Thursday, April 30, 2009

Signs that show Malaysia on human trafficking route

The drowning incident off Pengerang in Johor and the arrest of 33 foreigners off Port Klang have confirmed suspicions that Malaysia is a transit point for human trafficking syndicates.

On Tuesday, nine bodies, eight of them Pakistanis, were found floating in the South China Sea off Pengerang.

On Sunday, marine authorities nabbed 33 foreigners from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq on a boat off Kuala Langat, some 30km from here.

In both incidents, the foreigners had luggage with them and most were carrying huge amounts of money.

Police recovered US$8,800 (RM31,620) from the body of a Pakistani woman who had drowned off Pengerang.

Malaysian authorities are probing if both incidents are linked as intelligence reports indicated that the foreigners were on their way to Indonesia before continuing their journey to Australia where they hoped seek asylum.

Last week, Australia's national security adviser led a delegation to Kuala Lumpur seeking the help of their counterparts to intercept these boats before they reached the continent.

Batang Rajang :River Of Death

The Sungai Rajang, which flows through Sarikei Division here, has been nicknamed the "river of death" by locals after 18 bodies were fished out in the past 16 months.

The victims were mostly fishermen from Thailand and Myanmar who were murdered after drunken fights and whose bodies were thrown into the river. On several occasions, bodies of foreign fishermen were also fished out from the South China Sea.

Police are now hoping to shed this "cowboy town" image of Sarikei with the setting up of a task force to handle the problem of unruly foreigners.

The unacceptable social behaviour of the fishermen had also given Sarikei and surrounding areas the image of a place of utter lawlessness.

State police Commissioner Datuk Mohmad Salleh said the task force was a result of a recent discussion held between the police, the state internal security and other relevant departments.
"These foreign fishermen usually get involved in drunken brawls and when one of them is killed, the body is simply dumped into the river or at sea," Mohmad told Bernama before chairing a three-day meeting with 27 district police chiefs from throughout the state.

"We have from January last year to April 28 this year fished out 18 bodies from Sungai Rajang and the South China Sea.

"While some of these cases had been classified as sudden death, most were classified as murder based on post- mortem findings. We had to consider them as unsolved murders as the victims carried no identification papers."

He said it was unfair for the public to single out police as not having done their job in policing the fast growing industrial and deep sea fishing town adequately every time crimes occurred there.

"What is most important is for all the relevant departments like the Immigration, Customs, Fisheries and the Health Departments to work closely together to tackle any problem with each concentrating on their specific responsibility.

"The police will provide the manpower should there be a need for a joint operation," Mohmad added.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Puan Sri Laila Taib, wife of Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, passed away at 3.45pm today from lung cancer at their residence in Demak Jaya, Kuching. She was 68.

Baanhor Chungat Maach: Pansuh In Assam


# Boneless fish: 6 pieces
# Crushed garlic: ½ tbsp
# Slit green chillies: 2
# Mustard oil: 1 tbsp
# Sliced onions: 2 small sized
# Grated ginger: 1 level tsp
# Salt: to taste
# Tender bamboo hollow: 1 (this one is important, you must required this)
# Banana leaf: 1
# To garnish: coriander leaves, mustard oil – 1 ½ tbsps


# Clean, wash and drain the fish.
# Clean the banana leaf. Dry it and pass over low fire to make the leaf pliable.
# In a small bowl mix together crushed garlic, slit green chillies, mustard oil and salt.
# Add the mixture to the fish and mix well.
# Fill the bamboo hollow with the fish and seal with soften banana leaf.
# Place the hollows over charcoal fire.
# Rotate the bamboo hollows from time to time till it is evenly burnt.
# Leave it to cool. Slit open the bamboo hollows.
# Add sliced onions, grated ginger and mustard oil to the fish and mix well.
# Serve Baanhor Chungat Mach as a side dish.

Note: Assamese people prefer green chillies to the dry red chillies.

As i was surfing some blogs from the sub-continent, this post caught my eyes. I realised that, the "Baanhor Chungat Maach" or "fish in bamboo hollow" sounds just like our "pansuh". Only that the ingredients differs........local taste i guess.


Malaysia has the vaccine for swine flu which can be used to stop the spread of the disease to this country, says Veterinary Services Director-General Dr Abdul Aziz Jamaluddin.

