Zamboanga-Sandakan flight launched

Posted on : 16-08-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local

SANDAKAN — The Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines-East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) Business Council welcomes the launch of Cebu Pacific Air’s direct Zamboanga-Sandakan flights starting this October.

BIMP-EAGA Business Council chairman, Datuk Roselan Johar Mohamed in a statement today said this new direct air link connecting Mindanao and Sabah as focus areas of the EAGA, demonstrated the viability of enhancing closer and stronger socio-economic ties in the sub-region.

He said concrete initiatives such as this would definitely buoy up the dynamism of the private sector in playing its role as the EAGA’s engine of growth.


China kids shooting reality show in Sabah

Posted on : 14-08-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local

KOTA KINABALU: China’s reality show entitled ‘Youth of China 3 – Nanyang Classroom’ has arrived in Sabah to shoot four episodes featuring the local tourism and culture here.

A group of eight children from China visited Sabah Tshung Tsin Secondary School (STTSS) yesterday, where they joined the students in writing Chinese calligraphy as well as cycling with Mayor Datuk Yeo Boon Hai.

The children just returned from their trip to Keningau and Tenom on August 12.

A total of 32 selected children from different provinces in China are coming to Sabah to shoot the reality show, coproduced by China Central Television (CCTV) and Dino Brandwork.

The Chinese youths will be shooting a total of eight episodes – four in West Malaysia and four in Sabah in the month of August. Each episode features a different group of eight children.

Sabah Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Satta) president Datuk Seri Winston Liaw said four episodes would be filmed in Sabah for more than 10 days.

Liaw said CCTV originally wanted to spend three days to film in Kota Kinabalu, but he had recommended the film crew to visit Keningau, Tenom and Sandakan as well.

“Many of our travel agencies in Sandakan have requested Satta to promote the area more.

“Hopefully more Chinese tourists will start going to Sandakan in 2018 after the reality show is broadcasted in December this year in China, as well as other rural towns as the Sabah Tourism Board (STB) has undertaken efforts to promote rural tourism.”

He said the filming not only promoted our rural tourism, but also provided a platform for cultural exchange between the local and Chinese participants.

Liaw said Yeo was included in the filming of the reality show to promote cycling as a leisure activity for tourists given that the Kota Kinabalu City Hall (DBKK) has 120 bicycles for tourists to utilize free of charge.


China kids shooting reality show in Sabah

Posted on : 14-08-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local

KOTA KINABALU: China’s reality show entitled ‘Youth of China 3 – Nanyang Classroom’ has arrived in Sabah to shoot four episodes featuring the local tourism and culture here.

A group of eight children from China visited Sabah Tshung Tsin Secondary School (STTSS) yesterday, where they joined the students in writing Chinese calligraphy as well as cycling with Mayor Datuk Yeo Boon Hai.

The children just returned from their trip to Keningau and Tenom on August 12.

A total of 32 selected children from different provinces in China are coming to Sabah to shoot the reality show, co-produced by China Central Television (CCTV) and Dino Brandwork.

The Chinese youths will be shooting a total of eight episodes – four in West Malaysia and four in Sabah in the month of August. Each episode features a different group of eight children.

Sabah Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Satta) president Datuk Seri Winston Liaw said four episodes would be filmed in Sabah for more than 10 days.

Liaw said CCTV orginally wanted to spend three days to film in Kota Kinabalu, but he had recommended the film crew to visit Keningau, Tenom and Sandakan as well.

“Many of our travel agencies in Sandakan have requested Satta to promote the area more.

“Hopefully more Chinese tourists will start going to Sandakan in 2018 after the reality show is broadcasted in December this year in China, as well as other rural towns as the Sabah Tourism Board (STB) has undertaken efforts to promote rural tourism.”

He said the filming not only promoted our rural tourism, but also provided a platform for cultural exchange between the local and Chinese participants.

Liaw said Yeo was included in the filming of the reality show to promote cycling as a leisure activity for tourists given that the Kota Kinabalu City Hall (DBKK) has 120 bicycles for tourists to utilize free of charge.


USS American calls at Sepanggar base

Posted on : 14-08-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local

KOTA KINABALU: The USS America (LHA-6), an amphibious assault ship of the United States navy, along with the US’s 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit called at the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) base in Teluk Sepanggar near here today.

