Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Some 60 students play little ambassadors

FOSTER HOME: (From left) Mokhtar and Rajali witness the handing over of the participants to their respective adopted families.


BINTULU: About 60 students from all over the country studying at public institutions of higher learning in the state taking part in an adoption programme (Titian Integrasi IPT) are described as little ambassadors representing their respective states.

National Integration and Unity Department state director Rajali Mudin said participation in the programme during their semester break was a platform to foster better understanding among fellow Malaysians irrespective of their origin.

“This is an opportunity for the students and their adopted parents to get to know each other better,” said Rajali when officiating at the handing over of the participants to their respective adopted parents at Li Hua Hotel.

The programme was first introduced in 2006 and was held in Betong and Sri Aman but this year Bintulu was chosen.

Among the four participating institutions are Universiti Putra Malaysia Bintulu campus, Sarawak Teachers Institute Miri, Industrial Training Institution Miri and Mukah Polytechnic.

Bintulu Rukun Tetangga committee coordinator Mokhtar Ismail and representatives from the respective institutions were among those present.

Spend wisely, ministry official tells consumers

ONE FOR THE ALBUM: Dr Razali (fifth left) with (from left) Elisa, Muhammad Daud, Keith and Lau (second right) at the launching of the campaign.


BINTULU: Consumers should spend wisely.

They must take advantage of the steps taken by the Domestic Trade and Consumers Affairs Ministry (KPDNHEP) to lower prices of goods through campaigns in shopping complexes and restaurants.

That advice came from KPDNHEP assistant director (Domestic Trade Section) Elisa Helda Dollen yesterday.

She said those in business too should give their support by bringing down prices of daily household items.

This, Elisa added, was imperative not to burden consumers, especially during the current world economic crisis.

She explained that the ministry’s effort is aimed at lessening the burden of consumers so that they would be able to spend wisely on their daily necessities.

“This campaign was launched in shopping complexes in Kuching early this year with the hope that the consumers would be able to choose the best out of what they are going to buy,” she added.

Elisa made the remarks when met during the launching of the campaign known as ‘Kempen Penurunan Harga Barang’ officiated by Bintulu Resident Dr Razali Abon at New World Mart Sdn Bhd in Parkcity Mall and at Famous Mama Cafe near Jalan Sommerville.

According to her, the response and feedback ever since the campaign was launched in Kuching was overwhelming, and this is the first time such a campaign is launched here.

“We hope the campaign would also receive a good response here,” she said, adding that similar campaigns would also be launched in other divisions in stages.

The price lowering campaign is not confined to shopping complexes, but also includes eateries, furniture shops, and pharmacies.

The campaign launched at New World Mart will go on for two weeks, she added.

Elisa said the price lowering campaign involved more than 200 items, and the pricing depends on the proprietors of the outlets.

Bintulu KPDNHEP acting head Muhammad Daud Ali, New World Suites general operations manager Keith Pointer, New World Mart Sdn Bhd manager Lau Soon Heng and enforcement officers of the KPDNHEP here were among those present during the function.

Friday, April 24, 2009

BE RESOURCEFUL WHEN DISCHARGING DUTIES, GOVT OFFICERS TOLD

THANK YOU: Baya (second left) presents a certificate of appreciation to one of the recipients as (from left) Razali and Morshidi look on.


BINTULU: Resourcefulness in leadership should be a feature of government officers, particularly among those serving in Resident and District offices.

“Being government officers is not just dealing with administrative works only.

“When empowered with jobs, they should take their own initiatives to tackle issue. For example during floods, they should act fast and properly, and not just wait for orders from their bosses in Kuching,” State Secretary Datuk Amar Wilson Baya Dandot said.

Baya was speaking during an appreciation dinner in connection with the Resident and District Officers Conference 2009 hosted by the Resident’s Office at Regency Plaza Hotel here.

The state secretary stressed that each and every government servant should be innovative when discharging their duties.

