Thursday, November 1, 2007

Thursday 1st Nov 2007 - CASH hopes for better parking management after study

KOTA KINABALU: The Consumer Association for Sabah and Labuan (CASH) is hoping that the parking management in the city would improve further after the ongoing study on the matter has been completed by the City Hall.

Its deputy president, Nordin Thani, said that CASH welcomed the study which also covers the parking rate to be imposed apart from determining the effectiveness of parking lots management in the city.

According to him, the problems related to parking in the city area are essentially separated into three main issues.

“Firstly, there are problems arising from the balance between supply and demand. Secondly, there are problems arising from inconsiderate or illegal usage and thirdly, there are specific problems affecting particular groups or locations,” he said yesterday.

Given the spaces for car park are very limited, Nordin said CASH suggested that the private parking lots (if implemented) should be open and not fixed at the allocated or proposed lots.He said the parking lots should be categorized accordingly by the colours of the permit issued, for example, the colour of residents parking permit (for residents residing in the city) is blue; red for business proprietor parking lots and white for monthly permits for visitors or frequent users.

“Loading bays should also be provided specifically for businesses so that conflict with other road users is minimized, especially areas like Segama, Sinsuran and Bandaran Berjaya.

“A designated space for the disabled should also be considered with a special sticker provided to them by City Hall or other relevant authorities,” said Nordin.

Further improvement of the parking management would benefit all the consumers as the City Hall is responsible for creating and operating the parking spaces, and to introduce parking schemes to alleviate parking related problems and traffic congestion in the city, he added.

Thursday 1st Nov 2007 - Health talks, medical checks for villagers

PAPAR: The residents of Kampung Gana and nearby villages are invited to attend health talks and receive free medical checks during the 3S (Sihat, Selamat, Sejahtera) programme at SK Gana here on Saturday.

The programme, jointly organised by the Papar Member of Parliament’s office and various participating Government agencies, will be held from 7am to 1pm at the school.

Yayasan Sabah Group Kuala Penyu operations officer cum Papar district 3S Programme committee deputy chairman Ghanilin Hj Hasim said various activities will be carried out at the half-day event aimed at raising general health awareness among residents of the area.

The programme is aimed at residents within the Gana area, including Kampung Gana, Kampung Purak, Kampung Manggis (Tung Shan), Kampung Marahang and Kampung Kopimpinan Kawang.

Among the activities include health talks related to mouth cancer mouth examination and counseling exhibitions and free treatment and tooth extraction by the Papar Dental Clinic.

The Maternity and Children’s Health Clinic will also provide health talks, pap smear and breast examination while talks on emergency aid and safety will be given by St John’s Ambulance Central Kinabalu and the Papar district police headquarters respectively.

There will also be lucky draws for visitors. Papar Member of Parliament Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin and Kawang assemblyman Datuk Hj Ghulam Haidar Khan Bahadar are expected to grace the event, aside from visiting the home of the disabled in Kampung Gana.

Thursday 1st Nov 2007 - KPD Tamu on Sunday

KOTA KINABALU: Korporasi Pembangunan Desa (KPD) will hold its tamu this Sunday at the KPD Marketing Complex, Tanjung Lipat, Teluk Likas, here from 6.30am to 1pm.

Various types of rural products will be available such as fresh Shiitake mushroom, Tenom pomelo, honey, fresh beef and chicken.

The public are also encouraged to donate generously used clothing, books or children toys at the Charity Corner for the needy rural folks. The Health Corner will also be having blood pressure check-up and blood sugar test for tamu customers.

Thursday 1st Nov 2007 - Free course for Sabah youths available

KOTA KINABALU: In line with the government’s call to encourage youths to upgrade their knowledge and skills, SEGi College is offering youths between the ages of 18 and 24 the opportunity to study for free.

To ensure that Sabah students are given an opportunity to upgrade their skills and knowledge, the college will be registering and providing information to them on November 1, 2007 at Hotel De Leeton, Lot 45-46, Block E. Asia City, Kota Kinabalu.

Senior Manager, Recruitment and Marketing, Mr Angrez Sandhu will be present from 1pm to 8pm, November 1, 2007 at the hotel to provide further information on the course available, said SEGi College Sarawak Acting Head of Business Development, Joseph Wong.

‘The students have a choice of one of the following programmes, namely Hotel, Airline Ticketing or Graphic Design, totally free. And they can register for the programmes on the spot.

