We refer to “Appalling Lack of Management at RPGC”, a letter from Priya Vivek which you published in your Issue 146.
We regret the trauma that Priya Vivek and family had to endure when the lift at the Royal Perak Golf Club malfunctioned and their inability to secure any form of assistance from the management of the Club. We can empathise with her; thus, we understand her anger.
We wish to make clear to your readers that we at Barossa Fine Dining Restaurant had rendered all assistance that we could. We are merely tenants of the Club and we too face similar problems when club facilities malfunction for we are also unable to seek emergency assistance. We did not run down or run anywhere else because we know that the receptionist will also be trying to reach the management which we had alerted through the proper channel. We were never invited to participate in any safety courses conducted by the management of the building so being ignorant of the Club’s safety procedures we felt that it was best that we left it to the Club’s management. Rather than being heard running around not knowing what to do but merely appearing to be doing something, is wrong. In emergencies, people who are not experts should best not stand too near, offering unsound advice and uttering polite nothingness. Being tenants we feel that we had done all we could. Unlike members of the club we would not dare to force open the lift doors for fear of being held responsible for damages or maybe even escalating the problem. We are not trained lift technicians.
Being trained restaurateurs we appreciated that after their rescue, Priya Vivek and her family patronised our establishment, and we did what we are trained to do. We served them well and to calm their frayed nerves we offered them free flow of our house red. We hope that Priya Vivek and her family will not let the incident affect them too badly and that they will recover from their traumatic experience.
We look forward to seeing the RPGC put into place a working structure to deal with emergencies.
On Sunday June 17, my family and I went to Barossa Fine Dining Restaurant located at the Perak Royal Golf Club at Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah to celebrate Father’s Day.
All five of us, including a 2-year-old child, entered the lift located at the ground floor when suddenly the lift jolted and stopped abruptly.
We pressed the alarm frantically but there was no response nor help coming through. It was fortunate that I had the Barossa Restaurant’s number. I called and the person who answered the call seemed not to understand the situation or simply could not understand basic English. She said she did not have the receptionist’s number and would try to pass the message as they were busy attending to their customers in the restaurant.
We waited 20 minutes but there was no sign of any footsteps rushing nor any voices to be heard. My mother, a 67-year-old woman fainted as she could not stand the stuffiness and the lack of ventilation in the lift. My father also started to show some signs of fainting as he had just undergone his angioplasty; as did my two year old niece who started to fidget and was showing some signs of fainting as well. Luckily, my younger brother, who is a doctor, managed to navigate the situation as well as he could.
I started frantically pressing the bell again and called up the restaurant to know if help was coming. After several rings, the same person, who happens to be the restaurant manager said she had already sent someone to alert the receptionist and ask her to call the maintenance person. The ridiculous thing is, she did not even bother to call back or to rush down, which is only one flight of stairs; or at least send someone down to check on the situation. Talk about a lack of humanitarian feeling! Eventually, my father who was feeling breathless called up and she gave the maintenance person’s number. My dad called and he said that he was outside and will be there shortly.
We were trapped for 45 minutes and it was starting to get hotter and stuffier inside the cubicle. The maintenance guy never came and after much banging on the lift doors, we managed to get the attention of some patrons who coincidentally were heading to the restaurant. I think they alerted the security guard and they came and managed to pry open the lift doors. We were, to be exact, stuck in the lift for almost an hour. We carried my mom out to the lounge and gave her a glass of water as well as a plastic bag in case she threw up.
The maintenance officer did not bother to come out of her office nor to inquire about the incident. The receptionist said that she went out. I am amazed actually to know that such a prestigious place, frequented by diplomats and VIPs, they have shoddy maintenance services and a complete lack of management ethics. To date there has been no apology whatsoever.
A friend of my dad who happens to be a member of the club as well as a prominent lawyer, came over there to celebrate Father’s Day as well. He was shocked to hear of the near fatality and immediately got a complaint form filled out.
I shudder to think of the consequences and the manner in which the situation was dealt with. I don’t think I will ever recommend the Royal Perak Golf Club to anyone as I fear that they might have more deaths compared to members.
Perak may not be a big golfing state like Selangor and Penang where the number of courses and clubs per capita is staggering. At last count there are 10 golf clubs in the state ranging in size from the tiny 9-hole to the behemoth 27-hole clubs. The 9-hole clubs are vestiges of the colonial era.
The first golf club in the country was established in Taiping in 1894. The club’s fairways, which once straddled the scenic Lake Gardens, are now defunct. Decommissioned in 1992, for reasons of safety, the course has been replaced by a newer 18-hole club at Bukit Jana, Kamunting.
Most of the bigger clubs come with very challenging 72-par courses where PGA-sanctioned tournaments are held regularly. Clearwater Sanctuary Golf Resort in Batu Gajah has often been regarded as the best golf course by golfing magazines. We will feature five premier golf courses in the state in this issue.
The month of May has started and ended with a bang, literally. It began with the debut Match Racing Circuit in Lumut on May 11. The circuit has been recognised as one of the four boat races in the build up to the Monsoon Cup in Terengganu in November. It will be a permanent fixture in the state sport calendar forthwith.
Another sporting event of equal significance is the Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey Tournament which will end on June 3. The tournament has brought six leading hockey nations to our shores. Although Malaysia is not among the top ten teams in the world, our squad, a mixed bag of youthful and seasoned campaigners, proved itself to be worthy opponents to the delight of its adoring fans.
