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So far ika has created 361 blog entries.

October 2020

Now Here is Something Different

By |2020-10-19T11:20:00+08:00October 19th, 2020|Categories: Identify Photographs|

It is in our collection, but not yet listed in the database and may be difficult to guess. So let me give you a couple of clues:

Probably unique, it came from a tin mine near Lahat and was invented by a British Mining Engineer! It dates from the days when appropriate machinery was not yet available in Malaya.

June 2020

No Curfew for the MCO

By |2020-06-15T16:03:09+08:00June 15th, 2020|Categories: Identify Photographs|

Movement Control Orders are not new to this country, but in the past they have been limited to curfews. The earliest example we have is from the New Villages during the Emergency, when the residents were locked down for around 14 hours every night. Of course there was always ways ti get a permit to break the rules. Just like today.

This was 62 years ago. Who can share their memories with us.

May 2020

So Which Ipoh Market is THIS?

By |2020-05-13T15:27:05+08:00May 13th, 2020|Categories: Identify Photographs|

Ipoh’s Markets have changed over the years and we at ipohWorld are confused.

As you can see it is called the New Market. But which New Market? Is there anyone out there who can tell us where this Market building fits into Ipoh’s History please.

April 2020

The Singapore Squeeze – Another John Mennie Sketch from 1942

By |2020-04-09T13:31:52+08:00April 9th, 2020|Categories: Identify Photographs|

This sketch records the ‘Selerang Square Squeeze’ – a shocking Japanese atrocity meted out to 16,000 PoWs in Changi, Singapore in 1942.

The Japanese settled the Allied soldiers in a cramped square for five days in unbearable heat to make them sign documents stating they would not try to escape.

Many men died from disease and dysentery during the incident and four more were callously executed by their sadistic captors.



An Operation in the Open Air – Singapore 1942

By |2020-04-08T11:18:01+08:00April 8th, 2020|Categories: Identify Photographs|

This sketch is one of many drawn on a scrap of used paper by artist John Mennie, a Japanese POW.

The sketch shows L’Cpl Dunlop from the Army Medical Corps conducting an operation on a serviceman with no medical facilities. The set of sketches were given to fellow POE Eric Jennings, son of the Editor of the “Times of Malaya” They are a harrowing record of the brutality of the Japanese in WW2. 

The Last Stop of the Day – A Chinese Cave Temple

By |2020-04-03T10:50:07+08:00April 3rd, 2020|Categories: Identify Photographs|

After enjoying every crumb of their bakery buns, a little rest and some games at the beautifully scenic Gining Lanf, it was tie to move on. The next and final stop for the day was a Chinese Cave Temple.

Thus, they had reached the end of a really fun day with their Cousins and Classmates and it was time to cycle home in time for dinner with their parents.

Before we leave them can you tell us which Cave Temple they visited.

Cycling Makes You Hungry – Time to Buy Lunch

By |2020-04-01T09:57:55+08:00April 1st, 2020|Categories: Identify Photographs|

After leaving the newly completed Coronation Park. Their route took them up the Kuala Kangsar Road to the cheapest best bun shop on Ipoh. Of course that was the The Patis Bakery Factory. Their buns and cakes were always delicious.

Do you have any memories of this famous Ipoh icon?

March 2020

First Stop was a Green Lung in Ipoh, but Which One?

By |2020-03-31T11:16:58+08:00March 31st, 2020|Categories: Identify Photographs|

It was a pleasant Saturday morning as they set off for their trip as there was no Saturday school in those days! The group was made up by boys and girls from SMI and the HIJ Convent, with one or two cousins joining in. After a short ride it was time to stop at a park where there was a toilet. Can you guess where that was? 

Can You Still Ride a Bike

By |2020-03-30T13:53:14+08:00March 30th, 2020|Categories: Identify Photographs|

There was a time when boys and girls got together for around Ipoh bicycle rides. It was a great way to spend healthy times with your friends. This picture was given to us by Ong Su-ming. It is a Saturday morning in 1953. The outing started right here in Gopeng Road.

If you can join us over the next 4 days, you will see where they went. In the meantime do you have any biking stories to tell us?

January 2020

Wanna start the year 2020 with a bang ? Sharpened Word may have the right topic for you !

By |2020-01-09T10:07:19+08:00January 9th, 2020|Categories: Identify Photographs|

On the second Saturday of January the SW team is proud to bring Zilkif;ee SM Anwar Ujhaque to Ipoh.
If you are nor sure who is he, His ardent fans simply call him ZUNAR. By this, we don’t need to give a big
introduction to our guest. His works  are well loved by the raykat they revealed exactly what readers felt,
albeit cheeky!
Well, the storm has passed, but will Zunar stop ? Let’s  come to 22 Hale Street and find out. There will be a book 
sales by MPH Bookstore and an autograph opportunity  at the end of the mind-boggling session.
Hope to see you there !
Salaam Pak Peter, “Art for Art’s sake”

On the trail of Sun Yat Sen and comrades

By |2020-01-04T11:55:58+08:00January 4th, 2020|Categories: Identify Photographs|

Chan Sue Meng (in pink) together with some of the shop owners and Chinese association leaders at the unveiling of the signage Jalan Market.

The photo is from the Sun article about the newly designated Sun Yat Sen historical trail in Ipoh. You may read about it at:\https://www.thestar.com.my/metro/metro-news/2020/01/02/on-the-trail-of-sun-yat-sen-and-comrades 

78 Years Ago Today

By |2020-01-02T16:30:31+08:00January 2nd, 2020|Categories: Identify Photographs|

I could not let this day go by without remembering that on 2 January 1942, the British Battalion, formed in Ipoh from the survivors of the Commonwealth forces, The Gurkhas, The British Indian Army and the British Army, were defeated by the Japanese, who then went on to capture Singapore.

The battle lasted four long days and nights, but the defenders when beaten the Japanese attacked them from the rear,, having travelled South by boat. It was a bitter blow to General Percival and signalled the eventual defeat of the British in Singapore.

December 2019

It’s almost the end of the year!

By |2019-12-30T17:02:12+08:00December 30th, 2019|Categories: Identify Photographs|

for some, it would also be the end of their schooling years.

Back in December 1957, Lo Yuk Zhu graduated from Perak Girls’ Secondary School. Pictured here is a unique certificate signed by the Principal. What did YOUR school graduation certificate look like?


Unexploded Ordnance found In ipoh

By |2019-12-29T12:46:47+08:00December 29th, 2019|Categories: Identify Photographs|

Bombs and bullets found at Ipoh Terminal Cargo on Monday (Dec 23)

Sorry folks I am running a little late with this piece of news!


Happy Christmas Everyone

By |2019-12-26T10:37:35+08:00December 26th, 2019|Categories: Identify Photographs|

They say this is the season of “goodwill to all men”, irrespective of race or religion. That is exactly what we wish for you all.

Peace in the World.

Let’s try and make it so together.

Another Treasure from the late Olga Kathigasu

By |2019-12-23T14:37:10+08:00December 23rd, 2019|Categories: Identify Photographs|

Did you know .. that on 21st December 1945, 3 months after the Japanese surrender, the Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus (Main Convent) had a Christmas concert? Teachers and students must have worked hard to get the show together in such a short time. Below is a copy of their programme. God Save the King!

December 2015

September 2014

A Bad Day for Perak Hydro!

By |2014-09-27T10:18:00+08:00September 27th, 2014|Categories: childhood, history|Tags: , |

Image (6)


Over many weeks Larry has sent us a host of photographs. So many that they will be a great addition to our database recording his childhood life and times with Perak Hydro in Batu Gajah. You have probably seen memories from him and his young friends on our blog where young friends from 50+years ago met again on ipohWorld’s World.

The above photo caught my eye and I wondered this was due to Communist activity (they often blew up trains) or whether it was a simple accident.

The other thing of interest is the excavator shovelling coal. Yes at one time we had coal fired power stations. Are there any left, and where did we get the coal? If you know then do let us know. I am sure that there are many young Malaysians who do not even know what coal is!

June 2014

Ipoh’s Heritage Trail is Full of Surprises

By |2014-06-22T17:00:17+08:00June 22nd, 2014|Categories: Ipoh Town, tourism|Tags: |

Yes, you really never know what you might find to surprise you on our heritage trail. This delight was more than a little surprising just after we passed Concubine Lane at the Treacher Street (Jalam Bijeh Timah) end.



Yes it is, it really is – a water meter right in the middle of the pavement! At first I thought someone had thrown it away, but no it is firmly fixed in position. Thank goodness I saw it otherwise my last night’s  little jaunt into Old Town and its heritage may have turned out differently.

Dare I ask what are the “authorities” doing to produce such a monstrosity?

By the way, speaking of heritage trails, there are now a range of printable Heritage Trail Maps available on ipohWorld’s database, including Ipoh Trail Map 1 in English, Malay and Japanese, Ipoh Trail Map 2, Gopeng Trail Map, Batu Gajah Driving Trail map, Kuala Kangsar Trail. Please use then as that is what they are there for.

But my apologies are in order for we failed to include this water meter in Ipoh Trail Map 1.

Happy Trailing.




May 2014

Something is Going Up in Panglima Lane

By |2014-05-29T17:41:59+08:00May 29th, 2014|Categories: Ipoh Town, Restoration, tourism|Tags: , |

DSC_6703 blog


Some years ago this site held two of the original Panglima Lane homes from 1893. Then one literally fell down into a pile of bricks. Fortunately no one was hurt. Then because the second one was considered dangerous it was also taken down.

For a while it became a sort of recreation site but soon the Lalang took over and it became an eyesore.

Just in the last few days a team of contractors moved in and this is what the site looked like this morning.

From the position of the concrete and reinforcement it looks like a double unit is going up but the big question is what will they look like from the Lane? As this is one of the main attractions of the Ipoh Heritage Trail, have the Town Council insisted on an old style matching facia to blend in with the old homes still there or have they approved some monstrous, faceless structure as they have done so often before?

Time will tell but I know what I would like to see.

The Passing of the Sultan of Perak

By |2014-05-28T19:41:31+08:00May 28th, 2014|Categories: Identify Photographs|

azlan (1)

Duli Yang Maha Mulia Paduka Seri Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah Ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Yussuf Izzuddin Shah passed away today at the National Heart Institute (IJN) in Kuala Lumpur.

Raja Permaisuri Perak Tuanku Bainun and the sultan’s children, including the Acting Raja Perak Raja Dr Nazrin Shah, were by his side when he passed away.

The sad news was announced by Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir live on RTM1.

ipohWorld sends their condolences to the Royal Family on their loss.

ACS Alumni Dinner 2014

By |2014-05-20T23:20:44+08:00May 20th, 2014|Categories: celebrities, festivals/celebrations, Memories|Tags: |

Poster - Celebrating umpteen years of life & friendship together 2014

It’s Party time again! ~ Come & CELEBRATE! our fun & wonderful years of Life & Friendship Together! – *Saturday, August 2nd, 2014* *@ Kinta Riverfront Hotel & Suites, Ipoh.*

This year will see the debut of our Alma Mater’s magnificient Bagpipers & Wushu Drummers!  Get ready to be tickled and entertained by the professional emcee, comedian & stand up comic ~ Mr. Stephen Fernando!

Hurry, book your seats now! for an evening of fun, cheer & reminiscence. For booking & inquiries, pls call | Ms. Lim 05 241 2523 or 05 253 2882 | Mr. Looi Teik Aun 012 515 1116 | Mr. Lau Wun Chew 017 882 0608 | Mr. Hum Kee Kuang 012 336 0770 | Collection : 47-A, Jalan Tokong, 31650 Ipoh.

Sad but True

By |2014-05-11T19:56:16+08:00May 11th, 2014|Categories: Ipoh Town, tourism|Tags: |

The Ipoh Railway station forecourt  underwent a major renovation recently and one of the first things the tourist sees when he arrives is a large round fountain area surrounded by nicely constructed boundaries which hold engraved pictures and words about the delights of Perak. I took friends down there and here is a sample of what I found. They are all as bad as each other.

Gunung Lang Pic

This is a picture of Cunung Lang and the original colour can be seen at the top.

Ipoh Pic

Now we proudly present Ipoh!

Pasir Salak

Pasir Salak!


And finally Pangkor Island.

Now I promise you that these were taken this afternoon in the bright sunshine and they have not been meddled with in PhotoShop or in any other way.

Now it is not for me to judge but I do believe that somebody in authority should ask if the money was well spent.

What do you think?

A New Attraction – Old House Museum, Taiping

By |2014-05-10T09:06:29+08:00May 10th, 2014|Categories: festivals/celebrations, history, Identify Photographs, ipoh, nature|Tags: |

Old House

Situated at 2A Market Square, Taiping, this is the project of Tan Kok Siew (Kapitan Antiques) who has leased this old house and filled two floors with antiques and collectables from days gone by.

Entrance is RM5.00. The museum is opem every day from 10.00 am to 7.00 pm.

Apart from the items on display, the house itself is a treasure. Built in 1880 by Lim Ji You it was one of the earliest 3-storey homes in Taiping, if not the very first.

If you are withing striking distance, do go along and while you are there you might find a long forgotten memory in the antique shop just along the street.

April 2014

The Passing of a Famous Local Historian

By |2014-04-28T09:06:55+08:00April 25th, 2014|Categories: history, People|Tags: , |


It is with sadness that we advise of the passing of Chye Kooi Loong who left this world on Wednesday 23 April 2014.

Chye Kooi Loong, is a renowned war historian and former Home Guard warden during the Malayan Emergency. He is a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE), awarded by the Queen of England.

Mr Chye spent seven years researching and documenting the Battle of Kampar (30 December 1941 – 2 January 1942), an engagement of the Malayan Campaign during World War II involving British and Indian troops from the 11th Indian Infantry Division and the Japanese 5th Division.

He fought long and hard to turn the famous Green Ridge, Kampar into a memorial to remember the great and ultimate sacrifices made in the defence of Malaya.

He will be sorely missed.

We pass our condolences to his family in their loss.

May he rest in Peace.

The funeral will take place at the Kampar crematorium at 11.00am tomorrow, Saturday 26 April.

September 2013

From the Days When Ipoh Had Style

By |2013-09-07T14:12:54+08:00September 7th, 2013|Categories: history, Ipoh Town, Natural Heritage, nature, People|Tags: , , |

Blog iverside

Just look at this grand old postcard from  the 1920’s. Recognise the place?

Well I guess most of you will not be able to pin this down, but as the postcard caption shows, it is the People’s Park, Ipoh. Historically the land was gazetted as the ‘People’s Park’, a gift from the government to the people of Ipoh. At the time the land was valued at $70,000 and was used to display a fantastic collection of Chinese plants presented by Yau Tet Shin. The Park was officially opened on the same day as the Birch Memorial Clock Tower was dedicated in 1909.

Today we have what is known as the beautified park, with its red yellow and blue plastic etc. For me I prefer Mother  Historically Nature as it used to be.

What about you?

Now Here’s a Sight for Sore Eyes!

By |2013-09-05T14:11:27+08:00September 5th, 2013|Categories: Events, games, ipoh, Memories, People|Tags: |

1968SKCAI (2)


This great old photo came with the following message:

“Picture of me with the team 4x100m relay Cator Avenue school ipoh 1968. Hope my old friends in the picture memory of our history together.

from: Alaudin”.

So come on friends, tell which one is you.  And for those not in the picture, we always love to hear more about your schooldays.

Many thamks to Alaudin for sharing.

August 2013

NTPS Pasir Puteh Take Off For Penang

By |2013-08-19T18:13:32+08:00August 19th, 2013|Categories: celebrities, childhood, Events, games, Memories|Tags: |

6 (2) blog mano


Here is a bit of nostalgia if ever there was one! Sent in by Mano it is a photo taken on a bus on the way to Penang from the famed NTPS Jalan Pasir Puteh, Ipoh in 1967.

Mano tells us: At the rear is Semret Singh, SEA Games Gold medallist at the Hammer Throw in 1985 and 1989. He is the son of the equally famous Ghenda Sing (deceased) who donned the national colours for the Hammer Throw as well till he was 55!

To the left of Semret is Suhaimi who, together with his brother, formed the band Apple Jam and went on to open Ipoh’s first Discotheque – Apple Jam.

In the right half of the photo, in the middle, wearing a zippered shirt is Suhaimi’s brother, none other than Wah Idris – Musician extraodinaire from the Berkeley Scool of Music.

As for me, I’m the other Indian kid looking out the window, behind the Indian kid smiling at the camera.

Cheers to all at Ipohworld!

Thank you so much Mano – may

July 2013

What is Happening Here?

By |2013-07-27T13:55:09+08:00July 27th, 2013|Categories: Ipoh Town, Restoration, tourism|

photo 1 blog


A couple of days ago I happened by chance to meet up with a group of KL tour guides in Old Town. They were with a Perak member of our Tour Guides’ Association and I joined up with them for a while to tell the heritage story as per ipohWorld.

When we were close to Kong Heng they noticed the above buildings, just a couple of shops away, all behind new fencing and asked what was happening. I had to say I did not know but would try to find out. My guess was that they will be demolished! They were shocked and asked why. I have no answer, do you?

The buildings include the old Modern Photo Shop on the left (Market Street) and continue round the corner of La Beaute and the two shops next door in Leech Street.

The signs on the fencing reads RENT!

Can anyone offer me a clue as to the future of this famous old part of the town?

Ipoh’s Finest Transport – The Trichair

By |2013-07-26T09:22:14+08:00July 26th, 2013|Categories: Ipoh Town, People|Tags: , , , |

New Transport blog

Yes here it is having just passed over the Hugh Low Bridge. Proceeding at a steady, somewhat leisurely, pace, the Trichair turned left and looked as if it was going to the nearby market. The photo was taken around 10.00 am on 23 July 2013 when I overtook them on the bridge and having pulled over sharply, jumped out of my car and caught them with the iPhone. They were totally unfazed with my performance, with the lady lightly gripping the side bars – completely comfortable in her plastic chair. By the time I had got back in my car they had disappeared into the traffic..

With the Trishaw no longer allowed to ply for fares in Ipoh, the Trichair is clearly the way ahead for those who don’t have cars, but I wonder what MBI would say if a few dozen of these hit the streets.

June 2013

The Pony Express Comes to Town

By |2013-06-12T21:40:26+08:00June 12th, 2013|Categories: childhood, Exhibitions, history, Memories|Tags: , , , |

Yes, here is the latest attraction to arrive at Falim House Exhibition “A Tin Mining Family”. It is the Mobo Pony Express, a dual purpose toy that can be used as a baby’s push cart and a pedal car,


And there are more good things to come. So if you have been to see us then don’t hesitate to come again. And if you have not got there yet then don’t forget we close finally on 11 August.

May 2013

My Favourite Group

By |2013-05-31T23:42:33+08:00May 31st, 2013|Categories: Events, Exhibitions, history, ipoh, Memories|Tags: |

3 generations blog

No, it is not the Beatles nor is it the Famous Falcons.

It is actually 3 generations of one family visiting our exhibition. These are truly my favourite as Grandpa tells the grandchildren all his old stories and the children listen and learn. And that is what we strive for, the children to learn a little history while having fun in the family unit.

So why not bring your 3 generations and put a big smile on my face as well as theirs!

A Day of Smiles at Falim House

By |2013-05-26T19:55:30+08:00May 26th, 2013|Categories: About Us|

Today, Sunday 26 May 2013 really was a day of smiles 885 of them! Yes 885 people registered at ipohworld’s exhibition mounted at Falim House and good humour was the order of the day.

IMG_1512 blog IMG_1513 blog IMG_1514 blog IMG_1498 blog IMG_1501 blog IMG_1502 blog IMG_1503 blog IMG_1507 blog


IMG_1510 blog


Have you been to Falim yet? You really should as it is ipohworld’s best show yet.

Falim House Exhibition – Update 2

By |2013-05-16T21:39:23+08:00May 6th, 2013|Categories: childhood, Exhibitions, history, ipoh, Memories|Tags: , , |

IMG_1404 blogThis photo was taken about two weeks ago and it is one very small corner of the whole exhibition. Today, now that the remedial work is done to this particular display it is a great place to record your visit to this famous house. It is just one such photo-spot of many. Found in Falim, this tricycle used to ply the local roads of Ipoh and Menglembu selling Coca Cola. Does anyone remember it? Did you buy the ice-cold Coke from it?

The exhibition opens at 10.00am on Sunday 12 May, as published and will close at 6.00pm (last entry 5.00pm). It will remain open 7 days a week from 10.00am to 6.oopm,  until finally closing at 6.00pm Sunday 11th August.

The show will be opened by Y Bhg Dato’ Haji Roshidi Bin Haji Hashim, Ipoh Datuk Bandar and there will be no admission before the formal opening. Some 400 guests will be invited but you are also welcome to attend.

There will be three vintage cars on display for the opening. If you would like to bring yours along please do so.

There will be a free shuttle bus service run by Tenby Schools Ipoh to bring visitors to and from Ipoh Train Station and Falim House during the weekends. The bus will depart from the train station at 10.45 am, 1.45 pm and 2.45 pm, and take passengers from Falim House to the train station at 1.15 pm, 2.15 pm, 4.15pm and 5.15 pm.

As there are many loose items on display we do not allow shopping bags or similar into the house. Please leave all bags and baskets in the car (ladies’ handbags excepted).

One final point about cameras, phones and videos. We have deliberately set this exhibition up for you to have fun and take your souvenir photos with the artifacts and models, but we do not allow deliberate copying of photographs or the film. Take as many general shots as you like but if you cannot follow these simple rules you will be asked to leave the exhibition.

We hope to see you there.

Steve Oh blog

And here is Steve Oh (left), the Malaysian author from Australia in the exhibition.

April 2013

ipohWorld at Falim House – Update

By |2013-04-14T15:52:35+08:00April 14th, 2013|Categories: Exhibitions, ipoh|Tags: , , |

House 1 1927 500


Dur to the selected date of the long awaited GE13 we have decided to delay the opening of our exhibition at Falim House (pictured) until Sunday 12 May. It will run for the same three months closing on Sunday 11 August. More details nearer the date so watch this space!

We apol;ogise for any confusion this change may bring.

Attention to ALL EX RPSians

By |2013-04-13T18:39:29+08:00April 13th, 2013|Categories: ipoh|Tags: , |

Attention to ALL EX Rpsians (Teachers & Students 60s/70s/80s/90s/20..)

Hope all of u will join this event -Date & Time 18/5/2013 at 2.00 p.m.Venue SMK Raja Perempuan, Ipoh (Jln Batu Bungkal)

Interested Pls contact Wong 0125282196


March 2013

Employment Vacancy

By |2013-03-12T08:31:13+08:00March 12th, 2013|Categories: About Us, Exhibitions, ipoh, Museums, tourism|Tags: , , , |


We are currently planning to run an exhibition called “A Mining Family” at Falim House. This is not about one family, but an amalgam of more than 200 photographs and a large number of artifacts that show the lifestyle and labours  of several of Ipoh’s Mining Towkays. The exhibition is targeted to open on 1st May 2013 and run for at least three months. Entrance will be FOC. We then hope to move to new, permanent premises where more exhibitions will run in what will be known as a Heritage Centre.

Clearly in the longer term we will need several extra permanent staff, but for the Falim House show we simply need an Assistant Exhibition Manager who we hope will advance to Manager of the new heritage centre.

Applicants should have an interest in heritage and must be competent to converse in both English and Malay. The ability to speak Mandarin/Cantonese would be an advantage. Own transport will be required to get to Falim. Any relevant experience will be taken into account. Salary is negotiable.

Should you be interested in this position you may apply by sending your Resume/CV and photograph to us at info@ipohworld.org. You should indicate your expected remuneration. We will respond to all applications advising whether we wish to call you for interview or not.

Closing date for applications is Saturday 30th March 2013.-

We look forward to hearing from you.



Ipoh’s First Waiters’ Race

By |2013-03-09T11:37:28+08:00March 9th, 2013|Categories: festivals/celebrations, ipoh, Ipoh Town, People, tourism|Tags: , , , , |

ScreenHunter_09 Mar. 08 22.35


Despite Ipoh’s long romance with all things food-related and the abundance of hotels, restaurants and clubs in town, Ipoh has never before taken part in the international tradition of the waiters’ race. On the 25th of May 2013, that is about to change.

Organised jointly by the Ipoh City Council (MBI), Perak Tourism Association (PTA), Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH), Perak Chapter, and the International Waiters’ Race Agency, Ipoh will be hosting its first International Waiters’ Race in D.R. Seenivasagam Park.

