Tuesday, February 24, 2009

“Hey, have you been to bing cheng located within the vicinity of ParkCity Commerce square?

“ya, I really like to travel there. The food there is sooo niceee! Last time when we were there, my dad came back with 3pounds heavier!”

“er…not that bing cheng, it’s Ice City, ”

“hahahaha…” I can only laugh to cover my embarrassment.

I mistakenly thought my friend was talking about another bing cheng which is Penang in Chinese. Oh my. That’s how I first heard of Ice City

in Bintulu. After the first visit, I find my friends and I keep yearning of it whenever the weather is scorching hot. The ambience is comfy and homely.

Sausages, French Fries and Chicken burger that make up Set B is highly recommended by my friends while French Fries gets a thumb up from me. I think they sprinkle pepper and spices on the French Fries which make them taste so yummy. We ordered the second plate of that after finishing the first one.

The pricing range is from RM4.80 – RM8.00 which is actually very reasonable and affordable especially for us being a student.(the ice is a bit overpriced i would say. overall the place is nice, food so-so but the ice is still acceptable).

I have seen many teenagers sitting in this café sipping and chatting away in a bunch. A place to bond your friendship I can say.

Just imagine, Outside is searing hot and you are staying indoors in an air-conditioned closure having snowy ice filled in your mouth…

Em…the feeling is indefinable and you got to find out yourself.

Tune Hotels Kuching Waterfront launches

tune-hotel by you.

Franchise hotel chain, TuneHotels.Com Waterfront Kuching will be operational on March 2.

The hotel offers 135 ensuite rooms within the heart of Kuching city and within walking distance to several shopping complexes such as Tun Jugah, Park Grand at Riverside Majestic.

A room at Tune Hotels can be booked online modeled after the low-cost airlines Airasia’s online booking. Promotional rate currently cited as low as R0.05 per night for stays between November 2009 to January 2010, and at RM5 per night for stays between March and October 2009.

However, read the fine print. A room cited at RM0.05 actually will cost you RM50++ and RM5 per night may well cost you RM80++ per night. So it wasn’t really cheap.

Aluminium Corporation of China (Chinalco) has agreed to invest a further $19.5 billion in Australian natural resources firm Rio Tinto in what will rank as China’s largest outbound investment to date. The unlisted Chinese metals and mining firm will invest $12.3 billion in aluminium, copper and iron ore joint ventures and another $7.2 billion in two tranches of convertible bonds.

rio-tinto by you.

The bonds will increase Chinalco’s shareholding in the Rio Tinto Group to 18% upon conversion. The bonds have a maturity of 60 years and are convertible at any time from 41 days after closing. The Australian bonds pay an annual coupon of 9% while the UK bonds pay 9.5%. $3.1 billion of the bonds will convert into Rio Tinto shares at a price of $45 per share and the balance $4.1 billion will convert at a price of $60 per share.

Read it at FinanceAsia

Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud said he would support the proposed second bridge crossing the Kemena river if there’s a viable plan for such project.taib-cm-swk-copy

“If you have a good plan for the bridge I’ll be happy to support it,” he said replying to Dato Morshidi Abdul Rahman, the executive chairman Golden Gulf International Flying Academy (GGIFA) suggestion for such a bridge.

Morshidi said, that a second bridge was needed to further spur balance development on both sides of the Kemena river.

According to Morshidi the parent company of GGFIFA Gulf Golden Square had submitted a proposal to the state government through Bintulu Development Authority on a private financing initiative (PFI).

He assured the state government would look into the proposal.

“However the chief minister the financing need to be studied carefully before the project to be seriously considered,” he said at the signing GGFIFA MoU signing ceremony at Bintulu Airport on Monday.

Food & Beverage Outlets -SIBU-

Hey Guys, When you visit to Sibu this is the best place for you to fill up your Stomach..
Recommended Restaurants At SIBU District

id name address

1. Ming Ziang Restaurant (Kingwood Hotel)

2. Golden Palace Restaurant (Tanahmas Hotel)

3. Gold Hope Restaurant (Sarawak House)

4. Blue Splendor Restaurant Level 5 Wisma Sanyan

5. Golden Happiness Restaurant Jalan Chengal

6. Sheraton Restaurant 1, Jane 4. Jalan Delta

7. Yi Pin Lou Restaurant 20-32, First Floor, Mission Road

8. New Capitol Restaurant 46, Kampung Nyabor Road

9. Beii Jin Restaurant 155-159 Kampung Nyabor Road

Fast Food Outlets
id name address

1. Pizza Hut 1.14, Level 1, Wisma Sanyan Directory of Ilotels and Inns ip-sibu

2. Kentucky Fried Chicken 1.1.3, Level 1, Wisma Bunyan
No. 19 Wong Nai Siong Road

3. Sugar Bun No. 1, Jalan Wong Nai Siong

4. McDonald (Sarawak House)

Hawker Food Centres
id name address

1. Taman Selera Kampung Dato

2. Taman Clara Muhibbah

3. Sibu Central Market (First Floor)

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the money was an extra allocation to help repair the damages to the facilities.

"This amount is not in our budget. It is something extra we give to the people of Sarawak who are facing hardship because of the recent floods.

NAJIB TAR by you.

Visit to the interior: Najib and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor
being welcomed by SMK Suai, Niah students on their arrival
at the school yesterday.

"For the damages to schools and public roads, we are still assessing the damage," he said when presenting aid to families in the Suai district located 100km south of Miri City.

"The disaster was extraordinary. In Kuching, the rainfall over a two-day period was equal to one year's total rainfall. In Miri, the rain was also very serious," he said.

Since January, floods and landslides have hit Sarawak, especially in the central and northern region of Sibu, Miri and Limbang.

