Archive for the ‘History of Sabah.’ Category

Traffic congestion of a different type

Wednesday, June 5th, 2019
Passengers arriving at the central market jetty in Kota Kinabalu after taking the 10-minute boatride from Pulau Gaya, some returning from visiting family and friends for the Hari Raya Aidilfitri or just going to the mainland for leisure and sightseeing. (NSTP/EDMUND SAMUNTING)

KOTA KINABALU: Come Hari Raya Aidilfitri, the waters separating the state capital and Pulau Gaya gets congested with long wooden boats ferrying passengers to and fro between the mainland and the island.

Today, was no exception as many Muslims swarmed the jetty, located behind the central market here, dressed in their finest baju kurung and baju melayu as early as 8am. They had either just arrived from Pulau Gaya or were headed to the island to spend the 1st Syawal with loved ones.

Wooden boats plying the waters were seen handling passengers as they came in droves across the choppy sea.

Binang Osman, 56, who supplies fuel for the boats, said the busy scene would go on until the third day of Aidilfti.

“It is an extraordinary and interesting scene to observe, especially for tourists and local visitors.

“In terms of business, it provides boat operators with a huge income with some earning as much as RM500 a day, compared to what they would earn on a normal day. Very big difference, indeed,” he said when met at the jetty.

Come Hari Raya Aidilfitri, the waters separating the state capital and Pulau Gaya gets congested with long wooden boats ferrying passengers to and fro between the mainland and the island. (NSTP/EDMUND SAMUNTING)

Binang, from Kampung Pulau Gaya, said his family understands the nature of his business and that he could not miss the once in a year lucrative income, even though it is Hari Raya.

“If we do not work who then will transport these passengers? It is important for us to ensure everyone can celebrate Aidilfitri in the spirit of togetherness and understanding,” he said.

Like many, Marina Wardung, 32, from Kampung Lok Urai – one of the villages on the island – would bring her children to spend the morning of Aidilfitri in the city centre.

At 9am, the housewife and her two daughters aged four and nine board the boat from the island along with other villagers.

“We come here (to the city) just to ‘jalan-jalan’ (sightseeing) and take pictures before returning home. My younger daughter also wanted a teddy bear so we came here to buy one,” she said, while waiting to board a boat back home.

Like any other day, Marina said the boat fare was RM2 per person.

By Avila Geraldine.

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75,414 Sabahans in poverty list as of April 1

Wednesday, April 17th, 2019


Ewon and Ministry of Education and Innovation Datuk Dr. Yusof Yacob chatting with Pitas Assemblyman Datuk Bolkiah Ismail before the sitting started yesterday.

KOTA KINABALU: A total of 75,414 people in Sabah fell under the poverty list as of April 1, according to Sabah Minister of Rural Development Datuk Ewon Benedick.

He said of the total, 18,076 people were under the hardcore poor group, 20,259 poor and 37,079 excluded of poverty.

“The e-Kasih poverty statistics in Sabah was based on the report from Sabah Federal Development Office,” he said in a written reply during the Legislative Assembly sitting here.

He was answering a question from Lumadan Assemblyman Matbali Musah who asked how many people were hardcore poor, poor and easy poor in Sabah, and what was the new approach to bring all three categories out from poverty.

Ewon who is also Kadamaian Assemblyman said among the approach was through the implementation of various programmes including the Village Entrepreneurship Programme, Sewing Courses, Human Capital Training, and other programmes leading to the increase of income and quality of life for the group.

“In the meantime, there were also other agencies and departments be it State or Federal governments who played the roles in the effort to eradicate poverty such as Ko-Nelayan, Village Development Corporation, Sabah Land Development Board, Yayasan Usaha Maju, Malaysia Department of Fisheries Sabah and RISDA.

“Apart from that, these efforts also involved non-governmental organisations, private sectors, institutions, as well as local leaderships,” he said.

Answering Matunggong Assemblywoman Julita Majungki on the setting up of a Village Entrepreneurship Centre building in the Matunggong sub-district, Ewon stated that two buildings have been constructed at the end of 2017 while three more will be implemented once allocations were provided.

“So far, there are only two enterprises in the said centre which are virgin coconut oil and herb-based beauty products processing.

PPBM spreads wings to Sabah to unite all Bumi leaders – Lajim

Sunday, April 7th, 2019

Lajim (seated middle) speaking to reporters.

KOTA KINABALU: Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) made the decision to expand its wings to Sabah because it wanted to unite all the Bumiputera leaders in the state, said Datuk Seri Lajim Ukin.

