Archive for October, 2016

Nearly 800 forestry offences in five years

Saturday, October 29th, 2016

Sandakan: The Sabah Forestry Department has recorded a total of 789 cases in various forestry offences over the last five years involving foreigners from China, Philippines and Indonesia, among others.

Some 62 cases involved forest reserve encroachment, 86 cases of timber felling, 197 cases of unpaid timber taxes and possession of timber without papers, while the rest were licence violations in the period 2012 to Sept 31 2016.

The department said a total of 486 individuals were held for various offences relating to forestry and 192 people charged and punished by the courts.

Confiscated timber and machineries that were auctioned brought in RM1,733,704 and RM495,120, respectively, it said.

Its Director Datuk Sam Mannan said 63 cases involving illegal felling of timber were recorded over the same period, mostly involving converted timber.

He noted the war against poachers has become more hostile and aggressive and this was why enforcement officers had been equipped with weapons.

He added a total of 70 cases involved encroachment into forest reserve used for cultivation.

On Thursday, he announced the setting up of a Protect Squad and K9 unit building to strengthen the protection and enforcement of Sabah’s forests.

Some of the notable cases are as follows: April 2009 – A poacher attacked by firing a shot near the Forest Checking Station at Sapagaya Forest Reserve at the Ulu Segama Malua Forestry Complex in Lahad Datu.

2015 – A forestry officer was attacked at Kampung Sugut Beluran.

2016 – A forest ranger in Kota Belud was attacked. The department also recorded several cases involving the arrest of a commander of a militant armed group from the Southern Philippines inside the Silabukan Forest Reserve in Lahad Datu.

The department also recorded several cases of agarwood poaching inside the Kalibi, Sepilok and Deramakot forest reserves in Sandakan and Lahad Datu.

On Sept 2 – Two China nationals were arrested for having in their possession agarwood and the canine tooth of a clouded leopard in Keningau.

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Mahdzir: I’d do away with UPSR

Friday, October 28th, 2016

BANGI: The Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Ren­dah (UPSR) may be abolished in favour of a totally School-Based Assessment system, said Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid.

Mahdzir said that if he had his way, he would do away with the UPSR.

“Constant exams are not the way. In develop­ed countries, you get assessed only when you are at the end of your high school term,” he said after addressing more than 800 counsellors from government schools on Wednesday.

He stressed that this was his personal opi­nion and not the official ministry position.

“It is still early and the ministry is studying the matter. It will not be implemented yet as it may cause an uproar among parents,” he said.

Under the new system this year, pupils in national schools would sit for six papers with a second paper for English while those in vernacular schools would sit for eight papers.

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Stomach cancer third deadliest in Sabah

Friday, October 28th, 2016

KINABATANGAN: Thirteen patients from Kinabatangan district benefited from a one-day medical camp held at the Kinabatangan Hospital here, yesterday.

Twelve men and one woman, with ages ranging from 26 to 76 years old, underwent specialist treatment known as oesophago-gastric-duedeno-scopy (OGDS) procedure in medical parlance.

Two patients were found with stomach cancer causing bacteria called ‘Helicobacter Pylori’ (H. Pylori), six patients were diagnosed with peptic ulcers while one was diagnosed with stomach cancer.

According to Duchess of Kent Hospital surgical department head Dr Lai Chung Ket, stomach cancer is the third highest cancer killer in Sabah after lung cancer and breast cancer and is the eighth highest in Malaysia.

“In Sabah, where 8 per 100,000 cases of stomach cancer are detected each year, the disease is ranked 6th in terms of volume, while among men it is fourth after lung cancer, colorectal cancer and cancer of the nose (nasopharyngeal carcinoma).

“Sabah bumiputeras have a higher risk than other ethnic groups. What is more troubling is that stomach cancer cases detected here are usually in the final stage due to ignorance and/or delayed treatment of the patients.

“In general, only 20 percent of patients live more than 5 years after being detected to have stomach cancer and compares unfavourably to Japan who, through their national screening program, have successfully detect stomach cancer for early treatment,” Dr Lai disclosed during a talk session with patients at the program.

