The Official Portal of the Sarawak Government RSS Feed 2017-04-24 03:19:18 2017-04-24 03:19:18‘Committee To Be Set Up To Address Issues On Education In Sarawak’<p style="text-align: justify;"> KUCHING: The state government and Ministry of Education (MoE) will set up a committee to discuss and address issues on the development of education in the state.<br /> <br /> The committee will be chaired by State Secretary Tan Sri Datuk Amar Mohammad Morshidi Abdul Ghani, with Ministry of Education director-general Tan Sri Khair Mohd Yusuf as co-chairman.<br /> <br /> The announcement was made by Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid, who said the committee would<br /> enable both state and federal governments to reduce red tape pertaining to education development in the state, especially its education infrastructure, facilities and amenities.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;For example, on the construction of a new school, we (MoE) need the local authority approval and want to know how long it takes for it to be approved. This sort of matter will be brought up to the committee.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> On connectivity, Mahdzir said with advancement in technology, students are now in the &lsquo;21st century classrooms&rsquo; and it is important for all areas namely; urban, sub-urban, rural and interior areas to have internet coverage.<br /> <br /> However, Mahdzir questioned how and when such facilities on increasing internet bandwidth could be improved, especially in areas with the lowest frequency.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This is an important matter in education, if we think about digital advancement by 2020, we need the whole area to have internet coverage and connectivity,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> He noted that Sarawak was on the right track in terms of digital advancement, saying its Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg was keen in technology advancement.<br /> <br /> On another matter, the minister noted that the ministry was addressing the issue of dilapidated schools, adding the measures would be implemented based on priorities submitted by the state government and state Education Department.<br /> <br /> He added that repair works or construction of a new building would use the Integrated Building System (IBS).<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We go on priority whether it is SJK(C) or national schools, this is an important matter in the ministry for Sarawak and other states in Malaysia. For that reason, regardless of school stream (Chinese, Malay, Tamil), we want all of these schools to improve in all matters.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, Minister of Welfare, Women and Community Wellbeing Datuk Fatimah Abdullah said the committee would resolve matters affecting the state as well speed up the approval of certain projects pertaining to education infrastructure, facilities, amenities, funding, curriculum, programmes, and human resources (teachers).<br /> <br /> &ldquo;There should always be consultation and collaboration between the ministry and the state government.<br /> <br /> This is where the ministry and the state government have to come to a consensus in filling up the gap (to effectively solve, manage and find solution in addressing the issues regarding education),&rdquo; said Fatimah, who is holding a watching brief on education matters in Sarawak.</p>7951Borneo Post OnlineWed, 19 Apr 2017 00:00:00 +0800Lee: RM90 Mln Spent To Improve Security At Major Airports In Sarawak<p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong><img src=" 2017/190417_Airports.jpg" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Lee (third left) chairs the press conference with representatives from various government agencies.</strong><br /> <br /> KUCHING: The government has spent a total of RM90 million to improve and enhance security and safety equipment, facilities and utilities at all major airports in Sarawak to ensure passengers&rsquo; safety, security and comfort.<br /> <br /> Revealing this was Assistant Minister for Land and Air Transportation and Safety Datuk Lee Kim Shin after having a meeting with Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) and senior management of Malaysia Airport Holding Berhad (MAHB and other relevant government agencies at his office here yesterday.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The DCA will install a new radar station costing RM30 million at Kuching International Airport (KIA) to facilitate air traffic control next year.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The old radar station at KIA will be replaced and a tender has been called, which is now being evaluated. If all goes well it will be installed next year,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> He also said the radar stations at all major airports in the region had overlapping &nbsp;coverage, meaning that if the radar station in Sibu were down, Kuching and Miri could cover Sibu and if Miri were down Kota Kinablu could cover Miri<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The overlapping system provides a second layer of security and safety in our air space,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Lee also said for the comfort of passengers at KIA, MAHB had upgraded two sections of the public toilets while two more would follow soon.<br /> <br /> For further enhancement of security at KIA, 47 CCTVs had been installed and also upgraded from analogue to digital format.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;MAHB has also spent RM20 million on transfer corridor and food court at KIA,&rdquo; he added.<br /> <br /> Lee also disclosed that KIA would be installed with a simple approach lighting system on Runway 7, costing RM5 million.<br /> <br /> For Miri Airport, he said RM30 million had been approved to improve its air traffic management system. A tender would be called soon.<br /> <br /> Its public toilet had also been improved and an escalator repaired for the convenience of passengers.<br /> <br /> For Bintulu Airport, Lee said RM5 million had been approved to improve its messaging equipment called data based of record (DBOR.<br /> <br /> On the escalator at Bintulu Airport, the Department of Safety and Health (DOSH) has investigated the problem last year and said it would be replaced if it were badly damaged.<br /> <br /> Permanent secretary to the Ministry of Industrial Development and Transportation, Safri Zainuddin, was also present at the press conference.</p>7952Borneo Post OnlineWed, 19 Apr 2017 00:00:00 +0800Awg Tengah: Coastal Highway Approved<p style="text-align: justify;"> SADONG JAYA: The state government has approved the construction of a coastal highway, and priority will be given to upgrade the existing roads.<br /> <br /> In pointing this out, Second Minister of Resource Planning and Environment Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said the project would include the construction of bridges along the highway.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The government has approved in principle for the construction of a coastal highway and priority will be given to upgrade the existing roads to become a dual-carriage way.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;And for the bridges which are yet to be built, we will build,&rdquo; Awang Tengah told reporters yesterday.<br /> <br /> Earlier, he performed the earth-breaking ceremony of a Village Extension Scheme at Kampung Jemukan, here.<br /> <br /> Awang Tengah, who is also Minister of Industrial and Entrepreneur Development, Trade and Investment, stressed that the government would continue to build roads, knowing that such project would benefit the people in the rural areas.