Ipoh City Council has been cutting trees around Ipoh for the last two weeks and Ipoh Echo readers have been calling in to complain. They wanted to know why mature trees were being removed. One call was from an excited caller reporting that MBI was removing “all the remaining Casuarina trees” in front of SM St Michael’s.
A check with MBI’s Landscape Director, Encik Meor Abdullah Zaidi, revealed that “the root system of the SMI Casuarina trees were not healthy and could be in danger of being uprooted in the event of a heavy storm”.
He gave an example of the heavy 5-minute storm in March this year which uprooted two Casuarina trees in front of the school that luckily had landed onto Ipoh Padang. Meor added that the SMI trees would be replaced but “would be replanted inside of Ipoh Padang along the perimeter fencing”.
Similarly, SM St Michael’s PTA President, Joseph Michael Lee, thanked Mayor Roshidi and MBI “for their prompt decision and action for removing the unhealthy trees as the safety of their students can never be compromised”.
Regarding the tree-cutting exercise, Meor explained that MBI had initiated this exercise since September as part of their pre-emptive measure “to reduce the load of trees when a heavy storm breezes through Ipoh” and thus avoiding any uprooted and falling tree incidents during the year-end rainy season. The exercise included trimming of trees and if their root system was not healthy, the tree would be removed.
Meor gave the example of the tree root system of several large trees in Greentown. Although their tree root system was healthy the ground could not support the tree and “they had to be cut down”.
Some 43 drifters were rounded up during an operation to rid the streets of Ipoh of vagrants on the night of Wednesday, November 20. Of the number, ten were tested positive for drug abuse.
The operation was mounted by Ipoh City Council Enforcement Division and aided by personnel from the Ipoh Police District, Immigration Department, National Registration Department, National Anti-Drug Agency and the State Welfare Department. In all, over a hundred personnel were involved.
Leading the joint-team was Dato’ Rusnah Kassim, the Executive Councillor for Women’s Development, Family, Welfare and National Integration. They combed the streets, back lanes and areas of the city which are havens for vagrants, the destitute, homeless beggars and drug addicts.
The drifters are mostly found in and around the wet market where Super Kinta is. Here, activities of illegal parking attendants are rife. Their other favourite haunts are Jalan Dato Tahwil Azhar where the night market (Gerbang Malam) is located, Jalan Mustapha Al-Bakri, Jalan Theatre and the Kinta Height flats.
“Some of them make as much as RM150 a day collecting illegal parking fees from motorists. It’s a form of extortion, as motorists who don’t pay up may have their cars scratched,” said Rusnah to reporters who were covering the operation.
Part of the state government’s rehabilitation programme is to relocate these destitutes so they do not become a public menace. “The homeless will be sent to welfare homes while the able bodied will be sent to Mersing, Johor for skill training,” Rusnah added.
The operation ended at around 1.30 the following morning. It will be continued from time to time depending on the need.
Three years ago, on November 30, 2010, Ipoh Echo highlighted in its editorial about a “haven not yet lost” in reference to one Peter Chan “whose love for Ipoh was second to none.” In spite of “his foreign affiliations he foresaw a demand in luxury condominiums in Ipoh” and set about to build three towers against the backdrop of a pristine tropical jungle with an imposing rock as its centerpiece. Peter Chan’s Haven Lakeside Residence in Tambun is now almost complete with over 90 per cent of apartment units taken up.
Many have underestimated the resolve of this man while some had the audacity to dismiss him as a fake. But as soon as his project began to take shape they went on a witch hunt to put him out to pasture for good.
The ugly side of business rivalry began in earnest. Rumours were being deliberately circulated to deride Peter Chan and his project. “I had so many cancellations. Some were for no apparent reasons other than a nagging spouse who was not in favour of the locality. It’s so frivolous and also discouraging,” he lamented. Peter’s perseverance, fortunately, is his strong point. He remained unshakable.
Every cloud has a silver lining, so goes the oft-quoted proverb. Peter’s silver lining comes in various shapes and sizes, if the shape, size and colour of his awards are anything to go by. Today, after having won 18 national and international awards for his high-rise condominium project, the only one of its kind in Ipoh and, by extension, Perak; Peter Chan can no longer be taken for granted.
Adding to his growing list of awards and, probably the most prestigious and most acclaimed nationwide, is the Property Man of the Year Award. The Malaysian Reserve, a premier business daily, picked thirteen developers to grace its fourth edition of The Malaysian Reserve Property Press Award 2013 held at the glitzy ballroom of the Kuala Lumpur Ritz Carlton on Friday, November 8.
