KUCHING: The state government has offered Sarawak’s dive queen Pandelela Rinong Pamg a full scholarship to pursue her studies in any university of her choice in Australia.
This was announced during the special investiture ceremony at the Astana here.
Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, however, said the state government was giving Padelela the choice.
He said if Padelela wanted to study in Australia, the state government would sponsor the full course for her, which may take three to four years.
“Four years in Australia is something quite good.
“During this time, she can pursue her education and at the same time get continuous training and probably doing a bit of coaching in diving because we want to see continuity in the sport,” he told reporters after the investiture ceremony yesterday.
Asked if there was any plan to give Pandelela a sustainable reward, Taib said the Federal Government had given her something.
“But if she (Pandelela) doesn’t want to go to Australia, she can trade that offer and opt for something else, may be some shares in ASSAR (Amanah Saham Sarawak),” he said.
Pandelela said she was seriously considering pursuing her education to a higher level.
“At the moment my priority is on training. But because there will be no major games after the Olympics I will focus on my studies,” she said.
Pandelela said she could only focus on her studies if there was no major international competition.
However, she had yet to decide what field to pursue, saying: “I have an interest in a few fields, only not in additional mathematics.”
Last week Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak presented Pandelela with RM300,000 (RM100,000 under the National Sports Council (NSC) prize scheme and RM200,000 in Amanah Saham Wawasan shares).
The token amount was to honour her achievement in the 2012 Olympics where Pandelela won the bronze in the 10m platform diving.
Najib also awarded a full government scholarship from the Cemerlang Foundation to enable the Pandelela to pursue a degree of her choice at Universiti Tun Abdul Razak.
Well wishers throng BCCK to attend CM’s open house
Posted on August 21, 2012, Tuesday
SELAMAT HARI RAYA: Taib and Ragad greet guests upon their arrival at his open house on the first day. — Photos by Muhammad Rais Sanusi
KUCHING: Thousands of well wishers from all walks of life attended Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud and wife Puan Sri Ragad Kurdi’s two-day Hari Raya Open House at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here.
The crowd gathered as early as 9am at the entrance of BCCK’s main hall as many had wanted to have a glimpse of the chief minister, wife and his family members.
Those present throughout the two days of the open house were Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Alfred Jabu Numpang, State Secretary Tan Sri Datuk Amar Morshidi Ghani and State Legislative Assembly speaker Datuk Amar Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar among other state dignitaries, corporate figures and community leaders.
THANK YOU FOR COMING: Ragad (left) greets KTS Group of Companies managing director Dato Henry Lau during his arrival at the Chief Minister’s open house on the first day of Hari Raya.
Other guests present were the Datuk Bandar for Kuching North City Commission Datuk Abang Abdul Wahap Abang Julai, Mayor of Kuching South City Commission James Chan and Padawan Municipal Council chairman Lo Khere Chiang.
KUCHING: Pandelela Rinong’s bronze medal success at the London 2012 Olympics has elevated the profile of the 200,000-strong Bidayuh community into the national map and onto the national consciousness.
Bung Bratak Heritage Association (BBHA) president Datuk Peter Minos said this when commenting on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s presentation of RM300,000 in cash and shares incentives and a full university scholarship to the national diver yesterday.
Pandelela is the country’s first-ever female Olympic medallist.
“We are definitely very happy that the PM has honoured our heroine in this manner. As Pandelela is from the Bidayuh community, we [the Bidayuh] also feel greatly honoured,” said Minos, who could hardly contain his joy over the news when contacted by The Borneo Post yesterday.
“It is not often to have the PM bestow this on a person this way. This is a very, very good gesture and we are deeply appreciative.
“Pandelela has put the Bidayuh minority on the map. We are eternally grateful to her.”
He said that BBHA will be organising a grand dinner on Aug 25 at Bau Civic Centre to celebrate her achievement.
“We will give her a truly Bidayuh Bratak honour which will be different from a normal dinner. We want to show our appreciation not just with words, but also in the little things. We want to make Pandelela our ‘Wirawati Bung Bratak’ (Heroine of Bung Bratak),” said Minos.
On a lighter note, he revealed that during his conversation with the national diver yesterday before her meeting with the PM, she specially requested to have sambal petai for the celebratory dinner as well as for k-pop songs made popular by South Korean boyband Big Bang to be included as part of the entertainment.
He believes that the lass has the potential to contribute even more to the country’s sporting glory as she is only 19 years old.
