Monthly Archives: May 2010

Heritage: Where have all the buildings gone?



Sung to the Tune of ‘Where have all the flowers gone’

(Apologies to Pete Seeger for music and lyrics)

Where have all the buildings gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the buildings gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the buildings gone?
Guys have downed them every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Ipoh Echo mourns the passing of many of its old buildings.

Egg Tart (Dan Tart)


Sipping Ipoh white coffee while eating a freshly-baked egg tart just seems to go hand-in-hand. When it comes to egg tarts, Ipoh has some of the best. There’s nothing more satisfying than biting into the flaky crust of a warm tart and having the creamy egg custard melt in your mouth. Not all egg tarts are created equal and the good ones sell out rapidly. Here are the best ones.

RESTORAN FOH SAN (05-2540308) 51 Jln Leong Sin Nam (New Town) Pastry flakier with full creamy soft filling. 1.60+ 4
MING COURT (2557134) 32-36 Jln Leong Sin Nam (New Town) Pastry is flaky – filling is firmer and not too sweet 1.40 4
Shop: 017-5928303
Factory: 05-5466431
Shop: Kedai Kopi Weng Seng, 14 Jln Cockman (New Town)
Factory: 116 Hala Wah Keong, Tmn Mirindy
Good pastry and filling has nice flavour. 1.30 3.5
CHOY YEE BISCUITS Stall inside Simee Market Pastry flaky and filling soft and has egg flavour 1.10 3.5
48&50 Lengkok Canning, Ipoh Garden (Ken Har – 012-3102098) Pastry  flaky – filling has lovely egg flavour and is not too sweet 1.50 3.5
+ add tax

Email your favourite recommendations to:

Sticky Rice with Mangoes


By Margarita Lee


3 ripe mangoes; cut lengthwise into thick pieces

3 cups glutinous rice

3 cups coconut milk

¼ cup sugar

¼ cup water

2 tsp salt

4 pandan (Screwpine) leaves


  1. Rinse and drain the glutinous rice. Soak rice in water for 3 to 5 hours.
  2. In a double steamer, bring the water to boil, add in 2 pandan leaves.
  3. Lay a piece of white thin cloth or banana leaves over the upper steamer.
  1. Pour in the glutinous rice.
  1. Steam for 10 minutes on high heat. Open the lid of the steamer and stir the glutinous rice.

Add in ½ cup of water.

  1. Steam for another 10 minutes.

Coconut Sauce:

  1. In a sauce pan, add in ¼ cup of water, sugar, salt and pandan leaves.
  2. Bring it to boil. Add in coconut milk.
  3. Simmer coconut mixture till thick.
  4. Use ⅓ of the coconut mixture to mix into the cooked glutinous rice.
  5. Put the glutinous rice and mangoes on a serving dish.

Pour coconut sauce as topping.

Honouring Dato’ Brother Vincent


The Parent Teachers Association of St Michael’s Institution (SMI) honoured Dato’ Brother Vincent Corkery, who was conferred with DPMP (Darjah Dato’ Paduka Mahkota Perak) which carries the title of Dato’ during the Sultan of Perak’s birthday celebrations, with a dinner at the school hall recently.

The PTA’s chairman Mr Joseph Michael Lee in his address, said Dato’ Brother Vincent’s achievement is a great honour not only for the LaSalle Brothers but also to St Michael’s Institution.

Dato’ Brother Vincent, who first came to SMI in 1958, described his 52 years of staying in the country as “a wonderful opportunity to meet wonderful people and be enriched in the process”.

The dinner was an all-Michaelian affair. The function was held at the school hall and attended by past and present teachers and members of the Michaelian community. Music was performed by the school’s Military Band and Michaelian Chinese Orchestra.

Tributes to Dato’ Brother Vincent were presented from Mr Adrian Tsen, Old Michaelians Association President, Mr T.R. Sharma on behalf of the Form 6 Students from 1959 and Puan Hajjah Norlizah, a teacher with the school, who composed a poem in Bahasa Malaysia for him.

The conferment of the datukship was indeed a signal of recognition for the LaSalle Brothers and the school which was greeted with joy by those present as table by table took turns to pose for photographs with Dato’ Brother Vincent.


