Archive for February, 2017

STPM 2016 sees better overall results

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

PUTRAJAYA: The 2016 STPM results are much better compared with the previous year.

Malaysian Examination Council (MPM) chairman Prof Datuk Seri Dr Mohamed Mustafa Ishak said 565 candidates scored a CGPA of 4.00 and another 16,263 candidates scored a minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 3.00 in the examination.

“With the increase in the percentage and number of candidates scoring CGPA of 3.50 and above, and 2.75 and above, I expect there will be a bigger chance for STPM 2016 leavers to be accepted into public universities,” he said Tuesday while announcing the 2016 Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) results here.

In 2015, 335 candidates obtained a CGPA of 4.00 while 14,263 candidates scored at least 3.00.

A total of 43,235 candidates sat for the examinations last year.

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Niosh calls for safety audits on schools over 20 years

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

Tawau: The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Hazard (Niosh) has urged the Government to undertake safety audits on schools over 20 years old every two years.

Its Chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said these would allow repair work to be done periodically on schools facing problems such as wiring and wall defects after a period of time.

He said it should be the Government’s priority as there are five million students and 421,828 educators in 7,772 primary schools and 2,408 secondary schools nationwide.

“Schools should be looked at as a workplace, not just a place to learn…thus, the aspect of security and safety must be taken seriously and without compromise,” he said.

Lee said this to reporters after launching the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) at SM St Patrick, here, Monday.

The programme is in collaboration with the Education Ministry, District Education Office and sponsored by Hap Seng Consolidated Bhd.

Towards this end, Lee urged schools to implement OSH at schools to raise the awareness of students on the safety aspects of their surroundings.

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565 Students With 4.00 CGPA In STPM 2016

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

PUTRAJAYA, Feb 28 (Bernama) — A total of 565 candidates of the Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) in 2016 scored the national Cumulative Grade Points Average (CGPA) of 4.00 or four flat, an increase of 0.51 per cent compared to 335 candidates in 2015.

Malaysian Examinations Council chairman Professor Datuk Seri Dr Mohamed Mustafa Ishak said candidate performance in STPM 2016 showed an increase, with the national CGPA having risen to 2.71, as compared to 2.65 in 2015.

He said the number of those who scored a CGPA of 3.00 and above also rose to 16,263 students last year as compared to 14,263 candidates the previous year.

He added the number of candidates who obtained a CGPA of 2.75 and above had also risen from 20,359 students in 2015 to 22,407 students last year.

“With the spike in the number of candidates who scored a CGPA of 2.75 and above, I expect better chances for STPM 2016 leavers to gain entry into public universities,” said Mohamed Mustafa when announcing the STPM result analysis here today.

Mohamed Mustafa said the performance of the 43,235 candidates who sat for STPM 2016 surpassed all previous results since the STPM new modular was introduced in 2013.

In the meantime, he said a total of 11 candidates scored 5As in the five subjects taken, while candidates who took five subjects but scored four A’s stood at 47.

There were a total of 517 candidates who obtained four A’s in all four subjects taken, bringing the total number of candidates who obtained five A’s and four A’s in the STPM 2016 to 575 as compared to 339, the previous year.

Mohamed Mustafa said the national CGPA for science stream candidates was 2.73, while CGPA for social science stream stood at 2.71.


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SIDMA College & Waseda University of Tokyo Borneo Project Counterpart Club Third Meeting.

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

SIDMA College UNITAR Sabah and Waseda University of Tokyo collaborated for the Borneo Project Counterpart Club, and was co-launched by Puan Azizah Khalid Merican (CEO SIDMA College UNITAR Sabah) and Mr Ren Matsuki (Leader, 21st Borneo Project Waseda University, Japan) on 22 February 2016 at SIDMA College Atrium, Kota Kinabalu. The initiative marked the bonding of the two higher learning institutions between the two countries in the field of education and research for the underprivileged children.

Together with volunteers from two other higher learning institutions in Sabah, namely University Malaysia Sabah (UMS) and Sabah Institute of Art (SIA), these Borneo Project Counterpart Club volunteers managed to cooperate, collaborate and conduct various voluntary activities as well as get connected with the local communities and managed to discuss related educational issues of the underprivileged children, particularly in areas that they visited such as Ranau, Tambunan and others.

