The recent official opening of the Sungai Siput District police headquarters was a fitting reminder of the tumultuous past associated with this district.
Sungai Siput was the location where three European planters, Walker, Christian and Allison were murdered and which triggered the onset of the Malayan Emergency (1948-1960).
The Raja Muda of Perak Raja Nazrin Shah officiated at the opening of the complex.
Other VIPs included Raja Puan Besar Tuanku Zara Salim, Raja DiHilir Perak Raja Jaafar, Perak Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri DiRaja Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, Perak Chief Police Officer Dato’ Mohd Shukri Dahlan and members of the Perak State Exco.
The district headquarters built at a cost of RM100.9 million, has been in operation since June 2012 and oversees five stations at Sungai Siput, Lintang, Simpang Jalong, Karai and Salak Baharu. It comprises the administration offices, transport branch and the housing complex.
In his address, Raja Nazrin advised the police to always be accountable as well as professional and fair when performing their duties so as to enhance its image and not attract any negative perception.
During the ceremony, former police sergeant, Arthur Albert Walter, 92, who had flown in from London specially for the occasion and who was then based at Sg Siput from 1948 till 1958, was honoured in the presence of Raja Nazrin, IGP Khalid and Perak CPO Dato’ Mohd Shukri.
Walter’s role at that time was to train the local policemen to fight communists. During his tenure here he had killed 16 communist insurgents.
Part of the ceremony also included the enactment of the murder of the three planters with actors dressed in the attire of that period.
A photo exhibition of life during the time of the Emergency, such as resettlement and food rationing, was also displayed in the lobby of the complex.
Perak’s elected representatives from the recent 13th General Election congregated on the afternoon of Friday June 28 at Perak’s State Secretariat to elect a new Speaker for the 13th Session and to take their Oath of Office.
MIC’s vice president Datuk S.K. Devamany was elected as the new Speaker for the 13th Assembly. Devamany won with 31 votes against his opponent with 28 votes. The Deputy Speaker elected is Datuk Nasarudin Hashim (BN-Bota).
Devamany who won at the Cameron Highlands seat in 2008 lost out in the recent election to Parti Sosialis Malaysia’s (PSM) Dr Michael Jeyakumar when he contested at Sungai Siput.
The selection for the Speaker’s position was taken by a ballot paper vote which was subsequently read out by the State Assembly secretary, Rumaizi Baharin, over the microphone and witnessed closely by YB Wong Kah Woh (DAP-Canning).
Devamany’s name was proposed by Dato’ Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir (BN-Pangkor) and seconded by Saarani Mohamad (BN-Kota Tampan) while the Opposition’s choice was Batu Gajah MP V. Sivakumar proposed by Abu Bakar Hussian (PAS-Titi Serong) and seconded by Dato’ Ngeh Koo Ham (DAP-Sitiawan).
After the speaker was elected the elected State Assemblymen then pledged their oath of office.
The meeting of the Assembly started at 3pm and was adjourned at 5.30pm.
The first gathering of the Assembly, despite a short dispute about the closing date for the nomination of speaker, was managed well which was commented by Opposition leader Dato’ Seri Nizar Jamaluddin.
Other points highlighted by the Opposition, which they wished to ensure were practised by the new Speaker, was to have all questions answered after each session, provide live telecast of the proceedings and provide sufficient time to discuss the various policies.
This is the tagline of the recent Tourism Perak – sponsored seminar, or a more pleasant alternative, retreat, held at the Swiss Garden Golf Resort and Spa in Damai Laut, Lumut. The remoteness of the holiday resort, located on an elevated promontory overlooking Pangkor Island, lends credence to it being classified a retreat.
Once inside, guests have little access with the outside world as getting to Sitiawan, the nearest town requires a bumpy ride along a winding road that runs for over 20 kilometres amidst a lush tropical jungle interspersed with oil palm and fast-disappearing rubber trees.
So a respite lasting three days and two nights is a retreat in every sense of the word. However, defining the word “retreat” is of no consequence if the significance of the meeting of tourism players in Perak is lost in transition.
The primary objective of the seminar was to get all those involved in the state tourism industry to sit together, deliberate over pressing issues and come up with some workable solutions to address problems affecting the industry, per se.