Speaking to reporters at the Parti Harapan Rakyat Sabah (Harapan Rakyat) last-ever annual general meeting (AGM) yesterday, Lajim asserted that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had made a promise to Sabahans.

“There wouldn’t be any issues. We made a promise with Tun (Mahathir) that the entry of PPBM to Sabah was for the unification of the Bumiputera leaders here.

“I think this (PPBM) would serve as a platform that would prevent any disputes between us (the Bumiputera leaders) from happening,” said Lajim, who was the president for the now-dissolved Harapan Rakyat.

He opined that PPBM’s entry to Sabah would not change the state’s political landscape – stressing that the party had no intention to take over the current State Government.

Lajim further said that PPBM would support any good initiatives set out by the State Government and that it would correct the latter accordingly, if there was a need to do so.

He also said that PPBM would not be a mere reincarnation of Umno, as what had been claimed by certain quarters.

“I don’t think so. This has been made clear by Tun Mahathir – that the (current members of PPBM) must leave their old culture behind.

“Surely, the former Umno members who are now with PPBM are more aware (of their past mistakes),” he said.

“This is because, before this, they were not led to the right path. If the ‘big boss’ is wrong, all its people will also be wrong.

“So now, Tun Mahathir is trying to make things right and to leave all the old habits behind,” added Lajim in what seemed to be a reference to former Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Lajim believed that Mahathir’s leadership would curb corruption activities in the country; he even claimed that MACC arrests were occurring almost on a daily basis since Mahathir took over.

When asked to comment on his relationship with Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor, he said that the two of them are still in good terms as they were both former Umno members and that previous disagreement they had were purely on political matters.

“Hajiji and I are good friends. Everyone (in Umno) are my friends,” he said.

Both Hajiji and Lajim were rumoured to be eyeing for the PPBM Sabah chief post, causing tension between the two.

Asked if he would be okay with Hajiji being appointed as the PPBM Sabah chief, he said that he would accept any decision made by the party.

In view of this, he further commented that there would be no rift between PPBM and Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan), adding that he and Warisan president cum Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal are also good friends.

Lajim also said that he and his Harapan Rakyat members had not yet lobbied for any positions in PPBM at the moment.

Harapan Rakyat is expected to submit 36,744 membership application forms to PPBM during the party’s much awaited launch at ITCC Penampang today.

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Sabah’s nearly 4m population makes it No 2

Tuesday, March 19th, 2019

KOTA KINABALU: Statistics Department firgures show Sabah has the second highest population in Malaysia after Selangor at 3.9 million in 2017. In  the city alone, there are 553,900 people, 51.5pc male and 48.5pc female.

Apart from being an administrative centre, Kota Kinabalu is now a major tourist destination. Based on reports from the Sabah Tourism Board, the number of tourist arrivals to Sabah reached 3.7 million in 2018.

Aware of this development, the Kota Kinabalu City Police Headquarters took a proactive step by introducing the motto, “Keselamatan dan Kesejahteraan Keutamaan Kami” (Safety and Prosperity Our Priority). It is the first police headquarters in Malaysia that is optimistic to make its city the safest to visit and live in.

Its Chief ACP Habibi Majinji, who attended the Police Volunteer Reserve (PVR) corps’ recent family day, explained that the force has opted to optimise its strengths in preventative and criminal justice in the State capital.

“Our motto, Safety and Prosperity Our Priority, takes its form from the name of the city, which is a word beginning with the letter K. Our mission is to realise Kota Kinabalu as the safest city to visit and live in,” said Habibi.

“For that purpose, we mobilise all elements in the field to ensure the highest safety. The elements include periodic patrols by our patrol car (MPV) and motorcycle (URB) units in residential and industrial areas.

“Another feature of our police headquarters is bicycle patrols in public parks by the PVR team, so our members are omnipresent in the focused location.”

At the city police headquarters level, the PVR team is under the administration of the Head of Crime Prevention and Community Safety Division, DSP Kalsom Idris. Habibi said the PVR’s involvement in criminal prevention assignments greatly helps city police in terms of increasing the strength of the teams.

“PVRs usually assist in assignments such as public order, traffic control and crime prevention operations that require a lot of strength. Their role is the same as that of regular police but they have power only when assigned by city police headquarters such as inspections and arrests. Without assignments, they cannot carry out police work,” he said.

“In the context of our motto, PVR is also included in the safety elements with regular members as front liners. So far, we have a PVR bike patrol team with regular members at the Likas Public Park. Thankfully, we managed to reduce the crime rate and receive a positive response from the public.”

