I pick up this article written by Mariam Mokhtar on Malaysian Mirror.The RM 800,000 spend on this signage is unbelievable. I smell fishy business behind this supposedly tourist attraction aid. There goes another $$$ of tax payers money to projects that do not serve the needs of the rakyat , but rather to the needs of the few who now happily pocket the project $$$.
Motorists on the North-South Expressway may have noticed the white
‘IPOH’ signs, at each of the two exits to Ipoh. They were modelled after the
‘HOLLYWOOD’ sign, and purportedly cost RM800,000.
The ‘HOLLYWOOD’ sign may evoke more than just the universal metaphor for
ambition, success, glamour and razzmatazz. It is an international icon, a
worldwide symbol for the entertainment industry, a place where dreams can
The same cannot be said for the ‘IPOH’ sign and it appears that those behind
this structure have more delusions of grandeur than any common sense.
For a start, it is an eye-watering RM100,000 for each of the four white
Four letters which court controversy for its disgraceful excesses and
disregard for public opinion and taxpayers’ money.
Four letters depicting a shameful ransack of the public kitty for
maintenance and servicing.
Four letters which brought someone’s company a handsome profit, perhaps?
The RM800,000 should have been spent on deserving causes like providing
healthcare, education, aid for single mothers, families affected by HIV,
victims of domestic abuse, rubbish collection, dengue control, Orang Asli
matters or underprivileged children.
Those behind the proposal and approval of these signs clearly lacked
judgment and intellect.
Apparently, each letter of the ‘IPOH’ sign had to be lifted onto its
hillside perch, by a specially commissioned skylift crane, from Kuala
The letters are lit by spotlight at night. They are already looking blotchy
and must be maintained and cleaned regularly. Surrounding undergrowth have
to be cleared periodically. There has to be a strict maintenance regime.
All these will incur extra costs and is a vulgar use of our public purse. At
this rate, the only businesses of continued growth will be those maintaining
white elephants such as this sign.
That sign will not suddenly entice motorists and make then veer off the
highway into Ipoh.
After all, what can Ipoh offer besides what is currently available. Are
there better or improved facilities or anything extraordinary for the
Our public transport system is prehistoric. Our roads are in disrepair.
Drainage in parts of town is appalling. The few green lungs quickly become
hawker establishments. The river is a bottomless rubbish tip. The shortage
of public sports facilities for youth is despicable.
The city could benefit from a cleaner and healthy image. It could do with
fiscal incentives to boost its flagging economy. People will then be
attracted to its recreational activities, educational and business
Ipoh needs creative, dynamic people to share and bounce ideas off the
public. We have had enough of projects that are inadequate, which destroy
our pristine environment and which are dictated by a handful of people.
Ipoh’s marvel is its hills, its emerald lakes and proximity to nature.
Destroy these and Ipoh becomes another haphazard mass of ugly concrete
structures, struggling to be the poorer imitation of Kuala Lumpur.
Only a fool considers ugly tower blocks and meaningless signs, which intrude
into our agreeable landscape as a sign of success.
What is Ipoh without its hills? And yet as we drive along the highway,
either north or south of Ipoh, the destruction of our limestone hills, for
cement or quarrying activities, or the erection of tower block which
obstruct the view of the remaining hills, is evident.
Few will fail to notice that the beauty of the hills is what gives Ipoh its
charm. No one likes to view flattened stubs of once-grand peaks.
It is not just aesthetics that counts. Our history is recorded here –
cave-paintings and other artifacts. Our leisure industry is based in the
bigger caves. Historically significant finds, waiting to be discovered, will
never happen, because the hills are indiscriminately destroyed.
Why do Ipoh’s decision-makers lack creativity in promoting Ipoh as a tourist
and economic hub?
They have disposed of one distinctive landmark which gave Ipoh an identity
and the Ipohites a sense of pride, self-worth and historical significance.
That was the giant Mercedes-Benz logo, visible for miles, as one drove along
The dismantling of that logo just shows how much contempt there is for
Erecting the white ‘IPOH’ signs to emulate the ‘HOLLYWOOD’ sign is a
misguided notion to magically transform Ipoh’s fortunes. It can’t and it
won’t. It drains our already depleted resources and will never endear
the people to the state. Ipoh’s answer lies with the contribution of
passionate Ipohites to revive it.