Tag Archives: ipoh echo issue 124

Old Andersonians Not In Favour Of Hostel Takeover

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Old Andersonians are not in favour of the North Kinta District Education Department’s takeover of one of the three hostels at Anderson School.

President of Old Andersonians’ Club (OAC) Datuk Dr. Anwar Hasssan said that the school has received a directive from the department of its intention to take over the building to be used as an office.

Dr. Anwar said in 1993 the department was allowed to use three blocks of the school building as its temporary office before moving to its own building. Instead of moving out, the department wants the hostel to be converted as their office. In fact it has taken part of the rugby field for a car park.

OAC is submitting a memorandum to the State Education Department requesting that its district education department comply with the original request and move out. About 90 students from the third hostel cannot be accommodated in the other two hostels which are already crammed.

AJ

CUEPACS Wants Retirement Age To Be Raised

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The Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public and Civil Services (CUEPACS) wants the retirement age of civil servants to be raised to 60 years; its President Dato’ Hj. Omar Osman said that Malaysians are physically fit and alert at that age and he would discuss this with Public Service Department (PSD). He was speaking during CUEPACS Perak AGM 2011 held in the Lands and Minerals Office. He added that CUEPACS wants PSD to include its five new claims in the new Integrated Competency Development Programme (PROSPECT).

Omar said CUEPACS wants the minimum basic salary to be RM920. The cost of living is increasing and families are facing difficulty in managing their expenses. When queried whether the civil service is overstaffed with 1.2 million employees, Omar defended that it is not excessive.

During the AGM, the official website of CUEPACS Perak was launched and Omar officially opened the new office on the First Floor of the Forest Department.

AJ

Aid To Mission- and National-Type Schools

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Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri DiRaja Zambry Abd Kadir gave financial aid to 18 mission- and 17 national-type schools in Perak. The aid, amounting to RM1 million, in all, was given to representatives of the schools during a simple ceremony held at the State Secretariat Building hall on July 5. It was for the first and second quarters of 2011. “The money will help ensure the implementation of the school’s development programmes and projects. It’s also a form of recognition by the state government for the role these schools play in educating the rakyat,” said Zambry in his opening remarks.

The amount allotted is contingent upon the school’s enrolment. Tarcisian Convent, Ipoh received RM43,714.69, the largest sum among the mission schools while SMK Ave Maria Convent got RM54,463.51, the largest among the national-type schools. Dato’ Dr. Mah Hang Soon, state executive councillor for education was in attendance.

Ed

The Haven Bags International Quality Award

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David Yam receiving the BID International Arch of Europe Award from President and CEO Jose E. Prieto, Frankfurt June 27

The Haven Lakeside Residences, Tambun bagged the International Arch of Europe Award at its 25th International Quality Convention held in Frankfurt, Germany, on June 27. Dubbed the “Oscar of the Business World”, the award recognises quality and excellence of companies that invest great effort in improving their products and services.

The Haven’s David Yam received the award from President and CEO, Jose E. Prieto of Business Initiative Directions (BID), a leading private organisation awarding companies worldwide.

The citation says, “The Haven was named winner of the 2011 BID International Arch of Europe Award in Frankfurt, a trophy that BID presents to those companies from around the world that are dedicated to high standards of excellence and innovation in their practices and focus on quality first.”

Malaysian companies previously awarded were Universiti Tenaga Nasional, Permodalan Nasional Berhad, and YTL Power Services Sdn Bhd.

Co-principal Peter Chan said it was an honour for the company to have been rewarded for its entrepreneurial achievements and also its role in quality and innovation, two key requirements for receiving the Business Initiative Directions Quality Award. He was humbled by the recognition considering that fellow winners were global companies from the Fortune 500 list.

They are Operadora VIPS, Wal-Mart, Turner Construction International LLC, Indian Oil Corporation, Tata Elxsi and Hong Yuen Electronics Ltd.

New GM of Tourism Perak

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Mohamed Hisam bin Mohamad Yusof

Ipoh Echo welcomes Mohamed Hisam bin Mohamad Yusof who is the new General Manager of Tourism Perak Management Bhd effective July 1. Many in the tourism industry would know Hisam as the COO from Aidil Travel & Tours Sdn Bhd.

