Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Happy New Year 2009 To All Supporters And Regular Visitors
Of Aki Momogun
Thank You Very Much Indeed

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Kurup continues to lead PBRS

Tan Sri Joseph Kurup, whose parliamentary seat of Pensiangan was declared vacant by Kota Kinabalu Election Court on Sep 8, 2008, was returned unopposed as Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) president at the party's election Tuesday.

The Federal Rural and Regional Development Deputy Minister has been at the helm of the party since its formation in 1994.

Also returned unopposed is incumbent Deputy President Datuk Ellron Angin while elected Vice-Presidents are former minister Datuk Kadoh Agundong, Baharuddin Haji Nayan and Cyril Yansalang.

The 264 delegates from the party 17 divisions also voted the supreme council members - Francis Yantim, Paiman Lalimbu, Dr Florentius Epin Banik, Justin Majiun, Weils Magium, Fatimah Ibrahim, Johari Bohontong, Alfian Tun Koroh, Taulani Haji Ismail, Jaiping Minsu and Jailin Lian.

Thanking the delegates for their faith in his leadership, Kurup told them:" The next three years will not be plain sailing but full of challenges. However, I will not be walking alone."

All eyes will be on the Federal Court who will decide on Jan 6, 2009 whether or not to grant Kurup's appeal against the Election Court's decision to declare his win unopposed in the March 8, 2008 general elections.

MP Gobalakrishnan is Jugan Jugah, an Iban

The Sarawak's Borneo Post On Line today carried a story that I like to share with my regular readers. This story is about an MP from Peninsula Malaysia who is said to be a local as he had been adopted by an Iban family.
KUCHING: The opposition’s claim that Padang Serai MP N Gobalakrishnan is a local by virtue of an Iban traditional adoption ceremony he had under-gone has been described as “a mockery of Iban customs”.
“It’s rather unusual for a grown up man to be legally adopted by an Iban family. I would love to see the adoption papers,” Land Development Minister Dato Sri Dr James Masing said when contacted yesterday.
“I hope this MP isn’t trying to pull a fast one on my community,” Masing, who is also Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president and Baleh assemblyman, said, adding that for any adoption to be legally recognised, the adoption must be registered at any of the state’s district offices.
“If the PKR man is pulling a fast one on the community, then his act is a mockery of Iban customs,” Masing said
Masing, who is also an anthropologist by training, said the supposed Iban traditional adoption ceremony that Gobalakrishnan had undergone could have been a welcoming gesture held by the headman’s family for any visitor to their longhouse.
Masing said it was highly likely that Gobalakrishnan, being a stranger to the Iban community, did not quite understand what had actually transpired and may have mistaken the fatherly act of his host who addressed him as ‘anak’ (son), a common way of addressing younger strangers.
“A real adoption process is more than just words of the mouth (during the ceremony),” he said when asked to comment on a Malaysiakini’s report which quoted a Sarawak Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) leader as saying that Gobalakrishnan, an MP from Kedah, was a local of this state as he was adopted by an Iban headman in Kapit.
According to that report, PKR Hulu Rajang division chief Frankie Manjah Bedindang told Malaysiakini that Gobalakrishnan went through a ritual – including a miring ceremony – where he was supposedly adopted by the longhouse chief.
Manjah told Malaysiakini that Gobalakrishnan was subsequently given the name, Jugan Jugah, at the June 16 ceremony which was conducted in Tuai Rumah Jugah longhouse in Ulu Sut, witnessed by the residents of the 30-door community.
Gobalakrishnan, who is also PKR supreme council member, was barred from entering Sarawak on Christmas Eve by the immigration authorities at the Kuching International Airport.
The PKR parliamentarian who had been to Sarawak numerous times claimed that he was prevented from entering the State last Wednesday by immigration officials carrying out a directive from the State Secretariat.
It was also reported in Malaysiakini that Gobalakrishnan had vowed to go to court to challenge the entry ban.
Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department Datuk Daud Abdul Rahman, in response to the ban, was quoted on Saturday as saying that Sarawak government generally allowed people to enter the State even if they were personalities like Pakatan Rakyat de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Democratic Action Party advisor Lim Kit Siang.
“We practise an open policy. Generally we allow people to enter Sarawak. We do not stop them from entering Sarawak. We let them in because we are not afraid of the opposition. We have even allowed Anwar and Lim Kit Siang to enter,” Daud was reported as saying.

Monday, 29 December 2008

Anwar heads Sabah PKR

Press Statement By
DATUK DR JEFFREY G. KITINGAN
Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Vice President
Dec 29th, 2008

SUPPORT FOR ANWAR AS SABAH PKR CHIEF (Dr Jeffrey's first public reaction on Anwar's appointment as Sabah PKR chief)


Since Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim ia also our (PKR) Ketua Umum, it is a privilege for Sabah to have him as our (Sabah) Pengerusi Perhubungan Negeri (State PKR Liaison Chairman).

I would have objected if it was just any other leader.

This means we, in Sabah, can discuss and have direct access to the head of the National Opposition who is also the Prime Minister-in-waiting!

I view this as something positive. In other words Sabah's and Sarawak's status have been upgraded! Isn't this what we have been looking for?

Of course in the long term, we will assist him to ease his burden by proposing an alternative appointment for the Borneo States.

Thank you.

DATUK DR JEFFREY G. KITINGAN
at 019-8505005

Issued through KG Publicist at 016-8460018, free media & publicity consultancy
- Truth is our signature -

My Say:

It will be interesting to hear what the other PKR leaders in Sabah have to say on Anwar's appointment as the party chief for Sabah and Sarawak. With this latest development, Haji Ansari Abdullah had been ousted as Sabah PKR chief.


Kurup lost a PBRS founder leader

Former Bingkor Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) divisional deputy chief Alizan Majid yesterday announced his resignation from the Party. PBRS is headed by Tan Sri Joseph Kurup, whose seat in Parliament for Pensiangan was declared vacant by Kota Kinabalu Election Court on Sept 8, 2008.

“I have lost confidence in the party leadership as its struggle has no true direction,” he said in a statement to the Press Sunday.

“The struggle of the party leadership for the people is not professional and it is not ready to change and accept changes,” alleged Alizan.

“The party leadership is always afraid of its own shadow and is not ready to hear ideas, opinions and advices for the good of the party and members,” he added.

Alizan also expressed disappointment over what he described as the lack of cooperation during elections, especially on the selection of candidates who were not accepted by the people.

He also claimed that there was no application made by the leadership for additional seats during the last general election.

“I urge the state and national Barisan Nasional leaderships to make a smart decision to select and pick the best candidate for the Pensiangan parliamentary by-election, one who can truly contribute to the BN victory."

“I am proposing to the BN leadership to take back former MP Datuk Bernard S Maraat as the BN candidate if BN wants to retain the Pensiangan seat,” he said. PBRS dropped Maraat from defending Pensiangan in the March 8, general election to pave way for Kurup to contest.

Maraat had since quit PBRS to join Parti Bersatu Sabah headed by Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan and is now the party's chief ror the Liawan Division.

