Tag Archives: ipoh echo issue 138

The Last Post – Story of The Emergency (1948-1960) & Commemorative Events


Book Review

 ipoh echo issue 138, book review, The Last Post – Story of The Emergency (1948-1960)This is a true story about the magnificent roles that everyone played, particularly those in the planting and mining sectors, the Malaysian Armed Forces, the Royal Malaysian Police and its ancillary units, members of government and non-governmental agencies and the ordinary civilians who lost their lives during the Emergency (1948 to 1960). It contains the Rolls of Honour of combatants – Commonwealth and Malaysians – who participated in the containment and the defeat of Communism. Graphic accounts of some of the tragic incidents are also included.

The book was written by R. Thambipillay, a combatant himself, after years of fruitful research, locally and overseas. The author explained the methods used in bringing the conflict to an end. He alluded to the roles of the Special Branch and the Psychological Warfare Section of the Government, which used intelligence, garnered by the Special Branch, to their advantage. The use of armour is also featured in the successful prosecution of the insurgency war. The book also attempts to describe how Communism developed world-wide and how it arrived at our shores.

This book, in essence, caters to the many visitors attending the various remembrance ceremonies in Ipoh.

The Last Post – story of the Emergency 1948-1960 and Commemorative Events (ISBN 978-983-41340-1-3) is published as a keepsake. It is a limited edition of only 1,000 hard-bound copies consisting of 298 pages with about 370 photos, of which over 300 are photos of tombs of Commonwealth military personnel, Royal Malaysia Police, planters, miners, civilians buried in Batu Gajah’s God’s Little Acre and other cemeteries in Malaysia. After almost 64 years there are still loved ones, colleagues and friends keen to know the final resting place of their loved ones. The chapter under Memoriam contains more photos of tombs.

The book provides detailed accounts (with photos) of commemorative events, such as the one initiated in 1980 in Batu Gajah popularly known as “God’s Little Acre”, the service for the fallen Gurkhas at Kem Syed Putra, Ipoh and a composite remembrance service revived in 2008 at the Cenotaph, opposite the Ipoh railway station ending with the popular “Troops Night” sponsored by the Chan brothers at the Royal Perak Golf Club.

The hard-bound book is priced at RM80 a piece. Those keen to purchase one can contact the author at 012‑2352557 for details.


MB Addresses Council Staff


ipoh echo issue 138, Perak Menteri Besar, Dato’ Seri DiRaja Dr Zambry Abd KadirIpoh City Council staff took time off work to attend a talk by Menteri Besar, Dato’ Seri DiRaja Dr Zambry Abd Kadir at Stadium Indera Mulia recently. This was Zambry’s second address to the staff.

The Chief Minister spoke about teamwork and how it impacts working culture. Every member of the Council, regardless of his or her position, is equally important. The ultimate objective is the accomplishment of a mission and, therefore, everyone has a role to play. Staff, said Zambry, must be shown appreciation so they will work harder and, in the process, help enhance the Council’s image.

Zambry reminded everyone present that it was their responsibility to make Ipoh the cleanest city in the country once again. He then announced the good news. All Council staff would receive RM500 as bonus for 2011.

Ipoh City Council was awarded the ISO 9001/2008 certification in quality management by Certification International Malaysia. Country Director-cum-Managing Director, Ooi Soo Kang, handed over the certificate to Mayor Dato’ Roshidi Hashim at the conclusion of the talk.


The Federal Connection

visit perak year 2012
Datuk AC Mizal (r) with a fan

Perak Tourism recently held a dinner with the various directors of federal departments in conjunction with Visit Perak Year 2012. The dinner was officiated by State Exco for Tourism Dato’ Hamidah Osman.

In her address to the guests Hamidah again reiterated that what has been done to promote VPY 2012 so far is not enough. “Tonight I want to ‘lobby’ you, the department directors of the Federal Government to also play your part to promote VPY2012 by holding your department activities, where possible, in Ipoh. Perak is rich with products. Your commitment is necessary to make VPY 2012 a success. Holding activities here will help promote the ‘feel tourism, act tourism’ environment.”