The Waiters’ Race (www.waitersrace.com) is a tradition originating in France, created to exhibit the skills of the famous French garcons by challenging them to race a street course while balancing a tray of beverages on the palm of one hand.

The earliest photographs of a Waiters’ Race were taken in the London Race of 1901, but the French roots of the race are over a century old.

Today, Waiters’ Races are held all over the world, including several held in Malaysia in the past. This is, however, the first time one will be held in Perak.

Demonstrations of ice-carving, flower-arranging, food-carving and a barista competition in coffee decoration will be held, along with a mini-treasure hunt, children’s race, parade of Perak school bands, and cheerleader demonstration for younger participants.

Over one hundred waiters and waitresses from Perak’s favourite eateries will be running the 1 ½ kilometer course through the park in three different races.

Visiting participants will be included from Ipoh’s sister city in Japan, Fukuoka, and Ipoh’s “friendship cities” Medan, Pusan, Hangzhou and Guangzhou.

Each runner will attempt to gain the fastest time while balancing their tray on one hand, without spilling any items. Running alone is worthless; winners have to arrive with a full tray or close to it.

The first race will be a Full Service Waiters’ Race where competitors run in traditional waiters’ attire over a challenging course including the steps leading to the bridge and a turn through the Japanese Garden.

The Quick Service Waiters’ Race will include hotel students as well as professionals and allow running shoes. Both races are open to men and women, prizes to be given separately to the best gentleman and best lady.

The third race will be an Amateurs’ mixed relay with teams comprising two men and two women each, dress code open to any attire.

Organizers hope to make this an annual event, celebrating Ipoh’s waiters, waitresses and culinary heritage for locals and tourists alike.

ScreenHunter_10 Mar. 08 22.36

February 2013

Finished Today, Ipoh’s Latest Artwork

By |2013-02-10T23:30:59+08:00February 10th, 2013|Categories: Ipoh Town|Tags: , , |

Mural 1 Mural 2 Mural 3 Mural 4

Well folkjs they were promised for the New Year and here they are, the last brush strokes being co,pleted just a few hours ago. They may be found between Hugh Low and Hume Streets across the road from  the multicoloured shophouses in Hugh Low Street. Maybe this picture will give you a better idea of location.

Mural 5

We thank Charlie Choong for keeping his finger on the pulse and alerting us to these.


January 2013

December 2012

Congratulations for a job well done

By |2012-12-16T18:40:50+08:00December 16th, 2012|Categories: Ipoh Town, People, Restoration|Tags: , , , , |

I have chosen to feature this photo today to honout the owner, Mr. Lim of the Lim Kopi kopitiam in Hugh Low Street, who has done an outstanding restoration job on this building, inside and out. For those of you who are not aware this is the de Silva building in Belfield Street, Old Town, Ipoh which was derelict less than a year ago.

If only there were more owners like him.

Dying Tree? A Report by Ipoh Echo

By |2012-12-08T20:46:59+08:00December 8th, 2012|Categories: Ipoh Town, nature|Tags: |

Noting the concern of some of ipohworld’s loyal followers about the apparent near-death state of the famous Ipoh Tree in the Station gardens(!) I contacted the Ipoh Echo with a request that they investigate.

James Gough immediately swung into action and today (8 December 2012, posted a report on the Echo Website at http://ipohecho.com.my/v2/2012/12/08/dying-ipoh-tree/.

Basically it appears that this is a normal situation from which the tree will recover. The report tells us:

“A check with MBI’s Director for Landscape and Recreation, Encik Meor Abdullah Zaidi Meor Razali dispelled any fear of the tree dying. Meor stated that the tree was undergoing a wintering season or ‘musim luroh’ when the tree sheds its leaves before growing new ones. “This had happened to the tree at Taman DR a year ago”.

Do read the whole report so that you are fully in the picture.



November 2012

A Special Event in KL

By |2012-11-24T09:07:12+08:00November 24th, 2012|Categories: concerts, festivals/celebrations, history|Tags: , , , |

A (Medieval) Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols

 International choir CANTUS MUSICUS and Jusz Kidz Children’s Choir will present an Advent service of THE FESTIVAL OF NINE LESSONS & CAROLS in the sanctuary of St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Kuala Lumpur on 9 December 2012 (Sunday), at 6.00pm.

This is a traditional Christian choral festival in which Christmas carols and songs from around the world would be sung in their original languages, interspersed with readings by diplomats and leading members of KL’s international community.  This is also the 10th year that the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols has been sung by CANTUS MUSICUS in St. Andrew’s.

In celebration of this milestone, some of the carols that will be sung this year will be medieval in character to reflect the humble origins of the choir when it first started as a small group, singing medieval music and madrigals.

Mulled wine and mince pies will be served after the service, using recipes from the medieval age, made by various choir members.

Cantus Musicus is an international choir based in KL founded in 2003. The original members of the choir were drawn from an experimental choir formed to complement the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra and known unofficially as the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas Chorale. Unfortunately, the choir project was subsequently abandoned. buts the project choir’s rehearsal conductor, took the best of the singers, 17 in all, and formed Cantus Musicus. Within 2 days, the choir gave its first public concert, and the rest is history.


I hope you would be able to attend this unique carol service in which all the singers would be dressed in European medieval costumes. If you are unable to attend, I would appreciate it if you could please inform your friends about the service and forward the poster and write-up to them. Thank you.

The choir would be accompanied by Lisa Ho on the pipe organ and piano, Lionel Morbelli on the violin, and Christoph Zilian on the oboe.

Some Help Needed Here

By |2012-11-22T14:20:33+08:00November 6th, 2012|Categories: About Us|

In response to the below appeal we have unusually agreed to publish this. Please help if you can but remember  – pets are not toys to be discarded when you are bored with them. They are for life.

“TheNoah’s Ark Ipoh is managing the ISPCA cattery. We have lots of kittens at the moment, around 20! We also have around 40 adult cats looking for a good home. Can you help us get the word out about adoption as the only option? We have cute pictures and descriptive pharagraphs of the cats personalities. We would like to reach as many people as possible.

We are open on weekends from 10-12 for adoptions.  We are also looking for some volunteer helpers/play mates/groomers at the Cattery. If you know anyone who loves cats, send them my contact info please.
Thank you,
Jenna Murray

My name is Snowball. I am mostly white, with a short tail and quite rotund like a ball. I have awfully cute marble-grey eyes. I am also very playful and cute. I am just a few months old and super cute. I am already done (neutered/spayed) and cute too. I am ready for adventure and would be good with a family that has children.

As you can see.. I am just all cute. Come and visit me at the cattery. Pray and hope that i get a nice family to go home to soon. Will you take me home please? I can be good… and i am cute you know.

A little history about Garfield. I am not sure how long he has been in The Cattery, but his owner abandoned him as he lost almost all his fur and didn’t look good anymore. Fur loss was probably due to stress … like how we lose our hair when stressed. Nothing a little TLC couldn’t solve- you should see his handsome self now. Very calm temperament. He would be a perfect lap cat for Grandma. He would make a WONDERFUL friend. Anyone want to adopt him? He’s neutered and very, very SWEET!

Now here are three more lonely feline friends looking for new homes.

Sunshine tells us.  I am a ginger and white kitten with a very round face. They all call me big face because my face is as round as the mOOn. I am most playful and full of energy as i’ve been confined in a condo (most of the time) with another smaller ginger and white with a small face (who is not as cute as me). Snowball used to live with me. Now that he has found a good home, I wish to go home too. I need a good mama to wipe my face for me, a warm bed to sleep in and lots of hugs and snuggles. I will be the sunshine on your shoulders if you bring me home as my fur lights up like the sunshine. I will light up your life and make you very happy. Take me home, Please?

Lavender’s tale (sic). I was rescued from the Turf Club way back in June this year. I was heavily pregnant and about to pop. I gave birth to 5 lil’ sweet kittens safely in the cattery and they named my babies the Smallies

Each and every kitten of mine has found a forever home and its time that I should leave the cattery too. I am a very sweet cat, gentle and just love minding my own business. I don’t get into fights and I can mix very well with other cats. I’ll make a very nice lap cat and a wonderful companion for some senior folks as I am not noisy. I just love a good cuddle and a good home.

Give us adult cats a chance and share your home with us. I am already neutered and am ready to go home anytime you are ready to pick me up. We are all litter trained and we just need someone to love. Come and get me soon, ya?

Blue the Siamese – her story. Blue was rescued two months ago with severe mange and a burnt back… she has been treated, vaccinated and spayed and ready for her new home. She is a beautiful Siamese and extremely affectionate. The person who adopts her is extremely lucky. She loves human company and is like a shadow….she gets on well with other cats and is an absolute gem.

Her bad past is behind her now. All she needs is a loving home. Does anyone want to have a beautiful Siamese?



October 2012

September 2012

Convent Girls of Yesteryear – We Need Your Help

By |2012-09-12T19:10:47+08:00September 12th, 2012|Categories: About Us|

We have received the following message and wondered if anyone could help please.

:Name: Carmel Donnellan & Pip Tudgay

E-Mail Address: gitroffle@gmail.com

Message: Good Day

I am a relative of Sr. Oliver Deering (Wicklow, Ireland) who taught and lived at this school from the early 1920’s to her retirement in the late 1970’s. Sr. Oliver was my grand-mother’s sister. We are hoping to visit the convent later in the year or early next year. It would be great to know if anyone knew her/of her.

Kind Rgds


August 2012

Malaysian MENSA are Coming to Town

By |2012-08-13T10:11:53+08:00August 13th, 2012|Categories: ipoh|

This is a special announcement from Dato Datin Seri Dr Yim Poh Wah – the Vice Chairman of the Malaysian MENSA Society (MMS).

The aims of Mensa is to foster intelligence, conduct research
on intelligence and to provide a stimulating social environment
for its members for networking both locally and internationally.
I seek your help in notifying Ipoh residents, so that Ipoh folks
will be able to make a formidable presence in the MMS.

Details are as follows:
Date 19/8/12.

Time: 12.30pm - 3.30pm
Venue: YMCA Ipoh
Registration at the door.
Test fee:RM50.00, please bring along Mycard or passport.
Test is open to everyone from age 14 years and above.
Duration of test:40 mins.
Type: Pictorial and culture free.
No prior study necessary as there is no general knowledge involved.
This test only tests out logic and spatial intelligence.
If you like more details, kindly let me know.
(012-2388817 or visit the website http://mensa.my)

June 2012

Is this Another Iversen Design Biting the Dust?

By |2012-06-27T00:06:08+08:00June 27th, 2012|Categories: Identify Photographs, ipoh|Tags: , , , |

Warned that something was “up” in Gopeng Road I dropped by this afternoon. But nothing was “up” however – quite the opposite – No 62 was on the way “down”.

Yes, the Ipoh demolition team were at it again. So I dropped in on the Chinese foreman who seemed to agree with me that it was a terrible shame, but a job is a job! Well, the front still looked pretty OK.

But the back is a different story, where work is well advanced, both inside and out.

Then I noticed the left hand end and from inside saw this beautiful round room with open air designs to the garden and wondered why they had left it intact. Could they be going to rebuild and not demolish after all?

And I wondered – is this the second Iversen building to be destroyed in less than one week or do the owners have some other plan? What do you think?

Nostalgic Flashback to Ipoh ACS – It’s 1953!

By |2012-06-20T18:39:35+08:00June 20th, 2012|Categories: childhood, games, Memories|Tags: , , |

Nostalgic  flash back in Ipoh ACS – The little park in the site of the current Carpentry Shed  1953

by IpohBornKid

Prior to the erection of the Carpentry Shed, there was a little park of green grass with a middle line of trees, one of which was a frangipani tree of nearly 12 feet tall.  The park was bounded by a bamboo plant fence parallel to Lahat Road, the main entry road to the Ipoh Anglo-Chinese School (ACS) Main Building, the impenetrable fence (south) and a deep grassed slope  (west).  On top of this slope was a School Residence (see illustration above).  From the park looking towards Lahat Road, you can see the Hindu Temple.

Some students waited in the park to be picked by private transport.  Many activities occurred in that area within a space of 30 mins after school. 

When a piece of leaf from the palm tree was found, it was everyone’s favourite to do “bob sledging” down the steep slope.  You climbed to the flat top, position your bum on the end of the wide leaf (bark side), move it on the edge of the slope, and with one shove, you make a quick descent to the bottom of the slope.  It was a cheap thrill.  Sometimes, your pants could be severely stained if you accidently slide off the leaf and continue downwards without it or you simply fell off.

The frangipani was a source of entertainment and prankish behaviour.  One day, whilst I was sitting under the tree for shade and was waiting to be picked up,I felt something wet dripping on my head.  My hand reached for the spot and felt wetness.  I inspected my fingers and found the wetness was caused by a sticky white liquid.  At first, I thought it was bird shit but the consistency and the smell (rather sweetly) eliminated my first guess.  On looking up the tree, I discovered that the latex from the tree was dripping on my head.  What a sigh of relief because if that was bird poo, it was considered unlucky and to reverse the curse, I would have to buy lollies and shared it with my friends.  However, I did remember seeing someone known to me, had climbed up the tree as I was sitting down.  He had cut the bark of the tree (or carved a grove in the bark similar to tapping rubber).  The latex then flowed to the opening and when it accumulated, gravity did the rest.  It was the “dripping latex on your head” trick.  I had a fight with him then but we remained friends.

After learning the trick from him, I was able to do it to another person.  You climbed up the tree and waited for the next victim to sit in the spot where the cut in the tree would result in the latex falling into his head or body.  All you need is a good pen knife.  All bad things can be learnt from ACS boys if you are willing to learn.

The little park is only second to the ground below the gymnasium for fighting.  Many scores were settled in the park after school.  It was a good place because the teachers were busy preparing to go home in the teacher’s office and the park was unsupervised.  I had cut lips, sore arms and black eyes during my early primary years.  As a young boy with classmates 2 years older and bigger, you need to defend yourself when they dislike you being more intelligent than them or you being the teacher’s pet.  Or they were just bullies.  Once you have established that you can fight back and not necessarily win the fight, you have gained their respect and they will not touch you again.  The motto “I can bleed all over you” .was a principle that we smaller beings lived by in ACS.  Despite these fights, we were all friends in the later years and we seem to have forgotten our past disagreements.

My maternal uncle attended the afternoon school in ACS called the Methodist Afternoon School (MAS) with Mr Wong Wai Lam as the Principal.  He parked my Grandfather’s green Vauxhall near the little park and he had the driver’s window wound down so I could use the horn to summon support if the boys tried to wallop me.  His classroom was in the Main Building where he could see the car from where he sat.  Fortunately, I did not use his service because I was able to take care of myself.

The ice-cendol Indian man always came and parked his tricycle store in the front lawn between Lahat Road and the bamboo fence.  If I had 10 sen in my pocket, I would also get a bowl of ice cold cendol.  Very tasty and when I think of it, my mouth watered.  As boys we were curious to investigate whether there is any truth in the matter about earthworms at the bottom of the cendol pot.  The Indian man obliged us by scooping out the green cendolwith his large spoon and declared “see, no earthworms”.  We were satisfied.  I found out the truth whilst I was overseas when the discussion of the earthworms in the cendol pot started again.  Yes, there were earthworms but they were carefully wrapped in a white piece of cloth and it sat on the bottom of the pot.  Some said that it reduced the chances of the coconut oil in the coconut juice turning rancid, ie an anti-oxidant.  Believe it or not!

One last comment on the bamboo fence – there were no fighting spiders living there but you can make a single note flute by pulling a young shoot of the bamboo and pulling other joints out and use the one part with a leafy stem.  You can make a single note by either blowing into it or sucking it.  Another old ACS boy trick.

I believe the fence on the south boundary did have some spiders (fighting ones).  True or False?

P/S Does anyone remember the rabbits that were kept at Horley Hall, adjacent to the railway line?

And The Walls Came Tumbling Down

By |2012-06-19T19:25:30+08:00June 19th, 2012|Categories: Ipoh Town|Tags: , , , |

Iris Cheng posted on our FB timeline this very sad picture of the Art Deco Majestic Theatre in the throes of demolition. We heard about it on Saturday but honestly I found it too depressing to bother to go and take a photograph. However as Iris did bother I felt it was only right that I should publish it here for those of you who do not follow us on Facebook.

I fear that before too long we shall have nothing left that actually has any traditional architectural styles to please the eye. But perhaps I am that voice in the wilderness – the dinosaur that refuses to lie down. I make no apologies for that and believe that one day the people might understand why I think like that.

Awesome Playground Equipment found in Ipoh ACS 1953

By |2012-06-10T17:31:56+08:00June 10th, 2012|Categories: childhood, games, ipoh, Memories|Tags: , , |

The  Americans termed it “The Witches Hat”   by  IpohBornKid

Introductory quote from:http://tstbob.blogspot.com.au/2009/12/walk-down-memory-lane-to-dangerous.html

“No; I’m not talking about those sterile plastic lysol-sprayed hunks of crap nestled in a bed of rubbery soft nerfy flooring. I’m talking aboutreal playgrounds. The kind we grew up with, the kind that mangled us and taught us life lessons. Playgrounds deemed too dangerous for today’s wussy youth, which sadly have become a thing of the past.”

The most awesome contraption in the ACS Ipoh primary school playground was the carousel-like equipment and in the US, it has the name “Witches Hat”.  It was located adjacent to the monkey bars in the Primary School (Heritage) building in the 1950s. The equipment was built up of 2 circular metal rings (diameter 4 metres) welded together by 400 cm straight metal bars which gave 8 slots.  The welded circular bands were suspended by metal rods/or chains (6-8 of them) to a central iron pole which lifted it to about 1 metre above ground but not too high so that a young boy of six can jump up a bit and grab the bottom circular ring .  The design was very similar to the one illustrated in the picture above.

There were two possible motions of the witches hat.  It can rotate horizontally with the axle represented by the large iron pole and it also swing (yaw) from side to side.  The angle of the swing was about 45 degrees and this maximum was reached when the circular ring touched the central pole.

To get on the witches hat, one had to jump a little bit to grab the lower ring.  The next step was to grab the upper ring.   With your hands firmly on the upper ring, you lifted your body up and move one of your foot in between the two rings.  With both legs in, you were then able to sit on the lower ring and your two hands holding the upper rings tightly.  Not long after you have settled in, the boys on the ground will rotate the ring and if you did not hold tight, you will be thrown off by the centripetal force to the ground and be injured.

For the more experience boys, they can do two things.  First, they could stand up on the lower or upper ring with their hands holding the suspending chain.At the same time, they could also swing the ring (yawing motion) and tried to hit the axle pole thus making a clanking noise.  Just imagine the horror when you were a novice on the ring.  The rotating ring would tried to throw you off whilst the swingding action would pulverise your legs.  Whilst the ring was swinging, you had better get off or you stand on the rings.

Secondly, as the ring rotated, boys can be seen hooking their legs at the bottom ring (like the trapeze in a circus) and loved the thrill of being swung around with their face outside the rings and arms hanging down.

The witches hat was not designed for swinging and yet ACS boys found a way to intimidate younger novice on the witches hat by frightening them off the ring.  Hence, swinging violently and increased velocity of the spins was a way of the “king” of the witches hat.

I fell off a few times when the violent swings and rotation started.  If I had remained, I would have injured myself.  Six months later, I was standing with the “kings” defying their attempts to throw me off.

An American experience is very similar to those experience in Ipoh ACS:

The idea behind these was simple – you and a friend (or multiple friends) grabbed opposite ends of the ring and ran in the same direction until you got whipped off the ground. Of course, that would be too easy; so instead you always tried to pair up people of very different sizes for each side, so it would be off balance and one side would be flown up in the air from the other people’s weight. Another important lesson in physics; often followed by a lesson in first aid.

Looking back, the witches hat was quite tough playground equipment.  It looked innocent enough but it was not.  It took courage and determination to stand up in the ring and most of the time, the bigger boys controlled the motion of the ring.  That was rough and tough ACS playground equipment.  Today, I still maintain that the witches hat was an awesome piece of playground equipment which was not designed for duels of supremacy but ACS boys found a way to make it more interesting.  It was almost a jungle then – survival of the fittest.  Lastly, it is definitely an American import since ACS was founded by American missionaries.

Heritage Tourism Horror

By |2012-06-09T12:56:50+08:00June 9th, 2012|Categories: ipoh, Restoration, tourism|Tags: , , , , |

In 1999 the Perak State Government published a very nice heritage trail map of Ipoh. It was produced by our good friends from Penang, Lubis and Salma. One of the buildings featured was in Kampong Jawa and clearly the Government thought it had some heritage value as they included it in the map. It was abandoned then, but still looked good:

Today it is still published on the Internet by Perak Tourism (http://www.peraktourism.com/places/place_view.cfm?id=8A1F8B4D-5BA0-412C-8444ABE654D29B1A) as one of the “Places to Go” but now it looks like this:


I have to ask the following questions:

What on earth are they doing bringing people here? Do they really think this is heritage tourism?

And secondly,

If they thought originally that it had heritage value, why didn’t they do something about protecting it?

I look forward to your answers/comments.

A Lovely Old Hotel – Did You Ever Stay There?

By |2012-06-04T08:10:23+08:00June 4th, 2012|Categories: history, Identify Photographs, Ipoh Town, Restoration|Tags: , , , |

One thing I do not understand about Ipoh  is that here we have a beautiful hotel building used as an electrical store while so many entrepreneurs are knocking up ugly buildings all over the place which they happily call one of the three b’s – backpacker, budget or boutique hotels . Why didn’t one of them consider this fine building for restoration instead?

Do you have any thoughts on this anomaly or any stories about this building?

May 2012

Are you “into” Martial Arts?

By |2012-05-26T08:39:19+08:00May 26th, 2012|Categories: About Us, Books, history, ipoh, Memories, People|Tags: , , , , |

Well there was one man at least in Ipoh who was very much into it, particularly ‘Kung Fu Karato’. He was known as Leong Fu and he lived at 119 Anderson Road, Ipoh. Not only was he into the art, he was the world champion, having fought in all parts of the Kung Fu world and beaten all comers. When he retired he did so as the unconquered champion of the Kung Fu world.

Subsequently in 1947 he produced a massive book describing the many moves that an exponent needs to learn. Here is the cover and a part of the title page of that book for your viewing.

This, truly a giant book, lent to us by Charlie,  measures 10 x 12 inches and is 2.25 inches thick, with hundreds of drawings of the different stances and moves needed tp be practiced. Despite its size, it sold all over the world as is shown in the last few pages by a wide range of letters and photographs of people who benefitted from the publication. Leong Fu clearly put Ipoh on the world map!

Now the question is how can we obtain a photograph of the King of Kung Fu Karato? Does anyone know his family or have a photo we could scan? We really need to feature Leong Fu on our history database as there is no doubt that he made history.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Do you recognise this school badge?

By |2012-05-12T11:45:28+08:00May 12th, 2012|Categories: childhood, Identify Photographs, Memories, People|Tags: , , , |

Here we have a picture of Nigel Jennings on the verandah of Rose Cottage in the Cameron Highlands. He is wearing a green blazer and cap both sporting a school badge. We would love to know which school this was.

Inserted in the picture bottom left you can see the badge is an “S” and then a “T” or a cross amd possibly an “M”. No prixes except that you have helped Nigel remember and enhanced our site with more information.

Incidentally, Nigel was born in December 1924 so this photo is pronbly from the early 30’s.

We look forward to your comments.

1930s Update on the Ipoh Golf Club

By |2012-05-08T14:35:42+08:00May 8th, 2012|Categories: history, Identify Photographs, ipoh, Memories|Tags: , , |

Ruth Rollitt updated us about the moving of the golf club from Golf Club Road to Tiger Lane in a previous blog http://www.ipohworld.org/?p=3056. She also sent the following photographs.

Her comment that went with these photos said:

When my father (B M Iversen) arrived in Ipoh in 1930 he was working for the firm of architects:: Keys & Dowdeswell. One of the projects he was working on was the renovating of the Ipoh Golf Club. I attach a photo of the club as it was then – from one of my albums. The other photo? Not sure?

 The following year the firm folded and my father started up his own: B M Iversen – architect.”


So it seems that the original post http://www.ipohworld.org/?p=3056 was correct and the buildings shown were at the Golf Club Road site and around 1931/1932 moved to Tiger Lane and rebuilt with significant improvements by Ruth’s father.


