Child sexual abuse – Minding menacing monsters

November 13th, 2018
THE gruesome death of 11-month-old baby girl Zara, as a result of sexual abuse, points to one thing: there are still menacing monsters among us. (NSTP Archive)

THE gruesome death of 11-month-old baby girl Zara, as a result of sexual abuse, points to one thing: there are still menacing monsters among us. There should be no free roaming space for such despicable men, say Netizens. We agree. Malaysians outside the cyberspace, too, will be outraged. We join the country in asking: what nature of men would commit such an odious crime? It is too beastly to contemplate even. Such vile beings do not just come from Malaysia; there are paedophiles from without. Many will remember Briton Richard Huckle, who was handed down 22 life sentences in November 2016 by a British court for sexually abusing 200 babies and children, most of them in Malaysia. Men of such debased minds and horrible hearts deserve either the gallows or to be locked up for the rest of their lives.
Our children must be protected from the enemy, within and without.

To do this, the government can begin by not abolishing the death penalty for such heinous crime. It is heartening to note that Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail is of similar view. No Malaysian in his right mind will stop a Richard Huckle from being sent to the gallows. Twenty-two life sentences may sound more than enough but if you have only one life like all of us do, the remaining 21 are just for the realm of theory. Next, the government must listen to child rights groups’ call to make public child sexual abuse data. Worrying about such data causing alarm among the public is at best a lame reason to keep them secret. On the contrary, such secrecy lulls us into a national lethargy. Just look at the numbers revealed in Parliament, the only place such statistics freely make their appearance. On July 27, 2016, the then women, family and community development minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim told the Dewan Rakyat that 22,134 children were sexually abused from 2010 to May 2016, with more than 50 per cent of them raped. More than 1,000 were victims of unnatural sex. Malaysia was not alarmed into a riot then; it will not be now. Child rights advocates’ rationale is simple: opening up about a national problem is the first step in solving it. When people become aware of a problem, they will be better prepared to help the authorities solve it. Making the information public will also help victims of child abuse to come forward.

Child abuse experts tell us that children are usually sexually abused by someone whom they know: family members, relatives or childminders. Parents, especially mothers, must ensure that girls of vulnerable age are not left alone in the house. Or elsewhere.

NST.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/leaders/2018/11/430578/child-sexual-abuse-minding-menacing-monsters

Anti-corruption element to be included in Civics subject next year

November 13th, 2018
Education minister Dr Maszlee Malik said the subject would be taught to those in the primary and secondary schools as well as at pre-school level to shape moral values. Pic by NSTP/AHMAD IRHAM MOHD NOOR

PUTRAJAYA: The Education Ministry will introduce education on anti-corruption into the Civics subject from next year.

Its minister Dr Maszlee Malik said the subject would be taught to those in the primary and secondary schools as well as at pre-school level to shape moral values.

Aside from anti-corruption, other elements which will be added include human rights, road safety and the environment.

“We don’t have a specific subject on anti-corruption, but what we can do is add it as one of the topics in the Civics subject, which we will re-introduce

“Starting next year, we will re-introduce the subject. It will not be a must-pass subject, but it will a compulsory subject,” he said after a national Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and Education Ministry forum 2018 here.

Maszlee said this in response to MACC’s proposal to have a compulsory subject on anti-corruption in schools.

MACC chief commissioner Datuk Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull earlier said efforts must be taken to teach children from young to dislike corruption.

On Shukri’s disclosure that corruption had spread to schools involving students, and teachers asking for sex from students as an inducement to pass examination, Maszlee said he had not received such a report so far.

“We urge those who are involved to lodge a report with the police. Don’t hide it. We will not tolerate such action and action will be taken.

“The victims are protected by law. We want the victims to come forward and lodge reports so that we can ensure schools are a safe place for all students and teachers,” he added.

By Irwan Shafrizan Ismail.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/news/government-public-policy/2018/11/430723/anti-corruption-element-be-included-civics-subject-next

Child seat – Safety matters

November 11th, 2018
Having child seats is an extra precaution, but one which is completely necessary.

TOWARDS the end of last month, Transport Minister Anthony Loke announced something which many had been waiting for. In fact, this column has several times pushed for it, and his announcement was welcome, indeed.

By 2020, said Loke, child car seats will be made compulsory for all private cars. Before then, he said, the ministry will conduct awareness programmes to educate the public on the importance of these seats. He went on to explain that another reason implementation would only be in 2020 was that at the moment, there were not enough suppliers, not enough stock.