Their third visit to SIDMA College on 24 February 2017 was warmly received by Dr Morni Hj Kambrie (Founder and Chairman of SIDMA College UNITAR Sabah), Managers, Heads of Departments, lecturers and staff of SIDMA College. SIDMA Dance Club, Prima Dansa, also put up a special dance performance to welcome SIDMA’s special guests from Waseda University of Tokyo.

Dr Morni in his welcoming address to the volunteers from Waseda University of Tokyo for their discussion as well as launching the 2017 segment of the Borneo Project Counterpart Club at SIDMA Atrium on 24 February 2017; expressed his highest appreciation to all staff and students of Waseda University for their willingness to collaborate and cooperate  with SIDMA College in the field of education and research through the exchange of students (volunteers) and academic staff, collaborating and exchange of academic information as well as professional development cooperation and community programmes. He added that their first educational and research project was at SK Libang, Ranau in 2015; and that SIDMA College UNITAR Sabah is proud of this initiative, building collaboration, cooperation and connections, and he hoped that these initiatives will be a platform for further future collaboration. It’s through such valuable interactive opportunities, and exchange of ideas with other people from another country, that activate socialization and pull out the real potential of our students communication skills, he added.

Mr Gakuto Miyachi, (Representative from Japan Borneo Project Team) thanked Dr Morni and SIDMA College UNITAR Sabah for their willingness to collaborate and support Waseda University, Japan to fulfil it role of advancing social contributions, as well as to support the studying and actions of their students. Such activities provide opportunities for students to cooperate with a variety of partners which indirectly will develop individual strength as well as developing the aptitude for performing in society.

Also present during the occasion were Mr Delvin J. Saupin (Coordinator, Borneo Project Sabah), and Ms Kameniska Aggullana (President of SIDMA College Borneo Project Counterpart Club) as well as SIDMA College Student Representative Counsel members and students.

The team of volunteers later proceeded for their round table discussion on their action plan for 2017. The volunteers spent their weekend at Kudat, where they were brought to a Rungus Longhouse and being entertained by the local Rungus tribes with traditional food and cultural dances. The team was also being brought to visit the “Tip of Borneo”, a bee farm as well a Gong factory at Kudat.

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Sabah in need of higher subsidised cooking oil quota – KKCCI

Monday, February 27th, 2017

KOTA KINABALU: The Kota Kinabalu Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KKCCCI) urge the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism to implement the increase in quota for subsidised cooking oil in Sabah as soon as possible.

“The ministry should also announce how much of the quota will be increased,” said its president, Datuk Michael Lui (pictured) in a press statement yesterday.

While it welcomed the increase in quota, Lui pointed out that the problem of shortage in supply had been evident for the past few months, when almost all the shelves displaying cooking oil were empty.

“KKCCCI is of the opinion that there must be a substantial increase in quota to reduce the issue concerning the shortage of supply for subsidised cooking oil.

“We hope the relevant authority realizes the fact that the prolonged shortage in Sabah is the root cause of panic buying.

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Wetlands restoration reduces effects of natural disasters

Monday, February 27th, 2017

KOTA KINABALU: The restoration of wetlands can reduce the effects of natural disasters, acting as natural protective barriers against extreme weather conditions such as storms, cyclones and floods, said conservationists marking World Wetlands Day.

President of the Sabah Wetlands Conservation Society (SWCS), Datuk Hj Zainie Abd Aucasa highlighted well-managed, healthy wetland ecosystems reduce risk from natural disasters while being a refuge for wildlife as well as providing food security for communities.

“Sadly, wetlands are often wrongly regarded as wastelands, and are being cleared to make way for development,” he said, noting the SWCS played a leading role in conservation initiatives through mangrove replanting efforts to rehabilitate degraded mangrove areas.

According to Zainie, development continue to pose a major threat to wetlands despite their value and importance, with some countries making the wrongful decision that poverty alleviation is more important than conservation and protecting the environment.

“They are wrong; both issues are equally important because they are linked and they forget that one of the root causes of poverty is environmental destruction,” he said, noting degraded ecosystems would be no longer be able to support life and threaten food security for communities.

