Monthly Archives: April 2010

Ipoh’s Sprouting Fame


by A. Jeyaraj

Taugeh or bean sprouts is yet another Ipoh iconic product. It is as synonymous with the city as pomelo and Menglembu groundnuts. When served blanched, with a simple mixture of sesame oil, soya sauce and accompanying poached chicken, it is transformed into the one dish that most visitors to Ipoh clamour for – ‘Nga Choy Kai’. This delectable dish, which some folks even claim as the most renowned dish in Ipoh, have become famous throughout the country and as far away as Singapore; and is usually the first dish that visitors will request. It is said that if you visited Ipoh and have not tasted the “chicken taugeh” then you have not been to the city.  Although taugeh can be found everywhere in Malaysia, even in neighbouring countries, those grown in Ipoh are reputed to be the best. In fact, Ipoh’s taugeh has a distinctive quality, a special taste that is not found elsewhere. They are shorter and thicker and are sweet, crunchy and juicy.

Underground Water

It is thought that the unique taste of the Ipoh taugeh is mainly due to the underground water from the limestone hills that contain traces of dissolved calcium carbonate.

What is interesting is that this highly sought after ‘taugeh’ are being produced by just eight families located in the Buntong New Village, just within the city centre.

The families have been rolling out drums of the bean sprouts grown from their backyards daily for the last seven decades. Each family produces about 1,400 kg per day, mostly for local markets, restaurants and hawkers’ stalls. The wholesale price per kilogramme supplied by the growers to the middlemen is often unstable, but the retail price per kilogramme is between RM1.20 and RM1.60.

Due to stiff rivalry among the growers, facts and figures about the industry are being held close to their chests, with each one claiming that it is their “trade secret”. Their lack of unity has also resulted in their inability to form an association to look after their common interests. Therefore, the middlemen often dictate the price of the taugeh supplied to them.

Taugeh Veterans

Eighty-two-year-old Toon Yow Pooi is one of the pioneers in the industry who is still working. He said that he took over the business from his grandfather and has been growing taugeh for the past 70 years.

He thinks that taugeh have been grown in the Buntong area for more than a hundred years. He still follows the same old method used by his grandfather. The only change made was to replace the wooden tub for growing taugeh with plastic drums.

Another producer Hong Pak Leong, 53, is a first generation taugeh grower and has been in the business for more than 30 years. He learnt to grow taugeh through trial and error. Hong added that all producers use the same method and grow taugeh in the same type of blue plastic drums.

Continuous Process

Taugeh growing requires plenty of water which is pumped from wells about ten metres deep. There is no shortage of underground water in the new village which is close to the Kledang Range and which also has a higher rate of rainfall in the city.

All the work is done manually and the taugeh is grown in moist conditions and has to be watered five times daily. Toon has four employees to assist him. It is a continuous process and has to be done 365 days of the year. The taugeh cannot be exposed to sunlight and must always be under the shade.

The black mung beans required to grow taugeh are purchased from Myanmar. Toon said that as far as he can remember that is where the beans have been purchased all along. He added that even taugeh producers in China buy the beans from Myanmar.

Six Days to Market

It takes six days of growing before the taugeh can be sent to the retailers. The process of growing taugeh starts first by cleaning the beans. The cleaned beans are then placed inside plastic drums with perforated holes in the bottom to drain excess water.

A circular mosquito net is placed on top of the beans. The bins are sometimes covered by gunny sacks. At the end of the first day, the beans start to germinate. There are several rows of drums containing taugeh in different stages of growth from the first to the sixth day in the backyards of each of the houses.

During the first four days, the growth is within the drum. On the fifth day, the shoot of the taugeh protrudes the drum by up to five centimetres and on the sixth day when it is ready for delivery it protrudes about six to eight centimetres above the drum.

When asked whether any foreign businessmen had come to Ipoh to find out about the method used, Toon replied in the negative. However, he added that many taugeh growers from other states do visit regularly to learn the technique and discover why the taugeh grown here are tastier.

Beans Price Increase

According to Toon the price of the bean has gone up from RM70 to RM110 for a 25-kg bag. He said that he cannot reveal the quantity he produces or the price. Taugeh is normally sold in drums of 60 kg each. He added that the eight families are not united and are very secretive as well as compete with each other. They sometimes undercut each other in pricing.

