Trusan Sugut: A pint-sized playground for wildlife

Posted on : 22-06-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local

Unlike most people, Markus Salutan’s backyard is not home to domestic animals. Instead, it is a playground for primates such as Bornean orangutans and other unique wild creatures, some of which can only be found in Sabah.

As Sugut’s Sustainable Forest Management Field Manager, Markus’s home is Trusan Sugut Forest Reserve (Trusan Sugut FR) in the north-eastern part of Sabah. The former forest ranger has been working in Sabah Forestry Department (SFD) since 1993, with the last four years served as a field manager in Sugut.

“Naturally, I feel quite invested in Trusan Sugut, especially because it is also a treasured home for our highly diverse wildlife,” he remarked.

Diverse wildlife and forest types
Trusan Sugut FR is pint-sized but packs quite a punch. Although the Class I (Protection) Forest Reserve only covers 8,690 hectares, it is home to 365 butterfly species, 57 amphibian species, 103 reptile species, 335 bird species and 168 mammal species, including 40 species of medium-sized and large mammals. Iconic wildlife such as proboscis monkey, banteng, Bornean orangutan and Sundaland clouded leopard are just some of the mammals that reside in this wildlife haven.

In terms of habitat, Trusan Sugut FR also boasts various forest types including endangered ones such as lowland mixed dipterocarp forest, a variant of which is the kapur (limestone) forest, lowland kerangas (heath) forest, lowland peat swamp forest, and lowland freshwater swamp forest.

The amazing variety of wildlife and forest types that this tiny haven possesses is very impressive considering that it was heavily logged for decades in its previous lifetime as the southern part of Sugut Forest Reserve (Sugut FR), previously a Class II (Production) Forest Reserve. First logged in 1960s, the timber extraction activities came to a stop in 1996; however illegal logging persisted along the riverside of Sugut until 1998. Currently the forest reserve is bordered by oil palm plantations and human settlements, which puts it at risk for agricultural and domestic waste pollution, encroachment, poaching, illegal harvesting of forest trees, and many more.

A Forest Management Plan with a strong wildlife emphasis
In 2013, WWF-Malaysia approached SFD to explore the possibility of re-classifying Trusan Sugut FR, then known as Lower Sugut, as a protection forest. The department was receptive of the idea and asked for assistance in conducting biodiversity surveys. WWF-Malaysia was also asked to come up with a Forest Management Plan (FMP) from the standpoint of a protection forest reserve (Class I or Class VII) for the area.

“WWF-Malaysia hopes that the conservation-focused FMP will serve as a model for other Class I forest reserves in Sabah,” said Dato’ Dr Dionysius Sharma, WWF-Malaysia’s Executive Director / CEO. He added, “Our team of experts in protected areas, wildlife, Geographic Information System (GIS), and forest certification did the necessary research such as setting up camera traps to study wildlife before coming up for recommendations for the FMP.”

WWF-Malaysia’s Senior Officer in Protected Areas, Tan Hao Jin, led the efforts to prepare a High Conservation Value (HCV) assessment report for Trusan Sugut FR, which documented wildlife presence and abundance. An HCV assessment also looks at endangered habitats and ecosystem services, along with basic and cultural needs identified of local communities. Results indicated that Trusan Sugut FR is one of the few places in Sabah where naturally occurring unique plants and animals, forest types and ecosystems can be found within a small protected reserve. Parts of the FR also provide shelter and habitat for aquatic life especially fish, a staple protein source for nearby local communities.

“The lowland freshwater swamp forest, lowland seasonal freshwater swamp forest, and the lowland dipterocarp forest have become increasingly scarce in Sabah over the past few decades, and are now considered endangered,” said Hao Jin. “You can say that Trusan FR is one of the last refuges for these forest types and their inhabitants.”

While WWF-Malaysia and other collaborators were in the midst of preparing the FMP, SFD decided to duly recognize this nature powerhouse in 2014 by carving it out of Class II Sugut FR and reclassifying the area as a Class I Protection Forest Reserve. This essential legal move protects the forest reserve’s ecosystem functions, and also prohibits all major forms of destructive human activities, such as commercial logging.

Internationally recognized as a well-managed forest
The gazettement is just the beginning of its journey towards reversing the impacts of its extractive past. In order to strengthen its position as a protection forest, SFD decided to apply for a well-managed forest certification by the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC). The FSC is an international not for-profit, multi-stakeholder organization that promotes responsible management of the world’s forests.

