SIDMA COLLEGE 2018 New Students Oath Taking

July 20th, 2018

A total of 458 new students made their pledge of allegiance to the rules and regulations of the SIDMA College Sabah and UNITAR Sabah Regional Centre, Kota Kinabalu at the Kadazandusun Cultural Association Unity Hall (Hongkod Koisaan) Penampang on 17 July 2018.

The programme which was organised by the Student Affairs Department (STAD) and the Student Representative Council (SRC) was held for the 2018 new students to formally promise and pledge the oath to commit themselves fully to the ethical practices, be active and responsible students, and to abide to all the rules and regulations of the college and respective university.

The oath taking was led by Mr Andree Chin Yi Tshung and Ms Siti Fairuz Leo @ Hamzah before Dr Morni Hj Kambrie (Founder and Chairman SIDMA College Sabah) and Dr Hajah Ananglangka Binti Mad Kassim (Guest of Honour).

Also present at the ceremony were Puan Azlina Ngatimin (Director, Corporate Relations and Business Development), Madam Azizah Khalid Merican (CEO), Mr Lim Chin Tong (Registrar), Managers, Heads of Departments, lecturers and staff of SIDMA College Sabah and UNITAR Sabah Regional Centre.

Dr Hajah Ananglangka, an educationist by profession with a PhD in Psychology, a Master of Psychology Counselling from Universiti Malaysia Sabah and a Bachelor Degree in Education (Guidance and Counselling) from Universiti Putra Malaysia prior to her retirement from the Ministry of Education.

Among her distinguished endorsement in her career span are being awarded with Excellent Service Awards by the Ministry of Education in 1995, 2003 and 2013. She was conferred with “Darjah Bintang Kinabalu” by His Excellency “Yang Di-Pertua Negeri Sabah” in 2007. Apart from that, she has also been awarded as “Tokoh Maulidur Rasul” for women’s category in 2013 and Sabah’s “Anugerah Wanita Cemerlang” in 2016.

During her officiating address, she congratulated the new students on their successful admission into SIDMA College Sabah or UNITAR Sabah to further their studies; and she reminded them to be grateful that they are in this college today, compared to some of the unfortunate schoolmates who are still in the kampong, and have yet to further their studies and fulfil their dream goal. She advised the students to uphold the principle that they too can learn and achieve success in future through SIDMA College UNITAR Sabah, and that all students should value their opportunity to study; as well as to excel from the first semester. An average student can only get a weak pass in subjects registered, but it’s only with consistent effort put in throughout their study that a student can achieve excellent result, and fulfil their ultimate goal, she added.

She also shared in length her Five Basic Philosophies of life to be adopted by students, and reminded them to avoid being involved in any social ills in order to successful in life. Her basic five principles are:

I           Believe and be responsible to God

II          Believe and be responsible to yourself

III         Believe and be responsible to your parents

IV        Believe and be responsible to your college

V         Believe and be responsible to your country.

Earlier, Dr Morni during his welcoming speech welcomed, congratulated and thanked Dr Hajah Ananglangka for her continuous passion, efforts and supports towards youths of the country; and has been ever willing to be with SIDMA Sabah students particularly during magnificent events such as this, despite her busy schedule giving motivational talk to youths throughout Sabah. He too hoped that she can be an inspirational person to all the female students of the college, as Dr Ananglangka started off as an ordinary trained teacher from Gaya Teacher Training College (currently known as IPG Gaya Campus). While serving as a teacher, she managed her time well, continued her lifelong learning until she received her Doctorate in Psychology, without compromising her good service to her students.  Dr Morni felt humble but proud to have Dr Ananglangka as SIDMA’s Guest of Honour to share her views, experience as well as to motivate the students to learn for their future; and subsequently to officially launch the 2018 New Students Oath Ceremony by striking the ceremonial gong twice.

Dr Morni, too congratulated the students for choosing SIDMA College and UNITAR Sabah as an institution to further their tertiary education. “We are very excited and proud to have you joining the college, and the staff of the college will do their very best to assist students through our “Open Door” policy, throughout their study at the college.

The Chairman also reassured the students that their welfare and future are in good hands, and encouraged them to do their parts by putting in full commitment, self-discipline and fully immersed themselves in their studies in order to be able to materialize their dreamt future.