Does anyone recognise the second photo as being part of the Royal perak Golf Club today?

Did You Watch a Movie at Mayfair?

By |2012-05-07T12:18:08+08:00May 7th, 2012|Categories: history, ipoh, movies|Tags: , , , |

Y K Choong sent us this photo in October last year and it went on the the pile called “Must do site visit”.

Well this morning I actually got out to Jalan Theatre in Pasir Pinji to find that nobody 25 years old or less appeared to have ever heard of the place. However an aged Chinese gentleman in a little wooden shack pointed out the large square indoor badminton court building that stands on the theatre site today. This was opened in 2004.

So, with apologies to Choong, here is his photo of what I think was the concrete projection room of the otherwise wooden theatre.

Does anyone remember anything about the Mayfar Theatre which I understood from this morning’s conversation showed Chinese movies.

Some Good News!

By |2012-05-06T10:41:38+08:00May 6th, 2012|Categories: history, ipoh, Memories, People|Tags: , , |

I received the following picture and message by enail. I know many of you tried to help Nicholas find his grandfather’s grave. Well done everybody particularlu Law Siak Hong who did a great service for Nicholas and his family.

Dear Ian:

Some good news. Thanks to Siak Hong Law, my grandfather’s tombstone was not only located but restored. Hong, who I met through IpohWorld, very kindly arranged to have the stone’s inscription re-painted, so that it is now perfectly legible. Time and weather had almost completely washed away the lettering. After meeting great resistance from the cemetery’s owners, Hong, through much persistence, was finally able to convince them that this was a job worth doing.

Not sure if you’d like to post the attached photo taken by Hong, but if you do you can tell readers that the grave and its refurbished stone can be found at the Christian Cemetery on Jalan Tun Abdul Razak (formerly Connolly Road). The cemetery is west of the railway line; east of the line is the Anglo-Chinese School.

And to think that all of this was made possible thanks to IpohWorld! Thank you.

Best, Nicholas

Nicholas Jennings

Anyone for Konkey?

By |2012-05-05T08:59:29+08:00May 5th, 2012|Categories: About Us, childhood, games, ipoh, Memories|Tags: , |

The Konkey Game played in Ipoh & Surrounds

By IpohBornKid

Introduction:  When the X generation was growing up, they did not have affluent parents who would buy them toys, hi-fi sets or computer games.  They relied on their ingenuity and played games that cost nothing.  These games were usually played in the open air about 3 pm onwards when the sun was not so hot and the breeze was blowing.  In the weekends, it was played in the morning until 11 am and later in the afternoon.

In those days, there were abundant flat sandy soil or grass covered areas in vacant building lots and the compounds of the village houses.  Children whose neighbours (aged between 6-12) were played together and they developed a strong bond among themselves.  They grew up together and as they matured into adolescence, another generation of young kids took their place.  It was healthy outdoor exercise and the parents were never worried about what their children were up to because they played with the children of their friends or neighbours. 

The Game:  The “Konkey” (name derived from English word “Donkey”) game is a team game similar to cricket.  Instead of bat and ball, it has two sticks,  diameter around 2.5 cm or less, and the long stick (LS) is about 50 cm in length with the short stick (SS) about one third of its length.  The LS is equivalent to the bat and the SS is equivalent to the ball.  In cricket, the ball is bowled by the bowler and the batsman defends his stumps with his bat.  Similarly, in the Konkey game, the opening player launches his SS with his LS from a trench in the ground and he defends his trench with his LS.

 Before the Konkey game starts, a trench is dug on the ground about 20 cm long, 5 cm wide tapering on the ends, and about 4 cm deep.  Two sticks as described above are used as bat (LS) and ball (SS).  The SS is placed on the ground across the trench and is launched by the LS.  The most effective way to launch is to place the LS in near the front of the trench and below the SS.  You can change the angle of launch by moving the LS left or right.  Usually most launches are perpendicular to the SS.  Pushing the LS into the ground, the launcher lifts his LS and propels the SS up in the air.   This is called launching the SS (ball).  Please refer to schematic diagram.

 The game begins after two teamsare selected and a toss to see which team launches (bat) first.    The launch team stay behind the trench and the field team spreads out in the field and strategically position themselves to catch the SS. 

 The first player in the launch team prepares himself to launch the SS with his LS,  The launcher lifts theSS in the air and generally puts it in a direction where there is no field player to catch it.  When the SS is caught by a field player, the launcher is out and the next launcher in the team takes his place.  The team is all out when they have exhausted the launcher (all bowled out) and the points are totalled.. (See point scoring next).  If the score is less than 100, the team change sides and the field team become the launchers.

\When the field players failed to catch the SS, it falls on the ground.  At this stage, a field player will pick up the SS and attempts to throw the SS back into the trench (trying to hit the stumps) with the launcher defending the trench (like a batsman) with his LS.  He can whack the SS stick whilst it is still in the air.  The field player can try to catch it.  If they did, the launcher is out.  If not, the distance between the position of the LS and the trench forms the basis of points scoring.  Using LS as a measuring rod, the launcher scores one point for each length of the LS measured.  The score is cumulative for the team.

If the first measure is not taken,the launcher can ask for second throw.  This is only safe when the SS is a considerable distance from the trench.  The rule for the second throw is the same as the first throw.  If on the second throw, the SS is caught, the launcher is out.  If SS is falls on the ground, the distance between the SS and the trench is the basis of point scoring but this time, the SS is used as a measure.  Hence, on the second throw, the point score tripled (since one LS is 3x the length of SS).

On reaching a 100 points, (arbitrarily agreed target points), the launcher team wins the game.  However if all the launchers are out and the score is below 100, the team changes sides and the game starts again.

 The penalty part of the game varies from village to village, town to town.  In one version, the winning team player holds the SS in one hand, drops the SS and whack it with the LS held by the other hand.  One of the player  in the losing team then picks up the SS in his hand and runs towards the trench.  As he is running, he has to say “Konkey, konkey, etc. all the way to the trench whilst the winner player gently whack his bum with the LS,  After the penalty, the game starts again,

April 2012

The Game of Marbles as Played in Ipoh & Surrounds c1950s

By |2012-04-29T12:33:11+08:00April 29th, 2012|Categories: childhood, games, ipoh, Memories|Tags: , |


 As we do not have any photos of Ipoh youngsters playing marbles to illustrate the following text from ipohbornkid, I have used this one courtesy of wwwyeohongeng.blogspot.com. Perhaps some of our readers can help us out with similar photos from Ipoh or Perak. And how about some stories about other childhood games please.


Marbles – made of clay and fired in an oven with average diameter of 2-2.5 cm.  Average cost 12 marbles/10 cents

Glass marbles – made of glass and with cat eye inside win average diameter 1.2 cm-1.5cm. Cost 20 marbles/10 cents.

Goondo – Your top shooting marble usually twice the diameter of your ordinary marbles.

HL- A longer horizontal line drawn in the sand with a stick. Usually, HL is drawn parallel to a wall in front of it so the marbles cannot travel too far.

SL – The starting line where all players shoot with their goondos.  The SL is about 1 metre away from the HL and parallel to it.

TM – Targetmarble.  This marble is nominated by other players (in a consensual way) for the shooter.  It is the targeted marble and you need to hit it to win.

Shooter –  A player who is allocated the chance to shoot his goondo towards target marble.

In this article, the game involving horizontal lines game with HL & SL, is described.

HL game – The HL line, about a metre long, is drawn on the sand and is closed by two vertical lines at the ends.  Another shorter line is drawn about a metre down from the HL and is the starting line where the shooter’s foot should not cross.

The game starts when each player puts in one marble into the pool and each player has a “goondo” (slightly larger than the pool marble) but it is his top shooting marble.

This is followed by a group determination of the order of player’s turn to shoot.  The first shooter then takes all the pooled marbles and placed in the palm of one hand, kneels with one foot and places his front foot behind the SL.  He then throws the marbles with the aim to get a good spread of marbles above the HL.  Marbles straying out of the boundary defined by HL vertical lines is re-launched singularly.Some marbles may fall behind the HL.  When the launch is complete, the other players get together and make a decision about the target marble and the shooter has to strike that nominatedtarget marble) with his goondo to win the pot.  Sometimes, the use of a small marble is allowed. However there are complicated rules to observe before he can win the pot.  On striking thetarget marble with his goondo, the main rule states that there shall be no collision with any marbles in the pool by either the goondo or the target marble.  A penalty is applied and when that happens, the player pays a penalty of one marble and loses his turn to shoot.  If he wins the pool he continues to be the shooter.The game continues then with the next shooter after a penalty is paid.

Tactical hint:  The target marble is chosen by the other players and usually has a high degree of difficulty in avoiding the penalty.  You will be surprised who much Physics can be applied in this game.  Seasoned players intuitively know the angle of attack and can predict which direction the marbles can go (just like shooting pool).  Hence, the shooter has to decide the launch direction of his goondo (using his left or right hand and stretching his arm to form a wider angle of attack;  the elevation of launch is another factor whether it is necessary to hit the target marble from the top. Finally, the force applied (the inertia) for the launch is an important factor.  In summary, the direction, height and force of the launch is calculated in your brain and this information is transmitted to the arm as instructions for the required trajectory..  So, don’t for one minute think that those boys playing marbles all the time are not academically inclined but they are a bunch of de facto little scientists calculating complex equations forthe required trajectory.

The naming of the target marbles can have their roots in Malay and English languages.  For example the word “Yau” (Malay – Jual, pardon my Bahasa) describes the target farthest from the HL.  For younger players this is a difficult task because of the distance and the power of the shooter’s trajectory.

The targetmarble that fell below the HL is usually called “rue” (English “roll”).   A target marble can also be sitting on the line.  In these types of targets, you will have to “roll” your goondo and hit the target.  If the shooter rolls his goondo and collided with the target marble, he wins the pool when the collided marbles do not cross the HL.  It can sit on the line.  When either marbles cross over the HL or hit another marble in the pool, the shooter incurs a penalty of one marble and loses his turn.

The game becomes more interesting when the target marble is slightly positioned above the HL.  The opponents can then place one goondo on the line but not touching the target marble.  To win this game, you need to strike the target marble without colliding with the opponent’s goondo on the HL and other marbles in thepool.  When the target marble is slightly above the HL, the opponent can put his goondo on the line without touching the targeted marble.  Thus the goondo can be placed just in front of the target marble or adjacent (left or right) of the target marble.   The shooter has to strike that marble without hitting the opposition goondo and not colliding with any other marbles in the pool.

There are other difficult targets to shoot at.  For example, when two marbles on the ground are vertically aligned or closed to  each other, the marble nearest to the shooter becomes a difficult target.  Under the circumstances, it is highly probable that the target marble would collide with the marble in front of it.

The winner can take home 30-40 marbles in a game.  If you do not have a pouch, you will damage your pockets as they are heavy.  Many trouser pockets were damaged by holding too heavy winnings.

There is second variation to this marble game where a circle is drawn in the sand. There is also a third game where players chase each other’s marbles.I would like readers to fill in these variations with their memories and also comment on the major marble game.

Spinning top game is very rich in language especially in Bahasa.  There are also complex rules and Bahasa phrases to learn when you want to play spinning tops with a circle drawn the sand .  The game of “Konkey”  (English – Donkey) was played with long and short sticks. This was a popular game then in 1950s.  The game of Bat and Ball required an empty lot among residential houses.

The reasons for the wide popularity of these games in the 1950s were the availability of sandy patches of land (or vacant land) surrounding residential houses (particularly in the new villages), it did not cost heaps of money and you have no shortage of players.

Scorpio on the Dragon’s Demise – The True Stories of the Special Branch During the Second “Emergency”

By |2012-04-24T09:02:08+08:00April 24th, 2012|Categories: Books, Heritage Books, history, People|Tags: , , , , |

This, the fifth book in the Scorpio Series covers the period of the second Malaysian “Emergency” from 1970 to 1990 and Special Branch operations that not many people are aware of. By 1970,  the Communist Party of Malaya had re-grouped in southern Thailand and trained about 2,400 reserve troops. They were ready to make a return to Malaysia.

But the Government was ready for them, having received information about their plans and the Special Branch put into place eight schemes to counter the communist terrorists, one of which was Operasi Bamboo to curb their influence among the orang asli.

The author of this, and the earlier series of four books is the former Special Branch deputy director of operations Datuk Dr Leong Chee Woh, who retired from the police force in 1984 after 44 years of service. Thus the stories come direct from the horse’s mouth as he was directly involved in the planning and execution of the various Special Branch projects that culminated in the collapse of the CPM in 1989.

This book may be ordered from the author Datuk Dr. Leong Chee Woh, contact 0193124759 or ahwohtoi@yahoo.com at RM50 per copy plus postage and packing (RM5.00 to Malaysia). Payment vide his Maybank account, the details being provided when you place the order. For overseas purchasers please enquire about the postage to the above email.

You may also buy his other books: Scorpio the Communist Eraser, Scorpio Against the One-Eyed Dragon, Scorpio on the Dragon’s Trail and Scorpio in the Dragon’s Playground at the same time when postage charges will be much reduced.

These books are recommended as the true history of Malaya/Malaysia’s fight against the Communists over more than 40 years. They should be read by young and old. Leong Chee Woh is a great author and he knows the truth for HE IS SCORPIO.

March 2012

The Station Gardens by Mark Lay

By |2012-03-17T17:03:53+08:00March 17th, 2012|Categories: Ipoh Town, Restoration|Tags: , , |

Mark, of Kinta Heritage Group took these two photographs that I failed to get earlier in the week. He first posted them on Facebook, but I am sure he will not mind them being also published here. Remember these were taken this week. They need no explanation.

But the question Mark has for you is, “Does anyone know if the MBI has plans to makeover Station Square along similar lines to the pre-war original landscaping design? Has anyone seen the final design plans? Did the MBI invite public submissions as to the final design??”

Can any of our readers give him an answer?

Update on Old Town

By |2012-03-15T00:09:41+08:00March 15th, 2012|Categories: About Us, history, Ipoh Town, Memories, Restoration|Tags: , , , , , , |

I had a brief ride around Old Town this morning to see what was happening. I couldn’t get any photo or update on the Railway Station Gardens as they are still hidden behind tall blue fencing. However apart from the Cenotaph and the Ipoh Tree there seems to be nothing of the gardens left. Not a great welcome for the tourists in “Visit Perak Year 2012!”.

Then I wandered along the road to see the Birch Clock Tower Garden renovation. What a surprise – as although it is unlikely that anything has been done to preserve the two statuues, Justice and Fortitude from falling down (see http://ipohecho.com.my/v2/2012/03/01/ipohs-virtues-in-danger/)   the tower has been repainted Black and White.

Although that may be approproiate ……… Black and white stands for mourning and cheerless occasions. For example, traditional garb for a funeral is black and white. Black for the loss, and white for their passing onto the heavens, ……… I must say I don’t like it, but then again I did not like the pink either, much preferring the 1909 odiginal version which was all-white. Clearly I am a traditionalist.

By the way, could someone suggest (again) to Datuk Bandar that he gets the clock working.

As you can see the gardens have not progressed too much either. Sigh, maybe they will be ready to celebrate the successful (?) end to our special tourism year.

We welcome your views.

A Facelift for an Old Lady

By |2012-03-11T09:24:22+08:00March 11th, 2012|Categories: history, Ipoh Town, Restoration|Tags: , , |

Just look what happened yesterday! I passed by in the morning and only the top half was painted but by the time I got around to going back with my camera the FB site “All About Ipoh” had beaten me to it and posted this photograph.

I am sure the authors won’t mind me using their photo as thay are clearly just as dedicated to the grand old lady as we are.

By the way the aforementioned site has many more “Likes” than we do. It is time to remind all your FB friends about us. Don’t hang back – “Just Do IT!”

February 2012

These Doors Remain Closed.

By |2012-02-19T11:39:34+08:00February 18th, 2012|Categories: history, Identify Photographs, Ipoh Town, Memories, Restoration|Tags: , , |

But can anyone tell us when they will open again please. The world misses this famous hostelry which has been closed for restoration since 1 March 2008 – almost 4 years!

But what a night the 29th February was – the last night. Were you there?

By the way, for more photos of this grand old building and its history I have just put up a new album on our Facebook page.

Photographs kindly supplied by Weng Ong Lee.

January 2012

The Grace Lutheran Church Menglembu (GLCM) By Ipohbornkid

By |2012-01-27T08:54:55+08:00January 27th, 2012|Categories: childhood, Memories, People|Tags: , |

What is so special about the GLCM that it deserves a write up?  Well, among the Christian churches in Ipoh, the Catholic, Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist, and other denominations all have Anglo-Celtic influence but the Lutheran has German influence.  Secondly, GLCM carried out its missionary work in the tin mining villages south of Ipoh.  Thirdly, they provided an essential medical service to the people.  There was only one GP in Menglembu doing private practice and he could see up to 80 patients a day.  Hence, in 1957, the congregation, medical and missionary work of GLCM (herein the “Church”) began in earnest.

I came to be aware of the Church when I was in Std 6 in ACS Ipoh and I was familiar with the Christian teachings given by the Methodist Church in the school.  The year 1957 has a special significance that Malaya was granted independence from British rule.  It was a birth of a new nation and era.

The Church bought the premises where Lahat Road bends to the left and directly opposite a saw mill.  The building was a former school house for Man Hua primary school which moved to the new “Regrouping Area (North)” opposite the house of Chong Soon Fan.

My elder sister became part of the Church youth group in the late 1950s and I can remember some of the youths at that time.  Notable membership of the youth group came from the Leong family, namely Seng Yap, Seng Kee, Seng Mee, Wan Yoong and included the eldest Leong daughter who was a school teacher at Man Hua Primary School in Menglembu.  Their mother, Mrs Leong, a giant pillar in the Church elder group, and was  also the driving force behind the activities of the Church.  Other names like Eva & her younger brothers, Esat & his brothers, Ng Tong Seng, Soong San, the Wongs (Ah See, Ah Look & her pretty sister, Wu Yan Poh, Ah Siew etc.  Eva, a very pretty girl, was the organ player.  Most of the youth group were in their senior high years.  Seng Yap and Seng Kee graduated as Dentists whilst Seng Mee and my sister graduate with medical degrees.  All these people were went through Form VI in ACS Ipoh.

There were, among the Church leaders, very interesting personalities.  Pastor Koch, was the first Pastor of the Church that I remembered well.  Sunday morning service was conducted in English and the evening service was conducted in a Chinese dialect “Hakka”.  It was a curiosity then to observe a European reading the Chinese language bible and preaching in Hakka dialect.  Pastor Koch lived in the bungalow constructed at back of the Church and opposite the Wong’s residence (whose son is now an elder of the Church).  Of course, Koch is a German name.  It was no coincidence that Hakka was the chosen dialect because most villages in Menglembu and south were predominantly Hakka villages. 

Another unforgettable person was Dr Helmut Difenthal, a German trained physician.  He was accompanied by his wife and young children.  They spoke German in their residence but he was able to communicate in English and Hakka.  We once went to a Kledang Hill hike with the Church group and, with his tall stature and military training he literally marched up the hill leaving us behind.  Dr Difenthal later confessed that he was a conscript in the German Army near the end of the WWII, and if it had continued, he would have joined the “Panzer” division (tank brigade).

Dr Difenthal was a very dedicated medico who was ever engrossed with his work with hook worm infestation.  Most of his free time was spent on the microscope looking at specimen collected in his village run for hook work infestation.  Sometimes, he got in trouble with his wife for immersing himself in his work.  I believe some of the youths were influence by him to do medicine and medical related work.  He was a good role model for unselfish dedication in improving the health and hygiene of the local population.  It is sad that he had to depart from Menglembu when his research work conflicted with the findings of the Health Department, in terms of the locality and degree of infestation of hook worm in the local population.  He was sadly missed by all who had been in contact with this “saint”.

In my days with the Church, I was regarded as the naughty one (kuai chai) and was hell bent in the game of disruption.  For example, I would fall asleep during Thursday night bible class and that had created some embarrassment for my elder sibling.  I remember that the bible study class was conducted by an elder called Mr Chong, a no nonsense and strict personality, and obviously incompatible with me at that time.  Maybe I was too young to be in the youth group because I believe they were too serious, studious and matured for me.  However, I did have my usefulness in volunteering to go on missionary work in the southern mining towns from Lahat, Pusing, Jelapang, etc.   I would accompany the driver on the small truck where the piano was loaded at the back.  On arrival at the site, the Church people would start handing out milk powder to the villages followed by a sermon.  I had no idea then why they were handling out milk powder and now, I believe it had two purposes, one to improve the nutrition of the babies in the villages and second to attract an audience to hear the gospel. There was also the travelling medical team to provide much needed medical services to the villagers.  The outdoor evangelistic activities suited me more than serious bible study.

In my younger days, I was almost incontrollable.  In desperation, my family decided to farm me out to live with the Leong family hoping they will influence my determination to perform better in school.  I stayed with Seng Mee for 3 months prior to doing the Senior Cambridge and I managed to pass the exam.  I did not have the opportunity to thank her in person but in my heart I am very much indebted to the Leong matriarch for her kindness and care. There was also a brighter side to my association with the Church that I was allowed to assist in the teaching of Sunday school for the young children.

The most unforgettable incident was a Church outing to Kampar swimming pool. Everybody enjoyed themselves except me. Barefooted, I managed to step on a bee and got stung.  It was excruciating pain. The nurse, a kind European lady gave me a shot of anti-histamine in the Church clinic 

The Church did played an important role in the development of the community in Menglembu.  Besides a spiritual role, it has kept a steady influence on its youth group, encouraged academic excellence and kept some of the “gangster” influence out of the group during a period of gangster activities in Menglembu.  I write this piece of history so future generations of youth and congregation would not forget the pioneers and particularly, the significant contributions made by Mrs Leong, a kind and gentle lady with a strong commitment to the Church.

Note: The photograph of the Church Women’s Group belonged to the author’s mother who was a member of the group. It dates from the mid 1960s.

LEETON Revamped

By |2012-01-21T21:19:57+08:00January 21st, 2012|Categories: ipoh, Restoration|Tags: , |

A while ago we featured the Main Convent Primary School (http://www.ipohworld.org/?p=1618) which was housed in Leeton House and under renovation. Today I dropped in to see what had happened to the grand old building and was pleasantly surprised for although not a true restoration the owners/architects/contractors have made a good attempt to retain many of the old features and also match the new building (to some extent) to the old. I was delighted to find the old LEETON sign had been saved.

Indeed all the tiling on the ground floor, the grand staircase, pillars and other fittings have been retained. The original windows at the front are also original but unfortunately the old doors are no longer there.

These were taken with IPhone 4 and I shall return another day with another camera for more shots.

November 2011

A Grateful Participant of the ipohWorld Blog

By |2011-11-27T13:29:11+08:00November 27th, 2011|Categories: About Us, Memories, People|Tags: , , |

We received the following by email.

Click photo to enlarge.

A Grateful Participant of the ipohWorld Blog

Cmdr Ian Anderson has brought out the best of every Ipoh person who had participated in the Ipoh World Blog.  Despite the diversity in schools, ACS, St Michaels, Anderson etc. Ipoh World participants seems to have a spiritual empathy for Ipoh and are proud of their heritage, irrespective of the social economic background of their parents;  whether they were, from the tin industry (from tin mining towkays to the humble dulang washers),, food industry (from big restaurant  owners, coffee shop owners to humble fried noodle hawker) , white collar workers (from high ranking public servants to humble clerk) and blue collar workers (from developers to the humble brick layer), One great denominator stands out, ie. They“`all love Ipoh.

In my brief participation with Ipoh World, I came across Ipoh people who currently living in Ipoh, other parts of Malaysia and even overseas.  Again, their comments were also diverse, from the very serious comments to the humorous ones.  Although some comments may be considered outrageous, they were never offensive. 

I have seen many blogs in the net and some of them are extremely political, some are offensive, some are used for propaganda, some are vulgar (in language) and others show extreme views.  However, Ipoh world ranks among the respectable, educated, moderate (views) and friendly blogs in the world.  Here is another feather in the cap for the watchful eye Commander.

Through Ipoh World, I was able to join in many conversations about Ipoh and at the same time, connected me to some old friends in Ipoh and classmates from my alma mater, ACS Ipoh after a 47 years absence.  By reading the blog, I can say that I am not the lone benefactor.

