Tag Archives: ipoh echo issue 159

Branch Drawing In the Crowd


Branch Drawing In The Crowd1Branch Drawing In The Crowd2Branch Drawing In The Crowd4Branch Drawing In The Crowd3Yayasan Bina Upaya Darul Ridzuan’s (YBU) newly-opened branch at the Ipoh Urban Transformation Centre is a big hit with clients. Hardly a month after it’s opening, over a hundred Perakeans, of varying social backgrounds, have patronised the centre. And the number is growing by the day.

“Visitors have expressed satisfaction with the services available at the centre. They’re pleased with the reception and treatment by the foundation staff manning the centre,” said Assistant Manager, Mohd Jeffery Amin Hamid to Ipoh Echo.

The branch is open seven days a week (except public holidays) between 8am to 10pm. “The discretion to keep operating hours well after the designated times and days, however, rest with the management,” added Mohd Jeffery. The reason is obviously to be of service to the poor and the marginalised. The foundation’s altruism is, therefore, not lost in transition.

To publicise the branch’s services, flyers and notices are distributed to all agencies operating within the centre.  “It’s aimed at promoting ourselves to the general public and that of the foundation,” said Mohd Jeffery.

The nation’s leaders will be visiting the centre soon. Among them is the Minister of Finance 2, Dato’ Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah and the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who has planned his visit on Friday, February 15.

S. Poomasury, 52, who came to submit her application for a micro credit, was elated by the reception she received. “I am truly amazed by the efforts put in by the staff. They have gone beyond the norms to be of service to the public,” she posited.

R. Balakrishanan, 62, was another satisfied customer. “The availability of the foundation’s office at the centre is most appropriate considering its accessibility and disposition.”


A Decent Start


Perak FA kicked off their Malaysian Super League campaign on a rather decent note, gaining two wins, a draw and two losses from their first five outings.

Perak Fottball Team - SeladangsThe Seladangs got off to a morale-boosting start, as they completed a late 1-0 victory over Peter Butler’s T-Team FC in Lumut. After that, Azraai Khor brought his troops to face moneybags Johor Darul Takzim in Larkin.

The game was dominated by the home side and the Seladangs got two men sent off just before half time for bad tackles. However, Perak fought hard to stay in the game, and while they did ultimately lose 0-1 to Johor, the grit and determination shown were inspiring enough for the fans.

Next, they faced Felda United at home. Although the Seladangs were solid in defense their attacking department was a big let-down. The absence of key players like S. Chanturu and Karim Rouani was affecting them as they struggled to finish off key chances in the final third of the field.

Similarly, the game against Felda was pretty even but the Settlers were much more clinical upfront and they ended up snatching a 1-0 victory against the Seladangs.

Notwithstanding that Azraai Khor still has faith in his side’s capabilities, as he took them to Seremban to take on Negeri Sembilan at the Tunku Abdul Rahman Stadium on Saturday, January 19. This was a special occasion for Azraai as he had coached Negeri for two years and only parted company with them last year. However, it was business as usual and the boys delivered.

Failee Ghazali struck in the 94th minute to give Perak a dramatic last-gasp win over the Deers, taking them to six points from their first four games. On the back of that morale-boosting win, Perak returned home to face traditional rivals Selangor FA just three days later.

The Red Giants were brimming with confidence after beating league leaders Pahang just days before and were looking to take down the Seladangs as well. But contrary to expectation, it was Perak who dominated proceedings early on, as they constantly pressured Selangor with a wide array of passing arsenal.

Selangor did take the lead through Francis Forkey Doe in the second half though, but Perak rallied back to restore parity through Abdul Hadi Yahya’s penalty. The game finished 1-1. Had it not been for several refereeing mishaps, the result could have been different.

So after five pulsating matches in the Malaysian Super League, the Seladangs have collected seven points and are currently 6th in the league table. Not a bad start to the season, but there were several weaknesses that need to be rectified.

Defensively, the Seladangs seem to be rock solid, especially with Brazilian defender Rafael Novais marshalling it. He has, arguably, been our best player thus far and deserves all the plaudits coming his way. However, we have been shambolic offensively. Karim Rouani is still nursing an injury while Abdul Hadi Yahya struggled to regain his scoring touch. Failee seems to be inconsistent as well.

