Council Insensitive to Complaints


While at a bank near Ipoh Padang recently, I came across the Ipoh Heritage Trail plaque detailing the background of the iconic Padang. It must have been newly installed judging from its freshness. There are three other plaques nearby. They certainly look impressive but are lacking in everything conceivable.

Foremost, the information is woefully inadequate. There are too many grammatical mistakes, empty spaces, spelling errors and unprinted letters in a word. Obviously, it was a hurried job done with little or no supervision and without any reference to historical facts.

Ipoh Padang, incidentally, was a gift by the Chinese community who contributed over RM43,000 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1898 (Perak Post Cards 1890s – 1940s).

Ipoh City Council should have done its homework before making the plaques. And since they are engraved on stones, the cost must have been astronomical. Why can’t the Council engage those in the know rather than some amateurs to do the job? The Council has the means to engage the right people but prefers to do things its own way.

By the way, what is the rationale in mentioning Royal Ipoh Club’s and St Michael Institution’s roles during the Japanese Occupation on the Ipoh Padang plaque? There is simply no connection.

Don’t repeat what is found on the stone walls of Dataran KTM. Till today no efforts are being taken to correct the written English. Complaints and comments seem to fall on deaf ears. Ipoh City Council won the coveted 2013 Perak Tourism Award under the Innovative Local Authority Category. Let’s see how innovative they are in correcting these mistakes.

While I was reading the plaque in front of the TNB office in Old Town, two British tourists stood by looking confused. I related to them the historical significance of the building and its link to the city. Fortunately, I was around to explain. What about those who never had the opportunity?

Is Ipoh really ready for Visit Malaysia Year 2014? I doubt it.


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