The Official Portal of the Sarawak Government RSS Feed 2017-09-24 04:29:04 2017-09-24 04:29:04Centralised Schools May Be Built In February Next Year — Manyin<p> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-683364" height="216" src="" width="150" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Dato Sri Michael Manyin</strong><br /> <br /> SERIAN: The construction of centralised schools to replace under-enrolled schools (SKMs) in Sarawak may begin next February.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Dato Sri Michael Manyin said due to this urgency, community leaders and village chiefs are urged to assist the government in informing parents about the benefits of centralised schools.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He also said district education offices (PPDs) would meet parents in rural areas where under-enrolled schools are to be closed.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;We plan to build centralised schools early next year. Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg had said to me, &lsquo;If possible, we start in February&rsquo;.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a tall order for me so I take this opportunity to tell the village chiefs and community leaders to help inform the parents.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;I believe the academic results will be greatly improved. The government has set aside an allocation of RM1 billion for this,&rdquo; he said when officiating at the second biennial meeting of Serian Division Bidayuh Village Chiefs and Community Leaders Association at Dewan Masyarakat Serian yesterday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The Tebedu assemblyman said the state Education Department had come up with recommendations on which schools to be closed and where the centralised schools would be located.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He added that almost all primary schools in Serian were categorised under SKM or with pupil population below 150.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;There is a school with just 12 pupils. Based on the proposal, many schools will be closed, and the pupils transferred to a centralised school.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;There will be better facilities at the centralised school, and the students will have specialist teachers and enjoy better environment, which will motivate them to achieve the best results,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He also mentioned that as minister of education, it&rsquo;s his duty to ensure the young generation are prepared for the digital economy and Industrial Revolution 4.0.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Manyin also shared words of advice to the community leaders and village chiefs; expressing his wish to see more Bidayuhs participate in commercial agriculture.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Meanwhile, the meeting saw Temenggong Henry Bujang Sadok retained as the association&rsquo;s chairman while Pemanca Kane Manung was elected the new deputy chairman. Elections were also held for the various posts in the association.</p>9108Borneo PostThu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 +0800Medical Tourism: Quality Services, High Standard Vital<p style="text-align: justify;"> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-685500" height="383" src="" width="660" /><br /> <br /> <em><strong>Abang Johari (centre), Bujang (tenth left) and Dr Au Yong (12th left) in a photocall with recipients of the Normah Medical Specialist Centre Quality Award 2017. &mdash; Photos by Chimon Upon</strong></em><br /> <br /> <br /> KUCHING: Quality services and international standard compliance offered by hospitals, especially private hospitals, can help in spurring medical tourism in the state.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, in saying this, thus encouraged private hospitals in the state to improve their service standard as part of commitment to deliver quality healthcare to their patients.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Your clients will come and see you if your service is of quality from day one. When the quality service is there, people are attracted to you and they will come to see you. People are willing to go even to the extent of paying more for the quality services.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;If they see your service is good, they will come again. Your reputation is your brand. Once you have the brand, people will come to you,&rdquo; he said when officiating at the presentation of a Joint Commission International (JCI) Gold Seal accreditation certificate at Normah Medical Specialist Centre here yesterday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Abang Johari said the key for all the service providers including hospitals was that they must provide good and quality service to their customers, adding that it&rsquo;s also equally important for hospital staff such as doctors and nurses to make great impression with their patients to assure them they were in good hands at the hospital.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Although Sarawak does not have many direct flights to international destinations, we still receive many tourists which goes to show that our tourism industry is developing.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;When our tourism industry develops, the medical tourism will also develop. That is why we see many hospitals coming up here at this time. Initially, it was only Normah, then came along KPJ Kuching Specialist Hospital, Timberland Medical Centre and then Borneo Medical Centre. In Sibu, we have Rejang Medical Centre.<br /> &ldquo;We have these private hospitals for the reason being that we are friendly people.&rdquo;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He also called on the medical profession in the state to embrace technology, stressing that with the latest technology, medical procedures like heart surgery could be simplified without patients having to go through an open heart surgery.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;You can also use new technology for payment by using smartphone, we call it e-pay. Yesterday, I announced that we want to roll out a new mode of payment called Sarawak Pay. When people go to hotels, they can use Sarawak Pay and when they go to Normah, they can also use Sarawak Pay.&rdquo;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> On Normah Medical Specialist Centre being a JCI Gold Seal accredited health care organisation, Abang Johari said this was Normah&rsquo;s achievement for complying with international standard.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;That is something which is very important to Normah. Once you have this recognition, your standard is the same with other hospitals throughout the world that have been given the same recognition by JCI. Therefore, Normah has reached an international standard so we are very proud of Normah. I congratulate Normah&rsquo;s staff for achieving this success.&rdquo;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Abang Johari also presented Normah Medical Specialist Centre Quality Award 2017 to 20 of the hospital&rsquo;s staff.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Abang Johari&rsquo;s wife Datin Patinggi Datuk Juma&rsquo;ani Tuanku Bujang, Sarawak Medical Centre chairman Tan Sri Datuk Amar Bujang Mohammed Nor, Normah Medical Specialist Centre chief executive officer Datu Dr Au Yong Kien Hoe and Assistant Minister of Transportation Datuk Dr Jerip Susil were also present.</p>9109Borneo PostThu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 +0800‘JKR To Resolve Road Erosion Along Canada Hill To Kpg Katong’<br /> <p> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-685495" height="371" src="" width="660" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Chin (second right) inspects the eroded stretch of road on Canada Hill, accompanied by a local resident as well as officers from MCC and JKR.</strong><br /> <br /> MIRI: The Public Works Department (JKR) will study and find solutions to overcome road erosion along Canada Hill to Kampung Katong in Lopeng here.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> During a visit to the affected area yesterday, Erick Chin, who is the personal assistant to Tourism, Arts and Culture assistant minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin, said JKR has been tasked to look into the matter and come up with a solution as soon as possible.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;I have received complaints from residents in the area about the erosion, so I came to look at it today (yesterday),&rdquo; he said, adding the erosion had caused the guardrail along the affected stretch of road to be misaligned.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He was accompanied on his visit to Kampung Katong Wednesday by Kapitan Lai Tze Voon as well as officers from JKR and Miri City Council (MCC).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Chin disclosed that the erosion not only damaged the road but also posed a danger to motorists, especially during the rainy season.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;We want them (JKR) to take immediate action because it is now the rainy season and it will last until the end of the year, or (even) until February next year. So we are very much concerned about that,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Chin added that warning signs will also be put up along the affected road to warn motorists to be extra careful.