Archive for July, 2018

Education key to good future – Shafie

Tuesday, July 31st, 2018

Shafie (centre) and his wife Datin Seri Hajjah Shuryani Dato ‘Hj Shuaib (second left) cutting the ribbon for the official opening of SMK Bugaya’s Surau Ar-Rayyan on Sunday.

SEMPORNA: Parents and teachers play an important role in encouraging children to attend school in order to pursue knowledge that will provide good income for them in future and help ease the family burden.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said children could only succeed in life if they have enough education which can help their parents escape from poverty.

He advised youth not to forget their teachers’ and parents’ deeds when they are successful as it is the noblest practice in our culture.

Shafie who officiated the opening of SMK Bugaya’s Surau Ar-Rayyan on Sunday, said education should be able to provide good income to children in future as the people should no longer depend on government’s help because it is only short term.

He called on young people to put importance on education, while the new government will guarantee that the Sabah education system will be improved with the existence of the Ministry of Education and Innovation.

As the Finance Minister, Shafie also agreed to provide RM300,000 to SMK Bugaya to upgrade its floor and carpet, and the roof of its surau.

by Alen Kee.

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Everyone has a role to play in preventing bullying

Sunday, July 29th, 2018

A FEW days ago, a friend shared a 42-second clip of three teens in school uniform brutally beating up another student.

While many such clips are being shared on social media every day, the situation is not just becoming more frequent, but also tragic.

Bullying is a serious matter. It should neither be condoned nor brushed off as something that people have to bear with.

It does not only affect our sense of self-worth, but also our relationships.

It may start with name-calling, teasing and inappropriate sexual comments. It usually degenerates into something more menacing. In severe cases, bullying can lead to suicides, arson and school shootings.

The trend now is cyberbullying.

It has graduated from email and text bullying.

Admittedly, the solutions to bullying are not simple.

Parents, students, administrators, teachers, bus drivers, nurses, canteen operators, office staff and other members of the school community have a role to play.

We can adopt some strategies to prevent bullying, such as:

CREATING a culture of respect;

NOT being a bystander;

KEEPING the lines of communication open;

ENCOURAGING children not to engage in such activities;

MONITORING children’s online activities; and,

MODELLING love and respect for children to follow.


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551 community-based rehab centres set up to assist the disabled: Wan Azizah

Sunday, July 29th, 2018
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (2nd-left) mingles with one of the trainees at the Bangi Industrial and Rehabilitation Training Centre (PLPP) in Bangi. Pic by ASWADI ALIAS

KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail has assured that the welfare of the disabled people will continue to be protected, through various community-based programmes and services.

She said this was apparent with the setting up of hundreds of community-based rehabilitation centres across the nation.

Dr Wan Azizah, who is also Women, Family and Community Development Minister said 551 such centres have been established nationwide, aimed at getting persons with disabilities back on their feet.

“The programmes are to meant to give the disabled equal opportunities and for them to integrate into society, through programmes and rehabilitation activities, as well as community-based education,” she said.

She said this when visiting the Bangi Industrial and Rehabilitation Training Centre (PLPP) today.

At the event, Dr Wan Azizah also officiated the National Abilympics Competition 2018, a vocational and occupational skills competition designed specifically for the disabled

The competition was aimed at selecting disabled athletes to represent the country at the 10th International Abilympics in Shanghai, China in 2020.

By Veena Babulal.

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‘Blood Moon’ reveals itself to Sabah skywatchers

Sunday, July 29th, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: Sky gazers in Sabah had the rare opportunity of witnessing an orange-red “blood moon” and Mars or the Red Planet appearing next to each other in the second total lunar eclipse this year since the first in January.

Social media, too, went abuzz in the wee hours with updates of the rare phenomenon and some even tried to capture it using smartphone cameras.

The total eclipse lasted for 1 hour 43 minutes, making it the longest total lunar eclipse of the 21st century.

A total lunar eclipse occurs when the sun, earth and moon are aligned and the moon enters the Earth’s umbra – the darker, central part of the Earth’s shadow.

The moon changed from white to a reddish hue and then returned to its original colour over a five-hour period.

