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.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Catholics also not in favour of Yoga

A front page story of the Daily Express today `adds flowers to the Fatwa (Edict) on Yoga'. Headlined `Catholics also not favour of Yoga' the story by Durie Rainer Fong was sourced from a Kota Kinabalu Sacred Hearth Cathedral Youth Counsellor George Thien.

"The Catholic church's advise to Christians is also `not to go for it (Yoga)," Thien was quoted as saying.

The counsellor was commenting on the National Fatwa Council's edict banning Muslims from practising yoga, which is said to involve in mantra (chants) and the concept of oneness with God based on Hindu beliefs, thus, deviate the faith of Islam.

Thien said it was not difficult to understand the reason for the Fatwa.

They believe in one God and not in any other. Meditation in Yoga is like tapping into different realm but where is the source? We in Christians believe in Jesus Christ and that every peace and joy only come from the Lord. That is why we do not go deep in Yoga," Thien was reported to have said.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Raymond Tan playing politics

Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah (pix), who is now without a party after ditching Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP), is now saying that his priority is not forming a new political party but to get back the `lost' support for Barisan Nasional (BN) back to the coalition.

"If SAPP's action to pull out caused the people not supporting BN, to get back the supports is more important than forming a new political party," he told the Press in Kota Kinabalu yesterday. SAPP headed by ex-Chief Minister Datuk Yong Teck Lee quit BN on Sept 17. Tan, who was one of the party's three deputy president, did not follow Yong.

On Oct 6, 2008 Tan, who is Tanjong Papat Assemblyman was reported to have to have submitted to the Registrar of Society (ROS) in Kuala Lumpur application to register a new political party. Once registered, the new party will be applying to join BN.

Tan was said to have submitted at least five names for the new party for the ROS to scrutinise. The party will likely be registered as Sabah United Party (Parti Perpaduan Sabah).

In view of Tan's latest reaction to the Press on latest development of his political platform, it seems that getting his SUP's registered is still a problem or he could be joining an existing Sabah-based BN component party.

The other former SAPP Assemblyman who is without a party is Au Kam Wah (Elopura). Like Tan, Au is also from Sandakan. Although both are now not a memebr of any political party, they had declared supports and to stay put in BN's fold.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Dompok says no Act cast in stone

"There is no Act that is cast in stone," Minister in the Prime Minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok said today.

He was referring to what Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman's Aman told the State Legislative Assembly on Thursday (Nov 20, 2008). Musa, who is also Sabah Finance Minister, said that Sabah could not seek a revision of the five per cent petroleum royalty because it was not provided for in the 1976 Petroleum Agreement signed between the State and Federal Governments.

Dompok, who is also UPKO president, did not agree with Musa. He said it was not impossible to amend statues and therefore not impossible to review the Sabah five per cent petroleum royalty. Although Sabah produce oil, under the 1976 agreement this State known as the Land Below the Wind is only paid five per cent royalty.

UPKO (United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun and Murut Organisation) , a component of the ruling Barisan Nasional had been vocal in its request to the Federal Government to increase the annual oil royalty to 20 per cent.
Dompok said it was up to the government of the day to decide what it wanted based from request arising from the people who wanted to see changes.
"But if out tell me that laws cannot be changed, then that cannot be true. It is not possible to amend the statues," he said. He said when the issue was recommended (by him) to the Federal Cabinet, there has been no outright decision to reject it.
"As far as I can see from the Cabinet's discussion, there had not been any definite decision. I hope the Federal Government will consider it in the future," Dompok said

Friday, 21 November 2008

SAPP to join Pakatan Rakyat

Former Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Yong Teck Lee, who pulled out his Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) from Barisan Nasional on Sept 17, today had a meeting with Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in Kota Kinabalu.

Anwar confirmed this to reporters after opening Parti Keradilan Rakyat service centre for Kota Kinabalu constituency in Jalan Damai, Luyang this afternoon. He further told reporters the same after opening Sabah PKR Convention in Tuaran.

When asked whether he would invite SAPP to join Pakatan Rakyat, Anwar said," This is being done."

Anwar is expected to elaborate further about his meeting the SAPP president in a Press conference at 9am tomorrow before returning to Kuala Lumpur.

Meanwhile, Yong is scheduled to give a Press conference at 12.30pm tomorrow after opening the party's new office at Putatan Square, Putatan.

