Tag Archives: ipoh echo issue 158

Annual Dinner of Perak Indian Newspaper Distributors Association


Perak Indian Newspaper Distributors Association (PINDA) held its 47th Anniversary Annual Dinner in Chin Woo Hall recently. In his opening address, T. Karthigesu, President of the Association said that the main objective of PINDA is to uphold the interest of the vendors to ensure that they earn enough money to lead a comfortable life. He added that the print media is facing stiff competition from the internet and smartphone (apps) and print publishers must be innovative and competitive to be successful in their business.

Annual Dinner of Perak Indian Newspaper Distributors AssociationRepresentatives from the print media and committee members from distributors associations from KL, Selangor and Penang, who were present to show their support, learnt that PINDA is in the process of forming a Co-operative Society to provide medical aid and other welfare assistance to members.

Children of members who did well in the UPSR/PMR exams were presented cash vouchers and certificates. Two of the longest serving members in the committee, V. Rajadurai and S. Perumal, were honoured in the traditional way by garlanding, a ritual known as Ponnaadai or Golden Shawl. Entertainment was provided by Ipoh Futurist Dance Group and their Indian style of Gangnam fascinated the guests.


Kinta EcoCity – 10th Anniversary


Kinta EcoCity – 10th Anniversary1Kinta EcoCity, the pioneer developer in Ipoh, marked its 10th Anniversary in 2012 by organising an open concert as an act of reciprocation for constant support from buyers and cultivating future prospects.

Kinta EcoCity’s success on trusted customer service and reliability with its promise of  “Building Homes, Developing Communities” will be further enhanced in 2013 with more emphasis not only on building homes but also be the agent in developing communities despite different cultures and values in Malaysia.

An estimated 2000 people turned up for the concert event. The drum troupe, from Menglembu High School Ipoh, started off the event, followed by a Chinese classical singer, YouDi. Both performances gave a warm opening that kept audience attention engaged.

Later, the popular Astro pair singers, Geraldine Gan and Chou Jie Ying, intensified the crowd enthusiasm even more. Some took the opportunity to hand them flowers as tokens of appreciation. The event reached its climax when Amy, the legendary rock singer from the band Search, performed. His performance was coupled with light humour keeping the audience responsive throughout. The crowd sang along especially during his songs ‘Tiada Lagi’ and ‘Isabella’.

Kinta EcoCity – 10th Anniversary2

Eye Myths or Facts (Part 2)

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 about EYE MYTHS AND FACTS.

The eyes are windows to the world around us. There are many myths that surround the eyes. You may not be blessed with perfect vision but you can take your blinkers off when it comes to eye-care. Here are some common myths about eye-care:

When you get something in your eye, it’s alright to rub it out

Tired Boy Rubbing EyesThis is the big mistake that many make. Never rub your eyes because it can damage or injure the eye. When you rub the eye with a foreign particle still in your eye, it would have a sandpaper effect on your eye, invariably resulting in injury to the eye. The commonest injury from rubbing the eye with a foreign body in it is a corneal abrasion. If this corneal abrasion gets infected, you end up with a corneal ulcer that can have serious implications including blindness.

The correct thing to do is to flush out the foreign particle from the eye with water or saline. If it still remains in the eye even after flushing the eye, do not attempt to use the edge of a tissue paper or a toothpick as these potential sources of infection. You are advised to see your medical practitioner without delay. Remember that serious eye injuries may seem minor at first.

Wearing prescription spectacles makes you dependent on them

Should you be required to wear a pair of corrective (powered) spectacles in order to improve your vision because it is blur, it will not result in dependence on them or further weakening of your eyes. Wearing these glasses only helps you to see better and therefore puts less strain on your eyes. In short, the prescription spectacles just allows you to enjoy good vision. It does not result in dependence.

The darker the sunglasses the more protection your eyes get from the sun

This is not true. The colour of the sunglasses you wear does not have anything to do with eye protection. Always look for sunglasses that will block off both harmful ultraviolet rays of both UVA and UVB rays. It is important to get a good pair because exposure to bright sunlight can increase your risk for cataracts and age-related vision loss. The ability to block off UV light does not depend on how expensive are the sunglasses, or how dark the sunglass lenses are. Brand also does not matter! Choose sunglasses that either has a CE mark, a label that says 100% UV protection from UVA and UVB rays, or has a UV400 tag.


