Thursday, December 13, 2007

THURSDAY-13TH DECEMBER 2007-Polytechnic director pays farewell call on TYT

Polytechnic director pays farewell call on TYT
Outgoing Sabah Polytechnic director Datuk Azizi Lin and his wife Datin Zuraidah Mohd Daud called on the Head of State Tun Ahmadshah Abdullah and his wife Toh Puan Hajah Dayang Masuyah Awang Japar at the Istana Negeri here yesterday. Azizi has been seconded to the Higher Education Ministry in Kuala Lumpur as the Director of Examination and Evaluation in the Polytechnic Studies and Community College Department at Putrajaya, effective Dec 1. During the meeting, Azizi also introduced Mustafar Kamar Ujung, who succeeds him as the director of Sabah Polytechnic and the latter’s wife, Nurizan Suhaimi and Deputy Director (Support Division) Sahul Hamid Wahab, and Trade Department head Charim Ibrahim. He also briefed the Governor on the current development of polytechnics in Sabah in terms of administration and the courses offered for next year intake.

THURSDAY-13TH DECEMBER 2007-SEPA hails building of biomass fired power plant in Lahad Datu

SEPA hails building of biomass fired power plant in Lahad Datu
The Sabah Environmental Protection Association (SEPA) has hailed the plan by the State Government to build the Sabah’s first biomass-fired power generation plant in Lahad Datu. “We welcome the State Government’s initiative in bringing in technology and investors to implement a project that is in line with the Clean Development Mechanism,” said SEPA chairman Datuk Sue Jayasuriya. “Perhaps the State Government can apply to have the capacity of the combined head and power plant enlarged so that there will be no need to pursue the construction of the proposed coal- fired power plant at Silam near Lahad Datu,” she said. According to her, the combined head and power plant (CHP) will be able to help reduce the emission of greenhouse gases by the oil mill effluent or POME. She acknowledged the fact that before the CHP, a number of oil palm players in Sabah have been using empty fruit bunches and palm kernel shells for the production of electricity or as feedstock for firing their boilers. She said the oil palm industry in Sabah, which is the main revenue earner for the State, is a major producer of methane gas, one of the four main greenhouse gases contributing to global warming. The proposed 24 megawatt and 150 tonne-per-hour steam plant at the Lahad Datu palm oil industrial cluster is expected to be commissioned in 2010. State-owned POIC Sabah Sdn Bhd, the developer of the Lahad Datu palm oil industrial cluster, signed an agreement with Korean company Eco Biomass Energy Sdn Bhd for the purchase of 20 acres of land for the CHP plant. Other than POME, the methane gas also comes from rotting empty fruit bunches. At present, only a small fraction of empty fruit bunches are used as feedstock for energy production. Much of it is spread onto oil palm plantations for mulching. Empty fruit bunches emit emthane when they rot, and rotting takes places within several days after being left in the open.

THURSDAY-13TH DECEMBER 2007-NRD to probe claim of Sandakan girl

NRD to probe claim of Sandakan girl
Rositah says officer asked her to apply for new identity
The National Registration Department (NRD) will conduct an investigation into a 19-year-old local girl’s claim that she was asked by one of its officers to apply for a new identity after her MyKad was issued to another person. Putrajaya NRD public relations officer Jainisah Mohd Noor said that under no circumstances would a person be asked to change his or her identity if their MyKad had fallen into wrong hands. “We don’t have such a system whereby someone takes another identity if their personal particulars had been used by another person,” she said, adding that the MyKad was issued based on the particulars of the applicant’s birth certificate. Local Sandakan girl Siti Rositah Mustapah highlighted her problem to the media after she was told by a NRD officer in Kota Kinabalu to apply for a new identity as her MyKad had been issued to another person, She was also called an impostor. Rositah, whose parents and seven others siblings are all Malaysians, lodged a police report on Friday after she refused to take up a new identity as all school certificates were under her name as per her birth certificate. She had made a late application for a MyKad in 2005 but every time she checked, the NRD told her it was not ready and she was finally asked to go directly to the State NRD headquarters here last week. Jainisah advised Rositah to check with the State NRD headquarters again on the matter and assured that her case would be investigated and resolved quickly.

THURSDAY-13TH DECEMBER 2007-‘Back-from-dead’ Briton in court, police to quiz wife

