Tag Archives: ipoh echo issue 136

Windfall for the Poor


It was a windfall of sorts for 15 Indian breadwinners from Ipoh. They were shortlisted, based on their financial dispositions, collected and collated in e-kasih, a data bank of Malaysians who live below the poverty line. Those shortlisted stand to gain from the issuance of Permodalan Nasional Berhad’s unit trust, Amanah Saham Wawasan 2020. Each of the 15 recipients was given RM10,000 worth of ASW 2020 unit trust.

The handing-over ceremony was graced by Dato’ Abdul Rahim Md Arif, Secretary of Ipoh City Council at the council’s lobby recently. The opportunity is opened to those who earn less than RM1,000 from the rural areas and RM1,500 from urban areas. According to Rahim, registration of candidates began in May 2011 and the award was the result of this on-going exercise. He urged Ipohites who qualify to register with e-kasih. “Registration can be done online,” said Rahim.


Ipoh Lionesses Celebrate Anniversary


Lioness Club of Ipoh celebrate 35th anniversaryThe Lioness Club of Ipoh had a Gala Nite at the Ipoh City & Country Club recently. About 100 guests gathered to celebrate its 35th anniversary which was launched by President of Lions Club of Ipoh Host Lion Dr S. Martin Balachandran. Also present was his spouse Mrs Juliana Martin. The celebration was a fun-filled night which included cake cutting by past presidents and committee members followed by anniversary waltz by Lions, Lionesses and guests. Games and lucky draws were held to commemorate the big day.

President, Juliet Putra thanked those present for their support in realising all the club’s charity projects. She said this was also to foster fellowship among the Lions family. The get-together was organised by Sakuntala Rajadurai who said that it being the 35th anniversary, the Club decided on a memorable celebration.

Newly-Paved Silibin Road Is Sinking


Newly-paved Silibin Road is sinkingThe whole stretch of Silibin Road was resurfaced and upgraded to dual lanes about a year ago. However, the section of the road between Jalan Hassan and Our Lady of Lourdes Church started sinking on the left side soon after paving.

Perhaps it is due to an improper gradient of the road and stagnated rain water. When it rains, puddles of water form along the road. Despite the recent resurfacing, patchwork repairs have already been done in a number of locations. The road is uneven.  In fact, the section of road in front of Gayathri Supermarket was raised to avoid flooding after rain.

A new road must not have these flaws. Engineers from MBI must visit the place and assess the situation.

A. Jeyaraj

Master of His Craft

Master of His Craft - Wong Kean Choon
Wong Kean Choon, well-known in the Ipoh art circle

“By his work one knows the workman,” once ventured a poet. It is probably an opinion shared readily by artists. Wong Kean Choon, a well-known figure in the art circle of Ipoh, spoke of the same sentiment when asked what influences an artist’s painting style.

Kean Choon, who turns 70 this year, believes that every artist has a unique painting style borne of life experiences, preference and observations. An artist’s painting style morphs with the passage of time, as do his circumstances in life, but some distinguishing elements remain constant. It is this constant that distinguishes one artist from the other.

Born in Menglembu, Ipoh, Kean Choon knew from a young age that all he wanted to do was paint. Despite understandable objections from his parents, he enrolled in the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and graduated in 1965. Since then, he has immersed himself totally in art and has been painting almost every day of his life for the past 46 years. In his paintings one can glean the fluidity of strokes and colours that only total immersion and dedication can produce.

An artist’s life is a hard one, cautions Kean Choon, and one must be prepared to live a simple and austere life if art is to be one’s vocation. He also believes that the gift of talent can only take an artist so far, the rest will depend on his perseverance and diligence. As is said, the artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work.

In looking at his paintings, displayed in his art studio in Menglembu, one is instantly mesmerised by Kean Choon’s fluency of strokes and colours. The confident, fluid strokes give a sense of immediacy that is so important in watercolours and which can only be achieved through many years of experience.

Despite Kean Choon’s preference, he is non-dogmatic of other art styles for every piece of art is a painted record of an artist’s personality and his reaction to his environment. Over the years, Kean Choon has been identified with rural scenes of kampong houses, chickens and ethereal, kebaya-clad ladies. It is a signature that has a timeless appeal and his unique style will surely live on long after he has gone.

