Thursday, October 11, 2007



KOTA KINABALU: A survey carried out last year revealed that there is a strong market for investors in retail and office space in Sabah. Sabah Housing and Real Estate Developers Association (Shareda) PropEX ‘07 organising chairman Francis Goh said their survey of investor interest in last year’s exhibition showed nearly 85 percent of attention going to the two sectors.
Topping demand in commercial properties were shopping malls/ retail space which accounted for 46 percent of investments earned while two to four-storey shop/office space accounted for 38.8 percent.
“The clear indicative figure of 84.4 percent in the survey shows that potential investors still sought after shop, office and retail lots,” he said in a statement yesterday. Remaining investor interest in commercial space covered a distinctively smaller spectrum with industry lots taking 6.2 percent, uncategorised lots taking 5.5 percent while warehouses accounted for 3.9 percent of investments clinched in last year’s PropEX.
Goh said that there was a more diverse interest in residential property, with double-storey terrace houses taking more than a quarter of the total sales at 29 percent.
Also accounting for a large portion of the market share were semi-detached houses (19.2 percent) followed by single-storey terrace houses (11.9 percent), two to three- room apartments (9.9 percent), condominiums (9.4 percent), bungalows (9.3 percent), low-cost housing (5.9 percent), studio apartments (4.0 percent) and uncategorised structures (1.6 percent). Goh noted that an analysis of the survey data showed that 69.1 percent of investments in residential property went to landed properties, hence the need for the State Government to increase the density for landed properties in Sabah in line with national policy and in view of increasingly scarce and pricey land and soaring construction material costs.
Meanwhile, Goh paid separate courtesy calls on Syarikat Perumahan Negara Berhad (SPNB) Sabah branch manager Khairroul Norsaidi Taib and Penampang Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Datuk Kenneth Yen to promote the annual exhibition.
Themed the “Sabah Ultimate Home and Property Exhibition”, PropEX ‘07 is scheduled to be held at the Kota Kinabalu Sports Complex multi-purpose hall on Nov 22-25 from l0 am to 9.30 pm daily.

Thursday-11/10/2007-Sabah Food Products-popular in Brunei

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah homemade cookies and snacks are enjoying strong demand in Brunei and the market there has much in potential for expansion, said Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (FAMA).

Its Sabah Deputy Director Abdul Jaafar Lian yesterday said five small and medium enterprise products, namely Lidah Buaya, Kuih Cincin and Belacan (prawn paste) from Papar and Amplang and Kerepek Pisang (banana chips) from Tawau have managed to gain a big market share in the oil rich Sultanate.
The five products made their way into Brunei after a Halal Food Expo was held in August this year, and they received a tremendous response from buyers, he said, adding that a second consignment of the products will be delivered after Hari Raya to meet the demand.
“The response is so overwhelming that our local producers just cannot produce enough to meet the demand,” said Jaafar, adding that the first consignment of 10,000 boxes worth around RM4O,000 was sold out. Jaafar noted that the SMEs which make these products are mostly operating on a small-scale and manually, thus FAMA is looking for ways to assist them to expand and fully tap the promising market in the neighbouring country. He said the agency is also planning to introduce more SME products to Brunei and they are already in the process of identifying these products. “Sabah has a lot of products but we are looking for those that are unique and have high competitive value,” he said.
One of such products could be the high quality ginger paste, he said. Jaafar said Brunei is the nearest market for Sabah products and its potential can be further exploited for other Sabah products as the export cost is considerably lower he compared to other farther markets like Peninsular Malaysia.
He said FAMA has been actively helping SMEs in Sabah to improve and market their products, especially to Peninsular Malaysia. FAMA also provide assistance in training as well as product research, he said, adding that last year, FAMA helped market about RM1 million worth of fresh farm products such as fruits and vegetables from Sabah in Semenanjung.
It also marketed more than RM200,000 worth of processed products, mainly cookies and chips, in the Peninsular last year, he added. Jaafar was speaking after the official launch of FAMA’s Special Aidilfitri Agricultural Market at Ruang Singgah Mata Asia City here yesterday. Singgah Mata is one of the 84 venues for the special market throughout the country for selling festive goods for Hari Raya celebrations.
Another such market will be held at Papar Multipurpose Hall car park today and tomorrow. Seventy-five registered members participated in the Aidil Fitri Market at Asia City. FAMA currently has 928 registered members throughout the State. Jaafar said that as at August last year, the 12 farmers’ markets in the State recorded a total ofRM63O,911 in turnover. Food products, especially cookies, were the main contributor with RM141 ,429 sales, followed by fruits and vegetables. Jaafar said FAMA is currently in the process of discussing collaboration with Rural Development Corporative (KPD) to enable its members to use the KPD open market at Tanjung Lipat to sell their products.

