Tag Archives: ipoh echo issue 170

SCI Charity Car Wash


SCI Charity Car Wash

Sunway College Ipoh (SCI) recently held a charity car wash organised by the Student Council.  This charity event was held with the aim of raising funds for the Ipoh Boys Home, a charity organisation. The car wash drive started at 10.30am and lasted until 5pm with students from Sunway College Ipoh taking turns to wash the cars driven in with the tickets sold prior to the event. The students washed a total of 55 cars throughout the day and managed to collect RM650. The Student Council president and organising chairman, Basant, said that it was one of the most successful events organised by the students. “Support from students, staff, parents of students and even outsiders around the area were overwhelming”, he added. Basant also mentioned that this event had helped the students build a stronger bonding amongst themselves.

SCI Charity Car Wash

Providing a complete service of washing the car and vacuuming the interior, the students definitely impressed their customers who had purchased the tickets for RM10 per car.  Mr Choo Ng Wing, one of the participants in the event was very happy with the excellent job done by the students in cleaning his car. Besides that, he also mentioned that he saw a great unity among the students from different races and courses joining hands for a noble cause.

Jeval Khoo, currently working at a nearby restaurant, said it was a very well organised event and the students did a good job. “The students even helped to deliver the car back to my working place once the job was done,” he added.

Friendship Through Pictures


The tenth annual art competition-cum-exchange between students from Perak and Japan attracted almost 850 participants, a record of sorts. The theme for this year’s programme, which was held at the Perak State Public Library in Ipoh recently, was “Friendly Relationship Through Pictures”.

Friendship Through Pictures

Jointly organised by the library and Japan’s NPO Corporation MAY Asaka Centre (MAY Library), it received the support of the Perak Malaysian-Japanese Friendship Society and the Consulate-General of Japan in Penang.

In this art exchange programme, selected artworks by secondary school students from Perak were sent to Japan and vice versa to be exhibited. The objective is to expose the students to the culture of each other’s country. Its other intention is to strengthen ties between Malaysia and Japan through art.

The support from the Perak District Education Office ensured that school children produced quality pieces for this art competition-cum-exchange programme.

Other activities held throughout the month of June included an art competition among students in Kinta Valley, an art exhibition, an origami workshop, Japanese language classes and preschool colouring contest.

There were six categories in the art competition, including categories for special children and senior citizens. Ten winners per category were awarded. Prizes were in the form of books, hampers and certificates of achievement.

Newly-appointed State Executive Councillor for Health, Tourism and Culture, Nolee Ashilin bt Dato’ Mohd Radzi, gave away the prizes after officially closing the programme. Guests present included the Deputy Consul-General of Japan, Hiroko Taniguchi and MAY Library President, Mrs Fumiko Oike.

The art exhibition is being held at this library from June 25 to July 27, 2013.


SeeFoon seeks out seafood at its most extravagant


musings on food - food reviewsMusings on Food

 By SeeFoon Chan-Koppen

There is a general belief amongst foodies that the best seafood restaurants are situated by the sea. Being the lazy diner that I am, I seldom venture out on long trips whether its to Pantai Remis or Tanjung Tualang or Matang. So whenever the urge for fresh seafood comes on, I head for Lucky’s right in the heart of town.

Lucky Restaurant is a veritable shrine for seafood lovers looking for the biggest, the rarest, and the freshest seafood and fish and willing to pay the high prices that some of these dishes fetch.

To be fair, not everything at Lucky’s is expensive. Lucky’s also has the best prawn wonton in Ipoh which one can eat with a plate of noodles and feel satisfied that one has had a good lunch and not have to mortgage the house to enjoy it. Or their heavenly, springy, homemade fish balls which Lucky Cheong swears is made from pure fish meat, a mix of saito (wolf herring) and tao foo yu (Yellowback fusilier) with no other additives other than salt and water. And there is always a fried fish to nibble on while waiting for the other dishes to arrive — RM1.50 per piece; not to mention their double-fried roast pork whose crackling is rendered more crispy by the frying. But these are all merely appetizers for the fans who flock to Lucky’s and who come for his specialties.

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Lucky Cheong always has some special fish up his sleeves. Whether it’s the giant grouper or loong dan which is prized for its thick, velvety smooth gelatinous skin; or the parrot fish; or his specialty (depending on availability) the tao dai (large white pomfret, seasonal price), Lucky has a choice of 8 preparation styles from which to choose according to customer’s taste and inclination.

