Ipohworld's World

Saving Yesterday For Tomorrow

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Above is the first draft cover of a new book that will be published as soon as we can fill the blank pages with your reminiscences of growing up in Ipoh. Text will be in the English language.

ipohWorld will take on the task of collating, editing and dealing with the publishing and printing aspects, but the contents must come from you, as I grew up in UK. Now of course we do have some excellent articles on this blog already but much more is needed if we are to be able to produce the quality book we seek.

We need much more about your schooldays, going to the movies (or storytellers street), Jubilee Park, the hawkers, the sounds they made (tock tock, ting ting etc), where they congregated (Convent rear entrance and Theatre Street for example), the food they sold (and more. Let us not forget the ice cream potong man and his gambling game, or the Milo man on his bicycle, the roti man and the Indian milk seller. Then of course there is home life, your parents, your neighbour’s profession, street games, rickshaws, trishaws, marketing with mum, local day trips, happy or sad times, festivals etc etc. Since I have lived in Ipoh I have heard so many stories and it is time you wrote them down for following generations. 

But please understand that the work must come from YOU. All races, creeds are welcome to take part as long as you spent some time in Ipoh and have a story to tell.

Every contributor who has a story published will be presented with a personal copy. WE look forward to your support.

Please send all articles and high resolution (600dpi is perfect) scanned photographs to us at info@ipohworld.org and don’t worry about your spelling or grammar, we can soon sort those out. But don’t forget, no contributions means no book! Articles may be between 500 and 1750 words and more than one article reflecting different aspects of your young life are welcome.

And please understand that regard to content and selection of stories, the Editor’s decision is FINAL.

  1. S.Sundralingam says:

    I am always proud of Ipoh’s historic buildings, monuments, parks, gardens and designed landscapes. Never forgetting its limestone hills, bean sprouts, sar hor fun (flat rice noodles) and the bougainvilleas. But most of all any books about “IPOH”, and I anticipate this “IPOH my hometown”. I might pen some of my memories about Birch Garden where I spent my early childhood in the sixties.

  2. ika says:

    We shall be pleased to receive your input so turn “I might pen some of my memories” into “I WILL pen some ……”.

  3. antiquelad says:

    Me definately i’ll pen dwn some of my early childhood memories in Ipoh the Grand Silibin area where i grew up in the only gov. bungalow dad wuz a gov. servant with the waterworks..i went to ST.MICHAELS…

  4. ika says:

    Hi ipohgal, this is Leech Street taken from the far end from Hugh Low Street. Judging by the car and rickshaw it is pre war, say 1930s.

  5. Katherine Wong says:

    Ipoh my hometown what an opportunity to relive the glorious and happy memories of Ipoh history. I am sure there will be an abundant contribution to this book. Ipohite wherever you are contribute, send in your interesting articles. Let it leave an indelible memories to us older and younger generation of Ipoh.
    Will write when I do a bit of digging in my inner brain,where history data are hidden. Most probably I have to go through old photographs to start the story rolling.

  6. Jim Joyce says:

    Now Ipoh,is not,My Home Town,I just happen to have a family connection with it and many fond memories,therefrom.I have visited Ipoh many times and, believe it or not,happen to love the Town.I would hate to see the place changed but we have to make way for progress and the ways of the Future.We don’t have to sell a Towns Soul.

  7. FMS kaki. says:

    Can’t wait to get my hands ( and eyes! ) on it! “Ipoh My Home Town” what memories and sentimental real-life stories aawits its unveiling….Thank you, IpohWorld!

  8. SK Ratti says:

    What a wonderful idea to archive the past with memories of people who were or are residing in Ipoh. I look forward to the publication. I still recall the era of the Sennivasagam brothers and the celebration of The town that tin built.

  9. S.Y. Lee says:

    I am born and bred in Ipoh some 63 years ago. I have fond memories of Ipoh. I am sure you all would like to share your memories.

  10. LMS136 says:

    Hi , ika , do you have an indicative target date for publishing this book ? I look forward to reading all the first party reminiscences of Ipoh which will no doubt be rich and captivating .
    One other perspective : a lot of us had to leave Ipoh at a young age (with a heavy heart) in self-exile . Whilst we now try to visit Ipoh as often as we can , we live away . Do I speak for many in saying that there are many amongst us , including me , who actually drew on our Ipoh “grounding” as we positioned ourselves to adapt and compete in a larger stage ? Would such experiences and recollections be of any interest in your book ? For the exiles , the time spent in Ipoh is diminishing rapidly into a smaller and smaller fraction of our total life as the years roll by , yet why do we harbour and cherish such a deep affection for our hometown ?

  11. ika says:

    Hi LMS136 welcome to our world.

    The timeframe of the book depends entirely on how soon I can get the articles in from the authors. This is a real struggle with lots of promises but not too many following through yet with the words. Not enough good articles means no book.

    Assuming I can get enough suitable articles together by the middle of November, the book would be targeted for June 2011, but punctuality is not what Malaysians are good at.

    Regarding your thoughts above are an interesting slant on growing up here and all I can suggest is that you write it and we shall see how it fits in. There is no reason why it shouldn’t providing it covers an aspect of growing up here.

