Monthly Archives: May 2011

Street Fiesta


Football craze is hitting town big time. The Champions League final at Wembley Stadium, London between Manchester United and Barcelona on Saturday, May 28 is set to bring football fans into the city for a fiesta. Yayasan Bina Upaya Darul Ridzuan (YBU), not to be outdone, is cashing on the impending clash of football titans by organising “Street Fiesta” in conjunction with Ladies Uptown, the weekend bazaar at MBI Square.

Syahrul Nizam, YBU’s Community Management Unit Assistant Manager, plans to increase the number of stalls from the current 30 to 51. “This is in anticipation of the crowd that will fill the square before the live telecast of the match,” he told Ipoh Echo.

The weekend bazaar, a brainchild of YBU, has been operational for over six months. Food and other items on sale are being sought by visitors who come from far and wide. The bazaar provides an avenue for enterprising single mothers to start a business. They get to sell their very own products, food or handicrafts, to the general public.

“A dedicated stall selling men’s items such as clothing, footwear, toiletries, tonic, etc. will be established,” said Syahrul. “Baju melayu, songkok, baju kurong, etc. will also be sold since Hari Raya Puasa is coming soon,” he added.

The additional stalls will provide visitors with a larger array of goods and products to choose from. The heightened activities will definitely have an impact on business and in the process help the traders to maximize their profits.

In the lead to the final, which will be telecast live on a giant TV screen, games such as street soccer, street ball and street dance, will be organised. Attractive prizes await the winners of these competitions. “It’s an eventful night for everyone,” said Syahrul.

Those keen on participating in the games, can call Lynn or Ika of Perak News at 05-2557725 to register.


53rd MSSM: Perak’s First Gold Medal


Muhammad Syahmi bin Mohammad Syukri Tai gave Perak its first gold medal at the 53rd Malaysian Schools Sports Council (MSSM) Track and Field Championship. Muhammad won the 10km walk in a time of 50mins 13 seconds. Muhammad Syahmi is from SMK Sultan Yussuf, Batu Gajah.

Mumamad Syahmi

The silver medal was won by Eswaran a/l Rajan Deren from Negeri Sembilan while the bronze by another Perakean, Mohamad Shamrin bin Mohd Aris.

At the end of the first day, Perak is in fourth place with 1 gold, 2 silver and 4 bronze. Sarawak is at the top with 4G 2S and 1B followed by Kelantan, 4G 0S 2B and Kedah, 2G 2S 1B.

Perak's 1st Gold from Muhamad Syahmi (first from l-r) and bronze Mohamad Shamrin (3rd from left)


Shiny Black Gold – Catch It!


“They say it is black and shiny…heavy to hold…it is there aplenty…and brings riches like gold …give me this ‘shiny black gold’…so goes the lyrics of the song “Find Me Shiny Black Gold” from PSPA’s (Perak Society of Performing Arts) original musical production “Shiny Black Gold”.
Written, directed and produced by Datin Rosalina Ooi, PSPA’s President, it tells of the trials and tribulations of the Chinese Hakka community who came to Malaya in the last century in search of fortune.

The story line is historically simple for those who grew up during the time when tin mining was all around the Kinta Valley but not so for the current generation as some of the younger actors “didn’t know what a dulang washing pan looked like” before the show.

The musical portrays the life of a migrant worker through a period from before the second world war till post war  when migrant Lee Cheong played by Xavier Fong makes his fortune and falls in love with pretty maiden Ying Mei played by Shu Wern Sze.

Scenes of gambling and opium smoking combine with up-tempo music and song keeps the pace lively. There is a clever use of visuals – of photos around the Kinta Valley and movies related to the period – to take the audience back in time. The visuals were a trifle distracting especially when one was trying to identify where the photograph was taken, but effective nonetheless.
An original play by young Perakians for Perakians despite the fact that the composer Christopher Tse is from New York.

An entertaining musical and a very good first original production by PSPA not to be missed.
Shiny Black Gold will be staged at Taman Budaya, Ipoh, from May 20 to May 22. There will be one show on May 20 at 8.00 p.m., and two shows on May 21 and May 22 at 4.00 p.m. and 8.00 p.m.

Tickets are priced at RM30 (children and senior citizens) and RM50 (adults).


