Tag Archives: ipoh echo issue 156

YBU: Empowering the Poor Shows Positive Results



by James Gough

Yayasan Bina Upaya (YBU) microcredit financing
Hairul Anwar Mohamed Noor, YBU’s CFO

Yayasan Bina Upaya or YBU, which was founded under the Trustees Act in October 2009 began its operations in March 2010 with the goal of improving the living standards of low-income households through its Microcredit Financing Programme. Ipoh Echo which originally carried a report on YBU’s activities in 2010 (December 16, 2010) recently met with its Chief Financial Officer Hairul Anwar Mohamed Noor to get an update.

Interest Free Loans Coupled with Stringent Vetting Paying Off

According to Hairul, since its inception, YBU has so far provided assistance to 989 recipients with RM13.5 million of loans disbursed. Interestingly it is currently compiling a booklet of 100 of its successful recipients who have managed to improve their livelihood.

By any standard a success rate of just over 10 per cent in just over two years is already a good measure. According to Hairul, an added bonus is that over 50 per cent of its borrowers service their loans on time each month, 10 per cent service their loans months in advance in anticipation of rainy days while another 10 per cent settle their loans outright way ahead of the repayment schedule. Considering that the customers are the underprivileged, this healthy cash flow is a revelation.

Yayasan Bina Upaya (YBU)
Fatimah Fadzil

Yayasan Bina Upaya (YBU) microcredit financingEmpowered Recipients

Fatimah Fadzil, 53, is a single mother selling fried curry puffs. In 1999, when her husband died due to a traffic accident she was forced to fend for her three children on her own. She tried several jobs but the pay was small and it was difficult to make ends meet. She approached a welfare body earlier but was told that as she was still young and could still work to support herself.

Fatimah later joined a single mother’s association, Nur Kasih, and was encouraged to venture into the curry-puff business. She manually produced 150 curry puffs per day, which catered to food outlets. Fatimah operates out of her Ashby Road flat.

Two years ago she was approached by YBU to participate in their single mother programme called Ladies Uptown. Subsequently, to increase her production capacity, she obtained a loan from YBU and purchased two machines, a flour mixer and a pastry kneading machine which have the capacity to make up to 1000 curry puffs a day. Currently she makes 300 curry puffs per day which she supplies to individuals, food outlets and government departments.

Fatimah took her microcredit loan from YBU in 2010. Her repayment period is 60 months but anticipates on settling her loan much earlier. Two of Fatimah’s children are still studying. Their needs have been taken care of. Generally she is comfortable, her livelihood has improved and her only concern is that she has to work every day to fulfil her customers’ orders.

Gawri and Indian Rice

Yayasan Bina Upaya (YBU) microcredit financingGawri a/p Manisagaran, 27, operates an Indian rice food stall at the Candy Bar coffee shop in Simpang Pulai which offers 10 varieties of dishes daily. Previously she operated daily along the Simpang Pulai to Pengkalan main road for almost two years in her own stall before shifting into the nearby coffee shop. With her YBU microcredit loan, Gawri purchased more items for her shift to the shop and realised a doubling of her turnover almost overnight.

Gawri is married and has two children. Her husband works in KL and comes home once a month. She recently purchased a Perodua Viva and anticipates she will be able to settle her YBU loan before its full period.

YBU’s Microcredit Financing Programme

What sets YBU apart from other credit facilities is its microcredit system. Loans, based on Islamic principles, are interest free and do not require collateral or a guarantor. The programme is multiracial and is open to all communities and anyone can apply. For the two ladies mentioned above, there was no way a bank would give them a loan without a secure collateral in hand which they couldn’t provide. However, with YBU’s microcredit financing programme, Gawri and Fatimah were given an opportunity to improve their livelihoods and they have seen the results almost immediately.

The programme enables community members to apply for loans for working capital in economic activities such as opening a food stall, or increasing output of existing small businesses.

Loan values range from RM1000 to RM20,000. Eligible applicants must be between the ages of 18 and 60. According to Hairul the loan repayment period is for a maximum of 60 months and the repayment value is mutually agreed on between YBU and the recipient.

