Stories, news, update from KePKAS

Sabah delegation in China to boost investment ties

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah has the potential to become an important window for China to export its agricultural products to Southeast Asia countries due to its strategic location in the region, said Minister of Special Tasks Datuk Teo Chee Kang.

Teo said Sabah has the support from the Federal Government to develop the State as a logistics hub in the region.

“Sabah, located strategically in the centre of the Southeast Asia region, can be an important window for China to export its agricultural products to the 600 million population in the region.”

He said the joint venture rubber plantation project between Bornion Timber Sdn Bhd and Guangdong Guangken Rubber Group Co. Ltd. was a successful example of collaboration between Sabah and China-based enterprises.

“I believe Sabah and China have much room to explore in terms of collaboration opportunities in the agricultural sector,” Teo said during his visit to the Department of Agriculture of Hubei Province in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.

Teo and Deputy Speaker of State Legislative Assembly, Datuk Johnson Tee, were invited by Malaysia China Chamber of Commerce (MCCC) Sabah branch led by its president, Datuk Frankie Liew, for a nine-day visit to China.

The 33-member delegation, comprising local entrepreneurs from various sectors including property, tourism and agriculture, left the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) on March 4.

Their itinerary include visits to Wuhan, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Macau and other major cities in China where they will meet with government officials, chambers of commerce and entrepreneurs to explore business opportunities and collaborations.

During a dinner hosted by the Tong Daochi, the Vice Governor of Hubei Province, Teo also said that the business investments and collaborations between Sabah and Wuhan could be further enhanced with the establishment of friendship city ties between both places and the availability of direct flights.

He hoped that this visit would mark the beginning of a win-win relations between Sabah and Wuhan.

In a separate dialogue session with Hubei’s Housing, Urban and Rural Construction Department and property developers, Teo addressed the security concerns raised such as the missing MH370 flight, abduction cases and intrusion of Filipino militants into Sabah.

He said the increasing tourist arrivals showed that the negative impact of the missing MH370 to the tourism industry in Sabah two years ago had gradually diminished.

As for the security concerns, Teo said he recently accompanied the Chief Minister for an inspection in the east cost of Sabah and found the area to be very safe.

“As such, foreign investors need not worry about security issues in Sabah,” he assured.

During the four-day visit in Wuhan, the delegation has also met with officials from the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the People’s Government of Hebei Province, Hubei Provincial Tourism Development Committee and Foreign Affairs (Overseas Chinese Affairs) Office of Hubei Provincial People’s Government.

The delegation also visited tourist attractions in Wuhan, such as the Yellow Crane Tower (Huang He Lou), Wuhan Yangtze River Bridge, museums, high technology development zone, free trade zone and Optics Valley of China.

Meanwhile, Liew hoped that the Sabahan entrepreneurs would take the opportunity to establish friendship with their counterparts in China in order to explore mutually beneficial investment opportunities.

“The purpose of organizing the visit to China is to open up collaboration opportunities for enterprises that complement each other,” he said.

Also present were MCCC Sabah branch advisor cum Sabah Timber Association president Datuk James Hwong, Kota Kinabalu Hokkien Association president Datuk Clement Yeh, Sabah Institute of Art (SIA) chief executive officer Professor Dato’ Dr Wilson Yong Tung Yung, MCCC Sabah branch life honorary advisor Datuk Lau Kok Sing, Sabah Tourism Federation (STF) president Datuk Seri Winston Liaw, Political Secretary to the Minister of Special Tasks Peter Chong Su Leong and Liaison Secretary to the Minister of Special Tasks Albert Kok.

Source: Daily Express

IPEC To Support Growth Of Paragliding in Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur, 06 March 2017 – Paragliding is a popular sport in many parts of the world and it continues to boom like most other adventure sports, or extreme sports as some prefer to call it. In recent years, the sport has seen an upsurge of interest in Malaysia, with more people keen on learning about the sport, and training to take to the skies. It’s recent growth in popularity laid the foundations for the establishment of MSAF Paragliding Bureau in 2015.

In collaboration with MSAF Paragliding Bureau, IPEC Bureau will play a crucial role to support the progress of paragliding in Malaysia by working towards skills and competency recognition for the sport. While MSAF Paragliding Bureau will govern the sport according to internationally recognised standards and regulations, IPEC will explore the possibility of setting up conformity assessments for a paragliding certification scheme based on the ISO/IEC17024.

Personnel earmarked by IPEC Bureau under this scheme includes trainers, instructors and, sports and recreational safety personnel – essential areas that require substantial advancement and standardisation to elevate paragliding into a mainstream sport in the country. As part of IPEC Bureau’s commitment to paragliding in Malaysia, it will be supporting the upcoming Ranau Paragliding Accuracy & XC 2017 (RANPAXC 2017).

