Tag Archives: ipoh echo issue 164

General Azizan Bids Farewell


Major-General Dato’ Azizan bin Md Delin, General Officer Commanding 2nd Malaysian Infantry Division (covering states of Perak, Penang, Kedah, Perlis and Kelantan) made a farewell visit to 2nd Malaysian Infantry Brigade Headquarters, Ipoh recently. The visit was prior to his appointment as Chief of Staff, Army HQ at the Ministry of Defence, Kuala Lumpur.

General AzizanGen Azizan was received on arrival by the brigade commander, Brig-Gen Dato’ Md Dzahir bin Abdul Rashid and his Chief of Staff, Lt-Col Johnny Lim. A parade, comprising of 19 Officers and 216 Other Ranks commanded by Lt-Col Zamran Hashim, was held in his honour at the headquarters’ parade ground.

In his farewell speech, Azizan reminded all personnel of 2nd Infantry Brigade to maintain the high standards of discipline and professionalism set. He stressed the need to remain vigilant and be prepared for further deployment following the Lahad Datu terrorist incursion.

His replacement is newly-promoted Maj-Gen Dato’ Mohd Shukuri Ahmad who was formerly the Commander of 9th Malaysian Infantry Brigade stationed in Sibu, Sarawak.


Sunway Scholarships for the Poor


Sunway College, Ipoh has entrusted One Caring Heart Malaysia to fulfil the mission of Education Initiative Charity through the allocation of scholarships for children of single mothers and poor families.

Sunway Scholarships for the PoorThe scholarship of RM200,000 was presented by the Principal of Sunway College, Ipoh – Pn. Adawiah Norli to the President of One Caring Heart Malaysia – Puan Sri Dr Susan Cheah.

Sunway College, Ipoh in awarding the scholarships, is fulfilling its corporate social responsibility, in tune with the philosophy of Sunway-Jeffrey Cheah’s foundation of giving back to society.

The event was officiated by Yang Bahagia Datuk Heng Seai Kie, Advisor of Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development. In her speech, Datuk Heng highlighted that the programme is of great benefit to those single mothers and poor families as the scholarships will tend to lessen their financial burden.

Sunway College Ipoh offers a variety of courses for tertiary education. The latest partnership between Sunway College, Ipoh & One Caring Heart Malaysia is aimed at providing quality tertiary education and being socially responsible at the same time.

What has happened to Teh Tarik and Mamak Stalls?


By Susan HoTaiwanese dessertsTaiwanese desserts

Where youth used to han out at ‘mamak’ stalls and meeting friends, today they’re more likely to gather at Chatime, Bo Eight Tea, Gong Cha, SnowDream and Black Ball. What do these brands have in common? These are the places where they serve milk teas with a difference, Bubble Milk Tea, the new youth fad drink, touted to be 2-in-1, drink and food in a cup, just a slurp away. Located at small shops, the younger set are flocking to these places and standing in line for these new fangled drinks, paying relatively high prices for them in comparison to the old fashioned ‘Teh Tarik’.

Young Generations Turn to Taiwan Desserts

So what has become of the Malaysian standard, the Teh Tarik, that ubiquitous welcoming mug of strong black tea, thickened with evaporated milk and sweetened often with condensed milk.  Before the availability of the electric blender, it was a common sight to watch the tea server pouring the tea back and forth from one mug to another usually with a gap of at least a metre, using ingenuity and manpower to create air in the tea for a slight foam.


Franchised Outlets Everywhere

Today, the Bubble Milk Tea has usurped the popularity of the Teh Tarik, its attraction being the addition of chewy bits which appeal to youths and also some adults. Bubble Milk Tea is not all that new and has been with us for sometime now, hitherto appearing at certain stalls, especially in the night markets or pasar malam.

Taiwanese dessertsToday enterprising entrepreneurs are cashing in on the popularity and setting up franchised outlets everywhere. Currently, there are four Chatime outlets, two Bo Eight Tea outlets, one Gong Cha outlet, one SnowDream outlet and one Black Ball outlet in Ipoh. One can also find Chatime and Gongcha in Taiping. However, it is Gong Cha that has the most outlets in Perak, including Kampar and Sitiawan.

When Old Town White Coffee hit the ‘Cafe’ scene some years back, everyone rushed to try the new phenomenon, with its snacks, tea and coffee in a cleverly designed ambiance, reminiscent of the old days of the popular coffee shops. It has since spawned many ‘Wannabes’ all striving to capture the same youth market. And it has now become stale.

