Monday, November 12, 2007

Monday 12th Nov 2007 - Rafidah: Set up women executive caucus

KOTA KINABALU: International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz has proposed the setting up of a women executive caucus at the national and regional level to discuss strategic solutions for the benefit of women in socioeconomic development.

She said the caucus should not discuss women issues, but instead focus on identifying issues that limited women’s involvement in the country’s development.

According to Rafidah, the issues included narrowing the prevailing gender gap at executive positions, increasing the number of women executives in both the public and private sectors, formulating effective capacity building programmes, and measures to optimally utilize existing programmes provided by the government for executives and entrepreneurs.

She said the caucus should also look into organising regular brainstorming sessions to enhance awareness on opportunities and potentials, facilitating regional and global reach to other women executives, and undertaking programmes on information dissemination and information exchange.

“Certainly the list is not exhaustive, but with the right focus, the caucus can help shape the profile of women executives of the future,” she told reporters after opening the International Women Executive Congress 2007 yesterday.

Rafidah said it was vital for the caucus to become a venue for women to look for ways of achieving their targets and moving forward.

“Much has been discussed and concluded on the issues and problems of achieving the global target of at least 30per cent of decision-making positions to be allocated to women,

“Experience in the past has pointed out to a variety of reasons as to why many countries have not been able to meet this target, although governments have accepted it as a policy objective.

“There are reasons to legal and regulatory discrimination, lack of political support, the infrastructure in places inhibiting women in some countries from moving up the ladder of authority and social prejudices and cultural norms amongst some societies which do not readily accept or approve of women in positions of authority,” she said.

Rafidah said it was the duty of women in executive positions to proactively work towards changing such regulations and to identify on an on-going basis what the existing constraints were that prevented women executives from reaching their optimum potential in their respective organisations.

Monday 12th Nov 2007 - Police urged to do more to protect women, children

KOTA KINABALU: The police must do more to check the crimes against women and young children, said LDP Women chief Datin Naomi Chong Set Mui.

Naomi in making the call yesterday, noted that there have been worrying increases in the number of crimes against women and young children which lead to tragic deaths.

“LDP Wanita is aware that the police are working hard to address this problem, but the public need to be assured of their safety whenever they may be and not be vulnerable to be victims of a lack of police presence or inaction.

“Malaysia must remain a place where our people continue to live without fear of their personal safety.’ As such the police must do more and come out on top of the criminal elements at all times,” Naomi said at the opening of the LDP Youth and Wanita’s joint congress here yesterday.

Naomi stressed that public confidence in the police force as their protectors must be restored immediately at all costs.

Meanwhile, Naomi said the relevant authorities should come up with a more effective measure to effectively resolve the ever increasing illegal immigrant presence in the State.

‘The authorities should not carry out operations to catch illegal immigrants when the election is around the corner and forget about it or place less importance on it for the next four or five years.

“We must protect our national sovereignty and not to allow the illegals to one day overwhelm us with their sheer number in which case will then be too late already,” she said.

On another issue, Naomi hoped that more Wanita leaders and members will be selected as BN candidates in the coming election to reflect on the increasing important women’s role in the present context of Malaysian society.

“Women must be given more prominent roles and positions in the Government if they have proven to be capable and not just being positioned for window dressing to make up the target percentage.

“At the same time, those who have been placed in position of importance must strive to excel so that the image and respect of women can continue to enhance so that more women will be given a chance to serve,” she said.

Naomi urged all Wanita LDP members to work as a team to further strengthen the party and called on women, especially those with tertiary education, to make personal sacrifices by joining politics to serve the State and the country.

Monday 12th Nov 2007 - Abdullah gives top marks to Liew

PM says LDP president will be successful political leader

KOTA KINABALU: Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) President Datuk VK Liew will be a successful political leader, said Prime Minister cum Barisan Nasional chairman Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

“I will tell you this as a man who has been in politics for many many years, if you hold on strongly to the Rukun Negara, you will succeed well as a political leader,” Abdullah said when opening the LDP 18th congress at Menara Tun Mustapha here yesterday.

Abdullah also said when Liew said it was his maiden speech in the party’s congress since taking over as LDP president last year, he was reminded of how he felt when delivering his first speech as Umno’s president.

“I know how he feels to give his first speech as the party president. Liew ... the feeling is the same,” Abdullah said to the applause and laughter of dignitaries, invited guests and delegates.

He said Liew had through his speech which was clear, frank and delivered with full confidence, revealed his leadership qualities as the president of LDP.

“Liew received such spirited support from those here and for me this is a relief if this is the attitude of LDP,” he added.

According to Abdullah further, Liew is a God-fearing man, a characteristic he shares and both of them hold strongly to the Rukun Negara.

The Rukun Negara, he pointed out, has become a philosophy to strengthen unity among the various races in Malaysia.

