Tuesday, October 9, 2007



KOTA KINABALU: The number of kidney patients in Sabah is increasing in recent years with about 100 new patients detected annually, said State Kidney Foundation (SKF) chairman Datuk Seri Panglima Lajim Ukin. He said the number of kidney patients in Sabah rose from 575 people last year to 638 this year. “The increase means additional costs for medical treatment for the patients,” said Lajim after presenting Hari Raya assistance to 46 patients at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital here. Towards this end, the Government funded about two thirds of the costs of medical treatment for patients, he said. In this regard, the former Deputy Chief Minister urged the private sector, in particular the corporate and multi-national companies, to fulfil their social obligation and render their assistance to the foundation. “The assistance from the corporate bodies will greatly ease the financial burden of patients, in particular those from the poor families. “Kidney patients can be categoried as disabled persons as they are unable to perform any hard work and have to undergo costly medical treatment,” said Lajim. He also advised the public to lead a healthy lifestyle and engage in regular physical exercise to avoid kidney problem or ailment. Also present were QEH director Dr Zuraidah Ahmad Baji, SKF Secretary-General Haji Abdullah Mangga and the foundation’s council member, Asmat Japar.

Tuesday-9/10/07-Dompok says: A lot can be done on KDM’s role in civil service

KIULU: There is still much that can be done to improve the participation and role of the Kadazandusun and Murut (KDM) community in the State’s Civil Service, especially in terms of appointments to key posts. “If you look at the situation with a naked eye, a lot more can be done,” Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Bernard Dompok (who is pictured above) said. Dompok who is also UPKO President said this when asked to comment on the issue of Kadazandusun and Murut community being marginalised in the Civil Service. He said: “Marginalized is a term that is very provocative. I do not know if that is the term used but people can see that a lot can be done.” At the party’s congress in August, the delegates passed a resolution proposing that the Government implement a quota for political appointments for all component parties at the state assembly level.

Upko Vice President Maijol Mahap (pictured above) who is also Chairman of the Resolution Committee said then that this would provide opportunities for all BN component parties to hold posts at the village, sub-district and district levels. UPKO, he added, had urged the State Government to implement the 4:4:2 quota which is in line with the BN’s power-sharing concept. “We in Upko notice that there are less and less KDM being appointed to new posts in the civil service or as heads of departments. This could lead to public misunderstanding and distrust towards the Government’s integrity,” he had said.


Donggongon Town (above) & the Kiulu River (below)

KIULU: Malaysians are more interested to see the outcome of the general election and the votes majority of the Barisan Nasional coalition and not just victory, UPKO President Tan Sri Bernard Dompok said. Dompok who was asked if the BN would repeat its landslide victory achieved in 2004 elections, in the coming polls, replied: “Oh yes. The BN will win the elections .. there is no doubt about that. All Malaysians are interested to see what would be the majority this time, not whether BN will win or not.” On support for the Opposition parties, he said such would not be translated into votes during “crunch time” as the people do not need their representations, according to him. “I dont think so” was his reply to a question whether those who claimed to be supporting the Opposition parties, would actually vote for them during polling day. “The people are of course asking questions... all the right questions as it is their right to do so. There are 14 component parties in BN to tell them about Government policies and issues as well as air their views,” he said when met after launching UPKO division’s election machinery yesterday. Dompok said “as difficult as it may be to swallow, the Government has accepted a lot of our suggestions and Sabahans do not need political representations from the Opposition parties as UPKO and the other BN component parties are doing a good job.” He added that the Members of Parliament from UPKO and the other component parties are as vocal as anyone else and are in fact in a better position to inform the Prime Minister on what is happening in the State. When asked about the party’s preparations for the coming elections, Dompok said the party had directed all its divisions to organise their election machinery. “This is something that has been happening quietly in all the divisions and we will be organising our voting centres as well as pooling our people so that when the time comes, they will merge with the other component parties members,” he said. To a question about seats allocation for the party, Dompok replied: “We have told the PM during the party’s convention that UPKO will not be making a public issue on seats allocation as it is best discussed within the party or BN.” “We want people to know that we are here for them and not just here to argue among ourselves and about seats. We have gone through many elections and from experience, we know that public posturing will not achieve what we want,” he said. On the exodus of 100 UPKO Kampung Moyog branch members and its chief Saimon Galiun as well as committee members to Parti Keadilan Rakyat Sabah, Dompok said these are people with known record of insecurity. “We are not worried about people who are in one political party for one season and in another the next season. This does not worry us at all,” he said. Saimon had said another 1,000 UPKO members from Zone 1 Moyog area were expected to quit the party and join Keadilan soon, as he cited the failure of the BN Government, in particular UPKO, in bringing development to remote areas within the Penampang District. Saimon said the BN is already in power since 1994, but there is still no road between Donggongon Town and Kampung Terian and Kampung Buayan and that the residents there have to walk on foot for about six hours to reach the town to sell their agriculture produces and buy household essentials or going to the hospital for medical treatment. “The villages also have no electricity and treated water supplies since Sabah gained independence in 1963,” he said, adding that Kampung Rugading still does not have electricity supply until today. Saimon said the BN, in particular the elected representatives, had failed to honour their promise made during the previous elections to bring infrastructure development to three villages.


