The Official Portal of the Sarawak Government RSS Feed 2018-02-21 09:23:35 2018-02-21 09:23:35Go Digital or Go Bust<p style="text-align: justify;"> <em><strong>CM says embracing technology will ensure state is not left behind in development</strong></em></p> <div class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_720072" style="max-width: 100% !important; height: auto; width: 710px"> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-720072" height="256" src="" width="700" /></p> <p class="wp-caption-text" style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>(From left) SUPP Bukit Assek branch chairman Chieng Buong Toon, Henry, Siaw, Dr Jerip, Vincent, Uggah, Kong, Abang Johari, Juma&rsquo;ani, Wong, and others show their calligraphy pieces during the UCA Sibu CNY celebration.</strong></p> </div> <p style="text-align: justify;"> SIBU: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has urged the business community here to change their mindset and embrace technology to help develop the state.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He said that while Sarawak is just beginning to transform its economy, other countries are already talking about autonomous economy, which includes the application of sensors and artificial intelligence.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Launching digital economy is an important step for us to ensure that our state would not lag behind the rest of the world.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;You just imagine, if we do not embrace technology, we will be left far behind the rest of the world,&rdquo; he said at the United Chinese Association (UCA) Sibu Division Chinese New Year celebration at Kingwood Hotel here on Monday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Though this is a very challenging task, I have to persuade Sarawakians to change our way of developing the country by embracing technology, creating a conducive ecosystem, training our people and using our talents &nbsp;to transform our economy,&rdquo; he added.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Abang Johari pointed out that Sarawak has little choice but to embrace technology because it has changed the economic landscape and is affecting many areas of businesses.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Citing the role of taxi drivers as an example of business affected by technology, he said no taxi driver could tell the people not to download the respective app for Uber and Grab and make use of their services.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Technology is here and it has affected our taxi drivers. What we can do is to encourage taxi drivers to have their own application and to provide services better than Uber and Grab, such as by telling the passengers that they are insured (when riding in a taxi).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;If I were to choose (between taxis and ride-hailing services), I would choose the one that had insurance. That is one way creativity comes into play for taxi drivers,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> On helping rural folk to brace for the impact of technological advancement, he said the government is transforming the rural economy through technology.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He said within his first four months as chief minister, he allocated RM1 billion to upgrade rural infrastructures which includes high-speed Internet connection.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He also mentioned that the state is targeting to be a net exporter of food by 2030, which can be done by embracing technology in agriculture.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He said with about 134,000 square kilometres of land and with only 2.7 million people, Sarawak can produce abundant food for export.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Abang Johari&rsquo;s wife Datin Patinggi Dato Juma&rsquo;ani Tuanku Bujang, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah and wife Datin Amar Doreen Mayang, Minister of International Trade and E-Commerce Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh and wife Datin Sri Pauline Leong, Assistant Minister of Transportation Datuk Dr Jerip Susil, KTS Group managing director Dato Henry Lau and deputy managing director Temenggong Dato Vincent Lau, UCA Sibu president Kong Hian Khim and Sibu Resident Charles Siaw were among those present at the event.</p>10293Wed, 21 Feb 2018 00:00:00 +0800Fatimah: Women Councils in Sabah, Sarawak Can Learn From Each Other<div class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_720068" style="max-width: 100% !important; height: auto; width: 600px"> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-720068" height="301" src="" width="590" /></p> <p class="wp-caption-text" style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Fatimah (seated, third left) and Tarsiah on her left, together with MWKS and MPWS members, gather for a photo-call. Also seen are Rosey and Noriah (seated, second left and left, respectively). &mdash; Photo by Muhammad Rais Sanusi</strong></p> </div> <p style="text-align: justify;"> KUCHING: Members of Sarawak Women and Family Council (MWKS) and Sabah Women Advisory Council (MPWS) share many similarities and can learn from one another to improve the standing of women in both states.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Minister of Welfare, Community Well Being, Women, Family and Childhood Development Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah said both councils must transform their roles and be adaptable in order to stay current, especially in the push towards digital economy.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Their role in Sabah is almost the same as ours &mdash; advising the government on women and family affairs, although we differ slightly in structure,&rdquo; said Fatimah after welcoming a delegation from MPWS at Wisma Wanita, Jalan Sultan Tengah here yesterday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Led by their chairperson Datuk Dr Tarsiah Taman, the group was here to visit their Sarawakian counterparts and also to brief MWKS on their functions and objectives.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> During their meeting, they exchanged points on their respective roles and learned about what the other party was doing differently.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;We heard about the good things they are doing in Sabah, which we can learn from and see how it can be adopted in Sarawak. They&rsquo;ve also heard about what we are doing. They are interested in areas like our resource centre, publications, childcare centre, and training centre,&rdquo; Fatimah told reporters.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> She told the Sabahan delegation that MWKS &lsquo;is at their service&rsquo;, and that they would open up a line of communication via a WhatsApp group.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Also present were Assistant Minister of Women, Family and Childhood Development Rosey Yunus, the ministry&rsquo;s permanent secretary Dr Saadiah Samat, and the state Women and Family Department director Noriah Ahmad.</p>10294Wed, 21 Feb 2018 00:00:00 +0800‘CM’s Vision to Further Develop Sarawak Should Be Supported’<div class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_719183" style="max-width: 100% !important; height: auto; width: 640px"> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-719183" height="525" src="" width="630" /></p> <p class="wp-caption-text" style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Dato Richard Wee</strong></p> </div> <p style="text-align: justify;"> KUCHING: The vision of Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg to further develop Sarawak should be supported as his initiatives are implemented for the good of the people, said prominent Chinese community leader Dato Richard Wee.