Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Banks to recycle and collect waste materials


The Junior Chamber International (JCI) Intan in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, Culture and Tourism through the Environment Action Committee (EAC) will be organising an environmental project in conjunction with the World Environment Day. Miss Zyee F. Dullie, the Organizing Chairperson, said the environmental project is involving 10 major banks along the City’s main street of Jalan Gaya. According to her, this project came about as she was formerly working in one of the international foreign banks and found out that the big piles of papers shredded everyday by the bank employees were just being thrown away at the main garbage bin, pending collection by the local authority. “There was no proper way of dispensing the paper wastage. There is no denying that every company is going for electronic processing and storage. However, some things still require documentation and will thus lead to their eventual disposal,” she said. According to Zyee in this project, all the participating banks will be given reusable gunny sacks provided by Bernas Corporation as well as garbage bins funded by the EAC for them to gather their shredded papers. The duration of the project is for one year and proceeds will be given to EAC for future environmental projects. “Apart from that, they are also encouraged to collect other recyclable wastes such as old newspapers, cardboards and even outdated pamphlets, brochures and forms. These wastes will be collected weekly by Madam Foong & Sons Trading, a recycling collection company,” she said. Zyee, who is also the JCI Intan Honorary Secretary, disclosed that from a survey that she conducted among the banks, there is an average of three to four kilograms per week of shredded paper produced by each bank. “Thus by encouraging this recycling it is hoped that less recycable waste will end up at the main garbage site in Kayu Madang, Telipok which is quickly filling up,” she said. She also stated that among the other objectives of the project are to create awareness in the community on the importance of recycling, to reduce the wastage of shredded paper and instead to encourage the recycling of it, giving another meaning of “sustainable banking”. “Based on the views from many people whom I have come in contact with throughout this project, they find that it is normally easier for people to recycle when it is done collectively rather than individually,” she said. Zyee hoped that this project will be extended beyond the intended one-year period and the same project or similiar ones may be organised to reach out to other sectors such as the hotels. The local banks which have stated their interest in participating in the project are Agro Bank, Eon Bank, Hong Leong Bank, Affiance Bank, CIMB Bank, Affin Bank and AM Bank, while the international foreign banks are HSBC Bank, United Overseas Bank and OCBC Bank.


Suspect held at Assistant Minister’s office


An elderly man has been detained by police for allegedly threatening a woman at the office of Assistant Minister to the Chief Minister Datuk Nasrun Datu Mansor here yesterday. Acting District Police Chief Ahmad Jawina said police received a report of the incident about 10am. “According to the report, an elderly man wielding a knife was seen in the office,” he said, adding that a team of police was immediately dispatched to the scene. The 71-year-old man was alleged to have been waving an eight-inch knife outside the 43-year-old woman’s office room. The frightened woman locked herself in the room. When police arrived, the suspect was confrontational but was later overpowered and arrested. Ahmad said the suspect was being detained at the police station to facilitate investigations into the case. In another case here, a 21-year- old youth was assaulted by a stranger near a superstore at Taman Aman yesterday. Ahmad said the young man was coming out from the superstore after buying some things when he was confronted by the stranger. He was assaulted on the face and hit on the head with a can. He was sent to the hospital for treatment. The 32-year-old suspect was detained by the public before the arrival of the police. He would be charged under Section 324 of the Penal Code which carries a jail term up to seven years and also liable to fine on conviction.