The H1N1 vaccine should be injected into pigs as a preventive measure following reports of more than 100 people having died from swine flu in Mexico.

Dr Abdul Aziz told Bernama here Monday that the department was only waiting for the directive from the Health Ministry to carry out vaccination of livestock.

He believed that the H1N1 vaccine was also used by pig farms in other countries as a preventive measure against swine flu.

He also disclosed that Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai had issued a directive to all state Veterinary Services directors to monitor pig farms in their respective states as a precaution and to report on any sign of swine flu infection.

"Stern action will be taken against them if they fail to do this. They must also ensure that all the pig breeders follow instructions like their workers must wear masks," he said.

Dr Abd Aziz said state livestock breeders' associations were required to co-operate with the Veterinary Services Department by reporting on any symptom of swine flu.

"If their workers have similar symptoms for influenza, high fever, sore throat and body aches, they must be given leave and undergo medical examination immediately."

Dr Abdul Aziz said so far the department had not received any report of swine flu symptoms in the country. The disease also had the potential of being spread to birds but the possibility was remote.

"While avian flu can spread through food like by eating chicken, swine flu cannot be spread by eating pork but through human contact," he said.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Malaysia free from swine flu: Health DG

Malaysians need not worry about the deadly swine influenza as the country was free of the epidemic, said Health Ministry director-general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Ismail Merican. He said there were no cases based on observation for signs or ''influenza-like illness''.

Dr Mohd Ismail said to ensure that the situation remained as such the ministry had activated the disease control division yesterday to monitor the situation as well as check for signs of the virus at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and all other entry points.

"The ministry will also have a joint meeting with relevant agencies tomorrow to discuss steps that can be taken to prevent and control any epidemic.

"In that regard, the ministry will make press statements from time to time to inform people about developments and steps taken," he said in a statement here today.

Dr Mohd Ismail said a World Health Organisation (WHO) report dated yesterday said there were 40 cases related to the Swine Influenza A (H1N1) confirmed through laboratory tests in the United States and in Mexico 26 cases with seven deaths.
He said there were 1,840 suspected H1N1 cases in Mexico involving 104 deaths.

Six cases were detected in Canada, two in Scotland and one in Spain while there were 25 cases reported in New Zealand, he said.

Dr Mohd Ismail said based on the situation, WHO had raised the influenza pandemic warning from Phase 3 to Phase 4 and this showed a possibility of a pandemic.

"Phase 4 means the virus going from humans to humans and causing an epidemic among communities but WHO has not placed any restrictions in health, travel and trade that needed to be made.

"The increase in phase does not mean the pandemic could not be stopped but the phase could go down or go up based on the information and situation," he said.

He said given that WHO had raised the level to Phase 4, the Health Ministry advised people not to travel overseas especially to countries affected.

Dr Mohd Ismail also advised individuals who fall sick while travelling to get immediate treatment.


Malaysia's beloved cartoonist, Lat, puts his signature on the mock cover of his latest compilation, a 206-page hardcover entitled ‘Lat: The Early Series’, which contains drawings chronicling his early 1970s works published in the New Straits Times. The compilation was launched at Balai Berita

Monday, April 27, 2009

How much is a trillion dollars?

US senators battling a nearly one-trillion-dollar economic stimulus package are striving to find vivid ways to explain just how big that one with 12 zeroes after it really is.

On Tuesday, Republican Senator John Thune said you could ring the equator 38.9 times with 100-dollar bills stretched side-by-side -- and showed a picture of Earth encircled in greenbacks to underline his point.

"One trillion dollars is a terrible thing to waste," he said. "We shouldn't spend money we don't have on things we don't need."

A day earlier, Senate Republican minority leader Mitch McConnell also grappled with ways to illustrate how big the 888-billion-dollar stimulus plan -- which could easily expand before a final vote -- really is.

"Just to put a trillion dollars in context, if you started spending the day that Jesus was born and you spend a million dollars every single day, you still wouldn't have spent a trillion dollars. This is a lot of money," he said.


The Health Department of Putrajaya and Serdang conducting examinations for swine flu on all passengers from Los Angeles at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport after the outbreak of the disease in Mexico.

Malaysians have been advised not to panic as the authorities have joined forces to keep the deadly swine flu away from our shores.

The Health Ministry and Immigration Department have tightened screening processes at all entry points while awaiting further information from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the government was very concerned about the outbreak of the virus in Mexico and the United States and was taking steps to ensure Malaysians were not infected.