Baya also commended Bintulu Resident Dr Razali Abon who would be transferred to Kuching next month for his efforts and resourcefulness in binding various government departments and private sector here through a special gathering introduced by him called Inter-Agency Networking Hi-Tea programme held once a month.

He said this is a good example of innovative leadership and it should be emulated by the residents in other divisions.

During the event, the state secretary presented certificates of appreciation to various government departments and private agencies including the media for assisting the government in the development of the state.

Deputy State Secretary Datuk Mohd Morshidi Abd Ghani, Razali, Temenggong Abg Suhaili Abg Mohammad, heads of government department and community leaders were among those present at the dinner.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Some land devt info not divulged: Tengah

MUCH ADO ABOUT LAND MATTERS: (From left) Fadillah, Naroden, Masing, Tengah, Manyin and Baya during the opening ceremony.

BINTULU: The government cannot simply announce every detail pertaining to the development of certain areas.

The reason, according to Second Minister of Planning and Resource Management Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan, is to stop speculations by certain quarters.

He said when speculators are at work, the ordinary people would not benefit.

But be that as it may, the state government will continue to disseminate information about land development programmes, he said.

Officiating at a two-day state-level land seminar at Parkcity Everly Hotel on Tuesday on behalf of Chief Minister Pehin Seri Abdul Taib Mahmud, he said information would be given out continuously.

This, he said, would ensure that the people would not be confused by certain groups who try to manipulate and influence them to go against the government’s land development programmes.

“The opposition has used land issues as part of their agenda during the recent by-election in Batang Ai, but failed to convince the rakyat in the area to side with them,” Tengah said.

According to him, the government could not avoid making changes to the state’s land implementation and administration policy as it should be in accordance with the prevailing social and economic situation.

On the Land and Survey Department’s Land and Survey Information System (Lasis) which was certified by the Malaysian Productivity Corporation (MPC) early this year, he said it was among the best such system in the country and would continue to upgrade its effectiveness.

According to him, Lasis which was established in 1984 has succeeded in improving the department’s conveying system especially in regard to the registration of land ownership letters which can now be processed in four days.

State Tourism Minister Datuk Michael Manyin Jawong; Land Development Minister Dato Sri Dr James Masing; Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Fadillah Yusof; Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Office who is also the Assistant Minister of Planning and Resource Management Mohd Naroden Majais; State Secretary Datuk Amar Wilson Baya Dandot; Land and Survey Department director Datu Sudarsono Osman; Acting Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Planning and Resource Management Datu Len Talif Salleh; assistant ministers, assemblymen, assistant state secretaries and about 400 participants comprising government officers, and community leaders from various divisions attended the seminar.

Six working papers would be tabled during the seminar with two forum sessions.

Ironic that land-rich Bumis are poor: Tengah

TOKEN OF APPRECIATION: Assistant Minister of Land Development Mohd Naroden Majais (fourth left) presents a souvenir to Tengah at the closing of the seminar.

BINTULU: Sarawak Bumiputeras own a lot of land, particularly native customary land (NCL), but the irony is most of them are still living below the poverty line.

In other countries, whoever own land become rich, but in Sarawak those who have land do nothing to develop or add value to them, said Second Minister of Planning and Resource Management Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan.

Speaking at the closing of a two-day state-level land seminar at ParkCity Everly Hotel yesterday, Tengah said if the community does not understand the government’s land policies and make the best use of them, they would not benefit at all.

“So it is hoped that through the seminar the participants can understand the policies. Hopefully it can also narrow the information gap between the NCL owners and the government,” said Tengah.

He stressed that the community should be aware of each policy especially those involving the development of land.

This, he said, is to avoid confusion and most importantly to prevent the community from falling prey to some parties who might want to exploit the issues for their own interest.

“Let’s hope that through the seminar, certain problems and issues regarding land can be reconciled,” he said.

Tengah said following his observation throughout the two-day seminar, the participants were supportive of government policies.

“So what remains to be emphasised now is the implementation,” he said.

He pointed out that the government was responsive to the people’s needs and any shortcoming in the implementation of a particular policy would soon be rectified immediately.

