The Official Portal of the Sarawak Government RSS Feed 2018-08-16 02:39:44 2018-08-16 02:39:44District Office To Keep Eye On Contractors’ Performance<p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong><img src="" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Ladin (second left) checks the work progress with a contractor in a house rehabilitation at Kampung Siang Siang Laut while getting the feedback directly from the recipient.</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> LAWAS:&nbsp;The district office here is taking affirmative action to ensure that approved projects are undertaken with integrity by contractors in meeting set specification and time frame.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Newly-minted Lawas District Officer Ladin Atok said periodic checks will be undertaken by the relevant authorities to ensure that projects to benefit the people are carried out as planned without flaws or irregularities.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He said this after a field visit to two locations &ndash; Kampung Siang Siang Laut and Long Temarop- for a site inspection of a house rehabilitation and cement road projects under the district council.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Ladin, who took over as Lawas District officer recently, said he will seek cooperation from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency (MACC) to ensure the implementation of projects meet their objectives.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;We want all quarters to be satisfied and the implementers are transparent and will ensure projects are properly carried out,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He said Lawas District office has also invited MACC representative to be present to witness the casting of lots for certain development projects in line with transparency and fairness in project distribution among registered contractors.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Ladin also advised the public to be prudent and not naively believing in all speculation and information spread in the social media, saying it is better to verify factual information from the correct source.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The district officer said he is open to getting feedback from the public on problems and issues faced by the people in the district for appropriate action to be taken accordingly.</p>11000Sat, 11 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0800Uggah: S’wak Set To Be Major Force In Durian Industry<p> <img src="" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Uggah (centre) poses with the course participants and their trainers.</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> KUCHING: Sarawak is taking the first step to become a major force in durian production by training 10 officers of Department of Agriculture to become durian experts.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;We have no durian expert at the moment, this is our first step by training our officers from throughout Sarawak to learn from the experts,&rdquo; said Deputy Chief Minister and Minister of Agriculture Modernisation, Native Land and Regional Development Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah yesterday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Uggah said the trainers were specially flown in from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), namely, Associate Professor Dr Yahya Awang, Associate Professor Dr Siti Hajar Ahmad, Associate Professor Dr Khairulazmi Ahmad and Mohd Ghazali Mohd Satar.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Apart from the 10 officers, the ministry is also sending five specialists, 22 extension staff and seven teaching staff to attend the training, which will cover, among others, introduction of durian clone, durian biology, propagation and nursery management, land preparation and planting, fertilisation and watering, pruning, pest management and post harvesting handling.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;This is the first programme; how to groom them to become durian experts for our durian industry,&rdquo; Uggah said.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> After the five-day introduction course, the programme would be followed up with training of the trainers.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Uggah said these officers would be directly involved with Sarawak durian rehabilitation programme, using a budget of RM9 million.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;The rehabilitation programme is conducted together with Top Fruits Sdn Bhd of Johor that has 30 years&rsquo; experience in durian farming,&rdquo; he added.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Uggah said the rehabilitation pilot project would involve some 300,000 durian trees throughout Sarawak, focusing on Serian, Betong, Limbang and Baram.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;That (300,000 trees) is our rough estimate, and if we can increase the productivity and quality of the durian fruits, Sarawak will be a major force in the durian industry,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> When asked how long it would take for the plan to materialise, Uggah said it would depend very much on the progress of rehabilitation of the durian trees, which is about five years.</p>10991Fri, 10 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0800Full MSPO Certification By 2019<p> <img src="" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Taib (second left) cuts the SOP&rsquo;s 50th anniversary cake together with Ling (third left). Also joining in the occasion are (from left) Raghad, Abang Johari, Paul Wong and Wong Soon Koh.</strong><br /> <br /> KUCHING:&nbsp;The state government has taken a committed role to ensure that the palm oil industry in Sarawak gets full Malaysia Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification by Dec 2019.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said this is because in today&rsquo;s global economy, businesses and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are demanding a more sustainable production of agricultural products, including palm oil.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;We have issued a moratorium on clearing of our forest for large scale oil palm plantation except on native customary rights (NCR) lands to stop further destruction of our forest,&rdquo; said Abang Johari during the Sarawak Oil Palms (SOP) Berhad 50th anniversary dinner on Wednesday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He said the state government is also committed to ensure that the state&rsquo;s forest resources are sustainably managed.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Foremost, we have pledged to commit 80 per cent of our land mass as primary and secondary forests which include industrial forest for planting of trees for raw materials for the timber industry,&rdquo; he added.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He also informed that the state government has also decided to expand Sarawak&rsquo;s water catchment area, dubbed the &lsquo;Heart of Borneo&rsquo; (HoB), from 2.1 million hectares to 2.7 million hectares to ensure that the Bakun, Baleh, Murum and Batang Ai dams will be able to receive sufficient water.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;As for our Permanent Forest Estate (PFE) we are planning to increase it from 4.3 million hectares to six million hectares while the Totally Protected Area (TPA) from 788,000 hectares to one million hectares,&rdquo; he added.