The Malaysian peninsula’s ecosystem is considered to be perhaps the last of the ecosystems in which such species still thrive. They are often described as ‘those blundering and voracious little mammals that strategize little but brim with dense joy and determination’ so that their thrusts over the plains at specific times of the year are watched in endless amazement, worry and disbelief.
Nowhere else in the world do migrations of such madness occur except in the valleys and plains that carpet Malaysia. And in no place on earth have there been witness to movements of beasts in such deranged droves and manic unison that leaves one gapingly awed. These migrations begin in the weeks before the onset of the Great Feasts.
The migrations could involve about several million beasts of three or more species at any one time. They speed and stampede along the same worn paths each year. By instinct they bolt in clumps, each made up of two adults and three or four young ‘uns, and it is in this formation that they start off in unison and with but one insane mind.
Peculiar only to this region, a big number are victims of their own follies, for they are their own predators and victims all in one. The spectacle of this suicidal phenomenon can only be understood when seen in person and only then will it be comprehended as the Seventh Blunder of the Modern World.
This manic migration is a dramatic story. It takes place amoung the various states of Malaysia and is the greatest, brainless show on earth. Amoung the open plains of the West Coast and the East Coast, the North and the South and all the crevices in between these foolhardy Mammalaysians get into gear and stampede blindly at full speed in almost all directions and head for the backwaters of Everywhere.
With a show of camaraderie some will band together at certain stops to embark on the journey in groups of twenty or thirty and spend hours huddled in a tight pack. If they are lucky they will arrive at their destination intact and then disperse into smaller flocks. Those unfortunate enough to have totally incompetent leaders, who lead them like blinded and lobotomized freaks, may never see the light of a living day again.
The precise timing of these migrations changes annually, according to the waxing and waning of the moon, the occasions being very spontaneous, auspicious and natural events. While on the trip to the backwaters of Everywhere wild hoots of “Balik Kampung! Balik Kampung! Balik Kampung!” often accompany them and with this they grow manic and crazed and get out of control. So driven are they that it is not uncommon to see many of them entangled and splattered in fatal accidents resulting in sad but not unavoidable deaths.
Before the onset of each migration, wild life patrols often attempt to regulate their movements with warnings of dangerous patches along their journey but these warnings, as always, fall on deaf beasts. They prefer instead to expose themselves to danger and throw caution to the wind in romantic and problematic waves and sweeps.
The movement back is just as dramatic albeit with less enthusiasm for the climax of the great migrations have been achieved. From then on, the migrations take on a downhill dip but with no less number of crashes and splatterings. Their reckless bravery culminates during these seasonal migrations, when they turn into feverish, sub-normal Mammalaysian wildebeests.
The casualties each year are high but do nothing to discourage a repeat performance the following year with the exact same casualties, in almost the exact same spots, for the exact same reasons and in the exact same witlessness, And thereon we witness, in awful disbelief, the migrations of these two legged, dying-to-be-dead Malaysian Wildebeests.
"Balik Kampung" may be likened to the original sentiments of " Take Me Home, Country Road". The difference being that this happens at least four times a year marking every festive season and its family reunions in multicultural Malaysia. It is particular only to Malaysia and its inhabitants. Me wildebeest.