Monday, December 18, 2006

Christmas fun ideas

The following list of fun ideas is great for families during the Christmas season.

Click here for Christmas ideas

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Tragedy on the beach again

Barely two months ago 4 secondary school boys were drowned in the sea off Pantai Dalit, Tuaran.(View my earlier post)
Another 3 more lives were lost on the second day of the Hari Raya Aidilfitri at exactly the same spot again. Two 11-year old girls and a 10-year old boy from 3 separate families were drwoned while swimming in the sea on a family trip to Pantai Dalit.
Why did not the local authority take action to warn the public about this dangerous spot?
Prominent signboards should have being erected at the said beach by now. They should also provide some markers in the treacherous water to indicate where the hazards are, similar to those markers placed by the Marine Department to warn vessels about shallow sandbanks submerged in the water.
Why are the cold hearts of these officers untouched by the tragedies and do some thing to prevent a recurrence promtly?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Happy Depavali

Happy Depavali !

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri


Monday, September 11, 2006

Flights Frequencies To Be Back To Normal

The Minister of Transport Malaysia, Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy declared that the two airlines companies in Malaysia will reinstate up to 90% of its previous flights frequencies to Sabah.
When the domestic routes in Sabah was taken over by Air Asia through its subsidairy Federal Air Xspress (FAX) in August 01 2006, the number of flights between KL,Miri and Sabah and those within Sabah was cut from 314 to 210, a reduction of 104 flights per month. This had caused undue inconvenience to the people such as missed connecting flights and long waiting lists. The angry passengers complained in the media and also through their respective assemblymen.
Under public pressure both MAS and Air Asia agreed to increase the number of flights to 282, ie. about 90% of the number before August 2006.
It is difficult to comprehend what those people at high positions are doing. Why can't they be more creative and innovative when trying to improve the performance of organistions under their care, it appears to me that the only way they know is to cut cost, down-sizing, offering less scope of services and going backwards. If making things difficult for the rakyat is what they call improving the services, anyone also can sit in their places and do their jobs, no need to look for people with impressive high educations and experience lah.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Stiffer Penalties For Scrap Iron Thefts

The Sabah government has instructed the state prosecutor's office to draft out new laws in order to impose stiffer penalties for scrap iron theives and those buyers of their loots. The new penalties may even include revoking their trading licences.
But will this be effective if the enforcement personnels are not determined to stop these rampant theft of public properties like drain covers, grilles, lamp post fuse and boxes and high tension cables.
If the officers spend their time catching traffic offenders and spending long time interrogating them by the roadsides, instead of checking out the scrap iron merchants for illegal items. If the merchants are smart enough to hide the loots in another place, but they have to ship them out eventually. Then they can be stopped half way to the port or alternatively seek the co-operations of the custom officers to check their items thoroughly before allowing them to be shipped out of Sabah. This will call for some extra work and a lot of determination but it will be well worth it if this will stop rampant thefts of public properties hence ending the misery of the people.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Put Prominent Sign Boards To Warn Visitors

Four young active Form-4 students were drowned at Pantai Dalit near Tuaran two days ago. They were amongst seventeen students from the same school, SMK SANZAC Sembulan, who went to take part in a community project, building shelters for poor children in the area (some reports said it was a mushroom shed for a blind couple).
On their way home they wanted to wash up their sweaty bodies after a hard day's work. Their teacher agreed with them, kind of rewarding them for their contribution towards community works, and detoured to the beach which is about one km away. They waded out in the seemingly calm sea to a depth of about chest high.
The teacher called out to them to get ashore and to head for home after about 15 minutes in the water. But before they could respond the sea suddenly turned rough, a huge wave washed away 6 of the students. One of them who is a strong swimmer, managed to swim to safety and another was rescued by a lifeguard from a nearby resort on a water-skii . The other 4 were drowned.
As a parent of 2 kids myself, while looking at the photos in the news papers in which crying parents hugging the dead bodies of their sons, I felt their pain deeply.
What went wrong? Like the Chief Minister, Datuk Musa Hj Aman said, "Don't allow people to swim there if it is dangeours to do so!" The local authority should have put up sign boards warning people about the dangers of possible sudden huge waves and under currents in that area. How much does it cost to plant a sign board there?
Do not blame the teacher, do not blame any parents for that matter, who takes their children to the beach. The beach is there for us to enjoy, but we must be made aware of any hiden dangers there is, so that we will avoid those areas.
If taking the children to the beach is so wrong, then why do the government still try with all means to attract foreign tourists to our beaches? Are we knowingly putting them in danger? Of course not, only certain spots are not safe to swim in, and adequate warnings should be posted in the appropriate places.
Please act now before more tragedies occur.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Unfair To Raise Electricity Tariff

