News & Updates

Education Ministry, golf associations need to cooperate to promote golf in schools

KOTA KINABALU: The Education Ministry and state and national golf associations need to foster close cooperation to promote the sport in schools, said Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman.

He said this commitment should be highlighted, especially through the Malaysian Schools Sports Council (MSSM) National Golf Championship, which is an effective platform to produce world-class golf athletes.

“This initiative will highlight new talent and enhance the skills of young athletes through intensive and systematic training to pave the way for Malaysia at the international golf arena one day,” he said in a speech at the closing of the MSSM National Golf Championship, here on Thursday night.

His speech was read out by Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun.

Musa also commended the Education Ministry and the agencies concerned for their commitment and role in developing the prestigious sport among the younger generation.

Selangor emerged as overall champion at the event, followed by the host Sabah contingent in second place, and Negeri Sembilan in third place. — Bernama

Source: Borneo Post

RM250,000 upgrade for Anjung Selera

Kota Kinabalu: Popular seaside eatery Anjung Selera will be upgraded in some aspects including signage, wiring and restrooms with a RM250,000 allocation from the Domestic Trade, Cooperative and Consumerism Ministry.

Deputy Chief Secretary to the Ministry, Datuk Mohd Arif Ab Rahman, said upgrading works started early March and is expected for completion next week.

“We cannot do an overall upgrading because funds are limited,” he said, when officiating the State level Penjaja 1Malaysia programme by Local Authorities and Housing Minister, Datuk Hajiji Noor, Sunday.

He said the Ministry was allocated RM7 million to upgrade selected business premises of hawkers and small entrepreneurs nationwide with an aim to provide a safe, cleaner and conducive environment within and around the premises concerned.

Hajiji, on the other hand, said the Penjaja 1Malaysia programme (PP1M) is proof of the government’s concern for the hawkers and small entrepreneurs’ welfare.

Another proof is the Hawker and Small Entrepreneurs Cluster Insurance Scheme also known as National Hawker and Small Entrepreneurs 1Malaysia Insurance Plan (P1MPIN), he said.

The P1MPIN, he said, is given free to the 1.5m hawkers and small entrepreneurs throughout the country. “For this reason, the Government has provided an allocation of about RM16 million for this year,” he said.

All the hawkers and small entrepreneurs need to do, he said, is to register with either the City Hall, District Council or District Office to benefit from the P1MPIN.

On other developments, he said, the Federal Government has agreed to provide RM50 million this year under the Micro Funding Scheme to assist the hawkers and small entrepreneurs obtain additional capital or purchase better and modern business equipment.

Hajiji said the traders would take out loan up to the RM50,000 under the scheme without any interest.

To this, he urged hawkers and small entrepreneurs who have yet to register with the authorities to do so fast.

Through the organisation, he said, their voice would be better heard as well as to have better networking.

The Government also, he said, has provided a fund, in the form of grant, of RM4 million for the implementation of programmes and activities by hawkers and small entrepreneur organisations.

Paragliding event takes off with 29

Ranau: The three-day Borneo Open World Paragliding Accuracy Category 2 took off gracefully with 73-year-old Datuk Tengku Zainal Adlin flying off the hills of Ranau to officiate the event, Thursday.

Some 40 participants signed up but 11 withdrew due to the intrusion in Lahad Datu by armed Filipino terrorists last month.

Adlin, who is also Sabah Tourism Board Chairman, said that the event is a catalyst to expand on Sabah’s eco-tourism appeal.

“This is an event that we want to upgrade to an international level because this area is perfect for paragliding,” he said.

Malaysia’s top paragliding pilot Mohd Amin Ismail agreed. “This is the best training area (Ranau) and Sabah’s landscape is beautiful, so it’s very interesting to paraglide around this area.

“This isn’t an elite sport. Everyone can do. You don’t have to be too athletic.

It’s more of a mental game,” said Amin.

Pilot Ali Ahmad from Qatar shared Amin’s sentiment. “I like this place.

It’s amazing. Nice views and very nice people.”

On the cancellations, Adlin said he sees it as a challenge.

“We understand that the cancellations were made in response to the advisories from their respective countries but it’s ok. We see this as a challenge to push ourselves.”

Forty pilots from six countries were supposed to participate in the event, which ends Saturday (March 30). But 11 last minute cancellations dropped participation down to 29.

Antony Lewis from the United Kingdom said he was not influenced by the incident because of the distance between Lahad Datu and Ranau.

“The incidents are 200km away which is a long way away,” said Antony, who works in Singapore and visits Kota Kinabalu every month.

“I love KK. I think it’s a great city. It’s very happening and full of activities for tourists.

I really want to climb Mt. Kinabalu and then fly down. I’m going to do it this year in October with this team,” he said.

