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Sunday, October 31, 2021

All Penang adults fully vaccinated, says CM

 

Penang chief minister Chow Kon Yeow at the official closing of the Setia Spice Arena mega PPV today. (Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau Facebook pic)

GEORGE TOWN: All eligible adults in Penang have been fully vaccinated, chief minister Chow Kon Yeow said today.

Chow, who attended the official closure of the Setia Spice Arena mega PPV here, announced that 100% of Penang’s eligible adult population had received their second Covid-19 vaccine shot.

He thanked all frontliners for helping to ensure the safety and security of the state and people.

The Spice Arena centre had closed its doors on Oct 7.

At today’s closing ceremony, frontliners and volunteers from various departments reminisced over the time they spent at the mega PPV over the past 147 days.

Among them was Major Mohd Kalimi Idris from the armed forces, who said that every frontliner there had great camaraderie and worked well with one another as if they were brothers in arms.

He said that most of his team was happy and celebrating the friendships they made along the way, while others had mixed emotions knowing that they might not get to meet each other as often.

“Overall, I feel happy that the PPV was run pretty successfully and I am glad to play a role that has made Penang safer,” he said.

Retired nurse Khaw Ean Seok, 66, also expressed joy that Penang had achieved its targeted vaccination goal.

Khaw, who volunteered as a vaccinator since the opening of the Setia Spice Arena PPV, said she got along well with other vaccinators who were much younger than her.

“I am grateful to have worked alongside each and every frontliner here, as well as the vaccine recipients who were fully cooperative,” she said. - FMT

Melaka election: Political parties should adopt new norms during campaign

 Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong said a new approach was needed for the upcoming Melaka polls. — Bernama pic

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong said a new approach was needed for the upcoming Melaka polls. — Bernama pic



BATU PAHAT, Oct 31 — MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong has called on all political parties contesting in the Melaka state election to practice new norms in their campaign in order to curb the Covid-19 transmission.

The Ayer Hitam Member of Parliament said although the Election Commission (EC) has yet to issue the full list of standard operating procedures (SOP), all quarters should be prepared to change their campaign method as the Covid-19 pandemic is far from over.

“I do not want to make any predictions because I have not seen the SOP agreed by the National Security Council.

“(However) as we are still facing the pandemic, we need to change our approach (because) we cannot gather in large numbers as we used to. So, I believe there will be (some restriction) in place,” he told a press conference after presenting aid to 33 schools in his constituency at the Ayer Hitam Community Hall here today.

He was asked to comment on whether the ban on election-related gatherings and social activities from Oct 25 to Nov 27 would affect the preparation for the Melaka polls.

In another development, Wee said Barisan Nasional (BN) was still discussing the seat allocations for the Melaka state election.

“We still have eight days before the nomination so naturally, there will be discussions before we finalise the candidates.

“I am confident the process will run smoothly and any decision will be based on the top leadership so we will accept whatever decision that has been made collectively,” said Wee who is also Transport Minister.

The Election Commission has set Nov 8 as the nomination day for the Melaka state election and Nov 20 for polling. — Bernama

Sabah releases new entry guidelines from Monday (Nov 1)

 

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah has released the guidelines for entry procedures into the state for Malaysians and non-Malaysians effective Monday (Nov 1), as it begins to open up for domestic tourism.

While Malaysians are allowed to enter the state for social visits with conditions, only certain categories of non-citizens are allowed to travel here under the updated ruling.

All Malaysians from Peninsular Malaysia, Sarawak and Labuan travelling here must show proof of negative results in Covid-19 tests (RT-PCR or RTK-Ag), and adults must be fully vaccinated, while those from 12 to 18 years old must receive at least one dose of the two-dose Covid-19 vaccine.

“Children under 12 years old travelling here must be accompanied by fully vaccinated parents or guardians.

“For those who could not be vaccinated due to health reasons, they must present a medical report certified by registered medical practitioners,” Sabah Covid-19 spokesperson Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said on Sunday (Oct 31).

For non-Malaysians, those allowed conditional entry are spouses or dependents of Sabahans, permanent residents of Sabah, essential service workers and their dependents, visiting investors under invitation by the state government and temporary pass holders.

Also allowed are Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme participants and higher learning institute students who meet the requirements, added Masidi.

