The Official Portal of the Sarawak Government RSS Feed 2017-05-24 07:41:53 2017-05-24 07:41:53Development Plans Not Hot Air — Abang Johari<p> <img src=" 2017/230517_Plans Not Hot Air.jpg" /><br /> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Abang Johari (fourth left) and tournament patron Datuk Fadillah Yusof (sixth left) with other VIPs and team captains.</strong><br /> <br /> KUCHING: Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg aims to change the landscape of Petra Jaya with further development.<br /> <br /> Abang Johari, who is Satok assemblyman, said his plans are achievable and not what DAP Sarawak described as &ldquo;hot air&rdquo; (sweet empty promises).<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Hopefully in three to seven years I will try to change the landscape of Petra Jaya. My plan is not hot air,&rdquo; he said when officiating at the prize presentation ceremony for the P194 Petra Jaya Golf Challenge Trophy tournament at a leading hotel here on Sunday night.<br /> <br /> He also rubbished a claim by DAP that the state government will be using state reserves to finance the cost of development, pointing out that he will be using another or new model when implementing development projects.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;If (Singapore premier) Lee Kuan Yew can do it for Singapore, why can&rsquo;t we?&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Abang Johari also insisted that other plans like having a state-owned airline system and improving the sectors of agropolitan, modernised agriculture and eco- tourism are all achievable if, among other things, the usage of digitalised promotion is enhanced.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;That is why we need (to expand) broadband connnections. If the Internet speed is fast, our connectivity with the rest of the world would be better. This is one way to develop our tourism sector further, for instance,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> He also wished to see sports tourism improved by attracting enthusiasts and sportsmen to international golf, fishing and badminton tournaments and other related activities to be held in Sarawak.<br /> <br /> Based on the positive feedback he obtained, the chief minister said it is already proven that Sarawak is capable of holding international events.</p>8249Borneo Post OnlineTue, 23 May 2017 00:00:00 +0800Initiative To Prioritise English Receives Federal Support<p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong><img src=" 2017/230517_Initiative To Prioritise English.jpg" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>(Seated from left) Dr Annuar, Manyin and Chong pose for a group photograph with officers from the ministry and Education Department at the end of the courtesy call. &mdash;Photo by Muhd Rais Sanusi</strong><br /> <br /> KUCHING: The Sarawak government&rsquo;s initiative to prioritise English in the state through the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Research has received the backing of the federal Education Ministry.<br /> <br /> Deputy Minister of Education Senator Datuk Chong Sin Woon said the ministry is open for more discussions with the state government on the usage of English and to improve the proficiency of English among students.<br /> <br /> Stressing the good command of English as critical and vital for competiveness in the job and global market, Chong said they may look into using the Common European English Framework to standardise English in Malaysian schools.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;There should be more cooperation between the federal and Sarawak governments on how to utilise this European framework on English to improve and upgrade our standard.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;With the keen support of the Sarawak government, we are very confident to improve our standard of English, and we should do that very quickly before seeing our English standard going on the decline,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Chong, who was on a one-day visit to Sarawak, made these remarks to reporters after a courtesy call on Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Dato Sri Michael Manyin yesterday. Both Chong, and Manyin, also concurred that improving English proficiency must not be deemed as unpatriotic. Manyin said when he was a school principal, he spoke most of the time in English and was branded by a teacher as not being patriotic enough.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Bahasa Malaysia was introduced with certain purposes &mdash; one, to provide an identity for Malaysians and two, to unite the various communities. But I believe that these two purposes cannot be questioned as these have achieved the objective.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It is now about surviving in this modern world. We want our younger generation to master English, which is an international language and a language of commerce and science. It is not a question of being (un)patriotic,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Chong also said that during Parliament sittings, he had to clarify that promoting the English language must not be related to patriotism.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;No one wanted to challenge the status of Bahasa Malaysia, as it is already enshrined in the Federal Constitution as the official language. But when it comes to education, it is about teaching the younger generations the skills and survival,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> He pointed out that as far as the Education Ministry is concerned, it has implemented the Dual Language Programme and the Highly Immersive Programme, under the Upholding Bahasa Malaysia and Strengthening the English Language policy, to raise the level of English proficiency among students.<br /> <br /> The Borneo Post had reported on Sunday on a move initiated by Manyin to install bilingual signboards in Bahasa Malaysia and English in schools state-wide, which is deemed as a shift in policy to promote greater usage of English in schools.<br /> <br /> On a related note, Manyin&mdash;who was appointed to head the new Education, Science and Technological Research Minister on May 6&mdash;said he really looked forward towards working together with the federal government to resolve issues related to dilapidated schools, enhancement of the standard of English, and cultivating interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).<br /> <br /> He said he was grateful to meet Chong, who was the first top official from the federal Education Ministry to pay a courtesy call on him following his appointment.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I am eager and anxious to work together with the Education Ministry to overcome these challenges,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Chong, in congratulating Manyin on the latter&rsquo;s appointment, said it was a right move to have a minister focusing on developing the Sarawak education system.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Dato Sri (Manyin) was also very frank in saying 70 per cent of schools are categorised as &lsquo;sekolah daif&rsquo; (dilapidated). This means more action needs to be taken to improve the situation. That&rsquo;s why my visit to Sarawak is to look into these issues and bring them back to the minister. We are very concerned, and as far as Education Ministry is concerned, we want to help Sarawak,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Chong had a meeting at the State Education Department and he visited SK Tambay, Samarahan and SK Asajaya Laut prior to the courtesy call on Manyin. He left for Kuala Lumpur yesterday evening.<br /> <br /> Also present at the courtesy call were Assistant Minister of Education and Technological Research Dr Annuar Rapaee; Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Research permanent secretary Datu Sudarsono Osman; political secretary to the Chief Minister Tan Kai; and State Education deputy director Abang Mat Ali Abang Masagus.</p>8250Borneo Post OnlineTue, 23 May 2017 00:00:00 +0800NIE Programme Improves Students’ English Proficiency<p> <br /> <img src=" 2017/230517_Non-Islamic Affairs Unit.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Julaihi (left) discusses a point with an officer at the State Legislative Assembly Complex. &ndash; Photo by Chimon Upon</strong><br /> <br /> KUCHING: Students in the 20 Sebuyau schools involved in the Newspaper in Education (NIE) Programme have shown improvement in their level of English language proficiency.