Thursday, April 17, 2008


Tyre dealers facing acute shortage of local workers


Tyre dealers in the State have appealed to the State Government to help resolve the acute manpower shortage faced by the industry which is shunned by the locals due to the laborious nature of the work. They made the appeal during a recent dialogue held here with the Sabah Foreign Workers Employment Agents Association (PAPPAS). The tyre dealers especially hoped the State Government could reinstate the quota allowing them to engage foreign workers legally, so as to address the problem which they claimed was getting worse. “No doubt there are still a small number of locals who are willing to take up the job but they normally won’t stay long, thus causing a high turnover of workers in our industry and this is affecting us badly,” said Candy Wong, the President of the Sabah West Coast, Kudat, and Interior Residencies Tyre Dealers’ Association. She noted that prior to this tyre dealers in the State were given a quota by the relevant authorities to engage foreign workers, but it has been abolished since last December. Despite ongoing efforts by the relevant authorities to act against illegal foreign workers, she said there were still many who managed to find ways to work illegally in the various industries. Can thus said that the. State Government should seriously relook into the current workforce situation in the State and come up with a more pragmatic approach to effectively resolve the issue, including legalising some of these illegal foreign workers. This would thus help solve the issue of illegal foreign workers and prevent losses of revenues to the State Government in terms of foreign workers levy. Meanwhile, PAPPAS promised to convey the tyre dealers’ plight to the relevant authorities, with the hope of finding a “win-win solution” for both the tyre dealers and the State Government.


Smuggled turtle eggs sold in Terengganu, says turtle expert


Turtle eggs, believed to be from Sabah and the Philippines, are being sold at three main markets in Terengganu. At the Pasar Payang, Simpang 3 and Batu 6 markets, the eggs belonging to the Green Turtle species, are sold for between RM23 and RM25 for a packet of 10. These are the findings of turtle expert Dr Juanita Joseph who said that as there was no restriction in the sale of turtle eggs in Terengganu, it has inadvertently encouraged smugglers to sell the eggs at the markets. A lecturer at the Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT) Faculty of Maritime and Marine Science Studies, she told Bernama here yesterday. “The smuggling of turtle eggs into Terengganu began after several turtle landing areas in the State were turned into turtle sanctuaries in 2005, to protect the Leatherback turtles. “If the sale of turtle eggs is not banned, it will lead to the extinction of turtles in Malaysia, and lead to more smuggling of turtle eggs.” She said there was no law to ban the sale of turtle eggs in Terengganu, except for the Leatherback turtle eggs. Dr Juanita claimed the eggs were sent to the peninsula, either by courier or post. A Bernama survey at several areas here found turtle eggs being sold near the Sandakan market at RM1.20 to RM1.70 each. They are sold discreetly by traders, believed to be foreigners who claimed the eggs were from the Philippines. - Bernama


UMS Vice Chancellor assures security measures will improve


Universiti Malaysia Sabah is making efforts to increase security measures for the safety of its students. The assurance came from UMS Vice Chancellor Datuk Dr Mohd Noh Dalimin yesterday in the wake of a case involving a 22-year-old second year Degree in Education student, who was abducted while walking to a church in Kingfishers, two days ago. “We are very concerned with the case, especially as it involves one of our students. We are making every effort to increase security, but unfortunately, we cannot monitor them 24 hours. “In fact, recently, we had a meeting among all universities in the country following a case where the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s bus was hijacked last year ... it had raised concern among the public on the safety of the students, especially the girls, and we are taking this matter very seriously,” he said when contacted by The Borneo Post, yesterday. Mohd Noh however said the latest case had also caught them off guard. “Students who live in the hostel are allowed to carry out their personal things before the closing time at 10pm. “They are allowed to dine outside, go to church or clinic, or deal with their personal matters just as long as they return to the hostel by or before 10pm. “In this case, the victim had gone out to church with a group of friends, it is normal especially with the examination approaching. They were walking and she was left a bit behind from the rest of the people,” said Mohd Noh. An eyewitness saw the victim being forced into the car at around 7pm. “One of our students, who happened to be riding motorcycle at the area, became a hero when he managed to jot down the car number. A report was lodged immediately and all information was passed to the Police,” he said. Mohd Noh congratulated the Police for their swift action. “Our only advice to all students is to walk ma group and avoid dark places. Do not leave anyone behind as it would only invite danger ... this is a sad incident and should not have happened, it was a misfortune,” he said. Mohd Noh said the victim’s family had been notified and it was learnt that they had arrived here yesterday afternoon from Sarawak.