Ministry urged to telecast Nation Narration live


Bingkor Assemblyman Justin Guka yesterday urged the Information Ministry to telecast the Nation Narration (Pengisahan Kenegaraan) live on radio and television so that people throughout the country can focus on historical events in the State. He said through this effort, people from Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia could learn about the struggles of prominent Sabahan leaders for the State’s independence. “I believe through live telecast the people from Peninsular States, including Sarawak, can identify more closely with the independence struggles of leaders from this State,” he said in his speech during the Upper Interior Nation Narration competition held at the multi-purpose hail in Gerakan Daya Wawasan Kampung Kota Ayangan here. His text was read by District Officer Zulkifli Nasir. Guka said the young generation should be given exposure to the struggles of prominent leaders in the country when they fought against colonialism and strived for independence. Justin believed through narration, the work of people like Datuk Mat Kilau, Tok Janggut, Datuk Paduka Mat Salleh, Tun Sambathan, Tan Sri Tan Chin Loke, Tun Mustapha, Datuk GS Sundang, Datuk Seri Panglima Ontoros will be better understood and appreciated. He hoped through the Nation Narration competition, Malaysians will be able to focus on the history and struggles of the leaders and their experience can be used by future generation as reference towards strengthening and maintaining the progress which they have enjoyed throughout the 51 years of independence. Kustin Ladi from Keningau emerged the champion in the competition and will represent Upper Interior in the State-level Nation Narration to be held at Nabawan district on June 6 and 7. The second and third places were won by Salmiah and Jaisah Jahadi from Tenom, and Jainah Matui and Susiah Petrus from Nabawan respectively. All the prizes were presented by Zulkifli. Also present at the event were State Komuniti Bestari Assistant Director Harun Madasa, District Chief OKK Mohd Amir Datuk Arif, Upper Interior Information Department Acting Chief Ramawie Haji Bakni and Organizing Deputy Chairman Rufus Gahim.


Govt to pay more attention to internet media, says Najib


Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said yesterday the Government would give more attention to the non-conventional media of Internet websites and blogs to ensure that the people receive accurate information. This was most necessary as the impact of this so-called new media on the people was evident in the last general election, he said during a question-and-answer session at the Asia Media Summit 2008, here. Najib earlier read out the keynote address of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi at the event. “We will certainly introduce the new dimension in terms of winning over public opinion. One of the aspects that perhaps we have overlooked is how to manage the new media. “I have to admit, frankly, that we have underestimated their role and I have to admit that we are not ‘tech savvy’ to tackle this and utilise the impact of the new technology,” he said. On remarks raised by an American participant on freedom of speech and human rights in Malaysia, Najib said the United States should look at itself first before criticising others. He said the United States, which has been projecting an image of a democratic country, was guilty of abuses especially in Guantanamo Bay, a US detention centre in Cuba. “In the name of national security, there have been violations of human rights and even abuse. So please, criticise the US Government and ask them to close Guantanamo Bay,” he said. - Bernama


Look into policies that can strengthen use of media to aid development, says PM


There is a need to look at policies that can strengthen the use of media and communication channels to enhance development especially in facing the new era of communication technologies, said Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. The Prime Minister said with the explosion of media channels combined with the rapid growth of global networks such as the Internet, had dramatically increased their potential as an enabler for development. “They offer enormous opportunities for narrowing social and economic inequities and supporting sustainable wealth creation, and thus helping to achieve broader development objectives,” he said in his keynote address at the two-day Asia Media Summit here yesterday. His speech was read by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. Abdullah said the new communication technologies could act as tools for efficient governance and greatly facilitate access to Government information and services. “However, poor networks and infrastructure remain a major stumbling block in addressing developmental problems. Many of our people do not yet have adequate access to these technologies,” he said. Thus, the traditional media - TV, radio and newspapers - was still relied on to fill the void, he added. Abdullah said while the country needed to invest in expanding broadband infrastructure, it also needed to ensure that its advantages were not limited to a select few. “We need to enhance workforce training to support employment and growth in the information and communications sector. Training is key to preparing our economies for the future,” he said. The Prime Minister said that it was by building a critical mass of human capital in the information and communications sector that a knowledge society could be developed. Abdullah said there was also the need to develop local content to remove linguistic differences which were substantial barriers to communication, and to help democratise access to information. Abdullah said communications technologies had an important role to play in helping nations cope with the present rapid increase in global food prices.