“Hopefully, we pray that Pandelela becomes a source of inspiration for all youngsters. She has proven with grit, determination and great form, we can achieve wonders and do great things for our country,” said Minos.
On the question as to whether Pandelela should be given a Datuk-ship for her accomplishment, Minos said the BBHA would be “extremely happy” if she is given the honour.
“Such a move would not be out of place if we consider the precedent set by world squash champion Datuk Nicol David and also (Olympic silver medallist) Datuk Lee Chong Wei,” he observed, adding that the honorary title should be given based on accomplishment regardless of the person’s age.
Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA) president Datu Ik Pahon Joyik said the country’s recognition of Pandelela’s achievement will encourage Sarawakians and young sportsmen and women to take sports seriously as a career.
He thanked the federal government for their recognition of Sarawakians and also for giving Pandelela the means to further her education and build a successful post-competition career.
“With this award, the federal government is giving her a fishing rod, not a fish,” he said, alluding to a popular English saying.
“It is also a good morale booster for other youth who are contemplating about their future life after their competitive sport career is over.”
Ik Pahon expressed hope that the state government will also reciprocate in kind.
Meanwhile, DBNA chief advisor and Minister of Infrastructure Development and Communications Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong welcomed the news but refused to speculate on what the chief minister has promised to give.
“Of course we are very happy but Pandelela was not just representing the community but the whole nation during the London Olympics. And as far as DBNA is concerned, we will be organising an appreciation dinner for her on Aug 22 to be held at DBNA hall at Jalan Ong Tiang Swee,” he said.
SEPANG, Aug 14 (Bernama) -- Hundreds of people welcomed Olympic bronze medallist Pandelela Rinong Pamg who arrived home today, but it was the sight of the diving star's parents in the crowd that carved a huge smile on her face.
Her proud parents, Pamg Joheng dan Hartini Lamim, had been specially flown from Kuching by national carrier Malaysia Airlines (MAS) to greet the 19-year-old who created history by being the first Malaysian woman athlete to win an Olympic medal.
Despite her achievement, Pandelela appeared not to let it go to her head when she said: "Although I've won a medal at the Olympics, I will forever keep a low profile."
More than 200 sports fans and students of the Bukit Jalil Sports School were at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), here, to welcome home the diving queen who arrived at about 7.50am on flight MH003 from London using MAS' latest aircraft, the A380.
"I thank all who are present here today. I'm touched by the warm reception. I also wish to thank all Malaysians including my family for the support," said Pandelela.
Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek was also at KLIA to welcome Pandelela who arrived on the flight together with Malaysia's chef de mission to the London Olympics Tun Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid, director-general of the National Sports Council (NSC) Datuk Seri Zolkples Embong and the national aquatic squad.
On the flight, the MAS crew took the opportunity to take photographs with Pandelela who showed off her bronze medal. Malaysia Airlines in a statement said in appreciation of her excellent achievement, Pandelela's seat was upgraded to the Business Class to allow her to enjoy the national carrier's inflight hospitality.
Pandelela said her participation in the London Olympics gave her the wonderful opportunity to compete against the world's best divers.
She thanked the Olympic Council of Malaysia, National Sports Institute and the NSC for helping her prepare for the Olympics.
Pandelela said she would be resting for two weeks and also use the break to be with her family.
At the London Olympics which ended last Sunday, the Bidayuh lass collected 359.20 points, behind China's Chen Ruolin who managed to defend her title with 422.30 points while the silver medal went to Australia's Brittany Broben who garnered 366.50 points.
Ahmad Shabery said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak was scheduled to meet Pandelela this Friday after returning from the 4th Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Extraordinary Summit in Mecca.
Pandelela wins historic diving bronze in 10m platform
Published: Friday August 10, 2012 MYT 6:24:00 AM Updated: Friday August 10, 2012 MYT 1:12:11 PM
BY S. RAMAGURU
LONDON: Pandelela Rinong has created Malaysian diving history. The 19-year-old from Sarawak won a bronze medal in the women’s 10m individual platform event at the Aquatics Centre early Friday.
It was Malaysia's first-ever Olympics medal in a sport other than badminton, besides making Pandelela the first Malaysian woman to win an Olympics medal.
