Wednesday, December 16, 2009

350 trainees to be offered jobs

BINTULU: Sarawak Planted Forest (SPF) Training Centre at Samarakan Nursery in collaboration with the Department of Skills Development in the Human Resource Ministry is planning to offer employment to some 350 trainees in 2010.

SPF general manager Dr Joseph Jawa Kendawang said SPF training centre at Samarakan nursery offers huge opportunities to the local people, especially the youths, to obtain essential skills in forest-related field.

He said the skills that they acquired would be useful in their future undertakings, particularly for Form 5 school leavers to get jobs if they decided not to further their studies.

Dr Joseph was speaking at the first anniversary celebration of the training centre and at the same time presented the first 30 trainees with their certificates of completion for their respective courses at SPF training centre in Ulu Tatau about an hour drive from here yesterday.

According to him, the courses are also available for graduates and professionals to enhance their skills and add value to their current knowledge and understanding particularly on forest field.

In 2010, Dr Joseph said the training centre has several courses to offer namely in harvesting, silviculture, workshops and youth development programme.

Out of 350 new trainees to be targeted, in harvesting there will be 20 trainees in forest surveyors, 20 inventory crews, 30 clearing contract staff and 60 to 120 contract tree fellers and machine operators.

Meanwhile in silviculture the training centre is targeting to train about 60 contract silviculture workers, said Dr Joseph.

In workshops and youth development programme there will be 80 automotive trade apprentices and 80 trainee forestry cadets respectively, he added.

He disclosed that since it opened on Dec 12, 2008, this year the training centre has successfully trained and up-skilled around 3,000 trainees in all courses available.

“We have trained 1,200 persons in silviculture skills, 30 in automotive trade apprenticeship, 150 persons in harvesting skills and 52 individuals in youth development.

“There are also around 2,500 trainees in various aspects of environment safety and health programme, 103 persons in emergency response and about 100 individuals on graduate industrial attachment,” said Dr Joseph.

He pointed out that among the main objective of the opening of SPF training centre at Samarakan nursery was to supply high quality wood or raw material for the mill and timber industries.

But the most important thing is the training centre also tried to uplift the social economic status of the local people staying within the planted forest zone particularly the young generation from the various longhouses with the needed skills for future working force and be competitive, he said, adding that closer cooperation by the locals are mostly required.

Also present at the function were Grand Perfect Sdn Bhd general manager Ling Chii Huo, SPF Training Centre Samarakan nursery training manager Riwhi Diamond and Dr Caroline Mohammed and Dr Anthony Francis from Tasmanian Institute of Agricultural Research.

Avoid panic buying of sugar

BINTULU: Consumers here are advised to avoid panic buying of sugar since there is sufficient stock in the market with more to arrive after Dec 17.
Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperative and Consumerism (MDTCC) Bintulu branch acting chief Muhammad Daud Ali, making the call yesterday, said there is no scarcity of sugar here but “the ship that’s supposed to deliver the stock has not arrived yet due to the bad weather.”

He said the ship is expected to arrive here on Dec 17 and he hoped consumers would not panic as the situation will be back to normal by then.

Muhammad told reporters in a press conference at his office that as of 11.15am yesterday, Bintulu still had about 125.774 metric tonnes of sugar in stock with another 240 metric tonnes coming in stages.

“The thing now is those in the industry like coffee shop owners and other industry players which are the biggest consumers had purchased the sugar in large quantities, especially from supermarkets to continue their operation.

“This caused a slight shortage of sugar in the supermarket and consumers experienced difficulty getting their supply for daily use,” he said.

Thus to avoid a similar problem in the next few days before the ship arrived, Muhammad urged those in the industry to get assistance from MDTCC branch office here if they need sugar in large quantities.

“Come to our office and we will find the wholesalers that can cater to your daily operation so it would not disrupt household supply and public consumption,” he said.

Muhammad reminded shop owners to carry out good business practices and avoid hiding sugar as it would inconvenience consumers.

He advised the traders to put price tags on all items on their premises, and warned wholesalers not to hide or stock up sugar in places outside their warehouse as it is an offence.

“So we are hoping to get good cooperation from traders and wholesalers as well as consumers regarding this matter,” he added.

The rumour had spread yesterday after some consumers said they could not find sugar in many shops, while another consumer said only 2kg of sugar was allowed per customer.

Muhammad assured that mini markets would settle the shortage of sugar supply within two or three days.

For enquiries or complaints, contact MDTCC Bintulu branch office at 086-332176.

Academy spreads its wings to India, Saudi Arabia

BINTULU: Gulf Golden International Flying Academy (GGIFA) is to expand its operation overseas — in India and Saudi Arabia — by setting up branches as part of its target to achieve a university status by 2012.

GGIFA executive chairman Datuk Morshidi Abdul Rahman said yesterday they have a serious discussion with interested parties in both countries pertaining to the company’s intention to set up its branches overseas.

He said it would help to expand its progression, and as a result by January next year more cadets from the Middle East and India in particular were expected to train in Bintulu or at its establishments in the country.

“On the belief that nothing is impossible, we have bigger plans and will in the near future plan to be the leader in aviation training industry,” he said, adding that they hoped to turn Bintulu campus including the airport into an International Aviation and Aerospace University of Malaysia.

“Together with assistance from Ihsan Al-Shaikh who will partner us in our venture in Saudi Arabia and some interested and influential investor, it is my hope that this will be a reality.

“Today we are very sure that GGIFA College is definitely the name to be reckoned with in the aviation training industry in the Asia Pacific region having grown to what
we are today starting only with seven students to 150 students now,” said Morshidi at the college’s first graduation ceremony for its first and second batches of Commercial Pilot Licence/Instrument Rating (CPL) with Air Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL) Frozen course at BDA Auditorium.

A total of 16 students have completed their studies and graduated as full-pledged pilots.

According to Morshidi, the students have gone through the tough training phases to be a qualified CPL as well as ATPL holder.

Housing and Urban Development Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg who represented Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud officiated at the ceremony.

In tandem with the college’s expansion, there was also a signing of an agreement for the purchase of Seneca III FNTP II by GGIFA from Mechatronic Canada.

“The purchase would be helpful for us to handle our Multi Engine Instrument Rating Training requirements,” he added.

He added GGIFA was proud to be associated with Mechatronic and hoped to purchase an MCC simulator once its new campus was completed.

Representing Mechatronic Canada during the purchase agreement signing was Jean Pierre Clercin.

Aviation industry offers many job opportunities: CM

BINTULU: The aviation industry offers remarkable job opportunities, particularly for those who want to be pilots, Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud said yesterday.He said the job opportunities would increase due to the demand by the global community for quality aviation services.

The recovery of the global economy would trigger vast demand for the people all over the world to fly and this would create new routes which then increased the need to have more aircraft, Taib said.

“Airbus Global Market Forecast, for example, is expecting to deliver 25,000 aeroplanes within the 20 years to come and this new aircraft of course will need more pilots.

“One commercial jet needs 16 pilots thus around 400,000 pilots are needed to cater to all the available aircraft,” Taib said in his speech when officiating at the first graduation ceremony of Gulf Golden International Flying Academy (GGIFA) here.

His text of speech was delivered by Housing Minister Datuk Amar Johari Tun Openg.

According to Taib, with the clear recovery of global economy from the recent recession, more people are going to start making money and become rich.

“They will be able to purchase mini aircraft for their personal means of transportation, and this will also demand more pilots to fly their aircraft,” he said.

Taib quoted an International Air Transport Association (IATA) article published in The Wall Street Journal Asia in April last year as saying that some 19,000

new pilots needed to be trained every year until 2026 to cater to the needs of the growing aviation industry.

“Currently, the training institutions all over the world have just managed to produce about 16,000 pilots a year,” he said, adding that this was far lower than the actual demand for pilots.

He added that IATA had said in a statement that the number of aircraft worldwide was expected to reach 17,000 by 2020, and if the matter prolonged without firm solution to increase the number of pilots, the global aviation industry would suffer a shortage of about 42,000 pilots.

He said the scenarios showed that the aviation industry provided good opportunities to those who want to become pilots.

However, he advised the cadet pilots to equip themselves with sufficient knowledge so that they would be competitive to grab the opportunities and become quality pilots that all companies were eager to employ.

The cadet pilots should not just excel in academic solely, but also spiritually and have good personality and attitude to give confidence to employers that they were the ones that the companies should employ, the chief minister said.

He said for the parents, sending their children to an aviation college was a big investment, thus new cadet pilots should not take their training lightly.

Taib also said in the modern economic trend nowadays, businessmen could not depend solely on domestic market and if they wished to achieve greater height, they must go global.

“Initiatives have to be taken on how to explore the international market and to have more sustainable and vast market.

“Effort to be made by GGIFA to expand its operation to India and Saudi Arabia is brilliant and brave,” he said, believing that as the first aviation college in Sarawak, GGIFA had a good future and it was timely for Bintulu, in particular, to have its own aviation industry.

Businessman irked by behaviour of enforcers

BINTULU: The owner of a music centre on the first floor of City Point here yesterday complained to the people’s service centre of Sarawak progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) about several enforcement officers of the Home Affairs Ministry who allegedly inspected his business premises on Dec 8 without following proper procedures.

The 45-year-old business-man surnamed Tang said the six enforcers searched the premises and took out documents without his permission.

He said he was not opposed to the inspection to combat piracy of intellectual properties.

