Thursday, April 3, 2008


Special treat for secretaries on April 26


It is Secretary’s Week again, and for the first time, the Beverly Hotel will be teaming up with the Sabah Secretary’s Association (SSA) for a special treat for all hardworking secretaries. Dubbed the ‘Red Carpet Hollywood’, the event’s joint organising chairperson, Zahara Ismail, said the dinner will be held on April 26 and promises fun-filled programmes. Zahara, who is also the Hotel’s Sales and Marketing Director, said among the highlights of the event would be performance by Madonna (Paper Doll Sabah) and D’Sunrise Band, while Deejay Andrew will be emceeing that night. “There will also be lucky draws and a special prize for the best dressed secretary,” she said after a food tasting for the Hotel’s promotional item during the Secretary’s Week. It is expected that some 300 people will be attending the event, and Assistant Industrial Development Minister Jainab Datuk Sen Panglima Ahmad Ayid is expected to be the guest of honour. Those attending will be able to taste a variety of cuisines covering the Indian, Chinese, Malay and Western style of cooking. Tickets are sold at RM6O per person and bookings can be made by calling 088-258998. “We hope that bosses would take full advantage of this dinner ... let it be a nice way of appreciating your secretary’s good work,” said Zahara. Meanwhile, SSA President Emily John Yagot, who is also the joint organising chairperson of the event, said that to date, they have a total of 260 members, and the number keeps growing. “This is a great way to keep in touch with other secretary friends from other organisations,” she said. The Association will also be holding its 32nd general meeting at Hotel Shangri-La, Kota Kinabalu on April 19. “We will also be attending the 19th ASA Conference to be held between Oct 19 and 22 at the Crown Plaza Mutiara, KualaLumpur and conducting a study tour to Australia in mid November this year,” she said.


Life ban for six local anglers who cheated
Sabah International Fishing Tournament organizers tighten rules


The organizers of Sabah International Fishing Tournament is adopting more stringent rules after discovering some participants had cheated their way to winning prizes in past tournaments. Sabah Anglers Association (SAA) President Datuk Wilfred Lingham revealed at a press conference to announce the introduction of the new rules at Sutera Harbour Marina here yesterday that a number of these cheaters managed to unfairly walk away with the tournament’s main prizes and titles. He said the organizing committee has engaged a local legal firm to help in reviewing and enforcing the tournament rules and regulations. Lingham said he has learned that during the past tournaments, there were local participants who sneaked to nearby fish farms and jetties to buy live or freshly caught fish and passed them off as their catch at the tournament’s weighing centre. The organizer has begun to tighten their watch over the participants by deploying tournament marshals who would keep an eye on each boat throughout the event, he said. As a result, six local participants were banned for life from the tournament after being found trying to use the same tactic, he said. Expressing regret over the action of these participants, Lingham said: “There is no sportsmanship in that and it is humiliating for the local anglers.” “We must stress this is a tourism event to promote Sabah where at the same time we hope to attract participation of international anglers; Certainly we don’t want to promote a negative image,” he said. He said the organizer has also decided to be firmer on the penalties for hoe found to have broken the tournament regulations and rules, or tried to cheat their way to winning prizes. For example, unlike in the previous years, those who are found cheating this time would not only cause his team to be disqualified from the team category but the entire team members would also forfeit their right to contest in the individual category. “As the prizes grow bigger, participants are also trying harder to outsmart us to win the tournament by means of cheating. So it is sensible to make it not only harder but also riskier for them to do so,” he said. He said a briefing on the rules and regulations of the competition will be give to participants at 7pm on Friday , just after the tournament registration period which will be open from morning to 6pm the same day.


Welfare officers need to buck up
Many complaints received from people, says Minister


The current policy of the Sabah Welfare Department is probably too bureaucratic and outdated, thus there is a need to improve the system to effectively meet the needs of the people. Making this remark yesterday, Community Development and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Hajah Azizah Mohd Dun suggested senior officers from the Department go to the ground to supervise all its offices and related institutions to see for themselves the real scenario. This is necessary so that all issues and problem that arise could be dealt with immediately” said Azizah, while delivering her speech at the closing of a seminar on improving the delivery system of the Department, which was attended by over 50 officers and staff from the Welfare Department. She said there is a need to set up an internal audit system in the Department to keep tab on the handling of financial assistance. The internal audit system will ensure accountability in the management of assistance, she added. Azizah said that as the Minister responsible for Welfare Department, she would not compromise on discipline and those found to have committed any wrongdoings or abuse of power would be dealt with according to the law. “Stern action would be taken should such problems or wrongdoings occur in the Welfare Department,” she said. Azizah also suggested more rehabilitation centres be set up for people with disabilities in urban and suburban areas as well as villages in the State so that they can be trained to be independent. She urged Welfare Department officers to be proactive in improving their services, especially for single parents, domestic violence victims, senior citizens and underprivileged children and those with disabilities. She said she has been receiving numerous complaints about Welfare Department officers being not fully committed to serving the public, such as not being responsive and sensitive to the needs of those requiring help from the Department. Furthermore, she said, some officers are not in the office during office hours and some are ignorant in handling cases under the jurisdiction of the Welfare Department. Asked at a press conference later whether the time taken by the Department to process applications for assistance should be reduced, Azizah replied: “To ensure that the Department provides their service effectively and avoid unnecessary bureaucratic procedures, I have suggested that the delegation of power be reviewed. “I have also suggested that the length of application be reduced to 30 days or one month.” Asked whether the officers at the district level should be allowed to make a decision on minimizing the bureaucratic process, she said that currently, it would not be possible as the approval of applications is based on the yearly budget.


