Sabah has most mental health patients

March 8th, 2018

KOTA KINABALU: Mental health issues in Sabah are the most prevalent compared to other states nationwide, making up 42.9 per cent of national figures.

Sabah Health Department Director Datuk Dr Christina Rundi said a survey conducted by the Ministry of Health in 2015 found Sabah to have the highest number of mental health illnesses.

“We hope the ministry will continue to send psychiatrists to Sabah in order to cater to the high demand for their services here due to the state’s widespread geographical landscape,” she said at the book launch of ‘Standard Operating Procedures for Assistant Medical Officers in Psychiatry’ here yesterday.

Her speech was delivered by Sabah Health Department (medical) senior chief assistant director Dr Abd Kahar Abd Asis.

According to Sabah psychiatry services statistics, 30,675 outpatient cases were recorded in 2016, alongside 1,373 inpatient cases.

This showed an increase from previous years, said Christina, in line with the progress of psychiatry services in Sabah.

Meanwhile, Health Ministry (medical) deputy director-general Datuk Dr Jeyaindran Sinnadurai said the publication of the book of standard operating procedures for assistant medical officers in psychiatry will provide a guideline to meet the standards of care and professionalism for patients.

Jeyaindran further said the book was a good tool to raise awareness on the importance of meeting set standards for all assistant medical officers who provide special care to psychiatry patients.

by Fiqah Roslan.

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Sabah’s 2017 STPM results better

March 7th, 2018

PUTATAN: A total of 6,514 candidates (98.55%) in the 2017 Sijil Tinggi Pelajaran Malaysia (STPM) examination in Sabah last year attained full passes.

According to Sabah Education Department director Datuk Maimunah Suhaibul during the announcement of the State result of the 2017 STPM examination at SMK Putatan yesterday, there was an increase in the percentage pass as compared to  2016 (98.16 percent).

She added that a total of 6,610 candidates sat for the examination last year as compared to 6,361 candidates in 2016.

The examination were offered at 99 centres statewide.

Maimunah, who was represented by Education Department deputy director Datuk Dr Kassim Ibrahim also said that the 2017 Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) was 2.66 as compared to 2.58 in 2016.

She also said that the gap in the CGPA between Sabah and the country had decreased from 0.13 in 2016 to 0.10 last year.

“This signifies Sabah’s improved performance,” she said.

The number of candidates attaining 5P’s in the examination has also increased from 158 (2.48 percent) in 2016 to 216 people (3.27 percent) in 2017.

There was also an increase in the number of candidates attaining 4P’s (4,344 candidates in 2017 as compared to only 4,138 candidates in 2016) and 3P’s.

Improvements in performance were also seen in 11 subjects out of the 21 subjects offered in the STPM in Sabah last year.

These were Bahasa Melayu (88.46 percent passes), Bahasa Cina (75 percent), Bahasa Arab (73.61 percent), Kesusasteraan Melayu Komunikatif (85.22 percent), Syariah (91.27 percent), History (92.80 percent), Geography (86.20 percent), Economics (76.51 percent), Accountancy (82.39 percent), Biology (63.84 percent) and Sport Science (97.73 percent).

She also said that 59 schools offering STPM last year succeeded in attaining 100 percent passes in the examination as compared to 53 schools in 2016.

She added that under category 1 (1-49 candidates), a total of 19 schools achieved the 100 percent students’ passes mark. They were SMK Kunak Jaya, SMK Merotai Besar, Sekolah Tinggi Kota Kinabalu, SMK Kota Klias, SMK Gadong, SMK Kinarut, SM La Salle, SMK Tenghilan, SMK Weston, SMK Agama Tun Sakaran, SMK Sri Nangka, SMK Pekan Kuala Penyu, SMK Agama Kota Kinabalu, SM Lok Yuk Likas, SMK Menumbok, SMK Sook, SMK Benoni, SMK Beaufort II and SMK Perempuan Likas.

Under category 2 (50-99 candidates), the schools that attained 100 percent students’ passes in the examination were SMK Madai, SMK Usukan, SMK Kunak, SMK Agaseh, SMK Pekan, SMK Beluran, SMK Tagasan, SMK Majakir, SM All Saints, SMK Narinang, SMK Sandakan II, SMK Arshad, SMK Kinabutan and SM Ken Hwa.

While under category 3 (schools with 100 and above candidates), the schools that attained 100 percent passes were SMK Tamparuli, SMK Muhibbah, SMK Putatan, SMK Bugaya and SMK Gunsanad.

by Jenne Lajiun.

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Student uses smartphone improve on her studies

March 7th, 2018

PUTATAN: One of Sabah’s top 39 students, Vivianty Mayok, has revealed that she used her smartphone to help her in her studies.