Alizan said even though he had quit from PBRS, he still supported the BN struggle under the leadership of Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Haji Aman and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. “I will consider to join to any of the BN component parties or re-join PBRS if there are changes to its leadership,” he added.

Sunday, 28 December 2008

PBRS Congress/Election

Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) or United Sabah People's Party will hold its congress at the Perkasa Hotel, Keningau beginning Monday (Dec 29, 2008) with the Youth and Women movements meeting. On Tuesday the party president Tan Sri Joseph Kurup will be opening the main congress.

Election for the party's supreme council members will also be held Tuesday but Kurup is expected to be returned unopposed.

The congress was scheduled to be held in August but had to be postponed as Kurup was facing an election petition and that the party had expected that a by-election would have to be held for Pensiangan.

The Kota Kinabalu Election Court had on Sept 8, 2008 declared null and void Kurup's victory unopposed as Pensiangan member of Parliament in the March 8, 2008 general election. Kurup had appeal against the decision which will be heard by the Federal Court on Jan 7, 2009.

PBRS is a minor political party based in Sabah, East Malaysia. Beside Kurup, the party has only one Elected Representative Datuk Ellron Alfred Angin, the Assemblyman for Sook.

It was formed by former leaders and members of the Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) on 11 March 1994. On 10 June 1994, it was officially accepted as one of the component parties in the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition.

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Sarawak lawyer's murderer to hang

KUCHING: The man who assassinated lawyer Fabian Lim Ann Hoaw in 2005 was yesterday sentenced to death by hanging.
High Court judge Datuk Clement Allan Skinner, in finding the accused Ling Kiang Chai guilty as charged, said Ling, in his defence, had failed to cast doubt on the prosecution’s case.
Ling, the sole defence witness, was convicted under Section 302 of the Penal Code.
Ling, who has a previous murder conviction in another case that occurred in Sibu in 1992, was defended by assigned counsel Sapuan Ahmad while Senior Federal Counsel in Sarawak, DPP Fazillah Begum Abdul Ghani, prosecuted.
The prosecution called 35 witnesses to testify against the accused.
Skinner said he did not accept Ling’s ‘defence’ that the hitman was a person known as Ah Bee and that Ling was just the rider of the motorcycle used in the murder.
Skinner said Ling was involved in the murder even though the other accused was still at large as both had a common intention to murder Lim at 6.15pm on Feb 18, 2005 in front of a food centre in Jalan Rubber – roughly about 200 metres from Lim’s legal office here.
Even though he may not be the hitman, Ling still had that common intention with the person still at large to commit murder.
Lim succumbed to gunshot wounds on the neck. He was shot at point-blank while reversing his car just after he had a meal with his wife Lennie Chin.
The court also found that Ling received a package containing RM64,000 from a person in Taman Malihah after the hit. He then paid another man and his creditor with some of that money.
Police investigators revealed that the hitman used a semi-automatic pistol with bullets of the 0.45mm type commonly found in other Asean countries like the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia.
Investigators, too, did not rule out revenge and works-related litigation cases that Lim had handled as possible motives of the murder.
Ling was arrested at a house in Ulu Sungai Merah in Sibu at 6am on March 2, 2005 following the arrests of several other persons in Sibu and here.
During the tragic incident Chin, 53, was slightly injured on the right arm due to shattered glass splinters.
Lim was 56 when he was fatally shot. He left behind Chin and their three children.
Lim, a litigation lawyer and co-partner of Lim and Lim Advocates, was laid to rest at the Nirvana Memorial Park in Bau on Feb 22 2005.
On Nov 20 last year, the Federal Court upheld a High Court decision in finding Ling guilty of raping and killing a 14-year-old girl Heu Li Poh in 1992. He committed the Sibu rape and murder together with three other men.
In upholding the conviction, the Federal Court reversed a 2003 Court of Appeal decision to discharge and acquit Ling. This story from HERE

Friday, 26 December 2008

Rizalman refuses to accept defeat

Former Tenom Member of Parliament Datuk Rizalman Abdullah is not accepting defeat in the Tenom Umno divisional election last Saturday held at the Chung Hwa Primary School's hall in Tenom.

He polled 133 and lost the division's chief post, which he had held for 17 years to Kemabong Assemblyman Datuk Rubin Balang who garnered 189 votes.

Rizalman alleged that he lost due to money politics and outside intervention to the poll and had lodged reports with the Anti-Corruption Agency.

He also claimed that about 100 delegates, who were his supporters, were given money and was asked to spend the weekend at a resort in Tuaran, near Kota Kinabalu

Tough Years Ahead

Press Statement by
DATUK DR JEFFREY G. KITINGAN
PKR Vice President
PKR State Steering Committee Chairman, cum
Chairman, Borneo Heritage Foundation (BHF)


KOTA KINABALU: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR)'s Vice President Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, said tough years are awaiting Sabahans, and if their leaders failed to understand and respond to issues in time, as always, their next generations risk losing all opportunities meant for them.
"The current government is not serious in resolving perennial problems like the presence of illegal immigrants and monopoly of power. Obviously the government had failed, and it does not care to resolve these issues. They have the power to act but they just ignore our views and our rights.
"Because of this, now we have many explosive issues in this country that will be very difficult to handle in the future," he said in a statement issued here today.
Dr Jeffrey further said the fact is that Sabahans are unsure who is foreigner because foreigners could come and leave as they like, they are in possession of Malaysian identity card, can vote and many Federal agencies are already regarding them as either melayu or bumiputera.
"I agree completely with Tan Sri Simon Sipaun who raised that only a miracle could solve the problems of overflowing illegal immigrants and also poverty in Sabah, the richest in natural resources but somehow the poorest state of the country.
"We are really in a mess. I wonder what our ruling leaders are doing. Are they as blind as the Federal politicians?
"As New Year approaches, I call upon our state leaders to ponder for a moment, reflect and search their conscience as what is going to happen to this state if we continue in this position…" he said.


DATUK DR JEFFREY G. KITINGAN
Mobile: 019-8505005

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Merry Christmas & Best Wishes For The New Year 2009

Monday, 22 December 2008

Rubin new Tenom Umno chief

Former Assistant Minister Datuk Rubin Balang won the Tenom Umno divisional chief post after garnering 189 votes, defeating incumbent former Tenom Member of Parliament Datuk Rizalman Abdullah who polled 133 votes.

The result was announced about 9pm last night after both leaders requested for recount of votes. All in all the votes were counted 10 times.

During the series of recount, there were times when Rubin, who is Kemabong Assemblyman, lost to Rizalman by one vote and Rizalman lost to Rubin by 2 votes. The conference and election was attended by 325 delegates.
This election was the second when the first one in October, where Rizalman was declared winning the post uncontested, was declared void.

Suhaili Guraman was elected deputy chief.

Meanwhile, the division nominated Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak as the party's president and International Trade and Industry Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as deputy president.

For the three vice president seats, it nominated Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar and former Melaka Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Thamby Chik.

Saturday, 20 December 2008

All eyes on Tenom Umno election today

The Tenom Umno Division is now holding its delegates conference and later in the day election for the divisional chief.

Incumbent chief Datuk Rizalman Abdullah is being challenged by Kemabong Assemblyman Datuk Rubin Balang. The is the second time around that the meeting and election is being held, the first one being declared null and void by the party headquarters.