Hisam, who hails from Taiping, had his early education at King Edward Institution, Taiping and did his tertiary education at UiTM majoring in Business Administration. Hisam, 40, started work in the banking industry before moving to the tourism industry several years ago.

On why he switched from his comfy post at a tour agency, Hisam explained that “I wanted a challenge. I am aware that this new post for me is VERY challenging but I feel that I am able to bring in more tourists to my State”. Indeed with Visit Perak Year 2012 right around the corner that is a tall challenge. All the best Hisam.

JAG

Pig Farmers Sign “I Promise” Agreement

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Pig farmers in Perak have agreed to sign the Aku Janji (I Promise) agreement whereby they would put in place enhanced standards of hygiene at their farms. Perak State health chairman Dato’ Dr. Mah Hang Soon, who was present at the signing ceremony at the Veterinary Department in Ipoh, said that there are 131 licensed pig farmers in the state and 18 have already signed the Agreement. The Pig Farmers Association will get the signatures from the rest soon. Perak is the first state in the country to implement this system.

The purpose is to ensure that the highest standards of hygienic, environment-impacting practices are implemented and ensure safe pork is supplied to the consumers. Meat from dead pigs and “rubbish pork” (low-quality pork) will not be sold and enforcement officers from the department are to monitor the farms.

AJ

MGK Sports Day

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It was a day of fun for the pupils of the Methodist Girls’ Kindergarten at their recent Annual Sports Day. The event which was held in the Methodist Girls’ Secondary School field was blessed and opened by Pastor Elaine Low of Canning Garden Methodist Church. Themed “1Malaysia”, the boys and girls were decked in aptly designed T-shirts during the mass drill where they danced energetically to upbeat music. Later, they competed, class by class, in various sports events which captured the Malaysian cultural drift. They played traditional games such as hopscotch, and had to don sarongs and clogs in obstacle races. Even the parents let their hair down in the Parents’ Challenge in which they participated alongside their children. Chairman of the Kindergarten Management Committee, Leonard Lim presented prizes to the winners.

LYW

Superlative Sitar

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Sitarist Ustad Mokhsin Ali Khan (front right) with his team

The recently held Sitar performance, SANGEET, was a wonderful musical experience.

Organised by Greentown Indian Cultural Society (GICS) together with the Indian Cultural Centre Kuala Lumpur, it featured a sitar performance by maestro, Ustad Mohksin Ali Khan, ranked as one of the best Sitarist in the world and his team from New Delhi, India.

Mohksin, 47, learned the sitar under his uncle Ustad Wazir Ali Khan and well-known musician-composer Pandit Partho Das. Mohksin’s style now successfully blends the best of both his teachers in the renditions of his music.

The one raga played that night featured over 100 variations. The majority of the audience that night, when asked, stated they thoroughly enjoyed the show.

The show that night was held at the Multi Purpose Hall at the State Secretariat. Although admission was free, the attendance only half filled the hall.

Posing with the committee of GICS. 2nd from left is GICS President Subain Singam

According to GICS President, Subain Singam, the society’s goal is to make Ipoh a place of performances for Indian Music and Dance every month.

Their next event on Sunday 24 July is Ghazal which is Hindustani Classical Songs with a lot of wonderful & beautiful ragas (melodies) sung by Suman Devgan, one of the top Ghazal singers in the world. She will be accompanied by four top class musicians. All of the performers are from New Delhi.

Entrance again is free and held at the same venue. The event starts at 7.30 p.m. For enquiries, Subain Singam can be contacted at 012-5056049.

JAG

Ambitious Target for Visit Perak Year 2012

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By James Gough

Perak is to embark on an aggressive programme to promote tourism in the state. It has set a target for three million tourist arrivals under its Visit Perak Year 2012. The promotion, which lifted off this month, has a two-prong approach. One is to spruce up the various tourist attractions available in the state and the other is to draw up attractive tour packages to lure tourists to stay overnight.

Publicity Campaign to Put Perak on Tourism Map

State tourism chairman, Dato’ Hamidah Othman, hopes to put the state on the tourism map through an intensive publicity campaign in the country and as well as abroad.

