Monday, November 14, 2011

Sarawak Government Machinery To Ensure Development Projects Take Off On Time

KUCHING, Nov 14 (Bernama) -- The Sarawak government and its machinery will ensure that all projects under the 10th Malaysia Plan and Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (Score) will take off as scheduled and implemented smoothly, Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud said Monday.

He urged all the ministries, departments, agencies, including government-linked companies, to continue with their commitment and hard work, as well as to monitor closely the implementation of all projects to ensure they would be completed as scheduled.

"We recognise that the speed of implementation is crucial to further spur domestic economic activites to cushion the impact of the external economic slowdown," Taib, who is also state Finance Minister said when tabling the Supply (2012) Bill 2011 at the Sarawak legislative assembly sitting, here.

He said in view of the prevailing global economic conditions, it was even more critical that all programmes and projects, especially those high-impact ones that would benefit the people at large and had greater multiplier effects, were being implemented speedily.

The proposed development allocation of RM3,263 million for next year was about 23 per cent of the current plan's approved ceiling of RM14 billion for Sarawak, he said.

Apart from the development of the Score area, he said, the state government perspective would focus on developing rural areas, increasing the value-added of the tourism sector, particularly meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE), modernising the agriculture sector, developing efficient transport and logistic systems, and producing quality and skilled manpower. - BERNAMA

S'wak manages its finances prudently, says Taib

KUCHING: Sarawak has managed its finances in a transparent and prudent manner as reflected in the "Clean Certificate" it received for the 2010 Public Accounts for the ninth consecutive year, said Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud said.

Taib, who is state Finance Minister, said the state had also again been affirmed with commendable credit ratings from both the international and domestic rating agencies, including Moody's, Rating Agency Malaysia (RAM) and Malaysian Rating Corporation Berhad (MARC).

"These track records show that the state government has conducted its financial affairs in a transparent, accountable and prudent manner in line with the applicable rules and regulation and must, therefore, continue to be disciplined in the way we manage our finances if we were to continue to be a financially healthy state," he said when tabling the Supply (2012) Bill, 2011 during the Sarawak legislative assembly sitting here.

He said it was much more critical now for Sarawak to ensure sustainability of its credit ratings, especially in its efforts to attract direct and indirect investments into the state in a bigger way in the future.

Sarawak was the only state in the country that had been able to place itself to greater scrutiny and review by such rating agencies that benchmarked its financial management with that of countries around the world, he said. - BERNAMA

M'sia has highest obesity rate in Southeast Asia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has the highest obesity rate among Southeast Asian countries and ranked sixth in Asia-Pacific region, Deputy Health Minister Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin said.

"This is something which we should think together and to promote awareness among the people to take action to reduce sugar intake.

"We view this matter seriously because excessive intake of sugar could lead to various complications including diabetes," she said in reply to a supplementary question from Dr Tan Seng Giaw (DAP-Kepong) at the Dewan Rakyat.

Rosnah said the daily sugar intake among Malaysians was too high, at 51 grammes, which is above the recommendation by the World Health Organisation, at 50 grammes.

She said that of the 1,266 food samples analysed in 2009, 92 samples or 7.3 per cent were found to have too much sugar.

Last year, 2,004 samples were analysed of which 108 samples or 5.4 per cent found to have excessive amount of sugar, she said.

She said the government issued reminders from time to time under the Food Regulations 1985 to ensure food items are safe for consumption.  - BERNAMA

Monday, October 17, 2011

Think out of the box to offset rising costs, developers told

BINTULU: Developers have to think out of the box like never before to cushion the impact of the increase in operational cost.

Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers’ Association (Sheda) vice-president cum Bintulu branch liaison chairman Troy Yaw Chee Weng said with increase in building materials, labour and other cost, developers and operators must find other ways.

“The cost is escalating and we can’t run away from this fact,” he said at the Sheda Home & Property Roadshow at ParkCity Everly Hotel here.

“Who said a house must have a roof … We have no choice, it’s not an option — we have no choice but to relook into all these new building materials which may be a little bit expensive for now but if you factor in labour and material cost you could save, I think its worth working on it,” he said.

Yaw said Bintulu was blessed with the Samalaju project.

“We are experiencing the third boom in Bintulu. This is all multi-billion dollar business mind-mapping we normally can’t understand, but its happening here.”

He said there were opportunities for the people, especially business players in developing Bintulu town.
There are 200 over Japanese families here and they will be here for many more years to come. It’s about time to think about building quality homes, quality Japanese restaurant, he said.

“The opportunities in Bintulu are enormous over the next five or 10 years and already some contractors are benefiting from the earthwork contracts.