Fashion City


Plans are afoot to turn Ipoh into a fashion city something similar to Paris, Milan and Mumbai with emphasis on footwear. This complements Ipoh’s thriving shoe industry which has generated much publicity and interest of late. Dato’ Mah Hong Soon, Perak Executive Councillor for Local Government, Transportation and Health, echoed the sentiments of the state government when he officiated the opening of Malaysia Footwear Design Competition 2010 at Syuen Hotel recently.

“Our booming shoe industry will make this possible provided we are geared towards achieving it”, he told Ipoh Echo. Mah hoped that youths from the state would take footwear designing seriously. “Therefore, the shoe-making factories in Lahat, Bukit Merah and Menglembu should be given all the support needed by Ipoh City Council”, he remarked.

Present at the launching ceremony were K.K. Tham, president of the Perak Footwear Industry Association, the organiser of the event and Tony Ting, president of the Malaysian Footwear Manufacturers’ Association.

The competition was not without surprises. The winner in the men’s category was Saiful Nizam Zakaria, 23. Saiful, a student of Premier Polytechnic Johor Bahru, has visual and hearing impairments. His design won him a trophy and a cash award of RM3,000. “Saiful’s victory means a lot to those with physical disabilities”, said Azlina Ahmad, a lecturer on design and visual communications at the polytechnic. “His talents and creativity have attracted the attention of renowned fashion designer, Bill Keith, in Kuala Lumpur. Bill is keen on having him on his team”, Azlina revealed.

The prizes were given away by internationally acclaimed fashion shoe designer, Dato’ Jimmy Choo.


What If Tomorrow Never Comes?


In our daily lives most of us begin the day by preparing our children to be sent either to our parents or nannies to be looked after if they are still infants and older children would be sent to nurseries, kindergarten or schools before we head to work. After work, we would fetch them back to let them have their bath and meal. Then it’s off to tuition to ensure that they keep up in school. Thus most parents are like chauffeurs. I believe all parents don’t mind it for the love of their children and they will sacrifice their time and spend whatever they can afford to give the best for their children to be successful later on. Before the end of the day, all parents would again have to prepare for the next day with the same kind of routine. It is a common routine that most of us face and many times we are so caught up in this that we forget to pause and ask ourselves what will happen to our family if we are no longer around the next day. Or another way of saying it is: what if tomorrow never comes?

The daily routine which I have mentioned would not stop for our children and spouse even though we are no longer around. They still have to carry on with their lives without you. So one of the most important things you have to do is to prepare a will for your family quickly so that they are well provided for in your absence. In my practice as an Estate Planner, many people tell me that they have to “sort out” their time to do their will or trust and very often they will procrastinate for months before they are ready to talk about it. From my experience, it only takes about 30-45 minutes only to explain the importance of having a will, the problems without it and suggestions as to the distribution of the assets to their loved ones. There will be a need to spend a longer time to discuss customized distribution to your loved ones after listening to your concerns of each intended beneficiary to be named in the will. Careful thought is to be given with regards to the distribution of the assets to the beneficiaries as to whether any conditions are to be met before the beneficiary will be entitled and whether any testamentary trust is to be created for the minor beneficiaries and dependents.

One of the points I would like to highlight which I have mentioned again and again in my previous articles is to choose the right executors and guardian (if you have minor children) for your family before you start willing away your assets to your loved ones. The appointed executor will be managing the assets after the Grant of Probate is obtained and the executor is to distribute the assets according to your will. Thereafter, once your estate is cleared of any liabilities, the executor will distribute the remaining assets to your beneficiaries according to your will. An excellent alternative to appoint individual executors is to appoint a trust company like Rockwills Trustee Bhd, which provides expertise, impartiality, professionalism and perpetual existence.

Before I sign off, I would like to take this opportunity to wish myself and all fathers a very Happy Father’s Day.

