Monthly Archives: December 2011

Ipoh Echo bags tourism award for Innovative Media Category

Ipoh Echo Bags Tourism Award


Fathol Zaman Bukhari (Ipoh Echo ) receiving the award from MB Dato’ Seri DiRaja Zambry Abd Kadir

The Perak Tourism Award Night 2011 (Malam Anugerah Pelancongan Negeri Perak 2011), held at the Royal Perak Golf Club on the night of Friday, December 30, was a fitting finale to Year 2011. It was organised with much pomp and fanfare befitting its stature. The organisers left no stones unturned to make it a night to remember. It was an occasion to recognise the contributions of those (entitles and individuals) who had actively participated in promoting Perak to the world. On a lighter side, it was another glitzy prelude to Visit Perak Year 2012.

Ian Anderson receiving the award for ipohWorld

Twenty one awards were presented to 18 entities and four individuals. Ipoh Echo with its more than 1 million online hits a month, was one of them having bagged the Innovative Media Category beating two other nominees for the title. The nomination criteria considered were circulation number, visibility and average monthly online visits and hits.

Commander Ian Anderson RN (Rtd), whose blog registered an average of 12,500 visits and 290,000 hits per month, was one of the four winners in the Special Award Category (Personality). The other individual winner was Datin Roslina Ooi. Rosalina was recognised for her contributions to the state’s performing arts scene, which were second to none. In the City Hotel Category, Syuen Hotel was adjudged the winner while Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat was declared the best resort. Penangites Khoo Salma Nasution and Abdur-Razzaq Lubis were the surprise winners in the Best Publication Award Category for their numerous books and published materials on Perak.

The glittering event was graced by Menteri Besar Perak, Dato’ Seri DiRaja Zambry Abd Kadir, his wife, Datin Seri DiRaja Sharipah, Executive Councillor for Tourism, Dato’ Hamidah Osman and senior state officials. Popular Malay singer Misha Omar and crooner Hazami entertained the 400-odd audience with a lively rendition of their sentimental favourites. Hazami’s haunting “Sonata Musim Salji”, a Malay cover version of the theme song from the Korean drama, “Winter Sonata” captivated the crowd. Music was provided by Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris’s Kombo Hi-Sound.  Selendang Perak dancers performed an animated routine to usher in the crowd.


Sharing The Joy of Christmas


The Orang Asli Children from Kg Batu Berangkai Kampar were all gleeful recently when members from Living Hope Resources together with AmBank Group dropped by their Living Hope Toy and Book Library, Kampar and distributed joy in the form of Christmas goodies.

(Pic 1,2nd from left) Lee from Ambank together with Dr Peggy C.Wong (in red stripes shirt) bringing Christmas joy to the children of Kg Batu Berangkai

According to Dr Peggy C. Wong, the Founder and Chairman of Living Hope Resources, its Mission is to give to the poor a living hope for a better tomorrow through education which she describes as the ‘only way out of the vicious cycle of poverty’.

It achieves its goals by working with corporations who contribute from their CSR funds towards Living Hope programs. Their programs include providing food (one meal for every school day), essential items (rice, milk etc) and basic necessities (school bag, shoes, books).

Their Toy and Book Library program enables children to have access to educational books and toys and together with their friends, allow them to learn and interact with each other in a conducive environment.

Under their ‘Festivities on Wheels Program’, Living Hope travels to remote villages to host parties during festive occasions. This year it partnered with the AmBank Group who generously donated RM25,000 which benefitted over 1000 children.

Mr Lee Soon Peng, AmBank’s District Manager thanked Living Hope for inviting them to participate in this event which is their contribution back to society.

There are 50 children at the Kampar Library who come from the orang asli villages of Kg Batu Berangkai, Kg Badak Berendam and Kg Bukit Terang, Perak.

Epa Kampok, the Co-ordinator at the Library explained that she first opened the ‘village learning centre’ in 2007 to enable the village children to have a place to congregate and prepare them before they started school at Std 1. Almost a year later, Living Hope approached and offered to provide their Toys and Books Library Program.

Pic 1: Epa Kampok. Pic 2. Village mum Fiah (top 1st left) together with Kampok and Wong and her 3 daughters

For village mum, Fiah 32, she is very pleased with the centre. Her  3 daughters,  Ferda Asonia 8, Silvia 7  went through the centre while  Safilla Elma 4 started this year.

Fiah says the centre prepares her children for Std 1 and helps them develop self confidence and stated that her 2nd girl Silvia was a top student in her first year.

