Friday, August 10, 2007

About Ipoh - My Hometown

From Wikipedia & Malaysiana1.

Ipoh is Malaysia’s second largest city and the third town to be proclaimed as such after George Town in Penang (1957) and Kuala Lumpur in Selangor (1972).

The capital of Perak state, it is 200 km north of Kuala Lumpur, and both cities are linked by the North-South Highway of Peninsular Malaysia.

Ipoh’s name is derived from the Ipuh tree which produces sap used by the Senoi (Mon) hill tribe as poison for blowpipe darts.

Ipoh’s original inhabitants were the Senoi people who came from southern Kelantan or northern Pahang and crossed the Titiwangsa Range into Perak.

Mount Korbu (Buffalo), the highest (2,183 metres) peak in the Titiwangsa Range, the backbone of Peninsular Malaysia, is situated in Tanjung Rambutan, eastern Ipoh.

The Ipoh section of the mountain range is the Roof Of Peninsular Malaysia, as its mountains are the highest in the range.

In the earliest of times, Ipoh became the capital of the kingdom of Gangga Negara founded by a son of the Sultan of Johor, the head of the indigenous Selangorian or Johorean tribe.

In 1528, Gangga Negara came to an end because its ruling dynasty died out. A son of the Sultan of Johor founded the new Sultanate of Perak to replace Gangga Negara.

Ipoh’s original name was Kinta and it was subsequently called Paluh.

Ipoh was rich in tin and was one of Peninsular Malaysia’s most prominent tin-mining centres since the days of Gangga Negara.

Prior to the 1980s drop in tin prices, Ipoh was the world’s number one tin-mining centre.

Many Malaysian Chinese businessmen became millionaires as a result of the booming tin industry during British colonial rule in the 1800s.

It can be said that without Ipoh’s tin, the Industrial Revolution would not have begun in Western Europe and the United States.

The 1980s tin price slump crippled the economy of Ipoh and Perak. As a result, many natives of Ipoh migrated to Selangor (including Kuala Lumpur).

Some even went to Singapore and even Hong Kong.

Since 1995, the Kuala Lumpur administration has gradually begun to re-develop Ipoh.

Ipoh’s water supply is amongst the country’s cleanest and clearest. Its source is a waterfall in the eastern suburb of Tanjung Rambutan.

This suburb also houses the country’s foremost mental hospital called Happiness (Bahagia) Hospital.

Ipoh has more than 600,000 people. Chinese form 70 per cent of the population followed by indigenous Malaysians (Malays, mostly Johoreans) at 17 per cent and Indians (mostly Tamils) at 13 per cent.

Here are some famous personalities from Ipoh:

Malaysia’s Miss Hollywood Datuk Michelle Yeoh.

Malaysia’s foremost cartoonist Datuk Muhammad Noor Khalid or Lat.

Film-maker Mamat Khalid, younger brother of Lat.

Malaysia’s Roy Orbison, the late pop and rock star M. Shariff.

Recording artistes KRU, Farish Ramli, Amy Mastura Suhaimi, Awie (Azhar Othman), Ning Baizura, Francissca Peter, Michael Wong, Adibah Noor, Ezlynn Ariffin and Hazami Ahmad.

Actors Ahmad Idham Ahmad Nadzri, Hani Mohsin Hanafi, Rashidi Ishak, Christy Yow, Elaine Daly, Monti Foong, Kudsia Kahar, Patrick Teoh, Ben Tan, Afdlin Shauki Aksan, Angie Cheung, Amber Chia, Vick Teo and Ashvin Nair.

Cabinet Ministers (past and present) Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik and Datuk Paul Leong.

Malaysia’s first woman Attorney-General Tan Sri Ainum Mohamad Said.

It is often said that Ipoh’s limestone hills make its food tasty. Ipoh delicacies include Chinese noodle dishes Sar Hor Fun and Chi Cheung Fun (fettucini-style noodles), Hakka Mee, bean sprout chicken, Dim Sum (Cantonese dumplings, often for breakfast) and Heung Ping (a traditional Chinese biscuit).

Indigenous Malaysian cuisine here includes satay and tempoyak (fermented durian with chilli).

A popular drink is Ipoh White Coffee. The Chinese New Year raw fish salad Yi Sang is also from Ipoh.

Ipoh’s city centre is divided by the Kinta River into Old Town and New Town. The latter is on the eastern bank of the river and houses the major commercial centre while the former houses Government buildings.

The D R Seenivasagam Park is the city’s oldest green area and is situated along Raja Musa Aziz Road in New Town. Ipuh trees are found here.

The Lang Hill Recreation Park, which surrounds a large limestone hill, is situated along Kuala Kangsar Road, a short distance away from D R Seenivasagam Park.

There is also the small Japanese Garden in Tambun Road, and the newly established theme park called The Lost World Of Tambun in the suburb of Tambun, east of the city centre.

The Lost World Of Tambun is also close to the famous Tambun Hot Springs.

The Tanjung Rambutan Waterfall in the east of Ipoh and the Hulu Chepor Waterfall in Jelapang, west of Ipoh, are the city’s most popular waterfalls.

Two of Ipoh’s oldest public schools are the Anglo Chinese School in Lahat Road and the St Michael’s Institution in S P Seenivasagam Road.

They are both situated close to the Ipoh Railway Station which is a heritage building of Indian-Arab design.

Ipoh, which is surrounded by limestone hills, has several popular cave temples and they include the Sam Po Temple and Kek Lok Temple in the southern suburb of Gunung Rapat, and the Perak Temple in the northern suburb of Tasek.

Ipoh has the country’s first velodrome in Ghazali Jawi Road. Next to it is the Indera Mulia Indoor Stadium.

Ipoh’s major golf clubs are the Royal Perak Golf Club in Tiger Lane and the Meru Golf Club in Jelapang.

There is also the Iskandar Polo Club in Tambun and the National Stud Farm in Tanjung Rambutan.

Ipoh, like Kuala Lumpur, has its fair share of nightlife. Its bistro districts are Greentown in Raja Musa Aziz Road and Ipoh Garden off Tasek Road.

Ipoh’s major shopping complexes are Ipoh Parade in Sultan Idris Road and Kinta City in Ipoh Garden.

Several Hollywood films have been shot in Ipoh. They include Anna And The King (1999) and the 1975 film Paper Tiger which starred the late David Niven.

Hong Kong film After This Our Exile (2006) was also filmed in Ipoh.

Local films shot in Ipoh include Embun (2002), Paloh (2003), Sepet (2005), Gubra (2006), Goodbye Boys (2006) and Mualaf (2007).

Ipoh’s sister cities are Canton in China and Fukuoka in Japan.