Friday, August 1, 2008


No word on amnesty for illegals: Consul


The Indonesian Consulate here has not received any official notification from the In done sian Consulate in Kota Kinabalu Dodi on whether Indonesian illegal workers in Sabah would be arrested or be given an amnesty. Its Consul here Dodi Karnida Ha said if they were given amnesty, the Indonesians could process their identity documents in Sabah with their birth certificates or outdated passports. They should bring their valid passport to the Immigration Department throughout the State for legalisation, he said. On the other hand, if the Indonesians are flushed out from Sabah, they could process their identity documents in Indonesia and their employers here may later process their applications with the Immigration Department, he added. “After that, they may be allowed to work in the State with the relevant documents and after approval from the relevant Departments,” he told reporters at his office here yesterday. According to Dodi, more than 200 Indonesians have come forward to the liaison office here daily to process their documents since July 28 this year in anticipation of the massive crackdown. Most of them bring along their birth certificate, updated passportl or temporary visit card to get their passport from the Consulate. Some, however, are also renewing1 their passort with a guarantee from their family members, knowing that if they do not refer their passport’ with the Immigration Department here they would be considered illegal immigrants. Dodi expressed the hope that they will go back to Indonesia immediately and process their documents there. Some employers of illegal workers here have not fully paid their wages, he said, adding that the Consulate here has been receiving about three complaints every week from the workers against their employers. “We will meet the employer and then write a letter to the Labour Department here for further action. Although the number of complaints is very low, the matter can be solved completely,” he said. A large number of Indonesians seen queuing up outside the consulate office in Tawau for passport application.


KL grant sought for child care centers Minister wants facility provided in State depts

Community Development and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun wants the Federal Government to extend its grant to set up child day care facilities in Government offices to the State. “The Federal Government, through the Welfare Department, has allocated the grant for its departments and agencies to set up a child day care centre in their premises. We therefore hope the Federal Government would extend this financial assistance to the State departments and agencies,” she said. Speaking at the launching of the State Level Breastfeeding Week here yesterday, Azizah said the State Government at the moment does not have any such assistance for its departments and agencies The State Government, she added, does dot have any immediate plans to provide such assistance but added, “I feel it is better for the Federal Government to just extend its grant to Sabah because we are after all, one Government.” According to Azizah, she will be discussing the matter with the Sabah Women Affairs Council and also with the State Government. Azizah also disclosed that despite the grant from the Federal Government, only two Federal Government agencies, namely Putrajaya and the Inland Revenue Board (IRB), have the child day care centre in their premises. “Therefore I urge the other Federal Government agencies and departments to set up the facility as it will make the working mothers there morec productive at work. It will also help reduce their expenses as they need not send their children to a nursery or day care. “By being able to breastfeed their children, the working mothers also need not spend money on buying powered formula,” she stressed, adding that the provision of such a facility applies to all employers not only the Government sector. Mothers are everywhere, not only in the Government sector but also in the private sector, she said and expressed hope that the breastfeeding programme will be supported by everyone especially the Women non-governmental organizatiçrns in the State, she said. Meanwhile, in conjunction with the week long programme, a senior politician’s mother was awarded with the ‘Tokoh Ibu’ award for having brought up all her children with breast milk. Rosinah @ Ongut Sogondu, 71, is the mother of former Moyog Assemblyman, Philip Lasimbang. She breastfed Philip and his 12 siblings, and even her daughters are doing the same with their children. According to Rosinah, she married at the age of 21 and has 12 surviving children, one son passed away at the age of three. “In the old days, money was tight and it was not easy to get powered formula milk, so breast milk was the best choice for my children,” she said, adding that breast milk is free from impurities, and it was and still is used by villagers to disinfect sore eyes. Rosinah, whose children are all successful and famous in their own right, said she even became a wet nurse for her sister-in-law in the past. “My sister-in-law left the house to plant padi and when her baby started crying, I didn’t spare any though tand just breastfed the child,” she said.


Operations against dogs, rats in City


The City Hall enforcement team caught 22 stray dogs in and around the commercial centre and low cost housing areas in Kepayan. The ongoing operation is carried out under the Registration and Control of Dogs By-Laws 1953, said the City Hall in a statement yesterday. It said rat eradication exercise is also carried out in various places in the State Capital. The operations will be focused on the Central Business District in the City, including Sinsuran and Segama, Kampung Air, Bandaran Beraya, Asia City, Api Api Centre, KK Proper, Port area, foodstalls at Anjung Senja and Anjung Samudra. Areas covered outside the Central Business District include Lido, Tanjung Aru, Kepayan Ridge, Rumah Murah Kepayan, Fob Sang, Landbreeze, Taman Fortuna, Likas Plaza, Likas Square, Juta Plaza, Inanam, Menggatal, Telipok, Taman Putera Jaya, Indah Permai, Kingfisher Park and Taman Sepanggar. Similar operations will also be carried out at all the markets in the State Capital. Meanwhile, another 27 people were fined for litteiing, including discarding cigarette butts in public places in and around the City on Sunday. Twenty three of the litterbugs were fined on the spot, while four other were given a week to settle their compounds.


End of road for illegals as massive blitz set to begin


While Malaysians in Sabah are preparing for the Independence Day celebrations during the month of August, the days are numbered for the illegal immigrants in the State. Today, their “independence” will be over. They will no longer be at liberty to play a cat-and-mouse game with the Malaysian authorities - and stay on in Sabah, untouched. Looming large over the elusive illegal immigrants are the nets of widespread operation to round them up for repatriation. Sabah Deputy Police Commissioner Datuk Abdul Razak Abdul Ghani confirmed yesterday that the first integrated massive operation would be launched in the first week of August. “We will work hand in hand (with other law enforcement agencies) to rid Sabah of illegal immigrants. “Forastart, we will concentrateour operations on the West Coast of Sabah, especially in the State Capital (Kota Kinabalu) before expanding them to the East Coast,” he told Bernama. Abdul Razak said at least 200 personnel from the Police, Army, Immigration Department, National Registration Department and Rela would be deployed at any one time during the operation. “Wehave already prepared ou grOundwork and identified and listed the areas for the operation, including Penampang. “This time, we plan the operation properly so that every illegal immigrant in Sabah is deported to their country of origin,” he said. The major crackdown is made possible by the Federal Government, which responded positively to the incessant demands of late by State politicians and the people who want the problem solved once and for all. In what is seen as a sigh of relief for the more than three million people in Sabah, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Sen Najib Razak announced recently that the operation to repatriate between 100,000 and 150,000 illegal immigrants in the State would start in August. The major crackdown, with an allocation of around RM5O million, is to round up all foreign nationals who are without valid documents. All segments of the society, especially the locals have welcomed the move, hoping that the problem besetting the State will soon be a thing of the past. Former Chief Minister Datuk Sen Salleh Said Keruak said the move showed the commitment of the Federal Government to free Sabah of illegal immigrants. “We hope such a move would bring a ray of hope to the people and the State. This time, the Sabah people really want to see a lasting solution to the problem,” he told Bernama. Salleh, ‘who is United Sabah Bajau Organisat’ion (Usbo) President, suggested a similar operation be implemented on a regular basis to achieve the desired result. The Government, however, faces numerous challenges in tackling the issue, and one of which is the fact that many among the deported illegals will find their way back to Sabah because of difficulties in finding jobs in The Philippines. Seen as a goidmine for the illegal immigrants, Sabah is the most strategic and easiest location for them to come, especially those from The Philippines and Indonesia. However, although Sabah is inundated with illegal immigrants, there are still many foreigners who prefer to enter the State legally. “I have been in and out of Sabah for the last 20 years. I have never tried to enter this State illegally. “Whenever I come here, I use my passport and apply for a work pass,” said 38-year-old Mienral Tadlan Bundaon from Sanga-Sanga in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi in the Southern Philippines. He said there is no problem for foreigners to work in Sabah if they come with a proper document. “In fact, for the last two decades, the Malaysian authorities have never disturbed me because I have a work pass. I could go and move freely here and there without any trouble. “All we need to do is to respect the law of this country,” he said when met at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport before boarding a flight home to Clark, near Manila. Asked what he thought of the operation to flush out illegal immigrants in Sabah, Mienral said immigration law is a universally accepted law. “Even Malaysians need to have passports and apply for work passes if they want to visit or work in The Philippines. That’s why I never break the Malaysian immigration law all this while,” he said.