Sarawak is the biggest state in Malaysia and if possible the government would send all its relevant workers to monitor land development to prevent any mishandling of projects by contractors, he said.

“But the people also need to give us support and cooperation and should any problems arise or intruders disturb their land, they must tell the authorities immediately.

“Recently we took action against some companies who were given Provisional Lease (PL) to develop some land.

“It turned out that they violated the stipulation under the PL and intruded into native customary land,” said Tengah.

Therefore he called on all NCL owners to safeguard their land titles, but at the same time work together with the government through a new concept of NCL development.

Tengah also urged those who have small plots of NCLs to combine their land with others and get them developed with private companies or government agencies like Felcra.

“But make sure the lands are intact and can be inherited by future generations,” he said.

Medical centre may be operational by Sept


BINTULU: Columbia Asia, an international healthcare provider will open its sixth hospital in Malaysia at a cost of around RM10 million (land and building) at Jalan Tanjong Kidurong here.

The medical centre, to be built on a 2-acre site, is a joint-venture project of Bintulu Development Authority and Assar Services Sdn Bhd with a 40 and 60 per cent share each respectively.

According to BDA general manager Mohidin Ishak the building was nearing completion – it would be completed by end of this month, and would be handed over to the operator (Columbia Asia) in June.

“Hopefully the medical centre will be fully operational by September,” Mohidin told a press conference after a meeting with representatives of Assar at BDA headquarters here yesterday.

Mohidin said he was glad to see Bintulu now moving another step forward in providing quality private medical facilities to complement what the government was providing. This development was in line with Bintulu’s expansion as more major heavy industries are set to come in.

“This is the first major project being implemented in the Kidurong district centre for a long time, and hopefully it is a catalyst to attract more development in the area,” Mohidin said.

Assar Services Sdn Bhd managing director Ghazali Ismail said the RM10 million spent in phase one of the project included cost of land. On completion, the medical centre built on a boutique concept would have 19 beds and a children’s ward.

Ghazali, who is also Permodalan Assar Sdn Bhd general manager, said the building of the medical centre was one of their contributions to the state government in providing basic medical facilities for the people here, which was fast becoming a vibrant industrial centre.

He added that with Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) underway, this private medical centre was most fitting for Bintulu, which wanted to achieve a Friendly Industrial City status by 2020.

Ghazali also said that Columbia Asia itself would furnish the centre with the necessary facilities and equipment while most of the personnel had been recruited, who were now undergoing familiarisation works.

Columbia Asia’s other branches in the country are in Taiping Perak, Puchong Selangor, Seremban Negeri Sembilan, Shah Alam Selangor, and Miri.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Marine Police retain Petronas Cup title

TWO-TIME-CHAMPIONS: Marine Police players and officials celebrate after their penalty shoot-out win over MLNG


BINTULU: Marine Police once again stamped their authority, winning for the second consecutive year, the 15th edition of the Petronas Cup football tournament.

They beat MLNG 7-6 in a penalty shoot-out in the final on Saturday, thus maintaining their unbeaten run in the tournament.

Both teams were tied 1-1 after normal play with goals from Andy Kaso Sia (Marine Police) in 40th minute and Jery Ijau (MLNG) in 75th.

“Both teams had equal chances in the game, even in the penalty shoot-out. We were fortunate to have scored the first goal to give the boys confidence,” said Marine Police head coach Abdullah Tuah after the game.

“We created many chances but the superb performance of the MLNG goalkeeper stood in our way to achieve early victory. The goalie was good, even the penalty shoot-out looked like it never ended,” said Abdullah, who played in the defence for his team last year.

As the champions, Marine Police walked away with RM3,000, a challenge trophy and medals while MLNG took home RM2,000, a trophy and medals. The semi-finalists received RM500 each.

Joseph Sia (Marine Police) with 12 goals was named top player while the man of the match award went to MLNG’s Raini Razmi.

Thirteen teams took part in the tournament.