Valerie Soon

KPJ Ipoh Specialist Hospital CNY 2012 babies

CNY Dragon Babies of Ipoh



KPJ Ipoh Specialist Hospital CNY 2012 babies
CEO of KPJ Ipoh Specialist Hospital, En. Mohd. Nasir Bin Mohamed presented the Chinese New Year Dragon Baby hamper

This year’s Chinese New Year of 2012 was extra special and most meaningful for two new mothers with the addition of their new-borns! Two babies were born on January 23. Madam Chin Siew Wai gave birth to her first baby girl at 12.48 a.m., weighing 2.73kg; meanwhile Madam Tan Kia Im gave birth to her first baby boy, weighing 3.15kg at 11.23 a.m. To celebrate this blissful occasion, the Management of KPJ ISH presented Chinese New Year Dragon baby hampers to both mothers (pic shows CEO of KPJ Ipoh Specialist Hospital, En. Mohd. Nasir Bin Mohamed presenting the hamper to Madam Tan and husband). To these first time mothers, welcome to the mama’s club! And you Dragon babies, go conquer the world!

CNY Joy for the Underprivileged


Kelab Ambank Group CNY Joy for the UnderprivilegedKelab AmBank Group held a Chinese New Year celebration for 50 underprivileged children and youths from two homes in Teluk Intan recently. Organised under the Group’s AmBank Cares Programme, the event was aimed at sharing the joy of Chinese New Year with the underprivileged children and youths of the homes. The guests were presented with clothing, goodies and ang pows. They were then entertained by a lion dance and magic show and later treated to a sumptuous lunch.

“The Year of Dragon is associated with ambition and passion, hence AmBank is happy to share this auspicious occasion with these underprivileged children,” said Gan Yok Chuan, the Regional Manager of AmBank (M) Berhad. Community-based programmes such as this, he said are important in creating awareness about the underprivileged. They are being actively pursued by the bank in line with its objective of becoming a socially responsible corporate citizen.

Those who require details on AmBank’s community programmes can contact Syed Anuar Syed Ali at 03‑20361703. His email: sasa@ambankgroup.com.


Coffin and Funeral Exhibition


Coffin and Funeral Exhibition - Visit Perak Year 2012In conjunction with Visit Perak Year 2012, Museum Darul Ridzuan is organising a Coffin and Funeral Exhibition. The exhibition is being held for two months from December 21, 2011 to February 29, 2012. The exhibits include funeral rites of all the major religions around the world including that of Jews. Brief descriptions are given on the ceremonies being done however the English version was full of grammatical errors.

The exhibition was launched by Dato’ Zainol Fadzi bin Haji Paharudin, Exco for Culture. The opening hours are from 9.30 a.m. to 9.30 p.m. daily. The entrance fee is RM3 for adults and RM1 for students. It is free for senior citizens above 60 years old, children under 6 years and disabled persons.

The general comment was that the timing of an exhibition on this topic is not appropriate during the festive season of Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year.


Cows grazing in the field at playground Jalan Lumut, Lim Gardens

Once the Pride of Lim Gardens


By Francis Vije

As far as memory serves me, I remember playing football every evening on this wonderful open field at Jalan Lumut. Playing football on this field from the age of 6 till 18 was a must for me every day. Not only was it a place of relaxation but it was a football field for the younger generation. Nowadays, my nephew and his friends play football daily on this field. It is my hope that my son and his friends will be the future generation of footballers who will enjoy what used to be a magnificent and majestic field. This field used to be the pride of every footballer in Lim Gardens and also the envy of every footballer from the neighbouring areas.

Shame of Lim Gardens

Now at the age of 41, I still play football on this field, although only on the weekends. However, this field is no longer the pride, but more of a bane of Lim Gardens. Here is a litany of ‘sins’:

  • The ground is uneven, due to cut grass not being cleared away, leaving clumps dotting the entire field.
  • The grass is overgrown and grass cutting is not carried out on a regular basis.
  • The drains around the field are clogged with no water movement and now provide an excellent place for mosquitoes to breed.
  • The drains are overgrown with weeds and lalang. Even a small tree was recently spotted sprouting from the drain.
  • The sides of the field are littered with garbage.
  • Even the goal posts are all rusted and one of it is now broken.
  • The fences at the back of the goal posts are broken with gaping holes in many places.
  • The benches in the field are very old and broken pieces of glass litter the ground beneath them and are not cleared away.
  • And recently, cows have invaded the field to graze and cause a mess.

As a long-time resident, it is my hope that MBI will take the necessary actions to preserve this nostalgic field in Lim Gardens. My recommendations are as follows:

  • Dig up the whole field and level the ground.
  • Have the grass cut at least every three weeks.
  • Change all the drains around the field, so that the water will be able to flow smoothly without being stagnant.
  • Have the drains cleared at least once every month.
  • Put proper garbage bins at the sides of the field, so that the residents have a proper place to throw their garbage.
  • Replace the broken goal post and have the goal posts painted with anti rust at least once every six months.
  • Replace the holes in the fences with proper fencing.
  • Replace the benches in the field with new ones. The current benches have been in existence since the 1970s.
  • Consider fencing up the whole field, as this will deter unsavoury people from using this field and prevent cows from causing a mess in the field, especially at night.

