Stories, news, update from KePKAS

Sabah to get two new museums, says state assistant minister

KOTA KINABALU: Two museums – in Kudat and Ranau respectively – are currently being developed as an addition to the existing 11 museums and galleries in Sabah.

The new facilities are Tun Mustapha Museum (in Kudat) and Ranau Dusun Civilisation and Ethnic Heritage Museum, said State Tourism, Culture and Environment Assistant Minister Datuk Pang Yuk Ming during the question and answer session at the state assembly sitting here.

In response to Datuk Mohamad Alamin’s (BN-Bongawan) question on possibility of building mini museums in each district, he said there is no such plans at this moment.

“The development of these two new museums will boost research, documentation and publication fields to uplift the functions of museums as knowledge building institution in the form of exhibition, collection, history, culture as well as nature besides becoming a tourist attraction at that area.

“While we have no immediate plans for mini museums, my ministry via State Museum Department welcomes any initiative by any communities in Sabah that wished to create their own museums in respective districts,” he said.

State Agriculture and Food Industry Assistant Minister Datuk Musbah Jamli replying to a separate question, said 104 individuals from 12 countries have been caught for attempting to bring in animals and various animals produce through Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) last year.

“From the total, 40 percent of 42 are individuals from China, 24 from Hong Kong, 10 from Taiwan and nine from the Philippines, among others.

“Total value of seizure is 282.84 kilogrammes worth RM23,143,” he said in response to Datuk Ahmad Bujang’s (BN-Sindumin) inquiry on how many have been detained for breaking the laws in bringing in animals and plants through the state’s entry points.

In the same year, 44 fighting cocks worth RM16,000 and 33 poultry (chickens and chicks) worth RM6,790 have been confiscated through Sandakan entry point and Tawau ferry jetty.

“No individuals have been detained on committing the offence of bringing plants from outside into the state’s official entry points.” he added.

Source: New Straits Times

More recognition awaits Kinabalu

Ranau: The Kinabalu Park is inching closer towards becoming the bearer of yet another of Unesco’s recognitions with efforts to introduce the area as a Global Geosite.

Sabah Park Director Dr Jamili Nais said the proposal will once again harness the spirit of camaraderie between the State Government, Sabah Parks and the communities surrounding Mount Kinabalu towards achieveing the common good.

“Within Unesco there are three main recognitions, namely World Heritage Site, Global Geopark and as a Biosphere Reserve via the Man And Biosphere Programme.

“Kinabalu Park is already recognised as a World Heritage Site, while the Crocker Range Park has already been acknowledged as a Biosphere Reserve. That leaves us with one last recognition to attain, which is as a Global Geopark. And as far as I can recall, there is only one single place on earth where all three recognitions were successfully obtained, and that’s Jeju Island in Korea,” he said.

Jamili said should the effort to vie for the Global Goepark status from Unesco resulted in a favorable outcome, then we could laud to the whole world that Mount Kinabalu and Crocker Range have attained the coveted Unesco “Tripple Crown”.

Jamili said this in his welcoming speech at the Kinabalu Geopark Proposal (Siri 1/2017) briefing that was held at the Rafflesia Meeting Room in Kinabalu National Park on Friday.

To make it all happen, four proffessors from the National Professors Council – Prof Emeritus Dato Dr Ibrahim Komoo, Prof Dr Che Aziz Ali, Prof Dr Sanuddin Tahir and Prof Dato Dr Norzaini Azman – were present at the briefing.

“Prof Emeritus Dato Dr Ibrahim Komoo is an old friend of Sabah because through his hardwork, the Kinabalu Park was declared a World Heritage Site in 2000. He is here again to spark a new venture for the third recognition.

“Along with him are three other professors, including Sabah born Prof Dr Sanuddin Tahir. Together with the State Government, Sabah Parks as well as the communities surrounding the foot of Mount Kinabalu, we will strive for the repute,” said Jamili.

Meanwhile, he said that to achieve the title is actually not Sabah Park’s main priority, but the co-operation and relationship between Kinabalu Park and the surreounding communities.

“This goes in line with the fundemental essence of a Global Geosite when summed up in a nutshell, which is the concept to foster a beneficial bonding between the environment and the community.

