Ipoh’s City Council planted 52 trees at the garden of the Railway Station recently. Fifty of the trees are the Spring Black Olive (Bucida Molineti) while two are the Rosy Trumpet Tree (Tabebuia rosea) which blossoms during the hot weather.
Led by Ipoh Mayor Dato’ Roshidi Hashim and assisted by 30 teachers and students from SMK Anglo Chinese School Ipoh, who earlier in August had etched their name in the Malaysia Book of Records when they created the largest flower formation using 31,000 plants in their Florathon project themed ‘Lets Green the Earth’. Dr D. Karthiresan, ACS’s Project Coordinator for the Florathon joined in with the students to plant trees that morning.
According to Roshidi the council initiated tree planting after receiving feedback from residents saying the area was bare. The feedback requested that trees be planted to provide shade for daytime visitors. Currently the sole large tree here is the Ipoh Tree in the centre of the garden.
The Railway Garden, located within the core of the Ipoh Old Town Heritage Trail, was recently upgraded and landscaped at a cost of RM2.3 million. It has a rhythmic water fountain and has been drawing crowds day and night since it started operations in August this year.
The location where the trees were planted took into consideration that in future the trees would not block the view of the Heritage buildings and architectural design of the surrounding environment.
Roshidi stated that the total cost of the tree planting exercise was RM50K and the proposal was mooted a month ago.
A charity ballet in aid of Make-A-Wish Malaysia will be held on November 23 and 24 at Taman Budaya, Jalan Caldwell, off Jalan Raja DiHilir, Ipoh. The performance is presented by Ipoh’s premier ballet school City Ballet in cooperation with the Lions Club of Ipoh Evergreen. This is in conjunction with City Ballet’s 30th anniversary.
Make-A-Wish Malaysia is the 35th affiliate of Make-A-Wish International, a charity which grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich their human experience.
There are over 20,000 children in Malaysia with such medical conditions and since 2010 has granted 150 local wishes. It aims to grant 72 more wishes in 2014. Some of the wishes granted so far was to a 9-year-old who wanted to be a flight stewardess and was put through a training programme thanks to Malaysia Airlines.
The Charity Ballet anticipates to raise RM50k and the proceeds from the charity will benefit Perakean children who are in need of that little hope, strength and joy in their lives.
At a press conference to announce the charity event media personnel met with the cast of Alice in Wonderland who included Alice, played by Carmen Pang, the Mad Hatter played by Charles Pooley and the Queen, Jaime Chang. Later the cast in full costume distributed pamphlets at the Polo Ground.
Admission to the ballet is by donations of RM150, RM100 and RM60 with discounts for students and senior citizens. For further info please contact Witzi Leong at 012 508 8818 or City Ballet at 05 253 7114.
The YMCA of Ipoh Toastmasters Club hosted a joint meeting with Premier Advanced Toastmasters Club of Kuala Lumpur at YMCA Ipoh recently. It was a regular meeting, but was open to the public. The objective was to show what transpires during a Toastmasters Club meeting and to clear inaccurate perceptions about the club.
Under the umbrella of Toastmasters International, members of Toastmasters clubs learn communication English, effective communicative skills, public speaking and leadership development through role-playing.
After the meeting was called to order, an inspirational speaker gave a short motivational speech. This was followed by the introduction of a rarely-used English word by the Word Master, who explained its definition and encouraged members to apply the usage of the said word in the day’s proceedings.
The Table Topic Master then invited members and guests to give a two-minute impromptu speech on one of the eight topics given. It takes a lot of guts to speak at the front of the hall but a Toastmasters meeting is a training ground for this, and speaking in front of friends builds up one’s confidence in public speaking.
The main part of the meeting was the manual project, where Toastmasters had to present their assignments based on their manual, within a given time frame. Each manual project speaker was assigned a dedicated evaluator, who is an experienced Toastmaster. The evaluator then gave his or her feedback, usually first highlighting the strengths of the speech, followed by the weaknesses and suggestions for improvements, and then challenging the speaker to do better next time.
