Friday, October 31, 2008



8.30 A.M. TO 5.00 P.M.

Our main aim being to increase public awareness and appreciation for all our local talent available. By having this Pesta once every 2 years, we hope to instill in our community the importance of appreciation for the Arts, Art Fairs and Festivals are held all over the world annually for this very purpose and we want to make K.K. another destination also for locals and tourists to enjoy our Art, meet our local artists and crafters too.

Note of appreciation to Balai Seni Lukis Sabah, Lembaga Kebudayaan and DBKK offering assistance in their own special way and we are grateful for all the help.

Our participants this year are:

Persatuan Pelukis Seni Visual K.K. Sabah
Persatuan Pekatun/portrait artists
UMS, Fakulti Seni
Maktab Perguruan Gaya
Batik painting by Francis Chong
Special Edition Prints by Adrian Ho featuring endangered animals of the Borneo forest
A presentation by new musical talents from Sabah Institute of Arts
A special fashion show featuring local designers, Twan, Rothmans, Adeline and SIA
Borneo Images
Golden Frame Sdn. Bhd.
Decorative Art and Craft Group
Ice carving
Chinese brush Demo by David Hiew
Ripple wire art
Flora’s painting on rocks
Magic show and balloon sculpting by Magical EPX networks
Children’s face painting
Lil Treasures creative arts
Local handicraft

We hope that with this activity, people of Sabah will realize that we have a lot of talent available and that these resources should be given the opportunity to promote Sabah to the fullest.


Thursday, October 30, 2008





beside entrance to Asia City)



8.30 PAGI – 5.00 PETANG



7.00 – 9.00 pagi Peserta mengambil tempat
9.15 – 10.00 pagi Ukiran Ais
11.00 pagi Upacara Pembukaan dan Perasmian Pesta Seni
2008 Oleh Mayor Kota Kinabalu, Datuk Illyes
Bin Ibrahim
12.00 tgh hari Pendaftaran Perserta Sekolah Rendah
12 tgh hari – 2.30 ptg Aktiviti Lukisan Murid Sekolah Rendah berdasarkan cerita
(Taklimat dan cerita dibaca pada jam 12.30 tgh. Hari)
2.30 – 3.15 ptg Pertunjukan silap mata
3.15-3.30 ptg Persembahan Sijil dan cenderamata Aktiviti Lukisan
3.30 – 6.00 ptg Balloon Sculpting
5.00 ptg Bersurai


7.00 – 8.30 pagi Peserta mengambil tempat
8.30 12 tgh Demonstrasi lukisan cina oleh David Hiew
9.00 pagi Pendaftaran Sekolah Menengah Kelab Lukisan
9.45 – 10.45 pagi Persembahan Fesyen
10.00 pagi – 2 ptg Lukisan Mural Sek ,Sekolah Menengah Kelab Lukisan
11.15 – 12.45 tgh hari Persembahan Muzik SIA
2.30 pm – 3 pm Persembahan Sijil dan hadiah kepada Pemenang Pertandingan
Lukisan Mural

5 – 6 ptg Membersihkan kawasan dan bersurai

Aktiviti lain semasa Pesta Seni Dawai Oleh Ripple/Demo Lukisan PSBS/Bengkel portrait/pekatun/Rock painting oleh Floral /Folk art painting oleh Deco art group/Face

Our main aim being to increase public awareness and appreciation for all our local talent available. By having this Pesta once every 2 years, we hope to instill in our community the importance of appreciation for the Arts, Art Fairs and Festivals are held all over the world annually for this very purpose and we want to make K.K. another destination also for locals and tourists to enjoy our Art, meet our local artists and crafters too.

Note of appreciation to Balai Seni Lukis Sabah, Lembaga Kebudayaan and DBKK offering assistance in their own special way and we are grateful for all the help.

Our participants this year are:

Persatuan Pelukis Seni Visual K.K. Sabah
Persatuan Pekatun/portrait artists
UMS, Fakulti Seni
Maktab Perguruan Gaya
Batik painting by Francis Chong
Special Edition Prints by Adrian Ho featuring endangered animals of the Borneo forest
A presentation by new musical talents from Sabah Institute of Arts
A special fashion show featuring local designers, Twan, Rothmans, Adeline and SIA
Borneo Images
Golden Frame Sdn. Bhd.
Decorative Art and Craft Group
Ice carving
Chinese brush Demo by David Hiew
Ripple wire art
Flora’s painting on rocks
Magic show and balloon sculpting by Magical EPX networks
Children’s face painting
Lil Treasures creative arts
Local handicraft

We hope that with this activity, people of Sabah will realize that we have a lot of talent available and that these resources should be given the opportunity to promote Sabah to the fullest.




Sabah has been identified as the state with the most problematic hill slopes in the country and therefore mitigation must be done to prevent the worst from happening.
Federal Public Works Department Slope Engineering Branch Director, Datuk Dr Ashaari Mohamed said the mitigation plans are in the National Slope Master Plan currently in the final stages of completion.
Speaking to reporters before closing a slope management seminar here yesterday, Ashaari said the master plan is expected to be completed by the end of this year and presented to the Cabinet for perusal. “The master plan is for all states and we hope the Cabinet will approve the additional funding needed for the mitigation programme,” he said adding that the master plan will also include what to do, how to manage slopes, what laws to follow and how to mitigate slopes problem. It also puts emphasis on creating public awareness about slopes especially among those who live in hilly areas as these are the people who have firsthand information as to what is happening in the vicinity. “This is a three-year programme which will end in 2010 and Sabah is the second state we hold the seminar because we have identified some states which have more problems with slopes and Sabah is on top of the list,” he added. According to him, most of the problematic areas in terms of roads are along the Ranau-Tamparuli stretch which was built by the Japanese 20 years ago.
The area, which is a popular tourist destination, also has a lot of geological movement, he said, adding that all the problems identified there have to be taken care of. ‘We cannot stop landslides but we can mitigate so that landslides do not occur. This way there will be no casualties and loss of property,” he said, adding that once a problematic area has been identified, the Unit will conduct a detailed study there and come up with mitigation plans. One area where a detailed study was done was in Ulu Klang after the collapse of the Highland Towers ‘ apartments, he said, adding that the study was done following a Cabinet decision as it wanted to know which are the areas which could be developed and vice versa. Ashaari said the Unit would be more than happy to assist the Sabah Government to do a detailed study on the problematic areas in the State so that it can have a better insight into the matter as well as understand the situation and plan further. He added that creating awareness among the public about hill slopes is important as those living on slopes are living dangerously in that the ground may one day fail and the incident could cost lives. “We want these people especially those living in hilly areas to be able to take the necessary action if they see something wrong with the slope,” he stressed. He also said that the Unit is working closely with the State PWD to rectify the problem with the Kimanis-Keningau road which was believed to have faulty design.According to Ashaari, the Unit is also trying to enhance several laws pertaining to development on hill slopes to prevent any untoward incidents. He expressed hope that local authorities would initiate the move and instruct developers, especially those on hilly areas, to get their design plans checked and approved by the Unit before commencing work. “There are already guidelines under the respective Acts to be followed by the developers but we are ready to assist and advise them if there is a need,” he added. Meanwhile, Ashaari said the seminar attracted 94 people from
various organizations including local authorities, local Government agencies, SHAREDA, architects, Sabah Law Association and engineers. He said the seminar, which was organized together with the City Hall, was not only for the relevant Government agencies throughout Malaysia but also professional bodies, slope owners, people living around slopes or areas prone to landslides, schoolchildren, teachers and the general public. “The seminar for the various Government agencies and local authorities marks the kick-off of the public awareness campaign not only to share our knowledge about landslides and slope management but to also convey the message that creating safer slopes can be achieved with close cooperation by all parties. The Slope Engineering Branch is a division of Jabatan Kerja Raya Malaysia and was set up in 2004 to ensure safer slopes through the formulation of proactive slope policies, comprehensive slope management, higher safety standards for slopes and better public awareness on slope hazards.


