Sharks a source of many jobs

KOTA KINABALU: Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun, is ‘unapologetic’ about his stand on the issue of shark fin harvesting and shark killing, saying  sharks played an important role as an economic driver in the tourism industry.

Masidi, who opened the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) Malaysia and Sabah Shark Protection Association (SSPA) business dialogue, ‘My Fin My Life,’ also said the shark population in the state is a source of many jobs for locals.

“Every year, foreign divers come over to dive in Sabah and 80 per cent of them want to see sharks in the wild, among others.

“We gross about RM350 to RM380 million each year from the diving industry and that’s a huge amount of money, but aside from that, the industry creates jobs, especially for locals.

“By our own reluctance to go full steam ahead to protect the sharks, we are actually giving an opportunity to our neighbouring countries to grab the tourism windfall that we are currently experiencing.

“We’re going to lose a lot of jobs due to this. The first people to lose jobs are locals, and the tourism industry is the only industry in Sabah, even probably in Malaysia, with the highest percentage of local employment.

“In Sabah, about 90 over per cent of tourism employees are local. So, we are basically saying that in the name of shark fin soup, we make sure that 90 per cent of Sabahans in the country are out of jobs,” he said.

Masidi went on to say that even the food industry will eventually lose if sharks are continually hunted and killed for their fins, adding that it’s a temporary feeling of relief that they are protecting a small industry, but killing a much bigger one in the long run.

Nevertheless, work is being done for the protection of sharks in Sabah waters, as Masidi reiterated that all marine parks will be converted into a shark sanctuary, as was passed by the State Assembly.

He added that Sabah Parks was also currently going through the barriers and legal issues and, if the need arose, would bring up the necessity for amendments in the law to ensure that the marine parks really acted as a sanctuary for sharks to be protected.

“My personal hope is that the marine parks will be the first step towards the total banning of shark hunting and shark killing in Sabah.

“We are here not just to live our life, but to prepare the lives of the future generation. This is an emotional issue, so to speak. Some are passionately for the protection of sharks, while others are not agreeable with what we are fighting for.

“My job here is not to condemn those who do not agree with me, but I can say that I am for shark protection and I’m not apologetic with my stand.

“To me, the proposition is very simple: either we finish all the sharks that are available in Sabah and that’s the end of it, or protect them and turn them into an economic driver of the tourism industry and make money out of them,” he said.

Also present at yesterday’s dialogue was Kota Kinabalu City Mayor Datuk Yeo Boon Hai, who similarly expressed his support for the protection of sharks.


Source : The Borneo Post

Finas hub in Sabah will help hone local creative talent, said Masidi

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Tourism, Culture, and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said the setting up of a Finas Content Creation Hub here will provide an excellent avenue for local artists to hone their talents. Masidi said the state had many talented artistes and such a creative hub would help improve their skills. “With regards to our current local film productions, there is room for improvement. “Hopefully with Finas’ presence in Kota Kinabalu, it would help address this.” The setting up of Finas Creation Hub was announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak during the Budget presentation. It will be built in addition with the implementation of a Film in Malaysia Incentive, Arts and Culture Revitalisation Agenda to rejuvenate creative industry and film production. Najib said the hub would also be built in Santubong, Sarawak. Ends.

Source : New Straits Times

Masidi: Study groundwater potential in Ranau, Kota Belud

KOTA KINABALU: Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun has proposed that a detailed study on the groundwater potential be carried out in Ranau and Kota Belud areas as groundwater could provide water security, especially in times of crisis.

Masidi said Sabah was among the most seismically active states in Malaysia due to its close proximity to the Ring of Fire.

“On June 5 last year, an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.0 on the Richter scale struck Ranau where 18 climbers of five different nationalities died. The tremors caused massive rock falls in the catchment areas. Debris from the rock falls polluted the surface water resources and damaged the intake points of the water supplies causing water supply disruption in Ranau and Kota Belud districts,” he recalled.