Fellow Toastmasters and guests had the opportunity to vote for the best speaker in the Table Topic session, as well as the manual project speeches. Ramesh Victor, one of the four manual project speakers, was presented with an award by Area Governor H1 Richard Tan Yi Jer, for completing the Competent Communication manual.
Competent Communication (CC) manual is the basic level in Toastmasters. It is followed by the Advanced Communicator Bronze (ACB), Silver (ACS) and Gold (ACG), and finally, Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM). To reach the highest level a Toastmaster would have given a total of at least 50 assignment speeches based on the different manuals, and had taken on various roles during meetings.
“The Toastmasters manual may be outside of the Malaysian school curriculum but the club provides a platform for members to speak in public confidently and to think on their feet, which would boost their marketability in the competitive job market. We encourage Form 6, college and university students, as well as young working adults, to join us. If you want to speak well you’ve to speak first. Every member is assigned a mentor,” said Peter Bucher, President of YMCA Ipoh Toastmasters Club.
Membership to YMCA of Ipoh Toastmasters Club is open to those who are at least 18 years of age. One-time registration fee is RM80 while membership fee is RM160 half yearly. Members meet at YMCA Ipoh every 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month at 7.45pm.
For details call Peter Bucher (Pak Peter) at 019 574 3572.
Over a hundred 6-year-old kids were the stars of the night at the KinderJoy Graduation Concert, receiving their graduation certificates on stage. Parents were given the honour to present the certificates to the graduating classes.
Themed “It’s a Beautiful Day”, the children also put up an interesting array of dances to entertain their parents, grandparents, siblings, friends and well-wishers. Dressed in glittering costumes, the children danced to popular tracks like Tennessee Waltz, Mamma Mia and even Gangnam Style, to rousing applause from the audience.
For the first time, KinderJoy presented High Achiever Awards to their former students. The 16 young alumni who are now in Primary One to Three, have achieved excellence in both academics and extracurricular activities.
The concert, held at Dewan Leong Wan Chin on the evening of Saturday, October 19, was attended by Pn Jamila Sharuddin, a senior officer from the Perak Education Department.
I may not have been in the media business for long but eight years have enabled me to separate the wheat from the chaff. We started Ipoh Echo in 2005 and, hitherto, much water has passed under the bridge. Time in its infinite dimension provides one with the wisdom to pick and choose, to decide who is right and who is wrong and, above all, to judge someone’s character whether he is genuine or crooked.
Ipoh Echo is a community newspaper, and at this material moment, it is the only community newspaper in the country – warts and all. It is no idle boast but that is the gospel truth. And having survived many uncertainties for over eight years is something to shout about, although some may want to dispute it. But that is of no consequence here.
The habit of some, especially politicians, is slowly but surely making life a little unpleasant for us in the media business. This habit, for some unknown reason, is beginning to spread and now even those in the private and public sectors are being affected.
It has to do with press conferences. Having a press conference to announce this and that has become fashionable. Not a day passes by without me receiving an invitation to a press conference. The occasion can be as insignificant as an annual dinner or a blood-drive campaign. I even received invitation to a conference for an annual general meeting. And believe me, an extraordinary general meeting of an old boys’ club. How ridiculous is that?
Obviously, many out there do not know the meaning of press or media conference. Call for one by all means, after all we cannot stop someone from doing so. But make sure that reporters’ time is not wasted on some insignificant news which does not merit publication, or worse, earn the wrath of the editors. I have sent my reporters on wild goose chases far too often that now I am beginning to become a little wiser.
There were many instances when we were invited to a media conference on a proposed event which would take place the following day. My question is, why must a conference be arranged when we are privy to the event taking place? Is this not a waste? Reporters’ time is better spent on some other worthy cause other than pleasing the organisers and having a free tea break.