<br /> Apart from erosion, he said residents in the area are also urging the authorities to trim overgrown trees along the road from Pujut Padang Kerbau to Kampung Katong, as they are posing danger to those using the affected road.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;I was also informed that the folks here are having a problem with blocked drains and they want the authority concerned to act on it immediately.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;For the problem of blocked drains and overgrown trees, JKR will get in touch with their contractor and get them to trim the trees as well as clear the blocked drains.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> &ldquo;For the erosion, JKR is currently studying it and they will need around one to two weeks, and they will come up with a proposal to the problem,&rdquo; he said further.</p>9110The Borneo PostThu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 +080036 Students Receive Tun Taib Bursary<br /> <p> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-685492" height="385" src="" width="660" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Taib (seated fifth left), the Head of State&rsquo;s wife Toh Puan Datuk Patinggi Raghad Kurdi Taib (seated sixth left), Abang Johari (seated fourth left) and other state dignitaries with the Tun Taib bursary recipients.</strong><br /> <br /> KUCHING: Two PhD students and two master of science students were among 36 university students who were awarded Tun Taib Yayasan Sarawak Scholarship yesterday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> These 36 students, who are the first batch under the Tun Taib Bursary, received the scholarships from &nbsp;Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud during a ceremony held at the Astana Sarawak here.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The two PhD students who received the scholarship were Bernard Maringgal from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), who is pursuing agriculture process engineering and Collin Tan Choon Lin from Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) who is doing Computer Science (Cybersecurity).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Universiti Putra Malaysia&rsquo;s postgraduate students, Anysia Hedy Ujat and Thamaratul Izzah Azman, also received the scholarships for pursuing degrees in Master of Science (Plant Pathology) and Master of Science (Information System) respectively.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The other recipients are currently pursuing bachelor degrees in civil engineering and construction, commerce (accounting), chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, international trade, biotechnology, computer science and electrical in Curtin University Malaysia Sarawak, Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak, University College of Technology Sarawak, Universiti Teknologi Mara, Sarawak and Unimas.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, in his speech at the function, said in the pursuit of digital economy, Sarawak has to develop its human resource capital, especially with new discipline of knowledge.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He said Yayasan Sarawak would continue to award scholarships to eligible students irrespective of race and religious background to do studies in the country and overseas.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The post-graduate studies are on new disciplines, including cyber security, information technology and agricultural engineering.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He hoped the first degree students would continue their studies to postgraduate levels whereby they could undertake research which would be beneficial to Sarawak&rsquo;s digital economy push.</p>9111The Borneo PostThu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 +0800Announcement Of Scholarship Lauded<p> &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;<br /> <img alt="" class="wp-image-685481" height="152" src="" width="151" />&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; <img alt="" class="wp-image-685482" height="152" src="" width="125" />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp; <img alt="" class="wp-image-685483" height="155" src="" width="126" /></p> <p> <strong>Datuk Gerawat Gala&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Datu Dr Penguang Manggil&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; Dennis Ngau</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> MIRI: The announcement that Sarawakian students will be offered Yayasan Sarawak scholarships to pursue medical studies at Unimas has been greeted with cheer and jubilation by the rural communities.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> State Legislative Assembly Deputy Speaker Datuk Gerawat Gala, Assistant Minister of Local Government Datu Dr Penguang Manggil and Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau all welcomed the good news recently announced by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> On his part, Gerawat hoped Unimas and Yayasan Sarawak would give fair opportunity to Orang Ulu students, who are mostly from poor families, to obtain the scholarships.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;It may be necessary to consider a quota for Orang Ulu medical students and Yayasan sponsorship as a temporary process to provide opportunity for Orang Ulu students especially our Penan students to be admitted to Unimas medical faculty and to benefit from Yayasan Sarawak sponsorship.&rdquo;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Dennis concurred with Gerawat, pointing out that the community produced very few medical doctors due to financial constraint and lack of exposure to the profession.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Identify bright students and put them under a special project called &lsquo;project doctor&rsquo; just like what Education Department is doing with regards to trainee teachers,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Dennis pointed out that the scholarships would be of great help to rural students as they are unable to compete with their urban counterparts for places in medical faculties due to the uneven &lsquo;playing field&rsquo;.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Both Gerawat and Penguang stressed that admission of students into Unimas medical faculty should be based on merit, so is the selection for the Yayasan scholarship.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> At the same time, Gerawat urged Orang Ulu students to pursue technical courses or degree courses related to digital technology, whose graduates are much sought after.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He said the state has embarked on its journey to digital economy as envisioned by the chief minister.<br /> Meanwhile, Penguang was happy that the chief minister had paved the way for rural students to realise their dream of becoming doctor through the scholarship offer.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Take this as a very good opportunity and study hard to win these scholarship which is about RM100,000 per student or RM4 million for 40 students per year,&rdquo; he said in his message to rural students.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He was happy to note that there were Ibans, Malays, Chinese and Orang Ulu students from Miri Division in the first batch of medical studies receiving the scholarship.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;It is heartening to see this, and this is the result of the committee of transformation led by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan,&rdquo; he said.</p>9112The Borneo PostThu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 +0800Two More Years To Faster Internet<br /> <p> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-685255" height="440" src="" width="660" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Abang Johari (third left), flanked by AwangTengah on his right and Uggah at the press conference. From left are Mohamad Morshidi, Wong and Abdullah Saidol. &mdash; Photo by Muhammad Rais Sanusi</strong><br /> <br /> KUCHING: Sarawakians may have to wait for at least two more years before they can begin to enjoy faster Internet speed.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The high speed will come but not until all the facilities and infrastructure are put in place.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said they would first have to table the Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) at the State Legislative Assembly sitting in November.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He said SMA would regulate all the activities and factors that would move Sarawak towards the future in terms of the digital economy.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;After the SMA is passed in the November sitting, it will be a question of action.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;So may be in the next few years, we will begin to roll out high Internet speed in phases starting from the city areas,&rdquo; he told reporters after a dialogue session with industry and business leaders on Sarawak digital economy at Wisma Bapa Malaysia here yesterday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Abang Johari said the state government was serious in improving and upgrading Internet speed in Sarawak.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The state government, he added, had allocated funds to do this and at the same time it would be interfacing with the federal authorities so that they could also provide funds for the state to build the infrastructure.