“It was the way they did the inspection that I objected to. They rummaged through the documents, including those in the teller machine. It was not appropriate,” he said.

“I was not present during the inspection, which was around 7.40pm, because I was on the way to Miri. Only my two employees were on the premises.

“What I am not happy about is they simply turned the premises upside down. They messed up all of our business documents and went through them without my consent. Even our trade licence has not been returned,” Tang told reporters when referring to a CCTV recording of one of the enforcers going through documents from a teller machine.

Tang said he made a report around 5pm on Dec 9 at the local police’s one-stop centre.

Two of his employees were taken to the one-stop centre together with some merchandise for the purpose of counting, but the enforcers did not leave any contact number or say who he could get in touch with to find out the status of the case.

Without referring to or accusing anybody, Tang said the following day, his wife went to the premises to check on its condition.

She was surprised upon detecting that US$2,500 were gone.

The money was at the bottom of an invoice file near the teller machine.

Company praised for role in Bintulu’s devt

BINTULU: Laku Management Sdn Bhd plays a significant role in propelling Bintulu towards its vision of becoming a developed town in the near future.

Bintulu Resident Ismail Mohd Hanis, who is the new Laku director, said besides providing and meeting domestic demand for clean water supply, Laku also played the very important role of supplying water for the industrial sector.

He said the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) is going to be another great challenge for Laku and its management, in line with the increase of raw water demand for industry as well as domestic consumption.

“Laku is quite lucky to have good leadership on a corporate level, to give clear direction so that the staff will be able to strive to achieve the company’s vision and mission collectively,” said Ismail when officiating at the Laku annual dinner on Friday.

He added that Laku also needs to continue its emphasis on high quality services in the effort to be certified as a world class company.

Ismail also praised Laku for its initial introduction of the 5S (Seiri/Sorting, Seiton/Straightening, Seiso/Shining, Seiketsu/Standardising and Shitsuke/Sustaining) methodology, which is now being implemented by the Resident’s Office and District Office staff.

Earlier, Laku area manager Chang Kuet Shian said Laku’s 5S competition aimed to instil greater discipline and commitment to work among staff.

He said Laku has always emphasised the importance of safety and health.

“Indeed there was a lot of resistance at the very beginning of the implementation but we have succeeded in breaking the barrier to jump-start to a new level in safety and health quality,” said Chang.

In the 5S main office category, the winner was Zon Ceria, followed by Zon Gemilang, Zon Smile, Zon Harmoni and Zon Dedikasi. While in the plan office category, Zon Versatile took first place followed by Zon M&E, Zon Plant, Zon Chemical and Zone Security.

Job seekers told to be careful

BINTULU: Local job seekers were yesterday advised to be more careful before accepting jobs offered particularly from agents or companies overseas.

Jepak assemblyman Datuk Talib Zulpilip said many cases received by the state Labour Department involved job seekers cheated by irresponsible agents from private job agencies.

Thus the Human Resource Ministry under Department of Labour Sarawak has set up Malaysian Overseas Workers Management Centres nationwide to help Malaysians get jobs overseas.

“For the record, as of Nov 6, 2009 about 349 Sarawakian workers have filed complaints on various mistreatment by employers,” Talib said in his speech when officiating at a two-day Job Placement programme at the civic centre yesterday.

His text of speech was read by Deputy Resident (Social Section) Ismawie Salleh.

Talib cited a recent case in Sibu, where 23 job seekers were cheated, as a lesson to others to be cautious when applying or accepting job offers from overseas companies.

The case investigated by Sibu Commercial Crime Unit revealed that the victims were desperate for jobs that pay around RM3,000 per month, he said.

“I advise job seekers not to fall prey to their sweet promises and be attracted by the high salary promised,” he said.

Talib, who is also Sarawak Economic Development Corporation chairman, noted that today’s working environment has changed, and is not only based on physical strength but on knowledge of ICT.

“Competent job seekers must be capable of marketing themselves if they wish to get good jobs,” he said, adding that ability to promote their skills in the job market is vital.

On another issue, he said foreign workers in the country could bring negative impact.

Statistics issued by the Department of Labour Sarawak showed that as of Oct 31, 2009 there were about 93,462 foreign workers in the state.

Out of that 90,143 or 96.4 per cent are Indonesian employees, China (1,683) and Philippines (737) people, Talib said, adding that the highest sector employing foreigners is the estate sector with 57,245 workers followed by manufacturing with 30,133 foreigners.

He said employers have to comply with the provisions of the labour laws in the state.

Under Section 119 Labour Ordinance (Sarawak chapter 76) employers must apply for a licence from the Department of Labour Sarawak before employing foreign workers.

Some employers felt locals were not competent or committed compared to foreign workers, so he hoped they change their perception and not be overly dependent on foreign workers.

“Employers have to consider giving reasonable salary based on skills and knowledge of workers,” said Talib.

Some 22 private and government agencies took part in the job placement programme held at the civic centre yesterday which will end today (Nov 22).

Local job seekers are encouraged to register with JobsMalaysia online.

Lights out for Sesco as Maksak C win petanque final

BINTULU: Maksak C emerged champions after defeating Sesco in the final of the petanque competition held in conjunction with the Maksak Corporate Games 2009 last Saturday.
The competition held at the Old Airport was attended by Maksak chairman who is also State Secretary Datuk Amar Mohamad Morshidi Abdul Ghani who later handed over the prizes to the winners.

The third and fourth placings went to Malaysia LNG (MLNG) and Asean Bintulu Fertiliser respectively.

Senior general manager of MLNG Zakaria Kasah, Human Resource Unit in the Chief Minister’s Department director Sarudu Hoklai, Bintulu Resident Ismail Mohd Hanis and National Resource and Environment Board state controller Peter Sawal were among those witnessing the grand finals of the competition.

The petanque competition was jointly organised by Petronas MLNG and NREB in collaboration with Bintulu Divisional Maksak.

Zakaria in his speech hoped the competition would meet the objective of Maksak Corporate Games to foster greater relationship among public servants and the corporate people.

Petronas MLNG got involved in petanque by promoting it through various competitions since 2000 with the setting up of four courts at Kidurong Club, he said.

“The court was not just the first set up here but the first in Sarawak. To date there are four petanque courts which are actively used for tournament namely in Asean ABF Park, BDA Millennium Park and at the Old Airport apart from Kidurong Club,” he said.

Zakaria revealed that three gold medallists in the Sarawak Sukma 2008 came from Bintulu.

Petronas MLNG staff Hamdan Anis was appointed Sarawak petanque team manager for Sukma 2010 which would take place in Melaka, he added.

“We hope more Sarawakians from this division will get involved in this game and make the division proud by achieving success in the national as well as international level,” he added.

Zakaria said as a concerned corporate company, Petronas MLNG would continue supporting the government, and foster unity among the people through organising social and recreational activities, in the hope of helping the government combat social problems among the younger generation.

Rakan Muda keeps youths on right path


QUALITY and proactive youths are vital human capital assets to help the country achieve greater success and stability.

The Bintulu Divisional Youth and Sports Office recently organised six programmes, based on this theme, for its Rakan Muda members, mostly in Bintulu and Tatau District, to enhance the potential of the young generation with positive inputs.

Three of the programmes were held in Tatau District and Bintulu Division within three weeks, according to the officer-in-charge Mohamad Zakry Kiprawi.

The first programme — Program Rakan Muda Masyarakat (Menabur Bakti) — was held at Bintulu General Hospital on Oct 31, involving 45 participants from Tatau.

According to Zakry, among the activities were blood donations and presentation of hampers at the children’s ward.

The object, he said, was to help “open the eyes and mind” of the youths taking part in the programme to the plight of the needy.

Hopefully, they would learn to appreciate the need to help the less fortunate through community service programmes.

The second programme — Program Rakan Muda (Graffiti Clinic) — on Nov 7 involved 47 students from SMK Tatau who were given basic training on graffiti art by a trainer from Bintulu GIAT Mara.

Zakry said the clinic was aimed at training the students to appreciate fine art and be creative and innovative.

“Who knows, one day, maybe one or three of them would become famous graffiti artistes,” he told thesundaypost.

It was the first programme of its kind to be held in Tatau and the response was very good — even the principal of SMK Tatau, Umpang Keling, was very supportive of the programme.

Umpang promised to hold a similar programme soon for the students to develop their talents in fine art.

Meanwhile, the third programme — Program Rakan Muda Kecergasan (Dynamic Youth) — on Nov 8 was also held at SMK Tatau with over 50 youths attending.

Zakry said it was actually a clinic to teach the youths proper aerobic exercise, adding that the participants were also encouraged to get to know each other by working together.

“It was in line with the government’s aspiration to produce a healthy young generation through wholesome activities.”

The participants learned aerobic exercise modules such as fit ball, jump rope and foot step with a correct tempo, from experienced coaches.

The fourth programme — Program Rakan Muda Inovasi (Blog Clinic) — was held at the ICT lab of Universiti Putra Malaysia Bintulu campus with about 70 youths from Bintulu taking part.

The participants were taught by an experienced blogger from Bintulu Hikmah how to create their own blogs.

“This is the first programme of its kind to be organised by the Divisional Youth and Sports Office, and probably also the first in the state, involving Rakan Muda members,” Zakry said.

He added that the object was to help the participants master an ICT skill so that they could acquire knowledge and swap views online.

