Tag Archives: Featured

From Vienna to Broadway


From Vienna To Broadway1

The PSPA Singers made their debut with a repertoire of arias in their musical presentation entitled “Voices from Vienna to Broadway” at Tandoor Grill Restaurant in Ipoh recently. Along with three prominent singers from Thailand, Sirikhwan Buathong (soprano), Thanis Sonkloe (baritone) and Salith Dechsangworn (tenor), the singers gave a rousing performance, not only through their vocal prowess but also facial expressions.

Led by music director Marianne Poh, who is herself a soprano, the show had an interesting programme, with the first half consisting of Mozart’s well-known operas, Don Giovanni and Cosi Fan Tutte, and the second half, a selection of evergreen musicals from The Sound of Music to Miss Saigon and Les Miserables.

The first half began with a solo presentation, kicked off by Marianna Poh’s rendition of L’amour est un oiseau rebelle (Love is a rebellious bird) from the 1875 opera Carmen by Georges Bizet. Then, Thai baritone, Thanis Sonkloe, took to the stage with Mozart’s Deh, vieni alla finestra from the opera, Don Giovanni.

From Vienna To Broadway2

The second part of the first half was arias from Mozart’s Don Giovanni. First was Giovinette, which was a scene at the wedding party for Zerlina and Masetto. This was followed by Là ci darem la mano where Don Giovanni, the philandering Count, tried to seduce his housemaid, Zerlina. The last aria, Eh via, buffone wrapped up the second part.

In the third part, Così fan tutte, two sisters, one blonde, and the other a brunette, discussed the men of their choice. It ended with the women sending their men to the army.

The second half of the presentation was on musicals through the ages from light to the serious, beginning with The Sound of Music from 1959. The selection of songs included Edelweiss, My Favourite Things and Do-Re-Mi.

Tracks from Miss Saigon were Sun and Moon and Last Night of the World while those from Les Miserables included I Dreamed a Dream and One Day More.

The audience asked for an encore and to their delight was awarded with not one but two additional pieces; local hit Belaian Jiwa and African hymn Siyahamba.


Mayor Bids Farewell


Mayor Bids Farewell

Ipoh City Council honoured media representatives with a dinner on Friday, November 22. The event, held at newly opened Symphony Suites along Jalan Gopeng, Ipoh, was attended by over 200 reporters, photographers and staff of news agencies in Ipoh.

It was a fitting occasion for all as the dinner was also to honour the mayor, Dato’ Roshidi Hashim, who will retire on January 2, 2014 after having helmed the Ipoh City Council for over five years.

Colour and pomp were deliberately added by the organisers led by the Council’s Public Relations Officer, Mohd Shahrizal, who insisted that attendees turn up in their most glamorous outfits to match the occasion.

The Academy Award lookalike event was accentuated with a pre-dinner red carpet welcome complete with a brief interview session at the foyer of the hotel.

Fathol Zaman Bukhari of Ipoh Echo spoke on behalf of the media representatives, as a prelude to the welcoming speech by the mayor. Roshidi was visibly moved by the overwhelming response, as most of the reporters were well acquainted with this affable man. He recounted his experiences helming the Council during his tenure as mayor and how the media had played a pivotal role in relaying his messages to Ipohites.

“I am truly indebted to you all,” he said. “For without you where would I be?” It struck a chord with the audience who gave the mayor a rousing applause for his honesty.

The dinner ended at almost midnight after prizes and gifts were given away.


Coronation Cup Race 2014



Coronation Cup Race 2014

Representatives from 43 charity and non-governmental organisations received cheques from the Perak Turf Club following the completion of the Coronation Cup Race on Sunday, November 24, the fourth day of the Ipoh meet.

Amounting to a total of RM197,000, the biggest beneficiary was Persatuan Pemulihan Sultan Azlan Shah with RM10,000. Others included Perak Society for the Promotion of Mental Health, Noah’s Ark and Vision Home. The donations were part of the Club’s tradition of reaching out to the poor and the needy in Perak.

