Hornbill Unleashed

January 21, 2012

Have a Happy New Year

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 7:00 AM
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Sim Kwang Yang

It is time for us to say goodbye to the old year of the Rabbit and welcome the new year of the Dragon.

This time round, Chinese New Year falls on Jan 23. It is an event much looked forward to by children all over the world. It is an occasion for universal joy and endless merrymaking.

The old custom has it that parents would not get angry at their children during this festive occasion, no matter what their offence is.

The Chinese New Year is a long period of public holidays in which people devote their entire energy to eating and meeting with friends and relatives. It is the largest festival for the Chinese community.

Finally, the hard working Chinese people of Sarawak can have this rare occasion to free themselves from the worries of the world and dedicate themselves to the enjoyment of their good fortune.

The festival is steeped in tradition going back thousands of years. It symbolises the beginning of another new season in the cycle of life.

All, especially young children, are encouraged to wear new clothes. Whenever friends meet, they will wish one another ‘Gong Xi Fa Cai’ or its equivalent — wishing each other good fortune in the coming year.

Red is the auspicious colour of the New Year. I saw an advertisement on television advertising the use of the red cheongsams as traditional attire for Chinese women. Actually, the cheongsam has it origins in Mongolian culture, but has since been adopted by the Han Chinese. But, I do not see many Chinese ladies wearing the cheongsam in Kuching.

Long before Chinese New Year’s Eve, most Chinese households would have cleaned up the entire house inside and out. Lanterns would be put up as decorations together with ang pows to welcome prosperity.

The most important occasion is the family meal on New Year’s Eve. The young people who have left their homes will make it a point to return to their parents’ on the eve of Chinese New Year to share in the family reunion dinner.

No expense is spared in making the reunion dinner a success and the table would be piled high with delicacies, many of which are only available for this occasion.

Children also love the occasion because this is the time they can receive ang pows, red packets of cash presented as a token of affection from parents and relatives.

In Kuching city, lion dance troupes will also visit from house to house to show their skills.

They provide a general atmosphere of cheerfulness and enjoyment. The custom originated from the old Chinese belief that fire crackers and lion dances will drive away demons from human habitation at the beginning of every new year.

Mandarin oranges are a must for visiting friends.

The colour of the mandarin orange is the same as gold, so when you go visiting friends on new year’s day, bringing a pair of mandarin oranges is a gesture of good wishes.

Nowadays, more and more Chinese believe in eating yee sang for a year of plenty ahead. However, the custom of eating yee sang is a Cantonese tradition of which I am not part of.

Until today, I have never liked eating yee sang. But fish is an absolutely necessary dish because in Mandarin the word fish sounds the same as wealth.

Many of the old customs may come to us like superstitions. Some Chinese would never sweep the floor for one whole week because to do so would supposedly sweep away money from the house.

So, do not be surprised to find some houses dirty.

On this occasion of universal joy, I wish all my readers  a Happy New Year. May the auspicious Dragon be with you always!



    Monday, January 23, 2012
    STAR: Petroleum Masterplan – Sabah Oil Resources Belongs to All Sabahans

    “Sabahans will enjoy cheaper petrol, diesel and gas products, lower electricity rates and enjoy annual grants generated by a new Sabah petroleum corporation under STAR’s Petroleum Masterplan” announced Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, STAR Sabah Chief.

    “STAR‘s Petroleum Masterplan for Sabah oil and gas resources is based on the vision “Sabah Oil and Gas Resources Belongs to All Sabahans”.

    “It will be a three-pronged strategy that will seek a review of the existing arrangements on Sabah’s oil and gas resources as well as the overall development of a oil and gas industry in Sabah and the utilization of the oil and gas resources for Sabah and Sabahans first and the preservation and investment of the oil revenue for the well-being of Sabahans and for the future generations” added Dr. Jeffrey.

    The Masterplan includes review of the cash payment from the current 5% to 50%, establishment of PetroSabah Corporation and the PetroSabah Wealth Fund and a Sabah Petroleum Advisory Council.

