Stories, news, update from KePKAS

Indonesian four-wheel-drive members travel across Borneo

KOTA KINABALU: Twenty-four members of the Pajero Sport Family in Indonesia travelled 3,500 km across Borneo as part of their annual long distance touring event.

Accompanied by their family members, they left Pontianak in Indonesia on December 25 2016 and travelled to Brunei Darussalam and Sabah, before ending their expedition in Sibu, Sarawak on January 3.

Expedition leader Rolly Rahardian said they were given very warm welcome by the four-wheel-drive clubs as well as tourism industry players in each of the countries they stopped by.

Speaking to reporters before heading off to Sawarak, Rolly said  the expedition spanned three countries in the island of Borneo, namely Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia.

Most of the expedition members, he said, were from Jakarta and expeditions like Borneo Escape 2016 is an annual event.

“We try to travel more than 3,000 km once a year and this year, we decided to tour Borneo and will log about 3,500 km,” he said.

“The welcome we were given by the Brunei Pajero Sport Community, Tutong Four Wheel Drive Association, Kundasang Four by Four Association and the Sabah Four Wheel Drive Association was great.

“We were also very touched with the welcome given by the Sabah Tourism Board and the state Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry as well as the High Commissioner in Brunei Darussalam and the tourism ministry there,” Rolly said.

He said the objective of this event was to strengthen ties between the members of their club as well as those in the three countries.

“We are also promoting tourism for Indonesia and this can be seen through the stickers we have on all our vehicles which are Mitsubishi Pajero Sport,” he said.

Rolly added that the expedition was scheduled to arrive back in Pontianak on January 3 and most would head home for Jakarta on January 4.

Source: Borneo Post

Bajau Sama Cultural Centre to be built in Tuaran

SEPANGGAR: The government will allocate RM7.5 million to build a Bajau Sama Cultural Centre in its effort to uphold the identity of the ethnic group in Sabah.

Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Hajiji Mohd Noor said that the centre will be built on 3.5 acres of designated land in Kampung Lok Batik, Tuaran.

“The groundbreaking ceremony is planned to take place in February and will be officiated by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Aman.

“I implore the Bajau Sama community not to forget their identity even after achieving success in life.

“We must practice unity, cooperation and solidarity to defend our nation,” he said in his opening address at the launch of the Bajau Sama Sabah Association (PBSS), Kota Kinabalu City branch.

Hajiji emphasised the need for a platform to uphold the identity of the second largest ethnic group in Sabah, so that it is up to par with all ethnicities in the State.

He also said that it is important for the Bajau Sama children to be highly educated and learned so that they can compete in the world, adding that knowledge should only be used for good and never to stir up their community.

“I hope the Bajau Sama community in Sepanggar and the Kota Kinabalu City PBSS branch will put this community in the main stream of national development,” said Hajiji, who is also PBSS president.

He said PBSS would continue to extend full support to the government under the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman

Hajiji stated that Malaysia in general and Sabah in particular have made tremendous progress to the extent of standing tall even among developed and Western countries.

“Sabah has also gained much under the leadership of Najib as Prime Minister, with his numerous visits and announcements of major projects.

“The biggest and lasting legacy that Najib will leave behind for Sabahans is the multi-billion ringgit Pan-Borneo Highway, by far the single largest project that he has launched in the State,” he pointed out, adding that Najib is one PM who listens.

On Musa’s role, Hajiji said under his leadership Sabah also made progress by leaps by bounds.

“Under Musa as Finance Minister, the State coffers has reached an all-time high in terms of State financial reserves.

“Not only that, the administration of Sabah’s finances has even gained praise and recognition from national and international bodies,” he pointed out.

Hajiji also thanked Musa for his support for PBSS since Day 1, saying that the Chief Minister was the one who launched PBSS at the state level a few years ago in Tuaran.

“Musa also kindly approved a piece of State land for the construction of a Bajau Sama Cutural Complex in Tuaran. Apart from that, he also approved RM7.5 million for the construction of the complex.

“God willing, Musa will perform the ground-breaking ceremony for the complex at Kampung Lok Batik next month,” he revealed.

Present at the function were PBSS deputy president Datuk Musbah Jamli, vice-president Datuk Jumat Idris and secretary-general Kassim Razali.

The KK City branch of PBSS is led by Shamsuddin Awang Aman with Masri Mansor as his deputy.

Also present were the Inanam chief of KDCA, Datuk Steven Awit Beliku, KK Berunai Association chief Ahmad Mahmood and PBSS district heads from eight areas.

Meanwhile, Sepanggar member of parliament cum PBSS vice president Datuk Jumat Idris also approved a RM100,000 allocation for PBSS Kota Kinabalu.

According to him, the allocation is to buy musical instruments and traditional garb of the Bajau Sama community, among others, for the association.

He said that with today’s globalised development, the Bajau Sama people face socio-cultural challenges such as struggling to preserve their mother tongue.

Jumat said that parents need to pay serious attention to passing down their people’s mother tongue to their children, otherwise it will become a lost art.

