Thursday, January 17, 2008




A local entrepreneur is seeking an Order of Mandamus from the High Court here to compel the Director of Land Survey and the Registrar of Land Titles to process his applications for agriculture land in Lahad Datu and issue the title deeds to him.

In his application for judicial review, Abdul Rahman Mohd Noor is also seeking a court order to declare that he is the lawful and legal owner of the 30 parcels of land measuring 305 acres at Kampung Dewata, Lahad Datu.

He filed the application through counsel Marcel Jude Joseph, naming the Director of Land and Survey and the Registrar of Land Titles as the respondents.

The case came up for hearing before High Court Judge Datuk Clement Skinner in Chambers yesterday. The respondents were represented by Senior State Counsel Zaleha Rose Pandin from the State Attorney-General Chambers.

Met after the proceedings yesterday, Marcel said the court put off case to Feb 26 this year for resumption of the hearing.

Abdul Rahman, who is also seeking damages and costs from the respondents in his application, was present in court yesterday.

In his application filed last year, Abdul Rahman said that in 1980 a survey permit was issued by the district surveyor in Lahad Datu in respect of the various parcels of land located at Kampung Dewata.

However, the survey plan of the land application contained several shortcomings and on Jan 24, 1980 the district surveyor informed the Sabah Survey services about the problems.

Abdul Rahman claimed that one, Ahmad Padtiatai was the holder of a Power of Attorney dated Feb 5, 1980 in respect of the 30 persons who applied for the said land. On Feb 19 that year Ahmad entered into an agreement with him whereby he purchased 305 acres from Ahmad.

According to him, on Feb 19, 1980 a substitute Power of Attorney was signed and granted by Ahmad to him in respect of the land applications.

He said that after paying the premium on March 30,1980 he was issued a temporary occupation license by the land office the next day.

On July 2, 1987 after due enquiries as to why the title documents for the land were still not issued to him, Abdul Rahman said he wrote to the district surveyor in Lahad Datu.

In his reply, district surveyor Wong Kooi said the department was seeking the advice from the Director of Land and Survey as the private surveyor engaged to survey the land had since ceased to practice and his whereabouts was unknown.

On July 30, 2003 a meeting was held with Director of Land and Survey, said Abdul Rahman, adding that he had already taken possession of the 305 acres of land and has since cultivated it.

Another meeting was held on April 1, 2005 between all the relevant parties chaired by the Director of Land and Survey but until today there is still no decision or conclusion on the matter, he said.


Two of 20 proposed CCTVs set up in City

Be careful what you are doing in public places around the city. You are being watched at all times.
This was a warning from City Hall Director General Datuk Dr Chua Kim Hing, who revealed that two closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras have been set up at Segama and Gaya Street here.
“The CCTVs are meant not only to further improve security and public safety, but also to help create more responsible citizens,” he said, adding that the images would be monitored round the clock in their monitoring room at the City Hall building.
Speaking at a press conference yesterday to announce the City Run to be held on Feb 24, Chua said the two sets are among the 20 CCTVs proposed by the police to be set up at crime-risk areas around here.
He said the two CCTVs were installed in the middle of last month and to date, several people have been compounded for committing even the most minor offences such as indiscriminately disposing of rubbish, littering and even stealing plants belonging to the local authority. “Everything is monitored. If we see anyone violating the by-laws, we will contact our men on the ground to nab them, and if it concerns crime, the police will be notified immediately,” said Chua. He added that more CCTVs would be setup pending allocation from the Federal Government. “The message in having CCTVs is not just to prevent crime, but also to educate the public to be more responsible. We can make the City a better place to be in if we all behave well,” he said. Chua also touched on issues pertaining to rubbish, saying the City Hall would be adopting the Litter Free Event on Feb 24. “Big events have always been associated with piles of rubbish, and it is time that the people are educated to refrain from littering and make it a habit to dispose of rubbish properly,” he said. Chua said the Sure Heboh was the worst scenario in terms of environmental impact as tonnes of rubbish were left behind after the event. “We want to change the people’s mindset. We want them to be responsible enough to dispose of their rubbish properly and refrain from littering,” he stressed. “In this respect, we have planned several programmes to educate the public, which among others include an Anti Littering Campaign to be jointly organised with the Youth and Sports Department, and it will see some 6,000 people collecting rubbish and cleaning up the City soon,” he said. Chua said they had carried out a similar project before and the results were shocking. It was held during the former Mayor Datuk Abdul Ghani Abdul Rashid’s time, which only involved City Hall officers and personnel. During that time, the operation was only concentrated along the roadsides and even so, there was not enough rubbish bags and the trips made by the garbage trucks were uncountable .... it was beyond our expectation and shocking,” he said.
With this in mind, this time the City Hall has decided to include the public in the effort with the hope that it would teach them the valuable lesson of maintaining cleanliness.
In addition to this, Chua said unauthorised advertisements, such as those pinned on the walls, bus stops, public phones and even those slipped into vehicle windows, would no longer be allowed.
It is an offence as it needs a proper permit. Besides, it is an eyesore and a public nuisance. Last year alone, we nabbed four people for committing the offence and would be charged in Court soon, he said.


