The Official Portal of the Sarawak Government RSS Feed 2017-06-23 06:18:02 2017-06-23 06:18:02KMC Flats May Be Rebuilt, Says Dr Sim<p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong><img src=" 2017/230617_KMC Flats.jpg" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Dr Sim (front fourth right) performs the Ngiling Tikai. Kuching South Mayor Datuk James Chan is at front fourth left.</strong><br /> <br /> KUCHING: The Kuching Municipal Council (KMC) Flats, which were constructed in 1957, may be rebuilt.<br /> <br /> Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian said it is time to think of rebuilding the flats so that tenants can enjoy better facilities.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;But before we can rebuild them, I am hoping to go down to the community, the people who live there, to engage<br /> with them, so that I have an idea of what type of flats they want us to rebuild and what are the sizes.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;In the old days the flats were very big but now those flats are very small. That is why I&rsquo;m looking forward to go down to engage and speak to the residents,&rdquo; he told reporters at a Ngiling Tikai ceremony organised by the Kuching South City Council yesterday.<br /> <br /> Dr Sim said many old flats in Kuala Lumpur have undergone urban renewal, where they were rebuilt for the original tenants.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Those flats, they have better facilities. That is why I call it urban renewal,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Dr Sim said if the tenants do not want KMC Flats to be rebuilt, the plan would not proceed.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;But I observed in KL, there are a lot of DBKL (Kuala Lumpur City Council) flats that have been demolished and rebuilt. If they are funded by the federal (government) why should our people keep on living in the old flats?<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Other people just want to &lsquo;tengok saja&rsquo; or see only, but I want to grab the money. &lsquo;Tengok saja&rsquo; is only for those who don&rsquo;t have the ability to grab the money. In KL, I saw a whole lot flats being rebuilt, and they come from<br /> federal funding. If they come from federal funding why should we &lsquo;tengok saja&rsquo;? We should also grab it for our people,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> On the size of the proposed rebuilt flats, Dr Sim said it would depend on the wishes of the tenants.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Some of them may say they don&rsquo;t want to rent any more.<br /> <br /> Some may say they don&rsquo;t need a big flat as their children are not living with them. Some may want to buy it. I don&rsquo;t know,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> There are four types of KMC Flats with a total of 531 units divided into 22 blocks, each named after a town in Sarawak.</p>8457Borneo Post OnlineFri, 23 Jun 2017 00:00:00 +0800Directly To State’s Coffers<p style="text-align: justify;"> <em><strong>State says tourism tax inevitable but wants safeguard revenue collected is used to promote local tourism</strong></em><br /> <br /> <img src=" 2017/230617_Directly To State’s Coffers.jpg" /><br /> <br /> <strong>Karim (right) addresses the media as Ik Pahon looks on.</strong><br /> <br /> KUCHING: The implementation of tourism tax is unavoidable since it has already been passed in Parliament, and Sarawak will abide by it.<br /> <br /> However, the state wants its share of nationwide revenue from tourism tax collection to be channelled straight to the state government and not diverted elsewhere.<br /> <br /> Stating this yesterday, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said Sarawak wants a win-win formula for the collection and distribution of the tax. The state&rsquo;s stand was communicated to the federal government during a recent meeting between Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.<br /> <br /> He disclosed that based on the outcome of that meeting, which took place few days ago, Najib has assured the tourism tax collection will be distributed among the three regions of Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We want our share from the tourism tax collection to go straight to the state government and not be channeled through other agencies or any other means.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;As long as the tax collection is not for other purposes such as paying off debts, then it is a good thing,&rdquo; he told a press conference here yesterday. Also present was the ministry&rsquo;s Permanent Secretary Datu Ik Pahon Joyik.<br /> <br /> He said the tourism tax issue was discussed at yesterday&rsquo;s cabinet meeting, and he was asked by the Chief Minister to address the media on the decision already made by the state government.<br /> <br /> Karim was however skeptical the tax could be imposed on July 1 as &nbsp;announced by federal Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, as the implementation needs to be further refined.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;There is not much time left. From today, there is one more week left before the month of July begins. It (to implement the tax collection) might not be practical (to do it in July).<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We want the implementation to be done smoothly. The hoteliers must know how the tax collection is to be done, and the ministry involved or the Customs must provide ample notice to the hoteliers on this matter.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Nevertheless, it is up to the federal government to decide on the date of implementation,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> He added that based on Abang Johari&rsquo;s meeting with Najib, it was stated that locals will be exempted from paying the tourism tax if they stay in hotels rated three stars and below, as well as in BnBs and homestays.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;To me, this will not burden our locals as there are many budget hotels rated three starts and below especially in rural and small towns, where they have to stay during trips. However, locals staying in four star and five star hotels will have to pay. Foreigners will have to pay the tax when they stay in all rated hotels.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The tax is not applicable in BnB (bed and breakfast) and homestays,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> On his spat with Nazri, Karim said there is no need for him to apologise to the the federal minister, adding that he has no personal problems with Nazri.