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