The Official Portal of the Sarawak Government RSS Feed 2017-07-26 12:46:35 2017-07-26 12:46:35‘Tudan-Miri Road Upgrading Project Completed In September’<p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong><img src=" 2017/250717_Tudan-Miri road.jpg" /><br /> Lee (centre) showing the Tudan road upgrading project to the media.</strong><br /> <br /> MIRI: The upgrading of Tudan-Miri road will be completed in September this year.<br /> <br /> Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Lee Kim Shin, who stated this, said presently the project was 88 per cent completed.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The upgrading started in February last year and not in 2015 as claimed by certain parties, who said the project is delayed,&rdquo; Lee said during a site visit to Tudan road yesterday.<br /> <br /> Present were representatives from the Public Works Department and Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB).<br /> <br /> Lee refuted the allegation by certain quarters that the project was delayed, saying it was on schedule and would be completed this September.<br /> <br /> He said during the past few months, the contractor had to wait for the utilities companies such as SEB and the water board (Laku) to shift their utility lines and pipes, which had to be done in stages.<br /> <br /> Lee, who is also Senadin assemblyman, added that SEB was currently putting up street lighting along the road.<br /> &ldquo;Now the contractor can continue their work as all the utilities have been removed,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> He also said he had instructed the contractor to tar-seal the compound of Tudan Clinic to make room for more parking places.<br /> <br /> He urged road users to be patient as the contractor was doing their best to complete the road by September.</p>8672Borneo Post OnlineTue, 25 Jul 2017 00:00:00 +0800Coastal Road Network To Boost Local Tourism, Says Julaihi<p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong><img src=" 2017/250717_Coastal road network.jpg" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Julaihi (fourth left), Saadiah on his left, Ibrahim (third left) and other guests symbolically cook the &lsquo;ketupat&rsquo; at the gathering.</strong><br /> <br /> SEBUYAU: The development of the state&rsquo;s coastal road will help boost tourism sector, apart from connecting the densely populated coastal areas and towns.<br /> <br /> Assistant Minister of Coastal Road Datuk Julaihi Narawi, said the construction of coastal road would also encourage more locals and outsiders to visit coastal areas and find out the products available in these areas.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The construction of coastal road will impact the tourism sector because many of our friends from Sarawak and from outside want to see what are the things available in rural and coastal areas, like looking for fresh vegetables and fish to buy.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Besides that, coastal areas are densely populated and the coastal road will help to connect the several settlements and towns that have long been established..and that is why the construction of coastal road is very much needed, to benefit the people in coastal areas,&rdquo; Julaihi told reporters at Sebuyau sub-district office on Sunday.<br /> <br /> Among the towns situated along the coastal belt are Sematan, Lundu, Asajaya, Sadong Jaya, Sebangan, Sebuyau, Meludam, Pusa, Beladin, Saratok, Kabong, Dalat, Oya, Mukah, Balingian and Tatau with several other surrounding settlements.<br /> <br /> Julaihi, who is Sebuyau assemblyman earlier officiated at a Gawai Raya celebration at Dewan Pembangunan, here.<br /> <br /> According to Julaihi, in other countries most of the developed areas are situated along the coastal belt and hoped that similar attention be given to coastal areas in the state.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Like the rural areas that are connected by the Pan Borneo Highway, we hope that the coastal areas would also be connected with the construction of the coastal road,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> He was glad to note that the government had approved several bridge projects like Batang Lupar, Btg Saribas, Btg Lassa and Btg Krian, adding that Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg had also announced the approval of Btg Kemena bridge in Bintulu.<br /> <br /> On the projects that have been approved in Sebuyau, he said their construction will be intensified next year.<br /> <br /> Among the projects are Sebuyau health clinic costing more than RM12 million which is now in the process of site clearing and the new SMK Sebuyau, which is in the midst of land acquisition process, where the Land and Survey Department has received funds from Ministry of Education for land compensation.<br /> <br /> On the Sebuyau mini industrial estate, which is among the components of Sebuyau New Township, he said tender for the project would be issued next year.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Other projects like the new Sebuyau bazaar and the site for a housing project, we will carry out in stages,&rdquo; he pointed out and advised the locals to prepare themselves for the transformation taking place in the area.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, at the gathering, Julaihi presented Minor Rural Project (MRP) grants totalling &nbsp;RM538,000 to 36 associations and cash donation to 44 recipients.<br /> <br /> Julaihi&rsquo;s wife Datin Saadiah Biju and Samarahan Resident Ibrahim Lumpu were among those present.</p>8673Borneo Post OnlineTue, 25 Jul 2017 00:00:00 +0800‘DPP Hub to expedite MyKad Processing In The State — Fatimah<p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong><img src=" 2017/250717_DPP Hub to expedite MyKad.jpg" /><br /> Fatimah (fifth left) seen with NRD officials and others during the ceremony held at the office itself yesterday.</strong><br /> <br /> KUCHING: The production process of MyKad in Sarawak will now be faster following the launch of the MyKad Distributed Printing Project (DPP) Hub here yesterday.<br /> <br /> Officiating and speaking at a ceremony to launch the project, Minister of Welfare, Community Well Being, Women, Family and Childhood Development Datuk Fatimah Abdullah commented that she was glad the project has finally been launched in the state.<br /> <br /> She was also happy to note that the central region of Sarawak has the most hubs as it is there where the hubs were needed the most.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The implementation of the DPP Hub Project is very beneficial to the people and the civil service. This is because the benefits of saving time can facilitate other official affairs that require the authentication of information through MyKad, and the people can get the facilities and services offered faster and faster,&rdquo; she said.<br /> For Sarawak, there will be six DPP hubs (and 41 sub-hubs) located across the state.<br /> <br /> The hubs are located at the State National Registration Department (NRD) office at the Tuanku Haji Bujang Building, NRD office at Sibu UTC, NRD office at Miri UTC, Bintulu NRD office, Sri Aman NRD office and Sarikei NRD office.<br /> <br /> Before this, it would take 10 working days to make a MyKad in Peninsular Malaysia and 30 days in East Malaysia. With DPP, the period will be reduced from 10 working days to five in the peninsula, and from 30 to just seven in East Malaysia.<br /> <br /> NRD (Operations) deputy director-general Datuk Mohd Zahari Hassan, who was also present at the ceremony, commented that with DPP, the production of MyKad is expedited by up to 50-70 per cent.<br /> <br /> Fifty-five NRD offices throughout the country have been supplied with printers to print an application for identification cards received at the office itself.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This DPP Hub Project is also in line with the principles under the National Blue Ocean Strategy (NBOS), where this project was made through strategic collaboration between NRD, Pos Malaysia Berhad and suppliers companies.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The purpose of this project is to expedite MyKad&rsquo;s ongoing production, in a short period of time with low expenditure and have the biggest impact in NRD transactions and customers,&rdquo; said Mohd Zahari.