Archive for July, 2010

Part of Pipeline Demolished

Published below is the latest report taken from The Star daily regarding the fate of the Gopeng pipeline. Hong was at the site during the demolition and the protest. As it was a working day others in the committee couldn’t join him.

Observe the section of the pipeline that is missing from the support bridge in the picture. Will any section of this well-known icon to the town of Gopeng be saved? Your guess is as good as mine.

Source: The Star, Thursday 22 July 2010 Nation



Death Knell for Gopeng Pipelines

Text by Law Siak Hong
Photos by Lau Sook Mei

Pride and landmark of Gopeng: the pipelines.

Tuesday, 20 July, 2010: “Gopeng pipeline demolition at midnight”, thumped the SMS.

My reaction: oh no, these people are going back on their words – the authorities were unanimous in wanting to keep this landmark for Gopeng. Why this now?

Meanwhile, Rita, a friend in Papan had just requested a visit to Sybil’s Clinic with her friends from overseas. Before I shot off to Papan, I managed to write and email an appeal letter to Liz Cardosa, the Executive Director of Badan Warisan Malaysia (National Heritage Trust), CC to PHS Committee Members and other people who ought to know of the impending doom. I also SMSed a host of Ipoh and Gopeng contacts to try to boost a protest group at the site before midnight.

Concrete bridge supporting one pipe.

After the visitors had left Sybil’s Clinic, I composed myself and tried to visualize what might happen in Gopeng. I was bent on being there. I charged up my phone and the battery of my camera. I had a bottle of Stout for comfort.

The sky had darkened. Rain was approaching. It drizzled soon after I started driving to Gopeng. As I approached Gopeng, the limestone hills stood like sentinels, spread out on the horizon. In the background, the Main Range was morphed by low-hanging clouds. At the site, prayer piped from the mosque. By the morning prayer, the pipes of Gopeng would be gone, I thought with sadness.

Steel trestlework supporting the other pipe.

The President of PHS, Mohd Taib remained close to the situation. It was raining in Ipoh, he said. It was drizzling in Gopeng. Maybe the work will be called off, he opined. Nonetheless, he joined me at the mamak café closest to the pipes. There we could watch the traffic on the main trunk road to know if the road has been blocked for the demolition work. While waiting, we talked about heritage matters over cups of hot drinks. The drizzle never ceased. Nothing happened. Some time after midnight, we decided to take one more peep at the pipes before we said goodnight.

Wednesday afternoon, 21 July, 2010, post lunch, another SMS came to inform that the pipes were being dismantled.

(For more information on the historical pipelines, please visit


The Beginning of a Musical Journey

Text by Lau Sook Mei
Photos by Sin Kam Weng

Concert night.

Lights dimmed and the Syuen Hotel Ballroom fell into a hush, turgid  with  suspense. On stage, poised for action,  all fifty-six pairs of eyes and hands were anticipating  the conductor’s command.  Then, arms raised, and at the  flick of  his baton, strains of “Beyond the Horizon” welcomed the sell-out crowd to the Kinta Valley Wind Orchestra (KVWO) Inaugural Concert. It happened to be July 4th, an auspicious day, indeed.

One last rehearsal before show time.

The KVWO, Perak’s very own symphonic band  kicked off in January 2010. SiWu Education Trust, the family foundation of Ipoh philanthropist Dato’ KK Lim funded the acquisition of musical instruments to get the Orchestra started. Plans are afoot to steer this band into a full-fledged philharmonic orchestra for Perak.

Under the nurture of Mr Eugene Pook, Music Director and Conductor, the musicians improved by leaps and bounds, so much so that the KVWO was able to debut after only six months of hard work. Pook wants to put local musical talent on the world music map by taking the KVWO on tour abroad.

Clarinetists - feeling nervous?

“Breathing Life into Ipoh City” – that’s KVWO’s motto. Currently, band members  are mainly students and working people. The Orchestra wants to bring together music lovers from all levels of society for music appreciation. It sets out to educate and entertain the community in Ipoh and beyond. It aims to preserve the rich repertoire and the cultural history of the wind band which comprises all the orchestral instruments except the violin, viola and cello.

The repertoire for the Inaugural Concert ranged from classical favourites to contemporary, popular Chinese songs to Broadway musical – to please all tastes. Guest artistes for the night included Joost Flach, an acclaimed oboist from the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra; Foo Cheong Lin on  saxophone; Philip Boey on the gu-zheng; vocalists Estee Pook and Alan Low; and the band was boosted by players from inter-states.

What about the music that night? Slow, languid passages such as those from Bach’s Air on the G String were executed with much charm and fluidity while strong tutti passages filled the hall with sonority and richness of tone. I was moved. The rhythmic and strongly syncopated jazzy numbers almost had the audience on their feet; the musicians too were having  great fun swinging to the beat. Any sense of misgivings or insecurity was quickly over-shadowed by the rousing, energetic and mesmerising performance. Enthusiasm surged at the end of the show. The audience applauded and screamed for more.

Pook (squatting, fifth left) with his band of musicians.

Music knows no boundaries and the KVWO is charting a musical journey of excellence. The concert was a  success because Ipoh city folk had come out in full support. The KVWO has made history. It was a night to remember.


George Town Festival 2010

George Town comes alive!

For the whole month of July, it is charged with a hive of activities to celebrate the city’s second anniversary as a Unesco World Heritage Site. ‘Unforgettable George Town – Streets Come Alive’ –  is the theme for this year.

Choose from a wide selection of shows featuring international and local talents, including  the dashing Italian crooner, Patrizio Buanne and opera singer, Ranko Kurano; there are also films, plays and exhibitions which feature the rich cultural heritage of the city; food trails and lots more.

To enjoy this historic city of the Straits of Melaka, check out the calendar below then pick the days for your trip. Enjoy!!!

Click here for pdf version of calendar.


Perak Heritage Society

Persatuan Warisan Perak
(Reg. No. 1254) was registered with the Registrar of Societies in August, 2003.

Office and Postal Address:
85C, Jalan Sultan Abdul Jalil,
30300 IPOH, Perak, Malaysia.
(opposite the Syuen Hotel)

Fax: 05-253 5507


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