An event is newsworthy if something sensational is about to happen or has happened. A newsworthy event goes beyond mundane fire and casualty evacuation drills and site visits by some Tan Sris. I posed this question to one corporate executive recently, as to whether he would read a news piece on fire drill or visit if he comes across one? He answered in the negative. If he does not read it what makes he thinks others would? Or is the shiok sendiri (feel-good) factor the real reason?
I can quote many anecdotal incidents but will refrain from making references, as I believe they were being made without any malice or ill intent. It is the hype surrounding such events that prompted most, if not all, from following this silly trend! Have a heart for the poor reporters who, not only have to brave inclement weather and insufficient parking space to make an appearance, but to have their reports assigned to the bins instead.
Yes, Ipoh Echo is here for a reason – to be the sounding board for Ipohites’ dissatisfaction with the authorities and a notice board for the posting of upcoming and past events. Like everything else, the paper has its limitations, budget being one. If one’s interest is personal glory, then Ipoh Echo is not the place for him or her.
For a community paper to work, the support of the community, in whatever form, is desirous. And calling for a spurious media conference for an event of no significance or news value is definitely not a wise thing.
Chinese Opera in the Kinta valley is rising like the proverbial Phoenix from its ashes (an expression from Greek mythology, of a long-lived bird that is cyclically regenerated or reborn from the ashes of its predecessor).
This was the conclusion Ipoh Echo came to based on the recent Operatic event held at the 118-year-old Kuan Ti temple at Batu Gajah in August this year. The Opera ran for twenty days and it had a good turnout every night. What was interesting was the increase in the number of younger attendees, which had hitherto attracted a primarily older audience with the majority being women.
Younger Audience, Younger Performers
My first encounter with Chinese Opera was four years ago when I was invited to Papan to view the Opera there. Not having a clue about Chinese Opera I went along. What attracted me then was the rich make-up and the kaleidoscopic costumes of the actors and actresses. It was a small stage in a small town with a rich cultural history and for the two nights which I attended, the audience was less than a full house.
However the scenario at Batu Gajah was different. There was a buzz of anticipation. Up front red plastic chairs and wooden benches were lined up before the stage. The Opera normally starts around 7.30pm to 8pm and lasts till 11pm. As is usual, the organizers had allowed hawkers to sell food and drinks around the periphery for the audience who would patronize them in between acts.
Back stage was a hive of activity. In between acts actors would change costumes, touch up their make-up and reread their scripts all the while being assisted by their helpers. Everyone went about their duties knowing what was up next.
The scripts are all based on traditional stories handed down through centuries and each night was a different script. The actors may have done the script before but before each act they would be seen rehearsing their lines again.
Chinese Opera comes in many forms and each is notable for its own unique style. Whilst many foreigners sometimes joke that it sounds like someone strangling a cat, this is most unfair as it is a highly developed art form that many simply do not understand. It is known as ‘opera’ to emphasise this point.
Intrigued by the better audience at the Batu Gajah opera, I returned a subsequent evening early around 5.30pm. I was told to come at this time because after their dinner the actors would begin preparing for the show which would at start at 8pm.
The Batu Gajah event was organised by Pusat Drama Chinese Opera Cheng Yi or the Cheng Yi Chinese Opera and Drama Centre. Established two years ago by Ms Peggy Choy Poh Peng who comes from a background in Chinese Opera. Her father was a Chinese Opera musician while her mother helped to dress the actresses. During this particular event in Batu Gajah, I was delighted to see that Choy’s father was still playing the erhu with the rest of the orchestra.
Choy herself learned to perform Chinese Opera and was active until she stopped over 15 years ago due to family commitments. Although she had stopped performing she still followed the performances although she felt that they lacked polish and she was generally not satisfied with what she saw.
Four years ago she decided to return to performing and subsequently started her own drama company as she felt that she could do better and could contribute to improve the Chinese opera culture.
