Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Wed 24th Oct 2007 - Heritage trail walk

SANDAKAN: The Sabah Society Sandakan is organizing a heritage trail walk on November 8 that will take participants down memory lane to enrich them with the town’s historical heritage.

The trail will start from Sandakan Hotel at 3pm and covers 11 sites which can be completed in a two-hour leisure walk, Dr Arthur Chung disclosed.
“We are charging RM10 for members and RM12 for non members. Participants are reminded that the cut-off date for the event is November 6. They have to wear walking shoes and bring along a cap and water,” Dr Chung said.

Those interested can email their mobile phone number to Dr Chung at Arthur.

Wed 24th Oct 2007 - Malaysia’s first Scorpene submarine launched

PARIS: Malaysia’s ambitious plans to have a submarine fleet to enhance the nation’s fence capabilities is bearing fruition, with the launch of its first submarine on Tuesday.

Unveiling of the Scorpene-class underwater attack craft, is the highlight of a four-day visit to France by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

In keeping with the world’s age-old navy tradition under the British empire that only women should inaugurate a ship, Najib’s wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, will have the honor of performing the customary launch by breaking a bottle across the bow of the vessel at DCNS dockyard in the port city of Cherbourg, about 350km from Paris, at 1pm local time (7pm Malaysia time).

Rosmah will also officially name the state- of-the-art submarine as “KD Tunku Abdul Rahman”, after Malaysia’s first prime minister.

The first of the two submarines ordered for the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN), the 67.5m-long submarine equipped with torpedoes, sub-surface-to-surface missiles and sea mines, is manned by only a 31 member crew due to high level of automation.

Malaysia ordered for two brand-new Scorpene submarines for RM3.4 billion in 2002 which were jointly built by French shipbuilding giant Defence Conseil National and its Spanish partner, Navantia.

The RMN is expected to take delivery of the vessel inaugurated yesterday in January 2009 and is expected to arrive in Malaysia six months later.

The second submarine, to be named “KD Tun Razak” is expected to be handed over in October 2009 and arrive in the country in March 2010.

A second-hand reconditioned submarine “Quessant”, to be used for training purposes, was booked under an agreement with a Malaysian company “Armaris”.

The electricity and diesel-powered Scorpene submarine, capable of operating under 350-metre deep water for 40 straight days, is suitable to be deployed in South China Sea and Straits of Melaka.

The new generation Scorpene submarine seen as “adding another feather on the cap” of the navy will surely add more firepower to the navy to protect the country’s territorial waters from being encroached into by foreign submarines.

It will complement the navy’s current fleet of patrol crafts in meeting the challenges of sea operations.

Wed 24th Oct 2007 - Inexperenced contractors delay projects

KOTA KINABALU: The lack of knowledge and experience is the main factor for contractors to delay Government-funded projects, said State Public Works Department (PWD) director Ir Anjin Haji Ajik.

As such, he urged Bumiputera contractors n the State to constantly acquire knowledge sand experience to enable them to complete projects that were awarded to them within the timeframe set by the Government.

“The Government wants the development projects to be completed on schedule or ahead of the date of completion without compromising on the quality of workmanship,” said Anjin when receiving a courtesy call by a delegation of office bearers from the Sabah Class D Contractors Association yesterday.

He reckoned that contractors should come up with good planning to implement their projects smoothly.

Apart from weak management, Anjin said the delay in completing a project is also caused by problems related to land acquisition, inadequate raw materials such as cement as experienced by the State recently and also weather condition.

He also advised Bumiputera contractors to carry out the projects awarded to them, instead of renting out their permit or sell the projects for quick gains.

“The PWD is ready to provide guidance and counseling services to Bumiputera contractors to enable them to rectify their weaknesses and become successful entrepreneurs in the industry,” Anjin added.

