Look into security situation in Sibu, MP urges authorities

SIBU: The Government and police were again urged to look into what the Sibu MP perceives as a deteriorating security situation in the town.

Wong Ho Leng said the recent murder of a bank manager was enough to warrant immediate action to prevent serious crimes from happening.

Wong claimed that everywhere he went, residents had been complaining about the state of security here as “after the latest murder, people here feel no place is safe as the victim was killed in his own bedroom”.

Meanwhile, police have said they had gathered some vital leads in the case.

A check with them yesterday revealed that no arrest had been made yet.

On another issue, Wong hoped that the police would take action against rampant illegal Internet gambling which he described as “Internet casino”.

“It has been mushrooming all over the country and authorities have failed to act effectively to stop this,” he said.

He said he had raised the issue in Parliament last week but had yet to receive a reply from the Government.

Wong also disclosed that Sarikei MP Ding Kuong Hiing and Batu MP Tian Chua had also raised the same issue in Parliament.


Perpaduan milik siapa?

SIAPAKAH yang menjadi pemilik perpaduan negara ini? Adakah ia milik warga Malaysia yang sah dan berpegang kepada Perlembagaan, Rukunegara dan tatacara negara ini? Atau perpaduan ini bergantung kepada warga luar untuk menentukan pasang-surut ikatan hubungan interaksi antara anggotanya?

Sejak kebelakangan ini, banyak isu hubungan etnik menjadi persoalan yang turut disimpulkan dengan fahaman politik masing-masing. Ada yang memahami sejarah kehadiran hubungan yang rencam dan majmuk ini manakala ada pula yang mahu mendengar mengikut keselesaan masing-masing sehingga mengetepikan rentetan susur-galur sejarah hubungan etnik semata-mata untuk memastikan ia tidak mengancam kepercayaan politik mereka.

Tidak ketinggalan puak yang mahu menukar sejarah agar muncul sebuah negara dengan penginstitusian yang sejiwa dengan rasa hati mereka dan bukan majoriti kerana lebih berkecenderungan berpaksikan kepada fahaman politik idealisme dan bukan real politik.

Pusat Pengajian Sains Kemasyarakatan
Universiti Sains Malaysia.

Pidato 1Malaysia 2012 dapat sambutan

Di negara ini, bahasa Melayu bukan hanya untuk orang Melayu. Ini kerana apabila ia diangkat sebagai bahasa kebangsaan, bahasa Melayu menjadi milik seluruh rakyat Malaysia baik Bumiputera Sabah serta Sarawak, Cina dan India atau apa sahaja keturunan mereka.

Bagaimanapun, kedudukannya sebagai bahasa rasmi negara hari ini seolah-olah tidak bermakna apabila generasi muda, khususnya bukan Melayu dilihat tidak berminat untuk bertutur dalam bahasa kebangsaan.

Bukan sekadar tidak fasih dengan nahu yang lintang-pukang, mereka turut mencampur aduk bahasa Inggeris bersamanya sehingga menjadi bahasa rojak yang tidak enak didengar.

Lebih malang, ada yang langsung tidak tahu berbahasa Melayu.

Sekiranya dibiarkan, fenomena tersebut dikhuatiri merencatkan agenda penyatuan rakyat menerusi gagasan 1Malaysia.

MAS laksana peraturan baru bagasi kabin

15 Mei - Dalam persediaan untuk menyertai Oneworld Alliance, Malaysian Airline System mengumumkan peraturan baharu bagasi kabin syarikat itu yang akan dilaksanakan untuk semula penerbangan mulai hari ini.
Menurut kenyataan MAS, penumpang kelas ekonomi dibenarkan membawa satu bagasi tangan manakala untuk penumpang kelas Bisnes dan kelas Pertama, dibenarkan dua bagasi tangan.
Setiap bagasi tangan tidak boleh melebihi 36 sm panjang, 23 sm lebar dan 56 sm tinggi, dengan berat maksimum 7 kg.

