Thursday, October 25, 2007

Thursday 25th Oct 2007 - Knowledge of environmental effects of littering lacking

KOTA KINABALU: Lack of knowledge of the environmental effects of littering is the main factor why people like to litter, said All Saints Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) chairman Datuk Lee Chuen Wan.

Therefore environmental cleanliness programme targeting to educate young people and students on the affect of littering is vital, he said.

Believing on the importance of instilling environmental awareness among the youngsters, SM All Saints yesterday held a cleanliness programme to educate students and teachers on how to take care of the environment.

The one-day programme organized by the school’s PTA with cooperation of City Hall, was aimed to get the message across that the environment is getting more polluted and everyone needs to play their role to stop further destruction of the earth.

“Our environment is getting more polluted while the earth’s natural resources continue to deplete at an alarming rate The fate of the earth is in our hands.
“I believe if we stop littering, we can keep our environment clean,” said Lee.

Citing unknown studies, he said other factors contributing to littering is the lack of social pressure to do what is right, for example, to dump rubbish at the right place.

This, he said, leads to a lack of moral sense among individuals when they are littering such as throwing cigarette butts from moving vehicles and along the road,
Other factors include lack of disposal containers or rubbish bins at public places as well as lack. of heavy penalties and consistent enforcement.

The Environmental Cleanliness Day was held in conjunction with the Malaysia Environment Week.

Among the activities conducted were collection of recyclable items, exhibitions and registration of City Friend new members from among students, parents and teachers.

Thursday 25th Oct 2007 - Donate blood to save your own life

Studies show blood donors face lower heart disease risk

PENAMPANG: The public would, by donating blood, not only save others’ lives, but also theirs.

According to the Executive chairman of Rafflesia Medical centre Sdn Bhd, Dr Roland Chia Ming Shen, a major study of 1,931 men by a team from University of Kuopio in Finland found that men who regularly donate blood reduced their risk of cardiovascular disease.

He said that another study of 2,682 men in Finland, which was reported in the September 1998 issue of American Journal of Epidemiology, found that men who donated blood at least once a year had an 88 percent lower risk of heart attacks than non-donors.

“Forget about donating blood to save others’ lives Donate blood to save your life. Donate frequently - two or three times a year,” he told a press conference, which was also attended by Chairman of the Board of Seri Mengasih, Datuk Haji Safari Manan; Executive Committee Member of Persatuan Child (Cita-Cita), Angeline Laban and Rafflesia Medical Centre Manager Liza

Roland said only two percent of Malaysians are blood donors, including members of the police and armed forces.

This is below the five percent target set by the World Health Organization (WHO), he said.

Therefore, Roland said, Rafflesia Medical Centre is encouraging more people to come forward to donate blood and help ease the shortage faced by the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), especially during the festive season.

He said Rafflesia Medical Centre will organize a blood donation drive and charity health screening campaign this Saturday, 27 Oct, at its premises in Millennium Commercial Centre, Kepayan from 9am to 1pm.

The public are urged to come forward to donate and get a health check for a nominal fee of RM2. The proceeds from the service will be donated to Seri Mengasih Centre and Cita-Cita.

The events are jointly organized with the QEH, Rafflesia Medical Diagnostic and Public Bank Berhad (Lido Branch).

Meanwhile, Roland said the prevalence of obesity is increasing worldwide at an alarming rate.

He said that according to WHO, there are now more than one billion overweight adults in the world and at least 300 million are obese.

He said in Malaysia, six million adults are overweight and obese, according to the findings of the Malaysian Adult Nutrition Survey

“Our data shows that the prevalence of adult obesity had tripled in less than 10 years. In 1996 the prevalence of obesity was only 4.4 percent and it rose to 12.2 percent in 2003,” he said.

“The prevalence of overweight also increased from 16.7 percent in 1996 to 26.7 percent in 2003,” he said.

Roland said Rafflesia Medical Centre has carried out cumulative obesity screening on 486 people aged 20 to 70 in the last six months in different parts of Penampang.

Of the number, 183 people can be categorized as obese which is 37.65 percent. This is higher than the national average.

He said that as Malaysia moves forward to become a fully-developed nation, it has to grapple with the many emerging new diseases that are on the rise, such as cancer, heart diseases, stroke and other chronic ailments, which are lifestyle diseases today.