Ipoh used to have the reputation of being the cleanest city in all of Malaysia. Now it looks like we may have a new title: The Dirtiest.

Ipoh’s Most Beautiful Mom


ICCC Ipoh's Most Beautiful Mom 2011A total of 22 mothers vied for the inaugural ICCC Most Beautiful Mom 2011 title held at Ipoh City & Country Club recently. The contestants, some of whom were from neighbouring states, had to go through three test routines – modelling in cheongsam, talent spotting and modelling in evening wear.

The five judges were Melinda Yap, Mrs Malaysia Globe 2011, Coco Lee, wife of ICCC’s owner, Datin Janet Yeoh, mother of Dato’ Michelle Yeoh, Jennifer Liau and Amy Chin.

The ICCC Most Beautiful Mom 2011 crown went to Lee Lay Mea, 51. She won a RM500 cash prize, a trophy and hampers. She also bagged the Best Evening Gown Mom title. Lee, who runs a business with her husband, is a mother of five and has a 2-year-old granddaughter.

First runner-up was Christte Chua. She won the Most Popular Mom title which was determined by audience ballot voting. Second runner-up title went to Chong Boon Geok. Both winners are in their forties.

Proceeds from the show will be donated to charity organisations.


A Place for the Talented


By Fathol Zaman Bukhari

Institut Darul Ridzuan PORT - a place to exhibit artworksIt never occurred to me that this once dilapidated government quarters on the edge of oblivion would one day be the home for the talented or the “remarkable”. Located along busy Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah (formerly Tiger Lane) a stone’s throw away from Fella Design, a household name in the home-furnishing industry, the converted government quarters is easily identifiable by the lettering “PORT” which stand proudly on a pedestal at the entrance to the house.

I was equally puzzled as to why this insignificant living quarters, which was reportedly a haven for drug addicts, could have acquired such prominence in so short a time. The empty building, long abandoned by the state for reasons of funding and, probably, the lack of qualified tenants, has now assumed a more likeable role since it came under the wings of Institut Darul Ridzuan, better known by its acronym IDR.

What is IDR all about?  Institut Darul Ridzuan is in essence a think-tank under the ambit of the state government. It came into existence in 2005, being the brainchild of the present Chief Minister, Dato’ Seri DiRaja Dr Zambry Abd Kadir who was then the Executive Councillor for ICT, Manpower and Technology. On assuming the chief ministerial post in February 2009, Zambry took it upon himself to establish the equivalent of former Premier Abdullah Badawi’s famous 4th Floor Boys.

With the backing of the Chief Executive Officer cemented, IDR became fully operational in March 2009. In May 2009 Aminuddin Hashim was appointed by Zambry as its Executive Officer tasked with the responsibility of charting the course of the institution.

The youngish-looking bespectacled forty-something Aminuddin comes with the right credentials for the chief executive post. An accountant by training, Aminuddin has what it takes to bring IDR to the level of respectability envisioned by the Chief Minister. His responsibilities are varied but being a man of finance his primary role is to provide and suggest ideas on ways to better manage the state’s coffers. The many economic transformational plans now in place originate from IDR. The latest being the state budget for 2012.

Economics is not the topic I am going to delve on today. What I have is more personal in nature, something to do with the many hidden talents that Ipoh possesses today. Talents which, if not exposed, will go to waste.

I have been approached a few times by friends who know of someone who is a great artist, a talented musician, a master craftsman, etc. They all suffer from one debilitating shortcoming – the lack of space to showcase their expertise. Two such talents were introduced to me recently. Both are artists in their own right, one with a college degree the other without. Their water-colour paintings of flowers and birds are flawlessly beautiful. But neither of them have the resources nor the means to bring their expertise to another level. These talents, in all probability, will be side-lined and, like many others, will soon slip into obscurity never to surface again. If such a fate awaits them, then it is only proper that we do something before the inevitable happens.

At a dinner organised specifically for the media by IDR recently, I broached the subject of latent talents to Aminuddin, the host. Aminuddin took time to explain the intricacies of IDR and what the letters “PORT” stand for. “People of Remarkable Talents,” he remarked without batting an eyelid.

“This is the place for your two artist friends,” said Aminuddin. “We’ll provide them the space to showcase their artworks and may extend some financial assistance if need be,” he added.

The offer was simply too good to dismiss. So I am making this known to all and sundry. For those of you who are looking for a place to exhibit your artworks, Institut Darul Ridzuan’s PORT, along Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, Ipoh is the place. For details please call the centre’s manager, Amir Baharuddin at 012-5258213.