The dinner was held at the newly-opened Riverfront Hotel and guests were treated to cultural dances by Selendang Perak as well as being entertained by VPY 2012 Tourism Ambassador Datuk AC Mizal.


Seladangs Struggle


ipoh echo issue 138, Seladangs, footballThe road to success for Perak is never going to be easy. Despite topping the league table after an impressive victory over Sarawak, the Seladangs’ luck ran out with successive defeats to T-Team in Kuala Terengganu and Lions XII at Stadium Perak.

What is the reason for the defeat then? It is not difficult to pinpoint the fault, actually. Poor performance is out of the question. The inability of Lazar Popovic to convert chances into goals is the one reason why Perak is so ineffective upfront.

The Serbian forward has not scored a single goal in seven outings and is under intense scrutiny from the fans. Ironically, there does not seem to be much effort coming from his side either. The issue with Popovic is not about support from his teammates but what lies deep within him.

Popovic was impressive during pre-season friendlies with confidence oozing from within him. His brilliance included a hat trick against USM FC in a friendly and helping to set up a few goals during the team’s pre-season tour of Indonesia.

So, the potential to shine is indeed there but Popovic has to fight a psychological battle with himself. His physical presence is already a big plus for Perak. Lions XII’s coach, V. Sundramoorthy, told Ipoh Echo after the home match last week that Popovic was a huge threat to his team.

His problem is identical to that of Chelsea’s Fernando Torres. For strikers, it is all about confidence. The Serbian forward showed glimpses of his capabilities in Perak’s victory over ATM in the FA Cup. After coming on as a substitute for the injured Akhmal Rizal, Popovic forced ATM’s goalkeeper to work overtime with his many brilliant moves. He has the aptitude.

The Seladangs now have a good respite before their next fixture against PKNS in the Super League. I feel the break will provide Popovic time to rest and to recuperate and, maybe, to revitalise himself. His teammates have indicated their willingness to give him the space he badly needs.

Obviously, Popovic is not experiencing a fanciful start to life with the Perak team. This explains why the Seladangs’ fans are rather hostile towards him. It is about time that he gets his act together. And with the April transfer looming closer, there is every reason for Popovic to show his worth.


Ipoh City Hall Never Fails To Amaze


Of late, there have been many grouses raised by residents of Ipoh of the lackadaisical attitude of Ipoh City Hall. Complaints are not resolved despite reminders and even to the extent of highlighting issues to the media. It appears that they have taken a stand not to respond to and adopt a laid-back attitude with the hope that the issues raised will settle down after some time. It is not in line with Visit Perak Year 2012 and like the Prime Minister has reiterated time and again – civil servants must buck up!

There was a Know Your Councillor campaign carried out by Penangites early this year for the public to be able to judge for themselves whether their councillors are up to mark. They are expected to serve the interests of ratepayers. Perhaps Ipohites should also follow the same. What has happened to the KPIs proudly and confidently announced earlier? If they are short of manpower, why not just organise a gotong-royong in the specified areas whereby the residents together with the councillors will work along side one another and prove to themselves that nothing is so impossible. It would also give us a chance to know our councillors and achieve a win-win situation, drastically the reverse of what’s happening now.

On another note, the Datuk Bandar Ipoh and his team of engineers should take a drive along Jalan Silibin. You will experience road speed humps of different shapes, sizes and gradients. There does not seem to be a standard measure on this. Most recent vehicle models are scraping their bumpers and the gradients have also sunken during the road works. Does anyone in Ipoh City Hall ever care? Does the team of road engineers and town planners supervise and approve of such works being carried out? So many questions remain unanswered. It would be nice if we residents are given a chance to compliment Ipoh City Hall in performing their given tasks once in a while but regrettably I feel this will never happen. Ipoh City Hall never fails to amaze me.