Scrap metal dealers want clarification on company Ministry urged to give proper dealing guidelines


The Sabah Scrap Metals Recycle Association (SSMRA) has taken the Ministry of Local Government and Housing (MLGH) to task for failing to provide detailed information on Superpanel Sdn Bhd and clear transaction guidelines with the company.

Superpanel, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Sabah Housing and Town Development Authority (SHTDA), has been appointed as the ‘sole exporter’ of scrap metals and recyclables in Sabah, following a State Cabinet decision on Aug 6, 2008 to resolve rampant metal thefts in the State.
A directive was subsequently issued to all local authorities on Sept 26 instructing them to stop renewing existing trading licences or issue new ones to scrap metal dealers.
All such applications must first be registered with and approved by Superpanel effective Nov 1 this year.
“But with only one day left before the Nov 1 deadline for the implementation of the said policy, the Ministry concerned hasn’t even bothered to give us proper guidelines as to how we should deal with Superpanel. And yet the Ministry has proceeded to stop the renewal of our trading licences,” lamented. SSMRA President Jennifer Hiew here yesterday.

She noted that since the Ministry’s directive on Oct 22, most of the Association’s 46 members across the State have been forced to temporarily cease their operations.
During the Oct 28 meeting between the Association and Superpanel that was arranged by City Hall Director-General Datuk Dr Chua Kim Hing, the representative from Superpanel was unable to provide any detailed information on the company’s set-up and its operational procedures.
The representative also stated that the company was still waiting for instructions from the Minister concerned on how to deal with scrap metal dealers, said Jennifer.

She said such a move was ‘monopolistic’ in nature and unfair to the scrap metal dealers.
“By right, in this trying time of economic crisis and depression, like what the other Governments elsewhere in the world are doing, our Government too should strive to help legitimate businesses like ours, instead of trying to strangle us alive at the expense of the privileged few,” she said.
Jennifer said the move could have far- reaching implications on the society as a whole, as the majority of those involved in the trade are the poor and underprivileged.
Besides, many of the Association members are currently still servicing their bank loans that were taken to finance their operations, she added.
She also contended that the reasons given by the Ministry, that the move was aimed at stopping the rampant metal thefts in the State, was too simplistic, do not hold water and are questionable to a large extent.
“Can the said company guarantee that there will be no more metal theft after it comes into operation?” she asked.




Umno members who wish to contest any post in the Party are advised to consider the post as a big responsibility instead of as a privilege for themselves. Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Masidi Manjun said there are some members who consider their involvement in the Party as a means to gain privilege from the posts that they want to contest rather than contribute positively to the Party as well as the people. “In the process of choosing the Party leaders, members should not be greedy by just considering the privilege that the posts can offer, but should instead think about the service quality that will be provided,” he said during the Hari Raya Aidilfitri Celebration of Sabah Education Department at Dewan Perkumpulan Perempuan Sabah in Sembulan here yesterday. According to Masidi, there are a few members who are willing to disregard the Party rules to obtain posts for their own previlege.
“The leaders should know the difference between a privilege and a big responsibility in a post that they contest, and if they see the post as a big responsibility, their courage to contest the post would be a positive thing for the Party,” he said. Masidi was commenting on cases where certain Umno members disregarded Party rules, resulting in meeting problems at some divisions.
He said however that the matter should also be viewed positively in that it reflected the enthusiasm of the members towards the Party. “Even if there are problems caused, we should not see the matter only from the negative perspective; we should see it as democracy at workand people just want to make sure that everybody has a fair chance of being elected for the post that they wish to contest,’ he said. “If they are not concerned about Umno, I’m sure they won’t bother whether there are people who win the post uncontested... but the fact that there are so many people concerned about how the Party is run, there’s a new realization that the Party is in real need to rebuild its strength,” he said. Meanwhile, Masidi said Umno constitution does not prohibit Government officers, especially teachers to contest for any post in the Party. However, it depends on the approval of the heads of their departments, he added. “It is up to the heads of departments whether to allow the Government officers or teachers to contest for any post in the Party,” he said, when asked whether Government officers especially teachers could be actively involved in politics.
Masidi, who is also the Minister in charge of Sabah education, said if the teachers genuinely believe they can contribute, they should not forget about their responsibility to do their work and ensure their involvement will not cause any problems He said there are complaints about teachers neglecting their work when they are involved in the Party, which would be a big loss to the country. “They should understand that if they wish to join Umno, it is not only to serve the Party but also to serve the nation... They should decide whether they want to be involved full time in politics or to serve the people (become a teacher),” he said.


Open debate helpful in polls: Masidi


An open debate, if held in a proper manner where rules are adhered to, can help members of a party and the electorate make a wise decision on which candidate they should support during an election. “We will have the chance to see whether the leaders have the qualities to become the right person for the post... however it should be done accordingly in a way that will not bring bad impact on the party as well as Barisan Nasional,” said Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Masidi Manjun. Masidi, who is Sabah Umno Assistant Secretary, was asked to comment on the suggestion by Datuk Shaifuddin Abdullah that an open debate be held for the leaders who wish to contest the post of Vice President in Umno. Speaking to reporters during the Hari Raya Aidilfitri Celebration of Sabah Education Department here yesterday, Masidi said that through an open debate, Party members wouId also have the chance to choose a leader who not only has the ability to speak well in public but also has a concrete programme for the Party as well as the Country. “However, the open debate should not include criticizing other component parties of Barisan Nasional because if we criticize them, it is also the same if they criticize BN which will bring bad impact on Umno itself,” he said.


13 foreigners detained in interior


One hundred and forty-five foreigners were checked by the police during a two-day joint operation here, Nabawan and Tambunan which ended yesterday.

District Police Chief DSP Zahari Mohammad yesterday said 13 of them comprising Indonesians and Filipinos without any valid document were sent to the temporary detention centre in Menggatal.

The operation, which targeted factories, plantations and squatter colonies, was jointly carried out by the Federal Special Task Force, Immigration Department, National Registration Department and Community Welfare Services Department.

“The operation will be carried out monthly to round up illegal immigrants in the district,” he said.
Zahari also said that the crime rate in the district had declined due to cooperation from the public and he hoped such spirit would continue.

Monday, October 27, 2008


Musa offers State land for new QEH site


The State Government is willing to allocate a piece of land for the relocation of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), which was declared unsafe by the Health Ministry recently. Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman in stressing this, said a directive has been issued to State Land and Survey Department Director Datuk Osman Jamal to identify a suitable plot within or close to the City area. “I will bring the matter in our next State Cabinet meeting, where we will decide and approve the land. This is something urgent and is important to the people,” he told reporters during the Sabah MIC Deepavali Open House at the Likas Sports Complex yesterday. Head of State Tun Ahmadshah Abdullah and wife Toh Puan Dayang Masuyah AwangJaapar, Sabah MIC Chairman Datuk V Jothi, State Cabinet Ministers and Sabah Progressive Party President Datuk Seri Panglima Yong Teck Lee were also present at the event. Musa added Health Department Director Datuk Dr Marzukhi Md Isa had also met him pertaining to the issue. “The existing hospital site is getting too congested and the building has been declared unsafe. “We hope to provide a bigger land for the construction of a new hospital which will be equipped with appropriate facilities to serve the people in the State. “I, hope the Federal Government will look into this, and once we get a suitable site, they (Federal) can build (a new hospital) faster,” he stressed. Asked on plans for the existing location and buildings, Musa replied: “It is up to the Health Department because the land belongs to the Federal Government.” Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai recently declared QEH as ‘unsafe’ after structural defects were found at various areas of the hospital building, especially on the tower block, podium, forensics block and the boiler room. Liow said the report submitted by Ikram Group Sdn Bhd, the engineers appointed by the Ministry to conduct a check-up, showed that the 27-year-old buildings was no longer strong and could not last long. “It is not economical to repair the buildings,” said Liow, adding that the Ministry is also considering renting and purchasing services at private hospitals, including the Sabah Medical Centre and the Damai Hospital, apart from building a new 10-storey block at QEH. Meanwhile, some 5,000 people thronged the hall here to join in the festival of lights celebration. “Visiting one another during the festive season is a normal practice for us in Malaysia... such an exercise must be continued to maintain the existing unity. This shows that we all can work together and live in harmony,” said Musa.