Thursday-11/10/2007-Opposition Parties should merge-ex-MP Yunof says

KOTA KINABALU:The merger plan for all the Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties into a single political entity, should also apply to the opposition as such political scenario and development would in the long run, be in the best interest of the people and the country.
With a few parties merging together, the country can then develop at a faster
rate dealing with the true economic and political management rather than handling political wrangling within the present situation.
“The other main advantage for this is to eradicate money politics in the sense that the competition for candidacies will be limited,” former Tuaran Member of Parliament Yunof Maringking told The Borneo Post yesterday.
“Such a political scenario will be in tandem with historical development in countries like the United States, India, England and Australia where only the major parties will fight in the election. Yunof fully supported the stand taken by UPKO President Tan Sri Bernard Dompok with regard to merging of all the BN component parties in the country. He also concurred with the Minister
in the Prime Minister’s Department that such development would be in the right direction and good in the long term on the political and economic development of the country. Yunof claimed that he had discussed the matter when he was still an MP with many Umno and MCA leaders in Kuala Lumpur.
Most of the leaders agreed that it would be in the best interest of the country in the long term, he recounted.
Yunof pointed out that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in his recent reaction to the merger idea floated during the recent delegates conference of Parti Gerakan did not shoot down the idea, but merely stated that it was not the right time yet.
“Unfortunately, when is the right time? The right time is during the forthcoming general election in order to alleviate the Prime Minister from the headache in allocating the seats among the 14 BN component members,” the former Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) vice-president said.
However, Yunof reckoned that that the small parties in Peninsular Malaysia and in Sabah must take the initiative to merge first before they can force Umno, MCA and MIC to merge into a single party.
In Sabah, he suggested that the SAPP, PBS, LDP, PBRS and UPKO should dissolve and merge with Sabah Umno so that it would be easier for the Prime Minister to deal with only three parties, namely Umno, MCA and MlC to merge
into one party, whatever the name maybe. Apart from the BN, Yunof said that the merging should also apply to the opposition.
He said all the “mosquitoe parties” in Sabah should merge with Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) in order to provide the people here with a formidable alternative government for the State.
In this regard, the DAP and PAS should talk to PKR to merge into one opposition party so that the people would have more confidence in electing the opposition during the election, Yunof suggested.
He said that the merger should also apply to Sarawak which at the moment he considered the most volatile political situation in the country.
The situation in Sarawak is still uncertain following the dissolution of PBDS, Yunof added.