  12. 5candles says:

    LMS136 …”One other perspective : a lot of us had to leave Ipoh at a young age (with a heavy heart) in self-exile . Whilst we now try to visit Ipoh as often as we can , we live away . Do I speak for many in saying that there are many amongst us , including me , who actually drew on our Ipoh “grounding” as we positioned ourselves to adapt and compete in a larger stage ? … For the exiles , the time spent in Ipoh is diminishing rapidly into a smaller and smaller fraction of our total life as the years roll by , yet why do we harbour and cherish such a deep affection for our hometown ?” How very true…

  13. Phoebe says:

    Hi, LMS136 and 5candles.

    Indeed, I do share your sentiments about Ipoh, which still has a very special place in my heart decades after my ‘self-exile’. I’ve often been known to trot out the line: “You can take me out of Ipoh but you can’t take Ipoh out of me.”

  14. LMS136 says:

    Hi , Phoebe ,
    Well said . Like us , many more in the years to come will leave Ipoh , never to return to re-settle although re-visit we will . But we do take heart that there are others , like ika , who will be drawn to Ipoh . This ensures that Ipoh is stronger for its admirers and will never burst its seams .
    I suppose it is better that things are left that way . We do not wish to impose upon Ipoh day-to-day the pressures that the “returnees” inflict on its infrastructure when they converge each year to celebrate Chinese New Year with their relatives and friends .

  15. Phoebe says:

    Hi, LMS136.

    I totally agree with you that it takes rare gems like “ika” to actively champion Ipoh’s cause to help open our eyes to our heritage’s worth. I’d love to be more involved with his good work if not for the fact that I’ve not lived in Malaysia for the last quarter of a century. Hence, for me at least, being able to converge each year during CNY with relatives and friends is more like a fantasy than a privilege. Having said that, I have made a few visits “home” over the years, each trip more meaningful than the last as the years roll on.

  16. LMS136 says:

    Hi Phoebe ,

    I can empathize with your feelings . For us who are still within Malaysia , periodically making some visits out of the country , Ipoh is very much accessible .

    The new air conditioned ETS train service between KL and Ipoh has performed reasonably well so far . A one-way journey takes about 2hr 6min and has only 9 brief stops . The seats are assigned and are reasonably comfortable . There are 4 services a day , the first leaving KL at 6.20 am and if you don’t wish to stay overnight , you may take the last train out of Ipoh leaving at 6.30 pm .

    One can do a fruitful day trip to either destination so there’s one more reason to visit Ipoh more regularly even if one is reluctant to drive .

    My family no longer resides in Ipoh . But each year , if I am in the country , I will try to go up to Ipoh to attend our class reunion dinner which is held on the 2nd Day of the Chinese New Year . I
    may take the train next year . This should play a part in helping to reduce the festive period traffic congestion .

  17. 5candles says:

    Hi LMS136 & Phobe,
    I agree with what LMS136 said “I suppose it is better that things are left that way” but was afraid to voice it out lest some may think that I do not wish progress upon Ipoh. Progress is good if we are able to maintain the peaceful restful laidback way of life but more often that not, progress in Ipoh means the destruction of heritage buildings, natural surroundings etc. The younger generation will most probably leave for lack of opportunities / “excitement” but through the inspiring work of the few who are passionate of all things Ipoh, may the knowledge they share spread the love of our hometown far and wide. This website has certainly shown how little I am aware of the rich history of Ipoh. I know someday I want to come back to Ipoh and retire. I guess Ipoh is the retirement/retirees’ town 😛

  18. posy says:

    Hi LMS136, 5candles & Phobe,

    I’m a Ipoh gal,migrated few years back. I don’t miss Malaysia but I missed Ipoh heaps. Do not know why, but there’s something really special about Ipoh that everytime I think about my hometown, my heart always skip a beat. As Phobe said, you can take me out of Ipoh, but you can’t take Ipoh out of me! And I believe that there are many more out there who share our feelings about Ipoh. Yup, might think about retiring in Ipoh……it’s so peaceful and beautiful. No matter where we go, Ipoh will always be the best place on earth!

  19. LMS136 says:

    Hi posy ,

    Thanks for affirming that we all share one and the same “heart chord” on Ipoh .

    Yes , although many more places and cities claim to be vibrant , dynamic and packed with action ,
    no other place than Ipoh can generate so much stirrings within me . I can’t fully understand why .

    Speaking from the experiences of my youth , there was so much beneath the calm and quiet of Ipoh and the serenity of its picturesque hills .

    Long may that last !

  20. ipohgal says:

    Hi LMS136,posy,Phoebe & 5candles,

    Perhaps like the birds, we humans too, possessed that ‘homing sense’ – the inborn ability to yearn for home when we have enough of the outside world. From where we came, to there we go back to, eventually. Ipoh is our home and nothing is sweeter than home. Have a nice weekend, fellow Ipohans and cheers!

  21. LMS136 says:

    Hi ipohgal , posy , Phoebe & 5candles ,

    Reading all your pieces , clearly for all of us , our heartstrings are for Ipoh .

