The Official Portal of the Sarawak Government RSS Feed 2018-05-24 02:19:18 2018-05-24 02:19:18RM7m Spent On Durian Rehabilitation Project — Dr Abdul Rahman<div class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_738506" style="max-width: 100% !important; height: auto; width: 630px"> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-738506" height="414" src="" width="620" /></p> <p class="wp-caption-text" style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Dr Abdul Rahman (standing fourth left) and durian farmers point to durian trees in Kampung Bangkuati.</strong></p> </div> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>LIMBANG:</strong> A total of RM7 million has been spent by the state government to ensure that the pilot durian rehabilitation project is successful in producing</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> plentiful, quality and healthy fruits to meet local demand and for export.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> In disclosing this, Assistant Minister of Agriculture Dr Abdul Rahman Ismail said the project is a collaboration between the Department of Agriculture and Top Fruits (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd, which has 20 years experience in the durian industry.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He said the state government had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Top Fruits Company (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd this year, to assist durian farmers to produce high quality durian fruits and in managing the industry.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Dr Abdul Rahman, who is also Bukit Kota assemblyman, said four areas &ndash; Serian, Betong, Long Lama and Limbang &ndash; had been identified for the project.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Rehabilitating the existing durian estates is one of the best, fastest and most effective ways used by the government to produce durian fruits to meet the demand from both local and overseas markets.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;To help meet such target, here in Limbang District alone we have identified 5,000 out of 45,000 durian trees to be rehabilitated,&rdquo; he said at the Durian Estate Rehabilitation Programme at Kampung Bangkuati yesterday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Also present were Limbang Division agriculture officers Jafaruddin Ali and Alex Ding, representatives of Top Fruits Company (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd Benson Kho and Foo Kian Shung and Bangkuati village headman Yahya Simali.</p>10733Thu, 24 May 2018 00:00:00 +0800State to continue welfare aid to lower income groups<p> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-738470" height="393" src="" width="660" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <br /> <strong>Abang Johari presenting the &lsquo;kuih raya&rsquo; to the Fire and Rescue Department which was received by its state director Nor Hisham Mohammad on behalf of the department. Also seen are (from left) state Women and Family Department director Noriah Ahmad, Fatimah, Juma&rsquo;ani, Masing (partially hidden) and Abdul Karim. &mdash; Photo by Tan Song Wei</strong><br /> <br /> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> KUCHING: All welfare assistance including those given on a monthly basis to lower income groups in the state will continue to be distributed to them.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> This was assured by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg who pointed out that the state still has sufficient resources to provide welfare assistance.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Regardless of what kind of welfare assistance, we will continue to give them to welfare recipients,&rdquo; he told reporters when met after officiating the &lsquo;Sumbangsih Kuih Raya&rsquo; distribution ceremony at the old State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Complex here yesterday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He was asked to comment on the state government&rsquo;s stand on this should the Pakatan Harapan (PH) federal government decide to cease allocation of welfare assistance.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Abang Johari pointed out that one of the measures taken by the state government to reduce the burden of lower income groups in the state was the recent reduction of land premiums by 50 per cent for Resettlement Scheme and Village Expansion Scheme for 13-point residential lots with effect from May 6.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He explained that by reducing the premium rate, land owners need only pay RM2,500 compared to RM5,000 per lot previously.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;In fact, they can even pay their land premium by instalment within ten years and as such they only pay RM250 per year.&rdquo;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He noted that the state government will also cover the cost of constructing drainage system, roads and levelling of sites prior to the construction of houses at these schemes.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;We have started this at resettlement schemes at Sungai Midin and Sungai Bedaun near here as well as at Kemuyang Sibu.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;This will allow government retirees including veteran army officers to pay only for the cost of the house but the cost of infrastructure is fully borne by the state government,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Earlier in his speech, Abang Johari said the distribution of &lsquo;kuih raya&rsquo; served as a token of appreciation to personnel of enforcement agencies in the state who will be on duty during the festive season of Gawai Dayak and Hari Raya Aidilfitri.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;I would like to commend (Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister) Dato Sri Fatimah (Abdullah) and her team for their success in ensuring that the &lsquo;kuih raya&rsquo; are distributed to safety personnel and enforcement agencies in the state particularly those who are on duty during both festivals.&rdquo;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He added that the state government would also consider increasing the allocation for &lsquo;Sumbangsih Kuih Raya&rsquo; next year should the number of agencies receiving the &lsquo;kuih raya&rsquo; increase.