“We are into a very challenging time and into a very exciting period as well and Bintulu will continue to spearhead a better future,” said Yaw.

Bintulu Development Authority as the sole government agency managing the growth of Bintulu has already come up with their master plan, relocating some of the squatters, planning to build thousands of low cost houses and transforming Bintulu into a friendly industrial city by year 2020.

“In the old days, people see Bintulu as a working town. People come here to work but not intending to stay long. Now that is changing; there are opportunities for hotels, homes and apartments. We need to open up our minds,” he stressed.

Sheda has about 13 members in Bintulu and 277 members throughout Sarawak.

“It is our aim to strive to have a good working relationship with the government authority. Over the years we have done just that.

“It does not mean we can overcome all the issues faced by developers in the state; some of it pursued for years without achieving our outcome. But that does not mean we are going to stop,” Yaw said.

He also commented on the statement made by Housing Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg during the opening of Sarbex 2011exhibition in Kuching recently, that it was time to review all government policies to keep up with the times.

“That means he realises rules are made by people and should be amended by people when they become obsolete.

“We are glad to have a minister who is prepared to amend change, regulations stipulated by authority if necessary,” Yaw said.

Also present at the function were Sheda president Zaidi Ahmad, deputy president Joseph Wong Kee Liong and organising chairman Yek Nai Kwong.

Guest of honour BDA general manager Datu Mohidin Ishak was represented by his assistant general manager Pulusagi Tran.

‘Budget 2012 people-oriented’

WHAT HAVE WE HERE?: Zaidi (third right), Troy Yaw (second right) and others visit a booth.

BINTULU: Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers’ Association (Sheda) commended Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak for his commitment in tabling a responsible people-oriented Budget 2012 recently.

Especially the painstaking efforts to address rising costs of living and bringing down the deficit to 4.7 per cent in 2012 from 5.4 per cent in 2011, said its president Zaidi Ahmad.

According to Zaidi the expansion of the My First Home Scheme (MFHS) with a proposal to increase the limit of house prices from a maximum of RM220,000 to RM400,000, and joint salary threshold of RM6,000 effective January 2012 is a response  to the call by MDC (Malaysian Developers’ Council) to increase the price threshold above RM220,000 as the cost of these properties in major towns was much higher.

“Coupled with the introduction of a New Civil Service Remuneration Scheme, salary improvement restructuring and increase of retirement age, government servants would have more disposable income and savings to pursue their dream homes which is positive for the industry,” he said.

He said MFHS and Prima (Perumahan Rakyat 1Malaysia) need to be expanded to Sarawak concurrently and urgently to ensure deserving Sarawakians enjoy the same benefits.

Thus he urged Bintulu Development Authority and Ministry of Housing to request the federal government for immediate implementation of such projects in Sarawak.

He said this at the opening ceremony of Sheda Home & Property Roadshow 2011 at ParkCity Everly Hotel from Oct 11 to 13.

Also present were Sheda deputy president Joseph Wong Kee Liong, Sheda vice-president cum branch liaison chairman Troy Yaw Chee Weng and organising chairman Yek Nai Kwong.

Representing BDA general manager Datu Mohidin Ishak as guest-of-honour was his assistant general manager Pulusagi Tran.

“We laud the policy that the financing of these schemes be undertaken by Islamic banks,” said Zaidi.

On this subject, he said Islamic banks could also look into financing based on supplementary agreements of LCH and LC+H as an intermediary solution to LCH issues faced by developers, while waiting for a policy review by the government.

“Sheda opined that a review of the Real Property Gains Tax (RGPT) to 10 per cent for properties held and disposed within two years, and five per cent exceeding two years and up to five years to curb excessive speculation is timely insofar as Kuala Lumpur, Penang and maybe Johor Bharu are concerned.

“However we believe property markets especially in Sarawak are not highly speculative but mostly owner-occupied, and this move will certainly act as a deterrence to upgraders and investors alike. We hope the government could review this requirement,” he said.

This year the roadshow was participated by 23 exhibitors comprising developers, bankers, property valuers, real estate agents, suppliers of building materials, home furnishing, sanitary ware, furniture, security and smart home system.

Lim wins double at bodybuilding championships

MR MUSCLES: Lim receives the challenge trophy from Sia (centre) and another contender Herman (left) who he has defeated at the champion of the champion category looks on.

BINTULU: A 44-year-old Leslie Lim from Constant Fitness was crowned as Mr Bintulu 2011 and champion of the 65kg and above category at the main stage of Farley Medan Jaya Commerce Square on Saturday.

He received the champion trophy and cash RM500.