He added that SIDMA College Sabah and UNITAR Sabah Regional Centre being in its 16th year of success has produced marketable and promising graduates who are currently holding respectable posts and careers in various fields, both in the public and private sectors throughout Sabah and Sarawak.

During the ceremony, the following 26 students received their Academic Excellence Award certificate, as they accomplished excellence result (CGPA of 3.75 and above) for their studies:

  1. Alny Chelsea Albert
  2. Anita Lambagat
  3. Chong Tsin
  4. Clarissa Minsun
  5. Donna Minsun.
  6. Elvinah Binti Kelan
  7. Elvionna Brnda Gurumbong
  8. Fazirah Binti Rosleh
  9. Friskila Lawai
  10. Gurit Onat
  11. Joebanaben Bension
  12. Juliet Eva Binti Lamji
  13. Kirisah Binti Gibun @ Barbara
  14. Mollyniah Joannes
  15. Noridah Binti Tompuling
  16. Norisah Ulau
  17. Normala Binti Kibong
  18. Nurul Farhanah Idora Binti Mohd Alfendy
  19. Rita Binti Gunsalam
  20. Rosnita Binti Duasa
  21. Siti Julaiha Binti Ahmad
  22. Siti Nurul Liza Binti Mustakib
  23. Sylvia Gimis
  24. Sylvia Guping
  25. Tan Lie Xin
  26. Venissa Tiburtius

Currently SIDMA College Sabah and UNITAR Sabah in its vibrant and dynamic environment, and being equipped with the latest technical and infrastructure, strives to give the best conducive atmosphere for the students by adopting and focusing on blended teaching and learning; a hybrid teaching and learning model that combines both the conventional face-to-face lectures with tutors and lecturers in the classrooms , with the internet-based support system which provide continuous interactions among students, tutors, and lecturers nationwide; as well as ensuring these students continuously being immersed in encouraging learning environments to enable them to understand, reflect and practices principles and theories learned from the classroom; and able to put it into their real world working experience during their interns (practicum); thus ensuring that SIDMA College Sabah and UNITAR Sabah are always producing marketable as well as relevant workforce much needed for the 21st Century.

The following is the list of Academic Programmes offered at SIDMA College UNITAR Sabah for its 2018 Academic Calendar.

  1. Foundation Programme
  • Foundation in Management.
  1. Diploma Courses:
  • Diploma in Early Childhood Studies
  • Diploma in Occupational Safety and Health
  • Diploma in Management
  1. Bachelor’s Degree Courses:
  • Bachelor of Education (Hons)
  • Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Education (Hons)
  • Bachelor of Business Administration (Hons)
  • Bachelor of Management (Hons)
  1. Master’s Courses:
  • Masters of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Masters of Education (Education Leadership and Management –ELM)
  • Masters of Education (TESL)
  • Masters of Education (Early Childhood Education).

For more information on any of the above courses offered at SIDMA College UNITAR Sabah, please browse SIDMA College Sabah Website, or at SIDMA College Facebook Account: “SIDMA College”. Potential candidates can visit SIDMA College UNITAR Sabah Campus at Jalan Bundusan, 88300 Kota Kinabalu, or call the campus hotline number: 088-732000 or 088-732 020

Online registration is also available. Please <CLICK HERE>

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No more white school shoes from next year, says Maszlee

July 19th, 2018
School shoes have always been white in colour however beginning next year, this will no longer be the case. (NSTP file pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: School shoes have always been white in colour however beginning next year, this will no longer be the case.

Taking into account the complaints by parents on white-coloured school shoes, Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik announced that students will be wearing black shoes.

This change will take place next year, Maszlee said at a talk organised by Sinar Harian today.

“This is what the parents hope for, especially mothers…fathers don’t really mind. Beginning next year, we will wear black shoes in school,” he was quoted as saying by Sinar Harian.

By NST Online.

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‘May this House be well regarded’

July 19th, 2018
(File pix) Members of parliament listening to the royal address by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V yesterday. Pix by Aizuddin Saad

The following is the royal address by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V at the first meeting of the 14th Parliament yesterday.

PRESIDENT of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Members of the Senate and Members of the House of Representatives.