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> This year, ten agencies received the &lsquo;kuih raya&rsquo; namely the Malaysian Armed Forces, Royal Malaysia Police, Fire and Rescue Department, State Prisons Department, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, state Immigration Department, Royal Malaysian Customs Department, Road Transport Department, Malaysia Civil Defence Department and People&rsquo;s Volunteer Corps.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Among those present during the ceremony were Abang Johari&rsquo;s wife Datin Patinggi Dato Juma&rsquo;ani Tuanku Bujang, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing, Fatimah and Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.</p>10734Thu, 24 May 2018 00:00:00 +0800Talib: Everyone has responsibility to fight graft<div class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_738521" style="max-width: 100% !important; height: auto; width: 630px"> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-738521" height="411" src="" width="620" /> <p class="wp-caption-text" style="text-align: center;"> <strong>Talib, flanked by Lau (second left) and Ling, officiates at the integrity programme.</strong></p> </div> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> <br /> &nbsp;<br /> SIBU: Everyone has a responsibility to fight corruption while at the same time help to stop people from being negatively affected, said Minister in the Chief Minister&rsquo;s Office (Integrity and Ombudsman) Datuk Talib Zulpilip.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He thus urged the people and local community leaders to report to the authorities if they come across or know of such wrongdoings, adding corruption happens when there is no integrity.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Talib said this when officiating at the &lsquo;Integrity Programme for Community Leaders&rsquo; held at Sibu Islamic Complex here yesterday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;For example, we heard of our timber source running out due to felling of trees. Because there is corruption, the tax is not paid or the money might end up in someone&rsquo;s pockets.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Imagine if there is no corruption, the people will get the benefits because the money from the tax can be used by the government to build houses and construct roads,&rdquo; he said</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Talib, who is Jepak assemblyman, said a person with high integrity is a respected person. He later reminded the programme participants not to get involved in corruption.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He also touched on a case where corruption occurred involving overloaded lorries which had used a village road.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;There was a case whereby a &lsquo;ketua kaum&rsquo; received RM1,200 monthly to let overloaded lorries use the road in a village under his area.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;I found that out and I wrote a letter to the district office and he was terminated from the service,&rdquo; he disclosed.<br /> Also present at the function were Sibu member of Parliament (MP) Oscar Ling, Lanang MP Alice Lau, Sibu Resident Charles Siaw and Sibu District Officer Awang Yusof Awang Mostapha.<br /> &nbsp;</p>10735Thu, 24 May 2018 00:00:00 +0800Tourism tax should be maintained, says Abd Karim<p style="text-align: center;"> <img alt="" class="wp-image-738456" height="401" src="" width="347" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <strong>Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah</strong><br /> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> SIBU: The tourism tax introduced last September should be left as it is since it does not burden the Malaysian public, says Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah. &ldquo;Tourists and foreigners are merely required to pay a minimal sum.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Why must Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) now call for its abolition? It is just a small amount to pay by tourists and foreigners &ndash; RM10 per room per night which is a small amount if we take the exchange rate of US$, &pound; (Sterling Pound) or (Euro).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Unless Matta can show us that tourist arrivals are very much affected by this restructured tourism tax, I believe we should just leave the tax as it is.&rdquo;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Abdul Karim said this yesterday in response to Matta&rsquo;s call to abolish Tourism Tax (TTx), which came into effect on Sept 1 last year, charging a flat rate of RM10 per room per night on foreigners staying in hotels or registered private accommodation.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Its president, Datuk Tan Kok Liang, reportedly said tourists were welcomed to have an enjoyable holiday experience and spend freely on accommodation, food and beverage, tourist attraction and tour excursion, but collecting tax from them would be counter-productive.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> In response, Abdul Karim, who is Asajaya assemblyman, said: &ldquo;Must every tax that has been passed in Parliament during the previous administration be abolished?</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;When (the) idea of tourism tax was first introduced and passed in Parliament, there was much debate and hoohaa by many Malaysians, including from Sarawak.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;The objection primarily was against the tax being imposed on Malaysians as well as states like Sabah and Sarawak asking for a bigger proceed of the tax collection.&rdquo;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He said due to the objection, the federal government then reviewed the bill and its application, and only imposed it on foreigners.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Further, after the first four months of application ending December 2017 the federal government then decided to give back 50 per cent of all collected tourism tax from each state to the states.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;This is more than what the states including Sarawak have requested for and this tax is not burdening the Malaysian public,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Sarawak Central Region Hotel Association, however, strongly supports Matta&rsquo;s call for the abolition of tourism tax. Its chairman, Johnny Wong Sie Lee, argued that it affects businesses, particularly the budget hotels.