Loke also wanted car seats to be sales and service tax exempt so as to make them cheaper. Malaysians, it must be said, are becoming more and more safety conscious. More and more, these days, you see couples with young children using such car seats. Kudos to them. Studies have shown that children in car seats have a better chance of surviving crashes.

But there are still those who refuse to take safety, of their children no less, into account when getting behind the wheel. Of course, when Loke’s announcement came out, there was a little bit of a hue and cry.

The most common argument against it was that it would cost a lot of money, especially for the poor and those with many children. To be fair, the prices of such items are terribly high.

In 2007, a couple expecting their first child noticed the price of such items here. It just so happened the couple flew to the United States soon after and found the same item for a third of the price in Malaysia.

Of course, not everyone can go to the US to shop, and heading there would cost more anyway. But since then, perhaps because Malaysians are becoming more safety conscious, there are more such items available and prices have come down somewhat, though they are still high. And, that is exactly what Loke and the ministry are trying to avoid.

The reason why he mentioned that there were not enough suppliers and stock is because, right now, these items are expensive.

Having more suppliers, and local manufacturers, mind you, will allow for prices to come down, at least a little. Will they be cheap enough for the poor to afford? That remains to be seen.

But the more pertinent and infinitely more important question would be this: What price your children’s safety?

Parents, generally, will risk it all for their children. They would sacrifice their lives for them. Yet there are many — perhaps through lack of knowledge or perhaps because they do not quite understand or just have not thought things through — who put their children’s lives at risk every day on Malaysian roads.

We are not talking here about the car seats, per se, but about parents who have their children on motorcycles, minus helmets. We are talking about the parents who, while their kids are jumping around in the rear, ironically sit buckled up, safe and sound.

Having child seats is an extra precaution, but one which is completely necessary. And mandatory in many countries. So it is an extra expense, but so what? Again, what price your children’s safety? Is your child’s life worth so little? Just a few hundred ringgit, perhaps?

That aside, there are other things that the government needs to ensure before such a plan is implemented. The first is quality control. There must be certain standards which need to be followed right from the materials used in the manufacture of the seats. Then there are the proper guidelines. This is easy enough to do.

There are many countries which have such laws. Just look at these countries to determine what needs to be done here. For instance, when do babies outgrow baby seats? When can they use car seats, when do kids “graduate” to booster seats? Do they face forwards or backwards? Can seats be in the front seat? These are just some of the questions which need to be answered.

And then there is also what needs to be done after car seats are made mandatory. This cannot be stressed enough in Malaysia. Enforcement is the key to making any law successful, yet sadly, enforcement always seems to be lacking in the country.

By LESLIE ANDRES

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnists/2018/11/430084/child-seat-safety-matters

Libraries must keep up with times

November 11th, 2018
The Tun Abdul Razak Library needs more books that appeal to young readers. FILE PIC

FOR a week last month, Libraries Week (Oct 8-13) celebrated the nation’s much-loved libraries. It was a time to remind the public about the contributions libraries, librarians and library workers made to their communities.

As one who uses public libraries, I was dismayed at the way the Tun Razak Library in Ipoh, Perak, is being managed. Suffice to say, it was below expectations.

The library is in the city centre, next to a school and near the magistrate’s court.

The last time I visited the library was 20 years ago. However, when I was there recently, I felt like time had stood still since 1998. It looked the same, with the same coat of paint and the same, ancient rules and regulations.

Let me start with the borrowing rules. I cannot access the online library catalogue from home. If the library aims to be user friendly, one should be able to request and renew books from their website, choose which branch to pick them up from and return the books to any branch, including the mobile library, if there is one.

With advancement in technology, not allowing one to bring charging cables to the library for their electronic devices is unthinkable. In this day and age, almost everyone works from his laptop, iPad or mobile phone. Just imagine how one should do one’s research in a library without the cables. Apparently, this rule applies only at the Tun Razak Library.

If the reason lies in short circuits or faulty sockets, getting them fixed will attract more people to use the library facilities more often. I saw a group of people in the library, who were reading newspapers, and only a handful borrowed books.

Perhaps, the library management can set up a multimedia section, where people can view or borrow CDs or DVDs. This will be beneficial for the public, especially for academicians, teachers, students and children.

Even the Internet connection at the library is slow. The library should consider buying new books as the ones available are outdated.