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His signature dishes are many. My particular favourite is his Fish Noodle Soup which comes sizzling hot in a claypot. These are thick filaments made from fish meat that resemble Japanese Udon in looks but are completely different in taste. Because they’re made from pure fish meat, the ‘noodles’ are springy on the bite and also serve to lend its umami flavouring to the soup which usually comes with Tientsin cabbage, and a choice of any other fish that one may order with it. Occasionally I have had these fish noodles with whole fresh lobster (sold at RM130 per kg) which makes it a dish precious for every bite and every drop of soup.

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What is very popular here at Lucky’s is their Crab Congee, a steaming tureen of rice congee where the rice has been boiled down to a thin gruel and flavoured by the crab with its red roe, permeating the dish. This can also be ordered with their large prawns for those who are not fond of crabs.

And while on the subject of congee, their crème de la crème has to be their ‘Fairy’ Congee or in Cantonese, the Sun Seen Rice Porridge, the same umami congee enhanced with shark fin, abalone, scallops and crab meat.

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Finally a write up on Lucky is not complete without a mention of their Braised Prawn Noodle, Sang Meen the al dente egg noodles which Lucky Cheong tells me are made specially for his restaurant with duck eggs, braised in a velvety smooth sauce thickened with egg white.

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It’s always good to have a chat with Lucky himself before you order as he always has a special or two of the day to recommend. These are usually highly innovative concoctions which Lucky himself dishes out.

His teas are also worth sampling as Lucky is quite the tea connoisseur, the shelves on one side of the restaurant being lined with boxes and patties of Chinese tea, some aged and apparently highly coveted by tea aficionados.

Suggested Dishes:
Prawn Wontons – RM0.50 each
Fish Balls – RM1.10 each
Giant Grouper or Loong Dan – RM110 per kg
Parrot Fish – RM40 per kg
Tao Dai (large white pomfret) – seasonal price
Fish Noodle Soup – RM3 per person or RM11 minimum for the basic dish
Crab Congee – crabs at RM70 per kg
‘Fairy’ Congee or Sun Seen Rice Porridge – RM150 for 6 persons
Braised Prawn Noodle or Sang Meen – large prawns or Meng Har at RM80 per kg

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Restoran Lucky
266 Jalan Pasir Puteh, Pasir Puteh.
Tel.: 05-255 7330, 012-501 6630, 012-510 6279
Business Hours: 7.30 am-3.30 pm
Closed 1st and 3rd Wednesdays
GPS:  4° 34.802’N, 101° 4.913’E

Volkswagen Carnival


The Perak Volkswagen Society in conjunction with the 25th Anniversary of Ipoh held a carnival at Dataran MBI on July 6 and 7.

Many “Beetle” lovers exhibited their prized possessions for those who came to witness this joyous event. A total of about 60 owners turned up with their cars on the first night. The second night was more exciting when participants from Singapore and Thailand showed up.

Volkswagen Carnival

Loo, 40, brought his Australian-imported buggy, his second Volkswagen, to the carnival. “It gives me a sense of accomplishment,” he said. Another owner, Au Young, in his 40s, came with his Combi that was also used as a rental car for weddings.

Mayor Dato’ Haji Roshidi Hashim said the purpose of the carnival was to bring Volkswagen lovers together. “It means that old things can still be useful if taken care of, the same goes for people,” he joked.

Other events for the night included a classic song competition and performances by artists such as Usop Wilcha, Mamat Khalid and Awie.



Hospital Fatimah’s Cancer Centre


Advanced cancer care is now available for patients in Perak with the opening of Hospital Fatimah’s new cancer centre. Named Wolfgang Cancer Centre (WCC), in honour of Brother Wolfgang Widmann, it was officially opened by the Honourable Msgr. Michael Cheah, Vicar-General of the Diocese of Penang on July 5.

Hospital Fatimah’s Cancer Centre

Wolfgang, 81, a member of the Order of the Brothers of Mercy, was a pioneer delegate dispatched to Ipoh to help run the hospital in 1975, where he served for eight years.

The facility consists of two units: Chemotherapy Day Care (CDC) on the ground floor and Radiotherapy Unit (RTU) on the lower ground floor. Services at WCC commenced in stages since March 2013. The centre is now fully operational.