<br /> <br /> Sebuyau assemblyman Datuk Julaihi Narawi said the programme, which began last year, involved using The Borneo Post as a learning tool.<br /> <br /> He provides the English daily for the 3,000 students &ndash; 2,032 pupils from 19 primary schools, and 942 students from the area&rsquo;s only secondary school.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;According to the reports which I have received from the headmasters and the education officers in Simunjan, recently there are signs of improvement in terms of the students&rsquo; English standard, especially in the last UPSR (Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah) results.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Even the principal of the secondary school was telling me that there are some improvements,&rdquo; the Assistant Minister of Coastal Road told The Borneo Post at the State Legislative Assembly Complex yesterday.<br /> <br /> Julaihi said he was also informed by Sebangan Zone Headmasters Council chairman Mohd Ramlan Bohari that schools in Sebangan zone are top among the schools in Simunjan in the English language largely due to the NIE programme.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;In this case where we are trying to help students to increase their proficiency in English, we need to encourage students to speak, write and read more of English. And of course, you have to read a lot. This is one of the ways to improve English,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;That is why we need to provide them with all the reading materials. That is why I am subscribing the newspaper and distributing it to all the schools in my area.&rdquo; He further pointed out that English is the language of knowledge and communication in this digital world.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;English is an international language. It is a global language. In order to keep pace with development in the world, we need to know English.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;And in Sarawak, we are talking about digital economy where English is the language of communication. It is also the knowledge language right now. To keep up with the latest developments, our younger generation must be proficient in English,&rdquo; he added.</p>8251Borneo Post OnlineTue, 23 May 2017 00:00:00 +080017 New Posts Of Various Grades Approved for Non-Islamic Affairs Unit, To Be Headed By A Director<p> <br /> <img src=" 2017/230517_Non-Islamic Affairs Unit.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>WINDING-UP: Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas is seen in a television grab delivering his winding-up speech in his capacity as Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development Minister at the 18th State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Sitting yesterday. &mdash; Photo by Kong Jun Liung</strong><br /> <br /> THE state cabinet has approved the creation of 17 new posts of various grades for the Non-Islamic Affairs Unit this year.<br /> <br /> Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said the full-fledged unit, equivalent in status with other Units in the Chief Minister&rsquo;s Department is headed by a director.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Now, we are in the process of recruiting the staff to fill all the approved posts,&rdquo; Uggah, who is the minister-in-charge of the Unit said in his ministerial winding up speech at the State Legislative Assembly sitting yesterday.<br /> <br /> According to him, the main function of the new unit includes to evaluate, propose and formulate policies, laws and regulations with regard to Non-Islamic religious affairs in the state.<br /> <br /> Additionally, Uggah said the other functions of the unit are to act as a focal point for the various religious bodies to liaise and interact with the state or federal government agencies such as with regard to their application for land for the construction of buildings and to promote religious harmony in the state.<br /> <br /> Thus far, he said the unit has received eight approvals for land application for the construction of various Non-Islamic religious institutions.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We have been processing 30 applications for funding for both new construction and maintenance of building.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> On the issue of native customary rights (NCR) custom of pemakai menoa and pulau galau, Uggah said the government was addressing the issue.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The government has set up a taskforce headed by myself to recommend an amicable solution. The task force has conducted several consultations with various stakeholders.&rdquo; Uggah said the next meeting of the task force will be held on May 25.<br /> <br /> On the topic of accelerating native land development, Uggah said the government has formulated various policies and programmes to improve the livelihood of the rural communities.<br /> <br /> For this purpose, he said the NCR land development concept which is a joint venture (JV) between the private sector and the NCR landowners, was introduced and implemented.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The landowners have benefited from the existing joint venture model particularly through the introduction of New Incentive Payment Scheme in 2015.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> However, Uggah said his ministry felt that further improvement ought to be made to the existing NCR-JV model to bring forth greater benefits to the landowners.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;For this reason, my ministry is proposing the Leasing Model as alternative development model to complement the existing JV model.&rdquo; He said the proposed Leasing Model will be based on an agreed fixed monthly rental per hectare between the landowner and the investor.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Under this arrangement, payment of rental will commence from first year of planting and continue over the lease period of 60 years.&rdquo; Uggah said the Leasing Model will ensure immediate, consistent and sustainable returns to NCR landowners.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This is a good and practical model to accelerate NCR land development. One of the critical components of the Leasing Model is the quantum of rental which should be acceptable to both the landowner and the investor.</p>8252Borneo Post OnlineTue, 23 May 2017 00:00:00 +0800Creation Of Good Jobs Needed To Retain ‘Clever And Intelligent’ Sarawakians, Says Abang Jo<p style="text-align: justify;"> SARAWAK must invite global companies to set up their offices in the state and invest in projects here, said Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg.<br /> <br /> He said the government would make sure that the state&rsquo;s environment is &ldquo;conducive for both domestic investors and global companies as well as local and foreign talent.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> &ldquo;With our small population scattered over a huge landmass, Sarawak cannot be a place for cheap labour. Our labour is cheap only because high-paying jobs are insufficient.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It is therefore important that our strategy to grow Sarawak at a faster rate must be to encourage investments in high-tech ventures where talent is the major driving force,&rdquo; he said in his winding-up speech yesterday.<br /> <br /> Abang Johari believed that Sarawakians are &ldquo;among the cleverest and more intelligent people in the world&rdquo;, which is why the state must create good jobs for Sarawakians who could be retained in their own state and build the country together.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;If we do not do that, we will be hollowing-out our professional people and be left only with the very old who stay behind to guard their houses and their other assets while our economy remains stagnant.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We must get our Sarawakian talents, in collaboration with global talents, to build the Sarawak economy and position ourselves strategically in the world,&rdquo; he stressed.<br /> <br /> Abang Johari said Sarawakians must constantly re-invent themselves in order to make themselves relevant in today&rsquo;s world.