Saturday, October 13, 2007
KOTA KINABALU: The Lok Kawi Wildife Park near here is all abuzz with daily training lessons now given to its animals, and it is open to the public.
A handful of birds, orang utans and snakes are now being trained to prepare them for daily shows at a special stage within the ‘park.
The Wildlife Department is now targeting to prepare the animals to take centre stage by mid November for simple half hour shows to provide added attraction at the park.
For now however the public are invited to watch the daily “interactive” training sessions which include getting the animals used to the presence of large audiences. A consultant company, Wild Concepts International, is overlooking the preparation of the animals for the presentations which include birds of prey swooping over the heads of the audiences and orang utans peeling coconut husks. Its manager Shamima Rafi who oversees the training programme said all the animals were “auditioned” within the park itself based on their potentials as performers.
“At the same time we are also helping the park staff to handle the animals for such shows,” she said, adding thus far among the key performers are a couple of hornbills, a brahminy kite and rufus belied eagle along with two orang utans and two parrots.
“Once we start the daily presentations it will be in the morning and afternoon. What we are doing now is to train them according to the fixed time which are normally during their meals,” Shamima said. Yesterday, for instance a group from Universiti Malaysia Sabah was hosted to one such session where they got to see raptors, parrots and the orang utans strut their stuff. “Some of the birds and the animals are not exactly ready yet particularly when it comes to performing before a crowd, hence the reason why we prefer if there are people around them when they are being trained,”She added -
KOTAKINABALU: The MVDoulos officially opened its bookstore to the public in a simple but meaningful ceremony on board the world’s largest floating library at the Kota Kinabalu port last night.
The ship, first commissioned into service as a cargo transport in 1914, will be open to the public for the next
two weeks until it departs on Oct 26. Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Pairin Kitingan, when officially opening the bookstore, said the Doulos and its 350-strong international volunteer crew is a welcome reprieve for a world scarred with strife and conflict.
The world has gone through many chállenges, particularly in the search for peace, and the governments of the world are doing their best in the negotiation for peace in the midst of terrorism activities” he said in his address.
“But in the middle of. these challenges and crises, and on the basis of knowledge being power, there are people going around the world in various capacities and transports to promote peace, lifelong education and protection of the environment.”
Pairin commended the contributions and sacrifices of the volunteers on the Doulos, which is a melting pot of world cultures and beacon of international understanding.
“Volunteers sacrifice a lot to contribute towards peace and brotherhood, and for that reason, again I would like to salute Doulos and the people on board,” he said.
The Doulos, or slave in Greek, is the vessel’s fourth incarnation after it was purchased by German charity “Gute Bucher fur Alle” (Good books for All) in 1977.
Built just two years after the construction of the ill-fated Titanic, the Doulos has visited over 100 countries and more than 500 ports since 1978.
Its library holds more than 6,000 titles, including over 200 new Malay books, and has had over 18 million visitors in its travels..
This is the vessel’s fifth visit to Kota Kinabalu after it last came in eight years ago in 1999. This visit however is also expected to be its last as it is scheduled to be retired from service in 2010.
The bookstore is open Monday to Saturday from lOam to 10pm and on Sunday and the 22nd (Monday) from
2pm to 10pm. There will also be various cultural and educational programmes such as the Discover Dou1os on the 13th, 14th, 15th, 19th and 21st and cultural performances on the 14th and the 21st.
Admission is free except for the cultural performances, which will have limited tickets. For more information or to book tickets, contact the information line at 012-8296965.