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> In addition, the state has also implemented the STLVS (Sarawak Timber Legality Verification System) and SFM (Sustainable Forest Management) which are laws and regulations on forests and timber trade for the state.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He revealed that the palm oil industry is the main contributor of revenue from the agriculture sector in the state and also for the development of rural economies as well as development of rural areas.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;The state&rsquo;s target of two million hectares for oil palm by 2020 is well under way and we have also pledged that no more new areas will be opened up for oil palm cultivation in the state except for NCR titled lands,&rdquo; he added.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He informed that last year, the palm oil industry provided employment to over 119,521 people (locals and foreign workers) with more than 39,213 smallholders actively involved in the industry which augurs well for the state.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He said the shortage of labour in the industry has to be tackled by innovative means rather than just increasing the number of workers.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Research and Development will play a significant part through the development of artificial intelligence, robotics and mechanisation. These and other uses of ICT will enable the industry to gain competitive edge and further enhances the development of the industry locally while adding value to the whole industry,&rdquo; he added.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Also speaking was Sarawak Oil Palms (SOP) Berhad group chief executive officer Paul Wong Hee Kwong, who said Sarawak currently has an oil palm planted area of more than 1.5 million hectares.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;SOP is proud and honoured to be the pioneer, catalyst and the centre of transfer of know-how and manpower building, for both plantation management and mill engineering at the early part of the development of oil palm industry in Sarawak,&rdquo; he added.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He said the group exports palm oil and palm products from Sarawak to more than 20 countries in the world.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;As a responsible palm oil producer, SOP has put great emphasis on sustainability and quality of its supply chain.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> By the end of this year, 100 per cent of the palm products produced by SOP group will be certified under Malaysia Sustainability Palm Oil (MSPO),&rdquo; he added.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> In addition, he said more than 70 per cent of SOP group operations have also been certified under International Sustainable Carbon Certification (ISCC).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Besides that, he said SOP has been in the forefront to collaborate with the Malaysia Palm Oil Board (MPOB) and foreign universities to research into greenhouse gas, impact of climate by oil palm with the aim to improve the management practices of its planted areas and has set aside more than 500 hectares as conservation areas.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Also present were Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud and his wife Toh Puan Datuk Patinggi Raghad Kurdi Taib, Minister of International Trade and E-Commerce Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh, SOP&rsquo;s group executive chairman Tan Sri Datuk Ling Chiong Ho and other dignitaries.</p>10992Fri, 10 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0800Rumble Strips, Warning Signs Installed At Accident-Prone Spot<p style="text-align: center;"> <img src="" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <strong>A worker puts up warning sign.</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> MIRI: The Public Works Department (JKR) has installed warning signs and rumble strips at an accident-prone area in Vista Perdana.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> A resident said there have been at least three fatalities along the stretch over the last five years.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;We hope motorists plying this particular stretch of road will be more alert and abide by the road regulations, as these facilities will be useless if drivers do no follow the rules,&rdquo; said a resident.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Precautionary measures should be taken by all motorists to ensure that there are no more road fatalities there, and some motorists must change their driving attitude to make our roads safer.&rdquo;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He said the busy road connects Permyjaya and Senadin to the city centre as well as Miri Airport.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;We hope this effort can remind all motorists to be extra careful when plying this road.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Road users should also slow down their vehicles and be considerate by slowing down and giving way to vehicles coming out to the main road from Vista Perdana or Desa Bahagia junctions,&rdquo; he added.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Last month, the Vista Perdana Residents Committee met with JKR and the authorities agreed to install the warning sign and rumble strips to get vehicles to slow down in the area.</p>10993Fri, 10 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +080023-Member Sarawak Delegation Arrives In Brisbane<p> <img src="" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Awang Tengah (centre) presents a souvenir to Chris Iron, the commissioner of Corporate Body &nbsp;and Community Management Brisbane.</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> KUCHING: The 23-member Sarawak delegation arrived in Brisbane, Australia, yesterday to seek input and acquire some experience from several government authorities dealing with strata titles development on properties and strata title managements, before coming up with draft proposed amendment on the State Strata Title Ordinance.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> When meeting with the city authorities in Brisbane, their leader Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan Awang Tengah said the first Strata Titles Ordinance in Sarawak was enacted in 1974, and thereafter the current Strata Titles Ordinance was enacted in 1995.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He said as the complexity of development and demand increase, the current law is now inadequate to cope with the changing trends and needs. &nbsp;Furthermore, strata management in Sarawak is not adequately covered. A review of the existing laws governing strata title properties development in Sarawak has to be carried out.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;The visit is aimed to study Australia&rsquo;s legislation and practices in the registration and issuance of titles, and the management of various types of strata development &ndash; multistorey, landed, and mixed-use schemes.