And having bagged this momentous property award, Peter Chan stands tall among the accomplished and the renowned developers in the country. In his acceptance speech, Peter rightly pronounced that the award was a timely recognition and acknowledgement for small-time players like him in the industry. A fine accomplishment for a grossly misunderstood man who had fulfilled a dream despite the staggering odds.
Kudos to you, Peter Chan. You have made Ipoh proud.
Clearwater Sanctuary Golf Resort (CWS) will be undertaking a rebranding exercise 20 years after its inception.
To be undertaken by Gary Player Golf Course Design and Architecture and led by the Grand Slam winner himself, Gary Player and his team of consultants were on hand for the announcement.
CWS CEO Kenny Yap made the announcement to the media together with Player, one of the most successful international golfers who had designed over 300 golf courses since the early ‘80s. According to Yap, the resort, which started in 1992, is a 27-hole golf course and had received an award for ‘Most Scenic Golf Course’ as its fairways caress tranquil lakes of disused mining ponds and is shaded by rows of picturesque rain trees, all providing for a scenic game.
Yap said the upgrading work would start next year. He added that the resort had a natural combination of beautiful blue mountains and natural greens surrounding it and deserved an upgrade which will ultimately provide “world class services both for sports and hospitality”.
The initial priority of the rebranding will be the 18-hole golf course and subsequently will include upgrading the clubhouse, more hotel rooms than presently available and will include villas, bungalows and low-rise condominiums.
Gary Player who described the course as magnificent also “blessed the people that planted the trees”. Player said he would do a total rebuild of the course with consideration given to the members and seniors.
“At 7500 yards it will be longer than Augusta but more playable for the average member. We will use the magnificent beauty of Clearwater’s lakes and put greens and tees on the lake to make it a dream course. The challenge is playability and beauty.”
Player, who described himself as a farmer and a golfer, emphasized that ecological practices would be a priority considering Clearwater’s wetlands and biodiversity. “We respect the environment and won’t over fertilize.”
Yap would not indicate the full cost of the upgrade but said the amount of money to do the upgrade is a challenge and would update the members and golf enthusiasts on a regular basis.
“Helping women help themselves”, is the goal that Jabatan Pembangunan Wanita has always been actively working towards. In their newest venture, they have formed a partnership with DJS’ CAKECRAFT to offer programmes designed to assist those interested, a means of self-supporting income through the art of cooking and baking.
Under the System Latihan Dual, DJS’ CAKECRAFT will train participants to bake and cook, thus equipping them with the means to venture into small business enterprises or the opportunity for employment in the food industry. Participants between the ages of 18 to 45 are eligible to register with the government body, which will then inform them of sponsored workshops.
The Jabatan Pembangunan Wanita is also keen on initiating more programmes that will teach and provide industrial training for participants in the near future. With this programme it is hoped that there will be less dependence on foreign labour as more local people will be qualified and experienced enough to work as chefs in various commercially run establishments.
An allowance for the course work and transportation is given, with the hope that more people, both men and women alike, will take this golden opportunity to make a better life for themselves and their families.
Speaking to Ms Alice Sebastian, the director of the programme and owner of DJS’ CAKECRAFT, I learnt that many such programmes are currently available but little is known about them. Although most of the programmes are tailored to help single mothers, there are a lot of other people who can also benefit from signing up for such courses.
Besides being a part of this new government project, Ms Alice also conducts other smaller individually tailored programmes. These other programmes are conducted periodically, at very reasonable course rates. Ranging from pastry courses to international cuisine courses, Ms Alice carefully designs the course content to fit current market needs. Everything is provided, ranging from the equipment to the ingredients, which is completely covered by the course fee. At the end of the course the participant will be given the opportunity to take an exam and receive a certificate upon passing. Upon passing, the participant will receive a Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia.
Ms Alice is also an expert in vegetarian cakes. In an earlier issue the Ipoh Echo had covered a story on Ms Alice’s wonderfully delicious wholemeal bread selections that have no preservatives. She actively promotes the “No preservatives” element in her recipes which makes this the cornerstone of her creations, thus ensuring that everything is healthier.
For those interested in trying their hand at becoming a chef, or even simply wanting to learn a new thing or two about the wonderful world of cooking, enrolling in any of the various courses available at DJS’CAKECRAFT would be a good first step to take. No need to go overseas, or even to big cities to explore your cooking passion, when DJS’S CAKECRAFT is just round the corner.
