Wednesday, April 2, 2008


Japanese giant firm picks Sabah
Yanmar opens R&D centre for biomass-derived fuels


Well-known Japanese giant company, Yanmar Co Ltd, has chosen Sabah to be the centre of its global research and development (R&D.) network for developing biomass-derived fuels. The Oasaka-based company established in 1912, is the first to develop Japanese practical small size diesel engines. It has a strong footing in research and development in various countries, including UK, India, Indonesia and Thailand particularly on alternative fuels such as FAME (Fatty Acid Methyl Ester), waste cooking oil, rapeseed oil and palm oil. Taking advantage of the State’s rich biomass source, it has recently opened its Yanmar Kota Kinabalu Research and Development Centre in the Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park (KKIP). The centre which officially opened end of January, is poised to be the research and development centre for the region as well as the hub for environmental technology and information. Japanese Ambassador to Malaysia, Masahiko Hone earlier this week visited the facility which has already started researches and working on developing a 100 percent pure biomass derived fuel. “The centre will be overseeing the activities and collaborating with other Yanmar Research and Development Centres throughout the world. It will monitor and supervise biodiesel projects in India and UK,” he told reporters here last night. He said Sabah’s ecosystem is one of the most important mega biodiversities in the world and the Japanese, being a close partner of Malaysia, is interested in continuing to take an active part in activities promoting environmental conservation, such as developing an environmental friendly fuel. With increasing environmental awareness among companies and consumers and clean energy is rapidly gaining prominence, he said bio-diesel is offering an interesting prospect as the fuel of the future. Malaysia is the world’s second largest producer of palm oil, which is the main feedstock for biodiesel. In 2005, the country formulated the National Biofuel Policy (sometimes known as the National Biodiesel Policy) to call for production of a biofuel blend of five percent processed palm oil and 95 percent diesel known as B5. The policy encourages the use of this blend by the public, establishes an industry standard for palm biodiesel quality and promotes the setting up of biodiesel plants in the country for export purposes.


Memorable promotion for 19 cops


Nineteen newly promoted senior police officers received appreciation during a simple and memorable ceremony at the Kepayan Police Headquarters here yesterday. State Police Commissioner (CP) Datuk Noor Rashid Ibrahim took time off from his busy schedule to pin rank badges on the uniforms of the cops which he referred as ‘a way to boost their spirit’. In fact, the two superintendents and 17 Assistant Senior Police (ASP) should be proud of themselves as they were the first in the history of the police force in Sabah to receive the rank badges which were pinned on their uniforms by the CP. “This is a day to celebrate it is a promotion and should be welcomed grandly. They have done a tremendous job and it is just right to show our appreciation of their well done job by honouring and celebrating the promotion together. “Besides, it would also make them feel appreciated and boost their confidence. We hope it would also encourage them to work harder in the future,” he said. Rashid added that it was important for the police officers to continue performing well, especially in the effort to improve their delivery system. Stating that there will be more of similar event in the future, he said: “We want to create quality manpower in the future. Appreciate them and they will do good.”


Man loses all valuables from Prado vehicle


A man who went to meet some friends in Hill Top, Luyang, after withdrawing a large sum of money from a bank in Inanam, found his Toyota Prado four-wheel drive broken into and all his valuables stolen. The incident occurred around 9.30am on March 25 when the victim was having breakfast with some friends. He had parked his vehicle close to the coffee shop. Half an hour later, he returned to his vehicle and found the back window behind the driver’s seat broken. His laptop, Indonesian passport, RM18,000 and three cheque books were missing. Eyewitnesses informed him that a Proton Waja with four men inside had stopped near his vehicle, broke the window and took all his belongings before taking off. The eyewitnesses had also given the suspects’ car plate number to the victim who immediately lodged a police report around 10.15am. Police had also taken close circuit television recording of the incident. Further check on the plate number with the Road Transport Department showed that it was fake. Acting City Police Chief Superintendent Rowell Marong confirmed the incident. He said no arrest had been made and investigation into the case was continuing.