“This means our pledge as the community to care for the invironment, not only for this generation, but also our descendents for thousands of years in the future, so that they too will be able to breath fresh air, drink fresh water and live in a secured environment that is enough to be enjoyed by all,” he said. – Clarence G Dol

Source: Daily Express

Handicraft woven from bamboo can generate RM20 mln for Keningau

KENINGAU: Kraftangan Malaysia believes that handicraft woven from bamboo can generate up to RM20 million in revenue annually for Keningau with the right marketing and promotions.

Deputy Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin said the district’s fine, quality bamboo handicraft, such as bags and containers, had been attracting Asian and European tourists to buying it.

“Bags, especially those made by craftsmen from Kampung Batu Lunguyan using the Dusun traditional motifs, are durable.

“It is not impossible that the village comes to be known as the ‘Land of Bamboo’ as its handicraft is of the highest quality and can potentially penetrate the international market,” she added.

She told reporters this after officiating the state-level Kraf KampungKu programme in Sook, near Keningau here yesterday.

Also present was the Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department and Sook State Assemblyman, Datuk Ellron Alfred Angin.

Aside from Kampung Batu Lunguyan, Mas Ermieyati said Kraftangan Malaysia would also be assisting 15 other villages in Keningau, also producers of bamboo handicraft, to market and promote their products to achieve the RM20 million revenue target.

Aside from the Tourism and Culture Ministry, 28 other government and private agencies are also involved in the implementation of the state-level Kraf KampungKu programme.

It includes the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry, the Federal Agriculture Marketing Authority and the Sabah Economic Development and Investment Authority.

Mas Ermieyati said that next year, Keningau district would be organising the Visit Keningau Year, which would include a large scale promotion of bamboo handicraft.

She also said that as of February this year, 3,960 handicraft entrepreneurs in Sabah had registered with Kraftangan Malaysia, of whom 1,098 are forest product entrepreneurs, with sales totalling RM4.69 million.

Meanwhile, Kraftangan Malaysia Director-General Zuraida Mokhtar said the agency had always emphasised on sustainable entrepreneurial attributes, to ensure that the handicraft business continue and remains competitive.

“The Craft Village project is not just about implementation. It includes a holistic approach, with product laboratories, guidance, quality advisory services, product design and marketing,” she added. — Bernama

Source: Borneo Post

Dragon Boat Race good for tourism: Masidi

Kota Kinabalu: The Sabah FCAS International Dragon Boat Race can have a positive impact on the State’s tourism-related industries.

Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said, looking at the participation by international teams, it can bring a great number of visitors from overseas which leads to an increase in demand for accommodation, tour packages, food and dining outlets, among others.

“The visitors will bring life to the tourism sector with their affordable spending power and their stay will increase the hotel occupancy rate.

“They also can spend their day by visiting islands in Tunku Abdul Rahman Park after the Dragon Boat Race to enjoy adventurous tours to seek the proboscis monkeys as well as fireflies in the wetlands,” he said during a courtesy call by FCAS president Datuk Seri TC Goh.

Also present were the organising chairwoman Datuk Susan Wong and the committee members.

Masidi also agreed to be the guest of honour for the race’s sunset beach welcoming party at Likas Bay, on May 7.

Among the activities planned for the party are the torch lighting ceremony and exciting performances, including a dragon dance, singing and dancing.

Meanwhile, Goh disclosed that he is still waiting to get more participants aged below 20 to join the race this year.

“The existing participants are growing in age and it is important to get more young and energised teenagers to be involved and inherit the traditional sport event – the dragon boat race, after all it is a healthy sporting event,” he said.

Source: Daily Express

Japanese vessels come calling

Kota Kinabalu: Two Japanese naval vessels – a destroyer and a submarine – sailed into town Tuesday and promptly renewed the country’s pledge to never wage war again.

The peacetime mission of destroyer, Fuyuzuki (DD – 118) and submarine Michishio, is instead to bolster ties between Japan and Malaysia on top of being part of the training course for naval aviators on board.

It is headed by Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF) Training Submarine Division One Commander Captain Hiroyuki Habuchi, leading about 310 crew members including 50 midshipmen cadet pilots, on a four-day Japan – Malaysia defence exchange programme to the Sepanggar Naval Base here.

“We have two goals for our cruise, one is to make young naval aviators grow into excellent JMSDF officers, mentally and physically, through training and port calls,” said Habuchi.

