Sunday, December 30, 2007


Health Clinic marks 25th anniversary
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.


Kit Siang lauds
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
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.


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
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.