And this is where Taiwan desserts come in. Will it turn out to be the ‘flavour of the month’ as people are still rushing over to try it as it is still new, a  phenomenon akin to the time when J.Co Donuts opened in Kinta City. So what is it that attracts youths to leave their old nest and hop on to this new trend? Could it be the food or drinks that attract the youths?

Food and Drinks Served

Ipoh Echo took a look at the food and drinks offered in such outlets.

Gong Cha, Chatime and Bo Eight Tea have their share of specialties. They have their personal signature drinks, Brewed Tea, Milk Tea, Coffee, Iced Smoothies, Mousse drinks and Healthy Drinks for those who are more concerned for their health.

Taiwanese desserts

Gong Cha

For Gong Cha, the top seller has two layers, brewed tea as the base and special creamer foam on the upper layer. They recommend customers to drink it through the foam with either a straw or directly without mixing it. Some  prefer to stir and mix everything together before consuming. They offer tapioca pearls which give a chewy texture. The special add-on in Gong Cha is the White Pearls which you don’t get in other brands. It has a chewy yet crunchy texture which is low in calories. The staff here are also friendly and they are happy to offer recommendations. Gong Cha’s drinks start from RM3.90 onwards.

cover - chatime


Chatime’s best seller is Grass Jelly Roasted Milk Tea. Chatime has QQ Jelly, which has a fruity taste and also the same chewy texture as jelly and Nata de Coco. Chatime also offers Mousse Tea, which is almost the same as the Gong Cha’s signature drink. Unfortunately, it is not available at all outlets in Ipoh. Chatime’s drinks start from RM4.90 onwards.

Bo Eight Tea

Bo Eight Tea offers the same Taiwan drinks with a special Ice Blended Fruit drink with fresh fruits. It is a combination of fruits and ice cream, enticing fruit lovers to this drink. They also serve the famous French Crepe Cakes in many flavours which cannot be found anywhere else.

Taiwanese desserts

Black Ball

Black Ball has items like Taro Balls, cubes of real yam, sweet potato, black pearls, grass jelly, red bean and more. At Black Ball, you can customize your dessert by mixing and matching the dessert base and toppings to your liking. Besides serving desserts in a bowl, Black Ball also sells similar drinks which can be found at Chatime, Gong Cha and Bo Eight Tea. Food prices range from RM3.90 and above.


SnowDream has the same desserts as Black Ball but you could also have a main course there. It also has food and snacks on the menu. They have special desserts like Red Bean Soup with black Glutinous Rice, Beancurd and Gingko Nuts, etc.

All of these outlets aim to satisfy customers by controlling their quality of food and developing new flavours. The difference between these outlets with the normal cafes is that you can adjust the level of sugar and ice in your drink. You can also opt for additional toppings at extra costs. There are healthier options which include tea, red beans, potatoes, yam balls and many others. They come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Unlike artificial flavouring and colouring, they taste original.

The food and drinks at these Taiwanese dessert shops are limited yet they have interesting ingredients with authentic taste which Malaysians can relate to. You can have it hot, cold or ice blended. The chilling factor is perfect for cooling down on a hot day just like a cup of ice sundae.

Taiwanese desserts

Self Service

These Taiwanese shops are usually self service. You order at the counter, pay and get a receipt with your number on it, then wait for your number to be paged, indicating your order is ready. Black Ball offers a more interesting service. Instead of getting a number, you get a funky apparatus which lights up and vibrates when your order is up.

It is no wonder that the local dessert stalls like those at our famous Tong Sui Gai a.k.a. Desserts Street (located along Jalan Sultan Ekram, opposite the Sam Tet Primary school) with its row of dessert stalls, are being forsaken in favour of these ‘new kids on the block’. Why sit in hot humid stalls outdoors when the comfort of air-conditioning and often WiFi beckons, is the general consensus.

Consumer Preferences

Taiwanese dessertsTwenty-six-year-old Colby goes to the new outlets for his Taiwanese desserts and also to meet up with his friends. “These places have free wireless service where I can watch Youtube videos with my friends when we are together. To compare these Taiwanese desserts to the food at cafes, I think the prices here are more affordable. Places such as Old Town have limited drink choices on their menu and are no longer worth the money for the quality and quantity given.”

Sixteen-year-old Alice mentions that she goes to these Taiwanese dessert outlets very often because of the influence of her friends and also the trend which is being set amongst the youths. She wouldn’t mind  going to such outlets every day. She also states that she goes to these outlets most of the time with her friends to do homework and to catch up with her friends.


I often visit these Taiwanese outlets with my friends as well as I like customizing my drinks. Cleanliness is also much better at the new dessert outlets. It is no wonder that students love going there for work and leisure. As one walks into these shops, one sees the youths with their laptops, smart phones or chatting away with their friends.

