Friday, August 31, 2012

Happy Merdeka Malaysia

Happy Merdeka to all Malaysians where ever you may be!

Hari Merdeka (Independence Day) is a national day of Malaysia commemorating the independence of the Federation of Malaya from British colonial rule in 1957, celebrated on August 31 each year. But Malaysia was formed on 16 September 1963, when it is joined by Sabah and Sarawak. (wikipedia)

The Hibiscus

Malaysia National Flower is the hibiscus rosa sinensis or locally known as the Bunga Raya. I have captured some of the commonly found hibiscus in Malaysia:

Hibiscus of different kinds

Pink hibiscus found abundance at Ujana Rimba Tropika

The Bunga Raya - hibiscus rosa sinensis is on the right.

"Rakyat Didahulukan" - You First

The figure '1' here is the symbol for 1Malaysia that is used (you can find this almost everywhere) in many campaigns and advertorials by the government to showcase the 'oneness' in the society. In this case, Sabah Credit Corporation says "You First" to its customers and clients.

Malaysia Merdeka Themes

The 2012 Merdeka theme - "55 Years of Independence: Promises Fulfilled" - has proven to be controversial, as it is seen by many Malaysians to be a political slogan rather than a patriotic one. Controversial or not, here are the themes for the last 20 years:

Merdeka themes: 1992 - 2012

Let's pray that Malaysia shall continue to be peaceful and progressive. That our leaders are given the wisdom to govern the country always in a fair manner.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Microsoft Surface tablet to arrive on October 26 - equipped with Windows 8

The outcome of the court case involving Apple and Samsung has been made known. In repercussion, other tablet manufacturers will now be more careful with the design of their upcoming products.

But let's put that behind us for now because we are going to be in for a busy Fourth Quarter as far as tablets and smartphones are concerned. Apple is scheduled to launch the new iPhone (iPhone 5) on September 12. Meanwhile, Microsoft will launch its own tablet, the Microsoft Surface on October 26 - the first tablet to run on Windows 8 operating system. To be precise, the Surface will run on Windows RT and the Surface Pro on Windows 8 Pro.

Microsoft Surface
Launching on October 26, 2012, the Surface will be available together with Windows 8. The Surface Pro to be available 3 months after that.


The Tablet will be available in two versions, "Surface" and "Surface Pro". Surface will run the Windows RT operating system and the higher end, Surface Pro will run the Windows 8 Pro operating system.

Price                         : TBA
                                  : SlashGear quoted a report suggesting $599 (RM1,899)
Screen size              : 10.6", HD (Surface) and Full HD (Surface Pro) display
Processor                 : ARM (Surface), Dual-core Intel Core i5 (Surface Pro)
Operating system     : Windows RT and Windows 8 Pro
Storage capacity      : 32, 64GB (Surface), 64, 128GB (Surface Pro)
Expansion slot          : microSD and microSDXC respectively
Connectivity             : MIMO WiFi, USB
Camera                      : dual-cam (resolution not specified)
Weight                       : 676 g (Surface), 903 g (Surface Pro)
Announced               : June 2012
Availability               : October 26, 2012

We shall see if the Surface, especially Surface Pro is a contender to the iPad. If priced competitively it should be a good option for the fans of 10-inch tablets.

Solar-powered car in the future?

Solar vehicle
275W x 8 = 2.2 kWp system? Possible.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Malaysians not ready to retire?

Do you know that 4 out of 5 of today’s retirees in Malaysia worry about:

1. being poor and in need of money,
2. becoming a burden on their children, and
3. being “in ill health and having no one to care for them”

That is according to a recent survey.

All this point to the need for Malaysians to better plan and secure their financial position towards retirement. Would the implementation of the retirement age at 60 be of much help? If 55 years is not good enough a number, then neither is 60.

Not ready to retire
        Not ready to retire at 55, how about 60? Image: Seniors Aloud

The following article - a couple of days ago - by Bernama suggests that Malaysians may not be financially ready to retire:-

KUALA LUMPUR(Bernama): A study on retirement trends in East Asia has revealed the increasing vulnerability of Malaysians due to early retirement age as well as low rates of pension receipt under the Employees’ Provident Fund and the lack of old-age poverty floor.

The study report, “Balancing Tradition and Modernity: The Future of Retirement in East Asia”, is based on a survey that the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) conducted in Malaysia, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan, according to Prudential in a statement on the survey findings.

The CSIS East Asia Retirement Survey reveals that an astonishing 92 per cent of current retirees in Malaysia report that they had already left the workforce by age 60 and suggests that Malaysia’s pattern of premature retirement will likely persist. Malaysia is the only country in the survey whose fertility rate is above the 2.1 replacement level and the only one that will have a growing population and workforce in the coming decades, the report said.

