Wednesday, November 26, 2008
URGENCY ON AIRPORT
NEW LAHAD DATU AIRPORT PROJECT DELAYED BUT COULD TAKE OFF UNDER 10TH PLAN
The Government will give priority to the construction of a new airport for Lahad Datu, costing RM500 million, during the 10th Malaysia Plan, said Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Lajim Ukin.
He said the project was supposed to take off at the start of the Ninth Malaysia Plan (2006-2010) but had to be postponed because of the economic situation at that time.
Lajim said the new airport would be able to cater for bigger aircraft such as the Boeing 737 and Airbus A330.
“The Ministry has resubmitted the proposal to the Economic Planrnng Unit and Finance Ministry and was told that the matter will be looked into when the economic situation after opening the upgraded Lahad Datu Airport terminal yesterday.
Lajim said the Government was aware of the need to have a better airport for the district in line with its position as the State’s hub for palm oil industry through the Palm Oil Industrial Cluster project.
Earlier, Assistant Minister to the Chief Minister Datuk Nasrun Datu Mansor said a 324-hectare area at Sandau had been identified for the airport project.
“It is now up to the Federal Government to approve the project. The site is ready,” he said.
Nasrun, who is also the Assemblyman here, said also that the district requires a bigger airport in view of the rapid pace of development and the increasing number of population.
Meanwhile, Lajim said that the upgraded airport here would contribute to the development of economy here, including the tourism sector.
Under the 9MP, he said the Government also upgraded the Kuching International Airport, Kota Kinabalu International Airport, Kuala Terengganu International Airport and the Melaka Airport.
According to Malaysia Airports Holding Berhad (MAB) Senior Operations Manager Datuk Azimi Murad, the airport was renovated at the cost of RM1. 6 million and now can handle up to 115,000 passengers annually.
He said the total floor area of the renovated terminal has been expanded from 3,305 sq ft to 6,863 sq ft providing ample comfort space for all passengers.
The present runway of 1,371 metres with two aircraft bays is capable of handling Fokker 50 and the new ATR 72 aircraft on times daily scheduled flights.
“Airport users can also look forward to an improved air-conditioned public concourse, which now consists of three check-in counters configured with baggage conveyor, two convenience shops and one F&B outlet. VIP lounge and public toilets have also been given a facelift, while an additional 50 chairs have been installed and prayer rooms are also available,” said Azmi.
He added that the terminal handles an average of 200 passengers and four flights daily. Currently, MAS Wings is the only airline serving the airport.
Last year, he said the airport here recorded a total of 77,024 passenger movements and 2,195 commercial aircraft movements.
CHRISTIANS TOLD TO AVOID YOGA
Is it possible for a Christian to practise yoga simply as a method of exercise without incorporating the spirituality or philosophy behind it?
Rev James Wong of the Basel Christian Church of Malaysia in Sandakan said Christians should not get involved with yoga because the goal of yoga is clearly associated with a religious and spiritual understanding of life and death.
It is a kind of physical and exercise grounded in religious beliefs, he said.
“There are other forms of physical exercse that can give you physical and mental benefits equal to what yoga can provide. Why must you get involved in a practice that has intimate connection with a religion or religious beliefs?” he told The, Borneo Post yesterday.
Meditation, which is part of the practice of yoga, opens one’s spirit to the spiritual world, he pointed out.
“For example we are to meditate on the Word of God day and night (Joshua 1:8)so that our thoughts are ruled by the Word of God. We do not allow our minds to be opened to the influences of other spirits through meditation other than the influence of the Holy Spirit,” he said.
He added: “For Christians, the First Commandment reads: ‘I am the Lord your God, ... and you shall have no other gods before me.’
“This is the will of God for our lives. We worship God by our total submission to Him and would not practise anything that has association with other religious beliefs lest we are construed as unfaithful to the God that we worship,”
In KOTA KINABALU, Sacred Heart Cathedral Yoouth Counsellor George Thien said it is not dificult to understand the fatwa banning Muslims from practising yoga.