Semua bagasi kabin mesti mematuhi undang-undang tempatan serta
langkah-langkah keselamatan yang ditetapkan oleh lapangan terbang.
Kadar biasa akan dikenakan ke atas bagasi yang melebihi ketetapan itu.
Selain itu, setiap penumpang dibenarkan membawa beg tangan kecil dan
tongkat serta salah satu daripada barangan berikut iaitu komputer riba, beg bimbit, beg kamera atau beg binokular, kata MAS.

Mereka yang membawa bayi, boleh membawa satu beg mengandungi makanan bayi dan lampin tidak melebihi 5 kg, kot dan kereta sorong bayi boleh lipat, kata kenyataan itu.
Oneworld Alliance ialah rangkaian syarikat penerbangan yang terbang ke 950 destinasi di 150 negara.
Menerusi gabungan lebih 2,600 pesawat yang melakukan 10,000 penerbangan sehari, Oneworld mengangkut 358 juta penumpang setahun.

Syarikat penerbangan itu dijadual menyertai Oneworld Alliance menjelang


RM4 milllion wind turbines functioned for only four days

FAILED TECHNOLOGY: One of the wind assisted turbines to generate electricity that failed to function

Four wind turbines costing about RM4 million commissioned last year to generate electricity for the villagers of Telok Melano are not functioning anymore.

Village head Mohamad Pahi told reporters on Saturday that the wind turbines functioned for only four days.

“We now have to rely on the generator set to produce electricity for our daily needs and to be in touch with the rest of the world,” he said.

The village head is urging the relevant authority to look into the matter urgently.

“For now, the villagers and I can only say it is a failed technology,” he lamented.

The villagers also urged the authority to look into the possibility of building a new jetty to replace the present one that had collapsed and became unusable by boat operators, who need it to berth their boats for loading and unloading goods and their passengers, who are mainly villagers.

During the weekend, Telok Melano village, located at the southern tip of Sarawak, played host to Kuching Specialist Hospital’s 2012 Community Service Outreach Programme in conjunction with World Nursing Day.

It was graced by Assistant Minister of Public Health Dr Jerip Susil and participated by doctors and staff of Kuching Specialist Hospital, dentists from government hospitals and officers from the National Registration Department.

The main activities held were health screening and assisting the villagers with their national registration and documentation needs.

Telok Melano, a quiet and tranquil village with sandy beaches and clear blue seawater, is about two-hour’s boat ride from the coastal town of Sematan.

The village also runs a homestay programme.

It is home to around 200 people from about 50 families and has a primary school and a police station.

Sibu celebrates Mother’s Day in big way

There is a ‘Mother Teresa’ in every mother whose immense sacrifice from the unimaginable labour pain to struggling to ensure the wellbeing of their children and family is beyond fathom.

And what better way than to thank and honour them in a ‘big’ way as what SUPP Sibu branch did yesterday, showering them with carnation, appreciation cards and food vouchers.

For it was the day when some 15,000 mothers from all nooks and corners of Sibu town were given a real treat at Sibu Town Square Phase One for their contribution to their families and society at large.

The smell of carnation filled the air and the celebration mood engulfed the riverine town.

Mothers formed a long queue stretching from the centre of the main stage right to the tower facing a bank for the three-hour event, organised by SUPP Sibu branch.

By 11am, the crowd swelled to a mammoth size and vehicles moved bumper-to-bumper near Sanyan Road.

Temenggong Vincent Lau Lee Ming and Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) chairman cum Lanang MP Datuk Tiong Thai King were on hand to show appreciation to the mothers.

“The event is very meaningful as it is our way of telling mothers that their immense sacrifice is appreciated. Being a mother is no walk in the park as it is more hectic than a full time job.

“Being also a homemaker in ensuring that the family institution is in order is indeed a huge sacrifice that mothers make,” Lau told reporters.

“We need to show our love and respect for our parents not just in words but also in action,” a vice chairman of the party Daniel Ngieng added.

Kapitan Datuk Janet Lau described women as great as they could accept praise or the lack of it.

“Women can accept it whether they are being praised or not. If we are praised for being great, we will not let it get into our heads. But, if we are not praised, we still go on. That’s the beauty of being women,” she noted.