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He said the state government was taking the initiative to lead in the development of high speed infrastructure.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;We are going to establish our own gateway and our Internet infrastructure together with our neighbours Indonesia and Brunei. This is being discussed between us,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The chief minister said the state government was also fully committed to reduce the digital divide between rural and urban areas.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He said the digital economy transcended borders and areas and therefore, it would be an enabler for the state government to close the gap between rural and urban areas.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Definitely for rural area, we will have to see the population demography. If the population is centred, say in Betong where the Internet is available in Sadok, and in Sarikei where the Internet is available at the halal hub in Kuala Rajang, then we have to upgrade the speed in those particular areas.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;If the population is very sparse, especially in the remote areas, then we have to find option on how to connect them with us. But it must be by phases and that is where we have to find certain model,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Abang Johari added that China actually was a model because they first developed the south before going to the northern part.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He said Sarawak could use that model, focusing on the central urban area first.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;We even want to identify urban precision farming, very suburban areas near towns in Sarawak because there is a market.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;So in terms of logistic it will be cheaper and nearer to our collection centres for us to export our produce overseas.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;That is how we want to close the gap; to increase the income of the rural people,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The chief minister also said Sarawakians could create services using the internet.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He believed there are many young and talented Sarawakians out there, who might use their products &ndash; seamless product, product that is out of their own creativity and innovation &ndash; through their own application.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He said because of that the state government had set up the innovation hub &ndash; at iCom Square in Kuching, and at Sarikei Innovation Centre in Sarikei.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;We are going to launch similar hubs in other places such as Betong, Bintulu, Miri, Limbang and Lawas.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;These hubs will be connected to our digital village; entrepreneurs who are successful &nbsp;can connect local products to the world market.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Because of that, I think the private sector is very excited with our digital economy move and they are willing to collaborate and help us to realise it,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Deputy chief ministers Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas and Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, Second Minister of Finance Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh, State Secretary Tan Sri Mohamad Morshidi Abdul Ghani and Assistant Minister of Corporate Affairs Abdullah Saidol were also present at the press conference.</p>9094The Borneo PostWed, 20 Sep 2017 00:00:00 +0800Unimas Tasked With Finding How Water Grid Can Be Explored<br /> <p> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-683169" height="642" src="" width="660" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi</strong><br /> <br /> KOTA SAMARAHAN: Utilities Minister Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom has requested Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) to look into how the water grid can be explored in Sarawak.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Dr Rundi said based on the initial brainstorming conducted by his ministry two months ago, the water grid, if implemented, will cost the government a &lsquo;bomb&rsquo;.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;The extension of piping and so on, will cost us RM55 billion. This will be additional cost for the government. So we want to see how to do this cheaper way and try to put this into stages and so on,&rdquo; he said when officiating the launch of Green Tech Talk and &lsquo;low carbon campus&rsquo; at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) here yesterday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Despite the high cost, water grid is necessary to solve the water supply problem in the state, particularly in rural areas.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;We have rainfalls yet we still have people complaining there is no water to drink, especially those in rural areas. They are depending on gravity feed. Gravity feed today is no longer as safe as before due to increasing pollution by big plantations, timber logging and so on.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Therefore, we have to treat this water. We have come up with a few initiatives like trying to have a so-called stand-alone plant in the rural areas by using membrane filtration and so on. In the city, it is not an issue because we have water boards looking at all this.&rdquo;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Dr Rundi said what is more important is to find ways to make people realise the importance of water in their lives.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;In fact, we have very high non-revenue water (NRW). People at large do not really appreciate water for the reason that it is very cheap. When things are cheap, people don&rsquo;t appreciate. But when we put a tariff, people will jump up.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;But we need to find ways to make people realise how important water is for us. In the future, probably people will fight a war over water. In Sarawak, we are thankful to God because we are given many rivers, rainfall and so on. That is the reason we can have hydropower.&rdquo;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> On another note, Dr Rundi said Unimas has to be at the forefront of almost every research the state wants to do.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Our Chief Minister (Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg) is trying to leapfrog Sarawak&rsquo;s progress into the digital economy. He is looking at hydrogen as a source of power. Maybe in the future, we will have cars running on hydrogen. These are the things we are looking at besides LRT (light railway transit).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> For this purpose, he said Abang Johari would be visiting Estonia next week to study how the country develop its digital economy.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Estonia is a small nation but they have developed so well through digital economy and so on. This is something we want to emulate.&rdquo;</p>9095The Borneo PostWed, 20 Sep 2017 00:00:00 +0800State Developing Digital Payment System<br /> <p> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-685333" height="440" src="" width="660" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Fu (right) presents a Chinese painting as a souvenir to Abang Johari. Also seen are Juma&rsquo;ani (second left) and Liu. &mdash; Photo by Muhd Rais Sanusi</strong><br /> <br /> KUCHING: Sarawak is working with Chinese multinational company Huawei to develop an e-wallet, or digital payment system, to be called &lsquo;Sarawak Pay&rsquo; to enhance the state&rsquo;s development of financial technology.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg revealed this at the 68th Anniversary of the Founding of the People&rsquo;s Republic of China celebration dinner at a leading hotel here yesterday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;We are going to establish our own (digital payment) platform called Sarawak Pay, and this will enable us to have e-wallet or e-pay which can be linked to our neighbours like Indonesia, Thailand and of course China (Alipay),&rdquo; he emphasised.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;In today&rsquo;s China, if you buy things with money, they immediately know &lsquo;ini mesti orang luar&rsquo; (must be an outsider) because everybody there pays with their smartphone,&rdquo; he pointed out.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> With the system and network, Abang Johari explained businesses or entrepreneurs can do away with opening letters of credit and instead only require sufficient funds in their account to make transactions in secured environment.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> In April this year, the government engaged Huawei to assist in transforming the state through digital economy, including in hardware and software development.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Earlier on, Abang Johari praised China&rsquo;s rapidly progressing development over the past 30 years since the country opened its doors to the world.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> From Shenzhen, a fishing village that has grown into an industrial hub, to the world&rsquo;s fastest train technology, he said the adoption of technology and application of Chinese philosophy and tradition in its development should be emulated by Sarawak.