Jack Ma’s kung fu movie stunning trailer

Posted on : 12-11-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National

KUALA LUMPUR: Who says a billionaire can’t do kung fu?
The movie “Gong Shou Dao” (The Art of Attack and Defence), starring Alibaba founder Jack Ma Yun, released its official stunning six-minute trailer yesterday which had 5.9 million views on Jet Li’s official Facebook page.
The movie, released on Nov 11, and also starring Jet Li, Donnie Yen, Sammo Hung Kam-bo, champion boxer Zou Shiming, Thai actor Tony Jaa and retired Mongolian sumo champion Asashoryu Akinori, will definitely blow away any kung fu movie fans around the world.
In the first 40 seconds of the movie’s trailer, several martial art masters gather in a warehouse while passing a basketball to one another, showing off their kung fu skills, with the ball landing on Ma’s fist who punches through it.
What follows is a one-vs-one showdown between the martial art masters with Ma, through stunning graphics.
“I promise you the full film is guaranteed to be very exciting,” said Jet Li, who is also the executive producer of the film, in his Facebook post.
SOURCE:- FREEMALAYSIATODAY

KUALA LUMPUR: Who says a billionaire can’t do kung fu?

The movie “Gong Shou Dao” (The Art of Attack and Defence), starring Alibaba founder Jack Ma Yun, released its official stunning six-minute trailer yesterday which had 5.9 million views on Jet Li’s official Facebook page.

The movie, released on Nov 11, and also starring Jet Li, Donnie Yen, Sammo Hung Kam-bo, champion boxer Zou Shiming, Thai actor Tony Jaa and retired Mongolian sumo champion Asashoryu Akinori, will definitely blow away any kung fu movie fans around the world.

In the first 40 seconds of the movie’s trailer, several martial art masters gather in a warehouse while passing a basketball to one another, showing off their kung fu skills, with the ball landing on Ma’s fist who punches through it.

What follows is a one-vs-one showdown between the martial art masters with Ma, through stunning graphics.

“I promise you the full film is guaranteed to be very exciting,” said Jet Li, who is also the executive producer of the film, in his Facebook post.

SOURCE:- FREEMALAYSIATODAY

China’s Silk Road revival hits the buffers

Posted on : 12-11-2017 | By : sabah today | In : International Business

SINGAPORE: From a stalled Indonesian rail project to an insurgency-threatened economic corridor in Pakistan, China’s push to revive Silk Road trade routes is running into problems that risk tarnishing the economic crown jewel of Xi Jinping’s presidency.

The “One Belt, One Road” initiative, unveiled by Xi in 2013, envisages linking China with Africa, Asia and Europe through a network of ports, railways, roads and industrial parks.

Xi, the most powerful Chinese leader in decades, has pushed the infrastructure drive which is central to his goal of extending Beijing’s economic and geopolitical clout.

The initiative was enshrined in the Communist Party’s constitution at a key congress last month, and some estimates say more than US$1 trillion (RM4.2 trillion) has been pledged to it, with projects proposed in some 65 countries.

But on the ground it has run into problems. Projects traverse insurgency-hit areas, dictatorships and chaotic democracies, and face resistance from both corrupt politicians and local villagers.

“Building infrastructure across countries like this is very complicated,” said Murray Hiebert, from Washington think tank the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), who has studied some of the projects in Southeast Asia.

“You’ve got land issues, you have to hammer out funding agreements, you have to hammer out technological issues.”

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying however insisted the initiative was “moving forward smoothly”.

Troubled train line

Beijing won the contract to build Indonesia’s first high-speed railway in Sept 2015, but more than two years later work has barely started on the route from Jakarta to the city of Bandung.

A recent visit to Walini, where President Joko Widodo broke ground on the train line in Jan last year, found excavators flattening land but no track laid for the train, which is meant to start operating in 2019.

“The first year after the ground-breaking ceremony, I did not see any progress at all,” Neng Sri, a 37-year-old food stall owner from nearby Mandala Mukti village, told AFP.

The central problem has been persuading villagers to leave their land on the proposed route, which is often an issue in the chaotic, freewheeling democracy.

