What is our priority? Sex video?

When the video of celebrities Andy Hui and Jacqueline Wong surfaced on the internet a couple of months back, the social media was flooded with all the news and discussions.

Last week, there was only one piece of news that was discussed throughout the nation, on social media, at the coffee shops, at work, and all over the place. Everyone talked about the sex video that resembled Azmin and Haziq. 

When we scroll through our social media feeds, there are so many of them that are related to the news. And I am pretty sure that almost every Malaysian who uses a smartphone will receive at least one piece of information about that scandal either personally or in a chat group.

That is the nature of humans. When scandals and controversies are on the news, the majority of the people gossip about it. It was never the same about news and decisions that make an impact on their lives.

We just look at the same time when the scandal of the “Azmin and Haziq look-alike” video started, what are the important news that broke out as well. What is the news that makes an impact on our community, but was not taken into attention compared to the video.

There were 132 containers filled with plastic waste found at North Butterworth Container Terminal. Those containers came from various countries and carried about 10 to 15 tonnes of plastic waste. With the other 265 containers that was reported on May 31, we have a total of 397 containers filled with rotting food, organic matter and plastic waste. Some may say that it will be recycled in Malaysia, but we have to make the nations take responsibility for their own waste. Similarly to ourselves, we have to take the role to reduce and recycle our own waste.

The controversial appointment of Latheefa Koya as the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commissioner is also discussed for a short period only. After the hot video surfaced, people seemed to forget about the MACC Commissioner. Pakatan Harapan has criticised and mentioned that they will not make such political appointments. They have said that the appointment of the MACC Commissioner will go through the Parliament. And the actions today do not reflect any single words that they have said. It doesn’t matter if Latheefa Koya has resigned as PKR member one day before she was appointed, as her resignation is clearly to pave the way for the appointment.

There were claims of proposals of huge developments that involved a new airport in Penang at the Prime Minister’s office. Private companies seem to be proposing detailed plans of a North Malaysia International Airport (NMIA) which will acquire thousands of hectares of paddy land. Another proposal is on the Northern Region International Airport (NORIA) which involves reclaiming 5,000 ha off the coast of South Seberang Perai.

What will happen if the plan materialises? The end of Penang International Airport for sure; but it seems there are even more.

Firstly, if the NMIA is approved, it would be an exchange for the rights to develop the current PIA. What will be built in the current land of the PIA?

With one of the main logistics platforms taken away from the island, it will definitely give a huge impact towards the industrial zone in Penang island. Will the factories and MNCs choose to close down and relocate? How will jobs and employment be affected? If the factories and MNCs are reduced, it will indirectly affect the economy, with Penang island will solely depend on the tourism industry. There will be less crowd to spend daily on the island, revenue will drop, and other sectors will be affected.

By acquiring the paddy lands, how will it affect us? Malaysians are already consuming more rice than the nation can produce. And by acquiring such a huge amount of paddy lands, it means that we have to import even more rice from other nations. It will be even more difficult for Malaysia to achieve a self-sufficiency level in terms of rice.

The other proposal, NORIA, is even controversial. With the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project on the island still in doubts and debates, now there is another proposal to reclaim a 5,000ha land? We haven’t even seen how the PSR will affect the environment and ecosystem, and now there is a consideration to reclaim another island?

We are already arguing that the planned Kulim International Airport is too near to the current PIA, and now they are planning an even nearer one, perhaps? How feasible could it be?

The whole idea may sound attractive towards economic development for the Northern region, but what are the plans to protect the economy of the Penang island? What about the sustainability and environment factor? Has it been considered?

Look, there are so many important issues for us to discuss and push our elected representative to do the right thing. But yet, many are focused only on scandals and gossip. In fact, there are so many matters that directly impact our lives. Wastes from other countries that pollute our environment; political appointments that do not reflect what has been promised; unsustainable development that has been proposed could have destroyed our living place. And yet, we are concerned of the sex video of two persons.

Even the news about the retirement of our badminton legend, Lee Chong Wei was only in discussion for a few days only. He should be celebrated for uniting many of us through sports. 

We have to think twice, what is our priority?