Lim beat a 28 year-old Kong Kiat Hua of Albert Gym in the 65kg and above category contest.
Coming in third was 44 year-old Albert Ling Tiing Yong also from Albert Gym, in fourth place was 19 year-old Tang Lian Kan.

Meanwhile in the 65kg and below category, Herman Sakka, a 33 year-old mechanical supervisor from Constant Fitness defeated seven other contestants to win the title.

In second and third placings were Chua Kok Siong, 28, and Liu Sze How 23, both are from Albert Gym.
Other winners in fourth to eight placings were Tiong Ung Ling, Nor Azam Narawi, Mohd Fifi Amiera, Wong Yiik Seng and Albuin Philip respectively.

As winners they received cash prizes, trophies, hampers and protein supplements.

Bintulu Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry president Datuk Sia Hiong Ngee presented the prizes to the winners.

Sia in his speech urged the youth to get involve in healthy activities and one of it is body building.
“I recommend the younger generation to participate not only in body building but in other sports,” he said.

He said being a body builder, one must be disciplined as they had a very stringent diet and it is not easy to follow but not impossible.

“Not only having a big body but you must also have big mind, healthy body healthy mind,” added Sia.
The contest was jointly organised by Albert Gym and Farley Mini Market.

Also invited to perform was one of the finalist from the 41st Mr Malaysia Bodybuilding Championships from Sarawak -Fong Hui Kong.      

Friday, October 7, 2011

Canon to hold basic photography workshop in Bintulu

A picture is worth a thousand words, so the saying goes. Therefore, most photographers appreciate how important it is to be able to produce the best photos they possibly can.

Canon Marketing Malaysia understands this desire, which is why they are organising a basic photography workshop for the first time in Bintulu to guide Canon EOS users to understand how to take great photographs.

The workshop will be held from 1.00pm to 4.00pm on Oct 22 at Parkcity Everly Hotel.

Canon Marketing Malaysia organises photography workshops for beginners regularly throughout Sarawak as part of their continuous drive to ensure Canon EOS DSLR users benefit the most out of their cameras.

The basic photography workshop will include learning basic DSLR camera operations; understanding EOS DSLR functions and shooting modes; using ISO, shutter speed and aperture; how to use depth of field and metering; introduction to lenses, flashes and other photo equipment; and, shooting tips and composition guidelines.

Participants will also have the opportunity to preview and experience first-hand various Canon camera lenses and EOS accessories.

“We have conducted workshops in Kuching, Sibu and Miri before this and we look forward to bringing our workshops to Bintulu to support our users there,” said Frankie Ch’ng, product specialist & trainer of Canon Marketing Malaysia.

“The response has been overwhelming as participants have found these workshops helpful in their learning process and are happy with the knowledge gained.”

He added that through participating in these workshops, EOS users could build confidence in using their cameras and also hone their ability to take great photos.

Interested members of the public can register for the workshop online via for a minimal fee of RM20. For more information, contact Frankie at 0168889016 or 082-575188.

Source: BP

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Grander international Kite Festival Next Year

FLYING WHALE: This giant whale kite was among the latest creations of the international participants.

THE Bintulu Development Authority (BDA) plans to make the Borneo International Kite Festival next year even grander following the hugely successful 2011 event last week.

BDA secretary Mohd Bohari Kipli said the overwhelming response to this year’s festival – the 7th in the series – would spur the organisers to do an even better job for the 8th edition next year.

“Aside from the locals, we hope more people throughout the state and nation, and indeed, the world, will attend the festival the next round,” he enthused.

He fervently hoped the Tourism Ministry would allocate more funds for the 2012 festival, scheduled in August or September.

At a farewell-cum-prize giving ceremony, Mohd Bohari said fine weather on most days of the festival was one of the reasons for the a big turn-out.

“With friendly winds right from the opening of Gudi Festival, we were able to carry out all events smoothly,” he added.

Over 120,000 people converged at the Bintulu Old Airport for four-day 7th festival which began last Thursday and ended last Sunday.

Mohd Bohari said the festival was one of the annual events in Bintulu, and this year, it drew participants from countries like Belgium, the US, Hong Kong and Vietnam.

“Although it didn’t make the Malaysia Book of Records for having the most kites flying simultaneously at a single time, the festival produced an atmosphere that was colourful and vibrant, livening up the town for nearly a week.”

He urged the international participants to persuade their friends and families to come for the festival again next year, saying “apart from enjoying the festivities, they can also learn about the local cultures.”

Great atmosphere

A Singaporean, Gadis Widiyati, who won the award for the “most committed kite flyer”, thanked the organisers for the hospitality, and the opportunity to learn about Sarawakian cultures together with the rest of the participants, especially the first-time visitors.

