It was an old program, this bumi hijau thing. I would like to share with malaysiakini what I think of this excellent program and why cant it really lift off.
2. This bumi hijau is as old as human civilisation itself. Ever since man got tired of hunting as a vocation, gardening become a new hobby. It would be difficult to visualise this new hobby in cold and temperate climates, but overhere where khatulistiwa cut accross our land, where there is rainfall all year round, gardening is very handy.
3. I guess one just throw seeds and something will grow out of them. Seeds will sprout..... Earlier on, lands are very much freeholds. The modern term for freeholds is a possession forever yours and you can sell it to whom you like. I am just guessing in the older days, where politics is a brutal game when one cant complain and go to court for a black eye, land is very much free as your eyes can see. Because society hangs on tribes, to continue being relevant, they probably stay put in a specific territory. Then gardening takes root.
4. I was reading somewhere the other day about a minister being sidelined for giving Tunku Abdul Rahman a hardtime with his political drive to have a fertiliser factory! They were agressive on agriculture even in the early life of Malaya.
5. Tun Razak went all out clearing lands for Felda scheme uprooting youths/young couples from their ancestorial lands. Of course the cultural shock out of this migration were tremendous, but the pioneers are much older and wiser now as the felda scheme is coming to the third generation.
6. Tun Hussein was the guy to really put colour onto "petty gardening"
7. Now is Abdullah Badawi. The whole revival of bumi hijau program is reactive in nature cushioning the effect of petrol price hike. Now that the price comes down to the lowest low, nobody seems to be taking bumi hijau program to centre stage. It is going to die naturally.
8. Then who are the lovers of bumi hijau. This cant be seen beyond hobby, interest and inclination. You simply have to love gardening to dirty your hands and look at the growth a millimeter a day. Of course one will save a little bit of money, but there are other benefits. One doesnt has to go to gym to perspire. The same amount of sense of internal satisfaction can be achieved, even though some would argue that golf or yoga can produce the same.
9. There is some kind of communal attachment to gardening. Folks will turn their heads and say something like "hi" or "how's terung?", or "banyaknye bayam....." as they walk pass your little garden.
10. It doesnt stop you [the gardener] from greeting them first. I mean your neighbours and bypassers. And of course you can always flash your trumph card "mari, ambil cili ni...." or "makan kacang bendi tak?". Yeah....., little greetings, as one would say to children "how's homework" or to keen golfers "any birdie today?"......
But how many like to dirty their hands?