Equipped at a cost of RM15 million with state-of-the-art cancer treatment machines, including the 160 multi-leaf collimator, Nucletron Brachytherapy and 32-slice Large Bore CT scanner, imported from Japan and Europe, they are capable of treating all kinds of cancerous tumours, with precision being the goal in diagnosis and treatment.

CDC can accommodate ten chemotherapy patients simultaneously. RTU, on the other hand, can take up to 35 cases a day. The facility has treated over a hundred patients to date.

Considered one of the most advanced cancer centres in Malaysia, Consultant Oncologist and Radiotherapist, Dr Chan Wee Han, who heads the facility with support from a team of medical physicists and radiotherapists at the RTU and a team of oncology-trained nurses at the CDC, believes that patients have a good chance of beating cancer. Even so, he stressed, “Early detection and early treatment are still the keys to cancer survival.” The top three most common cancers in Malaysia are colon, lung and breast cancer.

The opening of the Wolfgang Cancer Centre, located in the new 8-storey building of Hospital Fatimah, marks another important milestone for the not-for-profit-private-specialist hospital in Ipoh.

This community-based hospital, founded by the Congregation of the Brothers of Mercy, has a strong and active welfare system. Those who have difficulties in paying for their cancer treatment, even though the hospital keeps charges reasonable, are referred to the welfare department.

The Wolfgang Cancer Centre is located at Block E of Hospital Fatimah. Address: No. 1, Lebuh Chew Peng Loon, off Jalan Dato’ Lau Pak Khuan, Ipoh Garden, 31400 Ipoh.
Tel: 05-545 5777     Fax: 05-547 7050
Email: rtum@fatimah.com.my / nmcdc@fatimah.com.my    Web: www.fatimah.com.my


Mat Rempit Menace in Ipoh


thinking allowed pic 1Thinking Allowed

By Mariam Mokthar

Illegal street racing….dare-devil stunts on the highway….bikers harassing other road users and bikers without valid driving licences, insurance or road-tax.

The report by an online newspaper FreeMalaysiaToday, that a man had been critically injured confirms our worst fears about the Mat Rempit menace.

The injured man, 28-year-old technician, Pathmaraj Balakrishnan, works at Finishar Corporation, and was in a Perodua Myvi with two other friends Yogan Kasinathan and Selva Raju Subbiah at 3am on June 9. They were in a traffic jam caused by 200 Mat Rempits and were waiting at the traffic lights opposite the Pantai Hospital, along Jalan Raja Dihilir, when the attack occurred.

Around 30 bikers had broken off from the main group and climbed on top of the Perodua, before jumping on the roof, demanding that the occupants step out of the car.

Yogan said, “When we refused, they started to smash the windscreen and pulled us out. We tried to flee on foot to save ourselves, however, Pathmaraj was unfortunate as he was caught and they beat him up.”

One of Pathmaraj’s family members who requested anonymity said, “Police told us that the Mat Rempits are sometimes on drugs and it is difficult to nab the culprits.”

The Mat Rempit menace is a growing problem, but an end to their illegal racing and intimidation of other road users, does not seem to be near. Many are also alleged to be addicted to drugs.

In 2008, the Kedah Government had proposed the building of a special circuit for the Rempits, to reduce road accidents and also to provide job opportunities for the many unemployed Mat Rempits.

In April 2009, the then Inspector-General of Police Musa Hassan accused the Mat Rempit of becoming violent and brazen instead of just being a public nuisance. He said, “We have to come down hard on the Mat Rempit who have started to become involved in robberies, snatch thefts and are even attacking innocent road users and we also need to use harsh tactics to catch the Mat Rempit that try to run away from roadblocks.”

In June 2009, the Terengganu state government offered to sponsor Mat Rempits for international motorcycle grand prix events. The then Mentri Besar said, “We are willing to render other assistance to those who are interested in becoming professional racers besides sponsoring them for the grand prix circuit.”

At the same time, the Malacca state government also announced that it would offer RM6000 loans to those Mat Rempit who were interested in obtaining their micro-light aircraft pilot licence. The then Chief Minister said, “I hope the Mat Rempit will take up the offer and learn how to fly an aircraft instead of racing illegally on the roads and getting themselves killed.”

