Archive for May, 2016

Cross-cultural education key to better unity

Monday, May 30th, 2016

PETALING JAYA: Young Malaysians can be taught to not look through race-coloured lenses with the introduction of cross-cultural subjects at schools and educational institutions, said 1Malaysia Foundation Trustee Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye (pic).

He added that children should be allowed to grow together so they are able to get to know, understand and appreciate peers of different racial and religious backgrounds.

“To prevent Malaysians from drifting apart, it is the people of all races who must be concerned about the future of the nation and be prepared to integrate, beginning from a young age.

“The younger generation must be made aware of the importance of unity, social cohesion and reconciliation as it is the cornerstone of the nation’s success and development.

“As students are the future leaders of the nation, it is imperative that they forge closer relations despite differences in race, culture and religion,” he said in a statement on Sunday.

Lee was responding to the call made by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who said that cross-cultural education should be emphasised in vernacular, religious and national schools to strengthen unity.

Lee said it had been observed that interaction between students of different ethnicities, cultures and religions at universities was still low.

“Racial polarisation has become a matter of concern to all Malaysians. Unless it is addressed with a sense of urgency, racial polarisation can become a major impediment to national unity and nation-building,” he said.


Read more @

Unduk Ngadau hopefuls, all

Monday, May 30th, 2016

Kota Kinabalu: Forty four Kadazandusun-Murut beauties from throughout Sabah and Klang Valley as well as Johor will be vying for the State-level Unduk Ngadau Kaamatan 2016 crown.

They are Fenny Ester Joslin who represents Banggi, Kartinna Koping (Beaufort), Clare Henry (Beluran), Meryll Jacenta Cyrinus (Inanam), Winnie Maillin (Johor), Charmine Bartholomew (Kapayan), Juana Jounis (Karambunai), Anasthasia Joonna Anif Sanggau (Kemabong), Centya Dominic (Keningau), Ivansalyne Bamye (Kinabatangan) and Patriciaelsa Jimy (Klang Valley).

Jozieann Boy will represent Kota Belud, Didy Yani Dinoh (Kota Kinabalu), Alexsandra Vivian Alexander (Kota Marudu), Jescyntia Fenny Joinod (Kuala Penyu), Claryssa Henry (Kudat), Lillie Chew (Kunak), Evania Eking (Labuan), Muntel Santangan (Lahad Datu), Sharon Joseph (Libaran) and Laura Simon (Likas).

Vinny Alvionitta Sasisting will represent Matunggong, Nicole Sharon Chong Jie Nie (Membakut), Cassandra Villafane Clarence (Menumbok), Sharone OC Jinom (Nabawan), Norfainie Diwalang (Pegalungan), Floveny Jainal (Paitan), Christine Joan Charles (Papar), Sherry Anne Laujang (Penampang), Chee Nyuk Len (Pitas), Eudora Amber Sion (Putatan) and Ceviley Ryica Harry (Ranau).

Jovilin Umjin will represent Sandakan, Carolline Petrus (Semporna), Mauren Semuil (Sipitang), Caprinie Richard (Sook), Flores Cuthbert (Tambunan), Feyrajoyce Stannis (Tamparuli), Dibbie Victer (Tawau), Dyana Natasha Jeory (Telupid), Nancy Julai (Tenom), Dorizah Noh (Tongod) and Hyellene Danius (Tuaran).

Read more @

Charged up for safety

Sunday, May 29th, 2016

The recent incidents of phones and other gadgets exploding or electrocuting users should not be brushed off lightly. With more and more uncertified and potentially dangerous electronic items being sold openly, the Energy Commission is beefing up enforcement activities to ensure these products are taken off the market.

LAST month, 30-year-old Suhana Mohamad was electrocuted to death while talking on her mobile phone that was being charged at her home in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur.

That’s a scary thing to hear because we Malaysians love our phones – there are 1.4 mobile phones for every person in the country, with the number continuing to rise as technology becomes more and more a part of daily life.

But as more products come into the market, it is vital that Malaysians are smart about what they buy and how they use it.

In Suhana’s case, the charger that caught fire and led to her electrocution was not from the manufacturer that produced her phone, according to an initial investigation by the Energy Commission (Suruhanjaya Tenaga).

The incident sent shockwaves through the nation, galvanising the commission to begin inspecting premises selling mobile phone chargers.

“From the inspection, it was found that a significant number of chargers checked did not have a Certificate of Approval (CoA) and Sirim-ST label,” the commission reveals, referring to the Standards and Industrial Research Institute of Malaysia.

