Tag Archives: Ipoh Echo issue 146

Parent’s Day at Sri Murugan Centre


Sri Murugan Centre in Buntong, Parent’s DaySome 150 UPSR pupils and their parents celebrated Parent’s Day at the Sri Murugan Centre in Buntong recently. This is an annual event to show appreciation to parents and to recognise their contributions towards the betterment of children, particularly in the area of education.

At the gathering, four parents whose children underwent extra classes at Sri Murugan Centre, received special mention and were honoured for their achievements. They were ASP N. Ramesh for his recent promotion, B. Ganesh, K. Nantha Kumar and P. Chandra Sagaran for the conferment of PPT, PJK and AMP awards respectively by HRH Sultan Azlan Shah.

Perak State Coordinator for Sri Murugan Centre, Nachemuthu Karappannan, stressed the importance of having a family policy in place. Not only must parents ensure that time is spent on homework and revision they should also instil good manners in children.

After a poetry recital session by pupils, prizes were presented to ten top achievers in a recent internal test as encouragement to perform better in upcoming exams. Hampers were also presented to lucky draw winners.

There are about 850 exam-year pupils in Ipoh undergoing extra classes at various schools under the educational programmes managed by Sri Murugan Centre, a national centre for social and cultural advancement of Malaysian Indians. These programmes, which focus on religious and spiritual development of children, were introduced in Ipoh in 1983.


Jetrace Sets to Make Waves


Pangkor World Jetrace Challenge 2012 - international jet ski racePantai Bogak on Pangkor Island is the choice site for the upcoming Pangkor World Jetrace Challenge 2012. This international-class Jet Ski race, the first of its kind in this part of the world, is set to make waves and will place Pangkor Island on the world map. The two-day competition will see participants, both professionals and amateurs, from Europe, USA, Asia and South-East Asia jousting for positions in the various categories on the programme.

“Fourteen teams have confirmed their participation so far,” said Dato’ Zainol Padzi Paharuddin, the Exceutive Councillor for Youth, Culture and Sports, at a media briefing recently. Malaysia will be represented by Mohd Nur Azahari, a talented jet-skier who has made a name for himself in the water sport.

Mohd Nur, 30, better known as Eddy Pangkor, is a bona fide Pangkor islander who has dabbled in the sport for many years. The Perak Government, sensing his latent talent, has sponsored his entry in the Jetski World Finals 2011 at Lake Havasu, Arizona, USA. Mohd Nur is ranked 7th in the world. “Hopefully, his participation will have an immediate impact on young Perakeans,” said Zainol.

The competition is slated for July 14 and 15. Chief Minister Dato’ Seri DiRaja Dr Zambry Abd Kadir will officiate at the opening ceremony. Preceding that, a free musical concert will be held at the site as a form of entertainment for visitors and the islanders.

“Winners will receive cash prizes. A sum of RM33,000 has been allocated for the prize money,” said Zainol. Present at the briefing was Khairul Azwan Harun, the organising chairman.


Breakfast with MB


It’s not often one gets to breakfast with the Perak Chief Minister and his wife, but Chaw Chun Lian and his mother had the opportunity to do so one recent morning. Chaw, 18, who scored 12 As in last year’s Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination, was one of the seven students in Malaysia to receive such excellent results, becoming the top student in Perak. Zambry and Chaw exchanged gifts. The Chief Minister was visibly moved to receive a greeting card that said, “Happy Father’s Day”.

What caught Zambry’s attention was that despite his sterling results, Chaw failed to gain a place in a matriculation course. Working closely with the Chief Minister’s office, Chaw finally managed to gain a place to further his education. The former student of SMJK Sam Tet, Ipoh, who held two jobs after his SPM, will begin his one-year matriculation course at Kolej Matrikulasi Selangor in Banting, Selangor, taking yet another step towards his ambition of becoming a doctor.

Zambry congratulated Chaw and expressed hope that he would concentrate on his studies. He sympathised with Chaw’s situation and pledged to help him achieve his ambition. Chaw’s progress is now under the Chief Minister’s supervision.

Zambry will also be looking into the position of Chaw’s mother, who is currently a part-time sales promoter. Cheong Wai Yue, 41, is a single mother who had to raise two school-going children for the past 17 years. She has been put under the 1Azam programme, which will help her venture into business and be self-reliant.

When asked about his thoughts and feelings, Chaw thanked the Chief Minister and everyone else who had helped him to further his education. Upon graduation, Chaw would like to serve the people, preferably in Perak.


