Thursday, November 15, 2007

Thursday 15th Nov 2007 - Ministry plans Complaints Bureau to listen to youths

KOTA KINABALU: If everything goes as planned, youths will have an alternative to turn to for help when they are in trouble.

Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Liew Yun Fah said they are currently preparing a working paper on the setting up of Youth Complaints Bureau to provide certified counselors to listen to problems faced by the younger generation.

“There are times when youths choose to talk to someone else rather than confiding in their parents, siblings or friends. By having the Bureau, youths may have someone else to talk to and share their problems,” said Liew during a courtesy call by delegates from Sabah Journalists Association at his office here, yesterday. The visitors were led by SJA president Datuk Jonistan. Bangkuai. Also present was the Ministry’s permanent secretary, Suzanna Liaw.

Liew explained that the Bureau would work like the Rakan Cop programme of the police in that besides providing an avenue for youths to share their problems, it would also serve as a monitoring group.

“The Bureau will provide counseling over the phone and it will be handled by professionals,” he said.

He said that about half of Sabah’s population of some 1.3 million people are below 40 years old.

“It will be a waste if these people are not given proper guidance; we need to prepare the young for future challenges and to be future leaders,” he said.

“I believe we will be able to help many young people through the Bureau and hopefully they would make full use of it,” he said.

Liew also stressed that the media should play its role in shaping the youths, helping them to be better persons and creating awareness on the importance of staying out of trouble.

Thursday 15th Nov 2007 - RM 5 bln investment

Boost for East Coast as POIC in Lahad Datu set to attract 80 new investors

KOTA KINABALU: The Palm Oil Industrial Cluster (POIC) in Lahad Datu is expected to pull in some 80 new investors with investment potential of up to RM5 billion, said POIC Sabah Sdn Bhd Chief Executive Officer Dr Pang Teck Wai.

He said the new investors are very “keen” on participating in the POIC, especially a Korean company which is planning to set up a central steam power plant to supply power to the entire POIC area.

“The central steam plant will greatly reduce the cost of production at the POIC. Large (processing) plants normally have to build their own steam plants and that would be more expensive than purchasing the power supply,” he said.

Pang was speaking at a press conference after inking a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between POIC Sabah Sdn Bhd and Union Harvest (East Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, which was represented by Union Harvest Group (UH) Managing Director Wong Yu.

He said the other investors will participate in various sectors in the POIC, such as production of oleo-chemical and food-based products, refineries, biodiesel, fertilisers and a pulp and paper mill.

“Currently 250 acres out of the 800 acres at the POIC have already been bought. Among others there are already two biodiesel plants up and we expect more to be set up soon,” he said.

Infrastructure Development Minister Datuk Dr Ewon Ebin meanwhile said he expects progress at the POIC to pick up, especially after the launch of the Sabah Development Corridor next month.

“Progress has been a bit slow due to the current CPO (crude palm oil) prices, but things will be coming up. Hopefully when the Sabah Development Corridor is launched, the POIC will become an anchor for the East Coast,” he said.

On the entry of Union Harvest Group, Ewon said they will be setting up a plant valued at between RM5O- RM6O million to manufacture fertiliser.

“We wanted it in Lahad Datu because it is a natural port that has great potential and can provide the facilities to do business. It would be more cost effective to build a plant here rather than ship (products) from West Malaysia to East Malaysia,” he said.

The Union Harvest Group is the 15th company to confirm purchase of land at POIC Lahad Datu, where it will set up its fifth fertilizer manufacturing and storage facility in Malaysia on a 23.24-acre plot.

Its Lahad Datu facility, scheduled to begin operations at the end of 2009, is also expected to produce industrial chemicals.

The group is partly-owned by Sumifert Sdn Bhd, which is linked to Japanese multi-national Sumitomo Corporation, and has a global network of suppliers and customers spanning Jordan, Japan, Singapore, Germany and China.