Choy loved the Opera and starting her own company gave her the opportunity to allow her to promote Opera by doing it her own way. Cantonese opera perform more freely than Peking Operas and in Cantonese operas, actors are allowed to improvise.
Music, singing, martial arts, acrobatics and acting are all featured in Cantonese opera. Most of the plots are based on Chinese history and famous Chinese classics and myths. Also, the culture and philosophies of the Chinese people can be seen in the plays. Virtues (like loyalty, love, patriotism and faithfulness) are often reflected by the operas. Thus Choy had free reign to adapt and improvise.
Acknowledging that the Opera needed to cultivate young talent she initially got her younger relations to participate while ensuring that their performances did not clash with their studies. One of her nieces, Choy Tong Ling is thirteen years old. Although she likes the Opera her involvement began as she enjoyed helping out her Aunty and being around the family.
At the Batu Gajah event there were a total of four youths performing, with the youngest being Sum Yee, 10, a Standard 5 student at SJK Min Sin Ampang Ipoh. While not a relation of Choy’s, Sum Yee had shown an interest in Opera and she was promptly recruited after her grandfather told Choy’s musician father about her . Sum Yee has now been with the centre for 2 years singing and acting a lot, mainly playing the part of boys.
She refers to Choy as sifu (master/teacher) and for the Batu Gajah event started rehearsing for it six months earlier. For the twenty days, due to her school and tuition schedule she played extras parts but on the final night she played a main role.
The Hong Kong Factor
According to Choy the Chinese Opera circuit averages 60 to 70 shows each year. Before Batu Gajah the centre had performed for 10 days in Gopeng. Her acceptance of a ‘gig’ depended on whether the price was right as ‘”the actors and actresses need to be paid”. As there many temples in Perak she is kept busy most of the time sometimes going as far afield as Penang and KL. She does draw the line at performing at shopping malls though.
An undisputed draw to the Opera is the participation of Hong Kong actors. One of these is actress Ms Ko Lai, who has been acting for twenty years and whom Choy calls her step sister as she used to act with her during her early days. Ko Lai only performs in Cantonese and mainly in Ipoh. Ko Lai is very popular and her fans follow her performances when she is here.
The event in Batu Gajah included a total of eight actors from Hong Kong. Besides Ko Lai who played the lead female role, she brought along Sung Hung Poh, who played the male main role and up and coming young actor Alan Tam Wang Lun, 19.
It is well known that Chinese Opera is a dying act. Ko Lai knows full well explaining that “if a trade cannot make a living it will die naturally”. However she was full of praise for Choy’s effort to preserve this art by trying to cultivate the young and organizing these events to the enjoyment of Opera enthusiasts. “With the plethora of media entertainment, audiences have more entertainment choices. Nevertheless a good Opera will always attract an audience.”
Undoubtedly praise must be given to the fans. As I waited for the last show to start, I noted vans from Kampar and Tapah laden with fans and family members arriving over an hour before the start of the show.
Opera fans Chan Whai Ping and Nancy Tan must be voted the heroines for driving from Teluk Intan nightly to catch the show just because “this year it is very good”. When I enquired if they were worried for their safety going back after 11pm at night Tan brushed off the suggestion saying the most danger was from the cow in the middle of the road.
With ardent fans like these Choy only needs to maintain the quality of her events for it to gain popularity over time. Quite possibly by then Choy’s centre could perform at a temple in Ipoh where tourists could hop over for a few acts after dinner as one of the “things to see”.
Then, no longer will Chinese opera be a dying art form but like the Phoenix, it will rise from the ashes to become a sought after and much enjoyed entertainment medium.
Meantime children who are interested to act or learn music can contact Peggy Choy at 016 566 6104.
Three years ago, on November 30, 2010, Ipoh Echo highlighted in its editorial about a “haven not yet lost” in reference to one Peter Chan “whose love for Ipoh was second to none.” In spite of “his foreign affiliations he foresaw a demand in luxury condominiums in Ipoh” and set about to build three towers against the backdrop of a pristine tropical jungle with an imposing rock as its centerpiece. Peter Chan’s Haven Lakeside Residence in Tambun is now almost complete with over 90 per cent of apartment units taken up.