“It was a great festival — wonderful atmosphere with the full support of the public. As kite flyers, we believe we have a strong bonding through our hobby,” said Widiyati who never missed the chance to join the festival.
Generally, stall holders at the festival’s trade expo were happy with the public response, saying the crowd were bigger this year.

A regular trader selling food, including traditional cuisine, and drinks, said the festival gave the locals an avenue to promote their products and earn extra incomes.

One of the international teams — i-Quad Team — said they were honoured to be in Bintulu to share with the local people their passion for kite flying.

i-Quad Team, representing five countries, comprised David Hathaway (Canada), Barry Poulter (England), Steve De Rooji (Holland), Takako Barresi (Japan), John Barresi and Willow Robin Demers (US).

In the previous year, the canopy of the main stage was blown down by strong winds, and a storm wreaked havoc on the programme. This year, the weather was better, and though there were strong winds on some days, only a handful of stall operators reported having some of their items blown away.

Awards presentation

A total of 16 awards were presented.

Sazali Moss of Sarawak won the first-ever World Kite Fighting Championship award with Supriyanto of Indonesia as the runner-up. The third and fourth placings went to Roslan Buswari of Kota Kinabalu and Norizamiwati Mohd Zaman of Kuala Lumpur Flyer Club.

Gadis Widiyati (Singapore) won the platinum award for the Most Committed Kite Flyer with the silver and bronze going to Awang Masli Hussein (Brunei) and Azemi Ariffin (Penang).

i-Quad Team took two awards – for the Best Team and for the 100th Participation in a Kite Festival.

Japan’s Air-Rex was the Best International Team while Putrajaya Kite Association was the Top National Team.

Andreas Fishbacher of Germany and England’s Sara Longbottom were judged the Most Committed International Kite Flyers in the male and female categories respectively.

Awards for the Most Sporting National Male and Female Flyers went to Christ Tan of Windancer KL and Norizamiwati Mohd Zaman of KL Flyer Club.

Ron and Baew Spaulding of Thailand took the Most Sporting Kite Couple award while France’s Rosier Bertrand won the Most Colourful Kite category.

Vietnam won for the Most Colourful 2D Kite award.

In the Rokakko Challenge, MAS Club beat Vietnam to the title.

Sarawak’s Ismail Mohd Jaafar won the Best Train Kite award with Maksum (Indonesian Kite Museum) in second spot.

‘Environment preservation must be shouldered by all parties’

OFFICIATING: Zaiedy hitting the gong to officiate at the programme as Ismail (second left), Ananthan (right) and others look on.

BINTULU: Environment preservation and conservation must be equally shouldered by all parties from the authorities to the local communities.

It is the responsibility that cannot be taken solely by just one or several groups but the whole community has to play its role in contributing to a sustainable and healthy environment.

This call was made by political secretary to Bintulu MP Zaiedy Nor Abu Nasir when officiating at the ‘Program Rakan Alam Sekitar (RAS) & Program Flagship Sekolah Bestari Anugerah Alam Sekitar P.217 Bintulu Parliament’ on behalf of Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing at SMK Bintulu yesterday.

According to him, the community while depending on related agencies or authorities for environment protection must shoulder the obligation to be involved. 

“So I urge schools or educational institutions to come up with working papers or resolutions on how to further improve the quality of environment in our area,” adding useful ideas may be adopted or applied by local authorities. 

He pointed out that even though several areas in Bintulu have enforcement in place, pollution still occurred and that is why a holistic approach must be implemented and there was a need for the generation of more ideas.

“I urge those concerned to go to the ground and see for yourself how much we need to work together to preserve and conserve our environment,” Zaiedy added. 

Among the activities held during the programme were a colouring contest for primary school, environmental quiz, exhibition for recycled items and e-waste, environmental management seminar by officers from Department of Environment Sarawak, Natural Resources and Environment Board and Sarawak Rivers Board.
Nur Husnina Asyura Mezalan from SMK Kidurong emerged champion in the environmental quiz. Second and third places went to Adriana Leja Jenang of SMK Bintulu and Myriane Priscila Tubai of SMK Kidurong respectively.

Michael Alkinson Jites came in fourth and fifth place was grabbed by Abigail Ruram Elvis, both from SMK Kidurong.

In the colouring contest, first and second places went to Nur Aisyah Zaidi  and Aina Farida Abd Rhani from SK Jepak respectively.

Third to fifth places went to Riney Egoh of SK Sebauh, Christie Andharea also from SK Sebauh and Nazratul Nazura Rahim of SK Jepak.

