Archive for September, 2016

Polytechnic Education Dept Launches Malaysian Polytechnic MOOC

Friday, September 30th, 2016

PUTRAJAYA, Sept 27 (Bernama) — The Polytechnic Education Department today launched its own Massive Open Online Courses known as the Malaysian Polytechnic MOOC (PoliMOOC) which provides courses suitable for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET).

Speaking at the launch of the portal, Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Dr Mary Yap Kain Ching said the PoliMOOC portal could hopefully introduce quality TVET studies internationally.

“I am confident that through PoliMOOC, the ministry’s objective of creating flexible education practices will be achieved,” she said.

She said the sharing of ideas and best practices related to TVET through online methods such as this was required in today’s world.

She added that PoliMOOC would include 34 polytechnic institutions in Malaysia with each starting its own MOOC according to its niche.

At present, the portal can only be accessed by registered polytechnic students while other local and foreign students can only do so once the department provides that service.


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Malaysia ‘Exports’ Knowledge On Islamic Finance Management To Japan

Friday, September 30th, 2016

ALOR SETAR, Sept 28 (Bernama) — Malaysia is ‘exporting’ knowledge on Islamic financial management to Japan through the translation of two books from English to Japanese, published by Universiti Utara Malaysia Press (UUM Press).

The two books written by several lecturers from the School of Economics and Banking (SEFB) were launched at Tokyo International Book Fair 2016, on Sept 23 Sept by the Malaysian Ambassador to Japan, Datuk Ahmad Izlan Idris.

The books are ‘Islamic Finance Fundamentals With Applications in Malaysia’ written by Shahriza Osman, Assoc Prof Dr Zahiruddin Ghazali and Dr Syed Mohd Na’im Syed Salim; and ‘The Basics of Islamic Finance With Applications in Malaysia’ by Dr Zaemah Zainuddin and Dr Sabariah Nordin.

“This is the second book published by UUM Press is translated into Japanese. In 2015, the book ‘Politik Bangsa Malaysia’ became a pioneer in internationalising Malaysia and the UUM,” said the UUM in a statement today.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Izlan in his speech at the launch said UUM had vast expertise in Islamic finance and should be a prime mover in efforts to promote it at international level through the publication of books.

“Through the publication of the translated versions of the books, Malaysia has managed to export the science of Islamic financial management to the Japanese people, the majority of whom are non-Muslims, to understand it as an alternative to their financial system.”


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SIDMA College UNITAR Sabah welcome October 2016 New Intake.

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

SIDMA College UNITAR International University Sabah Regional Centre organised a three days New Student Orientation Programme beginning 28 September 2016 to welcome its October 2016 new Intake. The programme is designed to help these new students to navigate the college and uncover the answers to questions that these students have about their programme of studies, college facilities and its services.

Dr Morni Hj Kambrie, Founder and Chairman SIDMA College UNITAR Sabah, Puan Azizah Khalid Merican (CEO), Managers and Heads of Departments who very excited to meet these new students, congratulated them for selecting SIDMA College, UNITAR Sabah to pursue their first step of their academic aspirations. “You have chosen to be part of this very special community, and we are excited to have you joining us”, they said.

“Success is connected with action. A successful man (woman) keeps moving. You can make mistakes, but you should not quit! We at SIDMA College, UNITAR Sabah wish you a new beginnings to the start of a new chapter in life” he added.

Dr Morni congratulated the new students for successfully going through their SPM/STPM or STAM, and added that the success was attributed to their self-determination, perseverance as well as their continuous hard work; and advised them to continue their journey in this college to achieve their dreams. He too expressed his appreciation to all the students’ family, relatives, teachers and friends who shared their patience, understanding, sacrifices, pride and joy of these students success to further their studies at SIDMA College UNITAR Sabah, and hope that they will continuously support them in enhancing these students to achieve their dream.