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Furthermore, it is the recession now. Although Sibu does not have many tourists, the foreign workers staying in hotels here are subject to tax too,&rdquo; Wong lamented.</p>10736Thu, 24 May 2018 00:00:00 +0800State to Continue ‘Sumbangsih Kuih Raya’ Programme<p> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-738472" height="338" src="" width="660" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <strong>Juma&rsquo;ani (third left) symbolically presents the RM20,000 to Fatimah. From left are Noriah, Abang Johari, Masing, and Abdul Karim.</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> KUCHING: The state government will continue its &lsquo;Sumbangsih Kuih Raya&rsquo; programme next year in appreciation of enforcement agency personnel in Sarawak, particularly those on duty during the festive season.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Minister of Welfare, Community Well Being, Women, Family and Childhood Development Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah said the state is willing to consider increasing distribution should there be more agencies receiving the contributions.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The annual programme started in 1990 through the then Women&rsquo;s Bureau, which is now the Women and Family Department.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;We started off with only two agency recipients namely the Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM) and Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) involving the distribution of 2,000 boxes of kuih raya.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;The number of recipients has grown since then and this year, we will be distributing 8,000 boxes to 10 enforcement agencies,&rdquo; she said at the distribution ceremony officiated at by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg yesterday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> She said the state government has allocated RM200,000 this year for the programme held in connection with Gawai Dayak and Hari Raya Aidilfitri, while the Association of Wives of Ministers and Assistant Minister of Sarawak (Sabati) has donated RM20,000.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;We hope that by distributing the kuih, it will at least cheer up the enforcement officers who have to be on duty during the festive occasion,&rdquo; she said.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> She said the two new recipient agencies are the Civil Defence Force and People&rsquo;s Volunteer Corps.<br /> Besides ATM and PDRM, the other agencies are Fire and Rescue Department, State Prisons Department, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, Immigration Department, Royal Malaysian Customs Department, and Road Transport Department.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Among those present during the ceremony were Sabati president Datin Patinggi Datuk Juma&rsquo;ani Tuanku Bujang &ndash; who is Abang Johari&rsquo;s wife; Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing; Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah; and Women and Family Department director Noriah Ahmad.</p>10737Thu, 24 May 2018 00:00:00 +0800Safety campaign held along Pan Borneo Highway<p style="text-align: center;"> <img alt="" class="wp-image-738434" height="202" src="" width="284" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <br /> <strong>Suhaili speaks to a lorry driver during the safety campaign.</strong><br /> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &nbsp;<br /> SARATOK: Lebuhraya Borneo Utara (LBU) Sdn Bhd held a safety campaign at the junction to Saratok town on Tuesday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> LBU project manager Suhaili Salleh said the campaign was held in connection with Gawai Dayak and Hari Raya Aidilfitri.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;This road safety campaign is aimed to create awareness among all classes of road users plying the Pan Borneo Highway, especially during this double festive season.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;As everyone knows, incidents of road accidents are always higher than normal during festive seasons when people are rushing back home,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He said LBU has come up with a traffic management plan and systems to improve safety, adding LBU accords top priority to ensuring the safety of road users during construction.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Suhaili called on motorists to cooperate by exercising extra care, especially when passing sections where works are in progress.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Works on the 64.486km portion of the Pan Borneo Highway, stretching from Sungai Awik in Saratok, Betong Division to the Bintangor junction in Sarikei Division are now in progress.</p>10738Thu, 24 May 2018 00:00:00 +0800SMEs Urged To Explore Options To Drive Productivity, Reduce Costs<div class="wp-caption alignleft" id="attachment_738250" style="max-width: 100% !important; height: auto; width: 300px"> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <img alt="" class="wp-image-738250" height="210" src="" width="290" /></p> <p class="wp-caption-text" style="text-align: justify;"> Wong (centre) receives a memento from Ng while Loo looks on.</p> </div> <p style="text-align: justify;"> SIBU: Minister of International Trade and E-Commerce Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh wants small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to explore options to drive productivity and reduce operational costs.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He said SMEs are the backbone of the country&rsquo;s economy, accounting for 97 per cent of businesses in the country.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;The onus is on the SMEs to embrace digitisation and e-commerce. You can unlock more business opportunities through those assets in the digital world,&rdquo; he said at the opening of the inaugural Malaysian Entrepreneurs Festival (TMEF) here yesterday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> TMEF founder and president Ng Eng Heng and vice-president Amy Loo were also present.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Wong, who is also Second Finance Minister, said since 2000 when the Internet became widespread, people had become more connected via digital technology.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Software usage has grown fast and today we have software as a service where one can use it for applications.