Sam Poh Tong Temple
SAM POH TONG I found a little bit disappointing after visiting San Bao Dong cave as I love art and paintings. There is a small pond full of turtles and there are some monster turtles there along with an ornamental rock garden. To be honest the pond is too small to house all the turtles and they should move some of them to a bigger pond it’s so overcrowded. You can see from my photos there are turtles stacked on top of each other. Maybe they like it that way. Anyway at the back of the temple is a small crematorium and columbarium. This temple is very busy during the Chinese ‘All Souls festival’. The cave tour is really a bit of a let down and the small lump they have labeled 'the Gorilla' to me leaves a lot to be desired. However I must say the temple itself is very eye catching. You go through a cave passage to fine this temple in the middle of a cave in the middle of no where. Coming from a dark passage to a gapping hole with rays of sunlight hitting the temple makes you feel like you’re in a Jackie Chan Kung Fu movie. It comes as no surprise that the temple has been featured in a few movies. Matthew
Ipoh location:4°36′N 101°04′E is a city in Malaysia and is the capital of the state of Perak. It is approximately 200 km (125 miles) north of Kuala Lumpur via the North-South Expressway.
Today, 'Ipoh' usually refers to the territory under administration of Ipoh City Council or Majlis Bandaraya Ipoh, which includes the smaller towns adjacent to the city such as Silibin, Chemor, Jelapang, Falim, Menglembu and Tanjung Rambutan. Historically, 'Ipoh' referred to the Old Town and New Town areas divided by the Kinta River at its heart, from which the city grew. From the late 1980s Greentown, located beside the New Town, was transformed from old government quarters to an administrative and commercial centre of Ipoh, often overshadowing both the Old Town and New Town.
The name Ipoh derives from a local tree, pohon epu or now more commonly known as pokok ipoh. The sap of this plant is poisonous and was used by Orang Asli (indigenous people) to coat the tips of the darts of their blowpipes.
Ipoh was formerly known as 'Paloh' (Chinese: 壩羅) among local Chinese, referring to the gigantic mining pump used for early tin ore extraction. It was also called 'the Town built on Tin' (Chinese: 锡城) and 'City of Millionaires', referring to the vast fortunes made during the boom of the tin mining industries.
Other nicknames include 'The Bougainvillea City' and 'Shan Cheng' (Chinese: 山城) which means 'The Hill City' in the Cantonese dialect.
Ipoh city came into existence in the 1820s as a village on the banks of the Kinta River. It was less prominent at that time as compared to the early mining town of Gopeng, 20 km south of Ipoh. In 1890 Swettenham put forth the founding of Ipoh Sanitary Board which led to systematic planning of Ipoh, which was still seen today.
However, from the turn of the 20th century when more British tin-mining companies were set up in the city, Ipoh gained prominence. Influential institutions such as The Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China Limited opened a significant office in Ipoh in 1902. It provided credit to the Straits Trading Company and later the Eastern Smelting Company. More colonial-era firms such as Botly and Co., A.H Whittaker & Co., Chartered Accounts, Evatt & Co., and Estate Visiting Agents Milne & Stevens started to set up offices in the booming town.
Its geographic location in the rich tin-bearing valley of the Kinta River made it a natural centre of growth. It grew rapidly as a mining town, especially in the 1920s and 1930s. A local Hakka miner, millionaire Yau Tet-Shin started developing a large tract of the city in the early 1930s, today known as the New Town section of the city — the area which roughly delineated from the eastern bank of the Kinta River to Greentown.
Ipoh was invaded by the Japanese on 15 December 1941. During the Japanese Occupation of Malaya, Ipoh was made the capital of Perak, in place of Taiping. In March 1942, the Japanese civil administration or Perak Shu Seicho was set up at the St. Michael's Institution. After the liberation of Malaya by British forces, Ipoh remained the capital of Perak, to this day.
In the 1950s, Ipoh was characterised by the proliferation of large numbers of cinema halls, amusement parks, cabarets and night life which was unrivalled in peninsular. Two of the largest entertainment groups then, the Cathay Organisation and Shaw Brothers Company had set up chains of cinemas here. Ipoh was also one of the four original towns served by Malayan Airways (now Malaysia Airlines), the other three being Penang, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.
