Use education for benefit of BIMP-EAGA region – Mary

July 21st, 2017

Mary visiting the exhibition booths after officiating at the inaugural BIMP-EAGA Higher Learning Education Summit 201 yesterday.

KOTA KINABALU: Countries in the BIMP-EAGA region have much to gain by working hand in hand to guide their youth, educators and all citizens in the region.

Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Dr Mary Yap Kain Ching said education and socio-cultural education cluster, which was the fifth pillar of  BIMP-EAGA, aimed to strengthen collaboration and networking amongst regional education institutions.

Mary said the two-day education summit carrying the theme “Education and socio cultural understanding for regional sustainability” would deliberate on how educational institutions within BIMP-EAGA member nations could weave together a tapestry that would consist of plans for improved cooperation and networking to produce well-rounded individuals worthy of their qualifications to benefit the region.

She added that the summit would provide ample ground for those present to consider how the provision of education within the region by institutions of higher learning could inspire and mould all individuals so they would evolve into knowledgeable, skilled and qualified human capital.

“Indeed, education should embrace everyone who is willing to learn. Neither age nor ability should be a barrier; hence policies should consider anyone, including differently-abled individuals, and everyone who is willing to learn should be given the opportunity to  access education,” she said.

She also said life-long learning should be considered to promote clarity of thought even as we age.

Mary added that regional sustainability relies on the right type of education at the precise time.

“In this day and age, how we teach has evolved to encompass different modes of learning. Indeed, the digital world we live in enables education to reach everyone with an internet connection,” she said.

She then said it was now time to build upon the strengths of the BIMP-EAGA member nations and use education as a guide for the future well-being of residents of the region.

Meanwhile, Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) vice chancellor Professor Dr D Kamarudin Mudin said education was the key to creating opportunities as well as to unlock the many barriers that the BIMP-EAGA region might be facing.

“I do believe that through education, we can create  greater cultural understanding, alleviate poverty and achieve many other social and economic goals for societies within the BIMP-EAGA region.”

He added that in line with the aim to generate more people-centered and socially responsible community, institutions of higher learning were vital pieces of the puzzle.

He also said the Higher Education Summit would allow participants to ponder upon questions of how educational institutions in the region could cooperate to broaden the horizons for the BIMP-EAGA community.

Read more @

Seafood prices go up

July 21st, 2017

KOTA KINABALU: The wholesale price of seafood in the state capital and surrounding areas has increased by about 60 per cent compared to last year.

One of the reasons is the dwindling catch of fishermen who have seen a reduction of about 50 per cent in the last four months as compared to the same period last year.

“Our catch in March, April, May and June last year was about 100 metric tonnes, but this year, we are averaging only about 50 metric tonnes a month,” Kota Kinabalu Fishing Boat Owners Association (KKFBOA) chairman Simon Hong, said.

Speaking to the media here, Hong said one of the reasons attributed to the reduced catch was encroachment by foreign fishing vessels into Malaysian waters to fish.

Hong said the issue of encroachment by foreign fishing vessels, mostly from Vietnam, is a serious matter as they sometimes used destructive methods of fishing.

“Therefore, we at KKFBOA support Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s call to chase out all foreign fishing vessels in Malaysian waters,” he said.

KKFBOA hopes that the government will take immediate action to flush out foreign fishing vessels so that there will be less competition for the locals, he stressed.

by Nancy Lai

Read more @

iCGPA in full force by 2019

July 21st, 2017
Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh during the Integrated Cumulative Grade Point Average International Conference. (Photo by SHIRAZ YASMINE ALI)

ALL public universities will be implementing the integrated cumulative grade point average (iCGPA) assessment in all faculties, alongside the existing academic-driven CGPA system, in 2019.

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said that it is important that this is done as it is imperative today to groom students to become holistic graduates in accordance with the demands of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

“iCGPA is important as the way to evaluate students needs to change. It is already being implemented at the Ministry of Education through the change of curriculum to include critical thinking skills and also at the Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) under Shift 1 of the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2015-2025 (Higher Education). Our professors have acknowledged this issue as far as eight years back, with assessment methodology development taking place since 2011,” he said.