&rdquo;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Wong said digital technology connects the world and affects the ways how businesses operate nowadays.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;It is thus essential for the SMEs to digitise their businesses, embrace the IoT (Internet of Things), use social media to position their businesses, e-commerce to sell, online banking or system to deliver transactions.&rdquo;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Wong said digital economy and e-commerce are also the two main focus of the state government to spearhead its economy and to provide opportunities for the people to improve their entrepreneurship and standard of living.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He said SME industries in Sarawak also play a significant role in the economic development that contributes significantly to the socio-economic development of the people through the creation of jobs.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;On top of that, Sarawak SMEs which comprise the highest percentage of business entrepreneurs and are at the top in terms of numbers, are important contributors in driving the state&rsquo;s economic growth,&rdquo; he added.</p>10728Wed, 23 May 2018 00:00:00 +0800Govt asked to help with maintenance of private road<div class="sd-content"> <ul> <li class="share-facebook"> <a class="share-facebook sd-button share-icon no-text" data-shared="sharing-facebook-738199" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Click to share on Facebook"><span class="sharing-screen-reader-text">Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)</span></a></li> <li class="share-twitter"> <a class="share-twitter sd-button share-icon no-text" data-shared="sharing-twitter-738199" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Click to share on Twitter"><span class="sharing-screen-reader-text">Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)</span></a></li> <li class="share-google-plus-1"> <a class="share-google-plus-1 sd-button share-icon no-text" data-shared="sharing-google-738199" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Click to share on Google+"><span class="sharing-screen-reader-text">Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)</span></a></li> <li class="share-jetpack-whatsapp"> <a class="share-jetpack-whatsapp sd-button share-icon no-text" data-shared="" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Click to share on WhatsApp"><span class="sharing-screen-reader-text">Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)</span></a></li> <li class="share-print"> <a class="share-print sd-button share-icon no-text" data-shared="" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Click to print"><span class="sharing-screen-reader-text">Click to print (Opens in new window)</span></a></li> <li class="share-end"> &nbsp;</li> </ul> </div> <p style="text-align: center;"> <img alt="" class="wp-image-738202" height="186" src="" width="165" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <br /> &nbsp;Layang Ugek<br /> <br /> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> KAPIT: The government has been asked to help with the maintenance of a section of private road from Tamalat, Song to Ngungun, Kanowit.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> This is in view of the upcoming Gawai Dayak celebration. &ldquo;We appeal to the relevant authorities to station manpower and machinery such as a bulldozer to ensure the partial gravel and clay road is safe to drive on. During sunny days, it is quite all right but during rainy days, it is too dangerous because of the steep gradient, slippery, and windy,&rdquo; Sarawak Dayak Graduates Association Kapit chairman Layang Ugek told a press conference yesterday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Layang, who is also Sarawak Dayak National Union Kapit vice-chairman, was accompanied by Malaysian Armed Forces Veterans Association Kapit chairman Martin Bilun.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He said during Gawai Dayak, a large number of those returning for the celebration as well as visitors are expected to travel by road to Kapit.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Based on our studies, each year some 15,000 travellers from far and near return to their respective longhouses to unite with family members for the annual celebration. Almost every household owns vehicles, especially four-wheel drives.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;We are expecting many would prefer to drive all the way from Kanowit to Song, Kanowit to Kapit, and thereafter continue their journey to the interior like Baleh and Nanga Merit, Rajang River. When travelling in a family, it is cheaper and more economical. With the road, travellers prefer to drive, which is more convenient and to avoid over-congestion on the public express boats,&rdquo; said Layang.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He added the non-governmental organisations hoped the People&rsquo;s Volunteer Corps or police could also help to patrol the Kanowit-Kapit road during the festive period.</p>10729Wed, 23 May 2018 00:00:00 +0800‘State needs more anchor companies in agriculture’<p style="text-align: center;"> <img alt="" class="wp-image-738189" height="284" src="" width="248" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <strong>Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah<br /> &nbsp;</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> KUCHING: The state needs more anchor companies with experience to help in the export of agricultural products from the state and in developing the agricultural sector.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Speaking to reporters yesterday, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah said the state was looking forward to implementing programmes with the anchor companies which will focus on involving and assisting the smallholders throughout the state.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He added that the anchor companies could also help smallholders in terms of marketing.<br /> Meanwhile, Uggah named two anchor companies which were committed in helping develop stingless bee farming; namely Borneo Stingless Bee Sdn Bhd and Rimbunan Hijau Sdn Bhd.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;These two companies have the knowledge in stingless bee farming which they can share with us. Both companies, although having different focus areas, have the technology and had done their research in stingless bee farming,&rdquo; he added.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Seeking cooperation with anchor companies is just one of the ways that the state is taking in developing and modernising the state&rsquo;s agricultural sector.