RANPAXC 2017, to be held between 10 – 12 March, will be the first ever multi-disciplined international paragliding competition organised in Malaysia where approximately 100 local and international pilots will be showcasing their skills at the Ranau Paragliding Park in Ranau, Sabah. The guest of honour at RANPAXC 2017 will be the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment, Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun.

Hundreds of enthusiastic fans and visitors are expected to throng the event over the two days. So, come join us and witness the incredible sight of pilots in their colourful wingsuits soaring in the skies of Ranau. RANPAXC 2017 will also be a significant stepping stone towards identifying and training highly talented Malaysian paragliders to represent the country at the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia.

For more information on RANPAXC 2017, please visit http://www.msafparagliding.gov.my/ranpaxc2017

Source : IPEC CERTIFICATION BUREAU

‘Huminodun’ to premiere in May

PENAMPANG: ‘Huminodun’ – the movie will be released in May, the month when the KadazanDusun Murut communities celebrate the Harvest Festival.

It is also a time for the communities to reflect on Huminodun and her parents’ Kinoingan and Suminundu’s ultimate sacrifice for the people.

Kinoingan sacrificed his only daughter so that the people could have food. Her body parts were planted as seeds and became the food resource of the world, rice.

Huminodun will be in Kadazan language with English subtitles and is produced by Siung Film Productions.

According to the movie’s producer, Jo Luping, the one-hour movie was filmed entirely in the Kadazan language and the cast are all locals.

“This movie is 99 per cent Sabah ‘made’. The actors are all local talent. People were sceptical about us getting the talent in Sabah but we did it. Shooting took about a week and pre-production took about two years.

“Because it is a historical drama we need to be accurate in terms of our research. It took a long time to research the costumes, the story, to talk to the different elders in the Kadazan community,” she said.

Jo, who was met after the screening of the Huminodun trailer on Tuesday night, said that as part of their research, they consulted Auntie Rosnani who was trained as a ‘bobohizan’.

“We just wanted to make sure that we had our facts right. We tried our best to be as accurate historically as possible,” she said.

When asked about the message she hopes to get across to the community, especially the younger generation, Jo who is of Kadazan descent, said it was to remind them the importance of learning their mother tongue.

“We want them to learn their mother tongue because through your mother tongue you can really identify with your culture and who you are and that gives you your point of difference in a world where things are similar.

“It brings something that is close to your heart and that is how you differentiate yourself in the world,” she said.

She disclosed that ‘Huminodun’ which casts Alexandra Alexander, Boni Mosios, Jenifer Lasimbang, Marc Abas ad Hazli Bojili in the lead roles, is slated to be released in May.

They want it to be a cinematic release so the plan is to premier it in Sabah first and then distribute into international film festivals.

It will come back to Sabah into a film format, she said adding, “that is the usual circuit and we want to sell it into the Hong Kong film mart.

“The goal is to distribute it through Sabah and have a local film market but also definitely we also want to take Sabah culture and tradition and sell it to the world because I think everybody is interested in Borneo. In terms of a brand Borneo and Sabah are equally great,” she said.

They are undecided as to where the movie will be premiered and are currently looking at different venues.

On the Siung Film Production’s future plans, Jo said that they were planning to shoot ‘Pangazou’ – another Kadazan language movie.

“We have other plans to do Dusun, Murut and Runggus movies. The reason is because we are from Penampang, we have access to Rita Lasimbang and then it is a natural progression to do it in Kadazan.

“But we would love to ultimately do all Sabah legends because we are a hotbed and treasure trove of fantastic stories and the world is interested in legends. They want to know about these legends, they want something different and we got it all here,” she stressed.

Jo’s husband Aaron Cowan directed Huminodun. Cowan, an experienced filmmaker, has been involved in many movies such as The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Chronicles of Narnia, Avatar, The Adventures of Tin Tin, Man of Steel and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

Jo is also best known for her documentary Reframe about the Palestinian Israeli conflict.

Meanwhile,  Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, who launched the screening of the Huminodun trailer said: “I think tonight is the beginning of something serious done through the film industry.

Asked how the movie could help in promoting the culture, language and history of the Kadazan community, he said: “I think it will serve the purpose because any pictorial or any movie that is created based on legends, culture, tradition language and all that will indeed promote the community itself.”

Pairin, who is also KadazanDusun Cultural Association president and Huguan Siou, said producing a movie needed a lot of skills and participation and he would like to see the continuation of such commitment, such positive attitude towards the creation and production of what is valuable in the life of the community.

