Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Some faces missing

Giant signboards are put up in Sipitang welcoming visitors to the Sipitang Gata Festival (Aug 3 - 5). The billboard shows the photographs of Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman and Sindumin assemblyman Datuk Haji Sapawi Ahmad. Missing faces are that of Sipitang Member of Parliament Datuk Dr Yusof Yacob and Lumadan assemblywoman Datuk Surinam Sadikun. The people of Sipitang are not amused as the State seats of Sindumin and Lumadan made up the Sipitang parliamentary constituency.

My Say:

Though seems a small matter but it touches the senstivity of the people of Sipitang and this will not augurs well for for the coming general elections. Supporters of Dr Yusof are taking this turn of event as sidelining their MP in his own area.

For the record there are several giant signboard showing photographs of Musa, Prime Minister Datuk Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Mansor without photograph of the then Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat. Chong's supporters were also not happy.

Saturday, 28 July 2007

Soon to be history

Information Communication Technology has overtaken the traditional theatre/cinema business in the Federal Territory of Labuan. Lido Theatre at the junction of Jalan Muhibbah/Jalan Tun Mustapha will soon be demolished for the development of a 100 rooms 10-storey hotel.

Gone will be the place where lovers hang about, a place for family entertainment for so long. The premier entertainment house those years has been part of the past of most locals. It has been sold by its owner Kinabalu Cinema Sdn Bhd to a Sarawakian businessman for RM3 million.

Lido Theatre which was later named Wilayah was the only surviving cinema after two others Victoria Theatre and BFO Cinema had closed shop several years ago.

My Say:

My tour of duty for many years made me travel to Labuan and had never missed patronising the theatres. With the last to go, save for the cheap beer (compared to the price elsewhere) down memory lane will be gone forever.

Friday, 27 July 2007

Rapport amongs cops lacking?

Camaraderie, one of the little but important things that make a good policeman, among young officers is lacking nowadays (here). This is an observation by Sabah police head of management SAC 11 Sidin Abdul Karim.

He said the espirit-de-corp among young officers was going down. Sidin said its like a traffic police seeing a crime happening not taking action just because it did not comes under his line of duty. No such thing, he said.

Sidin made these remarks at the handing over of duties by out-going Kota Kinabalu City police chief ACP Ku Chin Wah (picture above)to his deputy Supt Rowel Marung on Thursday (July 26). Ku has been promoted to SAC 11 and will be heading Kuala Lumpur City CID Branch. A new officer will assumes the Kota Kinabalu City police chief next month.

My Say:

Police regardless of their ranks, must have the gut, gall and gumption in carrying out their duties.

Thursday, 26 July 2007

Maktab Perguruan Sandakan

In May 1974, some 80 youngsters marched up a hill off Mile 1.5 Jalan Labuk, Sandakan to start their life a trainee teachers. Thirty six of them were selected for the secondary school's course while the remaining 46 to be trained as primary school teachers. I am, of course one of them, I took a flight from Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan, the first time ever I had gone into an aeroplane.

Maktab Perguruan Sandakan (MPS) was new then, the third in Sabah, the others being Maktab Perguruan Kent (MPK), Tuaran and Maktab Perguruan Gaya(MPG) in Kota Kinabalu.I had in fact applied to be trained at MPG.

Being a new institution, this group of 80 were the first batch. We built our own badminton court, gelanggang sepak takraw, created out own garden and all the other facilities. With just RM30 monthly allowance (RM2 deducted for the student union), we were able to live happily, no complaint. With that amount of money, Aman Sirom Sambuna bin OKK Tarantab from Kota Belud was able to save up to buy a typewriter which he is still using now.

MPS was declared open by then Education director general Tan Sri Haji Hamdan Sheikh Tahir on May 21, 1974 which was also attended by Sandakan Resident Datuk Ben Stephens and Sabah education director Omar Hashim.

The two years course ended November 1975 and I started teaching the following year at SRK Sualok, Beluran, then about three hours boat ride from Pekan Beluran, that if there was boat going up. At times one have to sleep at a `rest house' in Beluran to wait for boat. I did not last long, after eight months, packed my bags and left for good, from Beluran and the teaching profession. I became a journalist. And the rest is history.

