Tag Archives: Ipoh Echo Issue 149

Ipoh City Council

Ramadan Roundup

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Buka Puasa Treat for Orphans

Ipoh City CouncilIpoh City Council organised a “buka puasa” treat for 50 children from Ar‑Raudhah Baitul Mubarouqah Orphanage, Gunung Rapat. The event was held at Kinta Riverfront Hotel and Resort, Ipoh and was hosted by the Mayor, Dato’ Roshidi Hashim. The orphans received “duit raya” from the Mayor.

Bubur Lambuk for All

Tourism PerakTourism Perak came up with a novel idea to dispense bubur lambuk for all and sundry. The breakfast delicacy, a hit with most Muslims, was mass produced on the grounds of Stadium Indera Mulia, Ipoh on the evening of Thursday, August 9. The porridge was then packed into plastic containers and given to visitors and passers-by. Over 6,000 packs were prepared. Dato’ Hamidah Osman and her staff then distributed the packs to passing motorists at the Ipoh PLUS toll gates.

Daybreak Centre Receives VIPs

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Deputy Minister of Women, Family and Community Development, Datuk Heng Seai Kei, visited Persatuan Daybreak in Pengkalan Pegoh recently. The centre provides vocational training for people with physical disabilities.

Persatuan Daybreak in Pengkalan Pegoh, Puan Sri Dato’ Sandra LeeHeng was accompanied by Dato’ P.K. Chong, Director of Social Welfare Department Perak. On hand to receive the entourage was Puan Sri Dato’ Sandra Lee and committee members of Daybreak.

The deputy minister presented a wheelchair to Denish Silva, a trainee who lost one of his legs during a recent road accident. The possibility of setting up a pilot social-enterprise project involving socks manufacturing by trainees was also discussed. The realisation of this initiative will help enhance the capacity of Persatuan Daybreak.

Kani

Eye Health – Ocular Migraine

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

Ipoh Echo’s EYE HEALTH series continues with Consultant Eye Surgeon Dr S.S. Gill talking to us about Ocular (Eye) Migraine

You suddenly begin to see light flashes as if looking through shattered glass followed by a dull headache over one eye. You pass it off as having been on the computer for too many hours. However, the symptoms continue to worsen making you finally go in for an eye check. After a thorough eye examination you are eventually told that you have just experienced an ocular (eye) migraine which is more precisely termed as “ophthalmic migraine”.

Ocular Migraine Symptoms

It can present with a variety of symptoms. Typically it starts as a small, enlarging dark area (scotoma) in your central vision (simulated photo on the left). This darkened central area of vision usually is accompanied by a surrounding bright light that flashes or flickers (scintillations). In some people, they may assume a wavy pattern of light or zig-zag lines surrounding a dark central area of vision.

The dark central area then usually enlarges to move across the entire field of vision (simulated picture on the right). It may be quite frightening to the person concerned. Some people have described it as a “fireworks display” in the eye. The whole migraine episode may end in a few minutes, but may last up to 30 minutes. The headache that may or may not follow this “firework display” may last from hours to days.

Why does this happen?

These migraine processes are related to changes in blood flow in the brain (visual cortex). The blood vessels in the brain go into spasm and cause all the symptoms. Initially there is reduction in blood flow in the vessels, and then later an increase in blood flow in the vessels due to the blood vessels dilating. The vessels therefore get over-filled and this causes the throbbing or “pounding” headache.

Trigger factors

There are certain trigger factors that may be responsible in initiating the ocular migraine. These trigger factors may range anything from exposure to stress, fatigue, bright lights, hormonal changes, medication or certain foods containing tyramine or phenylalanine (e.g., cheese, chocolate) and alcohol intake.

Are Ocular Migraines dangerous?

Generally, ocular migraines are considered harmless and cause no permanent visual or brain damage and does not require treatment. However, it can be bothersome to an individual especially for patients who suffer more prolonged painful episodes as a result of ocular migraine.

What do you do during the episode?

Since the vision temporarily gets affected significantly during the ocular migraine attack, it is important to take certain precautions if you are doing something like driving or operating machinery. If you are driving, pull to the side of the road until the attack passes and your vision becomes normal again. Do not move or drive until the ocular migraine resolves.

A point to note

Before you presume that you have ocular migraine, always consult an eye doctor should you have such vision symptoms to make sure that you are not suffering from something more serious like a detached retina or glaucoma since these conditions may result in permanent visual loss. When in doubt, get your eyes checked by an eye care professional.