<br /> <br /> Apart from that, he also mentioned that NRD will soon install MyKid processing machines at all Urban Transformation Centres (UTC) which will enable MyKid to be processed within 24 hours.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, both Fatimah and Mohd Zahari handed over identity cards to five recipients who had applied for their MyKad at the State NRD office, Tuanku Haji Bujang Building during the ceremony to symbolically launch DPP in the state. They were among the earliest to apply and receive their MyKad from the State NRD office after the implementation of DPP in the state.<br /> <br /> Sarawak is the last state in the country where NRD implemented the DPP project.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Sarawak was chosen last because the state has the most number of DPP offices located in the country. We also decided to organise this ceremony in Sarawak as somewhat of a closing ceremony for the implementation of this project,&rdquo; commented Mohd Zahari.<br /> <br /> Also present during the ceremony was Women, Family and Childhood Development Assistant Minister Rosey Yunus.</p>8674Borneo Post OnlineTue, 25 Jul 2017 00:00:00 +0800Significant Move By Sarawak<p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong><em>State government receives federal praises on having Integrity and Ombudsman functions in a ministerial portfolio under CMO</em></strong><br /> <br /> <img src=" 2017/250717_Significant move by Sarawak.jpg" /><br /> <strong>Datuk Paul Low Seng Kuang</strong><br /> <br /> KUCHING: The state government has been lauded on the creation of the Integrity and Ombudsman functions in a ministerial portfolio under the Chief Minister&rsquo;s Office (CMO).<br /> <br /> Minister in Prime Minister&rsquo;s Department Datuk Paul Low Seng Kuang, who is in charge of governance and integrity, sees it as &lsquo;one of the most significant steps&rsquo; taken by Sarawak.<br /> <br /> Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg announced the portfolio of Minister in Chief Minister&rsquo;s Office (Integrity and Ombudsman) at the closing of the Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) special convention here on May 6 this year. The minister-in-charge is Datuk Talib Zulpilip &ndash; previously the Assistant Minister for Infrastructure Development and Assistant Minister for Urbanisation.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I think this is very important, especially putting Datuk Talib Zulpilip in charge, because you cannot put in the changes unless there&rsquo;s a strong political will.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I welcome what the Sarawak government has done &ndash; it has laid a good foundation for better things to come,&rdquo; he told reporters here after attending the &lsquo;Conference on Governance Culture &ndash; What&rsquo;s Possible&rsquo; at Waterfront Hotel yesterday.<br /> <br /> Adding on, Low assured Talib that the federal side would work together with him (Talib) and his staff in putting in place the requirements for all measures of transformation.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Together with Talib and his staff, we hope to make Sarawak one of &ndash; if not the top among &ndash; the states in areas under government integrity. It is touted that Sarawak is the first state government in Malaysia to set up an ombudsman service.<br /> <br /> According to Oxford Learner&rsquo;s Dictionary, an &lsquo;ombudsman&rsquo; refers to an official whose duty is to examine and report on complaints made by the common folk about companies, the government or public authorities.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, Low believed that certain technology might need to be brought into Sarawak to facilitate the rural folk in getting access to Talib&rsquo;s ministry.<br /> <br /> Low said in view of Sarawak being a &lsquo;big state&rsquo;, it might be challenging for the ministry to know and identify each and every issue.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I do hope that we could bring in certain technology &ndash; mobile apps, for example &ndash; to Sarawak (for Talib&rsquo;s ministry).<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This technology is for the Sarawakians to use in giving feedback to the ministry and agencies under it on a number of issues, especially those related to the delivery of public service, as well as infrastructure and development.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I think these are some of the measures that we can work together in assisting our counterparts in Sarawak,&rdquo; he said.</p>8675Borneo Post OnlineTue, 25 Jul 2017 00:00:00 +0800Chief Minister: Good Governance Goes Beyond Satisfying Regulatory Requirements<p style="text-align: justify;"> <img src=" 2017/250717_ Good governance.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Talib (centre) and Low on his left at the one-day conference on governance. &mdash; Photo by Chimon Upon</strong><br /> <br /> KUCHING: The state needs good governance and integrity to realise its big development plans.<br /> <br /> Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg believed that in the public sector, those in the leadership level &ndash; from the state cabinet, in the civil service down to the grassroots &ndash; all have roles to play.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;To achieve a good ecosystem, the stakeholders within or outside of the organisation must play their part in upholding integrity and good governance with minimum rules and regulations in place to regulate the organisation and its business,&rdquo; he said in his keynote address at a &lsquo;Conference on Governance &ndash; What&rsquo;s Possible&rsquo; at Waterfront Hotel here yesterday.<br /> <br /> His text of his speech was read by Minister in Chief Minister&rsquo;s Office (Integrity and Ombudsman) Datuk Talib Zulpilip.<br /> <br /> Abang Johari believed that good governance is more than a compliance exercise to satisfy regulatory requirements.<br /> <br /> He said good governance sets the tone from the top and affects the entire organisation &ndash; from strategic planning, resource utilisation, values to accountability and assurance.<br /> <br /> Abang Johari said these were among the reasons why he had elevated integrity to that of a ministerial function &ndash; namely &lsquo;Integrity and Ombudsman&rsquo; in his cabinet.<br /> <br /> The chief minister announced the portfolio at the closing of the Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) special convention here on May 6 this year, of which Talib was appointed as the minister-in-charge.<br /> <br /> Abang Johari said prior to this, integrity was a function under the state Human Resource Unit, focused on the state civil service. The management of public complaints was then a function within the state Public Relations and Protocol Unit.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;With the elevation of these two functions to a ministerial level (under Chief Minister&rsquo;s Office), we hope to realise a disciplined, law-abiding and virtuous society in Sarawak,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> The conference also hosted Minister in Prime Minister&rsquo;s Department Datuk Paul Low Seng Kuan, who is in charge of the governance and integrity at the federal side.</p>8676Borneo Post OnlineTue, 25 Jul 2017 00:00:00 +0800‘Pan Borneo Highway, Trusan Dam Projects Will Boost Devt’ In Northern S’wak’<p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong><img src=" 2017/240717_Boost Devt’ In Northern S’wak’.jpg" /><br /> Abang Johari (front, third left) shaking hands with Awang Tengah after the symbolic launch of the &lsquo;Berdudun Aidilfitri&rsquo; event at Dewan Hikmah yesterday. Also seen are Dr Abdul Rahman (right) and other VIP guests. &mdash; Photo by Muhammad Rais Sanusi</strong><br /> <br /> KUCHING: Construction of the Pan Borneo Highway and the Trusan Dam is set to boost economic activities and social growth in northern Sarawak.<br /> <br /> Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said it is also hoped that the Pan Borneo Highway will be connected to the 30km Temburong bridge which is still under construction by the Brunei Darussalam government.