Thursday, December 20, 2007

THURSDAY-20TH DECEMBER 2007-Celebrations a way to

Celebrations a way to resolve misunderstandings
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
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
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.


Dr Jeffrey seriously injured in accident
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.


Free shows by China Acrobatics Troupe here

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


•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
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.