Jepak assemblyman Datuk Talip Zulpilip and Petronas regional general manager Mosir Hamid gave away prizes to the winners at the closing ceremony, which was also attended by senior officers from Petronas and MLNG.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

BINTULU BIKE FESTIVAL 2009

FLAG OFF: Senator Pau Chiong Ung flagging off the bikers at the Bintulu Old Airport. Some 250 bikers took part in the Bintulu Bike Festival jointly organised by the Bintulu Bike Community and the Resident's Office yesterday. Pau hopes the festival can become a tourism event for the division in the future.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Putting S’wak on forest management world map

BINTULU: The opening of Sarawak Rainforest and SFM (Sustainable Forest Management) Discovery Centre at Bukit Kana and SFM certification for Anap-Muput FMU (Forest Management Unit) on Thursday will put Sarawak on the world map for tropical forest management.
Malaysian Timber Certification Council chairman Datuk Dr Freezailah Che Yeom said the centre would become a special reference project in the state to be followed by others especially in Malaysia.

“About 370 million hectares of forests in the world are reported to be under sustainable management and certified, out of which tropical forests account for only about five per cent.

“And most of these areas are in Malaysia. About 56 per cent of Malaysia’s land area is forested compared with the global forest cover of only 30 per cent.

“Sarawak is therefore truly green with more than 60 per cent of its land under natural forests,” said Dr Freezailah during the official opening of the centre.

The centre is 20 kilometres from Sangan and accessible by road and river from Tatau. Travelling between Bintulu Airport and Sangan is approximately one hour.

The centre has a built up area of 1,025 square metres including an exhibition area to showcase the local natural history, tree and timber products, wildlife and its management interpretation, community life and craft with classroom, library, conference room, surau, landscaped play area and facilities for full board and lodging for up to 50 people in a modern permanent building equipped with electricity and running water.


According to Dr Freezailah, the protected forests are under serious stage of being sustainably managed.

“Two FMUs in Sarawak, Selaan Linau and Anap-Muput have been certified for sustainability under the MTCS (Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme),” he added.

He said the statistics are most exemplary and should make Malaysians proud though much work still remains to be done.

“In Anap-Muput we can see all the positive elements that contribute to success in the implementation of SFM.

“Good community relations and meaningful involvement of members of the local community have been nurtured and developed by Zedtee management,” he said.
He congratulated Zedtee management for being able to improve the local people’s lives and their livelihood through their special efforts and activities.

“As somebody once said, forestry is not really about trees. Forestry is about people and how forests may be sustainably managed, utilised and developed to contribute to human welfare and human well-being.

“Equally here in Anap-Muput, we can see efforts on the ground to ensure biodiversity conservation and protection with the support of local communities,” he said.

The centre in Bukit Kana is beautifully situated in the green wonderland and Dr Freezailah believed that it could offer so much and symbolise the aspirations and the future of forestry in the state through SFM and certification.

The centre was previously known as Bukit Kana Field Station and represents the realisation of the key strategy of the Development Plan of the ITTO Project of Model Forest management Area in Sarawak to provide a permanent facility for training programmes for planning least damaging harvesting operations and skill training of forest operators.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Snap away and be rewarded for it

BE PART OF IT: The exhibition’s secretariat putting up some of the photos that have been submitted by visitors for the ‘People’s Gallery’ lucky draw.


BINTULU: Visitors to the development exhibition on ‘45 Years of Sarawak’s Progress in Malaysia’ at the civic centre here are encouraged to take pictures inside the exhibition hall.

In fact, the more photographs they take and submit to the organisers of the exhibition, the higher the chances for them to win a mobile phone through the ‘People’s Gallery’ lucky draw.

According to the organisers, the draw would be conducted on the last day of the exhibition - April 18.

For those interested in taking part, all they have to do is take photos of themselves, their family members or their friends, in any of the exhibition galleries.

After printing these photos, participants are required to fill their personal particulars on the back of each photo and then submit them to the secretariat stationed at the civic centre’s hall. These photos then become the ‘entry forms’ for the lucky draw.