‘Back-from-dead’ Briton in court, police to quiz wife
A British man who resurfaced more than five years after being presumed dead in a canoeing accident appeared in court Monday on fraud charges, as police prepared to question his wife. John Darwin was given a brief hearing before magistrates in Hartlepool, northeast England, and was remanded in custody until Friday. The 57-year-old is accused of lying to obtain a passport and obtaining a 25,000- pound life insurance payout by deception. The former teacher and prison officer was arrested last Tuesday, three days after walking into a central London police station and telling officers he thought he was a missing person but had amnesia. Darwin’s appearance in court -a procedural hearing at which he spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth - came as detectives prepared to interview his wife, Anne. The 55-year-old former receptionist at a doctor’s surgery was arrested Sunday on her return to Britain from Panama, where she moved nearly two months ago. She was to undergo a medical examination before any formal interviews took place, police said. A news conference is scheduled for later Monday, they added. John Darwin had been declared legally dead in 2003, a year after he disappeared from the family home in Seaton Carew, near Hartlepool, and his battered red canoe was washed up on the shore.
He was arrested last Tuesday after the publication of a photograph of him and his wife in Panama in July 2006, prompting a rash of revelations from his wife in interviews with British newspapers. She told the Daily Mirror and Daily Mail she went along with her husband’s faked death to escape huge debts, and lived with him in secret for years. She said the couple had about 12 houses as rental investments and began to run up debts of tens of thousands of pounds (euros, dollars). Her husband told her faking his own death was the only way out. But she said she did not think his disappearance was fake, because they had not spoken about his plans for sometime. “I really thought that he was dead,” she said. Then in February 2003, he returned, looking dishevelled. He moved back in, hiding in the adjoining bedsit the couple owned when their two grieving sons visited. When going outdoors he used a woolly hat, upturned collar, walking stick and limp to disguise himself. He successfully applied for a passport in the name of John Jones. At one point the couple travelled to Cyprus with a view to moving there, before turning to Panama City, where they bought an apartment for 97,000 dollars in April this year. But when Darwin had to return to Britain as his visa was running out, he told his wife he was going to reemerge and claim memory loss. -AFP

THURSDAY-13TH DECEMBER 2007-PKR shares concern of CASH

PKR shares concern of CASH
Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) also shares the concern of CASH President Datuk Patrick Sindu that one day Sabah might see street protests like the ones in Peninsular, if the State’s perennial problems continue to worsen and unresolved. Problems of overflowing illegal immigrants, dubious citizens, rising crimes and weak economy of the natives are fuelling uneasiness and anger among bona fide citizens of Sabah and this could spark open demonstration in future, said PKR Keningau division deputy chairman Jius Awang. “What Datuk Patrick said is true, and the Federal Government should not wait till such a time when the people, including the natives, take it to the streets to demand correction of policies and protection from the Government,” he added in a statement yesterday.

THURSDAY 13TH DECEMBER 2007-Unfair to blame Govt, says Liew

Unfair to blame Govt, says Liew
It was unfair for a certain community in the country to accuse the Government of marginalizing them, when in the first place they were the ones who failed to embrace and participate in the development programs catered by the Government. Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Liew Yun Fah pointed this out yesterday when asked to comment on the series of events that took place in Kuala Lumpur of late. He noted that the present Government under Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Abdullah Badawi’s leadership has been fair to all the communities in this country, with special focus given to the youths. Liew is thus of the opinion that the issue of “racial marginalisation” does not exist in this country but merely an issue exploited by the opposition to undermine the present Government, especially when the election is just around the corner. He thus called on the people of Sabah, the youths especially, not to be easily influenced and misled by such a gimmick, instead to actively take part in the various development programs provided by the Government.


The Consumer Claims Tribunal here yesterday awarded RM2 75,000 in compensation to 11 former students of Labuan International College (KAL), formerly known as Institut Teknologi Sara (ITS), which offered a course to them that is not recognized by National Accreditation Board (LAN). The President of the Tribunal, Datuk Lawrence S H Thien ordered the college to compensate each of the students RM25,000.
The claimants were Mohd Saiful Bahari, Emmanuel Kian Seng Henry, Zarina Zainal, Nur Farizah Raina Yahya, Abdul Halim Noor Sotimin, Maxly Robert, Nur Shazilinah Abdullah, Remawarnih Awg Tanjong, Clement Dindo Peruh, Rozaini Laksaman and Shariffah Nortasha. In July this year, Tribunal President Johari Hassan had ordered the college to pay the damages to the claimants but the order was put on hold in October after KAL director Datuk Suhaili Abdul Rahman asked to be given one month to settle the accreditation issue with the Public Services Department (PSD). Suhaili told the Tribunal that the course in question was offered under a joint programme between KAL and Universiti Putera Malaysia (UPM) and the University would study the matter. He said that as an established national public university, UPM should have been accredited by LAN and PSD, and he would discuss the matter with the relevant authorities. In their claims, the former students said KAL had failed to deliver this promise and should pay the compensation without further delay. On July 30, one of the students, Mohd Saiful said they were offered a diploma course by the college which was spread over a six-semester period. However, at the end of the fourth semester, he said they came to know that the college did not obtain the LAN accreditation for the course from PSD, thus the diploma issued by the college was not recognised by the Government. He said they had approached the principal who assured them that the college had received the LAN accreditation for the course, but the college’s website on the Internet stated that it did not receive the LAN accreditation. “We approached the principal again and he told us that the college has the LAN accreditation but that it would take a while for it to be posted on its website,” said Mohd Saiful, who took a Diploma in Science Computer course in the college. To a question from Johari, Mohd Saiful said they did not lodge a complaint with the Education Department nor the Higher Education Ministry, as they felt it would be a waste of time. The college did not send any officials during the Tribunal hearing yesterday, while some of the students were represented by their parents.