Wednesday, November 26, 2008

THURSDAY-27 NOVEMBER 2008-URGENCY ON AIRPORT



URGENCY ON AIRPORT

NEW LAHAD DATU AIRPORT PROJECT DELAYED BUT COULD TAKE OFF UNDER 10TH PLAN

LAHAD DATU:

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.

THURSDAY-27 NOVEMBER 2008-CHRISTIANS TOLD TO AVOID YOGA



CHRISTIANS TOLD TO AVOID YOGA

TAWAU:

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.

THURSDAY-27 NOVEMBER 2008-MIXED RESPONSE TO NEW ROTI CANAI, TEH TARIK PRICES



MIXED RESPONSE TO NEW ROTI CANAI, TEH TARIK PRICES

KOTA KINABALU:

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.

THURSDAY-27 NOVEMBER 2008-TWO LOCAL SISTER WANT THEIR MYKAD



TWO LOCAL SISTER WANT THEIR MYKAD

KOTA KINABALU:

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.

THURSDAY-27 NOVEMBER 2008-GANG ROBBER GETS 12 YEARS, WHIPPINGS



GANG ROBBER GETS 12 YEARS, WHIPPINGS

KOTA KINABALU:

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

WEDNESDAY-26 NOVEMBER 2008-PRICES OF TEH TARIK, ROTI CANAI CUT BY 10 SEN





PRICES OF TEH TARIK, ROTI CANAI CUT BY 10 SEN

KOTA KINABALU:

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.

WEDNESDAY-FISHERMEN WANT KO-NELAYAN TO CONTINUE MANAGING E-DIESEL DISTRIBUTION



FISHERMEN WANT KO-NELAYAN TO CONTINUE MANAGING E-DIESEL DISTRIBUTION

KOTA KINABALU:

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.

WEDNESDAY-26 NOVEMBER 2008-CONSUMERS TOLD TO WATCH SPIRALLING PHONE BILLS



CONSUMERS TOLD TO WATCH SPIRALLING PHONE BILLS

KOTA BELUD:

Families are advised to watch out their spiralling mobile phone bills and check their children’s spending spree on unnecessary calls.

This advice came from Assistant Community Development and Consumer Affairs Minister Herbert Timbon Lagadan, especially for families who hardly have any cash left at the end of the month for other bills.

“In this modern day, everybody uses hand phone, even while tapping rubber, because it is convenient. However we must be discreet. Don’t let your family suffer just because too much of your hard-earned money is spent on phone bills.

“There is a study by CASH (Sabah Consumer Association of Sabah and Labuan) that shows some families even spent as high as 40 percent of their income on handphone bills alone! This is alarming and could have devastating effect on poor families,” Timbon said.

He said this while giving a talk at a dialogue between kampung folks with officers of a Government department and a bank in Kampung Lasau Lama near here yesterday.

Timbon who is the Kadamaian Assemblyman, also called on the villagers to make full use of opportunities provided by the various Government departments in the district.

“There are so many assistance schemes from the Government. You only need to go to the departments concerned. The Government even provides free fruit seedlings, fish fry, chicks and ducklings for those qualified, but not many know because they don’t ask or look for the departments,” he said.

Timbon said the good news for the Lasau folks is the on-going asphalting of the 15km stretch of road to Lasau. When completed it would enable the villagers to bring their agricultural produce to the town faster and cheaper.

WEDNESDAY-26 NOVEMBER 2008-MAN ACQUITTED OF MURDERING DAUGHTER



MAN ACQUITTED OF MURDERING DAUGHTER

KOTA KINABALU:

The High Court here yesterday acquitted a local man charged with murdering his three-year-old daughter two years ago.

“On hearing the foregoing evidence, I find the accused, Freddy Marginim, not guilty of the offence as charged by reason of his unsoundness of mind as contained in Section 84. He is therefore acquitted under Section 347 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC), under which I specifically find that he did commit the act in question,” said Datuk Nurchaya Hj Arshad in acquitting Freddy, 28, of the charge under Section 302 of the Penal Code which provides the death sentence on conviction.

“Pursuant to Section 348 (i) of the CPC, I order that the accused be kept in safe custody in the Kepayan Prison and I shall report the orders herein to the Yang di Pertua Negeri of Sabah so that an order may be made by the TYT pursuant to Section 348 (ii) thereof which reads; the ruler may order that person to be confined in a psychiatric hospital during the pleasure of the state,” Nurchaya added.

During the proceedings, Freddy’s parents and his close family members were present in the court.

After the court delivered the judgement, Counsel Arthur Bornie who represented the accused, explained to his client the outcome of the judgment. Freddy was accused of murdering his daughter Diana bt Freddy at a room of an unnumbered house in Kampung Pogunon, Penampang about 11pm on August
17, 2006.

He was ordered to enter his defence of the murder charge on Sept 3 this year after the court ruled that the prosecution had established a prima facie case against him.

Two witnesses were called during the trial before the defence closed its case. The accused was currently remanded under Section 259 of the Criminal Procedure Code as the alleged offence provides no bail.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Jamil Aripin prosecuted the case.

WEDNESDAY-26 NOVEMBER 2008-FILIPINO JAILED FOR STEALING FROM HANDICRAFT MARKET



FILIPINO JAILED FOR STEALING FROM HANDICRAFT MARKET

KOTA KINABALU:

A Filipino was jailed five days by the Magistrate’s Court here yesterday for stealing from a handicraft market.

Magistrate Dana Arabi Wazani imposed the sentence on 28-year- old Abdullah Tajib b Ahmad after he pleaded guilty to a charge under Section 380 of the Penal Code which provides a jail term of up to 10 years and a fine on conviction.

The court also ordered Tajib to be referred to the Immigration Department for further action after his release from prison.

The jobless accused admitted to stealing eight wrist watches, 15 hooks of key, two pens, a bracelet and a calculator altogether worth RM200 from the handicraft market in Sinsuran here about 3.3Oam on Nov 22, this year.

The facts of the case stated that a security guard patrolling at the place saw the accused bringing a shoulder bag.

He then stopped the accused and checked inside the bag and found the stolen items.

Meanwhile another man was also jailed five days for stealing a box of chainsaw blades altogether worth RM450 which belonged to his employer.
Afiq Jahari, 21, was accused of stealing the box which contained 100 pieces of chansaw blades from Syarikat Ing Tat Hardwares Trading Sdn Bhd in Kolombong about 1 lam on Nov 22, this year.

The offence under Section 381 of the Penal Code provides a jail term of up to seven years and a fine on conviction.

According to the facts of the case, while the complainant, Margaret Tsang Mei Ling, was inspecting her workers, he saw the accused hiding something under an abandoned lorry in the compound of the premises.

She then approached the accused and upon checking, he found a box containing the 100 pieces of chainsaw blades.

Margaret then brought the accused to the Kota Kinabalu Police Station for further action.

In another case, Chew Chee Chan, 35, was fined RM2,000 in default six months’ jail for possessing 0.15 gram of cannabis.

The accused was arrested by Police about 11pm on Sept 16 this year at a house in Kobusak Villa, Jalan Kobusak following the discovery of the drug in his possession.

Inspector Zamri Zakaria prosecuted all the cases.