According to SFD’s Chief Conservator of Forests, Datuk Sam Mannan, having a globally-recognized certification for Sustainable Forest Management such as FSC’s will give forest reserves credibility and inspires confidence amongst stakeholders, such as policymakers and conservation donors. He also believes that it improves governance as the certified forest reserve needs to pass the strict yearly audit surveillance or risk losing the certification.

“Besides Trusan Sugut, we are also aiming for other forest reserves such as Sungai Pinangah, Sook Lake, and Sungai Lumaku Forest Reserves to be certified by FSC within the next three years,” said Mannan. “Ultimately, we would like to see improvements in terms of management efficiency in all forest reserves across Sabah, not just those certified by FSC.”

Having a sound forest management plan also contributes to Trusan Sugut FR’s success in passing the stringent FSC audit process and getting certified on 16 May 2017. Markus was instrumental in coordinating and supporting the field surveys and also in providing input on the FMP which was completed in September 2016.

“To be honest, my team and I would not be able to complete this FMP without the help of our supportive collaborators,” said Markus humbly. “With the FMP in hand, we can better manage Trusan Sugut, especially in the aspects of wildlife conservation.”

Threats to the tiny haven
One of the parties involved is WWF-Malaysia’s Anti-Poaching Manager Sharon Koh, who prepared the Minimum Enforcement Standards assessment and the patrolling zone prescriptions for the FMP. Her team was responsible in setting up the camera traps to study the presence and types of wildlife found in the area.

As WWF-Malaysia’s anti-poaching expert, Sharon has trained many rangers in Sabah to improve their skills, particularly in detecting poachers in forest reserves. According to her, “The management plan has a strong enforcement component for protection against encroachment and also illegal hunting, which unfortunately are some of the main threats for all forest reserves in Sabah.”

“Poachers need to be deterred from entering Trusan Sugut, not only because they trap or shoot wildlife, but also because they may start forest fires simply from littering their cigarette butts or leaving a camp fire unattended,” Sharon added.

Restoring the health of the haven
Some parts of Trusan Sugut FR occupied by Bornean orangutans have become severely degraded due to past logging activities and fires, therefore WWF-Malaysia is keen to assist the department in restoring the landscape with native and fast-growing tree species.

“The Bornean orangutan is a tree-dependent species that use trees for food and shelter. They also travel by swinging from the treetops,” said Donna Simon, WWF-Malaysia’s Senior Programme Officer for Orangutan Conservation.

“The Trusan Sugut population is small and isolated. Therefore, connecting the peat swamp forest to the west of Sugut River will serve as the last lowland area hosting a significant population of orangutans in the northern half of Sabah,” she further commented.

In October 2016, a restoration proposal by WWF-Malaysia was approved by SFD, and the non-profit organization is currently finding donors to fund the restoration. About RM1.8 million is needed to restore 150 ha for five to eight years of maintenance, depending on the type of planting method for the compartments involved.

“Natural regeneration takes a long time and more often than not the forest will regenerate to a different condition, which may not be ideal for orangutans and other wildlife,” said Dato’ Dr Sharma.

“We intend to lend nature a helping hand, and we hope that the public will support our fundraising efforts for Sabah’s wildlife haven. Together, anything is possible,” he concluded.

To donate to WWF-Malaysia’s restoration efforts in Trusan Sugut FR, please visit www.pandashop.my/symbolically-adopt-orangutan

SOURCE:- WWF

CIMB introduces 1-month paid paternity leave

Posted on : 18-06-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local

KUALA LUMPUR: CIMB Bank Bhd (CIMB) has introduced a one-month long paid paternity leave, to allow fathers working with the bank to spend more time with their firstborn and share parental responsibilities in welcoming their baby into the world.

Effective from today, the paid paternity leave will be increased from previous three consecutive working days to one month (30 consecutive calendar days), the bank said in a statement.

It said that the new enhanced policy complements the bank’s staff rejuvenation programme, which allows employees to take up to six months of unpaid leave for personal reasons, including extended maternity/paternity leave, and maintain their current position at the bank.

CIMB Group’s chief people officer Datuk Hamidah Naziadin said the company hopes that with the longer paternity leave, eligible staff will have a stronger bond with their firstborn and able to provide a supportive parental role.