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I respect him, because he is much senior. The only chat I ever had with him was many years ago before I became a YB (elected representative), when I was a MARA student talking to him when he was chairman of MARA. I am not sure if he still remembers that meeting,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> He also mentioned that contrary to what Nazri had said, Sarawak has many hotels and Miri in fact has at least two five-star hotels namely Marriot and Pullman.</p>8458Samuel AubreyFri, 23 Jun 2017 00:00:00 +0800Owners Reminded To Get Licence For Their Dogs<p style="text-align: justify;"> KUCHING: Kuching North City Commission (DBKU) is reminding all dog owners to get licence for their canine pets.<br /> <br /> A press statement from its Public Relations Unit yesterday said it is a requirement under the Kuching North (Dog Licence) By-laws 1991 to make it easier to monitor, avoid or control rabies &ndash; also known as the mad dog disease.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Dog owners who are issued this licence must strictly adhere to specified conditions which include ensuring that their dogs are inside the house compound at all times, that they (dogs) are chained and that if they are to be brought outside the house, the owner must make sure his/her dog is being supervised by them all the time,&rdquo; the statement added.<br /> <br /> The statement also said dog owners are to make sure that their pets do not attack and afflict pain and injuries on members of the public and/or damage public and private properties.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The annual fee for the license is RM10 per dog and that each premise is only allowed to house three dogs. However, if the premises has more than three dogs then a fee of RM30 each will be imposed on the additional number of dogs,&rdquo; the statement pointed out.<br /> <br /> Owners also must make sure that the licensed dogs wear identification tag on their neck, DBKU said, adding those flouting any of these laws would be fined RM500 for the first offence and RM1,000 each for subsequent offences.<br /> <br /> Dog licences are obtainable at DBKU Licensing Division at Level 2 of Al-Idrus Commercial Complex in Jalan Satok here. Applicants may also call 082-234654 or 082-234657 for any query.</p>8459Borneo Post OnlineFri, 23 Jun 2017 00:00:00 +0800Micro-HEPs Benefit Rural People, Says Salang<p style="text-align: justify;"> JULAU: 1Malaysia Sarawak Advisory Council (1MSAC) chairman Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum refuted criticism that micro-hydroelectricity projects implemented for longhouses in farflung areas in the state are a waste of government funds.<br /> <br /> He said such criticisms were grossly unfair and unfounded because these projects would benefit the targeted groups.<br /> <br /> Salang, speaking yesterday before launching a microhydroelectricity system project at Rumah Kedit in Sungai Buloh in Nanga Kemalih &mdash;about three hours&rsquo; drive on gravel road from here&mdash;said the projects are meant for rural folks not connected to the state grid.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The projects have been proven effective to let them enjoy a better standard of living with regular and stable power supply,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;On top of that, the power comes free. With the projects too, each household was able to save between RM200 and RM300 monthly, which would otherwise be spent on buying diesel to fuel their generator sets.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Salang said 1MSAC had so far implemented six such projects in Julau constituency and the recipients had all been happy and grateful for them.<br /> <br /> He said the council obtained funds from Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia, which in turn received funds from many corporate bodies who gave the funds as part of their corporate social responsibility.<br /> <br /> Salang advised longhouses which had such projects to form a committee for the purpose of maintaining them.<br /> <br /> Micro-hydroelectricity system project consultant Belayong Jampong said a project was carried out in Rumah Micheal Jantan more than five years ago and was still functioning very well.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;As long as there is a suitable environment and especially with a constantly flowing river, such projects can be carried out,&rdquo; he added.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, Salang said it is normal if some voters favour their state assemblyman more than their Member of Parliament or vice versa.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;To me, the most ideal is that voters like and support both. In this way, they will stand to benefit as they can benefit from both federal and state government projects aimed at bettering their quality of life,&rdquo; he added.</p>8460Borneo Post OnlineFri, 23 Jun 2017 00:00:00 +0800Educate your children to prepare for job opportunities<p> <img src=" 2017/220617_educate your child.jpg" /><br /> (Seated from second left) Majang and Haw with recipients of the MRP grant at Niah sub-district office on Tuesday.<br /> <br /> MIRI: Parents in Suai, Niah are urged to focus on their children&rsquo;s education to prepare them for the many job opportunities arising from the development of Samalaju Industrial Park.</p> <p> <br /> Samalaju assemblyman Majang Renggi said folks and youths in the surrounding areas should respond, otherwise the jobs would be taken by outsiders.</p> <p> <br /> &ldquo;Samalaju is vast developing and numerous job opportunities are being created along the way. Children and youths should equip themselves with the necessary education to compete in the job market created by Samalaju,&rdquo; he said.<br /> Parents he said should start preparing their children for opportunities right now.</p> <p> <br /> Majang said this in his short address during the presentation of Minor Rural Project (MRP) grants at Niah sub-district office on Tuesday.</p> <p> <br /> It saw 21 longhouses, churches and women bureaus under Samalaju constituency<br /> receive MRP grants totalling RM310,000.</p> <p> <br /> Penghulu Haw Min Wai was present at the presentation.</p>8450The Borneo PostThu, 22 Jun 2017 00:00:00 +0800CM approves another RM300,000 for Sungai Tujuh CIQ centre<p> <img src=" 2017/220617_CM_approves.jpg" /><br /> Abang Johari (second right) and his entourage inspecting the immigration post.