Paalki Procession


shirdi sai baba societyThe Shirdi Sai Baba Society in Ipoh held a “paalki” procession along Ipoh’s iconic, India Street recently. This year’s ceremony was attended by Dato’ S.Veerasingam, Special Adviser to the Chief Minister of Perak. More than 5000 devotees followed the procession singing the bhajans as they walked. The procession was preceded by bhangra and lion dances in true 1Malaysia spirit. Devotees held lotus candles to symbolise peace and solidarity.

Shirdi Sai Baba has a huge following around the world. It gained a cult following in India beginning in Shirdi. In Malaysia, there are about 28,000 Shirdi Sai devotees who are spread among 14 centres around the country. Every year, the followers will organise a “Paalki” (chariot) procession to commemorate the birth of Shirdi Sai Baba. According to Kannan Baba, Chairman of Shirdi Sai Baba Society Malaysia, Ipoh was the fifth centre in the country to conduct the ceremony.


Flood Woes Resolved


 Taman Lapangan Ria floodingFlooding due to unmitigated development, a bane for residents of Taman Lapangan Ria, will be over soon with the timely intervention by Senior Executive Councillor, Dato’ Hamidah Osman. Residents were up in arms over the tidak apa attitude of the developer whose carelessness has caused them many sleepless nights, especially when it rains.

The developer’s housing project is sited close to the housing estate. Due to a poorly designed drainage system, excess water from the developed site flows into the residents’ houses. Numerous complaints have been made to both the developer and Ipoh City Council but all fell on deaf ears. The residents’ final recourse was to bring their case to the attention of the state government.

A three-party meeting was held at Hamidah’s office recently to find an amicable solution to the problem. Among the decisions reached were, the developer agreed to relocate the retention wall six feet behind its present position and to reduce its height to eight feet. The developer will upgrade the existing drainage system to make it more reliable. A retention pond will be built nearby to collect excess water. The offending sewage pond will also be relocated 120 feet away from the nearest house. Ipoh City Council will oversee the implementation of these improvements and Hamidah will drop by to see the progress, from time to time.

Norbaini Jaafar, 51, the residents’ representative expressed his satisfaction with the meeting. He thanked the executive councillor for taking the initiative when it matters. “I am pleased that the lingering problem has been resolved without prejudice to any party,” said Hamidah to Ipoh Echo.


A “Royal” Surprise


Sultan Azlan Shah’s GalleryOn Wednesday June 20, students from the School of Business and Marketing, School of Business Information Systems and School of Interior Design from Sunway College, Ipoh went on a study tour of the Sultan Azlan Shah’s Gallery and Mariwasa Kraftangan Sdn Bhd in Kuala Kangsar.

Prior to the visit the students were advised by their respective lecturers to do a background study on the venues objective of the visit as part of their coursework assessment.

Students visiting the Sultan Azlan Shah Gallery were in for a “Royal” surprise as it coincided with the Sultan’s visit to his gallery on that day! When the Sultan arrived he noticed the young visitors and granted audience to a group photograph with in front of the gallery. The royal couple mingled freely and engaged in friendly conversations with the students. A couple of international students from China were taken by surprise

when the Sultan spoke to them in fluent Chinese.

The Sultan Azlan Shah Gallery was first occupied by Sultan Idris 1 in 1903. It was restored in 2003 and named after the present Sultan. The gallery houses an extensive collection of the Sultan’s personal belongings, documents, mementos, family photographs, trophies, state regalia and his cars, among others. They are on display for public viewing.

The students later paid a study visit to the Mariwasa Kraftangan facility and were briefed by the administrator. Mariwasa has over 30 years of experience in the manufacture of medals and awards. They were taken on a tour of the facility which included a lively question and answer session.

Students came away with a wealth of out-of classroom knowledge which they will document in preparing their coursework assignments.


Stop constructing food court opposite Syariah Court


Jalan Maxwell, Jalan Taman PariA food court is being constructed at the traffic light junction of Maxwell Road and Jalan Taman Pari in front of the Syariah Court. This is a busy junction and motorists from Jalan Taman Pari turn into Maxwell Road and cut across to the right lane; causing a traffic jam. There is no parking facility here. Behind the food court, a new project consisting of shop houses is coming up. This is going to increase the parking problem and traffic congestion.