With the collapse of tin prices and the closure of the tin mines in the late 1970s, Ipoh's growth had stagnated and resulted in the migration of many young talents to other parts of Malaysia (particularly metropolitan areas such as Kuala Lumpur) and Singapore. Ipoh has since been known colloquially as a 'dead' city and earned a reputation as a good location for retirement. Various efforts have been made to redevelop Ipoh into a modern town (refer below for more information). The city is expanding all the time as there are new developments in the suburbs.
Ipoh has one of the cleanest and clearest water supplies in Malaysia, as the source is from the waterfalls in nearby Tanjung Rambutan. The Hospital Bahagia, a well-known mental health hospital in Malaysia, is located in Tanjung Rambutan.
Politically, Ipoh has traditionally been a stronghold of the opposition party. From the early days when Ipoh was the bastion of PPP (an opposition party then), the predominantly Chinese voters voted for the famous D. R. Seenivasagam and S. P. Seenivasagam brothers. Today the city is the stronghold of DAP (Democratic Action Party, Malay: Parti Tindakan Demokratik). The parliamentary seat for Ipoh Timur is held by DAP Representative, Lim Kit Siang while the seat for Ipoh Barat is held by fellow DAP leader, M. Kulasegaran.
The following towns, suburbs, and neighborhoods comprise the area formally (and collectively) known as the Ipoh City.
(Source: Ipoh City Hall)
* Canning Garden
* Cyber City
* Gugusan Manjoi
* Gunung Rapat
* Ipoh Garden
* Meru Raya
* Pasir Puteh
* Pasir Pinji
* Pekan Baru
* Pekan Lama (Old Town)
* Simpang Pulai
* Station 18
* Sunway City
* Taman Cempaka
* Tanjung Rambutan
Ipoh still remains one of Malaysia's largest cities. Today, Ipoh is the third largest city in Malaysia.
* Population: 710,798 (2007)
* Urban area population: 1,097,682 (2008)
* Ranking: sixth most populous urban centre in Malaysia. (2007)
Ipoh is famous for its food. Natives claim that Ipoh's water, which is relatively hard (high alkali content) owing to Ipoh's location on top of a large karstic formation, makes the food especially tasty.
Ipoh is famous for food items such as 'Sar Hor Fun' (Chinese: 沙河粉; It is a flat white rice noodle which locals believe best served in soup with shredded chicken meat and prawns. Most Ipoh residents, particularly the older generation, indulge in their favorite pastime of enjoying 'dim sum' (Chinese: 点心) consisting of various Hong Kong style cuisine includes small Chinese dumplings and hors d'œuvre delicacies; downed with generous servings of Chinese tea. Other favorite dishes includes a variant popular to Ipoh is 'Hor Hee' (essentially is flat white rice noodle) served with fish cakes and/or fish balls, 'Nga Choi Kai' (Chinese: 芽菜鸡) which is chicken fillet with soy sauce, beansprouts with pepper spread on top of it, 'Hakka Mee' (Chinese: 客家面) which is rice noodles (yellow) serve with mince meat (pork) sauce, and 'Heong Peng' ((Chinese: 香饼) which is a type of biscuits.
Ipoh is also famous for Malay and Indian cuisine, such as satay (meat on a skewer which resembles kebabs, served with peanut sauce), tempoyak (preserved durian extract commonly eaten with chilies), banana leaf rice (Indian cuisine serve on a banana leaf), and a variety of northern Indian food.
Ipoh is well known in Malaysia for coffee known as 'Ipoh white coffee'. It was believed that as the Ipoh township stems from the development of the Ipoh Old Town and many small coffee shops remain in this part of the city, the coffee from Ipoh is given the moniker 'old town white coffee'.
