HERE WITH YOU
FOKUS BERANI IKHLAS



Monday, 31 August 2009

GRAND NIECE


WELCOME little one
Born of Diana and Willie
This Merdeka eve wonder of nature
Enriches the Bingkasans
Thank you for being well
Thank you for being here
Be assured, you will be pampered
Thank you too
Coz of you, am now a grandfather
And proud of it!
(I was told at around 8pm by my sis Juvita,
the baby was
born
at noon, 30th August 2009

at the Sabah Medical Centre, KK)


Friday, 28 August 2009

ONE TOO MANY DRINKS

DRINKING. Aramai ti. RSS. Call it as you like. The fact remains: too much will make you drunk. Well, this article should be printed by our local dailies, and translated as well to our languages. Not that we do not know, drinking (and worst still drinking and driving and sms-ing) is not good. Hear ye, hear ye! Anybody? And to think that Kartika is to be canned for a glass of beer? Whatever lah....

ENGLISH TURN TO BOOZE ON HOLIDAY

English holidaymakers are turning to drink on their breaks with the average adult consuming eight alcoholic drinks a day, a survey suggests.

That equates to 80 drinks over the course of the average holiday, or well over 200 units of alcohol.

More than a quarter said they ended up drinking three times more than normal.

But 70% of the 3,500 adults questioned by the Department of Health said they plan to make September the "new January" by cutting back.

NHS guidelines advise no more than two to three units a day for women or three to four units for men - roughly equal to a large glass of wine for women and two pints of beer for men.

Government figures show 10 million adults in England regularly exceed the recommended daily limits, increasing their risk of serious illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, liver disease and various cancers. MORE

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

FLYING FOX POSER

FLYING fox. Gair. Gavi. They all mean the same. It is a very unique flying animal. And as far I am concerned, I love gair. I literally grew up with it. Eating it, that is. It has a very distinctive taste and smell. My beloved mum would make porridge with it. The taste: the very best in the world. This article? Yes. And No.

EXTINCTION THREAT TO FLYING FOX

Scientists are urging the government of Malaysia to ban the hunting of the world's largest fruit bat.

Researchers say the large flying fox will be wiped out on the Malaysian peninsula if the current unsustainable level of hunting continues.

Writing in the Journal of Applied Ecology they say around 22,000 of the animals are legally hunted each year and more killed illegally.

They say the species could be extinct there by as early as 2015.

Flying foxes can have a wingspan of up to 1.5m and are crucial for the rainforest ecosystems in this part of Asia.

Lead author, Dr Jonathan Epstein of Wildlife Trust, told BBC News: "They eat fruit and nectar and in doing so they drop seeds around and pollinate trees. So they are critical to the propagation of rainforest plants."

The most optimistic estimates put the population of flying foxes in peninsular Malaysia at 500,000.

Shooting at dusk

The animals are hunted for food, medicine and sport. Shooting takes place at dusk as the bats set out to forage overnight.

The researchers say their population models suggest that if current hunting rates continue it will take between six and 81 years for the species to be hunted to extinction.

The research team carried out abundance surveys and collected government data on hunting licences.

The scientists used a computer model to predict the fate of the species according to varying rates of kill and a range of current population estimates.

This was the first time satellite telemetry has been used to track bats in Asia. The method is often used to track birds but is more rarely used to study mammals.

The researchers trapped individual bats and fastened collars round their necks before releasing them.

Each collar sent a satellite signal which allowed the scientists to track the animal by computer.

The team found that individual animals travelled up to 60km a night in search of food. MORE

Friday, 21 August 2009

TURKISH BAHAR

WAS in Istanbul, Turkey in early August 2009
13 hours flight
Tired. Jet-lags. Not knowing what to expect
Ha ha ha ha
On the way to the hotel
Given hopes it was going to be alright
What with bahar (coconut toddy) also available
Ah... how easy to please a Kadazandusun
May be...


MAN WOMAN


SIMILAR situations had happened before in Malaysia, and even Sabah. Am just wondering why such doubts could be allowed to go on and on right up to the highest level of competition - a world championship.

WOMEN 800-METER CHAMP A MAN?
BERLIN (AP)—A day after winning her first 800-meter world title amid a gender-test controversy, the father of South African teenager Caster Semenya dismissed speculation his daughter is not a woman.

The 18-year-old runner’s father, Jacob, told the Sowetan newspaper: “She is my little girl. … I raised her and I have never doubted her gender. She is a woman and I can repeat that a million times.”