The Super League will now go on a three-week break, to give space for the national team matches to take place. Azraai Khor needs to use this break wisely, allowing his players to rest and recuperate and to be prepared for tougher matches ahead when the league resumes next month.


Dr S.S. Gill opthalmologist at Hospital Fatimah

Medication Affecting 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 about MEDICATION THAT CAN AFFECT THE EYES.

Our eyes are sensitive to things around us including the foods and medication we are taking. Not all blurring vision is caused by an illness or disease. It can also be caused by certain medication that you may be taking.

Taking medication for a particular illness or ailment may be a must at some point of our lives. The organs and systems in our bodies are closely linked-up in an extensive network and so it is common that some medication may affect our eyes. Different medication can result in different side effects including visual side effects, some more serious than others. It all depends on the type of medication and the duration of use.

The list of medication that may cause blurring vision and eye side effects are many. Your physician will be in the best position to know whether you need to take the medication or not. He will be able to put you on alternative medication should you suffer a side effect. Most medications cause only temporary visual disturbances and usually disappear over time once the medication is stopped. Always discuss your medication with your physician and inform him if you have any unusual eye symptoms.

Should your physician need to prescribe a medication associated with potentially serious eye effects, you will often be referred to the eye doctor for your eyes to be closely monitored. This is because some long-term medication may result in serious vision disorders. The range of medication that may cause side effects may be anything from simple OTC (over-the-counter) medication to prescription drugs.

Dr S.S. Gill opthalmologist at Hospital FatimahOver-the-Counter Medication

Medication commonly obtained from the local pharmacy like antihistamines, which are used to treat a runny nose (rhinorrhea) and allergies may cause light sensitivity and dry eyes. If you are on antihistamines, keep these side effects in mind. In most cases, the side effects are temporary and can be resolved by reducing the dosage amount or discontinuing use of the medication altogether.

Prescription Medication

There is a fairly long list of medications that may cause side effects. Some of the most common drugs associated with vision problems include medication like anti arrhythmia heart medication such as amiodarone (Cordarone) and digoxin (Lanoxin); antimalarial drugs such as chloroquine (Aralen) and hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil); corticosteroid medication, erectile dysfunction drugs like sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), vardenafil (Levitra), phenothiazines like chlorpromazine and thioridazine, breast cancer medication like tamoxifen, prostate medication tamsulosin (Flomax). Every medication may have side effects but the decision on whether you need it is BEST DECIDED by your physician after weighing the benefits against the side effects. Also, NOT every person will develop side-effects!

It is very important to keep your doctor informed about any OTC medication that you may be taking including any vitamins and herbal products. If your regular physician has put you on a prescription drug, always take note of the medication on paper. Should you need to see another doctor for another ailment, you must inform him too of these regular medications you are on. This will avoid unnecessary avoidable problems from drug interactions.

Dr Gill will speak more on this in the next issue of Ipoh Echo. For more information, call Gill Eye Specialist Centre at Hospital Fatimah  (05-545 5582) or email: gilleyecentre@dr.com.

Gifts for Poor Students


One hundred and thirteen poor students of all races received gifts in the form of shoes and school uniforms from the wife of the Menteri Besar, Datin Seri DiRaja Saripah Zulkifli recently. The simple presentation ceremony was held at the Aeon Shopping Complex (formerly Jusco) in Kinta City.

Datin Seri Diraja Saripah ZulkifliThe gift package, worth RM150 each, is part of Yayasan Bina Upaya Darul Ridzuan’s (YBU) programme for the poor and the marginalised in Perak. The students, picked on the basis of their academic achievements, have been “adopted” by the Menteri Besar. They stand to benefit from the programme by way of financial support from the state government.

Besides shoes and uniforms they are also provided financial assistance amounting to RM50 a month. “An accumulated sum of RM150 is credited into their bank account every three months,” said Hairul Anwar Mohamad Noor, YBU’s chief financial officer to Ipoh Echo.