Although creativity is not a criteria for winning, the incentive for taking creative photos would be that other people would get to admire the participants’ skills, as the photos submitted would be displayed on the ‘People’s Gallery’ panel at the exhibition.

These photos then become part of the exhibition displays for all to see.

Apart from the ‘People’s Gallery’ lucky draw, visitors can also take part in the ‘Bring-A-Friend’ lucky draw, which also offers two mobile phones as the main prize.

Visitors only need to fill their particulars in a form handed out at the entrance of the exhibition venue, and then submit it to the secretariat.

The first draw for ‘Bring-A-Friend’ will be held this Saturday and the next one will be held on the second last day of the exhibition.

This offers visitors more opportunities to win as they can fill in a form each time they visit the exhibition with their family and friends.

The two-week exhibition held at civic centre has been open to the public since April 5. It was officially launched by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan on April 7.

From Monday to Friday the exhibition is open from 10am to 5pm, and on weekends it is open from 10am to 8pm. Entrance is free.

The exhibition is organised by the State Government through the State Implementation Monitoring Unit of the Chief Minister’s Department, with Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd as the main consultants.

Sarawak Rainforest and Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) Discovery Centre at Bukit Kana in Sangan, Tatau

Forestry sector has reasons to celebrate

BINTULU: The state forestry sector has every reason to celebrate as yesterday marked a double achievements and significant milestone with the opening of Sarawak Rainforest and Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) Discovery Centre at Bukit Kana in Sangan, Tatau and SFM certification of Anap-Muput FMU (Forest Management Unit).

It is the first FMU to be certified under Malaysian Criteria and Indicator 2002 for Sustainable Forest Management.

Forest Department director Datu Len Talif Salleh had the honour to officiate at the opening ceremony, which was arranged by Zedtee Sdn Bhd.

Len, in his keynote address said this was pure testament of the state’s successful policy on voluntary certification scheme, which augured well with the private sector.

Len, who is also the managing director and chief executive officer of Sarawak Forestry Corporation, also wanted branding of the forestry sector and its products to achieve the level of ‘super brand’ associated with quality and premium products.

“SFM certification attaches with it a strong image of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The market is attracted to such corporate entities that emphasise long term and ensure sustenance for future generation.

“Therefore I urge all FMUs to take this cue and model their units towards achieving an internationally renowned brand in forest management,” he said.

According to him, SFM strongly promoted the interests of local community through protection of resources and conservation of environment for perpetuity. It would also benefit the public through access to High Conservation Value Forest designated as recreational areas for eco-tourism.

In addition, he said areas for biodiversity conservation should be protected, for instance forest areas that contained treasure troves of medicinal plants.

He added that the implementation of SFM needed not rest solely on the shoulders of the government and the long-term licence holders alone.

He pointed out that SFM certification also made it compulsory for conflicts to be addressed and resolved.

“We are now in the process of finalising a mechanism for conflict resolution with the assistance of a group of social experts,” he added.

The newly opened centre is foreseen to play an important role in expanding forest management certification to both natural and planted forest in the state.

The training facilities in the centre and the experiences gained from certified Anap-Muput FMU could be incorporated into government-initiated training programmes run by Sarawak Timber Association, Sarawak Planted Forests, and STIDC, he said.

The centre contains exhibits showing flora and fauna, and daily life in the longhouse, which displays inter-dependencies and network of life.

He said the Anap-Muput FMU was surrounded by 15 Iban longhouses with a population of 1,275 and SFM brings everybody in a loop, whereby the community participates in a sustainable form of economy that reduces competition over forest land.

“As population increases, more land is needed to maintain their traditional form of shifting cultivation, which consumes vast amount of forest land.

“Therefore again I urge the local people to fully understand SFM to enable them to engage in the development programmes that can improve their livelihood.

“I also call for involvement of other government agencies to provide assistance to such initiatives, and under the 10th Malaysia Plan, SFC has put up two project proposals with the Anap-Muput FMU in Mind as the pilot area,” he said.

He said alternative sources of revenue were also being identified and developed.

During the event, four model staff of Anap-Muput FMU received merit certificates for their exemplary excellent performance from Len.