“Our culture, including music and crafts, needs to be passed down to the younger generation because it shows the origin of our community,” he said, before adding that many in the Bajau Sama group also endure economic setbacks as not all of them are able to keep up with its advancement.

“We have to change in order for our people to prosper and for that to happen, hard work needs to be done,” he said.

Source: Borneo Post

Malindo Air to commence KK-Taipei route on Jan 25

KOTA KINABALU: Taiwanese tourist arrivals to Sabah are expected to rise significantly with Malindo Air’s four times weekly flight connecting this city and Taipei effective Jan 25.

The Malaysia-Indonesia joint venture airline based in Petaling Jaya is offering introductory fares at RM299 one-way for economy class and RM999 one-way for business class.

This will be the airline’s first international flight flying from Kota Kinabalu.

Malindo Air’s chief executive officer Chandran Rama Muthy said they are working closely with Sabah Tourism Board and Taiwan Tourism Bureau in promoting the new connectivity in both countries.

“With this new sector, we can expect an increase of 15,000 Taiwanese tourists to Kota Kinabalu by January next year, meaning from 45,000 currently to 60,000 arrivals,” he said in a press conference here.

Taiwan is currently the top four market source for Sabah in tourism in the past six years, together with China, South Korea and Brunei.

According to statistics, there have been a double digit growth in Taiwanese visitors to Sabah by 26 per cent, registering 45,367 visitors for the first ten months last year compared to 36,011 for the same period in 2015.

Meanwhile, Chandran said they are expecting 10 additional Boeing 737NGs to expand their fleet of 42 aircrafts (16 ATR72-600s and 26 Boeing 737NGs) currently.

Malindo Air took the skies in March 2013 and today it operates over 800 flights weekly covering 41 routes in the region.

Source: New Straits Times

FCAS Chinese New Year Carnival on Jan 23-26

KOTA KINABALU: The Chinese New Year Carnival jointly organised by the Federation of Chinese Associations Sabah (FCAS) and City Hall will be held at Padang Merdeka on January 23-26 from 6pm to 11pm.

The carnival was originally scheduled for January 20-22 at Gaya Street.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman will open the carnival at 7pm on January 23, while Minister of Special Tasks Datuk Teo Chee Kang will close the event at 7pm on January 26.

The FCAS social and welfare bureau will host a dinner for senior citizens and orphans on January 24. The wife of the Chief Minister Datin Seri Hajah Faridah Haji Tussin will grace the event.

FCAS President Datuk Seri TC Goh said the organising committee, headed by the federation’s vice president, Datuk Susan Wong Siew Guen was currently making preparations for the carnival.

He said among the highlights were entertainment programmes such as singing and dancing by school students, traditional Chinese cultural shows, as well as dragon and lion dance performances.

“Apart from booths selling Chinese New Year goods and foodstuff, we are also organising four open competitions – children’s talent contest, singing competition, dance competition and cheongsam pageant contest.

“We hope to attract people from all age groups to the carnival to celebrate the Chinese New Year together,” he said after a meeting with Mayor Datuk Yeo Boon Hai at City Hall building here, recently.

Although the carnival was moved to a later date, Goh said the event would be equally exciting and joyous as the previous years.

“With days to go before Chinese New Year, I believe KK folks are already in a festive mood as we enter the Year of the Rooster.”

Goh also said carnival goers could continue their Chinese New Year shopping at the night market after the carnival ends on January 26.

He said Chinese New Year is a major and most important festival celebrated by the Chinese community. “Let us preserve our strong unity and culture,” he said.

Also present were FCAS vice presidents, Datuk Chua Soon Ping and Datuk Agnes Shim.


Source : The Borneo Post

Yahya: Celebrating Christmas together a sign of unity

KOTA KINABALU: Celebrating Christmas together irrespective of religion, faith and culture is a sign of unity among Malaysians, says Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Yahya Hussin.

Yahya, who is also Agriculture and Food Industry Minister, said it was a practice for the multiracial people in Sabah and Malaysia to celebrate festivals together.

He said this when representing Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Aman at Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS)’s Christmas open house jointly hosted by party president Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan and his deputy Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Maximus Ongkili at KDCA here on Sunday.

“Like the Christmas open house today, others and I also attended the event to celebrate Christmas with our Christian friends, even though we are not Christians.

“This is a sign of unity among the people of Malaysia, irrespective of religion, faith and culture,” said Yahya.

Meanwhile, Maximus said events such as open house could instill the spirit of moderation in the people.

Although Malaysians comprised those of many faiths and backgrounds, he said the people were always united and able to work together.

On Pairin’s absence, Maximus explained that his president was supposed to return from leave on Saturday.

“However, he had to postpone his leave due to the prime minister’s visit to Tawau last week.

“Hence, he was unable to come back from leave due to his commitment to his children and grandchildren. But we are all here,” he said.

Also present at the open house were MIC Sabah president Datuk V Jothi, PBS deputy president Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai and wife Datin Vicky Yee, secretary general Datuk Johnny Mositun, supreme council members Datuk Joniston Bangkuai and Chin Tek Ming, as well as Datuk Gerald Goh and Datuk Paul Kong from MCA.


Source : The Borneo Post