Norikramuddin Mohd Najib, 14, a Form Two student was beaming with joy when met. “It’s a good start for my school year. The new uniforms and shoes are a motivating factor for me to do well in my studies,” she said. Nori aspires to be a teacher and promises not to let her “adopted” parents down.


Malaysian Book of Records broken at Sunway’s Lost World of Tambun


 Malaysia’s Largest Gangnam Flash Mob took place at the Lost World of Tambun recently and broke the Malaysian Book of records, with an attendance of 2303 participants. This was more than double the previous record set at 1100.

On January 26, Lost World of Tambun was swarming with people. Astro, Hitz FM, My FM and ERA Cruisers were seen at the entrance. People from all ages lined up at booths to register for the Flash Mob as early as 8am, attempting to make it to the Malaysian Book of Records as the largest flash mob in our nation’s history.

Malaysian Book of Records 1 This flash mob was organised by Astro’s customer loyalty programme, Astro Circle and Sunway’s Lost World of Tambun. Also present were radio cruisers Hitz FM, My FM and ERA FM along with Astro radio announcers, Suresh from Raaga FM and Aryton from Mix FM. Astro artistes included Gheeta, Shiva, Dharshaini, Shantesh, Ratna Gowri, Iris and two of the top three finalists of 2012 Battleground (School Brotherz and Sweatz) also joined to show their support to their fans who were taking part in the flash mob dance.

Social media was abuzz with the planned event and tutorials of the mob dance were loaded in advance onto YouTube for everyone to practise for about a month. Attendees were required to pay a standard entrance fee for access into Lost World of Tambun while Astro Circle members were given a 30% discount. Everyone got to enjoy the seven attractions at Lost World of Tambun after the event.

At about 9.30am, dancers were seen entering the park. Since attendees did not get a chance to practise and rehearse together beforehand, professional dancers went on stage and rehearsed with everyone before the real flash mob began.

As I walked around the area, there were a few groups of people who were wearing the same attire. As I approached them and interviewed them, I found out that they were from Penang and were asked to join this event.

Malaysian Book of Records 2Parazee, the group from Georgetown, and was a YouTube hit for the parody of Gangnam Style, had some short performances before the flash mob. There was also a group of Jazz Aerobics and Line Dancers from CBE and JNS Penang, who had taken a bus down all the way to Ipoh at 5am in the morning just to be part of it. Being more mature than the rest of the mob, they were nevertheless very sporting, had young spirits and were all dressed in Superman T-shirts. There was also a group that had a mixture of both kids and adults. The youngest girl was 5 years old together with her mother who was the leader of the dance group, 2 Five Step Dance Academy, Bukit Mertajam. They too also came early by bus just to be part of this.

The flash mob started at about 12.30pm after some game quizzes and performances. Astro Battleground finalists led the crowd by taking over the stage. They started with “Chicken Dance”, followed by “Party Rock Anthem” and lastly, the famous “Gangnam Style”. Everyone joined in and had a lot of fun.

Malaysian Book of Records3CBE and JNS Penang said that although it was a very hot day dancing right under the afternoon sun, they had fun and it was a good experience. Astro Battleground finalists Ronald and Dylan from School Brotherz, not being informed about the flash mob in advance, commented that it was very cool and glad they had the chance to be a part of the event that would be included into the Malaysian Book of Records. They were only expecting a normal performance for the public. Finalists Vivien, Angel and Wendy from Sweatz added that they were happy to see such a big crowd dancing together with total strangers, young and old spontaneously. They were happy to see the commitment of the attendees and it was a very big eye opener for them. The sight of parents dancing with their children is not something one would see every day. Although the dance steps were very simple, everyone blended in well and most importantly, they looked happy.

The event went successfully and ended at about 1pm. As the flash mob ended, some stayed back to enjoy the park while others headed home. Many interviewed, expressed the hope to see more of these events coming up in Ipoh in the future.

Susan Ho

Hip Hop Festival


Hip Hop Festival2Hip Hop Festival1D Artiz Dance Studio organised the first Hip Hop Festival in Ipoh recently at De Garden. There were four main elements at the Festival which was dance, emcee, Dee Jay and graffiti. In this event, D Artiz Studio showed Ipoh the full culture of Hip Hop by having workshops and performances as Malaysians are usually only familiar to one element, which is “dance”.

