The Bhagawan Kanakanpatti Satchithanantha Sarguru Meditation Society held its 12th anniversary celebration at the Ipoh Town Hall recently. The one-day event was celebrated on a grand scale with a number of activities such as a bharathanatyam performance, yoga demonstration, silambam performances, inspirational speeches and testimonies by members who had benefitted from the society’s altruistic programmes over the years.
Founder and president, Dr Loganathan, a prominent dental surgeon in Ipoh, welcomed the audience which included guests from Kanakanpatti, Tamil Nadu, India, members and local Rotarians.
The Ipoh-based society holds its meeting on the second Sunday of each month at the Red Crescent Society Hall in Ipoh. Activities during the meeting are centred on yoga movements, meditation training and talks on spiritual belief and moral values. The teaching staff includes those proficient in these spiritual art forms. Members come from various backgrounds and from outlying towns, districts and states.
The society, funded largely by public donations, has extended its arms into the education sector by providing much-needed funding for needy students.
For details on the society’s functions and activities call Rama Krishnan at 013-530 3537.
ISPCA had a successful three-day adoption programme and flea market at De Garden, Ipoh Garden from September 14 to 16.
More than 130 dogs and about 10 cats exchanged hands between rescuers and adopters. The programme was well-organised with rescuers pledging to take back any animals that were not adopted at the end of the programme. Particulars of the animals whether they were vaccinated, neutered/spayed, gender and age were recorded. At the end of the programme, only four puppies which were injured were left. They were dumped by irresponsible people taking advantage of the situation at the adoption site. Buddhist nun, Chow Khoon Siew of Sg. Siput (U), a rescuer, took them home to nurse them. There were other shelter groups like ARMS (Animal Rescue Mission Society) and Noah’s Ark Ipoh who brought their rescued animals for adoption. Members of Penang and Selangor SPCAs also came to support.
ISPCA’s Vice-President, Mr Ricky Soong announced at the press conference that there will be another adoption drive before the end of 2013. He said, “we didn’t expect the response to be so overwhelming and successful. We will continue working with other animal groups big and small.”
The third day saw the launch of the ISPCA van and rescue team. Donors of the van, Andy and Alicia Ooi handed the key to Dato’ Dr Majumder, President Emeritus of ISPCA. Ardent animal lover, Alicia specified the 3R’s (Rehome, Rescue & Rehabilitation) in her speech focusing on helping the millions of stray animals on the streets, shelters and pounds. She also told the public to adopt rather than buy pets when describing the artwork on the ISPCA van.
Other events included a Pet Treasure Hunt, Pet Beauty Contest & Children’s Colouring contests.
Around 20 members of Rukun Tetangga Taman Lim/Maxwell had a Merdeka walk around Taman Lim covering almost 500 houses on Merdeka Day recently. The walk which lasted over two and a half hours, began from their main centre and went around all the roads in Lim Garden as well as Jalan Goh Yin Foo, Jalan Winter, Jalan Summer, Jalan Sengalrayan, Jalan Tun Abdul Razak, Taman Muhibbah to Jalan Dinding, Jalan Siputeh and Jalan Lumut.
As the group walked chanting “Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka!”, they also gave away hampers to those who turned 56 this year, the oldest citizen in the area and the house that was decorated with the most Malaysian flags. Gifts were given away to residents who could answer questions pertaining to the history of Malaysia. All participants were delighted with the walk as were the recipients of the hampers.
Quietly and with little fanfare, a small animal welfare group known as Noah’s Ark Ipoh has been doing a magnificent job taking care of stray animals in Ipoh. The brainchild of well known veterinarian Dr Ranjit Kaur, Noah’s Ark has been rescuing, treating, neutering, feeding and finding adoptees or releasing the animals.
The spirit and compassion of the group is best epitomised by two sisters, Jayamalar and Ratnamalar Jeyaratnam, who work ceaselessly to rescue and feed the strays they come across in Ipoh.
As the saying goes, ‘Like Father like son’, in this case, daughters; it is Tan Sri Jeyaratnam who has imbued the two girls with their love of animals and they are carrying on the tradition established by their father who was and is the ‘King’ rescuer of strays in Ipoh.
Ipoh Echo spoke to Tan Sri at his office in the venerable Turf Club on his love of animals and the upcoming fundraiser for Noah’s Ark on October 26.
Gentle and affable, Tan Sri relates many anecdotes on his encounters with strays. “About 12 years ago, I was in my car driving along when I saw a dog lying across the middle of Thompson Road. Convinced that its was dead, I got out of the car to carry the body to the side of the road so it wouldn’t be run over. To my surprise it sat up when I approached and looked at me with the most twinkly eyes I have ever seen. I promptly took it in my car and brought it back to the Turf Club where it has been all these years. Twinkle, as we called him, died a month ago of old age having been happy here and getting along well with all the other strays which I have picked up over the years. They are fed and housed here on the Turf Club premises.”
