By Stephen Ng


When politicians talk about National Food Security, there is often more talk than action.


To show that we walk the talk, I believe it is time for us Malaysians to start doing something about food security in the country.


In the event of a war or a pandemic like what we had experienced recently, food cannot travel across the borders. If we are already in the habit of planting our own greens, we will be more prepared for the tough times.


To kickstart this, my daughter took the initiative to grow her first batch of bean sprouts. A packet of mung (or green beans) costs about RM3, but we only used a third of it to grow the bean sprouts.


This was, after all, at the experimental stage after I taught the children in my creative writing class about national food security.


For one week, my girl had to water the beans twice a day. That was all that she had to do. Her first harvest was on Day 5. Since then, we have been having a regular harvest of bean sprouts that we use for our dishes.


Because the beans grow at different rates, for just one ringgit, we were literally able to harvest our home grown bean sprouts daily for an entire week.


Here is a video that will help kickstart your own venture to grow your bean sprouts at home:



Another easy plant to grow is the papaya tree. If you happen to find a papaya that is very sweet, make sure that you keep the seeds.


As you would do with the mung beans, soak the papaya seeds in water for 24 hours to allow the roots to sprout.




Then, plant the seeds in your house compound. You will be ready to harvest your papaya after slightly over six months. In front of our home, we have two Hawaiian (dwarf) papaya trees which have been bearing fruits.

The first batch of fruits were distributed to neighbours, and the rest of it, we have been enjoying for the past two months.


I am pretty sure that there are many other types of vegetables that can be grown easily in the backyard. The seeds can be easily available these days in small packets.


For a few years, we have discarded nearly zero food wastes as these wastes are great composting materials which can be used to fertilise the soil.


We have, in the past, tried several composting methods including bokashi (which can be rather expensive), but finally we decided to just dump the food wastes into a pail to allow the insects to act on the materials.


Once the pail is covered tightly to keep the pests away, it becomes a natural habitat of its own with plenty of food for the insects to digest on. After a few months, it is time to feed the compost to the plants.


With this, I wish to encourage all of you to do something about our food security in the country. When you are already in the habit of planting your own greens, you will feel a sense of accomplishment.






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Join us this Saturday for a campus tour. Don't miss this opportunity to give your children some exposure to university life...

Click the Vimeo above to get view the campus. See the real thing this Saturday


Nostalgia


Forty seven years ago, in 1975 when I was only 11 years old, I had my first exposure to university education.


My family and I went on a trip to Penang and my uncle, who was an undergraduate at USM, took us on a campus tour. I still have a few photographs of the campus tour.



For this simple reason, I am trying to expose students in my weekly Creative Writing classes on what to expect in the next 10 years of their education life before the next phase as adults.


In my Zoom class, I could only show them a photograph of a lecture theatre, but this Saturday, they will get to experience what it is like to listen to a briefing by a Sunway University staff in a lecture theatre.

Their assignment after the tour is, of course, to write about their visit to Sunway University during its Open Day this weekend.


Some of these articles will appear on MiniZine which my son created last year when he was 13 years old. Anyone keen to buy over the website or join the weekly creative writing class can email me (email: stephen.ng.ej@gmail.com). For the website, you will have to negotiate with my son.



Campus Tour


Thanks to Professor Elizabeth Lee, the campus tour was whipped up over the weekend. Although I had asked for a student ambassador, their Director of Marketing, Wong Lei Lei will personally bring us on the tour.

I have decided to extend this invitation to more young people, especially those who are in Form 4 or 5 this year but don't ask me what is the youngest age that they can join the tour. The youngest from my Creative Writing Class who will be joining is only 9 years old.

Besides the impressive Tun Hussein Onn Library (THOL), we will also be able to visit the Jeffrey Cheah Auditorium which is simply gorgeous! Before it was given a name, I used to call it the UFO because it really looks like a flying saucer that has landed on Sunway. It was here that Nick Vujicic gave his inspiring lecture, "From No Lives to No Limits."


In case you are wondering what UFO stands for, in my own definition, it is simply, University with a Futuristic Orientation. Laugh out loud!


But, just to intrigue the young minds, show your younger children this video (ask them to click the Stormtrooper image below).



Not sure if there will be photo opportunities with Stormtrooper or Dark Vader, but somewhere in the middle of the video, you will see Stormtrooper appearing on the escalator, and if they are patient to watch till the end, they will see Dark Vader.


The message to impart to your children: University education is fun when you have the opportunity to learn new things.




This is a Casual Event


Please bear in mind that this started as a casual event for my weekly class of creative writing students.


Officially, there is no organiser. Yes, I repeat: I am not the organiser.


You just come with your children and make this a family outing. You can have your lunch at their campus cafeteria; they have anything from my canteen type of food which is more affordable to Starbuck. Nearby, within 100 to 150 m, there is also a hawker centre operated by the Subang Jaya City Council. Restaurants are also mushrooming outside the campus.


My role: I am only facilitating and making the opportunity available to more young people whom I believe should at least make enquiries about their career even at a young age. This is based on my own experience with a nephew who started to plot his career pathway at a young age.


He knew what to target for (entry requirements for a medical programme), in order to get his scholarship to study in United Kingdom. Today, he and his wife are medical doctors residing in Queensland.


Therefore, p-l-e-a-s-e do not expect too much from me or ask questions that you can find answers to yourself on the Internet, as I am doing this only voluntarily. I have my bread and butter, family and my doctoral programme to take care of.


Please join this Whatsapp chat group so that I can update you with any information.


My vested interest: Since times are bad, I have to try to look for more projects to keep our team going. Take time to check out our company website. Swing some jobs to us whenever there is an opportunity.


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Updated: 4 days ago


The video recording has replaced the Zoom link posted here earlier. As promised, it is inside this same blogpost. 24 June 2022 Corrections: 1. I mentioned off-the-cuff the founder of Karyaneka. It's a mistake. He is Datuk Hussamuddin Yaacub, chairman of Kumpulan Karangkraf. Check their website: https://rasuahbusters.com/ 2. I mentioned Tang Yuan. Someone has corrected it. It should be glutinous rice, or honey put on the lips of the kitchen god.


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