Dear Mr. President – Mora S.

Today we’re sharing a creative piece entitled “Dear Sir” by Mora S. This piece was originally an open letter to the President of Indonesia, and uses creative themes and stylistic elements to share an important message. Enjoy.

Dear Mr. President,

My name is Butet. You can also call me Ucok, Petra, Omi, Daniel, Kedan, Risma, Mimik, Dies, Devi or any other name

I live in a small village where I walk along the beach, and run in the forest, and play games in a water ditch near the river, and in a big town where I go to the mall with my friends. I am a student at a local school in my village and a student at an international school in the capital, and I don’t even go to school so that I can earn money to help my mom.

I am a civil servant and I am a businessperson who works in a high rise building. I am a day laborer who gets a small wage and a performer who appears on television. I do many things and I live in many places on this beloved earth. I am many, many people.  I am human. I am all of us. I am you. 

Dear Sir, we are all, you and I, human beings who want to live in peace with others and nature.

Please help us, Sir. Please take the time to take a closer look at all the plastic that is destroying our land.

What ought we to do about single-use plastic? What will we leave for future generations?

Many of our ancestors were sailors who rode the waves and were not afraid. They were fisherman who lived as one with the ocean, among the thousands of islands that compose our beautiful country.

Without the sea, we will perish. But there are so many single-use plastic bags and bottles and straws and packets strewn everywhere. When it rains, the plastic garbage from the land flows into the sea. The plastic from the sea replaces sand on the beach.

Where are we going with this, Sir? What are we going to do, Sir? Am I just giving a monologue here?

There are many young people who care about the environment. There are many communities that are beginning to move in the right direction. There are inventors who have created alternatives to single-use plastics.

But where is the power for change if you do not use these solutions? 

By looking at it from afar, the rice field is very beautiful, isn’t it Sir? But if you take a closer look, if you walk in the mud, right under your feet there are lots of plastic sachets. And plastic bags and bottles.

Where is the change?  Will you keep allowing this? There is so much plastic trash that we don’t know where to put it.  

Dump it in piles? We can’t.

Recycle it? We don’t have the machines. These ever-growing piles of plastic waste come and go between the land and sea.

And not all of it will be recycled! You know the facts already, Sir!

Those of us living in small villages are living side by side with plastic waste as if it were a childhood friend. Burning plastic or throwing it in the water, we do not know how dangerous that is, Sir.

We don’t understand, Sir. We need solutions to this problem. 

Where are the rules about single-use plastic? Why can these big companies still churn it out when it is so misused? How is single-use plastic still legal?
We need your help, Sir. We want to have a way to deal with single-use plastic because it is not a trivial matter. It is a matter of life and death.

I will die sooner or later, but what about children still in kindergarten and elementary school, what about the next generation, the children still in the womb? What kind of future will they have?

Please, Sir … help us.

Help us both downstream and upstream. You are our father up there, with the power and strength. Please Sir …do something. Say something.Before it is too late. Before our oceans become plastic soup.

Before we perish.

Happy World Ocean Day, Sir.

Mora S. is a Bataknese currently residing in Bali. She’s passionate about fighting plastic pollution in her country and around the world, currently battling single-use plastic in Indonesia with Mudfish No Plastic. You might find her dancing and singing in Mudfish No Plastic workshops or cleaning up trash in beaches or fields. She enjoys writing and making animations in her spare time.

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