He added that SIDMA College has been appointed as UNITAR International University Regional Centre for Sabah since 2002, and has since been working very closely with UNITAR Main Campus in Kelana Jaya Selangor Darul Ehsan to address the local human capital needs in the 21st century; by providing opportunities for students to apply 21st century skills across all content areas, as well as the integration of community resources beyond the college compound.

This is so as UNITAR International University possess strong and significant network of academic collaborations with both the academic and corporate sectors as well as industrial partners throughout the world, thus enabling it to offer challenging study programmes which are professionally aligned with these major industry players both nationally and internationally. Such programmes are approved by the Malaysian Education Ministry and meeting the high standards required by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA); thus enabling SIDMA College to continuously produce marketable and successful graduates.

He too reminded students that to study is never easy; but currently SIDMA College UNITAR Sabah is equipped with some of the world class facilities, and is one of the first private institutions of higher learning in Sabah to introduce e-learning; a hybrid model that combines the conventional face-to-face meetings with lecturers and tutor, and the internet-based support systems that provide continuous interaction among students, tutors and lecturers. Facilities such as UNIEC (UNITAR Education Core) and SLMS (SIDMA Learning Management System) which is yet to be offered by many institutions of higher learning in Sabah; enable students to study at their own pace, place and time.

Dr Morni also advised all students to make full use of the opportunity provided by the college to pursue their academic excellence. He reminded them there is no end to excel in their studies, and he sincerely hoped that they can excel in their studies and in their future career.

The students were also advised to be thankful and be able to manage their finance and other basic facilities provided by the college, and other relevant agencies such as the PTPTN study loan, scholarships, and other assistance available wisely, to enable them to achieve their future goal in life in peace and calm. He reminded students that if they failed to manage their financial status properly, it can interfere with their concentration and thus have an impact on their study.

School leavers with SPM, STPM qualification or its equivalent are invited to pursue their tertiary studies at SIDMA College UNITAR Sabah. Potential students can send in their application now. Its October 2016 semester new student intake for all of its programme is on-going till 15 October 2016. Those who registered for UNITAR’s October 2016 programmes of studies, a special one-off registration fee of only RM50 only instead of the normal RM520 is being offered for this intake.

List of Academic Programmes at SIDMA College, UNITAR Sabah.

  1. Foundation Courses:
  • Foundation in Management.
  1. Diploma Courses:
  • Diploma in Early Childhood Studies (SIDMA)
  • Diploma in Occupational Safety and Health (SIDMA)
  • Diploma in Paramedic Science (SIDMA)
  • Diploma in Management
  • Diploma in Retail Management.
  1. Bachelor Degree Courses:
  • Bachelor of Education (Hons)
  • Bachelor of Early Childhood Studies (Hons)
  • Bachelor of Business Administration (Hons)
  • Bachelor of Hospitality Management (Hons)
  • Bachelor of Communication (Hons)
  1. Masters Courses:
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Masters of Education (Education Leadership and Management – ELM)
  1. Professional Qualification:
  • Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)

For more information please call us at 088-732 000 or 088-732 020 or fax us @ 088-732 015 or 088-732 019.

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SIDMA-MPWS 2016 Education Outreach Programme in Tulid, Sook.

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

Sabah Women’s Advisory Council (MPWS) Education Committee in their continuous effort to increase awareness to parents all over Sabah on the importance of education to children, especially to girls and young women, has been organising Outreach Programmes, sharing knowledge on the vitality of education to the upper secondary school students and parents over the last few years. Their recent activity was held on 24 September 2016 at SMK Tulid, Sook, Keningau.

The programme which was participated by more than 300 students from SMK Tulid Sook and their parents, was officiated by YB Datuk Ellron Alfred Angin, Assistant Minister in Chief Minister Department and elected representative for Sook, Keningau. Also present during the event were the Keningau District Officer and the Keningau District Education Officer.