The event started with a concert, showcasing a variety  of singing and dancing (in Hip-Hop Style), presented by Mr Mistery from Sydney, Urban Groove from KL, Silvya Lo from Indonesia, DJ Ice & Pitt Den from Penang and D’Vol dance theater from Bukit Mertajam. Dance workshops (Hip Hop, Waacking, Popping), graffiti art workshops and demos were held from 2-5pm.

The founder of D Artiz Studio, Claudia Loh, pointed out that the establishment of D Artiz Studio was to give opportunities to young people to know more about the hip-hop culture, engage youth through art and for youths to express themselves through dance.

Claudia further expressed that by giving graffiti art a proper platform, graffiti will no longer be a disruptive behaviour, but an art form. She hopes that through the Hip Hop Festival, parents and the community can be educated in order for youth to discover their new talent, new interests and a new platform to express themselves.

For enquiries, please contact the director of D Artiz Dance Studio, Mervin Yong at 017-461 8549.

Kaying Cuisine


The Ladies Section of the Kaying Association cooked up a storm two weeks before the arrival of the Snake Year of the upcoming Chinese New Year on February 10.

(6th from left) Chairwoman Yip of the Ladies Section, Kaying Association
(6th from left) Chairwoman Yip of the Ladies Section, Kaying Association

The association ladies had prepared eight auspicious and typically traditional Hakka dishes and brought it to the association as part of their activities before the New Year.

Eight traditional Hakka dishes
Eight traditional Hakka dishes

The Chairwoman of the section, Madame Yip Chai Foong said that another reason for preparing these dishes was to remind the next generation that these dishes are “very traditional and specific to the Hakka community with the hope that they will never become extinct”.

(l-r, 1st photo) Auspicious 'hee heehar har' prawn dish. 3rd photo with Dato Hew Choy Kin Ass'n Deputy President.
(l-r, 1st photo) Auspicious ‘hee hee har har’ prawn dish. 3rd photo with Dato Hew Choy Kon Association Deputy President.

Each of the dishes came attached with the recipe. After all explanations were exchanged it was time for lunch. My pick was number 3 – pig trotters with loh bak in rice wine.

'Kung Hei Fatt Choy'
‘Kung Hei Fatt Choy’


To preserve these traditional Hakka dishes, it is hoped that Ipoh Echo will be allowed to reprint some of the recipes.

Walking for a Good Cause


Walking for a Good CauseThe number of children diagnosed with autism, a complex neuro-developmental disorder, in the country is on the rise. While there is no known cure, it is proven that early intervention, from as young as one and a half years old, is extremely important in helping these children to be functionally independent.

As such, Ipoh-based Autism Asperger’s Help Association (A.A.H.A.) has once again taken the step in creating public awareness on autism, and at the same time, tried to reduce the stigma and prejudice associated with the disorder.

In conjunction with World Autism Awareness Month in April, A.A.H.A. is organising the second Walk Now For Autism on Sunday, April 14. The 5-km route starts from Ipoh’s Red Crescent Hall.

This charity event is not only aimed at creating awareness but also to raise funds to upkeep the association’s Early Intervention Programme (EIP) centre in Ipoh Garden East and to start the much-needed Pre-Academic Class for autistic children in Ipoh.

These classes are somewhat like kindergarten except that they do not follow the kindergarten syllabus. The classes are targeted at the weaknesses of each child, with the hope that they could then be integrated into mainstream schools.

Training for teachers and those interested to work with special needs children are also in the pipeline. Future plans of the association are to set up a proper support group for parents of autistic children, and the establishment of relief care services, that would enable families affected by autism to have a more balanced family life.

Besides the walk, there will be a “Little Giant Fair” where companies that deal in products like books and toys for special needs children are invited to participate for the convenience of parents who may find difficulty in procuring these products in Ipoh. An exhibition area will be available where posters regarding autism will be put up. Related NGOs and associations will provide information on resources available in the city. Other programmes lined up for that day will include short talks and networking opportunities offering counselling and support to families.