“It’s not about reinventing the wheel,” said one rather disinterested participant. He was right. As far as my memory takes me, this must be the umpteenth time I have attended a seminar or forum or retreat on tourism. Therefore, the word holds no special meaning to those who have been exposed to the subject.
“It’s not the form that matters but the substance,” uttered another. His rankling was not without reasons. Obviously, he was riled by the lackadaisical attitude of those entrusted with the implementation of resolutions passed and adopted during past meetings. The nagging question on the minds of the hundred-odd participants who had gathered at the resort’s spacious ballroom that Sunday evening was whether the ostentatious retreat would go the way of previous get-togethers – all talk but no action.
I was a little skeptical but acceded nonetheless. To me it was the infusion of new blood that prompted me to sit out and listen. On the podium was the newly-minted Executive Councillor for Health, Tourism and Culture, Ms Nolee Ashilin Dato’ Mohd Radzi, the assemblywoman for Tualang Sekah.
She is like a breath of fresh air. Coming from a family of politicians and a father who once held the same portfolio under Tan Sri Ramli Ngah Talib, youthful Nolee has the panache, the wherewithal and the desire to see things through. She exhibited her flair by playing some catchy video clips on tourism. It caught the audience’s attention. She knew what she was talking about. We were thrilled.
Being young and blessed with a solid academic grounding, Nolee seems the right candidate for the hot seat. I have no qualms about her credentials. She has an honours degree in accounting and finance from one of the top twenty universities in the United Kingdom, Manchester Metropolitan University. She also holds a master’s degree in business management from Edith Cowen University, Perth, Australia.
The lady is a pedigree, a thoroughbred. But like a rough diamond it requires polishing. Nolee’s willingness to listen to the woes of one very aggrieved tour agent from Pangkor Island provides a likeable preview of things to come. My only hope is she will rise to the occasion as Visit Malaysia Year 2014 is less than six months away. There is plenty to be done and getting things done the right way is no mean task. It requires the support of all, especially the staff of Tourism Perak which she heads.
Although my presence at the seminar was merely to listen and to report I got into the thick of the action, nonetheless. Preserving heritage buildings, antiquated machineries, traditions and cultures was one of the subjects for discussion.
The monstrous tin dredge idling on a man-made lake in Tanjung Tualang and nicknamed TT5 (Tanjung Tualang 5) was the focus of our attention. Neglected and left to rot in the unforgiving tropical sun, TT5 is on the verge of sinking into the murky waters unless works to rehabilitate it are taken. Its touristic potentials, unfortunately, are being overlooked by its stakeholders. If nothing is done this “indomitable legacy of the tin era” will end at the bottom of the lake.
Cross selling TT5 with the lacklustre herbal garden, the over-indulged Kellie’s Castle, the tasty prawn dishes of Tanjung Tualang and the breathtaking vistas of Kinta Nature Park is one way to promote heritage-rich Perak to the world. These iconic features, fortunately, are found along the Simpang Pulai-Batu Gajah-Tanjung Tualang road.
Yang Berhormat Nolee, we have made our intentions known. The ball is now in your court.
Social Community Care (SCC) handed over food worth RM400 to Yusmita Kamaludin, mother of six children. One of her sons, aged five years, is suffering from hydranencephaly (enlarged head). Yusmita has been renting a flat in Taman Harmoni, Buntong for the past two months. Previously she was staying with her mother in Batu Gajah. Yusmita works as a domestic maid and earns RM400 per month and her husband works for a contractor and gets RM700 per month. The welfare department gives them RM300 per month. She said that it was difficult to run the family with the meagre income. Her children are not attending school. Her elder son went to school, but stopped when he could not bear the teasing from his classmates.
Yusmita has been going to the Government Hospital in Batu Gajah for treatment of her son. There has been no improvement. She has not seen any specialist.
Mohd Rawi, spokesman of SCC said that he would make arrangements for Denis Eqwan Adif, the ailing son to see specialists for treatment. He would also make long-term arrangements for the wellbeing of the family.
Well-wishers who want to help the family can send money to their bank account, BSN 0810341000047784.