When I was in Ipoh in early November this year, I had the privilege of meeting Cmdr Anderson and his Hakka wife, the ACS Ipoh OBA committee, and speaking to the senior forms of ACS Ipoh.  All these activities were made possible through an initial connection to Ipoh World.  May I take this opportunity to publicly thank Cmdr Anderson, SY Lee, LMS136, uv@valiant knight, IpohGal, Cheah Tong Kim (Ipoh’s Malaysian Olympic Swimmer& my classmate), ACS Ipoh Principal Mdm Soot and many others who had made my trip to Ipoh really meaningful, nostalgic and worthwhile.

The enthusiasm generated by my last Ipoh visit and the encouragement  from the leadership of ACS Ipoh Alumni,   has resulted in a drive to form the ACS Ipoh Alumni (Australian Chapter)..  For those who are Australian residents, please send expression of interest to acsipohalumniatoz@gmail.com.

A Couple More to Tax Your Memories.

By |2011-11-21T22:04:45+08:00November 21st, 2011|Categories: Identify Photographs, ipoh, Memories, People|Tags: , , , |

First an SMI Sports Team, but who, which team and when?

And next another SMI Class but that is all we know.

What we really need here on ipohWorld is a greater number of SMI boys to help us. We have lots of SMI stuff which comes under the category of “Unknown”.

Please help if you can.

From The Star, Thursday 17 November 2011

By |2011-11-20T17:58:49+08:00November 20th, 2011|Categories: ipoh, People|Tags: , , , , |

Although we would not normally republish an article from a newspaper for reasons of copyright, in this case we have been asked to do so by local residents who are sick to death of this problem. Having seen the awful state of the park we are glad to help.

What is starnge that not so many months ago when the Sultan took his regular morning walk the park was much cleaner and had very few hawkers. It seems that since he no longer visits the park it has deteriorated dramatically. That’s food for thought, isn’t it!

We hope that Star Publications, being a public spirited organisation, will not object to this blog.

The text read:

Residents complain of hawkers marring park


THE presence of hawkers has ruined the beauty of the Sultan Abdul Aziz Recreational Park, popularly known as Polo Ground, in Ipoh.

Visitors to the park and nearby residents are complaining that hawkers’ vans, tables and chairs occupy precious parking space designated for park users while rubbish is strewn all over the area and across the road at the homes of residents.

Jogger Albert Lau said the once peaceful residential suburb had been turned into a “market” with people selling produce from their car boots in the morning on weekends.

“There is massive traffic congestion there, especially on Persiaran Brash, when motorists stop by to patronise the stalls.

“They park just about anywhere and everywhere.

“I pity the residents. Very often, they can’t enter or leave their homes because motorists have parked in front of their gates,” said Lau.

A resident, who only wished to be known as Tan, said Persiaran Brash was like a “glutton street” with stalls offering food ranging from laksa to rojak throughout the day, adding that some of the stalls even operated at night.

“Evidently, there is a public demand for laksa sold by the hawkers at Polo Ground.

“But peddling from vans by the roadside is not only an eyesore for the community, it also means uncertainty for the hawkers as their business is affected by the sun and the rain,” he said.

The hawkers, Tan said, should be relocated to a designated hawker centre with better facilities.

“The community cares about the fate of the hawkers.

“They, like us, only want to earn a living but they have to learn that it cannot be done at the expense of other people,” he added.

Tan said several complaints had been forwarded to the Ipoh City Council and state government. Yet, the problem remains.

“If the council is wary of being unpopular with the hawker community, it must be prepared to risk losing the respect and support of the rest of the community.

“What good is all the greenery, trees, beautiful landscape and natural environment when the long stretch of hawkers on the entire street right next to the park, takes away all the beauty,” said Tan.

Datuk Bandar Datuk Roshidi Hashim acknowledged that the council had received complaints about the hawkers.

He said the council’s proposal to relocate the hawkers to a nearby site had been met with resistance although it would continue to pursue the matter for an amicable solution.

“I hope the matter will not be politicised. The people must understand that decisions made by the council are for their own benefit,” he said.

Birthday Party at Kam Loong Restaurant 1962

By |2011-11-11T08:04:23+08:00November 11th, 2011|Categories: Identify Photographs, Ipoh Town, Memories, People|Tags: , , , , |

These two photographs were taken on the 60th birthday of Chow Yoon Soo at Kam Loong Restaurant, Ipoh in 1962. Chow Yoon Soo is featured on our database at http://www.ipohworld.org/search8/result.asp?strid=4334. The photographs are part of a set of eight we have recently received from her granddaughter, Sybil, togetherl with the details below:
Both photos were taken on the patio of the restaurant. They had put up the piece of cloth and a screen to hide their equipment.
Kam Loong was famous for its Sharksfin Soup and Suckling Pig and Su-ming mentioned this in her “Ipoh, My Home Town” story (page 268). However, the irony of the place was that the older ladies were seated upstairs (imagine the older legs struggling up step by step) while the drinkers (in their prime of life) sat downstairs. Kam Loong certainly had foresight, taking the risk of having the older ladies getting into difficulties on the stairs, against the likelihood of the drunks falling downstairs after dinner.

Now the question is, do you recognise any of these partygoers from 1962. After all, it is only 50 years ago!

Alternatively, do you have any tales of dining at Kam Loong?



As Different as Chalk and Cheese

By |2011-11-10T11:53:17+08:00November 10th, 2011|Categories: Identify Photographs, ipoh, Memories, People, What is it?|Tags: , , , |

Here we have two contrasting Ipoh photographs from Sophie. The first she calls “Dressing for the 1940’s to 1950’s. It is no wonder that Ipoh got the name for having all the pretty girls. Just look at these!

Sophie describes the photo as

“Dressing for 1940’s to 1950’s.

Four young ladies, two of them  are sisters. The second from left is my mother.”

And next comes an intriguing old bottle in which Sophie’s father used to keep nails and screws..

But this is where you are reader comes in for try as I might I cannot identify what it once held. Can you?

Sophie tells us;

“The height of the bottle is 4 inches plus.On the side of the cover it’s written ( Do not accept if this band is broken) so I guessed it’s something we can eat.It is Cola Cream not Cold Cream! Hope you can identify the bottle now.”

More Help Needed Please

By |2011-11-13T10:59:41+08:00November 9th, 2011|Categories: Identify Photographs, Memories|Tags: , , |

Here are two more school photos with almost no information.

Again we seek your help please: Which School, Which Class and What Date?

Photograph C. THis one said to be Class 3C, 1971, but which Convent?

Photograph D. Said to be Class 4B but when?

We look forward to your advice.

More to come over the weekend. Keep on looking!

Which School, Which Class, What Year?

By |2011-11-09T12:57:22+08:00November 9th, 2011|Categories: About Us, Identify Photographs, ipoh, Memories|Tags: , |

We recently received a batch of 10 school photographs with almost no information. In order to add them to our database archive we really need your help. If anyone out there can identify the school, class and year that would be a great help. If of course you have names that would also be a great bonus. Here are the first two to tax your brains.

In order to help you, please click on the photos to see them full size.

Photograph A

Photograph B

Good Luck. And there will be more tomorrow.

Perak Car Grille Badges

By |2011-11-06T12:07:38+08:00November 6th, 2011|Categories: Memories|Tags: , , |

A selection of car grille badges were donated to ipohWorld anonymously, with the message that they should be sold to the highest bidder and the money spent on purchasing rare photographs for our archive. We have put up a series of these on our database starting at http://www.ipohworld.org/search8/result.asp?strid=5657 and there are eight entries in the series. While not all are for sale, if you would like to make an offer for any of those pictured, please send an email to info@ipohworld.org.

Do look for there are some really interesting badges.

October 2011

Northern Writers 5th November 2011

By |2011-10-30T10:31:11+08:00October 30th, 2011|Categories: Books, Heritage Books, Ipoh Town, People|Tags: , , , |

The next session of Northern Writers takes place at No5 Gopeng Road at 1030, Saturday 5th November. New books, new readers and a little food. Do come along. It’s very interesting.

And this month we have the special treat of the Poi Lam Choral Speakers, now internationally known.

Contact yusufmartin51@googlemail.com for more information.

Sunday’s Special – Just Look at those Shoes!

By |2011-10-23T19:17:20+08:00October 23rd, 2011|Categories: ipoh, Memories, People|Tags: , , , |

We have seen a number of Ipoh’s young ladies recently and here we step back a generation or two. It is before the war came to Malaya, Hitler is causing problems in Europe while the world is struggling to recover from the 1929 depression. This was the era of the Superman comic (first published in 1938), the Benny Goodman Band and the film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was a popular attraction.

But here in Ipoh it was all about pretty girls, Cheongsams and shoes as the picture shows.

We thank ipohbornkid for this wonderful step back into Ipoh’s past.

September 2011

Now Here’s a Poser!

By |2011-09-23T19:21:42+08:00September 23rd, 2011|Categories: Exhibitions, Identify Photographs, Ipoh Town, People|Tags: , , , |

This photo was provided by the Cheong family for use in “Ipoh, My Home Town” but it was not used as there were much more appropriate images to use for their story.

The banner reads something like “Professor Shu Tong Zen, Exhibition of his Chinese Paintings including an exhibition of his Malaysian Students’ Work”.

Now the questions are: where was this Guild, when was the photograph taken, who are the people and where does the Guild have its premises today?

No prizes, just the glory of being able to show that you know the Ipoh of days gone by.

It’s 1980 and Time for IceCream! But Where is It?

By |2011-09-02T08:56:46+08:00September 2nd, 2011|Categories: Identify Photographs, ipoh, Memories, People|Tags: , , , |

What a treat for a youngster to have an icecream on a hot Ipoh day. Just look at the small boy’s face.

But here is another clue to the location.

And just look at the face of the mother with folded arms on the left. What is she saying to her daughter? Care to guess.

For your further enjoyment, although http://www.ipohworld.org/search8/result.asp?strid=303 is not a good photo, it shows the 1963 version of an Ipoh ice cream man,

We thank ipohbornkid for these great memories of time gone by.

Proposed Refurbishment to Ipoh Swimming Club

By |2011-09-01T16:08:23+08:00September 1st, 2011|Categories: ipoh|Tags: , |

We are often surprised by what drops on to our desk at ipohWorld. These two photographs came from UK and are said to be current proposals to refurbish/upgrade the historic Ipoh Swimming Club.

The new entrance to the club.

 and the view of the pool.

We thought that some of the old-timers that read these blogs might have some views about this and so guys and girls, it is over to you.

Do you like the new vision or do you prefer the old?

August 2011

A Bevy of Ipoh’s Pretty Girls

By |2011-08-31T08:29:09+08:00August 31st, 2011|Categories: Identify Photographs, ipoh, People|Tags: , , , |

Yes, these are girls from Ipoh and Raja Perempuan School. It is 1973 and this is the Community Service Club.

It was kindly sent in to us by Helen Philip who we think is standing fourth from the left and next to the tall girl with pigtails directly behind the teacher. Thank you Helen for the photo.

Now ladies, it is your turn to work. Who are the others and where are they standing/sitting. We look forward to hearing from you.

By the way, note the mural on the wall behind them, one carrying the national flag. Could that be 1Malaysia 1973 style?

Wah! We Have Gone to Print

By |2011-08-17T17:45:47+08:00August 17th, 2011|Categories: Books, childhood, Heritage Books, Ipoh Town, Memories, People|Tags: , |

Yes, at last Ipoh, My Home Town has gone to the printers.

As you may know, I have been working on a new book for the past 20 months or so, editing and compiling original stories of people growing up in Ipoh over the last 90 years. It is entitled “Ipoh, My Home Town: Reminiscences of Growing Up in Ipoh, in Pictures and Words”.  In hard cover ‘coffee table book’ format,  with colour on every page, there are 64 different stories from a broad spectrum of society encompassing all the main Peninsula Malaysian races, plus Caucasians and even an Iban. Together they represent Ipoh past and present.

There are stories from a “Flying Tiger” who grew up in Market Street in the 1920s, Professor Wang Gungwu, a Greentown boy before the war, Lat (who has also written the Foreword) and a number of others from stage, screen and radio plus of course successful businessmen and women, housewives and mothers, but interestingly, no politicians. Our oldest contributor is 92 and the youngest 12. The book therefore is really a history of life in Ipoh through the eyes of young people. With 276 pages and a wealth of original photographs and illustrations it has been a fascinating exercise for an expatriate, ably supported by his Malaysian wife.

The book will be launched by Tun Lim Keng Yaik on the morning of Saturday 17th September at the Royal Ipoh Club so if you can be in Ipoh that day that will be the place to be. Details of the programme and invitations will be sent out as soon as possible, but if you don’t get one and would like to attend, please just let me know.

Regarding the price, as this is a self funded project we have been able to keep the price down to a bare minimum with no profit taking. Hence the book will be on sale in the bookshops at RM100 and direct from us at RM90 excluding postage and packing. There will be plenty for sale at the launch, but if you cannot make it then you can always pre-order via info@ipohworld.org , providing your postal address. We can then advise you of the total cost as soon as the book is in our hands. 

I look forward to seeing you at the launch.

It’s 1956 at St Michael’s Institution Again

By |2011-08-14T13:04:04+08:00August 14th, 2011|Categories: About Us|

We did not do very well for Yip Chee Whye who is seeking his SMI friends from Form IV in 1954 ( see http://www.ipohworld.org/?p=3460) and so we thought that, thanks to AFR1970 who provided the photos below, we would give the SMI boys another chance.

So here we have Form IVA of 1956 and,

Form IVD from the same year.

So come on SMI and show us that your memories are as good as those from ACS.

A Cry For Help from SMI Form IV 1956

By |2011-08-07T10:34:00+08:00August 6th, 2011|Categories: Identify Photographs, ipoh, Memories, People|Tags: , , , |


You may have noticed two comments and a Chatterbox entry from a new reader Yip Chee Whye (Chee Whye Yip) who is looking to find his old school friends of 1956 and in particular he is seeking Mr. Ooi Kim Huat and Mr. Eddie Che. He presently lives in UK but says he will be back in Ipoh soon. 

He sent us this photo today and if I understand it correctly he is the one circled in the back row and Eddie Chee is circled centre in the row in front. So readers all can we help? We have done well so far with reuniting the Old Salts from ACS and the HIJ Convent girls. Can we do the same for SMI?

As you can see we now have a clearer picture of that sent in by Yip. This was kindly donated by AFR1970.  He says, “It is from my late father’s collection of photos. He doesn’t seem to be in the photo. I have Form IVA and Form IVD but he is not in those photos either. Sadly, Form IVB is missing. That could have been his class but I could be wrong.”

Thank you so much. I hope it helps us find the other classmates.

Wang Gungwu: Junzi – Scholar – Gentleman

By |2011-08-03T23:47:46+08:00August 3rd, 2011|Categories: About Us|

This new book is now available in all the usual bookshops at around RM80 to RM100.

This book of interviews with Professor Wang Gungwu, published to felicitate him on his 80th birthday in 2010, seeks to convey to a general audience something of the life, times and thoughts of a leading historian, Southeast Asianist, Sinologist and public intellectual. The interviews flesh out Professor Wang’s views on being Chinese in Malaya (he grew up in Ipoh); his experience of living and working in Malaysia, Singapore and Australia; the Vietnam war; Hong Kong and its return to China; the rise of China; Taiwan’s, Japan’s and India’s place in the emerging scheme of things; and the United States in an age of terrorism and war. The book includes and interview with his wife, Mrs. Margaret Wang, on their life together for half a century. Two interviews by scholars on Professor Wang’s work are also included, as are his curriculum vitae and a select bibliography of his works.

What comes across in this book is how Professor Wang was buffeted by feral times and hostile worlds, but responded to them as a left-liberal humanist who refused to cut ideological corners. This book records his response to tumultuous times on hindsight, but with a keen sense of having lived through the times of which he speaks.

NOTE: For those not skilled in Chinese, Junzi  was a term used by Confucious to describe his ideal human. To Confucius, the functions of government and social stratification were facts of life to be sustained by ethical values; thus his ideal human was the junzi. Often translated as “gentleman” or “superior person” and sometimes “exemplary person”.

NOTE 2: Wang Gungwu was an Anderson School student before and for a while after, the Japanese Occupation.

A Tuesday Treat

By |2011-08-02T09:41:40+08:00August 2nd, 2011|Categories: Identify Photographs, ipoh, People|Tags: , |

We seem to be getting quite a few old photographs to identify recently and therefore decided to give you all a treat today with an extra Tuesday blog.

This well-worn photograph was taken somewhere here in the 1940’s. Just look at the fashion of the day! The question is – where is it? The owner thinks he knows but he really does not seem too certain.

Perhaps you can put his mind at rest.

July 2011

The Sunday Shocker

By |2011-08-01T17:11:18+08:00July 31st, 2011|Categories: Identify Photographs, ipoh, What is it?|Tags: , , |

You, our smart readers from across the world have so far managed to identify almost anything we have thrown at you. Now we are becoming so well known that we are being sent some photos that could be anywhere in Malaysia, like this one.

But actually it is thought to be in the Ipoh area although it might just come from the Cameron Highlands. The clue must be the distinctive colouring of the facia and the Air Conditioned transfers on the windows. I really cannot see any more even when the picture is enlarged, so WYSIWYG.

Who’ll be first to enlighten us?

Well, by special request of sm (below) here is a full frontal (pardon the expression) of the Star Barbers.

So what are the differences and where is the original picture situated?

New Map – Batu Gajah Heritage Driving Trail

By |2011-07-31T13:01:29+08:00July 30th, 2011|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , |

Recently published, this new heritage map comes from the same stable as the two Ipoh Heritage walking trails. It is available now, FREE, from the Ipoh Tourism Office and leading hotels and tourism outlets. Alternatively contact kintaheritage@gmail.com.

Unfortunately we do not have enough space to put up the whole thing, but the map below will give you the idea of the scope of this trail.

Included are photographs and descriptions of the different heritage sites (or in some cases what is left of them), and a brief history of both Kellie’s Castle and TT5 Tin Dredge.

Do go and get your copy today as they are going to be popular!

It’s Ipoh and they are Aeromodellers

By |2011-07-16T18:50:58+08:00July 10th, 2011|Categories: Identify Photographs, ipoh, Memories, People|Tags: , , , , |

And that is just about all we know about this picture which we are led to believe was taken in the 1960s. So come on guys and girls, stop looking at all those Bersih videos and photos and help us out with this one please. Judging by all the cups, shields and other trophys they must have been pretty well known.

No sooner had I asked for a photo of the above group’s reunion photograph, Merrill Leong provided this one.

Merrill added the following:

“Attached is a single photo of the reunion mentioned by CK Leong. The lunch meeting was held at a room in Mun Cheong Restaurant which was being prepared for a wedding dinner; the two names on the wall have no bearing on the group of guys gathered. Let’s see whether your readers can match up who’s who from the two photos. Of course not all present in the black and white picture are in the newer one, and there is one person in the coloured photo who is not in the other.”

June 2011

May 2011

A Solution to Meet a Need

By |2011-05-29T10:31:09+08:00May 29th, 2011|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , |

Looking to improve your speaking and leadership skills? Ignite your career? Win that job interview?


Since 1924, more than 4 million people around the world have become more confident speakers and leaders because of their participation in Toastmasters.Toastmasters International is a world leader in communication and leadership development. Today, their membership is 260,000 strong. These members improve their speaking and leadership skills by attending one of the 12,500-plus clubs that make up their global network of meeting locations.


Ipoh has two very active Toastmasters Clubs and membership offers solutions to improve your personal skills.


As a special initiative the clubs are running a new awareness campaign with a target audience of students, age 18 – 25 who study at Institutes of Higher Learning.


If you are interested in taking advantage of this campaign please log on to the above websites, or contact:


C G Huan 012 558 1012,  hcgiap@gmail.com (YMCA venue)


or Guna 012 516 2002, karmun0901@hotmail.com (Jln Chung Thye Phin venue).


Our “Shiny Black Gold” Exhibition – Last Day

By |2011-05-22T12:22:27+08:00May 22nd, 2011|Categories: Exhibitions, ipoh, Memories, Perak Society of Performing Arts, Tenby Schools|Tags: , , |

PSPA’s Brand New Musical Show, “Shiny Black Gold” depicts the life of an imaginary coolie who came to Ipoh from China to make his fortune from tin mining. In order to support the show, ipohWorld put on a small exhibition of artifacts which stressed the main aspects of the musical. Above you can see the story of the coolie at work and the dulang washer’s life.

The show is very true to life and also featured the coolie’s 4 Evils from which he suffered – The Triad Brotherhood, Gambling, Opium and Prostitution. This table features the last three, with old gambling tokens, a full opium smoker’s outfit and a book about local Japanese Prostitution – in 1921 there were at least 50 Japanese prostitutes resident in Ipoh.

Of course the coolies lived in the kongsi and here we feature communal eating by the light of an oil lamp.

Today, Sunday, is your last opportunity to see the show and visit the exhibition. There are two shows today at 4.00pm and 8.00pm and if you would like a ticket then there may be a chance if you phone 0125088818. Do it NOW.

Your ipohWorld hosts IKA and Felicia will be there to welcome you from 3.00pm.

Something Different – A Whatsit

By |2011-05-15T10:47:38+08:00May 14th, 2011|Categories: Identify Photographs, ipoh, Memories, What is it?|Tags: |

This item was used by an Ipoh based, Kinta Valley surveyor in the 1950s. What is it? Sadly we have no budget for prizes – indeed, very little budget for anything, but if you get it right at least you can walk tall among your friends as the man who knows his Ipoh artifacts.

A second picture clue will be posted tomorrow if nobody has guessed it correctly.

So – Whatsit?

Well guys, you are all too smart for me and so I don’t need the second picture clur, do I? However the least I can do is put up the original item in both the closed and open position. So here it is.

So what about the most popular place in which it was probably used?

Soon There Will be None Left

By |2011-05-02T16:52:56+08:00May 2nd, 2011|Categories: Memories, Museums|Tags: , , |

This was Tapah Road Railway Station in 1980. Old fashioned, rustic and clearly a leftover from the Colonial days that Malaysia seems to be so ashamed of. But those who feel this way won’t have to be ashamed of their history for much longer as we are told that KTMB are to demolish all the old stations. Kuala Kangsar, Batu Gajah, Tanjung Rambutan and all the others will soon be gone. And then travellers can enjoy the clinical atmosphere imparted by stainless steel and concrete, without having to look back at what life used to be like. However, if you wish to look back then click here where you will find a photograph of the station opening celebration in 1893.

Seriously though wouldn’t one or two of these old stations make great railway museums for the thousands of rail enthusiasts the world over? I thought Perak State wanted to encourage tourism!

Incidentally we are told that Tapah Road, being  on the road leading to Tapah led to its name and that this name has drawn some criticism from local Malay linguists because it has a colonial ‘stain’ on it. A number of towns in Perak also have or had a similar ‘stain’ such as Slim River (still in existance), Port Weld (now Kuala Sepetang) and Teluk Anson (now Teluk Intan). Tapah Road maintained its name because the equivalent version in Malay (Jalan Tapah) is not suitable as a station is not normally named after a road, but a place. History is fascinating.

The photograph is again courtesy of Jerry de Witt. Thank you sir for thinking about us.

Kinta Valley from the Air 1975

By |2011-05-01T19:23:13+08:00May 1st, 2011|Categories: Memories, Natural Heritage|Tags: , , , |

Courtesy of Jerry de Witt, this photograph taken from a MAS aircraft in 1975 clearly shows the Kinta River winding its leisurely way across the valley on its way to Teluk Intan. But don’t miss the tin mines – those large brown patches alongside the river – for in 1975 there was still a tin mining industry here, albeit approaching its “last legs”. Look carefully and you can probably spot a dredge or two clanking away and wresting the black gold from the ground.

Not so long ago was it, just 36 years, but today even though fortunes were made locally we don’t even have a suitable marker of any sort in Ipoh to remember those days gone by or, as Dr Ho Tak Ming put it, when tin was king.

April 2011

A Walk Back in Time – Time Tunnel

By |2011-04-29T13:25:35+08:00April 29th, 2011|Categories: Memories, Museums|Tags: , |

Last week I had a meeting in The Cameron Highlands and took time out to visit a rather special place called “Time Tunnel”. Branded as “The Local Museum” this attraction features the personal collection of Mr. See Kok Shan – a fascinating collection of almost everything old found locally. Long and wide it is just like a tunnel and it is soon to become even longer.