He also presented the Honorary Wildlife Ranger certificates to several members of the local community before making a tour of facilities at the centre.

Kakus assemblyman John Sikie Tayai, Malaysian Timber Certification Council chairman Datuk Dr Freezailah Che Yeom, Zedtee Sdn Bhd managing director Datuk Ling Chiong Ho, Zedtee director Wong Ing Yung, Sarawak Timber Association chief executive officer Dr Lee Hua Seng, Conservation and Community Development Committee of Anap-Muput FMU chairman Michael Agul, Sarawak Forest Department deputy director Ali Yusop, and Bintulu Development Authority general manager Mohidin Ishak, were also present at the function.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Dr Chan tells S’wakians to be ready for rivalries

LET THE EXHIBITION BEGIN: Dr Chan cuts the ribbon to open the exhibition witnessed by (from left) Lee, Razali and Ujang.


BINTULU: Sarawakians have been told to brace for a competitive life once the country has achieved a developed nation status.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam said those who remained static because they are unwilling to self-improve should not even think of living among the competitive.

“If you don’t want hardship in competition then you just have to live in a place where there are less people,” he said when officiating at the opening of a development exhibition on ‘45 Years of Sarawak’s Progress in Malaysia’ at the civic centre here yesterday.

Dr Chan said in a developed nation no one could escape from the business rivalry and the competition in the job market.

That was why, he said, people must get themselves ready academically, mentally and physically.
Dr Chan who is also Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture and the Minister of Industrial Development called on the people to be ready for SCORE (Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy).

“There will be drastic changes and new things will enter the corridor areas which will require the people to be well-prepared because if they are they will gain from the opportunities created,” he said.

He warned locals against being envious with the presence of foreign workers and instead get the right training so that they could hold better paying jobs within the SCORE.

Assistant Minister of Infrastructure Development and Communication Lee Kim Shin, Jepak assemblyman Datuk Talib Zulpilip, Bintulu Development Authority deputy chairman Dato Sri Celestine Ujang Jilan, Bintulu Resident Dr Razali Abon, BDA general manager Mohidin Ishak and prominent local businessman Dato Sri Yek Min Ek were among those present.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Development expo goes to Bintulu


VETERAN POLITICIANS: A visitor trying to identify politicians from the early days of Sarawak’s independence.

BINTULU: Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam is expected to launch the state-level development exhibition on ‘45 Years of Sarawak’s Progress in Malaysia’ here, Tuesday.

The 14-day exhibition – themed ‘The People’s Choice...Our Dreams Fulfilled’ is held at the civic centre here until April 18.

It opens from 10am to 5pm on weekdays and from 10am to 8pm on weekends.

Entrance is free and all are welcome to visit the unique exhibition, which showcases Sarawak’s development story over the last 45 years.

It also gives an opportunity for visitors to learn more about the State’s plans to ensure continued progress in the future.

Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd special projects manager who is the exhibition secretariat Alexius Barieng said the similar exhibition was held in Mukah last month, Kapit in January and Sibu in February.

In July and August last year, the exhibition was held in Kuching at Stadium Perpaduan, at Sri Aman Civic Centre (October), Betong Division State Government Office Complex (November), and Sarikei Civic Centre (December).

There are three parts to the exhibition: The first part takes visitors through Sarawak’s history from pre-independence to the mid 1980s; the second part showcases present-day Sarawak’s achievements in the social, economic and political sphere; and the third part dwells on Sarawak future plan especially with the second wave of development.

Alexius said there was a special interactive area at one section of the exhibition, where visitors, especially children, could test their knowledge on Sarawak.

For the people of Bintulu, there is a section of special significance to them which focuses entirely on the development of the division over the past 45 years.

“Apart from learning more about Sarawak’s progress over the years, visitors will also get a chance to win mobile phones through two lucky draws namely ‘Bring-a-Friend’ and ‘People’s Gallery’,” said Alexius.

The exhibition here is jointly organised by the state government through the State Implementation Monitoring Unit of the Chief Minister’s Department, Bintulu Resident’s Office with Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd as the main consultant.