Wed 24th Oct 2007 - Girl in red dress captured on CCTV not linked to Nurin’s murder

KUALA LUMPUR: The girl in a red dress captured on a CCTV recording where Nurin Jazlin Jazimin’s body was found in Petaling Jaya on Sept 20, is not linked to her murder, Bukit Aman CID chief Datuk Christopher Wan Soo Kee said.

He said that the girl, aged 15 years, who appeared in the second segment of the recording, had come to the Petaling Jaya police station on Saturday to explain her presence outside the three-storey shop lot in Jalan PJS 1/48, Petaling Jaya, where Nurin’s naked body stuffed in a sports bag was left at its staircase on the ground floor.

“Investigations showed that she had come there about an hour after the bag was placed at the staircase. Police are satisfied that she has no connection to the murder,” he told reporters yesterday.

Wan said that investigations were now focused on the first segment of the CCTV recording, which shows a man carrying a black-and-blue colored Diadora sports bag from his Modenas Kriss motorcycle before placing it at the staircase of the shop lot.

On the autopsy pictures of Nurin that were circulated on the Internet, Wan said that police expected to wrap up investigations into it in about two weeks.

“We have checked several computers and questioned their owners. However, I am not able to reveal more information at this time,” he said.

Wan also asked the public to be patient regarding the case and let investigations take their course.

Nurin, eight, a Year Two pupil of Sekolah Rendah Kebangsaan Desa Setapak, went missing after going out on her own to a night market near her home in Wangsa Maju here.

Wed 24th Oct 2007 - Malaysia build own comsat

MOSCOW: Malaysia will build its own communications satellite (comsat) for use by the Government for socio-economic, internal security and defense purposes, said Sciences Technology and Innovations Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jamaludin Jarjis.

He said that although Malaysia already had a privately-owned comsat (Measat), it was imperative that the country had a Government-owned one to keep up with the “needs of the times”.

He said Malaysia had the expertise for the task as local engineers attached to Astronautic Technology (M) Sdn Bhd (ATSB) were more than capable of achieving the feat.

“Satellites built before this were more for remote sensing use. Now, we should go further and build our own comsat. I will bring this matter up with the Cabinet,” he told Malaysian journalists yesterday.

He said that the endeavor was also a natural progression following Malaysia’s success in sending its first citizen into space.

Orthopaedic surgeon Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Sheikh Mustapha accomplished the mission for the country after returning to Earth Sunday following a 11-day stint at the International Space Station (ISS).

He blasted off into space on Oct 10 for the ISS on a Soyuz TMA-l0 together with Russian flight engineer Yury Malenchenko and American astronaut Peggy Whitson.

However, he returned back to Earth with Russian cosmonauts Fyodor Yurchikin Oleg Kotov, who had completed their six-month tour of duty at the ISS. Malenchenko and Whitson replaced them.

Jamaluddin added that building the comsat was further timely as Anatoly Perminov, the president of Roskosmos, the Russian space agency, himself had conveyed to Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak that Russia would do all it could to help Malaysia in the matter, when Najib came to witness the Soyuz spacecraft bringing the Malaysian angkasawn land at the space drop zone in Arkylk, Kazakhstan on Sunday.

He said that the allocation approved by the Cabinet for the building of five remote sensing satellites could be diverted for the comsat.

“I will seek the Cabinet’s approval for this,” he said, adding that the ministry would also hold discussions with the Defence Ministry and the Royal Malaysia Police as to how it can enhance their functions.

Asked if it was only Russia that Malaysia would be cooperating in building the comsat, he said that it was not the case as Malaysia also had forged good cooperation with other countries that had the expertise.

He also said that a grand-homecoming would be held for Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor when the latter returns to Malaysia next month.

Dr Sheikh Muszaphar would also make a call on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi at Seri Perdana in Putrajaya after his arrival at the KL International Airport, he added.

Wed 24th Oct 2007 - South China Sea Place to bring investments to State

KOTA KINABALU: A proposed development soon to be implemented in the City, the South China Sea Place, is poised to bring exciting investment opportunities to the State.