The commitment will serve as a reference for the community itself and the future generations, he stressed.

“Evidently, any movie based on historical background is something which will serve as a reminder, as a reference of what happened in the past. I hope it will encourage the younger generation to adapt themselves towards what is good, what is valuable towards the culture, the language so that all this will help to maintain and sustain what is the best in the life of the community itself,” he said.

At the event, Kinsabina Group chief executive officer Datuk Francis Goh, who is an executive producer and financier of the film, presented RM50,000 to Siung Film Production on behalf of the Kinsabina Group.

Source: Borneo Post

Hong Kong film “She Will Be Loved” now being filmed in Sabah

KOTA KINABALU: Hong Kong movie buffs are set to see Sabah as the main backdrop of an upcoming romantic movie entitled “She Will Be Loved”.

Producer Dan Ng, who is currently in town for an 11-day shoot, said picturesque locations in the state have been chosen as backdrops for scenes that will dazzle audiences across the Chinese-speaking world, and beyond.

“There are many romantic movies that were filmed in familiar places in Hong Kong and China.

“Sabah, in turn, has places that are suitable for romantic scenes for this movie,” he said during a press conference here yesterday.

Among local sites to be featured in “She Will Be Loved” is the famous Sunday Gaya Street and Sabah Art Gallery here, the Sabah Tea Garden in Ranau, and the Weston River in Beaufort.

The film is a collaboration between the production team and the Sabah Tourism Board – a partnership which was sealed with the inking of a Memorandum of Understanding on Thursday.

Ng said “She Will Be Loved” is a daring movie-making project, as they have engaged newcomer actors and actresses, and are shooting in a new location – but he assured all that the final result will not disappoint viewers.

The main cast includes Anita Chui and Taddy Ng, veteran artistes Joe Junior and Tse Shiu Sum, as well as local actor Gin Liau, who is also a MyFM radio announcer.

The story centres around Sue (Anita Chui) and Tony (Taddy Ng), who are both suffering from amnesia and meet during a trip to Sabah.

We follow their struggle as they attempt to regain their lost memories in a foreign land – only to discover that they are actually a married couple.

Source: New Straits Times

Second phase of Barefoot Solar Project

Tuaran: The Sabah Women Entrepreneurs and Professionals Association (Swepa) is an exemplary women non-governmental organisation (NGO) which has done a tremendously good job in bringing changes to marginalised villages.

Sabah Tourism Board Chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai made this observation at the Swepa Appreciation Dinner for donors and sponsors of the 3D Live Portrait Fund-Raising Project in aid of Swepa Barefoot Solar Project 2.0. Phase 2, held at the Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort and Spa, here, Friday.

The NGO is embarking on the second phase of the project which involves socio-economic empowerment of four marginalised villages in a remote part of the Kota Marudu district.

Bangkuai, who is Kiulu Assemblyman, was impressed with the Project Committee’s success in completing Barefoot Solar Project 2.0 where two more illiterate grandmothers were trained as “solar engineers” or “solar mamas” in India, and thereafter lighted up three more villages comprising 100 houses, upon their return.

Immediate Past President Datin Jeanette Tambakau doubles up as Project Organising Chairperson.

“As Chairman of Sabah Tourism Board, I am delighted to be associated with Swepa, and certainly hope to get to know the association better,” he remarked. He has been following reports on the project in the Daily Express, which is the media partner.

Swepa has to date sent three illiterate grandmothers – Tarihing Masanim from Kg Sonsogon Magandai (Barefoot Solar Project 1.0), Gining Jaineh from Kg Sungai Magandai and Rusni Singkamung representing Kg Sonsogon Suyad and Kg Binontungan Suyad (Barefoot Solar Project 2.0) – for hands-on training in solar engineering at the renowned Barefoot College in Tilonia, India.

The trio underwent a six-month intensive course there and graduated as “solar mamas”.

They have successfully installed 200 sets of solar panels and equipment for 200 families, and distributed solar lanterns to all the families in the respective villages.

“Swepa’s dedication in empowering women to make a difference in their villages is indeed commendable.

Your contribution to the socio-economic development of this marginalised community is a catalyst for achievement of the national development strategies and sustainable development goals of our State Government.

“The task of developing the rural community should be a collective effort involving the Government, private/corporate sector and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). In this respect, I salute Swepa for their commitment and devotion in uplifting the lives of the people,” said Bangkuai, who was accompanied by his wife Datin Lucy Yong.