Places of interest
The Old Town and New Town of Ipoh are two different parts of Ipoh separated by the Kinta River. Most olden-day pre-World War II shophouses, heritage buildings, and some Government buildings are located in the Old Town while the New Town comprises the area originally developed by Yau Tet Shin, stretching all the way from Kinta River to Greentown. It has newer shops, buildings, shopping malls and housing estates.
Around Ipoh and its environs
Famous attractions around Ipoh include Kellie's Castle (or Callie's Castle), which is the unfinished, abandoned mansion of an eccentric British planter, near Batu Gajah, half an hour's drive from Ipoh city centre. Its main appeal lies in the belief that it is haunted and that secret passages leading to hidden chambers exist.
A 15-minute drive from Ipoh towards Tanjung Rambutan brings you to the foot of a limestone hill where visitors can rejuvenate at hot baths from the Tambun hot spring, a natural spring.
Ulu Chepor is a famous recreational place to relax for picnics and camping in a remote yet nature-friendly place. Ulu Chepor is another waterfall camping area located 10 km from Ipoh city; other such waterfalls include Lubuk Timah in Simpang Pulai and one in Falim.
Another attraction is the Gunung Lang Recreational Park which is 5 km from the Ipoh city center. It has been operated by the City Hall (DBI) with the collaboration of Ministry of Tourism Malaysia since 1999. This park, costing RM 8.4 million, has 3 man-made lakes which was reclaimed from old tin mines and filled in with tropical fish.
The Old Town
D. R. Seenivasagam Park (Coronation Park), located in the heart of Ipoh (New Town), is known for its scenic beauty and recreational facilities. It boasts several recreational fields, an artificial lake filled with various types of fishes, a nursery for potted plants and a children's traffic playground. There are also beautiful arches, modular framework, shelters, pedestrian paths and the Ipoh tree which gave the city its name. The latest addition is the newly landscaped Japanese garden featuring a typical Japanese carp pond. The fresh atmosphere and variety of flora are also part of the main attractions of this park.
St. Michael's Institution along Clayton Road (now Jalan S.P. Seenivasagam) is a building of architectural merit; a La Sallian school opened in 1912 by Father J.B. Coppin. During the Japanese occupation in World War II, the school building had become the Japanese administration headquarters in Ipoh. The Ipoh Train station which has elements of Moorish and Gothic architecture is another famous landmark of this former tin-mining city.
Many 'shop-houses' along Leech Street (Chinese: 烈治街; now Jalan Bandar Timah) in the Old Town still maintain their architectural significance, besides being a popular spot for food and drinks (refer Cuisine).
The New Town houses the Perak Medical University and Ipoh City Hall building, among others.
Ipoh has many limestone caves due to the surrounding karst formations. The Sam Po Tong (Chinese 三宝洞; Cavern of Three Precious) temple, is a Chinese temple built within a limestone cave. A pond outside houses many tortoises. Its sister temple, Perak Tong (Chinese 霹雳洞; Perak Cave), has a steep, tall staircase in the interior of the cave rising up to the top of its hill where one is greeted by a panoramic view of Ipoh and its surroundings. The statue of Buddha in Perak Tong was the tallest and largest of its kind in Malaysia when first commissioned. Both these cavern temples have decent vegetarian food.
Another sight worth seeing is the Kek Lok Tong (Chinese 极乐洞; Cavern of Utmost Happiness), which is a cave temple that lies on the other side of the same range of limestone hills as Sam Poh Tong. It is accessible through the Gunung Rapat housing area. It has a cleaner, quieter and more cooling environment and has the best scenic cave view.
Limestone hills extend 20 km north of Ipoh and also 20 km to the south. There are many caves in these hills; cave temples are built in some of these caves. Gua Tempurung, near Gopeng south of Ipoh, is a show cave open to the public.
Unfortunately many of the limestone hills are being quarried in the ever increasing demand for crushed stone and cement. Some of the hills under threat contain endemic fauna and flora. One cave, Gua Puncak, contains Peninsular Malaysia's second largest cave chamber and is in danger of being quarried. In reaction to this, the Malaysian Karst Society has been set up in an attempt to save these hills.
