Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Dato Seri Lord Cranbrook's Visit

We had the honour and pleasure of Dato Seri Lord Cranbrook's visit to Bintulu this year over the Easter weekend. While in Bintulu, Dato Seri talked to science teachers from SM KaiDee and SJK Chung Hua 1 & 2 to discuss and explore ways in which science education could be made more interesting for the students to encourage their curiousity in nature. Our secretary Mr. Lau Song Ting hosted the discussion at his seminar room. Dato Seri showed some slides of activities carried out by the Wildlife Trusts in the United Kingdom to give us some ideas of what may be possible here. As the oil palm industry is of such immense importance in this country, he suggested that perhaps students could visit oil palm plantations and mills to understand the workings of this industry, in particular to the science of it. The oil palm industry may also be interested to take a part in such educational programs for students as part of their corporate social responsiblities.

Dato Seri Lord Cranbrook gave a Natural Science Lecture at UPM to over 200 students on the 23 April 2011 on "A New Look On The BioGeography of Mammals in Borneo", looking at the distribution of various mammals in Borneo, Sundaland, South East Asia and West Asia and attempting to find patterns that could help to provide explanations.

The next morning, Dato Seri visited the UPM Mitsubishi Forest with a group of postgraduate students to look at the trees and how well the forest is doing. Armed with binoculars and cameras, the students were enthusiastic on this field trip and asked many questions. It rained heavily at the end of the trip and everyone was soaked through. After going home and having their showers, we met up again at Laksa House for the Sarawak Laksa. Our reporter friend Calvin turned up and did an impromptu interview with Dato Seri and his write up was published in the Star newspaper on the 26 April 2011.

We thank Dato Seri Lord Cranbrook for taking time to visit us again in Bintulu and for his effort in helping us to encourage curiousities about our natural world as well as stimulating our interests in the study of the natural sciences.

Happy Easter!