Archive for February, 2015

An exciting visit from Waseda University of Tokyo, Japan

Saturday, February 28th, 2015

SIDMA College, UNITAR International University Sabah Regional Centre felt very honoured for being given the privilege to receive a group of students from Waseda University of Tokyo who were here on a one-day visit to pave ways for a collaborative educational project at SK Libang, Ranau in the month of August –September 2015.

Their arrival on 26 February 2015 was warmly received by Prof Dr. Morni Hj Kambrie (SIDMA Chairman), Puan Azlina Ngatimin (Director, Corporate Relations and Business Development), Puan Azizah Khalid Merican (CEO), Managers, Heads of Department, Staff, Students Representative Counsel Committee and students of SIDMA College, UNITAR Sabah

SIDMA Dance Club, Prima Dansa, also put up a special dance performance to welcome SIDMA’s special guests.

According to Dr. Yukino Iwai, the Project Director, the visit was part of their on-going Borneo Project (BP)under the management of Waseda University Hirayama Ikuo Volunteer Centre (WAVOC). The main role of WAVOC is implementing the social contributions of Waseda University, and to support its students by providing a systematic platform for them to venture and experience realities of society and developing individual human strengths.

BP, which is very similar to its 20 to 30 other international volunteer projects operates on a very hands-on mode, whereby students confirm, apply, and  practice lessons and theories learnt in their academic setting through their real-life encounters.  At the same time, they collaborate and corporate with a variety of partners, proposed action plans and perform team management skills thus developing individual human strength and create the aptitude for excellent performance in society.Through such voluntary activities, it provides an opportunity for the students to come into contact with the realities of society, dubbing it as a system of sending students into authentic fields.

Touching on the Waseda University visit, this Japanese group was at SIDMA College to collaborate and plan together a local educational project at SK Libang, Ranau.a rural primary school in the northern part of Sabah, for their second visit in sometime August / September 2015.

This pioneer visit is more of a fact-gathering mission whereby they get to learn more about their SIDMA counterparts on the Malaysian Education system and its background, the students learning styles, the social and cultural background of the SK Libang, as well as the education programmes that both parties can agree upon which would be beneficial to the SK. Libang community.  This is so that the students of Waseda University are able to present their findings to their university prior to the implementation stage on their second visit.As pointed out by Dr.Yukino, Japan has very limited resources about Sabah, and through such initiatives, he hoped that it will pave ways for further collaborations which in the long run will benefit Waseda University and SIDMA College, UNITAR Sabah.

Prof Dr. Morni welcomed the initiatives taken by Dr Yukino to collaborate with SIDMA College as part of their strategies to conduct more effective educational Borneo Projects in Sabah. He too hoped that this meeting would serve as a starting point for more of such meaningful and fruitful meetings. Together, both parties are able to conduct worthwhileand effective educational projects that can be of benefit to the people of Sabah. He also advised SIDMA students to continue the working relationship via this Japan-Sabah connection so as to be able to extend it to their studies, education, as well as their professional development.

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It all boils down to education

Saturday, February 28th, 2015

The root of all sorts of societal problems, including religious radicalism and violence, is in the schools.

IN the end it all boils down to the same thing: education. I was reading an international newspaper and two articles struck me because of their similarities. One was a story about the French Education Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem. Vallaud-Belkacem is the first woman to be made Education Minister in France. More remarkably, she is both a Moroccan immigrant and Muslim.

Vallaud-Belkacem has been put in charge of educating young French people about the dangers of radicalism, the type of so-called religious fervour that led to the Charlie Hebdo shootings. She believes that schools have a big role to play in this. And indeed she is living proof.

The minister was born in Morocco but went to France with her mother and older sister to join her construction worker father. There, her five younger siblings were born and the entire family lived in poverty in a small northern city. Vallaud-Belkacem credits the French education system with giving her the opportunities she has had, and which allowed her to enter politics and eventually be where she is now.

But she also understands that it is the poor education that most immigrant youth, especially Muslim youth, receive that drives them to become radicalised and to want to take up arms against their perceived enemies, both at home in France and abroad.

These youth are poorly educated because of discrimination. At the same time, that poor education sets them up for even more discrimination, especially in the job market. This creates frustration and anger and makes them vulnerable to the sort of easy answers that radical preachers may provide.

