Tag Archives: ipoh echo issue 122

Dedicated Fire Fighting Volunteers of Pasir Pinji

Stephen Ng Lai Peng

Members of the Voluntary Fire Fighting Unit of Pasir Pinji are dedicated to saving lives and properties in their densely populated area of largely wooden and zinc houses.

They are drawn from various walks of life, which include young graduates, traders and retirees. Currently there are 55 volunteers including 10 women. Their ages range from 18 to 70.

The fire fighting unit was formed in 1992 following frequent bush fires, which threatened the houses in Pasir Pinji New Village and the surrounding housing estates.

Its formation was initiated by a former president of the Rotary Club of Ipoh, Mr. Chan Swee Yee. Thirty members were trained by the Fire and Rescue Department and given certificates as qualified fire fighters.

The fire fighting unit’s founding chairman, Stephen Ng Lai Peng, said the Fire and Rescue Department have given them a vehicle, including a pump, hoses and tools to carry out their duties. However, the unit is faced with the problem of having to pay for insurance and road-tax for the vehicle.

Another pressing problem is that the volunteers are not insured against injuries sustained while carrying out their duties.

Stephen, a 65-year-old retired headmaster, who was one of the two recipients of the Ipoh Rotary Club’s Pride of Workmanship Award recently, added that over the years they had successfully put out five major fires and many minor ones.

They also train residents on prevention of fire and fire-fighting. The residents are encouraged to keep a fire extinguisher in their houses.

The members are also called on to burn beehives and hornets’ nests and this is done at night. They also carry out routine maintenance work on fire hydrants in Pasir Pinji and surrounding areas.

According to Stephen, posters have been put up in Pasir Pinji to inform the public of their services. Their office is located at 282, Jalan Sultan, Pasir Pinji, but is not permanently manned.

The Government does not give any funding and they have to raise their own funds.

Steven said that the response time after receiving a call is between 5 to 10 minutes depending on the distance. Steven can be contacted at 012-5822007.

The other recipient of the Ipoh Rotary Club’s Pride of Workmanship Award was Tan Swee Kong, chairman of the security unit of Kampong Bercham.

A. Jeyaraj


Ahmad in Dire Straits


Former Ipoh Municipal sweeper, Ahmad Idris, 80, is in dire straits. Indisposed and in poor health, he is confined to his bed at his house in Taman Meru 2C, Jelapang and cared for by his wife, Mariam Putih Nikmat, 71. The couple have three married daughters but they seldom return home to check on their parents. “I can’t blame them, as they have problems of their own,” said Mariam to Ipoh Echo.

Ahmad’s monthly pension can barely see them through. A major portion of it goes to paying his housing loan and buying diapers to keep him dry. Ahmad is diabetic and requires medication which he can ill afford. “I am left with only RM142 after all the deductions,” he declared.

Ahmad’s hard luck story caught the attention of PERMAI (Persatuan Persara Majlis Bandaraya Ipoh) or the Association of Ipoh City Council Retirees. The association, formed in December 1, 2009, looks into the welfare of retired council workers and seeks ways to improve their lot. It currently has over 80 members and operates from a shop lot in Greentown – a gift from the council.

Former mayor and PERMAI President, Dato’ Mohamad Rafiai Moktar, presented Ahmad with groceries, household necessities, boxes of diapers and cash worth over RM1,000 recently. The handing-over ceremony, held at the retiree’s in Taman Meru, was witnessed by association members, medical staff of Ipoh Specialist Hospital, students of Institute of Technology Perak and well-wishers.

The students helped to clean up Ahmad’s house while the medical staff of Ipoh Specialist Hospital attended to his medical needs. Ajimil Hussain Maidin, proprietor of Restaurant D’Niana, gave the retiree a portable-wheel toilet to help ease his suffering.

“The number of retirees keeps increasing every year”, said Rafiai in his opening address. “I hope they’ll become members of the association so we can help one another.” PERMAI’s Tel. & Fax is 05-2410355.



Station Hotel Ipoh


Iconic Moorish architecture Ipoh Railway Station is now bustling with activity since the introduction of the Electric Train Service between Ipoh and Kuala Lumpur.

Quickly becoming the preferred mode of transportation, thousands of commuters pass through the railway station daily and the completion of the dual electric track had resulted in a massive renovation of the platforms, which are now connected with escalators and lifts. However, the old building is yet to be given a facelift by Keretapi Tanah Melayu so as to keep pace with the rest of the development.

A large section of the railway station has been closed for renovation. The question is whether it will include a hotel, such as the well-known old Station Hotel Ipoh?

“In my opinion it is timely and it’s an opportunity for the parties concerned to collaborate and bring the hotel back to its former glory,” said president of Perak Tourism Association, Hj. Mohd Odzman b. Abdul Kadir.

