Tuesday, January 1, 2008

TUESDAY-1ST JANUARY 2008-MAZU ISSUE: Sabah Gov't forced my hand in going to court, says Chong



MAZU ISSUE: Sabah Gov’t forced my hand in going to court, says Chong
KOTA KINABALU:
Former Chief Minister Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat said yesterday that the State Government had forced his hand in filing a civil suit regarding the withdrawal of approval for the construction of the Mazu statue in Kudat. Commenting on the recent call by deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak for an amicable solution to the issue, Chong said the issue at hand is to determine if the Government’s action was right or otherwise. “Personally I do not believe the DPM is ignorant of the fact that my filing a suit is not simply to main- main (fool around),” he told reporters at a press conference here yesterday. “I had no choice but to seek legal redress because the State Government through the Kudat Town Board withdrew or revoked the approval for the Mazu project under a specific provision, which is Section 15 of the Town Planning Ordinance. “According to Section 16 of the same Ordinance, it states that whosoever is aggrieved by the grant or refusal of a project must in 28 days of the decision in writing appeal to a judge or court. “Since the withdrawal letter was issued on Nov 15,2007, if I did not take action, that would mean that I admit that I was wrong in the project. I had already met with the DPM and briefed him on this issue and he understood very clearly, he said.
Chong, who had resigned from the State Cabinet in his capacity as Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister in April this year, stressed that the suit is a last resort after holding numerous discussions with the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition leadership. He reiterated his earlier statement that the revocation of the statue’s approval was a personal attack, saying that it is not a problem of race or religion but that of certain quarters getting “big-headed”. “If there is any BN leader who is patient, I am the man. This issue has been dragging on for one and a half years already and not only have I been discussing but also writing, pleading and begging for all in the BN to be reasonable. “I have done all I needed to do. I have even met with the Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi), who asked me to meet him on Nov 14 and we had a very good meeting and everything was clear. After a successful meeting with the PM, the State rewarded me with a letter of revocation,” he said. Chong, who is also Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) adviser, noted that he would have no problem with dropping the suit should the State Government decide to be “amicable” and allow the project to continue. “If I am right, why talk about relocating or compensating? Let me continue and close this chapter. If they allow the project to continue, not only will I withdraw the suit, I will say to them thank you, thank you and thank you,” he said.

Monday, December 31, 2007

MONDAY-31ST DECEMBER 2007-SHIP SINKS:ELEVEN MISSING

SHIP SINKS: ELEVEN MISSING
Three rescued, but fisherman reported to have died in a separate boat capsize incident
LABUAN: Two vessels, a Thai-registered cargo ship and a yet-to-be identified Brunei-based fishing boat, sank some 60 nautical miles off Labuan in the Semarang area near Brunei waters. At least 12 persons were reported missing in the incidents, and they included eleven members ofthe 13-member crew of the timber-laden cargo ship MY Emerald and a 27-year-old fisherman who was reported by his father to have died and drifted away. Strong winds and rough seas have prevailed in the area for the last several days. Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) Sabah and FT Labuan enforcement chief First Admiral (Maritime) Ahmad Puzi AB Kahar told a press conference in Kota Kinabalu yesterday that an integrated search and rescue (SAR) operation has been launched in Sabah and neighbouring Brunei Darussalam to look for the eleven seamen believed to have been missing at sea since Dec 26. Ahmad Puzi said the Thailand-registered ship, laden with sawn timber, was reported missing on Dec 26 at around 8.3Opm. “As at 1pm today (yesterday), we managed to rescue two of the crew members in the operation which involves the agency, Navy, Air Force, the Marine Police and our counterparts in Brunei,” he said. One of the survivors was said to be the chief engineer of the cargo ship. “We learned from the survivors that the ship had experienced technical failure and we believe it capsized some 11 or 12 hours after leaving Kota Kinabalu for Thailand. “Based on the time frame and an average speed of between 10 to 15 knots which is common for merchant ships, we estimate the ship was around 300 miles out of Kota Kinabalu, which means it could be in Brunei waters,” he said. Ahmad Puzi said the Malaysian side of the operation will cover an area of around 50 square nautical miles by sea and a larger area coverage by air. “We have found a good indication of where the ship may have capsized as we found a lot of floating wood in one area. We will continue with our operation until we find it is suitable to stop,” he said. Ahmad Puzi disclosed that while searching for the 11 missing men, they managed to save an Indonesian fisherman based in Brunei, whose boat had also capsized in the SAR area. “We have already brought him for medical treatment in Labuan and now in the midst of going through procedures to send him back to Brunei I must stress that the weather conditions now are quite violent,” he said. “According to the forecast until Jan 5, waves will go up between four to five metres with winds of between 50-60 nautical miles per hour. This is very dangerous for fishing boats, small vessels and even larger ships like merchant ships. “If anyone is going to travel out to sea, we would advise them to take extra precautions or even better if they can postpone their trip because we would like to avoid any more untoward incidents,” he said. The ill-fated 70.41-meter long cargo ship departed Kota Kinabalu for Bangkok on Christmas Day. KM Adil, a MMEA patrol craft that set sail from here to join the rescue effort for the cargo vessel is crew members, stumbled on and rescued the semi-conscious fisherman at 12.50 pm on Saturday, near the Champion Oil Rig in the Semarang area. The fisherman, who is of Indonesian origin, was brought ashore to Labuan at 2.45 pm yesterday. Labuan-based MMEA Lieutenant Norihan Bin Ngah, who commanded the search and rescue operations aboard KM Adil, told The Borneo Post yesterday that they found the fisherman in a semiconscious state as he stayed afloat with the insulated cover of a fish storage ice- container. After feeding him with some water, he managed to talk a little, he said. “The man told us that his 27-year-old son that was clinging on to the floating cover with him had died and drifted away,” he said. “The man also managed to tell us that there were five others in the fishing boat that had sunk,” Norihan said, adding that knowing the direction of the sea current, there is a good chance of finding the body of the son in a day or two when it floats to the surface. According to Norihan, an aircraft from the Royal Malaysian Air Force headquarters here is continuing with the air surveillance. MV Emerald, owned by Intertrans Co Ltd that had a gross tonnage of 961.27 MT, was transporting 1200 cubic meters of sawn timber that was loaded at Sandakan and Tawau earlier this month.

MONDAY-31ST DECEMBER 2007-GOVERNMENT HOPES CHONG WILL SETTLE MAZU ISSUE AMICABLY:DPM

GOVERNMENT HOPES CHONG WILL SETTLE MAZU ISSUE AMICABLY:DPM
KOTA KINABALU:

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has expressed the Government’s hope that former Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat will settle the Mazu statue issue amicably without going to court. Speaking at a press conference after a meeting with Government officers at the Magellan Sutera here yesterday, Najib said the Government is hoping to bring the Mazu statue issue back to the negotiation table instead of going through the court. “I cannot make an open statement on the matter now because it could be considered subjudice but I believe it is in consideration of the State Government,” he said. “If possible, we want to discuss and not go through the court,” he added when asked to comment on the suit filed by Chong against the State Government on the suspension of the multi-million ringgit Mazu statue project in Kudat. Meanwhile, speaking at the meeting earlier, Na jib said members of the civil service must constantly strive to improve themselves to ensure they are not left behind in the wake of globalisation. He said the greatly increased pace of change in this day and age makes it necessary for each and every member of the civil service to develop their skills as the country’s competitiveness hinges on their ability to keep up. “In the fast-changing world,we need to have an attitude of never remaining static. You either get better or worse and you have a choice,” he said. “If you remain static, and only think of maintaining the status quo, then you will become worse off and regress. We must strive to find ways and means to get better. “We need to look at ourselves as individuals and look at the organisation and figure out how our role in our official capacity and individual capacity can be developed through a process of continuous improvement,” he said. Najib,who is also Minister of Defence, stressed that the efficiency of the civil service has a direct bearing on the country’s global competitiveness. “This is why our Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi)is constantly pushing the delivery system because it is closely related to our competitive edge. “Our hope is to make Malaysia better and to do that we need to go for continuous improvement at both organisation and individual levels,” he said. Najib noted that this mind set, coupled with a strong commitment, are necessary to ensure the Government achieves it target of zero hardcore poor in Sabah and halving the amount of relative poverty in the country by 2010. “The Government’s target is to bring down the rate of hardcore and relative poverty in Sabah drastically and to do this we need commitment of Government officers because they will have to invest their heart and soul into this mission,” he said. On the Sabah Development Corridor, Najib noted that the Prime Minister is expected to make an announcement on the project in the near future, with its launch expected to be pushed back next month.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

SUNDAY-30TH DECEMBER 2007-HEALTH CLINIC MARKS 25TH ANNIVERSARY

Health Clinic marks 25th anniversary
PENAMPANG:
The Penampang Health Clinic celebrated its 25th anniversary yesterday with State Director of Health Dr Rahimah Mohd Said praising its excellent service record. “I hope this clinic will maintain its great service and keep on winning the Health Awards for many years to come,” she said. Penampang Health Officer Dr Maria Suleiman said the event was held as an opportunity to strengthen the bond between staff at the clinic. “We work with team spirit. It can be seen through our activities and service performance,” she added. The event, which also marked Penampang Quality Day, featured a dance by Penampang Senior Citizens Club, choir performance and exhibition and lunch.

