DARYL YEP CHECKS OUT KIDZANIA, THE NATION FOR KIDS, AND IS FASCINATED BY THIS AWARD-WINNING THEME PARK
Kai! That’s probably the first word you’ll hear as you step into KidZania, Kuala Lumpur’s latest indoor family edutainment centre. Here’s how greetings are exchanged instead of hello. It’s personal; giving kids an instant sense of belonging and a feeling of being connected and accepted within a place meant only for them.
KidZania even has its own dance and song, not to mention currency, the kidZos.
As a young capital, Putrajaya may not have the character and soul of the great cities of the world, but it is well on its way there with innovative architecture, community-centric town planning and long term ambitions. In relation to many of Malaysia's other cities like Kuala Lumpur and Melaka, the garden city of Putrajaya is like a new kid on the old block. Granted, it lacks the dramatic history of the former and the age-old culture of the latter but what it has in excess is youthfulness, a modern vision and a spirit to embrace the new.
Perak has been fantasised, romanticised and idealised by all sorts of people from all walks of life throughout Malaysian history. In the days when tin prices were sky high, the Kinta Valley in Perak, possessing the world’s richest alluvial tin deposits, held promise of great fortunes for already-wealthy businessmen, small-time speculators and the average dreamer.
In Batu Gajah, about a half hour’s drive from Ipoh, the capital city of modern Perak, a visionary Scottish planter dreamed up a palace (with facilities such as an underground cellar, a rooftop tennis court, a large kitchen, a moat, an elevator and secret tunnels) for his beloved wife at the perfect location – on a little hill by the banks of Sungai Raya – before his untimely demise rendered the project incomplete. Today, a century later, Kellie’s Castle stands as a lonesome yet still beautiful relic of a once tragic romance.