Gold medallist Chen Ruolin (centre) of China poses on the podium with silver medallist Brittany Broben (left) of Australia and bronze medallist Pandelela Rinong (right) of Malaysia during the women's 10m platform victory ceremony at the Aquatics Centre on Thursday. - REUTERS/Tim Wimborne
She garnered a total of 359.20 points to finish behind China's Chen Ruolin, who won the gold on 422.30 points while Brittany Broben from Australia won the silver on 366.50 points.
M. Vasugi won a bronze medal in taekwondo in the Seoul Olympics in 1988. However, taekwondo was only a demonstration event in that Games and is not considered as an official medal tally.
Although diving had promised a medal here, not many had given the team a chance, especially since they had failed in their last six events.
But Pandelela delivered. Her feat also helped the national contingent match Malaysia’s best placing in the Olympics - the silver and bronze won at the Atlanta Games in 1996.
Pandelela Rinong competing during the Women's 10m Platform final of the Diving competitions at the Aquatics Centre on Thursday. - EPA/MARIUS BECKER
Then, the badminton doubles pairing of Cheah Soon Kit and Yap Kim Hock won the silver while Rashid Sidek won the bronze in the men's singles.
Pandelela said she hoped her achievement in London 2012 would inspire others to take up diving as a competitive event.
"I am so happy with winning this medal. It is something that I had only dreamt off and now diving can look at it as a turning point.
Pandelela Rinong poses with her bronze medal after finishing third in the Women's 10m Platform Final for the Diving competition held at the Aquatics Center on Thursday. - EPA/PATRICK B. KRAEMER
"I feel that a huge burden has been lifted off my shoulders and we can now look forward to better times," she said.
Pandelela started off the final poorly, getting only 58.50 points for her first dive to be placed in 10th spot.
Up to the third dive, she was still in 10th place but her final two dives were well-received by the judges and netted 81.60 and 76.80 points respectively.
"After the first dive, I told myself not to be worried and to stay calm. At that point I was not thinking of a medal at all. I just wanted to do my best.
"I am glad that my routines worked and some of the others registered slightly lower points," she said.
by Geryl Ogilvy Ruekeith and Jonathan Chia, firstname.lastname@example.org. Posted on August 8, 2012, Wednesday
KUCHING: In an unexpected turn of events, Meluan assemblyman Wong Judat tried to submit his resignation letter to Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) yesterday, barely a week after stating that he was still 100 per cent with the party and Barisan Nasional (BN).
The SPDP vice-president arrived at the party headquarters in Jalan Badruddin here at 2.10pm to submit the letter and was met by SPDP acting executive secretary Sallih Bitin who refused to accept the letter as secretary general Datuk Nelson Balang Rining was not in the office.
Sallih advised Wong to hand in his resignation to either Balang, deputy secretary general Paul Igai, president Tan Sri William Mawan or deputy president Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing.
Wong then requested the office to arrange for an appointment to meet Mawan.
Accompanied by his son Nelson and close aides, Meringai Angoi, Nyingkok Bungap and Tambi Luat from Julau, he waited for around 20 minutes before leaving the SPDP headquarters.
Wong announced his decision to quit SPDP to join SWP so that he could contest in Julau in the upcoming general election during a Sarawak Workers Party (SWP) ‘Pentas Rakyat’ function in Kanowit on July 21.
He said he would meet Mawan, Tiong and BN secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor on July 30 to explain to them why he wanted to quit SPDP on July 31.
However, after that meeting he went back on his words and declared that he would remain in SPDP.
When asked about his change of heart despite affirming that he was not going through with his decision to quit following a meeting with Tiong in Kuala Lumpur on July 30 Wong said: “It shouldn’t come as a surprise since I have stated my intention to resign from the party for quite some time. It has nothing to do with BN. This is just between me and Salang.”
Wong has been embroiled in a long running feud with Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) MP Datuk Joseph Salang who is also Deputy Information, Communications and Culture Minister and is bent on taking on the incumbent Julau MP in the coming election.
Wong’s resignation would pave the way for him to join the SWP and contest against Salang if he was nominated to defend his seat.
When asked if Mawan was aware on his decision to quit, Wong said he hoped to meet up with the president before he headed back to Julau.
On whether he had applied to join SWP, he told the press to ask the party’s president Larry Sng on that matter.
Meanwhile, Sng when met at The Borneo Post office here yesterday, refused to comment whether Wong had applied to join SWP.
He said the party would wait for the appropriate time to make a statement on Wong’s situation.
“I have no comment. I will make an appropriate comment at the right time,” said Sng while explaining that all party matters must be decided by the supreme council.