Stringent Vetting Prevents Delinquent Loans

The goal is to provide loans to the very needy and ensure the loans fulfil their objective of empowering the recipient. Hence the vetting of each application is very stringent to ensure the loan does not become delinquent. All applications will also be cross checked against the government’s welfare database such as e-Kasih to identify if previous loans had been provided.

Applicants fill an application form available at its office or on its website after which YBU will send its team for an on-site visit to vet the applicants.

Successful applicants, before receiving their loans, are called to the office and are given a motivational talk on the need to grow their existing source of income and improve their overall livelihood for the future. Subsequently too, the officer overseeing the loan will monitor the applicant for three months after disbursement, after which another department monitoring debt collection will take over.

“All this monitoring is necessary to ensure the recipient will successfully improve their livelihood and meet the objective of the programme. By being successful their self confidence improves. For a poor person the responsibility to repay the loan is very important and more so for a Muslim,” explained Hairul.

YBU would like the successful recipients to be more productive and does offer them a second loan should they want to expand their businesses. However, many have turned down the offer saying they are now able to take care of their families “which indicates that their livelihood has improved”.

The data of successful applicants will subsequently be updated to the government’s e-Kasih database.

Over the last two years YBU has compiled its own database of underprivileged citizens. This is done by its squad of volunteers or sukarelawan numbering over 3000 throughout the state currently. Generally the poor are ashamed to share their problems hence the job of the volunteer is to vet and identify suitable candidates.

Poverty Eradication Programmes

Besides its microcredit financing programme, YBU had initiated other activities to distribute its economic benefits. These include:

Housing Aid programme which refers to their housing assistance to construct new homes as well as upgrade and repair homes including those damaged by natural causes. The purpose of this programme is to enable a comfortable and quality living environment for the poor. Since its inception there have been 596 beneficiaries.

Adoption Programme. This programme applies to primary students in Year 5 and 6 to be entitled for financial assistance including tuition fees. To date a total of 113 students have been put under this programme of which 56 students obtained between 2 to 7As in the recent UPSR examination.

Higher Education Programme. This year YBU participated in an MOU with two institutions of higher learning, Quest International University of Perak (QIUP) and ITP (Perak’s Institute of Technology) to provide potential underprivileged student places at their institutions.

Federal Government Interest

YBU’s multi-pronged activities towards addressing and improving the livelihood of the underprivileged in the state have “captured the interest of the Federal Government who are contemplating implementing it nationwide,” said Dato’ Seri  DiRaja Dr. Zambry  Abdul Kadir during YBU’s  second Symposium on Capacity Building held during the middle of this year.

Based on testimony from the recipients and interviews with YBU officials, the multi-pronged strategies being implemented do address the issues of poverty by empowering the recipient to improve his livelihood. Hence it works. As a YBU executive expressed “when the plan works, the recipient’s face beams with self confidence”.

Further testimony of this can be noted from the recipients making their repayments on time.

Poverty is everywhere and is a never ending story. Fortunately for the underprivileged in Perak we don’t just give them fish to eat for a day we teach them how to fish.


Calling All Change Agents in Ipoh


TEDxIpohTED.com is an Annual Conference of Technology, Entertainment and Design that began in Monterey, California (1990) and is now described as: “The Gathering of Exceptional Individuals, all with the ability to make a difference”, says Don Levy, Senior Vice President of Sony Pictures.

“TED consists of a series of talks given by “Big Thinkers”discussing “BIG Ideas” and is attended by many of the world’s leading scientists, academics and business leaders” says the BBC. Prominent names paying tribute, describing and praising the idea of Ideas. This IDEA of TED is to celebrate great speakers, thinkers and doers – people with ideas that are passionately held and clearly put out.

“Ideas Worth Spreading”

TEDxIpoh is a non-profit event created in the spirit of TED’s mission: Ideas Worth Spreading. Focusing on brilliant individuals residing within the city’s Borders, it aims to connect these people on an intellectually stimulating platform (with the general public) to enhance the very way in which we live our everyday lives and to push the human race forward. Three brilliant speakers from Ipoh, will touch the very core values of Ipoh City’s people and show us the astounding capabilities of who we really are.