A total of RM1,500 was given to families to repair their homes while RM3,000 would be given to those whose houses were completely destroyed.

Those who had death in the family would get RM5,000.

Farmers who had lost their crops would have their case assessed before aid is given.

Najib said the 4,375 families at evacuation centres would get RM500 per family while the 27,500 families who stayed with their relatives and friends would get RM300 each.

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam said some 10,000 farmers incurred some RM30mil losses after their crops were destroyed during the floods.

"I propose that these farming families be given an extra RM1,000 after we assess the damages," he said.

A permanent residence for Sekolah Seni

SOMETIME in June last year, the Eye wrote on the need for a centre for creative or artistic expression. Back then, the Eye made a suggestion that the existing State Legislative Assembly (DUN) building be turned into a centre for creative expression. Early this year Eye found out that the State actually has a school for the arts when a friend mentioned that his daughter had just started studying there. Apparently this school is called Sekolah Seni and is currently bunking in (or sharing facilities) with SMK Openg in Petra Jaya.

Despite the fact that the school does not have its own site and facilities, it has already gained national recognition for its success in developing talents in its students. The management of the school has assured parents of students that it is currently in the midst of looking into a few possible sites to build its permanent facilities.

old_dun by you.

Old DUN Complexes

A couple of weeks back, the local newspapers reported that the new DUN building will be complete soon and the State’s executives will be moving over for the upcoming sitting. So what will happen to the old DUN? Would the State consider giving the building to Sekolah Seni? With some funding from the federal government, through the Education Department, the place could be done up. The building is still in good condition — some refurbishment will be needed.

Let’s look at it this way, if the building isn’t structurally safe, wouldn’t the State have moved the Legislative Assembly members out a long time ago? They couldn’t have been taking chances on having a structure collapse and collectively wiping out the State government during the past sittings.

Let’s look at the interior of the building — there is ample floor space for the school’s population of 200 students. As this is a school that is selective of its students, each class does not have more than 20 students. There is the Dewan Santapan which can be turned into a hall for performing arts. There is the Sitting Hall which also could be used as a theatre. There is a resource centre which could be maintained as a library. There are offices and rooms that could be converted into classrooms and activity rooms. So why not?

The area is scenic and is a perfect and conducive location for a school for the arts. There is ample parking area and space outside for outdoor activities. Let’s not forget that there is that nice little park adjacent to the Wisma Bapa Malaysia.

New Dun by you.

New DUN Complexes

Eye was made to understand that some of the students at this school are from out of town and require hostel facilities. Eye am sure that something could be worked out in placing the students in nearby hostels and providing shuttles to school. There are a number of hostels belonging to other establishments along Jalan Semariang which are not fully utilised. Or consider building a hostel block somewhere within the Siol area and provide shuttle services. This would be a good way to conserve and at the same time utilise existing and historical buildings, instead of clearing more space and building more structures that will eventually become eyesores.

The Eye has always advocated the need for a centre of creative expression. A school for the arts is a good start. The students and teachers there deserve a facility where they are free to express their artistic talents. And somehow, the old DUN building has that touch and value to it — it is a piece of art and a part of history. A suggestion worth looking into. Perhaps the State should make known its plans for this dear old building to the people.

THE clamour for a road link to Kapit in the upper reaches of the Rajang River in central Sarawak is not new. A request for it was first made a long time ago but for some reason, has never been carried through.

At one stage, it was thought that linking Kapit with the rest of the state would not be desirable socially in that it might lead to people bypassing the then district. This may have been true, considering the town and the surrounding areas back then did appear to have little to offer to entice people to stay on.

But things have changed, the economic and geographical landscape in particular, and Kapit Division today is not only one of the most important timber-producing areas in the state but also has a growing population, and on top of that, is politically and socially linked to the rest of Sarawak, especially with the development of hydro power and commercial oil palm projects.

It’s, therefore, to be noted from the disclosure by Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department, Larry Sng, who is also state assemblyman for Pelagus, that during a recent meeting in Kuching, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Patinggi Najib Tun Razak had promised to look into the request for this long overdue road link as well the necessary funding for its construction.

What this indicates is a change of priorities which is to be welcomed, and since the proposed road link from Sibu to Kapit is only a short stretch, its construction deserves due consideration not because it isn’t very long but more importantly, the fact that it will connect the existing road from the lower part of Kapit to the rest of the township in the Upper Rajang.

Later as more funds become available, the entire stretch between Sibu and Kapit can be upgraded and made part of the internal highway system. Among others, this will improve accessibility from the interior to the other parts of Kapit and Bintulu divisions.

The benefits to derive from the proposed road link will be enormous both economically and socially. It will, inter alia, open up opportunities to bring in greater development to benefit the state and private sector investments … and ultimately the people as a whole.

Roads are vital economic lifelines and eminently important in a predominantly agriculture-based society like Sarawak, providing market access for farm produce and improving the mobility of the largely agrarian population.

The lack of a road link to Kapit has brought about a sense of inadequacy among the local populace, particularly when much of rural Sarawak, except for the deep interior near the Indonesian border, is already connected by roads of various grades.

While it is important to upgrade the existing highway from Lundu to Lawas and develop a parallel highway along the coast, the laying of secondary roads deserves no less attention if nearby growth centres and towns are to be integrated into the main highway system so that more people, especially those in the vast hinterland, can benefit from equitable economic growth and development.

This is especially important when the emphasis now is on agricultural development and increasing food production from which farmers, large corporations coming in as investors, the state and its people can benefit.

Food production is becoming critical in view of the rapid growth in world population. And from this perspective, Sarawak is blessed in that it is less affected by natural calamities, allowing for virtually uninterrupted development of the commercial agriculture sector.

