Archive for June, 2008

If it has been easy to resolve, Sabah’s illegal immigrant problems would have been resolved by now.

If the political will has been strong to resolve the issue, we won’t be cancered by the problem.

But what was once an easy problem to tackle, has become so difficult to overcome because of a number of reasons. Here are the 12 reasons for the worsening illegal immigrants problem in Sabah:

#01. The tidak apa attitude among the powers-that-be in the past to resolve the problem;

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YanWoo[Photo Source] A Malaysian chef decided to wrestle with fate and ended up opening a restaurant in Portsmouth UK.

According to a report on Portsmouth news online, “Vietnamese-born Tring Lim, her husband Yan Lim and brother-in-law Woo Lim, from Malaysia, of which Borneo is a part, opened this colourful neighbourhood restaurant five years ago.” The article says:

“A succession of chefs from the Borneo village of Sandakan have arrived to cook for their Western brethren who crowd out the restaurant, attracted by the food, a Malay-Chinese mix, and the friendly atmosphere.”

The reports said Malaysian dishes include udang sambal (king prawns cooked in prawn paste with a chilli sauce); ayam santan (chicken drumsticks braised in coconut milk); ikan nyonya (monkfish in a tamarind sour sauce with chilli); lembu rending (beef curry with a coconut sauce) or nasi goreng (fried rice with chicken, prawns, onions, peppers and a touch of chilli sauce).

I definitely want to try the beef rending.

I was once a part-time reporter with a national newspaper. Back then, and still is, they call part-time reporters “stringers”, although none of their job involves stringing strings (for want of a better pun).

That was in the early 90’s and Datuk Seri Joseph Pairin Kitingan was still the Sabah Chief Minister and Datuk Yong Teck Lee his deputy, if my memory serves me right.

Seri Bersatu assignment

Sometime in 1993, I was assigned to cover an event at Seri Bersatu, Pairin’s residence in Luyang near Kota Kinabalu, the capital city of the Malaysian state of Sabah.

I could not remember what exactly the event was — it might have been a Harvest Festival celebration or a Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) anniversary, but I remember there was partying, and singing, and the food was great.

Biar kau menjadi lilin

I still remember Datuk Lawrence Gimbang was singing “Biarku Menjadi Lilin” that night and did quite a nice rendition of the song.

Well, it wasn’t great — as Simon Cowell would have put it — but it wasn’t terrible. Now we know from whom Rich of Akadami Fantasia got his singing talent.

Calling it the blues

I also remember the sharp, stinging and definitive sound of an electric guitar in the hands of Datuk Hassan Alban Sandukong, who was Sabah Legislative Assembly Speaker at the time, again if my memory serves me right –  about Alban’s post, I mean; not the guitar.

I remember the guitar well because guitar-playing politician was quite a sight for me — the greenhorn stringer — back then.

Hassan Alban is no Eric Clapton but man, he can still play the blues.

And then there was Young Turk Lee

Then there was Yong, the then PBS Deputy President, whom we — the reporters — bumped into while filling our plates with food. He greeted us and told us how great the party was.

Something in the way he said it

But there was something else he said that night that is flooding back to me now like an old dream.

I guess, we, the reporters, must have remarked about the food and had probably asked him if he had taken his. He told us that he in fact had, and that he was just walking around “to get an idea how to make a party”.

That was many more months before he finally made the party and it had nothing to do with playing guitar or singing about becoming a candle. His party is called Parti Maju Sabah or Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP).

… to be continued (but can’t promise when)

The Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP), a Sabah-based component party of the ruling Barisan Nasional, said today it had lost confidence in Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

In the coming sitting of the Parliament session on Monday, its two Members of Parliament will support a vote of no confidence against the Prime Minister, the party said. [Further details in The Star].

Up to you to decide whether the Typhoon Sapp is indeed a typhoon or just a storm in the teacup.

“Whether its MPs table the vote of no confidence, or whether other MPs will do it, would be determined in due course,” the party said in a statement.

In the meantime, the Sanglang state seat in Perlis has been declared vacant by an election court. Meaning there is going to could be a by-election. The seat was won by Barisan Nasional in the March 8 general election.

Alternatively, the Election Commission can just declare the other candidate, from Pas, as the winner.

So it’s going to be just like in the song, dari Perlis sampailah ke Sabah… at least for today lah.

Typhoon Sapp To Hit Borneo’s Sabah At 2pm June 18

Written by Jaxon S on Tuesday, June 17th, 2008 in Borneo Politics.

Typhoon SappForget Bigfoot. We have already call their bluff. It’s time to prepare for the storm, politically, which have been brewing in Sabah in the past few weeks that even the goodies announced on Harvest Festival Day failed to lighten up the sky.