Monday, November 24, 2008

TUESDAY-25 NOVEMBER 2008-BUNDUSAN ROAD PROJECT TO BE COMPLETED APRIL



BUNDUSAN ROAD PROJECT TO BE COMPLETED APRIL

PENAMPANG:

Residents and business operators along Jalan Bundusan will be relieved to know that the road upgrading project will be completed in April next year.

“It was the consensus from all quarters involved, the contractor, Public Works Department (PWD), utilities companies, telecommunication companies, City Hall and the Penampang District Council, among others during a meeting here today,” Kapayan Assemblyman Datuk Edward Khoo said.

Speaking to reporters after attending the meeting which was held at the Penampang District Council building yesterday, Khoo said he was satisfied with the outcome of the meeting.

“We have ironed out some of the technical problems involving the agencies and it was the consensus that the project will be completed in April. There will be no more delays,” Khoo who is also Assistant Minister to the Chief Minister, said.

According to him, the current delay was because Telekom Malaysia has requested addition time to recast its underground cables and the extra wet spell in the past few months had also played its part in making it very difficult for the work to proceed smoothly.

Earlier in the meeting, Khoo also asked that the road signages, especially those informing roadusers of diversions, to be placed accordingly.

“Diversion of traffic must also be planned properly and implemented smoothly because traffic flow there seems to change, making it very confusing for the roaduser” he said.

Khoo pointed out that the contractor and PWD should not assume that the road is only used by locals who would be familiar with the diversions and potholes and know how to avoid them.

“You must remember that there are tourists from outside Sabah like Sarawak and Brunei Darussalam who also drive here. So in the course of doing your work, treat yourself like a roaduser then you will understand how they feel and do what is right,” he said.

He also reminded the contractor meeting, and PWD to ensure that all the signages are installed with blinkers which are lit up at night.

“Already it is difficult to manoeuvre along the road with the ongoing upgrading works but it is extra dangerous for roadusers at night because they cannot see the diversions,” he said when stressing the need to have the blinkers as it can prevent any untoward incidents.

Meanwhile, PWD Engineer Mohd Shamsul Nizam who chaired the meeting, said the project was 68 percent completed.
Section 1 (KDCA to jalan Penampang Lama roundabout), Section 2 (Jalan Penampang Roundbout to JPJ) and section 5 (Jalan Kolam) are completed.

Only Section 3 (JPJ to Atlantis Restaurant) and Section 4 (Atlantis to SGCC roundabout) are still in progress, he said.

To a question if the electricity supply would be severely affected as the project continues, Mohd Shamsul replied that there would no be major power problem.

“There will however be two shutdowns but rest assured, notices will be published in the media so that the public is informed in advance,” he said.

He also said completed parts of the road will be lit up by mid December as streetlights would be installed by then.

TUESDAY-25 NOVEMBER 2008-GAS-FIRED PLANT WILL BENEFIT WEST COAST FOLKS: CM



GAS-FIRED PLANT WILL BENEFIT WEST COAST FOLKS: CM

KOTA KINABALU:

The proposed 300MW gas-fired power plant in Kimanis will benefit the people in the West Coast of Sabah, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said.

“Gas which will land at the Sabah Oil and Gas Terminal (SOGT) in Kimanis will be used to fire the 300MW plant and those living in the West Coast will benefit when the additional power is channelled to an existing grid system,” he said here yesterday.

Musa said this in his speech at the Shareholders Agreement (SHA) signing ceremony between Petronas Gas Bhd and Yayasan Sabah for the development of the plant.

According to him, by having better electricity supply, Sabah can also push for more investment for its industrial sector and other development initiatives which aim to bring growth in the long run.

“I wish to state here that the Government is concerned about power shortage and is committed to doing what it can to improve the situation. Allow me to assure the people of Sabah that we are not sitting on our laurels but instead working hard with parties such as Petronas to make sure that there will be sufficient power supply for the people and development requirements,” he said.

He added that the State Government is constantly looking for solutions because it understands that demand for electricity will continue to rise not just in the more developed urban areas but also in the outskirts and a large number of rural areas.

Sabah, Musa pointed out, has been an oil and gas producer for a long time and in the last six years, new discoveries were made in deepwater areas off the coast of the State.

He said that although oil and gas found off Sabah is considered a national resource, the State too is serious about developing its own oil and gas industry.

“This is one way of diversifying our economy, creation of supporting industries and employment opportunities for locals,” he said and added that returns from the lucrative industry can also be used to a certain extent for poverty eradication programmes in Sabah.

The State Government, he stressed, has been in discussions with Petronas since 2006 on the concept for a petrochemical plant that includes a master plan for downstream gas industries and it intends to work closely with Petronas to develop all possibilities in the oil and gas sector, including in downstream industries.

The fact that we have not publicised all these initiatives does not mean that we are not doing anything. All announcements on Government plans will be done at an appropriate time when key aspects of projects have been finalized and can be implemented.

“We do not want to make announcements for political mileage or vested interests,” he said adding that State agencies like Yayasan Sabah are currently working closely with Petronas to develop petrochemical projects such as the ammonia and urea plant.

According to Musa, a comprehensive study undertaken by Petronas on the development of the oil and gas industry in line with the requirements of the Sabah Development Corridor (SDC) is expected to be ready by the end of the year.

“We are eagerly awaiting the outcome of the study and we want to assure Petronas that the State will give its full support to Petronas to invest in Sabah. We also welcome Petronas’ commitment to invest billions of ringgit in developing the SOGT in Kimanis and we have the highest confidence that the small towns in the State’s west coast will be the catalyst for future growth of the oil and gas industry in Sabah,” he said.

He expressed hope that the investment will bring more development in the area and that spin-offs will eventually trickle down to the local community.

Musa also said that the State Government is looking forward to the establishment of a training centre at the SOGT as those trained’ there can be absorbed into the SOGT, the Kimanis power plant and for other downstrean industries.

This, he said, fits in well with one of the SDC aims of creating 900,000 jobs by the end of the plan in 2025.

“Today’s signing is very significant as it marks the first project in Sabah to utilise the gas which will land at the SOGT. It is our hope that more projects will come on stream after this to make use of gas from Sabah’s own fields,” he said.

Meanwhile Petronas Gas Chairman Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin in his opening remarks said that the SHA was signed following a Joint Development Agreement inked between Petronas and Yayasan Sabah on June 13 this year.

Under the SHA, the partners will form a joint venture company (Petronas 60 percent and Yayasan Sabah 40 percent) to develop, operate and maintain the proposed gas-fired power plant and its related facilities as well as infrastructure.

The joint venture company would also undertake the sale and delivery of electricity from the proposed power plant to meet the growing demand for electricity in Sabah, he said, adding that the first phase of the project is expected to be completed in 2012.

“Once completed, the first phase will be able to produce 150MW and the second phase is expected to be completed between six to 12 months later,” he said.