SUNDAY-30TH DECEMBER 2007-KIT SIANG LAUDS TAWAU COUNCIL'S ADMISSION

Kit Siang lauds
Tawau
Council’s admission
A landmark breakthrough for people in protecting open spaces
KOTA KINABALU: Parliamentary Opposition Leader and DAP MP for Ipoh Timur Lim Kit Siang yesterday commended the Tawau Municipal Council (TMC) for admitting that the development of open spaces at Sabindo, Tawau is illegal and invalid. He urged Jeramas Sdn Bhd and Aggasf Construction Sdn Bhd, the developers undertaking the project, to emulate the example of TMC to reach an amicable “win-win” settlement for the interest of ratepayers in Tawau. “I am prepared to offer my conciliation and mediation services to Jeramas Sdn Bhd, Aggasf Construction Sdn Bhd, the 10 Tawau plaintiffs as well as to all Tawau ratepayers to try to achieve such a ‘win-win’ comprehensive out-of-court settlement of the Sabindo ‘Open Spaces’ litigation in the interests of all parties concerned,” he said. Lim told a media conference at Promenade Hotel here the Tawau people had achieved a classic and landmark breakthrough in their long, arduous and uphill battle to protect the “open spaces” in Tawau not only for the people of Tawau but also for the people Sabah and Malaysia. He said he was very uplifted when informed of the breakthrough last night by Jimmy Wong (alias Tiger Wong of Tawau), who together with nine other public-spirited Tawau ratepayers had taken the TMC to court over the unlawful Sabindo development project and the encroachment of the Tawau open spaces and recreational grounds. “Jimmy showed me the Borneo Post report ‘Surprising twist in Tawau open space devt case — Council agrees joint-venture pact for project is invalid’ dated 20th December 2007 which reads: “by Alen Kee Tawau — In a surprising turn of event at the High Court here yesterday, the ten plaintiffs in the controversial Sabindo open space development case reached an amicable settlement with the Tawau Municipal Council (TMC), which is the second defendant.
What was supposed to be a trial turned out to be a hearing as the plaintiff’s lawyer Datuk Simon K.Y. Shim informed Judicial Commissioner Y.A. Puan Yew Jen Kie that the second defendant had agreed to the Plaintiff’s claim as follows:-
A declaration that the joint venture agreement dated 13th December 1996 between the 1st and 2nd Defendants is invalid, illegal and unenforceable, being ultra vires the Local GovernmentOrdinance 1961 and the Tawau Municipal Council Instrument 1983 (G.N.S. 22 of 1983). A declaration that the Development Plan submitted on 12” October 2004 and approved by the 2nd defendant on 27th May 2005 vide DP37/2004 is invalid, illegal and unenforceable.
An order that the said Development Plan DP37/2004 be set aside.” TMC is the second defendant. The •first defendants, the developers of the Sabindo project, i.e. Jeramas Sdn. Bhd and Aggasf Construction Sdn. Bhd, however objected to the application to enter the terms of consent judgment in court in view of the “surprise turn of events” and their lawyers successfully applied for the adjournment of the case “to allow the first defendant to take stock of the situation to reconsider the pleadings”, including whether to draw in the TMC and join the State Government as third party as the council’s approval must be with the consent of the minister concerned. The case has now been fixed for 25th January next year for hearing of a third party notice.” Lim said: “Nobody had given Jimmy and the other nine plaintiffs any chance of success in their legal suit to protect the open spaces and recreational grounds for the people of Tawau and future generations, as well as a test case on the sanctity of open spaces in Sabah and Malaysia. In fact, many regard the legal challenge as akin to a Don Quixote exercise in tilting at windmills. “It had not been an easy fight (and Jimmy was even physically assaulted once over the issue), especially as the initial application for an injunction to halt all Sabindo development construction had been dismissed in the first instance in March 2006 on the ground of lack of “locus standi” — but the 10 great Tawau plaintiffs had not been dispirited by these setbacks and had persevered in their battle for justice and good governance.” Lim stressed that the Sabindo open spaces legal suit is no Don Quixote exercise nor just a legalistic matter but concerns the quality of life and good governance in our country. “The controversy had dragged on long enough and I hope that there could be an all- round amicable settlement so that the bold and courageous concession by the TMC that it had acted illegally and unlawfully could be a salutary lesson for all parties concerned not only in Tawau but for the whole of Sabah and Malaysia and would not go to waste because of continuing litigation over the issue. “I would call on the Sabindo developers Jeramas Sdn Bhd and Aggasf Construction Sdn Bhd, who are the first defendants, to consider their CSR (corporate social responsibility) and to emulate the example of TM C to reach an amicable “win-win” settlement for the interests of the people of Tawau — where the interests of both Jeramas Sdn. Bhd and Aggasf Construction Sdn. Bhd are also taken into consideration.

SUNDAY-30TH DECEMBER 2007-Kadazan documentaries go international

Kadazan documentaries go international
KOTA KINABALU
:
A Christmas Boxing Day unwraps a new mileage for the Kadazan Society of Sabah (KSS) when one of the society’s objectives was realized. KSS President Marcel Leiking said he is grateful to the GS & Trea Corporation and Avicraft Sdn Bhd for taking a brave step to enter a joint venture agreement to produce five Kadazan documentaries for the National Geographic Channels International publication. These documentaries, according to Leiking, are depicting the Kadazan culture and traditions. He hoped that such step would promote the Kadazan cultural heritage internationally and at the same time would help the KSS to achieve the objective of preserving the culture through media documentation. The joint venture agreement to produce the five Kadazan documentaries was signed at the GS— Trea office by the Director of GS & Trea Corporation, Mr Clarence Jongiji and the Avicraft Sdn Bhd Managing Director, Mr Jusry Juwait. The signing ceremony was witnessed by Leiking, Sylvester Disimon, the Founder of GS&Trea Corporation Dato Haji Ghulam Sayeed and Dr Adalbert Kinson. Also present was Mr Boniface Mosios, the Director of Avicraft Sdn Bhd. Jongiji commented that GS & Trea Corporation was pleased to be able to help to finance the production of the Kadazan documentaries. These documentaries are really important for the Kadazan community as it would one day become a great treasure for our future generation and for them to better understand the true perspective of the Kadazan cultural beliefs and practices. He is also happy to be able to help the KSS and the Kadazan community at large in cultural preservation using media documentaries and finally helps to promote the image of the Kadazan race internationally. The Avicraft Sdn Bhd would be the producer of these documentaries and part of the proceeds from it would be donated to the KSS, he said. Meanwhile, Disimon, the Organizing Chairman of the KSS New Year Party 2007 celebration, said the launch of these documentaries would be conducted at the KSS New Year Party on 31 Dec at Putera Ballroom in Bukit Padang.

SUNDAY-30TH DECEMBER 2007-PAKISTAN GOVT ACCUSED OF COVERING UP BHUTTO KILLING


PAKISTAN GOVT ACCUSED OF COVERING UP BHUTTO KILLING
ISLAMABAD
:
Benazir Bhutto’s party yesterday rejected the official account of her death as ”nonsense” and accused the government of a cover-up, as many Pakistani cities remained virtually shut down in mourning. While the United States pressed Pakistan to go ahead with elections on January 8 in an attempt to defuse the crisis gripping the country, a bitter dispute erupted over how the former premier died and who was to blame. Bhutto died on Thursday after a suicide attack targetting her vehicle at a campaign rally in the northern city of Rawalpindi. Early reports said she had been shot before a bomb exploded nearby. However the interior ministry said she had no gunshot or shrapnel wounds. It said the opposition leader died after smashing her head on her car’s sunroof as she tried to duck. Interior ministry spokesman Brigadier Javed Cheema said Bhutto would have survived the assassination attempt if she had stayed inside the car and not had put her head above the sunroof. He also blamed A1-Qaeda, saying intelligence services had intercepted a call from Baitullah Mehsud, considered the extremist group’s top leader for Pakistan, congratulating a militant for Bhutto’s death. Senior members of Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) dismissed the government’s version of events as “lies”. “There was a bullet wound I saw that went in from the back of her head and came out the other side,” Bhutto’s spokeswoman Sherry Rehman, who was involved in washing her body for burial, told AFP. “This is ridiculous, dangerous nonsense because it is a cover-up of what actually happened,” said Rehman. Farooq Naik, Bhutto’s lawyer and a senior PPP official, said Bhutto had a second bullet wound in the abdomen. Bhutto was an outspoken critic of Al-Qaeda-linked militants blamed for scores of bombings in Pakistan and had received threats. But she had also accused elements from the intelligence services of involvement in a suicide attack on a Bhutto rally in October that left 139 dead and which she only narrowly escaped. Maulana Omar, a spokesman for alleged A1-Qaeda kingpin Mehsud, also denied involvement in the attack and expressed grief over Bhutto’s death. “This is a conspiracy of the government, army and intelligence agencies,” said the spokesman from Waziristan, a lawless tribal region where Al-Qaeda leaders, including possibly Osama bin Laden, are alleged to be hiding. One day after Bhutto was laid to rest at her family’s mausoleum in southern Sindh province, the authorities deployed in force to stem violence which has left at least 33 people dead. Most people were unable to buy food or petrol, with all shops, fuelstations, banks and offices closed down. The streets of the country’s main cities - Karachi, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore and Peshawar - were largely empty, and in many places there was evidence of violence and looting. Burnt-out cars littered the I streets in the southern town of Larkana, a Bhutto stronghold where groups of her supporters were roaming the streets shouting slogans against President Pervez Musharraf. The situation was tense in Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city and the economic hub of this nation of 160 million people, with a heavy army and paramilitary presence on the streets. Analysts warned that Pakistan was facing the biggest crisis since Bangladesh split off from the country more than 35 years ago, and that Musharraf’s credibility was hanging by a thread. “We are heading towards a very uncertain phase of politics which has the potential to plunge the country into a state of anarchy,” Hasan Askari, former head of political science at Lahore’s Punjab University, told AFP. The scale of the unrest has raised serious doubts about whether the parliamentary elections aimed at ending eight years of military rule can take place. Pakistan’s other leading opposition figure, Nawaz Sharif, has already pulled his party out of the elections, saying they would “destroy the country” if they went ahead. The assassination has also thrust security concerns and foreign policy back into the US political spotlight less than a week before Americans start voting to decide their Democratic and Republican presidential candidates. Leading democratic candidate Hillary Clinton called for an independent, international probe into Bhutto’s murder, saying Musharraf’s government had no credibility. “I think it’s critically important that we get answers and really those are due first and foremost to the people of Pakistan,” Clinton said. Bhutto was buried on Friday with hundreds of thousands of grief-stricken mourners following her coffin on the final journey to the family’s mausoleum in the village of Ghari Khuda Bakhsh. Educated at Harvard and Oxford, Bhutto first took the helm of Pakistanin in 1988. She was ousted in 1990 amid corruption allegations but was premier again from 1993 to 1996. She has been buried next to her father Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, a former premier who was hanged by the military government in 1979. - APP