“In China, the elderly share of the population will be approaching 30 per cent by 2040 — and in Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan it will be approaching 40 per cent. In Malaysia, it will still be under 20 per cent,” it said.

Malaysia’s early mandatory retirement age, however, offsets its demographic advantage in building an adequate and sustainable retirement system, it added. Co-authored by Richard Jackson and Neil Howe, it is part of the multilayer Global Ageing Preparedness Project, which was launched by CSIS and British insurance giant Prudential plc in 2010.

The survey found four out of five of today’s retirees in Malaysia worry about “being poor and in need of money,” becoming “a burden on their children,” and being “in ill health and having no one to care for them” — much larger shares than in any of the other survey countries.

Their vulnerability is attributable to Malaysia’s unusually early retirement ages, which leaves retirees at risk of outliving their savings, as well as to low rates of pension receipt under the EPF and to the lack of an age-old poverty floor, the survey said. Retirement prospects are improving for the younger generations, who expect to be less dependent on the extended family than today’s retirees are and to rely more heavily on their own savings, it said.

But with one in five current workers still expecting to receive no pension benefits of any kind, the outlook for many is far from secure, it added. Donald Kanak, Chairman of Prudential Corporation Asia, which is part of Prudential plc, said: “Responding to the challenges caused by an ageing population is critical to Asia’s future.

“It is critical that policy makers and the industry work together to address this vital question.”

Charlie Oropeza, Chief Executive Officer of Prudential Assurance Malaysia Bhd, said: “The findings of the CSIS Study reinforce the need for Malaysians to better plan and secure their financial position towards retirement.

“While the policymakers as well as the Malaysian Government have been introducing frameworks such as the Financial Blueprint to provide greater length and breadth of financial products and services, Malaysians need to be more aware and make themselves financially ready through prudent investment decisions.

Friday, August 24, 2012

World's 20 most powerful women 2012

A couple of days ago, the Forbes came out with the list of 100 most powerful women in the world.

The magazine ranked them according to the traditional classifications of power, such as political and economic might, and for being outstanding in social and cultural scene.

Who are they

  • 8 heads of state, 
  • 25 chief executive officers (CEOs) - together they controls $984billion in revenues,
  • 11 billionaires - worth nearly $80billion,
  • 12 entrepreneurs,
  • 10 celebrities, and
  • many others

The following is the list of the top 20, and if you feel like reading, click on the Forbes link I have provided above.

Angela Merkel (Germany) and Hillary Clinton (United States) head the pack.

Oprah still sit pretty well up there long after her last TV talkshow end.

Kudos and thank you each and everyone of you ladies for being such an inspiration.

Source: The Forbes (link above)

TGIF - Hospital Bill

It's weekend, so, let's share what people stuffed in my mailbox. Hopefully a laugh a day will keep the doctor away!

Here we go, and you don't have to be Catholic to appreciate this one:-

A man suffered a serious heart attack while shopping in a store. The store clerks called 911 when they saw him collapse to the floor. The paramedics rushed the man to the nearest hospital where he had emergency open heart bypass surgery...

He awakened from the surgery to find himself in the care of nuns at the Catholic Hospital. A nun was seated next to his bed holding a clipboard loaded with several forms, and a pen. She asked him how he was going to pay for his treatment.

"Do you have health insurance?" she asked.
"No health insurance." he replied in a raspy voice,

The nun asked, "Do you have money in the bank?"
He replied, "No money in the bank."

"Do you have a relative who could help you with the payments?" 
asked the irritated nun.
He said, "I only have a spinster sister, and she is a nun."

The nun became agitated and announced loudly,
"Nuns are not spinsters! Nuns are married to God."

The patient replied, "Perfect. Send the bill to my brother-in-law."


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

LED : Lighting the Future

It is very interesting to note that the country intends to use Light Emitting Diode, LED to light up its streets by 2014.

Light-emitting diodes (LED) are solid-state devices that convert electrical energy directly into light of a single color. LED do not waste energy in the form of non-light producing because they employ ‘cold’ light generation technology, in which most of the energy is delivered in the visible spectrum. It could offer long service life and high energy efficiency, although at this juncture, initial costs are higher than those of fluorescent and incandescent lights.

LED street-lighting: Image - Soltron Corp.

Although costlier, LED's offer a variety of advantages compared to conventional lighting; among the more commonly known are:


LED light can last up to 50,000 hours or 10 times as long as compact fluorescents, and far longer than the conventional incandescent. Very little maintenance is required through out the life span of the lamp.