There is  no doubt that Taiwanese desserts have taken over youths’ taste buds. Wireless services have also contributed in a big way to their success and proliferation. They need not go to Taiwan for their food but just go to one of these shops to have a taste of Taiwan.

Drooping Eyelids

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

Eye Health

Ipoh Echo’s Eye Health series continues with Consultant Eye Surgeon Dr S.S. Gill talking to us about Drooping Eyelids or Ptosis.  

Ever seen your older friends slowly begin to have droopy or sagging eyelids? Well this condition is fairly common in old age. It is called dermatochalasis and the eyelids appear to sag with excess “baggy” skin surrounding them. This is the age related cause of a droopy eyelid.

It is sometimes referred to as Ptosis (pronounced “toe-sis”) which is the general term for a droopy eyelid. There are many general causes for a droopy eyelid to occur. They are:

Drooping eyesCongenital — The child is born with drooping eyelids because of a problem in development of the eyelids. Most of these cases affect only one eye. It is important to look out for the drooping eyelid that blocks off the vision of the eye in a child. If this occurs, then surgical correction has to be done early to prevent the development of a “lazy eye” or “amblyopia”.

Local eye problems — In some cases, the eyelid starts drooping because of nerve injury due to trauma, eyelid infections and tumours within the bony cavity or eyeball socket.

Age related ptosis (Aponuerotic Ptosis) — This also may be referred to as dermatochalasis.  Due to the long-term effects of gravity and the aging, it causes the eyelid skin to sag over the eye. Both eyes are usually affected but drooping may be worse in one eye.

Myasthenia gravis — This is a disease that can affect the whole body causing progressive muscle weakness.  The eyelids as well as facial muscles including the legs, arms and other parts of the body may be affected. This condition will require a thorough assessment and treatment by a physician or neurologist. A test called Tensilon test where a drug called edrophonium chloride is injected into a vein in order to diagnose this condition.

Nerve problems — Any nerve damage due to a stroke, aneurysm of blood vessel in the brain and brain tumour may cause a droopy eyelid. Nerve damage due to longstanding diabetes mellitus may also cause a droopy eyelid.

Tumours — There is also a condition called Horner’s Syndrome where a cancerous tumour at the top part of the lungs results in one half of the face losing the ability to sweat along with a drooping eyelid.

Strokes  —  Any nerve damage due to a stroke, aneurysm of blood vessel in the brain and brain tumour may cause a droopy eyelid. Nerve damage due to long-term diabetes can also cause a droopy eyelid.

Drooping eyesWhen the drooping eyelids cover a person’s vision causing a vision disturbance, the person usually ends up COMPENSATING UNCONSCIOUSLY BY USING THE MUSCLES OF THE EYEBROWS TO LIFT THE AFFECTED EYELIDS UP (see pic on the left). The person may also end up unconsciously tilting the chin up or tilting the head back as a method of seeing through the lower part of the eye. All this may cause the person to have headaches and even neck problems in the long run. Whatever the cause of a drooping eyelid may be, if you are unsure of the cause, get it checked out by a doctor.

For more information, call Gill Eye Specialist Centre at Hospital Fatimah (05-5455582) or email gilleyecentre@dr.com.


Ipoh’s Tin Mining Towkays


A Dynamic Exhibition presenting the towkays – gentlemen, entrepreneurs, businessmen and philanthropists  

Ipoh World Sdn Bhd has assembled a forthcoming new exhibition, “A Tin Mining Family”, which will open at Falim House, Falim, Ipoh on Sunday, May 12 and run for three full months, ending on Monday, August 12.

Ipoh WorldIpoh WorldThe exhibition showcases the life and times of Ipoh’s many families of tin mining towkays – the entrepreneurs – how they and their households lived, their cars, their servants, their very successful tin mines and other business ventures. Not forgotten are the clan associations, hospitals and schools these philanthropists founded locally.

On the other side of the coin, the four evils that faced the mining coolies – Opium, Gambling, Prostitution and the Triads – are included as an integral part of the mining story.

There are also special sections on Falim House, the hawkers who called there and soft drinks manufacturer F&N who has been part of Ipoh and Falim for more than 100 years. And for those who wish to rest their legs, a rare and vintage film featuring tin mining in the Kinta Valley, both pre and post-war, will run continuously.

With more than 210 old photographs, some dating from before 1900 and a very wide range of artifacts, this is a chance for visitors to get close to real mining equipment, rare toys, unusual kitchen equipment, original local wheeled vehicles and more, much of which will bring back memories long forgotten while at the same time provide important education for young people. Photo opportunities will be many.

