Hi 5 – 12 February 2016 by Mr Neo Hock Kheng
Good morning Mdm Tan, Mr Lee, Mr Tan, fellow Colleagues and Gessians!
On 09 February 2016 (Tue), TODAY newspaper published an article indicating how the increasing number of monkeys in the hillsides of Hong Kong has become a concern as they shoplift bread and harass hikers. Since 1999, the government has introduced a ban on members of the public feeding monkeys. In addition, since 2007, the government has started to sterilize the monkeys to control reproduction. According to the article, sterilizing the monkeys is a painstaking process as the workers need to lure the monkeys into “feeding cages” before sedating them and performing the operation, but the government has shown determination and focus in tackling this problem over the past few years. Thanks to the programme, the number of monkeys has decreased from around 2,400 in 2009 to 2,000 currently.
This year being the Year of the Monkey, l would like to share with you one of the most enduring characters from the Chinese Classical Novel “Journey to the West” (《西游记》), who also showed determination and focus – Sun Wukong(孙悟空).
Sun Wukong, also known as the Monkey King, is the most colourful character in “Journey to the West”. There are many lessons we can learn from Sun Wukong. Let me share with you some that I have observed:
Lesson #1: Be Brave and Dare to Dream
Sun Wukong’s most prominent feature is his bravery and courage. He used to live happily on the Mountain of Flowers and Fruits(花果山) with other Monkeys. However, Sun Wukong was brave enough to move out from this comfort zone. He challenged himself to jump through the Cave of Water Curtain(水濂洞)，a huge thundering waterfall which no other monkeys dare to jump in. From there, Sun Wukong discovered a new world and became the Monkey King.
Sun Wukong did not stop there. He went across oceans and continents to find a master who could teach him all sorts of skills. That took a lot of courage, determination and willpower. In the end, he became a highly skilled fighter who possessed an immense amount of strength and is capable of holding his own against any best warriors. In one somersault, he was able to travel 108,000 li (54,000 kilometres). He is famous of knowing 72 transformations（七十二变）, which allow him to transform into various animals and objects except his tail.
Lesson #2: Be Innovative and Principled (with Integrity)
Sun Wukong was highly innovative. He sought to know his enemies and use different strategies to defeat them. Throughout the journey to the West, he used his innovative approaches and strategies to overcome all obstacles and fend off attacks from his enemies.
Sun Wukong was also highly principled. When he committed any mistakes, he would honestly admit and learn from his mistakes. He had a strong sense of justice and during the journey, helping humans who faced problems, reuniting families and saving entire countries.
Lesson #3: Be Resilient and Stay Focus
The journey to the West is full of obstacles and challenges – tall mountains, deep rushing rivers, and endless evil demons waiting ahead. However, Sun Wukong never gave up. After travelling for 14 years and 108,000 miles, and enduring many trials and much suffering, he successfully protected his Shifu or Master from all attacks and finally reached the West.
Gessians, we all have our own journey in life.
The journey to our dreams maybe filled with challenges, but let us Be Brave and Dare to Dream;
the journey maybe filled with obstacles and trials, but let us Be Innovative and Principled;
last but not least, the journey maybe filled with setbacks, but let us Be Resilient and Stay Focus!
May I wish you all the best as you embark on your life changing journey! Onward Gessians!