Peter Lee is an Associate Estate Planning Practitioner (Wills & Trust) with Rockwills International Group. He is also an Islamic Estate Planner providing Wills & Trust services for Muslims. He is based in Ipoh and can be reached at: 012-5078825/05-2554853 or

Ipoh Girl Wins Prestigious Women’s Health Award


Dr Danielle Wilkins, Women's Health Discipline Coordinator in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, presented the award to Balveena

A fourth-year medical student from Ipoh, Balveena Dhaliwal, won the 2009 RANZCOG (Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists) Women’s Health Award.

Balveena, 23, who is in the MBBS programme at Monash University’s Sunway campus, was recognised for her clinical excellence.

She obtained the highest mark of any student in the Monash medical curriculum for clinical skills in women’s health, as determined by the Observed Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) and in-semester academic grading.

Senior Deputy Dean and Deputy Dean (International) Professor Leon Piterman praised Balveena’s achievement and the significance of the award going to a student at Sunway campus.

“Monash in Malaysia is unique in offering the only Bachelor of Medicine / Bachelor of Surgery programme delivered outside Australia or New Zealand that is fully accredited by the Australian Medical Council”, Professor Piterman said.

“Balveena has demonstrated through winning this prestigious national award that the commitment to achieving excellence at Monash extends across all campuses.”

Professor David Healy, head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology based at Monash Medical Centre in Clayton, Australia, expressed his delight at Balveena’s performance receiving recognition by RANZCOG, the professional college dedicated to the establishment of a high standard of practice in obstetrics and gynaecology and women’s health.

“Monash is at the forefront of research into women’s health, and from a teaching perspective, the ability for students to acquire superior physical examination skills through exposure to operating theatres and special clinics is of particular importance.

“Balveena has excelled in this area and we are all very proud of her achievement, a first for a student from our Malaysian campus,” he added.

A special presentation was held in Melbourne for Faculty friends and colleagues to celebrate Balveena’s award, attended by her mother, Mrs Naminder Dhaliwal.

Balveena is the eldest of the three children of Pantai Hospital Ipoh’s resident Paediatrician Dr. Kuldeep Dhaliwal. She was born in Ipoh and did her early education in Main Convent. She hopes to be a gynaecologist.

Eco Tourism: The Allure of Tasek Raban


By Rosli Mansor

Sight to Behold

The hour-long ride from Ipoh to Tasek Raban was most exhilarating, as the journey took us past rustic kampong houses on stilts and on the ground interspersed with dense virgin forests that stretch up into the cloud-covered highlands. It was a sight to behold as the Kuala Kangsar-Grik Highway offers motorists a vista of rural Malaysia, especially of Perak, at its very best. Since the highway runs parallel to the Bintang Range, the going can be a little stressful for the lonely traveller. But we were in an air-conditioned tour bus, the ride was smooth and exciting, albeit a little tiring.

The coach soon came to a stop and upon disembarking we were pleasantly greeted by the sight of a neat and spacious hut by the side of Tasek Raban. This is the Pangkalan Raban-Durian Pipit Jetty, the start point of our foray into the unknown. A motorised boat measuring about 30 feet, the size of a medium sampan, was tied to a pole stuck in the mud. This boat would take us to our destination – Kampong Batu Ring-Beng – where our hosts awaited us.

Boat Ride

The mere thought of us cramped in this puny boat scared the daylights out of me, a devout landlubber. The others were no better. They too had their reservations and were undecided whether to clamber on board or to give the whole thing a miss. But the beckoning of the boatman and his repeated assurances soothed our frayed nerves. Soon all ten of us were snugly seated in his sampan.

Pak Ramli, a native of Tasek Raban, has been ferrying people to and from Kampong Batu Ring-Beng since he was strong enough to row a boat. He knew the lake very well. His deft hands soon took control of the motorised sampan powered by an 8-hp outboard engine, as he manoeuvred his way in the calm waters. Small and rickety it might have been, but it worked wonders for its size.

The 15-minute ride provided us with a rare opportunity to admire the beauty of the environs. The lake, according to Pak Ramli, is a source of income for the village folks. Salt and pickled fish from Tasek Raban are found all over the country. In fact, Lenggong is noted for ikan pekasam a delicacy which is eagerly sought by visitors to the region.