Sng added that he would soon call for a supreme council meeting but declined to divulge the agenda of the meeting.
Meanwhile, reacting to Wong’s antics Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) supreme council member Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah challenged the Meluan assemblyman to resign as the people’s representative as he had betrayed the trust of the people who voted for him as a Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate.
Abdul Karim, who is also Assistant Minister of Youth Development, described Wong as a confused person who did not have a sense of belonging to BN.
“He only cares for himself and is very selfish in his way of thinking. Leaders like him don’t last long. If he really wanted to quit, all I can only say ‘good riddance’. We don’t need characters like that in BN,” he said when asked to comment on Wong’s latest move to quit SPDP yesterday.
Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Tan Sri Dr James Masing when contacted apparently could not believe the news saying he would only comment when there is a ‘black and white’ document on it.
SPDP told antics of its veep cum assemblyman go against Barisan Nasional spirit
KUCHING: State BN secretary-general Datuk Dr Stephen Rundi Utom wants SPDP to take action against its Meluan assemblyman Wong Judat who has threatened to contest against Julau MP Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum in the 13th general election.
Dr Rundi said Wong, being a BN man, should have placed the interest of the party and BN before self interest.
He said his tiff with the four-term Salang, who is also Deputy Information, Communications and Culture Minister, was very much driven by personal issues and grudges, and that ran contrary to the true spirit of the BN.
“To ensure a victory for the BN and the PM (prime minister) in Julau in the coming general election, SPDP should do something about this issue.
“We hope SPDP will look into this seriously so that we will be able to face the polls in the 1BN spirit.
“Whatever movements he (Wong) has made we leave it to SPDP to take whatever actions deemed necessary to discipline Wong. Discipline him to make sure he abides by the BN understanding and the BN1Malaysia spirit.”
Dr Rundi said this to reporters yesterday when asked whether the state BN would act against Wong’s antics over the past few months.
During the past several months, Wong was often seen in the company of recently-registered Sarawak Workers Party (SWP) leaders and he even trumpeted on numerous occasions that he would contest in Julau if PRS fielded Salang again.
Then on July 21 during a SWP ‘Pentas Rakyat’ gathering in Kanowit, he told the reporters present he would meet his president and deputy president in Kuala Lumpur on July 30, and then resign from SPDP, for which he is one of its vice presidents, the following day to enable him to contest in Julau, probably under the SWP ticket.
However, when met by The Borneo Post on August 1 in Julau, Wong said: “For the time being, I am still 100 per cent with SPDP and BN. I am still serving the constituency as a BN rep.”
Dr Rundi stressed that as of now the state BN could not take disciplinary action against Wong since he had not made any decision yet.
“There are so many decisions which are unpredictable so we leave it to SPDP to sort it out.”
Dr Rundi, who is also Assistant Public Utilities Minister, said disciplinary action could be taken against Wong if his announcement of contesting in the coming polls was deemed detrimental to the coalition.
“We do have a disciplinary committee to deal with any unwarranted characters, but since he had not made any decision it is not fair to pass judgment on him.”
UNITY IS STRENGTH: Dr Tiki officiates at the opening of Kampung Raso 1 Sepak Takraw court in Bau recently.
BAU: A special aide to Mas Gading MP Datuk Dr Tiki Lafe revealed that Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi will attend the ‘Mas Gading Hari Raya open house’ on a date to be decided later.
The aide, Lolin Nyigo, said the impending visit is proof of the federal minister’s support for his fellow parliamentarian.
He quoted the minister as saying in a Bernama report when announcing the re-appointment of Dr Tiki as chairman of the National Service Training Council at a function in Sibu in January that Dr Tiki was a winnable candidate and “a talented leader who should not be sidelined”.
Lolin rated Dr Tiki as having a 98 per cent chance of being nominated to defend the Mas Gading seat in the coming general election.
“Our assessment is based on intelligence reports collected on the ground and of course the two per cent will be from the top BN leaders,” he said in jest to The Borneo Post on Tuesday.
On the other hand, Dr Tiki himself believes that being the outright candidate he would emerge victorious for BN, attributing his confidence to the solid support of community leaders in the constituency and cooperation from Mambong MP and Bengoh assemblyman, whose constituencies border his.
“From the temenggong down to the village headman, they have pledged their undivided support and cooperation to me to win the election for BN. My optimism to win is based on reports by intelligence on voting trend carried on the ground and the reports show that I will have 100 per cent support from the Bidayuh Jagoi-Selakau and 50 per cent may come from the Bidayuh Singgai,” Dr Tiki said confidently.