To sustain this, it is imperative to have an excellent road network linking all the population centres – for instance Kapit Division which has traditionally served as the main goods and services distribution hub and trading point for the population around the division and the regions in Upper Rajang right up to Belaga and even Bakun.

The benefits already reaped from the present road link between Bintulu and Bakun are self-evident and a new road to be built soon from Bakun to Murum, the site of the new hydro electric power plant, will serve to enhance the economic potential of the area.

In the light of the foregoing, it is to be hoped that work can start soon on the new road link that will bring Kapit even closer to the rest of the state and country.

Couple in bloody quarrel

Gradates suffer serious slash, cut wounds; cops find cannabis in blood-splattered house

A young couple – both university graduates – was found with serious slash and cut wounds in a house at Desa Senadin near here yesterday.

Policemen who rushed to the scene to investigate also found what is believed to be four cubes of cannabis or ganja in the living room and a bedroom of the blood-splattered house.

It is learnt that a member of the public called the Miri police operations room after he heard a couple quarrelling in the house around noon.

A Mobile Patrol Vehicle (MPV) unit and other police personnel from Lutong Police Station were the first to arrive at the scene.

Policemen, however, were unable to enter the house as it was locked from inside, and thus they have to rope in personnel from the Fire and Rescue Department to cut the locked side door house grille before policemen forced open the door and rushed in to arrest a man who was covered in blood.

The man was found in the kitchen.

According to sources, the man, who is from Bintulu had just completed his tertiary education while his girlfriend who is from Batu Niah near here graduated about a year ago.

They were said to be staying in a house belonging to a relative of the girl.

A source said the knife-wielding man resisted arrest, and a police officer was slightly injured on his cheek in the scuffle.

He was later subdued and handcuffed.

The man sustained cuts on his neck, chest and arms while the woman suffered a deep cut on her neck and cuts on her hands, believed to have been inflicted with a kitchen knife and a pair of scissors which were found at the scene.

Blood was found in the kitchen and living room.

The man, who could still walk, was handcuffed and brought out of the house while the seriously injured woman was brought on a stretcher to a waiting ambulance before she was rushed to Miri General Hospital for treatment.

The duo was believed to have lost a lot of blood.

Infrastructure Develop-ment and Communication Assistant Minister Lee Kim Shin who was told of the incident later checked with hospital and was told that the injured female patient was in serious, but stable condition.

Miri CID chief DSP Mohd Zaini Che Din and senior investigating officer ASP Zainan Azili were at the scene to investigate.

A police dog unit team and narcotics police personnel were later dispatched to the scene.

The motive of the tragic incident is not immediately known, but the police are not ruling out jealousy or drug-driven frenzy which led to the bloody incident. Miri OCPD ACP Jamaluddin Ibrahim confirmed the case but refused to give details except to say investigations were underway.

Source : Mohd Abdullah and Philip Kiew

Assistant minister dies

Assistant Minister of Sports and Agriculture Datuk Dublin Unting Ingkot passed away at the Normah Medical Specialist Centre here, today.

Family members were at his bedside when he died at 1.25am.


Dublin Unting Ingkot

He was 54.

Dublin went into a coma after he collapsed at the RTM Sarawak complex following a massive stroke on May 22 last year after an interview over the Iban channel on the state’s preparations for Sukma in Terengganu.

He was the state Sukma chef-de-mission. He underwent neurosurgery to remove a blood clot and had since failed to regain consciousness.

He was the assemblyman for Batang Ai and was serving his second term as an assistant minister. He was also the vice-president of Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS).

With the next state election only due in May 2011, a by-election has to be called in the next 60 days.

In the 2006 state election, Dublin defeated SNAP’s Nicholas Bawin Anggat.

Dublin is survived by wife, Datin Froline Moriah Demies, and three children.

Source : Borneopost

Employees of Western Digital Media (M) Sdn Bhd (WD) are left in a lurch.
Instead of getting compensations for being laid-off as promised by the company management last week, they have been informed to continue working as normal until further notice.

The notice came as a surprise to some 1,500 employees who now face a lot of inconvenience concerning housing, paying back bank loans and taking new job offers or starting their own businesses.

An anonymous WD employee who comes from the production floor said when the company decided to shut down in December last year, many already prepared for the worst as a result of retrenchment.

He said some had plans to start their own businesses using their compensation money which was supposed to be released in batches starting Feb 17 to 20. But on Feb 16, a memo was sent to all employees stating that the retrenchment date had been deferred until further notice.

WD by you.

The reason given was because a company might acquire WD and its existing staff, said the employee who had worked there for more than 10 years.

WD took over from Komag Sdn Bhd one and a half years ago. Komag was set up in the 1990s.

It informed all employees about the closure and that retrenchment would be done in batches with the first on Feb 20 and the second March 27.

The employee said: “Some of us already told our landlords that we will move out from our rented homes by Feb 23, but now that we’re still working and have to put up temporarily at friends’ houses.

“We also have colleagues from Miri who already sent their family members back last week and are supposed to leave Kuching this week but could not do so now because of the very last minute change. This is very unfair to us. We feel victimised by the company,” he told reporters here yesterday.

The memo, signed by WD vice president Datuk Don Blake said: “In the event that there is such an acquisition the closure and shutting down of its operation and the retrenchment will clearly become unnecessary and staff can continue to retain their jobs.

“In view of that, our factory operations will continue to run as normal and all employees will continue to work as normal in their respective working area and our last date of employment will be deferred to a later date that will be informed in due course.

“In the event that acquisition does not happen, the compensation package set out in Appendix A of the Notice which you have accepted will still be applicable with the exception that your last date of employment will be on a later date that will be informed in due course and the dates of signing of the deed of settlement and compromise and a supporting statutory declaration confirming due compliance with the terms of the deed will be on a later date that will be informed in due course.

