With a keen interest and growing focus on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts and how R.E.A.L Education Group is able to positively affect the community as a whole, the Group recently contributed to the groundbreaking ‘Barn Owl Pilot Project’; a joint-collaboration between the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), the Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) and SJ Echo.
Being the first project of its kind in Asia, the “Reintroduction of Barn Owls into Subang Jaya as a Biological Agent for Rodents” was officially launched on 23 December 2015 at the SS15/2E playground in Subang Jaya by MPSJ president, Datuk Nor Hisham Ahmad Dahlan. Despite the scorching hot weather, many residents turned up to show their support to the cause which is designed to curb the rise of contagious and potentially fatal rat-borne diseases such as leptospirosis.
Present at the event was Mr. Kee Keok Kuay, co-founder and Director of R.E.A.L Education Group, who presented a mock cheque of RM10,000 to Datuk Nor Hisham as part of the proceeds for this project. R.E.A.L was among several Subang Jaya corporations that contributed to the noteworthy initiative, which successfully garnered a total amount of RM150,000. The funds raised will be channeled towards the upkeep of 12 pairs of barn owls set to be reintroduced into the urban area.
According to Datuk Nor Hisham, adopting these natural rat predators is a safer and more eco-friendly solution in curbing the increasing rat population within the city. Simultaneously, it will go a long way in reducing the use of harmful rat poison and other chemical control methods. This makes it in line with MPSJ’s vision of making Subang Jaya a Green City in the foreseeable future.
Besides the fact that rats have somewhat grown resistant towards the continued use of toxic substances such as rodenticide, the owls’ health is also threatened by consuming the infected pests. In his speech, USM barn owl project researcher Prof Abu Hassan Ahmad encouraged residents to play a caretaker role by helping to preserve the artificial nests which have been installed high up in trees to allow the protected species, which have fallen prey to illegal hunting, to thrive.
This collaborative spirit is synonymous with R.E.A.L’s core values which espouse that a community’s progress and success can only be achieved by working closely together in a mutually-supportive environment where everyone is aware of their individual roles and responsibilities. In the season of giving, donating to this commendable cause has allowed R.E.A.L to cap a memorable 2015 on a high note while looking forward to the New Year with hope and optimism.