Sabah Tourism Board building to celebrate 100th anniversary this Saturday


MO,13/3/2018, KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Tourism building located at Gaya Street, here and which had survived World War II, will celebrate its 100th year anniversary this Friday. The building, opened by British North Borneo Charter Company Governor A.C. Pearson in 1918, was formerly a printing office before it became a Post Office between 1936 and 1986. In 1989, the Sabah Government restored the building and it became the Sabah Tourism Promotion Corporation until today.

The corporation moved into the building in 1990 and continued with its dunction even after it was rebranded as Sabah Tourism Board until today. Sabah Tourism Board chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai said the once-in-a-lifetime occasion will feature a good mix of local resources coming together to mark the celebration. The event will be held at the building location and stretching as far as the end of Gaya Street for the ‘Night @ Gaya Street’, for food outlets, food trucks and vendors to operate till wee hours of that day.

“It is very rare to witness a centenary anniversary of a structure such as this one, as Jesselton (now Kota Kinabalu) was almost in ruins during the war. “Today it is one of the 24 heritage sites gazetted in Sabah. We hope our next generation will conserve and learn to love our history.” added Joniston. During the celebration, the North Borneo History Society will feature a virtual reality booth for public to ‘experience’ Jesselton in the past.

The event will also feature a 100 metres long cake co-hosted by Sabah Tourism and Shangri-la’s Tanjung Aru Resort for all who attend. Besides that, the first ever 3D projection mapping showcasing the history of the building will be projected and produced by Sabah Animation Creative Content Centre.


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Perak contributes funds for VAT69 Commando Veterans Association building


MO,12/3/2018, POH: Perak has contributed a RM154,000 allocation for the construction of the VAT69 Commando Veterans Association to building. The three-storey building will be built at a commercial shop lot in Tanjung Rambutan near here and will also see the state government footing the bill for the commercial lot’s land premium. Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir, said the financial allocation was in honour of VAT69 Commando veterans for their sacrifice in defending the country’s sovereignty.

He adds that the commercial shop lot was donated to the association several years ago for them to construct their three storey building. “The association had paid the RM54,000 land premium through collection form its members after the state government approved their land request. The state has since returned the RM54,000 to the association.

“In addition, the state government had also approved RM100,000 to help finance the association in the construction of its three-storey building, bringing the total allocation to RM154,000,” Zambry said this in a speech at a High Tea between the Mentri Besar and VAT69 Commando Veterans at his residence here today.

Also present was the President of the VAT69 Commando Veterans Association, Datuk Abdul Rashid Harun. At the event, Zambry was also appointed as an Advisor of the Association. Meanwhile, the Menteri Besar said the state government will work with VAT69 Commando Veterans Association and the State Education Department to organise the Patriotic Program for young people starting from the primary school level. “The students would be thrilled to listen to the stories from VAT69 Commando veterans on their struggle to defend the country and would at the same time create awareness among them (students) to appreciate the country’s peace.

In the meantime, Abdul Rashid, who is also Director General of the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA) said the 500 association members thank the Mentri Besar for the state government’s contribution in enabling them to have their own building. ” We will not be hasty in constructing the building as they want to plan it properly to not only make it as an office but also where we can conduct our activities as well as use it as a transit point to association members.”


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Deadly S.Korea fire Building owner manager arrested

SEOUL: South Korean police have arrested the owner and the manager of a building where 29 people died in a fire last week, accusing the pair of multiple safety lapses, including blocked exits and malfunctioning sprinkler systems.

On Thursday a fire ripped through an eight-story high rise in the small city of Jecheon. At least 20 of the victims were women who were overcome by toxic fumes in a second-floor sauna.

Jecheon police have only identified the owner by his last name of Lee, and the manager by his last name of Kim.

Both men are in custody in Jecheon after being arrested on Sunday, police announced Tuesday.

Lee faces two charges of violating fire safety regulations and committing involuntary homicide by professional negligence, while Kim also faces the involuntary homicide charge.

If convicted of involuntary homicide, Lee and Kim could face up to five years in prison or 20 million won (US$16,000) in fines.

A survivor dangles from a windowsill as he waits for rescue from the burning building on Dec 21, 2017. - REUTERS
“The sprinkler system on the building’s first floor did not work properly when the fire erupted,” a police detective, who asked not to be named as he was not authorized to speak on an ongoing investigation, told Reuters. “If the sprinkler system worked, the fire probably would not have spread as fast as it did.”

Photos released by the Yonhap news agency showed a smoke-stained stairwell and a fire exit filled with shelves and supplies on the second floor, where most of the deaths occurred.

“The emergency exit on the building’s second floor was blocked by iron shelves and other miscellaneous items,” the detective confirmed.

Officials are still investigating the cause of the conflagration.

According to police, both Kim and Lee had denied reports they were trying to remove ice on the ceiling of the first floor, where the fire appeared to have originated, but later changed their statements after police confronted them with evidence.

The Korea JoongAng Daily newspaper reported on Tuesday that Lee had at one point told police he did not alert the women in the sauna because they were undressed, however, the police detective told Reuters he could not confirm that as investigations were ongoing.

Anger mounted over the weekend at reports of shoddy construction, broken doors, blocked roads and other problems that may have contributed to the deaths.

Yonhap photos of the scene showed parked cars surrounding the building, with some witnesses saying that combined with narrow roads to delay the response by fire trucks.

A bill was introduced in March calling for doubling the penalty for illegal parking on a fire engine access road but it is still pending, according to the National Assembly’s bill tracking archive.

Visiting the scene on Friday, President Moon Jae-in promised a full investigation.

“The government as a whole will thoroughly probe this accident’s cause and process of response, and although after the fact, the investigation and measures will be such that, at least, there will not be lingering deep sorrow,” he said.

On Monday, a separate fire at a construction site at an apartment complex south of Seoul killed one person and injured 14 others, according to Yonhap.

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