Archive for the ‘General Topics’ Category

Sabah’s oldest book store is closing

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

KOTA KINABALU: The oldest bookshop in Sabah – Tung Nan Book Store at Gaya Street – is closing on March 31 after in business for more than half a century.

“We can no longer compete with the bookshops in shopping malls,” said Winnie Fung, the owner of Tung Nan Book Store which was established by the late George Wong in 1952, a couple of years before the Federation of Malaya gained independence.

Tung Nan Book Store was previously located at No. 1, South Road, Jesselton West Coast, British North Borneo, the site where the old Sabah State Library was, behind the Kota Kinabalu City Hall (DBKK) building, before the premises was relocated to its present address at Gaya Street.

“My father-in-law (George) and his wife both came from China.

“They were both teachers – George in sports while his wife was in music,” Winnie, now in her 70s, said when met at the bookshop.

George and his wife had two sons and two daughters. Winnie’s husband, Edward, now 82, is the youngest child.

“When he was not at school, my husband would help his father out at the bookshop.”

Edward and Winnie were married in 1966 and have six children together. She quit her nursing job to take care of her children and started helping out at the bookshop in 1986 as her kids grew older.

Winnie said Tung Nan Book Store was one of the first bookshops to bring in English books published in England.

“In the 1960s, officials from the Education Department asked why the bookshop did not sell English books.

“My husband told them that that was because no one had recommended English books to him.”

The Education Department subsequently sponsored Tung Nan Book Store and Tim & Ad owners to a book fair in London where they were introduced to a variety of English books.

“They were the first batch (of booksellers) to join the book fair in England,” she said.

As a result, Winnie said Tung Nan Book Store gradually began importing English books published by Longman and Oxford, among others, from its supplier in Singapore and later, from Peninsular Malaysia.

“In the 1980s, we supplied books to a lot of places, including Sandakan, Tawau and Kudat.”

The bookshop also sells imported vintage game sets, such as Jackpot Yahtzee, Hexago new colour matching domino game, poker game, wooden blocks and wood puzzles which dated back to the 1980s.

Winnie said many old customers who got wind of the bookshop’s impending closure had turned up recently.

“A customer in his 60s said his father used to bring him here to buy books.

“Some told me that they used to come here to read comic books.”

Winnie said her husband wished to keep the business going but their children thought  it would be best to venture into other line of business instead as they can no longer compete with the bookshops in shopping malls.

by Chok Sim Yee.

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Malaysia slips a point in TI’s corruption index.

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia dropped one point in Transparency International’s (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2016.

It is now ranked 55 among 176 countries, with a score of 49 out of 100.

In 2015, Malaysia was ranked 54 out of 168 countries, with a score of 50.

TI-Malaysia president Datuk Akhbar Satar (pix) said the one-point drop “is not much” as the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), under new leadership, has proven its effectiveness in tackling high profile cases last year.

“It has been doing very well. The raids by MACC also saw its officers seizing millions of ringgit, apart from arresting high-profile figures,” Akhbar told a press conference Wednesday.

He stressed that the MACC also needs to pay attention to “corrupt politicians” in order to improve the country’s CPI ranking and score.


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Dr Siti Hamisah Is New Higher Education Ministry Director-General

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

PUTRAJAYA, Jan 17 (Bernama) — The Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) has appointed Datin Paduka Dr Siti Hamisah Tapsir as the new director-general effective Jan 16.

In a statement issued today, the ministry said Dr Siti who holds a doctorate in civil engineering from the University of Leeds, United Kingdom, was previously the Deputy Director-General of Higher Education, in the Department of Higher Education since 2012.

She has also held the post of Deputy Director-General (IPTS) from 2009 to 2012, and was deputy vice-chancellor (academic) of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) from 2006 to 2009.

“With her leadership record and outstanding educational achievements, the ministry is confident that Dr Siti Hamisah’s appointment will take the ministry to greater heights,” said the ministry in the statement.


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Abang Jo – a gentleman politician not easily bullied

Friday, January 13th, 2017
Abang Jo signing the oath of office on Friday. - pix by Zulazhar Sheblee

Abang Jo signing the oath of office on Friday. – pix by Zulazhar Sheblee

SIBU: New Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg, 66, (pix) is a gentleman who is not bullied easily, according to retired journalist James Ritchie.