Semenya dominated her rivals to win the 800 on Wednesday despite revelations that surfaced earlier in the day that she was undergoing a gender test. Her dramatic improvement in the 800 and 1,500, muscular build and deep voice sparked speculation about her gender. MORE

Thursday, 20 August 2009

POLITICS

PLEASE do not get excited. Am posting this for file purposes. Just in case the readers miss the point, PR is on a one-to-one contest with BN for the seat which fell vacant when the PR representative passed away. Expect more exciting news...

PERMATANG PASIR BY-ELECTION TWISTS
PERMATANG PASIR, Aug 20 — The pressure on Barisan Nasional candidate Rohaizat Othman to withdraw is mounting following the revelation today by his former legal firm partner that the Umno politician was fully involved in the scandal that led to his disbarment.

Just minutes after Yusri Ishak surfaced at a press conference here to deny the allegations made by Umno leaders that he was the person who had failed to return RM161,000 in clients' funds, Pakatan Rakyat leaders took full advantage of it, castigating Rohaizat's integrity as a leader and demanding that he withdraw from contesting.MORE

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

WHAT RACE?

MY two cent. This is what Upko had been fighting all these while. Enough said.

CABINET DROPS 'RACE' FROM FORMS
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 18 – Despite the sharpening racial debate in the country, the Najib Administration’s move to push 1 Malaysia to unify its 27 million citizens of various ethnicity has received a boost with the Cabinet’s agreement to drop “race” from most official forms and documents.

It is understood that Malaysians can opt out of stating race in official forms and documents that still have such a requirement. The category has been in all forms since the country achieved Merdeka in 1957.

“The Cabinet made the decision in early August,” a government official familiar with the move told The Malaysian Insider.

He said the civil service is now working to eliminate the category in all new forms and documents being printed.

However, it is understood that some forms will continue to have the category in relation to special privileges for Bumiputras. THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

KASITAH NOT GUILTY

I KNOW Tan Sri Kasitah (but, of course he may not know me). He is from Ranau and that was where I served my boss, Tan Sri Dompok for four years from 2004. I remember Kasitah as among the leaders who helped formed the Ranau Regional Development Authority masterplan. It was approved by the Federal Government but surprisingly was rejected by the Sabah Government. Don't ask me why because I could become an angry person....

KASITAH FREED FROM GRAFT CHARGES

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 12 — Former Land and Cooperative Development Minister Tan Sri Kasitah Gaddam was acquitted and discharged by the High Court today of committing corrupt practice and cheating involving shares belonging to the Sabah Land Development Board (SLDB) in 1996.

Justice Suraya Othman ruled that the prosecution had failed to make out a prima facie case on both charges for the court to call Kasitah to enter his defence.

"On maximum evaluation of the evidence forwarded during the prosecution case, essential ingredients of both offences were not made out on the facts before the court.

"In the circumstances, the accused stands acquitted and discharged of both the charges against him," Suraya said in her 73-page judgment.

An elated Kasitah, 62, told reporters that he was very relieved and happy with the verdict and would be rushing to visit his mother in Ranau before going for the umrah with his family and friends.

"I'm very thankful to God and I did not expect to be freed today after going through this ordeal since 2004," he said before being hugged his family members and wife Rosni Ambuting.

Kasitah was charged with using his position as SLDB chairman for his financial gain by taking part in the decision to approve the sale of 16.8 million Sapi Plantation shares held by the board to Briskmark Sdn Bhd.

He was also charged with deceiving SLDB by omitting to disclose the offer by PPB Oil Palms to allocate five shares of the company for each Sapi Plantation share in the listing exercise.

Suraya said the prosecution's contention was that Kasitah had engineered the sale of Sapi shares to Briskmark to repay his bank loan of RM11.5 million with DCB Bank but the testimony of Briskmark director Datuk Wasli Mohd Said and accountant Vincent Chia revealed that RM11.5 million came from sale proceeds of Intra Oil shares belonging to Kasitah.

She said the evidence of DCB bank officers had conclusively proven that there was a genuine sale of IOS shares where Chia had used his secret profit of more than RM30 millions in PPB Oil Palms share transaction to purchase the IOS shares.

She said the prosecution had mainly relied on Wasli and Chia's evidence which were tainted with self-interest where Chia had handled two simultaneous transactions of PPB Oil Palm and IOS shares in making the secret profit.

She said Chia had acted for five parties, where he had represented Briskmark, owner of Arkwell Enterprise Ltd, was advisor to accounting firm Arthur Anderson, Kasitah and the SLDB, which put him in a serious position of conflict of interest by the many "hats" he wore.

"I cannot make a finding that Vincent Chia is an accomplice. However, from evidence gathered, it is extremely clear that Vincent Chia is an opportunist of the highest order, one without principles or scruples," Suraya added.

