Monday, August 4, 2014

Vandals paint a bad picture of murals

Aug 4, 2014 - The Star

IPOH: A large-scale project to paint 57 wall murals around here came to an abrupt halt when vandals painted graffiti on the walls.
Artist Eric Lai, 38, said he completed 33 pieces of artwork on the walls of several buildings at an alley behind Jalan Masjid and Jalan Sultan Iskandar here.
“The project was supposed to be launched in conjunction with the country’s 57th Merdeka Day,” he said.
“However, with the graffiti, I am not sure whether the artwork can be completed in time,” he added.
Lai said the graffiti was discovered on July 30 when his students went to the alley to paint images of lemang.
“And I was shocked when one of the premises owners called me to inform me about the latest graffiti,” he said, adding that the wall had been defaced with an image of a skull praying in a strange way.
“I am now worried for my safety. I am also worried for my students and family,” said Lai, who runs an art studio in Bercham.
Lai said the Ipoh City Council had approached him to carry out the project, which was initiated to “add life to the dirty looking walls” and turn it into an art lane.
“I am saddened by the irresponsible act,” he said. “I have lodged police reports as some of the logos scribbled may be seen as representing certain groups.”
The empty walls, where the remaining artwork was supposed to be done, were sprayed with vulgarities.
Several logos, probably representing underworld groups, were sprayed beside the completed artwork.
However, tourists still visited the alley and were seen taking pictures of the murals.
The paintings on the pre-war buildings depicted children playing hide-and-seek,dulang washers, a man bearing a kavadi, a wayang kulit show, a kuda kepangdancer, workers tapping rubber, a bharatanatyam dancer and a Chinese cultural dance.
One of his latest artwork was a black and white mural depicting an airplane, in memory of the 298 passengers and crew members of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.
Housewife Nurul Huda Al-Hassan, 32, who lives in Kuala Lumpur, said she happened to catch the murals while passing by the street.
“I was so excited that I parked my car at once and took my three-year-old daughter to have a look at the beautiful artwork,” she said. “The murals capture the multi-racial aspects of Malaysia,” she added.
“The artwork is amazing, but I am disappointed with the graffiti by some irresponsible people,” she added.
Council corporate affairs principal assistant director Normala Latiff said: “We will investigate. The culprit can be charged under the council’s by-laws for vandalism.”

Friday, January 6, 2012

Visit Perak Year 2012 preparations gathering momentum - The Star

INTERNATIONAL journalists and travel agents will be arriving in Ipoh alongside tourists during Visit Perak Year 2012.

Datuk Bandar Datuk Roshidi Hashim said invitations would be sent out to members of the Tourism Promotion Organisation for Asia Pacific Cities.

The organisation, with a membership of over 100 cities in Australia, China, Japan and Russia, plays a key role in helping member cities lead the tourism industry.

“We hope these journalists and travel agents will promote our city after returning from the familiarisation tour,” Roshidi said in his speech during the council’s full board meeting last week.

The tour, he said, would be organised by the Ipoh City Council with help from the organisation and is expected to take place in the first quarter of the year.

To accommodate the influx of tourists during VPY 2012, Roshidi said the council had issued 29 planning permissions for the development of hotels.

It had also approved the building plans of 23 new hotels, he added.

“This shows that Ipoh has great potential in the tourism industry,” he said.

Roshidi said the council would also undertake several projects to ensure the safety of tourists as they moved around in the city, in line with the Safe City concept.

“We are hoping to get a RM2.2mil allocation to create motorcycle bays with locks and install pedestrian barriers along walkways, safety mirrors and warning signboards at 18 hotspots identified by the police,” he said.

Roshidi said street crime in the city, especially snatch thefts, had been reduced by 45% from 116 cases in 2010, to 59 cases last year.

Promise to close landfill by the end of 2011 goes unkept - The Star

AFTER numerous failed attempts by the Ipoh City Council to close down the city’s open landfill in Bercham, residents living nearby have taken it upon themselves to ensure it happens this time around.

The residents are unhappy that the landfill continues to be in operation despite a recent announcement by Datuk Bandar Datuk Roshidi Hashim that the council would shut it down by the last day of 2011.

Gathering at the site yesterday, the group called on the council to expedite the closing of the city’s main dumping ground.

Kampung Lim Tan resident Capt (R) Abdul Razak Mohamad said promises to close down the landfill had been made many years back, but until now, nothing had been done.

“This has been going on for so many years and still the council has not managed to solve it.

“We appeal to the parties concerned to accelerate the closure of the dump site because it has been operating without following proper procedures.

“The pollution would not arise if the site was managed in accordance with the procedures set out by the Environmental Department,” he said, claiming that the stench from the site affected about 6,000 residents in the area.

Another villager, Teoh Geok Lim, 76, said the existing landfill had reached its maximum capacity and that it was high time to close it down.

Fellow villager Abdul Razak, 65, said a previous proposal to construct a new landfill at a 203ha site in Bukit Kinding, near Tanjung Rambutan, some years back never took place due to public protests.