LDP, he added, as a BN component party, is part of a bigger family which represents the various races and religions throughout the country.

“But the feeling of kinship is very obvious and those who are used to sitting in at the BN supreme council meetings and involved in the discussions there know that we all have a common commitment.

“We also have a strong commitment and a high level of cooperation as well as understanding to protect what we have because we know that the future is for all of us.

“We have a common destiny and we have a responsibility to be together because we know that we will decide …we will determine what our future is going to be,” Abdullah said.

He also assured Malaysians in East Malaysia that they will not be neglected in the country’s development programmes and added, “Malaysia has celebrated 50 years of independence and we have a right to be proud of our achievements but we also understand the plight, of those in Sabah and Sarawak.”

Abdullah agreed that there were weaknesses in terms of implementing development due to the vastness of the two East Malaysian states, both which are bigger than any states in Peninsular Malaysia.

The rural and interior areas are large and the population scattered but the BN Government, he said, will do everything to implement development in the two states, especially in areas with the potential to be turned into new growth centers that provide better quality opportunities to the people there.

“The Government will work hard to overcome any obstacles in the way of implementing development and with this in mind, the development corridors for Sabah and Sarawak will be implemented,” he said, adding this will bring the development in Sabah and Sarawak on par with the states in Peninsular Malaysia.

“Of course in some areas, it will take more time to implement what the Government has planned due to the lack of infrastructure but this does not mean that we are not giving the areas due attention or priority.

Maybe the delay was due to the lack of logistics or because of the physical location but we will do all our best. Even if it takes some time to achieve what we want but the determination to achieve results as soon as possible is what we will do,” he said.

Abdullah added the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) would hold its final meeting on the development corridors in Kuala Lumpur on November 16.

“Then after that, the corridor development will be launched in Sabah and Sarawak before the end of the year.”

According to him further, the success of the development plan will be a challenge to everyone, especially the State Governments which must have the strength and influence to mobilize the rakyat’s support to work together with the Government.

To get the people’s support is a priority, he said, adding, “I believe Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri ‘Musa Aman will be able to do this.”

Abdullah also spoke about how important it was to have understanding and cooperation between the BN component parties as there will always be problems, difficulties, challenges as well as obstacles which will appear before them.

“There is no easy way, even as the Prime Minister and this is what we will face when we choose to develop our multi-racial and multi-religious nation this way. Forceful requests might give rise to dissent but we must overcome this if we are to maintain our strength which is the result of unity and understanding between each other,” he stressed.

He also said that to attain success in the future, there is a lot more hard work to be put in by the Government, including to value add to what it has achieved so as to be better.

“If we are passionate in carrying out our mission to succeed, we can succeed,” Abdullah said

Monday 12th Nov 2007 - Nicol retains Hong Kong title

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s squash queen Nicol Ann David successfully retained the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Open Squash Championship title after thrashing arch-rival Natalie Grinham of Australia in the final at the Hollywood Plaza in Kowloon, yesterday.

Nicol, currently the reigning World No.1, outclassed Natalie, the World No 2, in straight sets 9-3, 9-5 and 10-8 in 58 minutes.

In last year’s final, Nicol beat Tania Bailey of England also in straight sets of 9-2, 10-8, and 9-5.
Besides the winner’s trophy, Nicol also took home a USD$12,819 (RM42,559) paycheck for her effort.

With the latest win, she has bagged eight championship titles in this year’s World’s International Squash Players Association (WISPA) tournament calendar.

Meanwhile, in the men’s final, World No.1 and the tournament’s defending champion, Amr Shabana of Egypt emerged the victor after easily trouncing Frenchman Gregory Gautier 11-13, 11-3, 11-6 and 13-11 in 61 minutes. He took home USD$17,595 (RM58,415) as well as the winner’s trophy.

Monday 12th Nov 2007 - Junior badminton tourney clinic

KOTA KINABALU. Sabah Under-12 and Under-15 Junior Badminton Tournament and Clinic will be held at the Sabah’s Federal Youth and Sports Department(JBSS) complex in Putatan on Nov 24-25.

The programme will be organised by the Kelab Wira Tangkis Putrajaya (KWTP) in collaboration with the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur Core Sports Unit and Kelab Tangkis Wira Bayu (KTWB) Sabah.

Organising chairman Sting George said participants can expect a tight schedule during the two-day programme.

“On Nov 23, an intensive training will be conducted by the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur Core Sports Unit.

“The KWTP and KTWB will jointly organise the clinic on Nov24 from 8am to 5pm, and it will be followed by competitions the following day (Nov 25) from 8am to 6pm,” said Sting, who is also the chief coach for KWTP.

The competition will feature five categories, namely singles and doubles for both Under-12 and Under- 15 boys, and singles for Under-15 girls.

