Archive for October, 2014

Congratulations on your Graduation

Monday, October 27th, 2014
University Tun Abdul Razak (UNIRAZAK) Fourteenth (14th) Convocation Ceremony at Hall D, MAEPS, Pesiaran MARDI, UPM 43400 Serdang, Selangor on 1 and 2 November 2014.

A total of 287 graduates from UNIRAZAK Sabah Regional Centre, SIDMA College Kota Kinabalu were endorsed by Senate of UNIRAZAK and thus eligible to receive their scrolls during the grand ceremony.

The following is the list of programmes and the graduates from UNIRAZAK Sabah to receive their scrolls.

i. Bachelor of Education (Hons) 92 graduates
ii. Bachelor of Management (Hons) 59 graduates
iii. Bachelor of Administration (Hons) 20 graduates
iv. Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Education) 8 graduates
v. Bachelor of Hospitality Management (Hons) 2 graduates
vi. Diploma in Early childhood Education 91 graduates
vii. Diploma in Management 15 graduates
TOTAL 287 graduates

Click Here for the details of the graduating list of graduates.

Meanwhile UNITAR International University will be having its second (2nd) Convocation Ceremony at PICC Plenary Hall, Putrajaya on 2 November 2014. The Honorable Datuk Mohamed Nizam Tun Abdul Razak.who was appointed as the First Chancellor of UNITAR International University during UNITAR maiden convocation ceremony last year will be among those who will grace this year’s convocation.

Another 43 graduates from UNITAR Sabah Regional Centre, SIDMA College were endorsed by Senate of UNITAR International University to receive their scrolls during the grand ceremony.

The following is the graduating programmes and list of graduates from UNITAR Sabah who were endorsed to receive their scrolls.

Click Here for the details.

i. Masters of Business Administration 6 graduates
ii. Bachelor of Business Administration 3 graduates
iii. Bachelor of Management (Hons) 1 graduates
iv. Diploma in Early Childhood Education 27 graduates
v. Diploma in Management 6 graduates
TOTAL 43 graduates

Among the Five (5) Masters of Business Administration graduates are SIDMA College’s very own staff namely:

  • * Puan Azizah Khalid Merican (CEO)
  • * Puan Rukidah Ruddin (Manager, Finance)
  • * Mr. Rody Rodiley Tunai (Manager, Student Resident Service)
  • * Mr. Terence Boyd Stephen (Lecturer)
  • * Ms. Gui Yic Sen (Lecturer)

Prof. Dr. Morni Hj Kambrie (SIDMA Chairman), SIDMA Board of Management, Managers, Heads of Departments, lecturers and staff congratulated all the graduates for their outstanding academic performance and achievements.

Congratulations on this wonderful achievement. You have strived so hard for it and now you have achieved it. It’s certainly your great success, a great achievement as well as a great step forward to your future career. May the career that you will be entering, bring much happiness to you and your family.

Prof Dr. Morni and SIDMA Board of Management also take this opportunity to congratulate and to express appreciations and being empathic to the families, relatives, and friends of the graduates. They have contributed so much for these graduates to achieve their success, and now they too are really glad and proud, and thus shared their joy with these successful graduates.

Your most incredible, amazing journey to be a professional is in the making. Continue your climb and aspire excellence. With love and pride we send you our sincere CONGRATULATIONS!!!

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‘Losses of RM45m in 4 months’

Monday, October 27th, 2014

Illegal logging being carried out in Kelantan. Pic by Khairull Azry Bidin

KUALA LUMPUR: LOSSES incurred by the federal and state governments from illegal logging could run into billions of ringgit if the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) four-month Op Tukul in Sarawak is anything to go by.

A task force formed to investigate the illegal logging activities in Sarawak, which is said to be continuous and widespread for
many years in the state, found that the state government had lost
more than RM45 million to illegal loggers in just four months from May to August this year.

The task force comprised senior investigating officers from the anti-graft agency’s headquarters in Putrajaya, the Sarawak state government and Forestry Department.

“The losses are not RM100 million per year as reported in the dailies. It is very, very high… much, much more than that. We are talking about RM45 million in just four months and in Sarawak alone,” he told the New Straits Times yesterday.

He said if illegal logging in
other states was taken into account, losses could well reach into the billions.

Op Tukul is MACC’s most comprehensive operation in recent times, with an all-out crackdown on illegal logging expected to last a few years.

Last week alone, MACC had arrested 30 people in Johor and Sarawak, including a senior police officer with the rank of assistant commissioner.

MACC also froze 30 bank accounts with RM18 million, belonging to more than 10 companies suspected of being involved in the activities.

Last Tuesday, 26 MACC enforcement officers raided a kongsi near the Seluyut forest reserve in Johor and arrested 20 foreigners involved in illegal logging.