The Indonesian transport ministry declined to give an update on the project and the consortium of Chinese and Indonesian companies building the line did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

On another planned high-speed line from southern China to Singapore, the Thai stretch of the railway was delayed by tussles over financing and protective labour regulations, and it was only in July that the military government finally approved US$5.2 billion to start construction.

Work is under way on the 415 km part of the line in Laos, a staunch ally of Beijing.

But even there the project has stoked controversy due to its huge price tag – at US$5.8 billion, roughly half the country’s 2015 GDP – and the question of how much deeply poor Laos will gain from the project.

Lopsided gains

There have been concerns in many countries about how much they will benefit from One Belt, One Road initiatives.

Gains for China, such as access to key markets and tackling overcapacity in domestic industries, are often more obvious than those for their partners.

Such worries have bedevilled projects in Central Asia, part of a potential route from western China to Europe.

These include a free trade zone at Horgos on the China-Kazakh border, notable for flashy malls on the Chinese side and relatively little on the Kazakh side, and a planned railway to Uzbekistan that has stalled in large part due to opposition in Kyrgyzstan, through which the line would run.

“I am against this railway as it stands because the financial benefits that could accrue to Kyrgyzstan accrue to (China and Uzbekistan) instead,” said Timur Saralayev, head of the Bishkek-based New Generation movement.

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a US$54-billion project launched in 2013 linking western China to the Indian Ocean via Pakistan, has been targeted by separatist rebels in Balochistan province, who have blown up gas pipelines and trains and attacked Chinese engineers.

But the Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua insisted the One Belt, One Road initiative enjoyed broad support.

“We have seen more and more support and approval of our projects. Many projects have delivered tangible benefits to the people in these countries,” she said.

The view from the ground, however, is not always so positive.

“The high-speed train … is only for super busy people who think time is money,” said the villager Sri, who lives next to the Indonesian rail project.

“We are not rushing to go anywhere.”

SOURCE— AFP

Alibaba takes record $25 bn on ‘Singles Day’

Posted on : 12-11-2017 | By : sabah today | In : International Business

BEIJING: Chinese online shoppers spent a record US$25 billion on this year’s “Singles Day” promotion run by e-commerce giant Alibaba, up nearly 40 per cent from last year, figures showed on Sunday.

At the peak, 256,000 payments were being processed per second on Saturday, the firm said, more than 90 per cent of them placed via mobile.

The company’s gross merchandise volume for its annual sales extravaganza known as “Double 11” representing November 11, came in at 168.3 billion (US$25.3 billion), Alibaba said in a statement on its website.

The figure represents sales processed through Alibaba’s online payment system Alipay.

The total sales were up 39 per cent from last year’s 120.7 billion yuan (US$17.8 billion) – a milestone this year eclipsed in under 14 hours, according to Alibaba.

Rivals such as JD.com also reported brisk business.

Analysts expect Chinese e-commerce retailers to take “Singles Day” – which originally celebrated the idea of being unattached – abroad as growth rates slow in the years ahead.

Chinese state news agency Xinhua reported that more than 140,000 overseas brands participated in this year’s promotion.

“Alibaba looked to elevate this year’s 11.11 from a shopping day to a virtual holiday,” the company said in its statement, “complete with a motto – ‘Wishing you a Happy 11.11’ – that closely resembles the sort of greetings Chinese all over the world exchange at the Lunar New Year.”

SOURCE— AFP

Alibaba to improve its buyer, seller experience

Posted on : 12-11-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

SHANGHAI— Alibaba Group aims to improve its buyer and seller experience in their e-commerce platforms, given the importance of Malaysia as an infrastructure hub through the Digital Free Trade Zone for the Asian region.

Chief Executive Officer, Daniel Zhang, said the group launched its media and social campaigns for the first time this year in Malaysia following encouraging response from the Malaysian Chinese consumers in the past few years, namely, to its Taobao e-commerce site.

“We want to actively execute our export strategy by helping local and international brands grow, while at the same time, continuously engage with customers to understand their shopping habits to create greater demand.