“Other non-Malaysians who are still not permitted to enter must file an application to the Chief Minister’s Department to be considered for special approval,” he said, adding that they can visit the website https://hednp.sabah.gov.my/ to get a list of sub-categories allowed to apply for entry. - Star

Remaja dirogol, bunuh, abang ipar ditahan bantu siasatan

 

Ketua Polis Daerah Pasir Mas Mohd Nasaruddin M Nasir, berkata punca kematian mangsa disebabkan ‘Asphyxia’ atau lemas.

PETALING JAYA: Seorang lelaki ditahan bagi membantu siasatan kes rogol dan bunuh adik iparnya berusia 17 tahun, dalam kejadian di sebuah kampung di Pasir Mas, kelmarin.

Ketua Polis Daerah Pasir Mas Mohd Nasaruddin M Nasir, berkata penahanan itu dilakukan susulan laporan diterima pihaknya, pada 6.30 petang berhubung kematian remaja perempuan berkenaan.

Katanya, bedah siasat dilakukan di Hospital Raja Perempuan Zainab (HRPZ) II, Kota Bharu, mendapati punca kematian mangsa disebabkan ‘Asphyxia’ atau lemas.

“Malah, terdapat kesan luka di muka, tengkuk dan kesan koyakan baharu pada kemaluan mangsa.

“Sepasukan anggota Jabatan Siasatan Jenayah Ibu Pejabat Polis Daerah (IPD) Pasir Mas dengan kerjasama anggota D9 Ibu Pejabat Polis Kontinjen (IPK) Kelantan menahan suspek pada 4 petang semalam,” katanya menurut laporan Harian Metro.

Mohd Nasaruddin berkata, pemeriksaan fizikal ke atas suspek yang bekerja sebagai pemotong kelapa sawit mendapati terdapat kesan calar pada bahu kiri belakang, dipercayai dicakar.

Katanya, suspek direman selama tujuh hari bermula hari ini hingga 6 November untuk siasatan mengikut Seksyen 302 Kanun Keseksaan. - FMT

‘Ice Princess’ Sree dances her way to second spot in Estonia

 

C Sree Abiraame with her parents, B Chendren and Shyamala Ramachandran, after her performance in the Narva Cup 2021 in Estonia. (Sree Abiraame B Chendren Facebook pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Young national figure-skater C Sree Abiraame turned in a dazzling performance to finish runner-up in the Cubs B girls’ free-skating category of the Narva Cup 2021 in Estonia yesterday, Bernama reported.

The nine-year-old, dubbed Malaysia’s Ice Princess, amassed 26.55 points to finish second out of 16 skaters, with home skater Arina Voevodina clinching the title in the seventh edition of the competition with 29.10 points.

Arina’s compatriot, Elizaveta Martjukova, came in third with 26.52 points.

A jubilant Sree, who has been training in Latvia since March last year, was elated with her second-place finish in Estonia and thanked Malaysians who have been supporting her.

“Thank you to all Malaysians for blessing and supporting me,” she said in a short video shared with the media today.

Sree pointed out that she would continue to train hard and try to dance her way to another success when she competes in Lithuania on Nov 11.

Her father, B Chendren, meanwhile expressed his gratitude to all Malaysians for their support for his daughter and hoped they would continue to do so when Sree competes in Lithuania.

Having won more than 50 gold medals at various levels, Sree has carved her name in the Asia Book of Records as the Youngest to Win Medals in International Figure Skating in 2019 and Malaysia Book of Records as the Youngest to Win “Skate Asia” Figure Skating Competition (Female) in 2017.

Then youth and sports minister Reezal Merican Naina Merican had stepped in last year to offer assistance to Sree in her bid to compete at the Winter Olympics.

FMT also reported how Chendren had to sell his house and a car and dip into his Employees’ Provident Fund savings to help fund his daughter’s training in Latvia. - FMT

Now stop blaming Umno for Melaka collapse, says Najib

 

Najib Razak in Sungai Udang, Melaka, today with a supporter who waited to meet him. (Najib Razak Facebook pic)

PETALING JAYA: The people must stop blaming Umno for the collapse of the Melaka state government, former prime minister Najib Razak said today on news that the assemblymen involved had met opposition leaders beforehand.

“That’s it. Meetings and agreements before the four assemblymen withdrew their support. So, don’t blame Umno any more,” Najib said in a Facebook post that made reference to comments by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim earlier today.

In a separate posting, Umno information chief Shahril Hamdan said the people of Melaka must consider who was the mastermind behind the defections, given Anwar’s comments.

It was apparent that Pakatan Harapan was willing to work with some of the defectors, save for former DAP man Norhizam Hassan Bakti who has been rejected by the coalition.