Its commanding officer, Captain Joseph R. Olson, who leads a 2,500-member crew, said the visit was to learn about Malaysia and RMN as part of operations to build ties in the Pacific for regional stability.

“Our visit is to learn more about each other and have mutual exchanges with the Malaysian navy on peace and security,” he told reporters here.

He said they were glad to be back at sea and working shoulder-to-shoulder with the Marines of the 15th MEU in continuing to refine all aspects of amphibious capability and engage with partner nations in the Pacific.

Olson said during the visit, they would be hosting tours of the ship, as well as enjoying the sites of the city.

“The crew will also share experiences to develop closer ties among the two navies,” he said.

Meanwhile, a statement issued by USS America public affairs unit said it is an aviation-centric amphibious ship that provides forward presence and power projection as an integral part of joint, inter-agency and multinational maritime expeditionary force.

“As the next generation ‘big deck’, USS America is optimised for Marine Corps aviation, capable of supporting current future aircraft such as MV-22 Osprey and F-35B Joint Strike Fighter,” it said.


Sabah encourages staging of tribal events – CM

Posted on : 14-08-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local

Paitan, Beluran: The staging of tribal events is very much encouraged as it reflects Sabah’s wealth of cultures, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Haji Aman.

He said the richness of a culture comes from the customs and inheritance practiced and passed on by the forebears of a native community.

“And it is the present generation who must continue practicing and passing on to the next generation so that their culture will not be lost.

“When outsiders see this is being done, we can all be proud of our diversities of life and culture,” he said adding that Sabah has such uniqueness.

Musa said that if there is a culture-related festival being held, other people would want to find out and know more about it.

The Chief Minister was speaking at the launching of Pesta Tagunggu Paitan, an event to promote the culture of the Orang Sungai, at Paitan here yesterday.

Musa said that such event would also help to promote goodwill among the people from various races and cultures.

“One of Sabah’s unique characters is that we all can live in peace and harmony despite our cultural background and outsiders are amazed by it.

“We are continuing the work of our ancestors, who lived in peace and they protected and preserved their culture. And now, we are doing the same, living peacefully and harmoniously,” he said.

With such understanding, he said Sabah will continuously remain stable coupled with the development and progress enjoyed by the people.

On Beluran, he said the excellent relationship between the state and federal governments has seen the district being developed even though it is at the edge of the State.

Speaking to reporters later, Musa said that the presence of two Barisan Nasional elected representatives in Beluran MP Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee and Sugut assemblyman, Datuk James Ratib made a strong team as they know the needs of the people in Beluran.

“They met me often and also the Prime Minister requesting for development projects for the people including in Paitan,” said Musa who is also the State Finance Minister.

“They are effective and strong leaders, who are working hard for the people.”


Dying art of beduk drumming to be revived

Posted on : 14-08-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local

MEMBAKUT: Beduk or bedug drumming competition will be expanded to Borneo level to ensure younger generations continue to learn the dying art.

Assistant Minister to the Chief Minister, Datuk Mohd Arifin Arif said that he will be providing special allocation to have it organised in the future.

Speaking at the Membakut-level beduk drumming competition in Kampung Binsulok, he said that he will also be providing allocation to equip all mosques in the district with a beduk this year, which will be expanded to cover all suraus next year.

“This art is dying out with the passing of the older generations, so I hope having teenagers category in this competition could encourage more youths to learn it,” he said.

Unlike the more frequently-used kendang, the beduk is suspended from a rack and played with a padded mallet. Its sound is generally deeper and duller than that of the kendang.

Arifin who is also Membakut Assemblyman, also reminded parents to ensure their children are able to recite the Quran as it is compulsory for every Muslims.

According to him, the lack of teachers is no longer an issue as there are more qualified teachers in the district now. “It is compulsory for our children to be able to recite the Quran even if they do not understand it because it will strengthen their faith especially in facing the modern world.

“Children nowadays have distanced themselves from religion and this has caused many social problems,” he added.


ESSCom needs public cooperation to be fully effective

Posted on : 03-08-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local

SANDAKAN: Four Points by Sheraton Sandakan’s The Eatery introduced their new ala carte menu through food tasting with the local media.

Chef Charlister Siap who heads the kitchen team mentioned that it was his intention to introduce local flavours to the hotel increasing international clientele.

