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Thursday November 30, 2006

Social activist Bishan Singh dies

KUANTAN: Social activist and environmentalist Bishan Singh Ram Singh passed away yesterday after a short illness. He was 62. 

His wife Mary Wai, 66, and children Sunitha, 35, and Jeevan Ram, 33, were by his side when he breathed his last at 6.43am at the Tengku Ampuan Afzan Hospital. 

His death was listed as due to “pulmonary embolism”. 

Bishan Singh had undergone a series of medical check-ups since October. His condition worsened over the last two weeks. 

Bishan Singh: His death was listed as due to ‘pulmonary embolism’
The illness had not stopped him from keeping abreast with the latest developments on his favourite topics – community and social work. 

To Bishan Singh, Tasik Chini – the country's second largest freshwater lake – was special in so many ways. 

He had been in love with the lake since his secondary school days and wanted it to be revived. 

Bishan Singh spearheaded a campaign to save the lake and received strong support from the private sector. 

“My father has no regrets. He has chosen his path in life and did what he loved best,” said Sunitha. 

“Just look around the house compound. He planted his own vegetables as well as tended to the garden,” she added. 

Bishan Singh was president of Fomca and the Pahang Consumers Association and was a former Kuantan councillor. 

He held the presidency of Sustainable Development Network and was a board member of the Pesticide Action Network, Asia Pacific. 

He had offered his services in consultancy for more than 20 years in 22 countries. 

His efforts did not go unnoticed and he was the first recipient of the Consumer Advocate Award, and most recently was named the recipient of Langkawi Award by the King. 

Born on May 31, 1944, in Nibong Tebal, Penang, Bishan Singh had a Masters in Development Management from the Asian Institute of Management, Manila. 

Fomca secretary-general Muhammad Sha'ani Abdullah described his demise as a “great loss to the nation and NGO community”. 

Bishan Singh will be cremated at Bukit Ubi crematorium today. 

The public can pay their last respects at his residence in A617 Taman Koperasi, Lorong Selamat 24, Kuantan, before 11am.