Tag Archives: ipoh echo issue 140

ipoh echo issue 140, The Premier Pitch, Paul Masefield, futsal

The Premier Pitch comes to Ipoh

ipoh echo issue 140, The Premier Pitch, Paul Masefield, futsal
Paul Masefield

The Premier Pitch, a Singapore-based sports establishment that created football facilities in Singapore, has opened a branch in Ipoh.

The establishment was created by ex footballer, Paul Masefield, to enable football enthusiasts to have a game all day long and in any weather. Football fans will know Paul Masefield as the regular commentator on Astro’s ESPN Sports.

The Ipoh centre is located at Menglembu and covers two warehouses, Block B & C, Hala Perusahaan Menglembu 12, off Lahat Road behind the Proton showroom.


ipoh echo issue 140, The Premier Pitch, Paul Masefield, futsal
Full FIFA-size futsal court

ccording to its General Manager, Mr Andy Johnston, the Centre has two types of pitches, two artificial turf courts, one FIFA spec training pitch and one full size FIFA spec Futsal court.

Johnston added that “Ipoh is the first The Premier Pitch outlet to be opened in Malaysia. The full FIFA-size court will enable 6-a-side games to be played with the possibility for teams to prepare themselves for the Futsal League.”

The Premier Pitch opens its doors this month (April). For enquiries and booking, contact: Peter at 012-6986487 or Miguel at 012-6784794.


ipoh echo issue 140, Kuala Kangsar Heritage Trail Map, Malay College Kuala Kangsar (MCKK), Kinta Heritage

MCKK Students Produce KK Heritage Trail Map


ipoh echo issue 140, Kuala Kangsar Heritage Trail Map, Malay College Kuala Kangsar (MCKK), Kinta HeritageInternational Baccalaureate diploma programme students of The Malay College Kuala Kangsar first embarked on this project in October last year. This project was first mooted by Kinta Heritage Group, a non-profit organisation based in Ipoh. The collaboration of the Malay College Kuala Kangsar and Kinta Heritage has resulted in this well-researched and high quality tourism brochure for the royal town of Kuala Kangsar. The brochure, which is now in its final phase of production, is expected to be ready in April, bears testimony of the boys’ love for Kuala Kangsar, the town of their alma mater. This is also their contribution towards Visit Perak Year 2012.

Information on 24 historical places and six precious local crafts have been included in this brochure. There is also information on the Royal Household of Perak. All this information was gathered from magazines, books, newspapers and the Internet. The students also conducted interviews with local residents of Kuala Kangsar to obtain further information.

When the places were successfully identified, the students, their teachers and consultants from Kinta Heritage tested the trail to ensure the suitability of it and to decide whether it was going to be a cycling or walking trail.

ipoh echo issue 140, Kuala Kangsar Heritage Trail Map, Malay College Kuala Kangsar (MCKK), Kinta HeritageHistorical places in Kuala Kangsar such as ‘Istana Iskandariah’ and ‘Istana Kenangan’ are already well-known to the public but in this map, the public will also be able to get information on other places such as ‘Kedai Tinggi’ and ‘Sri Sayong Palace’. It is hoped that the Kuala Kangsar Heritage Trail Map will create awareness among the people, locals and tourists alike, that more effort should be put in the preservation and conservation of historical buildings and places in the town.

Kuala Kangsar is known for its traditional crafts. The crafts included in the brochure are keris making, labu sayong, tekat embroidery, batik painting, mengkuang weaving and silverware production. It is hoped that the inclusion of these crafts in the brochure will help preserve them for posterity. As Kuala Kangsar is a royal town, information on the history of the Perak Sultanate has also been included in the brochure. In fact, this section is considered an essential element in this brochure.

This project will be launched in April. It has been a great learning experience for the students to be involved in a project such as this.

Saga of the Broken Hospital Lifts, Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun

Saga of the Broken Hospital Lifts


By Fathol Zaman Bukhari

Saga of the Broken Hospital Lifts, Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun
V. Sivakumar, Adun for Tronoh

A peaceful demonstration by a boisterous placard-holding crowd numbering around 60 on the morning of Tuesday, March 20 drew the attention of passers-by and visitors to Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun, Ipoh. The reason for the impromptu gathering was the malfunctioning hospital lifts which left many visitors in a quandary over their perceived state of disrepair.

