I came across this sickening sight in an interior deco shop inside Cathay on 26 May 2008.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
I came across this sickening sight in an interior deco shop inside Cathay on 26 May 2008.
Friday, May 23, 2008
Yes, the contractor of Kenwood Property was disposing the stump of a recently felled tree! (photo of stump below taken on 19 May 2008)
APPEAL BY GABRIEL
I am looking to save a beautiful fruit bearing mango tree which is facing the threat of being cut down to serve the interests of the Management Committee here in Bedok Market Place in Simpang Bedok. I believe this estate belongs to your company and according to an NParks officer I spoke to, only the owner of the land can have a final say in the matter. Thus I am appealing for your assistance to prevent the unnecessary cutting down of a tree which provides much needed shade in a Singapore that is getting hotter by the day.I have attached a copy of the protest letter I wrote to the Management Committee, which will give you a quick understanding of the situation.
You can also refer to this web page for mor info and pictures. http://flyingfishfriends.blogspot.com/2008/05/offering-help-to-tree-on-vesak-day.html
Hoping to hear from you soon.
FAR EAST ORGANISATION replied, saying it no longer manages Bedok Market Place (aka Bedok Shopping Complex) on its own. It will, however, forward Gabriel's concerns to its appointed estate management agency for response.
COUNTER-RESPONSE FROM GABRIEL
Thank you for your quick response. I know that the estate is runned by Kenwood Property which was appointed by your Corporation. However the chairman appointed by Kenwood practises a steam roller management style. This has created significant unhappiness on the part of owners and tenants here. My main and urgent mission is to save a mature tree from a totally unnecessary destruction.
The Management has already cut down one mature tree. This has even created unhappiness for the owner of a private house next to it. This tree was providing shade for the house owner for at least 15 years. The management claim that that tree was breaking up the tarmac of the car lot next to it. I have seen this to be true but the management could have save a car lot for the tree's roots to grow into. It would have taken at least another 20 years fot it to outgrow that. By then the lease on the land here would be near its end and it would be another chapter in that tree's life. Unfortunately for that tree, the management here wrote the last chapter for it. I understand that the management has the right to do what it wants on its own land. However it should for the sake of neighbourliness, a green environment and the fight against global warming do what is right.
It may be too late for one tree, but I will do whatever I can to prevent another tree from being cut down. All I am asking at this point is for a stay order on the cutting down of the tree until the next AGM which is within the next two months. I am hoping by then that there will be enough agitated tenants and owners to make a difference to the final outcome of that meeting. I believe that your Corporation being the employer of Kenwood Property would be able to make this happen. I am aware that one tree may seem insignificant.but I am hoping that Far East despite being a giant of a corporation can also be personal enough to make a difference to the many little people here who cares about their environment.
Hoping for some good news from you.
The National Parks Board (Nparks) has informed us that their role is purely advisory where trees of private properties are concerned. In the case of Bedok Shopping Complex, Nparks can only advise Kenwood Property and Far East Organisation on the right thing to do but powerless if it choses to exercise its right to do whatever it wants within its own property.
As you can see from Gabriel's letters (above), he is trying very hard to convince Kenwood Property and Far East Organisation to see what is right - for the tree - for the environment - and for the people - residents, tenants and patrons. You and I can also help!!
What You can Do:
1) Write a simple appeal to Kenwood Property and Far East Organisation, and
2) Tell your family and friends about the issue at Bedok Shopping Complex.
Please find the email addresses and phone number below!
1) Shopping Complex Owner - Far East Organisation: firstname.lastname@example.org
2) Property Management - Kenwood Property Consultants Pte Ltd: Tel 63372516 About Kenwood Property and its affiliation to Keng Soon Group
3) Write to The National Parks Board's Feedback to seek its assistance on this issue at Bedok Shopping Complex.
Don't let another tree end up like this... Please HELP... thank you! : )
Monday, May 19, 2008
While faithfuls by the tens of thousands made their way to offer their prayers at Buddhist temples all over the island on Vesak Day, I went about offering help to a mango tree growing along the perimeter of Bedok Shopping Complex in Simpang Bedok.
I estimate it to be no more than 20 years old and this is promptly confirmed by Gabriel's father and mother who arrive at the scene within a heartbeat of mine.
Recommendations: In all eventuality, it would be in the best interest of the shopping complex management (Far East) to keep and value its trees as extensions of goodwill to its immediate neighbourhood where most of its regular customers come from. But beyond dollars and cents and customer services, it makes good sense to work actively with the community in bringing about an environment which is greener and healthier for all. Afterall, we all share the same air.
So keep the mango tree. Do not cut it down. It is the first step to winning hearts and dollars. Together we can teach our children the right attitude to loving both the community and the environment.