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The northern part of Sarawak has a very bright potential with these two projects,&rdquo; said Abang Johari at a &lsquo;Badudun Aidilfitri&rsquo; event at Dewan Hikmah here yesterday, jointly organised by Pertubuhan Kebajikan Dangsanak Limbang Kuching and Persatuan Anak Jati Lawas.<br /> <br /> The idea of aligning the Pan Borneo Highway to connect Limbang-Temburong bridge, he added, was agreed to by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, who is also Bukit Sari assemblyman.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This will give Limbang a sound road connection that can further spur development in the area,&rdquo; said Abang Johari.<br /> <br /> Recently, Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said phase two of the Pan Borneo Highway involving the Limbang-Lawas proposed stretch had been handed over to a technical committee to decide whether the alignment should be done through Brunei Darussalam or an alternative route &ndash; a decision which is expected to be revealed in October this year.<br /> <br /> Abang Johari also said the government had agreed to continue the construction of the Trusan Dam to generate energy and supply clean water to Limbang and Lawas.<br /> <br /> Besides that, he added, the dam could be turned into a tourism destination which would benefit the local community economically.<br /> <br /> On another note, the chief minister said it was an honour for him to be made the patron of Pertubuhan Kebajikan Dangsanak Limbang Kuching and Persatuan Anak Jati Lawas.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I was born in Limbang but raised in Kuching,&rdquo; he said, adding that a person would always remember where they were born.<br /> <br /> He said that was the reason why, as soon as he was appointed as the chief minister, he visited Limbang to see what type of development could bring benefits to the division.<br /> <br /> Despite being born in Limbang and his deputy Awang Tengah being born in Lawas, he assured that the state government would be not be biased in carrying out its policies and development projects.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We are both in service to Sarawak and will bring fair and equal developments to the people regardless of their race,&rdquo; he added.<br /> <br /> Abang Johari also said the usage of technology would spur the growth of the state&rsquo;s digital economy.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Digital economy has no boundaries, no divisions, because as long as you have the knowledge of science, maths, ICT and are skilful in using gadgets, a person can be able to improve their own economy and the state&rsquo;s economy,&rdquo; he added.<br /> <br /> Among those at the event were Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Datuk Henry Sum Agong, Limbang MP Hasbi Habibolah, Bukit Kota assemblyman Dr Abdul Rahman Ismail and Batu Danau assemblyman Paulus Palu Gumbang.</p>8678Borneo Post OnlineMon, 24 Jul 2017 00:00:00 +0800Dalat To Have Centre Of Technical Excellence To Train Local Youths<p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong><img src=" 2017/240717_Technical Excellence To Train Local Youths.jpg" /><br /> Fatimah (third left) hands over a token of appreciation to Chia for her contribution of funds that will go towards buying the bicycles.</strong><br /> <br /> KUCHING: A Centre of Technical Excellence (Centexs) will soon be constructed in Dalat to equip local youths with skills without having to leave the district.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I hope that Centexs will transform our humble Dalat, as it did for Mukah Samarahan and Lundu,&rdquo; Welfare, Community Well Being, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Fatimah Abdullah said during an Aidilfitri gathering for e-DOK at Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) here yesterday. &lsquo;Era Digital &ndash; Dalat, Oya and Kut&rsquo; e-DOK is a think tank group comprising intellectuals from Dalat, Oya and Kut for which Fatimah is patron and advisor.<br /> <br /> Yesterday was their first attempt to bring people from Dalat together for them to make or renew acquaintance and get some activities rolling for e-DOK.<br /> <br /> Fatimah said Centexs is one of the six major projects coming to Dalat under the Rural Transformation Programme (RTP) and the 11th Malaysia Plan in efforts to change the landscape of the district.<br /> <br /> On July 16, Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg had performed the ground breaking ceremony for the Melanau Heritage Gallery for which he announced an allocation of RM2 million towards its construction.<br /> <br /> Fatimah said in the pipeline is a Welfare Complex, which will share the space with a Community-based Rehabilitation Centre, a special needs preschool and activity centre for elderly folks.<br /> <br /> Other projects include Tebingan Sungai Dalat, Oya Walk and Pekan Sabtu which are aimed at developing the constituency in a holistic manner towards improving the quality of life of the people in Dalat.<br /> <br /> During the event yesterday, two caring individuals stepped forward with contributions to the community.<br /> <br /> Tm Tec Academy (M) Sdn Bhd director Richard Song Swee Jin handed over a dialysis machine to Dalat Hospital, while Angela Chia from GC Coffeehouse Cafeteria and Catering donated bicycles.<br /> <br /> Also present were Fatimah&rsquo;s husband Datu Dr Adi Badiozaman Tuah, Balingian assemblyman Abdul Yakub Arbi and DBP Sarawak director Dr Azmi Jahari.</p>8679Borneo Post OnlineMon, 24 Jul 2017 00:00:00 +0800Paper On Safety Net Mechanism For Pepper farmers Submitted To Ministry, Says Mawan<p style="text-align: justify;"> KUCHING: A paper on a social safety net mechanism for pepper farmers has been prepared and submitted to the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities prior to tabling and approval in Parliament.<br /> <br /> Malaysian Pepper Board (MPB) chairman Tan Sri William Mawan said once approved, the social safety net mechanism will ensure pepper farmers can still carry on with their agricultural venture despite low market prices.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This is to protect the pepper industry. In general, we have prepared that paper. Exporters may need to pay certain cess to the fund set up by the government. When prices are good, the farmers too will contribute a minimal amount to the fund,&rdquo; he said in an interview at his office.<br /> <br /> This was in response to the call made by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas for MPB to set aside a fund to buy up pepper when there is oversupply of the commodity in the market or provide subsidy as a &lsquo;social safety net&rsquo; for pepper farmers.<br /> <br /> Uggah was quoted as saying that during his tenure as federal minister of plantation industries and commodities, he had formulated such a mechanism for those in the rubber industry &ndash; now, he hopes the same thing could be done for those in the pepper industry.<br /> <br /> Uggah had also said that when the price is low, farmers tend to abandon their pepper vines, which he did not want to happen again.<br /> <br /> On a related matter, Mawan said MPB is assisting farmers with an annual subsidy while the state&rsquo;s Ministry of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development is also assisting with RM10 million worth of subsidies.<br /> <br /> He said MPB is committed to future challenges and will be setting up a Research and Development Complex at 12th Mile, Semengok.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The tender for construction is to be awarded in August. It will materialise very soon. To ensure marketability of Sarawak Pepper, adopting good agricultural practices at the upstream level and good manufacturing practices at the downstream level are no longer an option but a way forward for the industry,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, MPB director general Dr Harry Entebang said MPB expects price fluctuations to continue to occur globally due to the high volume of production by Vietnam and other major producing countries.