The eminence of the morning muster was assured with the presence of former State Legislative Assembly Speaker and Adun for Tronoh, V. Sivakumar. The Opposition politician alleged that four of the hospital’s six lifts were inoperable for the last three years causing considerable hardship to patients and visitors alike. Sivakumar chided the hospital management for being insensitive to the needs of the public.

Saga of the Broken Hospital Lifts, Hospital Raja Permaisuri BainunThe intensity of the demonstration fizzled out soon enough. No untoward incidents happened and the authorities heaved a huge sigh of relief. There was no need for the riot police or the Light Strike Force or the formidable water cannons, as normal protocol would have it. Policing was kept to the minimum with a handful of policemen stationed around the hospital perimeter more for safety reasons than anything else. Their presence that fateful day was a reminder to the public that the situation was well under control.

Saga of the Broken Hospital Lifts, Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun
Dato’ Dr Mah Hang Soon, Executive Councillor for Health

A response from the state government was expected but its swiftness was rather exceptional. At 3.00 p.m. on the same day, Dato’ Dr Mah Hang Soon, the Executive Councillor for Health, organised a media conference at the hospital premises. Mah refuted Sivakumar’s claims saying that they were frivolous and inaccurate. “Only one of the six lifts is inoperable, the others are fine. I don’t know how he arrived at that conclusion,” he retorted. “The details regarding repair works on the lifts are on the billboard outside the hospital.”

Hospital Raja Perempuan Bainun, formerly Ipoh General Hospital, has six lifts at its main annexure. Four of the lifts are for the public, one for the fire brigade and the remaining one for the hospital staff. Lifts 4, 5 and 6 are under repair. Repair works began in November 2011 and are expected to complete in October 2012. The estimated cost is RM1.3 million. The wall titles in Lift 1, 2 and 3 are presently being replaced but the lifts are serviceable and not otherwise. Works on Lifts 4, 5 and 6 are in two phases. Phase 1 is the replacement of Lifts 4 and 5 beginning on April 24. The two lifts will be commissioned on July 13. Phase 2 involves the replacement of Lift 6 on July 17. It will be opened to the public on October 5.

Mah took reporters on all the working lifts confirming his earlier claim that all five lifts were in working condition except one – Lift 5. As an added assurance, the service lift near the Pathology Department is being used to ferry food trolleys and linen thus freeing Lifts 1, 2 and 3 for the public’s use.

And having seen how the lifts function, the whole episode seems trivial by any standards. It is really much ado about nothing. How this minor infraction has been politicised is beyond me.

However, Mah’s suggestion that staff, visitors and patients use the stairways to get to their destinations seems a little jaded. “I prefer to use the stairs as it’s much healthier,” he remarked. I wonder whether his advice will go down well with the aged and the infirm. Mah at 47, and a cardiologist by profession, is in his prime. But can you say the same of the many who visit the hospital daily?

Zambry Lauds Education Department’s Effort


ipoh echo issue 140, Perak Education DepartmentChief Minister of Perak, Dato’ Seri DiRaja Dr Zambry Abd Kadir praised Perak Education Department’s effort in organising a mind-mapping workshop exclusively for students from the Kinta Valley. Over a thousand school-going children attended the 3-day workshop named “EZLEARN2U” held at the Ipoh Town Hall from March 22 to 24.

The programme, according to the organisers, was in tandem with the advancement made in the field of education. “I hope the introduction of this mind-mapping strategy will help improve students’ understanding of Science and Mathematics,” said Zambry in his opening remarks. “These well-rounded students will be an asset to the nation in the era of globalisation,” he added.

In an earlier speech, Deputy Director of Education, Hj Mohd Idris Ramli remarked that the programme would be extended to cover other subjects such as Islamic Studies, Moral Education, Bahasa Malaysia and English.


Tertiary Education in Perak, Malaysia - Institute Technology Perak

Tertiary Education in Perak


By A. Jeyaraj

Tertiary Education in Perak, Malaysia - Kolej Perubatan Di-Raja Perak
Kolej Perubatan Di-Raja Perak
Tertiary Education in Perak, Malaysia - Institute Technology Perak
Institute Technology Perak









Professor Emeritus Dato’ Dr V.G. Kumar Das, Quest International University Perak (QIUP)
Prof. Emeritus Dato’ Dr V.G. Kumar Das

The Perak State government has been saying for the past ten years or so that it wants to make Perak the “hub of education in the country”. This has never materialised and Perak is lagging behind most of the other states in terms of education. At a meet-the-people session at Quest International University Perak (QIUP), where VC Academic Professor Emeritus Dato’ Dr V.G. Kumar Das affirmed that it has reduced its tuition fees by almost 50 per cent for all its courses, the Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir said the move was in line with the state government’s push to turn Perak into an education hub.