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It is the constant search for this relevancy to the constantly changing world that creates the new opportunities for all of us in Sarawak, young Sarawakians as well as old Sarawakians, of all races.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> He said the state must make its local economy more accessible for everyone so that &ldquo;anyone who wants to make a good life for themselves will have a chance to do so here in Sarawak.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> &ldquo;In opening up our economy, we are also exposing ourselves to the challenges that will come domestically as well as from overseas. In responding to these challenges, we cannot just close ourselves further in and protect our comfort zone.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We must indeed search for new opportunities created by these new challenges. We cannot close our minds to new ideas. We have to open up. We have to look to the future,&rdquo; he added.</p>8253Borneo Post OnlineTue, 23 May 2017 00:00:00 +0800Sarawak Big Data To Be Rolled Out Next Year<p style="text-align: justify;"> THE first version of Sarawak Big Data is to be rolled out by the first quarter of next year to pave the way for the development of the state&rsquo;s digital economy.<br /> <br /> Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said it will represent a small but first step in the state&rsquo;s journey of a thousand miles in its digital economy development.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Our database now is still small. But we shall provide sufficient capacity for it to grow with the digital economy. The Sarawak Big Data will become a new strategic asset for Sarawak in the years to come, and the Sarawak government shall own it.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Of course we will continue to secure our important data that will not be made accessible to enemies to prevent any abuse or misuse,&rdquo; he said when delivering his winding&ndash;up speech in the august House yesterday.<br /> <br /> Abang Johari said Big Data, which forms the basic core of the digital economy that Sarawak must leapfrog into, allows for the sharing of data so that the complete demand and supply situation is analysed and controlled.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;With Big Data, the demand preferences of the consumers are to be analysed, appropriate products or services designed, made and supplied to, and the necessary payments made.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Big Data therefore opens up a whole new world of opportunities for businesses as well as for the government in providing useful services to the general public,&rdquo; he explained.<br /> <br /> He said most of the databases of government departments and agencies in the state were already digitised, but in separate dedicated servers.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I now want government servers to be linked so that non-personal and non-sensitive data can be shared and made accessible to the general public,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> With Big Data, he said the government and the private sector would be opening up their databases to the world and as such, cybersecurity is a must.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;In fact, we must first establish our framework for cybersecurity before our Big Data can be rolled out. Furthermore, so long as Big Data is made available to the world, we must keep constant vigilance over cybersecurity.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Cybersecurity is not only about clear and present danger but also potential new sources of attacks. The knowledge and talent that is required to ensure that cybersecurity in Sarawak is tight means that we must seriously encourage the development of cybersecurity as an industry in Sarawak,&rdquo; he added.<br /> <br /> He concluded that the essential core of the digital economy for Sarawak should consist of &ldquo;the twins of Big Data and cybersecurity&rdquo;.</p>8254Borneo Post OnlineTue, 23 May 2017 00:00:00 +0800LRT System Will Not Involve Flyovers – CM<p style="text-align: justify;"> &nbsp;<img src=" 2017/230517_Not Involve Flyovers.jpg" /><br /> <br /> KUCHING: The cost of the Light Rail Transit (LRT) system will be controlled as it will not involve any flyover, said Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg.<br /> <br /> The LRT system is expected to be implemented in the next three years to link Kuching, Kota Samarahan and Serian.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It will be implemented within these three years because we&rsquo;ve already done the feasibility studies. It will be land-based because we have the land and the land is not congested yet,&rdquo; Abang Johari told the media after delivering his winding-up speech at the State Legislative Assembly Complex yesterday.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We must have the confidence to implement it.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> When asked whether the state has the capacity to implement such a mammoth project, he quipped, &ldquo;You think we can&rsquo;t?&rdquo;<br /> <br /> In his winding-up speech, the Chief Minister said the development of each mode of public transport system, be it the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) or the LRT, would be guided by the expected demand and suitability of each mode to serve the needs of the people.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I wish to assure the august House that I am talking on the advice of my planners who have been working on this since early this year and based on the study that has been done by experts from Hong Kong and Singapore,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> The Chief Minister said the LRT will be developed in stages to serve as triggers for the development and growth of Kuching and its surrounding areas.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;In the long term, we can envisage greater Kuching to encompass not just Kota Samarahan and Padawan, but also Bako, Damai, Lundu, Bau, and Serian. But the centre of that public transport system is the Kuching International Airport with connections to various parts of Kuching City itself,&rdquo; he explained.<br /> <br /> Abang Johari, who is also Minister of Urban Development and Natural Resources, pointed out that in the greater Kuching area, car ownership could rise by 25 per cent from the current 320,000 to 400,000 cars in the next few years.<br /> <br /> He suggested that the initial basic LRT structure should be from the Kuching International Airport to Kuching City, Kota Samarahan, Damai, Padawan, and Serian.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We can build the required real estate around these LRT stations based on the concept of Transit-Oriented Density (TOD) development. If we do not start building our LRT now, our land cost will increase in future and we may need more roads, more highways as well as more flyovers to be built which will cost us billions of ringgit,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Recently, Abang Johari said the LRT project will be implemented by the Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC).<br /> <br /> On a related issue, he said by 2030, it is possible for greater Kuching to have a population of more than a million people.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This will be a good critical mass for the Kuching population and economy to grow. And when Kuching is properly planned, with good connectivity in ICT and transport, the natural rate of growth of the population will rise by more Sarawakians staying back or coming back to live as good jobs can be found at home.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We can also envisage Sarawakians from other parts of Sarawak coming to live in Kuching because good jobs can be found here. Furthermore, foreign talents may wish to come and live and work in Kuching because good jobs can be found here.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;In fact, the challenge for city planning today is how to redesign the city that is attractive to technology-savvy talents of the millennials, who are very happy to live in small comfortable rooms with just their laptops and their mobile phones &ndash; and of course an Internet connection. They, of course, also want a good public transport system as they may not wish to own a car,&rdquo; he added.