Friday, November 9, 2007

Friday 9th Nov 2007 - Motorists want road divider to be demolished

KENINGAU: Motorists here have urged the relevant authority to demolish the road divider in front of SM Ken Hwa here as it poses a danger to vehicles, especially at night.

They said the road divider measuring about 50 feet long, one foot high and 10 inches wide, was the cause of several near mishaps at the area.

“Several road users using the road at night nearly got involved in accident at the area. The road divider is not suitable to be built there,” said one of the road users, James Piun, yesterday.

“I hope the relevant authority here could demolish the road divider before any accident occurs,” he said.

James also proposed that signboard be put up at every roundabout in this district to warn road users to be careful when passing the area.

He said some of the signboards at yellow line which serves a similar the roundabouts are either too small or not located in strategic area that could be viewed easily by motorists.

District Officer Haji Zulkifli Nasir, when contacted, said the road divider should be demolished if it could cause accidents.

“The road divider was built for the convenience of parents and school bus drivers when sending and picking children from the school.

“If it is a danger to other road users, it has to be demolished and replaced with yellow lines which serves a similar purpose,” he said.

On setting up warning signboard at every roundabout in this district,: Zulkifli supported the proposal.

Friday 9th Nov 2007 - Hindus in KK celebrate Deepavali at temple

KOTA KINABALU: Hindus throughout the State and the country celebrated the Deepavali (Festival of Lights) yesterday.

In the State Capital, most of them gathered at the Sri Pasuptinath Hindu Temple in Bukit Padang for the celebration.

Assistant Minister to the Chief Minister Datuk Edward Khoo and Sabah MCA leaders were among those who joined in the celebrations at the temple.

According to Hindu Temples Association of Kota Kinabalu president Dr K Mathavan, the temple was the focal point of religious activities fir Hindus in the State capital.

“This temple was consecrated in 1988 and we received an allocation of RM100,000 from the State Government for the purpose,” Mathavan said when met at the Sri Pasuptinath Hindu Temple yesterday.

He said that this year, the temple received RM5O,000 from the State Government for its activities, including the Deepavali celebration yesterday.

“The Hindus in Sabah are very happy and grateful to the State Government for always rendering its assistance to us as well as for the; fair treatment given to our’ community,” he said, adding that they hope the Government will continue to assist the community ii the future.

Mathavan said that the temple was also frequented by about 8O Hindu students from Peninsular Malaysia who are studying at University Malaysia Sabah (UMS). These students pray at the temple every Friday and also take part in the activities organised there, he said.

“They also join in our monthly celebrations. Today, they are here. for the Deepavali celebration and are happy to have a ‘home away from home’ feeling and this will not make them miss their hometowns so much” he added.

Friday 9th Nov 2007 - Aussie Henry takes charge, Anis the best Malaysian performer in joint 24th

KOTA KINABALU: Australian Henry Epstein took control of the 2008 Asian Tour Qualifying School here yesterday with the best round of the day by seven strokes.

Shooting a 73 in the first round on Wednesday at Sutera Harbour Marina, Golf and Country Club (SHMGCC), Henry’s six-under-par 66 yesterday took him to five-under 139 and two strokes ahead of first day leader Lee Jun Seok of Korea.

Lee who outplayed some of the best in the Asian region with a five-under-par 67 in the first round returned a card of 74 yesterday.
“I did not play as good as yesterday (Wednesday). I did not get some of my shots right,” said the 19-rear-old Lee who had just completed his studies in Australia.

But whatever happens, he said the race is still wide open and he is confident of making a good challenge in the next two rounds of the four-day competition which features the first of two stages of the Qualifying School.

Meanwhile, Lee described the SHMGCC course as challenging but he likes it.

The second stage of the Qualifying School will be held at the Borneo Golf and Country Club (BGCC) in Bongawan on December 5-8.

The qualifiers (top 15 percent of each stage) from the two stages will compete in the all-important Final Stage at the SHMGCC from December 12-15.

About 240 golfers will be fighting for honours in the Final Stage as golfers ranked 61st and above in the Asian region will also be in the fray.

The top-40 finishers will earn their playing rights on the 2008 Asian Tour season.

Meanwhile, another Korean Park Yu Chan is just one shot behind Lee with a two-day score of two-under 142, shooting a two-under-par 70 yesterday.