He based his evaluation on the trend in previous elections, whereby the incumbent, opposition or independent candidate would each get 30 per cent of the total votes cast with the winner getting 10 per cent at the most from fence sitters.
Dr Tiki’s analysis was supported by Rosadi Ugit, a keen observer of the elections in Mas Gading.
“I have been watching the voting trend in this parliamentary constituency for the last ten years and my predictions for each candidate had always been near perfect,” Rosadi said.
Mas Gading has a total of 24,000 registered voters — 18,000 Bidayuhs, 4,000 Chinese, 1,000 (Malays) and 1,000 (Ibans and others).
When asked on his relationship with SPDP president Tan Sri William Mawan Ikom, he said their ties were as cordial as before.
“Mawan and I are still good friends and I only disagree with him on how he handles some party policies,” he explained.
Adakah Setiausaha Agong UMNO dan 'businessman besar' Tengku Adnan mencampuri politik Sarawak kebelakangan ini?
Semua Setiausaha Agong UMNO sebelum ini tidak pernah mencampuri politik Sarawak namun Tengku Adnan sungguh menyelami, berhubungan, mencari 'kawan-kawan' dan masuk campur politik Sarawak. Apakah hajat dan niat 'murni' Tengku Adnan?
Wong Judat makes about-turn after meeting Mawan, Tiong
by Anthony Aga, email@example.com. Posted on August 2, 2012, Thursday
ALL ENDS WELL: Adnan (left) shakes hand with Clement (right) as (from second left) Tiong, Wong and Merringai look on.
JULAU: Meluan assemblyman Wong Judat has made an about- turn – he is still ‘100 per cent’ with SPDP and BN.
He did not go through with his dare to resign from SPDP on July 31 after meeting SPDP president Tan Sri William Mawan Ikom and deputy president Dato Seri Tiong King Sing in Kuala Lumpur on July 30.
Wong told The Borneo Post yesterday that he also had a separate meeting with BN secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor after meeting Mawan and Tiong.
“For the time being, I am still 100 per cent with SPDP and BN. I am still serving the constituency as a BN representative,” said Wong, who went around inspecting several minor rural projects (MRP) here after returning from Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
On July 21, Wong had told reporters covering an SWP-organised ‘Pentas Rakyat’ that he would meet Mawan and Tiong in Kuala Lumpur on July 30 and then officially quit the party the following day to enable him to contest in Julau in the coming general election against MP Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum from fellow-BN party PRS.
Among other things, Wong had said then that “the outcome of the meeting will have no bearing on my decision. Nothing can change my mind and nobody can stop me”.
Judat’s announcement that day did not come as a surprise because of his personal grudges with Salang and his (Wong) close links with recently-formed Sarawak Workers Party (SWP).
However, the possibility of him changing his mind came at the eleventh hour before his departure for Kuala Lumpur. He had told The Borneo Post then that all the news reports about him quitting was “inaccurate” as he had not “officially” announced his decision.
After revealing that he attended two meetings in Kuala Lumpur, he followed that up by saying he was satisfied with its outcome.
“All parties, including myself, are pleased with the outcome of the meetings.”
Wong, however, claimed that during both meetings he did reaffirm his stand to contest in Julau if PRS and the BN insisted on re-nominating Salang to defend that seat.
He also claimed that he also told the SPDP and BN top leadership that he would abandon his plan to contest in Julau if they drop Salang and pick a winnable candidate.
On his meeting with Mawan and Tiong, Wong said he was pleased that both leaders had accorded due consideration to his proposal to swap Julau with a seat held by SPDP.
Previously, Wong had suggested that Julau be swapped with Mas Gading, but Baram could also be on the table.
Wong said Mawan and Tiong told him that this proposal could only be approved by the top BN leadership, and as such they would bring it up during a BN leaders meeting.
“During my meeting with Tengku Adnan, he advised me to be patient and wait for a decision which would be made in due course.”
Among those present during the meeting with Adnan were Tiong, SPDP Meluan deputy chairman Clement Nessau and vice chairman 1 Merringai Anggol. Mawan was not present.
Asked to comment on his earlier quit announcement, Wong said it was only meant to be a “last resort” intention.
As for his earlier announcement of joining SWP, he said it was only an “option” he was considering in order for him to continue with his political struggles.