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Conjunctival Naevus

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

Eye Health

Ipoh Echo’s EYE HEALTH series continues with Consultant Eye Surgeon Dr. S. S. GILL talking to us about CONJUNCTIVAL NAEVUS.

Every now and then, there are patients who come in complaining of some patches of brown or grey on the white (conjunctiva) of their eyes. Well, most often than not, it will probably be a conjunctival naevus. Conjunctival naevus is a pigmented growth or lesion similar to a mole on your skin. It may be referred to as a “freckle in the eye.”

The word “naevus” has its origins from Latin. The Oxford dictionary defines it as a birthmark or a mole. Medically, a naevus may be found in the eye usually in the clear front white of your eye (conjunctiva), around the colored part of the eye (iris), or underneath the retina (nerve at the back of the eye). If the naevus is at the back portion of the eye (retina), it is called a choroidal naevus.


Conjunctival naevus appears as a dark brown to black patch in the white of the eye (conjunctiva). The size of the patch may range from a small, barely noticeable patch, to a large patch that may cover a noticeable portion of the white of the eye (see adjacent picture).


A conjunctival naevus (pigmented growth) is produced by pigment cells called melanocytes. These are the same pigment cells which contribute to the colour of our skin, hair and eyes. These melanocyte cells are usually distributed evenly in the eyes, but when they form a cluster, it results in the formation of a conjunctival naevus.


Conjunctival naevus, although benign, should be periodically assessed with photographs taken at every check-up. This is to ensure that if it should ever start growing in size, it should be removed surgically. Sometimes there may be changes in colour and when this happens it should also be removed. This is because there is a small risk of the growth turning malignant and becoming a melanoma (cancerous). Thankfully, the risk of this happening is very low.


There are no eye drops or medication available to treat conjunctival naevus. The only option for treatment is surgical removal.

Surgical excision is always done mainly for two reasons:

Cosmetic reasons – this is the commonest reason especially in cases where the growth is very dark or large, and appears unsightly to the patient.

Malignant (cancerous) transformation – this is the other reason that a conjunctival naevus growth is removed, that is, if it undergoes malignant transformation. In such instances, surgical removal is mandatory.

If you are in doubt about any pigmented lesions around the eye, do seek professional help.

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

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


Sunway College Graduation Ceremony


It was a proud moment for 118 graduates of Sunway College Ipoh when they received their scrolls during the college’s  graduation ceremony on Tuesday, September 2.

The fifth cohort of graduating students were presented with scrolls for Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, Certified Accounting Technician, Diploma in Business Administration, Diploma in Marketing, Diploma in Business Information System, Diploma in Graphic Design and Diploma in Interior Design.

Forty seven of them received scholarships amounting to RM45,000 during the course of their study at the college.

Kok Ying Fan
Kok Ying Fan

Kok Ying Fan was honoured with an award for being the top five affiliates with a second placing in Malaysia for the June 2012 ACCA examination.

The ceremony was attended by family members and friends of the graduates. The Executive Member of the Sunway Group, Puan Sri Dr Susan Cheah, Senior Executive Director of Sunway Education Group, Elizabeth Lee, Sunway College Ipoh Chief Executive Cheng Mien Wee, Principal Adawiah Norli, and college staff were in attendance.

Dr Muhammad Amin Zakaria, Executive Councillor for Education, Science, Environmental and Green Technology graced the occasion. “We welcome the private sector to invest in education in Perak. Areas earmarked as education hubs include Kinta Valley, Seri Iskandar and Taiping,” said Muhammad in his opening remarks.

Chai Xin Wei
Chai Xin Wei

Top performer, Chai Xin Wei, 23, a Diploma in Marketing graduate, delivered the valedictory speech. She congratulated her fellow graduates and thanked the lecturers for their patience and support.

In conjunction with the graduation ceremony, the college organised an education and career fair for the students to initiate their career placement.

Sunway College Ipoh, with a current enrolment of 400 students, was established in 2004. It recently launched the Foundation in Arts Pre-University Programme, an alternative fast track pathway to pursue a degree course at Sunway University.

The college, under the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation, gives out scholarships or grants tuition waivers to deserving students, based on their financial background or on merit.


Bridging the Technological Gap


Bridging the Technological GapTo bridge the widening technological gap between urban and rural communities, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has initiated measures to ensure that the problem is adequately addressed. It has embarked on a project to distribute netbooks to libraries in the country as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility Programme, which it is actively pursuing nationwide.