Abdul Halim Saad, Director, MBI Licensing and Enforcement Department demolished stalls in Kampong Pengkalan Pegoh because they were located at a dangerous spot along a busy road. If Abdul Hamid demolishes stalls in the outskirts of the city because they are in dangerous locations, then how was permission given for construction of a food court at this place? Why the double standard?

MBI officers must visit the site and put a stop to the project. No public hearing was held with the residents to get their views. Meanwhile there are stalls operating in the afternoon and at night in this area. There are also a number of restaurants. There is no need for a new food court at this particular place. The Syariah court has a large parking area which is mostly empty and if necessary, can build a food court there. This would be more appropriate.


Ar-Rahnu Credit Scheme Well Received


Yayasan Bina Upaya Ar-Rahnu, Yayasan Bina Upaya Darul Ridzuan (YBU)Yayasan Bina Upaya Ar-Rahnu Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Yayasan Bina Upaya Darul Ridzuan (YBU), is making headway, insofar as its pawn operations are concerned. The entity’s joint venture with Ar-Rahnu Bank is bearing dividends as more and more Perakeans are coming out in support of the credit scheme that the company offers. The venture has the blessing of Yayasan Pembangunan Ekonomi Islam Malaysia (YaPEIM).

“If the current trend continues there’s every possibility our reserve will breach the RM8 million mark by year’s end,” said Khairul Azwan Harun, YBU’s Deputy Chairman to reporters recently. His statement is based on developments that have taken place since the company’s inception eight months ago.

The method employed is simple and is targeted at the lower income group who have little or no recourse to the banking system, as their credit ratings are poor. Instead of resorting to ah longs (loan sharks) they can seek the assistance of Yayasan Bina Upaya Ar-Rahnu Sdn Bhd to get the capital they require for their business concerns. They need only pawn their gold and pay a premium for the metal’s safekeeping.

“The rates are low while the payout is good,” said Khairul. “RM100 worth of gold will give the owner RM65 worth of credit.” The company charges RM0.50 a month for gold worth less than RM800. Gold worth between RM801 to RM2,000 will cost the owner a monthly payment of RM RM0.65 while those in excess of RM2,000, a charge of RM0.75 is levied.

The success of the Ar-Rahnu credit scheme has prompted the state government to provide additional funding to the foundation. “The MB has approved an allocation of RM5 million recently,” said Khairul.


musings on food - See Foon Chan-Koppen - banana leaf curry

SeeFoon Hankers for Banana Leaf Comestibles


musings on food - food reviewsBy See Foon Chan-Koppen

I zoom past rows of shophouses on my way into and out of town every day on the road that leads to the YMCA on one side and St John Ambulance on the other and never pay attention to the various restaurants on the side of the YMCA just after the bridge or before depending on the direction I’m going, until as usual, Ginla Foo points out to me a great place for banana leaf curry.

musings on food - See Foon Chan-Koppen - banana leaf currymusings on food - See Foon Chan-Koppen - banana leaf currymusings on food - See Foon Chan-Koppen - banana leaf currymusings on food - See Foon Chan-Koppen - banana leaf currymusings on food - See Foon Chan-Koppen - banana leaf currymusings on food - See Foon Chan-Koppen - banana leaf curryA relative newcomer to the Banana Leaf curry scene, having only taken over the premises slightly more than a year ago, Mr and Mrs Anba who run the restaurant with a team of helpers, offer home-cooked Indian dishes on a choice of banana leaf or plates in a restaurant that spans two shoplots with one side being air-conditioned and the other fan-cooled. Although the day I was there the air-conditioning was having hiccups, they were considerate enough to lay on extra standing fans for the group of us “hotties”.

Like most banana leaf restaurants, the curries and dishes were all pre-cooked and displayed for selection. As we were celebrating Ruth Yates’ birthday that afternoon, we went to town and ordered just about everything they had on offer – for lunch that is.

A big disappointment for me was the fact that their fish head curry was already sold out and it was only 12.45pm when we arrived which told me that in future, I either had to reserve the fish head in advance or check if its on the menu that day. We settled for the fish curry which had the same curry gravy and had the perfect tangy, tart, just right spiciness and a smooth mouthfeel. RM5.00 per portion (PP).

The semi dry mutton curry was delectable, not too spicy, well coated with sauce and meaty without too many bones. My son who was with me that day and who hates bones in any of his meat, just loved the fact that he didn’t have to ‘battle with the bits’ as he calls it. RM6.00 PP.

