Archive for August, 2012

SIDMA College Merdeka – Raya Celebration 2012

Thursday, August 30th, 2012


SIDMA College City Campus held a double joy staff gathering at the college atrium today, August 29th, 2012. The organizing team “Hornbill” adopted “Aidil Fitri dirai; Merdeka dihayati” as the theme of celebration with “Jom Syiok-Syiok” as its tagline.

Inline with its theme of celebration, the team came up with assorted fun provoking activities (Sukaneka) and brain teasers that managed to keep all SIDMA staffs frenzy throughout the whole morning.

Lunch was sponsored by the Management of the college. Apart from that, Prof Dr. Morni Hj. Kambrie, CEO, who is also member of “Hornbill” sponsored roasted lamb, Hari Raya delicacies and cash prizes lucky draw which act as an added value to the lunch as it was also served as Dr. Morni Hari Raya Open House for SIDMA staff. Other members of the team contributed Hari Raya delicacies in the form of potluck.

In his opening speech, Dr. Morni expressed his appreciation to the organizing team, “Hornbill”, headed by Mr. Ahmad Ozhair, for a great job well done. He was very delighted that the function proceeded as planned, and he also thanked all the team members for their combined effort in making all the necessary preparations for the function.

Dr Morni also announced the name change of the Centre for Student Development Department (CSD) to Student Affair Department (STAD) and the appointment of Mr. Ronny L Lampok as its acting Manager.

Birthday song was sung and candle blowing ceremony was arranged for staff celebrating their birthday in the month of August 2012.

The function ended with prize presentation and lucky draws.

Team Skylark headed by Mr. Donny Robert Joimil was ‘crowned’ as the overall champion for this month staff gathering.

Dr. Morni also congratulated and presented congratulatory packages to two (2) of SIDMA staff who got married and held their wedding reception last Saturday, August 25th, namely Ms Meili Kim Lok and Mr. Jeffrey Lidi.

He also took the liberty to extend his congratulations and presented congratulatory package to Ms Hamsiah Binti Ismail who just came back from her maternity leave.


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Why is it important to carry out a Risk Assessment and prepare a Safety Statement?

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

The main aim is to make sure that no one gets hurt or becomes ill. Accidents and ill health can ruin lives, and can also affect business if output is lost, machinery is damaged, insurance costs increase, or if you have to go to court. Therefore, carrying out risk assessments, preparing and implementing a safety statement and keeping both up to date will not in themselves prevent accidents and ill health but they will play a crucial part in reducing their likelihood.

Employers, managers and supervisors should all ensure that workplace practices reflect the risk assessments and safety statement. Behaviour, the way in which everyone works, must reflect the safe working practices laid down in these documents. Supervisory checks and audits should be carried out to determine how well the aims set down are being achieved. Corrective action should be taken when required. Additionally, if a workplace is provided for use by others, the safety statement must also set out the safe work practices that are relevant to them.

Hence, it is important to carry out a Risk Assessment and prepare a Safety Statement for:

1. Financial reasons:
There is considerable evidence, borne out by companies’ practical experiences, that effective safety and health management in the workplace contributes to business success. Accidents and ill-health inflict significant costs, often hidden and underestimated.

2. Legal reasons:
Carrying out a risk assessment, preparing a safety statement and implementing what you have written down are not only central to any safety and health management system, they are required by law. Health and Safety Authority inspectors visiting workplaces will want to know how employers are managing safety and health. If they investigate an accident, they will scrutinise the risk assessment and safety statement, and the procedures and work practices in use. It should be ensured that these stand up to examination. If the inspector finds that one of these is inadequate, he or she can ask the employer to revise it. Employers can be prosecuted if they do not have a safety statement.

3. Moral and ethical reasons:
The process of carrying out a risk assessment, preparing a safety statement and implementing what you have written down will help employers prevent injuries and ill-health at work.  Employers are ethically bound to do all they can to ensure that their employees do not suffer illness, a serious accident or death.

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Lee: Safety and health of workers vital

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

KUNDASANG: Although the country’s industrial accident rate has been halved in the past 10 years, there is still a need to build and foster an occupational safety and health (OSH) culture and strive towards an accident-free workplace environment.

Speaking at a press conference after the launching of an OSH seminar for the tourism industry in Sabah here yesterday, National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said the latest statistics from the Ministry of Human Resources should that the industrial accident rate had fallen from 10.3 cases for every 1,000 workers in 2002 to 5.72 cases last year.

He said this reflected the commitment and joint efforts by the government, employers and employees to reduce workplace accidents.

