Tag Archives: ipoh echo issue 173

Hari Raya Round-up


MB Inc Open House

MB Inc Open House

A number of open houses, held one after the other, herald the beginning of the post Hari Raya celebrations in Perak. The month-long bash began in earnest with a gathering at the Perak Techno Trade Centre on Thursday, August 22 hosted by MB Inc (Menteri Besar Incorporated). Over 700 people turned up for the festive event that began at noon and ended around 5pm. Among the dignitaries present were Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri DiRaja Dr Zambry Abd Kadir, State Financial Officer Dato, Mohd Ghazali Jalal and Chief Executive Officer of MB Inc, Aminudin Hashim.


MB Hosts Open House

MB Hosts Open House

Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri DiRaja Dr Zambry Abd Kadir entertained over 3000 students from Mahaad Tahfiz and orphans to a Hari Raya open house at his residence on the night of Thursday, August 22. The event was organised by Yayasan Kemajuan Islam Darul Ridzuan (KADIR). Guests from Indonesia too joined in the celebration. “This event has been going on for the last four years. I am glad to see the kids eating, playing and praying together, as it tightens the bond of those practising Islam,” said the MB to the media.


State Secretary_s Open House

State Secretary’s Open House

This was followed by an open house at the State Secretary’s residence. HRH Dr Nazrin Shah, the Acting Sultan and HRH Raja Perempuan Besar Perak Tuanku Zara Salim were among the dignitaries present. The event started at around 3.30pm. More than 60 food stalls were set up by government agencies and departments’ representatives, among them were the Perak Water Board, State Agricultural Development Corporation, Ipoh City Council and Yayasan Perak. Almost 6000 people turned up to enjoy the food and the atmosphere.


Funding for Yayasan Sultan Idris Shah


Yayasan Sultan Idris Shah received a generous donation of RM50,000 from Dr Janson Yap, Regional Managing Partner, Risk Consulting, Southeast Asia, on Tuesday, August 27.

The cheque-presentation ceremony, held at the foundation’s centre in Bercham, was attended by members of the Board of Trustees led by Chairman Tan Sri V. Jeyaratnam, staff, clients and guests.

Dr Yap was given a tour of the new Jeyaratnam Campus and the Sultan Azlan Shah Rehabilitation Centre. At the end of the tour, he congratulated the trustees, management and staff for a fabulous job in running the centre. “Having seen the facilities available here, I am happy to have made a contribution knowing that the money will be well spent.”

Funding for Yayasan Sultan Idris Shah

Dr Yap has been involved in volunteerism and charity causes since his school days as a Red Cross member at Victoria Institution, Kuala Lumpur. He is planning to set up the Janson Yap Foundation which will donate some USD 1 million annually to two causes close to his heart – healthcare and education.

The Sultan Idris Shah Foundation, established in 1982, has since rehabilitated more than 7000 ‘clients’ with various services and programmes such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, hydrotherapy, including music, sound and sensory therapies.

Services provided here are free irrespective of race, religion, culture and age. The annual expenditure of the foundation, which is solely dependent on public donations, amounts to almost RM1 million.

The Sultan Idris Shah Foundation was brought to the attention of Dr Yap by one of the foundation’s trustees, Dato’ Gregory Wong.


Remembering Sybil Kathigasu



By Fathol Zaman Bukhari

editorial - Remembering Sybil Kathigasu - 2My interest in Sybil Kathigasu was rekindled when an old acquaintance emailed me to ask whether the road named after the local heroine, somewhere in Fair Park Ipoh, still remains.

His fear is not without reasons, as Ipoh City Council has a habit of changing street and road names at the drop of a hat. Why I use the euphemism is because there is no clear policy on street and road names, although several mayors in the past had categorically stated that only new street and road names would be given names. Renaming of old streets and roads, which are of significance to both residents and citizens, is taboo.

That was the premise but, like all things else, promises are made to be broken. At best, they are made merely to please the few vocal ones who would go to extreme ends to demonstrate their displeasure. For law-abiding people like you and me, a little indiscretion is of no consequence.

So those in the corridors of power will think nothing of a name change even though it means plenty to the poor blokes, who have to change their identity, calling and credit cards. Some have been known to change addresses, as the new street name is in poor taste.

editorial - Remembering Sybil Kathigasu - 1Now back to my lingering interest. Sybil Kathigasu was born Sybil Medan Daly to a Eurasian planter and a Eurasian midwife on September 3, 1899 in Medan, Sumatra, Indonesia. That accounts for her middle name, Medan. She was the fifth child and the only girl. She was trained as a nurse and midwife and spoke Cantonese fluently.