The government-owned and operated Ipoh Hospital is located near the Fair Park and Greentown area. It is just a stone throw's away from SMK Anderson, a school which is famous for its achievement in sport and education.
There are a few sporting venues in Ipoh. A portion of land located in the Kampong Simee area has been selected by the City Council for the Sport Center. The main sports stadium for football (soccer) and other track and field events is the Perak Stadium. There is an indoor sports stadium beside it, the Indera Mulia Stadium, playing host to events such as badminton. Ipoh is also home for the Perak Football Association.
Ipoh is also home to Malaysia's first velodrome, Velodrom Rakyat (The People's Velodrome), costing RM 3.25 million; funds were raised in a country-wide donation drive (led by Tan Sri Darshan Singh Gill). In addition, Ipoh also boasts as one of the first cities in the country that has an Astroturf stadium for hockey, the Azlan Shah Stadium.
For golf, the available courses in Ipoh are the Royal Perak Golf Club off Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah (Tiger Lane), the Meru Golf Club in Jelapang, and Clearwater Sanctuary Golf Club en route to Batu Gajah.
Other sports venues include the Kilat Club in Pasir Pinji, Ipoh Field (Padang Ipoh) in the Old Town, the Polo Grounds, and the Iskandar Polo Club, in Ampang Baru.
* Trunk roads: The old interstate Route 1 connects Ipoh with neighboring towns and other states (such as the town of Gopeng, and city of Kuala Lumpur down south).
* Highway: The new North-South Expressway is a faster and more efficient alternative to Route 1. However, certain towns like Kampar can only be accessible via Route 1. Drivers using the North-South highway can exit into Ipoh from any of these 4 exits - Simpang Pulai, South Ipoh (Ipoh(S)) or North Ipoh (Ipoh(U)) & Jelapang.
* Train: Ipoh's railway station is operated by Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) and is situated in the Old Town (however, it does not have intra-city travel like in Kuala Lumpur). The railway only connects Ipoh with neighbouring towns and cities. The railway station is quite beautiful, and referred to by locals as the Taj Mahal of Ipoh. KTM Intercity began the Shuttle Train Service between Kuala Lumpur and Ipoh from December 1 2008. There are 10 dedicated shuttle train services between these two cities daily which begins at 5am from both the stations. Travel time between the cities expected to be reduced from three hours to two hours and fifteen minutes when the new set of EMU trains arrive in mid 2009.
* Bus: The inter-city bus terminal is located at Silveritage Galleria along Gopeng Road nearby Gunung Rapat, south of Ipoh (formerly situated in Medan Kidd, Old Town).
* Air: the Sultan Azlan Shah Airport is the only airport in Ipoh. It is situated near Gunung Rapat. However, only domestic flights (and limited international ones) are available at this airport.
o As of May 2006 (for Malaysia Airlines) and September 2006 (for AirAsia), flights ceased landing in Ipoh. Malaysia Airlines cited unprofitability while AirAsia claimed the runway was too short for safe landings and take-offs.
Various development activities has been mooted and revived in the city recently, including the revitalisation of projects halted during the Asian financial crisis in 1997.
The Greentown area near the Ipoh City Council Building is fast becoming an entertainment hotspot. The development Greentown Business Center is giving new life to the city center. The general activities in the new development consists mostly of restaurants, food outlets and cafés.
Medan Ipoh (formerly known as Metro Ipoh Baru) located adjacent to Ipoh Garden East is a favorite for younger people. The residents of the city have dubbed the area as Ipoh's very own 'Bangsar' (akin to the hip Bangsar area in Kuala Lumpur). The place is famous for its cluster of nightspots, cafés, coffee shops (serving local food), entertainment outlets, F&B (food and beverage) joints, and more recently cybercafés.
The recently opened 'Lost World of Tambun' is expected to gain a certain following as Ipoh's own 'Sunway City' (mirroring the actual Sunway City located about 15 km west of Kuala Lumpur). Within the 'Lost World of Tambun' is an upgraded and revived natural hot spring, which was very popular in the 1960s and 1970s.