Malaysian School Sports Meet

MSSM event. State Education Director Dato Mohd Rauhi (7th from left) posing with sponsors of the event

Perak will play host to the 53rd Malaysian School Sports Meeting which will be held from May 20-24 at Stadium Perak.

Perak State Education Director Dato Mohd Rauhi Mohd Isa announced that the event, organised by the Perak State Education Department, will be attended by 15 states which includes the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Labuan and a total of 1,039 athletes comprising 557 male and 482 female athletes.

A total of 90 events will be contested which has been divided accordingly by male and female categories for ages under 18, 15 and 12 years.

Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Tan Seri Dato’ Seri Diraja Haji Muhyiddin  Hj Mohd Yassin will launch the meet on Friday 20 May at 8pm at Perak Stadium.

The events at opening ceremony include the first time presentation of  “Cahaya Perpaduan Satu Malaysia or 1 Malaysia Unity Light and the parade of the state contingents with their respective mascots. Perak’s mascot is the Seladang or Buffalo.

The Torch Run will be interesting as some of the torch bearers include notable Perak sports personalities like Josephine Mary (from Tarcisian Convent) Samson Vellabooy (ASC Ipoh), Loo Kum Zee (SMJK Sam Tet), Fauziah Razak (SMJK Gunung Rapat) and Tang Choo Mong (SMJK Jalan Pasir Puteh)

Perak state has targeted a 26 gold medal haul for the event and has allocated incentives at the value of RM500 for gold, RM300 for silver and RM150 bronze. Athletes setting new records will be rewarded with an additional RM150.

The closing ceremony at 4.00 p.m. on May 24 will be officiated by Deputy Education Minister YB Datuk Ir Dr Wee Ka Siong.


Wooden Spoon Is Ours


I may have spoken too soon. The wooden spoon is definitely ours to keep. Given the erratic way our home team played in front of a vociferous home crowd, the outcome was not difficult to predict. On a night when hopes and expectations were high, what a letdown it was. The byword is inconsistency.

The home team could have equalised and gone one up on Pakistan had their forwards made good the many chances offered to them. Poor finishing and poor marking are the two major weaknesses with the home side. The other is the absence of a short-corner specialist. None of the short corners taken by the team was converted. And when such opportunities go astray, the end result is obvious.

Pakistan beat Malaysia 3-2 to book a place in the final. Australia, who defeated New Zealand 4-2, will be Pakistan’s opponent in the final on Sunday, May 15.

The round-robin matches came to an end on Thursday, May 14. Malaysia with only one win against South Korea is placed at the bottom of the 7-team tournament, which comes to close on Sunday, May 15.

While the other six teams continue with their classification matches, the Malaysian players will be mere spectators in the stand. Not a rosy ending for a team who won the hockey silver at the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games.

Overall, the home side played a much spirited game than previous. No one really give them a fighting chance against Pakistan, the Asian champion.

Sohail Abbas opened the account for Pakistan with a thundering push from a penalty corner in the 17th minute. The ball found the net with keeper Roslan looking agog. Minutes later the Pakistanis went two up from a field goal. The Malaysians repeated raids in the Pakistan side proved fruitful when Hafifihafiz’s reverse flick got for himself Malaysia’s first goal to close the gap at 2-1 at half time.

The home side showed commitment in the second half but that was not enough. In spite of having the better of the exchanges, the players never came close to scoring due to poor finishing.

The Pakistanis, however, were more menacing whenever they made a go for the Malaysian goal mouth. A third field goal by Shakeel Abbas in the 42-minute helped sealed their fate.

The home side continued with their robust game and was rewarded with a second goal when Muhammad Razie scored from within the Pakistan D. Final score: Pakistan 3 Malaysia 2.

Comments by Malaysian Coach Tai Beng Hai, “We didn’t fare badly. We played against the top 6 teams in the world. But we were not consistent in the matches we played. This is the first stop towards the Olympic Qualifiers. Our next tournament will be in Moscow in the 2nd week of June.  We’ll be taking a break before then.”


Other Match Results:
South Korea 3 Great Britain 1
Australia 4 New Zealand 2

MBI’s Response to “Eyesores” In the City


All “decrepit and dilapidated” buildings throughout the city have been identified, especially those along Jalan Sultan Idris Shah and Jalan Sultan Iskandar Shah.