The five new items were: a) Nasi Kuning Ayam Ketuk, a local traditional favourite of yellow turmeric flavoured rice served with flattened fried chicken (RM28nett). b) Double Boiled Chicken Drumstick, a home-style method of braised herbal chicken served with fragrant steamed rice (RM28nett). c) Minced Chicken with Soft Bean Curd, a secret recipe of finely minced chicken and soft bean curd served with fragrant steamed rice (RM28nett). d) Braised New Zealand Lamb Shank, another secret recipe of Chef Charlister, with couscous or potato mash and grilled Mediterranean vegetables (RM48nett). e) Mushroom Risotto, Chef Charlister’s award winning specialty (RM38nett).

Other dishes available at The Eatery’s new menu from Aug 1 onwards feature local delights, western and oriental favourites, Hotel General Manager Peter Padman said.

Enjoy 40% discounts for selected partnership banks for every meal purchased on a single receipt. For more information, kindly visit or contact us at +60 89244 888 for reservations, Peter said.


CM: We’ve progressed & prospered

Posted on : 01-08-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah has undergone rapid progress and prosperity since independence.

“It has enabled the state government to implement various development programmes benefitting the people and state,” Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman said when launching the state-level Merdeka Month and Fly the Jalur Gemilang campaign at the City Hall building compound here yesterday.

As a result of the progress made, he said education and job opportunities were created and the people’s socioeconomic status enhanced.

“At the same time, relations between the state and federal governments continue to be strengthened to ensure the development agenda is put into action for the benefit of the rakyat,” said Musa who is also Finance Minister. He added that the good relations between the two governments had clearly brought about development and progress for the state.

“And, apart from gaining recognition, Sabah is also given space and opportunity to contribute significantly at the national level under the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

The Chief Minister also stressed that the government’s development policies and programmes required support and co-operation from everyone including the civil servants, corporate sectors and NGOs.

“I believe that understanding, the spirit of togetherness and unity will spur further growth in Sabah,” he added. Meanwhile, Musa said the theme of this year’s Merdeka Month celebration “Negaraku Sehati Sejiwa” was apt as it called on the people to respect one another, unite and work together as Malaysians.

“As such, I hope this programme will receive good response from the people. Let’s fly the Jalur Gemilang together throughout the state during the month of August,” he said.

According to him, the Merdeka Month and Fly the Jalur Gemilang campaign were important for the people to instill a sense of patriorism as Malaysians.

“It is a platform for us to continue to show our gratefulness, appreciation and gratitude to our country which has given us the opportunity to appreciate the true meaning of merdeka,”Musa said.

And, the Chief Minister also thanked Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Haji Hajiji Haji Noor who is also chairman of the Merdeka Month celebration’s main committee as well as city mayor Datuk Yeo Boon Hai, chairman of the implementation committee and its members for their determination and strong sense of patriorism in ensuring the success of the events.

Musa later flagged off a convoy of 15 vehicles taking part in the Kembara Merdeka Negaraku programme organised by the state Information Department.

Among those present yesterday were State Assembly Speaker, Datuk Syed Abas Syed Ali; DeputyChief Ministers Datuk Yahya Hussin and Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah; Hajiji; Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun; State Secretary Tan Sri Sukarti Wakiman, the mayor and heads of federal and state department.


Bambangan sauce wins grant for Keningau agropreneur

Posted on : 01-08-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local

KOTA KINABALU: A 31-year-old lecturer is among the entrepreneurs who received Malaysia Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI) Young Agropreneur Grant for her work with the bambangan fruit.

The government-sponsored grant is aimed at promoting agriculture as a high-income career among young entrepreneurs.

“Bambangan is one of our local fruits so I thought why don’t we innovate with it so that people from outside would know about the fruits that we have here in Sabah,” said Nur Azzwa Mohd Asrim who received RM4,452 as an incentive to run her business operation.

The mother of one started her business in January last year with her company, Syarikat Maywaa Enterprise, producing local fruits sauce including their signature product, ‘Sos Cili Bambangan’.

“I started my business with RM3,000 and now we have three employees who produce 390 bottles every month for every flavour, priced at RM7.90 each,” said Azzwa who also teaches Accountancy at Geomatika College in Keningau.

Marketing her products online, her company produces chili sauces in three flavours made from local fruits namely bambangan, tarap and pineapple, and jackfruit is next on her flavour plan.