Alhamdulillah. We express our utmost gratitude to Allah the Almighty, for it is with His Munificence, and His Leave, we are gathered here today for the opening ceremony of the first session of the 14th Parliament.

Today will mark a historical day for this august house with the second opening of Parliament within the same year with a significant number of new members of parliament.

Honourable members,

The 14th General Election has just concluded on May 9. We congratulate the new government led by the prime minister that has been given the mandate by the people.

We would like to thank all parties involved, especially the Election Commission, the security forces and various government agencies for ensuring the smooth running of the general election without any untoward incident.

We congratulate all members of parliament who have been elected by the people to represent them in this august house.

It is an enormous responsibility entrusted upon all honourable members, who are expected to perform their duties with dedication and integrity.

We believe the honourable members will take this opportunity to participate in healthy, mature and dynamic debates, to find and to uphold the truth, by conveying ideas as well as critics with wisdom and civility.

May this parliamentary institution continue to be well respected and highly regarded by the people and the world over.

The people have chosen. Therefore, all parties should accept and respect the result of the general election without being emotional, narrow-minded or having prejudicial and slanderous thoughts that are influenced by sensationalism and speculation.

We hope all parties will work together in striving towards a genuine and pure unity, as well as finding solutions for the good of the people and for the survival of the nation.

Honourable members,

We hope the newly-elected government will bring more success in various fields that have been achieved to date.

The public and private sectors, as well as the people, must work hand-in-hand to achieve greater heights, especially in improving the economy of certain quarters that are still marginalised.

Championing the rights of marginalised groups should not be looked upon as discrimination but an effort to establish social justice that is long overdue.

On the international front, we applaud the role taken by Malaysia in enhancing cooperation with the world, especially Asean, for the well-being of the people and the nation.

Honourable members,

We welcome the government’s efforts to enhance transparency among others, by fully disclosing the government’s financial position and re-evaluating expenditures, as well as practising prudent financial management.

In order to curb the rising cost of living, we support the move to abolish the goods and services tax (GST) as well as to stabilise fuel prices and to extend the Bantuan Sara Hidup so as to ease the people’s burden.

We also applaud the people from all walks of life for their show of patriotism by donating to the Tabung Harapan.

Honourable members,

Global economic uncertainties, political conflicts, humanitarian crisis and the threat of radicalism have significant repercussions on the world’s geopolitics as well as economies. We hope the government will continue to address such challenges for the well-being of the people and nation.

The ability to forge ahead in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is a new challenge for all countries. Hence, we welcome the government’s initiatives through the formation of policies, strategies and legal frameworks to meet the challenges. We hope the benefits will not be solely economic, but also in terms of social development as well as in many other aspects.

The mid-term review of the 11th Malaysia Plan: New Direction 2018-2020 will be tabled this year as among the measures taken to face the challenges of the national development agenda.

The review is aimed at re-evaluating the directions and status of all programmes and projects that have been approved. We encourage all honourable members to participate in debating the said review and give useful input to the government.

Our government will continue the implementation of various programmes and projects to ensure that the people, including those in Sabah and Sarawak, can reap the benefits of development.

This is in line with the government’s policy to provide better living standards for the people as well as ensuring just and fair distribution of the nation’s wealth.

Honourable members

The contribution of almost 15 million workers is significant to the nation’s development. We hope that the workers will reap the reward from the introduction of initiatives, such as establishing the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, standardising the minimum wage and creating more jobs.

The contribution of women towards the nation is monumental in various jobs and skills. We are confident that the role of women can be further enhanced.

Therefore, proper measures should be instituted to tap on their potential and talent so that they can further contribute to the nation and society.

At the same time, the stability of the family institution will always be a priority.

While we are progressing towards modernisation, religious duties and good moral values must be preserved. We urge all parties, including government agencies, non-governmental organisations and scholars to work together in finding solutions to curb social ills and negative elements that are affecting our societies.

We applaud the government’s efforts to strengthen integrity, good governance, and the rule of law. Effective measures have to be taken to convince existing investors as well as to attract new investors to Malaysia.

Honourable members,

Ethnic, religious and cultural diversity such as in Malaysia are said to be the perfect recipe for disaster. Nonetheless, we are grateful that as a nation, we have proven otherwise. We urge every citizen to preserve and strengthen this peace and unity.