The ceremony which was held at a leading hotel here were also attended by State Secretary Datuk Sukarti Wakiman, Assistant Minister of Industrial Development Datuk Jainab Ahmad, Kimanis MP Datuk Anifah Aman, Sabah Foundation Director Tan Sri Khalil Jamalul, his Deputy, Dr Johan Ariffin, Petronas Gas Bhd CEO Samsuddin Miskon and Kota Kinabalu Mayor Datuk Iliyas Ibrahim.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

SUNDAY-23 NOVEMBER 2008-CONTINUE RO TEACH SCIENCE, MATHS IN NUMBER ONE LANGUAUE, SAYS DR M



CONTINUE RO TEACH SCIENCE, MATHS IN NUMBER ONE LANGUAUE, SAYS DR M

KUALA LUMPUR:

The teaching of Science and Mathematics in English should be continued to ensure Malaysian students, especially the Malays, are not left behind, said former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

He said the change to teach the two subjects in English from Bahasa Malaysia was to ensure students could master them and at the same time become more proficient in English, the number one language in the world.

“It is not aimed at neglecting Bahasa Malaysia. Furthermore, most publications on Science and Mathematics are in English.

“Take for example the cellular phone. If foreigners manufacture them equipped with cameras and the short-messaging facility but the manual is in English, can we use our science which is in Bahasa Malaysia to make the same hand phone? By the time we are done with the translation we will be left far behind,” he said at the “Malay Dilemma” discourse organised by the National Writers Association (Gapena) here yesterday.

He also cited the dark ages of the Arabs where they had to learn everything from the Greeks.

“Obviously they could not ask the Greeks to translate their knowledge into Arabic. The solution then was for them to learn Greek so that they could have access to the knowledge in their possession. By doing this, the Arabs became a progressive race,” he said, adding that the same applied in the current scenario in the country.

He also said being proficient in two languages was a great asset and cited himselfas an example.

“I studied in a Malay school for two years before my father transferred me to an English school. Thereafter all my educaton was in English.

“Did I lose ability to use Bahasa Malaysia? It will not signify the end of the Malay race if we are to learn in English as well,” he said.

SUNDAY-23 NOVEMBER 2008-YOGA BAN FOR MUSLIMS



YOGA BAN FOR MUSLIMS

Practise is haram for people is Islamic faith, rules National Fatwa Council

PUTRAJAYA:

The National Fatwa Council has ruled that yoga is “haram” for Muslims.

Its Chairman, Datuk Dr Abdul Shukor Husin said only I the physical aspect of yoga without the mantras and elements of worshiping outwardly was not wrong (in islam.

However, he said, yoga was not to be encouraged among Muslims for fear that it could erode their Islamic faith since the physical part was a component of yoga practice as a whole.

He said there were three stages to yoga practice, which originated from the Hindus — first, the physical aspect which is the exercise part; second the mantras and worshiping and third the unification of oneself with God.

“Therefore, members of the council reached a consensus that any practice, regardless of type and in whatever form that have such elements, contradict Islamic teachings,” he told a press conference here.

Abdul Shukor said the matter was decided at the 83rd National Fatwa Council meeting held in Kota Baharu from Oct 22 to 24 and that the decision would be conveyed so the respective state religious councils for gazetting.

He said yoga practice among Muslims had also been banned in Singapore and Egypt.

Abdul Shukor said various programmes would be carried out by the Islamic Development Department (Jakim) to enlighten Muslims on yoga.

He also advised Muslims to get information on any exercise programme before practising them to ensure that they would not affect their religious faith.

He said there were many other ways which Muslims could do to exercise for health, like praying.

Yoga has been practised since 3000 BC and is said to be able to slow down the ageing process, reduce the risk of diabetes, asthma and heart-related diseases.

SUNDAY-23 NOVEMBER 2008-HOUSE OF ELLRON’S FATHER AMONG 50 HIT BY FLOODS



HOUSE OF ELLRON’S FATHER AMONG 50 HIT BY FLOODS

KENINGAU:

The house of the father of Assistant Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Ellron Alfred Angin at Kampung Biah Tengah in Sook here was among more than 50 houses at several villages hit by floods when the swollen Biah River and other rivers overflowed their banks yesterday following overnight heavy rain.

The floodwaters were reported to be about two feet deep at worst-hit areas as Liawan, Bariawa and Mempikit rivers also burst their banks.

According to Sook People Development Leader, Charles Ikang, the house of Ellron’s father was among four affected in Kampung Biah Tengah.

Besides, more than 20 acres of cultivated farmland with crops like tobacco, oil palm seedlings, padi and others, were destroyed by the flood, he said.

Among other affected houses were three In Kampung Ansip Tengah and numerous others at Kampung Tuarid Liawan, Kampung Lingkudau.

The floodwaters also disrupted communication for about four hours when part of a wooden bridge collapsed as it was overflowed with water.

The problem was overcome after a machine from the Public Works Department was used to clear large amount of garbage and debris trapped under the bridge.

Meanwhile, in Kampung Kaurasan and Banjar, more than 30 houses were also affected by the floods.

Large amount of debris also had to be removed from under another bridge across Mempikit River with two machines from a private company here.

However, no casualties have been reported in the floods.

Meanwhile, District Officer Haji Zulkifli Nasir, who inspected the flood situation in Kampung Lingkudau, Kauran and Banjar, has advised the Village Development and Security Committee (JKKK) Chairmen and village headmen in the affected areas to register the flood victims.

He said community leaders should make a report on property including crops destroyed by the floods to the Community Welfare Department in order for the Department to provide assistance to lessen their burden.

He also reminded parents as well as the people living in the low-lying areas or near the rivers to take great care on their safety.

“If the rain continue, they must move to higher grounds with their important documents. It is for their own good and family safety,” he said.

Zulkifli said if they need assistance, they could contact the Police and District Fire and Rescue Services Department.

Friday, November 21, 2008

SATURDAY-22 NOVEMBER 2008-ANWAR SAYS SAPP WAS WISE TO LEAVE BN; ACCUSES GOVT OF RACIAL POLITICS



ANWAR SAYS SAPP WAS WISE TO LEAVE BN; ACCUSES GOVT OF RACIAL POLITICS

KOTA KINABAIU:

Sahah Progressive Party’s decision to leave the BN Coalition was a wise move, according to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who again accused the Government of playing racial politics.

“Once you decide to leave Barisan Nasional, you can really take the position and represent the conscience, sentiments and problems of your people,” said the Parti Keadilan Rakyat de facto Leader yesterday.

Speaking to reporters after officiating PKR Luyang Service Centre in Damai, here, he said that SAPP President, Datuk Yong Teck Lee, as well as the Partys two Members of Parliament, Datuk Chua Soon Bui and Datuk Eric Majimbun, had shown an impressive performance in the Parliament, having articulated their views effectively during sittings.

Asked if there is any possible cooperation with SAPP, the former Deputy Prime Minister disclosed that he had met Yong earlier yesterday and would be sitting down for a proper meeting today.

In responding to a question whether SAPP would be joining the Pakatan Rakyat, Anwar replied: “we discussed on many issues; it is not just SAPP, you know .”

He quickly added: “May be the rest have not said anything, they may have not told you, (but) they have told me, or they may have told you but you are keeping it a secret.”

“The situation has changed. The equation has changed. Based on our performance in the Peninsular, the results were a remarkable phenomenon.”

On whether the mission to take over the Federal Government is still on, he replied: “Taking over is predicated upon the readiness which I have said on Sept 16, it is a clear position but a contingent upon the modus operandi which is legal and constitutional ... that was why we asked for a meeting with the Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) and a special session in Parliament. We have not got it.

“But can you, in any democratic process, seriously think you can stop the march of the people if they attempt to a change?... You cannot.

