Monthly Archives: April 2012

Flaming Bukit Kledang


The Rotary Club of Kinta appropriately celebrated Earth Day on 22 April by planting Flame of the Forest trees to rehabilitate the barren areas at Kledang Hill.

Morning 'gotong-royong' team to plant trees

Happily sharing their green initiative was Ipoh City Council and the Menglembu Kledang Joggers who participated in the morning’s gotong-royong tree planting get together.

Rotary President Ng (l) together with Mayor Roshidi (r) planting a Tree.

Rotary Club President Ng Chee Aun said the project called ‘ForesTree’ was undertaken to ensure that Kledang Hill continues to be a sustainable provision of environmental supplies and services such as clean water, green lung and habitat for local flora and fauna.

Red Flame of the Forest along the staircase

Ipoh Mayor Dato’Roshidi Hashim in his address thanked the club for their tree planting initiative and supporting MBI’s ‘Clean, Green and Developed’ efforts to make Ipoh a green city. Roshidi added that the Council also had plans to plant trees along the banks of the Kinta River.

...and along the hill slopes.

The ‘ForesTree’ project will see a total of 200 young red coloured Flame of the Forest trees being planted within two months along slopes, land terraces and open areas on the hill.

Rotary Club of Kinta, to plant 200 trees.



An Incident – Free Bersih 3.0 Rally in Ipoh


..'visually impaired'...but BERSIH

Some five thousand people assembled at Polo Ground in Ipoh at 2pm on Saturday, April 28, joining their counterparts in more than seventy cities around the world to call for free and fair elections in Malaysia.

The 5000 strong crowd

(l-r) Lawyer Augustine with NGO's at the rally

The Bersih 3.0 rally in Ipoh was headed by lawyer Augustine Anthony, supported by 48 non-governmental organisations in the state. Addressing the crowd, Augustine said this rally would send a clear message to Putrajaya of Perakeans’ wishes.

..'the Wishes of Perakeans

The planned 2-hour sit-in protest saw the solidarity of people from all races and walks of life, from the very young to a visually-impaired senior citizen. It was yet another attempt by the Bersih joint-action committee to call for thorough electoral reforms in the country.

While Bersih 2.0, held ten months ago, had eight demands, many of which are still not met until today, Bersih 3.0 had three major demands – the resignation of the Election Commission, cleaning up of the electoral process before GE 13 and the invitation of international observers to observe the upcoming general elections.

An independent group consisting of twenty volunteer lawyers from the Perak Bar Committee was present as observers to ensure that the rally, which was also joined by anti-Lynas protestors (Himpunan Hijau), went on peacefully. The crowd dispersed without any untoward incidents.

Adopting the colour yellow, Bersih 3.0 could be the final push for electoral reforms before GE 13, which must be held by March 2013.

On the same afternoon, a few hundred people also gathered in Bukit Merah, Lahat, to protest against the setting up of the rare earth processing plant by Lynas Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. in Gebeng, Pahang.

Report by EL. Photos by EL, ED.

2500 BR1M Payouts at Simee


BR1M's 'early birds'

Over 200 citizens came out early on the morning of 27 April to receive their RM500 cash payout from the government under the Bantuan Rakyat 1 Malaysia (BR1M) Program.

Recipients, mostly senior citizens could be seen outside the school hall gate at SJK ( C ) Chung Tak, Kg Simee as early as 7.45am. By 830am the hall was half full with recipients.

Mardiana attending to the senior citizens

At the queue for handicapped citizens a staff of Bank Simpanan Nasional Ms Mardiana  Ismail Yatim could be seen assisting handicapped and senior citizens to take their thumbprints where they were seated or for 95 year old Madam Leong Yat Hoe as she sat in her car.

Many of the senior citizens were ‘happy’ to receive the ‘extra’ money.

The BR1M Team at Simee.

An official said that 2500 recipients would receive the government’s cash payout that day.



