Tag Archives: ipoh echo issue 123

Library for Orphans


Lost World of Tambun furnished the library of Dar’us Salam Orphanage in Tambun with tables, chairs, racks, shelves, air conditioners, carpets, bicycles, computers and broadband service worth a total of over RM50,000 in all. The money was a gift from staff of the theme park sourced from the sale of recycled bags. It was part of the initiative to give back to the underprivileged through education said Calvin Ho, the General Manager to Ipoh Echo. Calvin was at the Tambun orphanage recently to hand over the items on behalf of the Lost World of Tambun.


Toastmasters Can Help


“EQ (Emotional Intelligence) proves to be twice as important as those other qualities for jobs at all levels.”

Since 1924, more then 8 million people around the world have become confident speakers and leaders because of their participation in Toastmasters. Toastmasters is a worldwide leader in communication and leadership development with a membership of 2.5 million.

Ipoh has two active Toastmasters Clubs and one Gavel club and membership offers solutions to improve EQ in learning by doing!

As a special initiative, the club is running a new awareness campaign called ‘Education beyond the classroom’ targeted at students, aged 18-25 who study in institutes of higher learning.

YMCA of Ipoh TM Club meets every 2nd & 4th Wednesday, contact Mr. Huan Chee Giap at 012-5581012 or email:  hcgiap@gmail.com.

Ipoh Toastmasters Club meets every 1st & 3rd Tuesday, contact Mr. Gnana at 012-5162102 or email: karmun0901@hotmail.com.

How Tambun Got Its Name


Sometime around circa 1885, a local Malay chieftain by the name of Tok Panjang Osman (Tok Noman) was given permission by the Sultan to mine for tin in the Ulu Kenta (Hulu Kinta) region. Mining activities soon began at the foot of Gunung Layang Layang.

The majority of Tok Noman’s workers were Orang Aslis from the aboriginal settlements nearby. The aborigines were the workers of choice before the introduction of Chinese labourers in Kinta Valley by the British colonials in the 1890s.

The habit of these Orang Asli workers who liked to “tambun” (heap) the ore they mined at a peculiar spot or spots prompted Tok Noman to name his tin mine as “Tambun Hulu”. That was how Tambun got its name. The spot(s) where the workers heaped the tin is where Bandar Baru Putra is today.

From Tambun Hulu, Tok Noman moved his mining activities to Tambun Tengah (5th milestone Tambun-Tg Rambutan Road) and then to Tambun Hilir, where Tambun Town is now located.

Two of Tambun’s famous landmarks, the police station and the mosque were built in 1905 and 1910, respectively. Tambun was originally known as Kampung Rotan Segar.


New Market


Tanjung Rambutan’s long suffering residents will soon enjoy the comfort of a new wet market which will replace the old and over-used market currently in operation. Works on the new market and its enjoining food court will commence either in July or August of this year.

The project, estimated at RM5.8 million, will take over a year to complete and will be opened to the public in 2013.

“Funds are being provided by the Ministry of Housing and Local Government,” said Mayor Roshidi Hashim to reporters when receiving a memorandum by representatives of the Tanjung Rambutan wet market traders at the council building recently.

The new structure, said Roshidi could accommodate all traders. “It’ll have 232 trading lots and ample parking bays for cars, lorries and motorcycles.” The market will be a welcome sight for Tanjung Rambutan, long regarded as a remote suburb of Ipoh due to its distance from the city centre.


How to Choose Your Interior Designer?


By Lynn Marie Eunisius & Naveen Sundra, Design Directors of NL Innovations

Interior Designers are creating an “Echo” in Ipoh nowadays. However, choosing the right Interior Designer is important. Here are the key issues to think through and apply when you are choosing between candidates for interior design and renovation.

“Help me see what I actually want.” Designers should have the ability to listen to your concerns about building your business look or making your family or guests welcome and comfortable in your new home. Pick who can help you picture what you’re looking for and share your vision. This is where the Designer’s portfolio and their consultation are important. You may choose them because you want something similar to their work they’ve done or because they responded best to your need during your consultation.

“I don’t know anything about design.” Have them explain the steps and stages. If they disagree with your ideas or your input, ask them why. But in the end, the final decision should reflect your choice. This is why a contract is important. A contract protects your interests as a client in receiving work that meets your specific scope and terms.

“Where is the value for your pricing?” Get explanations of what value you get from their services. Price isn’t the only measure that matters. They must clearly show why their services are better than their competitors for the outcome you seek. Their pricing should be in line with their creativity and the practical work they take on to build, install and deliver the changes you are making. This is where their relevance to your benefit kicks in. They should explain the benefits of their work in terms that are relevant to your life, values, and situation. Maybe through 3D designs, layout plans, etc.

“I need to be able to talk to you.” See if they check in with you. Follow up with you. If they go the extra mile to resolve small issues before they become big ones. You need to get along in a friendly way. Yet you should look for a ‘good vibe’; some affinity between the both of you. If you like each other, this will emerge in the work you take on together. If you don’t like each other, that will almost certainly cause problems.