“Station Hotel Ipoh in its heyday was befitting to host dignitaries, corporate leaders and even the Royal families. I remember seeing our first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman staying and dining at the hotel.”

“The proprietor even named one of the rooms as Tunku Abdul Rahman’s room. I have seen the late Raja of Perlis a number of times having his lunch at the hotel with other well-known personalities.”

Mohd. Odzman, who had his wedding reception at the hotel in 1974, said the hotel was renowned for its large rooms, en suite with a cloak room before entering the large bathroom. The restaurant on the ground floor was a fine dining restaurant specializing in good western and Chinese cuisine.

He urged the State Government to play its role by allocating a budget to refurbish the space on the ground floor. It can turn it into a one-stop Tourist Information Centre, souvenir outlets and even a small exhibition centre.

The landscape outside the hotel and garden in front also needs to be improved to match the restored grandeur of the overall facade.



Kellie’s Castle to Be Upgraded


Kellie’s Castle located in Batu Gajah will be given a RM5 million upgrade under the 10th Malaysia Plan allocation. The upgrade plans include an integrated amphitheatre, an English tea garden and a maze.

“The whole upgrade will focus on the surrounding exterior and will not touch Kellie’s Castle”. The upgrade plan was announced by the Secretary General of the Ministry of Tourism Dato’ Dr. Ong Hong Peng when he visited Kellie’s Castle recently with officials from Batu Gajah District Office and the Economic Planning Unit.

Tenders will be called next month and work on the site is scheduled to start in August and expected to be completed between 15-18 months.

The number of visitors to Kellie’s Castle have reflected an increasing trend yearly of 48.4K (2008), 68.1K (2009) and 80K for 2010.

Ong also announced that his Ministry had allocated RM1.7 million for the Lata Kinjang Project and RM600K for Tasek Raban.



Simee Aged Feted


Impiana Hotel Ipoh together with Mayflower, visited the Home for the Aged (CWS), Kg Simee in Ipoh, and feted the residents with goodie bags, lunch and light entertainment from the Impiana’s resident band ‘Mac & Zel’.

More than 60 volunteers turned up and helped in cleaning the home while those with ‘green fingers’ assisted in gardening and landscaping.

Prior to the visit, Mayflower had organised a donation drive at their offices to collect basic necessities and cash. Thus far, Mayflower has managed to raise RM5,631 for the home.

Likewise, Impiana Hotel Ipoh pledged to donate RM3.00 for every room reservation confirmed from May 16 to May 31, 2011.

“We believe we need to help the less fortunate and will continue to give our undying support and help in any possible way”, said Carl Isaac, General Manager.

Public donations are much appreciated. Please contact Ms. Helen Lai at 05-547 3252 or visit the Home for the Aged (CWS) Simee at Jalan Kompleks Sukan, Simee, 31400 Ipoh, Perak.


Wavelight Refractive Suite – First In Asia Launched


Lee Eye Centre (LEC) launched their WAVELIGHT Refractive Suite which is the first commercial suite of its kind in the Asia Pacific Region. Dato’ Dr. Lee Yooi Chyun, Cha


irman of LEC, informed that the suite is the world’s fastest laser vision correction platform for disorders that include short-sightedness, long-sightedness and astigmatism. He added that the advanced technology is a cost-effective and convenient option for those who want to dispense with wearing spectacles and contact lenses and also for those who do not wish to be burdened with repeated corrective procedures.

Medical Director of LEC, Dr. Lee Mun Wai explained that the state-of-the-art suite with the integrated computer network provides a high level of safety when performing laser vision correction. The procedure is quick, less than ten minutes, safe and painless and requires only the use of eye drops as anaesthesia. Visual recovery is very fast and patients will be able to resume normal activities like driving, reading and computer usage within a day or two.

Dato’ Dr. Mah Hang Soon, State Exco member for Health officially launched the suite by unveiling the plaque and signing it.



Shiny Black Gold


I refer to your recent issue 121 and the report about the PSPA production “Shiny Black Gold” therein. Having seen the show I believe your reporter undersold the importance of this production which as their first ever totally in-house production was a very big step for PSPA. As reported, the script was entirely original and written by Datin Rosalina, but the originality went much further than that with a completely new musical score written to match the script and with many of the 50 plus actors never having been on the stage before. The skill with which the original film clips and photographs were blended into the on-stage activities was also very good and enhanced the performance dramatically. PSPA should be heartily congratulated for a job well done.

Your reporter also mentioned the senior citizens, but I believe that more important were the many young people, who not only saw an on-stage musical for the first time in their lives, but also learned a lot about their local history from the ipohWorld team and the Tenby School’s exhibition of antique mining artefacts on display in the theatre foyer. Displayed throughout the show’s run the exhibition linked the reality of our mining history with the show and undoubtedly enhanced the enjoyment for the youngsters who had probably never heard of dulangs or palongs before. This was a very smart move by PSPA and it was welcomed by all who visited it, young and old, including Raja Muda and the Executive Councillors.

