News & Updates

In tune with Sabahans

KOTA KINABALU: When Joanna Funk returned home to Sabah after decades of working in Britain as a journalist, she was delighted to discover a thriving music scene.

That was four years ago. She saw there was no shortage of local talent, citing the examples of groups such as Momain Blues, KIDZ and Hinava.

Funk, 49, then started a blog ( ) devoted to Sabah’s music scene.

One thing led to another and she even tracked down teenage talent Raimon Sukudat at his kampung in the northern Kudat district.

Her blog focusses on musicians and events such as the KK Jazz Festival.

An offshoot of Funk’s online endeavour was a 240-page hardcover book titled Sabah Songs which was launched by state Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun  here yesterday.

Funk said she believed that musical talent prevailed among many Sabahans but they needed to be nurtured.

“Among the things we need more are venues where performances could be held,” said Funk, who is married to a fellow Sabahan. They have a 17-year-old son.

Masidi said the state was spending about RM6mil to improve the acoustics at the Sabah Cultural Centre which was being converted as a centre for the performing arts by the middle of next year.

“We will be installing the necessary audio and lighting equipment so that events such as or orchestral performances and plays could be staged there,” Masidi added.

He said the state’s music scene was a thriving one due to Saba-hans’ acceptance of the diverse races and religions.

Source : The Star

Former Sabah hitman Ollerenshaw makes top ten list

Kota Kinabalu: Scott Ollerenshaw said he was extremely humbled and honoured to be named by a Malaysian online news portal recently as one of the top ten superstar signings that had made an impact on the scene since the game turned professional over the years.

The 45-year-old former Australian international first came to Sabah in 1994 and it was towards the end of the signing deadline when Kelly Tham spotted and recruited him.

He made an immediate impact upon his arrival at the local scene, forging a telepathic partnership with Matlan Marjan and the two terrorised opposing defenders with their goal prowess.

Scott also boasted a record average of more than one goal a game for four straight seasons while playing for Sabah.

He netted an astonishing 180 goals from 110 matches that saw him winning the Golden Boot twice before his retirement at 31 due to a serious hip injury.

He is married to ex-national karate exponent Michelle Koh and runs his own sports tourism business in Kota Kinabalu which specialises in organising junior and adult football as well as lawn bowl tours of Sabah and regularly appears on Astro’s FourFourTwo as a football pundit.

Another Sabah foreign import, the late David Rocastle also made the list.

The former England midfielder who was a household name as an Arsenal player joined Sabah in 1999.

He had also played for Leeds, Manchester City as well as Chelsea but nagging injuries restricted him to appear in only 13 games for Sabah, during which he still managed to score eight goals.

The other eight players on the list are Juan Manuel Arostegui (Argentina), Laszlo Repasi (Hungary), Merzagua Abderrazak (Morocco), Emile M’bouh M’bouh (Cameroon), Stephen Keshi (Nigeria), Karel Stromsik (Czechoslovakia), Tony Cottee (England) and Singaporean Fandi Ahmad.

Source : Daily Express

China tourists prefer Sabah, flights up

Kota Kinabalu: State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said starting from this month there will be increased flights between China and Kota Kinabalu to cater to the increasing number of tourists from China.

“As of July this year the number of Chinese tourists who came to Sabah is already equal to the entire number of tourists who came to Sabah last year.

So tourist-wise in terms of the Chinese market we are doing well.

“International tourists this year have also been better than last year so we can expect more European tourists as well.

“The flights from China have also improved. Two months ago I went to China and Hong Kong to negotiate with the airlines to increase their services to Sabah.

“I am happy to inform that starting from the end of this month there will be an AirAsia direct flight between Guangzhou and Kota Kinabalu everyday. Starting from this month also there will be three direct flights a week by Malaysia Airlines between KK and Shanghai .

“Starting this month there will also be 25 direct flights a week between KK and Hong Kong by three carriers i.e. MAS, AirAsia and Dragonair.

“I want to also say that we estimate that by the end of this year the highest number of tourists to Sabah are tourists from China.”

Masidi said as of November, there were 126 chartered flights from China to KK and this shows the Chinese are choosing Sabah as their favourite destination.

“I hope we can take note of this to leverage what we have in Sabah to cater to the visiting Chinese tourists to Sabah.

“This can only mean there is a commercial benefit to us in Sabah, especially food providers, and I can assure you that Lido is one of the few food outlets that will benefit from the arrival of these visitors from China,” he said at the official launching of the State’s fourth Hawker Food Festival 2012 at Lido Square, Monday.

Masidi congratulated the Lido Hawkers Association and the hawkers for their food and service quality which, he said, has been improving each year.