Baljit Singh Gill

Reviving Silveritage Galleria Complex


Silveritage Galleria Complex strategically situated along Jalan Raja Dr Nazrin Shah (Gopeng Road) will be revived per its original proposed plan, that of a State Handicraft and Tourism Centre.

Silveritage Galleria Complex - Medan Gopeng bus stationThe centre’s infrastructure already includes restaurants, food stalls, mini-kiosks, 2 halls and other public facilities.  However, the complex was subsequently rebranded as Medan Gopeng Bus Terminal when the express bus operators were relocated there in late 2004.

The re-development of the complex was announced by State Exco for Tourism Dato’ Hamidah Osman during a visit to the complex recently. The revived complex will be a one-stop centre and will house the offices of tour and travel agents who will be allowed to bring in their tour buses.

According to Hamidah, the goal of the one-stop centre is to have all the state’s products such as limau Tambun (pomeloes), kacang putih and even Pangkor Island ikan bilis and dried fish available here together with labu sayong pottery.  “With the existing infrastructure even cultural events can be held here,” added Hamidah.

The complex is anticipated to be ready after the middle of this year. This schedule is aligned with the schedule date when Meru Raya bus station is expected to be completed before the express bus operators from Medan Gopeng will be able to move over.

Hamidah also stated that a committee consisting of MBI, SEDC and the various tourism bodies and NGOs had been formed to oversee the transition.


Husni Opens Entrepreneur Development Centre at RTC Gopeng


ipoh echo issue 138, Dato’ Seri Ahmad Husni bin Mohamad Hanadzlah, Second Finance Minister Malaysia, Rural Transformation Centre (RTC), TEMANDato’ Seri Ahmad Husni bin Mohamad Hanadzlah, Second Finance Minister officially opened the Entrepreneur Development Centre at the Rural Transformation Centre (RTC), Gopeng. The Centre had approved loans to 45 entrepreneurs totalling RM372,000. Husni handed cheques to five of the recipients. He also opened branches of BSN and SME banks at RTC.

During the press conference Husni said that RTC would serve as an integrated service centre encompassing collection, processing and distribution of agricultural products, banking and insurance, business consulting services, skills training, health care and retail space. RTC Gopeng’s outreach would extend to all those living within 100km from the centre.


Watching The Waters Roll in


A. Jeyaraj A. Jeyaraj

My experience of flooding consisted of visiting housing estates that have been flooded and interviewing the people affected and proceeding to report on it. However, on this Black Monday morning when I woke up after 5.00 a.m. and looked out of my window, I found that the whole area was flooded. I quickly came down and noticed that my porch was under water and when I went to the kitchen the water was already entering it. I immediately woke my wife and alerted her.

flood in Kampung Manjoi IpohI have been living for about 20 years in Lorong Pari, Lim Garden and this is the first time flooding has occurred. I used to tell visitors that this is high ground and if my place gets flooded then the whole of Lim Garden would be flooded. My place was finally flooded.

I took my car out and drove through the flood waters to park on high ground. As I reached it, the car stalled and the engine died. There was the smell of burning rubber and when I opened the bonnet it was smoking. I closed the bonnet and rushed home. By now the water was entering the hall through the kitchen and porch. My wife and I quickly carried everything from the floor and placed them on chairs and tables. The water was about one inch deep and stabilised at that level. The kitchen cabinets and store rooms were under water. By now I received calls from friends that the whole area on either side of Sungai Pari was flooded.

I have three dogs to look after, one is a small house dog which was frightened and we kept her upstairs. Another dog was lying on the bench in the porch. My German Sheperd was very happy playing in the water.

I will give an example of how fast the water rose initially. A driver was driving through the road to pick up someone to take to the airport. He said when he passed my house the road was dry. He drove 300 metres or so to the end of the road and made a U-turn to return. That stretch of road is about two feet lower than the rest of the road. He said all of a sudden the water rushed in and the car began to float and he could not open the door and came out of the window. The car was submerged under water up to the level of the window. This happened in a few minutes.