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He said the chief minster&rsquo;s initiatives to set up Petroleum Sarawak Berhad (Petros), Development Bank of Sarawak (DBoS), light rail transit (LRT) and the massive internet network should be welcomed as it would benefit all Sarawakians.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;These are visionary policies. So, I sincerely hope that he has a strong team with him to help him execute and implement these policies.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;As the chief minister of Sarawak he still needs a strong team of like-minded people to support him to make sure that the implementation and execution are properly carried out,&rdquo; Wee told The Borneo Post here recently.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Wee, who is also the president of the Federation of Chinese Associations of Kuching, Samarahan and Serian Divisions and president of the Kuching Hockien Association, pointed out that after 55 years of independence, Sarawakians deserve better public amenities especially in terms of public transport in major towns and cities.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s better late than never. So we should support the chief minister in his efforts to transform the state into a prosperous state in the next 10 years.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;These projects have to be implemented properly because if they are not, the opposition will say it&rsquo;s just hot air. So we sincerely hope that his team will assist him to implement and execute them efficiently,&rdquo; he reiterated.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Wee also strongly supported the chief minister&rsquo;s push to develop digital economy in order to sell Sarawak&rsquo;s products overseas.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Through the internet, the rural people especially farmers will know what the market wants including overseas. So I must say that his vision for Sarawak is good as it is encompassing,&rdquo; he stressed.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Meanwhile, Wee wished that the Chinese New Year this time will create the necessary ambience for people to do business and make Malaysia, especially Sarawak, a much better place to live and work in.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;As far as religious and cultural matters are concerned, we have gone pass tolerance stage. For us, it&rsquo;s already in the acceptance stage. We have accepted each other. This is the Sarawak that we must retain and support,&rdquo; he added.</p>10295Wed, 21 Feb 2018 00:00:00 +0800DoE Takes Water Samples From Sungai Padang<p style="text-align: justify;"> MIRI: The Department of Environment (DoE) took water samples from Sungai Padang near Kampung Padang, in Kelulit, Bekenu yesterday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> DoE Miri officer Julaiha Jumal said a team of three DoE personnel and two Natural Resources and Environment Board (NREB) staff went to the village to take the water samples and also visited the nearby mills to determine what killed the fish in the river.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;The water samples will be sent to the Chemistry Department in Bintulu for analysis and to find what is the cause of the dead fish,&rdquo; Julaiha told The Borneo Post when contacted.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> She said results for the analysis could take up to a month.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Julaiha added DoE did not clear the dead fish as this was beyond the department&rsquo;s jurisdiction.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> On Sunday, Kampung Padang villagers reported seeing many fish floating in Sungai Padang and called on the authorities to address the problem.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> According to villager Sahie Ahad, the same problem occurred in 2014, causing alarm among villagers.<br /> &ldquo;We don&rsquo;t want any further incident of river pollution at our village that will cause many problems,&rdquo; he said.</p>10296Wed, 21 Feb 2018 00:00:00 +0800‘Venture Into Traditional Massage For Extra Income’<div class="entry-content clearfix"> <div class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_720021" style="max-width: 100% !important; height: auto; width: 710px"> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-720021" height="525" src="" width="700" /></div> </div> <p style="text-align: center;"> <strong>Miro (centre) cuts the ribbon to open the centre, witnessed by Anielia (on Miro&rsquo;s right) and others.</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> BAU: Bumiputera entrepreneurs here should venture into the increasingly popular traditional massage for additional income.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Serembu asemblyman Miro Simuh said this yesterday at the opening of a traditional treatment centre which offers alternative treatment such as cupping, traditional massage and acupuncture sought after by the community.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> According to him, traditional and modern treatment can go hand-in-hand for those who seek treatment for general well-being.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He advises the community to choose a certified traditional massage centre to ensure the benefits and efficacy of the traditional treatment.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;I also encourage people to get traditional massage in a valid and accredited centre to supplement conventional medicine,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He advised the operators to follow the guidelines issued by the local authorities and avoid activities that may defame the centre.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;The community has always relied on traditional methods of treating various ailments, even before the availability of modern medicine. This knowledge has been passed down through the generations,&rdquo; he concluded.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Also present were Bau District Officer Anielia Siam and traditional centre entrepreneur Sebin Gunyes.</p>10297Wed, 21 Feb 2018 00:00:00 +0800CM And Entourage Attend CNY Open House In Sibu<p style="text-align: justify;"> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-719823" height="544" src="" width="700" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Abang Johari (fifth left) flanked by Juma&rsquo;ani and Henry toss the traditional &lsquo;yee sang&rsquo; for good luck. Joining them are (from left) Salang, Uggah and others.<br /> <br /> SIBU:&nbsp;Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and his wife Datin Patinggi Dato Juma&rsquo;ani Tuanku Bujang were here yesterday for their Chinese New Year visit.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The couple first stopped by at the residence of Ta Ann Group&rsquo;s chief executive officer Dato Wong Kuo Hea. This was followed by a visit to KTS Group&rsquo;s managing director Dato Henry Lau Lee Kong, where Abang Johari and Juma&rsquo;ani as well as their entourage were also welcomed by Julau MP Datuk Joseph Salang and KTS Group&rsquo;s deputy managing director Temenggong Dato Vincent Lau Lee Ming.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Later, the entourage visited Minister of International Trade and E-Commerce Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Soon Koh&rsquo;s wife Datin Sri Pauline Leong and his son Dato Andrew Wong were also there to welcome the guests. The chief minister and his entourage also went to the residence of Sarawak United People&rsquo;s Party (SUPP) Dudong branch chairman Datuk Dr Soon Choon Teck.