“Malaysians must be aware that they cannot depend on doctors all the time. With proper eating habits, a healthy diet and regular exercise, many diseases can be prevented,”

Thursday 25th Oct 2007 - No fingerprints found in Sirul’s sport utility vehicle:

SHAH ALAM: No fingerprints were found in Cpl Sirul Azhar Umar’s sport utility vehicle (SUV), the High Court here heard yesterday.

Fingerprint inspection, however, was not carried on the outer surface of the bluish Suzuki 1300 or on the slippers found in the vehicle. The slippers had “Heat Adswad” written on them.

Chemistry division head of the police’s forensic laboratory in Cheras, Supt Soo Mee Tong, 51, told the court this when cross examined by Sirul’s lawyer, Hasnal Redzua Merican.

Sirul, 36, and another Special Action Squad operative C/Insp Azilah Hadri, 31, are alleged to have murdered Mongolian woman Altantuya Shaariibuu, 28, in a jungle in Mukim Bukit Raja here in October last year.

Political analyst Abdul Razak Abdullah Baginda, 47, is charged with abetting them.

Soo, who is the 42nd prosecution witness, said no fingerprints were found in the SUV despite using the super glue fuming method which was the best way to detect fingerprints on smooth surfaces like glasses or painted metals.

Asked whether swab tests were conducted to find DNA on the slippers Soo said: “No. Only a spot test on the blood.”

The Chemistry Department would carry out further inspections to determine whether there was DNA on the slippers, he said. The court was told in previous proceedings that traces of blood were found on the slippers.

Replying to counsel Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin, who also represented Sirul, Soo said he did not know of anyone who had handled or worn the slippers because no fingerprint or DNA tests were conducted on them.

Earlier, Soo said the SUV had been removed from its original location; Therefore, it was difficult for him to make an estimation how many people had used the vehicle or whether items in it had been moved, he said.

More accurate findings could be reached if the examination was carried out at the scene before it had been infiltrated by anyone else, he said.

Replying to Azilah’s lawyer, Hazman Ahmad, Soo said he conducted the examination selectively and not comprehensively.

He also admitted that tests were not conducted on the shirts found in the SUV one by one because he believed they were Sirul’s.

Asked whether the shirts probably belonged to someone else and the SUV had been used by other people, Soo said: “I disagree”.

Hazman then questioned how Soo could dismiss his suggestion about the clothes being worn by someone else without conducting tests on them.

Soo said: “It is impossible to leave DNA traces because shirts are not held tightly.”

Hazman also suggested that if the shirts were sent for DNA tests, the results would probably show that they did not belong to the SUV owner.

Soo replied: “It does not necessarily show the absence of the vehicle owner. It would only show that the shirts were someone else’s.”

In re-examination by Deputy Public Prosecutor Hanim Rashid, Soo said that after retrieving 13 case items — which included the slippers, a long strand of hair, a newspaper with traces of blood and a bullet shell—’ from the SUV, he had used the super glue fuming method on all surfaces inside the vehicle.

Fingerprints were also not found on other items, he said.

“According to my experience, the shirts found in the car belong to the car owner because they were folded and neatly stacked,” he said.

Asked why he conducted the examination selectively, Soo said: “If all the items were to be sent to the Chemistry Department, we had to call many lorries to transport them. The storage area is also limited.”

The trial before Justice Datuk Mohd Zaki Md Yasin continues today. After Soo, a doctor was supposed to take the witness stand this afternoon but the judge, who can write using both hands, complained of “finger cramps due to writing too much” throughout the six-hour proceeding yesterday.

Thursday 25th Oct 2007 - Rubin: I‘ve no problem with Umno leaders

TENOM: Former Tenom Umno deputy chief Datuk Rubin Balang said there is no crisis between him and Tenom Umno divisional leaders.

“Tenom Member of Parliament Raimie Unggi and are not having any problem with the divisional leaders. If there is any, it is from them,” Rubin who is also the Kemabong Assemblyman, clarified at Raimie’s Hari Raya Open house at the Sri Antenom community centre here.

He said they are always open minded and cooperate with leaders in the divisional level.