“This is not a loan so there is no repayment to be made after they complete their respective programmes. In addition, students are given an allowance of RM210 per month for the duration of the programme.”

“To ensure that outstation students are not left out, hostel arrangement has been made for those who need accommodation but their allowance will be reduced to RM110.”

The registration fee is RM210, including the start-up pack, and students who are unable to pay the sum up front can have the amount deducted off their allowance.

Wong advised students to bring their necessary documents, including photostated copies of their IC, SPM certificate and School Leaving Certificate, and 4 passport- size photographs for immediate on-the-spot registration.

The enrolment is conducted on a first-come-first-serve basis and the allocation for youths who are eligible for the programmes is limited to only 300 places. Entry requirements are SPM school leavers with a pass in Bahasa Malaysia.

The programmes, to be conducted at the SEGi College Training Centre at Jalan Pending, Kuching, are one-year full-time programmes.

Malaysian youths, regardless of their background, are encouraged to apply.

Further information is obtainable from Mr Angrez at tel: 016-883372 or 082-252566.

Thursday 1st Nov 2007 - City Halls spends half million ringgit on human resources devt

KOTA KINABALU: City Hall has spent nearly half a million ringgit this year alone on developing its human resources, said Mayor Datuk Iliyas Ibrahim.

He said City Hall had allocated some RM450,00 this year for staff training compared to RM420,000 spent in 2006, with the aim of improving efficiency and quality service for the residents of the city.

“City Hall is willing to spend a huge sum for training its staff to ensure that they receive adequate training, skills and self-development so that they remain competent and effective in their jobs,” he said in his speech when launching a workshop on “Delivering Excellent Customer Service” for heads of departments under City Hall at the City Education Centre in Kingfisher here yesterday.

Also present at the event were City Hall director-general Datuk Dr Chua Kim Hing, deputy director-general (corporate) Wan Maria Othman Lee, deputy director- general (operations) Ismail Majin and workshop consultant Charles McDowell.

Iliyas said that an efficient delivery system is vital to ensure the effectiveness of implementation of policies and development strategies by City Hall.

He said efficiency in the same system is also necessary to fulfill the increasing demands of the public and the business community.

“As a Government agency, we deal with thousands of people each day who demand excellent delivery service from us. Our customers, the taxpayers, deserve the best service we can offer,” he said.

Thursday 1st Nov 2007 - Tour operators urged to promote Sabah to Middle East Visitors

PENAMPANG: Local tour operators have been urged to come up with proposals to promote Sabah as a holiday destination to visitors from the Middle East.

Tourism Malaysia Sabah director Iskandar Mirza Mohd Yusof said the Ministry of Tourism is working towards increasing the number of visitors from the Arab states here, but needs support from local tourism players.

“There are already efforts from the Ministry’s side to promote Sabah as a destination among Middle Eastern tourists. The plan in the near future is to bring these tourists direct to Sabah and not on transit from Kuala Lumpur,” he said at the Tourism Malaysia Han Rays open house at Lembah Impian here yesterday.

“We want the travel agents to submit their brochures and proposals to us on ways to attractgroup of tourists here.”

Iskandar noted that tour operators here should capitalise on the State’s natural beauty and environment which present Sabah’s greatest tourism assets, instead of a shopping destination which is considered a major draw for tourists from the Arab region.

“The problem is that there is still no shopping complex here that offers brands that are up to their standards… the packages here should focus more on the islands, scaling the mountain and also the home stay programme,” he said.

Iskandar added that the Ministry of Tourism will also make concerted efforts to bring Middle Eastern tourists visiting Peninsular Malaysia to Sabah.

Meanwhile, representatives from various tourism players attended the open house organised in conjunction with the Aidlifitri celebrations. Also present was Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjum

Thursday 1st Nov 2007 - Pre-school programmes should be further improved: Director

KOTA KINABALU: The State Education Department has directed all the 1,200 pre-schools in the State,
including those in the rural areas, to be more active in attracting more children to participate in the early education programme.

Its director, Normah Gagoh, said more activities should be conducted at pre-school level to highlight the significance of early education for children aged five and six.

“To further develop education in the State, pre-school programmes should be further improved, particularly in rural areas, to attract children to enter into pre-schools and kindergartens. “In order to produce an educated generation, education needs to be started early and pre-schools play an important role in shaping the foundation for the agenda to be realized,” said Normah.