SUNDAY-30TH DECEMBER 2007-Lim criticises Karamunsing flyover delay

Lim criticises Karamunsing flyover delay
KOTA KINABALU
:
The delay in the completion of the Karamunsing Flyover project, which started almost at the same time as the 1956-kilometre Qingzang Railway in Tibet, which has been operational for more than one year now, does not reflect well on the efficiency and accountability of the Government, said Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang. “Despite repeated promises in the past that the project will definitely be completed by the end of this year, it is obvious now that it is impossible with only two days left. “I think both the Federal and the State governments owe the people a good explanation on the repeated delay, which had also inevitably incurred higher costs in the said project,” Lim said yesterday. He pointed out the great challenge and difficulty in constructing the Qinzang Railway, with more than 960 km, or over 80% of the Golmud-Lhasa section, and at an altitude of more than 4,000 metres. “There are 675 bridges, totalling 159.88 km, and over half the length of the railway is laid on permafrost,” he pointed out. Kota Kinabalu DAP Branch Chairman Dr Hiew claimed that he was made to understand that the relevant authorities had granted an extension for the said project.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

TUESDAY-25TH DECEMBER 2007-CHRISTIAN FAITHFUL FLOCK TO BETHLEHEM BIRTHPLACE OF JESUS

Christian faithful flock to Bethlehem birthplace of Jesus
BETHLEHEM, West Bank:
The roar of drums and bagpipes echoed through a hopeful Bethlehem on Monday as the faithful began flocking to the traditional birthplace of Jesus for the annual Christmas celebrations. The Palestinians are hoping the number of tourists and the income they bring will make it the best Christmas since the start of the second Palestinian uprising in September 2000. Despite an eight-metre (25 foot) concrete wall that encircles much of the city - Israel’s controversial barrier erected in the wake of the uprising - Bethlehem is set to double the number of pilgrims and tourists this year. “Last year there were a lot of problems, security problems. God willing, this year will be better, because of Annapolis, because of everything else,” Adnan Sobh, a souvenir shop owner, told AFP under sunny, crisp skies. The renewed sense of calm convinced Jacques Keutgen, a Belgian-born director at the local Holy Family Hospital, to bring his entire extended family of 17 people to celebrate Christmas in the West Bank city just south of Jerusalem, “The security situation is much better than it has been in years,” Keutgen, who has been based in Bethlehem for four and a half years, says, adding that it was important to support the local Palestinian economy. But like all visitors to Bethlehem his family had to enter through Israel’s controversial separation wall — a towering reminder that despite the increased tourist numbers, life for many Palestinians in this city is grim.
“They have to see the wall to know how the Palestinian people are affected by this political situation,” Keutgen says. The barrier has confiscated farm land, uprooted olive trees, isolated the town from Jerusalem and helped to quicken emigration and keep unemployment at more than 50 percent. But while Christmas last year took place under the shadow of deadly Palestinian factional clashes and continuing Israeli incursions, Jesus’s birthday this year is taking place amid cautious hope accompanying the renewal of Middle East peace talks at a November conference in the US city of Annapolis. Several local marching bands and boy scout troops kicked off the day’s proceedings marching in central Manger Square, with celebrations set to culminate with midnight mass. Dozens of Palestinian police officers were deployed around the square and had closed off the roads around the Church of the Nativity, built on the site of the manger where Jesus is said to have been born. Tourism has grown 60 percent this year, and 30,000-40,000 tourists - double the number last year - are expected to visit the town where the Bible says Jesus was born in a stable after Mary and Joseph found no room at the Inn.One Bethlehem olive wood workshop is modelling Nativity scenes complete with a replica separation barrier blocking the wise men from getting to the stable - the item has virtually sold out at a British charity selling it. At the Gaza Strip, hundreds of Christians flocked to the heavily armed crossing with Israel on Monday after securing permission to leave the Hamasrun territory for Christmas. Married couples laden with suitcases and young children, teenagers with parents, and grandparents wrapped up against the chill struggled to walk unaided on the long muddy path from the main road to the Erez checkpoint. Most were hoping to pray on Christmas Eve in Bethlehem, the small town in the West Bank where the Bible says Jesus was born. Others were hoping to visit relatives in the occupied West Bank, Israel or Jerusalem. “We only got the permission last night. It took a month to come through, so then we had to immediately prepare everything and pack,” said Rania Sabieh, guarding the luggage and her two children as her husband went to register. “We’re going to Bethlehem to pray. For one week. We have friends there, but then we’ll come back to Gaza. My husband doesn’t have a job but the children need to go back to school here,” said Rania. Israel has imposed a total closure on Gaza since Hamas - a radical Islamist movement officially sworn to the destruction of the Jewish state - seized armed control of the territory six months ago, routing Palestinian moderates. Declaring the territory a “hostile entity”, Israel has imposed cuts on fuel deliveries and allows in only essential humanitarian supplies. The United Nations has warned that Israeli restrictions on Gaza are pushing the local economy to the brink of collapse. Israel has granted permits to 520 of about 3,500 Christians living in Gaza to leave in order to celebrate Christmas and the New Year in Israel and the West Bank until January 2. “Today we are coordinating for more than 500 Christians in Gaza to go to Israel and the West Bank for the Christmas celebrations,” Israeli Colonel Meir Press told AEP by telephone. “The Christians will be leaving today. It’s a special privilege,” said Shadi Yassin, spokesman for the Israeli military administration. “They will be receiving a special permit that allows them to travel between the West Bank and Israel freely and that way they can celebrate and participate in Christmas and New Year as they choose,” he said. - AIP

TUESDAY-25TH DECEMBER 2007-CHRISTMAS JOY AROUND THE WORLD


Sunday, December 23, 2007

SUNDAY-23RD DECEMBER 2007-CRIME -SOLVING RATE DROPS SHARPLY

Crime-solving rate drops sharply
PENAMPANG:
The number of in crime cases solved in the district this r year dropped sharply to 19.86 per he cent from a high of 50.88 per cent last year. District Police Chief, DSP Madang Usat, who disclosed this yesterday, said to date, they have solved 179 crime cases compared to 29O cases over the same period last year. Until November this year, a total of 577 crimes were reported, an increase of seven cases against that of the same period last year. “Despite the drop in solving rate, everything is in order and crime is under control. Police will exert extra effort in crime prevention by making more patrols in housing areas and villages here,” he said during a crime prevention campaign near the Giant Supermarket in Putatan, yesterday, He disclosed that 354 drug-related cases were recorded until last month. an increase of 130 cases from last year. “We hope to get greater cooperation from public and help fight crime,” he said. Madang believed that the solving rate could be improved if everyone cooperates by playing their part. He said one of the methods that could help reduce crime is the implementation of Neighbourhood Watch, adding anti-crime programmes by the private and government sectors, and non governmental organisations are also welcome.

SUNDAY-23RD DECEMBER 2007-Jeffrey to spend Christmas in Hospital

Jeffrey to spend Christmas in hospital
KOTA KINABALU:
The condition of Keadilan vice president Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan is improving but he is likely to spend the Christmas celebration in hospital, said his political secretary Kanul Gindol. “I am told by neurospecialist Dr Kantha that Dr Jeffrey has made a marked improvement over the last few days and he currently is able to move all this limbs after been administered treatment at Neuro Ward,” he said in a statement yesterday. The specialist also told me that Dr Jeffrey is recovering slowly but surely, and that with support and motivation from friends and family, he should make good recovery. “I am also made to understand by Dr Kantha that Dr Jeffrey sustained spinal cord injury with cord odema (swelling) at the C3 to C5 level.” “Since Datuk Dr Jeffrey is likely to spend Yuletide in hospital, his scheduled Christmas Open House in Bingkor, Keningau on December 29 is now postponed indefinitÚIy Kanul said Jeffrey requested him to convey his best wishes of Merry Christmas to everybody. He said Jeffrey was sorry to be unable to celebrate the Christmas with his friends and supporters but his heart and joy are with them all.

SUNDAY-23RD DECEMBER 2007-BOY 10, FEARED DROWNED IN PAPAR

Boy, 10, feared drowned in Papar
PAPAR:
A 10-year-old boy was feared drown after falling into the river at Kampung Buang Sayang I here, yesterday. The boy, identified as Johan Nasir, a Bajau-Filipino, was playing with two friends on a jetty when he lost his balance and fell into the river at around lOam. His friends panicked and ran to the boy’s house to alert his father, who later made a frantic but futile search for him. Police were quickly alerted and, with the assistance of Fire and Rescue Services Department and villagers, they also tried in vain to locate Johan. As At 6pm yesterday, the boy was still not found while the search and rescue effort continues today.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

SUNDAY-23RD DECEMBER 2007-Umno riled up over remark

Umno riled up over remark •Gerakan told to explain remark about Umno bashing others • MIC pooh-poohs claim Indians running to the Opposition
MACHANG: Umno Youth Chief Datuk Seri Hisahmuddin Tun Hussein is hoping Gerakan’s leadership will explain a racially sensitive remark allegedly made by Gerakan Youth Vice-Chief S Paranjothy that Umno was fond of bashing other BN component parties. Hishamuddin said he regretted that such a remark was made as Gerakan being a component of the BN, should ensure all its members understand that in the 50 years Malaysia has been independent, the country had been able to develop peacefully with all the various races progressing together. Paranjothy is alleged to have issued a press statement on Friday claiming that he was not happy with Umno and the way Indians in the country were being treated. In it, he is also alleged to have claimed that Umno was fond of bashing other component parties in the BN to remain popular with the Malays so that it could hold on to power. Hishammuddin, who had opened an Aidiladha celebration here yesterday, was asked by reporters for his comments on the alleged remarks by Paranjothy. “The BN leadership views this matter seriously and it must be explained clearly so that everyone in the coalition right up to the grass root level understands Gerakan’s position,” he said, adding that Umno Youth would make its stance known should a good explanation not be forthcoming from Gerakan. MIC Deputy President Datuk G Palanivel meanwhile said yesterday hardcore BN Indian voters would not run to the Opposition,
“This will not happen,” he said when asked to comment on suggestions by Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang that there has been a political awakening Indian voters in the country recently. The Opposition is only referring to the voice of a splinter group, said Palanivel, who is also Deputy Minister of Women, Family and Community Development. “The ground situation, especially during a general election, would be such that our voters will evaluate the volumes of work the MIC has done under the leadership of Datuk Sen S Samy Vellu. “Loyalty is not a one-way process. It’s a two-way process. BN voters will remain loyal to us because we have served our constituencies and have cultivated our relationship with our people,” he said. He said BN elected representatives must continue to work hard in their constituencies and keep their voters informed of the Opposition’s ploy to fish in troubled waters. The majority of the Indian voters, he stressed, knew that voting for the Opposition would not be a solution to some of their unresolved woes. MIC Youth Chief S AVigneswaran said the Indian community must realise that the activities of the group behind the illegal assemblies in the Federal Capital last month had allowed the opposition to take advantage of the situation. He said this was among the negative effects of the group’s activities where the opposition had exploited the situation by causing confusion among the Indians, in its attempt to fish for votes in the coming general election. In light of this, he said, the MIC Youth could not keep silent but would be more proactive in controlling the situation. Vigineswaran, who is also Parliamentary Secretary to the Youth and Sports Ministry, called on all the divisional MIC Youth leaders to go to the ground. “They must study the unsolved problems of the Indian community and hold discussions with Indian groups in their respective areas.” “I want a more aggressive and effective network of cooperation in the MIC Youth,” he told reporters. - Bernama

