Archive for the ‘Cradle to career Education.’ Category

CMCO another nightmare for business operators

Saturday, October 10th, 2020
KOTA KINABALU: As the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) is imposed in Tuaran following its Covid-19 red zone classification, business operators are hoping for positive recoveries.

Some are moving into virtual business as it is the only option at the moment, but many hurdles are coming into the picture.


Richard Michael, Operations Director of Asia Ability dan Ability Expeditions admitted that the first introduction of Movement Control Order (MCO) had badly affected the business.

“We had a lot of cancellations and it literally paralyzed our business.

“We gained momentum in August and September, but things got sour at the beginning of October after the number of positive cases in Sabah increased drastically at the end of September.

“We have no choice, but to close our business, again, because we want to support the government in their effort to curb the spread of the infamous virus.

“It is painful to see some of your colleagues have to go on unpaid leave and even salary cut. But we still feel that we are lucky enough to be able to survive the first wave, let’s hope this will pass soon and we are able to live our normal life,” he said.

Ability Expeditions is currently facing a total ‘blackout’ as the company is running expeditions worldwide, depending mostly on physical activities.

Richard, who is the person behind Zip Borneo in Rangalau Kiulu said it was one of the tourism products under the company, that have been attracting international schools coming to Sabah for team-building events.

Some of the facilities at Zip Borneo in Rangalau Kiulu, which is popular among schools holding team-building events.

Meanwhile, Asia Ability is another company under his care, that is currently on survival mode, depending on the virtual world to continue their struggle in the business.

“Together with our global partner, Catalyst Global, we started our virtual team building in March during the first MCO.

“Moving forward virtual or remote is the answer at the moment because we obviously have no idea how and when this pandemic will end.

“But looking at the positive side, with our experience in team building, we hope we can provide something to the private or government institutions by offering our virtual service,” he said.


Meanwhile, Director of Chanteek Borneo, Anne Antah is taking the opportunity to enhance their branding of ‘Kain Chanteek’ through social media, as she believed many Sabahans will spend more time online during this period.

“We do online product preview everyday on weekdays, Monday to Friday for at least 20 to 30 minutes, talking about different topics every day. We sell online via our website and WhatsApp.

“Since we have e-dagang trading license, we are still operating, but we do not open for public,” she said.
Chanteek Borneo’s in-house brand – Kain Chanteek, carries a wide range of ready stock textiles of the Kadazandusun, Murut and Rungus; suitable for fashion-wear not only during festive celebration but for office-wear and casual-wear too.

Each of Kain Chanteek collection were designed to reflect the richness and the uniqueness of Sabah ethnicities.

Kain Chanteek

Located in Tuaran, one of the districts that has been declared as a red zone, Anne is currently struggling with her online marketing as the company’s projected sales dropped due to the cancellation of events.

Apart from cancelled events, the CMCO also resulted in some shipping companies stop sending goods, including materials for Kain Chanteek, which are currently stuck in Klang – another district declared a red zone.

“My materials got stuck in Klang, my production was badly affected by 50 per cent, many orders were postponed, customers are unable to cross the district to collect their booking… yes, the company is badly affected.

“I believe other companies are also facing the same problem, so, my suggestion is… let business operate with standard operating procedure (SOP). Because if business closes, many people will be affected and the economy will collapse.

“I believe all businesses are essential because no single business can exist on its own. Business eco-system depends on each other to keep on running,” she said.

With proper SOP, Anne said the authority can give guidelines to the business operators, which will force the public to comply.

It should be a specific SOP for business, as the current SOP is too general for the public, she said.

“Another suggestion that I want the government to consider, is to actively do a Buy Local Products campaign to ensure the cash flow around our state or country.

“The government needs to do something, to encourage local buying and avoid overseas online shopping,” she added.

Three days ago, the federal government has agreed to enforce the CMCO in Sandakan, Papar and Tuaran in Sabah and Klang, from October 9 after the four areas were newly classified as red zones, as they had more than 40 Covid-19 positive cases.

The implementation of CMCO is believed to curb the spread of the virus in the districts as well as to enable targeted case tracking activities to be carried out over a period of 14 days.

Movement in and out of the four CMCO areas is not allowed, except for essential services including factories and related chains.

