Thursday, 1 February 2018

Letter to the Editor: Oxo-degradable Plastic Bags Not Better For Environment

While I applaud Sibu Municipal Council’s efforts to reduce plastic pollution by banning non-biodegradable plastic bags (‘Sibu’s Tough Stand Against Plastic’, The Star, 22 Jan 2018), its proposal to replace conventional plastic bags with purportedly ‘biodegradable’ plastic bags poses fresh environmental problems.
The plastic pollution reduction regulations and policies currently in place in Malaysia seem to mostly encourage the replacement of conventional plastic bags with paper bags, purportedly ‘biodegradable’ plastic bags and cheap non-woven shopping bags. In addition, styrofoam food packaging is merely replaced with other types of non-foam plastic food packaging, and so far there does not appear to be any organised or official effort to recover, collect and clean these types of plastic packaging for recycling. None of these items introduced to replace conventional plastic and styrofoam products are actual alternatives, as they are unsustainable and do not reduce waste.
Most commercially-available and inexpensive ‘biodegradable’ plastic bags are still plastic and fossil fuel-based. Only bags that conform to compostability standards ASTM D6400 or EN 13432 are truly biodegradable.
Oxo-degradable, oxo-biodegradable, oxy-degradable, oxy-biodegradable and degradable plastic bags are all merely names for plastic bags with a chemical additive. This chemical additive, usually metal salts (which may include cobalt depending on the manufacturer), breaks the plastic molecular ties and catalyses the disintegration of the plastic. Over time, these bags break down into smaller, more toxic petro-polymers, which eventually contaminate our soil and water, and enter the animal and human food chain. Therefore, although these purportedly ‘greener’ plastic bags break down into fragments in landfills and waterways, they contribute to microplastic pollution, posing a risk to marine and other ecosystems.
In fact, over 150 environmental organisations, non-profit organisations, research and scientific institutions and public bodies have recently called for a ban on oxo-degradable plastics. Oxo-degradable plastics are also increasingly facing opposition in Europe, and the United Nations Environment Programme’s chief scientist Prof. Jacqueline McGlade confirmed that a lot of plastics labelled biodegradable never fully break down and thus contribute to plastic pollution. Further, because these oxo-degradable plastics have a chemical additive, they cannot be safely recycled and can end up contaminating other types of plastics in recycling facilities.
As for paper bags, although they are truly biodegradable as long as they do not have a plastic coating, plastic-based glue or laminate, they do have a high environmental cost, as they require more water and energy to produce compared to plastic bags. However, as they are less harmful to wildlife and less toxic to human health once discarded, they can be safely used as food packaging. Still, replacing plastic bags with paper bags does not reduce waste, as paper bags are typically single-use due to their low durability, and cannot be recycled once wet or contaminated with food, grease and dirt. Considering the high water and energy use and low durability of paper packaging, the use of paper bags should be restricted to the sale and serving of food, and not as grocery bags and shopping carrier bags, and consumers should still be charged a fee for paper bags and paper-based food packaging to reduce reliance on single-use packaging and to encourage behavioural change, in that consumers would be more motivated to save money by bringing their own reusable food and beverage containers and shopping bags.
The other unsustainable item frequently marketed as a sustainable alternative to plastic bags are non-woven shopping bags, referred to erroneously as ‘recycle bags’ although this is grammatically and factually inaccurate, since they are neither made of recycled material, nor are they recyclable. Non-woven shopping bags are those inexpensive lightweight bags that look and feel like fabric and are usually given out as goodie bags at events or sold at supermarket checkout lanes. They are made of polypropylene and are therefore also plastic despite their resemblance to cotton or fabric. These should be avoided as they are not durable, typically contain lead, break down into plastic fibres easily thus contributing to microplastic pollution, and cannot be repaired, recycled or composted.
Malaysia is one of the 193 countries which signed a UN resolution in December 2017 to eliminate marine plastic pollution. There is no way we can fulfil this pledge if we continue to replace one type of plastic with another type of plastic or with other single-use packaging with a high carbon and water footprint, or increase microplastics in our oceans by increasing the demand for and use of oxo-degradable plastic.
To truly reduce plastic pollution, we need to reduce waste and change our mindset in relation to disposable and single-use items, which may be convenient for us but not convenient for the environment. The solution to the problem of plastic pollution and waste should incorporate the banning of small, lightweight plastic bags, the distribution only of larger, thicker plastic bags for a small fee for rubbish disposal and the subsequent proper collection and disposal of such rubbish in sanitary landfills, the elimination of ‘greenwashing’ alternatives such as non-woven polypropylene bags and oxo-degradable plastic bags, and the implementation of incentives such as rebates, shopping reward points and express checkout counters.
Long-term solutions can subsequently be introduced to include practical initiatives to encourage and increase recycling and composting to reduce household and industrial waste and correspondingly reduce the need for rubbish bags. There must be incentives and laws in place to make it easier for homes and businesses to dispose of waste without the need for rubbish bags, and for food and consumer goods to be sold without the need for plastic wrap and other packaging.
Scientific and technological solutions to reduce waste and replace conventional plastic packaging are being developed every day, and we have a choice between the most cutting-edge solutions such as plant-based, edible packaging, and traditional zero-cost, zero-waste options such as bringing our own baskets, cloth bags and food containers with us to the shops. It is not choices or solutions that we lack, but the political and individual will to do the right and responsible thing.