The fifth programme — Program Rakan Muda Kecergasan aerobic exercise clinic (Dynamic Youth) — was held on the field of Bintulu Civic Centre and attracted over 42 participants. It was similar to the one held in Tatau earlier.

The sixth and last programme was Program Rakan Muda Seni Budaya (street happening) held at the Pentagon Square of Parkcity Mall.

About 60 participants, including the shuffle groups from Bintulu, took part. The shuffle dance contest was won by Hard Base Addict Group.

The shuffle dance is not new to the young generation and most youths like it because of its dual function — entertainment and promotion of good health as a from of exercise.

Zakry is the coordinator of the programmes and also responsible for the Rakan Muda Movement of Parliament 217 Bintulu.

He urged the youths in Bintulu and nearby areas to be part of Rakan Muda by participating in its activities and most importantly, registering themselves with the movement to have even better exposure to its programmes.

To date, Rakan Muda has about 2,600 members in Bintulu Division.

“By taking part in our programmes, the youths will gain experience and knowledge that will help them to be positive, proactive and productive in line with our aim to produce free-crime generation,” Zakry said.

According to him, before any programme is finalised, its relevance to the youths will be considered to ensure the items drawn up are interesting and beneficial for sustained long-term participation.

Zakry said the programmes would not be successful without all-round support and he thanked the related government agencies for their continued assistance.

For enquiries on other upcoming activities of Rakan Muda, call 086-333786 or fax 086-312028.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

More educational opportunities now: Talib

BINTULU: Jepak assemblyman Datuk Talib Zulpilip said today’s generation are fortunate in terms of educational opportunities unlike during his time.

Various kind of scholarships for bright students are now offered with many big local companies eager to sponsor outstanding students to pursue higher studies, Talib said when officiating at the Petronas Malaysia Liquefied Gas (MLNG) Minor Scholarship Award presentation ceremony at ParkCity Everly Hotel.

“During my time, we were only given scholarships of RM10 per month but now students are given RM1,200 (per year by MLNG),” Talib said.

It is also easier nowadays to get scholarship as long as students are outstanding in academic performance whereas previously thousands of students faced stiff competition in trying to get scholarships which were fewer in number.

And there was little job opportunity during his time, especially in Bintulu, compared to the abundant job opportunities available now.

The Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) is one of the biggest gold mines to provide jobs for future generations, Talib said, citing the example of an aluminium smelter plant to operate in Samalaju that will need thousands of engineers.

He advised students to choose marketable courses such as for engineers and technical workers, which would be in demand once the plant is fully operational.

“Science and engineering are among popular courses for tomorrow’s job market,” he said, adding that quality human force is critical for the country’s stability and prosperity.

State needs high quality manpower, says Resident

BINTULU: Effective teaching and learning process will produce well-balanced and quality manpower for the state as well as for the country.

It is a fundamental aspect towards the success of Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) which requires a high quality human resources, Bintulu Resident Ismail Mohd Hanis said.

He said education played an important role towards a continuous transformation of Sarawak, and according to him to ensure it continued, it was critical to have human capital development.

He said with this sense of responsibility, the focus and commitment of the local educational institutions should be to provide the best education and development of knowledge skills.

“That is why the government has doubled its effort in improving, strengthening and providing a high standard education platform in the country through various assistance,” Ismail said in his speech at the sixth graduation ceremony of Sedamai College at ParkCity Everly Hotel here.

He reminded the graduates that today’s working world had extremely changed and unlike before it was now more challenging.

Thus, he urged the graduates to prepare themselves with multi-skills and adapt to changes in workplace.

He said it was also a challenge for educational institutions like Sedamai College in providing quality courses and effective teaching in order to produce marketable graduates.

Ismail pointed out that in a working world today, companies that hire new employees would like to get the best workforce from the best group of graduates.

“Thus, it is important for the graduates to practise lifelong learning and always be prepared,” he added.

Bintulu Development Authority general manager Datu Mohidin Ishak who also spoke told the graduates not just become bystanders of development.

He said they must participate and contribute to the development and that was why the mentality of young people had to be changed.

Mohidin said to change the mentality, the answer was through educational development and the government realised that without new mentality any of their physical development would not produce maximum result.

In other word, he said physical and mental development must go along.

He said BDA as a local authority in charge here is looking forward to have even greater cooperation and continuous support from the local higher learning institutions like Sedamai College to produce quality workforces for the state.

Meanwhile, college chairman Billy Wong advised the graduates not to be choosy when looking for jobs, adding that they must possess the right attitude and make lifelong learning their principle.

A total of 29 graduates of various fields of study – diploma in business management, diploma in information technology, diploma in administration (LCCI, UK) and diploma in accounting (LCCI, UK) received their scrolls during the ceremony.

Meanwhile, four students of diploma in business management – Connie Chiong, Ivy Song, Pui Tsing Ye and Tang Ming Ming and one student of diploma in information technology Bong Kuan Hwa were awarded with a Dean’s Award for their achievement of a semester GPA of at least 3.5 points.

Chiong was also awarded with the Best Student Award for 2009.

Abdul Muin Abdul Kassin, the representative of Bintulu education officer and members of board of director of Sedamai College (Bintulu) were also present.

Know your rights, help country: Consumers body

BINTULU: Consumers who know their rights are not only protecting themselves from being cheated but they are also helping the government to accelerate the country’s economic growth.

Recognising the crucial role that the consumers play in the country’s economic recovery from the recent recession, State Consumers Movement (SCM) divisional chairman Ismail Mohd Hanis said it was important for consumers to be knowledgeable.

In line with this, he said the government had formed the State Consumers Movement (SCM) to replace the Consumer Affair’s Council to strengthen consumerism.

Ismail, who is the Bintulu Resident, pointed out that SCM’s members comprised consumerism related government departments, local entrepreneurs and non-governmental organisations.

He said they were the best combination to discuss issues about the economy and consumerism. He said this in his speech at the ‘Majlis Mesra Pengguna and Ramah Tamah Aidilfitri’ at Wisma Persekutuan.

“It is my hope as well as the rest of SCM members here, that the local community will make use of this body as a platform to share problems and find the best solutions,” he said.

He said SCM would implement various plans and activities to complement the efforts of the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperative and Consumerism (MDTCC).

“Our focus will be on consumer education because this aspect is seen t be the most effective in the long term,” he said, adding that SCM together with MDTCC and the Information Department have organised various activities for the people in Bintulu.

Among the consumerism activities held here this tear were the celebration of Consumer’s Day, Buy Malaysian Products Expo, seminars, quiz and a smart community consumerism programme which was held in collaboration with the Information Department.

“Therefore in line with this year’s Consumer’s Dat theme ‘Consumer’s Power One Consumer, One Voice’, I urge the community in Bintulu in particular to grab the opportunity to enhance their knowledge about consumerism.

“Knowledge or education is the most powerful tool in creating a community that is well-informed and intelligent about consumerism. They know their privileges and how to utilise it,” said Ismail.

Also present at the function were Deputy Resident (Social Section) Ismawi Salleh and MDTCC Bintulu branch acting choef Muhammad Daud Ali.

End.

Anti-crime fight: Group plays important role

BINTULU: The neighbourhood watch was formed to help the government combat and reduce crime in the country since no police force in this world can combat crime on its own as well as monitor residential area 24 hours a day.

Jepak assemblyman Datuk Zulpilip said this at the closing of a neighbourhood safety and neighbourhood watch seminar held at the Regency Plaza Hotel here.

Talib said the objective of a neighbourhood watch was also in line with the prime minister’s decision in introducing the key Performance Indicator (KPI) which includes reducing the crime index.

“When the country gets developed, crimes would drastically increase,” Talib said, adding that it is also important for the public to be aware of their roles and responsibilities for national security.

He urged the community to be concerned neighbours who keep an eye on their neighbour’s houses when they are not be at home or should something happen.

“Be a good neighbour and be a stronghold to combat crime in your neighbourhood,” he said, adding that the mentality of refusing to be ‘busybodies’ was not suitable nowadays.

“It is not that hard to recognise your neighbours if possible make a list of neighbours in your residential area so it can be a reference should anything happen in the future,” he added.

About 170 participants including member of neighbourhood watch from various villages and districts, took part in the two-day seminar organised by the National Unity and Integration Department of the Prime Minister’s Department.

National Unity and Integration Department state director Rajali Mudin said the seminar was to enhance skills and create greater awareness of the need to be more competent in patrolling among members of the neighbourhood watch.

He said similar seminars were held in Kuching in 2007 and Sibu in 2008.

Rajali called on all neighbourhood watch members in the state to be committed in protecting the country from criminal activities.

Don’t act like opposition politicians: Talib

BINTULU: Community leaders must not behave like opposition politicians who only make noise, but contribute nothing to the people.

Jepak assemblyman Datuk Talib Zulpilip said as leaders at the grassroots level, they must take their responsibilities and duties seriously.

He said community leaders were responsible for promoting government policies to the grassroots community, and should they face any problem or issue, they could use their position to meet the related government agencies for problem-solving.

“This is the main task of all community leaders – to inform the departments concerned about the people’s problems so that action can be taken immediately,” he said during the presentation of minor rural project (MRP) grants at the Resident’s Office here.

Representatives of 17 non-governmental organisations and community leaders from here and Tatau received the grants totalling RM95,000.

Talib reiterated that the presentation of MRP grants was one of the programmes of the government to ease the people’s burden and it reflected the government was concerned about the people’s welfare.