On the second charge, she said the prosecution's contention that Kasitah had knowledge of the 5:1 offer and had dishonestly concealed it from the board members during the board meeting on Oct 22, 1996, was not accurate because Wasli, the former general manager of SLDB, had admitted that the PPB Oil Palms deal was tabled at the March 4, 1996 meeting.

However, the offer was sidelined in favour of two local Bumiputera companies at the Oct 22, 1996, meetings where, besides Mohd Tahir, another board member, Catherine Yong Shui Han, had positively admitted that members of the SLDB board knew of the 5:1 offer by PBB, she said. — Bernama

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

CASABLANCA

HEY all. Am back
It was a ten-day trip
Turkey. Morocco. UK
31July to 10 August 2009
Tiring. Interesting. Insightful
This picture is a scene of Casablanca
Taken from my Casablanca Hotel room
Like Malaysia
Its a developing nation
Hope we can continue to progress
And be better

Monday, 3 August 2009

FIT FOR KINGS

A SHORT update from Turkey. Was accompanying my boss for a sumptous dinner at the famous (so they said) Tugra Restaurant, a six-star outlet which is part of the only Imperial Palace Hotel in Turkey.
The food is top class. Sweet, as Turkish Delights again, was served in abundance. FYI, Turkish Delights are mainly candies and all kinds of very sweet tidbits. The picture was taken by my friend, Nagarajan who is very efficient and hardworking...
CIRAGAN PALACE'S TUGRA RESTAURANT
The Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul, once the home of Ottoman sultans (the only Imperial Palace Hotel in Turkey), is dramatically situated on the shores of the Bosphorus. This incomparable view reflects the grandeur and glamour of the hotel itself, which is the only palace in Istanbul to have become a five-star hotel. The Ciragan Palace Kempinski has 313 rooms. Aside from 11 opulent suites in the palace itself, there are an additional 20 suites in the hotel. It is a 100% smoke free hotel.
All restaurants offer a balcony or terrace overlooking the Bosphorus and seat between 90 and 200 diners. In the Palace, the elegant and award-winning Tugra Restaurant specializes in traditional Ottoman cuisine – a balcony is open during summer months. MORE

DOMPOK KPIs

THIS is self-explanatory. Hope this is not too high a dream. Its worth a fight. And an expectation...

DOMPOK PUSHING FOR HIGHER RETURNS IN PLANTATIONS

KUALA LUMPUR- Maximising productivity from Malaysia’s plantation industries is the top priority of the Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry in efforts to further strengthen the role of commodities in building the country’s economy.

“We are working with the limitations of Mother Nature. We have only six million hectares of agriculture land in the country out of 32 million hectares in total land size,” said minister Bernard Dompok.

Dompok wants to lift the yields of the main crops like oil palms, rubber trees and cocoa trees without resorting to expanding their planted area on a massive scale. He hopes to be able to do this through better planting materials, good agricultural practices (GAP) and enhanced research and development (R&D). MORE

Sunday, 2 August 2009

TURKISH DELIGHTS

HELLO one and all. Its a wonder how the IT era manages to connect people no matter where they are. On 31 July 2009, almost on the stroke of midnight, I was privileged to accompany my boss for a palm oil promotional trip to the Middle East especially in Turkey.
We stop by for about two hours in Dubai, Saudi Arabia after a seven hours flight from Kuala Lumpur before continuing to Istanbul for another five hours.
Am posting this from the Ceyland Intercontinental Hotel, Istanbul. In a gist, there are certainly a whole lot of Turkish delights - food, kebab, hundred years of buildings and what not. Was at the Grand Bazaar yesterday (Saturday) and today, we went to the Taksim Square, the Blue Mosque and the Domalbache palace. Enough said... going for a nap now - its 9.11pm in Malaysia, but in Instanbul only 4.11pm - five hours behind. More posting later...
LARGEST BAZAAR IN THE WORLD

Twenty five thousand people work in the Grand Bazaar today. Over three thousand shops are housed within the market, and two hundred and fifty thousand people visit it every day. This number increases to four hundred thousand during the months of heavy tourist traffic in the summer.

Today, it is almost as though there is no one who comes to Istanbul without visiting the Grand Bazaar. As a place, it is identified closely with the city. In the bazaar, you will find a vast number of stores selling leather clothes and accessories, rugs and carpets, and gifts of every variety. Nonetheless, the most impressive aspect of the Grand Bazaar is its status as the world’s largest jewelry bazaar. Of course, it is also the centre of Turkey’s gold market. MORE