Hey you monkey, stop littering


PJ, KL, Penang, JB or anywhere in the country for that matter, just take a peek around you and you will surely spot the presence of at least one monkey.

Fa Abdul, FMT

I saw a few monkeys yesterday. One threw his cigarette butt onto the floor. One threw a squashed empty can out of his car. And another wiped her kid’s messy mouth and threw the tissue onto the street.

But that’s nothing new to me. On my last trip to Penang Island a couple of months ago, I witnessed two monkeys on a motorbike throwing a huge plastic bag into the sea at Gurney Drive.

Even right now, as I am typing this article on my bed, I take a peek outside my window only to see plastic bags and paper being dragged by the wind around my neighbourhood.

Wherever we are – PJ, KL, Penang, JB or anywhere in the country for that matter, just take a peek around you and you will surely spot the presence of at least one monkey.

Cleanliness is an issue Malaysians have been taking lightly for years. In every corner of our towns, you can see mounds of rubbish and stray animals happily feeding off it.

There is rubbish right under ‘No Littering’ signboards. There is rubbish floating in rivers right next to ‘Love Our Rivers’ signboards.

For Malaysians, cleanliness is a habit limited to their rooms, houses, cars and other personal areas where we live or work. When it comes to everything else we share with others, we couldn’t be bothered.

That’s when we start acting like monkeys.

The Seberang Prai Municipal Council (MPSP) last week was heavily criticised for putting up ‘monkey signboards’ as a reminder against littering.

The signboards featured a monkey sticking out its tongue with the words that read: “Sesiapa yang membuang sampah di merata-rata tempat adalah lebih bodoh daripada beruk” which means: “Those who litter are stupider than monkeys”.

Some members of the public thought it was insulting to human dignity while others thought there should be a better way to educate the public.

I, for one, fully support the initiative. In fact, I propose similar signboards to be placed all over Malaysia to curb Malaysians’ ugly habit of littering.

Honestly, I feel there is nothing wrong in calling humans, monkeys especially when we behave like them.

Funny though when we realise that monkeys can be trained to throw banana skins into dustbins whereas humans are too stubborn and ignorant to bother.

This is clearly why I do not agree with Gerakan Penang Secretary Oh Tong Keong who urged the council to replace the monkey signboards with educational campaigns at all levels to stop people from throwing rubbish.

Come on lah, we all went to school and for years we learned Pendidikan Sivik where we were taught to differentiate between wrong and right, to abide by rules and laws and to respect others but sadly no one practices these. This clearly shows how education failed to instil good habits.

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[MTadmin – I witnessed a lorry driver chucking his unfinished teh tarik out of his window while he was waiting in line at a toll booth and it smacked right into an oncoming motorcyclist. The motorcyclist was of course very irate while the lorry driver thought it was hilarious. Kudos to the motorcyclist for not letting things escalate.]