Your regular prescription glasses can double up as safety glasses

This again is not true. While your regular prescription spectacles may be able to prevent most of the hazards of working with flying splinters and some chemicals, it cannot protect our eyes from flying objects with high velocity. Always wear proper safety goggles over your spectacles whenever you are doing any work such as hammering nails, mowing the lawn or tinkering with sharp objects.

Using artificial sweeteners will make your eyes more sensitive to light

Some sugar substitutes like cyclamates may cause eyes to be more sensitive to light. Some medication such as oral contraceptives and diuretic medication may also cause the eyes to be more sensitive to light (photophobia). Should you have any undue sensitivity to light, do discuss this with your physician.

For more information, call Gill Eye Specialist Centre at Hospital Fatimah

(05-545 5582) or email: gilleyecentre@dr.com.

My Wish for 2013


Marina Bay SandsIt has been sometime since I last visited Singapore, the “tiny red dot” south of Johore and linked to the Malayan hinterland by an overused causeway – a subject of contention by our ruling elite. The other entry point into the island republic is the Malaysia-Singapore Second Link (Tuas Second Link to Singaporeans). This 1920 metre twin-deck bridge connects Kampung Ladang at Tanjung Kupang in Johore to Jalan Ahmad Ibrahim at Tuas in Singapore.

Opened on January 2, 1998, the bridge was built to reduce traffic congestion at the Causeway. But travellers still prefer the Causeway in spite of it being jam-packed almost every moment of the day. Distance and accessibility could be the reasons why the bridge is not too popular with motorists from both sides of the geographical divide.

So much has changed that it is no longer easy to identify places which I frequented in the late 70s and early 80s when attending courses at the Army Training Centre in Ulu Tiram. Back in the old days the ringgit was much stronger than the Singapore dollar. The exchange rate then was 70 Malaysian cents to one Singapore dollar. The disparity in rate today is not worth mentioning. We used to buy fruits, as the ringgit could be stretched and was considered legal tender in areas around Woodlands and Sembawang. One popular spot was Bugis Street. You got to see plenty of action here besides Pantai Lido and the old Istana grounds in Johore Bahru.

While Singapore, through good governance and a world-class education system, has progressed by leaps and bounds, Malaysia is still locked in a time warp with little chance of an escape. Today the island republic boasts a purchasing power parity which is third highest in the world. A nation with little natural resources to optimise, Singapore has become a First World entity with an economy second to none. Its northern neighbour, however, has yet to overcome its Third World mentality and insecurity, preferring to look beyond the republic for solace. It is therefore no surprise that when it comes to comparison the countries so often alluded to are Thailand and Indonesia not Singapore, Taiwan or South Korea. Soon it will be Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Ethiopia on the African continent.

It is not difficult to comprehend why Singapore is far ahead in almost every aspect. It has a world class public transport system, a corruption-free government and a judicial system considered the best in Asia. Little wonder it has been rated highly by the world business community; something which is alien in Malaysia. Unfortunately, learning from the Singaporeans is the last thing on our ruling elite’s minds.

You need not go far to find why we have plenty of catching up to do. Just switch on the television. Singapore TV is filled with programmes that provide viewers with information on the world and knowledge on anything one cares to know. They tell Singaporeans that life is to be lived and enjoyed and not to be suffered. You don’t see politicians on the idiot box extolling the virtues of the ruling party, glorifying the rights of the “sons of the soil” and the ideals of a “transformed” Prime Minister.

The programmes, unlike ours, are designed not to insult viewers’ intelligence but to complement. In spite of having been an independent nation for over 55 years we are still being treated like children.

My trip, on the eve of the New Year, came with a provision. I was told to take a break and enjoy a dip in the 150-metre infinity swimming pool on top of Marina Bay Sands, one of Singapore’s two integrated resorts. I wish to thank my son for the opportunity. Located on the world’s largest cantilevered platform almost 200 metres above street level, the pool is a total delight while the view of the city from the periphery is simply ravishing.

Plenty of thoughts and planning have gone into making Singapore what it is today. I am certain that among the planners are bona fide Malaysians who, for want of a better future, have parked themselves permanently in Singapore. We have lost many good talents to our southern neighbour. Need we lose more?