“For the time being, we only sell our products in Keningau but we do have plans to expand the business by marketing the sauce at tourism stores both inside and outside of Sabah,” beamed Azzwa, adding that she hopes to break into the Asian market in the future.

Earlier, Assistant Minister of Agriculture & Food Industry Datuk Haji Musbah Jamli said that the measures taken by MARDI in encouraging young entrepreneurs is in line with the state government’s wish to promote food and agriculture industry in Sabah.

“MARDI Young Agropreneur AGORA Program aims to expose young entrepreneurs aged 18 to 40 to modern entrepreneurship concept, business foundation as well as technology talks related to agro-based industry,” he said in his speech before officiating Sabah MARDI Young Agropreneur AGORA IV and ‘Hari Bersama Pelanggan 2017 here yesterday.

The three-day programme held at MARDI started from July 29 and saw more than 50 young Agropreneurs taking part in various challenging activities targeted in shaping them into successful agriculture entrepreneurs.

“The state government, through agencies under the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry and agencies under Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry such as MARDI, FAMA, LPP, TEKUN, AGROBANK, IADA and LKIM always work hand in hand to promote the agriculture sector in the state,” affirmed Musbah.

He added that other activities conducted during the program was National Transformation 2050 (TN50) aspiration which include technology talk, demonstrations and exhibitions as well as sales of local agriculture products and books published by MARDI.


Funds channelled to Sabah: Musa

Posted on : 01-08-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local

Kota Kinabalu: Twenty five per cent of Federal Government allocations are channeled to Sabah through the Rural and Regional Development Ministry, a figure Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman says will immensely benefit the State especially now with a new minister in charge.
He stressed on Monday that with a better relationship between the State Government and the Ministry, the people will know how the allocations get spent on rural development projects and programmes in the State.
“It’s a big percentage and it’s so important for Sabah,” he said during the launch of a Village Management Certificate Programme and presentation of Desa Perdana Award for Sabah and Labuan 2017 (pic).
Also present was Rural and Regional Development Minister Dato Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who reiterated that Sabah and Sarawak have been allocated a quarter each of Federal Government allocations channeled through his ministry while the remaining 50 per cent distributed among all the eleven States in Peninsula Malaysia.
While expressing his gratitude for the huge allocations, Musa said he was pleased with Ismail for regularly contacting him or his officials regarding Sabah’s development needs.
“It’s important that there must always a good relationship between the State and the Federal Government,” he said.
On this note, he again drew comparison with Ismail’s predecessor Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, who is now President of the opposition Parti Warisan Sabah.
He reiterated the State Government was often left in the dark about Federal allocated development projects and programmes when the ministry was led by Shafie.
“These things happened. And it’s time that the people must know what had happened,” he said.
On Sunday, the Chief Minister said some rural development projects to provide basic amenities of electricity and clean water supplies in Sabah funded by Rural and Regional Development Ministry then under Shafie had become wasteful projects.
Parti Warisan Sabah secretary general Loretto Padua Jr in a statement Monday denied the accusations.
He said Musa was “making wild and baseless accusations without any documentary evidence that confirm Shafie is a failed minister.”
Meanwhile, 500 Village Development and Security Committee chairmen took part in the three-day programme organised by Institut Kemajuan Desa (INFRA) in cooperation with Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL).
It was held in Sabah for the first time.
Ismail, in his speech, reminded that although the chairmen are only leaders at the grassroots, they have important roles to play including to ensure the Barisan Nasional wins in the coming general elections.
Kampung Merampong, Keningau was named the winner of the Desa Perdana Award 2017.
Second and third went to Kampung Sugiang Tengah, Tenom dan Kampung Seganga, Lahad Datu, respectively.
For Labuan, Kampung Layang Layangan took top place followed by Kampung Sungai Miri and Kampung Lubok Temiang. – Leonard Alaza


A big bike adventure to Tip of Borneo

Posted on : 30-07-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local

ON a misty June 24 morning ahead of the Raya holidays, nine riders from the Free and Furious Bikers’ group in Sibu set out on the quest to reach the much talked about Tip of Borneo within two days.

They are experienced big bikers — some with nine years of cross-country riding under their belts while the most junior among them have been biking with the group for two years.