Also present at the event were Department of Environment state director Ismail Ithnin, SMK Bintulu principal Ananthan Subramaniam and other heads of government department.

National cyclists dominate Tanjung Kidurong mountain bike track

CONGRATULATION: Senator Pau Chiong Ung presents the trophy to the best female cyclist Masziyaton as Mohidin (left) looks on. The best male participant is Shahrin Amir.

VICTORIOUS: Shahrin celebrating his victory

FASTEST FINISHER: Shahrin Amir clocking the fastest time beating 15 other cyclists.


BINTULU: National cyclists dominated both men and women’s open categories of Borneo Mountain Bike (Bintulu) Challenge 2011 at Taman Wisma Bintulu Tanjung Kidurong yesterday.

In the MTB men’s open national cyclist from Amanis team Shahrin Amir clocked the fastest time 1: 50’ 50” to beat his team mate Mohd Fauzan Ahmad Lufti of PDRM to second place by three seconds.

Finishing third was defending champion Muhammad Raihan Abd Aziz from Brunei on 1:51’ 34”.

Coming in fourth to fifth places were Norshahriel Haizat Ahmad Nazali (Malaysia/Polygon), Sylvester Ding (MLNG) and Muhammad Nurjamri Johari (Brunei) respectively.

In the MTB women’s open category another national cyclist from Kedah Masziyaton Mohd Radzi emerged champion clocking 1: 47’ 48”.

Second and third placings were Junaidah Juss (Pligon Arus RT) from Sarawak with time 1: 47’ 55” and Mardiana Mohd Radzi (Kedah GK2 SBS Giant clocking 2: 01’ 01” respectively.

Shahrin when met later said despite of having fever he tried his best to win on his second time participation since 2006.

“The trail in this year’s race is better compared to the previous,” he said.

He added that this championship was just like a warming up event for him and it is satisfying to be the winner.
Meanwhile Masziyaton another national cyclist who won in the women’s open said although the race was her first participation in Sarawak, it proved to be fruitful for her and team-mate Junaidah who finished second.

“I just came back from Pangkor and immediately fly here for this championship.

The trail is quite challenging and it is good exposure for us in preparing for SEA Game,” said the Kedah cyclist.

Other results in the MTB boys under 18, Mohamad Zul Ashraf Zamlan of Kedah finished first. Coming in second and third placings were Ahmad Norhaziq Ajab (Brunei) and Alexi Disi (Bintulu) respectively.

In the MTB men veteran of above 36 , finishing first was Nor Effandy Rosli from Kuala Lumpur, second and third placings were Supian Nor and Patric Siqueen of Kuching.

Zainal Ariffin Mohd Hasbi from Viking Club Kuching emerged the champion in the MTB endurance for men above 46 ,second and third spots went to Wong Siew Ming (KS Maraton Sibu) and Kassim Amizi of Viking Club, Kuching .

The prize giving ceremony was officiated by Senator Pau Chiong Ung and also present was the event coordinator who is also Bintulu Development Authority general manager Datu Mohidin Ishak.

In his speech Mohidin said the championship would be listed in the Bintulu calendar of event as to complement the other two international events, the Borneo International Kite Festival and Lantern Festival.

“That means we are going to have three major events every year and this is good for us in promoting Bintulu as a must go destination for local and international tourist,” he said.

He said the budget would be increased for next year edition in order to improve the quality of the event.

“I hope in the next edition cyclists from our neighbouring countries will also be able to take part as to foster close rapport among the ASEAN countries,” said Mohidin.

The winners from all the categories received cash prizes sponsored by Tune Hotels Bintulu.

About 100 cyclists from Brunei, the peninsular and Sarawak took part in the championship.

The competition is jointly organised by Bintulu Resident’s Office, Bintulu Development Authority, Sarawak State Sports Council (MSN), Malaysian Masters Cycling Association and Bintulu Cycling Club.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Turn ‘Gudi’ into a giant spectacle, Bintulu folk told

I DARE YOU: Dr Rundi preparing his kite to face veteran kite fighter Ujang in a kite fighting competition.
I DARE YOU: Dr Rundi preparing his kite to face veteran kite fighter Ujang in a kite fighting competition.

BINTULU: ‘Gudi’ (kite), a traditional game played by the local people, ought to be preserved and promoted not only locally but internationally.

Assistant Minister of Public Health and Utilities Datuk Dr Stephen Rundi Utom, who officiated at the Gudi Festival at the Bintulu Old Airport site yesterday, said he believed the game could be improved upon.