    I am also conscious that I am the only thorn amongst all you roses who professes so much
    for our Ipoh roots . I like to believe that all the many guys out there are reticent because
    it is only “macho” to behave thus .

    Sometimes , my non-Ipoh friends teasingly say that Ipohans “oi leng , oi chang , oi ho sek
    pek kor oi pheng” – roughly translated , this phrase means we like things of beauty / beautiful.
    in form , of good quality and are tasteful / delicious but we also want them cheap . (Not a very
    good translation but I am sure that you ladies can help me out .)

    It is perhaps true that many of us like value-hunting (a habit of frugality arising from the way we
    were brought up amidst poverty and privations but never descending to greediness) . Yet on
    reflection , in the way we interact with other people , we do exhibit a hearty quality , humility ,
    humanity and “big heartedness” (again my Canto-English translation ability fails me – any one of you care to come to the rescue ?) .

    Perhaps , before long , we and the many like-minded Ipohans could congregate for a reunion of sorts to share our affections for Ipoh – not necessarily when we are all retired .

    I am struggling to come out with an apt translation of the Cantonese “Thin Sang Thin Yeong” but
    all that I can think of at the moment is :-

    ” Born under the Heaven
    Nurtured by Nature ”

    but I I really don’t think that this captures the essence of what the Cantonese saying alludes to .
    I would be grateful for any help on this .


  22. Charlie says:

    Hi all! What’s great about Ipoh! Well everything here yua leng, yau chang, yau ho sek
    and also yau pheng! What more do you want?

  23. ipohgal says:

    Hi LMS136,

    I think you are doing fine with your translations of the Cantonese phases here. Cantonese is a very dramatic dialect, hence it was impossible to translate word by word into English. In doing so, some of it’s essence will be lost.

    Besides the pretty girls, the fabulous and cheap food, the real reason for Ipoh’s attractions are it’s unspoilt charms. Everywhere you go, you could see beautiful blue hills, clear blue sky, the absence of things like skyscrapers, maddening traffic jams even on a Sunday and the feeling of being inundated by illegal immigrants like what we are now experiencing in centre KL and Sabah. The air here is clearer and the water cleaner too. In short, Ipoh still retains much of her natural beauty.

    By the way, if you ever have the chance to stand at the balcony of the upper floors of the Hospital Besar Ipoh overlooking Anderson School, you will have a wonderful bird eye view of Ipoh city, surrounded by endless hills. It was such a beautiful sight. A soothing balm to the eyes and the soul.

    The same feeling could be found if you are travelling along the elevating highway along Jalan Tasek near the present Tesco (formerly Macro). On both sides near the traffic lights, you could see the beautiful scenery of endless blue hills and white mists. I think you could not get such beautiful scenes elsewhere in this country.

    Even my husband and children who are not Ipoh born or bred, loves this place terribly and could not wait to come back for a vacation whenever time permits. To them, this is a good holiday destination! They felt those Ipoh folks who could still stayed in this place (unlike poor me who have to migrate away) are the luckiest folks for having the privileges to stay in such a nice place.

  24. LMS136 says:

    Hi ipohgal ,

    Thanks for your kind encouragement .

    Apart form problems with Canto-English translation , I was never good at phonetics in school . I am however quite thick skinned and will continue to try make do but I hope that if you and the others were to come across instances which could do with some improvement , you will assist me .

    The second bit “Nurtured by Nature” works well with the English expression , “God help those who help themselves” towards attaining a better outcome in life for the more positive minded persons .

    However , for those less fortunate , for those who are laid back and for those who are not motivated ( some could sink deeper into misery or even be embroiled in crime and violence ) ,
    could it not be argued that the second part of the English translation should more accurately read as –

    ” Neglected by Nature ” or even ” Left to Nature’s whims ” ?

    I am still struggling ….. 🙂

    You have described so well those parts of Ipoh that I have not really been very conscious of . I will act on your tips when I have the opportunity . Thanks again .

    I am always taken by the beautiful sight of the hills in the background as I proceed to cross the bridge along Hugh Low Street . And yes , the clean and cool water in Ipoh ! I still love to splash very cold Ipoh water over my head when I can , the practice of taking a habitual bath at 5.30 a.m. in my young days continues to to-day . Ah , so invigorating and so effective in clearing the cobwebs left over from the previous night’s sleep !

    I am glad that your husband and children take well to Ipoh . We can do with more devotees .

    Your previous posting on birds was spot on . I am also led to remember that birds of the same feathers do flock together . Birds we might be but peacocks and peahens we are not .

  25. Katherine Wong says:

    I am impressed by all the blogs above. Yes Ipoh is a place that is very special to the Ipohites. We are a bunch of “yaw ching, yaw yee” type of people.
    Besides the beautiful landscape and food, there are many beautiful people born and bred here; unfortunately migrated elsewhere in search for a livelihood etc.
    Many had gone and left, but I know that they will always have Ipoh a certain place in their hearts.
    It is always a joy to me when my old friends come back far and near and we have a regular gathering to talk about old times.
    Nothing will take away the memories of the folks and the place in Ipoh from all Ipohites no matter where they are.

