Disclaimer: This piece reflects the writer’s opinion and compiled opinions of others on the subject matter. It does not reflect the opinions or beliefs of WORLD OF BUZZ.
There are a lot of things to worry about in this day and age, but it is impossible to focus on every problem at the same time.
In July this year, IPSOS conducted a survey among 28 countries to find out what worries the different countries the most, and I must say, the results are rather interesting.
For Malaysia, we ranked number one for being the most worried about ‘Coronavirus’ at 76%, which is a significant percentage more than the other 28 countries.
On the other hand, Malaysia ranked LAST for the ‘Climate Change’ category at 1%, meaning that we are the least worried about this issue. Malaysia also ranked in the bottom four for the ‘Threats Against The Environment’ category at just 4%.
Why is this the case?
There must be a reason why Malaysia scored really high for being most worried about Covid-19, but scored really low for being concerned about climate change at the same time.
WORLD OF BUZZ spoke to several Malaysians to find out why they think Malaysia doesn’t seem to care about climate change as compared to other countries.
Shara from Kuantan says that it all stems from the ‘tidak apa’ attitude that Malaysians tend to adopt, where as long as it doesn’t affect them in any way, then it doesn’t really matter to them.
“For instance, the river pollution situation in Selangor only became an issue when it caused water shortages that affected the people,” she said.
Dave, a former student at UNITEN, feels that these results are just an effect of a bigger issue, namely bad governance, which he describes as a “cascading issue”.
“Bad governance leads to bad education and morals which leads to overall lower intelligence in the general population of our country. Most Malaysians don’t even think that it’s something to worry about because they don’t even understand what it is in the first place,” he said.
Jen and Sam from Kepong shared that Malaysians don’t care about climate change because they don’t feel the effects of it.
“Malaysians enjoy consistent weather. Full-on four seasons are alien to us,” Jen said.
“We don’t feel the direct effects of climate change in our region because we live at the equator region. Maybe because we live at the equator, climate change is very subtle compared to a cold country. In a cold country they can feel the temperature difference and see the ice melting,” Sam said.
“Malaysians don’t care because the government also doesn’t care.”
On the other hand, Lina, a master’s student, admits she is one of the many who aren’t concerned about climate change because there are other things to worry about.
“I know every action matters and it affects the climate, but I think I am contributing enough by using less plastic products and recycling them by reusing every plastic item I have at home,” she said.
“But, I don’t know if this is even related to climate change and what I can do to make it better. The world’s heat is the least of my concerns now as I am more scared of dying from Covid-19.”
“Plus, Malaysians don’t care because the government also doesn’t care.”
Elena from Kuala Lumpur says that it has to do with the lack of emotional capacity Malaysians have to deal with other problems while fighting current issues like Covid-19 and political crises.
“I think Malaysians are just too preoccupied with trying to process everything that our country is currently going through in this season. We can only afford to focus on one crisis at a time and with the current political climate, racial issues, plus fake news being circulated every day about vaccinations and the virus, I don’t know if Malaysians have enough emotional or mental capacity to take in another fight.”
“Not to say that environmental issues aren’t important, we’re definitely seeing the effects of neglecting its importance. But I think right now, it’s not the most pressing issue that Malaysians feel they need to prioritise.”
Climate change is certainly an issue that Malaysia needs to be concerned about, even if we don’t see the tangible effects of it compared to other countries. Why do you think Malaysia doesn’t seem to be concerned about climate change? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
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