<br /> <br /> Because of this, he said MPB will continue to encourage pepper farmers to produce quality pepper for export as it can fetch better prices in the global market.<br /> <br /> To a question, he said Malaysia is the world&rsquo;s fifth biggest pepper producer and MPB expects 30,000 metric tonnes of pepper from 17,000 hectares. He also mentioned that 98 per cent of Malaysia&rsquo;s pepper comes from Sarawak.<br /> <br /> He also said MPB is preparing a paper on import parameters which would limit pepper imported to the country and encourage traders to buy local pepper.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;At the moment, they can import freely, and they mix imported pepper with local pepper which reduces the quality,&rdquo; he said.</p>8680Borneo Post OnlineMon, 24 Jul 2017 00:00:00 +0800Awang Tengah Encourages Bumiputera Students To Take Up STEM Subjects<p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong><img src=" 2017/240717_STEM Subjects.jpg" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Awang Tengah (third left) together with Hasbi (right) wishing guests Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri at the event yesterday. &mdash; Photo by Muhammad Rais Sanusi</strong><br /> <br /> KUCHING: Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan wants more Bumiputera students to take up Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects.<br /> <br /> He said this is because most of the industries today use modern technologies which require knowledge and skills in STEM.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The world is changing. This is an area where we should dive in as without knowledge and skills, we will end up as mere bystanders,&rdquo; he said at the &lsquo;Badudun Aidilfitri&rsquo; event at Dewan Hikmah here yesterday, jointly organised by Pertubuhan Kebajikan Dangsanak Limbang Kuching and Persatuan Anak Jati Lawas.<br /> <br /> He added that it is essential to be proficient in STEM given that the state is shifting towards the digital economy that can provide a plethora of economic opportunities.<br /> <br /> For this reason, parents should encourage their children to take up STEM subjects, Awang Tengah, who is also Minister of Industrial and Entrepreneurship Development, added.<br /> <br /> On another note, he hoped that high ranking officers or professionals from Limbang and Lawas would come up with ideas and provide input on how to improve their hometowns.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;When you are back in your hometown, do not forget to share the knowledge on how to succeed in either agriculture or business with the people there,&rdquo; he said, adding that this would provide the officers and professionals a chance to be directly involved in the state government&rsquo;s vision of making Sarawak a developed state.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This is also why I am hoping that both these associations will become a platform for the people in Limbang and Lawas to get to know each other and strengthen their relationships,&rdquo; said Awang Tengah, who agreed to become the patron to Pertubuhan Kebajikan Dangsanak Limbang Kuching and Persatuan Anak Jati Lawas.<br /> <br /> The other patron is Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg.<br /> <br /> Also speaking at the event was Assistant Minister of Agriculture Dr Abdul Rahman Ismail, who revealed that at least 10,000 people from Limbang and Lawas are currently residing in Kuching and about 1,200 of them were at the event yesterday.<br /> <br /> Pertubuhan Kebajikan Dangsanak Limbang Kuching and Persatuan Anak Jati Lawas were formed in 2016 and 2014 respectively.<br /> <br /> Abang Johari, Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Datuk Henry Sum Agong, Limbang MP Hasbi Habibollah and Batu Danau assemblyman Paulus Palu Gumbang attended the event.</p>8681Borneo Post OnlineMon, 24 Jul 2017 00:00:00 +0800Dr Sim Asks Health Ministry To Run A Thorough Study On Victims<p style="text-align: justify;"> KUCHING: Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian is asking the Health Ministry to study the first four rabies cases in detail, given that it is the most appropriate authority on the matter.<br /> <br /> His statement was made in view of public queries about why the four young victims, who had succumbed to rabies infection, did not receive vaccination. In this regard, Dr Sim said he had no jurisdiction to respond.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It pains us to lose four innocent lives to rabies; so the Health Ministry should study the case in detail including their hospitalisation records and medical reports,&rdquo; he told reporters after launching the Padawan International 4&times;4 Challenge at Bengoh Resettlement Scheme (BRS) here yesterday, reiterating that it would be more appropriate for the ministry to make a statement on the subject matter.<br /> <br /> However, he also believed that the focus now should be for the government to concentrate on preventing any rabies outbreak before the study, which would take time.<br /> <br /> The rabies outbreak in Sarawak has claimed four lives so far &ndash; a six-year-old girl and her four-year-old brother from Kampung Paon Sungai Rimo; a seven-year-old girl from Kampung Lebor; and a five-year-old girl from Kampung Ampungan. The fifth victim, a 52-year-old man from Kampung Remun, is still under observation at Sarawak General Hospital. All victims are from Serian District.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, Dr Sim condemned baseless reports about insufficient supply of rabies vaccine amidst the present outbreak. According to him, the government has forked out a lot of money for the procurement of the vaccine. It is learnt that an individual would require four vials of vaccine to be administered separately.<br /> <br /> Dr Sim said each vial costs about RM400. He also said the public would not need to pay for vaccination as the government is providing it for free.<br /> <br /> In this regard, he reminded the local community to always be alert and refrain from any act that could provoke dogs or other animals to attack and bite them. Moreover, Dr Sim said each vaccine has a shelf life and therefore, the government had to be prudent on procurement.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;At the moment, the supply of rabies vaccine for humans is sufficient to deal with the current situation in Sarawak.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;As such, there is no such story about Sarawak facing vaccine shortage,&rdquo; he stressed.</p>8682Borneo Post OnlineMon, 24 Jul 2017 00:00:00 +0800‘EPF The Safest Savings Scheme Around’<br /> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong><img src=" 2017/230717_EPF1.jpg" /><br /> Talib (second right) comments on the EPF i-Akaun poster, Shahril (right), Azaddin (fourth right), Abang Abdul Karim (fifth right) and others listen. &mdash; Photos by Chimon Upon</strong><br /> <br /> <img src=" 2017/230717_EPF2.jpg" /><br /> <strong>Talib (third right) and Shahril (third left) hold the front page of Utusan Borneo, which features EPF&rsquo;s advertisement. With them (from left) are Azaddin, Abang Abdul Karim, Naim and Lau.</strong><br /> <br /> KUCHING: The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) is the safest savings scheme for its contributors to manage and safeguard their hard-earned retirement savings.<br /> <br /> According to Minister in the Chief Minister&rsquo;s Office (Integrity and Ombudsman) Datuk Talib Zulpilip, the organisation facilitates those wanting to save money for retirement.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;With an organisation like EPF, we are in one way or another&nbsp; encouraged to save money for retirement.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;So, don&rsquo;t ever think twice about contributing to the EPF because this will ensure that we have some retirement savings,&rdquo; he said at the launch of &lsquo;Retirement Talk with EPF&rsquo; at The Spring Shopping Mall here yesterday, where he represented Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg.<br /> <br /> Talib also encouraged more working individuals, particularly the self-employed, to contribute to EPF for their future.