The other story was about Nigeria where stereotypes about the Muslim North and the Christian South abound. The author of the article, Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani, a Christian, recalled that when she was growing up, there were special boarding schools that were set up to help the different Nigerian communities understand one another. These schools offered a high quality education and had quotas for the different communities so that they had a diverse mix of students.

However, there was a persistent problem of poor education in the north of the country. The quota system ensured that many northerners got jobs but often without the same level of education as the southerners.

That same low quality education meant that the northerners also did not value education for their own people, leading to a constant downward spiral of frustration due to the lack of opportunities despite the richness of resources in the region. This thus created conflict with southerners who were more educated and thus could avail themselves of better opportunities.


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The making of a will

Saturday, February 28th, 2015

It is not a matter of just typing out a standard document, but also of being aware of what you want.

ALMOST everyone knows what a will means. It has two distinct meanings.

The first strict meaning is metaphysical and denotes the sum of what a testator wishes or wills to happen on his death. The second and more common meaning is physical and denotes the document in which that intention is expressed.

Whilst there are laws that govern the making of a will, there is no legal requirement that a will must be made.

When a will is made it must comply with the requirements of the law. Failure to do so could result in the will being invalid. Of course, this is not to say that the invalidity may not be welcomed by certain quarters.

In the states of peninsular Malaysia, it is the Wills Act of 1959 and in Sabah it is the Sabah Wills Ordinance Cap 158, whilst the peninsular Malaysian Act has been extended to Sarawak. In all cases, the legislation is not applicable to Muslims and in Sabah and Sarawak, to the natives.

In the case of Muslims, inheritance of property has to be in accordance with the principles of syariah laws.

As regards non-Muslims, if there is no will, the Distribution Act 1958 provides for such inheritance to devolve in the stated proportions to the nearest and dearest.

A person can prepare a will for himself or herself so long as the intricacies of the law are appreciated and understood. But a will should not be made by just copying someone else’s will or taking a template and changing the names of the testator, the name of the beneficiaries and description of the assets.

There is obviously a difference between a lawyer preparing a will and professional will writers.

For lawyers, it is part of their professional work when approached. On the other hand, the latter market the service aggressively. It has some similarities with the push-and-pull approach in the broadcasting industry.

Promotional material published by the latter to encourage people to use such services has carried headings like, “Where there is a will … there is money to be made”. The latter also engage in creating and making available DIY kits for persons to draw up a will on their own.

by Bhag Singh.

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River confluence caused worst floods

Saturday, February 28th, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR: Many of the towns worst hit by floods last year such as Kuala Krai in Kelantan are located in valley areas where rivers meet.

Dr Edlic Sathiamurthy of Universiti Malaysia Terengganu said these towns saw flood waters come from two bodies into one, swamping people there.

“Dabong, Temerloh and Kuala Krai, these are in areas of river confluence.

“These are areas where usually two water bodies meet, bringing an accumulation of flood flow,” he said at a workshop on the floods yesterday.

Some areas such as Kuala Krai, he said, also had depressed topographies (or lower landscapes), making them prone to floods.

Referring to Kelantan’s past rainfall data, he warned that massive floods may happen again, adding that there was a “pattern”.

In 1967, 38 people died and 537,000 people were displaced in Kelantan’s massive floods then.

He said China and the United States destroyed their levees (or embankments) at less “sensitive” areas in dealing with floods, so waters could overflow there instead of hitting the towns.

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia’s Prof Dr Zulkifli Yusop said the Drainage and Irrigation Department had done a study to look into building a dam upstream of Dabong.

“This is a flood mitigation dam but it must have a multi-purpose function for water resources, aquaculture and floods,” he said.

Meteorological Department spokesman Dr Hisham Mohd Anip confirmed there was a “blind spot” in weather detection over Cameron Highlands and Gua Musang.

Although there were already six radars covering the peninsula, he mooted the idea of building another one for this region.

He also revealed that Typhoon Hagupit (Dec 1 to Dec 12), the worst cyclone to hit the Philippines last year, helped to reduce the massive rainfall over Malaysia then.

This was because the typhoon drew a portion of the cold air from the north of the world away from the monsoon storms here, he said.


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Schools without walls in Sabah

Saturday, February 28th, 2015

KOTA KINABALU: Very often we read taglines of how technology could make a borderless classroom. In Tuaran and Kiulu near here, there are schools without walls.

Students in at least three primary schools with more than 450 pupils near here, are at the mercy of the elements with classes being conducted in makeshift classrooms.