Sponsored by Amber Synergy Sdn Bhd and produced by the ipohWorld team (www.ipohworld.org), the exhibition is led by Commander Ian Anderson, a retired British naval officer who is married to an Ipoh girl and lives permanently in Ipoh. Ian is well known for his enthusiasm for local heritage and history and has produced an exhibition unlike any other and one that should not be missed. The collections on show are all from ipohworld, a project sponsored entirely by Tenby Schools Ipoh, with some items dating back to well before 1900.

“The Exhibition would not be possible were it not for Tenby Schools for seeing our vision and supporting it since 2006. We are also indebted to Amber Synergy Sdn Bhd which has generously covered the entire costs of this exhibition,” said Ian.

He continued, “In the medium-term, ipohWorld hopes to promote a keen and sustained interest in the history and heritage of Ipoh through a permanent Heritage Centre which will enhance visitors enjoyment with additional, ever-changing and interesting exhibitions each year. We’re optimistic that such a centre would attract more tourists to Ipoh in line with the Perak State Government’s plans.”

Ipoh WorldOn behalf of Amber Synergy Sdn Bhd, the sponsors, Dato’ Poo Tak Kiau said that they were delighted to be able to help ipohworld stage the exhibition which he was sure would be of great interest to local residents and tourists alike.

“What’s more”, he added, “the exhibition will be a wonderful educational tool for schools and colleges. I hope that they’ll take advantage of it to introduce their students to important local history that is generally glossed over or forgotten.”

When asked for more details on the Exhibition, Ian said, “Trust me, it’ll be a wonderful experience. But you’ll have to wait until May 12 when the Exhibition opens to the world”.

Opening hours are from 10am to 6pm daily and entrance is free.


OCPD Ipoh Cup


The competition for the Ipoh OCPD Football Championship Cup was held over a period of three days at the Ipoh Padang beginning on April 5 and culminating in the finals on April 7.

Ipoh OCPD Football Championship CupPlayers from 24 police stations in Ipoh District were grouped into eight teams. The final two, Team A, comprising players from Sg. Senam, Kg. Rapat and Kg. Simee and Team B, consisting of players from Pasir Puteh, Simpang Pulai and Pekan Baru, met for the final showdown at the padang on Sunday, April 7.

The game was played under an overcast sky and a slippery pitch, which added to the excitement. After some action-packed tussle, Team B managed to score its first goal through a penalty kick just before half-time. Team A fought hard in the 2nd half and evened the score seconds before the final whistle. After a short break, the teams resumed their rivalry in extra time. Team A managed to score their second goal and became the eventual winner of the tournament.

Ipoh Police Chief, ACP Sum Chang Keong, gave away prizes to the winning team and the runners-up and mementos to tournament officials.

SH Ong

A Show to Honour Heroes


The Perak Arts and Culture Department organised a show in honour of security forces personnel presently deployed in Lahad Datu, Sabah. Dubbed, “Mengenang Jasa Pejuang” (A Tribute to Warriors) the event was held at the department’s auditorium along Jalan Caldwell recently.

It was well attended with Dato’ Zainol Fadzi Hj Paharudin, Executive Councillor for Sports, Arts and Culture, Perak Chief Police Officer, DCP Dato’ Pahlawan Mohd Shukri Dahlan and Commander 2nd Malaysian Infantry Brigade, Brig-Gen Dato’ Md Dzahir Abdul Rashid leading the pack. The auditorium was filled to the brim. The unlucky few had to be turned away for lack of sitting space.

Perak Arts and Culture DepartmentThe show’s theme centred on dances and songs performed by the department’s troupe. This was followed by poetry recitals, a skit depicting a skirmish between soldiers and insurgents during the Malayan Emergency and ended with a cameo appearance by songstress, Ayu Damit.

The objective of the show was to highlight the sacrifices made by the security forces in defending the country against both internal and external threats. It was also designed to instill a sense of pride and patriotism in the audience, which consisted mainly of uniformed and civilian governmental staff.

At the end of the show a sum of about RM30,000, being the amount collected during the morning charity bicycle ride, was handed over to the Perak Police Chief. The money is destined for the Lahad Datu Warriors’ Fund held at Bukit Aman. It was a fitting tribute to the warriors of the nation who had made the ultimate sacrifice.

SH Ong

SMJK Sam Tet

Funding for Perak Schools


Almost RM1.5 million was disbursed to 232 schools in Perak; 111 Chinese and 85 Tamil primary schools, 19 mission schools and 17 national-type secondary schools. The monies were the state’s allocation to these schools to subsidise their utility bills and miscellaneous expenses for the first half of 2013. The amount allotted per school is contingent upon its enrolment.