In the first meeting, Rizalman had declared himself of winning the post unopposed, and action challenged by Rubin. Rubin made a representation to the party's leadership and after an `investigation', the last meeting and election was annulled.

The election result is expected to be know late evening.

Meanwhile, during the Wanita meeting yesterday, incumbent chief Datin Rahmajan Sulaiman Khan retained her post after polling 241 votes. Her contender Hasnah Rithaudeen obtained 134 votes.

Wanita Umno Tenom also nominated Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz and Tourism Minister Datuk Azalina Othman to contest the movement national chief and vice-chief, respectively.

Sabahan Blogger on RTM1's Blog Programme

A little known blogger from Sabah will be on RTM1's Blog Programme scheduled 8.30pm Sunday.

Friday, 19 December 2008

Jawan not the first Iban High Commissioner

Almost all the newspapers in Sabah and Sarawak today carried a story about career diplomat Kennedy Jawan's appointment as the new Malaysian High Commissioner to South Africa. He started work on Wednesday in Pretoria.
The story by Bernama stated that Jawan created history as the first Iban in the country to be appointed High Commissioner, to head a foreign mission.
I had reservation of the claim of being the first as I remembered that there were Ibans before who had been Malaysia's High Commissioner in foreign countries. My curiosity was confirmed on consultation with my friends in Kuching.
Datuk Amar Dunstan Endawie was the first Iban to be High Commissioner (New Zealand and not Australia as earlier stated) and the second was Datuk Amar Daniel Tajem (New Zealand).
Anyway, congratulation to Jawan on his promotion. The Ibans should be proud of him. Sabah, particularly the Native by the way, as of today has no one to be proud of like Jawan.
Below is the full story carried by the local newspapers today.

KUCHING, (Dec 18) -- Kennedy Jawan's growing years at a sleepy hollow in Sarawak were hardly an indication that the Sibu-born would one day be globe-trotting as a career diplomat.

The 47-year-old Sibu-born whose roots are in Sungai Assan, a village across Batang Rajang, is the newly-appointed Malaysian High Commissioner to South Africa.

He creates history with the appointment as it makes him the country's first Iban to be appointed head of a foreign mission.

Jawan, who assumed his duties in Pretoria on Wednesday, said it would be a challenging task, especially since currently, there were not many diplomats from Sarawak and Sabah working in the foreign service.

"My roots are in Sungai Assan, a kampung across the Batang Rajang, and even when I was attending university (in the United States), it never crossed my mind that one day, I would be promoting bilateral ties between Malaysia and South Africa," he told Bernama in an interview here recently.

Jawan, who was here to pay a courtesy call on Yang Dipertua Negeri Sarawak Tun Abang Muhammad Salahuddin Abang Barieng, said his priority was to obtain updates on Sarawak.

This, he said, would enable Sarawak to be promoted to potential investors in South Africa, as well as five other African nations - Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique and Madagascar.

Having been posted to Tokyo, Yangon and Washington in various capacities, he was serving as the foreign ministry's under-secretary for development in Putrajaya prior to his current appointment.

"Of course, I started as a junior officer and while assigned to Japan, we (Malaysian embassy) took part in the process of initiating the overseas development association loan from Japan for the construction of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

"It is something that we remember," recalled Jawan.Another interesting experience for the diplomat was during his tenure as the first secretary, based in Myanmar between December 1995 and July 1999.

It was when the ministry was also involved in constructive engagement for the military junta-controlled country to be admitted to the Asean regional grouping, despite tremendous opposition.

While serving as the Malaysian embassy's counsellor in Washington between October 2002 and August 2005, he handled visiting journalists covering the official trips of Malaysian leaders as he was dealing with information.

"I had the opportunity to go to the Oval Office. It was very exciting because not everyone gets to go there," he said, adding that on that particular occasion, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi met with US President George W.

Bush at the latter's formal workspace which was used to confer with heads of state, diplomats, his staff and other dignitaries.Malaysia was viewed as a modern and progressive Islamic country, said Jawan, of the general feedback received during his stay in Washington.

Since joining the foreign service 20 years ago, it had been an enriching experience for the father of three as his children had also adapted well, from their exposure to different cultures.

"There are many opportunities (in the foreign service). We tend to want to be close to home and less adventurous but there should not be any inhibition for Sarawakians to carve a successful career as full-fledged diplomats," he said, adding that he would always find time to return to his hometown, Sibu.

For Jawan, it is equally challenging to measure up to the state's first career diplomat, former Malaysian ambassador to Venezuela Datuk John Tenewi Nuek, a Bidayuh from Bau.

He said Nuek did a splendid job, adding that his fellow Sarawakian would serve as a benchmark for his passion for the job.

Jawan said South Africa, as a major economic power, could enhance bilateral ties, especially in trade relations.In the last 15 years, Malaysia had established full diplomatic ties with South Africa.

Before 1992, there was not much diplomatic relations due to South Africa's then apartheid policy.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Wanita 18 for Shahrizat, 7 for Rafidah in Sabah

Eighteen of the 25 Wanita Umno divisions in Sabah had nominated the movement's vice chief Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil for the top post.
These include four divisions which had a change of mind after initially supporting Wanita chief Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz and then aligning themselves to Shahrizat because they do not agree with the June transition of power.
Sabah Wanita Umno chief Senator Datuk Armani Mahiruddin said four divisions were Keningau, Kimanis, Tuaran and Semporna. These divisions had initially declared their full supports to Rafidah
.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Ex-Minister convicted


The Kota Kinabalu High Court today convicted Sabah Ex-Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Conrad Mojuntin and nephew David Mojuntin of the two criminal charges which the Magistrate's Court on March 31, this year gave them a discharged and acquittal.

Judicial Commissioner Datuk Abdul Rahman Sebli in allowing the appeal by public prosecutor against the acquittal of both the Mojuntins, held that the magistrate had seriously misdirected himself when he ruled that the prosecution had failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt.

“I, therefore, set aside his (magistrate) order of acquittal and substitute it with an order of conviction on both charges against the first respondent and on the joint charge against the first and second respondents, “ he said.

Abdul Rahman, however, deferred sentencing to Jan 2, 2009.

Conrad, 60, was charged with criminally intimidating businessman Doughty Disimon, 30, outside the SJD Café and Sports at 3.30am on Oct 23, 2005 behind the Public Bank, Donggongon Penampang.

The offence under Section 506 of the Penal Code carries a jail term of up to two years or fine or both on conviction.

The ex-minister was also jointly charged with David, 44, for voluntarily causing hurt to Chee Hee Fatt, 45, at 4am on Oct 23, 2005, also at the same place.

The offence under Section 323 of the Penal Code read with Section 34 of the same Code provides a jail term of up to one year of both.




The prosecution had appealed to the High Court against the Mojuntins' acquittal on March 31, 2008.

In mitigation, Zahir Hussein Ahmad Shah, submitted that the fact of the case clearly showed that the offences were not meditated and prayed that the court to only impose fine on both respondents on ground that imprisonment would not reflect the circumstances of the case.

