April 2010 Archives

Kuching: Sarawak is close to becoming a medical tourism hotspot, said Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.

Addressing orthodontists at a dinner on Saturday, Taib said the state was set to attract world attention with an anticipated breakthrough 'soon' by its scientists working on a treatment for AIDs.

He said this and the plan to build a medical city in Samarahan, now only requiring ironing out some matters with the federal government, would draw globe trotters to Sarawak for the cure and the medical services the state would be offering.

"Sarawak is waiting for its own breakthrough for our own contribution to the medical world to cure AIDS...it is just around the corner as the trials are successful," he said during the 'Night of A Thousand Smiles' gala dinner hosted by Malaysian Association of Orthodontists at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching here.
He said many would be keen to get the cure, thus the government hoped to tap into this market by coming up with a plan capable of complementing this.

"The Sarawak government has allocated a big area ...to venture into the medical tourism industry.
"Now we are trying to iron out details with the federal government...to enable us to move forward and not get tied down by a lot of bureaucracy," he said.

Taib believed that the federal government would respond positively to the state government's efforts which he described as being in line with the federal government's aim of boosting the local medical tourism industry.

"Sarawak will respond positively to any policy on medical, in particular medical tourism, implemented by the federal government," he stressed.

He, however, was quick to add that while the government was actively promoting the medical tourism industry, it did not forget the need to give an affordable medical treatment and services to needy groups, especially the poor.

Continue reading medical city set to make state tourism hotspot

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Kota Kinabalu: The natives of Sabah will find it cheaper to climb Mount Kinabalu now.

Sabah Parks and the Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry, in collaboration with the Sutera Sanctuary Lodges (SSL), have made it convenient and economical for natives to climb the mountain.

The move was initiated by Sabah Parks and the Ministry, and was supported by SSL at a recent meeting attended by Tourism, Culture and Environment Assistant Minister, Datuk Bolkiah Haji Ismail, Sabah Parks Director, Paul Basintal, and SSL representative, Adrian de Rozario.

A statement here, Wednesday, said the meeting endorsed that only a minimum fee of RM80 for accommodation at Gunting Lagadan inclusive of meals would be offered to native Sabahans for a specific number of allocated beds that are available on a first come first served basis.

This privilege rate is a 72 per cent reduction from the published rate and is only applicable to Sabah's natives.

To enjoy this privilege, climbers must produce a valid identification verifying their status and all reservations under this privilege must be made through Sabah Parks.

Reservations are only open to walk-in individuals and not valid for travel agents or any tourism related agencies.

From Daily express

Pregnant rhino captured

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Kota Kinabalu: Image of the near-extinct Sumatran rhino believed to be a pregnant female and estimated to be below 20 years old, was captured by Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) and WWF-Malaysia's remote camera trap devices recently.

This strengthens the argument to maintain and improve the enforcement and security of the forest and wildlife reserves in this part of the region.

Presently, the rhino population is estimated to be less than 30 in Borneo, said International Rhino expert Dr Terri Roth.

"It would be wonderful if this female is pregnant, since there are so few Sumatran rhinos left in the world that each calf represents a lifeline for the species." SWD director Dr Laurentius Ambu highlights the importance of strong and co-ordinated enforcement in the forest and wildlife reserves by the relevant government agencies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in order to ensure the survival of this species in the Borneo's forests.

Currently, the WWF-Malaysia is working closely with other government agencies such as the SWD, Sabah Forestry Department and Sabah Foundation, with the support from the Royal Malaysian Police, to ensure the safety and survival of this endangered species in Borneo.

Continue reading Pregnant rhino captured

Warning about child labour

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Kota Kinabalu: Sabah employers have been told not to hire children and those found doing so will be prosecuted under the Labour Ordinance.

Under the law, a child is someone who is below the age of 15.

The law allows for children to work only for family providing it is not more than six hours a day and not from 8pm and 7am the next day.

Also, the task must not be beyond their capability and if they are students, they must not be asked to work during the school hours and not more than seven hours.

"And, a child must also be given a break of 30 minutes after three hours of working," State Labour Department's director Siti Aishah Mohd Asri said in a statement here yesterday. (...)

Siti Aishah said they were monitoring and carrying out strict enforcement against employers who hire children and young persons.

An additional provision has been included in the Labour Ordinance to deal with the matter.

Meanwhile, Siti Aishah said throughout last year, her department took action against 11 employers - four were charged and the remaining seven were fined a total of RM19,400.

The labour department director also said an offender is liable to a fine not exceeding RM10,000 or a jail term of not more than two years or both in the event of conviction under 130F of the Labour Ordinance.

Read the whole article: New Sabah Times

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