LAST Saturday, 3 Oct, Malaysians from all walks of life irrespective of age and race took part in a gotong-royong at Bukit Gasing, jointly organised by Friends of Gasing Hill and the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ). The event was directed by Petaling Jaya executive councillor Derek Fernandez, and was aimed at planting 350 trees to replace those wiped out by a forest fire last May.
What I cherished most about the whole tree-planting exercise was that it was done voluntarily by Saturday-morning joggers and trekkers out for their weekly excursion. Everyone chipped in to carry a plant or two from the gathering point into the forest.
The event brought a sense of oneness, camederie and smiles between stangers all out to do a common good. There was also a mother with her two young sons between the ages of four and six, who not only took time to explain to them the reason for the tree planting, but also got both boys to carry a small plant each into the forest.
Those who took part in the event would have felt a sense of pride to be a Malaysian. It gave the volunteers a break from the nitty-gritty of daily life. And if anyone wanted to know what 1Malaysia was all about, then last Saturday demonstrated it: politics or affiliation to any political party was never mentioned, bringing people together from both sides of the political divide. A lot can be learnt from this.
The federal government is good with coming up with all kinds of slogans, but it is lost when it comes to implementation. The government should emulate the actions by Friends of Gasing Hill and the MBPJ, who not only managed to bring the people of different races together, but managed to educate, cultivate a love for nature, and help the forest.
Syabas indeed to the organisers. To those who missed last Saturday’s event, there is another round of tree-planting gotong-royong organised this Saturday, 10 Oct, at the entrance of the Gasing Hill jungle trail. What better way to exercise and sweat it out while performing a good deed.
Delren Terrence Douglas
Selangor Youth Information Bureau
Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia
7 Oct 2009