- Renewable energy potential in Sabah projected to exceed 2,700MW — Ongkili
- ‘Unity council open to all to give views’
- Litterbugs will be fined on the spot – City Hall
- PBRS to fly flag at Mt Everest peak
- Strong demand for higher royalty
- Fire destroys quarters
Posted: 29 Mar 2014 12:00 PM PDT
KOTA KINABALU: The renewable energy (RE) potential in Sabah is projected to exceed 2,700 megawatt (MW) in total if fully exploited, said Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili.
He said most of the capacity was expected to come from hydro resources at 1,930MW, geothermal (405MW) and biomass (370MW).
"Sabah is already a leader in grid-connected RE power plants such as from oil palm biomass, biogas and small hydro, and very soon, geothermal sources.
"There are five RE power plants with a total installed capacity of 36.5MW operating in Sabah. The biomass plants account for 30MW while the remaining 6.5MW comes from mini hydro," he added.
Ongkili was speaking at the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) involving Tawau Green Energy (TGE) Sdn Bhd, Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) and Atlas Copco, as well as the launch of the Renewable Energy Association of Sabah (REASabah) here on Friday.
According to the minister, one of the RE projects in Sabah was Malaysia's first geothermal power plant being built by Tawau Green Energy at Apas Kiri in Tawau, with capacity of 36MW. He said the plant when commissioned would not only help to reinforce generation capacity in Sabah's east cost but would also put Malaysia on the world map of geothermal power production.
On the MoU signed with UMS, Ongkili said it would enable the university to utilise TGE's project site to undertake research in the field of geology, geophysics, chemistry and other related studies, and the insight gained from the research was expected to boost capacity building in geothermal energy.
He said findings from the research would also facilitate future develoment of geothermal resources exploration in the country, especially in the Tawau-Semporna peninsula.
On REASabah, Ongkili hoped the new association would provide Sabah RE industry players a platform to exchange ideas and network constructively to strengthen the industry in the state. — Bernama
Posted: 29 Mar 2014 11:58 AM PDT
KOTA KINABALU: The National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC) is opened to all individuals or groups to submit views to strengthen national unity, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Joseph Kurup.
He said, when the 30-member council was set up after the 13th general election, individuals, non-governmental organisations (NGOs)and political parties were invited to voice their views in a series of dialogue being organised throughout the country.
"NUCC has been to 18 locations nationwide to hold these dialogues. Every NGO has been invited and we would like them to turn up while political parties are also invited to give their views.
"It is also opened to the people and those who attended but are unable to give their views, can write them down and insert them in the boxes provided," he told reporters here yesterday after attending the presentation ceremony of the Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS), Barisan Nasional (BN), Jalur Gemilang and Sabah flags, which will be brought to Mt Everest summit.
Kurup was commenting on the possibility of certain quarters, especially the opposition parties questioning the NUCC report based on the series of dialogues to be submitted to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak later.
"In actual fact, the opposition parties need not dispute (the dialogue report) and they have also questioned the setting up of NUCC.
"But it is alright as long as we know what is best for the country in terms of uniting the people," he said.
He said those who did not have the opportunity to attend the dialogues that were held in their areas could also submit their views by surfing the website www.nucc.my to submit their views and opinions.
On the mission to bring the flags of PBRS, BN, Jalur Gemilang and Sabah to the top of Mt Everest, Kurup said they would be brought to the world's highest summit next April 4. — Bernama
Posted: 28 Mar 2014 10:36 AM PDT
by Chok Sim Yee. Posted on March 29, 2014, Saturday
KOTA KINABALU: Litterbugs be warned as City Hall will now compound them on the spot to raise public awareness that littering is an offence.
Mayor Datuk Abidin Madingkir has announced that this is the Year of Enforcement for City Hall, in support of Visit Malaysia Year and Visit Sabah Year 2014.
He said City Hall would compound litterbugs on the spot to teach them a lesson.