  26. 5candles says:

    Fellow Ipohites,

    A dear friend of mine just returned from her trip to Darjeeling, India & she posted many pics of the beautiful sceneries there. One that caught my attention was the one she took at the peak of a hill station where she captured the ragged, jagged tops of mountains (a few of them covered with snow) surrounded by puffy white cotton clouds. Instantly I thought of our beloved home town where we have our version of rolling green hills as far as the eyes can see. One does not have to go far to get a piece of heaven.

    In addition to the spots mention by ipohgal, a good place to observe Ipoh’s hills is at the rooftop carpark of Kinta City.

    There was also a spot on the way back from Batu Gajah to Ipoh on the Lumut trunk road/highway approaching the Kledang hills where it looked like the Salem high country advertisements on tv in the 1980’s. Sadly that is gone due to land clearing.

    Have a good week ahead folks! Looking forward to your comments 🙂

  27. Katherine Wong says:

    Do you know if you walk up Kledang hill in Menglembu, you will get beautiful scenic view of that place and the topography will of part of Ipoh. Beautiful fresh air and place to exercise, enjoy nature and interact with the local there.

  28. LMS136 says:

    Hi ipohgal , Katherine and 5candles ,

    You have all succeeded in adding to the growing list of things that I should do when I next visit Ipoh . Thanks .

    I have done several hikes up Kledang Hill in my schooldays , each time enjoying the company of fellow boys , the hike and the scenery . I heard that the route going up has since been improved .
    One of my ex-classmates who runs a restaurant in Ipoh walks up there regularly , thus we can no longer call him by his schooldays nickname , “fei loh” .

    Talking of hills there is a different kind of “san” (Cantonese for hill which could also refer to cemetery as the practice is generally to site the burial plots on higher ground) . This one is on Tambun Road .

    A good friend of mine , of Hakka descend , hailed from a rubber-tapping family in Johore . As the company commander in the Royal Malaysian Rangers Regiment based in Ipoh those days , he would conduct regular patrols through the cemetery . After clasping their hands in a quick prayer requesting to share the fruits left behind which the departed would have taken their fill , he and his men would often help themselves to the fruits – that is , if the birds had not beaten them to it .

    Here’s obviously a story on peaceful co-existence between the two worlds . He did not appear to have suffered any ill effect and in later years he did rise from the rank of captain to command a Rangers battalion .

  29. LMS136 says:

    Hi ,

    One other thought …. Ipoh is famous for its smooth and fine tau foo , its succulent taugeh , its smooth kway teow and of coure , last but not least , its pretty girls .

    They attribute it to the limestone-filtered water .

    What about the Ipoh guys ? We are of course not pretty , we don’t want to be so ! But we imbibe the same water , breathe the same air . What distinguishes us ?

    Can we be said to be “tough outside but soft inside” ? Please don’t get me wrong . I mean , we male Ipohans from the limestone hills and the valley , do we not have a touch of genteelness and humanity inside us , quite apart from the very competitive and sometimes , combatant and tenacious spirit that we carry ?

  30. ipohgal says:

    When my children were still toddlers, they travelled alot with me back to Ipoh to visit my dad. Since they were too young to understand much of their surroundings, I taught them to recognise a particular landmark along the North South Highway,the hills at the Gua Tempurung and Simpang Pulai area. Everytime,I will pointed out and tell them about the hills from the bus window when we approached there.

    It did not take them long before they recognised the hills and to them, when they see the hills, they knew they had reached mummy’s and Kung Kung’s home.

    So, whenever the bus reached the Gua Tempurung stretch, they will said out loudly, “Look,the beautiful hills, we have reached Ipoh, mummy and Kung Kung’s home!” and everyone in the bus will looked at them amusingly.

    Even to this day, they still have fond memories of the hills and loved the sight of them.

  31. LMS136 says:

    Hi ipohgal ,

    Unfortunately , today some of the hills are pretty much cut down leaving ugly , deeply scarred facets .

    At least , your children can harbour memories of the hills in their prettier days .

    We will have to find every opportunity to enjoy what’s left before they are further ravaged by ugly dynamite blasts .

  32. ipohgal says:

    Hi LMS136,

    While Ipoh was renowned for it’s pretty girls, sadly the same was not heard about ‘handsome Ipoh guys’ but hahaha don’t lose heart! What you guys lack in physical beauty, you all made it up with brains, and for a guy, brains are more important than beauty!

    The latest Ipoh sensation was a guy named Tan Zhong Shan who came out as the top law student at the prestigious Cambridge University in England. Now guys, don’t you all feel proud of him? But as usual, this country does not valued him, so he had hopped over to the little red dot down south.

    As for the once beautiful hills now turned ugly, this is so true. What was once a cluster of limestone hills that dotted the highway, they are gone one by one, leaving ugly faces staring down at the motorists. It was like the face of a once pretty girl, now scarred by someone who had threw acid on her.

    As usual, the local goverment was silent on this.

  33. LMS136 says:

    Hi ipohgal ,

    Thanks for the consolation .

    My late mother used to tell me that looks are not so important in a man (another consolation ?) so long as we don’t have “chark mei chark ngan” (bandit’s eyebrows and eyes in Cantonese) . Hahaha….