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> It also wants to &nbsp;learn from Australia&rsquo;s approach in dealing with issues, disputes and tribunals in managing community living and management corporations, including that of &nbsp;public or affordable housing schemes; toget a better understanding of related issues such as phased development or construction; flexibility of allowing design change or building plan amendments in approved strata schemes, share units and share value allocation; acquisition of strata properties; termination of strata schemes, and others; and to benchmark our draft ordinances against best practices in other countries to ensure our proposals are adequate and practical,&rdquo; he said in a statement received here yesterday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Members of the delegation include Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Dr Sim Hui Kian, Assistant Minister of &nbsp;Urban Planning, Land Administration and Environment Datu Len Talif Salleh, Assistant Minister of Public Health and Housing Dr Annuar Rapa&rsquo;ee, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Urban Development and Natural Resources Dr Wan Lizozman Wan Omar, permanent secretary of Local Government and Housing Bakrie Zaini, director of Land and Survey Department Zaidi Mahdi, and Sarawak Housing Development Corporation chief executive officer Mohammad Asman Ahmad.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> They were given first-hand information and experience through briefings given by the city authorities they visited, and exchanging of ideas and experience with the relevant parties in handling strata laws and strata title development in Brisbane. Among those agencies which offered useful inputs were Brisbane&rsquo;s Department of Justice and Attorney-General, Brisbane City Council and Australian Resident Accommodation Managers Association.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The delegation has also made similar working visits to Singapore a few days ago and Hong Kong in March.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The inputs and experience gathered from the authorities in Hong Kong, Singapore and Brisbane would be carefully studied and if found viable, they would be incorporated into the draft by the relevant agencies and departments.</p>10994Fri, 10 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0800Event Hopes To Generate Over RM50 Mln In Transaction Deals<p> <img src="" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Sagah (centre) visits one of the booths displaying local fruits at the expo.</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> BINTULU: Over RM50 million in transaction deals are expected to be generated from the 9th Malaysia International Palm Oil and Agriculture Equipment Technology Conference and Borneo International Oil and Gas Energy Expo 2018 which is currently held at Bintulu Civic Centre till today (Aug 10).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Worldex Trade Media Sdn Bhd group director Datuk Jerel Soo said some 3,500 visitors from Sarawak and overseas like the United Kingdom, Indonesia, Singapore, China, Japan and Korea are expected to visit the international event.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Soo said the annual event is held to ensure palm oil industry aswell as oil and gas industry in Sarawak are regularly updated on the latest in technological advancements.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Assistant Minister of Native Land Development Datuk Roland Sagah officiated at the event, representing Deputy Chief Minister and Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;This conference provides an excellent platform to facilitate effective interaction for exchange of views on issues and challenges faced by the industry in particular the palm oil industry.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;I was informed that the 8th expo held here last year had drawn more than 5,000 visitors with 100 per cent booths fully sold.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;The exhibitions managed to conclude about RM50 million in business deals and transactions during the three-day event and this is certainly a milestone,&rdquo; said Uggah.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> A seminar and talks on the latest palm oil biomass technology and oil and gas industry were conducted during the event apart from a visit to Sarawak Oil Palms Berhad&rsquo;s palm oil refinery in Tanjung Kidurong.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The three-day event is supported and endorsed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development Sarawak, Department of Agriculture Sarawak, Persekutuan Persatuan-Persatuan Pekebun-Pekebun Sayur-Sayuran Malaysia, Sarawak Oil Palms Berhad, Petroleum Sarawak Berhad, Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy and Sarawak Convention Bureau.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Among the major industry players showcasing their latest products in palm oil and oil and gas industries are Muar Ban Lee, Awan Timur Kluang Sdn Bhd, Xylem Water Solutions Malaysia Sdn Bhd, Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority, Petroleum Sarawak Berhad, Palm King Marketing Sdn Bhd, Control Union Sdn Bhd and Setia Teguh Sdn Bhd.</p>10995Fri, 10 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +080012 RTPs Worth RM5 Mln Approved For Sebuyau<p> <img src="" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Julaihi (second left) hands over a water tank to Aseng.</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> SEBUYAU: A total of 12 Rural Transformation Projects (RTP) worth RM5 million have been approved for Sebuyau constituency.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The projects include the upgrading of roads and bridges, as well as the upgrading and construction of suraus and futsal courts.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Assistant Minister of Coastal Road Datuk Julaihi Narawi, who is Sebuyau assemblyman, visited the sites for all the projects yesterday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> With him were officers from Public Works Department (JKR), Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID), Samarahan Resident&rsquo;s Office, Simunjan District Office, Land and Survey Department, and Sebuyau Sub-District Office.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Today (yesterday) we are making a site visit, which is our routine visit with the implementing agencies to know the progress, what are the problems and what are the solutions to the problems. By making routine visit, we can discuss any problems on site,&rdquo; Julaihi told reporters after the visit.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He said the progress of the projects was &lsquo;so far so good&rsquo;.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He pointed out there were 29 RTPs for Sebuyau last year, with some completed and others at various stages of implementation.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Last year, we started quite late and that is the reason why some of the projects have not been completed,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Julaihi said the Sebuyau RTP Working Committee, which he heads, would ensure all projects are progressing well.<br /> During the visit, Julaihi also presented a house key to Aseng Lacau, whose house was built with minor rural project funds of RM10,000.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Aseng was also given cooking utensils, a cooking stove, water tank, and gas cylinder.</p>10996Fri, 10 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0800DVS Takes Preventive Measures To Stop Bird Flu Spread<p> <img src="" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>DVS staff gearing up to do their work.</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> KUCHING: Department of Veterinary Services&nbsp; (DVS) Sarawak is taking all the necessary preventive measures against the spread of bird flu from Sabah.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Trucks entering Sarawak will be disinfected at the Merapok entry point,&rdquo; DVS Sarawak director Dr Adrian Susin Ambud told The Borneo Post.