Authors like Enid Blyton and Agatha Christie do not appeal to young readers of today. Getting feedback from the community on their favourite authors and the type of books they would prefer to read can easily resolve this.

Gone are the days where strict librarians walk around, shooing kids and pointing to the “Keep Quiet” signs. A user-friendly library will be a beneficial meeting point for millennials to work, discuss and spend their time.

When I am in a public library, I feel I am a member of a wider community and society — sharing a public space and service, which I value.

By Zarina Zainudeen.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters/2018/11/430107/libraries-must-keep-times

Consider replacing the UPSR

November 11th, 2018

EXAMINATIONS are stressful. The word “examination” conjures fear, anxiety and pressure even to adult learners.

School examinations stress school children and take out the fun and joy of the learning process.

The Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) examination is the first public examination for the primary school children in Year Six and is used as the yardstick to measure the proficiency and competency of the children in their Reading, Writing and Arithmetic.

The UPSR examination is given much attention and significance by the teachers and the children’s parents.

The results determine the Key Performance Index (KPI) of the schools and teachers’ appraisal.

The headteachers make teachers work very hard and so in turn do the teachers, who want to ensure the children achieve excellent examination results.

To prepare the children for the UPSR, the school teachers would drill the children according to the examination procedure and testing.

For months the children are put through a rigorous learning and teaching process.

Extra classes, holiday classes, night classes, workshops, tuition and trial examinations are the norm for the children.

This year, 440,743 candidates sat for the UPSR at 8,100 exam centres nationwide. The children in national schools sat for six papers while those in vernacular schools sat for eight papers during the examination.

Even university students do not sit for six to eight papers in their tertiary examinations.

The examinations are made even more stressful as they are 100% centralised assessments.

The UPSR should have school based assessments to help them evaluate the children’s full potential.

The UPSR examination is primarily used to gauge how the Year Six children have progressed from Years One to Six and to measure their performance and competency in the primary schooling years.

Contrary to a centralised examination, a school based assessment will be able to adopt tools to measure the development of a child’s physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social elements more holistically.

A school based assessment will be a more comprehensive assessment of the child’s full potential. A written examination can only test the mental intelligence of a child.

We need to move away from placing too much importance on academic excellence. This is going to be an uphill task because it has been deeply rooted in our mindset that grades and As matter.

Much importance is placed on academic excellence as a pre-requisite to enter good schools and eventually in prestigious careers.

How do we undo this delicate issue?

The only option is to transform the 100% centralised assessment to school based assessment..

by SAMUEL YESUIAH

Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2018/11/11/consider-replacing-the-upsr/#VFEHKpjK7BLLodpQ.99

Promoting interest in STEM

November 11th, 2018

Ahmad Tajuddin (third right) sharing a light moment with Dr Siti Hamisah who was touring the KLESF exhibition.

Ahmad Tajuddin (third right) sharing a light moment with Dr Siti Hamisah who was touring the KLESF exhibition

THE next time you’re worried about parking, check your app.

The Chong brothers – Emerson, 10, and Sheldon, 12, aren’t old enough to drive but that didn’t stop them from attempting to solve a grown up problem.

Inspired by the Internet of Things (IOT), the homeschooled brothers spent over a month working on a smart parking app that tells drivers whether parking lots at the place they’re heading to, are full.

They were the Kuala Lumpur Engineering Science Fair (KLESF) International Challenge 2018 bronze medal winner in the primary school category.

Explaining their invention, the Chongs said using RFID (radio frequency identification) tags that contain driver and vehicle information, the app can even be used to book and pay for parking bays.

KLESF steering committee co-chairman Datuk Hong Lee Pee said the fair’s objective was to promote interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education among youths and the public.

The KLESF International Challenge 2018 was a main highlight as it allowed students to exhibit their original inventions.

Emerson and Sheldon with a prototype of their invention.

Emerson and Sheldon with a prototype of their invention.

“This year, 400 teams from 150 schools participated,” said Hong.

The International Challenge was among a myriad of exciting events including exhibitions, hands-on experiments and workshops, robotics, coding, science and chemical engineering competitions.

Kayson Choo, who was among the exhibitors, showcased his team’s humanoid fighter.

Using motion sensors, the humanoid punches when Choo moves his hand.

“Now it’s only the hands but we’re working on a prototype that will be controlled entirely by motion sensors.

“So if you duck, step forward or move backward, the humanoid will too.”