Asked about the export market, Toon said it was difficult to do so because taugeh must be moist and cannot be kept fresh for long. He is not aware whether any technology exists for packing and transporting taugeh in a fresh state.

Ipoh taugeh is famous and has potential for export, especially to Singapore where there is a great demand. However, the growers need to look into the availability of modern technology to expand their business rather than be contented with the old methods their parents or grandparents had adopted.

A Foothold in Perak


From the Editor’s Desk

by Fathol Zaman Bukhari

A trade exposition in June at Stadium Indera Mulia Ipoh will herald the entry of China into Malaysia, and Perak has, unwittingly, become the beneficiary. This marks the beginning of the long awaited ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (AFTA) which was signed in Singapore on January 28, 1992.


At the time of signing the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) had six members, namely Brunei, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia. Four other countries, Laos (1995), Vietnam and Myanmar (1997) and Cambodia (1999) joined subsequently making it ten in all. Signing the AFTA agreement was made conditional for the four countries to join the Association but they were given a longer time frame to meet the agreements’ obligations.

The objectives of AFTA are two-fold:

Increase ASEAN’s competitive edge as a production base through the elimination of tariffs and non-tariff barriers within member countries.

Attract more foreign direct investment to ASEAN.

The mechanism for achieving the objectives above is the Common Effective Preferential Tariff scheme, which established a scheduled reduction of tariffs beginning in 1992. The other objective of AFTA, one which is more relevant, is to counter the growing economic prowess of China and India.

Tariffs Reduction

The free trade agreement reduced tariffs on 7,881 products or 90 per cent of imported goods to zero. This reduction took effect in China and the six original members of the Association. The remaining four countries will follow suit in 2015. The average tariff rate on Chinese goods sold in ASEAN countries decreased from 12.8 to 0.6 per cent on January 1, 2010, pending full implementation in the remaining countries by 2015. China offered similar privileges to goods imported from ASEAN countries.

The six original ASEAN members also reduced tariffs on 99 per cent of goods traded between them to zero and this too became effective in January 2010. However, things seem good on paper only, as Malaysia continues to impose taxes on imported cars to protect its infantile car industry. The controversial APs (Approved Permits) are still given to crony companies to enable them to bring in luxury cars without taxation. Revenue in excess of RM100 million is lost annually because of these permits, which the government promised to terminate by 2015.

Reducing tariffs and taxes have its downside. Such action will have a negative impact on local producers when it comes to open competition. Economies of scales decide the competitiveness of goods manufactured and since local producers do not necessarily have the capacity to compete on an even keel, they seek protection from the government. Protection comes in the form of tariffs which invariably make imported goods more expensive than the local alternatives. Protectionism is a mechanism to keep local products saleable within the country. But it is another thing when the goods are sold abroad. The difference in price of a similar Proton model in the country and in Dubai is a case in point.

Trade Exposition

The upcoming trade exposition in June will see Chinese-made goods being exhibited for viewing by the general public. The expo will provide a window of opportunities for local businessmen to participate in joint-ventures with their Chinese partners. Among the manufactured items to go on show are men’s and women’s footwear, electrical appliances, furniture, apparels, etc. They are among the 29 items identified for display. All of these products are from the many individually-owned and private enterprises of Wenzhou, a major city in south-eastern Zhejiang province of the People’s Republic of China.

A dedicated team was established early this year to undertake the responsibility of organising the trade fair. The Wenzhou (M) Trade City Group Sdn Bhd is essentially a liaison team consisting of officers from the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (Wenzhou Sub-Council) and officials from the Perak State government who act as interpreters and co-coordinators. Jhang Xiao Qun or Charlie, as he prefers to be called, is the liaison team’s chief.

Litmus Test

Ipoh Echo met up with Charlie at Towers Regency Ipoh recently, where the team is currently located, and was briefed on the pending exhibition.

“Planning for the fair was initiated in January in conjunction with the easing of trade restrictions between China and Malaysia”, he said. “Response from the Wenzhou manufacturers has been good. Our target of 300 exhibitors was oversubscribed.” The overwhelming response is indicative of the Wenzhou business community’s faith in the fair. “Only quality products will be on display”, Charlie remarked, mindful of the perception the world has on Chinese-made goods.

“We’ve no desire to retail these goods in Malaysia but to establish a manufacturing hub in Perak”, Charlie revealed, dismissing fears of Perak being made a dumping ground for Chinese-made products. “We’ll manufacture the goods locally, mark them as “Made in Malaysia” before exporting overseas”, he quipped. Ipoh was picked as the team’s base over Penang and Kuala Lumpur because it is less hectic.