</p>8255Borneo Post OnlineTue, 23 May 2017 00:00:00 +0800Abang Johari Vows To Deliver<p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Chief Minister pledges to implement all initiatives announced within his time in office</strong><br /> <br /> <img src=" 2017/230517_Vows To Deliver.jpg" /><br /> <strong>Abang Johari (second left) shares a laugh with deputy chief ministers Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas (second right) and Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan (left) at the DUN complex yesterday. Also seen at right is Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian. &mdash; Bernama photo</strong><br /> <br /> KUCHING: Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg has pledged that all initiatives announced by him would be implemented during his tenure.<br /> <br /> He pointed out in his first winding-up speech as Chief Minister during the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting yesterday that he announced many initiatives during his first 100 days in office, &ldquo;which have caused so much apprehension among the DAP (Democratic Action Party) members that they are now in &lsquo;hot soup&rsquo; and &lsquo;hot air&rsquo; themselves&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;My initiatives are to leapfrog our economy into the current global digital frontier. Those who do not have the courage to embrace bold ideas, instead of leapfrogging, we find them living under the coconut shell,&rdquo; he told the august House.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I want to repeat here to everyone in this august House that as long as I am the Chief Minister, I will ensure that all my initiatives, as I have explained earlier, will be implemented. If anyone has any doubt of my capability and promise, you are &lsquo;hot air&rsquo; yourself.&rdquo; He pointed out that the Penang DAP government has yet to implement an LRT system there as promised.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I sympathise with member for Kota Sentosa (Chong Chieng Jen), who has been deceived by his counterpart in Penang. Our LRT will be funded by our own financial model and not direct federal funding,&rdquo; said Abang Johari.<br /> <br /> He said the financing model for strategic projects in the state will not be as Chong and Wong King Wei (DAP-Padungan) had envisaged, which he called a &ldquo;primitive and coffee shop-type of business funding method&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> Abang Johari stressed that Sarawak&rsquo;s economy is still growing, but admitted it is not as strong as it used to be due to the global slowdown.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The current economic consolidation of China has brought about a fall in commodity prices to lower but more sustainable levels. We, therefore, have no choice if we want to get out of our dependence on natural resources, and get into the digital world, which has been growing by leaps and bounds, creating millionaires by the day,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Abang Johari said the state government must create good jobs for young people in Sarawak so that the state could grow faster.<br /> <br /> As such, he said Kuching will take the lead when it comes to implementing a good public transport system in urban centres statewide.<br /> <br /> The proposed Light Rail Transit (LRT) system will be complemented by the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), private taxis and private cars, he asserted.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We should focus our attention on the creation of new housing areas to cater for a faster increase in the population as we attract talents to urban centres.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The Sarawak government shall spearhead this digital development but we will leave it to the private sector and the young entrepreneurs to do whatever they can do best to make a living and a name for themselves.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Abang Johari said his administration would provide all the necessary incentives to help young start-ups to formalise their operations. The state government should encourage greater digitisation and more automation especially in the city centres, agriculture, manufacturing and services including the tourism sector, he said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We shall use the availability of our energy to attract global digital companies to host their operations in Sarawak. For this, we need to upgrade our digital infrastructure to a world-class level. This we will push.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We shall not forget the rural villages, which we want connected in order for us to bring them tele-medicine, e-learning and e-commerce. The growth of the rural areas will be accompanied by the development of the transport and logistics of Sarawak.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This is my vision and indeed the vision of Barisan Nasional for Sarawak. God willing, it will come true,&rdquo; he added.</p>8256Borneo Post OnlineTue, 23 May 2017 00:00:00 +0800Be Creative To Cater To Needs Of Youths — Naroden<p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong><img src=" 2017/220517_Needs Of Youths.jpg" /><br /> <br /> Naroden (third right) cutting the ribbon to launch Canard Eat &amp; Roll at Jalan Tun Ahmad Zaidi yesterday.</strong><br /> <br /> KUCHING: Local entrepreneurs are urged to be creative and innovative to cater to the needs of the younger generation.&nbsp; Assistant Minister for Entrepreneur and Small, Medium Enterprise (SME) Development Datuk Naroden Majais said it was a trend now to cater to the needs of youths.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We need to catch the taste of younger generation. The youths want something fast and instant. Fast food outlets with online deliveries are good to cater to the youths,&rdquo; he said at the opening of Canard Eat &amp; Roll, a burger restaurant which offers deliveries, yesterday.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Online deliveries are in need as the city grows bigger and increased purchasing power among the youths.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Additionally, fast food such as burgers is one of preferred food choice for youths who are always rushing in doing their business.<br /> <br /> Naroden encouraged more entrepreneurs to venture in fast food businesses as the costs and risks were low.<br /> <br /> He also highlighted there are grants, loans and programmes offered under the Ministry of Industrial and Entrepreneur Development for entrepreneurs.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We have the Bumiputera Enterprise Enhancement Programme (BEEP) which helps companies to grow and expands.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It is in the form of a grant in which about 50 per cent of the approved project is awarded to each company,&rdquo; he stated.<br /> <br /> To make up the rest of the cost, entrepreneurs can apply for Skim Pinjaman Industri Kecil dan Sederhana (Spiks).<br /> <br /> Naroden explained, &lsquo;Spiks&rsquo; is a soft loan to help entrepreneurs with their working capital needs, buying of tools or machinery and renovation of business premises. He also advised larger businesses with project proposals of no more than RM2.5 million to reach out to The Bumiputera Agenda Steering Unit (Teraju).</p>8237Borneo Post OnlineMon, 22 May 2017 00:00:00 +0800SK Abang Ali To Have New RM3.5-Mln Building<p style="text-align: justify;"> <img src=" 2017/220517_New RM3.5-Mln Building.jpg" /><br /> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Abang Johari (fourth right) cutting the cake to mark the 127th anniversary of SK Abang Ali. He is joined by Juma&rsquo;ani (fifth right), (from right) Hamdi, Bustari, Wong, (from left) Hii, Mohamad Yusnar, Dr Annuar, Rohani and others.</strong><br /> <br /> SIBU: The 127-year-old SK Abang Ali will have a new building costing RM3.5 million, and construction will start this year.<br /> <br /> Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg announced the good news when officiating at the school&rsquo;s 127th anniversary dinner on Saturday.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Teachers need to be given a better place and our children need to have a building for them to rest or carry out co-curricular activities. The building plan for the teachers&rsquo; room and hall (dewan) shown by the architect is quite sophisticated,&rdquo; Abang Johari said.