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.