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).

Resident praises Bintulu Maksak futsal teams

BINTULU: Bintulu Maksak women’s and men’s futsal teams finished second and third respectively in the competition held in Kuching on June 20 and 21.

There were 26 teams for men and eight for wo-men.

Bintulu Resident Ismail Mohd Hanis congratulated the two teams after he was handed the trophies to be kept at his office.

He said the teams deserved to win second and third placings as they had trained hard for the competition.

“I hope the other teams will emulate them when representing the Division in national competitions,” Ismail said before receiving the trophies from team manager Carol Bungan.

The players of both teams are from various government agencies in Bintulu.

Ismail disclosed Bintulu had been chosen to host the state Maksak Corporate Games expected to be held in November.

“We have identified several games like golf, badminton, tennis and netball for the Games.

“The programme will be given to the press in due course.”

He said Maksak teams statewide would compete against several corporate sectors in the state during the Games.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Operators told to strictly follow hall procedures

BINTULU: Sarawak Islamic Religious Department (Jais) director Datu Misnu Taha on Saturday warned slaughtering houses, especially on chicken, to strictly abide by the halal rules and procedures.

He said that companies that had been issued with the halal permit would be dealt with accordingly if they were found to have flouted the rules.

“Action may include closing their premises for three months if they are found to have flouted the rules for the second time. They can only reopen after a complete investigation is completed and after receiving pledge that they won’t do it again,” Misnu told reporters after checking one of chicken slaughtering houses (Chicwan Trading Sdn Bhd) at Mile 5, Jalan Sebiew here about midnight last Saturday.

The joint operation headed by Misnu himself was participated by 14 personnel from Jais, Bintulu Development Authority, veterinary section of Agriculture Department and the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperative and Consumerism.

The operation was first of its kind conducted in the division this year.

Chicwan Trading obtained the halal status in November 2007, and is the only slaughtering house here.

Nine premises here have been issued with the halal permit. They are ParkCity Everly Hotel, Li Hua Hotel, Singapore Chicken Rice, Regency Plaza Hotel, Austral Edible Oil Sdn Bhd, Leni Spice Sdn Bhd, Shun Shen Lee Trading Sdn Bhd, Super Favour Marketing Sdn Bhd and Chicwan Trading Sdn Bhd.

Misnu said that 638 applications for halal status had been received since 2004.

Of the number 207 had been approved, four had been approved but still waiting for permit to be issued, and 173 still in the process.

Jimmy, Abygail crowned Everly Keling and Kumang Gawai.

BINTULU: Jimmy James and Abygail Hailey Tay were crowned Keling and Kumang of ‘Everly Keling and Kumang Gawai 2009’ competition held at the Millennium Ballroom of ParkCity Everly Hotel recently.

Jimmy, 26, from Kapit beat seven other contestants to walk away with a trophy, RM1,000 cash and two-day, one-night stay at Balcony Suite.

Meanwhile Abygail, 23, from Kuching beat 12 others to the Kumang Everly crown.

She also received a trophy, RM1,000 cash, sash, bouquet and two-day, one night stay at Balcony Suite.

The first runners-up for Keling and Kumang Everly were Thurston Andok Bennet, 20, from Betong and Angelina Rachak Lajang, also 20, from Bekenu, respectively.

Both received RM700 cash, sash and two-day, one-night stay at the Executive Room.

Second runners-up fro Keling and Kumang Everly who received RM500, sash and two-day, one night stay at Deluxe Room were Buchin Tading, 26, from Selangau and Wendy Laur Sumur, 19, from Bintulu respectively.

The Most Appearing Keling subsidiary title went to Thurston ANdok Bennet who reeived a RM800 cash voucher.

Louisa Damie William Sampai, 18, won the Miss Photogenic subsidiary title and RM800 cash voucher.

Hotel owner Troy Yaw presented the prizes to the winners, accompanied by regional general manager of Borno Hotels, John Augustine.

UPM campus checks new students thoroughly for Influenza A (H1N1)

BINTULU: Universiti Putra Malaysia Bintulu campus (UPMKB) will monitor closely the health condition of students who registered for the new session, as a measure of precaution to ensure that they are free from any symptoms of Influenza A (H1N1).

UPMKB’s dean of agriculture and food sciences faculty Associate Prof Dr Jaspar Sidik Bujang said through the procedures outlined by the Ministry of Health and the doctor in charge (Dr Kassim Shafiee), the university will continuously supervise the students’ health.

