Monday, May 26, 2008


Thousand acres of farms face flood destruction


About 3,000 residents from five villages in Apin-Apin area here have urged the Government to straighten the Pegalan River which is threatening to destroy their farms. The affected villages are Kampung Merampong, Tuhan Baru, Liau Laut, Kilambang and Tagai. A spokesman for the villagers, Jamree Mansiri, told The Borneo Post here yesterday that if the problem is not resolved immediately, more than 600 acres of paddy fields, 300 acres of rubber farms and 200 acres of other farm crops, including Government projects such as irrigation and house pumps, will be damaged and destroyed by flood waters. “The Pegalan River has changed its passage early this year following a big flood,” said Jamree who is the former Bingkor People Development Leader. He said the matter had been brought to the attention of the elected representatives since 2004 but until now no action has been taken. According to him, the relevant authorities here have also been informed but they said there was no allocation to straighten the river. if there is still no action from the elected representatives this area. the villagers will ask the Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Haji Aman, to intervene. five villages had supported the Barisan Nasional (BN) candidates in Bingkor and Keningau during the March 8 general election. The villagers were hoping with their full support of both BN candidates, this problem could be immediately resolved,” he said. Jamree feared that if another flood happens again, thousand acres of Jamree said the residents of the land will be destroyed.


Don’t take jaundice lightly: Yahya


Parents should not take jaundice lightly as it can result in their babies becoming deaf, handicapped or worse, succumb to the disease, said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Yahya Hussin. “It is therefore very important for parents whose babies are diagnosed with jaundice to seek medical treatment at clinics or hospitals,” Yahya said. Speaking at the launching of a health education project in Kampung Sailian here yesterday, Yahya who is also the Agriculture and Food Industry Minister, said jaundice, if untreated, could result in fatality or the baby becoming handicapped. Jaundice usually occurs two or three days after birth and with treatment, it will disappear within 10 days. ‘Many parents, especially those in the rural areas, do not take their babies for treatment of the disease because they think that it is not serious. “Some also use traditional medicine such as herbs and roots or may even seek traditional Chinese treatment as well as medication,” he said, adding that jaundice has to be treated at hospital or clinic so the babies will not suffer brain damage. Yahya also pointed out that Malaysians are lucky because the Government provides good medical facilities for them, thus, they should be more appreciative of the importance of good health.


Najib tells people to make unity main national agenda


Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak yesterday launched National Unity Month with a call to the people to make unity the main national agenda, saying it was an important basis for a nation’s success. The Deputy Prime Minister said the people were not prohibited from having differences of opinion but they should express them with consideration. “They must be aware of the racial sensitivities. They must not hurt the feelings of other communities. They must ensure that their demands are reasonable,” he said at the launch at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre, here. Najib said every community would not necessarily get to fulfil all its demands, and must continue to maintain a give-and-take attitude. The very existence of the Federal Constitution reflected the spirit of compromise and placed unity as the main basis of the nation, he said. Najib said the spirit of consensus among the people was clearly evident, for example, in the presence of vernacular schools which did not exist in Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia. Speaking to reporters later, Najib said unity among the people was getting more resolute. He said the concept of “bangsa Malaysia” (Malaysian race) was in the minds of the people regardless of race because the people regarded an individual based on his or her nobility of character rather than racial background. For example, he said, when a road accident occurred, the people would rush to help the victims regardless of which community they belonged to. At the event, Najib presented the Unity Personality Award to former Sabah Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Sakaran Dandai and social activist Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye. The award recognises the efforts of leaders who contribute to fostering unity and wellbeing of the people of various races. The award recipients receive a certificate and a souvenir. Najib also presented the Unity Garland Award to MCA Public Service and Complaints Bureau Head Datuk Michael Chong; cartoonist Datuk Mohammad Nor Khalid or Lat; S Krishnamoorthy who saved passengers of a ferry fire tragedy off Mersing in October last year; Nafisah Abdullah who saved victims of a house fire in Kota Baharu in August last year and Mohd Afzal Hamzah who caught a snatch thief. The award carries a certificate, a souvenir and RM5,000. Lee Lam Thye told reporters later hat unity should he given high priority by the Government and unity education should begin at school. Krishnamoorthy said he would not hesitate to go to the aid of people in distress. Chong said he hoped that more Malaysians would help the needy regardless of race. -Bernama