“You can make a great choice even if you may not think like a designer!” Everyone has the ability to choose wisely and choose well. Check their website or portfolio to see the type of clients they have and the quality that they use.

You are the Main Designer of your residence or company, then comes the Interior Designer!

For free consultation and quotation, please call NL Innovations at 012-5506611 or visit us at www.NLinnovations.com.

Your Lifestyle, Our Creation… Happy Designing!

Perak Choral Festival



Heidelberg Choir during their performance

The Perak Choral Festival, organised by the Perak Society for Performing Arts, was held in conjunction with the Perak Performing Arts Festival 2011 on June 18. It was designed to provide an essence of the choral art to Ipohites.

The 3-day event, started off with a workshop conducted by renowned choir instructors, Susanna Saw and Tracy Wong. Over a hundred participants from various schools in Perak were shown the finer aspects of choral training. Susanna, the musical director of the Young Choral Academy in Kuala Lumpur, brought several young members of her academy to help her out.

The second day performances by choirs from Ave Marie Convent, Tarcisian Convent, Perak Girls’ School and SMK Sam Tet caught the imagination of the audience who packed the Perak Girls’ School Hall. Guest appearances by the Kuala Lumpur Children Choir, the M.I.A Ladies Chorus and the exciting quartet of Caipifruta were well received.

The third day, June 20, was a fitting finale to the festival, as Ipohites were presented with the world famous “Heidelberger Jugenchor” all the way from Germany. The group of 40 singers kept the audience at the Syuen Hotel banquet hall enthralled with its immaculate selection of songs, ranging from classic to contemporary. The highlight of the evening was the joint effort by the German choir and its SMJK Sam Tet counterpart. Their rendition of popular Malay and German songs captivated the audience and had them humming along.

The Perak Choral Festival was a huge success. It will be an exciting prelude to the Perak Dance Festival slated for July 1 and 2.


Prodigal Son’s Return Set To Make Waves


By See Foon Chan-Koppen

Perhaps it is no coincidence that the Lee Eye Centre’s newly acquired Wavelight Refractive Suite, a state-of-the-art laser vision-correction platform and the first of its kind in Asia, is putting Ipoh on the map for eye care and vision correction. The person behind this move has been quietly making waves (forgive the pun) in the ophthalmology scene since his return to Perak two years ago.

Dr. Lee Mun Wai, scion of renowned Dato’ Dr. Lee Yooi Chyun who started the Lee Eye Centre 37 years ago, has come home to roost and is bringing his expertise in retinal surgery to the people of Perak. As the only Fellowship-trained retinal surgeon in Perak, Dr. Lee has gone to great lengths to acquire his expertise in this very specialised area of eye care.

His medical training has been long and arduous, graduating from the University of Manchester with an MBchB in 1998, accepted by the Royal college of Ophthalmologists, UK with an MRCOpth in 2003; the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow (FRCS) in the same year and by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh in 2009 (FRCSEd Ophth).

Various positions in the UK eventually led him to the Singapore National Eye Centre where he was Resident in Ophthalmology for three years.

Not one to rest on his laurels, Dr. Lee decided to further his in-depth study on his favourite subspecialty, retinal surgery, and spent a year in Perth, Australia in a Clinical Vitreoretinal Fellowship under the mentorship of the world-renowned retinal expert, Professor Ian Constable at the Lions Eye Institute.

Returning to the Singapore National Eye Centre after his retinal fellowship and a short stint as Associate Consultant, the yearning for his roots became too strong and he finally moved back to Ipoh to join his father in the now flourishing Lee Eye Centre in Persiaran Greentown.

Singapore’s loss is Perak’s gain as Dr. Lee settled back in his hometown after an absence of 23 years. “I’ve been away since the age of 12, first schooling in Singapore and medical training in the UK. I have always loved my visits back home to Ipoh which was at least twice a year and it feels really good to be back here,” said Dr. Lee.

What he was too modest to add was that being the only Fellowship-trained retinal surgeon in Perak, he is providing an invaluable service for people here with eye emergencies like retinal detachment, age-related macular degeneration, diabetic eye disease and other eye diseases requiring specialist intervention.

“The retina is one the most important area of what comprises the eye. I liken it to film in the camera, without which even the best lenses in the world cannot develop the picture. A common affliction that I see often is diabetic eye disease. It is the leading cause of blindness in the working-age group in Malaysia.”

“The macula is part of the retina and is the most important part. A part of my mission is to teach people to go to their eye doctor for a check up regularly especially as they reach their forties. Public Education is poor about the far reaching consequences of uncontrolled diabetes and diabetic eye disease; the sooner caught, the better the chances for halting its progress as unchecked, it can lead to blindness.”

“So what persuaded you to return to Ipoh where most young people shun it, instead of opting for the bright lights of the big cities?” I asked. “Well the Lee Eye Centre set up by my father was certainly a big lure. We are a fully-equipped and fully-staffed eye hospital where we can deal with medical eye emergencies as efficiently as any of the big ones. In fact our equipment is highly sophisticated, on par with some of the best in Asia. The recent acquisition of the Wavelight Refractive Suite is a case in point. This platform is streets ahead of the game in terms of speed, accuracy and versatility. When I came back here I saw that more and more people especially the Baby Boomers, wanted to be free of wearing glasses and so we’re catering to this niche. However, on the more serious diseases of the eye, I felt that I could make a difference by bringing my training and expertise back here to assist the people of Perak.”