“This measures is not just during the new intake session. We will continue to conduct medical check-ups on all ill students here,” said Dr Jaspar when met during the new student intake for the 2009-2010 session.

“The new students will go through the basic procedure and it is also compulsory for them to undertake a medical check-up, including body temperature check-up,” he said.

He pointed out that apart from medical screenings at the airport or other entry points, these students will be asked to undertake strict medical check-ups here to avoid unnecessary inconveniences during the ‘Minggu Perkasa Putra’.

On the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE), he said UPMKB will play its role to produce quality manpower for the corrdidor.

As part of a research university, the students here are small in quantity but nevertheless, all the courses provided are suited to the demand of the future job market, namely in the agricultural and fishery industries, said Dr Jaspar.

“For your information, UPMKB is also offering post graduate studies such as in Masters and Doctorates and presently there are some 26 students here pursuing their studies at those levels,” he added.

He pointed out that for the next semester there will be another 40 new students pursuing their post graduate studies.

“our target is that by 2015, we will have some 300 students doing the post graduate level studies and I am optimistic we will reach the target. By looking at the current trend, we will have some 80 post graduate students next year.”

On the new intake last Saturday, he said UPMKB had offered some 550 places but only had 308 reported.

Love, care, treasure your respective organisation: Toastmaster governor

BINTULU: Members of various clubs and organisations here have been urged to love, care and treasure their respective clubs and organisations.

Toastmasters International Division E governor Bobo Wong when making the call pointed out that it take years of effort, blood and sweat to develop a successful club or organisation but just a while to destroy it.

He was speaking at the Toastmasters International District 51 Division 51 Division E2 appreciation night held at Li Hua Hotel here last Monday.

Wong said members should commit themselves 100 per cent in a club or organisation to make sure they benefit from the club as well as the club benefit from their participation.

“How often do we see some people taking things for granted, quarrelling out of personal interest and eventually have the whole club destroyed,” he said.

He added that some join various clubs and organisations for their own interests and without realising it, they slowly destroy the organisation because they are not functioning as active members.

He also shared with his audience some tips for success which can be emulated in order to be a good leader in a club or organisation.

“The first key to leadership success is to stay focused and concentrate on what you are doing,” he said.

“When I first accepted the position of division governor, I told myself that I would focus and commit to only one club, which is Toastmasters.

“I would decline invitations to some dinners or parties, I would reject offer of leadership positions from other organisation because I wanted to commit myself fully to Toastmasters,” he added.

“Second, is to lead by example. As a leader in this non-profit voluntary organisation we cannot force or threaten our members to do the work but we can set a good example for them to follow and at the same time, we must be willing to put in extra effort to get the job done.

“The third key to be a successful leader is to listen to others. A humble leader is willing to listen to other people’s ideas and implement them if they are proven to be effective,” he added.

Seven Toastmasters’ clubs here received their certificate of appreciation: Kidurong, Mandarin, Toastmasters, Hakka, SUPP, Foochow and Agile Performance Culture.

Outstanding members from the various clubs also received their respective awards presented by Wong. Lim Tien King was awarded Areas E2 Toastmaster of the year award.

‘Don’t take health for granted’ advice

BINTULU: Health is important but people tend to take it for granted and only seek treatment when their sickness has reached a critical stage.

Parkway Health group assistant, vice-president corporate marketing Samuel Tan said this during a public health talk at the Hockien Association hall on Saturday evening.

Tan said it would be hard to recover at the critical stage, so it was advisable for patients to seek early treatment for better chances of recovery.

The talk aimed to make people health-conscious and know about prevention of ailments and their treatment.

Senator Pau Chiong Ung who officiated at the ceremony was disappointed that the community did not think it important enough to attend health talks although organisations and the private sector had spent much money to bring specialist doctors from other countries.

Pau reminded the public to reduce their presence in crowded places especially with Influenza A (H1N1) around.

He urged the people to keep themselves clean since prevention is better than cure.

“All people must take precautions to ensure they and their family are free from illness, particularly the H1N1 virus,” said Pau.

The speakers for the health talk are Dr John Yam Pei Yuen and Dr Leslie Leong Chi Sern from Gleneagles Medical Centre, Singapore.

Dr Yam, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist talk about ‘What Every Woman Should Know about Cyst and Fibroid’.

Dr Leong, a consultant orthopaedic adult reconstruction surgeon, delivered a talk on ‘Knee and Hip Advances Treatment’.

The talk was jointly organised and sponsored by Chung Hua Association Bintulu, Hockien Association Bintulu and Parkway Health.