We must put an end to all the negative elements as well as the irresponsible actions that threaten the essence of peace, well-being of the people and stability of the nation.

Stop the bickering on racially-sensitive issues and we welcome the suggestion to form the Majlis Perundingan Rakyat to help promote and enhance unity through various programmes.

We thank and appreciate the commitment of all who have contributed towards safeguarding and ensuring the security, peace and sovereignty of the nation that has enabled the country to progress and reap the benefits as planned.

By NST .

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The future is ours

July 19th, 2018
(File pix) ‘The future is ours to safeguard and shape, and ours, I hope, to enjoy,’ said Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah at the 5th World
By NST - July 18, 2018 @ 10:12am

The following is the keynote address of Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah at the 5th World Conference on Islamic Thought and Civilisation (WCIT) at Casuarina@Meru, Ipoh, Perak, yesterday.

BISMILLAHI r-Rahmani r-Rahim. Assalamu‘alaykum warahmatullahiWabarakatuh.

Your Excellencies, distinguished scholars, ladies and gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to this, the 5th World Conference on Islamic Thought and Civilisation. As ever, I am most delighted to be here to address you all today, at this conference hosted by the university which bears the name of my dear father, the 34th Sultan of Perak, Al-Marhum Sultan Azlan Shah. It is truly an institution which is very dear to my heart, and, returning here for another of these prestigious, international conferences, I am heartened — indeed, proud — to see Jami’ah Azlaniyah, this Islamic university, continue to flourish and thrive in an increasingly global context.

As the WCIT takes place for a fifth time, I must laud the efforts of the organisers on their selection of a theme which is, at once, positive, proactive and cautionary.

This conference gathers together some of the world’s finest thinkers, speakers and scholars, to reflect on the important challenge of “Securing the Future”, and to share ideas about practical strategies for doing so. For, the phrase “Securing the Future” reminds us that the future is, indisputably, not yet secure. The world is beset with many burgeoning crises. Global warming and pollution pose a very real and imminent threat to the planet, not only to plant and animal life, but ultimately to human existence.

Poverty and financial instability continue to devastate the lives of many people the world over, with more than 780 million individuals globally subsisting on less than US$1.90 (RM4.03) per day. Almost every day in the news we hear of discord between nations and peoples, such that, according to the data collected by the World Economic Forum, someone is displaced every three seconds, driven from their home because of war or persecution. As of the end of 2016, the number of people displaced by conflict worldwide was greater than the population of the entire United Kingdom. Indeed, from all of these perspectives, the future seems far from secure.

I am especially heartened to note, therefore, that through its many excellent sub-themes, including “Learners Today, Leaders Tomorrow”, “Economy Matters” and “Cultural Language of Religion”, this conference sets out to address a variety of serious global challenges for the future in discursive and proactive ways. I want to touch upon a number of these related topics this morning, and I am delighted that we can also look forward to papers by eminent researchers from a wide variety of countries, fields and academic institutions, which will explore these themes in greater depth and detail.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Although I have opened on a serious note, I come here today with a message of hope and positivity, a call for action. I come here to tell you, to urge you to believe that “the future is ours”.

The future is ours to safeguard and shape, and ours, I hope, to enjoy. “The future is ours.” It is a short, seemingly simple assertion, and yet one which invites a number of questions — not least, what do I mean by “ours”? To whom, am I suggesting, does the future belong?

As a Muslim, I say that “the future is ours” in that I believe Islam has much to offer the world when it comes to tackling some of the biggest challenges of the future for mankind, particularly in economic and environmental terms. I have spoken in the past about the ways in which Islamic finance could play a vital role in addressing issues of poverty and financial instability on a larger, global scale. It is widely acknowledged, for instance, that Islamic banks generally fared much better during the financial crisis of 2007-2008, demonstrating greater resilience than non-Islamic banks, according to a report by the International Monetary Fund. This, surely, is a sign that Islamic finance models could contribute greatly to the global banking sector as a whole, providing stability and security in the face of future economic uncertainty.

As well as offering the hope of future economic stability, Islamic finance may also hold some of the answers when it comes to addressing the serious problem of widespread poverty. Through the social finance institutions of zakat, waqf and sadaqah, Islam enshrines charitable giving at its core, and there is no doubt that these mechanisms could be better mobilised to provide poor-relief to a greater number of individuals, both Muslims and non-Muslims, worldwide.