The Wenzhou Brand-name and Quality Products Exposition at Stadium Indera Mulia from June 24 to 27 will be a litmus test for the effectiveness of AFTA. So far there has been too much talk but little action. Many have doubted its viability believing the worse would befall our local manufacturers. But the die is cast. We shall now wait for the outcome with bated breath.

Ipoh – A Feeder Airport for the Region


Thinking Aloud

By Jerry Francis

The need for a good viable commercial airport in Ipoh has been felt ever since Air Asia abandoned the Sultan Azlan Shah Airport in 2006, citing unsuitable runway as the reason.

Now that plans for a RM60 million extension of the runway have been approved by the Federal Government, there are talks to turn the airport into a feeder airport in the region.

Being a big state, Perak needs a strategically located functional airport to boost economic development. This is generally the view of the people, particularly those in the business and manufacturing industry, who have made various appeals to the state government for the revival of the Sultan Azlan Shah Airport.

The question is when can the much publicised extension of the runway, which has been an off-and-on topic for years, be carried out?

Runway Extension A Priority Project

Even the Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir could not firmly state when the construction would begin.

“I’ve spoken to Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat to speed up the work on the extension of the runway at the Sultan Azlan Shah Airport. I do not know when work will start but it is a priority project for the State”, he was quoted at the recent launching of Silver Fly, a budget airline, at the airport.

“We have to re-define our strategy… not competing, but as a feeder airport to link to other airports in the country and region to attract visitors and investors”, he added.

The state government also signed a five-year collaboration agreement with Firefly, which now flies daily between Ipoh and Singapore.

Zambry said Firefly’s cooperation with the state was in line with the vision to make the Sultan Azlan Shah Airport a feeder airport.

However, can it materialise? Having seen a number of projects fail to take off in Perak, we cannot blame anyone for expressing doubt.

Humanitarian Airport

And let’s not forget that just before the General Election in 2008, there had been much publicity on the proposal to establish a first airport in the world to be dedicated to humanitarian efforts, at Bandar Seri Iskandar in Perak Tengah District.

The airport, about 50 km west of Ipoh, would provide emergency medical care for the Asia-Pacific region – described as one of the most disaster prone areas on the planet, with earthquakes, volcanic explosions, tsunami and floods occurring regularly.

Perak Government was to allocate 800ha of land for the transit hub of the global relief operations. It will include at 500-bed hospital and a 3,760-metre-long runway to accommodate aircraft, such as Boeing 747, and other related facilities.

Apart from accommodating rescue aircraft and helicopters for deployment to disaster areas, the airport will also host commercial airlines’ facilities – thereby becoming an alternative international air terminal in Perak. The cost, estimated at RM1 billion, is to be provided through a foreign humanitarian fund.

A memorandum of understanding was said to have been signed with the State Development Corporation and that the Civil Aviation Department had approved it. Just as fast as a flash flood emerges and subsides, the news about the proposed airport too suddenly fizzled out. What surprises me is how so much was said to have been done and achieved since 2006 and yet, a curtain could suddenly be drawn over the project.

Peak in 2003

Sultan Azlan Shah Airport, at its peak in 2003, handled about 116,000 passengers and 500 metric tonnes of cargo with 1,572 aircraft movements. It was then interlinked with major towns in the country, including Kuala Lumpur and Penang. International flights from Singapore and Sumatra also arrived on a frequent basis. As such the airport was fully supported by various facilities, including customs and immigration. It started to slide in 2005 when the North-South Expressway was completed and travelling times by road to the Penang and Kuala Lumpur were sliced. The Malaysian Airline System (MAS) began to reduce the number of its daily flights schedule and eventually it stopped. The final blow was when Air Asia too terminated its Senai-Ipoh route.

Other Activities Pick Up

The airport’s statistics began to gradually decline and by 2007 only 814 passengers went through the airport and 10 metric tonnes of cargo were handled. Fortunately, other activities at the airport began to pick up. Its role began to switch from being a passengers’ airport to a hub for light aircraft. There was an increase of aviation activities at the airport. There are currently a flying academy, a police air wing’s base and aircraft maintenance facilities at the hangars. As a result, the number of aircraft movements took a sharp climb to 32,462 in 2008 from just 954 in 2006.