Scoring par golf on the first day, Park shared the third spot with two others — Britain’s Dale Marmion and Joakim Renstron of Sweden.

Seventy of the 71 golfers will continue in the third round today. Anis Hassan who scored a two-day total of four-over 148 in joint 24th position was the best performer among three Malaysians in the fray.

The two others are Lim Eng Seng with 156 in joint 58th and Kong Wei Tan with 160 in joint 65th position.

Shim Yong Woo of Korea was disqualified (DSQ) yesterday.

Friday 9th Nov 2007 - GIRL SHOT: Cousin used gun on her while playing

KOTA BELUD: A young girl has been hospitalized after she was shot at close range in an accident at Kampung Ulu Kukut here, yesterday.

Flicia Shaila, aged nine, sustained injuries on her chest after her, 12-year-old male cousin accidentally fired the weapon made for hunting fish and birds right into her chest.

Flicia was rushed to the district hospital before being transferred to Likas Hospital in Kota Kinabalu for further treatment, according to District Chief Police DSP Abdul Halim Harun.

He said the victim’s condition was reported to be stable and the case is being investigated under section 324 of the Penal Code which covers the action of voluntarily causing hurt using a dangerous weapon.

The accident happened around 12 noon while the victim who is a year two pupil at a primary school here, was playing with her cousin at her uncle’s house in the village, said Abdul Halim.

“The boy took the weapon which belongs to his elder brother; from behind a closet and began playing with it.

“The weapon went off and several tin pellets hit his younger cousin on the chest,” he said, adding there were no other people in the house during the incident.

He said police had confiscated the weapon but had yet to make any arrest.

“The case was not framed under the Firearms Act as the weapon did not fit the criteria as described under the Act. For instance, unlike bakakuk, the weapon did not involve the use of live bullets, nor does it have the usual trigger mechanism as found in normal guns,” said Abdul Halim.

Nevertheless, he said it is still illegal to have such a weapon and action could be taken against those using it for a harmful purpose.

The gun is made of a wood stick and a two-foot long half-inch wide metal pipe. Sulfur powder is stuffed at the base of the pipe and then ignited to project the metal pellets forward.

Friday 9th Nov 2007 - Polls: Prohibit withdrawing

Ex-Federal Minister proposes Election Commission disallow candidates from withdrawing after Nomination Day

KOTA KINABALU: A former Federal Minister has proposed that the Election Commission disallow candidates from withdrawing from the elections after they have tiled their papers on Nomination Day.

In making the proposal, Datuk Pengiran Othman Rauf, also said that an election is a serious matter and no one should be given the opportunity to discredit its purpose.

“If we are serious about nomination procedures, we should also be serious about the intention of the candidates. Election is the means to choose responsible leaders and not the opportunists. It is not just about electing the YBs (assemblymen and Members of Parliament). We should uphold moral obligations and good practices,” he said yesterday.

Pengiran Othman, who held various posts including as a Federal minister and state minister during the then USNO Government in Sabah between 1967 and I 976, predicted that the next general election would be held soon, although the tenure of the present Government expires only in March 2009.

According to him, rules and regulations are needed to ensure that the coming general election is not tainted by serious manipulations that would render the whole process null and void.

He said if a government is formed by foul means, it could not be said to be a democratically-elected government.

For this reason, he reckoned that rules and regulations must actually be seen to be implemented without fear or favour.

“Nevertheless, the one rule in the last general election (in 2004) that needed a close examination again is where a candidate could withdraw his or her candidacy within three days after the nomination… this is like a hole in the bank vault.

“Probably this is easier for the Election Commission workers but it is bad for the purpose of an election,” said the veteran politician.

Pengiran Othman contended that the three-day cooling off period creates the time for manipulations of the election results, and could even lead to corrupt practices among the contenders.

In principle, he said, once nominated, a candidate should not be allowed to withdraw and, even if such candidate does not wish to continue in the race after the nomination, his or her name should be printed in the ballot papers.

“The process of polling, casting and counting of votes, should continue as usual to decide the winner, to ensure justice and fairness to all concerned.”

Irrespective of when the next general election is going to take place, Pengiran Othman strongly felt that the scenario of previous elections maybe repeated with minor variations.

“But politics as we have experienced it particularly in Sabah, can be unpredictable. Some rightly say the outcome of an election, especially the general election, follows the winds, meaning depending on the mood of the people especially the voters when they make their decisions,” he said.