We should also note, moreover, the huge potential of sukuk bonds to generate wealth for the common good and for all people.

Although sukuk are Syariah-compliant investments, a number of Socially Responsible Investment or SRI sukuk have been developed in recent years which are designed to raise money to fund socially beneficial projects for everybody. Take, for example, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which launched the first international sukuk intended for a charitable purpose in 2014, raising US$500 million in its first year to help fund immunisation programmes in some of the world’s poorest countries. I am delighted, also, to be able to mention the Khazanah sukuk as an example of an SRI sukuk, which helps to fund schools and education right here in Malaysia. I sincerely hope that more sukuk may be used to such socially responsible ends in the future, and as sukuk issuance continues to increase, spreading to new markets such as the United Kingdom and South Africa, it seems that this hope could very well be realised. Sukuk bonds are emerging as a viable, popular and ethical investment option, and this is a contribution which Islam can make to the future of the economy and to human welfare, on a truly global scale.

This discussion of sukuk, moreover, leads me into another area in which I believe Islam has an important role to play in securing the future of the planet: that of protecting and preserving the natural environment. As well as SRI sukuk bonds, recent years have also witnessed the inception of the so-called “green” sukuk,

and I am very pleased to be able to say that Malaysia has been an innovator, promoting bid’ah hasanah, in this respect. Just last year, in 2017, Malaysia launched the world’s first ever Green sukuk as a collaboration between Malaysia’s Central Bank and Securities Commission, together with the World Bank. The proceeds from this sukuk will finance environmentally beneficial projects such as the development of renewable energy sources here in Malaysia.

But, there is much more still to be done when it comes to tackling the ever-growing problem of climate change. This conforms to Islam’s philosophy of the Adamic man’s mandate as God’s khalifah, to act as stewards of the planet.

Allah subhanahu wa-ta‘ala reminds us of our God-given honour in the Quran with the words, “We appointed you as stewards (khalifah) in the earth — so that We might see how you behave!”

With this God-given honour, we are entrusted also with a grave responsibility.

At present, humanity is damaging, not nurturing the planet, and this ultimately means damaging the future. Carbon dioxide pollution, generated particularly by the burning of fossil fuels, has resulted in rapidly rising global temperatures, leading to the melting of glaciers and ice caps, and to dramatic rises in sea levels.

To give a tangible sense of the rate at which this crisis is developing, researchers predict that most central and eastern Himalayan glaciers will have entirely disappeared by 2035. This is a stark indication of the speed with which we must act if we are to address the escalating problem of global warming. Climate change and human activities such as deforestation are also having a devastating effect on the earth’s biodiversity, leading to the extinction of the other living creatures with which we share this planet. According to the World Wildlife Fund, the rate of species extinction is somewhere between 1,000 and 10,000 times higher than the natural extinction rate. The preventable loss of a species is truly a loss for our future. It is a God-given duty of Muslims to strive to reverse or, at the very least, to halt this environmental damage. The future of the planet is our divine responsibility.

When I say that “the future is ours”, however, I do not speak only as a Muslim. I speak also as a human, as a citizen of the world, as belonging to that Adamic family: for I believe that the future belongs to each and every one of us, irrespective of our religion, our race, and even our nationality.

Indeed, if we are to take on the major challenges like climate change, which pose a serious and imminent threat to our future, we must think and work beyond our modern borders and identity boundaries, and we must also, moreover, empower each and every individual to feel that their actions can make a difference.

The former First Lady of the United States of America, Eleanor Roosevelt, once wrote in an inspirational phrase, that “the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams”, and although it might sound like something of a cliché, it is a notion that I would like all of us to hold on to today. The future belongs to those who believe that they have the power to shape it, to effect real, decisive change, and to have their voices heard.

Ladies and gentlemen,

We have just witnessed our 14th general election two months ago here, where the citizens of Malaysia, the voters, brought about substantial, even unprecedented political transformation through the ballot box. From this defining moment in our country’s relatively young history, I do hope that the citizens of Malaysia feel empowered to make their mark, and to influence their nation’s future.

