Hornbill Unleashed

December 21, 2012

Will we live to see Christmas?

Filed under: Alternatives — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:30 AM
Tags: ,

Stanley Koh

Malaysians have no doubt that the earth will spin on.

The world is supposed to end today (Friday), but Malaysians are generally keeping their cool, unlike many other people across the globe.

There has been no panic buying of food or attempted suicide, as has happened in other places, including China and the United States. Neither was there any indication that anyone will be celebrating, unlike in Mexico, where believers in the Doomsday theory are planning to get together to take their last collective breath.

Some reports say millions of Americans are resigned to the belief that they will not be able to celebrate Christmas this year and are stockpiling only – and also on weapons to protect themselves and their properties against looters.

This is despite the space agency Nasa reassuring them that Dec 21, 2012 will neither be Doomsday nor the date of any kind of major disaster for the world because of any kind of planetary alignment.

“There are no threatening asteroids as large as the one that killed the dinosaurs 65 million years ago,” Nasa has announced. “Nothing is predicted to hit [Earth] in 2012.”

In Russia, too, the scare has caused the government to issue announcements aimed at calming the public.

In France, the government has felt compelled to bar access to a mountain in the southwest of the country where Doomsday believers are planning to congregate.

In China, there are reports of old folk stocking up on food as well as candles.

The rumours and fears were triggered several years ago by reports of interpretations of the Mayan long-count calendar, which stops, some say, at a date coinciding with this Friday.

But Malaysians are happily nonchalant, to go by a random FMT survey. Some showed their enthusiasm for Dec 12 instead because of the nice figure it makes – 121212. There were reports of families or friends celebrating with expensive dinners and even expectant mothers asking their doctors to induce births. We can scarcely blame them. The same arrangement of 12s will not come around again for another 100 years.

Why have Malaysians decided to ignore a prediction that is driving other people crazy and has jammed up cyberspace with all kinds of horrible scenarios?

Quite a few survey respondents compared the panic to the hoo-hah over the Y2K scare more than a decade ago. They pointed out that the prediction about pandemonium in our high-tech lives whimpered into nothingness when the year 2000 came around.

Reassurance

Many IT-savvy youngsters admitted they were haunted for some time after the Doomsday prediction first started making its rounds on the Internet three to four years ago. However, they have since become acquainted with explanations from experts that dismiss the theory as false.

“I have confidence in Nasa’s reassurance that there is no scientific proof and concrete evidence to indicate the end of the world will happen on Dec 21 this year,” said real estate agent Ricky Tan of Kuala Lumpur.

“It will be just another ordinary day. The sun will rise from the east and set in the west. Maybe it will still rain as usual.”

Accountant Christine Wong said she, like Tan, was well acquainted with the Doomsday prediction, having read many articles about the Mayan calendar and interpretations by both the alarmists and the experts, including astronomers.

“I find Nasa’s explanation quite convincing,” she said. “I am sure there are many credible and responsible scientists in that organisation who are constantly monitoring possible threats to Mother Earth. And I don’t think they would mislead us.

“I also think many people tend to forget that many predictions about the end of the world have been made before. But the earth is still spinning and we’re still here. This one is just another scare. Maybe some businessmen are trying to cash in on it by selling survival kits and what not.”

Taxi driver Hew, 57, was more resigned than sceptical. “If the world is indeed coming to an end, what can we do? We cannot run and hide anywhere. We can only accept it as a done deal.”

Our survey seemed to show that Malaysians, especially the young, have the positive quality of curiosity. Because of their interest in researching the prediction, they have acquired some knowledge of astronomy and space exploration.

IT trainer Joseph Wong, for example, said he had read volumes of articles and watched numerous video clips about the prediction as well as other aspects of astronomy. “I have become quite knowledgeable about pole shifts, black holes, planetary alignments and those sorts of things.”

About the prediction itself, he said he had found out that some 10% of the world population believed it. “And 20% of those are in China. Maybe that has got to do with cultural or religious factors.

“But I believe it is best to rely on scientific proof. I think we had better leave this to the experts.

“I think we would be better off worrying about environmental pollution, nuclear threats, climate change, over-population and social issues like poverty.”

2 Comments »

  1. I was never a believer in the end of the world I read my bible and many things have to take effect before doomsday comes there will always be the believers that feel that the end of life is coming but as for me I look at it this way life is a gift and used wisely will be many blessings and no one is guaranteed tomorrow treat people the way you wish to be treated and be a blessing in someones life including the life of our parents because it is less harmful people make choices every day that can affect others and inflictions on those around them be kind and truthful and one will truly prosper. and as for seeing a change in government vote your voice does make a difference many people refuse to vote because they believe they have no voice to their opinions but if you do not vote you can not produce change it is a privilege to vote a right to to complain if things are done by higher authorities to make this country better.

    Comment by Alethea Bell — December 24, 2012 @ 11:00 PM | Reply

  2. Yes … and we will also see a change in government … long live PR

    Comment by tigeryk — December 21, 2012 @ 1:52 PM | Reply


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