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SEDCO To Ensure Its Projects Benefit The Locals
The Sabah Economic Development Corporation (SEDCO) says it will ensure that all the projects it implements will benefit the local people and drive their economic growth.

Its Chairman, Datuk Arifin Arif, said that in line with the efforts, the corporation will focus on projects that will involve building business premises and stalls to help small sized entrepreneurs and Bumiputeras.

"SEDCO will strive to fulfill the needs of the people in this state by giving priority to implementing projects in strategic locations and those based on the needs of the people to generate their economy," he told reporters after visiting the project site where SEDCO's shop is being built in Sungai Tiram here today.

Arifin who is on a three-day working visit here, yesterday visited several projects being implemented by SEDCO in Beluran and Sandakan.

He said the corporation would be going on field regularly to monitor each of the project being implemented in the state so that the objectives of the government to move the local people's economy is achieved.

Every month, he said, he would be making personal visits to each of the project site to ensure that they are being carried out on time and as planned.

"Such visits are to also ensure that projects undertaken by SEDCO do not become white elephants," he said.

On SEDCO's projects in the state, Arifin said most of the projects were nearing completion and those under planning will be included under the 10th Malaysia Plan.

Bernama | 07 April 10 | Read Full Story | Reader Comments
World War II Bomb Found In Sandakan
A World War II bomb has been unearthed in the compound of a driving school in Jalan Kem Tentera near here, police said on Wednesday.

Sandakan police deputy chief Supt Fadzil Mohd Ali said the metre-long bomb was found at 2.30pm yesterday by an excavator operator digging a drain there.

He said the spot had been cordoned off, and the device would be defused by a bomb disposal unit from Kota Kinabalu.

Bernama | 01 April 10 | Read Full Story | Reader Comments
Vehicle skids, two dead, two injured
Two people were killed and two seriously injured when the Toyota Avanza they were in skidded at Km5 Jalan Lahad Datu-Sandakan at about 2am today.

Hasnida Anna, 22, died on the spot after she was flung out of the vehicle which was carrying 10 people while Mansur Abas, 18, died at the Lahad Datu Hospital.

Lahad Datu OCPD Supt Shamsudin Mat said the vehicle, which was on its way to Sandakan, was believed to have skidded and plunged 80m from the spot.

He did not name the two victims who were seriously injured. The other passengers and the 37-year-old driver had slight injuries, he said, adding that police were still investigating the cause of the accident and how the passengers were related.

NST | 01 April 10 | Read Full Story | Reader Comments
RM350,000 smuggled fags seized
Customs enforcement personnel seized contraband cigarettes worth more than RM350,000 in market value after foiling the tactic of a syndicate here that sent the items to Kuala Lumpur by air (pic).

"The cigarettes were about to be sent to the national capital by mail when our men, assisted by the police, seized them," said Sabah Customs Director, Datuk Md Yusop Mansor, after officiating a "Loyalty Gathering" at Wisma Kastam, off Mile 7, Jalan Utara here, Monday.

No arrest was made in the operation on March 1.

He said a substantial amount of contraband cigarettes were also seized from separate operations at the new central market, Gum-Gum market and a plantation in Paitan this month.

The two commodities seized in the first three months were mainly cigarettes and alcohol while 96 cases with a total value of RM89,885.20 contraband cigarettes were seized over the last three months, a decline compared to last year's RM207,561.80.

Yusop said the preventive unit had also seized some RM25,178.25 worth of alcohol in the first three months this year. He said 77 people had been called for questioning over the last three months while 56 for the same period last year.

Some RM94,219.20 worth of contraband cigarettes seized were destroyed by the department at a sawmill in Batu Sapi on Mar 3, said Yusop, who had earlier presented certificates to officers who had served over 15 years at the event.

Yusop also handed over two brand new vehicles to the district branc

DailyExpress | 17 March 10 | Read Full Story | Reader Comments
Student flees when fifth man tried to rape her
A secondary school student was allegedly gang-raped after she was dragged into a car while waiting at a bus stop at Taman Fajar.

Sandakan deputy police chief Supt Fadzil Mohd Ali said that a Proton Saga with six men inside stopped at the bus stop at 9pm on Saturday, and forced the 19 year-old student into their car.