The three schools are among 10 with a total enrolment of more than 2,000 students. These schools with semi-permanent classroom blocks were destroyed by either fires or landslips in Sabah since a year ago.

Classrooms at the SK Penimbawan in Tuaran are wall-less structures resembling garages with concrete floors. SK Penimbawan was destroyed by a fire in May.

The school was without electricity and several months later when power was supplied to the building, a short circuit cause the fire.

For SK Tampasak in Papar district, its make-shift classrooms comprise canopy tents with the bare ground as a floor. Pupils of the SK Pekan primary school in Kiulu are also facing the same situation.

The plight of pupils in SK Peninbawan was highlighted in a viral tweet with the hashtag #SchoolWithNoWall yesterday.

In a tweet directed at Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa yesterday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said: “Please investigate and take action to help if this is true. This should not have happened.”

Parent of SK Tampasak pupil Martin Jinatin, said he could not understand why it took so long for the Education Department to begin reconstruction of the school block.


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SIDMA College collaborated with Kota Kinabalu City Hall to conduct Program Cekal – IPT Bebas Dadah

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

SIDMA College, UNITAR International University Sabah Regional Centre collaborated with Kota Kinabalu City Hall Women Bureau for Anti-Drug (Biro Wanita Pemadam DBKK) organised an Anti-Drug Campaign (Program Cekal: IPT Bebas Dadah) for SIDMA College, UNITAR Sabah Semester February – March 2015 new intake students on 24 February 2015 at SIDMA Atrium; as part of the students’ orientation programme.

It was a comprehensive programme, participated together by Kota Kinabalu City Hall, the State Health Department (Jabatan Kesihatan Negeri Sabah), Police Headquarters – Operations and Narcotics (Ibu Pejabat Polis, Bahagian Operasi dan Narkotiks) Karamunsing, Kota Kinabalu, Road Safety Department (Jabatan Keselamatan Jalan Raya), and National Anti-drug Agency (AADK).

In addition to talks, kiosks were also set by so that students are able to get pamphlets as well additional information from the respective agencies. Representatives from the Health Department also provided free blood pressure checks, health screening, and more.  The Road Safety Department even invited students using motorcycle to exchange their old helmets for new ones.

The campaign was aimed at educating the college students (particularly the new students) as well as the general SIDMA College community on the adverse effects of drugs abuse as well as the consequences and the punitive aspects from prevailing laws. This is because illicit drugs usage has always been the number one threat to our nation and to our national security.  Unfortunately, drugs abuse among students of institutions of higher learning continues to rise yearly despite various efforts being taken by the relevant to curb these phenomena.

During the programme, three key speakers namely: Puan Elizabeth Borubui – Chairperson, City Hall Women Bureau; Mr. Gophi – Medical Health Officer (Pharmacy), State Health Department; and Tuan Inspector Bobby from Operations and Narcotics Division, Karamunsing Police Headquarters basically addressed the phenomena of drug abuse particularly among Malaysian school students as well as those from the institutions of higher learning. They shared cases such as students involved in drugs pushing activities, students who questioned the illegality of drug abuse, and those who follow blindly and had fallen into the traps of drug users.

They emphasised that youths aged 19 to 39 are the nation assets and future leaders, unfortunately they formed the highest percentage of drug abusers. Thus it’s crucial for students, especially from institutions of higher learning, to equip themselves with knowledge and learn to cope with stress, solve personal problems, and able to discard the “herd mentality” by resisting uncalled-for peer pressure.

“Prevention is better than cure, and preventive education has to start early”. Through Program Cekal, it acts as preventive education to educate our young generation to adopt a zero tolerance stand against drug abuse in the country.

Throughout the programme, students had been urged to exert positive peer influence to keep their families, relatives, colleagues, peers, and friends away from drugs, and to take the lead in spreading anti-drug abuse messages.

The students spontaneously coined phrases such as SIDMA College – A Drug Free CollegeKolej SIDMA Bebas Dadah. They too pledged not to be involved in drugs, and to report on any suspicious activities in the neighbourhood to the college authorities in order to ensure “A Drug Free SIDMA College”

Yg Bhg Tuan Hj Ajak Hj Awang was given the privilege to officiate the function on behalf of Yg. Bhg Datuk Yeo Boon Hai (Pengerusi PEMADAM Bandaraya KK) who had to attend another official function.