He said the Catholic Church’s advice to Christians is also “not to go for it.”
In SANDAKAN, yoga teacher/instructor Elanor Wong said yoga is all about stretching and relaxation.
“As far as I am concerned, the yoga that I have learnt from Englahd is not related to religion at all,” she said.
MIXED RESPONSE TO NEW ROTI CANAI, TEH TARIK PRICES
There have been mixed reactions from restaurant operators and patrons in the major towns of the State on the new prices of roti canai and teh tarik announced by the Sabah Indian Muslim Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
A random survey by The Borneo Post on Indian restaurants in the City found that some had reduced the prices while others were charging the old price.
A Indian restaurant operator in Api-api area said he was maintaining the old prices (RM1.30 for teh tarik and RM1.20 for roti canai) because the prices of the raw materials to produce both items had still not come down.
“We will lower the prices if the prices of the raw materials to produce both items are reduced in the supermarkets,” said the operator, who declined to be identified.
A patron, Mansur Sahak, 27, said restaurants here were still charging the old prices, adding he hoped they would bring their prices down by 10 sen soon.
But a civil servant said the Indian restaurant he regularly goes to had reduced its prices for roti canai and teh tarik.
“Some restaurants have reduced the prices of both items and some still maintain the old prices. However I hope that the prices will be standardised soon,” he said.
In Tawau, Indian restaurant operators said they will reduce their roti canai and teh tarik prices if the prices of raw materials are reduced.
Sirajuddin Kadir, who operates a restaurant in Taman Ambar, said the price of roti canai in Tawau had always been quite low at between RM1.00 to RM1.1O while a cup of teh tarik is RM1.20.
“Even with the fuel price hike, we never raised our prices in Tawan, so there is no need for us to reduce prices on both items by 10 sen,” he said.
However, he agreed that the prices could be further reduced if the prices of raw materials such as flour, cooking oil and other products needed to run an Indian restaurant could be reduced.
As for now our prices are considered cheap compared to those in West Malaysia even though the price of flour is more than 60 percent higher,” he said.
Mohammed Sleem Sharafuddin of Yassin Curry House at Sabindo Square here, said Indian Muslim restaurant operators here have met to discuss the price issue.
He said prices at Yassin Curry House will be reduced by 10 sen to RM1.l0 for roti canai and RM1.20 for teh tarik beginning today (Thursday)
“We definitely cannot compare the prices of roti canai and teh tarik with those in Peninsular Malaysia because the prices of raw materials there are lower,” he told Borneo Post on behalf of his elder brother, Nazeer Bin Mohammed, the restaurant owner.
According to him, a 25kg bag of roti canai flour which costs RM43. 50 in Peninsular Malaysia is RM6O in Sabah.
Patrons have not complained because they are aware of the market prices of the ingredients in Sabah, he added.
A local patron, Chan, 31, said the prices of raw materials like sugar and flour have not been reduced significantly, making it difficult for restaurant operators to lower their prices.
In Sandakan, the Chairman of the Sandakan Indian Muslim Restaurant Association (SIMRA), Abdul Bareee Bin Habeeb, said yesterday the Association’s members would meet to discuss their response to the public’s call on businesses to reduce prices of goods and services after the Government lowered the fuel price five times.
The Sabah Indian Muslim Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SIMCCI) announced in Kota Kinabalu on Tuesday that it would charge 10 sen less for roti canai and teh tarik with immediate effect.
TWO LOCAL SISTER WANT THEIR MYKAD
Two sisters who are local residents are appealing to the Sabah National Rçgistration Department (NRD) to reconsider their applications for MyKad.
Marra Jabar, 16, and her 14-year- old sister Ernalin Jabar said despite being neglected by their parents since 1990, they have kept their birth certificates, clinical cards and copies of their parents’ identity cards to support their MyKad applications.
“We have been coming to the NRD office four times, right from when it was still in Wisma Dang Bandang in Kota Kinabalu, but our applications were rejected on the grounds that both our parents had to be present.