The penumbral eclipse (the lighter, outer part of the Earth’s shadow (penumbra) moved across the Moon) began at 1.14am with the maximum eclipse (mid-point of totality) at 4.21am and the penumbral eclipse (the penumbra moved away from the Moon) ended at 7.28am.

Malaysians were lucky as they were able to witness the spectacle but only certain places in the country – Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Terengganu, Johor Bahru, Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi – witnessed the entire seven phases of the eclipse. Mars shone bright all night as it was at its closest point to Earth since 2003 – visible as a “bright red star” when the skies were clear.

Mars appeared unusually large and bright, a mere 57.7 million kilometres (35.9 million miles) from Earth on its elliptical orbit around the sun.

A total lunar eclipse happens when Earth takes position in a straight line between the moon and sun, blotting out the direct sunlight that normally makes our satellite glow whitish-yellow.

The moon travels to a similar position every month, but the tilt of its orbit means it normally passes above or below the Earth’s shadow – so most months we have a full moon without an eclipse.

When the three celestial bodies are perfectly lined up, however, the Earth’s atmosphere scatters blue light from the sun while refracting or bending red light onto the moon, usually giving it a rosy blush.

In Jan 31, this year, stargazers were treated to a rare celestial display of a three-in-one phenomenon – a “blue moon” (the second full moon of the month), a supermoon (the Moon is closer to Earth in its orbit) and a “blood moon” (a total lunar eclipse).

by Ricardo Unto.

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Datuk Seri Panglima Hj Mohd Shafie Bin Hj Apdal Officiated 2018 MASISWA Sports Carnival Zone Sabah

Sunday, July 29th, 2018

Y.A.B Datuk Seri Panglima Hj Mohd Shafie Bin Hj Apdal, Chief Minister of Sabah, when officiating the 2018 Sabah Private Universities and Colleges (MASISWA) Sports Carnival at Kota Kinabalu Sports Complex on 22 July 2018, congratulated the contingents for their full commitment and excellence performance in the 2018 MASISWA Sports Carnival and hope that they will continue to excel and be able to represent the country and the nation; much to the applauds from all the IPTS students.

The Chief Minister added that sports play a great role in our life as it keeps us healthy, wealthy; and increase our ability to always stay active and resilient. We can only have healthy mind when we have a healthy body – thus enabling us to achieve our dreams as well as to overcome obstacles. Great achievements can come our way when we maintain our physical and mental well-being.

Y.A.B Datuk Seri Panglima Hj Mohd Shafie urged students from the universities and colleges to seize opportunities from the conducive learning environments provided by their learning institutions to excel holistically, not only in sports but also in academic, social, spiritual, moral values, thinking and communication skills, and more in order to be useful citizens and future leaders of the country.

As Chief Minister of Sabah, he stressed that he and his cabinet is willing to listen from the students and the youths of the country, and build the future of Sabah for the students and youths. He thanked Dr Morni Hj Kambrie (2018 MASISWA Organiser and SIDMA Sabah Chairman) for inviting and giving him the platform to meet and talk to the students and youth from the IPTS of Sabah and he hope that he will be invited again for the 2019 MASISWA Sports Carnival.

Y.A.B Datuk Seri Panglima Hj Mohd Shafie and wife (Datin Seri Panglima Hajah Shuryani Shuaib), who was accompanied by Y.B Datuk Dr Yusof Bin Yacob (Sabah Education and Innovation Minister) and his wife; later took the opportunity to mingle and congratulated the IPTS athletes for their success; and together danced with the students to the tune of Sabah currently popular hit, “Original Sabahan” song.

Y.B Datuk Dr Yusof Bin Yacob, took the opportunities to advise students to avoid segregation among themselves based on race, religion, or economic status, but them to be more inclusive and united in their diversities, and work together in order to build a stronger and a more progressive country.

Earlier, Prof Dr Mohd Zamri Bin Yusoff, President of Sabah MASISWA Sports Council, thanked and congratulated Dr Morni Hj Kambrie and SIDMA College Sabah for their successful organisation of the event despite facing adverse conditions, particularly the financial constraints. He also appreciated the full commitment, support and collaborative efforts from all the IPTS to the organising committee.

