Tag Archives: ipoh echo issue 147

Keeping Safe from Harm at Home

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

Eye Health

Ipoh Echo’s EYE HEALTH series continues with Consultant Eye Surgeon Dr S.S. GILL talking to us about PREVENTING EYE INJURIES.

Eye injuries that range from minor eye injuries to serious ones, are seen daily at Accident & Emergency centres of hospitals throughout the world. Most of these eye injuries are PREVENTABLE IF the proper SAFETY TECHNIQUES & PROTECTION are used. Be knowledgeable about things in your house that can potentially damage your eyes and take heed of warnings, says Dr Gill. It is not only chemicals (covered in the last issue of Ipoh Echo) that can cause eye injuries at home, but also non-chemical hazards like these.

Common Eye Injury Risks at Home:

HAMMERING or drilling screws or nails into walls or bricks

May result in the screws or nails getting chipped-off and spinning in a projectile way into the eye. Even a simple chore like installing a lamp onto the ceiling can result in eye injuries should the loose ceiling debris get into your eyes.


Because damaged tools can easily break or get chipped-off causing injury to the eyes, replace or repair all old power tools.


Children have inadvertently injured their eyes when playing with such tools. I have seen a child injured in the eye by a wood-stapler that was accidentally shot into the eye causing serious eye injury.


Keep everyone away from the vicinity of running grass-cutters or lawn mowers. Many people have been blinded by flying debris struck by spinning blades of the lawn mower.

Pick up all stones, toys and debris from the lawn to prevent injuries from flying objects before you mow the lawn.


Sharp twigs often go unnoticed and have pierced the eyes of those who have been doing pruning without goggles.


Loose carpets could cause the elderly and the very young to slip and fall. Worse still is if they fall and strike their eyes on the edge of a piece of furniture lying in front of them. Be sure to cushion or pad all sharp corners and edges of furniture if you have children or the elderly in your house.

MPV (multipurpose vehicle) DOORS

Be cautious when opening the door of an MPV as the door edge is quite often at the same level as the eye. There have been people who have had eye injuries as a result of the sharp door edge grazing their eye.


Avoid jam-packing items onto a high shelf or cupboard. When taking things out of the cupboard, a heavy and sharp object can fall off only to cause serious eye injury.


Be cautious of seemingly harmless “satay sticks” as children have injured their eyes when the satay stick has ricocheted into the eye after the meat has been pulled off the stick.


Be mindful of children when they play with darts, toy guns that shoot bullets and when they play with sparklers or fireworks. Also, remind children never to throw any objects around.


Do not allow children to play with high powered water jets used for cleaning and car-washing. These water jets can cause eye injuries.

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

Kayveas: Improve local government efficiency to benefit the people


A. JeyarajBy A. Jeyaraj

During a recent interview with Bernama, Datuk M. Kayveas, President, People’s Progressive Party and former Deputy Housing and Local Government Minister said that the inefficiency of local government and abuses by employees has given the Barisan Nasional government a bad name. The government should focus on improving the efficiency of local government to ensure it fulfils the aspirations of the people. He claimed that offenders were not sacked but transferred to other departments within the same local government authority. He added the time has come for the government to amend the Local Government Act 1976 to benefit the people.

Some years ago MBI invited a number of NGOs and explained the concept of Local Agenda 21 (LA21) and how we could work together to improve the quality of life in Ipoh. With the change of mayors, the concept was forgotten. LA21 is a programme to forge partnerships between local authorities and the communities they serve and to work together to plan and care for their surroundings towards sustainable development. LA21 adopts a “bottom up” approach. The local communities themselves are involved from the very initial planning stage.

From the number of complaints people have shared with me, what Kayveas said is true for MBI. I am highlighting just a few of the outstanding complaints for which no action has been taken.

Residents living in Persiaran Tiger Lane, off Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, are having sleepless nights. Cobras, iguanas and monitor lizards are frequently seen in their compounds and enter their houses. The place is also infested with mosquitoes. One of the residents has a file going back to the eighties with letters published in the papers and complaints lodged with MBI. The residents are afraid to reveal their names. They informed that they were confronted by a few people when they had complained earlier and were advised not to complain.

