Chief Minister Musa Aman, also holding the finance portfolio, presented the annual Sabah State Budget for 2015 at an estimated revenue collection of RM 3.862 billion, a revenue surplus of RM 49 million. For the first time since 2008, the Sabah State Government has projected a surplus.

Presenting the annual budget in the State Legislative Assembly yesterday, for a record 12th time as Chief Minister, Musa said that for 2015 the state government proposed to spend RM3.813 billion and the budget rolls out its growth and human development trajectory focusing on poverty eradication, enhancing quality of life and development of youth and women.

This budget has provided considerable emphasis on infrastructure development and investment without losing sight of welfare and social protection. In other words, his attempt is to put economic growth on an even keel with human development.

The budget also has hyperboles and ambitious targets; however they are reasonably well matched by appropriate allocations and policy thrusts.That Musa wants to benchmark the state against the best in Asia, although a bit hyperbolic, is vivid in the budget document. Therefore, substantial focus is on sustainable development. Some RM234.6 million will be channelled to various agencies in developing human capital involving the youth.

The government’s aspiration and pledge is to continue with the development and to provide a solid foundation for the people’s well-being and State’s prosperity for the benefit of future generations. And to ensure continued development for the State, the 2015 budget objectives are dedicated to upgrading basic infrastructures and public utilities, developing youth ‎and human capital, eradication of poverty and enhancement of the people’s quality life, as well as balancing regional development.

To achieve these objectives, Musa stressed the State government would implement:

‎ (i) Strengthening of revenue collection and broadening of revenue sources;

(ii) Planning expenditure in an optimal way (that is spending with the greatest impact);

(iii) Focusing on sectoral and sustainable development, and

(iv) Improving delivery systems towards achieving targets.

‎Musa even said that in previous years, Sabah’s resources and expenditures were managed in a prudent, effective and efficient manner in accordance with the financial regulations. And for the year 2013, 20 ministries, departments, statutory bodies and state agencies have managed to achieve a 4-star rating. This has made Sabah being recognised as having the best record of financial management in Malaysia for two consecutive years.

Although RM98.63 million has been allocated to Department of Irrigation and Drainage for flood mitigation programmes its hardly enough after seeing the floods this last October and the losses and inconvenience suffered by the residents in the affected areas. As a geologist, I know Sabah is, geologically speaking, very young, causing huge soil movements in which landslides and flooding becomes the norm after much rain. Highly dynamic physical processes dominate the mountainous terrain and therefore, implementing infrastructure development projects is a challenge and the cost to built and maintain is more costlier than other states.

In fact, the Federal Government should take note of this and should provide Special Funds to the Sabah State Government. Although a total of RM1.250 billion has been allocated for the provision of public infrastructure and utilities in this budget, of this RM180 million is allocated for the construction and maintenance programmes of urban and rural roads; slope repair, construction and replacement of old bridges, but this is hardly enough.

On information and communication technology (ICT) development, Musa has allocated RM71.36 million. Musa knows that our generation is the generation of “digital natives”, very much dependent on ICT and technology is a necessity in daily life. This allocation will be used to fully support the development of ICT in the state. Again this is an attempt to mobilize the youth in Sabah for a stronger future generation.

For tourism, Musa has allocated RM143.13 million which will be provided to promote and enhance the tourism sector in Sabah as the State Government has set a target of 3.7 million tourist arrivals with an expected tourism receipts amounting to RM 7.382 billion. Eventhough the tourism industry is getting a beating due to the kidnappings by Abu Sayaff and the MH370 mysterious disappearance, Sabah still recorded 1,889,301 tourist as at July 2014, an increase of 2.8% compared to the same period last year.

Lastly, agriculture, the main source of Sabah’s socio economic stability, was allocated a total of RM336.50 million. And for cultivating a better reading habit Musa has given RM39.28 million to the Sabah State Library.

All people-oriented schemes started during the 12-year tenure of Musa Aman would continue, many of them receiving higher allocations and grants. This was the best budget Musa could present in the present turbulent times.Sitting at his desk in the Chief Minister’s Office, Musa said that when he first took charge of the state’s economy, he thought that the sky was the limit. A similar ambition today after 12-year tenure would most definitely serve Sabah well.



