Tag Archives: ipoh echo issue 163

New Police Volunteers


Perak Chief Police Officer DCP Dato’ Pahlawan Mohd Shukri Dahlan met with 793 new recruits of the Police Volunteer Reserve (PVR) at the Federal Reserve Unit camp in Sg. Senam recently.

The volunteers, according to the CPO, have the same responsibilities as regular police personnel. They have been assisting the Police with crime prevention. But from this year onwards, they will have additional duties.

New Police Volunteers

Some of the additional duties are:

Perak Volunteer Squad. A squad of sixty volunteers dispersed in four police districts. They will visit crowded places on weekends, to interact with the public, and collect information from them.

Volunteers on Buses. They will make rounds along public bus routes on weekdays, stopping at bus stands and terminals.

Pairing with Traffic Cops. Volunteers pairing with traffic policemen to assist in traffic control in commercial areas.

The Perak Police Contingent plans to increase the efficiency and deployment of volunteers. In the pipeline is to have them serve at their neighbourhood police stations because they have a better understanding of the local areas. The other is to improve the working relationship between regular police and the volunteers. Input from the public is welcomed.

Incidentally, the quota of PVR personnel in Perak has been increased from 282 last year to 1575 this year. This is part of the National Key Result Area’s initiatives.


Hard Work Pays Dividends


“I am pleased with my results and hope I can maintain them for the subsequent semesters,” said Hafizul Shazan Mohamed Shah, 21, to Ipoh Echo at an excellence award-giving ceremony held at the Menteri Besar’s residence recently. Hafizul is a student at Kolej-Poly Tech Mara (KPTM) Ipoh, having obtained a Diploma in Multimedia at the college.

Hard Work Pays Dividends

The ceremony was in recognition of those who had done exceptionally well in their course examinations.

Hafizul thanked both his parents for their unwavering support. “They’re my source of inspiration,” said the youth who aspires to take up a career in animation. “I too wish to thank my lecturers for their assistance and guidance.”

Adam Dean Ng Amar Ng, 21, one of the other awardees, was equally eager about his career prospects. Adam did a Diploma in Management course at the same college. He was top of his class and was duly recognised for his achievement.

The youngest of three siblings, Adam’s recipe for success is to simply concentrate on his course work and be attentive during classes. “That’s my only methodology besides discussing matters with my lecturers,” he added.

Menteri Besar of Perak’s wife, Datin Seri DiRaja Saripah Zulkifli, gave away the awards to the winners.


Husni Visits MBI


Second Finance Minister Dato’ Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah dropped by the Ipoh City Council recently. He visited the environmental, health, town planning and engineering departments to “see things” for himself. This was in conjunction with his executive talk to officers of the Council which followed soon after.

Husni Visits MBIHusni was glad to note the progress of the Ipoh City Council thus far. He praised the Council for the prompt completion of the Perak Urban Transformation Centre (UTC) in downtown Ipoh. The deadline given was seven weeks but it was completed in six.

MBI is now the second largest city council in terms of development planning applications from investors, after DBKL. It has replaced Penang from the number two spot.

“Thus, Ipoh has the potential to be even more developed and vibrant,” said Husni to reporters.


Birch Clock Tower Needs Proper Maintenance


The newly renovated Birch Clock Tower still has no signage and the receptacle in the pedestal in which there was a plaque contains stagnant water; ideal place for breeding mosquitoes.

Birch Clock Tower

Half-opened newspapers were lying around the compound. Since there are no benches, it looks like people are placing the newspapers on the ground to sit. This must be happening at night. There are no dustbins in the area. There is the usual garbage like plastic bottles and bags strewn all around.

The plants in the flower bed are not being maintained and growth is uneven. Weeds are growing in the specially planted carpet grass and if they are not weeded soon, they would choke the carpet grass. Action must be taken immediately before it is too late.

Newspapers lying around

The restoration work done on the main structure is not professional. A lay person can see the poor workmanship. One of the lamp posts next to the main steps has been missing for a long time. The lamp post next to it is also missing.

On the positive side the clock shows the correct time. As one of Ipoh’s most famous landmarks, it is imperative that, having spent money on its restoration, proper maintenance is carried out.