Govt urged to solve issue of stateless Indians in Sabah


The State Government has been urged to consider the fate of the Indian community who entered Sabah through the Migration Fund Board (MFB) in the 1960s. State MIC Chairman Datuk V Jothi in making the call yesterday, said that many Indian families and their next-of-kin remain ‘stateless’ and some face a problem in obtaining birth certificates. Speaking to reporters during the Deepavali Open House hosted by Sabah MIC at the Kota Kinabalu Sports Complex in Likas here yesterday, Jothi disclosed that the Indian community had migrated to Sabah through MFB to work in plantations about 40 years ago. Stressing that they highlighted the issue nine years ago, Jothi expressed the hope that the State Government would look for remedies to the problems faced by the Indian community in Sabah. He said that most of these workers and their families have been “forgotten” despite having worked and stayed in the State for so long, and they remain stateless. It is learnt that they were promised Permanent Residence status and land during the Usno administration, but this never materialised and some decided to return to the Peninsula. “I believe the State Government would be able to tackle the problem,” he said adding that MIC would continue to support the Indian community and work hard to ease their burden. In June last year, the Sabah Labour Department carried out a survey to track down those who came into the State through MFB. On another development, Jothi said that thy do not have the numbers to build a Tamil school in the State. The Indian community now stands at 15,000, which is still considered low. We do not have the numbers to build a school. However, time will tell,” he said.


New bridge to be built soon: Bumburing


Tuaran Member of Parliament Datuk Seri Panglima Wilfred M Bumburing has assured residents of Kampung Namadan that a new suspension bridge across the Tuaran River to Kampung Malangang Baru, to replace the old one that was swept by a recent flood, will be built in three to four weeks. He made the assurance after being told by State Development Office (SDO) Director HajiMatusinSunsang that the funds for the project would be made available and construction would begin in two to three weeks. Bumburing, who is also Upko Deputy President, was at the site together with Matusin accompanied by their respective officers after the plight of the Namadan folks was highlighted on TV3 prime news on Oct 26. “I have actually forwarded an application for funds for 72 suspension bridges, either to build new ones or to repair existing ones that are damaged, and I have forwarded them personally to the Federal Rural and Regional Development Ministry,” said Bumburing. He thanked Matusin for visiting the site and for approving a special allocation for the bridge project. “We hope that all implementing agencies appointed by the Government to carry out development projects in various capacities will be proactive in the implementation of Government developments that would directly benefit the rakyat so that the people won’t have to wait longer than necessary,” he added. Meanwhile Matusin said that based on calculations by Goh kiet Khee, the engineer he brought along to visit the bridge, RM120,000 would be immediately allocated to build a new bridge. Based on current procedures and barring any obstacles, the project would start in two or three weeks, he said, adding that time is needed to draw the structural plans and to call for tenders. Bumburing (second right) and Matusin (third right) inspecting the site for the new bridge


Abducted teenager returning home from Lombok today

MATARAM, (Indonesia):

Noor Fadilah Ahmad, 18, who as abducted from Malaysia to eastern Lombok by a man two months ago will return home today. The Mataram Immigration Department also agreed that Noor Fadilah who had married Nasrudin Dahrom, 24, would be allowed to return to Malaysia without going to jail for entering the island illegally since Sept 6. This followed a two hour discussion between the Umno Youth Community Defence Secretariat Chairman Datuk Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim and Mataram Immigration Enforcement Chief M Adnan. Also present were Malaysian Embassy Counselor (Immigration) Mohd Zahari Hassan and Secretariat Secretary Datuk MuhdKhairun Aseh, a lawyer. “It was resolved in the spirit of comradeship between Malaysia and Indonesia,” said Abdul Azeez who led the mission to bring Noor Fadilah home after the case caught public attention on Sept 24. According to Indonesian immigration law, an individual caught entering the country illegally could be jailed six years or fmed three million rupiah (about RM800). “I am optimistic that Noor Fadilah will meet her parents here tomorrow,” said Abdul Azeez who was flanked by her parents Ahmad Abdul Hamid, 46, and Masitah Abdullah, 42. Noor Fadilah from Bagan Serai, Perak was abducted to Lombok by Nasrudin in Sept after her parents objected to their relationship. - Bernama


Form task force to curb human trafficking: SAPP


Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) has urged the Government to set up a special task force and to invoke the Anti Trafficking in Persons Act 2007 to curb human trafficking activities in the State. SAPP Women’s Chief cum Luyang Assemblywoman Melanie Chia made the call after leading a delegation of SAPP members on a visit to the Bukit Harapan children’s home in Kuala Inanam near here yesterday in conjunction with the Deepavali celebrations. She was briefed by the home’s founder, Anne Keyworth (popularly known as Mama Anne), on the issues that the home has been dealing with all these years, including cross-border human trafficking. “The issue of human trafficking cannot be resolved by a single person or organisation. There should be a concerted effort by all parties concerned through a ‘special setup’ by the Government,” she pointed out. Melanie said the favourite modus operandi of human traffickers in Sabah is to promise potential victims, mostly young girls from neighbouring countries, decent and highly-paid jobs through some dubious employment agency. Human trafficking activities in the State came into the spotlight recently following reports of several legal suits filed by the victims. “We should act fast before things get out of control,” she stressed. According to Mama Anne, an average of 25 youths from the rural areas of Sabah leave home to work in Peninsular Malaysia or Singapore. Like their Filipino/Indonesian counterparts, a majority of them were recruited by dubious employment agencies and eventually ended up in the vice trade. Melanie also suspected that human trafficking activities could be a significant contributing factor to the drastic increase in AIDS/HIV cases in the rural areas of Sabah.


Shot victim hid problems from family


The taciturn attitude of Mohd Zuki Mohd Nawi, 37, has caused his family to be dumbfounded and clueless as to why he was shot dead in southern Thailand on Sunday. His father, Mohd NawiDaud, 62, said Mohd Zuki, who was living in Jalan Kokta, Sungai Golok, Thailand, seldom returned home and his problems, ifany, always remained unknown to the family. “Once in a while, he did return home to see his daughter. He had always been quiet and uncommunicative. He never told his problems even if we asked him about it. We do not know what caused him such a fate,” he told reporters when met at his home in Kampung Bendang Gok, here yesterday. Mohd Nawi said Mohd Zuki who had been divorced twice, married for the third time to a Thai woman about eight years ago and was operating a textile business with the new wife in southern Thailand. Nor Aklima, 15, Mohd Zuki’s daughter from the first marriage, has been living with the grandparents since she was little. In the 11am incident on Sunday, Mohd Zuki was shot dead while having his motorcycle repaired at a workshop in Sungai Golok town. He took several bullets in the chest and neck and died on the spot. Kelantan Police Deputy Chief, SAC II Amir Hamzah Ibrahim, when contacted, confirmed that the victim’s death was due to random shots fired by a group of men on a motorcycle and in a car. However, the motive of the incident was still being probed with the cooperation of the Thai police, he added. - Bernama