“The company will keep the employees informed on the latest developments and decision once it is available in a next few weeks.”

Another WD employee said WD was playing ‘games’ with them and only concerned with protecting the company’s welfare not the employees.

“When some of us raised our problems to our human resource officers, we were told that the problems were ours, not the company’s and that the door was wide open if we were unhappy. But our problems started from the company,” he lamented.

He said because of financial constraints in recent months, some of them had asked for extension to pay back their car and house loans until they received their compensations.

“Whether WD finds a buyer or not, the company should fulfill its promise to us and pay the compensation as promised,” he said.

“Some of us already got new job offers and supposed to start work this week, but because of the change, we can’t leave WD. If we leave, we’ll lose our compensation,” he said.

He said they did not expect the change as WD management had advised them to look for new jobs and even organised job fair to assist them in finding new jobs.

“We don’t mind starting all over again with lower pay under a new management for as long as WD pays out our compensation,” he pointed out.

He urged the company to be accountable and transparent in its action.

“Don’t keep us guessing,” he said.

Another employee said: “How can you expect us to work productively under such pressure? Even if there is a new management, we’ll be unhappy and this will not be fair to the new owner.”

He urged the government, particularly Ministry of Industrial Development, to intervene in the matter as employees felt that they were on the losing end.

He said some of them sought assistance from the Legal Aid Bureau at Simpang Tiga and a lawyer advised them to be patient as the company might have reasons to sack them, which would leave them with nothing.

“We’ve been advised go to work as usual and not to stage any protests or give any reasons to the company to sack us in the coming weeks. Otherwise, we’ll not get a sen,” he said.

He said his fear was that the company was trying to provoke them into quitting their jobs voluntarily or to get them to create reasons to fire them.

The employee said they were told that their cheques were ready to be distributed to them starting Feb 17 but a memo issued on the evening of Feb 16 changed everything and put everyone in a limbo once again.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

How poor is poor?

It is ostensibly hard to tell who is poor these days. The lack of micro figures on poverty is said to be hindering efforts to pinpoint the actual segment of the population that are genuinely poor.

DO you consider yourself poor?

Most people have difficulty answering this question. Poverty is hard to define because it is multi-dimensional. In most practical settings, the inability to afford an adequate diet is the central element of the Poverty Line Index (PLI) and it’s not surprising the UN Millennium Declaration (UN 2000) links together the twin aims of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger.

But individuals may also consider themselves poor if they lack access to school or healthcare or if they have no access to safe drinking water or sanitation services, aspects of daily life that most people take for granted.

In Malaysia, poverty is based on comparison of household income with the PLI. Typically, income shows more short-lived variation overtime and it makes little sense to consider a household poor if its income only temporarily falls below the PLI.

Young individuals often have low income while they acquire essential skills through education or on-the-job training. By a life time income criterion, such individuals are not poor but during an income survey, they might be counted as among the poor.

A similar issue arises with households whose income is highly seasonal. For instance, the income of households engaged in farming might fall dramatically in some months and if they are sampled in those months, they might well be thought poor even when their annual income is well above the PLI.

It is ostensibly hard to tell who is poor these days.

For instance, walk into a temporary settlement or squatter area within the city and you are likely to see children of all races playing in the alleyways, and hear the noise from TV sets blaring from houses, some of which have Astro satellite dishes on the roofs. But a closer look reveals a different story — dilapidated houses unfit for human habitation, blocked drains that breed mosquitoes and the stench of uncollected rubbish piled up by the houses.

Thousands of urban residents have been forced to call these settlements home — many even pay for the privilege.

Yet statistically, their numbers do not seem to matter, let alone those in the rural areas.

The PLI based on the 9MP considers a family poor if it earns below RM720 in Peninsular Malaysia, RM960 in Sabah, and RM830 in Sarawak. Households with incomes below the poverty line are considered poor. Earnings of RM430, RM540 and RM520 fall respectively into the hardcore poverty category in the three territories.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, while tabling the 2009 Budget on 29 Aug 2008, announced the number of hardcore poor households in Malaysia had declined by 43 per cent over three years — from 67,300 in 2004 to 38,400 in 2007.

He said the government was confident that hardcore poverty would be eradicated by 2010. All this may give the impression that poverty is a non-issue, both in rural and urban areas, and that Malaysia is well on course to be rid of it completely. The reality, however, is quite different.

The lack of micro figures on poverty is said to be hindering efforts to pinpoint the actual segment of the population that needs aid. The macro figures — much more concerned with reflecting ethnic equity — are not very helpful to the people on the ground actually trying to tackle the problem of poverty.

The UN Development Programme (UNDP) macro figure statistics reveal that from 1976 to 2004, the number of households living below the poverty line in Sarawak fell from 60 per cent to just eight per cent and the vast majority of which were rural indigenous communities. Ibans and Bidayuhs account for the large majority of hardcore poor.

The 2007 Human Rights Commission of Malaysia Report on the Human Rights Approach to Poverty Reduction in the country (Suhakam HRAPR) had proposed to the government that when dealing with poverty and equal access to development, it was important to ensure there was no discrimination.

The authorities, the report said, should take a human-rights approach to dealing with the matter.

Dr Mohd Hirman Ritom, one of Suhakam’s commissioners, agreed Malaysia had a good track record on poverty eradication but it did not really paint the whole picture.

“Statistically, we have achieved a very significant drop in poverty rate — from 49 per cent in 1970 to 5.7 per cent in 2004. It certainly speaks volumes of what the government has done to improve the living standards of the people.

“But in reality, the micro figures are not very good. From the plight and experience of both the urban and rural lower income groups, there are still many poor among us,” he said.