A. Jeyaraj

Zambry Warns Councillors to “Shape up” or “Ship out”


I refer to the news item “Ratepayers want prompt action” (NST Streets Northern, March 16).

It was reported that Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri DiRaja Dr Zambry Abd Kadir said that the state government is fed up with constant complaints about bread and butter issues and warned local councillors to either “shape up” or “ship out”.

Last year, members of several civil society NGOs in Ipoh carried out a survey on MBI councillors to help ratepayers understand the roles and functions of city councillors, raise awareness on local government, enhance good governance and transparency.

The initial intention was to conduct a survey amongst all 23 MBI councillors, soliciting their response to a questionnaire with five simple questions.

Two important questions were: ‘Why do you want to be a councillor?’ and ‘How often do you meet residents in your zone?’

It is regrettable that all councillors decided not to respond, citing reasons which were unacceptable. They said that they were only answerable to their political party and not obliged to reply to NGOs. Instead of contacting us, they expressed their opinion in the daily Nanyang Siang Pau.

We then decided to approach our ratepayers for their views. A modified simple questionnaire with a ‘Yes/No’ answer was prepared and our findings on three important questions were:

81% of residents do not know who their councillor is.

92% of the residents have not seen their councillor in their area over the past twelve months.

83% of the residents are not satisfied with the performance of their councillors.

There are also a few dedicated councillors and one of them is Dato’ Daniel Tay, councillor for Lim Garden and Merdeka Garden. He visits the places that need maintenance and organises meetings between residents and MBI staff. However, some residents were not happy because he did not play an active role during the massive flooding.

The findings were handed over to MB, Dato’ Dr Mah Hang Soon, the Mayor and Exco Members. There was no reply. We doubt whether our authorities read letters sent to them by the ratepayers who are their paymasters. They are not aware of the real situation on the ground.

We highlighted that the present system of appointing councillors is a failure and councillors have very little interaction with the residents.

We suggested other options to replace the failed system, namely:

Councillors be elected.

Do away with councillors who act as middlemen and cut cost.

MBI can appoint Special Officers to accept/act on complaints from the public

MBI to hold sub-committee meetings at night so that the public can attend and participate in the discussions on various issues.

MBI to hold public hearings on new plans/projects and get feedback from the public before implementation.

Empty talk without concrete action plan is a waste of time.

A. Jeyaraj

[GASRA (Gabungan Solidarity Perak)

LLG Cultural Development Centre

Ipoh City Watch

Perak Consumers Association

Mafrel Perak

Lim Garden Residents’ Committee

Ikram Perak

Tamil Foundation]

Danger on the Streets of Ipoh


jerry_francisBy Jerry Francis

Are the exposed electrical wires at the base of the metal street lamp-posts (see pics) around Ipoh City safe to be touched?

This question is always on my mind whenever I come across them while walking along the busy streets and in some cases close to schools. There are not just one or two, there are a number – some with the covers missing, while others with the wires jutting out as the covers are loosely held.

My Say 2My Say 1

I get jittery each time I pass such exposed wires ever since I saw three buffaloes electrocuted in Silibin area some years ago. I am also reminded of the case where a 10-year-old boy was electrocuted when he accidentally fell and touched an exposed high-voltage wire on a lamp post at a playground near his house in Shah Alam last year.

My concern is what happens if someone, particularly children, unwittingly touched the wires while walking along the pavements.

Can the relevant authority give an assurance that such exposed wires are safe? If not, such negligence should be quickly looked into before mishaps occur.

Orang Asli Village Receives Visitors


The Orang Asli settlers of Kampong Ayer Denak, Tronoh played hosts to members of Y’s Men’s Club Ipoh and the Perak Malayalee Association recently. The villagers, numbering some 600-odd, turned up in force to welcome their guests, who were on a tour to better acquaint themselves with the living conditions of the Orang Asli there.

Orang Asli Village

Village chief, Tok Batin Ariff bin Ngah Omar was on hand to receive the visitors. They were then introduced to the village action committee made up of members of the community. The day-long programme ended with the handing over of food parcels by the visitors to the villagers.

