Archive for January, 2016

SIDMA College, UNITAR Sabah towards Leadership Coaching.

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

Leadership coaching is needed today as catalyst for organizational change. It can facilitate productive change in subordinates, teams and systems by enhancing leaders, managers, and employees to unleash the untapped or hidden potentials. Change is very important for an organisation to grow and be adaptive to today’s dynamic challenges and rapidly shifting marketplace; thus enabling it to stay relevant.

Coaching for success is becoming a critical tool to enable rapid progress. Coaching sessions enable the coachee(s) to concentrate on the issues that are most critical to their performance, without the need of having lengthy retraining courses.

According to Bill Gates, who himself has several coaches; “Everyone needs a coach” in order to excel. The core is that coaches use powerful questions to bring out the best in people, helping one to reframe failure into success; instead of directing them to do what we think they should do in order to excel. Through asking questions in areas that their clients have never thought of, leaders can bring out trust, building stronger bonding, with added values, create respectful and clear communication, allowing their clients to speak, making them feel good about themselves; thus turning one weakness into strengths

In relation to this, Prof Dr Morni Hj Kambrie, (Chairman, SIDMA Board of Directors), and Puan Izah Binti Muhilin, (Manager, Human Resource Department) took the liberty to invite Dr. Michael Heah, (ICF Masters Certified Coach and author) from Business Coaching & Life Coaching and his team to immerse SIDMA College, UNITAR Sabah Managers, Heads of Departments, senior lecturers and staff to a “Dialogue with the Executive Coach” session at SIDMA College Conference Room on 27 January 2016.

During the brief but concise session, Dr Michael Heah gave invaluable practical coaching tips of what coaching is and is not, by relating it to many real life cases. He, too, coached the participants on ways to gain insights of developing coaching skills, and to fully appreciate the power of asking related questions leading to a compelling purpose. Dr Heah also helped participants to develop the right coaching questions, strategies and guidelines in order to develop better listening skills, thus preventing one from interrupting clients to offer a solution to their issues.

Dr Morni in his welcoming address thanked Dr Michael Heah and his team for their valuable time, and for their very inspirational and helpful dialogue session. He congratulated the Human Resource Department for their pro-activeness in organising this function, and appreciated the participants for their full engagement throughout the session.

Also present during the function were Puan Azlzah Khalid Merican (CEO) and Puan Azlina Ngatimin (Director, Corporate Relations and Business Development Department).

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Trade works best when there is a healthy balance

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

RUNNING an online business is an increasingly popular option to earn income these days. After all, most of us already spend many hours a day connecting with others on social media, sending and receiving email, gathering information from the Web, and downloading pictures, documents, books, music, and vi­­deos.

And of course, performing tran­sactions through personal compu­ters and smartphones has become second nature for many people. So why not set up shop in the digital world if we have something to sell? It can be fast and simple.

Best of all, technology allows an online entrepreneur to operate with a smaller investment of time and capital than if he had a bricks-and-mortar business.

However, people sometimes mistakenly believe that because an online business does not have a physical presence, it is not subject to the many laws that govern traditional commerce and industry.

Companies Commission of Ma­­laysia chairman Datuk Seri Alias Ahmad highlighted this problem on Monday when he pointed out that many online businesses had not registered with the commission. He said about 30,000 such businesses had done so since 2012. This is a low number when you consider how frequently we come across people selling goods and services to reaching out to potential customers solely through websites, social media, and mobile applications.

Alias added that in 2014 and 2015, the CCM had taken action under the Business Registration Act against more than 1,000 online business owners for failing to register their businesses.

However, it appears that the level of awareness is rising. Last year, 6,389 online business companies were registered, which is more than double the 2,690 in 2014. But a lot of people still have to learn about the importance of business registration.

The Star Says.

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Educating our young ones

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

f we keep treating our children as infants throughout their school life, we should not be surprised at the consequences.

I HAD another of those moments when my mouth simply gaped recently. A friend told me the text that was used in his daughter’s school for her SPM English Literature paper was the Grimm fairy tale Rumpelstiltskin.

I was shocked. For one thing, the Brothers Grimm were German, not English. For another, Rumpelstiltskin is a story for little children, not 17-year-olds and definitely not worthy of an exam.

