Text Law Siak Hong
Photographs James Gough
The 13th Annual General Meeting was a disappointment – there was no quorum.
Nevertheless, our special guest, Kenneth Wong presented his talk on cultural landscape. Judging from the active participation in the Q&A session that followed, it was enthusiastically received.
But without quorum, the AGM had to be re-convened quickly to elect a new committee. Quick action was taken to arrange a new venue, and extra effort was made to invite the members. Our Hon Sec James even contacted all the voting members by phone and email to urge them to attend the AGM. This time, we achieved the numbers. On the evening of 6th April, in a function room at the Perak Golf Club, we dutifully elected the new committee from the members in attendance.
In his opening remarks, out-going president Mohd Taib congratulated the efforts of Han Chin Pet Soo and Ho Yan Hor, two history interpretation centres in Ipoh Old Town. He expressed the wish that Ipoh will see similar efforts which showcase the Malay and Indian communities in Ipoh.
Significantly, Mohd Taib pointed out the down side of UNESCO listing, “hastening the loss of hometown character to hyper-commercialisation”. A fair warning, indeed, as we witness the effect of increased tourism on Penang and Melaka post inscription as UNESCO world heritage sites.
He applauded initiatives such as Ipoh Kreatif, Borak Art Youth and The Other Festival, efforts supported by the state government, for bringing life to Ipoh through culture and the arts.
He mentioned the encouraging effort by Nor Hisham, our new committee member, in having drafted a heritage map which focuses on street names in Ipoh Old Town. He recalled the overwhelming support of young academia in Sawalunto, Sumatra and appealed to younger members to come forward and serve in the PHS committee.
The new committee was quick off the mark; five days later, they met to decide on the office bearers. There was renewed enthusiasm with a determination to activate a programme for members, highlighting membership drive and outreach to the community of heritage lovers in Perak.
So, PHS members and the general public are in for some high profile activities. To succeed, many volunteers will be required. When you read our appeal for help, do not hesitate to join in the fun and do your bit for PHS.