Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Look into edu-tourism, urges Minister


Tourism is the future industry of Sabah and edu-tourism is the next course of action for the tourism industry players in the State to look into, said Datuk Masidi Manjun. According to the Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister, people do not need a special skills to be involved in the industry, but they have to master the English language and public relations in order to survive in the globalised world. “People who want to be involved in the tourism industry have to improve themselves by learning to communicate better,” he said after a briefing by Universiti Tun Abdul Razak (UNITAR) Adjunct Professor and CEO of Sabah International Dynamic Management College (SIDMA College), Professor Dr Morni Haji Kambri. The briefing touched on SIDMA’s introduction of UNITAR Bachelor of Hospitality Management (Tourism) which will start its first intake in July 2008 and the college rebranding by adopting SIDMA College which is currently known as UNlTAR Sabah Regional Center. According to Masidi, edu-tourism can be created as a new niche to attract more tourists who will spend their tourism dollars in the State and edu-tourists who end up furthering their studies in Sabah will spend as much as RM40,000 in the State. “This will create a chain reaction and provide revenue to supporting services in the State Such as travel agents, in-bound tour operators, food courts and restaurants,” he said. Meanwhile, Morni said that the course would create a pathway for the hundreds of Sabah students who are currently doing their diploma in the tourism-related fields at various private colleges such as ATI College and Inti College. He added that it is very timely for SIDMA College which is the first private university to offer the course because the students here have to go to Peninsular Malaysia after completing their diploma before. “I am very optimistic that this course offered by SIDMA College together with UNITAR will also be able to bring in more overseas students,” he said.


Malaysian students lack desire to excel in studies: Masidi


The lack of desire to excel in studies seems to be the general common problem among Malaysian students. According to Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun, they are also quite satisfied with obtaining just average scores in their examinations, and more interested in finishing their studies quickly. “That is why they normally choose to pursue courses that are considered easy. Little do they know that the easier the course, the harder to find a job, while those who study harder courses tend to be absorbed faster,” said Masidi, who is also the State Education Executive Councillor. He stressed that the problem with the younger generation today is that they do not have the perseverance and drive for excellence. “So parents should motivate their children to go beyond their capabilities,” he said when representing Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman at the Shell Educational Excellence Awards here yesterday. Masidi noted the attitude of some parents who preferred their children to pursue studies at universities or higher learning institutions nearer to home. “We cannot be too protective of our children just because we love them. We need to teach them to live their own lives. “One of these days, we will be gone and our children will only have themselves. They need to learn to survive on theft own. They cannot stay dependent on us forever,” he stressed, Earlier, in reading Musa’s speech, Masidi said the event witnessed the two most important elements, namely education and human capital, which in the globalised world should move alongside each other to see greater impact on the nation’s economy. “ We must be wise to properly plan education with innovative and creative measures so that the human capital would be of greater quality and more competitive to meet the current demand,” said Musa. Some 40 academically outstanding students from Sabah and Labuan received scholarships from Shell Malaysia to pursue their pre-university and first-degree studies at local and overseas universities. An additional 200 bursaries worth RM750 each were given to upper secondary students who performed outstandingly in their examinations. In total, the awards amount to over RM2.3 million in new sponsorships for students in Sabah and Labuan this year. For the first time, the batch of scholarship recipients also include post-Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia students who are being funded to pursue pre-university studies in Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia, diploma, foundation, matriculation and A-Level courses. according to Shell Malaysia Exploration and Production Managing Director Wee Yiaw Hin, they have been sponsoring deserving students over 40 years and most had emerged to lead or serve the nation in various corporate, social, political and academic capabilities. “Each year, we invest RM11 million nationwide in various educational assistance or capacity- building programmes and of this amount, 60 percent is invested in Sabah and Sarawak,” he said. Apart from offering bursaries and scholarships, Shell also indulges in several skills development and education-related activities for youth such as Campus Ambassador Programme, Malaysian Young Designers Awards, Shell Traffic Games and Nature Education “It is with conviction that Shell Malaysia will continue to invest in these educational programmes and youth development initiatives. Not least as they are designed to nurture our younger citizens particularly, and enable our local communities to develop themselves and eventually grow their own economic capabilities” said Wee.