As I stressed a little over a decade ago, “Malaysians of all races, religions and geographic locations need to believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that they have a place under the Malaysian sun”. It will require what our ulama call both tajdid as well as islah, to breathe new life into and to rejuvenate our institutions, and where necessary to improve upon them.

There is no denying, however, that there will be “growing pains” in our journey to make Malaysia a mature democracy to join the rest of the community of nations already in that Premier League of democracies, so to speak. That is why I believe that we should not leave anyone behind in this process, including those with whom we may disagree. We must avoid the unhealthy practice made in some countries where, following an important victory, “the winner takes all”. Everyone under the Malaysian sun should be part of this journey, and we should be mindful to involve all of the nation’s stakeholders in this historic journey.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I have spoken at this conference several times in the past about the vital importance of investing in and empowering the world’s youth. Young people, after all, really do represent our planet’s future. To reiterate a hugely pertinent quotation which I cited two years ago, by the director of the United Nations Population Fund, “Young people are the innovators, creators, builders and leaders of the future. But, they can transform the future only if they have skills, health, decision-making and real choices in life”. Of course, investment in education and healthcare is absolutely vital, as I have emphasised in the past, but it is this notion of involving young people in decision-making and empowering them to feel that they do have “real choices in life” which I wish to dwell on before closing. We often talk about young people being the leaders and policymakers of tomorrow, but I suggest that we also need to do more to make young people feel actively consulted and engaged in decision-making today. Indeed, there are numerous case studies which demonstrate that mobilising youth populations, for example, in national peace building and community cohesion projects can be hugely effective, significantly improving the overall success of such efforts. Following the end of the Nepalese civil war a little over a decade ago, the thorough involvement of young people in peace consultations resulted in an 80 per cent reduction in violent protests. Meanwhile, earlier this year, UNESCO reaffirmed its commitment to continue and to reinforce its work with young people in community development in South Sudan, ensuring, “that their voices are not only heard, but that they actually become drivers of change in their respective communities”.

At the same time, there is also evidence to suggest that when young people feel disempowered, disaffected and ignored, they will inevitably seek to bring about change in other, less constructive, collaborative, democratic and even peaceful ways. Analysis of the Arab Spring of 2011 has suggested that youth unemployment was one of the underlying causes of the uprising, with unemployment rates at almost 30 per cent in Tunisia, where the protests began. Notably, reports indicate that jobs were high on the demand lists of these early protestors. What is especially tragic about this fact is that, despite youth unemployment being a root cause and driver of the uprising, very little has changed in the aftermath of these events in the Arab world. Indeed, World Bank statistics indicate that youth unemployment rates are actually even higher now than they were in 2010-11. The message, it seems, is only too clear.

When young people are consulted and actively involved in political and diplomatic processes, they can help to effect change which is significant, peaceful and positive for all. When young people feel overlooked and disenfranchised, the routes they may take in their attempts to get their voices heard can actually result in a worsening of their already compromised situation.

In Malaysia, it would seem, but also around the world, we need to do more to enable young people to “become drivers of change”, to empower them to believe that the future really is theirs to influence and build. As leaders, scholars, and people with a platform, we need not only to champion those issues which we believe matter to today’s youth, but also to invite young people to speak and to be heard, to share their ideas in their own words, within democratic and diplomatic forums, and not outside of them. To underline the vital importance of this, I would emphasise that young people currently make up nearly half of the world’s population: as of 2017, 42 per cent of the global population was under the age of 25, and that number is set to grow. We must, I think, do more to engage these many millions of people in shaping their tomorrow, today.

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SST: Sabah wants strict monitoring to avoid abuse

July 19th, 2018

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah state government wants the authorities to carry out stricter monitoring when the Sales and Service Tax system is implemented later, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.

He said this was important to avoid irresponsible groups from taking advantage on the consumers and thus ensure that the tax system truly did not burden the people.

“For us, there is no problem, it’s just that more clarification on the matter (from the authorities) are needed (so that the SST will be better understood) besides improving the tax system,” he told reporters after chairing the Cabinet Meeting, here yesterday.

On Monday, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng announced that under the reintroduction of the SST, the allocation for services would be taxed at the rate of six per cent while the sales tax would be 10 per cent – the same rate that was implemented before the Goods and Services Tax (GST) was initiated on April 1, 2015.