“How are our parents supposed to be present when they left us when we were young? We were told that our dad is in West Malaysia but we don’t know where our mum is,” said Marra who was in tears after her application for a MyKad was once again rejected even though her particulars are recorded in the computer.
Speaking to reporters at the NRD head office here on Tuesday, Marra said she is appealing to the NRD to reconsider their application as she and Ernalin are both local residents and need the MyKad to enable them to get a proper job.
“Since our parents left us, we have never been to school and have been staying at our relative’s place in Kampung Rampayan. How long can we live like this? We want to be independent and lead a normal life like everyone else.
“We are really disappointed because each time we came to enquire about our MyKad application, they (theNRD officers) kept telling us that our parents must be present. How can our parents be present when they don’t care about us anymore?” she said.
She also said they tried to contact their father in Peninsular Malaysia so that he can come back to Sabah and help with their application, but to no avail.
Meanwhile, Nusrah Juban, 24, a cousin of the two girls, also appealed to the NRD to be more considerate.
“The girls have all the supporting documents to apply for a MyKad, but the NRD refused to proceed with their application saying they need to be accompanied by their parents. But how is this possible when their parents have left them since young?” she said.
Attad @ Bentan Alamin, 28, a fellow villager, has been helping the girls with their application.
“It saddens me to think of the girls fate. I will not give up and will keep on helping the girls to get the MyKad that they deserve,” Attad said.
GANG ROBBER GETS 12 YEARS, WHIPPINGS
A local man was jailed a total of 12 years and ordered to be given two strokes of cane by the Sessions Court here for three gang robbery charges.
Judge Ismail Brahim imposed the sentence on Abdulsan b Abdul @ Roy, 30, after the latter pleaded guilty to all the charges while he was on trial.
The hearing of the case was supposed to continue yesterday but Abdul hasan changed his not guilty plea when the prosecution’s fifth witness Mohd Azrul b Jumat who was one of the victims in the cases, testified in court.
The first charge accused Abdulsan of robbing Mohd Ridzuan b Jaapar, 16, and his friend of a hand phone and a pair of shoes in front of Bank Negara here.
He admitted to committing the offence with three accomplices who are still at large about 6. 3Opm on Oct 6, last year.
For the second charge, Abdulan was accused of robbing Mohd Azrul, 21, of a hand phone about 7.3Opm on Oct 8, last year at an abandoned construction site next to Bank Negara here.
The offence was committed with two accomplices who are still at large.
Meanwhile for the third charge, Abdulsan was accused of robbing Herman b Erip’s RM700cash at the flower park in front of the Kota Kinabalu Court Building here about 7.l5pm on Oct11 last year with two accomplices who are still at large.
Each of the charges under Section 395 of the Penal Code provides a jail term of up to 20 years and whipping on conviction.
During mitigation, Prosecuting Officer ASP Sabrina Jinius applied to the court to imposea deterrent sentence on the accused.
Ismail sentenced Abdulsan to three years’ jail for the first charge and four years plus one stroke of cane for the second cbarge while for the third charge, he was jailed five years and ordered to be given one stroke of cane.
However, Abdulsan will only serve five years in prison after the court ordered the jail sentences to run concurrently.
The accused was unrepresented by any lawyer.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
PRICES OF TEH TARIK, ROTI CANAI CUT BY 10 SEN
The prices of teh tarik and roti canai have been reduced by 10 sen at all Muslim restaurants in Sabah effective from yesterday.
Sabah Indian Muslim Chamber of Commerce and Industry President, Datuk Baisul Khan b Salman Faris said the price reduction is in line with the reduction in fuel prices in the country.
Speaking to the media at his head office in Sinsuran Complex here yesterday, Baisul said the new price of teh tarik is now RM1.20 while that of roti canai is RM1. 10.