    I hope that at least we can pride ourselves as being brave hearts , hopefully with some grey matters up there as well .

    Tan has done us proud . There were many renowned sons and daughters of Ipoh and hopefully , there will be many more to come . The former Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore , Dr Toh Chin Chye , hailed from ACS Ipoh . An ex-Ipohan served as an Attorney-General of Singapore .

    The hill blasting required a permit ! So is silence , consent ?

  34. Katherine Wong says:

    Ipoh has produced a lot of illustrious sons and daughters. They are brilliant and successful. Scattered all over the globe. If only they all come back and congregate together one day in Ipoh, it will be news of the century. Alas it is wishful thinking. Those prominent and important people don’t have time. If we can gather all the whose who famous local past and present it will be a thick volume indeed.
    Anyway we are all proud to be Ipohite once upon a time or now still am.

  35. ipohgal says:

    Hi LMS136,

    The hill blastings had been going on for quite some time, the trail left behind was so obvious to those travelling along the North South Highway. At this rate, all the little hills will be gone in no time and part of Ipoh’s beautiful landscape will be destroyed forever.

    Can NGOs like Sahabat Alam Malaysia care to comment on this or like what you said, silence is consent?

  36. LMS136 says:

    Hi ipohgal ,

    Alas , what will become of Ipoh , the land of hills and valley ?

    When the limestone hills are gone , what will become of Ipoh’s tau foo , taugeh , kway teow and Ipoh girls ?

    Like you , I hope that NGOs and the concerned citizenry will do something to make the authorities sit up and listen before we have every reason to lament .

    One more thing about the ” No , No” in Ipoh guys and that’s no “seah tau shi ngan” (in Cantonese ,
    “snake head , rat’s eyes” , i.e. a furtive individual) 🙂

  37. ipohgal says:

    Hi LMS136,

    What will become of Ipoh without the beautiful little hills? She will look like a 100 years old lady without a single teeth in her mouth – leaving a wide big gap 🙂

    We will not have smooth tau foo or kway teow anymore. Fat juicy taugeh will be replaced by long and thin sprouts like what you get in other places. Ipoh girls will not have smooth and glowing complexions – in other words, a nightmare!!:(

    A few more big nos in a guy in case you and your mom omitted – “yum yum sup sup”,”kuai kuai sui sui” and not forgetting “tham sum par sei” hehehehe.

  38. ika says:

    You are all correct of course, but I am disappointed that I have almost no backing to my protest on Ipoh Echo at http://ipohecho.com.my/v2/2010/10/16/ipoh-on-its-knees/ and that is despite my trying to get support by putting a note on our Chatterbox and the appropriate blog. To me that means that nobody cares enough to write even a few words on the Echo blog!

    I write very often in the Echo supporting the need for heritage conservation in Ipoh but never get any real support from the people. I sometimes wonder why I bother!

  39. LMS136 says:

    Hi ipohgal & all others ,

    What a barren and nightmarish landscape that you have painted ,
    devoid so completely of charm and beauty !

    But you are absolutely correct that that could be our painful destiny .

    So ika’s plea is worthy of our support .

    To pen we must ! Hear all !

    P.S. Here’s a few yes-yes on Ipoh guys –

    “kong ming looi lok”
    “lung wat lung san”
    “tham tai pau thin” (this one a rather dangerous , 2-edged characteristic , anyway rarely found)

  40. Katherine Wong says:

    The ruling party mentality is to get money no matter how they rape the land of sand and blast the hills for granite. Scant regards for the flora and fauna and preservation of nature. They want fast and easy money. Short sighted in their plans. They cannot see the bigger picture of the damaged they had done to the landscape of Ipoh.
    Only solution to take our stand, make an effort to vote them out of power or administration.
    We need a more caring, people friendly administration in Ipoh.
    No amount of plea will be taken into consideration.
    We can resort to people power, people voice. Are the people in Ipoh willing just do go and vote for change? The decisions is up to the local. If they will not even take a stand in this area, they have no right to moan, groan and complain.

  41. LMS136 says:

    Hi Katherine ,

    I can well understand your frustrations , and do I not detest a tinge of despair .

    Yes , governments will change when the people want to change it and usually because of a host of issues , not one or a few .

    A change in government does not in itself guarantee that the cause will be adopted . There’s always excuses like approval has been given by the previous administration , it’s too far into the pipeline to do anything about it , or even that there are other legitimate interest to consider .

    The first step is to lobby hard enough and the best position is to have a party adopt it in their election manifesto . This way they will be held more accountable should they win their way into power . In that event , the already scarred hills might have to go but at least the remaining should be left unscathed .

    The case for conservation will depend on its bargaining chips , the stronger it is perceived to be , the stronger the votes it can deliver , the better is the outcome . This is where ika and the NGOs come in . They deserve support .

    It is regrettable that many of us exiles are too caught up in other things to be able to offer much help . But perhaps the returned exiles and the “retirees” (by this I don’t mean inactive people but people who are fortunate enough not to be bothered by bread and butter issues) could be harnessed , using their experiences and abilities which could go a long way for the cause .

  42. ipohgal says:

    Hi Katherine,

    I can sensed your deep anger and utter frustrations. You are correct. No amount of pleas, petitions or protests will opened their eyes to their wrongdoings. They only speak the language of votes.

