Tag Archives: ipoh echo issue 143

Living Hope to Sponsor 90 Ipoh Children


Living Hope Malaysia, a CSR initiative founded by Ipoh-born philanthropist Dr Peggy Chan Wong, has targeted to sponsor 90 Ipoh children this year as part of its ongoing “One Egg – One Child” feeding programme.

ipoh echo issue 143, Living Hope Malaysia, Dr Peggy Chan WongThe announcement was made by Chan during a cheque presentation ceremony at SJK (C) Pasir Pinji 2 to cover the cost of the programme to provide lunch for 30 children initially from April 2012 to April 2013.

Living Hope’s “1 Egg – 1 Child” feeding programme provides one meal per school day to children from hardcore poor families. According to Chan the children have to stay in school till 4.00 p.m. for tuition and remedial classes and this programme helps students to concentrate on their studies with a full stomach.

Dr Peggy Chan Wong spreading hope to children

For Chan, her belief is that education is the only way out of the vicious cycle of poverty. To achieve the goals of its vision she “match-makes as go-between the corporate rich, whom she describes as her ‘Partners in Charity’ and the poor”. Since its inception in July 2007 it has assisted over 29,800 children through its various programmes.

Mdm Khoo Oi Ling, the headmistress for SJK (C) Pasir Pinji 2 thanked Chan for assisting the children adding that “it was greatly appreciated by the whole school”.

Meanwhile, Chan with assistance from Khoo, has already identified another two Ipoh schools to benefit from the feeding programme and the disbursement will be held later in the year.


Hampers for Orphans


ipoh echo issue 143, Ipoh City Council Workers’ Cooperative (Koperasi Perkerja MBI)Ipoh City Council Workers’ Cooperative (Koperasi Perkerja MBI) entertained 122 orphans from three local orphanages to lunch at the Dulang Coffee House, Excelsior Hotel, Ipoh recently. The event was hosted by members of the cooperative led by its Chairman, Ahmad Zahar Abdul Wahab. “It’s our way of contributing to society,” said Wahab to Ipoh Echo. “It’s an annual event which we have pursued with much fervour,” he added. The 122 orphans were from Badan Khdimat Islam Perak, Asrama Taman Meru Raya and Asrama Manjoi. Each received a hamper consisting of goodies from Ahmad Zahar. The invitees treated themselves to a sumptuous spread before returning home.


Stall Occupying Pedestrian Walkway


ipoh echo issue 143, eating stall obstructionIn NST’s Streets Northern (April 26, 2012), there was a news item of MBI demolishing stalls in Kampung Pengkalan Pegoh for occupying state land.

Abdul Halim Saad, Director, MBI Licensing and Enforcement Department was quoted as saying that the stalls were demolished because they were located at a dangerous spot along a busy road.

After reading this news, a number of readers called about a stall which is occupying the pedestrian walkway at the junction of Jalan Tingkat Pasar and Jalan Datuk Onn Jaafar. This is a very busy road and buses use the right side of the road next to the stall to turn into Jalan Datuk Onn Jaafar. It is not safe for pedestrians to walk on the road. This stall has been there for a long time. Can Abdul Halim justify why he is allowing this stall to operate, instead of demolishing it?

A. Jeyaraj

Accolades for Pak Yop


ipoh echo issue 143, Azmi Zulkifli, Tokoh Seni Negeri Perak, literary laureateAzmi Zulkifli, better known as Pak Yop, was duly recognised for his literary achievements at a special ceremony held at the auditorium of the Perak Arts and Culture Complex, Ipoh recently. The evening event was graced by the Executive Councillor for Arts, Sports and Culture Dato’ Zainol Fadzi Faharuddin who officiated at the ceremony. Pak Yop was named “Tokoh Seni Negeri Perak 2012”. He received a token of appreciation for his contributions to the enhancement of arts in Perak. Azmi is a prolific writer who has penned several short stories and plays for the local theatres. He holds pivotal positions in many non-governmental organisations in the state. Incidentally, Azmi is the Chairman of Badan Kebudayaan Perak, a body dedicated to the preservation of the cultural heritage of Perak. He is also an active businessman, being a committee member of the Kinta Petty Traders’ Association. The evening started with a video introduction of Pak Yop followed by the presentation of a memento by Dato’ Zainol Fadzi. Subsequently, it was Pak Yop’s turn to deliver his acceptance speech and he did with panache. The ceremony ended on a cheery note with songs and dances performed by the Department of Arts and Culture troupe.


