The Stars Shone For The Forest

on Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Last Saturday, I was at the Planet Hollywood restaurant in Kuala Lumpur. I really am a homesbody so that was my first time there. However, this was a special night. It was to celebrate a successful public petition campaign that my organisation had held in 2006-2007. The petition collected 80,000 signed postcards and sent it to both the Federal and State Governments which eventually led to the Belum Forest being gazetted as a State Park and protected from logging. This is an area about four times the size of Singapore and rich in large mammal species like tigers, rhinoceros and elephants.

This success could not have happened without the help of many partners and supporters and so this dinner and concert was to thank all of them and also to raise funds and awareness for our second campaign this year which is to ensure that the newly formed park will not be encroached upon by some proposed development and that an adjacent forest of equal size, Temengor Forest is also protected because the two forests are really one ecosystem.

That was the reason why the dinner was held but for me it was also an opportunity to pose for photos with pretty girls and to enjoy some great and varied music. Firstly, the picture above shows a rare phenomena of the Lone Grey Squirrel surrounded by beautiful women. Immediately on either side of me are two of the celebrity ambassadors who helped us with the campaign; on the left is Joanna Bessey and on the right, Lina Teoh. Joanna is a wellknown actress and director. Lina is an actress and a model and she was the second runner-up at the Miss World 1998 beauty pageant which was the highest placing ever by a Malaysian lass. Both Joanna and Lina also were the main stars for the long running sitcom Kopitiam on Malaysian television. At either end are my colleagues, Yvonne and Swee Lyn.

The entertainment included a traditional aboriginal native group from the Semai tribe. Note that the man is playing a relatively rare and unusual nose-flute.

There was also a band in the tradition of Malay bands which consist of a guitar, accordion, violin and drums.

There was also the percussionist group called the Three Drum Circle with one of them playing with his hands a form of a miniature Caribean Steel Drum.

There was the husband and wife team of Hassan and Markissa who sang a number of environmental protest songs which they wrote.

There was even tap dancing and belly dancing.

We really ought to celebrate more often.


Cheryl said...

Congratulations, LGS. I'm glad to see that people can make a difference. It looked to be a most enjoyable night out.

Tai said...

That sounds like so much fun, and many congratulations, LGS, on making a difference!

leslie said...

Looks like a fun evening for such a wonderful benefit concert.

MedStudentWife said...

LGS - do these women know how lucky they are to have you in their midst... I don't think they do... You are one super Squirrel !!

The festivities look like they were loads of fun... and yes, CONGRATULATIONS !!!

The evening sounded like a really great celebration to a lot of hard work that resulted in a positive result :D

If there is anything I can do for your next campaign, please let me know.

Nose flute....hmmm. What happens if you have a cold or allergies ?

Claire said...

Secret Squirrel you are a rock star! Congratulations on the formation of this very important park!! OMG, that is fantastic news. Sometimes I think there might be hope for our world when I hear about things like this.

Josie said...

That looks like it was a really fun evening, and for a good cause. And look at you, surrounded by beautiful women.

It would be very nice to see that park sometime. I'll bet it's very beautiful.

meggie said...

That is a lovely photo of you, LGS. Those lucky ladies got to meet you in person!!Congratulations on your success at making a difference in the world, for good.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Thanks. It is good to have something positive to celebrate. I thought this was definitely more positive than my previous post.

Thanks. I am grateful to have a job that gives me an opportunity to do something positive. But the fight's not over yet.

I gotta confess. I let my younger colleagues free reign in organising the event and it turned out to be fun. I could never have done it myself as I am too much of a fuddy-duddy and a stick in the mud.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

All you ladies are so kind with your comments. In reality, I am fortunate to be in such company. Telling them that I am a Super Squirrel, has not helped at all!

Yes, the nose flute is quite unusual. I imagine it being invented and that very first time, surely they experimented with how far up the nostril the flute should be to produce the best sound. Should have been hilarious.

Thanks. I thought my last few posts have been a bit negative and I needed to remind myself and to share with you something positive.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Thanks. Actually my colleagues always conspire to leave me out of "beautiful women" opportunities. Hence I only discover that the entire beauty pageant contestants spent a weekend at one of our parks the following week. This was a rare slip on their part.

The park is truly pristine and the wildlife encounters more frequent than anywhere else in Malaysia.

Thank you for kindness shown to a pudgy middle-aged guy. I wanted to share something positive for a change.

Baba Doodlius said...

Elephants, tigers, and beautiful women. Sounds good to me!

Marja said...

congratulations with your success with the petition for an important cause.
Happy you had a great time. The ladies were in good company.
I've got a meme for you. You don't have to do it. I just would enjoy it.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, that's fantastic. Sounds like a fun party, too.

I made my blog move, by the way,and am at a new site.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

baba doodlius,
I forgot to mention that Belum forest also has 10 species of hornbill birds. Thought that might interest you.

Thanks. I will look into the meme next week.

So do we still call you "cs" or would "cz" (citizen) be better? I am anxious to see your new site and will be over soon.

Odat said...

What a great cause and I'm glad it succeeded! Looks like you had a great time!!! ;-)

(p.s. thanks for your kind words during my difficult time, they were much appreciated ;-)

Gina said...

Wow...this is an amazing story. I love to hear how people with the same heart for nature and other good causes are able to CHANGE things for the better. Very encouraging. Looks here like y'all had a party alright!

Hey...I read a story in Guidepost Magazine about a woman who was running a marathon in an impoverished area of Guatamala and came upon some children stepping into some kind of Tar to protect their feet since they had no shoes. She was so moved, that she started to collect 'gently used' shoes from neighborhood families, and made the delivery of shoes to an orphanage in Guatamala. The children were thrilled. The caregiver asked " when will you be back?" and this led to the organization of " Share your Soles". A warehouse was donated and American Airlines offered to fly anywhere in the world to make the deliveries. Thousands of pairs of like new shoes have been donated to needy people.....all from one idea!

Kind Claudia said...

Gosh you do inspire. I am blown away by what you do - every day. Wow. Created a new state park - saving the planet one postcard at a time. Hurray for you!

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Thanks for visiting. I am just fortunate to have a job that allows me to do what I do. I am grateful as I feel it adds meaning to my life.

Thanks. When I first started on this job, I wouldn't have imagined I would end up doing half the things I have had a chance to do. (Not very imaginative). Anyhow, I guess what I am trying to say is that a journey starts with a single step.....and where you end up may surprise you.

Contrary to my self promotion, I am no super squirrel. I work with a good organisation, with good passionate colleagues and volunteers. What makes it work is sharing a vision and a passion and getting it all moving in the same direction. Did I contribute to this organisation? Sure, but it would also still get along without me. Check it out though at

Anonymous said...

Hope you had a fine festivity! Protect the birds and all that - nice women on a fete are also a good reason to work!

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