Why am I writing about this? Because on Aug 25, 2007, there will be a reunion dinner in Hotel Juta, Keningau to be organised by the MPS' second batch trainees. Invitations were also exended to us, all 72. Yes only 72 now as seven had been called to rest with the Creator - Asmin Damit, Duali Azin, Mahadi Nurajin, Abdul Rahim Samila, Suhaili Maraman, Fatimah Abu Bakar and Mursidi Abdullah.

Patron of the coming reunion dinner is Datuk Haji Sairin Karno, one of the second batch trainees. He is now the State Assemblyman for Liawan. Invitation are also extended to all ex-trainees of MPS.

For the record, MPS is no more. It had been closed and move to Tawau. It sad but during a reunion dinner organised by the first batch in Kota Kinabalu on Aug 19, last year, its organising chairman Christopher Jacob said, and I quote:

"It not the institution or the physical structure that keeps the alma mater alive. It is us, our hopes, aspirations, deeds and actions that would keep the MPS Flag flying high."

Further information: Nora Anggas - 0168448546

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Sentence illegal

When the Kota Kinabalu Magistrate's Court several months ago sentenced a 20-year-old security guard to 48 hours community services for theft, it was a big news in the local newspapers. This was the first time sentence of this kind being imposed on convict.

Today (July 25) the High Court declared the sentence illegal and freed the youth on two years good behaviour. Judge Datuk Ian Chin agreed with the Deputy Public Prosecutor Raja Z Faridah that the Welfare Department was unable to carried out the sentence imposed by the lower court as such punishment was yet to be enforced.

The DPP told the court that the Welfare Department `rejected' the order as it was not in the position to carry out the punishment. This prompted the DPP to apply for a revision of the order.

The DPP informed the court that sentence of community services was provided for in the recent amendment of the Criminal Procedure Code which had been passed by Parliament but has not been enforced yet.

Meanwhile, the youth who was happy with the decision, had gone back to his village to tap rubber.

And it was a different story in the Court of Appeal in Kuala Lumpur. A youth who was convicted of murder by a High Court was freed as there were no law in the land that
a juvenile could be hanged for whatever offences.

Justice Datuk G Sri Ram held that Parliament has to do something to correct the law. So he called upon MP Karpal Singh, counsel for the juvenile, to move a motion in Parliament on the matter.

My Say:

A strong political is needed to correct all this imbalance.

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Yes, 10 years ago

That's me with two of the Germans who greeted me in Bahasa Indonesia. At right is Kajai recipient Sdr Karim Sulaiman.

Ten years ago a group of London-based Malaysian journalist was invited by the German Government for a week educational tour of the country. We took a plane form Heathrow to Bonn and from there we took a train ride to Munich, stopping and spending a night in each of the cities down.

The group comprised of Tan Kah Peng (late) of the Star, Hamzah Sidek (Utusan Malasyia), Wan Hulaimi (Bernama), Zahara Othman (RTM), Karim Sulaiman (Berita Harian), Habibah (Berlin-based TV3)and Me representing New Straits Times.

This trip was an eye-opening for me who was before the visit, German was just known to me through history book. Along the way, we met Malaysian students studying at universities and in Munich, we met German students who spoke to us fluently in Bahasa Indonesia.

My Say:

One that I will not forget. When I asked for beer, I was given a litre-full. I did not let my host down for I managed to down three. How I did it, I never knew.

Monday, 23 July 2007

Ansari in, Awang Tengah out

Ansari Abdullah

Parti Keadilan Rakyat Sabah is now headed by lawyer Ansari Abdullah, who is also head of the party's Tuaran branch. He replaced incumbent chief Awang Tengah. Announcing this in Tawau today (July 23), PKR president Datin Seri Wan Azizah said for now Awang Tengah is the party's State Election chief. Missing from the list was incumbent State liaison secretary and Vice President Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan's right hand man, Kanul Gindol. The deputies are Christina Liew (Chinese), Ahmad Shah (Muslim) and Daniel John Jambun (Kadazan, Dusun, Murut).

My Say:

Cronyism making an ugly presence here.
And still Dr Jeffrey has not come out with any statement or comment on the matter. It must be remembered that when Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim pushed for Ansari to be made Sabah PKR chief, 20 divisional leaders converged at Dr Jeffrey's Sokid Villa residence in Bukit Padang to protest. They wanted Awang Tengah to continue leading the party in Sabah.

