Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Morning In Greentown

The car park of Greentown Mall is nearly empty in the morning. Greentown has not started the busy day now & the surroundings seem peaceful. At this part of Greentown, as captured in this photo, the partly unoccupied EPF (Employees Provident Fund) Building & the medical college with halted construction, together with the neighbouring Greentown Square & Federal Government Building which are also less occupied, are having low density of worker. I find the development of Greentown seems loss focus & messed up after several non-synchronized projects took place.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Voices of The People

The story begins here, Bukit Merah, a Chinese new village nearby Menglembu. Rare earth plant was a nightmare to the residents of Bukit Merah. In 1982, a factory called Asian Rare Earth (ARE, joint developed by Japanese & local companies) was built along Lahat Road, which is just opposite to the village. Due to the toxic radioactive waste from the factory, they had fought for 12 years to chase this plant out from their home. However, the villagers suffered a higher rate of cancer & immune system diseases over the years. (For more information, please refer Chronology of Events in the Bukit Merah Asian Rare Earth Development)

ARE finally ceased operation in 1994. However, history is recurring recently; an Australian rare earth mining company, Lynas is setting up a plant at Kuantan, the capital of Pahang state. The better awareness of Malaysian about threat of radioactive waste to human body is triggering a nationwide objection to the rare earth plant in Kuantan. After several attempts to urge Federal Government to drop this project failed, people starts to march on the street to voice out the concern.

A peace demonstration was organized in Kuantan this January & today the 2nd round of rally against Lynas is being held in few major cities nationwide. In Ipoh, Bukit Merah as the victim of rare earth processing, is chosen as the venue of rally. Hundreds of people gathered along Lahat Road, nearby the previous ARE site and waved their posters to the passing by vehicles while shouted the slogan "Stop Lynas, Save Malaysia". Many drivers had respond by horn.

State Assemblyman of Tebing Tinggi (Ong Boon Piow) & Member of Parliment of Gopeng (Lee Boon Chye) from opposition parties are greeting each other.

Saving our homeland from threat of hazardous industry is regardless of race & age.

The event ended in one hour & the crowd left the site peacefully. We hope the voices of people is heard.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Royal Belum World Drums Festival 2012

This is a extraordinary night in Ipoh. The city welcomes guests from 9 countries to the "Royal Belum World Drums Festival 2012". Together with several teams from Malaysia, they have performed an amazing drum performance at City Square in front of the Ipoh City Council headquarter. The participants are contingent from Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, South Korea, Japan, India, Brazil & Azerbaijan. The citizen of Ipoh had packed the square & enjoyed a superb drum performance tonight. We hope there will be increasing number of such events to introduce more art performances to Ipoh citizen.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Restoration Work Commences on SPH de Silva Building

The condition of SPH de Silva building as seen since September 2011 is now changing. It is moving into a new era. Restoration work commences this week as we can see scaffolding being setup at one side of the building & workers start to scrapping off the wall cement. As I know the building may be converted into a boutique hotel. Anyhow I hope the restoration will return its original beauty & retain one of the most beautiful heritage buildings in Ipoh.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Busy Belfield Street

Belfield Street (Jalan Sultan Yusuff) is one of the busiest streets in Old Town during day time. Apart from handling the vehicles coming to Old Town for Little India, food or other stuffs, it also handles traffic mostly from Lahat Road & Leech Street, then divert the flow to Brewster Road & Douglas Road. The congestion during rush hour in day time is a completely different world compare to the condition at night.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Expanding Vertically From Old Shops

After stagnant for some time, the construction to build a 7-storey hotel from the original 3-storey shop building is progressing fast and already reached its top floor now. As shared in 25-Apr-2009, the front wall of original building remains while the inner structure is completely rebuilt. Due to the building is covered by safety net & the structure is only done up to its skeleton, I wonder whether the upper floors design could match the original appearance of 3 lower floors. I guess the answer will reveal soon.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Enjoying The Pleasant Scenery

This is my second attempt to climb the Kledang Hill within a month. When reach different level of height, the scene on Kinta Valley changes. The higher I reach, the broader sight I gain & I find the great view indulges me so much until I feel reluctant to go down hill. Moreover, there are also many people like to stop by to rest & enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Graffiti In Old Town