Overall therefore, the production incorporating all the elements of history, drama, music, visual effects was a very important step in the life of PSPA and I look forward to Datin Rosalina and her team providing us with more such quality performances in the future.

By the way, I would point out that I am not a member of PSPA.

Ipoh Boleh

What is neck pain?


By Dr. Manuel K. Punnia Raj
Consultant Physical Therapy Rehabilitation

Neck pain refers to pain originating from the cervical spine which comprises of the top seven vertebrae that form your neck. Common conditions producing neck pain are degenerative disc disease, neck strain, neck injury such as in whiplash, herniated disc or a pinched nerve. It may present as pain along the cervical spine, in the head, shoulder pain or referred arm pain, tingling or numbness. Most neck pain can be resolved with good physiotherapy management.


Poor posture is one of the most common reasons so many people suffer from neck pain. This is due to the complicated function of the neck. The neck needs to provide a stable base to support your head, which weighs on average 5kg but also needs to be very flexible in order to move your head in different directions through a large range of movement.

The neck is controlled by a number of muscles which co-ordinate all of its movements. When these muscles are working correctly the neck is well supported and under normal load. However, problems arise when the neck is placed under abnormal load through posture, computer work, inadequate pillow support or injury. This often creates pain through excessive pressure being placed on the joints and muscles in the neck.

Muscle Imbalance

If this load is excessive, such as in a whiplash injury or sustained over a long period of time such as with computer work or poor posture, it creates an imbalance of the muscles in the neck. As a result, some muscles become weak and underused and others become tight and overused, often creating pain in the process. This imbalance cannot simply be corrected through correcting your posture but needs specific physiotherapy assessment and treatment to help return the neck to its normal function.

Other common causes of neck pain are arthritis, stress and tension, and sporting injuries. These conditions all respond well to physiotherapy management.

Physiotherapy Management

A comprehensive approach in treating neck pain gets great results from both acute and more chronic neck conditions. Physiotherapy can help you to become pain-free and a follow-up programme will prevent reoccurrence. These include a mixture of techniques and modalities, such as ultrasound and electrotherapy to relax muscles and reduce muscular spasm, soft tissue/joint mobilizations and manipulations, including manual traction to restore cervical movements.

  • Pain relief techniques using electrotherapy devices
  • Joint mobilisation/manipulation
  • Strengthening and stretching exercises
  • Ergonomic and Postural care
  • Postural analysis and posture retraining
  • Spinal mobilizations / stretches
  • Myofascial release of the tight neck and shoulder muscles
  • Strengthening exercises for the neck, shoulder blades, rotator cuff and upper back muscles
  • Teaching of self release techniques

For more Information on Physical Health Contact your right health partner: PHYSIO BEYOND – The Physical Rehabilitation Specialist at 05-5478786.

Preserving Old Town (Update)


In our March 1 issue of Ipoh Echo 116 under the title “Preserving Old Town” we reported on a group of individuals who purchased a prime heritage property in Old Town with the intention of preserving it for the next generation.

Well the group has already started with its upgrade beginning with the lane and the Dramatist Hostel.

The Dramatist Hostel is a 3-storey building. The ground floor houses Kong Heng while the 2nd and 3rd floors were used by the students of the hostel. Currently the 2nd floor is used for boarding by Kong Heng workers while the 3rd floor is an open floor which was presumably used for drama rehearsals. Behind Kong Heng was the hostel’s kitchen.

As at the beginning of May the lane shared by coffee shops Kong Heng and Thean Chun has been resurfaced with a brick pavement and its drains covered except at intermittent intervals all the way from Jalan Sultan Yussuf (Belfield Street) to Jalan Bandar Timah (Leech Street)

Behind Kong Heng a 2-storey building has been built over the old kitchen which is an extension for the 2-storey hostel. The original kitchen has been preserved and still retains its façade.

Ipoh Echo met with one of the owners of the property, Ng Sek San over lunch at Kong Heng.

Sek San, a landscape architect based in KL, explained that he planned to green the lane with suitable trees and wall creeping plants.

As for the 2-storey extension at the back, he indicated that the 1st floor could be used as a multi-purpose hostel while the top floor as a single suite but quickly added “nothing is firm just yet”.

The renovation work is scheduled to take six months. Hence when I requested to view his plans he promptly replied “no point, it keeps changing”.

Undoubtedly it is most assuring to note that there are people passionate enough to walk the heritage talk.

Sek San has a website highlighting his work which can be viewed at http://www.seksan.com.