To raise funds for the socio-economic empowerment project, the Barefoot Solar Project Committee, chaired by Tambakau, collaborated with renowned photographer Patrick Low, Malaysia’s one and only 3D live portrait photographer and reputedly the World First Master Photographer Association (MPA UK) Certified 3D Master Photographer.`

Eighteen elite philanthropists in Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu supported the 3D Live Portrait Fund-Raising project by donating RM8,000 each. Four other sponsors are Prestige (which sponsored the wine), Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort & Spa (which sponsored the Appreciation Dinner), The Majestic Hotel in Kuala Lumpur (which sponsored the venue for the photo shoot session), and Sound & Light Events Supplies.

Bangkuai praised the 18 special donors for their magnanimity, comprising Datuk Gordon Leong, Datuk Tan Kar Leong, Datuk Sharifah Habsah, Rebecca Chong, Jenny Harith, Damien Ooi, Datuk Aminah Ambrose, Alan Wong, Peter Wong, Mej (K) Hj Al Hambra Tun Juhar, Johannes Lo, Farish Bahrul Razha, Agyness Lee, Ryan Liew, Kevin Quah, Datuk Tan Siu Lin, Aaron Chin and Datuk James Lau (President of the Malaysian Taiwan Chamber of Commerce who sponsored a portrait of Adeline).

After witnessing the unveiling of the “speaking portraits”, the guest of honour presented each philanthropist with a 3D Live Portrait (measuring about 40″ X 60″) and an exclusive Coffee Table Book (produced by multiple award-winning Low) as a token of appreciation. Other partners in the Swepa Barefoot Solar Project 2.0, including Tan Holdings, Sabah Energy Corporation, Raleigh International, Asian Forestry Company Sabah, Sabah Land-Rover Club, Pacos Trust, Mouawad, Imago Louis Pang Photography, Imago, Palace Hotel and Daily Express, whose contributions were acknowledged, also received copies of the commemorative book from Bangkuai.

3D Master Photographer extraordinaire Patrick Low, who also spoke, said he suffered a slipped disc and was out of work for three years. While he was immobile, he vowed to give something back to society.

The opportunity to do so came when he learned that Swepa was in need of help for its socio-economic empowerment project. Thus he contributed the photography of 3D live-sized holograms as part of his corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme dubbed Silver Lining 2.

Earlier, in her address, Swepa President Wynnie Jong said the Barefoot Solar Project 1.0 was initiated and spearheaded by Past President Datuk Adeline Leong (now President of the Malaysian Friendship and Trade Centre, Taipei) to provide solar energy to remote villages in Sabah with no electricity supply in October 2013.

The inaugural project was launched at Kg Sonsogon Magandai.

The formation of Swepa was spearheaded by the Sabah Women’s Advisory Council (MPWS) Economic Committee in March 1993. “We are committed to providing an enabling and empowering environment to women, regardless of their background, race or creed,” said Jong.

Meanwhile, the President said the association was proud to be associated with Barefoot College, having been ranked as the Top 13th best NGO in the world. “Swepa is blessed to have a great partnership with them.

We are indeed grateful to the Founder of Barefoot College, Bunker Roy for putting his trust in us to carry out the meaningful solar project. We are indebted too, to all donors, sponsors and partners.”

Jong said the socio-economic empowerment programme is geared towards helping the grandmothers pass on their newly-developed skills to other community members, and guiding them to tackle issues such as gender inequality by providing the women with a sustainable livelihood. “This strategy will ensure long-term sustainability of the project and consequently an elevation of their socio-economic status,” she added.

Project 2.0 Organising Chairperson Tambakau reiterated that all proceeds from the 3D Live Portrait Fund-Raising Project go towards funding the socio-economic empowerment project while making a special vote of thanks to the 18 donors for supporting Swepa Barefoot Solar Project 2.0 Phase Two.

“And I take this opportunity to express our gratitude to Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort & Spa,” she said.

Present was the General Manager Jonathan Reynolds.

Tambakau related how businesswoman Datin Viannie Undikai connected Swepa with the parties concerned, saying it led to a collaboration by donors, sponsors and partners in aid of the Barefoot Solar Project 2.0. Currently, Undikai from Penampang and Sandakan’s Steven Chan, who is Prestige’s Commercial Director, are living in Kuala Lumpur.

They felt that as Sabahans, they should contribute to the project when approached by Tambakau and Swepa Vice-President Datuk Aminah Ambrose.

“Aminah planted a seed in me back in 2015 when she was organising the Swepa Installation cum Fund-Raising Banquet for Barefoot 2.0 (Bollywood Extravaganza). I feel happy that the seed has grown and bearing fruits of goodness,” said Undikai. – Mary Chin

Source: Daily Express