“Generally, stomach cancer shows no signs. In an early stage, it may be considered as common abdominal pains. Symptoms, such as stomach bleeding, vomiting after meals, lack of blood, sudden weight loss and lumps in the abdomen indicate that the cancer could have spread and reach its final stages.

“Taking ‘gastric medicine’ without knowing the exact diagnosis can be harmful to the patient whereas patients have the potential to be cured of cancer if the disease is detected at an early stage,” he added.

Therefore, Lai said, residents should take the opportunity to get their health screening at the medical camp.

Commenting on the medical camp, Lai said, DOKH is committed to providing modern and optimum treatment for rural patients without them having to go to the general hospital, to help reduce their transportation and medical costs.

“Based on the reported numbers of chronic gastric patients in rural areas, the DOKH medical team has taken the initiative to run this medical camp with emphasis on the OGDS procedure in several areas beyond DOKH reach.

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King Reminds UPNM Staff And Students To Bring Glory To The University

Friday, October 28th, 2016

News Pic

A group of UPNM students cheering after the convocation of the university

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 26 (Bernama) — Students and staff of Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia (UPNM) have been reminded of their joint responsibility in determining the future of the university and to chart its glorious history.

Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah said this was to ensure that the legacy of UPNM’s glory would continue to be relevant to the changing times.

“Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia, which was set up in 2006, is entrusted to churn out graduates as the second in line to the leadership in the Malaysian Armed Forces in particular and the country in general,” said the King at the Seventh Convocation of the UPNM, here today.

Tuanku Abdul Halim pointed out that in ensuring continuity of sovereignty, development and stability it was important to ensure that national defence and security were always in a state of preparedness.

Meanwhile, His Majesty also welcomed the UPNM’s approach in creating a ‘wakaf’ fund in the effort to boost the university’s fund.

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong said that in the era of Islamic revival, wakaf had been proven to be important in funding educational programmes.

“As an example, Universiti al-Azhar in Egypt had witnessed the establishment of the institution with a systematic educational system implemented from wakaf sources,” said Tuanku Abdul Halim.

The King hoped UPNM alumni would work together with the university in ensuring that the noble efforts to establish the wakaf funds were achieved and would bring considerable benefits to the university.

The convocation ceremony involved 576 graduands for the doctor of philisophy, masters and bachelors degrees in various fields including medicine, civil engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical and electronic engineering, computer science, maritime technology and human resource management.


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Controlling subsidiary legislation

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

THE making, amending or repealing of a law is Parliament’s primary function. Whether it is an ordinary Act of Parliament (like the Road Traffic Act), or a law to combat subversion or emergency, or a constitutional amendment, the legislative proposal must go through the fires of scrutiny in both Houses of Parliament.

Subsidiary legislation: Regret­tably, the above theory does not apply to delegated (or subsidiary) legislation, which is made by persons or authorities outside of Parliament on the explicit authority of a parliamentary statute (the parent law).

In fact, for every one statute passed by Parliament, there are on average 15 to 20 pieces of subsidiary regulations framed by the executive under the authority of that statute.

Subsidiary legislation is not only about minor matters of detail. It imposes taxes, fines and levies. It creates crimes. Both in quantity and in the reach of its topics, subsidiary legislation is as important as parliamentary legislation.

This shocking state of affairs has adverse implications for representative democracy and the doctrine of separation of powers. The executive enacts far more laws than Parliament.

The centre of gravity of the legislative process has shifted away from Parliament towards the unelected bureaucracy.

Something needs to be done to assert a semblance of parliamentary control over the subsidiary legislative processes. In administrative rule making, the executive acts as the agent or delegate of Parliament and therefore the legislature must ensure that there is no abuse of delegated power.

Modalities of control: The following procedures and institutions exist in democracies to supervise and regulate the executive in its extended law-making role:

> Prior consultation

> Laying procedures

> Scrutiny committees

> Publication.

Consultation: In an effort to “democratise” the making of subsidiary legislation, Parliament may adopt a number of techniques. It may mandate prior consultation with named interests, NGOs or representative groups.