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Letter to the Editor: Death of Rare Birds Exposes Horrors of Exotic Pet Trade

(Photo credits: The Star Online)
The tragic, senseless and deliberate drowning of 300 rare birds by wildlife traffickers when pursued by the authorities (Wed, 17 Jan 2018) evinces the cruel and destructive nature of the exotic pet trade.
The birds were drowned because they were merely merchandise and not sentient living beings to the traffickers, and when pursued, the birds became a liability and possible evidence in the event of arrest.
Birds are especially vulnerable to poaching and trafficking because of their abiding popularity as pets. Birds, especially parrots, are sedated and have their beaks cut or taped up, legs bound and wings clipped or tied by wildlife traffickers. The Animal Law Coalition reports that 60 percent of wild-caught birds do not survive to reach their destinations. Most die of shock, stress, illness and injury during capture, transportation, transit and captivity.
  Readers who expressed sorrow at the needless deaths of the birds must realise that such incidents are not uncommon, and Malaysia is not merely a stopover for wildlife traffickers who are non-Malaysian citizens.
Malaysia is known to be a hub for wildlife trafficking and the illegal wildlife trade despite the existence of the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 and Animal Welfare Act 2015. There are very few regulations in place making it difficult for people to purchase, acquire, or keep exotic animals, especially when proper licenses have been obtained.
Environmental organisations including TRAFFIC and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) confirm the existence of a flourishing trade in live animals and endangered species in Malaysia, and social media is a virtual wildlife supermarket offering everything from Common Hill Mynas to trapdoor spiders and sun bear cubs.
The international wildlife trade involves a multi-million dollar organised crime network. The Wildlife Conservation Society reports that the wildlife trade, which is valued to be approximately US$8 billion annually, is surpassed in scale only by the illegal trade in drugs and arms. Government agencies are no match for wildlife poachers and traffickers. Corruption, porous borders, and a lack of resources and manpower make it difficult for many developing countries to stop the illegal wildlife trade.
Yet stamping out the wildlife trade cannot be the responsibility of governments and law enforcement agencies alone. It is not them who are driving up the demand for exotic pets, but consumers who treat exotic pets as status symbols, social media users who upload and share posts featuring captive wildlife and exotic pets, and tourists who pay money to have photo opportunities with exotic pets and drugged wildlife.
Many people who defend their ‘right’ to purchase and keep wild birds and other exotic pets hang on to the misguided belief that the animals are safer in their care now that rainforests and other wildlife habitats have been destroyed, or that there is virtually no difference between keeping wildlife and keeping dogs, cats and other domestic animals as companion animals.
However, we must remember that the wildlife trade is a major threat to biodiversity, ecosystems and even human health and safety. Birds, especially parrots, can spread parrot fever and pneumonia, especially through the inhalation of their dry droppings in a cage or aviary. Keeping wild animals indoors confined to small tanks, cages and enclosures, away from members of their own species, is neither educational nor compassionate. Many exotic pets often end up being released, surrendered to zoos, abandoned or unintentionally killed due to ignorance and neglect. Many exotic species advertised as ‘captive bred’ are actually poached from the wild, since DNA testing cannot reveal whether an animal was raised in captivity or in the wild.
If the report of the drowned birds had saddened us, then it must also move us into action. We cannot continue normalising the practice of poaching, abusing, exploiting and confining wildlife. We need to question if our purchases and choices destroy habitats and the ability of rural and indigenous communities to sustain themselves, thus driving them to poach wildlife for a living. We need to refrain from taking photos with wildlife, sharing wildlife selfies on social media, and allowing circuses and badly-kept zoos to profit from exploiting wildlife.
Nature-lovers who enjoy watching and photographing wildlife must take extra care not to disclose the location of endangered species and birds’ nests. We need to advise friends and family against purchasing or acquiring exotic pets, and persuade them to adopt from local animal shelters or to visit and support sanctuaries and rescue organisations instead. We need to avoid shopping at pet stores that sell exotic pets, and should lodge reports on the sales of wildlife to Perhilitan or wildlife conservation groups that can assist in investigating and acting on our reports. Those who intend to report wildlife crime must be vigilant and relay accurate information, such as the species, location, photographic and documentary evidence and contact information, to Perhilitan’s official website or through their Careline at 1300-80-10-10, or to the 24-hour NGO-run Wildlife Crime Hotline at 019 356 4194.
Birds in their natural habitat are not only beautiful to observe, but have an important ecological role to play. Birds pollinate plants, disperse seeds and keep insect and other disease vector populations down. The exotic pet trade is driving many wild bird species to extinction, and this can have a knock-on effect on other species and result in ecological imbalance. There has to be a worldwide import ban on the bird trade to stop bird species from being poached and trafficked to extinction, and at the same time, more needs to be done to reduce the domestic demand for keeping wild birds as pets as well. It would do well for us to think of the excruciating yet avoidable deaths of the drowned birds before we purchase birds as pets or upload a wildlife selfie.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Letter to the Editor: Halt Logging In Vicinity of Forest Reserves