Word has it that the storm, which this blog shall call Typhoon Sapp, will finally hit tomorrow.

As of tonight there was no information as to the severity of the storm but political meteorologists said it was set to uproot trees and send rooftops flying in the air.

Watch out for June 18 and listen to the political weather forecast around 3pm. It could well be Category 4 political storm. Or, maybe just a storm in a teacup.

Borneo Blog will try to bring you the news from 2.30pm tomorrow.

Having solved the mystery behind The Crystal Skull, word has it that the bullwhip-lashing archaeologist, Dr Indiana Jones, was to be flown to Borneo to resolve once-and-for-all the mysteries behind the discovery of two large footprints in Sarawak, rumoured to be those of the mythical Bigfoot.

Dr Jones all set for Borneo

Dr JonesHe was already fully-geared for the Borneo adventure — the fedora perched on his head, shoulder bag strapped sideways over the tanned safari shirt, his war-time navy officer’s pants all buckled up, with handgun holster — often with the handgun missing — strapped to the hip, not to mention three days’ worth of unshaved beard for good measure.

He was grinning from ear to ear in anticipation of the adventure when he received the news that the footprints were fake. Alas, his grin disappeared (see picture). There goes the greatest Dr Jones adventure, he thought.

It’s man-made and a hoax,” Sarawak Museum anthropologist Dr Charles Leh said, and promptly text-messaged Spielberg, Lucas and Dr Jones not to waste their time chasing after a non-existent primate in Borneo.

Sorry 4 d trouble

Guys, so sori 4 d trouble d nws hav caused. The ftprints were fake. I rpt, d ftprints were fake. To make up 4 d disappoinmt, why dont d 3 of u go 2 d cinema n watch incredble hulk instead. Adios, Dr Leh,” said the text message.

Disclaimer: like the footprint, the information above is part fiction, part real. The print is real, the foot is not. — Jaxon S.

Borneo is losing its forest and losing it fast, especially in Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of Borneo Island.

Sabah is not doing too bad according to the WWF map below and if some of the powers-that-be in Sabah and Malaysia could still make it right, there is every possibility that the vast tract of forested land will remain where its is.

Borneo Forest Loss

There is hope. If and only if the governments of Malaysia and Indonesia as well as those of Sabah, Sarawak and Kalimantan are keeping to their promises of preserving the Heart of Borneo as shown below.

Heart of Borneo
[Both maps are courtesy of the World Wildlife Fund for Nature]

A hoax. That has been the general reaction to the discovery of two large Borneo Bigfoot “footprints” in Daro, Mukah, Sarawak.

Apparently it got not only Malaysians talking but also other Bigfooters around the world as well. And they are skeptical that the footprints were that of the mythical giant primate, Bigfoot.

Prince Jefri, the younger brother of the Sultan of Brunei, is on the run rather than face jail for refusing to hand over over £3 billion (RM15.1 billion) of assets to the Sultanate.

Reports said the flamboyant prince was issued with a warrant of arrest by a British judge on June 11 for failing to turn up for a five-day hearing for contempt of court.

The Times reported that:

Prince JefriPrince Jefri, who denied any wrongdoing and said he had authority to use state funds, took his case to the Privy Council in London last year but lost.

Brunei sources say that he has since surrendered a few diamonds but held on to other assets. Brunei has adopted a hard line, applying to the High Court in London to commit the Prince to prison for contempt of court.

Friends of Prince Jefri are shocked at what they see as the harshness of the Sultan in attempting to get his youngest brother locked up.

But legal sources have always emphasised that these actions were being taken by the nation’s investment vehicle rather than the Sultan. [...]

The Prince’s friends said that Brunei’s attempt to get him jailed was “purely vindictive”, serving no purpose “other than to extract punitive revenge on your brother”.

A village in Daro, in the Malaysian state of Sarawak on Borneo Island, is still in a state of shock following the discovery of two very large footprints — measuring 117cm long (47 inches) by 43cm sideways (17 inches) on Wednesday, the Borneo Post reported.

“The shocker has been spreading like wildfire in Daro district for the past few days and among those drawn to the phenomenon was local businessman Tan Soon Kuang,” the report said.

[All pictures are by Tan Soon Kuang, via The Borneo Post]
Bigfoot Borneo

The paper, which is the biggest local newspaper in Borneo in terms of reach, reported today that:

Yesterday, Tan, 42, e-mailed the images of the mysterious creature’s footprints. He said he personally went to the village (which he refused to name out of respect for the wishes of the locals) to check on the truth of the story.

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