Tag Archives: ipoh echo issue 139

YBU Interacts With Villagers


 ipoh echo issue 139, yayasan bina upaya darul ridzuan (YBU)It was a meaningful day for residents of Kampong Sekiah in Behrang when officials of Yayasan Bina Upaya Darul Ridzuan (YBU) called on them recently. The villagers were briefed by V. Elanggo, the head of Communication Unit 1 Malaysia. Most of the questions fielded were related to the foundation’s roles and responsibilities.

The villagers were keen to know the kind of assistance available to them, especially in ways to improve their socio-economic standing. Elanggo spoke at length on micro-credits and how the system works. He also touched on YBU’s role in the provision and repairing of houses for the needy and the displaced. The terms and conditions for eligibility were spelt out for the consumption of the audience.

Present at the briefing were executive councillor, Dato’ Ramly Zahari and YBU’s Chief Executive Officer, Dato’ Zainal Abidin Omar.


Feminine Touch


Sentuhan Hawa (Feminine Touch) was the name of the day-long arts programme held recently at Koloni Karyawan Amanjaya (PORT), in collaboration with Mashdar Legacy. The objective was to bring together female artists in Perak, offering them a platform to showcase their finished works. This programme is the first of many to introduce and promote female artists to Perakeans.

Among the family-oriented activities held in conjunction with the programme were a children colouring contest, drawing competition for teenagers, airbrush demonstration, batik painting, dance presentation and poetry recital. There was also an art and photography exhibition – works by female artists – in line with the theme of the programme.

Mazidah Abd Rahman, Deputy Director of the Department of Arts and Culture Perak and newly-appointed Chief Executive Officer of Institut Darul Ridzuan, Dato’ Seri Dr Abdul Rahman Hashim graced the occasion.

The event ended with an entertaining outdoor music performance by guest musical band, Janice and The Supertank.


Kuala Sepetang, Perak, Malaysia

SeeFoon spends a lovely Sunday afternoon by the sea


See Foon Chan-KoppenBy See Foon Chan-Koppen

Kuala Sepetang, Perak, MalaysiaI have often heard the name of Kuala Sepetang (Port Weld) mentioned but the occasion has never arisen for me to venture there. So when the invitation came from Chris and Christine DiGiovanna for a Sunday lunch by the sea, I jumped on the bandwagon.

Kuala Sepetang, Perak, MalaysiaA group of us set off at noon arranging to rendezvous at the toll exit for Changkat Jering heading north on the north/south highway. After the toll, we turned left and followed directions to Taiping. On reaching a T-junction with a big sign saying Taiping Bandar Warisan we turned left and followed signs for Kuala Sepetang. It was a pretty straightforward way from here on and the only tricky bit was on arriving at Kuala Sepetang where a little manoeuvring led us to the restaurant, Kedai Makanan Tepi Sungai, set back a little from the road.

Panorama Upstairs

I thought we had arrived at a market, judging from the basket loads of seafood and fish being unloaded and despatched. Feeling a bit squeamish at the chaos and market conditions, we negotiated a steep flight of stairs leading us to the first floor where a panoramic view of the river greeted us. I breathed a sigh of relief, having been delivered from the prospect of eating in the squalid conditions downstairs.

Upstairs, the breeze was delightful as we were given a corner table right on the edge of the water where the river winds its way to the sea and we could see the fishing boats coming in, delivering their fresh catch of the day.

Fresh Caught and Superlative Cooking

Kuala Sepetang, Perak, MalaysiaI can’t remember when I can honestly say that I enjoyed every single dish we had that day. Every single item was fresh caught and the cooking for some of the dishes was superlative.

We began with crisp fried baby shrimp, battered and fried in their shells, as we sipped our wine and waited for the other dishes. They soon arrived in quick succession but because the restaurant was full to overflowing, we had to wait a while before our orders came.

Live Crabs and Clams

The live flower crabs sautéed with dried shrimp and cucumber slices was an unusual recipe for the crabs but one that I found delightful and not as cloying as other crab recipes.

This was followed by big round clams steamed with Chinese wine and topped with fried chopped garlic, each clam as fresh as can be, and not a single bad one amongst all that we had at our table.

