Saturday, June 21, 2008

Say What? Habitat Destruction?

We should look no further than the backyard of the Singapore Zoo in Mandai to know what is habitat destruction. This is where the zoo and other interested parties are invading a forest with the construction and promotion of a spa retreat for tourists and zoo visitors alike.

We may not have mega-fauna favourites like the Orang Utans, but the many shy and secretive animals that we have (including our leopard cats, pangolins, etc) deserve a safe and undisturbed corridor for their movement across the forest blocks surrounding the zoo. They certainly do not need the spa retreat.

While the zoo is preaching loud the dire effect of habitat destruction atop the Singapore Flyer with Orang Utans in hand, they certainly do not practise it.

We should be utterly disgusted when the Singapore Zoo preached, 'Broadcasting the conservation message through the juxtaposition of the orang utans against the backdrop of the city skyline serves to remind urban planners, developers and plantation owners that the orang utan habitats are fragile areas and, once destroyed, almost impossible to replace'.

Read more about the issue of the Spa Retreat invading Mandai Forest here: Forest Science Crapped in Singapore

The above quote by the Singapore Zoo is part of its response to Mr Chang Qizhong's online letter 'Putting Orang Utans on Singapore Flyer Bad Move'.
Read the full report here: 'Orang Utans at Singapore Flyer - Zoo Clarifies'
and Orang Utans Frightened on Singapore Flyer.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

On Brave Shores

Ubin's Shores, 10 June 2008

I found no braves
on brave shores,
I found waves
but no open doors.

I found hearts so cold
with fears,
I found not one bold
shedding tears.

I found dreamers
dreaming by the day,
I found lovers
lush-green in the bay.

I found toys
lost abandon,
I found boys
braver than men.

I found earth's first
heavenly lights,
I found thirst
to scale the heights.

Truth found me
by the rocky shores,
And set me free
doors or no doors.

- Joseph Lai, on Ubin's magical shores.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Happy Ardour Day

Happy Ardour Day, Singapore, 1 June 2008

Valentine's Day notwithstanding, I think we ought also to have an Ardour Day or Feeling Day to keep our hearts intact with Life's little love stories embodied in everything as unassuming and discrete as a tree in one's own backyard. Why?

To borrow the feelings of wordsmith Randy Kennedy, I like to put it my own way: 'Our public gardens may have a million trees, but it sometimes takes one to steal your heart'.

I know my friend Gabriel has his own tree of priceless memory in Simpang Bedok, but how about you? Is there a story you would like to share? Maybe an Ardour Day or Feeling Day would make you sit up and think about intrinsic values. Perhaps it would move you to take life out of the fast lanes to smell the frangipannis and love life for once.

Let's walk the alleys of our memories. Allow priceless things like a tree or a spoon to touch us. Let's reward ourselves a piece of heaven here before it's too late. Happy Ardour Day!

Read on my friends: Ardor Day; Let Them Count the Ways - by Joseph Huff-Hannon