Led by two skilled expedition managers, Michael Ting and Dr Grammen Low, the group revved along the Bintulu-Miri-Brunei-Limbang-Lawas route with its spectacular landscape before reaching the beautiful western coast of Sabah.

For the bikers, it was a dream ride out in open country. Sibu, being more than 80 miles from the sea, is generally viewed as landlocked. Many of its residents, especially among the younger generation, have dreams to venture out and see the world!

A senior teacher known as Mr Hii told thesundaypost, “It’s no big surprise that a group of motorcycle enthusiasts have come together to form the Free and Furious Bikers of Sibu. Young people are usually adventurous. They like to explore and see things for themselves. For them, nine-to-five jobs can be routine and sometimes, even boring.”

Apart from the two leaders, the bikers were Cheng Hua Ping, Danny Wong and his wife Onna Yii, Ling Tiing Tchin, Robert Kang, Ting Ming Sheng, and Wong Kiung Kui.

Before the outing, they had their bikes thoroughly checked — brakes, lights, oil and fluid levels, tyre pressure and hydraulics — to make sure everything was in order. They also looked into important matters like passports, bike ownership documentation and accommodation arrangements as well as route-planning to avoid travelling on the same road twice while in Sabah.

First Day

The group started early on June 24, riding north out of Sibu on a cheerful note.

Onna Yii, the only woman in the expedition, said even though it was raining most of the first day, the group was in high spirits. To her, “eating, laughing and even riding at night is a memorable experience”. She finds big biking “a kind of fulfilment” and she enjoyed herself throughout the ride.

The group detoured to Bintulu for breakfast, then pushed on to Miri. They had a high-tea rojak break in Limbang before riding on to Kota Kinabalu in the dark and rain. In between, they stopped only for short breaks and small meals.

The long 900km ride had apparently worked up an appetite in the riders. Not surprisingly, they found the seafood in the Sabah capital extra tasty.

Second Day

On June 25, the riders continued their journey in equatorial rain. Undaunted, they pressed on to their final destination, the Tip of Borneo, arriving there in three and half hours from Kota Kinabalu despite the shower.

While many know about this northernmost part of Borneo Island, not many have actually reached it by land or sea. Numerous ships had floundered at this point too. A lighthouse there serves as an ominous reminder that the surrounding seas had been notorious for shipwrecks.

In the past, mystery shrouded this far-lung seaboard of the Land Below the Wind where legends abound. Today, with better roads and publicity, more people have ventured to the Tip, located in the Kudat District.  It is at this awesome promontory, also known as Tanjung Simpang Mengayau or lingering junction, that the South China Sea meets the Sulu Sea flowing from the east.

Like most first-time visitors, the bikers were mesmerised by the stunning sunset. All the aches and pains from the long ride were soon forgotten as the group spared little time snapping pictures of the setting sun, the beautiful Pantai Kalampunian (the long stretch of beach ending at Tanjung Simpang Mengayau), the bronze Globe and the Rocky Outcrop that forms the famous Tip of Borneo.

“We saw the radiant sunset and the beautiful and changing colours of twilight. What an unforgettable sight! As we stood at this northernmost tip of Borneo, we felt lifted in body and soul. We have travelled over 1,190km from Sibu in the heart of Sarawak to enjoy this wonderful moment. I am speechless,” one of the riders said.

Third Day

After a good night’s rest, the bikers pushed on to the foot of Kundasang for a short stay at the Mount Kinabalu Heritage Resort.

June 26, 2017, was a special journal entry for the group. On the way to the Resort from Kudat, the bikers had to negotiate many tight corners to pass through Marak Parak Road. There were bends, potholes and heavy traffic to watch out for. A misstep could spell big trouble!

Before reaching Kundasang, the bikers by-passed smaller towns like Kota Marudu and Ranau.

Kundasang is in the District of Ranau, situated in Kundasang Valley. It is a 6km ride from Kundasang to Kinabalu National Park and 12km from Ranau town.

The Kundasang vegetable market is open seven days a week. Since it is so near Mount Kinabalu, the bikers could see the highest mountain in Borneo as they rode on, soaking up eye-catching scenes of verdant mountain slopes, farmer huts dotting some of the valleys and awe-inspiring low cloud formations.

The panorama was breathtaking, Onna Yii said, adding, “When we reached the point where we could see the magnificent Mt Kinabalu, all our tiredness disappeared. It was magical.”