“Since we are growing in Malaysia, it is natural for us to push this further. We plan to undertake more campaigns in Malaysia and South-East Asian countries as there are over 600 million people for us to tap into,” Zhang said in a press conference here today in conjunction with the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival 2017.

Meanwhile, commenting on its ‘New Retail’ concept strategy, which was currently applied in some of its supermarkets and pop-up stores in collaborations with merchants in China, he said, it would only be feasible to replicate the concept when it was mature and stable.

The concept allowed seamless engagement between the offline and online shopping experience while also incorporating the artificial intelligence and augmented reality technology, he said.       The Alibaba 11.11 Global Shopping Festival 2017 recorded 168.2 billion renminbi (US$25.38 billion) in gross merchandise volume (GMV) from 120.7 billion renminbi (US$17.8 billion) in 2016.

Zhang said this represented a 39 per cent growth from 2016.

He said total GMV from mobile derived from the one-day event rose to 90 per cent from 82 per cent last year.

Alibaba’s 51 per cent-owned logistics arm, Cainiao Network, processed over 812 million of delivery orders with completed transactions from 225 countries and regions, he said.

The event offers 15 million products featuring 140,000 brands, of which, 60,000 were international brands.

SOURCE— BERNAMA

Taiwan Expo 2017 to boost Malaysia-Taiwan trade

Posted on : 12-11-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR: The three-day Taiwan Expo 2017 is expected to boost trade relations between Malaysia and Taiwan, said Taiwan External Trade Development Council President and Chief Executive Officer Walter Yeh.
“Malaysia’s exports to Taiwan accounted for 9% of total exports while imports from Taiwan amounted to 30%.
“We foresee this number to grow further following trade and business matching session which will be held on the sidelines of the expo,” he told a press conference after the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to East Asia Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing officiated the expo at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre here today.
The expo themed, “Best for My Life”, showcased more than 5,000 Taiwan-made halal food and beauty products and medical services on a business-to-business platform.
Yeh also said the expo, aimed at connecting and triggering partnerships between Malaysian and Taiwanese businessmen, was anticipated to draw about 20,000 patrons and 1,000 trade buyers.
Asked on the potential areas of collaboration that Malaysian and Taiwanese businessmen should tap into, he said they should tap into the halal food segment since Taiwan opened its first halal centre this year.
Taiwanese companies have made a cumulative investment of US$2.2 billion in Malaysia and ranked fourth in terms of largest foreign direct investor in Malaysia, after Japan, United States and Singapore.
Investments from Taiwan was expected to see a significant increase this year as Hotayi Electronics reinvested RM1 billion to expand its plant in Penang and created 1,000 jobs.
Bilateral trade between Malaysia and Taiwan stood at US$14.1 billion in 2016.
Between January and September 2017, bilateral trade increased 25% to US$12.8 billion, which was higher than the bilateral trade recorded between Taiwan and Asean at an average growth rate of 17% compared with the same period in 2016.
SOURCE— Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR: The three-day Taiwan Expo 2017 is expected to boost trade relations between Malaysia and Taiwan, said Taiwan External Trade Development Council President and Chief Executive Officer Walter Yeh.

“Malaysia’s exports to Taiwan accounted for 9% of total exports while imports from Taiwan amounted to 30%.

“We foresee this number to grow further following trade and business matching session which will be held on the sidelines of the expo,” he told a press conference after the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to East Asia Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing officiated the expo at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre here today.

The expo themed, “Best for My Life”, showcased more than 5,000 Taiwan-made halal food and beauty products and medical services on a business-to-business platform.

Yeh also said the expo, aimed at connecting and triggering partnerships between Malaysian and Taiwanese businessmen, was anticipated to draw about 20,000 patrons and 1,000 trade buyers.

Asked on the potential areas of collaboration that Malaysian and Taiwanese businessmen should tap into, he said they should tap into the halal food segment since Taiwan opened its first halal centre this year.

Taiwanese companies have made a cumulative investment of US$2.2 billion in Malaysia and ranked fourth in terms of largest foreign direct investor in Malaysia, after Japan, United States and Singapore.

Investments from Taiwan was expected to see a significant increase this year as Hotayi Electronics reinvested RM1 billion to expand its plant in Penang and created 1,000 jobs.