PBS Div Chief may face action over quit call to Pairin


PBS Secretary General Datuk Radin Malleh wants the Party’s Kiulu divisional Chief Sindin Ranggangon to be referred to the disciplinary committee for asking Party President Datuk Sen Panglima Joseph Pairin Kitingan to step down. “Sindin should be referred to disciplinary committee for breaching Party’s rules and procedures,” said Radin who is also Assistant Minister to the Chief Minister and Melalap Assemblyman. Radin was of opinion that it was unbecoming and uncalled for a divisional chief to comment on leadership succession in the Party. He stressed that it was not for Sindin to decide on leadership matters as that is the prerogative of the Party President and the supreme council to decide. Radin said this when asked to comment on Sindin’s statement yesterday calling for Pairin to step down as it is time for someone with more energy, calibre and charisma to lead the Party. Sindin said the most appropriate person is PBS Deputy President Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili and pointed out that the leadership transition is very important because the performance of the Party under Pairin has been on a slide which is evident from the reduced number of votes and defeat of two PBS candidates in the previous elections. The Kiulu divisional Chief claimed that Pairin’s leadership is no longer relevant and claimed that the Deputy Chief Minister cum Rural Development Minister failed to take into consideration the people’s sensitivity as well as practised favouritism. Sindin also claimed the call for Pairin to step down was a consensus among the Kiulu divisional committee as well as Party members during a recent meeting. Radin in refuting Sindin’s claims of Pairin’s diminishing popularity said: “Pairin still enjoys full support of the Party members and grassroots.” He added there was no hurry for a leadership handover and said: “Dr Max and the others can wait for their time.”


Ex-cop who never fails to honour fallen heroes.


Daniel Lagong has been a familiar face at the Warriors Day ceremony for many years now. In fact the 74—year-old retired Sergeant has never missed the special occasion to pay tribute to all fallen heroes. “It is a day to remember those who sacrificed their lives for us today,” he said. His 36 years with the Police could have given him a sentimental feeling towards the event, but Lagong stressed that it was the fond memories back then that brought him to the memorial monument every year. Head of State Tun Ahmadshah Abdullah, Chief Minister Datuk Sen Musa Aman, Cabinet Ministers, Mayor Datuk Iliyas Ibrahim, senior Police and Army officers as well as ex-servicemen paid respects to the fallen heroes with salutes and laying of wreaths at the Ujana Rimba Tropika Bandaraya here yesterday. “I bet they (fallen heroes) are smiling upon us; they must feel very proud that they are still remembered, so for as long as I live, I will not stop coming here and pay my respects,” said Lagong, who is blessed with good health. The father of eight children aged between 29 and 45, and grandfather to 32 young children, however said that none of the young ones had followed his footsteps. “One of my sons nearly became a policeman but he changed his mind and took up another offer instead,” he said. Lagong had driven all the way from Kampung Tebobon Bukit, Menggatal to attend the ceremony. He joined the Police on March 16, 1956 at the age of 22. He was attached to the Criminal Investigation Department, became the Menggatal Officer-in-charge in 1976 and was posted to many locations all over Malaysia. His most unforgettable experience, he said, was his involvement in the confrontation which led to the formation of Malaysia. In 1961, the island of Borneo was divided into four separate states - Kalimantan, Brunei and two British colonies — Sarawak and British North Borneo (later renamed Sabah). As part of its withdrawal from its Southeast Asian colonies, the United Kingdom moved to combine its colonies in Borneo with the Federation of Malaya to form Malaysia. It was sealed on September 16, 1963. For Lagong’s bravery, he was awarded thePingatPangkuanNegara, Pingat Peringatan Malaysia in September 1963, Pingat Perkhidmatan Am andamedal from Queen Elizabeth II for his campaign service. “I will definitely come again next year. This is our chance to remember the fallen heroes’ sacrifices, it is a time to pay respects,” he said.

Thursday, July 31, 2008


Negative devt threatens stability, says Musa


Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman has urged grassroots leaders to assist the Government in explaining and clarifying current issues to the people. He said this responsibility of defending the Government’s image has to be carried out seriously, especially in dispelling rumours and refuting baseless allegations which have become rampant lately. “This negative development if not handled effectively will threaten the nation’s stability and harmony among the people,” he said when officiating at the State level Upper Interior Zone Seminar on Strengthening Integrity for community leaders here yesterday. Musa said community leaders, particularly Village Development and Security Committee (JKKK) Chairmen and Village Headmen, have an important role in ensuring the spirit of unity and cooperation among the people continues to be strong. He said such spirit will ensure the people continue to support the various government development programs and policies, including the implementation of the State Development Halatuju, Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP) and Sabah Development Corridor (SDC). Musa said the National Integrity Plan (PIN) launched by Prime Minister Datuk Sen Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on April 23, 2004 was an important national agenda which provided comprehensive guidelines for the Government in strengthening the integrity of the people. “Based on the implementation of this integrity policy, the Government has set up Malaysian Integrity Institute (IIM) to ensure integrity is always practised at the best level.” Musa welcomed the JIM’s proactive action in organizing the seminar towards enhancing integrity among community leaders, who are Government representatives at the grassroots level. According to him, in-depth understanding of the implementation of integrity has to be given serious attention. Musa said since PIN was launched and JIM set up, the Government has always worked hard to implement the best approach to countering negative practices among the people. The process of strengthening integrity will not be effective without the involvement of the whole community, he said. Musa hoped that as leaders in their respective areas, the seminar participants will give explanation to the people on the importance practising integrity and other moral values. About 500 community leaders attended the seminar. Present at the function were Deputy Chief Minister cum Rural Development Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Pairin Kitingan, Assistant Rural Development Minister Datuk Haji Sairin Karno, Assistant Minister to the Chief Minister Datuk Radin Malleh, Tourism, Culture and Environment Assistant Minister Datuk Eliron Alfred Angin, Tenom Member of Parliament Raime Unggi, Bingkor Assemblyman Justin Guka, Kemabong Assemblyman Datuk Rubin Balang, IIM President Datuk Dr Mohd Tap Salleh, Rural Development Ministry Permanent Secretary Datuk Ghulam Jailani and District Officer Haji Zulkifli Nasir.


RM 3,914.52 award over late delivery of house


A claimant was awarded RM3,914.52 by the Housing Tribunal here over the late delivery of a house he bought from a developer. Housing Tribunal President Hj Ahmad Sedik granted the award after the respondent, SKPAB Holdings Sdn Bhd failed to produce documents to prove late issuance of Occupancy Certificate (OC) as the cause of the delay in delivering the house to the claimant. The claimant, Chin Kim Tong signed the sale and purchase agreement on June 6, 2005 to buy the two-and-a-half storey house (sub-divided building) in Taman Ganang Villa for RM188,000. The issuance of OC for the house was made on February 4,2008 while the delivery of vacant position was on March 10, 2008. However, the agreement stated that the delivery of house was to be on December 6, 2007, and the claimant said the respondent delivered the house 133 days late. General Manager Chieng Shaw An and Director Yapp Thien Shung, who represented SKPAB Holdings Sdn Bhd, contended that the delay was not due to the fault of the company. They said it was due to the delay caused by Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) in relocating the remaining high voltage electricity poles situated at the said site, which had caused the delay in the application for OC. While allowing the claim, Ahmad ordered the claimant to pay RM210 in service charge deposits for three months immediately to the respondent. The respondent was also ordered to build a roof gutter, install a television socket and antenna socket in the living room and master bedroom, a double bowl stainless steel sink and air-conditioner metal screen in the claimant’s house. The order was made by Ahmad after the claimant claimed that the respondent failed to provide the facilities in the house, as stipulated in the agreement.