<br /> <br /> He added he had approved RM2.5 million while a corporate figure Tan Sri Bustari Yusuf chipped in RM1 million for the project.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Tonight (Saturday) we approve &mdash; I have an allocation of RM2.5 million for us to build this extra building; we are short of RM1 million. I negotiated with Tan Sri Bustari Yusuf, who was a pupil of the school and promised him if he could contribute RM1 million, I will sing. So, there is a &lsquo;deal&rsquo;,&rdquo; he said in jest.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We have a long term programme to develop the school, including a secondary school but I cannot reveal as I need to find a way,&rdquo; he added.<br /> <br /> At the same function, Abang Johari announced that Assistant Minister of Education and Technological Research Dr Annuar Rapaee would head the school development committee, particularly on the secondary school.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We can focus on the centre of Malay villages here to have a secondary school to guide our children in a new landscape, new education, new fields and also the new economic situation of the world.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;With this committee &ndash; so long as I am the Chief Minister &ndash; I will find a strategic land in this area to establish this school. We will request the federal government to jointly develop a secondary school in this area.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This is our hope to give good education to our children,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> He praised the school for producing many academicians, entrepreneurs and leaders both in the state and country.<br /> <br /> He cited Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim and Bustari as among the school&rsquo;s fine products.<br /> <br /> Also speaking at the function were Dr Annuar and Rohani.<br /> <br /> At the same function, SK Abang Ali Alumni Association (Paskaa) handed a cheque for RM16,850 to the school as incentives for UPSR 2016.<br /> <br /> Among those present were Abang Johari&rsquo;s wife Datin Amar Datuk Juma&rsquo;ani Tun Tuanku Bujang, Minister of International Trade and E-Commerce Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh, Paskaa chairman Datuk Mohamad Yusnar Matalie, Temenggong Datuk Wan Hamid Edruce, Sibu Resident Hii Chang Kee and headmaster Hamdi Nadji.</p>8238Borneo Post OnlineMon, 22 May 2017 00:00:00 +0800Masing Performs Soft Opening Of Kanowit Bridge<p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong><img src=" 2017/220517_Kanowit Bridge.jpg" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>(From right) Alexander, Nanta, Masing and Aaron give the thumbs up to the new bridge.</strong><br /> <br /> KANOWIT: The opening of Kanowit bridge is a gateway to the upper Rajang area.<br /> <br /> Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing said the bridge was made possible because the people had wanted it.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This is possible because they had elected people&rsquo;s representatives who have means of persuasion and link with those in authority.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The bridge is the first phase to make Kapit no longer an island within the island of Borneo,&rdquo; he told a press conference after officiating at the soft opening of Kanowit bridge here yesterday.<br /> <br /> Masing said that the 350-metre bridge costing RM52 million was part of the 101km Kanowit/Song/Kapit Road, which commenced construction in Dec 2014.<br /> <br /> He said it was opened much earlier than its scheduled completion in July this year to provide convenience to the people residing in Majau, Poi, Ngemah as well as Song in conjunction with the Gawai Dayak celebration.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;All this happened because the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, allows it to happen. He had been here many times and because of that he understands the needs of the people in this region.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Because of that, you cannot tell us not to appreciate his work.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;So you cannot say that the people are giving their empty support to Najib.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We will support leaders who understand our needs and Najib understands that. That&rsquo;s why we support him. He will remain strong in Rajang and this will help us to open up Upper Rajang Development Agency (URDA),&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Earlier, in his speech, Masing, who is also Minister of Infrastructure Development and Transportation, said he would talk to Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg to include Kanowit in Upper Rajang Development Agency (URDA).<br /> <br /> He said he cannot decide on the matter although he is URDA chairman.<br /> <br /> Among those present were were Deputy Minister of Rural and Regional Development Datuk Alexander Nanta, Kanowit MP Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang, Ngemah assemblyman Alexander Vincent, Machan assemblyman Allan Siden Gramong and Bukit Goram assemblyman Jefferson Jamit.</p>8239Borneo Post OnlineMon, 22 May 2017 00:00:00 +0800CM: Appointment Of State Education Minister To Enhance Emphasis On Education<p style="text-align: justify;"> <img src=" 2017/220517_Enhance Emphasis On Education.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Manyin (left) greets Chong upon arriving for the dinner.</strong><br /> <br /> KUCHING: The decision to appoint the first minister in charge of education in Sarawak was because the state government could no longer wait for Putrajaya to provide the best schooling facilities for the state.<br /> <br /> Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said his appointment of Dato Sri Michael Manyin as the minister to look after education in Sarawak was to enhance the state government&rsquo;s emphasis on education.<br /> <br /> He explained that having a minister holding a watching brief on matters pertaining to education, as practiced previously, is not enough for Sarawak.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We want somebody who is given the political mandate to deal with education in Sarawak and to deal with Putrajaya (federal government). With a person in charge of education, we want to provide the best facilities for education in Sarawak, especially for our rural schools which are often in very bad shape.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We want to be able to say to Putrajaya: &lsquo;We build our schools first and bill you later&rsquo;. We just cannot wait for Putrajaya to&nbsp;build rural schools as sometimes they do not have enough funds,&rdquo;<br /> <br /> he said at the fund-raising dinner for SJK Chung Hua No 2&rsquo;s expansion project on Saturday.<br /> <br /> Abang Johari&rsquo;s speech was read by Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong, who represented him at the dinner.<br /> <br /> Manyin, meanwhile, said he welcomed cooperation across the political divide to highlight problems faced by schools in Sarawak.<br /> <br /> Having noted the presence of DAP Sarawak chairman and Bandar Kuching MP Chong Chieng Jen at the dinner, Manyin said that Chong may raise issues concerning Sarawak schools when speaking in Parliament in order to gain attention and urgency from the federal Education Ministry.<br /> <br /> He also said he had mentioned that 960 rural schools are classified as dilapidated, which deprived students from experiencing a conducive learning environment, in his ministerial winding-up speech at the State Legislative Assembly last Friday.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Sarawak is still 13th in terms of ranking in national schools performance, followed by Labuan at 14th and Sabah 15th. Let&rsquo;s work together to improve our position,&rdquo; he said.</p>8240Borneo Post OnlineMon, 22 May 2017 00:00:00 +0800‘State Govt Will Continue To Support Chinese Education’<p style="text-align: justify;"> <img src=" 2017/220517_Chinese Education.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Manyin (fourth right), flanked by his wife Datin Sri Mary on his left, joins others including Wong (second right) and Wee (left) in showing some of the mock cheques of contributions received for the SJK Chung Hua No. 2 expansion project.