Tiong hoped that the occasion would bring happiness to all mothers despite it being a short celebration.

“We just want mothers to have a great time and that their sacrifice and contribution to the society are highly appreciated,” he said.

Meanwhile, a mother of a seven-month-old toddler, Intan Nalen, was lost for words when interviewed yesterday.

“I really must thank the organiser for remembering the contribution and sacrifice of all mothers. We are so touched by their sincere gesture of expressing their gratitude publicly,” she giggled.

She added: “I have never seen so many people or mothers converging at one place to celebrate Mother’s Day. I hope this can become a yearly affair.”

For those present, they made use of the opportunity to foster closer bond and solidarity.

An employee of a private company Maureen Gamang said the occasion was an excellent platform for people to gather together and strengthen the spirit of goodwill.

Chieng Yew Ai, hugging her granddaughter Joline Lau when collecting her voucher, admitted she had never experienced anything like this before.

“In all honesty, I am truly thrilled and this is one Mother’s Day I will long remember,” she said.

Comnent :  Why not next year 'Mother's day',  we have a picnic/family gathering at Sibu Town Square ground, putting aside our difference of color, religious belief, races and political belief / One in 1Malaysia way.

Unemployment : 76,200 graduates still unemployed

The unemployment problem among graduates would be critical if job opportunities are limited and their degree mismatches the demands of job market.

Sarawak social activist Wan Zain Syed Modzar said almost every year, universities and colleges produced new graduates, however, job opportunities were still limited.

“The latest statistic showed that about 76,200 graduates are still unemployed and the numbers will continue to rise with new graduates passing out each year, all competing for employment,” he said, yesterday.

According to him, the government need to take the initiative to reduce unemployment rate by creating new job opportunities in various sectors to cater for new graduates.

“If the job opportunities are limited, new graduates could also experience difficulty in getting a job as for every vacancy available, there are 50 graduates applying for it,” he stressed.

At the same time, graduates should not find it difficult to obtain jobs if their degrees match the job market demand, he said.

Wan added that employers play important role in selection process of applicants that matched the requirement of the job.

“However, graduates should also not be too choosy when job-hunting as they need to pay back their education loan once they complete their studies,” he said.

He had also foreseen the use of ‘insiders’ in securing jobs for extended family members as well as friends.

“This trend has been in practise for a long time. However, it is rarely exposed due to interest of important person in the company who probably has use his influence to hire family members as employees,” he said.

Therefore, he suggested that government and private agencies advertise their job vacancies available, to prevent favouritism.


Election workers urged to get ready

SIBU: Returning officers (ROs) and assistant returning officers (AROs) in the state were told to be prepared because the general election would be called at anytime.

Election Commission (EC) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof said the coming election would likely see keen contests, especially in Sarawak. “That is why I want them to be prepared, read the election laws and know the subject matter well so they can face any situation with confidence,” he said after briefing 79 ROs and AROs here yesterday.

He said that every political party had its own supporters who could come from anywhere, including Peninsular Malaysians whom he described as relatively more aggressive.

The ruling parties, he said, would try their best to make sure their seats remain with them while the opposition would go all out to win as many seats as it possibly could. The situations could be very taxing for ROs and AROs to handle, he said.On another subject, Abdul Aziz said that some RM80 million would be needed to run the election in Sarawak alone, for chartering 4,000 4WD vehicles, 1,000 boats and 27 helicopters.

"Some 21,000 workers will also be involved in the election statewide,” he added.

Abdul Aziz also advised the 407,432-odd Sarawakians eligible to vote to register themselves quickly so that they could participate in the next election.

“Sarawak has 1,024,240 registered voters. Our target is to get at least 75 per cent of them to cast their votes,” he said.Also present at the briefing was state EC director Datu Takun Sunggah.

Borneo Post 13/4/2012

No more passes for party supporters, says EC

SIBU: The Election Commission (EC) will no longer issue passes to party supporters to accompany candidates to nomination centres on nomination day.EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof said this is to discourage the practice of having hundreds of supporters accompanying the nominees.

