Friday, December 7, 2007


China gangsters arrested at banquet
Hundreds of Chinese armed police stormed a banquet and arrested dozens of leaders of two criminal gangs that controlled more than 20 factories in the booming southern province of Guangdong, a newspaper said on Wednesday. The gangs were so influential in the city of Yangjiang that a Vice Minister of Public Security had to order the operation, the Beijing News said. Police in Yangjiang had been too thoroughly infiltrated by the gangs to be called upon for the raid of the four-storey hotpot restaurant, owned by a ringleader who became a local lawmaker in 2004, the newspaper said. “All policemen in Yangjiang were ordered to stay in their offices that night,” it quoted an unnamed source as saying. Dozens of senior police officers in the city were sent on a sightseeing trip days earlier, it added.The gangs had terrorised the city for more than a decade, using violence to monopolise lucrative businesses such as transport, cooking gas and seafood, the Beijing News said. The gangs and the factories they ran boasted a membership of about 30,000 amid surging crime accompanying the wild west economic growth in Guangdong, a manufacturing dynamo that accounts for more than 30 percent of China’s exports.


Blackouts despite restorative works
SABAH Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) explained in October that the excess current (arus lampau) supplied to their II Kilovolt (Kv) cable was behind the series of power outages at Grand Millennium 2, Jalad Kobusak in Penampang, for several months. But despite restorative work carried out by SESB technicians in that particular month, the same problem continues until this day. It was also reported then that the outages were caused by ‘feeder trip” due to excessive power to the cable concerned. JAMES, who spoke on behalf of 70 homeowners there, bemoaned the frequency of the power failures in the neighbourhood ever since he moved to his new house there two years ago. “I never kept track of the number of times it tripped over the years but the most recent was last Friday,” he said, adding that it tripped at about 7.3Opm and was restored at 850pm on Nov. 23. However, the irony of this situation was that supply to the adjacent housing estate and village were not affected each time there was a power failure in their neighbour- hood. “For instance those residing in the adjacent Taman Nsoob and also the nearby Kampung Kobusak are spared by this perennial problem.” he pointed out A SESB spokeswoman assured that it would elaborate on the situation soon as possible. “Give us some time- to gather information about the recent failures and what is causing the blackouts” she said.


Dried noodles kill 4 Chinese students
Four Chinese children died after eating a dried-noodle snack in the poor southern province of Yunnan, a newspaper said on Wednesday, the latest in a string of food-poisoning accidents across the country. The children bought the noodles on the way to school on Monday, the Beijing News said. “The children began frothing at the mouth, were lapsing in and out of consciousness and clasped their hands together in distress,” teacher Yang Tingzhou was quoted as saying. The children were rushed to hospital where they died in the emergency room. Local officials were investigating all stores selling non-staple foods in the area, the newspaper said. There was no suggestion the poisoning was deliberate, it added. It said families of the children would be given 6,000 yuan ($800) in compensation. Food poisoning is a frequent problem at Chinese schools, especially in rural areas, where lax official supervision encourages canteen contractors to cut costs at the expense of proper hygiene and food safety. China has also come under fire for a string of quality scandals involving products including food, toothpaste, drugs and toys.


Elderly man ‘mistakenly X-rayed twice’
THE Health Department is looking into a complaint from a Sipitang resident who was appalled by the poor service rendered to a relative at a government hospital. SALLY said her elderly uncle was forced to undergo an x-ray twice due to an oversight on the part of the personnel manning this machine. “My uncle looked troubled when he came out of the x-ray room the first time,” she said. “The medical officer at the ward had told him that he was to have his waist x-rayed. But the radiologist x-rayed his chest instead.’ She said the latter did not realise his mistake until she pointed it out. “He came out of the room and told me to take my uncle back to the ward, Only when I told him what my uncle had related to me did he ask for my uncle to undergo a second x-ray.” Sally said this staff neither apologised for the error nor explained how the mix-up could have happened. “I hope the management of the hospital would intervene so that the staff at the X-ray room are more careful in future.” She detailed her experience in a letter to Hotline which was forwarded to the Department on November 14. A Department spokesman said the agency was investigating this incident. “We will have to verify the resident’s allegations. before proceeding with further action,’ he said.


Bukit Harapan’s new premise at the Mile 4, Tuaran bypass, is becoming unsafe for the underprivileged folks there - all because of mudflows from an adjoining construction site.
Apparently unsupervised earthworks at the construction site atop a hill are causing the mud to flow into the compound during heavy rain. Hence, the children, some of who are wheelchair-bound, spastics as well as single mothers seeking asylum there, fear for their safety each time it rains heavily.
“The mudflow hit our fencing so hard before resting inside our perimeter drain,” lamented the Centre’s founder, Anne Keyworth, whom everyone calls Mama Anne. The centre has spent more than RM500,000 for the RM1.9 million home sprawled over 1.6 acres allocated by the State government. Anne and several staff are taking care of some 50 physically disabled children.
She said the water inside the concrete drain also could not discharge into the main drain because the drain is clogged with debris washed down from the construction site. All kinds of sediments including cut branches aside from mud had completely blanketed the drain,” she said, and questioned whether the developer would assume responsibility if there was a dengue outbreak at the centre.
Aggravating the situation was that some of the stones swept down by the mudflow had rested against the fencing. “It is just a matter of time before the structure collapse as it can no longer sustain the weight of the stones,” she stressed.
Mama Anne pointed out that some of the children staying in the domicile located near the hillside where the mud water is prone to gush down towards the centre would not be able to evacuate in time in the event of prolonged heavy rain.
“They won’t be able to leave the area due to their physical condition,” she said and urged the contractor responsible for the housing project atop the hill to find a way to divert the excess rainwater from the site elsewhere.
“The contractor simply must come up with a permanent solution to this problem,” she added. A spokesman for the project’s developer apologised to Mama Anne and the folks in the centre for the hardship they faced as a result of the mudflow.
“‘We are very much aware of the situation and in fact the main contractor for the project had dug a huge and deep trench at a section of the hill to prevent the mudflow affecting the centre,” he said.
He said the recent inclement weather condition hampered efforts to create the trench. It is dangerous for the workers to undertake the work when it rains because the ground tends to be very slippery,” he added. Besides, it was difficult to dig a large gap on that hilly ground during such weather condition.
“The workers relied on their hands to dig that portion of the land and not by using excavator because such machinery cannot access that plot,” he said.
As for the drain in question, the spokesman said the workers would be told to clear the soil which had fallen into that structure soon.