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Free Durians for Penang Monkeys

By Forest Ang

......Hi monkey why you always kacau-kacau (disturb) nice people in Penang?....

Have you seen a monkey opening the thorny durian? Apparently, monkeys in Penang are capable of doing that.

We do it again! Penang Boleh! It is only in Penang that monkeys are the luckiest lot that they are in the pipeline of getting to taste durian, langsat, rambutan, papaya, banana, mango, nangka, cempedak, sentul, petal and the many fruits available.

Our wildlife people in Penang is on an initiative to plant fruiting trees to provide free makan for the long-tailed macaques so that they do not cause conflict with man.

Man : Hi monkey why you always kacau-kacau (disturb) nice people in Penang?

Monkey : Alamak, didn’t you see, the durian, papaya, banana and the so many fruits planted by your wildlife people were supposed to be for us…but you see, you see, there.. your brother picking up the durians. He already curi (steal) my food lah. So I come to kacau-kacau again loh.

Man : But you are suppose to go and wait under the tree for the durians to fall and not to loiter around this taman!

Monkey : Hi wildlife cousin, you should understand lah, how can I open a durian with my bare hands? Look at my teeth…(monkey opened its mouth and pointing to a broken tooth)…this one was broken when I tried to bite open the durian. I also got so many wounds from the thorns on my lips. Susah cari makan…so I come to kacau-kacau to get free makan loh.

Man : Shh…not so loud. Actually I planted the fruits for my brothers and sisters. Since you are complaining that my brother curi your durians, I will get more fund to plant more durian trees, ok?

(Of course the monkey could do nothing as it has no voting power. Meanwhile the brothers and sisters will continue voting for the policy maker as they get to share free durians – who don’t want free punya meh?)

This is a typical Bolehland concept - solving the immediate problem but not the root of the issue. Our Boleh concept is truly practical and suitable for all kinds – people as well as for our hairy cousin the monkeys!

Why monkeys should be left alone in the jungle:-
1. By giving more food they will reproduce and over populate and will cause conflict when foods are lacking.
2. Monkeys are part of the ecosystem. They feed on insects, crabs, fruits and others – they are agents for distributing seeds and controlling the population of others in the food chain.
3. Without human intervention, monkeys will be able to survive on their own. Blame the human-monkeys conflict on ourselves – we feed them, we treat them as tourist attraction and when we have altered the monkeys’ dependent on our feedings, we blamed the monkeys for their aggressiveness.

Penang is a very caring state. We will please everybody – the farmers that cleared forests to plant crops (read Exit Plan) and now we are planting fruit trees (project expected to commence in Aug 06) to please the monkeys! Penang Boleh!

Click here for Part II


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