Shahril said he had previously stressed that Umno should not have been blamed for the actions of its two former members, assemblymen Idris Haron and Nor Azman Hassan. “Umno was firm and swift in dismissing their membership,” he said. “Whatever (the party’s) weaknesses may be, no one can dispute that it took clear action within 24 hours.”

Shahril added it remained to be seen if the people will be asked to vote for the three former assemblymen on PH tickets. “If not, it seems PH values only their ‘services’ and only considers them as assets,” said Shahril.

Earlier today, Anwar had defended the defectors, saying the action of the Melaka four was to return the people’s electoral mandate to PH “which was previously stolen through betrayals” – a reference to the “Sheraton Move” of February 2020 which caused the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan federal government.

He was quoted as saying that Idris, Nor Azman and Noor Effandi Ahmad had met with leaders of Melaka Pakatan Harapan before withdrawing support for the chief minister together with Norhizam.

Anwar had said the understanding was that the three would back PH efforts to form a new state government.

Anwar, who is PKR president, said the PH central leadership was in the final stages of deciding on whether to accept the trio into the fold.

The four assemblymen had stated on Oct 4 that they had lost confidence in the chief minister, Sulaiman Md Ali. Their action led to the dissolution of the state assembly and to fresh elections being called for Nov 20. - FMT

All Penang adults fully vaccinated, says CM

 

Penang chief minister Chow Kon Yeow at the official closing of the Setia Spice Arena mega PPV today. (Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau Facebook pic)

GEORGE TOWN: All eligible adults in Penang have been fully vaccinated, chief minister Chow Kon Yeow said today.

Chow, who attended the official closure of the Setia Spice Arena mega PPV here, announced that 100% of Penang’s eligible adult population had received their second Covid-19 vaccine shot.

He thanked all frontliners for helping to ensure the safety and security of the state and people.

The Spice Arena centre had closed its doors on Oct 7.

At today’s closing ceremony, frontliners and volunteers from various departments reminisced over the time they spent at the mega PPV over the past 147 days.

Among them was Major Mohd Kalimi Idris from the armed forces, who said that every frontliner there had great camaraderie and worked well with one another as if they were brothers in arms.

He said that most of his team was happy and celebrating the friendships they made along the way, while others had mixed emotions knowing that they might not get to meet each other as often.

“Overall, I feel happy that the PPV was run pretty successfully and I am glad to play a role that has made Penang safer,” he said.

Retired nurse Khaw Ean Seok, 66, also expressed joy that Penang had achieved its targeted vaccination goal.

Khaw, who volunteered as a vaccinator since the opening of the Setia Spice Arena PPV, said she got along well with other vaccinators who were much younger than her.

“I am grateful to have worked alongside each and every frontliner here, as well as the vaccine recipients who were fully cooperative,” she said. - FMT

PKR’s ‘crowdless ceramah’ breached pandemic SOPs, say cops

 

PKR had asked the health and home ministries to give details on allowed campaigning methods for the Melaka state elections.

MELAKA: Police confirmed today that a compound of RM10,000 was issued to PKR for violating the ban by the health ministry on mobile speeches.

State CID chief Azlan Abu said the compound was in line with the provisions in the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Regulations 2021.

“Police have ordered the organiser to stop the programme under SOPs in Phase Four of the national recovery plan.

“The SOPs forbid programmes related to the state elections and those that can result in a public gathering in a place which makes physical distancing difficult,” he said in a statement.

PKR information chief Shamsul Iskandar Md Akin, who confirmed earlier today that the party had been fined, said the health and home ministries should give details on allowable campaign methods for the state elections.

Shamsul Iskandar, who is Hang Tuah Jaya MP, said the “crowdless” speeches were made at the Paya Rumput state constituency with party leaders speaking from a modified truck that served as the stage.

“Those who listened to the ceramah were at home, either following the speeches via livestream or from the porches of their homes,” he said.

Prior to this, Muda and Barisan Nasional had also been fined.

The ban on public election activities from Oct 25 to Nov 27 was announced by health minister Khairy Jamaluddin on Oct 24. The elections will be held on Nov 20. - FMT

Split In PAS? So What, Religious People Have Been Quarrelling For 4,000 Years

 

Intellectual arrogance runs deep in those who believe they are learned and have knowledge. So they look down on others and become very quarrelsome. Hence religious people, even some of those in PAS, will fight and quarrel and look down on others. So leave them be and let them drown in their own mirage of self-importance.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

I have noticed there are various articles and news items regarding the ‘split’ in PAS. Maybe it’s true or maybe it’s in the minds of those who are reporting about this internal conflict in PAS.