“I believe the game can be improved and developed statewide so that everyone can enjoy playing the gudi (kite), while at the same time attract tourists who might want to learn more about the traditional game,” he said.

The gudi, he noted, used to be played by the villagers and even now it remained one of their preferred games.

“We must preserve the old nostalgia of the game, its image and originality. Even with simple kite flying, it can still attract people to get together,” said Dr Rundi, who is also Kemena assemblyman.

The response to the gudi festival this year, organised by the Bintulu Kite Flyers, was overwhelming, and thus he hoped that it could be organised in other parts of the state as well.

The festival is a preliminary event to the 7th Borneo International Kite Festival to be held from Sept 22 to 25.

Also present at the function were Bintulu Development Authority (BDA) deputy chairman Dato Seri Celestine Ujang Jilan and BDA general manager Datu Mohidin Ishak.

‘Promote Gudi Festival all over the state’

BINTULU: The Gudi (kite) Festival is a crowd-puller, and hence it should be organised all over the state.

Deputy chairman of Bintulu Development Authority (BDA) Dato Seri Celestine Ujang Jilan said yesterday that he hoped other bodies would come forward and organise the festival in their respective areas to help promote the game statewide.

“I hope the Tourism Ministry will look into it and plan it accordingly to get the involvement of other cities, probably by organising the event on a rotation basis,” said Ujang at the opening ceremony of the Gudi Festival at Bintulu Old Airport yesterday.

He revealed that since Miri had sent the biggest contingent to the festival this year, the festival was scheduled to be held in Miri next year.

“However, Bintulu remain ever ready to host the event to promote the town and what it can offer,” he said.

A total of 156 participants are joining in the festival which was officiated at by Assistant Minister of Public Health and Utilities Datuk Dr Stephen Rundi Utom.

When it was first introduced in 2009, there were only 50 participants. Last year, there were about 120 participants.

Ujang said he was happy with the overall response as it meant that interest in kite flying was fast catching up, not only here but in other parts of the state as well.

Foreign kite enthusiasts set to wow at festival

BINTULU: The 7th Borneo International Kite Festival (BIKF), which will be held from Sept 22-25, will see 84 kite enthusiasts from 22 countries converging at the Bintulu Old Airport site.

BIKF, which was first held in 2005, is jointly organised by Bintulu Kite Flyers and Bintulu Development Authority (BDA) in collaboration with the Tourism and Heritage Ministry and Tourism Ministry with support from Sarawak Economic Development Corporation.

BDA, in its effort to cement its relationship with members of the public and the participants, has created a mascot aptly named ‘Sanai Vaie’.

Sanai is a Bintulu boy who loves kite flying.

He wears a green overall and a stripped green cap, representing the freshness of nature.

He sometimes carries his Sarawak flag-inspired kite to show off to his friends and family.

This year he will be the ambassador for BIKF.

Sanai Vaie will be making a few appearances in and around town and will be looking for friends to come join him at the festival this week.

The introduction of this mascot is just another step in making the BIKF well received and fresh every year.

The idea of organising BIKF was first mooted by Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.

Bintulu was chosen as a venue after considering its great potential after the old airport was closed down, making the basic infrastructure left behind an ideal and perfect site for such an event.

Its location that is not far from the seaside gives rise to a constant flow of wind which keeps the kites in the air.

The highlights of the festival includes World Kite Fighting Championship, national-level contemporary and traditional kite flying display, international kite flying display, kite-making workshop for the public and Rokakku (Japanese-origin kite) challenge.

The public will also be treated to a showcase of Stunt Kite and Revolution Kite.

Other side activities include children colouring contests, cultural show, trade and food fair, and a week-long trade and expo.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Six lorry drivers ferrying illegally felled logs held

SUCCESSFUL OPERATION: Six lorries loaded with 176 logs seized in Belaga.

BELAGA: The police in Belaga scored another major success after they arrested six lorry drivers as they were trying to transport suspected illegally felled logs out of town last Saturday.

This is one of their biggest successes against the rampant illegal logging taking place in the upper reaches of the Rejang.

Last May, the police also launched a successful operation where they arrested three lorry drivers for a similar offence and handed them over to Sarawak Forestry Corporation for further action.

Belaga police chief DSP Bakar Sebau yesterday confirmed the arrest, saying they had also seized 176 logs loaded from the six lorries.

“Both the lorries and the logs have been seized. The drivers have been released on police’s bail after questioning.”

Bakar said  the  action  was carried out in accordance with Section 186 of Sarawak Forestry Ordinance that empowered them to arrest the criminals and seize the illegally felled logs.

He said the ordinance also empowers the officers of the Sarawak Forestry Corporation to investigate the crime, and therefore, they would soon be handed the case for further action.

