Ipoh is named after a local tree known as "pokok Ipoh" (Ipoh tree) that can be found abundantly around Ipoh some time ago. Its tree sap is poisonous and therefore is used by the "orang asli" (native) on their blow darts as weapon.
There was also an old nickname for Ipoh, which is "City of Millionaires". This is because Ipoh is located in the rich tin-bearing valley of the Kinta River. Vast fortunes were made in this mining town, especially in 1920s and 1930s. My grandfather, uncle and my father were into this tin mining business too.
In the late 1970s, tin trade had ended as a result of the collapse of tin prices. Since then, Ipoh's growth had slowed down but it keeps moving on and bustles with activity from education to social to commerce and construction.
Finally, in May 27th 1988, Ipoh was awarded city status. It's the third place awarded city status after Kuala Lumpur and Penang. As the hub for the Perak state, Ipoh's citizens' lifestyle remains calm and steady despite the rapid growth of their surroundings.