In her officiating address, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment, Hjh Mariam Omar Matusin noted the SCWS has played an instrumental role in spreading the message of conservation and protection of wetlands.

“I’d like to extend every success for the SWCS in its effort to protect wetlands by carrying out impactful on-the-ground programmes,” she said in her speech, delivered on behalf of the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Datuk Rosmadi Sulai.

Through its mission in the rehabilitation of wetlands, Hjh Mariam commended the NGO for its relentless efforts in forming a network among wetland protection agencies in the state as well as nationally while pushing for international recognition of KK Wetlands to continue its role as a model educational site.

With mangrove restoration and rehabilitation being the SWCS’ core activities, Zainie said the SWCS has successfully planted over 25,000 mangrove trees on the total area of 10.52 hectares provided by the Sabah Forestry Department (SFD) located in the Sulaman Lake Forest Reserve, within the last five years.

“With the success of the programme, SFD Director Datuk Sam Mannan has agreed to allocate an additional five acres for replanting of an additional 25,000 mangrove trees within the reserve under the programme which saw active participation of students from local and international universities as well as local schools.

This year’s programme held at the Kota Kinabalu Wetlands on Saturday featured various interactive activities and competitions which was participated by secondary students from surrounding schools in Kota Kinabalu, as well as volunteers from local universities and the SWCS.

During the fun-filled occasion, Hjh Mariam took the opportunity to present the top prize to champions of the video making competition toSMK La Salle, while runners-up goes to SMK Bahang , followed by SMK Peter Mojuntin in third place. The competition received submissions from more than 30 schools as well as individuals, with five shortlisted teams making it to the final round.


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PPTS aims to produce competent, efficient Sabahan nursery entrepreneurs, caregivers

Monday, February 27th, 2017

KOTA KINABALU: Persatuan Perkhidmatan Taska Sabah (PPTS) aims to produce competent and efficient Sabahan nursery entrepreneurs and caregivers by providing Infant and Child CPR and Airway Management course, held only in Sabah.

The course has been held annually for the past two years, but this year the association is introducing a new course designated for toddlers and not just babies.

“The programme is practical. It teaches the entrepreneurs and the caregivers on how to recognise the symptoms of respiratory problems on babies and toddlers, how to perform a CPR accurately on children and infant, how to handle accidents that happen in a nursery, and many more” said the Vice President of PPTS Zubaidah A. Sidek.

“It is a programme where all of the nursery entrepreneurs and caregivers are obliged to attend before serving in the industry,” she added.

The training, which has also been done in Tawau, Sandakan, and Keningau, only allows an enrolment of 30 participants per programme.

The participants will have to attend the programme every two years in order to renew the certificate as new module may be implemented or upgraded.

“This programme is held to create awareness so that there will be no negligence in the nurseries of Sabah,” said Hajah Dayang Rugayah Awang Besar, the chief assistant director of the Department of General Services.

“Last two years, we only provided CPR and Airway Management Course on babies. But this year we have developed a module for both babies and toddlers.

“We have a trained nurse who is certified to lead the program. After the 2-day programme, the participants will be sitting for their examination,” she said.

Anamaria Anthony, 29, is one of the participants who expressed her gratitude for being given the opportunity to attend the programme.

“The children are the future leaders. We will, in any cost, avoid anything that may harm them to happen,” said Anamaria.

”The responsibility on handling a nursery is big. Anything that happens in the nursery will be our responsibility. So when something bad happens, we are able to handle it as we have had the knowledge.”


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Sandakan Girls Guides Local Association celebrates World Thinking Day

Monday, February 27th, 2017

SANDAKAN: The Sandakan Girl Guides Local Association celebrated the World Thinking Day at the Girl Guides Headquarters here on Sunday.

The activities held included joint cake cutting by leaders to launch the celebration, seed planting, choir and dance performances, award presentation, carnival and bazaar.

Sandakan Girl Guides Local Association district commissioner, Wong Chien Ha delivered the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) 2017 World Thinking Day message to start off the celebration.

World Thinking Day is celebrated by Girl Guides across the world on Feb 22 each year. It is a day of international friendship and solidarity.