Dr Ritom said poverty in Sarawak was still very much in the rural environment, pointing out that last year, Suhakam did micro studies in four areas — two in Kuala Lumpur, one each in Sabah and Sarawak — and found 84 per cent of the 100 families surveyed in the East Malaysian states were earning less than the PLI.

“Our studies in two rural villages in Sarawak and Sabah showed high incidence of poverty. Of course, some people were upset with our studies but that’s the reality.

“Those who participated in the survey in Sarawak were mostly farmers and fishermen. The studies involved only one village. I agree statistically we have done well but we could have left behind certain communities such as farmers, fishermen and the Penan in the rural areas.

“Incidence of poverty could be very high among the groups which we don’t know about as there are hardly any micro studies being carried out,” he added.

Dr Ritom said in a human-rights perspective, poverty reduction was about giving people access to everything like a business cycle.

He said Sarawak, in particular, had solid a development plan and training programme. There are many human development programmes to meet the needs of Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) and to try to reduce poverty.

He pointed out that Suhakam was not stopping development from taking place but something worthwhile to the community must be done to ensure they get access to everything like clean water, good education, transportation and communication services as well as sufficient income from the project.

“Because without all these, they are living in poverty,” he added.

Dr Ritom said many in the rural areas claimed they had not benefitted from poverty eradication programmes and suggested the delivery of these services and benefits be re-examined and made available to all the targeted groups.

“Allocations, funds, loans and grants meant to help reduce rural poverty should reach the rural people. Rural-based industries, hardly seen in Sarawak, should be set up to provide jobs for the rural people.”

He said the oil palm industry would be of great help if more rural people were directly engaged in the sector.

He suggested the private sector and government agencies involved in the industry give the local people better pay to help reduce poverty.

“Yes, the agencies were paying out million of ringgit for dividends but these were divided among hundreds or thousands of families,” he noted.

Quality education is another critical issue to be looked into seriously. The rural population is always at a disadvantage when it comes to this.

Dr Ritom suggested the best students from the rural schools be selected to further their studies in the urban schools which have good facilities — like what was done in the old days.

“As far as rural education is concerned, the quality is nowhere near its urban counterpart. In urban areas, they were talking about 13As in SPM while in the rural areas, only three or four As.

“Now the competition into university is very keen, and if no serious efforts were taken, rural poverty would remain a lasting problem as rural students would find it difficult to enter public universities and get better jobs,” he said.

He stressed the government also had to start somewhere to bring information and communication technology (ICT) to the rural communities.

Dr Ritom conceded achieving zero poverty was impossible as there would be sectors that would always be in poverty group.

“That’s why there must be a safety net for these people. A more efficient welfare policy has to be put in place. The young and elderly must be taken care of.

“For government servants, it may be ok as they still receive their pension but what about others who have no pension?” he asked

Meanwhile, whatever policy we settle on, we must ensure our citizens are healthy and well, both physically and mentally. If they are too depressed to work and learn, at the end of the day, it is our country that suffers from unused and unrealised potential.

It’s good to note the government is addressing the concerns of the lower-income group, especially in the light of higher food, electricity and transport costs.

The 2009 Budget includes several provisions targeted at this group, one of which is raising the eligibility criteria for welfare assistance under the Welfare Department from a monthly household income of RM400 to RM720 for Peninsular Malaysia, RM830 for Sarawak and RM960 for Sabah.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Left without a sen

Most divorced women find it very difficult to get maintenance from their ex-husbands even after a court order

THE institution of marriage existed even in the days of ancient Mesopotamia albeit in a different form. During those times, divorces were documented simply because they happened. Some causes of divorce took cognisance of adultery even as polygamy was considered a standard practice back then.

Early forms of marriage and causes of divorce that existed in the Cradle of Civilisation have continued till today. Causes of divorce, for instance, are still the same although recent additions to its grounds have made marriage a rather easy exercise that can be cast, shaped and allowed to die at will, especially by abusive and deceitful spouses.

In Malaysia, there is only one ground for divorce — when the marriage has irretrievably broken down. You have to prove any one of the following:

  • Adultery has been committed by your spouse;
  • You and your spouse have been separated for two years or more;
  • You have been deserted by your spouse for two years or more;
  • Your spouse has behaved in such a manner that you find it impossible to live with him or her.

One may petition for a divorce by mutual consent — both parties agreeing to the divorce by way of a joint petition or if there is no mutual consent, by way of a contested petition.

Any person wishing to file for divorce needs to be legally married. If you were married according to traditional or customary rites before March 1, 1982, you have a valid marriage and it is considered registered.

However, marriages must be registered after March 1, 1982, otherwise it is not valid in accordance with the Legal Reform (Marriages & Divorce) Act 1976. Under the Act, the conditions for divorce are that both parties must be married for at least two years and have been living in Malaysia. A divorce may be granted only by a court’s competent jurisdiction.

A divorce is always the least to be expected from a marriage, yet the number has risen to ‘worrying levels’.

According to statistics from the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry, the number of divorces reported annually is on the rise.

In 2006, for instance, 27,266 cases nationwide were recorded compared with 20,502 in 2005. In the case of Sarawak, 1,484 divorces were reported in 2006 compared with 1,130 in 2005.

The statistics also show about 136,550 divorces between 2000 and 2006 throughout the country and of these, some 6,719 were reported in Sarawak.

In the event of a divorce, does the wife, as the aggrieved party, have the right to demand payment of maintenance from the husband even if they no longer live together or are in the process of divorcing?

That’s what Lizy wants to know. She has been married to Eto for six years. (Both their names are changed to protect their confidentiality).

About three years ago, things between them began to change.

Eto, who worked in town, had not been going home and giving money to Lizy and their three young children. He also never called home.