He said the government wanted to bring progress and development to everyone, adding that the people should not be influenced by the opposition who only knew how to talk.

“The government has proven its capability in bringing development to the masses unlike the opposition which is yet to prove any achievement,” he added.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Anyone can succeed in business now:Moggie

BINTULU: Any group of people can be successful entrepreneurs now.And the setting up of a successful company is not an impossible thing to achieve, Dayak Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Tan Sri Datuk Amar Leo Moggie said Saturday.

He said even the Dayak community which was known for many years to be only active in cultivation activities had proven its true potential to be at par with the other successful races, especially in business.

Speaking at Amalgamated Plant Engineering Sdn Bhd’s 15th anniversary dinner at a hotel here, Moggie, who is chairman of Tenaga Nasional Berhad, said the scenario showed people from different backgrounds in the country could also succeed in business and it was now not solely dominated by a particular group.

He cited Amalgamated Plant Engineering, a Sarawak-based company, as an example of a successful Bumiputera company with Bumiputera-based management.

He added that since its establishment some 15 years ago, the company had proven its ability to be among the competitive local Bumiputera-based companies and successful contractors who specialised in the oil and gas industry in the country.

He said the company had contributed directly to economic progress of the state and country.

“Now, the Bumiputeras, and the Dayaks in particular are more confident and able to set up companies and engage in heavy industries which are vital contributors to the country’s economy,” Moggie stressed.

He pointed out that venturing into business was actually a new thing to the Dayaks as they were more into farming in the past.

“With more training opportunities now, more young people from the community are grabbing the chance to get involved in business,” he said.

He believed Sarawak would be among the richest states in the country in the next 30 years with the implementation of the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE).

He urged Bumiputera-based companies to equip their staff well to face tough competition in the future.

During the function, Moggie also launched the company’s website.

Amalgamated advisor Dato Sri Celestine Ujang, its managing director Jun Ngau Wan, its financial advisor Alan Keripin, its legal advisor Lai Chee Hua, members of the board of directors and several heads of government departments and statutory bodies were among those present.

Major breakthrough for Petronas in China’s energy sector

BINTULU: Malaysia LNG Tiga Sdn Bhd (MLNG Tiga), a subsidiary of Petronas, has successfully delivered its first liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargo of 60,500 metric tonnes to Shanghai LNG Company Limited.

The LNG vessel Puteri Intan Satu departed the Petronas LNG Complex in Bintulu on Oct 19, 2009 and arrived to deliver the cargo at the Shanghai LNG Company Limited, Yangshan LNG Receiving Terminal, located south of Shanghai, on Oct 26.

This delivery of LNG to Shanghai LNG Company is pursuant to a 25-year sale and purchase agreement (SPA) signed in July 2006 where MLNG Tiga would supply up to 3.03 million metric tons of LNG per year to the Chinese company.

The SPA, which is Petronas’ first long-term LNG contract with China, had also marked a major breakthrough for Petronas in China’s energy sector, said the company in a press statement issued here yesterday.

Prior to this shipment, MLNG Tiga had delivered a commissioning LNG cargo to Shanghai LNG Company at Yangshan LNG Receiving Terminal.

Shanghai LNG Company is a joint venture company between Shenergy Group (55 per cent) and CNOOC Gas and Power (45 per cent). CNOOC Gas and Power is a wholly owned subsidiary of China National Offshore Oil Corporation.

New Shell station in Bintulu opens for business

BINTULU: Shell petrol Station Jalan Tun Hussein Onn has officially opened its premises for business Nov 6. The station is owned by Kintown Petrol Station Sdn Bhd.

Its managing director Joseph Wong said the newly opened station would hopefully be convenient for the residents nearby as they would be able to get fuel for their vehicles anytime as it operates 24-hours every day.

It is the sixth Shell station operating in Bintulu and probably the biggest among the stations, said Wong, adding that it also has special car park for its staff and customers.

Located on a 0.88 acres site, built near a residential area and currently operated by 18 staff, the petrol station is fully equipped with computerised systems like CCTV and according to Wong the company will always emphasise on their customers’ safety as their business priority apart from providing quality services.

The station also had the latest technology which is based on environmental friendly systems including its underground piping system that comes with a 30 years warranty given by the supplier.

He also said its staff are well-trained and will be prepared for any circumstances or emergencies like fire and oil leakages.

Similar with other petrol kiosks, the station in Jalan Tun Hussein also houses various goods like food and drinks besides the shell lubricant oils and other products.

The petrol station can be contacted at 086-312288 or fax at 086-313666.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Go commercial, make use of SCORE: Sikie

BINTULU: Those who want to carry out agricultural projects in Tatau have been urged to go commercial in order to generate greater income.

Kakus assemblyman John Sikie Tayai when making the call recently said in today’s world most people, especially those in business field, have to be competitive to succeed.

The same goes for local farmers who must be able to think outside the box and grab every opportunity in order to achieve greater success.

“To succeed in whatever we do, old approaches are not viable anymore. Thus finding new ways of doing business is important,” said Sikie.

They must wisely use all chances and opportunities provided by the government, particularly in the form of starting capital, training and other assistance, said Sikie.

He said as Tatau is within the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE), it actually has a very huge potential to be a major food producer.

Sikie pointed out that the roads connecting all areas within SCORE would pass through Tatau, which would benefit if it can get travellers and passers-by to shop for supplies and other goods.

“Many people will be using the roads and so small farmers in Tatau can promote their produce and agro-based products,” said Sikie when officiating at the launch of ‘Green Earth’ campaign at Tatau Agriculture Department office near here.

He said there was still plenty of time for those interested in farming in Tatau as the place is one of direct beneficiaries of SCORE.

He recommended tsrating small-panting vegetables, fruits; raising chickens, etc- and then gradually expanding and incorporating commercial methods to gain greater returns on their investements.

He observed that during festive seasons, for example, Tatau had insufficient supplies of meat and vegetables.

Thus, local farmers must make use of all available resources including cultivating crops on undeveloped land along the roadside.

A total of 500 local farmers were chosen to receive assistance in the form of vegetable seeds, fertilisers and chickens.

Under a similar scheme in 2008, some 489 persons in Tatau received the assistance.

For livestock farming, 60 participants were chosen; while each of the 25 farmers this year received 40 chicks, a bag of starter feed, two bags of grower feed, two bags if delicate corn, and sets of medicine.

Sikie advised the aid recipients to use what they received wisely for the long-term.

He reminded the farmers that the assistance was actually a starting capital or encouragement for them to start farming on their own.

Tatau agriculture officer, Awang Omar Awg Adek, who represented Bintulu Agriculture Department acting assistant director Musa Bahazim, said the programme which started last year had showed good results especially in making locals more aware of the importance of ‘green earth’.

Apart from promoting the green earth campaign, the participants can earn extra income by selling their products, said Omar, adding that research show that each household can save about RM10 to Rm20 per week if they plant their own vegetables.

Govt told to build alternative dual carriageway road

BINTULU: The government was yesterday asked to construct an alternative dual carriageway to ease the heavy traffic along Jalan Tanjung Kidurong.

Kidurong assemblyman Chiew Chin Sing said the road which was built some 30 years ago with two lanes going up and two coming down was primarily meant to serve the petro chemical complexes, deep sea port and other industries in Kidurong.

“But today due to the vigorous development in Kidurong and Sungai Plan residential area, and due to it being connected to the coastal road, Tg Kidurong road is always congested with bumper-to-bumper traffic during peak hours,” he said at a press statement.

In fact, he said, the jams are so serious that the lines of cars would stretch for 10km, which is about the whole length of the road.

He recalled that the Minister of Infrastructure Development and Communications, Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu, in a written answer to his question during the State Legislative Assembly last May said the government had no plan yet to widen the road to a three-lane dual carriageway with a lane for motorcycles.

Noting that the tender to improve the Jalan Tanjung Batu junction near the mosque was closed last March 23, he said that although he welcomed the move to improve the Tg Batu-Bakeri Ting and Jalan Tg Kidurong junction near the mosque, the greater traffic problem along Jalan Tg Kidurong must be solved immediately.

He pointed out that when about resurfacing of the uneven surface of the first six miles of Jalan Bintulu-Miri and Tg Kidurong Road (up to Nyabau Road junction) the ministry wrote that it would carry out maintain Jalan Bintulu-Miri regularly.

Jabu, he said, also mentioned that there was a provision of RM2.5 million for resurfacing a number of sections of Jalan Tg Kidurong for a toral of 10km.

“It is good that the road will be resurfaced as it is in bad condition, but at a cost of RM250,000 a kilometre?’ he said.

He then urged the minister to enlighten the public as to breakdown of the project cost to show that the RM250,000 per kilometre is justified. He argued that the people surely want to know as it is their tax money.

“I also urge the contractor not to do the resurfacing work during peak hours like eight o’clock in the morning or after work at 5pm.

“The jam along the two-lane road is already bad, and when the road tappers off to a single lane where resurfacing work is done, the jam time doubles,” he said.

‘New Reality’ idea of development no daydream, says Taib

BINTULU: The ‘new reality’ concept introduced a decade ago in the state is not a daydream.

It is a concept of planning which has enabled the state to achieve the progress it now enjoys, Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud said in Bintulu.

He said when he introduced the concept, he had seen the potential for Sarawak to be progressive so long as the political power was utilised to unite the people and focus on development.