Friday, December 21, 2007

FRIDAY-21ST DECEMBER 2007-Be disciplined role models, artistes told

Be disciplined role models, artistes told
PENAMPANG:

Youth and Sports Assistant Minister Jahid Jahim has reminded local artistes to be disciplined in carrying out their daily activities or in their stage performances. He said artistes are the role models of society, especially the teenagers, thus they should set a good example. “Having a great voice is not enough. You (artistes) should enhance your self qualities such as your performance, your communication skills before an audience and more importantly, you should have discipline in your daily lives,” he said while launching an album by two local artistes, Jonnes Robert Johnny and Jimboneivin Simon Bukag. The album, entitled Yahai Benn vs Ateng, was produced by Simusic Studio. At the same time, other albums by Jovita Robert Johnny, David b Pinus Francis Anahong and Narsisius b Justin Misin, who is the marketing manager of Simusic Studio, were also launched during the ceremony at Buhavan Square, Donggongon about 2. 3Opm. Jahid, who is Tamparuli assemblyman, said that the government is always supportive of local artistes’ effort to promote their talents not only in the State but also in Peninsular Malaysia as well as other countries. He urged the local community to buy only the original CD to help the music industry grow in Sabah. Meanwhile, Jonnes, who is also known as Ateng and Jimboneivin, also known as Benn, hoped that their joint album will be accepted by music fans of different ages and races in Sabah. “I am so happy with the launch of this album. I hope local music fans will be satisfied and will accept this album,” said Ateng, who hails from Kampung Molisau, Tenghilan and already has a solo and compilation album. He said Yahai Benn vs Ateng features 11 songs based of various concepts. At the event yesterday, some local artistes were invited to perform, and they included the champion of ‘Suara Emas Bintang RTM 2007,’ Reynaldo Paggie, S. Willie and Danny F Mallingi. Also present were Simun Bukag, who is the manager of Simusic Studio and executive producer of Yahai Benn vs Ateng.

FRIDAY -21ST DECEMBER 2007-DAP seeks potential

DAP seeks potential candidates in S’kan
SANDAKAN:

The Democratic Action Party (DAP) here is currently actively seeking young, capable and professional men and women to join the party as potential candidates in the upcoming general election for the parliamentary seats of Sandakan and Batu Sapi, and the state seat of Tanjung Papat, Elopura and Karamunting. “Do get in touch with us as this is an opportunity for you to step forward to serve our beloved State of Sabah,” said DAP Sandakan coordinator Anthony Teo. “In the context of today Sabahans, the 20 Points protection for ordinary Sabahans has become increasing relevant by the day and we should not lose sight of it,” he said. Meanwhile, Teo said DAP Sandakan strongly supports former Chief Minister Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat in filing an appeal in the High Court in Kota Kinabalu recently against Kudat Town Board’s revocation of its approval for the 100-foot Mazu Statue project in Kudat. “DAP Sandakan commends Tan Sri Chong for his initial quiet ways of going about trying to resolve this issue but forced to this point as he must have exhausted all avenues and proper channel,” he said.

FRIDAY-21ST DECEMBER 2007-Low-cost five-star

Low-cost five-star
KOTA KINABALU
: If you are looking for a convenient, comfortable and affordable place to stay, consider the Tune Hotels. Com the next time you come to Sabah. It will soon be landing in the heart of the Land Below the Wind at lBorneo in Jalan Sulaman, bringing to Sabah a branded ‘limited service hotel’ concept offering a 5-star sleeping experience at only a 1-star price. As a ‘limited service hotel’, Tune Hotels. Com keeps prices low by eliminating certain facilities commonly found at full-service hotels such as meeting rooms, swimming pools, gyms, spas, saunas and room service. Tune Hotels. Com chief executive officer Mark Lankaster disclosed that the concept offer guests high quality basic comforts of a powerful hot shower and a warm, comfortable double bed in clean, secure enviromnent; all at the best possible price, starting from as low as RM9. 99 with advanced online booking. “Each Tune Hotels. Com room comes equipped with a high quality King Koil-Queen-sized spring mattress bed, pillows, pillowcases, bedsheets and 25-thread count duvet; en-suite bathroorn with power showers, hot water, bath mats and toilet rolls, a ceiling fan, electronic key card access into the room and a wall-mounted writing table with power socket,” he said, adding its hotel at lBorneo will have 16 rooms. Each hotel also comes with free internet access at the lobby, daily house-keeping, 24-hour convenience store and branded food & beverage outlets. The flagship Downtown Kuala Lumpur hotel now open in Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman in Kuala Lurnpur counts established retailers Subway and 7-Eleven among its tenants, and also provides ATM, foreign exchange and city tour/airport transfer facilities. A 7-Eleven outlet will also be present at Tune Hotels.Com-lBorneo here, alongside popular cafe outlet Gloria Jeans and established waffle and corn-in-cup retailers Nelson. Tune Hotels.Com is a great believer in the power of consumer choice and thus guests are given the option to fine-tune their stay with reasonably-priced add-ons such as air-conditioning (sold in easily topped-up blocks of 5 and 12 hours), toiletry kits, towels and in-room WiFi TM services. As the brand moves forward with more hotels nationally and eventually, regionally, we will introduce an ever-increasing range of improvements and optional add-ons based on customer feedback. “For the next Tune Hotels. Com in 1-Borneo, we will be widening our range of optional add-ons to include hairdryers and a Sharp Aquos 19” LCD TV with more than 10 channels to choose from. “Room entry will be controlled via intelligent RFID Key Cards, which also stores pre-purchased Air Conditioning, WiFi and TV access,” said Lankaster.
In addition, they will be upgrading the quality of finishes and materials used in the rooms, with the already super comfortable Tune beds by King Koil, being upgraded to even higher quality spring mattresses with accompanying divans. Room additions include a safe, bedside table with LED bedside lamps and acoustically sound-proof doors for an even more peaceful night’s sleep. Sanitary fitting in the ensuite bathroorn are similarly also being upgraded. Each Tune Hotels. Com hotel is strategically located in central, urban destinations convenient for guests to get to the heart of the action, whether it be tourist and shopping attractions, local cuisine hotspots or key business destinations. For more information on Tune Hotels.Com, do log onto www. tunehotels. com or call the Call Centre for your next reservation at +6(03)79625888, Monday- Friday 9:00 am-9:OOpm (excluding Public Holidays)
hotel here soon

FRIDAY-21ST DECEMBER 2007-Mayor to launch karaoke Version of Peter’s album



Mayor to launch karaoke Version of Peter’s album
KOTA KINABALU:

Six months after the successful release of Peter Dicky Lee’s ‘I’M BACK’ album, the MTV Karaoke version will be launched by Mayor Datuk Iliyas Ibrahim tomorrow, Saturday, at Damai Club in Jalan Bundusan. The much-awaited MTV features, for the first time in Malaysian entertainment industry and Sabah in particular, three state ministers, one assistant minister and the Mayor making guest appearances in the hit song ‘IZIAU, IZIAU, IZIAU’ and the Bahasa Malaysia version “KAU, KAU, KAU”. “These sporting YBs plus several close friends of mine who have made guest appearances here and in some of my songs have made this VCD so much fun and such a delight to behold,I said Peter. “The six months spent in the making and filming has not been in vain,” he said in a press statement yesterday. ‘Datuk Masidi, Datuk Hajiji, Datuk Yee Moh Chai, Datuk Iliyas and YB Jahid
had a great time during the making of IZIAU 3 and KAU 3. I must say they are really quite natural in front of the camera and they would give our Malaysian actors a run for their money,” Peter said in zest. As part of his gesture to help the needy, Peter will donate half of the proceeds collected to charity in conjunction with his MTV launch. Tonight, Peter will also appear as a special guest artiste at 9pm at the annual Gaya Christmas Celebration 2007 organized by the Sabah Council of Churches and DBKK. “Being a Christian I am so excited to be able to contribute my services for a worthy cause and for such a special occasion,” said Peter. Come December 31, Peter has also been invited to make a special guest appearance at the KSS (Kadazan Society Sabah) New Year’s Eve 2007 dinner party at Putera Ballroom, Bukit Padang where he will give a one-hour show.

FRIDAY-21ST DECEMBER 2007-Strong wind, rough seas persist in Sabah

Strong wind, rough seas persist in Sabah Peninsular braces for second wave of floods
KUALA LUMPUR
:
The high tide phenomenon would have higher impact in Peninsular Malaysia’s east coast and west Sarawak, said the Meteorological Department yesterday. He said strong wind and choppy seas in the peninsula’s east coast, Sarawak and west Sabah, including Labuan, is forecast to persist until Dec 29. As the nation braces for the second wave of floods likely to hit today triggered by high tide phenomenon, the Department yesterday issued a red alert warning on the prospect of heavy rain in north Johor. The department said moderate and occasionally heavy rain are expected in north Johor from Thursday till today. The red alert warning — the highest in the series of colour-coded weather alerts — is issued when heavy and widespread monsoon rain are expected to persist for several hours.
This phenomenon can cause floods in low-lying and riverine areas besides resulting in swift water current. The department also issued orange alert warning for areas in south Johor and south Pahang. Orange alert, the second highest, is issued when moderate monsoon rain is forecast for several hours with wind speed at 50-60km an hour, which can also cause floods in low- lying and riverine areas. The second wave of floods is expected to start tomorrow and worsen between Dec 23 and 26 following the high tide phenomenon expected to hit 3.7m from 3.4m during the first wave of floods on Dec 10, with wind speed at 40-50km per hour. Meanwhile, the department’s corporate communications director, Muhammad Helmi Abdullah said strong wind and rough seas off west coast of Sabah and Labuan are dangerous to small boats, recreational activities and sea sports. “I advise the people to be extra careful on the sea water level and closely follow latest developments in weather conditions,” he said. Sea Water level in and around Johor during normal tide is about 2m, with the probability to rise up to 3.2m in high tide, while in Tanjung Gelang, near Kuantan, it can reach 3.4m high from 2m during normal tide. He said moderate rain currently concentrated in south and east Johor and in north and south Pahang is expected to persist until Saturday, with the possibility of spreading to north Johor. “Fine weather and less rain are expected in Perlis, Kedah, Penang, Perak, Kelantan and Terengganu,” he said. Areas in west Sarawak such as in Mukah, Sibu, Sarikei, Sri Aman, Samarahan, Betong and Kuching are also expected to receive moderate and occasionally heavy rain from today till Dec 26, he added.

