Tag Archives: ipoh echo issue 131

Murku for Deepavali


Ipoh City Council celebrated Deepavali by distributing 300 packs of “murku” (an Indian snack) to Indian staff and visitors at the lobby of the council building recently. Mayor Dato’ Roshidi Hashim, personally handed out the gifts, wishing “Happy Deepavali” to the lucky recipients.

Ipoh City Council has been offering gifts to walk-in visitors and council staff during Chinese New Year, Hari Raya Puasa, Hari Merdeka and Hari Malaysia. The next occasion on the council’s calendar is Christmas at the end of the year.


Railings Removed


The troublesome railings at the busy pedestrian crossing in Jalan Hospital-Fair Park, whose presence was given the thumbs-down by Jerry Francis (Ipoh Echo Issue 129), were removed by MBI no sooner as the matter was highlighted. In a letter to Ipoh Echo dated October 7, the Council replied. Here is the English translation:

“The Council takes cognizance of the problem and has acted to remove the railings at that part of the road.”

The Council’s timely action is appreciated.


Keeping Ipoh Clean


Ipoh City Council’s catchy tag-line, “Ipoh Bersih, Hijau dan Membangun” or “Ipoh Clean, Green and Progressing” is misleading, to say the least. It was recently announced that Kampong Sg Rokam would be the city’s first litter-free zone. The programme was launched on Thursday, October 20. When it comes to project launching we are on top. Once the dust settles, it is business as usual. I doubt Kampung Sg Rokam will be any better.

Browsing through Ian Anderson’s book on Ipoh, I chanced upon a photograph with a banner stating “Anti-Litter Campaign. Keep Ipoh Clean – October 1975 to January 1976”. Back in the 1970s cleaning-up campaigns were already the vogue. They were effective, and in the course, Ipoh was declared the cleanest city in the country. Where do we stand now?

The Council’s Enforcement Department, next to the controversial Perak Tourism Centre and a stone’s throw away from landmarks such as the Royal Ipoh Club, Ipoh Padang and the iconic Ipoh Railway Station, is in a mess. Confiscated items are heaped in the department’s compound, in full view of the public. I raised this issue with one of the department’s employees and the answer he gave was baffling indeed. He said it was an internal problem which was beyond him. How could he be so indifferent?

Rubbish is not something one should take lightly. With Visit Perak Year 2012 around the corner, the Council cannot let its guard down. Why can’t people be like my smoker friend who carries a tiny plastic bag with him everywhere he goes? The bag acts as a receptacle for ashes and cigarette butts. A positive attitude is the way forward. Keeping Ipoh clean is our responsibility.


A Place For Final Rites


Hindus, not only those in Manjung District but others in Perak, can administer the final rites for their loved ones by the seaside once a building for this purpose is completed in November this year.

President of Hindu Sabah, S. Aramban said that efforts to locate and build the site took many years to realise. A proposal by the society of a secluded coastal spot about 15 km from Sitiawan was finally approved by the state government with the blessing of MB, Dato’ Seri DiRaja Dr Zambry Abd Kadir.

The building, costing about RM80,000, comes with three bays allowing for three separate ceremonies to be conducted simultaneously. The only snag is the approach road to the site. It is sloping, narrow and in poor shape. The society will seek the authorities’ assistance to have the road broadened, levelled and surfaced.

Hindu Sabah manages the Sanathana Dharma Ashram, a welfare home for orphans between the ages of 7 and 20 in Sitiawan. The orphanage currently has 51 inmates on its roll.

Sanathana Ashram is located at 101, Jalan Astaka, Kg Serdang, Sitiawan. For details call 013-5215198.


Dato’ Daniel Tay, A Modest Leader Who Cares


By See Foon Chan-Koppen

Dato' Daniel Tay

Dato’ Daniel Tay is a modest man. When I suggested that I interview him for my Anak Perak column, he hemmed and hawed like a girl who has just received a marriage proposal and finally relented after persistent cajoling on my part.

“My friends will roll in the aisles with laughter. I am not famous or a celebrity, why me?” he said. “Well it’s not just your myriad activities and involvement with the many NGOs and your serving as councillor and now city councillor for more than 12 years, but its your caring for people and your modesty that touches me and I feel that the people in Ipoh deserve to learn more about you,” I counter argued and finally won the day.