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Besides seeking help from anchor companies, the state government has also announced that it will take on other initiatives such as buying a plane that can help export the state&rsquo;s agriculture products and establishing a body for building and managing export of Sarawak&rsquo;s agriculture products to overseas market.</p>10730Wed, 23 May 2018 00:00:00 +0800Lee: Public pool in need of ‘comprehensive’ upgrade<p> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-738181" height="525" src="" width="700" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <strong>Lee (centre) speaks to a Public Works Department officer (left) and a representative of the Miri Public Swimming Pool during his visit yesterday.</strong><br /> <br /> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> MIRI: The Miri Public Swimming Pool is in need of upgrading to provide better service and more conducive environment to the public.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Lee Kim Shin said &lsquo;comprehensive&rsquo; upgrading works is needed as the nearly three-decade-old facility has been extensively used by the public since it began its operation in 1991.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Previously, all ceramic tiles at this facility have been replaced with new ones whilst drain covers have been replaced as well. All these cost about RM600,000,&rdquo; he said during a site visit yesterday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He said he has already requested the management of Miri Public Swimming Pool to provide him a list of all areas that require improvement as he will be attending a meeting with an officer from Kuching tomorrow to discuss the necessary details.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Among areas that require immediate repair works include electrical circuits and benches, he added.<br /> &ldquo;I was told by the management that there were several instances when the power tripped, causing an outage. It could possibly be due to old wiring which requires immediate change.&rdquo; He also indicated there were plans to build awnings for the swimming pool.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;During the mostly hot and sunny days here, it would be impossible for the public and swimmers undergoing training to get into the pool without getting sunburned. Therefore, a swimming pool awning could be very useful.&rdquo;</p>10731Wed, 23 May 2018 00:00:00 +0800PSC delegation calls on Head of State<p> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-738239" height="308" src="" width="660" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <br /> <strong>Taib in a group photo with Abdul Ghafur (fourth left) and his delegation. &mdash; Penerangan photo</strong><br /> <br /> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> KUCHING: A total of 184,078 Sarawakians have applied for various positions in the public service sector through the Public Service Commission (SPA) last year.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> This was disclosed by its chairman Datu Abdul Ghafur Shariff when leading SPA delegation to pay a courtesy call on the Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud at his residence in Demak Jaya here yesterday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Abdul Ghafur, who has served as the commission&rsquo;s chairman since Aug 1, 2001, said from the figure, 3,867 applicants have been called up for an interview, of which 709 candidates were successful.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The courtesy call was part of the yearly visits to the Head of State to inform him of the progress in the state civil service.</p>10732Wed, 23 May 2018 00:00:00 +0800Ministry briefs Chief Minister on Raya cake distribution for security, border personnel<p> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-737941" height="393" src="" width="700" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <br /> <strong>Abang Johari (centre) receives the report of the programmes from Fatimah during the courtesy call at his office.</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &nbsp;<br /> KUCHING: A delegation from the Ministry of &nbsp;Welfare, Community Well Being, Women, Family and Childhood Development paid a courtesy call on Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg yesterday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The delegation, headed by minister Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah, visited the chief minister at his office in the State Legislative Assembly Complex to brief him on the preparation to distribute Hari Raya Aidilfitri cakes to the thousands of &nbsp;security and border personnel from various agencies, who would be away from home during the festival due to the call of duty.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Fatimah said her ministry had prepared 8,000 packets of cakes, which would be distributed to the personnel serving in various parts of the state as a goodwill gesture and in recognition of their sacrifice in the service of the nation during the festive occasion.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Members of the delegation included Assistant Minister of Women, Family and Childhood Development Rosey Yunus, the ministry&rsquo;s permanent secretary Dr Saadiah Abdul Samat, and Women and Family Department director Noriah Ahmad.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Later, Abang Johari also received a courtesy call from Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) chairperson Datuk Raziah Mahmud, who was accompanied by BCCK chief executive officer Eric van Piggelen.</p>10723Tue, 22 May 2018 00:00:00 +0800Unimas board of directors, EFC chief pay courtesy call on Head of State<p> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-737940" height="467" src="" width="700" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <strong>Taib (third left) together with his wife Toh Puan Datuk Patinggi Raghad Kurdi Taib (third right), Mohd Zaki (second left) and others in a photo-call.</strong><br /> <br /> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> KUCHING: Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud received two courtesy calls at his residence in Demak Jaya, here yesterday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The first visit was by the Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) board of directors headed by Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Sulong Matjeraie.