They purportedly brought her to an unnumbered house at Taman Mutiara and allegedly took turns to rape her.

The victim claimed that she managed to escape as the fifth man tried to rape her.

Supt Fadzil said the victim then called the police at 3.55am on Sunday.

A police team picked her up and sent her to the hospital.

Police launched a hunt for the suspects.

In an unrelated case, a 30-year-old Indonesian man was killed after a misunderstanding at a wedding party in Kg Sungai Batang here on Sunday.

The victim, identified as Sahdir Tiba, was found dead about 50m from the house where the wedding was being held after an apparent argument with a guest. No arrest has been made.

TheStarOnline | 17 March 10 | Read Full Story | Reader Comments
DAP alleges 2nd-hand Sandakan generator sets
Leaders of Sabah DAP led by its chief, Dr Hiew King Cheu, claim to have made a shocking discovery when they visited the mobile generator sets at the BDC sub-station here.

"It turned out that the 15 generator sets, which are supposedly new, are a whole bunch of used units," said Hiew who is also Kota Kinabalu MP, in a statement.

Hiew accompanied by DAP Batu Sapi Chairman George Hiew Vun Zin and members inspected the generator sets and confirmed that they were second-hand units.

The 15 units were to produce 20MW for the Sandakan power consumers but he said it was sad to see on site that the units were "struggling" to produce power for consumers.

He said the 15 units were of a combination of some 1.74MW units to smaller units of 0.75 MW per unit capacity, which is supposed to produce a total of 20MW power but due to the limitation and efficiency drop of the old units, the power produced is much lower.

During the visit there were two units which had broken down and some four other units could face serious breakdowns soon, he said, adding the output was down to only 17.15MW.

Hiew, who is an engineer, noted the conditions of the mobile generator sets to be critical, especially running 24 hours continuously without rest.

"The mobile units are not built and designed to run for such long hours without stop, especially in such hot weather and dusty conditions," he said, adding that these were not new sets and from observation some of these units are showing signs of losing power due to wear and tear.

"The tendency of breakdown can come anytime, and blackouts in Sandakan will happen again," he said.

On Saturday, Kalabakan MP Datuk Ghapur Salleh called for an investigation into whether two of the generator sets commissioned by the SESB for Tawau consumers were second hand ones from Langkawi.

Calling on SESB to stop treating Sabahans as second-class citizens, Ghapur said it contradicted the assurance given by Tenaga Nasional Berhad Chairman Tan Sri Leo Moggie last year that the State's power supply problem would be addressed.

He said he would be raising this matter in the coming Parliament session.

DailyExpress | 10 March 10 | Read Full Story | Reader Comments
Flying fox -- Major Patricia Yapp
WHILE most kids harboured straightforward ambitions of being a teacher, accountant or lawyer, Patricia Yapp had her head in the clouds.

“Even as a teenager, I was more interested in flying than becoming a lawyer. At the age of 16, I was inspired by my elder brother who was then a Malaysia Airlines cadet pilot in Scotland. When I expressed my interest in flying at that time, my father wasn’t really agreeable as there weren’t any female pilots in the industry then. So, I kept the subject closed temporarily,” says Major Yapp, who is today hailed as Asia’s first female fighter pilot to fly the MiG-29 with the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF).

“Then in 1997, when I was studying law at Inti college in Kuala Lumpur, an aunt in Sandakan sent me a newspaper advertisement on RMAF’s opening for cadets. I enrolled myself quietly and got through various tests. At first, my father, who has a conservative attitude, disallowed me from participating.

“But after reasoning with him and with my mum’s highly persuasive powers, he finally gave in. Since then, I have never looked back,” adds Yapp, who is from Sandakan.

The 34-year-old first piloted an Aerotiga MD-3 aircraft and later, clocked her flying hours in the Swiss turboprop aircraft PC-7 and the Italian Aermacchi MB339A.

The MiG-29 can hit a speed of Mach 2.3 (2,440kph), and is able to speedily intercept intruders in the airspace and destroy targets swiftly. The aircraft is capable of doing rolls, loops, verticals and flying at low levels.

