Monthly Archives: February 2011

Looks Simple, Sounds Simple, but It’s Not Simple


by Peter Lee

A couple approached me and said they wanted to prepare a simple will. The next question was how much would it cost? My reply to them was “I don’t know” because I need to check their family structure and how they would like to distribute their estate. The husband said, “Our distribution is very simple. What we want in our will is that half of my estate goes to my children equally and half to my wife. Vice versa, my wife will give half of her estate to me and half to the children equally. If both of us die, everything will be given to our four children equally.” Their children are 5, 7, 8 and 10 years old. Furthermore, the youngest is mentally retarded. Based on this information, I told them that the most important thing is the appointment of Executors/Trustees whereby they can choose a minimum of 2 and maximum of 4 individuals. However, if the choice is to appoint a Trustee Company like Rockwills Trustee Bhd. as the main Executors/Trustee, then no further appointment is required. They further asked what is the role of Executors/Trustee. So I explained that they are individuals or a Trustee Company who will apply the Grant of Probate for the deceased, unlock the assets of the estate, settle debts and distribute the entire estate to the beneficiaries.

In their position, I pointed out that they would require a “Testamentary Trust” in which the duration of the “Trust” can be lengthy especially for the retarded child. Therefore, it is advisable to appoint Rockwills Trustee Bhd. to be the main Executors/Trustee. The couple looked at each other and said they needed to iron out this matter before giving a reply. Then I further discussed with them about choosing a Guardian for their children if both of them pass away together. I said that it is always best to speak to those whom they want to appoint as Guardian and obtain their consent for the appointment. The husband preferred his sister who has her own family while the wife preferred her sister who is still single. After some argument over their choice, they said that they have to revert to me on this.

When it came to distribution, I highlighted that since half of their entire estate was to be distributed to their minor children immediately after their demise, they must state the amount for each child’s monthly living, medical and education expenses. In addition, they have to specify the duration of the Trust especially for the child who is retarded and if possible set up a Living Trust using insurance as funding for this child. With this explanation, they said they needed further discussion before deciding. So until they revert to me I still would not know the cost of their wills. My story is not to frighten anyone from writing their will but to highlight that if you want to prepare your will for the benefit of your family, please avoid thinking of just a simple will but instead focus on your wishes, giving some thought and plan with your spouse for the benefit of your family. This way your family will cherish you forever.

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 Website:

The 15 Days of the Lunar New Year


HHH Rabbit Run

The Ipoh HHH (Hash House Harriers) held their Rabbit Run on February 12. The event was fully sponsored by one of their members David Ho at his Gaharu Technologies ‘Great Wall’ plantation at Sg Itek Gopeng. It was a 5km “endurance” trail leading uphill and downhill through the plantation. Nevertheless that didn’t deter over 300 hashers from turning up. Veteran Hasher Foo Wan Thot, 76, did the trail and so did fellow Hasher Ms Pushpa Carson from 100Plus Park City, KL, who came down all the way because “you can’t get hills like this in KL!.”  And in true tradition there was a beer wagon and a hearty meal at the end of the run.

Hainan Association Reunion Dinner

Over 600 members from 4 Hainan Associations in Ipoh held their reunion dinner at Tow Boo Keong Hall. This year’s dinner, organised by the Perak Qiong Hai Association was the first time all 4 association celebrated the New Year together under the same roof. It was a joyous occasion with whole families from grandparents to grandchildren in attendance which according to Association President Ho Koon Khan was to create a sense of togetherness and belonging within the community. Also spotted in the hall was Andy Goh, Executive Director of Old Town White Coffee together with the whole Goh family.

Kelab Roadrunners Ipoh/Ang Pow Run

Kelab Roadrunners Ipoh (KRI) held their annual Ang Pow Run on the morning of the 11th day of the Lunar New Year on February 13. Close to 200 runners turned up bright and chirpy for the run despite attending the heavy dinner held the night before. According to KRI President, Chong Him Shoong, the Ang Pow Run was only started five years ago despite the club being over 20 years old.

