Monday, October 15, 2007


PAPAR: About 95 percent of Puteri Umno members who are eligible to vote nationwide have already registered in preparation for the coming elections, said national vice chief Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin. She said while they are still in the midst of updating their membership records up till September this year, this will account for roughly over 100,000 voters across the country. “We are now looking at a small percentage left who have yet to register. The problem is locating them because these are mostly young women who are working outside of the areas where they are registered,” she told reporters at her Hari Raya open house here yesterday. “We have around 330,000 members nationwide between the ages of 18 and 35 and we still need to separate those who are eligible and who are not yet eligible to vote we will have a look at the data after Hari Raya and update our records up till September.” When asked about Puteri Unmo’s position and level of acceptance in Umno, where it is the newest wing in the party, Rosnah said the wing has been accepted “in principle”. “This is a normal thing, especially in politics where new things have a problem in gaining acceptance when you first start out but it has now been six years and I believe in principle we have been accepted at all levels of the party,” she said. On their preparations for the coming elections, Rosnah noted that Puteri Umno’s stand is to focus on the party’s preparations and will leave it to the party leadership to decide if there will be among the Puteri Umno ranks who will be chosen to contest. “We are thankful we have four representatives from PuteriUmno, two as assemblywomen, one senator and myself as an MP, but the elections are coming close. “What is important is not to ask for seats but to just focus on the work •.. we must help Umno defends its current seats and also win more BN (Barisan Nasional) seats in future,” she said.


KIULU: Realising the importance of preserving the Kadazandusun language, the UPKO divisional Komulakan movement will be setting up a resource centre for the language here.
Tuaran Member of Parliament Datuk Wilfred Madius Tangau said the centre will not only collect and keep information about the language, it will also archive stories and folk tales of the Kadazandusun community. Madius, who is also UPKO Kiulu chief, said staff of the resource centre will be going down to the villages to talk to the elderly Kadazandusun folks and making audio tapes of all the folk tales. The stories will be narrated by those who know them and the stories are not just fairy tales as they all have moral lessons behind them, he added. “These tapes will then be kept at the resource centre and those who wish to learn more about the folk lores can come here and use the facilities,” he said here. According to him, those interested to learn more about the Kadazandusun language can also come to the centre and seek assistance from the personnel there to get more information. Madius also pointed out that in the annual story telling competition in the Kadazandusun language, participants have been known to recycle materials as they have no new materials to use. “They can now come to the centre to get new materials for the competition,” he said adding that Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Bernard Dompok who is also UPKO president has given his approval to the setting up of the resource centre. Dompok, he added, has also given his assurance that he would source out allocation for the setting up of the centre as the former agrees that it is a very good move by the UPKO Kiulu Komulakan movement. Madius also said that UPKO will continue its struggles to give prestige to the Kadazandusun language in accordance to the aim of its previous leaders. “Much has been done towards the preservation of the Kadazandusun language such as the setting up of the Kadazandusun Language Foundation.
“UPKO president Tan Sri Bernard Dompok’s hard work has resulted in the language being taught in schools but there are many challenges that are ahead of us among which is the number of schools teaching the language decreased in 2005 as the number of pupils taking Kadazandusun in schools had also dropped,” he said. Madius also said the Kadazandusun language is also taught in lower secondary in some schools and there is a proposal for the language to be taught in Form 4 and 5. “For this proposal to be successful, the Education Ministry needs the support of the rakyat,” he said, adding that the Education Ministry is now waiting for proposals and feedback on the matter.


KOTA KINABALU: A survey on the performance of all elected representatives in Sabah on matters relating to the development is to be carried out after Hari Raya and a full report will be prepared for the Prime Minister. The survey to be undertaken by the Sabah Consumers Association (CASH) seeks to assess how the various MPs and Assemblymen performed over the years since the last general election in 2004. Cash President Datuk Patrick Sindu, said the Association had already identified a consumers’ list from the grassroots in order for it to carry out a survey which will take place over a period until December. “We want to assist the Government in assessing the performance of the State Assemblymen and MPs. We do not want to just depend on information from political leaders only. “We want to listen to the views of the, public at the grassroots level and identify the leaders who are popular with the people and thrust them forward for the coming elections,” Patrick. said. Sabah, the second largest state in the country, has 60 Assemblymen and 25 MPs. The next general election has been widely speculated to be held between November this year and next year and the Barisan Nasional leadership is expected to consider the performance of its elected representatives, among other factors, before deciding to field them again. The BN line-up is also expected to see new faces in the coming polls. Meanwhile, it is reliably learned that all Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) incumbent State Assemblymen are expected to be fielded again in the next general election. PBS has 13 State and four parliamentary elected representatives.- That is why all elected representatives have been required to give reports on their performance to the BN leadership. But it is not immediately known whether or not all the party’s incumbent MPs will get to contest in their respective areas.


MERSING: Choong Yoong Kim, 43, one of the victims who is still missing after the “Seagull Express” ferry caught fire seven nautical miles off Tioman Island on Saturday, managed to save his youngest son before disappearing under the water.
The victim’s sister-in-law, Wong Sook Khim, said she managed to see Chong held his son, Chong Wing Yi, 7 on board the ferry before it sank, when told that her brother-in-law was among the three victims who were still missing.
“I did not expect that this holiday, involving 20 people from our six families will result in a tragedy like this because we have been planning to holiday in Tioman for a long time. “Also, another victim, whose fate is still unknown, is my brother, Wong Soong Leng, 37,” she told reporters here today. She said other than Wing Yi, Chong still has three other children Zi Wei, 17, Wing Jian, 16 and Zi Kuan, 10.
“Wing Yi, who suffered burns to the face and hands, is undergoing treatment at Sultanah Aminah Hospital in Johor Baharu.
“Although we are in the midst of sorrow, we are hoping that Choong and Wong will be found safe,” she said. In the incident which occurred at 12.3Opm yesterday, the 20 family members from Petaling Jaya boarded the ferry for Pulau Tioman before it caught fire and sank. There were also 86 other passengers including three crew members on board. The dead were Hoo Lee Lan, 67, from Kuala Lumpur, Hong See Tiew, 53, Teh Siew Lan, 52, both from Kiang, and Tee Moi @ Haw Lee Maoi, 68, from Batu Pahat. The injured, including three women, were Lee Zsi Winn from Johor Baharu, Yong Sait Yoon from Kuala Lumpur, Ngow Lee Ling from Batu Pahat and a boy, Choong Wing Yi from Kuala Lumpur. Meanwhile, two eye-witnesses, crew members Zulkarnain Subahan and Asi Abdul Manaf, who helped in rescuing the passengers, said the fire started very fast. “We threw ropes and life jackets to help the victims,” Zulkarnain said. He said the tragedy was the first in his eight years as a crew member of the ferry.