The Official Portal of the Sarawak Government RSS Feed 2017-03-26 05:41:03 2017-03-26 05:41:03Innovation Allows Rural Folk To Enjoy Amenities<p style="text-align: justify;"> <img src=" 2017/240317_Innovation.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Dr Rundi (third left) hands over a cheque to a representative of the grant recipients.</strong><br /> <br /> BINTULU: Innovation and other means are efforts to ensure that the rural communities are able to enjoy electricity and water supplies and telecommunication, like their urban counterparts do.<br /> <br /> Minister of Public Utilities Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi said his task was to ensure that the coverage of electricity, water and telecommunication to rural areas could be coordinated.<br /> <br /> He told a press conference this after attending a leader-meets-the-people session at Sebauh community hall yesterday.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The supply of water in rural areas comes under Sarawak Alternative Water Supply (Sawas) programme, which is an intervention programme to supply clean water that can be drunk from membrane filtration.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This year, we have identified six places and localities to implement the service, namely, in Pandan Bintulu, Kapit, Song, Daro, Limbang and Lawas. This innovative programme will speed up the coverage of clean water supply for Sarawakians,&rdquo; said Dr Rundi.<br /> <br /> On electricity supply to the rural areas, Dr Rundi said Blue Ocean Strategy was used in the implementation of the Sarawak Alternative Rural Electrification Scheme (SARES) to speed up full electricity coverage in the state by utilising renewable energy like solar and micro-hydro.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We have identified 48 areas in Sarawak for the purpose this year. By 2030 all Sarawakians will enjoy electricity supply.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> On telecommunication, Dr Rundi said the change to fibre-optic cables in rural areas was the way forward to provide better and efficient service.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Previously, we had the wireless village programme which is not successful. Now, we have the 1Malaysia Internet Centre. We will have to make a study to determine if it is successful or not. With fibre-optic cables the speed would increase and coverage wider,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> On the gathering in Sebauh yesterday, Dr Rundi it was a venue to get feedback from the people on what was happening around them.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It was also a venue to allow the local people to air their grievances and problems to the authorities and find solutions to the problems.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Bintulu Resident Muhamad Yakup Kari, Sebauh district officer Desmond Douglas Jerukan and Temenggong Utong Sigan were among those present.</p>7821Fri, 24 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0800Switching To Modular Housing<p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>HDC , Conceiving Board Manufacturing Co Ltd sign agreement to set up modular &nbsp;panel plant in the state</strong><br /> <br /> <img src=" 2017/240717_Modular Housing.jpg" /><br /> <br /> <strong>Abang Johari inspecting CMB&rsquo;s eco-friendly modular panels installation demonstration.</strong><br /> <br /> FOSHAN, Guanhzhou: Housing Development Corporation (HDC) through its subsidiary, Smart Housing R &amp; D SdnBhd (Smart Housing), signed a Heads of Agreement (HoA) with Foshan based manufacturer, Conceiving Board Manufacturing Co Ltd (CBM) for the set-up of a modular panel manufacturing plant in Muara Tebas yesterday.<br /> <br /> The signing of the HoA was held at CBM&rsquo;s plant in Fosan and was witnessed by Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg who was accompanied by a delegation from the Ministry of Housing and Urbanisation and Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers&rsquo; Association (Sheda) Kuching branch.<br /> <br /> The HoA stipulates that HDC will be a majority stakeholder in a company set through the joint-venture, Green Modular R &amp; R SdnBhd (Green Modular)<br /> <br /> According to the chief minister, the venture was not only to facilitate technology transfer from CBM into Sarawak but also to meet the housing needs of Sarawakians by bringing in houses that could be built quickly and affordably.<br /> <br /> Concurring with the chief minister, director of Smart Housing, Datuk Dr Abang Abdul Rauf Abang Zen declared that the future of affordable housing would be modular housing.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;In Sarawak, the prices are getting higher and higher and the chief minister has said on many occasions that we should instead flood the market with cheaper alternatives. Modular housing or panelling can achieve this as it will not only reduce the cost of production but the cost of labour as well,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> <img src=" 2017/240317_Modular Housing1.jpg" /><br /> <br /> <img src=" 2017/240317_Modular Housing2.jpg" /><br /> <br /> Chen Yao Ran, managing director of CBM explained that the switch to its modular panelling products would significantly reduce the man power at the construction site.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Usually, the timeline of normal construction projects will be 80 per cent on site and 20 per cent within factories. With the switch to modular panelling the timeline will now be 20 per cent on site and 80 percent within factories.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This drastically reduces the need for man power and also increases efficiency for transportation and logistics of our materials as our products are much lighter and easier to transport.<br /> <br /> Abang Johari also pointed out that CBM could also be used in the construction of other building other than houses.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I believe that the market for modular panelling is there as it not only benefits the housing segment. We can use this technology to build schools and hospitals quickly for these projects to be able to provide our people the essentials.<br /> <br /> The chief minister also hoped that the HoA and would also benefit private players in the housing industry to allow them to be able to export their services outside the state.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I hope Sarawak will be known as a place that export houses and not just build houses,&rdquo; the chief minister said.<br /> <br /> Representing Smart Housing for the signing ceremony were its directors, Datuk Dr Abang Haji Abdul Rauf bin Abang Haji Zen and MohdYusof bin Mohd Ona. &nbsp;CMB was represented by its managing director, Chen Yao Ran and General Manager Xia Zun Hua.<br /> <br /> After the signing ceremony, the chief minister and his delegation visited CBM&rsquo;s manufacturing site where they witnessed a demonstration of how CBM&rsquo;s modular panels were installed.</p>7822Fri, 24 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0800State Encourages Diversification Of Commercial Crops<p style="text-align: justify;"> <img src=" 2017/240717_Commercial Crops.jpg" /><br /> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas</strong><br /> <br /> KUCHING: The state is diversifying its agriculture industry by helping farmers plant more types of commercial crops to avoid over reliance on palm oil.<br /> <br /> Among the crops the state is encouraging farmers to cultivate commercially are pineapples, coconuts, pepper, rubber and durians.