“Perak needs an art gallery” said State Exco for Tourism, Culture and Health, YB Nolee Ashilin Mohd Radzi. Nolee made the statement at a press conference after the closing of the ‘Ipoh Drawing Marathon 2013’, the Perak chapter of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture’s ‘1MCAT’ (1 Malaysia Contemporary Arts Tourism) programme.
Nolee was responding to a closing speech made by the President of Persatuan Pelukis Perak Dr Ahmad Lothfi Hj Ibrahim, who urged YB Nolee to look into the viability, not just as an opportunity for Perak’s artists to display their works but also, to “preserve Perak’s heritage for future generations”.
Noting that Perak was the only state without an art gallery, she stated that the state was currently identifying a suitable location for the gallery and would be discussing the issue with the National Visual Arts Gallery. “A permanent gallery can also display other forms of visual art including cartoons and would be suitable to display the expensive works of art such as those on display during the marathon.”
The event was launched by Datuk Dr Ong Hong Peng, Secretary General of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture. It included the Ipoh Drawing Marathon, a 24-hour event which started at noon on Saturday. It attracted over 50 artists with some artists coming in to participate at different times throughout the event.
Held at Kinta Riverwalk the artists were required to produce artworks using charcoal and draw figurative or non figurative images surrounding the Riverwalk. Sixty of the drawings were selected for a coffee-table book to be exhibited at the Tourism and Culture Ministry and at hotels.
A former sergeant with the Royal Malay Regiment recalled a painful incident during an operation in the Gubir jungles of Kedah in the late 1970s. “It was sometime in 1979. My battalion was on a search and destroy mission. Our platoon was atop a mountain when we received orders to do a sweep along a ridge. It was during the sweep that I stepped on a bobby trap laid by terrorists on a track which we had taken,” said retired Sergeant Abdul Jalil Sahli, 58, to Ipoh Echo. “I lost my left foot, as a result. In spite of the loss, I continued in the army until my retirement in 1995.”
Sergeant Abdul Jalil was among a group of 84 disabled army veterans who were feted at a ceremony held in their honour on the occasion of HQ 2 Brigade’s 58th Anniversary. The Ipoh-based infantry brigade has been celebrating its formation day in September of each year. And each time the event is held, former soldiers are invited to attend as a form of recognition for their services to the army.
Brig-Gen Dato’ Md Dzahir Abd Rashid and senior officers of the brigade were on hand to entertain the invitees. The ceremony was held at the brigade headquarters mess hall. Dzahir thanked the retirees and reminded them that their sacrifices to King and Country were not forgotten.
Each received a RM500 cash donation. “It’s the brigade’s way of thanking these veterans for their services,” said the brigade commander to Ipoh Echo.
The spirit of teamwork and muhibbah – the way we were, the way it should be – beautifully captured in this photo taken during the Brooks-KRI Annual Run 2013 on October 6 at The Haven, Ipoh. More than 1000 runners of all races and nationalities participated in this much-loved event organised by Kelab Roadrunners Ipoh. It was flagged off by Ipoh Mayor, Dato’ Haji Roshidi bin Hashim.
More than eight hundred former Michaelian’s gathered in the basketball court on the grounds of their Alma Mater to usher in the 2nd Century of St Michael’s Institution (SMI).
The school had celebrated its 100th years of its founding last year. Hence the theme for the night was ‘The Beginning of a New Century…the end of an Era’.
As is tradition, the annual dinner of the Old Michaelian Association (OMA) is held on the last Saturday of September each year. OMA President Adrian Tsen in his address welcomed the former students “to another evening of Michaelian fellowship”.
This year there were 90 recipients for the school’s jubilee certificates. SMI Principal Madam Loh Wei Seng was one of them, having left the school 40 years ago. All recipients after receiving their certificates from Dato Bro Vincent Corkery fondly sang their school song with gusto in true Michaelian spirit of fellowship.
Malaysians are aware that the use of CCTVs has taken off in Malaysia. The idea is to reduce our dependency on security guards, because of problems in finding suitable and responsible workers.