Besides financially assisting charitable and non-governmental organisations in Perak, the Club also responds to disasters at home and abroad. It too lends a helping hand to deserving individuals who walk or write in to the Club.

The Coronation Cup Race was passionately cheered on by hundreds of avid horse-racing fans. It was won by horse No. 7, Taichi Master, ridden by Jose de Souza and trained by Richard Victor Lines. Taichi Master is owned by Tivic Stable.

Coronation Cup Race 2014

The Coronation Cup is the most prestigious annual classic race for Class 1 Malaysian thoroughbreds. It carries the Club’s largest purse of RM700,000 along with a golden challenge trophy.

Run over a long course of 1600 metres, it is open to horses aged three and older. The race was inaugurated in 1985 to commemorate the installation of HRH Sultan Azlan Shah as the Sultan of Perak.


Closing of The Year of Faith

Bishop Sebastian Francis closing the Year of Faith

Perak’s Deanery which is made up of twelve parishes in the state congregated on the grounds of OMPH Church Ipoh Garden to celebrate the Closing of the Year of Faith on Sunday November 24, the last Sunday of the catholic calendar before advent, the Christmas season.

Priests (above) and Altar Servers from the various Parishes

Bishop Sebastian Francis con-celebrated the mass together with priests and 5000 parishioners from the twelve parishes. During the celebration 230 children received their first Holy Communion.


The Closing of the Year of Faith which was celebrated globally was started on October 11, 2012. It is a call to Catholics to study and reflect on the documents of Vatican II and the catechism so that they may deepen their knowledge of the faith.

Bishop Francis in his homily announced that the year of faith for his diocese was a success as the number of catechumens being baptized had doubled compared to previous years.

faith 1a

Francis, read the message from the Pope which said that “upon entering the door of faith take the next step into The Light of Faith which is capable of illuminating every aspect of human existence.” He added that the theme for 2014 is “Discipleship: Called, Chosen, Sent”.


The parishioners, consisting of Chinese, Indians, Orang  Asli and East Malaysians, made up the congregation and the mass was conducted in four languages. The offertory was led by the different ethnic groups who were dressed in their own cultural attire.

Sign language

Interestingly, with all the different ethnic groups and languages, Bishop Francis added another language, sign language, when he led the congregation in prayer.

The theme for 2014 “Discipleship: Called, Chosen, Sent”.


Annual Coronation Gala Dinner


Perak Turf Club

The annual Coronation Gala Dinner, one of the most glittering and glamorous functions organised by the Perak Turf Club (PTC) in conjunction with the Coronation Cup race meeting, was held at the Grand Ballroom of Syuen Hotel on Friday, November  22.

It was held in honour of HRH Sultan Azlan Shah,  on the occasion of the 28th anniversary celebration of his installation as the Sultan of Perak.

Some one thousand invited guests, from the diplomatic service, high court judges, heads of government departments, business entrepreneurs, and those from the racing fraternity,  such as officials, owners and jockeys from Malaysia and abroad attended the dinner.

Chairman of Perak Turf Club, Tan Sri V. Jeyaratnam, in his speech, reminded guests of the Club’s tradition of donating for the betterment of the needy and the impoverished in Perak. “We’re quick to respond to national and world disasters and will donate generously as it’s part of our corporate social responsibility.”

Guests were entertained by a series of performances during the dinner. Wowing them were Malaysia’s very own Anita Mui who belted out popular Cantonese numbers from the 1980s, Bollywood talents Mast Millennium Dancers and top amateur Latin dance couple from Russia, Alexander Andreichev and Kristina Nikitorova, who kept the audience spell-bound.