She said it was important that they start preparing now for the Visit Perak Year 2012. She is seeking a RM10 million budget for promotions from the state with a ringgit-to-ringgit match from the federal government.
Although Perak has many tourist attractions, it has not felt the full impact of the country’s successful tourism industry each year. Though tourism is the second largest revenue earner in the country earning RM56.5 billion from the arrival of 24.6 million visitors last year, Perak recorded just 2.2 million tourist arrivals during the same period.

This is being attributed to tour agents from Penang and Kuala Lumpur for organising only day trips to the various tourist attractions in the state, while local tour agents appear to be just interested in outbound tours.
As a result, the number of visitors to Perak has been experiencing a declining trend in the last three years. Perak therefore needs to offer attractive tour packages to lure tourists to stay longer.

Lure Tourists To Stay Longer
“Our goal for Visit Perak Year 2012 is to create 3 days-2 nights (3D2N) packages to allow visitors to the state to stay overnight,” said Hamidah. According to her, getting visitors to stay overnight would have a spill-over effect for the industry players.

Generally, a visitor to Ipoh who is staying for a 2D1N package spends an average RM300 which covers accommodation, transport, food and shopping. Based on this simple formula and at 3 million visitors the spill over effect to the industry would be RM900 million.

However, Hamidah is planning to come out with 3D2N package stays. She has identified four packages to be worked on. They are Belum and Lenggong, Kuala Kangsar and Taiping, Pangkor and Manjung and Ipoh.
With just over five months to go, preparations for the Visit Perak Year will start with a seminar to be attended by the stake holders and hoteliers.

Similarly, Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri DiRaja Zambry Abdul Kadir will also be holding briefings with representatives from all district councils and local authorities to prepare for events on district, federal and international levels.

Locals To Think Tourism And Do Tourism
“Visit Perak Year 2012 will involve the whole state,” stressed Hamidah. “We need to create awareness throughout the state and have the local residents as well as local councils, to participate to have a Fiesta. We have to tickle the locals to think tourism and do tourism”.

The theme for Visit Perak Year 2012 is “Green Tourism. Yours to Discover. Nature and Heritage” which is aligned to Tourism Malaysia’s tagline “Go Green, Go Clean”.

Hamidah has budgeted RM7.5 million for promotions. Besides new brochures, it will include 14 billboards throughout the North-South Highway from Johor to Perlis with additional billboards at KLIA, LCCT and KL Sentral. Two LRT coaches will feature Visit Perak Year’s wraparounds while aggressive promotions via the main-stream media will commence this month. Apart from these, road shows are also to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Singapore, Medan and Jakarta.

Hamidah also announced that the state was working with an outside agent to develop the inbound tourism market saying that the local agents were more interested in promoting outbound tourism.

Meanwhile, the state is preparing some new tourist attractions; among them an allocation of RM200,000 for the Kinta Nature Park in Batu Gajah and a RM300,000 allocation for upgrading Lorong Panglima (Concubine Lane) in Ipoh.

Others include steps taken to float the last tin dredge at Tanjung Tualang, converting a decommissioned Royal Malaysian Navy warship, KD Rahmat, at Lumut into a living museum with a hotel and floating restaurant, promoting the firefly colony at Kampong Dew near Taiping, more Heritage Trail Maps for Old Town Ipoh, and plans for Batu Gajah and Gopeng.

Lenggong Valley archaeological site, where remains and artefacts from the Palaeolithic (old Stone Age) and Neolithic (new Stone Age) were found as well as the skeleton of the 11,000 years old Perak Man will be featured strongly.

On Ipoh/Tin Heritage, Hamidah initiated a move to gazette the area from Ipoh to Batu Gajah, Kampar and Gopeng as a Tin World Heritage site. Perak Tourism is collaborating with National Heritage Department to gazette the area though she is now going for National Heritage Gazetting.

Meanwhile, the Malayan railways company (KTMB) has donated one of its three ‘domed verandas’ that protrude outward from the Ipoh Railway station to be used as a Tourist Information Counter and centre for the heritage walk where visitors would be briefed before setting out on their walk.

Ipoh Railway Station is the starting point of the Ipoh Heritage Walk every Saturday. According to Hamidah the Perak Tour Guides Association would operate the information centre when ready.

Calendar of Events
Perak Tourism too will be coming out with a Calendar of Events throughout next year with contributions from NGOs, associations and local government bodies. The calendar will be finalised by September and the printed copy out by October.

