High Performance Sports Centre In London, Decision After September – Azalina

All the questions surrounding the proposed High Performance Sports Centre at Brickendonbury in Hertfordshire, London, will be answered after next month, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Azalina Othman Said said Tuesday.

She said a study on the proposed sports centre was almost completed and would be tabled at the Cabinet Committee on Sports Development meeting end of September.

“The final decision on the proposed sports centre will be made at the meeting,” she said in reply to an oral question from Lim Kit Siang (DAP-Ipoh Timur) at the Dewan Rakyat.

She refuted allegations by Lim that the cost of the proposed project was RM490 million, saying that the matter had yet to be decided by the cabinet committee.

To a supplementary question from Raja Ahmad Zainuddin Raja Omar (BN-Larut), Azalina said the government not only sent athletes to London for training but also other countries under a programme known as the Emersion approach.

She said that under the programme, athletes were not only sent for training and sports science assistance but also to expose them to international tournaments.

A sports centre like that proposed for Brickendonbury would serve as a “transit base” for Malaysian athletes prior to them being sent to tournaments in Europe, she added.

Lim, who was not satisfied with the answers given by Azalina, had in his blog at http://blog.limkitsiang.com, criticised the sports minister for being adamant in pursuing with the sports centre despite the project having been rejected by the people and MPs from various political parties.

Lim had said that the money for the project could be used to build sports centres in all parliamentary constituencies for sports development in the country.

— BERNAMA

Polling In Sarawak State Election Completed

Polling in the ninth Sarawak state election was completed Saturday, with all the 1,665 polling stations in 69 of the 71 constituencies closing at 5 pm.swk-96

These polling stations had been opened in stages from 8 am and closed in stages up to 5 pm.

Election Commission (EC) Chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman said unofficial figures showed voter turnout to exceed 50 per cent for the whole state.

He said a number of polling stations had recorded a turnout of up to 80 per cent.

“We are awaiting the final figures from the interior areas,” he said at the State Election Commission office, here.

Abdul Rashid said voting went on smoothly throughout the day at all polling stations in the 69 constituencies.

Two seats, Dalat and Daro, were won unopposed by the Barisan Nasional (BN) on Nomination Day on May 9.

A total of 859,061 electors were eligible to vote in this election, in addition to the 14,642 voters who had cast postal ballots.

A total of 156 candidates from the BN and other political parties contested in the 69 constituencies. They included 20 independent candidates.

Abdul Rashid said the counting of votes had begun in the polling stations that had closed earlier in the day, some as early as 8.30 am. He said the votes would be tallied to derive the official results Saturday night.

The EC expects the first result to be known as early as 7 pm and the simple majority of 36 seats won to form the government to be reached at 10 pm.

Sarawak Police Commissioner Datuk Talib Jamal said police were providing security to ensure that the counting and tallying of votes would proceed smoothly.

He said police did not receive any report of disturbance or undesirable incidents in any of the 11 divisions in the state.

— BERNAMA

MAS flight MH2313 first to Bintulu new airport

Malaysian Airline System Bhd will commence its flight operations in the new Bintulu airport in Sarawak Sunday, it was announced Saturday.

Flight MH2314 operated using the F50 from Kuching will be the first Malaysia Airlines commercial flight into Bintulu’s new airport, scheduled to touch down at 0655 hours today (Sunday), said the national carrier in a statement Saturday.

The B737 aircraft service from Kuching meanwhile is expected to arrive at 0925 hours at Bintulu’s new airport, situated 23km from Bintulu city centre.

The new Bintulu airport, with a runway of 2,750 metres and a terminal building of 10,000 sq metres floor space, is equipped with the latest facilities to handle a total of one wide-body jet aircraft, one Boeing 737 and three Fokker 50 aircraft at any one time.

The new Bintulu airport.

Tomorrow will also see the inauguration of non-stop Kuala Lumpur-Bintulu jet service flights.

The MH2740 flight from Kuala Lumpur will depart the KL International Airport (KLIA) at 0800 hours and scheduled to arrive at Bintulu new aiport at 1010 hours.

The non-stop return flight MH2741 will depart Bintulu for KLIA at 1055 hours. – Bernama

Bintulu new RM386mil airport begin operations

Bintulu new RM385mil airport begins operations on Sunday.

The modern airport, about 27km from the town centre, has the longest runway, measuring 2,750m, in East Malaysia that can land Boeing 747 aircraft.

It replaces the old airport in the middle Bintulu that caters only smaller aircraft and a Fokker.

Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd said yesterday that the last flight would depart from the old airport at about 6.10pm tomorrow.

Adnan Samsudin
Its executive director Datuk Adnan Shamsuddin will be on hand to send off passengers on the last flight at the old airport and to greet passengers of the first arriving flight at the new airport on Sunday morning.

The old airport handled about 400,000 passengers last year. It recorded an increasing number of passengers following the revival of the Bakun hydro-electric dam project.

Bintulu is now linked by road to Bakun.

Malaysia Airlines has plans to establish direct flight service on the Bintulu-Kuala Lumpur sector from the new airport, opened by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamed last December.

Bintulu is home to several multi-billion ringgit industrial projects like the liquefied natural gas, Shell Middle Distillate Synthesis and Asean fertiliser plants.