“I watched the news last (previous) night and I watched how the Government was playing with racial tones, talking on Malay leadership (kepimpinan Melayu), on how the Perak Government gave land to build a Chinese school, how the Selangor and Kedah Governments gave land for pig rearing… what is this? You mean to say there is no need for pig rearing? Is there no pig rearing in Sabah? This is not politics; it is instilling a climate of fear among the Malays.

“If you read the papers, they made us look like we are traitors to the Malay community, as preached by the Umno leaders in Parliament. That is why I asked to meet the people to explain to them the situation as I have no other means to tell,” he said.

Anwar said as a Muslim, he is not against people who eat pork.

“I am a Muslim, I do not take liquor nor eat pork, but does my religion forbid me from allowing non- Muslims to take pork, then what can I do? Can I do more than what Islam requires me to do? No.”

He said if there is a pig farm nearby, then the owners must respect and clean it up.

“That is our concern now. The battle now is not to play politics but the right politics for this country. Now I am here to face them head on, that is why they do not tolerate me and threatened me with jail. I don’t care, I have a duty to perform and I will do it,” he said.

He urged the BN Government to stop talking on the issue, adding that it defeats the whole purpose of promoting national integration and security.

SATURDAY-22 NOVEMBER 2008-ANWAR WILLING TO NEGOTIATE OIL ROYALTY REVIEW WITH KL



ANWAR WILLING TO NEGOTIATE OIL ROYALTY REVIEW WITH KL

KOTA KINABALU:

Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is willing to negotiate a review on the oil royalty with the Federal Government.

“What is stopping any State Government from negotiating and re- negotiating the agreement? There is no provision,” he said in responding to Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman’s statement that Sabah cannot seek a revision of the five per cent petroleum royalty.

Stressing that it is not provided for in the 1976 petroleum agreement signed between the State and Federal Governments, Musa who is also the State Finance Minister, urged the people to realise that there are still many opportunities to benefit from crude oil in Sabah waters.

“I believe the Chief Minister is wrong because anything concerning the oil royalty is negotiable between the State and Federal Governments. If he (Musa) is not ready to discuss the matter, he should have let Pakatan Rakyat take over so that we can negotiate,” said Anwar who is on a two-day visit to Sabah.

His remarks however drew laughter from the crowd yesterday but Anwar stressed that he was not joking.

“The policy stand that we have the means to grant 20 per cent royalty to Terengganu, Sabah and Sarawak, and to oil-producing States for that matter.

“Given that scenario, the State should find it easier to negotiate because they will only go through the financial procedures, make sure it is full observed and what are the terms,” he said.

“If the Chief Minister of Sabah thinks this is not possible, (then) Sabahans should not give him the mandate,” Anwar stressed.

Musa had said in the Finance Ministry’s winding up speech during the State Legislative Assembly sitting on Thursday that some of the opportunities had been channelled to the Ninth Malaysia Plan through several high impact projects such as a petrochemical industry and power plant.

SATURDAY-22 NOVEMBER 2008-SUPERPANEL IS A MONOPOLY, SAY SCRAP METAL DEALERS



SUPERPANEL IS A MONOPOLY, SAY SCRAP METAL DEALERS

KOTA KINABALU:

The Sabah Scrap Metals Recycle Association (SSMRA) wants the State Government to abolish the controversial decision to appoint a Government-linked company (GLC) as the State’s sole exporter of scrap metals and recyclable materials.

SSMRA President Jennifer Hiew said this would allow her members to continue to trade freely.

“This is simply because the GLC will eventually determine the ‘market price’ (of scrap metal and recyclables) and therefore, we will be at its mercy or full control and ultimately be forced out of business,” she said here yesterday.

She was responding to a recent statement by Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Hajiji Mohd Noor that the Government would never force scrap metal dealers in the State out of business.

While noting that the Minister had duly lnformed the local authorities to allow for the renewal of the scrap metal dealers’ trading licence until such tine when the new mechanism to issue the licence is implemented, she contended that as long as the decision stays, their fundamental right to trade freely and legitimately still comes under threat by such a move.

“This is particularly true when the Minister concerned had stated very clearly in his statement that the Government has every intention to control the export of scrap metals from Sabah,” Jennifer said.

She also refuted Hajiji’s claim that the appointment of Superpanel Sdn Bhd as the sole purchaser and exporter of scrap metals was to address the rampant theft of metal throughout the State, saying it is simplistic and misguided.

“What sort of guarantee is there that the problem of rampant metal theft in the State would be a thing of the past with the appointment of the GEC as the sole purchaser and exporter of scrap metals?

“Can this GLC guarantee that they will perform better than the Police in preventing someone from stealing all those items made from steel and metal? Are they also going to sieve through every single piece of scrap metal that they purchase to determine which is stolen and which is not, before they export the metal?” she questioned.

She said the decision to appoint Superpanel as the sole agent is unfair to the Association’s members as it is monopolistic in nature and would eventually force them out of business.

She noted that the Association had recently gone to the State Legislative Assembly building and handed over a memorandum to all the elected representatives and Cabinet Ministers, including Hajiji himself.

The memorandum highlights scrap metal dealers’ plight and urged the State Government to revoke its decision to appoint a sole purchaser and exporter of scrap metals in the State, said Jennifer .

Superpanel, a new wholly-owned subsidiary of the Sabah Housing and Town Development Authority (SHTDA), was appointed as the sole exporter of scrap metals and recyclable materials following a State Cabinet decision on Aug 6 this year to curb metal thefts in the State.

A directive was issued to all local authorities in the State on Sept 26 instructing them to stop renewing existing trading licences and issuing new ones after Nov 1, and requiring all applicants for scrap metal trading licences to first register with Superpanel.

SATURDAY-22 NOVEMBER 2008-POLICE WILL FIND SUITABLE LOCATION TO DETONATE BOMB



POLICE WILL FIND SUITABLE LOCATION TO DETONATE BOMB

KENINGAU:

Police will find a suitable location to detonate a World War Two bomb found by a construction worker at Luagan here on Monday afternoon.

District Police Chief DSP Zahari Mohammad said on Thursday that the bomb which is more than one meter long and weighing about 1,000 pounds, could cause devastating effects to the surrounding areas.

Therefore a place far away from residential areas has to be identified before it could be detonated, he said, adding the bomb is still under 24-hour Police supervision.

There are several villages and Government buildings situated below 500 meters from the location of the bomb. They are Kampung Luagan Baru, Taman Rakyat, Toboh Baru, Hospital Keningau, SMK Keningau II, SK Luagan, Petronas Gas Supply Centre at Kampung Luagan Baru, Taman Jutaya II, Kampung Tudan Baru and Kampung Bayangan.

Excavator operator Adnan Basiran found the bomb when doing earth work at the construction site around 5.45pm on Monday.

SATURDAY-22 NOVEMBER 2008-MAN JAILED FOR STEALING FROM 10 VEHICLES



MAN JAILED FOR STEALING FROM 10 VEHICLES

KOTA KINABALU:

A local man was jailed a total of 18 months by the Magistrate’s Court here yesterday for 10 charges of stealing properties from vehicles.