Prof Dr. Morni Hj Kambrie, SIDMA Chairman, in his thank you address, congratulated and thanked all parties involved, particularly the Kota Kinabalu City Hall Women Bureau for successfully coordinating, collaborating, and conducting this very significant event. He also thanked all the respective parties who were involved in ensuring the success of the event. He sincerely welcomes such event to be held in SIDMA College, and extends the college’s request to involve SIDMA in other similar events organized by any of the above participative parties in the near future. Dr.Morni also took the liberty to present souvenirs to Tuan Hj Ajak Hj Awang, as well to all the speakers and all involved as a humble gesture of appreciation for their contribution.

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SIDMA College, UNITAR Sabah Welcomes Students for February-Mac 2015 Intake

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

Beginning February 2015, SIDMA College, UNITAR International University Sabah Regional Centre was once again buzzing with people and activities as the February / Mac 2015 new students accompanied by their parents and siblings eagerly came to register themselves to further their academic studies with the college.

We at SIDMA College, UNITAR Sabah were very much encouraged by their facial expressions we saw for the past one week, fully energized, ready and eager to embark new lives as college students; to be exposed to the latest trends and knowledge in the field of their interest; seeking opportunities to acquire new skills necessary for joining this competitive world that we live in.

On 23 February 2015, these new students with mixed feelings of excitement, anxiety and eagerness to know more about the college, the course programme that they had signed up for, the expectations of the college; all turned up in full force to attend a “Welcoming and Introductory Session” held at SIDMA Atrium.

Prof. Dr. Morni Hj Kambrie (SIDMA Chairman), Puan Azlina Ngatimin (Director, Corporate Relations and Business Development), Puan Azizah Khalid Merican (CEO), Managers and Heads of Departments were actively welcoming these new students who came from near and far for the new February / March 2015 semester.

Prof Dr. Morni, in his welcoming address congratulated these students for selecting SIDMA College, UNITAR Sabah to pursue their academic aspirations, for their personal and professional growth.

According to Dr. Morni, SIDMA College has been appointed as UNITAR International University Regional Centre since 2002, and has since been working very closely with UNITAR International University, Main Campus, Petaling Jaya which prides itself as an outstanding provider of  various Foundation, Diploma, Bachelor, and Master programmes; meeting the needs of its varied and talented students in its diverse discipline of studies including Business Administration, Management, Early Childhood Education, Tourism and Hospitality and more; through its conventional and distance learning modes.

He reassured all new students that all programmes and courses offered at the collage have full accreditations from the relevant agencies (Ministry of Education / Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA).

He also reemphasised that in line with SIDMA College Vision of becoming one of the leading and recognised private educational institutions of higher learning in Sabah, SIDMA College has continuously been maintaining and improving its basic facilities and teaching strategies in order to continuously provide the best, and being able to assist all of its students in whatever ways possible.

He also advised all students to seize opportunities, well as the basic facilities and assistance provided by the college and other relevant government agencies such as the PTPN loan, scholarships as well as other assistance available to enable students to achieve their future goal in life.

Meanwhile, Puan Azizah Khalid Merican, emphasised that UNITAR International University has been very focussed on its purpose to address the global human capital needs in the 21st century.  She stated that SIDMA College, UNITAR Sabah has become one of the first private education institutions of higher learning in Sabah to use on line teaching and learning system through E-Book.

E-Book, which is published by Pearson Malaysia Sdn. Bhd; enables all registered students to access the UNITAR Education Core (UNIEC) as well as being able to liaise with their lecturers and fellow students throughout the country.

UNIEC, which is available 24 hours a day is designed to support learning and also to provide an effective learning platform whereby students can reflect, create as well as share knowledge and skills while collaborating with course leaders, lecturers, as well as their peers.

Puan Azizah also announced that UNITAR Sabah has and will continuously conduct comprehensive professional development and information technology training sessions particularly on the usage of UNIEC Tablets as well as other related ICT facilities for the benefit of all its students.

During the five-day (23-27 February 2015) welcoming programme, these students were being introduced to their respective Managers and Heads from the various departments of the college, as well as being briefed on their roles, responsibilitiesand their expectations. Students were encouraged to contact the relevant personnel should they encountered any problems regarding their studies during their stay in the college.