Kuala Sepetang, Perak, MalaysiaThe squid was next, with salt, pepper and chilli, battered and delectably crunchy. In fact, the dish was snapped up so quickly that I requested for a second portion. Next came the Assam fish, this time a flounder or Ikan Pari. I often don’t order this fish because inevitably I find that it’s not fresh. Not here though. The fish was the freshest Ikan Pari I’ve ever tasted and cooked in the tangy Assam sauce which had the right balance of sweetness and tartness to make the dish memorable.

Then came the steamed prawns, sweet, succulent large prawns steamed on a bed of egg custard, redolent with scallions and chopped fried garlic.

Kuala Sepetang, Perak, MalaysiaBaby Crabs – A Rare Find

As people around my table were satiated and ready to just sit back and enjoy the refreshing breeze coming from the sea, I spied a plate of baby crabs being delivered to the next table and promptly ordered one. Now, I have had soft shell crab and all manner of other types of crab, but never have I ever had baby flower crabs, which these were. My curiosity was soon satisfied when they arrived, each tiny crab crunchy to the last bite as I justified my greed by telling my friends that the chitin of the shells was a popular slimming aid.

We were a party of 10 and our total bill for the dishes mentioned came to RM288. Apparently they also have the highly prized white pomfret at RM8 per100g and large Mantis prawn at RM32 each. What is also very popular, but which I have promised myself to return to savour, are their cockles which are farmed there.

Kedai Makanan Tepi Sungai (RT Weld Restaurant) – Pork Free
No. 150 Tepi Sungai, Kuala Sepetang, 34650 Taiping.
Tel: 05 8581169     012 5598798 (Kee)
Business Hour: 12 noon – 8.30 p.m.   GPS Coordinates : N04 50.150   E100 37.620.
Closed on Wednesdays

In Aid of Education


 ipoh echo issue 139, Yayasan Pendidikan KamparYayasan Pendidikan Kampar, the education foundation of Kampar parliamentary constituency, organised a charity dinner recently to raise funds for its activities this year. The dinner, attended by about 600 people, was held at the banquet hall of the State Secretariat Building, Ipoh.

The foundation, supported by the education bureau of UMNO Kampar, runs a study-group programme. Academically weak pupils from underprivileged families within the Kampar parliamentary constituency are given free lessons to help them with their studies. In addition, study tours and camping trips are organised for the children as a form of reward for their performances.

At the dinner, Ezhan Aliffdanial Amran, one of the many who benefitted from this programme, shared his experiences with the diners.

Twenty-five students who scored 5 As in last year’s UPSR examination were presented with certificates of achievement. Volunteers from the 36 study-group centres throughout the Kampar parliamentary constituency were given certificates for their services. Guest of honour, Wanita UMNO Deputy Chief, Dato’ Kamilia Dato’ Ibrahim then presented awards to initiators of the study-group programme, to honour their role in the empowerment of children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Chief Minister Dato’ Seri DiRaja Dr Zambry Abd Kadir, who was not in attendance, gave RM10,000 to the foundation, through Kampar UMNO division chief, Dato’ Radzi Manan.

Thoroughbred Sale


ipoh echo issue 139, thoroughbred horse auction,  National Stud Farm, Tanjung RambutanThirty four colts and fillies from champion bloodlines came under the hammer at the National Stud Farm in Tanjung Rambutan recently. This was the 19th year that such an auction was held and the fifth for Malaysian-bred horses. The auctioneer was David Chester of Magic Millions Sales Pty Ltd., a world-renowned thoroughbred auction house from Australia.

Despite uncertainties in the horse-racing world, the 2012 National Premier Sale saw many members of the racing fraternity, locals and foreigners, converging at the National Stud Farm. The farm, incidentally, was the brainchild of Tunku Abdul Rahman, the country’s first premier and was built in 1969. It is now a division of Pan Malaysian Pools Sdn. Bhd.

The 2-year-olds were brought into the ring one by one for the bidding, with a starting price of RM10,000. The filly of resident National Stud Farm sire, “Dolphin Street”, a half sister of “Beautiful Choice”, the 2011 Malaysian Bred Horse of the Year, was the crowd’s favourite. She received a bid for RM70,000. The highest bid, however, went to a bay filly which went for RM85,000 which was made by trainer, Robyn Brogan.