Idris said the aim of iCGPA is to produce graduates who not only excel in their fields of study (academically), but are also equipped with the necessary soft skills (such as English proficiency), knowledge (of the world at large, the sciences and arts), values (ethics, patriotism, and spirituality), leadership abilities (including the love of volunteerism), and the ability to think critically (accepting diverse views, innovation and problem solving).

MOHE started to pilot iCGPA at five faculties in five public universities — Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT), Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK) and Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP) — in September 2015.

“Today the implementation has progressed to 334 programmes at 153 faculties in 20 public universities; 35 programmes at six polytechnics, and seven programmes in 15 community colleges,” he said.

“Now even private universities are approaching MOHE to learn about iCGPA and ways to implement it,” he added.

Idris said the good thing about iCGPA is that it does not touch the CGPA system but instead adds value to what exists.

“Normal student assessment is done after they have finished the teaching-learning process. But the integrated assessment is done before, during and after the process to check on students’ soft skills. This way benchmarking and corrective measures can be carried out during the whole process of learning,” he said.

Earlier, Idris delivered a keynote address titled “A journey towards holistic assessment, in pursuit of holistic graduates”, at the iCGPA International Conference 2017.

In his speech, he touched on the benefits that can be gained from iCGPA assessment by different parties.

“For students, they can have a better understanding of their personal strengths and weaknesses as well as have continuous improvement of themselves from that knowledge. For prospective employers, the iCGPA can enable them to identify future employees based on skills and more holistic measurements and understand the continuous professional development needs of new graduates. As for higher education institutions and lecturers, they would have a better appreciation of student needs and can provide continuous intervention and support,” he said.

He listed down challenges ahead for iCGPA implementation among which are adoption by academics and industry recognition.

“Academics need to review the curriculum to come up with one that would shape students into holistic graduates. Are they conducting effective activities to facilitate this? Is the curriculum adapted to industry needs? And universities would also need to assess the assessor,” he commented.

Idris later officiated the opening of the two-day conference.

Themed “Nurturing Holistic, Entrepreneurial and Balanced Graduates”, the iCGPA International Conference 2017 served as a platform for educators, industrial leaders, professionals and students to discuss on professional development and sharing of best practices and opportunities on outcomes-based education.


Read more @

Protecting ourselves from financial scams

July 19th, 2017
(file pix) Scammers often prey on the fear and greed of victims. To conquer these emotions, we must be rational and remember that high returns come form high risks.

REPORTS on recent cases of financial scams is a major cause for concern. Such cases seem to have risen unabated. The proliferation of information and communication technology (ICT) has made everyone at risk of becoming a victim of scams. How do we protect ourselves from becoming the next victim?

Over the years, financial regulators, together with stakeholders, have intensified efforts to protect the public from falling prey to financial scams. But still, people are losing their hard-earned money through scams, be they “get rich quick” schemes, illegal commodity and precious metal investments, or foreign exchange trading.

There were 1,883 cases of financial scams recorded between 2015 and April this year, resulting in losses of more than RM300 million. Scammers have used a broad array of attractive and lucrative schemes, even to the extent of using religion, such as fraud umrah packages.

It was reported in the New Straits Times earlier this year that some 3,400 fraud umrah packages, involving RM20 million, were recorded last year.

Advanced technology makes it easier for scammers. Anyone with access to the Internet is at risk of becoming a victim of a scam. Leveraging on ICT, the perpetrators are very sophisticated. Sometimes, we may not be able to tell the difference between illegal and genuine investment opportunities. Words like phishing, pharming, pretexting, smishing, money games and others that did not exist years ago are now becoming a major threat to the public.

Financial scams can happen to anyone, regardless of age, level of education and profession. Sadly, victims of scams will not only suffer financially, but also socially, such as family and marital problems, as well emotional and psychological complications.

The existence of new illegal schemes with attractive and lucrative offers can be explained by understanding the natural human financial behaviour that relates to a person’s financial decision-making with his inherent psychological emotion, namely fear and greed.

Fear and greed are irrational emotions that override rational decision-making, particularly in making a financial decision. Perpetrators use these emotions to their advantage by influencing and manipulating victims. They blur victims’ minds with fear and greed by providing convincing testimonies from friends, relatives or celebrities who seem to have received lucrative returns from the schemes.