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Accompanying Abang Johari and Juma&rsquo;ani during the Chinese New Year visits here were Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, Assistant Minister of Transportation Datuk Dr Jerip Susil and Engkilili assemblyman Dr Johnichal Rayong.</p>10283Tue, 20 Feb 2018 00:00:00 +0800‘New SOP For Handling Of Domestic Violence Cases’<div class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_719709" style="max-width: 100% !important; height: auto; width: 710px"> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-719709" height="397" src="" width="700" /> <p class="wp-caption-text" style="text-align: center;"> <strong>Fatimah (seated on stage, third left) joins participants and facilitators of the &lsquo;Baitul Muslim Programme&rsquo; in a photo-call at Dalat Community Hall.</strong></p> </div> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> DALAT: An integrated standard operating procedure (SOP) has been established for a more standardised governance to deal with domestic violence cases in the state.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> According to Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah, domestic violence in Sarawak has been on the rise since 2015.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> In numbers, there were 279 cases of domestic violence reported in 2015 and 427 cases in 2016, but in just four months into last year, the figure rose to 535 cases.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> On the SOP, Fatimah said it had been accepted by the police, state Welfare Department, state Health Department, state Women and Family Department and also the One-Stop Crisis Centre (OSCC).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Adding on, she said the SOP is aimed at ensuring that the welfare of victims of domestic violence would be taken care of, and also getting justice for them in a swift, efficient and accurate manner.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;The SOP would serve as guidance for all agencies and parties that are dealing with (cases of) domestic violence. This book was launched on July 24, 2017,&rdquo; Fatimah, who is Dalat assemblywoman, said at a &lsquo;Baitul Muslim Programme &ndash; Islamic Smart Parenting Skills 2018&rsquo; that took place at Dalat Community Hall yesterday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> On statistics, the minister noted that there had been an increase in rape cases, from 125 in 2015 to 130 last year.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Child abuse cases also jumped from 15 in 2015 to 28 last year, while teenage pregnancy cases went down to 2,185 as at last November, from 2,909 recorded in 2015.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Divorce cases among Muslim couples had been on the rise over the past five years &ndash; from 2,346 cases in 2012 up to 2,670 cases in 2016. For the non-Muslims, 959 divorce cases was recorded in 2012 and the figure went up to 1,175 cases in 2016.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> On drug abuse, Fatimah quoted a 2016 study by the Malaysia Crime Prevention Foundation, stating that over 60 per cent of social problems in Malaysia were drug-related.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Property crimes are the main contributor to the overall crime index in Sarawak &ndash; 6,353 cases were reported in 2015, but the number went down to 5,865 cases in 2016, and 4,546 cases in 2017,&rdquo; she disclosed.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Meanwhile Fatimah said the programme on Islamic parenting skills yesterday, organised by state Women and Family Department, was aimed at exposing Muslim parents to parenting skills based on Islamic values.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;A strong family institution can be the best defence against social problems in this digital age, where the world is without boundary,&rdquo; she said. The session gathered 118 participants.</p>10288Tue, 20 Feb 2018 00:00:00 +0800Snowdan: Sarawak Set To Be First In Malaysia To Use High-Tech System In Sports Management<p> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-719739" height="525" src="" width="700" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <strong>Snowdan (third left) seen receiving a memento from a Seoul National University of Technology and Science official in Seoul, South Korea recently. Also seen are Ong (left) and others.</strong><br /> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> KUCHING: Sarawak is expected to become the first state in Malaysia to digitally transform its sporting fraternity and sports facilities management using high-tech smart system which will cement its position as the sports powerhouse in the country.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> This was stated by Assistant Minister of Youth and Sports Datuk Snowdan Lawan, who expressed confidence that the vision could be achieved in the near future when the state has a high performance sports centre.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;We are very enthusiastic about this and Sarawak has all the right attributes to achieve its vision of becoming a sports powerhouse in the country where all athletes can have better access to world class sporting facilities locally,&rdquo; he added.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> According to him, Sarawak wants to become the pioneer in setting the standards in sports and games as well as in facility management, athletes and fans&rsquo; experience and security aspects starting with having a standardised platform that integrates equipment data, data analyses and technologies using user friendly interface.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He said there are many smart stadiums already developed throughout the world such as Amsterdam Arena in the Netherlands; Allianz Riviera Stadium in Nice, France; Sports City Stadium in Doha, Qatar; Stadion Estadio Chivas in Mexico; Siena Stadium in Tuscany, Italy; Forest Green Stadium in England; Estadio da Luz, Lisbon in Portugal and in Kansas City, Missouri, USA.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Snowdan recently led a delegation from Sarawak to South Korea to explore opportunities of working closely with the country&rsquo;s leading Information Communication Technology (ICT) and infrastructure companies towards developing a smart stadium and high-tech management system.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> During their visit there, the state delegation attended a meeting and discussion session with KT Global Business Group at its world headquarters located at 17th Floor, Gwang Hwamun Building in Seoul, South Korea.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The delegation also visited the official venue for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea where 2,952 athletes from 92 countries are competing in 102 events from 15 sports with newcomers like Malaysia, Singapore, Ecuador, Kosovo and Nigeria also competing.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Also attending the meeting were Deputy State Secretary Datu Dr Sabariah Putit and chief executive officer of Sarawak Sports Corporation Dr Ong Kong Swee.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Meanwhile, Ong said the visit to South Korea had presented good insights on the present hi-tech technologies and sports science applications which utilise digital technology and Virtual Reality (VR) that may be jointly developed in Sarawak.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Both Ong and Snowdan also had a meeting with experts at Korea Institute of Sports Science including Professor Young Ho Kim, who is the head of Department of Sports Science at Seoul National University of Technology and Science located in Nowon-gu, Seoul.