In comparison, the equivalent British school exams in English Literature look at authors like Thomas Hardy, Jane Austen, George Eliot and, of course, William Shakespeare. How does anyone study English Literature without studying Shakespeare who was so influential in the English language? Do our students even know of the many common phrases we use daily which originated from Shakespeare?

Some might say that English Literature is not important to us since English is not our native language. But a look through the Bahasa Malaysia literature texts doesn’t impress either. I haven’t done Malay Literature since my own school days so I might not know who are the great Malay writers these days. But surely it cannot be someone who writes about the adventures of a girl during her school holidays?

Our school literature syllabus seems to suggest that our students cannot handle any form of sophisticated writing at all. I looked through an exam tips website onRumpelstiltskin and the values our students are supposed to derive from the story are absurdly childish – don’t boast, don’t tell lies, don’t be greedy. There is no nuance or ambiguity to any of it. Students are simply told what to think about these stories with no room for opinions of their own.

Is this the state of our education today, one that treats our children as infants throughout their school life? How are they meant to handle the complex world we live in?

I was in London not so long ago when I went to view an exhibition of the works of Ai Wei Wei, the Chinese artist known for having been kept in solitary confinement for eight months and then banned from traveling because of his critical views on what was happening in China. His works are beautiful, thought-provoking and often moving. There were reconstructed trees, marble grass and straightened steel rods made from the wreckage of buildings destroyed in the Sichuan earthquake in 2008. The stories behind these works tell about censorship, groupthink and cover-ups of the true costs of natural and manmade disasters.

People form long queues to view this exhibition. But what I really found astounding were the groups of schoolchildren being taken around the exhibition by their teachers. Surely this was too sophisticated for them? But apparently it was not.

Children can surely learn about art and beauty from a young age, as well as what messages artists want to convey through their work. What child doesn’t understand unfairness, or not being able to give an opinion? Which child would not be moved by the long lists of names of the schoolchildren lost in the earthquake, killed by the shoddy workmanship of their schools?


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Cancer mortality very high in M’sia: TAC

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

Kota Kinabalu: Cancer deaths have been declining in the United States and developed countries since the 1990s.

Deputy Chairman of Together Against Cancer Association Malaysia (TAC), Dr Lim Teck Onn, revealed this at the recent TAC-organised Malaysian Experience Exchange for Patient Organisations (Meepo) Capacity Building Workshop.

“In contrast, cancer mortality is very high in Malaysia. This is one of the two consequences of getting cancer in Malaysia.

For instance, there were 136,836 deaths in the population in 2012 and of this figure, 21,700 were cancer deaths,” he told the workshop.

According to him, 50 to 80pc of breast cancer deaths in Malaysia that year were avoidable while attributing this state of affairs to late presentation and lack of treatment.

“Statistics indicate that of the 2,572 breast cancer deaths, some 1299 were avoidable. Avoidable deaths due to late presentation totalled 647 and the remaining 652 deaths were due to lack of treatment.

“These avoidable deaths are not due to differences in the response to treatment or the type of breast cancer.

Rather these are deaths that might be avoided if cancer was caught earlier or if the patient received the appropriate treatment,” Dr Lim asserted.

The other consequence of getting cancer is financial distress and medical bankruptcy, prompting the deputy chairman to label cancer as financially toxic.

In his paper on Cancer Health Facts: Everything you need to know to protect yourself and your family from the consequences of cancer, the doctor said there are almost 40,000 new cancer cases (all cancers) in Malaysia every year.

The Top 10 Cancers in Malaysia are breast, intestine (colorectum), lung, cervix, throat (nasopharynx), stomach, blood (leukaemia), liver, lymphoma and ovary.

“Cancer is the fourth disease burden in Malaysia after circulatory diseases (heart disease, stroke, etc), infections (chest, HIV/AIDS, typhoid, TB, etc) and injuries (road injury, other forms of transport, etc),” said Dr Lim.

Meanwhile, 80 of the world’s top medical researchers will meet here in April to analyse the results of a major study on breast and ovarian cancer.

Cancer Research Malaysia chief executive officer Prof Dr Teo Soo Hwang said the results of the study involving 200,000 cancer patients and a similar number of healthy women would enable researchers to delve further into the biology of how the diseases develop.

“The results of this massive study will also help point the way as to how we might treat patients more effectively,” she said.

Dr Teo said the research involved analysing 600,000 genetic markers for each of the women who took part in the study.