BESKAL: Journey of a Bicycle Bag

First talk will be on BESKAL: Journey of a Bicycle Bag. This idea was created 10 years ago by a teenage boy from SMK Dato Megat Khas who could not afford the extra RM15 to put his bicycle on the school bus. BMX Extreme Games Rider, Nik Mohd Misuarie made a bag in which to carry his BMX Bicycle. By putting the bicycle in a bag, it cuts the extra charge of RM15.

The idea has now re-emerged from PORT, Ipoh as a business and Nik has just returned home from competing as Malaysia’s representative at The World Creative Business Cup held in Copenhagen with the ranking of Top 8 Businesses to Watch Out For. The talk will focus on how this Bag is going to change the lifestyle design of corporate structures and urban cities around Asia.

I Am a Brand

Second speaker: Director of Institut Darul Ridzuan, Roslan Abdullah, comes from in-depth experience with names like Coca-Cola, Levis, Petronas, MAS and many more. His talk, I Am A Brand: shows the essence of people and how each and every individual in this city is a brand that directs the way Ipoh moves. Our economy depends strongly on who we are and how we carry ourselves. The branding that we exude in the city does not depend on external factors but on ideas, and ideas stem from People. And that’s how you build a city – ‘You build Yourself’.

All About Choice

Howard Lee, founder of Prospect strongly believes in turning Ideals into Ideas. Coming from Poi Lam Primary School, Howard’s life changed when a priest in London opened doors for him by giving him a space in a school in the UK. At the age of 10/11, he chose the independent life to go to the UK. While abroad he grew up in a grey seaside town while working in the kitchens of asian restaurants from age 14, before slowly moving into the corporate world. Having been exposed to the globalized world from such a young age, on coming back to Ipoh in 2008, he was shocked to find home to be a city of dead ends. Howard Lee’s passion is CHOICE because he chooses to believe that people have choices in life. Howard Lee believes in the greater possibility of creating choices and that anyone is able to live the life they want with the capacity of the human mind and that you can change the world you live in.

Three brilliant minds from three respective industries making decisions for the greater good of Ipoh.

Ipoh is changing and very fast; and TEDxIpoh is the platform that is connecting all changers. So if you think you’d like to create change, come and join TEDxIpoh.

Date:  December 13

Time:  7pm [Registration Opens]   8pm [Talks Begin]

Venue:  Sekeping Kong Heng, Jalan Bandar Timah, Old Town, Ipoh.

Facebook Page:  http://www.facebook.com/tedxipoh

Seating is limited. Please email joannagough@gmail.com to register/book seats or call Ina Tajudin@016-5572474 or Joanna Gough@016-5177295 for further enquiries.

Foundation Mission Fulfilled


Yayasan Bina Upaya Darul Ridzuan’s (YBU)

Yayasan Bina Upaya (YBU)
Datuk Akmar Hisham Mokhles handing a contribution to an orphanage at Narmada Lambuk Barat Indonesia

Yayasan Bina Upaya Darul Ridzuan’s (YBU) mission to assist the poor and the marginalised is not confined to Perak alone. The foundation’s outreach programme breached international boundaries when members of the Perak Media Club visited Narmada, a village in West Lumbok, Indonesia recently. Narmada is within striking distance of Lumbok’s capital, Mataram.

The 18-strong Perak media team had just scaled Indonesia’s second highest active volcano, Gunong Rinjani on this popular Indonesian Island chain east of the Lumbok Strait. Led by the Prime Minister’s Press Secretary, Datuk Akmar Hisham Mokhles, the team stopped by the Al-Ikhas Orphanage which housed 35 orphans to deliver goodies and a message of goodwill from Yayasan Bina Upaya Darul Ridzuan.

On hand to receive the visitors was orphanage manager, Muhammad Jailani Nur. An elated Nur told the gathering crowd that the gesture was exceptional. “We’ve been in existence since 1978 and this is the first time we received guests and gifts from Malaysia.” Nur was appreciative of YBU’s altruism and heaped praises on the foundation and the press club members. “It’s truly remarkable and thoughtful of you to do so,” said Nur.

The visit to the orphanage was part of the climbers’ week-long mission to plant the Perak flag on top the 3,726 metres (12,224 ft) high volcano. Apart from the successful ascent, the trip was also to promote Perak in conjunction with Visit Perak Year 2012.