As of yesterday, the total number of Covid-19 cases in Sabah stood at 3,565 with 274 new cases and six deaths.

Sabah is currently at the top of the list of cases in Malaysia.


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Zoo has important role in new normal

Monday, July 6th, 2020
A child carried by the mother feeds the giraffe in an enclosure at the Singapore Zoo in Singapore on its first day of reopening to the public after the attraction was temporarily closed due to concerns about the COVID-19 novel coronavirus. -AFP picA child carried by the mother feeds the giraffe in an enclosure at the Singapore Zoo in Singapore on its first day of reopening to the public after the attraction was temporarily closed due to concerns about the COVID-19 novel coronavirus. -AFP pic

SHOULD zoos around the globe close their doors? Many experts, however, still believe that we need zoos for wildlife conservation as many species are in danger of extinction.

You might not know that 85 per cent of the animals in Zoo Negara are endangered species and 15 per cent are heading towards extinction.

Hence, similar to other zoos, Zoo Negara undergo many conservation breeding programmes to help preserve and protect the wildlife.

The zoo also plays a significant role in educating and creating awareness about different species that exist on the earth, as well as bridging the connection between humans and animals.

Thus, it is vital for zoos to study and understand how species interact within their ecosystems, as well as how they are affected by environmental and human influences – so, with this understanding, the management will know how to provide suitable atmospheres for the animals.

For instance, scientists at Queen’s Animal Behaviour Centre revealed that classical music and scents such as lavender in dog shelters calm them. Plus, shielding zoo-housed gorillas from visitors with camouflage netting over the viewing windows would prevent great apes from becoming agitated.

One thing for sure, there is no “one size fits all” welfare model, as there’s numerous ranges of animals’ biological requirements and needs.

All necessary measures should also be taken to ensure the animals are not abused. Rather than in cages, they are kept in an open enclosure that allows them to move freely, with enough barriers between them and humans.

As for the zookeepers, they are trained to be aware of and avoid fear-evoking behaviours. Research shows that when zookeepers spent extra time mingling in positive interactions with chimpanzees like playing, grooming, feeding treats, and chatting, the animals behaved better, exhibited fewer abnormal behaviours and were less reactive.

Visitors play a significant role too by not disturbing the animals by making excessive noise levels or throwing food or other objects into their enclosures to get their attention. This will stress them out and cause a negative impact on their behaviour.

The current pandemic has also dramatically impacted zoo animals. Zoologists point out, intelligent and social animals, including gorillas, otters and meerkats are missing the attention of humans.

Zoo animals are accustomed to routines and schedules like hanging out with human visitors as well as continually seeing the crowds who like to call out their names. With the sudden absence of human visitors, some of the animals suffer from boredom and loneliness.

According to Muhamad Akramin from the Public Relations and Marketing Department of Zoo Negara Malaysia, some of the zoo staff remarked that their captives appear to notice this new silence. For that reason, zoo employees are making efforts, like talking or visiting the animals more frequently.

Paul Rose, a lecturer in animal behaviour at the University of Exeter, said that without human visitors, some animals show lack of stimulation.

“Some animals such as primates and parrots, get a lot of enrichment from viewing and engaging with visitors. It is beneficial to the animal’s well-being and quality of life. If this stimulation is not there, then the animals lack the enrichment,” he said.

While in Giza Zoo, Egypt, zoo management have established a programme that focuses on entertaining their animals, focusing on proper nutrition to keep animals healthy, providing them with their favourite food, and the necessary medical care.

However, some animals seemed to enjoy their quiet moment. In Hong Kong’s Ocean Park, Ying Ying, one of the resident pandas, may be pregnant after 10 years of natural mating attempts.

Michael Boos, executive director at Ocean Park, said: “Today’s successful natural matching process is highly thrilling for us all, because the probability of conception by natural matching is higher.”

Zoologists conclude that changes in the usual routines of zoo animals affect different species in different ways.

All in all, though, it will be some time before Malaysia will truly accept foreign tourists after their reopening, our local zoo now needs local visitors more than ever.

Do remember that animals in zoos are undergoing their post-lockdown fuzz too, so they need time to adapt, just like humans. Keepers and other zoo staff will always be on hand to guide, help enforce social distancing and show us how to act with the animals appropriately.

BNurafifah Mohammad Suhaimi.

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