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?