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;It has since opened up the entire China, including the interiors. Along this historical transformation, I admire the concept and philosophy of (late) Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Keep a cool head and maintain a low profile&hellip;&rsquo;jangan mau eksyen eksyen&rsquo; (don&rsquo;t boast). Never take the lead but aim for something big,&rdquo; he quoted the humble Deng.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Abang Johari wife&rsquo;s Datin Patinggi Dato Juma&rsquo;ani Tuanku Bujang, Chinese Consul-General in Kuching Fu Jijun and wife Liu Sha, Minister of International Trade and E-Commerce Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh and Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong were among those present.<br /> <br /> <br /> &nbsp;</p>9096The Borneo PostWed, 20 Sep 2017 00:00:00 +0800State Taking Right Path In Use Of Hydropower – Dr Rundi<br /> <p> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-685327" height="440" src="" width="660" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Dr Rundi (second right) launching the Green Tech Talk at Unimas yesterday. Wan Hashim is at second left. &mdash; Photos by Chimon Upon</strong><br /> <br /> <br /> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-685328" height="375" src="" width="660" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Dr Rundi (front row, centre), Wan Hashim (front row, third left) and other guests gesture in a photo call after the launching of Green Tech Talk at Unimas yesterday.</strong><br /> <br /> KOTA SAMARAHAN: The state government has taken the right direction in maximising the usage of hydropower in the state, said Utilities Minister Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Apart from being a renewable energy, Dr Rundi said hydropower that the state currently possesses such as the Bakun HEP, Murum HEP and Batang Ai HEP will be a very important part of the state&rsquo;s energy generation in the future, particularly in &lsquo;leapfrogging&rsquo; the industries in Sarawak.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;As we all know, with the deflation of fossil fuel such as petrol and gas, we have to look at the alternative on how we can generate power. I&rsquo;m from the Ministry of Utilities where the task given to us is to really look into how we can have sustainable power generation for the state.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;So hydropower will be a very important part of our energy generation in the future. By the year 2025, we will be using 70 per cent of our power generation from hydropower and the fossil fuel and so on will be reduced into a very insignificant percentage in our power generation,&rdquo; he said when officiating the launching of Green Tech Talk and &lsquo;low carbon campus&rsquo; at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) here yesterday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Dr Rundi noted that the hydropower power generation potential for the state is about 20,000MW, while the power generation potential for gas and coal is about 2,000MW and 1,075MW respectively.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Our hydropower potential in Sarawak is nothing less than 24,000MW. Therefore, we can be a power hub for Malaysia or even Borneo. If we can double up our infrastructures well, we will be able to cover all the way to Brunei, Sabah, Southern Philippines, Kalimantan and maybe all the way to Peninsular Malaysia.&rdquo;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> In noting that the state government was trying to reduce power generation from non-renewable sources, Dr Rundi said the coal power generation plants in Mukah and Sejingkat were sufficient to be the backup for the state&rsquo;s power generation.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;The energy that we produced is not only meant for Sarawak alone, we have surplus. Therefore, we have actually put it across the border. Indonesians from West Kalimantan are taking about 150MW from us. It is quite good money for Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;And in the future, they (West Kalimantan) are still asking because the population is big over the other side of the border. We can provide them with infrastructure from Sarawak, extend all the way to Kalimantan and so on and that will be another future for Borneo Grid.&rdquo;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> With sustainable and affordable energy, Dr Rundi believed that the state can be a digital hub, data centre, among others.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Borneo is at the centre of everything. We are centre of all the big population nations like China and India. Yet, we have not manipulated this to our advantage. Now we are looking at it as something that has very bright future for Borneo Island. When we talk about Borneo (electricity) grid and Borneo water grid, everything must be Borneo so that one day, we will be able to have a real hub for data centre and so on.&rdquo;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Meanwhile, Dr Rundi said the Green Tech Talk was very timely to create awareness of green technology amongst students and the society.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;I must congratulate Unimas for taking this initiative that you have been looking at renewable energy as part of green technology which is very important for us. I also must congratulate Unimas for creating CREN (Centre for Renewable Energy) that is very important.&rdquo;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He was also glad that Unimas had taken the initiative to be a &lsquo;low carbon campus&rsquo;, as he believed that institutions like Unimas could help the government in creating awareness amongst the community of the importance for the people to reduce carbon emission.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> While complimenting Unimas&rsquo; initiative to be a &lsquo;low carbon campus&rsquo;, Dr Rundi hoped that the university could be a &lsquo;carbon free campus&rsquo; in the near future.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Among those present at the event were Unimas deputy vice chancellor Prof Dr Wan Hashim Wan Ibrahim who represented Unimas vice chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Mohammad Kadim Suaidi.</p>9097The Borneo PostWed, 20 Sep 2017 00:00:00 +0800CM: Efficient Human Capital Needed To Transform Economy<br /> <p> <img alt="" class="wp-image-683889" height="409" src="" width="619" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg</strong><br /> <br /> KUCHING: The state is preparing its human capital that can help the state government to transform Sarawak in terms of digital economy.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the state is in need of people equipped with the necessary knowledge to play their part in and contribute to the development of the state&rsquo;s digital economy.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He said Sarawak Foundation has offered new courses along that line of training that should be given to Sarawakians.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> This, he said, is for the qualified people to execute all the necessary process for Sarawak to achieve its digital economy goal.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Among the subjects very important in digital economy are cyber security, data analysis and molecular engineering.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Molecular engineering is very important for our biodiversity.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;The other is software engineering, which is equally important, and computer-human interactions,&rdquo; he told reporters after a dialogue on Sarawak&rsquo;s digital economy with industry and business leaders at Wisma Bapa Malaysia here yesterday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Abang Johari added that they had a very fruitful dialogue and discussion with the private sector on digital economy.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He said during the session, they took the opportunity to explain to the private sector the blueprint set by the state government to transform the state&rsquo;s economy into a digital economy.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;The private sector as a whole support the move and they are willing to collaborate and extend their assistance in order to realise our objective of transforming our economy to be an efficient one and also to generate high income for Sarawak and its people,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> It is learnt that about 60 people including deputy chief ministers Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas and Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, Second Finance Minister Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh and senior civil servants attended the dialogue.\</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The session started with the State Secretary Tan Sri Datuk Amar Mohamad Morshidi Abdul Ghani sharing the state government&rsquo;s digital economy initiatives, the &lsquo;Sarawak Digital Economy Ecosystem&rsquo; and the comprehensive plan for 17 areas &ndash; legislation and governance; digital government; digital data; cyber security; digital infrastructure; agriculture; tourism; manufacturing; e-commerce and services; health; physical infrastructure and utilities; housing and urban development; transport, logistic and supply chain; talent management; digital village; centre of excellence and community digital gap.