Monday, March 31, 2008


Be wary of fake UK qualifications
Bogus institutions offering dubious degrees, claim


Malaysians seeking UK qualifications, either offered in the UK or in Malaysia, should be wary of bogus institutions that claim to offer so-called ‘certified UK degrees’. There are irresponsible parties operating in Malaysia that use various means to entice students to enrol for programmes that claim to offer UK qualifications, according to a press release in conjunction with the tour of the Education UK exhibitions organized by British Council in four Malaysian cities. The first exhibition was held on March 18 where Penang became its first venue followed by Kuala Lumpur (March 22 and 23) and Kuching on March 26. Kota Kinabalu was its last venue and it was held at Le Meridien Hotel yesterday. The people could get up-to-date and accurate information about UK study at this exhibition, said Guy Perring, the British Council project manager, transnational education, when met at the Education UK exhibitions held at the Le Meridien Hotel from 1pm to 7pm. “This program provides Malaysians with accurate and reliable information about UK qualifications and more choices for those interested to further their studies,” Guy said. “They can also meet the representatives from the UK institutions which also enable them to get the information they need about studying in the UK,” he added. Guy said more than 800 people attended the expo. “The response from the public is very encouraging,” he said, adding that a total of 15 institutions from the UK participated in this exhibition. Among them were University of Hull, University of Portsmouth, University of Reading, Bellerbys College, BPP College of Professional Studies and Bosworth Independent College. These institutions providing several programmes such as for postgraduate student, undergraduate student and A-levels. Idora Imran, 22, and Alvina Damit, 22, both final year students of Universiti Malaysia Sabah said the expo had given them a lot of information. “It is good to be here at this expo as it gives us much information that we want,” said Idora who is pursuing a degree in Banking and Finance. “We can also learn about the cost of living in the UK,” said Alvina, who is pursuing a degree course in Hotel Management. “We have still not decided what programs we want to take. We are just look around and getting information as much as we can,” Idora said. Asked what courses interest them in a foreign university, they said they want to take management courses.


Let us work together, MP urges Opposition supporters


Kota Belud Member of Parliament Datuk Abdul Rahman Datuk Dahian has urged those who had supported the Opposition in the recent 12th general election to join hands with the BN supporters in developing the district. Speaking at the Kota Belud BN thanksgiving at the community hail here yesterday, Rahman said unity among the people should not be sacrificed, and it is for the good of everyone to work together anti fully support development projects to be implemented here. “I sincerely hope the Opposition supporters would discard any prejudice and cooperate with BN; we would be able to find common grounds to work together in developing our town,” he said. “I am opening my door to the Opposition supporters and I hope we can exchange views and work things out together.” Abdul Rahman, who is also Umno Youth secretary, said the mandate given by the people here is a heavy responsibility which he would strive to carry out. He thanked all BN members and supporters for supporting him in the recent e1ection


Musa tells reps to serve people humbly


Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman has warned elected representatives in Sabah not to let pride go to their heads to the extent that they neglect the people. “We were chosen by the rakyat to be their elected representatives, therefore we must give them the best service we can and carry out our responsibilities,” said Musa, who is also Sabah Barisan Nasional (BN) Chairman. Speaking at Libaran Umno thanksgiving here on Saturday, he said he wants all the elected representatives in Sabah to always make time to visit the people in their respective constituencies and hear out their problems and grouses. This, he said, is the way to express their gratitude to the people for giving them the mandate to represent them, he said, adding that elected representatives must not be proud and haughty when meeting the people. “Elected representatives must be humble and responsible. We must also fulfill all promises made during the election campaign as we don’t not want the rakyat to accuse BN Assemblymen and Members of Parliament of lying,” he stressed. Musa said resounding victory of the Barisan Nasional (BN) in Libaran is proof that the people want the overall continued development by the coalition. “BN’s victory in Libaran is the people’s victory,” he said at the gathering which was attended by more than 5,000 people. He said more thorough development will be implemented in the State for the benefit of the people. “I an very grateful to the rakyat of Sabah for supporting the BN candidates in the State and for giving BN the mandate again,” he said, adding that the loss of one parliamentary constituency and a State constituent will make the coalition work harder to regain the seats. “This is a repeat of the 2004 scenario but it does not mean we were defeated. BN will continue to provide the best service for the rakyat,” he said, adding that he will not disappoint the constituents in Libaran as he will ensure the area will develop alongside with other constituencies.