Addressing a gathering in connection with the 88th birthday of the Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Datuk Patinggi Abang Muhammad Salahuddin, Taib said he had succeeded in pooling responsible political leaders who were prepared to serve the state and the people.

He said the Barisan Nasional (BN) government and its leaders who practiced and emphasised pragmatic development policies had contributed tremendously towards the progress of the state and the people.

However, he said of late several opposition political leaders had attempted to confuse the people and accused the state leadership practising capitalism and ignoring the people.

The chief minister said these leaders subscribed to narrow politics incapable of bringing progress to the people.

He said the opposition, unlike the BN government, only caused ‘trouble’, adding if they were sincere in helping the people, they should serve as good role models.

Asking the people not to be influenced by the opposition propaganda, the chief minister said the opposition was only ‘hungry’ for power.

Taib, who is the state BN chairman, said Sarawakians should prevent the opposition from gaining power in the state as it had been proven that they could not govern well and bring progress and development.

“The people’s awareness of true development must be built on a better understanding of the 1Malaysia concept which is to bring progress and development to all Malaysians,” he said.

The chief minister again reminded the people of the state to safeguard peace and harmonies, adding these qualities were equally important for their advancement and success.

He also paid tribute to His Excellency for his guidance and contributions for the betterment of the state and the people.

The wife of the Head of State Toh Puan Datuk Patinggi Norkiah, deputy chief ministers Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan and Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu and other state cabinet ministers and their wives were also present.

More than 5,000 people gathered at the civic centre field to watch the birthday celebrations, which included a parade of 88 contingents.

There was also a flypast by three aircraft of the Gul Golden International Flying Academy, an international flying school based here, as well as cultural performances by several community associations here.

The celebrations started Friday with a football tournament at the Bintulu Stadium and prayers at the Assyakirin Mosque.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Infrastructure devt gets timely boost: Tengah

BINTULU: Sarawak and Sabah would not be left unaided in the 2010 Budget allocation tabled by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Friday.

Second Planning and Resource management Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan said even though the budget looked generally small, the two states were given special attention by the federal government.

“I think it is very good. Focus was given to infrastructure development, particularly for Sarawak since the state needs more good infrastructure,” he said.

Besides he said the interests of the people and the less fortunate groups are given priority.

“Even in this economy uncertatinty, Budget 2010 is comprehensive. The government under the prime minister is able to come up with one budget to take of interests of all sectors.

“This is in line wit the government effort to have and achieve a new model of economy which emphasise education, marketing and innovation,” he told reporters when met at ParkCity Everly Hotel after attending the Head of State’s 88th birthday celebration at Bintulu civic centre.

He was confident the budget would boost the country’s economy particularly during economic tough times.

Meanwhile Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department (Human Resource and Training) Datin fatimah Abudllah said; “I found the 2010 Budget focussed on physical development from the quality aspect and also pre-school education, childcare and teacher leadership.

“Not only physical infrastructure was emphasised but also other sections that contribute to quality human capital development. So we feel this focus is right,” she said.

She said if the government tries to produce quality human capital, it has to give priority to the physical aspect.

On pre-school, she said: “We know somehow if we want to have an efficient workforce, we have to start from the bottom from childhood and pre-school stages.

“In the long term, to be an extraordinary country, we have no choice but to give priority to education, this is the right strategy,” said Fatimah who is also Assistant Minister for Agriculture (Home Economics and Training).

Assistant Minister of Infrastructure Development and Communication Datuk Lee Kim Shin was satisfied wit the fouc of the budget, especially efforts to develop the state’s infrastructure.

Lee said the 2010 Budget has taken a different approach especially to introduce a high-income economy in this country.

He agreed with the federal government emphasis to develop human capital which is the foundation to creating high income communities.

The decision to give tax relief to broadband subscription fees by up to RM500 a year from 2010 to 2012 to individual taxpayers can speed up the process of producing a high-tech community, he said.

Budget 2010 reflects 1Malaysia vision: CM

BINTULU: Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud said the emphasis on the budget 2010 was in accord with the 1Malaysia vision for development in all states of the country.

He suspected that the budget was crafted towards the Tenth Malaysia Plan (10MP) and for Sarawak in particular to achieve a high income economy.

“As far as we are concerned, we are happy with the budget. It is a translation of what the prime minister had declared in Kuching that he doesn’t want to see any state left behind,” said Taib when asked for his comments on it yesterday.

He said the focus was on improving infrastructure in Sarawak and Sabag which have been allocated 20 billion under the 2010 Budget.

Taib said education and infrastructure are the bedrock to building a high income economy.

“Without these, there are no other ways for us to improve the productivity of the community, upgrade worker quality and achieve a high income economy,” Taib said.

Even for a middle income economy, the state requires sustained growth of five per cent for the next 20 years, he said.

“The lauch of SCORE (Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy) is most important to us as we go into the 10MP, zooming into training needs and the new kind of workers needed.

“We might need a couple more higher learning institutions as skills development centre under the 10MP,” he said.

It was important to build up local skilled workers.

Young people should be trained for jobs in technical science and research, as is starting to be done in Tanjung Manis. Various facilities need to be set up.

Federal government assistance might be required to utilise the Internet network and build hardware for Sarawak. Taib believed improvement in infrastructure is vital for people in rural areas, particularly when it relates to education.

He said in rural areas, pre-schools need to be upgraded and students taught to have greater interest in science.

On the ICT allowance Taib said it was likely an incentive to encourage computer usage, though mostly confined to Iskandar Corridor at present.

24 receive awards at investiture

BINTULU: The late Datuk Amar Puan Sri Laila Taib was conferred the state award (posthumously) the Datuk Patinggi Bintang Kenyalang (DP) which carries the title ‘Datuk Patinggi’ by the Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Datuk Patinggi Abang Muhammad Salahuddin at an investiture ceremony held at a leading hotel here yesterday.

The award was received by her daughter Hanifah Hajar Taib.

Earlier, a citation on the late Laila was read by Senator Dato Sri Empiang Jabu.

The new State Secretary Datuk Mohamad Morshidi Abdul Ghani and Sarawak Foundation chairman cum Tanjung Datu assemblyman Dato Sri Adenan Satem received the Datuk Amar Bintang Kenyalang (DA) which carries the title ‘Datuk Amar’.

They were among the 24 out of the 808 recipients who were conferred various state honours and awards in connection with this year’s Yang di-Pertua Negeri’s 88th birthday celebration centered here.

Three others received the Panglima Negara Bintang Sarawak (PNBS) which carries the title, ‘Dato Sri’.

They are Datuk Douglas Uggah, the Federal Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, who is also Betong MP; Datuk Michael Manyin, Minister of Urban Development and Tourism, who is also Tebedu assemblyman and Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail.

Those who received the Panglima Gemilang Bintang Kenyalang (PGBK) which carries the title ‘Datuk’ are Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department Bolhassan Di, who is also Beting Maro assemblyman, Assistant Minister for Tourism Hamden Ahmad, who is also Belawai assemblyman and the Anglican Bishop of Kuching Diocese Right Reverend Bolly Lapok.

Another seven were awarded the Darjah Jasa Bakti Sarawak (DJBS) which carries the title ‘Datu’ and they are Sarudu Hoklai, director of Human Resource Management Unit in the Chief Minister’s Department; Betong Resident Romie Sigan; Masbah Arifin, executive secretary to the State Government Meeting Council; Abu Bakar Mat, state director of National Registration; Mohidin Ishak, general manager of Bintulu Development Authority; Dr Julaihi Bujang, director of the state Education Department and Takun Sunggah, director of the State Election Commission.

Conferred the Panglima Setia Bintang Sarawak (PSBS) which carries the title ‘Dato’ are Datin Amar Dayang Morliah Datuk Awang Daud, wife of Second Minister of Resource Planning and Management, Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan; William Wei, Sarawak Housing Developers’ Association chairman; Sarbanun Datuk Abdul Kadir Marikan, a renowned local singer; Paul Teo Choo Tee, Saberkas deputy secretary-general; Dr Abu Bakar Abdullah @ Tom Belarek, president of Orang Ulu National Association; Mohamad Ramji Alli, an Election Commission member; Bujang Tun Ahmad Zaidi, an entrepreneur and Reverend Dr Su Chii Ann.

There are eight recipients of the Johan Bintang Sarawak (JBS), 10 recipients of the Johan Bintang Kenyalang (JBK), eight recipients of the Pingat Perkhidmatan Cemerlang (Gold) (PPC), 20 recipients of the Pegawai Bintang Sarawak (PBS), 42 recipients of the Pegawai Bintang Kenyalang (PBK), 68 recipients of the Pingat Perkhidmatan Bakti (Silver) (PPB), 195 recipients of the Ahli Bintang Sarawak (ABS), one recipient of the Ahli Bintang Kenyalang (ABK) (Posthumous), 64 recipients of the Ahli Bintang Kenyalang (ABK), 105 recipients of Pingat Perkhidmatan Terpuji (Bronze) (PPT), and 262 recipients of the Bentara Bintang Sarawak (BBS).

Present at the ceremony were wife of the Head of State Toh Puan Datuk Patinggi Norkiah, Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, deputy chief ministers Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan and Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu, Senator Dato Sri Empiang Jabu, Speaker of the State Legislative Assembly Dato Sri Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar, state cabinet ministers, deputy ministers and heads of government departments and statutory bodies.

Get students to be interested in science and technology: Fatimah


BINTULU: Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department (Human Resource and Training) Datin Fatimah Abdullah said enough quality human capital based on science and technology can only be had if students are drawn to the relevant subjects.