According to Sting, the programme is open to all shuttlers except those who have taken part in Junior Circuit, State Schools Sport Council (MSSS) and National Schools Sport Council (MSSM) competitions as well as shuttlers who made it to the finals of district level tournaments.

“To make the competition even tougher, the organisers have invited players and clubs from Brunei, Putrajaya and Sarawak in addition to participants from Sabah,” he said.

Meanwhile, the programme sponsor Absolute PROTECH Sdn Bhd managing director Ronnie Chong, said prizes including racquets, badminton bags, medals and certificates will be given to the top three winners.

Further information can be obtained from Sting at 016-6555646, Roland (016-8373210) and Rahman (014-3532367), while the registration forms are available at the JBSS office in Putatan. The closing date is Nov 22.

Monday 12th Nov 2007 - PBS president dedicates poems to thank PM

KOTA KINABALU: Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) president Datuk Seri Joseph Pairin Kitingan dedicated six poems to Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in appreciation of his contributions to the party.

Pairin, who is also a deputy chief minister of Sabah, said Abdullah was instrumental for PBS’ readmission into Barisan Nasional (BN) in 2002.

“Although Datuk Seri was the deputy prime minister then, he helped us with all sincerity to bring back PBS into the Barisan fold.

“Neither are there words nor drawings that can picture our heartfelt gratitude for his kindness to us. Hence, allow me to dedicate two poems in his honour,” he said.

He recited: “Tenang-tenang air di laut, sampan koleh mudi ke tanjung. Hati terkenang mulut menyebut, budi yang baik pasti dijunjung.

“Tanam legundi tumbuh kelapa, terbit bunga berkembang pasti. Budi Pak Lah kami tak lupa, sudah terpaku di dalam hati.”

Pairin also recited two more poems thanking the prime minister for opening PBS’ General Assembly for the first time.

Another two poems urged Abdullah not to forget Sabah and invited the prime minister to come to Sabah again.

Monday 12th Nov 2007 -Don’t sell land, says Pairin

PENAMPANG: Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) President Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Pairin Kitingan yesterday urged Native Title and Bumiputra land owners to refrain from selling their land.

He said while Sabah possesses a lot of land, nearly all of them have been issued to various parties for development.

“We also realise that many applications from the rakyat, especially from rural areas for Native Titles have yet to be processed for the purpose of surveying and issuance of land titles,” he said in his policy speech at the PBS 22nd Congress at the KDCA Hall here yesterday.

“Even more disconcerting is that many of the land applications have been categorized as overlapping applications.

“PBS urges all its members and supporters and all Bumiputras in Sabah to retain ownership of your land …don’t let one or two thousand ringgit lead to you selling off your land.

“This is important so that we will always own land on which we can work on, build a home and more importantly leave as an inheritance for our children.

“If the sale of land continues, we worry that one day our children will lose land on their own land and this will bring major socio-political problems in future,” he said.

In line with holding onto their own land, Pairin also urged PBS members, supporters and the people to be hardworking and independent in seeking proactive avenues instead of waiting for Government contracts and job opportunities in improving their economic status.

‘To be more active in economic activities, we must strive to seek new skills,” he added.

Pairin meanwhile reiterated the party’s call to the Government to constantly monitor and fulfill the people’s needs, ,especially in providing basic infrastructure in rural areas.

Monday 12th Nov 2007 - Hard to solve illegals problem without people’s cooperation: PM

PENAMPANG: The people must cooperate with the Government to reduce the number of illegal immigrants entering the State, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. He assured that the Government will stick to its policy on illegal immigrants and work hard to address the problem nationwide, but stressed that without the people’s help, it would be “very difficult”.

“This has been happening for a long time already and it is not easy to stop or root out the problem. The rakyat must cooperate. If they are not cooperative it will be very difficult,” he said at a press conference after opening the Parti Bersatu Sabah’s (PBS) 22nd congress at the KDCA Hall here yesterday.

“If the people do not provide them (illegal immigrants) shelter, if they are not willing to accept them, if the rakyat are willing to make reports as soon as these people come, then we have a
chance of reducing the number.

“But if our people do not care, maybe accept them, give shelter and work, it will continue.., our people have always been very kind, very generous and if they welcome these people it becomes
a problem,” he added.

Abdullah was asked to comment on the Federal Government’s stand on illegal immigrants, particularly pertaining to the complex situation faced in Sabah.

He noted that logistics is a major hurdle in stemming the flow of illegal immigrants from neighboring countries into Sabah.

“It is not easy. Those who come illegally know very well that if their presence is known to the police they will be caught and they are very afraid of that.

“The problem is they can enter through various places. This is an island and they can come in through wherever they choose and this is a problem for us.

“Nevertheless we will stick to our policy. As I said earlier, we must find and send back those who came in illegally.