At a “Ride-It-Right” campaign at Bukit Aman in 2010, the then Inspector-General of Police, Ismail Omar announced that he would work with other agencies to harness the skills of Mat Rempits so that they could be used lawfully. He said that it was an opportunity to scout for riding talent and to educate the Mat Rempits so that they could contribute to the community. He wondered if they could represent the country in professional motorcycle racing and suggested the possibility of setting up a riding academy for Mat Rempits.

The previous month, Ismail had demanded a more serious approach in dealing with Mat Rempits, whom he said were getting more aggressive and bolder: “I have directed all police contingents to give serious attention to tackling the matter. Now, policemen are confronted with violence by a group of people who do not respect the law.”

At the 55th Merdeka Day celebration in August last year, the then Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said that Mat Rempits could be used to help fight crime. He said, “Just because rempit has a negative connotation does not mean that we have to neglect them. It will continue to have negative connotation if we do not engage them.”

He declined to give the methods for enlisting the cooperation of Mat Rempits in fighting crime but said, “But with us guiding them, I believe it can become a reality.”

Hishammuddin denied that crime is rising and said, “The issue on the crime index has reached a stage where there are people who don’t want to listen to rationale, so, whatever we say will be twisted and rejected.”

Some Mat Rempits, who have been caught, were found to be only 15 years old. Children need to have boundaries as well as firmness and discipline, both at home and in school. Parents must provide adequate guidance and attention. Some parents do not even know the whereabouts of their children, who stay out until the early hours of the morning.

If the community needs to provide recreational places such as sporting facilities for young adults, then perhaps the new Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin could engage his counterpart in the Housing and Local Government Ministry to provide suitable premises in the community housing areas of cities, towns and villages. Khairy once remarked that Mat Rempits could be rebranded Mat Cemerlang (Mat SuperHero).

The ministers and the police force should talk to the victims and families of the people who were killed or injured in Mat Rempit attacks and accidents, before making flippant remarks or proposing daft ideas to reform the Mat Rempits.

More time, energy and resources from the national and state budgets should be dedicated to tackle the Mat Rempit menace, because none of the measures proposed have appeared to succeed.

We don’t need new laws or creative ways to reform the Mat Rempits. The current laws just need to be enforced, consistently, and not sporadically.

Retention Pond in Merdeka Garden – a Failed Design


A. JeyarajiSpeak

By A. Jeyaraj

When I first saw clean filtered water flowing through the holes in the retaining wall into the new retention pond in Merdeka Garden, I thought it was an ingenious design. However, a few days later when I visited the site after rain, I noticed that the water from the drain was overflowing the retaining wall and garbage flowed into the retention pond. The pond was littered with floating garbage. When I visited the place during the dry season recently, the water level in the drain was low and hardly flowing. The entrance to the filters was clogged with garbage. Since the site is fenced I was not able to take a closer look. The system seems to be a failure.

Water overflowing retaining wall

The Drainage & Irrigation Department (DID) has to look into the design because this is a mechanical system and needs frequent maintenance.

Silting is already taking place and weeds are growing at the far end of the pond which serves as a nesting ground for birds.

The grass inside the fenced area has been cut, but the garbage sticking to the sides of the pond has not been removed. Empty plastic bottles are lying around and the guardhouse is closed. In case of flooding must the residents call the guard?

Front of filter clogged with garbage

The contractor has not cleared the site. Interestingly, a creeper is growing on top of one of the lamp posts. (A bird must have dropped a seed and it has taken root.) The workers’ shed has not been dismantled and plenty of rubbish is lying around. There is a pond with stagnant water which is a good place for mosquitoes to breed.

Many healthy trees which were nesting places for birds were cut for this project. The trees should be replanted so that birds and reptiles can return to their habitat.

Constructing the retention pond to prevent flooding during the rainy season is good, but it must be maintained; if not it would become an eyesore.

Ipoh International Run 2013


As the final celebratory event for Ipoh’s 25th Anniversary, the Ipoh International Run was no disappointment. Flagged off at the Stadium Indera Mulia, the run on Sunday, July 7 saw over 17,000 participants from all over the world. Foreign participants included 300 from Thailand, Singapore, Philippines and seasoned campaigners from Kenya.

Ipoh International Run 2013

Dato’ Saarani Mohamad, the Executive Councillor for Local Government was among the dignitaries invited to flag off the runners on the Sunday morning.