It was an enlightening day for members of the two organisations. They plan to visit similar villages in Tapah and Chemor in the near future.


Hockey Hub Ipoh Growing in Strength and Stature


By James Gough

Sultan Azlan Shah Cup International Hockey Tournament 6The recently-concluded Sultan Azlan Shah Cup (SASC) International Hockey Tournament, the 22nd in the series, was considered the best ever edition of the annual game. This was proudly declared by tournament organiser, Dato’ Hj Abdul Rahim Md Ariff. Due to its significance, this international hockey tournament, the longest running invitational tournament in the world has been featured in the International Hockey Federation’s (IHF) annual calendar of events putting Ipoh on the world Hockey map.

Champions Australia
Champions Australia

“The organisation is world class in all aspects” – Gary Marsh, IHF Tournament Director

The invitational, the brainchild of HRH Sultan Azlan Shah, was intended to provide the home team an opportunity to play with world-class hockey teams following the country’s fall from grace in the early 1980s. The tournament, limited to 7 top-ranked teams in the world, made its debut in 1983.

This year’s tournament was held from March 9 till 17. Six teams, Australia, Korea, New Zealand, India, Pakistan and Malaysia were in Ipoh to wrest the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.

Sultan Azlan Shah Cup International Hockey Tournament 1Without doubt the Malaysian team this year played a more spirited game compared to previous years. But that was not the reason for Rahim’s happiness. His joy was to witness and hear the infectious cheers of the crowd who filled the Azlan Shah Hockey Stadium to support the national team. The scenario was repeated for the whole duration of the tournament, especially when Malaysia was on the field.

The invitational is normally held during the mid-year school holidays to enable students and families to watch the matches. No entrance fee is levied and the attendance has been fairly good, increasing as the event progresses. The crowd is a mixed bag of locals and foreigners. The majority of the locals are from within Perak with a sprinkling of outsiders. However, foreign fans are made up of team officials and their “Imported” supporters.

Sultan Azlan Shah Cup International Hockey Tournament 3Since the Asia Cup will be held in Ipoh in August, the SASC was pushed forward to March. The week-long tournament was held at Stadium Azlan Shah, Ipoh with a seating capacity of 12,000. The home team’s sterling performance was the reason why the stadium was packed every other evening. They were the main draw.

Malaysia, ranked 13th, won their opening match against South Korea, ranked 8th with a slim 3-2 margin. The home team normally wins or draws in the preliminary rounds only to lose when the going gets tough. This raises the ire of fans who would then tag the team as “Jagoh Kampong” (village champion) the moment they begin to fumble. However, this was not the case this time around. They came out on top once again in their second game against New Zealand (ranked 6th) beating the Kiwis 2-1. The crowd on the second day was much larger considering it was a Sunday night.

Sultan Azlan Shah Cup International Hockey Tournament 4On the third day when Malaysia faced World No. 2, Australia, the stadium was filled to the brim. The fans were out in force to provide the much needed support considering that Australia had earlier beaten India 4-3 and steamrolled Pakistan 6-0.

Our Malaysian boys played their hearts out. Their determination saw them holding the mighty Aussies to a 1-1 draw. The equalising goal was scored by a Malaysian forward 44 seconds before the air horn was sounded. Immediately, vuvuzelas blared and drums pounded throughout the stadium. The atmosphere was ecstatic.

Malaysia’s next two games ended in a draw, 2-2 with Pakistan a similar 2-2 with India. The two draws paved the way to a much anticipated final with Australia, the other finalist.

Electrifying Final

Sultan Azlan Shah Cup International Hockey Tournament 2The stadium was packed to overflowing. To accommodate those who could not get in, a huge LED screen was erected in the car park where, according to Rahim, close to 2000 had gathered to watch the game.

The VIPs present during the final included members of the Royal family. HRH Sultan Azlan Shah who was indisposed, did not attend the tournament like previous years. But it was reported that he had followed every match on TV along with his grandchildren.

The Royal entourage was well represented that night. They included HRH Raja Muda Perak Raja Nazrin Shah, Raja Puan Besar Perak Tuanku Zara Salim, daughter YTM Raja Eleena and the wife of the late Raja Ashman Shah YTM Dato’ Seri Noraini Jane. Menteri Besar Dato Seri DiRaja Dr Zambry Abd Kadir was there too.