</p> <p> <br /> MIRI: Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg yesterday approved an additional RM300,000 to improve facilities at Sungai Tujuh Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) Centre.</p> <p> He made the announcement after a briefing on the road and installation of LED signage at the CIQ centre, which was also attended by Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Lee Kim Shin and senior government officers.</p> <p> &ldquo;On my first visit here in January this year, I had approved a few allocations from the state government to improve the infrastructure at the CIQ such as adding two new lanes to repair the entry road coming in from Brunei and outgoing road from Miri towards Brunei and installation of the LED signage.</p> <p> &ldquo;These improvements would certainly provide a more comfortable way for travellers coming from Brunei, not just for the people of Brunei but also to foreign tourists coming through Brunei,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p> Abang Johari was also briefed on the progress of the projects at the CIQ and he acknowledged the improvements on the infrastructure.</p> <p> &ldquo;Datuk Abdul Karim and Datuk Lee Kim Shin have also indicated to me that the number of Brunei tourists coming over to Miri has increased in the last four months and there is a possibility that the number will increase especially since Royal Brunei Airlines (RBA) has expanded their network.&rdquo;</p>8451The Borneo PostWed, 21 Jun 2017 00:00:00 +0800Name Change Of Early Childhood Council Reflects Ministry’s New Responsibility — Fatimah<p style="text-align: justify;"> <img src=" 2017/150617_early childhood council.jpg" /><br /> <span style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Fatimah (seated, third right) speaks to reporters at the press conference. Also seen are Rosey and Noriah (seated third and second left, respectively).</strong><span style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><br /> <br /> KUCHING: The Sarawak Early Childhood Education Development Council is now known as the Sarawak Early Childhood Development Council (SECDC) in line with the new dimension of responsibility under the Ministry of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Early Childhood Development.<br /> <br /> Its minister Datuk Fatimah Abdullah said the philosophy of early childhood development (ECD) is a process of care, guidance and early education to stimulate the development of all children, holistically and in balance.<br /> <br /> She explained that ECD should be carried out in a safe, viable and inclusive environment to produce children who are healthy, active, happy and balanced, and also can communicate and think creatively in addition to being independent and patriotic.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The Ministry of Welfare, Women and Community Development was changed to Ministry of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Early Childhood Development on May 6, and has been given a new responsibility concerning early childhood development,&rdquo; she told reporters after chairing the SECDC meeting here on Tuesday.<br /> <br /> On the vision of the council, she pointed out that it would provide opportunity to develop the talents and potential of children up to age six in a balanced, comprehensive and integrated environment so that they would grow up to be healthy, happy and appreciative of various socio-cultures.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Today&rsquo;s (yesterday&rsquo;s) meeting discusses the various programmes that can be achieved through the council&rsquo;s strategies such as care, guidance and education programmes, infrastructure and facilities, nannies and educators, funds as well as professional support services,&rdquo; she said.<br /> <br /> Fatimah also noted that the third series of &lsquo;Randau Pengasuhan Taska&rsquo; would be held on Aug 19 and 20 at Institut Aminuddin Baki Sarawak in Santubong, where the chief minister&rsquo;s wife Datin Amar Dato Juma&rsquo;ani Tuanku Bujang is expected to officiate at the opening ceremony.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Around 330 participants comprising registered Taska (nursery) operators are expected to take part in the event, which will also see the presentation of the &lsquo;Quality Taska Awards&rsquo;.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The press conference was also attended by Assistant Minister of Women, Family and Childhood Development Rosey Yunus; and state Family and Women Department director Noriah Ahmad.</p>8411Borneo Post OnlineThu, 15 Jun 2017 00:00:00 +0800Electricity Woes Brought To light<p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong><img src=" 2017/150617_Electricity woes.jpg" /><br /> <br /> Kong (second left) jotting down points during the meeting with Law (third right).</strong><br /> <br /> SIBU: The plight of a few longhouses here yet to be supplied with electricity has been brought to the attention of Sarawak<br /> <br /> Energy Berhad (SEB), thanks to two members of SUPP aspiring to be the BN candidate for Lanang in the coming 14th general election.<br /> <br /> The duo, Kelvin Kong and Joseph Chieng, met up with SEB senior officers last Monday over the matter.<br /> <br /> They said they were informed of the predicament by the longhouse chiefs when they made Gawai Dayak visits to the longhouses recently.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The longhouses are in Dudong area; namely Rumah Jackson Sibat, Rumah Anthony Janggu, Rumah Mai Sigai, Rumah Dumin Bakak, Rumah Sain Mani and Rumah Kompani.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;SEB senior manager (Project and Planning) Law Hui Lee had briefed us on the current status and details related to the electricity supply in the areas concerned,&rdquo; Kong said.}<br /> <br /> He said Law had mentioned that longhouses facing financial difficulties in applying for electricity supply may write in for assistance under the Rural Electrification Scheme (RES) under the Ministry of Rural Development.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Law also recommended the Assisted Wiring Scheme (AWS), through which users can pay for power supply by installments up to 36 months,&rdquo; Kong added.<br /> <br /> He disclosed that in March, SUPP Dudong branch chairman Datuk Dr Soon Choon Teck had written a letter to the Minister of Utilities Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi seeking assistance over the same matter.