The Malaysia National Energy Board (Tenaga) is planning to raise the electricity tariff in Sabah, meaning comsumers inSabah will have the pay the same rates as their counter parts in Penisular Malaysia.
This is utterly unfair, the west Malaysian states are enjoying reliable and stable electricity supply whereas the power interruptions in Sabah are much more frequent as compared to that in West Malaysia.
Until and unless our electricity supply is on par with that in West Malaysia in the following areas, it is unfair to talk about a uniform rates :
  • availibility (how long the supply is available before the next power interruption)
  • reliability (how steady is the supply regarding spikes and drops)
  • supports (how responsive are the staff to requests for help)

We should get what we paid for, period.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Menggatal and Telipok under 4-foot of flood water again

With the 7-7 2005 floods still fresh in their memory, the residents of Menggatal and Telipok found their houses in 4-foot flood water again.
The residents should do something about it and not just complaining in the news papers. It is useless to complaint, the authorities will simply give some unacceptable explaination and forget about it. What they should do is to form a "flood compensations" committee to take court actions against the Sabah state government and the local town boards for damages.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Dropoff Point at Sipadan Island Damaged By Barge

Scuba divers, tour operators, tourism promoters and nature lovers in Sabah were shocked to read about the world famous "Dropoff Point", just a stone's throw from the Sipadan Island, was damaged by a huge barge carrying building materials for construction works on the island.
The "Dropoff Point" is not referring to the jetty for dropping off visitors used by the boats and ferry, it is a rare coral cliff which "drops off" suddenly to a sheer steep depth in the ocean bed. Very few places in the world have such cliff in the ocean bed.
There are also a number of caves of varying sizes and depth, but all are abundance in rare and unique marine life. Some of the caves are excellent training grounds for cave scuba diving.
The barge found resting on top the "Dropoff Points" scrapping off all corals from the top of the "Dropoff Points". It is not yet clear whether the fragile and thin ceilings of the caves mentioned above have collasped under the weight of the barge.
It is a real sad case, we are blessed with such a wonderful gift from Mother nature, yet there are still people who will not see the uniqueness of it all. They destroyed it for their own selfish gains.
It was learned that usually heavy vessels are not allowed near the island, only small boats, called kumpits, though small in size but are capable of carrying heavy materials are allowed under tight control. How on earth that huge barge (it was as tall as the building on the island as seen from the photo) got there ? Now everybody is pointing fingers at each other.
But that is beside the point. The point is the Sabah state government announced two years ago gallantly that in order to preserve the eco-system around the island, all the 7 existing resorts on the island had to be demolished, and NO MORE structure of any kind is to be allowed on this island. The 7 said resorts were subsequently demolished and relocated to the Mabul Island nearby. As one politician from opposition party asked, "Why are there still construction works going on in the island two years after?"
I like to hear the answer, I believe many people like to hear, too.
The Chief Minister of Sabah, Datuk Musa Hj Aman has declared that Sipadan Island will be closed to prevent further damage and allow the island to regenerate. Is this a move to punish the public who voiced their opinions? The people who caused the damages should be punished not the tourists who did nothing wrong and who bring revenues into the state. It may take hundreds of years for the coral reef to regenerate, or may never regenerate into its past unique shape again. Even if it will, are we supposed to wait for a few hundred years before allowing visitors to go to the island again?