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The dialogue between the chief minister and the industry and business leaders of Sarawak was held after that.</p>9098The Borneo PostWed, 20 Sep 2017 00:00:00 +080010 Schools In Sibuti Due For Upgrading<br /> <p> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-685306" height="439" src="" width="660" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Datuk Ahmad Lai Bujang</strong><br /> <br /> MIRI: Ten dilapidated primary schools in the Sibuti parliamentary constituency will be upgraded gradually starting next year.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Sibuti MP Datuk Ahmad Lai Bujang said all the 10 primary schools involved were old and urgently in need of immediate restoration.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;We will forward the names of these old and rundown schools to the attention of the state government so they will be upgraded or repaired next year,&rdquo; he said yesterday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He said although not all would be restored or upgraded at once, they would, nevertheless, be implemented in stages according to priority.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;The structure of the school building are being eaten by termites and is not safe to use. It threatens the safety of teachers and pupils,&rdquo; he added.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He said the issue of dilapidated school was tabled and discussed in the Dewan Rakyat, especially schools in rural areas.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;We applaud the state government&rsquo;s initiative in using its own funds to repair and upgrade rural schools beginning next year,&rdquo;Ahmad Lai said.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The repair work will use funds from Development Bank of Sarawak (DBoS) as well as the federal and state governments.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has agreed that Sarawak will use its own funds to upgrade rural schools,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Among the dilapidated schools in Sibuti are SK Niah, SK Sepupok Plan and SJK (C) Chung Hua Sungai Lumut.<br /> &ldquo;A few of these primary schools are sited on flood-prone areas,&rdquo; Ahmad Lai said.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Meanwhile, the state government&rsquo;s initiative to rehabilitate dilapidated schools in rural areas was praised by the state Democratic Action Party (DAP).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Its president Chong Chieng Jen said the state government&rsquo;s initiative in using its own funds to repair the old school was commendable.</p>9099The Borneo PostWed, 20 Sep 2017 00:00:00 +0800Another Rabies-Infected Area Declared In Sarawak, Making It 25th<br /> <p> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-674729" height="528" src="" width="660" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>A map showing the circled rabies-infected areas in the state. Across the border in Kalimantan, 13 rabies related deaths have been recorded since July 11. File Photo</strong><br /> <br /> KUCHING: Yet another area in Sarawak has been declared rabies-infested, making Kampung Telagus Legai in Serian division the 25th location so far.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> In a statement issued yesterday, the secretariat for Sarawak State Disaster Management Committee said these include 20 areas in Serian division, four in Kuching division and one in Sri Aman division.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The rabies infection in humans was first reported in Sarawak in June last year, and so far, six cases of rabies &nbsp;have been detected, resulting in the death of five victims.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> According to the statement, to date, 36,895 pets comprising 28,988 dogs, 7,862 cats and 45 other animals have been vaccinated while 41,927 active surveillance and 1,778 passive surveillance have been conducted in Serian, Kuching and Sri Aman to control the spread of rabies.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;The Sarawak Veterinary Department would like to remind the public not to allow their pets, either vaccinated or not, to mix with wild animals and to be vigilant for any changes in behaviour from tame to violent, biting any moving object, being afraid of water and light, being solitary, overly salivating, restlessness or aggression,&rdquo; it said.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Contact the operations room of the Sarawak State Disaster Management Committee Secretariat at 082443991 /446991 / 447960 to report on the rabies epidemic,&rdquo; it said. &mdash; Bernama</p>9100The Borneo PostWed, 20 Sep 2017 00:00:00 +0800Govt To Sponsor 200 Sarawakian Medical Students Over 5 Years<br /> <p> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-685129" height="338" src="" width="660" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>(Sitting from right) Mohamad Kadim, Sharifah Hasidah, Mohammad Morshidi, Abang Johari, Azmi, Gerawat and Dr Penguang with the future Sarawakian doctors. &mdash; Photos by Chimon Upon</strong><br /> <br /> <br /> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-685077" height="432" src="" width="660" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>(From right) Abang Johari, Gerawat, Sharifah Hasidah and Azmi with the future Sarawakian doctors.</strong><br /> <br /> KUCHING: The state government will sponsor at least 200 Sarawakians to pursue medical studies in Unimas over the next five years.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the state government took the move following its own analysis and ambition to provide quality medical service to the people.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He noted that the doctor to population ratio in Sarawak and the country now is 1:800 and 1:600 respectively, while the target is for the country to achieve a ratio of 1:400 by 2020.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;So there is a big gap and therefore, the state government has decided to give more scholarships to our students who are eligible to pursue medical studies.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;I think it is quite a history that the state government is giving 40 scholarships to one group of students from Sarawak today,&rdquo; he said at the presentation ceremony of the state government&rsquo;s scholarship to Unimas medical students.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The Chief Minister said the 40 scholarships were worth RM4 million a year and the state government would continue to give the same number of scholarships each year to eligible students from Sarawak to pursue their medical studies in Unimas.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Throughout another four years until my term expires in 2021, if it goes on, I hope I can produce more than 100 Sarawakian doctors,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;To the current batch of 40 students, I hope all of you will be diligent, study hard and produce the 40 doctors for us five years from now,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Abang Johari added that the state government was serious in trying to give the right training to Sarawakian students to be doctors.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;I and my colleagues in the government, we are giving emphasis on medical studies and we hope you will become specialists in your own right of subject discipline in medical studies and of course, we hope you will give back your service to your people,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The Chief Minister said the state government was also upgrading other services as it strives to give quality services to the people by giving new courses to students who can play a part in the state&rsquo;s transformation programme.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> With the state now focusing on digital economy, even medical practitioners were already using new tools such as analytical data to diagnose sicknesses and diseases, he noted.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;All the doctors can do now is for them to retrieve information from the main data, diagnose whatever sickness or disease that the person is having and get the right way on how to solve the medical problem.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;They are using new method. In fact, previously before one can go for further studies, they have to undergo medical test such as X-ray. But nowadays we use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Meaning technology has taken over the old traditional method.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;I&rsquo;m sure when you study your medicine in Unimas, you have to know new methods, analysing whatever sickness using new technology,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Among those present at the ceremony were Law, State-Federal Relations and Project Monitoring Assistant Minister Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali, State Legislative Assembly Deputy Speaker Dato Gerawat Gala, Assistant Minister of Local Government Datu Dr Penguang Manggil, State Secretary Tan Sri Mohammad Morshidi Abdul Ghani, Yayasan Sarawak director Azmi Bujang and Unimas vice chancellor Professor Datuk Dr Mohamad Kadim Suaidi.