Scientists create multi-disciplinary environment


Twenty local and expatriate scientists have created a multidisciplinary environment that fosters the fusion of new ideas and collaboration. Professor Dr Saleem Mustafa, who is the Director of Borneo Marine Research Institute BMRI) from Universiti Malaysia Sabah, disclosed this in conjunction with the seventh IOC/Westpac International Scientific Symposium 2008 held at Sutera Harbour here yesterday. “They all have a shared understanding of the roles and actions needed to achieve the standard required of a centre of excellence in marine science, aquaculture and biotechnology,” he said. “Our network with national and international institutions is growing, and there are many projects that are being undertaken in cooperation with the respective institutions with which we have agreements. “We have also built on collaborative partnerships with research and development funding agencies and organizations to deliver practical solutions to a number of problems,” Saleem added. As a result of the efficient working and smart partnerships in many spheres of marine science and aquaculture, he said the Institute had positioned it self as a prominent resource for the whole State of Sabah and Federation of Malaysia. According to him, BMRI, located in front of the Sepanggar Bay, has several state-of-the-art research facilities such as a jetty to facilitate research, a sea cage culture facility, aquarium and museum. Currently, the Institute handles two undergraduate academic programmes, Marine Science and Aquaculture, each with a three- year duration. Upon graduation, the students have requisite knowledge to either seek gainful employment or pursue higher post-graduate studies. The research programmes focus on marine conservation, physical oceanography, marine aquaculture, sea farming and marine biotechnology. An efficient and dedicated administration team supports all the teaching, training and research activities. The Institute has now emerged as a venue for pursuing innovative research and dissemination of knowledge across a wide range of aquaculture and marine science subjects in a regional, national and international context.


Tadau Kaamatan UPKO celebration in Tamparuli


Tamparuli has been chosen as the host for this year’s Tadau Kaamatan UPKO celebration which will also be jointly hosted by Sulaman, Tamparuli and Kiulu UPKO Divisions. It will be held on May 30 at the Tamparuli town field, the organising chairman of the celebration, Datuk Seri Panglima Wilfred Bumburing, said in a statement yesterday. He said a huge stage would be constructed to stage the Sugandoi and Unduk Ngadau contest. “The UPKO Divisions from Sulaman, Tamparuli and Kiulu will be putting up three tents where traditional food will be placed for the public to satisfy their appetite for traditional food,” he added. Aside from that, 13 booths will be placed all over the town field where traditional food brought in from some 40 UPKO divisions throughout the State will be made available to the public. This will be a real ‘moginakan’ festival where each division will be bringing their own food to be shared together with the other participants from other parts of Sabah. Ample food will be made available to guests, tourists and the public, he added. Sugandoi Kaamatan will be held from 9am while the final of the Unduk Ngadau Kaamatan UPKO 2008 will start at 1pm and is expected to end around 6pm. Forty Unduk Ngadau participants from the various UPKO divisions, including one from Labuan and one from Johore Baru representing the Momogun Society of Malaysia which held their Tadau Kaamatan early this month. Meanwhile, the Unduk Ngadau participants will start their program from May 28 which will include a seminar on self motivation, and on May 9 they will visit the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park where they will be given a talk on environment and the protection of wildlife. The public is invited to witness and join the program that will carried out on that day. Additional information on the Tadau Kaamatan UPKO 2008 can be obtained from Publicity Officer Mr Lesaya Lopog Sorudim at 019-8815261.