Bid to smuggle cooking oil to Philippines foiled

The Customs Department here thwarted an attempt by three local men to smuggle more than 15,000 kilogrammes of subsidized cooking oil worth RM3O,000 to the Philippines via a ferry at the seaport here on Tuesday. Deputy State Customs Director Abdullah Zawawi said the trio aged between 30 and 60, were nabbed by Customs officers from the preventive branch following the seizure of 911 cartons each containing 17 packets of one kilogramme of cooking oil that were kept in fertilizer sacks. Preliminary investigations revealed the three men did not have a license from the Ministry of International Trade and Industry to export the cooking oil.
Alert Customs officers intercepted the ferry transporting the 282 sacks of cooking oil, Abdullah told reporters after attending a meeting with his officers at the Wisma Kastam here yesterday. “Investigations revealed that the cooking oil was to be brought to Zamboanga in southern Philippines,” he said. It is learnt that those arrested included the ferry captain, a delivery agent and a worker on the ferry. Abdullah said the department would step up checks at ports in the State, especially to prevent smuggling of , cooking oil to neighboing countries. “This is necessary in view of the high demand for Malaysian cooking oil because of its high quality and cheaper price,” he added. Present at the press conference was Sandakan Customs chief Hajah Norizam Zakaria. Meanwhile, Bernama reported that the Kedah Anti-Smuggling Unit (UPP) thwarted an attempt to smuggle 114kg of cooking oil, 2,730 pornographic DVDs and 1,550 pirated VCDs, all worth RM35,000, to Thailand in an operation on Tuesday night. Its commander, Mohd Noor Idris, said the items were seized when a Malaysian- registered lorry, which was heading to Thailand, was stopped at about 6.3Opm. “Following a search, the UPP team found 114 packets of cooking oil, each weighing 1kg, as well as the DVDs and VCDs in a box hidden behind the lorry driver’s seat,” he told reporters in Bukit Kayu Hitam on Tuesday night. The lorry driver, 49, from Bukit Mertajam, had been detained for investigations, he added. He said that during the operation at Km 1.3 of the North-South Expressway at Bukit Kayu Hitam-Changlun, the team also seized 88kg of cooking oil in several bottles from four Thai vehicles. Mohd Noor said there was high demand from the Thais to buy cooking oil from Malaysia due to the high price of the commodity in their country, at about RM3.50 per kg, while the DVDs and VCDs were to be distributed to pubs and nightclubs in Thailand. He said the Thai citizens who were arrested, in their 30s and 40s, would be issued compounds for attempting to smuggle controlled items.


Sabah hoteliers to discuss ban on foreign frontline staff

The ban on foreign hotel workers in frontline positions will be among the main matters to be discussed when the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) Sabah and FT Labuan chapter holds its monthly meeting next week. Chapter president Alex Cham said he is currently not in the position to comment on the issue as he will first have to get feedback from member hotels at the meeting on Jan 25. “For now I cannot say anything, but I can confirm that this issue will be one of our main subjects at the meeting,” said Cham, who is the General Manager of Promenade Hotel. On Tuesday, Ministry of Tourism Secretary General Victor Wee said the directive, which covers positions that involve direct contact with customers, will bring hotels in line with airports around the country in a bid to reduce migrant labour. “We want more Malaysians working as frontliners in hotels instead of foreigners. There are many Malaysians unemployed and employers should be prepared to pay more... we would like to implement policies to the benefit of Malaysians,” he said in an interview with AFP. Last week, the Federal Government said it would ban foreigners from working as porters, baggage handlers and even toilet cleaners at all airports in a bid to reduce the rate of migrant labour nationwide. Wee noted however that exceptions would be made for positions such as receptionists, where foreign language skills are required. He added that the ban would not damage hoteliers, who are being consulted over the timing of the imposition of the ban. MAH executive director Sarjit Singh meanwhile said that the ban would have a negative effect on the hotel industry, which is facing a general labour shortage. “Hotels here have never tried to depend on foreign labour but Malaysian youths are very choosy and do not like to work in hotels, probably because of the odd hours,” he said.