“Welcoming a child into the family is both joyful and overwhelming experience particularly for new parents. CIMB wants the staff to feel assured that they are supported in achieving a work-life balance,”

“This is yet another initiative to show how CIMB values its employees reflecting our overall effort to embrace global best practices on human resources management,” she said.

As part of its commitment towards staff well-being, CIMB had recently set aside RM1 billion for its programme to assist lower income employees in their housing loans.

The interest-free housing loan period is for a maximum of five years, or three years for completed properties.

SOURCE:- NST

Hap Seng offers aggressive sales package for Kingfisher Inanam

Posted on : 15-06-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local

Hap Seng is giving buyers and public an irresistible offer for Kingfisher Inanam. Hap Seng, under its slogan, “Your Sabah Brand” continues to uphold its pride in driving and delivering excellence in their wide range of products and services.
On Saturday, June 17, Hap Seng will be unveiling their Kingfisher Inanam’s Entrance Statement. Hap Seng has always been committed to bring out the best in building industry, from quality, workmanship concept and affordability to ensure customer satisfaction. This could only be achieved by the close and diligent collaboration of Hap Seng’s project team with our consultants applied the best practices in their respective professions.

Deputy General Manager of Sales and Marketing (Sabah), Caroline Yong said: “We are offering an unbeatable and unimaginable offer this Saturday. We are giving out a 10% rebate for your down payment. In other words, all you need to do is pay RM1,000 (as down payment) and sign the S&P. The RM1,000 is actually equivalent to 10%”.

Caroline commented that the Group aims to help people of all walks of life to purchase a unit, either for investment purposes or for their own stay. She also added that the loan legal fees will be absorbed by the Group if the bank approves one’s loan within a month of signing the S&P.

Sitting on a solid, cut ground 4meters above road level, Kingfisher Inanam incorporates the seismic designs. When it comes to safety and security, Kingfisher Inanam offers 3 tiers of security system providing residents with a safe and sound environment as well as a piece of mind. Hap Seng has also opted to fence up the compound with anti-climb fencing. All these are to provide buyers as much convenience and ease, a resort like lifestyle inspired by wellness and nature.

Sales Packages
- RM 1,000.00 for booking and proceed to sign SPA
- 100% financing provided by Hap Seng Credit (applicable only for Hap Seng Properties’ projects)
- Flexible instalment plan with 0% interest
- Entitled for a lucky draw pick in winning a brand new Mercedes Benz CLA 200

SOURCE:- PROPERTYHUNTER

KK plays host to Le French Festival leg

Posted on : 08-06-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local

KOTA KINABALU: Kota Kinabalu played host for the first time to the Le French Festival 2017 which showcased a unique offering, highlighting current cultural trends and topics direct from France.

A selection of the latest French films, exhibitions, music, technologies and gastronomy were also held during the event – formerly named the French Art & Film Festival – held from May 4 to June 18.

Klang Valley was the first host before Penang. Brand Ambassador Martell Pierre Boyer said that he was grateful for the opportunity to be a sponsor for the festival this year.

“I am really happy to be one of the sponsors for Le French Festival 2017 especially this year with a lot of interesting movies to share with all the people here,” he said.

Cultural Counsellor of the French Embassy, Jean-Pierre Galland said the Kota Kinabalu event was possible because of the collaboration of presenter Martell and film festival partner Golden Screen Cinemas along with the support of other sponsors and partners.

He also said that festival is to introduce French culture and to promote peace in a way. “France pays a lot of attention to culture and this festival can be considered as a way to promote peace and share our uniqueness together with our partners and sponsorships,” he said.

GSC’s as the largest cinema exhibitor in Malaysia play role in the film festival by providing 16 recent titles from French cinemas with 10 of them screened in Kota Kinabalu.

The festival public relations manager, Azzura Hassan said the film festival is the main highlight event in Kota Kinabalu.

“I really hope that all of us can enjoy all the selected movies and learn more about French culture through it,” she added.

The festival has a 15-year track record of providing audiences in Malaysia with an immersive experience into French culture.

It is organised by the Alliance Française (AF) and the Embassy of France in Malaysia, and supported by the Institut Français.

Also present were City Hall director-general Datuk Joannes Solidau and GSC marketing manager, Tan Gaik Lian.

SOURCE:- NEW SABAH TIMES

Sabah dance group to represent M’sia again

Posted on : 07-06-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local

TENOM:  The Sabah United Tobilung Association (Tobisa) Dance Group from Kota Marudu made history when it was chosen to represent Malaysia in the World Cup Dance final competition for the fourth time since 2014.