The auction grossed almost a million ringgit from 34 lots. Stud farm manager, Ray Knight, was happy with the sale. His years of hard work had come to fruition. Horses sold at the sale qualified for the winning performance bonus, valid for five years ending on December 31, 2017.


Visit Perak Year 2012 logo

Appraising VPY 2012


Visit Perak Year 2012 logoBy Fathol Zaman Bukhari

Visit Perak Year (VPY) 2012 is now in its third month of operation and in nine months it will come to a close. Whether this year-long endeavour to increase tourist arrivals in Perak meets its defined targets is open to debate. Given the fluidity of activities organised to complement the event, it may be a little premature to appraise Tourism Perak’s performance at this juncture. A correct judgment will not be forthcoming unless factors such as timing, preparedness and mood are taken into account. These factors inhibit VPY 2012 and will make or break the resolve of those responsible.

It was with this aim in mind that prompted Fathil Ghani, the hard-pressed Chief Executive Officer of Tourism Perak, to call for a meeting with media chiefs recently. The significance of the dialogue, held in a purpose-built limestone cave at Sunway’s Lost World of Tambun, was not lost in transition. The ambiance surrounding the seemingly claustrophobic cave was most conducive, as it encouraged the attendees to speak their minds out, literally.

Visit Perak Year 2012The reorganised Tourism Perak Management Berhad (TPMB), with Fathil at the helm, became operational only in mid-August 2011. For reasons of expedience, TPMB was placed under the control of the State Secretary and is responsible directly to the Executive Councillor of Tourism for the implementation of tourism-related activities/policies in Perak. Two other agencies are similarly responsible for tourism in the state. They are Tourism Malaysia (Perak) and Ministry of Tourism Perak Branch. In the heydays there was the state tourism council which presided over all three agencies. Over and above this, and acting on a more partisan platform, is the Perak Tourism Association, a non-governmental organisation that acts as a conduit between the government and the tourism sector.

The presence of these bodies did little to overcome the public’s misconception of tourism management in the state. Many are still unclear of the roles and responsibilities of each agency. After having interacted with Fathil for the last eight months I am a little better than the average Perakean. Tourism Perak is the agency that calls the shots insofar as touristic activities in Perak are concerned. The other agencies are only in support. It is at the beck and call of the Executive Councillor of Tourism, Dato’ Hamidah Osman. That explains why Fathil is in the thick of the action. Wherever Hamidah is, Fathil is there. Previous heads were not as conspicuous. The reason is simple – they could not fit in.

The meeting at the Tambun theme park’s Kapura Cave saw some exciting exchanges which would have been summarily dismissed had it been held at a more formal location. Questions on VPY 2012’s visibility and on tourist arrivals were raised. Fathil provided the answers and though they were not to our expectation, at least we all agreed to disagree.

Visit Perak Year 2012 - Royal Belum World Drums FestivalA number of billboards extolling the virtues of VPY 2012 have been erected and placed along highways and byways. But the number is too few and far between to make an impact. “This is the reason why there is very little aura in Ipoh and in the state,” said Jalal, the Berita Harian chief. Awareness creation is essential, he reasoned as people need to be constantly reminded of the auspicious occasion.

“To date 70 tourist-related activities have been organised and more are in the pipeline,” said Fathil. Activities at district and council levels are also being planned. The success of these programmes is dependent upon the creativity and determination of the district and council heads. “They have been forewarned not by Hamidah alone but by the MB himself,” Fathil intimated.

If anything, the two-hour meeting revealed some interesting facts about VPY 2012. Foremost, it is planned with some finesse but implementation is being hampered by jitteriness and indecision. Subsequently, the full potential of Tourism Perak is not yet realised.

These are teething problems, which must be overcome if VPY 2012 is to see the light of day.  That was the consensus of those at the meeting.

Bukit Kinding in Malaysia Book of Records


ipoh echo issue 139, Bukit Kinding Eco Park Resort (BKEPR), Tanjung Rambutan, Malaysia Book of Records, longest Double Zipline Flying FoxBukit Kinding Eco Park Resort (BKEPR), Tanjung Rambutan, got itself into The Malaysia Book of Records for introducing the longest Double Zipline Flying Fox in the country measuring 486 metres in length.