Epilogue: At the end of our investigation, Gabriel invited me to his audio lab to listen to some of his fabulous music. As I drifted with the music at length - meandering through my own thoughts and wonderings - I begun to understand the extra dimension ZENN (coined from Zen) had on my own existential experience with Vesak Day today. Music can be so so pure without words. It is the language of the heart. I am not a Buddhist, and I have no words of prayer at the temple's door, but I think I have responded to my heart and followed a path Buddhadasa Bhikku has taught... to enter momentarily a Time beyond Present. If this is a prayer, so be it. The joy and peace within my heart today cannot be taken away.
'Listen to the trees speak, hear the stones teach dharma.'
- Buddhadasa Bhikku of Phra Paisan's Temple School (Thailand)
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
by David Chung 15 May 2008
2008 is the International Year of the Reef (IYOR), celebrated worldwide to raise awareness about the value and importance of coral reefs and threats to their sustainability. So, as part of Intel’s 40th anniversary celebrations, a group of Intel Singapore employees from CPLG, Finance & IT and their families turned our Labor Day holiday into a labor of love for the Earth. Together, we volunteered in a variety of activities at Chek Jawa – a wetlands nature reserve tucked away on Pulau Ubin, an island off the north-eastern coast of the main concrete jungle of Singapore (details below).
We teamed-up with a group of passionate nature enthusiasts, as well as a community of home-schooled children & their families, forming a contingent of over 100 volunteers. The naturalists that guided us inspired us with their love & respect for our natural environment. The home-schooled kids inspired us with their enthusiasm and abundant curiosity. And in return, Intel inspired them with our grand goal of one million volunteer hours.
Photos by Peggy Khoo
Photos by Ria Tan (WildSingapore)
So, what did we actually do?
Read more about the event at these blogs:
This event was also featured in a newspaper report in the May 11th issue of the local Chinese daily《联合早报》
Thanks to the CPLG, Finance & IT leadership teams for funding this event out of our Q2 team building budget, and adopting it as our quarterly team event J
CPLG: Cai Ding Zheng and Mel Davies
· CPLG sponsored the painting materials
Finance: Kristin Lim, Ravi Rao and Jeffrey Phua
· Finance sponsored the transportation to Pulau Ubin and Chek Jawa, and the Dugong ambassador badges
IT: Satish Kumar and Chang Tsann
· IT paid for the snacks and drinks that fed more than 100 people
And a big thanks to Peggy Khoo & the Intel Involved Singapore team for making this possible!
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Below: a chorus of heartfelt responses from all over!
Thank you - one and all! : )
Peggy Khoo (Intel) says:
To many of us who spends more than 10 hours a day in the office, this May Day 2008 outreach event is an excellent opportunity for us to reach back out to nature, to contribute our little effort to make a difference and to reflect on what other things we can do to save the environment. Our employees had so much fun that day in exploring Chek Jawa whilst putting on their volunteer hats in carrying out their task they set out to do. The end results of a beautiful mural wall at House No.1, a cleaner coast at Chek Jawa and more informed visitors who are now aware of the dugongs, are just immeasurable and valueless!
For me, I have personally learnt a great deal from Joseph Lai, while working with him on this project. He has exposed me to a world of nature that I would have never been able to see by myself and has inspired me to want to do more with nature. I now know that there are also many people out there who are so passionate about conserving nature and would contribute selflessly to achieving this goal.
On behalf of Intel involved team, I would like to thank Joseph Lai for pulling everyone together to make this community project a success for us. Also thanks to Robert Teo and his NParks team for the excellent support rendered to us. Big thank you to the artist team lead by Pui San and the volunteer guides for making it such a great experience. Cheers!
Ria Tan (Wildfilms / WildSingapore) says:
It was wonderful to share a day on Chek Jawa with many 'old timer' volunteers who had worked on Chek Jawa before deferment. Even more special was the opportunity to share the love of Chek Jawa with a new generation of young adult volunteers and with the young children of the homeschool families. Pui San and his team of artists also added a fresh element to the conservation effort. With NParks and Intel involvement, it is an excellent example of meaningful 3P engagement and of active citizenry.
I hope this event can be an annual event. It is a powerful celebration of what Chek Jawa means to ordinary Singaporeans.
Puisan (Master Artist) says:
The idea of getting kids to have a field day at CJ to learn about the environment was well conceived. Not only were we well rewarded, it resulted in some very lasting and profound learning experiences for the kids and parents alike.
They got to know the environment better and their participation in the activities enriching enough to imbue a sense of belonging to this treasure spot in our beloved Chek Jawa. As Dugong Ambassadors they certainly did their part to help raise concern and awareness of living things around us, marine creatures included. Participation in the beach cleanup made them understand how trash could pollute our beaches and its effects on the environment.