The fried chicken was well flavoured and crispy crunchy as fried chicken should be; RM5.00 for a plate of about 5 pieces, while the dry curried chicken was searingly spicy and a tad on the sweet side. RM4.00 PP. The vegetable korma which went very well with the briyani rice was excellent, mild with a nice mix of vegetables and very tasty indeed. For the non-vegetarian, the briyani comes with mutton at RM7.50 and chicken at RM6.50. Eat these with the vegetable korma and you’re in Indian food heaven. The vegetarian set with unlimited vegetables, rice, poppadum, chutney and the ubiquitous cucumber salad goes for RM5.00.

Unfortunately, it was a weekday when we were there otherwise I would have loved to have tasted their crab curry which is a special on Fridays and Saturdays only. As crab prices are seasonal, one just has to go and pot-luck on the appropriate days. Given the standard of cooking here, the crab curry promises to be good.

The restaurant is open from 7.00am till 10pm and as is usual with Indian restaurants, they serve Thosai, Appom, Vadai and most of the famous Indian breakfast bread dishes here in the morning. They even have Nasi Lemak. From 3.00pm onwards, it’s the Malaysian favourite Roti Canai.

Restoran Rishi Bavan
#38-40 Medan Istana, Bandar Ipoh Raya
Tel: 05 241 9139
Owner Mr Anba: 012 515 8581  Open 7.00am-10pm  Closed Sundays

Subverting Public’s Trust


By Fathol Zaman Bukhari

art deco building
Majestic Theatre

Finger pointing comes easy when the blame game comes into play. It is definitely chic to point the other way when all fingers are pointed at you. Blaming someone else for a mistake is not something new. In fact, it is a time-honoured habit which we picked up when we were young. No one worth his salt can deny this. We are all guilty of being an accomplice in the complicity.

It may not mean much if the outcome merely affects one victim, as there is recourse for a redress. However, if it affects the community as a whole, then there is reason for a re-look at policies implemented.

The last couple of weeks have witnessed some very interesting developments taking place in the city. Foremost, is the unwarranted destruction of a declared heritage site, the iconic Majestic Theatre, once an important landmark in Ipoh. Crafted by renowned Danish architect, B.M. Iversen the building was pulverised for no rhyme or reason other than to make way for a building project.

The insensitivity of some is puzzling, to say the least. Don’t they consider heritage the same way they keep their bank account balanced? Or do pecuniary rewards far outstrip aesthetic values? These people do not have an iota of conscience left, otherwise they would not have done something so despicable.

That is on the part of the new owners. To them owning a piece of real estate means they are at liberty to do whatever they please. What is more disturbing is the reaction of the authority, in this case, Ipoh City Council. A local council that prides itself in acquiring ISO standards should not be so callous as to allow a private entity to do whatever its heart desires. It is tantamount to subverting the public’s trust in the council. Must it be construed as such?

Last week one lingering problem was resolved with the timely intervention of a senior politician. Flash flooding in Taman Lapangan Ria is pervasive and has become a bane with residents of the housing estate. The problem was  introduced by an irresponsible developer who decided to jump-start his project without considering the well being of the nearby residents. His poorly designed retaining wall, ill-conceived drainage system and misplaced sewage pond caused havoc to the Taman Lapangan Ria residents.

When the residents’ complaints fell on deaf ears they decided to take it to the state government. That was their final salvation. Senior Executive Councillor, Dato’ Hamidah Osman was all ears and through her efforts the problem was amicably resolved. Does it need someone high up to intervene when it could be settled with a little imagination?

A close friend who bought a terrace house in Taman Botani had to wait nearly a year for his renovation plan to be approved by Ipoh City Council. In the process, he was called up a number of times to explain certain inconsistencies in the architectural plan. He could not get an answer from the officer of the housing department why his simple renovation plan was withheld when those who openly flout the council by-laws were left unmolested. The numerous illegal renovation works in Canning Garden is a case in point. Ah Foo, the contractor he engaged to redo his house was unfazed by the whole episode. He said nonchalantly, “Bos, tak payah plan, MBI boleh kautim” (Boss, no need for plan, MBI can fix it.)

Is this apathy or a case of selective persecution by the local council? We can say so of our Judiciary, the Anti-Corruption Commission, the Police and lately JAWI (Federal Territory Islamic Department) but Ipoh City Council? Hello, Ipohites need your help, as our money is keeping you afloat! Has the council taken the path of no return?  Heaven forbid if it does.