And Kanul? I managed to contact him. He SMSed me `The outspoken is out. But expected to be given a new role to play in the party. Just wait and see lah."

Monday's blue

My Say:

Aaah! It is Monday, another six days to go for my Sunday break. I got to go to the outside world to check what the day has in store for all of us.

Saturday, 21 July 2007

PKR: No clean sweep

Responding to Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman's statement on Friday that the national coalition (Barisan Nasional) government could make another clean sweep by winning all the 60 state seats in Sabah in the coming general elections, Opposition Parti Keadilan (PKR) Saturday said `No way'.

PKR's Sabah deputy chief Awang Ahmad Shah Awang Sahari and liaison secretary Kanul Gindol said said their party was even stronger now and is preparing to be the possible people's choice to lead the State Government after the general elections.

My Say:

No comment

Friday, 20 July 2007

Clean sweep 60 seats

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said it was not impossible for Barisan Nasional to repeat its 2004's performance in winning 59 of the 60 State seats in Sabah in the coming election. In the 2004 election, BN lost Kuala Penyu when incumbent Datuk Wences Angang, then a Deputy Chief Minister to Independent Datuk John Ghani. John resigned from BN-Umno on the eve of the election to contest as an Independent.

My Say:

At this point of time, it seems that BN still have the supports of the people. The opposition party, especially Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), do have the supports bu will not be enough for them to win seats, let alone formed the next State Government.

By the way, PKR vice president Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan today (July 20) police report was centered in alleged illegal logging in First Class Forest Reserve by companies with connection with State Government leaders. Timbers were fell and loaded into ships berthed at a port belonging to Yayasan Sabah which had ceased in operation since 2003. Kota Kinabalu City's OCPD ACP Ku Chin Wah promised to carry out investigation so we will just wait and see.

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Another police report by Dr Jeffrey

Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) vice president Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan is scheduled to make another police report tomorrow (Friday - July 20) in Kota Kinabalu against top Sabah Barisan Nasional leader/s.

My Say:

Waiting who will be the target? Dr Jeffrey had lodged police report against Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman which the Prime Minister had confirmed now under investigation by the Anti-Corruption Agency.

Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat

Ex-Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) president Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat has published a book entitled `My Rewards'. It will be launched/put on sale @ RM80 per copy at the Ground Floor. Wisma Merdeka, Kota Kinabalu on Sunday (July 22).

My Say:

It will be interesting to read the book as it may be one that is written by the veteran politician after he resigned as Deputy Chief Minister/Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister several months ago after a fall out with Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman over the construction of the Chinese Mazu statue in Kudat.

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Still on PR for Refugees

On June 28, 2006, the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Mohamad Nazri Aziz had infact told Parliament that 17,308 Filipinos in Sabah who are refugees and holders of IMM13 had been given Parmenant Residence (PR) status. The 17,308 represented 28 per cent of the 61,811 refugees in Sabah. The ministry was replying to a question from Member of Parliament for Penampang Donald Mojuntin who had wanted to know the number of Filipino refugees with PR status.

My Say:

As I had said in my earlier posting, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman had said that the State Government was in the dark about refugees being given PR status. This only show that PR status were given to refugees in Sabah without the State Government's knowledge. A surprise. Record in Parliament (Hansard) is the whole truth, nothing but the truth.

Filipino Refugees' automatic PR

Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said NO to holders of IMM13 or Filipino refugees in the State to be automatically given Permanent Residence (PR) status. He wants the Federal Government to consult Sabah Government should the former move into that direction.

My Say:

Application for a PR in Sabah has to be sumbitted to the Immigration Department who willl forward them to the Chief Minister for consideration of approval. In other word, the power of granting a PR status to foreingers lies with the Chief Minister. He who has the power to approve also have the power to revoke, I stand to be corrected.If Musa's statement is to be read in totality, not only Filipino refugees but foreigners (wives of locals included) will not be eligible for a PR status.

Having said that, it will be interesting to know how many foreigners had been given PR status so far. Together we wait and see.

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Latest in Sabah PKR

UPDATE: PKR Beaufort head lodged police report against Ansari Abdullah today.

Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sabah's liaison secretary Kanul Gindol is still very much in this Opposition party even though his Youth Exco Pajudin Nordin said that the former was on his way out of the party. Pajudin also chided Kanul for his Press statement yesterday on PKR advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's action in forcing Sabah PKR to replace its head Awang tengah with Ansari Abdullah. Pajudin called on Kanul `and his gang of three little Napoleans' and the Kadazan Dusun Murut (KDM) in PKR to leave and form their own political party.Pajudin also said even the other KDM based parties had move out of their `frog under the coconut shell' mentality and joined Barisan Nasional.

My Say:

Kanul, a former executive journalist of the national news agency, State PKR deputy chief and Putatan chairman Ahmadshah, and national vice president Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan are the `three little Napoleans' Pajudin was referring. Something is not right here, a lower rank party's leader `barking' at seniors. Times will tell where this Opposition party is heading to, after all something like this is also brewing at the party's national lineup.

UPDATE: Dr Jeffrey had been summoned by Anwar to Kuala Lumpur this morning to discuss about the problem in PKR Sabah.

Monday, 16 July 2007

Anwar losing supports

For `pushing down the throats' of Parti keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sabah leaders to appoint a leader of his choice to head the State PKR liaison committee, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is now losing supports in this Land Below the Wind.

Sabah PKR liaison secretary Kanul Gindol said he could not support a leader like Anwar who had been shouting about democracy, transparency and power sharing but pushing aside the voices of the majority.

Anwar wanted Tuaran PKR chief Ansari Abdullah to replace current Sabah PKR chief Awang Tengah Awang Amin.Twenty divisional leaders who met at Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan's residence wanted Awang Tengah to continue leading the party in Sabah.

My Say:

It will be interesting what Dr Jeffrey has to say about this or is he just keeping quiet to save his position as PKR national vice-president.

Friday, 13 July 2007

Friday 13: Sabah PKR leadership crisis

Malaysia's opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR)Sabah divisional leaders are meeting Friday July 13 at Vice President Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan's Sokid Villa residence in Bukit Padang, Kota Kinabalu.

Infromation reaching me indicated that the ad hoc meeting is to discuss about preassure from a PKR's top national leader preassuring its Sabah's liaison committee to replace its State chairman Awang Tengah.

PKR insider told me that the top leader `is forcing Ansari Abdullah down our throat as Pengerusi Negeri.'

My Say:

This might be the beginning of a leadership crisis in Sabah PKR. It stared when Jeffrey was made national Vice President. Daniel John was reported to take Jeffrey's post of Sabah Vice Chairman, a post he vacated to give way of Jeffrey several months back. Are we seeing another leadership crisis that come with Jeffrey's into the party? After all similar crisis occured when Jeffrey joined Parti Angkatan Keadilan Rakyat (AKAR)and Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS)several years ago.

Thursday, 12 July 2007

Another `Rakan' for Sabah

Sabah Agriculture and Food Industry Assistant Minister Japlin Akim on Thursday announced that Sabah will adopt the Federal-based Rakan Peladang as an agent to encourage youths to take up farming. It will be launched soon.

My Say:

As I had mentioned in previous posting, we will be getting more and more of this Rakan (Friend) business.

We have now Rakap Cop, Rakan Muda, Rakan Immigration and upcoming Rakan Peladang. I expect Rakan Ikan, Rakan Ternak, Rakan Rakan and many more to follow suit. Will we have Rakan Blog also?

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Sabah Chief Minister Supports

Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman on Wednesday voiced support the formation of Rakan Immigration mooted by the State Immigration Department's director. Musa, who is also State Security Committee Chairman, said whatever is good for the people of Sabah would get the State Government's full support. Rakan Immigration will be a channel for the people of Sabah in assisting the Government in flushing illegal immigrants out of Sabah.

My Say:

We have now Rakan Muda, Rakan Cop and comming soon Rakan Immigration. Will we have Rakan Barisan Nasional next?

Taking own life easy

A Form Five student of SMK Pekan Kota Belud committed suicide Tuesday by consuming insecticide. It was believed that she took her own life after being scolded by her father for returning home late the night before. Police had ruled out foul play.

My Say:

How easy to die. Several months back a primarly school pupil hanged himself to death after he could not take it any longer teasing of his schoolmates that the food inside his lunchbox prepared by his mother was like dog food.

It common for Sabahans, particularly farmers, to keep Round Up, Monsanto and the likes of it to spray/clear their plantation from unwanted vegetation. It is common, too. that we read in newspapers people taking their life by drinking these poisons. I, too, have one in my store which I used to fight the lalang around my house.

