Skip to main content

When trees become a nuisance


Mango trees dot the streets of residential areas in Malaysia. 



I read recently that living in a neighbourhood with trees lining the streets has benefits that are not easily understood.

A Canadian study has found that people who live on a tree-lined block are less likely to report conditions such as high-blood pressure, obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

Maybe it is the cleaner air (thanks to the trees) that makes people want to go out and about or it could be due to the "poetry-inspiring aesthetic beauty" of trees that motivate people to want take care of their health.

I completely agree with the above.

But my friend's current problem with a neighbour whose passion is planting trees makes me wonder if Malaysians have gone overboard in responding to the call to plant trees around their homes.

Rabiaa Dani is upset that the neighbour did not ask her permission to plant a mango tree in a space enough for one tree on her side of the kerb. He had pulled out the palm tree she had planted earlier replacing it with the mango tree, a favourite among Malaysians.

That was nine years ago. She didn't speak to him about it then because she did not want to create problems.

But the tree had grown to a point where the roots are likely to snake their way into her small garden and possibly damage that part of the wall surrounding it. Also people with bad intentions could use the branches stretching outside the wall to climb into her yard and do mischief.

Additionally, it is close to an electrical pole. Another potential hazard.

She told the neighbour, after much thought, that she was going to cut down the tree. At first he agreed but went back on his word and "reminded" her that she had given his wife permission years ago to plant it. Rabiaa vehemently denied making such an agreement and forcefully told the woman so.

Rabiaa is going ahead with her resolution to get rid of the tree because of the dangers it would pose, as noted above.

They say time heals griefs and quarrels and she would be grateful if this could happen sooner rather than later.

Comments

Popular Posts

My year at The Rakyat Post

Dec 31, 2014, the last day of the year and the end of my one year stint at The Rakyat Post , an online news portal.
Educational is the best way to sum up my year at The Rakyat Post.
Leaving your comfort zone is intimidating at first; it has a steep learning curve. But now I wish I had done it sooner and the whole exercise reaffirms my motto: “learn, learn, learn”.
Einstein was spot on when he said, “Learning is not a product of schooling but the lifelong attempt to acquire it”.
When I left theNew Straits Times to join The Rakyat Post on Jan 3, 2014, I didn’t know what to expect.
Nelson Fernandez, also known was Mohd Ridzwan Abdullah, had invited me to join him at the website this time last year.



He was charged with assembling a team to provide content for the portal. And I am glad I said yes.
Switching from traditional journalism to online journalism is challenging, as anyone who had made that transition will tell you.
Editorial content is disseminated by way of the internet as opposed to pub…

In the waiting room

People are always waiting for something.

They could be waiting for the train, an opportunity, promises to be fulfilled or the return of a loved one.

But "what does waiting mean in our lives and what is life without waiting?"


That question was posed by Danny Castillones Sillada in his article "What is Life without Waiting?" (The Metaphysics of Waiting).

The passing of the old year demands another round of gloomy introspection and Sillada's article came at the right time, given the value of waiting in our lives.

"Waiting," he explains, is "an emotional and mental state, which is preconditioned to anticipate someone or something to arrive at a particular time and place".

Sillada tells us that there are two types of waiting: empirical and metaphysical.

The empirical form of waiting is "where the certainty of the waited and the occurrence of event are tangibly expected to happen within a particular time and place of the waiter".

But wh…

Why Shamsul Amri dislikes Facebook

People who do not use Facebook fall into three broad categories.

The first group is completely indifferent to it, the second finds it mildly irritating and the third dislikes it intensely.

Malaysia's prominent sociologist Professor Shamsul Amri Baharuddin is of the last type.

I made the mistake of asking Shamsul, who is director of the Institute of Ethnic Studies at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, if he was on Facebook, the social network which was hatched up in the dormitories of Harvard six years ago.

"I have a face and I keep thousands of books. Why do I need Facebook?"

How do you react to that reply?

I didn't. I meekly invited him to elaborate on his reasons.

"Facebook will take away my soul and I won't allow that to happen because I am a believer," says Shamsul fiercely, who launched into a tirade of accusations against Facebook.

Ninety per cent of the things you read on Facebook are either petty, bitter, rude or offensive.

"I refuse to rea…