Tag Archives: ipoh echo issue 161

Jeyaratnam’s Birthday Party

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JeyaratnamTan Sri V. Jeyaratnam, Chairman of Yayasan Sultan Idris Shah, celebrated his 88th birthday recently. The auspicious day, which falls on January 15, was observed with much pomp and ceremony by staff of the foundation who gave the octogenarian a fitting birthday party. Some 500 guests, comprising members of the Board of Trustees, caregivers, well-wishers and clients, were present to share the happy moment. Performances by clients of the foundation formed the climax of the party.

Yuna

Residents against Playground Conversion

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A. JeyarajBy A. Jeyaraj

A notice-board erected by the Prime Minister’s Department on an open piece of land along Jalan Manjoi in Merdeka Garden is causing some concern to the residents. The signboard which lists the project as “RPT Setinggan Taman Merdeka” means it is slated for resettlement of squatters and under the law, this should only occur in outlying areas, not within city limits and definitely not in a parcel of land reserved as an open space.

They fear that they would be deprived of their recreation ground, which has been regularly maintained by Ipoh City Council for years. According to the notice-board, the project is for the upgrading of drains and road, but there were no drains and road at the site. Recently, new drains and a road have been constructed across it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAResidents Against Playground Conversion 02Suspecting that some buildings would be constructed on the site, the residents sought the help of the Perak Consumers’ Association (PCA) to get details of the development. PCA wrote to the Mayor, Menteri Besar, Prime Minister and Kinta Land Office seeking for details and also to stop the project, stressing that the open space in Taman Merdeka has been part of the housing estate since it was developed over 30 years ago.

In their attempts to get details of the project, the PCA and representatives of the residents were made to “run around.”  This reporter visited the Engineering Department of the Ipoh City Council with Mr Paul Raj from PCA and was told that the City Council is not involved. So we went to the Prime Minister’s Department in Ipoh and were told that the department was only doing financial administration and that the Land Office in Batu Gajah was the place to get details. At the Land Office we were told to see Encik Mohd Hariri bin Ahmad, Assistant District Officer in Ipoh.

We met Encik Hariri. He told us that he had not received the letter from PCA upon which a copy of the letter was personally handed to him on December 5 of last year. Since then there has been no reply from him.

A search at the Land Office shows that the land belongs to three individuals; which begs the question of why the Prime Minister’s Department is developing private properties and without the knowledge of the local council? Does this mean that other open spaces designated for parks like Taman DR Seenivasagam can also be developed?

If this is the case, soon more vacant land in housing estates in the city will be gone, including those gazetted as playing fields.

Dr Peggy C. Wong, Living Hope

“1 Egg 1 Child”

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Dr Peggy C. Wong, the chairman and founder of NGO Living Hope, was at SJK (C) Bukit Merah on the 11th day of the year of the snake to adopt 100 poor, needy and marginalised children from five schools under its “1 egg 1 child” and “Educate a child” programmes.

Dr Peggy C. Wong, Living HopeThe “1 egg 1 child” programme provides an adopted child one meal every school day while the “Educate a child” programme provides the children with the basic necessities such as uniforms, books and stationeries.

The beneficiary schools this time included SK Pusing, SJK (C) Bukit Merah, SJK (C) Papan, SJK (C) Lahat and SJK (C) Yit Chee, Pusing.

1 egg 1 child (JAG)1Wong, also referred to as the ‘Corporate Matchmaker to the Poor and Marginalised’ for her ability to obtain CSR funding from corporations for her programmes, also brought along 18 Diamond water filters valued at RM14.4k which was donated to 18 schools in the poor communities around the area.

1 egg 1 child (JAG)Living Hope also engaged a Lion Dance troupe to spread the festive joy to the children who absolutely loved it based on their shrieks and screams at the antics of the playful lions and Chinese clowns. To date, Living Hope’s programmes have touched the lives of 31,956 young children.

JAG

Unity Through Arts

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Continuing its commitment to promote arts and culture among Perakeans, PORT (People Of Remarkable Talent) hosted the 1Malaysia Arts Festival with the theme, “Unity Thru Arts”. Located along Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, the venue saw a hive of activity, organised with the collaborative efforts of nine groups. Among them were UiTM, Ipoh Bas Stand, Mashdar Legacy, Pewaris, Barisan NGO Negeri Perak and Pincer.

Unity Through ArtsThe event was graced by Aminudin Hashim, a member of PORT’s Board of Directors and its Chairman, Dato’ Zainol Fadzi Paharudin, Executive Councillor for Culture, Arts, Youth and Sports. Their arrival was greeted by a flash mob dance performed by Ipoh City Rockers.