Elaborating on the doctrine of the ‘changing winds’, Pengiran Othman said for those taking part in an election, the good day is the sunshine and the bad day is the rain.

“Politics seems to have a similar trend that goes with voters’ minds. As we know, a mind can change by the minutes and can change just before a voter casts his vote.

What really can change a voter’s mind to one’s favour? This is for politicians to ponder and to make their moves as the election draws near,” he said.

He also opined that how one looks at the coming general election may vary according to the perception of each individual.

He said that some may look at the election seriously with consequential result, while others may not bother at all.

As for the opportunists, they may rejoice with the prospect of making various gains, according to him.

“The party that goes for the number of seats only is most likely to be satisfied if it gets more seats then in the previous elections. The party may even consider its role as opposition, the watch-dog for the government, if this is what it wants and this would give it satisfaction,” he added.

Pengiran Othman said the more serious party would focus its attention on winning the majority seats to enable it to form the next government.

To get the voters’ confidence, he reckoned that it is most important to project the group’s intentions and their ability to form the government, and to form good government, they must have enough capable, experienced and trusted leaders.

Another important thing is the size of the grouping and the composition of its membership. The unity and the commitment of the group’s leaders, members and supporters are vital to ensure the group would seriously work as one team, he added.

Like in previous elections, Pengiran Othman noted that with an election fever, accusations would increase between rivalries, thus creating discord and generating excitements.

He felt that even if there were election rules and regulations, they do not seem enough to make an election free from exploitations.

“We have heard of people being threatened, black mailed or even cheated by or even cheated by selfish and unscrupulous leaders or politicians. These desperate people will do anything to keep themselves in power.

“The subtle approach is mind controlling, where the weak are being made to believe there is nothing that can be done to change the present situation in the country. This manipulation is very cleverly implanted in the minds of many that such individuals could hardy realise what is going on.

“Threats and promises become rampant as polling draws near. There is no need to be trapped helplessly. There are various ways to disentangle provided the victim has a strong will-power and determination to do so,” said Pengiran Othman.

Friday 9th Nov 2007 - Call to revert to teaching of Maths, Science in BM

KUALA LUMPUR: Umno Youth has called on the Government to revert to the teaching of
Mathematics and Science in Bahasa Malaysia in schools if teaching the subjects in
English does not meet the objective.

Its deputy chief Khairy Jamaluddin said Umno Youth did not deny that the objective of teaching the subjects in English since 2003 was to enable the young to master the language and to ease learning as most terms in the two subjects were in English.

“But from feedback from the grassroots, using the English understanding of the subjects has hampered students’ understanding of the subjects.

“Teachers too have problems teaching Maths and Science in English.... and it’s just not the pronunciation. I fear that we will not achieve what we strive for,” he said when debating on the economic and education resolutions at the UMNO General Assembly here.

Khairy said the best way to raise proficiency in the English language was to improve the teaching techniques by, among others, introducing English Literature in schools.

He said the measure was in line with the revamp of the curriculum to raise standards in schools, and also the country’s Education Master Plan to produce quality human capital.

On the master plan, Khairy said it would be the major factor to realise the Government’s aspiration to produce quality human capital in a holistic manner, by focusing on the curriculum content in schools and higher learning institutions.

“However, Umno Youth does not reject the importance of Malays to master English and other languages.” he added.

Friday 9th Nov 2007 - A Deepavali call to all to do good

KOTA KINABALU: Sri Pasupathinath Alayam Priest Prabahara Gurukkal Vartha Moorthy Gurukkal has advised the people in Sabah to drop all evil attitudes to achieve peace an prosperity.

“Deepavali is about darkness to light and I wish all the Sabah communities would drop evil attitudes in them and try to be good, starting from now,” Prabahara said.

He said by doing so, “we will be also receiving God’s blessings”.

Prabahara said this during a Deepavali open house held at the Sri Pasupathinath Alayam (Kota Kinabalu Hindu Temple Association) Jalan Khidmat in Bukit Padang here yesterday.

At least 500 people attended the open ho which started from 7am to 1pm. Among them were students from Universiti Malaysia Sabah, monks and members from Buddhist Temple, Sabah MIC Liaison Chairman Datuk V Jothi, Indian laborers and residents nearby. Hindus also performed prayers in the temple.

Elsewhere throughout the country, Deepavali was celebrated on a moderate scale.