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> This was in response to the confirmation of Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) in Sabah&nbsp;after a farm in the Tamparuli-Tuaran area was tested positive for the virus.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Earlier this week, State Assistant Minister of Agriculture Dr Abdul Rahman Ismail confirmed that DVS Sarawak has imposed a ban on the import of chicken products from Sabah since Aug 1.</p>10997Fri, 10 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0800Sarawak Still Free From Avian Flu Disease<p style="text-align: justify;"> KUCHING: There has not been any detected cases of avian flu in Sarawak, making it still free from the disease.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Agriculture Modernisation, Native Land and Regional Development Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas&nbsp; informed that the state has banned the import of chicken from Sabah effective August 1, 2018 to prevent the spread of avian flu outbreak detected in Tuaran, Sabah recently.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;We have banned the import of chicken from Sabah since August 1, this is due to the report of avian flu in Tuaran, Sabah this is to ensure it does not spread to Sarawak. At the moment, there is no reported case in Sarawak,&rdquo; he told The Borneo Post.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> On animal feed brought in from Sabah, Uggah said the transportation trucks will be sprayed with disinfectant to make sure they are safe to enter Sarawak.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He stressed that all necessary&nbsp;preventive measures&nbsp;are in place to make sure the disease will not spread to Sarawak.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Also present during the interview was Director Veterinary Services Sarawak Dr Adrian Susin Ambud and Director Agriculture Department Sarawak Dr Alvin Chia.</p>10998Fri, 10 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0800S’wak, UPM To Develop Indigenous Durians<p> <img src="" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Uggah takes a closer look at an indigenous durian on display while visiting UPM Bintulu campus, while looking on are (from left to right) Prof Aini, Prof Bujang, corporate figure Datuk Yap Yun Fook (partly hidden) and Prof Patricia Ting of UPM.</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> BINTULU: Sarawak government is seeking the help of scientists from University Putra Malaysia (UPM) &nbsp;to develop indigenous durians to become products that are more popular than Musang King, said&nbsp;Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He believed that indigenous durians of Sarawak have very high quality and can be marketed locally and internationally.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;I think we have a lot of durian species in Sarawak&nbsp;that we can develop. I hope in five years&rsquo; time we will have our very own Sarawak durians that can overcome the popularity of Musang King. This is the area we can work with UPM,&rdquo; he said&nbsp;during a working visit to UPM Bintulu Campus on Friday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He met UPM top guns led by the varsity vice chancellor Prof Datin Paduka Datuk Dr Aini Ideris and head of UPM Bintulu campus and Dean of the school of Graduate Studies Prof Dr Bujang Kim Huat.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> One of the models adopted by Sarawak government, he added, was to appoint an anchor farm with 30 years&rsquo; experience to develop the durian industry, not only to learn from their experiences but to ride on their markets and processing facilities that are already recognized by worldwide buyers.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Why we choose Top Fruits from Johor is because they have 30 years&rsquo; experience and their processing facilities met the requirements of international market in 11 countries, and we started to work out on rehabilitation of durians,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Uggah hoped that UPM and Sarawak government will work closely together to develop Sarawak&rsquo;s agriculture sector.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He was also very glad to note that UPM will be working with renowned Sabahan corporate figure Datuk Yap Yun Fook, who have more than 30 years&rsquo; experience in dairy farming and who has 500 acres of durian farm in Sabah.</p>10999Fri, 10 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0800CM Tells Software Developers to Keep Track of Rapid Use of Technology<div class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_754163" style="max-width: 100% !important; height: auto; width: 670px"> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-754163" height="440" src="" width="660" /></p> <p class="wp-caption-text" style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Abang Johari (third right) launches the 11th Malaysian Software Engineering Conference (MySEC) 2018 yesterday. Also seen are Kadim (second right), Unimas Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology dean Dr Johari Abdullah (left) and others. &mdash; Photos by Muhammad Rais Sanusi</strong></p> </div> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>KUCHING:</strong> Software developers have to be aware and keep track of the rapid use of technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) in Sarawak&rsquo;s various industries.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Furthermore, software must be current and tailored to meet the needs of the industries in the state to spur the Sarawak Digital Economy Strategy 2018-2022, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Ever since taking office as the chief minister, Abang Johari said among the first steps he took was to transform the state&rsquo;s economy towards digital economy.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;The reason is that we are living in a small population, but we have all the resources which we can connect to the (global) market,&rdquo; said Abang Johari at the launch of the 11th Malaysian Software Engineering Conference (MySEC) 2018 held at a leading hotel here yesterday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Among the anchor sectors of the Sarawak Digital Economy are: Agriculture, Manufacturing-Industry 4.0, Tourism, Smart City, Digital Health, e-Commerce and Digital Government.</p> <div class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_754164" style="max-width: 100% !important; height: auto; width: 670px"> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-754164" height="524" src="" width="660" /></p> <p class="wp-caption-text" style="text-align: justify;"> Abang Johari (right) shows a book co-authored by Dr Jaap Gordijn (third right) from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Also seen are Kadim (second right) and others.</p> </div> <p style="text-align: justify;"> With IoT, the state&rsquo;s agriculture sector, he said, can be managed and connected to the global market while the service and tourism sector can bring their promotional drive to another level.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;To promote tourism by using devices such as augmented reality, it will create anxiety or curiosity and attract tourists to come over and explore what Sarawak has to offer,&rdquo; he added.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Other agencies or departments that are now shifting towards the usage of technology he elaborated, is the Sarawak Forestry Department which is now using drones to monitor illegal logging activities as well as the Sarawak Land and Survey Department which has set up its Land and Survey Information System (Lasis) for the public to obtain information on a specific piece of land.