What it takes to preserve our biodiversity – Star2.com

New strategies to stem our natural heritage losses.

Source: What it takes to preserve our biodiversity – Star2.com


Amazing relationships and great opportunities for students in Sabah – groundwork

Source: Amazing relationships and great opportunities for students in Sabah – groundwork

Why the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is overrated | Free Malaysia Today

By Shaun Liew

Trade agreements aim to liberalize the flow of goods and services between nations, and the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is “the cornerstone of the Obama Administration’s economic policy in the Asia Pacific”. It is the most substantial trade agreement in the Asia-Pacific region involving 12 countries including Malaysia, Mexico, Japan, and the U.S, and representing almost 40 percent of global output and 25 percent of global exports. “Free trade is good,” say all economics textbooks used in universities. However, what is rarely brought up is that tariff and non-tariff barriers can make all the difference in how a country reaps the gains from free trade. Malaysia’s fourth Prime Minister, however, is well aware of the traps inherent in trade agreements. In Dr. Mahathir’s words

Source: Why the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is overrated | Free Malaysia Today

Sabah to study legal options on seized native land – Nation | The Star Online

Published: Sunday June 28, 2015 MYT 12:00:00 AM Updated: Sunday June 28, 2015 MYT 7:31:47 AM Sabah to study legal options on seized native land KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah go­­vern­­ment needs to study legal op­tions before deciding how to handle some 2,000ha of native land seized from non-bumiputras who had used fake certificates to get them. The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission is expected to give the state government some proposals on the issue of the native land involving some 400 native titles, said Sabah Lands and Survey Department director Safar Untong. When contacted yesterday, Safar said MACC officers had met him on Friday and that both criminal and civil law elements were involved. They would have to look at pre­vious court decisions on ownership of land and civil cases where land was obtained fraudulently, he said. In a statement, Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman said the state would have discussions with va­­rious agencies on the types of action to be taken against those holding illegally obtained native certificates, as well as other measures to protect native rights. “The state government supports MACC’s investigations into the native certificates as it is important for the protection of Sabah natives,” he said.

Source: Sabah to study legal options on seized native land – Nation | The Star Online

Endangered turtle destined for soup pot gets new start

Endangered turtle destined for soup pot gets new start25th August 2015 / Jeremy HanceWoman who spotted Asian giant softshell turtle in a Malaysian Borneo market bought it; turned it over to wildlife experts, who released it to the wild.

via Endangered turtle destined for soup pot gets new start.

Sinalau Bakas

Reblog From: Julia Chan, The Malaymailonline

KOTA KINABALU, Jan 18 — There is a little surprise for travellers to Sabah who take the time and effort to explore the state’s beauty through its beautiful countryside.

Sinalau Bakas - JuliaAlong the winding, pot-holed roads between paddy fields, jungles, hillsides and oil palm plantations you will no doubt come across roadside stalls offering all manner of local produce.

Sometimes these stalls hawk unusual seasonal fruits endemic to the area like tarap, bambangan and dalit, or other times more common treats like grilled corn, vegetables, sugarcane and coconut juice and wild honey.

But there is one type of stall that has gotten more attention of late.

Driving from Kota Kinabalu towards Sabah’s most iconic travel destination — Mount Kinabalu — handwritten signs bearing the words “Sinalau Bakas” (and occasionally “tidak halal”) may make no sense to some, but the big plumes of smoke are an indication of the delectable local feast to be had.

Roadside stalls in Sabah offer bakas or wild boar which is cooked slowly from smoke and grilled quickly before servingRoadside stalls in Sabah offer bakas or wild boar which is cooked slowly from smoke and grilled quickly before servingShould you explore the origins of the smoke, often coming from under a ramshackle wooden hut complete with aluminium tin roof and makeshift tables and chairs, you will find a Sabahan delicacy worthy of any foodie and cultural enthusiast.

The words “Sinalau Bakas” — smoked wild boar — would send any Kadazandusun into a salivating frenzy.

Meat from a wild bearded pig, tough, lean and chewy is cut up into large chunks, marinated simply with salt, vinegar and garlic and then smoked, or sometimes grilled, to several stages of “doneness.”

Smoked wild boar meat is leaner than normal pork, but has a good chewy flavourSmoked wild boar meat is leaner than normal pork, but has a good chewy flavourKampung Kelawat, at the foothills of Mount Kinabalu, is home to a community of Christian natives who still hunt for the wild boar the traditional way using traps. Because of this, the opening hours of their business are irregular as it depends on what and when they get their prey.

Other stalls use wild boar hunted from around Sabah by licensed hunters from as far as Sandakan and Keningau. Supply of the meat runs out quickly as some locals may make a trip up just to buy in bulk for family gatherings. A whole boar, between 50-60 kilogrammes, usually sells out in just three days.

You can choose from several cuts; some prefer leaner meat while others who want to use the meat for stews and soups may want a fattier cut.

Some are more well cooked than others. Customers can choose to buy the meat and eat it in the comfort of their own homes, or they will heat it over the fire and slice it for consumption on the spot, served with tuhau and lime and chilli.

​Do not be put off by the blackened and rather unappetising look of the smoked pork. It belies a tasty meat, well seasoned with an interesting texture and taste that can be best described as a combination of tender pork and chewy lamb.

Seasoning is minimal thanks to the natural taste of the pork from the boar’s omnivorous diet of mainly plants and fruits.

The method of smoking, the “sinalau”, dates back to the days when villagers did not have any refrigeration and by smoking the meat, food can be preserved and stored for much longer and recooked later. Prices differ but range from around RM20 per kg for cooked meat.

Sometimes stall owners just grill the meat over an open fire, which is just as tasty but without the smoky charring.

Depending on the stall, some might have a basic kitchen which can also offer wild boar soup and stew, so bring your adventurous side.

However, if you have a sensitive stomach, the exposure of the meat to roadside elements, the occasional flies and exoticness of the meat may be a bit of a shock to your digestive system, which is really part of the fun.


Soil Cement: What It Is and How to Surface Your Driveway

1.Remove the topsoil

Clear the surface of all grass or sod, as well as any rich-dark topsoil.

2. Till the soil

The first step in creating a soil cement surface is to till the soil to a depth of at least 4 inches (walkway) or 6 inches (driveway).

3. Clear the organic matter

Remove all organic matter from the tilled soil. This would include weeds, grass and roots.

4. Install edging

The simplest edging for a soil cement surface is treated lumber.

5. Spread the cement

You will need about three to four pounds of portland cement for each square foot of your soil cement surface. Use a bit less for soils with a lot of sand or gravel, and a bit more for soils with more clay or organic matter. Carefully scatter one bag of dry cement over the tilled surface, and then work the cement into the soil with your tiller.

6. Smooth the surface

Use a long board to smooth the surface. Move the board back and forth (a helper is useful here) much like you would when screeding wet concrete. Tamp the surface until it is firm. Repeat steps 5 and 6 with another bag of cement.

7. Add the water

Once the full surface has had the soil and cement mixture applied, worked in and tamped down, it’s time to add some water. Use a garden hose to spray water evenly over the entire surface. Let that water soak in a bit, then add some more water.

8. Roll the surface

Let the surface dry just long enough so that it is no longer sticky. Now, use a roller to smooth and compact the surface. Once you are satisfied with the surface, cover it with plastic.

9. Let it cure

Keep the surface covered with plastic for several days. Don’t walk or drive on the surface for at least a week.

That’s it. Once cured, you should be able to enjoy an inexpensive, solid surface for decades to come.

via Soil Cement: What It Is and How to Surface Your Driveway.