Dato’ Daniel is a Perakean through and through. Born in 1955, he attended ACS in Sitiawan school throughout his school years and has the distinction of being in the first batch of Form 6 students from the school. He qualified as a Barrister from Lincoln’s Inn London in 1978. He was called to the Bar in 1979 and commenced legal practice. In 1980, he was appointed as a magistrate in Ipoh and served in the legal and judicial service until he resumed legal practice and started his own small law firm in 1982 specializing in criminal law then; which has now grown into a substantial firm with six partners and more than ten lawyers doing general practice.

Serious City Councillor

As a City Councillor, Dato’ Daniel takes his responsibilities very seriously. Appointed by the Menteri Besar, he occupies one of two seats for the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) in the City of Ipoh and has responsibility for Zone 8 which comprises Lim Garden, Taman Merdeka and surrounding areas. Dato’ Daniel makes himself readily accessible to his constituents in dealing with short-term issues like SLR – sampah (rubbish), longkang (drains) and rumput (grass). Longer term issues which require careful planning such as installing additional street lamps, dangerous bends in roads and flooding, he handles with the appropriate authorities involved. Judging by one incident involving cow dung outside one of his constituent’s house and the alacrity with which he handled the issue with MBI which was reported in issue 118 of the Ipoh Echo, one can safely say that Dato’ Daniel is a man of action.

Civic Activities

His list of activities and civic involvements is legendary. He has just begun his third term as President of the Ipoh Swimming Club; his ninth year as President of the YMCA of Ipoh. He also serves as VP of the Malaysian National Council of YMCAs; VP of the People’s Progressive Party Perak, Committee member (previous secretary) of the Council of Justices of the Peace in Perak, Board member of Sekolah Methodist ACS Ipoh and Chairman of the Bercham Methodist Church.

As President of the Ipoh Swimming Club, he was waxing lyrical about the eight renovated rooms, two of them suites, at the club which are now available for rent as bed and breakfast at very reasonable rates. Renovation plans have been drawn up for the whole club and so far, only additional badminton courts have been put in. As for the rest of the renovation plans, he being the democratic leader that he is, will take comments from all members before proceeding.

In the case of the YMCA, under his leadership over the past nine years, many in the community have benefited from the many classes and events which have been organised under his leadership over the past 10 years. Now in November he and his committee have put together what promises to be an exciting competition involving the young. Entitled ‘Ipoh Also Got Talent’, the competition will be a take-off on the ever popular TV series which has taken the world by storm in many countries. Scheduled for a grand finals on December 3, the event will showcase both Ipoh and Perak’s talents.

Keen Sportsman

A keen sportsman, Dato’ Daniel played tennis for Perak for many years, winning the Doubles Champion and singles runner-up titles for three years in the late 80s. Retiring from competitive tennis saw him honing his skills on the golf course where he played with a handicap of 19. In badminton he is the reigning doubles champion (above 50 category) of the Ipoh Swimming Club. An injury to his shoulder has now stopped him from pursuing his favourite sports but he maintains his interest and lends his experience serving as Vice President of the Perak Lawn Tennis Association.

Spiritual Pursuits

An epiphany around the age of 40 saw Dato’ Daniel take a spiritual turn in his life. He decided to deepen his faith and pursue a course of study which resulted in his obtaining a Master of Ministry from a local seminary in the year 2000. He then took on the additional role of lay preacher, another role which he plays very passionately. “I felt called to heal my relationships as father, husband, son, friend and civic member of society,” he confided. Adding, “My favourite theme in my preaching is to awaken people to their mortality and in preparation we must accumulate as much good that we can do for all the people in our lives,” he added.

When asked about his philosophy of life, he said, “I believe in being transparent as I travel on this journey. I have no qualms in exposing my weaknesses and sharing who I am, warts and all as I do my best to help others on the same journey.”

Dato’ Daniel and his wife Siew Phaik have three children. Ipoh is proud to count Dato’ Daniel Tay as one of its august Anak Perak.