When asked how many strays he has at home, he smiled as he reminisced, “I have lost count over the years but currently we have five cats and five dogs. The latest dog was the puppy of a dog Jaya used to feed near the Turf Club and when she discovered one day that she had a puppy, she brought the dog home with the puppy and nursed the mother with the puppy till the puppy was independent. We have called the puppy Valentino as he came to us on Valentine’s day. The mother, alas, has chosen to go back to her playmate on the streets and we continue to feed them. Such is the constant activity in our home. I never know what I’ll find at home when I return from work. It’s wonderfully lively and loving.”
“My late wife was the same. Although she had never known dogs before she married me, she became besotted with them and would bring food with her to feed one particular stray whom she would encounter on her walks by Kinta River. Her devotion to her own dogs was so complete that she would forgo travelling with me or even social engagements for fear that the dogs might be lonely! The only functions I could persuade her to attend were the royal ones and even then she would keep looking at the clock and nudging for me to go home,” he added.
Noah’s Ark has rescued and neutered over 2000 strays since its inception in September 2009 and about 70 per cent of these have been adopted. Abused, injured, pregnant and nursing mothers are also picked up and treated. The problem they are facing is not having a shelter to board and treat these poor animals until such time as they are fit for release or adoption. Also the costs for treatment, boarding, feeding, vaccinations and neutering are solely dependent on donations from the generosity of the public. Hence the need to raise funds for the society.
On Saturday October 26, a fund raiser has been planned for this purpose. An entertaining evening is promised with exquisite finger food in a serene setting inside the Kepura Cave in the Lost World of Tambun at 7.30pm.
Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri DiRaja Dr Zambry Abd Kadir announced the setting up of three special committees to tackle lingering problems affecting Perakeans in general. The committees will comprise of both assemblymen from the ruling coalition and the opposition.
He made the announcement following the weekly Executive Council meeting one Wednesday recently. “This is another of the state’s transformational programme to better administer the state government,” he told reporters covering the event which was held at the State Secretariat Building.
The three committees consist of one for women’s affairs, another for public transportation and the third for crime prevention. These are the major problems affecting Perakeans on the whole. Besides politicians, representatives from non-governmental organisations will also be invited to sit on the committees.
Zambry also announced the payment of a financial incentive to the state hockey team. The incentive, worth RM50,000, will be given to the players for bringing sporting glory to the state. The team won the recent Perak Cup Hockey Tournament 2013. This was their seventh consecutive triumph.
“The money is insufficient to pay for the players’ troubles. But, nevertheless, it’s a token of the state government’s appreciation for their sacrifices,” Zambry enthused.
The historical Victoria Bridge spanning the width of Perak River at Karai, Kuala Kangsar is more than a century old and oozes with nostalgic charm. It is like stepping back in time when one walks along this bridge which still has its railway lines and iron lattice girders intact.
This magnificent bridge was opened by the Sultan of Perak in 1900 but sad to say, the humongous commemorative metal plaque, which was still seen attached to the entrance of the bridge a year ago, is missing. The only one left standing is the plaque which is at the other end of the bridge. This is our national heritage and I hope the relevant authorities will do something about it before this goes missing too. Looks like scrap metal must be worth its weight in gold!
Kampung Ampang Who in Tapah experienced a carnival-like atmosphere when the villagers and members of the Perak Bar celebrated the annual Orang Asli Project aptly themed, “Jom Ketahui Hak Anda Bersama Badan Peguam Perak” (Know Your Rights) with much merriment.
In his welcoming speech, the Perak Legal Aid Centre’s Chairman, Hj Mad Diah Endut, thanked Tok Batin Bah Jenaja for hosting the event, which was launched by the Perak Bar Committee Chairman, Vivekanandan Periasamy.
Amani Williams-Hunt (Bah Tony) spoke on Orang Asli Land Rights in his native Semai dialect. Siti Kasim touched on the Constitutional Rights of Orang Asli. Gokoolaram spoke on the services of the legal-aid bureau. This was followed by a skit on arrests, making police reports, remand, charge and trial by chambering students.
After lunch the villagers took part in a tele-match. The men partook in a blow-pipe contest while the ladies participated in a weaving and a musical chairs contest.
The event was the culmination of the Perak’s Legal Aid Council’s year-long law awareness programme under the Orang Asli Project. Its singular objective is to empower the Orang Asli on their rights.
Ipoh City Council has responded to some of Ipoh Echo’s complaints raised in its “iSpeak” and “Thumbs Down” columns. It is a good indicator that Ipohites’ woes are being addressed.
Here are the responses, which we received from the Council on September 6:
*Ipoh Echo Issue 170 dated July 16 to 31 – “Retention Pond in Merdeka Garden – A Failed Design”.
An inspection of the said retention pond was carried out by Council officers after reading the complaint in Ipoh Echo. The retention pond was built and is maintained by Jabatan Pengairan dan Saliran (Drainage and Irrigation Department). Therefore, it is only proper that the complaint be directed at the department as Ipoh City Council is not the responsible party.
