Stories, news, update from KePKAS

Crucial builders’ role in green construction: Yeo

Kota Kinabalu: The construction industry plays a critical role in promoting green construction by conforming to the guideline as provided for in the green building index, said Mayor Datuk Yeo Boon Hai.

“Conformance is vital like when we are faced with the daunting task of tackling large amounts of illegal waste dumping within Kota Kinabalu city,” he said while officiating at the Earth Day 2017 celebration at the Oceanus Waterfront Mall here on Saturday.

Yeo’s speech was delivered by City Hall Deputy Director General (Operations) Noorliza Awang Alip.

“The application of green construction as part of the sustainable development concept will enable us to meet our present needs without having to deprive our future generations of the same needs.

“City Hall has long been an advocate and driving force towards green environment, particularly reduction of waste at source,” he said.

“The formulation of a solid waste master plan will provide us with the strategies, plans and implementation programmes that will promote a cleaner and greener environment for the city,” he added.

Yeo said he was pleased to see the level of commitment from all industry players especially the construction industry players who seek ‘to do better’ in green environment.

“The next step is to put our commitment into action. I believe the industry is similarly ready to do the same.

“Let us therefore work towards a greener environment and create a living environment for our future generations, this is also, in line with City Hall’s vision to make ‘Kota Kinabalu a clean, green and liveable city'”, he said.

Yeo also said that he was very happy to cooperate and give his full support to non-government organisations such as Sabah Construction and Domestic Waste Management Association (SCDWA) to develop and implement the necessary strategies, plans to address the illegal waste dumping issues and to enhance public awareness among the city dwellers in the city.

Green environment especially in construction has been a topic of great interest in the local construction industry over the last few years, he said.

“I am most delighted to learn that the industry is keen to join hands with the non-government organisations to further enhance our living environment.”

Also present were City Hall Director of Research and Innovation Department Benedick Oliver Lidadun, SCDWA president Steve Yeo and Oceanus Waterfront Mall general manager Mall operations Yong Kwo Gee. – Jo Ann Mool

Source: Daily Express

Sabah to represent M’sia at food expo in China

Kota Kinabalu: Sabah has been for the first time selected to represent Malaysia at the 8th Weihai International Food Expo in Shandong, China on June 16-19 this year.

Federation of Sabah Industries (FSI) Deputy President Richard Lim said the State was chosen to represent the country as Sabah has more similarities with Weihai City in Shandong.

“Both are coastal cities and Sabah is also strong upstream namely in aqua culture so we share the same common advantage in business.

“Apart from that we are also similar in terms of strategic location for example Sabah is strategically located as a hub for the Far East and Weihai is serving as a hub to Korea.

“Both aim to provide opportunities for local companies to interact, export and trade,” he said at a press conference on Saturday.

He added that FSI is working closely together with the Weihai Trade Development Agency in bringing industries from both countries together, sharing the common traits of a long shoreline, with strong marine aquaculture industries and strategic locations.

Lim revealed that so far about five exhibitors have confirmed their participation in the expo namely Sabah-based Food & Beverage Industries, Kimanis Food, Dong Sin Food, Cap Kuda Coffee, Everprosper Food and FSI itself.

“I strongly encourage those involved in the sectors of food and beverages or tourism to participate in this expo to promote their products, to establish their brand as well as attract Chinese investment and tourists to our beautiful Sabah.

“They are only providing us eight booths in the expo…we can ask for more but due to time constraints we cannot make it as the expo is in June.

“Booths and accommodation for the Sabah delegation have been generously subsidised.

And our exhibitors will not only mark Sabah’s first appearance at the prestigious expo but will learn more about businesses opportunities in Weihai City.

“According to officials in Weihai, there will be more exhibitors participating compared to last year with 431 companies occupying 670 booths.

“I do believe that there are tremendous chances for our products to be marketed there.

“With enough Sabahan participating exhibitors, there will be a designated area to showcase our local products and services at the expo,” he said.

Industry players can contact the FSI office at 088-49800 for more details about the expo.

According to Lim, China Weihai Food Expo started in 2010 and it is China’s first professional food exhibition focusing on quality and safety of exported agricultural products.

“Until now, it has been successfully held for seven years, attracting 105,000 professional purchasers from over 40 countries and regions including South Korea, Japan, Russia, Britain, the United States, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan etc,” he added. – Cynthia D Baga

Source: Daily Express

Sabah Tea Resort’s new ‘Go Sabah Frame’ a hit with visitors

RANAU: A new attraction has popped up in this popular tourist district – the ‘Go Sabah Frame’ (very much like the NatGeo logo), which stands quaintly at the Sabah Tea Resort.

Visitors are now flocking to the attraction, as they can take a picture next to the quirky installation, with the majestic Mount Kinabalu as the backdrop.

The frame installation was officially launched this morning, along with the Tourist Information Centre at the Tea Resort Restaurant

Tourism, Culture and Environment Assistant Minister Datuk Kamarlin Ombi said the Resort is an iconic tourism spot for Sabah, where local tea is produced to be sampled by visitors from Malaysia and abroad.