Hedonism among social ills: Minister


The influence of hedonism, a culture based on infatuation, is among serious social problems involving youths today, according to Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department, Datuk Nasir Bin Tun Haji. Those who are fanatical over their idols (artistes) need serious attention, he said. Several groups of youngsters calling themselves ‘Naughty Kids’ have adopted the culture of free sex, he said in a speech at the opening of a seminar on aqidah (faith) organised by the Islamic Development Department (Jakim) Sabah branch and Sabah Department of Islamic Affairs (JHEAINS) here yesterday. Nasir, whose speech was delivered by Datuk Hj Ag Sharin Bin Alimin, Secretary in the Chief Minister’s Department, said: “There is also a group of youngsters calling themselves Black Metal worshiping the devil (Satan). “Some Muslims, being influenced by a kind of new teachings, liberalism in Islam, wants the Al-Quran to be interpreted.” Muslims were therefore urged to equip themselves with the basic foundations of lslam to enable them to keep harmful influences at bay. Nasir said deep faith had enabled Prophet Muhammad and his Companions to propagate Islam in the face of tremendous challenges. He warned Muslims against being influenced by secular ideologies and liberalism, saying such beliefs, which want the Al-Quran to be reinterpreted, could undermine Muslims’ faith. Secular ideologies, he said, have also cast doubts among Muslims about Islam’s relevance and ability to solve modern problems. He also lamented the divisive influence of deviationist teachings such as those of ‘Ayah Pin’ and Khilaflah and the hedonistic practices of some young Muslims. Some 200 participants attended the seminar, which featured speakers such as Ustaz Mohd Shahrir Bin Mohammad of Gaya Teachers Institute, Professor Dr Abdul Aziz Bin Ban of International Islamic University Malaysia and Ustaz Bongsu Aziz Jaafar of UiTM Kota Kinabalu. Mohd Rizuan, 23, an intern from UMS, said he found the seminar very beneficial as it helped him to develop his identity.


Call for Gov’t to solve basic infrastructure woes


The Government has been urged to solve the problems affecting the people as soon as possible so that they can improve their economic well-being. Making the call, the Sabah Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club (BNBBC) said the relevant Ministries and Departments should focus on improving basic facilities such as rural roads. “The allocations for the people’s representative are not enough for the construction and repair of roads, drains, culverts or bridges,” said Datuk Rubin Balang after chairing a five-hdur meeting of the BNBBC at the State Legislative Assembly building here yesterday. According to Balang, the BNBBC will send a resolution on how to channel the allocation to solve the problems regarding basic amenities including the construction of culverts and bridges on roads under the Public Works Department’s jurisdiction. “This has been discussed withPWD and they have applied for allocations, but these will only be given in a year’s time, so the villagers’ problems will stifi remain unsolved,” he said. Balang added that part of the problem is the shortage of Grader machines, citing the delay in the construction of roads in Tenom as the PWI) has only one Grader machine to repair roads in two State constituencies. “Therefore, we hope the Infrastructure Development Ministry can fmd a solution to the problem and to expedite repairs to damaged roads especially in this uncertain weather,” he said. A district-level committee chaired by the District Officer could expedite the allocation for small projects under PWD and Sabah Land Development Board which used to be channelled through the Sabah Federal Development Department (JPPS), he said. The meeting also called for solutions to the problems caused by the price hikes of fuel and food, including a review of the subsidies for fishermen, breeders and farmers. “We urge the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry to give a clear explanation to the public on oil subsidies for breeders, farmers and fishermen in the State since there have been rumours about it. “We also urge the Ministry to form a Department, whether in the District Office or a Federal or State Government agency, to process applications for the subsidy so that people do not have to go to Kota Kinabalu,” he said. As the allocation for people’s representatives is only RM500,000 each, it can only cover small projects, he said, adding they are still waiting for a special RM400,000 allocation from the Federal Government for each State Assemblyman. The meeting elected Balang as Chairman, Kiulu Assemblyman Datuk Louis Rampas as Vice Chairman, Bernard Dalinting as Secretary and Gum-Gum Assemblyman Datuk Zakaria Idri as Treasurer, with all Assemblymen as committee members.


Political tsunami hit Sarawak, says CM Taib


Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud is confident that the political tsunami that swept several States in Peninsular Malaysia in the March 8 General Election will not gain momentum when Sarawak holds its State Election in about two years’ time. He said the political challenge is to trust the good sense of the people, especially in the rural areas, to choose between facing a prosperous or bad life “I don’t think the people will accept the Opposition’s propaganda because it only appeals to the emotions and cannot deal with the issues of looking after their socioeconomic welfare,” he said in a special interview with the media at his office in Wisma Bapa Malaysia, Petra Jaya here in conjunction with Sarawak’s 45th anniversary celebration of its progress in Malaysia. The year-long celebration was launched here on July 22 to mark the historic event on July 22 1963 when the British handed over sovereignty of the State to its people and their elected leaders. “How long will the people believe in such propaganda?” he asked, alluding to the purported inroads made by Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) in certain rural areas in Sarawak as well as previous rumours of some Barisan Nasional (BN) elected representatives defecting to the Opposition. In the May 2006 State Election, the BN, as expected, returned to power, winning 62 of the 71 seats contested. The DAP won six seats, PKR (one), Sarawak National Party (one) and an Independent (one). On Federal development allocations, Taib said there is a great deal of cooperation between the State and Federal Governments in projects implementation to ensure projects were undertaken on time and within cost. More importantly is the need to make sure such benefits reach the people despite the issue becoming “more and more a political debate which did not bring any benefits to the people at large,” he said. Following the State’s new wave of development, he said, its immediate concern is to create a new economic structure so as to generate employment opportunities, especially skilled manpower for the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (Score). Initially the Government would need to look beyond Sarawak and Malaysian shores for temporary qualified workers to fill in the 1.5 million jobs being created in the main industries under Score, he said. - Bernama


95pc parking penalty cut
City Hall offers big discount on excess parking charges for overdue fees during Amnesty Month


The City Hall, through its car park management company Wawasan Iktisas Sdn Bhd, is offering motorists a discount of 95 percent on penalty or excess charges for overdue parking fees. In announcing the amnesty offer, DBKK Holdings Director cum General Manager Kenny Chan said in a statement yesterday that it is valid for the period from August 1-30 in conjunction with the Merdeka Month. He said that during the period, the public will only have to pay the actual parking fees due plus a minimum penalty of 5 percent. Chan explained that the minimum penalty is imposed in order to be fair to the rest of the motorists who have paid promptly and also for the operation and administrative costs incurred. “For the amnesty purposes, the cut—off date of the parking statement will be as at 31 March 2008,” he said. Hence, Kenny urged the public to come up and take this opportunity to settle their parking dues. More information on the amnesty offer can be obtained from Wawasan Iktisas at 088-212580/221580. In conjunction with the amnesty offer, Parking Amnesty Mobile Counters will be open at the following locations and schedules to make it more convenience for the motorists to settle their dues:

DATE! AUG 2008
LOCATIONS (Look out for the amnesty’s banner)
Aug 1-7 Aug 8-10 Sunday Aug 3 Sunday Aug 10
8am-5pm 8am-5pm . 8am- 1pm 8am-1pm
Gaya North, Tg. Aru, Damai Plaza, Inanam New Township, Likas Plaza, Taman Bunga Raja and Kingfisher Gaya Center, Taman Fortuna, Damai Plaza and Inanam Business Center Gaya Street, Segama, Foh Sang, Lido and Inanam New Township Gaya Street, Segama and V Inanam New Township
Aug 11-17 Sunday Aug 17
8am-5pm 8am-1pm
Gaya Center, Sinsuran, Taman Fortuna, Sadong Jaya, Grace Square, Foh Sang, Inanam Point and Inanam New Township Gaya Street, Segama and New Township
Aug 18-24 Sunday Aug 24
8am-5pm 8am- 1pm
Sinsuran, Bandaran Berjaya, Api-Api Centre, Grace Square, Sembulan, Lido, Lintas Plaza, Lintas Square, Inanam New Township, Inanam Lama and Business Centre Gaya Street, Segama and Inanam New Township
Aug 25-30 ,
Api-Api Centre, Central Market, Lido, Sadong Jaya, Luyang Phase 8. Sunny Garden, Kolam Centre, Kolombong Industrial Estate, Nountun Industrial Estate and Inanam New Township.
Note: Saturday counters are open from 8am to 1pm.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Coal power plant - Study effects on environment: Tan


Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah yesterday said the Environment Protection Department should conduct a study on the effects a coal- fired power plant would have on the environment in Sandakan. Its report and findings should then be made public for the people to know what will actually happen if the coal-fired power plant is built in the district, the Infrastructure Development Minister and Tanjung Papat assemblyman said. He however pointed out that the Sàte Government would not cause problems to the people just for the sake of development. Tan also said there is a need to listen to both sides of the story to find out the pros and cons of such a project. “I will be going to Sandakan tomorrow to talk to the people there and find out their opinions as to the matter,” he said. Tan however believed that the State Government is not in a hurry to build a coal-fired power plant in the State. Last week, the Sandakan Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry initiated a petition drive against the construction of a coal-fired power plant in the district. Sandakan Member of Parliament Datuk VK Liew when asked to comment on the matter said he is leaving it to the wisdom of the State Government to decide as to what to do with the coal power plant but it must take into consideration public opinion before doing anything .Liew who is also Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry added: “What we say is not important... what the public think is important”.


