Jumaat, 25 Oktober 2013

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The Star Online: Nation

Don't be chicken, come have a blast


KUALA LUMPUR: Mention tongkat ali and most Malaysians picture a tonic for virility.

Universiti Sabah Malaysia (UMS), though, has found a revolutionary use for the evergreen tree, as visitors to the Petrosains Science Festival 2013 at Petrosains, The Discovery Centre, Suria KLCC yesterday discovered.

The university has patented a tongkat ali extract which is being substituted for the vaccine and antiobiotic therapy used in commercial poultry farming.

"Chickens put on weight in a healthy manner and consumers of this meat will not be subjected to synthetic materials," said Awang Ahmad, a researcher with UMS's School of International Tropical Forestry.

He added that the tongkat ali, scientific name Eurycoma longifolia, was harvested from a sustainable source.

Among other attractions at the science festival, many students who visited were particularly drawn to SEGi College's hands-on workshops. The mock volcano was especially thrilling, with readily available items from the kitchen like dish-washing fluid, baking soda and vinegar as the main ingredients used to generate a Krakatoa-like display.

"Malaysia's tectonic plates are very old and settled, which is why we never experience volcanic eruptions or earthquakes here.

"So, this is a chance for kids to see and understand a volcanic eruption," said student Joshua Alexander Rozario, 20, who is doing his diploma in early childhood education.

Bubbly affair: Rozario demonstrating the chemical reaction between dish-washing fluid, baking soda and vinegar in creating a  

Rozario demonstrating the chemical reaction between dishwashing fluid, baking soda and vinegar.]

Visitors also received first-hand education on intestinal bacteria from cultured drink manufacturer Yakult, which revealed that a single bottle of its normal drink contains an apple's worth of sugar.

Lactobacillus was the buzzword for the talk, with kids and adults eagerly sampling the popular drink.

Today's highlights will include talks on edible science, the misconception of organ donation, creative innovation and 360° panoramic video technology.

The six-day festival, themed "Bringing Science Alive", incorporates the three key elements: discovery, play and innovation; making science a holistic learning experience. The festival aims to make science fun by incorporating workshops, contests and performances.

Key partners for the inaugural festival include Petronas, Google Malaysia, Telekom Malaysia, The Star – the event's official newspaper and Nova Spectra.

Petrosains Science Festival 2103 will be held at Petrosains, as well as Suria KLCC's Centre Court and Esplanade from today to Oct 27.

Festival hours at Petrosains, the Discovery Centre, are from 9.30am-5.30pm on weekdays and closes at 8.30pm from Friday to Sunday. Activities at Suria KLCC's Centre Court are from 10am-10pm daily while the fun at the Esplanade lasts from 4pm-7pm.

For more information, visit www.sciencefestival.my.

1.7 million households yet to own houses


A TOTAL of 1.7 million or about 20% of households in Malaysia have yet to own a house, Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Govern-ment Minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan told the Dewan Rakyat.

As part of an effort to help them own a house, he said, the Government planned to build one million houses in the next five years.

The projects are to be carried out by the ministry, 1Malaysia People's Housing Corporation (PR1MA), Syarikat Perumahan Negara Berhad (SPNB) and also private developers.

Abdul Rahman said that as of September this year, PR1MA had approved 30 housing projects, involving construction of 44,227 units of affordable homes in Sabah, Johor, Perak, Pahang, Sarawak, Penang and Selangor.

"The number of affordable homes built by SPNB in 2011 until September this year was 3,614 units nationwide," he said in response to a question by Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said (BN-Pengerang).

He said 4.7 million or 74.5% of the total households already owned their own homes while the rest were living in quarters provided by the Government or their employers.

Of the 4.7 million that owned homes, 3.2 million households live in urban areas, he said.

He added that the state with the highest percentage of house ownership was Perlis at 86.7% followed by Kedah (83.4%), Terengganu (82.7%) and Kelantan (82.7%), while Putrajaya had the lowest percentage at only 4.3%.

PAS slammed over false claim


YAN: PAS has came under fire for making false allegations that Barisan Nasional will pay money to voters in a desperate bid to win in Sungai Limau.

Former Jerai Wanita chief Khalijah Arshad said it was unbecoming of a party that claims to uphold Islamic principles to make such baseless allegations.

"Even party workers who go down to the ground to campaign get only RM30 each.

"I have been campaigning for the party for more than three decades now and I can vouch for the fact that voters were never paid to earn their support," said Khalijah in response to PAS vice-president Datuk Mahfuz Omar's allegations that Barisan had in the past paid between RM200 and RM300 to each voter when it became desperate.

Without producing any evidence to support his claim, Mahfuz called on the Election Commission and the police to investigate the claim during a press conference here yesterday.

In another development PAS candidate Ustaz Mohd Azam Samat is contesting the same seat his grandfather contested and lost 54 years ago in the first general election.

He is taking on Barisan Nasional candidate Dr Ahmad Sohaimi Lazim, 52, for the state seat in the Nov 4, by-election.

Mohd Azam, 37, hoped to win the seat his grandfather Ustaz Abdul Hamid Ibrahim lost as a PAS candidate in 1959.

"And now I am holding the same post in the party, and contesting the same seat," he said.

Sungai Limau state seat was then known as the Sala seat.

The name was changed in 2004 after the delineation exercise.

The seat fell vacant following the death of Tan Sri Azizan Abdul Razak.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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