Sabah Cement, Ecooils ink agreement for ecologically-processed pozzolan

KOTA KINABALU: Cement Industries (Sabah) Sdn Bhd (Sabah Cement) has signed a sales and purchase agreement with Ecooils Sdn Bhd for a 10-year supply of ecologically-processed pozzolan for use in Sabah Cement’s products.

Sabah Cement chief executive officer, Bahrul Razha Chuprat, said the processed pozzolan material, an oil palm by-product, would enable the company to produce its blended cement product for infrastructural projects in Sabah.

“By producing the blended cement product, Sabah Cement can also realise the government’s aspiration to produce environmental-friendly products by recycling waste products,” he said at the signing ceremony yesterday.

Sabah Cement chairman, Datuk Samsuddin Yahya, and Ecooils’ director, Datuk John Maluda, signed the agreement.

Also present to witness the signing ceremony was Sabah Deputy Chief Minister, Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah, who is also State Industrial Development Minister.

Bahrul Razha said Sabah Cement would buy 10,000 metric tonnes of eco-processed pozzolan a year from Ecooils’ factory at the Palm Oil Industrial Cluster in Lahad Datu to be processed into its blended cement product at the company’s Bulk Cement Terminal in Lahad Datu.

He said Sabah Cement invested RM5 million in machines and equipment for cement-processing at the terminal, which was expected to be operational by year-end.

“As a state government-linked company, Sabah Cement will strive to fulfil customer requirements and satisfaction by producing various types of quality cement to meet the specific needs of the construction sector in Sabah,” he said.

Tan said infrastructure was an important driver for the growth of economy of any region and a vibrant construction industry was vital towards achieving the 11th Malaysia Plan and the Economic Transformation Programme.

He said the construction industry has become significantly crucial to the Malaysian economy and was expected to contribute 5.5 per cent to the country’s gross domestic product by 2020.

“Sabah has contributed 3.9 per cent to that percentage in 2016 and today, we are already seeing intense demand for infrastructure development in Sabah, such as the Pan Borneo Highway.

“This rise in demand will in turn require construction players and the workforce to continually raise its capabilities,” he said.

However, Tan said, it was also critical for the industry to maintain a healthy level of development to improve its efficiency and minimise negative impact on the environment as a whole. — Bernama


Source: Borneo Post

More work needed even though KKIA second busiest airport – Masidi

KOTA KINABALU: Although Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) is now rated as the second busiest airport in the country, there are still work that needs to be done to ensure that the statistics can be translated into success.

Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun revealed that there are now 14 foreign airlines that fly to Sabah using KKIA and on a weekly basis, there are 178 international and 418 domestic flights operating out of KKIA.

“If you sum up the two figures, I believe we have overtaken Penang International Airport as the second busiest airport in Malaysia, after Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).

“This, however, is not something that we want to gloat as numbers do not always necessarily equate to success. Numbers must be translated into profitable ventures,” he said when hosting a dinner for the Malaysian Airlines Partners A350 at The Pacific Sutera on Tuesday.

Masidi said it important for Sabah to showcase to the world that our airport is one that is at par with some of the best airports in the region, considering the fact that KKIA is very clean and efficient.

He cited Singapore Changi Airport as a good example, adding that KKIA could achieve the same as the former if it were to have the proper equipment and machineries.

Even though KKIA is not even half the size of KLIA, it had managed to be one of the most profitable airports in the country, he said.

“If you look at the entire perspective on this part of the world, you will realize that the future of the tourism industry is in the north … but, of course, we are targeting the Europeans as well.

“The overall marketing strategy for us in Sabah is that, there should be, if possible, only 15 percent of passengers in each tourism basket of any particular region.

“However, due to the influx of China visitors, they have now accounted for up to 34 to 35 percent of the total number of international arrivals…and more are expected,” he said.

Masidi rues that the lack of four and five-star hotels in the state may affect the arrival rate of Chinese tourists.

“When rooms are scarce, it can give a wrong impression to potential visitors. They may opt for other destinations if there are no available rooms in Kota Kinabalu,” Masidi said, adding that the need for more hotels to be constructed in the state had been addressed to the state cabinet.

“In 2016, we thought that we had broken the record, but preliminary records have indicated that we have done even better last year, in 2017, at least, in terms of the number of tourist arrivals.

“The point that I am trying to tell you is that there is no limit to what we can achieve if all the fundamentals (that we have) are well taken care of,” Masidi said, adding that the roles of Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB), Malaysian Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) and Sabah Tourism Board (STB) would be vital in improving the state’s tourism industry.

Masidi, who was a passenger on the MAB Airbus A350 which conducted its test flight from KLIA to KKIA on Wednesday, said he was pleased with the overall experience of the flight.

“We are fortunate and honoured that you have chosen Kota Kinabalu as a destination to try out your new aircraft,” he added.

Also present at the dinner event were MAB chief commercial officer Arved von Zur Muehlen and Sabah Tourism Board chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai.