Although the surface water was affected by the debris pollution, Masidi said the quantity and quality of groundwater remained unaffected.

“Considering that, may I suggest that a detailed study on the groundwater potential be carried out in the affected Ranau and Kota Belud areas? In my opinion, groundwater, if developed successfully, would provide water security in such areas especially in times of crisis,” Masidi stated in his speech, which was delivered by his permanent secretary, Datu Rosmadi Datu Sulai, at the opening of Institute Geology of Malaysia (IGM) Groundwater Seminar 2016 themed ‘Mainstreaming Groundwater Into Public Water Supply System’ held here yesterday and attended by more than 100 participants.

On another note, he said the Minerals and Geoscience Department Malaysia (JMG), the main and leading government department undertaking groundwater exploration and development in the country, had drilled 33 exploration wells in 2015 alone, of which 30 production wells and nine monitoring wells have been successfully developed.

“JMG has so far constructed more than 200 tube wells in Sabah, mainly in rural or isolated villages, as well as schools in Pantai Barat Selatan (southwestern coast), Pantai Barat Utara (northeastern coast) and Pedalaman (interior) areas.

“I hope the JMG will continue to intensify its effort to exploit groundwater to control peat land fires and supply as an alternative water resource for the populace in areas of water stress, especially during droughts,” Masidi said.

He said groundwater, the largest source of usable freshwater, was resilient to droughts because it reacted very slowly to the changes of hot and wet season and therefore was able to provide a continuous water supply.

Masidi said data released by UNESCO and research by water experts stated that more than 95 per cent of readily available freshwater was on the ground. In developed countries, groundwater resources have been extensively used and have contributed to socio-economic development.

“The groundwater acceptance by the public and policy maker is obviously on the rise in our country. Groundwater that used to be resorted to in times of water crisis is now more and more being sought out for agricultural, industrial and domestic usages.”

Besides that, he said more public funding is seen allocated in recent years into studying and developing groundwater.

“It is hoped that groundwater resources can play a significant role in the mainstream water supply, thereby creating more job opportunities for groundwater players and industries to grow and contribute to the development of our nation. It is our responsibility to ensure good studies and practices are conducted to ensure sustainable groundwater supply for the mainstream water supply, Masidi said.

That said, Masidi pointed out that there were still big gaps in our understanding of groundwater in Malaysia that needed to be addressed for better water management in the country, such as the amount of groundwater reserves, the extent the resource could be utilized without damaging the environment, the current usage of groundwater, and the extent of groundwater being polluted through farming activities, landfills and other industrial activities.

He stressed that the knowledge and understanding of groundwater resources was important to increase the utilization of this resources.

“Appropriate monitoring, early warning systems, water conservation and proper protection of each water source or recharge area becomes pertinent,” he noted.

He said the JMG, National Hydraulic Research Institute of Malaysia (NAHRIM), IGM and other related agencies in the country were not alone in this challenge.

“Through Federal government funding of most of the water resources studies in the country, the Sabah government will play an important role in supporting JMG in developing groundwater resources in the State in order to provide clean water for the populace in areas of water stress and also to control peat fires, which commonly occur during seasonal dry spells.

“Our approach to groundwater cannot be addressed in isolation, but require a concerted effort approach in which both Federal and State governments, government agencies, institutions of higher learning, private sector and civil society will need to work together.”

Also present were JMG director-general cum IGM president Mior Sallehhuddin bin Mior Jadid, NAHRIM director-general Ir Dr. Azuhan bin Mohamed, Board of Geologists chairman Dato’ Yunus Abdul Razak and organizing chairman Dr Saim Suratman.

Source : The Borneo Post

‘Beautiful Sabah 2.0 Video Contest’ for videography enthusiasts

KOTA KINABALU: Videography enthusiasts have an opportunity to show off their creativity skill by creating a montage of the Sabah’s tourism attractions and submit it to the Sabah Tourism Board (STB) to win attractive prizes.