The Commission, on Thursday, September 5, gave 708 pieces of Netbook 1Malaysia for distribution to the public libraries in Perak. The presentation ceremony was held at the Ipoh Town Hall in the presence of Hj Mohammad Nazari bin Hj Abd Hamid, Director of the Perak Public Library Corporation. Mohammad Nazari, who is also the assemblyman for Temenggor, thanked MCMC who was represented by Encik Mohd Faizal, the head of MCMC Perak branch.

The netbooks, worth over RM770, 000, will be given to all 59 public libraries in the state. “It’s our fervent hope that the availability of these items in the libraries will enable users to access the Internet for their own good,” said Mohammad Nazari in his acceptance speech.

The occasion was also held to celebrate the Perak Public Library Corporation’s Hari Raya Open House. Twelve of the corporation’s staff received awards for their meritorious service while 19 were given certificates.

In attendance was Puan Salbiah bt Mohamed, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Perak Public Library Corporation.


Dangers Lurking on Pavements


Jerry FrancisMy Say

By Jerry Francis

Sybas! Ipoh City Council for responding to the need to repair the dangers lurking on the pavements along some of the busy streets in the city. The city council had carried out the minor repairs by replacing the heavily corroded metal covers of manholes and missing interlocking bricks along the busy Jalan Dato Onn Jaafar.

Fearing that pedestrians could get hurt, I had highlighted these issues in June and had waited to see the response from the city council.

I was afraid that it would be yet another case of “no allocation” just as the missing drainage cover at the Pasir Pinji wet market where a number of people had fallen.

However, I was wrong. The quick response by the city council had also shown that  it is treating the comments from “My Say” as feedback. As I had said before it is not my intention to just criticize the administration, it is more as a means to bring some of the issues to their attention. I am glad that the city council had acted.


Recently, the Pasir Pinji state assemblyman Howard Lee Chuan How and his team of concerned residents had to collect funds from the public to carry out repairs and put a concrete cover to the drain. Lee claimed that his team had forwarded the issue of the missing drain cover to the city council and was told that a preliminary investigation would be done first. “Because there was no allocation yet, the team decided to collect funds from the public and solve the problem immediately,” he said.

Is it not the responsibility of the city council to ensure the roads and pavements in the city are safe? If so, why wait? It would save the city council from being sued should there be a mishap resulting from dangers along the pavements.


Fundraiser Operetta by Australian Troupe


Ipoh theatre lovers will be in for a treat at the end of this month when the Johann Strauss operetta, Die Fledermaus or ‘The Revenge of The Bat’ will be performed here by Australia’s Touring Opera Company, Co-Opera.



The operetta is being brought in by the Perak Association for the Intellectually Disabled (PAFID) as part of its annual fund raising project in collaboration with Co-Opera. It will be performed at 7.30pm on September 30 at the Kinta Riverfront Hotel and Suites.

The prologue of this comic operetta relates how a “Dr Falke’s best friend Gabriel Eisenstein leaves him naked in the centre of town with only his mask to cover his crown jewels after a drunken fancy dress party. Good friend Einstein may have long forgotten his practical joke but Dr Falke’s hideous embarrassment in front of the whole town requires revenge. Thus the stage is set for ‘Revenge of the Bat’ set in the glamorous high society of early 1920’s Art Deco Australia.

5th from left Dato Dr Yeoh Beng San with PAFID Committee-members

According to Association President, Dato’ Dr Yeoh Beng San, PAFID was formed in 1980 and is a voluntary, non-profit charitable organisation that caters for the educational needs and well-being of the intellectually disabled in the State of Perak.

The Association manages five schools, three sheltered workshops and a sheltered factory in Ipoh and functions through annual grants from the government and donations from the generous public.

The Association is targeting to raise RM500,000 from the event. Tickets are priced at RM300, RM200 and RM100 per admission. For every 10 tickets purchased, one ticket of the same denomination will be given free.

For further enquiries call 05-547 0186 or contact Ms Lai 017-585 4376.


Reading Shelter Celebrates 4th Anniversary


Mother Teresa’s Reading Shelter (MTRS) celebrated its 4th anniversary by launching the F1F2 programme to cater for underprivileged children in Forms 1 and 2 in national schools who have come from vernacular schools.