    In 1976, after the tragic air crash that killed the then Chief Minister and senior members of the Cabinet, the State Government signed away 100% of the State’s oil and gas resources. It even gave up the collection of its 5% oil royalties and accepted a cash payment under the Petroleum Development Act, 1974.

    Under the agreed cash payment, Sabah is now given only a meagre 5% of the revenue generated by Petronas from oil and gas extracted from Sabah and there is no transparency or accountability including whether revenue is given to Sabah for any oil and gas extracted off Labuan island, which is now a federal territory.

    If Sabah had not waived collecting the 5% oil royalties, today, Sabah will be receiving at least 10% of the revenue from its oil resources, 5% oil royalties and 5% cash payment.

    In 2012, Petronas is expected to receive RM14.734 billion from Sabah oil resources while Sabah will receive only RM0.775 billion and none is specifically invested for future generations. At the same time, gas is going to be channelled from Sabah to Sarawak via the new RM3.5 billion Kimanis-Bintulu Gas Pipeline, leaving little for Sabah and Blocks L&M have been signed away by the Federal Government to Brunei.

    Despite recent demands by the people of Sabah, the State Government has done little to “re-negotiate” oil royalties for the long-term benefit of Sabah and Sabahans and safeguard the exploitation oil and gas resources in the best interests of Sabah and Sabahans.

    Under STAR’s Petroleum Masterplan, the underlying objective will be to secure maximum benefits for Sabah from its oil and gas resources based on the vision and rationale that SABAH’S OIL RESOURCES BELONGS TO ALL SABAHANS.

    Getting only 5% from its oil resources is no longer acceptable today. If this continues, Sabah will continue to remain as the poorest State in Malaysia.

    The rights of Sabah and the welfare of the people can no longer be compromised by the continued exploitation of its oil resources at the expense of the people in Sabah.

    Therefore, the first strategy of the Masterplan will be seek to obtain the best terms for Sabah’s oil resources including the restoration of Sabah’s rights to and autonomous control and management of its oil resources and payment of at least 50% of the net revenue from Sabah’s oil and gas.

    This strategy includes a review of the Petroleum Development Act, 1974 and all matters relating to the giving away of the State oil and gas resources, a review of the Kimanis-Bintulu Gas Pipeline and assurances given by Petronas and the Federal Government inclusive of the guarantee to leave sufficient gas for Sabah’s use and review of sales tax revenue on oil and gas products in Sabah.

    Also included will be a request to the Federal Government for a special subsidy for petroleum products equivalent to the volume of oil extracted from Sabah for consumers in Sabah. Sabah consumers should be paying less for petrol, diesel and gas products compared to their counterparts in Semenanjung.

    There will be established a SABAH PETROLEUM ADVISORY COUNCIL to advise on and oversee the planning and policies for Sabah’s oil and gas resources. The Advisory Council will also assist to formulate a NEW SABAH OIL AND GAS POLICY.

    It has to recognized that to derive maximum benefits and spin-offs from its oil and gas resources, these resources need to processed in Sabah and down-stream activities need to be promoted to generate further spin-offs.

    Therefore, the second strategy of the Masterplan will be seek to establish a systematic development of an oil and gas industry in Sabah to maximize returns and spin-offs to its economy on best terms basis including the exploration and exploitation of the oil and gas resources.

    The present day system of secrecy, non-transparency and non-accountability will be abolished. Petronas will have to be accountable to the people of Sabah for Sabah’s oil and gas resources.

    There will be established a PETROSABAH CORPORATION to spearhead the development of the oil and gas industry in Sabah.

    Where possible, Sabah’s oil and gas resources will be used for its oil and gas industry and related industries as well as for other local industries with priority utilization in the State.

    A proposal will be submitted to the Federal Government for the licensing of oil and gas industry in Sabah to be under State control and not Federal control.

    It will also be proposed that special tax incentives be given to oil and gas-powered plants in Sabah so that Sabahans will enjoy cheaper electricity rates generated by Sabah’s own oil and gas resources.