The new additions are expected to create extra buzz for tourist-magnet Ranau.

“If we do a massive campaign for this place, it can become one of the best tourist destinations in Malaysia”, Kamarlin said.

Meanwhile, the Resort’s Executive Director, Goh Mung Chwee, said that they have a vision of making Sabah Tea a must-visit destination in the region, and are planning more attractions for the plantation.

Goh said visitors numbers doubled or tripled recently, compared to last year’s figures.

“I think we are getting about 300 or 400 visitors daily, whereas last year, we only had about 100 people a day,” he said.

Goh added that besides the scenic view of the expansive tea farm, the unique tea-infused food on offer at the restaurant is an attraction in itself.

“We prepare food using tea as ingredients, such as ‘green tea nasi lemak’, ‘green tea pancake’, ‘green tea waffle’ and ‘green tea ice cream’,” he said.

Source: New Straits Times

Sabah first to launch policy on environment

KOTA KINABALU: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman launched the Sabah State Policy on the Environment during the 14th State Assembly Sitting here yesterday, making Sabah the first state to have initiated the formulation of the policy.

The policy outlines strategies and action plans based on five thematic aspects of the environment, namely land, air, water, biodiversity and social dimension.

To ensure effective implementation of the policy, the state government through the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment has just completed 83 strategies and 195 action plans based on the thematic aspects.

The action plans for the Sabah State Policy on the Environment will be implemented for 15 years from 2018 to 2033.

The policy outlines three objectives, namely to provide a vision for environmental conditions and standards, an environmental framework for regulatory mechanisms, and guidance for all decision makers and implementing agencies in the execution of the mandates and duties.

The policy principles are based on clean air, healthy rivers and forests, productive land, bountiful seas and cohesive communities.

To ensure relevancy, the policy includes up-to-date global concepts and values such as a green economy, balanced production and consumption, preservation of environmental and cultural heritage, protection of biodiversity, participation in global efforts for carbon balancing and other aspects of good governance.

Musa said the state’s policy on the environment was an important landmark for Sabah in managing the environment and its natural resources.

“It is formulated to take into account the importance of environmental stewardship and for the state of Sabah to practise environmental governance. The formulation of the policy is timely for Sabah, in view of the necessities to improve environmental performance in all sectors of the state economy as well as the society.

“The state’s robust economic developments have depended closely on the utilisation of natural resources which has brought immense benefits to  society. Thus, the state government has continuously endeavoured to harmonise the escalating challenges in the management of the environment and the natural resources,” he said.

Musa added that the environmental problems faced today were increasingly complex and required a broader cross sectoral and societal response.

He said he was proud to announce that Sabah was the first state to have initiated the formulation of the State Environmental Policy after the National Policy on the Environment was adopted in 2002.

The processes of getting views and opinions from all stakeholders started as early as 2011 and the policy formulation process completed in 2014.

The state will continue to gear up as Sabah’s abundant natural resources and the environment are very delicate, thus requiring complete sets of strategic planning, management and implementation.

“The policy serves as guidance for our Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment and other related ministries to carry out our respective responsibilities in managing the state’s natural resources and environmental affairs.”

With clear policy objectives, he urged all parties to work closely together to ensure successful implementation of the policy for the people of Sabah.

He congratulated the Environment Protection Department, an agency under the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment for the successful formulation of the timely policy.

“I note that the policy will form as catalyst to make the state of Sabah a liveable state based on its strategic location, high diversity natural resources, cultures and heritage of the people and a clean and healthy environment,” Musa said.


Source : The Borneo Post

Joniston pushing for rural tourism programme to empower villagers

KOTA KINABALU: Kiulu assemblyman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai has suggested the introduction of a Rural Mini Tourism Programme to hasten efforts to eradicate poverty and economically empower the rural population.

The Sabah Tourism Board (STB) chairman cited that a study by his board’s Product and Rural Tourism Development Unit done at various rural villages throughout the state, revealed their vast tourism potential.

Making the suggestion when debating the government policy speech at the state assembly sitting here, he said STB’s visits had revealed the eagerness amongst rural communities to participate in tourism initiatives.

“We should leverage on the growing awareness and interest among rural folks in tourism to push the industry as an alternative source of income and economic empowerment for them,” he asserted.

According to Joniston, the rustic charm, and clean and fresh air of rural areas make them attractive to foreign visitors from developed countries like Japan and Korea, who are able to savour the unspoilt environment – an activity known as ‘forest bathing’ or ‘lung washing’.

The proposed Rural Mini Tourism Programme would not only take advantage of this fact, but also help create awareness among the rural folks to keep their villages clean and protect the environment, which is critical in attracting visitors, he added.

He said the programme could be conducted similar to the Mesej programmes under the auspices of the state Rural Development Ministry.

“While Mesej’s focus is agriculture and land development, the proposed Rural Mini Tourism Programme could focus on eco-tourism, culture tourism, heritage tourism, traditional food and drinks tourism and adventure tourism,” he elaborated.


Source : New Straits Times