Friday, March 30, 2012

The world of fish

Of late I come to admire the writing of Amartya Sen. I think he gives answers to many questions that linger in my mind particularly regarding my research project.

In his book, The Idea of Justice, he mentioned about how life especially in society life - ie the life of human beings - should not become like the world of fish. The "world of fish" (matsanyanya) is where the big fish can freely devour a small fish. This story has been mentioned in early Indian legal theories. He said it is crucial to make sure that the justice of fish is not allowed to invade the world of human beings.

I found similarity of this analogy with a statement mentioned to me by an MP I met during my fieldwork. She said the reality of life is when it comes to dealing with small people is "if you are a big fish, you meet with a small fish, you just eat them!"

Doesn't it come to our realization, that there are many circumstances both at global and domestic, that we live in the world of fish?

Thursday, March 29, 2012


Just to share the photo of fresh tinn or fig fruits. We've never seen or taken it fresh before. It is really sweet and has beautiful taste when taken fresh.


We went to Tasmania last week. It is a beautiful place indeed. We really wanted to travel accross the country. But with the kids, it would be such a bad plan. So we went to three regions at southern area. From Hobart International Airport, we went straight to Richmond about 20 km north. From Richmond we headed down 70 km to Tasman Peninsula and spent one night in Taranna. The last two nights were spent at Hobart, in Treasure Island caravan park. The kids really had a great time.

Here are some of the photos to share.

A fest at Richmond.

Tasman devil and the friendly kangaroos,
Conservation Park, Taranna, Tasman Peninsula.

Flowers at Botanical Garden, Hobart.

The famous Sea Shepherd ship, park behind the Supreme Court, Royal Botanical Garden, and the windy summit of Mount Wellington, Hobart.

Stunning beaches: Nubeena, Tasman Peninsula and
Dunalley, taken near Dunalley Fish Market.

The historic Richmond Bridge and
the sunrise from the cabin at Treasure Island Caravan Park, Hobart.

Historic buildings and University of Tasmania, Hobart.

Richmond and the historic buildings.

Buildings near Salamanca Parade, Supreme Court of Tasmania and Parliament.

 Mosque at Hobart, but it was closed when we arrived at 3pm. The others are the park near Salamanca Parade at the back of Hobart Supreme Court.

Salamanca Fruits Market.

Treasure Island Caravan Park, Hobart.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Sharks also need compassion

Minding the shark

Adopt law to utilise whole shark

I REFER to “Inhumane finning act must be stopped” (The Star, March 12). Social activist Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye’s suggestion that shark hunting in Sabah and Malaysia waters be banned is commendable.

In May last year, Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjum stated that shark numbers had dramatically fallen to 20% of what they were previously due to shark hunting.

Sabah, he said, would amend its law to ban shark hunting. With immediate effect, the state government also removed shark’s fin from the menu at official functions.

Federal Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid had in September 2007 banned shark’s fin from being served at the ministry’s functions to help conservation of the shark species.

Despite the actions, shark’s fin remains one the most popular and luxurious items on the menus of distinguished hotels and seafood restaurants.

Conservationists report that the normal practice to get the fins from the wild shark population is by removing the dorsal fin of the sharks while the sharks are still alive. The finless sharks are thrown back into the sea, and being unable to swim die slowly.

This conduct is irresponsible, barbarous, cruel and inhumane. Environmentalists have long called for a reduction in demand for shark’s fins.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in 1999 recommended an International Plan of Action for Sharks. Even though the recommendations are not legally binding, they encourage member nations to develop their own shark management and protection plan.

As a member country of this international organisation, Malaysia through the Department of Fisheries in 2006 published the National Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Shark (Malaysia NPOA-Shark).

This plan recommends that where sharks are fished, the entire carcasses should be utilised, not just the fins. Therefore, sharks are not to be killed for the use of their fins only.

However this plan only operates as mere guidelines for Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and has no legal effect.

I propose the Government adopt the Conduct for Responsible Fisheries as a provision in the law relating to fisheries to require the carcasses of the sharks to be retained with their fins to ensure the full usage of the sharks.

The law is in line with the spirit of Malaysia’s commitment at international level to ensure the conservation and management of sharks and their long-term sustainable use.

Melbourne, Australia.