<br /> <br /> Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, who is also Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture and Rural Economy told The Borneo Post this yesterday.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;As we are facing an increasingly volatile global economy, we must position ourselves so that we would be able to face any price fluctuations of crops. So we need to diversify so that our farmers will have a more stable income.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> On oil palm, Uggah revealed that his ministry would come up with a master plan soon to expand the cultivation of the crop. Currently, some 1.4 million hectares are planted with oil palms.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We still have plenty of land to expand for oil palms but we need to sit down with all the stakeholders on our next course of action. That&rsquo;s why we need a master plan,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> On the same issue, Uggah who was a former Federal Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities disclosed that the Federal Government through the Malaysia Palm oil Board (MPOB) and Malaysia Palm Oil Council (MPOC) are assisting the palm oil industry to counter campaigns by aggressive European NGOs against the commodity.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We have these bodies to assist the government as well as the farmers in telling the market that our palm oil is not destructive to the environment and that we have been observing good agricultural practices,&rdquo; he pointed out.<br /> <br /> He also revealed that the Malaysian palm oil industry had both the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certification and the Malaysian Standard on Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification (MSPO) certification as proofs that the country&rsquo;s palm oil industry was sustainable and not destructive to the environment.<br /> <br /> Uggah reiterated that one of the major challenges of the oil palm industry was that NGOs in Europe had been &ldquo;shifting their goal posts all the time&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;That&rsquo;s one of the reasons we need to diversify our crops and, in turn, it will help diversify the income of our farmers.<br /> <br /> In that sense, we must adopt a holistic approach that&rsquo;s not just diversifying on crops alone but on the whole agriculture activities including diversifying into livestock, fish rearing and so on,&rdquo; he added.</p>7823Fri, 24 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0800Govt To Build 11 More ‘Pusat Internet 1Malaysia’ In State<p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> <strong><img src=" 2017/240717_Pusat Internet 1Malaysia.jpg" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Abdul Rahman presents a cost of living allowance to members of the Satang Biru PNK.</strong><br /> <br /> KUCHING: The government will build 11 more &lsquo;Pusat Internet 1Malaysia&rsquo; (1Malaysia Internet Centre) in the state.<br /> <br /> Speaking at the 28th annual general meeting of Area Fishermen&rsquo;s Association (PNK) of Satang Biru and presentation of cost of living allowance at Telaga Air Community Hall yesterday, Public Utilities (Electricity and Telecommunications) Assistant Minister Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi said the new centres will enable communities to have better access to the Internet to expose them to information technology and communication.<br /> <br /> He said presently there were 113 &lsquo;Pusat Internet 1Malaysia&rsquo; across the state.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The centres will enable the communities to embrace the digital age, as pointed out by our Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg who urged us to look into the digital economy,&rdquo; he added.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Digital economy enables our businesses to penetrate a bigger crowd as the boundaries are unlimited. At the same time with a bigger market, it would definitely mean bigger profit opportunity,&rdquo; he emphasised.<br /> <br /> As such, he urged members of the association to equip themselves with Internet skills and knowledge, while at the same time utilising the Internet to market their products.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The Internet is the emerging medium to market your products and communication between both seller and end-user is direct without middlemen,&rdquo; he added, pointing out that this would enable them to compete with others and earn bigger profits.<br /> <br /> At the event, Dr Abdul Rahman presented RM43,000 in living allowance (RM200 to 83 recipients, RM300 to 88 recipients).<br /> <br /> He announced a grant of RM5,000 to association, RM3,000 to Kumpulan Belia Nelayan (Kubena) and RM3,000 to the Kumpulan Wanita Nelayan (Kunita) and presented incentives to children of the association&rsquo;s members who excelled in public exams.<br /> <br /> Satang Biru PNK chairperson Hasbi Luhi and Fisheries Development Authority Malaysia (LKIM) Sarawak deputy director Nik Rashid Nik Jusoh were present.</p>7824Fri, 24 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0800State To Set Up More Service And Activity Centres For Seniors<p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong><img src=" 2017/240717_Centres For Seniors.jpg" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Dr Abdul Rahman (right) presenting a contribution to a senior citizen in Serian yesterday.</strong><br /> <br /> SERIAN: The Welfare, Women and Community Wellbeing Ministry aspires to establish Senior Citizens&rsquo; Service Centres and Senior Citizens&rsquo; Activity Centres in each state constituency.<br /> <br /> Assistant Minister of Welfare and Community Wellbeing Dr Abdul Rahman Ismail said presently, a total of 22 Senior Citizens&rsquo; Service Centres and Senior Citizens&rsquo; Activity Centres have been established throughout the state with a membership of around 35,000.<br /> <br /> However, he said such programmes will be expanded from time to time to all the state constituencies depending on the requests from the senior citizen community in that particular area.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The aim of Senior Citizens&rsquo; Service Centres and Senior Citizens&rsquo; Activity Centres is to provide opportunities to our senior citizen community and the public to be directly involved in programmes or activities that are beneficial to the local residents.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Such programmes are also intended to encourage the younger generation and senior citizens to interact by getting involved, especially in volunteer works,&rdquo; Dr Abdul Rahman said when officiating at the closing of &lsquo;Program Komuniti Prihatin Warga Emas Harmoni&rsquo; at Kampung Hulu Serian Community Hall here yesterday.<br /> <br /> He explained that community-based programmes are also organised to ensure that senior citizens continue to stay relevant, respected and appreciated by the community, especially among the younger generation.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The government aims to nurture a community that is inclusive as well as concerned towards not only senior citizens but also other target groups.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We must treat senior citizens as an important asset in the community who can contribute to the country and not as a burden to the community.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, Dr Abdul Rahman also said the state government, through his ministry, is also providing assistance for senior citizens amounting to RM300 per month to assist them in meeting their basic needs as well as support the wellbeing of senior citizens who are poor, sick and have no fixed source of income.