This is a story about how some public listed companies from Peninsular Malaysia have gained ” ownership” of Sabah’s Native Title lands through seemingly legal but downright dishonest means via sublease.

This modus operandi, which started around the 1990s, has been so successful that now the talk of the town is that even China nationals are getting hold of Native Title lands by setting up firms and hiring natives as employees, who hold these assets in trust. The whole idea is to circumvent the law and reap millions from the land after adding value to it by planting oil palm or other crops.

In most cases, the public listed companies do not show any of these landed assets in their annual reports, which are hidden under profits and nominees. The nominees are often workers with little education so they dont know they being used. Many of these lands were acquired after the PBS administration and yet declared under a 90-years lease in many of the public listed companies annual report declarations. One such public listed company is IJM Plantations Berhad. The Securities Commission of the Malaysian Stock Exchange should investigate IJM Plantations Berhad to ascertain whether any deceitful practices have been committed in this regard.

The end result is that many SABAH’s NATIVES will lose their lands as these will be consolidated with others and made to appear that these public listed companies have a large land bank with sub leases of up to 90 years as in the case of IJM Plantation Berhad.

So how did major corporations, companies, foreigners and NON-NATIVES gain control of NATIVE TITLED lands that has now allowed them to gain profits ONLY for themselves whereas poor and mostly, uneducated Natives end up gaining virtually NOTHING?

Let me explain.

There are provisions that generally recognise the Sabah Native Title land rights in the Federal Constitution, the Sabah State Constitution and the Sabah Land Ordinance. Yet native communities are still left out and have become embittered and disappointed because there is inadequate care and concern about respecting the spirit of these laws. And infringements of their rights are continuing. Even the SUHAKAM panel has itself described these land grabs as “injustice that is unrestrained”.

It is understandable why with major corporations like IJM Plantations Berhad, foreigners and Non-natives are dealing in native lands. Firstly, land held under Native Title is free of rent for the first 6 years and thereafter only a nominal rent of 0.50 sen per acre is payable. No premium is payable for Native Titled lands. These together with the perpetual nature of the title (999 years) and exemption of stamp duty on transfers, charges and subleases are the generous terms accorded only to Native Lands .

Hence many public listed companies, foreigners and non-natives have influenced, instructed and used poor natives as tools to orchestrate a devious scheme to circumvent the relevant statutory prohibition against dealings, owning, transferring and charging of the land between native and non-natives and to regularise what is an otherwise illegal transaction. The entire dealings are fraudulent in the way they circumvent the law and abuse the protection afforded to Sabahan Native rights and native titles.

IJM Plantations Berhad is of the notion that these natives, as Registered owner for hundreds of acres are not privy to a “shred of paperwork”. In one particular case, a native Sabahan was employed by IJM Plantations as a driver with a salary of RM2000 a month but in records with the Inland Revenue he earns RM5000 and pays taxes, which he only found out when he went to collect BR1M which he was not eligible for.

So, who declared to the Inland Revenue on his behalf and paid his taxes? He and many other natives are not able to benefit from any legal advice nor will they ever be able to find and to put their names to the ownership of these native lands as they are entrenched in some remote place in the interior. This is a simple case of an abusive employer/employee relationship.

The suppression of documentation, creation of illegal documentation and consequently making of a false declaration is not the result of any innocent error but a vital element in the furtherance of a scam which forms the basis of the contention between these poor Natives and these major corporations, companies and non-natives.

IJM Plantations Berhad entered into a sublease agreement with poor natives (as registered owner) and carried out business through the “Sublease Agreements” whereby the terms and conditions of these Sublease Agreements, inter alia are that:

1) 4(h) Lessee ( being IJM Plantations Berhad) shall be entitled at all times and from time to time to create any charge, mortgage, or any other encumbrance on the said Lands or sell or attempt to sell, rent, or otherwise dispose of the said Lands during the subsistence of this Lease or any or all extensions thereof and The Memorandum of Sub-Lease contains the Power of Sale, Sub-Lease and other Powers of these major corporations, companies and non natives which is equivalent to Owners Rights over the Native Titled lands.

