Monthly Archives: July 2012

KVWO’s Taiwan Tour


Eugene Pook with the KVWO in Taiwan

Perak’s very own Kinta Valley Wind Orchestra (KVWO) debut performance at Taiwan ‘was a very good tour’ said Music Director Eugene Pook.

KVWO received a warm welcome at Wanfang High
School Taipei

‘From the time we arrived at the airport we were warmly greeted by 18 student volunteers from Tamkang University Administration Department. The Taiwan hosts were so friendly, morning call, tour guides, we were treated like superstars’ exclaimed Pook.
KVWO was invited to perform in Taiwan after giving a fully sponsored charity performance in aid of Mount Miriam Cancer Hospital in Penang in January this year.

KVWO together with violinist Verena Koay and vocalist Estee Pook

The 48 strong orchestra,80% of whom are students held 2 performances both at Wanfang High School, one for a fundraiser and the next as a cultural interaction with Taiwanese aborigines.
Pook said that their performances were well received by the Taiwan audience and gave an example of their upbeat rendition of a piece from West Side Story where ‘a member of the audience got up and danced’
KVWO’s musical program included ‘Bands from around the World, Sound of Music, Abba and West Side Story’.  Penang’s violin prodigy 12 year old Verena Koay and multi-lingual vocalist Estee Pook were part of the programme.

(l-r) Aboriginal children’s choir, audience photographing KVWO, Pook meets with sponsors.

The tour was also a good expose for the members as they had shared the stage with their musical counterparts, the Wanfang Wind Orchestra and Scout Choir. the Aboriginal Chorus,  Wanfang String Orchestra, and Wanfang Alumni Ensemble. “It was a very good cultural exchange ’.

(l-r) visit to Thermal Valley,shopping, presenting memento to Tamkang University students

But it was not all work as the band members were able to slot in some tours to Taipei 101 Tower , Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Yuanshan and Beitou Thermal Valley and take in some shopping too.
The Taiwan visit was jointly organised by the Tamkang University Public Administration Department , Chinese Society for Training and Development and Taipei City Council.
KVWO has done Ipoh proud. Having performed at 2 concerts would have made a positive impression about  Ipoh and what it has to offer in terms of cultural maturity.

What more participating in a fund raising program is it any wonder that a Taipei City Councillor hosted a farewell dinner for them at the Taipei City Hall.

A good tour. KVWO photo at Tamkang University, Taipei.

Good job KVWO. Music does make the world go round.


AFC Cup Dreams Up In Smoke


SeladangsPerak’s dreams of qualifying for next year’s AFC Cup were shattered after a string of defeats forced them to settle for fourth place in the league table. With Singapore LionsXII – who will not take up a Malaysian slot – securing second spot, the third-placed team was guaranteed of a place in next year’s edition of the continental tournament. Perak failed to make full use of the opportunity, as they performed miserably under pressure.

After a one-month hiatus, the Seladangs were raring to go. The league title was out of their grasp but qualification for the AFC Cup was a good alternative. Feeling motivated, Norizan Bakar’s men responded in style.

Two consecutive home wins over Felda United and Johor FC in June provided them the tonic to advance further.  They took on Sarawak FA in Kuching and secured a 2-1 victory with goals from Michal Kubala and Albert Bodjongo.

Next on the card was a tricky home tie against T-Team FC, and they negotiated past it successfully. The visitors took a shocking lead before Perak gained parity through Nazri Kamal. Two more goals from Failee and Bodjongo increased their lead before T-Team ensured a nervy ending for the home side by pulling back a late goal through Faiz Subri. Norizan Bakar’s men stood firm and gained three vital points.

At this stage, AFC Cup seemed plausible. The boys knew that only victories in their remaining matches would put them in the driver’s seat. This was when the troubles started.

PKNS visited the Perak Stadium and were largely outplayed by the home side. Akmal Rizal gave Seladangs the lead and a victory seemed likely by the first half. PKNS, however, kept the pressure on and notched two come-from-behind goals to deny victory for the home side.

The defeat was a bitter pill for Perak to swallow. The boys carried the disappointment to Kota Bahru, where they took on the mighty Kelantanese. Norizan Bakar’s men were given an absolute soccer lesson by the technically astute Red Warriors. The Seladangs were trounced 6 nil. The score line was abysmal and Perak’s fate hung on a balance.

The players knew that a victory against Kedah would put them in good stead, heading into the final round of matches. But that was not to be, a below par performance saw them losing 2-1 to Kedah, who were down to 10 men for most of the second half.

The defeat allowed Selangor to edge Perak for the third spot in the league standing. Although the team faltered, a fourth place finish means that the Seladangs can still hold their heads high heading into the Malaysia Cup, which is scheduled to begin in September. Norizan Bakar, meanwhile, has gone on leave; may be for good this time around.