As you can see it really is like a tunnel but completely stacked from wall to wall and floor to ceiling with fascinating collectibles.

Originally Mr. See came from Ipoh and would like to do something similar here – as we at ipohWorld would also like to do – but we all suffer from there being little or no interest in Ipoh for such attractions, even though we claim we want to expand tourism!

So next time you are in the highlands why not pay Time Tunnel a visit. Entrance is only RM 5 and it is well signposted just north of Brinchang by Kok Lim Strawberry Farm.

Don’t Miss “The Battle of the River Plate”.

By |2011-04-23T09:48:37+08:00April 23rd, 2011|Categories: About Us, Ipoh Town, Memories|Tags: , , , , |

Ruth Rollitt was so incensed by the multicoloured Cathay that we featured, she sent us this photograph of how the Theatre looked when it first opened in those days of Movies and Mercedes. She included a newspaper article from 1958, the first part of which is inserted below. The whole article will appear on or database archive before too long. Unfortunately we received it to late to catch the movie! Did anyone out there see it?

“Special  Cathay Supplement

A Milestone in Cinema Entertainment


Ipoh’s New Cathay Theatre


To build a luxury theatre in Ipoh has long been a wish of the Cathay Organisation. This is in keeping with their policy to provide the best that there is available in cinema comfort and entertainment.


Costing over $600,000 their new Cathay, Ipoh will be officially declared open by His Highness the Sultan of Perak, Raja Sir Izzudin Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Abdul Jalil, KCMG, OBE, before a distinguished and cosmopolitan gathering at 8 pm tonight, the eve of  Chinese New Year.


Out of a piece of rubber estate land there has risen a handsome steel and concrete structure housing one of the best equipped theatres in the state of Perak.


Among the guests who will attend tonight’s opening ceremony will be State and Town Councillors, community leader, heads of Government and other personalities.


Cathay Organisation personalities include Mr Loke Wan Tho, Head of the Organisation, whose inspired leadership and farsightedness has provided Ipoh town with the handsome and imposing entertainment landmark.


Mrs Loke will accompany her husband and Mr John Ede, Director and General manager of the Cathay Organisation will also be present.


This new theatre – a worthy acquisition to the large number of theatres already controlled by the Organisation – was designed by Mr B M Iversen, the well-known Ipoh architect.”


More about the Cathay can be found here.

Episode 6: Schooling in Ipoh

By |2011-04-19T09:17:55+08:00April 19th, 2011|Categories: About Us|

Here it is, the long awaited Episode 6 by UV. He describes the photo thus:


The photo of the Methodist Youth Felllowship of Ipoh Wesley Church is made up of members from my class and those my senior and junior with Dr. Lee Poh Ping (Former teacher in ACS Ipoh and later Lecturer of History in University Malaya) who was then the counsellor.  The girls were from MGS and Convent Ipoh.



In Episode 5, I stirred the emotions of many who had experienced some form of abuse by their teachers or had someone close to them  abused by teachers.  If one is not seriously affected, one may take it as part of the learning process but should abuse change the lives of those affected, it could be rather traumatic!  That is why, today, teachers are challenged when they become abusive.


Let us hope that this episode will not bring back such a lot of unpleasant memories of schooling in Ipoh in the late fifties and early sixties.  In the late fifties when we crossed the hurdle of the Lower Certificate of Education (LCE) we would either be sent to the Science or Arts Stream.  If one has taken Mathematics 2 and passes Mathematics 1 and Science, one can be assured of a place in the Science Stream.  People tend to look upon those in the Science Stream as the cleverer students.  This is not absolutely so.  Many Arts Stream students are also very intelligent but they just do not have an inclination to the scientific field.


I was selected to do Science and sent to 4 Science A, among my old friends form the A class again.  Somehow, I tend to do better during examination years!  Maybe it was my approach to examinations that brought about such results.  Many students drop all non-academic activities during examination time and just concentrated on the academic aspects.  I did not do that.  I continued my extra-curricular activities as before but I do spend extra time in ensuring that I master all that was taught and spent time preparing summaries of important facts for each subject so that I could do a quick revision near examination time.  Nobody taught me how to do this.  I just did it as a matter of fact.  I would use little sheets of rough paper and put down in point form all the important facts I need to remember whenever I read a text book or go over the notes my teachers gave me.  I continued this all my life, even now!


Science subjects like Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Additional Mathematics were really tough.  I enjoyed Biology but couldn’t get the hang of Physics.  Mr. Tan Chin Huat taught me Physics for a while and then Mr. Boler took over.  I remembered the first lesson was about specific gravity and we had to do experiments using a special glass bottle and a weighing machine encased in glass placed in a special room beside the Physics Laboratory.  Then we had to record each experiment in a particular way!  Here my new friend who came from Teluk Anson (now Teluk Intant) Lee Cheow Pheng was my savior.  He joined us a couple of year earlier and was also a member of the Boys’ Brigade and the Intermediate MYF and continues to be in both all our school lives together.  I would telephone him each day to ask for help, usually in Additional Mathematics and I could not make out head or tail what my Additional Mathematics teacher was teaching.


Once in class, I had to peep at the answers to solve a problem and Mr. Loh Swee Kee caught me doing it and immediately demanded that I cut out all the answer pages!  Guess what?  I did it!  It did not help me turn into a Additional Mathematics genius but really made me hate that subject!  I struggled on for a year and continued being in 5 Science A the following year.   However, I was about to make the decision of my life pretty soon.  After a few weeks in Form 5 Science A and as we approach the day we had to dissect a frog, I decided to leave for the Arts Stream.


I walked in to see the Senior Assistant, Mr. Balraj and told him I wanted to switch to the Arts Stream.  He looked at me with unbelieving eyes.  He asked me whether I had consulted my parents.  I told him I had not but added that my parents knew I was struggling along in the Science Stream and that they had never interfered with my studies before.  He then decided that I could go and gave me a note to my current class teacher and another to the 5 Arts A teacher.  I hurriedly went to class, said goodbye to my classmates, took my bag and walked to 5 Arts A and presented my note to the class teacher.  My life changed from that moment.

I was seated next to a tall skinny Indian Boy at the very last seat of the class.  He was none other than Mano Maniam (as he is popularly known today) but we called him Manogaran then.  Our favourite pastime was to punch each other on the upper arm!  I still could not think of the rationale for this, but it sort of bound us and we remained close friends even till now.  In front was another Indian boy, Mani.  He came from a poor family and had to work as a petrol station pump boy after school to support his mother and sister.  He passed his SC  (Senior Cambridge) and MCE (Malayan Certificate of Education) and worked as a clerk for some time but unfortunately was killed in a road accident at a very young age.


In my class too there were famous sports figures like Cheah Tong Kim (Olympic Swimmer), Chong Fah Chong (goalkeeper for State and Nation), Looi Loon Teik (Footballer – Qualified for Olympics but we did not go because we boycotted the Olympics that year).


Our English teacher was Miss Tye Soh Sim (later became Mrs. Eddie Chin) who just graduated from Singapore University of Malaya.  In addition, she taught us Religious Knowledge (Christian).  She was the one that ensured our grammar was perfect.  However, in addition to that, she ensured that we were creative in our writing.  Fierce as she was, her lesson was enjoyable and most of us looked forward to her classes.


During Religious Knowledge class, I pity the student who could not repeat St. Paul’s speeches for her.   She would walk into class start two line from one of St. Paul’s famous speeches and then point to one of us to continue!  Many would fail, but some do succeed.  To those who succeeded, a distinction was the end reward when the SC results come out!  Such was her method of teaching Christian Religious Knowledge that many did score an A.


I always pride myself in being good at Elementary Mathematics and General Science as I was from the Science Class.  I was good at drawing maps, so I thought I would easily score in Geography.  Health Science would also be another subject I would scare in.  Well, Religious Knowledge was already a foregone conclusion; I would definitely get an A.  Of the subjects I obtained A in that I was confident of was Religious Knowledge.  All the others I merely score a C3 (the strongest credit).  I was able to score As in History and English Literature, too, to my surprise!


Being in the Arts Stream took out a lot of pressure.  I could do all the other activities young boys my age then would like to do.  Play games, join societies, meet up with girls.  When I was in Form 4 Sc. A. a girl already joined out class.  Remember up to Form 5 then, ACS Ipoh was a boy’s school.  However, that year, an exception was made by Mr. Ram for this girl to join the Form 4 class.  In Form 5 Arts A, 2 more girls joined us!  So I starred co-education rather early in life!


During my time, to get to Form Six we had to sit for the Form Six Entrance Examination.  This was an external examination conducted by the Ministry of Education as there were limited places for students.  We sat for three papers and the result would come out soon after we finished our SC examinations.  I came out second best after Manogran and was placed 12th in the State of Perak.  Only a few of us got through from the Arts Stream.


When we joined the Lower Six Arts Class the following year, there were hardly a dozen of us from ACS Ipoh.  There were girls from MGS Ipoh, Convent Ipoh, a few from smaller towns near Ipoh like Batu Gajah, Tronoh, Kampar and even as far as Sitiawan.  Boys came from other schools that had no Sixth Form and outstation too.  We were joined a bit latter by a boy from Royal Military College and today he is the famous lawyer Datuk Cecil Abraham!


(Next Episode: Life in Form Six)

New Book Hot Off the Press – “Tin Mining in Malaysia: the Osborne & Chappel Story.”

By |2011-04-17T17:10:18+08:00April 17th, 2011|Categories: Books, Heritage Books, Museums|Tags: , , , , , , |

“Tin Mining in Malaysia: the Osborne & Chappel Story” was launched today by YB Dato’ Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen, Minister of Tourism Malaysia, in conjunction with the opening of Gopeng Museum’s second premises, the Heritage House, Gopeng. 

The book, written by David Palmer, who was part of O & C in Malaysia from 1960 until he retired, and Michael Joll, also an O & C employee for many years, covers tin mining in Malaysia over 200 years, with a short history of the mining industry from the early Colonial days until tin was no longer important in the 1990’s.

It also covers the span of O & C’s long and important involvement in the tin industry of the Kinta tin fields and the towns of Gopeng and Ipoh and tells what happened when the tin mines closed down.

For the technically minded a section of the book describes the various mining techniques.

With 352 pages, hard covered and featuring a wealth of original illustrations, the book is priced at RM100 / GBP20 (excluding packing and postage). It is available direct from the Gopeng Museum or can be ordered by email to mataniph@yahoo.com.

I have got my copy so make sure you get yours. It is good value and will make a darn good read as well as a definitive reference book for those who do not remember the tin mining heydays of the Kinta Valley.

March 2011

Words Fail Me.

By |2011-03-31T09:28:26+08:00March 31st, 2011|Categories: About Us, Memories, Restoration, What is it?|Tags: , , , |

We received the following email and pictures this morning and thought that we should share it with all you heritage supporters out there. No doubt you will be as lost for words as I am – or will you?

HI all! This is one of my favourite kampung houses just outside of Terong, Perak, on the way to Lumut. It is right on the road side & I have taken pics of it over the years and was totally shattered to find it has been turned into a swiftlet house with speakers blasting like crazy. The swiftlet house pics were taken on Friday. Perak is being over run by swiftlet farms. Pantai Remis Sungei Kerang, all a mess! This particular change looks like a joke right? Total disrespect of such a beautiful example of Malay heritage!


Care to share your thoughts with our correspondent?

February 2011

January 2011

A Tribute to the Late Dato’ K. K. Lim

By |2011-01-27T07:50:56+08:00January 27th, 2011|Categories: ipoh, People|Tags: , , , |

It was with great sadness that I heard of the passing of Dato’ K. K. Lim on Thursday last as he has been a great friend and supporter to me over the previous 7-years or more. A tough businessman with a stern exterior, he had a heart of gold when it came to those, often forgotten, elements of a quality life, education, music, dance, drama, art and heritage. It was therefore that without any fanfare or unnecessary publicity, he unfailingly supported them all financially for many years. He was the silent philanthropist who cared about these things and did everything he could to bring culture and quality education to Ipoh, a town often described as a cultural desert. His departure from this world will leave a gap in many people’s lives, including my own.

Personally I have to thank him for supporting the ipohWorld project, based in Tenby Schools, Ipoh. Without his encouragement and sound advice much of the historical information that we have collected over the years would have been lost to the world. As it is we have collected, researched and recorded a large database of local images and facts that are available to students worldwide via the Internet. The database continues to grow daily. Much of this information which covers the ever-disappearing heritage and social history of our area is ignored by the present education system. We therefore fill the gap in our young people’s knowledge of the past and their roots, with information not readily available elsewhere. To continually fund organisations that always run at a loss, simply because he maintained the belief that heritage, social history and the arts were important ingredients in education and, at the same time, would make Ipoh a better place to live, demonstrates his determination to succeed where others had failed. He will be sorely missed. May he rest in peace.

Ian Anderson

The photograph, courtesy of the Lim family shows Dato KK with his wife Datin Stella and one of his grandsons, Tan Zen Ferng.

November 2010

Perak Lost Living Heritage Exhibition

By |2010-11-26T21:19:44+08:00November 21st, 2010|Categories: ipoh, Memories, People|Tags: , , , |

Now this is one event you really must take your children to. Many of the people you will see practising their skills are the last of the line as nobody is prepared to continue their trade. Consequently it may be the only time that your children will get to see this in real life. It’s a “Must Go” event, so even if you have seen it all before don’t rob the younger generation of their once in a lifetime opportunity.

Don’t forget

27th November until 5th December daily, 11.00am to 6.00pm, at

The Garden Villa, No 5 Gopeng Road

The 22nd Joint Conference of the Sun Yat Sen and Soong Ching Ling Memorials

By |2010-11-18T00:00:19+08:00November 18th, 2010|Categories: People|Tags: |

  11 November 2011




The 22nd Joint Conference of the Sun Yat Sen and Soong Ching Ling Memorials 

In conjunction with the

International Centennial Celebrations of Sun Yat Sen’s 1910 ‘Penang Conference’

Launch 20 November 2010 in Penang, Malaysia


Sun Yat Sen’s birthday anniversary on 12 November is celebrated by millions throughout the world. The following weekend in November, delegates from more than 30 Sun Yat Sen and Soong Ching Ling museums and memorial sites will have their 22nd Joint Conference in Penang, the first time outside of China. They will be part of the International Centennial Celebrations of Sun Yat Sen’s 1910 ‘Penang Conference’ which the Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak has agreed to launch.


Commonly referred to as ‘the Father of modern China’, Dr. Sun is a global figure with great historical significance to China, Taiwan and the overseas Chinese.  He championed nationalism, democracy and egalitarianism, developing a political philosophy known as the ‘Three People’s Principles’. As the leader of the China Revolution of 1911, he became China’s first provisional president in post-Manchu China. He became an inspiration for nationalists all over Asia including the India, Philippines and Indonesia.


It is exactly 100 years since Dr. Sun Yat Sen planned the Huanghuagang Uprising (also called Canton Uprising) from Penang. After having failed with his ninth attempt at revolution, Dr. Sun found renewed support from his Penang followers. He called the party leaders loyal to him to attend his birthday on 12 November 1910 and then held a secret meeting to plan the Canton Uprising. Two days later, at an Emergency General Meeting held at the Penang Philomatic Union, then based in 120 Armenian Street. Dr Sun gave a moving speech and managed to raise 8,000 Straits Dollars, thus launching the campaign for the famous uprising. He established the Penang Chinese newspaper Kwong Wah Jit Poh a few weeks later, today one of the world’s oldest newspapers. In 1910, Dr. Sun spent more than four important months of his revolutionary career in Penang, and left a lasting impact on Penang society, as his followers went on to found several organisations such as Chung Ling School, Penang Chinese Girls’ School, Hu Yew Seah, Li Teik Seah and Min Sin Seah.


When Dr. Sun moved to Penang in 1910, his wife and two daughters, and his revolutionary companion Chen Cuifen, as well as his elder brother and sponsor Sun Mei, came to live with him. This November, the direct descendants of Sun Mei and Dr Sun Yat Sen will have their reunion in Penang and take part in the centennial celebrations. They also hope to meet up with their Malaysian relatives while they are here.


The International Centennial Celebrations will consist of a series of events, including an academic symposium, a major exhibition, the development and launch of the Penang Sun Yat Sen Heritage Trail, the screening of the movie Road To Dawn and a cultural performance. These events will be organised by a large coalition of government and non-government bodies.


The host of the 22nd Joint Conference is the memorial network’s only Malaysian member, the Sun Yat Sen Penang Base, a private museum at 120 Armenian Street. This historic house, located in the Core Zone of the World Heritage Site, was visited by Hu Jintao, then already China’s president designate. As a follow-up of Hu Jintao’s visit, two China government subsidiaries collaborated with an international movie cast to produce a movie ‘Road To Dawn’ about Dr. Sun’s life in Penang,


The International Centennial Celebrations will therefore be a culmination of Penang’s efforts to commemorate Sun Yat Sen’s historic sojourn in Penang, Museum curators and scholars will convene to talk about the significance of the 1910 Penang Conference. Schoolchildren will tour the exhibition to learn about Sun Yat Sen and Soong Ching Ling as global figures of the early twentieth century.  The international delegates and Sun descendants will meet the custodians of heritage sites in Penang that preserve Sun’s memory and legacy. The world will remember the historic moment of the ‘Penang Conference’, the legacy of Dr. Sun Yat Sen and the contributions of his Penang and Malayan followers.





The 22nd Joint Conference of the Sun Yat Sen and Soong Ching Ling Memorials

in conjunction with the

International Centennial Celebrations of Sun Yat Sen’s 1910 ‘Penang Conference’

Exhibition: 12 November 2010 to 17 February 2011 at 57 Macalister Road

Conference: 19-22 November 2010 at City Bayview Hotel


Exhibition on Sun Yat Sen, Soong Ching Ling and Southeast Asia

Date & Venue: 12 November 2010 to 17 February 2011, at the new Penang State Museum premises (former Maternity Hospital), Macalister Road, Penang

Organised by Min Sin Seah, supported by the Penang State Government

This exhibition will introduce the memorials sites of Sun Yat Sen and Soong Ching Ling. Part of the exhibition will highlight the importance of Dr. Sun Yat Sen and his movement in the history of Penang and Malaysia, including their contributions in Chinese education, the Chinese press as well as social and political movements.




22nd Joint Conference of Sun Yat Sen and Soong Ching Ling Memorials

19-22 November at City Bayview Hotel, Penang

The memorials network and joint conference were inaugurated in 1989 and now includes more than 40 organizations around the world. In November 2010, the Joint Conference will take place in Penang, Malaysia –  its first meeting outside of China. It will be hosted by the Sun Yat Sen Penang Base, which has been the sole Malaysian member of the Joint Conference since 2005.  More than 30 museums and memorials from eight cities in China, as well as from Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines, will be converging for this event.


Grand launch of the 22nd Joint Conference of the Sun Yat Sen and Soong Ching Ling Memorials in conjunction with the International Centennial Celebrations of Sun Yat Sen’s 1910 ‘Penang Conference’

Date & venue: 10 am, 20 November 2010 at Grand Ballroom, City Bayview Hotel

Organised by the Joint Committee of the International Centennial Celebrations, supported by Khazanah Nasional Berhad.


Our Malaysian Prime Minister, Dato’ Seri Mohd Najib has agreed to officate the launch of the conference. It will be a historic occasion for Penang and Malaysia, attended by the international delegates representing the Sun Yat Sen and Soong Ching Ling memorials, and the direct descendants of Sun Mei and Dr. Sun Yat Sen, as well as the Penang and Malaysian public.


Public talk: Inaugural Penang Story Lecture by Professor Wang Gungwu

Date & venue: 11.30am, 20 November 2010 at Grand Ballroom, City Bayview Hotel

In his lecture “Sino-Western Penang Responses”, Wang Gungwu will look discuss the early phases of Penang’s globalization, through the encounters of personalities such Dr Sun Yat-sen and Ku Hung-ming. Professor Wang Gungwu is the Chairman of the East Asian Institute and University Professor, National University of Singapore. He is also Emeritus Professor of the Australian National University. Professor Wang is widely recognized as the ‘doyen of overseas Chinese historical scholarship’.




International Symposium on Sun Yat Sen, Soong Ching Ling and Southeast Asia

Date & Venue: 8.30am-4.30am 21 November 2010 at Wawasan Open University

Co-organised by Wawasan Open University

This symposium will bring together 15-20 scholars to talk about Sun Yat Sen and Soong Ching Ling, their life and contributions and their impact on Southeast Asia. One focus will be on the 1910 ‘Penang Conference’, and its significance for the history of China.


Sun Yat Sen Heritage Trail, George Town World Heritage Site

Developed by the Penang Heritage Trust, supported by Think City Sdn Bhd

As a legacy of this conference, we will establish a Penang Sun Yat Sen Heritage Trail, which will consist of at least 10 historical sites in Penang associated with Dr. Sun Yat Sen and his followers. This heritage trail will be a new tourism product targeting the China and Taiwan markets and packaged with airlines worldwide.



Organised by Sun Yat Sen Penang Base, Min Sin Seah, Penang Heritage Trust, Penang Chinese Town Hall, Taipei Investors in Malaysia Association, Malaysia, The Federation of Alumni Association of Taiwan Universities, Wawasan Open University, Chung Ling High School Alumni Association,  Penang Zhongshan Association, Penang Philomatic Union, Penang Tourist Guide Association, Equator Academy of Art,Vision Academy, Malaysia.

Supported by ThinkCity Sdn Bhd,  Penang Global Tourism, Penang State Museum


Today Let’s Visit Sam Poh Tong

By |2010-11-17T00:27:18+08:00November 17th, 2010|Categories: ipoh, Memories|Tags: , , , |

But as you probably guessed this was Sam Poh back in the 1960’s, not long after the big renovation of the 50’s. No doubt many of you would have been dragged along by your parents to visit and pay respects.

According to legend, the cave was discovered in 1890 by a Mahayana Buddhist monk from China who was passing through Ipoh; he decided to make it his domicile and a place for meditation. He remained there for 20 years until his death.

Until today, nuns and monks who dedicate their lives to Buddha still occupy the Sam Poh Tong. There are 246 steps will leads to an open cave with what used to be an excellent view of Ipoh and its surroundings, but much of this (view) has, in my opinion, been spoilt by development.

If you would like to read more about the temple or see a short video of it please click here

Down Memory Lane with NTPS, Jalan Pasir Puteh

By |2010-11-15T21:13:29+08:00November 15th, 2010|Categories: Identify Photographs, ipoh, Memories, People|Tags: , , |

Now here’s a sight for sore eyes! It is 1963 and the boys and girls (boys in drag!) of Pasir Puteh are putting on “Old King Cole”. Which one is you? Do write in if you recognise yourself or anyone else.

And here we have Standard II in 1961. Wah didn’t you all look like little angels then! Ms Wan is the class teacher and next to her is the headmaster Mr. Bhagwan Singh. S K Ong who kindly sent in these photos, and two more from later years, is standing in the second row, second on the right.

So who else can you recognise?

Which One is Your Miss Perak?

By |2010-11-05T08:15:24+08:00November 5th, 2010|Categories: ipoh, Memories, People|Tags: , , , , , , |

With all the recent blogs about beauty contestants and pretty girls I thought we ought to have a look at some!

This photo was very kindly sent in by our good friend Hong. It was taken in our very own Lido Cinema in 1962. They are the final contestants for the Miss Perak competition run in conjunction with Ipoh’s celebrations on being declared a municipality.

They are Miss Kampar, Miss Ipoh, Miss Taiping, Miss Teluk Anson and Miss Kuala Kangsar, but what were their real names? We would love to know. 

So guys out there, which one is your Miss Perak?

And girls – from the feminine point of view, what do you think?

October 2010

Kinta Swimming Club – Open and Beautiful

By |2010-11-02T23:37:16+08:00October 31st, 2010|Categories: ipoh, People|Tags: , , |

Yes here it is and I am sure that the Hong family were overwhelmed when it was officially opened by Michelle Yeoh just recently for I know how much Hong senior has put into this project. Congratulations!

And here it is in all its glory! Submitted by Hong Soon Kheong, there are more photos on Facebook in our “Friends” album.