Graffiti is not commonly seen in Ipoh, or even in Malaysia. Probably we have impression this is kind of vandalism. But if the paintings were done nicely & without improper messages, I think it helps to present another kind of image to the city. When I saw this near the Standard Chartered Bank, I was quite surprise but impressed with the creativity of the artists.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Boosting Meru Raya

Meru Raya is one of the major focused development spots by Perak State Government. Apart from many government departments, commercial shop lots & residential houses, there are also grand scale infrastructures to be built, such as fire brigade, hotel, convention center, etc. Among these, two major structures are close to completion now. They are Mydin Wholesale Hypermarket & the Ipoh Central Bus Terminal, which located next to each other. The hypermarket is planned to open for public next month while the bus terminal operation date is still not finalized.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Unexpected Sunlight

Does it look like spotlight? Well, this photo is not edited & the scene is totally unexpected when I step out from my car. To my opinion, this is most possible caused by clouds but I can't see further down to verify how these rays were created. I am lucky to be able to catch this scene with the phone camera because the rays just faded away within a minute.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Ipoh City Skyline from Silibin

The skyline of Ipoh city center has changed. Added with 3 new towers, which appeared on the left of the this photo, the height of high rise building in Ipoh is reaching its limit set by the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA). Apparently the 2 blocks of Kinta Riverfront Hotel & Suite are now the tallest buildings. I have waited many years for this moment to snap Ipoh skyline from this location, on a bridge of Ipoh-Lumut Highway nearby Silibin junction. It is now possible because I have got my higher power zoom lens. However, the atmosphere is not favor to me in capturing a clearer view. The image of high rise buildings & the mountains at either not sharp or nearly invisible.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Soft Drink Advertising Evolution

In Sin Yoon Loong coffee shop, this mirror must have been hanging here for more than 30 years. This is one of the ways soft drink promoting their product in those old days. Advertising method evolves to present day's colorful poster, which can be updated from time to time. Although the mirror is no longer attractive now but I am sure the poster next to it will not exist 30 years from now.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Monday Night In Greentown

Greentown Business Center, one of the most congested districts in Ipoh city center during daytime, is completely different at night. After the offices & banks closed, restaurants & pubs scattered around the business center unable to attract crowd at a hot spot & create a lively atmosphere. Unless more aggressive development such as building a shopping mall, or at least a large food court on the last piece of vacant land here, else it will not surpass Ipoh Garden East (or some call it Bandar Baru Medan Ipoh), which has Kinta City Shopping Center & Tesco Hypermarket backing it up at adjacent to bring the crowd.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Good To Preserving The Tree

Before construction of these new shops taking place, this probably is the last piece of land in Old Town that was covered by several huge rain trees. The empty land was used as storage of large scale metal goods. When the project began, based on Malaysia's tradition in properties development, I was thinking all those trees would be certainly eliminated. However, it surprises me when there is one survived & being considered as part of the plan. Although I still feel regret that only one, but not more, able to stand until today, it's still a good intention & good example to be adopted by other development projects. I am sure there must be suitable ways to maintain as many green plants as possible when making new buildings, if the owner & architect willing to spend a little more time to think of it.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Round Moon

Today is the 17th day of first lunar month. Normally round moon is expected on the 15th night but according to an article in newspaper, tonight the moon will be in better round shape compare to 15th night. Nevertheless, tonight's moon is really bright & charming.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Sunset Cloud

The sky appeared to be colorful during sunset. Although thick clouds are forming above the city but it doesn't help to reduce the heat accumulated after a hot day. When looking at the sky in the warm atmosphere, I feel like flame is burning behind the clouds.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Old Building Resurrected

After more than a month of restoration, this building which previously OUB Bank is now occupied by Chennai Silk Gallery. This building had been abandoned for many years since OUB Bank merged with UOB Bank and moved to its current Ipoh's headquarter in Greentown. This junction of Hugh Low Street meeting Belfield Street in Old Town had been many times photographed in the old times but this corner lot appearance has completely changed.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sunset At Wing Onn Garden

I find a nice scene of sunset when reaching the petrol station opposite to Wing Onn Garden. The ray from sunlight is forming a beautiful crown-like pattern in the sky.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

"Angry Birds" In Couplets

You may expect to see "Angry Birds" on T-shirts, bags, toy shops, balloons, etc. But it is out of my expectation to see it in new year couplets (春联). These colorful characters, no doubt, fit nicely to the Chinese auspicious colors, such as red & yellow. Therefore their existence on the couplets seems like a very harmony match.
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