Fatimah said, therefore, the target to have about 30 per cent students mastering in science and 40 per cent in art by 2010 must be given greater attention through implementing effective programmes.

“We need to revive all encouragement programme and design new ones with help of the relevant ministries like MOSTI (Ministry of Science, technology and Innovations) to get more students interested in science and technology,” Fatimah, who is also Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department (Home Economic and Training) when met before departing for the Science Symposium 2009 in Lawas yesterday, which was expected to be lauched by Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.

On the science symposium in Lawas, Fatimah said it was a continuation of the programme stopped in 2004 but now revitalised to draw the interest of rural students.

She said the programme, to be run state-wide, would gather local scientists who would present their working papers on various science-related topics in front of secondary school students, teachers and the public.

According to her, what make teachers an important part of the target group of the symposium is because any programmes implemented to create greater awareness and motivation among students, at the end of the day, to sustain interest, it is teachers who will be looking to see if students are still following the programmes with interest.

“So hopefully from the symposium these teachers can make use of what they have learned to find ways to be creative, innovative and interesting in their future teaching process,” she added.

Be ‘busybodies’ for national security: CID head

BINTULU: Criminal Investigation Department (CID) director Datuk Seri Mohd Bakri Mohd Zinin has called on the public to be ‘busybodies’ when it comes to national security.

He said the people have to be more responsible and think in terms of the 1Malaysia concept, especially during periods of difficulty.

He lamented that many people made a lot of noise on issues but refused to provide information to the police on cases being investigated.

“In order to complete the police investigation on a particular case, we need evidence, thus we want you to become busybodies,” he said during a press conference yesterday.

Bakri said the media played a vital role in educating the community and creating a sense of belonging as well as awareness through their reports.

He cited the examples of accidents, where the public tended to just be bystanders who even refused to help at times.

“Nowadays, almost every child owns a handphone, but to make effective use of it, keep important numbers on it like the nearby police station’s telephone numbers in case of an emergency,” he said.

Bakri hoped the public would work closely with the police by providing information to help them better solve cases.

He had earlier chaired a CID heads meeting to discuss department matters and administration as well as address crime in Sarawak.

He said as of July this year, Sarawak CID had arrested 1,626 criminals and seized three firearms along with 246 pieces of ammunition.

Bakri stressed the police would continue efforts to shutdown criminal syndicates and to date had cracked down on 13 groups resulting in 47 arrests.

The police, he said, were also focusing on crimes committed by foreigners and so far eight syndicates involving foreigners had been smashed involving 33 arrests.

He said crimes usually occurred in developed areas.

“The bigger the town’s economy, the bigger the criminals who will be operating,” said Bakri, adding that as a fast developing town, security in Bintulu needed more attention.

He said police teams are being restructured and there would be more focus on setting up new departments and increasing manpower to 60,000 more police personnel nationwide.

Efforts are also being made to strengthen logistics support and the use of technology to combat crime.

Bakri cited CCTV as an example of technology that could help police solve various cases.

“We can see CCTV was put up in Kuala Lumpur and it has proven to be the most effective tool combating crime especially in big cities in the world,” he added.

Sarawak CID deputy head ACP Zainuddin Zainal, who also present at the press conference, said under Ops Cantas Kenyalang, set up to combat gangsterism in April 2007, a total of 118 gang leaders had been arrested in Kuching, Sarikei, Bintangor, Bintulu and Miri.

On the overall crime index in Sarawak this year, Zainuddin said there was a slight increase of seven per cent involving cases like rape and snatch theft, however crime was still under control.

Cops hindered in rape probe

CID chief says even NGOs who made issue public have given us zero cooperation

BINTULU: Investigations into the alleged rape of Penan girls and women have been hampered by a lack of cooperation from various quarters, Criminal Investigation Department (CID) director Datuk Seri Mohd Bakri Mohd Zinin said yesterday.
Bakri said police efforts to investigate the cases had in fact led them to be viewed negatively by the local community.

“The police are looking for evidence to solve the cases, but there have been no cooperation from the victims, and there are also no witnesses. The investigation will take time to be completed.

“The people cannot blame us for that because if you really want the cases to be completed then give us information, even the non-governmental organisat-ions who initially brought the issue to the public have given us zero cooperation,” he said during a press conference after a CID heads meeting here.

On the progress of the police probe into the rape allegations, he said a task force comprising Bukit Aman and Sarawak police officers, had been working on it since January.

He said investigations were being conducted according to the law and offenders would only be charged when there was sufficient evidence.

The CID chief stressed that the case was still under investigation and claims by some quarters that it had been closed were not true.

“Actually we have investigated about 14 cases in nine settlements in Ulu Baram, but only four cases involved the Penans.

“We have charged one person, but the other three cases have no witnesses to enable us to take legal action,” he said, adding that their investigation had no agenda other than to nab those responsible.

He urged those concerned to come forward and give information to speed up the investigation.
CID deputy director Datuk Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani and Sarawak CID deputy head ACP Zainuddin Zainal were among those present.

Address ‘Indai Blues’ problem, ministry urged

BINTULU: The Ministry of Social Development and Urbanisation has been urged to look into unhealthy developments in the family institution and work at addressing them.
State DAP deputy chairman Chiew Chin Sing said he is particularly concerned with reports that said divorce rate is high among couples whose husbands are working far away and rarely coming home.

“Presently there could be no less than 50,000 Sarawakian men working overseas and a big portion of them are from here, and I’m concerned and I want to see that families of these people are intact,” Chiew said when asked for his comments on the ‘Indai blues’ story appearing in The Borneo Post on Thursday.

Under the heading, ‘Did you know that ‘Indai blues’ can also mean spoilt wives?” it was reported that husbands earning big money working overseas were sending their earnings home to their lonely wives (Indai blues) who went out to enjoy themselves to make up for their many nights alone.

It was reported that these ‘spoilt wives’ were the main cause of divorces.

Chiew, when asked for his comments yesterday, said it is unfair to put the blame for broken marriages on ‘Indai blues’.

According to Chiew, the blame game should not arise at all because a couple is jointly responsible for a happy family.

What should be done for couples forced to spend days on end separately because of work commitment is counselling and guidance, he said.

“This is where the Ministry of Social Development and Urbanisation comes in — perhaps tell couples to open two accounts, one for day-to-day spending, and another, a joint account for savings purposes that can be withdrawn if both couple sign,” Chiew said.
Chiew also said perhaps the government may want to look at some of the contracts of these husbands with the view to getting employers to make sure that their workers are allowed to go home on company-expenses at least twice a year.

“Whatever we are — a general hand or an executive — we should not be leaving home for up to a year, or allow our spouses to survive on their own all because we are sending money home.

“Very important is we are all humans — both wives and husbands.

“We should have ample quality time together for our marriages not to falter under temptation of looking good, feeling good, and where every corner you turn there is the lure, the advertisements, the TV…” Chiew said.

“I thus urge the government to set up counselling units for those couples whose husbands are away for long periods.

“’Indai blues’ is no laughing or light matter. It strikes at the core of society because so many of our men are trying to create quality life by taking up challenging jobs far from home.

“Remember, these families should prosper with so much money coming in, as much as government should prosper because this money is being brought into the country,” Chiew said.

Ensure courses relevant to job market, says Fatimah

BINTULU: Students should have a thorough look at various courses before embarking on a particular field of study to ensure it meets the current and the future job market in the state.

Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department (Human Resouce and Training) Datin Fatimah Abdullah said on Sunday proper choice of courses was crucial for them to get a job after graduation.

She said, in this respect, it was also important for parents to guide and give their second opinion to their children to choose proper courses which might have brighter prospect in the future job market.

Fatimah, who is also Assistant Minister for Agriculture (Home Economics and Training) pointed out that the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) was an example of gold mine for the future generation to get jobs.

She added that SCORE would present the people a platform to make a drastic change in their life as it would bring huge opportunities of employment to the locals.

Fatimah was speaking at a meet-the-people session at Tatau Sports Hall near here.

The event was jointly organised by Bintulu Resident’s Office and Bintulu Development Authority (BDA).

The assistant minister urged the people to give more emphasis on education because with knowledge they would be abel to accept the changes brought about and be better prepared.

BDA general manager Mohidin Ishak, Deputy Resident (Social) Ismawie Salleh, a renowned local educationist Datuk Dr Adi Badiozaman Tuah and Tatau education officer Yusuf Hasbi were among those present at the function.

Mohidin, who also spoke, among other things touched on the development in Bintulu and future plans.

BDA to consider request for permanent, more comfortable ‘Tamu Tatau’ site

BINTULU: Bintulu Development Authority (BDA) assured it will consider the request of hawkers in ‘Tamu Tatau’ for a permanent and more comfortable site.

General manager Datu Mohidin Ishak said BDA will monitor and do some study to get a clearer view of the project to ensure it would not become a ‘white elephant’.

“This needs more time to be implemented – it does involve many factors but BDA will look into the matter.

“We need to ensure active business activity in the Tamu we build, thus BDA will monitor its daily activity closely,” he said in his response to a question raised by one of the longhouse leaders at a meet-the-people-session at Tatau Sports Hall recently.

The programme officiated by Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department (Human Resource and Training) and Assistant Minister for Agriculture (Home Economic and Training) Datin Fatimah Abdullah was attended by hundreds of people.