Dream Come True for Rubber Estate Girl


by Mariam Mokhtar

Thinking Allowed - Mariam Mokhtar
Ano Rao

When her mother, a rubber tapper from the Harcroft Estate near Sitiawan, was badly hurt whilst collecting latex, Ano Rao knew what her ambition would be; but her dreams were only fulfilled two decades and four children later.

Despite the best efforts of the medical staff at the Ipoh Hospital, Ano’s mother suffered a stroke and was bedridden. She was only 29-years old. At the end of the 10-year legal wrangle with her mother’s employers, RM8000 compensation was awarded, half of which covered the lawyer’s fees.

On receipt of the money, Ano and her father found that they had been shortchanged by RM500. She accompanied her father to see the lawyer in Ipoh and their persistence and patience were rewarded, when after hours of waiting the lawyer met them.

They told him, “RM500 is a lot of money for us.” The lawyer apologised for his chief clerk’s error, then reimbursed Ano’s father. Ano was impressed with the lawyer’s conduct and his chambers. Her mind was made up: “Wow. This is nice. One day, I must become a lawyer.”

Ano is now an International Human Rights Lawyer, practicing in London. Her other responsibilities include being on the Advisory Panel for Health Protection Agency in the UK, the Advisory Council of Britannia Hindu Temple Trust and the Executive of the Hindu Council.

When were you born? Where were you brought up?

I was born in 1963 and grew up in Ladang Pundut. My primary schooling was at the “Our Ladies” Convent in Sitiawan. I did my Form Five at the Methodist High School in Taman Kok.

And your family background and ancestry?

My father was a fishmonger, but later became a grocer; my mother was a rubber tapper. My grandparents were indentured labourers, brought by the British from Andhra Pradesh, in 1913.

My maternal grandmother worked as a rubber tapper in the Harcroft Estate, which had a big rubber processing plant for the latex collection. Both grandfathers were toddy tappers. My parents grew crops behind our home, mostly for sale, but they gave some of these vegetables to the very poor.

What shaped your ambition to become a lawyer?

I spoke good English at school, liked writing compositions and father used to encourage me in my studies. With my mother’s accident, father took out a case against the Ladang Pundut estate. It was a lengthy trial; the whole family suffered.

The visit to the lawyer in Ipoh, to resolve the compensation issue, helped focus me and formed an impressionable and lasting image for a 14-year old. In the air-conditioned room, I remember staring at pictures of the lawyer in his silk wig and black gown, the bookcases containing thick law books, the case files on his desk, the oil portraits of English judges, the big executive chair and the coat stand from which hung the lawyer’s gown.

When did you obtain your law degree?

I had an arranged marriage soon after my Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) and we moved to Seremban for my husband’s work. After 10 years as a court interpreter, he was accepted to read law at a university in London, but was refused study leave. So, I encouraged him to resign and told him that I would support him.

In 1985, we left our firstborn with my parents and went to London. To make ends meet, I worked in a supermarket and also in a fast food shop. I attended night classes at Birkbeck College, University of London. My husband graduated in 1992 and in 1996, I received my law degree from London’s Guildhall.

How did you end up being a Human Rights lawyer in England with access to the UK Houses of Parliament?

In 2007 I heard about a prominent Malaysian Indian lawyer being jailed and it was my dealings with the temple work in London which prompted me to become a Human Rights Lawyer.

How do you juggle family and work life especially in England, where the support network of family or the convenience of maids, is not readily available?

There was an eight year gap before I had my second child. Later, my mother provided much needed support, when she came over for a year, to settle my eldest child into life in England.

Did your grandparents tell you stories about Malaya’s struggle for independence?

I was told that during WWII, several estate workers were taken away to work on the railway lines for the Japanese. Many died and our community had a high proportion of widows.

As a Human Rights lawyer, what do you think of the human rights movement in Malaysia?

Malaysia’s human rights record is very poor. There is discrimination, a lack of understanding, no mutual trust nor a shared vision.  Race relations are poor and equality does not exist. The judiciary needs to be independent. It appears that Britain is more tolerant and multicultural.

What worries you most when you visit Malaysia? What makes you happy?