</p>9088The Borneo PostTue, 19 Sep 2017 00:00:00 +0800Murum Junction Substation Brings Power To Rural, Interior Areas<br /> <p> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-685076" height="437" src="" width="660" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Dr Rundi hits the gong to declare open the 275kV Murum Junction Substation as (from left) Belaga District Officer Juan Ubit, Alice, Layar assemblyman Gerald Rentap Jabu, Ugak, Liwan, Sharbini, Dr Abdul Rahman and Chukpai look on.</strong><br /> <br /> BELAGA: Sarawak Energy Bhd&rsquo;s Murum Junction Substation marks a significant milestone in the state&rsquo;s continued efforts to develop a modern power system in rural areas and ensure access to reliable 24-hour power for communities residing in its interior.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The 275kV transmission substation, built at a cost of RM100 million, integrates bulk power generated from the 2,400MW Bakun and 944MW Murum hydroelectric plants.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> From the substation, power is supplied to villages through rural substations as well as into the state grid via the Similajau transmission substation, strengthening overall system reliability for the state. The extra-high voltage transmission substation was declared open by Minister of Utilities Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom yesterday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Present to witness the ceremony were Assistant Minister for Rural Electricity Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi, Assistant Minister for Water Supply Datuk Liwan Lagang and permanent secretary to the Ministry of Utilities Dato Alice Jawan. Sarawak Energy group chief executive officer Sharbini Suhaili represented the energy corporation.<br /> Also present were Hulu Rajang MP Datuk Wilson Ugak Kumbong and Murum assemblyman Kennedy Chukpai Ugon.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> In his speech, Dr Rundi said the Murum Junction Substation is an example of a big project implemented by the state government as a game changer to speed up infrastructure development in rural areas.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;We want all people to enjoy 24-hour electricity supply &ndash; I know you have been patient all these years but we need prudent expenditures and planning to ensure security and sustainability of our power supply,&rdquo; said Dr Rundi when responding to Ugak&rsquo;s request earlier to speed up infrastructure development in Hulu Rajang parliamentary constituency, especially in Belaga.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Dr Rundi, who is Kemena assemblyman, also said the substation is the state government&rsquo;s long-term strategy to develop hydropower in rural areas under Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) to help speed up infrastructure development.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;With the extra high voltage of Murum substation located in the rural area, we are able to grid-connect rural towns, villages and longhouses in the vicinity.&rdquo;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Adding that Belaga town and longhouses along the way would be connected to this substation by next year, he said the line would subsequently be extended to Punan Bah and the longhouses along the way.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> In addition, he said the Murum Junction Substation would be utilising covered-conductors to connect to Belaga town by the end of next year, as part of the state&rsquo;s effort in constantly exploring ways to improve on the performance of the distribution system in the rural areas.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <br /> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-685130" height="437" src="" width="660" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>The 275kV Murum Junction Substation.</strong><br /> <br /> He said power lines utilising covered conductors are insulated and protected from tree branches or wildlife disturbance, among other things; thus reducing interruptions and enhancing reliability.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The installation of these insulated lines would be undertaken and fully financed by Sarawak Energy at a cost of around RM40 million.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;We try our level best to make sure all Sarawakians will enjoy 24-hour electricity supply by 2025,&rdquo; he said, adding that the state government is now focusing on three rural electrification initiatives; namely Rural Power Supply Scheme, Rural Electrification Scheme and Sarawak Alternative Rural Electrification Scheme.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Located 160km away from Bintulu in the Belaga District, the facility won the &lsquo;Best Project for Medium (Infrastructure) Category&rsquo; at the Malaysian Construction Industry Excellence Awards 2016.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Sharbini said the award demonstrated Sarawak Energy&rsquo;s commitment to achieving high standard and quality in project delivery while fulfilling the state&rsquo;s development agenda to modernise the state&rsquo;s power system including for rural areas.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;We are committed to our role in supporting the state government&rsquo;s ongoing efforts in developing basic infrastructure.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;This substation is critical in Sarawak Energy&rsquo;s effort to expand the distribution grid in the Upper Rajang area.<br /> &ldquo;I am also proud of this award as it demonstrates Sarawak Energy&rsquo;s focus on quality and commitment towards project delivery excellence, which is one of our five corporate key focus areas.&rdquo;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> According to Sharbini, the substation &ndash; completed ahead of schedule &ndash; was first commissioned in September 2014.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He said other than transmitting reliable and renewable power from Murum and Bakun, it has also enhanced reliability of supply to the community at Bakun Resettlement and its surrounding areas.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Residents have been connected with the state grid since May 31 this year and are no longer dependent on conventional diesel generation, while residents in Belaga can expect to be connected to the grid sometime next year,&rdquo; he said.</p>9089The Borneo PostTue, 19 Sep 2017 00:00:00 +0800Drone Technology Gets Govt Support<br /> <p> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-685135" height="597" src="" width="660" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Abang Johari (centre) gestures at the launch of Geodrone Initiative. Seen from left are Awang Tengah, Yusoff, Wong and Len Talif. &mdash; Photos by Muhammad Rais Sanusi</strong><br /> <br /> <br /> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-685136" height="497" src="" width="660" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>A Hexa Multirotor (Tarot T810) on display at the launch.</strong><br /> <br /> KUCHING: The state government will continue to support Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) in advancing its surveillance technology to ensure sustainable forest management in Sarawak.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, who said this, suggested that the corporation adopt censor technology to better monitor the state&rsquo;s forestry sector.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Equip your drone with censor technology where it allows you to transmit the data back to the centre. The state government will support you if you want to acquire the latest technology using artificial intelligence (AI),&rdquo; he said when launching the corporation&rsquo;s Geodrone Initiative at the SFC corporate office at Jalan Sg Tapang here yesterday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Abang Johari further said his administration would expect the corporation to uphold its efforts in forest management especially in tackling illegal loggers.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;At least this (drone) technology will monitor the development of our forestry sector to ensure that our resource is well managed and reserved.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Forestry is a very important sector which has contributed a lot to the state&rsquo;s coffers besides oil and gas. In order to sustain, we must be innovative in research and give value to our products,&rdquo; he added.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> To ensure forest sustainability, he said the government had implemented industrial forest policy whereby it no longer relied on the state&rsquo;s primary forest.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He said the move was also meant for &ldquo;the balancing of the environment&rdquo;.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He also called upon SFC to continue hauling up illegal loggers, strive to prosecute them and be involved in &ldquo;a lot of research and development (R&amp;D) in our forest resources&rdquo;.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;For any country to move forward, you have to explore R&amp;D. It is time for us to leapfrog in our R&amp;D leveraging on ICT (information and communication technology).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;I have allocated RM1 billion to upgrade our internet speed. This is also for R&amp;D because you will need the tools necessary to analyse what you have in order to produce new products,&rdquo; he pointed out.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Abang Johari lauded the forest industry players for having agreed on increasing the timber premium from 80 sen to RM50 to enable Yayasan Sarawak to provide more scholarships for Sarawakians to go into research.