The membership details are as follow:


Currently they are promoting 3 categories of membership:


1) Family Transferable Membership (parents with children under 18 yrs old) – RM5,000 joining fees and RM 45 monthly subscriptions (To commemorate their recent reopening, the club is offering the 1st 200 new Family Membership free of monthly subscriptions for the next 24 months)


2) Single Transferable Membership (for one person only) – RM2,500 joining fees and RM 45 monthly subscriptions. (To commemorate their recent reopening, the club is also offering the 1st 50 new Single Membership free of monthly subscriptions for the next 24 months) 


3) Single Membership (Non-Transferable Annual Plan) – RM800 joining fees with no monthly subscription at all. Membership is valid for 1 year only.


The joining fees will increased once all the club facilities are operational after the 2nd quarter of next year.


 Any enquiries please contact +605-5278417(Office)  or Mobile +6016-3303157 (Mr Hong). 

The Garden Villa Kindie 1983

By |2010-10-23T12:22:13+08:00October 23rd, 2010|Categories: Identify Photographs, ipoh, Memories, People|Tags: , , |

Running this blog and database is a very interesting thing and sometimes the coincidences that take place are nothing short of amazing. The very same day that I said that I had never heard of a kindie in No 5 Gopeng Road, I visited a relation in Pasir Puteh. And there was an album full of faded coloured photos of the very same kindie!

As Felicia knows, this is not the first time that this sort of coincidence has happened. Could someone be watching over us? If they are then let us hope they continue to do so for we need all the help we can get to run this site.

Now, apart from M K Wong, who else went to this kindergarten? Was this taken on sports day? What was the kindie called? Can you recognise anyone? What else can you tell us? Naughty children stories or whatever – we need them all! Do let us know.

Do You Recognise This One?

By |2010-10-18T12:04:51+08:00October 18th, 2010|Categories: Identify Photographs, Ipoh Town, Memories|Tags: , , |

Not a very difficult question for you on this bright Monday morning, but of all the grand old buildings in Ipoh that have been torn down, I think this is the one I miss the most.

Fortunately we have this photograph as a memento of what, in my humble opinion, should never have been demolished. But it was – suddenly and without warning – for that is how we do things under Malaysia Boleh. I think it was lost to us in 2002 but I may be wrong. Does anyone know when it was built or have any history about it? More photographs would also be welcome.

Felicia is sick today so some interesting replies would certainly brighten up her day.

Perak Heritage Art Exhibition 2010

By |2010-10-15T00:33:13+08:00October 15th, 2010|Categories: ipoh, Memories, Natural Heritage|Tags: , , , |

This exhibition entitled “Ribbon of Life” will open at Garden Villa, No 5 Gopeng Road at 11.00am on 16th October 2010 and run daily from 11.am to 7.00pm until 26th October 2010, not 10.00 to 6.00 as stated on the flyer.

All exhibits are for sale and all proceeds raised will be donated to the Pink Champions Breast Cancer Welfare Association and the underprivileged through the outreach programme.

For enquiries please contact Ms Betty Caleb at 012 521 8711 or En Harith Idris at 012 521 8956.

I am sure ipohWorld readers will give their support to this great opportunity to pick up a piece of quality art and at the same time help such a worthwhile cause, but don’t dilly-dally on the way or you may miss a great bargain.

Making Gopeng a Tourist Attraction

By |2010-10-10T15:11:46+08:00October 9th, 2010|Categories: Museums|Tags: , , , , , |

On Thursday 7 October 2010, Nanyang Siang Pau dedicated almost its complete front page of the Perak Edition to an article (shown above) with the headline “Making Gopeng a Tourist Attraction” . The story is great for Gopeng and heritage if it all comes to fruition. The plan is to provide three new museums/galleries/displays to add to the already very successful Gopeng Museum. This will really will make Gopeng a tourist town with plenty to see.

First of all it is proposed to provide a museum dedicated to the story of the famous Gopeng pipeline, possibly using whatever has been salvaged after it was dismantled earlier this year. This proposal from YB Dato’ Hamidah Osman, Perak State Exco suggests the involvement of Osborne and Chappel UK. On the map, bottom left, this is the top building marked in brown.

Secondly an antique shophouse, Huai Gu Lou, pictured just to the right of the map in the article and shown to the extreme left on the map, is to be turned into an antique display. Entrance will be free of charge.

Finally YB Dato’ Hamidah Osman, Perak State Exco, in conjunction with MCA  are turning the square roundabout opposite the heritage row and close to the existing museum (see bottom picture) into an open air tin mining display. This will open in November and is also shown on the map.

In addition, the map shows (in light brown), the existing museum and the MCA office.

The above is only a summary of the article which is quite detailed. I would suggest you get a copy from the local Nanyang office if you wish to study it in full.

Together with the fine new Kampar Gravel Pump Mining Museum that will open next year, these two towns could well form a tourism centre that becomes a main focus of visitors to the State. Add to these Gua Tempurung, Nomad Adventure Sdn Bhd, the Gopeng Rainforest Resort, My Gopeng Resort, the established homestays in the area, all supported by the new train service stopping at Kampar, its Express Bus terminal and spanking new Grand Kampar Hotel, plus highway access to Gopeng this is a great step forward for the area. Congratulations to Dato’ Hamidah, the people of Gopeng and MCA. We wish you luck.

This will certainly put Ipoh, our deteriorating State capital, in the shade as far as tourism is concerned and underpin the Lonely Planet’s appalling view of Ipoh.

Love, Dream and Hope 2010

By |2010-10-02T22:58:41+08:00October 2nd, 2010|Categories: ipoh, People|Tags: , , |

This is an invitation for you all to the opening of a solo art exhibition in the Garden Villa No 5 Gopeng Road Sunday 3rd October at 11am. The exhibition is entitled Love, Dream and Hope 2010 and the artist is Budi Utama Siagian.

The exhibition is on from 3rd to 10th October and is open fro 11am to 6pm daily. Why not go along and support a local artist.

My apologies for the small size of the invitation print, but that is all we have to work with.

September 2010

The Scorpio Books – True Stories from the Special Branch

By |2010-09-28T12:23:22+08:00September 28th, 2010|Categories: Books, Memories, People|Tags: , , |

This series of four books has just been reprinted and they are now available direct from the author singly or as a set of four. They cover, in fascinating detail, the Special Branch activities during the first and second Malayan/Malaysian Emergencies and in China thereafter.

The first book  “Communist Eraser” is a 366 page personal story of the author who served in the Special Branch of the Royal Malaysian Police Force for a third of a century and from where he retired as its Deputy Director of Operations. A full review may be found here. The book costs RM55 plus RM5 post and packing within Malaysia.

This is followed by ‘ Against the One-Eyed Dragon”. Among the insurgents was a central committee member – the highest rank in the communist hierarchy – known only as the “One-Eyed-Dragon”. This is the true story of how Scorpio, leading 12 Special Branch Officers, tracked him down and eliminated him. A full review may be found here. The book (167 pages) costs RM25 plus RM5 post and packing within Malaysia.

Next is “On the Dragon’s Trail”, 259 pages which relate Scorpio’s operations against the Communists after they assassinated the Inspector General of Police in 1974, while being driven to his office in broad daylight. There are detailed descriptions of the planning and execution of all his operations in the jungle, estate areas or the streets and alleyways of a big city, A full review of this book may be found here and it costs RM40 plus RM5 post and packing within Malaysia.

Finally “In the Dragons’ Playground” relates an entirely different but true story. After the second Malaysian Emergency, Scorpio’s duties included organising the briefing and debriefing of visitors to China and when he learned that a Malaysian Trade Mission was to pay an extended visit to China he managed to get himself included in it, suitably disguised as an official in the Ministry of Primary Industries. Before leaving he was asked by his father to trace his relatives in South China and a Commonwealth liaison officer asked him to try and find a ‘mole’ with whom his Embassy in Beijing had lost contact. He succeeded. To read more about the story click here. Again this book of 261 pages costs RM40 plus RM5 post and packing within Malaysia.

The books may be ordered from the author Datuk Dr. Leong Chee Woh, contact 0193124759 or ahwohtoi@yahoo.com.  For a full set of books there will be a reduction in postage costs. Payment vide his Maybank account, details being provided when you place the order. For overseas purchasers please enquire about the postage to the above email.

These books are recommended as easy reading, true history of Malaya/Malaysia’s fight against the Communists over more than 30 years. They should be read by young and old. Leong Chee Woh is a great author and he knows the truth for HE IS SCORPIO.  

” Mo Gao Jin, Sharpening Scissors, Mo Gao Jin …….”

By |2010-09-27T00:15:45+08:00September 27th, 2010|Categories: ipoh, People|Tags: , , , |

Suddenly one day last week we could hardly believe our ears. Was that really a scissor sharpener’s call just outside our gate? As we rushed outside there he was, riding away on his battered bicycle with his, just as battered, hat on his head. Of course my wife and I ran after him and caught up with him at a neighbour’s house. “Quick, the camera!” my wife shouted after me as I was running home to get it.

 So here he is, Ah Tuck, possibly the last mobile knife and scissor sharpener that Ipoh will ever see. He was born in Ipoh in 1935 and learnt the skill from his father. There was no sophistication about his technique, just a range of sharpening stones, from course to fine, a couple of wooden blocks, a hammer and pliers. But he soon got down to work.

He spent quite some time on this one knife which had a kink in the blade, but when he had finished it was as straight and as sharp as new.

My wife could not resist employing him as well – 3 knives sharpened for RM10, including a repair to one handle and so he settled down to work in our driveway.

Finally, before he left, he gave us three tips for keeping knives sharp:

1. Never use hot water to clean your knives. 2. Always wash a knife with the sharp side upwards. 3. Never scrape your chopping board with the sharpened side of the knife.

Now Ah Tuck is a far cry from the old travelling scissor sharpeners who used pedal power to rotate a grindstone on their bicycles, but the job was done, the knives were sharp. What more could you want for RM10?

Apparently, at age 75, he will also paint your house or mend your leaking roof, but quite how we would find him again I don’t know. Has anyone else seen him?

It’s Those Twins Again ……

By |2010-09-19T11:48:39+08:00September 19th, 2010|Categories: Memories, People, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , |


Yes it is John De Lucy and his twin brother having fun in their garden pool under the supervision of their Amah, but of course this was during the Malayan Emergency and so the ever-present armed guard is also in the picture. As John himself relates in our earlier blog, eventually they had to leave Malaya (in 1952) as the Communist attacks became too strong to ensure these youngsters safety.

This second picture again shows the twins happily posing for their photograph, but in this case the ominous feature is the armoured Ford V8 car that they are sitting on at the entrance to the estate.

Now for our younger readers who enjoy the security and good living in today’s Malaysia I would ask you to consider how different your life would be if the communist threat had been allowed to have its way and turn us into a communist satellite of China, back in the 1950’s. Should you not be too aware of what happened in those times then I would suggest you click here to find out a little more about the Malayan Emergency and those that saved our country from the Communist threat.

For those who wish to know more of the detail of the Emergency thre are over 300 historical entries, the majority with photographs, that may be accessed from our database here. Many of these have come from those who fought in the jungle for the future of our country as a democratic entity.

We thank John De Lucy for sharing these photos with us.

Ipoh-Born Joan Marjorie Joseph ……

By |2010-09-15T11:25:18+08:00September 15th, 2010|Categories: Identify Photographs, ipoh, Memories, People, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , |

We received the following email and a number of family photographs recently from a lady named Judy and, as we usually do, would very much like to help with this enquiry which reads:

“I am researching my family history and trying find out as much as possible – of whatever type, good and bad – about my mother’s family.  She was born Joan Marjorie Joseph(e) in 1930, in Ipoh, one of 13 children to a family of, I believe, tin miners. Amongst her siblings were Clarence, Clive, Kenny, and Patricia.  In 1957 she married James Gardner, a rubber planter who had managed plantations in Ipoh and later at Rasa.  the family may have, let us say an ‘interesting and colourful’ history and would be most interested – as I said, good or bad – to learn whatever I can.”The above photo is described by Judy as:

“The Gardner-Joseph wedding photo is, of course, my parents wedding.
You’ll see that my Aunty Pat has been scratched out – my mother’s doing, I’m afraid! I would be particularly interested in identifying the other people shown and where it took place.”

These additional photographs feature Vivian and Joan Joseph (left) and the wedding of brother Kenny to a lady named Helen.

Finally we have a single photo of “Auntie Girlie” as an officer in the Malaysian prison service, in Ipoh in 1967. Her badge of rank is one pip on her shoulder. Recognise her? If so please let us know.

All together we have 9 old photographs of this family and if anyone believes they know anything about them we shall be happy to email more to help with identification. We look forward to your help.  

July 2010

Oh No! Not Just the Roof ……….

By |2010-07-28T00:01:14+08:00July 28th, 2010|Categories: Ipoh Town, Memories|Tags: , , , , , |

We featured this building in http://www.ipohworld.org/?p=1712 where we showed the original mansion that belonged to Dato Seri Lau Pak Kuan OBE JP and what the owners of the Coliseum Club had done to deface this beautiful building.

In the comments on that blog mashi74 reported that the stylistic roof had been removed and, as you can see from this photo it has been replaced with something far less easy on the eye. But worse! Look what they have done to the stonework! Garish is not a strong enough word for this abomination.

And finally, it appears that have torn the whole inside out and are to renovate with modern (Ugh!) materials.

Have these people no eye for beauty, history and heritage. Maybe they just have no soul!

A Gateway to ……….

By |2010-07-05T00:48:55+08:00July 5th, 2010|Categories: Books, Memories|Tags: , , , , , |

There is no doubt that some of the 3,631 individuals that visited ipoWorld during the month of June would remember gates such as these with mixed feelings for this was the gateway to a New Village in 1952. Closest to Ipoh there were three of these villages, or concentration camps as some of the old timers used to call them (and maybe still do!). These were at Kampung Simee, Bercham and Simpang Pulai. You may know of more.

As you can see, the village was ringed by two circles of barbed wire to prevent anything being thrown to the communists outside and the gates were manned by regular police (this was before the Home Guard took over these duties). Communal eating was the order of the day and curfews were in force.

Now the point of posting this particular image is to try andd get some first-hand information about growing up in a New Village for our book, “Ipoh My Home Town”.

Can anyone out there help us please? If your memories get published you will get a free copy of the book.

Old Town Heritage Walk Every Saturday

By |2011-08-09T19:12:27+08:00July 2nd, 2010|Categories: Ipoh Town|Tags: , |

This blog is published at the request of Kinta Heritage Group


MR RAJA, +6012 524 2357



Ipoh Heritage Walk (Old Town)


Come and experience the grandeur of this beautiful city and learn why the town that tin built became known as the City of Millionaires.


Departing every Saturday from the main entrance of Ipoh Railway station at 8:00 AM.


Conducted by Mr. Rajasegaran, a licensed Tour guide and member of Kinta Heritage Group.


Fee is RM 20 per person – All are welcome!



















此趟文化遗迹之行将由近打文化遗迹队会员资深导游拉惹锡加兰先生 (Rajasegaran带领我们深入体会。







MR RAJA, +6012 524 2357

June 2010

From ‘PK’ to ‘A’

By |2010-06-24T23:56:06+08:00June 24th, 2010|Categories: ipoh, Memories, People|Tags: , , , |

Recently the subject of Perak’s vehicle registrations cropped up and as we have a great photo that demonstrates the situation perfectly I thought it was worth putting up to dispell the entirely untrue tale that Perak has the ‘A’ because we had the first cars in Malaya. Absolute rubbish!.

Here we have two vehicles side by side in Ipoh in 1945. On the left is PK9567, a small bus or possibly a taxi that survived the Japanese occupation. On the right is definitely a bus newly registered as A306. But why the difference when both vehicles were registered in Perak?

Well as I explained the other day The British Military Administration restarted the system in 1945 with ‘A’ for Perak, ‘B’ for Selangor etc to prevent confusion between Singapore and Selangor, Perak and Penang etc. Previously Perak was PK and Penang PG.

The first registration, ‘A 1′, went to C H LaBrooy, the Ipoh architect. I wonder how much that cost him? Does anyone know who had ‘PK 1’?

A Great Looking Lam Looking

By |2010-06-22T23:49:51+08:00June 22nd, 2010|Categories: Ipoh Town, Memories, Restoration|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Yes ladies and gentlemen the exterior restoration of the Lam Looking building is complete, and it really is looking good. But before you feast your eyes on the wonderful building please allow me to show you what it looked like about 60 plus years ago when still in operation.

Well there you are, with the Celestial Hotel, Cabaret and Restaurant upstairs and the bazaar on the ground floor, this was a really happening place through the 30’s and 40’s. Even the Japanese partook of the delights of the upper floors and turned part of it into a high stakes gambling casino.

Later as the clientele diminished the hotel was turned into a cinema, The Movieland Theatre, specialising in Korean and Cantonese Opera movies. But soon that also went to the wall and after the fire we all thought the old girl was finished. How wrong we were and may I present a GREAT LOOKING LAM LOOKING, photo courtesy of Peter Wang Shaoming.

Ruth Iversen, daughter of the original architect, Berthel Michael Iversen must be delighted, and so are we for at last a major building in Ipoh has actually completed its restoration. Now we await completion of the Old Post Office. Let us hope the trend catches on.

But one final thought. “I wonder what they are going to use the building for?”

Ipoh My Home Town

By |2010-10-12T22:31:40+08:00June 20th, 2010|Categories: Heritage Books, ipoh, Memories, People|Tags: , , , , , , |

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.

A Bold Step …………

By |2010-06-13T03:25:49+08:00June 13th, 2010|Categories: Ipoh Town|Tags: , , |

At last Perak State has made a bold and positive step in the UNESCO direction by declaring that Perak is preparing the nomination dossier for five locations to be presented to UNESCO to list them as World Heritage Sites.

In this firm and welcome statement, State Chairman for Industry, Investment, Industrial Development and Tourism, Datuk Hamidah Osman, said a committee had been formed comprising of the National Heritage Department, Tourism Perak, Ipoh and Taiping local councils, district offices, related government agencies together with the heritage societies to prepare the nomination documents. Under the nature category, the sites are Royal Belum (Tropical Rainforest and Biodiversity Heritage) and Gua Tempurung (Limestone Heritage), and under the Nature and Culture Category the locations identified are Taiping (Heritage Town), Kinta (Tin Heritage and encompassing the area between Ipoh, Batu Gajah and Kampar) and Ipoh City (Cultural Heritage).

Of course that is great news, particularly for those of us whose main interest is Ipoh and the Kinta Valley, but let us understand, UNESCO do not give away these accolades easily and in the case of Penang/Melaka the whole process took masses of work from all concerned over many years. So the people of Perak must be prepared to help wherever they can and be prepared for a long haul.

Now have a look at the following photos, all taken recently in Ipoh Old Town and you will see areas where planning and control by the authorities together with landowner responsibility have completely failed. Areas like these will make negotiations with UNESCO an uphill struggle unless they can be overcome. The pictures are not intended to highlight any one person or organisation but are just shots taken at random. There are dozens more examples in the same area.

Close to the defined heritage area and the river bank we have a permanent lorry park and ugly renovations.

Close by there are gaps like pulled teeth and turned into rough and unsightly car parks.

Buildings are abandoned and collapsing.

And many are simply neglected.

So having taken the first bold step the government/City Council now need to take another one and enforce planning and maintenance rules that accord with the UNESCO requirements from TODAY, for the fear is that landowners, afraid of UNESCO regulations will simply demolish their old buildings rather than risk additional expense in the future. They have taken such action before and no doubt will do it again unless prevented by law and the severest penalties.

And for us, the readers, please do support the various organisations like the heritage societies and tourist association in the above committee, I am sure they will welcome your help.

Ipoh’s Little India to be “Spruced Up”

By |2010-06-11T07:19:36+08:00June 11th, 2010|Categories: Ipoh Town|Tags: , , |

The Ipoh Echo recently reported that Ipoh’s Little India is to be spruced up. The work is to be completed before Merdeka Day on August 31. The area being spruced up under a project financed by the Federal Government covers from the entrance of Jalan Leong Boon Swee into Jalan Lahat and carrying on into Jalan Sultan Yussuf (Belfield Street) up till the intersection with Jalan Sultan Iskandar Shah. The idea to give a facelift was mooted when the Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin visited the area last year and approved a RM1.5 million grant for the facelift. Plans for the facelift was drawn up by Ipoh City Council and presented to the residents in the area at a dialogue held last month to explain the changes about to be undertaken and to get their approval.

Among the changes to be made are replacing the interlocking bricks of the present pavements, laying interlocking pavers with motifs characteristic of Little India on the roads, installing decorative lamps and landscaping of the entire stretch. An arch will also be erected at the Dataran Little India (the small square in the centre of the area).

The existing memorial fountain (What memorial fountain?) will be demolished and in its place a stage will be constructed. A police pondok will also be located there to provide security.

Blocks of shop-houses within Little India will be painted with its original colours once all the rest of the sprucing up work has been completed.

Having read all of that I thought it would be usefdul to post the above picture of the square as it is today so that we may gain a comparison with the finished job.

And this is what the same place looked like in 1948.

Wouldn’t it be nice if all those terrible advertising signs be removed and the building allowed to show off their new paintwork as they originally did.

Nephew – May He Rest in Peace

By |2010-06-05T16:05:31+08:00June 5th, 2010|Categories: Ipoh Town, Memories, People|Tags: , |

Nephew of FMS fame was not only the well loved barman of the FMS, but he was friend and confidente of literally thousands of people from all over the globe who dropped in the FMS for a ‘quick one’ over his sixty years behind that famous old bar. Sadly he passed away this week and will never serve us a beer or one of his delightful meals again. An icon of Ipoh and part of the city’s history, he will be sorely missed when the FMS reopens its doors next year.

We pass ipohWorld’s condolences to his family.

“Oh No! …………..”

By |2010-06-04T09:34:14+08:00June 4th, 2010|Categories: Identify Photographs, Ipoh Town, Memories, What is it?|Tags: , , , , |

“Oh No!” I can hear you say, “Not the clock tower AGAIN!”, but please be patient because this postcard sent to us as a scan was bought here in Ipoh in 1955 and there is something quite different about it.

“Different! What is different?”

Well, out of the many similar pictures we have seen from the inauguration in 1909 to today, we have never seen the wooden building at the bottom left of the picture. So please enlighten us by telling us what it was and when it was there.

We know that with so many readers with great memories of Ipoh, somebody will be able to tell us.

May 2010

A Cry For Help

By |2010-05-12T16:08:42+08:00May 12th, 2010|Categories: Identify Photographs, ipoh, Ipoh Town|Tags: , |



The Ipohworld’s World blog is wonderful.


I tried to find in your posts information about one building which is located near the roundabout at Gopeng Road and Jalan Tambun, diagonally opposite Yuk Choy Primary School, but I haven’t been able to.


A large furniture shop is now built in front of it (Kota Furniture). I knew that formally the building that has a large compound belonged to Kok Kee Restaurant but who owned the original building? The original owner was probably a Cheong family, since there’s a gate with the inscriptions “C” and Cheong.


I have attached a few photographs taken last year at this place, but regrettably, I did not manage to get a picture of the front of the building because the furniture shop owner built extensions out from the front of the building, concealing the front porch of it.



I am hoping someone can provide the history and show photos of the original stone building.




The Mystery of Sekolah Kebangsaan Convent

By |2010-06-04T05:27:15+08:00May 9th, 2010|Categories: Identify Photographs, ipoh|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Just behind this wall which is across the road from Chung Thye Phin’s mansion (now the Kinta Medical Centre) is a wonderful old mansion which we hope is under massive restoration rather than renovation. It presently looks like this.

What a great house this must have been in its day. But by now you might be wondering why we think there is some mystery about it. Well here it is!

Who or what was Leeton? If you can help we shall be delighted to hear from you. This time we really need your help. Please.

By the way the photographs are courtesy of Kinta Heritage Sdn Bhd. Thank you for your help guys.

Great Heritage at a Budget Price

By |2010-05-02T03:16:55+08:00May 2nd, 2010|Categories: Books, ipoh, Memories|Tags: , , , , |

If you are eager to know about early Ipoh and Perak then this is a must-buy for you.

“A Grandfather Story” telling of the life of Leong Sin Nam is written by his grandson Dr Leong Oon Keong. In it you will find not only the life story of one of Ipoh’s most famous pioneers and philanthropists, but also stories of the early tin miners and coolies, Perak’s support to Dr Sun Yat Sen’s revolution in China and the early Chinese migrants and how they helped their motherland during the two Sino-Japanese wars.

Included in the book are exclusive photographs taken from a souvenir book produced by Leong Sin Nam in the 1930s of which only one copy survived the Japanese Occupation.