The KLESF was jointly organised by the Asean Academy of Engineering and Technology (AAET), Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR), Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT) and the Institution of Engineers Malaysia.

Held from Nov 2 to Nov 4 at the MINES International Exhibition & Convention Centre (MIECC) in Seri Kembangan, over 60,000 visitors thronged the three-day event to promote STEM.

Education Ministry’s Department of Higher Education director-general Datin Paduka Dr Siti Hamisah Tapsir, who launched the fair, said STEM education was important in producing critical thinkers and innovators for our future workforce.

Innovation leads to new and improvised products and processes that sustain our economy. And such science literacy depends on solid knowledge in STEM, she added.

Last year, it was reported that only 47% of school students opted for the science stream – short of the targeted 60:40 ratio of science and technical stream students to arts students.

“We’re working very hard to get students interested in STEM because the future is transdisciplinary. Everyone will need to understand and interpret data – even those in the arts field.

“The ministry’s centralised university unit (UPU) has to scrape the bottom of the barrel to get STEM students. So long as they meet the minimum requirement, students are offered STEM courses,” she said, adding that the ministry has conducted various initiatives including the setting up of a national STEM centre to promote hands-on activities and fun learning.

The centre’s inquiry-based science education (IBSE) workshops for 1,200 teachers nation-wide was recently completed, she said.

IBSE, she said, was crucial in developing critical skills for efficient learning.

The ministry, she added, welcomes engagement with all quarters as promoting STEM education has to be a concerted effort.

“Whether we like it or not, most of our activities are dependent on technology. Technology plays a big role in cooking, going places, studying and staying in touch with loved ones. Even when sleeping, technology keeps us cool and comfortable.

“So, a good grasp of scientific concepts is much needed, especially among the younger generation.”

But the decline in STEM interest, AAET and UTAR president Prof Datuk Dr Chuah Hean Teik said, was a global phenomenon.

He said it was important that STEM careers are highlighted in the media.

“If parents know future prospects are bright, they’d encourage their children to take up these subjects.”

Children naturally find STEM interesting as many toys today have scientific elements, MIGHT chairman Tan Sri Ahmad Tajuddin Ali said.

The problem is that children lose interest when they go to school.

“Is it school and our system that’s the problem? We’ve to make sure that their interest in science continues through their schooling years.”

The KLESF should strive to be as big as the Edinburgh International Science Festival. This, he said, would help generate interest among youngsters in the field.

By Christina Chin
Read more @ h
ttps://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2018/11/11/promoting-interest-in-stem/#phVRDPjfzM3C8h2u.99

Authentic learning resource a boon

November 11th, 2018

Education pullout sponsorship a much-needed teaching aid for school

WHEN teacher Nor Zalila Hidayu Aman heard that her school was receiving sponsored copies of The Star’s Newspaper-in-Education (NiE) pullout, she was over the moon.

“It is a blessing to us! We have not had much success with obtaining gadgets and we are not able to supply each student with a laptop. So this sponsorship is a much-needed resource,” said the English department head from SMK Kota Masai 2, Johor.

The school is one of 40 Johor schools benefitting from the PPB Group Berhad sponsorship of the NiE pullout. The sponsorship by the Malaysian diversified conglomerate was made under Star Media Group’s English for Better Opportunities (EBO) project. NiE workshops for teachers and students were also included in this sponsorship to help teachers understand the methodology of using the newspaper as a resource to teach English.

EBO is a multi-level platform aimed at making immersive driven English language programmes interactive, fun and accessible to all levels of society.

Having used the newspaper as a teaching tool before being introduced to NiE, Nor Zalila Hidayu is familiar with the benefits of using this authentic resource.

“Not every student has flipped through an English newspaper. Some do not even know that you can find the comics in the newspaper. NiE exposes them to something new.

“It helps most in building vocabulary. Students write better when they see examples of correctly written sentences. They can see authentic news reports in the newspaper. They also stumble on things that they are curious about and it would prompt them to question things.

“Not many students in this school can converse well in English. They are very shy, but they try. That’s why we organise English programmes.”

The Star-NiE programme, now in its 21st year, has been breathing life into English classroom lessons with engaging, hands-on activities using the newspaper. The colourful, syllabus-based 12-page pullout is written by a team of experienced English language teachers.

NiE was part of an English camp at SMK Kota Masai, Johor. Students enjoyed the engaging and hands-on newspaper activities.