Sybil and her husband, Dr Abdon Clement Kathigasu, operated a clinic at No. 141 Brewster Road (Jalan Sultan Idris Shah) in Ipoh from 1926 until the Japanese invasion of Malaya in December 1941.

Days before Japanese forces occupied Ipoh, the couple moved to Papan. The predominantly Chinese community of Papan was so fond of Dr A.C. Kathigasu and gave him a Hakka nickname, ‘You Loy-De’.

Residing at No. 74, Main Street in Papan, Sybil Kathigasu secretly kept shortwave radio sets and listened to BBC broadcasts. The couple quietly provided medical treatment, much-needed medicines and information to the MPAJA (Malayan People’s Anti-Japanese Army) soldiers operating in the Kledang jungles.  Due to treachery they were eventually arrested by the dreaded Kempeitai, the military police arm of the Imperial Japanese Army, in 1943.

Despite being interrogated by her captors, Sybil revealed little or nothing and was incarcerated at the Batu Gajah prison for her defiance. Sybil suffered all kinds of torture while in captivity, including the infamous “water-treatment”. After the end of the Japanese Occupation in August 1945, Kathigasu was flown to Britain to be treated.

Sybil was awarded the George Medal for Gallantry months before she succumbed to her wounds in June, 1948. She was the only known local woman to have won the medal, which was instituted in September 1940 by King George VI. The medal is presented to civilians who perform acts of bravery in, or meriting recognition by, the United Kingdom.

Iban tracker, Awang anak Rawang, was awarded the George Cross in November 1951 for valour while serving as a tracker with the Worcestershire Regiment during the Malayan Emergency (1948 to 1960). The George Cross, incidentally, is the highest gallantry award for civilians and is equal in precedence to the Victoria Cross. The Malaysian equivalent of the Victoria Cross is the Seri Pahlawan Gagah Perkasa or commonly known as SP. Some 28 security personnel have been conferred the award thus far.

If you ask the youths today whether they know either Sybil Kathigasu or Awang anak Rawang, most will reply in the negative. I tried asking my thirty-something son about the duo. He gave a blank stare instead.

Youths of yesteryear were taught history as it was supposed to be taught; school children today are told to memorise names of Malay rulers and their consorts by heart. I wonder what were their contributions that warrant their names be committed to memory?

There is an onerous effort by the authorities to systematically erase historical facts that have relevance to the nation’s past for reasons best known to them.

I believe the reasons are obvious. Sybil Kathigasu’s heroism is being sidetracked purely because she helped the Communist insurgents and thus was considered an anti-hero. As for the Iban tracker, he was in the service of the British Army and not the Malaysian Army.

The colour of one’s skin and the belief he or she professes play a part too. I can’t be far wrong.

Consultant Eye Surgeon Dr S.S. Gill

Subconjunctival Heamorrhage

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 Subconjunctival Haemorrhage.

Subconjunctival Haemorrhage or subconjunctival bleeding is a condition where there is bleeding under the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is the clear transparent layer that covers the white part of the eye (sclera). When the white of the eye has a bleed, this is called subconjunctival haemorrhage. Every other week, someone or the other walks into the consultation of an Ophthalmologist seeking treatment for this.

The appearance of such a bleed is often alarming to a person. Thankfully, it is generally a harmless condition when it occurs by itself and it is confirmed that the person has no other underlying serious conditions associated with it.

Consultant Eye Surgeon Dr S.S. GillWhat does it look like in the eye?

Subconjuntival haemorrhage or a subconjunctival bleed appears blood red and is located over the white of the eye (see adjacent picture).

It may appear in any area of the white part of the eye. It does not cause any pain but may cause some discomfort or heaviness if there is a large amount of blood collection.

Who gets subconjunctival bleeding?

Subconjunctival bleeding may occur in any age group – in adults, children or even infants. It is basically a bleed that arises from the tiny blood vessels of the conjunctiva. These tiny blood vessels are fragile and easily bleeds into the white of the eye.

What are the causes of subconjunctival bleeding?

The commonest cause is trauma of some form to the eye. This may range from too vigorous rubbing of the eyes, swimming goggles that are too tight, any direct trauma of any nature to the eye, head injuries, severe cough or sneezing, severe straining when lifting heavy objects or straining when passing stools especially when one is constipated. It may be also seen in those who do bungee jumping and in children who have been  physically abused.