According to Puan Hajah Maimunah Suhaibul, Chairperson of MPWS and Director of Education Sabah, the event held was aimed at raising the awareness on the importance of education for rural children; in hope that parents will encourage their children to complete their studies at least up to SPM level.  She emphasised that education empowers students with the knowledge and skills; opens up employment opportunities, and thus help to raise the standard of living among families, and also spurs other members of their family to pursue success, she added.

Dr Morni Hj Kambrie, Founder and Chairman SIDMA College UNITAR Sabah, co-organiser of the event, had mobilised the SIDMA Corporate Relations and Business Development Department, Property Administration Department, and the Information Technology Department personnel and assets as part of his Corporate Social Responsibility to complement and supplement the successful implementation of the function.

Dr Morni, a motivational speaker known for his carefree personality with great ambitions, was given the honour to meet and motivate these secondary students. During his session he emphasised that whatever they want to do with their life in future, they need education to enable them to achieve it. They need a good education background to achieve every single career that they can dream of. Thus he spread the strong message that young children need to attend schools, pay attention to advice from their teachers (including from parents and relatives), and to put in hard work in order to harvest success in education

He also reminded students present during the occasion, that he was not from a well-off family, and that his father was then a pensioner, and unable to finance his studies. However, because of his strong determination, principles and willingness to work and earn his Ph.D., he faced the challenges and continued his studies till his Ph.D. by taking part time job at McDonald’s outlet to finance his studies, as he was not funded by any financial institutions; and finally earned his Ph.D. in Entrepreneurship from Sterling University, England in 1990.

Dr Morni hopes that students who attended his sharing session will reflect back on his talk and pick cues, to be more committed in their studies, and planned to further their education after SPM/STPM by seizing the available funding from various agencies available for scholarship, PTPTN loan and many more.

Other renowned speakers who were invited to share their knowledge, skills and expertise with the audience were:

  1. Dr Hajah Ananglangka (recipient of Sabah’s Excellent Woman Award 2016) – “Motivasi Ibu Bapa- Kearah Kecemerlangan Anak-anak.”
  2. Prof Madya Rosdiana Sukardi (UiTM) –“Peluang-peluang melanjutkan Pelajaran”

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Distance to schools the main reason why orang asli kids drop out

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

CYBERJAYA: It is estimated that less than half of the orang asli in primary schools continue their studies in secondary schools, says Chong Sin Woon.

The Deputy Education Minister was speaking to reporters after chairing a roundtable discussion entitled “The Education of Orang Asli Students: Issues and Challenges”, gave an example by highlighting enrolment statistics for 2016.

“The enrolment for orang asli in primary schools this year stands at 26,383. But the enrolment for secondary schools is only 12,793,” he said.

The panellists, comprising senator Isa Ab Hamid, who champions orang asli issues, and other academicians from several local public universities, opined that the major reason why orang asli children do not continue schooling is the distance between their homes and the nearest secondary school, said Chong.


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Trainee teachers forge spirit of unity with Tuaran villagers

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

TUARAN: It is important that there should be more interaction between the people of Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah and Sarawak to understand each other better which helps unity and national integration.

Quoting the Malay proverb “Tak Kenal Maka Tak Cinta” (Don’t know each other, therefore don’t fall in love), Local Government and Housing Minster Datuk Seri Hj Hajiji Hj Noor pointed out that very often misunderstanding arose out of miscommunication or no communication at all.

“In this context, I praise the initiative of the Kent Campus of the Malaysian Teachers Training Institute (IPGM) in organising a two-day Adoption Programme for its trainees at Kampung Lok Nunuk here recently.

Fifty-three IPG Kent trainees and 42 foster families were involved in the programme jointly-organised with the National Unity and Integration Department (JPNIN) as well as the Sulaman Assemblyman’s office.

Hajiji, who is Sulaman Assemblyman, said it was good that the trainees who came from all over the country had a chance to live their lives as villagers even though it was only for three days and two nights.