“In the past we used to issue 100 passes for supporters of each political party, provide tents and refreshments for them.

We’ve decided not to give them passes this time,” he told reporters yesterday at the 13th general election briefing for returning officers (ROs) and assistant returning officers (AROs).A total of 79 ROs and AROs from 15 parliamentary constituencies in the central region attended the two-day briefing. Abdul Aziz said there was no positive correlation between the number of supporters at the nomination centres and the winning chances of the candidates. “Political parties say that is the time to show their strength. But from our observation, it is not necessary.

“We want to avoid clashes among the supporters of the political divide, and to ensure a peaceful situation,” he explained.In January, Abdul Aziz said the EC wanted to stop the “party atmosphere” created by hundreds of supporters showing up on nomination day. He was reported then as saying that only 10 supporters and representatives would be allowed on nomination day at each nomination centre.


Sarawak Population : 2010 Statistic

KUCHING: Statistics show overall increase of state’s population but decline in number of Chinese .

The Chinese are the only community which showed a decline in number between 2005 and 2010 although they maintain their position as the second largest ethnic group in the state.
Based on the latest statistics obtained from the Sarawak Statistics Bulletin 2012, the Chinese population in Sarawak declined from 590,300 in 2005 to 577,646 in 2010 – a drop of 2.2 per cent.

The Ibans are still the single largest ethnic group with a population of 713,421 in 2010 — an increase of 6.4 per cent from 670,400 in 2005.

The third largest ethnic group are the Malays with 568,113, followed by the Bidayuhs (198,473); Melanaus (123,410); other Bumiputera groups (156,436); Indians 7,411 and others 9,138.
Overall, the state’s population rose from 2.3 million in 2005 to 2.47 million in 2010 – a jump of 7.4 per cent.

Among the major towns and cities, Kuching, the state capital, remains the most populous with 617,887 people in 2010 — an increase from 567,200 in 2005.

Miri, the only other urban centre in the state with city status, has the second largest population with 300,543, followed Sibu (247,995) and Bintulu (189,146).

Among the 31 towns and cities in the state, four have fewer than 20,000 people. These are Dalat with a population of only 19,062; followed by Matu (17,369); Julau (15,816) and Pakan (15,480).
Major towns with a population reaching almost 100,000 areSerian (91,599) and Samarahan (89,923).

The 2010 population of other major towns are Sri Aman (66,790); Marudi (64,018); Betong (62,131); Sarikei (58,021); Kapit (56,053); Bau (54,246); Limbang (48,186); Saratok (46,094); Mukah (42,922) and Lawas (38,385).

The rural–urban ratio of the state’s population has narrowed markedly with only 52 per cent of the people living in the rural areas.

If the rural-urban drift continues unabated, it is likely that by 2015 there might be more people living in urban centres than rural areas.

Borneo Post 12/4/2012

Tuanku Abdul Halim installed as the 14th Yang di-Pertuan Agong at Istana Negara

April 11, 2012, Wednesday

LONG LIVE THE KING: Tuanku Abdul Halim and Tuanku Hajah Haminah Hamidun walk into Balairong Seri or Throne Hall of the national palace for the installation ceremony