“While we are pleased to note the success of the joint efforts by all parties concerned, the biggest challenge remains that we only should further reduce the accident rate but also to build and foster an OSH culture in Malaysia.

“For a start, we need to benchmark ourselves against the developed countries which only have 3-4 accidents per 1,000 workers,” he said.

The Occupational Safety and Health Master Plan 2010-2015, he stressed, must be given utmost attention by all parties concerned to achieve further reduction in the rate of industrial accidents.

Lee also said companies must not profit at the expense of safety because if accidents occurred, lives may be lost and productivity would be affected.

“AS such, OSH ownership in every organisation is of paramount importance,” he said, adding that the focal point of safety was the human being or the employee who needed protection.

An accident prevention coupled with an OSH management strategy should therefore be adopted by all companies.

And, to achieve the total promotion of safety and health at work and elsewhere, organisational measures for accident prevention, motivation and behavioural change must be adopted.

Lee added that it was the responsibility of management to ensure that safety became a culture at their organisation and not just a priority.

“There is an urgent need to translate OSH knowledge into behaviour and practical application. OSH sloganeering is not the answer. We must avoid a situation where behind all the OSH banners and signages, the workplace hazards are not addressed and controlled,” he said.

In this time of global competition and sweeping change, it is not enough for companies to make safety a priority.

Priorities change but cultures stand the test of time and safety must be a culture and a core value at the workplace.

He said managing occupational safety and health towards business competitiveness was very important and that employers must see training as an investment and not an expense.

“Management or employers must recognise the OSH of employees as an integral part of business management.

“Concerns for the bottom line must be looked at with equal gravity with OSH issues at the workplace. After all they are both concerned with the viability of the business enterprise,” he said.

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Courts sending out mixed signals over statutory rape

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

NOW that their trials are over, former national youth squad bowler Noor Afizal Azizan can go on to fulfil the promise of his bright future and electrician Chuah Guan Jiu can focus on his fixed job and many years ahead.

Through it all, no one spoke of the 13-year-old girl Noor Afizal took to a hotel to spend the night with, or the 12-year-old schoolgirl who was “coaxed” to go to her 21-year-old electrician boyfriend’s flat instead of to school because he said he was too sick to take her.

These were prepubescent girls who were deemed to have consented to sex with the older boys they were dating and Court of Appeal president Justice Raus Sharif wrote in his written judgment that Noor Afizal had not “tricked the girl into submitting to him”.

In the electrician’s case, Sessions judge Sitarun Nisa Abdul Aziz also thought the “sexual act was consensual”, even though DPP Lim Cheah Yit recounted how the girl had repeatedly asked Chuah to take her to school. If she did give consent, there was certainly trickery and fraud involved.

The fact remains that the girls were 12 and 13, children barely out of primary school.

They are not old enough to be able to legally buy cigarettes, or even obtain medical treatment if they had contracted sexual transmitted diseases.

The law on statutory rape was meant to protect these very girls. Section 375(g) of the Penal Code states unequivocally that a man has committed statutory rape if he has sexual intercourse with a girl under 16 years of age, with or without her consent.

It is rooted in the presumption that girls below 16 have not attained the mental maturity to consent to sex, and this law was enacted to protect children from abuse. It places the onus on those around her to not have sexual intercourse with her, even if she gives consent, because she is not deemed mature enough to give consent.

In other words, the older guys should have known better.

Noor Afizal and Chuah were found guilty of raping the underaged girls, but were not jailed. They were bound over for five years and three years respectively on a RM25,000 good behaviour bond.

The public uproar has been over how these young men got away with a slap on the wrist, and how the emphasis has been on not blighting their future.

Our teenagers are growing up inundated with overt sexual messages from the media and the Internet, without the benefit of a full-fledged sex education curriculum, or avenues to get answers.

Clearly, our young people are having sex with each other but there is a line drawn by the law. And that is sex with girls below 16 – children – is off limits, even to their peers.

By letting Noor Afizal and Chuah off lightly, are the courts sending out mixed signals?

Are they saying these two girls – aged 12 and 13 – are capable of giving consent for sex, and are they saying future good behaviour is sufficient punishment for having sex with minors? What is the message that teenage boys and younger men are getting?

At the root of it all, this is about protecting our children – boys and girls.

A 12-year-old girl was lured by a man twice her age into his flat, and coaxed into having sex with him, and he got away with a promise to behave himself for the next three years.

Where does that leave her? What about her worth? What are we doing for these two girls?

How do we protect other naive young girls from being sweet-talked by an older teen into a sexual relationship if he knows he could be found guilty of statutory rape but walk away with a promise to behave?