This is the best achievement of this dance group which managed to maintain its performance at international level, said Tobisa deputy president Jaiping Minsu here yesterday.

Jaiping, who is also the Tenom District Council executive officer, said this would be the fourth time that the Tobisa dance group would represent Malaysia in the World Cup Dance final competition to be held in Germany.

He said in 2014, the competition was held in Portugal where the Tobisa dance group secured two gold, four silver and two bronze medals, while Marius Manoel was the recipient of the Judge Award.

He said in 2015, the same competition was held in Romania where the group won one gold and three bronze medals and was also awarded the Chairman’s Choice List Awards and Most Outstanding Group.

He said in 2016, the same competition was held in Jersey and the group earned two gold and one bronze medals and the Best National Solo Overall and Judge Award were given to Mohd Amerul Amir.

“This year, the World Cup Dance final competition will be held in Offenburg, Germany on June 19.

“The gold medals won were through various dance events including the gold medals for the senior solo contemporary in 2014, Judge’s Award for Most Outstanding Performer (2014), a gold medal for the modern senior group (2015), a gold medal for national senior solo (2016) and a national gold medal for solo mini (2016),” he said.

Jaiping said for this year’s competition, the Tobisa dance group would be represented by 13 members.

He said the group would be led by the Tobisa president Muji NC Ampau.

SOURCE:- THE BORNEO POST

Sabah’s culture ’super diverse’ – University of Hamburg exchange student Lukas Tretau

Posted on : 07-06-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local

KOTA KINABALU: University of Hamburg exchange student Lukas Tretau who had first-hand experience of Sabah’s hospitality when he was here for two semesters described the culture in the state as super diverse.

Lukas, who enrolled for Nature Parks and Recreation programme at Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS), quickly made lots of local friends at the university who didn’t waste any time to bring him around the city and beyond.

“We went to experience the chilly weather in Kundasang and the ice cream from Desa Cattle – it was amazing, felt like home with all the cows and the cool wind,” he joked.

He also mentioned another trip whereby he was brought by his group of friends to the Pantai Rang Bulan in Kota Belud.

Describing the beach as beautiful and lonely, he enjoyed exploring the area on a boat.

“I was very lucky to meet so many open-minded and open-hearted people just after my arrival, still being a total stranger.  Nowhere else have I experienced such a welcoming atmosphere,” said Lukas.

“Whether we just went out for lepak-lepak (seriously, I still do not understand how Malaysian people can stay up that long at night and wake up again early in the morning) or Karaoke (that was a surprise and not a nice one, I am a really bad singer!), to visit the Sabah Tea Garden or Kudat; everyone was determined to include and integrate me to make me feel home. Now I can say that Sabah and KK especially feel like my second home,” he added.

He also shared the various experience he went through during his stay in Sabah.

“During my time in Sabah I experienced a lot. Local Muslim wedding, numerous sport events, local traditional cultural events in Membakut and also festivities like Japanese Cultural Night within UMS called ‘Bon Odori’.

Unfortunately, I did not get to experience Kaamatan and Hari Raya. Sabah’s culture is super diverse: it does not matter where you are from. You are here and you are welcome. Many countries in Europe can learn from that,” he said.

He added that his field of study also allowed him to discover more about Sabah.

“As a ‘Geography International’ student from Germany I enrolled in the HG20 programme, Nature Parks & Recreation. Awesome choice! A great class, very sporting lecturers and super enjoyable field trips to places throughout Sabah!”

“After I studied one semester in UMS in the forestry faculty, I started my internship at Sabah Parks. Working in the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, I had to go to the islands sometimes because I did a small research study on the crowding there.  Asking tourists of their opinions about the islands, and after that went sunbathing and swimming during lunch time, such a hard life, kan?” he said.

He said that since he missed  climbing Mount Kinabalu and also didn’t make it to Pulau Tiga during his stay here, he will definitely come back again to the State.

SOURCE:- THE BORNEO POST

KL2017 Torch arrives in KK

Posted on : 07-06-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local

KOTA KINABALU: A total of 780 participants of the Kuala Lumpur 2017 Torch Run, held in conjunction with the upcoming 29th SEA Games and the ninth ASEAN Para Games KL2017 torch relay, have reached Kota Kinabalu to complete the West Coast leg.

They arrived in the state capital after covering six areas in Sabah.

The group was welcomed by Deputy Chief Minister and state Industrial Development Minister Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah at Jesselton Point around 4.30pm.