Bilateral trade between Malaysia and Taiwan stood at US$14.1 billion in 2016.

Between January and September 2017, bilateral trade increased 25% to US$12.8 billion, which was higher than the bilateral trade recorded between Taiwan and Asean at an average growth rate of 17% compared with the same period in 2016.

SOURCE— BERNAMA

Lazada Malaysia targets ten-fold increase in orders during Online Revolution 2017

Posted on : 12-11-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR: Lazada Malaysia, which is launching its biggest shopping event of the year – the Online Revolution 2017, expects ten times increase in orders as well as five-fold increase in traffic to Lazada Malaysia’s website during the campaign.

In a statement, Lazada Malaysia said the  the month-long online shopping extravaganza would take off on 11.11 (Nov 11, 2017) until Dec 14, 2017, features 90 million products with savings of up to 90%.

“Themed ‘Shop the Universe’, Lazada Malaysia introduced new sections in 2017 within the Lazada website to provide Malaysians with access to an even wider range of assortments with attractive prices,” it said.

Lazada Malaysia CEO Hans-Peter Ressel said more people were placing greater trust when purchasing online and this showed that the adoption of eCommerce was accelerating and the online environment was flourishing in the Malaysian market.

“With the Lazada application already downloaded by a third of the country’s population, we’re expecting about 1 out of 5 Malaysians to be on our platform for this year’s Online Revolution. This is a strong testament to our expertise and knowing well ahead what our customers demand – an even wider selection of assortments at any given time,” he said.
Ressel said the campaign was a reflection of the company’s commitment in continuously providing its customers with a seamless shopping experience.

“It is in our nature to expand and evolve alongside our customers’ needs and that is why we have tripled the offerings from last year. By putting the ‘universe’ at the fingertips of our customers, we are addressing every aspect of online shopping that are important to our customers including affordability, assortment and convenience,” he added.

The Online Revolution will be joined by various marketing partners including Digi and CIMB, and will feature giveaways worth more than RM 60mil, including Club Med holiday packages, Go Pros, iPhone Xs, Perodua Bezzas and a chance to experience Zero-G among others.

SOURCE:- THE BORNEO POST

Start-ups get 5+5 tax exemption – Najib

Posted on : 12-11-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR– The government provides various incentives, including tax exemptions for a period of 5 + 5 years to help start-up companies expand their business, including making international forays, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the government through Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) has also implemented the Global Acceleration and Innovation Network (GAIN) programme to provide advisory services and expertise to potential local technology companies.

“A total of 149 high-tech local companies have benefited from such programmes,” he said when responding to a question from Datuk Dr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah (BN-Lenggong) during the Ministers’ Question Time at the Dewan Rakyat today.

To the original question from Shamsul Anuar on the opportunities in the digital economy and its impact to community development, Najib said the digital economy development programmes undertaken by MDEC had benefitted more than 194,000 entrepreneurs from January last year until September this year.

He said among the programmes carried out were ‘eUsahawan’ which had provided training to 92,926 young and rural entrepreneurs through courses conducted at selected educational, and technical and vocational training centres (TVET) centers throughout the country.

“Of them, 27,170 or 29 per cent of the participants have recorded additional total sales of more than RM112 million,” he said, adding that 59 per cent of the participants were women.

Najib said another programme undertaken by MDEC, eRezeki, which promoted the use of digital technology by empowering people to grab economic opportunities through the crowdsourcing platform, has trained 101,693 individuals through eRezeki centres and representatives across the country.

“Of them, 57,572 or 57 per cent have generated revenues of over RM81 million,” he added.

SOURCE– BERNAMA

Oil & Gas significant in quest to become high-income nation

Posted on : 12-11-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR: The oil and gas (o&g) industry remains one of the significant contributors to Malaysia’s economy and revenue in the strive to become a high-income nation by 2020.

Despite facing numerous challenges and dwindling contribution to the government’s revenue, it is still an industry to be reckoned with, considering the sheer size of its workforce and multiplier effect to the economy.

