Monthly Archives: January 2011

Dato’ K.K. Lim – Final Farewell


Sunday 23 January 2011

Relatives, friends, companies and foundations related to Dato’ K.K. Lim gathered at the Lim home this morning to bid him a final farewell. In his eulogy Lim Si Boon stated that over the last 3 days he got to know his father better explaining that although his “dad was better known for his fiery temper yet his actions had touched the hearts of many people”.


MB Conveys Condolences to the Late Dato’ K.K. Lim’s Family


Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri Zambry made a visit to the wake of the late Dato’ K.K. Lim. Accompanying him was his community advisers Dato’ Chang Ko Youn and Dato’ Veerasingam, Perak Speaker Dato’ R. Ganesan and Senior  Exco Dato’ Dr. Mah Hang Soon. Lim Si Boon, KK’s son and Chairman of the Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MICCI) greeted the party on their arrival. Also present was KK’s brother and Ex-Gerakan Party President Tun Dr. Lim Keng Yaik.


SeeFoon Uncovers Hidden Treasures in Pasir Pinji


By See Foon Chan-Koppen

Tucked away in a small cul-de-sac just a few doors down from the ever-popular Tuck Kee (if you’re coming from Pasir Puteh it’s just past our famous Dai Su Keok or Big Tree, on the left) is Restoran Makanan Laut Wong Kok, an unprepossessing restaurant that offers up a cornucopia of treasures especially if ordered in advance.

Chef Lum

Chef and proprietor Lum Chee Kuen reigns supreme in the kitchen and at a moment’s notice can whip up unique dishes that will titillate your taste buds as no other restaurant in Ipoh has done.

Two of these dishes spring to mind when I say unique. The first is the Sea Cucumber Salad which consists of fried anchovies, jelly fish, bitter melon, garnished with kan choy or Chinese celery, spring onions, white onions, sesame seeds, cilantro, and tossed with a taucheo/Ma Lat (preserved soya beans, and the slightly mouth numbing Szechuan pepper) sauce – RM60/80/120 for 4/6/10 pax.

Mo Mai Jook

The second one is the Mo Mai Jook or the no-rice congee, a white creamy smooth, delectably ‘umami’ porridge which had us guessing as to its ingredients which we subsequently discovered was pure egg white flavoured and textured with pork floss, fried shrimp wonton and chicken breast – RM8 per pax. Certainly a dish I will return over and over to savour.

On the day we went, I was fortunate to have a large enough group to savour many of Chef Lum’s dishes which I discovered to be almost infinite, depending on the availability of ingredients in the market and from suppliers. In that one evening we tasted over 12 dishes with Chef Lum pushing us to try more as we left groaning from the table.

Deep Fried Frog’s Legs

There was the excellent Saito Yu Meen, home-made fish noodles (Chef Lum swears his are homemade and not from factories) fried with prawns and vegetables, with hints of pepper, (RM6 per pax), followed by the Deep Fried Frog’s Legs and ginger slices. The frog’s legs were fried to perfection, crisp on the outside and still juicy and tender inside while the ginger slices were crisp and crunchy and lent a sharp bite which helped to complement the blandness of the frog’s legs – price by weight.

Braised Spring Chicken

This was followed by the Braised Spring Chicken served with whole braised garlic  pieces, juicy and tender and good to the last bite – RM6 per bird; Kam Heong Crab which was spicy, redolent with curry leaves, dried prawns and chilli – price by weight. Then came a whole pumpkin filled to overflowing with Braised Spare Ribs in black bean sauce – RM18; the Chew Chao Fish Head, cut into portions and braised in a dark sauce. Price by weight with minimum RM15.

Lap Mei Fan

And finally we had their famous Lap Mei Fan which is only available at this time of the year closer to Chinese New Year. This huge clay pot of rice with its air-dried sweet meats of lap cheong (pork sausages), yuen cheong (liver sausage), lap ngap (air-dried salted duck) and lap yoke (air-dried pork belly) which is steamed on top of the rice, allowing its cooking juices to seep in, permeating the rice with the fragrance and aroma of these special sweet meats. A sauce is then poured on top for extra flavour – RM40/60/80. This is a ‘must-have’ dish prior to or during Chinese New Year. Here in Wong Kok, it is done to perfection.

By this time we were totally sated but Chef Lum came over and insisted that we try their homemade Saito Fish-balls – 80 sen each with a minimum order of 10 pieces. And despite our protests, also their homemade Char Siu – RM12 minimum, both of which were some of the best I’ve tasted.