“I do a lot of research using my smartphone, especially for the General Knowledge (Pengajian Am) and Bahasa Melayu subjects since both focus a lot on current issues,” she told press members at SMK Putatan yesterday.

Vivianty, from Kolej Tingkatan Enam Kota Kinabalu, said that using the technology had helped a lot in her studies. She added that she hoped to become a teacher one day and planned to apply to go into the teachers college in Perak, Kuala Kangsar.

SMK Putatan’s Sport Science lecturer, Ferdinand Saidol Muntoh, shared that his students were reaping the benefits of using the present technology in their quest for knowledge. He explained that through the use of websites, such as YouTube, his students were able to learn more than just through reading books.

“They could see how things work and it helps tremendously in their learning,” he said.

He added that he also used his smartphone to help him explain things better to his students while in class. And, with the help of technology, he said his students were able to present their findings to their peers in class – a method that not only raises their confidence in public speaking but also help them become better at communicating their ideas to audience.

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Over 98 per cent STPM 2017 candidates from Sarawak, Sabah qualify for cert

March 6th, 2018

KUCHING: A total of 5,055 Sijil Tinggi Pelajaran Malaysia (STPM) 2017 candidates from Sarawak (98.17 percent) are qualified to receive their certificates.

A total of 51 students or 0.96 per cent of Sarawakian candidates scored the maximum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 4.00 for STPM 2017.

A total of 1,726 or 33.59 percent scored CGPA 3.00 or more, compared to 1,428 or 29.94 percent from the previous year.

On school achievements,  24 schools in Sarawak exceeded the GPA 2.80, compared to only four in 2016.

SMK Sacred Heart, Sibu was named the school with the best performance for STPM 2017 with a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.35.

The other schools are SMK Kampung Nangka, Sibu; SMK Meradong , Meradong; SMK Chung Hua, Sibu; SMK Bako, Kuching; SMK Sungai Merah, Sibu; SMK Pusa, Betong; SMK St. Anthony, Sarikei; SMK Batu Kawa, Padawan; SMK Methodist, Sibu; SMK Bandar Sibu, Sibu; SMK Merbau, Miri; SMK Lanang, Sibu; SMK Long Lama, Baram; SMK Batu Lintang, Kuching; SMK Green Road, Kuching; MK Chung Hua, Miri; SMK Pending, Kuching; SMK Jalan Oya, Sibu; SMK Oya, Dalat; SMK Asajaya, Samarahan; SMK Tung Hua, Sibu; SMK Agama Limbang, Limbang; and SMK St. Joseph, Kuching.

Meanwhile in Sabah, a total of 6,514 candidates (98.55 per cent) in the examination attained full pass, which indicated an increase from previous year (98.16 per cent).

A total of 39 candidates achieved 4.00 CGPA.

The 2017 was 2.66 as compared to 2.58 in 2016.

There were 99 examination centres throughout the state. Fifty-nine schools succeeded in attaining 100 percent passes in the examination as compared to 53 schools in 2016.

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MB against teaching of Science and Maths in English.

March 6th, 2018

SEREMBAN: The teaching and learning of Science and Mathematics in English (PPSMI) policy has shown that there is a big gap in the mastery of the English language between rural and urban students, says Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan.

He said while it was true that English was an international language, learning Mathematics and Science in English was difficult for students, especially those in rural areas.

“English is an international language and the language of knowledge, students in primary and secondary schools can learn it, but not in the teaching of Science and Mathematics because these are difficult subjects,” he told reporters after officiating the SK Taman Warisan Puteri and SMK Warisan Puteri here yesterday.

Mohamad said English should not be used to assess learning.

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Being human in the 21st century

March 6th, 2018

IN the last several annual meetings of the World Economic Forum, an influential platform for the shaping of the global agenda, one of the biggest questions that has been raised and discussed is about being and staying human in light of emerging trends and technological developments in the 21st century.

It is interesting that despite the world’s sophistication and advances, especially in the West, people still ponder upon these basic questions that had come up as far back as over 2,000 years ago during the time of the ancient Greek philosophers, chiefly Socrates, Plato and Aristotle.

Consider this fact: in 2016, close to US$1.7 trillion was spent worldwide on arms, but a United Nations appeal for funds to support refugees from the Syrian crisis fell short of its target by less than US$1.7bil.

This says a lot about our state of being human.

It was reported in The New York Times on July 12, 2017 that hundreds of millions of people in China have in recent years turned to religions like Taoism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam, seeking a sense of purpose and an escape from the consumerist culture, recognising that the decadence of human beings has destroyed the environment.

This corroborates the important argument by Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas, the contemporary Muslim thinker from Malaysia, that despite the positive contributions of science and technology, the modern man does not understand his true self better, and is unable to attain a state of peace and tranquility within himself and in relation to the others.