Source: Borneo Post

Sabah still strives to ensure Sumatran rhinos’ survival

KOTA KINABALU, Jan 7 — Efforts to ensure the survival of the Sumatran rhinoceros, especially in Sabah, have not ceased, says state tourism, culture and environment minister Datuk Masidi Manjun.

He admitted that with the poor health of Iman, the only female rhino in captivity, efforts had become more difficult.

“Considering that she (Iman) is the only one left, to me, that is even more difficult (to save Sumatran rhinos from extinction).

“You know, when you only have one left, sometimes you have to think twice before engaging in a treatment that has not been proven yet,” he said when met by reporters after opening the Camaca Gelato Concept Cafe here today.

Masidi said there had been a lot of suggestions and theories on how to treat Iman, but so far, none were successful.

Nevertheless, he was pleased the Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD), through its cooperation with various bodies continued to work hard to ensure the survival of the rhino species.

“They (SWD) have probably found and been in touch with someone best in the treatment of rhinos,” he noted.

Iman has been battling uterine leiomyoma tumour when she began bleeding in her uterus on Dec 14 last year.

She is the only female rhino in captivity in the country after the death of Puntung in June last year due to cancer. — Bernama

Source: Malay Mail

MAS Airbus A350 conducts test flight to KKIA

KOTA KINABALU: A Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB) Airbus A350 plane conducted its test flight from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) to the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) yesterday.

Aimed at providing the pilots and cabin crew the experience of handling the new aircraft before it started its Kuala Lumpur to London service on Jan 15, the plane arrived at KKIA at 3.50 pm after departing from KLIA at 1.05 pm.

Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun, Sabah Tourism Board chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai, MAB’s Chief Commercial Officer Arved von zur Muehlen and more than 100 other passengers were on the flight.

Speaking to reporters after arriving at the KKIA, von zur Muehlen said the new aircraft, which has 286 seats including four seats in the First Class, 35 in Business Class and 247 in Economy Class, is believed to be able to provide excellent experience and comfort to customers.

He expressed gratitude for being able to fly the KUL-BKI route prior to commencing the KUL-LDN route.

“We’re happy we can fly here and are very grateful for the support from Sabah Tourism Board to show our latest product.

“The A350 is our latest flight as we are redoing our fleet, which is one of the youngest in Asia with only four years,” he said.

Arved explained that the new A350 fleet would be replacing the A380, due to various factors.

“The A350 XWB offers true long-range capability, operational efficiency with 25 per cent lower operating cost and exclusive passenger experience.

“The A380 is a larger aircraft and for the size of the Malaysian market, its capacity is too much.

“To fill the aircraft everyday is a bit of a challenge and the London route is competitive, so the A350 is better,” he said.

Arved added that air quality will improve significantly in the A350 with a new air filter system, wide seats offering a high level of comfort for long-haul travel, in-seat entertainment and full connectivity, as well as full LED cabin lighting system, among others.

All six ordered A350 aircrafts will be delivered by the second half of the year, said Arved, while the former A380 crafts will be used for pilgrimage chartered flights to Jeddah and Madinah.


Source: Borneo Post

Build museum that showcases cultural integration – Masidi

KOTA KINABALU: Build a new museum that reflects the harmonious cultural integration among the people in Sabah, suggested Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun.

Masidi said the suggestion to turn the burned-down old building next to Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank (HSBC) in the city is not possible as the site is tied up with some legal issues.

“I am sure the Chinese community can find a place to put up the museum. I am sure the state government will be very considerate and, probably, in giving the land at a nominal cost,” he told the press at the launch of CAMACA at Jalan Dewan here yesterday.

“But generally, I would prefer that we have a new museum complex, bigger area with a lot of sections.

“We are noted for tolerance, we are noted for unity. I think we should reflect that in our museum. You can have your Kadazan section, the Chinese section, Murut section but, I think, personally, as a single unit of museum because that is Sabah,” he added.

Masidi reckoned that talks of having a dedicated museum could spark other demands and requests that would not end.

“So, let’s get our priority straight. Whatever we do in Sabah, I think it should reflect the harmonious nature in the integration of people in Sabah and that should include the museum,” he explained.

The Federation of Chinese Associations Sabah (FCAS) president, Tan Sri TC Goh, had expressed the association’s readiness to set up the proposed Chinese Heritage Museum for Sabah should the state government give the green light.

Goh said this in welcoming the recent call made by Kapayan assemblyman Dr Edwin Bosi, urging the government to turn the burned-down old building next to Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank (HSBC) into a Chinese Heritage Museum.

Special Tasks Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Teo Chee Kang also welcomed the proposal and said the state government would be willing to facilitate the implementation of the meaningful project, which had actually been put into action during the tenure of former FCAS president, the late Datuk Seri Panglima Sari Nuar.

On another development, Masidi anticipates that the state would probably receive the tourism tax disbursements from the federal government under a different name on the basis of giving back to the state.

“It should be more than what we expect but it is up to us to tell them that we need this money to do promotions, for example, and they will give it to us, which may, ultimately, be more than what we ask for,” he hoped.

When it comes to the tourism, Masidi said growth will largely depend on the availability of hotels in Sabah.


Source: Borneo Post