“Now, residents in Papan are also protesting the council’s plans to build a waste disposal site in Papan. How long is this to go on?” he asked.

Taman Berjaya resident S. Sugunapala, 43, said he had been putting up with the smell of garbage for the last 20 years.

He added that there had been times when guests invited to weddings or kenduri held in the area refused to eat due to the odour.

“My three children also suffer from asthma, which is made worse due to the air pollution.

“We really hope the council can expedite the closing of the site,” he added.

Tanjung Rambutan village chief Ayob Zainal claims that the dumpsite is also used by drug addicts to carry out their activities.

Hulu Kinta assemblyman Datuk Rusnah Kassim, who was also present, said the landfill is still operating despite it now being the first week of the year.

“I was informed by the Datuk Bandar that the new centralised sanitary landfill in Papan is being constructed and should be operational by March.

“If this is the case, I sincerely hope the Bercham landfill will be closed by April as promised,” she said, adding that she had received numerous complaints about the dump site from the public.

Meanwhile, council Community Affairs and City director Zulkiple Jaafar Sidek gave his assurance that the landfill in Bercham would be closed by April as planned.

He said the new RM19mil modern landfill, to be built over a 224ha plot in Papan, about 16km from Ipoh, would become the city’s main garbage disposal site once it is completed.

“Although the said area is under the Batu Gajah District Council, the city council has been given the green light to operate the state-of-the-art centralised sanitary landfill.

“When that takes place, residents in Bercham and Tambun will no longer have to bear the horrible stench from the present landfill,” he said.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Perak aims at people's well being

Nov 21, 2011

Perak Menteri Besar Zambry Abdul Kadir tabled the state's 2012 Budget amounting to RM865.12 million and a projected deficit of RM50.14 million in the state assembly in Ipoh today.

The budget was divided into RM594.26 million for administrative expenditure and RM321 million for development of its people and the state, recording a higher deficit compared with the 2011 sum of RM29.91 million.

"I'm happy with the 2012 Budget, as more than 50 percent of the development portion is allocated to improve the lives of the people, who are the BN government's main priority. And the deficit is less than seven percent of the state's reserve," Zambry said.

He explained that the projected deficit was necessary to ensure continuity for the well-being of the people and it was not funded by any central government loan.

Apart from that, Zambry also informed that for the first time, revenue that did not fulfill syariah principles would be separated into a special bank account.

However, revenue from this account would still be used to fund development projects, he elaborated.

An allocation of RM18 million was made for the 2012 Visit Perak Year, which included maintenance and upgrading works for existing tourist attractions, he said.

The education sector received RM31 million to cover equipment, facilities and education loans, he said.

Describing infrastructure and public amenities as key to the state's development, Zambry said RM65 million was provided to the Public Works Department.

Rolling plan fund for house buyers

"Of that sum, RM31 million is for new roads and bridges, and to widen and upgrade existing roads and bridges, and RM34 million for development projects," he noted.

"A house is a place of shelter and a basic necessity for every family. With the awareness that house prices are on the rise, the state has formed a RM60 million three-year 'rolling plan' fund, out of which RM10 million is for 2012," he said.

Acknowledging their service to the country, ex-army and retired police would receive 7,000 lots of land for housing at a premium of RM500 each, to be developed by the Armed Forces and Police Cooperatives, said Zambry.

A Women and Children's Shelter costing RM1 million will be built to protect those who have been abused, neglected or abandoned, he said.

Furthermore, the state government has agreed to reduce by 50 percent the quit rent for office premises occupied by non-governmental organisations and associations, subject to one office per organisation. An estimated 5,000 such registered bodies are expected to benefit from the reduction," Zambry said.

The sitting resumes tomorrow with question and answer sessions, budget debate and other agenda.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

PKMM Dakwa Tender MBI Dikuasai Kontraktor Besar - MStar

IPOH: Persatuan Kontraktor Melayu Malaysia (PKMM) negeri Perak mendakwa terdapat 'kontraktor besar' yang menguasai urusan pemberian tender oleh Majlis Bandaraya Ipoh (MBI).

Yang Di Pertua PKMM Perak Datuk Wira Jamaluddin Abdul Rahim berkata kontraktor-kontraktor Melayu terpaksa menyerahkan lesen kepada kontraktor besar terbabit bagi mendapatkan kerja Pihak Berkuasa Tempatan itu.

"Maklumat yang diperoleh dari ahli persatuan, mereka tidak pernah berjaya memenangi tender dan sebut harga di MBI sehinggalah mereka menyerahkan lesen itu kepada kontraktor besar berkenaan. "Syarikat mereka akan mendapat kontrak MBI selepas menyerahkan lesen dan akan dibayar saguhati di atas projek yang diperoleh itu," katanya kepada Bernama pada Rabu.

Beliau berkata demikian semasa mengulas amaran Datuk Bandar Ipoh Datuk Roshidi Hashim semalam bahawa MBI akan menyenaraihitam kontraktor yang menjual kontrak yang diberi kepada mereka oleh MBI.