Deepavali Hampers


Ipoh City Council, through Councillor of Zone 12 (Buntong/Silibin), Sabramani a/l Appadurai, sponsored food hampers to a hundred underprivileged families from the Buntong Indian community in conjunction with Deepavali celebration recently. Dato’ S. Veerasingam, Special Advisor to Menteri Besar, graced the occasion. In his speech, he advised the audience to spend within their means, especially during festivities like Deepavali.

The presentation of food hampers to underprivileged families in Buntong is an annual affair. In line with the spirit of 1 Malaysia families from other races also benefited. The ceremony was held at Pusat Rukun Tetangga, Teluk Kurin, Buntong 2 with the assistance of several non-governmental organisations.


High Profile Toastmaster Quits After 25 Years


Peter Ng, who is being described as the most reputable and high profile toastmaster in Perak, decided to quit after 25 years as a member of the YMCA of Ipoh Toastmasters’ Club. A farewell was held at the club’s recent meeting.

Members paid glowing tributes to him for his “selfless dedication” to the club. “Not only was he, the heart and soul of the club, he was also the conscience,” said one of them.

Another member praised him for unwaveringly steering the club through some tough patches with his counsel and no-nonsense approach. Ng was also recognised as being a great influence on the development and growth of many Toastmasters, young and old.

In his reply, Ng thanked everybody for their kind words and support. He confided that he had derived immense pleasure and rewards from his many years as a Toastmaster.

Citing a change of priorities owing to changes in circumstances surrounding his life, Ng has reluctantly and with some sadness laid down the gavel, the conspicuous symbol of Toastmasters.

Cheah Tong Kim

At a Loose End in Ipoh (part I):The Charcoal Factory and Village Tour


By Mariam Mokhtar

There have been several stories about Ipoh being a boring place with nothing to do during the day. Outsiders claim that Ipoh is worse at night because there is nowhere worth going to for entertainment.

Those who are used to the bright lights of Kuala Lumpur or Singapore will have plenty to moan about. But when, one weekend, I was tasked with looking after nine children, with ages ranging from eight to eighteen, who came from Japan, England, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, I had no hesitation in taking them on a trip to Kampung Dew, near Taiping.

It was one of the best evenings the children had, visiting the charcoal factory, the little village straddling Sungai Sepetang and also observing fireflies along the banks of the river.

Matang Boardwalk Closed

It was fortunate that we telephoned the Matang Forest Reserve office because we had wanted to go for a walk along the boardwalk to observe the mangrove swamp at close quarters and also because two children in the group were keen birdwatchers.

That was when we discovered that the boardwalk had been closed for the past couple of months and would be out of bounds to the public until the end of the year.

We were not given this information about repairs to the boardwalk, when enquiries were made at the Perak Tourist Information Centre in Ipoh, the pre-vious week.

Perhaps, the relay of information between tourist sites and the main Tourist Information Cen-tres in Perak could be better coordinated.

Private Tour of Kampung Dew

We made our own arrangements for the Kampung Dew tour, with the guide En. Khairul Salleh Ahmad, who told us what to wear and what was available on this particular tour.

Our initial trip planned for earlier in the month, had to be postponed because it was around the time of the full moon so the impact of the fireflies would not have been as great.

When we arrived, Khairul was waiting with banana chips for the hungry children and an activity pack bursting with information (in Malay only) about the mangrove swamp.

After introducing himself and giving each of us a name tag, Khairul conducted his tour in English, for the benefit of our international group. The children were taken in by his friendliness and he answered all the tricky questions which they asked him.

Charcoal Kilns

One wonders what children are taught these days for they knew very little about charcoal and its origins. Some thought charcoal was mined. They had clearly mistaken charcoal for coal.

The charcoal kilns were interesting and we were taken through the various stages of making charcoal.

Perhaps, Khairul could make arrangements with the kiln operators or the villagers, to have a room where pictures of the charcoal making pro-cesses could be displayed, and bits of charcoal could be shown with its various uses: For drawing, for getting rid of smells, for filtering, for use in shisha burners, for making into medicinal tablets to absorb toxins.

A photo of the tree used for making charcoal would have been informative with a brief explanation why that particular species is good for making charcoal, how much charcoal is exported, its contribution to the economy and if the industry is labour intensive.

Later, in the adjacent village, the children went on a mock ‘fishing’ expedition, using chicken fat as bait, to feed eels and giant catfish, which were swimming in a tank.