Perplexed by his behaviour, Lizy often asked Eto if anything was wrong. His usual answer was that he was busy and financially tight.

Tired of his flimsy excuses, Lizy decided to get the truth out of Eto. Finally, he confessed he had been carrying on an extra marital affair. Realising it was pointless asking him to stay when his heart was somewhere else, she filed for divorce.

However, because she had resigned from her job on her husband’s request two years ago, she was jobless and did not have any income. How would she be able to cope?

thesundaypost did some research on the matter and found that for civil marriages, the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976 provides for maintenance of the spouse.

The wife can get financial support for herself and the children from the husband through maintenance if their marriage was legally registered or if they were married according to religious or customary rites before March 1982.

But maintenance ends once the woman remarries or if her ex-husband dies. Maintenance for the children (which is separate from maintenance for the wife) will, however, continue — even after the woman remarries — until they are 18 years old, or at another age so decided by the court.

The court can order a maintenance during divorce or custody proceedings when a decision or hearing is still pending or when the court is granting or has granted judicial separation or decree in divorce.

In making its decision, the court will refer to the wife’s needs. She has to list down her expenses and monthly budget for herself and her children.

The court, in deciding the amount, may look at the degree of responsibility each party bears for causing the breakdown of the marriage. If the wife played a major role in breaking down the marriage, chances are the maintenance order will be small.

Lizy claimed she had submitted her application for divorce and maintenance through the Legal Aid Bureau, and the court order had been issued to the husband to pay for her as well as their children’s maintenance effective sometime early last year. Till this day, she has never received a single payment.

After enquiring from a few informed quarters, thesundaypost was made to understand that most divorced wives faced ‘great difficulties’ getting maintenance (let alone on a monthly basis) from their ex-husbands even after a court order.

Attempts to obtain the number of such reported cases proved fruitless. But according to the Single Mothers’ Association of Sarawak (Pitsa), there are long overdue cases of men failing to pay maintenance not only among Muslim but also non-Muslim divorcees.

“As long as the man, regardless of race and religion, has that irresponsible attitude, I believe he won’t be bothered about his obligation even after a court order,” Pitsa chairperson Salmah Ibrahim said.

She added that the association had no records of its members receiving maintenance from their ex-husbands, believing that most of them are ‘fully on their own’.

“We have more than 600 members statewide. As far as I know, our members are mostly independent and motivated and involved in various types of small and medium scale business.”

The maintenance is believed payable from the date of neglect or refusal or from such date as is stated in the court order.

Under the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976, if the husband fails to make payment, he can be imprisoned up to one month for each of the monthly maintenance he defaults. If it’s one month, he can be jailed one month; if it’s one year, he can spend that time behind bars.

The laws are already there to protect both civil marriage and Muslim divorcees, yet many husbands can still get away with their irresponsible conduct. What can be done to the defaulters?

Pitsa calls for strict enforcement of the court order and pressuring the culprits to face the reality that they are legally obliged to pay their ex-wives and children maintenance on a monthly basis.

“Over the past years, we could say enforcement was lacking. We hardly heard of any husband being sent to prison for not complying with the court order.

“Despite defaulting on maintenance (alimony) for years, husbands are still free when they should be put behind the bars according to the country’s laws,” Salmah said.

She pointed out that Pitsa welcomed any move by the authority to sort out this pertinent issue.

According to lawyer Detta Samen, failure to comply with a court order is itself contempt of court which can result in the offender being sent to jail.

He said divorced wives should apply to the court for enforcement.

“Unfortunately, many are not aware of their legal rights or maybe they don’t have the means to engage a lawyer. So far in my experience, after I submitted an application to the court for enforcement, the wives made no more noise. But whether they are still receiving maintenance or not, I don’t know.”

He said by right, male divorcees should continue paying maintenance because the kids were still their children.

Friday, February 20, 2009


I think all sarawakian know bout Nabau/Big Snake that was out on Utusan Sarawak Paper Last Week. As far as i know.. this is the true legend in Sarawak. But the picture on the Utusan Sarawak paper is totally FAKE!.. Their copy the pic from google. My finding was the picture already on the net since year of 2007. But for Utusan Sarawak the SAME picture their published it this year 2009 and told that the thing was found at Kapit/Sibu division. haha really funny.. You can view this video/pic for proof of my WORD!!!!

This picture Taken From UTUSAN SARAWAK

The truth Beyond The FAKE UTUSAN SARAWAK Picture

This Video UPLOADED ON 2007 - The picture same as on UTUSAN SARAWAK paper.. You can see it on period 0:09 to 0:15... 
Owner This Video

For those from Utusan sarawak members maybe notice that this is the FAKE one. Please do not do this again, RM1 is not worth for me to buy your Paper with the STUPID FAKE NEWS!!!!!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

2nd Hand - Exhaust - For Sale

Exhaust by you.

Exhaust by you.

Exhaust by you.

Exhaust by you.

Description :
2nd hand Exhaust (owner-Mohamad Iszlie Aziz- My brother) is now for Sale to all serious buyer only! - 100% Serviceable - Tip Top.

Price : RM 200.00 - Neg. (Original Price RM450.00 as on Dec08)
(+RM50 -Inclusive Courier by Pos Laju -Outside Kuching) - Any Balance will be banked in back to your account - Free **Safety Packaging Service)

SIZE : Front Hole Cyl. - 3inch +/-
Center Cylinder - 6inch +/-
Long - 30inch/3ft +/-

Reason To Sell : Changed To Double Exhaust

To Those who interested - do SMS to this number 0128875784.
I will not entertain any call.

First come first serve basis only.

**The item will be packed as per IATA safety standard.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Some 1,300 evacuees from 255 families remained at 23 relief centres in central and northern Sarawak as the flood situation improved Monday.