“The depth of the research is incredible since it covers so much genome.

“This working meeting will enable us to finalise our results in this ultimate search for cancer genes,” she added.

She said the meeting would be attended by a consortium of medical researchers representing 44 organisations from 15 countries.

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A-HEART UniMAP To Unearth Talent Of Children With Autism, Special Needs – Vice Chancellor

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

ARAU, Jan 26 (Bernama) — The initiative by Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP) to set up the Autism Hub for Educational Resources and Training (A-HEART) is aimed at developing the talent of children diagnosed with autism.

Unimap vice chancellor Datuk Prof Emeritus Dr Kamarudin Hussin said A-Heart was not only for children with autism but all special children in Perlis.

“Apart from unearthing the talent of children with special needs, we have also introduced A-Heart member card,” he told reporters after the opening of a programme to celebrate the talent of special children at Auditorium Perpustakaan Tuanku Syed Faizuddin Putra (PTSFP), here Tuesday.

The Raja Puan Muda of Perlis, Tuanku Hajah Lailatul Shahreen Akashah Khalil who is also the pro-chancellor of UniMAP and Royal patron of A-Heart was also present.

According to Kamarudin, the A-Heart member card was introduced to offer special attention to children, parents or caretakers of children with special needs at the centre.


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Eco-green role of religious communities

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016

All faiths and spiritualities to look inward at their traditions to solve environment issues.

ALL world religions should play an important role in addressing climate change and global environmental issues. They have to look at what their own religions have to say and take action on issues pertaining to environmental protection.

Each religion should apply the green concept to their festive celebrations. For example, Muslims have to apply The Green Guide for HajjThe Green Guide for Umrah (in which pilgrims are not allowed to cut down trees while in Ihram),Greening Ramadan (minimum wastage/disposal of unfinished food), Greening the Mosque (energy conservation of electricity and water used for ablution), etc.

Such campaigns teach followers the link between Islam and nature. Indeed, the term “green concept” has to be applied in global environmental issues to lessen the impact of climate change.

Greenhouse gases are those that absorb and emit infrared radiation in the wavelength range emitted by Earth. The most abundant greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere are water vapour, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide, ozone and chlorofluorocarbons.

Without greenhouse gases, the average temperature of Earth’s surface would be about 15°C (27°F) colder than the present average of 14°C (57°F). Greenhouse gases (GHGs) can be emitted through transport, land clearance, and the production and consumption of food, fuel, manufactured goods, materials, wood, roads, buildings, and services.

Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in 1750, human activities have produced a 40% increase in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, from 280 ppm (parts per million) in the year 1750 to 400 ppm in 2015.

It has been estimated that if greenhouse gas emissions are produced at the present rate, the Earth’s surface temperature will potentially have harmful effects on the ecosystem, biodiversity and the livelihoods of people worldwide.

A carbon footprint is defined as “a measure of the total amount of CO2 and CH4 emissions of a defined population, system or activity, considering all relevant sources, sinks and storage within the spatial and temporal boundary of the population, system or activity of interest”.

It is calculated as carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) using the relevant 100-year global warming potential (GWP100). An individual, nation, or an organisation’s carbon footprint can be measured by undertaking a GHG emissions assessment or other calculative activities denoted as carbon accounting.


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Fewer pomelos for CNY due to haze and rain

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016

IPOH: Last year’s harvest of pomelo fruit has dropped by almost half due to the haze and rainy season, with fewer fruits being sold in the market.

With a significant drop in harvest, prices are expected to go up by 10%.

Pomelo farm owner Chin Too Kam said the shortage also caused a drop in exports.

“We’ve greatly reduced the number of fruits for export and are now catering to the local market.

“We want to ensure the locals and our regular customers are still able to get the fruit especially for the Chinese New Year celebration,” he said.

Chin, who is also Tambun Pomelo Growers Association chairman, said the hazy weather that affected the country about seven months ago had stunted the growth of the fruits.

“Following the hazy season, the torrential rainfall also affected the pollination and this further affected the yield,” he added.

“With less fruit to sell, we are expecting pomelo sellers to be affected by a drop in sales,” he said, adding  that the fruit could fetch good prices during Chinese New Year.

“Despite the drop in the produce, the quality of fruit sold in the market is still high,” he assured.