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;I will announce the first batch of recipients to do PhD and undergraduate studies in new courses namely molecular engineering, cloud computing, data analytic, cyber security and biochemistry engineering,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Based on the information exhibited at the launch, drone technology is meant for, among others, assessment of compliance with stipulated harvesting and environmental requirements and detection of encroachment, if any, outside of licence areas.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The types of drones available include Flying Wing (AIRIS T6), Skywalker and Hexa Multirotor (Tarot T810).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Among those present were Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, Assistant Minister of Urban Planning, Land Administration and Environment Datu Len Talif Salleh, SFC chairman Datu Dr Yusoff Hanifah and chief executive officer Wong Ting Chung.</p>9090The Borneo PostTue, 19 Sep 2017 00:00:00 +0800Unimas to officially announce Abang Johari As Pro-Chancellor On Nov 6<br /> <p> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-685128" height="441" src="" width="660" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Abang Johari (centre) accepts the plaque bearing his official appointment as Unimas pro-chancellor from Mohamad Kadim.</strong><br /> <br /> KUCHING: Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) will hold a special ceremony to mark the official appointment of Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg as its pro-chancellor this Nov 6, in conjunction with the university&rsquo;s convocation this year.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Unimas vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Mohamad Kadim Suaidi said this during a courtesy call on Abang Johari here yesterday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The appointment letter &ndash; approved and signed by Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud &ndash; was presented to the chief minister during the visit by the Unimas delegates.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> More than 4,600 students will receive their scrolls during the 21st graduation ceremony to run from Nov 6 to 9. This is touted as the largest convocation for Unimas since 1997.</p>9091The Borneo PostTue, 19 Sep 2017 00:00:00 +080040 Receive Scholarship For Medical Studies In Unimas<p style="text-align: justify;"> KUCHING: A total of 40 Sarawakian students have been awarded the state government&rsquo;s scholarship worth RM4 million to pursue their medical studies in a local university this year.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> They received the scholarship from Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg at Wisma Bapa Malaysia here yesterday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The students are to undertake their studies at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Yayasan Sarawak has been appointed as the secretariat of the special programme.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Speaking at the scholarship presentation ceremony, Yayasan Sarawak director Azmi Bujang said the programme was one of the strategic initiatives taken by the state government to meet the development needs of the state.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He noted that currently, out of the 3,282 serving doctors in the state, only 70 per cent were Sarawaklans.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;With an expected population of three million by the year 2020, Sarawak will require 7,282 doctors in order to be on par with the national ratio.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;The shortfall is estimated at 4,350 doctors,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Azmi said due to this huge disparity, the state government, through the Cabinet Committee on Performance and Service Delivery Transformation, had recognised shortage of medical doctors as one of the Key Result Areas (KRA) under the Quality of Education and Human Capital sector that needed state intervention.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He said the committee thus decided to have a special programme to produce more medical graduates, in addition to the normal intake of medical students by the federal government.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;In other words, the state government will undertake to provide scholarships in this field,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Azmi said upon graduation and their housemanship, these doctors are required to serve in the state for a minimum period of 10 years.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The first recipients of the scholarship are Afifatus Zakiyah Saudi, Ainur Yasmin Hamdan, Alice Joe, Amber Andrew Bagai, Andrea Rachel Shara Jomet, Anis Nasuha Morshidi, Audre Liew Siew Ing, Awangko Jamaluddin Awang Zainuddin, Azrie Bujang, Billy Leo, Bong Pin Khan, Caleb Yong Jia Le, Elnysha Betar, Eugene Then Ji Xuan, Farah Wahieda Drahman, Farhah Muhamad Farid, Gabriela Naina Keneth, Grace Voon Ern Hui, Javer Jimbau, Jester Sambau Thomas, Khairun Nisa Mohd Sabirin Fong, Khairunnisha Abdul Malik, Macdublein Juna, Mira Irisha Iskandar, Mohd Azraei Hamden, Mohd Syafhiudin Jailani, Muhammad Ali Reza Muhammad Abdullah, Nur Asmariana Salaihi, Nur Hanisah Yusman, Nur Nasuha Nasir, Nurhasyimah Umar, Nurul Ayummi Zabidi, Po Kian Ee, Qiasatina Kasyfi Sofhi, Rephael Randong Kassim, Sara Chai Meeng Yen, Sofia Mohd Adib Abdullah @ Edyfa Sanyem, Stanley Jaret Hilton Henry, Vanessa Claudia Musa and Zarith Iman Mohammad Aris.</p>9092The Borneo PostTue, 19 Sep 2017 00:00:00 +0800SFC Inks MoUs On Research Tie-Ups Collaborations<br /> <p> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-685122" height="455" src="" width="660" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Lau (left) and Choo (right) exchange the signed documents with Wong, witnessed by Abang Johari (centre). Seen from second left are Len Talif, Yusoff and Awang Tengah. &mdash; Photo by Muhammad Rais Sanusi</strong><br /> <br /> KUCHING: Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) has signed memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with three institutions for various research collaborations.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The first MoU was inked with GP Pusaka Sdn Bhd to jointly promote conservation activities by means of exchanging technical information, carrying out joint cooperative studies and researches as well as technology transfer in the field of biodiversity conservation.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Representing SFC at the signing ceremony was chief executive officer Wong Ting Chung, while Dato Henry Lau signed on behalf of GP Pusaka Sdn Bhd.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The second MoU was sealed between SFC, GP Pusaka Sdn Bhd and Sarawak Timber Association (STA).<br /> It is for the research and development (R&amp;D) initiative on breeding of &lsquo;Batai&rsquo; &ndash; a fast-growing industrial plantation species. The project will be conducted jointly by SFC and GP Pusaka Sdn Bhd, and funded by STA.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> STA was represented by Philip Choo at the signing.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The last MoU SFC signed was with Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) to jointly strengthen, promote and develop academic and research cooperation on biodiversity conservation practices in Sarawak.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> It is also meant for the building of capacities necessary to assist the industry in forest management certification.<br /> Signing the MoU on behalf of Unimas was vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Mohd Kadim Suaidi.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The signing and exchange of the MoUs was witnessed by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Prior to the MoU signing ceremony, SFC chairman Datu Dr Yusoff Hanifah said the corporation had been paying attention to the chief minister&rsquo;s words to take a quantum leap forward to a new era of digital economy by leveraging on information and communication technology (ICT) and the power of the Internet.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;We cannot help but be inspired by you to think outside the box, seeking to harness the latest technologies to upgrade and improve the standard of forest management in Sarawak,&rdquo; he added.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Yusoff said SFC would also take note of Abang Johari&rsquo;s strong conviction in applying R&amp;D to not only add value to the state&rsquo;s timber products but also to find ways to grow trees better.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> It is made to understand that SFC has recently stepped up its R&amp;D efforts in looking for tree species which, if properly planted and looked after, could be harvested within a few short years.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Such move is believed to be able to help the industry become more sustainable without depleting the state&rsquo;s primary forests and improve the sustainability of Sarawak&rsquo;s forest resources.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Among those present were Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan and Assistant Minister of Urban Planning, Land Administration and Environment Datu Len Talif Salleh.