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Among matters that were discussed and highlighted were initiatives for a joint collaboration on development of sports science application in athletes&rsquo; performance and also working together with the state government through Sarawak Sports Corporation in the formation of the high performance sports centre in Sarawak.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;There are possibilities for us to work closely with our relevant counterparts in South Korea for mutual benefits and most importantly we must be ready to embrace the digital transformation of sports and games which is the way forward in our vision to become a sports powerhouse,&rdquo; Dr Ong enthused.</p>10289Tue, 20 Feb 2018 00:00:00 +0800Agriculture Department Goes Digital<p> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-719714" height="294" src="" width="700" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Dr Abdul Rahman and his wife (seated sixth and fifth left) with others pose at the CNY open house of Temengong Ang (seventh left).</strong><br /> <br /> &nbsp;<br /> LIMBANG: The Ministry of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development is pursuing modernisation and development of agriculture through the usage of digital technology.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Assistant Minister of Agriculture Dr Abdul Rahman Ismail said this is in line with Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg&rsquo;s aspiration for the state to embrace digital economy.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He said the application of Internet of Things (IoT) system as rolled out at the Permanent Food Production Park (PFPP) in Rampangi will be expanded to other PKPPs including Kubong Agriculture Station in Limbang.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Digital technology application through IoT system in Rampangi enables efficiency and control through fertigation, and this includes sensors which will monitor and control the input of fertiliser, temperature and moisture,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Dr Abdul Rahman was met by the media after attending the Chinese New Year open house of Temengong Ang Kheng Su last Friday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Accompanying him were his wife Dayang Maimunah Awang Mohd Daud, Batu Danau assemblyman Paulus Palu Gumbang,&nbsp;Limbang District Council chairman Sufian Mohat and&nbsp;representatives of BN component parties.<br /> Dr Abdul Rahman, who is also Bukit Kota assemblyman, added that this system would also enable the monitoring and control of agriculture activities from any location through a customised smartphone application and is also user-friendly.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He said the system would also use drone technology.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;It can be used for fertigation, spraying insecticide and so forth in a big area and this could boost production quantitatively and qualitatively,&rdquo; he added.</p>10290Tue, 20 Feb 2018 00:00:00 +0800Putrajaya Will Help, Assures Deputy Chief Minister<p style="text-align: center;"> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-719824" height="330" src="" width="220" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <strong>Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing<br /> &nbsp;</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> KUCHING:&nbsp;The Ministry of Infrastructure Development and Transportation is calculating the costs resulting from the damage caused by the recent floods, which would later be forwarded to the federal government for immediate assistance. The amount is estimated to be several hundreds of millions of ringgit.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Deputy Chief Minister II Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing said he had met both Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof to discuss the matter recently.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;We are optimistic that the federal government will assist us in repairing our infrastructures such as roads and bridges, which were damaged by the recent floods. I have to be positive, because they (federal government) did the same thing when the three states were badly affected by floods.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;You still remember a few years back when Kelantan, Terengganu and Johor were badly affected by floods? I was told that about half a billion ringgit was spent to repair the infrastructures in these three states. And most recently, (flooding) in Penang as well.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;So why should there be any difference (for Sarawak)?&rdquo; he told The Borneo Post during a session at his office in Bangunan Baitulmakmur near here yesterday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Masing, who is also Minister of Infrastructure Development and Transportation, disclosed that the cost of repair works on damaged roads and bridges could easily reach hundreds of millions of ringgit.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;For Kapit Division, for instance, we need more than RM100 million &ndash; this includes RM90 million to improve the 34km Menjawah-Belaga Road and more than RM10 million to repair three bridges and roads that were destroyed (by floods),&rdquo; said Masing, who is Baleh assemblyman.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He said once the compilation of all reports on damaged infrastructure in the state is done, he would then present it to Fadillah, who in turn would submit it to the federal cabinet for further action.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;I discussed with the PM and with Datuk Seri Fadillah on the destruction brought about by the rain and the floods &mdash; I&rsquo;ve been told that they would assist us.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;So Datuk Seri Fadillah has suggested that I write about areas that have been badly affected by the rain and floods, and the estimated cost of repair. I met both of them (Najib and Fadillah) during the last PBB (Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu) convention,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Asked how soon he would be able to submit the letter, Masing said this would depend on &lsquo;how fast the Ministry of Infrastructure Development and Transportation could come up with the estimated costs&rsquo;.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The deputy chief minister said based on the prime minister&rsquo;s policy of assisting any state in need, he said the present policy does not discriminate against any state &ndash; not even to the opposition-held ones such as Kelantan and Penang.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;It is good that we do not discriminate against any political affiliation. If you&rsquo;re in need, we will help. That&rsquo;s a good thing that (Datuk Seri) Najib did for Kelantan, which is very much an opposition (ruled) state. Yet we (the government) spent so much money on the Kelantanese when they&rsquo;re in need &mdash; that&rsquo;s what the government should do.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;After all, these people are Malaysians too,&rdquo; added Masing.</p>10291Tue, 20 Feb 2018 00:00:00 +0800Attempted Cable Theft Cause Of Feb 16 Petra Jaya Power Outage — SEB<div class="entry-content clearfix"> <div class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_719793" style="max-width: 100% !important; height: auto; width: 710px"> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-719793" height="525" src="" width="700" /></div> </div> <p style="text-align: center;"> <strong>The damaged 33kV underground cables as a result of the attempted cable theft.