Wong and Lee entertaining the children

The Christmas Lunch was a fun outing for the children. After receiving their goodie bags and a lunch meal prepared by Epa Kampok, Living Hope member Raymond Lee with guitar in hand,  led the children in song and games which culminated in a happy Christmas spirit all around.

Living Hope is truly alive and steaming ahead. Since its inception in 2007 it has channeled aid to 46 such centers and will be aiding another 30 centers in 2012, this time, all located in Sarawak.


Eco Adventure In The Valley


Bukit Kinding Resort complete with adventure activities

Bukit Kinding Resort  (BKR)recently re-launched its Bukit Kinding Eco Adventure Park.
Located at the foothills of the Titiwangsa Range at Tanjong Rambutan in the Kinta Valley, the Resort is sprawled over 88 acres and is part of a 1400 acre development  called the Kinding Eco Resort Park (KERP).
It comes complete with a 9 hole golf course, swimming pool and club house and offers chalets and bungalows for accommodation.
Its other exciting outdoor activities include boating at the club house lake, mountain biking and jungle trekking.


For the re-launch it has introduced new adventure activities such as Zorbing.  Zorbing  or globe riding is where an individual is placed inside an inflatable globe and is either Zorbed / rolled down a hill or gets to walk on water/ ‘Aqua Zorbing’

Stand up paddling,free kayakking and zorbing

Its other water activities include ‘stand up paddling’ and free style kayaking.
Its new ‘Land Activities include Jungle paintball, Obstacle Challenge and ‘Flying Fox’ where a participant ‘rides down an inclined cable and takes in the breath-taking view of the Titiwangsa Range in the Kinta Valley’. According to BKR it is the longest ‘Flying Fox’ ride in Malaysia.

Noraini Alias with Resort Planner Iain Gray


According to Noraini Alias the Resort’s Assistant Manager, the introduction of these new activities will appeal to the adventure enthusiast wanting that ‘adrenaline rush’ and it is also family oriented “to get away from the computer and spend quality family time together in natural surroundings’.
Incidentally the Resort has a tagline ‘if you don’t fear the unknown you are in the right place’ and that is Bukit Kinding Resort.




Dato' Hamidah Osman, Executive Councillor for Tourism

Perak Tourism Fest

Dato' Hamidah Osman, Executive Councillor for Tourism

Executive Councillor for Tourism, Dato' Hamidah Osman

Executive Councillor for Tourism, Dato’ Hamidah Osman unveiled a slew of activities organised as a lively prelude to Visit Perak Year (VPY) 2012. These activities are an integral part of the Perak Tourism Fest (Fiesta Pelancongan Perak) held at Stadium Indera Mulia from Wednesday, December 28, 2011 to Sunday, January 1, 2012. The 5-day fest is aimed at showcasing Perak to visitors with VPY 2012 in mind. They include the following:

 * Tourism expositions by Tourism Perak, Agriculture Department, Perak Herbal Garden, Royal Belum etc.

 * Shuffle competition.

* Battle of the Chef.

* Tourism Perak Idol.

 * Colouring Contest.

 * Auto show.

 *Vespa show.

 *Aerobic competition.

 * Ice carving.

Dato' Hamidah Osman, Executive Councillor for TourismLocal artistes will perform throughout the duration of the fest. Among them are Zehra Zambry, Saleem Iklim, Ramli Sarip, Crystal and Seri Devi. Popular TV host, Dato’ “AC” Mizal will emcee the entertainment show.

Opening time is between 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Incidentally, the fest coincides with the national-level Piala Agong Basketball Tournament which was launched by the Menteri Besar on Wednesday, December 28 at 8.30 p.m. at Stadium Indera Mulia.

For all and sundry, this is an opportune moment to show your support for VPY 2012. There will be plenty of fireworks to usher in the New Year.


Zambri Issues Stop Work Order.



November: Residents stage a peaceful demonstration

Perak MB Dato Seri Zambri Abdul Kadir has issued a ‘Stop-Work Order’ for the earth works clearing project located at the foothill of Gunung Panjang fronting the gated community of The Dales, Panorama Tambun Perdana effective 22 December.

This was informed to Ipoh Echo by State Exco for Local  Government Dato Dr Mah Hang Soon during a follow up meeting.
Ipoh Echo had earlier raised the concerns of the residents after a weekly Wednesday Exco Meeting with Zambri who then requested Mah to look into the issue.
During the meeting then Zambri had stated that the contractor ”had met with him”. However he did not have the details to make a decision” and subsequently requested Mah to look into the issue.
Mah stated that the order though “temporary was to totally stop all work pending a solution” to the issue.