This year’s theme is Grow. We believe that every girl should have the chance to grow, learn and reach her potential. We believe that more girls should be able to be part of the Girl Guide and Girl Scout movement, Wong said.

“We want to grow our World Thinking Day celebration in 2017 and invite more girls and young women to experience what it means to be a part of our movement,” Wong added.

Wong said there are approximately 800 million girls around the world and only 10 million of them are Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. We want to reach even more girls.

World Thinking Day is the perfect opportunity to show the world how amazing it is to be a Girl Guide or Girl Scout and to encourage more young people to get involved, she continued.

“The World Thinking Day 2017 activity pack will help us think about growth in our community. It has been designed to be used throughout the year by our Girl Guide and Girl Scout to help us attract new potential members to meetings and grow our Movement,” Wong said.

Since 1932 World Thinking Day has also been an important opportunity to raise funds to support World WAGGGS across the world.

“The World Thinking Day Fund supports WAGGGS to deliver life-changing opportunities for girls around the world. Donations can help us to grow and reach more girls and young women. In 2017, we invite you to donate to the fund online, through our JustGiving Page, CAF Donate button or,” Wong said.


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Singing to babies

Sunday, February 26th, 2017

New research says this is important to create bonds and stimulate children.

MOTHERS singing to babies is an age-old practice found across all cultures and traditions.

Now a United States research finds it is actually an important way to create bonds and stimulate children. Shannon de l’Etoile, professor of music therapy and associate dean of Graduate Studies at the University of Miami Frost School of Music, initially set to look at how infants behave in response to their mothers’ singing, also called infant-directed singing, compared to other mother-baby interactions such as reading books and playing with toys.In addition the research looked into the role that infant-directed singing plays in creating the intricate bond between mother and child.

For her initial study, de l’Etoile filmed 70 infants responding to six different interactions – mother sings an assigned song, “stranger” sings an assigned song, mother sings song of choice, mother reads book, mother plays with toy, and the mother and infant listen to recorded music.The babies showed high cognitive scores during infant-directed singing, suggesting that song is just as effective as reading books or playing with toys for engaging and maintaining babies’ attention, and far more effective than listening to recorded music.

The promising results led de l’Etoile to carry out a second study that focused on the mother’s role during infant-directed singing by measuring the make-up of the song and the mother’s voice.

De l’Etoile then looked at the acoustic range in the singing voices of mothers with post-partum depression. The results showed that although the children were still engaged, the tempo of the singing did not change and was more robotic.

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CIDB questions standard of raw materials

Sunday, February 26th, 2017

Kota Kinabalu: Sabah’s quest for a quake-resistant building code has left the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) questioning its implementation, especially the standard of raw materials.

CIDB’s Material Division Senior Manager Rosmen Hassan (pic) said there’s a grey area behind Sabah’s move for a code when the types of materials used are not of the prescribed standards set under the amended CIDB Act 520.

The Act 520 now calls for builders to adhere to the standards set under Schedule 4 and the material is endorsed with the Certification of Standard Compliance (PPS).

Those who flout the law could face fines of up to RM500,000.

“During our roadshows to promote the amendments to Act 520, we have been informed by those in the industry and Customs here over the changes of raw materials.

“For example, experts here have proposed the use of the deformed steel bars to Type C G500 instead of the Type A and B,” he said during his presentation titled Regulating Construction Materials and Products on the second day of the Sabah Construction Fair 2017.

Although the Type C steel bar is of a higher quality and more expensive, Rosmen questioned the code’s implementation of using materials outside the prescribed standards.

The amended CIDB Act was enforced on Dec 1, 2015, to expand the scope of the board from just looking into the areas of construction workers and levy, but standardise construction materials.

Before the amendment, the construction industry was largely unregulated in terms of raw materials, giving an opportunity for contractors to use substandard materials.

Recent disasters such as the collapse of the second Penang Bridge in 2015 and the RM100 million property damages caused by the Ranau earthquake in 2015 were among reasons why there was a need for Act 520 to be amended, said Rosmen.

The amendments had paved a bigger role for CIDB to control the quality of construction materials used due to the use of the PPS certification.

by Jason Santos.

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