    It will also be proposed to the Federal Government that PetroSabah Corporation will be tax-exempt company, exempted from paying Federal income tax.

    It is recognized that despite the several recent announcements of new oil and gas finds off the coast of Sabah including within its inner waters, the oil and gas resources are a depleting resource and will be exhausted in the future.

    Therefore, the third strategy of the Masterplan will be seek to invest some of the oil and gas revenues and at the same time to provide for the benefit and well-being of Sabahans.

    The oil and gas revenues need to be conserved and invested for the future of Sabah and all Sabahans and cannot be wholly used in the annual State Budget as currently practised by the Government.

    There will be established a PETROSABAH WEALTH FUND which will be entrusted to invest Sabah’s oil and gas revenues for the future generations. The investment guidelines and criteria will be formulated by the Advisory Council.

    It is proposed that 12.5% of the annual profits of PetroSabah Corporation will be set aside to provide for Sabahans and another 25% will be invested in the PetroSabah Wealth Fund.

    We cannot rely on and cannot depend on outsiders to decide on Sabah’s oil and gas resources which belongs to all Sabahans.

    Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan is Chairman, STAR Sabah

    Comment by anon — January 24, 2012 @ 1:02 PM | Reply


    Little wonder that Charlie was suspected as a ……………….. by the US and suffered for it

    Comment by ANTIUMNO — January 24, 2012 @ 12:52 PM | Reply

  3. Happy and Prosperous New Year to all Chinese Sarawakians. May the year of the dragon awaken all Sarawakians to a new dawn of change…ABU ..anythingbutumno…Wake up all Chinese Sarawakians 2012 is a day dawn to be united behind Pakatan and kick the “Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves) so that we Sarawakians regardless of racial and religious background may have equal opportunities to make Sarawak a prosperous and peaceful country to live in.

    Comment by Mandela — January 24, 2012 @ 11:01 AM | Reply

  4. Anything But BN..Selamat Tahun Baru Cina !

    Comment by Roslinawati — January 23, 2012 @ 9:10 PM | Reply

  5. Let us be united as one strong DRAGON in our resolve to kick out the corrupted, abusive, repressive and oppressive UMNO controlled BN this year and make all the crooks and thieves who had plundered and looted our national wealth to return their ill gotten gains to the people

    Let 2012 be the year we change ourselves and take pride in kicking out all the corrupted politicians to save our nation.

    A Very Happy Chinese New Year.

    Comment by Mata Kuching — January 21, 2012 @ 6:19 PM | Reply

    • Let’s say Goodbye to Barisan National and Welcome Pakatan Rakyat. Let’s rebuild a new Malaysia without the baggages of the past.

      Comment by Affendi Suhaili — January 23, 2012 @ 9:04 PM | Reply

  6. “A Happy and Prosperous New Year 2012 Xin Nian Chin Po”.

    Comment by miaOwkia — January 21, 2012 @ 11:37 AM | Reply

    • At this time of the year the “termite and the 40 thieves ” will travel throughout the length and breadth of Sarawak to collect “ang pows” from the cronies with suitcases filled with cash….duit haram, duit haram….May God have mercy on the souls of the chief termite and his 40 thieves.

      Comment by Mandela — January 24, 2012 @ 11:07 AM | Reply


    (a Sarawak CNY bed time fable for the young ones)


    Greetings & Wishing you & family good health and a very rewarding new year.

    Your reminiscence has great insights which many of us share. Did we use to write such illuminating essays at school?!

    Regarding “Yee sang” – it can be a nice salad. But it is also another superstitious belief or practice promoted by commercial interests like the vulgarization of Christmas. Can you improve your luck by tossing the salad and saying “yee sang” or is it “sang yee” – good for business…? It seems very childish. Sorry no offence meant to those who sincerely believe in it!

    The Chinese had caught on such the commercial ideas maybe 3000 years ago and many probably cynically promoted “religious beliefs” or superstitions and made got rich out of this… like donations for this and that deity. They did a roaring trade in joss sticks & paper offerings.