Abdullah expounds use of freedom of speech


Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said yesterday the freedom of speech and expression cannot be used as an excuse to violate and abuse the reputation and dignity of a people. Neither can it be used to “slander and libel or to defame religious or religious symbols,” he added. “If this was the case, there would be no laws of defamation or libel and laws against those who incite racial or ethnic violence,” he said in his keynote address at the two-day Asia Media Summit, here. The text of his speech was read out by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. Abdullah said that even the most freedom-loving people in this world knew that there was no such thing as unlimited freedom. “Freedom of speech is a fundamental right, but it is not absolute,” he said. However, he said, it was difficult to ascertain the limits of freedom of speech and expression. “Where do you draw the line between disrespect and dissent and between opinions and opinions that defame or are seditious? “This is where I believe that readers of both traditional and new media must have the knowledge and maturity to sieve between the facts and the innuendos and unsubstantiated accusations,” he said. Abdullah said the Government continued to support ethical journalism and the responsible corporations that undertook it. “The media, as we all know and accept, is central to nation-building— how it is conceived, promoted and finally accomplished. It is also central to good governance,” he said. The Prime Minister said the fundamental consideration was of course that “we have a media that is not only free but that is responsible as well”. Abdullah said: “We also desire that media does not undermine racial and religious harmony to the extent where national security and public order become threatened. “This is not always easy when we have media that cater to different ethnic constituencies with their special religious sensitivities,” he said. Touching on religion, Abdullah said different societies could hold to different values based on their dominant culture and historical experience, and “it may be all right, indeed it may be a matter of principle, for some nations with a secular tradition to be able to caricature the prophets of God. “But not here. We should not be shy of our cultural norms nor be abashed of our voluntary self-censorship in respect of them. It is not a moral or media sin to respect prophets,” he said. Abdullah said that in a globalised world where news travels in the blink of an idea, and is accessible to all, cultural insensitivities and arrogance can lead cultures to clash and nations to collide. On the challenges of new media, Abdullah said he believed that the traditional media can remain at the leading edge of providing content even as it loses its monopoly on the people’s attention. “Although some Netizens come quite close, quality journalism is still by far the domain of old media. Democracies still need the traditional press to hire the professionals whose job it is to discover and disseminate the truth. “It is with this in mind that I urge you not to be too taken in by the bells and whistles of technology but to hold fast to your established virtues of accuracy, intelligence, fairness and grit. These are the values that set you apart from the excess of information now upon us. These are your competitive advantages in the anarchic environment of the new age,” he said. Touching on criminal defamation, Abdullah said Malaysia also needs laws to protect the people from such defamation, and it also needs laws that protect core institutions from seditious attacks. “I do not see these laws as curbs on freedom. Rather, they are essential for the healthy functioning of our society,” he said. The Prime Minister said that though this “may cost us a few decimal points on the World Press Freedom Index, which is based on specific assumptions and premises, our security and the well-being of our society takes precedence.” - Bernama


DAP won’t support power plant


Sandakan DAP will not support the proposed 300kw coal-fired power plant to be built in Sandakan unless Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd ( SESB) can come up with a detailed and comprehensive report to alleviate the public fears as to how well the toxic wastes are to be dealt with and the type of technology being adopted. DAP Sandakan Coordinator and Sabah DAP Chief for Industrial Development Bureau, Anthony Teo, said the proposed plant would burn a massive amount of about one million tones of black coal annually and would produce 300,000 tons of toxic wastes. “The plant is said to have a life span of 75 years. Therefore, it will produce a mountain of 22.5 million tons of toxic wastes,” he said.


Check heavy vehicles travelling at night: CASH


Relevant enforcement authorities such as the Road Transport Department (RTD) and police have been urged to conduct spot checks on heavy vehicles travelling through the City, especially at night. CASH Deputy President Nordin Thani, in making the call, said spot checks were necessary to ensure that these vehicles adhere to the maximum limit and weight restrictions on the roads as well as bridges. “Enforcement must be done as most of these heavy vehicles which are overloaded, travel during the night and this is dangerous for the public,” he said. According to Nordin, he believes these vehicles travel under the cover of night because they want to avoid detection by the authorities as most of them are overloaded. “Their action not only endangers pedestrians and other road users, it also causes damage to the roads and bridges within the City areas. In fact, they have damaged certain areas and nothing has been done to repair them. “if we look around the City areas, road repairs are being done almost everyday resulting in traffic congestion and pollution and causing inconvenience to the public,” he said, adding that he noticed that some of the repaired roads were damaged again within a short period of time. Weight restrictions, he said, should be imposed efficiently because of the danger it poses to the public and the structural damage to roads, property as well as for environmental reasons. “The culprits must be punished in accordance with the law and pay for the damaged roads and pavements that they have caused,” he said.