'It was inaccurate'

Datuk Dr Marcus Mojigoh (pix) , the Barisan Nasional (BN) member of Parliament for Putatan, said the written answer by Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Johari Baharum to DAP Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai about BN MPs spending almost RM1 million for various festive celebrations last year was inaccurate.

Mojigoh told the Press in Kota Kinabalu today that as one of the so-called top 10 who spent almost RM1 million, he sought clarification from Johari as soon as the written reply was published in the newspapers.

"He (Johari) admitted to me that it (the answer) was inaccurate," he said.

Four other Sabah's MPs were also stated in the Deputy Minister's written reply to the DAP MP to have spent almost RM1 million. They are Datuk Eric Majimbun (Sepanggar), Datuk Dr Chua Soon Bui (Tawau), Salleh Kalbi (Silam) and Raimie Unggi (Tenom).

Majimbun had called on the Anti Corrpution to investigate.

Mojigoh described the Deputy Minister's answer as ridiculous.

"I can't even celebrate my children's birthday let alone hold open house and to say I spent nearly RM1 million for festivities is not only ridiculous but also stupid," he said.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Majimbun wants ACA to investigate

Datuk Eric Majimbun, the member of Parliament for Sepanggar, wants the Anti-Corruption Agency to investigate how, why and when the 54 functions were held in his constituency in which almost RM1 million was spent to pay for festive celebrations last year.
The Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) deputy president, who is now in Kuala Lumpur attending the current Parliament meeting, said he was in the dark where the RM1 million fund came from.
"I have contacted Sabah ACA yesterday to request for investigation," he said.
Majimbun was commenting on Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Johari Baharum who told Parliament that he (Majimbun) was one of the top 10 MPs who had spend almost RM1 million to pay for festive celebrations like Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Aidiladha, Ramadan, Chinese New Year, Deepavali, Hari Gawai, Kaamatan Festival, Christmas, Wesak Day and National Day, among others.
Johari said Majimbun was one of the five Barisan Nasional MPs from Sabah in the top 10 spender and was one of the 196 MPs who had used the special allocations for MPs to pay for festive celebrations in their respective constituencies.
The other Sabah's MPs are Raimie Unggi (Tenom-RM988,475), Datuk Dr Marcus Mojigoh (Putatan-RM971,000), Salleh Kalbi (Silam-RM946,420) and Datuk Dr Chua Soon Bui (Tawau-RM948,575).
The other MPs in the top 10 list were from Kuala Terengganu (RM917,588), Kuala Nerus (RM946,115.30), Marang (RM914,250), Dungun (RM977,000) and Parit (916,407.50).
Majimbun and Chua are no longer BN MPs as SAPP had pulled out of the national coalition government on Sept 17, this year.
My Say:
If indeed almost RM1 million was spent by Majimbun last year, there would had been grand celebrations in each of the villages in Sepanggar constituencies, which include Kampung Kionsom, Inanam, where I am staying.
But there was no celebration in my village last year. If what the Deputy Minister told Parliament was true, Majimbun has a lot to explain to the Sepanggar constituents.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Review Patroleum Act says Majimbun

KUALA LUMPUR: Sepanggar MP Datuk Eric Enchin Majimbun has requested the Federal Government to revise the Petroleum Act 1976 to re-determine the oil royalties paid to Sabah for the state’s development.
He said the act should be revised every 10 years by taking into account, the gas pipe routes and fuel volume channeled to Bintulu, Sarawak, through Sabah in the interest of the public.

“Petronas and the Federal Government must see all this, instead of just saying they will pay the five per cent royalty,” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby here today.

Meanwhile, Tawau MP Datuk Chua Soon Bui said she supported the motion by Eric to cancel the 500km gas pipes from Kimanis, Sabah to Bintulu, Sarawak, costing RM3 billion.

She said the RM3 billion could be used to build more low-cost housing for the very poor families and for the improvement of basic infrastructures in Sabah.

SAPP motion rejected

The motion by Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) to adjourn scheduled agenda of the State Legislative Assembly sitting today to debate on the Kimanis-Bintulu gas pipeline was rejected by Speaker Datuk Haji Juhar Mahiruddin.


An attempt by the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) to simultaneously move emergency motions on Petronas’s 500km gas pipeline project from Kimanis in Sabah to Bintulu in Sarawak met with failure when the Dewan Rakyat in Kuala Lumpur and the Sabah State Assembly in Kota Kinabalu rejected them today.

Both the assemblies held the view that although the RM3 billion project was a specific matter and of public interest, there was no urgency to debate it.

