News & Updates

Ultimate Frisbee contest draws 150

Kota Kinabalu: American lawyer Matt Heibel is here to throw a disc around to a group of strangers.

“We’ve got people from Thailand, New Zealand, France, England, Hong Kong, Brunei. Even though it’s kind of harder to get you to see the draw.

You see 150 people from all these different countries. Everyone’s coming over to play some Ultimate,” said Matt.

Matt, who works in Guam, is part of the 150 Ultimate enthusiasts who took part in the 4th Annual Borneo Headhunter’s Hat Ultimate Frisbee (Ultimate) Competition at the Sukma Fields, Saturday.

A hat competition in Ultimate is where competitors sign up individually and then assigned to a specific team to compete. Some teams would be made up entirely of strangers.

To top it off, the game is played without a referee so players would call out their own or each other’s fouls. “It’s also co-ed. Men and women can be equal. It makes everyone good to each other and I think it’s a bonding experience,” said one of Sabah’s Ultimate pioneers, Julia Chan, who started playing the game when it was first introduced to Sabah by an American working for WWF five years ago.

“I live for Ultimate. It’s such a brilliant sport. It’s all about spirit and I’ve got friends around the world, ones I don’t even know, (because UF provides) you with an instant community and friends,” said New Zealander Natalie Sisson.

Edward Hill, an expatriate here, started playing Ultimate Frisbee six months after moving to Sabah.

“I saw them playing at the beach one Tuesday night and thought it was interesting and I joined in. It was great fun and the people are awesome.”

Since then, he’s represented the Sabah Ultimate team, The Headhunters, to Kuala Lumpur, Kuching and Miri.

Competition Organiser Dinoza Mahruf said he is capitalising on the international draw of Ultimate’s Hat competitions for Sabah’s tourism.

“Most of the people here booked tours before or after the tournament.

They don’t just come here to play. They came here to check out Sabah,” said Dinoza.

Matt visited Sabah specifically for the Saturday’s competition, saying “I heard about this Borneo tournament and I’ve always wanted to go to Borneo. The tournament came up and it’s a perfect excuse to come and travel.

“There’s a circuit around Asia that goes all the way from China and a North Korea tournament even, Australia, New Zealand, India, South East Asia, so many different places to play. It’s a great, great scene and Borneo of course, KK, is now one of the stops that people want to come to play,” he added.

Neighbouring countries like Thailand and Cambodia have already picked up on Ultimate Frisbee, with over 400 participants for its hat competitions.

Open competitions, where Ultimate Frisbee is played competitively with structured teams, has also been active around the region.

Natalie shared Matt’s sentiment saying: “The Asian UF scene is really growing. It’s got a way to go, for sure. I’m used to playing competitive but I really love the people here, they’re really enthusiastic. (They are) well-spirited and they’re improving all the time. I really like KK, I think it’s a cool city.”

The Annual Borneo Headhunter’s Hat Ultimate Frisbee Tournament began four years ago with 30 people with hopes to promote the sport to locals.

The number of participants grew significantly to 80 the following year, 120 last year and 150 this year.

According to Dinoza, for this year’s tournament, 30 of the participants are locals while the remaining players come from the peninsula and other international countries.

But Dinoza’s take on Ultimate Frisbee does not stop at tourism.

He hopes to one day introduce the sport as a school curriculum activity.

“We’re hoping to start off a proper UF Sports Club here.

I think it’s just about increasing the number of players and getting the whole committee done.

From there, it will be much easier for us to get into schools as well.”

He said he has done clinics in SMK Kolombong and SM All Saints and is hoping to bring the sports to colleges.

“We heard Institut Sinaran also has a bunch of players playing UF as well.

We’re already in talks with Kinabalu International School to have it as a curriculum activity,” said Dinoza.

Source: Daily Express

Suspicious gathering at Sepanggar a rumour – police

KOTA KINABALU: City police chief ACP Jauteh Dikun has refuted rumours that some 500 Filipinos have gathered in Sepanggar Bay in suspicious circumstances.

Jauteh said the police had dispatched officers to the location upon hearing of the information and had verified that it was only a rumour.

He therefore urged the public to remain calm, do not panic and do not listen to baseless rumours.

He also assured that the police have intensified security and remained vigilant to safeguard the security of the state.

Jauteh added the public could call Kota Kinabalu police station hotline at 088-221191 at any time for any inquiries.

Source : The Borneo Post

Pilot project to secure Sabah Mega Biodiversity

KOTA KINABALU: The Borneo Conservation Trust (BCT) with the support from relevant government department (i.e. Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD)) are in the midst of preparing a five to 10 years programme as a pilot project to manage multiple-use forest landscape and secure the Sabah Mega Biodiversity in Gunung Rara and Kalabakan.

Borneo Conservation Trust (BCT) conservation and research head, Raymond Alfred said in a statement that under the programme, each plantation would be needed to establish their own wildlife conservation unit.

Among others, the programme aims to initiative a monitoring programme to assess the status of elephants population. It also hopes to start the honorary wildlife warden programme as well as manage and restore degraded forests corridor, particularly those within the DaMaI (Danum Valley, Maliau Basin and Imbak Canyon) corridor.

Additionally through the programme, they also hoped to initiative enforcement using MIST and provide mitigation training and management measures to reduce human – elephant conflicts, he said.

Aside from that, the sustainable practice in multiple use forest management landscape would also be initiated. The programme shall also provide support to the “Kejora” cost of living and medical requirements in Lok Kawi zoo.

“BCT is now in discussion with our relevant key partners to materialize the 10 years programme. We hope to get the support from the State Government and relevant departments in charge of Tourism and Plantations,” he said.