Why Philippines has not dropped claim to Sabah? -MP


A Member of Parliament from Sabah yesterday questioned as to why the Federal Government was being overly diplomatic to the Philippines when the republic still did not want to drop its claim to the State. Datuk Bung Moktar Radin (BNKinabatangan) said the Philippines also still did not show they valued Malaysia’s cooperation in trying to help resolve their conflict in Mindanao. “Why are we being too nice to them when they have not even opened up a consulate in Sabah or dropped their claim to ownership of the State,” said the Backbenchers Club Deputy Chairman when debating the Supplementary Supply Bill (2007) 2008 in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday. On Monday, another MP from Sabah, Datuk Wilfred Bumburing (BN-Tuaran) had urged the Government to act fast on the problem of illegal immigrants in Sabah following statements by Moro National Liberation Front leader Nur Misuari that the dispute over Sabah be referred to the International Court of Justice. On another matter, Bung Moktar also wanted the Government to investigate why Rangkaian Pengangkutan Integrasi Deras KL (RapidKL) did not use 1,000 buses valued at RM500 million used by Intrakota and Parkmay Sdn Bhd to improve public transportation in Kuala Lumpur when they were already available for use. “Instead, they (RapidKL) go and buy new Mercedes Benz buses. Imagine, what can be done for my rural constituency with that kind of money,” he added. He also wanted the Finance Ministry to explain why Maybank was buying a stake in Bank International Indonesia (BII) for RM4 billion when it was said the bank was facing financial difficulties. - Bernama


Act fast to solve illegal immigrant issue, Bumburing urges Govt


The Government must quickly solve the problem of illegal Filipino immigrants in Sabah especially in the light of a challenge made by the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) to contest the ownership of Sabah in the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Datuk Wilfred Bumburing (BN-Tuaran), said with so much focus on the Batu Puteh case in the ICJ, it would be wise for the Government to be seen to be doing something about the problem in Sabah. “If we are not careful, we will lose a much bigger piece of land than Batu Puteh or the Middle Rocks,” he said when responding to Ibrahim Ali’s (Ind-Pasir Mas) comments about the ICJ’s recent decision when debating the Supplementary Supply Bill. “Sabah MPs have raised this problem time and again and the Government must take note of the immigrant issue,” he said, adding that the Philippines’ claim to Sabah is still there. Bumburing said that Malaysia was still paying the Sultan of Sulu a certain amount of money every year. Outside the Dewan, Bumburing said some of the immigrants have become entrenched in Sabah, adding that the number of Filipinos in Sabah was unknown. “This is why we need a Royal Commission of Inquiry,” he said. Reports in Philippine online news portals quoted Moro leader Nur Misuari as saying on Saturday that the amount of money (about RM5,000) paid by Sabah to the heirs of the Sultan of Sulu was‘pittance’. Misuari said the Sabah issue should be brought to the ICJ.


