Thursday, February 26, 2009

Tingkayu duo charged

Tawau: Two men were charged in court here Thursday with murder, attempted murder and another two counts of assaulting other people, including a lawyer, in Tingkayu, Kunak two weeks ago.

Alimuddin Mohd Ajay, 41, and Sabaruddin Abdul Baik, 42, both local Bugis, were first brought to the Magistrate's Court for the murder charge.

They were jointly accused of killing one Seipon Kayabo, 46, at about 2pm on Feb 12 this year at the land of Syarikat Kerjasama Perkembangan Tanah Tingkayu Berhad, in Tingkayu, Kunak.

They allegedly committed the offence along with a group of people who are still at large. The charge, framed under Section 302 of the Penal Code, carries a mandatory death sentence on conviction.

Justify move to switch to Volvo cars, urges SAPP

Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) wants the State government to make public the facts and figures on its recent decision to replace part of its fleet of Proton Perdana official cars with Volvos.

SAPP Information Chief, Chong Pit Fah said the government must clarify in order to justify the claim that such a move would save taxpayers' money.

"It is only appropriate that the State Government reveal the total cost of purchase and maintenance of its existing fleet of Proton Perdana official cars, as well as that of the proposed purchase of Volvos and their projected cost of maintenance.

"This is in order to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that such a decision was indeed wise and in the best interest of the State and the people," he said in a statement here Wednesday.

He claimed that Volvos were widely recognised as high-end cars with expensive parts and high maintenance cost, as well as having a higher depreciation compared to other types of cars thus, having a lower resale value.

He was responding to the recent announcement by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Hj Aman that the State government was replacing part of its Proton Perdana official cars with Volvo cars as the latter would be cheaper to maintain.

Chong who is also SAPP Kepayan Constituency Liaison Committee (CLC) chief, however described it as self-contradicting and defying the Barisan Nasional (BN) government's fervent call to buy and use local products to boost the domestic economy.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Pergi ke Sabah untuk nikmati King Lobster

UDANG GERGASI... Anda teringin menikmati hidangan udang karang gergasi? Ia akan menjadi kenyataan jika ada sanggup ke Kota Kinabalu, Sabah untuk membayar RM250 bagi membeli seekor udang karang.

Sebuah restoran di tengah-tengah Kota Kinabalu kini menjadi sebutan pelancong asing dan tempatan kerana hidangan istimewa udang karang jenis King Lobster.

Menurut pemilik restoran tersebut, Simon Teoh, selain King Lobster, turut menjadi hidangan ialah udang jenis Red Lobster dan Green Lobster.

Beliau memperoleh bekalan makanan laut daripada nelayan-nelayan seluruh Sabah.

Jeffrey will consider if asked to contest

Kota Kinabalu: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Vice President Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan will consider contesting if he is picked to run for the Pensiangan parliamentary seat in the event of a by-election.

But he pointed out that he was not eyeing the spot and that the party should look somewhere else to find their man, adding the important thing was for them to rally behind the candidate and wrest the seat from Barisan Nasional.

"I've never lobbied for the place (candidacy) but if I'm asked to go there as a candidate, I have to think about it," he said.

"I can say whoever the candidate is, it doesn't have to be me, we want to make sure the person wins. I've not been asked yet (but) if possible we get somebody other than myself lah..."

In the 12th General Election last March, Jeffrey lost the race for the Keningau parliamentary seat to his brother Datuk Seri Joseph Pairin Kitingan (BN-PBS) by a majority of 4,264 votes and the Bingkor state seat narrowly to Justin Guka (BN-Upko) by 171 votes.

Whale sharks spotted

Kota Kinabalu: A pair of grayish blue whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) or basking sharks have been spotted off Police Bay, off here, since Sunday afternoon. It is believed they have been in the waters over the last two weeks.

Whale sharks are found in tropical and warm temperate seas all around the world with the exception of the Mediterranean. Studies reveal that this shark prefers warm waters, marked by high productivity of plankton.

Anatomically, they can grow up to a length of 40 feet and weigh up to 14 tonnes.

Fishing for this shark occurs in Taiwan and the Philippines, among other countries. The whale shark meat fetches a high price in Taiwan. Whale shark fins are sold in the Orient, especially in Hong Kong

Tingkayu: Police to meet parties

Kota Kinabalu: Police will meet the parties involved in the Tingkayu issue to prevent a repeat of the attack that led to a man being murdered and two others injured on Feb 12.

Speaking to reporters after a meeting with non-governmental organisation Borneo Heritage Foundation (BHF) led by its Chairman, Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, at his office, Tuesday, Sabah Commissioner of Police, Datuk Noor Rashid Ibrahim, said police needed to clarify their stand on the matter to both sides.

Meanwhile, Jeffrey, accompanied by Dr Chong Eng Leong, one of BHF's two directors, and other BHF members, met with Noor Rashid to express their concern over what happened in Tingkayu.

"We sought an explanation from the police on how they are going to maintain peace in Tingkayu. This is a very important aspect concerning security as what we heard was that the Tingkayu incident involved illegal immigrants who have MyKads," said Jeffrey.