ipoh echo issue 143, musings on food, see foon chan-koppen, ipoh chinese food

SeeFoon discovers an oldie but goodie


See Foon Chan-KoppenMusings on Food

By See Foon Chan-Koppen

ipoh echo issue 143, musings on food, see foon chan-koppen, ipoh chinese foodipoh echo issue 143, musings on food, see foon chan-koppen, ipoh chinese foodipoh echo issue 143, musings on food, see foon chan-koppen, ipoh chinese foodipoh echo issue 143, musings on food, see foon chan-koppen, ipoh chinese foodIpoh Garden South is one of my favourite haunts, whether it’s a trip to Kuku Spa for my manicure and pedicure, or a bowl of pork soup at Cong Yin or my occasional yearning for something vegetarian like the Lui Cha at Chor Kee. And many a time I have driven past Yam Yam with its sign saying Restoran Makanan Laut and not once have I considered checking it out until my peripatetic foodie friend Ginla Foo invited me and a group of friends for dinner one evening.

Yam Yam is an unassuming coffee shop with a bright yellow sign that you cannot  miss  especially at night when it is all lit up. Basic though it may be, on that evening they did put up a red tablecloth for us (thanks to Ginla). And to my surprise and delight, their menu is extensive, ranging from the simple home-cooking that many of us with Cantonese backgrounds grew up with to the delectable fresh-caught river fish, a specialty that requires good connections to local fishermen or suppliers as these are hard to come by – especially a fresh-caught Sultan Fish or Jelawat which was on the menu that evening.

Sultan Fish can be wild or cultivated and this particular one that we had was wild which made it even more of a treat as it is one of my favourite local fish and rarely available. It arrived steamed to perfection, complete with scales which help to keep the flesh moist and succulent during the steaming process. Sultan Fish is known for its fat content particularly around the collar and stomach and many folks avoid it for this reason, for reasons of weight gain. As for me, I tucked in with relish for the natural Omega 3s which is an oil that maintains heart health and lowers triglycerides. At RM130 per kilo, this is not a fish that one eats every day, but this one was well worth every gram that we paid for it, weighing in at 1.2kgs – RM156.

The Fried Mantis Prawns were shelled, in bite sized morsels, with a crispy cereal batter topped with tendrils of fried milk. Crunchy, sweetish and scrumptious – RM16.

Next we had Steamed Frogs Legs in Essence of Chicken, the frogs legs tender and juicy with the essence of chicken imparting its flavour to the otherwise bland meat. For those who like their food ‘Tsing’, (Cantonese expression for light taste as opposed to pungent or robust), this is the purest way to eat frogs legs – RM33.

Chicken in Chinese Rice Wine was sweet and as my readers know by now, I’m not partial to sweet savoury dishes but my friends at the table enjoyed it and vouched for its superiority – RM24.

The lamb braised with ginger, water chestnuts, bean curd sheet and snow peas was more appealing to my tastebuds; robust and well coated with sauce that goes well with white rice – RM15.

The next two dishes though were right up my alley, tickling my tastebuds and bringing back childhood nostalgia for dishes at grandmother’s kitchen. The ‘Tsang Cheong’ (pig’s fallopian tubes) sautéed with dried prawns and chillies was just the way I like it…the meat springy with a nice bite, the dried prawns lending their inimitable aroma and the chillies providing the necessary oomph to the dish – RM12.

