spoons, water bottles, food wrappers, and the now-empty plastic bags that had carried it all there.

Rather than getting angry and depressed as I did, Sek San said he’d make something beautiful out of it all.

And he did. A Malaysian Merdeka mandala.

This is where we stand after 51 years of independence — a filthy, unthinking, careless nation. End of Article

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8 Responses to “A truly Malaysian mandala”

  1. carolynjlau says:

    If there was a mother of all reasons to stop using plastic, here it is:
    google ‘trash vortex’ or check out

  2. D Lim says:

    Malaysians have been so busy building on race politics and personal power that we fail to inculcate civil behaviour among ourselves. It is a failure, not only of the state, but of the culture, family and education system. Hopefully, the day will come when Malaysians love the environment just as they love themselves.

  3. Alex Lam says:

    Wow, good work – Carolyn and Sek San! It sure looks somewhat beautiful, even! Perhaps we could have “Trash Art” competitions some day… Enviromentalists, what do you think?

    And what did you do with all the “beauty” at the end of the day? 🙂 Just kidding, I’m sure you disposed of it in a nice manner, yes?

  4. Daniel C says:

    LIKE 🙂

    check this guy out. Similar approach but way scarier loh (he’s using American trash)!


  5. taysy says:

    This art work reminds me of “Museum of Rubbish” (2004) at the National Art Gallery . This piece, Mandala, should be displayed at Putrajaya “permanently”!

  6. Yap Hoi Yan says:

    I am speechless. Truly insightful. First crop circle sighting in Malaysia. Let’s make more! We can even make a blog out of it. Anybody can join and post us pics after they have made one successfully.

  7. Hassan says:

    If you want to read about the moral implications of environmental devastation and our civilisation then I recommend “A Moral Climate” by Michael S Northcott, published by DLT Press.

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