Revise RM150 pension, call
Amount way below poverty line: Association


In the face of escalating prices of goods, many members of Sabah Government Pensioners Association (PPKS) who receive as little as RM150 pension a month are struggling to stay afloat and have asked the Association to appeal to the Government to revise their pensions. Pointing out that the RM150 pension is well below the poverty line, PPKS President Dr Florentius Epin Banaik said he hoped the Government would seriously take into consideration the changing situation and adjust the pension payments made to many pensioners. Florentius, who was returned unopposed at the annual general meeting of the Association here on Saturday, noted that repeated pledges had been made by the Government in the past to eradicate poverty among Malaysians and provide a minimum pension of RM500 to those who receive very low pensions. But to date, there is still no sign of the pledges being fulfilled, he said. “How could one survive on this meagre RM150 monthly pension even after the latest adjustment was made in 2007 with today’s spirailing cost of living?” he asked. Florentius also urged the Government to look into the plight of those few hundred government employees who have served for between 30 and 40 years, and consider absorbing them into the permanent and pensionable establishment. “Many of those affected have come to PPKS to ask for our assistance. Unfortunately we feel so helpless and sad for being unable to help them,” he lamented. “All we could do now is to appeal to the Government to find ways to assist them via a pension or retirement allowance to end the suffering of these employees who had dedicated the most productive time of their lives of some 30 to 35 years serving the Government and the nation.” The AGM saw all the incumbent committee members returned unopposed while the vice- president, assistant secretary and treasurer posts were earlier also returned unopposed at the close of nominations. The new line-up comprises Dr Florentius Epin Banaik (President), William Tham Peng Loi and Ms Wang. Tsai Siah (Deputy Presidents), Jemon bin Jali, Pang Kon Hin and Philip Wong Kui Fah (Vice Presidents), Dennis H. L. Lim (Secretary), Fredoline Bilison (Assistant Secretary), Michael Ng (Treasurer), Liew Kim Fatt (Assistant Treasurer), Joseph Jominol, Aloysius Labi, David Lo, Catherine Lee Moey, Hj Matarsad bin Ibrahim, Fredoline Moris Sipaji and Charles Andau (committee members).


Unfair policies make Sabah poor
Palm oil export via Peninsular ports causes. State to lose RM300 mm revenues a year, says Tham


It is high time for the Federal Government to review some of the current policies that are extremely unfair and impoverishing Sabah. This includes the present requirement for Sabah to export its major changes in the demand and commodities such as cocoa and palm oil through ports in Peninsular Malaysia besides paying higher prices for consumer goods, said’ Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) State Science Adviser Datuk Tham Nyip Shen. He said the State is currently estimated to be losing about RM300 million in revenues from palm oil export of an estimated six assumed the million tons per annum, based on the current market price of between RM40 and RM50 per ton. “ With such an unfair policy, how can we not be poor?” Speaking to reporters yesterday, Tham pointed out that the revenues that are lost are enough to increase the development fund for each MP in the State to RM3 million for them to help improve facilities in their constituencies. While welcoming the recent statement made by Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahir Ahmad that consumers in the country can expect major changes in the demand and supply mechanism, including the scrapping of price in control on essential goods, he reiterated his previous call to implement a ‘uniform pricing policy’ for goods across the nation in order to be fair to the people of Sabah and Sarawak. Tham, who is a former Deputy Chief Minister, said : “ When Datuk Shahrir assumed the post of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister, he made a few interesting announcements and this certainly gives new hope to Malaysians, Sabahans included. This, I say syabas! ( well done) to Datuk Shahrir. But, I am particularly keen to pursue an old topic – uniform national pricing policy acroos the nation. It is never the fault of Sabahans and Sarawakians that we are being separated by the largest sea in the world – the South China Sea. “Unfortunately, we are severely punished as a result i.e. paying a higher price of between 20% — 50% for consumer goods.” He cited the case of America, which is about 28 times larger than the size of Malaysia, to further illustrate his point. “To put it in perspective, travelling from the east to west of the United States of America requires five hours compared to just 2+ hours in Ma1aysia,he said. “Yet, there is no price differences in most items between New York and Los Angeles when they are 2,462 miles apart compared to that of only 1,000 miles between Kota Kinabalu and Kuala Lumpur. “I can quote a few other countries having no price difference. In Malaysia, even national newspapers are more expensive in Sabah, compared to Kuala Lumpur.” Tham said the renewal of his call for a ‘uniform pricing policy’ is timely, especially when the people of Sabah and Sarawak have given so much support to the BN Government. “Sabah is still being recognized as the poorest State in Malaysia, we are not asking for special privileges, what we want is not much, we just want a fair price, the same price that a Malaysian should pay! We hope to live like a Malaysian,” he said. “I am confident that something positive can be done to give fair treatment to Malaysians residing in Sabah. I would also like to reiterate my call for the Federal Government to equal the export price of commodities from Sabah too. “Without a fair treatment and a level playing field, Malaysians in Sabah would always be at the losing end and perhaps it is also part of the reasons why today Sabah is still being widely recognized as the poorest State in Malaysia. Why must we suffer all these injustices?” Tham also expressed utmost regret that Shahrir’s predecessor, Datuk Shafie Apdal who hails from Sabah had failed to champion such a pressing cause when he was in position to do so.