Tham denies any vested interest in coal power plant


State Science Adviser Datuk Tham Nyip Shen has categorically denied having any vested interest in the proposed coal-fired power plant. In a statement issued here yesterday, Tham clarified that his chairing of the public briefing on the relocation of the proposed coal-fired power plant to Sandakan, which was held in the recently, was aimed chiefly to gather the views of Sandakan folks on the said issue and, to present them to the State Government later. He thus expressed regret over the baseless accusations made by certain quarters, including representatives of the Sandakan Chinese Chamber of Commerce (SCCC), that he was pushing for the implementation of the proposed project as he probably had something to gain from it. Tham said he was compelled to clarify on this and to set the record straight that he was not in any way involved in the project nor had begot something to gain from it. He said the clarification would hopefully stop an ongoing, widespread malicious accusation levelled against him by those who despised him, especially following his chairing of the public briefing on the said project. “I wish to clarify that I have got nothing to do with the coal-fired power plant project. Right from the beginning, I was never involved in any discussion on the project nor intended to have any share in it. “Hence, it is absolutely unfair and malicious for someone to simply accuse me of having vested interest in the project,” he stressed. Tham reiterated that his presence at the first briefing session in Kota Kinabalu several weeks ago and subsequently in Sandakan was in his capacity as the State Science Adviser and, with the chief aim of better explaining to the public on the new generation coal power plant, which is much cleaner as compared to the older generation coal power plant. He said as a matter of fact, he cannot be bothered with who gets the project and what would be the type of power plant, stressing that all that he was concerned about was there must be sufficient, affordable and -reliable power supply for Sandakan folks. Tham said his more than a decade of political career had allowed him to better understand the people’s suffering as a result of the absence of reliable power supply. “I sincerely believe the SCCC too could agree with me on this. But it would be a bit too much for them to simply accuse me of something which I was not involved in, in their bid to protest over the project,” he said. This was especially so after he had during the briefing session as well as through phone calls later, clarified on his position on the issue, he said. He thus hoped all parties concerned, the SCCC in particular, would stop smearing him after reading this. On his argument with the Sabah Environment Protection Association (SEPA) President, Wong Tack during the briefing session especially on the contention that both he and Wong should stay out of the issue since both of them were not from Sandakan, Tham said such contention had been misunderstood. He explained that when he requested Wong not to interrupt the briefing session, it was simply because the briefing session was meant for the Sandakan people. “Even though Wong had attended the same briefing before elsewhere, it is only fair that he allows the people of Sandakan to listen to the briefmg and later decide I on whether they want to accept the project or not,” Tham said. He regretted that Wong had instead said he (Tham) should trot be chairing the said briefing session since he too was not from Sandakan. Tham said while he could agree that a democratic and open Government should be able to accept dissenting views and criticisms from the people, he nonetheless stressed that for the same token, one should not attempt to prevent others from listening to what the Government had to say, especially when it was something crucial for the people. “I sincerely believe the people are wise enough to decide on what is good and what is not for themselves. Please do not insult their intelligence,” he said.


Call to move away from racial supremacy


Parti Keadilan Rakyat Vice President Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan has urged former Usno Secretary General Onn Ariffin to stop harping on ‘ketuanan Melayu’ (Malay supremacy) in Sabah, saying it has no relevance here. “At any rate Onn should show the people of Sabah exactly what this so-called social contract that he is talking about,” he said in a statement here yesterday. Dr Jeffrey said: “I am surprised that even after 45 years of Sabah’s independence some people still want to take over the role of the British colonisers and want to be our “Tuan”. “Sorry, Onn, we are our own Tuan now. We have our rights and we do not want anyone to lord over us, so stop imposing on us the outdated concept of Tacial supremacy and let us I move towards a civil society ofKetuanan Rakyat (People’s Supremacy) instead.” Dr Jeffrey said Minister in the Prime Minster’s Department Tan Sri Dompok was right when he said the last “Tuan” left us in 1963. Dr Jeffrey said it is time our political leaders, irrespective of their political parties, realised this and be brave enough to make a stand on our State’s rights like what Datuk Yong Teck Lee is doing.


More cardiac diseases

RM 60 mil short for Centre for heart patients in Sabah


Plans to construct the country’s fifth Cardiac Thoracic Centre (CTC) in Sabah is being hampered by an increase in its cost. Originally the construction of the CTC in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) was supposed to cost RM80 million but because its scope of work has been expanded, it now costs RM140 million. “We are short of RM60 million and I will be discussing this matter with the Finance Ministry so that the much-needed medical facility will be built as soon as possible in Sabah,” Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai said. Speaking to reporters after visiting the QEH yesterday, Liow disclosed that he had approved the application to construct the CTC and the contract had already been awarded but the contractor felt that they could not do it with that amount of money so they are negotiating for more. “I am looking into this matter... (the) scope of work has expanded that is why the cost increased and we want to add some things into the original design,” he said, adding that once completed, the CTC will be fully equipped with all the necessary equipment and will be fully functional with between 80 and 100 beds. According to him, with the increasing number of people diagnosed with cardiac diseases, there is an urgent need for a CTC in Sabah as none of the hospitals in the State including the QEH has such a facility. The CTC will cater to the needs of the whole State and it will not be necessary to send heart patients to Institute Jantung Negara (IJN) anymore for treatment and surgery. “We will be able to conduct operations in Sabah,” he said, adding that the CTC, which is the fifth in the country, will be built as part of facilities in QEH. .The other CTCs are located in Johor Baharu, Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Kuching. Liow also disclosed that QEH sends about 100 heart patients for treatment in IJN annually and Sabahans make up most of the patients treated there. At the moment, non-serious cases are treated in QEH when the specialists from IJN visit Sabah once a month, he said, adding that on average, QEH performs 600 angiogram a year and 174 open heart surgeries. “We have specialists from IJN coming to Sabah on a monthly basis to do the operations and angioplasty but some complicated cases can’t wait, so we send them to IJN,” he said. Meanwhile, Liow said that during his visit to QEH, he noticed there was much that needed to be improved, especially in the old wards. He noted that the occupancy at the wards was more than 100 percent, resulting in not enough beds and patients have to be placed on roll- away beds in the corridors. “This problem needs to be addressed immediately and I have instructed the Development Division of my Ministry to expedite the construction of the ‘twin towers’ in this Hospital,” he said, expressing hope to see the buildings under the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP) completed by 2010. The RM300 million twin towers will have a total of 661 beds and is expected to address the problem of overcrowding in the wards. He said he has approved a RM4 million allocation to QEH to improve its equipment with the aim of providing better services. Asked to comment on the complaints against the flying doctor service in the State, Liow said that he will be looking into it and find out how they can improve the service to cater to villagers in remote areas.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Sabah still depends on foreign labour: Chamber


The Sabah Indian Muslim Chamber of Commerce and Industries has welcomed the proposal to grant amnesty to the illegal immigrants in Sabah. Its President, Datuk Baisul Khan bin Salman Fans, said it is a well- known fact that the cheap immigrant labour was part and parcel of our construction industry. “Without them, we cannot even see the magnificent buildings such as huge departmental stores, shophouses, houses, roads and bridges. “Their presence has very much reduced the cost of living in our State as they are directly involved in fishing, vegetable growing and service industries,” he pointed out in a statement yesterday. On the other hand, Baisul said we cannot deny or ignore the fact that the crime rate has escalated gradually as more illegal immigrants came to Sabah to look for employment in the construction and plantation industries. “The present scenario is that without the foreign labour, the construction, plantation and services sectors would come to a standstill as the locals are not interested in such sectors due to the low remuneration and long working hour. “Many of the restaurants, coffee shops and hardware shops are employing 90 percent of foreign labour. They may have to close down without them,” he added.


