Real Life Award

on Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Reception after the Ceremony (Photo by LGS)

Monday the 24th of November 2008 was a very special night for me. Although I have generally avoided talking about my work on this blog, I feel the need to mark this occasion.

At a very special function, which was held at the base of the famous KLCC Twin Towers and which was attended and presided over by the Prime Minister of my country, awards were given out under several categories for outstanding contributions to the country. This was a new national award that was launched last year in conjunction with the 50th year of Independence. The very first inaugural award recipients were named at this function.

There were 5 categories. The first for Community and Education was won by a well known scholar who studied poverty and influenced the development of the country's education system. Another category was for Science and Technology and that was jointly won by a) the medical research team that risked their lives during a fatal disease outbreak which led to them discovering a new disease and b) to a doctor,researcher and lecturer who has greatly influenced diabetes research and treatment in the country. The award for Economic Contributions was given to a gentleman who discovered the way to greatly increase the yield and profitability of the oil palm crop which became a major source of income for the country. There was no award winner this year for the category for Scholastic Achievement.

The final category was for the Environment and it was awarded to the organisation that I work for. I was one of 10 representatives and supporters that were invited to receive the award on behalf of the organisation. It was a great experience. The award recognised the persistent effort of the organisation for more than 14 years which eventually led to the protection of a very large tract of wilderness forest. The award clearly belongs also to all the volunteers and partners that helped along the way.

Standing with all the other award recipients was very memorable as I have a deep respect for all of them (and especially for the medical research team) and therefore felt incredibly blessed to be counted amongst them. The award comes with a RM500,000 cash prize which will be a great help to us as we continue to try to get adjacent forests protected as well. But for me, it has been by far a most welcome encouragement to myself and to all the staff and volunteers that have given their hearts to the cause of conservation of our country's natural heritage.

I had a ball. I am now a little hung-over from the post-adrenaline rush. But the work must now go on. Nose back on the grindstone!


Anonymous said...

that's awesome!

blackcrag said...


We all need a little recognition for our efforts now and agin, but to be recognised at that level... wow!

Janice Thomson said...

Calvin that's absolutely fantastic for both you and your organization.
Kudos for helping to preserve a little piece of Nature's beautiful

Anonymous said...

A thousand congratulations! I can't think of anything better to win an award for than your efforts on behalf of this lovely earth.

VioletSky said...


Ruth W. said...

Well done!!!

Marja said...

LGS you're the best. COngrats to you and your team and all the volenteers. Great jobs.

MedStudentWife said...


Congratulations to you and the organization !!!

Is there something I can do to help to further your work?

Ya know where to get hold of me :D

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Thanks! It is awesome, isn't it? I am sure something will come around soon to deflate my swollen head but I will enjoy it for now.

I can't begin to explain how much this really was a team effort, involving so many people over such a long period but it just feels good to be part of it. I had a very terrible year last year - and almost left the organisation but every thing has suddenly turned round in the last two months. I am glad I hung on.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Thanks. I am glad to share the news with a fellow nature lover.

The medical team that also won an award are kind of my heroes. They faced a killer epidemic of unknown cause and in Malaysia, our wards and labs are ill equipped to deal with dangerous pathogens. Still they bravely did their job, not knowing if they too would be infected. I was proud just to be standing next to them.

Molly said...

Congratulations on devoting your life to such a noble cause!

Lone Grey Squirrel said...


I had a terrible year last year but things started to turn completely around in the last two months.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Thanks. It has been fantastic. Must try not to get big-headed though. Pride comes before the fall!

Thank you. I know you are always on my cheerleading section.

I enjoy it. It's a passion and so I am lucky to be able to work in an area I care about.

Anonymous said...

My heartfelt congratulation and respect - that IS encouraging!

Margaret said...

What a great experience. We are hosting Sarah Palin this Monday at the Savannah Civic Center where she is going to speak and voice support for one of our guys who tied against his opponent in this past election.

I hope I get a chance to meet her. She is an inspiration. Maybe not VP material, but as a Mom, working woman, wife and Christian.

heiresschild said...

CONGRATULATIONS LGS! what an honor. love the photo.

even though i'm shutting down, i'll definitely be visiting your blog. thanks for your kind words.

Joyce's Ramblings said...

Isn't it wonderful when what you do is acknowledged. You can take pride in what you do but it is nice when it is recognized. Your doing great work. Self satisfaction is nice but we all need a pat on the back once in awhile. Of course this was so much more than a pat.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Many thanks. :)

I hope you have a wonderful time at the rally with Sarah Palin. I have to say though that she is not very popular in this part of the world and amongst environmentalists. Sorry.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Look forward to your future visits.

It was nice. But the moment is over. Back to the salt mines! :)

the walking man said...

Well done squirrel. I didn't know, although the dots were all there for connecting that you worked on environmental issues. Where did you get a tux that allowed for the tail though?

xup said...

Congratulations! Not only are you doing something great for your country but for the global village also. Well done!

Jocelyn said...

I feel that you've taught many of us readers a great deal about the environment, just through this blog--so I can imagine how effective and impressive you are in your day job, where you're really applying yourself!

Well done, LGS. said...


You could be in Bankok.

And no way back from the party.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Thanks. I did not have to wear a tux. The in-thing here is designer Batik and I don't have any. My wife went shopping and found it to be extremely costly, starting at USD 250 for a Batik shirt. But with the advice of a friend, we finally found a close imitation at USD 50.

Many thanks for the encouragement.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

I thank you. Coming from a teacher, your comment is much appreciated.

Indeed another thing to be thankful for. Someone I know endured an 18 hour road journey to get out of Thailand and our road journeys are far less comfortable than those in North America, let me assure you! :)

meggie said...

Well Done to all!

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