"He (Noor Rashid) was very nice, very polite but there were a lot of unanswered questions like the allegation of police involvementÉhe told us to bring him proof if we had information on it.

"But as far as we know the action taken by them (police) seems to suggest they were responding more positively to the other side than to the smallholders," he said.

They were also frustrated with answers about people involved in the Tingkayu attack being foreigners with MyKads, he said.

"He said maybe there were only one or two but I think there are more than that," Jeffrey said, adding they also voiced claims that between 47 and 55 reports lodged by smallholders previously were not attended to by the police.

These reports involved threats made to the smallholders and their inability to enter the oil palm plantation, among others, he said.

"But we're happy with his attitude of wanting to improve thingsÉthat's a good start," he said.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

RM226m UMS agri campus a boost for economy

A bright future can be expected for the State's agricultural sector with the setting up of Universiti Malaysia Sabah's (UMS) School of Sustainable Agriculture, here.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said the expertise of lecturers and researchers at the upcoming campus would be a catalyst in achieving the Government's goal of empowering the State's agricultural sector.

He said agriculture had been earmarked as one of the sectors to spur the State's economic growth.

Musa said upon completion, the UMS Sandakan campus would become one of the main players in turning Sabah into an agricultural state.

Sabah a favourite place for American tourists

Sabah, known for its diving, golfing and green tourism, is the favourite Malaysian destination for American tourists after Penang, Salahuddin Mohd Ariffin, Vice-President and Director of Tourism Malaysia in New York disclosed this here Sunday.

“They seem to be attracted to nature, adventure, diving, golfing, and MICE meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions,” he said.

“Arrivals of American tourists in Malaysia went up nine per cent to 220,000 in 2008 from 2007 despite the gloomy economic scenario, he told Bernama at the closing of the two-day “Adventures in Travel Expo.”

“More than 55 per cent of the American tourists were in Malaysia for leisure, while the rest came for business,” he added.

The outlook looks good for the immediate future for the Malaysian tourism market. Tourism Malaysia had projected 15,000 tourists to arrive from the US for January this year.

The number surpassed Malaysia’s expectation and it showed an increase of 10 per cent in January 2009 to 17,000 arrivals, compared with the same period in January 2008.

According to research conducted by Tourism Malaysia, most of the US tourists came as independent tourists, 95 per cent of them made their bookings using the internet, while the rest came to Malaysia on travel packages using travel agents.

American tourists in Malaysia tend to be from the high-yield market, from the middle-to-upper income bracket, very conscious about price and always looking for better deals in the market, Salahuddin said.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

No excuse to keep bakakuk, warn police

District Police Chief DSP Zahari Mohamed has called for co-operation from all Village Development and Security chairmen and village chiefs to track down individuals who possess homemade shotgun locally known as ‘bakakuk’.

He said the community leaders must fulfill their responsibility by informing the police if they knew of anyone having such weapon so that action could be taken.

He warned that police will not entertain the excuse for having ‘bakakuk’ as due to the difficulty in obtaining a firearms licence. And for any community leader who has knowledge of this about anyone but withholds the information, is considered an accomplice and will face similar consequences under law.

Zahari said this in relation to an incident on Feb 18 when a Sabah Parks staff who was on routine patrol in the park area spotted two unidentified men who were each holding a homemade shotgun while hunting.

Realising the presence of the former, the men threw their weapons and fled. The park staff recovered the shotguns and handed them to the police.

Police are still searching for the two men.

Zahari added that he will seek an approval from the State Police Commissioner to allow villagers to surrender their ‘bakakuks’ without any action being taken against them.

He said if this is granted villagers will have nothing to fear.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Need for tougher laws against invasion of privacy

A picture may paint a thousand words but a photo can cause someone’s downfall.

With the advent of technology, everyone is at risk of being a victim and having his privacy invaded. Sadly, our laws are inadequate in dealing with these breaches of privacy.

Those who abuse the technology can get away with their crime easily and existing laws are too general or lenient, says the Malaysian Bar Council.

The law is so inadequate that the council has resorted to appealing to the public to take personal responsibility to delete information and materials that infringe on individual privacy to curb the crime.

Many past cases and the recent case involving Bukit Lanjan assemblyman Elizabeth Wong have proven how inadequate our laws are in protecting us from getting our privacy violated.

Cash official to be charged?

Troubled Consumer Association of Sabah and Labuan (Cash) may see a senior member being charged in court next week.

It was reliably learnt that the case had to do with the raid conducted by the Registrar of Societies (ROS) at Cash's office in Kepayan on Feb 10.

Indications of forgery and falsification were allegedly found in the premises, prompting the ROS to cart away files and documents before lodging a report at the Karamunsing police station.

It was also learnt that prior to the raid, a team from the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry went to Cash's office to conduct an audit.

Investigations into the police reports first lodged by Cash Deputy President Nordin Thani and Secretary-General Hashima Hasbullah on Feb 2 and subsequently by the ROS on Feb 10, appeared to have been completed.

Reliable sources say the files are now with the Senior Federal Counsel (SFC)'s office.