Dr Gill will speak more on some available treatment options for ocular migraine in the next issue of Ipoh Echo.

Should you require further information, please contact Gill Eye Specialist Centre at Hospital Fatimah 05-5455582 or email: gilleyecentre@dr.com.

K-Perak Forging Ahead

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By James Gough

Triple O Innovations - K-PerakK-PerakK-Perak, which was established in 2007 by the Perak State government to provide infrastructure and facilities to ensure the delivery of information and knowledge to all layers of society, has seen its five initiatives bear fruit. One of the companies in its multimedia arm, Spacetoons Media Hub, a joint venture between the Perak State government and Dubai based Spacetoons International, has recently signed co-production agreements with US company SD Entertainment of Los Angeles USA (the producer of The Pink Panther Animated series and The Smurfs), Cyber Group of France and Sabine of Canada (a top French/Canadian animation distributor and production company). The deal with SD Entertainment will be to produce 52×11-minute pre-school animation series with the title Tiggy World which is guaranteed to be broadcast in the US.

Five Knowledge Initiatives Creating Paradigm Shifts

K-Perak with the K abbreviated from the word Knowledge, has five knowledge initiatives or K-initiatives: K-Government, K-Workers, K-Infrastructure, K-Society and K-Economy. Its tagline ‘From tin mines to MIND industries’ focuses on Multimedia Content, IT Outsourcing (SSO/BPO), New Media and Data Centre, Research, Development and Design.

According to K-Perak’s acting CEO En Saidon Puteh, going into its fifth year, the efforts of the company has begun to show results as evidenced by the recently signed co-production agreements mentioned in the foregoing page.

Spacetoon Malaysia
(L-R) K-Perak Acting CEO, Saidon Puteh with Spacetoon Malaysia Chairman, Fayez Weiss Al-Sabbagh

K-Government

Its K-Government initiative has resulted in the introduction of Gerbang Mesra Rakyat a people friendly gateway to enable online applications.

K-Infrastructure

Its K-Infrastructure initiative has seen an improved speed to access the state government portals while Internet penetration now covers 53.29% of all households in the state which “is above the national average,” added Saidon.

However, it is the K-Worker, K-Society and K-Economy initiatives that have made new strides at restructuring society that can best be described as ‘paradigm shifts’.

K-Society

The K-Society Initiative encourages people to use ICT in their everyday lives.

This is the kampong project where every kampong has their own website and portal where the communities can communicate with each other. To achieve their goal, the K-Perak Team created a Facebook page www.facebook.com/webkampung and went round the state to train the Village Development Committees and village heads on how to use a computer.

The training was a basic 2-hour training teaching the villagers to create an e-mail and Facebook account whose administration was handed over the same day. According to Ms Norzalena Zakaria, the executive tasked to train and implement the initiative, the groundwork started last October and training was conducted since April this year.

There are over 2015 kampongs in the state of which training has been provided to 818 main kampongs and covers “even the Chinese and Indian villages”. Once trained, villagers have posted information about their villages and made complaints about their villages direct to government agencies.

Although the implementation is extensive she admitted that there are still problems with the infrastructure. To create awareness and bring users to share their issues, a carnival is planned at Arena Square Batu Gajah for September 28-30 this year. Additionally, it is hoped that the private sector will come forward to participate in this project.

K-Worker

The K-Worker initiative is a training provider for government offices, which has extended its  training to create a talent pool in the area of 3D application, office productivity, design, photography and digital forensics, or anything to do with ICT, since end 2007. It offers three to four courses per month.

Students are mainly SPM school leavers from community colleges who are provided vocational training in 3D animation using blender and open source software programs to create animation products. One of the products which is currently in production is Perak Boy slated to be a television serial.

Students taking this course have a wide scope of jobs to enter, related to design fields such as landscaping, fashion modeling and also film animation. Since its start four years ago, over 4000 students have walked through its doors.

 K-Economy

The main role of the K-Economy initiative involves the product development and technology innovation of the creative multimedia industry and animation industry. Of the five K-initiatives, K-Economy is the one that has shown the most  dynamic results.

Currently there are six animation companies operating at K-Perak. Five are local companies and Spacetoons Media Hub, a joint venture between the Perak State government and Dubai based Spacetoons International. K-Perak’s requirement stipulates that the companies must operate at their Perak Trade and Technology Centre (PTTC) and with the exception of Spacetoons, the training must use open source free download software.

