Saturday, May 31, 2008

Happy harvest festival

To all my KDM friends!



harvest festival greeting card image

Friday, May 23, 2008

2008 Borneo International Marathon

The 2008 Borneo International Marathon will be held in October this year.According to the event co-ordinator,Mr Shan Sandhu,this is the first time in the past 20 years such an event is organised in this city.
Below is the write up provided by Mr Sandhu:


We're pretty excited about organizing this marathon as it is the first one in this city in over 20 years and is currently the only one scheduled for the island of Borneo for this year.

A Brief Introduction

The capital city of the Malaysian State of Sabah, Kota Kinabalu is one of the fastest growing tourism destinations in South East Asia.

Sabah, Malaysia's Borneo, is blessed with beautiful natural features such as:
. Mt.Kinabalu - The highest mountain in South East Asia located in Kinabalu Park, a World Heritage Site.
. Sipadan Island - One of the top 3 dive spots in the world.
. Sepilok - An Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre
. Danum Valley Conservation Area - Home to the rare Borneo Pygmy Elephant
. Maliau Basin - Sabah's "Lost World".
. Diverse species of wildlife, marine life, flora and fauna
. Pulau Tiga - the volcanic island setting for the 1st season of the Survivor TV show.

Strategically situated in the heart of South East Asia, Sabah offers an ideal nature and adventure tourism destination and is the perfect stopover for tourists heading to all of Asia's other exotic destinations.

The Borneo International Marathon is planned for October so that it is comfortably scheduled before the Singapore Marathon in December. This provides the perfect opportunity for regular marathon and half marathon runners in the region to participate and keep in top racing condition. The Borneo International Marathon promises to offer not only a fantastic race venue, but also a memorable holiday for all. Whether your interests gravitate towards nature, sun or sea, holistic spa treatments, freshly harvested local seafood at unbeatable prices, as well as the opportunity to interact with some of the most hospitable people 5 degrees north of the equator, Sabah is truly a wonderful experience not to be missed.

With three race routes offered to both experienced and novice runners alike (full marathon, half marathon and 10KM run), we feel that this marathon will truly benefit Sabah in terms of being a venue for an international sporting event, attracting participants from not only Malaysia and South East Asia but from other regions around the world as well.

The starting and finishing point for the marathon will be at Likas Sports Stadium and the route will take runners along some major highlights in the city.

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Entery Fees

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We are also raising funds and awareness for 8 charitable organizations and 10% of participants entry fees goes towards an organization of their choice

. Rumah Kanak-Kanak Bondulu, Tambunan or Tambunan Childrens Home
This home is sponsored entirely by donations and looks after children from this interior town and the surrounding villages; this is a typical rural farming community and comprises some of the poorest areas of Sabah.The money will go to help to pay for the roof on the new dormitory that they have been trying to complete for over a year now.
Contact Person: Sister Rose . Tel: +6019 8719201

. Emmanual Homes, Kudat, Sabah
Taking care of over 50 children with a small volunteer staff and very little money, this facility is very basic and the children need everything from beds to chairs. It is hoped that we can raise enough money to get them a small van so the kids can have days out. Please also see wish list from Emmanual Homes.
Contact Person: Howard Stanton. Tel: +6013 8818395

. Borneo Child Aid Society
Providing basic educational support for children living in plantations.
Office: MDLD 6057, Lorong Perdana 3, Sri Perdana, P. O. Box 61850, 91127 Lahad Datu, Sabah, Malaysia.
Contact Person: Torben Venning . Tel: +6089 866857/862402 . Fax: +603-21784113 . Mobile: +6019 8530656
Email: info(at)borneochildaid.org.
Website: www.borneochildaid.org

. Food For The Hungry International - Sabah
Office: City Gate, Unit No. C-2-3A, Block C, 2nd Floor, Plaza Tanjung Aru, Jalan Mat Salleh, Tanjung Aru, 88100 Kota Kinabalu.
Contact Person: Melanie Chu or Horwath T. H. Liew Tong . Tel: +60 88240335 . Mobile: 016-8391768
E-mail: fhim@streamyx.com.
Website: www.sabah.org.my/fhisabah