This was followed by one of my favourite childhood dishes, the steamed meat paste done Hakka style with dried squid and dried prawns. Absolutely delectable and merits a revisit – RM16.

Other signature dishes here at Yam Yam which we didn’t get to taste include their ‘Wat Dan Hor’ (smooth egg rice noodles) – RM 5.50 and their Salt Baked chicken. Half – RM23; whole – RM45.

With food this tasty I’ve promised myself a revisit.

Restoran Makanan Laut Yam Yam
9 Lebuh Raya, Taman Ipoh Selatan. Hoe Chee Wah: 012-5651510
Open 10.30 a.m – 3.00 p.m.;  5.00-10.30 p.m.
Closed Mon/Tues



By Joanna Gough

The revolutionary tool that is going to change the way teachers interact

Thursday April 26: It’s 3.10 a.m. here. And I’m up with my spicy chicken burger watching a YouTube video of how gender is formed. From this 10-minute animated video I’ve come to understand that l actually have very little knowledge of how chromosomes determine us as human beings. Yes of course I knew there were x and y chromosomes but did you know that the queen of ants has male concubines at her service and that is the only way another queen is born. If she laid eggs they are but another male ant. Slaves by the look of it. And did you know that the Ocellaris fish (Clownfish Nemo) are all male until they mature later and turn into ‘girls’? http://ed.ted.com was teaching me about science. Science that was way beyond what I learnt in the classroom. It was teaching me about LIFE and how knowledge relates to it.

I skipped to subjects on Design, Technology & Engineering. There I found that there was this African American woman, from South Bronx, speaking about ‘Greening the Ghetto’. She spoke about Economics, Research on Social Prejudices and Discrimination that influences the way they live their lives. She was trying her very best to bring her poor Community Neighbourhood the best she could give because she has a big heart. It shows how Design, Technology, without Governmental help in small doses, CAN change the way we live for the better.

I skipped to the subject of Mathematics, I learnt about the Universes, How Folding Paper can get you to the moon and Data Visualization.

ipoh echo issue 143, Ed.Ted.com, joanna goughFascinating Ideas

You’re probably going to question and say that Education is not a 2 or 10-minute video clip, and I completely agree. It’s not about a 2-minute video or a 10-minute video but these videos that I watched at 3.00 a.m., were SO HIGHLY fascinating, that the first thing after the video, I googled. From there I Read, I Searched, I Formulated Ideas and now know much more about the Universe, NASA and Urban & Sustainable Living than I did 30 minutes earlier. Imagine: How else would you get me to be interested in the genetic chromosome mutations of mammals, insects, reptiles and fish?

ipoh echo issue 143, Ed.Ted.com, joanna goughCustomised Lessons

Revolutionary = Ed.Ted.com is TED’s new tool that lets teachers create customised lessons that revolve around web videos. Its Beta site launched in America recently. I immediately checked it out. This site allows for individualistic learning, breaking away from the classroom’s teacher. Students are able to follow at their own pace and study whatever interests them as they like without the limitation of age and years. Imagine a website that changes the way people think, communicate and learn.

As the Malaysian debate continues on education, I would strongly urge parents, PAGE (Parents Action Group for Education) and the public to go online and search the worldwide web with their children to learn about the interests of the world and take education into their own hands.

Check out sites such as http://www.openculture.com/ with free culture and educational information. Or Yale University’s http://oyc.yale.edu/ with their free and open access to Introductory Courses by distinguished teachers and scholars of Yale. Read about Astrophysics, Theories of Literature, Philosophy, Political Sciences and even Religious Studies.

I think it’s come to the realisation of many that the education system is not competitive. The Internet is at your fingertips. It’s time to surf it and Be Who You Want to Be (and not Who You Rely On.)

Here’s the Reality

School is but a social playground, excessive amounts of tuition classes teach you how to pass your examinations. But…who’s teaching you how to think?

As we progress into the 21st Century, we should now acknowledge that PPSMI as one way of changing our education system for the better, is now not the only way. Hack your Education. Make it Yours.