Fear and greed will dominate a victim’s rational thinking, and they will feel that they cannot afford to miss out on the lucrative opportunity. Victims often invest small amounts, then receive financial returns that commensurate with the amount invested. This is to prove that the system works. But, subsequently, the unrestrained fear and greed will lead victims to invest more money in hopes of earning more. At this point, perpetrators may have fled with the money, and it will be too late for victims to realise their folly.

So how do we conquer our fear and greed? Instead of focusing on the lucrative returns promised by perpetrators, we need to ask one simple question: how much can we lose from such a scheme? What is the amount of losses in percentage and absolute terms should there be adversities in the investment? This is based on the established investment principle of high risks, high returns. Simply put, this principle means a high return can be gained by taking a high risk investment or venture.

Enquiring on losses instead of gains will often put perpetrators in trouble. If they cannot answer, it is obvious they are operating under a typical pyramid scheme, where money from new investors are used to pay existing investors. This provides an illusion that the system works, but unfortunately, it means that our hard-earned money is not invested in any viable businesses, stocks, shares, regulated commodities, currency trading or financial instruments. It will only be a matter of time before we lose all the money invested in the scheme.


Read more @

Kadazan Language Public Speaking and Conversational Class Completed

July 19th, 2017

Kadazan Language Public Speaking and Conversational Class for the second cohort, that was recently organised by SIDMA Kadazandusun Language Club at SIDMA College, which began on June 4th2017 quickly came to an enjoyable ending last Sunday; 16 July 2017.

This cohort saw interesting personalities such as Miss Kerinah Mah (Sabah Kaamatan Queen 2017), Miss Allysa Jimeh (candidate for Bazad-bazad Papar 2017), Miss Elena Laurel Moujing (recently crowned Miss Sabah Air 2017), and Miss Sherrylyn Jane R. Pailus (Miss Sabah Earth Fire 2017) were among the more than 20 participants who registered to participate in the programme. Their presence added meaning and vigour to the event and all the participants anxiously attended and participated in all the activities set, without the slightest worry about their mastery of the Kadazan language.

Ms. Juliana Jimis, (Chairlady, Kadazan Society Sabah, Putatan Branch) with her dynamic skills and personality and her excellent command of the language, seized the opportunity and conducted various group activities based programme and immersed these eager participants to learn the language by having the fun and play element. All the participants were given a Kadazan nickname that suit their personality, and they were required to role-play their role well.

During closing ceremony, Dr Mornie Hj Kambrie (Founder and Chairman SIDMA College as well as Patron to the SIDMA Kadazandusun Language Club) and Mr David Tiongin Lumbok (Chairman, SIDMA College Kadazandusun Language Club) due to other official commitment that they had committed earlier were represented by Madam Brenda Alexius Liaw. She thanked all the participants for their commitment to attend the Second Cohort of the “16 Hours Kadazan Language Challenge” without fail despite it being held in the weekend during the months of Ramadhan and Syawal.

She also congratulated Ms. Juliana for her excellence skills and creativity in conducting the session single-handedly as well being able to attract personalities to the course.

SIDMA Kadazandusun Language Club thanked Dr Morni for allowing the course to be held at SIDMA College premise and using its existing facilities without any charges as well as subsidising the light refreshment held throughout the programme whereby the coordination of the light refreshment and venue was done by Madam Brenda Alexius Liaw.

SIDMA Kadazandusun Language Club welcome the general public to register themselves for the upcoming SIDMA Kadazan Language Public Speaking Intensive courses. The September 2017 intake will be offered soon and participants will be selected on “first come first serve basis”. Interested parties are welcomed to contact the following SIDMA KadazanDusun officers for enquiries and registration exercise.

  1. Mr Bonaventure Wences : 088-732 186
  2. Mr Dellson J Joingin : 088 732 000 Ext 244
  3. Ms Sylla Severinus : 088-732 000 Ext 221
  4. General Line : 088-732 020
  5. Fax : 088-732 015

Read more @

Students taking up STEM subjects on decline last 10 years.

July 16th, 2017

KAMPAR: The number of children taking up science, technology, education and mathematics (STEM) subjects has declined in the last decade.