Parliament Deputy Speaker Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar turned it down when it was brought up by Sepangar MP Datuk Eric Majimbun while Sabah State Assembly Speaker Datuk Juhar Mahiruddin did the same when Likas assemblyman Datuk Liew Teck Chan raised it in Kota Kinabalu.

Eric when raising the motion said that as the natural resource was coming from Sabah, it was only right that it be developed for the benefit of the people of Sabah.

Juhar told Liew that there would be ample opportunities to debate the matter during the assembly sitting.

The Federal government recently announced that the project would go ahead and that only surplus gas after meeting Sabah’s petrochemical industry needs would be piped to Sarawak. The project is scheduled to be completed by March 2011.

Ex-CM vs CM in Court

The Kota Kinabalu High Court will hear from Jan 12 next year a civil suit filed by former Chief Minister Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat (pix) against Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman.

Judicial Commissioner Yew Jen Kie of the Sandakan High Court fixed the date in her chamber, last week. She will be hearing the case on a day to day basis until its completion.

Chong's counsel Haji Ansari Abdullah said the court had also set Dec 17 this year for case management by both parties. Ansari said the plaintiff (Chong) would be calling 10 witnesses in the hearing.

In his suit filed on Feb 6, 2008, Chong, among others, is seeking to declare that Musa, the first defendant, had abused his powers as the Chief Minister.

Chong also named former State Secretary Datuk KY Mustafa, Local Government and Housing Ministry's Permanent Secretary Datuk Ujang Sulani and the Kudat Town Board as second, third and fourth defendants, respectively.

The suit relates to a project undertaken by the Kudat Thean Hou Charitable Foundation chaired by Chong to build a statue of the Goddess of the Sea or Mazu in Kudat.

Chong is also seeking to declare that a fatwa issued by the State Mufti on July 7, 2006 stating that the construction of the statue would offend Islam as unconstitutional because it infringes Article 11 of the Federal Constitution.

Two other declarations sought by Chong are that the Kudat Town Board's approval for the project on Feb 8, 2006 is valid and that the withdrawal of the same approval by the Board on Nov 15, 2007 is null and void. State Attorney General Datuk Roderic Fernandez appeared for Musa and the other respondents.

Meanwhile, Yew also dismissed an application by the Kudat Town Board and the Central Town and Country Planning Board in the Local Government and Housing Ministry to strike out Chong's appeal against the Kudat Town Board's withdrawal of an approval to construct the multi-million ringgit Mazu statute.

The application to strike out the appeal was filed on Sept 10, this year.

In the motion of appeal, Chong, in his capacity as the Foundation's Chairman, named the Kudat Town Board and the Central Town and Country Planning Board in the Local Government and Housing Ministry as the first and second respondents, respectively. Chong had filed the originating motion at the High Court on Dec 12, 2007.

Yew ordered the respondents to submit their affidavit within 14 days, which will be replied by the plaintiff within seven days after receiving the affidavit. She will deliver ruling ofn Feb 13, 2009.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

SAPP to table motion Monday

Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) will table a motion to adjourn scheduled agenda of the State Legislative Assembly tomorrow (Monday) to debate on the proposed 500km RM1.5 billion Kimanis-Bintulu gas pipeline.

SAPP which pulled out of Barisan Nasional on Sept 17, 2008 now has two members seated in the Opposition side - Datuk Liew Teck Chan (Likas) and Melanie Chia (Luyang). Two others Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah (Tanjong Papat) and Au Kam Wah (Elopura) are still seated in the Government side as they had announced no longer in the SAPP's fold. They are reported to have submitted an application to register a new political party.

The following is reproduced from the SAPP's website, which explained why the party need to table the motion.

Sabah Progressive Party (Sapp) - the ex-BN member in the opposition ranks since Sept 17 - wants to debate the proposed 500 km RM 1.5 billion Kimanis-Bintulu gas pipeline in the State Legislative Assembly sitting.

The party’s stand is based on the power of the state to deny access and transit through state land for the trans-shipment of Sabah’s gas resources.

The motion for the debate was moved under Standing Order No. 23 (1) of the Sabah State Legislative Assembly. It was handed to state speaker Juhar Mahiriddin by two Sapp members, Datuk Liew Teck Chan (Likas) and Melanie Chia (Luyang) last week.

Liew, who disclosed the motion for the debate, said that "there are many questions surrounding the proposed project".

"These need to be properly and satisfactorily answered as it involved public interest," said Liew who is also Sapp deputy president.