*Ipoh Echo Issue 170 dated July 16 to 31 – “Big Bully Buses”.
The affected areas were patrolled by Council’s enforcement officers. It was found that the buses were in fact school buses waiting to pick school children. The bus drivers were duly warned.
*Ipoh Echo Issue 171 dated August 1 to 15 – “Kinta River a Tourist Attraction?”
The complaint relating to water level in Kinta River has to do with the dam upstream. The dam was built and is maintained by Jabatan Pengairan dan Saliran (Drainage and Irrigation Department). The responsibility of regulating water flow in the river lies solely with the department. Ipoh City Council has written to the department highlighting the matter.
It was a heartfelt evening of warm fuzzies and some very touching moments when family and friends of Tan Sri Ahmad Azizudin gathered at Clearwater Sanctuary to celebrate his 85th birthday.
Old friends Dato’ Yap Lim Sen, Dr Chakr Nagara and renowned cartoonist Dato’ Lat honoured Tan Sri with glowing words of friendship while relating precious anecdotes in celebration of his life. Daughter Azian Will thanked him on behalf of the whole family for his being the great caring and generous father that he was.
The crowning moment came when Puan Sri Pamella, who was responsible for organising the event, wrote a poem in a touching tribute to her husband as follows:
You’re the kind of person
Who’s hard to forget,
To the people you’ve met.
Your friends are as varied
As the places you go,
And they all want to tell you
In case you don’t know:
That you make a big difference
In the lives that you touch,
By taking so little
And giving so much!
In conjunction with WORLD SIGHT DAY on the October 10, Ipoh Echo talks to Consultant Ophthalmologist Dr S.S. GILL on ways to prevent visual impairment.
Visual impairment is a term used to describe any kind of vision loss to the extent that even with conventional forms of correction or treatment, the person’s vision remains poor.
The World Health Organization lists the following facts:
About 285 million people are visually impaired worldwide:
39 million are blind and
246 million have low vision (severe or moderate visual impairment)
preventable causes are as high as 80% of the total global visual impairment burden
About 90% of the world’s visually impaired people live in developing countries
Globally, uncorrected refractive errors are the main cause of visual impairment
Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness
65% of visually impaired, and 82% of blind people are over 50 years of age, although this age group comprises only 20% of the world population
What Causes Visual Impairment?
Many factors can cause visual impairment. Cataracts, or the clouding of the eye’s lens preventing light from passing through to the retina, are common causes for loss of vision. Because cataracts form slowly, causing gradual vision loss, it may not be noticeable to the patient. Cataracts usually affect people in their 60s and 70s, but may sometimes appear earlier in people who are excessively exposed to sunlight.
Many patients who present early are golfers and sports people who are not in the habit of wearing sunglasses. The general rule is that you should always wear good sunglasses whenever you go out during daylight hours. Symptoms of cataract include double vision, cloudy or blurry vision, difficulty seeing in poorly lit spaces, and when colours seem faded. Replacement of the eye’s cloudy lens with an intraocular lens (IOL) implant through cataract surgery usually restores vision in these cases.
If you have diabetes, you need to be screened regularly for Diabetic Retinopathy, which is a condition where the tiny blood vessels in the retina (back of the eye) are damaged due to diabetes. People with retinopathy may not have any problems seeing at first. But if the condition gets worse, they can become blind. To help prevent retinopathy, people with diabetes should avoid smoking, keep their blood pressure under control, and keep their blood sugar at an even level.
Another common cause is Glaucoma, a condition where an increase in pressure inside the eye impairs vision by damaging the optic nerve. Any damage to the optic nerve is irreversible so it is important to find out if there is any history of glaucoma in your family as the condition is hereditary. Early detection and treatment is crucial or the vision will gradually deteriorate over time to a small tunnel vision, and then blindness can occur.
Most people may also find it surprising to note that injury is one of the commonest cause for vision loss. Examples like getting hit with a hockey ball or a shuttlecock, or children playing with sharp objects, and injuries from car accidents are common factors. These incidences are potentially devastating and a drastic accident can cause blindness.
Macular degeneration is a gradual deterioration of the macula (centre point at the back of the eye), which is the most sensitive region of the retina. The condition leads to progressive loss of central vision (the ability to see fine details directly in front). Excessive exposure to sunlight and smoking can increase the risk for age-related macular degeneration. Symptoms may include increased difficulty reading or watching TV, as vision becomes distorted and straight lines appear wavy or objects look larger or smaller than normal.
In children, amblyopia or “lazy eye” in early childhood can drastically reduce vision in an eye if the weak eye is not corrected. It is important to detect and treat the lazy eye before the age of 7 or 8 years, before the “vision center” in the brain completes development.
For more information, call Gill Eye Specialist Centre at Hospital Fatimah (05-545 5582) or email email@example.com.