</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> KUCHING: The power outage that affected parts of Petra Jaya last Friday was due to severely damaged cables caused by an attempted cable theft, according to Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> In a media statement here yesterday, SEB said a probe carried out by its operations arm, Syarikat Sesco Berhad (Sesco), found two 33kV underground cables from Matang to the Astana 33kV substation had been cut near the construction site of the Datuk Temenggong Abang Kipali roundabout.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;This resulted in the outage on Feb 16 at around 10pm, affecting supply to Astana and the surrounding areas, Semariang and parts of Santubong,&rdquo; said the statement.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Sesco&rsquo;s technical team managed to restore supply to all affected areas in less than 20 minutes via other 33kV substations, it added.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Fault locating and repair works were immediately arranged, and it took almost 15 hours to complete due to the extensive damage.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;At the site, hand gloves, a bag and other belongings of the thieves were found, believed to have been used in the attempt to steal the cables,&rdquo; it revealed.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> A report has been lodged with the police to launch an investigation into the attempted cable theft.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Sesco chief executive officer Lau Kim Swee said the latest incident was another attempt of cable theft which &lsquo;shows that the thieves are getting bolder every day&rsquo;.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> More than 500 cases of cable (copper) theft targeting Sesco&rsquo;s facilities, with losses of nearly RM7 million, had been registered since 2015, he said.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> On the most recent case, he said the site is near to a major construction area where the thieves must have thought that the cables had been de-energised or were inactive.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Stealing cables is very dangerous. In addition to causing serious injury or fatality due to electrocution, it also causes inconvenience to the community living in the surrounding area due to outage.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;There are also situations where damaged cables cause voltage instability, damaging customers&rsquo; electrical appliances,&rdquo; pointed out Lau.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He therefore sought continuous assistance and cooperation from the general public to give Sesco information on suspicious activities near electrical facilities.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Quick actions from all quarters will minimise inconvenience and help to curb this dangerous crime. On our part, we will continue to work closely with the police, increase our site patrols and harden the targets such as reinforcing security measures at our substations and facilities,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Individuals can contact SEB&rsquo;s Customer Care Centre at 1300-88-3111 which operates 24 hours daily. They can also alert the nearest police station for action. Reports can also be made via the &lsquo;SEB cares&rsquo; mobile app.</p>10292Tue, 20 Feb 2018 00:00:00 +0800CM, Wife Enhance Ties With Key Chinese Folk<p style="text-align: justify;"> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-719438" height="467" src="" width="700" /><br /> <br /> <em>Abang Johari (sixth left) and Juma&rsquo;ani (seventh left) join Dr Sim (fifth left) and wife Datin Enn Ong (fourth right) in tossing the &lsquo;yee sang&rsquo; for luck. Also seen is Dr Sim&rsquo;s mother Puan Sri Datin Amar Lim Su Kheng (fifth right) and SUPP members. &mdash; Photo by Muhammad Rais Sanusi</em><br /> <br /> KUCHING:&nbsp;Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and his wife Datin Patinggi Dato Juma&rsquo;ani Tuanku Bujang were in Chinese New Year mood as they visited the open house events hosted by several prominent members of the Chinese community on the first and second day of the celebration.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> They visited the home of State Legal Counsel Dato Sri JC Fong, followed by a visit to Plaza Merdeka managing director Dato Steve Ng on the first day.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> After Friday prayers, Abang Johari and Juma&rsquo;ani continued their visits to the residence of Normah Medical Specialists Centre managing director Dato Dr Au Yong, followed by a visit to former deputy chief minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> They conclude the first-day visit at the house of GLC Capital Sdn Bhd and Agritech (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd advisor Dato Goh Leng Chua.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> On the second day of the celebration, Abang Johari and Juma&rsquo;ani headed to the residence of Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian before proceeding to visit Kuching Chinese General Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCGCCI) president Tan Jit Kee.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The couple later proceeded to the residence of Kuching North City Commission (DBKU) member Dato Wee Hong Seng, and the Federation of Chinese Associations for Kuching, Kota Samarahan, Serian Divisions president Dato Richard Wee.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Abang Johari wrapped up the Chinese New Year visit at the open house of Australian Business Centre director Rodger Chan.</p>10275Mon, 19 Feb 2018 00:00:00 +0800Head of State, Wife Make CNY Visits To Local Dignitaries<p style="text-align: justify;"> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-719481" height="467" src="" width="700" /><br /> <br /> <em>(From left) Mohd Naroden, Awang Tengah, Liew, Taib, Raghad and Datin Diana Tay watch a lion dance performance.</em><br /> <br /> KUCHING:&nbsp;Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud and wife Toh Puan Datuk Patinggi Raghad Kurdi Taib visited the homes of several local dignitaries here on the first day of Chinese New Year.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The first visit was to the residence of Sarawak Lawn Tennis Association (SLTA) president Dato Patrick Liew at Jalan Kepayang here.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The couple then proceeded to the residence of Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian at Jalan Wan Abdul Rahman.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Taib and Raghad then visited the CNY open house of corporate figure Dato Steve Ng and also State Legal Counsel Dato Sri JC Fong, both at Jalan Bampfylde, after which they proceeded to the home of Australian Business Centre director Rodger Chan.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The final home they visited was the residence of former deputy chief minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan at Jalan Siol Kanan, Petra Jaya.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> At each residence, Taib and his entourage were invited to toss the &lsquo;yee sang&rsquo;. There were also special lion dance performances.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan and Assistant Minister of E-Commerce Datuk Mohd Naroden Majais accompanied the Head of State during the visits.