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Kiulu to develop its mulberry industry

KOTA KINABALU: Kiulu is going to develop its mulberry industry, said Sabah Tourism Board (STB) chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai.

The Kiulu assemblyman said he hoped to turn Kiulu into a food hub for the production of local fruits as well as in the production of mulberry.

He added that the climate and soil condition in Kiulu were suited for mulberry farming.

Presently, mulberry is being planted at Kampung Tudan, an isolated village which is 50 kilometres away from Kiulu.

The project was initiated by students participating in the National Enactus competition that was held in Kuala Lumpur recently. The students won the competition and would be going for the world cup competition which will be held in London next month.

According to a senior director of the University Malaysia Sabah (UMS) Research and Entrepreneurial centre, Dr Bonaventure Boniface during a press conference held at the STB office near here yesterday, the students started the project five months ago and got the involvement of 56 people from the village cooperative.

The villagers have planted 1,500 trees and have produced mulberry tea, skin whitening lotion utilising mulberry extracts and bottled sparkling water.

“We hope STB can help us in marketing the products produced by the villagers,” said Dr Bonaventure.

The proposal to market the products was received positively by STB and Joniston said STB had a marketing body, Sri Pelancongan, which could help promote the product at its network of shops.

“We plan to open more shops in the future,” he said.

He also told members of the cooperative from the village that plans have been made to improve the road from Tudan to Kiulu.

He added that once the road was completed, it would be easier for the  the villagers to market their produce.

The majority of the folk living in the village work as farmers but until recently, they have not been exposed to the true potential of the mulberry plants that are found in their village.

The business of the villagers has also remained stagnant due to the lack of sales channels and communal cooperation among the villagers.

The project, dubbed  the Morus project, has increased the monthly income of the villagers from RM517 per month to RM700.

The project has also brought about better communal cooperation between the villagers through the establishment of the village cooperative and they also have been exposed to business and cultivation management through workshops conducted by Enactus UMS.

In general, the aim of the project is to help the community to improve their living standard and economy.

Source: The Borneo Post

American sailors and marines forge friendship and experience local culture in Sabah

KOTA KINABALU: United States (US) sailors and marines took time out from their grueling training schedule to enjoy their remaining days here by building on forged friendship with their counterparts from the Royal Malaysian Navy as well as experiencing the local culture.

Since the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA-6) first docked at the Sepanggar Naval base here for a port visit on Monday, the Royal Malaysian Navy organised activities to make their visitors’ stay a pleasant experience.

“We have invited them for a tour on our ships and we also organised friendly sport competitions at the navy base sports complex.

“We have also made sure that our guests get the opportunity to work with our navy personnel in doing charity activities with the local community,” said Eastern Fleet Commander Vice-Admiral Datuk Syed Zahiruddin Putra Syed Osman in a statement.

The USS America, carrying 2,500 sailors and Marines of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, was the sixth foreign assault ships that docked at Sepanggar navy base this year.

Its presence in the state signifies the strong relationship between Malaysian and the United States through defence cooperation that has long existed, which indirectly contribute towards state’s economy and promote Sabah as a tourist destination.

About 20 buses and 20 vans were provided for the convenience of American sailors and marines to move around in the state capital.

In a courtesy call, Amphibious Squadron Three Commodore Captain Rome Ruiz of the USS America (LHA 6) expressed gratitude for Royal Malaysian Navy’s friendly hospitality.

He noted that USS America crew members were excited to experience Sabah’s culture, adding there are also family members of sailors and marines who flew in from the US to spend their holidays in the state.

Source: New Straits Times

Serene moment at Memorial Day

SANDAKAN: The shared wartime history between Malaysia, Australia and Britain is a reminder of not only the sacrifice and endurance of those who perished but also the loss and longing of family members.

“Today marks the 72nd anniversary of the end of World War Two. We remember the prisoners-of-war and what history tells us they endured at this very site and on the death marches to Ranau,” Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Haji Aman said in his speech during Sandakan Day Memorial at the Sandakan Memorial Park yesterday.

“On this serene morning in this memorial park, we pause to reflect our continued desire for freedom and peace, and remind ourselves that there is nothing noble about wars.

“We also remember the local communities who took risks and lost their lives in helping the Allied Forces soldiers,” Musa said.

“Today, we enjoy peace in our respective countries. It is my hope that the peace we have will never be compromised by wars and disputes.

“There is much to learn from the painful history that we share. Let us all uphold unity and peace in our respective countries and let us not let the sacrifices of those before us be in vain,” he said.

The Chief Minister’s speech was delivered by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Raymond Tan Shu Kiah. Meanwhile, Sandakan Municipal Council president Datuk James Wong said the loss of those Australian and British Prisoners of War and the local people who made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure our future freedom, should always remain in our collective memories.