<br /> <br /> He added that the coastal highway would greatly benefit the people in the area who are mostly farmers and fishermen to uplift their socio-economy.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The coastal highway which was started by Tun Pehin Sri Taib Mahmud (when he was the Chief Minister) has opened up many areas, and we will continue it,&rdquo; he stressed.</p>7953Borneo Post OnlineWed, 19 Apr 2017 00:00:00 +0800State Government To Seek More Funds For Village Extension Scheme<p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong><img src=" 2017/190417_Village Extension.jpg" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Awang Tengah (left) and Aidel (second left) with guests at the earth breaking ceremony.</strong><br /> <br /> SADONG JAYA: The government will continue to implement the village extension scheme to meet the needs of the people in its focus on the development of rural and sub-urban areas in the state.<br /> <br /> According to Second Minister of Resource Planning and Environment Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, the scheme is popular and the government will seek more funds in the mid-term review of the current 11th Malaysia Plan (11MP) to carry out more such projects.<br /> <br /> He added that the government, has approved RM174.84 million under the current 11th Malaysia Plan (11MP) to improve infrastructure, drainage, water and electricity supply. to 35 villages under the extension, and resettlement scheme across the state.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The government will continue to carry out the village extension scheme which is popular to provide a more conducive environment to the people and to address the problem of overcrowded homes.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The scheme will also help to increase the income of the people to venture into cottage industry because a site for the industry will also be built in the area,&rdquo; he said, at the earth-breaking ceremony of a village extension scheme at Kampung Jemukan, here yesterday.<br /> <br /> Also present at the ceremony was Sadong Jaya assemblyman Aidel Lariwoo.<br /> <br /> For Samarahan, Awang Tengah said the government has implemented 34 village extension and resettlement schemes with the allocation of 4,773 lots out of which 2,527 lots have been issued with titles.<br /> <br /> Under the current 11MP, five village extension schemes have been implemented in Samarahan, including Kampung Jemukan costing &nbsp;RM41.36 million with the allocation of 1,222 lots.<br /> <br /> On Kampung Jemukan project, Awang Tengah said it involved land acquisition of 13.3201ha and compensation has been paid in 2015.<br /> <br /> He thanked the land owners for their co-operation which enabled the project to run smoothly.</p>7954Borneo Post OnlineWed, 19 Apr 2017 00:00:00 +0800Sarawak To Have Methanol Plant By 2021<p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> <img src=" 2017/190417_Methanol Plant.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Abang Johari (fifth left) and Morshidi (fourth left) with the signatories of the MoU and others after the signing of the MoU.</strong><br /> <br /> KUALA LUMPUR: Sarawak will undertake a methanol and methanol derivatives project with the first plant worth US$800 million (US$1=RM4.40) &nbsp;expected to be ready by 2021, Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said.<br /> <br /> The project will play a significant role in Sarawak&rsquo;s economic transformation and extend the oil and gas downstream value-chain to transform the state into a petrochemical hub in the region.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We must go downstream, rather that just use it for energy. When we go downstream, a lot of byproducts will give great impact to our economy.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The project is expected to create huge job opportunities to Sarawakians, our engineers will return, and there would be many spin-off effects such as on logistics and maintenance,&rdquo; he told a press conference after witnessing the signing of a tripartite memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the project here yesterday.<br /> <br /> The MoU for the Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Commissioning (EPCC) was signed between a Sarawak government entity, Yayasan Hartanah Bumiputera Sarawak (YHBS), and a consortium between China Huanqiu Contracting and Engineering Co Ltd (HQC) and MACfeam Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Pegasus Diversified Bhd.<br /> <br /> Abang Johari said the proposed complex, which would be 100 per cent owned by the Sarawak government, would be built at an 80.9-hectare site in Bintulu, near the Samalaju Industrial Park.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The plant could produce up to 5,000 metric tonnes methanol per day.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;In three to four years&rsquo; time, the methanol price is expected to rebound. We hope by the time the plant is completed, it hits the right market,&rdquo; he added.<br /> <br /> The MoU is aimed at establishing official working relationship and ensuring the cooperation between YHBS and HQC-MACfeam consortium on the EPCC works and setting the milestones to ensure that the project progressed on a fast-track mode.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, MACfeam director Datuk Ismail Mohamed told Bernama that the entire project costing over US$2 billion, which comprised three plants, would be developed in two phases.<br /> <br /> The plants are expected to be completed between seven and 20 years&rsquo; time, he said, adding that the project was included under the China&rsquo;s Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road&rsquo; or the &lsquo;One Belt, One Road&rsquo; initiative.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We have already registered this project under the &lsquo;One Belt, One Road&rsquo; initiative. The money will come from the Chinese government. The technology transfer to the locals will be managed by MACfeam&rdquo; he added.<br /> <br /> Signing for YHBS was its deputy chairman Tan Sri Datuk Amar Abdul Aziz Husain while HQC executive vice president Zhang Laiyong signed for HQC and MACfeam deputy chairman Datuk Amir Daniel Abdullah was the signatory for MACfeam Sdn Bhd .<br /> Abang Johari and State secretary Tan Sri Datuk Amar Mohd Morshidi Abdul Ghani witnessed the MoU signing.</p>7955Borneo Post OnlineWed, 19 Apr 2017 00:00:00 +0800JBALB Prefers Conventional Water Supply System For Sungai Asap Communities<p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> <img src=" 2017/190417_Sungai Asap.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Chukpai Kennedy Ugon &ndash; File photo</strong><br /> <br /> KUCHING: The Rural Water Supply Department (JBALB) has decided on the conventional water supply system for Sungai Asap Resettlement Scheme (Sg Asap) to meet not only current but future demand of the communities there.<br /> <br /> Initially, JBALB had taken the alternative water supply system suggested by Murum assemblyman Chukpai Kennedy Ugon for consideration and conducted studies on it.<br /> <br /> However, studies had shown that the alternative system would not be able to support the needs of Sg Asap communities in the long run, said JBALB in a statement yesterday.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;To meet the current and future demand of Sg Asap population and communities, a sufficient raw water source is essential.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Based on hydrological analysis of one in 50-year drought event, Sg Koyan with a catchment area of 643 square kilometres can give a safe yield of about 400 million litres per day (MLD) which is more than sufficient to meet Sg Asap&rsquo;s communities demand of approximately three MLD,&rdquo; said JBALB .