Perak Needs a Blueprint for Private Colleges

While this would provide students with quality tertiary education at affordable rates, Perak still has a long way to go to become an education hub if Wikipedia is anything to go by, it states that, “The city of Ipoh is famous for its cuisine.”

Ipoh Echo spoke to a number of educationists on why Perak was lagging behind and what must be done. Most of them were not aware of the state’s initiative on education and collectively the views gathered were as follows:

The general consensus was that the state government needs a blueprint for private colleges. A feasibility study to determine whether or not there’s a need for additional colleges in particular areas, the viability of the areas and to get recommendations from experts in the field. Then, attention must be placed on what unique courses can be offered in each college. Infrastructure must be in place and support services for the colleges must be available.

No ‘Run-Of-The-Mill’ Colleges

As students’ and parents’ expectations are now high, often they prefer to study in reputable foreign colleges who set up campuses here. They are not prepared to study in any ‘run-of-the-mill’ college.

Good marketing is important, as are course offerings. Students want to get sound practical training and high quality lecturers must be employed. The state must also promote the colleges within the country, region and the world.

Tertiary Education in Perak, MalaysiaForeign Campuses Keen to Set Up

One educationist said that many foreign universities are interested in setting up their campuses here, but the red tape must be reduced and approval must be fast. He suggested that the government set up a Consortium of Perak Higher Education in which all existing and potential stakeholders can be members to work through issues. The government has been talking about allocating land to set up clusters of universities. As yet this has not materialised.

As most educationists Ipoh Echo spoke to were not aware of the policy of the state on education, it is imperative that the state be transparent and make its policy public as well as include educationists in the policy making process.

To complete this review on tertiary education, Ipoh Echo spoke to a number of colleges and following is a list of the colleges and their specialties.

Taj International College

Provides degree courses in business management, Education, English, IT and also courses on Beauty and Wellness.

Quest International University Perak (QIUP)

Quip is the first full-fledged university in Ipoh and is giving scholarships to top students and those who come from poor families. Students who excel in sports will also be given scholarships. It has reduced the cost for courses and made tertiary education affordable in Perak to allow more people access to tertiary education, a very applaudable move and it is hoped that more tertiary institutions will follow suit. A medical faculty is in the pipeline and will be opened soon.

University Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR)

UTAR was one of the first universities to be established around Ipoh to fulfil the aspirations of the people. It is a not for profit university with the primary goal of providing quality education affordable to all. Courses are available from foundation to PHD levels in various disciplines.

Institute Technology Perak (ITP)

Provides undergraduate degree programmes for SPM/STPM students. It offers a diploma in advanced skills training. Since emphasis is on practical training, students have no problems in getting jobs on receipt of their diploma and are in high demand.

Tertiary Education in Perak, MalaysiaKolej Perubatan Di-Raja Perak

This College offers three types of MBBS programmes and has a degree programme for Nursing Science. It also offers diploma courses in pharmacy, radiography and physiotherapy.

University Teknology Petronas (UTP)

UTP is well established and offers degree, masters and PHD courses mainly in petroleum engineering, geoscience and technology. It works closely with industries to get placement for their students.

Kolej Maxwell

Offers diploma courses in engineering, computer, electronics, and mechatronics. Since 60% of training is hands-on, students have no problem in getting jobs. It is known as a hub for technical training.

Kompas International College

Offers accounting courses from certificate level to Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) level. About 25% of the students are foreigners. Students get job offers while they are in the final year.

Wawasan Open University (WOU)

WOU provides opportunity for working adults to continue their studies. Diploma, degree and masters programmes are available. Students have to attend college once a month.

Sunway College

Sunway College offers a number of diploma and professional programmes in accounting and business. Professional programmes include ACCA and Certified Accounting Technician. Diploma programmes are mainly in business and marketing.


Masterskill is a Nursing and Allied Health college and offers diploma and degree programmes. It has an Employment Placement Unit to assist graduates to get employment.