"Whatever natural resources belong to the state, including natural gas, should be utilised by the state.

"Why must we have our very own natural gas siphoned off all the way to Bintulu for processing? Why can’t we extract and process it locally for our own use?"asked Liew.

Liew said that the announcements by both the federal and state governments on the gas pipeline to Bintulu, the proposed petrochemical complex, oil refinery and a 300 MW gas-fired power plant in Kimanis, are less than convincing, "since they are a bundle of contradictions".

"Where are we going to get the excess gas for the gas power plant and the petrochemical complex in the state when all our natural gas will be shipped to Bintulu?" asked Liew." What happened to the prime minister’s May 31 pledge?"

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi pledged at a gathering of BN leaders in Kota Kinabalu on May 31 that the controversial project would be scrapped.

Petronas however, apparently advised by Abdullah’s nemesis and former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, refused to go along with the lame duck premier’s directive.

It has started work unannounced on the gas landing facility in Kimanis. The outgoing Badawi was forced by waiting pressmen to admit defeat on the sidelines of the recent Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) annual meet without any apologies or explanations.

Petronas’s apparent recalcitrance has put Badawi in a spot with Sabahans and placed additional pressure on federal cabinet members from Sabah.

It had been reported that UPKO chief Tan Sri Bernard Giluk Dompok "did not mince his words" at last Friday’s federal cabinet meeting.

However, he was persuaded to go along with the proposed gas pipeline project on the promise that Petronas would build a full-fledged petrochemical complex and oil refinery in Sabah.

He wrested additional concessions i.e. that only excess gas from Sabah would be shipped to Sarawak and the construction of the full-fledged petrochemical complex and oil refinery would be carried out simultaneously with the gas pipeline project.

One issue is whether Sabah or Sarawak comes first in the gas equation: Will surplus Sabah gas be used for Sabah or Sarawak. Sabahans think that only the surplus gas will be for Sabah and not the other way around.

This means Sarawak comes first despite Friday’s cabinet decision which stipulated only Sabah’s surplus will be directed to Sarawak.

Among others, Kalabakan MP (Umno) Datuk Abdul Ghapur Salleh continues to throw cold water on the cabinet decision.

Former Labuan MP (Umno) Datuk Suhaili Abdul Rahman is firmly against Sabah gas going to Sarawak, while PKR (Parti Keadilan Rakyat) Sabah Chief Datuk Dr Jefffrey Kitingan sees the gas pipeline as "an act of sabotage of the Sabah economy and is tantamount to an act of bullying".
Sabah has long complained that it has nothing to show for its huge reserves of fast-depleting oil and gas reserves except for a methanol plant in Labuan which is a federally controlled territory.
Meanwhile, even non-oil states like Pahang, Johore, Kedah and Malacca have various oil and gas industry-related activities.

Besides the four non-oil states with various oil and gas industry-related activities, the oil states of Terengganu and Sarawak both have a wide range of activities utilising their hydrocarbon resources.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

YB Jimmy Wong's Promise

A statement by Sri Tanjong's DAP Asssemblyman Jimmy Wong.

DAP will take Sebatik farmers plight to assembly if no action from local council, that’s my promise.

The Sebatik farmers had turned to DAP for help after the difficulties faced by them to land their products for Tawau market and loading of goods to be brought back to the island fell onto deaf ears.

I went there personally to see their problem after they called me and I agree with them that the LKIM (Lembaga Kemajuan Ikan Malaysia) jetty which the Tawau Municipal Council (TMC) had asked them to use is not suitable, after inspecting the newly built jetty.

The stairs leading to the main platform is to steep and small. The gangway is also small for lorries and quite a distant from the road. On top of that there is no railings for safety measures. With such crowded activities, people could fall off the jetty.

Because of this I understand and see the reasons why the farmers and businessman resorted to use another area near the jetty to land and load their goods and products.

Everyone has to rush unloading their products such as bananas, oil palm fruits and other cash crops to be loaded onto waiting lorries and to be transported to the market before the tide subsides, as the boats will get stuck in the mud.

I call on the TMC that had shifted them to Tanjung Batu to immediately monitor, note down the problems and address the situation before the coming State Legislative Assembly.
If needed I will bring the matter up at the assembly and ask for allocation on behalf of the assemblyman here so that a temporary landing and loading area could be constructed while waiting for a better and permanent one to be constructed by TMC.

TMC should had prepared in advance prior to the shifting and must have a plan to have a permanent jetty for the Sebatik people and not simply shifting them from one place to another without considering their plights.