An effort has been made by the city council to re-establish the night market centrally, at Dato' Tahwil Azar Road, known as the 'Night Lane'. It is a typical Malaysian night market, albeit bigger and with longer operating hours.
Perak is one of the 13 states of Malaysia. It is the second largest state in Peninsular Malaysia bordering Kedah and Yala Province of Thailand to the north, Penang to the northwest, Kelantan and Pahang to the east, Selangor southward and to the west by the Strait of Malacca.
Perak means silver in Malay. The name comes most probably from the silvery colour of tin. In the 1890s, Perak, with the richest alluvial deposits of tin in the world was one of the jewels in the crown of the British Empire. However, some say the name comes from the 'glimmer of fish in the water' that sparkled like silver. The Arab honorific of the State is Darul Ridzuan, the Land of Grace.
Ipoh, the state capital of Perak, is known historically for its tin-mining activities until the drop of tin price, which has severely affected the state economy. The royal capital, however, is set in Kuala Kangsar, where the palace of the Sultan of Perak is located.
Legends tell of a Hindu-Malay kingdom called Gangga Negara in the northwest of Perak. Archaeological discoveries indicate that Perak has been inhabited since prehistoric times.
The modern history of Perak began with the fall of the Malacca Sultanate. The eldest son of the last Sultan of Melaka (Sultan Mahmud Shah), Raja Muzaffar Shah, fleeing the Portuguese conquest of 1511, established his own dynasty on the banks of the Sungai Perak (Perak River) in 1528. As the Perak area was extremely rich in tin, it was under almost continuous threat from outsiders.
The ruins of the Dutch Fort on Pangkor Island
The Dutch unsuccessfully attempted to monopolize the tin trade in the 17th century, and built forts at the mouth of the Perak River and on Pulau Pangkor.
Early history of the Dutch arrival in Perak began in 1641, when they captured the Straits of Malacca by taking control of tin-ore and spice trading. The Dutch attempted to monopolise the tin-ore tradings in Perak by influencing Sultan Muzaffar Syah, the Sultan of Perak, but did not succeed. They then turned to Sultanah Tajul Alam Safiatuddin, the Sultan of Aceh, to seek permission to trade in Perak. The event compelled the Sultan of Perak to sign the treaty, allowing the Dutch to build their plant in Kuala Perak on August 15 1650, which caused dissatisfaction among the aristocracy of Perak.
In 1651, Temenggung and the people of Perak attacked and destroyed the Dutch plant. The Dutch were forced to leave their base in Perak.
In 1655, the Dutch sent a representative to Perak to renew the agreement made earlier and to seek compensation for the loss of their plant. Perak however did not honour the treaty and was thus surrounded by the Dutch. In retaliation, the people of Perak with Aceh, Ujung Salang, launched a surprise attack on the Dutch.
In 1670, the Dutch returned to Perak to build Kota Kayu, now known as Kota Belanda ('Dutch Fortress'), on Pangkor Island.
Perak agreed to the construction because of news that the Kingdom of Siam would be attacking the state. Nevertheless, in 1685, once again Perak attacked the Dutch on Pangkor Island and forced them to retreat and shut down their headquarters. The Dutch attempted to negotiate for a new treaty but failed.
Sultan Abdullah of Perak
In the 18th century, the Bugis, Acehnese, and the Thai all attempted to invade Perak. Only British intervention in 1820 prevented Siam from annexing Perak. Although the British were initially reluctant to establish a colonial presence in Malaya, increasing investment in the tin mines brought a great influx of Chinese immigrants, who formed rival clan groups allied with Malay chiefs and local gangsters, all of whom battled to control the mines. The Perak sultanate, involved in a protracted succession struggle, was unable to maintain order.