According to one industry expert, CCTV operations are cheaper in the long run. They can be operated 24 hours per day, seven days a week. The CCTVs are not affected by employees calling in sick, staff annual holidays, emergency leave or staff who are absent from their posts for long coffee breaks or extended lunches.
In March 2010, the Ipoh City Council made plans to install an additional 76 CCTVs, to augment the 24 units which had already been approved by the Housing and Local Government Ministry.
Ipoh Mayor Roshidi Hashim said that the installation would enhance security in the rapidly developing Ipoh city and its surroundings. Business centres were being built in areas further from the city centre, like Simpang Pulai, Bercham or Taman Meru, and Roshidi said that CCTVs would help reassure residents, within and outside the city centre, of their safety.
Roshidi said that each CCTV unit was estimated to cost RM3,000 and that funding for the additional CCTVs would be borne by the taxpayer. The CCTVs would be linked to a control room in the city council and also to the Perak police headquarters.
It is gratifying to note that the rural community is not excluded from the promotion of the use of CCTVs. There is a drive by the Malaysian government, to upgrade 15 community colleges throughout the nation, and the Gerik Community College (GCC) has already received 16 CCTVs. The total upgrade allocation for nationwide colleges cost the government RM50.17 million.
The 2012 Auditor-General’s Report revealed a huge price difference between the price of the CCTVs supplied to GCC and those supplied to a similar college in Masjid Tanah, Malacca. One CCTV unit in Gerik was valued at RM85,500 compared with the Masjid Tanah one, which cost RM10,249. The CCTVs in Masjid Tanah was approximately eight times cheaper than the cameras in Gerik.
The high cost of the CCTV installation in Gerik can be attributed to its rural location and the difficulty of finding experienced contractors, who were willing to undertake work in the countryside. Gerik is more remote than Masjid Tanah.
The Education Ministry has justified the high cost of the CCTVs, by claiming that they had been purchased separately. They said, “The specifications, design, suppliers, locations and method of installation were different. The prices had been reviewed during the tender process as part of the entire project cost.” This sounds very plausible.
Critics of the audit claimed that a CCTV, which had been installed on the second floor of a college, had lacked a zoom function, whilst another CCTV which could rotate 360 degrees had been mounted on a wall, and was unable to make full use of this function.
These critics failed to note that CCTVs are very expensive and are possibly worth more than the fixtures they are secured to, or even the buildings which they are monitoring. CCTVs need careful positioning.
The audit revealed that one camera had stopped recording because its disc was full, but the more serious issue, was the bird droppings covering the CCTVs, which rendered the cameras useless.
Blame had initially been placed on the maintenance of these units, but it is disingenuous for the critics to blame the maintenance crew, especially as it is common knowledge that the Malaysian work culture does not normally include maintenance. It is possible that the need for regular maintenance, was overlooked in the tendering process.
Sources, who wished to remain anonymous, said that it is a generally accepted government policy, that it is better to procure new equipment than to maintain old equipment.
Malaysians prefer to replace items, as soon as they become obsolete, through frequent use or a breakdown in one of the components, although the CCTV which stopped functioning just needs a new disc to resume recording.
Anyone living or working in rural locations knows that it is normal for birds to leave droppings on fixed structures like those situated near the eaves of roofs. The amount deposited is directly proportional to the quantity of birds in the area. In other words, more birds mean more droppings. More extreme suggestions to rectify the problem include building a cage to house the CCTVs, or a team of sharpshooters to kill the birds before they can perch on the CCTVs.
A report which has yet to be commissioned, will propose that a team of dedicated workers will be required, to clean the CCTVs on a regular basis. This will provide jobs for people living in the local area and thus, attract praise from the community. A strong message is being delivered, that machines need humans to make them function properly.
Cleaning bird droppings from CCTV lenses is a small price to pay in the fight against crime. Unfortunately, the birds are not the only ones fouling up the system.