An official from the state flood operations room said seven relief centres were still open in Miri, six in Sibu and five each in Bintulu and Mukah.

The evacuees included 48 people from eight families in the Skuau Resettlement Area near Sibu whose homes had been affected by landslides and road cave-ins.

“They are being housed at the Skuau community hall. The Public Works Department is working to repair the road where the cave-in occured as well as other damaged roads,” the official said.

She added that the water levels in most of the flooded areas were receding as there was not much rain Monday compared with previous days.

However, she said Kuching, Samarahan, Betong, Mukah and Bintulu divisions remained under a heavy rain warning.

She also said the Miri, Mukah, Bintulu and Sibu as well as state operations rooms were still operating around the clock while others were on standby and ready to be activated at any moment.

Rain, rain go away …

THE weather hasn’t exactly been at its best as expected over the Chinese New Year period (What can you expect when incessant rain coincided with the King Tide, which the Sarawak Almanac so accurately stated would come at the given times?)

Kuching - Flood

Depending on where you live, it is a boon or bane, or both. But it is not the usual thing to be visited upon twice, with all roads cut off within a short span of time, by flood waters that rose to two to three feet deep outside the house or a few inches or more on the ground floor.

Pity those who live in Bau, totally cut off for a few days when the only road out of the district was under several feet of water after the river overflowed its banks.

I suppose most people who have lived in the same old place have learnt to accept that fact of life. Selling the old house to buy a new one somewhere else, which you think might not get flooded is (to me) like trying to escape from a problem.

A family friend from the Ulu who is used to such visitation by divine intervention, as he would put it, can always turn to a boat with a 25hp engine, powerful enough to go against the currents and to reach the nearest dry land. It can be fun for the family, but not to many of us living in the city.

Many of us woke up on Sunday morning a fortnight ago, horrified to find that the big open space designed as a council public park outside had turned into a lake!

Pity the owners of the single storey terrace houses living across as they were under two feet of water, and the damage was evident several days later when they tried to dispose of damaged mattresses and wooden furniture.

The owners left them outside, next to Trienekens garbage containers, thinking the regular pick-up men would do the job.

No. Not this type of rubbish for the green truck. After several days, the affected house owners had little choice but to hire a pickup truck to remove the discarded household items.

Maybe the owners could have called up the company and negotiated or maybe the Trienekens men could have offered some suggestions and even help take away the discarded household items for a small fee, as a public service.

I am wondering whose responsibility it is to remove the debris left behind by the receding floodwaters at the roadsides and open spaces in front of many residential areas. The local council or house owners? As house owners, we do pay assessment rates and expect such services to be rendered by the local council.

True, these are small things but small things add up to become big things, and could become big issues too, which some politicians would love to pick up.

My friend CM Ong and I were driving in his four-wheel drive along the main Batu Kawa Road on the day many parts of Kuching city were under water. Parts of the highway were almost impassable as they were under a foot of water near the traffic lights, just before Petronas station in Batu Kawa.

Kuching - Flood

We thought it would have helped traffic flow if either PWD or the local council had sent trucks to place some stones to raise the road as a temporary solution, instead of allowing long queues of almost motionless traffic to form.

You can be sure that when traffic lights are down, it is unlikely that anyone would spring up to direct the heavy traffic. They’d probably feel it’s too wet or cold to be out there, standing in the middle of the road, directing the traffic while technicians are summoned to fix the traffic lights.

Would they come if you call them at the numbers displayed nearby? Hardly.

I am writing this in the backroom, which is my office of sort overlooking the back garden, beyond which is the heavily overcast sky at almost noon time. I had just got back from town, using what I would call Hacienda Road (thanks to Peter Kuek, the guy who used to operate the joint in the middle of nowhere a long time ago) near Sky Garden in Kuching. Parts of that road near the houses and shophouses were submerged in water.

The water level at Sungai Maong was also rising and soon to overflow its banks. The first affected houses would be those built close to the river.

A friend bought a piece of land nearby and built a nice house on it, believing it would never be flooded. Well, he was wrong. On FLOOD DAY, he rang up to say he couldn’t get out of his house! His house is near Chung Hua School No. 6, a place that is prone to floods from the frequent overflowing of nearby Sungai Maong.

The question everyone is asking is: What is the solution to the perennial problem? The Barrage or build a well-planned central sewerage system across Kuching city? Expensive, yes. But it has to be done, now or later. Of course, that is no solution should the seawater suddenly rise and flood the neighbouring areas due to some earth movement or for whatever scientific reason.

The likes of the recent floods in Jalan Padungan had never been seen before this, according to the affected shopkeepers. One ground floor shop selling household provisions and newspapers was under two feet of water. A week later when I went to buy a newspaper, the damage caused by the flood was still evident.

Almost everyone saw how bad the flood was. Yes, it is close to Sungai Sarawak. But we are supposed to have a barrage that can help get rid of the accumulated floodwater quickly. What happened? Was the barrage being manned at that time? Were the gates opened when it rained overnight upcountry and coincided with the King Tide?

Perhaps the authorities concerned should come up with a plausible explanation as to why after the heavy rain and King Tide, the old town centres were flooded as were many other parts of Kuching city.

It’s not enough to announce that a new river diversion channel is going to be built at a cost of RM130 million or more and that it should help solve the flood problems. Would it really? Planning is either too late and too little, or there is little planning to handle what officials call ‘flood mitigation problems’.

We must come clean to tell the rakyat just where the problems are, and whether this is being tackled and how. Otherwise questions remain indefinitely.

I remember that Violet Yong, the DAP assemblywoman for Pending, raised the issue in the State Legislative Assembly some time ago, but whether the minister responsible had responded or whether his reply had been publicised at all, I am not sure. Other elected opposition representatives also raised the same questions, reflecting the concerns of their constituents. Rightly so.