“The Lady” comes to Ipoh

Michele Yeoh - The Lady movie - Aung San Suu Kyi

Datuk Michelle Yeoh

Michele Yeoh - The Lady movie - Aung San Suu Kyi

Michele Yeoh - The Lady movie - Aung San Suu KyiMichele Yeoh - The Lady movie - Aung San Suu KyiIt was my privilege to attend the Malaysian premiere of “The Lady” at Kinta City’s TGV theatres on the night of April 23. The event was attended by a veritable Who’s Who of Ipoh’s elite and on hand to meet and greet the guests was Janet Yeoh, whose charm and grace made everyone feel welcome.

The film, of course, stars Ipoh’s iconic international film star Datuk Michelle Yeoh who fulfilled a long time desire to portray Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese Nobel laureate who also has the distinction of being the first woman in Asia to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.  Michelle made a brief appearance to introduce the film and dedicate the evening to her family and friends on hand explaining that prior commitments had prevented her from attending her mother’s birthday celebration several days before.  She is currently working on a new film in Bangkok.  In describing the challenges of playing the role of Suu Kyi she relayed to the audience how she had to learn to speak Burmese and shed almost 8 kg.

“The Lady” which is set against the backdrop of decades of political strife and military oppression in Burma is as much an epic love story between Suu Kyi and her British husband Michael Aris (played by David Thewlis) as it is a commentary on the Burmese people’s goals to achieve democracy and political freedom. Suu Kyi and her husband are forced to endure years of separation and personal sacrifices in support of her determination to bring about political change in her beloved Burma. Most poignant is Michael’s love and devotion and unending support of Suu Kyi amidst all the turmoil.

I have seen most of Michelle Yeoh’s English language films and in my opinion, this is by far her best role to date. She is captivating and very believable in her portrayal of her character Suu Kyi and makes this film a must-see. Be forewarned though, you should bring a supply of tissues as you will surely be brought to tears at certain points in the movie.

Michelle Yeoh also informed the audience that the KL premiere is on April 25 and will be attended by the Prime Minister.

Chris DiGiovanna

GM Cocktail @ The Bistro


ipoh echo issue 141, Impiana Hotel Ipoh GM CocktailThe Impiana Hotel Ipoh held its third successful “GM Cocktail” or Corporate Cocktail at The Bistro on March 23. Invited guests were served a variety of tasting plates specially created by newly appointed Executive Chef Michael Koh. La Villa wines, red and white were the featured wines for the night. General Manager Mr Mark Rummery thanked all invited guests for their support thus far and encouraged everyone to try out the new menu at the Bistro.

There were 11 lucky winners for the night who went home with dining vouchers, hotel stays and the Featured Wine of the Month. Chef Michael brings his specialty all the way from the Asia Pacific region and Indian Ocean to Ipoh, with a fusion of Japanese, Asian and Mediterranean. It is hoped that The Bistro new menu is sure to satisfy the most discerning palate.

Fund Raiser for Women


 ipoh echo issue 141, Perak Women for Women Society (PWW)The Perak Women for Women Society (PWW) organised a fund-raising dinner at the Tropicana Ballroom and Banquet Hall, Ipoh recently, with the theme “Happily Ever Laughter Nite”. It was also held in conjunction with the celebration of International Women’s Day 2012, which fell on March 8.

Guests of honour were President of The Pure Life Society Datin Paduka Mother A. Mangalam, known as Mother Teresa of Malaysia, and philanthropist Mr Koon Yew Yin.

The Pure Life Society provides shelter for needy children and Mother Mangalam, over the years, has provided for more than 2,000 children through it. She was a recipient of the Merdeka Award in the education and community category in 2010.

Dato’ Seri N.S. Selvamany read out a lengthy tribute to honour Mother Mangalam, who was born into a Hindu family, and how she came to be the co-founder and President of The Pure Life Society. According to Selvamany, the word “mangalam” means “blessing” in Sanskrit and indeed, Mother Mangalam is a blessing to many who have had the pleasure to know her.

In accepting the tribute, Mother Mangalam stressed the importance of social harmony and family unity. She expressed hope that family and marital guidance could be included in our school syllabus.

Koon matched Ringgit for Ringgit the amount raised from the sale of tickets to the dinner event, amounting to almost RM63,000. He also pledged to do the same for whatever amount PWW manages to raise in the next twelve months.

Entertainment for the night was provided by D’Belle Dance Group, saxophonist Mann G and The Instant Café Theatre Company’s Jo Kukatas and Kuah Jenhan, who brought the house down with their humour.