<br /> <br /> The scheme, he said, has benefited more than 22,528 recipients throughout the state with an allocation of RM13.5 million as of February this year.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;At the same time, they are also entitled to receive other assistance, such as support equipment and business launch grants if they are interested in involving themselves in small-scale business.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This shows that the government is very concerned and aware of the development and needs of our senior citizens, especially in the aspect of providing a quality social support system such as protection, care, health and survival that are capable of ensuring the wellbeing of senior citizens.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Earlier, Dr Abdul Rahman also took the opportunity to visit the homes of three senior citizens at Kampung Munggu Limo and Kampung Hulu Serian and presented various assistance to them.<br /> <br /> Among those present at the event was state Welfare Department director Abang Shamsudin Abang Seruji.</p>7825Fri, 24 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0800Four Flyovers To Be Built In PMC Area This Year, Says Lo<p style="text-align: justify;"> <img src=" 2017/240717_Flyovers.jpg" /><br /> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Lo (centre) and Andrew hold the certification while Ahmad looks on.</strong><br /> <br /> KUCHING: Four flyovers costing about RM200 million will be built in the Padawan Municipal Council (PMC) area this year.<br /> <br /> Its chairman Lo Khere Chiang said the four flyovers were at Mile 4, Mile 6, Mile 7 and Mile 9 of Kuching-Serian road as part of the RM16 billion-Pan Borneo Highway project.<br /> <br /> For the Mile 4 and 6 projects, construction works would commence in June, while works on the other two would start in August.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;All the projects will be completed in 2020. This is definitely good news to the people,&rdquo; Lo told a press conference at the council&rsquo;s headquarters yesterday, after chairing a full council meeting.<br /> <br /> Lo, who is also Batu Kitang assemblyman, said the soil study for the projects had been carried out long ago. He also said the council had been allocated RM30 million under the Malaysian Road Records Information System (Marris), a significant increase from last year&rsquo;s figure<br /> <br /> The allocation was a federal government funding, but parked with the state government, Lo said. He thanked the federal government, chief minister and state secretary for the allocation.<br /> <br /> Last year, the council was allocated RM17 million, and RM12 million in the previous year.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The money given to us (council ) is a challenge for us&hellip;we will make sure that we spend the money on what we want to do and we will not fail the people. The projects will be delivered ahead of schedule,&rdquo; Lo said.<br /> <br /> Still on roads, Lo brushed aside talks that the construction of the Pan Borneo Highway was facing problem, stressing that construction work was progressing smoothly.<br /> <br /> He said there had been talks that the contractors had not been paid and that the government had no money to carry out the project.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This (March 23) morning, I had a briefing with the project consortium and I was informed that the project is going smoothly.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, Lo said the council had been awarded the latest ISO 9001 2015 certification, a great recognition and achievement for the council. He said the certification was received in December last year. It &lsquo;s a world wide standard lasting for four years (2016-2020). It would be reviewed after that.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The certification means the council has achieved a lot and will motivate us to improve and do more,&rdquo; Lo said.<br /> <br /> Deputy chairman Datuk Ahmad Ibrahim and secretary Andrew Jores were also present at the press conference.</p>7826Fri, 24 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0800Smoke-Free Parks: Dept Starts Enforcement<p style="text-align: justify;"> <img src=" 2017/230317_Smoke-Free Parks.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>A close-up view of the banner besides Sibu Municipal Council&rsquo;s multi-storey car park along Wong Nai Siong Road.</strong><br /> <br /> SIBU: Sarawak Health Department will start educational enforcement to increase public awareness with regard to the gazetting of public parks as non-smoking areas.<br /> <br /> In disclosing this on Tuesday, state deputy health director (public health) Dr Nordin Saleh said the enforcement activities will continue for three months.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The enforcement of public parks as non-smoking areas started on Feb 1 this year. The rationale is to protect the public, who use parks for gatherings or carrying out healthy activities such as jogging, picnics, children&rsquo;s play activities, yoga, aerobic exercise and so on, from second hand smoke.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Once the educational enforcement period is over, offenders will be given a notice or be compounded for up to RM50.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;If they fail or do not wish to pay the compound, they will be charged in court, where they could be fined up to RM10,000 or sentenced to two years in jail,&rdquo; he said in a statement to The Borneo Post.<br /> <br /> Dr Nordin added that health enforcement officers will perform routine enforcement activities based on a schedule to be drawn up.<br /> <br /> He said enforcement officers from the local councils may also join in the enforcement.<br /> <br /> Currently, there are 76 parks listed as non-smoking areas as given by the local councils, he pointed out.<br /> <br /> The list however excludes parks gazetted under the state&rsquo;s Public Parks and Greens Ordinance as the decision on their inclusion as non-smoking areas is still pending.<br /> <br /> Separately, it was observed on Tuesday that banners have been put up at various locations here to inform the public about the ruling.</p>7806Thu, 23 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0800Bintawa, Sg Apong Now Flood-Free, Thanks To New Drains<p style="text-align: justify;"> <img src=" 2017/230317_New Drains.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Foo (third left) and several MBKS officers pose near the completed concrete drain at Jalan Bintawa.</strong><br /> <br /> KUCHING: Residents of Bintawa and Sungai Apong can now breathe a sigh of relief as the concrete drains at Jalan Bintawa to ease the perennial floods has finally been completed after experiencing a long delay.<br /> <br /> Sarawak United People&rsquo;s Party (SUPP) Youth Central publicity secretary Milton Foo said all had been completed except for some landscaping works at the site.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The flood in Pending area has been troubling the residents for many years,&rdquo; he told a press conference at the SUPP Pending branch here yesterday.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Now that the concrete drains are ready, it will hopefully quicken and ease the flow of water that in turn will reduce the risk of flooding.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Foo later led a team, including officers from Kuching South City Council (MBKS), to inspect the project site.