When Malaysia opened account in the 4th minute through Faizal Saari, the entire stadium erupted. Unfortunately, Australia equalised in the 29th minute and took the lead a minute later.

Malaysia drew level in the 49th minute. But with barely 4 seconds left before the final whistle, Australia scored to claim the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup with a 3-2 win over Malaysia.

The final match, as with all the earlier games, was fast and exciting. The Malaysian team this year played with a new found vitality. They took the challenge seriously and fans were on the edge for the entire 70 minutes of each match. This was unlike before as the tempo would taper off with time.

Perhaps the team’s new found strength and spirit are attributable to Malaysia’s new hockey coach, South African Paul Michael Revington. Or perhaps it was due to the foreign teams fielding their junior players while Malaysia fielded a mixed bag of junior and senior players throughout the tournament.

Whatever the reasons were, the enthusiasm displayed on the blue turf had a tremendous impact on fans’ turnout and TV viewers. Astro, the official broadcaster for the tournament, recorded a viewers’ average of 340,000 each time Malaysia took to the field. This figure is normally seen during finals of the European football leagues.

Hockey Courses

Gary Marsh
Gary Marsh,
Tournament Director

The coaches and umpires courses were held simultaneously during the tournament. The courses, held at the Raja Ashman Shah AHF-MHC Academy adjacent to the stadium, saw an enrolment of 36 from 11 Asian countries.

This year the academy focused on the AHF (Asian Hockey Federation) Level 2 Coaching Course and AHF Umpiring Course. The courses were held during the tournament, as the games were recorded and used for study and observation. The academy, which is acknowledged by AHF as a centre for Asian hockey, was started in 2011. Its objective is to train and prepare coaches, umpires and technical officials to manage competitions in the participants’ countries.

Mr Gary Marsh, the Tournament Director appointed by the International Hockey Federation (IHF) to oversee this year’s competition described the organisation as superb. “It’s world class, in all aspects,” he exclaimed. “The competitive team spirit shown by all the participating teams was excellent despite this being an invitational tournament,” he told Ipoh Echo.

Marsh further described the entire Ipoh set up, namely the tournament’s facilities, the academy and the courses offered as fantastic and being essential for the development of the sport in the country. What further impressed Marsh was the fanatical home fans. “They came with their entire families and this added to the atmosphere of the game. It was friendly and I loved every minute of it.”

Asia Cup

In August (August 24 to September 1) Ipoh will play host to another international-class hockey tournament, the 9th Men’s Asia Cup.

Eight teams, including Malaysia, will be participating. The event will be treated as a World Cup qualifying tournament. All participating nations will be fielding their first team and Malaysia can expect a gruelling fight to the finish.

Paul Michael Revington
Coach, Paul Michael Revington

According to Rahim, the IHF has recently expanded the World Cup Tournament to accommodate 16 teams instead of 12 previously. With this expansion it is hoped that Malaysia will make the cut.

When asked whether the home team was preparing for the World Cup, Coach Paul Revington’s reply was crisp. “My most important assignment is to help Malaysia win the Asia Cup so we can qualify for the 2014 World Cup in the Hague next year.”

Alluding to the final against Australia, Revington was truly amazed by the team’s fighting spirit. “If we remain consistent and embrace the challenge, we’ll forge ahead. Hopefully, this is a harbinger of good things to come. And once we start running, we’ll be unstoppable,” he remarked.

2014 Tournament

Due to the fixtures of the World Cup in May 2014, the 23rd edition of the Sultan Azlan Shah International Hockey Tournament next year is tentatively slated in the March-April timeframe.

Fans can expect a very exciting outing because the teams participating would have qualified for the World Cup. They would use the tournament as a testing ground for their teams.

It appears that only after 22 tournaments that Ipoh’s home-grown product is finally getting the recognition it is due. Considering that it is a permanent feature in Ipoh’s calendar of events, perhaps we should try to package the tournament for sports buffs, both local and foreign.