The Ang Pow Run was a social event which was participated by whole families. Held around the vicinity of Ipoh International School, it covered a distance of 2km whereby runners were handed an ang pow as they crossed the finish line. There was no time limit to finish the race. A refreshing breakfast awaited the runners which included warm red bean dessert. The committee members too raised their chopsticks to ‘loh sang’ during the breakfast.

The club is strictly a sports club and besides organising runs also organises the annual Century Ride, a bicycle road race that attracts contestants from throughout the country.

MCA Open House

It was full house at Yuk Choy School for the MCA Open House on the morning of the 11th day of the Lunar Calendar.

Present for the event was MCA President Datuk Seri Dr. Chua Soi Lek, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Har, Perak MCA Wanita Chairman Senator Heng Seai Kie and MCA Youth Leader and Perak State Senior Exco Dato’ Dr. Mah Hang Soon. The guest of honour was Dato’ Seri Dr. Zambry Abdul Kadir.

Datuk Seri Dr. Chua’s message touched on his awareness of the issues facing the Chinese community from Perak on the question of whether land for, “vegetable farming, ornamental fish or prawn rearing” and that MCA was tackling it. This was confirmed by Zambry who announced that a task force been formed and is headed by Dato’ Dr. Mah to look into the issues mentioned. The event was a very colourful morning of song and dance.

(5th from left) Dato' Thong with Datin Rosalina

The MCA Ipoh Timur CNY Open House gathering was held at the residence of Dato’ Thong Fah Chong. The evening started pleasantly but progressed to a storm of sui (water) which Thong jokingly said signified prosperity and wealth. The gathering was attended by party members, friends and the media.


One for the Road


Jalan Patrick Market

Councillor David Lai Kong Phooi, who is taking charge of another zone in the city, made his last round of supervising the upgrading work being carried out the Jalan Patrick market.

Lai, was previously in charge of Zone 13 (Greentown/Pekan Lama/Medan Kidd), is currently in charge of Zone 5 (Bercham/ Tasek Dermawan).

Together with Lai was the councillor replacing him, Choo Kean Seng and MBI Engineer Encik Khairul Anuar Hj Lodin.

Look new roof! (l-r) Councillor Choo, MBI Engineer Khairul & Councillor Lai

Unknown to many the Patrick Street market located off Jalan Bijeh Timah (Treacher Street) behind the MBI low cost flats and next to the Kinta

River has been in existence since 1974, when it was opened by Dato’ S.P. Seenivasagam, the President of the Town Council then.

According to Lai the tenants here are charged a monthly rental of RM120. A year ago he proposed to the Mayor to upgrade the area indicating the major issue was leaking roofs. Tenders were called and at the end of last year approval amounting to RM180K was allocated for the project.

The upgraded work on the 68 units located there had their roofs replaced and fitted with gutters and down pipes and given a general paint job.

There was other minor work to be done which Lai asked for Councillor Choo to assist with the follow-up. According to Engineer Khairul the minor works could be funded from MBI internal funds.


One-Stop Cultural Centre


Plans to convert the open space at the State Department of Culture and Arts into a one-stop cultural centre were realised with the launching of the department’s calendar of events for 2011 recently. Executive Councillor for Culture, Youth and Sports, Dato’ Zainol Fadzi Paharuddin, said the department has planned a total of 117 activities for the year. Some of the major events on the department’s list are “Merakyatkan Seni Budaya”, “Kuliah Budaya” and “Bengkel Kemahiran dan Manifestasi Bahasa”. These programmes are tailor- made for those keen on taking an active role in Malay perfor-ming arts.

“I hope individuals and performing arts groups will make use of this opportunity for their benefit,” said Dato’ Zainol to Ipoh Echo. Zainol too hoped that the programmes would enable Perakians to appreciate culture and arts more intimately. “It’s an enriching and a life-long experience,” he added.

Department Director, Encik Abdul Mutalib Abdul Rahman, was optimistic that cultural activities, which he had initiated based on the 1Malaysia concept, such as the “Senaman Seni 1Malaysia” and the multi-racial cultural dances, had achieved their desired results.

The programme will be held on a monthly basis at the one-stop centre within the department’s compound. “Despite its frequency, I am certain visitors and art lovers will get the information and training they seek,” said Mutalib. “Its relocation from Ipoh’s Night Bazaar is most appropriate considering the ambience and its proximity to our work place.”