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Only 16 Per Cent Of Tourism Sector Staff Have Diploma Or Degree

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

PUTRAJAYA: — Only 16 per cent of staff in the country’s tourism and hospitality industry possess a diploma or degree, said Higher Education Minister, Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin.

He therefore hoped that the Malaysian Centre of Tourism and Hospitality Education MyCenTHE) established last year, could play an important role in producing more skilled workers for the industry.

“MyCenTHE was established to increase the number of people with higher qualifications in the industry. The target in the long term is to produce at least 50,000 skilled personnel each year from 2020 onwards.”

Mohamed Khaled said this after opening the International Conference on Tourism and Hospitality Education, here, Tuesday. It was held in conjunction with MyCenTHE’s first anniversary.


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This Isn’t High School: Advice for Faculty Teaching First-Year Students

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Stop me if you’ve heard this one. It’s week 12 of a 15-week-semester and a student shows up during office hours asking, begging, for some way that he can raise his grade. He needs a B, he says, or he could lose his scholarship.

For most college professors, it’s an all-too-familiar scenario. Whether it’s the student who is in real danger of failing the course or the student who is unaccustomed to any grade lower than an A, many students make these pleas for the very simple reason that many high schools allow students to retake tests or do extra-credit assignments to raise their grades. When these students get to college, they expect similar options and often struggle without them, said Mary Clement, EdD, director of the Center for Teaching Excellence at Berry College, where she also is a professor of teacher education.

During the recent online seminar A Good Start: Helping First-Year Students Acclimate to College, Clement shared ideas for recalibrating student expectations of how things work in college so they can be successful during that first critical year and beyond.

“How do we change this mindset going from high school into college?” Clement asked. “The number one way is to put your policy in writing in the syllabus. If the paper is due Monday, and the student is not in class that day, will the paper be accepted after Monday? Will it be accepted after Monday at all? If the answer is yes, until when and with what penalty?”

Further, because there’s so much variation across different high schools in terms of homework, attendance requirements and making up for missed work, and grading practices, Clement recommends creating an interest inventory to give students during the first week of class. If it is anonymous, students may feel more comfortable answering the questions. Here are some questions you may wish to ask, and use as a springboard for discussing your expectations for the course:

  • Describe your high school academic program. For example, did you take any Advanced Placement courses?
  • About how many days were you absent during your senior year of high school? Was it easy to have “excused” absences in your school? Could you make up the work missed, including tests?
  • Were you ever allowed to re-take a quiz or test? If so, please describe the policy.
  • About how many hours did you study per week? Which subjects required the most homework?
  • Were you able to check your grades throughout the semester in high school? If so, how (electronically through the school’s website, by keeping track yourself, by checking with the teacher)?
  • If your grade in a high school class was not as high as you wanted, could you complete extra credit or re-do assignments and tests to improve the grade? Please describe.

“Why should we know about high school [policies]?” Clement asked. “I think that knowing helps us to meet students where they are and then change their mindsets for college success.

by Mary Bart.

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The truth of the matter

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

While offering an honest opinion may be the righteous thing to do, we sometimes hold back for fear that it may adversely affect the other party.

I SOMETIMES wonder what life would be like if everybody speaks the entire truth, or tells it like it really is all the time.

Imagine waking up one day and deciding that from that day on, every single thing you say, write, record, or calculate as a teacher would be the total unadulterated truth with no padding or omissions. No more half-truths, half-lies or exaggerations. From now on it is going to be 100% honesty in school even if it is going to hurt.

You soon discover that there’s more to honesty than speaking the entire truth all the time.

Some things like making sure what you do in the classroom and what you write in your teaching record are an exact match, though inconvenient, is not impossible. However, there seems to be a larger struggle when others are involved.

For instance, how do you give minimum competency grades in a certain field to students as has been “advised” by your superiors when you know that they don’t come anywhere near minimum competency.

How do you record a student’s conduct as “satisfactory” or even “good” in their school-leaving certificate when he has been disruptive, rude, ill-mannered and lazy.

If you had to be entirely truthful, then it may mean that only 10% of your co-curriculum society members actually showed up regularly for their club or society meetings. But some manipulation of meetings and dates allow for attendance numbers to be inflated in order to make school records look good and not subject the school to unwanted scrutiny from the powers that be.

Deep inside, you may feel uncomfortable with the way the truth is somewhat twisted, but in the end you shrug it off and succumb to instructions because there simply seems to be no other way.

After all, we rationalise, we are not the ones making these decisions. We merely carry out what has been directed by those above us. And yet at the end of it all, we are left with an uneasy feeling that this is not the way it should be.