“In Sabah, we have more than 40 ethnic and 200 sub-ethnic communities. So it was very opportune that our Sarawakain and peninsula young people, for that matter Sabahans themselves from other districts, had a chance to be with the villagers even if it was for a short time,” he stressed.

Earlier in his speech, the trainees’ representative Valery Saing anak Edward, who is from Sarawak, said it was an experience that money could not buy.

“We could experience not only the way of life of the villagers, most of all are Bajau Sama fishermen, but also their food which is fresh seafood cooked the natives’ way,” he said, referring to the coastal fishing village of Lok Nunuk.

Village Development and Security Committee (JKKK) chairman Sitarin Hj Jaafar in his speech said humbly that there was not much the villagers could offer the trainee teachers as most of them are merely fishermen who live simply.

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Hostages’ families beg to raise RM8.6 million ransom

Thursday, September 29th, 2016


Gustia (second right) addressing reporters at the press conference while Haryanti is wiping her tears.

TAWAU: The families of the five Malaysians kidnapped last 18 July are appealing to the government to allow them to raise the RM8.6 million (100 million pesos) ransom for their release.

Gustia Sultan, 46, wife of one of the hostages, Tayudin Anjut, 45, said they were desperately finding ways to secure their freedom.

“We’ve run out of ideas. We don’t know what else to do. Our husbands tell us that they’re going through a difficult time there but we’re not well-off even though their employer gives us some money so we can get by,” she said. Gustia was speaking at a joint-press conference with the other family members of the hostages in Kg Tanjong Batu Otentik here, yesterday.

Tayudin told his wife that they were often mistreated by their captors and had to endure constant beatings.

“Sometimes they’re not even given anything to eat or drink and they end up having to drink water from the trenches,” she said.

The couple, however, is able to be in contact through calls made on a telephone belonging to the abductors. “We are extremely worried for their safety and before anything terrible happens, we appeal to the government to strive harder to free them,” she said tearfully.

Her husband and four others were taken in the waters of Dent Heaven just off Lahad Datu by Abu Sayyaf gunmen. On July 18, police received a report that a tugboat Serudong 3 was found afloat on Dent Heaven with the engine still running but the crewmen had already been taken.

Four of them are from Tawau –Abdul Rahim Summas, 62; Tayudin Anjut, 45; Fandy Bakran, 26, and Mohamad Jumadil Rahim, 23 while Mohd. Ridzuan Ismail, 32, is from Jengka, Pahang.


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Probe fatal auto racing accident diligently

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

SPEED kills. And when combined with a lack of thought and care, it kills needlessly and tragically. Sadly, this happened during a race in Kuantan on Sunday morning, when an out-of-control vehicle shot off the track, crashed through barriers and ploughed into spectators.

A man and his four-year-old daughter were killed, while several others were injured.

As the families grieve and worry, the rest of us are asking one question: What went wrong?

Two lives have been lost and nobody can dare tell us that this is a normal and acceptable occurrence whenever a race is held, particularly one organised by a university, supported by a state government and sanctioned by a body set up to develop motorsports in Malaysia.

Staged by Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, the Educational Innovation of Motorsports and Auto­­motive Race is meant to be both a student competition and a tourism attraction.

Teams from institutions of higher learning design and build “race vehicles” to take part in this showcase of engineering and technical strength. And Pahang began hosting the annual event last year in the hope that more people will visit the state to watch the race.

These are good things to aim for, but there are inherent dangers in auto racing. When people race each other in high-speed machines, they do so with the knowledge that they risk life and limb, despite all the safety measures in place.

The same cannot be said for those who come in the belief that they will witness the thrills and spills from a safe vantage point. They have every right to assume that all reasonable steps have been taken to keep them out of harm’s way.

Of course, nobody had expected Sunday’s deadly accident, but there must be a proper accounting of what has been done right and what lapses, if any, have contributed to the unfortunate incident.

The investigations have started, but so too the dodging and parrying, transforming the sport of auto racing into the blame game.