    But we, the rakyat, are to be blame too. Many of us are too lazy to register ourselves as voters, even when we have reached the eligible age. We have time to go shopping, sightseeing, disco hopping or for a few rounds of mahjong but we procrastinate to do our national duty to register to vote, even when the registration exercise was brought to our doorsteps.

    I have approached some relatives during family gatherings to register. One distant relative and his girlfriend, both in their late twenties, just giggled and asked, “Why should we vote? We have everything – a steady job, a nice house and a chic car?”

    Some even said, “My dad and mom already voted, so no need for me to votelah.” With these kind of mentalities, we still have a long way to go before we can see some positive changes in this country.

  43. LMS136 says:

    Hi ipohgal ,

    You highlight a very valid concern .

    Why are these young people so smug ? Why are they so prepared to totally abandon their say in their destiny , the country’s march to the future , the values the country should stand for , the use of the resources and wealth of the country , the country’s development …. ?

    Do they not have some vision of the way the country should evolve into , the system by which it is to be run so as to become a better and safe place for their children to live in ?

    For all the education and investment in them which their parents made at great sacrifices – in many cases making them more privileged , more educated and more experienced than their parents , what basis do they have now to say that it is enough that their parents to do the voting for them . Should they not now assume their personal responsibility to influence changes for the better ?

    Ultimately , one doesn’t live for oneself alone , one has to “give back” to society . And it is to be sooner than later .

    It doesn’t matter how one chooses to exercise one’s vote – which party , which manifesto , which candidate . But it is irresponsible not to vote … and yet continue to moan .

    It might not be a bad idea to legislate for criminal punishment to be meted out to those who do not fulfill this responsibility .

    How can this message be carried across ?

  44. ipohgal says:

    Hi LMS136 and Katherine,

    If you go to any polling station on a polling day, chances are, you can see that the majority of the voters are from the age group above 40 to even the very elderly.

    Those between 21 to 40 are far in between. Maybe they are thinking along this line, “Hei, why should we waste our time standing in the queue under the hot sun to throw our ballots. Why can’t we just rant our views from the comfort of our keyboards. We are computer savvy and everything can be done online.” Hence, you can see a lot of comments in political blogs but not many will turn up on polling day to cast their votes.

    I remembered the recent proposal to made it automatic for every citizen to be a voter upon reaching 21 was immediately shoot down by the authorities as they felt it was not to their benefit.

  45. LMS136 says:

    Hi ipohgal ,

    How I wish I can dispute your observations !

    Not that I really want to contradict you in any way . It is just that it would augur well
    if this age group were to go out of their way to work towards ensuring a better future .
    Unfortunately , you are right although I think you will prefer to be wrong in this instance .

    I hope that I will never have to come to the point of losing hope completely .

    Can’t they turn up at the polling booth just before it opens when there is less crowd ?
    When the weather is very bearable ?

    Will they behave the same when they reach 40 ? When will they ever grow up and stand
    to be counted ?

    My own training and experience has taught me that standing under the hot sun is nothing
    when irrespective of race , colour , creed , religion , background and sometimes , age
    people stand together to shoulder the responsibility of getting things done well .

    Admiral Nelson’s exhortation that ” England (for that substitute Malaysia) expects every man to
    do his duty this day ” , counts in my days . But , to be met by a blank “Huh ?” today ?

  46. wongsoiyin says:

    Hi Ipohgal. Your piece on the library of MGS brought back lots of fond memories for me too. I joined MGS primary 6 in 1969 on a tranfer from Tronoh. At the Tronoh school, our library was just a small cupboard (something that looks like a suitcase standing upright)that opened up to show three shelves each side with less than ten books inside.We were allowed to read the books for one period but were not allowed to borrow them home.so, imagine my surprise the first time i went into the MGS library!All those books waiting to be borrowed and read! from that day onwards, all my free (and not so free) time was spent with a book. the end result was a very good command of the English language and …. a pair of thick spectacles…haha. The library at MGS secondary school was even better! My partner and best friend, Lai Wai Kuen, and I used to swap our books every week to maximize our reading appetite. Those were the days….. By the way, may I know what year you were from? Any chance of us being classmates?

  47. ipohgal says:

    Hi there wongsoiyin,

    Too bad we were not from the same year although we were from the same school. I joined the primary school after you had proceeded to secondary school just next to it.

    MGS is indeed a big and good school with very good facilities and the student population was huge. Who could forget the well stocked libraries, the spacious halls, the wide field and badmionton court, the well equipped science labs and even the sparkling clean toilets. It has been a long time since I left school and I guess it is even better now with more additional blocks and facilities.

    Like you, my love for reading was cultivated from it’s libraries, both the primary’s and secondary’s. My hunger just grew and grew. Some of the best books were read in those day. From Shakespeare to Homer, most of the best books were read up by the time I left secondary school in the early 1980s. You can say I made full use of the libraries!

