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Thursday, January 20, 2022

Two Sabah DAP reps, former senator quit state chapter

 

(From left) Justin Wong, Calvin Chong and Adrian Lasimbang say they will remain independent assemblymen for now.

KOTA KINABALU: Two assemblymen and a former senator announced their resignation from Sabah DAP tonight.

Sri Tanjong representative Justin Wong, Elopura assemblyman Calvin Chong and former senator Adrian Lasimbang said they began their respective political careers by vouching for a better Sabah.

This is in order to fight for “greater autonomy, better infrastructure, greener space and more importantly, a more inclusive society that transcends race and religion”.

“Unfortunately, we could not find this with Sabah DAP,” they said, in a joint statement shared with FMT.

“There is a lack of trust portrayed by our leadership in the state committee, the state chairman (Frankie Poon) in particular.”

Wong claimed the loss of direction, serious internal division and almost defunct level of communication between leaders have caused them to believe that the party is no longer a party that will strive for the people’s good.

“And it is getting corrosive. Therefore, with a heavy heart, we hereby announce that we are leaving DAP with immediate effect.”

When asked if they would be friendly with Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS), Wong, who was appointed a committee member in Sabah DAP’s recent party polls, said they were only becoming independent assemblymen.

“We feel there is an imminent need to choose a more viable platform that would allow us to better serve our beloved state.

“(But) I don’t want to talk about where we are going (for now) but that we only want to serve the people of Sabah,” he told FMT.

This effectively means Sabah DAP now only has four assemblymen namely Poon (Tanjong Papat), Phoong Jin Zhe (Luyang), Jannie Lasimbang (Kapayan) and Tan Lee Fatt (Likas).

As for MPs, the party currently has Chan Foong Hin (Kota Kinabalu), Vivian Wong (Sandakan) and Noorita Sual (Tenom).

Chong had previously hinted that he could leave Sabah DAP, citing internal issues and the party polls last year, in which he and several other DAP elected representatives were not voted into the state committee, as among his reasons. - FMT

Latest quarantine rules for international arrivals announced

COVID-19 | Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has announced a slew of new quarantine rules for international arrivals based on their vaccination status.

In a press conference this evening, he also said pink wristbands presently used to indicate individuals under quarantine will be phased out in favour of digital home surveillance orders (HSOs).

Vaccinated and boosted: 5 days

From Jan 24 onwards, fully vaccinated travellers who have received their booster shot will see their on-arrival quarantine period shortened from seven days to five.

Such travellers will need to undergo an RT-PCR test two days before departure.

They will also need to take an RT-PCR test on arrival.

During their quarantine period, they can either take an RT-PCR test on day four or opt to undergo a professionally administered RTK-Ag test on day five.

Vaccinated sans booster: 7 days

Fully vaccinated travellers who have yet to receive a booster shot will need to quarantine for seven days.

They will similarly need to undergo an RT-PCR test two days before departure plus another RT-PCR test on arrival.

During their quarantine period, they can either take an RT-PCR test on day five or opt to undergo a professionally administered RTK-Ag test on day seven.

The minister did not announce any changes for fully vaccinated travellers who recently recovered from Covid-19. They do not need to quarantine on arrival.

When asked why non-boosted close contacts needed to quarantine for seven days, Khairy answered that non-boosted individuals bear a “similar risk of acquiring omicron as the unvaccinated”.

Incomplete or no vaccination: 10 days

Meanwhile, travellers who are either not vaccinated or not fully vaccinated will need to quarantine for 10 days on arrival.

They will need to undergo an RT-PCR test two days before departure plus another RT-PCR test on arrival.

During their quarantine period, they can either take an RT-PCR test on day eight or opt to undergo a professionally administered RTK-Ag test on day 10.

Digital HSOs

Aside from quarantine rules, Khairy also announced that pink quarantine wristbands will no longer be issued to arrivals.

“All travellers arriving from abroad will be given a digital HSO.