Triple O Innovations - K-PerakTriple O Innovations - K-PerakTriple O Innovations - K-PerakK-PerakHome Grown Products – Perak Boy, Mantera and Tiggy World

Local company Triple Q Innovations, despite using open source software, has come out with its own 3D product Perak Boy whose story line has him looking for the Perak Man. Slated to run as a local TV serial, it was created by Triple Q Innovation CEO Kamaruzaman Jahidin but the majority of its production work was done by its K-Worker students.

For Spacetoon Media Hub/SMH, since the start of their operations 4 years ago, they have produced five products one of which was a 3D live action movie Mantera screened at local cinemas late last year.

According to Spacetoon Malaysia Chairman Fayez Weiss Al-Sabbagh, Mantera was a marketing tool to attract international recognition of the capabilities of the Ipoh production house.

Mantera took 3 years to make but its success is reflected in the recently signed co-production agreements with SD Entertainment who will also bring in their talent for the production and in doing so will train the local team, upgrade the studio and processes and provide an opportunity to understand the US work culture.

Tiggy World was created by Spacetoons Malaysia and has the International property rights for it. Hence it has created a line of spin-off merchandise such as toys, games and applications for education. Similarly, the deal with Cyber Group of France is targeted for preschool audiences and is a 39×11-minute edutainment series called MIA which will be broadcast worldwide.

Valuable Learning Experience

Al-Sabbagh is excited at these new ventures saying “it will be a good and valuable learning experience for all at the centre to understand the European and US style of work culture.” Regarding the local work force, Al-Sabbagh described them as “now they are very good; earlier they were good but too fresh and inexperienced.” He also described the method  of learning a skill while working on a live project as being positive teaching strategy.

Spacetoons products cater to four categories of the market: 1) Preschool category: Tiggy World, 2) Girl Category: Mouia, 3) Boy Category: Space Crater and 4) Live CG Category: Mantera.  Spacetoons Malaysia has also been approached by The Sanderson Group to set up a theme park in the Meru area using Tiggy World characters as the theme.

Putting Ipoh on Global Animation Map

During the interview Al-Sabbagh also announced that Spacetoons Malaysia will be expanding into the education business and will be developing an animation university in collaboration with University of Quebec offering two curriculums multimedia and lifestyle.

To be located at a 50-acre site at Meru, the university will cost RM229 million to build and is scheduled to be completed by end 2014. It will have an intake from 500 to 2500 students.

It appears that the initiatives of K-Perak have given birth to a new industry in Ipoh: Multimedia. If all the plans do materialise, it should put Ipoh on the global animation map. Hopefully all in the K-Community will be able to participate and partake of its benefits.

Debut for Perak Philarmonic

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The Perak Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO), managed by the Kinta Valley Symphonic Society (KVSS) is making its debut in a concert entitled “New World, New Beginnings” on 18 Aug 2012, Saturday at 8pm in Jubilee Hall, Royal Perak Golf Club, Ipoh.

Perak Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO), Kinta Valley Symphonic Society (KVSS)Set up in 2011, the PPO, comprising a mix of hobby and professional musicians, mostly from Perak, is the first and only philharmonic orchestra in Perak. A total of 57 musicians will be performing at the concert which also features Fung Chern Hwei, based in New York as the violin soloist. Amongst its many objectives, the PPO aims to educate our community on classical music as well as to cultivate an interest and appreciation for it.

As KVSS is a not-for-profit society, it relies on the generosity and goodwill of donors, sponsors and supporters to sustain its activities and achieve its objectives.

The concert programme features Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro, Overture; Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, Violin Concerto; and Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9, The New World.

Tickets are available at Popular Bookstores, Creative Music Academy (05‑547 9828) and PSPA (05-548 7814). For enquiries, call 010-565 0412.

Know Your Councillor

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Ipoh City CouncillorsThe “Know Your MBI Councillor” campaign was initiated by several NGOs from Ipoh in March this year. The objectives of the campaign are to help ratepayers understand the roles and functions of city councillors, raise awareness on local government democracy, enhance good governance, competency, accountability and transparency of councillors and local government.

During a recent press conference, Cheng Heng Chung, spokesman for the group said that their initial intention was to conduct a survey amongst all 23 MBI councillors, soliciting their response to a questionnaire with five simple questions. The responses were to be compiled and made public.

