Tag Archives: IpohWorld

Doggedly Determined Doer



Ian AndersonCommander Ian Anderson is no ordinary retiree living the simple quiet life with his Ipoh-born wife Meng Wai in Ipoh Garden. He is an iconoclast who has single-handedly built up an impressive collection of artifacts, memorabilia, photos, videos, tin mining equipment and a tremendous archive of Heritage and Social History on the worldwide web to leave a precious legacy for future generations of Ipohites.

A Scotsman, born in UK a few months before the start of World War II and educated until age 16 at Wimbledon College, Ian had a simple childhood governed by shortages of all kinds, post war restrictions and ration books. He remembers a lot about those days of war and put it simply when he said “No matter how young you are, if terrible things happen they stick in your brain. Forever!” One fun thing he has never forgotten is the celebration for VE (Victory in Europe) Day in May 1945 when at the local street party he won the fancy dress competition dressed as a Chinaman. Could that have been fate taking a hand?

At 16, like most of his classmates, he came out into the wide world with a handful of Cambridge ‘O’ Levels and the need to find a future. For in those days only the top 20 per cent or so could go on to University, everybody else had to find a job, join the armed forces, go to a Technical College or take up an apprenticeship. Ian combined two of these choices by joining the Royal Navy as an Artificer Apprentice and emerged 30 years later as a well travelled and experienced Weapons Engineering Commander.

Early on in this major journey through life he was based in Singapore as a young man and visited Malaya many times, his first visit to Ipoh being in 1962. Returning to Malaysia several times over the following years he seems to have garnered a special feeling for the country and its people, from which Ipoh and Perak benefit today.

Having left the Navy in 1985 Ian worked as a Project Manager in the shipbuilding industry for some five years and when offered a post in Kuala Lumpur he jumped at the chance to rekindle his relationship with the country. After ten years in KL, where apart from the job he took an active part in local charities and organisations, he retired as Managing Director of the British-based company and decided to stay on in Malaysia where he started his own business in partnership with a local friend. At that stage he decided to move to Ipoh to escape the KL traffic jams and escalating prices of accommodation.

Here Ipoh and Perak profited as after a quiet start he was persuaded by a local lady to start saving images and stories about the town he lived in. Thus, thanks to Kinta Properties Group, who provided the funding, Ipoh World Sdn Bhd was born. Consequently since 2004 he has built up a tremendous archive of Heritage and Social History on the ipohWorld website (www.ipohworld.org) as well as a reputation for doggedly driving forward no matter what difficulties get in the way. Today he runs his unique project from an office in Tenby Schools, Ipoh and it is they who now provide all the funding to support his passion. “Without Tenby,” Ian says, “ipohWorld would have died long ago.”

Despite being an engineer by profession who hated history at school, since he has been in Ipoh he has developed a keen interest in our heritage and history and he firmly believes that knowledge of the past is vital for future generations. Thus he is the man behind, not only the ipohWorld website and the very unusual book, “Ipoh My Home Town”, but he has also put on several exhibitions featuring local history, the latest being “A Tin Mining Family” in Falim House, his largest show so far. With free entrance this had entertained more than 12,000 visitors both locals and tourists when it closed on August 11 after a three-month run.

But he is not sitting back on his laurels even now, for he has the burning ambition to see Ipoh have its own permanent heritage gallery as part of the ipohWorld facilities. “This will provide much-needed entertainment for tourists in parallel with enhancing our students’ knowledge of their roots,” he says. He is hopeful that this will happen soon.

Since he moved to Ipoh, Ian, a Permanent Resident, has fully embraced life here, perhaps more so than most of the locals and probably knows his way (shortcuts included) around the city better than most Ipohites! Keeping his finger on the pulse of his adopted home he is often seen traversing around town, with camera in hand.

One high-ranking civil servant once had this to say about Ian, “Here is a man who cares more about Malaysia than most Malaysians.” There is no doubt about that!