“Thus, travellers will no longer need to wear the usual pink wristbands,” he said.

What remains unchanged is the rule that travellers from countries deemed “high risk” for Omicron who are allowed to undergo home quarantine will need to wear a digital tracker throughout their quarantine period. - Mkini

 Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Special Functions) Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad speaking at the Dewan Rakyat today. - BERNAMA PIC

KUALA LUMPUR: Drawing on his medical training, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Special Functions) Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad today told the Dewan Rakyat he would not leave his patients midway through a surgery in responding to criticism over the management of the recent floods.

"I was trained as a doctor, I would not leave my patients in the middle of an operation," he told the special Dewan Rakyat sitting.

He said this in response to M. Kulasegaran (PH-Ipoh Barat), who called for Dr Abdul Latiff's resignation over his alleged failure to manage the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) during the flash floods recently.

The Mersing parliamentarian was only given 20 minutes for his speech, but was constantly interrupted by MPs asking him to provide a direct answer.

Khalid Samad (PH-Shah Alam) asked the minister to provide a clear answer on how the government was planning to improve assistance for flood victims as he was running out of the 20 minutes allocated for his winding-up speech.

Dr Abdul Latiff instead continued with his speech, stating that the government would continue improving the management of Nadma including reviewing the recommendations of the MPs by forming a bipartisan committee.

"It is important that we consider everyone's opinions as promised by the prime minister by establishing a committee to evaluate all the suggestions on disaster management for now and the future.

"We will ensure the management of disasters will be looked into more in-depth and thoroughly, there needs to be a source of authority," he said.

Dr Abdul Latiff added that Nadma would be improved in line with current technological developments, by ensuring the use of disaster data from various agencies was standardised.

He said data on disasters would be applied with features that have a predictive impact to provide space for relevant agencies to prepare in advance.

"Therefore, we need dynamic, accurate information to ensure that all efforts can be better planned and implemented quickly," he said.

The debate session saw 44 parliamentarians from both sides providing suggestions and criticism, and raising complaints and grievances about the flash floods that hit the Klang Valley and several states in the Peninsular in December last year. - NST

Company managing Pulau Burung landfill may have contract terminated

 The Pulau Burung landfill has since been declared a Level 1 disaster area based on National Security Council (NSC) Directive No. 20. - NSTP/DANIAL SAAD

GEORGE TOWN: The company which manages the Pulau Burung landfill may have their concession contract, awarded through open tender in September 2012, terminated if it failed to comply with the terms of the agreement.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said in the state executive council meeting yesterday, reports were received from, among others, the Local Government Division (BKT), State Secretary's Office and the Seberang Prai City Council (MBSP) on the fire at the landfill last Wednesday.

However, he said the state executive council still wanted a report on the management at the landfill.

"This is because from what was tabled, there are believed to be weaknesses in terms of operations.

"The state executive councillors have directed the BKT as well as the MBSP to look into actions which can be taken in the event of non-compliance of the agreement terms in the concession contract," he said today.

PLB Terang Sdn Bhd was chosen to manage the landfill through the open tender assessment panel in 2012 for a 20-year concession period.

Among the scope of work in the concession agreement is that the company is compelled to manage the operations of Phase 1 and 2 of the landfill, which was opened in the 1980s, and complete Phase 3 to receive waste when Phase 1 and 2 closes.

Asked on the use of incinerators to replace the landfill, Chow said the state government is prepared to consider it.

"However, if the company has other alternatives using another form of technology, they can bring it up with the state government for consideration.

"Based on the current trend, the state government is studying other technologies and methods in the disposal of waste as well," he added.

Chow also added that under the terms of the concession contract in 2012, the scope included constructing a "material recovery facility" (MRF).

He added that the facility was needed to receive waste for the recycling process.

It was reported that more than 4ha of the 16ha landfill burned in the fire on Wednesday afternoon.