Meeting friends, family and former classmates is a joy for me. Sadly, many familiar places no longer exist and people from the estates are scattered. The places which represent our history are gone. And with that loss, the community has also disappeared.

What are your hopes and dreams for Malaysia?

We are in the 21st Century and future generations must learn to avoid conflict. We need to improve race relations and strive for equality. We need good reforms to unite everyone.

Will you live and work in Malaysia?

After my graduation in 1996, the family returned to Malaysia. We attempted to open up a law firm in Sitiawan and Ipoh, but were told we needed a Malay partner. My biggest worry was the children’s education. I also wondered if they would be refused scholarships or places at university. There were unfair discriminatory policies for house purchases. In the end, we left.

Have you a message for young Malaysians?

Success in life means you must learn to be persistent and work hard. You also need to stand up for your rights. To have hope, and faith in god are important. If I can do it, so can you.


Pangkor International Development Dialogue


Some 250 delegates attended the first Pangkor International Development Dialogue (PIDD) held in Impiana Hotel. The event was jointly organised by Institute Darul Ridzuan (IDR), University Pendidikan Sultan Idris, University Technology MARA, Seri Iskandar, University Technology Petronas and University Sains Malaysia. In his welcome address, Dato’ Seri Dr Abdul Rahman bin Hashim, CEO, IDR said that the dialogue was aptly themed as Socio Economic Transformation for the People. There were 15 renowned speakers including four from overseas who are experts in their fields. This is the first of a series of dialogue sessions which are to be held annually.

In his keynote address, MB Dato’ Seri Diraja Dr Zambry bin Abdul Kadir said that this prelude conference seeks new directions on the issues of sustainable development to enhance the socio-economic transformation of the people as well as strengthening the overall position of Perak within Malaysia and International contexts.

Zambry added that Perak rose to prominence more than 160 years ago with the discovery of tin in Taiping and ushered in an era of industrialisation and the state became the economic epicentre of the country. Until the collapse of the tin industry in early eighties, Perak contributed 50 per cent of the GDP of the country. With the collapse of the tin industry, growth declined and development ground to a halt. The state government has taken proactive measures to migrate from an agro based economy to a knowledge and technology based economy.

The MB informed that the growth rate of the state was below the national average. The government and private sectors must work together and increase the growth rate to the national level.


Malaysian Choral Eisteddfod 2012


The recent 10th Malaysian Choral Eisteddfod (MCE) outreach programme and International Competition  2012 held here was a “great success” said its founder and Director Ms Susanna Saw at the end of the 3-day event. The event was organized in collaboration with the Perak Society of Performing Arts.

Malaysian Choral Eisteddfod 2012
Choir from SJKC Ave Maria

For the uninitiated the word Eisteddfod (ahy-steth-vod) is music terminology where artists, poets or musicians of their artistic craft get together for their annual competitive festival.

There are two components to the festival, the Choir Competition, where choirs showcase their talents and compete in a competition and the Choral Festival workshops which are conducted with international and renowned guest tutors. The event concluded with a concert for the closing ceremony.

Indeed the mood at the closing ceremony on the final night was exuberant and all the participants exuded a genuinely joyous presentation during their performance as further testimony of the success of the event “where singers are able to transform an event into a magical and glorious experience”.

A total of 16 choirs took part in this year’s festival originating from KL, Selangor, Perak, East Malaysia and Singapore.

The international jury comprised of Branko Stark from Croatia, Francis Liew from Singapore and Dr Yap Jin Hin from Malaysia.

The event was divided into two categories, children and youth where the more experienced choirs were seen sharing their knowledge with the newer choirs enabling all participants to have an enlightening experience said Saw, the event’s Director. Similarly juror, Yap, too described the event as being “very spontaneous throughout the 3-day event”.

The Youth Mixed Voices Category was won by SMK Seafield while SJK (C) Chung Cheng was the champion in the Childrens Choir category.

After the event was over the choirs joined to sing a lively number, Sin Jay Jay, the  Zulu tribal song which had everyone singing and clapping along.


Sleep and the Eyes

Resident Consultant Ophthalmologist, Hospital Fatimah Ipoh
Dr S.S. Gill

Ipoh Echo’s EYE HEALTH series continues with Consultant Eye Surgeon Dr S.S. GILL talking to us more about SLEEP and the eyes. 