State Involvement Needed

However, having a viable commercial airport alone is insufficient to attract investors and tourists to the state. There must be good investment environment and good tourist attractions. Otherwise, such an airport will only serve outgoing tourists from the state and not the other way round. Who would want to come to the state if there are no ideal investment opportunities or renowned tourist attractions? Therefore, the state needs to improve and develop business and tourism aspects, commensurate with the development of the airport so that it would not merely facilitate transportation but be an avenue for economic development.

SeeFoon Goes Down Memory Lane


By See Foon Chan-Koppen

I have to admit to a secret of why I fell in love with Ipoh. Oh yes the majestic limestone formations took my breath away and the friendliness of Ipohites cemented the bonds of attachment but I have to confess that the first time I was served Tualang prawns, the Foodie devil in me planted the seeds for my relocation, whispering admonitions for me to move from the chaos of Kuala Lumpur where I was then living and settle in Ipoh. That was 14 years ago and many Tualang prawn feasts later.

Tanjung Tualang

Ask any Ipohite worth his foodie salt where these prawns come from and where to get the best ones and the answer will always be Tanjung Tualang. Legend has it that these prawns were found in the ponds and lakes left by the mining industry although they are now commercially cultivated. I recently took a trip down memory lane and made a visit to Tanjung Tualang itself, the location for the freshest of these freshwater prawns or Udang Galah as they are known in Bahasa. For the scientifically minded the name is Macrobrachium rosenbergii, although commonly mistaken for the other giant Tiger prawn, Penaeus monodon.

Luen Fong

A half-hour drive took us to Tanjung Tualang, past the Herb Garden and Kellie’s Castle, the must-see tourist sites on any tour, to crowded Market Street housing a few of the restaurants specialising in these freshwater prawns. Cars with KL number plates occupied many of the available parking spaces, a testimony to the fame and quality of these prawns for people to drive all the way from there and back just for them. We settled for the corner restaurant Luen Fong, reputed to be one of the original and oldest one on that street.

Luen Fong was opened more than 80 years ago by Mr. Cheong Kin Chong’s grandfather and today is in the hands of the fourth generation, who helms the kitchen as head chef while his father mans the front.

Tanks with the prawns of various sizes stand outside the restaurant, a source of entertainment for the children as well as tourists. Inside the air-conditioned smallish restaurant, we ask for recommendations and placed our orders.

Bigger not Better

We opted for the small- to medium-sized prawns as we believe they tend to be sweeter, done two separate ways, some steamed and some fried. Usually in Ipoh when I eat these at some restaurants I will have the head steamed and the tail fried but only for the extra large prawns which can easily run to RM30 or more per piece. Here in Luen Fong, we paid by the kilo which was about RM75 for large, RM60 for small and medium, and RM70 for the slightly smaller than large ones. Prices vary according to season.

The  steamed prawns arrived first and we polished these off with gusto, juicy and succulent, the right degree of ‘done-ness’, dipped in their home-made chilli sauce which was to my taste – not too sweet and just tangy enough. The fried prawns followed, fried in soya sauce and served on a bed of scallions.

Hot to Trot and the Deep Fried Devils

My hosts had pre-ordered (a must-have and must-do) the braised pig’s trotters which arrived in a thick gravy, chewy yet tender – RM12 (small) and RM25 (large). This was followed by one of their signature dishes; Yau Cha Kwai or Deep Fried Devils (Chinese crullers) stuffed with fish paste and deep fried a second time. This was served with a salad sauce as a dip. Crispy, delectable and a dieter’s nightmare! RM10 (small) and RM15 (large)

Next on the table was their pig’s-cauls-wrapped spring roll. Essentially a fried Chinese sausage, the cauls serves as the ‘skin’ holding the stuffing together instead of the traditional pastry wrap. The cauls produce a lighter crisp to the spring roll and creates a smoother mouth feel – RM6 per piece.

Irresistible Charcoal

The final crème-de-la-crème to the meal was definitely their best signature dish, their Fried Rice which I know some of my Ipoh friends will drive out there just to eat this. The rice arrived with that special tang and aroma that only frying over charcoal can produce and Foodies like myself swear by this unsurpassable flavour. Added to this was the texture of the rice, each grain separate, just the right degree of fluffiness and not in the least bit oily…..unlike some other fried rice I have had the misfortune to encounter elsewhere – RM6 (small), RM10 (medium) and RM15 (large).