Many have underestimated the resolve of this man while some had the audacity to dismiss him as a fake. But as soon as his project began to take shape they went on a witch hunt to put him out to pasture for good.
The ugly side of business rivalry began in earnest. Rumours were being deliberately circulated to deride Peter Chan and his project. “I had so many cancellations. Some were for no apparent reasons other than a nagging spouse who was not in favour of the locality. It’s so frivolous and also discouraging,” he lamented. Peter’s perseverance, fortunately, is his strong point. He remained unshakable.
Every cloud has a silver lining, so goes the oft-quoted proverb. Peter’s silver lining comes in various shapes and sizes, if the shape, size and colour of his awards are anything to go by. Today, after having won 18 national and international awards for his high-rise condominium project, the only one of its kind in Ipoh and, by extension, Perak; Peter Chan can no longer be taken for granted.
Adding to his growing list of awards and, probably the most prestigious and most acclaimed nationwide, is the Property Man of the Year Award. The Malaysian Reserve, a premier business daily, picked thirteen developers to grace its fourth edition of The Malaysian Reserve Property Press Award 2013 held at the glitzy ballroom of the Kuala Lumpur Ritz Carlton on Friday, November 8.
And having bagged this momentous property award, Peter Chan stands tall among the accomplished and the renowned developers in the country. In his acceptance speech, Peter rightly pronounced that the award was a timely recognition and acknowledgement for small-time players like him in the industry. A fine accomplishment for a grossly misunderstood man who had fulfilled a dream despite the staggering odds.
Kudos to you, Peter Chan. You have made Ipoh proud.
Last March, Ipoh Mayor Dato’ Roshidi Hashim, said that the Ipoh City Council (MBI) was hoping to achieve an 80 per cent level of cleanliness in the city by August. It is now November and a public spat is brewing between the residents of Ipoh and MBI, each side is blaming the other and the tussle is most disheartening.
Ipoh is a city which is struggling with its image. Previous nicknames give an insight into its former glory; ‘City of Millionaires … Town That Tin Built … Bougainvillea City’ and presently, ‘The Green, Clean and Developing City’. Many senior citizens will fondly recall the Ipoh of yore, which they claim is nothing like what it is today.
Lately, over-flowing bins, discarded black bin bags, streets littered with refuse, clogged drains, stray dogs rummaging for food and rats are not just an eyesore but a health hazard. No area is spared. Inhabitants of new townships on the outskirts of the city, and the privileged people in the posh residential areas, have grown familiar with the unsightly mess of growing piles of rubbish.
One person may dump a plastic bottle under a tree, or by the road side, and before long the litter assumes a life of its own and grows from a tiny mound to a mountain of muck. Branches from a pruned garden, left by the roadside, will attract more garden waste from elsewhere, until the compost heap stretches along the road.
Uncut grass verges encroach into drains, causing weeds to choke the flow of water, thus increasing the chances of mosquito infestation. Snakes and monitor lizards from unkempt areas have invaded the gardens and homes of readers.
At one time council workers would demand to inspect the gardens of residential homes, and then impose a fine for growing large leaved plants like the crab-clawed heliconias or pitcher plants; these plants had large foliage or flowers which would naturally hold rainwater.
It is frustrating to speak to council officials who refuse to acknowledge that fogging is not as effective as the regular servicing of drains or clearing of rubbish. Piles of rubbish, with empty tins of stagnant water and rotting food which attracts vermin, pose a serious health risk.
Recently, Mayor Roshidi admitted that he was unable to keep the city clean and faulted the residents for the filthy state of the city. He was right to an extent, as residents are partly to be blamed for the state of affair. However, those who pay their assessment rates promptly and are very civic conscious strongly believe they are being short-changed, especially with respect to keeping their city clean.
