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.


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.