In the intellectual tradition of Islam – as represented by luminaries such as Ibn Sina, Al-Ghazali, Ibn ‘Arabi and many others whose insights contemporary Muslims can still benefit from – the understanding of being “human” is not the same as that of the contemporary Western world, which is derived from the Enlightenment.

In the time of philosophers such as Immanuel Kant, Western civilisation started to imply that man does not have a spiritual nature in the “soul”, and thus gradually the conception of being human changed as the idea of the soul was suppressed.

Having evolved over centuries, Western thinking and consciousness have impinged on and surreptitiously infused the Muslims’ thinking and consciousness, causing confusion in how they see the nature of man, which is a key element in the worldview of Islam.

This creates a situation whereby, for instance, a Muslim today may be learned in the modern science of behavioural psychology but completely ignorant about the science of the soul as discussed by the early Muslim luminaries in history who sought to treat psychological problems at its roots.

The nature of man, as understood in Islam, postulates that man is both physical and spiritual – that is, he possesses a soul – and the physical is embedded in and serves the spiritual.

Therefore, a man who is true to his natural inclination (fitrah) will voluntarily limit his material desire through the cultivation of virtues and self-discipline in order to realise his higher and truer spiritual aspirations by which he finds his true self and place in the larger order of creation and being.

This is in contradistinction to the psychological assumption of modern economics that man has “unlimited wants”, which assumes that man is restricted to his physical self and materialistic ambition without deeper spiritual substance and higher transcendent aspiration.

It was for this reason that Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariyya al- Razi remarked in his al-Tibb al-Ruhani (The Spiritual Physic), “To rein and suppress the passion is an obligation according to every opinion, in the view of every reasoning man, and according to every religion.”

In the past, when the worldview of Islam was intact, the Muslims as exemplified by men and women of spiritual discernment, understood the idea of being human as the subduing the animal aspect of man (nafs al-hayyawwaniyah) with the rational aspect (nafs al-natiqah), through ascending the stations of spiritual perfections to be a man of adab (a good man), that is, a man who knows his place in relation to others and ultimately his Creator.

Such conception of being human in Islam has seen tremendous success in history. It must be allowed to flourish in the 21st century if we wish to see the virtuous circulation of wealth; the harmonious way of living between man and his environment; the development of creative and innovative technologies that are in harmony with man and nature; and most importantly, conviction about man’s purpose and place in this world.

By Muhammad Syafiq Borhannuddin
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SPM results out next Thursday

March 6th, 2018
Students sitting for the SPM exams at SMK Putrajaya Presint 11 (1). - Bernama

Students sitting for the SPM exams at SMK Putrajaya Presint 11 (1). – Bernama

PETALING JAYA: The 2017 Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) results will be released next Thursday (March 15).

The Education Ministry said in a statement that candidates can obtain their results from their schools after 10am on the day.

“Private candidates will receive their results through the post or can contact their state education departments where they registered for their examinations,” it said.

Candidates can also check their results through SMS by typing SPM <space> identity card number <space> index number and sending it to 15888 from 10am on March 15 to 6pm on March 21.

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Public assistance needed after fire damages Penampang school hostel

March 5th, 2018

Fire at the hostel.

KOTA KINABALU: The Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) of SMK Datuk Peter Mojuntin in Penampang is appealing to the public for assistance to help the 117 male students after their hostel was damaged by fire this morning.

Its Chairman Adelaide Cornelius said the boys were left with only the clothes on their back.

“What is in dire need at the moment are mats, mattresses, pillows, bed linen, clothes and shoes as well as things like toothbrushes, pails and towels,” he said when contacted by The Borneo Post.

According to Adelaide, the students are from Form 1 to Form 5 and are from all over the state as SMK Datuk Peter Mojuntin is a sports school.

There are also students who come from the interior areas of Sabah, he added.

“We are appealing to the public to help these students. They can contact me at 013-8845645 or Boniface Edwin Amir for futher details on what is needed. Alternatively those who wish to donate cash can do so to the PTA’s account at Alliance Bank. The bank number is 101230010009479,” he said.

Fire at the tw- storey building broke out at about 7.30am and firemen from the Penampang, Lintas and Kota Kinabalu rushed to the scene. They arrived at 7.39am and had the blaze under control by 8.07am.

It was put out at 9.02am, a statement from the State Fire and Rescue Services Department’s Operations Centre said.

According to the statement, a total of 53 firemen, four fire engines, two EMRS and four utility responded to the call for assistance.

by Nancy Lai.

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Need to understand the importance of wetlands

March 5th, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: Education and awareness campaigns are the key towards helping the public understand the importance of wetlands, says Sabah Environment Department Director Tunku Khalkausar Tunku Fatimah.