<br /> <br /> The two-day programme, organised by EPF in collaboration with the See Hua Group, aims to raise awareness of the importance of financial literacy as part of retirement planning for Malaysians.<br /> <br /> Apart from listening to talks on retirement, the public also registered for the i-Akaun, checked their latest EPF statement with the EPF Mobile Team, and met EPF Retirement Advisory Service (RAS) and Credit Counselling and Debt Management Agency (AKPK) officers for free consultation on retirement and debt management.<br /> <br /> One of the visitors was Othman Mopeng, who said the event not only benefitted EPF members but also non-members.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;There is a lot of important information on retirement planning provided by EPF which many members, including myself, are unaware of.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;For instance, we do not have to make a one-time withdrawal when we reach 55 years of age, as we can still contribute until we are 75, after retirement,&rdquo; said the 58-year-old.<br /> <br /> Othman commended EPF for organising this campaign to inform the public about the benefits of being EPF members.<br /> <br /> Those wishing to learn more about EPF and its services can drop by The Spring today, beginning 10am where talks will be held on retirement such as &lsquo;Retirement Advisory Services &ndash; Your First Step to Retirement Planning&rsquo;, &lsquo;EPF Withdrawals and Online Service Channels &ndash; Go Online and Explore e-Pengeluaran&rsquo; and &lsquo;Debt Management &ndash; Why It Affects Your Retirement&rsquo;.<br /> <br /> Other services provided by EPF are registration for its electronic services or checking of EPF statements.<br /> <br /> Present at the launch were EPF chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan, EPF deputy CEO of operations Dato Mohd Naim Daruwish, AKPK CEO Azaddin Ngah Tasir, Sarawak Bumiputera Chamber of Entrepreneurs (DUBS) president Datuk Abang Abdul Karim Tun Openg and Adeline Lau, who represented See Hua Group chairman Dato Henry Lau.<br /> <br /> <img src=" 2017/230717_EPF3.jpg" /><br /> <strong>A visitor signs up for the i-Akaun service.</strong><br /> <br /> <img src=" 2017/230717_EPF4.jpg" /><br /> <strong>Visitors consult EPF officers at the event.</strong><br /> <br /> <strong><img src=" 2017/230717_EPF5.jpg" /><br /> Othman (left) uses one of the services provided by EPF at the event.</strong></p>8669Borneo Post OnlineSun, 23 Jul 2017 00:00:00 +0800Colours, Festivities Enliven Sarawak Day Do<p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong><img src=" 2017/230717_Sarawak Day do1.jpg" /><br /> (From right) Raghad points out to Taib an old photograph displayed at the Sarawak Day 2017 exhibition, as Abang Johari looks on. The Chief Minister is flanked by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan on his right and Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian.</strong><br /> <br /> <strong><img src=" 2017/230717_Sarawak Day do2.jpg" /><br /> Young women, all dressed in colourful traditional costumes, perform the welcoming dance.</strong><br /> <br /> KUCHING: It was a colourful Sarawak Day 2017 event here yesterday, with people from all walks of life converging on Kuching Waterfront to celebrate the day when the state was granted self-governance in 1963, prior to the formation of Malaysia on Sept 16 that same year.<br /> <br /> July 22 was gazetted as a state holiday last year.<br /> <br /> Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud and his wife Toh Puan Datuk Patinggi Raghad Kurdi Taib graced the ceremony yesterday, which commenced with the singing of Sarawak anthem &lsquo;Ibu Pertiwiku&rsquo; around 9am.<br /> <br /> This was followed by a welcome dance performance before Taib and Raghad, Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg and his wife Datin Amar Dato Juma&rsquo;ani Tuanku Bujang as well as state cabinet members, head of government departments and agencies, community leaders, students and other spectators.<br /> <br /> There was a video presentation on the history of Sarawak played before the start of a special performance staged by the pupils of SK RPR Jalan Astana.<br /> <br /> In a special address, Abang Johari said: &ldquo;We are very honoured to have you among us here this morning, Tun (Taib) to celebrate the anniversary of July 22 &mdash; now called Sarawak Day.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It is most appropriate that you are with us today because 54 years ago, you were present at the creation &ndash; not only as a spectator but also as a participant witnessing the formation of self-government, the formation of Malaysia and the setting down of conditions before Sarawak became a party in the formation of Malaysia. You are the last living member of that first state cabinet.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Thank you Tun and Toh Puan for being able to be here with the &lsquo;rakyat&rsquo; (people) this morning to celebrate this very special day for all Sarawakians.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Taib and Raghad later visited an exhibition set up as part of the programmes of the Sarawak Day 2017 celebration.<br /> <strong><img src=" 2017/230717_Sarawak Day do3.jpg" /><br /> Primary school children during a medley of Sarawak Day 2017 performances at Kuching Waterfront.</strong><br /> <br /> <strong><img src=" 2017/230717_Sarawak Day do4.jpg" /><br /> Pupils of SK RPR Jalan Astana entertain the spectators with a choral performance.</strong><br /> <br /> <strong><img src=" 2017/230717_Sarawak Day do5.jpg" /><br /> Taib and Raghad wave the Sarawak flags during a segment of the event. Flanking the couple are Abang Johari and Juma&rsquo;ani. &mdash; Photos by Muhammad Rais Sanusi</strong></p>8670Borneo Post OnlineSun, 23 Jul 2017 00:00:00 +0800Devolution Of Powers Possible<p style="text-align: justify;"> <em><strong>Chief Minister says Sarawak can resolve issues surrounding returning powers to the state</strong></em><br /> <br /> <strong><img src=" 2017/230717_Devolution of powers possible.jpg" /><br /> Taib launches the Sarawak Day 2017 celebration, witnessed by (from front left) Dr Sim, Awang Tengah, Abang Johari, Raghad, Uggah and Masing. &ndash; Photo by Muhammad Rais Sanusi</strong><br /> <br /> KUCHING: The state will be able to resolve issues surrounding the devolution of power from Putrajaya, said Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg.<br /> <br /> He said there is nothing Malaysians cannot solve as fellow citizens, including the state&rsquo;s unhappiness over the centralisation of power over the years.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;But we have been able to resolve all these problems by sitting around a table, adopting the policy of give-and-take. We have overcome many of our teething problems.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;They will continue to arise but there&rsquo;s nothing we cannot solve as fellow citizens. And I am now continuing the work of Datuk Patinggi (Tan Sri) Adenan (Satem) in discussing these matters of concern with the federal government,&rdquo; he said during the Sarawak Day 2017 celebration at Kuching Waterfront yesterday.<br /> <br /> He thanked Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi for being open to discussions with Sarawak regarding efforts to return certain powers to the state.<br /> <br /> Abang Johari believed that the state would be able to regain powers according to the Federal Constitution, the Malaysia Agreement, the Malaysia Act, the Inter-Governmental Committee report and recommendations, and the Cobbold Commission Report, which have been eroded over the years.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;But in our negotiation with Putrajaya, we must do our homework first to make sure we are not firing blanks. This is why we sent our team of lawyers to London to study large volumes of documents in the British archives and other sources which were only recently classified in order to be able to determine the underlying spirit of the Malaysia Agreement.<br /> &ldquo;Therefore, very much contrary to some suggestions that we are inviting foreign intervention, the terms of reference of the London team has never been to get foreigners to intervene in our domestic affairs,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> The chief minister stressed there is no need for Sarawak to leave Malaysia.