Thursday-11/10/2007-First Malaysian blast off into space

BAIKONUR (Kazakhstan):
DR Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Sheikh Mustapha blasted off from here yesterday in a Soyuz spacecraft to become the first Malaysian to go into space in a launch seen as a milestone in propelling Malaysia into a new and exciting chapter in its history. The 35-year-old “angkasawan” (astronaut in Malay), an orthopaedic surgeon from Seremban who has American Peggy Whitson and Russian Yuri Malenchenko for company, lifted off at 7.21 pm (9.2lpm Malaysian time) from the
Baikonur Cosmodrome in a Soyuz TMA-1 1 spacecraft bearing the flags of Malaysia, Russia and the United States. The huge rocket travelled at 26,000 kiometres (16,155 miles) an hour and took just a few minutes to reach orbit. Having shed its empty fuel tanks and entered orbit, the Soyuz capsule was to spend two days travelling to the space station. The launch of the scecraft. which is headed for a docking with the orbiting International Space Station (ISS) 333km above the earth, was followed live by millions of Malaysians back home who were glued to their television sets or giant screens placed at strategic locations in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi watched the historic lift-off live on one of the several huge screens set up at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC), along with Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Deputy Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Kong Cho Ha and 280 schoolchildren. A breaking-of-the-fast was held earlier at the venue. The launch was observed here by Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jamaludin Jarjis as well as the parents of Dr Sheikh MuszapharShukor— Datuk Sheikh Mustapha Sheikh Shukor and Datin Zuraida Datuk Sheikh Ahmad. Coming on the 28th day of the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan, the launch holds a special significance for Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor. He does not have to fast in space but has said that he may want to observe the regime, if possible. He will then take credit for being the first Muslim astronaut to observe the Ramadan fast and also celebrate Aidilfitri, which is likely to fall on Oct 13, in space. For this “angkasawan” and all other Malaysians, the launch could not have come at a more opportune moment when the nation is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its independence. Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor said his trip, paid for by the Malaysian Government, was a great step for his nation. “I feel great. I just can’t wait to go up — for the Malaysian people,” Muszaphar told AFP as he headed for the launch pad after being helped into his spacesuit. Coincidently, Russia is marking 50 years of space exploration. The first ever satellite, Sputnik, was launched from the very same Baikonur Cosmodrome on Oct 4 1957. Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor and his fellow astronauts will be in the ISS for nine days, during which time the Malaysian is scheduled to conduct three experiments involving cells in space, microbes in space and the crystallisation of proteins. He is due to return to earth on Oct 21. The 35-year-old doctor who has spent a year training for the flight in Russia, said Tuesday that he hoped to inspire Malaysians to further space achievements and that Malaysia should have its own spacecraft by 2020. His space venture has been made possible by Malaysia’s Angkasawan Programme to send the first Malaysian into space. The programme was conceived in 2003 when Russia agreed to send a Malaysian to the ISS as part of Malaysia’s RM3.42 -billion purchase of 18 Russian-made Sukhoi 30MKM fighter jets. The Russian government is bearing the cost of the programme. Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor is one of two candidates chosen from’ 11,267 applicants in an open selection process which started in October 2003 and ended in September 2006. The other is backup “angkasawan” Capt Dr.Faiz Khaleed. After a series of tests, Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor and Dr Faiz underwent training at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre, a facility inaugurated on Jan 11 1960 in Star City outside Moscow, from September last year. The Russian space agency, Roskosmos, has agreed that Dr Faiz participate in the 2008/2009 space mission and has allowed him to continue training at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre. The Angkasawan Programme is seen as a giant step for Malaysia in developing its scientific and technological capabilities and in building its international image. It is hoped that the programme will spur Malaysians to develop an interest in space studies in particular and science and technology in general, and encourage local scientific and space industries.

