A very special shirt

This shirt was purchased from Parkson Ria Penang, in the mid-90’s during my otter days. When summoned to Mediacorp studios as a guest in the Channel 5 and CNA news sessions in December 2001, this is what I grabbed as I left he house. They had guests during the news in those days. I remember the seat was too small and I was sliding off. At that point, it was just another stop in a ceaseless list of things to do. We didn’t realise the significance of the news ourselves.

And the news? It was the media release by the Ministry of National Development about the deferment of reclamation at Chek Jawa. The needed someone there to say something, it was all a rush, and we just winged it. At some point, I did say “Chek Jawa is alive!” – the counterpoint to the “Remember Chek Jawa” message we started out with, emblazoned on buttons Ria Tan had made for all and sundry.

2001 was a period of little sleep – the first Semakau Environment Education Workshop, opening of the RMBR Public Gallery, the Chek Jawa salvage collections, public education and submissions, International Coastal Cleanup Singapore, Toddycats ver 1., etc.

These days I wear it to meetings with my research students to cheer them up. It seemed to work today.

Otterman and his Taz Tribal shirt
Photo by Amanda Tan

It’s been some twenty years since I got this shirt. Who says things don’t last anymore?

Thanks to Amanda Tan for persisting in taking and Facebooking the photo, while I was telling Buloh staff I’d be over in a jiffy.

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