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The visit was to inform Taib on Sulong&rsquo;s appointment as the new chairman of the Unimas board of directors on May 1.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The board also extended an invitation to Taib, who is Unimas Chancellor, to attend the &lsquo;Grand Breaking of Fast&rsquo; session on May 27 at the Tun Abang Salahuddin Islamic Centre in the university.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The Head of State also received a courtesy visit from Eastern Field Command (EFC) Commander Lt Gen Datuk Mohd Zaki Mokhtar.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The visit was to inform Taib on Mohd Zaki&rsquo;s retirement in November this year, and the handing over of his position to Major General Datuk Stephen Mundaw.</p>10724Tue, 22 May 2018 00:00:00 +08003 contractors appointed to expedite restoration of water<p> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-737962" height="391" src="" width="700" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <br /> <strong>Abang Johari (seated second right) with (seated from right) Liwan, Dr Rundi, Chee Kadir and others being briefed on the water supply problem by a JBALB officer.</strong><br /> <br /> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> KABONG: Three contractors &nbsp;have been appointed to expedite restoration of water supply to Kabong, Nyabor and nearby areas.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Water supply to residents in these areas had been cut off since May 9.<br /> Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, during his visit to Kabong water treatment plant here yesterday, said an allocation of RM6.5 million had been approved to get the water supply restored in one month&rsquo;s time.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He said the allocation did not include the RM60 million needed for the implementation of a long term water supply system in the area which he announced recently.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He added that the RM6.5 million allocation would be used to urgently rectify the shortage of water supply due to low water pressure from Lichok water treatment plant, which had become very critical following the damage of 500mm mains during an excavation work along Pan Borneo Highway on May 9.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Supply to the other areas had been restored in the past few days, he said, adding that areas still experiencing acute water supply shortage were Kampung Hulu Laut, Kampung Tengah, Kampung Masjid, Sungai Endot, Kampung Lintang, Kampong Bemang and Gerigat.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> To alleviate the hardship of the residents in the affected areas, the Rural Water Supply Department (JBALB) had been directed to deliver water by tankers till the problem is rectified, he said.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Among those present yesterday were Utilities Minister Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom, Assistant Minister of Water Supply Datuk Liwan Lagang and Kabong assemblyman Mohamad Chee Kadir.</p>10725Tue, 22 May 2018 00:00:00 +0800Masing visits damaged road, bridge to Tunoh<p> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-738002" height="414" src="" width="620" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <br /> <strong>Masing (standing fourth right,) and Nyabong (standing eighth left) at the site with JKR engineers and Tunoh villagers.</strong><br /> <br /> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> KAPIT: Five longhouses with a population of approximately 700, one rural health clinic, a primary school (SK Sungai Tunoh), an agriculture store and Bukit Mabong District Office have been cut off for some time due to the cave-ins at two stretches of the abandoned logging road.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The wooden bridge across Sungai Sempurau, about 10km from Tunoh, and a culvert along another section of the road have been washed away, resulting in vehicles unable to pass through. All these happened early this year.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing &ndash; also Minister of Infrastructure Development and Transportation &ndash; flew in to the affected areas on Saturday to inspect the extent of damage and to discuss with the assigned contractor Forhill Sdn Bhd, which has the experience in building iron bridges and culverts, together with engineers from state Public Works Department (JKR), Kapit District Office and Ministry of Infrastructure Development and Transportation, on the best way to repair the road for the convenience of the Tunoh folk.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Because the abandoned road formally belonged to Corina Logging Sdn Bhd (WTK), the state government is willing to build the bridge across Sungai Sempurau &ndash; under state funding. The wooden bridge collapsed because of the riverbank erosion due to heavy rainfall earlier this year. Because of this collapsed bridge, land transport is cut off between Tunoh and Nanga Mujong.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;This bridge and road are very important to shorten the travelling distance between Kapit and Tunoh, to about an hour. When the bridge collapsed, Tunoh folk are forced to detour using another logging road, (the journey of) which takes about an hour longer,&rdquo; Masing told The Borneo Post.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He assured all that the state government is committed to the people&rsquo;s welfare and would build an iron bridge across Sungai Sempurau, as well as repair the collapsed culvert to ensure that the road is usable.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> A report on the road collapse and broken temporary bridge was prepared by JKR Kapit on May 18 this year.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Pelagus assemblyman Wilson Nyabong Ijang, Bukit Mabong District Officer Douglas Pungga, JKR Sarawak assistant director Gerald George, divisional engineer Anding Unchi, Ministry of Infrastructure Development and Transportation engineer Philip Ng, and Forhill executive director Philip Ho Kian Sin were among those accompanying Masing during the inspection.</p>10726Tue, 22 May 2018 00:00:00 +0800‘Supply of gazetted items enough to meet demand’<p style="text-align: center;"> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-738033" height="331" src="" width="450" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <br /> <strong>Osman shows his supply of coconuts at his stall in Bandong Walk.