He also announced that 2019 MASISWA Sports Carnival will be hosted by Asia Metropolitan College Kota Kinabalu and hope that all IPTS will continue their undivided support to the next year’s host.

Dr Morni in his welcoming address, thanked and congratulated the Chief Minister of Sabah, Y.A.B Datuk Seri Panglima Hj Mohd Shafie Bin Apdal and Datin Seri Panglima Hajah Shuryani Shuaib, for taking their time off to grace the ceremony despite their very busy schedule for the day. He too conveyed his thanks and appreciation to all who have contributed both in money and kinds to the organising committee to ensure the smooth running of the sports carnival. He particularly thanked Y.B Datuk Dr Yusof and Sabah Education and Innovation Ministry who had contributed RM 10,000; the Sabah Youth and Sports Ministry and Sabah Sports Council who have given their support to ensure the host of the event can make use of all facilities at Kota Kinabalu Sports at a special rate. He too thanked all individuals who have sponsored and co-sponsored to the event such as KK Event House Sdn Bhd, Red Bull Malaysia, and more.

Dr Morni too thanked Prof Dr Mohd Zamri for his sharing of experiences and advice to the organising committee, as well as the full support and collaboration from all the IPTS. He too, congratulated all the athletes for their sportsmanship and sporting spirit. He particularly thanked all the sports marshals who were working in a very tight schedule and with limited resources.

Dr Morni also conveyed his appreciation to all staff of SIDMA College who have collaborated and assisted to ensure the smooth implementation of the event without compromising their core duties to the students.

SIDMA College Sabah which hosted the 10th MASISWA Sports Carnival for the first time, managed to set a record with the largest number of participants (both in terms of colleges and athletes). More than 1,500 athlete from 20 private institutions of higher learning in Sabah took part and participate in the grand event. The 20 IPTS that collaborated and participated in the event are SIDMA College UNITAR Sabah, University College Sabah Foundation (UCSF), Kolej Teknikal Yayasan Sabah, Eastern College, INTI College Sabah, Almacrest International College, Asia Metropolitan College KK, Institut Sinaran, Asian Tourism International College (ATIC), North Borneo University College (NBUC), AMC College, Jesselton College, Cosmopoint Sabah College, Management and Science University (MSU), Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TARUC), Kiara College, Kinabalu Commercial College (KCC), MAHSA College, Geomatika College Keningau, and Sabah Institute of Art (SIA).

University College Sabah Foundation (UCSF) has emerged as the overall champions in the recent concluded Sabah Zone MASISWA Games 2018 held at Kota Kinabalu Sports Complex from 20 -21 July 2018.

During the 3-day carnival saw UCSF hauled a total of six (6) gold four (4) silver and two (2) bronze medals from the 12 games they contested. Their gold medals came from ten-pin bowling (individual and team), netball, badminton (men double), chess (women individual and team)

Inti College finished as the overall runners-up with four (4) gold and two (2) silver medals. Third place went to University Tunku Abdul Rahman College with three gold medals.

Please <CLICK HERE> to view list of colleges that participated during the competition and their achievement status.

Also present during the event were Sabah Sports Board General Manager, Datuk Penyuki Matta; as well as Chairman of Sabah Sports Board, Datuk Louis Rampas, Madam Azizah Khalid Merican (CEO SIDMA College Sabah), as well as the Chief Executive Officer and managers from IPTS that have participated in the events.

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Sabah to set up own vocational schools – CM

Saturday, July 28th, 2018

Shafie presenting a State Scholarship Award to one of the 40 recipients at Tun Mustapha Tower yesterday. Looking on are Dr Yusof (third right), Hajah Rosmawati(left) and Maimunah (right).

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah will establish its own educational institutions like vocational schools in the future, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.

The Chief Minister said Sabah was focused on developing its own human capital for Sabah’s future industrialization.

“This will be the established Ministry of Education (and Innovation) Sabah. We will not rely on the central government. I’ll find money and ways to enable our children to study and focus on technical fields in colleges,” said Shafie when officiating at the 29th ABCNS presentation ceremony at Tun Ahmad Raffae, Menara Tun Mustapha here yesterday.