In her book The Golden Chersonese and The Way Thither (published 1892 G.P. Putnam's Sons) Victorian traveler and adventuress Isabella Lucy Bird (1831-1904) describes how Raja Muda Abdullah (as he then was) turned to his friend in Singapore, Tan Kim Ching. Tan, together with an English merchant in Singapore drafted a letter to Governor Sir Andrew Clarke which Abdullah signed. The letter expressed Abdullah's desire to place Perak under British protection, and 'to have a man of sufficient abilities to show (him) a good system of government.' In 1874, the Straits Settlements governor Sir Andrew Clarke convened a meeting on Pulau Pangkor, at which Sultan Abdullah was installed on the throne of Perak in preference to his rival, Sultan Ismail. This Pangkor Treaty also required that the sultan accept a British Resident, who would control all administrative issues other than those pertaining to religion or Malay custom. In 1875, various Perak chiefs assassinated the British Resident James W.W. Birch, resulting in the short-lived Perak War of 1876. Sultan Abdullah was exiled to the Seychelles, and the British installed a new ruler. The new resident, Sir Hugh Low, was well versed in the Malay language and customs, and proved to be a more capable administrator. He also introduced the first rubber trees to Malaya.
In 1896, Perak joined Selangor, Negeri Sembilan and Pahang to form the Federated Malay States. However, the British Resident system lasted until Perak became part of the Federation of Malaya in 1948.
Perak gained independence from the British on August 31, 1957 along with 10 other states in the Federation of Malaya. The federation was enlarged to form Malaysia on September 16, 1963 following the admission of Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore. Singapore separated from Malaysia in 1965.
Under the laws of the Constitution of Perak, Perak is a constitutional monarchy, with a ceremonial hereditary ruler. The current Sultan of Perak is Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Yussuf Izzuddin Shah Ghafarullahu-Lahu, who was the ninth Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia and formerly the Lord President of the Supreme Court of Malaysia.
Following the opposition coalition winning Perak in the 2008 general election, Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin of Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) was appointed as the new Menteri Besar (Chief Minister) of the state eventually, although the Democratic Action Party (DAP) won the most seats compared to other opposition parties. The Menteri Besar did not come from the Chinese-based party as the State Constitution states that the Chief Minister must be a Muslim, unless the Sultan specially appoints a non-Muslim Chief Minister. As DAP does not have any Muslim assemblymen, if the Sultan insists that the Chief Minister must be a Muslim, then the assemblymen would have to come from either Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) or PAS, which formed the coalition state government with DAP. However, on February 3 2009, BN gained control over the state government, after the defections of three Pakatan Rakyat assemblymen. However, several cases have been filed in the Kuala Lumpur High Court challenging the validity of the new Barisan Nasional government, causing a constitutional crisis. Adding to this crisis is the fact that the Pakatan Rakyat Menteri Besar has refused to resign and states that he is still the legal Menteri Besar until he is removed through vote of no confidence or snap election.
Modern Perak is divided into 9 administrative districts or 'daerah' in Malay. These 9 districts, are further divided into administrative Municipal councils (Majlis Bandaraya/Perbandaran and Daerah):
* Kinta- Population: 751,825; Area: 1,958 km².
1. Majlis Bandaraya Ipoh
2. Majlis Daerah Kinta Selatan
3. Majlid Daerah Kinta Barat
* Larut, Matang dan Selama (LMS)- Population: 273,321; Area: 2,103 km².
1. Majlis Perbandaran Taiping (administrate central and south-west part of district)
2. Majlis Daerah Selama (administrate north part of district)
* Hilir Perak- Population: 191,098; Area: 1,727 km².
1. Majlis Perbandaran Teluk Intan (Majlis Daerah Hilir Perak)
* Manjung- Population: 191,004; Area: 1,168 km².
1. Majlis Perbandaran Manjung (Majlis Daerah Manjung)
* Batang Padang- Population:152,137; Area: 2,730 km².
1. Majlis Daerah Tapah
2. Majlis Daerah Tanjong Malim
* Kerian- Population: 52,651; Area: 938 km².
1. Majlis Daerah Kerian
* Kuala Kangsar- Population: 154,048; Area: 2,541 km². Perak River Safari, place for camping
1. Majlis Perbandaran Kuala Kangsar (Majlis Daerah Kuala Kangsar)
The town of Lenggong, in Hulu Perak District.
* Hulu Perak- Population: 82,195; Area: 6,558 km².