Asean Academy of Engineering and Technology honorary president Datuk Hong Lee Pee said students taking pure science classes are now less than 21% compared with 50% in the past.

“The ratio of science classes compared to arts classes used to be five to one but it is the reverse now.

“This is not good as we do need more people in these fields. These are the future innovators and inventors and such dearth in ta­lent can be counter-productive,” he told reporters after opening the 13th Festival of the Mind at Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) here yesterday.

Hong said one reason for such a shift in interests was the constant changes made to curriculum modules which led to changes in examination methods.

“Some students might find it hard to adapt and cope,” he said.

Another reason is that parents did not want to see their children ‘suffer’ because they think the subjects are difficult, he said.

He said those taking up engineering cour­ses need not necessarily work in the same field as the things they learned are applicable in other industries as well.

“Data analysis and critical thinking skills learnt from engineering courses can also be applied in the banking industry,” Hong added.

He said his daughter, having graduated top of her class with first class honours in engineering, now uses her skills in the marketing industry.

“She worked three years in the engineering field and decided to try something new and she is now marketing and promoting pro­ducts for big companies.

“Her ‘engineering’ mind made her more versatile,” he said.

UTAR president Prof Datuk Dr Chuah Hean Teik said that the drop in interest for the sciences is a global issue, not just Ma­­laysia.

He said it is a grave misconception that those from the arts and social science classes become chief executive officers, while those from science stream end up working for them.
Read more @

Niosh urges authorities to address spike in leptospirosis cases.

July 15th, 2017

PETALING JAYA: The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (Niosh) has urged all relevant authorities to step up efforts in tackling the increasing number of leptospirosis cases in the country.

In a statement, Niosh chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said there was a critical need to get rid of rodents to prevent the problem from getting worse.

He added that relevant agencies should prioritise environmental hygiene in waste management operations and rodent control to prevent leptospirosis.

“The increase in the number of rats and mice can worsen the spread of the disease.

“All local authorities must adopt effective and sustainable measures to rid of rat-infested areas and regularly clean up garbage disposal sites,” he said.

Lee said food operators must exercise their civic responsibility to keep their premises clean to prevent an increase in the rodent population, including hiring pest control services to destroy the rodents.

“Many drains and backlanes of eating establishments are infested with rats. Food and rubbish thrown into the drain supply the rodents with food, which encourages the growth of the rat population.

Read more @

SMART PARENTING:Know your children’s friends

July 15th, 2017

WE all think we know our children really well. That may have been the case when they were much younger and spent time exclusively with us. We fed and clothed them, and we were always there when they needed us. But as our children grow older, they begin to socialise with others their age.

Three of my children are in college so, in a way, we have “lost” that exclusivity with our kids. They now have other influencers in their lives — their friends. So, what should we do when it comes to our children’s friends?

Protective but not nosy.

While it’s important to protect our kids when they are out with friends, being too close and involved will make everyone uncomfortable. In other words, being nosy may even drive the friends away. There are many ways to get to know their friends better.

Interrogating them will just put you in a bad light in the eyes of your children and their friends (this is especially true for teenage friends). We must respect their privacy and show that we trust them. Always remind them that the trust is not a privilege but something to be earned and valued. Once broken, things will not be the same.

Set Boundaries.

Once trust is in place, we can establish boundaries. If they are a group of younger children, this is akin to supervision when there is a get-together. Make them comfortable with the presence of trusted adults.

Things are a little trickier when they are older and more independent. They want to hang out at a place further from home, for example, in a mall. That’s good for their social life but I know of some parents who discreetly follow their children wherever they go. Again, this shows a lack of trust.

A better strategy is to establish clear boundaries of do’s and don’ts. For example, let them inform you who their friends are. Ideally you’d have met them at least once. Remind them about appropriate behaviours between genders, and most importantly, agree on a safe and reasonable hour for an outing.

Invite them over:

Perhaps the best way to combine all the above is to invite their friends over for get-togethers. There are plenty of opportunities to do this — birthdays or open houses are some good examples. But the truth is, we don’t have to wait for special occasions.