However, toxic fumes at the landfill resulted in air pollution which affected the nearby Ladang Byram and Kampung Kebun Baru, prompting the evacuation of some 400 people from both villages.

Ten schools within a 10km radius of the landfill were also ordered to close for three days until tomorrow.

Earlier this morning, the Fire and Rescue Department carried out a second round of water bombing at the landfill.

The Pulau Burung landfill has since been declared a Level 1 disaster area based on National Security Council (NSC) Directive No. 20.

Meanwhile, State Secretary Datuk Dr Ahmad Jailani Muhamed Yunus, in describing the landfill fire as the worst disaster, said operations to extinguish the fire were ongoing.

He said he was informed that the fire extinguishing exercise was conducted based on zones, and data showed each zone reported between 30 and 50 per cent of fire had been extinguished. - NST

After RFID kerfuffle, PLUS says sorry and promises to reinstate SmartTAG lanes at toll plazas

 Cars head to the Sungai Besi toll plaza with the Radio Frequency Identification technology (RFID) system. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

Cars head to the Sungai Besi toll plaza with the Radio Frequency Identification technology (RFID) system. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon



KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 20 — Highway operator PLUS Malaysia Berhad has today issued a formal apology for the malfunction of its Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) system at several toll plazas earlier this week.

Acknowledging the inconvenience caused to its highway customers during the initial RFID implementation, the highway concessionaire also promised to reinstate SmartTAG lanes at several key toll plazas to address the grievances raised by affected motorists including better traffic management.

It said the proactive steps have been taken after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s recent announcement on RFID being offered as an option alongside Touch ‘n Go (TNG), or SmartTAG for motorists in terms of their toll payment choices.

“First and foremost, PLUS wishes to apologise to all its highway customers for the inconvenience caused as a result of the congestion during the initial implementation of the Second Public Pilot RFID along the North-South Expressway from Juru to Skudai on January 15.

“PLUS is committed to reinstate 16 toll plazas with 19 Touch ‘n Go lanes into SmartTAG lanes by January 25 in anticipation of the Chinese New Year travel exodus.

“Subsequently post CNY, on February 19, an additional 18 toll plazas will convert its 24 lanes to SmartTAG lane,” it said in a statement here.

Several toll plazas in the Klang Valley reportedly experienced traffic congestion, especially on Monday, after the RFID system failed to function smoothly.

The RFID option has co-existed with the SmartTAG and Touch ‘n Go payment options in most open toll highway networks since 2018.

The company also sought to reassure the Malaysian government that the technological enhancement will lead to a better and improved customer experience, saying it received much-needed guidance from Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof in a recent meeting.

In addition to the reinstatement of SmartTAG lanes, PLUS said it has mobilised round-the-clock teams to optimise existing system performance and improve detection rates at all toll plazas.

“Quicker ‘double-arm’ lane barriers will also be deployed at plazas with high traffic to ensure quick dispersal of traffic.

“Additionally, to assist our highway customers, visual RFID detection zones will be painted on the lanes to ensure customers are able to position their vehicle to ensure optimum detection,” it added.

The company also said customer service assistants have been deployed at all 158 RFID lanes across 74 toll plazas to assist affected customers.

The RFID system allows motorists to enjoy a smoother journey without having to stop, drive through the RFID lane at a speed of 30kph as well as carry out contactless toll transactions.

The RFID also offers digital cash security and cashless top-up through the use of Touch ‘n Go e-Wallet without having to go to the top-up counter.

According to PLUS, the RFID project is in line with the Intelligent Transportation System blueprint by the Works Ministry towards a congestion-free Multi-Lane Free-Flow highway eco-system. - malaymail

Didakwa fitnah hakim, Lokman Adam belum terima tuntutan dari peguam KP JKSM

 

Lokman Noor Adam berkata, setakat ini beliau masih belum menerima notis tuntutan saman berkenaan.