7,000 litres of diesel seized from two fishing boats


Marine police seized 7,000 litres of subsidised diesel from two fishing boats in Sungai Saguntor here early Sunday. One of the boat was laden with 5,000 litres of diesel while another with 2,000 litres when they were detained at 3.3Oam, Sandakan Marine Police Acting Commanding officer ASP Sallam Spawi said yesterday. “Two skippers aged 30 and 40 and two fishermen were arrested as they were waiting to transfer the diesel to a lorry,” he said. Sallam said the diesel was found stored in several specially built tanks in the boats as well as in the fish hold. He said initial investigation showed that the diesel was bought from the Fisheries Development Authority of Malaysia and other fishing boats. - Bernama


Target to take 13,802 out of poverty by 2010

Poverty eradication programs will help to achieve aim: Pairin


The State Government is confident it can help 13,802 heads of families to overcome abject poverty by 2010 with its poverty eradication programmes. Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan said the 13,802 heads of families were among the 21,514 hardcore poor registered in the State. “Of the total, 4,004 are handicapped while the remaining 3,708 are the elderly and women who will be absorbed into other Ministries or the Welfare Department,” said Pairin who is also the Rural Development Minister. Speaking to reporters after witnessing the Memorandum of Understanding signing ceremony on the handing over of the Kampung Bunang Mesej project from the Sabah Land Development Board to his Ministry yesterday, Pairin stressed that the success of the Government’s objective depends on the cooperation of all quarters. “All quarters who are involved in Government’s poverty eradication efforts must play their role effectively and do whatever they can to help the needy,” he said, adding that his Ministry would come up with new approaches to ensure that the Government’s objective is achieved. Meanwhile the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Datuk Ghulam Jailani, said they are waiting for the results of the Government’s review of the income level of the hardcore poor. This is to ensure that the level income for the hardcore poor and the consumer price index are balanced with the escalating costs and current inflation, he said and disclosed that the current level of income that categorizes a person as a hardcore poor is RM540. “We hope the Government will increase the level to RM1,000,” he said and disclosed that the poverty rate in Sabah which was recorded at 24.2 percent in 2004, has reduced to 16 percent this year.


KYS students to be trained to become entrepreneurs


The National Entrepreneurship Institute (INSKEN) has introduced an entrepreneur training programme to Kolej Yayasan Sabah (KYS) students who are interested in business. Deputy Entrepreneur and Cooperative. Development Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said the training was to encourage the students who have technical background to become entrepreneurs. “From our experience, people who have technical background are easier to become entrepreneurs compared to people who have none,” he said after the Memorandum of Understanding signing ceremony between Kolej Yayasan Sabah (KYS) and MARA Education Foundation (YPM) at Tun Mustapha Tower here yesterday. “KYS has already established a technical course which is offered as a soft-skills and value-added course,” he said. Saifuddin added that the courses would be offered as a co-curriculum within a short-term period of one or two weeks, and would not interfere with the student’s academic activities. He added that the programme is opened to all KYS students and the pilot programme will be implemented at the end of this year. Among the courses that will be offered are automotive, building and construction. “The co-curriculum of the programme will be discussed in details and should be ready before the yearend,” he said.


KYS students to get Mara scholarships


The MARA Education Foundation (YPM) will distribute RM3.5 million in scholarships to assist poor Bumiputera students from rural areas in the country. Its Chief Executive Officer, Mohd Ali Mansor, said the amount would b distributed to selected students starting this month. “This scholarship is the first to be introduced in Sabah and Sabah Foundation College (KYS) will be the pioneers in this project,” he said, adding that the scholarship had already been introduced in the other States. He was speaking after the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing ceremony between YPM and KYS at Tun Mustapha Tower here yesterday. It was witnessed by Deputy Entrepreneur and Co-operative Development Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah. “The scholarships will be given to students from poor families. However we will consider if there are poor students in the City and we will give priority to Sabahan students,” he said. The scholarship amount, he said, will be based on the student’s course, while the number of recipients will be decided by KYS and YPM. However, he added the scholarships are only for those who have not obtained financial assistance from other financial institutions such as Perbadanan Tabung Pendidikan Tinggi Malaysia (PTPTN) or MARA and colleges have been informed about the courses for which the scholarships are offered. Meanwhile, KYS Chief Executive Officer Dr Dg Aminah Ali said that currently there are 600 students attending skills course at KYS who have obtained financial assistance from various financial institutions. “However with the MoU, students from rural areas will be able to receive the YPM scholarship to cover their course fees and living expenditures, based on the criteria,” she said. Dg Aminah also said the scholarships would be reserved for students doing certificate courses such as Hospitality and Welding to prepare them for careers in sectors such as oil and gas. Also present were KYS Chairman Datuk Kamal DE Quadra and KYS Director Tan Sri Datu Khalil Datu Jamalul.


Salesmen robbers in RM 1 mln heist


Three smartly dressed robbers who posed like salesmen escaped with 216 luxury watches and 14 pens worth RM1 million from a watchshop at a shopping centre in Bukit Tinggi here yesterday. Klang PoIice Chief ACP Mohamad Md Yusof said the 20 minute robbery occurred when three shop assistants were preparing to start business soon after the shop open at 10.l5am. He said one of the three robbers dressed like salesmen threatened a shop assistant with a knife and forced her to open the glass showcase containing the luxury watches and pens. The robber cleverly hid the knife behind a file. “When the glass showcase was opened, the other two robbers opened the files and acted like they were stocktaking but were actually putting the watches into a bag,” he added. The luxury watches robbed include popular makes like Rolex, Rado, Omega and Tag Heuer. They also escaped with Mont Blanc pens. The three robbers who were in their 20s escaped in a car parked outside with an accomplice at the wheel. -Bernama


Scope of Umno-PAS discussion should be expanded: Pairin


The scope of discussion between Umno and PAS should be expanded and not solely revolve around the Malays and unity of Muslims. Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) President Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan said the discussion must also not be politically motivated because what is important is that the result is beneficial to all. “We fully support discussions that will bring good to the people so the results of this discussion must be beneficial to the rakyat, economy and country,” he said. Pairin told reporters this yesterday when asked to comment on DAP Chairman Karpal Singh’s allegation that PAS’ action of having the discussion with Umno was in bad faith and traitorous to the People’s Alliance. According toPairin, while the topic of discussion has yet to be known, it is hoped that both parties will speak about general matters and not only on the issue of unity among the Malays and Muslims. The Deputy Chief Minister cum Rural Development Minister was also of opinion that it is not wrong to have the discussion and all quarters, especially the Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties, should not worry or have doubts about it. When asked about the proposal by PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat for the dissolution of PAS and Umno and a new party be set up to unite all Malays, Pairin said it would not cause any harm if it brings good for all involved. He added that it is not impossible for PAS and Umno to merge and form a new party if the former decides to rejoin BN. “There is nothing strange or impossible in this development as PAS was once in the BN fold ... in politics anything can happen,” he said.