NiE was part of an English camp at SMK Kota Masai, Johor. Students enjoyed the engaging and hands-on newspaper activities.

Last month, SMK Kota Masai 2 hosted an English camp. Two other schools, SMK Tanjung Puteri Resort and SMK Seri Kota Puteri, were also invited to the camp. NiE activities were used as part of the camp acitivities.

“The teachers who attended the earlier NiE workshops (for teachers) were the ones who suggested that we include an NiE session in the English camp.

“Students liked the activities – they were very engaged and happy.

“Seeing how successful the camp was, I said to myself that I should let The Star know. We are very grateful to the sponsors. I would really like to thank them. The NiE workshops for teachers were very helpful – we got ideas of how to use the newspaper in class. “

“The students now look forward to English classes with NiE. They would ask if we are using the newspapers when we have English lessons,” she added.

English teacher Siti Salbiah Salleh, who also attended one of the NiE workshops sponsored by PPB this year, enjoys using NiE in her classes.

“NiE can be fully utilised to enhance a range of language skills. Furthermore, NiE is relatively inexpensive compared to other materials.

“The activities in NiE are designed to promote students’ critical thinking skills. They can be used to empower students to become independent learners.”

She also likes the fact that the newspapers are visually stimulating.

“They contain a lot of pictures to encapsulate a vast range of topics. It can also be used to target different learning styles, As a result, learning becomes more interesting, meaningful and motivating for the learners. Students are able to learn real language in context as it aids students in developing a solid language base.”

Form Two student Fara Nurumairah Kamaruzzaman said she finds that the newspaper has a lot of news and information to offer.

“The newspaper has pictures of the situation, which makes me understand the issue better.”

She also liked the fact that NiE encourages group work.

“I like working in groups because I can share my opinions and thoughts. The lesson is more exciting than when studying alone. Study groups encourage us to learn new skills and gain new perspectives.

“Besides that, NiE helps me improve my English by introducing new words to me. With better vocabulary, I can create better essays.”

Student Syed Muhammad Azriel Syed Faizal, 14, said that NiE encourages him to read.

“I never knew that the newspaper can also be useful for learning! I like using NiE in English lessons.

“For me, learning with NiE is different from learning with the textbook. This is because the NiE pullout is more exciting and it has a lot of colourful pictures. The newspaper is also updated and shows different things every day.”

Form One student Priyalatha Setha said that NiE encourages her to read the newspaper.

“I was afraid to read English newspapers at first, but now I like reading them because they have many interesting sections. By reading more, I can improve my vocabulary as well as writing in English.

By Emily Chan
Read more @
https://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2018/11/11/authentic-learning-resource-a-boon/#H1pbM6HXIwmFgTLj.99

RM7.35bil Samurai bond to fund education, transport sectors, not repay national debts, says Kadir.

November 11th, 2018

PETALING JAYA: The RM7.35bil Samurai bond issuance, which the Japanese government has offered to guarantee, is not intended to repay Malaysia’s existing debts, says Datuk A. Kadir Jasin.

The Prime Minister’s media adviser said the money raised will be used to fund the education and transportation sector and visit exchanges between Japan and Malaysia.

He said if there is confidence in the government owing to its excellent economic achievement records and sound administration, this will enable it to secure loans domestically and from abroad.

Instead, if a country had a poor track record or if the government had ulterior motives in taking up loans such as seen in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad scandal, then it would be harder to secure loans domestically and internationally.

“If under the old government we secured huge debts in dubious ways especially from China, now we managed to get a special loan with a low-interest rate,” he wrote in his capacity as National Journalist Laureate in his column in Sinar Harian published on Sunday (Nov 11).

He said that the government may borrow domestically or from abroad at a lower interest rate to repay the debts left by the previous administration.

“Considering the financial situation of the government that is ridden with debt and liabilities of more than RM1tril, restructuring of loans is one of the challenging duties in the financial and economic administration in the next coming years,” he wrote.

In June, Malaysia asked for a yen loan during Dr Mahathir’s first meeting with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe to help resolve the government’s debts.

By Fatimah Zainal
Read more @
https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/11/11/rm735bil-samurai-bond-to-fund-education-transport-sectors-not-repay-national-debts-says-kadir/#CAqvQFpgPpHJPeof.99

Asia’s largest zoo croc injured by stone-throwing Chinese tourists

November 10th, 2018
A group of overexcited Chinese tourists threw stones – as well as a 17cm-diameter rock – at Asia’s largest crocodile in captivity on Monday, injuring the reptile. – NSTP FILE PIC

KUALA LUMPUR: A group of overexcited Chinese tourists threw stones – as well as a 17cm-diameter rock – at Asia’s largest crocodile in captivity on Monday, injuring the reptile.