Towards this end, the efforts of Ipoh City Council, Tourism Perak and that of the Perak Hockey Association should be galvanised for the benefit of all. Haji Musa Dun, CEO of Tourism Perak, is receptive of the idea and has given his stamp of approval.

RM18,000 raised in Ride4Charity


1,800 cyclists took part in the UTAR Ride4Charity event and raised RM18,000 for the needy students in UTAR. The charity event was organised by UTAR Student Representative Council (SRC) with the objective to promote cycling as a green way of travelling and healthy recreational activity within campus, while raising funds for the UTAR Welfare Fund that supports needy students in the University. It was sponsored by cycling component manufacturers Shimano, Raleigh, Cat Eye and others.

raised in Ride42Charity“This is the first time that an event organised by SRC has participants as young as seven and the oldest is 75,” said organising chairperson Ng V Jiet, adding that he and his team were happy and thankful for the overwhelming support from UTAR staff, students and the public.   He added, “the sponsors have been really helpful and generous when they learned that this event is organised by students to help students in return.”

UTAR Vice President (Student Development and Alumni Relations) Dr Teh Chee Seng flagged off the charity ride at the sports complex in the campus. The cycling route, through the rustic towns of Mambang Diawan and Temoh before coming back to the campus, was about 30 kilometres and it took the participants almost three hours to complete.

raised in Ride4Charity1“We were glad to participate in the event and hope that UTAR can hold it annually,” said retiree Sufian Arshad, 61. He and his wife Rubiah Mingan, 59, took part in the event. Amirah Mohamad Pudi, 17, from Batu Gajah, who shared the same thought, said, “We got to know about this exciting event via Facebook and my family and I decided to join in.”

“This is not my first time joining such a cycling event. I am glad and am proud of myself,” said 55-year-old Chuah Yew Lay from Ipoh, who uses a prosthetic right leg. He added that his condition had not hindered him in taking part in the event.

“If you want to make the world a better place to live in, you must have the feeling to give and to care for the less fortunate,” said UTAR President Ir Prof Academician Dato’ Dr Chuah Hean Teik at the closing ceremony. He thanked all parties involved for participating in the ‘good, green and healthy’ event which had successfully raised RM18,000 for the UTAR Welfare Fund.

After the speech, Professor Chuah proceeded to present souvenirs to the representatives of the three main sponsors. The UTAR Ride4Charity event wound up after the much-anticipated lucky draw session.

Mayor Fetes News Bureau Chiefs


Mayor Dato’ Roshidi Hashim’s efforts in winning over the media are paying dividends, judging from the response by bureau chiefs in Ipoh. His latest attempt involved a hi-tea get-together at a seafood restaurant in Greentown. His choice of the eatery in Ipoh’s business district was a pleasant surprise to the invitees, as few had expected it to happen.

Mayor Fetes News Bureau ChiefsThe afternoon tea on Friday, March 22 was organised with a difference. Roshidi’s off-the-cuff welcoming speech is normally peppered with humour aimed at putting the guests at ease. This time around, however, he had other things in mind. The presence of a well-dressed Malay gentleman and his equally striking wife was obvious.

The couple were duly introduced by the mayor. The gentleman was Encik Kamaruddin Hj Ismail, a former staff of the Perak Information Department. Kamaruddin retired from his post as a supervisor at the Ipoh-based department in 2010 after serving 42 years in the federal agency. He started as a projectionist in 1968.

Kamaruddin’s presence was for a reason. He was nominated the city’s most exemplary resident (Wargakota Ipoh Contoh), a recognition accorded to Ipohites for their voluntary contributions towards the betterment of the city. Kamaruddin won praises for his voluntary works in keeping his residential area in Gunung Rapat clean. He was presented with a wristwatch by Roshidi.

The mayor took the opportunity to highlight issues relating to rubbish collection and illegal dumpsites. An average of about 500 metric tons of waste are collected daily in the city. “It costs the Council RM40,000 a day to dispose of the rubbish,” he remarked.

On the issue of illegal dumpsites, a total of 12,000 sites were cleared in 2012. Close monitoring, gotong royong and posting of signages are some of the methods employed to keep these sites from proliferating. He implored upon Ipohites to be more civic-minded and to help the Council keep the city rubbish-free.