“People say he will be easily bullied but they do not know the man,” he said.

Ritchie, who has known Abang Johari for 48 years since they were schoolmates at the St Joseph Secondary School in Kuching, said that the new Chief Minister, with 30 years of experience in state politics, was the right man to lead the state.

He, however, felt that Abang Johari, fondly known as Abang Jo, had a lot of work to do before he could fill the late Tan Sri Adenan Satem’s shoes.

“We will see how he performs. Adenan tried to fill Tan Sri Taib Mahmud’s shoes and he fit in very well – but can Abang Jo fill Adenan’s shoes?” he said here on Friday.

SibuJaya developer Distrepark Sdn Bhd’s senior manager Eddy Puah believed that with Abang Johari at the helm, the state was in good hands.

He said this was because of the new Chief Minister’s political maturity and vast experience in governance, combined with his in-depth knowledge of Sarawak’s uniqueness and aspirations.


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Adenan Given State Funeral

Thursday, January 12th, 2017

KUCHING, Jan 12 (Bernama) — Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem, who died yesterday, was given a state funeral at the Samariang Muslim Cemetery here today.

The casket bearing Adenan’s remains, which was wrapped with the state flag and carried by officers and men of the Malaysian Armed Forces and Royal Malaysia Police, arrived at the cemetery at 2.05 pm.

The Sultan of Brunei, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Sarawak Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud and wife Toh Puan Ragad Kurdi Taib, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor joined thousands of people for the funeral.

Adenan’s wife Puan Sri Jamilah Anu, family members and relatives were also at the cemetery.

Adenan, who held the chief minister’s post for almost three years, died at the Sarawak Heart Centre in Kota Samarahan near here from complications of heart disease at 1.24pm yesterday, 16 days short of his 73rd birthday.

Federal and state ministers, menteris besar and chief ministers, heads of federal and state government departments, corporate leaders, representatives of associations and NGOs as well as thousands of members of the public also attended the funeral.

Among the digintaries were Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein Onn, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Nancy Shukri and Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Abang Haji Openg.

During the burial, Masjid Jamek Sarawak chief imam Ustaz Mustapha Kamal Ahmad Fauzi recited the ‘Talkin’ while Adenan’s children and grandchildren sat around the grave during the recital.

After the recital, the head flag bearer then handed over the Sarawak flag as the highest honour of the state government and people to the Yang di-Pertua Negeri, who later presented it to Jamilah.

Thereafter, Later Jamilah poured scented water on the grave of her husband, followed by the Yang di-Pertua Negeri and wife, Sultan of Brunei, Najib and wife.

Adenan’s children and grandchildren also poured scented water on his grave.

The lying-in-state ceremony was held at the Sarawak Masjid Jamek, Petra Jaya earlier before the hearse carrying his casket made its way to the cemetery, located about two kilometres from the mosque.


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Hundreds flee high-rise buildings after earthquake hits Celebes Sea

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

KOTA KINABALU: Hundreds fled their offices and high-rise buildings as a magnitude 7.3 earthquake, the biggest to hit near Sabah, struck the Celebes Sea.

The quake struck at 2.13pm about 466km east of Semporna, setting off tremors lasting between three and 10 seconds.

Residents in Kota Kinabalu and surrounding areas as well as the east coast districts of Sandakan and Tawau were panic-stricken.

Tremors were also felt in Telupid, Kudat, Beaufort and Papar.

No casualties were reported.

Fire and Rescue Services Department and civil defence personnel went to check on buildings and structures.

“I felt my head spinning,’’ office worker Ricka Johan in Sembulan near here said of the tremors.

Civil servant Cleophas John Gordon, who was in his third floor office near the city, said he felt his chair shaking.

“I felt a headache when I stood up,’’ he added.

“I wanted to get out of the office at once…I ran down the stairs,” said the 26-year-old.

Civil servants and visitors were forced to run out from government offices in Sandakan.

People waiting to get their passports and other matters done at the UTC building here dashed out to safety following instructions from the management.

Housewife Sheilla Mijoh, 55, said she was waiting to get her passport renewed when she felt dizzy.

“I realised it was the building shaking after an announcement was made for us to leave the building,” she said.

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Don’t be a liability, Tunku Ismail tells Annuar Musa

Monday, January 2nd, 2017
Annuar (left) and Prince Tunku Ismail.