It is with grave concern that environmentalists and conscientious citizens read how state and forestry authorities rationalise logging activities in Batu Yon and land surrounding the Merapoh Forest Reserve in the Kuala Lipis area by claiming that the logging is carried out in land owned by the Agriculture Industrial Development Board (LKPP) and not directly on the forest reserve land.
The Merapoh forest, estimated to be 130 million years old, is home to endangered species which include elephants, tigers, tapirs, sun bears and deer, as well as rare flora such as the rafflesia. Its spectacular limestone caves form a vital part of Malaysia’s natural heritage. All of these natural wonders are now under threat as a result of logging and roadworks in their vicinity.
The fact remains that agricultural land bordering gazetted forest reserves are still critical water catchment areas and wildlife habitats. It is overly simplistic to claim that agricultural, recreational or rural residential areas bordering forest reserves are fair game for logging and development since they do not constitute the forest reserve land proper.
Opening up logging roads into areas surrounding forest reserves has knock-on effects and can and do affect the forest reserve area adversely. Statistical evidence has shown that logging roads everywhere from Russia to Central Africa and Southeast Asia have increased access for poachers and hunters into sensitive wildlife habitats and also increased the incidence of human-wildlife conflict and roadkill.
In fact, timber companies operating in areas such as the Primorsky Krai in Russia where serious decline in wildlife populations has been recorded since the opening up of logging roads are under great pressure to close up logging roads and carry out mitigation measures.
Sadly, here in Southeast Asia where up to 48% of all native mammal species are predicted to be extinct by 2100, roads continue to be opened up for logging and mining or for ‘transporting forest products’, despite the irrefutable data that forested land is worth much more intact than when depleted, logged or converted into plantations. The economic benefits of logging are short-lived and can sustain only 1-2 generations at most.
  Not only are the Merapoh Caves a sensitive wildlife habitat, they are also an important ecotourism site. Logging and deforestation in the areas surrounding the Merapoh Caves will have a severe negative impact on the rural communities whose livelihood depend on ecotourism and subsistence farming and fishing in areas that are now polluted, depleted and exposed.
Apart from the threat it poses to wildlife populations, logging and deforestation also affect air quality, climate and water cycle patterns. Healthy forests absorb solar energy and release water vapour, while forest clearing releases stored carbon dioxide, which traps heat and contributes to atmospheric warming.
The destruction of watershed areas will result in more flash floods, landslides and drought, thus costing the State and Federal Governments more in disaster management and mitigation than they are able to benefit from issuing permits for logging, mining and agricultural activities.
The growing number of environmental and citizens’ action groups in Malaysia calling for an end to deforestation and for the protection of the Merapoh Caves and forest reserve attests to the growing awareness of our interconnectedness with our natural environment and the importance of forests for the ecosystem services they provide. It is not merely fear for the loss of income from trekking and ecotourism activities that motivates concerned citizens to speak up. The Merapoh Caves and forest reserve were here long before the existence of humans. We cannot afford to lose any more of it in our age of collapsing ecosystems and anthropogenic disasters.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Letter to the Editor: Helping the Less Privileged Empowers and Uplifts, Does Not Create Dependency