<br /> <br /> The project, which started early last year, has been receiving much backlash from the public and opposition elected representatives for poor management.<br /> <br /> DAP Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong even raised the matter on the sidelines of the State Legislative Assembly sitting in November last year.<br /> <br /> According to news reports, the project had been halted on several occasions after the initial appointed contractor failed to deliver the works according to specifications.<br /> <br /> The problem thus led MBKS to terminate the contractor and ordered a re-tender to source for a competent contractor.<br /> <br /> This has led to a significant delay to the project&rsquo;s completion, which was supposed to be end of December last year.</p>7807Thu, 23 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0800SFC Responds Well To CM’s Call For More Focused R&D<p style="text-align: justify;"> <img src=" 2017/230317_SFC.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Len (centre) witnesses the MoU signing between SFC and BFC representatives.</strong><br /> <br /> MIRI: Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) and its research and development (R&amp;D) collaborators have responded positively to the chief minister&rsquo;s call for more focused research and development (R&amp;D) to be conducted so that &lsquo;Industrial Forests&rsquo; could be viably set up in the state.<br /> <br /> This was disclosed in Miri yesterday during the annual meeting of Planted Forest Research Programme (PFRP), which was declared open by Assistant Minister for Environment Datu Len Talif Salleh, who is also Assistant Minister for Workforce Development and Training.<br /> <br /> In his speech, Len touched on several policy directions that could facilitate the attainment of forestry objectives as outlined recently by the chief minister during a public forum on Forest Landscape Restoration.<br /> <br /> Len called on Licence for Planted Forest (LPF) holders and other major timber players to seriously consider intensifying their tree-planting programmes in view of the reduced production from the natural forests leading to an eventual total ban of log export from the natural forests.<br /> <br /> He also said that all LPFs had to collaborate and share the R&amp;D data and findings to ensure the success of the PFRP.<br /> <br /> Len also called on the industry to help sustainably fund the PFRP through provision such as the cess from harvested timber.<br /> <br /> On the issue of protecting Sarawak&rsquo;s forests from pests and diseases, he called on the Forest Department and SFC to take necessary preventive measures including the enforcement of phyto-sanitary regulations and in due course, the Forests (Nursery) Rules that is in the gazettment process.<br /> <br /> SFC chief executive officer, Wong Ting Chung, also spoke at the meeting. He said SFC would enlist the expertise of research institutions that had proven good track records of similar R&amp;D programmes, both locally and internationally, to achieve the research goals.<br /> <br /> The event also witnessed the inking of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between SFC and Borneo Forestry Cooperative (BFC) to intensify R&amp;D efforts in areas of common interests such as the development of best operating practices for plantation establishment and the improvement of seed quality.<br /> <br /> The PFRP Annual Meeting saw the participation of 60 individuals comprising representatives from LPF companies, international and local researchers and relevant government agencies.</p>7808Thu, 23 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0800Hong Kong’s Affordable Housing Policies Adoptable, Says CM<p style="text-align: justify;"> <img src=" 2017/230317_Housing Policies.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> (From left) Sim, Ngui, Abang Johari and Zaidi Ahmad look at a housing model.<br /> <br /> HONG KONG: Hong Kong&rsquo;s housing policies that support affordable housing for its citizens can be adopted by Sarawak, said Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg.<br /> <br /> The chief minister expressed this view following briefings and site visits conducted by Hong Kong&rsquo;s Urban Renewal Authority (URA) and the Hong Kong Housing Authority (HKHA) during the first leg of a visit to Hong Kong from China yesterday.<br /> <br /> The working visit was organised by the Ministry of Housing and Urbanisation and Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers Association (Sheda) Kuching branch.<br /> <br /> The Sarawak delegation led by Abang Johari includes Assistant Minister of Urbanisation Datuk Talib Zulpilip, Assistant Minister of Housing Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, Ministry of Housing and Urbanisation permanent secretary Datu Sudarsono Osman, former Tasik Biri assemblyman Datuk Peter Nansian, Sheda Kuching advisors Sim Kiang Chiok and Zaidi Ahmad, Sheda Kuching chairman Dr Christopher Ngui and Sheda Kuching branch deputy chairman Tony Su.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The purpose of these visits is to expose our developers as well as our policy makers to new ways of formulating strategies where we will be able to provide affordable housing and services to our people,&rdquo; Abang Johari said.<br /> <br /> He noted that Hong Kong had improved by leaps and bounds in terms of providing facilities for its people since the 1970s while maintaining affordability, which he said suited the needs of Sarawak.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Hong Kong&rsquo;s Rental Assistance Scheme (RAS) and Tenant Purchase Scheme (TPS) for example, assist their citizens in both renting and purchasing homes by providing financial assistance or subsidising the price of the properties.<br /> <br /> <img src=" 2017/230317_Housing Policies1.jpg" /><br /> <br /> <img src=" 2017/230317_Housing Policies2.jpg" /><br /> <br /> &ldquo;These are policies which we can learn from Hong Kong,&rdquo; he declared.<br /> <br /> However, Abang Johari cautioned that not all elements of Hong Kong would be suitable for Sarawak to adopt.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;While they have been successful with their housing development, the solution for Hong Kong is very different from ours as we have a luxury of land while they have a constraint of land. Rather than focus on developing upwards like they have, for Sarawak we will be developing laterally instead,&rdquo; he pointed out.<br /> <br /> However, with lateral development comes the issue of distance as home buyers may find new properties to be too far for their liking and convenience, he added.<br /> <br /> To address the issue, Abang Johari emphasised that Sarawak would need to have a strong focus on developing a proper public transport system.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Once we have the public transport system, then the development can be expanded into suburban areas where the land cost is cheaper, allowing us to create townships and more affordable housing while providing the basic facilities in these new residential areas.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, besides learning from Hong Kong&rsquo;s housing policies, Talip said he was impressed with their managerial practice, noting that it has proven to be extremely effective.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;They have succeeded in fixing their problems and they&rsquo;ve done it by expertly managing the process, identifying the issues, implementing execution and promoting continuous review and improvement. The process of doing so is a lesson we could learn.