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-