Iconic field in poor condition


Historic place: Built in 1898, Ipoh Padang is a popular recreational site for locals to exercise and have sporting events. – IVAN LOH/The Star

THE Ipoh Padang is a popular spot for locals to exercise, hold sporting events and enjoy a day with the family.

The 3ha field located along Jalan SP Seenivasagam in the city centre is a major landmark steeped in history.

It was built in 1898 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee the year before.

Many major Perak and national events have taken place at this historical field, which now boasts a light and sound show attraction from Fridays to Sundays.

It is no wonder that city folk who frequent the place are concerned with the poor condition of the field’s facilities.

They complain about exposed wiring from lamp posts, faulty lightings and poorly maintained field.

Those who spoke to StarMetro urged the Ipoh City Council (MBI) to resolve these issues.

Photographer Muhamad Afham Suhaimi, 28, hoped for better lighting at the field.

“My friends and I mostly go there at night to jog. We hope the lighting can be improved.

“There were times when we couldn’t see people on the track and almost bumped into them,” he said, adding that only the area near the fountain was brightly lit.

“Because of the poor lighting, we wear safety vests with blinkers whenever we jog,” he said.

Muhamad Afham also hoped for a better running track.

“My friends and I go jogging there regularly and I can say that the track definitely needs an upgrade.

“Some of the surfaces there are uneven while parts of the tracks have potholes,” he said.

“Some parts of the track can also be quite slippery. We have to be extra careful especially after a downpour,” he added.

Muhamad Afham said another concern for visitors to the field was the presence of intoxicated individuals.

“We often see them around midnight. There was once when we had to train at 4am and we could see drunk people lying on park benches and on the ground.

“Something needs to be done because it may not be safe for regular parkgoers,” he said, calling on MBI to do the needful to ensure people feel safe to exercise especially at night.

Shop owner Sandra Lim said the lighting at the field needed to be improved.

“There are floodlights but they do not cover the entire field.

“As far as I know, there are only three recreational parks in Ipoh that are frequented at night and Ipoh Padang is one of them.”

Lim said the tracks should also be repaired or rebuilt as some areas were slippery.

“I have young children and they have fallen down while running on the track. MBI really needs to improve the track.

“There are restaurants and cafes located near the field but there aren’t enough rubbish bins.

“While we take plastic wastes home, not everyone share the same sentiment.

“There are always plastic cups and plates in the drains and even on the benches.”

Security officer Edward Prabu Richard, 33, also asked for more benches and rubbish bins at the park.

“I like to exercise and meet friends there. It would be great to have more benches there as the existing ones are usually occupied by families and children most of the time.

“There were times when we would sit on the grass, but if it had rained earlier, our clothes got wet.

“I also hope MBI places recycling bins to allow visitors to discard rubbish that can be recycled after eating and drinking there,” he said.

An administrator, who wished to be known only as Amman, wanted MBI to impose stricter rules for those who ride electric scooters on the field.

“I think most of the facilities there are in good condition but the increasing number of electric scooters is a nuisance to those exercising. I hope they don’t ruin the field.

“While some are riding electric scooters on the same track as runners and walkers, I have seen some who rode on the grass.

“I don’t think electric scooters should be allowed on the field but since there is nobody monitoring them, these irresponsible visitors simply do as they please.”

A former supervisor, who wanted to be known only as Segar, said another problem at the field was a stench emanating near the slope area connecting to the Royal Ipoh Club.

The 62-year-old, who exercises and walks around the field daily, said the smell was quite bad.

“I am not really sure how it came to be this way.

“Some parts of the ground there have also become muddy and wet. The smell is unbearable at times,” he added.

Segar, who has been exercising there for the last two years, hoped the field could be better maintained by MBI.

“No action has been taken to address the noticeable issues despite us having informed the city council about it,” he said.

An MBI spokesperson said plans were now under way to improve the lighting at the field.

There are plans to add more new feeder pillars (to control electrical power supply) to ensure no disruption to the lighting.

“We will conduct upgrading works to prevent electric supply from being cut off after rain.

“We are planning to do this in July, as it would take about two months to apply to Tenaga Nasional Bhd.

“All other complaints have been taken into account and are being addressed,” he said.

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Ipoh Padang , field , landmark


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