KUALA LUMPUR: In a ceremony steeped in royal tradition, Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’azam Shah, 84, was installed as the 14th Yang di-Pertuan Agong yesterday at the new, majestic Istana Negara, here.
The installation ceremony, attended by eminent guests, took place at the Balairong Seri or Throne Hall of the national palace, with Tuanku Abdul Halim taking his Oath of Installation, marking the formal commencement of his tenure as the Supreme Head of the Federation.
The oath-taking ceremony was the culmination of yesterday’s installation proceedings.
Shortly after, the sound of nafiri (trumpet) and nobat (drum) reverberated in the Balairong Seri to the tune of ‘Perang’, followed by three shouts of ‘Daulat Tuanku’ (Long Live the King), led by the acting Datuk Maharaja Lela (Grand Chamberlain) Azwan Effendy Zairakithnaini.
This was followed by the firing of a 21-gun salute and the playing of the national anthem ‘Negaraku’ by the Royal Malaysian Air Force band, led by Lt Sabri Abdullah.
Some 900 guests witnessed the colourful and glorious ceremony, including the Malay Rulers and their consorts, the Yang Dipertuas Negeri, the Prime Minister as well as cabinet ministers and foreign diplomats.
The ceremony yesterday marked two historical significance for the country as well as for Tuanku Abdul Halim. Firstly, this is the second time that His Majesty was installed as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the first was as the Fifth Yang di-Pertuan Agong in 1970 at the age of 42.
Now four decades later, Tuanku Abdul Halim was again installed to the position, as the 14th Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Secondly, His Majesty is also the first to be installed at the new Istana Negara in Jalan Duta.
Adding to the uniqueness of the installation ceremony this time around is Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. When Tuanku Abdul Halim was installed as the Fifth Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the prime minister at that time was Najib’s father, Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, the second prime minister of Malaysia.
The installation ceremony was telecast live by Radio Television Malaysia (RTM).
It started with Tuanku Abdul Halim and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Hajah Haminah making an entrance to the Balairong Seri, to the accompaniment of the blowing of the nafiri and the striking of the nobat by the Kedah Royal Nobat Group, playing the tune ‘Belayar’.
It was preceded by the entrance of acting Datuk Paduka Maharaja Lela who led the royal arrival procession which also comprised the Holders of the Royal Regalia and Maces – the Cogan Alam (Mace of the Universe) and the Cogan Agama (Mace of Religion).
Both maces, which are made of silver, are part of the royal regalia and are also the Malaysian Government’s national insignia.
Tuanku Abdul Halim was attired in the official dress of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, called the Muskat, which is made of black wool and embroidered with gold threads, as well as the “Dendam Tak Sudah” headgear or ‘tengkolok’, and embroidered long pants.
Other royal regalia are the Royal Buckle or the ‘Pending Diraja’ which is made of gold and decorated with rubies, with an engraved centrepiece featuring the Federation Crest, while the belt is made of heavy ribbed silk and embroidered with floral motifs in gold thread.
There was also the Keris Pendek Diraja which was forged from the blades of antique keris. The hilt and sheath are made of ivory embedded with gold.
Her Majesty Tuanku Hajah Haminah was attired in the official dress of the Raja Permaisuri Agong which consists of a long dress, the ‘Gandik Diraja’ or Royal Tiara and the ‘Kalung Diraja’ or the Royal Necklace, both of which are made of platinum and studded with diamonds.
Their Majesties were then ushered to their thrones, marking the start of the installation proceedings.
The ceremony then proceeded with the entrance of the second group of bearers and Quran entrustment, with Datuk Pengelola Bijaya Diraja Datuk Awang Kechik Abdul Rahman bearing a copy of the Al-Quran, while other Istana Negara officials were bringing in the Keris Panjang Diraja, the Proclamation of Enthronement and Installation, and the Oath of Installation, accompanied by the striking of the nobat, playing the tune ‘Palu’.
The Al-Quran, the symbol of the sanctity of Islam as the official religion, was then presented to His Majesty by the Grand Chamberlain.
His Majesty then kissed it and placed it on a ‘rehal’ or Quran stand on a table placed in front of the Sovereigns’ thrones.
At this juncture, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak proclaimed the enthronement of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
This was followed by the presentation of the Keris Panjang Diraja or the Keris of the Government by the acting Datuk Paduka Maharaja Lela to His Majesty, who drew the sabre, kissed it, and returned it to its scabbard and placed it on the table next to the Al-Quran.
His Majesty then took his Oath of Installation, pledging among other things to perform his duties in accordance with the laws and constitution, and to protect Islam at all times.
This was followed by the blowing of the nafiri, and three shouts of ‘Daulat Tuanku’ led by the acting Datuk Paduka Maharaja Lela and others in the Balairong Seri. Moments later, a 21-gun salute was fired, as followed by the playing of the national anthem ‘Negaraku’.
The prime minister, representing the government and the people, congratulated His Majesty and pledged loyalty to the newly installed Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
His Majesty then delivered his Royal Address.
The installation ceremony was concluded with the recital of prayers by Istana Negara religious officer Datuk Abd Aziz Che Yacob.
Following the conclusion of the ceremony, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Raja Permaisuri Agong left the Balairong Seri to the accompaniment of the blowing of nafiri and striking of the nobat, playing the tune ‘Belayar’.
Tuanku Abdul Halim was elected the 14th Yang di-Pertuan Agong at the 226th Meeting of the Conference of Rulers on Oct 14 last year, succeeding Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin of Terengganu. — Bernama