SIDMA Students’ Representative Counsel (MPM) also conducted orientation programmes as well as team building activities for these new students. The students were also being brought around to have first hand information on some of the basic facilities available in the college such the Resource Centre, Computer Lab, Gymnasium, Didi Childcare Centre, Surau, Madrasah, lecture and tutorial rooms.

Meanwhile, Puan Azlina Ngatimin (Director, Corporate Relations and Business Development) invites eligible students to join SIDMA College, UNITAR Sabah and enjoy the benefits from UNITAR dual study mode (conventional face-to face lectures and thevirtual learning through the use of E-Book and UNIEC virtual learning environment.

Potential students can call SIDMA College, UNITAR Sabah at 088-732 or 088-732 020, or click on SIDMA College UNITAR Sabah Website for more information and on line registration.

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Chinese New Year Goodies Distribution at SIDMA College, UNITAR Sabah.

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

The distribution of giveaways to staff during special Malaysian Annual Festivals such as Hari Raya Aidil Fitri, Hari Raya Aidil Adha, Tadau Kaamatan, Christmas and Chinese New Year celebrations has become an important component of SIDMA College, UNITAR International University ,management and staff during all these major festivals.

On 23 February 2015, SIDMA Staff who celebrated the auspicious Chinese New Year were invited to receive their Chinese New Year goodies from Mr. Zain Azrai, Chairman of SIDMA Staff Welfare Association (PKKKSS). The goodies, mainly the common delicacies found in Chinese households during this festive period, were beautifully packed and distributed to the respective staff.

Puan Azlina Ngatimin, (Director, Corporate Relations and Business Development) and Puan Azizah Khalid Merican, (CEO) who were also present during this simple but meaning event took the opportunity to wish all staff a very joyful Chinese New Year.

Meanwhile Mr. Zain Azrai, on behalf of SIDMA Staff conveyed thanks and cheers to Prof Dr. Morni Hj Kambrie (SIDMA Chairman) and family, as well as to the SIDMA Board of Management for their generosity shown to them during this festive celebration. He believes that the staff of SIDMA College, UNITAR Sabah, is very fortunate to have Dr. Morni, who has been very caring and empathic towards the needs of all his staff, particularly during festive seasons. Dr. Morni, not only takes into account his staff’s welfare as one of his many priorities, but is also a man with a great heart for people of all races and cultural backgrounds; who would continuously foster, preserve and propagate goodwill, harmony and unity through diversity in SIDMA College.

Prof Dr. Morni Hj Kambrie and SIDMA Board of Management would like to take this opportunity to wish all SIDMA Staff and students A Very Happy and Prosperous Chinese New Year.


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Malaysia to enhance technical & vocational programme with United Kingdom

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia and United Kingdom (UK) is looking into enhancing educational ties in technical and vocational training by adopting modules or having a student exchange programme.

Education Minister II Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said the ministry was looking into having a general agreement of collaboration with the UK on this.

“It will be a collaboration with some good polytechnics in universities in the UK or any suitable technical and vocational education and training over there,” he said.

He was responding to questions after a press conference session in Nottingham University Malaysia Campus (UNMC).

This was following a bilateral education roundtable discussion with the UK Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Hugo Swire and key representatives from UK university campuses in the country at UNMC today.

Earlier in a press conference, Idris said with the set up of Nottingham, Newcastle, Southampton, Heriot-Watt and Reading university campuses in the country, the ministry is looking into having two ways benefit for the universities as well as an aspiration of the country to be a regional education hub.


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NUTP Proposes Accident Insurance Coverage For Teachers

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

KEMAMAN, Feb 22 (Bernama) — The National Union of Teaching Profession (NUTP) today proposed to the education ministry that a study be carried out to provide an accident insurance coverage for teachers.

Secretary-general Lok Yim Pheng hoped that NUTP would be called to discuss the matter.

She said the matter was raised following the death of a teacher during the floods in Kampung Geliga Che Akob here on Dec 24, last year.

The teacher from Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Geliga, Norhayati Sulong, 37, was killed when the lifeboat she was in capsized while returning home to ensure the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) answer sheets which were kept at her house were safe.

Her husband also drowned in the incident.

Lok said the ministry must provide insurance coverage for those teachers who were vulnerable to accidents, particularly during extra-curricular activities.

Earlier, she presented a cheque for RM6,000 as financial assistance to the couple’s six children.

Lok hoped the ministry would recognise Norhayati’s sense of dedication and sacrifice made in the line of duty.


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