In the medium term, the o&g industry remains a significant contributor to the economy and revenue as the economy progressively expands into other sectors, namely the services industry.

With crude oil prices averaging US$50 per barrel this year, they bolster government’s income and allocation to boost the economy and support programme towards meeting the goal of becoming a high-income nation under the National Transformation Programme.

Crude oil prices are correlated to global economic growth.

Since reaching its peak of over US$100 per barrel in mid-2014, Brent crude, the global benchmark of oil price, crashed to as low as below US$30 in January last year, causing the government to initiate a budget recalibration to adjust its spending in line with lower contribution from oil-related revenue.

The total allocation in Budget 2018 increased to RM280.25 billion from this year’s RM260.8 billion.

Lower oil price did not just bring bad news as it prompted the government to rationalise petrol subsidy and strengthen its fiscal policy and moved away from traditional income of relying too much on petroleum-related revenues, instead it focused on consumption-based tax through the goods and services tax (GST).

In the recent Economic Report 2017/2018, the Ministry of Finance forecast petroleum-related revenue contribution to the total income to increase slightly to 14.9 per cent this year from 14.6 per cent last year despite a huge increase in average oil price forecast of US$50 per barrel in 2017 and between US$30 and US35 in the recalibrated Budget 2016.

This is far lower than the 35.8 per cent revenue contribution from petroleum-related revenue in 2011 and around 40 per cent in the previous administration.

The GST collection, on the other hand, is projected to improve to RM43.8 billion in 2018 from RM41.5 billion in 2017.

With two-digit figure in terms of contribution to the economy and revenue, the o&g industry still plays a big role in the country’s economic development, especially to live up to the aspiration of the National Transformation 2050 (TN50).

TN50 envisions Malaysia to become not only a developed nation, but also among the best in the world in economic development, citizen well-being and innovation.

Emphasis is placed on youths to prepare to them for Malaysia’s future economy and vision in 2050, but the expenditure to support the programmes set for TN50 could not rely heavily on o&g revenue.

As stated by Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani, for every US$1 per barrel increase in oil price, the government reaps an additional RM300 million in revenue.

However, in the low oil price environment, a big jump in oil price, thus a larger contribution to the revenue seems unlikely.

As the government continues to diversify its revenue and moves away from oil-related revenue dependency, the industry is not expected to return to its previous position as a 40 per cent contributor to the GDP and revenue.

However, improvement in oil prices will definitely bring additional revenue to the government and as the oil price recovery is projected to happen in 2022, the additional revenue could help spur TN50 which was unveiled two years ago.

SOURCE-BERNAMA

Timber export to increase to RM23 bln in 2017

Posted on : 12-11-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR: Exports of timber and timber products are expected to improve to RM23 billion this year from RM21.86 billion reported in 2016, says Deputy Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Datuk Datu Nasrun Datu Mansur.

He said the government recognised the sector’s importance towards the economy, therefore, various efforts such as developing talent capabilities in designing wood furniture were put in place to ensure its success.

“The Malaysian Timber Council (MTC) will also continue to provide financial incentives to strengthen local players’ foray into the global market,” he told reporters after officiating the ‘Second MTC International Conference on Wood Architecture’ yesterday on behalf of Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong.

The text of the minister’s speech, read by Datu Nasrun, highlighted that the timber sector accounted for 18 per cent of total export earnings of the commodity sector and remained as one of the major foreign exchange earners for Malaysia.

In the first eight months of this year, export of timber and timber products rose by seven per cent to RM15.45 billion compared with the corresponding period in 2016.

Besides exports, Mah said the government also encouraged the use of timber in the building construction industry as it saved time and reduced the need for manpower.

“The use of Industrialised Building System (IBS) components with a minimum score of 70 per cent in government projects has been made mandatory and we are also evaluating the proposal to make the IBS compulsory for the national construction industry,” Mah added.

Meanwhile, MTC chief executive officer Datuk Dr Abdul Rahim Nik said the one-day conference, which was first organised in 2015, served as a platform for participants to gain knowledge on the benefits and attributes of timber.

“Various studies showed that wooden interiors reduce stress and improve a person’s emotional state.