1. Majlis Daerah Gerik
2. Majlis Daerah Pengkalan Hulu
3. Malis Daerah Lenggong
* Perak Tengah- Population: 82,103; Area: 1,282 km².
1. Majlis Daerah Perak Tengah
These districts eventually are divided into several Mukims or Counties which are more politically significant. The main cities and towns in Perak are:
3. Teluk Intan
4. Sungai Siput
5. Kuala Kangsar
7. Batu Gajah
8. Tanjung Malim
Perak constitutional crisis
In February 2009, Barisan Nasional retook Perak State Assembly from the Patakan Rakyat government, after the defections of Hee Yit Foong (Jelapang), Jamaluddin Mohd. Radzi (Behrang) and Mohd. Osman Jailu (Changkat Jering) to Barisan Nasional as independent assemblymen. The Sultan of Perak dismissed the Pakatan Rakyat government but refused to dissolve the state assembly despite such callings from many quarters throughout Malaysia. Mohd. Nizar Jamaluddin, Menteri Besar of the Patakan Rakyat government disputed the constitutionality of the dismissal and maintained that he was still holding the post, with no avail. The crisis deepens just as the BN government was settling down, when on 18 February 2009, Perak state assembly speaker V. Sivakumar (Tronoh - DAP) suspended Barisan Nasional Menteri Besar Datuk Dr. Zambry Abdul Kadir and his six state executive councillors from the state assembly for 18 and 12 months respectively, for contempt of the assembly. On 27 February 2009, Assembly Speaker V. Sivakumar announced the decision to convene an Emergency State Assembly on 3 March 2009. Menteri Besar Datuk Dr. Zambry and the 6 State Executive Councillors will be barred from the Assembly due to a suspension that Sivakumar imposed on the MB and State Executive Councillors previously. At the same time, a No-Confidence Motion was in motion for the Menteri Besar and his government, which will pave the way to dissolve the Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN) Perak.
On 28 February 2009, Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak made several statements regarding the constitutional crisis in Perak, in which the speaker of Perak informed the Sultan of Perak that he wishes to call for an Emergency State Assembly. Najib was quoted as saying that speaker could not appoint a special state assembly because he needs to wait for the decision of High Court regarding the 3 Independent members of the Perak State Assembly, and omitted notably the issue of legality of Datuk Dr. Zambry Abdul Kadir being the new Perak MB. However, Najib clearly contradicted the on-going court case which disputed the position of Dr. Zambry as the new Perak MB. Under disputed circumstance, the incumbent, i.e. Nizar Jamaluddin should have remained as the MB while pending the decision from the court.
The State Secretary proceeded to seal the State Assembly building from being used for any Emergency Sitting and the Perak Police Chief installed road blocks to obstruct legally elected state representative from entering the Assembly building, furthermore, issuing stern instructions to arrest anyone who defy the Police.
The crisis deepen further with signs of long-term negative effects on the political, social and economic health of Perak, when the Perak State Assembly dramatically convened an Emergency Assembly on 3 March 2009 under a tree outside the Perak Darul Ridzuan building. The Assembly convened with only the 27 assemblymen from the Patakan Rakyat alliance, after riot police illegally obstructed the access of the assemblymen into the State Assembly building. 3 motions was passed, including one that upheld Assembly Speaker V. Sivakumar's decision to suspend Menteri Besar Datuk Dr. Zambry, nominating Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin to be restored as the Perak MB before the court decision is made, and the dissolution of the State Assembly to pave the way for fresh elections.
Perak's population is now approximately 2 million. Once Malaysia's most populous state, Perak has yet to recover from an economic slowdown caused by the decline in the tin mining industry. The weak economy has led to a massive drain in manpower to higher-growth states such as Penang, Selangor and the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur. The ethnic composition of the population was estimated in 2001 to be: Malay (1,101,105 or 53.68%), Chinese (643,129 or 31.35%), Indian (262,121 or 12.78%), Other (6,536 or 0.32% haveThai 2,080), Non-Citizen (38,345 or 1.87%).