Dr J. Anantham, Director of MTRS, said that this programme not only provides tuition for core subjects but also coaches students how to integrate with other students and get adjusted to the environment in national schools. There is a great demand for this programme, but due to restricted availability of facilities they can only accept 22 students. He thanked Yayasan Teratai for sponsoring the programme.

The Shelter also conducts many programmes, like Kindergarden, My Book My Pal Reading, Vocational Training, 3R Programme, Personal Development Sessions, Gardening & landscaping and other one-off activities.

The response to these programmes are not encouraging and they have to look for students, but there is demand for F1F2 classes which was started recently.

Two teenage girls have completed one year of tailoring and are still attending training. They can now sew women’s dresses and take orders. Samples of dresses stitched by them are on display at the Shelter. Guests admired the quality of their workmanship and a few were keen to get their dresses stitched by them.

Reading Shelter Celebrates 4th Anniversary

Anantham expressed the wish for the service to be more fully utilised. The reasons for this is attributed to ignorance and meaningless ‘pride’ of some of the parents and guardians of the children who will not allow the children to make use of the facilities.

The Shelter needs volunteers for Teaching 3R, conducting Personal Development Programmes and sponsors to carry out their activities. For further details call Mary at 011-2836 6019.


First Sitting of Perak’s 13th State Assembly Session


The first sitting of Perak’s 13th State Assembly Session was held for five days from August 26 to 30. The opening was officiated by the Regent of Perak, HRH Raja Dr Nazrin Shah. He was accompanied by HRH Raja Puan Besar Tuanku Zara Salim.

13th assembly

Perak Menteri Besar, Dato’ Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir and State Assembly Speaker, Datuk S.K. Devamany along with 59 members of the State Legislative Assembly were on hand to greet the royal couple.

After inspecting a guard of honour, mounted by the Federal Reserve Unit, Raja Nazrin proceeded to the Assembly whereupon he delivered his royal address. His address was debated over the next four days.

13th assembly1

The Assembly was adjourned sine die on Friday, August 30 at 9.50pm.

The House approved the establishment of three committees each consisting of representatives from both sides of the political divide.

The three committees are:

Public Accounts Committee chaired by Datuk Mohd Tarmizi Idris,  Deputy Chairman Datuk Abdul Manaf Hashim and 4 members which include opposition representatives viz Chang Lih Kang and Nga Kor Meng.

Standing Orders Committee chaired by Speaker Datuk S.K. Devamany and six members, which includes opposition representatives viz S. Kesavan and Wong Kah Woh.

State Committee on Privileges chaired by Speaker Datuk S.K. Devamany and six members, which includes opposition representatives viz Dato’ Seri Nizar Jamaluddin and Ong Boon Piow.

The House also approved two bills, the Enactment of the Islamic Family Law (Perak) (Validation) Act 2013 and the Mineral Enactment (Perak) (Validation) Act 2013.

This first sitting of the State Assembly had received a positive feedback. For a change, all elected representatives were allocated their time to present issues regarding their constituencies, which they duly presented with minimal interruption.

Dato’ Rusnah Kassim (Behrang), Executive Councillor for Women’s Development, Family and Social Welfare, described the sitting as one of the best ever. Rusnah praised Speaker Datuk SK Devamany and his Deputy for a job well done. They had been objective and fair to both sides. It was conducted in a very cordial atmosphere with debates focusing on the rakyat’s problems. Questions raised by the Opposition were answered without the tell-tale hackling like before.

Perak’s first State Assembly sitting of the 13th session, ushering in a new era of political awareness

Teja Assemblyman, Chang Lih Kang, agreed that there was a vast improvement in the handling of the assembly by the Speaker. Devamany’s amicable persona was the reason why more spoke up. Chang, however, warned that whatever good that had come out of this sitting would go to waste if the state government did not walk the talk.

Opposition Leader, Dato’ Seri Nizar Jamaluddin, said that over 400 questions from the Opposition were left unanswered while his questions to Zambry, during his winding-up speech, were being continuously interrupted without him getting any proper answers.

Another positive change was points raised by newly-elected politicians, one of whom was the Assemblyman for Pinji, Howard Lee Chuan How. Lee highlighted the plight of commuters who were being inconvenienced by SPAD’s directive requiring all express bus commuters to embark and disembark at Terminal Aman Jaya, Jelapang. The new terminal, said Lee, is not served with sufficient feeder buses thus commuters have to resort to taxis to get to their homes. Taxi fares are very pricey.