It was regrettable that all the councillors decided not to respond to the survey, citing reasons which were totally absurd and unacceptable. They said that they are only answerable to their political party and not obliged to reply to NGOs, which was published  in the daily Nanyang Siang Pow.

In view of this, the group decided to go to the ratepayers and get their views. A simple questionnaire with a Yes/No answer was prepared and the results show that the present system of appointing councillors is a failure and that councillors have very little interaction with the residents. Eighty-one per cent (81%) of those polled did not know who their councillor is. These findings will be sent to the MB, Exco Members and the Mayor.

As a consequence of the poll, the NGOs, comprising GASRA (Gabungan Solidarity Perak), LLG Cultural Development Centre, Ipoh City Watch, Perak Consumer Association, Lim Garden Residents’ Committee, Tamil Foundation, Mafrel Perak and Ikram Perak, proposed that:

Councillors be elected

MBI appoint special officers to accept/act on complaints from the public;

MBI hold sub-committee meetings at night so that the public can attend and participate in the discussions;

MBI hold public hearings on new issues/projects and get feedback from the public before implementing them.

AJ

Hari Raya Cheers for Zambry’s ‘Children’

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Chief Minister Dato’ Seri DiRaja Dr Zambry Abd KadirIt was a joyous moment for 110 children who were treated to a Hari Raya shopping spree at Aeon Station 18 in Pengkalan recently. The outing was made more meaningful with the presence of Chief Minister Dato’ Seri DiRaja Dr Zambry Abd Kadir and his wife, Datin Seri DiRaja Saripah Zulkifli. These special kids are ‘adoptees’ of the Chief Minister. They are from poor families of all races in the state.

Selection and screening is being done by Yayasan Bina Upaya Darul Ridzuan (YBU) based on recommendations by schools and village heads. The foundation undertakes the responsibility of caring for these children once they are being ‘adopted’ by the Chief Minister.

“The programme is over three years old. The number has risen to 110 as of today. It’ll increase as time progresses,” said Zambry to reporters. “Given the kind of supervision and attention needed, they’re able to develop along with the rest. This is apparent by the marked improvement in their studies and general performances,” he added.

As a parting gift each kid received RM150 as “duit raya”. Another RM120 was set aside for the purchase of Hari Raya clothing. They also received a KFC take-away pack from YBU.

Prathip Ravee, 13, from Parit felt privileged to be one of the adoptees. “I bought myself a computer which I saved from the monthly allowance given by the Chief Minister.” On the whole, the programme has indeed benefited the poor and the marginalised in the state.

RM

Expression of Music

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Indian music school, Swaralaya Sangeetha KalalayamIndian music school, Swaralaya Sangeetha Kalalayam, organised a show entitled, “Thenamutham” (an expression of music) at the State Secretariat Building hall recently. Some 30 students of the school showcased their talents in performing the bharathanatyam classical dances.

The opening number was a welcoming dance by the students. They then put on a three-segment performance incorporating songs, music and dances. Guest of honour, Dato’ S. Veerasingam presented gifts to five children from the Vallalar Anbu Illam orphanage who participated in the show. He thanked the organisers and the students for their dedication.

The show was made possible through the efforts of teacher, Panbarasi Govindasamy. She got her inspiration from her strong musical background. With years of experience in classical music and dance, her passion for organising such a remarkable event comes easy.

Kani

Kechara Buddhist Association brings joy to Joyful Home

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Members of Kechara Buddhist Association spent a weekend painting the compound walls and cleaning the fish pond in the garden of Joyful Home which is a shelter for the abused, abandoned, orphans and under-privileged children in Jalan Ghazali Jawi, Greentown. The children were given school bags and held a drawing session. The members had lunch with the children.

Joyful Home at Jalan Ghazali Jawi GreentownWun Wai Meng, Head of Study Group of the Association, said that instead of just giving donations they wanted to spend time with the children and make them know that they are part of society. The members will be visiting the home regularly.

Irene Morris who runs the home informed that the home was started in 2004 and there are 18 children, boys and girls, between the ages of five to sixteen and except for one, the rest are schooling. There is a full time cook and the home is maintained by the children. She runs the home with donations received from friends and well-wishers. She believes that God meets her needs and when she is short of funds someone turns up with a donation.

Those wishing to donate can contact Irene 016-5463089.

AJ