Source : Borneo Post

Kuala Penyu’s eco tourism potential to be tapped: CM

Kuala Penyu: Efforts are afoot to attract more investments and tourists here by capitalising on the district’s potential to be a top eco-tourism attraction, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman.

He said the district had been fortunate after getting several mega development projects such as the Sitompok Bridge, schools and replacement of old water mains spanning from Limbawang to Kayul that cost RM50 million as well as the RM226 million water treatment plant announced by the Prime Minister during his visit to Beaufort recently.

“These projects will not only benefit the people in Beaufort but also Kuala Penyu. This is what we want, a leader who listens to whatever we ask, it will be readily considered for approval.

“But, it does not end here, we must not be easily satisfied, what is important, more will come for Kuala Penyu.

Since it is a very beautiful place our plan is to attract more tourists to come.

“With more tourists coming and investments it will create job opportunities for the local community at the same time creating economic spin-offs that benefit the whole district,” he said.

Speaking at the Chinese New Year open house hosted by Upko Beaufort at Dewan Dato Shahbandar Makang here Monday, Musa who is also Finance Minister said it was crucial that the people not be influenced by leaders from the opposition here.

“If we look at these so-called leaders most of them are actually re-cycled leaders,” he said.

According to him, the people should look for a leader who has a vision to improve the district and always finding ways as well as means to develop the district and surrounding areas like Mempakul and Menumbok, especially in the tourism area.

“Attending wedding receptions or funerals alone is not enough,” he said.

He said the State’s financial account had been endorsed and verified to be among the best-managed in the country by the Auditor-General.

He reiterated that the people here just like in other parts of Sabah were wise and politically-matured so they would know to reciprocate during the General Election if the BN government and leaders have done good things for them.

The BN government has a proven track record, particularly in fulfilling its promises to the people, unlike the opposition pact, Pakatan Rakyat, he said.

Musa pointed to Selangor, which used to be so developed under the BN government but now was going totally the opposite under the Pakatan state government.

“So this is a clear proof that they (opposition) make promises that they cannot keep,  so we must make sure we do not make the mistake (during election),” he said.

Towards this end, Musa said the present government under the leadership of Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had been very attentive to the needs of the people irrespective of race and religion.

“Billions of ringgit has been poured in by the Federal Government for the development of the State, including Kuala Penyu and I would like to thank the Prime Minister for giving more development projects to the State during his recent visit to Sabah,” he said.

During his visit to Beaufort, Papar and Tuaran recently, the Prime Minister was so pleased to see the strong unity among the people.

“We have so many different ethnic groups in Sabah but what is special is that we celebrate all festivals together and Kuala Penyu is no exception.

“We need to continue preserving this culture so that we can continue to live in peace and harmony as well as helping each other,” he said.

More than 3,000 people attended the open house here.

Later, Musa accompanied by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Yahya Hussin, Upko Beaufort Chief, Datuk Wences Anggang, Kuala Penyu Assemblyman, John Teo Mau Sing, State BN secretary Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan and Umno Beaufort acting chief, Isnin Aliasneh presented angpow to the senior citizens here.

Source : Daily Express

Sabah poverty rate down to 8.1%

KOTA KINABALU: The poverty rate in Sabah has continued to decline from 19.7 per cent in 2009 to 8.1 per cent last year.

Disclosing this yesterday, the director-general of the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Dr Rahamat Bivi Yusoff said this showed the success of the state government under the leadership of Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman in addressing poverty.

She said the poverty rate in the rural areas of Sabah also recorded a decline – from 32.8 per cent in 2009 to 12.9 per cent – and in the urban areas, there was also a drop from 9.8 per cent to 5.3 per cent.

Dr Rahamat Bivi added that a survey also showed that the household income throughout Sabah for 2012 rose to RM4,013 from RM3,102 in 2009.

“It represents a 29.4 per cent improvement with the average growth rate of 8.6 per cent per annum. This is a good achievement for Sabah because in just four years the household income has increased by a huge amount,” he told a press conference here yesterday on the Findings from the Household Income Survey (HIS) 2012 for Sabah.

Also present was State Secretary Tan Sri Sukarti Wakiman.

Dr Rahamat Bivi also said the average monthly income in the urban areas had also shot up by 22.7 per cent from RM3,803 in 2009 to RN4,668 in 2012 and in the rural areas, by 33.8 per cent from RM2,177 to RM2,913.

She said the HIS 2012 also indicated that the income distribution in Sabah has improved.

According to her, the Gini coefficient reduced from 0.453 in 2009 to 0.428 last year and that this reflected a more equitable distribution of income among households as a result of the implementaiton of a more comprehensive initiatives and inclusive socio-economic development programmes in Sabah.

“In particular, the implementation of specific programmes to assist the poor and low-income group to generate higher income,” he said, adding that among such programmes were 1AZAM, Agropolitan and Minis Estet Sejahtera Development as well as the livestock and commercial agricultural and microcredit programmes.

Meanwhile Dr Rahamat Bivi said the federal government has allocated RM24.8 billion under the 10th Malaysia Plan (Rolling Plan 1, II and III) for the implementation of development programmes which included the construction of basic rural infrastructure as well as education and housing assistance programmes under the National Key Results Areas (NKRA) in Sabah.

As a specific measure to help the poor and low-income earners, he said a total of RM293.5 lillion was allocated to implement 1AZAM under the NKRA Low Income Households.

As of December 2012, Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia (AIM) has also provided RM920.6 million to help the poor to conduct micro-businesses.

“More importantly, the continuous effort by the government to improve basic infrastructures including road and portable water has helped to improve the quality of life in Sabah.

“The improved connectivity also created a conducive environment for Sabahans to undertake their economic activities, hence improving income and reducing poverty,” she said.
Source : Borneo Post