A good night’s rest may not only affect your mood the next day, but also your eyes. Sleep is a way to rejuvenate and refresh not only your body but also your eyes, “recharging” them for the day ahead. When you don’t get sleep, your eyes will feel tired, just like how the rest of your body may feel, says Dr Gill.

Sleep is often taken lightly but in fact, it is no laughing matter. People these days are often on the run, having to meet various targets apart from the numerous chores to do in a day. Due to this increased number of work hours, the number of sleep hours is reduced drastically.

It is no secret that the lack of sleep is a cause for a great number of illnesses. Generally, the eyes (and the body too) need at least five hours of rest. When there is inadequate time for the eyes to revive, they will not be able to work to their full potential. A shortage of sleep can also worsen symptoms of dry eye and a person may experience discomfort, light sensitivity, itching, redness, or even blurred vision sometimes.

We spend about one-third of our entire lifetime sleeping. This is not wasted time because from the moment we slip into sleep, a whole cascade of events takes place involving the brain, eyes, immune function, hormones, skin, respiratory system and digestive system. In fact, it plays a crucial role in how energetic and healthy the other two-thirds of our waking hours can be.


In a typical sleep cycle, there is a pattern of alternating REM (Rapid Eye Movement) and NREM (Non-Rapid Eye Movement) sleep throughout the night in a cycle that repeats itself approximately every 90 minutes. NREM takes up about 75% of the total time for sleep and the other 25% is by REM sleep. You can recognise when a person goes into REM sleep when you see the eyes twitch, with quick movements back and forth under the shut eyelids. Both types of sleep are necessary for optimal health.

Eye Health - Dr S.S. Gill - opthalmologistNREM SLEEP

When a person first falls asleep, he or she goes into the NREM sleep initially. This sleep phase has four stages from 1-4. In stages 3 and 4, there will be a deep sleep and this is when there is most restoration of the body and to the eyes. During this phase, the blood pressure drops, breathing slows down, muscles become relaxed, repair of the body including the eyes occurs, hormones like growth hormone are released and our energy gets restored.


After about 90 minutes, a person goes into REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. Most but not all dreams occur in this phase. Our bodies become relaxed and the muscles are turned off. This is the time that there is provision of energy to the brain and body. REM sleep can last from five to 30 minutes. REM sleep rejuvenates a person.

After the REM sleep phase, the NREM sleep phase starts all over again. The 90 to 110 minute cycle of these two phases repeats about four to six times every night. Most adults would do well with 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night with an adequate number of NREM and REM phases. Rarely for some, they may only need as few as 5 hours or as many as 10 hours of sleep each day. Whatever it is, make sure you have enough sleep because it is the time the body and the eyes get rest, undergoing repair and detoxification. Even animals need sleep to rejuvenate!

For more information, call Gill Eye Specialist Centre at Hospital Fatimah (05-545 5582) or email: gilleyecentre@dr.com.

Children’s Holiday Fun


The school holidays are finally here. Searching for school holiday programmes and holiday fun for your children? Here’s what Ipoh has to offer throughout the month of December.

Aeon Malaysia Cheers ClubCheers Club registrations are still open at all AEON Shopping Centres. Cheers Club is open to kids aged 6 to 14 years old and they provide back-to-nature activities during school holidays. They get to learn how to protect our local flora and fauna. Sign up now and receive an exclusive New Cheers Club Member Welcome Kit (T-shirt, cap, bag, notebook with pen & membership card) for free. A non-refundable one-time registration fee is charged at RM20. It is usually conducted during the months of June and November but it has been postponed to December this year. For more information, please call AEON at 1300 80 3535 or drop by their website at www.aeonretail.com.my.

ITKing is providing a 1-day and 2-day camp for children ages 7 to 15. The Robotics 1-day camp teaches students to assemble a robot while acquiring problem solving skills. This is a great opportunity for students to get exposed to technology, engineering, creativity and teamwork.