The swine flu virus is said to a combination of avian, human and swine viruses.

There is no vaccine for the flu. Experts say the best precaution to avoid being infected is to keep hands clean by washing them.
"We are concerned about what is happening in Mexico, Texas and California, and we are closely monitoring the situation.

"Anyone who had visited these places after April 17 should inform us so that we can conduct the checks on them. We have also raised the alerts at airports and ports where we will conduct extensive screening similar to what we did during the avian flu outbreak."

Liow added that his ministry was working closely with WHO.

"At this point, WHO has yet to raise the international alert level. And when they do so, we will be ready to implement the necessary measures."

Liow advised Malaysians not to panic as the government would take steps to stop the disease from spreading to Malaysia. "We will also keep the people informed of any developments."

The symptoms of the swine flu are similar to that of ordinary flu.

Meanwhile, Bernama reports that the Health Ministry's disease control division has activated its operations room to monitor the situation.

Director-General of Health Tan Sri Dr Mohd Ismail Merican said in a statement medical practitioners who treated people with influenza who had visited Mexico, California or Texas after April 17, should inform the district health office immediately.

For more information, call 03-88810200/88810300 or visit

WALK THE TALK: Being a Malaysian without the fuss

IS there a necessity to define, in no uncertain terms, the concepts of "Malaysian Malaysia" or "Bangsa Malaysia" or, the latest, "1Malaysia"?

Do we need to politicise it and get entangled in definitions that serve more to confuse than enlighten? There are in fact many ordinary folk who are living examples of what a Malaysian is. They have been doing it all the time wihout any fuss or fanfare.

We see them in the Malay teacher teaching Mandarin in a Chinese school; the Chinese or Indian teacher teaching Bahasa Malaysia in a national school; the Malay and Indian staff helping pupils light lanterns during a mooncake festival celebration in a Chinese school; Muslims breaking fast with halal mooncakes in a Chinese restaurant in Kuala Terengganu; residents of different races in a Rukun Tetangga sector bonded together by the common cause of fighting crime; Malaysians of all races in an international sports meet, standing at attention, singing the Negara Ku heartily, eyes focused on the Jalur Gemilang fluttering in the wind, hearts filled with pride when a fellow Malaysian stands on the winner's rostrum; the list goes on.

People are not machines to be steered and programmed to respond and function in a fixed way. People need love, compassion, respect, sensitivity and mutual sharing and caring to function meaningfully to continually improve on their quality of life.

If we choose to clamour to outgun and outdo one another, then let it be in an atmosphere of friendly and wholesome competition such that it will contribute to the progress, prosperity and pride of Malaysia, and not the reverse.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


While many businesses are struggling to survive in a bleak economy, a leading shopping complex in Kuching is attracting thousands of shoppers of all ages with goods on discount prices. Almost all the shops in the shopping mall are offering 50 per cent discounts on all their items for 10 days, from April 24.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

1Malaysia won’t go far if bloggers restricted

KUCHING: The contribution of bloggers in Sarawak to promote the 1Malaysia concept will be limited should the government continue to restrict their writings.

Blogger Dr John Brian Anthony said he could not see how they can respond positively to the call by the government to promote the (1Malaysia) concept if their contribution were curtailed.

“I fear that many of our comments would be restricted by the authorities if they think we ‘go overboard’ on the matter,” he said yesterday.

Nevertheless, he did not mind promoting the concept as long as it kept to its main aim, said Brian who writes in the style of dayakbaru in the Internet.

“The concept must also encompass the democratic principle of check-and-balance,” he added.

Brian, who is Sarawak Dayak National Union (SDNU) publicity chief, said the concept must take into account the interests of all ethnic groups and not just a few major races otherwise it (concept) would be interpreted as “one-sided”.

“I am struggling for social justice and equal opportunities in terms of economic and education in Sarawak,” he said.

“If we bloggers write with too much ‘passion’ — especially on issues deemed by the government as sen-sitive — I am sure they would not be happy with us. We might as well not write about the concept at all,” he said.

He said this when asked to respond on the call by Minister of Information, Communications and Culture Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim to work hand-in-hand with the bloggers on the matter.

On Thursday, Rais had a meeting with bloggers where he told them to use facts rather than rhetoric and incitements in their writings through the Internet.