Royal Commission is to determine truth: Madius


The objective of the proposed Royal Commission of Inquiry is to address a very specific issue, that is to determine the truth behind the so-called “Project IC”, United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Organization (UPKO) said. Coming out in support of the statement by SAPP President Datuk Yong Teck Lee as reported in the local papers yesterday, calling for a concerted effort to act on illegals, UPKO Secretary General Datuk Wilfred Madius Tangau said, “One must not miss the tree for the forest!” Madius in a statement yesterday said, “The mother of all illegal immigrants related problem in Sabah is the infamous Project IC”. “It is just like the Royal Commission on the Lingam video clip! The concern was the independence of the Judiciary and it takes the Lingam video clip to put things right again”. Explaining his point, Madius said the Government would have to start investigating the claim made by Hassanar Ibrahim during the Likas election petition trial. During that trial, Hassanar testified that he was directly involved in a Government sanctioned project to award identity cards to aliens in Sabah with the main intention to tip the demographic balance in the State. “We need the Royal Commission to investigate what had caused the extraordinary increase in Sabah’s population.” said Madius, adding that perhaps, the proposed Commission could also look into the apparent inaction to deal with various police reports lodged against various statements on the Project IC. “I myself was asked by police to assist in the investigation but up until this point in time nothing has come out of it. One cannot help but to attribute the extraordinary increase in the population of Sabah to the existence of the so-called Project IC. There is no other credible explanation but this factor,” he said. UPKO’s call for the setting up of a Royal Commission of inquiry on illegal immigrants, he pointed out, was actually to look into a very specific matter which is “the truth behind the Project IC”, he added.


Watch out for criminal activities: Azizah


The community and individuals have been urged be on alert for criminal activities that could threaten the safety of their families and neighbourhoods. Community Development and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun said everyone is responsible for the safety of their areas and the awareness of their neighbourhood towards criminal activities and the threats. Speaking at the closing of a family safety seminar organized by the Sabah Women Affairs Council Department yesterday, Azizah urged those with information pertaining to criminal activities in their areas to report them to the relevant authorities. “Any amount of information that can be used to weed out criminals in an area can reduce the crime rate and safeguard the people as well as save lives,” she said. Azizah in her speech which was delivered by Assistant Community Development and Consumer Affairs Minister Herbert Timbun Lagadan, said ensuring a safe environment today will benefit the future generation therefore the need to strive for cooperation to tackle criminal activities. “The community need to cooperate now even to the extent where people say we are busybodies because knowing what is happening around us is more important that what people think of us,” she said. According to her, curiosity is the best tool to find out what is happening around and also to keep tab on new developments in their area. She added the increase in the crime rate has made it necessary for everyone to be more alert to what is happening around them. “Prevention is better than cure which is why we must be on our toes and play a significant role in ensuring safety such as creating awareness among our family and community, supervising the activities of relatives as well as advising them on the need to be concerned about safety,” she said. According to Azizah, the seminar may help participants gain better information and guidelines on how to meet the social challenges today, as well as being an avenue for them to share their knowledge, ideas and commitment.