Ipohites will be delighted to know that they will be open throughout the Chinese New Year period.

Restoran Makanan Laut Wong Kok
11 Persiaran Tokong, Pasir Pinji, 31650 Ipoh.
Tel. : 05-243 5431 or 012-522 8380
Open:  11am-3pm and 5pm-midnight

Ice Kacang


The perfect Malaysian dessert to indulge in on a hot, humid day has to be, none other than the ice kacang. Also known as ‘Ais Batu Campur’ or ABC in short, the ice kacang, when first introduced, was made up of only shaved ice and red beans. Today, you can find an array of variants ranging from the traditional one with a variety of jelly, cendol, sweet corn, red beans and peanuts under a mountain of shaved ice with evaporated milk or coconut milk and syrup drizzled over the top, to novelty ones served with durian, chocolate syrup or ice cream.

Gerai Ais Kacang Weng Kee
Stall No. 48, Medan Selera Stadium
(Branch at Sun Kam Wan located at ‘the triangle’ opp. BSN, Ipoh Garden). Famous for their ‘gula melaka’ version, fragrant and creamy. Open: morning till lunch time. RM2.20 per bowl.

Wooley Food City, Ipoh Garden
(Opposite Anika Selera, ‘Toong Ku Theng’)
Opens daily, from morning to night. Be prepared for a big bowl with generous servings of ingredients.  RM2.40 or RM3.20 with ice-cream.

‘Tong Sui Kai’ or Rainbow City Food Lane
Opens daily, for dinner till late. Most of the stalls are established, so walk along the row and observe where the locals are having their ice kacang. We recommend the one somewhere in the middle of the row. Variants served with ice-cream and fruits available. From RM2.20 onwards.

Kedai Makanan Dan Ais Kacang Leong Kee
153 Jalan Pasir Puteh, 31650 Ipoh
Opening hours: 6.00 p.m.-12.00 a.m. Closed on Wednesdays. RM2.40 per bowl for a smallish serve.

Kinta Medical to Maximise its Strengths and Location


An interview with Chairman Dato’ Dr. Foo Wan Kien

Dato' Dr. Foo Wan Kien

In a previous issue of Ipoh Echo 109, Kinta Medical Centre on Jalan Chung Thye Phin announced a major renovation programme that will see all its facilities and medical services upgraded over a two-year period.

Ipoh Echo finally tracked down Chairman of the Board, Dato’ Dr. Foo Wan Kien to learn more about the history of this ‘grand old lady’ of Ipoh hospitals and to understand the motivation for the upgrade and discover what future plans lie ahead.

IE: What is your vision for the Kinta Medical Centre (KMC)?

Dato’ Foo: I want KMC to be known as the best ‘Boutique’ hospital in the Northern region offering warm personalised service and offering the best medical care in certain specialities like orthopaedics, maternity, obstetrics and gynaecology, Internal Medicine, Medical Oncology, Radiology and a 24-hour emergency centre. Our private rooms will be furnished like those in hotels, extremely roomy with an extra bed for loved ones who wish to accompany patients during their stay. All our wards too are being fully refurbished to hotel standard.

IE: How much money is being allocated to the entire refurbishment programme and what else is in the works?

Dato’ Foo: RM5 million has been allocated for the first two years and another RM5 million is being budgeted for the next five.

IE: How do you see KMC as a ‘Boutique’ hospital differing in the services currently being offered by the other hospitals in Ipoh?

Dato’ Foo: Firstly we will be charging reasonable rates in order to build volume which will in turn attract more quality doctors to use our facilities. Secondly, we are a not-for-profit organisation and whatever profits we make will be ploughed back into upgrading and equipment for the benefit of patients. Thirdly we have plans to build a ‘Medical Mall’ on our grounds which, as everyone knows, is ample. With its central location on Jalan Chung Thye Phin and ample parking space, we’re confident that we can attract many independent GPs and specialists to rent clinic space at the mall. This will certainly save many physicians the headache of storing their own pharmaceuticals, and with radiology and a diagnostic centre on premises, will be a boon to their patients who don’t need to travel elsewhere for tests. We’re also exploring setting up either a cosmetic surgery or TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) centre in the mall.

IE: What happened to the charity hospital started by your late father Mr. Foo Yet Kai?

Dato’ Foo: We have been a charity hospital but due to the high cost of medicines and equipment, it is difficult for one family to fund the hospital. We need continuous funding to upgrade the hospital and equipment in line with our vision to provide the best service and to give more confidence to our patients.