Fully sated, our group reluctantly dragged ourselves to our respective cars, only stopping to buy still some more food from the stalls lining the streets outside. An unforgettable Tualang Sunday!

Luen Fong
19, Market Street
31800 Tanjung Tualang, Perak
Tel: 05-3609267
Open: 11.30am to 9pm

Holy Hannah Homework Hell


What is the magic ingredient that most parents, if not all, wish their kids possessed when it came to homework time?

At 7 years old, I was not expected to read full sentences in Math of what would happen if Sumathi had 27 apples and 15 oranges in her basket and while running home at 3.6 km an hour, she fell and sent 2/3rds flying into a pond. At that age, I was running alongside Sumathi and falling beside her and laughing our heads off, after we climbed some Rambutan trees trying to add to our fruit collection adventure.

So, the burning question again is: what is the magic ingredient? Some missing chromosome, some gene x that did not meet some gene y? More importantly, how do I get some for my kids?

When it was just my first-born, and I was a stay-at-home mother, it was a natural progression from learning the ABC’s to additions and subtractions. Then things started to get complicated when fractions and decimal points came into play, ahem! I am referring to myself and not the child…. told you I was out climbing trees that day. Sometimes, I wish I still possessed some of my Std 1 books so that I have an AB comparison. Nowadays, the poor little drooly kid next door, who is barely out of diapers, is learning the multiplication tables. All right, I could be exaggerating a tad, but is it really very far from the truth?

Look at all the tuition centres here in Ipoh. Math, Bahasa Malaysia, Moral, Chinese, Science, English, and Art? Mind you, that is only the primary school we’re talking about. Correct me if I am wrong. I thought Art is a creative subject, and it is something from within and not taught? Yes, some guidelines here and there, but have you seen some of the artwork on display by some of the students from an art school? It reminds me of a production line in some factory.

So, there you go tuition, tuition and more tuition. How did education become so competitive?

It is obvious that I have a bone to pick with the education system here, but that’s another can of worms I do not care to open at the moment. What irritates me is the fact that my kids have a ton of homework and most of the time, I need to send them to tuition for extra help. Why can’t I help them myself you might ask? Very honestly, simply because I do not have the patience to go through all their homework and still remain poised and composed at the end of it all, and I cannot guarantee that my kids will not end up in tears and hate me for life for trying to help them understand the benefits of homework.

At the end of the day, I am saying that as far as I remember, school used to be a lot more fun, where students had a good balance of school work, tuition and a healthy social life. So there is no magic gene, no special chromosomes that will take away the homework blues, just plain old fashioned bump and grind, put your back into it and do your homework, please.

As a parent, what can I do? Be patient, be understanding and finally, be the best cheerleader I can be for my kids. That is the least I can do!!


Pantai Hospital Family Day


Yean Wing Cheong – HR Consultant

Pantai Hospital celebrated its Family Day on Sunday, April 18 at the Lost World of Tambun. Over 1,200 staff and their family members were in attendance Dr. Dilshaad Ali, CEO of Pantai Hospital, Dr Ruslan Razak, MDAC Chairman, Mohd Aiyob, GM Human Capital Management Pantai Holdings, Yean Wing Cheong, HR Consultant and Beh Yen San, Director of Paloh Medical Centre were among the VIP guests present. Dr. Dilshaad, in his address, attributed the growth of Pantai Hospital to the diligence shown by the consultants and staff. The “Yes I Can” theme for this year’s Family Day is aimed at motivating the staff to strive for greater heights. Guests present were treated to a video presentation, which showcased the hospital’s commitment as a responsible corporate player in the state. To date it has organised more than 40 Corporate Social Responsibility events and 44 health programmes throughout Perak. After the presentation, Dr. Dilshaad flagged off the first sports event marking the beginning of an eventful day for the revellers at Ipoh’s only water theme park.


Cakes for the Sultan


In conjunction with HRH Sultan of Perak 82nd birthday, a cake-presentation ceremony was held at the reception hall of Istana Kinta, Ipoh, on Saturday, April 15. Cakes in various shapes, sizes and designs were presented to the royal couple. They were from well-wishers which included corporations, individuals and organisations. Among them were Impiana Hotel, Heritage Hotel, Tower Regency, Syuen, Pantai Hospital and one from Commander 2 Brigade, Brig-Gen Dato’ Pahlawan Zulkifli Mansor. “Our hotel chef has baked a special cake for a very special occasion for the Sultan”, said Shamsihdar Khirudin of Heritage Hotel to Ipoh Echo. This brief but formal ceremony is an annual event in the state calendar.