The Borneo Open World Paragliding Accuracy Category 2 is organised by the Malaysia Sport Aviation Federation (MSAF Paragliding), co-organised by the Kinabalu Paragliding Club, sponsored by the Sabah Tourism Board and sanctioned by the Federal Aeronatique International Malaysia Sports Aviation Federation.

Source: Daily Express.

A solar ‘first’ for St Michael

Penampang: SM St Michael became the first school in Sabah – and probably in the country – to have the solar photovoltaics (PV) system installed on its roof to reduce the school’s electricity consumption.

Thanks to a worldwide project named “dena Solar Roofs Programme” that is coordinated by the Deutsche Energie-Agentur GmbH (dena) or German Energy Agency and co-financed by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi), the school became the programme’s first recipient in Malaysia.

The aim is to install the PV system on the roof of a Malaysian school and to teach the students about environment protection and renewable energies as well as encourage international partnerships.

St Michael was chosen due to its successful environment-friendly projects as well as the school’s positive spirit and enthusiasm in advocating renewable energy.

Solarsysteme Sachsen GmbH completed the installation of the rooftop PV system this year in January.

It was initiated in October last year in cooperation with the school.

The PV technology fits well in Malaysian tropical weather where almost every roof is suitable for PV systems as long as it fulfils the static load requirement. Thomas Brandt, General Manager of Malaysia-German Chamber of Commerce, said the prospect is especially interesting for East Malaysia because of the remote areas where energy supply via the national grid is not possible or too expensive.

“PV systems are seen as an innovative option by offering a cleaner, more sustainable solution to consumer’s dependency on fossil fuels to generate electricity.

“It is also a mature and secure technology which is independent from energy supplier and future rising technology costs,” he said.

The PV systems installed at SM St Michael consists of 24 panels, two inverters and a battery system distributed over 41 square metres rooftop of the school, which has 903 students.

The solar system generates approximately 6,800kilowatt hours (kWh) of solar energy per year and helps to reduce the school’s utility costs.

The system also includes a back-up system whereby the energy stored in the battery can be used during power blackout and can provide energy 24 hours a day.

In an effort to reach out and educate the local community of the benefits of the rooftop solar system, a display panel has been installed in the centre of the school to display the actual power in kW and the accumulated generated energy (in kWh) and CO2 savings over the entire period.

The “dena Solar Roofs Programme” was launched in 2004 and is co-financed by the Germany Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology.

It aims to support solar energy companies to enter new markets.

Gabriele Eichner of the German Energy Agency said ever since the dena solar roofs programme was launched, about 50 similar projects have been carried out in other parts of the world.

“The main goal is to support the cooperation between German and Malaysian experts in the field of photovoltaic and also sharing of knowledge about the systems under the specific conditions in Malaysia,” she said.

Sustainable energy supply, she said, is increasingly becoming global importance to many societies in the world.

Today, she said, there are more than 17 per cent of the final energy consumption is covered by renewable energies worldwide and provided employment to five million people.

She said that in Germany alone, there are more than 380,000 people who produce, develop and sell solar plants, and thus create value.

“Currently, photovoltaic is the 13th most important energy source worldwide,” she said.

Permanent Secretary, Datuk Hashim Paijan, officiated at the event on behalf of Minister of Industrial Development, Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah.

Source: Daily Express

50 tourists help locals in beach clean-up

 A SUCCESS: 40 bags of rubbish collected in ‘Keep Mabul Clean’ campaign organised by dive company

AS security forces continue  their operations to hunt down Sulu terrorists in Lahad Datu, about 50 tourists from several countries joined hands  with the local community to clean up Pulau Mabul  beach here yesterday.

Organised and sponsored by Scuba Junkie, which won the Wild Asia award for Responsible Tourism 2012, it marked the dive company’s 1,000th beach clean-up.

The clean-up saw 40 bags of rubbish collected and brought back to the mainland to be disposed of by the Semporna District Council.

Scuba Junkie has been running their “Keep Mabul Clean” campaign for the past four years with great success.

Together with beach clean-ups every second day of the week, they had also set up and sponsored the only rubbish collection point on the island.

Director Richard Owen said: “It’s great to see so many people participating. The positive feedback we received from the locals is fantastic.”

The situation in Lahad Datu and the incidents in Simunul last week had not deterred tourists from visiting Mabul.

Owen said Mabul Resort was fully booked the last two days, with 10 of its 12 dive boats filled with divers.

Although rumours were being spread, Owen said tourists at the resort were confident with the level of security.

“We are also in constant contact with the authorities who have been informing us daily that the area here and the islands are safe and secure.”

Louise Hayter from the United Kingdom, who took part in the clean-up, commended the dive company for giving back to the local community.

“Mabul is a lovely island. I have had some of the best dives in my life here over the last few days.

“I have felt safe throughout my stay here.”

Source : New Straits Times