Asean has to deal with Myanmar situation: Rais


There is an urgent need for ASEAN and the international community to galvanise and coordinate efforts to deal with the emergency situation in Myanmar, said Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim. In a statement here yesterday, he said although the region was no stranger to natural disasters, the extent of the devastation brought about by Cyclone Nargis caught many by surprise. “The claim that we only smile together is evidently not true. Here we are together, in our earnestness to be collective in our endeavor to be together and contributive during times of difficulties,” he said at the ASEAN-UN International Pledging Conference for Myanmar in Yangon, yesterday. -Bernama


Do thorough study to determine number of illegals: Anifah


A thorough study on the exact number of illegal immigrants in sabah should be conducted before taking action to resolve the issue, said Sabah Backbenchers’ Chairman Datuk Anifah Aman. He said many claims were made on the number but none was supported with facts. “ some said the number reached 200,000 or 500,000 and some even said one million.. but none came from an official study. “It should be done by an established body and only then, can we get the real picture to discuss possible solutions,” he told a press conference here yesterday. Anifah was commenting on allegations by Opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) that Sabah MPs were not concerned over the issue of illegal immigrants after Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker Datuk Ronald Kiandee rejected a motion by DAP Advisor Lim Kit Siang to set up a Royal Commision on illegal immigrants in the State. Anifah, who is also Kimanis MP, said an effective mechanism should be formulated to overcome the problem of illegal immigrants, including enforcement and humanitarian aspects. - Bernama


Ku Li calls for support from Sabahans


Umno Veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah has urged Umno members here to nominate him for the top post of the Party without any fear. “Don’t be afraid to nominate me for the Umno President’s post,” the Gua Musang Member of Parliament told Umno supporters here on Saturday. “If Sabahans want change, now is the time to show how brave you are. Sabahans are no longer second class citizens and you are on par with Malaysians in the Peninsula,” he told more than 1,000 Umno members who attended a meeting with the longest serving Gua Musang MP who is fondly referred to as “Ku Li”.


Step up enforcement raids on illegal immigrant: Pairin


Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Joseph Pairin Kitingan yesterday asked the Police and Immigration to step up enforcement raids on illegal immigrants in Sabah to guarantee locals’ safety. He said since the setting up of a Royal Commission of Inquiry or a select committee to deal with the perennial problem in Sabah would take time, the Police and Immigration were vested with adequate powers to arrest the illegals. “Regardless of whether a Royal Commission of Inquiry or a select committee is established to deal with the problem, Police and Immigration operations to nab the illegals should continue and in fact, be intensified,” he told reporters after attending a culinary contest to mark Kaamatan festival end of this month. “Many people in Sabah are anxious to see a Royal Commission of Inquiry set up to address the illegal immigrants’ issue in the State. In fact, the request was made long ago. The proposal to establish a Parliamentary select committee also has its advantages. “But what is my fervent hope now is for the security forces, which have the powers to tackle the problem, to step up enforcement and act immediately,” said Pairin who is also Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) President. Kimanis Member of Parliament Datuk Anifah Aman proposed in the Dewan Rakyat on Friday that a Parliamentary select committee on illegal immigrants be set up to resolve the long-standing problem in Sabah. DAP Adviser Lim Kit Siang (DAP-Ipoh Timur) felt that establishing Royal Commission of Inquiry to deal with the problem would be a better option. To this, Pairin said: “To me, whether a select committee or a commission is formed is not a problem. We already have laws in place on illegal immigrants. “What’s important is that we must be really serious in protecting our citizens and sovereignty of our country,” he said. he also suggested the manpower strength and allocations for enforcement agencies be increased for the country to have a bigger capacity in law enforcement. - Bernama