Call to upgrade Sandakan Hospital facilities


The State Government has been urged to upgrade the facilities of the Duchess of Kent Hospital here. Making the call, Board of Visitors Chairman John Khoo said there needs to be a political will among the State’s political leaders to upgrade the hospital’s facilities. “The hospital has a new and magnificent white building, butahospital is not complete without.being equipped with all the necessary medical equipment and enough doctors, nurses and specialists to serve the increasing population of Sandakan folk. “Many of our kampung folks are poor and need medical attention,” he said at the Board’s charity dinner with Malaysian Association of Medical Social Officers at a hotel here on Sunday. Proceeds from the event amounted to some RM134,000. In her welcoming speech, Organising Chairman Sarinah Ahmad said the Association manages the Malaysian Medical Welfare Fund which supports needy patients in need of further medical attention regardless of race or creed, and is funded by donations from the public, corporate bodies and charitable organisations. Earlier in her speech, Hospital Director Dr Zorina Bte Khalid extended her appreciation to the Association and Board. Her speech was competently translated by her 14- year-old daughter Rahan Bte Mohd Johari into Mandarin.


Call to upgrade Sandakan Hopital facilities


The State Government has been urged to upgrade the facilities of the Duchess of Kent Hospital here. Making the call, Board of Visitors Chairman John Khoo said there needs to be a political will among the State’s political leaders to upgrade the hospital’s facilities. “The hospital has a new and magnificent white building, butahospital is not complete without.being equipped with all the necessary medical equipment and enough doctors, nurses and specialists to serve the increasing population of Sandakan folk. “Many of our kampung folks are poor and need medical attention,” he said at the Board’s charity dinner with Malaysian Association of Medical Social Officers at a hotel here on Sunday. Proceeds from the event amounted to some RM134,000. In her welcoming speech, Organising Chairman Sarinah Ahmad said the Association manages the Malaysian Medical Welfare Fund which supports needy patients in need of further medical attention regardless of race or creed, and is funded by donations from the public, corporate bodies and charitable organisations. Earlier in her speech, Hospital Director Dr Zorina Bte Khalid extended her appreciation to the Association and Board. Her speech was competently translated by her 14- year-old daughter Rahan Bte Mohd Johari into Mandarin.


Wistful Deepavali for inmates


The hopes of seven inmates at the Penang Prison here to meet their families in conjunction with the Deepavali celebration did not materialise when none turned up. Until the end of the special visitation period under the prison’s “Fostering Love” prograimne at 11am yesterday, their families were not seen. Of the 10 inmates selected to meet their families face-to-face for an hour yesterday, only three families came. Nathan (not his real name), 38, from Teluk Kumbar, was sad that his family did not come although they initially agreed to do so. However, he tried to mask his disappointment by saying that his family may have been busy with Deepavali celebrations at home. “Maybe they have other plans at home, but I hope to see them when the prison authorities allow our families to visit tomorrow or the day after,” he said when met at the “Fostering Love” event. For another inmate, Raju (not his real name), 52, from Georgetown, he could not feel the joy of Deepavali without the presence of family and friends. “It’s sad to see other families visit. I waited for my family since this morning but they did not come. I hope they will come on Wednesday,” he said. Meanwhile, Prisons Deputy Director, Mohd Sobri Mahdzir, said families that were unable to visit should have informed the department so that other inmates could be given a chance. However, he said, the Prison Department would allow families to visit inmates today and Wednesday. He added that the Fostering Love programme gave inmates with good behaviour a chance to see their families to foster better family ties. - Bernama


Plight of Orang Asli touches Sabahans


A group of charity workers from SIB Likas (BM) who visited several Orang Ash settlements in Peninsular Malaysia recently were touched by the plight and living conditions of these natives. According to one of the group members, Damus Sakai, the Jakun and Batek tribes they visited were very poor and lived off the land. “Their houses were makeshift huts and they make a living from collecting orchids, gaharu, damar aiid rotan, among others to be sold for income,” Damus said. He added that the Orang Ash collected food from the jungle surrounding the settlements and their plight was even worse than the people in Sabah. “At least folks in the rural villages in Sabah carry out farming activities but the Orang Ash rarely do,” he said before disclosing that the settlement they visited were in Kuaha Lipis and Jerantut. Some of the Orang Ash had carried out farming activities in the past but gave up after the land they worked on was taken back either by the Government or the owners. Damus said the Government did provide some of the villages with housing but the Orang Ash could not move in because there is no electricity supply to the houses. “The houses were hot, stuffy and without ventilation so those who were given the houses decided to move back to the settlement,” Damus said. According to him, SIB Likas sends a group of charity workers to the Orang Ash settlements at least once a year to help these people. Among the charity works carried out there was teaching the villagers to read as most of them are illiterate.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Late birth certs: State law the way

System of making police report, statuory declaration can be easily abused :SLA


Sabah’s own existing Ordinance for late birth certificate registration should be used in processing identity card applications, according to Sabah Law Association (SLA) President Datuk John Sikayun. He reckoned that the Registration of Birth and Death Ordinance 1948 (CAP 123) of the State is the right process to use in registering late birth certificates. The State Ordinance, said John, clearly provides a process of law in which a Magistrate has to ascertain whether the applicant is a genuine Malaysian citizen. John said the system of lodging a police report and making a statutory declaration to obtain a birth certificate in applying for a Malaysian identity card is not right as Sabahans its own ordinance. “Lodging a police report and making a statutory declaration could be easily abused; we believe the State Ordinance be used as it involves inquiry by a Magistrate before a person is given the status of Malaysian,” he said yesterday. John, who said the State Ordinance still exists and could be used, suggested that the NRD should follow the Mobile Court to the various rural areas in helping people obtain their ICs. He said currently the Mobile Court introduced in March were helping to conduct inquiries for applicants of late birth certificate where applicants need to bring five witnesses, including the midwife and village head. John said this amidst the controversy of many non-Malaysians obtaining identity cards through the system of police report and statutory declaration where the background of many holders of ICs is being questioned. Meanwhile, newly appointed Sabah NRD Director Abdul Jaffear Henry said that they followed the Mobile Court in assisting rural folks in obtaining their documents “May be there are times, we are unable to make it due to manpower shortage but we try to make it,” he said, adding that the Mobile Court informed them of its trips to rural areas. On the issue of using the state ordinance in ascertaining genuine applicants for late birth registrations, Abdul Jaffear said he needed to check on the law on such matters. Recently, Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar announced the setting up of the Special Unit at the National Registration Department (NRD) and Immigration Department to expedite the clearing of backlog of applications for citizenship and permanent residents’ status. He said the Unit was set up following numerous complaints, especially in Sabah of applicants being kept waiting for too long to get their applications processed. It must be stressed that the applications could not simply approved as there are rules and regulations which have to be observed, said Syed Hamid on Tuesday.