P’pang Council should reconsider reverting Sigah to original position

I refer to the letter by Monsopiad which appeared in your Sunday Home/ forum on May, 25. his opinions have raised more issues and doubts which need to be clarified further and answered by the District Officer of Penampang cum Penampang District Council Chairman that what had been earlier highlighted in my letter published in your Home/Forum on May 18. I do not wish to dwell too much on the Sigah which Monsopiad seems to be naive of its importance or significance attached to it, but suffice it for me to enlighten him of the following. I would like to recall his memory when Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan was installed as the Kadazan Huguan Siou by the Kadazan Cultural Association (KCA and not KDCA) at the Society of Kadazan premises at Kg Tuavon, Penampang on July 1st, 1984. At the installation ceremony, the Sigah was significantly used and ceremoniously placed on Pairin’s head to install him, thus conferring him with the Huguan Siouship title, and such conferment was recognised by the Kadazans. This ceremony is akin to installing Kings, Monarchs, Sultans or Agongs when their Royal Crowns or Headgears are ceremoniously placed on their heads during their inaugurations and installations as rulers of their own respective country. This is a manifestation of the importance and significance of the Sigah when it has been used to install Pairin as Huguan Siou. It had also been used symbolically when installing individuals into their respective offices or as presents to dignified visitors to show respect for them. Besides, the Sigah is also significantly worn during important occasions such as Harvest Festivals, weddings by the grooms and during other important functions. Monsopiad also appears to be ignorant about the procedures of the project construction regiment. With due respect to Monsopiad, let me enlighten him of the construction procedures before he can even attempt to make his statements in future to avoid misleading the readers. Firstly, it is the responsibility of the contractor to carry out construction works according to approved plans. Should there be valid reasons to make necessary changes while the construction is on-going, the project owners, through its site supervisor or project manager, would first give verbal instructions to the contractor regarding the proposed changes, and this would then be followed by means of written Authority Instructions issued to the contractor to, among others, halt the work temporarily in so far as the variation works to be carried out is concerned. Secondly, a variation order would then be issued by the project owner, complete with new instructions to include revised costing and working drawings for such works. The costs for the additional works (or the reduction of which as the case may be) would have already been worked out by the Quantity Surveyors for consideration and agreement by both parties. Even then, the relevant approving authorities or the Penampang District Council in this case, have to be consulted for any variation work. Only when the variation order has been duly approved and conveyed to the contractor in written form, can the contractor proceed with the construction work based on the premise of the approved variation orders. I do not know whether the Penampang District Council has adhered to this procedural practice as laid out in the Treasury Instructions or any other standard procedures as approved and adopted by the Council, especially when spending Government funds or ratepayers’ monies. As opined by Monsopiad to the contrary, it is not the responsibility of the contractor to obtain the views of KDCA or advice from the Bobohizans with regard to the positioning of the Sigah in question. Instead, it is the responsibility of the Penampang District Council, as the project owner, to seek all these clarifications right from the planning stage. If this matter has been inadvertently missed out at the outset but was later found out to be too important to be left out or included as the case may be in the Project Agreement then such variations (either additions to or reduction from the scope of works), should have been worked out and approved for incorporation in the Variation Order. The successful bidder or contractor would have at least been diligently notified in whatever form, verbal or written, that there is such a variation to be worked out pending issuance of further instructions by the project owner. In which case, the contractor would not normally proceed to carry out such works intended for variation, otherwise he would bear the costs for work done. If, on the other hand, the project owner decides to vary the contract in the absence of verbal or written instructions to the contractor, then the additional costs for such variations would ultimately be absorbed by the project owner, unless there is a compromise between both parties that the contractor agrees to absorb the additional costs. Monsopiad might not have noticed (regretfully if he did not) that at the commencement of the construction of the Sigah just before the last general election, the super structure of the Sigah’s frontal was initially orientated facing the West or the Penampang Bypass. Hence, it can be deducted from this stage of work that the contractor of the Sigah had proceeded with the construction in the absence of verbal or written instruction from the District Council. This was further confirmed to me by the landscape consultant who is the architect/designer of the Sigah Monument on 17/05/08 that it was constructed in compliance with the original approved plan. At this point in time, the orientation was then favoured by most, it not all, by the Penampang populace. However, as the construction progressed after the general election, the frontal orientation of the Sigah was suddenly changed to face in the opposite direction, that is, facing the East. Such is the unprofessional manner in which the reorientation of the Sigah was carried out by just changing its original position from facing West to East, by those individuals in authority (or perhaps under strict instruction by someone who is higher than them) without complying with the basic norms of project management protocol, especially when it is a project funded by the ratepayers. Or have they complied? Well, we will leave this matter to the Government Project Inspector and the Government Auditor to investigate whether the relevant Treasury instructions have been duly complied with. This subject matter merits an investigation by those concerned since the variation works reflect financial implications, be they plus or minus Variation Orders, if any, when the Council decided to reposition the Sigah to its present orientation. I further beg to differ from Monsopiad’s views when he suggested to put the figure of the Late Golden Son of the Kadazans, Datuk Peter Mojuntin, at the roundabout. Even his Son, Datuk Donald Mojuntin disagreed with this suggestion when somebody tried to make this similar suggestion to him in my presence. We have our own local Kadazan hero, his name is also MONSOPIAD, who hailed from Terawi, Kandazon. His tomb at the Terawi cemetery can still be located. His statue should have been more appropriately been erected at that location instead of the Sigah because of its humungous size obstructing the views of motorists. The statue of GAMBUNAN, the local Hero of Tambunan, has already been erected at Tambunan. I salute the Tambunan District Councillors for being conscious-minded of erecting the statue of their local hero. The Tenom District Council has likewise erected their own local Hero, Antenom, in Tenom Town. Why can’t the PDC think of erecting the statue of our own local hero, Monsopiad, instead of erecting the miserable looking pineapple at the Yue Min School Roundabout? It would have been justified if the pineapple had been appropriately erected at the Tuavon Roundabout where the actual road is leading to Kg Babagon - where the famous Babagon pineapple is being grown. Since the construction of the Sigah has already started and is about to be completed at the wrong location, we leave it as where it is for our future generations to judge for themselves whether their forefathers did make the sound decision firstly, as to its location and secondly, as to the appropriateness of its present orientation. I still maintain my view that the Council should reconsider reverting the Sigah to its original position of facing West to serve its basic and original purposes when it was mooted, that is, to beautify the roundabout (albeit obstructing the views of motorists) and, more importantly, to face it towards the main highway (Penampang By-pass) as a welcoming signage for all of us, in particular the tourists, when arriving at the Penampang heartland. The by-pass is now being regularly used not only by tourist bus operators transporting tourists through Donggongon Town on their way to places of interest like Tambunan and beyond, but also motorists as well as visitors driving towards Penampang via the said highway. Regrettably, Monsopiad must have been given inaccurate information since the facts he (Monsopiad) had quoted are mostly inaccurate and incorrect, thus the statements he made are verily misleading to the readers. I trust that Monsopiad should refrain himself from writing on this issue until and unless he has dug conscientiously deep down in his heart and only then can be continue to express his sincere views whether the present orientation is correct or otherwise. Even a respectable member of the District Council Penampang whom I met, could not even agree with the present orientation. It therefore goes to show that the change of the orientation was never brought up to the Council for endorsement. If Monsopiad is genuine enough in expressing his views on this subject, by all means be a gentleman enough to make himself known and identified by signing off his name (as what I always do) so that people would know who you are.