In a bid to prevent tragedies like Suhana’s and other recent incidents of phones and other gadgets exploding or electrocuting users, the commission will be intensifying its enforcement activities to weed out unsafe and uncertified mobile phone chargers and electronic equipment in the market.

Such efforts will include conducting more checks and raids to curb the manufacturing, importation and sale of equipment that has not been certified by the commission and Sirim. The commission will also embark on joint enforcement operations with the police, the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism, Sirim, and related agencies.

“Other than that, we are also carrying out consumer awareness initiatives on the matter in print, electronic and social media,” the commission explains in an e-mail to Sunday Star.

It doesn’t help that uncertified mobile phone chargers are being sold openly to the public today, at prices as low as RM10.

After inspecting 157 premises, the commission found 653 adapters and charger units of various brands that do not have the Sirim-ST label.

“These premises were given a warning notice to withdraw, dispose of or return the unapproved chargers. If the notice is not complied with, the chargers will be confiscated and legal action will be taken by commission,” the commission’s e-mail says.


Read more @

We love our food – but we’re wasting tons of it daily

Sunday, May 29th, 2016

IS food in Malaysia so cheap that we take it for granted? When we eat at the mamak shops, at coffee shops, hawker centres, cafes, restaurants or hotels do we ask about the size of the portions?

Do we tell servers to give us less rice or less noodles or less of whatever we don’t want or like so that we don’t waste it?

Do we feel a tad guilty when we look at our unfinished plate of food? Do we think of those in our country who are hungry and might not have eaten for the day? And do we ask ourselves what all that waste is doing to the environment?

Dr Anni Miten does.

The executive director of the South-East Asia Council for Food Security and Fair Trade (Seacon) says she feels sad at the way so many people in this country take food for granted.

“There is no more element of people enjoying food sitting around appreciating the food or even asking where the food has come from.’’

She thinks “sharing food is something noble and part of our culture” and is somewhat exasperated at how much food people waste.

When Miten orders lamb at a particular restaurant she frequents she asks for only two pieces instead of the normal portion because that is all that she can eat. She is happy to pay full price for it because she knows she did not waste.

“If you don’t want the bread or potato that comes with your food , just tell them not to give it to you even though the price of your meal is still the same. Or tell them to pack it and take it home with you. Don’t waste.

“This is our responsibility as consumers.’’

Malaysians waste 15,000 tonnes of food daily – piled up, that would come up to about 16 KLCCs!

The Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (Mardi) estimates that of that amount wasted, 3,000 tonnes is actually untouched, edible and should not even have been thrown away.

All this makes Miten question how much of the country’s RM45bil food import bill for last year was really efficiently utilised and how much of it went to waste.

“This is a cost to the country. And the waste has to be treated,” she points out.

This is one reason why she wonders if it is wise for the Government to control the price of some food items, like rice. Because the price of rice is subsidised, it’s a cheap food item and people don’t think twice about leaving it on their plates – throwing it away, in other words.

“If there is no more price control on rice, will it make Malaysians jump?” she wonders.

The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) policy officer Dr Daneswar Poonyth, however, says the government shouldn’t be blamed.

“The Government is making food affordable – but does it mean that because it is made affordable you waste it? It is going to cost the Government more down the road to manage the waste. And the government never told you to waste food.”

He points out that in 2007, 2008 and 2009 when global food prices went up, globally everyone adjusted and went from buying high quality to low quality. But not in Malaysia, the adjustment was not there.


Read more @

Call to step up safety at KKIP roundabout

Sunday, May 29th, 2016

Kota Kinabalu: Sepanggar residents on Friday called for safety precautions to be taken following frequent accidents at the Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park roundabout along Jalan Sepanggar.

The latest incident which took place at the roundabout claimed the life of a 32-year-old Malaysia Airlines Berhad staff last Sunday.

The man was riding home on his motorcycle when he lost control of the superbike which crashed into the side of the roundabout at about 10.30pm.

A resident, Musri Tabin, said accidents have frequently taken place at the roundabout which is prone to mishaps especially during the rainy season when puddles of water would appear on the road surface.

“We hope the relevant authorities would also look into placing more warning signs and putting up more lights in the area,” he said.

He also hoped the sides of the roundabout would be raised, since the current design was too low.

