Monthly Archives: July 2009

The world’s tallest tropical tree is in Tawau, Sabah

The world’s tallest tropical tree is located at the Tawau Hills National Park, an 88.32m Suraya Kuning Siput or Shorea Faguetiana Heim. Compare that to the tallest building in Borneo, the Tun Mustapha Tower at 122m.

After a 20-minute uphill trek, some 900m from the park office, you’d be greeted by…

And there are seven other trees in the same park which are at least 80m tall.

That means the greatest concentration of the world’s tallest tropical trees is located right here in Sabah.

Isn’t it amazing that bigger rainforests like the Amazon and Kalimantan do not have taller trees than us?

The next tallest tree is located a mere 50m from the centrepiece, and a mere 18cm shorter.

The 28,000ha Tawau Hills National Park was established in 1979, is surrounded by oil palm and cocoa plantations and only 20km from Tawau town.

The park is a must visit because after visiting the trees, one can relax in a popular riverside picnic spot, or visit the nearby orchid park and aviary.

Definitely a good way to get one’s weight under control, as an alternative to choosing weight loss pills that work

New Straits Times, 26 Jan 2009

The “Solar Eclipse of the 21st Century” as seen in Kota Kinabalu, 22nd July 2009

For most Malaysians, what was dubbed “the eclipse of the 21st century”, so named due to its duration, was a non-event, where only a partial solar eclipse was seen from around 8am to 10am.

“Manta Ray” took the following photo of the eclipse at 9.05am from Kota Kinabalu using a P&S zoomed to 200 mm maximum capacity:

People in Perlis would see most: 18% while Sarawakians would only see 2%.

But add to the mix the predicted thunderstorms in most parts of the country, the outlook was already bleak to start with.

According to NASA, the best place on this planet to see the eclipse is at the village of Taregna in the Indian state of Bihar, 30km south of Patna, the state’s capital. The total eclipse was visible there for 3 minutes 48 seconds. It started at 5.30am, peaked at 6.24am and lasted for 2 hours. The maximum duration of the eclipse was 6 minutes 38 seconds, visible from the Pacific Ocean.

Perhaps even the Naples photographer was at Taregna…

The eclipse’s path:

The total solar eclipse as seen from southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality, 9.16am:

There was an email making the rounds warning that the eclipse would coincide with an earthquake and tsunami in East Asia.

The Star, 22nd July 2009

Lewis University Online’s MSc in Information Security

Lewis University is based in Romeoville, Illinois, USA.

Beginning August 2009 it’s offering an online MS in Information Security, which is one of 3 programs it’s offering in this manner.

Students “attend class” i.e. a virtual classroom via an online learning system. These are not self-paced: students will have to get their assignments done according to set schedules. Communication with the trainer and other students will be via the online forums.

This kind of learning environment might take some time to get used to, and it has been argued that the learning experience is richer than the traditional setup due to higher level of engagement among students.

Having said that, for this particular program, students will still be expected to be on campus for a 3-day weekend.

The university is Regionally Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA).

Sabahan Mandy Nandu wins Miss Malaysia Model of the World 2009

Now this could be the final confirmation that all the pretty girls in Malaysia do really come from Sabah…

After two Sabahans captured the top 2 positions at the Miss Malaysia/Universe 2009 pageant last month, now it’s the turn of Mandy Nandu to win the Miss Malaysia Model of the World 2009 pageant last night (12th July).

She is also the 2005 Unduk Ngadau and 2007 Miss Sabah/Malaysia/World.

Mandy Nandu (centre), with Appey Rowenna Januin (left), the 2009 Unduk Ngadau and Devenna Jaikob (right), the 2006 Unduk Ngadau and 2008 Miss Sabah/Malaysia/World during the Kaamatan Open House in Kota Kinabalu early last month:

… or, three members of the female human species who’d never need Apidexin

Note: photo off Facebook, sorry, I have forgotten the photographer’s name.

While this title is arguably not as prestigious as the Miss World or Miss Universe pageants, it has been going on for about 20 years now, the 21st edition to be held in China in November.