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Country’s finance will be affected without SST — KKCCCI

July 18th, 2018

KOTA KINABALU: The Kota Kinabalu Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KKCCCI) yesterday welcomed the reintroduction of Sales and Services Tax (SST) at six per cent for services and 10 per cent for the sale of goods to compensate for the zero-rating of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) since June 1.

Datuk Michael Lui

Its president, Datuk Michael Lui, said the SST was aligned with the government’s aspiration to improve the people’s well-being and put the country’s finances back on track.

Even with prudent and transparent financial management, he said the country’s finances would still be affected without revenue from SST.

On another note, Lui said the extent of the impact of SST on goods prices had yet to be determined as the government had not announced the scope of the tax.

He said the old SST was only imposed on certain imported and local products, as well as six per cent service tax on hotels and restaurants that recorded more than RM3 million in revenue a year.

If the reintroduced SST was based on the old system, Lui believed that only the high-end consumers would be affected by the tax.

He added that there was a huge difference between GST and SST.

Lui said GST was imposed on majority of goods with a broader impact and heavier burden on consumers.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said on Monday that the provision of services will be taxed at six per cent under the reintroduced SST, while the sales of goods will incur a 10 per cent tax.

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Rapid calculation method helps kids to improve maths skills.

July 18th, 2018
KUALA LUMPUR: It is not simply by chance that the Chinese are strong in mathematics.

The ability to do mental arithmetics has been ingrained in them since the age of 5. Hence, mental calculations forms part of their daily habits.

When a child is counting, their brain is developing. The result of this is that their brain also develops faster.

The Mental Arithmetic system being used in China today is Shifengshou Rapid Calculation – a rapid algorithm method, where a person is able to mentally calculate very huge numbers without the assistance of computers or calculators.

Shifengshou has a simple set of calculation rules and is highly systematic. It encompasses Addition, Multiplication, Subtraction and Division.

This rapid calculation method is learnt just by one hand. Today this multi maths system is a core part of China’s education primary syllabus.

Parents are increasingly sending their children for Mental Arithmetics classes, not just to be adapt in mathematics, but also to develop creativity, problem solving and resourcefulness.

When a child’s ability to problem solve is cultivated, the child is able to handle tough challenges in life, and help them grow with strong analytical skills.

This is especially suitable for hyperactive kids, where a lot of that excess energy can now be transformed to faster brainwork.

Even for adults, the practice of mental arithmetic keeps the brain stimulated, and hence they become mentally sharper and more alert.

For some background, the Shifengshou Education International Department in China was set up in May 1991 for the purpose of researching, developing and promotions.

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King: All parties should find common ground to ensure Malaysia’s prosperity and survival.

July 17th, 2018
Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V giving the Royal address during the opening of the first session of the 14th Parliament. - AZHAR MAHFOF/The Star

Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V giving the Royal address during the opening of the first session of the 14th Parliament. – AZHAR MAHFOF/The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: The King has advised all quarters to accept the decision of the rakyat in choosing their Government.

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V said the minds of the rakyat are greatly shaped by media reports which is filled with sensation and speculations.

He noted that the people should not be emotional nor allow their minds to be coloured by slander and have narrow and closed minds.

“I hope that all parties will make the effort to have a sincere clarity and work hard to form pure and genuine unity,” he said in his Royal address at the opening of the 14th Parliament on Tuesday (July 17).

The King also called on the Government, private sector and the rakyat to continue to wok together in restructuring society, especially to better the economy of the less fortunate.

“The defending of those sidelined economically should not be viewed as a discriminative racial policy but as an effort to right social injustice which has been long been inherited,” added the King.

Sultan Muhammad V also welcomed the Government’s move to uphold transparency, particularly by exposing the nation’s true financial situation while reviewing cost of certain projects and managing finances prudently.

By Martin Carvalho and Hemananthani Sivanandam
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Education costs rising

July 17th, 2018
(File pix) Over the last decade, pressure for financial reforms in higher education has intensified.

WE are often reminded by those older and wiser to reflect on the past, assess the present and look forward to the future.