Greening Greentown


Mayor Roshidi onsite

Ipoh City Council’s plan to develop Persiaran Tugu along MBI’s Terrace at Greentown into a “greener and cleaner” area is on course.

Mayor Dato’ Roshidi Hashim, who inspected the site recently, told media that the project, which began last November, is scheduled for completion by April.

Persiaran Tugu is the location where open-air foodstalls operate nightly, providing an outdoor café ambience. However, due to poor planning and “unconventional” water supply and inadequate drainage, the area had a stench from food wastes and clogged drains. Apart from these, customer safety was compromised by having chairs and tables being placed alongside the road.

Under the current upgrading work, proper work stations comprising of piped water, a sink and grease trap for each mobile operator will be constructed. The work stations will be located at the parking area, which will be a car park during the day. The parking lot will be paved with interlocking tiles.

Artist impression of completed MBI Terrace

For safety, the road has been turned into a one-way street with traffic originating from Jalan Dato Seri Ahmad Said. Additionally, the seating area for customers will be away from traffic and will allow for trees to be planted and better lighting.

According to Roshidi, contrary to public perception the upgrading work will allow for 72 parking lots which is 17 more than the previous 55 lots. The upgrading work, covering an area of 800 x 30m, along Persiaran Tugu will cost the Council RM812,000.


Good News at CNY Open House


Perak Menteri Besar, Dato’ Seri Dr. Zambry Abdul Kadir is optimistic that more foreign investors will make Perak their base considering the number of inquiries he received to date. He said this to reporters at his Chinese New Year open house on Thursday, February 3. “I’ve received invitations from companies and individuals from Japan, Germany, USA and some European countries for discussions. They’re keen to know what kinds of investment opportunities are available in Perak,” he said.

Over 5,000 guests of all races gathered at the MB’s residence on Chinese New Year day, to usher in the golden Year of the Rabbit. Although the event was scheduled at 2.00 p.m., a large crowd had gathered at the gates well before opening time. Dato’ Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir and his wife, Datin Seri Saripah Zulkifli, mixed freely with the visitors and were seen entertaining the young and old. They gave away ang pows to orphans and senior citizens who were specially invited for the occasion.

Hollywood luminary and Ipoh’s icon, Dato’ Michelle Yeoh, was among the dignitaries who came a calling. “I am intrigued by the festivity and will not miss this opportunity to be with fellow Ipohites,” she told reporters.


SeeFoon checks out newest restaurant in Chemor


By See Foon Chan-Koppen

As I mentioned in my last column, I don’t review an outlet unless it’s been highly recommended by my foodie friends or if I find the taste to my liking. My friends, Christine and Chris DiGiovanna being the true foodies that they are, were driving back to Bandar Sri Klebang when a new sign on a corner restaurant caught their eyes and promptly dropped in for a tasting.

The following Sunday saw me with a group checking it out on their recommendation. The congratulatory bouquets were still on display when I went to Chemor’s newest restaurant. Situated on a corner shop house laid back from the main Jalan Kuala Kangsar just a few hundred metres before the petrol station where you turn left to head towards Jelapang, is Wong Kee, a family restaurant that has been in business in Chemor for 23 years but owing to a fire in their old premises, had to relocate to their present one; a fortunate set of circumstances in my view for I would never have discovered it otherwise.

A family restaurant it certainly is with Chef Wong Chorng Jyh in the kitchen and brother Chorng Ming in front taking care of customers. Mother, Father, sisters-in-law and a host of other relatives cater to the bustling clientele who know a good place when they taste one.

As did I.

The first dish to land on the table was the Fried Frog’s Legs, tender chunks of succulent frog legs which had been marinated in their special concoction and deep fried with masses of thinly sliced ginger. Judging by the size of the frogs they get at this time of the year (Dec-Feb) which Ming insisted on showing me (see pic) ours were small in comparison and hence the price of RM40 for our dish. According to him the big ones can cost up to RM100 per kilo and one can have a choice of cooking styles depending on preference. They can serve frog’s legs with ginger and scallions, steamed with ginger or chicken stock, ‘Gong Pao’ with dried chillies and a dark sauce, or Drunken which is their most expensive style as he claims he uses good wine.