Magistrate Dana Arabi Wazani imposed the sentence on Abdul Muin Edilis, 18, after he pleaded guilty to all the charges each under Section 379 of the Penal Code which provides a jail term of up to seven years or a fine, or both, on conviction.

For the first charge, Abdul Muin was jailed three months for stealing Paulus Saimi’s hand phone and RM100 from a Kancil vehicle which was parked near Maybank in Kampung Air about 5am on Oct 10.

The second charge landed Abdul Muin in jail for one month for stealing Chung Shiau Wei’s laptop from another Kancil vehicle parked in front of Milimewa Superstore in Jalan Pantai about 10. 3Opm on Oct 17.

He was jailed another one month for stealing Mohd Ramlee Mohd Talib’s hand phone from a Perodua Viva parked at the back of Wisma Merdeka about 6pm on Oct 7.

For the fourth charge, Abdul Muin was jailed three months for stealing Gleen Jerrv James Mindong’s laptop and pendrive altogether worth RM2,500 from a Toyota Hilux vehicle about 9pm on Nov 13.

The accused was jailed one month for the fifth charge of stealing documents and house and office keys from a Kelisa car which was parked at the back of Hyatt Hotel here about 6.3Opm on Oct 21.

For the sixth charge, he was jailed two months for stealing Liau Heng Yi’s cloth bag from a Kancil vehicle parked near Upper Star in Segama here.

He admitted to committing the offence with an accomplice who is still at large about 7pm on Nov 11.

Abdul Muin was jailed another two months for the seventh charge of stealing Ann o. Mail’s RM600 cash, a gold chain and another item altogether worth RM2,000 from a Kelisa vehicle parked at the back of Burger King in Segama about 10.3Opm on Oct 30.

For the eight charge, the accused was sentenced to one month’s jail for stealing Juli bt Battin’s laptop worth RM2,334 from a Gen2 vehicle parked at the back of CIMB bank in Jalan Gaya here about 2.5Opm on Oct 27.

The accused was jailed another three months for stealing Azizah bt Abdul Kadi’s personal documents, a laptop and RM45 cash altogether worth RM2,000 from a Kancil vehicle parked near at a KFC outlet in Segama here at about 10pm on Oct 24.

Meanwhile for the 10th charge, Abdul Muin was jailed one month for stealing Josli Kalumpang’s clothes and documents valued at RM268 from an Isuzu Trooper vehicle parked at the back of Burger King in Segama about 4. l5pm on Oct 27.

According to the facts of the case, the accused stole all the items by breaking the windows of the vehicles or forcing open the doors.

The Magistrate ordered all the sentences to run consecutively.

Inspector Syahrin b Ali prosecuted all the cases.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

FRIDAY-21 NOVEMBER 2008-OIL PACT: FORGET ABOUT REVIEW



OIL PACT: FORGET ABOUT REVIEW

CM: 1976 AGREEMENT HAS NO PROVISION AND ISSUE SHOULD NOT BE RAISED

The 1976 Agreement between the State and Federal Government contains no provision for a review of the existing rate of oil royalty payment to Sabah.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said this when replying to Luyang Assembly Member Melanie Chia who asked during the debate on the RM2.7billion State Budget 2009 whether the State Government intended to review the existing rate of oil royalty payment.

“Barang yang lepas jangan dikenang, kalau dikenang merosak diri (Past matters should not be raised as it will only hurt),” he said in his winding up speech on the debate of the State Budget.

Instead, Musa, who is also the Finance Minister, reckoned that as far as the oil royalty issue is concerned, the people should adopt a broad-minded attitude.

He said opportunities still abound for Sabah to reap the benefits from the revenue generated over the production of crude oil commodities that are found in Sabah waters.

“Those benefits are channelled through the Ninth Malaysia Plan and the various proposed high projects such as the petrochemcial industry and electricity power plants,” Musa said.

The Budget that was unveiled by Musa last Friday was passed by the House on the final day sitting of the State Legislative Assembly for this year yesterday.

In reasoning the State Government’s decision to come up with a deficit budget, Musa said “we are planning for the future and not tomorrow” for the State and the people.

Further more, an expansionary budget is required to ensure that the State economy would continue to grow and to prevent Sabah from being hit by an economic slowdown, he added.

To ensure the targeted revenue for 2009 is achieved, the Chief Minister said the Finance Ministry had taken into account the plans put in place by the other Government departments.

Musa said these included the Land and Survey, Forestry and Water Departments, which are the main contributors to the State’s coffers.

These Departments had been directed to adopt a conservative approach in coming up with forecast revenue collections.

“Besides, enforcement efforts have been further enhanced to ensure there is no loss of revenue, while certain banks were appointed as revenue collection agents and more collection counters and diversification of payment facilities such as the Internet were created to boost revenue collection,” he said.

On the issue of tax rate on palm oil raised by Sri Tanjung Assemblyman, Jimmy Wong, from the DAP, Musa pointed out that the State Government Only imposes sales tax and not on profit as provided for under the State Sales Tax Enactment 1998.

“Tax imposed on profit of sales is beyond the State Government’s jurisdiction,” he said, adding that may be, Jimmy does not fully understand the tax mechanism system of crude palm oil.

FRIDAY-21 NOVEMBER 2008-RM3 BLN GAS PIPELINE PART OF INTEGRATED OIL AND GAS PROJECT IN SABAH: CM



RM3 BLN GAS PIPELINE PART OF INTEGRATED OIL AND GAS PROJECT IN SABAH: CM

Petronas’ oil and gas projects in Sabah generate multiplier effects on the State’s economic development and the people.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman in disclosing this yesterday said the positive impacts were obvious in the urban areas and new industrial centres.

There were more business and job opportunities, and human resources to support the oil and gas-based industry in the State, according to him.

The State Government realized the need to create oil and gas downstream industries, as contained in the Sabah Industrial Action Plan and the necessary steps had been taken.

He said the State Economic Planning Unit had set up a temporary committee comprising the State Attorney General Office, Inland Revenue Secretary’s Office, Finance Ministry, Industrial Development Ministry and Industrial and Research Development Department; and the Sabah Energy Corporation had come up with a strategy and integrated measures to develop the oil and gas- based downstream industry in Sabah.

On a call by Luyang Assemblywoman, Melanie Chia, to cancel the RM3 billion gas pipeline between Kimanis and Bintulu (Sarawak), Musa responded that the ownership, power and venturing rights, use and extraction of petroleum resources in Malaysia are under the jurisdiction of Petronas exclusively as stipulated in the Petroleum Development Act, 1974.

“However the Federal Government had assured that the Sabah Oil and Gas Terminal (SOGT) will not affect the oil and gas supplies to the State as well as the royalty payment on the oil and gas sent to Bintulu,” he said.

Further explaining in his winding- up speech at the State Legislative Assembly yesterday, Musa said the Sabah-Sarawak Gas Pipeline (SSGP) project is part of the integrated oil and gas project which is carried out by Petronas in Sabah.

The integrated project involves the development of the newly found oil and gas boarders off Sabah waters, construction of the SOGT in Kimanis and construction of SSGP from Kimanis to the LNG Petronas Complex in Bintulu.

Through the SOGT project, gas resources would be released from off Sabah waters and docked at SOGT Kimanis. Part of the gas will be channelled towards the use of energy and industrial sectors in Sabah, while the remainder will be sent to LNG Petronas Complex in Bintulu.