<br /> <br /> It further pointed out that the existing five-MLD water treatment plant was constructed about 20 years ago as a temporary system to serve Sg Asap.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;However, after heavy rain, heavy siltation occurs at the intake which renders the plant unable to cope at such times.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The system is now back to normal after de-siltation and clearing at the intake as well as flushing of the reticulation system had been carried out,&rdquo; said JBALB.<br /> <br /> The department said it would closely monitor the operation to minimise the recurrence of such problem.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;In the meantime, the department will take action to improve the intake to overcome the siltation problem where JBALB chemist and technician will closely monitor quality of the treated water.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> On the alternative water supply system, JBALB said the water volume of the four rivers would not be sufficient to meet the needs of Sg Asap communities in the long run.<br /> <br /> The proposal to use the alternative water supply system had been studied in detail earlier, and it was found that the four streams identified as raw water source with a combined catchment area of 2.65 square kilometres can only give a safe yield of about 1.66 MLD based on hydrological analysis of one in 50 years drought event.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;And this is insufficient. Safe yield of one in 50-year drought event is an engineering design criteria used for selection of water source,&rdquo; said JBALB.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, the department also pointed out that the contract cost of the ongoing upgrading project is about RM65 million and not RM87 million as reported by The Borneo Post.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The progress of the project is currently at 56 per cent and is expected to be completed by early 2018. The scope includes new water treatment plant, high ground tanks and about 75 km of pipelines under the supervision of the state Public Works Department (JKR),&rdquo; said JBALB.<br /> <br /> JBALB was responding to The Borneo Post front page stories on Sunday entitled &lsquo;Anger over dry taps, murky water&rsquo; and on Monday, &lsquo;Villagers hope to switch to alternative water supply system&rsquo;.<br /> <br /> The Borneo Post had reported that the people of Sg Asap had lost their patience after waiting for regular and clean supply of water since moving there 19 years ago.<br /> <br /> The issue was brought up because recently, the tap water turned out to be so murky that it was unusable.<br /> <br /> The 10,000 re-settlers at the Sg Asap Resettlement Scheme expressed frustration, anger and disappointment that after almost two decades of settling at the area, the government was still unable to fix their water problem.<br /> <br /> They hoped that the alternative water supply system which had been proven to be effective at Uma Bakah, Sg Asap could be adopted for the whole resettlement as the system proved to be effective in supplying uninterrupted clean water.<br /> <br /> Belaga assemblyman Liwan Lagang (who is River Transportation and Safety Assistant Minister) and Murum assemblyman Chukpai also questioned the rationale of the government&rsquo;s choice of upgrading the existing conventional water supply system which they claimed to cost RM87 million and not adopting the alternative water supply system which cost only RM50 million.</p>7956Borneo Post OnlineWed, 19 Apr 2017 00:00:00 +0800Village Expansion Scheme To Be Continued In Santubong — Dr Abdul Rahman<p style="text-align: justify;"> <img src=" 2017/190417_Village Expansion.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Dr Abdul Rahman (centre) and others looking at the carving on the rock next to the Bongkissam shrine, as pointed out by Leh (left) during a visit to the Santubong historical sites yesterday. &mdash; Photo by Mohd Rais Sanusi</strong><br /> <br /> KUCHING: The state government will resume with the &lsquo;Village Expansion Scheme&rsquo; (SPK) in Santubong near here to meet the needs of the villagers but at the same time, will make sure that they don&rsquo;t destroy anything of historical value.<br /> <br /> Speaking after a briefing by the Santubong village development and security committee (JKKK), Pantai Damai assemblyman Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi said the Sarawak Museum Department did a surface finding and found no major archaeological artefacts at the site that was being cleared for SPK.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;They found small shards and remnants but no new discoveries. They did suggest a piece of the site to be preserved for the Santubong Archaeological Park,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Dr Abdul Rahman, who is Public Utilities (Electricity and Telecommunication) Assistant Minister, said that he and the Pantai Damai management would follow up on the tourism programmes suggested by Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg last year.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We hope that the government will support the village and the Museum Department by giving us sufficient funding so that what we&rsquo;re doing here can be done in a systematic manner,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> He added that with everything they learned about the history of Santubong, the tourism attraction they would build here would be a big deal for the local community. He also assured community leaders that the project would not disrupt their lives.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The village will stay. We&rsquo;re not moving anyone away from here. We will also ensure that anything that happens within the park will give economic benefit to the villagers here. The important thing here is to be ready for it.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Earlier in his briefing on the historical significance of the area and the past findings, Sarawak Museum Department deputy director Dr Charles Leh said the village is also a historical area and will be taken care of.<br /> <br /> The museum also wants to train locals to be tour guides who specialise in the history of Santubong.<br /> <br /> Leh expressed hope that the upcoming Santubong Archaeological Park will be able to achieve Unesco world heritage site status.<br /> <br /> Dr Abdul Rahman also visited several of the historical sites nearby, including the Bongkissam shrine, Bukit Maras and Sungai Jaong.<br /> <br /> The park will comprise 11 sites in the area including Bongkissam, Bukit Maras, Sungai Jaong, Sultan Tengah Mausoleum, Tanjong Kubor and Batu Buaya.<br /> <br /> So far, RM6 million has been allocated by Abang Johari who is now chief minister for the project.<br /> <br /> Also present were Museum Department enforcement section curator Dayang Morzanah Awg Haddy, other Museum Department staff and village leaders.</p>7957Borneo Post OnlineWed, 19 Apr 2017 00:00:00 +0800Boosting Agriculture Sector<p style="text-align: justify;"> <em><strong>State to set up corporation for building, managing its export of agriculture products</strong></em><br /> <br /> <img src=" 2017/180417_Agriculture.jpg" /><br /> <br /> <strong>Uggah (second right) announces the establishment of the export corporation during the press conference.</strong><br /> <br /> KUCHING: The state government will establish a body for building and managing the export of Sarawak agriculture products to overseas markets and to ensure that there are sufficient export orders on a sustainable basis, to be known as Sarawak Agriculture Products Export Corporation.