These agreements which were in fact Power of Attorney and thus contravened S17(1) and S64 of the Sabah Land Ordinance should be void, illegal and of no effect. To entrench further its hold on these Native Titles, IJM Plantations Berhad also executed Trust Deed Agreements, specifying clearly who had financed the entire sale and “threatening” these poor natives to toe the line. Some of the terms and conditions of the said Trust Deed Agreement, inter alia, are that:

a) The Trustees have entered into a Sales and Purchase Agreement at the demand of the Beneficiary ie IJM Plantations Berhad, in respect of the said Native Titled Lands on the terms and conditions contained in the said Agreement.

b) The consideration due to the S & P was provided, supplied and financed by IJM Plantations Berhad. (This itself is an illegal act as companies money was used and financed for an illegal act acquiring these NT lands)

c) All rights and interest accruing thereon in trust for IJM Plantations Berhad

d) Assign and transfer the said lands to such person or persons at such time or times and in such manner or otherwise deal with the same as IJM Plantations Berhad shall direct or appoint.

e) Any such assignment, transfer or dealings or if so required to enable the interest of IJM Plantations Bhd to be protected.

In furtherance of such scams, IJM Plantations Berhad conveniently execute “white papers pre signed or pre thumbed” by those poor natives ( also known as MOT in escrow), so they may at any time transfer, sublease, sell or charge these lands without informing them . Native Titled land owners have absolutely no idea how extensive the acreage owned by them are as no disclosure nor information on the titles, sublease payments nor tax returns has ever been disclosed to them.

The modus operandi of these rampant acquisitions of Native Titled lands in the pretext of lease legally obtained by IJM plantations Berhad by using so called “proxies”or “nominees” to purchase the native lands gives the notion that Jabatan Tanah & Ukor Sabah concurs with such illegal arrangements and that such practices have not come under any form of scrutiny from the supposed guardian of the NT lands in many of the interior areas of Sabah. In some cases, the Jabatan Tanah & Ukor Sabah and its PPHT Offices throughout Sabah even deem this manner of arrangement legal and valid and proceed to register these sublease on the titles. This in spite of it being patently clear that they are in defiance of the Sabah Land Ordinance. RM 1 for transfers and subleases in some cases are simply baffling!

These public listed companies, foreigners, and non natives then amass millions of ringgit enterprise by representing ownership through their many illegal agreements while the registered Owners (natives), in line with such nominal ownership, remain poor.

The entire dealings are fraudulent and circumvent the law and abuse the protection afforded to Sabahan natives rights and native titles. The authorities lackadaisical attitude over the fundamental rights of the Natives over their lands can be seen in the fact that there are numerous land cases where the Natives initiatives to have their NT lands officially protected have failed.

Pursuant to the Sabah Land Ordinance, it is normally illegal for any major corporation, foreigner and non native to own Native Titles in Sabah. Based on numerous complaints to the Sabah Courts of Non Natives using Natives nominees to purchase Native lands on their behalf, the Sabah Government and Chief Minister Musa Aman should immediately consider a new law to crack down on the use of Native nominees to purchase Native Titles. Such a new law should provide for punishment for individuals (including lawyers, brokers and agents) offering advice to Non Natives on how to hold NT Titles property by concealing and disguising their transactions. The intended law should also allow the seizure of non-natives land found guilty of holding the Native Title property to transfer the land to another Native or to sell it within 30 days.

There should be a balance between protecting Native interest while still welcoming investment into Sabah.

The growing people’s protest are proof of the intolerable impact of land grabbing on local communities by major corporations, companies, foreigners and non natives.

Native communities are losing control of the land, along with their rights to be consulted and to pursue agrarian reform programs. We must remember that the indigenous people were here first and that means something – socially, economically and legally.

Sabah’s poor natives need help to reclaim what is rightfully theirs. Only the State Government under Chief Minister Musa Aman can do something for a problem that has been running for over two decades.


By James Sarda

YAOUNDE (Cameroon): African soccer legend Roger Milla (pic) said he will relish the opportunity to take Malaysia to the greatest heights possible in world soccer if given the opportunity to be its coach.

He noted in an exclusive interview to Daily Express that perhaps only the South East Asian region had yet to make an impact on the stage where it matters most in soccer – the World Cup – and that Malaysia should make a serious attempt at doing so since it has a long soccer history.