Lee’s asessment got Zambry’s attention, as the MB, in his winding-up speech, alluded to his suggestion about “decentralisation” which simply means that public participation  or Local Agenda 21  should be encouraged before a policy change is made.

With the new assemblymen highlighting their constituencies’ problems in detail there would be more work for government officials. This was revealed to the media by senior civil servants attending the assembly.

Notwithstanding the hype surrounding this sitting, I feel a new era of political awareness has arrived in Perak where public’s participation will become more pronounced, forthwith.

Those keen on following future sittings of the State Assembly can access the state government portal at www.peraknews.com where live coverage of proceedings are televised daily.


SeeFoon finds yet another ‘Tai Chao’ Gem in the heart of town


musings on food - food reviewsMusings on Food

By SeeFoon Chan-Koppen

They say that ‘birds of a feather flock together’ and in my case, I am blessed to have found my ‘flock’. My group of Foodie friends are always the first to try out a new restaurant or in many instances discover little gems that often we walk or drive past without even a second glance.

Wu So Peng is a case in point. Discovered by my peripatetic foodie ‘scout’ Ginla Chew, this is another of the Tai Chao (meaning ‘Big Fry-Up’) restaurants with unprepossessing exterior but harbouring big ambitions in the kitchen. It even has a fancy printed menu featuring close to 200 dishes.

But menus aside, we all know that “the proof of the pudding is in the eating”, so a group of us traipsed off to give the restaurant a try. For a start I have to give the proprietors full kudos for being innovative. The restaurant is not air-conditioned but they did go to the trouble of setting up a cooling water drip system on their canopy to help relieve some of our extreme heat. There are ample tables with loads of space in between, not squashed in as some smaller restaurants tend to be.

Looking at their extensive menu, we decided to leave it up to them to bring their signature dishes one by one to the table. And bring it one by one by one by one they did – to a total of 13 dishes in all!

We tucked in first to the Sayur Paku (jungle fern) fried in sambal belacan and dried prawns. This had good wok hei or wok aroma and had a nice bite to it, the dried prawns providing a slight crunchy texture to the crisp Sayur Paku. Everyone was offered a bowl of the Lai Tong or soup of the day which, on the day we went, was a brown marrow or Lo Wong Kwa, umami and clear.

Other dishes came in quick succession, a Claypot Catfish fried dry in soya sauce, with scallions and garlic; Eggplant with minced meat which was delectable although a tad too oily; Tong Poh Yoke or pork belly braised in dark soya sauce was tender; Wu So Kai or whiskered chicken smothered in ginger paste and scallions; Marmite Chicken which was too sweet for my palate but others loved it and Sweet Sour Pork Ribs which were done just right – neither too sweet nor sour and the ribs tender inside.

Wu So Peng-4

The Pork Knuckle came next, a generously sized knuckle deep fried to a crisp, and almost falling off the bone. This was served with two different sauces, a Thai style sweet and sour with cucumber and onions almost raw and the other a dried Wai San, Gei Ji or Chinese Yam and Goji Berries sauce that was dark, robust and very umami. This was a delectable treat, the skin crispy, the meat tender and the gelatinous bits from tendons and some fat alleviating any tendency to dryness of the whole knuckle.

Wu So Peng-5

Next came the Asam Fish Head, cut into pieces, cooked with ladies fingers (okra), tomatoes, long beans and onions. This was tangy, not overly sweetened, the tamarind sauce with just the right note of acidity and the fish head pieces very fresh.

Wu So Peng-3

This was followed by a dish of pig’s Fallopian Tubes or Sang Cheong fried with dried prawns, scallions, garlic and oodles of my favourite Chu Yau Tsar (crispy chunks of rendered lard). I love offal and this came at the end which was a pity as I could have eaten more, the whole dish being so satisfying and appealing to my taste buds with the fallopian tubes rubbery (its an acquired taste), the rendered lard crispy, and the rest of the condiments and garnishes serving up a cornucopia of taste and textures.

Wu So Peng-1

By this time we were a group of very satiated diners but ever the inquisitive foodie, I needed a taste of something ‘Tsing’ (clear or pure in the sense of food) and promptly ordered a congee with frog’s legs and minced pork. We had to wait 15 minutes for it as it was done a’la minute but it was well worth it. The congee was delectably umami, the frog’s legs tender and succulent and the minced pork lending its flavour to the broth which we all slurped up with alacrity.