<br /> <br /> Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, in announcing this, said the corporation would also be responsible for ensuring sufficient supply of the promoted agriculture products by working closely with smallholders and local plantation owners.<br /> <br /> Apart from that, the corporation would also ensure competitiveness by promoting the use of the latest technology in agriculture, whenever necessary, and to encourage the use of technology through capital participation, he added.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I am pleased to announce that the Sarawak government, through the export corporation, will inject capital for technology into agriculture for the purpose of modernising the sector.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> &ldquo;The export corporation will take up equity in promoted agriculture production projects which are properly planned and managed for the purpose of upgrading agriculture technology and will withdraw its equity from the projects once they have become commercially viable on their own,&rdquo; he told a press conference after launching the seminar on sustainable, quality and safe agriculture production at Imperial Hotel here yesterday.<br /> <br /> Uggah, who is also Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture and Rural Economy, said it is vital to have a properly organised agency to regulate and manage export products, given each country has its own regulation on the quality of food they want.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;For example, if we want to send the food to Singapore, they have their own requirement such as the level of pesticide in the products, which we also must meet. So unless we meet the requirement of the foreign market, we will never be able to market our product overseas,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Considering that Sarawak has huge land, Uggah said it has great potential to become the leading producer of food in the country.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> He also said to ensure that there is transformation of agriculture in Sarawak, the state government would have to take a new approach in tandem with the digital economy as envisioned by Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg. He believed that with the increase in broadband speed and so on, Sarawak products would be very easily marketed globally.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;With high broadband speed, places in Kapit, Sarikei, Betong, Sri Aman and other parts of Sarawak will then be able reach out to the world with their products.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;At the same time, we also have world standard products, which are able to meet all those world standard markets. If we can work together to achieve this, I think the future of our agriculture will be a lot brighter,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> As a start, Uggah said the corporation would initially focus on bananas, coconuts and durians for export to Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore as exports to China and Japan would take a longer time to materialise because of the administrative protocols involved.<br /> <br /> He said the pilot project might start in the Sarikei and Betong divisions before the scheme is extended to other areas of Sarawak.<br /> <br /> On a related matter, he said an international conference would be convened with experienced foreign speakers for the purpose of exploring opportunities in the production and export of tropical fruits by Sarawak and also to encourage the participation of young talented entrepreneurs in the agriculture sector.<br /> <br /> Expected to be held in two or three months&rsquo; time, he said the international conference, would be open to all interested farmers from the rural areas and also the urban centres of Sarawak.</p>7958Borneo Post OnlineTue, 18 Apr 2017 00:00:00 +0800Uggah Wants All Farms To Meet MyGAP Standard By 2020<p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <img src=" 2017/180417_MyGAP 1.jpg" /><br /> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &nbsp;<img src=" 2017/180417_MyGAP 2.jpg" /><br /> &nbsp;<br /> KUCHING: Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas wants all farms in Sarawak to meet the Malaysian Good Agriculture Practice (MyGAP) standard by 2020.<br /> <br /> He lamented that the current number of farms in Sarawak that had been certified by MyGAP is not very impressive.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;As of today, we only have 106 farms in Sarawak certified by MyGAP, which covers a total area of about 630 hectares. Because of that, I have set an ambitious target of 100 per cent farms to be certified by MyGAP by 2020.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This is the key performance indicator (KPI) for state Department of Agriculture (DOA) director to achieve,&rdquo; he said at the launch of a seminar on sustainable, quality and safe agriculture production at Imperial Hotel here yesterday.<br /> <br /> Uggah, who is also Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture and Rural Economy, said the state DOA must work out ways on how to encourage farmers to get MyGAP certification.<br /> <br /> He said the DOA must also focus on how to encourage Sarawakians, especially the young people, to take up farming with good agriculture practices.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This is because if we are doing our farming transformation later on, we are not only producing products for our own consumption, but we are also producing them for the outside market.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;So, we are not looking at producing one container of &lsquo;terong asam&rsquo; a year &ndash; we are working on producing 1,000 containers of &lsquo;terong asam&rsquo; a year.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;So under that circumstance, it requires us to practise good agriculture that complies with the requirements set by the other countries as well,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> As Sarawak moves towards increasing its export of food products, he said the state government would make sure that the products meet the requirement of overseas market; and food producers in Sarawak must also strive to brand themselves as organic product producers.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It is my hope that one day Sarawak would become a leading producer and exporter of branded organic agriculture products.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> MyGAP is a comprehensive certification scheme for agricultural, aquaculture and livestock sector.<br /> <br /> Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) is an agricultural practice that emphasises on environment, economy and social aspects to ensure the produce is safe and of good quality.<br /> <br /> Since MyGAP is recognised worldwide, it facilitates the export of the products.<br /> <br /> Also present at the function were Assistant Minister for Rural Economy (Interior Areas) and Plantation Datuk Francis Harden Hollis, Assistant Minister for Rural Economy (Coastal Areas) and Fisheries Datuk Julaihi Narawi and Assistant Minister for Agriculture Malcolm Mussen Lamoh.</p>7959Borneo Post OnlineTue, 18 Apr 2017 00:00:00 +0800TYT Donates RM100,000 For Anjung Kasih Facilities<p style="text-align: justify;"> <img src=" 2017/180417_TYT Donates.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Taib hands out a goodies bag to a resident. Raghad is seen at left. &mdash; Photo by Tan Song Wei</strong><br /> <br /> KUCHING: Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud yesterday pledged a personal donation of RM100,000 to the National Welfare Foundation (YKN) that runs the Anjung Kasih facility at hospitals in the hope of inspiring others to follow suit.<br /> <br /> The YKN Anjung Kasih facility provides temporary lodging for the families of needy patients from rural areas seeking treatment at government hospitals.