The police chief said he was concerned with the rampant illegal logging taking place presently.

He said they might consider resorting to using the Emergency Ordinance if the situation continued to worsen.
“Belaga has an area of 19,403.27 sq km, which is about the size of Pahang. The people should cooperate with us to expose the illegal felling in this vast rainforest area.”

He said the rugged terrain might make it difficult for them to check on the crime, but the police would set up roadblocks to prevent the logs from being smuggled out.

He said they would also resort to other means to stop the crime, but the police chief did not want to specify details so as not to jeopardise their actions.

Bakar also did not reveal where the seized logs had been felled as the probe was still on going.

He hoped members of the public would give the police information to assist them in stopping this illegal activity in green Belaga.

Source: The Borneo Post

Ministry cracks down on fakes

SEEKING OUT THE FAKES: Mohamad (centre) flanked by Roszaini (left) and Idrus during the press conference.

BINTULU: Adidas has earned a reputation as a producer of one of the best athletic apparel in the world.
Manufacturers try to mimic Adidas’ style but cannot touch the quality of its authentic products.

Yet fake Adidas gear like shoes and clothes are easily obtained in every corner of the country.

The Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism (MDTCC) Bintulu branch with assistance from the MDTCC Miri enforcement officers and two Adidas representatives from Kuala Lumpur cracked down on fakes during a raid of business premises in Bintulu town yesterday.

During the inspection of two separate locations involving four premises, they found several fake Adidas gear like shoes and clothes.

MDTCC Bintulu branch enforcement chief Mohamad Drahman when met during a press conference said fake Adidas gear worth RM9,937.30 were seized by two teams of 15 enforcement officers led by MDTCC Miri assistant enforcement officer Roszaini Roskan and MDTCC Bintulu assistant enforcement officer Idrus Nalin.

“The inspection was made following claims by Adidas based in Kuala Lumpur that the fake Adidas gears were being sold in several premises in Bintulu.

“We are very concerned about complaints from owners of the products – every complaint will be followed with investigation and inspection and action would be taken against the infringers,” said Mohamad.

The offence he said would be investigated under Section 3(1) (b) of the Trade Descriptions Act 1972.

A first time offender could be fined up to RM100,000 or three years’ imprisonment while a second time offender will be fined double, which is RM200,000 or six years in prison.

Companies can be fined up to RM250,000 for first time offenders.

“I urge consumers to avoid buying fake items – not only Adidas but other brands as well. Traders are also warned not to sell fake goods because strict action will be taken against the infringers,” he said.

Bintulu has recorded five cases last year compared to only one this year. MDTCC welcomes product owners to lodge a complaint to protect their intellectual property right.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Hotel creates record-breaking mooncake (Photos)

Hotel creates record-breaking mooncake

LONGEST: Hotel staff cutting the moon cake which is to be sold at RM50 per foot for charity.(More photos)

BINTULU: Bintulu booked a spot in the Malaysia Book of Records (MBR) yesterday when 30 staff of ParkCity Everly Hotel successfully completed the longest mooncake line in Malaysia measuring 710.32 metres long.

The attempt was led by the hotel’s banquet chef Tan Moh Huat  and witnessed by Bintulu Resident Ismail Mohd Hanis, Bintulu Development Authority deputy general manager Shukarmin Chasemon and ParkCity Everly Hotel general manager John Augustine.

At the measuring ceremony held at the Bintulu Promenade, MBR officer, Leona Paul, who was present to certify the record, presented the certificate to John Augustine around 5pm.

The event was held as part of the hotel’s activities during the 1Malaysia Charity Tanglung Festival cum Food Fair Festival 2011 that ends today.

Chef Tan when met later expressed his happiness for the success and saw it as a dream come true especially in creating a new record in Malaysia.

According to him they had been thinking on what and how they could do to create a record for Bintulu and ParkCity Everly Hotel in particular for quite some time.

“Through discussions, studies and brainstorming we decided to make a mooncake. We actually wanted to make the biggest mooncake but we did not have enough space to display it.

“Then we said why not make the longest mooncake in Malaysia instead,” said Tan.

They then wrote a letter to MBR to determine how long the mooncake had to be to enter the MBR.

“They recommended 700 metres, so we tried to make a little longer and we hope that nobody will break the record. If they do break our record we will come up with another idea,” he said.

The mooncake took about a week to be completed.

“This morning around 7am, we were all very excited and it took approximately eight hours to display the finished product,” Tan added.