The raid placed the Johor Forestry Department under the microscope as there was extensive illegal logging near a dam under construction at the site.


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Higher English standard requirement in MUET is necessary

Monday, October 27th, 2014

SINTOK: Second Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said the higher English standard requirement in the new Malaysia University English Test (MUET) was a good thing.

“English is becoming increasingly important and by 2016 the new MUET requirements will take effect. I feel the Prime Minister’s announcement on the new entry requirements should be applauded.

“However any relaxation of the ruling can be decided by the senate as education is the senate’s purview,” he said.

The new requirement was announced as part of the Budget 2015 to enhance graduate employability and has given rise to some speculation that there may be less entrants at local universities if they don’t obtain the required MUET band.

The minimum English entry requirement will now depend on the field of study and will no longer be the minimum grade of Band 1 as currently required.

Those aiming for Arts and Social Science courses will have to achieve Band 2, while Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics courses must achieve Band 3.

Idris was speaking at the launch of Universiti Utara Malaysia’s U-Assist facility today. The facility functions as a one stop centre for all university students course needs including credit transfers, enrolment, fees and other issues.


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Tobacco, health and trade rules

Monday, October 27th, 2014

Malaysia is taking the lead on two fronts to prevent the use of trade and investment agreements from blocking anti-smoking measures, but will these initiatives succeed?

SMOKING cigarettes is the number one preventable cause of death. Six million people die each year from tobacco use and this number will rise to eight million by 2030, most of them in developing countries.

Almost 200 countries signed the World Health Organisation’s Tobacco Control Convention and are obliged to take measures to curb tobacco use.

But the industry has hit back. A big tobacco company, Philip Morris, has taken Uruguay and Australia to tribunals under bilateral investment treaties, claiming billions of dollars in compensation for the two countries’ measures to have big warning signs and small or no brand logos on cigarette packets.

Under trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), companies can similarly sue governments, claiming loss of profits resulting from policy measures. At the World Trade Organisation, cases are also being taken against countries for their tobacco control measures.

Now for the good news. Many governments are fighting back against the Big Tobacco onslaught, with Malaysia taking a lead role on two important fronts: the Tobacco Control Convention and the TPPA.

Malaysian non-governmental org­anisations such as the Ma­laysian Council for Tobacco Control and the Bantah coalition have linked up with government health and trade authorities to forge a position to exclude tobacco control measures from all the TPPA’s disciplines.

The Malaysian initiative won it bouquets from international health groups and theNew York Times published an editorial urging the United States to support it. Even attorneys-general of many states in the United States supported it.

However, reports indicate that the Malaysian position is not acceptable to the United States. The tobacco lobby is fighting hard and the United States is proposing a weaker kind of exclusion, which health groups view as inadequate.

Last week, Malaysia led a move at the Tobacco Control Convention’s Conference to thwart the tobacco industry’s use of trade and investment agreements to block anti-smoking measures.


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10 Tips to Design Effective Presentations

Monday, October 27th, 2014

Creating effective slide decks that can engage the audience and pull them right in is a task that requires some serious training. This training comes in the form of practice in the key elements that make a better presentation. These elements are: the choice of images used in the slides, the amount of text used with these images, the font and type size of the text, the placement and arrangement of text vis-a-vis the images, and the transitions and effects used in the slides. These elements, if used properly, are enough to make your presentations slick and charming.

TED has recently published a great read in this direction. This is basically an article written by TED staff in which they provided detailed explanations on each of the elements I mentioned above. They also featured some useful tips to help you create engaging presentations. I just could not let this great read go by without sharing it with you here. Below is a round-up of the 10 major tips featured in this TED post, check out the original post for more details on each one of these tips.

  • Think about slides last
  • Create a consistent look and feel
  • Think about topic transitions
  • When it comes to text, remember that less is almost always more
  • Use photos that enhance learning
  • Go easy on the effects and transitions
  • Use masking to direct attention in images
  • Try panning large images
  • For video, don’t use auto play
  • Reproduce simple charts and graphs

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Underprivileged schoolchildren get aid up to tertiary level

Sunday, October 26th, 2014

KOTA KINABALU: Two hundred pupils from six primary schools here will be provided financial and other assistance under an adoption scheme started by Eco World Foundation, the charitable arm of property developer Eco World Development Bhd.

They will be part of the 3,000 underprivileged schoolchildren who have been selected under its students’ aid programme.

Foundation chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said the programme takes a holistic approach to help the children from primary school to tertiary education level.

It helps by equipping them for each new school year with uniforms, bags, stationery and meals in school and paying their school and tuition fees, he said.

“More important is the attention given to the personal development of every child under the programme.