Obviously, it takes skill and verve to fly such an aircraft, and Yapp can give it as good as the next guy. Although it’s often thought of as a male-dominated career, everyone is given the same treatment regardless of gender so there is no sexual discrimination, she says.

“Everyone goes through the same training, exams, wages and has the same promotion opportunity. I don’t think it was any harder for me to be where I am today just because I am a woman. It’s a tough job, being a fighter pilot. But that shouldn’t limit the individual unless you impose limitations yourself,” Yapp adds.

Flying an aircraft not only requires physical strength but also a high mental state of mind and sound knowledge, especially when you are handling a sophisticated aircraft system. As such, gender doesn’t matter, and a patient and cool character might prove more useful up in the air, Yapp feels.

“Team work is key to success.”

Some of the toughest challenges in Yapp’s career involved emergencies in the air.

One of the toughest times arose when she was flying a single jet aircraft (Aermacchi MB339A) and the engine encountered problems and “quit” on her.

“I made a ‘Mayday’ call and was on the verge of ejecting myself out of the aircraft before I succeeded in relighting the engine in the air after the third attempt,” she explains. That was how she acquired the “handle” (call-sign) Foxy. Initially, she was given the name Mulan but after her mid-air adventure (in which she spontaneously blurted, “F***ing Oxygen!” and this was caught on radio), the name F-oxy stuck with her.

Besides being spurred on by her elder brother Ignatius who introduced her to the world of flying, her other sources of inspiration come from past instructors who imparted their knowledge to her in teaching her how to fly, and Lieutenant Colonel Emilia Kamaruddin (RMAF), the country’s first female fighter pilot, whom she calls “her idol”. (Emilia is now the commanding officer for the Electronic Warfare Centre in Kuala Lumpur).

When she is not airborne, Yapp keeps herself occupied by reading up on the latest information on air defence-related matters and mentally preparing herself for future flights. She is also the safety officer in the squadron overseeing the safety aspect for both on ground and flying matters.

“I’ve experienced some difficult periods when close friends were lost in aircraft accidents. No words can express those feelings,” she says.

Yapp also enjoys the occasional sparring, on the court that is, playing badminton after hours on the air force grounds with her squadron mates, or going to the gym to keep herself fit. She’s not above some good-natured ribbing from the guys.

Yapp, who is also the first air display pilot in Malaysia, is of the opinion that a fighter pilot must be able to make split-second decisions.

“Determination, devotion and most of all discipline count as important traits.”

She advises other women who might want to follow in her stead to never give up “your own dream. Strive for it even though others tell you it is impossible and you are not able to pursue it. If I have a daughter, I will encourage her to be an astronaut one day!”

Yapp hopes to impart her knowledge, experience and skills at the operational squadron to junior pilots.

“We are but soldiers who have to follow orders. If, given a choice, I hope to become a Qualified Flying Instructor at the RMAF Flying School in the near future so that I can train the younger pilots in the Basic Flying school. I also hope to command a fighter squadron and lead in an air display one day,” she concludes.
TheStarOnline | 09 March 10 | Read Full Story | Reader Comments
Raymond Tan Wants Sandakan Municipal Council To Increase NGO Reps
Sabah's Minister of Infrastructure Development, Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah wants the Sandakan Municipal Council (MPS) to increase the quota for Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) to ensure their effective role in serving the people.

Raymond Tan said currently only three NGO representatives are elected to the council while the rest are made up of representatives from political parties.

He added that these NGOs were professionals who have expertise in their respective fields.

"Their experience and expertise can be used to assist the MPS in improving their service to the people," he told reporters after handing out offer letters to 14 families involved in the Housing Project for the Poor in Gum-Gum here Friday.

There were being relocated to the housing project since their houses in Kampung Sim-Sim Tengah was involved in the building of a jetty for the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency.

Tan who suggested at least seven NGO representatives to be elected to the MPS, said the appointment of three NGO representatives for the 2010-2011 term was not enough.

He said under the Gerakan party quota, seven names of NGOs was put forward but only three were appointed to the council - Sandakan Grocers Association, Sabah Chinese Women's Association and Sandakan's Malaysian Youth Movement.

He urged MPS to be transparent in the appointment of councilors and only appoint them based on their merit and contributions and not just to fill the quota.

