SINGAPORE – Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong marked annual Tree Planting Day on Saturday (Nov 20) morning by planting the identical tree that his father and Singapore’s founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew did again in 1963.
A light-weight morning drizzle didn’t cease PM Lee and his fellow Ang Mo Kio GRC MPs – Mr Darryl David, Mr Gan Thiam Poh and Ms Ng Ling Ling – from choosing up shovels to assist plant 9 mempat bushes, that are distinctive for his or her mild pink flowers resembling cherry blossoms. They have been joined by Kebun Baru MP Henry Kwek and Yio Chu Kang MP Yip Hon Weng.
The occasion, which was held at Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3, additionally shone a highlight on sustainability initiatives by the Ang Mo Kio City Council, from upcycled benches to student-led inexperienced tasks.
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the occasion was solely attended in individual by about 40 individuals together with grassroots advisers and friends. Residents have been unable to take part within the occasion for the second 12 months working however might watch it on a Fb livestream.
The seeds of the yearly custom have been sown on June 16, 1963 when Mr Lee Kuan Yew planted a cratoxylum formosum or mempat tree in Farrer Circus – although the primary official Tree Planting Day was launched on Nov 7, 1971 when then-acting prime minister Goh Keng Swee planted a rain tree on the summit of Mount Faber.
Since then, city councils sometimes organise their very own tree-planting day actions with their MPs.
The native mempat tree can attain a top of 10m in Singapore’s parks and gardens. It often blooms in February and August, shedding leaves – that include medicinal advantages – for pink-coloured, faintly aromatic flowers. The tree can be valued for its wooden, which can be utilized in carving, charcoal, firewood, furnishings, home building and extra.
Mr David, who’s the chairman of Ang Mo Kio City Council, mentioned tree planting was symbolic to Singapore’s Backyard Metropolis epithet.
“Having a tree planting ceremony like this every year reminds us of the need to bring greenery to our urban settings,” he added.
After planting the tree, PM Lee unveiled the city council’s first set of reclaimed picket benches and coasters, from rain and khaya bushes that have been felled in Ang Mo Kio earlier this 12 months.
Ten benches will likely be positioned at public areas for residents to make use of, whereas 500 coasters will likely be given away as prizes in sustainability-related contests.
The city council additionally teamed up with college students from Deyi Secondary Faculty, Jingshan Main Faculty and Pathlight Faculty to design and paint greater than 40 used garbage bins, and with the Affiliation for Individuals with Particular Wants (APSN) to trend round 20 stationary holder pouches from used city council banners.
Merchandise produced by APSN will likely be offered on Ang Mo Kio City Council’s Fb web page and web site for $5 to $10 every, with all proceeds going to the social service company.
Subsequent 12 months, the city council goals to recycle greater than 100 bins and 200 banners.
Mr Kwek, who chairs the city council’s sustainability committee, mentioned it was about switching from a city-dweller’s “consumer” mindset to that of a “producer”.
“When a person produces, like a craftsman produces, they appreciate how things are made, and they will be more mindful of their usage,” he mentioned, pointing to efforts to advertise inexperienced fingers amongst his residents.
The city council is working with city farming agency Citiponics – in addition to winners of a biennial competitors to recognise excellent group gardeners in Ang Mo Kio – to deliver fruit and veggies to 100 financially-challenged households within the Teck Ghee ward overseen by PM Lee.