FRIDAY-21ST DECEMBER 2007-Bridge project to, benefit

Bridge project to, benefit three villages
TAWAU:
The residents of three villages here will benefit from a bridge project which is expected to be completed in four months. The bridge, to be built by contractor Haji Abdul Hajan Gurimbang, will span the Apas river and make it easier for farmers and fishermen from Kg Sungai Apas, Kg Apas Parit and Kg Kuala Apas to transport their products to the market. Apas Village Security and Developing Committee (JKKK) Naim Ahmad, who represented Assistant Minister of Rural Development, Datuk Tawfiq Abu Bakar Titingan, conducted the ground-breaking ceremony of the project at Sungai Kuala Apas. During the ceremony, Abdul Hajan donated four cows to the residents in the conjunction with Hari Raya Aidiladha celebration.

FRIDAY-21ST DECEMBER 2007-Jeffrey is fine, says “ political secretary

Jeffrey is fine, says “ political secretary
KOTA KINABALU: Everything is fine with Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan. This was the assurance given by his political secretary Kanul Gindul, when contacted yesterday. He said the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) vice- president was responding well to his visitors. “He was able to talk to those who came and visited him at the ward. He even did his confession to Reverand Father Michael Modoit from his hospital bed,” said Gindul. The 60-year-old politician and two others were involved in a road accident at Km 36, Jalan Tamparuli-Ranau, near Kampung Bongol around 5am on Thursday. Initial investigation revealed that they were going downhill and was negotiating a ‘S’ curve when the driver lost control of the four-wheel drive vehicle before it overturned and hit the foothill. Jeffrey was first rushed to the Tuaran District Hospital before being transferred to Queen Elizabeth Hospital for further treatment. He received 10 stitches on the forehead besides suffering a spine injury, while the driver identified as Laiser and a female family friend only sustained bruises.
“He is put on IV drops as the doctor does not recommend he take solid food yet. Jeffrey also needs a seat supporter to keep himself up,” said Gindul. It was reported that Jeffrey’s elder brother Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Pairin Kitingan, who is also the Deputy Chief Minister, Parti Bersatu Sabah president and Huguan Siou (paramount leader of the Kadazandusun Murut community), visited him twice on Thursday. Deputy Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Anifah Aman, senior politicians Datuk James Ligunjang and Datuk Ariah Tengku Ahmad, among others, also took time off to visit Jeffrey at QEH on Thursday. Kawang Assemblyman Datuk Ghulam Haidar Khan Bahadar, who was still dressed in his Baju Melayu yesterday, dropped by at Jeffrey’s ward, as well as former minister Datuk Kong Hong Ming and businessman, Datuk Ambrose Lee. Jeffrey, who is currently put under 48-hour observation at the Neuro Surgery Ward, is expected to be transferred to a normal ward within a couple of days. “He is showing positive progress and he is expected to be transferred to a normal ward tomorrow or the day after,” Gindul said.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

THURSDAY-20TH DECEMBER 2007-Celebrations a way to

Celebrations a way to resolve misunderstandings
PENAMPANG:
As any other celebrations, Christmas is a platform for people from different culture, background and religion to unite, harmonize and resolve misunderstandings, especially over sensitive issues such as religion. President of Sabah Justice of Peace Council, Datuk Clarence Bongkos Malakun said this during a Christmas dinner at his residence, Polunggal Villa, in Kampung Limbanak here on Tuesday. He added that such gatherings are instrumental in strengthening goodwill and the existing bond between different races and religions in Sabah. Among guests who attended the event were Moyog Assemblymen, Philip Lasimbang, former Sports and Youth Minister, Datuk Conrad Mojuntin, MAJAPS Secretary, Datuk Lawrence Thien and KSS President, Marcel Leiking.

THURSDAY-20TH DECEMBER 2007-LPPB to review woeful joint -ventures



LPPB to review woeful joint -ventures
KOTA KINABALU:
Sabah Housing & Town Development (LPPB) will review all joint venture agreements with its partners whose projects failed to get off the ground after five years or were abandoned.
Its chairman, Datuk Rubin Balang issued the stern warning in his speech during LPPB’s staff awards presentation and annual luncheon here yesterday. Rubin however added that LPPB will give the developers a grace period of three months to get things going, failing which their projects will be terminated. Meanwhile, LPPB general manager PS Wong in her speech urged the staff to show their appreciation to their employer by working harder. Quoting former US president John F Kennedy, she told them: “Ask not what LPPB can do for you, but what you can do for LPPB.”
Sarbineh Abd Ghani was awarded LPPB’s Employee of the Year award. Another 12 staff, namely, Abd Nain Kastan, Amat Udin, Baddri Ahmad, Chung Thien Cheong, Janic Dalambun, Monsu Godon, Nancy Jintoni, Noreen Ooi Bee Yan, Rahman Amun, Shim Mie Sing, Sulaiman Liman, and Yusof Matasan received their Excellence Service awards.
Rubin (left) presenting Sarbineh with the Best Employee award.

THURSDAY-20TH DECEMBER 2007-Street protests a threat to peace

Street protests a threat to peace Maijol urges Sabahans to stay clear of demos
KOTA KINABALU:
Senator Maijol Mahap has appealed to Sabahans to refrain from being involved in street demonstrations and any other form of public rally that would jeopardize the harmonious relationship among the people here. “The various communities in Sabah have been living together in a peaceful manner all these years and this situation has continued after Merdeka and the formation of Malaysia,” he said. “The harmonious relationship has been strengthened through open house tradition during various cultural and religious festivities and other form of gatherings. “We cannot deny that there exists certain groups of people who are not satisfied with how development projects have been implemented and how the current economy has worked against them in one way or another.” But this does not mean that the Government is not looking after them or that they have been sidelined, Maijol pointed out after handing over two heads of cattle to the community in Kg Simpangan and Kg Beliajung/ Toritipon, both in the district of Kota Marudu, in conjunction with the Aidiladha celebration. According to him, though government projects meant to uplift the socio-economic standard of the people have been implemented, there would definitely be those groups of people who get to enjoy the benefits earlier than others. “I urge the people to be tolerant and be patient as sooner or later the benefits of all the developments will be enjoyed by everyone,” he said. He also stressed that public rallies and street demonstrations are not part of Malaysian norm and culture. “We have seen these happening in other countries on the television and we also know what is happening to those countries that condone such acts. “Definitely we do not want to absorb these foreign elements into our society. Malaysians and Sabahans are made up of various races and religions; in fact, there are more than 32 identifiable ethnic groups from among the Kadazandusun group alone, while the Bajaus and Muruts are made up of various smaller ethnic groups as well,” he said. Maijol cited as an example how in the urban and town areas we see Chinese and Indians mixing together with the local native population either in coffee shops or other places where they can group together, and this harmonious relationship has been in place even before Merdeka. “I therefore urge the people not to be easily influenced by certain group of people who are instigating them to join public rallies and street demonstrations. Such actions will do us and the Government more harm than good. “Along these lines, I wish to extend my best Aidiladha greetings to all Muslim in Sabah,” he said.

THURSDAY-20TH DECEMBER 2007-DR JEFFREY SERIOUSLY INJURED IN ACCIDENT


Dr Jeffrey seriously injured in accident
KOTA KINABALU:
Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Vice President, Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, was seriously injured in a road accident near Pekan Nabalu, some 60 kilometres from here, yesterday. The 60-year-old received 10 stitches on the forehead. Jeffrey, who also sustained a spine injury, is currently warded at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. He was returning home from a three day PKR roadshow in Semporna along a female family member and their driver Elaiser. The other two escaped minor injuries and bruises, only.
“His condition is reported to be stable …… he is alert and conscious. Currently, the doctors told us that he would be put under observation for the next 48 hours at the Neuro Surgical Ward and would later be transferred to another ward to enable him to recuperate,” said Jeffrey’s political secretary, Kanul Gindul. Jeffrey’s older brother, Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Pairin Kitingan, who is also the Parti Bersatu Sabah president, deputy Chief Minister and the Huguon Siou (paramount leader of the KadazandusunMurut community) had spent between 10-15 minutes with the younger Kitingan. Other PKR Sabah-based leaders, Christina Liew, Awang Ahmad Shah and others, also visited him at the ward. “On behalf of (Datuk) Jeffrey’s family, office and supporters, I would like to thank everybody for their help and prayers. I have also informed the top leaders in Kuala Lumpur,” Gindul said. Jeffrey’s wife, Datin Susan Kitingan, who is currently abroad was also informed of the accident. It was reported that she had personally spoken to the doctor treating her husband to find out his condition. Tuaran District Police chief DSP Suhaimi Wiro, when contacted, disclosed that the accident occurred around 5am at KM36 along Jalan Tamparuli-Ranau, near Kampung Bongol. “Initial investigations revealed that they were moving downhill and on an ‘S’ curve when the driver lost control of the fourwheel drive vehicle, before it overturned and crashed onto the foothill,” he said. Jeffrey was later rushed to the Tuaran District Hospital before he was transferred to QEH for further treatment.

