Monday, June 30, 2008


Green Earth Programme goes nationwide soon, says PM


The Green Earth Campaign Programme, launched in March 2006 with four main components — farming, livestock rearing, aquaculture and social development — Will be implemented nationwide soon. Announcing this yesterday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the programme was among the steps taken to encourage urban and rural folk plant vegetables and other food items to enhance the level of household sustenance. “At times when the world prices of goods and food are on the rise, such a step can also reduce household expenditure. “Under the programme, urbanites are encouraged to plant leafy vegetables, fruits, herbs, spices; rear fish in canvas and breed free-range chicken,” he told reporters after launching the “Putrajaya Folk Green Earth Programme with Prime Minister” here. The Prime Minister also expressed confidence that the programme would be the start of national green revolution where land was used for the people’s and country’s prosperity. Abdullah said land was God’s gift and the people could make use of empty fields to prosper themselves through various ways, meet daily needs and reduce spending. “Besides beautification trees, we can still plant trees that can produce fruits and vegetables. All these when they bear flowers and fruits, not only they beautify the area but they can also be eaten. “This is what we want to stress,” he said. Besides, he said, edible plants in excess could also be sold and bring extra income. Abdullah hoped empty areas would be used for this purpose and said that leaving it unattended was a waste. “We want unproductive fertile land becomes productive,” he said. “I purposely invited Negeri Sembilan Menteri Besar (Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan) and Melaka Chief Minister (Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam) (to today’s programme) to start programmes like this. “Negeri Sembilan will start next week and Melaka in the next l0 days. No need to wait. It is not that difficult. The Agriculture (and Agro-based Industry) Ministry is ready to provide the seeds,” he said. He said the Green Earth Programme should be practised continuously and not only during crisis. He said if an empty space being worked on was to be used for development, the developer would give three months’ notice before developing it. Bernama


Over 400 youth associations registered under new Act


More than 400 youth movements and associations have been registered since Dec 31 last year under the Youth Associations and Development Act. Youth and Sports Ministry Secretary-General Datuk Mohd Yasin Mohd Salleh said their applications were among 500 received so far. The Act, which among others bans people above 40 to become members or leaders of youth associations, gave a positive impact on efforts to draw youths to join youth associations, he told reporters after officiating the Kelantan level National Youth Day here on Saturday. He said the Act also gave a fresh breath to youth associations and provide opportunities to the young to lead after being trained by the Ministry. Under the Ninth Malaysia Plan RM2 billion was allocated for the implementation of various youth programmes including Rakan Muda, Youth Economic Fund and 1,300 people’s sport arena, he added. - Bernama


Let Govt decide on sodomy claim: Dr M


Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said it was up to the Government to decide on the sodomy allegation against Parti Keadilan Rakyat Adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. “It is a new case. We will see what the police are going to say, what the Government will say,” he said after meeting Bosnia and Herzegovina President Dr Hans Silajdzic here yesterday. He was commenting on a police report lodged by Anwar’s 23-year- old male aide claiming his employer sodomised him on June 26 at a place in the capital. Anwar denied the allegation and said that it was a complete fabrication. Meanwhile when asked on the meeting with Silajdzic, the former Prime Minister smiled and said he was glad meeting an old friend. “He invited me to come here. I have known him for a long time. During the war, he kept on coming here. We have helped him a lot. That is why he knows me,” he said. Silajdzic is on a five-day visit to Malaysia beginning Saturday to enhance bilateral relations between the two countries. MeanwhiIe in KUALA LUMPUR, Umno Youth Chief Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein yesterday called on the police to conduct an investigation without fear or favour on the police report lodged against Anwar. He said the same should apply to the person who made the report. “This is to avoid any unfounded allegations,” he said in a statement yesterday. He said Umno Youth also wanted the results of the investigation to be made public if necessary to avoid confusion and in the interest of all. He said this was needed given the many allegations made against leaders both in the Government and the Opposition. Hishammuddin said that Anwar’s taking refuge in the Turkish embassy alleging threats to his safety did not make sense. “The action was taken to divert attention just as was done when he was similarly accused before,” he said. Hishammuddin said Anwar had once made allegations that attempts were made to kill him by arsenic poisoning, that he needed a spine operation and had problems with the nape of his neck. In Penang, DAP Secretary- General Lim Guan Eng said yesterday it should be left to the police to conduct a thorough investigation into the latest sodomy allegation made against Anwar. “Like Datuk Seri (Anwar) said, just wait and see because the truth will prevail by itself. The police report has been lodged, so we just have to wait and leave it to the police to probe. If the allegation was done with the aim of bringing Anwar down, sooner of later, the truth will prevail,” Lim told reporters here yesterday. -Bernama


SMK Kota Marudu to be model school on internet


SMK Kota Marudu has been chosen as a model school to be fixed with broadband internet access. Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Dr Maximus Johnity Ongkili said Mimos Bhd is one of the agencies under his Ministry that would help to install the infrastructure soon. “The Government is aware of the importance of science and technology increating creativity and innovation, specially among the young generation. All agancies under my Ministry will always help the Government to achieve the mission,” he said when attending the closing of the SMK Kota Marudu CoCurriculum Camp yesterday. According to Maximus, his Ministry also plans to hold a Science Camp at the end of this year to expose students to science and technology. This is one of the ways for the country to achieve Vision 2020. “Students nowadays are very lucky. They are being given good guidance and the Government is always trying to improve the education infrastructure,” he said. The Co-Curriculum Camp, which began on June 265 was held to improve the participants’ discipline level in line with the Government effort to produce an excellent and successful young generation. It was organised by the school’s co-curriculum committee and Parent-Teacher Association and participated by around 500 students from various uniform associations.