Projek Tenaga Solar nadi perubahan

BARAM 5 Mac - Suatu ketika dahulu, Long Beruang yang merupakan sebuah perkampungan yang dihuni kira-kira 30 keluarga masyarakat Penan di Ulu Baram di sini boleh ditakrifkan sebagai terasing daripada dunia luar.

Namun bermula 15 April 2010, segalanya berubah apabila Projek Tenaga Solar yang dimajukan oleh Kementerian Pembangunan Luar Bandar dan Wilayah disiapkan.Projek di bawah Program Transformasi Luar Bandar yang merangkumi pembinaan Pusat Pembangunan Komuniti dengan kos RM1.5 juta itu sudah mula menghubungkan masyarakat Long Beruang dengan dunia luar.

Selain membekalkan tenaga elektrik 30 kilowatt 24 jam sehari untuk kegunaan penduduk, ia turut membekalkan tenaga kepada Pusat Pembangunan Komuniti yang menempatkan kemudahan teknologi maklumat dan komunikasi (ICT).


Australian regulator files lawsuit against AirAsia

AirAsia was Tuesday slapped with a lawsuit by Australian regulators accusing the Asian budget carrier of failing to disclose the full price of fares on its website

The Malaysia-based airline, which flies international services out of Australia from the Gold Coast, Melbourne and Perth, with Sydney to be added from April, was named in documents lodged at the Federal Court in Melbourne.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the country's consumer watchdog, claims some fares sold on AirAsia's website do not display prices inclusive of all taxes, duties, fees and other charges.

"Businesses that choose to advertise a part of the price of a particular product or service must also prominently specify a single total price," it said in a media release.

The regulator alleged the fares relate to flights from Melbourne to cities including London, New Delhi, and Hangzhou in China, from the Gold Coast to Ho Chi Minh City and from Perth to places such as Taipei and Phuket in Thailand.

The matter is listed to be heard on March 2 with the watchdog seeking an injunction "to restrain AirAsia from engaging in misleading conduct in the future".

It also wants a court order "that AirAsia publish corrective notices on its websites regarding the conduct".

AirAsia could not immediately be reached for comment.

By Agence France-Presse, Updated: 1/24/2012


Four in a family brutally murdered in Sibu

Sibu on the Eve of New Year 2012

Sibu on 3 January 2012

The Borneo Post:

Four members of family murdered, one in critical condition

SIBU: Four members of a family were brutally murdered here at about 7 am today.
Sibu Police Chief ACO Shafie Ismail said a 36-year-old businessman, his 80-year-old mother, his two children aged eight to ten were brutally attacked. The third child at press time is in ICU, Sibu Hospital. The four were found dead in their house at Lane 13B1, RTM Road here.
The police believed they were attacked with blunt and sharp objects by more than one person.
Sarawak Police deputy commissioner Datuk Law Heng Soon said the dead have been identified as businessman Ling Tong Hock, 36, his mother Leong Nyuk Lan, 76, son David Ling Chei Qi, 10, and daughter Amy Ling Zi Jiun, seven. Tong Hock’s son Kelvin Ling Chei You, eight, is gravely injured on the head.
Law said Tong Hock’s wife, Li Xiao Lan, 28, fled unharmed through a window to a neighbour’s house after she heard a commotion downstairs and some people trying to kick down the bedroom door of the house.
He appealed to eye-witnesses to come forward to help the police and asked the media not to make any speculation which can hamper investigations.