It was learnt that the on-the-spot compound for littering is RM20 and litterbugs can be fined up to RM500.
In addition, Abidin said City Hall and the Health Department would also crack down on dirty premises and restaurants by prohibiting them from operating.
"City Hall and Health Department officers have already closed several dirty restaurants," he said at a ceremony to recognize Sabah Fisheries Department as a litter-free office here yesterday.
The department has also joined the campaign to reduce the usage of plastic bags spearheaded by City Hall.
According to Abidin, City Hall has recognized 85 zones as litter-free, including offices, schools, tourist spots, villages, clinics and higher learning institutions.
"So far 20 offices have been recognized as litter-free, including Sabah Fisheries Department since the campaign was launched in 2008," said Abidin.
He said the main objective of the Anti-Litterbugs Campaign was to make Kota Kinabalu city litter-free.
Through this campaign, litter-free zones will be created one by one and it is the hope of City Hall that litter-free zones can be expanded to the whole of Kota Kinabalu.
On the campaign to reduce plastic bag usage, Abidin reiterated that City Hall was not out to ban the usage of plastic bags.
"The message that we stress on is to dispose of plastic bags properly and to practise the 3R concept – reduce, reuse and recycle," he said.
Since the campaign to reduce plastic bag usage was launched on June 7, 2010, a total of 309 participants have signed up for the cause, including Sabah Fisheries Department.
Abidin hoped that the department would continue to play its role in instilling good values and love for the environment among its employees.
"Areas that are polluted with rubbish are not only an eyesore, they also cause negative impact to the community as well as lead to various diseases due to dirty environments.
"In addition, dirty environments also tarnish the image of our city in the eyes of tourists, not to mention that this year is Visit Malaysia Year and Visit Sabah Year," he said.
Also present at the event were Sabah Fisheries Department director Datuk Rayner Stuel Galid and City Hall deputy director of operations Joannes Solidau.
Posted: 28 Mar 2014 10:35 AM PDT
by Rebecca Chong. Posted on March 29, 2014, Saturday
KOTA KINABALU: Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) will leave its mark at the highest location in the world, the peak of Mount Everest, when a flag consisting of the flags of PBRS, Barisan Nasional (BN), Sabah and Malaysia is handed to nine-time Everest climber, Sherpe Dorje Khatri.
The project, named Everest Project 2014, Flame of Peace, Unity and Tolerance towards World's Highest Peak is organized by PBRS N.15 Api Api, which will be sending eight representatives to be led by Dr Jay Rahman, the division chief of N.15 Api-Api.
The eight representatives will be flying off to Kathmandu on April 1 and the flag will be presented to Sherpa, witnessed by a Malaysian ambassador's representative.
"It will take about a month for Sherpa to reach the peak for the 10th time, and he will be sending pictures of the flag hoisted at the peak of Mount Everest," Jay explained.
He said the project which cost about RM32,000, aimed to promote unity and the spirit of patriotism.
"This project also serves as a symbol of the highest achievement, because if PBRS-BN N.15 could bring our mission to the top of the world, any other missions would be possible," he added.
Meanwhile, Mohd Shahbudin Abdullah who is one of the committee members of PBRS N15, said the idea of the mission started three years ago, but due to certain circumstances, it could only be realized this year.
According to Shahbudin, Sherpe is from Nepal and works as a tour guide for Mount Everest, and he is very happy to become PBRS's representative in bringing the flag to the top of Mount Everest.
Sherpe's climb to the peak of Mount Everest will start on April 4.
Posted: 28 Mar 2014 10:34 AM PDT
by Murib Morpi. Posted on March 29, 2014, Saturday
PENAMPANG: The youth wings of three Kadazandusun-based Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties have banded together in pursuit of their common goal to lobby for an immediate review of the State oil royalty.
While opposition leaders have been extremely vocal in demanding for the increase, especially in the run-up to the last general election where they included the issue as the main agenda in their manifesto, the BN component parties in the State have always been more subtle and cautious in their approach.
