News & Updates

Kembara merdeka convoy tour 12 districts in Sabah *new!

SANDAKAN: Merdeka celebration in Sabah has been made more lively with the Kembara Merdeka Convoy organised by the Sabah Information Department which will tour 12 districts.

The convoy is made up of 80 participants involving 20 vehicles from agencies under the Information, Communications and Culture Ministry, Health Department and Education Department.

Head of the convoy, Durahim Jaman said the convoy started its journey on Sept 5 and has toured six districts, Kota Kinabalu, Tamparuli, Ranau, Telupid, Tongod and Beluran.

“At each visited districts, the Jalur Gemilang (the national flag) will be distributed to the local people to promote patriotism,” he said at a flagging off of the convoy at the Sandakan-district level, here.

The convoy was flagged off by Sekong Asssemblyman, Datuk Samsuddin Yahya. –Bernama

Source : Borneo Post

Royal visit testimony of our good conservation work – Masidi

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah has done well, especially when environment conservation is concerned, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s visit bears testimony to it.

Prince Williams and Kate Middleton will be visiting the state’s Class I (Protection) Forest Reserve, the Danum Valley Conservation Area (DVCA), located on the western side of the upper reaches of the Segama River in Southeast Sabah on September 15.

They are currently on their nine-day Southeast Asian and Pacific tour marking Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee. The royal couple is currently in Singapore.

“We are pleasantly surprised that the Royal Highness Prince William and Princess Kate have chosen to visit Sabah in this part of the world. I think it is an honour and testimony of the good conservation work that Sabah is doing,” said Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun, yesterday.

Met at the Petronas Raya Open House here, he said the Royal Highnesses are expected to visit the Royal Society’s South East Asia Rainforest Research Programme (SEARRP), a British non-governmental organisation that has been working in DVCA for about 25 years.

SEARRP was established in 1985 in response to mounting concern over the future of South East Asia’s rainforests and through a conviction that by gaining a scientific understanding of tropical rainforest systems, ecology and dynamics a significant contribution could be made to their sustainable management and conservation, particularly in the context of global environmental change.

Although the scope of the programme includes all of South East Asia, their efforts are primarily focused on Sabah.

“That itself shows not only the confidence in the international NGO and our policy, which is to conserve, but it bears testimony to the fact that, in a small way, a stamp of approval from the Royal Highnesses on all the good job by our international NGOs, the Sabah Forestry Department and all who are involved in the conservation work,” he said.

His Royal Highness Prince Henrik, The Prince Consort of Denmark and Queen Margrethe II, had also visited Danum Valley and according to Masidi, the royal couple had extended their two-night stay to five nights, “because they were overwhelmed by the richness of flora and fauna found in Danum Valley.”

Prince Hendrik, who is the president of Denmark’s World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), was a guest of WWF Malaysia and had also toured various conservation spots including Likas Bird Sanctuary, Kinabatangan Floodplain, Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre in Sandakan and Sukau Rainforest Lodge.

He visited the 43,800ha Danum Valley Field Centre in Lahad Datu and Maliau Basin, also known as Lost World, which lies in the interior of southern Sabah, and participated in a village home-stay programme in Ulu Padas near the Sarawak-Kalimantan border.

“This, for us, again, is an eye opener to many Europeans. Unfortunately Asians and the Third World countries in general are always in the news for the wrong reasons, and we are always being accused of turning our back to conservations, but I think what is happening in Sabah is exactly the opposite.

“I think we are doing better than other countries, including the First World countries and I think all Sabahans should be very proud,” he said.

Masidi reiterated his calls for the people to continue conserving and preserving the environment.

“The tourists come here for nature adventure, they like to see our sea, they like to dive and go to our mountain, and they simply want to go to our jungle because we have pristine jungles. I have said this many times and I want to say it again that for so long as we look after nature and environment, tourists will keep on coming.

“In fact I am happy to inform that for the first seven months of this years, the Chinese tourist arrivals to the state had gone up over a massive 40 per cent and this, to me, is again a testimony to conserve nature. Sabah is known to be a nature paradise, and we should keep it that way. I hope the people will understand that the moment we start destroying all the best of nature that we have, it is the beginning of the end of the tourism industry and I think we need to remember that,” stressed Masidi.