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Federal Cabinet Committee To Handle Illegal Immigrants Problems

Malaysia Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Abd Razak told repoters that the Federal Cabinet has formed a committee to solve the incerasingly serious problems created by the presence of the large number of illegal immigrants entering Sabah from Indonesia and the Philippines.
He said the Federal Task Force formed in the 90s is not effective in dealing with this problem. The numbers of immigrants not only did not reduce but has increased instead since its formation.
It is a good sign because the federal government at least has acknowledged the problem existed. Hopefully the committee will find a solution, or to stop the numbers of illegal immigrants from incerasing daily.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Air Asia To Take Over Domestic Routes in Sabah

It is learned that domestic routes in Sabah currently covered by MAS will be taken over by Air Asia. This is good news because the fares for travelling betwen towns by air within Sabah will come down substantially.
In fact what we need in Sabah is a low cost means to travel by air, not the VIP treatments (a cup of juice or sandwich) offered by MAS.
Hopefully Air Asia will maintain their mormal practice of providing cheap air travel and not to increase it to an unreasonably high level now that they have beaten MAS and do not face any more competetion.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Sabah Education Is Given Special Attention

Datuk Masidi Manjun, Sabah State Minister of Youth & Sports, will take on an extra rsponsibility to ensure that the plans to upgrade the standard of education in Sabah during the 9MP are implemented smoothly.
He will work closely with the Federal Education Department to see that the level of education in Sabah do not lag behind other states in Malaysia.
Judging from the enthusiatic way he handles the Youth & Sports matters in the past, he will also do a good job in his new added duties.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Mengggatal Temporary Detention Camp Riots

300 odds inmates of Menggatal Temporary Detention Camp for illegal immigrants from Indonesia and Philippines started a riot and 62 of them broke lose and escaped.
The cause of the riot was due to the slow response of medical personnel to attend a child inside the camp, and the inmates started yelling and more and more joined in until the situation was out of control.
This showed that the personnel watching over the detenees did not realize who they are dealing with, they thought these people are like our law abidding (timid) citizens and become complacent. There were many riots broken out in illegal immigrants detention camps in West Malaysia in the past, and our people here failed to learn a lesson from them. How sad!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

The Kota Kinabalu International Airport Extension

The implementation of extension works to the Kota Kinabalu International airport has run into unexpect snag.
The state government was expecting some oppositions from the Kota Kinabalu Turf Club which will have to be evacuated to give way to the new extension. Surprisingly the KKTC did not put up much of a protest and agreed to move. However, the government is facing problem from an unexpected quarter, the residents of the Kampung Maang.
There is a squatters colony in the state land where the new airport extension is going to be built. The squatters naturally have to relocated, the new relocation place is in a forest reserve near the Kampung Maang. The villagers from that kampung stage a rigorous protests because they fear that the 1,000 sqautters to be relocated will upset the community composition in the area. The majority of the Maang community is Kadazandusun, while the mojority of the squatters are local Malays, and illegal immigrants from Indonesia and Phillipines.
The State assemblyman, the member of Parliament representing that area as well as politicans from other political parties were also present during the protest. Four senior members from UMNO accused them as betraying the Barisan Nasional (BN) coaliation state government by joining the protests. Then heated debates ensued, joined by several ministers from various component parties of BN.
The Sabah government then assured the villagers that strict screening will be carried out to make sure that only squatters with vilid Malaysian identity cards will be relocated to the Maang area. However, the villagers are not convinced because they believed that the Malaysian identity card, MyCard is too easy to come by.
The newest aprticipant in the debates is the Sabah branch chief of the Malaysia Human Rights Council, Simon Sipaun. He said that let the Law run its course, Malaysian and non Malaysian squatters should be treated alike so that there will be no double standard. Meaning either relocate all the squatters or none should be relocated but be paid with monetary terms instead.
Interesting,interesting! Apparently there are not less than 4 schools of opinions on this issue :

  1. Do not build new shelters for the evacuatees, simply compensate them with money
  2. Build new shelters for genuine Malaysians only, forget about the illegal immigrants
  3. No double standard, should build new homes for all evacuatees including non Malaysians
  4. Find a new relocation site, eg. Kinarut
  5. Abundon the extension project, build a new airport at Kimanis
  6. Go on arguing till the Federal government withdraw the allocation fund at end of year

The bewildering thing is that we read in the news papers about squatter houses are being demolished almost every month, everybody clap their hands and praised the authority. But why is this time so much protests and rejections? Is it because this time big sum of money is involved?

