Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Wed 7th Nov 2007 - Sabah duo a real gem for Malaysia

KOTA KINABALU: Two young Sabah shuttlers were a real gem for Malaysia in the Kosan Chiangmai-Bangkok Open 2007 held at the Chiangmai Gymnasium from Oct 18-25.

Rising stars Calvin Ong of Kota Kinabalu and Dede Ryan of Keningau emerged champions after disposing of Thai opponents 21-9 and 21-16 in the boy’s under-13 doubles final.

Calvin/Dede stamped their mettle by defeating much higher-ranked opponents in the earlier rounds en route to the finals.

Calvin also played in the boy’s singles but crashed out in the fourth round.

The other medal contributor for Malaysia was Gabriel Fong who took the bronze medal in the boy’s under-13 singles competition.

The other Sabahan was Marcel Simon of Kota Kinabalu who entered the boy’s quarter-final stages.

All four Sabah aces are currently studying at the Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS), which they joined in January 2007, according to Sabah Badminton Association (SBA) yesterday.

Calvin was once under the guidance of Steven Joker under the SBA Development Project Squad.

Steven is currently the Sabah chief coach for High Performance Core Sports.

Calvin had won numerous titles along with Gabriel including winning the National Schools (MSSM) doubles title.

The duo were selected for the BJSS after the BA of Malaysia (BAM) were impressed with their performance at the National Grand Prix 2006.

Wed 7th Nov 2007 - Parents and children invited for drawing, colouring contest

KOTA KINABALU: Children, youth and parents are invited to take part in a drawing and colouring contest to be held at City Mall on Nov 18.

The first ever contest organised by Sabah Global Art and Creative (GAC) art centre will feature five categories - Group A for children aged 4-6; Group B (7-9); Group C (10-12); Group D (13-18); and Group E (parents).

The top participant for Group A to D will receive a trophy, hamper, certificate and a mystery prize while those from second to fourth placings will win trophy, hamper and certificate.

Apart from that; five prizes will be given for the Champion of Champions event and another 10 consolation prizes of trophy and certificate.

For the parents category, cash prizes RM200, RM15O, RM100 and RM5O will be given to the top four finishers.

Organising chairman Sam Yong Choon Em said prizes will also be given to schools with the most participants; schools that win the most prizes; and GAC group that have the most entries.

According to him, the theme of the competition will only be announced on contest day and participants are free to use their chosen drawing or colouring tools.

“We welcome the participation of all,” he said, adding the entry fee is RM 10 and the closing date is on Nov 10.

For further information contact Sam Yong at 012-8188812, 016-8268812.

Wed 7th Nov 2007 - Mount Trus Madi to be new tourist spot

TAMBUNAN: The Sabah Government is drawing up strategies to develop and aggressively promote Mount Trus Madi, the second tallest mountain in Malaysia after Mount Kinabalu, as a new tourist destination in the state.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan said yesterday that Mount Trus Madi, with a height of 2,900m, had potential to lure tourists to this remote district which not only had a cool climate but was also rich in biodiversity.

“I want to see the remote areas, especially Tambunan, developed for tourism and I think that Mount Trus Madi can be an alternative to Mount Kinabalu for tourists who love hiking and adventure,” said Pairin, who had climbed the mountaintan and enjoyed the breathtaking view from the top.

He said that many tourists had already hiked up Mount Trus Madi and it was now time to further popularize the mountain in line with the state’s aim to emphasize the tourism sector.

Gunung Trus Madi is located in the Trusmadi Tambunan Forest Reserve, 25km from Tambunan town.

Pairin said the Government would spend RM1 million to provide the basic infrastructure for tourism in the area, including building a road to the foot of the mountain. The Tambunan district now has several tourist attractions including the Mahua waterfall which is a favourite among foreign tourists.

Pairin said the government also proposed to hold a Ginger Fair in Tambunan district which is the biggest exporter of ginger in Sabah.

Wed 7th Nov 2007 - 3,000 in Nabawan to be checked for eye disease

KOTA KINABALU: The Rotary Club of Likas Bay will hold an Avoidable Blindness Outreach (ABO)programme this weekend.

