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.