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Glories of Taiping

‘Canting’ a love for batik

03-May-2024 Taiping – Love for batik and a desire to preserve the country’s heritage has driven Bismi Intanti Abu Bakar to produce batik canting kits for the public, especially the younger generation.

Bismi Intanti, 49, the owner of Batik Tanuntaya from Asam Kumbang, here, said that although the batik canting kits are not produced on a large scale, the aim is to share with the public the joy of making batik and to continue to cultivate interest in it. Read more…

Unravelling Taiping’s troubled past and time-honoured stories

Taiping embraces and enfolds us into its magical world of serenity, giving weary minds and souls a much-needed respite. During the tumultuous revolutionary wars against the Manchus in China in the early 1900s, even Dr Sun Yat-Sen came to seek some solace and refuge here.

Besides providing shelter from the sun for generations, the overarching rain trees lining the lakeside have been an anchor of memory and marker of identity for Taiping as it grew over the century into a modern town today. 

However, the peaceful scenery belies a violent past. If the century-old rain trees could speak, they’d tell of a bloody history that defined early Perak and Malaysia. Read more… 

Meet Taiping’s award-winning wildlife photographer

“Nothing good comes out of Aulong Lama”, echoes the old local saying in Taiping, Perak. Yet, award-winning wildlife photographer Mohan Raj Nair begs to differ.

“Whenever people ask me where I’m from, I always mention I’m from Aulong Lama because people say it’s a very bad area. But I’ve given my hometown a good name through my photography,” Mohan, 30, shared with FMT Lifestyle.

Despite only picking up a camera in 2020, Mohan has made a name for himself with his captivating wildlife shots from the jungles of Malaysia and Singapore, where he currently works as a security trainer. Read more…

Insta-sensation home baker is taking Malaysia to the world with her… cakes!

IN the vast expanse of Instagram’s culinary landscape, where every scroll unveils a visual story, one artist commands attention with her edible creations. Keem Ooi, or @keempossible_2, isn’t just a baker; she’s a maestro wielding spatulas and brushes to turn cakes into canvases, creating stunning masterpieces that truly transcend the limits of conventional baking.

The self-taught baker had captured the attention of both local and international Instagram (IG) users during the time of the first Movement Control Order (MCO). Her rise to fame certainly wasn’t a gradual ascent; it was a meteoric trajectory fuelled by the global lockdown. Read more…

The rain in Taiping

ACTRESS Susan Lankester needs no introduction to entertainment fans.

For her acting debut in the 1983 movie ‘Mekanik’, she was nominated Best Supporting Actress at the 4th Malaysia Film Festival (FFM4).

The oft-repeated line her Eurasian character Nina said in the film — “Orang putih ke, orang coklat ke, orang hitam ke, orang biru ke, kita orang Malaysia kan?” — probably follows her until today. So much so, during her speech at a recent media preview of the film ‘Rain Town’, she said “I’m not going to repeat that (line) again.”

Truth be told, apart from her unique appearance (as a result of her Chinese-Scottish parentage), the catchy line was probably what has made Lankester memorable, especially those aged 50 and above today. Read more…

TAIPING is 150 years old this year

and the townsfolk are feeling proud and excited about the milestone.

They are anticipating a happening year as a host of activities has been planned to celebrate the anniversary.

Taiping Sri Guru Singh Sabha chairman Datuk Balraaj Singh Tarlachon Singh said, “People are hyped up. It’s going to be a busy year.

“The municipal council has already contacted all associations to organise events. Read more…

Antong Coffee Factory

Antong describes itself as Malaysia’s oldest coffee mill, having been established in 1933 by a Mr Tiah Ee Mooi.

If you find yourself walking near the Taiping railway station, you might catch a whiff of the powerful and delicious aroma of roasting coffee beans. 

Given its off-the-beaten-track location, you may think this place would seldom get visitors, but you couldn’t be more wrong.

When that happens, allow your nose to lead the way, and head over a bridge above the railway lines and spot a sign that says “Kilang Kopi Antong” (Antong Coffee Factory). Read more…

Perak teacher wins 2023 Cambridge Dedicated Teacher Award

A teacher from Taiping, Perak, has won the regional 2023 Cambridge Dedicated Teacher Award.

Goh Kok Ming, a teacher at SJK(C) Hua Lian 1, was among those shortlisted as regional winners from the Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia regions, Cambridge University Press said in a statement.

Goh was recognised for his achievement in teaching students valuable coding skills to help solve community issues, after he started the “Kampong Code” initiative to encourage students to develop apps. Read more…

Glasgow-based Malaysian artist Hock Aun Teh still a ‘kampung boy’ at heart

Teh has garnered international acclaim over the stretch of his career, hosting exhibitions in cities like Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Beijing and counting Hollywood icons such as Sean Connery of James Bond fame and the late British actor Richard Griffiths as fans of his work.

Now, the painter is ecstatic about returning to his motherland with an exhibition that will resonate with Malaysians who, like Teh, find familiarity in scenes of kampung (village) life.