Our written records should reflect what really has gone on and not what we may have desired them to be.

Still, there are times when the decision is a really tough one. When do we tell it like it is and when do we hold back?


For instance when you are asked to give a genuine appraisal of a colleague’s performance, it may be really difficult to write any response that reflects badly on her teaching competence no matter how true it is.

We know that any negative comment we give may jeopardise her chances of moving ahead and we don’t want to be the ones responsible for holding her back.

by Mallika Vasugi.

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Safety and health at work

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Every day, 6,300 people die as a result of occupational accidents or work-related diseases – more than 2.3 million deaths per year. 317 million accidents occur on the job annually; many of these resulting in extended absences from work.

The human cost of this daily adversity is vast and the economic burden of poor occupational safety and health practices is estimated at 4 per cent of global Gross Domestic Product each year.

The safety and health conditions at work are very different between countries, economic sectors and social groups. Deaths and injuries take a particularly heavy toll in developing countries, where a large part of the population is engaged in hazardous activities, such as agriculture, fishing and mining. Throughout the world, the poorest and least protected – often women, children and migrants – are among the most affected.

The ILO Programme on Safety and Health at Work and the Environment, SafeWork, aims to create worldwide awareness of the dimensions and consequences of work-related accidents, injuries and diseases. SafeWork’s goal is to place the health and safety of all workers on the international agenda; and to stimulate and support practical action at all levels.

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True Malaysians and patriotism

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

With Merdeka Day just round the corner, the nation can feel proud to have enjoyed peace and freedom for the past 55 years. Still, more can be done to nurture a patriotic spirit especially among the youths.

IN the midst of the excitement in celebrating Aidilfitri, one must not forget another forthcoming celebration — Merdeka Day. While the former rejoices the spiritual journey and striving in the way of God during the month of Ramadan, the latter calls for every citizen to commemorate the feeling of love towards the country and be thankful over the nation’s independence enjoyed over the past 55 years.

Why does a country’s independence matter? When we look around us today and see the physical and social development that has rapidly taken place, we need to appreciate the freedom that we have been enjoying in determining our own path and future.

Compare this to a situation where we could not make decisions on what was best for us as a nation but had to succumb to the will of a colonial master. With this realisation, a sense of appreciation must be demonstrated in various ways during the Merdeka Day celebration.

It is thus imperative to have in us a strong spirit of patriotism.

Patriotism is generally defined as the feeling of love or devotion to one’s country. When we claim to be patriotic, what do we actually mean?

One must realise that being patriotic should not be limited to only putting up a flag or merely standing up for the national anthem. The spirit of patriotism entails a deeper reason for these actions.

Being patriotic also requires a feeling of wanting what is best for the nation and doing things that would make the nation proud.

So, when we hope for a gold medal in the Olympics, a win in an international football tournament or feel exuberant when the first Malaysian astronaut boarded the International Space Station, we are actually taking pride in the country’s success.

This pride and hope are a form of patriotism, as is supporting the good qualities and ideals of the country and striving to mitigate its negative ones.

Patriotism also implies feelings of solidarity and mutual responsibility among people of different ethnicities and religious backgrounds. A multi-racial and multi-religious nation like Malaysia needs to find commonalities due to the differences that exist among the various groups.

Therefore, through the spirit of patriotism and love for the nation, these differences can be transcended, thus allowing a strong basis for consensus among the citizens. For Malaysia, this form of solidarity is central.

by Enizahura Abd Aziz.

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EMT and Paramedic Jobs

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

There are some obvious places where you might find a paramedic: ambulances and fire engines are the the first things that come to mind. However, paramedics are more versatile than you might think. There were 226,500 jobs available for EMTs and paramedics in 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). EMT and paramedic job outlook is expected to grow 33% through 2020, which is quite a bit faster than the average of 14% for all jobs.

EMT vs Paramedic: What’s the Difference?

There are multiple levels of education in emergency medical services. The most common are emergency medical technician (EMT), Advanced EMT (AEMT), and paramedic. According to BLS, the median income of EMTs and paramedics was $30,360 in May 2010. However, there’s a wide range of salaries between EMTs and paramedics. lists the average salary for EMT as $40,000 and the average for paramedic as $56,000.

There are more EMTs than paramedics. It takes less time to become an EMT — usually about one full time college quarter. Most paramedic programs build on the EMT training and take anywhere from 1 to 2 years of full time college to complete. Most paramedics receive a vocational certificate rather than a degree, but there are some degree programs available.