Chin said the buying power of consumers has also weakened due to the global economic outlook.

“With an expected slight hike in prices, most sellers expect businesses to be slow,” he said, adding that one fruit could fetch up to RM23, depending on its size.


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Dengue cases expected to rise with onset of El-Nino

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016

KOTA KINABALU: Dengue cases in the state and country are expected to rise with the onslaught of the El-Nino weather phenomenon.

This is because hot temperatures and dry weather accelerate the development of the Aedes mosquito from egg to an adult, state Health Department director Dr Christina Rundi said.

Dr Christina, in a statement yesterday, disclosed that under the hot and dry weather brought about by El-Nino, the cycle of a mosquito from egg to adult takes less than seven days.

“This will result in an increase in the mosquito population,” she warned.

Therefore, it is imperative that the public do not store water during the El-Nino phenomenon which is said will last until March this year, as they could be creating breeding grounds for the Aedes mosquitos, she said.

Dr Christina added that improper management and illegal dumping of rubbish could also contribute to the increase in mosquito population and number of dengue cases.

“The state Health Department would like to advise the public to carry out ‘search and destroy’activities in their compounds once a week. This is where they should spend at least 10 minutes a week to find and destroy mosquito breeding grounds.

“They should also ensure that all filled water containers be closed tightly and that they put on insect repellent as well as wear long sleeved attire when outside their houses, especially early in the morning and in the evenings.

“We also urge them not to throw rubbish indiscriminately,” Dr Christina said.

She urged any individuals experiencing symptoms such as fever, aching body, aching joints, nausea and headache to immediately seek treatment at the nearest clinic. This is because early treatment can help prevent complications brought about by dengue, including the fatality, she said.

Meanwhile, Dr Christina disclosed that 110 dengue fever cases were registered since January 9 this year, with Sandakan having the highest number at 38. Tawau recorded 16 cases while the state capital had 15 cases.

Dengue outbreaks were recorded in 25 localities, namely, Sandakan (15), Kota Kinabalu (three), Lahad Datu (three), Penampang (two) and one each in Tenom and Tawau during the same period. She also said that the Health Department had recorded a 100 per cent increase in the number of dengue fever cases in 2015 compared to 2014, she added.

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Sultan Nazrin: Religion is like time bomb if abused

Monday, January 25th, 2016

IPOH: Religion is like a time bomb which can explode, triggering chaos and catastrophe if it is sensationalised for political purposes, said the Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Shah.

Sultan Nazrin said the role of religion “is very sacred but at times it is desecrated by those who lacked wisdom.”

They tried to insert values, prejudices and personal agenda to champion and sensationalise certain issues, he said.

“On the other hand, when religion is used for purposes other than showing the divine spirit, especially when it is selected to be sensationalised politically, religion is a highly explosive bomb, with the potential to trigger chaos and catastrophe,” he said when opening the three-day ‘Muzakarah’ Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah here.

He said religion when fully understood, is an instrument of unity and justice, other than being capable of turning out a good society which has a soul and internal strength and subjugates to god.

“In the realities of history, the legitimacy of facts and rational thinkings are sunk and swept away by the currents of emotions,” Sultan Nazrin said.

Sultan Nazrin said the religious status of a person, whether he is destined for heaven or hell is decided by god, so it is unwarranted and contradictory with the call of God if the man himself chose to pass judgments on the status of the faith and piety of another man.

“The duties and responsibilities of men, especially those involved in directly managing and handling the affairs of religion are to urge others toward doing good and forbidding what is wrong.


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Johor Sultan meets crowd at Thaipusam celebration in Renggam

Monday, January 25th, 2016

SIMPANG RENGGAM: Despite the scorching hot sun, thousands of people thronged the Sri Murugan Temple in the small town of Renggam here to join in the Thaipusam festivities.

Devotees carried kavadi and paal kudam (milk pots) along a 1.5km stretch between the temple and a nearby river, where the procession began on Saturday night.

Devotees were joined by visitors and tourists who crowded the area from 10 am in anticipation of Johor ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar’s visit.

Sultan Ibrahim was greeted by loud cheers upon his arrival at 12.30pm, with many rushing to shake hands with him.

Compliance officer B. Rajes, 28, who travelled with a few friends from Kulai, said that it was his first time joining in the celebrations in Renggam as he wanted to meet Sultan Ibrahim.


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