Bernama | 06 March 10 | Read Full Story | Reader Comments
Toe the line, Liew tells new S'kan councillors
Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Datuk V K Liew, reminded the new councillors to fully cooperate with the Municipal Council (SMC) leadership in order to provide the best service to the ratepayers here.

According to him, the move was one of the efforts to ensure the function and role of the Municipal Council as the local authority, particularly in maintaining cleanliness and beautification of the municipality, could be achieved smoothly.

Speaking when witnessing the swearing-in of the 25 councillors for the 2010-2011 term at the Community Centre here, Wednesday, Liew who is Sandakan MP also called on SMC to improve their service quality when receiving complaints.

Meanwhile, SMC President James Wong urged the people in the district to cooperate with the Council to maintain Sandakan's achievement as the cleanness town in Sabah.

He said the award given by the Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry last year was a challenge for SMC and the local community to defend the title.

The Anti-Litter campaign that was launched in January this year had also started to show positive results, particularly in the central business district here, he said.

Efforts would also be doubled up to create more awareness among motorists and stop the attitude of throwing rubbish out from the vehicles.

DailyExpress | 06 March 10 | Read Full Story | Reader Comments
Memorial defaced, vandals hit ahead of serice
Strathdale Park’s Sandakan Memorial has been vandalised just days before a major memorial service.

Bendigo RSL member Alan Holmes said that when he arrived to polish the memorial earlier this week he discovered it was covered in graffiti.

“I rang the council and straight away they came out and we cleaned it up,” he said.

“We hold a memorial here every year, and it’s on Sunday.”

Tomorrow a service will be held at 11am at the memorial to remember the almost 500 Australians, including six from Bendigo, who lost their lives in Borneo’s Sandakan and Ranau Japanese prisoner of war camps and two death marches between 1942 and 1945.

Only six Australians survived the POW camps and death walks, including Bill Young, who will be guest speaker at the memorial.

“He was 15 when he went to war and 16 in the camp,” Mr Holmes said.

“He was put in cages and tortured.

“I want the people who did this graffiti to come along on Sunday and listen to what he had to endure.”

The Sandakan Memorial lists the names of 378 Victorians, 94 South Australians, 21 Tasmanians and three Z Force prisoners.

Z Force was a joint Allied special forces unit that operated behind Japanese lines.

Mr Holmes said many attending the service had fathers or uncles who were killed in the camps or on the death marches.

“It’s amazing the number of people who come,” he said.

“It’s because they’re all buried over there in unknown graves because the Japanese just shot them all and left them in the jungle.”

The memorial will be held in the Strathdale Park hall if it is raining.

TheAdvertiser | 06 March 10 | Read Full Story | Reader Comments
Filipinos Caught Using Mykad To Fly To Kuala Lumpur
Seven Filipinos were held at the airport here on Tuesday as they attempted to fly to Kuala Lumpur using MyKad identity cards belonging to Malaysians, police said Thursday.

Sandakan police chief ACP Rosli Mohd Isa said the seven men, aged 18 to 24, were detained at about 7pm as they waited at the departure lounge for a flight at 8.35pm to the federal capital.

Their arrest led the police to a Filipino, in his 20's, outside the airport who is suspected to have arranged their trip to Kuala Lumpur, he said.

Rosli said the police did not rule out the possibility of the existence of a syndicate which had arranged the trip for a fee.

The eight men were being remanded for an investigation, including to determine the modus operandi of the syndicate, he added.

Bernama | 05 March 10 | Read Full Story | Reader Comments
Explosion kills 2 on ship
Two crewmen of a locally-registered vessel, MT Hercules, were killed in an explosion while carrying out welding work on the ship's fuel tank on Tuesday night.
The dead were identified as Sylvester Keterim, 24, of Tamparuli, Sabah, and Shezi Chang Shiah Joo, 22, of Sandakan, Sabah.

Both were believed to have been killed on the spot. Southern region Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) chief First Admiral Che Hassan Jusoh said the agency's rescue sub-centre in Johor Baru was alerted to the incident at 9.05pm. A section of the 322m ship, which anchored about three nautical miles south off Pulau Kukup, Pontian, caught fire after the explosion. The ship, registered at Port Klang, anchored in Kukup waters to undergo maintenance work. Che Hassan said rescuers, assisted by firefighters, Marine Operations Force and Marine Department personnel, were mobilised following the distress call. At the time of the incident, 24 crewmen and 20 local and foreign contract workers were onboard. The rescue team arrived at the scene about 30 minutes later.