One of the causes of the problem is the cemetery managed by Perak Hock Kean Association which is only used occasionally and is adjacent to the house of one of the complainants. It is overgrown with trees and shrubs and from outside does not look like a cemetery. A spokesman for the Association, who identified himself as Teoh, said that there is a caretaker for the cemetery and was not willing to say more. When it is windy, leaves from the trees fall into the compound of the houses. There are also two houses which have been vacant for more than ten years. The compounds are overgrown with trees and weeds and are breeding grounds for reptiles and mosquitoes.

R. Suppiah, a resident living in Jalan Lange, Ipoh Garden said big trees are growing along the slopes of the drain behind the houses. The drain is about ten feet deep with steep smooth cemented sides. Initially when it was a gravel drain it was regularly maintained by MBI, however, after concreting no maintenance is done.

A. Basnayake, who lives in Jalan Carlos, behind Fatimah Hospital, said that cars are parked haphazardly in front of the houses and road junctions. The residents have complained to MBI and only once the enforcement officers came and summoned a few cars. The situation is now back to its old chaos and getting worse.

Another resident Baljit Singh from Taman Silibin wants the Mayor to Turun Padang to his place and see the situation for himself. He’s had no help to get things done.

MBI must take prompt action on complaints. The councillors must engage with the residents of their zones and solve their problems.

University of Malaya - National University of Singapore

UM-NUS Joint Architecture Study


The University of Malaya and National University of Singapore recently held a joint architecture study of Ipoh for 20 students, 10 from each university, who stayed in Ipoh for two weeks. Named the ‘UM-NUS Joint Studio Programme 2012’, this programme has been ongoing for several years with an earlier programme covering Taiping in 2010.

University of Malaya - National University of Singapore

According to Mr Roland Sharpe Flores, Visiting Senior Fellow, School of Design Environment, NUS Department of Architecture, the programme allows students to be exposed to the methodologies of historical documentation and analyses of places and buildings.

University of Malaya - National University of Singapore

Additionally, it enables its students to engage with the town’s residents as part of its cultural study segment.

Flores explained that Ipoh was selected as “it had a significant stock of shop houses with its historic core fairly intact”, and its development was historically significant referring to the Great Fire that destroyed many parts of old town.

Unlike Old Town which was developed organically with some blocks having different sized shop lots, New Town that emerged after the fire, was a planned modern development that featured wider roads and alleyways to provide for fire breaks and services.

(l-r) Students Joel Tay (NUS), Syakirin (UM), Ishaq (UM), Serene Wong (NUS),Hafiz (UM)

For the students, their two week stint here was an eye opener where they noted a variety of architectural styles. All of the students interviewed described their two week stint as “an enriching study experience”.

A point noted by all the participants was that preserving one’s heritage is always a good practice especially for the next generation. Flores gave advice saying that “whenever a new preservation was happening, to publicise it so that more restoration can occur”.

The students, who were also taken on a tour of Kuala Kangsar (KK) by Perak Heritage Society VP Law Siak Hong, also found KK very interesting saying “there is so much to see”.

Is there a ‘niche market’ for architectural tours here?


Perak Arts Festival


By Fathol Zaman Bukhari

Perak Tourism AssociationThe desire to see a change in the public’s perception of Visit Perak Year 2012 (VPY 2012) prompted a couple of concerned individuals in the tourism industry to do something drastic. They initiated plans to overhaul the ongoing programmes by putting in place an activity which will be regarded as the culmination of the year-long festivities.

Taking the lead in the initiative is Haji Odzman Abdul Kadir, President of Perak Tourism Association better known by its abbreviation PTA. The association, for some inexplicable reasons, has been constantly referred to as Parent-Teacher Association that dabbles in tourism. It may sound funny but that is the sad fact.

The Perak Tourism Association has been in existence for a very long time but its significance has been under-estimated by many in the tourism industry. The enormity of its responsibilities outstrips that of state-level affiliates such as the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) and the Malaysian Association of Hoteliers (MAH).

Its primary role is to act as a conduit between the state government and tourism industry players. Frankly, PTA exists for a reason. It has positioned itself as a convenient facilitator to convert policies into actions and vice versa. Being a go-between, its role in the whole scheme of things is enormous. But due to an infantile tourism industry and an equally inept tourist department, PTA has not been able to exert itself.