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;I have also requested Sarawak Energy to conduct studies on the usage of hydrogen technology, making it appropriate (now) to develop a software to aid the process on how to separate the hydrogen and oxygen from the water molecule,&rdquo; added Abang Johari.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> On another note, he said the Sarawak government had set up the Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) to ensure the continuous development of the state&rsquo;s digital economy.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He also said the Sarawak government had allocated RM1 billion to upgrade infrastructure and internet speed, particularly in the rural areas of Sarawak, up to between 100Mbs and 150Mbs to support the marketing strategies of those in the rural areas.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;In this era of technology, our marketing strategy must be based on community marketing. That is the way we should market nowadays,&rdquo; said Abang Johari, citing social media platforms such as Facebook as a way to connect to billions of people around the world.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He added that conventional marketing strategies are now more or less irrelevant due to the IoT and the state&rsquo;s &lsquo;Big Data&rsquo; should be the basis for any future research and development.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The conference was jointly organised by the Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology, Unimas and the Malaysian Software Engineering Interest Group (MySEIG). It is held from Aug 7 to 9 (today) with the theme &lsquo;Transforming Society Through Sustainable Digital Economy&rsquo;.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Also speaking was Unimas vice-chancellor Datuk Dr Kadim Suaidi, who said as part of the Unimas Digital Economy initiative, the Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology, Unimas and The Value Engineers (TVE) from the Netherlands had jointly embarked on sustainable business models for any new technology under the Sarawak Digital Economy initiatives.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;From this collaboration, the TVE company will work with Unimas to address discrepancies between technical issues of software development and the necessity to address consumer demand and build sustainable business modes for software companies and government digital economy projects,&rdquo; he elaborated.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> In order to stay relevant to the needs of the industry, he disclosed that Unimas was actively collaborating with several industry partners such as Sarawak Information Systems (Sains) and Sacofa to ensure that the curriculum offered at the university will be progressively aligned with the needs of the industry.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> More than 100 technical papers on topics such as Software Process and Measurement, Software Approach, Application for Priority Sectors and Software Tools and Environment are being deliberated at the conference.</p>10985Thu, 09 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0800Lee Wants Rising Number of Youths Involved in Property Crime to Be Tackled Fast<div class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_754139" style="max-width: 100% !important; height: auto; width: 670px"> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-754139" height="258" src="" width="660" /></p> <p class="wp-caption-text" style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Lee with participants of the dialogue session yesterday.</strong></p> </div> <p style="text-align: justify;"> MIRI: There is a need to address the issue of property crime in the state, particularly those committed by youths, before the problem worsens.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Lee Kim Shin said statistics from the police shows more youths aged between 18 and 21 years have been caught engaging in property crime.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;The involvement of more youths in crime has begun to jeopardise and affect the well-being of the community, including in rural areas of Sarawak.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;The issue of property crime should be addressed from now on so as not to become a cancer in society. We need to nip this issue in the bud,&rdquo; he said during the opening of a dialogue session with the police and members of the public on social issues here yesterday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He believes there is a correlation between the increasing number of drug-related cases with the rise in such crimes, and pointed to a study by the Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation which found that 60 per cent of crimes in the country are committed by drug abusers.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He added that statistics from the police showed that 30 to 40 per cent of property crimes in Sarawak are associated with drug abuse.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;We must therefore continue to develop our human capital in Sarawak through strategic partnerships involving public, private or civil institutions with social development related interest, and also engage our communities so that they can build their capacity in terms of relevant knowledge and skills required for societal well-being.&rdquo;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Apart from that, Lee said there is also a need for an integrated action plan and intervention that involves the relevant parties to combat the issue before it threatens development and future human capital in the state.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;When society has a steady human capital, it is very easy to engage in addressing and resolving social issues such as drug and substance abuse, corruption, property crime, environmental conservation, teen pregnancy, domestic violence and others,&rdquo; he said.</p>10986Thu, 09 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0800Rabies Vaccination At SK St John, Kpg Sebayar, Samarahan<p style="text-align: justify;"> KUCHING: The Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) will be conducting a free mass vaccination programme at SK St John, Kampung Sebayar, Jalan Datuk Mohd Musa in Samarahan this Saturday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> A statement from the secretariat of the Sarawak State Disaster Management Committee yesterday said the programme will run from 9am to 2pm.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> DVS advised the public to not allow their pets, whether vaccinated or not, to mix with stray animals, and to observe their behaviour for potential changes, such as going from being tame to vicious, biting any moving objects, displaying hydrophobia and fear of light, salivating excessively and displaying aggression.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Animals showing these signs should be immediately reported to DVS on 082-612949 or 082-611607, said the statement.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Under Section 37(2) and 37(3) of the Veterinary Public Health Ordinance 1999, it is an offence for owners to allow their dogs to roam freely or to remove dogs in rabies-infected areas without written permission from the State Veterinary Authority.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Offenders risk a fine of not more than RM5,000, or a jail term not exceeding three months, or both, if convicted.