News & Updates

Kiulu to develop its mulberry industry

KOTA KINABALU: Kiulu is going to develop its mulberry industry, said Sabah Tourism Board (STB) chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai.

The Kiulu assemblyman said he hoped to turn Kiulu into a food hub for the production of local fruits as well as in the production of mulberry.

He added that the climate and soil condition in Kiulu were suited for mulberry farming.

Presently, mulberry is being planted at Kampung Tudan, an isolated village which is 50 kilometres away from Kiulu.

The project was initiated by students participating in the National Enactus competition that was held in Kuala Lumpur recently. The students won the competition and would be going for the world cup competition which will be held in London next month.

According to a senior director of the University Malaysia Sabah (UMS) Research and Entrepreneurial centre, Dr Bonaventure Boniface during a press conference held at the STB office near here yesterday, the students started the project five months ago and got the involvement of 56 people from the village cooperative.

The villagers have planted 1,500 trees and have produced mulberry tea, skin whitening lotion utilising mulberry extracts and bottled sparkling water.

“We hope STB can help us in marketing the products produced by the villagers,” said Dr Bonaventure.

The proposal to market the products was received positively by STB and Joniston said STB had a marketing body, Sri Pelancongan, which could help promote the product at its network of shops.

“We plan to open more shops in the future,” he said.

He also told members of the cooperative from the village that plans have been made to improve the road from Tudan to Kiulu.

He added that once the road was completed, it would be easier for the  the villagers to market their produce.

The majority of the folk living in the village work as farmers but until recently, they have not been exposed to the true potential of the mulberry plants that are found in their village.

The business of the villagers has also remained stagnant due to the lack of sales channels and communal cooperation among the villagers.

The project, dubbed  the Morus project, has increased the monthly income of the villagers from RM517 per month to RM700.

The project has also brought about better communal cooperation between the villagers through the establishment of the village cooperative and they also have been exposed to business and cultivation management through workshops conducted by Enactus UMS.

In general, the aim of the project is to help the community to improve their living standard and economy.

Source: The Borneo Post

Promoting rural tourism in Sabah

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah is optimistic that rural tourism will gain popularity and benefit locals in the long run.

Sabah Tourism Board chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai said the recent Rural Tourism roadshow held at a shopping mall was a success.

“The two-day inaugural roadshow attracted 10,000 visitors and the number of people visting the four promoted places-Tambunan, Kiulu, Ranau, Kadamaian-is also increasing.

“Most districts in the state have also activated their committees to develop rural tourism at their places,” he said during a press conference on Universiti Malaysia Sabah’s (UMS) Mulberry project with the people of Kampung Tudan.

Joniston added rural tourism products would not only benefit the industry but also help to generate income among villagers.

On the mulberry project at Kampung Tudan, which is about 50 kilometers from here, he said the villagers should consider setting up homestays.

“Now that the village has become UMS’ pilot project on mulberry cultivation with its leaves processed into tea, lotion and other items, it can be developed in eco and agrotourism,” he said, adding the village is also producing stingless bee honey.

Joniston, who is also Kiulu state assemblyman, added the road infrastructure to the village would soon be upgraded.

The mulberry products, branded as Tudan Mulberry, will be marketed and sold via the board’s subsidiary company Sri Pelancongan Sabah Sdn Bhd.

Source: New Straits Times

American sailors and marines forge friendship and experience local culture in Sabah

KOTA KINABALU: United States (US) sailors and marines took time out from their grueling training schedule to enjoy their remaining days here by building on forged friendship with their counterparts from the Royal Malaysian Navy as well as experiencing the local culture.

Since the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA-6) first docked at the Sepanggar Naval base here for a port visit on Monday, the Royal Malaysian Navy organised activities to make their visitors’ stay a pleasant experience.

“We have invited them for a tour on our ships and we also organised friendly sport competitions at the navy base sports complex.

“We have also made sure that our guests get the opportunity to work with our navy personnel in doing charity activities with the local community,” said Eastern Fleet Commander Vice-Admiral Datuk Syed Zahiruddin Putra Syed Osman in a statement.

