Nature Condensed II: Ah Meng & the Primates

It was getting dark at MacRitchie Reservoir. A large crowd had gathered, because Singaporeans usually enjoy a spectacle. At sunset on 31 March, 1982, a 102kg orangutan fell from a 25-metre tree, and fractured her left arm. The fall ended a three-day long episode at the reservoir involving the sudden escape of Ah Meng, Singapore’s […]

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Nature Condensed I: The Singapore Zoo Opens

In the early hours of 7 March 1973, a three-year old panther, slipped through the bars of its locked enclosure in the Singapore Zoological Gardens, beginning an eleven-month exile in the forests of the Seletar Reservoir. The escape captivated the imagination of a young nation on the eve of the zoo’s opening.[1] How? How did […]

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Tahan V: Eight Rivers and the Mountain King

“Wow,” exclaims Shawn, “it’s like we’re walking into lemon tea.” It’s the fourth, and longest day of our expedition to summit Gunung Tahan (translated literally as Mount Endurance in Bahasa Melayu). We had already summitted the mountain on the second day of our climb – but there would be four days of walking through dense, […]

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USP Lives: Full Stops and Full Stories

In about five hours, I am about to graduate.   The Graduate Today I become The Graduate, the third in my immediate nuclear family, after Mum and Dad. Something about today has induced a lot of stress and melancholy in me, and I have been trying to understand this feeling. I want to tell you […]

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Tahan IV: The Longest Day (Part One)

We tell stories for many reasons. We draw from unstable, uncertain memory to weave these narratives together. Structured by a confluence of many needs, and polished by the glow of nostalgia, we tell stories for many reasons. Stories remind us of our past selves; they tell about a brighter time, offering a circle of light […]

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