BALING: Felda settlers should apply for financial aid offered by the board instead of mortgaging their land to banks to get loans, said its chairman Tan Sri Dr Mohd Yusof Noor.
“We have an entrepreneurs fund to help settlers start small businesses. They do not need to go to banks for loans,” he said after handing Felda Foundation cheques to four schools from Kedah and Perlis near here yesterday.
Land and Co-operative Development Ministry parliamentary secretary Dr Robia Kosai had said on Saturday that some 2,600ha of Felda land nationwide were feared forfeited after being mortgaged by 653 settlers for bank loans in the past several years. – Bernama
Jail, rotan for having drug
KOTA BARU: A mechanic was sentenced to 40 months' jail and three strokes of the rotan by the Sessions Court here yesterday for drug possession.
Roslee Muhamad, 37, admitted to an amended charge of possessing 6.03gm of heroin in a house in Taman Tasmin, Gual Nering, Rantau Panjang at 12.55am on Dec 11 last year.
Judge Mohamad Yazid Mustafa ordered the jail sentence to take effect from the date of Roslee arrest on Dec 11 last year. – Bernama
Grave ritual by Iban folks
SIBU: Over 200 Ibans from 12 longhouses in the Penasu/Batu Burak area gathered at a community graveyard, which is over 100 years old, to perform a ritual to curse grave robbers.
They sprinkled yellow rice during yesterday's ceremony, the second such ritual held this year, and sought the intervention of their gods to punish the culprits.
According to longhouse chief Andrew Shilling, the robbers had recently plundered 38 graves in the isolated graveyard, about 20km from here, while 26 tombs were also “robbed” on Feb 16. – Bernama
JASIN: Mara is carrying out a study to produce more bumiputra entrepreneurs capable of competing and facing various challenges, especially in the field of information and communications technology (ICT).
Mara chairman Datuk Wira Abu Seman Yusop said Mara's approach was to look for talented entrepreneurs who would be guided up to the master's level through an incubator programme created by the agency. – Bernama
One pencil for three Iraqi children
KUALA LUMPUR: The situation in war-torn Iraq is so bad that one pencil is shared among three children by cutting it into three pieces.
Since the war earlier this year, thousands of school-going children were deprived of basic education materials, said Global Peace Malaysia vice-chairman Sharifah Aminah Al-Khared.
“Schools open next month and children really need education kits. They don't have books or writing materials. In Basra, many children do not have shoes.
“We feel that the educational needs of the children have to be addressed immediately,” she said yesterday after returning from a two-week humanitarian mission to Iraq.
Sharifah said 70% of the Iraqis were unemployed and the prices of goods was very here and beyond the reach of many in the country. – Bernama
Agent robbed of diamonds
KUALA LUMPUR: A foreign diamond agent lost some RM1mil worth of the precious stones when he was robbed at gunpoint near Damansara Heights on Friday.
In the 11.15am incident, three men in a car blocked the 39-year-old agent's car in Jalan Jelinggang off Jalan Semantan.
Brickfields OCPD Asst Comm Zul Hasnan Najib Baharudin said when the foreigner alighted from his vehicle, two of the men got out and holding him at gunpoint, handcuffed him and forced him into their car.
They then robbed the agent before abandoning him at a housing area in Petaling Jaya Old Town, where he sought help from the public, who contacted the police.
Witnesses to the incident should contact Insp Nachimuttu of the Brickfields police at 03-2274 2222 or the nearest police station.
New alliance for tourism
KUCHING: A new organisation called the Sarawak Association of Tourism Attractions has been set up to promote tourist spots.
It is headed by chairman Jeffrey Wei, also Sarawak State Economic Development Corporation tourism and leisure division director.
Its 14 members represent the Sarawak Cultural Village, Matang Family Park, Harbour Cruise, Top Spot Food Court, Jong Crocodile Farm, India Street Pedestrian Mall and several major shopping complexes.
Wei said the association had decided to start a membership drive and would capitalise on the members’ strengths to promote the various tourist attractions.