The Passing of A Giant – RIP Mr Lee Kuan Yew (1923-2015)

March 23, 2015 at 11:14 am | Posted in itchy fingers | Leave a comment
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While the majority of Singaporeans were soundly sleeping on our beds, our Former Prime Minister and widely acknowledged as the Founding Father of Singapore, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, passed away on the bed at the Singapore General Hospital at 3.18am local time. Hospitalised since February 5th this year for severe pneumonia, Mr Lee had missed the Lunar New Year celebration with his family. News of his hospitalization was only made public much later, about 17 days later. Since then the Prime Minister Office has been keeping the public informed and updated of Mr Lee’s condition. Though we read that his condition was critical and deteriorating at times, many Singaporeans were still praying and hoping for his recovery so that he can celebrate with us at our 50th National Day this coming August. So it still came as a shock for many of us when we woke up to the news of his passing this morning.

To Mr Lee Kuan Yew, rest in peace Sir, thank you for what you have done for Singapore.

‘I have spent my life, so much of it, building up this country. There’s nothing more that I need to do. At the end of the day, what have I got? A successful Singapore. What have I given up? My life.’ – Lee Kuan Yew

LKY
Mr Lee’s wax figure at Madam Tussauds, Hong Kong, where Itchyfingers visited few years back

A Different Garden – Sabah Trip #2

March 6, 2015 at 11:58 am | Posted in itchy backside | 1 Comment
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On our first morning at Kota Kinabalu National Park, we visited the Botanical Garden. Apart from the RM15 entrance fee (for foreigners 18 years and above) at the Park HQ, there is an extra RM3 for visiting the Botanical Garden…

signs
Path leading to the ticketing booth. Was surprised to see so many other trails accessible from the way to the Garden

Itchyfingers were even more surprised to find that their Botanical Garden seemed to be amongst nature…more like a forest botanic garden, which is not too manicured.

path
But the paths were well maintained and easy to walk

There were many orchids, with only some labelled. According to the sign, there are 102 endemic species of orchids in Kinabalu Park! Wow!

bulbophyllum-lobbii
Bulbophyllum lobbii. The distribution range is between 800 – 1,800 metres in altitude

bulbophyllum-lobbii2
Close up of Bulbophyllum lobbii. Orchid flowers are differentiated from those of other flowering plants by having one petal modified to form an elongated lip, or labellum

coelogyne-hirtella
Coelogyne hirtella

coelogyne-hirtella3
A high percentage of orchids are epiphytes, using other plants for support. But they do not obtain nourishment directly from the host, unlike parasitic plants. The “bulbs” at the base of the leaves of some species are the orchid’s storehouse of nutrients, thus orchid plants do not require soil to grow

orchid
Tiny unknown orchid species

rhododendron
Rhododendron crassifolium. Best developed in cool and moist condition, they are most common on the mountain from 1,200 to 3,000 metres. There are about 900 species worldwide and Borneo is the second richest island in South-east Asia to have about 50 species described

Ficus-tarennifolia
This Ficus tarennifolia is endemic to Kinabalu Park, with a distribution range of 500-3,000 metres

pink-maiden2
This is a common tree found in the Garden, the Pink Maiden (Medinilla speciosa)

pink2
Bright pink inflorescence that no one can miss!

Pink-Maiden
These turned into pink fruits

pink
Young fruits are pink in color and turn into dark blue when ripe. These are edible with sweet taste

flower
Forgot the name of this, but these were in abundance in the Kinabalu Park too

angel
Looked like a pair of Angel’s Wings! 😀

symmetry
Symmetry….

dots
Did someone dot the rim of this leaf with water droplet? 😀

plant
Lovely!

mushroom
Mushrooms! Always happy to find them!

Quite small for a Botanical Garden, but if you look carefully, you would still be able to discover some gems here. Pity there weren’t any pitcher plants around. A nice warm up for the day and we might come back to explore the other trails around the Garden if we have some time later.

Also see related posts:
> So Near Yet So Far- Sabah Trip #1
Goodbye Mandai Orchid Garden

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