“We will work hard so there will be no more illegal immigrants, meaning those with no documents. Those who come with permission can work here, no problem,” he said.

Earlier, PBS president Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan who is Deputy Chief Minister, asked the Prime Minister and Federal Government to help the State in tackling the problem of illegal immigrants.

In Sabah,the problem had protracted with no solution in sight, he said.

Pairin also asked the Federal Government to consider giving opportunities to qualified youths in Sabah to serve in national administration.

Many Sabahans had high qualifications and were able to assist the Government in drafting policies for the people’s well-being, he said.

For Bumiputera entrepreneurs in Sabah, he said, they should be given more opportunities to show their capabilities.

“I believe, if the local entrepreneurs are given chances and encouragement, they can show what they are made of and achieve what their counterparts in the Peninsular have achieved,” he said.

Monday 12th Nov 2007 - Stop issuing, renewing IMM13: PBS

PENAMPANG: Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) President Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Pairin Kitingan yesterday called on the Government to discontinue issuing and renewing IMM 13 documents.

He said the party feels that there must be an end to the issuance of the IMM13, which was accorded to refugees from the South Philippines fleeing civil unrest in the 1970s, and also the long-standing issue of illegal immigrants.

“In the BN (Barisan Nasional), PBS will do its best to convince the leadership and other BN component parties that the security threat from illegal immigrants is very real and if not handled effectively, it will bring a great disaster for our future generations,” he said in his policy speech at the PBS 22ND Congress at the KDCA Hall here yesterday.

Pairin, who is also Deputy Chief Minister and Rural Development Minister, said the party believes the Federal Government should take several steps to address the IMM 13 issue.

Among the steps include making an open inquiry on the true figure of the number of IMM13 holders and collecting the background and skills of the holders and their children.

Pairin also urged the Federal Government to get the true number of IMM13 holders who have been accorded Permanent Resident (PR) status and the reasons why they were given the status.

“The Federal Government also needs to give a new interpretation for 1MM13 holders because there must be a limit to their refugee status in Sabah. They should be sent back to the Philippines. If they want to come back as foreign labour, they must get the necessary documents.

“Children of IMM13 holders should also be considered as dependents of the said foreign workers and they must be required to get valid travel and work visas when they reach the age of 18,” he said.

Pairin said the illegal immigrant problem had gone on for too long and had only become more chronic and complex.

“We are saddened and disappointed and surprised as to why the relevant authorities such as the Ministry of Domestic Affairs, the Home Ministry, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defence and relevant agencies have yet to find an effective solution to the problem.

“The illegal immigrant issue is something that we cannot be satisfied with because it can be considered mass trespassing. We are still questioning how so many have been categorized as new residents in Sabah, and the classification in the 1980, 1991 and 2000 census has constantly changed.

“We continue to question the existence of what was once known as ‘Projek IC’ ... the people are perplexed as to how new illegal immigrants can gain ICs and dubious Bumiputra status, and even those with illegal immigrant status registered as voters in the electoral rolls endorsed by the Election Commission (EC).

“What we want is firstly, all avenues to enter Sabah are closed to foreigners who want to enter illegally; secondly, illegal immigrants in Sabah are repatriated; thirdly, those who have acquired documents have their supporting document investigated for validity and finally if they wish to enter Sabah for the purpose of work, they must get valid travel and work permits,” he said.


Remote control car racing expensive hobby
REMOTE control car racing is becoming a popular and expensive hobby among youths. Some are ready to spend thousands of ringgit just to modify their remote control cars so that they could win in games and competitions. Previously this game was only played by children during their leisure time with friends on the concrete ground of community or multi-purpose halls in their villages. Remote control car racing is now catching up on the interest of youths and adults who are using proper racing track with the Formula One concept. The game is also played at night under the floor light of the racing track. Recently, 40 enthusiasts of the game took part in the Kayu Koningau-Onsoi Festival 1 / 10 Open EP/GP Racing held at the Keningau R/C Speedway track recently. Organizing chairman Andre Norbert Lee said the race was the first held in Sabah and the response was very encouraging. The race, organised by Keningau Remote Control Hobby with cooperation of HMS Racing and General Toys City, was part of the Kayu Koningau-Onsoi Festival events which will be held for three days starting November 23. “Remote control car racing is not only popular among the children and youths but also adults. “What makes remote control car racing attractive is that its concept is similar with the Formula One racing. The only difference is that we drive the cars by using remote control. “To enhance the sound, power and speed of the cars, those who could afford it have modified them by adding a turbo engine which uses fuel. They can last longer compared to using battery,” he said. Fuel-powered cars can race for 45 minutes while battery-operated ones can only last five minutes and need a re-charge. “Some are willing to spend up to RM8,000 to modify their remote control cars,” he said.