So, having “survived” the Mayan doomsday prediction of December 21, 2012, I have every reason to be optimistic. With the 13th General Election looming in the horizon, my one wish for 2013 is for the country to take the path of recovery. We have been the laughing stock of the world far too long. Enough is enough.

Fathol  Zaman Bukhari

Teaching – a Noble or Notorious Profession?


We have been negligent in addressing the issues faced by the Orang Asli of Malaysia. We rob them of their ancestral lands and encroach on their way of life.

Thinkng AllowedLiving in inaccessible and remote villages, dotted on the jungle fringes, Orang Asli children have physical barriers which impede their journey to school. Most of us take for granted our school buses and tarred roads; Orang Asli children have bridges, muddy paths and bloated rivers to navigate.

The lucky ones who attend boarding schools have an added threat; they face the possibility of physical and mental trauma from religiously dogmatic teachers, who aspire to rob these children of their chosen faith.

After their parents, teachers are perhaps the other most important people in a child’s life. Most people would say that teaching is a noble profession but one teacher who was based at the SK Bihai, a school which caters to the Orang Asli and which is located close to the Kelantan-Perak border, has brought shame on the profession. This teacher allegedly slapped four Orang Asli children for failing to recite their doa (prayers) after lunch.

First. No teacher should use physical violence to discipline children. The actions of this teacher could be construed as assault, which is punishable under section 323 of the Penal Code.

Second. The children were non-Muslim. Section 17 of the Aboriginal Peoples Act 1954 states that no Orang Asli child should be obliged to receive religious teachings, without prior consent from the parents.

The slapping incident occurred on October 23 and three fathers from Pos Bihai made a three-hour journey to lodge a police report against the teacher who had allegedly slapped their four 12-year-old daughters.

Instead of ordering an investigation into the incident, the Rural and Regional Minister Shafie Apdal denied that the children had been slapped. What was the reaction of the Education Minister Muhyiddin Yassin?

Reporters investigating the incident have revealed further problems faced by Orang Asli children. Arom Asir, the unofficial spokesman complained about the standard and quality of teaching at the SK Bihai, which accommodates around 200 pupils.

He said, “The teachers only come in on Sunday and therefore cannot teach, so they teach from Monday to Wednesday, and by Thursday noon, they are already preparing to go back home. The students are asked to return to their hostels”.

Arom, who is also the SK Bihai Parent-Teachers Association deputy chairman claimed that the 12 school teachers all returned to their hometowns in Kelantan during the weekend. He also complained about teachers who concentrated on teaching religion rather than focusing on more important subjects. He said that none of the children were Muslim.

Hassan Achoi, the father of a girl who had been slapped, said that his daughter had run out of the school after being slapped. “They cried all the way home, and when we found out that the teacher had slapped our children, the villagers went to the school. I was angry, and there was a lot of shouting,” said Hassan.

One child’s father Atar Pedik said that despite an apology from the teacher, the parents at the school were undecided about the follow-up action they should adopt to prevent a recurrence and for an appropriate punishment for the teacher.

Arom said, “We want such irresponsible teachers to be moved out. We only want true educators, so that our children can become smart and go to university. “But now, many of our Year Six pupils sent to the secondary school in town still cannot read and write. This causes the teachers there to say the Orang Asli are stupid, but the fact is that they are not properly taught here.”

He listed other parental grouses such as teachers not attending classrooms and not preparing end of term reports, for the parents. Many parents believe that “problem teachers” have been sent to teach at schools in the interior, a charge denied by the Education Department.

The parents said: “We have complained about the teaching being provided for only three days a week on many occasions, but the answer from the school is always that it will be looked into. But nothing happens.” Other parents said that they had contacted the Jabatan Kemajuan Orang Asli (Jakoa) to discuss various issues, but have yet to receive a reply.

The slapping incident is only the tip of the iceberg. Other problems, which the Education Ministry has yet to address, is schooling for six and seven year old children, who are too young to be housed in a hostel, on their own.

Perhaps, the worst nightmare for the Orang Asli is the study done by the NGO, Child Rights Coalition Malaysia, which found that around 45,000 children, most of them from the Orang Asli community, do not go to school. These children were not receiving any education because their citizenship was not recognised.