The event was divided into 12 categories from Junior Men and Women to the Open Category where a number of professional runners were registered.

Limo Silah from Kenya won the Men’s Open International (21km) in slightly over an hour. “I will definitely come back for next year’s race,” he told reporters. Limo walked away with RM5000. Two other Kenyans won the second and third spots. Total cash prizes of more than RM100,000 and 100 medals were given away. The fortunate ones went home with prizes from the lucky draw.

Present at the flag-off was Nolee Ashilin Mohammed Radzi, the Executive Councillor for Tourism. The ambassador for the event from 2011 until now is Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh.


Mark Soo’s Book Launched


A book launch, jointly hosted by Perak Academy and Areca Books in honour of Mark Yoi Sun Soo’s debut book, was held at Symphony Suites, Ipoh recently.

Entitled “My Days in the Sun”, the book is a memoir detailing Mark’s first 40 years of his life where he spent alternating between Hong Kong and Kampar, Malaya where his father’s family herbal medicine business was located. Mark witnessed firsthand the devastation of the Japanese Occupation (1942-1945) and the Malayan Emergency (1948-1960) that followed.

Mark Soo’s Book Launched

The author was born in Hong Kong in 1933. He studied medicine at the University of Hong Kong and earned his degree in 1957. He worked as a general practitioner in Ipoh amidst the carnage of the Emergency. Mark then decided on a career change by attending a specialist training in radiology at the Royal Free Hospital in London.

Upon completion of the training in 1967 he returned to Malaysia to work at Kuala Lumpur’s newly established University Hospital. Following the May 13 racial riots in 1969, Mark and his family migrated to Sydney, Australia where they remain till today.

Abdur Razzaq Lubis, the Director of Areca Books, who stood in for Tan Sri Khoo Kay Kim, in his opening remarks noted that Mark’s ability to recall vivid details of his life was largely due to him being a radiologist who had an eye for details.

The author commented on his book and his publisher. “This may be the first memoir written by a radiologist”, he quipped. Mark took a pot shot at his book’s editors by alluding to Stephen King.

“The editor is always right” he said, a quote attributed to the famous writer. This was in obvious reference to the many corrections made to his draft by the publisher’s over-zealous editorial team.

The ceremony was well attended. Over a hundred took time off to witness the hour-long event. Tan Sri Dr M. Mahadevan was given the honour to launch Mark’s book.


Liphistius Kanthan Needs to be Saved



Gua Kanthan is one of the most visited caves in the Kinta Valley and is nicknamed “The Cathedral” because of its impressive size. It is located in Gunung Kanthan, just outside of Chemor and is the northernmost limestone hill in the Kinta Valley.

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Many parts of Gunung Kanthan are already being quarried. Pan Malaysia Cement Works Bhd (PMCW) started in 1964 and today, almost 50 years later, Lafarge Malaysia Berhad is the quarry company operating there. Readers will remember the huge quarry works straddling the Chemor to Sg. Siput road. Much of the northern part of the hill has already been destroyed.

Gua Kanthan is an impressive cave because of its huge size and the fact that it has a river flowing through. If visitors are there at the right time on a sunny day, they will be impressed by a shaft of sunlight beaming through the back chamber.

Apart from its appeal to cavers, Gua Kanthan is also home to cave fauna, such as bats and invertebrates. However its most important inhabitant is Liphistius kanthan. This is a trapdoor spider and it is endemic to the cave, having been found nowhere else. The spider is termed as a “living fossil” as it has a segmented body, unlike present day spiders.

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Liphistius kanthan is listed on the Malaysian Wildlife Conservation Bill (2012 amendment) as a protected species (hidupan liar yang dilindungi). And now it has been placed on the IUCN Red List as ‘critically endangered’. Critically endangered is the highest level of danger for living creatures. The next level is extinct. IUCN is the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

In April 2013 it was announced that Lafarge intends to quarry the area of hill where Gua Kanthan is located. Since then groups of people have been making known the importance of saving this area of the hill. Apart from the cave, the hill is also home to endemic species of flora such as Paraboea as well as a rare palm. And there is the human factor: there are currently four places of worship around this sector of the hill, as well as farmers and fish pond operators.

We hope that Lafarge will take all these into consideration. Above all we hope they will realise the fact that the Liphistius kanthan trapdoor spider is on the international Red List as ‘critically endangered’.

Liz Price