Monthly Archives: February 2009

PR makes Bintulu important election fortress

BINTULU: Pakatan Rakyat (PR) has declared that Bintulu will be its important fortress in the opposition’s bid to bring changes in the state.

PR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who went on to appoint the audience ‘special officers for the coming election’, conceded the heavy task of unseating the current state government.

 “When people ask me if there is any hope for PR in Sarawak, I said I don’t know about the hope but what I know is I will work, and leave the rest to God,” he said to more than 2,000 supporters coming out to meet him at a chalet by the Bintulu-Tatau road near here Saturday.

Ealier, Anwar arrived at Bintulu Airport in drizzling rainm which did not stop his supporters from queuing up to shake his hands.

 “And what I know is that if Sarawakians do not want to change, their lands, their future and their children’s future will be at stake,” he said to cheers of ‘Time for change, change for the better’-slogan of the gathering which was organised by ‘Dayaks of Central Region and PKR’.

According to Anwar, his visit to Bintulu was not to condemn anyone but to point out the plight of the people and to safeguard their rights over what are rightly theirs.

Anwar said the country was actually owned by the people, rightly, therefore, the rakyat’s consent must be obtained before policies were adopted.

He also said that PR supporters must be confident of achieving what the opposition coalition had set out to do-take over the mantle of the government.

He said if a big party like Umno could be defeated in Kuala Terengganu, there was no reason not to believe that any smaller party could be likewise defeated in elections.

Also present at the gathering cum dinner were Ngemah assemblyman Gabriel Adit Demong, Padungan assemblyman Dominique Ng, PKR state advisor Datuk Hafsah Harun, Kidurong assemblyman Chiew Chiu Sing and organising chairman Munan Laja.


Taib agrees Bintulu needs second bridge

Taib receiving aircraft keys from managing director of Airflite Limited Australia, Homer Constant (right) on behalf of the aviation college.

KEYS TO AIRCRAFT: Taib receiving aircraft keys from managing director of Airflite Limited Australia, Homer Constant (right) on behalf of the aviation college.


BINTULU: Chief Minister Pehin Seri Abdul Taib Mahmud admitted that a second bridge linking the town to Kampung Jepak is required.


“However, the financing needs to be studied thoroughly first,” he said when officiating at the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) at Gulf Golden International Flying Academy (GGIFA) International College of Aviation at the local airport yesterday.


He said this in reply to GGIFA’s executive chairman, Dato Morshidi Abdul Rahman’s suggestion that a second bridge was needed to span Kemana River between the town and Kampung Jepak as a way to balance and stabilise local development.


Taib concurred and gave assurance that the state government would look into the proposal.


“If you have a good plan for the bridge I will be happy to support it,” said Taib much to the delight of the audience.


In fact, GGIFA’s parent company, Gulf Golden Square Sdn Bhd, had submitted a proposal to the state government through Bintulu Development Authority (BDA) to such a bridge on a private financing initiative (PFI).


Morshidi believed that the bridge would help transform Bintulu into a very dynamic town and create new growth centres in Jepak area.


Other forms of development in the pipelines include transportation and communication infrastructure linking Bintulu, Mukah and Tanjong Manis, which are all within the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE).


On the flying academy, Taib said it was another step that would bring Sarawak to a higher development level.


He said the state’s second wave of politics of development required not only a lot of industrial expertise, skills with quality knowledge, but pilots as well.


He praised Morshidi for taking the initiative to venture into the aviation sector to produce pilots, technicians and engineers.


Admitting that pilots are in high demand globally, Taib observed that many Malaysian pilots migrated to Middle East countries where salaries are much higher.


Earlier, Morshidi has said that due to the high demand for aviation -related training, the academy’s future expansion plan would involve the building of new campus not far from the current location.


“We are in the final stage of purchasing the 10 acres of land from SGOS Holding Sdn Bhd. Initially we wanted 45 acres site, but the price of the land is beyond our means,” he said.


He hoped to start work on the new campus sometime this coming June and scheduled the completion for June next year.


“The RM120 million campus (on 45 acres sites) can accommodate at least 800 students inclusive of staff housing.


“We expect to train at least 300 cadet pilots and 200 to 400 technical and engineering students.


“Once completed, we will have the biggest aviation college in the Asia Pacific region complemented by the largest training area of 400 square miles,” he said.


The first group of at least 18 trainees from batches one and two are expected to graduate and obtain their commercial pilot licences with Air Transport Pilot Licence (Frozen) this coming April.

Bintulu folk to enjoy deConnexion services soon

IT SAVVY: Dr Rundi (right) together with BDA general manager Mohidin Ishak at the press conference.


BINTULU: The people here, be they living in urban or rural areas, will enjoy deConnexionbroadbandconnectivityservices soon.

The services utilise advanced wireless broadband technologies capable of handling tripe-play (voice, data and video) and scalable to quadruple-play, including IPTV.


Dr Stephen Rundi disclosed this after he chaired the Bintulu Broadband Stakeholders Group (BBSG) meeting at a press conference in Wisma Bintulu here yesterday.


The project, referred to as deConnexion, is spearheaded through a joint venture between state- owned Sacofa Sdn bhd (telecommunications common facilities and fibre optic backbone infrastructure provider) and Danawa Resources Sdn Bhd (builder and provider of digital highway for rural and underserved area).


“The Sarawak state government has initiated a project to provide high speed broadband services throughput the state in order to achieve 50 per cent household broadband penetration by 2010 from the initial low of 1.3 per cent in 2006,” said Dr Rundi.


Dr Rundi who is also Kemena assemblyman said the BBSG would assist the state government to identify the needs of the local community in terms of ICT and Internet connectivity.


“The group (BBSG) will also assist the state government in ensuring competitive and reliable broadband services at affordable rates to the locals and the people at large.


“The BBSG will provide a forum for organisations across the converging broadband value-chain to discuss and resolve issues related to the development and exploitation of broadband that affects the local community,” he said.


BBSG aimed to encourage a knowledge-based economy and a K (knowledge)-society by helping to make the local community as one of the most connected communities in the country, said Dr Rundi.


The BBSG model follows the successful Miri Broadband Stakeholders Group (MBSG), which was initiated to assist with the deployment of the deConnexion pilot project in Kiri in early 2007.


The arrival of the deConnexion projejct in Bintulu was much anticipated as there’s clearly high demand for affordable, reliable and accessible high speed broadband services here, said Dr Rundi.