Zahir added that both respondents had no previous conviction and prayed the court justice of mercy in passing sentence.

Earlier, in the morning session, Senior Federal Counsel Salim Soib Hamid submitted, among others, that he had received the respondents’ written submission which cited several decided case in the Court of Appeal, that did not disturb the decision of lower courts.

However, he said there were exemption when a mistake of finding of facts took place as had happened in the present case.

“This Court can alter the finding of facts decision made by the learned magistrate,” Salim said, adding that the defence submission by the respondent was very fragile.

Salim prayed for the court to dismiss the decision made by the Magistrate’s Court, saying that there was a major mistake in the magistrate’s judgement. He urged the court to substitute it with a suitable judgement.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

SAPP roadmap campaign

Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) led by former Chief Minister Datuk Yong Teck Lee has been acknowledged as a non-racial political party as evidenced by the growing number of non-Muslim bumiputras joining its political struggle to fight for the rights of the Sabah people.
During its roadmap campaign, Sapp organised a simple welcoming ceremony for new members at its Tenom stop today.
The campaign which started a few months ago in Sandakan visited the east coast and northern region of Sabah to brief the grassroot members and supporters on the current political issues.
The campaign held at a hotel in Tenom saw a turnout of 350 members and supporters. Speakers include Yong, Deputy president Datuk Liew Teck Chan, vice president Datuk Frankie Chong, Youth Chief Edward Dagul, organising secretary Kassim Sulaiman and former deputy president Datuk Philip Yong.
Yong thanked the members for remaining steadfast with the party, their strong support and belief in its struggle.

Sabah natives speaks other languages at home

Sabah's ethnic languages are facing extinction due to the dwindling number of speakers, said Assistant Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Bolkiah Ismail.
He cited the Bongi tribe in Pulau Banggi, off Kudat as the most in danger of extinction.
He said that the survival of a language depend on its number of speakers and not the ethnic population.
"In this globalisation era, language extinction and the conquest of a dominant language is a global phenomenon."
To ensure the survival of an ethnic language, we are left with no choice other than to ensure its continued usage in family and society environment," he said at the launching of the "Ethnik" magazine here.
He said that in Sabah, the two largest ethnic groups of Kadazandusun and Bajau were faced with declining number of speakers, currently numbering 300,000 and 200,000 respectively.
He said the dwindling number of native language speakers could also threaten one of Sabah's unique attractions, namely its rich cultural heritage with 32 ethnic groups and more than 100 dialects.
Sabah Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) director Zubaidi Abas said ethnic languages played an important role especially in projecting the identity of the speakers.He said that it was for this reason that the DBP took the initiative to publish the Ethnik magazine three times a year to provide space for writers to write about their dialects.
"Although ethnic dialects are still being used in the state, there are signs that their survival needs serious attention from all," he said.
One of the factors contributing to the dwindling number of native speakers was the implementation of the national language policy, he said.However, Zubaidi said, the people should not think of the national language as a threat to the native languages.
"The native languages should be defended as they enriched the country's cultural heritage and contributed to the effort to develop the national language.
"While we strive to modernise the national language, we are not sidelining the native languages," he said.-- BERNAMA

Monday, 15 December 2008

SAPP to contest Pensiangan if...

Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) President Datuk Yong Teck Lee said the party will contest if a by-election is held for the Pensiangan parliamentary seat.
He said local residents here who are either party members or supporters would get the chance to be the candidate.
Yong was responding to a question from a supporter during a SAPP seminar in Keningau., Sabah, Friday. About 600 members together with their leaders participated in the one-day course.
Yong said he was pleased that SAPP still had strong support in rural areas.
In Sook division, he said they have five party branches with about 1,000 members and in Nabawan, there are three branches with 320 members near Nabawan township, Sapulut and Pensiangan.
On former SAPP Deputy President Datuk Raymond Tan who intends to form a new political party, SAPP Vice President Datuk Philip Yong said Tan is more likely to be a supporter than a party leader.
In the seminar, several supporters proposed that Yong be nominated as the candidate for Pensiangan as many believed he is not politically selfish and has shown sincerity in his struggle to serve the Sabahans' interests.
On Sept 8, the High Court here declared null and void the Pensiangan parliamentary election result in which PBRS President Tan Sri Joseph Kurup won the seat unopposed on nomination day on Feb 24 for the 12th General Election in March.
On Sept. 11, Kurup applied for a stay of execution at the Federal Court in Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur, following the Kota Kinabalu Election Court decision. The decision on Kurup's appeal would be heard on Jan. 7, next year. More HERE

Harris: Umno should revert to how it started


Former Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Harris Mohd Salleh (1976-1985) statement as published HERE on Dec 14, 2008.


Umno must revert to its original 1946 Constitution and allow an open contest by any member without having to obtain nomination quotas for positions in the party's Supreme Council, said former Chief Minister Datuk Harris Salleh.
"Umno must go back to the era of Tunku Abdul Rahman when there was complete openness in the party as well as the Government. Most important of all, the present practice of awarding contracts or licences through direct negotiations or based on favouritism must be removed and totally eradicated," he said.
Harris said Umno must reinvent and restructure itself in order to overcome corruption, which is among the main challenges faced by the party today.
He suggested that elections to all levels of positions in the Umno hierarchy be open to all contenders and not be subject to nominations by divisions to fulfil quota requirements.
"The President and Deputy President are to be elected directly by all the three million registered members," he said.
Harris said the Government should also raise the monthly allowances of state assemblymen to RM24,000 with a guaranteed bonus of RM500,000 for every term completed and similarly RM36,000 with bonus of RM1 million for Members of Parliament.
He further suggested that the Government establish a special fund from which payments or contributions of RM10 per year are made to all political parties based on their audited registered membership.
It means that Umno with three million members would receive about RM30 million a year that should be used for general administrative costs and party machinery.
Corruption can be countered and eliminated by giving across-the-board salary increments of between 30 per cent and 50 per cent to all Government servants with a minimum salary of RM1,500 for an office boy.
Introducing open tenders for all projects, licenses and other forms of undertakings as well as improving delivery system, he said.
For the restructuring exercise of Umno, Harris said for it to materialise Umno need to have only three wings namely, the main or umbrella Umno under which all men and women members fall, Pemuda Umno (Youth) to change its name to Putera Umno and Puteri Umno to be retained while Wanita Umno is to be dissolved.
"This way is cleaner and will reduce the costs of maintaining and running the party. By putting men and women in the umbrella body, there will be a brighter opportunities to succeed to the top three tiers of Umno hierarchy as well as membership in the supreme council.
Harris hoped the new Umno leadership would seriously look at and consider implementing the above proposals as soon as possible.
"Malaysians expect and demand that the culture of money politics must not only be changed by completely eradicated.
It is only through this change will be a brighter future be created that every Malaysian can look forward to with great pride," he said.

Friday, 12 December 2008

DAP YB Jimmy Wong: I will resigns if.....

Sabah 7.5% Sales Tax – I will step down if CM can prove I am wrong says Jimmy Wong the State Assemblyman for Sri Tanjong in a statement today.

As I have said I will step down as Sri Tanjung Assemblyman if your honourable Chief Minister Datuk Sri Musa Aman can prove that the smallholders are not being taxed the Sabah 7.5% Sales Tax.

