Should We Be Ashamed Of This Garden?


How can Ipoh City Council live up to its slogan “Bersih, Hijau Dan Membangun” (Clean, Green and Developing) when it cannot even keep up with the maintenance of a once beautiful garden in the city centre?

Upas tree

Described as a mini Taj Mahal, the garden – Medan Stesen surrounded by some of the city’s most famous iconic heritage buildings – Moorish architectural Railway Station, Colonial-style Town Hall and High Court buildings, has been the focal point for locals and visitors. It offers a postcard view of the city.

It is also smack in the path of those arriving by train, which has increased its trips between Kuala Lumpur and Ipoh daily since the introduction of the electric train service. Just take a look at it. Is the city council doing enough to maintain the garden? I am ashamed as a resident to point this out, but it is necessary before the garden deteriorates further. What used to be appealing is now appalling.

The only Pokok “Upas” (Antiaris toxicarial), from which the city got its name, is in the centre of the garden. It was planted by the Rotary Club of Ipoh in January, 1980, and has grown into a healthy matured tree. A marble plaque under the tree, which contains some information about the tree, has lain smashed into pieces on the ground for months. Yet, no attempt has been made by city council to replace it. Only the plaque laid by the Rotary Club to commemorate the planting of the tree is still intact, but the words are fading.

The non-functioning fountain collects water and litter

The beautiful fountain with water spouting high and lit at night, stopped functioning years ago. All its magnificence has also faded. Some mosaic on the fountain walls and tiles around too, are breaking up. The rusted piping system of the fountain is exposed with a pool of water and litter inside. It appears to be an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes in which case, to whom is city council going to issue the summons?

The fountain is like an unwanted child. It is being left to whatever fate the city council may decide for it later. At one end of the fountain, the war memorial which commemorates Perak’s war dead of the First and Second World Wars, has been vandalised. The inter-crossing footpaths and rows of shrubs and trees are poorly maintained. Litter bins are toppled and litter often swept under the plants, which are not properly trimmed. Racks, brooms and dustpans are also left under the shrubs. For now it has to endure an existence in disgrace under the excruciating gaze of the hundreds of people crossing over to the railway station or strolling about in the garden.

Smashed marble plaque under the tree

The garden is the first place that visitors to this “city that tin built” will see on their arrival by train. This is also the first image they will record with their cameras. It is also the starting point of the “Heritage Trail”. Therefore, it is important that the city council maintain a good “first impression” of the city.

Perhaps the majority of the city residents are paying very little attention to the garden nowadays. After all it is no longer attractive. But what will the tourists say when they decide to take a peep into the fountain. Needless to say, I will be ashamed.


8 thoughts on “Should We Be Ashamed Of This Garden?

  1. The issue with fountains is really about components such as pumps and maintenance. The pumps used are usually low-cost and of inferior quality, which often break down and in many cases can’t be repaired or too expensive to be repaired. It would have been better and wiser to install good and long-lasting pumps even though they cost more. It is easier to get money to buy pumps as part of a new project but very difficult as replacements. There should be a recirculating water filter to ensure that the water is clean and clear but this is very rarely done. Algae will grow on the walls of the fountain and must be cleaned regularly. Electricity used by pumps and regular cleaning cost money. After some time, the cost of maintaining the fountain becomes too high and the fountain is left as is.

  2. fountains are in fact easier to maintain than plants. all we need is to ensure the water pumps and power supply are working. whenever there is a breakdown,repair it quickly. it is much cheaper to do the repair immediately then a year or two later as the piping system would get rusty or clogged up.
    what the use of having beautiful structure of fountains all over the city when they are not spouting water.
    please MBI do some things about the fountains and beautify the gardens and road-dividers.

  3. I have to agree with the writer this time around 😛 This fountain has been ignored for years ! It’s just lucky that that entire place stands up to the neglect ! What is the problem with the fountain really puzzles us ! If it’s lack of funds I think MBI must start to wise up in looking for sponsors that can keep the fountains running. I don’t think the bill runs up to thousands monthly. But, it’s useless talking about this fountain when even the ones right under their noses at the Dataran Ipoh there are in a state of neglect ! I went there recently, and couldn’t believe my eyes with what I saw. Please buck up & get yourself a new public relations officer MBI ! That woman has riled up so many people and been there doing a poor job for ages anyway. Dah tua patut dah boleh bersara dah ! :/

  4. As a fellow Perakian, all I have to say is I’m ashamed with all that is happening in Perak now. Perak authorities are just like NATO (No Action, Talk Only)!

  5. Hey better watch out, complain too much and the Mayor will rip out the fountain and build a state of the art public toilet there! He excels in simplistic thought processes. You know, like uninsurable trees and the like!

    Oh btw, funny how the heritage fellows ignored this when patted their own backs at the station and made a couple of drivelly statements some months ago. Oh silly me, the heritage society only focuses on buildings !

  6. First world infrastructure,third world maintenance.DBI must buck up
    on their maintainance schedule.Perhaps,our MB should pay a visit to this place.GE 13 is approacing.Must we wait for it to come before any
    work will be carried out? This reminds me of another fountain which is
    not working for the past one year.That is located at the pond at the
    polo ground. It was working initially,but now in a very sorry state.If it is a sponsored project,get the sponsor to rectify it or else remove it.

  7. Hi,remembered a year ago i brought a German friend who would like to visit Ipoh,so Ipoh Railway Station was my first recommendation to him.All buildings there has attracted him and he managed to take many nice snaps.But to our disappointment and shame is exactly what it was described in the article that it has no proper maintenance.I was wondering how long the fountain has stopped funtioning?Water there are stagnant and give chance to the breeding place for mosquitos and the plants and flowers are dying off!!Hope Ipoh city will wake and see into this matter if it is going to bring in more visitors in future as there are buses of visitors which i have encoutered.I think this is time to put into consideration.Ipoh gambate!!

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