Watching the Waters Roll in - flood in Lim Garden IpohBy daybreak many MBI staff came and water flowing down Sungai Pari brought along tons of rubbish which was stuck on the upstream side of the bridge along Jalan Raja. Because of this, water overflowed and debris was scattered along Jalan Raja. MBI workers started clearing the rubbish.

I heard announcements being made in Kg. Manjoi asking the flood victims to make a report at the Kampong Manjoi Police Station and submit to the Welfare Department Staff at the Community Centre. One of the men who came to see the flood situation said that the bridge was damaged. When I looked at the bridge from my house I noticed that no traffic was flowing and there were many people on the bridge. I walked to the bridge with my neighbour. There was a big crowd on the other side of the bridge. When I went there I saw the MB was about to leave. When I asked him why he only visited Kampong Manjoi and not Lim Garden which is also badly affected, he replied with “we look after all people and my man will come to your place. He had to go for a meeting”. I then asked “is your meeting more important than the plight of the people?” He never replied.

Datuk Nadzri Ismail, assemblyman for Manjoi came and saw me in my house having been told by the MB that he must see me. Thanks MB. I asked of Nadzri, why Kg. Manjoi residents were asked to make police reports, but what about others affected by the flood? Why were they not informed of this? There was no answer.

In Kg. Manjoi information is conveyed through a speaker system which all the residents can hear. This facility is not available in other areas. In the old days a van from the Information Department used to drive around informing people of important events through a speaker in English, Malay Chinese and Tamil so that everyone understood. Since the flooding started just before 5.00 a.m. many people were sleeping and it rose so fast they could not salvage their belongings. If there was some public announcement the people could have been alerted.

Disaster Relief Task Force Needed

When I was looking at the work being done at the bridge, I noticed there were co-ordination problems. I suggest that a Disaster Relief Task Force be formed. MBI must initiate this and the team members must be from MBI, Fire Brigade, Police, Health Department and Welfare Department. The Force must be under a Captain who co-ordinates the activities and has the authority to make decisions. Each member must be given a specific duty. They would be under a group call and must go to the site when called upon. Relief work can be done efficiently.

Rain is said to be the cause of the flood, but people do not believe this. During the past forty years or so there has been heavier rainfall which can be verified by the Meteorological Department. In this instance, people feel that a lake or dam upstream might have breached the banks or a large volume of water has been released into the river. JPS must investigate the true cause and eliminate it once and for all. For the time being, residents are living in anxiety not knowing when the next flooding will occur.

Why Appoint An Under-Achiever?


I find it strange why an under-achiever is reappointed to a position of prominence after having her service terminated. Professor Dr Rugayah Mohamed was formerly the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research and Innovation) of Universiti Teknologi Tun Hussein Onn. Her service was terminated by the university in early February of this year. Feeling aggrieved by the dismissal, Rugayah had sued the university citing former Vice Chancellor Dato’ Professor Ismail Bakar and 13 other university staff as defendants. Her case will be up for mention on March 29.

The question that begs to be answered is why someone who has been dismissed is reappointed to a similar position as Vice Chancellor of Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia? There are definitely many more qualified academicians to fill the post.

The Minister of Higher Education has promised the rakyat that the appointment of Vice Chancellors and Deputy Vice Chancellors of institutions of higher learning is via a rigorous process to ensure only the most qualified are picked. He owes us all an explanation.

Dr Raja Ahmad Al-Hiss

Musings on Food - Taro Japanese Fusion Buffet - See Foon Chan-Koppen

SeeFoon’s battle with buffets


See Foon Chan-KoppenMusings on Food

By See F00n Chan-Koppen

I have always had a love/hate relationship with buffets. On the one hand the quality of food and cooking is often suspect and on the other, the variety of food is so diverse, that one inevitably will find a few items to suit one’s palate. Buffets are where I bring my ‘big’ guys like my son and my nephew where they can tuck in to their hearts’ content while I leisurely pick at their plates, tasting a morsel here and a bite there, having the opportunity to sample every thing else till I find the few that I really want to savour, before I make a move for my selection.