Or it could recommend consultation with such persons as the delegate may deem necessary. Or it could delegate rule making power to an institution that is representative of the affected interests.

For example, section 43 of the Dental Act authorises the Dental Council where dental surgeons are represented to make regulations.

Generally, mandatory consultation is not prescribed in Malaysia though it is so under the Federal Administrative Procedure Act in the USA.

In the United Kingdom, the concept of “legitimate expectation” is emerging to require consultation with all who will be affected by the regulation.

Laying procedures: As subsidiary legislation is framed outside of Parliament, MPs have no opportunity to scrutinise the draft legislation and give their input. For this reason, laying procedures are often written into the parent law. The purpose is to submit (or lay) the instrument before the Houses for the information of MPs.


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Thinking twice before spending

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

GEORGE TOWN: Preparing food during Deepavali is now more difficult for the poor with the price increase and scarcity of essential ingredients such as cooking oil and spices.

Penang Hindu Association (PHA) deputy president P. Murugiah said a survey conducted by the association showed that the prices of items such as pappadam, milk powder, black bean (ulunthu) flour, dried chilli, cinnamon, ghee, green moong dhal, sardines, white pulut rice, muruku flour and cumin seed had increased.

“The prices of some of these items have risen by as much as 125% over the past three years.

“Pappadam recorded the highest increase during the Deepavali months. In December 2014, it cost only RM8 for 1kg and increased to RM12 (November 2015) and RM18 (October this year),” he said in a statement yesterday.

Murugiah added that the scarcity of cooking oil also meant that many families had to think twice before preparing popular Indian snacks such as muruku during this festive season.

“Muruku flour for every 500gm was priced at RM4 in 2014, RM4.40 in 2015 and RM5.40 in 2016, an increase of 35%.

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Raja Puan Muda Tells UniMAP Graduates To Uphold Integrity

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

ARAU, Oct 25 (Bernama) — The Raja Puan Muda of Perlis, Tuanku Hajah Lailatul Shahreen Akashah Khalil has urged Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP) graduates to practise integrity when entering the work sector.

The Raja Puan Muda, who is also UniMAP’s Pro-Chancellor said the engineering and business profession called for high work ethics, especially in discipline, honesty and objectivity.

“These values will enable engineers or managers to perform their duties, whereas carrying out acts devoid of integrity will erode public faith, tarnish the image of the workers and the country, as well as cripple corporate entities.

“Engineers need to fulfil the interests of their organisations and stakeholders. Hence, they should also uphold a high sense of integrity, avoiding bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power,” Tuanku Lailatul Shahreen advised graduates during the sixth session of UniMAP’s 11th convocation here Monday.


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SIDMA College UNITAR Sabah June and October 2016 Oath Taking Ceremony

Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

A total of more than 600 SIDMA College UNITAR Sabah 2016 new students made their pledge of allegiance to the rules and regulations of the college and the respective Universities. The ceremonial event was held at the Kadazandusun Cultural Association (KDCA) Unity Hall, Penampang on 21 October 2016.

According to Mr L Ronny Lampok, Manager, Student Affairs Department (STAD); who is also the organiser of the event; the ceremony was held to enable the June and October 2016 Semester’s new SIDMA (including CUCMS and UNITAR Sabah) new students to formally promise and pledge the oath script to commit to the ethical practices, be active and responsible students of SIDMA College UNITAR Sabah; as well as to abide by all the rules and regulations of the college and the respective Universities.

The Oath-taking was led by new students Owen Luke Marcellous Masudal and Shazvainie Binti Rudji and followed by all the June and October 2016 new students. Their pledge was read before Hon. Prof. Dr Bustam Kambrie (Guest of Honour, Panelist for MQA Early Childhood Education Programme Standard), Dr Morni Hj Kambrie (Founder and Chairman SIDMA Board of Directors), Puan Azlina Ngatimin (Director, Corporate Relations and Business Development), Puan Azizah Khalid Merican (CEO), Mr Lim Chin Tong (Registrar), Mr David Tiongin Lumbok (BOG), Managers, Heads of Departments, Lecturers and staff of SIDMA College UNITAR Sabah.