KOTA KINABALU: ‘Balik kampung’ is the best way to celebrate Hari Raya for most of the people residing in the city and towns as it is merrier. For Puan Sri Hajah Halimah Gingson, a Dusun, she will be celebrating Adilfiltri at Kampung Lingkudau in Ranau. “When we hear the song ‘Selamat Hari Raya’ and see the lighting of fireworks, we would get even more excited,” says Halimah who is staying at Jalan Istana here. “I will meet all my relatives, cousins and my grandchildren at a special gathering where we will make cakes and cook food ourselves,” adds Halimah who will have a moderate celebration this year. As for Rina Gintal, every Hari Raya is a valuable moment as it is an opportunity to ask for forgiveness from parents, members of the family, relatives and friends. “If they pardon us, then it is a belief that we have no sins towards them anymore, that is if we did have in the past,” she said. “I live in Bakti Ikhlas, Likas but I will also return to my village in Ranau to celebrate this Hari Raya. Normally, the kampung environment is merrier as we meet our family, relatives and friends.
“Actually, I miss my sister and her family who are living in Kuala Lumpur. They could sing very good karaoke Hari Raya songs. When we were young, we would sing together happily! I hope they would come home for the Hari Raya, says the 48-year- old single mother. Rina’s best friend, Halina Molison, a bank staff from Kampung Pinawantai Kudat, Chipped in, “I would be very busy visiting my Muslim relatives and friends because they would serve all kinds of delicious food and invite everyone to their open house. “I sympathize with those who will be on duty during Raya and those who have been struck by natural disasters like fire,” says Halina who resides in Putrajaya, Jalan Tuaran.
Siti Gintal, a former typist with a local newspaper and now runs a retail business in Ranau, is also hoping that her sister Nurmillah and family in Kuala Lumpur can join her for Hari Raya.
As for Sri Nor Sherafie Izuan Abu Bakar, 22, an employee of a cafe at Warisan Square, she hoped to visit her grandparents at Kampung Kadazan Baru in Kunak if she could get a bus or air ticket.
“Even though I was born in Kota Kinabalu and studied and work here, I feel more comfortable and happier to spend Raya in the kampung as it is merrier there. Besides enjoying the traditional food, I will also be able to visit my relatives and friends,” she says.
Her 24-year-old sister, Nur Sri Daiyana, agrees with her.
“I have been studying in Sarawak and I would return to my kampung every Hari Raya as the village environment is merrier,” she says.
Nur Ain bte Monili, a 22 -year-old student of the Institut Kemahiran Belia Negara, Kinarut, cannot wait to see her
parents in Lahad Datu and ask for forgiveness from them. “I miss them so much as well as members of my family. “I live in Kampung Muhibah and I am the eldest in my family of nine. No matter what, I always hope that I would be with my family every Hari Raya,” says Nur Ain who was waiting for her aunt to pick her up in front of a shopping outlet in Segama here. Herbal drinks seller Kamisah binti Amjah, 56, is having a moderate
celebration this year at Kampung Indah in Tuaran. She will make and cook special food for her visitors like
rendang, ketupat and curry. “I do not buy new clothes, just simple things to decorate my house to cheer up my family and relatives,” says Kamisah who is staying at Kampung Ketiau, Putãtan.
Dayang Maslindah Jali, 25, a staffof Commercial Service Centre at Kampung Air here was looking forward to have her friends visiting her house in Menggatal.
Also joining the balik kampong rush were homemaker Marlita bte Jamain 25,and her fisherman husband Razim Ahmad, 29.
“I always look forward to Hari Raya as I would have the chance to see members of my family and ask forgiveness. You know, when we ‘ young, we did not fully understand the meaning of Hari Raya,” Marlita says when met while shopping Kampung Air here.
Razim Ahmad, 29, chipped in, (My wife’s family is in Membakut and are collecting some cakes for them some clothes for our five kids! I know they will be very happy to see new beautiful clothes.”
Johana Liau, 20, a promoter for a shopping outlet here, said, “Even though I am not a Muslim, I also want to enjoy this Hari Raya. I am taking two days leave so that I could visit all my Muslim friends at my kampung in Kota Belud, have fun and eat all kinds of delicious food!
“The supermarket here has been busy these few days, especially from 5pm to 9pm. Although, it
close at 9pm, we extend 9.45pm and sometimes later due to many visitors ... but I love the excitement!