Monthly Archives: July 2011

New Lifestyle Property Development


Ipoh SOHO or Small Office Home Office, a new lifestyle property development was introduced in Ipoh on 29 July 2011 with a ground breaking ceremony.

Breaking ground. Zambry in control.

The project, IPOH SOHO, was launched by established property developer Kinta Saujana Sdn Bhd and is located at Jalan Sultan Idris Shah (Hugh Low Street) immediately after the Sultan Yussuf Circle water fountain. The ceremony was officiated by Menteri Besar Dato Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir together with Mr Chen Heng Kong, the Managing Director of Kinta Saujana

pic 1:(l-r) 2nd from left is MD for Kinta Saujana Chen Heng Kong followed by Dato Seri Zambry. Pic 2: Zambry signing the plaque.

The development consists of 24 units of 3 ½ storey contemporary lots with rooftop garden. The concept of the development is to appeal to proprietors who would like to operate their businesses without leaving the comfort of their home. It is scheduled for completion by the end of 2012.

Zambry in his address thanked the company for adding another landmark to the Ipoh property scene and for bringing back activity to the town central.

During the ceremony Kinta Saujana also presented donations to the nearby schools of SMK Sam Tet and SRJK ( C ) Yuk Choy.

Pic 1:Breaking ground.Pic 2:Kinta Saujana Director Loh AhKow presenting a donation to Puan Sri Leong representing SRJKC Yuk Choy.


Koc 1Rakyat – An Innovative Service


Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad’s Electric Train Service (ETS) has come up with an innovative programme to encourage more people to travel to the nation’s capital Kuala Lumpur and back without compromising on comfort, time and money.

Koc 1 Rakyat, formally launched by Menteri Besar, Dato’ Seri DiRaja Zambry Abd Kadir on Friday, July 29 at the Ipoh Railway station, allows commuters to purchase tickets for as low as RM16 for a one-way journey, Ipoh to Kuala Lumpur Sentral or Kuala Lumpur Sentral-Ipoh.

A total of 64,800 seats have been allocated for the promotional period, commencing July 1 to December 31. Thirty seats will be allotted for the ETS Gold and ETS Silver services. However, this privilege is only accorded to Malaysian citizens. Booking can be made online and at the ticket counters, in person with your MyKad as proof. A two-week advance booking is permissible.

This is an opportune moment to take advantage of ETS’s promotion before the 6-month period ends.

For details on the promotion please call Customer Service at 1-300-88-5862 or visit




A virtual reminder to check out Perak’s very own community wind orchestra, the Kinta Valley Wind Orchestra (KVWO) performing this Sunday July 31 at 8.00 p.m. at the Ballroom of the Syuen Hotel.

The concert is part of the Perak Performing Arts Festival 2011. Titled “Around the World in 80 minutes,” the concert will take audiences on an international musical journey to countries such as Italy, Venice, Spain, Hungary, England, USA, China and Malaysia.

Compared to 4 weeks ago when I reported about the event the members of the orchestra now sound more polished. This was when I was invited to hear eleven-year-old child prodigy violinist, Verena Koay from Penang who was down for a weekend rehearsal with the orchestra.

Koay will be the concert’s featured artist for the night and will perform Jasmine Flower (China) and Czardas (Hungary) accompanied by KVWO. I am not too much into this genre of music but when Koay played Czardas during the rehearsal I did feel a little of my heart melting. Believe me, when she slides that bow across her violin the instrument will get to you.

Interestingly, Koay has been playing the violin since 3 years old and since 2006 has been performing from the Sudan to Thailand and China besides Malaysia in front of VVIPs. Koay is a student at SMJK (C) Union, George Town Penang. She has passed her Grade 8 in music, prefers the classical violin and practices 4 hours every day.And like any other normal, bright and perky 11 year old she likes ice cream AND ‘lots of vegetables’.

Also present during the rehearsal was Perak-born composer, orchestrator and arranger Ken Hor. Hor will present an original composition , Rentak Fusion (Malaysia) fusing the Indian flute and Indian percussion to perform a piece representing the 1 Malaysia multi-cultural sounds and colours of the country. To know more about Hor’s talent please check out his website at

Well-known British conductor, educator and music arranger Keith Terrett who has been invited by KVWO to conduct a few pieces will only arrive just before the actual date.

Eugene Pook, the Music Director and Conductor of the 55-piece KVWO, is looking forward to the actual day saying , “everyone has worked hard for the event”.

The KVWO is managed by the Kinta Valley Symphonic Society and was started in 2010 with funds from the SiWu Education Trust Fund. This annual fund-raising concert is to fund the expenses of the society’s year-long programmes and in all likelihood, the creation of Perak’s first Philharmonic Orchestra.

James Gough

Old Andersonians Not In Favour Of Hostel Takeover


Old Andersonians are not in favour of the North Kinta District Education Department’s takeover of one of the three hostels at Anderson School.

President of Old Andersonians’ Club (OAC) Datuk Dr. Anwar Hasssan said that the school has received a directive from the department of its intention to take over the building to be used as an office.