Monday, 9 July 2007

Refugees: Who is telling the truth?

The Member of Parliament for Tuaran Wilfred Madius Tangau told a journalist that Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Nazri Aziz had told him that a decision to accord Permanent Residence (PR) status to Filipinos who are holder of IMM13 had actually been made in 2002.

Tangau said Nazri told him this when he and another Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Bernard Dompok met Nazri at the Parliament's lobby. Nazri, however, told them that he did not know who gave he approval.

My Say:

Confusion now. At first Nazri told Parliament that it was a long-term plan by the Federal Government to give PR status to the Filipino refugees. Responding to reporters on what Nazri had said, Chief Minister Musa Aman said he or the State Government had not been consulted on the matter. Musa said Nazri would be coming to Sabah (when) to explain. Just thinking aloud: Has the Penampang MP's wife been given a PR status?

Tun Datu Haji Mustapha Bin Datu Harun

The former residence of Sabah's first Governor and third Chief Minister Tun Mustapha in Tanjung Aru, a stone throw from Kota Kinabalu City centre had been auction for just RM1.6 million reportedly to settle debts.

When news of the auction was published in the Daily Express several individuals had voiced out and called for the State Government to secure the four-bedroom bungalow to be turned into a museum. There was also calls for Yayasan Sabah (of which the Tun was instrumental in its establishment) to buy out the house from the Kuala Lumpur Chinese businessman (who successfully bid for the house) to be turned into a museum.

This house is to be turned by it new owner into a restaurant.

The house seated on a 0.7 hectares area bought by Tun Mustapha from a Chinese owner in 1969 had its share of history. First Malaysia Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman, Queen Elizabeth 11, Sultans, and boxing legend Muhammad Ali had either stayed or been guests to this house.

My Say:

This is a State heritage that must be saved and preserved like what was done to the former residence of Sir Frank Swettenham, now known as Carcosa Seri Negara in Kuala Lumpur. Being a journalist, I had on several occasions been to Tun Mustapha's residence, sometimes at night, to attend his Press conferences during his hey days of politics. In all occasions, he made sure that all journalists were served with coffee/tea and his trademark kuieh lapis before hearing to what he had to say.

Openly now

In the 2004 general elections, Malaysia ruling coalition Barisan Nasional (BN) lost the `a sure win' Sandakan parliamentary seat. BN represented by then Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) incumbent Datuk Lau Ngan Siew lost to a loner Chong Hon Ming. Talks then was that Hon Ming was supported by Datuk Yong Teck Lee's Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP, a member of BN.

Now that the general elections is just `around the corner' LDP is lobbying to get back to contest the seat. SAPP has also openly voiced its interest in the seat and like LDP, is confident to be given Sandakan. Independent Chong had also openly declared his intention to join SAPP.

With all these put together, LDP is now openly accusing SAPP of having betrayed BN-SAPP in the 2004 elections.

My Say:

It is normal to lobby for seats to contest in any elections. This is just the beginning.

Althoughh both SAPP and LDP are multi-racial parties, they are Chinese-based and are getting the attention of higher-up to increase the number of seats in the urban areas to contest in the elections.

The Kadazandusun-based cum multi racial parties Parti Bersatu Sabah headed by Datuk Seri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Organisation led by Tan Sri Bernard Dompok and Tan Sri Joseph Kurup's Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah are also lobbying to get more seats to contest this time around.

A failure to reach compromise in the allocation of seats will see more Independents contesting and winning in the elections. I am not a bit surprise, this is Sabah politics.

Thursday, 5 July 2007

Sabah - Rhinoes' Graveyard

A workshop in Kota Kinabalu was told Thursday that there are only about 50 Sumatran Rhinoceros left in Sabah's wild. And if nothing is done to save them, the Land Below the Wind will become their graveyard. They will be all gone within the next five years.

Why? A recent findings indicated that female rhinoes can not conceive due to cyst in their ovary.

Why? A reproduction physiologist Dr Nan Schaffer believed that it was due to long isolation of the rhinoes due to its declining population. Dr Nan said this can also occurs to human who never get pregnant for a long time.

My Say:

A big task for the authorities concerned. It look like the future generation will not be able to see a living rhino.