She was speaking at the 25th Presentation of Pre-School Graduation Certificate and Children Performancesin conjunction with the Tadika Ria Silver Jubilee celebration at Menara Tun Mustapha here yesterday.Also present at the ceremony was Yayasan Sabah Deputy Director Dr Johan Arriffin Datuk Abdul Samad.

Normah said pre-school education should not be taken lightly as it has contributed a lot to the development of education in the State. Normah who is also a board member of Amanah Saham Yayasan Sabah, hoped that all parties will take pre-school education seriously as it is an important step towards preparing young children for primary school education.

In fact, she said it is possible those who received education at early age will turn out to be excellent students in future as shown by students who were previously under the Yayasan Sabah pre-school programme.

Thursday 1st Nov 2007 - Sabah rural folks going blind needlessly: Doctor

KOTA KINABALU: There is still room for improvement in the State’s rural medical services, a
doctor from Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) said yesterday.

Dr Lee Mun Seng of UMS School of Medicine, said many areas in the State are so remote and inaccessible that seeking proper medical attention for its residents is next to impossible.

For instance, he said in some places people are needlessly going blind due to the absence of eye treatment services.

Explaining that the State’s eye treatment facilities are currently only available at urban areas, he said patients suffering from any form of eve ailment in rural areas are forced to travel a long and difficult journey to seek treatment.

Otherwise, they may just lose their eyesight.

The fact that a lot of places are still beyond the reach of modern civilization, and many people still have to walk for days just to get to the nearest road or town, does not make things any easier, though they know they have a health problem, Lee pointed out.

Eye, ailments, like many other symptoms of health problems, are the things most of the people in the urban areas take for granted, he said.

Unfortunately, the delay in seeking proper treatment would not do them any good and in the case of eye ailments, it only means one thing - blindness, added Dr Lee.

In many cases, he said by the time the rural patients reach an eye specialist, it was almost too late to save their eyesight.

Once their eye condition deteriorates, the treatment is not only more complicated but also much more expensive, he said, adding, “What is really sad is that most of the eye diseases can be treated and those suffering from it could have avoided from becoming blind if only treatment can reach them early.

“Complicated operations are only done in Kuala Lumpur, which means the patient would have to travel there for treatment. They have to pay for their traveling expenses as well as the medical expenses.

Thurs 1st Nov 2007 - Bernard reiterates there is no rift between him and Kurup

NABAWAN: Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) Secretary General Datuk Bernard Maraat on Tuesday reiterated that allegations of a rift between him and party president Tan Sri Joseph Kurup are not true.

“My relationship with him (Kurup) is good. I have no problem with him. As the PBRS’s Secretary General, I respect him and he has my fullest cooperation,” he said, adding that Kurup also has no problem with him.

“We work well together as both of us are committed in our duty to help the people and because we rarely meet, people assume that we have problems with each other,” he said when closing a one-day Journalism Workshop and History Writing course held at the multi-purpose hall here on Tuesday.

According to Bernard, Kurup as a State assemblyman, is busy carrying out his duties in his Sook constituency while he as the Pensiangan Member of Parliament is busy in the Dewan Negara.

If there is no Parliament sitting, Benard said he spends most of his time visiting his constituency which is why he rarely has time to meet Kurup.

Bernard also said the Barisan Nasional’s (BN) influence in Pensiangan, Sook and Nabawan is getting stronger and assured that he, Kurup as well as Nabawan assemblyman Datuk Bobbey Suan will work towards ensuring that the coalition wins again in the coming elections.

Speaking about the opposition’s strength in the area, Bernard said political democracy will decide who the people support.

“The people are free to decide who they want to lead the country,” he said, adding no political democracy means no economic democracy.

On his preparation for the coming election, Bernard replied, “My slogan is ‘everyday is election’, which means going down to the ground to meet the people.”

Thursday 1st Nov 2007 - Indian National found dead in lodging house room

KOTA KINABALU: A 34-year-old Indian national who had earlier entered a room at a lodging house here with a female companion, was found dead about four hours later.

The victim was identified as Mohamed Sheikh Ibrahim who worked as a cook at a restaurant in Sinsuran.

He had checked in the lodging house in Gaya Street around 10.45am and was supposed to check out at 1pm.

It was learnt that the girl had left the room earlier. When the man did not check out, a security guard
went to the room and knocked on the door but there was no response.

He then returned with a hotel staff and opened the door with a spare key. They saw the man lying on the bed lifeless.

The police were quickly notified and the body was sent to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for post-mortem. Police have ruled out foul play.