“Furthermore, its use in building construction in the form of engineered timber products reduces construction cost and performs better in fire compared with steel and concrete. The potential of timber is endless,” he added.

SOURCE— BERNAMA

Repsol achieves its first oil production

Posted on : 12-11-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local Business

Kota Kinabalu: Repsol Oil & Gas Malaysia achieved its first oil production from its Kinabalu Redevelopment Project in Kinabalu field on Oct 29 this year, just nearly two months after drilling activities commenced.

Its quick success started when a new bridge-linked wellhead platform was safely installed on June 8 this year by Repsol, which operates the Kinabalu Block.

The new platform and facilities, which are connected to the existing platform, will allow Repsol to fulfil its commitment to breathe new life into the asset, located 55km west of Labuan, since assuming operatorship in late 2012.

The 2,900-tonne platform, 1,570-tonne topside, 1,336-tonne jacket and 318-tonne bridge were built in a Kuching-based fabrication yard involving a workforce of over 1,000 personnel comprising construction workers, sub-contractors and company project management team.

The onshore construction phase recorded 1.3 million man-hours without a single lost time injury (LTI).

Repsol and Petronas Carigali have invested over USD156 million out of USD305 million capital expenditure to increase oil recovery and production over the life of the Production Sharing Contract (PSC).

This is expected to add to the list of oil fields in Malaysia.

“With these investments, we have managed to increase production of the asset significantly through drilling of new wells.

“As Malaysia is an important investment portfolio for Asia Pacific, we are looking forward to expand our business in this country and are committed to help create employment and business opportunities for Malaysians,” said Repsol Malaysia Business Unit Director Jorge Milathianakis.

With the new facilities and wells, production from Kinabalu is expected to increase to 15,000 barrels of oil per day with 30 million standard cubic feet per day of non-associated gas.

Repsol holds a 60 per cent working interest and operation while Petronas Carigali the remaining 40 per cent.

The commemoration of the first oil event was officiated by Head of State Tun Juhar Mahiruddin and company executives at the Kinabalu facilities offshore, Thursday. – Leonard Alaza

SOURCE:- THE BORNEO POST

WTM (London’s World Travel Market) 2017 good platform for visit Malaysia 2020

Posted on : 12-11-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s participation in London’s World Travel Market (WTM) 2017 is particularly special as Malaysia is making early preparations for the Visit Malaysia Year 2020.

Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz in a statement today said the WTM platform provided the Malaysian delegation the opportunity to leverage on the Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign to gain confidence and partnership from industry players in London.

“Malaysia intends to enhance accessibility from the United Kingdom (UK) and Europe markets through collaborations with airline carriers such as Singapore Airlines, Etihad Airways, Emirates, Qatar Airways and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.

“Malaysia’s tourism industry developments, including the completion of the Mass Rapit Transit (MRT) system, are timely in the run-up to our Visit Malaysia Year 2020, which Malaysia hopes to attract 36 million tourists worldwide,” he said.

Mohamed Nazri said this development also signified Malaysia’s genuine interest to grow and promote it as a top tourist destination and gave assurance to industry players in London of Malaysia’s commitment to tourism growth.

WTM 2017 was held in London from Nov 6 to 8, with the participation of a 130-member strong delegation from Malaysia led by Mohamed Nazri.

It marked Malaysia’s 34th year of participation in the premier travel and tourism trade exhibition since 1983, a gesture of Malaysia’s dedication to strengthening the UK and Europe markets.

SOURCE–BERNAMA

Kiulu adventure Challenge trail sets along scenic riverside

Posted on : 12-11-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local

KOTA KINABALU: The 3rd Kiulu Adventure Challenge (KAC) this year will be a unique experience for participants where most of the trails will be set along Kiulu’s scenic riverside.

Chairman of Sabah Board Tourism, Datuk Joniston Bangkuai said that the challenge will highlight the uniqueness of Kiulu which has the cleanest and most beautiful river in Malaysia.

Challengers and visitors can feast their eyes on the rivers while running or cycling throughout the competition.

“What we want to highlight is the run itself, because it is different from any other running competition in Sabah.