“I think if I wasn’t born in a kampung, I would not have been able to create these paintings.

“These are the childhood memories set in the country of my birth. That’s so important to me as

I’ve always wanted to do something for my own country and create a theme around it.

“This time, I got the opportunity to do so and I hope the paintings in this exhibition will inspire others in the Malaysian art world,” he said.

As a young student in Taiping, the skeletal nature of the art curriculum at school meant that Teh had to look elsewhere for a place where he could practice his skills.

He attended the Tan Guan Hin Chinese Painting School where he immersed himself in the world of traditional Chinese calligraphy, a technique that he continues to use in his work today.

In 1970, the budding artist was accepted into the Glasgow School of Art where he later returned to work as a lecturer. Read more…

Proud of my Taiping roots

Despite having left Taiping more than two decades ago, the charming old, former tin-mining town continues to have a special place in my heart. By Audrey Dermawan -June 9, 2019 NST

This was where I spent my formative years up to completing my secondary school years — a good 19 years.

Although I do not go back as often these days, everything in Taiping still reminds me of the good old days.

The neighbourhood that I grew up, first in Jalan Azizul Rahman and later in Taman Glenview, both in Kamunting, still stand strong despite being overgrown with lallang in some parts. Read more…

Pioneer Taiping Hospital still essential to Peninsular’s northern region

Our biggest dream would be to see more specialists here at Taiping Hospital, says its director

THE Heritage City of Taiping is known as the “City of the Firsts” and also serves as the pioneer in modern medicine in Malaysia.

The British made Taiping the administrative centre for the state of Perak in 1875. The town served this function until 1937 when the state capital was moved to Ipoh.

Rich in its natural and earth resources such as tin and rubber, it is only logical that Taiping was the country’s administration centre back in the 1880s. Read more… 

Kamunting prison produces 12 tonnes of food monthly

The Kamunting Correctional Centre (Kemta) in Taiping produces over 12 tonnes of food supply each month through its agricultural and livestock breeding efforts.

Perak Plantation, Agriculture and Food Industry Committee chairman Razman Zakaria said Kemta was one of the prison institutions that had been conducting skills training in agro-agriculture, livestock breeding and fisheries to produce entrepreneurs for the past 20 years.

“The production covers food supply for all prisons in Perak and the Seberang Prai Prison Complex in Sungai Jawi, Penang. Read more…

Toyo Tyre Malaysia

Osaka (Itami) based Toyo Tire & Rubber Co., Ltd establishes Toyo Tyre Manufacturing Malaysia Sendirian Berhad in Kamunting, Taiping in April 2011 after completing acquisition of Silverstone Berhad (tyre manufacturer in Kamunting). After the 2nd phase extension to the factory in 2019 has increased the capacity to 7.5 million tires a year. Not only made TTM the biggest tyre manufacturing company in Malaysia, but also Toyo Tyre’s major global supply hub. Read more…

from Eagle to Spritzer

Grown up in Taiping, Dato Lim Kok Cheong founded the Yee Lee Company in 1968 and ventured in the repacking edible oil business in Ipoh.
Like an eagle that soars across nations, the titular Red Eagle (also known as Cap Helang) is likewise a brand that is known across the land, of Malaysia today. Read more…

Losing his father helped shape Khor’s commitment to public health policy

MALAYSIANSKINI | When his father passed away in a tragic accident nearly two decades ago, Dr Khor Swee Kheng was just three months shy of his university graduation.

He remembered how his life changed from the impact of that loss.

“My father’s passing from a traffic accident is the single largest influence on my life.

“His passing taught me that everything is impermanent, and it is a leader’s responsibility to build institutions and systems that can survive the leader’s departure,” Khor said…

Born and raised in Taiping, Perak, the triple degree holder in public health, public policy, and medicine recalled what his humble childhood was like.

“We grew up relatively poor in Taiping. My parents’ civil service jobs paid enough to sustain us, but it was not enough for luxuries.”  Read more…

Rhythms of Taiping: wet, wild and eternally endearing!

I CAUTIOUSLY sip my freshly brewed Antong coffee, purchased enthusiastically that very morning. It is mellow, full-bodied and roasted, as it has always been since 1933, in a traditional wood-fired oven.

From the vantage point of my 12th floor hotel room window, the town rolls out at my feet like a playground. I can see the famed Lake Gardens in the distance, a muted deep green under a gloriously ominous bank of grey clouds.

Distant brahminy kites swoop in graceful formation towards the gardens, seemingly buffeted by the rise and fall of an invisible breath, before suddenly and abruptly wheeling away.

Behind the gardens, the low-lying dipterocarp forest that clads The Hill formerly known as Maxwell reaches 1,250m to where Meranti and Malaysian Oaks grow. The clouds break, a promise of sunshine hovering teasingly before, right on cue, the rain bullies past, pouring in thick silvery sheets. Read more…