“We should be proud because we have the ability and skill to serve food of the highest standard in Lido Square. Lido is famous and the top choice of tourists from China. And each time they come to KK the first thing they ask is where is Lido?”, he said.

Later Masidi and other VIPs proceeded to tour and sample the food of the hawker stalls in the area.

Also present was Mayor Datuk Abidin Madingkir, Perlido Association Chairman James Chan Chau Vun and Malaysian Hawkers Association National President Lee Teong Chwee, Street Food 2012 Festival Organising Chairman Chong Kim Fah, Perlido adviser Datuk TC Goh, Sabah Gerakan Chief Datuk Gordon Leong, Hakka Association Sabah President Datuk Jimmy Tham and City Hall Director General Datuk Yeo Boon Hai.

Source : Daily Express

Top marks for Sabah forest management

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s forest management practices are getting international recognition with a Scottish university researcher saying that it is making a difference in efforts to minimise climate change.

Edinburgh University PhD student Michael V. Galante said his thesis research showed that Sabah was “leading the chart” in sustainable forests management.

“I have been in Sabah for over 10 years, and this time my research is on climate change mitigation through reduced-impact logging,” he said.

“I find that the Sabah government is doing well in its forests management, pro-active policy management and is a suitable place if you want to have a clean and great environment to work in,” he said after the launch of the climate change and environment photographic exhibition at the Kota Kinabalu city hall on Friday.

Galante said the impact of logging in the state had taken a toll on the environment with an increase in carbon monoxide, but was restored to a balance after the state government and the forestry department came up with policies to arrest the issue.

“Policies such as forest certification, guidelines on reduced-impact logging and having sustainable forest management were introduced, and now we can see how the environment is actually protected,” he explained.

Galante also said a copy of his thesis would be presented to the state government as well as given to the archives next year.

Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry permanent secretary Datuk Michael Emban  said about 60% of land in Sabah was protected.

“This shows how sincere the state government is in forest and environment conservation,” he said.

“We cannot go without development as people need to survive, but everything needs to be done on a balanced ground,” he added.

Source : The Star

Sabah scholarship going strong

KOTA KINABALU: IN a noble move 44 years ago, children from Sabah were sponsored to study in schools across Peninsular Malaysia and  Sarawak to strengthen national integration.

Initiated by Yayasan Sabah, the programme helped plant the seeds of integration through some 5,000 people who pursued their secondary education outside of the state since 1968.

The secondary school scholarship programme, where top achievers from primary schools all over Sabah are given priority, still exists and to date, more than RM50 million has been spent by the foundation.

SMK Pekan 2 Kota Belud teacher Zainorain Makbul, 43, recalled how simultaneously excited and worried he felt when he was selected to study at SK Khir Johari in Sungai Petani, Kedah, in 1981.

“I was from SK Taun Gusi in Kota Belud. It was a major change for me because I was barely 13 years old and had to leave my family.”

However, Zanorain adjusted quickly to his new environment as there were officers in every state to guide the students.

“During the holidays, we would be put together with other students from Sabah,” he said, adding that they were divided into four zones: north, south, east and west. Being in Kedah, he was placed with the north zone students studying in Perak, Perlis and Penang.

They only got to return to Sabah once a year, but with their holidays occupied with friends and activities, Zanorain said it made up for not being able to go back home.

He then went on to attend SMK Jitra and Kolej Sultan Abdu Hamid until 1987.

“Those were memorable years and it helped me make new friends,” said the teacher, who still keeps in touch with many of his friends in Kedah as well as others from Sabah whom he met there.

Another former student, Sabah Land and Survey director Datuk Osman Jamal, was in the peninsula from 1970 to 1975 before continuing his studies at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia in Johor.

“I went to the Muar High School, Royal Military College and Penang Free School, and it was an experience that I cherish,” he said.

“It was a programme that integrated students from Sabah with others in Malaysia. It worked as I am still in touch with many of my friends from other parts of the country and I believe others who were in the same programme share my feelings.”

The foundation was established by the state government in 1966 with three key objectives: to provide welfare aid, create economic opportunities and provide education to all youths in Sabah.

Yayasan Sabah has introduced several programmes, including providing scholarships to secondary school students and those seeking tertiary education, study loans, counselling as well as career guidance.

In 1976, the scholarship programme was expanded for Sabah students to study in Sarawak. The foundation also picked top students from Sarawak to study in Sabah.

Last year, Yayasan Sabah director Tan Sri Khalil Jamalul presented scholarships to 56 students. He assured them that they would be given the best opportunity to gain experience

Source: New Straits Times