Read more @

South China Sea: Coc Is Best Solution To Dispute – Freeman

Sunday, May 29th, 2016

KUALA LUMPUR, May 29 (Bernama) — Adhering and committing to finalise the Code of Conduct (Coc) for claimants of the South China Sea territorial dispute remains the best solution to resolve the long-standing problem in the region, an expert said.

Executive Director of School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), John Hopkins University, Washington DC, Dr Carla Park Freeman said in fact formulation of the document needed to be expedited to prevent the tension from rupturing into a full blown conflict.

She said that claimant states – Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, China and Taiwan should set a time frame to complete the CoC.

Formulation of the CoC, which resulted from the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DoC) signed in 2002 by 10 ASEAN member countries namely Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam as well as China have not seen much progress.

DoC, among others, aimed to promote a peaceful, friendly and harmonious environment in the South China Sea between ASEAN and China for the enhancement of peace, stability, economic growth and prosperity in the region.

It also spells out the 11 signatory countries’ desire to enhance favourable conditions for a peaceful and durable solution of differences and disputes among countries concerned.

Dr Freeman who specialises in China Studies said decision by the Philippines to pursue its claims against China at the Arbitrary Tribunal had further complicated the matter.

Speaking to Bernama in an interview during her working visit here, she added that China might even abort the CoC negotiation process as objection to the arbitration.

“Arbitration is certaintly one tool but as long as countries like China with a major claim is unwilling to accept international arbitration, it makes discussion more difficult.

“The worry that I have is that if you have this arbitration, China will basically stop the movement of talks and development of the CoC. China will not participate in that any longer,” she said.

She added that if the arbitration outcome favoured the Philippines, it would set a precedent for other claimant states to follow suit.

Dr Freeman said the claimant countries in ASEAN at the same time must work to resolve the dispute among them before heading to the negotiation table with China, as this would enable them to establish a more coherent and unified position vis-a-vis the superpower.

She noted that this was even more crucial as not all ASEAN countries are on the same page with claimant states in regards to the contentious issue.

“But if ASEAN have a strategy and be coherent in their position, the outcome will be better for everyone,” she said.

On the United States’ position, she said the US had maintained its stand in wanting to see the freedom of navigation and safe passage in the waters under the international laws was preserved.


Read more @

SIDMA College UNITAR Sabah distributed 2016 Kaamatan and Gawai Goodies.

Saturday, May 28th, 2016

The Harvest (Kaamatan) Festival is an annual event in the cultural life of the Kadazan Dusun, the largest indigenous group of Sabah, to celebrate their bountiful harvest of rice. It is widely celebrated throughout Sabah for a whole month of May, culminating and climaxing in the State Level Harvest Festival on 30 and 31 May each year.

The Gawai(Gawai Dayak) Celebration is celebrated annually in Sarawak, which is also to celebrate the bountiful harvest. It is celebrated in early June (1st and 2nd June) each year.

In conjunction withthese auspicious occasions, Dr Morni Hj Kambrie;Chairman, SIDMA Board of Directors, UNITAR Sabah; distributedKaamatan and Gawai goodies to SIDMA College, UNITAR & CUCMS Sabah, Bentleytel Malaysia and Fiona Travels and Tours Sdn. Bhd staff at SIDMA Atrium on 25 May 2016.

During the ceremony, Dr Morni presented staff celebrating 2016 Kaamatan and Gawai Festival with crates ofassorted soda bottle drinks (1.5 litre), sacks of 10 kilogrammes high quality imported rice, Royal Danish Butter Cookies, Cadbury Milk Chocolate and more, as a symbolic gesture of recognition, appreciation and to thank all the staff for their loyalty, support and effective contributions towards SIDMA College UNITAR Sabah’s good “harvests”. The event was managed and coordinated by SIDMA Staff Welfare Association (PKKKSS), headed by Mr. Zain Azrai.

Dr Morni, Puan Azizah Khalid Merican (CEO), Puan Azlina Ngatimin (Director, Corporate Relations and Business Development), Mr. Zain Azrai, Managers, Heads of Departments also took time off for a High tea session with staff at SIDMA Atrium, prior to the goodies distribution.

Mr. Zain Azrai, on  behalf of all PKKKSS members, took the opportunity to thank Dr Morni (and family) and Puan Azizah for their generosity and caring attitudes for the staff’ wellbeing and happiness; particularly during special occasion such as Harvest Festival. He hoped that the goodies distributed will help add to the basic needs of the colleagues particularly during this festive season.