“Rafting is also one of the obstacles in the competition,” he told reporters in a press conference on the event at the Sabah Tourism Board here yesterday.

KAC will be held on Dec 3 in Kiulu Town where the flag-off start point will be held at the Rumah Tradisi Kiulu.

“We want to promote Kiulu as one of the best eco-destinations and adventure tourism in the state,” said Joniston who is also the Kiulu assemblyman.

He also explained that they have already identified some routes that are scenic, tough, and partially challenging for the participants.

The efforts are also in line with Minister of Tourism and Culture, Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz’s aspiration after he visited Kiulu last year, in wanting to see Kiulu to become as one of the best examples of rural tourism industry in Malaysia.

“That is what prompted us in Kiulu to strive more to make Kiulu as one of the best examples of rural tourism in Malaysia,” he added.

He also disclosed that Kiulu Tourism Association (KTA) has recorded some 27,000 visitors who visited Kiulu, last year. According to Joniston, a total of 40,000 visitors were received in the first nine months of this year.

“This shows that our efforts are producing results, thanks to the support from the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister, Sabah Tourism Board and the hard work of Kiulu Tourism Association as well as Kiulu leadership and Tuaran Member of Parliament, Datuk Seri Panglima Wilfred Madius Tangau,” said Joniston.

“We hope that with more visitors, the local communities especially those who operate small businesses will benefit from the increasing number of visitors which will help boost the local’s economy,” he explained.

As of Nov 9, as many as 430 people have registered for KAC and the organiser has decided to extend the registration date to Nov 25 as they are expecting more participants.

“The KAC organising committee members involve all the local communities as we want them to benefit from event,” Joniston said.

SOURCE:- NEW SABAH TIMES

Kudat-Palawan ferry to sail before Christmas

Posted on : 12-11-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local

KOTA KINABALU: Archipelago Philippines Ferries Corporation (APFC),  the company venturing on the first Roll-On-Roll-Off ferry service between Kudat and Palawan, Philippines will officially launch its maiden voyage in time for the Yultide holidays.

“We will definitely operate our maiden voyage in December and  the exact date will only be announced to the public in December ,” APFC General Manager Segundo C. Mentoya Jr said.

He said the company assigned a catamaran type of multi-haulled ship consisting of two hulls which can be sailed or engine-powered for the new route.

Mentoya who visited the newly constructed ram at the Kudat port together with Kudat BBEBC vice-chairman Datuk James Ibrahim Wedesnday said  ferry was designed to accomodate maximum 300 passengers and 40-50 mixtures of vehicles plus cargo.

He said the travel time of the sea journey (Bululuyan Port-Kudat Port)  between Kudat is six hours depending on sea wearher condition.

“The vessel (Catamaran) has arguably become the best design for ferries because of speed, stability and large capacity which is powered by 18 knots engine,” he said, adding that its the vision of APFC to contribute to nation-building by being the industry leader and standard setter in the ferry transportation business.

He said the  operation of the much awaited Kudat-Palawan sea routes complement to the company’s mission to connect the Philippine islands and neighbouring countries by providing safe, fast  and convenient ferry transport system for passengers and cargo with international standards.

Furthermore, he said APFC was guided at all times by its core values such as focused, accountable, safety conscious, expectations and trendsetter.

For safety puroposes of the voyage, Mentoya said sea marshalls would be assigned during every voyage.

Asked on the fare of ferry ticket, he said a one-way trip would be tagged not more than RM250  and return trip ticket RM500. However the  fare has yet to be officially announced to the public early next month.

“We will be setting up ticket counters in Kudat managed by our appointed marketing agent Borneo Fort Sdn Bhd…the public are advised to contact 0198520035 (James) or  0198511115 (Yee) or borneoforttco@yahoo.com for ticket reservation,” he added.

Excited by the soft launching of the roll-on-roll-off ferry service, he said  APFC was scheduled to carry out daily voyages after the maiden voyage.

“We are targetting to launch our maiden voyage before December 25 to allow  Filipinos in Sabah to be with their loved ones and relatives during Christmas and New Year celebrations …The maiden voyage is also meant for Malaysians to be able to spend their Yultide holidays in Palawan,” he added.