Thursday-11/10/2007-THE SUN IN THE SKY OVER KOTA KINABALU AT 12.50 pm



Before the 1980s, the number plates in Sabah used the prefix letter "E" to indicate the vehicle was registered in East Malaysia, followed by a second letter denoting the region in the state. Examples include "EJ 1234", and "EJA 1234":
EJ: Jesselton (renamed Kota Kinabalu in 1968).
ES: Sandakan
ET: Tawau
ED: Lahad Datu
EU: Keningau
EK: Kudat
EL: Labuan
The letter "E" was added to overcome confusion with vehicles from Peninsular Malaysia, but those plates then became identical to Singapore licence plates, some of which also starts with the letter "E".
Beginning the 1980s, new Sabahan vehicle license numbers were issued in a "SA 1 A" format, the "S" and "A" being the prefixes while the "A" at the end is the suffix. The second prefix will indicate the region — in this case, "A" refers to vehicles registered in Kota Kinabalu or in the West Coast Division. This format is used throughout Sabah. For example, in Tawau, the number plates will follow the series "ST 1 A". Since 2000, vehicles registered in Kota Kinabalu are issued a "SAA 1 A" format of license numbers after the exhaustion of the "SA 9999 Y" format in 1999.
S: Sabah
SA: Kota Kinabalu and Kota Belud
SB: Beaufort
SD: Lahad Datu
SK: Kudat
SS: Sandakan
ST: Tawau
SU: Keningau
SG: Government
Sabah Motor Dealers' (Trade) plates are red on white in the format 1-3 numbers followed by a district letter, usually J, for Sabah's capital, Kota Kinabalu.
Specialised designations
HWC 1234
While older taxicab number plates had previously used normal number plate formats as standard vehicles, most newer Malaysian taxi assume an H (Hire) prefix at the start of its plate, followed by its respective location prefix. Unlike standard vehicles, taxi number plates have black characters on a white background. An example of a taxi license plate is illustrated at the right. The local Road Transport Department, JPJ, allows sales of personalised numbers for taxis. Prefixes and suffixes are dependant on the location the taxi was registered in. A single digit number, can be purchased for only around 100-200 Malaysian Ringgit. This applies for all taxi types.
HSA: Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

Diplomatic vehicle

Diplomats' number plates also use white on a black background and Consular Corps personnel have white on red plates. Unlike other licence plates, which have the format of (typically) ABC 1234, diplomatic licence plates are formatted (for example) 11-22-DC for Diplomatic corps or ending CC for Consular Corps (for Commonwealth countries). United Nations uses UN and some international organizations have the code PA.

Military vehicle
The Malaysian military uses Z as the starting prefix of a licence plate, followed by a second prefix letter to denote the branch of the military. The Z alphabet is not used as suffixes in any type of Malaysian plate.
Z : The top men of the Malaysian Royal Army
ZA to ZD: Army
ZL: Navy
ZU: Air Force
ZZ: Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) staff

T/BB 5037
Semi-trailers feature two license plates, place at the rear of the trailer. One is designated for the tractor unit, and another for the following trailer itself. The tractor unit's license plate follows that of a normal ABC 1234 arrangement in accordance to those of the tractor unit itself, while the trailer's own license plate features a T/ prefix, followed by the trailer's normal registration number. Thus, an example of a trailer's license plate tends to read as followed: T/BA 1234. In a handful of cases, the T/ prefix is superscripted.

Vanity & Specialty plates
Proton 1234
Vanity plates, i.e. plates using special, distinctive prefixes, are available at extra cost. These special prefixes may denote the brand of the car (such prefixes are often used, for example, on Proton and Perodua cars). Among the more commonly used special prefixes are:
Proton: Issued for certain Proton cars.
Perodua: Issued for certain Perodua cars.
WAJA: Issued for Proton Waja cars.
Satria: Issued for Proton Satria cars.
Tiara: Issued for Proton Tiara cars.
Perdana: Issued for Proton Perdana cars.
LOTUS : Issued for Lotus cars.
KRISS: Issued for Modenas Kriss motorcycle.
Jaguh: Issued for Modenas Jaguh motorcycle.
NAZA: Issued for Naza vehicles.
SUKOM: Issued only during the 1998 Commonwealth Games, which was held in Kuala Lumpur at that year.
XIII NAM: Issued only during the 2003 NAM Summit which was held in Kuala Lumpur at that year.
X OIC: Issued only during the 2003 OIC Summit which was held in Kuala Lumpur at that year.
XI ASEAN: Issued only during the 2005 ASEAN Summit which was held in Kuala Lumpur at that year.
BAMbee: Issued only during the 2000 Thomas and Uber Cup which was held in Kuala Lumpur at that year.
XXX IDB: Issued to members and participants of the Islamic Development Bank conference.