Wu So Peng-2

We promised ourselves to return on another occasion to check out their noodle and rice dishes as well as their specialty steamed fish which was listed with seasonal prices on the menu as were their crab and prawn dishes. This time we were happy to stick to the home-style dishes.

Wu So Peng-6

  • Sayur Paku (small) – RM6
  • Lai Tong (soup of the day) – free
  • Claypot Catfish – RM38 per kg
  • Eggplant (small) – RM7
  • Wu So Kai or whiskered chicken (half a chicken) – RM25
  • Marmite Chicken (small) – RM12
  • Shanghai (Sweet Sour) Pork Ribs (small) – RM12
  • Deep-Fried Pork Knuckle – RM40
  • Asam Fish Head (small) – 20
  • Fallopian Tubes or Sang Cheong (small) – RM10
  • Frog’s legs – RM30 per kg

Kedai Makanan Laut Wu So Peng
7 & 7A Plaza Kinta, Jalan Dato’ Tahwil Azar
Tel: Ah Choy 012-559 7840, Shop: 05-255 8840
Hours: 11am-10.30pm
GPS: N 04° 35.515; E 101° 05.019
Closed 2 days a month Wed/Thurs.

Birds Take Centre Stage


Bird watching, a passion among nature lovers, took centre stage on the morning of Sunday, September 8 at Taiping Lake Gardens. Nature enthusiasts teamed up with Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) Perak Branch members to spot an array of delightful resident and migrant birds in their natural habitat at the popular park.

The participants, both children and adults, came armed with binoculars, cameras and telescopes, mounted on tripods, to catch sight of our “feathered friends” found in this highly frequented tourist landmark in Perak.

Birds Take Centre Stage

Birds Take Centre StageBirds like the Brown Shrike, Long-tailed Parakeet, Blue-tailed Bee-eater, Black-thigh Falconet, Purple Heron, Spotted Dove, White-throat Kingfisher, Yellow-vented Bulbul, Pink-necked Pigeon, Banded Woodpecker, Asian Glossy Starling, Night Heron, Brahminy Kite and Common Myna, among others, were seen congregating on trees and flying above and beside the lake’s greeneries. They also heard the calls of the Blue-eared Barbet but it was not easy to spot the bird.

Among the more than 20 participants was Lee Chu Teng, principal of SMK Methodist, Sungai Siput. Lee enjoys nature and had brought his family of three along. “It’s all in the family when it comes to interest in nature. It’s also a novel event for people to get together to watch birds and talk about nature, conservation and environmental protection” said Lee.

Another was Dr Tie Hieng Kai of Columbia Hospital, Taiping. Tie came with his wife and two young daughters. “My family can appreciate nature with this event while getting to exercise at the same time. It’s definitely better than spending time on tablets and computers,” he enthused.

According to event organiser, Lee Kim Chye of MNS Perak Branch, over 90 types of resident and migrant birds can be found in Taiping.  “We gave participants a counting sheet listing at least 41 of them which could be seen at the Lake Gardens,” said Lee to Ipoh Echo.

Nirmal Ariyapala

Bumi Puja for Crematorium


A Bumi Puja was recently performed at the Buntong Hindu Cemetery to build the new crematorium. This is a ceremony performed to inaugurate a new site for the construction of a building. According to Hindu beliefs, by performing this puja, the right energy and natural elements surrounding the site can be propitiated. This was carried out early in the morning which is considered most auspicious for this ceremony.

Bumi Puja for Crematorium

S. Nadesan, Assistant Secretary of Ipoh Hindu Devasthana Paripalana Sabah (IHDPS) said that the Perak State Government has given RM1.3 million for construction of the crematorium. However, he said that the total cost would be RM2 million and IHDPS has to raise the balance.

The crematorium is being purchased from China and would have three chambers and use diesel fuel. It is expected to be completed in eight months. It will incorporate the latest in cremating technology to ensure a clean and healthy environment. The site will have a new access road and ample space for a car park.

Nadesan said that IHDPS would be operating the crematorium on a non-profit basis as a service to the community. They are planning to charge RM400 per cremation. The amount collected would not cover the maintenance costs and IHDPS must bear the additional costs. It is planned to convert the existing cremation building into a columbarium.

With the construction of the crematorium, the contentious issue over cremation of Hindus would come to an end.