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We want to get back our rights and what belongs to us. We only want what belongs to us. It is as simple as that,&rdquo; he pointed out.<br /> <br /> Abang Johari called on Sarawakians to continue supporting him in discussions with the federal government to find amicable solutions to the central issue of the devolution of power.<br /> <br /> He said Malaysia has been a success story of development by leaps and bounds over the years, where its per capita income and gross domestic product (GDP) have multiplied many times.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Still it is not a perfect union but we strive to be a perfect union in the years to come,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Abang Johari also quoted Adenan who said: &ldquo;We were Malaysia yesterday. We are Malaysia now. We are Malaysia tomorrow. And we are Malaysia forever.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Among those present at the celebration were Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud and wife Toh Puan Datuk Patinggi Raghad Kurdi Taib; deputy chief ministers Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing, and Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan; as well as Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian.<br /> <br /> Adenan first declared Sarawak Day a public holiday last year.</p>8671Borneo Post OnlineSun, 23 Jul 2017 00:00:00 +0800Villagers In Ulu Skrang Enjoy 24-Hour Power Supply<p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong><img src=" 2017/230717_Enjoy 24-Hour Power Supply.jpg" /><br /> Rayong (left) and Nyallau cutting the ribbon to mark their visit at Rumah Unya, Lalang in Ulu Skrang.</strong><br /> <br /> LUBOK ANTU: Residents of Rumah Unya Saran, Jambu Lalang and Rumah Deli, Sungai Pinang in Ulu Skrang now enjoy 24-hour electricity supply provided under the rural electrification scheme (RES) project.<br /> <br /> The villagers were all smile when Engkilili assemblyman Dr Jonichal Rayong Ngipa declared open their newly installed electricity supply on Thursday.<br /> <br /> Rayong said this was just one of the many government projects which are aimed at uplifting the living standard of the rural people.<br /> <br /> He jokingly told the longhouse folks: &ldquo;Now that you have 24-hour electricity supply I hope that your longhouses are lighted brightly when I come here again.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Rayong said he hoped constituents reciprocate the good gesture of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak when the time comes.&nbsp; Najib, he said has approved an allocation of RM28 million to make sure that longhouses in Ulu Skrang are supplied with 24 hour electricity.<br /> <br /> At the function, he announced an allocation of RM200,000 under the Rural Transformation Programme (RTP) for upgrading road and drainage system for the benefit of the longhouse folks. The projects will be implemented by the Public Work Department.<br /> <br /> He also annonced the approval of other projects &ndash; RM200,000 for Rumah Nimong Begantong-Ulu Skrang road, Rumah Belissan Tinting Pasang-Nanga Emperan road (RM300,000) and a suspension bridge to link SK Nanga Menjau in Ulu Skrang (RM250,000)<br /> <br /> Rayong who is United People&rsquo;s Party (UPP) Youth chairman said: &ldquo;We in Skrang here should support the Barisan Nasional (BN) government both at Federal and State level.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> At the function Rayong forked out RM7,000 from his minor rural project (MRP) fund for the village security and development committee of Rumah Lalang and another RM5,000 for its Women bureau.<br /> <br /> Lubok Antu MP Datuk William Nyallau Badak who also spoke at the function assured that he would look after the welfare of the people of Ulu Skrang.<br /> <br /> The Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) supreme council member approved a grant of RM3,000 from his MRP fund for the longhouse&rsquo;s women bureau.</p>8677Borneo Post OnlineSun, 23 Jul 2017 00:00:00 +0800Trusan Dam Project To Proceed As Planned<p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong><img src=" 2017/220717_Trusan dam project.jpg" /><br /> Abang Johari (fourth left), flanked by his wife Datin Amar Dato Juma&rsquo;ani Tuanku Bujang and Masing, leads the cake-cutting ceremony at the Aidilfitri get-together. Also in the photo are (from right) Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Lee Kim Shin, Dr Rundi, Morshidi and Abdul Hamed.</strong><br /> <br /> KUCHING: The Trusan dam project in Lawas will proceed as planned to &nbsp;accommodate future demands for water and electricity supply and at the same time, turn the lake into a tourism product.<br /> <br /> According to Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg, the dam project is meant to generate power for economic activities and also the needs of the rural population.<br /> <br /> It is learnt that the works on Trusan dam would commence after the completion of the Baleh Dam in Kapit.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Now we focus on Baleh dam first; after that we will proceed with the designing of Trusan dam,&rdquo; Abang Johari told reporters at the Sarawak Energy&rsquo;s &lsquo;Ramah Tamah Aidilfitri&rsquo; event in a hotel here yesterday.<br /> <br /> The chief minister said Sarawak Energy would be responsible in building the dam in that the corporation had more details on the project including the costs and how much power it could generate.<br /> <br /> According to Sarawak Energy chairman Datuk Amar Abdul Hamed &nbsp;Sepawi, the studies and research on Trusan dam were completed about four years ago.<br /> <br /> He also disclosed that Abang Johari had paid the Sultan of Brunei a visit to talk more about the dam, which is located near to the sultanate.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We will revisit the project. Once the dam is completed, it should be able &nbsp;to &nbsp;generate 100MW to 200MW of power.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Besides, the dam would save the cost of diesel, amounting to hundreds of thousands of ringgit every year, to supply power to Limbang and Lawas,&rdquo; said Abdul Hamed, adding that Sarawak Energy is also planning to export the energy to Sabah and Brunei.<br /> <br /> Earlier, Abang Johari expressed his confidence in Sarawak Energy towards its aspiration to become a powerhouse for Asean, especially after it had taken steps towards a &lsquo;TransBorneo Power Grid&rsquo; through its first interconnection with Kalimantan last year.<br /> <br /> Additionally, Sarawak Energy is currently talking to Sabah and Brunei on power-exchange agreements, providing a platform for them to implement the Borneo Power Grid.<br /> <br /> Abang Johari also praised Sarawak Energy for its move to provide all Sarawakians with access to 24/7 electricity, bringing the state domestic coverage to 94 per cent.<br /> <br /> Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing, Rural Electricity and Water Supply Minister Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom, State Secretary Tan Sri Datuk Amar Mohamad Morshidi Abdul Ghani and Sarawak Energy group chief executive officer Sharbini Suhaili were also at the Aidilfitri gathering.</p>8664Borneo Post OnlineSat, 22 Jul 2017 00:00:00 +0800Agrobank Urged To Help Rural Farmers Develop Their Lands<p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong><img src=" 2017/220717_help rural farmers.jpg" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Agrobank has been urged to assist rural farmers in getting capital to develop their land. File Photo</strong><br /> <br /> KUCHING: Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas has invited Agrobank to work together with the state government to address the difficulties faced by rural farmers, especially in getting capital to develop their land.<br /> <br /> He said very few rural farmers had succeeded in getting financial facilities from banks, because many neither had titles for their land nor steady income in order to meet requirements by the banks.