The group took lots of photographs with Mt Kinabalu as the majestic backdrop. For some of the bikers, it was a dream come true.

Fourth Day

On June 27, the bikers left Kundasang for Sipitiang on an alternative route that took them through Tambunan, Keningau and Tenom.

Sipitang is a small town in interior Sabah, 144km south of Kota Kinabalu and the closest to the Sarawak border. It is famous for satay sold by the waterfront and the bikers were looking forward to a meal of seasoned, skewered and grilled meat, served with palatable gravy. Unfortunately the satay was sold out but there was some roasted meat and ketupat left. The group had to make do and after a quick meal, got ready for the ride home. They arrived in Miri the same day and stayed a night at Imperial Palace Hotel.

Fifth Day

The Sibu big bikers ended their five-day ride up north and back on June 28.

Somehow, the journey home from a trip to a new place seems smoother and shorter. Based on local superstitions, the spirits of the road have given travellers the right to pass and will not bother them, making coming home seemingly faster than starting out.

Dennis John, a scholar of local oral stories and ancestral worship, said the superstitious believed spirits are at work, adding that after the spirits have given travellers the right of passage, the latter do not have to “say hello anymore and are quickly waved on”.

On the journey, one of the riders said, “We rode a total of 2,289km, using about 4.64 ltr of fuel per 100km. The time taken was 105 hours and 34 minutes. Michael Ting and Dr Grammen Low put a lot of effort into mapping out the routes. With their guidance, we had a safe and enjoyable ride, and are looking forward to more such expeditions.”

The photographers in the group were Robert Ting and Ling Tiing Tchin. Michael Ting operated the drone.

The bikes consisted of four BMW GS1200s and one each of the following models — BMW GS800, Honda CB500X, Kawasaki 636 Ducati Monster 796 and Kawasaki Versys 1000.

Each biker spent only RM950 per pax, inclusive of lodging, meals, petrol and miscellaneous items.

The big bikers would hum a little tune as they relate their adventure to the Tip of Borneo. They also pledge to uphold their motto — ‘Together we stand. Together we ride Free and Furious’.

The Free and Furious Bikers from Sibu will certainly ride again around Borneo to experience more of what the world’s third largest island has to offer to adventure tourism.


16 programs lined up for National Month

Posted on : 28-07-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local

KOTA KINABALU: The state-level month-long National Day celebration will kick off on August 1 at the Dataran Dewan Bandaraya with 16 programmes lined up.

Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Hajiji Noor told a press conference here yesterday that the launching of the ‘Bulan Kebangsaan dan Kibar Jalur Gemilang 2017’ event will be officiated by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman.

Hajiji, who is the chairman of the state-level celebration’s organising committee, said the theme of the event is ‘Negaraku Sehati Sejiwa’ and it was chosen as solidarity and unity strengthens national integration among Malaysia’s multi-racial society.

The event will culminate on August 31 where the annual National Day Parade will be held at Jalan Tun Fuad Stephens and it will be graced by Head of State Tun Juhar Mahiruddin, he disclosed.

“Other than the motorised floats and march by uniformed bodies, schools and state agencies, there will also be a cultural performance,” Hajiji added.

According to Hajiji, among the 16 activities lined up during the month are the ‘Pertandingan Pidato NegaraKu’, ‘Anugerah Keceriaan NegaraKu Bulan Kebangsaan’, ‘Kembara Merdeka NegaraKu 2017’, ‘Program NegaraKu@Komuniti’ and ‘Pertandingan Pengisahan NegeraKu’.

He added that there will also be a photography competition, poster competition, exhibition on Malaysia, ‘Grafiti Ekspresi NegaraKu Malaysia’ and the conferring of the ‘Battle Honour’ Daulat 2013 award.

He said in conjunction with National Month, the Sabah State Islamic Religious Affairs Department (Jheains) would conduct tahlil recital and prayers for safety.

The Sabah Council of Churches would also hold prayers and fast for 40 days from Aug 1 till Sept 16 while Chinese associations representing Buddhist temples in Sabah would also hold prayers for the well-being and prosperity of the country, he said.

“I urge all Sabahans to show their love for the country by raising the national and state flags on their buildings, residences, premises and even vehicles during the month-long celebration,” Hajiji said.


