Wednesday, December 16, 2009

350 trainees to be offered jobs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Avoid panic buying of sugar

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Academy spreads its wings to India, Saudi Arabia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aviation industry offers many job opportunities: CM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Businessman irked by behaviour of enforcers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Company praised for role in Bintulu’s devt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Job seekers told to be careful

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Local job seekers are encouraged to register with JobsMalaysia online.

Lights out for Sesco as Maksak C win petanque final

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rakan Muda keeps youths on right path

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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