Hon. Prof. Dr Bustam Kambrie (Panelist for MQA Early Childhood Education Programme Standard) who was given the honour to officiate the event thanked Dr Morni for giving him the privilege to officiate the event. He took the time off to attend the event although he has emergency family commitment earlier. He inspired the new students on  the need to rise back during the study regardless of what had happen in the past citing his own example of rising back after falling few times especially in the education. He also acknowledged that SIDMA College is providing various extra-curricular activities that will enable the student to succeed not only in education but also in other fields such as sports hence the opportunities should be utilised by the students.

Dr Morni in his welcoming address sincerely thanked Dr Bustam for accepting the invitation to officiate the event despite his busy schedule. He, too, welcomed and congratulated the new students for selecting SIDMA College UNITAR Sabah. He reminded the students to continuously uphold their principles and philosophies that they too can learn and be successful via SIDMA College UNITAR Sabah. Being in its 14th years of success, SIDMA College UNITAR Sabah has produced marketable and successful graduates who are currently holding respectable posts or careers in various fields; both in the private and the public sectors throughout the country.

Dr Morni reassured the students that their welfare and future are in good hands, and encouraged the students to do their bit by showing full discipline and commitment in their studies in order to materialize their dreams. Dr Morni also reassured them that the staff at the college are ever willing to assist them in their studies, and that students experiencing problems in their studies should approach the respective lecturer / tutors for assistance and guidance.

During the special event, graduates who excelled in their studies with a CGPA of 3.75 and above received their Academic Excellence Award in the form of certificate of appreciation, and cash. Dr Bustam was given to honour to present the awards to the following recipients.

  1. Katrina Claire Reyes (CGPA: 3.97) – Bachelor of Business Administration (Hons)
  2. Ng Yen Phin (CGPA: 3.86) – Bachelor of Management (Hons)
  3. Leonni Jonny (CGPA: 3.75) – Diploma in Early Childhood Education
  4. Nor Farhana Binti Kamba (CGPA: 3.88) (Diploma in Early childhood Education
  5. Ellein Luin (CGPA: 3.90) – Diploma in Early Childhood Education.
  6. Norashima Binti Abu Hassan (CGPA: 3.79)       – Diploma in Early Childhood Education.
  7. Norsiah Binti Maringal (CGPA: 3.89) – Diploma in Early childhood Education.
  8. Rita Arok CGPA: (3.82) – Diploma in Early Childhood Education.

Earlier, Dr Bustam Kamri, Dr Morni, Puan Azizah, Managers and Heads of Departments and the new students were warmly greeted upon their arrival at the KDCA Unity Hall by Manager and staff of STAD and the Student Representative Council Committee members.

The ceremony concluded with a note of thanks by the SRC representative and the singing of the “Keranamu Malaysia” which was participated by all the new students. Hi-Tea was provided for all those who attended the event.

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Sustainable halal food industry

Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

ON many occasions, Malaysian Muslim consumers have been called to boycott certain popular household food products.

Reasons for the boycott may be caused by either non-halal ingredients used in the food products or that the products are made by countries which support the oppression of fellow Muslims worldwide.

Such a reaction has become typical for Malaysian Muslims over the years – an immediate response driven by emotion as soon as the issue hits the headlines.

But the zeal fizzles out when the issue no longer hogs the limelight.

However, do we ever consider or plan out anything that could provide us with a far more sustainable solution that could benefit the Muslim ummah (community) in preparing itself to be self-sustaining in its food supply?

Most of the foods we consume today are the result of extensive research and development in the interrelated fields of food science and technology, which eventually contributes to the food industry – arguably the largest global manufacturing industry in the world, dominated by large multinational corporations.

With in-depth knowledge and expertise in food science and technology, a variety of safe, affordable, and tasty food products can be produced and accepted as popular global household products.

As society evolves over time, food scientists and technologists around the world continuously work to improve the quality of human life by searching for new and better ways of selecting, preserving, processing, packaging and distributing food products, as well as discovering new possible food sources.