It is held in collaboration with Rotary Club of Lu Chou, Taipei; the Ophthalmology Department of Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Kota Kinabalu; Keningau District Hospital; Medical and Health Service Department; Dr Peter Kong’s Specialist Eye Centre; Malaysian Diabetics Association (Sabah Branch); Sabah Pharmaceutical Society and Sabah Optical Association.

The club has projected to screen about 3,000 rural folks. The Avoidable Blindness Outreach (ABO) volunteers from the Malaysian Diabetic Association will initially check patients for diabetics. Those with eye or vision problems will be identified during the ABO by the medical team comprising ophthalmologists, medical officers, nurses and opticians.

Wed 7th Nov 2007 - 63 Sabah shuttlers for World Chinese tournament in China

KOTA KINABALU: Sixty-three players from Sabah are among the China-bound Malaysian badminton squad fighting for a total of 76 gold medals up for grabs in the 14th World Chinese Badminton Championship in China.

The tournament for players from 25 to 80 years of age will be held at ZhongShan, QuangDong from November 9-11.

The Sabah contingent, comprising 37 women and 36 men, are the biggest group ever from the State, Sabah coach cum assistant team manager Anthony C. Linggian said yesterday following a courtesy call to Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Liew Yun Fah in his office at Wisma Muis in Sembulan on Monday.

Liew handed over the Sabah Flag to team coach Anthony and wished the players every success.

The Minister also expressed surprise at the large number of participants which augers well for Sabah have a great pool of potential players.

Although China have shown their supremacy in the 13 World Championship held in Malaysia last their last year, Liew hoped that Sabah would be able to bring home more medals from this year’s championship.

China were last year’s overall champions with 19 gold medals while Malaysia came in second with 15 golds.

Anthony said having gone through their last phase practice on Monday night, majority of the players would from be leaving this evening for China and the remaining players will depart tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Liew thanked the main sponsor Mr Ben Wong from Ararat Sports, for being so generous in sponsoring sports attire for all the Sabah players.

Last year, Sabah players achieved success in the following events:-

One gold from Helen Lee/Catherine Lee in the women’s doubles for 50 years, four silvers from women’ singles Kho Chu Eng (30 years), men’s doubles Johnny Yong/John Wong (55 years), men’s singles John Ho (60 years), men’s doubles Jimmy Ko, Michael Chin (65 years); four bronzes from Au Yeang/Catherine Lee mixed doubles (50 years), Steve Lee, Josephine Lee mixed doubles (4C years), men’s singles Jack Lim (5( years) and VicentLim/DesmondJon men’s doubles (45 years).

The 76 events for players ranging from 25 to 80 years of age are a follows:- women’s & men’s singles and doubles from 25 to 80 years husband & wife age group, mixed doubles from 25 to 80 years & combined age from 100 to 150 years women & men combined age doubles from 100 to 150 years. The tournament entered the Guinness Book of Record for having the most number of 76 events in one tournament, with 32 courts playing simultaneously in 2006.

Wed 7th Nov 2007 - Power sharing issue expected to liven up PBS congress on Sunday

KOTA KINABALU: The Barisan Nasional’s (BN) power sharing concept in Sabah is expected to be p1aced under the microscope by delegates during Parti Bersatu Sabah’s (PBS) 22nd Congress this Sunday.

PBS information chief Johnny Mositun said yesterday debates on the subject were expected to be lively, especially with the sentiments of delegates fueled by speculations of an imminent general election.“It has always been a favourite subject among the delegates as they feel that a truly balanced power sharing among the BN component parties in Sabah is yet to be achieved either in terms of Government or political appointments,” he said in a statement here.

Other topics most likely to be raised are the long-standing problem of illegal immigrants, status of the so-called Filipino refugees holding the IMM13 documents, land and native issues such as the status of mixed-parentage children as well as equal distribution of the economic cake in the State.