New Bundusan Road to have five roundabouts


Once completed, the new Jalan Bundusan would have five roundabouts including two new ones, Public Works Department (PWD) engineer in-charge of the road upgrading and widening project, Md Shamsul Nizam Hj Abd Wahid said. The new roundabouts would be located in front of Beverly Hills and the Road Transport Department (RTD) headquarters, he said, adding there would be no traffic lights or U- turns along the 3.2-kilometre stretch of road from SGCC to the KDCA “Our research showed that roundabouts are more appropriate for the area than traffic lights,” Md Shamsul said. The project also saw the construction of two new bridges, one in Jalan Kolam, which is completed and another one in front of the CKS Supermarket. According to Md Shamsul, the PWD has also taken steps to address problems that have and could occur along Jalan Bundusan such as flooding. “We have identified two areas that could face flooding problem, in front of Taman Kemayan and Beverly Hills. The remedial measure taken are to put in additional culverts in these two areas,” he said. In front of Taman Kemayan, the culverts will be replaced with 1.8- metre twin ones while another 900mm culvert will be placed at the problematic area in front of Beverly Hills. He also assured road users that the PWD has taken stepsto ensure their safety at night, especially along the: stretch near CKS Supermarket where several mishaps and near mishaps had occurred because road users were unable to see the road and the diversions clearly. “Arrow signs and blinkers have been put up and at the moment, the contractor has erected streetlights at about 20 main junctions along the road,” Md Shamsul added.


Cockroach shock for Information Director


A simple meal ordered from a nearby Indian Muslim restaurant yesterday morning has left Selangor Information Director, Saptuyah Senson, with a bitter taste in her mouth when she found a cockroach in her food. Recounting the incident, she said she had asked her personal assistant to buy murtabak (a type of pancake) from the restaurant but found a baby cockroach after a few bites. “I found the cockroach while I was separating the onion slices from my murtabak. Imagine my shock when I saw the pest with one of its legs gone. “I think I may have eaten its leg and I immediately vomitted. I brought the murtabak back to the restaurant for an explanation, but a worker there had the cheek to say that the cockroach must have been from my office and not the food,” she told reporters when met at the restaurant. Saptuyah, 53, said she went into the restaurant’s store room and found more than 10 cockroaches crawling on sacks of flour and onions, despite the eatery being graded Category A (excellent) for cleanliness.


Civil servants do not understand No Wrong Door concept


Lack of understanding of the ‘No Wrong Door’ concept, which was introduced at all Federal Government Departments throughout the country, has been blamed for its poor implementation in Sabah. State Federal Secretary Datuk Ismail Wadin, when disclosing this yesterday, stressed that the concept has not been successfully implemented as it has not been understood by the Federal civil servants here. “There are still people in some Departments who do not understand this concept. And unless the concept is understood, it will be difficult to implement it effectively,” he told reporters during the Federal Department’s Raya Open House at how the concept is supposed to work. “We do not want the public to be told to go from one Department to another. “When a person approaches a particular Government Department for help, that Department must refrain from directing the person to other Departments. “The staff from that Department should call the relevant Department and help the person solve his or her problem as fast as possible. The Government staff are placed there to assist the people,” he said. Some 5,000 people attended the Raya function, which featured performance by local artistes and a vast selection of food and beverages. At the event, Tun Ahmadshah and Musa presented Raya goodies to 30 recipients from Suria Welfare Foundation. its administrative complex along Sulaman Road near here yesterday. Head of State Tun Ahmadshah Abdullah, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman as well as several Cabinet Ministers and senior officers were present at the event. Ismail however added that the concept will be implemented in stages and that they are looking for the best solution to the problem. “We will be. conducting talks on the subject to ensure that Federal civil servants in Sabah have a better understanding of the concept,” he said. The concept is part of the Public Service Commitment 2008 (PSC2008) announced early this year and aimed at improving the services rendered by Government Departments. Ismail also cited an example of


Road accidents drop but fatalities increase


Less road accidents were reported in the first nine months of this year compared to the similar period in 2007, but there was a slight increase in fatalities. District Police Chief DSP Madang Usat in disclosing this yesterday, said that a total of 840 accidents were reported between January and September this year, which showed a drop of 12 per cent or 112 cases, compared to 2007’s 952 cases. In the first nine months this year, 12 fatalities were reported, nine seriously injured and 50 escaped with minor injuries compared to the same period last year with 10 fatalities, 24 seriously injured and 74 suffered minor injuries. “Between January and September this year, the month of June recorded the highest road accidents with 101 cases, followed by March (98),January (97), May (96), September (95), April (92), February (87), July (84) and August (82),” said Madang during the Road Safety Campaign launched along Putatan Road yesterday. He added that the number of drunk drivers caught also reduced by 44 cases or 24.4 per cent from 180 cases between Jan-Sept 2007 to 136 cases in the first nine months this year. “This is a good sign as it shows that people are beginning to realise the danger of driving while under the influence of alcohol,” he said. The number of summonses issued to motorists for various traffic offences however showed an increase of 12 per cent or 907 cases. “we issued 8,566 summonses between January and September this year, compared to only 7,659 summonses in the first nine months last year,” he said. Madang stressed that the Police would continue to monitor road users in the district, advising them to abide by the traffic rules and regulations at all times. During the event, Madang distributed road safety leaflets and stickers to motorists.


Suhakam: Locals face problems obtaining MyKad


Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) Vice Chairman Tan Sri Simon Sipaun is saddened by the plight of local Sabahans who have problems obtaining their citizenship from the National Registration Department (NRD). According to him, under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, citizenship is a human right. Therefore every human being has the right to a citizenship. “But it is even more hurtful to me if you are actually a citizen but denied citizenship,” he said, adding what is more sad was the fact that foreigners were able to obtain Malaysian citizenship faster than the locals. Suhakam, he said, has received reports from foreigners and locals about obtaining their MyKad from the NRD. “One of the complainants we had was a Filipino who was arrested under ISA and deported a few years back. Three weeks ago he came back to Sabah because he knew his MyKad was ready and waiting to be collected. “He complained to us that the NRD did not want to release the MyKad after the Department found out he had previously been detained under ISA,” Sipaun said. When asked by Suhakam officials how did he re-enter Sabah, the man replied that to come to Sabah was as easy as walking from Centre Point Shopping Complex to Kampung Air. The man also claimed that he was not alone when he re-entered Sabah three weeks ago as he came in a group of about 50 people. Sipaun said this showed that there is an urgent need to strengthen enforcement along Sabah’s border and the excuse of authorities that it is long was not acceptable as Sarawak has a longer border with Indonesia and yet its problems with illegal immigrants were not so severe. “Here we have a Filipino who said he had connection in NRD and it was through them that he obtained his MyKad and then we have the locals who have been waiting for years toet their MyKad. It is a sad situation,” he said. Sipaun disclosed that one of the cases Suhakam received was from a 33-year-old local man who was born in Kampung Mandurian, Pitas. Both his parents are locals and have always lived in the village, he said, adding that the complainant has a valid birth certificate issued by NRD. “He applied for MyKad and was advised to wait and has been waiting for 12 years but ther is still no sign of the MyKad. “Compared this case to a Filipino complainant who was not satisfied because his children were not admitted to school. He has a MyKad issued by NRD. In his MyKad, it is indicated that he is a Malaysian citizen, a Muslim and a Bumiputra. “But his birth certificate showed that both his parents are Filipinos and non-Malaysians. He himself is not a citizen of Malaysia,” Sipaun pointed out. According to him, the complainant’s birth certificate stated that he was born in Kampung Pirasan, Kota Marudu but when Suhakam checked, there was no such kampung in Kota Marudu but there is one in Kota Belud. “This is very puzzling to me because here is a person based on all the documents he provided should not have been issued with a MyKad at all or citizenship status but we have locals who have been waiting so long for their MyKad,” he said.