That ended yesterday when youth executive committees from Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS), United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organization (UPKO) and Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) issued a strong statement demanding for the current five per cent royalty to be immediately increased to 20 per cent.
"We believe that, together, Sabah and Sarawak could have a louder voice in the matter. We need to start somewhere and it so happened that the three of us are good friends. So, why not we start the ball rolling," said PBS Youth chief Datuk Jake Nointin, when asked about the sudden change of tone in their call.
Speaking in a joint press conference with UPKO Youth chief Arthur Sen and PBRS youth chief Arthur Kurup, he said they made the call in support of a recent demand for the same review by the Chief Minister of Sarawak, adding that the three Youth movements decided to come together as one voice to further strengthen the calls that have long been made by their respective parties.
Reading out a joint statement issued during the press conference, he said the call for higher royalty was justified given that Sabah and Sarawak were very much lagging behind in terms of development and in need of much bigger allocations to improve their basic infrastructure.
"The scenario has changed over the last 50 years, where we Sabah and Sarawak are now the biggest oil producer in Malaysia that significantly contribute towards the country's development.
"At the same time, infrastructure development in these two massive states is not on par with that in Peninsular Malaysia. As such, it is appropriate for us to be given more than the five per cent we are getting now for developing our states, in line with the spirit of solidarity and understanding that the partners of Malaysia have practised all this while," he said.
He said in order for the royalty to be increased, related laws must first be amended, but this may take a lengthy process and negotiations with the parties concerned.
In this regards, he said the group suggested for a temporary solution to be adopted, by having the five per cent royalty given to the Federal Government redirected to the state government, in addition to the five per cent already paid to Sabah.
"This will increase the royalty received by the State to 10 per cent and this can be done without amending the Petroleum Act. This will immediately give Sabah additional funds for its development," explained Sen.
The group also demanded for more key positions in the oil and gas industry, particularly for positions on the board of directors of Petronas to be given to Sabahans and Sarawakians.
On a separate issue, they also called for a Parliamentary Select Committee to be set up to assess the implementation of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and the 18/20 Points Memorandum.
Among the issues the committee should look into, they said, included the Borneonisation of the civil services in Sabah and Sarawak and the allocation of seats for each member of the Federation of Malaysia in parliament.
"We suggest the committee members be appointed from among the government and opposition parliamentarians from Sabah and Sarawak as well as from Peninsular Malaysia. Their findings shall be presented in the parliament together with recommendations in regards to seat allocation, in line with the spirit of the Cobbold Report.
"Currently, the seat for Sabah and Sarawak combined represents less than 25 per cent of the Parliament, and this is not in line with the Malaysia Agreement and the Federal Constitution, which stated that the seat proportion for Sabah and Sarawak must be similar but not less than the initial quota allocated.
"During the first Parliament sitting the proportion was about 35 per cent for Sabah and Sarawak and this is what we are calling for. This is one of our strongest claims because it is supported with legal and historical documents. We are not making this up, we are only asking what is rightfully ours," said Kurup.
The group also demanded for the federal government to include 'Sabah Native' and 'Sarawak Native' for all ethnic categorization in its official forms, instead of just using 'Malay', 'Chinese', 'Indian' and 'Others'.
Posted: 28 Mar 2014 10:32 AM PDT
LAHAD DATU: A row of seven units of quarters in Jalan Dam here was destroyed in early morning fire yesterday.
District Fire and Rescue Department chief Mohd Apandi Mahmood said his department received a distress call at 3.21am and rushed six firemen in two fire engines to the scene.
"We arrived at the scene four minutes later and managed to control the blaze from spreading to other premises about 40 minutes later.
"The operation to put out the fire ended at 6.14am," he said, adding that no casualties were reported.
Mohd Apandi said the cause of fire and the losses were still under investigation.
He thanked the villagers and members of public who assisted in putting out the fire.
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