This could be the reason why some take a dim view of the association, equating it to a parent-teacher body more prone to hiccups than astuteness. Those who consider the association as nothing more than a necessary irritant now do so at their own peril.

Odzman’s “event to end all events” found solid footing when his proposal paper was accepted, with minimal changes, by Dato’ Hamidah Osman, Executive Councillor for Tourism. His request for RM250,000, a very conservative estimate for the three-day festival, was duly approved by Hamidah. The money will come from the RM500,000 allocation by the Tourism Ministry to the state for VPY 2012.

“Making it an event to end all events is a tall order,” said Odzman. Undeterred by negative comments, the former teacher is determined to prove his critics wrong. “I’ve the right people on my side,” he enthused. Obviously, he was referring to Syahruddin Hamid, the Director of the Ministry of Tourism (Perak) and Mohd Taib, President of Perak Heritage Society. Newly appointed Chief Executive Officer of Tourism Perak Management Berhad, Haji Musa Dun has been won over. The quartet has identified their targets and, in the weeks ahead, will go about making their dreams a reality.

Perak Arts Festival is slated for September 14 till 16. It will coincide with Malaysia Day, which falls on September 16. The objective of the celebration is to showcase the rich heritage of the four races namely, Malay, Chinese, Indian and Orang Asli. “We’ve lost plenty due to progress. Reviving these dying arts will be central to the festival,” said Syahruddin.

The event will be held at Dataran MBI (MBI Square) and will be in the form of an exhibition held within four tented pavilions. The pavilions will exhibit the art forms indigenous to the four races.

A variety of programmes are on the cards to keep visitors of all ages occupied. They include traditional games, extreme games and street games. Clinics to teach those keen on learning the dying arts will be held. “We’ve something for everyone,” said Mohd Taib.

Publicity, long the bane of VPY 2012, will be adequately addressed. “We’ll use all available avenues to promote the event nation-wide,” said Odzman. “And that includes the huge LED screens in town.”

Visit Perak Year 2012 looks set to finish on a cheery note, contrary to what many have predicted.

100 Donors Have Registered


Yayasan Bina Upaya Darul Ridzuan (YBU) , organ donationYayasan Bina Upaya Darul Ridzuan (YBU) has extended a helping hand to the on-going organ donation campaign. The campaign, initiated by volunteer Dr Ghantan Palanisamy, is aimed at creating awareness among Malaysians on the benefits of organ donation.

The country-wide campaign is in full swing and with the involvement of YBU, the possibility of it making an impact in Perak is great. Ghantan’s target is a thousand donors. “Over a hundred have registered so far,” he said. “The target is achievable provided the message is far-reaching.”

The foundation has obtained the participation of Ipoh General Hospital, Universiti Sains Malaysia and volunteers of YBU. “Hopefully, more will join in,” said Ghantan to Ipoh Echo.

Readers keen on knowing more about organ donation can call 05-208 5161 or visit this website for details: www.agiftoflife.gov.my.


Milo Morning


Street ‘Sepak Takraw’

The children at Taman Chepor Damai, Chemor Perak had the carnival of their life when the Milo Camp, Play More Carnival event came directly into their neighbourhood playground. The games provided included the team games of futsal, netball and sepak takraw as well as telematch where all the residents and whole families could participate.

Games for the whole family

The event that morning was officiated by Manjoi State Assemblyman YB Dato’ Hj Nadzri bin Hj Samat. According to Deputy Chairman of Rukun Tetangga Taman Chepor Damai Mohd Nasri Bostamai, there are 300 houses in the housing estate. On that morning, over 320 children had registered for the events.

Standing back row (l-r) YB Dato Nadzri (blue shirt), Mohd Hanif Haron (green shirt) and Mohd Nasri (red shirt)

The MILO PLAY MORE, LEARN MORE campaign is a Nestle MILO sponsored event aimed at engaging its outreach to students and families nationwide and developing strong partnerships with local communities.

Nestle Products Event Manager Hj Mohd Hanif Haron explained that the campaign was focused mainly towards the rural areas and the location must have a minimum of 20 teams or 300 participants for the games provided.

