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  wild people: Choon Beng

I first got to know Choon Beng when we started formal volunteer guiding on Chek Jawa after deferment of reclamation.

He has since become a dear friend who brings proper perspective into all aspects of my life. Long dinners with Choon Beng and the other volunteers after CJ evening guiding usually lapse into weird existential explorations. It was at one of these dinners that he got sucked into volunteering for the wildfilms project; as the guy in charge of music, sound effects and anything else that will help make the final product sound good.

He is also the only living person I know who can climb up any fruit tree within seconds and personally knows all the dogs on Pulau Ubin.

In addition to his work for nature, Choon Beng is quietly involved in volunteer work with various animal rescue groups.

He is dreadfully shy, thus the lack of an identifying photo. Here he is chilling out with the late Priscilla.

Here is more about Choon Beng in his own words ...

How did you first get involved in working for nature in Singapore?
It started with a baby mynah I rescued from the roadside on my way home from school. When the time came to fly off, it flew back instead and stayed with us for the next nineteen years. So, I became more of an animal lover from there and that grew to include an appreciation of nature at large. By the way, that bird never forgave me for grabbing it too tightly. Until it fell over and died, it never stopped attempting to gouge my eyes.

What do you get out of working for nature?
The multiplier effect coupled with nature's ability to heal herself means planting a sapling today will reap you a forest tomorrow (actually, quite a few tomorrows). And every tree there provides more homes to more things than a HDB town.

Unfortunately, development and destruction tends to carry an even more awesome multiplying effect. But bad news just makes the task more important and urgent.

What is your approach/personal motto in your work?
I am not organised enough to have one.

What are some of your current projects?
Again, I am embarassed to say that nothing in my life is organised enough to resemble a project. Come to think of it, maybe my motto is ... "Organise nothing, Chaos is only natural". Only driven people like Ria can think of such questions to ask - everything in her life is organised into compartmentalised projects. [Ria's comment: Dejavu! just at the moment of receiving his email, I was uploading the page on wildsingapore's projects...alas, well compartmentalised as he accused]

Choon Beng is 30 something, his day job is with Ubin NParks and he currently volunteers in the wildsingapore wildfilms project.
Posted by otterman Posted on 10/08/04 11:12
Interestingly, Choon Beng as in the first mangrove orientation course I conducted for undergrads. Alvin was there as well. He loved the field but hated the classroom. He hasn't changed!

More on how YOU can make a difference too...

these blog entries were first uploaded on MoBlog Singapore! Celebrate Singapore NDP 04
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