Four foreign vessels caught for illegal fishing activities

UNDER CONTROL: KM Tabah (left) accompanying the two seized vessels to its centre in Kemena.

BINTULU: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) Bintulu pounced on four Thai and Vietnamese fishing vessels within two days for carrying out illegal fishing activities in Malaysian waters.

MMEA’s patrol vessel KM Tabah led by commanding officer Lieutenant Nurul Azmie Zakariah spotted two curious looking fishing vessels bearing at 105 nautical miles from here and 25 miles from Mukah around 12.15am on April 3.

Azmie, who was met on his vessel (KM Tabah) offshore of Bintulu Port in Tanjong Kidurong here while hauling the seized vessels on Friday, said some 24 crew aboard were arrested including two skippers.

He said the two vessels were trying to flee when they spotted MMEA’s presence but after a 15-minute chase with 17 enforcers on board, the two illegal vessels were successfully seized without any struggle.

“Actually this is our routine operation. I was given the task and responsibility to safeguard four areas — Mukah, Oya, Tanjung Sirih and Bintulu.

“It’s not that hard to identify these illegal foreign vessels,” he said, adding that when they went closer to the suspected vessels, they noticed both vessels using Malaysian fisherman’s registration number but all the fishermen aboard were not Malaysians.

Meanwhile, MMEA Bintulu chief officer, Commander Sazali Mohamad who was also present on board said the two Thai vessels were using the same registration number — SF2-3621.

“We have no problem hauling the two vessels here,” he said.

He pointed out that the vessels were registered in Tanjung Manis, based on their preliminary investigation on the registration number.

“An estimated value of the seized items is still under process and verification by my officers but it is estimated that there are about 100kg of catches on each vessel,” said Sazali.

He noted that the process of charging the suspects in court would not be a problem because they were arrested along with evidence showing that they had breached the Malaysian maritime bylaw for carrying out illegal fishing activities without valid permits.

The Thai fishermen will be charged under Section 15(1(a) for not having permission and valid licence or permit to operate any fishing activities in our maritime territory, said Sazali.

On the overall arrests made by MMEA Bintulu, Sazali said since the operation was launched last December, this is their second raid involving foreign vessels.

On April 1, KM Tabah detained some 17 fishermen on two vessels from Vietnam also for the same offence at 9.15am at 105 nautical miles from here.

On April 2, their case was heard in the magistrates’ court and magistrate Cindy McJuce Balitus ordered them to be remanded under the custody of MMEA for a period of 14 days to facilitate investigation.

According to Azmie, MMEA patrol vessel had also spotted a Vietnamese fishing vessel bearing the registration number CM6830TS. Upon checking the skipper and nine crew members were found to have no valid permits for carrying out fishing activities in Malaysian waters.

KM Tabah then spotted another foreign vessel with the registration number TS1632 in the process of catching fish at 105 nautical miles at Tanjong Payung, about 11.30am the same day. Seven crew members aboard the vessel were detained and the case will be brought up for further mention on April 16.

Friday, April 3, 2009

95 to fly kites for peace


BINTULU: An estimated 95 international kite enthusiasts from 25 countries will take part at the 5th annual Borneo International Kite Festival (BIKF) themed ‘Kite for Peace’ at the Old Airport from Aug 2 to 9.

Participating countries are Japan, New Zealand, Australia, China, Taiwan, South Korea, Germany, England, USA, France, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Austria, India, Lebanon, Sweden and four new participants namely Brazil, Italy, Canada and South Africa (Cape Town).

Bintulu Resident Dr Razali Abon who chaired the organising committee meeting at Bintulu Resident’s Office earlier revealed at a press conference here yesterday that the theme for the festival was similar to that for the 14th Pasir Gudang International Kite Festival held last February.

The same theme will be used for the Kelantan International Wau Festival 2009 to be held at Kota Bharu in May, Razali said.

He said the theme symbolised ‘one sky, one world’ with the festival seen as the best platform to achieve unity and foster the spirit of friendship among countries.