I had already highlighted the ‘error’ many times including at the State Legislative Assembly and even shown proves to the Chief Minister, Ministers and Assemblymen during the recent assembly.

It is the state government duty to correct what is wrong, I have come out with proves and many had also highlighted the matter in the news, but nothing is being done.

Therefore I put up this challenge and I will step down if CM can prove that I am wrong, and I hope CM too will do the same if he is wrong.

This is very important as it means the survival of the small and medium size planters and the whole oil palm industry. Even big companies in West Malaysia have already made statements that they are heading towards troubled waters. Planters in Sabah are even worst off with high fertilizer cost and the most taxes and the State Government cannot keep ignoring this and should act now before it is too late.

With the 7.5% Sabah sales tax still being erronously charged on planters and the government is not admitting the mistake I see another black history in the making of the agriculture industry. The first was cocoa where planters were left on their own by the government and one-by-one died and the cocoa industry was history for Sabah. I do not want to see the same thing happen to the oil palm industry and I will do my part to help.
On the price issue, I call the State Government to act immediately to help the oil palm sectors in the state that are now feeling the pressure and hard pressed due to the falling price of the commodity.

Without any concrete action from the government the situation will worsen and Sabah as the largest oil palm producers will become history.

I had many times urged the state government to review the 7.5% Sabah Sales tax imposed on the industry and had shown prove that the tax has been passed to the smallholders no matter how small their plantation are.

If the situation is allowed to go on, it not only burden the planters especially smallholders but also make the state unattractive to investors.

I hope this issue will receive the government attention and drastic action as I had showed prove to the Chief Minister at the recent State Legislative Assembly that the planters including small and medium size oil palm planters are the one paying the 7.5% Sales Tax, though in the first assembly CM had told me that the government never taxed the small holders and only the big companies and I had proven to him that he got the wrong information.

With the Sabah Sales Tax matter coming to light and more people understanding the real situation, I hoped the state government would direct millers not to impose the 7.5% sales tax to planters and the tax be reviewed due to the drastic fall of the CPO (Crude Palm Oil) price.

Apart from that, the government should come out with a statement and explanation on what steps is being done, already done and will be done in connection with the fallen price of oil palm to help the industry.

The people in the oil palm sector and me would like to know whether the special committee to tackle the issue had been set up. If already set up, what had been done to address the situation?

I voice out on behalf of the oil palm industry and it should not be taken lightly as the price had gone down by about 70 percent compared to three months ago and cause loses not only to small holders but also big companies, millers, producers and fertilizer companies.

In fact, I am surprised to hear that a big listed company had to cut 20 percent of its employee’s salary following losses caused by the fallen price of oil palm. That was a few days ago, now many companies are either cutting cost by slashing employee’s salary or retrenchment. If no action is taken, I am sure the government plan to develop the Palm Oil Industry Cluster (POIC) will not bear fruit.

Massive Unemployment
The global economic crisis is real, every seconds count and immediate action must be taken to address and counter the drastic fall in CPO prices. Massive unemployment will happen in Sabah if the State government failed to listen and act positively and immediately.

In Singapore and other develop countries retrenchment in other sectors of their industry has already started as condition gets tough. This is because there is no remedy in the sector they are in.

Our oil palm industry could be helped, however without aid, our oil palm industry too will head the same direction, starting from cutting cost, slashing salaries then retrenchment, resulting in many unemployment.

This could be remedied, but steps must be taken such as:-
-reviewing policies
-reviewing CPO taxes and cess (Federal and State government)
-reduction of fertilizer high price
-review the plantation workers’ levy
-review of the RM40 per tonne discount on CPO price for east Malaysia

The state government has the voice and platform and should request for a review on the CPO taxes and cess such as discount on MPOB oil cess and subsidy for fertilizers.

To set a good leadership example the state government should take the lead by reviewing its 7.5% Sabah sales tax which is the highest in the country.

We cannot afford to wait and see for the impact to happen, our oil palm industry could be help, don’t wait until there are massive retrenchment of workers, acting at that time would be too late as the damage had been done and the government will have to fork out more to help those affected by the economic crisis.

Without the help from the Sabah State Government the oil palm industry that has been paying numerous taxes and cess to Federal and state government will collapse and I for one do not want to see them die-standing without being heard and getting help from Federal and State government so that they could survive the global economic crisis.

Dason Gaban joins SAPP


KOTA MARUDU (Sabah): Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) today welcome the former Yang Tandek Assemblyman Dason Suran Gaban who was among 50 new members who submitted their membership forms to SAPP President Datuk Seri Yong Teck Lee.

Gaban said he strongly believes the party is a responsible and committed to the struggle for the people of Sabah as declared in its 8-point declarations. Gaban (right shaking hands with Yong) also believes that Sapp practices non-racialism and is dedicated to protect the rights of all Sabahans.

The simple membership forms handing ceremony was held at the end of the SAPP Road Map programmes held in a hotel in Kota Marudu.

The programme is part of a statewide campaign which aims to inform the members of the party’s roadmap exercise and the current political situation.

The speakers for the programme were Datuk Seri Yong Teck Lee, Deputy President YB Datuk Eric Majimbun, Vice President YB Datuk Frankie Chong, Youth Chief Edward Dagul.

Also present were SAPP Deputy President YB Datuk Liew Teck Chan, vice president Don Chin, supreme councillors Agnes Liew and Benny Quek, SAPP CLC Tandek Chairman Tan Chun Shan, SAPP CLC Tempasuk and Usukan Chairman Haji Madri Akong. Press statement from
HERE

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Federal Court to hear Kurup's appeal Jan 7


The Federal Court will sit in Puterajaya on Jan 7, 2009 to hear Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) president Tan Sri Joseph Kurup's appeal against a Kota Kinabalu Election Court decision on Sept 8, 2008 in declaring null and void his election as a Member of Parliament for Pensiangan in the March 8, 2008 general elections.

Kurup, who was appointed Rural and Regional Development Deputy Minister after the elections, filed the appeal on Sept 11.

Danny Anthony Andipai of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) filed the petition on April 9, 2008. His candidacy for the Pensiangan parliamentary seat was rejected by Returning Officer Bubudan OT Majalu on nomination day Feb 24, 2008.

After rejecting Andipai’s papers, Bubudan declared Kurup of having won Pensiangan uncontested. Andipai sought for a court declaration that Kurup’s win was null and void.

He claimed that Bubudan had planned to make available only on counter for delivery of nomination papers by candidates contesting in Pensiangan and the state seats of Nabawan and Sook.

Andipai claimed that the plan was to prevent the timely delivery of nomination papers of other candidates to enable Kurup to be returned unopposed in the March 8, 2008 general elections.

Andipai was represented by lawyers Datuk Chau Chin Tang and Haji Ansari Abdullah while Kurup’s lawyers were Alex Deccena, Hajah Mariati Robert, Wilson Lai Wai Shing. Senior Federal Counsel Suzana Atan and Chandra Devi had appeared for Bubudan.
A by-election will be held if Kurup failed in his appeal.

