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RANDTS will last a thousand years.

- Albert

Time to grow!

This issue is perhaps one of the many issues which I am utmost concerned about. When it comes to development, it is mind-boggling to think and wonder about why some people can outdo us while we have the capability to outdo others or at least be on par with the others.

Indeed, it is not surprising that some people have the means and the opportunity to do better than us, and some people do deserve the credit for being able to overtake us if they did put in their effort and initiative to achieving their goals. We must laud them for their efforts, but sometimes you will see that, more often than not, people do better than us not because they have put in their best foot forward, but we have slacked behind.

What I'm going to discuss here is about the growth of the city from where I hailed: Ipoh. Being the capital city of Perak, I am rather happy to say that I am, at least, a city boy.

Ipoh has always been a heaven for me. There was nothing elsewhere that I couldn't find in Ipoh. For all my years in Ipoh, it has been the place where I, until now, would consider it as home.

Yet, life became more difficult for me gradually as I live longer in Ipoh. There are books that are only available in Kuala Lumpur. Pianos are cheaper in Kuala Lumpur compared to those in Ipoh. Most authorised software retailers can be found in Kuching, Penang, Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru but are not available in Ipoh.

To make things seem worse, the Ipoh I know four or five years ago is similar to the Ipoh I know and see today (which isn't a very good sign actually)! I pictured Ipoh, by now, to be quite a well-developed city equipped with most of the state-of-the-art technology that can be found in Kuala Lumpur. However, my expectations were proven to be too high to be achievable now.

Not that I'm condemning the government for not developing the city, I am rather lamenting about the slow growth Ipoh is experiencing.

It's hard to fathom why the development in Ipoh is lagging. Back then when tin mining was such an asset to the state, Ipoh was one of the most developed cities in the country. Now that tin has completed depleted, it has become one of the slowest growing cities. Must we ever depend solely on natural resources to fund the development of a state?

It's true that Kuala Lumpur is so developed because of its capital city status, Johor Bahru because of the influx of economy from Singapore and Penang because of its port. Yet, it does not justify to why Ipoh should experience such an intermittent growth. Ipoh has got a lot of oil-palm estates, rubber estates and even industries. It should be able to keep up with the development of the nation as a whole.

If Ipoh faces problems with investors, then by all means, the state government should do its best to encourage investors to come and invest in Ipoh. As Ipoh has got its own tourist attractions, too, the federal government should include Ipoh as one of the main tourist attractions too, especially during the Visit Malaysia 2007. A development in the tourism industry would mean more economic influx for Perak, which will contribute to the growth of its capital city. As of today, I have yet to see tourists walking around the streets in Ipoh.

Many may say that Ipoh wants to remain as Malaysia's "old folks' home", which is the main reason to why its development is slower compared to other cities. But do you expect me to buy that? Just because there are a lot of senior citizens wishing to retire in Ipoh doesn't mean that we must remain in the 1980s or 1990s, right? Life has to go on, and so must advancements! Development doesn't often mean traffic congestions and over-crowdedness, but it's the improvement in the quality of life of the citizens that matters.

The Perak Chief Minister, Dato' Seri Diraja Mohd Tajol Rosli Ghazali, has a noble vision of turning the state of Perak into a K-state where the state will be equipped with the most sophisticated technology and become one of the most developed states in the country. But at this rate of development, I doubt if we could even reach the target by 2020.

1 mad rant(s):

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  1. Comrade Cripple said...

    Well, sadly most mining towns and cities are like that. Once the resource runs out we will see a malaise spread.  


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