He explained that as of Jan 1 this year, the gas reserve in the Sabah waters was 12.7 trillion square feet or about 14 per cent of the overall Country’s gas reserves.

“The gas boarders in Sabah waters are scattered and small, not like those in the Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak. Development on the gas reserves in Sabah will have to be done in an integrated way and it involves high costs,” he explained.

Musa also said the development investment cost on oil, gas and petrochemical plants shot Lip following the 225 per cent increase on construction materials, such as iron and metal in the last five years.

Yayasan Sabah and Petronas had also signed a pact to build a 300 megawatt electricity generation plant in Kimanis, which could beef up the energy supplies in Sabah.

FRIDAY-21 NOVEMBER 2008-BOXING RING FOR TAWAU





BOXING RING FOR TAWAU



KOTA KINABALU:



The Youth and Sports Ministry will provide a boxing ring for Tawau next year.



Its Minister Datuk Peter Pang En Yin announced this yesterday when replying to a question from Pang Nyuk Ming (BN-Merotai) at the State AssembIy.



According to Pang, the boxing ring project is in recognition of the commitment of the district in producing many good boxers.



Among outstanding boxers from Tawau is Reitz Zakaria who represented Malaysia at the Seoul Cup in South Korea in 1994, Mayor’s Cup in the Philippines in 1995 and the SEA Games in Thailand in 1995.

Others include Reno J. Talad and Lokman Ridwan who represented the country in the Agong’s Cup in 1996 and Jason J. Talad in the same tournament in 1998.



Tawau is also arguably the main producer of Peter Pang boxers for Sabah, with two of its athletes representing the State at the Malaysia Games (Sukma) in Terengganu this year.



Pang also said his Ministry will cooperate with all 38 sports associations in the State to produce good athletes.



He said the Sabah Sports Council (SSC) too will help out in forming the Satellite Sports Science and Sports Medics Centre (Pusat Satelit Sains Sukan dan perubatan Sukan) in the State, which is expected to start operation next year.



The SSC is also responsible in identifying potential athletes, coaches, sports science courses and tournaments at state, national and international levels.



Pang asked the Sabah Sports Board (SSB) to do a research on the development of sports facilities at district levels, including for new sport events.



He said the SSB will be responsible for readying facilities at sports complexes including courts.



“We have eight sport complexes in the State,” he said.



Meanwhile, Pang announced that his Ministry will launch a Youth Complaints Website next month.



Through the website, themed ‘Suara Anda, Inspirasi Kami’ (Your Voices, Our Inspirations), the people especially youths will be able to provide their constructive range of views, proposals and ideas aboit youth development in the State.



Pang said all the development programmes previously planned will continue but the Ministry will take an open approach starting next year where the youth associations will be given full faith to implement their own programmes.



Under the RM2,778.81 million State Budget 2009, the Ministry received RM36. 18 million for Supply Expenditure and RM33. 17 million for Development Expenditure.

FRIDAY-21 NOVEMBER 2008-BOXING RING FOR TAWAU



BOXING RING FOR TAWAU

KOTA KINABALU:

The Youth and Sports Ministry will provide a boxing ring for Tawau next year.

Its Minister Datuk Peter Pang En Yin announced this yesterday when replying to a question from Pang Nyuk Ming (BN-Merotai) at the State AssembIy.

According to Pang, the boxing ring project is in recognition of the commitment of the district in producing many good boxers.

Among outstanding boxers from Tawau is Reitz Zakaria who represented Malaysia at the Seoul Cup in South Korea in 1994, Mayor’s Cup in the Philippines in 1995 and the SEA Games in Thailand in 1995.

Others include Reno J. Talad and Lokman Ridwan who represented the country in the Agong’s Cup in 1996 and Jason J. Talad in the same tournament in 1998.

Tawau is also arguably the main producer of Peter Pang boxers for Sabah, with two of its athletes representing the State at the Malaysia Games (Sukma) in Terengganu this year.

Pang also said his Ministry will cooperate with all 38 sports associations in the State to produce good athletes.

He said the Sabah Sports Council (SSC) too will help out in forming the Satellite Sports Science and Sports Medics Centre (Pusat Satelit Sains Sukan dan perubatan Sukan) in the State, which is expected to start operation next year.

The SSC is also responsible in identifying potential athletes, coaches, sports science courses and tournaments at state, national and international levels.

Pang asked the Sabah Sports Board (SSB) to do a research on the development of sports facilities at district levels, including for new sport events.

He said the SSB will be responsible for readying facilities at sports complexes including courts.

“We have eight sport complexes in the State,” he said.

Meanwhile, Pang announced that his Ministry will launch a Youth Complaints Website next month.

Through the website, themed ‘Suara Anda, Inspirasi Kami’ (Your Voices, Our Inspirations), the people especially youths will be able to provide their constructive range of views, proposals and ideas aboit youth development in the State.

Pang said all the development programmes previously planned will continue but the Ministry will take an open approach starting next year where the youth associations will be given full faith to implement their own programmes.

Under the RM2,778.81 million State Budget 2009, the Ministry received RM36. 18 million for Supply Expenditure and RM33. 17 million for Development Expenditure.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

THURSDAY-20 NOVEMBER 2008- 46 FILIPINOS' ILLEGAL ENTRY BID THWARTED





46 Filipinos’ illegal entry bid thwarted


SANDAKAN:

An attempt to smuggle in 46 Filipino nationals to Sabah was foiled by the Marine Police here in the wee hours yesterday.

Acting District Marine Police Chief Chief Inspector Sri Vikneswaran A/L Renganathan said they were arrested on board a locally- registered passenger boat for trying to enter the country illegally.

He said a Marine Police patrol boat intercepted the passenger boat in the Malaysian waters near Batuh Putih, off Mile 7 here, during a routine “Ops Tayang” beat in the area about 3.45am.

The passengers comprised 20 men, 14 women and 12 children, said Vikneswaran, adding that initial investigation showed all the suspects were from the Cagayan Island in the Philippines.

He said the suspects would be handed over to the Immigration Department for further action to be taken accordingly.

“We are still continuing with our investigation to determine if a syndicate is involved in smuggling foreigners into Sabah,” he said.

He also said the boat used to ferry the illegal immigrants had been detained to facilitate investigation.

Members of the public are advised to cooperate with the Marine Police in combating smuggling activities by contacting the Police round-the- clock Hotline 089-221423/. 089-221424/089.- 221453 or 089-221455 (facsimile).

THURSDAY-20 NOVEMBER 2008-FIRE SCARE AT SUPERMARKET IN TAWAU





Fire scare at supermarket in Tawau


TAWAU:

An electrical socket at the Millimewa Superstore in Fajar here exploded on Tuesday night, causing black smoke to be emitted but no injury was reported.

District Fire and Rescue Department Chief Johnny Oyong @ Azi Zakaria said 12 firefighters in two fire engines rushed to the scene within minutes after a distress call was received from 11:19pm.

The fire fighters, led by Johnny himself, quickly broke open the store’s main door and found one of the sockets had burned out. The ceiling of the store had turned black from the smoke.

Johnny said the security guard made the distress call after he saw smoke coming out of the store, adding the cause of the estimated loss Was still under investigation.