Tiger Airways is keen to expand its network in Malaysia due to growing demand in the tourism industry. This was announced by Tiger Airways Singapore’s managing director, Ho Yuen Sang recently.
Ho described the Malaysian destinations as “very attractive” and identified the locations of Ipoh, Kuala Terengganu and Kota Kinabalu. He added that he was studying the options to expand as it has six more aircrafts to be received by March next year.
Ipoh Echo, which has consistently been monitoring the development in the state’s tourism industry, contacted Tiger Airways Holdings Ltd Singapore for details of their Ipoh initiative.
Tiger Airways Ho responded that the airline was currently in the preliminary stages of preparations. While it had yet to apply to the local authorities, it did not anticipate any problems in attaining landing rights.
Regarding flight frequency, Ho stated that would depend on market demand and, therefore, could not confirm if they could offer daily flights.
Tiger Air will utilise Airbus A320 aircraft which has a maximum seating capacity of 180 passengers and the routing will be SIN-IPH-SIN.
Ho was unable to indicate a tentative start date as ‘we are at a very preliminary stage’ but would release more information in due course should Ipoh be added to Tiger Air’s flight network.
Meantime, a check with local tourism stakeholders received a chorus of positive responses.
Perak Tourism Association Chairman, PTA Chairman Hj Othman welcomed the initiative by Tiger Air to include Ipoh as one of its new destinations. “This is an additional opportunity for all the agents and industry players to package their products and market it to a wider market’.
Malaysian Association of Hoteliers (Perak Chapter) Chairman, Vincent Ee similarly welcomed the initiative saying it was a good indicator that the efforts of Tourism Perak VPY 2012 last year has created the awareness of Perak as a tourist destination.
Ee stated that generally 30% of Firefly’s passengers were tourists with the rest made up of returning Ipohites and business people.
As such Tiger Air’s pending entry next year is timely as it will assist to bring in more tourists and help keep hotel rooms occupied.
Ee added that Ipoh’s new airport is good but is grossly underutilised and hoped that Tiger Air or other airlines would initiate to have direct links from ASEAN destinations to Ipoh. This he said was a preference indicated by visitors to Ipoh and Perak who would rather spend more time at the holiday destination than in a means of transport taking them there.
A subsequent check up with the State Executive Councillor for Tourism Nolee Ashilin bt Dato’ Mohd Radzi confirmed that Tiger Airways had indicated their desire to fly to Ipoh. Nolee also stated that Berjaya Air and another airline from Southern China had made similar requests for landing rights in Ipoh.
The Poi Lam Military Band Concert 2013, entitled ‘Reaching Out, Touching Hearts’, was held recently at Wisma Chin Woo, Ipoh.
The concert featured the talents of the SMJK Poi Lam Military Band complete with flute, piccolo, clarinet, saxophone, mellophone, euphonium, tuba, trumpet, trombone and percussions.
Conductor Lau Meng Yong directed the band alongside guest conductor Lester Lim Chong Choon, the band instructor for the Anderson Military Band, Singapore.
The concert was made possible by the generous sponsorship of Challenge Allied Sdn Bhd, LYS Capital Holdings Sdn Bhd, Dragon-i Restaurant Sdn Bhd and Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, as well as various other sponsors and individuals who contributed to the event.
For this year’s concert, the forty-two current members and alumni of the band who performed for the night spent a year practising their songs, while the organising committee led by the School Military Band advisor Anne Leong Chu Ai spent six intense months on the concert preparations. Thus it was with great anticipation and pride that the Poi Lam Military Band and the Poi Lam Alumni Band presented ‘Reaching Out, Touching Hearts’ to the eagerly awaiting audience.
And what a show it was! After the inspiring speech by the guest of honour, Mr Tan Teik Keat, chairman of the Parent Teacher Association of SMJK Poi Lam and a ribbon cutting ceremony by the individuals and sponsors who had made this night possible, the concert was off to a roaring start.
The fully-packed hall was filled with the rousing sounds of classical and contemporary tunes, beginning with the official theme song of the Poi Lam Military Band, Team of Passion from the popular Korean drama Beethoven Virus.
