BEFORE I went to college, I was obsessed with studying only the right subjects, as it was entrenched in my mind that education was the ticket to progress. As a result, I was not exposed to lateral thinking on how matters of the past and present have a significant effect on the future and the community at large. These include stewardship of natural resources, economic modernisation, cross-cultural living and even world history.
The fact that Malaysia was not invited to participate in the virtual Leaders Summit on Climate, which will be hosted by President Joe Biden of the United States on April 22 and 23, has been a hot topic of discussion in the past few days, especially with Indonesia, Singapore and Vietnam having been invited.
On his part, Environment and Water Minister Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man has explained that Malaysia was not invited because it is not categorised as a country vulnerable to climate change.
Climate change has been of particular interest with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic last year. As countries worldwide went into lockdown to prevent the spread of the disease, there were reports of improved air quality in different cities across the world, reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and less water pollution and noise, which led to the restoration of the ecological system.
Wild animals were even seen roaming the streets freely. My cousins who live in Salak Tinggi, Sepang actually saw a tapir in their neighbourhood.
Whether Malaysia is vulnerable to climate change or not, I hope the subject will be included in the school curriculum from primary level onwards.
Education must extend beyond the me, myself and I context. We must look at how our day-to-day actions can have a huge impact on our environment in the long run.
Seri Kembangan, Selangor