All STB needed is a short video of 30 seconds to 3 minutes and send the work to ‘Beautiful Sabah 2.0 Video Contest’ which was officially launched by their chairman, Datuk Joniston Bangkuai at STB office, yesterday.

The submission started yesterday will close on Aug 31, this year. The result will be known after a month later.

“We are providing a platform for visitors and locals alike to capture the moments and share their experience through the video. This is a new approach for us to promote the State tourism and get feedback for the industry,” said Joniston.

This is the second online contest organised by STB after the successful photography contest last year which attracted almost 2,000 submissions depicting beautiful Sabah, he said.

STB general manager, Gordon Yapp said: “The selected videos will be viral in the social media to become a promotional tool for STB.”

“We believe many people have recorded a lot of beautiful places in Sabah. And now they can put their creativity to the test and send it to us,” said Yapp.

The contest is free for the public and it is sponsored by Amazing Borneo, Borneo Trails Tours & Travel and Nandos Malaysia.

A lot of attractive prizes including a GoPro action camera await the winners. The visual can be taken by any devices including the cell phone.

The entry must be sent to or contact STBcommunication manager, Hana Harun at 088-212121 or email: Also present was STB deputy general manager, Noredah Othman.


Source: New Sabah Times

Fund-raising KK Jazz Fest is back again

Kota Kinabalu: The Kota Kinabalu Jazz Festival (KKJF) is back again for its 10th Anniversary edition this year.

An annual event, the jazz festival is aimed at raising funds for charity and is organised by the Rotary Club of Kota Kinabalu (RCKK) and Society of Performing Arts Kota Kinabalu Sabah (SPArKS).

This year, the festival will once again bring together a musical melting pot of talents from around the world.

Three international bands and musicians, together with nine renowned and upcoming Malaysian talents and bands, will join the line-up for the exciting two-night concert. Malaysian TV host and emcee Daphne Iking is back to emcee this year’s festival.

Performers lined up for this year’s festival are USA Motown legend Bobby Taylor who is back by popular demand, one man band Juzzie Smith, Indie pop artiste Juwita Suwito, Shang Hai Jazz Reprise group consisting of May Maw, Zyan and Winnie Ho and the WVC jazz ensemble.

Local Sabahan talents are Appy Tots, Jonathan Tse, Gee Mojina and Elixer, Mormain Blues, 4Bs, RTM combo team, Borneo Big Band with Joan Jim and talent search winners Jazz Crash and Alton Wong.

At the KKJF media launch press conference at Sutera Avenue Riverson on Friday, KKJF Festival Organising Chairman and Rotary Club of Kota Kinabalu 2016 President Jack Ong said the festival will definitely be a memorable one with pure non-stop music performed on the main or centre stage.

“We are expecting slightly more than last year’s 4,000 music lovers for this year’s event.”

He said the festival doors will open at 6pm with the first act to begin at 7pm and ending at around 11pm each night.

There are tables and chairs provided at the venue but availability is on a first come first serve basis.

Knowing that no jazz festival would be complete without good food this year KKJF will also have some of the best restaurants in Kota Kinabalu serving up their best food and beverages such as Carlsberg, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Outlet, Party Play, The Chateau, Fruto, Adelphi, Aleyxs, Wine Shop, Good Shepherd Services, soft ice cream and more.

Tickets to the jazz festival are available for sale via online purchase at , Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Outlets, Damai & Wisma Merdeka, Party Play Lifestyle Café, Gaya Street, Adelphi & Co, Damai, Alexys Café, Luyang, Breadboss Bakery Café, Damai.

The main sponsor for KKJF is Yayasan Sime Darby. Another sponsor is the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment Sabah together with Mah Sing group and the jazz festival event is strongly supported by Dewan Bandaraya Kota Kinabalu (DBKK) and Carlsberg.

The KKJF is listed as a premier event in Sabah Tourism annual calendar of events, and is also a key component of the Kota Kinabalu Arts Festival.


Source: Daily Express