Perak covers an area of 21,006 km², making up 6.4 percent of total land banks in Malaysia. It is the second largest Malaysian state in the Malay Peninsula, and the fourth in the whole of Malaysia.
Perak's days are warm and sunny, while its nights are cool the whole year through, with occasional rains in the evenings. Temperature is fairly constant, that is, from 23°C to 33°C, with humidity often more than 82.3 percent. Annual rainfall measures at 3,218 mm.
Perak became prominent when Long Jaafar discovered tin in Larut, Taiping, which became a boost for the state's economy.
Before recession hit the economies of countries and states world wide, Perak was one of Malaysia's wealthiest. But the 1980s saw the collapse of the tin industry, crippling Perak’s economy. Prices plummeted and once lucrative mines were forced to close.
This, in turn, forced the Perak State Government to make a firm decision to diversify the economy's base towards the more value added, resource-linked manufacturing. The mid-1980s saw a large influx of electronics SMEs from Taiwan to Silibin and Jelapang industrial estates, but by 1990s, they have relocated to lower cost China. A new car manufacturing hub called Proton City at Tanjung Malim has been developed with the establishment of state-of-the-art car manufacturing facilities. The Proton City at Tanjung Malim has become the largest manufacturer of Proton cars (Malaysia's national car maker).
Agriculture is also one of Perak’s main industries, especially those concerning rubber, coconut and palm oil. Tourism is fast catching on as more and more people discover Perak’s hidden gems in the form of natural attractions and cultural sights.
While the economy is growing through the industrial sector, Perak's sound infrastructure and world class facilities of make it an ideal environment for businesses.
The railway service is undergoing major upgrading with the advent of electrified trains running on double tracks from Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh. Ipoh Railway Station is an imposing structure in the city centre. Built in the Moorish style, this white structure, nicknamed the Taj Mahal of Ipoh, was completed in 1935 to replace the original railway platform shed built in 1917. The Ipoh Railway Station is said to be the second most beautiful railway station in Malaysia after the Kuala Lumpur Railway Station. It is located on Jalan Panglima Bukit Gantang Wahab.
There are several places of interests in Perak, such as its state capital, Ipoh, legendary for their silky noodles in soup called 'Sar Hor Fun' and Hainanese chicken rice. Tambun pomelos are another attraction to locals from other states.
Kuala Kangsar, just 48 km north of Ipoh on the Perak River, is the royal town of Perak. It is dominated by three buildings: Istana Iskandariah, Istana Kenangan and the Ubudiah mosque. The Istana Iskandariah, located on a hill overlooking the river, is the palace of the Sultan of Perak. Istana Kenangan, which was constructed as a temporary residence during the Iskandariah's construction is known for its beautiful architecture. The Ubudiah mosque is an impressive structure topped with a constellation of bright golden domes.
Kellie's castle is located in Batu Gajah. It was built in 1915 and was never completed as the owner William Kellie Smith returned to England and died there. Many believe the castle is haunted, having many secret rooms and even a hidden tunnel. Today, it is opened as a tourist attraction.
Accessible from Lumut, the Pangkor Island holds a mix of quaint fishing settlements and white beaches decked with rich vegetation. The warm waters are perfect for swimming and diving while the atmosphere is simply relaxing. Many resorts are available for accommodation on this popular island.
A beautiful white water rafting location in Perak is at My Gopeng Resort ( Gopeng ). Many are here to do white water rafting ( Grade 3 ), waterfall abseiling, rafflesia's flower trekking, jungle trekking and many others adventurous packages in Perak.
Lemang, a Malay delicacy made from glutinous rice cooked in a bamboo tube over slow fire is a must-have during the festivities such as Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Hari Raya Haji, especially along with some rendang (Malay for meat curry in coconut milk and spices). Some say lemang originated from the indigenous people who cook their rice using bamboo.
Tempoyak is another popular Malay delicacy. It is durian extract which is preserved and kept in an urn. Commonly eaten with chillies and other dishes, it is well known due to the popularity of its key ingredient, durian, among the locals.
Sam Poh Tong Temple, Malaysia Map
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