    I too, have a friend from Tronoh. Her name was Chong May Leng and she joined MGS during Form I. She was a Hakka girl and came from a family of tin mine workers. Her dad worked at the pumps while her mom was a dulang washer. She was good in her studies and in sports too. Together with a few others, we were friendly ‘rivals’ but we lost touch after we left school. I heard from other friends she had migrated to another country and had never return.

  48. ipohgal says:

    Hi LMS136,

    Besides the lackadaisical young ‘unregistered’ citizens, we have another uphill battle in the form of the election commission which by law should be neutral but were seen as being ‘bought over’ by the dark side.

    Then we have the millions of illegal immigrants holding citizenships along the border of Sabah – the safe deposit, as some labelled them.

    With this bleak view, can we aptly applied the Cantonese adage, “Sui cam ngan mei ng ci sei” to describe those who don’t give a care to what will become of this country?

  49. wongsoiyin says:

    Thanks for your reply, Ipohgal. I left MGS after MCE in 1974. I am also a Hakka. As for our alma mater, I remember we had a big funfair in 1970 to raise funds for a school hall. The hall was built successfully but it has only the front and back walls. The principal then told us that those walls will be added eventually. Correct me if i am wrong but the last time I visited the school(some few years back), it was still without those walls! The years I spent in MGS were indeed happy ones.We were given a quality education not only in the academics but the social skills too. The teachers were very dedicated. I remember most fondly Miss Ng Poh Chan, our English teacher. She will have only the Queen’s English from us and we were also drilled to behave like proper ladies!” Mind your English… mind your manners… speak lik a lady… don’t drag your feet “… etc. Although she looks very prim and proper, her literature lessons were always fun! The most enjoyable part of my days in MGS were the “Lit Soc” (Literery and Debating Society) periods! All those debates, quizes,plays and dramas were just wonderful. Preparing for those events taught us about co-operation, pride of class,hard work and rewards, creativity, role execution and putting forth our talents in acting and dancing to the best of our ability! Wow! Those were the essence of our memories…..

  50. LMS136 says:

    Hi ipohgal ,

    Your Cantonese reference to those blinkered , oblivious “unregistered” citizens is most accurate .

    Our ancestors and those of us who are even now living by the adage , ” sei hoi wei kar ” can only feel sad and let down by their apathy .

    Do they not realize that the generations before them have invested so much , toiled so hard and made so many sacrifices ? All that is required of them now is only to withstand some discomfort like queuing under the sun , so as to continue staking their future in this country ?

    Is that too much to ask of them ?

  51. ipohgal says:

    Hi again wongsoiyin,

    I remembered the headmistress of MGS primary school throughout my 6 years there (1971 to 1976) was one Miss Lim. Could not remember her full name. Yes, the school hall was big, with two walls on each end but empty on both sides. There was a large elevated stage and a piano. The last time I past by was in 2003 on the way to Tow Boo Keong Temple and I can see it was still without those walls. Could it be the fund was insufficient to built the wall or was the money channelled to other places? hahahahaha

    You are more lucky than me, all your primary school days are happy ones. I, on the other hand, have it tougher. Coming from a very poor family, just when my dad lost his livelihood, sympathy was the last thing you could expect from teachers. You still have to pay up all your fees without any delay and I did faced much disciminations when it comes to punishments even for some minor offences like forgetting to bring T-shirts for the Physical Education class or even forgetting to bring the color pensils. Other girls from well to do families have it easier. Some were merely given a slap on the wrists or a warning. Today, I do not begrudge them but I shall blog about this when time permits. The memories are all there, still fresh in my head…some sweet, yet others bitter.

    Secondary school days are much better but then we could not enjoy much as there were too many exams to sit and extra curricular activities to attend. In a glimpse of an eye, it was time for us to leave…ah, that was school life, once gone will never come back again.

  52. ipohgal says:

    Hi LMS136,

    Nothing is too much to ask of them. All these are for them and their children and their children’s children.

    I hated to live the day when I have to tell my grandchildren, “Look, this place used to have plenty of beautiful blue limestone hills but they are all gone.”

    And my grandchild will ask me, “How come you did’nt tell them to stop and keep some of the hills for us?”

  53. Katherine Wong says:

    We the older generation are doing the best we can. It is now up to the younger generation to carry the baton we pass to them in the future. The future is going to be bleak or rosy is their own choice. My generation is more than three quarter spend. We can teach, talk, advise and bring awareness to the younger generation. It is not a matter of their choice. There is a saying “Never regret over split milk.”
    Yes I feel a bit despondent and some despair looking at the Y generation mentality. They never experience hardship like us X generation. That’s why the are so prone to comfort and never like any inconvenience. “Que Sera Sera” what ever will be will be. We still hope and pray. Keep our fingers cross that the youth who read this blogs will stand up, call their peers and do the right thing and make us and their ancestors proud.

  54. LMS136 says:

    Hi ipohgal ,

    Many Europeans , having lost a great portion of that part of their heritage in their own homeland , have now resurrected their conscience to ardently champion Eco and Green movements to save in the developing countries what they have lost in their own .

    Although ironic , this is nevertheless laudable .

    I hope that our succeeding generations will act before it is too late to retain what we have , and not wait to emulate what the European “crusaders” are now doing .