RM10 mln to build Art Gallery Complex


The Government has allocated RM10 million to build the Sabah Art Gallery complex at the former site of the State Welfare Services Department adjacent to the Standard Chartered Bank in the City. State Cultural Board General Manager Rusman Abdullah said the project would be implemented next year. Development plan of the gallery will be based on the colonial-style model of the original building that was razed to the ground several years ago, he said at the presentation of prizes to selected artworks here in conjunction with the Head of State Tun Ahmadshah Abdullah’s 62nd birthday celebration. Ahmadshah presented the prizes to the winners. Also present at the presentation ceremony were Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Sen Panglima Yahya Hussin, Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun, Sabah Cultural Board Chairman Datuk Wilfred Madius Tangau, Sabah Art Gallery Director DatukYaman Mus and other officials. Rusman, who heads the SubCommittee of the Mini-exhibition and Prize Presentation 2008, said the State Cultural Board would be in a better position to promote the works of local artists through exhibition and sales promotion. The artworks of local artists are becoming popular to both domestic and foreign tourists, he said. Rusman said the Gallery had collected 2,500 pieces of artworks since the event was introduced 23 years ago in 1985. This year, the Gallery received 163 entries for three categories of selected artworks from 155 participants. Rusm├án said from next year onwards, the Sabah International Folklore Festival would be held as an annual event in July. “We have been holding the Sabah International Folkore Festival once in three years since 2001. It will be held as an annual event from next year, and we will also introduce the folk artists with participation of foreign countries,” he said. Abdulla Akop from Kudat was declared the winner of this year’s main Annual Selected Artworks Award that carries a cash prize of RM3,000 and a certificate. Abdulla’s entry in the open category entitled “Ku Temui Di Kaki Gunung” is a replica of a grasshopper made from iron rods. The other winners are Chrisna Pindah, Ishak Salehuddin, Jamal Amambing, Chong Yee Leong, Charles Mawan, Marlin Janius, Maduni Majidin, Daiman Bona, Ahita Dee Majanil and Muhammad Amin Muhidin. In the Secondary School category, each of the winners received RM300 cash and certificate. They are Yong Xiong Ling, Wong Shi Han, Chan: Jin Seng, Sack Tin Lim, Lo Ming Lai, Lo Cheau Li, Deanna Lau Silk Lin, Lai Chui Ye, Wah Yan Erl and Terrysia Thadens Joh. The winners in the lower Secondary School category are Wong Wai Loon, Fong Yun Ge, Lim Xing Ying, Chang SyYing, ChanPei Ying, LeongYewVui, Lau Sil Hong, Leong Ruoh Yuan, Lau Yee Kee and Margeret Loo Ming Yen. Each of them received RM200 cash prize and a certificate.


Future at stake for scrap metal dealers


Scrap metal dealers in the State have again appealed to the State Government to rethink its decision to appoint a ‘sole exporter’ to take full control of their business. Reiterating such appeal on their behalf was Eddie Tan, the Secretary General of the newly-registered Sabah Scrap Metals Recycle Association, after a group of its members failed to have their trading licence renewed at the Kota Kinabalu City Hall (DBKK) yesterday. In a letter issued by the DBKK dated 22 October, 2008, copies of which were given to them, they were informed that with effect from 1 Nov, 2008, all the local authorities in the State are not allowed to issue new licence or allow for renewal of the existing licences for scrap metal business in the State, citing a decision of the State Cabinet made on August 6, 2008. A copy of the letter issued by the Ministry of Local Government and Housing (MLGH) dated 26 September, 2008 was also attached for their reference, in which it stated that the State Cabinet had on August 6 decided to appoint Superpanel Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Sabah Housing and Town Development Authority (LPPB), as the ‘sole exporter’ of scrap metal for Sabah, as one way of addressing the rampant metal theft in the State at one stage. “We wish to again appeal to the State Government to rethink the decision of appointing Superpanel Sdn Bhd as the ‘sole ecporter’ for scrap metal business in the State as it is monopolistic in nature, against the spirit of free trade and will eventually force all of us out of business,” Eddie reiterated. He also censured the move as inconsiderate, likening it to the act of “rubbing salt into one’s injuries”. He lamented that as it is now, their business alredy suffered tremendously in the wake of the global financial crisis, citing that prices of recyclable materials have plunged by 60 percent with the price of scrap metal suffered a steep plunge from RM1,400 per metric ton to below RM500. “The time is so bad now that even some ofour major buyers in Peninsular Malaysia and overseas had decided to cease operations. A majority of us are now barely making ends meet to cover for our daily expenses besides liabilities, including bank loans. If we wind up our business, not only our own family will be affected but also that of our workers,” he further lamented. Eddie also questioned the manner the move was implemented without a proper and thoroughconsultation with them, except for a sketchy-and- dubious briefmg session organised by the Permanent Secretary of the MLGH last April. “They have not even given us the detailed structure of the company (Super Panel Sdn Bhd) as well as the price structure and etc, and yet they want us to stop our business by end of this month. This is absolutely inconsiderate and unfair to us,” he pointed out.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Biscuits: How safe?
Health Minister says those on shelves OK but don’t buy from night markets


The Health Ministry has assured that biscuits manufactured locally and found on the shelves are safe for consumption. Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai said since the Ministry had taken preventive measures to ban biscuit products that contain melamine beyond the permitted level, those on the market are now safe. “We have taken all the necessary preventive measures to ensure the safety of the consumers,” he told reporters after meeting representatives of local biscuit manufacturers here yesterday. Last Thursday, the Ministry had banned the import of ammonium bicarbonate, a levelling agent used in the production of biscuits, from China, as it contained high levels of melamine. Also last week, 18 biscuits from Khong Guan and Khian Guan (local manufacturers) were found to contain excessive levels of melamine and the contaminant ingredient wa traced to ammonium bicarbonate, which is used as a levelling agent. Low added that 16 more types of biscuits manufactured by Khong Guan, currently found in the market, were safe. Among the brands are Cookie Bis, Funcy Cookies, Merlion Bis, Snowy Short Cake, Chocolate Shake, Pineapple Cracker, Chocolate ABC, Small Square Puff, Wafer Peanut Cream, Wafer Chocolate Cream, Sweet Lemon Cream, Pineapple Cookies, Corn Cream crackers, Pineapple Jam biscuits, Butter Flavoured Cookies and Chocolate Flavoured Cookies. He said that apart from the 16 types, another eight biscuit products from China that conformed to the permitted level of melamine were also safe. The eight products are Animal Biscuit Strawberry Cream (ZQ), Spring Onion Crackers (Four Seas), Strawberry Layer Biscuit (Golden Fuji),Traditional Gridle (Grape)(Scaro), Twingo Wafer (Mr Bunny), Crispy Candy (BEST), Soybean Powder with Green Tea (Polleney) and Super Chunck Peanut Butter (Lady’s Choice). The Minister said that about 50 biscuit manufacturers whom he met yesterday had agreed to send their products for testing at labs certified by the Ministry. For export purposes, Liow said that the Ministry would issue certificates stating the level of melamine found in the product, to countries that import such products. He said 1.73 types of biscuits had been tested, including those imported from China and only 31 did not conform to the permitted level of melamine. Liow also advised the public to read the labels of products before buying them and totally refrain from buying biscuits sold at night markets or those without labels. - Bernama