The still reigning top African World Cup goal scorer whose five goals feat was recently equalled by Ghana’s Asamoah Gyan, said there is no reason Malaysia cannot make the grade like its Asian counterparts South and North Korea as well as Japan given the right approach and focus.

“ Yes, if there is a possibility I would love to take up the challenge to coach the Malaysian side. But it will also depend on whether I can obtain permission for leave from my President Paul Biya. Then I will sit down and negotiate in the event of an offer,” he said.

“In fact, I negotiated for one or two Cameroonian players to come to Malaysia while I was engaged as a coach in Indonesia. Indonesia was a very good experience. I liked the country and was working very hard to build up their football standard,” said

Milla, in reference to his stints with Pelita Jaya and Putera Samarinda, both in Indonesian Premier Division sides in the mid-1990s.

Milla, 62, said he regretted not having taken the opportunity to visit Malaysia while he was coaching in Indonesia as he had heard much about the country. “I should have but I had a very tight working schedule then.”

Milla has since been designated as a roving ambassador by President Biya, who even allowed him to operate from the Presidential Palace. Among his tasks now are to spot and nurture young Cameroonian soccer talents so that Cameroon would continue to remain a force in both the World Cup and African Nations Cup tournaments.

Many of the emerging Cameroonian players have been the products of his specially set up Roger Milla Foundation with the President’s urging and full backing. “My tasks as Roving Ambassador includes undertaking missions for the President related to sports and on other things as well,” he said.

Asked whether his feats at the 1990, 1994 and 1998 World Cups were responsible for inspiring a whole new generation of African soccer players who now dominate top European clubs and elsewhere, he said:

“It is a difficult question to answer. It is not for me but for others to appreciate whether I was the inspi- ration or not.” His four goals in the 1990 World Cup helped Cameroon to become the first African team to reach the World Cup Quarter finals. Ghana, Senegal and Nigeria have since followed the tradition.

History would not have bestowed Milla with the honours that followed if not for a passionate plea by phone by President Biya for Milla to come out of his 1987 self-imposed retirement, thus becoming the oldest player in the World Cup at age 38.

A goal by him at age 42 in a later World Cup match made him the oldest scorer in World Cup history.

James Sarda is Editor-in-Chief for Daily Express Sabah and recently was in Cameroon

LIFE!

Posted: August 12, 2014 in about me
Tags:

God had created the donkey

and said to him.
“You will be a donkey. You will work un-tiringly from sunrise to sunset
carrying burdens on your back. You will eat grass,
you will have no intelligence and you will live 50 years.”

The donkey answered:
“I will be a donkey, but to live 50 years is much. Give me only 20 years”

God granted his wish.

God created the dog

and said to him:
“You will guard the house of man. You will be his best Friend.
You will eat the scraps that he gives you and you will live 30 years.
You will be a dog. ”

The dog answered:
“Sir, to live 30 years is too much,give me only 15 years.”

God granted his wish.

God created the monkey

and said to him:
“You will be a monkey. You will swing from branch to branch doing tricks.
You will be amusing and you will live

20 years. ”
The monkey answered:
“To live 20 years is too much, give me only 10 years.”

God granted his wish.

Finally God created man ….

and said to him:
“You will be man, the only rational creature on the face of the earth.
You will use your intelligence to become master over all the animals..
You will dominate the world and you will live 20 years.”
Man responded:
“Sir, I will be a man but to live only

20 years is very little,
give me the 30 years that the donkey refused,
the 15 years that the dog did not want and
the 10 years the monkey refused..”

God granted man’s wish

And since then, man lives
20 years as a man ,
marries and spends
30 years like a donkey,
working and carrying all the burdens on his back.

Then when his children are grown,
he lives 15 years like a dog taking care of the house
and eating whatever is given to him,

so that when he is old,
he can retire and live 10 years like a monkey,
going from house to house and from one son or
daughter to another doing tricks to amuse his grandchildren.

That’s Life so do not waste it use it in Lord Service Completely .