I am angered and appalled by the condescension expressed by Jaline Wellington in her letter “Food for thought over the hungry in Malaysia” (The Star, 21 Oct 2017).
The fact that she had only accompanied a homeless outreach group on one of their sessions does not make her an authority on the credibility of the “apparently homeless-foodless” individuals or whether “they look truly malnourished or hungry”. It is ridiculous and patronising of her to assume that volunteers are capable of “encouraging these people to become sophisticated beggars” just by giving out food. Nobody wants to sleep rough and in unsafe and unhygienic conditions just to accept a free packet of food and worn clothes, if they had an option. Poverty isn't a choice. NGOs and the food we give out are not the reason people sleep on the streets.
I have been a volunteer with at least 5 different homeless outreach organisations for the past 11 years, and I uphold that these organisations and their volunteers are neither naïve nor foolish, nor are our street clients lazy, greedy, entitled or freeloading. Almost all these organisations offer basic counselling services, employment counselling and referrals, assistance to families and vulnerable individuals, legal advice and assistance, First Aid services and medical assistance, and opportunities for the homeless to find better jobs and re-enter mainstream society.
Most of the homeless individuals in Malaysia are not unemployed, but are working at low-paying jobs. Some have mental illness or are of subaverage intelligence and therefore unemployable. Some lost their jobs due to the deteriorating economy, personal problems, clinical depression or other medical issues. Some are victims of crime, sexual abuse or domestic violence. Some were cheated of their wages by employers, or had entered into business partnerships which failed. Some are senior citizens abandoned by their families and are unable to find a welfare home that is able to accept them. But many are just ordinary citizens struggling to make ends meet and send money home to their families in other towns and villages.
The reason for the rising number of homeless people in the streets of Kuala Lumpur is the same as everywhere else in the world – urban migration for better economic opportunities, wage stagnation and rising costs of living. Rising rent, utility costs and fuel costs mean that low-income individuals who were previously able to rent rooms in the city are now no longer able to afford the same. While affordable housing is available outside of city limits, the cost of private vehicle ownership and the lack of a reliable public transport system mean that these individuals have no means of travelling to and from work. As a result, many opt to sleep in public areas not far from their workplaces.
Different homeless outreach organisations have different operating procedures. Some, like the Pit Stop Community Café, have a permanent place to serve their street clients from. Some, like Dapur Jalanan, use permanent tableware to cut down on packaging and waste. Some, like Yellow House KL, provide job training and job matching services and offer haircuts and hairwash services to help street clients stay healthy and clean and show up neatly for job interviews. Some, like Kedai Jalanan UM, reduce waste and reuse resources by redirecting used clothes and other donated items to the homeless and urban poor. Some, like Reach Out Malaysia and Kechara Soup Kitchen, distribute packaged food to street clients in different parts of the city because some of the said street clients may be asleep, still at work, unable to walk or travel to soup kitchens for their meals, or are only able to eat at a later time, and find packed food to be more convenient, portable and hygienic. Some, like Food Aid Foundation, collect surplus food from markets and factories and redirect them to organisations, welfare homes and the less privileged to reduce food waste. Some, like Buku Jalanan Chow Kit, provide free tuition to impoverished and street children. All these organisations assist in meeting the different needs of different beneficiaries. The reason why some of the street clients are seen to be discarding food is that some of the food given is stale or has gone bad, or non-halal food is given out to Muslim street clients even when they decline the same. This is the reason why individuals should work together with established organisations to find out the needs of the intended beneficiaries, and should refrain from giving anything that they would not themselves eat.
The writer also displayed her arrogance and ignorance in assuming that homeless outreach volunteers and our street clients do not play our part in cleaning up public places. Most of the organisations include cleaning up in their procedures and encourage our street clients to assist us in post-meal clean-ups. Some of our street clients rescue and care for stray animals, and volunteers assist them in getting the animals neutered.
The only insinuation made by the writer that I agree with is that Malaysians are a generous lot. This is because rational, compassionate people are aggrieved by the suffering of others. However, providing food and material assistance is only the initial step towards alleviating poverty and hardship. I am reminded of the words of Mary Wollstonecraft: “It is justice, not charity, that is wanting in the world”. Many groups and individuals are working towards improving educational and employment opportunities and providing medical assistance, legal advice and counselling services to improve the quality of life of the less privileged and help to change the status quo. It is good to remember that for every mean-spirited critic out there, there are at least 20 other Malaysians willing to put themselves out of their comfort zone to assist, encourage and uplift others.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Letter To The Editor: Explore Alternatives to Tree-Felling

