Hijau means ‘green’ in Malay.

Since it’s St Paddy’s Day this weekend, I would like to dedicate a song by one of Malaysia’s most legendary musicians, Zainal Abidin, the artiste behind Hijau, a song about global warming which was way ahead of its time when it was released in 1990.

I know St Patrick’s isn’t about global warming, but it is about the colour green. Which makes this song most appropriate.


I’ve provided the lyrics and a translation. I’m sure I’ve made some mistakes somewhere as my Malay is rusty (especially where the Kelantanese kicks in) so please feel free to correct me.

Hijau (Green)

Bumi yang tiada rimba (A world without forests)
Seumpama hamba (is like a slave)
Dia dicemar manusia (she is polluted by humans)
Yang jahil ketawa (who only laugh ignorantly)

Bumi yang tiada udara (A world without air)
Bagai tiada nyawa (is a world without life)
Pasti hilang suatu hari (it will one day disappear)
Tanpa disedari (without realisation)

Bumi tanpa lautan (A world without the oceans)
Akan kehausan (will thirst)
Pasti lambat laun hilang (it will eventually vanish)
Duniaku yang malang (my unfortunate world)

Dewasa ini kita saling merayakan (In recent days we are always celebrating)
Kejayaan yang akhirnya membinasakan (Successes that in the end will destroy us)
Apalah gunanya kematangan fikiran (What is the use of maturity of thinking)
Bila di jiwa kita masih lagi muda (when our souls remain infantile)
Dan mentah (and raw)
Ku lihat hijau (I see green)

Bumiku yang kian pudar (My fading world)
Siapa yang melihat (Who sees you?)
Di kala kita tersedar (By the time we realise)
Mungkinkah terlewat (it might be too late) 

Korupsi,opresi,obsesi diri (Corruption, oppression, self obsession)
Polusi,depressi,di bumi,kini (Pollution, depression on earth, now)

Oh …anok-anok (Oh, children)
tokleh meghaso mandi laok (will not feel how it is to swim in the sea)
Besaing,maing ghama-ghama (and play in it together)
Ale lo ni tuo umurnyo bejuto (this earth is millions of years old)
Kito usoho (we work)
Jauhke dari malapetako (to stave away disaster)
Ozon lo ni koho nipih nak nak aghi (the ozone is thinning and we still)
Keno make asak (keep burning)
Hok biso wei,pasa maknusio (poisoned by humans)
Seghemo bendo-bendo di dunio (all the things in this world)
Tokleh tehe (will not last)
Sapa bilo-bilo (forever)