Tan said Sabah was the fifth destination after Johor, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan and Labuan.

“Kota Kinabalu is the seventh destination in the state after a successful run in several areas including Ranau, Keningau, Tawau, Sandakan, Kota Belud and Tuaran. They will head to Sipitang after this.

“A total of 21 runners representing major athletes and former athletes from Tuaran carried the torch in the run today,” he added.

Tan was speaking to the media after completing the torch relay from Jesselton Point to Segama Waterfront.

Also present was Kota Kinabalu Mayor Datuk Yeo Boon Hai.

Among the athletes who took part in the torch relay were Michelle Koh (karate), Sidim Sahak (triple jump), Aliudin Jumat (pole vault), Khairul Safwan Mansur (diving) and Rifine Tan (sailing).

SOURCE:- NST

KL2017 torch run: Chance to get involved in games

Posted on : 06-06-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local

SANDAKAN: The KL2017 torch run provides a good opportunity for the people at large to get involved in the staging of the coming 29th SEA Games and 9th ASEAN Para Games, with Kuala Lumpur as the host city.

Sabah Deputy Chief Minister, Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah said this was in line with the theme of KL2017, “Rising Together”, which emphasised on unity, and the family and ASEAN Community spirit. Besides that, he said, the torch run also gave Malaysians the opportunity to symbolically express their support for the country’s athletes who would be competing and towards the organising of KL2017.

Tan said the torch run could also promote KL2017 to the local communities directly and pump up the atmosphere across the country in the run-up to the Games.

“At the same time, it enables ordinary Malaysians to have a closer view of the torch run, which is specially organised for KL2017,” he said at the symbolic placing of the torch into the torch stand at Padang Bandaran Sandakan, here, today.

Tan’s speech text was read out by Sandakan Municipal Council president, Datuk James Wong who also carried the torch from the town centre up to the field.

Accompanying him on the run was state Youth and Sports Assistant Minister, Datuk Masiung Banah. Later at a press conference, Masiung said Sandakan was the fourth location in Sabah for the torch run after Ranau, followed by Keningau and Tawau yesterday.

He said the next locations would be Kota Belud, Tuaran, Kota Kinabalu and lastly Sipitang on Thursday before the run would continue in neighbouring Sarawak.

Masiung also noted that the KL2017 torch run created history in the organising of the Games when the torch was lighted at the peak of Mount Kinabalu, Southeast Asia’s highest mountain, yesterday by Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin together with 24 other climbers.

Hopefully, he said, with Malaysia hosting the SEA Games and ASEAN Para Games, the sporting spirit would rise among Malaysians, the standard of sports in the country uplifted with Malaysia becoming a sporting powerhouse in the region, and the public persuaded to practise a healthy lifestyle.

The 29th KL SEA Games will be held from Aug 19 to 30 and the ASEAN Para Games from Sept 17 to 23.

SOURCE– BERNAMA

Watch Borneo’s rarest wildlife online today

Posted on : 04-06-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local

KOTA KINABALU: The Borneo Jungle Diaries, Scubazoo’s newest online series showcasing Borneo’s rarest wildlife and Danau Girang Field Centre’s (DGFC) international scientists trying to save them, will be on air at 4pm today.

The pilot, which is launched in conjunction with World Environment Day, will be launched on www.scubazoo.tv and Danau Girang Field Centre Facebook page.

“The idea is to showcase incredible biodiversity in the river and jungle and the amazing people who are working in the jungle,” said Scubazoo founder and CEO Simon Christopher at a press conference held here yesterday.

He added that the nine-month work on producing the 10 Borneo Jungle Diaries episodes was driven further by the Sabah Chief Minister’s announcement about the much applauded scrapping of the Sukau Bridge plans in Kinabatangan.

The bridge would have raised increased threats towards one of the last sanctuaries for the Borneon Pygmy Elephants and posed greater challenges for scientists located at the remote DGFC facility deep in the heart of Sabah‘s jungle.

Christopher said Scubazoo wanted a “fun-servation” take in raising the profile of Borneo’s incredible animals and the serious issues threatening its existence in Sabah through the Borneo Jungle Diaries.

The episodes, which will be released every Monday of the week, reveal the Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC), an isolated and wild location managed by Sabah Wildlife Department and Cardiff University, and its dedicated team on their important mission to safeguard Kinabatangan’s most charismatic animals through monitoring, learning and understanding.