Dual language, English and Chinese, A4 size and 65 pages in all, perfect bound with the photographs on quality glossy paper, and selling at only RM15, this is the best value heritage book you will ever be offered.

The book may be obtained direct from Dr Leong’s clinic at Leong Oon Keong Chest & Medical Clinic Sdn. Bhd. 178 – 180 Jalan Pasir Puteh, 31650 Ipoh, Perak. Tel: 605-2556302 Fax: 605-2432145, or by email to okleong@tm.net.my.

All proceeds will be donated to YNLeong Education Trust.

April 2010

Daulat Tuanku

By |2010-04-20T14:06:56+08:00April 19th, 2010|Categories: People, Uncategorized|Tags: |

Heartiest Congratulations

Duli Yang Maha Mulia

Paduka Seri Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah

Ibni Almarhum Sultan Yussuf Izzudin Shah


D.K., D.K.M., D.M.N., D.K.A.

Sultan, Yang Di-Pertuan Dan Raja Pemerintah

Negeri Perak Darul Ridzuan

On the occasion of His Royal Highness’ Birthday


World Heritage Day Sunday 18th April 2010

By |2010-04-17T14:41:05+08:00April 17th, 2010|Categories: ipoh, People|Tags: , , |

The International Day for Monuments and Sites (informally known as the World Heritage Day) was created on 18th April, 1982, by ICOMOS and later approved at the 22nd UNESCO General Conference in 1983. This special day offers an opportunity to raise public’s awareness concerning the diversity of the world’s heritage and the efforts that are required to protect and conserve it, as well as to draw attention to its vulnerability.

Casting our mind around Ipoh and its heritage of which we have so much – most of it vulnerable- we selected the cave paintings high up on the cliffs above the Tambun road as our item to draw attention to on this special day. The photograph shows just one of the drawings of animals and men.

At least 5000 years old and the finest set of prehistoric paintings in Malaysia they certainly need protection and conservation, but since they were discovered in 1959 they have been almost totally ignored by those who should care.

So today’s the day for you to do something about it. Raise a petition, write to your MP or draw attention in some other way to our failing to preserve this heritage. At present there are still enough paintings to prove that long before the history of the Malay Peninsula was written, there were primitive men living in Lembah Kinta, who illustrated the environment surrounding them, but they won’t be there much longer unless drastic action is taken!

Do it now! Action speaks louder than words.

Remembering the Fallen Heroes

By |2010-04-16T11:08:11+08:00April 16th, 2010|Categories: ipoh, Memories, People|Tags: , , , |

In the month of June 2010, the Warriors’ Association, Kinta , Perak is organising a number of events in remembrance of those heroes who fell in defence of freedom and democracy. In chronological order they are:

Friday 11th June, 8:45 to 10:15am, Remembrance Service at the Cenotaph, Ipoh (opposite the railway station).

Saturday 12th June, 10:30am, Memorial Service for the Gurkhas that fell during the Malayan Emergency, at their cemetery in the 2nd Royal Rangers Regiment Camp, Kem Syed Putra, Tambun Road, Ipoh.

Saturday 12th June, 7:30pm, Troops Night Programme at the Royal Perak Golf Club, Ipoh.

Sunday 13th June, 9:00 to 11:00am, Remembrance service for those who gave their lives in the Battle of Kampar against the invading Japanese in WW2, at Khalsa Diwan Malaysia, Jalan Tun Abdul Razak, Ipoh.

Those who are interested in attending these functions may get further information from:

+6012 235 2557 (R. T. Pillay), email: rtpmani@streamyx.com

+6012 555 5585 (R. T. Pillay), email: prproject.kt@gmail.com

+605 527 6636 (Home)

Website: http://www.tpillay.com

IpohWorld Admin note: Please do not forget that the Malaysian Palm Oil Association, MPOA, will also be running their annual Commemorative Ceremony at God’s Little Acre, Batu Gajah on Saturday 12th June 2010 at 7:30am. This cemetery is the resting place of many of the expatriates who lost their lives during the Malayan Emergency (1948 to 1960). For those who also wish to honour the Gurkhas, there is plenty of time to attend both ceremonies. Details may be obtained from MPOA at +605 254 9582.

See you there!

D R Seenivasagam – The Man Who Fought for Justice

By |2010-04-12T12:56:11+08:00April 11th, 2010|Categories: Memories, People|Tags: , |

Andrew Lin, a new supporter of ipohWorld recently submitted an article for inclusion on the blog. However it is really too long to put here and so we have entered on the main database and have only included the following as an introduction. If you would care to read all the article and comment here after you have read it, please click on D R Seenivasagam here.  Incidentally we desperately need a better photograph of DR if anyone has one we could use.

I N   M E M O R I A M


The Man Who Fought For Justice

Last Monday, 15th March 2010 was the forty first anniversary of the passing of D.R.Seenivasagam, or DR as he was affectionately known, a great and illustrious son of Ipoh.  Sadly, the day passed by without any mention of the event in the obituary pages of our local newspapers.

To old-timers of Ipoh, Darma Raja Seenivasagam needs no introduction at all.    He was the President of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), one of the earliest political parties formed in pre-independent Malaya.   Under his leadership, the PPP captured control of the Ipoh Town Council, the forerunner to the Ipoh Municipal Council and later the Ipoh City Council, in 1958 and provided efficient local government for the people of Ipoh.   DR’s charisma and extraordinary ability to articulate the aspirations of the masses endeared him to all who came in contact with him – from the “towkay” to the coolie.    It is a well known fact that his most loyal supporters were the downtrodden of society namely the  hawkers, petty traders, trishaw peddlers, labourers  and others of the working class like the now-forgotten dulang washers.  These people remained faithful to DR to the end.

Unfortunately, those born after 1969 had grown up with little or no knowledge of the man who as the opposition Member of Parliament for Ipoh was a constant thorn in the side of the then ruling Alliance government.   DR was also an outstanding criminal lawyer in the country.     On several occasions, his brilliance and skill in the legal profession spared many on the wrong side of the law from the gallows.

As a mark of remembrance for this towering personality, I, a humble retired senior citizen from Kuala Lumpur and a one-time resident here, invite you, good readers, to join me in a trip down memory lane and together reminisce our impressions and thoughts of DR – the man who fought for justice.   Please share your insights with me so that the memory of this beloved leader who had done so much for Ipoh and its citizens will be perpetuated for our future generations.  This commentary is my own personal recollections and may contain inaccuracies of fact due to the passage of time, for which I sincerely apologize.   Feel free to correct any discrepancies, where necessary.   Some of the road names mentioned have since been changed and may be unfamiliar to some of us.

The article continues here

It’s Qing Ming Tomorrow!

By |2010-04-04T10:23:55+08:00April 4th, 2010|Categories: Ipoh Town, Memories, People|Tags: , , , , , |

The Qing Ming Festival, the Clear Bright Festival, Ancestors Day or Tomb Sweeping Day is a traditional Chinese festival which falls on the first day of the fifth solar term. It denotes a time for people to go outside and enjoy the greenery of springtime and tend to the graves of departed ones. This year it falls on 5 April – tomorrow.

Consequently we thought we should feature Ipoh’s most unusual grave, tucked in between MGS and a used car saleroom in Jalan Chamberlain Hulu, right in the middle of the city. But don’t worry for this has no bodies buried there nor spirits to wander in the dead of night for this is the Guandong Grave as the inscripion shows.

It reads “Worshipping altar of the Guandong grave” and was placed there to allow all the Chinese immigrants in Ipoh to pray to their ancestors as they could not do so at the graves in their home villages. The second inscription below (gold on grey) gives the history as being built during the reign of Emperor Guangxu (1878 to 1908). Consequently, when this grave was built there was no Ipoh New Town and it would have been among the padi fields and pig farms. Unfortunately the actual date is in a classical Chinese form that we have not yet been able to translate. The inscription also records that the grave was restored by the Perak Guangdong Association on 18 August 2003. 

This final picture shows the inscription on the small altar to the right (just visible on picture one). This is the symbolic grave of the God of the Earth for those who wish to pray to him. No doubt all the mining coolies needed his help!

This is a real piece of Ipoh’s heritage as it has probably been there since 1895 or before!

March 2010

A Royal Visit to Fort Tapong

By |2010-03-28T08:07:28+08:00March 28th, 2010|Categories: Memories, People|Tags: , , , , , |

The picture, taken in 1964 by an official photographer shows the then Sultan of Perak, Sultan Idris Shah II (1963-1984), when he visited Fort Tapong. He is in discussion with members of the Police Field Force who were billeted there and conducted anti communist patrols in the area.

This fort, the last to be built (in 1959/1960) for the Malayan Emergency, was sited in North Perak and this reflected the withdrawal of the majority of communist terrorists into Thailand, at that time, and making occasional sorties over the border into Malaya.

Jungle forts like Tapong acted as bases from which infantry and Police Field Force (PFF) patrols could operate. There were a number in operation in mid1955, with more under construction, and by the end of 1957 there were nine completed and fully functional. Fort Tapong was the tenth and last to be built. Every bit of material, apart from timber, needed to build the airstrips and the living quarters, and to make them secure had to be flown in by helicopter, as did the plant such as bulldozers, diggers and earthmovers when they were available, but in the case of Tapong, everything was done by hand, courtesy of the Royal Engineers and the PFF.

Some of you may wonder why the fort was still operating as the Malayan Emergency was declared over in 1960. Well officially it may have been, but as many of the old-timers know it was far from over in Perak and continued to be a problem for almost another 20 years.

Calling All Old Andersonians

By |2010-03-21T04:10:25+08:00March 21st, 2010|Categories: Identify Photographs, ipoh, Memories|Tags: , , |

Othman Sabrin kindly sent in this photo for publication. Thank you Sir!

He said:

“This is a picture of Persatuan Kedet Bersatu Malaysia from Anderson School, Ipoh in 1975. I studied at the school from 1973 until 1975. Our School Principal was Mr Lam Kok Hon (sitting in the centre with the moustache).”

Now Old Andersonians, a challenge for you, can you name any of the others in the picture? So far on this blog SMI have led the field by providing us with lots of names and dates. Now is the time for Anderson to catch up!

Incidentally, we are always delighted to receive photographs for publication, either in hard copy or if possible as 600dpi scans. Hard copies will be returned promptly if required.

Priceless Artistry in Ipoh? “Ah Fatt’s Car”

By |2010-03-07T03:53:28+08:00March 7th, 2010|Categories: Ipoh Town, Memories|Tags: , , , , |

A wander around Kampung Kuchai in the heart of Ipoh certainly gives the photographer something to concentrate on. We have featured the area before with the old house, the Beetle and the MG Magnette, but nothing as artistic as this (literally) heap of junk.

Here we have a real piece of artistry! How the owner managed to get all of that stuff piled on the roof of the van to actually stay there, I just don’t know.

Obviously proud of his work the artist has left his name and telephone number and entitled the work “Ah Fatt’s Car”. Perhaps he is waiting for one of the London galleries to call him to an art exhibition. After all this is far more interesting and colourful than much of the so-called art they display.

February 2010

FMS Bar and Restaurant – Today’s Update

By |2010-02-27T04:29:53+08:00February 27th, 2010|Categories: Ipoh Town, Memories|Tags: , , , |

Over the past few days there have been several comments about our last post that featured the FMS Bar and so while in Old Town searching for the MG logo (previous post) I took the opportunity to take the above photo to demonstrate what is being done to the pillars. As you can see they are being put back to original.

Coincidentally there is an article in todays New Straits Times that seems to confirm the rumour that the building will be returned fully to its original status, i.e. a hotel as well as restaurant and bar. See http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/articles/22fma/Article/index_html

new iMaGes to view

By |2010-02-27T02:03:43+08:00February 27th, 2010|Categories: Ipoh Town|Tags: , , , |

Our earlier post about the old MG in Kampung Kuchai (put up specially for antiquelad) led to Raz alerting us to this MG logo set in the 5 foot way in Old Town. Early this morning I set off to locate it and thanks to Daniel’s advice in an earlier comment I found it at No. 8 Hugh Low Street.

It is in front of this shop which we understand is a gunsmiths shop that 2 generations ago used to sell MG motor spares. Of course as it was before 8am on Saturday, I could not enquire further but will follow up on a working day.

But there is another interesting logo as shown above. There are two of these set into the supporting pillars each side of the shop and of course they stand for Guan Hoe. With the electric cable sheathing passing in front of them these logos are most probably original and installed when the shop was first built. Clearly I need to get back to find out more.

” …. collapsed with exhaustion … “

By |2010-02-25T11:57:03+08:00February 25th, 2010|Categories: Natural Heritage|Tags: , , , , |

This picture was taken by Jon L Tan at the 2004 inaugural Ipoh Bougainvillea Parade. He kindly gave us permission to use it. He wrote the following about the picture:

“This little cub generated a lot of excitement. Kids and adults alike were immediately excited by the appearance of this special guest star… Poor tiger had to walk on the hot tar road and collapsed with exhaustion mid way through the parade…”

Now can you imagine that a government organised parade in civilised Ipoh would allow such a thing to happen. Well they did, appalling as it may be and for which, if they were still in government, they should be punished as should the owner, the handler and anyone else who had a hand in this cruel act. Cruelty to animals, particularly wild animals facing extinction, must never be practiced or condoned, no matter how much the public might enjoy seeing them.

So in this year, the year of the Tiger, please do everything you can to protect all animals, particularly the endangered ones like the Malayan Tiger and report any cruelty, poaching or selling of wild animal parts to the police. Tigers and the other animals that live in our ever diminishing rainforests are just as much heritage as buildings, mountains, food and culture. They should all be protected so that our children’s children will be able to enjoy them.

Incidentally this parade was said to be the first of an annual occasion. Did another one ever take place or was it just another broken promise.

Another Classic Piece of Ipoh’s History

By |2010-02-24T01:00:24+08:00February 24th, 2010|Categories: Ipoh Town, Memories|Tags: , , , , |

Yes, just a few metres from the Beetle lies this grand old vehicle. If you don’t recognise it then have a look at this:

It is of course an MG and it is in that graveyard for old vehicles, right in the centre of Ipoh, called Kg Kuchai. This is is one of the last undeveloped areas of Ipoh and was featured in the City’s Structural Plan but was left alone during the one of the General Elections in the late 80’s or early 90’s. Politics presumably ruled as Kg Kuchai is home to many motor repair shops, coach builders, carpenters, welders and home to one of the City’s last remaining traditional Lorry Transport Companies.

Start at the house by the river (previous blog) and follow the path towards the town. You can’t miss finding this and lots of other interesting wrecks. However we have no idea of the owners of these things and can take no responsibility if your visit is wasted or has problems of any sort. Watch out for the many dogs!

Renovation or Restoration That is the Question

By |2010-02-22T08:16:19+08:00February 22nd, 2010|Categories: Ipoh Town|Tags: , , , , , |

Many people do not understand the difference between renovation and restoration, but in simple terms restoration means to return something to its original state (as near as possible) while renovation allows one to change, modernise, adds bits and pieces and generally end up looking nothing like the original. A good example would be Elizabeth Taylor versus Michael Jackson. She had her face restored many times we are told, to retain her youthful beauty, whereas Michael definitely renovated his – also several times!

But what has that got to do with the house above which sits close to the Kinta River bank. Well, looking at the new roof of modern tiles, this is certainly a renovation not restoration. We do not know anything much about this house, other than what the below notices show.

If I understand this correctly the renovation was approved in 1999. Now I remember with horror the renovation to my home in Ipoh where the planned 3 months took 1 year and 5 months with the cost more than doubling, but at least it didn’t take 11 years to get as far as completing the roof. But of course it is not anyone’s fault (it never is) but I wonder what the contractor thinks?

But the point of all this is that wouldn’t it have been nice to keep this house as an original model of its particulat style? Restore rather than renovate. After all this is in a very desirable location close to the river, but away from traffic and should fetch a tidy sum when sold on the open market. It would be even more attractive with the outside features retained but modernised inside to suit our high standard of living necessary these days.

To conclude, I say to those who have an old property in need of repair, consider carefully before you touch the building, restoration will be more expensive in the short term but the long term benefits will certainly be worthwhile. Once renovated it has gone for ever.

Time to Visit the Gopeng Museum Clock Exhibition

By |2010-02-21T04:46:29+08:00February 21st, 2010|Categories: Memories, Museums|Tags: , , , |

As you can see from the above the Gopeng Museum is currently holding a one month Clock Exhibition until 16 March 2010. There are more than 185 old (antique!) clocks on display.

Almost all the pieces have been lent by local people. Some are shown here.

The normal exhibition remains on show which also includes many old clocks.

Do get along there, it is very interesting and worth the visit. But please remember to leave a donation in their box to pay some of the costs of bringing this show to you FOC.

SMI Arts – A Pop Group and Form 5?

By |2010-02-20T01:12:32+08:00February 19th, 2010|Categories: ipoh, Memories, People|Tags: , , , , , , |

Nobody could tell us about an earlier Ipoh band – The Red Crane, but this might be easier. Known as “Unit 6-2” they are from left to right, Richard, Aziz, Yahaya and Richard. The date is around 1966 and they are all from SMI. Richard on the left is probably Leong Kai Loong, but who are the others and where are they now?

From the same source came this second picture. We believe it is Form 5 Arts 1965 and that the same Leong Kai Loong is second from the left in the back row. But who else is there? One thing unusual is there is no La Sallian brother pictured. Why would that be?

Shades of the Past, Black and White Chicks on Stilts

By |2010-02-17T07:54:50+08:00February 17th, 2010|Categories: Memories|Tags: , , |

With no comments on the Beetle and still on holiday I could not resist showing you this great old photo of the Post and Telegraphs Office, Grik.

A wooden building on stilts with verandah and black and white chick blinds, this is real Malaya and just what I remember from my first visit to the country in 1960. What a shame we have replaced such romance and beauty with concrete and bricks and at the same time torn down such buildings in an attempt to erase the memories of what was.

This is real history and we should all be proud of it while still moving forward with tasteful development although I doubt that some people actually understand what tasteful means!

An Almost Extinct Breed of Beetle

By |2010-02-16T11:46:43+08:00February 16th, 2010|Categories: ipoh|Tags: , , |

Just a stone’s throw from the very centre of Ipoh City lies this classic old VW Beetle. It is amazing that such junk can lie about in our city, but the picture, taken today, proves it. What is more there is more of this junk around if you really start to look. Do watch this blog for more such interesting finds.

But back to the VW, what a shame that it has been left to rot instead of being treated to some Tender Loving Care by a Classic Car enthusiast. Maybe someone will follow up this blog and get the grand old vehicle back on the road if of course they can find out who owns it – and that might be difficult.

After all this is a historic vehicle, the concept of no lesser person than Adolf Hitler and produced after his death by the British using refugees and displaced persons as a way of giving them work. Little did they know what a “Classic” they were making.

Ipoh’s Welcoming Fountain

By |2010-02-14T07:00:29+08:00February 14th, 2010|Categories: Ipoh Town, Memories|Tags: , |

This photograph was taken by an Ipoh resident, Richard, Leong, in the early 1960’s not long after it had been erected by the Perak Turf Club as a gift to the town. At the key junction of Hugh Low Street, Gopeng Road, Tambun Road and Brewster Road it welcomed travellers to Ipoh from all directions.

I was looking at the fountain recently and I wonder why the water flow and spouts etc are so different from this picture. To me, although the structure is the same, the beauty of the water has completely disappeared when compared to the above. What could have happened? Are the pumps worn out or was there a deliberate change for one reason or another?

One more question comes from a small boy who, as they pass the fountain in their car, very often says “When will the Uncle switch on the water mummy?”. Now that is a good question as switching on and off seems quite a random affair. Does anyone know the answers to these? 

Incidentally, the Turf Club also diverted some of its funds to help beautify the city by constructing the Japanese Garden with a solar-powered clock, along Tambun Road.

What a Nice Chair!

By |2010-02-12T09:56:25+08:00February 12th, 2010|Categories: Memories, People|Tags: , |

This very attractive picture was taken in a studio in Ipoh in 1966. She was just two years old and definitely enjoying posing for the camera.

We dedicate this to all the children who today are anxiously waiting for the onset of Chinese New Year and their Angpows. May they get many and spend their money wisely.

Gong Xi Fa Cai

Special Branch Arrest Ave Maria Convent Girl – Where is She Now?

By |2010-02-07T10:53:44+08:00February 7th, 2010|Categories: Memories, People, Uncategorized|Tags: , , |

In 1956/57 there was a great deal of student unrest relating to the communist insurgents and the forthcoming Merdeka. Surprisingly, this even spread to laid back old Ipoh. The situation was described by one of the Special Branch officers at the time as “a compelling problem of student subversion developing in the middle schools in Perak, particularly Ipoh”.

The picture shows District Special Branch Officer ASP Peter G. E. Coster taking action against one of the defiant, pro-communist students of Ave Maria Convent Chinese Middle School during a students demonstration at the school. Several girls were taken into custody that day by the uniformed police and Special Branch. This particular young lady does not seem in the least concerned that she is being carted away by such a strong police team. Indeed she walks proudly with head held high.

We wonder where she is now?

A Grand Home for a Tin Mining Elephant

By |2010-02-04T15:54:18+08:00February 4th, 2010|Categories: Museums, People|Tags: , , , , |

The photograph shows the view from the gate of the Matang Historical Complex which was originally Ngah Ibrahim’s fort built in 1865. It was initially simply a home for Ngah Ibrahim, who after his elephant went tin mining became a powerful and wealthy tin miner, but he fortified it to save himself from the Chinese triads of the Ghee Hin and Hai San who eventually went to war over tin mining rights and inadvertently brought the British to Perak.


Richer than the Sultan of Perak, he was appointed by the Sultan as Minister of Larut, but became involved in the plot against J W W Birch the British Resident, was charged with murder, found guilty and banished to the Seychelles. He was never permitted to return to Perak and died in Singapore in 1877. You may remember that his remains were found in a grave in Singapore in 2006, brought back to Perak and buried at his fort. Rightly or wrongly he had returned home.


The building has had many roles over the years: tax office and collection centre for the Larut tin trade; as a court to try Dato Maharaja Lela and Si Puntum for the murder of J W W Birch; the Matang primary school; and the first Malayan Teachers’ Training College, among others. Today the site is the Matang Historical Complex under the management of the Museum and Antiquities Department, proudly displaying that elephant.


Do visit the complex at some stage it really is very interesting and just next door is Captain Speedy’s house. Captain Speedy was of course the Perak Chief of Police in 1873 and appointed Assistant British Resident of Perak when the Pangkor Treaty was signed on the 20th January 1874.

A Relic of the Japanese?

By |2010-02-02T11:52:09+08:00February 2nd, 2010|Categories: What is it?|Tags: , , |

This picture was taken today at one end of the northenmost bridge that spans Temenggor Lake in North Perak. There is an identical one at the other end. Could this be what we used to call a “Pill Box” built by the Japanese as a machine gun post or was it built by the British to unsuccessfully slow down the little men on their bicycles? If not for either of these then what was the purpose?

This time we really do not know the answer and wait eagerly for some assistance from the experts.

However, if it is truly from the war and occupation by the invaders then surely it qualifies as heritage and perhaps should have some notices/information boards available and be maintained for future generations to learn from.

January 2010

Perak’s First Tin Miner was an Elephant!

By |2010-01-30T05:51:20+08:00January 30th, 2010|Categories: Memories, Museums, People|Tags: , , , |

This model of a full size elephant and handlers stands in the entrance to a building in Perak. Legend has it that one day he ran amok into the jungle and when he was finally caught he had a silvery substance smeared all over his left front leg. When his handlers had quietened him down enough to clean him up they found the substance was tin. The then Regent (there was no Sultan at the time) then gave all mining rights in the area to the owner of the elephant. True or not, it is a lovely story and is said to have started the tin boom and, later, wars between two Chinese miner clans, Hai San and Ghee Hin.

Now for the history buffs out there, where is the building, who owned the elephant and what was the date? No prizes given other than your knowledge of your local history being proudly displayed to the world.

Answers on Wednesday if you have not got them right by then.

Sitiawan Revisited and a Bleat About Shop Signs

By |2010-01-26T10:48:40+08:00January 26th, 2010|Categories: Memories, Perak heritage Society|Tags: , , , , |

It is some time since ipohWorld’s world took a virtual trip to Sitiawan, home of the Foochows and so that is where we go today – to the building of Gray Jackson & Co Ltd opened in 1920. For the building enthusiasts here is what the top of the building looks like.