Study Excel

Students who do not know what course to take or where to study can contact Study Excel which provides consultancy services to students and parents for their tertiary education options.

What to Do After SPM?

So, your SPM results are out. What now? Continue studies or start to work? Then, the next question is, if you plan to further your studies, what to study? Which pre-university programme to choose? Which college or university to study at? If you choose to work, what can you really do? These are the questions that usually go through a student’s mind. So what are the real options that students have after SPM?

In reality, students must look at each Pre-U programme and choose the one which suits them personally in terms of their strengths, time as well as their study styles. Most important is actually subject choices because this will determine whether they will qualify for the right courses in university later. Different universities and different countries have different requirements. If they make the wrong choices, then they may find that they will have limited choices when it comes to choosing their study options.

Mr Simon Yeap, Ipoh Branch Manager of StudyExcel Sdn Bhd, who is an experienced and qualified education consultant, has this to say, “In India, to take up Medicine or Dentistry, a student must have done all the three science subjects to qualify, while in Australia, students would need Chemistry plus a second science subject only. Also, students have to take the ISAT (International Students Admission Test) or UMAT (The Undergraduate Medicine and Health Sciences Admission Test) plus an interview. In UK, students have to take the UKCAT exam. Then the exams results will be reviewed for entry.”

“Students must think about where they want to work in future and then look at what they wish to study in University and then work backwards from there to choose their Pre-University programme while taking into consideration their study habits. Some students prefer a more structured academic style while others may prefer more assignment and group work style.”

Therefore, the education advisors in Studyexcel would be a great help to parents and students who need advice on further education and choosing the right career. Do feel free to take advantage of their services which are absolutely free of charge.

These services include Educational/Career Advice; application and accommodation; assistance with airport reception overseas, scholarships and visa application. On top of that, they have been officially appointed by the British Council as an IELTS test and registration centre. The Ipoh office is at 26-1 Jalan Chung Thye Phin, 30250 Ipoh, Perak, and the office phone number is 05-255 2811.

Eye Health – Glaucoma

Dr S S Gill, Consultant Ophthalmologist, Hospital Fatimah Ipoh
Dr S S Gill, Consultant Ophthalmologist

In conjunction with World Glaucoma Week 2012, Ipoh Echo talks to Consultant Eye Surgeon Dr S.S. Gill about this “silent thief of sight ”  – PART 4

Glaucoma as you know has been nicknamed the “silent thief of sight”. This disease results in permanent irreversible blindness in the affected eye(s) that often goes unnoticed until the loss of vision is significant.

What Is Unnoticed Loss Of Vision?

In some types of glaucoma such as Primary Open Angle Glaucoma and Normal Tension Glaucoma, the visual loss occurs very slowly without the patient ever noticing until the disease is in its advanced stage. You may wonder how a person can be losing vision without noticing it. Well, this is because the visual loss is from the periphery.

This peripheral visual loss is typically described as tunnel vision. Starting in the peripheral most part of the field of vision, the visual loss slowly starts encroaching into the central vision. This slowly progressing loss of vision is often unnoticed by the patient until a substantial amount of peripheral vision has been lost. Furthermore, glaucoma is “silent” without any acute pain or symptoms.

Early Glaucoma

Early glaucoma tunnel vision - Eye Health - Dr S.S. GillThis picture simulates the early tunnel vision that a glaucoma patient may have and yet may not notice that there is peripheral loss of vision. A major part of the central vision is good and the patient is still able to see well. This peripheral loss of vision can only be detected by specialised testing called Perimetry or Visual Field Testing.

Advanced Glaucoma

Advanced glaucoma tunnel vision - Eye Health - Dr S.S. GillThis picture shows advanced glaucoma. Most of the peripheral vision has been lost here. Only a small tunnel of vision is left. At this stage, the patient usually experiences difficulty moving around in poorly lit places or outdoors at night. Most people end up seeking treatment at this stage when such a significant vision loss has already occurred.

I have had patients walk into my Consultation complaining of poor vision in one eye. Following examination, the patient was found to have Primary Open Angle Glaucoma. The shocking part for such a patient is that whatever visual loss has occurred cannot be reversed. In other words, the vision that has been lost in the affected eye is lost permanently. It is for this reason that those above 40 years of age should have their eyes checked routinely as part of their general health screening.