LED are filament-free, solid and robust. Thus, they are not easily damaged under the same circumstances where regular incandescent bulbs would.

Environmentally Friendly

No mercury. More environmental friendly. LED's are made of non-toxic materials, unlike fluorescent lights that contain huge amounts of mercury and other hazardous material.

Cold Temperature Operation

Cold temperature is one of the challenges of fluorescent lights. On the other hand, LED light output and efficiency increase as operating temperature drops, making LED a natural choice for refrigerators, freezer cases and cold storage facilities.

More efficient

LED light produces more light per watt compared to incandescent light, a feature that would be useful in battery powered devices. In addition, LED light can emit an intended color without the use of color filters employed by traditional lighting methods. The following Table shows the comparison of the equivalent wattage and light output of Incandescent, Compact fluorescent, and LED lights.

Table 1: Equivalent wattage and light output of Incandescent, fluorescent (CFL), and LED Lights

LED lights are fast becoming the light source of choice for many general lighting applications, such as architectural lighting, down lights, freezer case lighting and retail display lighting. Even street illumination using LED is quite a common sight nowadays. Due to the low power consumption of LED lights, they can be solar powered and installed off-grid at remote locations.

General Lighting Term used

  • Illumination:  The distribution of light on a horizontal surface.
  • Lumen:  A measurement of light emitted by a lamp
  • Efficacy: The ratio of light produced to energy consumed. It is measured as the number of lumens produced divided by the rate of electricity consumption (lumens per watt)
  • Color Rendering Index (CRI): The Color Rendering Index (CRI) is a 1–100 scale that measures a light source’s ability to render colors the same way sunlight does.

Reference: Buletin ST, Issue No.1, 2012

Monday, August 20, 2012

9.5 MW Mini Hydropower plants in Tuaran?

I was looking for information on how to develop a low-head micro hydro generator and found this proposed 9.5 MW Mini Hydropower plant in the District of Tuaran, on Scribd.

It is very interesting as the river (Sungai Tuaran/Kiulu) has been talked about as a suitable area for developing mini hydropower for sometime now. The salient features of the project is summarised in the following table.

Table 1: Salient features of the project

This working paper was written few years back by Afiepower Sdn Bhd and coffeeshop talk among the population at the affected area has it that the approval for the hydro-power scheme has been given although no confirmation of this from any government agencies or the local authority yet.

Brief facts about the project

Developer             : Afipower Sdn Bhd (JV between Afie Enterprise S/B and H2RM Engineering S/B)
Location                : 20 km Southeast of Tamparuli, on the 3 major tributaries of Tuaran River
                                (Sg. Mantaranau, Sg. Mulau 1 and Sg. Mulau 2)
Cost                      : RM96.9 million
Completion           : Within 24 months
Scheme                : Build-Own-Operate, BOO
Mode of operation   : Run-off-river concept
Latitude/Longitude  : N06°05’028”-05°56’528” and E116°17’308”-116°23’372”
Total catchment area: 230 km sq
EIA report: done, although no documentation seen yet

Installed capacity         : 9.5 MW, consist of:
                                          Sg. Mulau 1: 5 MW
                                          Sg Mantaranau: 2.5 MW
                                          Sg. Mulau 1: 2 MW
Export capacity              : 9.12 MW
Generator rated voltage   : 3.3kV, 50Hz, pf. 0.85
Feeding to SESB line     : transformed 11kW fed to a 11/33kV substation at Kg Pukak
Selling price                  : 19.5 cents/kWh
Licence period               : 21 years (proposed PPA)

You can also get access to this documentation at Scribd by clicking the link below. Enjoy reading:


No diagrams and detailed construction dimensions as these were not uploaded to Scribd by the document uploader.

Hope this is an interesting read for many.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri

To all Muslim friends, relatives and readers, Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri. Wishing all of you nothing but the best of time with your loved ones, and lets pray for a peaceful Malaysia.

Happy Eid Mubarak. Scene of last minutes raya shoppers at the less crowded Citymall, KK

Let's keep the 1Malaysia spirit alive.

Yours sincerely,
de engineur, for The Green Mechanics,
Kota Kinabalu.

Semporna: Solar power project 70% ready

Soon, residents in remote islands off Semporna will enjoy 24-hour electricity supply.

Works to supply electricity using solar power in seven islands in Semporna is currently 70% completed and is expected to be ready by the middle of 2013. This is according to Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.