THURSDAY-20 NOVEMBER 2008-FATHER AND TWO CHILDREN KILLED IN ROAD ACCIDENT IN SANDAKAN





FATHER AND TWO CHILDREN KILLED IN ROAD ACCIDENT IN SANDAKAN


SANDAKAN:

A man and his two children were killed on the spot when a four-wheel-drive vehicle they were traveling in, collided with a lorry at the 37km jalan Sandakan-Beluran yesterday.

The deceased were identified as Wan Mohd Yusli Pg Yusop, in his 30s, a nine-year-old daughter and a nine-month-old baby whose sex could not be ascertained by the police.

Wan Mohd Yusli’s wife and a couple, believed to be relatives, sustained minor injuries in the crash about 1pm. They were warded at the Beluran Hospital.

Sandakan Police Chief ACP Rosli Mohd Isa said the family was on its way to Kota Kinabalu and the lorry, to Sandakan, when the incident occurred.

He said five fireman from the Sandakan Fire and Rescue Department spent about an hour to extricate the bodies of the deceased who were pinned to their seats in the wrecked vehicle.

The bodies were sent to the Duchess Of Kent Sandakan Hospital for post-mortem.

Meanwhile in SEREMBAN, two female tourist from china were killed when a car rammed into them opposite the Jusco shopping complex in Seremban 2 on Tuesday night.

Lim Ee Mei, 39, and Du Qiao Sing, 32, who had just arrived here, were crossing the road to get into a waiting car when they were mowed down.

They succumbed to head and body injuries, about four hours after admission to the Tuanku Ja’afar Hospital here.

Negeri Sembilan Traffic Police Chief ASP Abd Halil Hamzah said the mishap occurred about 10pm.

He said the Police had recorded a statement from the car driver to facilitate investigations and were waiting for the deceased’s family members and a representative from the Embassy of the Replubic of China to claim the bodies.

THURSDAY-20 NOVEMBER 2008-ST15 RICE PRICE STANDARDISED SINCE JUNE: MINISTRY



ST15 RICE PRICE STANDARDISED SINCE JUNE: MINISTRY

TAWAU:

The Government has standardised the price of grade ST1 5 rice between West Malaysia and Sabah at RM1. 80 per kilogramme since June 1 and will have purchased 56,447 metric tonnes of ST15 rice from October until the end of the year to ease the rice shortage in the State.

This was revealed by the Minister of Agriculture and Agrobased Industries in reply to a question in the Dewan Rakyat from Tawau Member of Parliament Datuk Chua Soon Bui recently.

Chua had wanted to know the Government’s plan to counter the shortage of rice in Sabah and why open market competition for purchase of rice was not implemented to reduce the price of rice.

The written statement by the Ministry also stated that the privatisation of Bernas, signed between Bernas and the Government on Jan 12 1996, gave Bernas monopoly rights as the sole importer of rice in the country, and there is no plan to permit any other party to import rice into Sabah.

It also stated Bernas was tasked with certain obligations under Article 4 of the Bernas Privatization Memorandum with the Government, including managing and maintaining the stockpile of rice in the country at 92,000 metric tonnes at all times and acting as the final buyer, to ensure that rice would always be available at a reasonable price.

THURSDAY-20 NOVEMBER 2008-HUNDREDS FAILED TO SIT FOR PMR, SPM





HUNDREDS FAILED TO SIT FOR PMR, SPM

SULABAYAN Assemblyman Datuk Harman Mohammad yesterday disclosed that about 40 percent of the students in SMK Bum-Bum were unable to sit for their PMR and SPM examinations because they do not have the identification card.

“There are about 1,000 students in SMK Bum-Bum and 40 percent of them could not sit for the Government examinations as they have yet to be issued their MyKad,” Harman said when debating the State Budget 2009 yesterday.

According to Harman, the students were unable to get their MyKad because of a new National Registration Department (NRD) regulation insisting that the parent’s marriage certificate be produced when a child applies for the identification document.

“This regulation has caused problems to parents in rural areas, especially those who have been married for a long time as they could have misplaced their marriage certificate,” he said, adding that family in his constituency experienced the inconvenience caused by the NRD regulation.

“However when they went to apply for an identification card for their youngest child, they were told to include their marriage certificate. Since they were unable to do so, the application is still pending until now,” Harman said, adding that the Government, both State and Federal, must address the problem and make it easier for the people, especially those in the rural areas and isolated islands, to obtain their identification documents.

Stressing that it was not his intention to criticise the Government, he said: “This is a very serious matter which needs urgent attention from the Government because students who do not have their identification cards cannot continue their studies.”

Most of them are locals and from poor families, he said and pointed out that without proper education, they cannot improve and would not be able to elevate their family’s status.

“It is my greatest hope that the Government would give due attention to the problem and instruct the relevant agency to act accordingly,” he said.

WEDNESDAY-19 NOVEMBER 2008-EXCAVATOR OPERATOR NEARLY KILLED BY BOMB







Excavator operator nearly killed by bomb

KENINGAU:

An excavator operator nearly triggered an old bomb when working at a construction site in Luagan near Kampung Luagan Baru and Kampung Toboh Baru here on Monday evening.

Adnan Barisan, 28, yesterday said at the construction site that he found the bomb, believed to be used during the Second World War, when doing earthwork at 5.46pm.

“I felt something wrong with the Hitachi excavator I was operating. I stopped the work and went down to see. When I saw the object was like a bomb, I felt scared and moved away from the place immediately,” he said.

Adnan reported to the foreman and after ensuring that it was a bomb, the foreman contacted the Police who came and fenced up the area immediately.

The Police have stationed personnel round the clock to prevent people from getting near the bomb.

District Police Chief DSP Zahari Mohammad when contacted yesterday, confirmed the existence of the bomb but had not set any date to detonate it.

He advised the public not to go near the area because it is dangerous.

A bomb was found in the same area three years ago. It was detonated by the Bomb Disposal Unit from the Police Headquarters in Kepayan.

WEDNESDAY-19 NOVEMBER 2008-BEAUFORT CAN BE TOP PRODUCER OF ORANGES, PINEAPPLES




BEAUFORT CAN BE TOP PRODUCER OF ORANGES, PINEAPPLES

LUMADAN Assemblyman Kamralin Ombi has urged the Agriculture and Food Industry Ministry to exploit the constituency’s agricultural sector.

“Everyone knows that fruits such as local mandarin oranges and pineapples are synonymous with Beaufort as the district produces the best and sweetest of these fruits,” he said when debating the State Budget 2009 yesterday.

The Ministry, Kamarlin said should carry outa scientific studying how to turn Beaufort in the country’s main producer of local mandarin oranges as well as being an exporter of the fruit.

“A kilogram of the local mandarin oranges costs about RM6 to RM7 and best of all, the fruit is not seasonal, so there will be a constant supply,” he said, adding that the pineapples which are grown in his constituency are also of top quality and together, these two fruits can help generate the State’s income.

He also urged the Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry to develop the constituency’s tourism potential as it is slowly gaining recognition as a destination to see the elusive proboscis monkey and fireflies.

“Other than building infrastructure such as chalets and resthouse, the ministry must also include the area in its list of main tourist spots in Sabah so that more people can learn about this place and what it has to offer,” Kamarlin said.