Dr Gill will elaborate on the eye checks that are done for glaucoma in the next issue of the Ipoh Echo.

For more information, contact Gill Eye Specialist Centre at  05-5455582, email: gilleyecentre@dr.com or visit www.fatimah.com.my.

The Lost Tribe of Gunung Korbu


By Mariam Mokhtar

Gunung Korbu, Perak
Gunung Korbu

A joint expedition by American and Malaysian universities has discovered a new indigenous people living in the mountain range of Gunung Korbu, according to a secret memo seen by The Ipoh Echo.

The e-mail which was sent to various anthropologists, asks distinguished academics to mark June 13 as ‘Perak’s Day of Revelation’, which they were encouraged to attend.

The team of anthropologists from the University of Pallorofi in California working with archaeologists from University Teknologi Petronas at Tronoh have made several trips to Gunung Korbu in the past four years.

According to the memo, Professor Flora Pilo, who is the resident anthropologist at The University of Pallorofi said, “For years, trekkers to Malaysia’s second highest peak brought back stories of a herd of buffaloes roaming the mountain range. Although they did not spot anybody, they heard voices in a language they could not understand, herding these beasts.”

Gunung Korbu (or Kerbau) is peninsular Malaysia’s second highest peak at 7,162 ft. and was discovered in 1885 by the British colonial government surveyor William Cameron. It was during this mapping expedition that Cameron discovered Cameron Highlands, but his discovery was only recorded in 1925 by Sir George Maxwell.

Historical records at the National Archives in Kew, London said that Cameron had been knocked unconscious by a herd of buffaloes at Gunung Korbu in 1885. Porters carried his broken body down the treacherous slopes and the significance of this herd of buffaloes and the lost tribe, including the failure to register Cameron Highlands, was because of Cameron’s injury.

Professor Flora Pilo described the effort taken by the universities: “We sent in four teams, to try and make contact and we are glad to say that last year, we managed to persuade two members of the Korbuan people, to return to Tronoh whilst we conducted tests on them.

“I think this is a great discovery for the people of Perak, and all of Malaysia. DNA testing has confirmed that these people are descended from the other species, we know as Lenggong Man.”

“Although smaller in size, they have the same dental structure, coarse wiry hair, as well as other characteristics of Lenggong Man. We wondered why they strayed so far from Lenggong. Perhaps there were tribal wars. It is possible the threat of famine may have caused them to migrate, in search of food.”

One senior academic at The Universiti Teknologi Tronoh who did not wish her name to be published, said that a Press Conference had been arranged for June, and that copies of the test results, photographic evidence, x-rays, medical tests and other detailed analyses of the tribe’s dwellings and habits, had been sent to be scrutinised by experts in leading universities around the world.

The language used by the Korbuan indigenous people, is known as the Korbellow; their written language uses simple inscriptions and they practise rituals which involve going into a sedentary trance whilst daubed in mud.

IE traced Professor Flora Pilo to the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford University where she was attending a conference. She praised this paper for its investigative journalism and said, “Malaysians cannot keep secrets.”

She has confirmed that the IE will be given first access to the couple of Korbuans who are still undergoing observation at Tronoh.

Meanwhile, a list of authorised travel agents will be given permission to market tours to visit the settlement of the Korbuan people, close to the Gunung Korbu peak.

Hotels in Ipoh will also prepare various promotions to cater to tourists to Gunung Korbu. Some suites will be called the Korbu Presidential Suite in honour of this long-lost tribe. Chefs will also cash in on the act and a lunch buffet, consisting of prime buffalo cuts will be on offer. Roast Korbu and Korbu pudding will be featured next June, when the Korbuans are finally unveiled to the world.

The memo will invite members of the Malaysian cabinet to be guests of honour at next month’s Press Conference. That is why the Ipoh Echo can safely predict that GE-13 will not be held in early June.

Red Warriors Humble Seladangs


ipoh echo issue 140, football, seladangsThree months into the season, Perak has little to show in terms of prowess. Against a technically superior Kelantan side, the Seladangs were literally gasping for the proverbial air. Predictably, the Perak team succumbed to a disappointing 2-0 defeat on its own pitch here in Ipoh on Saturday, March 17. The score left them lingering helplessly in sixth spot.