Mositun said more than 600 delegates were expected to attend he congress at Hongkod Koisaan, KDCA, in Penampang to be opened by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

For the first time, he said the party’s 60 divisions in Sabah together with its Labuan division and the Youth and Wanita wings would be divided into zones.

Another first is that the congress would only be held for one day with the last order of the day, the winding-up speech by the president, expected to be completed by 10pm. Previous congresses were normally spread over two days.

The Youth, and Wanita movements, which have been tasked to move and second the motion on several resolutions, held their annual congress on Oct 30.

The party would hold its traditional Malam Bersatu (Unity Night) dinner at the Atlantis Seafood Restaurant in Jalan Bundusan on the eve, he said.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister said the BN Government will continue the practice of power-sharing and attend to the needs of all1aces fairly and equitably.

He said the BN Government would ensure that no single community or ethnic group would be left behind in the mainstream off development.

“As such, it is my hope that Parti Bersatu Sabah will continue to progress for the sake of strengthening the Barisan Nasional strug1e,” he said in his message in conjunction with the 22nd PBS Annual General Assembly.

Abdullah, who is also the BN chairman, said Malaysians were most fortunate as they could enjoy progress and development in a peaceful and stable environment.

Through consensus, tolerance and cooperation between the people of various races and religions, we have built Malaysia into a united and developed nation. So, we must use the diversity as a strength to take the country to greater heights,” he said.

Abdullah said the Government had laid the foundation for future growth particularly through the National Mission and the Ninth Malaysia Plan.

He hoped the people of Sabah would enjoy the economic transformation once the Sabah Development Corridor was launched by year end.

Wed 7th Nov 2007 - MASSIVE power outage hits KK areas and other parts of Sabah

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) said the State Capital and several other areas across the State were hit by a massive power outage for several hours yesterday.

Its Managing Director Baharin Din said the major power disruptions were caused by a trip at one of the generator sets in the West Coast.

He said the power outage took place at around 4.39 am on Tuesday and power supply was fully restored by 8.23am.

A large number of areas across the State were struck by power outages except for Labuan and the districts of Telupid, Keningau, Tenom, Ranau, Beaufort, Sipitang, Kuala Penyu and Papar, said Baharin.

“ A power generator set in the West Coast tripped as a result of a flash over at one of the voltage transformers from the Karamunsing main feeder transformer (PMU) to the PMU at Tg Lipat,” he explained.

Nevertheless, Baharin said SESB workers acted immediately and managed to restore the power supply in the affected districts in stages from 5.35am onwards.

“By 6.25am power supply was restored to 95 per cent of the affected areas and it returned to normal at 8.23am after the repairs were fully completed,” he said.

Meanwhile, in Kudat, police here have arrested a family of six men suspected to be involved in several theft cases involving SESB transformers in the district and Kota Marudu.

All six suspects aged 16-49 were arrested in two separate raids at a house at Kampung Indrason on Oct 31 and Nov 1.

Police also arrested two other men including an Indonesian who had bought the stolen items from the suspects.

Chief District Police DSP Razaruddin Hussien said the suspects were believed to have carted away transformers causing a total loss of about RM600,000 to SESB.

“Police raided the house around 2pm and arrested two teenagers aged 15 and 19. Police also confiscated a Perodua Rusa Van suspected to be used in the crime,” said Razaruddin.


The Festival Of Light

This week the live-day religious festival of Deepavali is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains everywhere
The festival, which has many manifestations throughout the different regions of India,
means as much to Hindus as Christmas does to Christians

Day 1 — Dhanteras
Set aside to worship
Lakshmi. In Indian culture, wealth is not viewed as a corruptive power. A wealthy person is considered to have
been rewarded for good deeds in a past life

‘Diyas’ (lights) are lit to ward off evil spirits

Day 2— Kali Chaudas

The goddess Kali is
worshipped, with the
focus on abolishing laziness and evil. It is customary to take an oil bath before sunrise to prepare for Diwali Day

Kali is the goddess of

Day 3— Diwali Day
On the last day of the Hindu year, lamps shine brightly in every home, symbolising knowledge and encouraging reflection upon the purpose of each day in the festival