<br /> <br /> At present, there are eight such facilities in Malaysia, three of which are in Sarawak &ndash; Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) YKN Anjung Kasih, Sibu Hospital YKN Anjung Kasih and Miri Hospital YKN Anjung Kasih.<br /> <br /> All YKN Anjung Kasih facilities are set up within the hospital compound to offer greater convenience to both patients and their families. Taib made the pledge during the official launching of the SGH YKN Anjung Kasih at the SGH here.<br /> <br /> He noted that Malaysians are generally caring people but many of them might not have realised the need to help others, particularly the poor ones from rural areas.<br /> <br /> He said individuals who are financially capable should offer their support towards nurturing a more caring society.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This Anjung Kasih is a laudable move on the part of the government but the government cannot give assistance 100 per cent to ensure that all patients recover from their illnesses.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The facility, he said, would help patients especially those from the &nbsp;rural areas not to feel isolated as their family members could stay near them, look after them and care for them. Taib said he hoped his personal donation would motivate others to reach out to this group of needy individuals.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;You can give smaller donations from time to time because it is a worthy cause. I am willing to support from time to time in my humble way.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Meanwhile, Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim said SGH YKN Anjung Kasih, the largest of its kind in Malaysia, had benefited 4,162 people between Dec 2013 and March this year.<br /> According to her, the facility helps needy patients and their families save an average of RM80 to RM100 per day, a cost that they will incur when staying at a hotel.<br /> &ldquo;SGH YKN Anjung Kasih which comes with a capacity of 104 beds is the biggest one in Malaysia. This facility has 46 rooms, rest area, dining area, bathroom, pantry area, cloth-drying area, kitchen, room for counselling and motivational activities and registration counter.&rdquo;<br /> Rohani pointed out that the Implementation Monitoring Unit of the Prime Minister&rsquo;s Department had categorised Anjung Kasih as one of the &lsquo;high potential projects&rsquo;, adding the facilities had been enhancing the capacity of the service system and her ministry would continue to engage the corporate sector to fulfil their corporate social responsibility.<br /> She was glad to note that Rotary Club of Kuching Central had donated a substantial amount to the setting up of SGH YKN Anjung Kasih.<br /> She also thanked Plaza Merdeka Holding, Waterfront Hotel, Employees&rsquo; Provident Fund and Inland Revenue Board for their contributions to the facility.<br /> Among those present were Taib&rsquo;s wife Toh Puan Datuk Patinggi Raghad Kurdi Taib, State Legislative Assembly speaker Datuk Amar Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar, Minister of Welfare, Women and Community Wellbeing Datuk Fatimah Abdullah and Local Government Minister Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian.</p>7960Borneo Post OnlineTue, 18 Apr 2017 00:00:00 +0800RM100m Venture Capital For Use Of Technology In Agriculture – Uggah<p style="text-align: justify;"> KUCHING: The RM100-million venture capital to be introduced by the state government will be for the utilisation and upgrading of technology in agriculture.<br /> <br /> In disclosing this, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said as Sarawak moves towards modernising its agriculture sector, it would have to go into high agro-technology.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Therefore, if we find that there is agriculture technology that has the potential to be developed, we will use the money to invest in it.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;As our emphasis now is to commercialise and modernise our agriculture, we are moving away from our old traditional farming to high-tech, into precision, into smart farming and so on and so forth,&rdquo; he told a press conference after launching the seminar on sustainable, quality and safe agriculture production here yesterday.<br /> <br /> Uggah, who is also Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture and Rural Economy, said the fund would be managed by the state government-owned company, Sarawak Agriculture Products Export Corporation.<br /> <br /> He said the corporation would take up equity in promoted agriculture production projects which are properly planned and managed for the purpose of utilising and upgrading technology.<br /> <br /> He said once the projects are commercially viable and making money, the corporation would withdraw its equity and let the various stakeholders run the projects on their own.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The stakeholders could be farmers, landowners and investors. This is an alternative of assisting them, especially smallholders, who may not have the capital to invest in agriculture technology,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;In other words, we are building them up more. This new direction is slightly different from our Salcra (Sarawak Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority) or Felda (Federal Land Development Authority) .&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Uggah said the RM100-million venture capital or seed fund was announced by Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg in Spaoh two weeks ago.</p>7961Borneo Post OnlineTue, 18 Apr 2017 00:00:00 +0800Saeh Road To Benefit 2,000 Once Upgraded<p style="text-align: justify;"> <img src=" 2017/180417_Saeh Road.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Rosey (second left) being briefed by PWD personnel and the contractor on the upgrading work at Saeh Road.</strong><br /> <br /> MIRI: Nearly 2,000 people from 14 longhouses and two schools along Saeh Road will finally get to enjoy a good tar-sealed road after it is upgraded under the Rural Transformation Programme (RTP) road project.<br /> <br /> Assistant Minister of Solidarity Rosey Yunus said the present road has many potholes and is in poor condition for road users travelling to and out from Saeh area.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;When the upgrading of Saeh Road begins, villagers will benefit from it as they can easily access and bring out their agricultural products to be marketed,&rdquo; Rosey said after being briefed by Public Works Department (PWD) personnel on the upgrading works yesterday.<br /> <br /> Also present were representatives from PWD and the contractor who was awarded the project.<br /> <br /> According to Rosey, the upgrading of the 12-km stretch is taking place now and costs more than RM26 million.<br /> <br /> She said the Barisan Nasional (BN) government is concerned about the people&rsquo;s interests and this project is one of the promises to help provide good facilities and utilities for the rakyat.<br /> <br /> Rosey who is also Bekenu assemblywoman said before this, villagers had requested for the road to be repaired or upgraded as it is the only link to Niah, Bintulu and Miri city.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I&rsquo;m appealing to longhouses villagers to cooperate to ensure the upgrading work can be carried out as scheduled as it will benefit them all,&rdquo; she added.<br /> <br /> When the road is completed, agricultural products such as oil palm fruits, maize, rice and vegetables and even river fish can be sold by villagers to Miri or Batu Niah as the road link will be good.