In November 2012, Soroptimist International Ipoh (SI Ipoh), identified an area around Ipoh where underprivileged children from a problematic environment and some broken homes were seen loitering around aimlessly. They seemed easy prey to negative influences. Wanting to make a difference and a meaning in their lives, SI Ipoh set up the Edufun Centre manned by a retired school teacher, where children, aged 6 to 14 are encouraged to come and be helped in their education, social and moral values, besides providing them with nutrition.
In just one year of operation, there has been a marked improvement in these children. From being listless and apathetic, they now can’t wait to come to the Centre, are very eager to learn, have improved in their school grades, are polite and well-mannered and very lovable indeed!
Edufun is a non-racial, non-denominational and apolitical centre for any child who wants to be helped. In order to sustain this Edufun Centre, as well as other worthy projects, SI Ipoh are appealing to the people of Ipoh to support their efforts in enabling them to reach out and help the future generation become good and useful adults and citizens of our country.
To support this and many other activities, they are organising a fundraising dinner with the theme: Come Giggle, Nibble for the Lovable on Saturday November 30.
A fun evening of entertainment has been lined up with performances by the Instant Café Theatre featuring Jo Kukathas and Patrick Teoh and local guest artistes. Members of the public and companies wishing to expand their CSR outreach may purchase tables and or take advertisements in the souvenir programme for the event. Individual tickets are also available.
SI Ipoh is a branch of Soroptimist International, a worldwide organisation for women in management and the professions working through service projects to assist underprivileged women and children.
Projects they have undertaken include training and organising single mothers to do housecleaning work for income; facilitating full day seminars to train school counsellors on child sexual abuse. They have so far covered six districts in Perak, reaching about 500 schools and benefitting close to 100,000 school students from this OK Tak Ok informational seminar. Other projects involve medical health camps; a road survival programme on how to stay safe on the road from accidents, road bullies, con artists and many more; and raising awareness on “Stop violence against women”.
East West One Consortium Bhd (EWOCB), Malaysia’s largest oil palm investment scheme by virtue of land size, has selected Ipoh to locate its fourth branch office after Kuala Lumpur, Malacca and Penang.
Headquartered in Kota Kinabalu, EWOCB manages the East West One Planters Scheme (EWOPS), an innovative investment tool that allows investors to diversify their investment portfolio into the fast growing market of the palm oil industry.
The selection of Ipoh is based on the realisation that it is largely an untapped market with enormous potential, according to Datuk Peter Khoo Keok Swa, who is EWOCB’s Managing Director.
“We are well aware that there are many discerning investors out here in Ipoh. This is fortified by the fact that we have a substantial number of Ipohites among our existing pool of investors,” he said during the opening of the East West One Marketing office at Tingkat Taman Ipoh 12 in Ipoh Garden South recently.
More broadly, Datuk Peter Khoo noted that the opening of the Ipoh office is in line with EWOCB’s expansion plan for both the Peninsula and East Malaysia. “We want to reach out to all wise and well-read investors because we have faith that our product is the right choice of alternative investment for the Malaysian public,” he pointed out.
EWOPS aspires to provide a fixed income ranging from 8 to 10 per cent per annum for a period ranging from six to eight years (depending on which one of the four investment schemes one has signed up) in addition to a 100 per cent guaranteed capital refund upon maturity.
“To date, more than 50 per cent of EWOPS planter plots have already been snapped up,” revealed Datuk Peter Khoo. “We believe that come year-end, we will be able to achieve our target of 75 per cent take up rate.”
“EWOPS’ planting progress has been ahead of our company’s projections with more than 5,000 acres planted so far with another 1,500 acres cleared, terraced and ready for planting,” added Datuk Peter Khoo.
After Ipoh, EWOCB targets to open up similar branch offices in Johor Bahru and Kuching before the end of this year.
The just concluded gathering of poets from around the world for the 33rd World Congress of Poets (WCP) was an astounding success. The grand closing ceremony held at Pangkor Island on Friday night October 25 was witnessed by close to 2000 VIPs, participants and islanders.
The week-long event was organized by the World Academy of Arts and Culture (WAAC) in collaboration with Institute Darul Ridzuan and the Perak State government. It was attended by close to 300 poets from around the world including Malaysia.
Raja Muda of Perak Raja Dr Nazrin Shah officiated at the closing ceremony. He was accompanied by Raja Puan Besar Tuanku Zara Salim. Other VIPs present at the event included Perak Menteri Besar Dato Seri DiRaja Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir accompanied by his wife Datin Seri Saripah Zulkifli, Nolee Ashilin Dato’ Mohammed Radzi (Executive Councillor for Tourism, Health and Culture), Perak-born WCP President Mdm Wan Hua Chapoutier and Maurus Young, WAAC President.