Sabah failed

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has the answer as to why the Sabah poverty eradication programme produces poor result during the Eighth Malaysia Plan (2000-2004). He said the main factor for the minimum achievement was due to the Eastern Malaysian State's inability to absorb more unskilled human resources.

Abdullah told Parliament that there were 80,100 households living in poverty in 1990 with 24,100 of them categorised as hardcore poor. In 2004, the figures increased to 114,200 living in poverty of which 32,400 were hardcore poor.

My Say:

It is sad to realise that there are among us in Sabah still living in poverty. What the Prime Minister had said must now be seriously `be heard' by the State Government. Failing which, come 2020, the Land Below the Wind will still have people living in poverty.Just thinking aloud: Where had/are all the Government's fund gone/going?

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Ten Years Ago...

On July 5th, 1997 I landed at Heathrow Airport UK, after a night long flight from Kuala Lumpur. At the airport waiting for me was Sdr Rashid Yusof, the New Straits Times correspondent in London, whom I am replacing. Rashid had been at the airport for five hours for my flight was delayed in Kuala Lumpur. I had earlier (July 4) travelled from my home town Kota Kinabalu. We took a train up to Bayswater and then to 31 Chapel Side, Moscow Road which would be my home and office for the next two years. Its was cold and my greatest regret was having cut my hair to crew look.

At home was Rashid's wife and children who warmly welcomed me. The apartment was on the first floor and one floor above was Berita Harian's correspondent Sdr Karim Sulaiman (pix above - in Scotland), wife Siti Hawa and their children. Rashid accompanied me to pay a courtest call on Karim who welcome me as if we had known for a long time. Rashid went to Cardif to study and his wife and children went back home to Kuala Lumpur.

I was living alone as my family stay put in Kota Kinabalu. My wife was and still is working while my four children then were all in `examination' year. They did visted me December (pix above - wife and daughter in London) to feel how it like to be in UK during winter. My stay in London had opened my eyes to a lot of matters/things which were, before that, been reading in magazine (playboy included). Since my tour of duty covered Europe, I travelled a lot. There was once Karim and I travelled to Shefield to cover Nicol and Beng Kee who were defending their titles at a squash championship. Karim, who drove his Mercedes, also brought his young daughters, and it was fasting month.We also cover the All England where Ong almost captured the voveted title.

Karim and I, together with Tan Kah Peng of Star (the late), Zaharah Othman, Wan Hulaimi (Bernama),Hamzah Sidek (Utusan)and Halizah (TV3) had also travelled to Belgium, Scotland, Germany and Paris in line of duty.

I also had visitors from NST Kuala Lumpur Datuk A Kadir Jasin (who sought my assistance to sent his Other Thot to newsdesk, Syed Nazri, Sharanjit, Tiger Ibrahim, Zainon Ahmad, Faezah, Shukur, Azmi Ansar to name a few.

Karim and family who had been in London earlier than me went back to Kuala Lumpur and came Azizi the replacement. Like me he also came alone. And it was my time to leave, soon after Silverani arrived to replace me. I was actually called bact to work in Kuala Lumpur but when I reported for duty, Kadir asked me to go back to Kota Kinabalu. A year later I was made News Editor for Sabah and Sarawak based in Kuching until 2004 when I was finally recalled at the newsdesk Kuala Lumpur. A year later I left New Straits Times.

NOTE: My London assignment was actually been offered by Kadir to me several years before 1997 but I rejected it which I would had regretted for life if I had not been offered again by the kind hearted Kadir.

Filipino Refugees

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Mohamed Nazri Aziz is coming to Sabah to explain to State leaders about his controversial statement about giving Permanent Residence status to Filipino Refugees. At first it was reported that he had requested Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman to see him in Kuala Lumpur (protocal wise this is wrong) but its the other way round now.

Musa had stated that Sabah was never consulted by Nazri or the Federal Government about giving the refugees in Sabah PR status. Nazri's statement did not go down well to Sabah leaders as well as the people of Sabah.

My Say:

Giving PR status to anyone in Sabah is a State matter, the Chief Minister's power. And it not easy to get one. I know of several Malaysians from other States whom I knew are still waiting for the outcome of their applications for PR. A member of Parliament is still waiting for his foreign wife to be accorded PR status eventhough she had been living in Sabah for a long time.