A welcoming party consisting of a kompang troupe was on hand to receive us as we berthed by the jetty at Kampong Batu Ring-Beng. The beating of the kompang and the accompanying song did much to lift our sagging spirits. The Kampong Batu Ring-Beng homestay programme was initiated in 2007 and our visit that day was intended at promoting it to in-bound tourists, both local and foreign. Through word of mouth, Kampong Batu Ring-Beng has acquired some prominence among visitors abroad.


The legend of Kampong Batu Ring-Beng was recounted to us by the director of the homestay project, Muhamad Alias Mat Arshad. This is his version (in his own words).

“A wedding ceremony to solemnise the marriage between a cat and a dog was interrupted by a sudden rainstorm causing the guests to panic. A giant figure mysteriously appeared on the scene. It threw a large slab of rock on the villagers killing all except for a small girl.”

The rock, according to Alias, was the summit of Gunung Batu Ring in Kelantan, thus the name.

Homestay Programme

There are some 30 participants involved in the homestay programme.

“Our objective is to showcase the uniqueness of Tasek Raban to visitors, especially its ecology and cuisines. Freshwater fish being a staple here will be the focus of our meals, particularly ikan pekasam and a wide variety of ulam available locally”, said Alias.

After the briefing we left for the houses to which we were assigned. My host was Pak Abu, another native of this lake country. His house was a simple wooden structure typical of Malay abodes in the area. In spite of its simplicity the interior was spacious while the beds were warm and inviting. Facilities for bathing and washing were spartan but in good taste. The food Pak Abu’s wife prepared was tasteful and the helpings generous. I was in no mood to complain.

Soon after dusk we were bundled into a boat for a ride around the lake, the size of Perlis. A night out in the open offers a different kind of ambience and experience to the first-time visitor. Although it was barely visible in the pitch darkness, the sounds of fish jumping and splashing in the murky water were enough to excite the meekest from among our group. “That’s a tangkalan, a denizen of the deep” said the coxswain. He could almost pick out the type of fish by the sound it made, so we guessed.

Homestay in Kampong Batu Ring-Beng is definitely different from those on offer in other parts of the country. Unlike the rest, the Tasek Raban homestay provides visitors an opportunity to enjoy Nature in a pristine setting surrounding a placid lake with rolling hills and lush jungles in the background. A night stay at Kampong Batu Ring-Beng, inclusive of meals, costs only RM60. For the many “extras” thrown in, it is definitely a bargain.

Getting There

To reach Tasek Raban, exit Plus Expressway at the Kuala Kangsar junction. Take the Kuala Kangsar-Grik Highway after the tollgate. Keep on the highway and you will cross another iconic structure, the majestic Raja Nazrin Bridge, which spans the Perak River. On nearing Tasek Raban turn right towards the Pangkalan Raban jetty. Follow the signposts. The cost of a boat ride is RM10 return.

A RM50 package covers the boat ride and accommodation. This discount is available for those wanting to stretch their ringgit.

Reservations can be made with Tourism Malaysia (Perak) 05-2552 772 and 05-255 1012 or call Muhamad Alias 016-565 4303.

KPJ Ipoh Visits Spastic Children’s Home


KPJ Ipoh Specialist Hospital’s staff and family members visited Sekolah Semangat Maju Ipoh Spastic children’s home. This school houses approximately 40 children aged between 7 to 36 years old. Several games like musical chairs and poison ball were held to cheer up the children. KPJ Ipoh’s nurses also entertained the children with a poco-poco dance performance. A simple cake cutting ceremony was held and the children were treated with snacks and refreshments. The programme ended with Chief Nursing Officer, Ms Phoo Siew Kwok and Nurses Day Chairman Sr Rosilah Jumal handing over food items and goody bags to the children.

Men against Violence Campaign


Wanita UMNO Perak chief, Dato’ Rusnah Kassim, said that the intended campaign is a follow-up on the Women Against Violence campaign launched by the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development five years ago. Both are aimed at reducing domestic violence nationwide.

Rusnah felt that the first step at realising this is to invite male leaders, especially heads of village action committees, to partake in the campaign. “Men should learn to appreciate women”, she insisted.