</p>10276Mon, 19 Feb 2018 00:00:00 +0800‘Onus on parents to set good examples for their children’<div class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_719437" style="max-width: 100% !important; height: auto; width: 630px"> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-719437" height="348" src="" width="620" /></p> <p class="wp-caption-text" style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Fadillah (third right) witnesses the presentation of memento to one of the seminar speakers from event chairman Azahari Sobet (second right).</strong></p> </div> <p style="text-align: justify;"> KUCHING: One of the key roles of parents today is still setting good examples for their children towards becoming a &lsquo;functional family&rsquo;.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> In pointing this out, Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof acknowledges that there are many challenges faced by the parents nowadays and in this regard, they must &lsquo;buckle up and get it right&rsquo; in order to raise their children to become useful and successful members of society.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He also realises that money is always a challenge, but there are ways to tackle such issue.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;The (rising) cost of living, for example, normally becomes the hurdle &ndash; it often gets families into problems. But in order to lead a happy life, we should always spend within our means,&rdquo; he spoke at a family seminar conducted by Muslim Health Welfare Association (Perkip) of the state Health Department and Petra Jaya Health Clinic, here on Saturday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> According to Fadillah, who is Petra Jaya MP, some parents tend to make the mistake of overspending; thus, creating problems that render them unable to attend to the more important needs of the family.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;This is why, seminars such as the one today, are vital for families to learn about family management; how parents can become functional and be blessed with happiness.&rdquo;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Fadillah also reminded parents to never neglect their children&rsquo;s education, encouraging them learn about technology and the digital age.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;The Industrial Revolution 4.0 is the change that everyone needs to embrace, and to ensure that your children are not left behind, let them be a part of this change and adapt to the digital world,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The seminar exposed participants to a number of working papers on subjects such as the family institution and syariah (Islamic law).</p>10279Mon, 19 Feb 2018 00:00:00 +0800Lee: Digital Economy Stands As Prime Mover Of Sarawak’s Devt Target<div class="wp-caption alignnone" id="attachment_719386" style="max-width: 100% !important; height: auto; width: 710px"> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-719386" height="525" src="" width="700" /></p> <p class="wp-caption-text" style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Northern Sarawak Journalists Association (NSJA) president Andy Jong (front, fifth left) presents mandarin oranges to Lee (front, seventh left), witnessed by Lee&rsquo;s family and other guests.</strong></p> </div> <p style="text-align: justify;"> MIRI: Digital economy will be the prime mover of state development towards the target of becoming an advanced economy by 2030.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> This can be achieved through close cooperation and support from the people, says Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Lee Kim Shin.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He also expresses his hope for the &lsquo;Year of the Dog&rsquo;, according to the Chinese horoscope, would bring progress, development and prosperity to the state.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Sarawak is for Sarawakians. We have our own culture and our own style in &lsquo;governing the government&rsquo;. Do not listen and follow the people from outside, who may bring in elements that are not acceptable to or not inappropriate for the state.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;It is important for the people to cherish peace and harmony, and also to ensure social and political stability so that Sarawak would continue to grow,&rdquo; he told reporters at his Chinese New Year open house gathering here on Saturday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Lee, who is Senadin assemblyman, viewed the traditions of holding open house gatherings and visiting one another during festive occasions as &lsquo;unique&rsquo;.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;They (tradition) bond the people together and strengthen unity and harmony in the state. Here, people of other races also celebrate the Lunar New Year, although it is a celebration of the Chinese community.&rdquo; Adding on, Lee stressed that social and political stability remained the most crucial factor in the economic development of the state, and the country in general.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;I hope that such spirit would not only be continued by the people, especially the younger generation, but also be enhanced further,&rdquo; said Lee.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> In this context, he reminded the people against being influenced by extremists and outsiders who bring negative elements. He also called upon the people to fully support the state government under the leadership of Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Always be alert &ndash; never be influenced by extremists and those from outside who make empty promises, and unable to fulfil these promises. Sarawak has its own ways, approaches and policies in administration and they include development plans for the state &ndash; they are suitable for and augur well with the people,&rdquo; Lee said</p>10280Mon, 19 Feb 2018 00:00:00 +0800Good news for Chinese schools<p style="text-align: justify;"> KUCHING: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg says the state government has identified a suitable piece of land that could generate sustainable income for the management of 14 private Chinese secondary schools in Sarawak.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He expected the land to be finalised after the Chinese New Year.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;We have identified a piece of land for the purpose and the whole process will be finalised after the Chinese New Year,&rdquo; Abang Johari told the media after visiting the open house of the chairman of the Committee Management of Kuching Chung Hua Middle Schools No. 1, 3 &amp; 4, Dato Richard Wee, at the latter&rsquo;s residence on the second day of Chinese New Year.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He stressed that the &lsquo;promised&rsquo; land was initially approved by former Chief Minister Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud which was later pursued by his successor the late Pehin Sri Adenan Satem.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;What is agreed in principle is that we are giving the land in substitute of the plantation land which was approved by our former Chief Minister, which is quite difficult for them to develop. So the late Adenan and I did the follow-up for a new piece of land. And then I have found one which will be processed after the Chinese New year,&rdquo; he reiterated.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The land, according to the Chief Minister, will be given to the charitable trust which manages these schools.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Meanwhile, Wee expressed confidence that they would be able to get the land after the Chinese New Year.