Abduction: Leaders call for better security


Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) has called on all parties concerned, especially the police, to strive to step up crime prevention efforts, in order to better safeguard the people’s safety and property. Its Deputy Information Chief, Chong Pit Fah, made the call in a statement issued here yesterday, following the abduction of a female University Malaysia Sabah (UMS) student from Taman Kingfisher in Likas here on Tuesday evening, by a group of youths who came in a Perodua Kancil. Chong pointed out that the incident showed that criminals are getting more aggressive and bolder in their acts nowadays and if nothing is done fast, it may soon become a worrisome trend. “I have in fact highlighted on the need for the police to pay serious attention to the rising crime rate in Penampang area of late through the newspapers as well as during our Party’s joint Annual General Meeting (AGM) recently. This latest incident is indeed very much regretted. My heartfelt sympathy goes to the victim and her family,” he said. He thus called on all the State Assembly members and Members of Parliaments in the State to promptly reflect to the Federal and State Governments on the urgent need to improve the security in the State, especially in those crime- prone areas like Kota Kinabalu and Penampang. He especially urged all parties concerned, the Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) included, to conduct a comprehensive study on the root cause of the problem in order to come up with effective. measures to address the problem. Likas Assemblyman Datuk Liew Teck Chan said the news was shocking as such a violent crime rarely occurred in Sabah. “I was so angry and shocked when I received the SMS about the abduction,” he said when asked to comment on the incident. Liew said he too had asked the relevant authorities, especially the police, to improve the security level in his constituency as well as to increase the number of police booths in the area. Meanwhile, Kota Kinabalu Member of Parliament Dr King Cheu said the suspects were arrogant enough to ignore the country’s rules and laws when they abducted the student in public. “The elected representatives of the area had insisted that the security there, especially in Kingfisher, be improved but no action was taken and now the crime rate has increased,” he said. The Government, he said, should put up more streetlights in the area and make sure that they are functioning properly and the police must step up their patrol there for the safety of the residents.


Abducted UMS student rescued
Police arrest one suspect, aged 20, in Tambunan; hunting for another 29 year old suspect who forcibly took away female student on way to church at Kingfisher Park in KK


Police have rescued the abducted Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) student from Sarawak after a high speed chase which began from here to Kampung Rompon in Tambunan yesterday. The driver of the Perodua Kancil lost control of the vehicle during the chase causing it to skid and overturn near the village about 12.15pm. Police chasing the vehicle managed to apprehend a 20-year-old youth but another man who was in the car with him managed to evade capture by running into the jungle around Kampung Rompon, Kota Kinabalu District Police Chief ACP Ahmad Sofi Haji Zakaria said. Ahmad Sofi who gave a press conference here yesterday, said police were now tracking down the 29- year-old man who has been identified as Mohd Ariffin Bidin from Kampung Tarap, Bongawan to facilitate investigations into the case. According to him, police received a report about the 22-year-old student being abducted by two men in a Perodua Kancil about 9.15pm on Tuesday night. “The girl was on the way to church with a group of friends at Kingfisher and was walking behind when she was dragged into the vehicle which sped off prompting her friends to lodge a police report on the incident,” He said through swift follow-up action by the police, the vehicle was spotted in town here yesterday and a chase involving 20 police personnel ensued. The vehicle later skidded and overturned. The victim who was in shock, has been sent to the district hospital for treatment, he said, adding that this was the first such case this year. Initial police investigations revealed that the abduction was the work of the two individuals and did not involve any syndicates. “We are now investigating the motive of the abduction,” he said and assured the public that a manhunt has been launched to track down the second suspect and it will be ongoing until the man is apprehended. According to him, the suspect’s photograph will be distributed to all the police stations throughout the State to allow easy identification and those who have any information of the suspect can contact the Kota Kinabalu district police station at 088-242111 or any nearest police station. Ahmad Sofi also advised women not to walk alone in isolated and dark areas to avoid similar incidents from occurring. He thanked the people of Kampung Rompoi for their assistance and believe that with their help, the suspect will be apprehended soon. Also present at the press conference were District Police Chief DSP Zahari Mohammad and police officers from Kota Kinabalu and Keningau.