ITKing Ipoh Garden South
Time:  10am-5.30pm
Dates:  Dec 03, 04, 05, 06, 07; 17, 18, 19, 20, 21

ITKing First Garden
Time:  10am-5.30pm
Dates:    Dec 10, 11, 12, 13, 14; 17, 18, 19, 20, 21

ITKingChildren learn by creating digital games in the animation 2-day camp at ITKing. Students will be exposed to both animation and game creations. With an extremely fun learning environment, students would acquire abstract programming concepts and teambuilding skills while working together to produce their first digital game.

ITKing Ipoh Garden South
Time:  10am-5.30pm
Dates:  Dec 19 and 20

      For further information, kindly contact:

ITKing Computer Training Centre (Ipoh Garden South)

      No. 35A&35A-1, Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah Utara, Taman Ipoh Selatan, 31400 Ipoh.
Tel.: 05-5487601 or 016-5011956.

D’Artiz Studio Dance AcademyD’Artiz Studio Dance Academy will be having a Holiday Junior Dance Course for kids below 12 years every Sunday at 12-1.30pm in December. It is to let the younger generation understand the Hip Hop culture and create positive knowledge towards it, to develop a good and healthy lifestyle. During classes, they would boost their confidence level, musicality and creativity and realize their hidden talents. They will also learn to work as one as they perform in a group. The fee for the one month course is RM65. There will not be any registration or advanced payment.

  • 20A Off Jalan Ng Soon Teik, Taman Pertama, 30100 Ipoh.
  • 1F 22, Persiaran Bercham Selatan 20, Glamour Square, 31400 Ipoh.
  • 19A Tingkat 1, Persiaran Batu Karang, Taman Kolej Perdana, Kampar.

For more information, contact: Nicklauz Kok 010-3772361.

Susan Ho

Deepavali Open House Attracts Large Crowd



Perak hosted the National-level Deepavali Open House held at the open field of Infoternak, Sungei Siput on Saturday, November 17. The occasion was graced by none other than the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak himself.

Prior to the mammoth event the Prime Minister visited three Indian families in Kampong Ramasmy which is located within Ladang Dovenby near Sungei Siput. The three, who had fallen on hard times, were Subramaniam Seniapan, Loghanathan Raman and Supammah Ramaya. Najib gave RM1000 to each family, a hamper containing daily necessities and a plaque to denote the auspicious occasion.

At the launch of the open house, where some 25,000 revellers were present, Najib reminded the crowd of his commitment to raise the living standards of the Indians in tandem with his much-touted transformation programmes. He alluded to the generous allocations for social services in Budget 2013 as a guide. Najib called upon them to uphold the spirit of “Numbike” in order to boost public confidence in the government.

The crowd helped themselves to the huge spread consisting largely of Indian delicacies. While they ate, crooner M. Daud Kilau belted some of his favourite dangdut oldies. This was interspersed with songs and dances by local Indian performers.

Among the dignitaries present were Chief Minister Dato’ Seri DiRaja Zambry Abd Kadir and two federal ministers, Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim and Datuk Seri G. Palanivel.


Retrieval Medicine Course


Some 170 medical and non-medical personnel attended a four-day Retrieval Medicine (Air-Ambulance) Course organised by Society of Aeromedicine Malaysia at the Royal Malaysian Police Air Wing Unit Training Base, Sultan Azlan Shah Airport. The participants included doctors, paramedics, nurses, pilots, aircrew, police and fire and rescue personnel. There were participants from Singapore and Brunei as well.

Mayor, Dato’ Roshidi Hashim who officiated at the ceremony said that the society had carried out two charity and medical missions over the past year. He was glad to note that the society is planning to carry out a Road Safety Campaign since fatalities on the roads are of concern.

Col (Dr) Mohammad Razin Kamarulzaman, President of the Society, in his welcome address said that aero-retrieval medicine or air ambulance service is not a new practice in Malaysia, but the level of service provided is not uniform and needs improvement. The programme is conducted with the assistance of Careflight NSW, Australia. He added that with this programme, standardised air ambulance services can be provided for the patients.

Datuk Dr Nordiyanan Hassan, Perak Health Department Director, informed that a Flying Doctor service team is being set up and will be operational from early next year. It will serve the needs of about 6000 Orang Asli living in the interior of Perak, Pahang and Kelantan.