Kamarlin also urged the Government to upgrade several roads especially in low lying areas in his constituency which is flood prone.

Daily life including the schooling process of children are affected everytime flood occurs, he said adding that by upgrading and elevating the roads from Padas Damit to Beaufort, the residents will be able to go about their daily routine easily.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

WEDNESDAY-19 NOVEMBER 2008-HILL CUTTING, RIVER POLLUTION WORST SINS




HILL CUTTING, RIVER POLLUTION WORST SINS

Assemblyman blames quarry operators for environmental woes


KOTA KINABALU:

An Assemblyman told the House yesterday that environmental protection campaigns are a failure.

Stressing that the campaigns had failed to meet the objective in educating the public on how better to conserve the environment, Inanam Assemblyman Johnny Goh disclosed that hill cutting and river pollution remain the worst sins.

Despite numerous campaigns involving a lot of money, the rivers are as polluted as ever and hill cutting remains rampant, he said.

“Funds allocated to finance river rehabilitation programmes to curb erosion and pollution have failed to meet the target,” he said.

Goh therefore urged the State Government to look into the issue seriously and to take stern action against those who fail to adhere to the rules and regulations.

“In fact, there are a lot of rivers in Inanam such as Sungai Telipok, Sungai Mansiang, Sungai Kironggu and Sungai Keliangau which used to be crystal clear with abundance species of freshwater fish... but now all are just history due to pollution,” he said when debating in support of the 2009 Budget at the State Legislative Assembly.

Goh blamed irresponsible quarry operators for the existing problems, saying that their unplanned hill cutting activities have badly affected the ecosystem, causing mudslides and flash floods.

He also questioned whether their activities were approved by the Department of Environment and other relevant authorities, and sometimes some quarries were found to have not obtained the green light from the Government.

“The July 17, 2005 floods had badly affected Telipok and Menggatal causing losses up to millions of ringgit and claiming several lives. Although some parties had blamed them on swelling rivers, others linked the problem to erosion with the existence of quarries at the upstream of Sungai Telipok and Mansiang,” he said.

“We must take heed of past experiences. Everyone must be transparent and trustworthy. Do not be too greedy and neglect the people’s interest, as it would only bring destruction to all,” he said.

Goh stressed that everybody should work together to conserve and preserve the environment for the future generation.

“It is not fair for us to reap everything now and leave the future generation to suffer. But we can make it better if we all just work together,” he said.

In addition to this, he also urged the relevant authorities to upgrade piping system in his constituency to prevent occurrence of flash floods.

On another development, Goh urged the National Registration Department and other agencies to carry out a thorough study and ensure all Bumiputera red identity card holders are made citizens.

Referring to 78-year-old local Sino-Kadazan woman Yong Lee Hua @ Piang Lin who was given a red IC before she finally received a replacement for her lost MyKad last month, Gob also urged village heads and Village Security and Development Committee to identify Bumiputeras who are paperless.

Yong lost her MyKad in February last year and was issued a red card, which is meant for a Permanent Resident (MyPR), and suffered more when her bank accounts were frozen as a result.

WEDNESDAY-19 NOVEMBER 2008-NEW HOSPITAL NEAR KINARUT



NEW HOSPITAL NEAR KINARUT


Govt ready to give land for project near State Capital but exact site yet to be identified: Musa

KOTA KINABALU:

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman yesterday disclosed that the proposed site for a new hospital is between Putatan and Kinarut.

“It is more or less after Putatan and most probably near Kinarut although the exact location has yet to be identified because the Health Ministry will need 50 to 100 acres for the health facility project,” Musa said.

He was speaking to reporters after a courtesy call by Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai at the State Legislative Assembly building yesterday.

According to Musa, during his discussion with Liow, he told the latter that the State Government was ready to give the Ministry a site that is close to the State Capital for the construction of the hospita1 that can accommodate more than 600 beds.

“I have requested, if possible, that the hospital be a big one with sufficient facilities to cater to not only residents in Kota Kinabalu, but also Papar, Keningau and Tenom as well as other nearby districts,” he said.

Musa said Liow had in principal agreed to the request and assured that he will bring the matter up to the Federal Cabinet for perusual.

Liow, who on Oct 24 revealed that the structure of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital’s main tower and podium blocks, forensics block and boiler room were found to be unsafe for occupation, yesterday said all the patients have been evacuated from the 10-storey building.

He said a new Twin Tower Block with more than 600 beds will be built at the QEH site, while the Ministry has long-term plans to build another general hospital in the State Capital.

He said his Ministry is still studying to identify the best area to construct the new hospital, including the site proposed by the Chief Minister, to cater to the population not only in Kota Kinabalu areas but also from other rural areas such as Keningau and Kudat.

WEDNESDAY-19 NOVEMBER 2008-NEW QEH TWIN TOWER BLOCK READY IN THREE YEARS




New QEH Twin Tower Block ready in three years

KOTA KINABALU:

The construction of a new Twin Tower Block with more than 600 beds at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) site will proceed as planned under the current Ninth Malaysia Plan (2006- 2010).

However, Minister of Health Datuk Liow Tiong Lai said the building, which will house at least 20 operating theaters, and more ICU and CCU beds, will only be ready in two to three years’ time.

“It is part of the Government’s commitment to work towards a long- term solution with a network of urban hospitals to address the increasing demand for hospital beds,” he said, during a visit to the QEH here yesterday. The Minister was accompanied by Assistant Minister to the Chief Minister Datuk Edward Khoo and State Health Director Dr Marzukhi Mohd.

According to Liow, all 129 patients have been evacuated from the existing lO-storey Tower Block that has been declared unsafe for occupation and moved to seven other hospitals, with the last patients shifted out on November 14.

Following the completion of the relocation exercise, Liow disclosed that from now on, all operations in the Tower Block have ceased, while the emergency operation has resumed at Hospital Likas and Sabah Medical Centre since November 15 this year.

However, all emergencies and admissions to wards will be done at the QEH Accident and Emergency Department, Liow said, adding that an Operation Room has opened in the Hospital and any patient or the public who wish to know more about the services may contact the Hotline
088-214886.

Liow said the surgical multidisciplinary emergencies are now handled at Sabah Medical Centre while orthopaedic, ophthalmology and paediatric surgeries are done at Hospital Likas, and medical multidisciplinary services are provided at the other complexes within QEH.

He said non-urgent surgery services will be relocated to Beaufort Hospital and Kuala Penyu Hospital.

“We will ensure that quality of hospital services in Kota Kinabalu and Sabah will not be compromised,” he said.

Liow also said the Ministry has long-term plans to build another general hospital in the State while QEH will be turned into a tertiary hospital (sub-specialists) that will cover the whole East Coast area of Sabah with close proximity for the convenience of the people.

“The Ministry is still at studying stage to identify the best area to construct the new hospital, including the land proposed by the Chief Minister, to cater to the population not only in Kota Kinabalu areas but also from other rural areas such as Keningau and Kudat,” he said, adding that the Ministry also has long-term plans to build more hospitals in the State Capital.

He said the Ministry will not build a new hospital at the existing QEH site since it is already congested, and the Public Works Department (JKR) and Ikram Group Sdn Bhd (appointed by the Ministry) recommended that the 27-year-old old QEH tower that had been declared unsafe recently be demolished.