Conceived as a total lifestyle destination for tourists and residents, for customers and retailers, the project to be completed by 2010 will comprise a hotel, hotel suites and retail shops.

The RM155 million buildings are appropriately designed and positioned to take advantage of the majestic views of Mount Kinabalu, the blue South China Sea and the islands just off the shores of the city.

The South China Sea Place (SCSP) is an integrated development undertaken by Sabah Urban Development Corporation (SUDC) which is adopting an innovative idea of property ownership.

The project offers an option for investors to lease back the suites that they have purchased to the operators of an elegant hotel within the same development.

“The project’s concept with its emphasis on the tourism sector is in line with the Government’s stated objective of promoting the tourism industry as a key economic driver of the State,” said SUDC in a statement here yesterday.

The construction and completion of the project will be carried out by Longma Construction Corporation, a locally based contractor whose parent company, Long Yuan Construction is a major construction company listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, said the statement.

Under a build-and-invest arrangement, Longma Construction will buy the entire hotel block from SUDC. Thus the hotel will be foreign-owned.

“This is a departure from existing hotels which are mostly exclusively Malaysian owned.

“It represents SUDC’s successful effort in bridging foreign direct investment into Kota Kinabalu. It would also help to open up new markets for us in the home country of the hotel investor,” the statement added.

SCSP is strategically located on a two-acre site fronting the KK-Tanjung Aru Coastal Highway in the heart of the City.

Together with its immediate neighbors — the Indonesian Consulate, Sabah Umno headquarters, Bank Simpanan Nasional, Maybank regional office, Wawasan Plaza, KK Times Square and Kota Kinabalu City Bus Terminal, SCSP will enhance the vacationing and shopping atmosphere of the City.

The hotel will have a total of 174 rooms and adjoining the hotel block are 478 suites in three different types to meet the needs of the discerning hotel guests and residents.

The contractor has undertaken to market half of the 478 units of hotel suites overseas to tap into the Malaysia My Second Home programme.

The hotel will have a cafe, a lobby lounge, a ballroom and meeting rooms. It will also feature a gym, a clubhouse, a swimming pool and roof garden terrace and pool deck.

The hotel will be managed by a renowned hotel management firm which operates a chain of international hotels worldwide. It is rumored that the hotel investors are now in serious talk with the Ramada chain.

The other components of the SCSP include a total of 10 office suites and 19 units of retail shop lots.

Surrounding these shop lots is an open air atrium or courtyard, which features a waterfall, alfresco restaurants and cafes that will serve as a pleasant place for food relaxation.

The developer has specifically designed this ground floor level to be the preferred meeting place and hangout for the city yuppies and aficionados.

For the convenience of customers, hotel guests, residents and office occupants, ample parking bays are available.

Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun represented Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman to officiate a ground braking ceremony at the project site yesterday.

Wed 24th Oct 2007 - Money for the dead: 5 are charged

KOTA KINABALU: Five civil servants, three of them women, claimed trial at two Sessions Courts here yesterday to separate charges of corruption in relation to welfare payments for the dead.

Community development assistant Rasiah @ Thomy Sumbat, 48, and administration assistant Rosminie bt Borilok, 42, from the Welfare Department office in Tuaran, pleaded not guilty before Judge Ravinthran Paramaguru to five charges of falsifying documents by certifying the payments of welfare assistance from January to February, May to June, July to August, September to October, and November to December, 2005, respectively for Dayang binte Ismail bearing identity card H0051446. However Dayang has already passed away on Dec 16, 2003.

Masni @ Masnah binti Sairin, 55, is accused of abetting Rasiah and Rosminie in committing the alleged offences by putting her thumbprint on the column for the name of Dayang binte Ismail.