Chaired by Datu Dr Adi Badiozaman Tuah, various issues and problems were raised by the people in Tatau in the hope they can be solved as soon as possible.

Mohidin said the request of the hawkers to have a roof for their stalls would also be considered by BDA after an evaluation.

“Not only the Tamu but BDA is also willing to build a night market in Tatau,” he said, adding that it must be based on local demand and population.

Another representative of the longhouses asked the government to monitor the maintenance of Tatau Road and hopes it can be given more attention due to several recent accidents caused by damaged roads and bad conditions.

He said it was an old isse that had not been completely ironed out. The people will not keep silent but continue reminding the government and the department concerned, he said.

On the request for financial institutions like banks to be set up in Tatau Mohidin said all the infrastructures come with development as it depends on the population growth in the area.

Dr Adi, who was the moderator at the dialogue session, suggested a special meeting to be held again between the local authority and community leaders in Tatau since there were too many businesses yet to be settled.

Standardised prices for seven more areas in Bintulu

BINTULU: The Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperative and Consumerism (MDTCC) will extend its scheme for the standardisation of prices of several subsidised goods to seven more areas here soon.

Its Bintulu branch acting chief, Muhammad Daud Ali, said that the new areas are Sangan, Kuala Nyalau, Muput, Nangga Tau, Sigu, Sg Asap and Kuala Penyarai.

Currently, the scheme benefits consumers in Tubau, Kuala Tatau, Pandan and Kuala Binyo here.

Daud said the ministry had introduced the scheme which covers goods like sugar, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), petrol, diesel and rice because these goods tend to be more expensive in the rural areas due to the cost of transportation.

“We want to ensure everyone, no matter where they are, will enjoy controlled and subsidised goods at the same price,” he said at the ‘Majlis Mesra Pengguna and Ramah Tamah Aidilfitri’ at Wisma Persekutuan here.

Meanwhile, Daud said the government was committed to protecting the rights of consumer and in line with this, his ministry had legislated several laws.

“There are nine laws legislated aimed at eradicating any violations in trading activities such as intellect property rights, subsidised items, essential items and also prices.

“Apart from that a consumer claims tribunal was also introduced to solve issues which concern claims and compensations,” he said.

He added that to diversify the ministry’s efforts in protecting consumers, a National Price Council was introduced to address the increase in prices of goods and their shortages in the country so as to tackle inflation.

The council protects the people from any inappropriate increase of prices and it made sure the stockpiles of essential goods are sufficient, said Daud.

He pointed out that there are about 1,000 price monitoring enforcers appointed nationwide.

BDA aims to open new public library in Sungai Plan

BINTULU: The Bintulu Development Authority (BDA) is aiming at opening a new public library in Sungai Plan as part of its mission to promote reading among people here.

Its acting assistant general manager, Dr Hamli Biha, said that the authority proposed to build the new library under the Tenth Malaysia Plan (10MP) to complement the current BDA Public Library at the Bintulu Civic Centre.

“We hope we will be allocated the funds under the 10MP for this library in order to change people’s mindset about reading.

“We would like people to adore reading,” he said when closing the 17th BDA story-telling contest for primary school students here.

In line with its aim to promote reading, Dr Hamli said BDA would consider opening its story-telling contests to lower secondary school students beginning next year in view of the overwhelming support this year from primary schools.

“I am very impressed with what I saw today where the Primary 1 to 6 pupils have showed their talent and this is the result that BDA is aiming for by organising this contest.

“We hope o open it to lower secondary schools next year. We would also try to bring the state-level story-telling contest to Bintulu next year and we hope our participants will be ready for it,” he said.

The contest, which is organised by the BDA Public Library, was participated by 24 schools this year, nine more than last year.

The contest was divided into two categories namely level one for Primary 1 to 3 and level two for Primary 4 to 6.

It is also divided into two sub-categories which are group A and B for Bahasa Malaysia and group C and D for English.

The first place in the level one group A was won by Angelin Loh Yan Yuen of SJK Siong Boon, while second and third places went to Kartika Zalia Mohamad (SK Orang Kaya Mohammad) and Risska Sulastri Diky Alam Sah (SJK Chung San Sebauh) respectively.

Annie Lau Mao Chung (SJK Sebiew Chinese) took the first place in group C level one. Second place went to Kong Hui Ming (SJK Chung Hua Tatau) and third to Winnie Lau Yung Chen (SJK Chung San Sebauh).

In level two group B, the first place went to Loi Sze Heng (SJK Chung Hua), followed by Elsie Lee Yao Qian (SJK Chung San Sebauh) and Sharon Harun (SJK Siong Boon) for second and third places respectively.

Meanwhile in level two group D, Nur Farahin Sulaiman (SK St Anthony) took the first place. Second place was won by Le Anton Visabella (SJK Siong Boon) followed by Hasbie Niar (SK Labang Sebauh) in third place. The prize for the best story content was awarded to Elsie Lee Yao Qian (SJK Chung San Sebauh); while the prize for the best props went to Angelin Loh Yan Yuen (SJK Siong Boon).

Meanwhile, the best performance went to Loi Sze Heng which also made him the overall winner and recipient of the prize for best storyteller.

The challenge trophy was handed over to SJK Siong Boon Bintulu.

Second night market for Bintulu

BINTULU: An open-space located at Assyakirin Medan Raya Commercial Centre will be transformed into a night market for local entrepreneurs soon.

Disclosing this to reporters recently, Bintulu Development Authority (BDA) general manger Datu Mohidin Ishak said the new night market will house stalls and small scale entrepreneurs.

“The opening of a new night market in that area means Bintulu folk will have two night markets, said Mohidin.

The old night market was located at the town centre next to the Old Airport while the second was proposed to be located at the recent Ramadan Bazaar site, which was at Assyakirin.

Mohidin hoped with the opening of the new night market, new business opportunities would be created and the market would be a catalyst to trigger domestic economy especially among the small scale entrepreneurs.

He said the location wan chosen because BDA believed it was a strategic spot for new businesses to expand.

Give villagers land titles for lots, govt urged

BINTULU: Folk of Kampung Penan Muslim at Mile 10, Bintulu-Miri Road have appealed to the government to be issued with land titles for their housing lots.

The villagers who number 800 from 170 households would feel more at peace if their housing lots were issued with titles, said community leader Temenggong Abang Suhaili Abang Mohamed.

Speaking on behalf of the villagers during a ‘majlis Berambeh Berlanggar Meja’ with the Head of State Tun Datuk Patinggi Abang Muhammad Salahuddin and wife Toh Puan Datuk Patinggi Norkiah at the compound of Masjid Darul Falah at the village recently, Suhaili said the titles’ would give the villagers a sense of security.

Besides, he said with titled land the villager would feel very proud of their success in the sense that not only they now have electricity, water and other basic amenities but even the land where their homes stand belong to them.

Earlier, he thanked Salahuddin for his willingness to share the joy of Aidilfitri with the villagers.

Meanwhile, the village representative Raini Pie when met said his family had been residing in the village since 1968.

According to him, the village stands in what is now known as Kampung Penan Lot 162 reserve lands, meaning that residents are sharing one big piece of land with no individual lots demarcated.

“We do hope the government will issue us individual titles,” said Raini.

Raini also lamented that the villagers had to pay RM1,800 per household to get piped water, which he described as being too high.

“We hope that Lembaga Air Kawasan Utara (Laku) Management Sdn Bhd can get down to the field and look into our problem thoroughly so that the cost to have clean water supply by the villagers can be reduced,” he said.

Also present at the function were Jepak assemblyman Datuk Talib Zulpilip and Resident Ismail Mohd Hanis.

TYT, wife attend ‘Majlis Berlanggar Aidilfitri’ in Bintulu

BINTULU: The Yang di-Pertua negeri Tun Datuk Patinggi Abang Muhammad Salahuddin and his wife Toh Puan Datuk Patinggi Norkiah recently attended a ‘Majlis Berlanggar Aidilfitri’ at Kampung Jepak here.

Jepak assemblyman Datuk Talib Zulpilip and his wife Datin Dr Zaliha Abdullah, Senator Pau Chiong Ung, Bintulu Resident Ismail Mohd Hanis and District Officer Bujang Budin were among those present.

Talib, in his welcoming address, said it was the second time the Head of State and his wife were visiting Kampung Jepak this year. He said it was an honour for the villager to receive the visit from His Excellency and his wife.

Talib said Kampung Jepak was unique in various aspects.

“Despite the vast development and changes in and around the area, the village still manages to preserve its traditional ‘kampung style’ environment,” the assemblyman said.

“The people in this village still do community work apart from emphasising on enhancing cooperation and understanding among them.”

Talib hoped the villager would preserve their values and traditions in the interest of the future generation.

The even was jointly organised by Lembaga Amanah Kebajikan Islam Bintulu (Lakib), Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), Jepak Branch and Bintulu Divisional Administration.

Earlier in the day, His Excellency and his entourage visited the Penan Muslim village at Mile 10 Jalan Bintulu-Miri for a similar event.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Talib: Kite fest platform to promote world peace

BINTULU: Borneo International Kite Festival 2009 is the best platform to promote peace and understanding among various

communities in the world, said Jepak assemblyman Datuk Talib Zulpilip.

Although the world is not that safe this event can play a little role to get the people together in peace and harmony, said Talib.

With theme ‘Kite for Peace’, the festival was held for the fifth consecutive year at the Bintulu Old Airport and it reflected the 1Malaysia concept.