Sharing their ideals of a healthy marine environment through artworks on the wall mural was very popular with many of the kids. Unfortunately we were not able to accommodate all the kids’ enthusiasm for more to be painted, due to the pressure of time and available space.
Comments from Homeschool Parents
Eileen Nathan says:
Since the blogging workshop organized by Mr Joe Lai in conjunction with the IYOR 08, I have never been so aware about animal conservation. Yes, we occasionally watch National Geographic and visit Underwater World, but it's just information. However, when the kids started blogging (another promise they made to Uncle Joe after the workshop) about the sea animals that they have learned, our family began a journey of discovery and learning.
Now when we go to the beach - we look at the sea and the creatures along the beach with a different lens...one that is filled with more compassion about the sorry plight of Mother Nature because of human invasion. I remembered my son crying after watching an internet presentation about a terrible decision of human housing development which will cause a certain kind of sawfish to be extinct!
Our involvement on 1 May is a natural follow-up. We certainly want to do our best to be a voice to the helpless creatures sent by God to help us...but mankind has foolishly plundered Mother Nature. We want the next generation to see the animals that still exist today.
When the purpose of something is not understood or ignored, ABUSE is inevitable!
Jacqueline Thng says:
My family spends most of our free time in the Nature, and i hope we could do our parts to take care of Mother Nature, so that our future generations would continue to enjoy the beauty of nature. ... May Day Outreach is one rare opportunity that allows my children to start their baby steps in taking care of the environment and be more aware of the environment calling.
And I would like to share a quote from Daisaku Ikeda, "Life is a chain. All things are related. When any link is harmed, the other links are affected. We should think of the environment as our mother -- Mother Soil, Mother Sea, Mother Earth. There is no crime worse than harming one's mother. ". so let do our parts... taking action.. & ... also educating the young ones.
Po Ting says:
I am glad that my family gets close to the nature once again. We appreciate and would like to preserve it in our little way.
Wei Lin says:
I think the May Day Outreach will be a wonderful experience to teach our children, the next generation about preserving the sea creatures for a good cause.
Pui Yee says:
Our Precious Gem: I always thought that we have to travel very far to see 'live' underwater creatures in Tioman or somewhere in Malaysia or in other further shores. I remember when we paid our first visit to Chek Jewa few years back, we were so thrilled to see that we have these little beautiful creatures moving around in Singapore shore. A long, hot day passed in our exploration like breeze. How much more we love to see our future generation in Singapore will be able to explore this for themselves in our own shore! I hope this May Day Outreach will bring more awareness and public interest in protecting this very precious gem!
Kay Hoon says:
It's a privilege to be part of this unique project that will bring art into the public sphere. We're proud to be making a statement about the nature around us!
Jin Hua says:
As a parent, I could not wish for a better project for my child to undertake. He learns more about environment and social responsibility, science and art, community and humanity, from people who are passionate about them.
Jean Law says:
Our children are city children; they live in the concrete jungle. I appreciate all these activities and outings, which bring them closer to the Mother Nature and appreciate its wonders. We learn together to love our earth more and become more environmental friendly.
This is a chance for our children to stand up and be counted as caretakers of our planet.
This is a chance for our children to crystallize the reasons they enjoy, and should be respectful of, our natural world.
This is a chance for our children to feel the responsibility of imparting a love of nature to others.
Mei Sie says:
It is a great opportunity for my boys to be involved - to understand and care for their environment and not to take it for granted. I think it will be quite exciting to work together in this project involving a diverse group - homeschooling kids, naturalists and Intel staff.
I count it a privilege for my son to be able to participate in the May Day activities at Chek Jawa, thanks to Joe Lai. I hope that in getting our children involved in nature activities, they will learn to respect and care for the animals and plants that we share this earth with.
So Mei says:
From the sea;
I find my peace,
The sea has so much to offer;
I will want to conserve with all the others.
8-year-old Shanil says:
... I was very sad about the pollution.
Read Shanil's account of his experience in Shanil-The-Great Blog and Auntie Jenny's absolutely beautiful encouragement for him, his writing and his fabulous artwork (in the Comment).
10-year-old Luke Tay says:
Dugongs are cute lovable things and they should be saved.
9-year-old Vere Nathan says:
It's fun! It's good for the environment and should be done more often.
Guest (Prof) Yap Von Bing says:
Good Activity... good for environment and family bonding.
See other postings / photos of May Day Outreach below:
Pulau Ubin Stories Blog
Naked Hermit Crabs Blog
Art in Wetlands Blog
Lazy Lizard's Tales Blog
Photo Galleries at:
Wildfilms' Flickr.com and Peggy Khoo's Flickr.com