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We must be thankful to the BN government which is concerned toward the people&rsquo;s interests, especially those living in rural areas,&rdquo; Rosey added, urging longhouses dwellers to continue supporting the present government under Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, she called on those travelling on Saeh Road to be alert and careful as upgrading work is being carried out on the said road.</p>7962Borneo Post OnlineTue, 18 Apr 2017 00:00:00 +0800Tasik Biru Rep Allocates RM20,000 For Bau District Council<p style="text-align: justify;"> <img src=" 2017/180417_Tasik Biru Rep.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Henry (fifth right) with the recipients of the MRP grants in Bau.</strong><br /> <br /> KUCHING: The upcoming 60th anniversary celebration of Bau District Council received a boost following financial assistance from Tasik Biru assemblyman Dato Henry Harry Jinep.<br /> <br /> When presenting Minor Rural Project (MRP) funds in Bau recently, Henry allocated RM20,000 for the council, which is now working hard to finalise the preparations for the celebration.<br /> <br /> It is learnt that Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg will be invited to the event this July 15, during which new development projects for Bau District are also expected to be announced.<br /> <br /> The objective of the celebration is to remember the founding of Bau District Council and the idea was mooted last year.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, Henry gave out a total of RM135,000 in MRP grants to 23 recipients at his service centre in Bau recently.<br /> <br /> The recipients included Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA), which received RM30,000 for its &lsquo;Heritage School&rsquo; programme.<br /> <br /> In his remarks, Henry reiterated his decision not to give MRP funds for activities that would only bring short term enjoyment.<br /> <br /> He said he would rather see the MRP funds for Tasik Biru be given to deserving individuals and organisations, with initiatives and programmes that would bring long-term benefit to the greater society.</p>7963Borneo Post OnlineTue, 18 Apr 2017 00:00:00 +0800Over 39 RT Projects Approved For Tamin This Year, Says Rep<p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> <img src=" 2017/180417_Tamin.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Christopher (standing seventh left) with Sikie on his left and Edwin (fifth left) with recipients of MRP grants.</strong><br /> <br /> SIBU: More than 39 Rural Transformation projects have been approved for Tamin constituency this year, its assemblyman Christopher Gira Sambang stated.<br /> <br /> He said the projects were financed using the RM5 million annual allocation for each state constituency in Sarawak.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I believe the Public Works Department (JKR), Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) and other government agencies are in the process of carrying out the projects.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Hopefully, the projects could be completed before year end.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;If uncompleted, it will be a loss to the people because it will affect the RTP allocation for the following year,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Christopher was speaking at a &lsquo;meet-the-people&rsquo; session held in conjunction with the first anniversary of his election victory in Tamin constituency and the earth-breaking ceremony for the construction of Rumah Jeli Kiai, Sungai Basar Lema in Balingian recently.<br /> <br /> Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister&rsquo;s Office and Assistant Minister of Culture and Arts Datuk John Sikie Tayai officiated at the function.<br /> <br /> A political secretary to the Chief Minister Edwin Banta, Administrative officer of Balingian Sub-district Mohd Haikai, Penghulu Richard Empaling and Penghulu Andrewson Ngalai were among those present.<br /> <br /> The event was jointly organised by 1Malaysia Community of Sungai Duan, Selangau Parliamentary Family and Women Development Council and Village Security and Development Committee (JKKK) of Rumah Jeli.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, Christopher said the distribution of minor rural project (MRP) funds to people in Tamin constituency would be done when and as needed.<br /> <br /> Touching on information communication technology (ICT), he urged the people to learn and make good use of it.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This is important because office transactions and trade are now done &lsquo;online&rsquo; based on digital technology.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Thus students must also be proactive in learning and acquiring ICT,&rdquo; he advised.<br /> <br /> At the function, Christopher announced an MRP grant of RM10,000 for the women bureau of JKKK Rumah Jeli.<br /> <br /> He also presented MRP grants to various associations, including longhouses in Tamin constituency Edwin, who also spoke, assured that the state government&rsquo;s policies planned by the late Datuk Patinggi Adenan Satem would be continued by the new Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg.<br /> <br /> Edwin, who is a member of the Board of Directors of Housing Development Corporation (HDC), also advised people in need of housing loan to apply for one.<br /> <br /> He said application forms could be obtained at the service centre of Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) in Selangau.</p>7964Borneo Post OnlineTue, 18 Apr 2017 00:00:00 +0800SRDC To Emulate DBKL In Managing Sibu Jaya Market<p style="text-align: justify;"> SIBU: Sibu Rural District Council&rsquo;s (SRDC) intends to adopt Kuala Lumpur City Hall&rsquo;s (DBKL) style of management and operation to sustain their proposed night market in Sibu Jaya township.<br /> <br /> In this regard, SRDC chairman, Councillor Sempurai Petrus Ngelai said the council is trying to get details on how DBKL manage their night market in Kuala Lumpur.<br /> <br /> He recalled that during SRDC&rsquo;s seminar for councillors in February this year, they were briefed by DBKL officer and KL night market chairman on how they operate and manage the night market.<br /> <br /> The first night market in Sibu Jaya to cater for the growing township and boost its economy was to have started at month&rsquo;s end.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The council is trying to get more details on how DBKL manage their night market in KL. We intend to use DBKL&rsquo;s night market style of management and operation to sustain the night market proposed for Sibu Jaya,&rdquo; Sempurai told The Borneo Post yesterday.<br /> <br /> Asked how soon the night market could start operating, Sempurai said: &ldquo;We might delay it a bit if necessary to make sure all the facilities are ready.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> They would also need further information from DBKL and a grant from the Ministry of Local Government.<br /> <br /> The amount of grant is subject to ministry approval and need of the night market.<br /> <br /> Sempurai said the council had already received more than 100 applications for night market trading, and they are going to conduct the interviews soon.<br /> <br /> The idea of having the night market was to cater for the community in Sibu Jaya which is vibrant with a lot of young families.<br /> <br /> During a press conference after the full council meeting last month, SRDC deputy chairman Councillor Robert Lau said the council would provide canopies and tables to the traders, the current layout able to accommodate 88 stalls.<br /> <br /> Lau said other than food and drinks, they were pushing for variety of items sold at the night market such as toys, beauty and healthcare products, fruits, clothing, souvenirs, antiques, arts and crafts, and busking.