Kenny joined as
a KGG member in early 2005. He is married with 2 daughters and is
doing business in the electronics industry. We were curious to know
why he joined CETDEM and has strong interest in organic. Thus we
conducted an interview with him while we were in Cameron Highland
on 8-9 October 2005.
K:Kenny Ng Khian Ee
What is your interest?
K: I have wanted to live an organic lifestyle. I wish to volunteer
in an organic farm for 3 months and learn about organic farming
and go into farming one day. I have been looking for land but without
success so far.
C: How and why did you join CETDEM?
K: Last year I realized that I wanted to change my lifestyle to
a much simpler one after living a ten-year lifestyle with lots of
entertainment. My wife has been consuming organic food for the past
3 years and we thought that it would be good to live an organic
life. This led me to search the Internet and found out about CETDEM.
I became a volunteer in CETDEM Organic Watch ’05 Exhibition
on Organic & Natural Products and got to know Ms. Tan. I am
inspired by Ms. Tan’s simple lifestyle and her work that contributes
a lot to society.
Why do you want to go into organic?
K: Though I know that the organic business cannot help me to earn
a lot of money, but I like the simple lifestyle and living close
to nature. A life should be in loving, kindness, caring for all
living beings in the world. But my life has been self-centered,
pursuing money and material wealth. I am still a selfish person
How organic are you?
K: I have been eating organic vegetables and products seriously
for the past 1 year. The main understanding of eating organic food
is safety and health reasons, but I have started to be more aware
of environmental issues and our lifestyle needs to be “organic”
as well. I am trying to carry baskets when buying things to minimise
usage of plastic bags. Our toiletries have changed to non-chemical
Would you encourage more people to go into organic? If yes, how?
K: Yes. Our Rukun Tetangga (RT) has organized solid and organic
recycling programmes. I find that email is a good tool to spread
the organic message. I have been emailing organic activities to
my friends and business associates and they seem to respond to it,
but surprisingly some of them have not even heard the word organic.
In my opinion, a lot of people relate organic to health and the
consumers mostly are the cancer patients. I find that the awareness
on organic lifestyle is not there yet, and I hope there will be
a booklet to educate people on what organic lifestyle is.
Do you have your own garden and make compost?
K: Yes, I am still learning on how to grow vegetables. I grow mostly
herbs. I did make compost from kitchen waste but was not very successful.
I did not do it properly and did not stir it. It has maggots but
Are there any organic issues that you strongly want to address?
K: I find public awareness is not there yet. Most people know the
harmfulness of chemical agricultural products but do not care. They
still happily consume those chemical vegetables and fruits. We need
to find out the root cause of the ‘apathy attitude’
and then organise education programmes for them. We need more organic
farmers and organic consumers. We need to have more affordable organic
products. I often use the word ‘cheaper’ but Ms Tan
always corrected me by using the word ‘affordable’.
We need well versed organic retailers. We need more people like
Ms Tan and Mr Gurmit to champion these issues.
What do you think of the organic future?
K: In my opinion, an organic farmer cannot get rich unless he does
it on a large scale. I don’t think if I were to start a small
organic farm it will face a threat from large exporters like China,
Thailand or India, because if we were to really practice the organic
way, I believe we will gain trust from the consumers. I hope more
people will consume our own local vegetables and care for our environment.
What makes you happy?
K: I find money cannot make me happy. I hope I can contribute more
to society and wish I would be able to do it one day. That will
make me happy. ?