. Mercy Malaysia
Vision: Outstanding in the delivery of medical and humanitarian aid to all.
Mission: MERCY Malaysia is a non-profit organization focusing on providing medical relief and sustainable health related development for vulnerable communities.
Core Values: We focus on rapid medical response for the assistance of communities affected by disasters. We recognise the value of working with partners and volunteers. We provide an opportunity for individuals to serve with professionalism, upholding the International Code of Conduct for Humanitarian workers. We hold ourselves accountable to our donors and beneficiaries
Website: www.mercy.org.my

. Befrienders Kota Kinabalu
Vision: A world in which fewer people feel the need to end their own lives.
Mission: To alleviate distress and help reduce the risk of suicide through emotional support and public education.
Tel: +6-088-255788 .
Website: www.befrienders.org

. SIP (Semporna Islands Project)
Community action for sustainable use and conservation of coral reefs.
Project Officer(Sabah): Helen Brunt . helen@sempornaislandsproject.com
Website: www.sempornaislandsproject.com

. Health In Harmony
Health in Harmony supports an innovative programme in West Kalimantan, Indonesia that partners with local communities to integrate high quality, affordable health care with startegies to protect the threatened rainforest.
Email: fhim@streamyx.com or anna.hallemeier@healthinharmony.org
Website: http://www.healthinharmony.org

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Stop the scrap iron thieves

It is high time that some thing to be done in order to stop the scrap iron theives from continuing their harmful activities.What they are doing can no longer be considered petty thefts, far from it.They have caused damages to public properties resulting in sate-wide electricity interruptions because cables,lamp posts,transformers and even base strutures of high tension masts were stolen. Other damages like tyre puntures, overturned motor-cycles and injuries to pedestrians due to missing drain covers everywhere,as widely reported by the media.
Strictly speaking,they should not be called "scrap iron thieves" because there are no more scrap iron like condemned cars, rusty BBQ stands, leaking oil drums,fallen gates, collasped fence,odds and ends left behind from finished renovation works,etc; laying around for them to steal.what they are stealing now are metal parts of public facility structures still in perfectly good conditions. They should be slapped with additional charges of damaging public properties on top of theft charges.
It is bewildering how it can be allowed to get into this serious situation.Up until now there is no real action but only words,words,words.There are 1001 excuses and bugs passing but not any realistic plan in view.
To solve this problem the relevant authorities should own up to their responsibilites collectively by doing away with the traditional way of finding and pushing all the blames to a single "scapegoat".
The first rang of the responsibility ladder are the enforcement officers like police patrolmen who should investigate immediately on spotting suspecious characters working on public structures; municipal enforcement officers who should conduct surprise checks on scrap iron collectors; SESB maintenance teams should inspect the structures in their territories regularly to spot any irregularities.These people should be replaced if found failing in their duties.
If the problem persists after several changes of officers,then the people on the next rang are at fault,because they are the ones who choose the men.Apparently,these higher ranking officers are not capable of picking the right candidates.If this also fails,then the people on yet another higher rang should be replaced until the problem is solved.
Take the municipal enforcement officer as an example:
  • The officer should first be replaced.
  • If the problem persists,then the supervisor has to go.
  • If after replacing the supervisor still does not solve the problem then the Ketua Bahagian is not doing his job.
  • If the new Division head can not solve the problem then the Mayor/Chairman is not capable of picking the right candidate and we will need a new Mayor quick.
  • The relevant minister should carefully select the right person now because the problem is becoming serious at this stage already.If the problem persists,the minister (Minister of Local Government and Housing for all districts except KK which is directly under the Chief Minister) should resign if not should be replaced.
  • If the Chief Minister refuses to take the above step, we rakyat (voters) can remove him during the next general elections as what had happened in Kedah,Penang,Perak,Selangor and Kelatan, no big deal!

It is what democratic system all about.We don't have to suffer in silence or only vent our frustrations in kopitiams now. We can make things happen if we want to, we are the BOSS.