The association hopes to raise RM100,000 from this charity walk and exhibition. Funds raised during the first walk in 2011, totalling approximately RM25,000, went towards the setting up of the EIP centre. The centre now has 17 children under the care of four experienced teachers.

To participate in Walk Now For Autism 2013 call A.A.H.A. at 012-592 6800 (Mrs Cherlyn Foo) or 019‑558 2633 (Mrs Emily Gik). Registration fee is RM20 for adults, RM15 for college students and RM10 for school children and special needs children. Participants will receive a free T-shirt.


Royal Belum World Drums Festival 2013


Royal Belum World Drums Festival 2013The much anticipated Royal Belum World Drums Festival 2013 will be contested with a twist this year. A national-level competition will be held prior to the big day. This came on the heels of the successful festival in 2012 where participation was keen among the invited musicians worldwide.

The national level competition, dubbed the Royal Belum Malaysia World Drums and Percussion Challenge 2013, will be held at the Regional Transformation Centre in Gopeng on February 16 and 17. Prize money worth over RM36,000 awaits the winners. The winning team will represent Malaysia and compete alongside 12 foreign teams at the eventual festival on February 24.

“Before the main event a number of mini concerts will be held in various parts of the state as curtain raisers for the finale,” said Dato’ Hamidah Osman during a media conference recently. She implored on Perakeans to make use of the opportunity to witness some top-notch bands in action.

On the subject of tourism, Hamidah insisted that promotion is ongoing despite the end of Visit Perak Year 2012. The introduction of the 3-year “Discovery Perak Programme” (2013 to 2015) is geared towards maintaining a steady build up in promotional activities. Such activities are also being vigorously pursued in the ASEAN region. The tourism forum in Laos at the end of January is a case in point.

“Tourist arrivals from Singapore have increased seven-fold since VPY 2012,” said Hamidah. This came about by working closely with her tourism counterparts down south. Efforts to draw more visitors from the island republic will be doubled in the months ahead. “We’ll complement Visit Malaysia Year 2014,” Hamidah remarked.


Taiping’s Sri Lankans


Photo0442A historic community event took place in Taiping on Sunday, January 13. An exhibition entitled, “The Roles of Sri Lankans in Taiping 1883-1963” was held at the iconic The First Galleria, Jalan Stesen. On display were old black-and-white photographs, records of bygone era personalities, old books, archaic printed matters, paraphernalia, sports equipment and antiques from personal and private collections.

The exhibition was arranged chronologically beginning with the early era of the railways, ports, wharves and Perak civil establishments with contemporary portraits featuring Sri Lankan men and women who had shaped Taiping’s history from as early as 1873 to the present.

Sri Lankans 001Photo0438More than 100 guests comprising Sinhalese, Ceylonese and Taiping’s heritage enthusiasts gathered for a first-time experience promoting the history and lineage of two prominent immigrant communities who first came to settle in Taiping over a century ago. Some came from Kuala Lumpur and Penang, to commemorate a unique get-together and the sharing of stories.

Guest of honour, Major-General S.W. Lalith Daulaga, Acting High Commissioner of the Sri Lankan High Commission in Malaysia, said the event was a landmark occasion, as it impressed upon the communities’ younger generation to be mindful of their colourful heritage and the part their forefathers had played in the country’s development.

Guests were treated to an array of sumptuous Sinhalese and Ceylonese delicacies such as pittu (grated coconut and rice dumplings), vendium colubu (soft-cooked brinjals), iddiappam (string hoppers), sodhi (coconut milk soup), pythaurudai (green gram), masi (spicy tuna sambal), kiri bath (milk rice), pol sambal (spicy coconut sambal) and umblakadda sambal (Maldive tuna sambal).

Among the dignitaries were Dato’ S. Veerasingam, president of the Perak Malaysian Indian Association, Dato’ S. Kulasegaran, president of the Federation of Malaysian Sri Lankan Organisations, Gordon Peter Piyadasa, president of the Malaysian Sinhalese Association and Rathy Mahendran, president of the Ceylon Association Taiping.

Nirmal Ariyapala