SMI’s Drama of the Century


SMK St Michael Institution’s (SMI), annual drama for their centennial year entitled Jean-Baptiste; The Lost Chronicles about the founder of the La Salle Brotherhood was billed as the ‘Drama of The Century’ and it certainly lived up to its name.

SMI’s Drama of the Century St John Baptiste-The Lost Chronicles, Directed by Timothy Chee and written by his son Ian.

The play was directed by Timothy Chee while his son Ian wrote the script which depicted the life and time of Jean-Baptiste and how the La Salle brotherhood was founded.

Jean-Baptiste de LaSalle, born into nobility in the 18th century during the time of the Sun King, Louis the 14th of France, was the founder of the Brothers of the Christian Schools commonly referred to as the de La Salle Brothers, the first Roman Catholic congregation of male non-clerics devoted solely to schools, learning and teaching.

St John Baptiste, born into nobility during a time of decadence and opulent grandeur

This was a time of decadence and opulent grandeur intertwined with corruption, vices and political machinations. During this time the common man born outside nobility was neglected and his children deprived of education which then was reserved for the rich and powerful.

He starts a school for underprivileged children

Into the realm comes nobleman Jean-Baptiste de La Salle who became a priest at a young age. Aware of the deplorable plight surrounding him, he starts a school for underprivileged children which earns him the scorn of the powerful nobles who plot to destroy him and his school.

The play, although based on fact, was intertwined with fictional characters such as Franz who plays the part of the underprivileged young boy whom Jean-Baptiste nurtures and becomes a Brother. Franz also plays the part of the narrator who leads the audience through the storyline before and after the play.

The play was a most entertaining effort. The players’ costumes were colourful and relevant to that period, had interesting props and combined with the popular choice of music such as Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” and Bruno Marz’s “I Wanna Be a Millionaire’, kept the audience captivated throughout.

Dato’ Brother Vincent Corkery … ‘ a wonderful extravaganza’

According to Timothy, the script was sent to Dato’ Brother Vincent Corkery for vetting but he did not change a single word. Brother Vincent in his address after the first night’s performance, praised everyone for putting together this “wonderful extravaganza” and contributing towards the overall centennial year celebrations.

Besides being entertaining, this ‘humble school play’ has delved into the historical background of the life of Jean-Baptiste and provides a quick insight of his legacy of education. SMI is one of many La Salle Schools in Malaysia, the others being St John’s, KL; St George’s, Taiping; and St Xavier’s, Penang, to name a few.


“Appalling Lack of Management at RPGC”


We refer to “Appalling Lack of Management at RPGC”, a letter from Priya Vivek which you published in your Issue 146.

We regret the trauma that Priya Vivek and family had to endure when the lift at the Royal Perak Golf Club malfunctioned and their inability to secure any form of assistance from the management of the Club. We can empathise with her; thus, we understand her anger.

We wish to make clear to your readers that we at Barossa Fine Dining Restaurant had rendered all assistance that we could. We are merely tenants of the Club and we too face similar problems when club facilities malfunction for we are also unable to seek emergency assistance. We did not run down or run anywhere else because we know that the receptionist will also be trying to reach the management which we had alerted through the proper channel. We were never invited to participate in any safety courses conducted by the management of the building so being ignorant of the Club’s safety procedures we felt that it was best that we left it to the Club’s management. Rather than being heard running around not knowing what to do but merely appearing to be doing something, is wrong. In emergencies, people who are not experts should best not stand too near, offering unsound advice and uttering polite nothingness. Being tenants we feel that we had done all we could. Unlike members of the club we would not dare to force open the lift doors for fear of being held responsible for damages or maybe even escalating the problem. We are not trained lift technicians.

Being trained restaurateurs we appreciated that after their rescue, Priya Vivek and her family patronised our establishment, and we did what we are trained to do. We served them well and to calm their frayed nerves we offered them free flow of our house red. We hope that Priya Vivek and her family will not let the incident affect them too badly and that they will recover from their traumatic experience.

We look forward to seeing the RPGC put into place a working structure to deal with emergencies.

Barossa Fine Dining Restaurant

Low-deck Bridge in Kampung Manjoi to be Replaced


flooding in Kg Manjoi, flooding in Lim GardenLow-deck bridges were identified as one of the causes of the massive flooding of Kampung Manjoi, Lim Garden and nearby areas on February 20 of this year.

Mayor Dato’ Haji Roshidi said that water from the stream overflowed the low-deck bridge along Jalan Menteri in Kampung Manjoi and flooded the surrounding areas.

The bridge is being replaced with a new one costing RM3.8 million and is expected to be completed by May 2013.

The breaking of concrete ceremony was officiated by Second Finance Minister Dato’ Seri Haji Ahmad Husni who is the MP for Tambun and was witnessed by Dato’ Haji Nadzri, state Assemlyman for Manjoi.

The main cause of the flood is Sungai Pari which has many low-deck bridges across it. It is hoped that these bridges will be upgraded first and the flow normalised before water from the tributaries can drain into Sungai Pari. Otherwise there will be backflow from the river.