<br /> <br /> Kong assured SUPP would continue to look into ways to help longhouse folks in their other needs.<br /> <br /> Also at the meeting was SEB engineer Mohamad Idhwan Apendi.</p>8412Borneo Post OnlineThu, 15 Jun 2017 00:00:00 +0800RM48.36 Million Approved To Upgrade Jalan Rentap<p> <strong><img src=" 2017/140617_Upgrade Jalan Rentap.jpg" /></strong><br /> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>PWD engineer Bryan Beta Wong (left) hands over the document to a representative of the contractor while (from third right) Norah, Fadillah, Len and others look on.</strong><br /> <br /> SARIKEI: The federal government has approved an allocation of RM48.36 million for the upgrading of Jalan Rentap in Kampung Seberang here.<br /> <br /> Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said on Monday that the project would involve upgrading the existing road from a two-way road to a two-lane dual carriageway based on the Public Works Department&rsquo;s standard.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It will also involve improvement to the 120-metre Sungai Sarikei Bridge. This is the government&rsquo;s initiative to improve public infrastructure to solve traffic congestion in the area, especially during peak hours,&rdquo; he said at the handing over of the Jalan Rentap upgrading project site at Kampung Seberang Sarikei by PWD to the contractor.<br /> <br /> The project started on May 23 and is scheduled for completion on Feb 24, 2019.<br /> <br /> Fadillah said they would also build a pedestrian bridge, upgrade the existing traffic light junction and build two new traffic-light intersections and lay-by for buses along the 3.2km stretch of the route.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Rapid development has contributed to busy traffic in this area. Therefore, the government&rsquo;s move to upgrade the road is timely and we hope it can be completed within the stipulated time,&rdquo; the Petra Jaya MP added.<br /> <br /> Assistant Minister of Urban Planning, Land Administration and Environment Datu Len Talif Salleh, Tanjung Manis MP Datuk Norah Tun Abdul Rahman, secretary of Development and Implementation Division at the Works Ministry Dato Embok Masek Md Tahir and Sarikei Resident Mohamad Junaidi were among those present at the function.</p>8409Borneo Post OnlineWed, 14 Jun 2017 00:00:00 +0800Awards For State’s Entrepreneur Of The Year<p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong><img src=" 2017/140617_Awards For State’s Entrepreneur.jpg" /><br /> <br /> (From left) Naroden, Abang Karim, Ting and Wei (behind Ting) during a photo call. &ndash; Photo by Chimon Upon</strong><br /> <br /> KUCHING: Nominations for the annual Sarawak State Entrepreneur of the Year Awards (EOYS) 2017 are now open.<br /> <br /> First launched in 2004, EOYS is a prestigious awards programme to honour and acknowledge exceptional entrepreneurial talent and leadership.<br /> <br /> Up to last year, almost 50 entrepreneurs from all over Sarawak have been given this recognition.<br /> <br /> EOYS is organised by the Ministry of Industrial and Entrepreneur Development in association with Sarawak Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCl) and Ernst &amp; Young.<br /> <br /> Assistant Minister of Entrepreneur and Small, Medium Enterprise (SME) Development Datuk Mohd Naroden Majais, who launched this year&rsquo;s nominations said EOYS aims to recognise the best in business in Sarawak &ndash; the prime movers that drive the state towards economic growth and Vision 2020.<br /> <br /> He said it is also to recognise the success of up and coming entrepreneurs, who through their ingenuity, ideas, resourcefulness, commitment and hard work, have built businesses that contributed to the growth of our state&rsquo;s economy; and encourage the growth of small and medium scale industries in Sarawak.<br /> <br /> Naroden said emphasis would primarily be on the individual&rsquo;s attributes over the company&rsquo;s and in general, cover among others, demonstration of outstanding leadership vision, dedication as well as intelligent risk taking; company milestones with consideration of industry obstacles and each entrepreneur&rsquo;s ability to overcome adversity; corporate culture, values and incentives; financial performance and growth record; and social responsibilities, reputation and contribution to the community that demonstrate the characteristics of a good model corporate citizen.<br /> <br /> The awards are divided into three categories: Emerging Entrepreneur (business between two and five years old or entrepreneur aged 35 or under at the close of nomination); Master Entrepreneur (maintained management excellence over a sustained period, business founded more than five years ago); and Outstanding Entrepreneur (outside Sarawak running a successful business in Malaysia or overseas).<br /> <br /> Nominations for the EOYS can be submitted to SCCI via business associations or individually by Aug 30.<br /> <br /> The awards will be presented during SCCI&rsquo;s 66th Annual Dinner on Nov 10.<br /> <br /> For further enquiries, contact The Secretariat, SCCI on 082-237148 or email<br /> <br /> Among those present at the launch were SCCI president Datuk Abang Abdul Karim Tun Openg, SCCI deputy president Datuk Philip Ting, and Ernst &amp; Young manager (Assurance) Karen Wei.</p>8410Borneo Post OnlineWed, 14 Jun 2017 00:00:00 +0800Construction Of Miri Waterfront Project To Kick Off This Thursday<p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong><img src=" 2017/130617_Miri Waterfront Project.jpg" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Councillor Jeffry Phang (third right) giving details on the Miri Waterfront Project to (from fourth right) Ting, Yii, Julaihi and other councillors.</strong><br /> <br /> MIRI: The RM3.7 million Miri Waterfront Project which will commence construction by June 15 is expected to provide the waterfront with a facelift as well as beautify the area.<br /> <br /> Piasau assemblyman Datuk Sebastian Ting said the waterfront project which will be completed by April 14 next year is part of the RM10 million worth of community and tourism projects granted by the late chief minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem to the Miri City Council (MCC) during the 10th anniversary celebration of Miri City on 2015.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We are looking forward to this tourism project because the special fund was given by the late Tok Nan (Adenan).