</strong><br /> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> SIBU: There is adequate supply of coconuts here to meet the expected surge in demand during the fasting month.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism (KPDNKK) Sibu branch chief Roslee Maslie said apart from coconuts, items gazetted under the festive price control scheme are also sufficient.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He reminded traders against hiking the price of gazetted items, saying it is an offence under the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Upon conviction, an individual can be fined up to RM100,000 or face a compound of up to RM50,000.<br /> &ldquo;Companies, on the other hand, can be fined up to RM500,000 or imposed with a compound up to RM250,000,&rdquo; he said when contacted yesterday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Meanwhile, trader Osman Omar, 54, said he started his business selling a variety of coconuts and &lsquo;santan&rsquo; (coconut milk) at Bandong Walk here about three months ago.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Normally I order about 2,000 coconuts per month. For the fasting month, I have to order about 3,000 coconuts to meet demand,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He added each coconut cost him about RM1 but lately, there has been a slight increase of between 20 and 30 sen per coconut.</p>10727Tue, 22 May 2018 00:00:00 +0800‘Support CM in finding best way to work with PH govt’<p> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-737748" height="435" src="" width="620" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <strong>Gerawat (fourth left) presents the education incentive to a student, as (from left) Dennis, Lee, Sagah and others look on.</strong><br /> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> <br /> MIRI: Sarawakians are called to support the efforts by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg in finding the best way to collaborate with Pakatan Harapan (PH) in ensuring that the state continues to receive benefits from the federal government.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> According to Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, the state government needs to use the best channel to foster collaboration with the federal government, particularly in terms of bringing developments to the state.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;The state government is committed to ensuring that all the needs of the people are met, even if we have to collaborate with the PH government,&rdquo; he said after officiating at the Miri Division Gawai Dayak Dinner in Meritz Hotel here on Saturday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> His text-of-speech was read by Mulu assemblyman Datuk Gerawat Gala, who represented him at the event.<br /> The dinner was organised by Miri Division Gawai Dayak Celebration Committee &ndash; comprising members of various Dayak and Orang Ulu ethnic groups. Hosting this year&rsquo;s celebration was Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Lee Kim Shin, Assistant Minister of Native Land Development Datuk Roland Sagah Wee Inn, Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau, Administrative Unit of Chief Minister&rsquo;s Department director Antonio Kahti Galis, Miri Resident Sherrina Hussaini, DBNA president Datu Ik Pahon Joyik and dinner organising chairman Capt Bernard Idit were among the guests. Adding on, Awang Tengah said the recently-concluded parliamentary election showed that the people were wise in choosing their leaders.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;We can see that the people still put their trust in Barisan Nasional (BN) because many of our candidates did win, except for a few constituencies.&rdquo;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Awang Tengah said with this new political scenariowhere the country is under a new government, everyone should double their efforts in upholding unity among all races, in order to have the strength to fight for the rights of Sarawakians under the PH government.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> On the dinner, he regarded the theme &lsquo;Together Embracing Digital Era&rsquo; as appropriate, in that Sarawak is moving towards digital economy.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;This Gawai Dayak celebration is a gift to Malaysians for its uniqueness of having a multiracial community.<br /> &ldquo;I believe that this unique multiracial community is not experienced in other countries,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Later, Gerawat announced a RM70,000 grant for the organising committee. Of the amount, Awang Tengah pledged RM20,000, Sagah RM15,000, Gerawat RM15,000, Lee RM10,000, and Dennis RM10,000.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The dinner also see the presentation of education incentives from the organising committee to 61 Dayak students, who excelled in their public examinations last year. The highlight of the event was the division-level Dayung Sangon, Kumang Iban, Keligit Orang Ulu and Keling-Belawan pageants.</p>10706Mon, 21 May 2018 00:00:00 +0800Teachers advised to be up-to-date with modern ways of teaching<p> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-737715" height="440" src="" width="660" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <br /> <strong>Guests pose for a group photo during the cake-cutting ceremony to mark Teachers Day.</strong><br /> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> MIRI: Teachers must constantly update themselves with modern methods in order to overcome the challenges in educating the younger generation.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> In giving this advice, Miri Thai Poo Association Chairman Tong Shih Yee said they should do away with out-dated learning materials and classroom-based learning and replace them with new ideas that could trigger students&rsquo; creative thinking.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;With a click of their finger, students can easily get any information they want using computers.<br /> &ldquo;Teachers not only face great challenges in teaching; they act as guides in helping students filter the information they get from the internet.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Undeniably, there is a lot of information we can get by googling a keyword.<br /> &ldquo;It is impossible for students, at such a young age, to differentiate the good from the bad information.