Hysteria: Students will move to another school


Thirty-five students from Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Tanjung Lumpur here who suffered from hysteria will be transferred to a nearby school either this week or next week. Pahang Education Director Datuk Abdul Aziz Abdul Latiff said they would be transferred to SMK Sungai Soi to prevent the situation from worsening and enable them to concentrate on their studies. “Whether the transfer will be permanent or not will be, decided later. What is most important is their studies,” he told Bernama yesterday. It was reported that the students suffered from hysteria since several days ago. - Bernama


MCA Penampang wants Khoo to defend Central Committee post


The MCA Penampang Division passed eight motions during its annual general meeting here on Sunday night, including one calling for the Party’s State Chief Datuk Edward Khoo Keok Hai to defend his Central Committee (CC) post. The Division was the first in Sabah to pass the motion to support the Assistant Minister to the Chief Minister and Kapayan Assemblyman in his bid to defend his post. The delegates also endorsed the motion to fully support Party Vice President Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat’s bid to contest for the Presidency as well as a proposal that MCA Penampang Chief Datuk Paul Kong Sing Chu contests for a CC post in the party’s election this October 18. They also urged the MCA’s leadership to amend its constitution to allow all the State Liaison committee to be elected by the Party members. The delegates also wanted the Party’s central and state leadership to lobby for more Government posts, Government agency directorships as well as State awards for MCA members. On the social side, MCA Penampang wants the Federal Government to urgently build a new and larger health clinic in Penampang to serve the people in the district. They also urged the State and Federal Governments to take firm and effective steps to resolve the illegal immigrants problem in the State, including taking steps to legalize illegal foreign workers. The delegates said that to fight and reduce crime as well as drug- related problems in Sabah, the Government should immediately close all refugee camps in the State. They also wanted the Government to be more serious in its effort to fight corruption and proposed that it set up a truly independent Anti- Corruption Agency as soon as possible. The Division called for the Federal Government to take firm steps to reduce the impact of rising inflation and assist lower income citizens regardless of racial background in overcoming the problem of reduced real income. The delegates also urged the State Government to address the native status of Sino-natives in Sabah which according to them, has an implication on their Bumiputera status and land inheritance. They wanted SESB to improve in the provision of uninterrupted electricity supply to the public in the interest of the people in Sabah. The delegates also urged the Penampang District Council to improve its delivery system and services. Meanwhile, Kong said that MCA Penampang had grown in leaps and bounds as its branches had increased from eight to 16 now. “We also have 2,138 members in the Division,” he said.


Keningau Umno says it is not nominating Ku Li


Keningau Umno has denied allegations that it will also nominate Gua Musang Member of Parliament Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah for the Presidency in the Party’s election this December. Its Divisional Chief, Datuk Sairin Karno in refuting the claims yesterday, said that the allegation was a new speculation that was created by certain quarters for their own personal interest. “Keningau Umno is standing behind its decision to support Party President Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his Deputy Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in the Party election,” Sairin said. Sairin who was met at the memorandum of understanding signing ceremony to hand over the Kampung Bunang Mini Estet Sejahtera (Mesej) to the State Rural Development Ministry yesterday, was asked to comment on talks that several Sabah Umno divisions, especially those with many Kadazandusun and Murut members, were planning to nominate Razaleigh for the Presidency. However on Sunday, Penampang, Tenom and Papar Umno all denied the allegations and stated their support for Abdullah and Najib. Sairin who is also the Assistant Rural Development Minister, believes that none of the branches in Keningau will pass a resolution to nominate Razaleigh for the Presidency as they are confident with the current leadership.


Police deny detaining doctor in Anwar’s sodomy investigation


Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar yesterday denied that the police had arrested a doctor to assist in the sodomy investigation involving Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. He said the claim, published in Malaysia Today news portal, was baseless as the male doctor was only called up to have his statement recorded. “We are only taking the statement in accordance with the normal procedure. The issue of arrest does not arise,” he said when contacted yesterday. He said the doctor was among 18 witnesses whose statements had been recorded previously. Ismail also refused to comment on a report by Malaysiakini news portal that a doctor who examined Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azian found no evidence that he was sodomised. “I don’t want to comment because the investigation is still ongoing,” he said. Mohd Saiful, 23, was said to have undergone the medical examination at the hospital in Jalan Tun Razak at 2pm on June 28 for “tenesmus” or difficulty in passing motion. Meanwhile, the Bar Council called for a thorough investigating into the case. “This calls for the courage and profesionalism of all those involved to do the right thing no matter the consequences,” its President Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan said in a statement. - Bernama


Proposal to ease requirements for doctors working overseas unfair, says MMA


The Health Ministry’s proposal to ease a requirement compelling each doctor to serve at a Government hospital for three years to lure Malaysian doctors working overseas to come home and work is unfair to local graduates, the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) said yesterday. MMA President Datuk Dr Khoo Kah Lin said the proposal was unjust because it would require local graduates to work with the Government for five years upon graduation, as compared to the current three years. “The MMA wishes to express this proposal is not fair to local graduates whereby previously, everyone needed to complete three years compulsory service with the Government. “Now, with the implementation of two years of housemanship, doctors must work for five years with the Government,” he said in a statement. Recently, the Ministry said it was studying a proposal to ease the requirement compelling each doctor to serve at a Government hospital for three years, in an effort to bring Malaysian doctors working overseas d back home to work here. The Ministry, it was reported, was ready to consider discarding the mandatory requirement for doctors aged 45 and above to work at e Government hospitals because these doctors had acquired experience and skills from working abroad. “At the moment, there are already various incentives given to them (Malaysian doctors working overseas) including tax exemptions. Even with the perks accorded them, only 100 doctors have returned home, so far. “The MMA agrees that the country needs more doctors serving in Government facilities. Currently, there are between 300 and 400 doctors resigning from Government service every year to practise privately. “High rates of resignation are due to dissatisfaction with Government service, which include heavy is workload, poor working conditions and low remuneration,” said Dr Khoo. - Bernama


Ketuanan Melayu ‘still relevant as agreed by leaders’


A former political leader has defended the concept of Ketuanan Melayu (Malay supremacy), saying it is still relevant and in fact has been a rallying call in the country’s struggle for independence. “We may have our ups and down in our country’s politics, but then Malays are one race and will never allow any quarter to challenge the Ketuanan Melayu decree through thick and thin, as through this rallying point, the country has seen a balanced and prudent policy that champions the cause of all citizens in the country,” said former Usno Acting Secretary-General Onn Ariffin yesterday. He was responding to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Bernard Dompok’s call to certain quarters not to continually harp on the Ketuanan Melayu issue. “In this country everybody is equal, there is no ‘tuan’ and no ‘kuli’ so this issue should not be brought up anymore ... The last tuan left in 1963,” Dompok, who is also UPKO President, was reported as saying on Sunday. Onn said: “Come August, the Nation will be celeberating our National Day. Any thought which claims to interpret the meaning of Ketuanan Melayu other than what it was intended for will not be popular as the Nation was built on this premise. “Perhaps more so now, although it may not be to the liking of some, the notion of Ketuanan Melayu has retained its fundamental meaning and continues to be a rallying force for the country and has pulled us through various challenges in the past.” Onn said it is important to work from a position of strength rather than “allow ourselves to raise points that can only lead to dismay and might not even work for our betterment. “We should not be bent in trying to dismantle something which has already been established as a workable concept for the country.” To question the basis of Ketuanan Melayu, he said, would only be to negate the social contract that was agreed to by the leaders of the country’s various races during the negotiations for independence. “It is the path that the country chose when it was founded, and there should be no grounds to create anxiety in the minds of our people that this effort is a wasted force All Malays in the archipelago would stand up and defend this struggle as enshrined in the social contract,” he added.