Mariam Mokhtar

The Haven – Pool Party for Handicapped Children


The Haven Lakeside Residences has redefined condominium living at its best. Situated at the fringe of a virgin forest and a natural lake, The Haven has been complemented with a vast array of facilities. All other amenities offered by a city are also easily within reach as it is located just 15 minutes from the city centre.

Waking up to crisp mountain air, sharing space with limestone karsts dating back 280 million years and taking in the serene, breathtaking views of lush forest greenery have now become reality at The Haven.

The Haven1 The Haven2A Special Commissioning

On completion of the 60-metre swimming pool, commissioned on December 22 last year,  The Haven invited special needs children in Perak to be the first to enjoy it. These children and their guardians enjoyed spending a few hours at The Haven’s Poolside Swim Party recently. Amongst others, children from the Yayasan Sultan Idris Shah Centre in Ipoh and the Association of the Network for the Needs of Children with Disabilities Centre, Perak were feted. Lunch was provided by the poolside with clown entertainment, colouring-in and gifts and treats given to every child.  It was a great fun-filled day for all the children who attended.

Dato’ Chang Ko Youn, advisor to the Menteri Besar of Perak and Tan Sri Dato’ Seri V. Jeyaratnam, Chairman of Perak Turf Club, were in attendance for this auspicious event.

The Haven is the first condo development in the state of Perak, and probably in all of Malaysia, to specially trademark its own 60-metre seahorse-shaped swimming pool design. The newly completed 5-level infinity swimming pool includes – Jacuzzi, Lap pool, Leisure pool, Children’s pool and Wading Pool as well as a 4-inch transparent infinity edge at the belly and beak of the sea-horse design. The children were the first to enjoy and experience swimming in this specially designed pool.

Along with the development of the swimming pool, the project has reached new levels of completion. Already over 80% sold, completion is ahead of schedule, with the handing over of the first tower expected in the first quarter of this year and the two remaining towers in August.

Owners can experience the complete lifestyle of luxury and convenience that The Haven offers, with fully-equipped gym, jogging track, picnic grounds, tennis, badminton and squash courts, business and conference facilities, amphitheatre and shuttle bus service – all year round. With the convenience of all the necessities of life at your doorstep, The Haven is truly a luxury-meets-convenience destination.

The Haven looks forward to contributing to the development of Ipoh, in both material, social and cultural needs. This special event is testimony to this.  With the provision of its own amphitheatre for musical and cultural performances, The Haven will soon be organising events to boost musical and cultural capabilities of the city. This and many other social activities offered, together with the luxury lifestyle provided, will bring a higher profile for Ipoh.

This multi-award winning development which recently won the ‘Best Condo Malaysia’ award, has put Ipoh on the map and will continue to serve the community and boost the city of Ipoh to greater heights.

Delegation to China


Delegation to ChinaNine delegates from Ipoh led by Adun of Pokok Assam, Yee Seu Kai went on a trade mission to Henan in Nanzhou, Foshan and Guangzhou recently. Dato’ Loke Chee Yan (Adun Kepayang) was amongst the group which also consisted of two delegates from Penang and one from Johor.

A trade dialogue was held where the Nanzhou Mayor introduced their industries that invites foreign investments, investment policies and incentives, and in return the Malaysian delegation highlighted the investment opportunities and the favourable infrastructure in Perak especially Ipoh.

After the trip to Henan four delegates went on to Foshan where they were hosted by the Nanhai Bureau of Foreign Affairs and Overseas Chinese Affairs during which discussions centred on development of bilateral business relationships through the Nanhai Association of Perak and Nanhai Foshan with emphasis on ASEAN trade.

From here, the delegation went to Guangzhou, where they paid a courtesy call to Mr Suresh Kumar – Trade Consul/Trade Commissioner of Consulate General of Malaysia Trade Section (MATRADE) Guangzhou, Guangdong, China.

The entire trip was deemed a success as the group learnt about Henan Nanzhou’s investment opportunities which coincides with Ipoh’s natural resources which will be of interest to the Quarry Association of Ipoh, while the visit to the Consul and Trade Commissioner of Matrade was fruitful  as it took Ipoh right into the trading hub of Guangdong which is Guangzhou, a fact which Dato’ Hanfi, Chairman of Perak Invest, was apprised of by Yee on his return.