<br /> <br /> Vibrant Sibu Jaya township has a population of around 30,000 plus a huge population bank from Kanowit, Durin, Selangau and surrounding longhouses that frequents the town.</p>7943Peter BoonMon, 17 Apr 2017 00:00:00 +0800Site For Commonwealth Training Centre<p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> <strong><img src=" 2017/170417_Commonwealth.jpg" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Abang Johari (standing centre) in a candid moment with Sarawakian students during a group photo session at the &lsquo;London Lan Berambeh&rsquo; gathering.</strong><br /> <br /> KUCHING: The state capital has been earmarked as one of the four sites to set up a Commonwealth Leadership Institute to provide leadership training for potential leaders within the Commonwealth, as part of the Commonwealth Emerging Leaders leadership training programme.<br /> <br /> According to Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg, the proposal, if approved by the governing body, would be a collaborative effort between the Commonwealth initiative and the existing Leadership Institute of the Sarawak Civil Service in Kuching.<br /> <br /> He said this when addressing students at a maiden &lsquo;London Lan Berambeh&rsquo; gathering for Sarawakian students in United Kingdom at a restaurant in London on Friday night.<br /> <br /> The Emerging Leaders programme under the patronage of Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal Princess Anne, is an international network of leaders in business, labour, government and civil society who are passionate about developing the capability of future leaders in Commonwealth countries.<br /> <br /> Abang Johari said the state is honoured to be chosen as one of the four sites earmarked for the leadership institute in the Commonwealth countries and believed that the centre would likely be bestowed with a British royal title after it is set up.<br /> <br /> The other possible three sites are Oxford University for the UK, one in Africa, and one either in&nbsp; the Caribbean or Australia/Pacific Islands. All the centres would be linked with the world-renowned and oldest university in UK.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, Abang Johari told the students of his recent meeting with Princess Anne last Wednesday.<br /> <br /> He and his wife Datin Amar Dato Juma&rsquo;ani Tun Tuanku Bujang alongside members of his entourage&nbsp; attended a dinner hosted by the princess at St James Palace in London. The dinner was to mark the success of the Emerging Leaders Dialogue 2016 (ELD) that was held in Kuala Lumpur and Kuching was a destination for one of the study tours.<br /> <br /> The chief minister said Princess Anne during the dinner had revealed that she and her team had decided that the next ELD in 2018 would&nbsp; be held in Kuching while ELD Asia would also be organising its first &lsquo;Sarawak Dialogue&rsquo; in Kuching this year.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Princess Anne was very impressed with the prevailing unity and harmony of the people in Sarawak which she described as a model for a &lsquo;small United Nations&rsquo; and a model for Commonwealth countries.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I felt very proud when she said that Sarawak is a model,&rdquo; Abang Johari said to the applause of around 70 students from all racial and religious backgrounds from across UK.<br /> <br /> He also pointed out that Sarawak was given a special mention at the dinner and he was awarded a special royal pin by Princess Anne whom he said had expressed keen interest in Sarawak&rsquo;s flora and fauna.<br /> <br /> Abang Johari also informed the students that the future of Sarawak lies in the ability of the state to capitalise on the power of the Internet and use its abundant power resources, hydro power from its dams in particular, wisely to transform Sarawak from a traditional to a digital economy.<br /> <br /> He said Sarawak with a small population of 2.8 million people has a small consumer base but he expressed confidence that Sarawak&rsquo;s economy could be changed if it is able to reach out to the three billion consumers in Asia through Internet connectivity.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;For Sarawak to be able to reach out to consumers beyond its shore, it must develop its ICT infrastructure to provide fast Internet connectivity to the tune of two terabyte per second on its main highway.&rdquo;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> He also reiterated that the policies laid down by the late former Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem would continue and that Sarawak&rsquo;s development policy under his leadership was primarily to give hope to the young like them.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;That&rsquo;s why our economy has to be changed because the global economic landscape has also changed where technology plays the all important role.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Therefore, I will start with what is called a digital economy which would render the concept of nation state and physical borders irrelevant beyond the political realm. The cyberspace will be the place for us to work,&rdquo; he added.<br /> <br /> Abang Johari also gave a grant of &pound;10,000 for the Lan Berambeh programme as well as those that will be organised in the future and later fielded questions in a dialogue with the students.<br /> <br /> Also present were State Secretary Tan Sri Datuk Amar Morshidi Abdul Ghani and his wife Puan Sri Datin Amar Saptuyah Suib, Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister&rsquo;s Department (Science Research and Biotechnology) Dr Annuar Rapa&rsquo;ee, Assistant Minister of Early Childhood and Family Development Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali, Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) chairman Tan Sri Datuk Amar Abdul Aziz Husain, former Deputy Chief Minister, Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan, and High Commissioner of Malaysia in UK Dato&rsquo; Ahmad Rasidi Hazizi.</p>7946Borneo Post OnlineMon, 17 Apr 2017 00:00:00 +0800Over 80 Organisations Receive RM5.15 Million Grants From Dr Sim<p style="text-align: justify;"> <img src=" 2017/160417_Dr Sim.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Dr Sim presents a grant to a representative of SMK St Joseph School Band. Also seen are Tan Kai &ndash; a political secretary to the Chief Minister and SUPP Youth chief (left), and SUPP organising secretary Matthew Chen.</strong><br /> <br /> KUCHING: Over 80 organisations have received RM5.15 million in government grants from Minister of Local Government Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian this year.<br /> <br /> Dr Sim, who is also a senator, allocates the grants from his senate fund, state minister&rsquo;s fund, and state assemblyman&rsquo;s fund for organisations such as schools, churches, mosques, temples, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and community-based organisations (CBOs).<br /> <br /> Yesterday, the Sarawak United People&rsquo;s Party (SUPP) president presented grants to 41 bodies including the Malaysian Medical Association Sarawak Branch, Chung Fatt Tang Moral Uplifting Association, Sarawak Hun Nam Siang Tng, SMK St Joseph School Band, Sarawak Scout Council, Padawan District Police Headquarters Club, Surau Darul Ibadah Kampung Sri Maimunah, Federation of Kuching Division Community Association, Heng Ann Temple Committee, SMK Kuching High parent-teacher association, and Kuching Hockien Association Youth Section. Dr Sim said he spent most of his senate fund in Sarawak although a senator is obligated to take care of Malaysians, reasoning that only three out of the over 70 senators come from the state.