Datuk Osman Jamal, Director of Lands & Surveys

KOTA KINABALU: The Land and Survey Department is coming up with a written procedure on the mechanism of acquiring land under the newly amended Land Acquisition Ordinance to prevent abuse of the provisions in the amended law. Director Osman Jamal said when ready, the procedure of acquiring land would be distributed to relevant associations and professional bodies to promote understanding and erase any misconception among the public on the importance of the new law. Reassuring that the amended Land Acquisition Ordinance passed by the State Legislative Assembly recently, is not subject to abuse, he said many had misunderstood the true concept of the amendment and thus, they worried it may be abused by agencies concerned. He said the department would also brief the relevant organisations on the amendment and the mechanism of its implementation to avoid further confusion. “We will invite all business chambers, relevant associations such as developers association, architects, lawyers and other professional bodies to explain and try to answer their questions pertaining to the amendment,” he said. He said this after meeting a group from the Federation of Chinese Associations led by Datuk Sari Nuar at his office in Wisma Tanah yesterday afternoon. The amendment to Section 2 of the Ordinance among others defined the term “public purpose” by substituting the words “or any corporation incorporated directly by the written law” to “any corporation incorporated directly by written law or by private enterprise, or otherwise howsoever”. Osman said the two-hour meeting mostly discussed the association’s concerns pertaining to the amendment. He said most of the issues raised during the meeting pertained to the delay in payment of compensation as well as inadequate compensation to land owners. The association requested the department to ensure that under the new provisions, all land owners whose land were acquired by the Government be paid in accordance to the market value and as quickly as possible, Osman said. Osman had said delays in land compensation payments arose only when a landowner refused to accept the amount offered by the Government. In this regard, he advised land owners to accept the payment with protest and file a suit for additional payment should they feel the compensation offered to them is lower than the actual value. This, he said, would avoid any delay in payment of compensation. “We will obey the court’s decision. Should the court say our assessment is incorrect and that the value of the land is actually more than the compensation we give to the owner, then we will give additional compensation,” he said. Osman said the Department is legally and ethically obliged to give an accurate assessment on the value of the land to be acquired and land owners shall be paid accordingly. “Land owners must understand that we have rules and regulations in assessing the value of any land to be acquired and that the amount of compensation will be based on the market value of the land,” he said. He noted that there were less than five percent of land owners whose land were acquired for utilities development in the past disagreeing with the amount of compensation given to them and they had turned to the court for a higher compensation. Out of this figure he said, less than two percent proceeded with their appeal with only very few being given higher compensation. Most of the land owners opted to settle their claims prior to hearing and accepted the initial amount of compensation offered to them, he added.
The Federation of Chinese Associations also voiced their concern that the purpose for land acquisition under the Ordinance would be changed to allow it to be used to acquire lands for developing commercial projects, according to Osman. “This would never happen because unlike in Peninsular and Sarawak, the State Land Ordinance only allows the Government to acquire land for developing public utilities,” he said. Osman proposed that Sabah should follow the steps of the other states to enable the Government to acquire land for commercial development to boost its development “We are the only state that don’t practise it. In the Peninsular, their land acquisition system is more advance. If we are to handle a more rapid development we too should
do the same. This is for the benefit of the people,” he said.