Sylvester J Disimon, Chairman, KSS Penampang District Branch.


Traditional houses to hold mini festivals
Cultural diversity rendezvous at Kadazandusun Cultural Association


An elaborate Kaamatan Cultural Diversity Rendezvous showcasing the various sub-ethnic tribes of Sabah through food, song, dance and music, will be held at the Kadazandusun Cultural Association cultural village on Thursday. It is an opportunity for visitors to witness and enjoy the Kadazandusun cultural diversity with each of the houses holding a mini festival of its own. The rendezvous- which will begin at the Rungus longhouse, will be officiated by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Joseph Pairin Kitingan who is the Huguan Siou, paramount leader of the Kadazandusun. The Rungus longhouse will hold a coconut festival featuring coconut products while the Tobilung house will feature the maize festival, where visitors can sample various dishes made using maize as well as traditional fire-making. The Papar Tongunggak festival will feature cultural artifacts while the Tambunan will feature a layoh (ginger) and poring (bamboo) festival. Other places of interest include the Lotud Monginomulok (rice leavening) ceremony, the guol (yam) and koningau (cinnamon) festival at the Lobu house, and the rumbio (sago palm) festival at the Dusun Tatana house. Visitors can go to the Tindal house where there will be a punti or banana festival, showcasing the various preparations for banana dishes and a Mononglumaag or life renewal anti prosperity blessing ceremony. The Bisaya house will feature a kulintangan (traditional gongs) festival while the Penampang Kadazan house will showcase the Momohobok ceremony and pineapple festival. The Liwan house will have a cabbage festival while the Murut house will feature the ever- popular Lansaran or local trampoline. The Murut mangunatip dance and blowpipe will also be the highlight of the Murut house. The Kuijau Keningau house will feature the best of local Kadazan food such as hinava, bambangan, sambal mangga and tuhau, pakis, tivak, as well as aromatic gourd soup, sada pinarasakan or steamed fish. Local brews such as Lihing, talak and bahar will also be available. The event promises to be a truly eye-opening insight into the Sabah ethnic culture, all in one place. Visitors will be able to feast on the best of the various cultures, which are not often available to the public. The cultural diversity rendezvous is one of many activities held in conjunction with the Harvest Festival or Pesta Kaamatan, which will culminate during the grand finale on May 30 and 31.