    This is the burn and buy more line- the original throw away consumer concept! You can see many of us are steeped in such ideas and are easy targets for “Golden pyramid” ponzi schemers of magic potions and snake oil!

    Remember the hawkers who sold “Seal oil”… around Kuching Bazaar? Never really found out what this was for but someone said it was a lubricant /stimulant…. The mystery component helps to sell the product. Any one know what for?

    The Chinese indeed have a host of good and bad deities to whom they make offerings. In our country there has also grown some very bad practices revolving around offerings- the sacrifice of our country’s resources to 2 new deities. One called “UMNO” who is from another part of Hell while we have our own local White Hair Devil- a god of thieves and their crony devils.

    Indeed many young ones may not realise they are lucky to be gettingan angpow for CNY as it may not be long when there will be none to give. They should be told of the story about Sarawak (& Sabah).

    Once upon a time in Sarawak we were forced to make offerings of our rich & plentiful resources to a big and powerful devil or evil deity call the “British Colonial Master” (BCM). One day this evil lord had to leave Sarawak because the people turned against it especially young Chinese students who woke up to the fact all Sarawakians could be their own masters! They united in an effort to throw out this devil which was sucking on Sarawak lifeblood and resources.

    However, this evil lord was very cunning. It connived with one of its evil bastard off springs called UMNO (United Maling (thieves) National Organization which it sired by the rape of Malaya, to cheat the people of real independence and to protect its interests and colonial domination of innocent Sabah Sarawak and Brunei. That was how they concocted a ponzi scheme which was really a new hell called “Malaysia” .

    The British and UMNO tried to entrance the people with an illusion by telling them that they being given the heavenly gift of “independence in Malaysia” which would bring freedom prosperity and democracy for all. They were just selling us “yee sang” with “goodies” laced with their hidden poison agenda. However not everyone bought this idea. In fact in all 3 colonies the people rose up to oppose “Malaysia”.

    A major battle took place under the heavens between freedom fighters for real independence and the powerful colonial overlord which continued for over 25 years. It was the biggest anti-evil battle in our history- so far. In fact the holy day for this great battle just passed on 16 December 1962. It is called the Brunei anti-Malaysia Independence Uprising. There are other festive days which we are yet to commemorate like Sarawak Independence Day (when we finally win this freedom).

    However, the BCM had overwhelming armed forces including UMNO and “Commonwealth” armies which were used to suppress the freedom fighters. The new Hell date of 16 September 1963 was officiated at gunpoint and Sabah and Sarawak were forced to be slave/concubines of UMNO Malaya. Singapore had willingly joined but left when UMNO wanted to hog the bed. Brunei was not incorporated because the people asserted their right to independence and positively rejected Malaysia.

    So the new evil overlord UMNO was installed in power and we have ever since been forced to worship in a temple or hell of falsehoods and false hopes called “Malaysia”. The devils are always deceiving us and calling it “heaven”. The UMNO devil inherited great cunning from its BCM breeder and immediately set about consolidating its domination of the Sabah/Sarawak people by empowering its own slavish underlings to rule the people with fear and terror and great oppression.

    Thus began the relationship with the new colonial master and puppets like the White Hair Devil. Both master and servant were insatiable and made huge demands on Sarawak resources. UMNO started to suck out our oil and gas and the White Hair Devil sunk his fangs in Sarawak land and timber. UMNO became so voracious that it even now rule Sabah directly and sucked this colony so dry until it has become the most impoverished state in the hell of Malaysia.

    But now the people are beginning to get out of the 48 years trance and are working out a way to get out of Hell ……

    Every one have a good year to work out the best way to get Sarawak & Sabah out of Malaysia!

    Let us unite and continue to firmly reject this colonial “yee sang” solution for real independence!

    Let us finish the story of Sarawak our way!

    Comment by FIGHT4SARAWAK — January 21, 2012 @ 10:35 AM | Reply

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