Irregular rubbish collection will inevitably result in illegal dumping of rubbish. When the city’s rubbish trucks make irregular trips to residential areas, it is not the residents fault. When the rubbish men leave some of the rubbish behind, it is not the fault of the house-owner.
If there are insufficient garbage bins in and around eateries, patrons and food peddlers cannot dispose of their litter properly. If blocked public drains are only cleared after the city council has received repeated calls from irate citizens, the public services cannot be deemed to be efficient.
If small, manageable back-garden bonfires are not permitted, how can people dispose of their garden trimmings? Why doesn’t MBI allocate each home a few large, reusable, heavy-duty garden refuse bags so that each fortnight, garden waste like twigs and grass cuttings can be collected? The council could convert this into compost and sell it back to the public for use in their gardens.
Why doesn’t MBI install more recycling bins in the city centre, and bigger dedicated recycling collection centres in and around Ipoh, for recycling garden waste, discarded furniture, old electrical goods, household waste, used motor oil and old batteries?
Is Ipoh’s rubbish problem because of a shortage of money, an ineffective rubbish programme or incompetent rubbish contractors? Some people wonder if workers are supervised adequately. Are rubbish prone areas adequately monitored? Is enforcement effective?
Are our schoolchildren being taught the importance of cleanliness? Youngsters who are empowered can reach out to their older relatives and educate them. Are there adequate numbers of public education programmes?
Perak Menteri Besar, Dato’ Seri DiRaja Dr Zambry Abd Kadir, wants Perak to be a developed state by 2015. With strict controls and enforcement, developed countries like Japan, Singapore, Switzerland, Germany and Denmark are proud of their recycling efforts and rubbish disposal record.
The problem of rubbish, just like safety, is everyone’s responsibility. Ipohites would like to know how the mayor and his councillors want to resolve the rubbish problem. MBI should consult the public as well as talking to companies which want to secure local government contracts.
Efficient rubbish collection is like baking a cake. You throw in the right ingredients, in the appropriate order and everything will come out alright.
Call it Chaozhou, Teochew, or Teochiew as in the case of the Teochiew Restaurant on Maxwell Road but I drive past it almost daily and the name has caught my eye but like most other restaurants that my eagle foodie eye notices, I don’t dare make a move to try it until my intrepid Foodie frontrunner Ginla Chew has checked it out and decided it is worth reviewing that I venture forth, to eat, to taste and to write.
Such is the case with Restoran Teochiew. In the day, it looks nondescript enough but at night, its a bustling hive of activity as local foodies congregate to eat, drink and make merry in this restaurant with its open space next door.
As is typical, this is a fan-cooled-only space but they do lay on the red table cloths if you call to reserve a table. On the day we went, we were a group of six and my foodie friend Ginla was already there when I arrived with my two guests, one an American from Hong Kong and the other from USA.
We had come here specially for the Steamboat or Hot Pot which ‘legend’ (or what passes as legend in Ipoh, which is word of mouth) has it, is very special and very reasonably priced. This we immediately ordered and it arrived with a steaming tureen of bubbling stock and many plates of goodies to dip into the soup.
Unlike the usual steamboat stock one finds in other steamboat restaurants, this soup is your typical Teochiew one, with preserved mustard greens (Ham Choy), tomatoes and other unknown ingredients. I suspect this stock remains on the stove and is continuously replenished with fresh ingredients, not unlike some Hong Kong chefs who allegedly use the same superior broth that is preserved for decades (according to popular media). I wondered if this restaurant did the same thing but all attempts to get an answer was to no avail.
The ingredients that go into the tangy broth are not your usual off-the-factory-shelf ones. The standard set costing RM40 had nice fresh medium sized prawns in the shell, chicken slices, jelly fish, homemade minced pork scoops, tofu, regular fish balls and unusual meat-stuffed fishballs. These latter ones are very typically Teochiew and not easily available. The ones here were springy with the minced meat inside providing a burst of umami texture when biting into them.