<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It (waterfront project) will take about ten months to be completed,&rdquo; he told the media when conducting a site visit at the vacant land next to Pullman Hotel in Miri yesterday.<br /> <br /> Ting who is also Sarawak United Peoples&rsquo; Party (SUPP) Piasau branch chairman pointed out the project&rsquo;s four-storey high seahorse statue which will be made from standard steel will become an icon and &nbsp;new landmark for the area as well as the city.<br /> <br /> Miri Mayor Adam Yii said the council is looking forward to the completion of this project.<br /> <br /> However, he said the Sarawak Rivers Board (SRB) did not approve the jetty project because the jetty would interfere with vessel movement when entering the Miri river mouth area.<br /> <br /> In addition to the Miri Waterfront Project, five other community and tourism projects have been approved under the RM10 million grant.<br /> <br /> The projects are the Green Community Hub, Miri Waterfront and jetty, upgrading of Miri Handicraft Centre, construction of a waterfront at Kampung Pengkalan Lutong, tourism forum, and MCC&rsquo;s Apps and Information Communication Technology (ICT).<br /> <br /> The late Tok Nan wanted the MCC to use the given funds for the implementation of tourism and city beautification projects as well as upgrading of public amenities which will help to further boost Miri&rsquo;s potential as a resort city.<br /> <br /> Also present during the site visit were deputy Miri mayor Cr Julaihi Mohamad, MCC councillors, council engineers and the contractor.</p>8391Borneo Post OnlineTue, 13 Jun 2017 00:00:00 +0800Abdul Karim advises tourists to only use registered guides<p> SIBU: Tourists and visitors are urged to enquire from Tourist Information centres, registered tour agencies or at hotel receptions about the places they intended to visit.</p> <p> Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah gave this advice yesterday in response to the recent report carried by The Borneo Post, of a Canadian tourist, Philip Green, who felt cheated by someone who claimed to be tourist guide in Kapit.</p> <p> The minister said they should only engage registered tour guides and not just anyone they met in the street.</p> <p> &ldquo;My advice to tourists and visitors from outside Sarawak&hellip;to be careful when engaging with unregistered tour agencies or tourist guides. I am unsure whether the so called tourist guide is a registered one but it looks like he is just someone he (Green) met along the street.&rdquo;</p> <p> Green was recently charged RM260 for a half-day tour of what he thought was a traditional longhouse.</p> <p> &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t know his name. He introduced himself to me saying he was able to fulfil my wish to visit an old longhouse.</p> <p> When we reached the longhouse, it was empty and I was told later they moved to a new longhouse. Nothing left in the longhouse &ndash; no people, nothing,&rdquo; Green said.</p> <p> A civil servant on Gawai Dayak leave learnt of Green&rsquo;s predicament invited the visitor to his longhouse at Ulu Sungai Melipis.</p> <p> Meanwhile, Sarawak Central Region Hotel Association chairman Johnny Wong Sie Lee, said a registered tourist guide holds a guide permit.</p> <p> &ldquo;I am sorry to hear that a tourist was cheated again. In fact, it was the fault of the tourist, (as) he should not simply go to someone who claimed himself to be tourist guide. A proper tourist guide must hold a guide permit which is in a form of card,&rdquo; he explained.</p> <p> Wong added that there are so many hotels in Kapit and most of them have good contact with local tour operators.</p>8398The Borneo PostTue, 13 Jun 2017 00:00:00 +0800Proposed ferry service to benefit over 5,000 villagers — Minister<p> KUCHING: Over 5,000 residents of villages located at Tanjung Embang across Muara Tebas will benefit from the proposed ferry service, which should connect the island with the mainland.</p> <p> The villages, which include Kampung Tiang Api, Kampung Semilang and Kampung Tiang Api, are separated by Sarawak River from the mainland, and residents need to use boats to get to Kuching, which takes about 45 minutes.<br /> According to Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, the villagers &ndash; the majority of whom are involved in agriculture &ndash; find it difficult to bring their harvested crops such as coconut, pumpkin and banana to the mainland.</p> <p> &ldquo;Come the monsoon season, it would be troublesome as it is not really safe to go across (river). Agricultural land in this area is fertile and they have some quality produce,&rdquo; said Wan Junaidi, who is Santubong MP, after a meeting involving the Land and Survey Department, Drainage and Irrigation Department, Public Works Department and village chiefs to discuss the matter at Kuching District Office yesterday.</p> <p> He added that residents of these villages had cars, which were brought in by barge and the villages were connected by roads.</p> <p> &ldquo;The issue now is to identify the spot for the ferry service terminal and we will send in the application for the ferry service within a month&rsquo;s time,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p> The issue had been brought to Wan Junaidi since he was elected as MP for Santubong in 2004.</p> <p> Pointing out that it was his wish for the federal government to approve the application, Wan Junaidi also said the Integrated Agricultural Development Area (IADA) of Samarahan is presently building a road connecting the three villages, which is 70 per cent completed.</p> <p> On another matter, Wan Junaidi said the spat between Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz and state Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah should be settled in the spirit of Barisan Nasional (BN).</p> <p> &ldquo;I believe both sides have their reasons for their decision but at the same time, I believe the government has thoroughly studied the matter before imposing any decision, especially on tax,&rdquo; he pointed out.</p>8399The Borneo PostTue, 13 Jun 2017 00:00:00 +0800Be guided by Al-Quran to become global citizens, advises Taib<p> <img src=" 2017/130617_be guided.jpg" /><br /> Taib (fourth left) &ndash; with Abang Johari on his right &ndash; presents the mock cheque to a representative of Sarawak Orphans Welfare Board, as (from left) Dr Hazland, Dr Abdul Rahman, Asfia and other guests look on. &mdash; Photo by Muhammad Rais Sanusi</p> <p> KUCHING: Muslims in the state are urged to become global citizens who can adapt to changes and work together for the betterment of the world.