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;We are having a choice whether to have a plantation land or commercial land. But now there is a general preference for a piece of land for plantation purposes rather than commercial because it would not be easy for us to develop a commercial area,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> However, he stressed that he has to call for a meeting of members of the board of trustees, after which they would seek an appointment with the Chief Minister to inform him of their preference before making a formal request to the state government for the land.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;But we are keeping our options open. Basically, what we are saying is that plantation will give us that value for that certain amount for the upkeep and maintenance of these schools,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Prior to this, Wee had told The Borneo Post that once the land could provide sustainable income for these schools, the management would not seek the annual grant of RM6 million to RM7 million from the state government.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Currently, these schools need at least RM12 million a year for their upkeep and maintenance including staff salaries, and the shortfall of RM5 million has to be sourced by the management of these schools.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Wee reckoned that there are currently at least 900 teachers working in these 14 schools &ndash; five located in Kuching, five in Sibu, two in Miri and one each in Sarikei and Bintulu.</p>10281Mon, 19 Feb 2018 00:00:00 +0800Taib, Raghad in Miri for Chinese New Year visits<div class="wp-caption alignnone" id="attachment_719491" style="max-width: 100% !important; height: auto; width: 710px"> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-719491" height="1050" src="" width="700" /></p> <p class="wp-caption-text" style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Taib takes part in a dragon dance performance witnessed by Lee (on Taib&rsquo;s left), Raghad and others.</strong></p> </div> <p style="text-align: justify;"> MIRI: The presence of Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud and wife Toh Puan Datuk Patinggi Raghad Kurdi Taib here yesterday injected more festive season colours to the third day of Chinese New Year (CNY) celebration in the city.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> It is a tradition for the Head of State and wife to extend the season&rsquo;s greetings with visits to the&nbsp;home of politicians and prominent businessmen here.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> His entourage included Assistant Minister of E-Commerce Datuk Mohd Naroden Majais and wife, Assistant Minister of Women, Family and Childhood Development Rosey Yunus, Lambir assemblyman Ripin Lamat, Miri Resident Sherrina Hussaini and Miri District Officer Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusuf.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Upon arrival, Taib and entourage visited the residence of Miri Housing Group of Companies executive chairman Dato Lau Siu Wai at Hill Top Garden.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> They later proceeded to the residence of Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Lee Kim Shin in Tanjong Lobang followed by a visit to Interhill Group managing director Datuk Hii Chang Pee, also at Tanjong Lobang.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The Head of State made a final stop at the home of Samling Group founder Tan Sri Yaw Teck Seng at Marina Bay.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Later in the evening, Taib and his entourage attended a dinner hosted by Shin Yang Group founder Tan Sri Ling Chiong Ho at his residence in Luak Bay.</p>10282Mon, 19 Feb 2018 00:00:00 +0800Unethical Practice In Sports Not Tolerated – Abd Karim<div class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_707926" style="max-width: 100% !important; height: auto; width: 246px"> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-707926" height="159" src="" width="236" /></p> <p class="wp-caption-text" style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah</strong></p> </div> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> KUCHING: Any unethical practice in sports such as match fixing will not be tolerated.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, who said this, hoped the full force of the law will be meted against those found guilty of match fixing.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He said this today as he expressed disappointment over the two state football players were remanded for six days from today to facilitate probe into alleged match-fixing last Saturday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Also remanded was a man believed to be a &lsquo;bookie&rsquo; for the alleged match-fixing in a match between Sarawak and Felcra United FC.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Everybody is innocent until proven guilty. We let the MACC (Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission) investigate first, but then we will not tolerate any unethical practice like this match fixing and all that.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;If actually they did it, I hope the full force of the law will be against them and they will be barred for life,&rdquo; he told reporters when met at the Chinese New Year open house hosted by Sarawak United People&rsquo;s Party today.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The football players and the &lsquo;bookie&rsquo; were detained on Wednesday by the MACC between 7.15pm and 7.55pm.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The remand application was granted by Magistrate Portia Tham Ong Leng until Feb 21.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The case is being investigated under Section 16(a) of the MACC 2009 for soliciting, which carries an imprisonment term up to seven years or a fine of up to RM50,000 upon conviction.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The players will be placed in MACC custody during the remand order while the &lsquo;bookie&rsquo; will be in police custody, for further investigation</p>10278Fri, 16 Feb 2018 00:00:00 +0800Hats Off To The Chinese<p style="text-align: justify;"> <em><strong>Abg Jo thanks the community for being a major contributor to Sarawak&rsquo;s economy, progress</strong></em></p> <div class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_719140" style="max-width: 100% !important; height: auto; width: 670px"> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-719140" height="312" src="" width="660" /></p> <p class="wp-caption-text" style="text-align: justify;"> Abang Johari giving his Chinese New Year message.</p> </div> <p style="text-align: justify;"> KUCHING: As the major players in Sarawak&rsquo;s commerce and industry, the Chinese community in the state has a big role to play in the current government&rsquo;s effort to strengthen the state&rsquo;s economy, says Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He said the Chinese business community had always been a major contributor to commerce, trade and industry in Sarawak, and he believed that they would continue to support the government&rsquo;s effort to strengthen the state&rsquo;s economic position with their resources, domestic and international influence and networking.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;We are willing to listen to the needs of our business communities and take steps to increase the ease of doing business in Sarawak like doing away with red tapes and unnecessary procedures,&rdquo; he said in his Chinese New Year (CNY) message yesterday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He regarded Sarawak as a land of diversity, not only in its rich nature, but also in the culture, ways of life and beliefs of the people.