Soroptimist Ipoh – EDUFUN Centre


Soroptimist International Ipoh (SI Ipoh) has again launched another worthy project and service to the under-privileged community of Ipoh. Towards the end of 2012, SI Ipoh had the opening of its EDUFUN Learning Centre at the Bekor Flats in Taman Pertama, Buntong, Ipoh. There was an enthusiastic attendance of about 25 underprivileged children aged between 6 and 15.

Soroptimist Ipoh – EDUFUN CentreThe children, with their mothers, were warmly welcomed by the SI members of Ipoh with a sumptuous “high tea” and the children had a lot of fun joining in the games and singing and dancing sessions. The centre has since been open every day from Monday to Friday 2pm to 6pm. Most of these children are either non-school going, owing to various social and family problems, or are slow learners who certainly need help and guidance.

Despite the handicaps of coming from problematic families and low-income groups, these children show a keen interest in wanting to learn and better themselves. They are also very well behaved, polite, happy kids who love coming to the centre. One particular 10‑year-old girl told Ipoh Echo that she quickly finishes all her housework in the morning so that she can spend the whole afternoon at the centre doing her homework, playing educational games with other children, having singing and dancing sessions and afternoon tea of Milo and biscuits, which is a treat to them! This centre is also a healthy, happy, educational and fun outlet for them away from their problems at home.

The centre has currently employed a teacher to help out in the running of this programme. Every day, during the holidays the attendance was very encouraging with a minimum of 15 children or more who come to learn and play educational games. Now that school has started, the numbers have maintained, with more requests for acceptance of preschool kids. A slight improvement is already seen in some of these children in the short time of nurturing since its inception.

Volunteers who wish to help make a difference in the lives of these children and the community may contact:    Kuan 012-501 9250, Lanka 012-519 0189 or Jean 012‑588 2313.

New Houses for Flood Victims


New Houses for Flood Victims2 Yayasan Bina Upaya (YBU)New Houses for Flood Victims3Three houses in Kuala Dipang, which were completely destroyed during last year’s flood, will be rebuilt immediately. The good news was conveyed to Ipoh Echo by the Chief Financial Officer of Yayasan Bina Upaya Darul Ridzuan (YBU), Hairul Anuar Mohamad Noor during a voluntary service programme in Kampar recently.

The programme was conducted by some 200 volunteers from the foundation’s IBU (Ikon Bina Upaya) team. They, along with members of the public, did a “gotong royong” to clean up the town beginning from their assembly point at the Methodist (ACS) School, Kampar and ending at the Kuala Dipang bridge. The bridge was given a fresh coat of paint by the volunteers. “Besides sprucing up the area we’ve also erected a notice board warning visitors the susceptibility of Kuala Dipang to floods,” said Hairul.

The area cleaning and posting of signage were part of a directive from the Menteri Besar, Dato’ Seri DiRaja Dr Zambry Abd Kadir to the foundation. “It’s the government’s social responsibility to the people and we’re here to implement it,” Hairul remarked. He later distributed food parcels to 150 villagers of Kuala Dipang who had gathered to assist in the “gotong royong”.  Hairul was pleased with the villagers’ keen participation. “It’s not only encouraging but inspiring too.”


SeeFoon dines in Moghul Magnificence


musings on food - food reviewsIt’s been a long time since Ipoh diners have had the pleasure of dining in a ‘posh’ ambiance. Outside of Indulgence on Jalan Raja DiHilir which has garnered for itself a reputation for fine dining in a setting resplendent with the colonial heritage of the long ago, Ipoh restaurants in general tend to be long on good food but sorely short on decor, ambiance and cleanliness.

Once in a blue moon, a restaurant comes along that puts many other restaurants to shame, a shining bastion of grandeur and warm friendly service. And the food is second to none.

The Tandoor GrillI am referring to the Tandoor Grill, which beckons in its Moghul magnificence on Jalan Chin Choon Sam, opposite Movenpeak in Greentown.

I have often passed it during its construction phase and wondered what kind of place it would be, with its pointed horseshoe arches and generous parking spaces all around. I missed the grand opening party to which I was invited but subsequently managed to sample both the lunch buffet as well as the à la carte menu in one of their sumptuous private rooms.