Brian also pointed out that should the concept deviated from its original intention, which include tolerance and respect, the government would fail in realising 1Malaysia.

“Development and progress should benefit the society at large. The government is entrusted to ensure this. They are not given the mandate to do all things based on what they (government) think,” he said.

“Peace, harmony and stability are all meant for the people. People put up the government which can provide all these,” he said.

The slogan ‘One Malaysia, People First, Performance Now’ is the main theme introduced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak when he took the office on April 3.

Najib pointed out the concept demanded that people respect one another and also practise tolerance.

Another blogger Audie Chua said he agreed with Brian.

He said if the government wanted bloggers to help in promoting the 1Malaysia concept, then it must be practical.

“There are all sorts of opinions and comments as there are many bloggers. But if the government acts positively, I am sure the bloggers will be ready to assist them in any issue by writing positive views.

“What is important is that the concept must ensure that no ethnic group is lagging behind others in mainstream development,” he said.

On the other hand the people must appreciate the 1Malaysia concept to make its implementation a success, he said.

Father paid her RM1 every time they had sex

A 13-year old girl who was allegedly turned into a sex slave by her father and molested by her brothers for the past five years finally plucked up the courage to lodge a report on Wednesday.

The Form One pupil confided in her teachers the trauma she had been subjected to at her home since she was 9 years old.

Following the report, police arrested her 47-year-old father and her older brothers aged 15 and 17.

The father, an odd job labourer allegedly raped her on several occasions, while her brothers took turns to molest her.

The girl told police that the first time her father raped her was when she was 9 years old.
She said she had gone with her father to collect banana leaves when he raped her.

After that incident, she was paid between RM1 and RM2 by her father each time he sexually abused her.

The girl did not disclose this to her mother, who is a housewife, as she was afraid.

But on Wednesday, she decided to reveal all to her teacher, as she was afraid that her younger sisters, aged 7 and 9, would suffer the same fate. The victim has seven siblings.

Her teacher then took her to the Bukit Mertajam police station where a report was lodged.

State Criminal Investigation Department chief SAC II Wan Abdullah Tuanku Said said the girl was also raped in her house and in a secondary forest in Berapit.

He said all three suspects were picked up from their homes on Wednesday, adding that the case was classified as rape and molest.

Friday, April 24, 2009


In Kapung Siput, in Baling, Kedah, 22-month old Irshad Azizan stays home in pain and misery, all because of a rare skin disease he suffered since he was six-months old. His mother Salmiah Abd Rahman, 40, has appealed for skin specialists to help her youngest child. Irshad is especially vulnerable to hot weather, compelling him to cry incessantly in pain.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


KUALA LUMPUR, April 23 (NNN-BERNAMA)-- Gender segregation has reared its ugly head in the Malaysian labour market, with about 77 per cent, or 2.7 million women, in under-valued and lowly paid occupations.

This was further reinforced as most men and a large population of women themselves support traditional division of labour and find differences in salaries justifiable. The National Seminar on Work, Income and Gender Equality which concluded here Wednesday, highlighted this.

The seminar also highlighted the issue of sexual harassment, which affected women in every workplace and at every level of employment, thus compromising women's safety and productivity.

The two-day seminar, organized by the Human Resources Ministry in collaboration with the International Labour Organization (ILO), was attended by participants from government, the private sector, trade unions and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

In order to rectify the situation, the seminar recommended a change in the mindset of society on stereotyping, and encouraging more men to be involved in sharing responsibilities through education.

It also recommended that the government introduce laws and regulations that encourage flexible working arrangements to accommodate women's roles and also make provision for a longer period of paid maternity leave.

The seminar noted that although there was a significant increase in the enrolment of women in institutions of higher learning in the country, the labour market, however, rated graduate women low in terms of remuneration.

It also noted there was a sizeable talent pool among women that remained untapped because of inadequate maternity leave, rigid and non-conducive regulations, adverse stereotying of women's role by society and lack of support from men in shouldering the responsibilities of caring for children and elderly.

The seminar recommended that the Employment Act 1955, be extended to include all working women. Currently, it does not cover domestic workers and those earning more than 1,500 Ringgit (one USD = about RM3.6) per month.

As a social responsibility, the seminar also recommended that the government devise strategies to encourage employers to cater for the disabled. It also wanted existing guidelines and employment contract for contract workers to be made more effective with a proper enforcement mechanism.

