A five-storey rest and recreation centre for the aged will be built in Ipoh, on a piece of land behind YMCA Ipoh. The centre, costing RM2.5 million and named in memory of Dr and Mrs (Bebe) Lim Eng Cheang, will be funded by the Estate of Aunty Bebe, as she was affectionately called. There will be 28 units of one-bedroom suites with sizes ranging from 260 to 480 sq ft.
The suites will have a lounge area, kitchenette, attached bathroom and individual balcony, in addition to the bedroom. Each suite can accommodate up to two persons.
Common areas of this retirement lodge will include a lounge on ground floor, day care centre and a sky lounge, which is open to the public for rent for social functions. It can accommodate some 100 people. The building, which will have an indoor garden, will be serviced by two elevators.
Construction work will start in September and is expected to complete in a year’s time. Once ready, the suites will be rented out on monthly basis. Although YMCA is a Christian-based non-profit organisation, the retirement lodge will also be open to non-Christians.
The idea to set up a retirement lodge was first mooted during a retreat of the Board of Directors, in 2011. It received tremendous support from the community and church leaders, who see a unique set of problems faced by the ageing population, where the number one malady is depression. This centre will serve as a refuge for those who need a place to rest and a platform to forge relationships with people whom they can relate to.
The launching of this retirement lodge and the piling ceremony were held on Tuesday, August 20, at YMCA Ipoh. Among the guests were the trustees of Aunty Bebe’s Estate, relatives and friends. Dato’ Ngeh Koo Ham, Member of Parliament for Beruas and Sitiawan state assemblyman, graced the occasion.
Ngeh called on associations and societies to do their part to meet the various needs of the community, “It’s more blessed to give than to receive,” he advised.
Joining in the memory of the late Dr Lim were representatives from Society of Caring Hands, Kiwanis Club of Ipoh and the Dementia Society Perak, all beneficiaries of Aunty Bebe’s estate.
Dr Lim Eng Cheang was amongst the first batch of post-war medical graduates from King Edward VII Medical College, Singapore. Lim and his wife, Bebe, believed in sharing their wealth with those in need.
Aunty Bebe had willed that a portion of her estate be donated to charities in loving memory of her husband, Dr Lim Eng Cheang. The trustees subsequently decided that the recipients of the bequests be named after both Dr and Mrs (Bebe) Lim Eng Cheang.
Though they are long gone, their spirit of love and generosity continues to live in the community.