Misty tropical rainforest in Malaysia

Malaysians Say Forests Are…

hutan  森林  காடு  forests

Many different names to call what is one of the world’s most complex ecosystems, and many more different ideas of what it means.

Here is a growing collection of how Malaysians feel about our forests.

Add to this collection! What is forest to you? Click here for instructions.

These voices will feature in upcoming stories on forest use. Stay tuned.

Amin Mokhtar – third generation logger, Kedah [19/6/2020]
Elizabeth Wong – Selangor state assemblywoman (2008- ) [1/6/2020]
Balu Perumal – head of conservation, Malaysian Nature Society [12/5/2020]
Wan Razali W.M. – former deputy-director general, Forest Research Institute Malaysia [11/5/2020]
Ng It How – oil palm smallholder, Johor [16/6/2020]

To me, forest is nature. It is very good for the people. We've just got to protect forests. Many forests have been opened up recently, I think that is fine but the trees must be replanted to conserve the natural environment, so that the rivers won't run dry and the animals have a home. That's all.

Goh Chee Yew – former logger, now sawmill owner [1/6/2020]
Grippin Anak Akeng – deputy director, Forestry Department Pahang [20/5/2020]
Siti Syaliza Mustapha – forest management manager, Malaysian Timber Certification Council [30/5/2020]
Chow Wai Yeong – logger, Johor [15/6/2020]

To me, forests are our country's resources and wealth, and a source of livelihood for the people. Forests, we now call it sustainably logged forests, they have been on Earth for hundreds and thousands of years. Many of the trees have aged. If we don't take and use them, it would be a waste as they would go dry. We think that by taking the aged wood, the younger trees can grow easier which would be better for our country. We keep the forests so that they can be used for generations. If we don't remove the old trees, they would hinder the younger ones, just like humans, passing from one generation to another. [Harvesting old trees would] give our country income and our people jobs. Hopefully the future generations will keep and manage the forests well. I wish that forests will exist forever in Malaysia.

Zingiberaceae flower in sunlight on forest floor.

Add to this collection! What is forest to you? Click here for instructions.

Jessie Ooi – regional coordinator for accreditation of sustainability initiatives, Kuala Lumpur [20/11/2020]
Nuradilla Mohamad Fauzi – geneticist, Kuala Lumpur [19/11/2020]

This project was started with help from a grant awarded to Macaranga by the Pulitzer Centre Southeast Asia Rainforest Journalism Fund.