Four episodes showcase Malaysian students studying at the field centre: PhD students Nurzhafarina Othman, Elisa Panjang and Sai Kerisha Kntayya and one MSc student Leona Wai.

“I believe that those students can become ambassadors for wildlife conservation in Sabah and Malaysia and are examples to follow by the younger Malaysian generation of conservationists.

“We feel extremely priviliged to have had the opportunity to partner up with DGFC and Sabah Wildlife Dept for this series. Borneo Jungle Diaries is the ultimate jungle story bringing the groundbreaking work of Malaysians and people from all corners of the world to try to understand the importance of Sabah’s incredibly unique wildlife, before it’s too late,” said Christopher.

Viewers of the episodes could also stand a chance to win a visit to DGFC. Five questions will be posted for each episode of Borneo Jungle Diaries until August 7 and a viewer with the most correct answer will win the rare adventure in the Borneon jungle.

“Borneo Jungle Diaries investigate life behind-the-scenes at the field centre,” said DGFC and a lecturer at Cardiff University Dr Benoit Goossens in a statement yesterday.

“Aaron ‘Bertie’ Gekoski, known for ‘Borneo from Below’ and ‘Borneo Wildlife Warriors’ online series, follows a different scientist at DGFC and animal per episode as we tag a Sunda pangolin for the first time ever, gain intimate insights into the behaviour of nocturnal primates, track a herd of elephants, and much more,” added Goossens.

“It will be followed by one episode every Monday until August 7 and the episodes will highlight the following species: pangolins, reticulated pythons, otters, insects, monitor lizards, slow lorises and tarsiers, crocodiles, civets and elephants,” explained Goossens.

The 10 weekly online episodes produced by Scubazoo, Asia’s leading natural history filming and photography company based in Kota Kinabalu, is funded by Sime Darby Foundation.

“l hope that this series will be appealing to young people who are interested by wildlife, especially young Malaysian students,” added Goossens.

SOURCE: The Borneo Post Sabah

680,000 trees planted in bid to save Kinabatangan River

Posted on : 04-06-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local

KOTA KINABALU: The recent announcement on the cancellation of the proposed the Sukau bridge construction project was indeed positive news for Nestle.

With one of the richest ecosystems in the world, the Kinabatangan River plays a crucial role in Sabah, for wildlife as well as quality of life for the local community.

“In line with its commitment to sustainability and recognising the importance of preserving this vital Corridor of Life, Nestle Malaysia is committed to protecting the dynamic and unique biodiversity of the Kinabatangan River through one of its key environmental initiatives, the Kinabatangan RiLeaf Project,” said Nestle (Malaysia) Berhad agriculture officer Kertijah Abdul Kadir.

She said through this initiative, Nestle and Yayasan Sime Darby was focusing on restoring the environment, preserving biodiversity and supporting the surrounding local communities.

“Together, we are proud to play a part in helping bring life back to the Kinabatangan River,” she added.

Established in 2011, Nestle’s Kinabatangan RiLeaf project has been Nestle’s flagship environmental conservation project to safeguard this special habitat. The project has been supported by Yayasan Sime Darby since 2013.

“To date, the project has planted over 680,000 trees in critical forest reserve areas along the Kinabatangan River and targets to cover 2,400 hectares of degraded forest areas.

“These areas which the Project has helped restore, forms a buffer zone which aims to filter soil sediments and agricultural fertilizer run-offs brought about by palm oil plantations which flow into the river. This allows the Kinabatangan to repair itself over time,” said Kertijah.

She added that Nestle’s efforts ensure that the Kinabatangan River continues to be Sabah’s Corridor of Life and home to its unique biodiversity.

Sabah’s Corridor of Life is home to over 250 birds, 50 mammals, 20 reptile species and 1056 plant species.

The Kinabatangan River is also only one of two places on the planet where 10 primate species including the Orang Utan, Proboscis Monkey and the Borneo Gibbon can be found.

The restored zones form a wildlife corridor which allows wildlife to thrive and forage in their natural habitat while reducing the conflict between human and wildlife.

According to Kertijah, the Kinabatangan RiLeaf project also helps improve the livelihoods of the Kinabatangan villagers through the KAPOK Community programme (Komuniti Anak Pokok Kinabatangan).

The KAPOK Community programme was initiated by WWFMalaysia. Through this initiative, local villagers supply seedlings, which the Kinabatangan RiLeaf Project then purchases for its reforestation.