As the last strains were quickly swallowed by the thunderous applause of the audience, the Poi Lam Military Band Concert 2013, ‘Reaching Out, Touching Hearts’, drew to a satisfying close. The concert had achieved its main objective of raising funds to purchase new equipment as well as presenting the audience with a night they wouldn’t soon forget!
Ipoh Echo’s EYE HEALTH series continues with Consultant Eye Surgeon Dr S.S. GILL talking to us about THE WARNING SIGNS OF EYE PROBLEMS.
Many people ask me why is it that their eyes are just not same like they were before. Well, the answer is simple. It’s because our eyes are not isolated from medical problems (diabetes, hypertension & other conditions), from the effects of aging or even from the environment that we live in with all the sun exposure, smoke and dust around us. Eye problems may occur at any age but they are often more common in old age. It is important to be wary of the warning signals that something is going wrong with your eyes and to take proper action should that occur. In many cases, such as diabetic eye disease, eye strokes or acute angle closure glaucoma, quick intervention is important to avoid permanent vision loss.
Some Warning Signs
There are some symptoms and signs that may indicate a medical emergency. In most cases, you should see your eye doctor immediately if you experience:
Red Painful Eye with Blurring Vision
This is often a sign of an acute glaucoma (angle-closure variety) attack. There may be nausea and vomiting with a throbbing headache as well. Left untreated, this condition may result in permanent irreversible blindness. Seek treatment early should this happen. This condition may sometimes be mistaken for acute gastroenteritis (food poisoning) because of the symptom of nausea and vomiting. Seek quick treatment for this.
Blur Wavy Vision in the Centre Part of Vision
This may be an early sign of macular degeneration (AMD). It is a disease that destroys your sharp, central vision. The macular is the central part of the retina where all the fine vision takes place. When the macular is affected, the vision appears distorted, lines appearing crooked or wavy and in the late stages, the vision may be lost centrally. In recent years, there has been medication available for treatment of this condition. The sooner treatment is instituted the better.
Vision Blurring in part of your Field of Vision
If the vision loss appears like a curtain falling or like water rising from the floor, then this may be a signal of a detaching retina. The retina is a layer of nerve tissue in the back of your eye. This layer receives the images that you see and transmits it to the brain. When this retina (nerve layer) gets detached in some portion, then the vision gets lost in the corresponding part of the field of vision. The detachment is sometimes preceded by a sudden shower of floaters.
Blurred Vision with Halos around Lights
These vision changes may be due to glaucoma when there is a higher than normal eye pressure. Watch out for these subtle symptoms that may occur with a mild headache or mild eye discomfort. Be especially on the lookout for this symptom if you are already a diagnosed glaucoma patient or have a family history of glaucoma.
Sudden Blurring and/or Floaters in Diabetic Patients
In diabetics, this may be a sign of bleeding in the eye because of diabetic eye disease. It is best for diabetics to get their eyes checked regularly and not have to wait for eye symptoms such as this before seeking eye treatment. By looking into a diabetic’s eye, the eye doctor is able to obtain valuable information about the general diabetic condition which is helpful for the physician who is managing your diabetes. Regular eye exams are important if you are diabetic, regardless of whether you have blurring vision or not.
These are only some of the warning signs. Never hesitate to seek professional help if you experience any unusual eye symptoms that you are unsure of.
For more information, call Gill Eye Specialist Centre at Hospital Fatimah (05-545 5582) or email [email protected].
All town buses do not enter Medan Kidd Bus Station to drop and pick up passengers. A number of them park along the road in front of the bus station reducing the dual carriageway road to a single lane and restricting traffic flow.
These buses are parked for quite some time in front of the Banana Leaf Restaurant and occasionally the driver is not in his seat. The conductor uses a haler to call for passengers. Passengers dash across the busy road to catch the bus. There is an underpass, but people are scared to use it. I come across this often when I am driving and cannot take photos. I had the opportunity to take a photo on a Sunday morning when there was not much traffic. During weekdays this road is busy and used as the main entrance to ACS school.
Buses also stop abruptly at the corner of the road in front of the roundabout to pick up passengers, causing motorists to brake suddenly.
MBI parking attendants are very efficient in summoning motorists who are overdue by five minutes only. How come they are blind to this situation? Are they only authorised to summon cars?