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> In concurring with Talip, Mike Kwan Yee Fai, assistant general manager of URA&rsquo;s planning and design division, hoped that the Sarawak delegation would be able to learn from the difficulties the URA has faced in redevelopment which they could bring home.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Do not repeat the same mistakes we have done in the past and instead learn from our successes such as more community engagement within redeveloping areas. Small steps like more open lines of communication can help showcase to the communities involved the benefits redevelopment has and will bring them.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The working visit started with a briefing by Kwan on the planning process of the redevelopment of the Kwun Tung Town Centre before he took the delegates on a site tour of the urban development area.<br /> <br /> After that, the delegation broke for lunch which was hosted by Sheda Kuching branch, after which they headed to HKHA where they were given an overview on Hong Kong&rsquo;s many affordable housing schemes and policies.<br /> <br /> The visit ended with a visit to the Ho Man Tin estate where the group was given a tour of several public facilities and public housing buildings.</p>7809Thu, 23 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0800‘Bongkissam Shrine Will Be Rlocated’<p style="text-align: justify;"> <img src=" 2017/230317_Bongkissam Shrine.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Dato Sri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar</strong><br /> <br /> KUCHING: The Museum Department has submitted a proposal to the state government for an area where Bongkissam shrine should be located and also be gazetted as a heritage site.<br /> <br /> Santubong MP Dato Sri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, in saying this, however said the state government had yet to deliberate on the proposal.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The department has submitted a proposal where the Bongkissam shrine in Santubong should be sited and duly gazetted. Though it is included in the list of state heritage sites, we are still waiting for the state government to gazette it,&rdquo; he said when contacted yesterday.<br /> <br /> On the size of the proposed heritage site, Wan Junaidi said he had yet to find out, but nevertheless, the state government would have its own method to determine the area.<br /> <br /> Wan Junaidi, who is also Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, also gave his assurance that the historical Bongkissam shrine in his constituency was not under threat despite the ongoing land development activity within its vicinity.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;At the moment, it is not being disturbed although there is ongoing development opposite the shrine, which is a project to pave the way for a village extension,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Sarawak 4 Sarawakians (S4S) campaigner Karen Shepherd recently expressed her concern that the extension project carried out across the road from the shrine was executed without conducting any archaeological investigation.<br /> <br /> According to her, the land-clearing might have caused the destruction of priceless artifacts of universal historic and research significance because the Bongkissam shrine, which dated back to between 10th and 13th century and was uncovered in the 1960s, had several objects found there which were currently on display at the Sarawak Museum. Among them, a silver ritual box and 142 gold objects.<br /> <br /> This, she said, suggested that the site was of sacred significance at one time &ndash; making it one of the most significant archaeological finds in Sarawak and perhaps, in Asean.<br /> <br /> On this, Wan Junaidi said he had spoken with museum director Ipoi Datan, and would be relying on the department on their findings.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;He (Ipoi) has sent officers to inspect the area in question and at the same time, has also informed me that the Bongkissam shrine was not being disturbed.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, it is understood that Pantai Damai assemblyman Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi will be meeting up with the Museum Department officials next week to discuss the matter.</p>7810Thu, 23 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0800Bakun HEP Dam Meant To Benefit Everybody, Says Minister<p style="text-align: justify;"> SIBU: The Bakun hydroelectricity power (HEP) dam is meant to benefit the people, regardless of the way some quarters may view the project.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Public Utilities Minister Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom has observed that as far as this town is concerned, there have been fewer floods since the dam commenced operation.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;There must be some reasons for that. Maybe Bakun dam is one of the reasons, apart from our good flood mitigation programme.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Now we don&rsquo;t experience flooding as frequently as before,&rdquo; he said in officiating at the launch of &lsquo;World Water Day&rsquo; at Rural Water Supply Department (JBALB) Sibu office in Liberty Building at Pedada Road here yesterday.<br /> <br /> Dr Rundi said the logjam occurring upstream of Bakun dam was probably caused by sudden rush of water that pushed the debris into the river.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Anyway, it is not something that we cannot tackle.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Most importantly, we want the people to reap the benefits from all the facilities that we have provided,&rdquo; he said.<br /> At the same function, Rundi also declared the official opening the new JBALB office here.<br /> <br /> Assistant Minister for Public Utilities (Electricity and Telecommunications) Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi, Assistant Minister for Science<br /> <br /> Research and Biotechnology Dr Annuar Rapaee, Ngemah assemblyman Alexander Vincent, Sibu Municipal Council chairman Datuk Tiong Thai King, Public Utilities Ministry permanent secretary Datuk Alice Jawan and JBALB director Daniel Wong Park Ing witnessed the ceremonies.</p>7805Wed, 22 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +080013 RTP Projects For Piasau To Be Implemented This Year<p style="text-align: justify;"> <img src=" 2017/220317_RTP Projects.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>(From left) Councillors Lee Thin Hin and Aries Leong, Ting and an officer from MCC engineering section study the part of the Jee Foh area, which will undergo upgrading.</strong><br /> <br /> MIRI: A total of 13 projects requested last year under the Rural Transformation Programme (RTP) worth up to RM2.7 million for Piasau constituency will be implemented this year.<br /> <br /> Piasau assemblyman Datuk Sebastian Ting disclosed this during a site inspection visit on three of the 13 proposed projects on Monday.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;These projects have been proposed to the state government and have already been approved. The next step is to engage with the city council (Miri City Council)&rsquo;s engineering section to study and implement them. We are expecting the projects to run according to schedule with much monitoring required,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;As for 2017, I have submitted proposals for 22 RTP projects, mostly for Piasau constituency and part of Pujut area. We are looking at areas where they are necessary and according to the feedback from public,&rdquo; he said, adding that among the areas is the 300m stretch from Jalan Jee Foh Utama to Jalan Jee Foh 9 that needs to be widened and provided with an extra lane to smoothen the traffic flow.