The Star Says.

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Two fishing boats attacked by armed men on the same night

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

KOTA KINABALU: Less than an hour after a group of kidnappers abducted a local fishing boat owner off Semporna waters, the same group allegedly robbed another fishing boat in Lahad Datu waters.

Both incidents happened on September 27 with the kidnap for ransom (KFR) group, comprising six armed men, first abducting a boat skipper near Pulau Gaya in Semporna around 9.35pm.

According to Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Abdul Rashid Harun, three of the four suspects who climbed on board the LD110/5/F fishing boat before ransacking the vessel were armed with M16, M14 and pistols.

“After ransacking the boat, the suspects took with them personal items and the boat skipper, who now has been identified as Ruslan b. Sarapin @ Hj Nasir,” he said at a press conference at the state police headquarters in Kepayan earlier today (Sept 28).

The suspects also took with them handphones and personal documents before fleeing the scene with the 39-year-old boat skipper while leaving the 26 other fishermen, aged 18 to 60, unharmed.

The kidnappers were believed to be heading towards the Philippines when they decided to rob an SA848/5/F fishing trawler near Tungku in Lahad Datu just after 10pm the same night.

“According to investigations, seven people on a boat approached the fishing trawler before three men armed with weapons climbed aboard.

“The armed suspects however only took a couple kilos of rice, cooking oil, handphones, walkie-talkie, a 15hpw boat engine and RM300 cash,” he said.

Abdul Rashid said police investigations believed the robbery incident in Lahad Datu may be the job of the same group that kidnapped the boat skipper in Semporna.

None of the 19 crew members aged 18 to 50, were harmed as the suspects escaped in the dark towards international waters.

“We are still trying to ascertain the report because the location between the first incident and the second incident was only about five nautical miles,” said Abdul Rashid.

By Elton Gomes.

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Having rare species puts Sabah on the mangrove

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

Kota Kinabalu: Sabah can become a world centre for mangroves and one advantage in realising this is the recent discovery of an extremely rare mangrove tree species – Bruguiera hainesii – in one of the islands in Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, off the State Capital.

“Having the tree here is equivalent to China having pandas,” Singaporean plant scientist Prof Dr Jean Yong said.

“The tree species can become another exciting tourism attraction for Sabah.”

He said he came to learn about the tree from one Wong Yun Yun, a Malaysia from Penang.

“I provided the scientific confirmation,” he said.

The tree grows up to 35 metres, he said, adding that there is another rare species in the peninsula.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, the Bruguiera hainesii is very rare and has a limited and patchy distribution.

There are approximately 200 known mature individuals remaining in Singapore, Malaysia, and Papua New Guinea, and there has been at least 27pc loss of mangrove area in this species range over a 25-year period (less than one generation length) due to extensive coastal development.

The international body has listed it as Critically Endangered.

Hence, he suggested that Sabah take the initiative to set up the world’s first centre for mangrove tree species as there are 61 mangrove species in the world of which 53 are in Malaysia.

Dr Yong suggested that information about the existence of the tree in the State be promoted widely within the industry.

Dr Yong announced the discovery to participants in the Second International Symposium on Conservation and Management of Wetlands, Tuesday.

The two-day symposium’s theme is “Wetlands: Connectivity, Corridors & Catchments that aims to identify new and innovative ways to conserve wetlands as well as to understand the scientific basis and importance of local stakeholders’ involvement in conservation and management of wetlands.

According to Dr Yong, a former associate professor at the Singapore University of Technology and Design, a holistic approach must be applied in Wetlands conservation and management.

“Key to protecting wetlands is that you need integrated solutions, meaning you have to go from the terrestrial forests down to agriculture lands and coming through urban areas and going down to river.

“To keep mangroves you need to have the whole drainage pattern. That’s fundamental,” he said.

He also stressed that it is important for people to be aware that mangroves are not limited to the sea areas.

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