In the case of Malaysia, we hope that the future will be good for us under the emerging scenario. For this to be realised, we need to recall several stylised facts. In connection with (higher) education and the human condition, there are at least four stylised facts:

EDUCATION is the basis for human development;

HIGHER education is important for social mobility;

HIGHER education is getting more expensive; and,

THERE are emerging and less expensive delivery modes for higher education using web technology.

We are also confronted with scenarios based on accountability, efficiency and value for money.

If we bring together the stylised facts and emerging pressures, we will learn how limited and restricted our options are in the financing of higher education.

This is even more so if we bring into the equation concepts and objectives such as accessibility and equity.

Throw in democratisation and “massification” (practice of making products available to the mass market) of higher education, the financing for higher education gets more complex.

All these require answers from policymakers and intellectuals. How will the government fund higher education? Can it be offered for free? Can subsidy-oriented policy work optimally?

What about public-private partnership in the provision of higher education and related infrastructure? Is it possible for consumers and providers to jointly finance higher education?

Let us look back to the 1950s and 1960s. There was a dominant view that public education, including higher education, should be free. This was essentially justified — with free education, there is higher social mobility, and the poor and marginalised are educated.

When it comes to higher education, there are three goals that many countries aim to achieve: access to quality education, wider coverage and adequate provision.

But, how can we achieve these with reduced public spending? Evidently, “retreat of the state” in financing higher education is the consequence of fiscal pressure, consistent rise in costs of providing higher education and the change from elite to mass participation.

All these demand radical changes in the higher education system. In developed countries, these radical changes have been initiated through increased financial autonomy, improved funding and private sector funding.

When evaluating the financing policy for higher education, policymakers are confronted with the issues of accessibility, equity and efficiency. Maureen Woodhall in her book, Sharing the Costs of Higher Education, Financial Support for Students, wrote: “A scheme designed to widen access and increase participation in higher education will not save taxpayers’ money. A scheme designed to reduce public expenditure will not increase participation. A scheme designed to reduce the burden of parental contributions must either involve an increase in the taxpayers’ burden or a shift in the burden from parents to students.”

In the context of Malaysia, the World Bank study on Public Expenditure on Higher Education undertaken in mid-2000 concluded that the government had allocated substantial resources for higher education, but we have not been efficient in using these resources. In other words, we need to deal with equity and efficiency issues.

Over the last decade, pressure for financial reforms in higher education has intensified. With increasing enrolment, the notion of free education is unimaginable. In fact, education, particularly higher education, provides high private rates of return and this justifies the notion that those who benefit directly from higher education should be responsible for the cost.

The introduction of user fees policy, that is, cost recovery, is highly justifiable. For a country such as Malaysia, the cost recovery approach would necessarily mean increasing fees above what is charged.

By Prof Datuk Dr Morshidi Sirat.

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Stalls without traders based on customers’ honesty

July 17th, 2018

SANDAKAN: Some locals here have opted to sell their vegetables and fruits at unmanned stalls based on the customers’ honesty.

The stalls, which are located at main roads of several locations in the district, have a locked wooden box or a container tied to a tree.

The goods are price tagged and buyers can put their money into the box or container.

Some locals here have opted to sell their vegetables and fruits at unmanned stalls based on the customers’ honesty. Pic by NSTP/POLIANA RONNIE SIDOM

This practice could be unusual for some, but is practiced at many areas or villages at the east coast of Sabah.

A check at Muhibbah town, Sungai Manila near here, there are at least four stalls that apply the concept.

Besides agricultural products, there are also stalls selling petrol which kept in water bottles.

Vendor Patimah Hamsain, 63, said she will be at her stall between two and four hours everyday and the rest of the time will stay at home doing house chores and resting.

The goods are price tagged and buyers can put their money into the box or container. Pic by NSTP/POLIANA RONNIE SIDOM

“I have been doing business for the last two years and earn between RM100 and RM300 every month as side income.

“If I am busy, I will just leave the stall unattended. If there are people who want to cheat, it is up to them and we just treat it as our donation for them,” said Patimah, whose stall is located about 100 metres from her house.

She said her customers were all locals.

The goods are price tagged and buyers can put their money into the box or container. Pic by NSTP/POLIANA RONNIE SIDOM

Another trader, who wants to be known as Mili, said she looked after their stall in the day during fruit season as they were many buyers.

By Poliana Ronnie Sidom.

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