Once the formalities were over, the stage was opened for multi-cultural performances; a dhol (double-headed drum) by the Ipoh Dhol Federation, a Chinese dance by students from SMK Poi Lam, a semi-classical Indian dance by Suchitradewi followed by a Malay number by Urban Tari Dancers.

Indie rock band, Bittersweet, then took to the stage. The five-piece band from Ipoh has been making waves internationally. Fresh from their gig at the Saarang World Music Fest 2013 in Chennai, India, the band entertained the audience with four tracks including their hits, “A Perfect Match” and “Kuching Hitam”.

Taiping-born crooner, Jamal Abdillah was the star of the evening. With a singing career spanning almost four decades, Jamal had the crowd singing along with him, especially to his classics, “Gadis Melayu” and “Seniman Menangis”.

Jamal Abdillah and Bittersweet were subsequently recognised by the Perak State Government as Perakeans who have crossed international boundaries with their songs and music. They were given the Legendary Pop Artiste of Malaysia and Perak Young Musicians awards, respectively.

Besides stage performances there was also an exhibition on local arts and handicrafts.

Emily

The Twitching Eyelid

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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 The Twitching Eyelid.

Twitching of the eyelid is a term for spasms of the eyelid muscles that occurs involuntarily. This is an annoying problem when it happens. Twitching of the eyelids and eyelid spasms are quite common. Most of the time, only the lower eyelid is involved and that too, commonly in one eye only. However, sometimes the upper eyelid may also be involved.

Most eyelid twitches are MINOR and not dangerous. Thankfully, they also do not last for very long although sometimes they may, though rare, last for a few months. The good thing is that eyelid spasms are often so subtle that people around us do not even notice that someone has an eyelid twitch.

The MORE SERIOUS or problematic form of eyelid twitching is called blepharospasm or hemifacial spasm. Thankfully, these serious forms of twitching occur less often. When they do occur, they may warrant further testing and investigation.

dr gillSome of the possible causes for eyelid twitching are as follows:

  • Stress induced
  • Caffeine intake
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Eye fatigue
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • General fatigue

Identifying the cause for the eyelid twitching helps us to handle the treatment. Often it is just a matter of setting something right. The more serious varieties of twitching however may be a part of a nerve condition and may need to be investigated.

Stress

Mankind is now living in possibly the most stressful era of all time. We are often reminded that “life is not a bed of roses”. The stresses of everyday life with regards to job stress, health conditions and emotional issues are common problems that one may have to face.

The stresses of life have often been identified as underlying causes for various health problems ranging from constipation, depression, hypertension, menstrual irregularities, decreased immunity and even precipitating heart attacks that may lead to death. We all react to stress differently. The response to stress may result in a major illness as mentioned above or just a simple annoying eyelid twitch. If the cause for the eyelid twitch has been identified as stress-induced, then concerted efforts should be taken to address it, the scope of which is beyond this article.

Caffeine

Caffeine is a psychoactive stimulant drug. Caffeine was first discovered by a German chemist, Friedrich Ferdinand in 1819. Caffeine is found not only in coffee but also in some leaves, beans and fruits of some plants. Believe it or not, it can actually act as a natural pesticide that kills some insects that feed on the caffeine-containing plants.

Caffeine is a stimulant (central nervous system or CNS stimulant) that restores alertness and postpones drowsiness. It enhances the effect of the stress we experience. Additionally, caffeine also increases blood pressure and so caffeine and stress do work synergistically in a negative sense. If you do have an annoying eyelid twitch, it would be worth a try cutting back on caffeinated drinks such as coffee, tea, soft drinks and energy drinks. The problem often is that too many of us are in some sense “addicted” to caffeine and claim to not be able to function without that morning cup of coffee! More on Eyelid Twitch in the next issue of the Ipoh Echo.

For more information, call Gill Eye Specialist Centre at Hospital Fatimah (05-545 5582) or email: gilleyecentre@dr.com.

Sexual Harassment at Work

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By Mariam Mokhtar

Sexual HarassmentYour friend confides in you; she is pale, admits that she has not been sleeping well and you have noticed that of late, she is jumpy and makes careless mistakes at work. She attributes these to the unwarranted attentions of a colleague.

She says that the workmate has been making lewd comments about her, both in public and on the few occasions when they are alone in the office. Despite declining his invitations to dinner or the movies, she says that her colleague has not been discouraged but has stepped up his charm offensive. He now sends her text messages which are getting increasingly sexual in nature.

Your friend is afraid and has refused to work overtime even though she would like the extra money. This has also not gone down well with the boss. This job is only part-time but the money helps to pay for her college fees. Your friend’s health is affected and her tutors have noticed the deterioration in her studies.

Many of you may have heard of similar stories experienced by your work colleagues or family members. Perhaps, you have been the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace.