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> According to the statement, the State Health Department recorded 45 new animal bite cases, with 26 recorded in Kuching, three in Samarahan, 10 in Serian, one in Sri Aman and five in Betong.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Of the 45 cases, 21 bites were by pet dogs, 18 by pet cats, four by stray dogs and two by stray cats.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Since April 1 last year, Sarawak has recorded 12,277 animal bite cases, while 4,387 people have received anti-rabies vaccination.</p>10988Thu, 09 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0800Chickens Sourced Locally, Safe For Consumption – Dr Rahman<p style="text-align: center;"> <img src="" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <strong>Dr Abdul Rahman Ismail</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> SIBU: Members of the public need not worry about consuming chickens and chicken products as they are sourced locally, says Assistant Minister of Agriculture Dr Abdul Rahman Ismail.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;In Lawas, for instance, since the Sarawak government enforced the ban on the import of chicken products from Sabah on Aug 1 following the bird flu epidemic in Tuaran, all chickens and chicken products there (Lawas) are sourced locally,&rdquo; he said when contacted via whatsapp yesterday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He said the ban would only be lifted once Sarawak is satisfied that the bird flu threat in Sabah is over.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The Bukit Kota assemblyman was asked on the concern posed by some members of the public on the consumption of chicken following the bird flu epidemic in Sabah.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Sarawak Veterinary Services Department has imposed a ban on the import of chicken products from Sabah since Aug 1 following the bird flu epidemic in Tuaran.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The department has cancelled all import permits for chicken products from Sabah.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Meanwhile, Sabah&rsquo;s Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry, through the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS), has advised the public not to panic as the matter is well under control.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> DVS has been conducting researches on poultry farms in Sabah since July 12, following viral messages circulating on social media that bird flu was spreading in the state.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Its Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry Junz Wong has ordered the DVS to conduct regular checks on chickens and eggs.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> A test conducted on July 31 revealed that a farm in the Tuaran-Tamparuli area came back positive for the virus and the ministry ordered several farms within the one-kilometre vicinity of the farm to be sealed off and cleansed.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> A chicken vendor here when met as his stall yesterday, revealed of usual (big) sales.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He said the happening in Sabah did not affect his sales.</p>10989Thu, 09 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0800Huge Potential For Herbal Industry In Sarawak<p> <img src="" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>Ramzah (centre) receives a memento from CGCM chairman Prof Tommy Yung-Chin Cheng as Abdul Rahman applauds.</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> KUCHING:&nbsp;Sarawak&rsquo;s biodiversity holds huge potential for the herbal industry to grow endogenously and increase economic activities both in the upstream and downstream and across the whole value chain.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> In stating this, Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change (Mestecc) deputy secretary-general Assoc Prof Dr Ramzah Dambul said that the industry is also able to contribute to higher share in the economic pie within the agriculture sector and the GDP of the country.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;The herbal and spices industry is indeed a long-established industry in the world. The future of this industry is very promising and is projected to generate new sources of wealth for the nation,&rdquo; he said at the opening of the Consortium for Globalisation of Chinese Medicine (CGCM) 2018 at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) yesterday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He added that Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has become an essential part of health protection and disease control for thousands of years, and the best thing is most ingredients used is natural.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The increasing awareness among people about organic plants and traditional medicines is a good starting point to further expand and improve the productivity and development of the herbal industry not just in Malaysia but in China and other Asian countries as well, he said.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Thus, our ministry realised the efforts of National Institutes of Biotechnology Malaysia (NIBM) that supports the Mestecc mission and vision through one of its institutes, Malaysian Institute of Pharmaceuticals and Nutraceuticals (IPharm).&rdquo;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The three-day event organised by IPharm and NIBM attracted over 250 participants, who are&nbsp;mostly from China.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Meanwhile, Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Research permanent secretary Datu Sudarsono Osman said the Sarawak government was proud to be chosen as the host for the consortium meeting.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> He said it not only marks the sharing of knowledge between researchers and scientists in Chinese medicine but it also celebrates the milestone for CGCM and Malaysia.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;It is a testament that Sarawak offers the right mix of strategic value propositions as a suitable place and become one-stop centre among research agencies, higher learning institutes and corporate agencies to share ideas, knowledge and experiences for benefit of humankind,&rdquo; he said in a text of speech read by his deputy Dr Abdul Rahman Deen.</p>10990Thu, 09 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0800Hill Top Garden Residents Call Out MCC, Developer To Solve Road Issue<ul> <li class="share-end"> &nbsp;</li> </ul> <p> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-753817" height="371" src="" width="660" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <strong>The damaged and dust-covered Jalan Hill Top Utama presents a sorry sight.</strong><br /> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &nbsp;<br /> MIRI: Residents of Hill Top Garden want their developer and Miri City Council (MCC) to come up with a permanent solution to the damaged and dusty condition of Jalan Hill Top Utama as the current situation has taken a toll on their health.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> A resident, wishing only to be identified as Sim, said even though the damaged road leading to the residential area was repaired last month, it has now &lsquo;reverted&rsquo; to its previous condition due to the dozens of heavy trucks passing by on working days heading to a nearby construction site.