From The Star:

Businessman and three members of his family murdered in Sibu
SIBU: Four members of a family were murdered in their home at 1H Lorong RTM 13B here just before dawn Tuesday.
The victims were a 36-year-old businessman, two of his children – aged eight and 10, and his 80-year-old mother.
The businessman’s wife managed to escape through a window on the first floor.
A team led by Sibu police chief ACP Shafie Ismail is conducting investigations at the scene while Sarawak police deputy commissioner Datuk Law Hong Soon is expected to give a press conference later in the afternoon.


It is so sad to learn that four family members have been brutally murdered in Sibu. Two of them were children! How anyone could attack a seven-year-old girl and her 10-year-old brother to death is beyond us all as human beings. The girl, Amy Ling, and brother David, were found dead in different places at their house in RTM Road. Their eight-year-old brother is currently in Sibu Hospital’s intensive care unit with severe head injuries. A previous report from Bernama had claimed the boy died. I do apologise for the incorrect reporting and call upon everyone to pray for this poor child.

Also murdered were the children’s 36-year-old father — a timber and shipping businessman — identified as Ling Tock Hock and their 76-year-old grandmother Leong Nyuk Lan.
Ling’s wife — 28-year-old China national — Li Xiao Lan apparently managed to escape through a window on the first floor.

Sibu police chief ACP Shafie Ismail said it is believed that the family was attacked with both blunt and sharp objects by more than one person.

This is a devastating and horrific crime and the police must act swiftly to ensure justice is served.

Terror must not be allowed to reign in Sibu!

Let’s pray for the family and hope those left behind can one day rebuild their lives.

Extract from : ⋅ January 3, 2012


Bakun Offer huge tourism potential

The Sungei asap resettlement scheme in Belaga eher the Bakun Hydroelectric Dam is located, can be transformed into one of the best tourist destinations in Sarawak.

It has yet to be fully explored and promoted but most of the tourism-related industry players believe once the facilities are in place, it will become one of the world’s ‘must-go’ tourist destinations.

The Sungai Asap resettlement scheme was set up in 1998 to accommodate some 15,000 people from 15 longhouses who had to be relocated from their original villages in Balui River to make way for the Bakun Hydro project.

Principal Assistant Secretary to the Tourism Ministry Mary Wan Mering said travel agents needed to come up with exciting packages.

“I am happy that the longhouse folks are trying to start homestay programmes to improve their living standard. The ministry is hopeful their initiative will ensure the success of homestay programmes in Sungai Asap,” she said at the recent launching of the Uma Belor Leo Dian Belaga homestay programme.

“Homestay operators in Uma Belor must learn from successful operators through educational visits to Peninsular Malaysia. This will be one of the ministry’s plans.”

Mary hoped the locals would take advantage on what Bakun could offer, especially in ecotourism.
“The potential is there to be tapped. The people must seize the opportunity to benefit from this unique tourism asset,” she said.

Meanwhile, Samuel Chung, managing director of Straits Central Travel & Tour Agencies disclosed at the launching of Uma Belor Sungai Asap home-stay that six travel agents participated in the Bakun familiarisation trip.

“We have been to few longhouses. They are among the best products that can be commercialised locally and internationally,” he said.

Air connection

He suggested travel agents work with the local airline to promote Uma Belor as a transit point.
“With the help of the Tourism Ministry, we have talked to the airline to give us a special fare. I hope this will materialise soon. I have spoken to general manager of MasWing and he has agreed to hold further discussions on the matter.

“We want to concentrate on eco-tourism — the people come here for Nature. We also want to help train local tour guides to protect the interests of the local people. We are fully committed to this,” he added.

Chung also suggested a tourism task group be formed to educate the homestay operators on the tourism industry.

Earlier, during an interview, he described Bakun as a very interesting new product.
“Of course, we have the Batang Ai Dam which is beautiful as well but Bakun dam is something else – it’s one of the biggest in the world. So it’s the job for the tourism people to develop the area as a tourism product.