Without any concrete and positive measures being taken, we are going to face the same or even more serious problems in the years ahead with no real solution in sight. More land is being taken up by houses, shops, offices and schools, and the result is easily predictable if the drainage system is practically non-existent or remains in its present state and if there do not exist a properly-planned and well-developed central sewerage system (as we see in big cities like Singapore, KL, Hong Kong, Taipei, Tokyo and Seoul and even New York and London).

It is often said that the weather is ever so unpredictable. True. How do we forecast the unpredictability? Can we really? The degree of accuracy is probably more uncertain than to tell when the world is going to get out of its present economic and financial crisis, and when tens of thousands who have lost their factory jobs are going to get them back.

If there is consolation to some people, however, it is that there is a Chinese belief that water can also bring good luck.

So some people actually welcome the sight of water, especially before the Chinese New Year, believing it to be a good omen! The time, day, date and year it happened are good numbers for some punters too! The 6/49 and 6/52 provide enough space for all the numbers! .. But Im not played the number.. Haram for Muslim

It is also said that rain is sometimes followed by fire, and fire has many signs which can be interpreted in many ways too.

It’s still raining heavily outside since morning where I live.

Difficult to tell when it will end but I have to end now. Before I do let us wish those celebrating a wet CNY all the best for the Year of the Ox.

Useful Numbers

1. Kuching Resident Office 082-243301
2. Kuching District Office 082-414310
3. Kuching City South Council 082-242311
4. Kuching City North Commission 082-446688
5. Padawan Municipal Council 082-615566
6. Fire and Rescue Services 082-256685
7. Bomba Kuching 082-417712/994
8. Sarawak General Hospital 082-257555
9. Triennekens (waste collector) 082-612300 (KCH) 086-253959 (BTU)
10. Kuching Water Board (emergency) 082-240069
11. Sarawak Tourism Board 082-423600
12. Radio Taxi 082-341818
13. Astro Service Centre 082-294188
14. Kuching Central Post Office 082-244141
15. Pustaka Negeri Sarawak 082-442000
16. DBKU Library 082-244403
17. Kuching Civic Centre Library 082-416030
18. Telekom 082-429191
19. Kuching Airport 082-454242
20. Airport Information Services 082-457373
21. Road Transport Department 082-628700
22. Natural Resources Environment Board 082-447488
23. Domestic Trade and Consumers Affairs 082-245202
24. Kuching Port Authority 082-482144
25. Meteorological Services Department 082-257712
26. Weather forecast 082-452454
27. Marine Search and Rescue Centre 082-333205

Geology experts who are currently in Miri now to study the land structure of Canada Hill will present the initial report on their findings today.

The report would be presented to the Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities, Datuk Peter Chin, who is also the Member of Parliament for Miri, during a briefing session at the Miri Resident office.

Canada Hill, Miri -Landslide

Eights experts from different authorities in Kuala Lumpur arrived here yesterday to join the earlier group of three experts led by PWD’s Head of Research and Development, Dr. Che Hassandi Abdullah.

The eight are Selangor Director of Natural Resources and Environment Board, Dr. Zakaria Mohamad, Director of International Research Center on Disaster Prevention (IRCDP) UiTM International Centre, Prof. Dr. Roslan Zainal Abidin, Yang Emirza-Ain Mat Aris and Fadullah Jili Fursani Kemrry (both from IRCDP), and four from Mineral and Geosciences Department of Malaysia - Syed Omar, Zaidi Daud, Mohd Azhar Abdullah and Robin Junang.

Another expert, Deputy Director of NREB Sarawak, Dr. Richard Mani, will be joining them today.

Upon arrival in Kuching, the eight experts were brought to the Miri Division Disaster Operation Room for a briefing conducted by Deputy Miri Resident, Boniface Intang.
Meanwhile, eight houses in Kampung Lereng Bukit, at the foothills of Canada Hill, were destroyed when a landslide occurred at 1.04 pm last January 30. Fortunately, all the 78 affected victims managed to escape in time.

SIBUTI: Nine people escaped death when the vehicles they were in, plunged into a ravine after a road near Kampung Beraya caved in last Saturday evening.

All the victims, including an eight months’ pregnant woman, were reported safe and only suffered minor injuries.

Kpg Beraya Road Collapse

A section of the road at Kampung Beraya, about two kilometres from the main road junction, had caved in when the soil beneath it gave way and created a 15-metre deep and 35-metre wide ravine across the road.

The ravine had cut off the road link to Kampung Beraya. However, there are two alternative roads to reach four other villages in the area.

The nine people were travelling in two vehicles and in separate directions. Six in a 4WD pick-up were coming from the direction of Kampung Beraya while three in a Proton Iswara were going in the direction of the village. Four people in the pick-up truck were relatives of Telang Usan State Assemblyman, Lihan Jok.

The two vehicles approached each other and plunged into the ravine almost at the same time. Luckily, all in the two vehicles survived the plunge with minor injuries. The villagers helped them out of the ravine and sent the injured to Miri Hospital.

“It was dark and we were not able to see clearly ahead of us. We did not know that a section of the road had collapsed. What we had come across were sections of the road submerged by flood water,” said one of the victims, who wished anonymity.

Deputy Chief Minister, Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam, visited the injured victims at the hospital Saturday night after learning of the incident.

Assistant Minister of Infrastructure Development and Communication, Lee Kim Shin, Pujut State Assemblyman Andy Chia, Political Secretary of Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities, Sebastian Ting and Miri City Council (MCC) Mayor, Lawrence Lai joined Chan in the visit to hospital.


blogger templates | Make Money Online