Weatherman forecasts flash floods, mudslides in Sabah


Moderate and occasional heavy rain is expected in the Kudat, West Coast and interior divisions of Sabah, Federal Territory of Labuan and eastern Sarawak from Wednesday night to Friday, according to the Meteorological Department. It said in a statement yesterday that the condition may, cause flash floods and mudslides in low—lying areas, mountain slopes and river banks. The weatherman also forecast thunderstorms and heavy rain with strong winds in Segamat, Kluang, Batu Pahat, Muar, Johor Baharu and Pontian in Johor until midnight yesterday. Meanwhile, the flood situation in Kedah and Perak is getting worse with more people being evacuated to flood relief centres in both the States. Continuous rain has caused more areas in both states to be flooded. In Kedah, six districts are affected by the floods and four districts in Perak. Only Bandar Baharu in Kedah recorded a drop in the number of flood evacuees when 21 of them were allowed to return home. In KEDAH, 1,708 people are still at 19 flood relief centres in Kota Star, Kubang Pasu, Padang Terap, Pendang, Bandar Baharu and Kulim districts. Kedah Social Welfare Director Zulkifli Ramli said the evacuees, from 412 families, comprised 896 people in Alor Star, followed by Kubang Pasu (630), Padang Terap (118), Bandar Baharu (21), Kulini (23) and Pendang (11). In PERAK, 662 people are staying at nine relief centres set up in four districts in the State — Bukit Merah, Teluk Intan, Bidor and Sitiawan. A spokesman at the Perak Fire and Rescue Department operations room said most of the evacuees were from Bukit Merah, totalling 481 people, followed by Teluk Intan (122), Sitiawan (56) and Bidor (3). The flood affected areas in Bukit Merah are Kampung Ayer Hitam 2, Kampung Ayer Hltam 3, Batu 37 and Batu 38, Pant Abu Hasan, Kampung Parit Abu Hasan Ban, Kampung Pant Lebai Kadir, Kampung Batu 40, Kampung Alor Setangguk and Kampung Padang Lalang. In Teluk Intan, the affected areas are Mukim Sungai Manik, Mukim Labu Kubung and Mukim Changkat Jong, while in Sitiawan, the evacuees are from Kampung Tersusun Batu Tujuh, Lekir and in Bidor, it is Kampung Jalan Sungkai. In PENANG, several low-lying areas in Seberang Perai Utara (SPU) showed signs of flooding following heavy rain overnight. The areas affected were Kampung Kota Aur, Bumbung Lirna and Rantau Panjang but evacuations have yet to be made as the situation was still under control. SPU District Officer Mokhtar Mohd Jait told Bernama the authorities had been placed on full alert to face any eventuality. Checks by Bernama found residents in the areas shifting their valuable items so that they would not be damaged in floods and-preparing to move to higher ground. - Bernama


Illegals not ill treated at detention centres: Suhakam


Based on the letter detailing the complaints about Filipino detainees being allegedly abused while held at the temporary detention centres in the State, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) found that the conditions described were not of the detention centres. Suhakam Vice Chairman, Tan Sri Simon Sipaun said the letter from their Filipino counterpart gave details of the complaints such as deportees being detained in crowded cells, tasked to make handicrafts and forced to perform chores for the Malaysian Police. “They also claimed that men inside the prison cells were maltreated, but what sort of maltreatment was not specified, and at the slightest or no provocation at all the Malaysian Police punished them by whipping their butts with rotan,” he said when met at his office yesterday. Sipaun said none of these alleged incidents could have occurred at any of the temporary detention centres as firstly, there are no cells in the centres and secondly, the centres are administered by the Federal Special Task Force (FSTF) and not the Police. Sipaun said Suhakam carried out an investigation after their counterparts in the Philippines, the Philippines Human Rights Commission, wrote to them highlighting claims of bad treatment by Malaysian authorities of their nationals while in detention in Sabah. “I met with the detainees and there were no complaints. They are happy at least in the detention centres,” he said, adding that Suhakam was informed that the detainees were not brought to the detention centres directly after they were arrested by the authorities. He said that it could be as long as two weeks from the time of arrest before they were sent to the detention centres. “We don’t know what happen during that time and whether there are violation of human rights.” Sipaun disclosed that based on the letter from their Philippine counterpart, the deportees were detained in crowded detention cells, and that based on the report they (counterpart) received, women detainees are forced to undress by women jail guards before entering the detention cells. But this was not the case, he said, adding that the letter also alleged that detainees were forced to perform chores for Malaysian policemen. This, he said, was not accurate because detention centres are administered by the Federal Task Force and not the Police. The detainees also claimed that they were tasked to make handicrafts and products which are sold outside without receiving the profit derived from the sales. “In the detention centres, there are no such facilities for making handicrafts. This is just a place to detain them temporarily pending deportation and I was told the longest they are detained is about two weeks, so how could they be asked to do handicrafts?” he said. Sipaun said he has visited the temporary detention centres in Sandakan, Tawau and Menggatal and found all to be basically the same. “So it looks like their target is really the Police because most of these complaints as far as the detention centres were concerned, as far as Jam able to assess, were unfounded. “They are well treated as long as they are in the detention centres so it could be from the time they were arrested to the time they reach the detention centres. Is difficult even for us to know the real situation because this is not happening in one specific area where we can just go there and see for ourselves,” he said. Manila had recently raised the issue of alleged abuse following the start of the latest Ops Bersepadu operations to flush out illegal immigrants in Sabah since Aug 7. Officials here said that there has been no complaints from Indonesian illegal immigrants mainly because Indonesia had consular offices in both Kota Kinabalu and Tawau to assist their citizens.


Results of melamine tests on biscuits still pending: Dept


The Kota Kinabalu Health Department is still waiting for the results of the tests on the level of melamine in the popular Khong Guan biscuits produced by the Khong Guan factory in Inanam here. A Health Officer in the Department, Dr Asit Sanna, said that they already took some samples ofbiscuits from the factory last week to conduct the test following an order from the Health Department to recall 12 types of biscuits from the company’s factory in Johor. “We are still waiting for the test results on the melamine level in the biscuits taken from the Khong Guan factory in Inanam,” he said in a phone interview with The Borneo Post yesterday. According to Dr Asit, currently only the Khong Guan biscuits produced in its factory in Johor have shown higher than the permitted level of melamine. The melamine level in the biscuits was between 3.28mg and 22mg per kilogram, which is more than the allowed 2.5mg/kg or 2.5 ppm. However, he said, so far the Sabah Health Department here has not issued any order to close the factory as the results of the tests on the samples taken from the factory in Inanam are still pending. On Oct 20, the factory’s workers in the production section claimed they had been given five days’ leave from last Friday and would resume work only on Wednesday or Thursday, depending on the tests conducted by the Health Department on their biscuits. “The factory probably ceased operations for five days on the order of their own management ... we never issued any order to them to cease their operations or close the factory. “If the test results show that the melamine levels are higher than permitted, then only will we issue the order to close the factory,” said Dr Asit. On Oct 14, the Johor Health Department seized 107 tonnes of biscuits and raw materials such as flour, cream, ammonium bicarbonate and sodium bicarbonate worth RM561,000 from the factory in Senai. Among the biscuits were the Soda Biscuits, Lemon Puff, Butter Cream, Baby Fish, Healthy Cracker, Cocoa Puff, Sandwich Oren, Family Crackers and Mini Puff. On Oct 16, the Government prohibited the import of baking powder (ammonium bicarbonate) from China following the recent findings of higher than allowed levels of melamine in them. The next day, Khong Guan promised to cooperate with the Health Department and take the necessary action to ensure that 18 of their products are safe for sale.


RM221,000 in car stolen


A 39-year-old local businessman lodged a Police report saying that two men stole the RM22 1,000 in cash which he had just withdrawn from a bank and left in his car. The victim, identified only as Voo, said the thieves smashed a window of his car while it was parked at Perdana Club here on Monday. The victim said he withdrew the money from the Public Bank here and put it in a bag before hiding it under the car’s front seat and entering the Club to meet his wife. Ten minutes later, he was informed by the security guard there that the window of his car had been broken by two men with helmets. The men had come on a motorcycle. District Police Chief ACP Jaafar Bin Yusof said the victim claimed that the rear tyre of his car was slashed while the bag containing the money missing. “It is believed that he had withdrawn the money to pay his workers. Police are investigating the case under Section 379 of the Penal Code,” Jaafar said.