</p> <p> In making this call, Head of State TunPehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud said it is the duty of Muslims to practise and share what is mentioned in the Holy Quran.</p> <p> &ldquo;The world is an ever-changing place, and bigger powers such as America and Russia will surely have the bigger say and monopolise the economy,&rdquo; he reminded.</p> <p> Taibfurther said Muslims must be progressive to ensure that the country could stand together with the more powerful countries.</p> <p> &ldquo;That is the new world order. We cannot stand behind and wait; true to the teachings of the Quran, we need to be progressive and at the same time, share the beautiful teachings of Quran by adapting them to our daily lives,&rdquo; he advised.</p> <p> The Head of State was speaking at the state-level Nuzul Al-Quran event held at Masjid Darul Hana here on Sunday night.</p> <p> On a related matter, Taib said Muslims inAseancountries such as Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Brunei need to be close to one another to discuss any current Islamic issues.</p> <p> &ldquo;Apart from meeting to discuss issues, the platform can be used to further strengthen ties between Islamic communities from the region,&rdquo; he added.</p> <p> At the event, Taib presented the &lsquo;Manfaat Wakaf Medan Hamidah&rsquo; (a type of legacy) worth RM60,000 to Sarawak Orphans Welfare Board and another RM60,000 to Demak Baru Mosque Trust Board.</p> <p> The event began with &lsquo;buka puasa&rsquo; (break-of-fast), followed by Maghrib and Isya prayers, a religious sermon and Tarawih prayer.</p> <p> Others present at the event wereChief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg, Sarawak Legislative Assembly Speaker Datuk Amar Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar, Pantai Damai assemblyman Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi, Demak Laut assemblyman Dr Hazland Abang Hipni and Sarawak Islamic Council president Datu Misnu Taha.</p>8400The Borneo PostTue, 13 Jun 2017 00:00:00 +0800Litterbugs to face heavier penalties from July<p> <img src=" 2017/130617_litterbugs.jpg" /><br /> Datu Dr Penguang Manggil</p> <p> <br /> <br /> <br /> <img src=" 2017/130617_litterbugs2.jpg" />&lt;<br /> A signboard along Pedada Road warning the public against throwing rubbish from their vehicles.</p> <p> <br /> <br /> <img src=" 2017/130617_litterbugs3.jpg" /><br /> A banner at Sibu Town Square Phase One warning the public on the penalty for littering.<br /> <br /> SIBU: The meting-out of heavier compounds against litterbugs has to be strictly enforced to deter such irresponsible acts, said Assistant Minister of Local Government Datu Dr Penguang Manggil.</p> <p> He said a higher compound was necessary to deter people from littering, including throwing rubbish from their car windows.</p> <p> &ldquo;However, I always believe that this punitive measure is the least necessary if we can change and emulate the mindset and attitude of the people.</p> <p> &ldquo;In western countries like Switzerland and Norway and many more, keeping the towns and cities clean, as well as conserving and protecting the environment, is a collective responsibility.</p> <p> &ldquo;If we are to progress, we must change our third-world mentality in every aspect,&rdquo; Dr Penguang told The Borneo Post when contacted recently.</p> <p> Come this July 1, the Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) will increase the compound for those caught littering from RM20 to RM500.</p> <p> Banners and signboards have been put up at various locations in town to remind the public that littering will be a costly affair.</p> <p> SMC chairman Datuk Tiong Thai King, during last month&rsquo;s full council meeting, said he had enough of the never-ending menace of littering.</p> <p> He pointed out that lenient approaches such as anti-littering campaigns in schools, low compound fees, &lsquo;No Plastic Bag&rsquo; policy and others seemed to have a low impact on Sibu folks&rsquo; attitude towards littering.</p> <p> &ldquo;Therefore, the council has decided to impose a heavier compound fee of RM500 with effect from July 1, 2017 &ndash; a stricter and heavier penalty for litterbugs,&rdquo; Tiong had said then.</p> <p> He also cautioned that closed-circuit televisions (CCTV) would be used to identify litterbugs, adding that with more stringent punishment and aggressive enforcement, the council hoped that Sibu would always have a clean image.</p>8401The Borneo PostTue, 13 Jun 2017 00:00:00 +0800Bisaya event to be improved for better tourism prospects<p> <img src=" 2017/120617_bisaya event.jpg" /><br /> (From right) Hasbi, Antonio and Paulus in a photo-call with participants in the decorative &lsquo;kuntul&rsquo; event.</p> <p> LIMBANG: Babulang Festival (Pesta Babulang) ,which is an iconic tourism attraction in Northern Sarawak and now entering its 14th year of organisation, will be continuously enhanced to make it a more attractive tourism product for promotion at a much higher level.</p> <p> Limbang MP Hasbi Habibollah said efforts had been looked into or discussed by the Bisaya Association of Sarawak (PBS) to promote the festival by incorporating other attractive tourism packages that could generate more income for local residents.</p> <p> He said besides Batu Danau, Limbang too has niche tourism products for development such as the &lsquo;monyet Belanda&rsquo; (proboscis monkey), fireflies, Pesta Babulang, homestay programme (Inap Desa) and &lsquo;Bebuak&rsquo; Festival.</p> <p> &ldquo;We have requested youths in Limbang to package all the existing attractive tourism products such as Babulang Festival so that it can be included as one tourism package for promotion jointly with the Sarawak Tourism Board (STB),&rdquo; he said on Saturday at the launch of the Buffalo Race and Decorative &lsquo;Kuntul&rsquo; event at Batu Danau.</p> <p> Also present were Batu Danau assemblyman Paulus Palu Gumbang and PBS president Antonio Kahti Galis.<br /> Hasbi added Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg had too recently made available grants for the development of a road to Gunung Buda.</p> <p> &ldquo;With the availability of complete tourism packages, it will assist STB to organise other tourism programmes besides collaborating with other tourism stakeholders in promoting Limbang as well as Batu Danau, which too has other niche tourism products like the lake and unique villages for the Inap Desa programme.&rdquo;</p> <p> He said currently only Kuala Mendalam has implemented the Inap Desa programme and as such, the programme needed to be extended to other areas.