Joanna Gough is an Ipoh girl. She has ambitions to build the next generation of Thinkers. She plans to turn the city of Ipoh into a World of Possibilities’ by the year 2014. Go for it Joanna!

A Report Card on Mission Schools


By Mariam Mokhtar

ipoh echo issue 143, mariam mokhtar, mission schoolsTwo mothers whose children attend a mission school were livid. This time, they were not angry with the quality of teaching, the curriculum or the lack of sports and extracurricular activities; but were disappointed that the school authorities and education department had allowed the fabric of the school and the furniture in the classrooms, to degrade.

It is a story which is common not just in Ipoh, but also in mission schools throughout the nation. It is not just a phenomenon peculiar to peninsular Malaysia, but is also common in East Malaysia.

The mothers opined that there were cracks in the school walls, broken doors and windows, and evidence of termite infestation. The desks and chairs were old and in terrible condition. The state of the toilets was equally disgraceful. One mother claimed that her daughter would wait to go home, rather than use any of the toilets in the school.

In general, the school had an air of neglect and disrepair.

Both mothers lamented that the school and grounds, were in stark contrast to the conditions when they attended the same schools, albeit a few decades earlier.

The first mother said, “We took great pride in our classroom. If it was our turn to be on duty, our first chore when we arrived was to make sure the blackboard was clean and our form-teacher’s table and chair were tidy, before assembly.

“We’d check that the wastepaper bin was empty and give the window panes a quick flick with the feather duster. I think I took more pains to tidy the classroom than my room at home.”

The second mother added her recollections: “We worked in pairs. If the first girl did the dusting, the second would make sure the desks and chairs were in straight lines. Any litter on the floor was cleared away.

“We had a sense of belonging then. The classroom was our “home” for the academic year and it helped if we kept it looking smart and clean.

“If only you could imagine our sense of achievement and joy when the form-teacher walked in for the first lesson, and congratulated us on a tidy classroom.”

In 2008, the Deputy Education Minister Wee Ka Siong acknowledged the contributions that had been made by the various mission schools set up by the Catholic, Methodist, Anglican, and Presbyterian churches in the last 150 years. Many had helped establish the education standards of Malaya.

According to him, there are 410 mission schools of which 289 were primary schools and 121 secondary schools.

Wee said, “These schools, each with their different heritage, have contributed much to the building of an ethos that should rightly be reflected in all schools in Malaysia…started by Christian missionaries, (mission schools) strove to provide education for all the people in the country regardless of race, religion, creed and social class or gender.”

He praised the mission schools for providing education to women: “In many towns, mission schools broke barriers by offering education to young women. The history of these schools often records stories of how the founders went into homes to persuade parents that the education of women was a worthwhile cause, which ultimately would benefit society and the nation at large.”

Many of our mission schools are about a hundred years old and the mission authorities have given permission for all properties, land and buildings, to be used by the Education Ministry without any rental charges.

Despite that, many parents and teachers are worried by the condition of these mission schools and would like to urge the ministry to improve the maintenance, and upkeep of the structure and facilities of these mission schools, without delay.

One of the mothers said, “My neighbour’s children attend a government school (SMK) where the facilities are far superior to those of the mission school.

“Nevertheless, the education the mission schools offered did not differentiate between students of different race, religion, status or culture. After all, these mission schools have generated several leaders in the political, commercial and social sectors.

“So, is it too much to ask that the mission schools deserve some tender loving care?”

Aerobics for Health


An aerobics session, “Jom Robik”, jointly organised by Ipoh City Council, Persatuan Kecergasan Fizikal Daerah Kinta and Fitness Embassy was held at Polo Ground one Sunday morning recently. It attracted the participation of a few hundred people. Guest of honour, Dato’ Chang Ko Youn, joined in the workout, alongside Fitness Embassy Director, Tommy Huang.