Babagon Dam safe: Jetama


The Babagon Dam is a solid structure that can withstand the water pressure, especially during rainy season. Jetama Sdn Bhd General Manager Jake Jikulin Nointien said the dam has never and will not crack when it rains heavily. “I therefore urge the people in Penampang not to listen to rumours sent via SMS, email or other mediums that the dam is cracking or has cracked because it could not withstand the amount of water collected during rainy season,” he said. He said the false information and rumours were spread by irresponsible quarters resulting in people panicking over something that would not happen. Jake said this during a visit by JCI Penampang “Keep Moyog River Clean” campaign’s organizing committee to Jetama’s office yesterday to receive a RM5,000 sponsorship from the company. “We hope JCl Penampang through this campaign will also be able to inform the residents in Penampang about how solid Babagon Dam is so as to dispel all their fears of it cracking,” he said:


Health Task Force to deal with complaints


The Health Ministry has set up a Task Force To Enhance Performance as part of efforts to reduce public complaints, its Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai said yesterday. He said the Task Force chaired by the Deputy Secretary-General of the Ministry, Datuk Ahmad Kabit, will evaluate the level of corporate values among staff involving the three main elements of caring, professionalism and teamwork. “These three main values need to be instilled and implemented. It is not enough to understand them but they also need to be practised with commitment. “With these values in place, I am confident that complaints can be reduced,” Liow told reporters after a working-visit to the Hospital Sandakan Duchess of Kent Hospital here. He said the Task Force would carry out various activities and campaigns to ensure all Health Ministry staff understand and implement these values. According to him, the Task Force members who had met twice already would also launch an effective - communication campaign soon. Earlier in his speech, Liow said he was unhappy that the shortcomings in the implementation of the three values had led to complaints. He said based on complaints received last year, feelings of dissatisfaction, lack of courtesy and misunderstanding were high on the list. During the visit, Liow also announced an allocation of RM4 million for the hospital to repair facilities. He said the allocation was to enhance facilities at the old wards. Liow also has given an assurance that his Ministry would give top priority to solving the shortage of doctors, nurses and specialists at the Duchess of Kent Hospital. Another five beds would be added to its CICU/CCUC departments soon. To encourage Malaysian doctors currently working overseas to come back to serve the country, the Government now requires doctors to work in the general hospitals only for three years instead of five years previously, according to him. “Every year, 400 doctors leave us, but we are doing our best to retain them by introducing new incentives such as providing doctors with housemaids,” he said, adding the Government had approved an additional RM22 billion for his Ministry. Liow said the death rate for breast cancer patients, who make up 33 percent of cancer patients nationwide, is very high because either the patients came to the hospital late or their conditions were identified at a late stage. “Most of the non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, high- blood pressure, diabetes and kidney disease can be avoided, and in fact polio has been completely wiped out in Malaysia,” he said. “As the Health Minister, I want my staff to be fully committed with a caring heart and right attitude to turn the hospital into a better place,” he added. Liow also said problems such as shortage of water tanks and issuance of occupancy of certificate for some of the new buildings attached to the existing hospital would be taken care of by Sandakan Municipal Council President Yeo Boon Hai.

Monday, July 28, 2008


ACA detains Proton Perdana cars, Terengganu senior officials


The Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) has detained eight Proton Perdana V6 Executive cars of Terengganu Executive Coundilors (Excos) and senior State officials in connection with its investigation into their high cost of maintenance. Terengganu ACA Chief Sharuddin Sapian, when contacted by Bernama here yesterday, said four were detained on Thursday and while the other four on Friday. However, be declined to elaborate on the matter. On Saturday, Sharuddin had said that the ACA had questioned nine individuals in connection with the case. On Thursday, the ACA began a probe in to the matter after Terengganu Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said alleged that the Perdana cars were uneconomical to use because of the high maintenance costs. The 14 Mercedes E200 Kompressor cars purchased by the Terengganu Government will be used temporarily as official cars for the State Executive Council members and senior State Government officers. Meanwhile, Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said said the cars would be used pending completion of the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA)’s investigations into the high maintenance cost of the State’s fleet of Proton Perdana V6 Executive cars. He said the ACA had taken the Proton Perdana cars that were used by the State Executive Councillors and officers. “So the Executive Council members and officers will have to use the Mercedes... the Prime Minister had also said that (we) can use the Mercedes cars once in a while,” he told reporters at a dinner with State Umno leaders here on Saturday night. State Tourism and Culture, Arts and Heritage Committee Chairman Datuk Za’abar Mohd Adib arrived to attend the Malaysia Flora Fest 2008 in Johor Baharu on Saturday in one of the new Mercedes cars. Two days ago, Prime Minister Datuk Seri AbdullahAhmad Badawi announced that the Terengganu Government could keep the Mercedes Benzes, but only for use by its guests and not for the State Exco members and its senior officers. Asked whether the State Government would purchase a new fleet of Proton Perdana V6 Executive, Ahmad said: “If we are to buy the (Proton Perdana) cars, it will be next year. That too, if (we) have money”. In a related development, be sai the State Government had n intention of tarnishing the image of former Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh when making public the high maintenance cost of the Proton Perdana which he used while in office. “It was not directed at Idris. There was no abuse, only that it was a coincidence that the car was used by the (former) Menteri Besar. Actually, the figure that was announced was wrong and the State Secretary (Datuk Mokhtar Nong) had apologised,” he added.


Premature to propose new party, says Hishammuddin


Umno Youth Chief Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussien yesterday described the proposal by PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat to set up a new party to unite all the Malays as premature. He said it was not impossible for the proposal to be implemented, but it should be carried out in stages taking into consideration the public interest. “It’s too early to think in this direction because what we are discussing now (muqabalah) concerns the ummah in a bigger context such as in the field of education. “In discussions of this nature, it’s important for us to ensure sincerity and our intention is correct for the sake of the future generation. What Nik Aziz has suggested is not impossible but I think we should start slowly before it (the merger) becomes a reality,” said Hishammuddin, who is also the Sembrong Member of Parliament and Umno division head. He said this after attending the closing of a national-level schools ‘kompang’ competition, here yesterday. Nik Aziz yesterday suggested the formation of a new party based on Islam which would unite all the Malays so that the new party could be accepted by both Umno and PAS. Meanwhile in RA WANG, Selangor, Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed said unification of the Malays and the creation of a new party for everyone did not mean that Umno and PAS should be dissolved. He said there were various ways to achieve this objective including having dialogues or the ‘muzakarah’ which should be continued to maintain political stability in the country. “This is a major issue and needs lengthy discussions. There is no need to dissolve (the existing parties). It’s just that there are many ways to achieve solidarity because each party has its own cause. “PAS has its own struggles, Umno too has its own and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) has its own cause. So, what is important is for us to achieve the common objective, there is no need for conflicts,” he said after visiting the Ar-Raudah goat breeding farm. Mustapa, who is also a member of the Umno Supreme Council, said: “We all have to be united on what we want to achieve for unity among the Malays, Bumiputeras and others races,” he said. In TAPAH, MCA Secretary- General Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan said all members of the Barisan Nasional (RN) Component Parties should not worry or have any doubt about the dialogues or ‘muzakarah’ being held between Umno and PAS because it was Umno’s right to do so. He said such reservations should not arise as long as the muzakarah between Umno and PAS did not jeopardise the interests of the RN and the people of various races and religions in the country. “BN Secretary-General Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan (Tengku Mansor) had also said that Umno would explain the outcome of the dialogues to the RN Component Parties at the next RN meeting,” he told reporters after opening the Tapah MCA divisional general meeting, here yesterday. Ong said the fear of the component parties was due to the PAS’ political ideology which contradicted that of Umno’s. Asked whether the MCA would hold dialogues with the DAP, he said it had never occurred to him to do so nor was there any necessity for the Party to discuss with the DAP.


Chew wins Beluran Chairmanship in first foray


A first foray into his Party’s division polls proved to be a right move for Sabah MCA Youth Chief Chew Kok Woh after he won the Beluran Chairman’s post yesterday. The 47-year-old businessman polled five votes against the three ballots obtained by his sole rival Chong Kam Wing, the Division’s Deputy Chairman, in the contest held after incumbent Lim Shean Pek declined to defend the post. The Beluran contest was one of the two fights for the Division Chief post in Sabah MCA. In the interior Keningau district, incumbent Peter Ma Kin Yee lost to his sole challenger Chen Siong Yee. Meanwhile, Chew who had been heading Sabah MCA Public Complaints Bureau since 1992, said his victory in Beluran meant more responsibilities for him. “This is another platform for me to serve the people and contribute to Sabah,” he said. Chew and Chen are among the handful of new faces heading the various Sabah MCA divisions. The Party’s incumbent Tawau Division Chief, Datuk Charlie Chang, gave way to his long-time Deputy Goh Chit Chuan. In Tuaran, State MCA Secretary Tan Kim Beng made way to the Division’s Youth Chief Chua Shieng Kian to head the division there.