BRS to contest all State seats


Sabah’s opposition party Parti Barisan Rakyat Sabah (BRS) is organising an election briefing for all its divisions in Sabah at the Borneo Paradise, Beringgis on Jan 20 at 8am in its preparation for an expected early general election. - Its information chief, Dahil bin Masdik, said yesterday each division will send three representatives to the briefing to be conducted by officers from the Sabah Election Commission. BRS president Berman Angkap and the party’s adviser, Datuk Haji Mohd Noor Haji Mansor, will also be present at the briefing. In the afternoon, letters of appointment will be presented to the party’s supreme council members, divisional heads, liaison and bureau chiefs. Meanwhile, Dahil said at the party’s recent meet-the-leaders session at Kampung Taka-Taka in Pitas, Berman had stated that the party is ready to contest in all the 60 State seats in the coming election. The decision was welcomed and fully supported by party members, said Dahil. Referring to the recent statement by the Pasok president that the opposition parties had a meeting to discuss the allocation of seats, Dahil said although Berman did attend it, there was no decision yet on the seat allocation among the opposition parties.


Kit Siang to visit Keningau tomorrow


Opposition leader and Democratic Action Party (DAP) National Adviser Lim Kit Siang will visit Keningau on Friday to hear the problems of the people, especially from this district. Lim will be accompanied by State DAP coordinating chief Teresa Kok, Interior DAP chief Paul Kadau said on Tuesday. He said Lim is expected to meet the people at Juta Hotel about 7pm. Paul disclosed that all the DAP machineries in the interior are ready for the coming general election. “I have set up nine election centres in this district to assist me in the campaigns,” he said. Paul said DAP would not face any problem because all preparations were going smoothly and the people’s support was very encouraging.


King, Queen to visit Sabah


City Hall has urged shop operators in the city to put up the Jalur Gemilang and the State flag from January 21-23 in conjunction with the official visit by the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong and Raja Permaisuri Agong. In a statement issued yesterday, City Hall announced that Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin and Tuanku Nur Zahirah will be here for three days. “City Hall urges shop and shopping complex owners to raise the Jalur Gemilang and the Sabah State flag at their premises as a sign of respect, patriotism and love for our royal visitors,” he said.




Most Government servants in Sabah have given their thumbs up to the new Government ruling requiring all the male civil servants to wear Malaysian batik to work on Thursdays. The new ruling which wifi take effect this week, is to introduce and improve the status of Malaysian batik. Juvita G Bingkasan, 48, a staff of the Livestock and Husbandry Services Department, agreed with the new ruling as it would give civil servants more opportunities to don the batik. “As of now, people tend to only wear batik during formal occasions and most of the time it is only worn by people of certain social status. Therefore, this ruling gives the entire community, especially the Government servants, more opportunities to wear batik,” said Juvita who has been serving the Government for 20 years. Meanwhile, Jamalia Baliga, 49, a school administrator, said she would execute the directive and make sure that all male teachers in her school abide by it as soon as she receives the circular. “The staff in the school already adhere to the present ruling of wearing batik on the first and 15th of each month. In fact, we also wear the school’s official uniform every Monday,” she said. She explained that the introduction of this new ruling would further promote Malaysian batik and instil discipline among the teachers. He added the ruling should also be applied to female staff so that it would be more uniformed. Ahmad Khairut Termizi Daud, 24, a school staff, was optimistic that the Government’s move would boost the country’s handicraft industry. “This newly implemented step will not create any problem to the civil servants and in fact it will further strengthen our Malaysian identity and show our patriotism to the country,” said Ahmad who suggested that female civil servants should also be included in the ruling. According to Along Nur Hakim @ Sarnoh, wearing batik is something that should be encouraged along with the Government’s efforts to develop the tourism industry and the small and medium industries in the country. Nur Hakim who works in the Inland Revenue Board, Keningau branch, said it would boost the local batik industry and the local handicraft sector. On Tuesday, Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan announced that beginning this week, all male civil servants should wear Malaysian-made batik shirts to work every Thursday. He said a Government circular to enforce the ruling was signed by Public Services Department Director General Tan Sri Ismail Adam, adding that it would be sent to all the Government departments soon. Prior to this new ruling, male civil servants were required to wear batik shirts to work only on the first and 15th of every month. “Formerly, it (the ruling to use batik) was only every Saturday. Back then, it was easy to remember. Now, since we changed to first and 15th of every month, people tend to forget. “We are going back to the same system... which is easier to remember. We only allow the use of Malaysian batik and nothing else,” he said.