According to Sabah PVR Commander Supt Paul Lajumin, PVR membership in Malaysia has now reached 20,000. In Sabah, a total of 2,636 members are stationed at police stations throughout Sabah supervised by a District Police Volunteer Head (KSPD).

At the city police headquarters level, the PVR team consists of 471 people led by KSPD chief ASP Ag Usli Mohd Salleh who is assisted by Insp.Noran Addy Sukiran and Insp. Mohd Fadli Izan Mat Min.

Ag Usli explained that the affairs of members were coordinated by seven police station administrators under city police headquarters’ administration. They are Sergeant Henry Titin (Kota Kinabalu Police Station), Corporal Al Jospeh Malibin (Alam Mesra Police Station), Corporal Terrence James (Inanam Police Station), Corporal Maidin Li (Menggatal Police Station) Corporal Mazlan Mutalib (Tanjung Aru Police Station) and Lance Corporal Rayner Stephen (Luyang Police Station).

Meanwhile, City Deputy Chief of Police Supt George Abd Rakman said the team was created in 1957 as a unit of manpower support.

“The main condition for joining the PVR team is one must have a job. In other aspects, they’re like regular members except there’s some physical and academic flexibility and so on to give the public an opportunity to get involved in a policing career while contributing to the nation without abandoning their job,” he said.

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Some 3.9 million Sabahans involved in 2020 National Population and Housing Census

Saturday, September 29th, 2018

KOTA KINABALU: The implementation of the 2020 National Population and Housing Census would help the government to devise and plan any development programmes for the benefit of the people.

Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) Chief Statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said that around 3.9 million citizens of Sabah will be involved during that period which covers 800,000 houses throughout Sabah.

“It is through statistics that we can obtain better data which is crucial to improving the lives of our citizen, to develop basic amenities such as education, facilities, and roads.

“Therefore, Population and Housing Census must be implemented every 10 years as it is the main source of gathering information on how to provide better basic amenities for the people,” he said.

He said this in his speech which was delivered by DOSM Population and Demographic Statistics Senior Director Datin Rozita Talha during the Statistics Literacy with the Community Seminar 2018 at INTANCampus, Sepanggar on Thursday.

Also present in the event was DOSM Sabah Director Norhayati Jantan.

The 2020 National Population and Housing Census would be the sixth census since it was first implemented back in 1970, and subsequently 1980, 1991, 2000, and 2010 by the Department of Statistics.

He added that the implementation of 2020 National Population and Housing Census refers to the recommendation of United Nations which says that every nation should conduct at least one population and housing census from the period of 2015 until 2024.

DOSM will fully utilise the use of technology especially in data gathering through Online Self-Listing (OSL), e-Census, Computer Assisted Personal Interview (CAPI) and Computer Assisted Telephone Interview (CATI).

“We will fully utilise the use of Smartphone by developing an application that is user-friendly so that all people can access it quickly, give response without burdening them.

“Therefore all people are welcomed to complete the questionn.


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Foreigners make up one-third

Saturday, September 29th, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: Close to one third of Sabah’s population now comprises foreigners according to a census by the Department of Statistics. Malaysian citizens make up 2,741,700, while foreigners number 1,158,300.

The data showed that the distribution of foreigners can be found across the State with a substantial comparison to locals found in Lahad Datu and Kinabatangan, in particular.

This was revealed in a paper presented by Sabah Immigration Director Musa Sulaiman titled “Population Statistics: Foreign Residents in Sabah” in conjunction with the Statistical Literacy Seminar held at the Intan Campus in Sepanggar, here, Thursday.

His paper was presented by his Assistant Director (Strategic and Planning Division Head) Lily Surayani Raona. The one-day seminar titled “Mycensus 2020 : Data Anda Masa Depan Kita” was organised by the Department of Statistics.

He went on to explain that the status of foreigners can be divided into three, namely those with valid status, those with illegal status and those with status under the management of the Sabah Foreigners Management Committee.

Those with valid status are foreigners holding Permanent Resident status, visitors, expatriates, foreign workers and IMM13 holders, while those with the status of being illegal are those without pass and have no documents.

Those whose status is under the management of the Sabah Foreigners Management Committee are those with temporary residents status, refugee children without IMM13, document holders other than immigration documents, children born from marriage with illegal immigrants and pa’lauh (sea gypsies).

Statistic arrival of foreign visitors to Sabah, showed that in 2016 the number of foreigners visiting Sabah was 1,230,621. The figure however dropped to 925,255 last year and as of August, this year, a total of 517,484 foreign visitors were recorded.