Annuar (left) and Prince Tunku Ismail.

PETALING JAYA: With the General Election drawing closer, Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim (pic) on Monday told Tan Sri Annuar Musa “not to be a liability to the ruling party.”

Tunku Ismail reminded Annuar, the Kelantan Football Association (KAFA) president and Umno information chief, of Johor being “a stronghold of Umno.”

“The day for people to cast their votes is edging closer, so don’t stir up a hornet’s nest because there will be consequences.

“Tan Sri, don’t be a liability to your own party. You clearly have your own interest within the party,” Tunku Ismail said in a statement posted on the Johor Southern Tigers Facebook page.

Tunku Ismail said he was aware that Annuar “built the Kelantan Football Association from the beginning.”

Thus, he said, Annuar also needs to be responsible for the failures and problems they’re facing today.

He said Annuar should forget about leading Malaysian football, adding he should “not be a captain who abandons his ship at the first sight of trouble.”

“As you’ve barely managed to run KAFA properly, it’s better that you forget about leading Malaysian football,” Tunku Ismail said.

On a comment by Annuar that JDT (state football association) had “destroyed” Malaysian football market by overpaying its players, Tunku Ismail said it was up to JDT how much it wants to pay its players.

“The local football system today is advanced, and all the teams are now able to afford and compete in the league.

“It is simple maths, JDT at most can only register between 27 and 30 local players at a time.

“How many thousands of players are there in this country? If you want to sign the same players as us, of course you will be spending a lot and eventually your money will be depleted.

“It is up to JDT on how much we want to pay our players.

“There are many other players out there who can play and no one needs to compete with JDT to get the best players.

“Just stay within your means and don’t try to compete the JDT way,” Tunku Ismail said.

Tunku Ismail also said that Annuar should focus on managing KAFA properly first before commenting on other clubs and states.

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Planning CNY eve in advance

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

JOHOR BARU: The year may just be turning, but for some families the focus is already on the traditional reunion dinner on the eve of Chinese New Year, which falls on Jan 27.

Many families have made restaurant bookings for that day, with many outlets reporting a huge number of customers coming from China.

Despite the economic slowdown, checks at popular seafood restaurants here showed that most of their slots for reunion meals had been filled, with some already reporting a full house.

Kong Inn Seafood Restaurant owner Aun Chin Poh said its slots were already 70% booked, adding that its set menu ranged from RM988 to more than RM2,000.

“I also noticed a huge increase in customers from China, perhaps by more than half. They are probably brought in by Chinese developers who have ongoing projects in Johor,” he said in an interview.

Grand Straits Garden executive director John Ang also found that its reunion meals had been booked by Chinese nationals who had settled in Johor Baru after purchasing properties here.

“We will be hosting a number of Chinese tour groups for the reunion dinner too as they wanted to take the opportunity while on holiday to see how the Lunar New Year is celebrated in Malaysia,” said Ang, who is also the Johor Chefs Association chairman.

He said the Grand Straits Garden seafood restaurant was already fully booked while his other outlet, Grand Bayview, was about 80% full, with both places having a total of more than 200 tables.

He said that as with previous years, the popular dishes were abalone, fresh prawns and fish since families were generally willing to spend on food for the occasion. The set menus are priced from RM1,000.

The proprietor of Mei Du Seafood Restaurant in Taman Ungku Tun Aminah, Tan Chiak Moh, said his two branches were offering the reunion dinner at 5pm, 6.30pm and 7pm slots, with more than 260 tables in total.


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A toast to 2017

Monday, December 26th, 2016

Yep, 2016 is drawing to a close. And like some others who want to better themselves in the new year, I have some pointers for myself too. So, here goes ….

MY 10 New Year Resolutions (that will probably be not kept):

No 1: I will not be addicted to my mobile phone anymore

I have a confession to make – I am addicted to my mobile phone. It’s bad enough that I am a news junkie. I am also a phone junkie. I can’t live without this gadget. My wife has always complained that I “play” with my phone all hours of the day.

But I tell her that I am working, not playing. After all, I need to be on the alert. I am ‘on’ 24/7 – the ultimate newsman. I am a news cop – breathing, eating and dreaming news. Cops sleep with their gun under their pillow but I sleep with my Samsung phone right next to me.