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Sabah's Oldest Chinese Cemetery Vanished

The president of the Kota Kinablau Chinese Chamber Of Commerce Datuk Sari Tan disclosed in a press conference yesterday that the oldest Chinese cemetery in Kota Kinabalu, the Hokkein - Cantonese Cemetery dose not exist according to the Land and survey Department of Sabah. Datuk Tan said he and his colleagues at the KKCC had applied for a land tittle for the said cemetery for past one year and a half. He said they had gone from one government department to another to get the approval without any success.
The reason given by the Land office to refuse approving the title is because there is no sign of any graves in the piece of land in question. Datuk Tan and his group has shown photographs with dooms clearly in view, but was not accepted as proof by the Land office.
The Land office said that the piece of land belongs to the Japanese Cemetery and The Sabah Sports Council. The Sports Council is planning to lease out the land to the Women Association Of Sabah to build their headquarter building.
Children and relatives of those who are buried in the Hokkien - Cantonese Cemetery should act fast to prevent the land to fall into others' hands. Don't wait until you hear the sound of bull dozers and the bones of your ancestors laying around exposed to dry under the hot sun like salted fish. We Chinese beleive this is very bad for feng sui and all your current success, big cars, comfortable condominiums will vanish quickly. So enjoy it while it lasts.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Formation of Patriotic Forum on Identity Cards (PaCiFIC)

The Patriotic Forum on Identity Cards (PaCiFIC) was formed on 14 January 2006 with several Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) as members.

Its Protem President Datuk Patrick Sindu and Secretary-General Joshua Kong told a press confrerence the purpose of this forum is to convey the people's wish of actions by the government against the ever-increasing and over-staying illegal immigrants in Sabah. It is not meant to be a pressure group. It only acts as a channel for the people to voice their concern over this matter.

They will begin a "signature drive" in May, and the result will be compiled and pass to the Yang Di Pertuan Agung (Malaysia's King), the Prime Minister of Malaysia Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi and the Cheif Minister of Sabah Datuk Musa Aman. They will not know what will be the outcome after handing in the collected signatures, but they will do "what is to be done, and face our next generations with clear conscience".

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Passengers stranded at new bus terminal

It was reported in the local news that several hundreds who had booked thier tickets much earlier could not board the long distance buses to go home at the new North Bus Terminal.

These passengers were plan to rush home to be join their families on the east coast for the reunion dinner on the Chinese New Year's eve. Apparently the "new" computer system installed at the new bus terminal srewed up and resulted in double bookings. Many passengers with legitimate tickets found their seats occupied by someone who came earlier, and these early birds also had bought legitimate tickets.

On seeing this some passengers swithched plans and travelled home by taxi (guess the taxi drivers must be laughing to the banks after the holidays!) or by air (if they could get a seat at this peak season). Others simply gave up and camped at the bus termina for the night (reunion dinner with total strangers?)

The Mayor denied the news report today,claiming that the numbers of passengers affected were around 20 or so, and they were taken care of by providing them with alternative buses. Who would you belive, 20 passengers or several hundreds passengers affected ?

But I still can't understand why did the authority insist on moving the bus terminal in a hurry? Why couldn't they wait until the mad rush home during the long festive season to be over? The answer is in one word - insensitive .

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Keningau girl is a possible astronault

A kadazan girl from Keningau, a small interior town in Sabah will stand a chance to be selected as the first astronault from Malaysia.The 24 years old girl will be competing with 26 other Malaysians for the position.
Best of lucks!

Monday, January 16, 2006

New terminal for out-station buses

The only one word to describe the situation at the new bus terminals-confusions!