TCM, Reiki, Phytobiophysics, Fast Track and Emotional Freedom Technique, Ayurveda, Karuna, Ki, Sufi, Pranic and Sound Healing. One hears these terms being bandied around as more and more people are being introduced to some of these techniques and practices to help heal the physical and emotional ups and downs faced by most people at some point in their lives. Ipoh, being the laggard in new ‘things’ finding its way here, is seeing a stirring of activity, the winds of change bringing fresh ideas, fresh techniques and fresh faces to the complementary therapy scene. In this and the coming issue, Ipoh Echo takes a look at the plethora of complementary therapies available in Ipoh…
Alternative Therapies to Complement Allopathic Medicine?
With the rising costs tagged to conventional medical treatments available today, more people are seeking out complementary methods of healing to address various ailments. Although one should not carelessly dismiss the benefits of a proper medical diagnosis and its recommended programmes, it is becoming quite a common practice today even among the skeptics, to give complementary therapy a try. Especially when carried out by people who are knowledgeable and experienced.
Complementary therapy practitioners believe that all physical ailments begin with an emotional cause which fester in the subconscious mind and manifests as sickness over time. Hence complementary therapy aims to achieve balance and harmony in all aspects of body, mind and spirit.
Among the more popular examples of complementary therapy are ayurveda, traditional Chinese medicines, energy therapies, homeopathy, naturopathy, chiropractic, mind and body therapies, herbs diet and vitamin therapies, body manipulation, massage and acupuncture.
Practitioners in Ipoh
In and around Ipoh, you will be able to find quite a number of practitioners, who have successfully practised their craft. These people’s successes are usually downplayed, as many do not advertise their services. Referrals are usually the main way these practitioners get their patients.
Through the course of research on the topic, I had the opportunity to sit down with a few practitioners and was intrigued with what they had to say. The main message seemed to be, that with complementary therapy, one can enjoy better overall health and well-being, as the various methodologies used, all focused on creating a balance in body, mind and spirit. They all stressed that medical diagnosis is not to be disregarded altogether, but complementary therapy would be a great addition to creating optimal recovery conditions.
Healing the Reiki way
Reiki, a form of energy healing was started by a Japanese, Dr Usui in the early part of last century. I had the opportunity to spend some time with a visiting Reiki practitioner, who has achieved the Master/Teacher level. Andrew Khor, kindly took the time to explain this healing practice and the positive impact it can make in a person’s life. It soon became clear to me, why so many people are keenly exploring Reiki, as a safe alternative to addressing some physical and mental issues. A humble and delightful character, who is bubbling with energy and what I can only describe as a “happy aura”, Andrew explained his particular style and why he is confident that, with guidance, anyone can live a happy and healthy life.
Vocal Rather than Touch
Andrew’s style takes the basic practice, which involves the laying on of hands and the use of symbols a step further. By vocalizing in multiples, some of these symbols, he claims to dramatically multiply their healing power. This vocal method is particularly appropriate here as “touching” is not something most of us are comfortable with especially when dealing with strangers. Although the original hands-on method is meant to channel universal energy by touch, for self-healing and a state of equilibrium, Andrew’s method of vocalizing the symbols can also bring forth similar positive results, as many of his ‘patients’ will attest.
This is another style of complementary therapy that utilizes the infinite energy of flowers and plants to harmonize and balance the disturbances of humanity on all levels of consciousness. Striking a balance on all levels would include addressing the spiritual, mental, emotional and physical elements within oneself.
The founder of the Phytobiophysics system, Dr Diana Mossop’s, first foray into this field came about after a severe illness, which western medical procedures could not address. Returning to her childhood roots of natural medicine, Dr Diana Mossop started seriously exploring the natural healing and organic nutritional benefits found in plants. Taking her research further she then explored the energetic, vibrational and color aspect of plants.
Here in Ipoh, Mdm Yeap Heong Moi (everyone calls her Doc) helps those seeking to correct their imbalances with therapies such as Phytobiophysics Structural mobilization, Special Lymphatic Stimulation as well as the hundreds of flowers and plant remedies around which the Phytobiophysics healing system revolves. Coincidently Yeap also turned to complementary therapy remedies when she too was seriously ill and western medicine could do little to help her. After successfully recovering from her illness and enjoying a new lease of life, Yeap devoted all her energy to learning more about this wonderful world of Phytobiophysics.