</strong><br /> <br /> KUCHING: Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg believes the state government has been doing the right thing by continuing its policy to assist and recognise Chinese education.<br /> <br /> He said the late chief minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem allocated a few million ringgit to independent Chinese schools in 2014, 2015 and 2016 and this was continued this year when he (Abang Johari) gave RM6 million last month.<br /> <br /> He pointed out that previously, the independent Chinese schools did not receive even a single sen in government aid.<br /> <br /> As for Unified Examination Certificate (UEC), he said UEC holders can use it to apply for jobs in the state civil service and apply for study loans from Yayasan Sarawak, and the state government has decided to fully recognise UEC even though the federal government has not done so.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This has never been done before and I believe this is the right thing to do to assist Chinese education in Sarawak, and in recognition of the contribution of the Chinese community to Sarawak&rsquo;s overall development,&rdquo; he said at the fundraising dinner for SJK Chung Hua No. 2 expansion project held at a hall in Jalan Padungan on Saturday night.<br /> <br /> His text of speech was read by Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong.<br /> <br /> Abang Johari said Chung Hua schools or Chinese schools are giving good education to children including Bumiputera children who make up a significant percentage of the student population in these schools.<br /> <br /> Taking SJK Chung Hua No. 2 as an example, he said the school is currently the largest primary school in Kuching with more than 1,300 students, of which five percent are non-Chinese.<br /> <br /> On the other hand, in rural Chinese schools, 60, 70 and even 80 per cent of their students are Bumiputera, he added.<br /> <br /> In Satok constituency where he is the assemblyman, Abang Johari said he never failed to give a yearly grant to assist a Chung Hua Middle School there.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This is our way in Sarawak. Why cannot we recognise and help these schools?&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> The Chief Minister also mentioned that the Chinese community had always been a partner in the common efforts to build a better Sarawak for all communities.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I sincerely hope that our Chinese friends will continue to play a meaningful role in the government based on our power-sharing concept. After all the Chinese were the first batch of people to be part of the BN power-sharing government back in 1970,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Manyin, after reading Abang Johari&rsquo;s speech, announced an allocation of RM100,000 from the Chief Minister and RM30,000 from himself for SJK Chung Hua No. 2 expansion project.<br /> <br /> Dinner organising chairman Teo Kwang Hock said SJK Chung Hua No. 2, located at Tabuan Jaya, needed about RM6 million to build a new four-storey classroom building and a hall.<br /> <br /> He said due to lack of classrooms, the school had to reject applications from a few hundred new students while the absence of a hall forced the students to exercise or gather under the hot sun.<br /> <br /> Kuching Chung Hua Primary Schools No. 1 to 6 Management Board chairman Wong Tiong Hook announced at the end of the dinner that they had so far raised RM5.27 million, an increase from RM4.37 million collected before the dinner.<br /> <br /> He said more fundraising efforts will be organised in order to reach the RM6 million target. The audience was also informed that businessman and dinner main sponsor Chai Tze Khin contributed RM1.4 million to the fundraising and Chai&rsquo;s grandchildren donated RM200,000.<br /> <br /> China&rsquo;s Consul General in Kuching Fu Jijun, who also spoke, praised the Sarawak government&rsquo;s commitment to continue to assist Chinese education.<br /> <br /> He said this reflected the beauty of Sarawak, where harmony and inclusiveness among the people reigned supreme.<br /> <br /> Among others present were Padawan Municipal Council chairman Lo Khere Chiang, Bandar Kuching MP Chong Chieng Jen and Kuching Chung Hua Middle School No. 1, 3 and 4 Management Committee chairman Dato Richard Wee.</p>8241Borneo Post OnlineMon, 22 May 2017 00:00:00 +0800Involvement Of DID imperative in SPA Planning Approval Process – Dr Sim<p style="text-align: justify;"> KUCHING: The state government is fully aware on the importance of the Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) to be involved in the State Planning Authority&rsquo;s (SPA) planning approval process.<br /> <br /> Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian said the involvement of DID in such a process is important as the DID is in charge and has the technical expertise in drainage matters.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Once DID goes in, at least someone will look at the drain,&rdquo; he told reporters after the handing over of the state government&rsquo;s contribution of RM500,000 to the Poh Ka Monastery Construction Committee at Jalan Uplands here yesterday.<br /> <br /> Dr Sim, who is Batu Kawah assemblyman, was asked on the measures to be taken by his ministry to deal with flash floods happening in various parts of the state, which were partly due to housing and other developments.<br /> <br /> Under the current practice, the DID&rsquo;s advice and comments in the technical planning permission stage have to be conveyed to the SPA through the Land and Survey Department.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Chief Minister Abang Jo (Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg) has said that the state will be utilising the latest ICT technology to come out with digital integrated data so that there will be three dimensional (considerations) &hellip; not just looking at the planning or the building itself, but the surroundings will also be taken into account.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> In his capacity as the minister in charge of housing, Dr Sim said he will provide more details regarding his plans in due time, adding that he had just taken over the portfolio and would require time to familiarise himself with the many housing programmes provided by the government.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I will give more details in due time because I just took over. There are so many programmes.&nbsp;I have a few things in mind. I think the federal government has seven programmes with different criteria.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Nevertheless, Dr Sim said both him and Abang Johari had agreed that meeting housing needs in the state should benefit everybody, regardless of whether they are from rural or urban areas.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The urban (area residents) have different needs. The urban needs include (the interests of) the middle class Chinese especially because even if the husband and wife are working but they are still not able to afford a house.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> In stressing that housing is not only a Sarawakian issue, Dr Sim said this challenge is also happening in other countries.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;But for me, I want to do something about it as Minister of Housing. In fact, we not only need to address the need for low cost (housing) but also we need to address (housing) for urban middle class.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;As for the upper class, they can build their own. They don&rsquo;t need the government to help.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Dr Sim said while the state government has placed a lot of emphasis for housing in rural areas as well but with the rural-urban migration, it is inevitable that between 70 and 80 per cent of the population in Sarawak will be staying in and near towns and cities.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, in view of the dry spell that is being experienced by the state, Dr Sim advised people to ensure that they drink enough water and make sure that they avoid heat stroke.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;For all the public activities in open spaces, the organisers must be aware of all these heat stroke (dangers) and so on.