British surveyor recalls challenge rebuilding Sabah


Those who worked with the Lands and Surveys Department in early 1960 to 1970 may know John Albert Fryer very well. Before he returned to his country in 1970, the Briton worked in Sabah for more than 20 years in the surveying field. He was also a Director of the Department for four years. Fryer, who was born in Weymouth, England on January 17 1925, is making a return visit to Sabah. He said that when he first came to Jesselton (now known as Kota Kinabalu), it was a very challenging time for him as a surveyor. “Our main job at that time was to rehabilitate the country after the destruction of the war. We had to plan and rebuild both North and South,” he said. “The big job was to establish the land titles because they were all taken by the Japanese and we have to reconstitute them,” he added. Fryer studied in Portmouth Northern Secondary School from 1936 to 1941. Thereafter he went to Winchester School of Architecture until 1943, and from 1943 to 1945, he was at the Camborme School Of Mine. He later joined the army, and with his background in architecture and engineering, he was posted to Singapore as a lieutenant in the Royal Engineers from 1946 to 1948. After his army service was over, he went back to England. He attended and passed the one-year surveying course at the University College London. In February, 1950, he arrived in Jesselton and worked for the Survey Department. He was sent to assist Tuaran to do town planning for Kiulu. “The first thing I did after I came here was to build up the town. It was hard to build a new town after it had been destroyed,” he said. Sharing his achievement during his time in Sabah as a Director of the Lands and Surveys Department, Fryer said there were a lot during that time. “Some of them were town planning, land registration system to construct a road from Ranau to Sandakan and a route up to Kudat, besides training a lot of local people as surveyors,” he said. In March that year, he was sent to Tawau to do a topographical survey for the town planning and to survey the boundaries of the Borneo Abaca Hemp Estate. He returned to Jesselton in September and became the Surveyor General’s Administrative Assistant until 1951. Three years later, he was given the job of placing a survey beacon up on top of Mount Kinabalu. “It was not easy for us to build the triangulation point on top of Mount Kinabalu. It was an interesting job. At that time there was no route to the mountain, but we managed to place a triangulation point there,” he said. “I remember my team took 10 days to come up and down to the place. This was part of our achievement, and I am glad about it,” he added. “From May 1957 to May 1958, I was posted to the interior and become the district surveyor in Keningau,” he said. In November 1960, he was again posted to Jesselton as a headquarters officer. In 1964, he became the Deputy Director and subsequently the Director of Lands and Surveys Department from 1966 to 1970. Just before he left Sabah in 1970, he was the president of the Sabah Designated Officers’ Association. After 38 years later, he re-visits Sabah. “It is very different. There are so many changes ... and I almost lost my way as there are so many roads. Sabah grew very fast ... and the situation is now much better compared to my time here,” he said. “It is so easy. I am very happy here,” added a smiling Fryer when asked whether it was difficult for him to adapt with the new version of Sabah.


Three organisations for disabled receive RM5,000 each


Three organisations for the disabled each received a RM5,000 contribution from Sabah Umno Women on Saturday. Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman handed over the contribution to Taman Didikan Kanak-Kanak Kurang Upaya Sembulan, Seri Mengasih Centre and Blind Training Centre, Sabah branch at the charity night organised by Merah Olumis Borneo Batik House in collaboration with Sabah Umno Women at Magellan Sutera here. Musa said most of the disabled people in the State are still relying on the assistance of their family and Government. He pointed out the communities have a social responsibility to help this group of people to lead a better life. “The Government is aware that these people are willing to work, be independent and also to contribute to the development of our country,” said the Chief Minister. Also present were Datuk Seri Hajah Faridah Tussin, State Assembly Speaker Datuk Haji Juhar Mahiruddin, Malaysia Umno Women Deputy Chief Datuk Seri Shabrizat Abdul Jalil and Sabah Umno Liaison Secretary Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Yahya Hussin. Earlier, Sabah Umno Women Chief Senator Datuk Armani Mahiruddin said the objective of the charity night was to help disaster victims and charity organisations besides promoting Sabah’s batik. During the ceremony, the audience were entertained with dance and singing performances by the Sabah Cultural Board, Ebi Cornelis of AF4, Bintang RTM champion Azharina Azhar and local artiste Abu Bakar Ellah.