Musa urges pharmacists to tape into State’s biodiversity resources


Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman has urged the pharmaceutical industry to tap into the huge biodiversity resources in the State through research and development. By doing so, he said evidence-based herbal medicines could be developed and produced in line with the agricultural thrust under the Halatuju, whereby the herbal industry has been identified as an area with promise for growth. “The herbal industry, though still largely untapped here, is a multi-billion ringgit industry, and I believe with concerted efforts on research and development and the right collaboration, Sabah has the potential to be a key player in herbal medicines,” he said at the annual dinner and installation night of the Sabah Pharmaceutical Society at Sutera Pacific Hotel here last night. “Opportunities are also abound under the Sabah Development Corridor whereby harnessing our biodiversity resources for value adding as one of its objectives. As such, I hope pharmacists will take up, the challenge to pursue this industry, and he realized its potentials and socio-economic benefits for Sabah in particular, and Malaysia in generals added the Chief Minister. Having said that, Musa said it is also timely to conduct more surveys into the manpower development of the pharmacist population in anticipation of new challenges in the face of globalization and market liberalization. “As a member of the healthcare team, it is crucial that all pharmacists keep abreast of advancement in medicines and as well as challenges facing the industry. Only then, the general public in Sabah can continue to enjoy a high level of service from the. industry. This is in line with the Government’s emphasis on enhancing our human capital to maintain our competitive edge in a globalised world. “With attention paid to the quality of service, the continuing Professional Development Programme and an effective medicines management policy, it is without doubt that pharmacists can then be better equipped in carrying out their roles and responsibilities in the rapidly changing healthcare scene,” said Musa. The Chief Minister pointed out an area of concern is the persistent drug menace that is still affecting the welfare of the people and security of the State. Pharmacists, who are well- versed with the effects of habit- forming drugs, can also play an effective role in providing useful information in preventing the abuse of drugs, he said. “I notice that the Society had played quite an active role in the State’s anti- drug programme in the past and I would like to urge all members to continue to complement the Government’s efforts in combating the drug menace. Let us all combine our efforts to increase vigilance and actively promote a drug-free community,” he added. Mr Yee That Hian was the newly installed President of the Sabah Pharmaceutical Society. He replaced Dr Allan Matthews.


Sexy School Uniforms stay
Hishammuddin: Changing uniforms won’t reduce sexual crimes committed against schoolgirls


The Education Ministry will not change the current uniform worn by girls in Government schools, which has been described as too “sexy” and has allegedly contributed to rape and other immoral acts. Its Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, said the uniform has been in use for decades and would probably not change much in the next few years. He said that he personally felt it was unfair to blame the students or their uniforms for sexual crimes committed against them. “It is unfair to punish women and children for the clothes they wear for the act of the rapist,” he said, adding that he could not allow such stereotyping to continue. “Clothing is not the main consideration for those who commit despicable acts like these,” he said, in reference to the National Islamic Students Association of Malaysia’s condemnation of the uniform for being too sexy. Hishammuddin said that although he believed that changing the uniforms would not reduce sexual crimes committed against schoolgirls, he would refer the matter to experts within his Ministry before making a decision. The Association said the uniform encouraged rape and pre-marital sex. “The white blouse is too transparent for girls and it becomes a source of attraction,” said its Vice President, Munirah Bahari. “It becomes a distraction to men, who are drawn to it, whether or not they like looking at it,” she said, calling for a review of uniform policy so that it did not violate Islamic ideals. Female students at Government schools have a choice of wearing a white blouse with a knee-length skirt or pinafore. They may also wear a “baju kurung” which is a traditional long top and skirt, and a headscarf is optional for Malay students. Munirah said that “covering up” according to Islamic precepts was important to fend off social ills including “rape, sexual harassment and even premarital sex which involve schoolgirls in their teens.” “All this leads to babies born out of wedlock and to an extent, even prostitution,” she said. “Decent clothes which are not revealing can prevent and protect women from any untoward situations,” she said, suggesting that girls wear a blouse of a different colour or with an undergarment. However, the girls themselves also came in for criticism, with the Association saying some used the white blouse to lure men. “This is the source of the problem, where we can see that schoolgirls themselves are capable of using this to attract men to them,” Munirah said, adding this could see them getting molested, having pre-marital sex and all sorts of things.