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Feeling hot under the collar
In the Malaysian countryside, Malay peasants call it ‘musim tengkujuh’ or ‘kemarau’ which simply means drought or the hot and dry season is now looming over the country which is why many of us are feeling hot under the collar.
Over the last three decades the Malaysian temperature rose by 4 degrees owing to global warming and the rise of greenhouse gas emission and the increasing size of our carbon footprint which is why hill stations around the country are popular.
But the main hill stations in Peninsular Malaysia like Cameron Highlands, Genting Highlands, Fraser’s Hill, Bukit Larut and Penang Hill have seen a corresponding increase in the temperature due to the built environment being not sustainable.
These hill stations were actually developed by the British colonialists as a retreat or haven whenever they wanted to escape from the hot and dry season and after they left Malaya in 1957 these hill stations were systematically developed.
While these hill stations are still relatively cool and offer fresh air and an escape from the heat and humidity, the present lockdown makes this dream visit impossible and Malaysians have to suffer with no respite from the flaming sun.
Even at night it is nowadays hot and air conditioning is a must. But there must be more effective, long term measures that need to be undertaken like curbing illegal logging, planting more trees and ensuring that only sustainable development is allowed.
There are other strategies to boost a cooler environment like building energy-efficient homes, smart or intelligent buildings and ensuring there are more open, airy streetscapes in housing estates and neighbourhoods.
The government and people must come together in a kind of town hall discussion to brainstorm ideas on how to lower the temperature and make the Malaysian environment cooler as more and more people complain of the unbearable heat making life uncomfortable.
-THE MALAYSIA VOICE