A temporary jetty is okay but it’s the council’s responsibility to have a suitable site for a permanent jetty which is agreeable to the Sebatik people.

I advised the Sebatik farmers and businessman to form a special committee to handle the issue and I will contact TMC for meeting.

The livelihood and economic activity of the Sebatik people has been disrupted and I hope everyone concern will help find solution. I was told that the building project of the police station and a school in Sebatik could also be disrupted as there are difficulties in transporting the materials such stones to be shipped to Sebatik.

Meanwhile, I suggest that they be shifted back to their former place at Sabindo temporary while waiting for a better permanent jetty.

Sabah 2009 Budget

Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman, who is also Finance Minister, tabled in the State Legislative Assembly the Sabah 2009 Budget Friday. Elected representatives will begin debate on the budget Monday before the winding-up by ministers on Thursday.

The Sabah 2009 Budget

The Sabah state government has allocated RM2.778 billion for Budget 2009, up by RM477.66 million or 20.76 percent from the current budget.

Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman, who is also the state Finance Minister, in presenting the budget at the Sabah Legislative Assembly, said the budget was the highest and biggest presented so far.

The strategies for Budget 2009, among others, are to continue efforts towards strengthening the state financial position through efficient financial management, raising efficiency of the public sector delivery, improving productivity and intensifying socio-economic development.

Estimated state expenditure for development in 2009 amounted to RM1.04 billion, higher by RM56.25 million or 5.71 percent compared to this year’s expenditure of RM984.23 million.

“Besides the state allocation, there are also allocation sources from the federal government amounting to RM435 million. With this, the total allocation for Sabah will be RM1.475 billion,” Musa said.

Revenue for the state in 2009 is estimated at RM2.57 billion, down by 11.23 percent compared to this year with crude palm oil (CPO) prices and forestry revenue expected to be lower next year.

For 2008, based on the revenue gained so far, the state is expected to achieve RM3 billion by end of this year, Musa said.He said the state’s economic growth is projected at 5.0 percent for this year and 4.50 percent next year due to external factors like the global financial crisis, high fuel prices and rising inflation.

Musa said despite the global economic uncertainties, private sector investment remained stable as shown by the 7.30 percent increase in loans by commercial banks to various sectors in the first six months of this year totalling RM26.60 billion.

He said though the private sector was cautious as a result of the global scenario, the recent four-day Sabah International Expo 2008 saw an eight-fold increase in business transactions totalling RM142.7 million compared to RM18.1 million in 2006.

“This showed that the confidence of investors as well as local and foreign businessmen in Sabah is high,” he added.Bernama

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Sabah supports Shahrizat

KOTA KINABALU: The 14 nominations received by Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil from Sabah Wanita Umno to contest the movement's top post shows that the majority of Wanita grassroots in Sabah want a leadership change in the movement.

Sabah Wanita Umno head Senator Datuk Armani Mahiruddin said that after 25 divisions had held their delegates' meetings, the Wanita wings in 14 of the divisions nominated Shahrizat to contest for the Wanita Umno chief post.

"I believe this is what the grassroot members want and the 14 divisions want a major change in the Wanita Umno Malaysia leadership next year," she said in a statement issued here Wednesday.

She said Sabah Wanita Umno also supported the move by the movement's executive committee member Datuk Kamilia Ibrahim to contest the vice-chief post.

Armani also agreed with Kamilia's stand to reject the Wanita Umno transition plan which had been accepted by the movement's leadership on Aug 4.

On another matter, she confirmed that there were no cases of violation of party ethics as claimed to be happening in some the Sabah Umno divisions.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Ansari: I am still the boss

Haji Ansari Abdullah (pix) has confirmed tendering his resignation letter as Sabah Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) head but denied having resigned as a member of the opposition party.
He said he had tendered his resignation letter in June, this year but had not received any respond from the PKR headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.

Ansari said until someone is appointed by the party's national leadership to replaced him, he is now still head of Sabah PKR.

Denying reports in the Press of his leaving PKR, he said the reports were damaging and mischievous.

Meanwhile, Danny Anthony Andipai also denied leaving PKR and to join Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) if not fielded by PKR as candidate for the Pensiangan parliamentary by-election, if any.

"I had workd so hard to get the petition through court to prove my commitment to PKR. Leaving the party never crossed my mind," he said.