Now I have no doubt that the eminent partners of Gray Jackson would have played snooker, gambled and drunk coffee, but I fear that would have turned in their graves when those awful signs appeared on the front of their plain but tasteful architecture. 

I have never quite understood why our shop signs need to be so large and garish, but it seems to be essential in most of South East Asia except certain heritage streets in Singapore where they are banned. How nice it is to walk those streets with informative, but tasteful signs while taking in the pleasant surroundings that our forefathers created for us, rather than those hideous appendages.

Incidentally these photos were taken some time back and the building may have even disappeared by now, but you may recognise some members of the Perak Heritage Society in front of the building.

Does anyone in Sitiawan know what Gray Jackson and Co Ltd did?

Ipoh Heritage Buildings Art Exhibition

By |2010-01-24T15:26:37+08:00January 24th, 2010|Categories: Ipoh Town, Memories|Tags: , , , , , |

Local artist Khor Seow Hooi is presenting an exhibition of his paintings of Old Ipoh Town in the Syuen Hotel, first floor, from today 24 January 2010 until 31 january from 10am to 7.30pm daily, including Sunday. Above is one example of his detailed work in ink and watercolour on paper.

He has captured many of our heritage buildings with his brush and as the demolition of our heritage city continues unabated these pictures will become priceless mementoes of how we used to be.

Here is a second example of the treat that is in store for you when you make your way along to the Syuen. Don’t miss it!

The Dredge is to be SAVED – State Government Pledge

By |2010-01-23T05:44:01+08:00January 23rd, 2010|Categories: Memories, Museums|Tags: , |

This information is taken from the latest post on the Ipoh Echo blog at http://ipohecho.com.my/v2/2010/01/22/state-government-to-keep-the-dredge/.

This striking decision was made public by Dato’ Hamidah Osman the Senior State Executive Councilor for Tourism via an Echo reporter on on Wednesday 20 January during an interview in Taiping to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the Taiping Peace Initiative.

It is reported that she said “Yes, we are going to keep the dredge” . She apparently continued ” …..Besides preserving the dredge we must also ensure that it is safe and will last for the long term. ……”

She made no mention of how much budget has been set aside, but no doubt it will be several million if this is to be a genuine preservation and long term solution.

Please read the full report via the above link.

The Taiping Peace Initiative – 10th Anniversary

By |2010-01-22T09:36:08+08:00January 22nd, 2010|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , |

I must confess that until about two weeks ago I had never heard of the Taiping Peace Initiative. I was therefore surprised to be invited to their 10th Aniversary on 20 January 2010.

I discovered when I attended that the citizens of Taiping, through the United Nations Development programme (UNDP), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Taiping Municipal Council and Taiping Tourist Association, decided that Taiping should contribute to peace and harmony in the country and the world by launching The Taiping Peace Initiative back in 2001.

So they set up the Taiping Peace Initiative, an innovative partnership between civil society, local government and the private sector to promote, through practical action, a holistic concept of a “triple” peace- inner peace, social peace and earth peace.

To this end, part of the Lake Garden, approximately 1.6 acres was transformed into a Peace Park with a peace pole and the words “May Peace Prevail On Earth” in the world’s major languages. Over the 10 years since then much effort has been made to educate people in promoting peace, an activity backed by UNESCO.

This was indeed an eye-opener to me and worthy of more research.

A Most Unusual Mosque and a Great Restoration

By |2010-01-20T15:51:23+08:00January 20th, 2010|Categories: Memories, Museums|Tags: , , |

Perak has plenty of heritage buildings, many of which seem to be ignored by their owners or the government. But here is a wonderful heritage building for although not more than 100 years old it has just been restored by the National Heritage Department. Many will not believe that this building is a mosque for it is square, double-storey and without minarets. It may be the only one of its kind in Malaysia.

Kuala Dal mosque was built in 1936 by the village craftsman to an age old tradition and the upper storey was used for prayers while downstairs was a general purpose meeting room where apart from meetings, religous lessons were given to both adults and children and in the fasting month, the village would break fast there. The construction was funded by the 30th Sultan of Perak, Sultan Iskandar Shah who had seen the villagers praying in a dilapidated madrasah. It is very similar to the old palace, Istana Kenangan at Kuala Kangsar, woven bamboo in a diamond pattern as the photograph below shows. Sultan Iskandar Shah also built the new palace, Istana Iskandariah, in Kuala Kangsar.

It is painted in the colours of Perak, black, yellow and white. Local suggestions include the idea that it is going to be turned into a museum or gallery to add to the attractions of the area, but that may just be hearsay for today there is a notice advertising an Umrah meeting which indicates it may still be used for religous purposes, in addition to the second village mosque built in 1976. Today it is locked tightly shut. However it is a fact that back in the 1950’s and 60’s many Westerners travelling on the old road to/from Penang would stop here for a photo session. Let us hope that after such a splendid restoration, good use will be made of the building and encourage tourists to once again stop for that memorable picture to take home.

Almost Antique by Years – Art Deco by Style

By |2010-01-17T05:44:03+08:00January 17th, 2010|Categories: Ipoh Town, Memories|Tags: , , , , , |

In the entrance to the same building as the wash hand basin below hangs this electric light fitting. As electricity did not properly come to Ipoh until 1930, courtesy of the Perak River Hydro-Electric Power Company Ltd, it can only be around 75 years old – the art deco period – and that ties in very well with the style of the fitting. So we are in no doubt that the owners of this building were “early adopters” back in the 1930’s and quickly took advantage of the ability to provide proper lighting to illuminate their leisure.

Incidentally, the first electricity available in Ipoh was in 1923 by arrangement with the Pengkalan Tin Company, Batu Gajah.

Truly an Ipoh Antique from an Earlier Age

By |2010-01-14T16:14:24+08:00January 14th, 2010|Categories: Ipoh Town|Tags: , , |

For most items the definition of a true antique is more than 100 years old, although there are special arrangements made for items like paintings.

Here we have a real antique, found still fitted in a Chinese building in Ipoh after almost 117 years. Such items were quite rare in Perak in those days, apart from perhaps in the residences of the more senior colonial administrators for such things had to be imported at not inconsiderable expense. Therefore this was no cheap shophouse knocked up quickly, but a quality building with no expense spared for the building, its furniture and fittings.

As you can see from this second picture the basin was imported from Scotland from what is probably the most famous of all sanitary ware – Shanks of Barrhead established in 1850. There are actually two in the same room underlining the fact that no expense was spared. Can anyone guess which building these are in?

A word on dialects. Chinese are famous for their dialects, but Glasgow also has its own where Barrhead is pronounced “Boorheed” and Glasgow “Glessga”. I wonder is anyone out their knows how the Glaswegians pronounce “Milngavie”?

Romance Among the Ruins, Beauty ‘Midst the Bricks

By |2010-01-10T03:45:55+08:00January 10th, 2010|Categories: Ipoh Town, Memories|Tags: , , , , , |

What a nice surprise I had yesterday when I dropped in to Panglima Lane to see the latest state of that fast disappearing site of Ipoh’s heritage. There was a wonderful sight, a Malay couple dressed in their stunning white silk wedding attire being photographed. The scene was without doubt worthy of the above secondary title “Beauty’Midst the Bricks”.

Now I did not ask them why they had chosen that particular spot, only if I could put this photo on my blog. But thinking back why shouldn’t they pick one of Ipoh’s most historic places to record their special day? But wouldn’t it be nice if the place had been kept up as a heritage site rather than a dilapidated shadow of its past glories. Sadly of course it is rare for anything in Ipoh ito be kept up despite heritage groups, activists and the government’s Heritage Act, for nobody seems to care about anything other than making a profit. What a sad place Ipoh will be if we continue this way.

Lam Looking – Looking Good

By |2010-01-09T09:47:27+08:00January 9th, 2010|Categories: Ipoh Town|Tags: , , , |

It was time to have another look at the restoration/renovation of Lam Looking Bazaar, so I popped down there this afternoon. What a great transformation met my eyes for as the above picture shows, despite the diversion notices and vehicles, the exterior has taken on a great new look – almost back to brand new.

But of course there is still much to do, but there is definitely work in progress as you can see.

Going inside, which is not recommended on the grounds of safety, one finds style where there was only rubble not that long ago, and what is more it is the original Iverson art deco style, but with a spanking new roof of quality tiles. The building really is going to look as good as new.

But a lot more original Iversen has also been retained and although some of the glazing will inevitably be different the great variety of light giving designs, for example on the stairs, have been kept.

and in the front of the building (photo taken from inside ground floor).

Overall the building is well on the way to be Ipoh’s shining star of heritage in our crumbling city. Well done all concerned. We look forward to the completion and opening ceremony.

A Virtual Paradise – No Less!

By |2010-01-03T03:52:59+08:00January 3rd, 2010|Categories: Memories|Tags: , , |

This very delightful house has combined two very distict styles, that to my eye actually compliment each other, into one structure and as such seems to me to be quite unusual. Clearly a family heritage building, it stands not far back from the main road, close to Beruas, Perak and on the day the photograph was taken, seemed to be empty. Obviously there is a lot of Malay tradition in the wood carvings and decoration, fast disappearing in many other places, as can be seen here:

But what about the concrete pillars? It is rare to see such decoration forming part of a Kampung House.

One thing I cannot imagine is why would anyone wish to leave such a house empty for it stands in a nice piece of land with trees and flowers and with no pollution, life could be idyllic. I do hope the owner was only out at the market and has not given up this piece pf paradise for a double storey link house in the city!

If anyone knows any of the history of this building we would be delighted to hear from you.

Peaceful Perak and a Wish for a Peaceful World

By |2010-01-01T02:45:30+08:00January 1st, 2010|Categories: Memories|Tags: , , |

As we start the new year of 2010 (can I really be that old?), it is traditional to greet each other with best wishes for the year ahead and we at ipohWorld are no different, so “May you all have health, wealth and happiness for the coming year”.

However looking at the above picture and remembering just how peaceful this solitary Lenggong house was when we walked along the shady track that ran past it, I would like to add a second greeting to the world “May you all have a peaceful 2010”. Now I know that my one voice wishing for peace will not make even the tiniest dent in the bombings, shootings and every other sort of violence that takes place somewhere every few seconds, but if we all said it then there might be a hope of at least reducing some of the mayhem in the world. So I shall say it again. “May you all have a peaceful 2010”. 

We look forward to hearing from each one of you in the year ahead.

December 2009

Here’s Wishing You All Seasonal Greetings for Christmas and the New Year

By |2009-12-22T02:08:24+08:00December 22nd, 2009|Categories: Memories, People|Tags: , , |

Traditional trades are fast disappearing and although the cobbler is perhaps not in the same heritage league as the tinsmith, the silversmith, the blacksmith, the chick blind maker, the sign carver and the like, he has been an important part of local life ever since we wore shoes, which for many in the Kinta Valley was not actually more than 70 or so years ago.

Nonetheless this old gentleman from Teluk Intan has obviously been in this one shop for a lifetime and although it has nothing to do with Christmas, the picture gives me that same feeling as some of the old drawings from the classic Charles Dickens books like “A Christmas Carol” and the ghosts of years past. For surely among all the clutter in the shop there must be some ghosts of the past in the form of discarded shoes, forgotten bags and more.

So with this picture in mind, we at ipohworld.org would like to wish you all the happiest of holidays over the Christmas season and all the very best for 2010. We shall be taking a short break from writing from today, but will be back with you next week. However, don’t stop writing to us for we shall still be reading your comments every day.

The Ipoh Echo Bumper Issue is Out Today

By |2009-12-21T10:52:06+08:00December 21st, 2009|Categories: Memories|Tags: , , |

Yes the Bumper issue No 88 hit the newstands and free outlets today. The biggest paper they have produced so far it is full of local interest: from making a movie in Papan, Christmas cheer, plagiarism, outdoor pursuits, community news and much more.

But one article relating to heritage that caught our attention was about the old tin dredge and its future. The dredge is sinking and as every day passes it further deteriorates. To get it back to a level suitable for tourism will cost hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of RM. Should this money be spent? Who should pay? What should be done?

Why not read the article yourselves either at page 4 of Isue 88 or at http://ipohecho.com.my/v2/category/commentary/thinking-aloud/ and let us, or the Echo know your views. But at the same time don’t forget to read the other 19 pages, they are full of local interest. It is your community newspaper so enjoy it.

The dredge leaning over at an angle approaching 20 degrees

Wah! Another New Ipoh Heritage Trail Map

By |2009-12-21T10:54:58+08:00December 21st, 2009|Categories: Ipoh Town|Tags: , , |

Yes there really is another new heritage trail map for Ipoh, this one taking in both Old and New Town streets and 60 heritage buildings as well as giving a brief history of the city from 1873 to 1941. There is also a section on Ipoh’s famous foods, some notes on the Malay Enclave and “How to Script a Trip” a suggestion of how to enjoy two days in Ipoh. It is entitled “Ipoh: the sentimental side.”

You will recall that the last new map, featuring Old Town, which became available just a few weeks ago was sponsored by a local benefactor. This latest edition to the tourist’s armoury is produced under the umbrella of the Office of the Menteri Besar, Perak, via “The Soul of Ipoh Project” by the Perakean League and supported by The Lost World of Tambun, The Syuen Hotel, Ngan Yin (the Peanut People), Morubina (The Riverside Hotel and Project) and Foh San. Unlike the earlier version, this latest map costs RM5 and we bought it at the Canning Garden Newsagent cum bookshop. Well produced it is worth the money.

If I may I will finish with the quotation provided on the map,

“A large part of Ipoh’s story lies in its ancient buildings, walkways, alleys, road corners of the old town and new town of the city. By truly understanding the city’s heritage is one of the best ways for its survival of the most natural. May the soul of Ipoh continue to live for many generations to come.”  

I just hope they mean it!

But There’s No Mystery About This Man’s Pride in his Heritage.

By |2009-12-20T08:32:40+08:00December 20th, 2009|Categories: Memories|Tags: , , , |

Not only did our owner of the missing house care for the building itself, but just look at these photographs. He carefully saved everything that was there and after restoring his old home, he faithfully replaced the contents. That’s dedication, but more importantly it is “Pride in One’s Heritage”.

Family photographs on the wall, books and ornaments neatly blending with period furniture and a modern (ish) desk lamp.

What a great place to come home to after a week of pressure in Kuala Lumpur!

The Mystery of the Missing House

By |2009-12-19T02:13:40+08:00December 19th, 2009|Categories: Memories|Tags: , , |

As you can see from the picture there is a set of traditional steps leading to the front of a Kampung House that is not there! Then at the back is a small building, clearly the kitchen of the missing house. So what happened? Well do you see the yellow house behind the trees? That is the house that used to fill the space between steps and kitchen. Today it looks like this.

Yes, the whole house, lock, stock and barrel was taken to pieces, each piece numbered, recorded and where necessary carefully restored and then rebuilt further away from the road. It cost a small fortune to do this, but the owner, an architect and descendant of the original owner thought that at whatever cost his family home was worth saving. What a great example to set to our people who own similar homes that are simply left to rot. They wouldn’t need to go this far, but with some TLC (tender, loving care) they could keep their ancestors homes together, couldn’t they? Many would make perfect country retreats from our bustling, polluted cities, either for the family or as homestays. Think about it!

Mystery solved!

Some internal pictures of the house will be posted tomorrow.

Inside the Court House, but not on Trial

By |2009-12-17T07:50:54+08:00December 17th, 2009|Categories: Memories|Tags: , , |

Above each of the windows inside the Old Teluk Anson Courthouse there are plaster mouldings which alternate around the building. One like this and ……….

………one like this. Please excuse the cobwebs, spiders have no respect for the law!

Another interesting feature is the rainwater system, installed in 1949 which runs INSIDE the building!

The remainder of the inside of the building was not worth a photograph and so to finish this tour as, all too often, we have all seen rubbish on a floor before, here is a full-face shot of the front portion above that awful sign.

Buy One, Free One – Courthouse and Church

By |2009-12-13T07:39:36+08:00December 13th, 2009|Categories: Memories, Museums|Tags: , , , , |

 This old photograph shows the first courthouse in Teluk Anson (Teluk Intan), built in the late 1870’s or very early 1880’s. It also doubled up on a Sunday as the Anglican Church for there was not one available in the district. However, the hard wooden benches suitable for a court house were just too uncomfortable as church pews and that certainly did not encourage the God-fearing parishioners to attend the Sunday service, for they were more used to the comfortable and relaxing pews of Old England.

Consequently the Society for the Propogation of the Gospel set about raising funds for a proper church and in 1910 the first Anglican church of Teluk Anson was completed – we are sure with comfortable pews!

The courthouse then continued solely in its primary role until the new courthouse was built in 1983. The Sultan of Perak opened the new building in April 1986, some 100 years after the original one was built.

This second photograph shows the building recently. Despite the offensive looking sign, it is not actually in use and apart from the odd cheap sale that takes place there it is effectively abandoned and fast deteriorating. Now we are well aware that this and the Old Police Station carry the stigma of being “British built”, but how can the council and residents of Teluk Intan let buildings like them just rot away, rather than turn them into something useful for the people, education, or even a museum. Have they no pride in their heritage?

A Visit to Teluk Mak Intan or Mak Intan’s Bay

By |2009-12-08T09:52:38+08:00December 8th, 2009|Categories: Memories|Tags: , , |

This photo was taken in 2006 on a visit Teluk Intan originally called Teluk Mak Intan, after a well-to-do Mandailing woman who is believed to have been in trading across the Straits of Malacca, although some will say she was actually a pirate. It shows the old Balai Polis or Police Station which being unused was in a state of serious disrepair. What we don’t know is whether it is still there as we have not been that way lately. Please let us know.

Teluk Intan was of course renamed by the British under the administration of the third British Resident Hugh Low (1877 to 1889), as Teluk Anson, in honour of General Anson who drew the first plans of the town and secondly, as he said, Telok Ma’ Hitam (as the British called Teluk Mak Intan ) was too long! It was the Sultan of Perak in 1982 that changed the name back, but dropped the ‘Mak’.

Hugh Low was also responsible for the Police Staion when he proposed “The Customs House, the Court House, landing jetty and Chief Police Station should be put there at once.  I will send the plan and write on the subject to Singapore as soon as I can…”. Consequently the area around the Polce Station would have been the original town, rather than where most of it is today.

What a shame no one has found a use for this old building, or have they?

Soya Sauce the Traditional Way

By |2009-12-02T00:55:29+08:00December 2nd, 2009|Categories: Museums, People|Tags: , , |

This little environmentally friendly Soya sauce factory lies just behind the police station in Gopeng. Here the elderly couple have been producing thick and thin sauce and fermented bean paste for most of their lives, but sadly have no children to take over this thriving business. However, there is hope that it will continue as a neice has recently joined them although when asked if she planned to continue the business, she was noncommittal.

Clearly another Gopeng tourist attraction (Gopeng seems to be doing well in this area) as well as a valuable asset to the community, one hopes that she will carry on the business which is effectively, already a working museum.

Above I mentioned ‘environmentally friendly” and that is because one can see at a glance that there are no waste products lying around polluting our world like most factories do. Secondly their bottles are carefully collected (discarded second hand sauce bottles from a multi-national company) and instead of wastefully being thrown away, they are thoroughly washed by the same small team of two (now three) and reused for their products, without unnecessasary paper labels. Sure, they do use a wood fire to boil up the beans, but only common wood not that from the rainforest which so many people are exploiting to line their own pockets.

If you have not found this little heritage gem then do make a point of visiting if you are in the area – and while you are there buy some sauce – you will not get better.

November 2009

Capitan Ah Kwee – Leader of the Hai San Secret Society

By |2009-11-30T13:46:52+08:00November 30th, 2009|Categories: People|Tags: , , , |

This photograph hangs on the wall in a Gopeng Association House. It is of course of Capitan Chung Ah Kwee.

Chung Ah Kwee was born as a Chen Sang Hakka in Guandong Province, China. In his late teens, he was sent to Malaya by his mother, to look for his father and brother. Ah Kwee found his brother in Larut as a wealthy and well known man known as Lui Kung Seng  (God of Thunder Seng). Ah Kwee later became the head of the Hai San Secret Society and led the first batch of Chinese miners to work at Long Jaafar’s mine in Klian Pauh in 1848. Tensions arose between the Hai Sans and Ghee Hins who were mining at Klian Bharu (Kamunting). War ensued between these two secret societies and was only stopped by Captain Tristam Speedy.

Captain Speedy made the Hai Sans work the mines and live in Klian Pauh which he later renamed Taiping, (everlasting peace). The Ghee Hins meanwhile were given Kamunting and mined a less richer area. Capitan Ah Kwee practically became the founder of Taiping and owner of the largest alluvial mine in the world employing 5000 coolies. He died at his residence in Penang on 13th December 1901 and his personal estate in Penang alone amounted to seven million Straits dollars.

Heritage Horror

By |2009-11-29T05:30:49+08:00November 29th, 2009|Categories: ipoh|Tags: , , , |

I am sure that all Kinta Valley readers will recognise this bit of heritage that has become a potential horror so close to the Ipoh – Gopeng Trunk Road. Yes, it is Kampong Kepayang and the road is indeed the Gopeng Road up and down which traffic thunders daily. What is more these buildings and several others in the row are in danger of falling into the road and killing some passing motorist (shades of Fair Park’s recent tragedy).

Now this is not a new situation and the photograph was taken some two years ago, but passing the site yesterday and with the Fair Park incident in mind, I noticed that the situation was much the same as it was when the photograph was taken, although of course inevitable further deterioration has taken place.

This little Kampung, two rows of houses close to the road (and in which some families still live), with an old traditional mosque at one end, could have been a nice little heritage enclave . Making it such has been talked about many times by those in authority, but as usual nothing happened. Of course it would have needed to be pedestrianised  with a by-pass and that would have been costly, but looking at how much gets spent on trivia, it would not have been wasted.

But what about today, clearly there are only two options – Save it or Destroy it. What do you think should be the way ahead? Whatever is decided it must be done quickly to prevent another disaster.

The Gopeng Coolie Lines

By |2009-11-22T03:35:48+08:00November 22nd, 2009|Categories: Museums|Tags: , , |

This picture was taken a little over a year ago and shows the original accommodation for the tin mining coolies, known as the “Coolie Lines”. Here the coolies would eat and sleep when they were not slaving in the mines or visiting those places of entertainment in the town that provided either female company for a short while (!) or total relaxation “smoking the pipe”. Either way their hard earned-company tokens in which they were paid would be soon spent.

The mine itself was just a few metres above them, dug out of the hill upon which, at one time, the Government Rest House stood. But such was the power of the riches of tin, even that had to give way to the inevitable once prospectors found tin in its compound. Clearly a case of MCA, Money Conquers All.

The coolie lines were sited, not only close to the mine, but also in the middle of the British officers’ bungalows, on the hill overlooking the town. No doubt that was an unpopular move with the “Mem-saabs” at the time  (Mem-saabs or Mem-sahibs was the form of respectful address for a European woman in Colonial times.) who would have felt in danger of their lives with these “natives” living so close by.

But now to the point of this post. Gopeng recently hit the world with its new museum and also floated the idea of a heritage town. What a great idea! Now, if the coolie lines are still standing (the photo is over a year old) they are large enough to provide space for a tin mining museum or gallery, something the Kinta Valley should have. So come on Gopeng, you have led the way in Perak with your museum, why not show Ipoh and the rest of the state what you can really do by starting our much needed Kinta Tin Mining Heritage Museum. 

A Soldier’s Life was Not a Happy One in the Malayan Jungle 1956

By |2009-11-15T23:57:06+08:00November 15th, 2009|Categories: Memories|Tags: , , |

A member of 2nd Battalion Royal Australian Regiment recorded a night out in the jungle thus:

“Leeches that sucked the blood and covered the body were so prevalent one eventually ignored them, it was not unusual to find 50 or more in all parts of the body.  

Vicious red ants, scorpions and ticks big enough to put a pull through, through a .303 although apart from green harmless tree snakes I saw only two, a Cobra in a base hut at Kuala Kangsar where every one left by the same door and windows at the same time and a python that crawled over Private Jack Tolliday in the night when he was asleep in the jungle mud hole, he thought he had dreamed it but in the morning I confirmed that it actually happened.”

The photograph (and I did not count the leeches) actually came from a soldier in the 3rd Battalion of the same regiment in 1958. Clearly the leeches enjoyed Australian blood!