</p> <p> On Pesta Babulang, Hasbi said it could further showcase the unique and beautiful cultures and traditions, way of life, food and clothing of the Bisaya community which has attracted both local and foreign tourists, especially from Europe.<br /> &ldquo;The current Babulang Festival is merrier and held on a bigger scale with the inclusion of more events and booths selling various goodies and food including by Bisaya Kitchen,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p> He hoped that the younger generation of the Bisaya community could continue such festivals as one of their efforts to nurture their culture and traditions</p> <p> &ldquo;Pesta Babulang is closely related to the cultures and traditions of the Bisaya Community, which is only held in Limbang.</p> <p> &ldquo;We don&rsquo;t want this festival to become extinct or a museum piece, if the younger generation fails to continue organising the festival,&rdquo; he added</p> <p> Various activities were held such as a buffalo race, decorative &lsquo;kuntul&rsquo; event and a traditional Bisaya cooking competition</p>8371The Borneo PostMon, 12 Jun 2017 00:00:00 +0800State govt to set up oil company for offshore O&G exploration<p> <img src=" 2017/120617_state govt set up oil.jpg" /><br /> Abang Johari (standing front, fifth left) and his wife Datin Amar Dato Juma&rsquo;ani Tuanku Bujang on his left join other dignitaries in a group photo with Sarawakians at Putra World Trade Centre. On his right is Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, who stands behind Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas. Also in the photo are (from left) Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian, State Secretary Tan Sri Datuk Amar Mohamd Morshidi Abdul Ghani, State Legislative Assembly Speaker Datuk Amar Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar and Welfare, Community Well Being, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Fatimah Abdullah (on Juma&rsquo;ani&rsquo;s left). &mdash; Photo courtesy of Chief Minister&rsquo;s Office</p> <p> <br /> <br /> KUALA LUMPUR: The Sarawak government is planning to establish a state-owned offshore oil and gas (O&amp;G) exploration company in order to participate in the industry.</p> <p> Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said the plan was discussed with national oil corporation Petronas, which was very receptive to the idea of the state-owned company partaking in upstream and downstream O&amp;G exploration activities.</p> <p> &ldquo;I had discussions with Petronas &ndash; we are adopting a new approach.</p> <p> &ldquo;Sarawak will participate in both upstream and downstream oil and gas activities.</p> <p> &ldquo;In the upstream sector, this will be Sarawak&rsquo;s maiden venture; as such, we need to set up a state-owned company in order to join Petronas in oil and gas exploration in the South China Sea.</p> <p> &ldquo;We will establish our company first.</p> <p> &ldquo;We will join Petronas to work out a deal with petroleum arrangement contractors,&rdquo; he told reporters here on Saturday night after breaking fast with Sarawakians studying and working in Peninsular Malaysia.</p> <p> Abang Johari said the Sarawak-based, 100-per cent state-owned company would have its own entity.</p> <p> The chief minister also said in the past, O&amp;G companies from Sarawak were only involved in downstream activities in Bintulu, with estimated investments of US$2 billion. &mdash; Bernama</p>8372The Borneo PostMon, 12 Jun 2017 00:00:00 +0800PM agrees to let state use own funds to repair schools — Abang Johari<p> KUCHING: Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg says he has met Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to resolve the issue of dilapidated schools in the state that urgently need repairs or rebuilding.</p> <p> He said the prime minister agreed to the proposal for the state use its own funds to rehabilitate the schools instead of waiting for federal funds.</p> <p> &ldquo;We have identified 100 schools that are urgently in need of rehabilitation or replacement,&rdquo; he said at the breaking-of-fast with Sarawakians working and studying in Peninsular Malaysia at Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday night.</p> <p> The Borneo Post on June 1 reported Minister for Education, Science and Technological Research Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong as saying there are 1,454 schools in poor condition in the state, with 1,020 considered dilapidated and 434 in urgent need of repair.</p> <p> Abang Johari also pointed out that the setting-up of the State Education, Science and Technological Research Ministry is to stabilise the state&rsquo;s education policy.</p> <p> &ldquo;It is not because we want to take over the rights of education from the federal government, but to complement the efforts of the federal government in the state,&rdquo; he said. Also present at the breaking-of-fast function at PWTC were Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas and State Legislative Assembly Speaker Datuk Amar Mohd Asfia Awang Nasar.</p> <p> &ldquo;Hopefully this meeting will foster closer relationship. You may be far but your spirit is still in Sarawak. When you succeed in any field you are taking, Sarawak also succeeds,&rdquo; he told Sarawakians at the gathering.</p> <p> Abang Johari said he considered himself as the &lsquo;Captain&rsquo; of the Tok Nan Team, referring to his predecessor, the late Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem.</p> <p> &ldquo;I am the Captain of Team Tok Nan because we (state Barisan Nasional) won the last state election when under the helm of Tok Nan. The BN won with a big majority. The BN won 72 out of 82 state seats.</p> <p> &ldquo;But sadly he could not join us today because God loves him more and he left us behind. But now I was entrusted to be the Captain of Tok Nan team,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p> Abang Johari said, to continue Adenan&rsquo;s legacy, his team will continue to recover from the federal government the state&rsquo;s rights and powers stated in the Malaysia Agreement.</p> <p> On top of that the rural area will be further developed and the urban areas will undergo renewal development, he said.<br /> &ldquo;We want to quantum leap our economy through technology and therefore digital economy in important. We have allocated RM1 billion to upgrade Internet speed and ICT infrastructures so that connectivity would be without buffering. This will propel e-commerce particularly in the rural areas and for transactions and e-payment to be in real time,&rdquo; he said.