Ipoh city council’s director of corporate affairs, Hj Musa bin Dun, said this in a statement responding to a column “Eyesores in the City” published in the Ipoh Echo on April 16.

The status of these buildings is being classified under three categories: Bangunan Hampir Roboh (Near-dilapidated Building), Bangunan Telah Roboh Sebahagian (Partially-dilapidated building) and Bangunan Kerosakan Minor (Slightly-damaged Building).

“The Council will notify the owners to repair their properties and to ensure that they do not pose a threat to the public and passers-by.

Actions to fence-up the buildings and to remove weeds and plants that have taken root on the buildings will be taken by the Council. “They are aimed at ensuring public safety,” he added.

In his regular column, Jerry Francis had written that there are many condemned and dilapidated business premises which have become “eyesores” in the city centre. The city council appears to be helpless, except for putting flimsy partitions around such buildings. Others, though occupied, are seen with their roof tiles and wooden window frames hanging loosely and precariously, just waiting to fall. Wild plants are growing on the walls and roofs giving the impression of a dilapidated “hanging garden.”

“I dread the day that debris or parts of the buildings will fall and cause casualties among motorists and pedestrians,” he said.

MBI Requested To Review Traffic Flow


Residents in Taman Kaya and Taman Perak, which are  located at Ipoh Garden East, want the city council to review the traffic flow going in their respective neighborhoods: specifically into Persiaran Perajurit 5 and Persiaran Perajurit 3.

At a meeting organized by State Assemblyman for Canning Wong Kah Woh , they claimed that road improvement work completed under the flyover joining Jalan Belibis going into Jalan Perajurit earlier this year has caused much inconvenience to the residents there.

They complained of traffic jams at peak hours and delays turning into their respective Taman since not being able to turn into Persiaran Perajurit 3 due to the island erected there this year.

Residents’ representative Lee Chee Seng said 150 signatures have been obtained from the affected residents and would be forwarded to the Mayor.

Wong stated that he would meet with the Mayor for a review of the traffic flow. He is of the opinion that the PLUS underpass should be widened as it is the cause for the bottleneck and traffic congestion during peak hours. He gave the example of the widened under pass at Tambun Road before Tambun town. “Due to the growing property development eastward such as Bandar Baru Tambun, Sunway and also the Haven, expanding the underpass is a long-term solution which will benefit all residents,” said Wong.


Men Against Violence


Tranquil Kampung Baru Chenderong was bustling with activity during the Kampar District “Men Against Violence” road show recently. Jointly organised by Wanita UMNO and the Kampar Parliamentary Committee, the show saw the involvement of 13 non-governmental organisations such as the Perak Women for Women Society, Buddies and Majlis Kanser Nasional. The theme was “Stop, Restrain, Think” which was aimed at creating awareness among men about violence against women. It was also to educate women on their rights and protection. Students from SMK Dato’ Bendahara CM Yusuf, SMK Malim Nawar, SMK Sultan Yussuf, SMJK Yuk Kwan, SMK St Bernadette’s Convent and SMK Toh Indera Wangsa Ahmad were present as well.

“By supporting this cause, men can contribute to harmonious family living,” said the organising chairperson, Datin Norma Hanum. According to her, the programme is the first of its kind in Malaysia. It was launched by Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri DiRaja Dr. Zambry Abdul Kadir last year. Adun for Tualang Sekah, Nolee Ashilin, vouched for the establishment of a shelter home for battered women.

Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir, a prominent women’s rights advocate, was the guest of honour. In her opening remarks, she said that of the 3,600 abuse cases reported nationwide, 261 were from Perak. “Changes can happen if we change our perception. When violence against women is reduced, crime rate will automatically drop,” she remarked.



Slippery Entrance to Special Traffic Court


The entrance to the Special Traffic Court along Jalan Panglima Bukit Gantang Wahab here is sloping upwards to the door. The slope is steep and the surface is of smooth cement, creating a slipping hazard.

Social worker, Hamid Lee Abdullah, said that he had seen a number of people; especially senior citizens slip and fall. During rainy days the situation becomes more dangerous. He had informed the court officials of the problem, but no action has been taken.

The surface of the entrance must be replaced with relatively smooth but slip resistant material to prevent people from slipping. The slope must be made gradual or construct steps to make it user friendly.

The authorities must not wait for a serious accident to happen before taking action.