“We travel agents need new products. Here, we need the government to help us promote these products. If we market on our own, it’s not easy. It’s important to let people know what we can offer. Familiarisation trips can be organised for foreign travel agents to come here and look at our products,” he added.

On the local community, he said their different ethnic backgrounds were attractions in themselves.

“We can combine this with Nature, culture and adventure. If we are to develop this, the locals need to be involved.

“Few other countries have things like pristine jungles, unspoilt flora and fauna as well as agro-tourism. Moreover, we have other beautiful tourism products like natural waterfalls and traditional longhouses, and tourism activities like boat rides and fishing. All these are available in Bakun.”

On the safety of Bakun reservoir, he said there was risk everywhere, not only in Bakun.
“It’s a protected area — there must be guided tours and beyond Bakun, you’ll see the lake and floating chalets — all these are exotic tourist attractions.

“Bakun is one of the attractions in Borneo. It is something tourists do not see in their countries. This is what tourism is all about. We want to see something we don’t have,” Chung explained.

Ho Swee Soon of Minda Nusantara Tours & Travel Agencies Sdn Bhd which specialises in adventure tours, said Uma Belor is a very friendly homestay area, especially the locals who are very hospitable.

“As for tourism products, we have culture, Nature and adventure. In the Bakun dam itself, you can promote a lot of activities — the potential is there. Elsewhere like near the longhouse area, you can still promote Nature activities,” he added.
Ho said to promote a sustainable eco-tourist destination, cooperation in terms of control between the local communities and authorities was necessary.

“Bakun is a nice place because when you talk about Nature, you can see the Nature you want to see. I do understand the Sarawak Forestry Corporation’s effort to relocate the wildlife from the islands to the mainland. European tourists like to experience Nature apart from getting to know the local cultures.

“If you want to develop homestay, the best thing is go and see a successful homestay area in the peninsula. We also have a few in Sarawak.”
He also said the locals should be trained as tour guides, adding: “They need to participate as they know all the areas well.

Tropical Horbill Travel & Tours Sdn Bhd product manager Bob Zakaria said the Bakun area had immense potential to be developed into one of the best tourist destinations in the country.
“The lake itself is one of the biggest in the world with its strategic small islands. The local communities must work with the homestay operators to improve their livelihood and make the programme a success.

“The government can get involved by providing training and funding,” he suggested.
Bob pointed out that the area must be managed properly to preserve the environment. He also called on the locals to come up tourism-friendly products.
“As for travel agents like us, we will help to promote the products by meeting the demands of the local and international markets.

“It’s a collective responsibility involving the government, the private sector, non-governmental organisations and the community itself,” he said.
Nora Igang who is in charge of the Uma Belor homestay, said their vision was to create the best homestay in Belaga.

“We offer longhouse homestay packages, jungle tracking, exploration and various activities. Native folk dancing and musical instruments such as sape are what you can admire. They are part of the uniqueness of Orang Ulu cultural heritage. We also want to contribute more significantly to the development of the country’s tourism industry,” she added.

Ten Wuan Ping, the officer in charge of Bakun Dam Health and Safety Department, said new islands would be created to promote the area for eco-tourists.

He added that with proper planning, more people could be expected to get involved in the tourism sector.

The Bakun reservoir covering 69,500 hectares was the largest man-made lake in Malaysia followed by Kenyir Lake in Terengganu (39,600 ha), Murum (24,500 ha), Temenggor Lake, Perak (15,200 ha), Batang Air (9,000 ha) and Pergau (Kelantan).

Bakun Dam will have the capacity to generate a maximum of 2,400MW. The entire Bakun catchment area along the Balui River, a few kilometres upstream of Belaga town, in the upper Rajang Basin, measures about 14,759 sq km.

“There will be more than 20 big islands with a total size 6,000 ha that is suitable for resort development. The area has great tourism potential,” Ten enthused.
The distance from Bakun to Bintulu is 180km; Bakun to Sibu (390km), Bakun to Miri (300km) and Bakun to Kuching (900km).