PKR Dec 14's Miri surprise

Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Vice President Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said there will be a `pleasant surprise' at the party gathering in Miri, Sarawak on Dec 14 (Sunday).

Jeffrey declined to reveal what the surprise but said at the gathering, to be attended by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, some 5,000 new members will officially submit their applications to join the opposition party.

However, a source in Kuching told Aki Momogun that the talks now were that certain BN elected representatives are expected to join PKR on that day.

Jeffrey the supports from the people of Sarawak to PKR augurs well for the party's recent declaration to takeover the Sarawak State Government in the State elections which they expected to be held next year.

"In the next few months, I will be busy going in and out of Sarawak to help in the build-up of the party's support there. The feeling in the Land of the Hornbills is upbeat with lot of optimism in the air," Jeffrey said in a statement to the Press in Kota Kinabalu.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Pajudin: Sabah PKR leaders a confused lots

Opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Youth exco member Pajudin Haji Nordin claimed that Sabah PKR leaders are a confused lots and had yet to comprehend the actual struggle of the party.

In this respect, he said the party's Sabah leaders should refrain from making propaganda or statements that confused the people, to the extent of ridiculing senior members, purportedly in their bid to promote individual interest rather than the party as a whole.

"Sabah PKR leaders themselves are confused and had therefore made unofficial news and confusing statements that are against the party's constitution," he claimed in a statement to the Press in Kota Kinabalu today.

Pajudin said the situation was further aggravated during the recent PKR annual congress in Selangor when the leaders did not seem to understand their obligation as party leaders, thereby prompting de factor leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to direct every PKR leaders at State and divisional levels to live up to their obligations toward strengthening the party.

Pajudin also reminded PKR supporters in Sabah to comprehend the basic foundation of the party's struggle and to work to promoted the image of the party rather than threatening to leave the party when their demands could not be met.

On the status of Sabah senior lawyer Haji Ansari Abdullah as the State liaison chief, Pajudin ssaid there was no need to create an issue on replacement that could further confuse the party's supporters and the people of Sabah.

"PKR is also prepared to face the Pensiangan parliamentary by-election, if any, and therefore there should be less lobbying on the prospects of being nominated as candidate," he said.

Lim Guan Eng in Sabah on Saturday

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng will be the guest of honour at "An evening with Lim Guan Eng - The Penang Chief Minister" at Grand Ballroom 2 of the Pacific Sutera Hotel, Sutera Harbour, Kota Kinabalu on Saturday.

DAP Kota Kinabalu MP Dr Hiew King Cheu, in a statement today, said guests for this function are by invitation and dinner by coupon.

Lim will be accompanied by Selangor Exco and Seputeh MP Teresa Kok, Rasah MP and Assemblyman for Negeri Sembilan Anthony Loke Siew Fook. The function, which is being organised to meet the request of Kota Kinabalu folks wanting to meet Lim, will start at 7.30pm. Sabah's DAP sole Assemblyman Jimmy Wong will also be attending.

Dr Hiew said guests would also have the chance to hold dialogue with the Penang Chief Minister.

"He had worked through rough water, even from to prison and to what he is now. There is so much to learn from him," he said. Lime will proceed to Kuching, Sarawak to attend similar function on Sunday.

PKR leaders leaving for SAPP?

Opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) is concerned over the possibility of its leaders in Tenom, Sabah ditching the party to join the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP).

Vice-President Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan is now appealing them to stay pun, saying that the party members that both PKR and the SAPP - which has pulled out of the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition - have a similar mission and vision.

Rumours of disunity among State PKR leaders are said to be behind the leaders and members in Tenom wanting to leave. It was reported that SAPP President Datuk Yong Teck Lee is due to officiate at a ceremony to welcome the PKR members at a hotel in Tenom or Keningau this weekend.

Jeffrey said the "splinters" must think of the foundation of their struggle for the people over the long term. He said party leaders and members are aware that the State Liaison Committee would be restructured soon.

Lawyer Ansari Abdullah had relinquished his State PKR chief position and the party headquarters had yet to name a replacement.

There is speculation that Ansari's move is due to Jeffrey's supporters wanting him (Dr Jeffrey) to contest in a possible parliamentary by-poll following the Election Court's nullification of PBRS' Tan Sri Joseph Kurup's canididacy.

Ansari is believed to favour Nabawan/Pensiangan PKR chief Anthony Andipai for the candidacy if a by-poll is held.

However, it is also believed that the PKR leaders in Tenom are in favour of SAPP because it is a Sabah-based party and because PKR does not have an office in the district.

According to Dr Jeffrey, the soon-to-be appointed State PKR Chairman is being scrutinised on his suitability and that should everything else fail, the second choice would be the national PKR adviser.

Dr Jeffrey said cooperation between the two entities must be forged and strengthened to achieve the Pakatan Rakyat mission of change in Sabah. He urged the PKR leaders not to be hasty in deciding to leave the party.

"The party still needs the commitment of the leaders, irrespective of levels, to attain the objective of the people's struggles in Sabah as enshrined in the Tambunan Declaration," he said.

He said patience and loyalty in a struggle are among the tests that the leaders must go through in order to accomplish their mission which is to uphold justice and defend the rights of the people.

Jeffrey said the political scenario in the country has changed from the situation in the 1960s and 1970s where the focus was more towards the State's internal affairs.

"That struggle did not last long because it was too narrow where all the problems raised by the rakyat never reached national level to be debated," he said.

"I will be calling Tenom PKR divisional chief Jimmy Jawatah to get his explanation before settling the problem," he said. This story was published HERE

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Tenom Umno elections: Datuk hires thugs to beat another Datuk?

Umno Tenom divisional chief Datuk Rizalman Abdullah has lodged a police report alleging that one of his political enemies had hired someone to beat him up.

According to him, he was having a drink with friends at a hotel in Kota Kinabalu when he saw an acquaintance from Libaran, Sandakan, entering the premise at 2.30pm on Sunday (Dec 7, 2008).

He said just as he was leaving the hotel, the man from Libaran came over and told him that a certain "Datuk" had allegedly requested him to look for thugs to beat him up. Rizalman said he asked whether he was willing to make a police report, to which his friend readily agreed.

He then brought him to the police station in Karamunsing to make the report.

"I made the police report so that police can carry out an investigation and take action," he said.

His friend, in his statement to the police, said a Datuk stopped him in front of a hotel at Jalan Gaya at 8.45pm on Dec 6.

He claimed that the Datuk offered him RM5,000 if he agreed to beat up Rizalman. He further claimed that the Datuk gave him an "advance payment" of RM300.

However, he did not carry out the instruction by the Datuk but instead looked for Rizalman to tell him of the alleged plan.He said he lodged the report to put on record that should Rizalman be beaten up by people he do not want to be blamed.

Meanwhile, Rizalman said he also lodged a report with the Anti Corruption Agency (ACA) on Dec 5 that a party leader had allegedly prevented more than 100 delegates from attending the Tenom Umno delegates meeting scheduled for Dec 6 by bringing them to Kota Kinabalu and Tuaran, instead.

He claimed he has proof that the delegates were coerced and sweet-talked to abandon the party meeting.