Of course there’s that Melissa Wong saga, but after all is said and done, Mandy is the holder of the title this year.

Is she only the second Kadazan/Dusun to win a national level pageant, after Elaine Stephanie Tibok won Miss Malaysia Tourism 2005?

“New traditional dance” seen during Kaamatan

Updated 30 May 2012

Someone mentioned that he saw that guy again at KDCA Hall and that he’s a certain “JS”, a local from Ranau and sometime keyboardist.

10 July 2009

If you go to KDCA Hall on 30th or 31st May every year, you’d see traditional dances of many ethnic groups of Sabah.

If you look closely enough, you’d even discover “new traditional dances”.

For example, Butod saw “Breakdance Sumazau” during Kaamatan 2006:

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Apparently the same guy does the same thing every year at the same place.

Here he is again, 3 years later on 31st May 2009, with another guy in the background:

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Does he look like he’s seasick after going on too many Caribbean cruises?

And all these were done in full view of foreign tourists.

Correct protocol in photograph arrangement in a Sabah office

Any shrewd businessman should know that utilising the correct protocol when dealing with specific clients is necessary to close sales, otherwise marketing something like mortgage insurance rates would be like mission impossible.

As an example, I saw the following prominently displayed for the general public to see, from the counter of a prominent local bank recently:

That looks wrong, it should be something like this:

Perhaps this is a small matter, but it provides a negative impression of that organisation nonetheless.

Popimasi to be featured on Astro’s Channel 180 (Part 2)

Update 2/2/14: Popimasi was formerly known as Papier Mache.


The videoshoot was done on 4th July 2009, and everybody was told to assemble at a restaurant in Segama at 7.30am.

Before our session, we hung around to watch the video shoot for local guitar god James Sami at Signal Hill. I had expected him to create a video for a hard rock / heavy metal song, but instead he played a sumazau song!

The shooting for our video only started around 3pm and lasted some 3 hours.

There were 2 sessions, one at the Menara Tun Mustapha / Wisma Innoprise grounds which lasted about 90 minutes:

It was done in light rain, so there was that “water splash” effect everytime the drums were hit.

The model was the 2008 Tuaran Unduk Ngadau.

A video of the session:

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Then we were off to the railway station at Tanjung Aru:

Shooting finished well past 6.30pm.

After that we went straight to Collonades Condos at Harrington Road to help out with Jovita Robert Johnny’s session:

A video of that session in progress:

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It was almost 11pm when everything’s done.

The video will appear during episode 13.

More photos.

Dr Oh Ei Sun: for the first time ever, a Sabahan is appointed Political Secretary to the Prime Minister

As Sikmading blogged on 28th June, local Chinese newspaper Overseas Chinese Daily News (OCDN) reported it 5 days before the other mainstream papers did.

The appointment for the former student of Kian Kok Middle School was effective 16th June.


Name: Dr Oh Ei Sun [sounds like a Korean name, doesn't it?]

Age: 35

Education: trained in law, management, engineering and the languages. Degrees: aeronautical & mechanical engineering & German. Double masters in science & international management. Juris Doctor (law).

Occupation: Academician, international speaker, trainer, motivator, consultant and entrepreneur.

- includes serving various international and world bodies under the UN: International Telecommunication Union & Working Group on Emergency Telecommunications.
- worked with various UN partner agencies, including the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, World Food Programme, International Civil Aviation Organisation, the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and UN Development Programme.
- consulted for multinational & international companies
- advised diverse SMEs on legal and business start-up issues.
- adjunct professor with Universiti Malaysia Sabah

Language skills: fluent in 5: Bahasa Malaysia, English, Mandarin, German & French.

His first mission, in his own words:

To promote the concept of 1Malaysia and engage in dialogue with more people from various backgrounds and communities. This is important towards understanding the pulse of the people, as well as to obtain feedback from the people. There is one element in 1Malaysia I feel most deeply about. It is about integrity, both in the public sector and the private endeavour. I would like to see more emphasis on this as we continue to promote 1Malaysia.

Congratulations Dr Oh.