(l-r) Residents, Yeong and Tan in discussion with Dato Mah

Two residents of The Dales, Yeong Sai Key and Tan Tain Khain that had called Mah that morning to highlight their plight were pleasantly pleased upon being informed of the stop-work order. Yeong who ‘acknowledged that the work had stopped on the 22 December thought it was due to the Chinese Tung festival’
A call to Batu Gajah District Officer Dato Haji Jamry Hj Sury confirmed that he had received the instruction adding that the project was ‘sangat bahaya’/ very dangerous’ and referred to the memo from the Department of Minerals and Geo-Science (JMG) dated May 2011.

The May memo which was addressed to the Department of Land and Mines, Bangunan Sri Perak and copied to the Mayor of Ipoh stated that Residents complaints were valid. Based on the departments site visit on 16 May the factors highlighted to support their findings were

  1. Safety issue. This was based on the height of the mountain slope length, 150m from the foot of the slope and the work area of land which is included in the danger zone based on existing JMG guidelines.


  1. The mountain slopes are filled with kolluvium sediment consisting of limestone boulders and loose soil. This deposit’s is very sensitive to physical disturbance.


  1. The existing work area has very limited land and is located close to existing development. The area is also in essence a natural buffer in the event of slope failure due to falling rocks.

The residents had in November staged a peaceful demonstration to stop the contractor from carrying out any earthworks at the foothills of Gunung Panjang citing concerns that the works could cause landslides or rockfalls.
Several of the houses concerned are located less than 100 meters from the foothills of Gunung Panjang, a limestone hill.
The contractor, syarikat Kontraktor SBO had in January 2011 obtained approval from the State Religious Council and Malay Customs to rent their 3.24ha of burial reserve land for the purpose of setting up a herbal farm.
Gunung Panjang was once an iron ore mining area and still has iron ore deposits. To access the location for the proposed herbal farm the contractor would have to clear soil and rock from a no-mans-land and is the cause of concern by the residents who stated the ‘lorries had been moving lorry loads of rocks”

(Pics l-r) Resident spokesperson Wong. Resident with rock with iron ore.

The works started since February but up till September the herbal farm was nowhere in sight. The residents have been voicing their concerns since March to the authorities.
Meantime the Residents have written a memo to the President of the State Religous Council and Malay Customs, (MAIP), Raja Muda Perak Raja Nazrin Shah to highlight their plight and have copied their memo to the MB’s s office, the State Secretariat, Land and Mines Department and Batu Gajah District Council.
According to residents’ spokes person,  Wong Pek Yin they are also seeking a meeting with the Secretary of MAIP Dato Dr Syed Omar Sharifuddin to find a way to resolve their issue and hope to meet with him by the end of December after he returns from his leave.

The Dales next to Gunung Panjang


Church’s Heritage Gallery


Bishop Antony Selvanayagam, of the Penang Diocese, officially opened Our Lady of Lourdes Church’s (OLOL) Heritage Gallery on Sunday, November 27.

The church is 106 years old this year having first opened its doors to its parishioners in the early 20th Century.

On display at the gallery are a wonderful collection of documents, artifacts and photographs taken when the church was just a wooden hut dating back to the early 1900s.

The Heritage Gallery was first mooted during the time of the last Parish Priest, Fr Bernard Paul when the activity centre, Bernadette Centre was being constructed.

Fr Bernard was transferred in 2010 but two parishioners, Marcus Anthony and Alexandar Anthony Dars, were most passionate about making the heritage gallery a reality.

When the current Parish Priest, Rev Fr Francis Anthony took over he allowed the parishioners to proceed with the gallery. According to Marcus, the project coordinator, they started from scratch. What overwhelmed them was the availability of so many heritage materials.

Marcus sought the advice of Commander Ian Anderson (Rtd), the creator of Ipoh World. It took a full year for the project to complete.

The title deed to the church is encased in a glass cabinet at the entrance to the gallery. The drawings of the current church with the name P.A. Peris as its architect is also on display.

On the wall above the cabinet are the names of all the parish priests who served in the church from 1905 till 2011. Altar ornaments and host-making equipments are also kept in cabinets for general viewing.

The gallery is dedicated to the memory of Rev Fr Xavier Anthony Dass, the Parish Priest who oversaw the construction of the current church in 1959.

Fr Francis Anthony, the present Parish Priest is happy that the gallery was opened during his time. “It’s a tribute the church’s founding fathers”, he remarked. Bishop Selvanayagam advised the custodians of the gallery to keep it current so future parishioners would know the origins of the church. According to Marcus the OLOL Heritage Gallery is open fro viewing from 10am till 5pm daily.