</p>9093The Borneo PostTue, 19 Sep 2017 00:00:00 +0800State’s First Agro Park In Sarikei<br /> <p> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-685004" height="406" src="" width="660" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Abang Johari (fourth left) signs a plaque to mark the official opening of Sarikei Innovation Centre, flanked by (from left) Huang, Mohd Morshidi, Len Talif and Juma&rsquo;ani.</strong><br /> <br /> SARIKEI: The first Agro Park in the state will be built in Sarikei next year &ndash; after all processes such as dividing the land into blocks have been completed.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, in disclosing this yesterday, said 500 acres of land located near the town, which had all the basic utilities such as water supply and electricity supply, had been approved for the Agro Park.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He said Sarikei was chosen for the pilot project based on the fact that agriculture was its economic strength and was home to dynamic farmers.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;The success of the pilot project would pave way for expansion to other areas,&rdquo; he said when opening the Sarikei Innovation Centre (SIC) here, adding the next Agro Park would most likely be built in Samarahan which already had all the support facilities, especially Internet connectivity.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Saying that it was a new policy to lease land for agricultural purposes, the Chief Minister informed that the land would be divided into 50 blocks of 10 acres each which would be rented out to those genuinely interested in embarking not only on new technology to explore the potential of agriculture industry, but also those making use of the Internet to market their products.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He said this was to ensure that the land leased out by the government for agricultural purposes was not abused, pointing out from past experience that many successful applicants for agricultural land were not serious in developing them and, worst of all, sold the land to other parties.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Participants of the Agro Park needing financial assistance can apply for funds known as &lsquo;Venture Capital&rsquo; from the Ministry of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development, he disclosed.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Under the new policy, for the Agro Park the land is divided into blocks without any title issued, hence there is no room for abuse. Those who rent it either do the farming or have it taken back,&rdquo; he explained.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> This, he said, was also in line with the state government&rsquo;s decision to shift the managing of its economic development from the traditional to the digital way. He believed switching to digital economy was the way forward, particularly to make Sarawak the most successful state in Malaysia by 2030.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> Abang Johari explained that SIC was one of the main facilities to propel Sarikei towards becoming the Food Basket of Sarawak which, when combined with the Sadok Agropolitan being undertaken in Betong and Tanjung Manis Halal hub, would turn Sarawak into a regional food exporter.<br /> <br /> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-685008" height="349" src="" width="600" /></p> <p> <strong>Abang Johari (third left) receives a T-shirt presented by an entrepreneur during a visit to his booth.</strong><br /> <br /> <br /> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-685009" height="273" src="" width="600" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Abang Johari (fourth left) presents certificates of participation to a representative of the first batch of entrepreneurs who attended a workshop at SIC.</strong><br /> <br /> He hoped local entrepreneurs would make full use of the SIC to explore modern agriculture such as fertigation method, censor technology, open market and so on.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Responding to a request made by Repok assemblyman Dato Sri Huang Tiong Sii on the urgency to have a road to directly link Sarikei to Tanjung Manis, the Chief Minister said that he was aware of the need and would make known his definite decision soon.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Assistant Minister of Urban Planning, Land Administration and Environment Datu Len Talif Salleh, in his speech, thanked the state government for setting up the SIC.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He believed the local people especially those involved in business stood to benefit from the centre which was aimed to connect the local communities and to propel an entrepreneurial ecosystem.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Other than that, he said the centre would create spin-offs to the local economy which in turn would uplift the living standard of the people in Sarikei; create agricultural business opportunities; encourage youth involvement in entrepreneurship; assist the local communities into the age of digital economy and spur the setting of similar innovation centres in the surrounding districts.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Among those present were Abang Johari&rsquo;s wife Datin Patinggi Datuk Juma&rsquo;ani Tun Tuanku Bujang, State Secretary Datuk Amar Mohamad Morshidi Abdul Gani and wife.<br /> <br /> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-685010" height="318" src="" width="600" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Abang Johari (fourth left) receives a memento from Huang (third left) as (from left) Morshidi, Len, Juma&rsquo;ani and others look on.</strong></p>9067The Borneo PostMon, 18 Sep 2017 00:00:00 +0800Over 5,000 Attend State-Level Malaysia Day Do Despite Rain<br /> <p> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-684946" height="203" src="" width="600" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Taib (sixth left) cutting the Malaysia Day cake as Raghad (seventh left), Abang Johari (fifth left), Salahuddin (fourth left), Awang Tengah (third left), Wong (second left) and other VIPs look on.</strong><br /> <br /> <br /> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-684944" height="586" src="" width="450" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>The fireworks display lighting up the sky of Sibu.</strong><br /> <br /> SIBU: More than 5,000 people from various races, young and old, braved the heavy downpour on Saturday night to watch the state-level Malaysia Day celebration at Sibu Town Square Phase One.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The colourful and grand event was attended by the Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, his wife Toh Puan Sri Raghad Kurdi Taib, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and his wife Datin Patinggi Datuk Juma&rsquo;ani Tuanku Bujang.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Other dignitaries attending the event were Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, State Secretary Tan Sri Datuk Amar Mohamad Morshidi Abdul Ghani, Minister of International Trade and e-Commerce Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh and his wife Datin Sri Pauline Leong and former Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abang Muhammad Salahuddin.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The highlight of the evening&rsquo;s programme was the symbolic launching of the state-level Malaysia Day celebration.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Besides that, there were also the &lsquo;Malaysia Day Celebration&rsquo; cake-cutting ceremony graced by the Head of State and also the handing-over ceremony of the Jalur Gemilang from the representative of Kembara Merdeka Negaraku convoy to the Head of State which was then handed over to the representative of the Royal Malaysian Navy to be hoisted to the accompaniment of the national anthem Negaraku.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The people who came all the way from the rural and urban areas were entertained by both local and invited artistes who performed to their delight.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The special occasion was made merrier by the fireworks that lit up the sky of Sibu.<br /> <br /> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-684945" height="344" src="" width="600" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Taib (third left) together with Abang Johari (second left), Awang Tengah (left), Wong (second right) and Morshidi (right) react with joy after the symbolic launching ceremony of the state-level Malaysia Day celebration.</strong><br /> <br /> <br /> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-684943" height="300" src="" width="600" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>A group of Sibu prominent community leaders led by Temenggong Datuk Wan Hamid Edruce (fourth left) handing over a memento to Taib (second right) as Wong (partially hidden second left), Abang Johari (partially hidden fifth left) and Raghad (sitting) look on.</strong><br /> <br /> <br /> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-684941" height="401" src="" width="600" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>The brass band from the police.</strong><br /> <br /> <br /> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-684942" height="162" src="" width="600" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>A section of the crowd braving the rain to watch the performances.</strong></p>9068The Borneo PostMon, 18 Sep 2017 00:00:00 +0800