“We will have motivational camps every year to prepare Year Six pupils for the UPSR examination and we will recognise students’ achievements through an annual excellence awards ceremony,” he told reporters at SK Tanjung Aru I here on Tuesday.

Pupils who achieve good results in the UPSR examinations are eligible to apply for a continuation of the programme to secondary education and, subsequently, to tertiary level, he added.

Lee said of the 3,000 schoolchildren now listed in the programme, 2,600 are from primary schools and close to 400 are secondary students.

The programme kicked-off on Sept 24. The Eco World Foundation was set up on May 7 this year, funded on an annual budget of RM4mil.

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The butterfly effect

Sunday, October 26th, 2014

They are beautiful and familiar, but their diversity and abundance are also indicators of environmental health. These factors make butterflies ideal ‘ambassadors’ in efforts to educate the public about the importance of biodiversity to the survival of the planet.

MALAYSIA is one of 17 megadiverse countries identified by Conservation International.

About 20% of the world’s animal species are thought to be found here. However, this is not something most Malaysians view as a priority or even with interest, which is why a senior lecturer from Universiti Malaya (UM) decided to embark on the School Butterfly Project.

Dr John James Wilson, who is a senior lecturer in ecology and biodiversity at the Institute of Biological Sciences, is originally from the United Kingdom but has lived in Malaysia for two years.

“In my short time in Malaysia, I have noticed that Malaysians are a bit ambivalent about the immense diversity and biological richness of their country,” said Wilson, who is also the assistant curator of the Museum of Zoology at the UM campus.

“The School Butterfly Project came out of this concern – that we need to educate the next generation to care about their environment and the wildlife they share their country with.”

The funding for the project comes from UMCares, the Community and Sustainability Centre at UM, which offers seed funding for community engagement programmes.

“I took the opportunity to start the School Butterfly Project,” he said, explaining that it was basically using butterflies as “ambassadors for wildlife”.


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Sound policies require maturity

Sunday, October 26th, 2014

When major international policies are based on short-sighted self-interests and emotive impulses, problems are never far away.

THE first thing about an integrated system is that any issue in any part of it tends to impact on its other parts.

The international economic system is integrated on a global scale and is becoming more so by the day. So are the international diplomatic and strategic settings, with trade-offs and blowbacks aplenty.

When Ukraine wavered between the West and Russia, Washington and Brussels as well as Moscow sat up and took serious notice. Inducements and pressure were applied on Kiev until the pro-Western Euromaidan protests forced a showdown.

Angry mobs targeted the ethnic Russian community in Ukraine, with some of the groups affiliated to the subsequent pro-Western government. Ethnic Russians agitated against the new Kiev, particularly in Crimea and eastern Ukraine where they formed a majority.

Crimea, already an autonomous republic with its own local government, seceded from Ukraine and opted in a referendum to join the Russian Federation. Western sanctions against Russia followed, amid allegations of Moscow’s “annexation” and “invasion” of Crimea.

by Bunn Nagara

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‘Address subsidy issues first’

Sunday, October 26th, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR: The Government should provide a clear definition on those referred to as “high income earners”.

Only then should it implement new regulations on the subsidised RON95 petrol, says Fomca deputy president Mohd Yusof Abdul Rahman.

He said the definition “differed according to situation” and where the group was located.

“Those earning between RM5,000 and RM10,000 (per month) are still pressured by the rising cost of living in the city.”

On Thursday, Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan announced that the sales price of RON95 petrol for the high income group would be in accordance with the market price starting in June next year.

Ahmad said the method of implementation was being finalised by the Finance Ministry and Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry.

Low and middle income earners will continue to enjoy RON95 at the subsidised price.

Yusof, however, said the Government must define those who were eligible for the subsidy.

“Remove from the list the industries that are not qualified for the subsidy,” he added.


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‘Unity more important than political interests’

Saturday, October 25th, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR: FORMER Barisan Nasional candidate for the Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat Dr Mazlan Ismail yesterday said the government should consider creating a single-stream secondary school system to foster unity.

He said the issue should also be debated during this year’s Umno General Assembly as there was a need to prevent classrooms from being used as platforms to promote racial politics.

“The unity of our multiethnic community is important and should take precedence over the interests of any political parties,” he said yesterday.

Mazlan, who is also chairman of non-governmental organisation Darul Wehdah Permatang Pauh, alleged that it was imperative to resolve the issue as opposition parties were trying to create racial disharmony in schools.

“I support (Home Minister) Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s opinion that secondary schools should have only one stream to foster national unity.”

On Sunday, Zahid had said that primary vernacular schools pupils should attend national secondary schools.

Zahid, during an interaction session with the Malaysian Youth Parliament, had said: “I support that the mother tongue should be taught, but only at the primary-school level.

“After that, they should enter national schools. Only then will there be unity among all races in the country.”


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