Underlying systemic conditions that may cause this is uncontrolled hypertension, bleeding disorders, those who may be on anti-platelet (blood-thinning medication) therapy, and also sometimes it maybe seen immediately after eye surgery, particularly Lasik.

Should you be concerned?

Subconjunctival bleeding does not cause any problems with vision and is generally a harmless condition. However, it is important to be sure that it is not associated with some underlying systemic illness of the body.

How is it treated?

If it has been confirmed that the subconjunctival bleeding is not part of a systemic illness like uncontrolled hypertension, a blood disorder, etc., then it will not require any form of treatment because it is harmless. The reason it does not require any treatment is because the body’s natural mechanisms of healing will absorb the blood collection. It usually takes a few days to a few weeks for the blood collection to clear. The smaller the bleed, the faster it  gets absorbed. Those with a large collection of blood may take longer.

Subconjunctival bleeding while harmless in most instances, should be checked out especially if it occurs spontaneously and it has occurred with no direct trauma to the eye. If you are in doubt as to the underlying cause of the bleed, do consult your local practitioner or eye doctor.

For more information, call Gill Eye Specialist Centre at Hospital Fatimah

(05-545 5582) or email gilleyecentre@dr.com.

Dangerous Structure



Dangerous structure

The picture shows an extension of an old shop lot belonging to ‘Public Restaurant’ in Pasir Puteh. I find it rather dangerous and I wonder how an old building like this one can support such a heavy structure. And how can our government approve such an architecture. I feel like it’s my duty as a citizen to do something before disaster happens.

Can you imagine when a big structure like this one is hit by strong winds? I wonder if it will collapse.

Ipoh Echo, can you please try to alert the public and our Ipoh government before it’s too late?

Sandy Chan

Musa Bids Farewell


Outgoing Chief Executive Officer of Tourism Perak, Hj Musa Dun was honoured with a farewell lunch courtesy of his employer, Tourism Perak Sdn Bhd.

The lunch was held at the Kinta Riverfront Hotel, Ipoh on Monday, August 19 and was attended by the Who’s Who in the Perak tourism industry. Among them were well-meaning guests who were his keenest supporters during his 13-month stint at the state-linked agency. Executive Councillor for Tourism Nolee Ashikin Radzi was the guest-of-honour.

Musa Bids Farewell

“Although my tenure in Tourism Perak was short it was the best ever posting I have had. I am thankful to the Executive Councillor and all those connected to the tourism industry for your support. Your assistance had made my work simpler,” he said with conviction.

Musa Dun has been posted to the Perak Sports Council (Majlis Sukan Perak) as its Director effective Thursday, August 1. His replacement is Puan Aida Hazlyn Hassan formerly of the state economic planning unit.

Aida is similarly pleased with her new appointment. “I am thankful for the confidence and trust vested in me by the Executive Councillor for Tourism. I’ll now concentrate on making the upcoming Visit Malaysia Year 2014 a success,” she told Ipoh Echo.

The majority of those attending the lunch had nothing but praise for Musa. “He’s a pleasant guy who is easy to work with. We’ll sorely miss his affectionate smile,” said Hj Odzman Abd Kadir, President of Perak Tourism Association.

Odzman’s parting words best describes the man who will now determine Perak’s sporting future.


Cantonese Opera Draws Youth


Arts & Culture

Act of swinging pony tails by Sung Hung Bor & Ko Lai
Act of swinging pony tails by Sung Hung Bor & Ko Lai

For two weeks recently, thousands of opera fans around Ipoh and some, all the way from Kuala Lumpur have been thronging the Guan Di Temple, located along the Batu Gajah main road just to catch a glimpse of the performances led by renowned  Hong Kong opera performers, Sung Hung Bor and Ko Lai. As part of the temple’s annual celebration, the opera performances were staged for 20 consecutive nights, from July 30 till August 18 this year.

Sung Hung Bor & Ko Lai
Sung Hung Bor & Ko Lai

Guan Di Temple in Batu Gajah with its history of more than 100 years is one of the very few temples in Malaysia that still provides the venue for opera performance for such a lengthy duration. All visitors were welcomed with free seating on a first come, first served basis.