Semporna - islands around it
Islands off Semporna

Semporna is populated by about 137,800 people (2010 census) with majority of them Bajau, many of whom live in stilt villages over the water on the outskirts of the township. Tourists visit Semporna as a base for scuba diving or snorkeling trips to Pulau Sipadan (Sipadan Island) , Pulau Mabul (Mabul Island), and others. Some of the better known islands off Semporna include:

1.   Sipadan island
2.   Mabul island
3.   Mataking island
4.   Kapala island
5.   Sibuan island
6.   Bum Bum island
7.   Pom Pom island
8.   Bohey Dulang island
9.   Si Amil island
10. Mantabuan island

The solar power project costing RM94 million will benefit not only the residents, but also schools involving at least 10,000 students. Solar PV was chosen as energy source as the islands are too far to lay sea cables from the mainland.

Here are some eye teasers:

Sipadan island is a globally renowned diving spot. Photo: Passage 2 Jay Bee

Mabul island is also famous for its diving activities. Photo:

Mataking island. Photo: divezone

Many, many places to satiate your diving fantasy. For the non-divers, go for sight seeing and unwind yourself at the world class resorts available at all of the more popular islands.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Twenty three accident-prone areas in Sabah (Jalan hantu?)

The rising number of commuting accidents on our roads is a very worrying trend.

In 2011, there were 24,809 out of the overall 59,897 commuting accidents in the country reported to SOCSO, for which it paid out compensatory disbursements amounting to RM1.71 billion. That is an increase of 12% from 2010 figure of 22,036 cases (out of the overall 57,639 cases), which cost SOCSO RM1.68 billion in compensation.

Remember this accident involving Shell fuel tanker and a newly acquired train belonging to Sabah Railways in Jalan Kepayan. Photo: extracted from

Scene of Train collision800
I took this picture few days after the incident. Sabah Railways is almost done with the cleaning up.

Commuting accident cases is on the uptrend as indicated by this year's January-April statistics (nationwide):
January    : 1,961 cases
February  : 4,106
March      : 6,301
April        : 8,434

In Sabah, there were 111 such cases recorded from January to July this year; most of which took place in March (22 cases) and July (19 cases).

It is time to balik kampung for the Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration and motorise are advised to be extra careful along the 23 accident-prone areas throughout Sabah. Some call them as jalan hantu (spooky) for apparent reason. The roads are:

  1. Jalan Tuaran Bypass
  2. Jalan /BeluranTelupid
  3. KM68 Jalan Sandakan/Lahad Datu
  4. KM77  Jalan Sandakan/Lahad Datu
  5. KM90  Jalan Sandakan/Lahad Datu
  6. KM93  Jalan Sandakan/Lahad Datu
  7. KM107  Jalan Sandakan/Lahad Datu
  8. KM121  Jalan Sandakan/Lahad Datu (an express bus accident just happened here last Thursday)
  9. KM124  Jalan Sandakan/Lahad Datu
  10. KM126  Jalan Sandakan/Lahad Datu
  11. KM130  Jalan Sandakan/Lahad Datu
  12. Jalan Kudat/Kota Kinabalu
  13. Jalan Lama Parar/Kota Kinabalu/Beaufort
  14. Jalan Beaufort/Papar
  15. Jalan Beaufort/Menumbok
  16. Jalan Tawau/Kunak
  17. Jalan Lahad Datu/Sandakan
  18. Jalan Kunak/Lahad Datu
  19. Jalan Bulatan Rugading-Serusup/Laya-Laya
  20. Jalan Ranau/Telupid
  21. Jalan Ranau/Tamparuli
  22. Jalan Penampang/Tambunan
  23. Jalan Sipitang/Sindumin

Please observe the 10km/h speed reduction which was implemented nationwide during this year's Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration period. AND DON'T DRIVE ON THE FAST LANE on a dual-carriageway if you are driving slow. That is an offence, just like when you are speeding above the speed limit.

Happy Holiday, happy balik kampung and have a safe journey home.

Nurture practice of efficient energy use

Illustration of Energy Efficient house.

The practice of using energy efficiently should be nurtured and cultivated in the society and should be applied at home or at the office to avoid power wastage.

During the launching of the Energy Efficiency Audit Demo Programme on Monday August 13, 2012 in Kota Kinabalu, Minister of Infrastructure Development, Pairin Kitingan, said although society has developed significantly in the past hundred years, consumer behaviour has not changed much due to lack of awareness and concern for natural resources and the environment.

Electricity generation mix in Sabah in 2011 is as follows (DE, Aug 14, 2012):
50%    : fuel gas,
40%    : diesel and medium fuel oil (MFO),
6.5%   : hydro sources
Others : renewable energy sources.