They managed to put out the fire with the help of crewmen. "The two workers were doing welding at one of the fuel tanks when it suddenly exploded," Che Hassan said yesterday. The bodies of the victims were brought to the Kukup jetty about 10.15pm before they were sent to the Pontian Hospital for post-mortem. "We have yet to ascertain the cause of the explosion and fire.

The remaining crewmen are safe.

NST | 04 March 10 | Read Full Story | Reader Comments
Be Wary Of Unscrupulous Employment Agents
Young people in the state are advised to be wary of the employment opportunities in peninsular Malaysia and abroad to avoid being cheated by employment agents.

Sabah Assistant Resources and Information Technology Development Minister Datuk Jainab Ahmad Ayid said this was vital because some of these agents were reported to have manipulated the youth in the state.

She said these unscrupulous agents, mostly illegal, were out to make a quick profit with the youth as their target group.

"When cheated by these agents, most of these young people will find themselves stranded in peninsular Malaysia or abroad," she said the presentation of certificates for a grooming course organised by the Human Resources Development Department here on Tuesday.

Bernama | 03 March 10 | Read Full Story | Reader Comments
Tsunami alert passes with no incidents
A six-hour tsunami alert for Sabah’s east coast passed without any incident yesterday. The alert was subsequently lifted as fishermen headed out to sea and tourists dived at renowned underwater sites off Pulau Sipadan.

Minister in the Chief Minister’s Office Datuk Nasir Sakaran said there was nothing unusual at his home district of Semporna yesterday though the authorities advised islanders commuting in small boats to the mainland to take precautionary measures.

“There was nothing exceptional other than fishermen noticing a large number of dolphins.

“Dolphins can usually be seen near the islands but the fishermen said this was one of those rare occasions that they noticed such a large number,” he said after he returned from a weekend visit home.

Borneo Divers Sdn Bhd managing director Clement Lee said he had been in constant contact with his staff at the company’s resort at Pulau Mabul near Semporna following the Malaysian Meteorological Services Depart-ment’s tsunami alert.

“The staff told me that there was nothing particularly odd about the sea conditions. The tourists have gone diving as usual,” he added.

In the wake of the alert, however, he said they placed the resort’s boats on standby to ferry out guests and staff at a moment’s notice.

When contacted, Sandakan district police Marine Operations Force commanding officer Asst Supt Muhammad Sallam Spawi said they had not received any report of unusual sea conditions along the state’s east coast.

The meterological department had advised those along the east coast districts of Lahad Datu, Semporna, Tawau and Sandakan to be on the alert for high waves and rising sea waters following an 8.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Chile on Saturday.

The quake caused tsunami waves across the Pacific Ocean towards Mexico, Tahiti, Hawaii, Tonga, Samoa Islands and New Zealand.

In Kuala Lumpur, the meteorological department withdrew its tsunami alert yesterday, reports Bernama.

“It is now ascertained that the Sabah waters are free from threat,” the department said in a statement.

TheStarOnline | 01 March 10 | Read Full Story | Reader Comments
Warning Of Strong Winds And Rough Seas In Waters Off Sabah
The Malaysian Meteorological Department on Wednesday issued a warning of strong winds of 40-50km/h with waves up to 3.5m over the waters off Sabah (Kudat, Sandakan and Tawau), Palawan, Sulu and Sulawesi which are expected to continue until tomorrow.

In a statement here, the department said the conditions are dangerous to small crafts, recreational sea activities and sea sports.

Bernama | 10 February 10 | Read Full Story | Reader Comments
500 Housing Units To Be Built In Pekan Muhibah Sandakan
A total of 500 houses under the Public Housing Scheme (PPR) will be built in Pekan Muhibah, here to ensure that the people in the state enjoyed a comfortable life.

Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said the project, which had been approved by the National Housing Department, was an initiative taken by the state government so that the people could live in housing schemes which had complete infrastructure.