It also emphasized that the government should draw up strict regulations for recruiters and employers to avoid exploitation and abuse of maids. -- NNN-BERNAMA

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sex, a quarrel, then death

SHAH ALAM: A couple went to a temple in Sepang to pray.

After fulfilling their religious obligations, they had sex outside the compound and then fell asleep.

When they woke up several hours later, they got into a heated argument which turned deadly when the man went back into the temple, grabbed a parang and hacked the woman to death.

The High Court here yesterday heard how general worker S. Ganesan, 24, then hid P. Suganthy's body in some bushes behind the temple.

Ganesan then threw away the parang and fled.
Suganthy's body was later found by a passer-by.

The facts of the case were read out yesterday before judicial commissioner Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim. He sentenced Ganesan to 14 years' jail after he pleaded guilty to culpable homicide.

Ganesan admitted committing the offence at a temple in Kampung Lembah Paya Salak in Sepang between noon and 6.15pm on Aug 11, 2005.

He was initially charged with murder and had claimed trial after which nine prosecution witnesses had testified.

Ganesan subsequently changed his plea when the prosecution reduced the charge to manslaughter.

In sentencing him, Abang Iskandar said, based on the post-mortem report, Suganthy, a 22-year-old cleaner, had suffered 16 external body injuries and a cracked skull.

He said the only mitigating factor he could consider was that Ganesan was a young offender (he was 19 when the offence was committed) and that he had pleaded guilty.

He ordered him to serve the jail term from the date of his arrest on Aug 31, 2005.

In mitigation, counsel K. Viknesvaran pleaded for leniency as his client had repented.

He pointed out that Ganesan was from a poor family and had pleaded guilty to the offence.

Deputy public prosecutor Hana Hadinah S. Mohd Ghazali pressed for a heavy sentence to reflect the gravity of the offence.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Rose For Friend

Well, i receive this note in my email and i wish to share it with all my friends out there. Even if we never meet before and it just happen that you just pass all are my friemds.

Monday, April 20, 2009

New Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities

Tan Sri Bernard Giluk Dompok has been appointed the Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities in the new Federal Cabinet announced on 9 April 2009. He takes over from Datuk Peter Chin Fah Kui who has been appointed as Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water.

Tan Sri Bernard, 60, holds a BSc. (Land Administration [UK] FISM) which he obtained from the University of East London in 1978. The same year after graduating, he started his career as a valuer at the Sabah Lands & Survey Department. In 1980, he pursued his career as a private valuer until 1985.

Married with five children, the Sabah-born Minister commenced his political career in 1986 and among the positions he has held include being the Minister in the Finance, Agriculture & Fisheries as well as Tourism ministries in Sabah. Besides which, he had also held the post of Deputy Chief Minister and Chief Minister of his home state. At Federal level, he was first appointed a Minister in the Prime Minister's Department in 1994.

MTC congratulates Tan Sri Bernard on his appointment and looks forward to his guidance and leadership to further develop the downstream sector of the timber industry in Peninsular Malaysia. At the same time, MTC takes this opportunity to thank Datuk Peter Chin for the untiring efforts put in over the years to develop the timber industry, and wish him success in his new endeavour.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Landslide destroys half of road

KAPIT: Continuous heavy rainfall over the last few days has caused a massive landslide which destroyed half of Jalan Melekun.

Motorists are advised to exercise extra care when approaching Km1.8 of the road.

The Borneo Post, which was tipped off about it, visited the site in a four-wheel drive, taking about 40 minutes to reach the scene from Kapit town.

The journey in the rain covered Jalan Selirik, Jalan Lepong Baleh and Jalan Melekun.

According to information, the road collapsed as early as Tuesday evening after heavy rainfall, and worsened as more rain fell. Half of the tar-sealed surface disappeared as the ground gave way.

Earlier Kapit District Officer Simon Japut Tiok, accompanied by Public Works Department staff, visited the site to investigate the extent of damage to the road.

The authority condoned off the danger zone to warn motorists of the road closure.

The reporter who was at the scene was informed by a passer-by that the road completed two years ago experienced a massive landslide just above the Lepong Baleh communal longhouse.

Coincidentally another massive landslide had occurred that cut off the access road from Jalan Melekun to Nanga Bawai, affecting a primary school, SK Nanga Bawai, which has 30 teachers and 180 pupils.