The USS America, carrying 2,500 sailors and Marines of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, was the sixth foreign assault ships that docked at Sepanggar navy base this year.

Its presence in the state signifies the strong relationship between Malaysian and the United States through defence cooperation that has long existed, which indirectly contribute towards state’s economy and promote Sabah as a tourist destination.

About 20 buses and 20 vans were provided for the convenience of American sailors and marines to move around in the state capital.

In a courtesy call, Amphibious Squadron Three Commodore Captain Rome Ruiz of the USS America (LHA 6) expressed gratitude for Royal Malaysian Navy’s friendly hospitality.

He noted that USS America crew members were excited to experience Sabah’s culture, adding there are also family members of sailors and marines who flew in from the US to spend their holidays in the state.

Source: New Straits Times

Serene moment at Memorial Day

SANDAKAN: The shared wartime history between Malaysia, Australia and Britain is a reminder of not only the sacrifice and endurance of those who perished but also the loss and longing of family members.

“Today marks the 72nd anniversary of the end of World War Two. We remember the prisoners-of-war and what history tells us they endured at this very site and on the death marches to Ranau,” Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Haji Aman said in his speech during Sandakan Day Memorial at the Sandakan Memorial Park yesterday.

“On this serene morning in this memorial park, we pause to reflect our continued desire for freedom and peace, and remind ourselves that there is nothing noble about wars.

“We also remember the local communities who took risks and lost their lives in helping the Allied Forces soldiers,” Musa said.

“Today, we enjoy peace in our respective countries. It is my hope that the peace we have will never be compromised by wars and disputes.

“There is much to learn from the painful history that we share. Let us all uphold unity and peace in our respective countries and let us not let the sacrifices of those before us be in vain,” he said.

The Chief Minister’s speech was delivered by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Raymond Tan Shu Kiah. Meanwhile, Sandakan Municipal Council president Datuk James Wong said the loss of those Australian and British Prisoners of War and the local people who made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure our future freedom, should always remain in our collective memories.

“As we continue to honour their memory and recognize their sacrifice, we also ensure that future generation will continue to appreciate the sacrifices of these fallen heroes and the true meaning of the words “Lest We Forget”,” Wong said.

The special friendships that have grown out of this tragedy should and will always be continued, he added.

Among those who attended the ceremony were Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia Rod Smith, British High Commissioner to Malaysia Vicki Treadell, Assistant Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Pang Nyuk Min, Sabah Tourism Board chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai and Karamunting Assemblyman Datuk Charles O. Pang.

Source: New Sabah Times m

UMS marine researchers to visit dugongs in Kampung Sim-Sim

KOTA KINABALU: It is normal for dugongs to be found in pairs such as the ones reported in the waters of Kampung Sim-Sim since last week.

Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) researcher Dr John Madin from its Borneo Marine Research Institute (BMRI) said this of the pair who were spotted at the shallow waters of the coasal village last weekend.

Previously, the village folk were abuzz when the marine mammal appeared there, and returned every time during high tide over the last few days. More than one dugong was spotted on one occasion.

“We will go to the village in Sandakan tomorrow, for now I cannot ascertain as of why they keep coming back to the shores there.

“While it is common for dugongs to be spotted in Sandakan waters, I was informed that was the first for the species to make an appearance at Sim-Sim.

“I have been in contact with the villagers and have asked them if there was seagrass (at the shallow waters). They could not be certain but they said some plants were visible,” he said when contacted by New Straits Times.

He was asked whether the dugongs came to that area because of food, as dugongs were known to feed on seagrass.

The Sabah Wildlife Department has told the public not to disturb the dugongs, which are listed as one of the totally protected species under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997.

Dugongs are in the same totally protected category with Sumatran rhinoceros, orang utans, sun bears, proboscis monkeys, clouded leopards as well as green turtles and hawksbill turtles.

“Maybe the representatives from the Wildlife Department could lodge a police report so that the public will not get close to the animals and disturb them,” said John

Source: Borneo Post Online