A friend who could not tolerate the persistent attentions, resigned. It was a well paying job in a company which she had enjoyed working in for a decade. Her problems started when her former boss retired and a new manager was recruited. Unable to take the strain of his suggestive comments and his behaviour at work, she left. She found it a daily struggle to avoid him and she was afraid to complain, in case she would not be believed, or worse, lose her job.

Similar stories of sexual harassment describe the victim’s ordeal and the feelings of helplessness and anger. Helpless because there was no one they felt they could turn to for help, and insufficient guidelines to help them deal with the situation; angry because very little attention has been given to sexual harassment at work, which is a serious problem which is not given sufficient attention.

Many women who have been sexually harassed feel vulnerable and that their dignity has been violated. They feel degraded, humiliated and are forced to work in an atmosphere which is both hostile and offensive.

Most remarks are about a woman’s breasts or about her sexual proclivities. Many also complain about being “touched” in inappropriate places or being leered at. Almost all feel that they will not be believed, that their complaints will be regarded as a trivial matter, or that by complaining, their own character will be questioned.

Sexual harassment is not confined to the normal places of work like the office, factory floor, supermarket, warehouse or market stall. Over the years, reports have been made about female Members of Parliament being subjected to lewd comments in parliament. If parliamentarians are not censured by the Speaker or condemned by other MPs for making sexist comments, where does that leave the rest of the population?

If the majority of our MPs lack the drive, energy and moral fibre to take the problem of sexual harassment seriously, does this help explain why Malaysia does not have any laws which deal specifically with sexual harassment in the workplace?

It is important that anyone who feels that they are sexually harassed at work, do the following:

Avoid the work colleague and if possible, do not work alone with him. Tell him if his behaviour is inappropriate, such as standing too close, continually touching or sending text messages with a sexual connotation.

If communicating your disapproval does not work, make a record of the incidents. Keep a notebook on your person, and record the date, time and details of each incident. Any text message or e-mails should also be kept as evidence of his behaviour. Record his sexist remarks on your mobile phone. All the evidence gathered may be used against the harasser.

Tell a trusted colleague at work, who can also observe his behaviour. The more senior the person in the organisation, the better.

Be prepared to make a formal complaint. See a union leader if you are a member. If the boss is guilty of sexual harassment, make the complaint to his superior. Copy your formal letter of complaint to the CEO or Managing Director of the company, and also the Personnel Manager. Keep the letter short, and include a reasonable time-frame for action to be taken. Do not let the matter be swept under the carpet.

If no further action is taken, seek further information from an NGO which deals with such matters or make a police report.

Employers must also take their responsibilities seriously and help free the workplace environment from sexual predators who bully and prey on defenceless women and men.

No one should tolerate sexual harassment at work and no one should be made to suffer in silence or leave their job.

Kelab Roadrunners Ipoh Cycling Team (KRI Cycling Team)

Ang Pow Ride

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Kelab Roadrunners Ipoh Cycling Team (KRI Cycling Team)Kelab Roadrunners Ipoh Cycling Team (KRI Cycling Team) organised an Ang Pow Ride on the eighth day of Chinese New Year.

ie ang pow ride 4

Starting from the opposite bank of Kinta Riverfront Hotel at 8am, 150 cyclists participated in the morning ride that took them via St Michael’s School through town to Jalan Raja Dr Nazrin Shah, Jalan Tun Dr Ismail, Padang Polo, Jalan Hospital and return via Taman DR Seenivasagam.

ie ang pow ride4

3-002According to KRI President Choong Him Shoong, KRI recently launched their Ipoh City Tour Bike Station Riverwalk outlet and has bicycles for rent to tour the city.

The outlet also has ten biking routes for the visitor to choose, ranging from scenic, heritage and orchard routes.

Incidentally KRI Cycling Team had last July produced a booklet entitled ‘Perak Bike Ride’, which was launched together with Tourism Malaysia Perak branch and MBI, which identifies some worthy cycling routes in the state.

Hence, it is noteworthy that the bike station is another addition towards positively promoting tourism in the state.

JAG

Don’t Be Taken For a Walk

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I refer to your article in the Community section entitled, “Walking for a Good Cause” (Ipoh Echo Issue 159, February 1-15).

I am Dr Shan Narayanan, a Consultant Paediatrician. Working with individuals with special needs is my passion. The incidence of Autism is on the increase but the opportunity for early intervention for these children is limited.

Thus I came up with the suggestion to form Autism Asperger’s Help Association (AAHA). The primary aim of AAHA was to set up an autism-specific early intervention programme. The formation meeting was held in my clinic and I was the founding president.