Andipai was successful in his election petition when the Kota Kinabalu Election Court had on Sept 8, 2008 declared Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PKR) president Tan Sri Joseph Kurup's win uncontested in the Pensiangan parliamentery constituency in the March 8, general elections null and void.

The Court of Appeal is yet to hear Kurup's appeal.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Speaker defeated by Assemblyman

The Speaker of the Sabah Legislative Assembly Datuk Haji Juhar Mahiruddin lost his post as head of the Batu Sapi Umno division last night. He was defeated by Sekong Assemblyman Datuk Samsudin Yahya in a straight contest.

Samsudin, who is Juhar's nephew, was the division's incumbent deputy chief.
Over in Sepanggar, the division incumbent chief Datuk Uzair Yahya also lost to the division former youth head Jumat Idris.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman and Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Yahya Hussin won uncontested as heads of the Libaran and Petagas Umno divisions, respectively.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Lucky four

Four youngsters traveling in the car (pixs above) escaped with just minor injuries. The youth behind the wheel, said to have no driving license, failed to control the vehicle while negotiating a bend at high speed Saturday afternoon.

The happened just a stone throw from the popular Kionsom Waterfall at Ulu Kionsom, Inanam. It was lucky that there was no oncoming vehicle when the accident happened. That section of the road was going down hill.

A teacher who witnessed the incident said the four youths crawrled out of the car and were sent to hospital by an ambulance who arrived shortly after being called by the police.

Osu fails comeback bid

Sabah former Chief Minister Datuk Osu Haji Sukam's bid to his former post as head of the Papar Umno division failed yesterday when he only managed to get 183 votes against the 218 polled by Pantai Manis assemblyman Datuk Haji Abdul Rahim Issmail.

Osu, who is also a former Papar Member of Parliament, was the division's head until 2005 when he was forces to resign after it was reported that he owed RM7 million to two casinos in London.

Upon his resignation, Rahim, who was then Osu's deputy, was made acting head of the division.

Rahim was Sabah Agriculture and Food Industry Minister until the March 8, 2008 general election. Although he retained his Pantai Manis seat, he was dropped from the State Cabinet.

He had since been appointed Malaysia Fisheries Authority's chairman.
The Daily Express' front page Sunday

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Are we ready for this?

Pig heart transplants for humans in three years

By Mike Swain, Science Editor

London: Pig organs genetically-modified for use in transplants to humans could be ready in three years.

Lord Robert Winston, who heads a team working to develop a new strain of mini-pig with a heart, kidney and liver the human body will not reject, yesterday said: “This is very exciting technology.

He added: “Potentially we could have organs which might be transplantable in two or three years.”

But Lord Winston warned that because of the rigorous testing that was necessary the first hospital transplants were probably a decade away.

He said: “If you are going to put organs back into humans you have got to be pretty sure you are not making a mess. And that will take a lot of testing.”

But, Lord Winston said, once the system was working the genetically-altered pigs could be bred to provide a limitless supply of organs.

He added: “Essentially if you wait for a transplant you wait for someone to die in a car crash. The pig offers some special possibilities.”

Friday, 7 November 2008

Osu making a comeback

Last week former Chief Minister Datuk Salleh Tun Said defeated Tempasuk state assemblyman Musbah Jamli in a straight fight for the Kota Belud Umno divisional chairman. Incumbent Musbal who is an Assistant Minister held the post when Salleh did not seek re-election during the last Umno election.

This week another former Chief Minister Datuk Osu Haji Sukam (pix) is making a comeback to head the Papar Umno division which he headed until he was forced to vacate due to a multi-million ringgits court case against him by a London casino.

In the division election tomorrow (Saturday), Osu is involved in a one-to-one contest with Pantai Manis state assemblyam Datuk Haji Abdul Rahim Ismail who was made acting head when Osu resigned.

UPKO Stays Put In BN

KOTA KINABALU, Nov 7 (Bernama) - Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Bernard Dompok said on Friday he was happy with the federal cabinet's decision to create a petrochemical industry in Sabah, following the objection to the construction of a gas pipeline from Kimanis to Bintulu by the people of Sabah.

In this context, factories linked to the gas and petrochemical industry would also be built, he said in a statement today.

Dompok said that after he had raised up the issue at the Cabinet meeting in Putrajaya today, a decision was reached to continue with the construction of the gas pipeline from Kimanis to Bintulu, but only the excess gas would be piped to Sarawak.

"The federal cabinet has now agreed to create a full-fledged petrochemical industry in Sabah using gas and oil from Sabah while only the excess gas would be channelled to Sarawak because the construction of the gas pipeline from Kimanis to Bintulu would be continued."