Jamaluddin berkata MBI patut melupakan soal hendak menyenarai hitam kontraktor sebaliknya memberi tumpuan kepada masalah 'kontraktor besar' yang kini menguasai MBI sehinggakan kontraktor bumiputera gagal mendapatkan pekerjaan.

Beliau berkata MBI boleh membuat semakan terhadap senarai kontraktor yang telah mendapat kerja bagi mengesahkan dakwaan itu.-BERNAMA

Friday, May 6, 2011

Kula eyes subway system, other upgrades for Ipoh - Malaysian Insider

By Melissa Chi May 06, 2011

Kulasegaran said traffic congestion has become prevalent in Ipoh.

KUALA LUMPUR, May 6 — Ipoh Barat MP M. Kulasegaran today urged the city council there to plan for an underground rail system and more affordable housing to address growing congestion and urbanisation issues in the Perak capital.
In a statement, he said the city, about two hours away from KL, has always been known for its light traffic, but that this was no longer the case in recent years.

“Traffic flow used to smooth even at the busiest of times. But in the last few years this has changed. Ipoh city has over 700, 000 people residing an area covering 637-sq km,” he said, stressing the need to set up an underground rail system. “Many cities of Ipoh size have trains of this nature.”

Ipoh City Council (MBI) has set out the proposed Structural Plan for comments and inputs, although the DAP vice-chairman has hinted that it was merely a publicity stunt.

He said he had presented his views on the Ipoh Structural Plan hearing today, along with other local DAP leaders.

Kulasegaran said MBI first exhibited its findings in early August last year before extending it for another month. The lawmaker said the MBI should have extended this for at least six months.

“We felt there was lack of participation from the public. The lack of interest from the public is nothing surprising.

“It took over five years for the MBI to prepare the draft structural plan. Experts and people involved in the day-to-day work at MBI were roped in to work out the draft plan. Why then a short period of only 30 days was given to the public for inputs although it was extended for another 30 days?” he questioned.

He also pointed out that there is a need to upgrade the current inner city housing, as well as the need to build more to accommodate growing demand.

“Waller Court and Sg Pari flats were built some 50 years ago. Both these flats are not well maintained and they are in dilapidated situation.

“The occupancy rate at the flats is less than 50 per cent. Although hundreds of homeless people and many of them from the lower income group have applied to rent the flats, yet many are waiting in the queue for years,” he said.

Kulasegaran also said that there is a need for the inner city to be vibrant at the night, and one of the ways to do that is by upgrading the flats.

The shortage of housing in the inner city housing will continue unless this is done,, he said.

The DAP man also said businesses in the old town area have been affected by an acute lack of parking bays.

“Over the years, little attention and effort has been put by the local authorities to set up new additional parking bays.

“Worst still in 2004, over 60 existing parking bays were removed (near the water front project) and a mamak shop was allowed to operate there. Underground parking and/ or multi storey car park should therefore be constructed,” he said.

Kulasegaran said he had asked the state financial officer when they will be told of the outcome of their suggestions, but was informed that their views were only for internal consumption and the MBI is not obliged to revert back to the DAP leaders.

“Irrespective whether views submitted are accepted or rejected, the relevant authorities must inform and justify their decisions to those who have made submissions, otherwise this whole exercise of soliciting public suggestions and inputs could well be just a publicity exercise with no consideration for public accountability,” he said.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

MBI Lantik Wakil Media Sebagai Ahli Majlis - Star

IPOH: Majlis Bandaraya Ipoh (MBI) akan melantik dua wakil pengamal media sebagai Ahli Majlis bagi memastikan maklumat yang disebar kepada orang ramai lebih cepat, tepat dan berkesan.

Datuk Bandar, Datuk Roshidi Hashim berkata dengan adanya Ahli Majlis di kalangan pengamal media, ia akan mempercepatkan penyaluran maklumat terkini MBI kepada orang ramai.

"Saya merasakan sudah sampai masanya kita melantik dua orang Ahli Majlis terdiri daripada pengamal media bagi menyokong penyaluran pelbagai maklumat dalam soal pembangunan, undang-undang dan rancangan masa depan MBI," katanya sempena Majlis Taklimat Cukai Taksiran kepada Media di Bangunan MBI di sini pada Jumaat.

Sementara itu, Roshidi berkata MBI berminat untuk mempraktikkan konsep Tanpa Sampah yang diperkenalkan Dewan Bandaraya Kota Kinabalu (DBKK) sejak 2008 bagi mendidik masyarakat untuk mengekal dan menjaga kebersihan di kawasan persekitaran mereka.

Beliau berkata ia merupakan konsep yang baik dan memerlukan penyertaan semua pihak dan beliau yakin ia akan mendapat sokongan warga Ipoh.

"Rombongan MBI telah melawat Kampung Cenderamata 11 iaitu kampung pertama tanpa sampah di Kota Kinabalu dan konsep itu didapati begitu berkesan. Kanak-kanak di sana pun tahu di mana dan bagaimana cara untuk melupuskan sampah dengan betul," katanya. - BERNAMA