Yong likely to be summoned to Sabah ACA office today


Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) President Datuk Yong Teck Lee is likely to be summoned to the State’s Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) office here today in connection with alleged graft involving RM5 million when he was the Sabah Chief Minister. According to a reliable source, Yong is required to be at the ACA office at about 2.30pm. It is not known whether the ACA is trying to build up a case against him or to collect more information to assist its investigation into the case. Yong had earlier alleged that the ACA’s move in opening investigation papers on him was a threat and questioned the timing, a day after Yong declared he had lost confidence in Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on June 18. On Saturday, ACA Director- General Datuk Seri Ahmad Said Hamdan said the ACA had opened investigation papers on Yong in connection with the case. On June 19, the Kuala Lumpur High Court was told that Yong had ordered the payment of over RM5 million profit from the sale of shares belonging to a State-owned company to his selected agents in 1996. Ahmad Said said ACA took the action because elements of corruption existed following the testimony of a witness during the trial. He said it was normal practice for who gave the evidence in court the ACA to open investigation papers following evidence given by witnesses in court. Ahmad Said said the investigation papers were opened not just on Yong but also eight other people named as recipients of the RM5 million and Briskmark Enterprise Sdn Bhd former director Datuk Wasli Mohd Said, who gave the evidence in court regarding the matter. -Bernama


Call for SAPP MPs to resign tricky-analyst


The move of Barisan Nasional (BN) supporters to put up banners at different locations in Tawau two days ago, urging their Member of Parliment Datuk Chua Soon Bui to resign, has turned up the heat on Sabah politics. They say Chua’s decision to support a motion of no-confidence against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is tantamount to a betrayal of the people’s mandate in the recent general election. The banners — which read “Sila letak jawatan kerana telah mengkhianati kepercayaan dan mandat rakyat Tawau pada pilihanraya 2008. Hidup Barisan Nasional” (Please resign for betraying the Tawau people’s trust and mandate in the 2008 election. Long live Barisan Nasional) — were placed in the east coast town of Tawau in protest against Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) for supporting such a motion. Over in the west coast of Sabah, particularly in Sepanggar parliamentary constituency, a group of BN supporters made similar outburst albeit in a lighter tone, expressing their regrets over the statements by SAPP president Datuk Yong Teck Lee and their MP Datuk Eric Majimbun, belittling Abdullah’s leadership as Prime Minister and BN Chairman. Local political analyst Lesaya Lopog Sarudim views the protest as a “natural effect” of the political jolt delivered by SAPP but he considers the call to resign as politically tricky. “The voters are asking Chua to resign because of what she said (in support of a motion of no confidence). In my view, both Chua and Eric have not betrayed the people yet because they are still the representative of the people and they are still in BN. “What they are fighting for is actually the rights of the voters who happen to be the people of Sabah. “If they succeed in what they are doing, it is not only the voters of Tawau and Sepanggar that will benefit but the entire voters of Sabah, whether they voted for the BN or the opposition,” he told Bernama here yesterday. On June 18, Chua and Eric issued statements acknowledging their support for a vote of no confidence against the Prime Minister. In supporting the call for the motion, the two MPs and SAPP highlighted several issues affecting Sabah, including the request for 20 per cent in oil royalty, the return of Labuan and the immediate solution to the illegal immigrant problems. Both Chua and Eric had said that they were ready to face the music for their declaration of no confidence in the Prime Minister’s leadership. “This is a tricky position for the duo. Moving forward or backward is not an easy way for them. But I think the people should give them a chance,” he said. He said in Sabah, there were many BN component parties with different political platforms and ideologies and it was only natural for them to react in certain way when other component members belittled the leadership. Lesaya said the call by SAPP for a vote of no confidence against the Prime Minister showed that there was already a big crack in the State BN coalition. However, he said, BN component parties should find the best way to address the Sabah people’s longstanding grouses without resorting to a hardline stand. “Some people suggested that Sabah BN should call its first meeting and have a regular meeting after that. “This is the first step. We may not be able to solve all the problems but at least this is where we can listen to each other’s views. “At the Parliamentary level, there should be a regular meeting as well... if this happens, then we won’t have problems. “Sabah BN leaders should bring up problems with one voice, loud and clear,” he said adding that even United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) shared SAPP’s views on the issue of illegal immigrants. Bernama