Addressing the press later, Chang said that the activity was aimed at encouraging people to exercise to avoid health issues from cropping up as they age. The three leading causes of death in Malaysia presently are heart disease, cancer and stroke. The risk from these diseases could be reduced with regular exercise, he said.

Illness affects productivity of citizens; therefore, a healthy society will decrease the economic burden on the government.


Aftermath of Flooding – What Next?


A. JeyarajBy A. Jeyaraj

Our former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir’s famous saying is, “Malaysians have a short memory; it only lasts two weeks.” This is true in the case of flooding in Lim Garden. “Tension runs high at meeting” was the headline in a local paper on the meeting held between Dato’ Abdul Rahim, Secretary of MBI and the residents. It was agreed to have a follow-up meeting on March 17 with engineers from MBI and DID. Since the PM was in town on that date, it was postponed. Coincidentally, on the evening of the meeting a number of houses were flooded. Dato’ Rahim came and saw the situation personally.

K. Sagadevan, Secretary, Lim Garden Residents’ Committee reported that DID sent a technician to attend the meeting with the Committee but he was not able to answer any of the questions raised. Saga has written to DID to arrange for another meeting and it has been more than a month with no reply forthcoming. It is my opinion that MBI/DID personnel who attend meetings must be those who have the authority to make decisions and take action; otherwise it is a waste of everybody’s time.

ipoh echo issue 143, lim garden floods, A. JeyarajAfter the flood the pump at the retention pond was repaired, a diesel pump was installed and a third pump is to be installed. However, pumps are not a permanent solution and the standby pumps must be run regularly to ensure they are in working condition. If the river overflows, pumps will not be able to cope with the volume of water.

A new section of drain pipe with flap to prevent backflow from the river was installed inside the sump near Jalan Raja Bridge. Recently during heavy rain, the water level of the river reached above the bottom of the bridge and the siren came on; but there was no backflow from the river as the water from the drain was stagnant.

However, about 100 metres downstream, where there is another drain pipe whose cover has dropped off, there was backflow from the river and the low-lying area next to the bund was flooded.

Meanwhile, the 1Malaysia Community Alliance Foundation gave RM100 to each household which the residents received gratefully. The Welfare Department also gave RM300 to the flood victims.

Datuk G. Rajoo, former State Exco Member and Division Chairman, MIC Ipoh Barat who happens to stay in Lim Garden was asked what he plans to do to solve the problem. He said it is the responsibility of MBI and DID and that they would take care of it; a disappointing reply coming from a leader whom the residents looked to for solutions.

According to a news report in NST (Feb 23, 2012), Dato’ Ir Abdul Razak Dahalan, Director of DID, said that one of the main causes of the flood was excessive rainfall in the catchment area causing increase in volume of water-flow into Sungai Pari. If this is true, given the unpredictable weather, residents can expect floods at any time even if there is no rainfall in Lim Garden.

Many of the residents are of the opinion that we do not have the expertise to solve the problem. Every time it rains we have to look at the river for signs of flooding.

Co-operate with Police


ipoh echo issue 143, ipoh crime“Apathy is the reason why criminals go scot-free,” said Dato’ Hamidah Osman, Senior Executive Councillor and Adun for Sungai Rapat. She said this to reporters when met during her walkabout in Taman Seri Rapat recently. Hamidah was prompted to make the visit after receiving complaints about burglary, snatch and petty thefts from residents who are her constituents. Criminal activities have been rampant and have escalated of late. Hamidah attributed the cause to apathy and poor communication between residents and the Police.

“The reluctance on the part of the residents to report incidence of a criminal nature to the Police is baffling,” she said. This was confirmed by the police officer from Gunung Rapat Police Station who accompanied her that day. “Residents have to be proactive. The Police are there to help, not otherwise,” she chided.

A resident-action committee will be formed soon to undertake the responsibility of establishing rapport with the local police. Roziah Yeop, 63, recalled the time when she saw her sister being dragged after her handbag was snatched by two unidentified men on a motorbike. “It was a most harrowing experience,” she remarked.