The tourists – a family of laughing adults and children – reportedly wanted to make the 1,250kg African crocodile move, as they were initially sceptical that it was real. When it reacted, they were thrilled and began taking pictures, and possibly videos.

According to the South China Morning Post, the family persisted in throwing projectiles at the 5.8-metre animal despite objections from fellow tourists and visitors at the Xiamen Central Africa Zoo in Fujian province on Nov 5.

But when the 37-year-old male crocodile named Xiao He began oozing blood from three cuts it incurred from the largest rock thrown at it, the tourists fled.

The zoo’s manager was immediately notified, and staff rushed to treat the crocodile using special medicine shipped in from Taiwan, the South China Morning Post reported.

Since news of the incident broke, social media users have been scathing over the tourists’ cruelty, as well as the example the adult members of the group had set for the children

By NST

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2018/11/429924/asias-largest-zoo-croc-injured-stone-throwing-chinese-tourists

Budget Highlights

November 10th, 2018

Kota Kinabalu:

1. Setting up of three new ministries – the Ministry of Health and People’s Wellbeing; the Ministry of Education and Innovation; and the Ministry of Law and Native Affairs.

2. Abolishment of Communal Titles (with certain clauses to protect land ownership for the Natives).

3. Review of lopsided deals

4. Formulating a land-use plan that will address the dual needs of development and conservation.

5. RM5 billion Development Budget for Sabah from the Federal Government.

6. Downstream procession of Sabah’s resources like timber, oil and gas and crude palm oil to create value-added products and more job opportunities.

7. To improve the development of productive sectors, including attracting investments to drive economic growth and generate State revenue:

  • To address socio-economic imbalances and improve people’s living standards through inclusive approaches;
  • To accelerate the development of quality human capital through increased knowledge, skills, productivity and innovation;
  • To develop enablers such as basic infrastructures, utilities and public amenities, including ICT in order to support economic expansion; and
  • To strengthen the capacity, efficiency and effectiveness of Sabah Government’s management and delivery system.

8. Government will commence the collection of sales tax on fishery commodities brought out from Sabah at a rate of 5 per cent beginning next year. Revenue collection from this sales tax is estimated at RM20 million.

9. After restructuring of Sabah Water Department’s administration, RM66.8 million of revenue managed to be collected from August until the end of October 2018. With such administrative and management improvements, the Sabah Water Department is expected to collect revenue of RM330.2 million in year 2019.

10. Setting up of Kalabakan District Office.

11. To attract investment and promote further growth in the industrial sector, the Government will also introduce a number of new incentives. Among them is reduction on land premium

12. Allocated RM636.69 million to the State Water Department for the purpose of its operation and implementation of development programmes.

13. Increased allocation for Scholarships, Bursaries and Financial Assistance for students. This allocation, now placed under the Ministry of Education and Innovation, has increased by RM15 million to RM52 million in year 2019 compared to RM37 million in year 2018. Yayasan Sabah started a RM10 million one-off assistance for students in 2018 and will continue in 2019 with the amount to be increased depending on the foundation’s performance.

14. Development of religious and non-Muslim institutions as well as missionary and private schools are allocated RM35 million. The Government has also increased the allocation for missionary and private schools from RM12 million in year 2018 to RM15 million in year 2019.

15.Development of hill paddy sector to improve the livelihoods of the rural folk in Ranau, Tambunan, Keningau, Kota Belud, Sipitang, Pitas and Kota Marudu. Hill paddy fetches good prices in the local market and is also fast becoming a desired food for the health conscious. A RM5 million special allocation to assist them.

16. The Sabah Government also allocates RM24.45 million for special fund and loan for entrepreneurial development including for the youths. The Government is confident that this provision will also help to encourage the activities of Small and Medium Enterprises in Sabah

17. RM9.56 million is provided for this purpose under the Public Service Department (JPAN) for local and international training courses. To increase the ability, professionalism and efficiency of the civil servant, the Government encourages continuous lifelong learning culture, which includes acquiring new skills in keeping up with dynamic development of the world.

Read more @ http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news.cfm?NewsID=128587