SAPP MPs should uphold BN discipline: Shabery


Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) Members of Parliament (MPs) were voted in on the Barisan Nasional (BN) ticket in the March 8 election and as such should be more responsible and uphold BN discipline, said Information Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek. He said it was not the BN way to question its leadership. “Like in a family, it is not right for a member to talk bad about the family to outsiders, what more to cooperate with enemies of the family just because they promised better things. “If the SAPP MPs feel that they need to serve the people, they have no other choice but to remain in BN. They must take a different path from their own leader, who has gone against the BN top leadership,” he told reporters at Parliament lobby here yesterday. Ahmad Shabery, who is also Kemaman MP, said SAPP MPs must make a stand whether to accept their leader’s action or respect the wishes of the people for them to serve under BN. SAPP President Datuk Yong Teck Lee recently announced that the party had lost confidence in the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and that its two MPs, Datuk Eric Majimbum (Sepanggar) and Datuk Dr Chua Soon Bui (Tawau), would support a motion of no-confidence against Abdullah in Parliament. However, when asked about the presence of the two MPs in Parliament yesterday, Ahmad Shabery said:” I have yet to see them.” Meanwhile, Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker Datuk Dr. Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said to date, the Speaker’s office had yet to receive any notification about a motion of no-confidence against the Prime Minister. -Bernama


Sidin, third Sabahan to be made Police Commissioner - this time in T’ganu


SAC I Sidin Abdul Karim was all positive when he received a call in May to inform him of his promotion and transfer to oil- producing State Terengganu this month. “I felt honoured, especially as the call came during my ‘crucial time’. I am turning 55 next month and the promotion as the Terengganu Commissioner of Police is just timely, it is one of the desired posts and I am proud to be given the opportunity to carry such an important responsibility,” he said. Sidin handed over the Police Management Department Chief post to his successor, ACP Izhar Ibrahim, during a simple ceremony at the Kepayan Police Headquarters here, yesterday. He is the third Sabahan to be appointed as Police Commissioner after Datuk Henry Chin, who served in Kuala Lumpur in the 1990s, and Mayor Datuk Iliyas Ibrahim, who was the State Police Commissioner in 2005. Sidin, who was born and raised in Semporna, joined the Force on July 19, 1973. He had served all over the State and held important posts such as Melaka Tengah District Police Chief, D7 Assistant Director General for two years, and Forensic Assistant Director General before he was posted back to Sabah and held the Police Management Chief post for 17 months, prior to his current promotion. He admitted that being the person overseeing crime-related activities in a different state is a challenge to him. “When I reported for duty on June 12, I had to adapt myself to the new surroundings. First there was the language barrier but I had to blend in. After some time, I find Terengganu as a nice place. I hope Twill be able to perform well, thanks to the guidance from Datuk Noor Rashid (Sabah Police Commissioner) and my senior colleagues... I will work hard, not for my own satisfaction, but for the people,” said Sidin, advising young officers to work hard. “It is important for the young officers to work hard, forget the promotions as it will come to you later. We must perform well so that when we think back, we will have no regrets,” Sidin said. Noor Rashid who witnessed the handing over of duties described Sidin as a hardworking and committed officer. “It was with his tireless contributions and friendliness that helped me and the Force to tackle the challenges in Sabah. He has vast knowledge on Preventive Laws and I hope he will be able to share it with his men in Terengganu,” said Noor Rashid. According to Noor Rashid, being the Head of the Police Force is like a being ‘father’ to his personnel. “We want to lead our ‘children’ to doing the right things. We want to be part of their success. It is always a proud moment for me when I see my men get promoted as those who performed well deserve promotions at least someday, somehow, you can tell your friends that he or she had served under your leadership. “To be a good officer, one has to be knowledgeable and possess the spirit to perform the best. If you have the knowledge but you do not use it well, it would such a waste. “So when you get a promotion, take the challenge and do your best, as in the end, you will get the best job satisfaction,” he said.