SeeFoon Chan-Koppen

Ipoh Echo bags tourism award for Innovative Media Category

Ipoh Echo Bags Tourism Award

Fathol Zaman Bukhari (Ipoh Echo ) receiving the award from MB Dato’ Seri DiRaja Zambry Abd Kadir

The Perak Tourism Award Night 2011 (Malam Anugerah Pelancongan Negeri Perak 2011), held at the Royal Perak Golf Club on the night of Friday, December 30, was a fitting finale to Year 2011. It was organised with much pomp and fanfare befitting its stature. The organisers left no stones unturned to make it a night to remember. It was an occasion to recognise the contributions of those (entitles and individuals) who had actively participated in promoting Perak to the world. On a lighter side, it was another glitzy prelude to Visit Perak Year 2012.

Ian Anderson receiving the award for ipohWorld

Twenty one awards were presented to 18 entities and four individuals. Ipoh Echo with its more than 1 million online hits a month, was one of them having bagged the Innovative Media Category beating two other nominees for the title. The nomination criteria considered were circulation number, visibility and average monthly online visits and hits.

Commander Ian Anderson RN (Rtd), whose blog www.ipohworld.org.my registered an average of 12,500 visits and 290,000 hits per month, was one of the four winners in the Special Award Category (Personality). The other individual winner was Datin Roslina Ooi. Rosalina was recognised for her contributions to the state’s performing arts scene, which were second to none. In the City Hotel Category, Syuen Hotel was adjudged the winner while Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat was declared the best resort. Penangites Khoo Salma Nasution and Abdur-Razzaq Lubis were the surprise winners in the Best Publication Award Category for their numerous books and published materials on Perak.

The glittering event was graced by Menteri Besar Perak, Dato’ Seri DiRaja Zambry Abd Kadir, his wife, Datin Seri DiRaja Sharipah, Executive Councillor for Tourism, Dato’ Hamidah Osman and senior state officials. Popular Malay singer Misha Omar and crooner Hazami entertained the 400-odd audience with a lively rendition of their sentimental favourites. Hazami’s haunting “Sonata Musim Salji”, a Malay cover version of the theme song from the Korean drama, “Winter Sonata” captivated the crowd. Music was provided by Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris’s Kombo Hi-Sound.  Selendang Perak dancers performed an animated routine to usher in the crowd.


Ipoh World – Looking Back to 2010


It is traditional the world over, every January, to look back at the successes and failures of the previous year.  For ipohWorld, Tenby Schools’ in-house history project based on the Internet, 2010 was a good year, particularly with regard to information growth, continuity and an ever increasing audience on our website. As a very small organization, entirely dependent on funding from the school and with only two staff, myself only part-time, we have achieved a great deal. Much of this is due to the efforts of our full time member who remains with us having actually stayed with us for the entire year – the first to do so since we started the project.

For those who are not aware, IpohWorld is an education based, not-for-profit organization established in 2004 to promote awareness and appreciation of Perak, the Silver State of Malaysia and its unique, diverse and rich heritage, with particular focus on Ipoh and Kinta Valley. We provide an information archive in the form of a unique digital image database of heritage and social history in images and words. In addition there is an interactive blog to encourage discussion between our readers.

Looking at 2010, the archive has grown by more than 20% and now contains around 5000 items. In parallel with that the readership has also increased dramatically from 2,004 unique visitors in January to 10,412 in December, an increase of more than 500%. Over the entire year there were 63,229 unique visitors and between them they looked at 436,974 pages giving a “Hit” total of 2,826,710. Now we understand that these figures are a mere “drop in the ocean” when compared to Google or Yahoo, but we believe they are impressive for such a small organisation as ours.

We have also been active socially having met up for a meal with some of our readers on four occasions and most exciting of all provided a community service that has put old friends in touch with each other across the world, found the burial place of a lost Australian great grandfather and proved to an English couple that their parents were married here. The most amazing reunion that we have brokered is of a British couple and their local friends who lost contact more than 50 years ago. They met again in KL on 4 January thanks to IpohWorld.

But what will 2011 bring? Well I can guarantee the archive will increase regularly and the blog will have at least three new entries every week. There is also certain to be a great deal of interaction between us and our readers, but of course the readership numbers will only continue to rise if you, the public join us. It is free, interesting and fun so if you have not done so already then log on to www.ipohworld.org. If you are already a supporter then please tell your friends.

Ian Anderson