Zambry’s Kamunting Walkabout


crime prevention, Perak Police ContingentThe Perak Police Contingent led by its chief, DCP Dato’ Pahlawan Zakaria Dahlan, organised a crime awareness programme in Kamunting recently. Its primary objective was to educate residents as to the roles of the police in crime prevention and the kind of assistance the people could provide.

The site picked was the Kamunting’s wet market, which is the nerve centre of this prominent Taiping suburb. Getting the public involved in crime prevention is seldom successful due to several negating factors, apathy being a major consideration. People’s fear of “getting involved” has dogged the Police force since time immemorial.

The awareness programme got the blessing of the state government. Chief Minister, Dato’ Seri DiRaja Zambry Abd Kadir gave his tacit approval by making his presence felt. Zambry, along with the Chief Police Officer and senior police and government officials, took to the streets in a walkabout within the market square. They stopped by to chat with shoppers and traders. This informal and impromptu approach was well received by the morning crowd. Dispensing with formality seemed second-nature to the Chief Minister.

Booths set up by the police to showcase their roles and responsibilities were well patronised by the public. Most were attracted to the booth on career prospects in the police force. In spite of their onerous message, skits depicting cyber crimes got the most publicity. The one on careless online chat was a clear winner.

To assuage public’s fear, Zambry reaffirmed that crime rates in Perak had dropped by 15 percentage points compared to last year. The rates, he reiterated, could be further reduced if the public play their part in crime prevention. He asked that they cooperate fully with the men in blue.


Investing in Gold


Triplenine Goldworld GalleryTriplenine Goldworld Gallery Sdn Bhd held a ceremony at its office in Greentown Business Centre, Ipoh recently. The purpose was threefold, to celebrate the company’s first anniversary, to launch the sale of one-gram gold bars and to initiate a campaign to educate Perakeans on ways to invest in gold.

According to the Perak Branch Managing Director, Mohd Fakhzan Akhmar bin Omar, gold price was at its peak in September 2011. It was priced at RM216 a gram but has since dropped to RM190. “Investing in gold is a long-term commitment. You need to keep it for at least a year to realise its profit.”

Gold is among the few commodities that are not affected by inflation or recession. It is a low-risk investment with very generous dividends.

In conjunction with the occasion, the company gave away gifts and aid to five needy households and an orphanage from Kampung Sungai Itik, Gopeng. A lucky draw with a top prize of a one-gram gold bar was held. Mohd. Fakhzan announced the day’s gold sale at a discount of RM5 per gram.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Triplenine Goldworld Sdn Bhd and Koperasi Pegawai-Pegawai Kerajaan Taiping Bhd for the betterment of its members. A number of Triplenine agents received certificates of appointment from the Chief Executive Officer, Rozaini Rosdin.

Triplenine Goldworld Gallery Sdn Bhd is a trading company supplying, buying and selling gold, in all forms, at a slightly lower-than-market rate. It has eight branches nationwide. Since its incorporation a year ago, it has achieved sales in excess of 3600kg of gold.


Ave Maria Teachers Feted


Ave Maria Convent Ipoh PerakTeachers of SMJK and SMJKC Ave Maria Convent were treated to dinner at the New She Lai Ton Restaurant, Ipoh recently. The night-out at the city’s well known Chinese restaurant was hosted by the school’s Parent-Teacher Association in recognition for their exemplary services.

Certificates of merit and gifts were presented to teachers who have served in Ave Maria Convent for over 10 years. One teacher has been with the school for over 25 years.

Plaques were given to Lee Yam Sei and Irene Chan for their contributions to society. Earlier in the year, the pair received the Mutiara Perak Award 2012 for “Women of Inspiration for Education and Child Development” and “Women of Inspiration for Development Industry”, respectively.

Eva Tan, Ceylyn Teh and Chanelle Woo, a family of three generations who studied at the convent, belted out a song for the appreciative audience. Teachers, parents and students paired up to put on an eco-friendly fashion show designed by Sonny Foo. Their outfits were made out of recycled materials such as garbage bags, paper and so on. Dancers from MY Studio performed some captivating ballroom numbers to enthrall the 500-odd crowd. Gigs by impersonators were a big hit with the audience.

Chairman of Ave Maria Convent’s Board of Governors, Teoh Beng Suang expressed his sincere thanks for the dedication shown by the long-serving teachers of Ave Maria Convent.


English Week at SMJK Yuk Choy Ipoh


SMJK Yuk Choy, Ipoh organised an annual English Language Week with the theme “English is Everywhere” from July 2 to 9. According to Mr Chan Hen Huan, the principal of SMJK Yuk Choy, the English Language is an important language and it is a tool of knowledge for us today. He urged the students to read, write and speak English as much as possible. Various activities were organised by the school’s English Language Panel, such as: Spelling Bees, Crossword puzzles, Newspaper-in-Education, Sing-along, choral speaking and an English Language Corner.