</p>8373The Borneo PostMon, 12 Jun 2017 00:00:00 +0800RWMF to showcase martial arts, yoga<p> <img src=" 2017/120617_rwmf.jpg" /><br /> A Budokon Yoga practitioner shows one of the moves.</p> <p> KUCHING: The 20th edition of the annual Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) will feature a wellness programme, comprising workshops throughout the three-day weekend event this year.</p> <p> Visitors can expect a number of activities like demonstrations of the &lsquo;Capoeira&rsquo; &ndash; a Brazilian dance-like martial art, traditional yoga as well as unique meditation techniques being run.</p> <p> Malcom Wu &ndash; the founder of Movimento Simples de Capoeira, Sarawak (MSDCS) &ndash; will showcase some Capoeira moves during the festival.</p> <p> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s not just about combat or self-defence, but also the training of physical and mental attributes such as body balance, coordination, strength, flexibility, agility, concentration, rhythm, timing and even self-confidence, respect, consideration for others, teamwork and discipline.</p> <p> &ldquo;All these traits can be incorporated into our daily lives to attain self-improvement,&rdquo; said Malcom in a press statement yesterday.</p> <p> Kuching Tai Chi Association instructor Lai Cho Sin will also hold a Tai Chi session that features the use of this ancient Chinese martial art, with its flowing water-like movements that promote the relief and reduction of stress.</p> <p> Additionally, the Rumpun Silat Sarawak will be holding a &lsquo;Silat Moves&rsquo; session, teaching and sharing with the participants this internationally-recognised Malay art of self-defence &ndash; so well-known that it was featured on the National Geographic Channel&rsquo;s &lsquo;Fight Masters&rsquo; series.</p> <p> For a mix of martial arts and yoga, the &lsquo;Yoga Warrior&rsquo; session will showcase the &lsquo;Budokon Yoga&rsquo; &ndash; a hybrid exercise that produces fluid movements aimed at encouraging flexibility and strength by focusing on the transition from posture to posture, rather than the holding of the postures.</p> <p> This session will be led by Daniel Geller from the Budokon University of Mixed Movement Arts.</p> <p> Alvin Heng, who has been a teacher and practitioner of Vinyasa Yoga for a decade, will also be holding a session for participants to synchronise breathing with a continuous movement of postures &ndash; a practice that increases overall balance, flexibility and strength.</p> <p> Unlike Budokon Yoga, Vinyasa teaches a variety of yoga with far less martial art influence.</p> <p> Another practitioner Alice Chieng will introduce two distinct yoga sessions called the &lsquo;Hatha Yoga&rsquo; and the &lsquo;Yin Yoga&rsquo;, which uses the physical balance between masculine and feminine movements to stabilise the internal masculine and feminine energy in participants, encouraging physical and mental steadiness.</p> <p> Wong Ah Shui, a practitioner of Vipassana meditation and a Dharma worker at the Kuching Buddhists Society (KBS), will present a Vipassana session.</p> <p> Dr Lennie Soo &ndash; vice-president of Federation of Complementary and Natural Medical Associations&ndash;Malaysia who has a background in clinical hypnotherapy &ndash; will also feature two sessions on unique, but no less traditional, meditation techniques.</p> <p> Using a traditional Indian meditation technique &lsquo;Homa Therapy&rsquo;, Dr Soo will also be using flames to remove toxic conditions in the atmosphere for the cleansing of the body and the mind.</p> <p> In the true festival mood, the Zumba Fitness, Shake It! Studio and Exhilarate Fitness Studio will host the &lsquo;Zumba Fitness Party&rsquo; &ndash; an actual total-body cardio workout innocuously disguised as a &lsquo;dance party&rsquo;.</p> <p> RWMF 2017 will take place at Sarawak Cultural Village (SCV), where some 20 international bands will converge on from July 14 to 16.</p> <p> For more information on activities, logistics or tickets, logon to</p> <p> The annual festival is organised by Sarawak Tourism, endorsed by Tourism Malaysia and jointly supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports and partnering with Malaysia Airlines as the presenting sponsor.</p>8370The Borneo PostSun, 11 Jun 2017 00:00:00 +0800Ministry To Intensify Rural Public Utility Projects, Says Dr Rundi<p style="text-align: justify;"> <img src=" 2017/110617_Rural Public Utility Projects.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>The top three Kumang Gawai winners are seen with (from front left) Rosey, Dr Rundi, and Ahmad Lai.</strong><br /> <br /> MIRI: The government will continue to intensify existing efforts to connect rural areas with public utilities such as electricity and clean water supply.<br /> <br /> Minister of Rural Electricity and Water Supply Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom said the setting up of the Development Bank of Sarawak (DBOS) would see an alternative approach to fund strategic projects in line with the state&rsquo;s socioeconomic transformation catch-up plan (2017 to 2030).<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It is true that some of the rural areas in the state have yet to have electricity and clean water supply. Thus with the setting up of DBOS, the bank will be the financial source for us to speed up the implementation process of various infrastructure projects in the state,&rdquo; he said when officiating at the 2017 Subis District Gawai Perdana in Bekenu on Friday.<br /> <br /> Dr Rundi, who is also Kemena assemblyman, said the bank would also help the state government to improve existing public infrastructure including information communication technology (ICT).<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This is the challenge that we have to overcome accordingly. For example, the government wants to install 3,000 telecommunication towers to improve broadband penetration in the state. Although it would be a tough task, we will look at every means to improve Internet connectivity and broadband penetration especially in rural areas,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Dr Rundi also urged the people to safeguard the state&rsquo;s unity and racial harmony.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It is important for us to nurture fellowship among each other as Sarawak will be able to continue to progress and prosper,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Among those present were Assistant Minister of Women, Family and Childhood Development Rosey Yunus; and Sibuti MP Ahmad Lai Bujang.</p>8395Borneo Post OnlineSun, 11 Jun 2017 00:00:00 +0800