"The move is in line with the aspiration of the Barisan Nasional government under the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak who wants the whole population to live in comfort," he told reporters after visiting the PPR Gum-Gum at Batu 16, here on Sunday.

The construction of the PPR Gum-Gum costing RM33 million began three years ago and the units are now fully completed and will be rented out to the people at RM140 per month.

The scheme has various facilities including office space, a surau, a hall, a kindergarten, shop houses and housing units for the handicapped.

Earlier, Musa distributed Chinese New year greeting cards to Chinese traders at the Pasar Sibuga Jaya Batu 8, here in conjunction with the Chinese New year celebration soon.

Bernama | 08 February 10 | Read Full Story | Reader Comments
North Borneo death march remembered
A Service to commemorate Australian troops who died in death marches in North Borneo during World War II will be held at the Sandakan Memorial in Strathdale Park next month.

It will honour diggers who died at Sandakan and Kuching. Bendigo District RSL Sub-branch president Cliff Richards said it was of upmost importance to remember those who had died.

“It’s probably one of the most tragic events of the Second World War,” Mr Richards said.

“It was one of those events we should not forget. We’ll remember those who died as prisoners of war. There’s a lot of central Victorians that died on that march.”

The Bendigo Memorial lists all former POWs from Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia who died as a result of ill treatment at Sandakan. It also lists those who died or were massacred on the three death marches from Sandakan to Ranau.

As a result, extended an invitation for everyone to attend the commemorative service.

Sub-branch secretary Keiron Dole said former POW Bill Young would be the guest speaker at the service.

“He was a POW at Sandakan, Kuching and Changi, enduring unbelievable hardship,” he said.

The service begins at 11am on Sunday, March 7.

TheAdvertiser | 08 February 10 | Read Full Story | Reader Comments
Beggars harass Sandakan residents, tourists
Residents and tourists were harassed by beggars begging for money from them on the streets of Sandakan town.These beggars, believed to be illegal immigrants, would carry out their activities with their babies and children in the centre of the town, especially near the coffee shops at Jalan Tiga.

Johnny Chong, a retiree, said these beggars were a nuisance as they entered the coffee shops and demanded money from the customers.

“The worst part is that they harassed our visiting tourists. This gives a very bad image to the tourists and visitors,” he added.

He urged the relevant government departments and agencies to get these beggars out of the streets.

A spokesman of the Sandakan Municipal Council when contacted yesterday, said the enforcement unit would round up these beggars.

TheBorneoPost | 05 February 10 | Read Full Story | Reader Comments
Sandakan Marine Police Detain 12 Illegal Immigrants
The Marine Operations Force here foiled an attempt by 12 illegal immigrants to enter the district after they were detained along the banks of Sungai Lombong at Batu 7, here Tuesday.

ASP Muhammad Sallam Spawi, from the Sandakan Marine Operations Force, said also detained were two local men aged 24 and 33 who were the ring leader and driver of the vehicle that ferried the Philippine nationals.

He said all the illegal immigrants, aged between five and 57, were detained during an operation carried out at 7.40 pm and they were believed to have just arrived from the neighbouring country when they were arrested.

"The illegal immigrants comprising seven men, two women and three children were believed to be headed for Kampung Bahagia, here before being taken to Kota Kinabalu," he said at a press conference, here Tuesday.

Bernama | 03 February 10 | Read Full Story | Reader Comments
Special Committee To Monitor Repair Work On Duchess Of Kent Hospital
The Health Ministry is to form a special committee to monitor repair works carried out on the Duchess Of Kent Hospital here said its minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

Liow said the special committee which would be headed by the ministry's deputy secretary-general Dr Maimunah Abdul Hamid, was formed to ensure repair and upgrading works carried out by the contractor, was completed within the allocated time period.

He said the contractor responsible had already been notified of defects to the building but they have yet to carry out any repairs.

"The contractor has been three months - until April 30 - to complete the repair works and although they (contractor) have promised to carry out all the repair work, we formed the committee to make sure they carried out their promise," he told reporters after visiting the Duchess Of Kent Hospital here on Sunday.

Liow also announced a RM350,000 allocation to the hospital for the purchase of equipment, especially for eye treatment, including ultra-sound.

Bernama | 01 February 10 | Read Full Story | Reader Comments