<br /> &ldquo;Hence, teachers have to become the guides to help them filter out the bad ones,&rdquo; he said is his address at the Miri Thai Poo Association Teachers Day dinner here on Saturday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Referring to this year&rsquo;s Teachers Day theme &lsquo;Teachers are the drivers of education transformation&rsquo;, Tong stressed that teachers are the front-liners in the country&rsquo;s education development.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;For centuries, teaching is deemed as the most respected profession, as teachers help shape and connect people with knowledge.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;It has become increasingly challenging to educate the younger generation, for many reasons. Even so, teachers deserve more than a pat on the back for their perseverance and dedication,&rdquo; said Tong.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> To the parents, he told them to be more concerned about the development of their children and be more understanding and cooperative with teachers.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;There are many different types of students &ndash; obedient and hardworking ones; and there are the less easy ones, or what we describe as clever but naughty ones. Either way, they have their own talents.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Parents, therefore, should work together with teachers to help their children be on the right path,&rdquo; he advised.<br /> Among those present were Piasau assemblyman Datuk Sebastian Ting, Erick Chin who represented Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Lee Kim Shin, Miri Thai Poo Kindergarten headmistress Sim Siew Fong, teachers as well as the association&rsquo;s committee members.</p>10707Mon, 21 May 2018 00:00:00 +0800Pipe leakage behind yellowish water, low pressure problems — MP<p> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-737755" height="942" src="" width="620" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <br /> <strong>A resident of Kampung Terasi shows the yellowish water that comes out of the tap.</strong><br /> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> <br /> KUCHING: The low water pressure affecting several villages in Sadong Jaya, which has caused the water to turn yellow, is due to a pipe leakage.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Batang Sadong MP Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said the leakage was detected in Punggor, Gedong and is now being addressed by the Rural Water Supply Department (JBALB).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;They (JBALB) are still identifying the location and in the meantime, we hope that the residents of the affected villages could be patient,&rdquo; she said when contacted yesterday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Nancy added that the Batang Sadong parliamentary service centre had been distributing boxes of mineral water to the affected villagers.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;We distributed 932 boxes of mineral water as at Sunday, with assistance from village chiefs to expedite distribution.&rdquo;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Nancy said the distribution of mineral water would be carried out in areas across Punggor today (Monday), and she expressed hope that the problem would be solved as soon as possible.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Kampung Rangawan, Kampung Tanjung Kelaso, Kampung Sungai Buluh, Kampung Senangeh, Kampung Ensengei Melayu, Kampung Ensengei Iban, Kampung Terais Melayu and Kampung Rangkang are among the affected villages in Sadong Jaya.</p>10708Mon, 21 May 2018 00:00:00 +0800Water situation in Kabong improving, says Fatimah<p style="text-align: center;"> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-737753" height="289" src="" width="220" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <br /> <strong>Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> KUCHING: Areas in Kabong, Betong are slowly recovering from acute water shortage that hit recently, says Minister of Welfare, Community Well Being, Women, Family and Childhood Development Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> According to her, only 120 households experienced water shortage as at Saturday night.<br /> It is known that the water problems in Kabong and Roban began on May 9 when a 500mm main pipe burst during road construction and repair works on the Pan Borneo Highway development.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Fatimah said the Rural Water Supply Department (JBALB) confirmed that the burst occurred on May 9, with repair works being conducted on May 10.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> For the record, May 9 was polling day for the 14th general election (GE14).<br /> Based on the feedback from JBALB&rsquo;s ground staff, there was damage on a 500mm pipe, resulting in a total shutdown of water supply for Kabong and Roban areas, which have a combined population of about 20,000 people.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> In this regard, the department had said that full recovery might take time. &ldquo;For now, most areas have recovered. We estimate that currently, about 120 households are still affected and water tankers are being deployed every day,&rdquo; JBALB said in a press statement.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> One of the vocal members of the public who highlighted about the matter was Dato Wan Abdillah Edruce of Pemuda Islam Sarawak.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> On a Facebook post, he called upon the state government to direct the relevant agencies to distribute water to Kabong.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;If possible, collect at least 100 boxes of drinking or mineral water. With God&rsquo;s help, I can help send these boxes to Kabong. The timing of this water cut-off is also not right when people are fasting during this month of Ramadan,&rdquo; he said, advising those wishing to be volunteers in distributing water, to get in touch with him.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> In this regard, Wan Abdillah said the volunteers could inbox him via Facebook. He also encouraged the netizens to share his post.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Additionally, Wan Abdillah also called upon members of Saribas Malay Development Association to help out, and also upon the working committee of the mosque in Kabong to &lsquo;pray and seek God&rsquo;s intervention in providing rain during this month of Ramadan&rsquo;.</p>10709Mon, 21 May 2018 00:00:00 +0800