Action must be taken against the irresponsible bus companies and drivers. All town buses must enter the bus station and not cause traffic jams along the roads in front of the bus station.
Ramadan, the month-long fasting period in the Muslim calendar that precedes the festival of Hari Raya Aidilfitri, started on Wednesday July 10.
The weather that afternoon was hot and dry and as usual during Ramadan, the stall holders who rent Ipoh City Council’s Ramadan bazaars dotted around the city, begin to populate these stalls around 3pm and activity begins. As in previous years Ipoh Echo sent a team to check out the various bazaars.
Ramadan Bazaars Gaining Popularity With All Ethnic Groups
Without a doubt the food was superlative at most of the locations visited but it was not just Muslims shopping for themselves and their families who were milling around. As more and more people came, getting closer to the time for breaking fast, there was more than a small number of non- Muslims seen at the bazaars picking out food either for tea or for their night’s dinner.
The Ramadan bazaar at Medan Gopeng has 137 stalls that offer a wide range of buka puasa (breaking of fast) delicacies. Ipoh Echo decided to meet the people behind the food and spoke to some of them.
Ainy Nurul Hidayu together with her daughter Roslida Abdul Rahman has a stall that sells the full range of dishes for a meal. While mum Ainy prepares the main dishes like grilled fish, Roslida focuses on the desserts like doughnuts and pelita jagung (corn pudding). They have been selling their Ramadan goodies here for over 13 years. The rest of the other months of the year they have a premises close to Carsem known as Sri Permata Corner.
A few stalls down is Rina Catering. Its owner Ms Erina Wati has been trading at this bazaar for a “long time, since I was young”. Erina, now almost 40, took over the business from her mother and has an outlet at the nearby Megoplex shopping mall. She sells the main food dishes but here she prepacks Nasi Briyani which moves off the counter fast.
Ahmad Firdaus, in his late 30s, runs his stall called Murtabak Yop, which as its name implies, sells only murtabak. He has been selling murtabak for 26 years at the night markets around Ipoh. At the night markets he sells on average 400 murtabak per day. However, at this bazaar he averages 800 murtabak per day. His normal workforce is four but during the Ramadan month he has eight workers while his brother Ahmad Zaidi, 42, a teacher, comes by to help out.
Firdaus’s preparation of his murtabak is like an operations floor with one team preparing the ingredients, another wrapping up the dough and another cooking over the hot plate all working hurriedly in anticipation of the after-work crowd.
Mydin Hassan, 64, of Mydin Cendol is another food trader who has been trading here for 15 of his 18 years in this line. Unlike the food operators, Mydin sells takeaway cendol and says that his earnings are less than on normal days where he sells in the area around nearby Ipoh Jaya.
For all of the above operators here with the exception of Mydin, they acknowledge that their daily Ramadan earnings here are, on average, better by 25 per cent.
Over at Tanjung Perdana, Tanjung Rambutan, there are 85 stalls at that Ramadan bazaar selling a similar variety of fare. Siblings Zaleha and Zawawi Zambri have been operating their outlet Iniza Ayam Percik since this location started four years ago. The siblings have been in this business for 16 years, having inherited the business from their father who now buys the chickens while the siblings do all the rest. Their ayam percik is cut into various parts such as thigh, breast, wings, etc. and sold at different prices.
Bercham Ramadan Bazaar 1 Malaysia
The Ramadan bazaar at Bercham (Mobil) has only 15 stalls but does a brisk business. A large number of their customers are non-Muslim. Ms Yee who works and lives nearby this location was buying murtabak and has been doing so for two years, “it has variety and is nice”.
In fact trader Azman Shah, who claims to sell the best ‘mini murtabak in Bercham’, dubbed this location as ‘Bazaar 1 Malaysia’ because of its multi-racial customers. Azman who admitted that he works as a clerical staff with CIMB Bank Ipoh Garden, has been selling at this location for seven years.
Sharing a Culture
Ramadan bazaars no longer belong exclusively to Muslims breaking fast. The variety and delectable food have won over the palates of the other ethnic groups and even tourists are flocking to the bazaars, tempted by the smells and sizzle of the large choice on display.