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;We are always free to practise our culture, tradition and religion. We celebrate and find strength in our diversity, find common ground in our differences. That is the Sarawak that we know today &ndash; united and cohesive, that has been an example for the rest of the country to emulate,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Abang Johari pointed out that when he took over the post of Chief Minister early last year, he decided to take a different approach in building the state&rsquo;s economy.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He said the state must be economically strong and able to generate more revenue to finance its development towards 2030, as yearly allocations from the federal government were insufficient to fund programmes like development of infrastructure and utilities.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;When I came to office about a year ago, I decided to take a different approach not because I want to be different. I might not get popular with it but I decided to implement policies to strengthen the state&rsquo;s economy, as I believe we need to transform economically and be strong in our economic front,&rdquo; he further said.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> For this reason, he said Sarawak had put in place various economic initiatives to invigorate the state economy with a view to turn the state into a digital economy within the next two decades, and although the state&rsquo;s gross domestic product (GDP) contribution to the national economy was the third largest because of its oil and gas, its median monthly household income of about RM4,000 was still comparatively quite low.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Our current average GDP growth at four per cent annually is not enough to propel us to become a developed and high income economy by then. Experts said we need to average at six per cent per annum if we are to reach the target,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Among the initiatives undertaken by Abang Johari was the setting-up of Development Bank of Sarawak (DBOS) and Sarawak oil and gas company Petroleum Sarawak Berhad (Petros), to be able to be an active player in the oil and gas industry alongside Petronas within two years.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He pointed out that with the setting-up of DBOS, the state has a new financial model to finance strategic projects to expedite development in certain areas and increase domestic spending in order to generate more economic activities so that domestic consumption can be increased.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He said a bit of the state&rsquo;s strong reserves should be invested instead of just keeping them in local banks.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;If we do not invest our reserves in viable and strategic economic projects, we would lose the opportunities to use it to develop our economy.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;DBOS and investments in strategic projects are expected to generate some returns and this would provide us with the means to pay back to the state reserves what we have taken out and injected into DBOS as its paid-up capital,&rdquo; he further explained.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> On Petros, Abang Johari stressed that contrary to scepticisms, it will not just be another Production Sharing Contract (PSC) company but one that will operate alongside Petronas and play an active part in the downstream activities of the oil and gas industry in the state.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Besides the setting-up of the methanol plant in Bintulu, the state is also expecting more investments involving Petros and the oil downstream sector, he pointed out.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He added that the state had already signed a term sheet with Petronas to buy a 10 per cent stake in LNG Train 9 in Bintulu and &ldquo;we are hoping to increase our stake in LNG 3 from the current 10 per cent to 25&rdquo;.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> According to him, the state was also actively taking part in the oil and gas industries within the realm of our written law and the constitution.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;This is the priority of the government now while not forgetting the need to provide our rural people with better roads, schools and other amenities to upgrade the quality of life in our rural areas,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Abang Johari further said that the state government was also embarking on a programme to establish a state water grid and RM1 billion had been set aside to implement the first phase from Batang Ai to Tanjong Manis.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He said the state has so much water that should be put to good use by supplying water to the people in rural and coastal areas.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He added that the first phase will take off the ground within two years, but the remaining phases that would cover the whole state would take a much longer time to materialise.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He envisaged that some RM6 to RM7 billion would be spent on setting up the state-wide water grid which can be recouped from revenue water, saying that the spending would also have the effect of injecting more money into the local economy.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;We (state government) want this to be a holistic programme to solve our water supply problems which is sometimes ironic because we have so much water, yet some of our &lsquo;rakyat&rsquo; are without water especially in the coastal areas,&rdquo; he pointed out.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The chief minister was also confident that with a strong public spending and Digital Economy Initiatives within the next five to 10 years, the state would be able to open up its economy and generate more consumption that should boost the growth of the local economy in order to be able to achieve a growth of six per cent annually towards 2030.</p>10266Thu, 15 Feb 2018 00:00:00 +0800Revised Fees For Planted Forest Timber, Transportation<div class="wp-caption alignleft" id="attachment_719149" style="max-width: 100% !important; height: auto; width: 290px"> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <img alt="" class="wp-image-719149" height="179" src="" width="280" /></p> <p class="wp-caption-text" style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg</strong></p> </div> <p style="text-align: justify;"> KUCHING: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari has approved the revised fee for planted forest timber and also transportation fees for Hardwood Timber Sdn Bhd which shall take effect from March 1 this year.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> According to a Sarawak Timber Association (STA) statement, the state Forest Department had sent out a circular on the revised fees to all its regional offices in Sarawak.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The excerpt of the circular says the endorsement fee for planted forest has been revised from RM0.50 per cubic metre to RM1.50 per cubic metre and a charge of RM1 per cubic metre shall be imposed on tracking the movement of logs through the issuance of Shipping Pass or Land Transport Pass.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Abang Johari is also Minister of Urban Development and Natural Resources</p>10267Thu, 15 Feb 2018 00:00:00 +0800