PWW, registered some nine years ago, is a non-profit organisation that relies heavily on public contributions and sponsorships. It strives to empower women in crisis through education and skills training. Proceeds from this fund-raising initiative will be used to fund the operational costs of PWW as well as programmes that are in line with the mission and vision of the society.


Muaythai Fit Warrior (Northern Zone)


About fifty pugilists from Perlis, Kedah, Penang and Perak gathered at Ipoh’s Muaythai Academy recently to fight for the honour of representing northern zone in the Muaythai Fit Warrior National Championship.

There were seven weight categories in all. Winners from each category and their first runners-up will proceed to Putrajaya this May to represent northern zone at the national championship held in conjunction with National Youth Day.

Besides winning cash prizes and medals, the top two fighters in all categories will be provided with intensive training to prepare them for the championship.

Winners at the Malaysian Muaythai Fit Warrior Championship will then represent the country in the Asian Championship to be held in Iraq in May and the World Championship in Russia in September.

The Ipoh bouts were won by: Azyzie Aziz from Kedah (48-51kg), Mohamad Firdaus B. Janai from Kedah (51-54kg), Muhammad Qhalid from Kedah (54-57kg), Wan Muhamad Ridzuan from Perak (57-60kg), Azman B. Rezali from Perak (60-63.5kg), Azhar Zakaria from Kedah (63.5-67kg) and Muhammad Sayuti from Perak (67-71kg).


Gift of Dictionaries


ipoh echo issue 141, Rotary Club of Sitiawan, Rotary Club of USJ Petaling JayaThe Rotary Club of Sitiawan, with the collaboration of the Rotary Club of USJ Petaling Jaya, handed over some 3,600 dictionaries to students from Manjung District recently. Dr V. Gurunathan, the club’s PRO, said that the gift of dictionaries to students from Chinese, Indian and Malay schools is one of the many community-oriented programmes that Rotary Club of Sitiawan had in its pipeline. The students were required to write a simple essay in English on why they wished to own a dictionary. The response was overwhelming.  Rotary Club of Sitiawan plans to do more for the hard-core poor, the aged and the physically and intellectually handicapped. Present at the handing-over ceremony were members of Rotary Club USJ Petaling Jaya.


Time to Buck up Guys


 ipoh echo issue 141, Perak football, SeladangsIt’s definitely not time for fans to hold candlelight vigils or hold mass protest outside the Perak FA headquarters. But the time has arrived for Perak to sort things out and perform. Three defeats in their last four games have seen them slip down the pecking order to seventh place in the league, behind the likes of Negeri Sembilan and T-Team FC.

It has always been maintained that this Seladang squad is moderate, but well capable of ranking higher in the league. After surrendering their unbeaten home record to Lions XII, the classy touch has gone from their style of play. The FA Cup win against ATM was a rather scrappy affair while their performance in the 2-2 draw with PKNS was subdued.

Nevertheless, the fans have plenty of hope for the team. It is a known fact that the Seladangs biggest chance for silverware would be the FA Cup. But predictably, they failed to dispatch Terengganu in the quarter finals last month. That poor form was carried into their next game where Kelantan outshone them in Ipoh, winning by 2-0 in the hard to convert chances. However, they became a serious problem when Norizan Bakar’s men were thrashed 3-0 at home by Kedah. Perak were absolutely shambolic on the day, struggling to match Kedah’s hardworking squad, while also showing no real determination on the pitch.

Yes, Perak did secure a much needed 2-1 victory against Kuala Lumpur on  April 7, but Norizan Bakar’s men were back to square one after yet another 1-2 defeat to Lions XII four days later. The Seladangs showed glimpses of their impressive form against V. Sundramoorthy’s men, but failed to sustain it for the whole match. Expectedly, Michal Kubala was perhaps the only Perak player that showed initiative during the match, working hard in midfield and scoring the equaliser.

The cracks within their confidence are beginning to increase and the pressure from fans is totally justified. There is a significant difference between losing and being defeated with dignity. While there is still time for a revival in fortune, it’s about time the Perak players buck up and work harder. Donning a Seladang jersey isn’t just about playing football; it’s about pride and dignity.