The newly renovated Birch Clock Tower still has no signage and the receptacle in the pedestal in which there was a plaque contains stagnant water; ideal place for breeding mosquitoes.
Half-opened newspapers were lying around the compound. Since there are no benches, it looks like people are placing the newspapers on the ground to sit. This must be happening at night. There are no dustbins in the area. There is the usual garbage like plastic bottles and bags strewn all around.
The plants in the flower bed are not being maintained and growth is uneven. Weeds are growing in the specially planted carpet grass and if they are not weeded soon, they would choke the carpet grass. Action must be taken immediately before it is too late.
The restoration work done on the main structure is not professional. A lay person can see the poor workmanship. One of the lamp posts next to the main steps has been missing for a long time. The lamp post next to it is also missing.
On the positive side the clock shows the correct time. As one of Ipoh’s most famous landmarks, it is imperative that, having spent money on its restoration, proper maintenance is carried out.
On a Sunday morning I visited the newly-renovated Birch Clock Tower. A young couple from KL were taking photographs. They were surprised that there was no signage giving information about the monument. They knew nothing of the history of this Tower.
The only signboards I saw were in the flower bed stating that the Menteri Besar and the Mayor had planted the ‘leaves’.
From the layout of the place, it looks like the main entrance is from the side lane adjacent to OCBC. At the entrance of the lane, there is a three-foot high pipe with exposed cables and next to the stairs leading to the tower, there is another pipe about two feet high with exposed cables. At two nearby locations there are cables lying on the floor. The couple commented this is not safe and that these are tripping hazards. This is an eyesore for a renovated place. Why were these cables not concealed? It looks like laymen are more aware of safety than the engineers who have accepted and signed off on the completed project.
The clocks are not showing the correct time which for a new renovation, is strictly unacceptable. The main entrance must be from Jalan Sagor and a bus bay must be reserved for tourist buses. Elderly visitors may not be able to climb the stairs from the back lane. Also Jalan Maharajalela is too congested and buses cannot pass through during week days.
Whoever is responsible for the upkeep of this monument must employ the right people to ensure that the place is maintained properly. This is a tourist spot and foreigners will be visiting it and compare it with other monuments they have seen.