The association had no funds, no office and no teacher. As such, my clinic’s address was used as the registered address. My two sons donated RM1000 to open an account at Public Bank in Ipoh Garden. As more money was needed to take us towards the setting up of the AAHA Centre, I gave RM10,000 as a loan to the association, which I later treated as a donation.

We recruited a lady who now teaches at the centre. She was placed in Blooming Kidz for hands-on work for the whole of 2011 and was given an allowance of RM600 a month. I contributed RM300 towards her monthly allowance for the whole year.

As more funds were needed, I came up with the idea of a “Walk for Autism”. To get participants, I personally campaigned in various colleges during my clinic hours thus losing out on my income.

My regular patients’ parents donated between RM7000-8000. Upon my request, Dutch Lady Malaysia Sdn Bhd donated RM5000. Introduced by a parent of my regular patient, Camfil Farr Malaysia Sdn Bhd donated RM2500.

I resigned in early 2012 due to health reasons. The article says funds were collected by a “Walk for Autism” but the very foundation in which AAHA and AAHA Centre came about has been omitted.

The association is going to be three years old. The AAHA Centre is just one year old and is considered a “baby” in the Autism fraternity. I am shocked that in the article, the Centre is portrayed as having so much experience. It is just a basic early-intervention centre with limited experience in autism.

If AAHA Centre has indeed become an expert centre, I request those responsible to exhibit its accreditation certificate for public viewing. They also claimed to have four experienced teachers. Can they reveal their credentials? This is of utmost importance to assure the public and those with autistic children the credibility of AAHA and the Centre.

With these concerns and the moral responsibility to protect the public from being misled and to ensure that funds raised are not misused, I have made a police report. I have also lodged a complaint with the Registry of Societies.

Thus my message to the readers is WALK FOR AUTISM but DO NOT BE TAKEN FOR A WALK. Check your facts before contributing or participating.

Dr Shan Narayanan
Ipoh

World Peace and Understanding Night

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Rotary Club of Greentown celebrated its 19th Anniversary and World Peace and Understanding Day at Impiana Hotel Ipoh recently.

Rotary Club of GreentownThe event was attended by about 100 members and guests, including the Acting High Commissioner of Sri Lanka, Maj-Gen Lalith Daulagala, Rotary Club District Governor, Mansor Saat and representatives from its sister club from Makati Edsa, Philippines.

The Rotary Club of Greentown has actively participated in various community projects since its inception in 1994, mainly in the health and literacy fields, locally and abroad. It is currently involved in a sanitation project in Seam Reap, Cambodia.

The government gave a grant of RM35,000 recently for the club’s various humanitarian programmes. During the dinner, past president Lee Swee Ching made a personal donation of RM2000. Nachemutu Karappannan, the Club President thanked donors for their generosity and promised that money collected would be spent wisely.

Guests were treated to a sumptuous buffet dinner and then entertained to traditional dances, including a performance by a local Sri Lankan troupe. The evening ended with a drum and percussion demonstration, a fitting finale to a grand night.

SH Ong

A Hug for Valentine’s Day

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How did you spend your Valentine’s Day this year? While some of you were walking on beaches, having romantic candlelit dinners and spending time alone together with your loved ones, De Garden held a DG Chinese New Year Longest Hugging Competition.

A Hug For Valentine's DayA first of its kind for Ipoh, the event was coordinated by H Twenty Three Event MGMT together with sponsors Industree Production and Wedding And You. Twelve pairs of couples from ages 18 to 32 years registered to participate in the “Longest Hugging Valentine’s Day Competition” but only 11 pairs were present.

A Hug For Valentine's Day1Couples were briefed on the rules and regulations before the competition started. They were not allowed any drinks, rests or even toilet breaks during the competition. They were to hug each other, standing on a 2×2 feet area which was designated for each couple. They were to remain in that spot until the end of the competition.

The competition started at 12.20pm with the organizer creating a warm and romantic atmosphere by inviting Music King Association’s singers to go on stage and sing some love songs. As some couples sang along, a couple showed their affection by kissing.

To make the competition a more memorable one, the organizers added to the intensity by degrees. Contestants had to continue hugging with only one foot standing. Towards the end of the competition, the competition became even more challenging. The men had to carry their partners as the ladies’ feet were not allowed to touch the floor. One could see how much fun the contestants were having by the looks on their faces.

After four and a half hours, only two couples were left standing. They persevered bravely as audiences cheered for them. In the final eight minutes of the competition, one couple finally gave up due to exhaustion and the winners Chau Pui Seng and Tham Qian went home with the cash prize of RM888 sponsored by De Garden as well as a Valentine’s Day dinner voucher sponsored by Ninja Jones Japanese Restaurant, together with the title of the first “Hugging Contest Winners” at De Garden.

Susan Ho