Musings on Food - Taro Japanese Fusion Buffet - See Foon Chan-KoppenThis was precisely the strategy I employed recently when I went to Taro, the newly-opened Fusion Japanese restaurant in Greentown. Located almost directly opposite Maria’s and Chayo in Greentown Business centre in a standalone bungalow house, Taro shares premises with Kon Shong, a Karaoke lounge upstairs.

Strictly Buffet

Strictly Buffet only, the restaurant can seat more than a 150 people and is open for both lunch and dinner seven days a week. At RM59.90 for lunch and RM69.90 for dinner per person, the restaurant offers good value for money with over 100 items of food on offer. The extra RM10 for dinner covers the fresh made-to-order hand rolls with no limit on the number of orders!

Musings on Food - Taro Japanese Fusion Buffet - See Foon Chan-KoppenService is friendly and helpful, with plates being cleared from one’s table as they’re emptied and fresh cooked items delivered promptly as soon as they’re ready.

As Managing Director Peter Ngui, who has worked in Japan for a number of years and whose brainchild it is, explained, Taro aims to please the large middle market with its pricing policy, variety and quality. Their special discounts for seniors aged over 60 and children under 130cm in height of a generous 50% while those below 90cm eat for free, make it economical enough for whole families to dine out and be given a Japanese food treat which under normal circumstances would cost an arm and a leg.

Staggering Variety

Musings on Food - Taro Japanese Fusion Buffet - See Foon Chan-KoppenThe choice and variety is staggering. The system consists of clips which are on your table. As you move around from station to station, there may be stations where the food is cooked a’ la minute and you’d drop a clip with your table number into the bowl indicated for that particular item and the food is delivered to your table when ready.

A drinks counter serves a choice of fresh made fruit juices sweetened with fructose but you can tell them to hold the sugar as I do when I order.  And right beside that I spied a Haagen Daz freezer chest with a choice of five flavours, which is part of the buffet!

Cold and Hot Sections

Musings on Food - Taro Japanese Fusion Buffet - See Foon Chan-KoppenIn the cold section you’ll find 4-5 types of Sashimi, all kinds of sushi, jelly fish, fresh oysters, seaweed, kimchi, tofu, different types of soba with help-yourself-sauces. For dinner, there is the additional choice of fresh made hand rolls with selections of 4-5 alternating between salmon, shrimp, tuna, California, Unagi (eel) and which may change from day to day. The California hand roll which I ordered arrived with the Nori (seaweed) still crisp and crunchy, a defining quality of a good hand roll.

In the hot section, the choice is even more boundless. Cheese topped baked oysters, grilled large prawns, salmon, Saba fish, fried Shisamo (the special fish which is full of roe), soft shell crab, Unagi or eel, Tempura prawns, fish, and vegetables and not to mention the teppanyaki table where the chef behind the counter is constantly busy frying up diners’ choice of beef, chicken, lamb, seafood, and whatever is their hearts’ desire from a generous selection. And I must mention the individual ‘Nabe’ which are claypots of selected seafood, tofu and vegetables served in a choice of broth and cooked at the table.

In the steam section, Chawan Mushi (Japanese savoury steamed egg custard) vie for attention with Herbal Soup, while elsewhere, ready prepared fried noodles, mixed vegetables and even snacks like peanuts, and other children’s favourites await the eager diner.

Finally for dessert, if the Haagen Daz section does not call to you, go to the refrigerator where fruits, jellies, cakes, custard tarts and other sweets await.

Musings on Food - Taro Japanese Fusion Buffet - See Foon Chan-KoppenTaro Japanese Fusion Buffet
131 Jalan Sultan Abdul Jalil, Greentown, 30450 Ipoh.
Tel: 05-241 2551

Operations Manager Chloe Liew: 016-2031711
Open 7 days a week

Lunch: 12.00-3.00 p.m.
6.00-10.30 p.m.

Pork Free