“This is upscaling of young people, not only do we want PhD holders. Industry does not need master’s, degree holders. Industry wants skills. This is what we want and there must be, what people say, organized planning,” he explained.

He added the Education and Innovation Ministry would also focus on courses that match up with the planned industrial development in Sabah.

“We have to match it up with some of what we intend to do. I have also told our new Sabahan International Trade and Industry Minister, I want an industry that we want to develop at the Sabah level to match up with the investment coming into Sabah so the need will be organized well,” said Shafie.

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Five schools closed over HFMD

Saturday, July 28th, 2018

PETALING JAYA: Five schools have been ordered to close from the 830 schools nationwide affected by the contagious hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) as at July 25, says the Education Ministry.

They are SJK(C) Shih Chung Cawangan Pulau Pinang; SK Damak, Jerantut, Pahang; SK Pekan Sipitang, Sabah; SJK(C) Chung Hwa Sipitang, Sabah; and SK St Patrick Sipitang, Sabah.

“These schools will be closed for 10 days, including the weekend,” the ministry said in a statement yesterday.

In order to prevent the spread of the disease, the ministry has been adhering to the advice it received from the Health Ministry

There were 469 premises nationwide which had been closed, including 217 nurseries and 223 kindergartens.

The Education Ministry, Social Welfare Department, National Unity and Integration Department and Housing and Local Government Ministry are working together with the Health Ministry to resolve the matter.

Meanwhile, it was reported on Wednesday that all states except for Sarawak had shown an increase in the number of HFMD cases.

In Shah Alam, Selangor state executive councillor Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud said parents and childcare providers could help contain the spread of HFMD by being alert and prioritising hygiene.

“We also urge teachers at kindergartens or daycare centres to watch out for HFMD symptoms and to ensure children with HFMD stay at home so that they do not infect other children,” she said at the Selangor state exco building yesterday.

According to data provided by the Health Ministry, there were 10,479 cases of HFMD in the state for the week ending July 21.

This high number, said Dr Siti, could be attributed to Selangor being densely populated.

“Cases are rising all over the country, but for Selangor it could be because we are densely populated. So infection spreads easily,” she said.

In Johor, the state recorded a spike in HMFD cases with 2,215 cases from January until July 21, compared with 1,607 cases for the whole of 2017.

A total of 320 childcare centres, kindergartens and nurseries have been directed to close to be cleaned up, said state Health, Environment and Agriculture Committee chairman Dr Sahruddin Jamal.

“Parents are advised not to send their children aged below 12 to childcare centres and schools if they show HMFD symptoms,” he said in a statement yesterday.

by rebecca rajendramlee chonghuihanis zainal,  and zazali musa
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HFMD can cause death if not treated early, says Health Ministry.

Friday, July 27th, 2018

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): – Chronic complications arising from the hand, foot and mouth (HFMD) disease can lead to death, said the Health Ministry.

Its Disease Control Division public health specialist Dr Norita Shamsudin said although HFMD was a mild contagious disease, the risks were high if cases were not treated early.

“Viral infections, especially Enterovirus 71 (EV71) can cause complications like dehydration, brain inflammation, heart and lung failure, and ultimately death. That is what worries us the most because the majority of HFMD cases this year are caused by EV71,” she said.

Dr Norita said the disease could infect anyone regardless of age, although almost 90% of HFMD cases involved children below five years of age.

“What is important is the preventive measures that must be taken by the parents and nursery operators to prevent the disease from spreading.

“Cleanliness must be stressed, and it is important that the child gets immediate treatment if there are signs of infection, and do not take them to public places,” she said.

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Sabah Education and Innovation Ministry directed to make provisions for schools

Friday, July 27th, 2018

Shafie Apdal

KOTA KINABALU: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal has directed the Education and Innovation Ministry to come up with a budget that will alleviate Parent-Teacher Associations (PIBGs) from the responsibility of providing infrastructure at schools.