“Malaysians exist in a multi-racial society and live together harmoniously. In Sarawak, the 1Malaysia concept is synonymous with our way of life,” he said.

Talib was speaking on behalf of Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud at the reception dinner and prize giving ceremony at ParkCity Everly Hotel here on Sunday night.

He said the festival helps to accelerate the domestic economic growth, adding that continuous activities of such nature will minimise the negative impact of the global economic downturn.

Earlier, Bintulu Resident Ismail Mohd Hanis said even though there were many obstacles faced by the organisers this year, including the thick haze, the response from the public was overwhelming.

Thus, it has encouraged the organisers to plan for a much bigger and greater festival next year, and to strive to put Bintulu on the inter-national tourism map, said Ismail.

The kite festival here has become a significant event where international kite enthusiasts and tourists converge.

“We hope to attract a much bigger participation from the international kite enthusiasts next year,” he said.

Also present was Bintulu Development Authority general manager Mohidin Ishak.

CM: Grab training, job opportunities available

BINTULU: Youths who are a valuable asset to the country should be more open-minded in seizing the employment opportunities in the job market.

Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud in giving the reminder yesterday said the young should also grab the training chances that come along to better prepare themselves for the future.

He said they needed to be more attentive to developments around them including jobs that would be available in Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE).

According to Taib, youths formed about 40.5 per cent of the state’s population of 2.3 million people last year.

Those aged between 15 and 40 are classified as youth.

The chief minister said the state government was mindful of the great contribution youths would make for the sustainability of development and future growth of the state, adding that in line with that it had identified five core development programmes especially for youths under the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP).

He added that the emphasis included strengthening the youth development agenda which was implemented under the Eight Malaysia Plan, particularly those related to improving their academic achievements and skills, and encouraging and building leadership qualities in youths at various levels including at the villages and longhouses.

Taib said this in his keynote address during the launching of the 2009 State-Level Youth Assembly at the Civic Centre here.

The chief minister’s text of speech was delivered by Social Development and Urbanisation Minister Dato Sri William Mawan.

Taib added that the core development programmes also included efforts to enlarge and encourage youth participation in agricultural activities, and to provide more training centres, especially for those who could not find places in institutions of higher learning.

On the theme of the celebration, ‘Belia Berwawasan Penggerak Kejayaan’, the chief minister hoped it would have a positive impact on the youths to shoulder the task of inheriting and preserving the country’s success.

“The younger generation has to equip itself with the right knowledge and boost its professionalism in order to contribute effectively towards the country’s development,” he added.

He also outlined several major challenges and obstacles the youths had to counter effectively in the future.

Seven persons received ‘Tokoh Belia’ awards in connection with the assembly and among other things each of them received a certificate, a medal and a souvenir worth RM1,000 each.

The seven included Ibrahim @ Abd Hussain Tuah, David Chuo Kong Chu and Yusuff Mohamad who received the silver medal and Lucy @ Lucie Radu Balang who received the bronze medal.

The other award recipients are Jackson Ting Nik Soon (youth and sports award) and Suffian Jalet and Tuah Jili (youth cultural award).

Among those present included Youth Assistant Minister Hamden Ahmad, Senator Pau Chiong Ung, Senator Datuk Hii Tiong Kuok, Kemena assemblyman Dr Stephen Rundi Utom and Saberkas secretary general Aidan Wing, who is also Lambir assemblyman.

Bintulu Resident Ismail Mohd Hanis, Social Development and Urbanisation Ministry permanent secretary Ik Pahon, who is also the organising chairman, and Youth and Sports Department director Mohd Selihin Kachon were also present.

Workers advised to comply with regulation

Improving radiation safety gives investors confidence: Fadilllah

BINTULU: Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Fadillah Yusof reminded all licensees and workers involved in industrial radiography activities to comply with the standard and regulation stipulated under the Atomic Energy Licensing Act (Act 304).

Apart from improving the radiation safety and security culture and reducing the risk of radiation it would also give the investors confidence and generate better investment climate in the industries, he said.

“Foreign investors will be pleased that Malaysia is not only able to provide first class infrastructure and trained workers and expertise, but also has an efficient enforcement programme.

“The standard operating procedure (SOP) must be followed strictly and we will not tolerate any non-compliance and negligence which might affect national and societal well-being,” he said when officiating at a two-day seminar on security and safety compliance awareness among radiation workers in gauge, sale, industrial radiography and Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM) at ParkCity Everly Hotel here yesterday.

The seminar, organised by Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB), was also attended by its director-general Raja Datuk Abdul Aziz Raja Adnan.

Fadillah said it was very important for the country to have the best in as far as radiation management protection was concerned in order to get endorsement and trust from international bodies on the possibility of nuclear energy being used as another alternative energy for generating electricity in the country.

He said security, safety and safeguards were vital aspects that had to be taken into consideration by all the related agencies and companies involved in industrial radiography.

“There are several procedures and provisions outlined by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) under the code of conduct on the safety and security of radioactive sources.

“This security element, apart from being practised in the radioactive industry, was also extended to other industrial players in Malaysia,” he said.

To date, a total of 961 companies and related government agencies licensed under AELB operated in the country involving several main activities like gauge, sale, non-destructive testing, NORM, mineral processing, oil exploration, research, training and consultation, said Fadillah.

Those companies found violating the act, said Fadillah, had been given stern warning by AELB and this included revoking their licenses, confiscating their premises, closing their operation and court action.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Childcare body asks for subsidies to run centres

BINTULU: Sarawak Registered Childcare Association recently appealed to the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development to look into problems faced by childcare providers.

President Yii Siu Mink said that many countries showed their support for quality childcare services by giving subsidies and other incentives to their childcare industries.

“All operators have to comply with stringent guidelines and approach the Welfare Department, Land and Survey Department, Fire and Rescue Department, Health Department and local authorities to obtain a valid licence to operate,” she said at the closing of a 17-day course on basic childcare services at Bangunan Martabat.

“The Land and Survey Department recently imposed ‘enhanced premium’ for temporary use of land for providing childcare services.

“Under this, childcare providers have to use residential premises to run their business.

“The additional cost is from RM2,000 to RM8,000 depending on land size and current market value,” Yii said.

Therefore, she questioned the implementation of enhanced premium saying that there was no connection between land size and current market value of properties with the convenience of busy parents sending their children to quality childcare centres.

“These hefty fees do not guarantee that an applicant would get a valid licence as it also depends on getting supporting letters from the relevant departments,” she said.

“Due to space limitation, with 10 to 20 children, we can only charge parents RM200 to RM400 per month. We operate from 6.30am to 6.30pm on Mondays to Saturdays,” she said.

Taking into account the operational costs, they only earn about three per cent income out of which they need to pay for licensing fees, she said.

Senator Pau Chiong Ung who officiated at the closing ceremony said the matter would be brought to the attention of the government.

Bintulu first on National Basketball League circuit

BINTULU: The National Basketball League (NBL) season will be from July 10 to August 2 and Bintulu has been chosen to be the first circuit of the championship.

Six foreign players from North America, Africa, Europe and Oceania will join the four NBL teams in this year’s league which is sponsored by Telekom Malaysia.

The teams are Malacca Chin Woo, Segamat Basketball Association, Perak Farmcochem and Bintulu Rainbow.

Selangor SM Land, who finished fourth last year, have pulled out.

The other four circuits apart from Bintulu (Bintulu Indoor Stadium, July 10-12) are Penang (Han Chiang Indoor Stadium, July 17-19), Johor (Segamat Indoor Stadium, July 24-26) and Kuala Lumpur (MABA Stadium, August 1-2).

The four teams will have to complete three rounds during the regular seasons. The team finishing first in the regular season will face the fourth seeds in the semi-finals, and the second seeds will face the third seeds in another semi-final.

The best players and top scorer of each week will be selected during the regular season.

This year’s season allows each team to have two foreign players. Teams draft their respective imports from a pool of 35 players prepared by the NBL office.

Bintulu Rainbow, who finished last last year, drafted two-time NBL Regular Season MVP Chris Kuete from Cameroon as their first overall pick and Kenny Harris from the US as their eighth overall pick.

Segamat Basketball Association have chosen Amani Daanish from the US.

Last season’s runners-up Perak Farmcochem signed Gareth Murray from Scotland and Raymond Canady Jr from the US.

Murray is a Scotland national team player while Canady has been invited to participate in the Las Vegas Summer League which is organised by the NBA’s Indiana Pacers.

Defending champions Malacca Chin Woo have decided to recruit former Australian national player Benjamin Knight. He was a member of the NBL selection team in the 2008 SEABA Champion Cup in Jakarta.

In conjunction with the NBL 2009, there will be a carnival to promote it at various venues starting with Ipoh and Seberang Prai, Penang on June 27 and 28 followed by Miri on July 4 and 5. Next up wiil be a visit to Kulai, Johor on July 11 and 12.

The following week, the carnival stops at Kuala Lumpur (July 18 and 19) and ends at Seremban on July 25 and 26.

The public will have the opportunity to win goodies worth RM300 through various activities.

NBL tickets are available during the carnival. The NBL gallery will be another attraction for fans to get to know more about the league.

Besides Telekom Malaysia, the NBL is also supported by Petronas as co-sponsor and Molten as the official ball. 98.8 FM will be the official radio for this tournament which is sanctioned by Malaysian Basketball Association (MABA).