The Chinese are celebrating the Mooncake Festival today.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Stop Animal Abuse In Malaysia : Online Petition

Stop Animal Abuse In Malaysia : Online Petition:

Animal abuse is increasingly rampant in Malaysia, with senseless abuses and killings by local councils and cold-blooded people. We must act NOW, and act FAST.

Let's play a role in stopping animal abuse and cruelty! We aim to collect 50,000 signatures ASAP and present it to our Prime Minister.

Please sign the joint online petition by leading Malaysian animal welfare NGOs, and show how much you care about the animals. Spread the word to your friends too.

Together, we can make a difference.

Sign Petition Now:

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Samalaju Port to be the key catalyst for Bintulu Port

SOLE LOGISTICS PLAY: Through the ownership of Samalaju Port, Bintulu Port will be one of the exciting stories to emerge from the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) to support the Samalaju Industrial Park, SCORE’s primary growth area.

KUCHING: Bintulu Port Holdings Bhd’s (Bintulu Port) prospects lie in Sarawak’s growth story as it may potentially play an active role in operating the up and coming Samalaju Port.

Bintulu Port submitted a proposal to the state government and is in active discussion to operate Samalaju Port.

OSK Research Sdn Bhd (OSK Research) noted that Bintulu Port’s chances of securing the concession were high given its reputation as a leading liquefied natural gas (LNG) vessel operator and this could be a form of a compensation should there be a revision in LNG tariffs.

To recap, the management hinted at a possible 12 per cent cut in LNG tariffs, lease rentals would have to come down by 20 per cent in order to fetch the same operating margins.

On the other hand, citing AmResearch Sdn Bhd (AmResearch), fees related to the handling of LNG vessel calls and cargo remained as the key contributors to Bintulu Port’s topline, accounting for 72 per cent of total operating revenue.

AmResearch expected the trend to continue going forward, although bulking operations and other cargoes were also expected to boost Bintulu Port’s revenue.

Nonetheless, Bintulu Port turned in a net profit of RM31 million for the second quarter of the financial year 2011 (2QFY11), taking its first half of the financial year 2011 (1HFY11) earnings to RM72 million.

Additionally, AmResearch also noted that the impact of Samalaju Port would be enormous. At the outset, the research firm was guided that the raw materials throughput would be in the region two million tonnes – at par to its current drybulk throughput tonnage.

The impact of the new tonnage on Bintulu Port’s discounted cash flow (DCF) would be massive giving a 24 per cent boost to AmResearch’s current DCF value to RM10.30 per share.

AmResearch assumed an average 30 per cent to 40 per cent annual growth in tonnage throughtput for the first 10 years to be driven by strong industrial activities in the Samalaju Industrial Park.

AmResearch maintained its fair value at RM8.33 per share derived based on a DCF valuation assuming a cost of equity of 7.9 per cent with a terminal growth of one per cent. Meanwhile, OSK Research retained its fair value at RM6.86 based on a dividend discount model approach.


Designer for port Samalaju Port

KUCHING: Bintulu Port Holdings Bhd (BPHB) has engaged KTA (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd to carry out a detailed design for the proposed Samalaju Port, a crucial component of the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (Score) to serve energy-intensive industries.

Chief executive officer Datuk Mior Ahmad Baiti Mior Lub Ahmad said KTA, a leading multi-disciplinary consulting firm, was appointed last month. The new port project has been accorded top priority by the state authorities.

To be located on 450ha and about 60km by road from Bintulu town, the deep sea port will primarily handle the import of raw materials and export of finished products from the industries operating in the Samalaju Industrial Park.

The first batch of pioneer investors in Score - Press Metal Bhd, Japan’s Tokuyama Corp, OM Materials and Asia Minerals Ltd - have started the construction of their manufacturing facilities in Samalaju Industrial Park.

Press Metal is setting up a new aluminium smelter, Tokuyama is investing in a polycrystalline silicon factory while OM Materials and Asia Minerals are both building a manganese smelter.

Their combined investment is estimated at RM9.5bil.

Mior Ahmad said BPHB, which was tasked by the Sarawak government to spearhead the project, had received the report from PricewaterhouseCoopers, which was commissioned in April to conduct a study on the viability of the new port.

Among the recommendations, Pricewaterhouse Coopers has come up with an estimated development cost of the new port but Mior Ahmad declined to reveal the price tag.

Some analysts have put the port’s development cost at about RM1.2bil.

Also completed were the hydraulic study and an environmental impact assessment study.

“We (BPHB) are preparing a draft layout plan for the approval of the state government.

“We target to start preliminary works, including earthworks, on some of the proposed packages of the new port in January 2012,” Mior Ahmad told StarBiz.

-The Star Online-