The seedlings are then planted in the designated areas by local planting contractors. These local contractors employ local villagers who plant the trees, thus empowering the local communities to earn additional income.

Technical training is also provided to the villagers to promote sustainable and responsible agricultural activities.

The local villages part of this programme are Kg. Abai, Kg. Bilit, Kg. Perpaduan, Kg. Sentosa Jaya and Kg. Sukau, which are located along the Kinabatangan River.

“Ultimately, Kinabatangan RiLeaf Project is about long-term environmental sustainability. Nestle is doing this to ensure that the Kinabatangan River continues to exist as a Corridor of Life and home to the unique wildlife in Sabah,” she concluded.

SOURCE: The Borneo Post Sabah

MASwings celebrates Kaamatan & Gawai with passengers at KKIA & KIA (Kuching International Airport)

Posted on : 04-06-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local

KUCHING: Cabin crew members of MASwings spread the festive spirit of Kaamatan and Gawai Dayak by holding festive send-off and welcome ceremonies at both Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) and Kuching International Airport (KIA) on the eve of the two occasions.

At KKIA, eight cabin crew members distributed complimentary ‘kurma’ (dates) to MASwings and Malaysia Airlines passengers, in conjunction with the month of Ramadan, as they sent off departing passengers and greeted those arriving at the airport.

Four MASwings flight hostesses who took part in the event at KKIA, are actually former ‘Unduk Ngadau’ (Kaamatan pageant queens) of their respective districts – an attribute that they showcased proudly by wearing their winning crowns and sashes.

The colourful ceremony was accompanied by the playing of a traditional musical instrument called the ‘kulintangan’, performed continuously by MASwings’ in-house talent Mohd Mazrull Mazwandy Mazlan.

Mohd Mazrull also encouraged his fellow cabin crew members to perform the ‘Sumazau’ – the well-known traditional dance of the Kadazans in Sabah.

At the KIA, MASwings’ Kuching cabin crew wore the traditional costumes of major ethnic groups in Sarawak, in celebration of Gawai Dayak, as they said farewell to outgoing passengers and warmly welcomed those arriving ones.

“Both activities at the KKIA and KIA were meant to enliven the atmosphere at both airports in view of the harvest festivals celebrated in Sabah and Sarawak.

“It also provided an opportunity for the airline to share both states’ rich, diverse and unique cultures and traditions in the spirit of hospitality – welcoming and sending off passengers on the eve of the Kaamatan and Gawai celebrations,” MASwings said in a press statement released yesterday.

MASwings chief executive officer Aminuddin Zakaria was present at both KKIA and KIA to meet and greet the passengers – donning the Kadazan and Iban warrior costumes at respective venues.

SOURCE:- THE BORNEO POST

Siringan fully supports SEA (Sabah Employers Association)

Posted on : 26-05-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local

KOTA KINABALU: Resource Development and Information Technology Minister Datuk Siringan Gubat fully supported the founding of Sabah Employers Association (SEA) because it can act as a platform for all employers in the private sector in Sabah.

He said apart from serving and representing all employers in Sabah, SEA can also assist the government both at federal and state levels by providing vital information and inputs as well as feedback when needed, because it would know better on matters and issues concerning employers in the private sector in Sabah.

“SEA should have been formed long ago, because I think it is good for all employers in the private sector in Sabah to have a platform to better serve and represent them at the state and federal levels,” he said when meeting a delegation from SEA, led by its president Datuk Seri Wong Khen Thau, who paid a courtesy visit to his ministry’s office at Wisma Bandaraya here , yesterday.

Siringan also supported that SEA be given a chance to take part in any state and national-level committee that is relevant to the association’s objectives and missions.

During the meeting, Wong also briefed the minister on SEA’s objectives and missions apart from exchanging views with him on matters and issues concerning employers in the private sector and on the situation in the state private sector itself.

Siringan was also pleased to note that SEA is very supportive of the federal and state policies on foreign workers and the Minimum Wage Policy.

SOURCE: THE BORNEO POST

Embrace innovation to move forward in digitised world – Raymond

Posted on : 26-05-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local

KOTA KINABALU: Corporate bodies, businesses and government departments must embrace change and innovation in order to succeed in this digital world, said Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Raymond Tan Shu Kiah.

Tan, who is also the Minister of Industrial Development, said the Internet and technology have changed business models and the way things were done.

He said organisations needed to catch up with technology or else they would be left behind.