The industrial sector and electricity generation represent two-thirds of the total emission of carbon dioxide, and Malaysia is the 3rd biggest contributor to carbon dioxide (CO2) emission in ASEAN and the 31st in the world per person, at 4.5 tonne/person. It also recorded one of the highest growth rate of CO2 emission in the world at 7.9% and sits at 27th in the world as the culprit of CO2 emission at 0.69%. We apparently did not fare badly in the race for environment pollution.

Energy Efficiency Audit Programme

An Energy Efficiency Audit Programme funded by Electricity Supply Industry Trust Account (AAIBE) saw two large buildings in Kota Kinabalu city picked for a one-of demo Energy Efficiency Audit exercise  worth more than RM160,000. They are Wisma Sedco and Kinabalu Daya Hotel.

Wisma Sedco, Kota Kinabalu. Photo: lokmansunggim.blogspot

The energy audit is the first step towards a better energy management system. Generally, energy audit is a survey to review how energy was utilised in a building and to identify opportunities to save energy.

Consumers can save between 10% to 30% of their electricity bills if they adhere to the recommendations made by the auditors.

Best Western Kinabalu Daya Hotel in Kota Kinabalu. Photo:

So this programme should encourage owners of the two demo buildings to implement the efficient energy initiative, and as catalyst for other building owners to take similar initiative to get the Green Building status. This reminds me of Sabah's first Green Building, the Art Gallery Conservation Centre I wrote about last month.

What you and me can do to contribute

There is this policy adopted by the Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry for government buildings' temperature to be maintained at  24° Celsius. You and me can help conserve energy by setting our office temperature at 24°C or higher. Of course, you don't have to be a government servant to practice this.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Work on Belo Monte dam in the Amazon suspended

The dam, expected to produce 11,000 MW of electricity, would be the third-biggest in the world, after China's Three Gorges facility, and Brazil's Itaipu dam in the south.

Artist impression of the Belo Monte dam

Belo Monte. Photo:

Vital info of the Belo Monte dam

Project                   : River dam to generate electricity
Capacity                : 11 gigawatts (GW)
Approved                : 2005
Location                 : State of Para, Brazil
Workforce              : 12,000 workers estimated at commencement, then 22,000 next year
Commencement     : Scheduled at end-2012
Completion             : 2019

Flooded area after completion: 500 sq kilometers (200 sq miles)
People: 16,000 people according to official govt estimate. 40,000 according to NGOs
Assistance: $1.2 billion to help the displaced

Brazilian activists and people affected by the project walk on the barrier of the construction site of the Belo Monte Dam project June 15, 2012. Photo: REUTER.
On Tuesday, August 14, 2012, a federal court ordered that work on the dam be suspended.

  +      +      +      +      +      +      +      +      +

Brazil court orders work on Amazon dam suspended

A federal court in Brazil on Tuesday ordered that work on the huge Belo Monte dam in the Amazon be suspended, saying native communities affected by the controversial hydroelectric project must be heard.

The regional federal court ruled that the construction of the dam across the Xingu River, a tributary of the Amazon, should be halted until indigenous peoples can have their say at a congressional hearing, a court official said. The dam, expected to produce 11,000 megawatts, would be the third-biggest in the world, after China's Three Gorges facility, and Brazil's Itaipu dam in the south.

The Brazilian court noted that when Congress approved the project in 2005, it called for an environmental impact study after the start of the work. Under the law, the native communities were given the right to air their views in Congress on the basis of that environmental impact study, but this was not done, the court said.

It said that the Norte Energia consortium in charge of the project will be able to appeal the decision to a higher court. Norte Energia told AFP it was awaiting formal notification of the court ruling before responding. The court said the consortium was liable for a daily fine of $250,000 should it flout the order.

"It's a historic decision for the country and for the native communities," said Antonia Melo, coordinator of the Xingu Vivo indigenous movement.

"It's a great victory which shows that Belo Monte is not a done deal. We are very happy and satisfied."

By the end of the year, some 12,000 workers were scheduled to work day and night on the site, located in the northeastern state of Para, and up to 22,000 were to be at the site next year. Work on the dam began a year ago, despite fierce opposition from local people and green activists.

Indigenous groups fear the dam will harm their way of life while environmentalists have warned of deforestation, greenhouse-gas emissions and irreparable damage to the ecosystem. - AFP

Other gigantic dams

The Belo Monte dam is supposed to be the world  3rd largest dam after China's Three Gorges, and another of Brazil's Itaipu near Paraguay.

The Three Gorges dam in China is the world's largest hydroelectric facility. The total capacity is up to 22.5 gigawatts (GW), accounting for 11% of the country's total hydroelectric capacity.