Over the past three years since 2016, arrival of tourists from China recorded the highest with a total of 859,825, followed by South Koreans (505,326) and Indonesians (345,542).

The top three lowest arrivals are visitors from Singapore (49,655), USA (38,655) and Germany (19,331).

The number of passes and permits issued by the Immigration Department in Sabah as of August this year since 2016 is 26,708.

The most issued are student passes and work passes with a total of 28,908, followed by Social Visit Pass for foreign wives (26,708) and Special Pass (17,705) as of August this year.

The statistics also showed that a huge number of Temporary Special Work Pass Visit were issued to those in the plantation and agriculture sectors over the past three years since 2016 with a total of 194,512 and 76,722, respectively.

As for operations, the Sabah Immigration Department has done a total of 1,010 operations as of August this year, with a total of 21,198 people inspected, leading to the arrests of 8.744 undocumented immigrants and 504 employers.

Of the figure, a total of 3,309 undocumented immigrants were detained during the operations, while 5,435 were arrested after turning themselves in, while a total of 45 employers were detained during operations and 459 were caught under the 459 rehiring programme.

Filipinos topped the chart for those detained with a total of 2,393 as of August this year, followed by Indonesians (816) and Pakistanis (65).

Since 2016 to August this year, a total of 4,514 undocumented immigrants and employers have been charged in court, while 574,619 have been deported since 1990 to August this year.

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No time frame: Dr M

Tuesday, September 18th, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: The Pakatan Harapan (PH) Government will work on returning equal rights to Sabah and Sarawak as soon as possible, but it cannot set a time frame for when this will take effect, said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Dr Mahathir, who had on Sunday night reiterated PH’s election manifesto promise to give the East Malaysian states recognition as per the Malaysia Agreement in 1963 (MA63), said it may take time to amend the Federal Constitution due to possible opposition in Parliament.

Anticipating a hard task in getting a two-thirds majority in the Parliament to pass amendments to the Federal Constitution for the changes that will be made in the MA63, he said: “Well, at the moment, we (Pakatan Harapan) do not have the two-thirds majority which we will need in order to change the Constitution. So we will have to figure out how we can achieve the two-thirds majority.

“We will find out whether we can go to the Parliament and get the two-thirds. When they (opposition MPs) talk they will say something, but when they are there (in the Parliament) they get the whip to tell them not to support and all that, which then we will have a problem,” he told reporters after having breakfast with Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal and other State Cabinet members, here, Monday.

Dr Mahathir said like recently when the PH Government wanted to repeal the Anti-Fake News Bill, “we thought they would support us but when we went to the Senate, we did not have the majority, so we lost.”

“In the meantime, we will study what are the things that have to be repealed and substituted with new provisions in the Constitution, with regards to the MA63.

“There will also be some loss which we will have to look at,” he said.

Asked whether it would involve health and education matters, Dr Mahathir said:

“Yes, I was told your schools are still made of wood which I think needs to be attended to. There are schools which still do not water supply or toilets, a lot of things need to be done here.”

On the time needed for the completion of the review on MA63, Dr Mahathir said it would depend on the people who are working on it and the push by Sabah and Sarawak.

“The discussion on the MA63 will be held as soon as possible, but it is the process to achieve an agreement that may take time.”

When asked on the equal partnership, Dr Mahathir said well, there are certain things which were decided in Kuala Lumpur by people who are not actually familiar with the conditions in Sabah and Sarawak which will have to be addressed.

“Either we will have more Sabahans and Sarawakians to work in the peninsula, in the Federal Government or else, we will need to have some of the decision-making transferred to Sabah and Sarawak,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir said Sabah has the capability for rapid development having gone through much progress over the years.

He said he was impressed with Sabah’s landscape after arriving in the State capital on Sunday for the Malaysia Day celebration here Sunday night and believed the State had strong potentials to be a developed State.

“I have not been to Sabah for a long, long time…the town is now quite clean. What I think should be done (to develop Sabah further) is to identify assets of Sabah, which can be exploited. You have land, mountain, seas, beaches and low temperatures, which may be good for vegetable-growing,” he said.

Dr Mahathir also expressed concern for the high cost of living that the people in Sabah had to bear due to corruption in the previous administration, but did not deny that there were also other factors contributing to the high costs such as the implementation of the cabotage policy.

by Larry Ralon.