“The other one is to deepen the relationship between Japan and Malaysia with all our crew and this is the very chance to achieve our mission.

“We believe that Kota Kinabalu is one of the best places for us Japanese to learn the history, refresh our thoughts and verify universal values such as freedom, democracy, judicial administration and so on.

“In the past, there was a wretched incident in this place, on Oct 10, 1943, approximately 50 Japanese and Taiwanese people including women and children, and about 10 local people who were cooperative to the Imperial Japanese Army were killed.

“Following this act, the Japanese side arrested 413 people as suspects, almost all were executed or starved to death.

“While the Japanese Army tried to settle the situation, many local people including women and children got into trouble and killed. We must never repeat the horrors of war again,” he said.

Habuchi went on to read a statement made by Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last year during his visit to Pearl Harbour.

The statement read ‘since the war, we have created a free and democratic country that values the rule of law and has resolutely upheld our vow never again to wage war’.

‘We, the people of Japan, will continue to uphold this unwavering principle, while harbouring quiet pride in the path we have walked as a peace loving nation over the 70 years since the war ended’.

“Our mission is to prove these words,” said Habuchi.

The vessels sailed into the base at about 9am and will be docked there until April 7 as part of the Japan–Malaysia defence exchange programme’s Officer Candidates’ Course.

They were greeted by officers and personnel from the Malaysian navy who were accompanied by dancers and garland girls from the Sabah Tourism Board.

Also there to greet them were about 35 students, teachers and members of the Kota Kinabalu Japanese Association.

“We are happy to visit the State capital which has seen many visitors using its port as an entrance to Borneo which is known as the third largest island in the world,” said Habuchi.

He explained that this year’s training course for aviators consists of its destroyer Fuyuzuki and submarine Michishio.

“The two vessels departed from Kure, Hiroshima on March 18, made a stopover at Katsuren, Okinawa, before making a port call here today,” he said, adding that their next port call will be in Vietnam before returning to Japan.

It is understood that the duration at sea for the destroyer is 44 days and for the submarine it is 57 days.

“I hope the friendship between Japan and Malaysia would be enhanced through this port call and I thank everyone for the warm welcoming ceremony,” he said.

Meanwhile, some 35 Japanese residents residing in the State capital seized the opportunity to visit Fuyuzuk.

The multipurpose destroyer, commissioned on March 2014, as the 4th of the Akizuki class, is equipped with sophisticated weapons from torpedoes to jammer launchers, decoy launchers and canister launchers.

But nothing beat the SH-60K / 60J helicopters which were clearly the main attraction for the visitors, both young and old alike.

“I had the chance to visit the naval base with my school friends a few times in July last year, it was interesting, but this time it’s a different ship of the latest model,” said 12-year-old Gai Ueno who is of Japanese-Sabahan descent.

“This is more exciting that the one before, I learned a lot of things …I like helicopters and I like studying about helicopters, so it was really nice to come here and see one up close,” he said.

Another resident, 10-year-old Aemy Iguchy said everything about the visit was amazing especially the helicopter.

“This is my third time going on board a Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force vessel but this time it’s amazing to see a helicopter,” she said.

Her father, Jiro Iguchy, an Environmental Conservation Consultant was equally impressed with the latest destroyer model and of course the helicopter.

“My children have been to this naval base several times before and despite having stayed in Sabah for 16 years, this is my first time entering the base.

“I am impressed with the high-technology, especially with the helicopter, I am also impressed with the good ties between Malaysia and Japan,” he said.

Meanwhile, Consul-General of Japan in Kota Kinabalu Hiroko Matsuo said she is very happy over the good ties between the Malaysian navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force.

“They will here for a few days and will be visiting the State capital for sight-seeing, it is good because most of the crewmen are young and new in the force, I think this is a very good experience for them,” she said.

The vessels, namely Fuyuzuki (DD – 118) and Michishio (submarine), will be here until April 7 as part of a four-day Japan – Malaysia defence exchange programme’s Officer Candidates’ Course.

Among activities lined up are courtesy calls on officers of the Malaysian navy, visits to the naval base facilities, sports interaction followed by a reception on board.

The visit is a symbolic event aimed at strengthening the relationship between the Malaysian navy and JMSDF, contributing to bilateral cooperation between both countries. – Sherell Ann Jeffrey

Source: Daily Express