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;About four months ago in April, we made an official complaint to the developer and even had reporters come here to take photos and publish the news.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Though it took them (developer) sometime to agree to repair the road, they managed to do it last month. But to our disappointment, the resurfaced road did not last long and it is now worse because of the dust,&rdquo; he told The Borneo Post yesterday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Sim reiterated that the road &ndash; less than 100 metres long &ndash; can only withstand five tonnes of vehicle weight, meaning it is only for the use of small and medium-sized vehicles.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;The residents have noted that there is a specially-built road leading into the construction site for the trucks, but it seems the drivers are not using it.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Instead, these usually overloaded trucks use the road in our residential area because it is more convenient for them. The drivers are also prone to driving at speed and also talk on their mobile phones,&rdquo; he claimed.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Sim further claimed that he has witnessed workers digging up good sections of the road using mini excavators, but not patching or resurfacing it back.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &ldquo;Because of the dusty road condition, we can no longer open our doors and windows nor are we able to dry our clothes outside because if we do, everything will be affected by the dust,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> On behalf of the residents, he implored both MCC and the developer to rectify the situation before their health is further affected.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> When contacted over the matter yesterday, a representative from MCC&rsquo;s engineering section assured that the council will investigate the issue and take necessary action so that the situation will not persist.</p>10974Wed, 08 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0800Ulu Yong Ideal To Be Turned Into Agricultural Hub — Jamit<p> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-753832" height="495" src="" width="660" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <strong>Jamit (left) and his entourage listen to a briefing on the workings of the commercial deer farm.</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> &nbsp;<br /> KAPIT: Land around Jalan Ulu Yong and the Sungai Yong basin on the outskirts of Kapit are ideal to be developed into an agricultural hub, said Bukit Goram assemblyman Jefferson Jamit Unyat.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> During a visit to a deer farm here recently, Jamit said there is great potential to develop the area for commercial livestock breeding and the proposed Dabai Park.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> &ldquo;This area can be the agricultural basket for Kapit &ndash; fish, livestock breeding, fruit and padi cultivation. I propose the Tagang System along Sungai Tiasa to breed indigenous fish like ikan semah, ikan padi, ikan mengalang, because the river is ideal for the river livestock conservation scheme.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> &ldquo;In fact, some of the good quality indigenous fruits like dabai and durian come from the Yong area. I have visited the various locations and longhouse communities, who are farmers working on their land. They have the land, but they need assistance to open up land for commercial agriculture,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> Jamit said he proposed the Ministry of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development as well as Agriculture Department set up the proposed Dabai Park along Jalan Ulu Yong.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> &ldquo;Land here along Jalan Ulu Yong is suitable for commercial farming because of its gentle physical terrain. It&rsquo;s already proven this area is suitable for livestock farming. The success story of former Tuai Rumah Lulut, who owns the deer farm here, has proven it could be managed on a commercial scale.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> &ldquo;Then the low-lying flat land is suitable for wet padi cultivation; on the gentle slope to plant indigenous fruits like durian, dabai, mata kucing, rambutan, citrus fruit, etc. The road links to all longhouses, so farmers can market their farm produce at the Kapit market to complement their income,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> Jamit added once these projects are up and running, they could become eco-tourism destinations.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> &ldquo;We will involve several longhouses like Rumah Rolland Banggau along Sungai Tiasa as friendly homestay destination where adventurous tourists can enjoy the scenery, nature, and a spot of fishing, jungle trekking, etc. My intention is to uplift their standard of living,&rdquo; he added.</p>10975Wed, 08 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0800DCM Leads Delegation On Study Trip To S’pore<p> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-753885" height="241" src="" width="620" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <strong>Awang Tengah (sixth right) presents a memento to Singapore&rsquo;s Building and Construction Authority deputy CEO Chin Chi Leong, witnessed by members of the Sarawak delegation.</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> SINGAPORE:&nbsp;A Sarawak government delegation is currently in the city state to study legislations and practices in the registration and issuance of titles, as well as the management of various types of strata development.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> Headed by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, the group will also study Singapore&rsquo;s approach in dealing with issues, disputes and tribunals in managing community living and management corporations, including that of public or affordable housing schemes.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> The visit also aims to gain better understanding of related issues such as phased development or construction, flexibility of allowing design change or building plan amendments in approved strata schemes, share units and share value allocation, acquisition of strata properties, and termination of strata schemes.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> According to Awang Tengah, such visit is vital to benchmark the state&rsquo;s draft ordinances against best practices in other countries to ensure that Sarawak government proposals are adequate and practical.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> He pointed out that as the complexity of development and demand increases, the current law is now inadequate to cope with the changing trends and needs, while adding that strata management in Sarawak is not adequately covered.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> &ldquo;I hope the visits will enable the relevant officers in my delegation to consider and adopt the experience and regulations from the Singapore authorities in coming up with the proposed amendment on Strata Titles Ordinance for Sarawak,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> The delegation also met representatives from the Building and Construction Authority, Singapore Land Authority and Urban Redevelopment Authority where they were briefed on the various functions carried out by Singapore city authorities with regards to buildings constructed under strata titles for sale to the public.