Macaranga.org: Providing relevant, insightful and accurate writing about Malaysia's environment (Photo: SL Wong)

A New Journalism Portal

WELCOME to the Beta version of Macaranga.org, a new journalism portal covering the environment and sustainability in Malaysia. We aim to provide in-depth journalistic features on issues and build knowledge about ecosystems.

Our objective is to be relevant, insightful and accurate and to fill a gap in local content production.

Malaysian media coverage of the environment and sustainability has, and continues to be overshadowed by a focus on economic development, in line with national aspirations.

Global coverage is select and scattered.

This is despite Malaysia’s rich natural resources and growing economic costs of biodiversity loss and climate change.

But this moment is opportune for a portal such as this.

A new beginning

Having a new government for the first time in 60 years is an exciting, transitional period politically and socially for Malaysia. There is a lot more public discussion, often critical, of the increasingly challenging environmental issues.

Yet, deeply-researched, engaging and accurately-reported stories about those issues are lacking — stories which are significant nationally and beyond.

So the team is digging deep into our experience, networks within and outside Malaysia, specialist knowledge and communication skills. We also hope to collaborate widely with different groups.

We would like this digital, interactive platform to eventually become a source of reliable and relevant information on Malaysia’s environment.

Ultimately, we would like to inform, persuade, educate and connect policy-makers, environmental groups, scientists, businesses, journalists and the public to jointly pursue sustainable development.

The team

The portal is the brainchild of, and is run by Malaysia-based environmental and science writers, Law Yao Hua and SL Wong. Together, we have over 30 years of experience reporting, writing and producing content.

We have done work for local and international print, broadcast and online media, government and aid agencies, corporations and environmental organisations. We have also produced videos, podcasts, books, and run workshops.

Working with our content-producing and publishing network, we hope Macaranga will be an impactful digital multimedia platform.

We want to be as relevant as possible, so we welcome comments and feedback. Do also tell us what topics you feel we should cover here. And follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Huge thanks to Chong Su Weii (suu.work{at}gmail{dot}com) for helping us get this Beta website up.

(Photo: A botanist’s notebook – SL Wong)

WHAT IS MACARANGA?

Macaranga (Euphorbiaceae) is a family of tropical pioneer species that recolonises disturbed forest areas, paving the way for other species. It is found all over Malaysia — about 9% of the 300 known species call Malaysia home — as well as throughout Asia and beyond, as far as Africa.

Known locally as ‘mahang’, Macaranga has a symbiotic relationship with tree-living ants (Formicidae): the plant provides the ants food, the ants provide the plant protection from pests. Different parts of the plant are also widely used by humans in traditional medicine.

References:

Govaerts, R., et al (2019). World Checklist of Euphorbiaceae. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; http://wcsp.science.kew.org/ Retrieved 18 July 2019.

Nor Aishah Mazlan, Ahmed Mediani, Faridah Abas, et al., “Antioxidant, Antityrosinase, Anticholinesterase, and Nitric Oxide Inhibition Activities of Three Malaysian Macaranga Species,” The Scientific World Journal, vol. 2013, Article ID 312741, 8 pages, 2013. https://doi.org/10.1155/2013/312741.