Meanwhile, Ibrahim described the latest developments  of the much awaited Kudat-Palawan ferry services as “A Dream Come True” beneficial both to the Filipinos and Malaysians particularly the Sabahans including other foreign businessmen.

“I am pleased with the announcement of the maiden voyage as announced  by Mr Mentoya and personally assure that myself and Kudat BEBC will do its utmost to ensure success to this much awaited business adventure undertaken by APFC and the Palawan Provincial  Government  spearheaded by Governor Jose C. Alvarez.

Ibrahim suggested that the point of origin of the voyage should be Kudat Port for safety and convenience of Malaysians and other foreign tourists including Filipino passengers.

” I personally believe that starting the six-hour sea journey at 7am in Kudat will allow the passengers to arrive Bululuyan Port early afternoon…this will allow passengers to see and appreciate the beautiful scenery along the way while making the land trip to Puerto Princesa, capital city of Palawan,” he said noting that Bululuyan vallage and adjucent areas presently do not have enough accomodation facilities to cater the needs of the visitors.

On the contrary, Ibrahim said Kudat does not forsee problems in providing accomodations to Palawan bound passengers when they arrive In the district early evening.

“We have sufficient facilities in Kudat for our visitors to enjoy upon arrival … They can conveniently enjoy the night here before proceeding their journey to Kota Kinabalu City and other parts of Sabah the following day,” he stressed, adding that he hoped APFC and the Palawan government would consider the proposal.

Earlier, Mentoya and  his wife Marie and Inrahim also paid a courtesy call to Kudat District Officer (DO) Sapdin Ibrahim at the latter’s office.

During the visit, the General Manager briefed Sapdin on the operational aspects of the soon operational Kudat-Palawan ferry service and the comapny’s future plans.

The Kudat DO  has also expressed his appreciation to the top officials and men and women of APFC for choosing Kudat as destination for the ferry service.

Sapdin said the realisation of the Kudat-Palawan ferry serfice would in many ways help improve the economic activities in the district and would create a positive economic domino effect to the local populace and Sabah in general.

“I wish you and your company the best in this new endeavour and you can count us for our support,” Sapdin told Mentayo.

Meanwhile, Alvarez was earlier qouted as saying that the Kudat-Palawan connectivity mega project was beneficial to both Sabahans and Palaweneos.

With the operation of the ferry service, he said  Sabah visitors would be at liberty to bring their vehicles while in Palawan for holiday or business purposes.

Alvarez said Palawan is a beautiful place to visit and its environment is conducive for business investments and expansion purposes.

“The Palaweneos as well as  its elected politicians, government servants and businessmen are friendly and very helpful  and accomodating … There are lots of business opportunities Palawan is now offering and hope our neighbours in Sabah will take advantage of these situation,” the Governor stressed.

SOURCE:- THE BORNEO POST

SHAREDA donates 10 rolling beds to hospital

Posted on : 12-11-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Housing and Real Estate Developers Association (SHAREDA) has donated 10 units of rolling beds to the Sabah Women and Children Hospital here yesterday.

The beds are for the post-natal mothers at the hospital’s Paediatric Surgery Department and Multi-Disciplinary Ward.

“It is for the mothers who had been fully discharged but wish to care for their newly born sick baby who still required medical and nursing care in the hospital and those caring for their sick children,” said SHAREDA deputy president Datuk Chua Soon Ping during the handing over of the beds to hospital director Dr Tan Bee Hwai yesterday.

The beds worth RM5,000 was raised during the ‘Shareda Nite 2017’ under their Charity Fund.

“Besides the medical wellness of the patients in the hospital, we understand that the hospital will not be able to provide the extended services for a mother who wish to stay overnight to personally care for her sick child especially in the post-natal cases and those from outstation,” said Chua.

He hoped the contribution will act as a catalyst to give a head start for the hospital to manage and to look into such temporary relief especially in the case of post-natal mothers with newly born babies.

Chua had also personally donated RM5,000 under his company Remajaya Sdn Bhd for the hospital to buy the necessary medical equipment.

SOURCE:- NEW SABAH TIMES