Dr. Anwar said in 1993 the department was allowed to use three blocks of the school building as its temporary office before moving to its own building. Instead of moving out, the department wants the hostel to be converted as their office. In fact it has taken part of the rugby field for a car park.

OAC is submitting a memorandum to the State Education Department requesting that its district education department comply with the original request and move out. About 90 students from the third hostel cannot be accommodated in the other two hostels which are already crammed.


CUEPACS Wants Retirement Age To Be Raised


The Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public and Civil Services (CUEPACS) wants the retirement age of civil servants to be raised to 60 years; its President Dato’ Hj. Omar Osman said that Malaysians are physically fit and alert at that age and he would discuss this with Public Service Department (PSD). He was speaking during CUEPACS Perak AGM 2011 held in the Lands and Minerals Office. He added that CUEPACS wants PSD to include its five new claims in the new Integrated Competency Development Programme (PROSPECT).

Omar said CUEPACS wants the minimum basic salary to be RM920. The cost of living is increasing and families are facing difficulty in managing their expenses. When queried whether the civil service is overstaffed with 1.2 million employees, Omar defended that it is not excessive.

During the AGM, the official website of CUEPACS Perak was launched and Omar officially opened the new office on the First Floor of the Forest Department.


Aid To Mission- and National-Type Schools


Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri DiRaja Zambry Abd Kadir gave financial aid to 18 mission- and 17 national-type schools in Perak. The aid, amounting to RM1 million, in all, was given to representatives of the schools during a simple ceremony held at the State Secretariat Building hall on July 5. It was for the first and second quarters of 2011. “The money will help ensure the implementation of the school’s development programmes and projects. It’s also a form of recognition by the state government for the role these schools play in educating the rakyat,” said Zambry in his opening remarks.

The amount allotted is contingent upon the school’s enrolment. Tarcisian Convent, Ipoh received RM43,714.69, the largest sum among the mission schools while SMK Ave Maria Convent got RM54,463.51, the largest among the national-type schools. Dato’ Dr. Mah Hang Soon, state executive councillor for education was in attendance.


The Haven Bags International Quality Award


David Yam receiving the BID International Arch of Europe Award from President and CEO Jose E. Prieto, Frankfurt June 27

The Haven Lakeside Residences, Tambun bagged the International Arch of Europe Award at its 25th International Quality Convention held in Frankfurt, Germany, on June 27. Dubbed the “Oscar of the Business World”, the award recognises quality and excellence of companies that invest great effort in improving their products and services.

The Haven’s David Yam received the award from President and CEO, Jose E. Prieto of Business Initiative Directions (BID), a leading private organisation awarding companies worldwide.

The citation says, “The Haven was named winner of the 2011 BID International Arch of Europe Award in Frankfurt, a trophy that BID presents to those companies from around the world that are dedicated to high standards of excellence and innovation in their practices and focus on quality first.”

Malaysian companies previously awarded were Universiti Tenaga Nasional, Permodalan Nasional Berhad, and YTL Power Services Sdn Bhd.

Co-principal Peter Chan said it was an honour for the company to have been rewarded for its entrepreneurial achievements and also its role in quality and innovation, two key requirements for receiving the Business Initiative Directions Quality Award. He was humbled by the recognition considering that fellow winners were global companies from the Fortune 500 list.

They are Operadora VIPS, Wal-Mart, Turner Construction International LLC, Indian Oil Corporation, Tata Elxsi and Hong Yuen Electronics Ltd.

New GM of Tourism Perak


Mohamed Hisam bin Mohamad Yusof

Ipoh Echo welcomes Mohamed Hisam bin Mohamad Yusof who is the new General Manager of Tourism Perak Management Bhd effective July 1. Many in the tourism industry would know Hisam as the COO from Aidil Travel & Tours Sdn Bhd.

Hisam, who hails from Taiping, had his early education at King Edward Institution, Taiping and did his tertiary education at UiTM majoring in Business Administration. Hisam, 40, started work in the banking industry before moving to the tourism industry several years ago.

On why he switched from his comfy post at a tour agency, Hisam explained that “I wanted a challenge. I am aware that this new post for me is VERY challenging but I feel that I am able to bring in more tourists to my State”. Indeed with Visit Perak Year 2012 right around the corner that is a tall challenge. All the best Hisam.


Pig Farmers Sign “I Promise” Agreement


Pig farmers in Perak have agreed to sign the Aku Janji (I Promise) agreement whereby they would put in place enhanced standards of hygiene at their farms. Perak State health chairman Dato’ Dr. Mah Hang Soon, who was present at the signing ceremony at the Veterinary Department in Ipoh, said that there are 131 licensed pig farmers in the state and 18 have already signed the Agreement. The Pig Farmers Association will get the signatures from the rest soon. Perak is the first state in the country to implement this system.

The purpose is to ensure that the highest standards of hygienic, environment-impacting practices are implemented and ensure safe pork is supplied to the consumers. Meat from dead pigs and “rubbish pork” (low-quality pork) will not be sold and enforcement officers from the department are to monitor the farms.