Don’t play, play. News is no longer just in the print format but also online, on Twitter and Facebook, in video, on Star TV and radio channels. It’s news, news and more news.

But the wife has thrown in a dampener: Wake up lah, don’t be so drama! You are no longer the group chief editor. Stop bluffing yourself lah. But hey, I am still a journalist. And will always be one.

I am still working in a news media group and I must be on top of things.

Information from all channels comes in fast! A plane hijack, a sinkhole, a murder, an arrest – I love and live for the adrenaline rush!

I can’t just take my eyes off the phone, I will go crazy! If my phone is not with me, it will affect my mental health, which could be worse.

No 2: I won’t spend so much time on Facebook

Oh, I am seriously working on this one. I have no reason to post pictures of what I eat. It’s akin to self-promotion! Speaking of people who are addicted to FB, I cannot understand why some of my FB friends comment (while I totally appreciate it – come on, of course I love immediate responses!) at 1am or 3am! Don’t they sleep? Or do they also sleep with their phones or tablets next to them?

I have decided that in 2017, I will cut down posting pictures of how I spend time bonding with my three girls – erm, my three furry girls, I mean. I have two breathtakingly beautiful Siberian Huskies – Bella and Missy – and an equally gorgeous and intelligent poodle, Paris.

Strangely, these girls seem to get the most “likes” and comments every time I post something about them. It means only one thing: my FB friends are more interested in the lives of my dogs! Obviously not mine!

Why are pictures of my lazy dogs – sometimes sleeping and often in less-than-polite positions (to use a popular Malaysian term, kaki terkangkang) gaining such popularity?

Duh, no more! No more pictures of my pets. My dogs are becoming the BFFs of my BFFs on FB? Hello!

Ok, in 2017, there will be fewer FB postings, less time spent on FB.

There are good reasons too. I am following some friends because I like to see them and their families doing well. FB is a modern way of bonding with friends but hey, some of them are getting into uploading the products they are selling, their work, office mantra and propaganda, and pictures of their colleagues ….

Please, I need advice. Should I unfriend these friends and incur their wrath in the process? I know I could be sending the wrong signal which could cause an unnecessary loss of friendship. As I said, this is the trend now, with social media and all. Where friends are unfriended. I could lose a decades-old friendship because I unfriended them on FB. I can’t do it lah.

No 3: I will spend less time on Twitter

Over the years, despite almost a year of “slumber” on Twitter, I have build a decent number of followers. But my adult daughter says I am “old school”. Why am I wasting time on Twitter, she asks? Only old people who want to look and sound like they are competent in social media use Twitter, she scoffs. To put it bluntly – Twitter is in financial dire straits and its top guys are quitting the company..


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Student Attributes Excellent Results To Not Watching Television

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

KUANTAN, Dec 19 (Bernama) — “Not having a television in the house could be a ‘recipe’ for success,” said Puteri Nur Hanim Mohd Zakri, a student of Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Bukit Rangin here, who scored 10As in the Form 3 Assessment (PT3) Test.

Puteri Nur Hanim, 15, said television was the only electrical equipment that was not in their home in Kota Sas here, after her father Mohd Zakri Zahari, 39, parted ways with her mother Haslinda Khalid, 39, six years ago.

At first, she admitted it was difficult to accept not having a television and that she felt a bit jealous of her friends who could watch their favourite dramas but eventually she became accustomed to reading.

“Now I don’t feel anything when friends tell me about dramas they had watched. I am more focused on my studies,” she said when met at the school here today.

To keep her occupied, Puteri Nur Hanim learned to play the guitar from her father who works in a construction company and if she really felt like watching a movie, she would find a digital compact disc (DVD) to be installed on the computer.

Regarding her mode of studying, the second of three siblings, who aspires to become a real estate appraiser, said she would get up at 4am to pray and continue revising her lessons before stopping for morning prayers and then it’s back to studying until 10am.

Meanwhile, Qistina Hadi, 15, who also obtained 10As, said her parents Noor Aida Abdul Latif, 42, a teacher and Hadi Manaf, 43, a lecturer at Universiti Malaysia Pahang, had placed their full trust in her and that gave her the inspiration to get excellent results.

The eldest of five siblings said her parents never forced or pressured her to study but fully supported her involvement with the English Society.


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