<br /> <br /> Ting added that the project is estimated to cost RM250,000 and the engineering section of MCC &ndash; as the implementing agency &ndash; would need to make a study on it first.<br /> <br /> He also said the drainage at the whole stretch of North Yu Seng Road would be cleared of blockage.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, Kampung Lereng Bukit headman Penghulu Samad requested for the road to Tabika Permata Kemas, which is presently tar-sealed, to be resurfaced with cement.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We are considering the change because of the children. During hot weather, the tar-sealed road will release a toxic odour which could be hazardous to the children.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Ting estimated the cost of resealing the road to be about RM50,000.<br /> <br /> At the same time, residents of the village who live up the hill hoped that MCC would help repair their damaged road and build proper drains.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;After inspecting the area, I found that the condition is disheartening. We and the city council will study the project and hopefully, everything could be done as soon as possible,&rdquo; Ting told reporters.</p>7811Wed, 22 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0800Water Interruption In Tanjong Manis Now Thing Of The Past<p style="text-align: justify;"> <img src=" 2017/220317_Tanjong Manis.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Sudin (second left) hands over the project to Wong (third right), witnessed by Dr Rundi (fourth left), Alice (third left), Len (fourth right), Abdul Rahman (second right) and others.</strong><br /> <br /> SIBU: The frequent water supply interruption in Tanjong Manis has been resolved with the handing over of the Sekumang Booster Station to the Rural Water Supply Department (JBALB) on Monday.<br /> <br /> Sibu Water Board (SWB), represented by its general manager Sudin Jaya, symbolically handed over the station to the department represented by its director Daniel Wong Park Ing at the site in Tanjong Manis.<br /> <br /> Minister of Public Utilities Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom was on hand to witness the event.<br /> <br /> According to a SWB press statement, it was agreed in a meeting at the Public Utilities Ministry in December last year that JBALB should utilise the Sekumang Booster Station to reduce pumping pressure from Sarikei and thus reduce the chances of pipe bursts and increase the volume of water to Tanjong Manis.<br /> <br /> Besides, it would allow Tanjong Manis to have additional water storage of four million litres of ground reservoir at the Sekumang Booster Station.<br /> <br /> The station was done under the Tanjong Manis Water Supply, Phase 1 Package 8 project of the statement added.<br /> <br /> It covers areas such as Tanjong Manis Township, Tanjong Manis Timber Processing Area, Tanjong Manis Housing, Kampung Rejang, Kampung Belawai, Kampung Jerijeh and Kampung Serdeng Ground Tank.<br /> <br /> Water supply to Tanjong Manis, Rejang, Belawai, Jerijeh, Serdeng and Pulau Bruit comes from Bayong Treatment Plant via Bulat Reservoir to Sungai Baji Booster Station.<br /> <br /> The supply then go through a 21km-pipe track crossing Rajang and Semareng rivers before it reaches Sekumang Booster Station.<br /> <br /> The interruption of water supply to Tanjong Manis is caused by ageing and frequent bursting of the pumping main along the 21km- pipe track, requiring repair works at least once a month.<br /> <br /> Frequent pipe bursts have also caused consumers in Belawai, Rajang and Jerijeh to face unstable and frequent water supply interruption over the years.<br /> <br /> Assistant Minister for Environment Datu Len Talif Salleh, Assistant Minister for Public Utilities (Electricity and Telecommunications) Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi and Ministry of Public Utilities permanent secretary Datuk Alice Jawan were among those present at the function.</p>7812Wed, 22 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0800Signing Of MoUs Strengthens State’s Ties With Yunnan Province In China<p style="text-align: justify;"> <img src=" 2017/220317_ Yunnan Province.jpg" /><br /> <br /> <img src=" 2017/220317_ Yunnan Province1.jpg" /><br /> <br /> <img src=" 2017/220317_ Yunnan Province2.jpg" /><br /> &nbsp;<br /> KUNMING, China: The bilateral relationship between Sarawak and Yunnan Province of China has been further strengthened with the signing of four memorandums of understanding (MoUs) yesterday.<br /> <br /> Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg representing Sarawak State Government and Yunnan Provincial governor Ruang Cheng Fa for the Province of Yunnan signed an MoU for the establishment of friendship between the state and the province.<br /> <br /> The state government represented by the relevant agencies also inked three other MoUs with the Yunnan provincial government.<br /> <br /> They were the Friendship City Agreement between Kuching North City Commission (DBKU) and Dali City; education cooperation between Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) and Yunnan University as well as literary cooperation between Pustaka Negeri Sarawak and Yunnan Provincial Library.<br /> <br /> The signing of the four MoUs was a historic day for Sarawak and Yunnan Province.<br /> <br /> In his brief return address, Abang Johari said his visit could be viewed as an effort to renew the bilateral friendship between Yunnan Province and Sarawak which dated back to the time of the great Chinese admiral Cheng Ho, who explored Southeast Asia in the 15th century.<br /> <br /> He pointed out that a friendship park had been built in Kuching in dedication to the friendship established during the time of Cheng Ho.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I am sure in this modern time we can renew this friendship based on our cultural exchange as well as social visits between Sarawak and Yunnan,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> The government of Sarawak and Yunnan could also explore other areas of cooperation, especially in science and technology, he added.<br /> <br /> Abang Johari, who has been on a weeklong working visit to China since Sunday, arrived in Beijing on Sunday for his first working visit overseas since appointed Chief Minister about two months ago.<br /> <br /> He is accompanied by his wife Datin Amar Datuk Juma&rsquo;ani Tuanku Bujang as well as Second Finance Minister Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh and State Secretary Tan Sri Datuk Amar Morshidi Abdul Ghani and their wives.<br /> <br /> On Monday, the Chief Minister witnessed the signing of an MoU between SEDC and a Chinese international tourism development company, Beijing Glory International Culture Development Co. Ltd, at Nou Hotel in the Chinese capital for the purpose of further developing Sarawak&rsquo;s tourism potential and hospitality management.<br /> <br /> Later yesterday, Abang Johari and his entourage flew to Hong Kong to continue the tour.</p>7814Wed, 22 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0800Sarawak Mulls GoingInto Grain Corn Farming<p style="text-align: justify;"> <img src=" 2017/220317_Corn Farming.jpg" /><br /> <br /> <img src=" 2017/220317_Corn Farming2.jpg" /><br /> <br /> KUCHING: The state government is looking to introduce the planting of grain corn as part of its efforts to reduce the cost of production of the state&rsquo;s livestock industry.<br /> <br /> Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said the state was currently importing RM263 million worth of corn for livestock feed and the amount for the whole country was RM3 billion.