THURSDAY-20TH DECEMBER 2007-Conversational English skill for job-seekers



Conversational English skill for job-seekers Most participants to find job after three-month course
KOTA KINABALU: Greater focus will be given to improving the level of proficiency of English among job-seekers in Sabah to increase their chances of employment, said Resource Development and Information Technology Minister Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai. He said that the Human Resource Development Department JPSM has so far been successful with its first Daily Conversational English course and plans are in the pipeline to extend the course beyond Kota Kinabalu. “I have just spoken with JPSM director Puan Rosalind Chew and she told me that it is very likely that most, if not all of the participants (of the course) will get a job at lBorneo,” He said after officially closing the course at his office’s auditorium here, yesterday. Yee said that after Kota Kinabalu, where some 124 school-leavers and job-seekers attended the three-month course, the department plans to expand into other districts such as Sandakan and Tawau and the interior areas. He stressed that it is particularly important to extend training on the use of English to youths from poor families in rural areas, where there is limited access to such training. Taking the example of a job interview at the Human Resource Development Department (JPSM) a few years back for for position at a private hospital here, Yee said the only hindrance these youths is their lack of confidence in conversing in English.I spoke with them and found that they were all intelligent and capable individuals, but from there I could also determine who would have a better chance at getting the job. “The only thing stopping them was that they were not comfortable speaking in English and I am sure there were a lot of applicants that day that were left heart-broken because they did not get the job ... what we want to do here is give them a bit of help so they can get the job (they aim for),” he said. Meanwhile, the Daily Conversational English course is a joint-effort between JPSM and AMC College. Also present at the closing ceremony were Resource Development and Information Technology Ministry permanent secretary Datuk Abidin Madingkir, JPSM director Rosalind Chew and AMC College chief executive officer Paul Voo.

THURSDAY-20TH DECEMBER 2007-FREE SHOWS BY CHINA ACROBATICS TROUPE HERE

Free shows by China Acrobatics Troupe here

KOTA KINABALU:
In conjunction with the upcoming Chinese New Year, the China Acrobatics Troupe will be giving public performances here from Dec 12 this year until Jan 2O next year. The twice-daily shows will be held at the Ground Floor Event Hall of Plaza Tanjung Aru from 3pm and 7.3Opm. The event is jointly organized by the Management Corporation of Plaza Tanjung Aru and Mount Kinabalu Event, and sponsored by C.H. & Sons Development Sdn Bhd. There will be a dragon and lion performance at the launch of the event on Dec 29 at 3pm as well as booths selling products from China and Malaysia for charitable organizations. For further enquiries, the public may contact Michael Leong at 012- 8287766 or 012-8281766

THURSDAY-20TH DECEMBER 2007-SAFETY HAZARD AT RENOVATION SITE

SAFETY HAZARD AT RENOVATION SITE
•A lack of safety precautions at a renovation site in Kampung Air, Kota Kinabalu has prompted a passerby to voice concern. Mr D, who frequently passes by the area, claimed that the construction works on a building there poses a serious hazard to motorists and pedestrians alike. “Pedestrians passing by the site are at the risk of being hurt by falling building materials,” he told Public Hotline. He urged the relevant authorities to look into the matter and ensure adequate precautions are taken to prevent untoward incident. He said if the contractor continues to use substandard material in the scaffolding and netting, it may not withstand the impact of a falling concrete object. “The object could fall through and hit a pedestrian or passing vehicle. I don’t understand why the authorities are not doing anything about it,” he said. A spokesman for the Department of Occupational Safety and Health, when contacted over the matter, said they will look into the claim immediately. “We will have to investigate before taking further necessary action,” he said.
“Public Hotline also reported the matter to Kota Kinabalu City Hall and its spokesperson said We will take immediate action if the renovation work is a safety hazard,” he said, thanking the complainant for pointing out the prob1em.

THURSDAY-20TH DECEMBER 2007-Streetlights still not functioning after complaints

Streetlights still not functioning after complaints

Despite numerous complaints made to the relevant authorities, the streetlights along Jalan Sulaman-UMS are still not functioning properly, claimed a motorist. James pointed out to Public Hotline that without proper lighting, the road near UMS is dark and expose all road users to safety risk. “This is about public safety as there is a high chance of pedestrians being hit by cars. Even with my vehicle headlights on, it is still not bright enough to see what is in front,” he said. James related a recent personal experience in which he nearly hit a motorcyclist which was coming from the direction of Alam Mesra. He said that because the area is dark, motorists tend to switch on their high headlights and this affects other road users, especially those coming from the opposite direction. According to James, he normally uses the route at about 10pm to 11pm and as a developing area, the road should be sufficiently lit. A spokesman for Kota Kinabalu City Hall acknowledged that they have received similar complaints before. “We will inform our authorised contractor to check and take action as soon as possible,” he said.

THURSDAY-20TH DECEMBER 2007-Surprising twist in Tawau open space devt case

Surprising twist in Tawau open space devt case Council agrees joint-venture pact for project is invalid
TAWAU: In a surprising turn of event at the High Court here yesterday, the ten plaintiffs in the controversial Sabindo open space development case reached an amicable settlement with the Tawau Municipal Council (TMC), which is the second defendant. What was supposed to be a trial turned out to be a hearing as the plaintiffs’ lawyer Datuk Simon K. Y Shim informed Judicial Commissioner Y.A Puan Yew Jen Kie that the second defendant had agreed to the plaintiffs’ claims as follows: 1. A declaration that the joint venture agreement dated 13th December 1996 between the 1st and 2nd defendants is invalid, illegal and unenforceable, being ultra vires the Local Government Ordinance 1961 and the Tawau Municipal Council Instrument 1983 (G.N.S. 22 of 1983) 2. A declaration that the Development Plan submitted on 12th October 2004 and approved by the 2nd defendant on 27th May 2005 vide DP37/2004 is invalid, illegal and unenforceable; 3. An order that the said Development Plan DP37/2004 be set aside. 7. The second defendant agreed on no contest on the plaintiffs’ claim for cost. 4. An order restraining the 1st defendant, their servants or agents from entering, trespassing on, remaining and carrying out construction works on the open public places described under TL107522985 together with the adjoining land; 5. An order compelling the 1st defendant
whether by themselves or their servants or agents or any of them or otherwise howsoever to forthwith dismantle, remove and clear all plants, equipments and materials laden on the said land. The plaintiffs, on the other hand, waived their claims to damages in addition to the aforesaid orders; and any other relief this Honourable Court may deem fit to grant. The first defendant Jeramas Sdn Bhd and Aggasf Construction Sdn Bhd’s lawyer Ronny Cham objected to the application by the plaintiffs’ lawyer for permission from the court to enter the terms of consent judgement. He applied for an adjournment of the proceedings as the 2nd defendant in the case is closed tight together with the 1st defendant not only as a joint- venture partner but also as the approving authority. Cham said, “Whatever the amicable settlement that they may be, it would only mean that the second defendant is admitting that they have got the whole thing wrong as far as the joint-venture and the approving of project is concerned. “In view of the surprise turn of event this morning and the fact that we now have to draw in the second defendant as third party, I am of the view the trial fixed today should be adjourned to allow the first defendant to take stock of the situation to reconsider the pleadings in this case especially the third party proceedings. There are other reasons which I have stated in my written submission I wonder whether I need to proceed or my learned friend agreed with the adjournment,” he said. The court granted the adjournment and fixed 25 January next year for the hearing of a third party notice. Cham said that in regards to the third party proceedings, he and fellow lawyer Brendon Keith Soh would like to take the instruction from their clients to possibly join the State Government as a third party because the council’s approval must be with the consent of the minister concerned. The plaintiffs in the case are Chong Sui Jin, Yong Sie King, Lee Kok Ming, Pang Koh Len, Wong Chew See, Chin Kon Tai, Chen Yuh Bih, Lim Kon Hock, Yong Yu Min and Rev. James Wong Chong Leong, who had recently obtained an injunction to halt the open space development by Jeramas Sdn Bhd and Aggasf Construction Sdn Bhd. All the plaintiffs are represented by lawyer Datuk Simon K. Y. Shim and Wilson Lim, while the first defendant are represented by lawyer Ronny Cham and Brendon Keith Soh, and second defendant by Mohd Hanafiah Mohd Kassim and State AttorneyGeneral Department.

THURSDAY-20TH DECEMBER 2007-Students’ involvement in drug abuse worrying

Students’ involvement in drug abuse worrying
KOTA KINABALU:
More and more youths especially students are getting involved in drug activities and the trend is worrying, Assistant Minister of Community Development and Consumer Affairs Jornah Mozihim said. Statistics have revealed that more and more students are involved in social ills including drug abuse, Jornah said when closing PEMADAM’s Anti-Dadah prevention programme held at the Kota Kinabalu community centre yesterday. “Drug abuse involving the hardcore addicts and relapse addicts are affecting our society and statistics show that children as young as seven years old were involved,” she said. Jornah said the younger generation are the country’s future leaders and must be guided to contribute positively towards nation building. According to her, there are many contributing factors to the problem, one of which is parental neglect of children. “As a parent, we cannot assume that by giving our children material satisfaction is enough as they need moral support,” she said. Parents, she added, must provide a safe and conducive environment for their children to grow up in so that they are not swayed or tempted by social ills. Children must be showered with love and care so that they will grow up into responsible and caring individuals, she added. Meanwhile, National Drug Agency’s officer Aza Savelyeva Ramlee disclosed that Sabah has recorded the highest number of female drug addicts in the country and that 80 percent of the Bachok rehabilitation centre inmates were from here. Aza Savelyeva also said the number of female drug addicts in Malaysia kept increasing and existing rehabilitation centres are having problems accommodating them. “To ease the congestion in the existing centres, a new one for women will be built in Papar in 2008,” she said. This year’s statistics showed that most of the drug addicts in Sabah were picked up from Sembulan, Tanjung Aru, Kinarut, Luyang and Penampang. Kota Kinabalu has the highest number of people involved in drug abuse followed by Sandakan.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

WEDNESDAY-19TH DECEMBER 2007- Special Christmas program

Special Christmas program
KOTA KINABALU: Sabah V FM (English Unit) would be airing its special programme, dubbed the 'Kid's Talentime 2007' on Christmas Day starting from 11.30am — 12.15pm.
The programme, conducted by Penny Loid and Viola Masudal, was recorded at the Asia City Complex lobby on November 24.
Listeners will be entertained by the Kid's Talentime winners, namely Noorizuranie Abdul Mudar, Weenda Esthell Tisny and Crystal Anthony Thinsiong.