As a Petaling Jaya resident, I am dismayed that the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) has made the decision to cut down over 1,100 trees for the construction of the Damansara-Shah Alam Highway (DASH). Petaling Jaya residents were previously informed that only 160 trees were identified for felling to make way for the highway construction project.
On 10th April 2017, the MBPJ confirmed that 1,100 trees of varying sizes will be felled for the highway project. Concerns are now raised as to the final number of trees already felled and to be felled, the basis for the increase in the number of trees felled, how the earlier evaluation had been made and why the earlier number could not be adhered to, and who stands to benefit from the felling of the trees.
Despite the fact that the highway developer Prolintas is required to replant two trees for every tree felled, it is submitted that these tree-planting efforts have only limited potential to reduce carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, compared to if mature trees were left intact and protected against disease and felling. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) averred in a special report in 2000 that tree-planting initiatives could sequester only around 1.1 to 1.6 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) a year. Global greenhouse gas emissions, on the other hand, were equivalent to 50 gigatonnes of CO2 in 2004. Although replanting and tree-planting initiatives are better than no climate change mitigation efforts at all, the carbon sequestered through replanting is almost negligible.
Further, as concerned citizens, we would like to know where the developer and MBPJ propose to replant these 2,200 trees, the variety and species of trees to be planted, whether the tree-planting sites chosen will be afforded protection against land-clearing and future development projects, and what level of care these new trees are expected to receive to ensure their survival. Merely putting saplings into soil does not constitute reforestation and climate change mitigation efforts. A tree will only begin to be effective in absorbing CO2 in its 10th year. A 25-year-old tree will be able to absorb approximately 0.0011 tonnes of CO2 over a year. Over 25 years, we would need 36 trees to offset just one tonne of CO2. Disease, deforestation and reclamation of land for development will have an impact on whether a tree survives for 50 years and beyond.
The DASH project was proposed as a solution to traffic congestion in the Damansara area. However, any good it proposes to effect by reducing traffic volume and travel distance is invalidated by the destruction and damage to the environment caused in its construction. Urban trees play a vital role in temperature regulation, floodwater and stormwater absorption and pollution reduction, among others. Urban tree canopies provide shade, oxygen, habitats for birds and wildlife and recreational spaces for people. Felling mature trees and then pledging to ‘replace’ them is not the right approach. One cannot simply ‘replace’ a mature tree that has been providing oxygen and other ecological services. In addition, the felling of trees goes against the National Landscape Policy and defeats the purpose of tree-planting and urban renewal campaigns.
The developer and MBPJ should look into the possibility of realigning the highway construction plans to minimise damage to the environment and reduce the number of trees to be felled, and of relocating and transplanting the smaller and younger trees. It is clear that despite the wishes of the public and the concerns of environmental organisations, the developer and Selangor State Government fully intend to press ahead with the construction of the DASH Highway. It is thus incumbent upon the developer and State Government to take all measures necessary to protect, preserve and retain the existing trees and to reduce the environmental impact of the DASH Highway project.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