Tenom Umno had yet to convene its annual delegates meeting due to some glitches. On the eve of Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Rizalman had announced that there would be no contest for the posts of division chief, deputy chief and vice chief.

However, contrary to Rizalman's claim, division leaders said they had received nominations to contest. The meeting will now be held on Dec 20, 2008. This story was published HERE on Dec 9, 2008.

Friday, 5 December 2008

Remembering Kasim Cha Tong


The story below is from New Straits Times (Dec 5, 2008) which I am reproducing here in remembrance of Kasim Cha Tong (pix). I was fortunate to have known this great man while I was in London.

He used to come to the NST London office/house at 31 Chapel Side, Moscow Road, W2 4LL where I was working and staying. Sometimes Nadeswaran (Citizen Nades) who was then reading law and a Malaysian doctor working in London, Dr Ramesan, would come and we had great times spending the night at King's Head Bar.

Kasim, Nades, Dr Ramesan and I had also travelled to places in the country side and to a place where Kasim used to stay when he was reading law in the 1970s. When I returned to Kota Kinabalu, Kasim was still in London and we used to exchange emails.

Having know a man Kasim was, I had never dreamt of such a way he was to leave his family and friends. Though he is now gone forever, the times we were together in London and in Kuala Lumpur will never be erased from my memory.

My condolence to his family.




IT was a hot Monday night in Golok, south Thailand, on Nov 3. Kasim Cha Tong Ratnawongse, a Malaysian of Thai origin, was in his favourite restaurant on the outskirts of the cowboy town having a drink with Khaw, the owner, and a couple of friends.
It was his third visit that day to the popular home-styled eatery he had helped to build, a place famous for its signature boiled chicken and wild, exotic food.
Not long after they finished their drinks and the restaurant had closed, Kasim noticed two men seated at the gazebo table near his car.
Asked why they weren't leaving, one answered that his motorbike had broken down. Kasim, good Samaritan that he was, kindly offered them a ride home.
They rose to leave, but as he bent to open his car door, one of them shot him in the back with a sawn-off shotgun and the pair fled.
A passer-by took him to hospital, but Kasim, 57, died at midnight.When news broke across the border, his family, friends and business associates were shocked.He wasn't known to have any enemies.
It hadn't been a botched robbery or accident. Kasim had been gunned down in cold blood.A policeman by training, he joined the Anti-Corruption Agency in the 1970s and then left to study law in England, specialising in copyright ownership.
When he returned to Malaysia in the 1980s, he was hired by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) to head a small, tight team that would become famous as music piracy combatants.
The job that Kasim, aided by Ram Singh Gill, set out to do over the next 10 years was fraught with danger because music piracy was rampant, accounting for more than 80 per cent of Malaysia's recording business.
Pirates became increasingly worried because here was a man who didn't come toting a gun.He was hitting them with the law, and he hit hard, going on anti-piracy raids with the police and a handful of recording company executives.
When that wasn't possible, he turned to the recording artistes and used the Anton Pilar Order to have the artistes accompany him on raids to fight for the musical intellectual property that was rightfully theirs.
His efforts bore fruit and when he left IFPI, the situation had been reversed -- 80 per cent legitimate and 20 for the pirates.
There was another side to this anti-piracy hero, however, that very few knew about.
"Kasim was the president of the Selangor Buddhist Association from 1994 to 1999 and was responsible for unifying the Buddhists here," said current president Eh Pon Awang Din.
"Before him, the temple in Pudu, KL, could not qualify for the vassa, which requires five resident monks to spend three months in the temple, after which they qualify for the kathina ceremony, accepting the saffron robe."
"We did not have enough monks and Kasim brought them in from Kelantan, Kedah and Thailand," Eh said, adding that Kasim also played a huge role as adviser to Buddhist youths.
In 1999, Kasim left for London where he lived for a few years and returned to manage his family properties in Golok.
Early this year, he began travelling to raise funds to build a temple in Chiang Rai, near Chiang Mai, Thailand.Now that his role in that project has come to an abrupt end, it's left to his family and friends to continue with the work.His funeral in Golok on Friday, Nov 7, was grand.
It was attended by townsfolk, friends from KL, dignitaries and the mayor of Golok.It was presided over by 24 monks, ending with a cremation that was, in a word, explosive.As Kasim's body was moved into the fire, we heard blasts.
Firecrackers, we thought, but as we turned towards the sound, we saw a man nearby, staring us down, while shooting into the air.When he had emptied the magazine, he holstered his hand gun and walked away, leaving the monks to retrieve the bullet casings.A fitting farewell.
A gun salute to a hero.
Sleep well, Son of Siam. Rest in peace.A memorial ceremony for Kasim Cha Tong Ratnawongse will be held at the Thai Buddhist Chetawan Temple, 24 Jalan Pantai, off Jalan Gasing, Petaling Jaya, at 10.30am tomorrow.
He leaves wife Irene Hooi and three children, Vicharn, Viraphol and Vichittra.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Queen Elizabeth Hospital



Kota Kinabalu deserves an advanced general hospital, says Sabah Progressive Party president, Datuk Seri Yong Teck Lee in Kota Kinabalu today. He described the city of Kota Kinabalu has today become a city without a general hospital.
"This is grossly unjust to the people of Kota Kinabalu and a shame on our government. Therefore, the government should promptly build the proposed new twin tower blocks, demolish the old tower block and rebuild a new block and give the people an advanced, user friendly general hospital befitting the half a million people residing in City of Kota Kinabalu and surrounding areas," said Yong in a statement.

Yong added that the dismal state of the QEH complex is another latest glaring case of negligence and lack of forward planning by the federal government over the basic services that the government is duty bound to provide to the people.

Gone are the days when hospital patients and visitors only had to worry about broken lifts. Today, the entire hospital has reached "the advanced stage of a terminal disease" according to the Sabah State Health Director.

People recall that each time a new health minister has been appointed, a high profile visit to QEH is organized, usually timed together with a local MCA political event. Yet, our general hospital has been left to deteriorate to such an extent that lives are now at risk and State health officials are left in a state of panic over what to do next.

The Minister of Health should stop dilly dallying over the old tower block at the QEH hospital complex. Since "all options had been studied in detail" by the Ministry of Health, the Public Works Department and private consultants, there is no excuse for the government in not being able to make a decision promptly.

As claimed by the professionals engaged to evaluate the existing tower block, the tower block "is already in a high degree of premature deterioration and in severe structural stress", then the demolition of the existing block and rebuilding of new block should start without any further delay, concurrently with the construction of the proposed twin tower blocks.

SAPP is relieved to learn that the proposed Kinarut hospital is not meant to replace the general hospital (QEH) in Kota Kinabalu. Kinarut is too far away from the main population centre of Kota Kinabalu city.
It is best to improve the infrastructure and the services at the present QEH complex because, at the moment, the whole complex is very unfriendly to users.Other than the shortage of hospital beds and other medical facilities, car parking facilities are almost non-existent.

It is a tough task getting into the hospital and out. If you are already sick, the journey to the hospital ward could make your condition worse. Waiting rooms are lacking, canteens and toilets are unwelcoming, to say the least.