    Your “crystal ball gazing” predicts a sad lament . I hope that we don’t have to direct people to Gweilin to observe what we once had in Ipoh .

    Katherine ,

    I share your concerns and hope that your message will carry through to the young people and that there will be sufficient numbers who will be quick on the uptake .

  55. ipohgal says:

    Hi LMS136,

    I hope we don’t need a Bruno Manser in Ipoh to help us keep the hills. For the time being, how about this for our beloved hometown:

    Far mo bak yat hung,
    Yan mo bak yat hoe,
    Yee Poh mo bak yat lang.

    And should the Cantonese adage “Thin sang thin yeong” be extended to Ipoh too, since we are forced to leave her to her fate?

  56. wongsoiyin says:

    Hi Ipohgal

    So sorry to hear of your sad memories but I know what you mean. In those days, disciplinary actions were harsh.Ya, we had to pay nine Dollars every month for our school fees. In Form 4 and 5, I had the unpleasant task of collecting the fees every month as the class monitor.I was always reprimanded by the form teacher for not doing my job on time because I did not “chase after” the late ones!

    When next you do get on this subject, I will be delighted to share some memories too! Have a nice day!

  57. LMS136 says:

    Hi ipohgal ,

    That’s creative ! I am tuning into your lingo fast ( I mean the anglicised spelling of Canto expressions ) . But that’s no credit to me as I am mainly Cantonese .

    Just a small clarification – you intend that “lang” refers to beauty / scenic or mountain range ?

    You are right again – Ipoh seems to be left destitute to sit out its fate , defenceless and uncared for .

    All things said , Bruno would probably be safer in Ipoh as Ipohans are not known to be really brutish 🙂 🙂

  58. ipohgal says:

    Hi wongsoiyin,

    As with all things in life, there is an opposite to everthing. Anyway, it was a very distant past and we are brought up not to begrudge anyone. But sometimes, when I think back, it saddened me to know that even in school, a place that was supposed to educate us on social justice, discriminations does exist and was so blantantly displayed by the very people we looked up to – the teachers themselves. So, when I decided to blog about my school days, I will include some sad memories as well, as I wanted my writings to be balanced. Let me get the neccessary pictures of the school first before I hit the keyboard again.

  59. ipohgal says:

    Hi LMS136,

    Yes, I intend the “lang” to refer to the beautiful scenic view of the hills surrounding the city, not the pretty girls. In this context, what I meant was that we won’t get to see the beautiful hills every day as they are disappearing fast before our eyes.

    As for whether Bruno Manser will be safer in Ipoh than in the jungles of Sarawak, it is difficult to tell. Nowadays, nobody can guarantee anyone from harm’s way.

  60. LMS136 says:

    Hi ipohgal ,

    Thanks for the confirmation . I did in fact come to the conclusion earlier that that was what you meant but I couldn’t resist teasing you 🙂 .

    Whilst we are pained by the incessant destruction and desecration of our beloved hills , we know for sure that the spirit and the human qualities so special of Ipohans will never be vanquished . Even the exiles like us will keep them triumphantly alive – ” weng weng kau kau ” .

  61. Rosebud says:

    I remembered & begin to recollect that 1970 funfair mentioned by wongsoiyin. I was there with my buddies to ‘support’. How else can we as teenage schoolboys then have this opportunity to enter a girls school? Thanx for jolting this memory of mine & whats left of it.

  62. yvette says:

    Hi Wongsoiyin,
    Thanks for the memories.Being an Ex-MGS girl myself,I can never forget Miss Ng Poh Chan, a petite lady, always in her ‘samfoo’ or ‘mahjaisam’.
    Despite her small stature, she had a powerful presence and delivers well. She taught us History and demand no failures in her subject.
    One can’t help respecting her, for her dedication in her job.
    Remember, she is also a displinary mistress? No one dares to fault her or the school rules, coz she gave bitter punishments…

  63. ika says:

    It is now 5 months since I called for articles for this book and I have received many. I plan to close the submission period on 30 November. Anything submitted after that will not be considered for publication. Those of you who have promised to submit articles please do so before the end of this month.

    Thank you.

  64. S.Sundralingam says:

    Hi ipohworld, how is the progress on the collections of the various articles from our Ipoh readers? Mr.Ian, I know u are doing a great job for us, but I wonder at times, why U must bother so much about Ipoh when the ipohites are least bothered about it! I trust and believe that this book will in our hands in some matter of months. Thank U.

  65. ika says:

    The texts and many original photos (apart from one or two that came in late) have been with the desighner for the last three weeks. There are 60+ stories and we are still on schedule for publication around July or August. The final design will be a hard cover book of around 280 pages with Foreword by Lat. We hope to market it at less than RM100 per copy.

    If you aske me why I took on the task you will have to wait intil you read the introduction.

  66. S.Sundralingam says:

    Commander, as you have stated, I will read the introduction first before I attempt to read the rest. I will save the reasons to myself. For one thing I am sure, this is another chapter in the history of Ipoh. The launching of ” IPOH, my hometown”, will reflect the writings of ipohworld’s avid readers. The stories from people of all walks of life. This book I believe, is a question of learning from the past. The final countdown is only 15 days away. Kudos!, finally U have made it.

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