"On behalf of UPKO (United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation) and the people of Sabah, I thank the federal government for its concern," said Dompok, who is also president of UPKO.

He said the resolution would certainly diversify Sabah's economic activity and the erection of the factories for the petrochemical industry would provide a boost and catalyst to the Sabah Development Corridor.

"Finally, Sabah, one of only three oil and gas producing states in Malaysia, can now be active in the gas and oil downstream industries."

The simultaneous construction of the petrochemical factories and gas pipeline could help Sabah, which had been lagging especially in the gas and oil industry, to progress and enjoy the benefits derived from the country's development," he added.

Tenom MP defeated

Tenom Member of Parliament Raimie Unggi today failed in his bid to be elected Tenom Umno Youth Divisional chairman when he only managed to get 83 votes. He was defeated by Jamawi Jaafar who polled 110 votes.

The new Tenom Umno Youth chief is a Special Officer to the Rural and Regional Development Minister.

The division also nominated Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin to contest for the national Umno Youth head in the party's election in March next year.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

UPKO will quit BN if...

UPKO President and Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Bernard Dompok (pix) will asked the Federal Cabinet during its meeting tomorrow to scrap the Petronas gas pipeline project from Kimanis, Sabah to Bintulu, Sarawak.

"If our call is not heeded by the Federal Government, UPKO will decide its position in Barisan Nasional (BN)...whether or not to leave the national coalition."

"I am committed to articulating about this and I will be talking to the cabinet on Friday. I want to pursue this," he told the Press after launching the Public Complaints Bureau's integrated mobile complaint counter in Donggongon, Penampang, Sabah on Thursday.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi confirmed that the 500km inter-state gas pipeline project would go on despite an earlier decision to scrap it. The RM1.5 billion facility is expected to be operational in 2011.

Dompok said by sending the gas to Bintulu, Sabah which is the major oil-producing State would be in the losing end.

"What is presently proposed by Petronas is merely a landing point in Kimanis and from there, a pipeline is to be built to Bintulu to facilitate the export of gas to other countries in the form of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)."

"They will put it in big tankers and export it. So, what we are saying here is, the gas can be used, firstly as a feed stock for downstream activities (in Sabah) and it can also be used to generate electricity so that we can have energy security for Sabah," he said.

Asked on the call by Sabah Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sabah deputy liaison head Daniel John Jambun for UPKO o to leave BN following the party's outburst against the project, Dompok said, "They are entitled to their opinions."

"But certainly we are not beholden to any party... our clients are the people. We will cross the bridge when we come to it," he said.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Yong sues Sabah NRD

Yong Lee Hua @ Piang Lin, 78, today filed a suit against the Sabah National Registration Department (NRD) and the Government of Malaysia claiming for damages and relief during the 18-months period her citizenship was revoked.

She filed the suit through her lawyer Martin Idang at the Kota Kinabalu High Court registry accompanied by her son and veteran Sabah politician Dr Chong Eng Leong.

Yong, a Sino-Kadazan from Penampang, told reporters after filing here suit that she was grateful that here citizenship had been restored but decided to take legal action for the benefits of others facing similar problem.

She said it was not about monetary gain but just wanted those concerned know the stress and mental anguish that she had to go through when her citizen of Sabah status was revoked by the NRD. She said she wanted her case to serve as a lesson to the NRD.

Yong had applied for replacement of her MyKad (identity card for citizen) that was lost in Feb 13, 2007. In replacing her document, the NRD issued her with a Red Mykad denoting that she was only a Permanent Resident in Sabah.

Her plight was highlighted which came to the attention of the Federal Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar who came to Sabah and a stroke of the pen restored Yong's citizenship.

In her suit, Yong claimed that she suffered losses as her bank account was frozen and was not able to withdraw money for her and her husband medical expense. She claimd that when her husband passed away four months ago, she was unable to get money from her account to pay for the funeral expenses.

Not true says PKR Tuaran

Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Tuaran division denied that their chairman Haji Ansari Abdullah had quit as the party Sabah Liaison Committee chief.

"Ansari is still a mamber and a leader of the party at State and Federal levels. There is no reason for him to think of quitting as member of the party," the divisional secretery Jumin Jeffrey Masuling said today.

"Reports of Ansari having resigned from the party is misleading but party members should make effort to read diligently the current situation surrounding the party and the country. The situation can be very challenging and taxing in terms of work pressure, " Masuling said.

