Monthly Archives: June 2009

SMEs need continuous support from govt, says chambers’ president


Sia Hiong Ngee

Sia Hiong Ngee

BINTULU: The Small and Medium (SME) industries in the state are comparatively small and weak, said the president of Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Sarawak (ACCCIS), Sia Hiong Ngee.

Thus, continuous support from the government in terms of loan and providing affordable industrial lands are vital.

Sia said the government’s policy of encouraging foreign investment is highly laudable as vast foreign direct investments do not only bring employments but stimulate economic growth.

“While welcoming foreign direct investments (FDI), I hope that the government will also put more effort to promote local industries especially SME’s,” said Sia in his keynote address during ACCCIS 44th annual general meeting at ParkCity Everly Hotel last Saturday.

He said the state government’s implementation of Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) was most encouraging.

“Mammoth projects such as the pulp and paper mill in Tatau, polycilicion and aluminium smelter plants in Similajau, press metal aluminium plant in Balingian, the Bakun and Murun hydro plants will bring a lot of opportunities.

“Not only to sub-contractors and suppliers but also to transporters, food caterers, hotel operators, furniture supplies and many more related businesses,” said Sia.

He hoped that the pace of constructing the infrastructure, especially bridges could be accelerated.

According to him the major roads linking the SCORE centres from Tg Manis in the southern tip to Similajau at the north-eastern top were yet to be connect for the efficient free-flow of traffic.

Sia who is the president of Bintulu Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry pointed out that in the near future the road system in Bintulu would not be able to cater for the heavy road traffic.

He reasoned that based on a record that more than 60 per cent of the heavy vehicles registered in Sarawak were in Bintulu.

“We hope that the government will upgrade Medan Jaya, Kidurong road, Medan Jaya mile 7 junction to an eight-lane carriageways while Bintulu Airport and Tatau road to a four-lane carriageway,” he added.

Sia also hoped the authorities concerned would speed up the process of approval of project applications because delayed approvals would put off a lot of proposals and cool down enthusiasm.

Apart from that he also requested for the relevant government authorities if possible to build factories and lease them out to beginners who have the skill but lack of capital.

“This will create a bigger and healthier business community and they will become the supporting industries for the conglomerates, increasing their efficiency and reducing their maintenance costs,” he said.

On the swiftlet farming industry, Sia called for full support and assistance from the relevant authority.

In view of the increased demand and good price for the product, the chamber hoped that more people irrespective of race and origin could participate in the business.

He also noted that young people nowadays preferred office to field works, adding that this was a serious phenomenon because we were running short of blue-collar workers which had to be bridged.

“Parents and learning institutions need to further encourage the young to take up blue-collar jobs.

“Only if they work hard, willing to learn, their future is equally good, if not better than those taking up white-collar jobs as those taking up white-collar jobs if not better,” Sia said.

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Parents urged to instil patriotism among children


PATRIOTIC: Talib signs the banner to show his support for a crime-free 1Malaysia society as Yusof (left) looks on.

PATRIOTIC: Talib signs the banner to show his support for a crime-free 1Malaysia society as Yusof (left) looks on.

BINTULU: Jepak assemblyman Datuk Talib Zulpilip urged parents to instil and cultivate the spirit of patriotism among their children as part of the value of their upbringing.

He said the spirit of patriotism is a vital factor for the young generation to be good citizens of tomorrow.

“Without patriotism, you will not be a good citizen,” said Talib during the Squad 69 PDRM Sarawak ‘Jelajah Keamanan Satu Malaysia’ dinner held at New World Suites last Saturday.

Talib also linked patriotism to the country’s security as he believed citizens with strong love to the nation will make the country strong and prosperous.

“No nation can be developed without strong national security and we’ve seen examples of how countries became chaotic due to internal wavering,” he said.

He stressed that to have peace the people must have the spirit of patriotism in their hearts.

Peace, said Talib would accelerate the economic growth of the country as the investors would gain confidence.

He congratulated Squad 69 as a good platform for the ex-armed forces personnel unite the various communities and subscribe to the 1Malaysia concept.

Squad 69 has set up a special committee pertaining to security here which is also participated by various government agencies.

During the annual general meeting (AGM) held last Saturday, DSP (Retired) Muhamad Yusof Isa was returned unopposed as the president.

In his keynote address, he said the committee will consist of personnel from Rukun Tetangga, the education, information and youth and sports departments, as well as government agencies and organisations.

Yusof also disclosed that one unit of security corps was also introduced in the division.

“Accredited coach and facilitator will be attached to train the members,” said Yusof, adding that members will consist of teenagers and secondary school students.

Dept supports proposal for two more colleges


This will reduce shortage of local trained teachers especially in rural schools, says Education director

BINTULU: The State Education Department supports the suggestion from Sarawak Teachers’ Union (STU) to set up two more teachers’ training colleges in the state.
 
Its director Dr Julaihi Bujang said this would reduce the shortage of local trained teachers, especially in rural schools.

Julaihi however said additional colleges might not necessarily solve the problem as “some local trained teachers are reluctant to serve back in their areas but prefer to teach in urban schools”.

He was asked to comment on the request from STU president William Ghani after he had officiated at the Bintulu-level Teac-hers’ Day 2009 celebration at SMK Assyakirin in Tanjung Kidurong here yesterday.

Julaihi said the request was good for intake of locals and trainees from Sabah. Travelling expenditure would be reduced if the colleges are sited in Lawas or Limbang.

Currently, there are some 38,000 teachers serving over 500,000 students in 177 secondary schools and 264 primary schools throughout the state.

Touching on another proposal, he said the department had no say on the intake of trainees and the proper training of untrained teachers .

He said the decision and intake comes under the jurisdiction of the ministry’s training division.

Ghani had recently called on the government to set up two more teachers’ training colleges in Sarawak to ensure intake of at least 50 per cent local trainees.

Earlier in his speech, Julaihi urged teachers to uphold the good image of their profession and be ready to change with global changes and challenges.

He said they were not only entrusted to educate but, most importantly, inculcate among locals values for the 1Malaysia concept.

A retired teacher, Bakeri Yusof, 70, from Kampung Baru was honoured with the Model Teacher 2009 award at the function.