Sabah, Sarawak should be given 10 Federal posts: PKR


Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) State Youth Vice Head Muada Joe Ojihi said at least 10 Federal Ministries should be allocated to Sabah and Sarawak to reflect the East Malaysian States’ pertinent position in the Federation. Muada said important portfolios such as Public Works, Agriculture and Rural Development could have been entrusted relevantly to leaders from East Malaysia, still underdeveloped but encompassed a much bigger size than the whole of Peninsular, the other part of the Federation. “There must be reasons why it is so difficult for the Federation to strengthen East Malaysia within the Federation itself This is an irony. We used to see leaders from East Malaysia standing side by side with the Prime Minister; but no more now. “But what we see now is our Prime Minister is always flanked by Chinese, Indian and Malay leaders, all from the Peninsular. We missed pictures like Tun Temenggung Jugah or Tuan Fuad Stephens seen beside the Premier,” he said. Muada however pointed out that it is not so much only about position but the sincerity to acknowledge the inseparable two lands, which in 1963 came together to agree to form a federated states called Malaysia. “Despite this, the Barisan Nasional (BN) managed to convince East Malaysian voters to give it almost 100 per cent seats in the recent election, unlike in Peninsular where the BN lost in six states, including the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur. “I support the view of PKR Vice President Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan that Sabah BN leaders must use this opportunity to be united to get more for Sabah and not be contented with a raw deal by the central leadership,” he added.


Sabah enjoying robust economic development: CM
This is proven from successful issuances of many capital market


The successful issuances of many capital market by credible local companies shows Sabah is enjoying a robust economic development driven by a strong and stable business environment, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman. Musa pointed out that many capital market issuances had successfully been completed by Sabahan companies in recent years as the State continued to produce numerous mature and sophisticated home-grown businesses. “In 2006, we saw the issuance of RM500 million bonds by Sabah Development Bank (SDB), which was its third private debt securities issuance. “In 2007, Sabah Ports instituted a RM150 million Islamic programme whilst Sabah Credit Corporation had put in place a RM500 million Commercial Papers/Medium Term Notes (CP/MTN) programme. “Later in the year, Hap Seng Plantation Berhad was successfully listed on the Main Board of Bursa Securities, to date the largest Sabah-based listed plantation company with a market capitalization of over RM2. 2 billion,” he said at the signing ceremony between AmInvestment Bank and CIMB Bank in relation to the launching of SDB Commercial Paper (CP) and Medium Term Notes (MTN) Programme to finance and support development activities in Sabah for the next 20 years. Thanks to the open and investor- friendly business environment in Sabah, Musa said many local and home-based companies had flourished in their respective business undertakings and had developed themselves to be active players not only in the local market place but also in the international arena. Musa said he was confident that the State would continue to have a stable and conducive economic climate to allow for more business and investment growth. He said Sabah has both political and economical vibrancy and stability, which are the essential aspects needed for pacing rapid development and creating a conducive investment environment. The implementation of the Sabah Development Corridor (SDC), he added, will excitingly bring sustainable growth and wealth to the Sabahan people and the State Government would ensure this will happen by providing the facilities required to catalyze both physical and economic growth. Amlnvestment and CIMB are the joint lead arrangers and joint principal advisers for the RM500 million Nominal Value CP programme and RM1 billion Nominal Value MTN programme. Speaking to reporters after the ceremony, Musa said launching o the SDB debt programme not only augurs well for SDB itself but also the overall development of the State. “We are very happy and thankfu that our partners — Amlnvestment Bank and CIMB Investment Bank are very supportive of our effort t further develop the State by signing this agreement with SDB today. The fund will be channelled into some of our development activities and help continue the programmes that we have planned. “SDB is our vehicle to develop our State as they will be playing important role in the financial aspect of the development activities in Sabah. They are doing well as shown by the P1 and AA1 rating given to them by the RAM Rating and are confident of positive and continuing growth,” he said. He added the agreement would help facilitate the realization of the State’s holistic development vision through its SDC which emphasises on equitable development for all of Sabah. As a development financial institution in Sabah, SDB has been an important catalyst for the State’s economic development, playing the crucial role of financial intermediary since its inception in 1977. The bank functions as a disbursement arm for the State’s socio-economic development projects and provides financial and investment advisory advices to the State Government and its agencies. Meanwhile, SDB Chairman Peter Siau Wui Kee said the bank would use the proceeds from the issuance of its commercial papers/medium-term notes (CP/MTN) programmes to help support the development activities in the State for the next 20 years. He said the RM500 million CP and RM1 billion MTN would also be used to refinance its existing borrowings and to fund its working capital requirements. Amlnvestment Bank Bhd and CIMB Investment Bank Bhd are jointly lead arrangers and joint principal advisers. Siau signed for the SDB while AMMB Holdings Bhd Deputy Chairman Datuk Azlan Hashin and CIMB Investment Bank Bhd Deputy Chief Executive Charon Wardini Mokhzani for their respective companies at the ceremony, witnessed by Musa.


