Visits Of VVIP to Chinatown With No fanfare

An Incognito VVIP Visitor To Our Chinatown Shop

His Highness, the late Sultan Ismail of Johor was a friend of our late father, Tong Seng Mun, as they shared a common love for animals. Sultan Ismail  was a frequent visitor to our original shop at No. 67, Pagoda Street where our  father conducted his animal trading business at the rear of the shop. This was before he set up Singapore Miniature Zoo in  Pasir Panjang. Whenever our father had interesting new stocks of birds and other animals arriving he would telephone  the Sultan and invite him to view the new collection. His Highness  often came  incognito in his green Morris Minor with his ADC (Aide-de-Camp) and a driver. Our father often gifted  the Sultan with  selections from his  new stocks  of birds and other animals for the Sultan  to keep either in Istana Bukit Serene Palace  or in Johore Zoo.

When we were children, my siblings and I  had  opportunities to visit Sultan Ismail  at  his Istana Bukit  Serene Palace in Johor Bahru. I remembered  we were served Bandung drink which was made from Rose Syrup and Carnation milk. It was a rare treat and we relished every single drop.

When Jurong Bird Park and Mandai Zoo were first opened, our father was instrumental in getting Sultan Ismail to donate some birds and animals to the Bird Park and Zoo.

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