THE movement and collection of heat and carbon dioxide caused by pollution and global warming shows a worrying trend for countries near the equator.

Satellite images show that it is heading towards the equator where most of the world’s forests are, and that includes Malaysia, and more specifically Sabah and Sarawak.

The reason why the forest areas are the places heat and carbon dioxide gathers is because only the forests have the natural ability to actually treat the problem.

And what is more interesting, studies have shown that the areas where most of the world’s forests are, are also places that have the most numbers of languages spoken.

Sabah and Global Warming

This study was made known to me yesterday, at the start of the 2013 Borneo Eco Film Festival in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, by speaker and festival organizer, Agnes Agama.

I’m convinced the study, conducted by Terralingua.Org, is true seeing that the Amazon has so many different tribes and ethnicities and different languages.

And I am even more convinced when I see Sarawak and, more specifically, Sabah where there are also many different ethnicities and languages.

It also seems totally logical without an ounce of coincidence that the responsibility of saving the earth falls on areas that have such wide biocultural diversity.

If you have ever been to Sabah, then you would know that the relationship amongst people of different races and religions is different than in Malaya.

It seems that they are more matured, intelligent and sensitive when it comes to these relationships among their statesmen.

Race and religion do not seem to be a big deal as everyone is Sabahan. In fact, you can even have many different religions in one family.

Sabah is the same place where I, along with writer Karim Raslan, had visited to highlight the story of Father Francis Dakun and Ustazah Hidayah Dakun.

These are Dusun tribe siblings who are Christian and Muslim respectively, and whose parents are of the traditional Pagan faith.

But they get along fine, celebrating Keamatan, Christmas and Aidilfitri together every year without fail at their parents’ house in Keningau.

This is one of the only states where whichever Allah you pray to is of no hindrance to achieving harmony, unity and happiness.

This is the only state where whatever language or dialect you speak is of no hindrance to achieving harmony, unity and happiness.

This is the only state where problems of race and religion seem to have no existence at all and everything is relaxed and chilled.

So it is only apt that these are the people who will be tasked to saving the planet. And I doubt it would be any problem for them.

Like how the famous Sabahan saying goes, “Boleh bah kalau kau!”.

* The 2013 Borneo Film Festival is happening from 25th to 29th September at the Kompleks Jabatan Kebudayaan dan Kesenian Sabah, Kota Kinabalu, and is free to the public. Visit for more information.