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;At the same time, we must learn how to look after the environment better. This cycle will come and go. After the heat wave, the flood (season) will come.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Therefore, we have to restore the balance of the environment. It starts now, with each one of us and we have to be sensible.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> He also advised parents to be more responsible by not leaving their children in the car unattended even if they need to get out of the car to do something for a short time.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Sometimes we are so busy, we don&rsquo;t think and just park our car and go in (to do something) for five minutes only. Sometimes, we will forget and our children end up getting &lsquo;cooked&rsquo; in the car.&rdquo;</p>8242Borneo Post OnlineMon, 22 May 2017 00:00:00 +0800MP Hopes Outreach Programme Will Extend To Rural Areas<p> <br /> <img src=" 2017/220517_Outreach Programme.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Arpah (seated fourth left) and representatives from various agencies with the participants in a photo-call.</strong><br /> <br /> MIRI: The Knowledge Outreach Intervention Programme implemented by Pustaka Negeri Sarawak has made a huge impact on the knowledge of its participants from various rural areas in Miri Division.<br /> <br /> Member of Parliament for Sibuti Ahmad Lai Bujang hoped Pustaka Negeri Sarawak would continue with such efforts by extending similar programmes to other rural areas in the state.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Like the urban folk, people living in the rural areas also want the government to give them equal attention on basic needs such as health, education, welfare and many others,&rdquo; he said when closing the Knowledge Outreach Intervention Programme at Pustaka Miri on Saturday.<br /> <br /> Ahmad Lai&rsquo;s text of speech was read out by Pustaka Negeri Sarawak&rsquo;s acting chief executive officer (CEO) Arpah Adenan.<br /> <br /> Modern living has demanded that the rural folks acquire relevant skills and knowledge so they would not be left behind in the government&rsquo;s mainstream development agenda particular in the aspect of information communications technology (ICT), Ahmad Lai said.<br /> <br /> Thus, he wanted the participants who attended the programme to exercise what they learnt from the programme and share the information with others.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;You are the role models for lifelong learning and this is the spirit that should be followed by others.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The outreach programme conducted by Pustaka Negeri Sarawak started in 2013 with Long Laput in Ulu Baram as the first location.<br /> <br /> Since then, similar programmes were carried out at Long Bedian the following year followed by Kampung Kuala Sibuti in 2015.<br /> <br /> A total of 230 participants ranging from students to housewives have benefited from the three outreach programmes.<br /> <br /> For Saturday&rsquo;s event, a total of 11 participants from the previous three knowledge outreach programmes were selected to attend the five-day programme at Pustaka Miri.<br /> <br /> During the event, participants were exposed to various knowledge, information and skills by agencies such as Welfare Department, Miri Hospital, Department of Health and Agriculture Department.<br /> <br /> The main objectives of the programme were to promote and introduce the functions as well as services of various agencies to the rural community, to expose and create awareness on the importance of being ICT and knowledge literate and to encourage lifelong learning amongst community members.<br /> <br /> Additionally, the programme was also in line with Pustaka Negeri Sarawak&rsquo;s vision and mission to help develop the people to be part of an information-savvy community.<br /> Also present was Pustaka Negeri Sarawak&rsquo;s head of ICT sector Wan Mazli Wan Razali.</p>8243Borneo Post OnlineMon, 22 May 2017 00:00:00 +0800Rescuing Dilapidated Schools<p style="text-align: justify;"> <img src=" 2017/220517_Dilapidated Schools.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Abang Johari (left) belts out a number &ndash; &lsquo;Kasih Sayang&rsquo; &ndash; to raise RM1 million for the construction of the new RM3.5 million building for SK Abang Ali.</strong><br /> <br /> SIBU: The state has a new mechanism to address the issues of dilapidated schools in rural areas by making use of the funding from the Development Bank of Sarawak (DBOS).<br /> <br /> Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg who disclosed this said the state-owned bank will obtain funding to develop the dilapidated schools.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Through this bank (DBOS), we have a new model to get funding to address the issues of dilapidated schools in rural areas of the state.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This bank will do collection (reimbursement) from the federal government on the funds drawn out (used) by the state government. This is the understanding between us (state government) and the federal government.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I have a new approach for us to assist the dilapidated schools especially in rural areas to ensure children can study in a conducive and safe environment,&rdquo; he said when officiating at the 127th anniversary dinner of SK Abang Ali here on Saturday.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Dato Sri Michael Manyin in his winding-up speech at the State Legislative Assembly last Friday disclosed that 70 per cent of 1,454 schools in Sarawak had been categorised as dilapidated and in need of immediate attention from the authorities &ndash; 415 of them in critically dilapidated condition. Sarawak has 190 secondary schools and 1,264 primary schools.<br /> <br /> Touching on the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Research, Abang Johari said the state needs to have its own ministry to monitor its education system especially with regard to the issue of dilapidated schools.<br /> &ldquo;Although education is under the federal government, I have set up the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Research, because we have also invested in institutions of higher learning (IPTs) through Yayasan Sarawak such as Swinburne University, Curtin University and University College of Technology Sarawak (UCTS).<br /> &ldquo;Therefore, we need our own Education Ministry to monitor the education system in Sarawak,&rdquo; he added.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, in his speech, Assistant Minister of Education and Technological Research Dr Annuar Rapaee, described the Chief Minister&rsquo;s visit to SK Abang Ali as a historical feat for the school. He pointed out that Abang Johari&rsquo;s wife, Datin Amar&nbsp; Datuk Juma&rsquo;ani Tun Tuanku Bujang, is a former pupil of the school.<br /> <br /> Among those present were Juma&rsquo;ani, Minister of International Trade and E-Commerce Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh, SK Abang Ali Alumni Association (Paskaa) chairman Datuk Mohamad Yusnar Matalie, Temenggong Datuk Wan Hamid Edruce, Sibu Resident Hii Chang Kee and headmaster Hamdi Nadji.</p>8244Borneo Post OnlineMon, 22 May 2017 00:00:00 +0800Refer To Ministry For Investments In Halal Hub<p style="text-align: justify;"> Businesses keen on learning more about investment opportunities in Tanjung Manis Halal Hub should refer directly to the Ministry of Industrial and Entrepreneur Development.<br /> <br /> Deputy Chief Minister YB Datuk Amar Haji Awang Tengah Ali Hasan explained this in his winding-up speech at the First Meeting of the Second Term of the 18th&nbsp;State Legislative Assembly, on 19th&nbsp;May.<br /> <br /> YB Datuk Amar Haji Awang Tengah, who is also the Industrial and Entrepreneur Development Minister pointed out that Tanjung Manis Halal Hub, through the Halal Hub Unit, has been under the purview of the Ministry since May 2016.<br /> <br /> Prior to that, the Halal Hub Unit was under the Chief Minister&rsquo;s Department&rsquo;s Bumiputera Entrepreneur Development Unit since June 2015.<br /> <br /> The Minister also pointed out that the revamp on the Halal Hub Unit was the main reason its website has not been updated and actually has been brought down.