“We have decided to reduce the price of teh tarik from RM1.30 to RM1.20 and roti canai from RM 1.20 to RM1. 10 even though the prices of raw materials in Sabah have increased tremendously, by more than 20 per cent, in the last six months,” he said.
He said this showed the lower fuel prices have prompted producers of raw materials to reduce their prices.
According to him, some of the supermarkets and hypermarkets in West Malaysia have reduced their prices.
A 25kg bag of.flour for making roti canai in West Malaysia is sold at RM43. 50 but in Sabah it is sold at RM7O, which is more than 60 per cent higher, he said, adding that 17kg of cooking oil (palm oil) which is produced in Sabah is priced at RM39.50,in the State and is sold at the same price in West Malaysia.
It is rather difficult to understand the pricing mechanism when the price of the cooking oil is the same despite the transportation cost involving, be said, adding that our cooking oil here should be priced lower than that in the West Malaysia.
Apart from the flour and cooking oil, the prices of other items like condensed milk, Milo, Nescafe, Horlicks and margarine in the State have been not only not reduced but increased during the last six months, Baisul said.
The suppliers blamed the manufacturers for the increase in prices, he said, adding that they would leave it to the Ministry concerned to check the source of the problem instead of merely monitoring the prices at retail outlets and restaurants.
Baisul said the price of eggs had also been increased due to the higher price of chicken feed.
“When we confront the poultry farmers over the increase in the price of chicken, they said it is due to the increase in the price of chicken feed,” he said.
A tray of 30 eggs was priced at RM8 six months ago but now it is sold at RM9. 50 and above, he said.
Baisul said that from their observations, most of the goods sold in Sabah are priced 20 per cent higher than those in West Malaysia.
“This may be due to the surcharge imposed by transporters who are charging RM15O per container. This is very unusual and it is only practised in Sabah,” he said.
“I appeal to the State Government under the leadership of Datuk Seri Musa Aman to intervene and abolish the so called surcharge,”. he said.
FISHERMEN WANT KO-NELAYAN TO CONTINUE MANAGING E-DIESEL DISTRIBUTION
The Sabah United Fisheries and Fishing Boat Association (SUFFBA) has called for Ko-Nelayan, a State agency, to continually manage the distribution of e-diesel in Sabah.
SUFFBA Chairman Arsani Arsaf expressed optimism yesterday that Ko-elayan would be able to handle the situation as they have been dealing with the matter over the last two years.
Malaysian Fisheries Development Board (LKIM) Chairman Datuk Abdul Rahim Ismail recently announced that the Sabah Fishermen Association (Pengasah) would be taking over the wholesale of subsidised e-diesel in Sabah gradually, beginning January next year.
Abdul Rahim said that the Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Ministry had approved the proposal in principle and RM9. 8 million litres of subsidised diesel was expected to be allocated to Pengasah for distribution to Sabah fishermen.
“We realise that there have been a few hiccups in the distribution of subsidised e-diesel by Ko-Nelayan but believe that the Agency has improved over the years. Even the e-diesel card is also causing a lot of problems to commercial fishermen, so we hope the relevant Ministry will review and look into ways that could help overcome the existing problems,” he said.
Arsani stressed that the Association is not pushing any kind of development, adding: “In fact, we welcome development which would benefit us in many ways. However sometimes these new developments are causing a lot of problems. Therefore, it is our hope that the relevant authority would at least provide us the opportunity to express our views on the proposed programmes before implementing them.”
He also called on the Government to reduce the RM1 .43 per-litre subsidised diesel price as soon as possible.
“We understand the current price is very much influenced by the global market, but many of our members are complaining that it was too much to bear, stressing that currently, the cost has also escalated.
“It is our hope that the Government could reduce the price to RM1 per litre ... fish output has not been that encouraging lately. Fishing is no longer as easy as anyone would think it is,” Arsani said.
He added that the fishermen are all waiting for good news from the relevant authority and hope that the Government would also take into consideration of their grouses.
There are five Associations representing 1,200 fishermen’s boats that are affiliated to SUFFBA with 700 members throughout the State.