Keningau MCA Chief fails to keep post
Ma loses to Chen who obtains slim majority of eight votes


Incumbent Peter Ma Kin Yee failed to defend the post of Keningau Divisional MCA Chief when he lost to Chen Siong Yee who got a slim majority of eight votes in a straight fight during the MCA divisional election held at Perkasa Hotel here yesterday. Ma obtained 15 votes while Chen garnered 23 votes. A total of 38 delegates were eligible to cast their votes. The election was held smoothly and witnessed by two observers from the State MCA Liaison Committee - State Liaison Secretary Tan Kim Beng and Executive Secretary Yong Su Ping. Fong Fui Min won the Divisional Deputy Chief post after garnering 24 votes and beating former Divisional Vice Chief Lee Yee Fook who only obtained 14 votes. The four Divisional Vice Chiefs who won were Chee En Kong, Loh Yin Kong, Kong Khet Yung and Chee Sik Lai. Ten Committee Members elected were Tham Yu Chan, Fung Lun Voi, Ho Chui Fui, Chai On, Chai Then Yong, Cher Fook Seng, Yong Wing Cheang, Yong Chuan Kong, Chung Choon Sang and Tan Hong Leong. Fung Tui Min, Chee En Kong and Loh Yin Kong were picked as the divisional delegates for the MCA National General Assembly in October. The new Chief, Chen Siong Yee and Woman Chief, Wong Fung Lan, are automatic delegates. During the nominations held at Perkasa Hotel on July22, Divisional Youth Chief Leonard Teo and Women Chief Wong Fung Lan won uncontested.


LDP proven loyal to BN, says Liew


Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) had in the last general election proven to be a Party that is loyal, dedicated and persevered to the cause and struggle of the Barisan Nasional (BN). “We continue to believe in the spirit of BN where we continue to inculcate into our members the spirit of working as a team,” LDP President and Sandakan Member of Parliament Datuk VK Liew said. The Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister cum Kapayan LDP Divisional Chief in his speech at the Division’s annual general meeting yesterday, said that Party members would continue to share and act as one strong ‘Barisan’ without compromising on their principle and integrity. “We did not, still so not and will not subscribe to the belief of sabotaging against a component party in the BN in an election,” he stressed. Liew pointed out in his speech that despite the fact that in the last election, BN was short of eight seats to get a two-thirds majority in Parliament, and the Opposition securing five states in Peninsular Malaysia, one fact that could not be denied remained, which was democracy. This in itself, he said was a recognition that Malaysians have matured as well as grown in the process to have an open and democratic system of election. “Our democracy is based on law. While our constitution provides for among other things, freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of religion etc, such freedom is subject to the laws that are prevailing in the country,” he said. Despite the freedom of speech, no one is at liberty to slander or defame others by virtue of what they say. Hence, Liew pointed out, bloggers who slander and defame others by their malicious as well as vicious words will have to face the consequence of their action. “We must also not associate ourselves with illegal associations or participate in illegal assemblies nor should we abuse our freedom to worship by joining cults or religious activities that are not permissible under the laws,” he stressed. According to Liew further, as LDP President, he has attended many meetings with heads of BN component parties to discuss matters, including the measure to be taken on inflation as well as the illegal immigrants problem in Sabah. “I together with the many political leaders from other Sabah-based BN component parties have raised issues and brought to the attention of the central leadership matters that are of great concern to the people in this State such as the eradication of poverty, illegal immigrants, imbalance development and unfair treatment of Sabahans in various Federal positions,” he said. He pointed out that all issues concerning Sabah have been raised by its MPs in Parliament as well as the various leaders during the BN Supreme Council meetings and also by the people in Sabah who are in various capacities. These issues, he said, are not confined to just one person or one political party and neither can it be said that only one person or that one political party is concerned about the issues faced by the people here. “I therefore believe that concerted efforts are required from all parties concerned regardless of our political affiliations to address and solve the many issues we are facing,” he said. “Personally I must stress that to be popular and win favours is not my agenda. Instead I want to be able to change the lives of others and have my work stand the test of time,” he said before adding, “I always believe that actions speak louder than words, hence what I do is more significant that what I say.” Liew also said that he cannot help but brush aside accusations by certain quarters that Sabah leaders who are working in the Federal Government as having been ‘Federalized’. The statement, he said, was made out of pure spite and many have found it an affront to past Sabah leaders who had worked in the Federal Government and contributed so much to nation building since independence day.


KL to make announcement on levy issue: Liew


The -Federal Government will be making an announcement on the issue of the levy for foreign workers, Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk VK Liew said yesterday. The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) President and Sandakan Member of Parliament said this when asked to comment on the request from several barters, including the Sabah Chinese Chamber of Commerce (SCCC) and Federation Sabah Manufacturers (FSM) to reduce the heavy levy as it is burdening employers in the State. Both the SCCC and FSM have said that the high levy is one of the reasons many foreigners are in the State illegally. A reduction of the levy would encourage employers to properly document and register their workers, they said. Liew who is also the LDP Kapayan Divisional Chief when met at its annual general meeting here yesterday, said the issue of levy was discussed extensively in the recent Barisan Nasional (BN) meeting. “A proper announcement will be made very soon about this issue of levy that has i affected the plantation industry as well as the construction industry. “These are the main concerns of the committee that sat recently to discuss the massive operation against illegal immigrants that will be carried out very soon,” he said, adding that the high-powered committee set up to address the perennial problem with illegal immigrants in Sabah chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had also looked into the issue. When asked for his opinion as LDP President on the issue, Liew replied, “the issue on the levy as I have said, had been discussed by the Federal Government. We have already given our opinions on the matter.”


Man swims to safety after car swept away by strong currents


A local man was nearly swept away by strong currents when his vehicle fell into the Babagon River during a heavy downpour yesterday evening. The 44-year-old man was trying to cross the river by using a cement bridge when the Charade vehicle was swept into the river after the water level increased at around 6. 30pm. He managed to get out of the vehicle and swam to the river bank to get help. District Police Chief DSP Madang b Usat said a Fire and Rescue Services Department engine rushed to the scene but effort to take the vehicle out from the river failed as the water level was still high. He said the victim was sent to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for treatment. He was reportedly not injured in the incident. Meanwhile, three fire engines rushed to Taman Kepayan to respond to a distress call yesterday. What was initially thought was a burning house turned out to be just an open burning. A spokesman for the Fire and Rescue Services Department in Sembulan said that they received the call at 12.22pm and two fire engines from Sembulan and one from Penampang rushed to the place. “We received the call at 12. 22pm and went to the scene. There was thick smoke but when we arrived, it was just open garbage burning,” he said, adding the fire was put out at 12.42pm.

Friday, July 25, 2008


Filipinos expelled from Sabah returning: report

Many Filipinos expelled from Sabah for working illegally have already or planned to return despite fear of arrest, media reports said Thursday. The Philippine Daily Inquirer said many were deciding to return to Sabah to work despite a crackdown on illegal immigrants who risk being “arrested. Jailed, humiliated and caned. Sabah, which lies between the Philippines to the north and Indonesia’s Kalimantan to the south, is a magnet for immigrant workers who for decades have travelled there to work on construction sites and oil palm plantations. The Malaysian authorities say 130,000 illegal migrants are in Sabah, but local politicians put the figure as high as 500,000. According to the Philippine Governmeht, an estimated 200,000 Filipinos are living and working in Malaysia without valid visas and nearly 3,000 are in jail waiting to be deported. The southern Philippine port city of Zamboanga has received more than 1,000 deportees since the crackdown, announced by the Malaysian authorities this month, and has asked the Government for help to house and resettle them. The paper said many of those deported see little future in the Philippines and have expressed their intention to return. The Philippines has a long-standing claim to Sabah which has been sitting with the international courts for years. Basit Nur, 40, who worked as a carpenter in Sabah but was expelled after three months in a detention centre, said the risk of being rearrested was better than the alternative of seeing his family mired in poverty in the southern Philippines. “Even if I don’t have the money for processing of my (travel) papers ... I will find other ways to return. And I will make sure that I will outsmart the police there,” he told the Inquirer. Carpenter Maximo Abduraid, deported from Sabah just three weeks ago, has already slipped back there last week, his relatives told the paper.