<br /> <br /> In view of this, he pointed out that the federal government through the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry had decided to increase corn production in the country so as to reduce its dependence on imported corn.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The grain corn is a new crop for us in Sarawak and therefore, there is a need for some experimentation to find out which is the most suitable hybrid seed we can plant to meet the requirements of our weather and our land,&rdquo; he told reporters after attending a briefing conducted by State Agriculture Department senior assistant director (research) Dr Lily Eng at the Semenggoh Agriculture Research Centre near here yesterday.<br /> <br /> Uggah, who is also Modernisation of Agriculture and Rural Economy Minister, expressed his confidence that the state would be able to develop maize farming much like its neighbouring country, Indonesia.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;A few weeks ago, I joined Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek to visit the Minister of Agriculture in Indonesia where we were briefed on the success of the Indonesian agriculture sector to increase their corn production.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;So if Indonesia can do it, there is no reason Malaysia cannot, especially in Sarawak which is one of the most potential areas for corn planting because of our vast available lands,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> As the next course of action, Uggah has directed for research on grain corn planting to commence starting with planting in a few hectares for experimentation.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;At the same time, during the paddy off-season later on, we will pick up a few areas in some of the paddy areas to have a trial plot during off-season planting for the corn.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;All our programmes will be supported by the federal government and next week, I will meet the minister (Ahmad Shabery) to present our plan to him because they have the programme that can support us,&rdquo; he explained.<br /> <br /> He also acknowledged that the grain corn project will be an interesting challenge for the state.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This is because if we can reduce the import of our corn, it means that we can save a lot of foreign exchange and at the same time, we will reduce the cost of production for our livestock industry and give it a chance to grow and develop to become more competitive with other countries around this region.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, when asked if there was any time frame given for this project, Uggah said it would depend on the state&rsquo;s experimentation.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We have yet to find out which is the most suitable hybrid seed we can plant. We have been told that there had been some success in Kedah, Terengganu and I think Johor.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Since we have just started, I hope that we will find the right seed to plant so that we can proceed beyond that.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Assistant Minister of Rural Economy (Interior Areas) and Plantations Datuk Francis Harden Hollis, Assistant Minister of Rural Economy (Coastal Areas) and Fisheries Datuk Julaihi Narawi, Assistant Minister of Agriculture Malcolm Mussen Lamoh and State Agriculture Department director Datu Lai Kui Fong were among those present.</p>7815Wed, 22 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0800One PDK For Each State Constituency — Fatimah<p style="text-align: justify;"> KOTA SAMARAHAN: Sarawak is aiming to have one Community Rehabilitation Centre (PDK) in every state constituency.<br /> <br /> In revealing this when launching the Mushroom House at PDK Samarahan here yesterday, Minister of Welfare, Women and Community Wellbeing Datuk Fatimah Abdullah said the objective is to provide early training and early intervention to more people with disabilities.<br /> <br /> She said the state presently has 49 centres and two more PDKs &ndash; one in Nangka, Sibu and Daro, Mukah &ndash; would be built this year if they are approved by the National PDK Grant Council during its meeting on March 31.<br /> <br /> She also said the number of trainees at the PDKs in the state was 2,348 and those trained at home numbered 639.<br /> <br /> Speaking further, she said the state government had appointed medical therapists to give basic training in physical movement, speaking, special education and skills for PDK trainees.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;In 2017 the emphasis is for those with disabilities to be able to be independent in how they move, speak and in their skills,&rdquo; she said, adding that apart from social skills they were also trained in farming, tailoring, rearing livestock and handicraft through the Economic Empowerment Programme (EEP) to enable them to earn income.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;A minimum grant of RM18,000 is given to implement this and at the same time the grant is also to pay trainers for tailoring and raw materials to start the economic projects,&rdquo; she said, adding that PDKs can apply for the grant by forwarding their working papers to Welfare Offices.<br /> <br /> Besides that, Fatimah said the state government had appointed eight contract officers to be placed in the PDKs in Kuching, Miri and Sibu zones. She said RM11,052,316 was given out under the grant last year.</p>7816Wed, 22 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0800Fatimah Launches Mushroom House<div class="pf-content"> <div class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_653593" style="max-width: 100% !important; height: auto; width: 600px"> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-653593 lazy-loaded" data-src="" height="400" src="" width="600" /></p> <p class="wp-caption-text" style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Fatimah (centre) looks at the young mushrooms grown in plastic bottles. From left are Welfare Department director Abang Shamsuddin Abang Seruji and Lianna.</strong></p> </div> <p style="text-align: justify;"> KOTA SAMARAHAN: Mushroom House &ndash; a community project by Samarahan Community Rehabilitation Centre (PDK) &ndash; was officially opened at the centre by Minister of Welfare, Women and Community Wellbeing Datuk Fatimah Abdullah yesterday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The project is sponsored by Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) through its Community Transformation Centre (UCTC) for the community of the centre which includes the trainees and participants.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> It is part of the university&rsquo;s involvement with the local community to boost their socio-economic wellbeing.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> In her speech, Fatimah praised UCTC, Unimas Faculty of Sciences and Technology Resources and all the centre&rsquo;s working committees for their initiative in ensuring that the project is implemented creatively and innovatively.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;I believe that the project will focus on uplifting the social economic status of individual participants and the community in the centre,&rdquo; she said.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> A representative of the centre, Lianna Laha, said the idea for the Mushroom House was born when the head of the UCTC, Professor Dr Sepiah Muid, presented the centre with mushroom seedlings.