I will only defend Supreme Council seat, says Musa


Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said he would only be defending his Umno Supreme Council seat, but could not stop any division from nominating him for the Party’s Vice-President post. On the Ranau Umno Division delegates nominating him for one of the three Vice-President posts at their meeting on Tuesday , Musa said: “Firstly, I wish to thank them for nominating me, but I’ve also told them that I would only be vying for a Supreme Council seat. “At the same time, I cannot stop them from nominating me,” he said when asked whether more divisions would be nominating him for the Vice-President post. Ranau Division Chief Datuk Masidi Manjun said on Tuesday that they decided to nominate Musa for the Vice-President (V-P) post instead of a Supreme Council seat as it was a popular request from the Division members and they unanimously agreed. Masidi said the Division felt that Musa was qualified for the V-P post, besides also nominating Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal and Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein for the post. On issues involving several divisional delegates’ meetings like the Batu Sapi, Putatan (Puteri Umno), Semporna (Youth) with conflicting statements given, Musa said the State Umno Liaison Committee would study the reports before investigating further and take appropriate action as provided by the Party constitution. “These Divisions are under investigations. If they have not flouted the rules, then their meetings are valid, otherwise they will have to meet again,” he said when met at the Sabah Petronas Aidilfitri open house here yesterday. On a number of branch heads summoned by the Committee to give their statements, Musa said the investigation was smooth and thorough as they did not want anybody to become victims as a result of the reports or the actions of certain people. “This is to ensure that whatever decision made by the Disciplinary Committee is a good decision,” he added. Asked whether those Divisions with problems would be able to hold their delegates’ meetings as there were only two weeks left for the divisional meetings to be completed, he said: “This will be considered. We will discuss it with the Umno headquarters.” At the open house, Musa also handed over 500 T-shirts from Petronas to Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka for the National Language and Literary Month as well as Raya ang pow to 113 poor students of SK Gayang and SK Kimanis. On the Opposition’s claim that the building of the Kota Kinabalu International Airport involved corruption, the Chief Minister said it was only aimed at inciting and creating turmoil in the country. “They have run out of ideas because that’s the only thing they know ... tell lies and incite people. They have not contributed constructively to the State and country.” DAP Padang Serai Member of Parliament N Gobalakrisnan had made the allegation when interjecting in Parliament the reply by Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Seri Lajim Ukin to a supplementary question from Datuk Mat Sirat Abu (BNBukit Katil) on the request by the Melaka Government to extend the Batu Berendam Airport runway. Lajim at that time was saying the Kota Kinabalu International Airport requited RM1.5 billion when Gobalakrisnan interjected, saying that “more than half of it is corruption money”. -Bernama


Special Unit should give priority to local cases: Donald


United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun and Murut Organization (UPKO)’s Citizenship and Security Bureau hopes the Special Unit at the National Registration (NRD) and Immigration Departments will give priority to cases concerning locals. Bureau Chief Donald Datuk Peter Mojuntin said special attention must be given to Sabahans holding red Malaysian identity cards as these people have been waiting for more than 20 years for their citizenship. “We understand the delay when foreigners are concerned. However, quite a number of red MyPR holders who are by every right Sabahans save for the fact that they were born in another country, have been waiting for decades for their application for citizenship to be approved,” he said and hoped that the Special Unit will prioritize the settlement of these cases. According to Donald, there are also cases of foreigners married legally to local Sabahans who had to wait a long time for the result of their PR application compared to 1MM 13 holders who seem to obtain their PR easily and the matter has become a sore point as well as a source of discontentment for locals. “We beg to differ with the honourable Minister that efforts to help our rakyat with regards to birth certificates, citizenship and status for their foreign spouses is politicising the issue. “As far as we are concerned, these are real issues that our people face day to day and there is an urgency to sort them out. Every responsible leader of the State and Country should be very concerned with a matter as fundamental as cases of ‘anak watan’ Sabah being denied citizenship,” he stressed. Donald also questioned the lengthy time taken by the authorities to process the Donald applications. “When a file reaches NRD Putrajaya, how many times does it have to be looked at before they are sure the application is genuine? Does the NRD have surveillance officers to monitor the applicants for years? “Most of the cases involving ‘anak watan’ are straightforward and this fact can be verified effectively if NRD officers interview family members as well as community leaders,” he said. According to Donald, it is understood that each case must receive the utmost scrutiny to ensure that there are no forgery or abuses but he was perplexed as towhy the scrutiny is only reserved for genuine applicants compared to apparently easier and express process for illegal immigrants and even 1MM13 holders. Donald added, “This is the heart wrenching reality for Sabahans. The Home Miflistry and the departments under it must realise and accept this. It must be a factor to be considered when looking through relevant applications made in Sabah. He said that whether the Government likes it or not, the perception and belief of the Sabah people is that it is easier for illegal immigrants and 1MM 13 holders to obtain legal documents by illegitimate means than it is for genuine applicants who follow the legal process. “Perhaps the Special Unit can also address this very pertinent issue,” he said. Donald also disclosed that the UPKO’s Citizenship and Security Bureau has been continuously receiving requests for assistance from all over Sabah with their respective applications and problems related to NRD. The cases brought to them are varied, he said adding, “suffice to say that they involve birth certificates, citizenship and PR status. We hope that we can work hand in hand with the NRD to settle as many of these cases as possible. “We managed to meet new State NRD Director on our last visit to the Department and we are happy to say that he has agreed to have a round table discussion with the Bureau in the near future,” he added. Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar on Tuesday announced the setting up of the Special Unit at the NRD and Immigration Department which, he said, would ensure that the backlogged applications for citizenship and residents status are cleared quickly. He said the Unit was set up following numerous complaints, especially in Sabah of applicants being kept waiting for too long to get their applications processed. “So I hope this issue will not be politicized anymore because it must be stressed that the applications cannot be simply approved as there are rules and regulations which have to be observed,” he said, adding that the applications must be scrutinized to avoid forgery cases. This, he pointed out, was to prevent the abuse of birth certificates, identify cards and passports issued by the Malaysian Government following reports of such cases by the Interpol


Asean can be role model in biodiversity conservation


Asean countries can be role models for other countries in biodiversity conservation, particularly within protected areas. Asean Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) Executive Director Rodrigo U Fuentes said with enhanced regional cooperation among Asean members, the loss of biodiversity had been markedly reduced. He said this was made possible after the environment Ministers of all Asean member countries (AMCs) signed an agreement establishing the ACB in 2005, paving the way for enhancing AMCs’ collaborative capacity to fulfill obligations to relevant treaties and conventions. Asean has designated 1,523 protected areas and declared 27 areas as Asean Heritage Parks, including the Kinabalu National Parkas World Heritage Site. In this respect, Fuentes said the ACB would continue to host biodiversity management courses in the Asean region — home to seven of the world’s 25 biodiversity hot spots. “That’s why, the ACB in cooperation with Universiti Malaysia Sabah, is holding a regional workshop for the development of course programmes and training for the protected area staff from today to Oct 24 at UMS’s Institute for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ITBC),” he told reporters, here yesterday. Fuentes said the workshop was for, among the objectives, identifying and prioritising course programmes and training to raise the competence of officials and staff of protected areas and conservation agencies in the Asean region. “While there are protected areas and community-conserved areas in Southeast Asia, park managers and staff still need to enhance their technical expertise to effectively manage these key environmental on biodiversity conservation in Sabah, Fuentes said he was impressed with the State Government’s initiative in designating large tracts of land as protected areas and community-conserved areas, thus contributing to the reduction of current rate of loss of biodiversity, especially endangered species. A community-conserved area or community-used zone refers to the natural or modified ecosytem containing significant biodiversity values, ecological services and cultural values voluntarily conserved by indigenous, mobile and local communities through customary laws or other effective means. - Bernama