We were shown udang galah (giant freshwater prawn) pots and would have purchased the udang galah but for the pollution that occurred the previous month. An oil-palm refinery had discharged its toxic effluents into the river and poisoned all the fish and freshwater lobster.

The children then took turns weaving attap roofing, which is used in the rooftops of traditional kampong houses. It was also the type of roofing material used by the charcoal factory. The girls in the group had a race with the boys, to see who could complete the most shingles. No prizes for guessing which group came up with the most and the better looking attap. The boys cheated because the girls in the village helped them.

Late Start for Fireflies

Dusk came, and because of low tide, we could only start our firefly tour at 9.00 p.m.

Using his laptop, Khairul gave us a short briefing on the fireflies and what we could expect that night. He showed photos of monitor lizards, snakes, exotic birds and also dolphins, which we were told could be found near the estuary but only during the day. These captivated the children thus adding to the excitement.

We said our farewells to Khairul, whom the children adored, and the friendly village people who must have been perplexed by the city-slickers, who thought charcoal was mined and who mistook monitor lizards for crocodiles.

In the west, pet-shops sell gnarled pieces of mangrove root at GBP20/   USD31 each, and we were disappointed that the boardwalk tour was off because we wanted to see mangrove growing in the swamp.

If there was any other criticism, it was that there was no one selling cold drinks to quench our thirst. I am surprised that no one has tapped into this need.

The firefly tour will be in the next instalment of “At a loose end in Ipoh”.

International Junior Tennis Championship 2011

Dato Hj Ahmad Jaafar-Lee KamBoon with Singles Champ and RunnerUp

Peter Ashley of Britain defeated fellow countryman, Clay Crawford to win the coveted International Tennis Federation (ITF) Junior Championship (Grade 4) single title at the Ipoh City Council Tennis Court recently. Eighth-seed Ashley was stretched to three sets by his opponent before winning 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.

In the semi-finals it was an all-British affair. Peter was beaten 7-5,4-0, (Ret) by Scott Clayton while Clay had a close call after scoring 6-7 (3), 1-0 before Joshua Sapwell retired due to injuries.

Malaysian junior pair of Ahmed Deedat Abdul Razak and Ariez Elyaas Deen Heshaam lost narrowly in the doubles final. In a three-set battle, Adrian Du Toit and Matthew Rossouw from South Africa, defeated the home pair 6-4, 3-6 (12-10).

In the semi-finals the Malaysian duo downed Scott Clayton and Toby Mitchell from Great Britain 3-6,6-3 (10-8) while the South Africans earned a place in the finals after their opponents, British pair Clay Crawford and Johnny O’Mara, gave a walkover.

In the Girls’ singles finals, Karin Kennel of Switzerland defeated Britian’s Pippa Horn in straight sets 6-2, 6-1 to wrest the championship title.

Karin qualified for the finals when she beat South Africa’s Ilze Hatttingh 6-3, 6-2, while Pippa defeated teammate, Katie Boulter 6-0, 6-2 in the semis.

The 5-day tournament was organised by the Perak Lawn Tennis Association and sanctioned by the International Tennis Federation. It was held at the MBI Tennis Complex, Ipoh from October 11 to 15.


Perak Territorial Army Company Formed


The much-awaited Perak Territorial Army Company was formally launched during a parade at Ipoh Padang. Army Chief, Gen Datuk Hj Zulkifli Hj Zainal Abidin, standing in for the Defence Minister, took the salute mounted by a 398-strong honour guard led by Lt-Col Mustafa bin Ahmad. The parading soldiers were from the Ipoh-based Regiment 503 (TA).

An hour-long mini tattoo followed soon after the guards left the field. Curious onlookers were enthralled by the marching precision of the military band, the skills of the army motorcyclists, dubbed the “Army Red Warrior” and the prowess of fierce-looking unarmed combatants in bringing down their ‘foes’.

Perak is among the few states left in the country which has yet to fulfil its obligation of forming a territorial company in each of its federal constituencies. So far only five of the 15 constituencies are with a rifle company. They are Bruas, Batu Gajah, Ipoh Barat, Ipoh Timur and Sungai Siput. The establishment of a territorial company was mooted by former Defence Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on July 15, 2000. Pahang was the first state to take the initiative.