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> The 23-member delegation comprises Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Dr Sim Hui Kian, Assistant Minister of Urban Planning, Land Administration and Environment Datu Len Talif Salleh, Assistant Minister of Housing and Public Health Dr Annuar Rapaee, and permanent secretary to the Ministry of Urban Development and Natural Resources Dr Wan Lizozman Wan Omar.</p>10976Wed, 08 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0800Ministry To Implement Green Market Project<p> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-753816" height="138" src="" width="660" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <strong>Dr Cheong (seated fourth left) is seen with attendees after the meeting.</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> KAPIT: The Ministry of Local Government and Housing will embark on the Green Market project.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> Public Health Division head Dr Cheong Yaw Liang said it is expected to be fully implemented by next year.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> &ldquo;The main component and features of the Green Market concept comprise of composting, recycling, and rainwater harvesting system. Towards achieving such a goal, the state government has allocated some RM5.2 million, which will be allocated equally among all the 26 local authorities in the state to implement the Green Market concept,&rdquo; he said when chairing the Second State Public Health Meeting in Sibu recently.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> On the management of the Green Market, Dr Cheong said it would be run by the market committee of the respective local councils as the project should involve community engagement and participation.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> Attendees were also briefed on the success of the Kuching South City Council&rsquo;s Green Market initiatives.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> The meeting also discussed the development of simple teaching kits on food handling and hygiene, as well as the establishment of the Food Premises Code of Ethics System 2018, along with Local Key Result Areas and Standard Operating Procedures for public toilets.<br /> <br /> &nbsp;</p>10977Wed, 08 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0800Rep Proposes Long San As Sub-district<p> <img alt="" class="size-full wp-image-753806" height="444" src="" width="700" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <strong>Spanski (front row, fifth right) presents a memento to Dennis as a token of appreciation for officiating at the &lsquo;meet the youth&rsquo; gathering.</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> LONG LAMA, Baram: Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau hopes to see the elevation of Long San into a sub-district to further boost development in his constituency.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> Dennis said the elevation will complement development efforts in Telang Usan, including those in Long Lama which he regards as the capital of Telang Usan, as well as the sub-district of Long Bedian and other areas including 88 longhouses in the constituency.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> It will also help to ensure none of its constituents is left out of the mainstream of modernisation, he emphasised.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> &ldquo;We have proposed to the state government to turn Long San, Ulu Baram into another sub-district in Telang Usan besides Long Bedian that covers Apoh and Layun region covering 19 longhouses.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> &ldquo;I have brought this matter to the attention of the state government. This is one of the strategies for us to ensure that government services are brought closer to our communities who live far in the interior,&rdquo; said Dennis.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> &ldquo;As assemblyman, I want our areas not to be left far behind the stream of modernisation. It is my hope for my constituency to be in sync with things happening in big cities for the benefit of our people,&rdquo; he added.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> Dennis was officiating at the &lsquo;leaders meet the-youth&rsquo; event at Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) Long Lama office here recently.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> At the event, Dennis dismissed doubts about the progress of the Long Lama waterfront project, with some quarters doubting the government&rsquo;s commitment to its completion.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> &ldquo;I would like to inform that I had contacted Baram District Council and they affirmed that this project will continue this year as they have received allocation for this purpose,&rdquo; said Dennis.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> Pointing out that the project was now 50 percent completed, he said when fully completed the proposed waterfront will have facilities for recreational activities.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> &ldquo;I hope people in Long Lama and visitors alike will utilise the waterfront as it is best for healthy and recreational activities.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> &ldquo;I understand all of us want speedier development to take place but please be patient as I am assuring you that I spare no effort and I work hard together with all government departments and agencies here to ensure projects such as this will continue to be implemented in Telang Usan, in tandem with our Chief Minister&rsquo;s focus on rural development,&rdquo; he added.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> Dennis also expressed his hope for the construction of Long Lama bridge to be completed by end of this year.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> &ldquo;I hope that the construction of Long Lama bridge will be completed earlier than the set schedule, preferably before Christmas this year to provide easier access for constituents to go back to their longhouse for the celebration,&rdquo; added Dennis.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> The youth gathering, held for the first time in Long Lama and themed &lsquo;Suara Belia, Suara Bersama&rsquo; (Youth Voice, Our Voice), drew over 50 youths from Telang Usan constituency and its vicinity including trainee teachers from various local universities undergoing their practical training around Long Lama and students of Sekolah Teologia Pertama (STP), a Bible training centre in Long Lama.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> It provides a platform for participants to interact and strengthen their relationships apart from enriching their knowledge on current development in the constituency.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> &ldquo;Engagement programmes such as this&nbsp;should be organised more often as it can help to foster neighbourliness and enhance community spirit which should be uphold for many years to come,&rdquo; said Dennis.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> Matters aired for discussion during the gathering included issues relating to education, housing, agriculture and rural economy as well as youth involvement in development agenda for the state and country.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <br /> PBB Long Lama branch chairman Wan Anyie, PBB Telang Usan youth exco deputy chief Leonard Luhat Laing and the event organising chairman Spanski Steven were among those present.</p>10978Wed, 08 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0800