However, Masuling did not deny that there were hiccups in the party especially among leaders which he said a development that showed that the party was gaining attention and support from the people.

Meanwhile, PKR Youth Exco Pajudin Haji Nordin also denied that Ansari, who is currently in Hongkong, had resigned from the party.

"The source of the news (of Ansari resignation) is from within the party. There are certain individuals in Sabah PKR not happy with Ansari being appointed as the party's chief for Sabah last year, " he said.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Ansari quits PKR?

Sabah senior lawyer Haji Ansari Abdullah (pix left) had tendered his resignation as Parti Keadilan Rakyat's (PKR) Sabah Liaiason Committee head. A source closed to the party revealed to Aki Momogun that Ansari had submitted his resignation letter last week.

He had also told the State Liaison Committee of his intention to quit but no official words was forthcoming from the party's headquarters.

"There is a gag order on it by the party's leadership," the source said.

In another development, PKR Pensiangan division chairman Danny Anthony Andipai (pix right) is said being called by his supporters to quit the party and to join Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) which had left Barisan Nasional.

Andipai had not denied nor confirmed the matter and when pressed for answer, he said, "Wait and see."

He also said that the matter arises as his supporters were not happy that PKR Vice President Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan was now actively campaigning for candidacy in the event a by-election is held for the Pensiangan parliamentary constituency.

An Election Court had declared the seat vacant, ruling that the election of Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah's president Tan Sri Joseph Kurup's win uncontested in the March 8, 2008 general elections.

Kurup, who is Federal Rural and Regional Development Deputy Minister, had appeal against the decision which is yet to be heard by the Court of Appeal. Kurup lost his seat after his victory was being challenged by Andipai.

Andipai was the PKR candidate in the general elections but his nomination papers was rejected by the returning officer resulting in Kurup being declared the winner. One of Andipai's lawyers in the election petition hearing was Ansari.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

PM: Goodbye PBS...we will meet again

Abdullah being greeted by Pairin. At centre is Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman

"Remain Loyal Partner Of BN," Parting Advice From Abdullah To PBS

KOTA KINABALU, Nov 1 (Bernama) -- "Remain a loyal partner in the (Barisan Nasional) coalition" was the parting advice Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi gave to Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS), a party he had helped to bring back into the BN fold in 2002 after it had left the coalition 12 years earlier.

"Now I realise that this is going to be my goodbye speech. I do not want to cut my ties with PBS even after I step down (as prime minister). We will meet again, God willing, at other forums because I will remain a member of Umno and of the BN," he said when opening the 23rd annual general assembly of PBS here today.

Abdullah has announced he would hand over power to Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak after the Umno elections in March next year.

Addressing the PBS assembly today, Abdullah reminisced his role in bringing back PBS into the BN fold, saying: "While I was Umno deputy president cum BN deputy chairman, one thing that occurred in my mind was that I didn't want to see the BN and Umno and other parties to always adopt a confrontational stand against a big party like PBS which is led by Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan, a Huguan Siou (Paramount Leader) of the Kadazandusun community in Sabah.

"This (the return to the BN fold) is good for unity and is good for the people of Sabah. I hope PBS will continue to work hand-in-hand with the other BN component parties to steer this state to greater heights," he said.

Pairin, in his speech earlier, had welcomed Abdullah to today's assembly by reciting a special "pantun" (poem) entitled "Kalau bukan kerana Pak Lah, Tak mungkin PBS dalam BN" (If not for Pak Lah, PBS may not be in the BN) to the applause of the more than 1,000 PBS delegates who gave Abdullah a standing ovation.

"Thank you, Pak Lah, for working so hard for the benefit of the poor people. You would always be remembered for giving more freedom of expression, which should not be abused to the detriment of harmony and security," said Pairin.

He said Abdullah would also be remembered for emphasising religious freedom, judiciary reforms, warrior-like battle against corruption and the drug menace and emphasis on equipping the youth for the future.

Benson Gampawi, a delegate from Kota Marudu, said: "Pak Lah is a darling of PBS. Without him, we might not be in the BN. He deserves a standing ovation. Pak Lah is our idol who ... enabled us to be part of the mainstream political arena again."

Joos Galid, a delegate from Kiulu, said Abdullah had done a lot for the people of Sabah, particularly in implementing the Sabah Development Corridor (SDC) blueprint.

"He is a visionary and a moderate leader. I admire his farsightedness and his vision for Sabah and I'm saddened that he will retire soon."