Monday, 25 June 2007

Save Penang Hill, Save the World - Let the Games Begin

Pretty isn't it? I bummed into this wild flower on the walk from the Bellevue Hotel on Penang Hill to the Canopy Walk (about 2 km away) with Dato Anwar Fazal. Its the first time I have seen the flower and it looks like some wild creeper. Haven't been able to find its name. Maybe Dato Seri Lim Chong Keat knows.

Ah, I have dropped the names of 2 prominent personalities in Penang. Anwar is well-known for his social and environmental work and had previously worked with UNEP and was one of the original founders of the Consumer Association of Penang. A very down to earth kinda guy and is a walking history book of happenings in Penang. CK is the younger brother of Tun Lim Chong Eu, one time Chief Minister of Penang and CK's trademark in Penang is of course KOMTAR which he unabashedly claim as this last erection in Penang (honest, I heard it from the horse's mouth at a public talk). Apparently he is better known for his architectural works in Singapore. But he is also a world-reknown botanist, one of 5 people in the World which the Kew Gardens recognises to be qualified to give names to new plants (that's what I am told but my Googling efforts did not bear fruit). If you want to know what one of my colleagues have to say of CK, here's Wan Burhan's Intro. CK owns and operates the Bellevue Hotel on Penang Hill which is detergent-free.

So, what's all this got to do with saving the world? Well, CK and Anwar are behind a programme called "Local, Global & Universe - a Tribute to Buckminster Fuller". Bucky is an inventor and according to some opinion, the Einstein after Einstein. He coined the term "spaceship earth" and was the originator of the ideas for recycling. The programme will be held at Penang Hill, of course, from the 13th to 15th July 2007. One of the interesting programmes is the World Game which was invented by Bucky to allow participants to take on various roles (politicians, developers, etc) to solve the problems confronting Spaceship Earth. OK, for those digital natives out there, its an RPG. It was first played at the Geodesic Dome (another invention of Bucky) at KOMTAR more than 20 years ago but it has now gone high-tech with online databases, multimedia and even a connection to Google Earth. For the latest on the game, go to For more information of the activities, contact / (Pn. Jasmin/Ms. Parvarthy) or

So, what's this thing about "Save Penang Hill, Save the World"? OK, I admit, I love the "Heroes" series on TV ("save the cheerleader, save the world", got it?). But I can tell you that if you ask Anwar, he will give you a long list of reasons why we need to protect Penang Hill ... and somewhere down the list you might find "Room 03, Bellevue, Penang Hill Hotel". That's where he spent his honeymoon in 1969.

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