PETALING JAYA: Bekas Ahli Majlis Kerja Tertinggi Umno, Lokman Noor Adam memaklumkan masih belum menerima notis tuntutan saman daripada peguam Ketua Pengarah Jabatan Kehakiman Syariah Malaysia (JKSM) Mohd Naim Mokhtar.

Katanya, hanya apabila beliau menerima tuntutan itu baharu perkara itu boleh dibawa untuk tindakan seterusnya.

“Bila dah terima baru boleh lawan. Saya tak setuju, jadi lawanlah.

“Saya masih belum terima ‘court order’ yang kata saya kena menghapuskan (kenyataan) dari media sosial video tu.

“Saya dengar dari berita semua tu je, tapi buat sementara waktu, terpaksa akur lah. Saya dengar dari sumber lain, saya belum terima perintah mahkamah,” katanya hari ini.

Media hari ini melaporkan, Mohd Naim memperoleh perintah mahkamah terhadap Lokman bagi menghalangnya membuat komen dan menghapuskan kenyataan berunsur fitnah terhadapnya berhubung kes gangguan seksual.

Lokman mendakwa, Naim terlibat dalam beberapa kes gangguan seksual, termasuk dikatakan berbogel di dalam bilik tidur di rumah seorang wanita.

Peguam Naim, Akberdin Abdul Kader, berkata hakim Mahkamah Tinggi Rozana Ali Yusoff membenarkan injunksi interlokutori hari ini dan menetapkan 7 Feb sebagai tarikh seterusnya untuk perbicaraan inter parte.

Semalam, Naim memfailkan saman terhadap Lokman, mendakwanya mengeluarkan kata-kata bersifat menghina terhadap Naim di Facebook dan YouTube.

Dalam pada itu Lokman berkata, tindakan Mohd Naim menyamannya tidak akan dapat membersihkan namanya daripada dakwaan itu.

“Kalau dia (Mohd Naim) boleh bersumpah atas nama Allah dengan kalimah “Wallahi, Wabillahi, Wattallahi” dengan memegang al-Quran yang dia tidak pernah sentuh wanita IKIM tu dan “Datin” tu, saya boleh bila-bila buat permohonan maaf.

“Kalau dia boleh buat macam tu, nama akan bersih, kredibiliti dia pun dipulihkan, keluarga dia pun akan terpelihara,” katanya. - FMT

Speaker DUN Johor nafi terima surat bubar dewan

 

Speaker DUN Johor, Suhaizan Kaiat berkata, pejabatnya tidak menerima apa-apa surat berhubung permohonan pembubaran DUN hari ini. (Gambar Bernama)

PETALING JAYA: Speaker Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN) Johor, Suhaizan Kaiat, menafikan menerima surat permohonan pembubaran DUN bagi membolehkan pilihan raya negeri (PRN), diadakan dalam masa terdekat.

Suhaizan berkata, pihaknya belum menerima sebarang surat berkaitan perkara itu termasuk dari Menteri Besar Hasni Mohammad.

“Tidak benar. Saya atau pejabat Speaker tidak menerima apa-apa surat pun berkaitan PRN, setakat hari ini.

“Tunggu Ahad nanti apabila pejabat dibuka semula,” katanya ketika dihubungi hari ini.

Sebuah portal hari ini mendakwa surat permohonan pembubaran DUN oleh Hasni telah dihantar kepada pejabat Speaker DUN Johor.

Laporan itu yang memetik sumber Umno yang turut mendakwa konon DUN Johor akan dibubar pada Ahad ini, selepas permohonan untuk pembubaran DUN telah mendapat perkenan Istana Johor.

Tengah hari tadi, Hasni dilaporkan memberi isyarat PRN Johor, mungkin diadakan dalam masa terdekat.

Hasni yang juga Ketua Umno Johor dilaporkan turut memberi jaminan, jika PRN Johor dilaksanakan dalam waktu terdekat, ia tidak akan mengganggu sebarang urusan pentadbiran kerajaan negeri. - FMT