Our family organised a “post-exam” party. The objective was to get our children’s friends over and get to know them better in a happy, informal setting. It works both ways — their friends also get to know us, and hopefully respect and mutual understanding are established along the way.

by Zaid Mohamad.

Read more @

Four Malaysian Research Varsities Under 50 Years Within Group Of 23 Top World Varsities – Idris

July 15th, 2017

SERDANG, July 13 (Bernama) — Four public varsities with the status of national research universities below 50 years old are now listed within the 23 top universities in the world.

Based on the world rankings for the year 2017/2018 published by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) today, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) rose to 15th position from the 38th spot in 2016.

In addition, the ranking for Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) also moved from 32nd to the 16th spot, followed by Unversiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) and Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), moving to the 21st and 23rd spots respectively from the 30th and 26th previously.

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said that for universities below 50 years old, the latest achievements or positions of the institutions proved that the efforts of the ministry and the universities in stimulating the research culture had begun to show positive results.

“For UPM, the rise of 23 steps is certainly very encouraging for the university as well as the ministry,” he told a media conference after launching the Sports Leadership Transformation Program organised by the UPM Sports Academy and Sports Warrior Global (SWG) at the UPM Sports Centre’s Multipurpose Hall, here today.

QS is the world’s first university ratings agency recognised by the International Ranking Expert Group and has become the reference for interested parties worldwide.

Also present at the event were UPM Vice-Chancellor Prof Datin Dr Aini Ideris, national squash queen Datuk Nicol David and Sports Warrior Global director Sharon Wee who was also a former national squash player.


Read more @

More than just a cloth

July 12th, 2017
The Bohemian Limited Edition is inspired by untamed beauty of wild flowers in a meadow.

To celebrate all women in modest wear and being comfortable in their own skin, TudungPeople hijab has launched its second Eid Collection.

TUDUNG PEOPLE wants women to be confident wearing the hijab in a variety of styles and colours.

Its Eid Collection celebrates women of different ages, sizes, complexions, lifestyles and backgrounds. This is the second year running that TudungPeople has launched its Eid Collection.

Founder Fazrena Abdul Aziz says TudungPeople hijab has been perceived as only for young women.With the Eid Collection, she wants tocorrect the perception.

“Whether you are single, married, young or not so young, we want women to be comfortable in their own skin.

“From prints to plain, small to big with embellishments, the TudungPeople Eid collection has a hijab foreveryone.”

The collection comprises shawl – instant, square and printed – in more than 12 colours.

Nadra instant shawl comes with attached soft cotton lycra inner, accessorised with original Swarovski crystals.

There are two main styles — Stones and Swarovski, and Limited Edition Prints.

In the Stones and Swarovski collection, there are five designs namely Zayra, Ayra, Arraynaa, Rana and Nadra.

Using satin, silk cotton and satin silk, the simple yet beautiful designs are embellished with Swarovski crystals and finished off with gold metal plates.

Floral  Take:

The Limited Edition Prints are inspired by flowers in vibrant and colourful designs.

The Bohemian design is inspired by the beauty of wildflowers in a meadow, Simpor is based on the yellow flower, which is the national bloom of Brunei. There are designs inspired by the carnation and orchid.

The flower is the core element of the limited edition designs as it symbolises women – beautiful and strong.

“Every year, nature inspires our hijab but this year’s Eid collection is more special because we incorporate flowers.

“Each collection carries different meanings; the Simpor series highlights the warm and beautiful Bruneians. Simpor speaks of elegance and royalty.

“The Bohemian limited edition series derives from the bursts of vibrant colours and beauty of wild flowers in a meadow.”

The Eid 2017 collection includes Arraynaa and Sanaa instant, for stylish women who prefer easy-to-wear hijab.

In the premium basics collection, the Hawa design is made from cotton crepe and is suitable for women who are wearing hijab for the first time.

The Nluxe is one of TudungPeople best-selling shawls while the Ayra premium bawal is perfect for a demure look.

The Eid Collection is made of satin silk, cotton silk, soft lycra cotton, chiffon crepe, chiffon and cotton crepe.

In addition to the beautiful designs and colours, the sizes of the hijab are large and cover the chest and back, perfect for women who want to be fashionable and modest.

By Kasmiah Mustapha.

Read more @