Insofar as Visit Perak Year 2012 is concerned, let me remind the sceptical ones that it is right on track. In the course of the month my staff and I have made efforts to keep it on course by a number of initiatives. One such attempt is to make ambassadors out of taxi drivers. It is no mean task considering the attitude of taxi drivers. But however difficult they may be they can be changed, provided a sustained effort is made. In this respect, I wish to thank the Perak Tourist Guides’ Association for walking the extra mile.
The tourism industry in Perak does not thrive on the deeds of a single individual. It is a collective effort which requires everyone in the industry. Therefore, I ask all those in the industry to lend me your hands to make VPY 2012 a success.
We are now into the sixth month of Visit Perak Year 2012. More activities are in the pipeline to ensure that the year-long programme meets its targets. Chinese tourist arrivals, incidentally, have increased. This is made possible by the emergence of an entity that offers itself in the service of these visitors. I wish to thank Mega Dynasty for making this a reality.
The emphasis in this instalment of Perak Tourism News is on golf clubs. There are 14 golf clubs in Perak, some big and some small. Golf tourism was a huge money-spinner in the 90s and the early 2000s. It is not yet a sunset industry, as the potentials are still there. This issue of the tourism newsletter looks into the services provided by five big names in Perak.
Royal Perak Golf Club
The club offers a championship18-hole golf course.
Overall the course appears flat and easy but therein lies the challenge. It is the oldest 18-hole golf course in the state with undulating fairways, matured trees and unpredictable greens.
One of its signature holes the 14th hole par 4 index 2 appears friendly. However, the approach to the green is surrounded by 2 bunkers, a stream to the left and a pond to the right. Most ‘friendly’ indeed.
As you play your round take note of the surrounding limestone hills on the horizon. Walk in green fees for weekdays is RM180 and RM250 for weekends. For info call 605-5423266 or visit www.royalperak.com.my.
Meru Valley Golf and Country Club
The Meru Valley Golf and Country Club is located at the foothills of the Kledang-Saiong Mountain Range a mere 10-minute drive from Ipoh City.
It is also a resort with resort homes surrounding its international 27 holes championship course with each nine having its own signature hole.
The course has been meticulously sculpted alongside the natural landscape and as such its fairways feature gentle rolling terrain and winding clear water creeks along the valley lakes and trees.
Being a resort, the Club offers stay and play packages at its fully furnished serviced apartments suitable for golfers who love their early morning round of golf. For more infomation call 605-5293333 or visit www.meruvalley.com.my.
Clearwater Sanctuary Golf Resort
The Clearwater Sanctuary Golf Resort located south of Ipoh City is a 27 holes golf course created around disused mining ponds.
These disused ponds are a legacy left behind from the days when the Kinta Valley in which Ipoh is located was once the largest producer of tin in the world.
The three nines are appropriately named the Raintree, Lakes and Wetlands Nine as the fairways are lined with picturesque rows of shady rain trees and tranquil lakes which make for a very scenic game.
Not surprisingly then that the Resort has received an award for ‘Most Scenic Golf Course’. Stay and Play packages are available. For details call 605-3667433 or visit www.cwsgolf.com.my.
Damai Laut Golf and Country Club
The award winning 18-hole par 72 championship buggy-tracked golf course is located at Lumut against a tropical landscape with nine holes overlooking the Straits of Malacca and the other nine the estuaries of the Dinding River.
It was awarded the Best Resort Course in Malaysia and its signature 15th hole was awarded the 2nd Most Scenic Hole in Malaysia.
The course was designed such that every hole has an individual character while every green is designed to enhance the breathtaking view of the resort.
Coupled with descending fairways, native trees and side hill lies a golfer will need to apply a diversity of shots to complete the 6,255-metre course.
Damai Laut Golf & Country Club is open Tuesdays through Sundays. Call (605) 6843333 or visit: www.swissgarden.com. Stay and play packages are available.
Taiping Golf Resort
Taiping Golf Resort located at the foothills of Bukit Jana at Taiping is an 18 holes championship golf course which boasts 6 signature holes all of which are both interesting and challenging.
For instance their 1st hole index 1 par 5 requires the player to tee off over a 160-metre pond before the fairway. Similarly their 18th hole par 5 index 2 has a 60-metre pond to carry to a landing guarded by water and an OB line then onwards via a dog leg to the elevated green.
Alternatively their short par 4 index 13 6th hole is a straight forward drive but a player would be advised to practice course management to negotiate their 8-foot Emkay Bunker guarding the green. The Resort offers competitively priced stays and play golf packages.
For information contact Tel: 05-8836700 or www.taipinggolfresort.com.
The Royal Perak Golf Club organised its inaugural Ladies Open Amateur Golf Championship recently. The event which attracted 89 entrants from over 20 clubs throughout the country also had four international entrants from Bandung Indonesia, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Switzerland.
The winner of the event was Asha Krishnan (Malaysian Ladies Golf Association/ Royal Johore Country Club). Second place was June Yap (Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club) and third, Nurul Shima (Kinta Golf Club).
Winner Asha, 16, from Johore is a Sec 4 student with Methodist Girls School Singapore. She described the course as “OK, the fairways narrow and the greens fast”. Her ambition is to play the LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association).
According to Royal Perak Golf Club Ladies Golf Representative Mardianah Yusuf, the competition was very friendly with over 80% of the competitors being seniors while the youngest contestant was 10 year old Ally Yee Jung-Ya (Royal Perak Golf Club).