Lahad Datu power plant may be cancelled: Musa
Govt will re-look into project due to complaints


The Lahad Datu coal-fired power plant project may be cancelled due to persisting objections from various parties concerned over possible negative environmental impacts. Following numerous complaints and requests for the project to be stopped, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said he would re-look into the project’s approval and reconsider whether the State Government should continue with “I will visit the power plant and see whether we need to advise the developer to continue with the project or not,” he said to reporters yesterday. He added the Government would re-study the whole project and further scrutinize all aspects before making any decision. On the suggestion by Sepanggar Member of Parliament Eric Majimbun to revive the Special Affairs Ministry at Federal level which was set up when Sabah and Sarawak joined Malaysia, Musa said the proposal would be looked into. The same goes to the call to scrap the quota system for nominations to contest party positions in the Umno election in December. Musa said the matter would be discussed and decided by the Umno Supreme Council, the Party’s highest decision-making body. “Being a democratic Party, Umno will provide the opportunity and avenue to members to express their views on the proposal. “After hearing members’ opinions, the Supreme Council will deliberate on the matter thoroughly before making a decision,” said Musa, who is also a Supreme Council member.


Salleh, Bung Mokhtar tell Yahya to stop insinuating over PM meet


Former Chief Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Tun Said and Kinabatangan MP Datuk Bung Moktar Radin have clarified their meeting with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, along with four other senior Sabah Umno leaders, last Saturday as a normal matter. In separate statements, both said it was a normal meeting between Abdullah and leaders at various levels nationwide to update the Prime Minister on various current issues and developments on the ground. They dismissed an insinuation by Sabah Umno Liaison Secretary Datuk Seri Panglima Yahya Hussin that the purpose of their meeting with Abdullah was for their own interests only. The other four Umno leaders were Kalabakan MP Datuk Abdul Ghapur Salleh, Umno Kota Marudu Division Chief Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia, Pantai Manis Assemblyman Datuk Abdul Rahim Ismail and former Sipitang MP Datuk Dr Yusof Yaacob. Yahya said Monday that whatever was discussed by the six leaders and Abdullah did not represent the official views of Sabah Umno or Sabah BN. “Whatever was voiced to the PM was done in their own capacity, and not the official stand of Umno or BN here,” he said. Salleh said they met with the Prime Minister in their individual capacity and, as such, the issue of their group representing Umno or Sabah BN did not arise. “What’s important is that we gave our views on various matters including the issue of Sabah’s bigger representation in the Federal Administration,” he said, adding that they echoed the feelings and sentiments of the people from grassroots level to the Prime Minister. “Nevertheless, the matter (our meeting with the PM) has become the focus of the media, maybe because of the various current political developments in Sabah.” Salleh appreciated the Prime Minister for accepting their courtesy call as it gave them the opportunity to discuss and exchange views and opinions, including on current issues that followed the outcome of the recent general election. “During the meeting, the Prime Minister not only listened, but also took down notes from our discussions in his small notebook,” he recalled. Bung Moktar said what transpired during their meeting with Abdullah was for the benefit of the people, and not for their own personal gains. “As such, don’t make any insinuation or bare speculation if you have no knowledge about our discussion with the PM. “It was unwise for Datuk Yahya to make any insinuation as it could jeopardise unity in the pay. If he wants to know about the details of our dis4ission with the PM, then he should personally me the PM, instead of making an irresponsible statement,” he said. Bong Moktar reckoned that Yahya should not be unduly worried or felt under pressure when they vere called by the Prime Minister for their feedback. As he Umno Kinabatangan Division Head, Bung Moktar also pledged his undivided support to Abdu1lah as the Umno President and Prime Minister.