Thursday, May 22, 2008


Dr M’s quit move said to favour Tengku Razaleigh


The move by former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to quit Umno has given momentum to the proposal by Gua Musang Member of Parliament Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah to garner support to contest the post of Umno President in the Party elections in December, according to the Kelantan Justices of the Peace Council. Council President Datuk Shukri Mohamed said Dr Mahathir’s move was an expression of his concern for the credibility of the leadership of Umno and the country. Sukri, who is the former Barisan Nasional (BN) Member of Parliament for Machang, said Dr Mahathir’s move should be viewed seriously because the former Umno President could be looking at things on a wider perspective. Tengku Razaleigh is travelling the length and breadth of the country to appeal to Party members to support his bid to contest the post of President. Meanwhile, PAS and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) have asked Dr Mahathir to join them, now that he has decided to quit Umno. PAS President Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and PKR President Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail extended the invitation to Dr Mahathir. Abdul Hadi said he always welcomed Dr Mahathir or other Umno members to join PAS. Dr Wan Azizah said PKR’s doors were always open for Dr Mahathir if he was interested in joining the Party. Dr Mahathir on Monday announced his decision to quit Umno, saying he had lost confidence in Umno President Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and that he would only rejoin the party after Abdullah had stepped down as Party President and Prime Minister. - Bernama


Govt to ensure environment adequately protected: Masidi


The State Government is fully committed in ensuring the environment is adequately protected and conserved to support sustainable development for the benefit of the present and future generations. Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Masidi Manjun said that because of the commitment, the Government has passed several environmental legislations to address pertinent aspects of the environment. “Sustaining the environment means instituting measures in order, for instance to mitigate the degradation of rivers, streams and marine waters as well as protect ecologically sensitivities areas,” Masidi said in a speech at a dialogue on Environment, Safety and Health (ESH) here yesterday. The speech was delivered by Assistant Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment, Datuk ElIron Alfred Angin. “Greater care need to be exercised especially in the utilisation of our land and natural resources. This is to ensure that the rate of natural resource consumption and the rate of waste generation do not exceed the capacity of the environment to replenish the waste produced,” he pointed out. According to him, the rapid growth of the various industries has increased the need for greater attention to occupational safety and health. “The Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994 enforced by the Department of Occupational Safety and Health provides the legislative framework to promote, stimulate and encourage a high standard of safety and health at work place. “Although, we have so far been spared any major catastrophic accidents, we must always be aware of the potential danger of such accidents in the industries,” he said. “Our aim should be to achieve zero accidents and thus save valuable lives and property and be spared of any painful tragedies,” he added. Masidi said the dialogue organised by Chemsain Konsultant Sdn Bhd. was very timely. This is not only to enhance communication between Government authorities and industries in the management of environment, safety and health but it is also important in view of serious emerging environmental issues and challenges such as climate change and global warming that are threatening the environment and the quality of life, he said. Dr John Chan, Director of Chemsain Konsultan Sdn Bhd, said the purpose of the dialogue was to update participants on the latest regulations in ESH and also to give an opportunity for them to meet with authorities involved in ESH. “We should be thankful that people back then realised that if we did not take environment, occupational health and safety seriously, our future generations will suffer the negative consequence of development,” he said. “Environmental management in Malaysia started with the enactment of the Environmental Quality Act, 1974 while the first laws governing Occupational Safety and Health were introduced in the Factory and Machinery Act 1967. However, despite the existence of these law, we often read in the papers or watch on TV, environment disasters happening right at our doorsteps,” he added. According to him, some factories are still discharging dirty water into rivers, emitting polluting gases into the air, wastes are still dumped unscrupulously, accidents and work related health problems are still common. “In fact, we cannot blame lawmakers, Environment Protection Department, Department of Environment and Department of Occupational Safety and Health parties independently. ESH management is the responsibility of all parties,” he said. He said both the project implementers and authorities should have a good working relationship. “It means that project implementers must understand the requirement of the law and how to protect the environment. While the authorities must understand the problem faced by the project implementers such as cost, time line and the availability of technology to mitigate environmental impact. Also present during the program were Datuk Erick Juin, Director of Environment Protection Department, and Abdul Razak Abdul Manap, Director of Environment Department.


More ICT teachers to be hired : CM


The State Government would make an effort to increase the number of teachers who are professionals in the field of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) towards reducing the digital divide between the rural and urban areas. Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman yesterday said the Ministry of Resource Development and Information Technology would cooperate with the Education Ministry to ensure all schools are quipped with ICT facilities. “We want our schools to have complete ICT facilities so that the way, technique of teaching and learning, could be developed,” he said. This would ensure the students would not lag behind in acquiring ICT skills for them to face future challenges, he said when officiating at the convocation ceremony of several teaching institutes, Kent (Tuaran), Keningau, Gaya and Tawau. The event marked the graduation of more than 400 teachers. Also present was Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Masidi Manjun, who is the Minister in charge of education in the State. Musa said the step of the Education Ministry in implementing the Management of Professionalism in ICT Counselling Program for the Teachers is a positive approach. The program would give an opportunity to teachers to be better equipped to efficiently and effectively impart the knowledge to their students.


Normal for Dr M to quit Umno: Pairin


Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Pairin Kitingan said former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s resignation from Umno is not an unusual thing. It is a common thing for veteran party members to resign and younger ones to join a party, Pairin said when asked to comment on Mahathir’s decision to leave Umno, citing among other reasons loss of confidence in the current Umno leadership. “Just because it is Tun, the media use it as an attraction for people and make it as a huge matter,” he said. Pairin said it was Tun’s decision to resign from Umno and it will not affect the Party or any individuals, and people have accepted the matter as something that has already happened. According to him, Mahathir should remain calm in his retirement years and the matter will not put any pressure on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. However, Mahathir’s sudden resignation from the Party raised doubt among the people since the latter’s son is still in the Party, he said. “But we need not dwell much on that; we should be united and move forward, do our job and responsibility that can contribute to the development of the country and help the people,” he said. He added that there are problems that need full attention and more important to be solved such as the aliens and the poor people.