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Last year, I gave out more than RM5 million to associations to help them with doing their good work to make Kuching, Sarawak a much better place.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;There are way too many NGOs, so the amount is just a little token of assistance to help them carry out their activities. If any association happens to be left out, kindly contact my office,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Dr Sim pointed out that every Barisan Nasional (BN) assemblyperson in Sarawak is allotted RM2 million for various associations to hold activities, while Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg has also announced that every state BN assemblyperson has an allocation of RM5 million for development.<br /> <br /> The Batu Kawah assemblyman called on NGOs and CBOs to apply for such grants from their respective elected representatives.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;All the BN YBs in Sarawak have these grants. But in Selangor, Penang and Kelantan, BN YBs do not have any government grants.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This is only April and I&rsquo;ve handed out RM5.15 million to associations. The figure keeps on increasing in such a pace that it&rsquo;s quicker than inflation,&rdquo; he said.</p>7942Borneo Post OnlineSun, 16 Apr 2017 00:00:00 +0800Kampung Pujut Multi-Purpose Community Hall To Be Ready Soon<p style="text-align: justify;"> MIRI: The RM600,000 multipurpose community hall for Kampung Pujut Tanjong Batu is expected for completion by end of this month.<br /> <br /> Assistant Minister for Land, Air Transportation and Safety Datuk Lee Kim Shin said the physical structure of the community hall is up.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Work will now focus on the wiring and installation of water supply,&rdquo; he said during a visit to the project site in Kampung Pujut Tanjong Batu Thursday.<br /> <br /> Lee who is also Senadin assemblyman wanted to cover the drain along the stretch heading to the community hall to enable cars to park.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The 300m access road headed to the community hall is a bit narrow. Covering the drain will widen the road without obstructing the traffic flow when activities are conducted in the community hall.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> He was generally happy with the progress of the project on 0.19 acres of land implemented under the Prime Minister&rsquo;s Special Project.<br /> <br /> Like the villagers, he was looking forward to the first village gathering for Hari Raya Aidilfitri at the community hall.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The concept for this community hall will serve as a model for future construction in the village here.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This community hall is for villagers to conduct functions and activities, with an office space for the Village Safety and Development Committee (JKKK). Other facilities at the hall are a toilet each for both gender, changing rooms for both gender, a stage and an open space to accommodate about 500 people at a single session.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Village head Ketua Kaum Usman Sulaiman said the JKKK plans to install the hall with fans and fence up the community hall.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We want to organise our first Hari Raya gathering in June this year. And JKKK has received bookings to use the hall to hold weddings next month.&rdquo;</p>7944Borneo Post OnlineSun, 16 Apr 2017 00:00:00 +0800‘Anjung Singgah’ Helped 461 Homeless<p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong><img src=" 2017/160417_‘Anjung Singgah’.jpg" /><br /> <br /> Rohani shares a light moment with one of the homeless at &lsquo;Anjung Singgah&rsquo; in Kuching.</strong><br /> <br /> KUCHING: A total of 461 homeless persons have benefited from the &ldquo;Anjung Singgah&rdquo; programme in Sarawak since it was implemented about five years ago.<br /> <br /> Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim said the programme here was introduced by her ministry in 2012 through the National Welfare Foundation (YKN), and is now operating at Jalan Rubber in Satok here.<br /> <br /> She said among the benefits the homeless, registered under &lsquo;Anjung Singgah&rsquo; get, include housing facilities, welfare assistance to those who qualify and job opportunities.<br /> <br /> She noted that the shelter actually also could be used by the homeless to clean themselves up, especially those who will be attending job interviews.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Here, at &lsquo;Anjung Singgah&rsquo; each homeless has case notes containing their personal and family background, why they live here and what are the kind of assistance they need from us.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;While they are here they are also given counselling and motivation,&rdquo; she told reporters during a visit to the centre here yesterday.<br /> <br /> Rohani said since its operation the &lsquo;Anjung Singgah&rsquo; here has helped to match 101 homeless with jobs in the various organisations and agencies.<br /> <br /> Aside from that, 161 other homeless had found jobs on their own initiatives through the centre.<br /> <br /> She said the homeless who were placed temporarily at &lsquo;Anjung Singgah&rsquo; actually were mostly those who came to Kuching to look for jobs.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;In fact, we don&rsquo;t have the real homeless people in Sarawak. Based on our interview with them, they all have homes somewhere away from Kuching and they have come here to look for jobs,&rdquo; she said.<br /> <br /> <img src=" 2017/160417_‘Anjung Singgah’2.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Rohani inspects the beds at &lsquo;Anjung Singgah&rsquo;.</strong></p>7945Borneo Post OnlineSun, 16 Apr 2017 00:00:00 +0800Jamit: More Improvements Planned For Belaga Jetty<p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong><img src=" 2017/150417_Belaga Jetty.jpg" /><br /> Jamit tries out a newly-installed bench at the Belaga Jetty. From second left are SRB officer Riyong Barau, Penghulu Pasang Tubah and councillor Liew Hui Hua.</strong><br /> <br /> KAPIT: More improvements are in the works for Belaga Jetty to make it safer and more comfortable for passengers.<br /> <br /> Bukit Goram assemblyman Jefferson Jamit Unyat said improvements would be made to the staircase on the second and third platforms, while guard rails would also be installed along the sides to improve safety.<br /> <br /> Jamit said this on Thursday when inspecting improvement works at the jetty, under the Sarawak Rivers Board (SRB), which were completed recently.<br /> <br /> The scope of work covered tar-sealing the walkway, adding benches for passengers, as well as installing a ticketing counter.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The purpose is to check on the improvement works being carried out here for the convenience and comfort of the jetty users. I am happy that the &nbsp;job has been done properly to give a new facelift. Jetty users are happy because now it is more organised, neat and tidy,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Previously, it was just a cement floor and hawkers here caused congestion and a mess at the jetty. Now the hawkers conduct their business away from the walkway and they are more organised. I am happy it is done properly.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Jamit added that the government is serious about addressing issues of comfort and safety.<br /> <br /> Boats from Belaga Jetty go to Belaga, Putai, Baleh River, Punan Bah, Melipis, as well as log ponds in the district.</p>7938Borneo Post OnlineSat, 15 Apr 2017 00:00:00 +0800