And what of your vision for the future? “I used to do a lot of research work and have been widely published in prestigious medical journals but since my return I have been totally caught up in clinical work. However, I’m still compiling data and documenting our work so that in the future I see Ipoh being a hub for eye health where we can share our experience, not only in clinical services but as a centre for research.” he replied.

Ipoh Echo welcomes this Anak Perak back to its fold and may more people here benefit from his return.

Around The World In 80 Minutes


Perak’s very own community wind orchestra, the Kinta Valley Wind Orchestra (KVWO) will be celebrating its second season with a concert performance on July 31 at the Ballroom of the Syuen Hotel.

The concert is part of the Perak Performing Arts Festival 2011. Titled “Around the World in 80 minutes,” the concert will take audiences on an international musical journey to countries such as Italy, Venice, Spain, Hungary, England, USA, China and Malaysia.

Some of the highlights of the concert include an appearance by well-known British conductor, educator and music arranger Keith Terrett who has been invited by KVWO to conduct a few pieces.

Eleven-year-old child prodigy violinist, Verena Koay from Penang will be the concert’s featured artist for the night and will perform Jasmine Flower (China) and Czardas (Hungary) accompanied by KVWO. Koay has been playing the violin since three years old and last year had performed with the National Symphony Orchestra at Istana Budaya in Kuala Lumpur.

On the night, well-known Perak born composer Ken Hor will present an original composition fusing the Indian flute and Indian percussion to perform a piece representing the 1 Malaysia multi-cultural sounds and colours of the country.

Eugene Pook is the Music Director and Conductor of this 55-piece orchestra which is made up of music-loving musicians of different ages who participate in weekly rehearsals and get to perform at public concerts. What is most interesting is that the participants are not charged for this learning activity.

According to Pook, all of the guests have volunteered to perform which includes a bamboo flautist and percussionist, both from India. “This year we are featuring a violinist in the hope of stimulating interest of the instrument.”

The KVWO is managed by the Kinta Valley Symphonic Society and was started in 2010 with funds from the SiWu Education Trust Fund. This annual fund-raising concert is to fund the expenses of the society’s year-long programmes and in all likelihood, the creation of Perak’s first Philharmonic Orchestra.


Do You Have the Skills to Survive?


In one way or another, everyone is affected by crime, either personally or through someone close. Even MB Dato’ Seri Diraja Dr. Zambry Abd. Kadir, when opening the ‘City Survival Skills” workshop in Ipoh recently, had a personal account of an incident involving a loved one.

He does not take this lightly especially when it involves women. “I want to see everyone move around without fear,” he said, “and is entitled and subject to protection from the state.” Hence the state’s vision “Perak Amanjaya”.

The workshop was sponsored by Yayasan Bakti Nusa, an NGO which is the brainchild of former transport minister Dato’ Sri Ong Tee Keat, and organised by Perak Women for Women (PWW) and 12 Perak Chinese Women NGOs with the support of the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development.

Capt. K. Balasupramaniam, a Safety Activist with 19 years experience in emergency search and rescue, began the all-women workshop akin to saying, ‘I have something very important to tell you so you’d better listen’. It would be too simplistic to list the dos and don’ts for being safe without attending the workshop. The statistics and facts that Balasupramaniam lay before the audience were backed by case studies of real-life crimes which have, at one time or another, appeared in the news; needless to say, it was heart wrenching to watch.

He talked about how to be aware of the different safety level zones and how to diffuse a potential- or high-risk situation; what works and doesn’t; how to be safe in the home, at petrol stations, in car parks, taking a taxi; spy cameras; date-rape drugs and how they are used; etc. By role playing, Balasupramaniam injected a lot of humour into an otherwise serious subject. But one thing was certain, he got his message across loud and clear.

One participant wanted her story of when she was molested, in broad daylight and at a public place, to be highlighted. She reported it and the perpetrator was caught. Even though she was not injured, she did not make light of it but thought of her daughter and ‘fought back’. In a way, it showed the culprit (and others) that this sort of behaviour cannot and will not be tolerated. If left unchecked it, he would probably have gone on to worse crimes. The message was clear that when faced with a dangerous or uncomfortable situation, one must be prepared to use whatever means necessary, with whatever knowledge one has, to survive.

More than 300 women attended the workshop and took away with them invaluable information. Hopefully, there will be another workshop in the near future.

In closing, Dr. Sharifah Halimah Jaafar, President of Perak Women for Women (PWW), reiterated their stance in fighting any violence against women and thanked all the relevant NGOs and ministry. More workshops on this topic will certainly be most welcome.

Perak Women for Women (PWW) can be contacted at:
52 Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, 31400 Ipoh. Tel.: 05-5469715.