“We have no problem with them and we will always cooperate with them if they need our services and assistance,” he added.

When asked whether the Barisan Nasional(BN) leadership will field new faces, including women, in Kemabong and Tenom in the coming general election, Rubin said:

“I will support and vote for any BN candidates contesting in Tenom, including Kemabong.”

Rubin said anyone, including women, could contest in the coming general election but it is up to the people to decide who they want to support.
When asked on the BN preparation for the election in his constituency, he said it was going smoothly.

Thursday 25th Oct 2007 - Nicol safely through despite tricky opening

MADRID: Nicol David began her attempt to win the World Open title a third successive time by overcoming some fiery conditions and a feisty attack early on from France’s Isabelle Stoehr.

The world number one from Malaysia found her timing hard to cone by in a first game in which she trailed 5-7 before winning 9-7, 9-3, 9-0 against an opponent who started impressively but fell away suddenly when David got on top.

The court was hot and the ball bouncy which made the rallies protracted but also made it difficult to keep tight to the wall. That made for some scrappy early exchanges until David began to settle down midway through the second game.

“I have not played on courts like that for a while,” David said. “It’s pretty standard courts everywhere we go, and yes, especially in the first game and a half you are trying to find the bounce and feel that ball.

“Isabelle took that ball well and made a really good start and I had to hang in there and make sure I got into my game and at the end she made quite a few errors and then I went in there and took my chance.”

This started to happen when Stoehr was 7-5 up and attempted a forehand kill which just clipped the top of the tin. Had it been a winner, that game, and possibly even the match, might have taken a different course.

But Stoehr, who had been striking the ball beautifully and taking chances to apply pressure with volleys, then made two more errors, putting a drop down and then conceding a penalty stroke after volleying the ball too close to herself.

The second game became a slugging match until, after a series of lets, Stoehr made three more errors and David, confidence rising, played the shot of the match, a backhand volley boasted off the side wall and fading for a winner just above the tin.

That earned her game ball, which she, took with another tinned shot from Stoehr who served only once in a third game which lasted only five minutes.

People were often surprised by the weight of hitting from David, one of the tour’s smaller women. “Once I got the timing I feel fine in this court and I think on this court it sounds as though you are hitting it harder!” she said.

Thursday 25th Oct 2007 - More signs wanted at accident-prone areas Police to submit proposal to Public Works Dept: CP

KOTA KINABALU: A proposal by police to put up more signs at accident-prone areas will be submitted to the Public Works Department soon.

State Police Commissioner DCP Noor Rashid Ibrahim, said it is important to keep people alerted to the road conditions, especially when driving downhill.

“The road conditions in Sabah are different from that in the Peninsular. The State is big, the journey is long, especially on very winding roads, even the number of heavy vehicles like buses and Lorries on the roads are not the same.

“Geographical features are also different, there are more highlands in Sabah and more accidents involving those going downhill. It is best tackled by setting up more signs to keep motorists alerted to potential hazards ahead of them,” he said.

Speaking to reporters during his Raya Open House at his residence in Tanjung Aru yesterday; Noor Rashid said they have identified several critical accident-prone areas, such as Kunak-Lahad Datu and Telupid-Sandakan stretches.

He said he has instructed all the Traffic and Public Order Department offices throughout Sabah to send mobile patrol vehicles (MPVs) for monitoring long distance stretches to prevent further abuse by road users, namely speeding.

“We will send MPVs for long distance patrols and switch the lights on so that public transport or heavy vehicles are aware of our presence. It is hoped that they would avoid speeding... we will carry out a study to see its effectiveness,” he said.

Touching on Lorries or buses parked on road shoulders, Noor Rashid said the police will look into the matter seriously.

“It is an offence to park at emergency lanes. However, we will look into the matter seriously. We will sum up all our studies and find the best solution to overcome all these problems,” he said.

Touching on the recent Ops Sikap XIII, Noor Rashid said most of the road accidents reported was due to negligence and drivers’ failure to control vehicles.

The number of deaths caused by accidents stood at 17 during the two-week Ops Sikap XIII in Sabah this year, an increase of three cases compared to last year’s 14 cases.

During the road safety operation, which was carried out from October 7-21 nationwide, a total of 606 accident cases were recorded throughout Sabah, an increase compared to 2006’s 592 cases.