WEDNESDAY-19TH DECEMBER 2007- Rising cost of living means time to budget

Rising cost of living means time to budget
Consumers advised not to over-commit in spending income
KOTA KINABALU
: Consumers Association of Sabah and Labuan (CASH) Deputy President, Nordin Thani yesterday advised consumers in the State not to be over-committed in their spending and budget their income wisely.
"By budgeting and planning our financial commitments as well as income, we can avoid debts and make the most of our income," he said in an interview here yesterday.
"We have to be realistic about what we can afford. It is easy to become financially over-committed. Our monthly commitments and extra bills would increase for example when we sign up for a new service, such as satellite TV or a post-paid mobile phone line (by contract), buy something on hire purchase or add to a credit card debt," he said.
Nordin added, "another reason for financial over-commitment may be a change in personal circumstances resulting to a drop ofincome, for example, if one loses his job or meet an accident resulting in loss of earning or the need to stop working. When this happens, we have to change our spending priorities."
According to him the most important thing a person has to do at times like this is to review his or her budget as it can help them plan ahead and make the most of their income.
"We must identify our commitments, for example, mortgage, rent, bills, cars and work out how much they cost," he said adding that there is a need to establish the source of income to make the payments with.
It is also important to review the budget regularly, because circumstances are likely to change, he said and pointed out, "by working out a budget we'll know how much money we have for our essential living expenses, such as household bills, rent or mortgage and food and how much we can afford to commit to other plans, like buying a car, taking out another mortgage, going on holiday or saving for the future.
"By prioritizing our commitments we can make sure our basic needs are met and then we can decide what else we can afford, and what we have to save for or do without. By shopping around and negotiating, not just for goods and services but also for financial products such as loans and credit cards, we can make our money go further," he said.
"If one is over-committed and have a debt problem, please, in my view, do not ignore the situation. That is the worst thing one can do, to ignore the problem, hoping it will go away as the earlier one contacts the creditors, the more flexible they're likely to be in coming to an agreement. It is better to decide which debts are priority debts and which are not," he stressed.
According to him, signs when an individual may have a problem include:
1. having rent or mortgage arrears
2. taking out new loans to pay off old ones
3. only paying the minimum amount on your credit card
4. using a credit card for day-to-day purchases
5. ignoring letters from creditors
Nordin added that too many people let debt take control over their life before they sought assistance to settle their problems.
"Consumers are encouraged to take control early to help stop spiraling debt especially at this time of year when people can be prone to mounting credit and debt as their thoughts turned to Christmas expenses.
"If one is really in financial trouble, one could seek help and assistance from Bank Negara, through their Credit Counseling and Debt Management Agency (AKPK) The AKPK offers a helpline, providing free and impartial financial advice to people with debt problems" said Nordin.

WEDNESDAY-19TH DECEMBER 2007- Letter from JP or village head for IC is illegal, says MP

Letter from JP or village head for IC is illegal, says MP
KOTA KINABALU: Sepanggar MP Datuk Eric Majimbun said the use of a statutory declaration letter from a Justice of the Peace (JP) or village head to certify late birth registrations for the purpose of applying for an identity card is' illegal.
He said such use is against the Birth and Death Ordinance 1953, Section 22(2) of the Federal Laws.
The section concerned shows that registration made after 42 days of the birth of a child is considered late registration and must be certified by a First Class Civil Magistrate's Court.
As such, he urged the relevant authorities to conduct a comprehensive study and carry out an investigation on those who had acquired the identity cards by using a statutory declaration letter from the JP or village head.
"A study or investigation is carried out because many had obtained the identity cards using such statutory declaration letter and many more will be using the same document to apply for the IC," he said.
Eric who said this in Parliament, reckoned that the people used the services of the Mobile Court to have the certification for their late birth registrations.
"Both the print and electronic media should also play their role by disseminating the schedule for the Mobile Court visits to the villages in the rural areas," Eric added.

WEDNESDAY-19TH DECEMBER 2007- Festive celebrations at Sandakan Harbour Square

Festive celebrations at Sandakan Harbour Square
SANDAKAN: In conjunction with the coming festive season, Sandakan Harbour Square (SHS) will be organising activities to celebrate Christmas, New Year and the forthcoming Chinese New Year in February 2008.
Residents in the district are invited to the town square, the seafront harbour esplanade to join in the celebrations and enjoy the activities which SHS has lined up.
The celebrations will be kicked off by the opening of the @ease Boutique Hotel on December 23 and a fireworks display has been scheduled for 9.30pm.
Preceding the fireworks display, a 200 strong choir from the Church of Good Shepherd will serenade visitors at the town square.
Other programmes lined up by SHS are a karaoke session on December 24, a New Year eve concert on December 31, a children's colouring competition on the morning of New Year's day.
From February I to 6, SHS will be holding the traditional Chinese New Year night market sales at the town square.

WEDNESDAY-19TH DECEMBER 2007- Umno Keningau wants Pairin retained as MP

Umno Keningau wants Pairin retained as MP
KENINGAU
: UMNO Keningau has given its undivided and full support to Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) President Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Pairin Kitingan to contest as a Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate for the Keningau Parliamentary area in the coming general election.
Keningau UMNO Chief, Datuk Haji Sairin Karno said the leadership of Pairin, who is also Deputy Chief Minister cum Rural Development Minister, is still needed by the Keningau people for their development.
"I believe Pairin's leadership has been accepted by the majority of the multiracial people from the area he has represented today, and BN should retain him as a BN candidate in this coming general election," he said in his speech in a meet-the-­people session for people from eight villages held at Kampung Toboh Laut here on Sunday. Sairin, who is also Liawan Assemblyman, believed the people in the area still need and love Pairin, who has brought a lot of development for them.
According to him, Pairin still has influence in the interior area and he asked the BN leadership to let Pairin defend the Keningau seat in, the coming general election. Keningau Parliamentary area consists of Tambunan constituency represented by Pairin (PBS-BN), Bingkor represented by Justin Guka (UPKO-BN) and Liawan by Sairin (UMNO-BN). Sairin believed and is confident that with full and undivided support and cooperation from the BN component here, BN can win easily in the three constituencies, including Keningau.
Present at the function were Pairin and his wife Datin Seri Panglima Genevieve Kitingan, Justin and other BN component leaders.

WEDNESDAY-19TH DECEMBER 2007- Rude power meter reader scares family

Rude power meter reader scares family
A resident of Kwan Loke Garden in Likas is unhappy with the attitude of a meter reader from Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd, as she claimed the man was rude to her.
Nikky told Public Hotline that the incident happened yesterday morning.
"It was roughly around 10.15am and I was still upstairs in the bathroom while the rest of the family members were in their own rooms after staying up late at night. Then I heard loud knocking sound of the padlock being repeatedly banged against the gate and a man shouting "Hoi! Hoi! Buka!" she said.
On hearing the noise and shouts, she rushed down to check and saw the man outside in the SESB uniform.
"I then rushed up to call one of my boys to come down to open the gate because I was not properly dressed to go out of the house," she said.
"We ran down again as the man seemed to be agitated and was making a lot of noise outside, "she said, adding that when the meter reader saw her son opening the grill to go out, he (meter reader) snorted loudly "malas betul" (really lazy) and some other rude words," Nikky said.
"When he was in the house compound, we immediately locked our grill and he grumbled loudly. I managed to note his name and when he saw what I was doing, he demanded to know why I wrote down his name.
"He was obviously angry and we just waited for him to hand us the bill, and then closed the door. Only after he had left that my boy went out to lock the gate again," said Nikky.
"This morning's incident was not only scary, it was also an embarrassment because some of the neighbours even peeped through their windows to see what the commotion was all about.
"I would not blame them because my first fear today when I heard the meter reader's shouts was that of an 'ah long' (loan shark) coming the wrong address," she said.
Nikky hoped that SESB would educate their staff to be more courteous for the benefit of both parties.
She also hoped that the SESB would not send the same guy to the area in the future.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for SESB, when contacted over the matter, assured that the complaint by the residents will be forwarded to the unit concerned so that action can be taken.

WEDNESDAY-19TH DECEMBER 2007- Police to meet public at Giant

Police to meet public at Giant
PENAMPANG: The public wishing to voice out their concern to the police may do so during a meet-the-­people session at the Giant Supermarket in Putatan this Saturday starting from 9.30am to 1pm.
According to the District Police Management Division head, Inspector Yampil Garai, hope the public would show their support to the event which is also aimed at creating closer ties among each other besides creating awareness that when both the police and the people work together, they would be able fight crimes better.
"We hope to create awareness among them the importance of working together. In addition, we also hope that through such event, we will be able to create closer ties besides promoting our roles and responsibilities to the people," he said.
Yampil added that the event would also create an avenue for the people to interact and voice out their grouses to the police.
During the event, public would also be entertained by local artists and the Kombo PDRM IPK Sabah, traditional performance from the Monsopiad Cultural Village, K9 and T-Baton demonstration, as well as exhibition by the traffic, narcotics and air wing, among others.

WEDNESDAY-19TH DECEMBER 2007- Eleven foreign women sought by Labuan police

Eleven foreign women sought by Labuan police
LABUAN: Police here are looking for ten Filipino and an Indonesian women who are required to appear as witnesses in the Labuan Magistrateis Court on 31 December.
They are involved in a court case brought against the manager of a local pub for employing them as PROs/waitresses without valid work pass.
The ten Filipinos are Ma Cecil Zaldaviar Amada, 20, passport no: VV 0078226; Agnes Salmasan Villa, 30, passport no: UU 0609938; Mary Christine Castro Hernandez, 20, passport no: VV 0132565; Daisy Rerrer, 20, passport no: TT 0802113; Catherine Relota Santos, 23, passport no: RR 0881727; Charito Torres Dizon, 30, passport no: UU 0672490; Marilou Belmonte Abagon, 21, passport no: UU 0218744; Berberly Tonaco Nanabat, 18, passport no: VV 0313768; Nadia Lalican Padilla, 21, passport no: VV 0343428; Maridel Brillantes De San Juan, 18, passport no: UU 0643585 and the Indonesian woman is Pratiwi Juwita, passport no: A 313786.
According to the investigating officer of the case, Inspector Zuraini Bte Md Zin, the eleven women were charged in court on 16 July this year under Section 39(B) of the Immigration Act 1959, for working without proper permit, but discharged not amounting to acquittal (DNA).
The women are believed to be still in Labuan and anyone with information on their whereabouts is requested to contact Inspector Zuraini at 019-8093263 of 087­412222.