If becoming a paramedic interests you, here are a few employment options you probably expected and a few places you might not have considered.

Ambulance Service:

Let’s get the most obvious out of the way first. Paramedics are meant to be on ambulances. Simply put, they’re trained for it. All of the licenses and certifications listed above assume the licensee will treat and transport patients on an ambulance. According to BLS, 48% of all EMTs and paramedics are employed in the ambulance service.

Here’s where the EMTs are most likely to outnumber the paramedics. In most ambulances around the country, there are either two EMTs or an EMT working with a paramedic. Some types of critical care transport units have 2 EMTs working with one paramedic on a team of 3 people. It’s possible to see two paramedics in the same ambulance but as we’ve seen, paramedics are more expensive than EMTs. To save money, ambulance services are likely to staff what’s known as one-on-one or 50/50, an EMT and a paramedic.

Air Ambulance:

Patients aren’t just transported on the ground. Helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft are also used to get medical patients from one place to another. Most helicopters are staffed with a paramedic and a nurse or doctor. Paramedics bring training and work experience from an environment that nurses don’t typically get in the hospital setting. Nurses on the other hand, have more experience with medication drips and continuous care of their patients for long periods. It’s a good combination in an aircraft environment.

Helicopters are used for scene responses, picking up major accidents victims for example. They can also be used in interfacility transports of delicate or critical patients when time is of the essence. Fixed-wing aircraft are used to transport mostly stable patients over long distances, sometimes from one country to another.

An interesting note about flight paramedic pay: Being on a helicopter is sexy. It’s a job that many paramedics strive for and air ambulance services often have applicants beating at the doors. Consequently, the pay isn’t as good as you might expect. According to, the average salary for a flight paramedic is $41,000 — just above what a ground ambulance EMT is likely to earn. I’ve seen a similar trend myself.

Fire Service:

Firefighters get to do all sorts of cool things, but by far the most common thing they do in almost every part of the country is respond to medical emergencies. In many places around the US, firefighters are municipal employees with some sort of retirement benefits. That’s a big draw within the public safety world.

Fire service jobs have become increasingly competative, especially in states where benefit packages are the most lucrative. Firefighters in almost all metropolitan fire departments have to at least be certified as an EMT. In many cases they have to be paramedics. lists salaries for firefighters and paramedics as pretty competative, but the differences in benefit packages usually tilt the scales heavily toward the fire service.

Military Medics:

Every branch of the service has some version of a combat medic. In every branch, a medic or corpsman trained for combat will be at least licensed as an EMT as part of his or her training. In some military jobs, the training will be to AEMT or paramedic level.

Military salaries are based on rank, not specifically on job. Most military medics are E3 or above.

Tactical EMS:

Recently, a new type of paramedic has become very popular across the country. Tactical EMS (TEMS) is a sub specialty of paramedic and EMT that works with SWAT teams. TEMS medics train with SWAT teams and deploy with them in a very similar way to that of a military combat medic. TEMS medics can be armed or not, depending on their role and whether or not they have peace officer status.

In some areas of the country, TEMS medics are SWAT officers cross-trained as paramedics or EMTs and in other areas they are ambulance EMTs or paramedics assigned to assist with SWAT deployments. Right now there are very few full time SWAT team members in the country, let alone full time TEMS medics. However, the need for this type of EMS is growing and I expect to see full time TEMS medic teams in the relatively near future.

Park Ranger / Search and Rescue:

Search and rescue personnel are required to be at least EMT certified in almost every area. Park Rangers are almost always EMTs as well.

There are two types of search and rescue: urban and wilderness. Wilderness search and rescue (SAR) is the most common — these teams are often led by Park Rangers. Urban search and rescue teams (USAR) are often specialty groups developed through cooperation with fire departments and ambulance services. There are 25 federally funded USAR task forces through FEMA.

Overseas Paramedics:

There are a number of jobs for paramedics in the Middle East and other parts of the world. The pay for these jobs varies widely, but there are a number of benefits to working in another country, the most enticing is probably getting paid tax-free. There are quite a few rules to getting the tax-free salary, including how long you are allowed to be in the US during the year, but for some folks it’s definitely worth it.

Industrial Safety:

This is the biggest catch-all group of paramedics and EMT jobs. Industrial safety or industrial nursing jobs can be found on oil rigs, factories, canneries, mines and other industrial settings. Paramedics in positions like these often handle all sorts of minor to major medical emergencies, sometimes in very remote locations. Salaries for industrial safety jobs are all over the place, but expect it to be much higher if the work is dangerous and the location is remote.

by Rod Brouhard.

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