Petronas remains committed to Sabah

Posted on : 19-07-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local

KOTA KINABALU: Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) remains committed in ensuring that its oil and gas production returns would directly and indirectly benefit Sabah and its people.

Its chairman for Sabah and Labuan, Mohd Zaini Mohd Yunus, said Petronas’ commitment in sustaining Sabah’s socioeconomic development could be seen through its long-term investment in corporate social responsibility programmes which involved three main pillars.

He cited the three pillars as Education, Welfare and Community Development and Environmental Conservation.

“At the same time, close cooperation between Petronas and the state government will continue to generate local investment opportunities, employment and development of competitive skilled manpower in the oil and gas sector,” he said at Petronas’ Aidilfitri open house here yesterday.

At the event attended by about 300 guests, Petronas’ Islamic welfare body gave a contribution amounting to RM15,000 to five surau in Sabah, which was presented by Sabah State Assembly deputy speaker Datuk Johnny Mositun.

The recipients were Surau Kampung Gayang in Tuaran; Surau Al-Masri @ Al-Mutaqin and Surau As-Salam in Kimanis; Surau Kampung Siputol in Sipitang and Surau Riyadhus Solihin in Kota Kinabalu.

Also present at the open house were Sabah state ministers, heads of government departments, Petronas’ business partners as well as representatives from the private sector.


SSPA (Sabah Shark Protection Association) to work with govt to identify more sharks

Posted on : 18-07-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local

KOTA KINABALU: Advocacy group Sabah Shark Protection Association (SSPA) looks forward to working with the government to explore more shark and ray species that could benefit from protection under the Fisheries (Control of Endangered Species of Fish) Regulations 1999, which falls under the purview of the Federal Fisheries Act 1985.

The SSPA congratulated the Sabah Government and the State Fisheries Department who in April proposed four shark and two ray species to be included in the Regulations.

SSPA chairman Aderick Chong said this was a positive next step at a time when civil society, the scientific community, tourism industry and government continued to witness alarming rates of shark and ray landings, including endangered species.

The department has decided to list the great hammerhead shark, smooth hammerhead shark, winghead shark, oceanic whitetip shark, oceanic manta and reef manta under the Regulations, which protect a list of animals including several species of dolphins, whales, dugongs and clams.

The  Regulations currently only protects the whale shark and sawfish, states that no person shall fish for, disturb, harass, catch, kill, take, possess, sell, buy, export or transport any of the specified endangered species except with written permission from the Director-General of Fisheries.

Chong said it was hoped that the six species, which listed under the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), were finalized quickly as part of the Malaysian regulation.

¡§We are keen to continue our support for Federal and State agencies to ensure these species are listed within this year. We were present at the multi-stakeholder consultation to discuss this list and we view this as a positive step in attaining protection for sharks and rays in Sabah waters,¡¨ he said.

The SSPA also hopes the scalloped hammerhead, silky shark, three species of thresher sharks and nine species of devil rays – which are listed on Appendix II of CITES, will be afforded a similar protection.

¡§These species always feature high on the wish list of divers, particularly scalloped hammerheads and devil rays, with many divers attracted to Sabah in the hope of encountering one of these incredible animals. Sadly, they are being landed on a daily basis so we need the government to act now before they disappear forever.

¡§SSPA wants to work with the government to explore which other species may benefit from such protection and on the enforcement of laws that regulate activities related to sharks and rays,¡¨ he said.

Chong said this in a statement to mark the International Shark Awareness Day on July 14, adding that the event was an opportunity to celebrate the great diversity of sharks and rays in Sabah¡¦s waters.

To mark the awareness day, SSPA carried out a fun-filled programme to help children at Yuk Yu Kindergarten in Likas learn why they need to care about sharks and rays.

Based on information from the Fisheries Department, there are 48 shark and 65 ray species in Sabah in comparison to 70 shark and 85 ray species in Malaysia, which points at the significance of the Bornean state as a habitat for these animals.

The department revealed that sharks and rays landed are in the form of bycatch with almost half coming from trawlers.

Sharks and rays are also caught using methods such as ¡¥rawai¡¦ (long liner), fishing lines, gill nets and fish traps.

SSPA comprises Land Empowerment Animals People (LEAP), Malaysian Nature Society (Sabah branch), Marine Conservation Society (MCS), Scuba Junkie SEAS, Shark Stewards, Scubazoo, Tropical Research and Conservation Centre (TRACC) and WWF-Malaysia.