Vegetables were minimal and we decided to order separately, calling for a big helping of watercress which were young and crispy. We could have re-ordered extra portions and make the hotpot our main meal but we chose to try other dishes instead and waited patiently for them to arrive.
Other dishes came rapidly, the Keong Nga Kai or Ginger Chicken was well coated with a generous amount of ginger and had good ‘wok hei’ (pan fire), the chicken tender and juicy. Black vinegar trotters followed, not too sweet or sour and the trotter pieces cooked to the right degree of tenderness.
Mustard greens or Ham Choy came next, well married with roasted pork leg and stewed till tender. We then had the Fried Tofu, crispy morsels of soft tofu served with an interesting garlic, chilli and coriander or Chinese parsley sauce.
The two dishes of distinction had to be the following: the Thai Style ‘Otak Otak’ which was tangy, spicy and full of flavour. Made from mixed seafood, the paste that binds it all together was irresistibly fragrant, hints of Thai basil appearing above the melange of other spices and the coconut milk lending its creaminess to the mixture.
This was followed by pork ribs braised in a whole pumpkin, with peanuts providing texture and dried prawns lending their inimitable aroma, elevating the whole dish to new heights. The pumpkin was sweet, tender and juicy and eaten with the stuffing, I found myself in culinary heaven. Something so basic, simple home cooking raised to divine levels.
We finished the meal with the ‘de rigueur’ noodle dish with on this evening and a specialty of the house, was the Kon Lo Meen or the dried fried noodles. This was done just right, with the usual prawns, egg, and green accompaniments; the noodles dry but well coated.
This is one restaurant I would go back to again, a friendly place where the beer is cold, the food hot and some dishes, divine!
Steamboat Set – RM40
Thai Style Otak Otak – RM25
Honey Ginger Chicken – RM12
Black Vinegar Pork Trotters – RM12
Fried Teochiew Tofu – RM8
Pumpkin Pork Ribs – RM26
Braised Mustard Greens with roasted pork – RM16
10-Q Jalan Tun Abdul Razak (Maxwell Rd)
Tel: 05 506 3299
Business Hours: 10am-2.30pm and 5pm-midnight
Clearwater Sanctuary Golf Resort (CWS) will be undertaking a rebranding exercise 20 years after its inception.
To be undertaken by Gary Player Golf Course Design and Architecture and led by the Grand Slam winner himself, Gary Player and his team of consultants were on hand for the announcement.
CWS CEO Kenny Yap made the announcement to the media together with Player, one of the most successful international golfers who had designed over 300 golf courses since the early ‘80s. According to Yap, the resort, which started in 1992, is a 27-hole golf course and had received an award for ‘Most Scenic Golf Course’ as its fairways caress tranquil lakes of disused mining ponds and is shaded by rows of picturesque rain trees, all providing for a scenic game.
Yap said the upgrading work would start next year. He added that the resort had a natural combination of beautiful blue mountains and natural greens surrounding it and deserved an upgrade which will ultimately provide “world class services both for sports and hospitality”.
The initial priority of the rebranding will be the 18-hole golf course and subsequently will include upgrading the clubhouse, more hotel rooms than presently available and will include villas, bungalows and low-rise condominiums.
Gary Player who described the course as magnificent also “blessed the people that planted the trees”. Player said he would do a total rebuild of the course with consideration given to the members and seniors.
“At 7500 yards it will be longer than Augusta but more playable for the average member. We will use the magnificent beauty of Clearwater’s lakes and put greens and tees on the lake to make it a dream course. The challenge is playability and beauty.”
Player, who described himself as a farmer and a golfer, emphasized that ecological practices would be a priority considering Clearwater’s wetlands and biodiversity. “We respect the environment and won’t over fertilize.”
Yap would not indicate the full cost of the upgrade but said the amount of money to do the upgrade is a challenge and would update the members and golf enthusiasts on a regular basis.