A nurse by training, Yeap always nurtured a burning desire to help children born with challenging conditions. Her heart goes out to families struggling to cope with such circumstances, especially those with children who suffer from autism. Through the Phytobiophysics healing properties, she has been able to help many families. Listening to her passionately talk about all the cases she has successfully helped, made me want to tell those going through such challenges to beat a path to Yeap’s door in Lengkok Canning and get an appointment immediately.
The flower formulae used in Phytobiophysics are therapeutic tools that deliver specific vibrations that can help imbalances correct themselves. Treating different conditions that include stabilizing and harmonizing emotional sadness and trauma or assisting in recovery phases, aiding the body to assimilate nutrients, releasing energy blocks, bad skin conditions, are just some of the negative situations Yeap has been able to put right using the Phytobiophysics healing method.
Have you ever wondered why some types of music will automatically relax you, while others, simply make you want to scream? Science tells us that sounds are a form of energy. Most people who are willing to use this energy as a complementary therapy tool have attested to its high success rates.
Anne Huxtable, an Australian living in Ipoh, is a sound therapist who practises in her spare time. I experienced her techniques for complementary therapy and came away pleasantly surprised at its effectiveness.
During a session, she showed me the various different “tools” that can be used in sound healing sessions. The two cloudy crystal singing bowls which were made from pure quartz crystal were beautiful and gave off what would probably be to others a beautiful range of sounds. Unfortunately, I must be among the odd few who found the frequencies generated by the bowls a little disturbing.
Then there was a beautiful sounding tool which looked to me like a mini xylophone. This tool is usually placed on the person’s body at his/her seven chakra points and as each piece is lightly tapped, the sound emitted will allow the practitioner to assess the condition of that particular part of the body. If a particular area’s energy is negative, then positive vibrations can be introduced into the affected area for healing.
Then came the “tool” that impressed me the most. The tuning fork! I say impressed, because although I was rather skeptical about trying this therapy method, (I had never seen tuning forks, so to me they looked like something a mechanic or electrician would use) I felt immediate effects when Anne placed the tuning fork on the area where I was experiencing a nagging ache. I could feel an immediate tingling sensation as the vibrations worked on my muscles and relieved the tension. I was so thrilled at the immediate results enjoyed, that I am now seriously considering getting one of my own.
Next issue IE177: Karmic and Angelic Reiki, Reiki, Karuna, Ki, Sufi, Imara Attunement, Fast Track and EFT technique, TMC (Traditional Chinese Medicine) and Acupuncture, Pranic Healing.
Ipoh Police Chief, ACP Sum ChangKeong, attended a meet-the-people session organised by the Rakan Cop Menglembu Branch recently. The session, held at the town’s night market, was attended by state assemblywoman, Ms Lim Pie Har, community leaders and a large number of Menglembu residents.
Sum spoke at length on the objective of the meeting. “It’s the Police’s way of extending our friendship to the people of Menglembu,” he said. He hoped that the residents would in return give their fullest co-operation for mutual benefit. He briefed the audience on the security situation and the actions taken by the police to combat crime in Menglembu.
The function ended with a dinner hosted by the Rakan Cop Menglembu branch. After dinner Sum and his senior officers walked around the night market and got acquainted with both traders and customers.
Having face-to-face contact with locals is one of the ways the Police have adopted, to tackle crime within an area. Known officially as High Profile Policing, it involves senior police officers meeting the people through informal meet-the-people sessions such as this.
Dato’ Roshidi Hashim was reported to have admitted that he had failed as the Mayor of Ipoh for being unable to keep the city clean.
I accept his admission at the last City Council’s full-board meeting, but I cannot accept his excuse that his failure was solely because the people could not be disciplined and refrained from throwing rubbish indiscriminately.
Does this mean that he and his successors are going to just accept the situation as “whatever will be, will be” and blame it all on the attitude of the residents? Dato’ Roshidi’s failure is largely due to the City Council’s lack of determination to restore the city’s lost image as one of the cleanest in the country.