Girl Guides to The Fore


The Perak Girl Guides Association took time off to interact with the Orang Asli community in Kampong Lata Kinjang recently. Led by its president, DYAM Raja Puan Muda Perak, Raja Nor Mahani, the 100-odd contingent, consisting of guides from all over the state, acquainted themselves with the villagers. It was part of the World Thinking Day celebration which falls on February 22 of each year. The date marks the birthday of Lord and Lady Baden Powell, founders of the world boy scouts’ and girl guides’ movements. The visit provided the guides an opportunity to see the Orang Asli community at close quarters and to appreciate their way of life. The visitors arrived bearing gifts and foodstuffs for the villagers. A medical team from GH Ipoh provided free health screening while the guides set up education booths for the benefit of the 49 Orang Asli families living in the kampong. The event, in essence, complements this year’s World Thinking Day’s theme, “together we can end extreme poverty and hunger”. Executive Councillor and Adun for Chenderiang, Dato’ Dr Mah Hang Soon, was in attendance.


GST Forum


The Perak Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCCI) recently held a briefing for its members to put all necessary internal procedures in place early to ensure they are GST (Goods and Services Tax) ready.

In his opening address to the members, the Chairman of the Chamber’s commerce committee Dato’ Chin Lean Choong said,  “Although the government in recent months had deferred the tabling of the GST bill for a second reading, nevertheless it would be a matter of time before the new tax would be implemented”.

The GST is to replace the current Sales and Service Tax. The standard rate of GST is 4%, lower than the Sales and Service Tax rate. However the reporting of GST returns need to be accurate. Businesses will have to ensure their billing and accounting systems can be tracked to ensure compliance with GST registration.

The introduction of the GST will affect all businesses whether supplying goods or services, or both.

To assist its members understand the details of GST, PCCCI invited the Executive Director of PricewaterhouseCoopers Taxation Services, Mr Fan Kah  Seong, to brief them.

Over 230 members attended the briefing. The notes of the briefing have been posted on the Chambers website for referencing.


A Proud Neighbourhood


Dirt Vigilantes

Anyone passing Jalan Wu Lean Teh in Hock Lee Garden will not fail to notice a beautiful landscaped garden around a children’s playground and on the road shoulder in front of the houses.

Standing tall – residents of Hock Lee Garden (l-r) Bernard Wong, Ooi Eng Huat and Loke Hooi Hong, during evening maintenance

The place could be just another neglected playground found in most housing estates in Ipoh, but a group of elderly residents have painstakingly and creatively transformed it.

They laid rocks and grew shrubs and flowering plants. The result is a well-maintained and colourful rock garden in a neighbourhood which the residents can proudly claim to be their home.

It is a testimony of how residents can work as a team to contribute towards keeping the city clean and beautiful.

It started when Chong Hon Kee began a small vegetable patch at the playground in front of his house. Passers-by, who are in the habit of throwing rubbish there on the way to work daily, subsequently shifted to throwing them at the adjoining roads.

Taking this as a cue, Bernard Wong, 67, and other residents promptly organised a gotong-royong to beautify the area. That was more than eight years ago.

Another resident Loke Hooi Hong has literally gone further by landscaping the road shoulder leading towards the playground.

Since then the playground and the road around it has been continually developed and maintained.

Garden and footpath

Its aesthetic environment has caught the attention of the authorities and politicians who have provided the residents with garden chairs, footpaths, a reflexology walk and recently a lawn mower.

So what started off as a preventive action against ‘casual dumping’ has blossomed into a beautiful garden that is appreciated by all who pass by. Hopefully this report will spur other residents to begin to beautify their own neighbourhood.

A common cause of an untidy neighbourhood is due to residents from other areas ‘casually’ dumping their domestic wastes wherever convenient, while on their way to work. This is a fact which Ipoh Mayor Dato’ Roshidi Hashim had highlighted during his ‘turun padang’ sessions.

‘Casual dumping’ is about the motorcyclist ‘dropping off’ a plastic bag of rubbish at a spot where most of the residents place their garbage awaiting collection by the MBI dumpster. The habit becomes a problem resulting in heaps of rubbish building up along roadsides or open spaces.

James Gough