Ridding Streets of Vagrants


Ridding Streets of Vagrants

Ridding Streets of Vagrants Ridding Streets of VagrantsSome 43 drifters were rounded up during an operation to rid the streets of Ipoh of vagrants on the night of Wednesday, November 20. Of the number, ten were tested positive for drug abuse.

The operation was mounted by Ipoh City Council Enforcement Division and aided by personnel from the Ipoh Police District, Immigration Department, National Registration Department, National Anti-Drug Agency and the State Welfare Department. In all, over a hundred personnel were involved.

Leading the joint-team was Dato’ Rusnah Kassim, the Executive Councillor for Women’s Development, Family, Welfare and National Integration. They combed the streets, back lanes and areas of the city which are havens for vagrants, the destitute, homeless beggars and drug addicts.

The drifters are mostly found in and around the wet market where Super Kinta is. Here, activities of illegal parking attendants are rife. Their other favourite haunts are Jalan Dato Tahwil Azhar where the night market (Gerbang Malam) is located, Jalan Mustapha Al-Bakri, Jalan Theatre and the Kinta Height flats.

Ridding Streets of Vagrants

“Some of them make as much as RM150 a day collecting illegal parking fees from motorists. It’s a form of extortion, as motorists who don’t pay up may have their cars scratched,” said Rusnah to reporters who were covering the operation.

Part of the state government’s rehabilitation programme is to relocate these destitutes so they do not become a public menace. “The homeless will be sent to welfare homes while the able bodied will be sent to Mersing, Johor for skill training,” Rusnah added.

The operation ended at around 1.30 the following morning. It will be continued from time to time depending on the need.


“Nasi Ganja” Outlet Reopens



Mari-mari makan Nasi Ayam Masak Merah

Restoran Nasi Ayam Masak Merah, popularly referred to as “Nasi Ganja”, at Jalan Yang Kalsom, Ipoh reopened for business on Monday, November 18, three days after a close-down order for “preparing food in an unhygienic environment”.

The outlet was ordered to close for two weeks by the Kinta District Health Department following a joint operation with Ipoh City Council, the Perak Domestic Trade, Cooperative and Consumerism Department and the Perak Immigration Department on Thursday, November 14.

Mohd Nihmatullah (left) abided by all the Health Department requirements.

Restaurant manager, Mohd Nihmatullah Syed Mustafa, said he had immediately complied with the close-down order. Officials from the district health department returned on Sunday, November 17 for an inspection and, having found that conditions imposed were met, gave their approval for a reopening.

State Health Director, Dato’ Dr Nordiyanah bt Hj Hassan, when contacted said that so long as the outlet complied with all requirements it could reopen straight away.

The long queue was ‘conspicuously’ missing

According to Nihmatullah, the owner cleaned up the kitchen and abided by other health requirements, which included installing a new refrigerator. The overall cost was about RM10, 000.

During lunchtime on re-opening day, Monday, November 18, the long queue was conspicuously missing. Despite this, the restaurant was packed. Unlike before, it was a lot easier to find a seat.


Nihmatullah said that business was 40 percent below usual but he was happy, as many of his regular customers were present. “It’ll take sometime for normalcy to return,” he added.

Ang Kuang Ngiap, the proprietor of Yong Suan Coffee Shop, was glad that the whole episode was over. “The nasi kandar outlet has been with the shop since we started business in 1959 and when it was ordered to close we have to close too.”

Regular customer for 20 years,  Lee (2nd from right) with friends. “we will keep coming”

Mr Lee, a regular customer, said, “My friends and I have been eating at this restaurant for over 20 years. We’ll keep coming no matter what happened.”



Shade for Railway Garden


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.

Mayor Roshidi plants a tree
Mayor Roshidi plants a tree

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.

Students and teachers from SMK ACS assisted to plant the trees.

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.

rail 1

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.



Charity Ballet: Alice In Wonderland


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.

Making Wishes Come True. Alice in Wonderland


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 Characters (l-r) The Queen, Alice, Mad Hatter and White Rabbit.

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.