<br /> <br /> On the latest updates regarding Tanjung Manis, for the Palm Oil Industrial Cluster (POIC), TM Bulkers Sdn Bhd &ndash; with a RM350 million investment &ndash; started its operations in March, while earthworks have recently commenced for Kuala Rejang Industrial Synergy Sdn Bhd&rsquo;s investment, which is worth RM500 million.<br /> <br /> The private sector has also developed a commercial centre in Tanjung Manis, comprised of 95 units of shophouses, with another 40 units under construction due to high demand.<br /> <br /> To further enhance the economic activities in Tanjung Manis Halal Hub, Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (STIDC) has identified 20 strategic projects &ndash; worth RM2.8 billion &ndash; in agro-business, fisheries-based industry, food processing industry, livestock industry and poultry industry.<br /> <br /> According to YB Datuk Amar Haji Awang Tengah, these projects are expected to create more than 3,000 employment opportunities in the next five years.</p>8246Faradale Media-MMon, 22 May 2017 00:00:00 +0800Improving Service Delivery Through Transformation Initiatives<p style="text-align: justify;"> The introduction of Integrated Multi Services Counters at the Urban Transformation Centres (UTC) in Kuching, Sibu and Miri is one of the many initiatives introduced recently to improve service delivery to the rakyat.<br /> <br /> With Integrated Multi Services Counters, the frontline services from multiple agencies are offered through a single service node, thus providing convenience for customers who do not have to go from one agency to another.<br /> <br /> Deputy Chief Minister YB Datuk Amar Haji Awang Tengah Ali Hasan pointed out that this will enhance customer&rsquo;s experience by maximising the range of state service at one counter.<br /> <br /> He said this in his winding-up speech at the First Meeting of the Second Term of the 18th&nbsp;State Legislative Assembly, on 19th&nbsp;May.<br /> <br /> Apart from the Integrated Multi Services Counters, efforts to improve service delivery to the rakyat also included the SarawakGov mobile app launched earlier this month, to disseminate information such as local news, key events and happenings in the State.<br /> <br /> Some of the features of the app include public feedback through Talikhidmat, weather updates, information on places of interest, and the latest facts and figures about Sarawak.<br /> <br /> These initiatives are focused under the Service Delivery Key Result Areas (KRA) and State Public Relations Strategy KRA.<br /> <br /> The two KRAs are under the purview of the Cabinet Committee on Performance and Service Delivery Transformation, which is chaired by YB Datuk Amar Haji Awang Tengah.<br /> <br /> The Cabinet Committee also looks into three other KRAs, including quality of education and human capital; societal well-being; and Sarawak as a sports powerhouse.</p>8247Faradale Media-MMon, 22 May 2017 00:00:00 +0800Rural Transformation Initiatives Progressing Well<p style="text-align: justify;"> The Cabinet Committee on Rural Transformation has already identified, proposed and implemented various initiatives as intervention measures to speed up the provision of basic utilities and amenities in the rural areas of Sarawak.<br /> <br /> According to Deputy Chief Minister YB Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing, who is also the Chairman of the Cabinet Committee, an allocation of RM325.3 million has been approved to implement 297 &ldquo;low-hanging fruit&rdquo; projects this year.<br /> <br /> He said this in his winding-up speech during the First Meeting of the Second Term of the 18th&nbsp;State Legislative Assembly, on 19th&nbsp;May.<br /> <br /> YB Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James, who is also Minister of Infrastructure Development and Transportation, explained these projects were the initial intervention measures to reduce the gaps in infrastructure and amenities between the rural and urban areas in the State.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The implementation of these rural-based, people-centric projects is progressing well and expected to improve the quality of life of the rural population,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> In 2016 and early 2017, the following projects have been implemented or were under implementation;<br /> <br /> Completion of 20 new schools (eight IBS and 12 conventional method), and upgrading of 108 schools;<br /> <br /> Replacement of 42 schools using IBS, connection of 61 schools to electricity grid, while connection of 34 schools to treated water supply is on-going and to be completed end of 2017;<br /> <br /> Completion and upgrading of three hospitals and one clinic, while construction of three new hospitals still on-going in 2017;<br /> <br /> Completion of the upgrade of 213.4 kilometres of ex-logging roads and another 108.84 km to be completed this year;<br /> Completion of 71 rural water supply projects;<br /> <br /> Completion of 184 RES projects, 43 SARES projects, and 30 hydro projects;<br /> <br /> Improvement works of 114 flood prone areas, some of which were in advanced planning stage; and<br /> Completion of 438 telecommunication towers, 194 small-scale structures, 103 &lsquo;1Malaysia Internet Centres&rsquo; (PI1M), 107 &lsquo;1Malaysia People&rsquo;s Cable System&rsquo; (SK1M), and 4,104 ports in 53 &lsquo;Suburban Broadband&rsquo; (SUBB).</p>8248Faradale Media-MMon, 22 May 2017 00:00:00 +0800Children Of Single Mums Receive RM10.7 Mln In Aid<p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong><img src=" 2017/210517_Children Of Single Mums.jpg" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>The women of Pitsa pose for a wefie together with Fatimah (centre) during yesterday&rsquo;s AGM.</strong><span style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><br /> <br /> KUCHING: While there is no financial aid specifically for single mothers in Sarawak, the Welfare Department does provide aid under Bantuan Kanak-Kanak (BKK) fund to the children of 12,252 single mums to the tune of RM10.7 million between January and April this year.<br /> <br /> As of March 2017, Sarawak Single Mothers&rsquo; Association (Pitsa) recorded 14,485 single mums in its database, while the Carnation Club of Kuching/Samarahan has 700 members.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We must remember that not all single mothers are registered as members of a single mothers association,&rdquo; said Welfare, Community Well Being, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Fatimah Abdullah.<br /> <br /> She was officiating at Pitsa&rsquo;s ninth Annual General Meeting (AGM) for the 2017-2019 term yesterday, on behalf of the Chief Minister&rsquo;s wife Datin Amar Jumaani Tuanku Bujang.<br /> <br /> Fatimah said that the ministry aims to empower and develop the economic status of needy groups, including single mothers, so that they no longer need government aid.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We start by encouraging these mothers to start a business, either alone or in a group, and generate an income while increasing their confidence,&rdquo; she said, pointing out that various initiatives are available under the state welfare department and State Women and Family Department.<br /> <br /> She also said that her ministry wants to start a Micro Enterprise Production Collection Centre that is tasked with collecting products from entrepreneurs who can mass produce but need help marketing them.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This centre will also help with services such as packaging, labeling, branding and quality control before these items enter the local and international market via e-commerce.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The centre will be based in Samajaya and managed by a group of professionals with a background in It and business.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The ministry is confident that with this centre, we can increase the income of this group of people and get them out of poverty.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Also present was new Pitsa president Salmah Ibrahim.<br /> <br /> In her speech, Salmah said that they have five main focus groups, namely the entrepreneurs, a social club, two pre-schools, a pre-school fire safety awareness club, and a zikir group.She also said that coupons are now available for their upcoming charity food fair, which is scheduled for August 13.<br /> A total of 150 Pitsa members attended the AGM yesterday.</p>8232Borneo Post OnlineSun, 21 May 2017 00:00:00 +0800