Photo: sourceItaipu dam is located on the border of Brazil, Paraguay, and not far from Argentina. Installed capacity is 14 GW (20 x 700MW turbines)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tablet PC market share: iPad rules.

Two years after creating the market, Apple Inc. remains the king of all media tablets, with its global market share rising to nearly 70% in the second quarter, putting the company on pace to reclaim much of the dominance it surrendered in 2011.

During the second quarter this year, Apple shipped 17 million iPad 2 and new iPad media tablets, up from 11.8 million the first quarter, according to iSuppli Display Materials & Systems Service. This industry-leading increase in shipments translated into a market share gain of 11.5% points, as Apple’s second-quarter global tablet share climbed to 69.6%, up from 58.1% in the first quarter.

Tablet computer
And you thought Samsung beat Apple Inc.'s iPad hands down with more Galaxy Tab variants in the market? Maybe one day, but for now iPad is the king.

Samsung, at any one time, has in its stable Galaxy Tab 7.7, Galaxy Tab 2(7.0), Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1), Galaxy Tab 8.9, Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus, and the upcoming Galaxy Note 10.1

Apple has single product, the iPad (the latest iteration being the New iPad). The reason for the overwhelming support for the iPad? Research shows that satisfied users are likely to go back to the same brand for their next purchase. It seems that Apple already has developed a solid future customer base, which will continue to strengthen barring a major stumble on an upcoming product release. The iPad Mini comes to mind.

Android and iOS devices battle it out.

There'll be 360 million Tablet Computers in 2016

This posting is not about comparing which brand is superior; it's just so we know how the tablet PC is expected to shape in the near future.

Today there are about 120 million tablet computers in the market. By 2016, it is estimated that this will triple to more than 360 million. This, in some way reinforce my contention in my previous article that there maybe possibility that tablet PC will make its way to schools in place of the heavy school bags. These tablet PCs could be the super text books in the near future.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The 8 TOR for the RCI on Sabah's illegal immigrant problem

For future reference, I have appended herewith, the eight (8) Terms of Reference (TOR) for the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on Sabah's illegal immigrant problem announced by Prime Minister Najib Razak in Kota Kinabalu on Saturday, August 11, 2012.

The Royal Commission of Inquiry will be headed by former chief judge of Sabah and Sarawak Steve Shim. The five-member panel has been given six months, to deliver it findings.

Terms of reference (TOR)

  1. To determine the number of immigrants in Sabah that have been given blue identity cards or identity cards or citizenship and if so whether these documents or citizenship was done legally.

  2. To investigate whether the issuance of blue identity cards or citizenship to immigrants in Sabah was in accordance with the law.

  3. To investigate whether immigrants in Sabah holding blue identity cards, temporary identification receipts (blue) or citizenship documents had been illegally registered into the electoral rolls.

  4. To probe whether the authorities had taken any action or carried out any improvements to standard operating procedures (SOP), measures and regulations to avoid any infringement of the law.

  5. To investigate in detail the SOP, measures and regulations relating to the issuance of blue identity cards or citizenship to immigrants in Sabah by taking into account international standards and norms used in Malaysia and to recommend any amendments or changes to strengthen or improve the SOP, measures and regulations.

  6. To investigate the reasons for the increase in Sabah's population in the following categories:

  7. i)   Sabahans living in the state, including those accorded blue identity cards and citizenship
         through late registration of birth;
    ii)  foreign workers (including their families);
    iii) illegal immigrants (including their families);
    iv) refugees;

    and their impact on the electoral roll.

  8. To investigate the social implications of the issuance of blue identity cards or citizenship to immigrants in the state on Sabahans.

  9.  To determine the number of foreigners in Sabah who have been given blue identity cards or citizenship by taking into account their stateless status.

The RCI Composition

The commission was set up under the Commissions of Inquiry Act 1950 which requires the consent of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. The commission consists of a Chairman, a Secretary and four Commissioners, listed as follows:

Steve Shim Lip Kiong  - The commission will be chaired by former Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak.

Saripuddin Kasim        - Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry secretary-general.

Four commissioners:
1) Herman Luping                         - former State Attorney-general
2) Prof Dr Kamaruzaman Ampon   - former Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) vice-chancellor,
3) KY Mustafa                              - former Sabah State secretary
4) Henry Chin Poy Wu                  - Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation deputy chairman,

Reason for setting up of the RCI

This (image below) is the population of the state of Sabah obtained from Department of Statistics Malaysia, which appeared in my previous article. This has been the subject of hot debates among politicians and the general public for many years now.