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> She said they started building the house in 2016 and completed it at the end of the year.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Lianna believes that by taking part in the project, participants will get the idea of how to do mushroom farming to uplift their socio-economic wellbeing.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> PDK Samarahan has 74 trainees and five are people with disabilities who are looked after by nine helpers and a supervisor.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> It was revealed that the expenditure for managing this centre from Jan to June this year will be RM136,152 and last year from Jan to Dec the expenditure was RM273,404.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Dean Of Unimas Faculty of Sciences and Technology Resources Dr Othman Bojo and Welfare Department director Abang Shamsuddin Abang Seruji were present.</p> </div>7817Wed, 22 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +080072 Projects In Sarawak Worth RM10 Mln And Above Are 70 IBS Score<p style="text-align: justify;"> <img src=" 2017/220317_IBS Score.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Fadillah Yusof</strong><br /> <br /> KUCHING: As many as 72 projects in Sarawak valued RM10 million and above which have achieved at least 70 Industrial Building System (IBS) score have been implemented since 2016.<br /> <br /> Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof quoted the figures shown by the Implementation Coordination Unit (ICU) in the Prime Minister&rsquo;s Department.<br /> <br /> The Petra Jaya MP said under the Treasury Circular Bill 7 2008, the federal government had already made it mandatory for all government projects worth RM10 million and above to achieve the minimum of 70 IBS score.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This policy covers the whole of Malaysia,&rdquo; Fadillah said yesterday.<br /> <br /> Despite the announcement in the Treasury circular, the government has been giving a grace period for the construction industry to catch up and only imposed the mandatory requirements on government projects and not the private projects.<br /> <br /> On the response of private sector in Sarawak towards IBS, he said the uptake of IBS in Sarawak had been relatively low and only concentrated in urban areas.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;To create more awareness and to educate the industry on IBS and its benefit, Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) has been actively conducting various industry programmes in Sarawak such as IBS seminars and roadshows,&rdquo; said Fadillah.<br /> <br /> As a start, Fadillah said the government would first make it compulsory for the private sector in Klang Valley to use IBS before enforcing it later in all states including Sarawak.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The policy to make it mandatory for private sector projects valued at RM50 million and above to achieve at least 50 IBS score will begin in 2018 covering projects in Klang Valley under 10 selected local councils only.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This policy will then be expanded to Selangor, Johor and Penang by 2020. Subsequently, it will be enforced in all states, in stages, taking into account the IBS readiness of the states,&rdquo; said Fadillah.<br /> <br /> In his reply to Parit MP Datuk Mohd Zaim Abu Hasan in Parliament recently, Fadillah said the purpose of implementing IBS was to improve construction productivity and reduce dependence on foreign labour in the construction industry.<br /> <br /> Quoting ICU statistics, he said until May 2016, 69.5 per cent of government projects were using IBS and according to CIDB, only 14 per cent of private sector projects were found to be using IBS in 2014.<br /> <br /> He said the main challenge the ministry faced in implementing IBS was to convince local authorities and developers.<br /> <br /> Another challenge, he said was that IBS would increase the total project cost compared to the cost incurred in using conventional construction methods. The production of IBS component also meant high-tech equipment and skilled workers.<br /> <br /> Setting aside the challenges, he said IBS would have to increase construction productivity and cut down reliance on foreign workers.</p>7818Wed, 22 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0800Abg Johari’s China Visit Proves Close Bilateral Relationship<p style="text-align: justify;"> <img src=" 2017/210317_China Visit.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>(From right) Fu presents a souvenir to Manyin at the dinner, as Manyin&rsquo;s wife Mary Manyin and Fu&rsquo;s wife Liu Sha look on.</strong><br /> <br /> KUCHING: The visit by Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg to China starting Sunday &ndash; his first in his capacity as chief minister &ndash; is testimony of the state&rsquo;s ability to share with China&rsquo;s prosperity and progress.<br /> <br /> According to Abang Johari, his maiden visit under his new role will have him meeting many business people in Beijing, Kunming, Guangzhou and Hong Kong.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;A few memoranda of understanding (MOUs) will be signed, particularly in the field of tourism and I believe China is a rich country that we can woo to come to our state as tourists,&rdquo; he said at the Chinese Consulate General Lunar New Year Dinner at Imperial Hotel here on Sunday.<br /> <br /> His text of speech was read by Youth and Sports and Solidarity Minister Dato Sri Michael Manyin.<br /> <br /> Abang Johari added that he was confident that more Chinese tourists would choose the state as their holiday destination in years to come.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We will also have other engagements during the trip, which includes engineering and construction, culture and education, urban renewal and housing,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> On a related matter, Abang Johari pointed out that relations between China and Malaysia was not recent and had been established since the 15th century, with the Chinese having been in Sarawak for generations.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The Sarawakian Chinese of today are no longer &lsquo;pendatang&rsquo; or immigrants, but are Sarawakians like every other Sarawakians,&rdquo; he added.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, China&rsquo;s Consul General in Kuching Fu Jijun said China and Sarawak relations reached new heights last year, which witnessed the signing of several agreements and MOUs.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Agreements and MoUs were signed, which would see strengthening of bilateral collaboration in port management, tourism promotion, production of solar panel, iron and steel, bio carbon and infrastructure construction,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Fu added that friendship states and cooperation of cities had deepened with Fujian becoming the friendship state, and Kuching and Sibu having exchanged delegation visits.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We are glad that the Sarawak government attaches great importance to promoting cooperation between Sarawak and China, and I am confident that the visit by Abang Johari would deepen the cooperation and friendship between China and Sarawak,&rdquo; he added.<br /> <br /> At the event, Fu introduced China&rsquo;s new Deputy Consul General in Kuching Zhang Yang &ndash; an experienced diplomat who had worked in China embassies in Surinam, Japan and Singapore.</p>7813Tue, 21 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0800