‘2 Thumbs-up’, Mior Asyraf and Mohd Faris. for a super Milo Morning

For young futsal players, Mior Asyraf, 12, and Mohd Faris Azlan, 11, they gave the event a ‘2 thumbs up’ and wished that “the event could be held every weekend”.  From the looks of glee on the faces of all who participated, the event was a joyous success.


OMPH Annual Feast Day


The Feast day of Our Mother of Perpetual Help was held on June 23 this year.

The theme of this year’s celebration was: “Mary, Model for Evangelization”, in line with the theme for the year set by the Penang Diocese, that is, “Evangelization”.

Before the actual feast day celebration, nine days of preached Novenas were held and conducted in the four major languages.

This year’s celebration attracted over 3,000 devotees from three parishes in Ipoh and outstation from as far as Singapore.

(l) Crowning the portrait of Our Mother of Perpetual Help

The highlight of the celebration was the crowning of the portrait of Our Mother of Perpetual Help after which a procession was held around the neighbourhood surrounding the church.

The procession around the neighborhood.


A Double Joy


Xim Phou Moon Welfare Society Malaysia (XPM), Pusat Pemulihan Sultan Azlan Shah (PPSAS) BerchamThe Xim Phou Moon Welfare Society Malaysia (XPM), a non-profit, non-religious and non-governmental organisation based in Selangor, brought cheer to Pusat Pemulihan Sultan Azlan Shah (PPSAS) in Bercham, recently. The organisation, for the first time, celebrated family day at the rehab centre.

Some three hundred people consisting of staff and patients of PPSAS and those from the Selangor society were present. President of XMP, Dato’ Tan Leong Hoo and PPSAS Chairman, Tan Sri V. Jeyaratnam joined in the fun. The crowd was entertained to music and songs by patients of the rehab centre. Their ability to perform was an indication of the improvements they had achieved since undergoing treatments.

A cheque for RM30,000 and another for RM2,000 were presented by XPM and its affiliate, Persatuan Agama Tao Jung Moon, to PPSAS at the end of the get-together. The donations were a form of recognition for the services rendered by the centre to the community.


Funds for Touristic Activities


Executive Councillor for Tourism, Dato’ Hamidah Osman hoped that money given to organisations tasked to conduct touristic activities will be well spent. She expressed both optimism and pessimism when speaking to the media following a series of mock cheque presentation ceremonies held at the State Secretariat Building recently. Over a week in June a total of RM180,000 was given away. The money was part of the allocation for tourism approved in the 2012 state budget.

Universiti Teknologi Mara, Seri Iskandar received RM80,000 to organise the Gua Tempurung Eco Challenge 2012. The event, slated for August 31 till September 2, is for students of institutions of higher learning in the country. It will be held at Gua Tempurung and Gopeng. Participants have to run, cycle, kayak and explore, not necessarily in that order. These physically demanding events require a strong pair of arms and legs.

The remaining RM100,000 was given to two private entities. SNR Adventures received RM50,00 to organise the 7th Perak Iron Bound Challenge in Lumut while Persatuan Belia Kubu Gajah received RM50,000 to manage the Road to Kubu Gajah 4×4 Challenge. Both activities had taken place from July 6 to 8.

“The purpose of the ceremonies is to record the transactions so we’ll not be accused of being extravagant,” said Hamidah.


Educating Voters


voters rights, Tindak MalaysiaIn the run-up to the coming general elections, Perak Women for Women Society hosted a talk by Tindak Malaysia on voters’ rights. Tindak Malaysia is a Kuala Lumpur-based non-governmental organisation dedicated to educating Malaysians on their rights as voters. This self-funded NGO has been actively pursuing its objective in tandem with Ambiga’s Bersih rallies.

The talk, conducted by Tindak Malaysia’s Christopher Wong, touched mainly on electoral reforms and ways to detect frauds, especially at polling stations. Attendees, made up of members of NGOs in Ipoh, participated actively in the question and answer session at the end of the talk.

Although the audience was relatively small it did not, deter Tindak Malaysia from doing what it knows best. “We’re determined to spread the gospel, come what may,” said Christopher to Ipoh Echo.