Day 4—New Year’s Day
Old business accounts are settled and new books opened. The books are worshipped in a ceremony and participants are urged to remove anger, hate, and jealousy from their lives

Fireworks herald the new year

Day 5—Brother’s Day

Reflects on the special bond between brothers and sisters. Differences are set aside and families make a special effort to get together and enjoy each others company

The Hindu symbol Om,
representing everything

Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and lustre is welcomed into the home and praised

Wed 7th Nov 2007 - Absent Parks staff spoils holiday of mother, son

West M’sians unable to fulfil dream to reach peak of Mount Kinabalu

KOTA KINABALU: A mother and her son from Peninsular Malaysia had an unforgettable holiday in Sabah for a wrong reason.

Wong Lap King and her 13-year-old son had wanted to climb Mount Kinabalu and stand on the peak of the highest mountain in South East asia.

However, their dream was destroyed yesterday morning just because of an absent Sabah Parks staff who holds the key to the gate at Sayat Sayat.

“We waited for about an hour in the dark and cold for the gate to be be opened but it was all in vain,” said Wong when contacted by telephone yesterday evening.

According to her, she and her son started trekking up Mount Kinabalu on Monday and after seven hours, arrived at the Laban Rata rest house where they stayed the night.

“At about 2.30am, we, accompanied by our guide Francis, started the final ascent to the summit. However when we reached Sayat Sayat, we were surprised to see a large group of fellow climbers waiting for the gate there to be opened,” she said.

Wong said there were about 100 of them just waiting around in the cold and dark for something to happen. One of the climbers was heard asking a guide if the staff had been contacted and was told yes, she said.

“But later, we were told that no contact had been done and our guide said he did not want to get involved with the park’s rules and regulations,” she said and added that about 3.45am, some of the climbers managed to go through the gate and proceeded with the ascent to the summit while the rest, under the advice of their mountain guides, headed back to the resthouse.

“I decided to heed my guide’s advice and we also went back to the resthouse only to find that the restaurant was still closed. Unable to have breakfast, my son and I decided to go back to sleep,” she said.

Wong pointed out that if the gate was closed for safety reasons, it would not have been so disappointing and frustrating for those who headed back to the resthouse.

“The couple who shared the room with us at the resthouse were among those who took the risk and climbed to the summit. They showed us pictures of how beautiful the view was and the weather was just fine. So it could not have been a safety hazard that resulted in the locked gate,” she said.

According to Wong, she later found out that the staff with the key to the gate was sick and that was why he was absent.

”This is not a valid reason as the park management must have a contingency plan for any emergencies. There should at least have been a spare key kept at the resthouse and a staff who could be contacted to make decisions in instances, like this,” she stressed.

There must also be some sort of communication system between the resthouse and the headquarters, Wong said.

“My son and I have trained hard for this trip. As we live in an apartment building, we took to walking up and down nine flights of stairs in preparation for this climb, so you can imagine just how frustrated and disappointed we are to be so close and yet so far to the summit of Mount Kinabalu,” she said.

Wong also disclosed that she and her son had intended to buy souvenir T-shirts with the phrase “I came, I saw, I conquered” which they saw at the handicraft stalls at Pekan Nabalu

“But now it doesn’t mean a thing. Coming here to climb Mount Kinabalu is not something you can just get up and do. We have to train hard to get ourselves in shape for the climb and we have to fly over from Peninsular Malaysia,” she said.

According to her, while they were waiting at Sayat Sayat, many of the climbers, especially the foreigners, were asking for the reason of the delay and the situation was not helped by the fact that most of the mountain guides can hardly speak English.

Wong said she found out that the gate was finally unlocked after 4am but no one came to inform them of the new development.

When asked if she would have turned back and ascend to the summit, Wong replied, “It would depend on the advice of my guide. If he said it was safe to go, we would but if he said it was unadvisable to do so, we would abandon our attempt.”

Efforts to contact the Kinabalu Park was futile as it was later learnt that the telephone system there was down.

A spokesman for Sabah Parks when contacted about the problem, said an investigation will be conducted to find out what had happened.