MUSINGS 4The buffet lunch at RM23.90 is incredible value with 10 main courses, soup, salad, dessert, an unlimited topping up of butter Naan served fresh from the oven at your table, followed by dessert and coffee. Unlike many a tired buffet I have had the misfortune to experience, the lunch buffet at the Tandoor Grill tastes fresh from the kitchen with a change in main courses everyday. The service was most attentive, with each request for Naan promptly executed and the service staff courteous and willing to please.

The physical premises of the Tandoor Grill is impressive. While the exterior of the building is decidedly Moghul in style, the interior is more eclectic and modern. Upstairs, the Cinnamon Ballroom, with a seating capacity of 800, is spectacular while downstairs, aside from the main dining hall which can accommodate 88 people at one sitting, there are 10 private rooms which can seat between 10 to 20 people at a time with charges varying from RM100 for an 8-10 seater room to RM300 the latter being the Royal Cinnamon Room. Pricey as the room charges may appear, they may be applied towards food and drink, so if a group of 10 opts for the most expensive room, it works out to only RM30 per head, which is easily covered by the price of food and drinks per person.

A subsequent visit saw a group of us sitting in the Royal Cinnamon Room enjoying an à la carte meal. It began with the Royal Murgh Soup, a thick creamy chicken soup that is a meal in itself if one were to really eat every spoonful; flavourful with hints of herbs and spices and yet not spicy enough to offend even the most delicate of taste buds – RM10.50.

MUSINGS 2MUSINGS 3MUSINGS 5Next came a starter of Chicken Samosas, crispy on the outside and stuffed with a generous portion of chicken, served with a tangy mint and coriander chutney – RM10.90. This was followed by the Tandoor Ki Nazakat, a mixed grill (RM49.90) of Tandoori Chicken – RM12 for quarter, RM22 for half and RM42 for whole; Chicken and Fish Tikka – RM18.90 each; Chicken Reshmi Kebab – RM17.90; and Mutton Seekh Kebab – RM19.90. These were served with a bread basket of garlic, butter and cheese Naan fresh from the oven.

Then the rice, a Masala Biryani (RM7.90) and the delectable Hyderabadi Gosht Biryani (RM20.90), basmati rice cooked with tender mutton cubes flavoured with aromatic spices, came with a dazzling assortment of ‘wet’ dishes, almost too numerous to list here in this short article. I particularly liked the Kadhai Mutton, tender pieces of mutton cooked Lahori style on a slow fire with tomatoes, onions, capsicums and aromatic spices – RM28.90; the Methi Fish, boneless pieces of fish cooked in a fenugreek gravy – RM23.90; the Malabar Prawn, cooked in a delicately spiced coconut and mustard based curry, RM30.90.

The two vegetarian dishes Bhendi Masala, okra tossed with onions, tomatoes and spices (RM11.90) and Palak Paneer, fresh spinach cooked with homemade cottage cheese and cream, were noteworthy, in particular the Palak Paneer which was velvety smooth, the cottage cheese lending substance to the creamy consistency – RM16.90.

Then came dessert, by which time, all of us were totally sated. However, the temptation was too great and I had to dip my spoon into the Ghajar Halwa, pudding made with carrots and milk – RM6.90; Rasmalai, homemade cottage cheese balls in sweetened milk flavoured with nuts – RM7.90 and the Badami Kulfi, the traditional Indian ice-cream, flavoured with almonds (RM8.90) all of which were delicious but far too sweet for my taste.

All in all, the service was impeccable, with Gurmit the manager and the waiters able to explain the dishes in good English. A family owned affair, The Tandoor Grill’s patriarch, Jagit Singh, together with son Malvinderjit Singh and daughter Jasvinderjit Kaur, run the show after a tedious setting up process which involved going to India and personally interviewing and hiring all the chefs and service staff. Well it looks like their hard work has paid off. I only hope that as time goes on, the service remains at the same levels and the toilets, which were spotless, will remain in the same condition.

The Tandoor Grill
# 9 Jalan Chin Choon Sam, Greentown
Tel: 05-255 5995; 05-253 5995
Open 7 days a week 11.30am-3.30pm; 6.30pm-11pm
Pork free. Serves alcohol.

See Foon Chan-Koppen