Although adopting new technology could be stressful for the older generation, they had to embrace change for the future of their children and grandchildren, he said.

“There comes a point in time where we need to accept and decide to embrace technology in order to move forward in this digital world,” Tan said when officiating at the closing ceremony of the first National Corporate Innovation Index (NCII) workshop in Sabah here yesterday.

By digitising businesses, Tan said operators would be able to monitor their growth and track the progress.

He said the workshop yesterday, organized by the National Innovation Agency Malaysia (AIM) in collaboration with POIC Sabah Sdn Bhd as venue sponsor and Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MICCI) Sabah, aimed to introduce the NCII and providing a template for all organizations, including government agencies and departments.

“It is to encourage change, more effective delivery system, and upscale performance to provide better results.

“The results is not just measured by income or revenue for businesses, but also the ability to serve for government departments.”

SOURCE:- THE BORNEO POST

Sabah, New Zealand to improve ties

Posted on : 17-05-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah and New Zealand are set to work on bilateral ties in education, culture, economy and tourism, among others.

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Pairin Kitingan and New Zealand’s Minister for Maori Development Te Ururoa Flavell said they would work together for the benefit of each other and the indigenous people in both countries.

Pairin, the Huguan Siou (paramount leader) of the KadazanDusun Murut community, said that through the bilateral ties, they could learn more about the development of indigenous people from the Maoris.

“I do hope that this relationship will continue as we want to renew some relationships that have been part of our history,” he said during a courtesy call by Flavell and his delegation from New Zealand. Also in attendance was New Zealand’s High Commissioner to Malaysia, Dr John Subritzky.

Flavell in his speech said New Zealand’s dealing with Malaysia in terms of the Maori had been very minimal.

“We have the history of helping each other out in war. We try to work how we can work together and join up again,” he said, adding that Sabah and New Zealand could work together on the economic and cultural development of their indigenous people.

“It is our view that commerce and culture go together,” he said adding: “We also know how important tourism is to Sabah as it is to New Zealand,  so we can talk about what we may be able to do together,”  he said.

Prior to meeting Pairin, Flavell and his delegation also met with the New Zealand alumni and they had shared insights about Sabah and her people.

“A lot of it matches up with what we try to do as well. You can learn from our experience in sectors like tourism and agriculture and we also can learn from you,” he added.

On working together in the education sector, Subritzky said this was because there is a large number of Malaysian students in New Zealand and most of them are from Sabah and Sarawak.

SOURCE: THE BORNEO POST

Sabahans benefit from cultures and festivities – CM

Posted on : 14-05-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local

KOTA KINABALU: The government has no intention of politicizing cultural festivities, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman.

He said the government only wants to carry out its social responsibilities, which is to ultimately preserve the identity of the various cultures in the state.

“Culture is universal. We can celebrate it together. The Barisan Nasional party takes care of all the races.

“We in Sabah have always respected the various races in the State; fueled by the spirit of unity; the spirit of working together.

“Just now I was in Tenom, before that I was in Tambunan and now I am here in Penampang,” said Musa when speaking at the Kaamatan Upko Celebration 2017 yesterday.

He went on to stress that the best thing about Sabah being unique is that despite its different cultures, Sabahans can still live peacefully together.

“We (as Sabahans) can all eat at the same table together.

“When I was invited for this event (and the other ones as well), I accepted it gladly.

“We are willing to help and consider every single request that is reasonable,” said Musa.

He added that the government’s support for this type of cultural activity reflects the gratification that the government has towards the people of Sabah.

Musa further explained that these cultural activities will also attract tourists from both in and out of the country.

“The tourists are amazed at our culture. They are amazed at the harmony that Sabah has.

“Today, thousands of tourists choose to come to Sabah; people love Sabahans. They love our food, beaches and our tropical forests.

“Just imagine if our state is not peaceful, people would not even come here.

“Furthermore, this benefit can be enjoyed by all the trades, businessmen and hotel owners in our state,” added Musa who had officiated the tenth annual Upko Kaamatan celebration, which was held at the Penampang Cultural Centre yesterday.

Also present in the event were Upko Acting President Datuk Seri Panglima Wilfred Madius Tangau, Secretary General Datuk Donald Peter Mojuntin, Acting Deputy President Datuk Siringan Gubat, Special Tasks Minister Datuk Teo Chee Kang and Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Ramli Din.

SOURCE:- THE BORNEO POST