Let's the law takes its course and hope for the best.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Drizzle in the morning

After a relatively long dry spell in Kota Kinabalu, it showered quite heavily today but only for less than 5 minutes. It disrupted a beautiful morning breakfast for many. It continued to drizzle and on my way to my base I stopped by the roadside to capture this using my phone camera.

IMG_2380-600 bnw
Somewhere along Kota Kinabalu - Penampang road.

It reminds me of the Sinkhole I wrote about a couple of weeks ago. The morning sky was covered with cloud leaving only this 'hole' the clear path for the sun to shine.

I wished I had my DSLR with me that moment.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The new Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1

Samsung is currently marketing the Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1) together with the Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) - the improved versions of both variants.

The Galaxy Note 10.1 is basically designed based on Samsung's Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1) but comes with  S-Pen. It allows users to draw, annotate and write notes on the 10.1in screen. It has faster 1.4GHz processor, more RAM and better cameraOther than that they are practically the same slabs.

Galaxy note 10.1
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 - Image: techworld.

**UPDATE: Malaysia pricing and packages here. **

Key Features of the Galaxy Note 10.1

Price                        : TBA, but The Inquirer quoted £399 (16GB WiFi only)
                                : £499
 (16GB WiFi + 3G)
Screen size              : 10.1-inch
Processor                 : 1.4GHz quad-Core processor, 2GB RAM
Operating system      : Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich
Storage capacity       : 16GB, but also possibly 32GB and 64GB
Mobile connectivity    : WiFi, 3G
Camera                    : 5 MP
Announced               : Feb 2012 at MWC 2012, then re-announce last week (August 2012)
Availability                : end-August 2012 (expected)

All specifications obtained from Techwold.

Galaxy note 10.1

This 10.1" slab is said to be an attempt to match the iPad. Let's see how it fares, considering it has gone back to the drawing board for 6 months since its first announcement in February 2012.

Perhaps an interesting option (or rather more confusion to existing Galaxy Tab users), but I'm sticking to my snappy iPad 3 for now. Happy user.

Periodic health checks for employees after 40

It's should be a concern to all of us, especially women, that we actually start losing bone mass as early as 30. Well, that's at least what the adverts on electronic media (especially TV) keep drilling into our heads on regular basis.

Health check
Illustrative image:

But what should concerns us more is the facts unveiled by Human Resources Ministry about the build up of illnesses - that went undetected - during our prime years and by the time we get past 40 we suddenly have to fork out substantial amount of our savings for treatment. Or, in the case of private sector employees, Social Security Organisation (SOCSO) being the party to shoulder the financial burden.

Human Resourses Ministry is saying now that workers in the private sector maybe required to undergo periodic health screening upon reaching age 40 due to the increasing number of health problems recorded in recent years.

For a relatively small population like Malaysia, the compensation payout is considered substantial:

2011 - RM1.8 billion
2010 - RM1.6 billion
2009 - RM1.3 billion
E.g. Dialysis treatment cost increased by 19% in 2011 compared to 2010.

You may say "Heck, I'm young. I'm only 22". The simple fact is that "Detecting a diseases early will reduce the risk to you and me compared with diagnosing the disease at a late stage or chronic stage".

So, there.

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The full article: Periodic health checks for employees after 40
by Malay Mail, August 10, 2012

Workers in the private sector maybe required to undergo periodic health screening upon reaching age 40 said the Deputy Minister of Human Resources Datuk Maznah Mazlan. She said the matter was being studied by the Social Security Organisation (SOCSO) to detect health problems and diseases at the early stage among workers.

"The total number of health problem cases recorded under SOCSO is increasing each year, that is for last year alone, SOCSO paid nearly RM1.8 billion in compensation and benefits to its members and contributors.

"The total is increasing each year, from RM1.3 billion in 2009 to RM1.6 billion in 2010. Payments cover cost of medication and treatment which involves diseases and accidents," she said after visiting the Mawar Hemodialysis Centre (MHC) and the presentation of a dialysis machine to the MHC branch in Kuala Pilah and Bahau yesterday.

According to Maznah, should a health problem or disease be detected early, it was not only good for the workers involved, it would also ease the burden of SOCSO from paying high compensation. "Detecting a diseases early will reduce the risk to the worker compared with diagnosing the disease at a late stage or chronic stage," she said.

In this regard, Maznah said SOCSO had spent RM92.5 million in 2011 to pay for dialysis treatment to members who had subscribed to the organisation. The total had increased almost 19 per cent compared with RM77.2 million spent in 2010 for the same purpose.

"As at June this year, SOCSO has spent RM43.5 million to pay for such treatment cost and at the moment, SOCSO has appointed 366 dialysis treatment centres nationwide," she said.