SMJK Sam TetDuring a cheque-presentation ceremony held at SMJK Sam Tet Ipoh recently, Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri DiRaja Zambry Abd Kadir acknowledged that the financial aid might not be sufficient but would lessen the schools’ burden. The Perak State government has been funding these non-government-aided schools since 2010, and is the only state government in Malaysia to subsidise the expenses of schools. Since 2009, RM176 million had been spent on education through various programmes.

Besides the pursuit of academics, the state government also lauds students who excel in co-curricular activities. As such, the state will fully bear the expenses of 14-year-old piano prodigy, Joshua Ng Jin Ho, who has been invited to perform at the prestigious Carnegie Hall in New York this May. The trip is estimated to cost RM18,000.

The SMJK Sam Tet Form 2 student, who scored straight As in his UPSR examination, has so far won eight championship titles from piano competitions around the world, including the Hong Kong Asia Pacific Piano Competition, the Australia-New Zealand Cultural Arts Music Competition and the Malaysian Youth Orchestra Foundation Music Competition.

SMJK Sam TetNg took the opportunity to perform two concert études by Franz Liszt, Waldesrauschen (Forest Murmurs) and Gnomenreigen (Dance of the Gnomes) to an applauding audience. He was presented with a certificate of appreciation from Zambry, in recognition of his outstanding achievements in music.

Addressing the media later, Zambry disclosed that the Perak state government, through Menteri Besar Incorporated is planning to build education hubs throughout the state. After Kampar and Tanjung Malim, the third area identified is Seri Iskandar. With more than a thousand acres of land, the hub, focusing on education at tertiary level, will take between 10 to 15 years to develop.


Military Community Volunteering Day


The Military Community Volunteering Day held recently at Kem Syed Putra, Tambun, according to the Chief of Staff of HQ 2 Infantry Brigade, Lt-Col Johnny Lim, was a huge success.

The two-day practical exhibition attracted over 50,000 people of all races. Themed Tentera dan Rakyat Sentiasa Bersama (Army and People Are Always Together) it was officiated by Ipoh Mayor, Dato’ Roshidi Hashim.

Military Community Volunteering DayRoshidi thanked the Ipoh-based army brigade for inviting him to officiate at the function. He felt that the staging of such an informal event, which allowed for interaction between the military and the public, would have a positive impact on the Ipoh community.

The objective of the exhibition was to instil the spirit of volunteerism among members of the armed forces and the public. The exhibits included  weapons and equipment displays with the most visited being the “grounded” French-made Alouette helicopter. The medical check-up tents was the other popular attraction. Visitors too participated in tele-matches vying for the many attractive prizes on offer.

Nearly 500 registered as Perajurit Muda (young soldiers) and they included former National Service trainees, S. Thibashini, 21, and S. Kogilavani, 23. Over 200 registered themselves as volunteers with the Ipoh-based 503 Territorial Regiment.

Visitors were also treated to joy-rides in the popular American-made High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicle better known as Humvee made famous during Operation Desert Storm. Static display by armoured vehicles in the army arsenal attracted much attention as well.

Among the dignitaries who turned up at the launch were the state police chief, DCP Dato’ Pahlawan Mohd Shukri Dahlan, Brig-Gen Dato’ Pahlawan Zulkiflie Mansor, Assistant Chief of Staff Army HQ and senior military and police officers.


Junior Ambassadors


After spending five days with their host families and visiting places of interest in Ipoh and going hands-on at making bedak sejuk and bakul, it was time for the 15 young delegates and their three chaperones to bid farewell.

 Asian-Pacific Children’s Convention (APCC)This delegation, under the Asian-Pacific Children’s Convention (APCC) Mission Project 2013, is from Ipoh’s sister city, Fukuoka, Japan. It is all the more meaningful this year as Japan celebrates its 40th anniversary of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation.

In conjunction with the 25th year of APCC in July, Ipoh will be sending a delegation of four junior ambassadors to Fukuoka, Japan under the APCC Invitation Project. They will be joined by two Peace Ambassadors from Bridge Club of Ipoh.

Bridge Club of Ipoh, where membership is limited to participants of APCC missions from Ipoh, was formed in February 2013. At their farewell dinner, held at Kinta Riverfront Hotel, Ipoh on Saturday, April 6, Mayor Dato’ Roshidi Hashim pledged an annual sum of RM5000 for the running of the club’s activities.

Roshidi thanked all those involved in APCC 2013 for their commitment in ensuring the success of the project. It helped strengthened the relationship between Ipoh and Fukuoka.