The City Council needs to lead by example. If it failed in carrying out its responsibilities, then it can expect the residents to also adopt a “tidak-apa” attitude and discard their wastes indiscriminately and readily blame the City Council for its poor services.
After all, preventing wastes from being indiscriminately discarded is only part of the overall efforts needed to keep the city clean. Clogged drains need clearing, rubbish collected efficiently, grass cut regularly, care of plants and shrubs along streets and roads, and proper maintenance of public parks and attractions. Every household in the city too must be directed to place all their domestic wastes in rubbish bins, not in plastic bags hanging on fences and trees, only to be scattered by dogs, cats and cattle. These are among the ingredients of a clean city.
Are all these not the responsibilities of the City Council? If so, would not the poor service we are experiencing now reflect on the efficiency of the City Council? Then why just put the blame on the people?
How is it that over two decades ago Ipoh was clean when it was just a municipality, but not now? The argument often put forward is that the city limit had increased in size, but let’s not forget that as the city grew, so did its manpower and budget.
Of course, the residents too are to be blamed for the thousands of illegal rubbish dumps scattered around the city. Their lack of cooperation is frustrating the City Council’s effort to clear the illegal dumps. The moment an illegal dump is cleared, a new dump begins.
One of the main culprits is the operators of small lorries for hire. They are the ones who cart the wastes and dump them at the nearest place convenient to them. Therefore, the City Council should consider taking stern action, including sending plainclothes enforcement officers to catch those responsible for throwing wastes indiscriminately. The City Council has the power to enforce the various enactments pertaining to health and cleanliness in the city.
It should not allow any “political constraints” to affect its efforts to keep the city clean. Those irresponsible residents will have to be prosecuted since attempts to discipline them into restraining from littering and illegal dumping of wastes had failed.
The City Council must bring those guilty of illegal dumping to court to show that it means business.
Ipoh Echo had in 2010 launched a “dirt vigilante” campaign calling on residents to report, with photographs, areas found to be filthy. Following this, the City Council had moved in to clear hundreds of illegal dumps, particularly in the Gunung Rapat area.
Of late, the City Council seems to be taking it easy. Not only the city is getting dirtier, cattle and buffaloes are reappearing in the city. They are endangering motorists at night and damaging plants in the housing estates.
With the theme, “Take The Road To A Healthy Heart”, Pantai Hospital Ipoh, in collaboration with the Parent-Teacher Associations of three schools, namely SJK(C) Yuk Choy, SJK(C) Ave Maria and SJK(C) Sam Tet, organised heart wellness camps in Ipoh and Malim Nawar. This is the fourth consecutive year that the hospital has organised the programme with non-governmental organisations.
The camp in Ipoh, held on World Heart Day on Sunday, September 29 within the grounds of SJK (C) Yuk Choy, was launched by Azizul Kama Abdul Aziz, political secretary to the Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah. The camp in Malim Nawar was held on Sunday, October 13.
The Ipoh camp saw the participation of over a thousand people consisting of school children, teachers, parents and the public. The focus was on cardiovascular disease prevention. It highlighted actions that can be taken from a young age to reduce the risk of the disease. Some of the activities at the camp included medical talks on stroke and diabetes, a medical exhibition and free health screenings.
In line with the theme of the programme, and to encourage a healthy lifestyle, the camp kicked off with a mass exercise.
Organising Chairman, Albert Looi, said, “We hope that through these activities, individuals will know of ways to reduce the risk of heart diseases in themselves and their loved ones.”
The second of the four invalid Francis brothers passed away on September 19. Lawrence Francis, 34, was a cerebral palsy patient along with his three other siblings. Elder brother, Morgan Francis, 36, died in his sleep in May 2010. They, with the exception of Patrick Francis, 41, who moves about in a wheelchair, are confined to bed as they are incapable of bodily movements due to their conditions.
The Francis brothers were adopted by the Y’s Men’s Club of Ipoh since 2007. The club sees to the siblings’ needs such as: food, clothing and limited financial support. Members of the club visited the bereaved family recently to hand over some much needed necessities.
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