Friday, August 10, 2012

10 Fruit Juices for Good Health

To summarise, some say soursop fruit is the best.

But there are many other fruits, apart from soursop, that have a great benefits for health. These fruits are can be consumed easier and more comfortable when processed into healthy fruit juice (I'm sharing this from what others shared with me):-

10 Avocado
Let's drink!

We'll start from the 10th best known fruit to the best fruit juice ever known (the soursop). There were write-ups that mentioned soursop fruit as the “miracle fruit”.

No.10: Avocado Juice

avocado juice

Avocado juice for health benefits include:
  • helps formation of red blood cells 
  • Preventing anemia 
  • For pregnant women, folic acid content of avocados can stimulate brain development and the formation of the spinal cord. 
  • Controlling the bad fats (LDL cholesterol) and raise the good fats (HDL cholesterol) 
  • Prevent stroke. 
  • Anti-wrinkle

No.9: Tomato Juice

9 Tomato juice

Tomato juice for health benefits are:
  • High antioxidant useful to defend the body from free radicals.
  • Content of lycopene in tomatoes could prevent prostate cancer.
  • To maintain ideal body weight for those who are dieting to lose weight and may increase appetite for those who are raising the weight as well as in the recovery phase after illness.
  • Preventing constipation.
  • Glycogen levels can stabilize liver function.

No.8: Apple Juice

8 Apple juice

Apple juice for health benefits include:
  • Content of quercetin in apples may act as anticancer and anti-inflammatory.
  • Content of pectin can help remove dirt buildup in the gut for so long.
  • Can lower cholesterol levels, blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
  • Can reduce appetite.
  • Can treat headaches.

No.7: Strawberry Juice

7 Strawberry

Strawberry juice for health benefits include:
  • Contain ellagic acid, which act as antioxidants to counteract free radicals that enter the body.
  • Can inhibit tumor cell growth in lung, breast, cervix.
  • Can cleanse the body’s digestive system.
  • Controlling cholesterol levels.
  • Can reduce pain in joints.

No.6: Guava Juice

6 Guava

Benefits contained in guava juice include:
  • Can reduce cholesterol in the blood and lowers blood pressure.
  • Can prevent thrush.
  • Able to lose weight.
  • Content of vitamin C in guava juice can relieve colds and coughs.
  • Content astringent can cure diarrhea.
  • Can prevent bone loss

No.5: Kiwi Juice

5 Kiwi

Kiwi juice for health benefits include:
  • Rich in vitamin C is useful for protecting the body from cancer cells.
  • Rich in fiber can reduce constipation.
  • Content of potassium helps regulate blood pressure.
  • To prevent infection, premature aging.
  • Very good for those who suffer from heart disease.
  • Relieve cold and flu.

No.4: Mango Juice

4 Mango

Mango juice for health benefits include:
  • Can be as a disinfectant to cleanse the body and blood in the body.
  • Rich in carotenoid that can help prevent colon cancer and cervical cancer.
  • Can rejuvenate the body’s cells.
  • Can prevent body odor caused by bacteria.

No.3: Noni Juice

3 Noni

Although it tastes pretty bad, but noni juice or noni fruit dutch is very beneficial to health, including:
  • Can boost the immune system.
  • Can normalize / reduce blood pressure.
  • Be able to fight tumors and cancer cells.
  • Contains scopoletin which functions as an anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic.
  • Very useful for the disease: hypertension, stroke, diabetes, migraine, vertigo, vaginal discharge, painful joints, etc.

No.2: Pomegranate Juice

2 Pomegranate juice

Pomegranate juice for health benefits:
  • Substances tannins can anesthetize roundworms, pinworms and tapeworms in the intestines and release it with feces.
  • Rich in vitamins A, C, E and folic acid good for pregnancy.
  • Rich in antioxidants that help prevent blockages in the arteries caused by cholesterol.
  • Prevent the occurrence of prostate cancer.

And the BEST of all: No.1 - Soursop Juice

1 Soursop juice

A study published by The Journal of Natural Products mentioned that the soursop fruit as the “miracle fruit” that is very nutritious for health, including:

  • Can effectively pick and choose the target bad cells from 12 different types of cancer, namely breast cancer, prostate, lung, colon, pancreas.
  • Working 10 thousand times more powerful to postpone cell growth cancer than drug (adriamycin) or chemo therapy.
  • Sour sop juice selectively hunt down and kill the bad cells and not harm / kill healthy cells, in contrast with a deadly chemo therapy evil and gels healthy cells (ie causing hair loss).
  • Increase energy, immune system, preventing it from infection, etc.