The record-breaking certificate was presented to Bukit Kinding Eco Park Resort by State Exco for Tourism Dato’ Hamidah Osman.

The Flying Fox is an activity where a participant rides down an inclined cable located at high point. At BKEPR the glide down provides the participant with a breathtaking view of the Kinta Valley which is more spectacular at sunset.

BKEPR has transformed itself into an eco-adventure resort and offers a unique variety of activities such as stand-up paddling, free kayaking, zorbing as well as paintball.

Dato’ Hamidah who was pleased at the ‘products’ that the Resort had to offer, mentioned that “if properly packaged with other adventure locations like Gopeng, eco-adventure tourism had good marketing potential.”


ipoh echo issue 139, Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament, Perak Hockey Association

Sultan Azlan Shah Cup Hockey Tournament


 ipoh echo issue 139,  Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament, Perak Hockey Association

ipoh echo issue 139, Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament, Perak Hockey Association
Perak Hockey Association President Dato’ Abdul Rahim Mohd Ariff

The 21st Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament will be held at Stadium Sultan Azlan Shah from May 24 till June 3. Incidentally, the date coincides with the second school term holidays. This was announced by Perak Hockey Association President Dato’ Abdul Rahim Mohd Ariff.

Seven teams, including Malaysia, will be participating this year. They are: Great Britain (ranked 4th), Korea (6th), New Zealand (7th), Pakistan (8th), Argentina (9th), India (10th) and Malaysia (13th).

To liven up the tournament, the National Indoor Hockey Tournament (June 1-3) as well as Hockey Clinics, organised by the Asian Hockey Confederation, will be held simultaneously.

Rahim also announced that the AstroTurf at the stadium has been changed to blue and pink while the hockey ball to be used for the tournament will be yellow in colour. According to Rahim the change is to make the game attractive but also more television friendly due to the contrast of colours, yellow, blue and pink.


ipoh echo issue 139, Tenby Schools Ipoh

Tenby Schools Forging Ahead


ipoh echo issue 139, Tenby Schools IpohTenby Schools Ipoh chartered another milestone with the construction of a new campus in Bandar Meru Raya, approximately 7km from city centre. With an investment of a few million ringgit and occupying almost 14 acres of land, this new school site is slated to be the best privately managed campus in Malaysia.

Chief Minister Dato’ Seri DiRaja Dr Zambry Abd Kadir was the guest of honour at the ground-breaking ceremony held in situ recently. He was joined by his wife, Datin Seri DiRaja Saripah Zulkifli, Special Adviser Dato’ Chang Ko Youn, Mayor Dato’ Roshidi Hashim, Chairman of Tenby Schools Dato’ Seri Dr Abdullah Fadzil Che Wan, Director of Tenby Schools Ipoh Dato’ Lim Si Boon, senior officials of the school and guests.

ipoh echo issue 139, Tenby Schools IpohThe existing campus at Jalan Kelab Golf, Ipoh has an enrolment of 1,200 students. However, the new campus can accommodate up to 1,500 students. Upon completion, in time for the September 2013 intake, it will boast state-of-the-art facilities and an integrated sports complex.

Development of young minds through quality education is the key to a better future. About 3,300 students representing 30 nationalities are attending Tenby schools throughout Malaysia, right from kindergarten to A-Levels.


Hostel for Poor Students


ipoh echo issue 139,Yayasan Bina Upaya Darul Ridzuan (YBU)Officials of Yayasan Bina Upaya Darul Ridzuan (YBU) visited Asrama Amanjaya Harmoni (AsAH) in Taiping recently to see the newly state-acquired hostel for themselves. The management of this once privately-owned hostel was taken over by Institut Darul Ridzuan (IDR) last year. The reason was a noble one – to fully realise AsAH’s objective of providing a conducive learning environment for underprivileged students. This is the primary reason why students from a rural background perform poorly academically.

The visitors were received and briefed by Razif Mokthat, the hostel’s manager. Razif was thankful for IDR’s timely intervention. “The hostel’s potentials are fully realised with the takeover,” he said. “Poor students now have a place to stay while pursuing their studies.”