“As we continue to honour their memory and recognize their sacrifice, we also ensure that future generation will continue to appreciate the sacrifices of these fallen heroes and the true meaning of the words “Lest We Forget”,” Wong said.

The special friendships that have grown out of this tragedy should and will always be continued, he added.

Among those who attended the ceremony were Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia Rod Smith, British High Commissioner to Malaysia Vicki Treadell, Assistant Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Pang Nyuk Min, Sabah Tourism Board chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai and Karamunting Assemblyman Datuk Charles O. Pang.

Source: New Sabah Times m

Stargazers blessed to catch meteor shower

KUDAT: The Rungus in Matung­gong, near Kudat, are perhaps the only people in the country to have had an unhindered view of the Perseid meteor shower.

As the rest of the country, including a large part of Sabah, was blanketed by thick cloud cover and rain on Saturday night and early Sunday morning, the small town, located halfway between Kota Belud and Kudat town, enjoyed the best view of the celestial display.

Stargazers came out as early as 10pm on Saturday as Christianto Mogolid, the co-founder of Big Picture Photography – an online digital photography education and workshops site – said Rungus elders view the meteor shower as a blessing.

“In Rungus tradition, we believe those who see falling stars are blessed with good fortune and would also have their wishes granted,” he said.

He said the meteor shower peaked at 1.30am and lasted until dawn.

“There were trails of shooting stars every now and then. I lost count of the number,” he said.

Mogolid said they managed to photograph many “fireballs” entering the atmosphere.

Starfinder Astronomical Society adviser Pang Kip Pin, 58, also got a glimpse of meteors with friends, in Kepong.

“I saw two meteors after the clouds dispersed,” he said.

Zabidi Majid, 30, and his wife Nursolehah Shahruddin, 29, were left disappointed after driving all the way from Kuala Lumpur to Port Dickson only to find it raining.

“When we arrived in PD, there were already a few groups of people at the beach. We decided not to wait too long and drove back home at around 1am,” said the biotech­nologist.

Source: The Star

Trans Borneo expedition to bring Sabah, S’wak, Indonesia closer

KOTA KINABALU: The Trans Borneo 2017 expedition will not only introduce Sabah to the world, but also bring the people of Sabah, Sarawak and Indonesia closer.

Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun hoped that the activity would integrate the people of different states and countries and could possibly be expanded to commercial relationship in future.

He said the participants would be covering a wider area this year travelling through Sabah, Kalimantan, Sarawak and Brunei in 15 days.

“The participants will be travelling on a new route which is even more challenging compared to the previous years,” said Masidi.

He said the participants would also be taking a special route from Tawau to Indonesia without boarding the ferry, made possible by the Malaysian and Indonesian governments.

“We hope that the route they travel on will not only suit their taste for adventure, but also enable people-to-people interaction from all the states and countries involved,” Masidi said after flagging off the participants in front of Sabah Tourism Board (STB) here yesterday.

The event involved 16 4×4 vehicles and about 60 participants from Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Australia, China, Thailand and Japan.

Hailed as the ‘mother’ of all 4×4 events in Borneo, the expedition organized by North Borneo Explorer Sdn Bhd is held from August 13 to 27. The road adventure will start from Sabah, crossing into Kalimantan Utara and Kalimantan Timur, and back to Sarawak through the last frontiers in Borneo, from Malinau to Ba’kelalan, before ending at Bandar Seri Begawan in Brunei.

The event will cover approximately 2,000 kilometres of on-road and off-road experience, ending in Brunei Darussalam where a dinner will be hosted by the Brunei 4×4 association.

Masidi said the foreign media who were covering the event would also give tourism mileage to Sabah as the organizer for the event.

“All these are part of our effort to introduce Sabah to the world.

“More than that, it is our initiative to bring the people in Sabah, Sarawak and Indonesia closer.

“We hope the event will integrate the people in all the areas involved, and possibly expand the relationship to commercial (ties) in the future,” he said.

Masidi added that the Pan Borneo Highway would also integrate the people in this part of the world as travelling would be much easier.

“The Trans Borneo is obviously going to be an initiative to make people realize that travelling between Kalimantan, Indonesia, or rather the Borneo states of Sabah and Sarawak will become easy.

“Hopefully along the way travellers can tell our neighbours more about our State. It will only be good for the tourism industry in the future.”

Also present were Mayor Datuk Yeo Boon Hai, Kota Kinabalu Member of Parliament Jimmy Wong, STB general manager Gordon Yapp and Sabah Land Rover Club president Datuk Henry Hing.

Source: The Borneo Post