Why can't the authority do a trial run before the real thing? Why is the rush?

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Life-hanging-onto a hanging bridge

I remember posting a similar situation somewhere in this blog before. This time it is at another location, but the scenario is the same.

About 300 students of Sekolah Menengah Kota Marudu II have to cross a suspension bridge across Sungai Sumbilingon to reach the school daily. It is no big deal if the 150m long bridge is in good conditions. But the bridge is in very bad shape due to age (built 20 years ago) and lack of proper maintenace. Out of the original 5 floor boards, only 1 remained.
The students have to cling tightly to one of the cables and tread carefully on the single floor board. Any slip,they will fall into the waters of the river below.
The students are from the near by villages : Salaping,Popok,Mangkupa,Radu and Kampar. The village heads of these kampung had appealed to the local authority for assistance but there seem to be no response.

Guess it is the Malaysian way,nothing will be done until a tregedy happens,then everyone will be pushing the blame around and finally there will be some actions. I pray this will not happen!

Monday, January 09, 2006

Preserve the Heart of Borneo

WWF Malaysia chairman Tengku Datuk Adlin appealled to the 3 countries sharing the Borneo Island namely Indonesia (East Kalimantan),Malaysia (Sabah & Sarawak) and Brunei to take actions to preserve the lowland rainforest on this island.
This stretch of rainforest is the "Heart of Borneo",keeping the balance of the ecosystem by recycling the carbon dioxide,decay animals carcasses,decay dead plants.
If the logging and the shift-cultivation activities are not checked in time the Kalimantan portion will soon disappear.
So let's work together to save this green lung of our land.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Sabah Wetland Conservation Society

The Likas Wetland Sanctuary Management committee is now called the Sabah Wetland Conservation Society when it obtained approval from the registrar Of Society. It now has the status of a non government organization,receiving only moral support but no financial support from the government.
The Sabah branch of the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry has formed a working committee headed by Sabah State Secretary,Datuk K.Y. Mustafa to plant more mangrove trees along Sabah coast lines. The Sabah Wetland Conservation Society is expected to be a key player in the project to be funded under the 9th Malaysia Plan. One of its subsidiary, the Kota Kinabalu City Birds Sanctuary's manager- Puan Ainon Salam is elected to sit in the committee also.
She told reporters that Sabah will not have any problem in getting enough seedlings for the project because it has abundance of mangrove trees--about 1/3 of Malaysia's mangrove trees are found in Sabah.
Puan Ainon also disclosed that the KK City Birds Sanctuary will open earlier by 2 hours every day on the suggestion of Tengku Datuk Zainal Adlin,Chairman of Malaysia WWF. In the past the Birds Sanctuary had received complaints from visitors that there was no birds in the sanctuary to watch. One reason could be due to the center opened only at 8.00am,by then the birds have all left to hunt for food or hiding in the redwoods forest (mangrove) from the hot sun.
She also pointed out that the birds sanctuary is different from a birds park,where all the birds are kept within the vicinity with nesting or cages. Whereas in the birds sanctuary the birds are free to come and go as they like,the number varies with the hours of the day also with the seasons of the year. They will fly here to seek shelter when the climate in their home countries is getting cold and will go home when the climate at home gets warmer.
The number of birds here are growing due to the good works of students from various school and volunteers who helped to clean up the rivers and the surroundings. As the water becomes clean,more fishes will grow and attract more birds to come.
Keep up the good work everyone!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Out-stations taxi terminals

According to the statements of the Chief Minister of Sabah yesterday,the petition campaign by the 7 taxi drivers associations will not deter the Sabah state government's decision to relocate the long distance taxi and buses terminals out of town.In 3 months time they will be relocated to Tg Aru (The South Terminal) for taxi/buses plying the towns on the south,and to Inanam (The North Terminal) for taxi/buses going to northern towns.
Ummm......3 months is a long time,maybe the government will change its mind after one month,after all the taxi drivers and the pasar hawkers are good party election campaign workers.One should respect their wishes,else comes election time..........