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Don’t sideline Sabah in nation’s development: Syed Saddiq

Monday, September 17th, 2018
(File pix) “There must be greater focus in developing Sabah. When we invest in Sabah, Malaysia as a whole will benefit,” said Syed Saddiq. Pix by Malai Rosmah Tuah

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah should be given greater focus in Malaysia’s development drive in order to propel the state to greater heights.

This is the stand of Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, who said Sabah deserves the same attention as other states when it comes to development projects, especially ones which do not sideline youths.

“Development projects in the country need to be distributed fairly. Sabah, being a very large state, deserves attention.

“However, based on statistics, there are insufficient job opportunities in Sabah and the unemployment rate among young people is higher than the national average.

“There must be greater focus in developing Sabah. When we invest in Sabah, Malaysia as a whole will benefit,” he said.

Syed Saddiq was speaking to reporters after paying a courtesy call to Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.

Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman paying a courtesy call to Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal. Pix by Malai Rosmah Tuah

The Bersatu Youth Chief said he and the Sabah leader discussed youth development programmes and establishing strong ties between Bersatu and Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan), among other topics, during their meeting.

On infrastructure development in the state, he told reporters that problematic constructions will be reviewed, and there should be open tenders for projects.

By Avila Geraldine.

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Big turnout at the first Malaysia Day celebration after the change of government

Monday, September 17th, 2018

More than 30,000 people from all walks of life have turned up for the national-level Malaysia Day celebration.

More than 30,000 people from all walks of life have turned up for the national-level Malaysia Day celebration at Padang Merdeka.

This is the first Malaysia Day celebration after the change of government at the federal and state levels.

People at the first Malaysia Day celebration after the change of government.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his spouse Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali  arrived at the venue at 8.08pm and the event officially kicked off with the arrival of The Head of State Tun Juhar Mahiruddin and his consort Toh Puan Norlidah R.M. Jasni.

Also present were Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Mohd Shafie Apdal , federal and state ministers.

Performers welcoming the arrival of guests for the Malaysia Day celebration.

by Chok Sim Yee

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‘Returning equal status’

Monday, September 17th, 2018
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad at Malaysia Day celebrations in Kota Kinabalu yesterday. With him are Sabah Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin (third from right) and Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal (second from left). PIC BY EDMUND SAMUNTING

KOTA KINABALU: SABAH’S and Sarawak’s position in Malaysia as equal partners will be reinstated, said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad

He said the two states’ status would be reinstated once the review of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) was completed.

Under the agreement, the Federation of Malaysia consists of the States of Malaya (Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Malacca, Negri Sembilan, Pahang, Penang, Perak, Perlis, Selangor and Terengganu), the Borneo states (Sabah and Sarawak) and Singapore. Singapore left the federation in 1965.

Dr Mahathir said returning Sabah’s and Sarawak’s rights, as enshrined in MA63, would give the country a strong foundation to bring the three regions closer.

“The need for development in Sabah and Sarawak must be given attention as there are still districts that are left behind and with less than satisfactory amenities.

“The study on MA63 will definitely create the need to reassess some (old) practices,” he said to thousands at the Malaysia Day celebrations here last night

He said the review must be done in the spirit of camaraderie and respect towards each other.

“Without such spirit, our unity as a nation will cease, and whatever we are enjoying now will be lost in future,” he said.

Present were Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas and Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo, the committee chairman for the event.

Dr Mahathir said the Federal Government would never forget its responsibility towards Sabah and Sarawak, and would find a way to develop infrastructure based on the needs and wants of the people in both states.

At the same time, he was confident that there was a need for “reciprocity” between the peninsula and Sabah and Sarawak.

“Based on this spirit, leaders and people in Sabah and Sarawak must be aware there are states in the peninsula that are still lacking and in need of continuous assistance from the government.

“I am confident the people of Sabah and Sarawak feel at ease and accepted in the peninsula as their presence there has no restrictions or ‘encumbrances’.

“This, I believe, has brought the ties between people of Malaysia closer. It is this that has helped Malaysia to maintain as it is, despite differences of opinions between the leaders from the three territories.

“We had gone through so many things in the country we call Malaysia. Yes, the journey is not always smooth, and sometimes we slipped and lost our way.

“But what is important is to pick ourselves up and get back on the right track.”

He said the 14th General Election proved Malaysians’ ability to rise again after being diverted from the path formed years ago.

“We may have been diverted so far in the few years recently and the damage is big and difficult to repair, but we have no choice but to make efforts to restore things.

“Like it or not, we must correct them. If we quit and let it continue, our value as a free country will be lost.

“It means we had allowed those who betrayed our country to win. We cannot let this happen.”

By Kristy InusAvila Geraldine.

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