The next was their signature dish, their Ikan Haruan (Snakehead) Fish Broth, which according to the Chinese is widely believed to speed up wound healing. This was a large tureen of bubbling broth with a whole fish, the head and bones fried, and the meat in plain slices jostling for attention amidst red dates, wolf berries, wood ear (mook yee) fungus, coarsely ground pepper, and dowsed with a generous dollop of Shao Hsing wine. The option for this dish is to eat the soup with just the fish head/bones and serve the fish meat fried with ginger and scallions – RM45.

As usual we went overboard with the ordering. Squid and cuttlefish served sizzling on a hot platter came next sauced with sambal belacan, tomatoes and onions; the softer squid presenting a nice contrast to the chewy cuttlefish – RM15. In rapid succession we had Salt-Baked Roe Crabs which they can do in any variety of styles, very tasty – RM38 for 4

smallish crabs; Bitter Gourd with Spare Ribs – RM15; the Four Heavenly Kings, that ubiquitous vegetable dish of brinjals, long beans, ladies fingers but minus the petai and with winged bean instead, this time with the addition of prawns – RM12.

As we sat groaning from the surfeit of food, our mouths still watered as we watched plate after plate of interesting looking dishes waft by, destined for other tables. We promptly made a promise to return to savour more of their infinite menu.

This we did with alacrity a week later and had the following dishes which I can recommend. We had their Kampong Chicken, in the same style as the fried frog’s legs, which is equally succulent and tender for RM18 for half a chicken; their Fresh Eel done ‘Gong Pao’ style which I enjoyed as it was not sweet as in a lot of other restaurants; their Sweet Meats Fried Rice and their Thai-Style Fried Tilapia. This is not as sweet as I had anticipated and the tilapia had no muddy taste or smell; in fact the meat was sweet and succulent while the bones were fried to a nice crunch. Thin slivers of cucumber, onions adorned the fish which lent a freshness to the whole dish – RM30.

After chatting with the chef, we discovered that more taste treats were in store and promised to return to savour their Sambal Lo Shi Fun which piqued my curio-sity; their deep fried octopus; their fried egg with dried shrimp, their crab meehoon and a host of other delectables that space constraints prevent me from listing.

Restoran Wong Kee
24 Laluan Sinaran, Desa Chemor Sinaran, Chemor.
Tel.: 012-5182686/019-5561870
Open: 10.30 a.m.-2.30p.m. & 5.30-11.00 p.m.
Closed every fortnight on Tuesdays.

Preparing Perak’s Human Capital


L-R: Speakers Prof Dato Dr Mohd Ghouse, USM, Dr Mazlan, IDR, Aminudin Hashim, IDR, Abdul Wahab ex-HR director Nestle, Czarina Alia, Talent Solutions, Neela Mehan HR Ministry

The Perak State government has set a target of a minimum of 10,000 new jobs in the state this year. To achieve this, it has initiated the creation of a career placement centre to match the employees with the requirements of employers.

These plans were announced by Institute Darul Ridzuan, Chief Executive Aminudin Hashim during the recent forum organized by the Perak Economic Council. The forum entitled “Preparing Perak’s Human Capital for The New Economy” saw speakers from PSMB Ministry of Human Resource, USM, UPSI and Talent Solutions addressing the floor. The forum which was attended by Heads of Government Departments, GLCs, NGOs and students focused on the supply, demand and deve-lopment of human capital.

According to Aminudin the centre will be launched sometime in March this year. It will be located in Ipoh but will operate at district level.

The purpose of the centre is generally for creating employment and job matching of employee skills to employer requirements. Its other goal is to create high income jobs which in turn will address the issue of retaining university graduates in the state.

Acknowledging that 80% of the work force that is being generated each year are SPM leavers, the initial employment will be in the low to medium category.

Subsequently, the centre plans to work with the respective institutions of higher education to upgrade the skills of employees. Its strategy to achieve this is to “upskilling and reskilling” potential employees, a strategy applied successfully during economic downturns.

The sectors for employment were in marine and shipbuilding, wholesale and retail, manufacturing, automotive, food and service industry.