<br /> <br /> He pointed out that while the government had assisted these farmers by providing them with subsidies, many failed because the recipients would sell the subsidised fertilisers instead of applying them on the crops.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;My request now to Agrobank is to think of how we can work together to resolve this issue of &lsquo;kurang modal&rsquo; (lack of capital),&rdquo; he said when officiating at the launch of Agrobank Corporate Financing Centre here yesterday.<br /> <br /> Uggah, who is also Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development, said one of the ways for Agrobank to cooperate would be through the venture capital (VC) concept introduced by Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg.<br /> <br /> He said under this concept, both state government and Agrobank would take up equities in promoted agriculture production projects and eventually, withdraw once the projects are commercially viable and let the various stakeholders &ndash; be they farmers or landowners &ndash; to run the projects on their own.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Even though we will have our own bank &ndash; DBOS (Development Bank of Sarawak), I think the contributions of Agrobank would still be necessary especially in the social economic development in Sarawak &ndash; namely in the agriculture and rural transformation programme (RTP),&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> He also suggested both the state government and Agrobank to hold joint programmes to promote the bank&rsquo;s financing facilities to the rural folk.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;One of the issues we want to overcome is the income gap between the rural and urban areas. As we move to TN50 (National Transformation 2050), this gap should not be there. If it&rsquo;s still there, this would lead to social problems as seen in other countries,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Uggah also regarded the agriculture industry as being very important to Sarawak, as it contributed 14 per cent (RM14.86 billion) to the state&rsquo;s gross domestic product (GDP) for last year.<br /> <br /> He said that under the agriculture transformation programme, Sarawak aims to increase export and at the same time, reduce the food import bill which registered RM4.4 billion last year.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We want to improve our food security. The SSL (self-sufficiency level) for beef is 10 per cent, while SSL for rice is 53 per cent. There are still some pockets of poverty in rural areas<br /> <br /> &ldquo;According to Sarawak Planning Unit (SPU), there are at least two million hectares (of land) available for development, including almost one million hectares of NCR (Native Customary Rights) land,&rdquo; he said.</p>8665Borneo Post OnlineSat, 22 Jul 2017 00:00:00 +0800Bumiputera Students Behind In STEM Subjects — CM<p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong><img src=" 2017/220717_STEM Subjects.jpg" /><br /> Abang Johari (front, fourth right) holds up a piece of &lsquo;lemang&rsquo; together with (front, from right) Fatimah, Ruziah, Juma&rsquo;ani, Awang Tengah, Fadillah, Wan Junaidi, and Dr Hazland. &ndash; Photo by Agnes Tugong</strong><br /> <br /> KUCHING: Bumiputera students in the state have shown a serious lack of knowledge and skills in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) subjects, said Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg.<br /> <br /> He called on Bumiputera parents to motivate their children to excel in STEM subjects, pointing out they are vital to compete in the global arena.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Like it or not, you must push your children to do better in the STEM subjects, especially Science. I was told that SM Sains Matang used to have 1,000 students.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Now, SM Sains Matang has only 400 students. Many students could not book a place in SM Sains Matang because they are not qualified for it,&rdquo; he said during the Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) Kuching Zone Ramah Tamah Aidilfitri on Thursday.<br /> <br /> Abang Johari said the state government is aware that some schools in rural areas lacked a science laboratory, explaining that was why he set up the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Research, which would focus on the development of education and science.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We will have policies to bridge the gap between urban and rural areas. Education is key if we want to leapfrog from traditional commerce to a digital economy,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> The Chief Minister said Yayasan Sarawak is expected to source for more funds to support Sarawakians wishing to pursue tertiary education.<br /> <br /> He explained that timber companies in the state had been instructed to pay higher premiums to help Yayasan Sarawak offer financial support to outstanding and eligible students.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;That is why we have increased from 80 sen to RM50 per tonne of (timber) premium. And our revenue from this premium alone can be increased from RM9 million to RM300 million.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We can use this money to give scholarships and loans to Sarawakian students to pursue higher studies,&rdquo; he added.<br /> <br /> He urged PBB leaders and members to remain united as he believed the largest state Barisan Nasional (BN) component party would serve as a catalyst to transform Sarawak into a developed state by 2030.<br /> <br /> Earlier, Abang Johari said PBB felt the tremendous loss of the passing of former Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem and Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister&rsquo;s Office (Islamic Affairs) Datuk Daud Abdul Rahman this year.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Our number one leader Datuk Patinggi Adenan Satem had continued on good policies laid out by (former Chief Minister and now Head of State Tun) Pehin Sri (Abdul Taib Mahmud). Tok Nan (Adenan) implemented people-centric policies which benefit the people of Sarawak.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;No more tolls, reduced electricity tariffs, and a lot more other policies that bring good to the people. In the last state election, Sarawakians rallied behind Tok Nan and the state BN won 72 out of 82 seats contested. Our party PBB made a clean sweep, winning all seats contested. This reflects the unity and undivided support we have from the people,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> He also recalled that Daud was a leader in Satok before being elected Tupong assemblyman.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Datuk Daud was a youth leader in Satok in the beginning. After the new seat of Tupong was created, he contested and won the seat. He had contributed tremendously to our society, and especially Tupong.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;For those who are still around, we must continue to serve the community. I am glad that our friends in BN have faith and confidence in me to succeed Tok Nan to be the sixth Chief Minister of Sarawak,&rdquo; added Abang Johari.<br /> <br /> Among those present were Abang Johari&rsquo;s wife Datin Amar Datuk Juma&rsquo;ani Tuanku Bujang; Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan; Minister of Welfare, Community Well Being, Women, Family and Childhood Development Datuk Fatimah Abdullah; Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof and his wife Datin Amar Ruziah Mohd Tahir; Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar; and Demak Laut assemblyman Dr Hazland Abang Hipni.</p>8666Borneo Post OnlineSat, 22 Jul 2017 00:00:00 +0800Construction Of State’s Longest Bridge Across Batang Lupar To Begin Next Year — Fadillah<p> <br /> <img src=" 2017/220717_State’s Longest Bridge.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Julaihi (third right) presenting a souvenir to Fadillah as other guests look on.</strong><br /> <br /> SEBUYAU: The tender for the construction of Batang Lupar bridge will be awarded to the successful contractor next year, says Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusuf.<br /> <br /> He said the five- kilometre bridge believed to be the longest in the state, has been approved at an initial cost of RM1 billion and the cost shared between federal and state governments on 50- 50 basis.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The proposal to build Batang Lupar bridge has been approved in principal and the cost shared between the federal and state governments. A consultant has been appointed and has carried out initial study (on the project), and the tender will be issued next year.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The allocation for the project is already available, &ldquo; he told reporters yesterday, adding that a consultant from the state will also be appointed for the project.<br /> <br /> He had earlier attended a discussion with more than 300 local community leaders from villagers within the project area, held at Sebuyau Area Fishermen Association (PKNS) hall, here.<br /> <br /> The discussion was to receive feedback from the local community leaders on the preferred site of the project because two options were laid on the table as the site for the proposed bridge.<br /> <br /> Present were Assistant Minister of Coastal Road Datuk Julaihi Narawai, Kota Samarahan MP Rubiah Wang, Beting Maro and Simunjan assemblymen Razaili Gapor and Awla Dris, respectively and Lingga aasemblywoman Simoi Peri.<br /> <br /> Asked whether the project would be completed in the current 11th Malaysian Plan, Fadillah replied: &ldquo;Normally it takes between 26 months and 60 months to complete depending on the complexity of the projects, and for this one I believe it will take a longer time because the bridge is quite long.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> He pointed out that the construction of the bridge is quite challenging due to the strong water current and a marine risk study will determine the method to be used for its construction.<br /> <br /> The minister also said that the study for the project will include the social economic impact to the locals and the state in general, marine traffic risk analysis, environmental impact assessment (EIA)and road safety audit (RSA), among others.<br /> <br /> Fadillah said he personally preferred Option One of the project site, which is about one kilometre down from the Batang Lupar ferry ramp and to include upgrading of 1.75 kilometres of road near Sebuyau and the construction of 0.47 km of road near Triso.<br /> <br /> According to him, the site would have less impact on marine life and will boost the tourism sector in the area, adding that a look-out point will be designed for the people to watch the beautiful surrounding area.<br /> <br /> He also said the construction of Batang Lupar bridge was made possible due to the good relationship between the state and federal governments.<br /> <br /> Earlier, Julaihi in his welcoming speech, said the coastal road network was necessary to connect coastal areas and towns, adding the the people in coastal areas were missing out on the benefits of the Pan Borneo Highway.<br /> <br /> Julaihi pointed out that the coastal connectivity programme was first mooted in the 5th Malaysia Plan, to link the densely populated and predominantly poorer areas along the state&rsquo;s coastline from Sematan to Miri and the main towns in the state.</p>8667Borneo Post OnlineSat, 22 Jul 2017 00:00:00 +0800TN50 Dialogues To Make Civil Servants Understand NTP Better — Dr Ali Hamsa<p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong><img src=" 2017/220717_TN50 dialogues.jpg" /><br /> Dr Ali on the raised platform, with Morshidi on his right, listens to a feedback from one of the participants during the TN50 dialogue in Kuching.</strong><br /> <br /> KUCHING: Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa is pleased to see that the majority of civil servants in Sarawak have a better understanding on the National Transformation Plan (TN50).<br /> <br /> He said this after the conclusion of a dialogue at the Majma&rsquo; Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu&rsquo;adzam Shah Hall yesterday, which involved some 1,500 civil servants &ndash; a number of whom had the opportunity to share their aspirations with the speakers and fellow attendees.<br /> <br /> State Secretary Tan Sri Datuk Amar Mohamad Morshidi Abdul Ghani and Public Service Department (JPA) director-general Datuk Seri Zainal Rahim Seman were among those present at the session.<br /> <br /> Based on feedback received, Dr Ali noted that all civil servants would want a change for the country.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;And we are working on this. The TN50 would be a plan for every Malaysian, which is why we want to gather their aspirations.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This TN50 in Sarawak is the third session in the country this year &ndash; the previous ones were in Putrajaya on May 31, and Sabah on Jul 11.<br /> <br /> &ldquo; Based on what was mentioned by them today (yesterday), I can see that most civil servants want better education and have put forth suggestions on health, rural development and roads,&rdquo; he said, adding that those who did not get the chance to share their aspiration during the dialogue could do so online via the TN50 website<br /> <br /> It is learnt that all input and aspirations would be analysed, synthesised and published into a report, which would be submitted to TN50 Special Unit and the Economic Planning Unit for integration into the overall report on this year.<br /> <br /> Moreover, Dr Ali also said more TN50 sessions would be conducted going forward.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;These upcoming sessions will gather civil servants, members of the public as well as those from private NGOs (non-governmental organisations) because the TN50 will be based on the people&rsquo;s opinions and their aspirations in the long run.&rdquo;</p>8668Borneo Post OnlineSat, 22 Jul 2017 00:00:00 +0800Rep: 24 RTP Projects In Batu Danau This Year To Improve Rural Life — Rep<p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong><img src=" 2017/210717_ 24 RTP projects in Batu Danau.jpg" /><br /> Paulus (front row, fourth left), Mary (seated left), Ekit (standing fourth right) with Saberkas Batu Danau members having a photo call at Inap&rsquo;s house in Lubuk Bidai.</strong><br /> <br /> LIMBANG: At least 24 development projects under the Rural Transformation Programme (RTP) costing a total of RM5-million will be implemented in Batu Danau constituency this year to improve the rural folks&rsquo; quality of life.<br /> <br /> Batu Danau assemblyman Paulus Palu Gumbang said the projects are testimonies of the government&rsquo;s continued efforts to bring development to the people so as to reduce the gap between the urban and rural areas.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Among the projects are roads including building new ones and upgrading the existing roads and other minor rural projects such as construction of futsal court and community hall,&rdquo; he said yesterday when met during a gotong royong to repair a senior citizen&rsquo;s house by Saberkas Batu Danau at Lubuk Bidai near here.<br /> <br /> Also participating in the programme organised jointly by Saberkas Empat Kampung (Kampung Tanjong Riman, Tanjong Darat, Pangkalan Gurah and Lubuk Bidai) were Paulus&rsquo; wife Mary Sindang; chairman of Saberkas Empat Kampung Ekit Awang and members of Saberkas Batu Danau.<br /> <br /> Paulus said besides the RTP projects, the Federal Government through its Projek Mesra Rakyat (PMR) also implemented various minor rural projects such as upgrading of roads, suraus and churches.<br /> <br /> On the delayed rural water supply project from the junction of Ukong to Medamit, Paulus said work on the project is scheduled to resume end of next month.<br /> <br /> He hoped there would be no further delay and urged sub-contractors of the project to be proactive especially in ensuring that there are readily available materials for the project.<br /> <br /> Senior citizen Inap Injan, 73 from Lubuk Bidai can now feel relief that her dilapidated house built more than 30 years ago has been repaired during the gotong royong by members of Saberkas Batu Danau.</p>8646Borneo Post OnlineFri, 21 Jul 2017 00:00:00 +0800