Dialogue With CPO


Residents of Ipoh Garden East, who had requested for a dialogue with the Police since last October, took a proactive step when they submitted a memo along with 300 signatures to the office of the Chief Police Officer of Perak, DCP Dato Mohd Shukri Dahalan at the Police Contingent Headquarters, Ipoh on Tuesday, December 13.

The memo stated that crime in the neighborhood was rampant and requested the CPO to intervene.  Copies of police reports made were also handed over. The memo was presented by Canning State Assemblyman YB Wong Kah Woh and Irene Low both residents of Ipoh Garden East.

IGE residents. 3rd from left is YB Wong. 4th from left is resident Irene Low holding a copy of the memo

According to Wong the CPO had, in principle, acknowledged via SMS last October that he was committed to have a dialogue with the residents and would propose a possible date.

Wong related that within one week in November there were 3 incidents of crime with one being a robbery where a parang was used. Petty theft like missing drain tops the list. A dialogue is required to find solutions before any untoward incidents happened.

Ipoh Garden East is made up of four housing estates, Taman Kaya, Tmn Perak, Tmn Kemuncak and Ipoh Garden East and has over 700 households within its perimeter.


Maher Zain Free Concert (24 Dec)

Maher Zain

Maher Zain

Popular Muslim Swedish R&B singer, songwriter and music producer, Maher Zain will perform a free concert for his Perak fans on Saturday, December 24. The two-hour concert will be held at Stadium Perak, Ipoh, beginning at 8.00 p.m. Local singers such as Ramli Sarip, Adam of Akademi Fantasia fame and many more will appear as guest singers.

Fans can collect their free tickets at the stadium counters beginning Wednesday, December 21 till Saturday, December 24. The concert, sponsored by the state through Tourism Perak, will be a lively prelude to Visit Perak Year 2012.
A number of activities organised by the Perak Youth, Culture and Sports Department are in store for early birds.

Club to Promote VPY 2012


Kelab Bakti Gunong Kledang, an Ipoh-based Malay social club has set its sights on helping the state government promote the much-touted Visit Perak Year (VPY) 2012. The club’s new president, Dato’ Megat Shahrani Megat Shahruddin told Ipoh Echo when met after his inauguration ceremony at Crystal Ballroom, Impiana Hotel, Ipoh recently. “We’ll complement Tourism Perak’s efforts by all available means to propagate VPY 2012 to our counterparts abroad.”

Megat felt that a clean Ipoh would go a long way in attracting visitors to Perak, as the city is an entry point of choice. “Keeping Ipoh clean will be the other objective our members will pursue in earnest,” he added. The club will work closely with City Council in ensuring that cleanliness is maintained at a high level. “At this juncture, the only solution I can think of is conducting awareness programmes and gotong royong involving members and their families. Incidentally, the club consists of about 60 members, which includes some of the scions of the local Malay aristocracy and the Who’s Who in Perak.

The club’s major contribution in 2011 was the establishment of two welfare homes, Pusat Jagaan Rumah Ihsan and Rumah Anak Yatim Darussalam. “This was made possible with assistance from members and corporate bodies,” said out-going president, Dato’ Mohamad Razali Khalid. “Hopefully, with the existence of these two centres, social problems affecting the marginalised and the poor in the state will be reduced,” Razali remarked.

DYTM Raja Muda Perak, Raja Dr Nazrin Shah and DYTM Raja Puan Besar Perak were the guests of honour at the inauguration dinner.


Disaster Drill


Hospital Fatimah Ipoh disaster drillHospital Fatimah, Ipoh, conducted an hour-long major disaster drill within its complex recently. The scenario was of an accident involving an oil tanker and eight cars inside the Menora tunnel, Jelapang along the North-South Expressway. The “collision” resulted in a fire with at least 20 casualties.

The drill, part of the hospital’s safety and health staff training exercise, was held during office hours. The primary objective was to test the response time of the hospital staff during a major disaster. It was also aimed at testing staffs’ knowledge and implementation of emergency procedures, and to check the serviceability of equipments and facilities.

Those involved in the exercise were from the admission and emergency department, the supply, procurement and distribution department, engineers, doctors and nurses. Students from Hospital Fatimah School of Nursing and SMK St Michael, Ipoh, took on the roles of ‘accident victims’.

This was the 11th major disaster drill organised by the hospital. It is an annual affair with a different scenario enacted each time.