Rasiah and Rosminie also face an additional charge of certifying the payment of welfare assistance from March to April, 2006, to another person, Andah binte Jair bearing identity card 350103-12-5202. Andah died on Feb 17, 2006.

The trio are accused of committing the offences between Feb 14, 2005, and June 2, 2006 at Tuaran District Welfare Office.

Ravinthran set Dec 9 to 12, next year for their trial and released each of them on a RM2,000 bail fully deposited under two local sureties pending the trial.

The Penampang Acting District Treasury officer Stanislaus Golingi, 51, meanwhile claimed trial before Sessions Court Judge Duncan Sikodol, to 22 charges of making similar fraudulent welfare payments.

His colleague Irene Lazarus Nicholas, 36, pleaded not guilty to abetting Stanislaus in committing the alleged offences.

Stanislaus was accused of deceiving the State Treasury by issuing welfare payments for the elderly at the Penampang District Treasury from January to December, last year for deceased Boliking Sabanta, Essa binte Polok, Joikin binte Ginunjil and Launentia Binin binte Majangkun.

Boliking passed away on August 23, 2005, Essa on June 12, last year, Joikin on Dec 29, 2005 and Launentia on Dec 31, 2005.

The two accused had allegedly committed the offences between Feb 28 and Nov 23, last year at the Penampang Treasury Office.

Duncan reserved January 28 to 31 next year for their trial and released them on RM3,000 bail with two local sureties each pending the trial.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Muhammad Sinti .and Prosecuting Officer Badrulshah Norman from the Putrajaya Anti-Corruption Agency appeared for the prosecution while counsel Peter Jino Allion represents Stanislaus and Irene. The other three other accused are un-represented.

Wed 24th Oct 2007 - Chinese Companies Encouraged To Invest In East Malaysia. Says Consul General

KOTA KINABALU: The growing economy of Sabah has attracted visitors and investments from many countries including China, according to the Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Kuching, Mr Xie Fugen.

He said the State’s economy had captured the attention of more and more Chinese companies which hoped to form a close business relationship in the development of Sabah.

Realizing its potential as an important area of BIMP-EAGA, he said Sabah is now working aggressively with China to forge a better cooperation in economic development.

He said the Federal and State Governments had also proposed the Eastern Corridor Project, and and earmarked the important development areas in Sabah for the next five years, especially in the oil palm plantation and palm oil industries, said Fugen.

“We have been encouraging more Chinese companies to invest their monies abroad, and come to East Malaysia to take on construction projects, to participate in oil palm industry, timber industry and other newly formed industries,” Fugen said.

He was speaking at the ground breaking ceremony for South China Sea Place, a multi-purpose complex consisting of a hotel, service apartments, offices and shop lots to be built by Longma Construction Corporation, a locally-based subsidiary of Shanghai Long Yuan Construction Group.

The RM155 million integrated project development is jointly undertaken by SUDC and Longma scheduled to complete by 2010.

The project is expected to further enhance the State’s tourism industry as well as bridging foreign direct investments to Kota Kinabalu and opening up new markets for Sabah in China.

“We believe, under the speedy business cooperation between China and Malaysia, Sabah will achieve a new and brighter future,” said Fugen.

Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun in officiating the ceremony said Sabah’s economic and political stability provided more opportunities for foreign investors to take part in its development projects.

The tourism and tourism-related industries for instance, provide a constant growing market for both local and foreign investors to tap, said Masidi who represented the Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman.

He pointed out that the tourism industry had been enjoying a healthy growth of around 24 percent per annum, indicating a great investment prospect in the sector.

In addition, the Sabah Development Corridor scheduled to be launched by the Prime Minister this December is yet another tremendous venue for foreign companies to place their investments.

Reading the Chief Minister’s speech earlier, Masidi said that under the State Government’s Halatuju, tourism had been identified as one of the main catalysts for the economic growth.

As such, he said property development, especially hotel and commercial development projects are vital as it would propel the growth of the tourism industry