PBRS offers to help EC weed out phantom voters.


The move to clean up the electoral roil is both urgent and necessary, Deputy Rural and Regional Development Minister Tan Sri Joseph Kurup said. He said the Election Commission (EC) must carry out an extensive job to clean up the electoral roll in Sabah. “We can assist them. We can tell them who the phantom voters are,” he said when met in Parliament here yesterday. He was commenting on EC Chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul RahmanIs proposal for a fresh electoral roll to be drawn up to stop criticisms from various parties that it lacked integrity. Kurup, who is Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) President, added that to be fair, the EC had been trying its best to clean up the roll over the years. “But the problem is too massive, especially in Sabah,” he added. He cited the example of the identity card of a dead person ending up in the possession of someone else, usually an illegal immigrant. “In the March 8 general election, the problem still appeared but was not as rampant,” said Kurup. Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad said “the whole thing is a non- issue”. “I believe, if you have majority support, you will win the election. At the end of the day, it is about support from your voters ,“ he said. Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah said the move was timely considering it had been 50 years since the first general election was held. “This is especially so as there have been many complaints of alleged discrepancies,” he added. PKR Vice- President Mohd Azmin Ali and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng agreed that there was a need for a new electoral roll and also urged Abdul Rashid to resign. “The process to re-register must, however, also be clean and independent from the ruling Government. The best is to conduct an automatic voter registration.” Mohd Azmin said PKR had previously provided the EC with ample evidence of phantom voters. “The EC Chairman must take full responsibility for the problem of phantom voters. The Chairman must be changed,” he added.


Music: Government encourages youths, says CM


Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman has encouraged youngsters from Sabah to venture into the mainstream of the music and entertainment industry. “Certainly, the State Government encourages participation of talented youngsters from the State in musical programs like singing contests and reality shows like the Akademi Fantasia (AF) and One In A Million reality shows,” he said. The musical and singing arena also enhances the spirit of unity and harmony among the various races in the country, said Musa at the presentation of the Chief Minister’s Special Award here yesterday evening. The event organised by the City Hall was aimed at giving recognition to veteran musicians and singers for their positive contributions to the music and entertainment industry in Sabah. Musa said a number of talented youngsters from Sabah hd emerged winners in the various national-level signing contests like Ray in the Suara Emas Bintang RTM, Ayu in the One In A Million and recently Stacy in the sixth edition of the popular Malaysia AF reality shows. “We also have accomplished composers from Sabah and recording artistes at the national level. “In fact, the success of our artistes had made us proud and this clearly manifested the Sabah Boleh spirit,” he said.


30,000 expected to attend national-level Kaamatan open house


Some 30,000 people are expected to attend the national-level Tadau Kaamatan 2008 open house to be held at the Padang Merdeka here this Saturday, starting at 7.3Oam. Various interesting programs and activities have been drawn up for the one-day event which would be graced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, according to the Ministry of Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage in a statement yesterday. Head of State Tun Ahmadshah Abdullah is the guest of honour for the auspicious celebration with the theme ‘Peace Through Culture’. Minister of Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Datuk Mohd Shafie Apdal and State Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Masidi Manjun are the organising joint- chairmen while the adviser is the Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Pairin Kitingan, who is the President of the Kadazandusun Cultural Association. In another development, City Police Chief ACP Ahmad Sofi Zakaria yesterday said Jalan Padang (between the Jalan KK By-Pass/Jalan Istana junction and KFC junction) and Jalan Istana will be closed to traffic on May 31 from 7am to 12 midnight. He said traffic policemen would be stationed at strategic points to monitor the traffic flows. The parking areas at Kinabalu Club (30 lots), along Jalan Padang (190 lots), DBKK area (155 lots and Jalan Dewan (120 lots) will be reserved for the dignitaries’ (VVIP/ VIP) vehicles. There are some 1,080 lots of parking designated for the public at Asia City, Kg Air, Jalan Tugu and Jalan Gaya areas, said Ahmad. Compound fines will be meted out on motorists, motorcyclists and public transport vehicles which are found parked indiscriminately, he said.