Also affected were some 600 rural folks living in two longhouses beside the Baleh River - Rumah Nabau and Rumah Ulau.

The access road provided a convenient route to Kapit which is about 40 minutes by four-wheel drive along Jalan Melekun-Jalan Lepong Baleh-Jalan Selirik.

The landslide occurred two nights ago after continuous heavy rainfall had fallen over a few evenings. The soil on the steep slope gave way to running water and began to flow down to cover the access road.

It was a recurrence of a previous landslide that took place late last year when the same stretch of road was submerged in mud after heavy rain.

The road user appealed for assistance from the government agency to clear the mud so they could pass through.

Police officer caught with his pants down

BUTTERWORTH: The deputy chief of a police station who had his zipper down and a woman teacher were detained for indecent behaviour by religious department officers yesterday.

Penang Islamic Department officers detained them at the Bagan Ajam rest area on the Butterworth Outer Ring Road.

The police officer shouted abusive words at the religious department officers and refused to show his authority card after identifying himself as a policeman.

The department's operations unit chief, Khairul Azman Azizan, had to ask policemen who were accompanying them to help detain the police officer.

The police officer and his female companion, who is in her 40s, were taken to a police station.

They were released five hours later on bail.

Datuk Seri Najib Razak

Datuk Seri Najib Razak feeding 'pulut kuning' to his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, at a ceremony celebrating his homecoming as the sixth Prime Minister in his Pekan parliamentary constituency.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Lottery winner dies while waiting to collect money

A MAN who was waiting to collect a RM20,000 prize money at a 4-Digit outlet died before he could see the money, reported Nanyang Siang Pau.

It is learnt that Luo Zhi Liang, 47, was asked to wait while the operator at the outlet in Miri, Sarawak, prepared the cheque for him at about 10am on Wednesday.

While waiting, Luo had intended to buy another number, but before he could complete writing the number down, he collapsed and died leaving only three numbers on the paper.

Friday, April 17, 2009

A Place Called Home

Iraqi children play next to their makeshift home in Baghdad's al-Dora slum today. One hundred and seventy homeless families live in al-Dora slum making their living with garbage recycling.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Dirty Old Man

The 56-year-old, who is receiving monthly assistance from the Welfare Department, has been filming his sexual exploits and selling the recordings.

But his career as a porn star has been cut short by police, who arrested him at his Bandar Putra home on Saturday. They had been watching him for a while after receiving a tip-off.

In the 4pm raid police seized a pen drive which contained video recordings of the man having sex with a woman believed to be a foreigner in her 20s.

Segamat district police chief Superintendent Abdul Majid Mohd Ali said the police believe the recordings on the pen drive were meant to be downloaded onto video compact discs (VCD) for distribution.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Putting Sarawak on forest management world map

The opening of Sarawak Rainforest and SFM (Sustainable Forest Management) Discovery Centre at Bukit Kana and SFM certification for Anap-Muput FMU (Forest Management Unit) on Thursday will put Sarawak on the world map for tropical forest management.

Malaysian Timber Certification Council chairman Datuk Dr Freezailah Che Yeom said the centre would become a special reference project in the state to be followed by others especially in Malaysia.

“About 370 million hectares of forests in the world are reported to be under sustainable management and certified, out of which tropical forests account for only about five per cent.

“And most of these areas are in Malaysia. About 56 per cent of Malaysia’s land area is forested compared with the global forest cover of only 30 per cent.

“Sarawak is therefore truly green with more than 60 per cent of its land under natural forests,” said Dr Freezailah during the official opening of the centre.

The centre is 20 kilometres from Sangan and accessible by road and river from Tatau.

Travelling between Bintulu Airport and Sangan is approximately one hour.

The centre has a built up area of 1,025 square metres including an exhibition area to showcase the local natural history, tree and timber products, wildlife and its management interpretation, community life and craft with classroom, library, conference room, surau, landscaped play area and facilities for full board and lodging for up to 50 people in a modern permanent building equipped with electricity and running water.

According to Dr Freezailah, the protected forests are under serious stage of being sustainably managed.

“Two FMUs in Sarawak, Selaan Linau and Anap-Muput have been certified for sustainability under the MTCS (Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme),” he added.

He said the statistics are most exemplary and should make Malaysians proud though much work still remains to be done.

“In Anap-Muput we can see all the positive elements that contribute to success in the implementation of SFM.