Let’s face it modern technology would not be what it is today without Steve Jobs and Apple. Steve Jobs credits LSD as being, “one of the two or three most important things he had done in his life” and gave credit to LSD for a lot of Apple’s product inventions and success. Jobs thought his LSD (and marijuana) use helped him to “think differently” and to relax him, allowing the creative process to work in full force. Jobs stated,“Taking LSD was a profound experience, one of the most important things in my life.LSD shows you that there’s another side to the coin, and you can’t remember it when it wears off, but you know it. It reinforced my sense of what was important—creating great things instead of making money, putting things back into the stream of history and of human consciousness as much as I could.” I would like to think that my iPhone is the result of LSD inspired brilliance, but then again, maybe it really is!

Please don’t get it wrong, I’m not encouraging anyone to take LSD or pot to become extra creative!


My wishes to all my readers Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Maaf Zahir Batin!

And for the People of Gaza I dedicate this Pink Floyd number by Roger Waters ” Song for Palestine”…..


The tragic and outrageous shooting down of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 on its journey from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur over Ukrainian airspace on Thursday is a direct consequence of the ongoing war in Ukraine. Even while offering solace to the family of the dead, the international community needs to fix the responsibility for the firing of the missile that brought down MH17 that was flying at 33,000 feet above sea level, with 298 people on board.

The blame game has already started among the Ukrainian government, the pro-Russian rebel forces fighting the separatist war in the eastern part of the country, and Russia itself. There have been previous instances of Ukraine’s military aircraft getting shot down in the same region. It is surprising that MAS and some other international carriers have been sticking to this dangerous airspace all these weeks and months and only now have decided to steer clear of the zone. The Ukrainian rebels, the prime suspects, were perhaps targeting another Ukrainian military aircraft expected at that time; they even claimed they were in possession of missiles and had shot down a military aircraft.

Big powers playing proxy, aiding rebels to defeat the incumbent is not new and the US did the very same thing through her CIA in funding and arming the Taliban – including anti aircraft Stinger missiles -to oust the Russians in Afghanistan. As an aftermath, the Taliban has arms and deadly Stinger missiles even till to day. Now it seems it is the Russian’s turn to suffer a similar odium. Russia should put an end to separatist rebels group. We should not forget that history is full of examples where countries have created groups for their benefits but later on these groups have created problems for these countries. Even Malaysia helped the Moro separatist in Southern Philippines at one time and now the same group is creating trouble in Sabah and things have back fired big time for Malaysia, while I’m writing this piece there is even a curfew being declared in the east-coast of Sabah. What goes around sure comes around…

This ghastly tragedy could not have come at a worse time for us in Malaysia. Hardly four months ago, MH370 mysteriously went missing while on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Even debris has not been found till to date and there is no clue on what happened to it.

The fallout of the war in Ukraine, in which Russia has played a controversial role, has now become an even bigger international issue with the shooting down of our MAS aircraft. Some countries have already called for the United Nations to play a more decisive role in ending this conflict and also taking charge of the investigation. There were a couple of other aircraft quite close to the site where MAS flight MH17 was shot down. Russian President Vladimir Putin was reportedly in the air at the same time. An Air India aircraft carrying Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a diversion to avoid this zone. Tragedies such as this only revive the demand for international aviation organisations to take a more active and dynamic role in tracking or monitoring flights in the interests of the safety of passengers. Airlines will have to accept such a monitoring mechanism sooner rather than later. The Ukrainian authorities have already begun a probe and have taken note of some Twitter posts purportedly put out by the separatists who they say are to blame. The immediate need is to order a full-fledged international investigation into this tragedy, as demanded by our Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, perhaps headed by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

Unfortunately, no remedy is available to Malaysia or to MAS whose plane has been shot. Further, one wonders whether there is any remedy available to crew and passengers’ relatives. What can be done by the United Nations to avoid such attacks in future? It appears that United Nation is simply a helpless watcher, just as it is in case of Israeli attack on Palestine’s Gaza residents.

In this tragedy, we all must stand together as Malaysians. But again I say, what goes around sure comes around…



It is not the state government alone that can usher in prosperity and development within the state. Once the government has laid the foundation for a better administration and sense of security, many people can contribute to the state’s growth. And some of the steps taken by Chief Minister Musa Aman signal signs of a green revolution that could come to Sabah. With Sabah being predominantly an agricultural economy, and now the booming tourism economy, it would be good to have a fresh green revolution in Sabah.

Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman is going green, quite literally. A green foundation – YaHijau Malaysia (Yayasan Hijau Malaysia) and the “MyGreen Sabah”- is set to become a grassroots movement to encourage Malaysians to adopt eco-friendly lifestyles. After recording good progress in environmental preservation through its “Heart of Borneo” (HOB) initiative when it succeeded in increasing protected forest areas to 1.3 million hectares, Musa Aman has assured that he will continue to be committed to Sustainable Forest management (SFM) and eco-friendly development projects all over Sabah.

The Sabah State Government has set-up the Sabah Green Technology and Climate Change Committee which will be responsible for formulating policies and making recommendations on tackling green technology issues, environmental issues and climate change at the State level. The need to save Tanjung Aru Beach and Prince Philip Park which has already lost 60 to 70 meters due to erosion over the past 50 years is one of his priorities now.

To Save Tanjung Aru Beach and the Prince Philip Park, Musa Aman has come out with a master plan under the Tanjung Aru Beach Rejuvenation Plan, a fantastic plan and an unprecedented move! Tanjung Aru Beach will be moved seawards to improve wave exposure, and coarser beach and terminal structures will be put up to minimize loss of sand, among other measures. The objective is to push back the sea to regain the land that was lost to erosion over the years. Tanjung Aru Eco-Development (TAED) has been entrusted with reviving Tanjung Aru Beach. This would involve reclamation of 440 acres out of the total of over 700 acres. This mammoth project will cost RM1.5 billion and Datuk Victor Paul, the most experienced developer in Sabah who has an extremely good track record in construction, has been roped in. Datuk Victor Paul built the Perdana Park at Hone Place, Tg Aru entirely as part of his Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as a gift to the state and the people without requiring any form of payment or reward. It is believed that he spent RM50 million. He also built Metro Town, a township, all on his own and many other projects since The Berjaya government. Musa Aman has got the right man for the job.

The present Prince Philip Park in Tanjung Aru Beach covers 14.5 acres and with the revival project it will cover 27 acres. The present length of the beach is about 1400 metres with a width of 9 meters of sand during high tide and 25 metres of sand during low tide but after development, its new length will be 1420 meters with a new beach width of 50 to 110 meters. Remember, presently the beach has already gone down by 60 to 70 meters due to erosion, if left as it is in years to come Prince Philip Park will itself be claimed by the sea.

So under the Tanjung Aru Beach Rejuvenation Project, The government is giving back to the people 68% as public areas while the remaining 32% is earmarked for development. The revival project is to return the park and beach to its former glory, while at the same time attract investments from locals and foreigners, create job opportunities and develop the local economy. In doing so, the government through the Tanjung Aru Eco-Development (TAED) would be giving Tanjung Aru Beach and Prince Philip Park back to the people. It will be bigger, cleaner and well-designed unlike now. The public would also not only enjoy continued access to the beach, they would also NOT BE charged when visiting it.

And behind the beach and the park where the former Tanjung Aru Government Quarters used to be located, there is a piece of land that was sold by a former chief minister to the fugitive Teh Soon Seng. The state government under Musa Aman had to fight in the courts to recover this land. This parcel of land is were the residential and commercial property development inclusive of six hotels and resorts is to be built.

Musa Aman told a visiting group from Kuala Lumpur that good governance is to solve people’s problems. The administrative system is more of less the same across the country but there is need for change in the mindset for infusing service in the work culture.

The group, on a study tour of Sabah, called on Musa Aman and acquainted themselves on how Sabah tackles challenges before good governance.

Musa Aman said that team spirit is must for result and ‘Team Sabah’ fulfills this need. There is need for clear-cut instructions on policy matters and administrative setup to ensure the message percolates downstream and the action taken reports travels upstream. And development needs a positive attitude. He said that one reason for the success of Sabah’s good governance model is people’s participation.

He said that environment and development are complementary to each other; both are needed to lend speed. There is need for vision even for environment. He recalled that when Perdana Park was developed by Datuk Victor Paul, all kinds of accusations were hailed and even NGOs were criticising left, right, and center. But today, Perdana Park is considered the most progressive park of its kind in Malaysia where a musical fountain and purified water is provided free of charge. Heaps of praises are thrown by everyone and is now the most regularly visited site for recreation in the state capital. Built on a 16-acre area, Perdana Park is the very first recreational park in KK with a musical fountain performance. One has to learn how Sabah nurtures greenery and preserves wildlife to protect the environment despite so much difficulty and converts them into tourism. Sabah is fast earning Green Credit points as it has adopted a policy of harnessing Nature and not exploiting as is in vogue in the rich Western countries.



