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Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore. Since 1998 with origins from OneList.


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Sun 07 Nov 2004

MM Lee Kuan Yew plants Hopea sangal in Henderson

Category : news

Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew planted a very special sapling today.

In 2002, a Hopea sangal tree, once listed as extinct, was rediscovered in Changi by Joseph Lai and friends. This tree was tragically felled in November 2002, but happily, before this happened, a batch of seeds was collected by alert members of the Nature Society (Singapore).

Some of the seedlings were presented to NParks for safe keeping, and one other was presented to the Singapore Zoo together transformed logs, now sculptures. See the Hopea sangal timeline.

One sapling was nurtured under special conditions to enhance its growth, and is now more than a metre tall.

Joseph Lai and Angie Ng had measured the Changi trees for the original report, hunted for and identified the felled logs in the sawmills and ceremoniously handed over a Hopea sangal sapling on behalf of NSS to the zoo.

This morning, Sunday 7th November 2004, amidst the tight security, they were there to witness MM Lee Kuan Yew plant the sapling in Henderson and share the moment with us today with this photo here and on the Earth webpage.

Many of our lives have been entwined by the tree and an education programme, involving various members of the Hopea sangal working group with schools is in fact, still ongoing.

Just last Friday, Joseph said, "The whole episode had been a real eye-opener for me, and this realization - of the wonderful dimension within the space of two years as well as in the undefinable space in the people's hearts - inspired me to write this final piece," Between Nothing.

Posted at 3:08PM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | email | Raffles Museum news