40 % of new UMS intake from Sabah


Forty percent of the 4,065 new Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) students for the 2008/2009 intake is from Sabah. The remaining 60 percent is from the other states in the country as well as from foreign countries. “For this year’s intake, we are taking in 75 international students who are mostly from China,” newly appointed Vice Chancellor of Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS), Professor Datuk Dr Kamaruzaman Hj Ampon, disclosed yesterday at the UMS Chancellor Hall during the first day registration for the 2008/2009 new students intake. He said the School of Science and Technology had the highest student intake compared with 12 other schools. The school will accept 745 students followed by the Engineering and Information Technology School with an intake of 556 students. The other schools are Labuan International Business and Finance (556 students), Business and Economic (542), Psychology and Social Work (350), Social Sciences (298), International Tropical Forestry (221), Labuan Informatics Science (215), Education and Social Development (213), Food Science and Nutrition (172), Sustainable Agriculture (110), Arts Studies (104) and Medical School (80). He said this was the fifth intake for the medical program and the first group would graduate during the MS’s 10th convention this year. On the safety level in the University, Kamaruzaman said they were giving top priority to the matter. He said the University had taken several initiatives, especially in crime prevention to enhance the security level in the campus. Meanwhile, Kamaruzaman urged the private sector to work together with UMS to do more research on its findings so that they can be commercialized. He said such effort would contribute to the wealth of the nation. “Actually we have a lot of potential fmdings that can be commercialized. To achieve that, we need cooperation from the private sector or venture capitalists,” he said. Kamaruzaman pointed out among the areas that have potential to be developed are processing oil palm waste into bricks. “It’s cheaper and more economical for building houses,” he said, adding that UMS had also carried out research and development on using herbal plants to produce medicines and cosmetics. “However, only a few members of the private sector have come forward or brave enough to take up this opportunity as they were scared of taking the risks,” said Kamaruzaman. He added UMS is hoping for involvement from the private sector as the University does not have enough funds to finance the cost to commercialize its findings.


Total fabrication: Anwar
Opposition leader says new sex charge an attempt to sideline his spectacular return to political stage


Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on Sunday denounced as a “complete fabrication” allegations that he sodomised a male aide, the same charge that saw him jailed a decade ago. Anwar, who was sacked as Deputy Prime Minister in 1998 and jailed on sex and corruption charges, said the allegations were an attempt to sideline his spectacular return to the political stage after recent general elections. “The police report lodged against me earlier today is a complete fabrication. I believe we are witnessing a repeat of the methods used against me in 1998 when false allegations were made under duress,’ he said. The new charges, which allegedly surfaced in a police report lodged by a 23-year-old aide, triggered fears he faced imminent arrest, but police said they would first carry out an investigation. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, whose Government was badly shaken by March elections that handed the Opposition unprecedented gains including a third of parliamentary seats, denied any involvement in the affair. “We had no plans to do anything to him just because he says he’s made a political comeback,” Abdullah told a press conference. He said he was shocked by the charges but disparaged Anwar’s denials. “It’s always the case that those who are accused will deny it,” he said. The police will investigate and determine the truth.” Criminal Investigation Department Chief Datuk Bakri Zinin said the aide had personally written the reportdetaiing an incident at a condominium in an upmarket Kuala Lumpur suburb, and lodged it Saturday at a hospital police post. “It’s mere allegation at this point. We will look into it and establish the allegations first to see whether it is true or not,” he told a press conference. Bakri warned Anwar’s supporters from launching another round of the massive protests that erupted after his sacking a decade ago, a momentous event in Malaysian politics. “If you want to create havoc, we will deal with you according to the law,” he said. “The public should not pressure us by holding demonstrations.” Anwar said the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition was striking back after he gave evidence against the Government and police over fabrication of evidence in the original case against him. “This is clearly a desperate attempt by the Barisan Nasional regime to arrest the movement of the Malaysian people towards freedom, democracy and justice,” he said in a statement. “I urge the Malaysian people to stand against the repressive forces that will be unleashed by the Government in the coming days and weeks.” Anwar has always dismissed the original 1998 charges of sodomy and corruption as politically motivated. He famously appeared in court with a black eye after being beaten by the Police Chief. He was convicted on both charges and spent six years in jail but was released in 2004 when the sex charge was overturned by the Nation’s highest court. Since the March elections that propelled Anwar back onto the political scene, he has said he is poised to form a new Government with the help of defectors from the ruling coalition, undermining Abdullah who has faced repeated demands to step down over the polls debacle. A minor party in the coalition, SAPP, this month called for an unprecedented vote of no- confidence in the Premier, and left open the prospect of joining Anwar’s Opposition. Keadilan said that Anwar and other top party members held crisis talks overnight at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur, where dozens of supporters gathered Sunday. “I am with my husband here to support Anwar against these allegations and to stop anybody from arresting him. Anwar is a good man and he will lead the country soon,” said 24-year- old housewife Siti Husaini. “Anwar is the best, he will survive these allegations,” said Abu Rahim Mahrin, a 45-year-old lorry driver. - AFP