Other activities proposed by Hamidah include participation by commercial retailers to promote local products such as white coffee and even shoes, and promoting cycling to get around heritage trails.

On the overall preparations, Hamidah said that “generally we are ready. Our theme song and logo are ready while our promotions will start this month. Everything else should be completed by September as we plan to have a soft launch in October while the actual launch will be on January 1, 2012 after the New Year countdown.”

SeeFoon discovers that “Real Men Do Eat Quiche”

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By See Foon Chan-Koppen

The title of this tongue-in-cheek book Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche, by American Bruce Feirstein, a bestselling book in the 80s, satirizing stereotypes of masculinity, came to mind as I was tucking into Quiche recently at Tammy’s Kitchen in Ipoh Garden East.

Tammy Tan, the enterprising proprietor and pastry chef, with her brother Robin Tan helming the kitchen, has created a small but comfortable cafe in this little neck of the woods on Hala Bandar Baru (take the road behind Jusco going towards Tambun, past Citrus on the right). Although the signboard is a tad difficult to read with its black lettering on red background, with the name Tammy’s Kitchen, a visit to the cafe itself is worth the effort.

Homemade Quiche

As I mentioned right at the beginning, the homemade Quiche (a sort of open pie on a pastry shell) which is a meal in itself, is a heaven-sent thick chunk of melt-in-mouth pastry, eggs, cream, mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, cheese and very tasty sliced sausages and chicken ham. As I watched my friend Chris DiGiovanna, who often helps me out with the food shots, tuck into it with gusto and enjoyment, I couldn’t help but think about the book that had given me a good chuckle in those days. The Quiche, which is one of the best I’ve tasted, sells out very quickly and is made fresh for both lunch and dinner RM12.90 per portion.

I was determined to sample as many of her dishes on the simple menu as possible and so I rounded up a group on two occasions to do just that. So here are my recommendations.

The Chicken Pie (weekends only) is quite small and can easily be eaten by one person RM6.50. Her Cornish Pasty (only 8 pieces a day and sells out quickly) is much larger, stuffed with carrots, potatoes, onions, chicken, fresh button mushrooms and is served with a salad – RM12.90. Both of these use short-crust pastry which gives them the crumbly texture which I love.

Western Dishes

We tasted the Grilled Chicken Salad which was unanimously voted by our group as excellent; morsels of grilled teriyaki-flavoured chicken pieces topping a crisp mixed salad with a subtle balsamic vinegar dressing – RM10. The Seafood Pasta (RM14.90) came with baby tomatoes and the Creamy Mushroom Spaghetti (RM12.90) was delicious. We also had a Seafood Spaghetti with pesto sauce which my dining companions enjoyed but I found, overly garlicky. While Tammy’s spaghetti was more ‘al dente’ than most other cafes, I still found it softened for local taste buds and not quite to my purist Italian standards; nevertheless a good effort which will appeal to most local diners. With more than 23 different styles of pasta to choose from, diners are spoilt for choice.

For those into larger portions of meat, their Australian Sirloin Steak served with vegetables and french-fries was tender and great value at RM20.90. Their Lamb Stew, which is available only on Fridays and weekends, is a wholesome portion with gravy served with a piece of garlic bread to soak up the sauce – RM16.50. For those into cheese and fish, there is the Cheesy Salmon which is an interesting fusion, quite delectable – RM14.50. The one anomaly on the menu which features all western-style dishes and which I found absolutely irresistible was the Asam Seafood Rice, made from their own secret recipe for the paste; a must-try for those who love a good asam taste.

Desserts and Pastries

A review of Tammy’s Kitchen would not be complete without mention of their desserts and pastries. Highly recommended and top of my list is their Tiramisu which has to be one of the best I’ve ever tasted (RM12) followed by their Banana Royale, a tall wedge of sponge, cream and huge chunks of banana – RM7.50. Noteworthy and definitely worth dropping in for coffee are their muffins which vary between blueberry, banana walnut and cherry-chocolate. These are moist, crumbly and definitely worth the RM3.50 for each.

This is one restaurant that combines quality with value. Well worth visiting.

Tammy’s Kitchen
17 Hala Bandar Baru Tambun 18, Desa Tambun Indah.
Tel: 017-4873728
Pork Free. Closed Tuesdays.