“I believe that through education and public awareness campaigns, the message of the impedance of conserving the environment will reach the public. This event is an ideal way to create awareness and enable our younger generation to be more environmentally conscientious and to become stewards of the environment.

“I note with great pleasure that the theme for this year’s event is ‘Wetlands for a sustainable urban future’, which highlights the need for effective conservation of urban wetlands to facilitate an urbanisation that is sustainable and that makes cities liveable.”

She said this when launching the World Wetlands Day 2018 celebration at SWCS Likas, here, Saturday.

Khalkausar said this year’s theme was indeed very apt because Kota Kinabalu Wetland, located within 10km from the city centre, is the first urban Ramsar site (mangrove type) in Malaysia.

She said the Sabah Wetlands Conservation Society (SWCS) also deserved to be warmly congratulated for their admirable efforts at raising the bar, in terms of creating awareness and appreciation of wetlands, adding that their determination has also encouraged the Ministry to continuously support SWCS in many ways.

“Unquestionably, wetlands are among the most threatened ecosystems in the world. Many wetlands have been significantly destroyed in order to make way for development. As the demand for land increases, there is a tendency to encroach wetlands and convert them into dumping grounds, filling them up in order to build infrastructure on them, draining or burning them to turn them into plantations and many more.

“The people have been asked to understand the importance of wetlands in the ecosystem as there are still many unable to understand how it contributes to the ecosystem circle. Urban wetlands make cities liveable in many important ways.”

She said wetlands also reduce flooding, replenish drinking water, filter waste, provide urban green spaces and as a source of livelihoods.

“However, these benefits are not widely known and we need to educate people of all ages to understand how wetlands play an important part in our lives,” she added.

Meanwhile, SWCS President Datuk Zainie Abdul Aucasa said as the first NGO that manages a Ramsar site in Malaysia, they have been working diligently on conservation initiatives for more than a decade.

“In the performance of these functions, I can truly say that these years have been very challenging for us.

Conservation of the natural ecosystem in the urban area can be significantly different from conservation activities in the remote area due to the different set of challenges and opportunities.

“We (SWCS) support the conservation of wetlands that goes hand in hand with the wise use of wetlands, without being subjected to issues of over-harvesting and over-stressing our wetlands resources.

“It is sad when the level of people’s awareness on the importance of wetlands is still low and it is something that needs to be made right. Wetlands are the heart of an ecosystem and if the heart no longer functions, then the ecosystem will be affected and many species will be affected, including humans.”

Zainie said he was very pleased with the attendance of students from more than eight secondary schools, SM Maktab Sabah, SM ST John Tuaran and SM All Saints, to name a few.

“I am delighted to note that we have received more than 10 submissions from schools to participate in the Model Wetland Exhibition Competition and I heard from the judges that we have a hard time choosing the winners.

“All of the model wetlands were truly great and the presentations of each group were indisputably remarkable.

We are hoping that the initiatives undertaken during World Wetlands Day can greatly benefit the students and enable our younger generation to fully understand the importance of wetlands in the ecosystems.

by Neil Chan.

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Are report cards a good yardstick?

March 4th, 2018
By ARTURO RAMO - March 4, 2018 @ 9:48am

MANY families take advantage of school report cards to talk to their children about school.

Though the report card is important, it should not be the sole standard to evaluate a child’s academic performance since every child is different. And, so are his or her circumstances.

A child’s academic performance is satisfactory when it conforms to his intellectual capacity and effort put in. Performance is sufficient when a student’s grade is “passed” or “progresses adequately”.

Two paradoxical situations may occur:

FIRST,  the student passes with a sufficient grade point average, but his performance is unsatisfactory.

This is because the student could have obtained a better grade by improving his learning capacity according to what was expected of him.

This is the case of gifted students who, with little effort, can manage a passing grade. It also depends, however, on how demanding the teacher is.

SECOND,  the student makes a great effort and dedicates many hours to studying, but does not achieve a good grade. This depends on a few factors: the student’s method of study, his knowledge of the subject and whether the teacher is too demanding.

Nevertheless, parents should not place too much of value on the grades their children obtain in school because they could be making three mistakes:

FIRST, parents demand less from their child than what he is capable of achieving, thus fomenting mediocrity. This may lead him to fail in the future though he is making do with a pass.

SECOND, parents demand more from the child than he is capable of achieving.

Expecting a high performance from an average student who tries hard to progress could create a state of anguish and anxiety in him, thus resulting in him refusing to study.

THIRD, parents and teachers impose the same expectations on students when, in reality, each child has different intellectual capacity.

Comparisons between siblings or classmates produce negative consequences and can lead to jealousy or envy.


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