Having lifted the Malaysian Super League title last year, the Red Warriors have remained true to form in 2012, in spite of several off-field controversies. Peter Butler left the team in February but the Red Warriors retained their solidity to sit comfortably at the top of the table. Bojan Hodak is being drafted as a replacement. Maintaining the same regime, Bojan has managed to keep the team intact thus far.

With such impressive performance, it would have been foolhardy to predict a loss. The manner in which Kelantan exposed Perak’s flaws was magnificent, to say the least. Ten minutes into the first half, the Red Warriors were already one up courtesy of a Nasril Nourdin fumble which saw Daudsu Jamaluddin netting the ball in spectacular fashion.

Norizan Bakar’s men barely made an impact from that moment on. Failee Ghazale, who made a surprise return to the Perak foil after a lengthy spell on the side-lines, failed to impress upfront. Even the charismatic Akhmal Rizal struggled to pull the strings on the offensive.

After a significant period of total domination for the away side, Bojan Hodak’s men eventually doubled their lead in the 24th minute. Zairul Fitri curled in a mesmerising free-kick, which eased past Nasril Nourdin into the Perak goal, as Kelantan threatened to run riot.

Nevertheless, the Seladangs fought hard and began to find their feet, as the game progressed. The second half was a much better period for the home side. Lazar Popovic carved out a few key opportunities with his languid touch but the rest failed to complement his efforts. Things became far too delicate for Perak as the minutes ticked away. The Kelantan team showed great resilience to keep its lead. Michal Kubala could have scored in the 90th minute but his shot rattled the bar, instead. Fans could only look in disbelief.

After a string of defeats the pressure is beginning to mount on the Seladangs. Popovic’s struggles, meanwhile, are not showing any signs of improving. It is time for a reality check for our home team.

And with the April transfer looming in the horizon, Perak needs to reshuffle ITS squad. Keita Mandjou is high on the shopping list.


ipoh echo issue 140, Tenby Schools Ipoh annual production

Tenby Schools Ipoh Annual Production 2012


ipoh echo issue 140, Tenby Schools Ipoh annual productionTenby Schools Ipoh’s annual production on Saturday March 24, was a running success judging from public response. Two shows, one at 10.00 a.m. and the other at 8.00 p.m., were held at Dewan Leong Wan Chin, Sekolah Perempuan Perak, Ipoh.

Under the able guidance of Amy Crisp, 228 students, between the ages of 13 and 17, worked diligently for the past three months to put on a creative play called, “The Wiz”. It is a modern-day adaptation of “The Wizard of Oz” with a Malaysian twist. Dorothy, played by Monissha Thiagu and Siti Ayesha, travelled to Malacca, Thailand, Singapore and Sydney on a quest to return home.

Each act was complimented with an entertaining dance by the different classes from the school. Singers Kevin Harris and Foo Hoong Ming entertained the crowd during intermission.

ipoh echo issue 140, Tenby Schools Ipoh annual productionThe Tenby A-Level Curricular class staged the Shakespearean play, “Hamlet”, a culmination of its theatrical workshop which is an integral part of the curricular programme. Previous plays staged by the students were Macbeth, Julius Caesar and The Winter’s Tale. Hamlet was scripted by Kshitij Verma and Nikika Parlanti who also directed the play.

All props, costumes and dance choreography were crafted by both students and teachers. Their commitment was second to none and this was the hallmark of Tenby Schools’ success.


MBI Lucky Draw


ipoh echo issue 140, Ipoh City Council, MBI lucky drawThe recently held luck draw at the Ipoh City Council building saw 230 winners taking home some very attractive prizes, compliments of the council. Those eligible for the draw paid their annual assessment bill in full by the end of February of this year. As required, the payments were made at counters within the council building, at the drive-through counter outside of the council building and at the old council office in Jalan Bandar.

The objective was noble – to encourage property owners to settle their assessment bill in full and on time. Souvenir mugs and ball pens were given out to 24,500 early birds. The number will be increased to 30,000 next year.

Village heads, councillors, council staff and members of the press were invited to pick 200 winners who will take home a tea set each. Mayor Dato’ Roshidi Hashim drew 30 winners. These lucky 30 will collect prizes in the form of motorcycles, refrigerators and electrical appliances during a special ceremony to be held in April. The amount spent on prizes alone this year was RM30,000, an increase from RM25,000 last year.