Malaysian TV, Channel Astro Awani, a 24 hours news and information channel, hosted K.L. Heong in the flagship primetime live talk show “Sudut Pandang” (Viewpoint) to discuss the restoring of biodiversity and ecosystem services to Asian rice fields. The TV Channel with its slogan “Our Gateway to The World” presents the latest news and informative programs include current affairs, lifestyle, documentaries, interview programs and a local and international magazine has a wide audience from Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia. The host, Mr Kamarul Bahrin Haron, himself a son of a rice farmer in the state of Perlis, compared his young days when rice fields he said were filled with frogs, fishes and other animals. Today rice fields in his “kampong” (home town) are empty devoid of fish and other organisms.
KL Heong discussed the importance of restoring biodiversity and explained the rationale behind ecological engineering to increase floral biodiversity and bee populations. As parasitoids are not visible to the naked eye and the concept of parasitism difficult to describe, bees are being used as surrogate species indicators to communicate the significance of maintain high densities of flowers around rice fields (Read: Egg Parasitism – A Challenge to Communicate this Concept to Farmers). Examples from China and Vietnam were described. The other guest of the show was Dato Dr Hashim Wahab, former deputy director general of MARDI, who spoke on the negative effects of excessive and unnecessary pesticide use and the need for reduction in Malaysian rice production.
The talk show can be viewed in http://youtu.be/yLlQ_GJJ5tM