"Although we know that the hospital authorities and management, doctors and staff are dedicated to their work, their level of service is very much constrained by limited resources, manpower, equipment, beds and supporting services. The men and women working at our hospitals deserve better working conditions and facilities in order to provide quality health care to the people," said Yong.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Malaysia still paying Sultan of Sulu


The Malaysian Government is still paying RM5,300 cession money to the Sultan of Sulu's heirs based on the North Borneo Court 1939 McKaskie Judgment, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim Parliament told last week.


This was the minister's answer to a question from Kota Kinabalu Member of Parliament Dr Hiew King Cheu (pix).


The sole DAP MP in Sabah wanted to know whether the Sulu Sultanate's claim on Sabah is valid and why Malaysia is still paying the cession money to the heirs.


Rais said the payment was merely assumed as a civil judgement and that is has no effect whatsoever because Sabah and its people had made a collective will to be part of the Federation of Malaysia through the Cobbold Commission.


The payment is not a basis to claim Sabah and that any claims bu the Sultan Of Sulu or any other quarters on Sabah will not be entertained.


"Sabah is part of Malaysia and that its sovereignty and independence is honoured by all," Rais said.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

By-election in Pensiangan?

Signs of a by-election in the card.

After the Kota Kinabalu Election Court declared Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) president Tan Sri Joseph Kurup's win uncontested in the Pensiangan parliamentary constituency during the March 8, 2008 general election null and void on Sept , he had stay put in Keningau, visiting regularly the constituency.

Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) vice-president Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan is also visiting Pensiangan so are other leaders of the opposition party.

Former Pensiangan MP Datuk Bernard Maraat had also offered himself as as a candidate should there be a by-election.

To add `fuel to the fire', Rural and Regional Development Minister Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib had made official visit, meeting with the Pensiangan constituents. He is now in Sabah and is to tour Pensiangan again tomorrow.

Kurup his Muhammad's deputy being the Rural and Regional Development Deputy Minister.

Information Minister Ahmad Shabery was also in Pensiangan yesterday after he visit the new Radio Station in Keningau. The station will begin operation January 1, 2009 broadcasting in Murut, Dusun and Bahasa Malaysia.

These are all elements preparing for a by-election. Kurup had appealed against the court decision and is yet to be heard. Until the Federal Court hear the appeal and deliver a decision, more Ministers and Opposition leaders are, for sure, be heading to Pensiangan.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Justice Chin: They don't like me


I reproduced here a Daily Express' story Nov 29th, 2008..
By Jo Ann Mool

KOTA KINABALU, Friday (Nov 28, 2008): High Court Judge Datuk Ian H C Chin, 61, who is retiring on Dec 1 with full pension, said retiring early was already in his mind since last year as he no longer enjoyed working as a judge.

“Suffice for me to say that all too often I found myself in circumstances where I had to make a stand which may be regard as a defiance of a directive or instruction from my superior which was very stressful for me,” he said in a statement Friday.

Chin said being assigned to hear an election petition which resulted in such furor it added to his unhappiness to continue working as a judge and that made him fixed the date for his early retirement.

Instead of speaking to the Press, Chin personally distributed copies of his statement to court reporters at 10.30am as he was being ushered to his private car by High Court Deputy Registrar Zaini Fishir (pix above).

“I have just said good-bye to the staff, officers of the court and my colleague as I will be retiring on Dec 1, 2008 and I feel that a Press statement is called for regarding my early retirement which can also be properly be described as a resignation,” he said.

“They (superior) caused me to search for alternative employment and I found something overseas which I was really interested but unfortunately that employment on short-term contract calls for interview and taking up that position before August 2008 meant forgoing a full pension since then I would have not served 15 years as a judge,” he said.

Chin also said that at that time the law had not been amended yet to regard service as a Judicial Commissioner to be service of a Judge.

He further said that he was of the view that he was giving up too much for the overseas job and so forgo that opportunity.

“I planned and was approved two months leave from September to November 2008 for the purpose of looking for available alternative if I should retire after Aug 2008, that is, after I have acquired the right to retire and a full pension,” he said.

“Then I was assigned to the election case which resulted in such furor that it added to my unhappiness to continue working as a judge. That made me fixed the date for my early retirement. Thus I reapplied and was approved the additional days leave for the purpose of my early retirement on Dec 1, 2008,” he added.

Chin said he dispatched his letter of resignation to the Yang Dipertuan Agong (on July 16, 2008) before he went on leave (on Aug 21, 2008).

Meanwhile, Chin said he was entitled to a full pension as he had served a full 15 years as Judge, starting off as a Judicial Commissioner on March 1, 1992 and was elevated to a High Court Judge in August 1993.


- ends

Friday, 28 November 2008

Maktab Perguruan Sandakan


The photograph above was taken toward the end of 1975, the last year for the first batch of trainee teachers of Maktab Perguruan Sandakan, Sandakan. There were only three classes then, two for primary schools trainee teachers and a class for future teachers of secondary schools.


I am one of those in this photograph ( standing - second from left). It 34 years now and so far I had only met a few of those in the photograph. Latest I had met in Tanjung Aru was Foo Siang Yong, who had retired early this year.


Since we were the pioneer of the college, which had now been closed down, there were endless happy and sad memories share between us. I, for one, would like to meet up with all of the first batch for old time sake.


I am making an appeal here, for those of you ex-Maktab Perguruan Sandakan 1974-1975 trainees, please dropped me a line on any of my email. I promise to promptly reply to arrange for a reunion.

Maraat still bitter...

Datuk Bernard Maraat is still bitter for being dropped by Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) from defending the Pensiangan parliamentary seat for Barisan Nasional (BN) in the March 8, 2008 general election.

Maraat was then PBRS secretary-general was not nominated by the party president Tan Sri Joseph Kurup to defend the seat, instead Kurup nominted himself while his Sook state seat was given to Ellron Angin to contest.

Kurup won the seat unopposed while Elron defeated three other candidates to retained the Sook seat for BN.

When Kurup announced that he would be contesting Pensiangan, Maraat protested and that he wanted to contest as an Independent but was talked out of it. In a show of protest to Kurup, Maraat resigned from PBRS and subsequently joined Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) and now heads the Liawan Division.

Kurup's win uncontested, however, went to court on an election petition brought by Parti Keadilan Rakyat's Danny Anthony Andipai whose nomination papers was rejected on nomination day Feb 24, 2008.

Andipai's petition was accepted by the election court and that Kurup's victory was declared null and void on Sept 8, 2008. Kurup, who was made Rural and Regional Development Deputy Minister after the general election, had filed an appeal on Sept 10 which is yet to be heard.

Now that a by-election might be held in Pensiangan, Maraat had been meeting with constituents to garner supports and had declared that he would be offering himself to contest the seat on a BN ticket.

Kurup had also declared that he would be defending the seat should his appeal is dismissed.

Maraat, apparently still bitter with Kurup for dropping him from contesting in the last general election, now wanted to get even with the PBRS president. He said his wanting to contest had to do with the overwhelming supports from the grassroots in Pensiangan.

"They want me to be their Member of Parliament. It is not important which political party I am respresenting as a candidate as long as it is under BN," Maraat said.