Egypt has a new President. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who was the country’s Army chief and Defence Minister. Al Sisi won a landslide victory in the presidential election held in the last week of May. He defeated his opponent, Hamdeen Sabahi, by securing 96.91 per cent of the votes polled.

Al Sisi’s victory was a foregone conclusion going by the immense popularity he gained after he, as Army chief, backed the huge countrywide protests against Morsi. He earned the reputation of being a strong leader when he served Morsi an ultimatum to resign within 48 hours. When the Muslim Brotherhood protested angrily by staging indefinite sit-ins in Cairo squares, he ordered a crackdown by security forces in which nearly 1,000 of Morsi’s supporters were killed. He was the de-facto ruler of Egypt even during the reign of the post-Morsi interim government, when a new Constitution was adopted. This is when the Muslim Brotherhood was outlawed and declared a “terrorist organisation.” In the run-up to the presidential poll, Al Sisi went to the extent of saying that the Muslim Brotherhood would cease to exist during his presidency.

His election confirms that Egypt has a military-guided democracy. But this should not make us jump to the conclusion that it is not democracy at all, simply military rule in a civilian garb.

The victory is landslide, and the election was free. But, it was not fair as the resources of the state were used to promote Al Sisi and the election took place against a background of brutal suppression of Moslem Brotherhood hundreds of whom have been sentenced to death making a mockery of the judicial process. Even 3 Al-Jazeera journalists ( Al-Jazeera channel’s Australian journalist Peter Greste, Egyptian-Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmi and Egyptian journalist Mohamed Bahewere) were not spared and they are under a farcical trial and could be jailed for 15 long years and have been imprisoned since December on charges of broadcasting false news.

The real winners in this presidential election in Egypt is Israel. Al Sisi is only a stooge in the hands Israel and America. He is happy as long as he gets US$1.55 billion from America as an aid that will help in amassing arms and ammunition to kill the players who forced President Hosni Mubarak. But, what the west wants is a safe haven for the Jewish population of Israel at the cost of the poor Palestinians who were driven out of their homeland.

Based on what I have been reading, Al Sisi is going to end up becoming another dictator whom the Egyptian will not be able to overthrow for a long long time.



This is real scientific breakthrough guys, scientists have used laser beams 60,000 billion times more powerful than a laser pointer to recreate scaled supernova explosions in the laboratory to investigate one of the most energetic events in the universe.

Supernova explosions, triggered when the fuel within a star reignites or its core collapses, launch shock waves that sweep through a few light years of space.

“It may sound surprising that a table-top laboratory experiment that fits inside an average room can be used to study astrophysical objects that are light years across,” said Professor Gianluca Gregori of Oxford’s Department of Physics.

“In reality, the laws of physics are the same everywhere, and physical processes can be scaled from one to the other in the same way that waves in a bucket are comparable to waves in the ocean. So our experiments can complement observations of events such as the Cassiopeia A supernova explosion,” said Gregori, who led the study.

The Cassiopeia A supernova explosion was first spotted about 300 years ago in the Cassiopeia constellation 11,000 light years away, its light having taken that long to reach us.

The optical images of the explosion show irregular ‘knotty’ features and associated with these are intense radio and X-ray emissions.

Whilst no one is sure what creates these phenomena one possibility is that the blast passes through a region of space that is filled with dense clumps or clouds of gas.

“Our team began by focusing three laser beams onto a carbon rod target, not much thicker than a strand of hair, in a low density gas-filled chamber,” said Jena Meinecke, an Oxford graduate student who headed the experiment.

The heat generated was more than a few million degrees Celsius and caused the rod to explode. The dense gas clumps that surround an exploding star were simulated by introducing a plastic grid to disturb the shock front.

“The experiment demonstrated that as the blast of the explosion passes through the grid it becomes irregular and turbulent just like the images from Cassiopeia,” said Gregori.

The research was published in the journal Nature Physics.