Saturday, August 31, 2019

National tree of Malaysia

Extracts from MM Online:

Malaysia now has a national tree: Merbau


Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad at the launch of the ‘Hutan Kita’ exhibition in Kuala Lumpur August 23, 2019

Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 23 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today announced indigenous hardwood species the Merbau as Malaysia’s national tree.

The prime minister said Merbau was chosen as a symbol of national pride and to show the government’s commitment towards sustainability.

“I would like to take the opportunity to announce that the Merbau tree (Malacca teak) has been chosen as our National Tree. With its hardy nature, I believe that all Malaysians, can take the Merbau as a symbol of national pride.

I posted Mango tree on 25 March 2017 (the post surprisingly gained the 9th highest rating in my blog, but in the last 2 days, has dropped to No 10th), as follows:

There is no national tree for Malaysia, yet when I went around KL and Penang recently I see mango trees in general being planted almost everywhere outside houses.

Delightfully I saw a couple of nangka trees planted outside a house in KL but alas those were the exception to the rule.

I wonder what would be planted outside the houses of LKS, Anwar, Hadi Awang, Mahathir and Najib, wakakaka.

Should we make the mango tree our national tree?

After receiving independence in 1957, the nation needed a national flower to symbolize her identity. In 1958, the Ministry of Agriculture sought proposals for a national flower from all state governments. Seven flowers were proposed. They were the rose, ylang ylang, jasmine, lotus, hibiscus, frangipani and bunga tanjung.

I wonder why the people in the east coast states (Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang) preferred the rose when it's not native to Malaya?

The people in the east coast states of the country preferred the rose, while those in the west coast were partial towards the jasmine.

In 1960, after careful consideration, the ministry selected the hibiscus rosa sinensis.

One reason it upstaged the other flowers was its eye-catching, bigger-sized red petals. Another reason given was that it blooms throughout the year and the plant requires little maintenance. Hibiscus is also commonly found in the rural areas where the plant functions as hedge fencing for houses.

Yes, the hibiscus has been as common as the rakyat, making it popular as a people's flower and thus a national flower. Of course today the hibiscus has developed into so many varieties that its fulsome glamour can be quite dazzling.

And that has been why I would have loved for the mango tree to be our national tree because it is so common and much loved by Malaysians, and grown everywhere especially in our gardens (or just outside of them) much in the same way as the hibiscus is loved as our national flower.

Anyway, congratulations to our national tree the Merbau. But I wonder why I haven't heard of any public proposals from the public in the same way as the hibiscus was mooted. Was the choice the "wise decision" of one man, or had there been proper public consultations and discussions to arrive at the best possible choice? 

also the national tree of US territory Guam 

Read also Star Online's How do we learn to love a tree?

kaytee's choice for Malaysia's national tree

loved by and as common as the rakyat

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