He felt that as staff of SIDMA College, UNITAR Sabah, we are indeed fortunate and blessed to have a just and caring boss, who takes into account his staff’s welfare as one of his many priorities, a man whose heart is for the people of all races and cultural traditions. He hoped that everyone can celebrate this annual festival with good spirits, cheer, and festivities.

Selamat menyambut Hari Kaamatan dan Hari Gawai” from Dr Morni Kambrie, Puan AzlinaNgatimin, and Puan Azizah Khalid Merican, Mr Zain Azrai to all lecturers, staff, students, families, relatives and friends.

“Kotobian Tadau Tagazo Do Kaamatan” and “Gayu-Guru Gerai Nyamai”

Read more @

Mt Kinabalu tragedy remembered

Saturday, May 28th, 2016

KOTA KINABALU: A memorial dedicated to the 18 people who lost their lives in the Mount Kinabalu earthquake will be unveiled exactly a year after the June 5, 2015 tragedy.

Sabah Parks chairman Tengku Datuk Zainal Adlin Tengku Maha­mood said the memorial had been built at the base of the mountain at an area overlooking Kampung Kiau.

The scenic village was home of mountain guide Robbi Sapinggi, who sacrificed his life to keep other climbers safe on that day.

Tengku Adlin said the memorial would be unveiled by state Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun on June 5.

Some 10 relatives of the Singaporean students who were killed or survived in rock avalanches following the magnitude-6 earthquake would be planting trees near the memorial on June 3.

He said the family members would trek up the mountain the following day.

A total of 12 Singaporean students and teachers aged between 12 and 35 from the Tanjong Katong primary school were killed in rock avalanches following the 7am earthquake.

Robbi was among the four mountain guides and one of the six Malaysians who lost their lives on that day.

The other casualties were a Filipino, Japanese and a China national.

Sabah Parks had closed the mountain for activities until September when the trail to Panalaban at an altitude of 3,314m was reopened.

Read more @

Kids made to beg by Ah Long to clear parents’ debts

Saturday, May 28th, 2016

CHILDREN were forced to beg for money on the streets to pay off their parents’ debts with loan sharks, reported Kosmo!

Their ordeal was revealed following the arrests of 11 people, aged between 24 and 76, from three houses in Taman Rasah Jaya in Seremban during a police operation on Monday.

Eleven children, aged between eight and 18, were rescued and they now have been placed at shelters.

Negri Sembilan police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Jaafar Mohd Yusof said the children were “leased” to the illegal moneylenders after their parents failed to settle their debts.

He said on Thursday that no one had yet to come forward to claim their children

Read more @

Expert: Passing of Bill will raise constitutional issue

Friday, May 27th, 2016

PETALING JAYA: PAS’ amendment Bill, if passed, will allow Syariah law to encroach on the civil criminal justice system.

This will result in unequal punishments for Muslims and non-Muslims, triggering a constitutional issue, said a prominent legal expert.

Emeritus Prof Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi said the guarantee of equality before the law under Article 8 of the Constitution would be challenged as a Muslim and a non-Muslim charged for the same crime would be subjected to different punishments.

Dr Shad acknowledged that while unequal treatment is permissible in the matter of personal laws under Article 8 (5), the hudud laws in question here do not fall under the same category as they were criminal laws.

“Theft, rape murder, and incest are not personal laws so I think this law will be unconstitutional under Article 8.

“So even if Parliament passes it, it would still raise constitutional issues. Therefore the law can still be challenged under the Constitution,” he said.

According to Dr Shad, the Bill is seeking to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act to allow greater punishments in reference to the Syariah Criminal Enactment Code of 1993 through which the Kelantan government had sought to impose hudud penalties.

Dr Shad said that even if the law was passed by Parliament, it does not mean that the Syariah law will supersede the Federal Constitution.

“Nothing can supersede the Federal Constitution. The Federal Constitution itself allows for some exceptions, you have to come within those exceptions but otherwise the Constitution must prevail,” said Dr Shad.

He said questions of constitutionality will never cease even if the Private Members Bill on hudud is passed in Parliament.

Meanwhile, Dr Shad said that the Conference of Rulers could still object to the amendment after Parliament passes it while the law could also be challenged as being unconstitutional at the Federal Court.

In what is called cooperative federalism, Dr Shad said that it is also entirely possible for the Federal Government to transfer some of its powers to the Kelantan government if it was in support of hudud law.

“There is another procedure under Article 76(A) whereby the Federal Government can transfer some of its powers to the state government.

Read more @