On the third day of Chinese New Year holidays, my nephews and their family drove me to visit Fig Farm of Malaysia at Janda Baik, about an hour and half from my residence, in the rain with traffic congestion.
Janda in Malay means widow; Baik means good or righteous. I was curious to know how the name of the place come about. Mr. Syed, a civil engineer from Nottingham University, UK, related the history for me. There was once an orang asli (Malaysian aborigines; a settlement of them nearby) witch doctor who resides here. His wife ran away , reason unknown. He used his witchcraft skill to get the return of his wife; the place was then called Janda Balek. The local Malays changed Balek to Baik. The senior Syed wrote a thick book on Fig Culture in the Tropics, started a fig farm and harvested them for export, with lots of downstream products.
This place has become a resort area for city folks, with lots of Home Stays. It is a serene place, with misty hills and idyllic scene, and a fast running stream nearby. Unfortunately, the rain and construction caused some minor mud slide, and the litters and rubbish would soon destroyed its serenity and tranquility. Plans for landscaping could be for sale, with deforestation.
I read Erich Fromm’ book “To Have or To be” several decades ago (First Published in 1976). Recently I have seen my old wife doing Spring -Cleaning, when the house is not really dirty, not perfect, but clean enough. Many other housewives do the same, and then suffer the aches and pain of excessive work. I do help a little, vacuum the floors before she mops. I notice more silvery strands strewn on the floors, due to the stress. The more furniture and fixtures, the more one has to bend to wipe and sweep. We clutter and then declutter in this market driven technology and advertisement. In our modern world, having is a status symbol and shows ease of living. These days, most of the things are not made to last, otherwise factories will close down and workers out of jobs. We have advanced fast in science and technology, but inwardly we are the same 50 years or more ago. The entanglement of private property, profit and power are still the same, but expressed differently. (The Latin word for private means to deprive another.) Authority and its power are entangled in it. US and the advanced rich nations have the obsession to stay supreme, to be in control of industry. Human Rights and Truth are just excuses for them.
I welcome any comment and discussion.
The pictures are copied-pasted from the web, with appreciation to their owners,