Expedition Mt Kinabalu to raise awareness of disease

Posted on : 13-07-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local

KOTA KINABALU: Coalition Duchenne, a global charity that raises awareness and funding for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, is holding its seventh annual Expedition Mt Kinabalu in Sabah on July 15-17.

The climb is part of a busy year of initiatives in Southeast Asia helping boys and young men with pulmonary issues associated with Duchenne and ensuring access to new drugs that are being developed for the disease.

Expedition Mt Kinabalu is led by Sabahan Catherine Jayasuriya, the founder and executive director of Coalition Duchenne. Catherine grew up in Kota Kinabalu, and always dreamed of taking her children to the summit of its sentinel mountain.

Her son, Dusty Brandom, has Duchenne and would never make the climb. At 24, Dusty is in a wheelchair and is severely impacted by the muscle wasting disease.

“Their bodies fail them but their minds are full of dreams,” said Catherine.

“Dusty is my daily inspiration and he inspires everyone he knows as he overcomes personal adversity with a smile on his face. I’m climbing for him.”

An old proverb says: “We don’t inherit the world from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children”.

“That is why we climb Mt Kinabalu — we are making the world a better

place for our children, in our communities wherever that may be, and today, for boys and young men with Duchenne.”

Catherine recently launched Duchenne Without Borders, which supports underserved families and boys with Duchenne. Duchenne Without Borders has already reached out to 13 boys with Duchenne in Sabah and provided them with Ambu bags. Information about Duchenne has been provided to doctors and families in these areas.

The vision of Duchenne Without Borders is to distribute Ambu bags and bipap machines to boys with Duchenne in communities around the world, and give them hope and a connection to treatment protocols, drugs, and research initiatives that are readily available in the United States and other developed countries.

The main tool is a simple technology, an Ambu bag (Artificial Manual Breathing Unit or manual resuscitator or “self-inflating bag”), which has the potential to improve pulmonary function in boys and young men with Duchenne through a breath stacking exercise.

Duchenne Without Borders is moving quickly to develop relationships and expand this initiative to other countries, and is moving forward with collaborations in India and the Philippines.

“Duchenne knows no boundaries, and does not discriminate between race, culture, or country. Duchenne can happen to your friend, to your cousin, to your nephew, your three grandsons. It can happen to your brother, and it can happen to your child. In this way, Duchenne affects us all,” said Catherine.

In Sabah, Duchenne Without Borders is collaborating with Dr.Heng Hock Sin, a pediatric neurologist at Sabah Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Kota Kinabalu. Vivienne Yong of Move Well Physiotherapy is helping with coordination efforts.

Dr Heng sees over a dozen boys with Duchenne, several of who are in remote rural areas. One family has three sons with Duchenne.

Catherine recently presented at the 2017 World Orphan Drug Congress in Singapore. She advocated for Asian patients to have access to drugs being developed in the US and Europe.

“Boys and young men with Duchenne in this region need a voice and access to new drugs,” said Catherine.

Expedition Mt Kinabalu was featured in Catherine’s award winning film Dusty’s Trail: Summit of Borneo (2013). The film is the story of Dusty’s journey with Duchenne, and it tells about people coming together from around the world to climb Mt Kinabalu to raise awareness. Dusty’s Trail has an important message of hope in the face of adversity, and also spreads the word about the beauty of Sabah and its people.

“In 2011 we met then President Barack Obama in the White House and told him of our climb and Mt Kinabalu. Today I still hear from climbers who see the pictures of Dusty with President Obama on the noticeboard of the Laban Rata resthouse near the summit,” said Catherine.

“I was very inspired when I met the President, not only did he encourage me to keep going and to never quit, but he also recognized the resilience in Dusty, his courage and hope in the face of difficulty and adversity. I see the courage and resilience in all boys with Duchenne. Climbing the mountain tests our resilience, and it is the boys I think of when the going gets tough.”

Expedition Mt Kinabalu kicks off with a festive flag off at the Shangri-La Tanjung Aru Resort on July 15. That day there will be a free screening open to the public of Dusty’s Trail: Summit of Borneo in the Tanjung Room at Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort at 11am.

The event is hosted by Datuk Masidi Manjun, the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment.

Volunteers from the Inner Wheel Club of Kota Kinabalu will be registering climbers.