Jointly organised by state government agencies and associations like Bintulu Development Authority (BDA), Bintulu Resident Office, Ministry of Urban Development and Tourism, Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC), Persatuan Wau Kuching Sarawak (Pewasa), and Malaysian Kite Council (MPM), the festival will invite the biggest kite enthusiasts from Japan.

According to Razali, the Japanese, renowned for their ‘Edo kite’ (usually flown with long bridle lines and a long hummer) will be sending the largest team.

Four divisions in Japan namely Tokyo, Yokaichi, Shironee and Showamanchi will gather together their best kite flyers to participate in the festival.

“They will showcase their techniquw and expertise in kite—flying from their respective divisions, with exhibition booths and workshop set up for locals to learn and acquire knowledge about kite design,” said Razali.

On National participation, he said the organising committee is targeting around 180 participants from 11 states in Malaysia namely Sarawak, Johor, Kelantan, Terengganu, perils, Pahang, Perak, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Pulau Pinang, Selangor and Kedah.

They will merge as Malaysian Kite Council (MPM).

He said the concept of the festival is the same as last year’s in terms of performances, competition, workshop and exhibitions.

Local and international participants will showcases their skills in handling kites- be it big or small- using single line, double line or quad line.

“This year we will hold a special kite performance during the night hour which is ‘Night Flying’ event to be participated by all kite flyers.

“We will be entertained by their colourful kites, variety of designs and the background music,” he added.

The competition, he said, will be divided into national-level, school-level, clubs in Bintulu and open category.

“The most interesting part is Bntulu which will be the last circuit for the national-level Traditional Kite Grand Prix under which 12 categories will eb contested.

“For the school category, there will be a Wau workshop, Rokkaku Challenge for club-level and open category Malay Kite Laga,” said Razali.

International participants will be judged in their own category based on the most creative kites, best train kites and most colourful kites.

On the exhibition and workshop booth, Razali said Japanes kite enthusiasts will showcase their unique kites.

Participants will be given a chance to visit Niah Cave and various longhouses to promote the state tourism industry, he said.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

THE 5TH BORNEO INTERNATIONAL KITE FESTIVAL 2009


THE 5TH BORNEO INTERNATIONAL KITE FESTIVAL 2009 IS BACK AGAIN!

Keep 2nd and 9th August in your diary as the time when you must be in Bintulu, Sarawak to see some of the most colourful, intriguing and strange looking kites from around the world.

This annual event that started in 2005 has ranked as the most spectacular event of its kind in the state and together with the cultural and artiste performances, it showcases the rich combination of local and international flavours for all to experience and enjoy.

Come and see the national kite competition as well as the traditional kite-making event while children will get the chance to colour their way to prizes in the colouring contest.

Stunt kites performances will be conducted by international participants as well as many distinct and creative kites will be on display.

The ‘Rokaku’ challenge will also be held amidst the Bintulu Trade and Food fair at the same venue which is right in the middle of the town.

This is one event where age knows no bound as young and old alike will be mesmerised by the shows on display.


Events of Interest


· National Kite Competition
· Traditional Kite Making Competition
· Colouring Contest for Children
· Cultural Night Performance
· ‘Rokaku’ Challenge
· Kites Workshop for Members of Public/ Secondary School Children
· Stunt Kites Performance by International Participants
· Display of Creative Kites by International Participants
· Bintulu Trade and Food Fair



For further information, please contact:-
Secretariat
The 5th Borneo International Kite Festival 2009
Bintulu Development Authority (BDA)
Wisma Bintulu, No.1, Tanjung Kidurong Road,
P.O.Box 55, 97007 Bintulu, Sarawak


Website:-
www.borneokite.com

· Mohd Ansari Mohd Syed Ahmad (BDA)
Tel: (6) 086 314680/ 332277 Fax: (6) 086 330099


· Annuar Abdul Ghani (PBT Pasir Gudang Johor)
Tel: (6) 07 2513720/ 21/ 22 Fax: (6) 07 2515260