Before the close, participating poets from China and Mexico presented their poems. Perakean, Mdm Chapoutier recited her Sungai (River) which won an award at the 29th WCP in Budapest, Hungary in 2009.
Perak MB Zambry, who originated from Pangkor Island recited his poem dedicated to “Ayah (My Father)” with verses “You are a fisherman of noble deeds, You are a father whose love is enthroned, You are a husband with words so courteous” which touched the audience.
During the congress the visitors were taken to Perak’s popular tourist destinations where they held poetry recitals. The locations covered included the Lenggong Archeological Museum as well as Ipoh’s Heritage Trail and Gua Tempurung before concluding at Pangkor Island.
The poets described their visit here in superlative terms such as China poet, Bei Ta, who described the Congress as “more wonderful than he had expected”. Describing the role of the WCP as to improve communications between the foreign countries and the host, he was pleased to note the participation of so many local poets.
Describing Perak’s environment as being green with mountains, rivers, rich culture and good food he proclaimed that he has fallen in love with Ipoh. Adding that “as a lot of Ipoh people spoke Chinese he said he felt so ‘at home’ here.”
For Mexican poets, Ethel Bello Solis and Maria Eugenia Soberanis, they were full of praise and described “this congress is so wonderful and amazing. The government was so involved with the Congress. The tourist destinations here are so nice, beautiful and clean and with so much history, is good for writing poetry. However, it is the people here who are so kind, charming and always smiling even when they are tired that we felt truly welcomed”.
Istvan Turczi from Hungary “appreciates Malaysia. Every country is different but Malaysia has Malay, Chinese and Indian in one Asia-Pacific country and that is very beautiful”. Describing the locations visited, Turczi summarized that “Perak is a metaphor, everything is close together and in one place, in your heart.”
The success of this global event would not have been possible if not for the initiative of Perakean, Mdm Wan Hua Chapoutier nee Goh who had approached Zambry way back in 2011 requesting to hold this congress in Perak. Her initial purpose was to introduce the world of poets to Ipoh’s blue hills and delicious kopitiams.
Mdm WanHua, who worked with the Office of The Permanent Delegation of Malaysia to UNESCO in Paris for thirty five years, stated her objectives to have the congress in Malaysia was to “promote Bahasa Malaysia as the future lingua franca for the region and also to introduce pantun as a medium to expose local poets to the region.”
The deciding factor to select Ipoh and Perak was that Zambry was a poet and the choice for Perak to host the 33rd WCP was sealed.
For Zambry’s contribution to poetry in the state he was appointed the Honorary Patron of the 33rd WCP and awarded the “Crane Summit Supreme Honor Crown Medal Award”, the WAAC’s highest award in appreciation and recognition of the contribution of leaders in the field of poetry.
Held in conjunction with the closing ceremony was the handing over to Peru, the host of the 34th World Congress of Poets.
As for Mexicans Solsis and Soberanis, who originally referred to Malaysia as the Twin Towers, now on departure for home, they will inform their friends to visit the Twin Towers and visit Perak too. Now that’s a successful event indeed.
“Perak needs an art gallery” said State Exco for Tourism, Culture and Health, YB Nolee Ashilin Mohd Radzi. Nolee made the statement at a press conference after the closing of the ‘Ipoh Drawing Marathon 2013’, the Perak chapter of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture’s ‘1MCAT’ (1 Malaysia Contemporary Arts Tourism) programme.
Nolee was responding to a closing speech made by the President of Persatuan Pelukis Perak Dr Ahmad Lothfi Hj Ibrahim, who urged YB Nolee to look into the viability, not just as an opportunity for Perak’s artists to display their works but also, to “preserve Perak’s heritage for future generations”.
Noting that Perak was the only state without an art gallery, she stated that the state was currently identifying a suitable location for the gallery and would be discussing the issue with the National Visual Arts Gallery. “A permanent gallery can also display other forms of visual art including cartoons and would be suitable to display the expensive works of art such as those on display during the marathon.”
The event was launched by Datuk Dr Ong Hong Peng, Secretary General of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture. It included the Ipoh Drawing Marathon, a 24-hour event which started at noon on Saturday. It attracted over 50 artists with some artists coming in to participate at different times throughout the event.
Held at Kinta Riverwalk the artists were required to produce artworks using charcoal and draw figurative or non figurative images surrounding the Riverwalk. Sixty of the drawings were selected for a coffee-table book to be exhibited at the Tourism and Culture Ministry and at hotels.