Recently, there was so much publicity on Jerejak Island, not far from Penang Island, but for wrong reasons. Its fiasco involving RM 30 millions, become our daily conversation topic everywhere be it in coffee shops, shopping malls or hawker centers. It becomes the norm of the ordinary people's life. These series of scandals seem to never end, the figure involved can surpass previous records from time to time. As usual, no one will take responsibility and the blaming culture is widely spread. This phenomenal leadership crisis occurred and requires prompt attention.
This topic has somehow arrested my attention because it involves my home town. As such, I spent some time to read this article, titled "BE MAN ENOUGH TO TAKE THE BLAME" on Sunday Star, January 23, 2011 written by Dato' Wong Chun Wai.
I am grateful to the author for enlightening me of its significant historical value, which I would otherwise not know of. It really put me in shame as I have grown up there and even visited that island once, couple of years back. At that time, I found nothing much interesting or exciting other than lots of greens. At last, I decided to rent few bicycles and cycled, with my kids, to explore the place further.
However, after reading the above article, it had changed my perspective after discovering its significant historical values detailed as below:-
a) it once served as maximum security prison and was shut down in 1993;
b) was the first stop of Captain Francis Light's (Founder of Penang) during his voyage to Penang island in 1786;
c) became the site of a health quarantine centre when immigrants swamped Penang;
d) a leper asylum was built in the late 19th century;
e) was a site of German submarine base and a sanatorium for tuberculosis patients.
As such, I am determined to pen down my thoughts on this issue and look at it from other perspectives hoping that it can be restored back to its former glory as "The Oriental Garden". Here, we have lots of "catch up" game to do. No time and effort to be wasted and hope the present state government can learn from this grave mistake and work together with those who have the passion of working toward this objective. Let us be honest to ourselves, "If we don't care, who else will ?" We can't afford to neglect it any further. If we are not careful, more talents will drain out from this state as in the past.
I can still recall that lots of visitors came to Penang island during my childhood times because it has so much to offer throughout the year and I could even feel its glory was diminishing before I moved down to other state. Lots of younger generations, like me, have no other alternative but also moved out as the state was losing its glory. It is very heart sickening to see all these happened. Sad to say there are insufficient attentions and efforts to address this long overdue issues despite it has been richly blessed with lots of resources such as its beautiful beaches; food paradise, sound educational and financial institutions, numerous heritage buildings, which are more than 200 years old and etc.
Recently, I am very glad to hear that numerous building was classified as heritage buildings by the UNESCO. These should be the impetus for us to drive towards achieving its former glory. No doubts, it is a difficult task, but not impossible in line with our slogan "Malaysia Boleh" (Can do spirit).
In this connection, I strongly believe that there is so much room for us to do, rather than wasting our effort in arguing for the sake of arguing. Here, we have to put missions, and slogans again, but to get the job done so as to prove ourselves. We need to walk our talk to show our loyalty to the nation.
As a blogger, I am more than happy to chip in to serve in anyway we can - as an independent platform for the people to voice out their ideas, thoughts and opinions. Together, we stand united and work as one force to bring betterment for the above state and Malaysia as a whole. Hence, I shall continue to write more articles in this context so as to promote it as the way I did in the past.
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Thank you for using your precious time to read this article.