All posts by Macaranga

Unlocking Rare Earth Riches in Malaysia

The world wants a lot more rare earths to power its green technology and meet climate goals. This offers lucrative opportunities for Malaysia to tap into its subterranean rare earth deposits of 16.1 billion tonnes. But first, the country wants to develop guidelines for a rare earth mining method said to be safer for the environment. Can Malaysia produce rare earths for the world’s green technology, and keep itself clean too?

(Image: A rare earth mining  facility in Perak; satellite image taken in January 2022. | Image: Google Earth)


Be rewarded as a Macaranga Supporter

Dear readers,

Did you know that we posted our first story on 23 July 2019? That means Macaranga turns 4 years old today!

What which had began as a “try and see lah” project had gone on to win multiple international and national awards, stopped illegal land-clearing, and taught thousands of readers about the problems of and (possible) solutions to coral bleaching, river and air pollution, urban planning, and so much more.

We began as a two-person team, and have remained so most of the time. But we want to grow our team and write more stories. Excellent stories. Stories that move and matter.

And we want you, our readers, to join us as we stretch our wings and fly. Sign up to our membership programme to be a Macaranga Supporter today. 

You will be rewarded with exclusive newsletters, webinars, and insights into our work. Tier 4 Supporters can even suggest story ideas for all Supporters to vote on.

Menghormati dan Bekerjasama dengan Orang Asal yang Berpindah

Wong Pui May berkongsi pengalaman Tok Batin Mohammad bin Pokok di Bengkel Dana +20, Jordan. Tok Batin Batek dari Kelantan menambah suaranya kepada seruan antarabangsa untuk bekerjasama dengan ahli komuniti dalam hal berkenaan pemuliharaan dan pembangunan.

Dunia kita kini menghadapi pelbagai ancaman, termasuk perubahan iklim dan kemusnahan alam semula jadi yang mengugat jaminan makanan, merosakkan harta benda dan membahayakan nyawa.

Terdapat banyak yang dapat dipelajari daripada cara hidup Orang Asal yang telah diamalkan secara turun-temurun yang dapat meningkatkan daya tahan alam semula jadi melalui pengurusan tanah dan air yang berkesan.

Inilah pesanan peserta dalam perbincangan antarabangsa yang diadakan pada September lalu, 20 tahun selepas Pengisytiharan Dana, di Rizab Alam Semula Jadi Wadi Dana, Jordan.

(Gambar: Tok Batin Mohammad bin Pokok [tengah] berbincang dengan peserta-peserta Bengkel Dana +20 di Jordan September lalu. |  Gambar oleh Wong Pui May)

Continue reading Menghormati dan Bekerjasama dengan Orang Asal yang Berpindah

The Real Meaning of ‘Water is Life’

On World Water Day this 22 March, ecosystem restoration activist Kennedy Michael brings us on a journey of rivers, dams and our role as polluters.

RIVERS. THE watering pipes of mountains and forests and fields and factories. Bringing us fresh and clean water (once upon a time, now maybe not so) from the highest elevations to the lowest lands.

The shift from hunting and gathering to agrarian societies that signalled the start of early civilizations was centred around the fresh water brought by rivers.

And just as it did 6,000 years ago, it remains today for us the main source of our civilization.

(Feature pic: Raw water is carried through main supply pipes from the Klang Gates Dam to the water treatment plants in Wangsa Maju and Bukit Nanas  |  Pic by Alliance for River Three)

Continue reading The Real Meaning of ‘Water is Life’

No Fiercer Tiger Defender Than Kae

What does it take to speak up for tigers? Conservationist Wong Pui May pays tribute to her mentor and a great Malayan tiger defender, Kae Kawanishi.

IT WAS IN 1998, the Year of the Tiger, that Dr Kae Kawanishi started her journey in Malayan tiger conservation. She was Malaysia’s first tiger biologist. This year marks her third Tiger Year in Malaysia.

As it draws to a close, I thought it was time that we who are following in her footsteps, thanked Kae for leading the way.

(Photo: Kae Kawanishi in Taman Negara with PERHILITAN wildlife rangers)

Continue reading No Fiercer Tiger Defender Than Kae

What Happens After Poachers Are Arrested?

Bringing poachers and illegal wildlife traders to court is complex and needs serious attention, says conservationist Nor Arlina Amirah Ahmad Ghani.

MANY Malaysians want to see people behind bars for committing wildlife crimes. But very rarely do they pay attention to the ornate pathway after the arrest and what it takes to convict offenders.

We celebrate arrests and seizures made by our enforcement officers, but the news often ends there, whereas an arrest is almost always only the first step towards reclaiming justice for wildlife in Malaysia.

(Photo: Prosecution and sentencing need to be strengthened when offenders reach the court, such as this Environmental Court in the Temerloh High, Session, and Magistrate Court | Pic by Nor Arlina Amirah for Justice for Wildlife Malaysia)

Continue reading What Happens After Poachers Are Arrested?

Macaranga Joins Global Media in Demanding Urgent Climate Action

This is a joint editorial by Macaranga and global media in conjunction with the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) Energy Day.

CLIMATE change is a global problem that requires cooperation between all nations. That’s why today more than 30 newspapers and media organisations in more than 20 countries (see full list below) have taken a common view about what needs to be done.

Time is running out.

(Photo: For Malaysia to wean itself off GHG-emitting coal and other fossil fuels is critical  | Pic by Nicole Fong)

Continue reading



TANAH AIR,在马来语中是指祖国,字面意思是 “土地 “和 “水”。我们在很多方面——作为一个国家和公民;通过实际和想象;集体和个人——都与这两者有联系。

但现实是,tanah air 都由国家管理的。在这个充满灾难、动荡和变化的时代,我们的治理是否足够好?决策是为了谁的利益?哪些是有效的,哪些是无效的?



Three Stories on Land and Water

Three Stories on Land and Water

TANAH AIR, the word for homeland in Malay, literally means ‘land’ and ‘water’. We are bound to both in so many ways: as a nation and citizens, through the actual and imaginative, the collective and the personal.

But the reality is, tanah and air are governed by states. In these times of calamities, turbulence and change, is our governance good enough? Whose interests do decisions serve? What is working, what, not?

In 3 stories, this Special Project looks at how governance in Malaysia is impacting humans and nature, as well as the related concerns and actions. Ultimately, we ask: are our solutions real?