Invariably, the global food system grows in size and complexity, with the growth in the worldwide population and Gross Domestic Product, the urbanisation process, the increase in wealth and the way we work and live, all of which leads to different food and eating habits.

The growing demand for more modern food varieties, such as pre-packaged food, is the trend observed today.

Due to changing habits, the global food industry is not the same as it was decades ago, when sources of raw materials were based purely on agricultural activities.

Undoubtedly, the proliferation of modern technology has revolutionised the global food industry and it has become more technology-savvy and knowledge-driven, rather than through the sweat and hard labour we knew before.

Our food today is largely not the product of farmers or fishermen, but rather the products of highly knowledgeable and professional food scientists and technologists.


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Act on air pollution, the silent killer

Monday, October 24th, 2016

Curb the problem for it kills eight million people yearly worldwide and is also the main cause of climate change.

WHAT causes as many or more deaths in Malaysia as road accidents but has not been known to be such a dangerous killer?

Air pollution.

This “killer” is not as dramatic or visible as car crashes, but is even more dangerous as it penetrates and contaminates our vital organs, leading to serious diseases and thousands of death.

Outdoor air pollution caused 6,251 deaths in Malaysia in 2012, according to a recent report by the World Health Organisation.

The deaths were due to heart disease (3,630), stroke (1773), lung cancer (670), pulmonary disease (148) and lower respiratory disease (29).

In 2013, road accidents killed 7,129 people in Malaysia, slightly more than the outdoor air pollution figure for 2012.

But the WHO study does not include indoor or household air pollution, which may have harmed many more people. If the deaths from this were known and added, the total deaths caused by air pollution overall would almost certainly be higher than those caused by road accidents.

It is timely to get these new details on the serious health effects of air pollution.

Malaysians have been enduring the effects of the annual “haze” caused by burning in forest and agriculture areas in Indonesia. Memories of the misery this caused in 2015 are still fresh. Fortunately, the haze has been largely absent so far this year.

WHO estimates that 4.3 million die prematurely each year from indoor pollution, and 3.7 million from outdoor pollution.

And 92% of people in the world live in places that do not meet the WHO health standard for outdoor air quality.

The WHO report, Ambient air pollution: A global assessment for exposure and burden of disease, is based on satellite data and ground station monitors for more than 3,000 rural and urban locations.

The figures for Malaysia show that the country has a PM2.5 annual median concentration of 15 (ranging from 9 to 24) micrograms per cubic metre. This is 50% above the WHO’s guideline limit of 10.

By comparison, other Asian countries had the following air pollution levels: China (54), India (62), Thailand (25), Singapore (17) and Indonesia (14).

The PM2.5 level is the annual median concentration of particulate matter of a diameter less than 2.5 micrometres. PM2.5 includes pollutants such as sulphate, nitrates and black carbon, which penetrate deep into the lungs and in the cardiovascular system, posing the greatest health risks.

Due to the premature deaths, Malaysia also suffered 160,693 years of life lost in 2012, attributable to outdoor air pollution, according to the WHO report.

The adverse effects of this hidden killer have been growing fast (8% increase in deaths from 2008 to 2013). It was responsible for one out of every nine deaths (11.6% of the total) in the world in 2012, according to WHO. That makes it one of the top causes of deaths globally.

The air-pollution related deaths worldwide were due to ischaemic heart diseases and strokes (72%), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or acute lower respiratory infections (14%) and lung cancer (14%) in 2012.

Ninety percent of the deaths are in developing countries and two out of three occur in our neighbourhood – the Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific regions.

Countering air pollution should thus be a top priority. What should be done? First, collect more details through improvements in monitoring air pollution and its effects.

Second, make the public more aware so they can take action to avoid being exposed.

Third, and most important, identify the causes of the pollution and take action to eliminate or reduce them.

Among the causes of outdoor air pollution are emissions from transport vehicles, coal-fired power plants, industrial factories, burning of wastes, and fires in forest and agricultural areas. Indoor pollution is mainly caused by the use of cooking fuels based on wood and coal.


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