This time around, Ching Yin Cantonese Opera’s troupe leader, Peggy Choy has once again invited Sung Hung Bor and Ko Lai  taking up the role of  male lead “shen” and female lead “dan” after a successful performance by the duo last year. To the delight of all local fans, this year, Peggy Choy  also invited top Hong Kong Cantonese opera performers, Chan Hung Chun and up and coming star Alan Tam, taking up the role of comedic “chao shen” and second male lead, respectively.

Peggy Choy, Chan Hung Chun, Sung Hung Bor & Ko Lai
Peggy Choy, Chan Hung Chun, Sung Hung Bor & Ko Lai

In line with requests from the audience, the troupe has been staging plays mainly from the “Mou” or martial  arts genre which requires the lead “Shen” and “Dan” taking up the roles of generals or warriors.

An interesting phenomenon for this year’s performance is that the local audience has been very supportive by posting almost instantly, photos taken during the performance onto Sung Hung Bor’s Facebook page, thus allowing his fans in Hong Kong and other parts of the world to enjoy and share the excitement as well.

Peggy Choy as the second female lead
Peggy Choy as the second female lead

The performance by the Ching Yin Cantonese Opera troupe this year has attracted a young audience in rather large numbers, which is a rare occurrence indeed. It is hoped that more efforts can be made to promote Cantonese Opera to the younger generation.

Young & talented Alan Tam
Young & talented Alan Tam


When the curtain falls, signalling the end of another excellent performance
When the curtain falls, signalling the end of another excellent performance


Those interested in Cantonese opera may call: Lee Choe Leong 012-500 6479.

Lee Choe Leong

My Dualthon 2013 @ The Haven


Over 600 participants took part in Perak’s first Dualthon. The event, held at The Haven, Tambun was jointly organised by My Triathlon Shop and Kelab Roadrunners Ipoh (KRI).

(r-l) Dato Roshidi, Chong, Peter Chan and Karen Geh

Ipoh Mayor Dato’ Roshidi Hashim was on hand to flag off the race shortly after 7am. Sharing the start podium with him was The Haven CEO Peter Chan, Organiser Karen Geh of My Triathalon Shop and KRI President Chong Him Shoong.

Participants started by running 5km first then cycling 25km and ending with another 5-km run.

First 5km was a run

The route of the race was held around the neighbourhood of The Haven which features picturesque hills and green jungle foliage and included a run through kampongs.

Followed by 25 Km cycling

The overall winner of the event was Sharon Abdullah, 34, who has been participating in triathlon events for 10 years. Sharon described the event as “great” but the scenery going through the cycling route as “even better”.

The last 5Km was a run. Bottom left photo, Sharon Abdullah.Bottom right the mixed relay team Abel, Clarena and Rishitharan

In the Mixed Relay event, the champions were mother and son team Abel Chuah (cycling) and Clarena Khoo (running) with fellow running club member Rishitharan Acharia.

The event did not have a time limit which according to Geh was to take away the stress and allow the participants to take in the nature of the location which many of the participants agreed was a great strategy.

As for a follow up event Geh said that she would definitely have it in Ipoh again but the next event would have a longer distance and have a more challenging gradient. Now that is something to look forward to.


St John Ambulance 75th Anniversary


Members and guests of St John Ambulance Malaysia (Perak) (SJAM) celebrated their 75th anniversary with an annual dinner and cake cutting ceremony.

State Commander Dato’ Hj. Mohd Zainal Abidin Bin Hj. Abdul Kadir welcomed the members and said that they must continue to provide service to humanity and first aid in cases of accidents, sudden illness and to transport the sick.

St John Ambulance 75th Anniversary

Commander-in-Chief, Dato’ Dr Low Bin Tick, was the Guest of Honour and said that it is SJAM’s belief that every life is precious and must be valued. This is a service organisation and must aim to be complaints free. He urged  for SJAM to provide 24-hour ambulance service to meet the needs of the community here and  also requested SJAM to set up a haemodialysis centre to serve the less fortunate.

Low informed members that at the national level he has created the position of National Officer for Business whose responsibility is to raise money for the organisation to carry out its services. He added that St John Ambulance is providing First Aid Boxes to schools for free and selling them to the public to raise funds.

The highlight of the night was the presentation of an ambulance costing RM140,000 to SJAM. Zainal is a successful businessman and has donated the ambulance with his own money. He spoke of his business success as well. In his speech he said that this would be his last term as State Commander and wanted to step down. He would be concentrating on his business.

Members were entertained by dances performed by students of Perak Girls School and Day Care Centre, Ipoh.