Yong says SAPP MPs called back to KK due to disturbing events over ‘vote’


SAPP President Datuk Yong Teck Lee has claimed that ever since the Party announced the planned tabling of no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister last Wednesday, its leaders had been advised by friendly parties not to underestimate the risky consequences and likely threats. He said in a statement yesterday that events in the last 24 hours had taken a disturbing turn, among others, “we have received reports that of intimidating and bullying tactics”. He said the Party’s two lawmakers — Datuk Dr Chua Soon Bui (Tawau) and Datuk Eric Majimbun (Sepanggar) were absent from Parliament when it resumed on Monday, saying they had been recalled to Kota Kinabalu to discuss their safety and that of their families and offices. Several illegal banners instigating unspecified actions against the Tawau MP appeared overnight in Tawau, and a demonstration at the office of the Tawau MP will be held today, which was originally to be held after the last Friday prayers, according to Yong. He said SAPP had advised its Tawau officials to lodge a police report, and not to provoke the demonstrators and take leave from the office until the tension has eased at a later date. At an Umno gathering of several hundred in Kota Kinabalu on Sunday, aggressive words touching on racial incitement were used, with Short Message Services (sms) and unidentified phone calls implying threats to the two MPs and their aides, Yong said. In view of this disturbing turn of events, SAPP has taken extra caution for the safety of its MPs by calling them back to the Party HQ in Kota Kinabalu for consultations on the next course of action, including the safety of their persons and families and the security of their offices, he said. “SAPP truly appreciates and is very encouraged by the tremendous outpouring of support for the Party over it’s move (on vote of no-confidence against the PM). Our perseverance on this course of action is very much helped in knowing that the people are with us,” he said. “we are deeply touched that brother and sister Malaysians every where, including in Peninsular and Sarawak and overseas are coming forward to support. We can feel the pent-up frustrations of ordinary Malaysians who want change, a change for the better,” he said.He further said SAPP is overwhelmed by the voices in the printed media, internet, emails, sms, blogs and so on. “Media discussions, be it in favour or not of SAPP, have successfully brought the Sabah issues to. the national focus. Never shall Sabah be looked down upon again,” he added. SAPP dropped a bombshell last week when it called for the vote against Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in a move analysts said could unleash defections to the Opposition. Pakatan Rakyat opposition alliance has said it is reluctant to mount a no-confidence vote, but would use a parliamentary debate Monday on an unpopular fuel prices hike as a test of confidence. “The Pakatan Rakyat are trying to highlight the problems with the Government policies, and our opposition to today’s. (yesterday) motion shows the people’s lack of confidence,” said Azmin Ali, Vice President of the Keadilan party, which heads the alliance.


No show , no motion
Much anticipated vote of no-confidence fails to take place in Parliament


The much anticipated vote of no-confidence against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to be supported by Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) led by Datuk Yong Teck Lee failed to take place in yesterday’s Dewan Rakyat sitting. The sitting only saw the tabling of one motion on the hike in fuel and goods prices tabled by Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad. The motion is being debated by Members of Parliament. Shahrir replied to points raised by MPs on the motion before the sitting adjourned yesterday. As this report was being written, the two SAPP MPs - Datuk Eric Enchin Majimbun (BN-Sepanggar) and Datuk Dr Chua Soon Bui (BN-Tawau) - whom Yong said would support the no-confidence motion, were not in the house. When contacted, Eric, who is also SAPP Deputy President, said he had to return to Sabah to pay his last respects to a relative who had died. Dr Chua, a party Vice-President, could not be reached for comments. Deputy Speaker Datuk Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the Speaker’s Office did not receive any motion to move a no-confidence vote against the Prime Minister. Instead, DAP Adviser and MP for Ipoh Timur Lim Kit Siang submitted a notice to the Speaker’s Office on Sunday for an emergency motion to discuss the latest allegation on the murder of Mongolian woman Altantuya Shaariibuu. Under Standing Order 18 (1), a motion must be sent to the Speaker’s Office 24 hours before it can be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat sitting and whether the motion can be tabled or otherwise, it is up to the Speaker’s discretion. The Speaker will consider the notice for the emergency motion on three grounds - the issue is specific, of public interest and urgent. He has the power to reject a motion if it does not fulfill one of the three grounds. -Bernama