Monday, June 15, 2009

Bad habits washed ashore

I LOST my camera's memory card during a trip to Pasir Bogak in Pangkor last week. I had taken so many pictures, mostly of the scenery and of the family while on the way to the island.

Some of the pictures were meant for stories I wanted to write. Some documented the fond memories we had during the trip.

I had called the resort the moment I realised that I could have dropped the card but there was no memory card among their lost and found items.

I am now praying hard that someone will find the card and return it to me.

However, my distress is nothing compared to what a fellow holidaymaker from the United States went through. His sister-in-law had stepped on a hypodermic needle left on the beach.

I recalled the worried look on his face, not knowing who was the last user of the needle. Although his sister-in-law sought medical treatment immediately, she would no doubt continue to have sleepless nights thinking about the incident.

Immediately after I was informed of the incident, my friend and I scoured the beach, hoping to find something which would reassure the woman and her family.

Instead, I found another discarded syringe and a small bottle with some brown liquid.

Both the syringe and the bottle could have been discarded into the sea and washed ashore. The label on the bottle was missing and there was no way to tell what the brown liquid in it was.

Sadly, many of us treat our rivers and the sea as a huge dumpsite. Fluorescent tubes, beer bottles, condoms and plastic bags are thrown into rivers and the sea without any hesitation.

The environmental pollution aside, this irresponsible behaviour pose a great threat not only to marine life but also to humans, as has been shown in this case.

What if a child playing on the beach had picked up the needle?

It also does not paint a good picture of our country as a tourist destination if our so-called beautiful beaches are littered with rubbish.

I am now praying that the needle that the woman had stepped on did not come from a dadah addict or someone with a contagious disease. I guess it is too much to hope that the culprit is reading this article and realising what he or she has done.

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