Eighteen people were seriously injured while 26 others escaped with minor injuries during the period.

A total of 10,106 summonses were issued to errant road users for committing various traffic offences, also an increase compared to the 8,405 summonses last year.

Thursday 25th Oct 2007 - FOREIGN WORKERS STILL NEEDED: Musa

KOTA KINABALU: Foreign workers are still needed in Sabah.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman yesterday said the State is currently in its developing stage and the demand for foreign workers is still high.

“We also have a lot of big oil palm plantations and they need foreign workers, otherwise no work can be done without these people,” he said.

However, he stressed, it is important for employers to hire only those with
valid documents.

“With proper documentation, foreign workers can come and work in Sabah and, after probably a year or two, they can return to their countries of origin,” Musa said.

Touching on illegal immigrants, he said operations to flush them out are still ongoing.

“There have been a lot of operations carried out against illegal immigrants throughout the State. It is not that obvious but there is work done,” he said at the Hari Raya open house of State Police Commissioner DCP Noor Rashid Ibrahim at the latter’s residence in Tanjung Aru here, yesterday.

He said that apart from operations, roadblocks are also being carried out to track down all illegal immigrants in Sabah. In fact, the temporary detention centres are always fully occupied at any time, he added.

Thursday 25th Oct 2007 - Astronaut’s brother in coma after knocking into pillar

KUALA LUMPUR: The safe return to Earth of Malaysian astronaut Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Sheikh Mustapha from the International Space Station on Sunday could not be watched and celebrated by his younger brother as he is in coma since four days ago after knocking into a pillar.

Dr Sheikh Muszaphar’s elder brother, Sheikh Taufiq said their younger brother, Sheikh Mustafa Shukor Al Masrie, 32, fell unconscious after knocking into a pillar outside a restaurant in Jalan Kelang Lama on Sunday.

“He was going into the restaurant when he accidentally hit the pillar, He fell to the ground and his head hit some bricks,” said Sheikh Taufiq.

He said his younger brother was not suffering from any sickness but the impact of the fall landed him in a coma since.

It was both a happy and sad day for the family, he said, but declined to elaborate on the incident except to say that Sheikh Mustafa Shukor was now in critical condition at the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre’s intensive care unit.

Sheikh Mustafa Shukor is the fourth of five children of Datuk Sheikh Mustapha Sheikh Abdul Shukor and Datin Zuraidah Sheikh Ahmad.

Thursday 25th Oct 2007 - 4.8 quake rocks eastern Sabah

LAHAD DATU: A moderate earthquake measuring 4.8 on the Richter scale hit eastern Sabah, about 84km south-east of Sandakan and 94km east of Lahad Datu, at 4.34am yesterday.

A statement from the Meteorological Department said minor tremors were felt in the two towns but no damage was reported.

Lahad Datu deputy police chief DSP Michel Tingkah said he did not realize there was an earthquake and only heard about it from colleagues who felt the tremors.

Another statement from the Meteorological Department in Kuala Lumpur said an earthquake with magnitude 5.8 hit southern Sumatra, about 543km southwest of Melaka, at 3.56am on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the Fire and Rescue Services Department in Lahad Datu said they are always ready to act in facing any eventualities, including the occurrence of natural disasters in the district.

A spokesman gave this assurance after the earthquake hit the district about 4.34am yesterday.

However, he said, the department had not been notified about the earthquake by the Meteorological Department.

“But, the department is always on a stand-by mode for any emergency or if the district is hit by natural disasters,” said the spokesman, adding that personally, he did not feel any tremor.

A resident, Ruming Mum, 28, said he did not feel any tremor early yesterday.

“I am not even aware of the earthquake until you (the media) informed me about it,” he said.

Another resident Dexter Silam, also 28, from Kampung Warisan Silabukan, also said he did not know an earthquake had struck as he did not feel any tremor.

“I don’t know there was an earthquake here until I heard the news which was aired on the television ... I was quite shocked actually,” he said.

Meanwhile, Omar Dani, 33, said he felt a slight tremor but it was at about 8.30am yesterday.

“I was walking to a shop at Taman Seri Perdana when all of a sudden I felt a slight tremor that lasted several seconds,” he said.