Source : Borneo Post

Miss Earth Sabah to promote healthy lifestyles

KOTA KINABALU: Miss Earth Sabah is on a new mission to promote healthy lifestyles, said its founder, Mandy Nandu.

While continuously practising its noble cause in educating young girls to help create awareness for the community to be more concerned in taking care of Mother Earth, they are now taking it to another level by promoting healthy lifestyles.

“Blending a lifestyle of going green and staying fit at the same time; ‘Greenfit’ is the term that nicely puts these two into one.

“Keeping fit and protecting the environment share a lot of things in common as the environment affects our health through the air we breathe, the water we drink, and not forgetting the food that we consume.

“And as concerned citizens and as protectors of our environment, we can play our roles more effectively when we are physically fit and healthy,” she said.

In line with this, Core Fitness is collaborating with Miss Earth Sabah to promote a healthy lifestyle through fitness and a cleaner, plus greener environment.

With ‘GreenFit’ as the theme, the official kickoff of this collaboration took place at Core Fitness City Mall recently with the presence of Nandu, who is also the franchise holder of Miss Earth Sabah and MNE Productions director, and the founder and director of Core Fitness in Kota Kinabalu, Sam Tan.

During the event, a one-year membership and brand partnership were officiated between Core Fitness and Miss Earth Sabah. In addition, the half-day event also featured the handing over of membership cards to the finalists who will be members of this green-initiated fitness program.

Source : Borneo Post

China Southern Airlines to fly direct to Kota Kinabalu

KOTA KINABALU: China Southern Airlines will fly direct to Kota Kinabalu from Guangzhou from Aug 31, 2012, said Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun.

He said talks with the airline started two years ago and recently, it was given the nod to operate the route twice weekly.

“It had previously operated chartered flights to Kota Kinabalu.

The airline, which initially feared low passenger load, has opened bookings for the Aug 31 flight,” he told reporters after opening Rafflesia Spa Essentials, an outlet selling spa products here yesterday.

Masidi said the state government had started talks with China Eastern Airlines on the possibility of flying direct to Kota Kinabalu.

The airline had flown several chartered flights to the city last month, he said.

However, he said, there were a number of issues to be addressed, including suitable flight times. — Bernama

Source : Borneo Post

Ministry to continue support for Coalition Duchenne – Masidi

KOTA KINABALU: The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment will continue to work together and support the Coalition Duchenne organization to promote Sabah and its cause.

Its minister, Datuk Masidi Manjun, said his ministry would continue to support the courageous efforts of Coalition Duchenne to help raise global awareness and funding for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Masidi, who was represented by assistant minister Datuk Ellron Angin, said this at the appreciation dinner for Coalition Duchenne Mount Kinabalu Expedition here, on Sunday.

He urged the expedition be extended more, and experience Mountain Torq, the world’s highest and Asia’s first Via Ferrata, or ‘iron road’, at 3,200 metres to 3,800 metres above sea level.

Masidi also encouraged the participants to visit the surrounding places of interest such as the Kundasang War Memorial during their visit here.

On another note, Masidi expressed his appreciation towards Coalition Duchenne founder Catherine Jayasuria for continuing to use Mount Kinabalu for the Coalition Duchenne Expedition and getting 61 international participants from 13 countries to come to Sabah to join the expedition.

Catherine founded Coalition Duchenne in 2011 to raise global awareness for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, to fund research and to find a cure for Duchenne.

Coalition Duchenne climbed Mount Kinabalu as part of its second annual Mount Kinabalu Expedition on August 24-26.

Meanwhile, Catherine thanked the climbers who came from various countries, including Sabah, West Malaysia, Europe, Philippines, Singapore and the United States.

“The climb was tiring and challenging, but not as tiring and challenging for boys who have Duchenne.

“They spend their lives in wheelchairs, dreaming of doing the things that we do.”

She said the expedition would raise awareness of Duchenne, which would, in turn, attract more funding for treatment and cure for Duchenne.

Catherine said the funds raised from Coalition Duchenne would go towards the research of the disease, adding that the organization had entered a research programme with a biotechnology company in the United States.

Source : Borneo Post