The Last Hurrah on the FRIM Canopy Walkway

When I learned that the FRIM treetop canopy walkway would be closing for good on 30th June 2017, I made a booking for a private party and invited my friends to join me on a Farewell Treetop Walk. The arborists have determined that the health of the supporting trees has been affected and it was best to dismantle the walkway and reforest the area. This is good news for the trees, although not so good for tourism. 16 of my friends joined me on this guided walk and we had a splendid time. I thanked each tree for the oxygen, support and joy they provided and we did our part in picking up litter from the forest trail and picnic areas on the way down.
Malaysian stingless bees (Kelulut) in their hive at the base of a ficus tree.
Massive ficus (strangler fig) tree that has killed its host.
The flower of the Barringtonia asiatica (also known as the Fish Poison Tree, or Tuba Ikan in Bahasa).
Listening to a briefing by our guide, Johnson.
Tacca chantrieri, also known as Bat Lily, Bat Flower and Devil Flower.
Trees exhibiting the Crown Shyness phenomenon. See, even trees know how to observe personal boundaries and personal space.
I love Elephant Ear Plants (Colocasia).
We finally arrive at the ranger's hut at the start of the canopy walkway. Our group is listening intently to the safety briefing from the forest ranger in this photo...
... Which was delivered by one of the rangers up in this watchtower hut! What a fun place to work. It's like having your office up in a treehouse or something.
Rangers hard at work in the canopy walkway watchtower office.
Finally it's our turn to go on the canopy walkway! Andrey goes ahead of me. I am still the sweeper, of course.
All smiles to be so close to the forest and trees that I love so much. Hello, trees! You're looking exceptionally stunning today! Hello, forest! My, look at you, you charmer!
And this how the suspended walkway is connected to the trees. I can imagine why the arborists claim that the health of the supporting trees is affected. Poor trees. Thank you, trees, for your wonderful service. We will free you of your shackles soon.
Can you spot the city in the distance? It's okay if you are unable to. Not really worth looking at when you have a fantastic secondary forest beneath your feet.
Doing the treetop dab. Photo credits: Marcus.
Approaching the next watchtower.
Adorable tiny fuzzy caterpillar. I shall name it the Teddy Bear Caterpillar.
Rudhra, Baby Ava, Angela and me enjoying our hike down. Photo credits: Hari.
A little waterfall and stream sighted on our hike down.
Our group crossing a little stream. Photo credits: Hari.
Spotted a knot on a vine that resembled a skull.
A yet-to-be-identified leaf of ethereal beauty.
My trademark big grin, next to a very tired, thirsty and grumpy Justin. I was trying to encourage him to keep going. Photo credits: Shamila.
Goodbye and thank you for the memories, FRIM Canopy Walkway!

Farewell, Ampang Park.

Malaysia's first shopping centre, Ampang Park, which has been operating since 1973, lost its appeal against MRT Corp for the acquisition of the mall for the MRT construction project. The initial plan to build the MRT lines underground and incorporate Ampang Park into its design could not be carried out. Demolition is expected to be scheduled soon. I have many fond memories of this charming old mall, and went to say goodbye to some of my favourite shopkeepers and take photos for posterity. 

Ampang Park has been overshadowed by its posh neighbours, Avenue K and Suria KLCC, but still manages to retain its charm, character and dignity.

Like many older malls, the shops are in rows and the common areas are not fully air-conditioned.

The best thing about older shopping malls like Ampang Park is that it is not a glass-and-chrome, hermetically-sealed, air conditioned monstrosity. Individual shops and booths are air conditioned but the common areas of the mall are not. Clever architectural features such as these round 'windows' allow for ventilation. I like to think these round 'windows' mirror the circular logo of Ampang Park.

There are two authentic Turkish restaurants in Ampang Park and this one bakes fresh simit and pogaca daily.

The open-air entrance to Ampang Park.

I shall be very sorry to say goodbye to Love Music, my favourite music store. The shop proprietor informed me that they will close down as music sales has been in decline since the introduction of music downloading. Not many people purchase CDs or records anymore. I used to come here on payday to buy a CD or two.

Love Music has been in business since 1974. I am very very sorry to see them go.

I found this banner very sad. I bought my first G-Shock from this shop, and when I was the Sports and Social Club President for MLJ back in 2002/2003, I used to buy watches for our company annual dinner lucky draws from this shop.

Ampang Park may be old and frumpy but it has lots of character.

Goodbye is such a difficult word to say, Ampang Park. I wish things had been different.