“I know sometimes schools do not have enough money. That is why the PIBGs have sponsored a lot. PIBGs buy computers, PIBGs also buy chairs,” he noted.

“(Sabah Education and Innovation minister) Datuk Dr. Yusof, make provision for a budget. I do not want schools in Sabah, where the PIBG is burdened with the provision of infrastructure. We want to make sure of that.

“I do not want millions to be in my bank account. I want the Sabah revenue be given to the people, children of Sabah. That is my intention. That is my sincere intention. That is our intention.

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Putting an end to world hunger

Friday, July 27th, 2018
The weakness of poor farmers and the growth of low-nutrition crops have been, until now, some of the deterrents of efficient agriculture. Pic Courtesy of IPS

SIGNIFICANTLY more investment is needed to lift hundreds of millions of rural poor out of poverty and make agriculture environmentally sustainable, according to Rob Vos, director of the markets, trade and institutions division at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

With a growing world population, hunger and under-nutrition are on the rise, and governments are looking for private alliances to alleviate these issues.

At the 2018 High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development at the United Nations headquarters in New York, recently, IFPRI organised a side event called “Investing for Reshaping Food Systems”.

Speakers included Claudia Sadoff, director general for the International Water Management Institute; Nichola Dyer, from the Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme at the World Bank; Gerda Verburg, coordinator at the Scaling Up Nutrition Movement; and Chantal-Line Carpentier, chief at the UN Conference on Trade and Development.

They all emphasised the urgency of investing in sustainable agriculture, defined by the Barilla Centre for Food and Nutrition as “the efficient production of safe, healthy, and high-quality agricultural products, in a way that is environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable”.

While the world population will reach over eight billion people in 2025, the amount of cultivable land will remain the same. Decimated by pesticides, non-sustainable agricultural techniques, and water waste, healthy nutrients will become harder to access for the growing population. This issue, along with food waste (20 per cent of every food purchase is wasted), is a major concern for Verburg, who highlighted the need to rethink food systems and stop blaming agriculture.

The relationship between the private sector and agriculture isn’t new. On the contrary, many farmers, especially the poorest, are members of the private sector.

“The majority of poor and hungry people are small-scale farmers. They are in fact members of the private sector, albeit the weakest. And some corporate investments in agriculture can hurt them,” said John Coonrod, executive vice-president at the Hunger Project.

The weakness of poor farmers and the growth of low-nutrition crops have been, until now, some of the deterrents of efficient agriculture.

“The world has over-invested in low-nutrition staple crops, driving up the relative price of nutrition rich-foods. Empty calories is the food system of the poor. To overcome malnutrition, we need to increase the dietary diversity of the poor to include many more fruits and vegetables, which means increasing their local production and reducing their price to local consumers,” Coonrod explained.

How can private investment develop sustainable agriculture? Vos said that a first priority should be to provide incentives for investments beyond farms “in infrastructure like roads, electricity and cold transportation and agri-food processing”.

“This will help provide better and more stable market conditions for farmers, create lots of new jobs, and limit the risks of investing in agriculture itself,” he said.

He added the second priority is “to provide incentives for investing in sustainable practices and crop diversification, including towards fruits and vegetables”.

What about governments?

Brian Bogart, senior regional programme adviser for South Africa to the UN World Food Programme, said member states “have a responsibility to lead such efforts by developing effective partnerships with the private sector and fostering an enabling environment for investment”.

“With shrinking public investment in agriculture the question is how public-private partnerships can unlock opportunities for private investment to complement public resources and capacity to generate improved food security, particularly for the most vulnerable populations,” he added.

Some countries are already doing this. The Barilla Centre for Food and Nutrition’s Food Index on sustainable agriculture, which ranks 25 countries according to 58 indicators, reveals that Germany and Canada are among the states that rank highest with regard to sustainable agriculture.

However, responsibility does not lie solely with the state, but also with civil society. Coonrod, from the Hunger Project, explained what his organisation does in this regard: “We promote good nutrition through education, promoting better local farming methods, increasing local food processing and, in indigenous communities of Latin America, we’ve opposed junk food and helped communities reclaim their nutritious traditional foods.”

By Carmen Arroyo.

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