Nearby residents like the family of S. Muniandy look forward to the annual event as they stroll to Medan Gopeng at 4pm in the afternoon to buy kuih for their tea. Similarly for third-year students of Institut Pendidikan Guru, Hulu Kinta, Tanjung Rambutan, the variety of food is a welcome break from their daily fare and they had been patronising the Tg. Rambutan bazaar each year.
As I doubled back to Medan Gopeng before the breaking of fast at 7.33pm that first evening I stopped at Jamek Mosque, Kg Melayu, approximately 400 metres before the bazaar. Earlier a friend informed me he normally broke his fast at the mosque and invited me to join him.
However, he was not there but retiree Encik Mukhtar Ahmad, 67, was present. Mukhtar, who is a member of the mosque committee said that for him breaking fast at the mosque had a special meaning for him which he enjoyed.
After the meal, I headed over to Medan Gopeng to see Roslida loading empty trays into her van, Erina playing with her grandkids amongst empty food trays and the murtabak workers having a meal next to their cleaned hot plates.
A Muslim Ramadan no doubt, but a sharing of a culture in which all Ipohites can participate.
Stadium Perak Ramadan Bazaar
The Stadium Perak Ramadan Bazaar is one of the more popular seasonal food bazaars in operation during the fasting month of Ramadan.
It is located at the stadium’s spacious car park where over 400 part-time and professional traders sell foodstuffs to eager buyers. What is most suitable about this bazaar is its locality and accessibility. The din created by an over-zealous crowd coupled with the after-office traffic adds on to the attraction. It is as if the whole Ipoh is being aroused by the aroma of barbecued chicken and beef, which seems to hang in the air.
Mohd Zahari, 35, a bona fide Ipohite and a fitness instructor by profession, has been operating a stall at the bazaar since 2010. Asked what made him do the unthinkable. “It’s not much about the money but the fun of doing business once a year,” he answered. Mohd Zahari sells fried kway teow and fried mee. He lays the piping hot noodles on huge trays and sells them in packets. Priced at RM2 a packet, the noodles are a bargain. Zahari has his regulars who begin to patronise his stall soon after opening time at 4pm.
Majuri Hafiz, 28, is another of the faceless traders who have been plying their trade at the stadium bazaar. He has been selling Ayam Golek Madu (Roast Honey Chicken) since 2008. “The demand for my roasted chicken is high. I get to sell over 200 chickens a day. It’s tough but the money is good,” he said. Majuri marinates the birds overnight using a number of herbs, spices and condiments. “It’s a recipe passed on by my late grandmother,” he said. His whole chicken sells for RM12 a piece.
Another stall which is a hit with patrons is Robaza BBQ. Owner Zakaria Musa, 51, sells skewered chicken, lamb and beef barbecued over fire. The aroma is an attraction in itself. It is easy to locate Zakaria’s stall as it is at the entrance to the car park. The sight of a milling crowd that grows by the hour is a good indication of the stall’s popularity. Lamb sells at RM4.80 a stick, beef at RM4 while chicken at RM3.
The three are just a cross-section of the many that do business at the stadium car park during the fasting month of Ramadan.
Ipoh City Council held a farewell party for a delegation of eight to Fukuoka, Japan, Ipoh’s sister city recently. Under this Asian-Pacific Children’s Convention (APCC) Invitation Project, four pupils aged 11 and 12 from schools in Ipoh were selected to be junior ambassadors. They were joined by two peace ambassadors from the Bridge Club of Ipoh and two liaison officers from the city council.
The delegation will be in Fukuoka for ten days beginning July 12 to 22. Prior to their departure, the four, Sundesh Supparamaniam from SK Cator Avenue, Chew Khai Xing of SJK(C) Sam Tet, Siti Nur Syazwani Adam of SK Tarsician Convent and Pridhashrie a/p Nanda Kumar from SJK(C) Ave Maria Convent, attended Japanese language classes and cultural dance practices three times weekly for six weeks.
They were briefed on their roles as Ipoh junior ambassadors. Upon their return they are encouraged to be active in the city’s Bridge Club. Membership to the club is limited to participants of APCC missions from Ipoh.
The objective of APCC is to create “global citizens” true to its motto, “We are the BRIDGE: We connect dreams around the world.”