“Good community relations and meaningful involvement of members of the local community have been nurtured and developed by Zedtee management,” he said.

He congratulated Zedtee management for being able to improve the local people’s lives and their livelihood through their special efforts and activities.

“As somebody once said, forestry is not really about trees. Forestry is about people and how forests may be sustainably managed, utilised and developed to contribute to human welfare and human well-being.

“Equally here in Anap-Muput, we can see efforts on the ground to ensure biodiversity conservation and protection with the support of local communities,” he said.

The centre in Bukit Kana is beautifully situated in the green wonderland and Dr Freezailah believed that it could offer so much and symbolise the aspirations and the future of forestry in the state through SFM and certification.

The centre was previously known as Bukit Kana Field Station and represents the realisation of the key strategy of the Development Plan of the ITTO Project of Model Forest management Area in Sarawak to provide a permanent facility for training programmes for planning least damaging harvesting operations and skill training of forest operators.

Friday, April 10, 2009


The unexpected Umno leaders appointed to the Najib Administration today is Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir, made the Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry while his rival, Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin, did not get a posting. Dropped from the Cabinet are stalwarts Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib, Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar, Datuk Azalina Othman Said, Datuk Zulhasnan Rafique and Datuk Ong Ka Chuan and rookie minister Datuk Amirsham Aziz.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, in unveiling his new 28-Minister, 40 Deputy Ministers administration, confirmed Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as Deputy Prime Minister but he was unexpectedly moved to Education Ministry.

The three Umno vice-presidents were given key ministries - Datuk Seri Hishammudin Hussein as Home Minister, Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (Defence) and Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal (Rural Development).

Wanita Umno chief Datuk Seri Shahrizat Jalil made the expected return to the cabinet in her old Ministry, Women, Family and Community Development but the major surprise is Datuk Anifah Aman getting the Foreign Minister's post, a first for a Sabahan.

Najib retained the veteran Datuk Seri Rais Yatim, who went back to familiar territory as Minister of Information, Culture, Arts and Communications.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Batang Ai

Batang Ai by-election is seen as the fight between "the beginning of the end" and the "end of the beginning".

There are only 8,006 voters here, with the vast majority being Ibans (7,608), but this election is seen by BN as the end of the beginning of PKR's ambitions in Sarawak, which must call for a state election by next year.

However, PKR has told voters that a win for it would spell the beginning of the end for BN, and specifically Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud's reign.

With Ibans outnumbering the handful of Chinese voters (274), Malays (117) and others (seven), campaigners including those who are not Ibans used the "Rentap" language to woo the community.

Rentap was a feared Iban warrior who fought against James Brooke in the early days of Sarawak's history.

"The underlying cause is the same. In the old days, Rentap fought with spears and machetes against our enemy but now we have to use our brains to keep away the unwanted from ruining our future," said one BN campaigner.

Another from the opposing side said: "Our people have to start an uprising against tyranny and discrimination just like what Rentap did. If you don't fight, we will remain poor."

BN's Malcom Mussen Lamoh and PKR's Jawah Gerang are not only old friends but also share relatives in many of the longhouses.

Obviously, the candidates have not been trading insults but the parties they represent have been at each other's throat.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

F1: Button wins abandoned Malaysian Grand Prix

Jenson Button won a chaotic Malaysian Grand Prix today for a second straight victory after the race was abandoned when a ferocious storm lashed the Sepang circuit.

Nick Heidfeld in his BMW Sauber came second, benefiting from pitting only once to Button’s four times in a race that became a lottery. Timo Glock in a Toyota was third.

It was finally halted after 32 laps as rain pelted down, lightning flashed around the circuit and visibility deteriorated, the first time since Brazil in 2003 that a race has been called off due to weather.

Formula One supremos must take some of the blame after pushing for a 5:00 pm start instead of its regular 3:00 pm slot to satisfy European television audiences.

With tropical Malaysia routinely getting wild storms, it was clear that if one hit during the 56-lap race they would have trouble finishing with daylight disappearing.
Toyota’s Jarno Trulli came fourth, Rubens Barrichello in the other Brawn was fifth and Mark Webber in the Red Bull was sixth.

World champion Lewis Hamilton picked valuable points by coming seventh with Nico Rosberg filling out the top eight.

However, the drivers and constructors only get half the usual number of points with the race halted at less than three-quarter distance.