Nazri has a lot to explain on this matter. It was also this Minister who had said that the illegal immigrants was not a problem to Sabah. It will be interesting to hear what he has to say after all the PR status issue was voiced by Nazri in Parliament, it recorded in the hansard.

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Sharing social ills

Sabah is blessed with rich natural resources, be it deep under the seabed or far flung rural areas. This Land Below the Wind is the mother of oil production. Though the source of this resources, Sabah (because it is one of the State that enable the formation of the Federation of Malaysia on Sept 16, 1963) happily share her wealth with the other States.Oil revenue all goes to Kuala Lumpur, only five per cent return to Kota Kinabalu.`

Sabah is an example of `willing to share with others' and when Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Bernard Dompok called for other States to share with Sabah the placement of Filipino refugees (who will be given Permanent Residence status, he should be supported by his other collegues in the Federal Cabinet as well as leaders in Sabah.

Dompok said the Federal Government should place these would be PR refugees in places like Perlis and Johor `and see how the people there react.'

The Sabah Government issued temporary documents to refugees from the Philippines when they arrived between 1976 and 1985. The Federal Government's Special Task Force had issued some 61,000 temporary regugees temporary visit called IMM13.

Another Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz had told Parliament that these IMM13 holders would be given PR status.

My Say:

Sabah has enough of social problem related to the hugh numbers of illegal immigrants and its time that other States, too, share the burden. Afterall sharing is the Barisan Nasional's policy

Monday, 2 July 2007

Paramount Leader In The Wild

Kadazan Dusun Murut are natives of Sabah. These races, grouped together under the Kadazandusun community, are the majority in Sabah. And they have chosen a chief called Huguan Siou (Paramount leader). Huguansiou in the Kadazandusun langauge mean (Brave Leader). The first Huguan Siou was Datuk Donald Stephens who later became to be known as Tun Mohd Fuad Stephens, the first Chief Minister of Sabah. He was also one time the Yang di-Pertua Negeri (Governor) of Sabah before becoming Chief Minister again. He died in office on 06.06.1976 when an aircraft carrying him and a host of other Ministers crashed at Sembulan in Kota Kinabalu.

The second and serving Huguan Siou is Datuk Seri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, now one of the three Deputy Chief Ministers of Sabah. He was Chief Minister from 1985 until 1994.

My Say:

And it is interesting to know that in this confusion of Sabah politics even our `cousins' in the wild had also `elected' their own paramount leader. For there is a family of Probosics Monkey in the a Sanctuary in Labuk Sandakan whose head of the family is named Huguan Siou. Another family's head is Rivaldo.

Inanam hot seat

Although the general elections is yet to be announced, lobbying for candidacy for the semi-urban seat of Inanam has began. Incumbent Johnny Goh of Parti Bersatu Sabah is confident that he will be nominatd again to contest the seat for a thrid term in office. A potential candidate is OKK William Majimbun, younger brother of Sepanggar member of Parliamant Eric Majimbun. Goh and William has been going round the constituency to garner supports. Both are PBS supreme council members. William had been seen accompanying PBS president Datuk Seri Joseph Pairin Kitingan in his visit to places in Sabah.

My Say:

Johnny Goh or OKK William Majimbun? Information reaching me is that the latter is currently the favourite. FAQ by the Inanam constituents, what had Goh done since his election? What can William do? I had made by decision who to vote this time around.

Datuk Dr Jeffrey Gapari Kitingan

Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) national vice president Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan claimed that the presence of Umno in Sabah had resulted in the deteroration of the State's political landscape and eroding Sabahans' rights or policies accorded in the 20-Point agreement that was instrumental in the formation of Malaysia in 1963.

He also said that the downfall of Parti Bersatu Sabah' Government in 1994 was due to `betrayal' by some elected representatives who defected to Barisan Nasional. That was a beginning of a black mark in Sabah politics.

My Say:

Now he is talking but what did he do to prevent the defection at that time. When several YBs abandoned PBS, which is headed by Jeffrey's brother Datuk Seri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, there was also talk that he was one of them. He had also tried to register a new political party. From PBS, Jeffrey went on to join Angkatan Keadilan Rakyat (AKAR), Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS), Pasok and back to PBS. He subsequently ditched his brother's party and join PKR.He is now the party's national vice president. It will be interesting to see for how long will Jeffrey remain in PKR.