Claim of BN leaders quitting a lie: Kiandee


The people have been urged not to believe the Opposition’s “lie” that several Barisan Nasional leaders are planning to leave the ruling coalition. Member of Parliament here, Datuk Ronald Kiandee, said it has become the Opposition’s latest trick to lure and distract the people from continually trusting BN. “The Opposition have been spreading the lie that several BN leaders are ditching the ruling coalition in an effort to, create political unease in the State,” he said. “Therefore, we should not listen to this lie. We must realise that such stories are tactics by the Opposition to distract the BN leaders. This is exactly what they are waiting for... to disunite the BN leaders,” he said. Speaking during a meet-the-people session at Kampung Botition near here, Kiandee said he is optimistic that the Opposition’s tactics would not work, especially as the people’s trust in the ruling coalition is still strong. “It is the people’s choice, especially in the rural areas. This is obvious with our performance during the 12th general election last month,” he said, adding that the rural folks believe that BN is the only Government that would be able to bring change and development to them.


BN risks losing Sabah
MP Mojigoh accuses KL of denying qualified Sabahans of jobs, promotions


Barisan Nasional (BN) will likely lose Sabah in the future if the Federal Government continues to overlook the need to promote and appoint qualified Sabahan civil servants in federal departments. Putatan Member of Parliament Datuk Dr Marcus Mojigoh said the Federal Government is risking the continued support of Sabahans or BN by alienating qualified Sabahan government officers; not promoting or appointing them. “It creates unhappiness, uneasiness and anger among Sabahans towards the BN Government and it must put a stop to all this nonsense. If not, the Opposition will take advantage of the rakyat’s dissent and BN will be finished the next election,” Mojigoh warned. He also took the Federal Government to task for not recruiting any Sabahan among junior officers in RTM Sabah. “I was told by a source from RTM that 30 newly appointed junior officers from Peninsular Malaysia started work in RTM Sabah early this year,” he said. “The people want to know why not a single Sabahan Organization (UPKO) Vice resident said. Voicing his frustration over the situation, Mojigoh said this is something like colonization and it rukes Sabahans unhappy. “It seems like we (Sabahans) are not part of Malaysia and it is akin to looking down on Sabahans... To them, we have no value,” he said. The Federal Government, he said, knows very well that Sabah is facing unemployment problem, therefore it should offer jobs to the unemployed graduates here. “I was informed that the new Federal State Youth and Sports Department Director is also from Peninsular Malaysia. Why wasn’t the Deputy Director who is a Sabahan promoted? The Government should not have overlooked the Deputy Director,” he said.


Pakatan Rakyat a wake-up call Jahid


Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) Youth Chief, Jahid Jahim said the Sabah Barisan Nasional (BN) should not treat People’s Pact (Pakatan Rakyat) being formed by the Opposition lightly. He regarded the formation of the PKR-DAPI-PAS alliance as a “wake up call” to the State BN component parties and reckoned that they should start working harder in strengthening the coalition. Jahid, who is Assistant Youth and Sports Minister, was commenting on the formation of People’s Pact by the Opposition parties in an effort to present themselves as a credible alternative to the BN Government. PKR Adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday that DAP Adviser Lim Kit Siang, PAS President Datuk Seri Hadi Awang and PKR President Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail had all agreed that the move to formalize the Alliance be brought back to their respective parties for approval. To strengthen the BN, Jahid suggested the coalition come up with a calendar of events with the participation of members from the respective component parties. “We must have continuous plans to organise more activities, not just political programmes but also cultural and sports events in the calendar,” he said. Silam MP Salleh Kalbi concurred with Jahid, pointing out that the Opposition parties are trying to copy the BN. He said although the PKR, DAP and PAS had wrested powers from the BN in five states in Peninsular Malaysia, majority of the people are still supporting the BN Government.