WEDNESDAY-19TH DECEMBER 2007- Technology, loans to lure youths to farms

Technology, loans to lure youths to farms
Aging farmers, traditional farming worrying: Minister

KENINGAU: A RM20 million Paddy Seedling Centre will be officially opened at Kota Belud in January next year.
The centre, the third and largest such facility in the State, has the capacity to store 2,000 metric tons of paddy seedlings, said Agriculture and Food Industry Minister Datuk Abdul Rahim Ismail here yesterday.
Rahim said the other two centres with storage capacities of 1,000 metric tons and 1,500 metric tons are located in Papar and Tenom respectively.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman will officiate at the opening of the centre at Kota Belud early next month, he said after officiating at the handing over of paddy harvesting machines to 11 selected farmers from several districts at the Agriculture Department Paddy Mechanization Station in Binaong near here.
Rahim hoped that with the full operation of the Paddy Seedling Centres, farmers in this State will not be facing any problem in getting paddy seedlings, especially during planting season.
Regarding the seedling centre situated at Tenom, he said only 75 percent is used for paddy seedlings while another 25 percent is used for other crop seedlings.
Earlier in his speech, he said 60 per cent of the farmers, livestock breeders and fishermen today are aged above 65 years old.
"The government views this matter seriously, especially in attracting our youths to get involved in agricultural field in an effort to maintain and expand the sector in the State," he said.
He is also worried because younger generations today are not interested to work in the farms.
Besides, many farmers are still practising traditional farming, which cannot increase their crop yield.
Rahim believed that using modern technology could create an impact and attract new farmers among the younger generations to be involved in this sector.
"Besides providing modern technology facilities, the Government through the Ministry also will give loans with easy repayments," he said.
He also urged farmers' bodies in this State to give their full support to the Government's halatuju in an effort to reduce food imports in the State by increasing their paddy yields and through balance of trade in the agricultural sector.
He said this includes implementing various biodiversity programs involving timbers, bakau woods, palm oil, rubber and wide sea, which have good potentials and give better returns to them.
Rahim hoped farmers would commercialize their paddy planting which could provide them with good returns.
Present at the function were Assistant Ministers of Agriculture and Foods Industry, Datuk Bobbey Suan and Datuk Japlin Akira, Liawan Assemblyman Datuk Haji Sairin Karno, Bingkor Assemblyman Justin Guka, Agriculture and Foods Industry Permanent Secretary Datuk Gregory Juatol, State Agriculture Department Director MC Ismail Salam and District Officer Haji Zulkifli Nasir.

WEDNESDAY-19TH DECEMBER 2007- Roads closed for Gaya Christmas Celebration

Roads closed for Gaya Christmas Celebration
KOTA KINABALU
: Roads at Jalan Bandaran (near City Hall building and Lembaga Tabung Haji) and Block 1 of Gaya Street would be closed to traffic between Dec 19 and 21 beginning from 6.30pm to 10.30pm.
City Hall Public Relations Officer Syron A Tunggolou, in a statement yesterday, disclosed that the road closure was meant to make way for the Gaya Christmas Celebration, organised jointly by City hall and the Sabah Churches Council.
Public are therefore urged to use alternative roads to avoid traffic jams in the area.

WEDNESDAY-19TH DECEMBER 2007- Nine new professors join UMS

Nine new professors join UMS
KOTA KINABALU: Universiti Sabah (UMS) has added nine new professors to its line-up of academicians to further improve its position as the fast emerging academic centre in the country.
Its Vice Chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Mohd Noh Dalimin yesterday announced the name of the new professors, saying their appointment will boost the University's effort to position itself to a higher level.
The newly appointed professors are Prof Dr Rosnah Ismail psychology), Prof Dr Fauziah
Abdul Aziz (Physics), Prof Dr Felix Tongkul (Geology), Prof Dr Mohd Harun Abdullah (Environment) and Deputy Vice Chancellor, Student Affairs, Prof Dr Amran Ahmad (Mathematics).
Joining them are Prof Dr Awang Bono (Chemistry), Prof Dr Abdul Noor Yeo @ Yeo Kiam Beng (Artificial Intelligence), Prof Dr Zulkifli Mohamed (Education) and Prof Dr Roselina Ahmad Saufi (Business).
Speaking to reporters after attending a talk on Global Warming at the university yesterday, he said all the professors were appointed based on their experience, expertise and excellent contributions in the field of research and academic writing both in and outside the country.
He said their appointment were agreed by UMS Board of Directors and the University itself.
Mohd Noh also announced the appointment of Abdullah Mohd Said as the University's new registrar effective Oct 22.
Previous Registrar Hela Ladin left UMS after reaching mandatory retirement age.

WEDNESDAY-19TH DECEMBER 2007- KK rally: We never expected public – Keadilan

KK rally: We never expected public – Keadilan
KOTA KINABALU: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sabah Youth yesterday expressed regret over the interpretation made by certain quarters about the presentation of Bersih's memorandum to Head of State Tun Ahmadshah Abdullah at the Istana Negeri here on Dec 14.
Its chief Abdul Razak Jamil, who headed the interim committee on the Bersih program, said a decision was reached on Dec 10 that a memorandum would be submitted to the Head of State with the participation of Sivarasa Rasiah, a Bersih's representative to Sabah.
Initially, he said, they expected about 20 people to be allowed to go to the Istana Negeri, which finally allowed six people only.
"We never informed the public to gather at the Padang Merdeka on that day (Dec 14). We expected only three people from the local media and a such, we were furious over the presence of about 300 policemen, including from the Federal Reserve Unit and members ofthe media," said Abdul Razak in a statement yesterday.
He said they would have applied for a police permit if they had planned to organise a massive gathering on that day.
"I feel sad that certain quarters had misinterpreted the submission of the memorandum (to the Istana Negeri) and that there were certain quarters who spread the rumours through the SMS (short messaging service).
"I readily admit that the presence of people on that day was not many as we only called a few specific individuals," said Abdul Razak, adding that Article 10 of the Federal Constitution allows a peaceful gathering with permit obtained from the police.

WEDNESDAY-19TH DECEMBER 2007- KK BN rejects KL-style rally

KK BN rejects KL-style rally
Ex-CM Yong says some from elsewhere trying to come to KK to cause social instability
KOTA KINABALU: Kota Kinabalu Barisan Nasional (BN) Chairman Datuk Yong Teck Lee has urged the public to reject any further attempt by the opposition parties to stir social instability by organizing street protests.
Yong made the call yesterday in the wake of the peaceful demonstration at Padang Merdeka organized by Bersih, an umbrella organisation which groups 64 NGOs and six opposition parties.
The demonstration called for a fair and clean general election, but it received cool response from the public with less than 20 people turning up.
"In the wake of the violent protest in the Peninsular and the attempt (to hold similar protest) here last Friday, we (BN component parties) want to voice our collected view that there is no need for such demonstration," said Yong, who is also Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) President.
Yong, who earlier chaired the BN Kota Kinabalu meeting at Beverly Hotel, endorsed a Barisan Nasional campaign asking the people to sign a petition against street protests in the country.
"There have been some efforts by some people from the other parts of the country to come to Kota Kinabalu just for the purpose-of holding demonstrations. Luckily the people of Sabah, especially in Kota Kinabalu, do not want to play any part in such street protests," he said.
Yong said the Government was very happy that the public, including members of the opposition parties rejected such demonstrations, adding the poor participation in the Bersih Demonstration indicated the strong support for BN.
"Generally in Sabah, the sentiments are still very much with BN. In respect of the low attendance at the protest at Padang Merdeka and (the talk) in Telipok, it shows that even their own members don't want to take part in such street protest," he said.
Yong criticized Parti Keadilan Rakyat for supporting the demonstration, saying: "It is a reminder of the Likas by-Election 2001. Never before in my 30 years of experience in the arena of politics I saw so much violence in Likas. And it was all because of Parti Keadilan. "
The meeting yesterday was attended by representatives from all Kota Kinabalu BN component parties, namely UMNO, LDP, PBS, MCA, PBRS, MIC, Gerakan and SAPP.
Yong said among the issues discussed during the meeting were inflation caused by increasing prices of goods in Kota Kinabalu in particular and Sabah in general.
Also discussed were efforts in strengthening BN spirit among coalition members in Kota Kinabalu, he said.
Other issues brought up in the meeting was the review of voting stations by the Election Commission SPR) which saw individuals' voting stations being changed to match the addresses in their MyKads, he added.
Noting that some of the BN members were also affected by the changes in voting stations, he advised the voters to check their voting stations with the SPR.
"If the change is in accordance with the address in MyKad, then it should be no problem unless if the address is an old one or no longer applicable," he said, adding that the voters can visit the SPR office or just log onto the commission's website for their convenience.
During the meeting, there was also a presentation by Special Affairs Department (JASA) followed by discussion on a number of issues including problems related illegal immigrant, unemployment and land matter.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

TUESDAY-18TH DECEMBER 2007- Sabah to have Intellectual Property High Court

Sabah to have Intellectual Property High Court
KOTA KINABALU: The Government will set up the Intellectual Property High Court at six locations in the country. “The court which will operate in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Johor, Perak, Sabah and Sarawak will have the jurisdiction to hear into appeals for intellectual property cases,” Deputy Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk S. Veerasingam said when launching the State-level Intellectual Property Seminar here yesterday. Those operating in East Malaysia are called Borneo Intellectual Property High Court while the ones in Peninsular Malaysia are called Malaya Intellectual Property High Court.
Veerasingam urged Malaysians to register their intellectual properties to protect their rights. “The Government wants to protect our own intellectual properties which can help to develop our country’s economy,” he said. “The Sessions Court in Jalan Duta (Kuala Lumpur) has already solved 26 of the 184 registered cases. This is a good sign that our society has already realized the importance of their intellectual properties right,” he added. Veerasingam also explained that the public is not aware of the Trade-Related Aspect of Intellectual Property Right (TRIPS) agreement that protects geography signal as one of the intellectual properties components.
According to him, three of the four geography signals that have been registered in Malaysia are from Sabah local products, namely Sabah Tea, Kopi Tenom and Borneo Virgin Coconut Oil. The deputy minister also said in Sabah alone there were 22 potential local products to be registered for intellectual properties under the geography signal component such as Belacan Papar, Tambunan’s Ginger and Beaufort’s Sweet Lime. “We hope more entrepreneurs will register their intellectual properties so that their products will be more unique and special than the other products in the market because they have the geography signal right,” he added.