IE: So does this mean that KMC will no longer be offering charity medical care?

Dato’ Foo: No, not at all. In fact we are in the midst of making a decision on whether to have a charity dialysis centre on the premises or a charity eye centre. We are still doing our research on which speciality will offer the most good to the largest number of people and what is needed most. This funding will come from the Foo Yet Kai Foundation which is separate from that of KMC. We plan to invite members of NGOs to sit on a committee to vet patients deserving of free medical care. This will be easily facilitated through my network of Lion’s clubs of which I am the Past District Governor of Lions Club International District 308-B2.

IE: What else is the Foo Yet Kai Foundation doing to carry on the family tradition of philanthropy established by your late father?

Dato’ Foo: We have contributed to the building of a new Shen Jai Secondary School together with the Perak Hakka Association in the Seri Botani area. The old school which was started by my late father was named after my grandfather Foo Shen Jai. Further afield in China, we have donated a hospital to my late Father’s village in Xiayang of Yongding in Fujian province.

IE: Well it looks like you have a very full plate in the next few years. As someone who at the tender age of 24 acquired the Alpha Romeo motor franchise and started City Motors, you have since been very successful and involved with cars all your adult life. What else is in store for you or shall we say, up your sleeves?

Dato’ Foo: Well it hasn’t only been cars, I have also done a fair amount of property development, palm oil plantations, and aquaculture. So my activities have been quite diverse. For the future, we’ll see. I plan to do more property development and expand the agriculture sector. I also intend to build a high-rise, probably a hotel, in Ipoh for the purpose of branding of our company’s continuous growth for the next generation to take over.

Ipoh Echo wishes Dato’ Foo much success in all his endeavours in the future.

SeeFoon Chan-Koppen

Pumpkin Fries with Salted Egg


By Margarita Lee

1 small pumpkin (about 400-500g)
3 salted egg yolks
1 small fresh egg
¼ tsp of salt and pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour for coating
Vegetable oil for deep frying

  1. Steam the duck salted egg yolks for 8-10 minutes. Crush the egg yolks with a folk for later use.
  2. Peel and remove the seeds from the pumpkin, and also remove the fibrous layer beneath.
  3. Cut pumpkin thinly into the size of fries.
  4. Mix the pumpkin with the small egg, salt and pepper, leave it for 10-20 minutes.
  5. Coat the pumpkin fries evenly with flour.
  6. Heat oil in a pan until hot, fry the pumpkin pieces until a golden colour.
  7. Remove the pumpkin fries from the pan and drain excess oil with paper towels.
  8. Heat ½ tbsp oil in a pan; add in the crushed salted egg yolks.
  9. Stir fry the salted egg yolks until they are light and fluffy. (They should start foaming).
  10. Add in the pumpkin fries and stir well with the egg yolk.
  11. Serve immediately.

The 2008 Global Financial Crisis


Tommy Thomas

Tommy Thomas, a respected and foremost litigator in headline and landmark cases, was in Ipoh recently at the invitation of the Perak Bar to give a talk on the global crisis that enveloped the entire world in a single week in September 2008.

Tongue-in-cheek, Mr. Thomas quoted a US Supreme Court judge who said that ‘A lawyer who has not studied economics … is likely to become a public enemy’. His in-depth knowledge of the workings of the economy certainly excludes him from this category.

This Great American Debt Bubble, which started to grow with the deregulation of the banks and financial services in the US and UK in the 80s finally burst, or rather exploded, with the collapse of the sub-prime market in the US in 2007. The orgy of debts from the immense scale of reckless borrowings and precarious leverages of the banks brought about the world’s worst depression since the Great Crash of 1929.

Thomas warns of the possibility of an even deeper crisis in the future in the absence of deep structural reforms of the US, as well as global financial systems. In contrast, the strict legal regime over banks and insurance companies in Malaysia protected her from the Wall Street havoc and, at the time of the crisis, Malaysia was actually flushed with liquidity.

Thomas praised the prudent management of the banking industry in Malaysia and with its low borrowings and high savings; the banking industry in Malaysia has the sixth lowest leverage ratio in the world.

In conclusion, a complex mathematical formula is no substitute for good, old fashioned credit risk analysis. Man is ruled more by his heart than mind and if the maxim, “Know Thy Customer”, is not grasped by men of finance in the Western World, the 2008 financial crisis might not be the last of its kind yet.

Valerie Chan