First of all, PAS is a political party, and politicians quarrel all the time. My neighbour in my kampung in Kuala Terengganu divorced his wife because of politics. The husband was Umno, and the wife was PAS. So they divorced while on the way to the polling station because the wife defied the husband and insisted on voting for PAS.

My servant’s husband chased their son out of the house because the son pointed at the Umno badge on his father’s chest and said, “Lambang kafir!” The father chased him out of the house and ‘tak mengaku anak’.

In one election, my wife Marina disagree with me about who to vote for. The two choices were Wan Mutallib Embong of PAS and Haji Talib of Umno. She voted ‘bebas’, the candidate with the bus symbol. The ‘bebas’ candidate won four votes (must be his own family did not vote for him) and I have never stopped reminding Marina about her candidate who won only four votes.

Some say PAS is an Islamic party so they should not be quarrelling with each other like, say, Umno, Bersatu, PKR, DAP, etc.

PAS itself was created because the religious people in Umno could not agree whether Malaysia is a secular state or a theological state.

In fact, Judaism is estimated to be 4,000 years old, and the Jews have been quarrelling since Judaism was invented.

Then came Christianity 2,000 years ago, which itself is a breakaway of Judaism, and they have been quarrelling with each other ever since.

Then came Islam and the Muslims have been at each other’s throats since the day Prophet Muhammad died.

The bottom line is, so long as there are political parties and religions, people are going to quarrel. And the more religious they are, the more quarrelsome they become. This is because religious people, never mind from which religion, think they are cleverer than everyone else and everyone else is jahil or ignorant.

Intellectual arrogance runs deep in those who believe they are learned and have knowledge. So they look down on others and become very quarrelsome. Hence religious people, even some of those in PAS, will fight and quarrel and look down on others. So leave them be and let them drown in their own mirage of self-importance.

Bersatu Women submits names of six candidates for Malacca polls

 


Bersatu Women chief Rina Harun said it has submitted the names of six candidates to contest in the Malacca state election.

Rina (above), who is also the women, family and community development minister, said the names of the six, who are new and local faces, were submitted to Perikatan Nasional (PN) chairperson Muhyiddin Yassin for consideration.

"We hope Bersatu Women will be given the opportunity to field a candidate, and also one who can win and serve the people of Malacca.

"Currently, we do not have any Bersatu Women elected representatives in Malacca, so all (candidates) are new faces," she said to the media after launching a mobile Local Social Support Centre in Puchong today.

When asked about the total number of PN women candidates, Rina said at the moment the matter had not been decided.

"We have also submitted names from those from PN and hope they will receive the support of all so that we will have more women elected representatives. I am sure if given the opportunity, they will be able to carry out their duties and responsibilities well.

"The number (of candidates) has not been determined as there are some who are demanding seats among the parties," she added.

Previously, PN through Muhyiddin said the coalition will field candidates in all 28 Malacca state assembly seats.

The state election is being held following the dissolution of the Malacca state assembly on Oct 4 after four assemblypersons withdrew support for the leadership of Chief Minister Sulaiman Md Ali.

The Election Commission set Nov 20 as polling day for the state election, with nomination day on Nov 8 and early voting to be held on Nov 16.

- Bernama

Tourism Ministry launches holiday packages for civil servants, retirees

Tourism Malaysia, under the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry, launched a promotion on holiday packages for civil servants and retirees today to boost domestic tourism.

Tourism Minister Nancy Shukri (above) said the packages are aimed at attracting as many tourists as possible from among the 1.2 million Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public and Civil Services (Cuepacs) members and 700,000 government retirees.

“It is hoped that the initiative will revitalise domestic tourism and the industry after the hit from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“At present, there are 457 packages across Malaysia priced as low as RM120 per person and valid till June 30, 2022,” she said at a press conference after the launch.

Nancy said the tourist products encompass Putrajaya, I-City Shah Alam, Genting Highlands, Sky Bridge KLCC, Sky Mirror Kuala Selangor, Taman Negara Endau Rompin, Taman Negara Mulu, Royal Belum, Kilim Geoforest Park, Danum Valley, Wakaf Che Yeh, Taman Tamadun Islam and more.

She said there are also discounts of up to 30 percent on tickets and that more information is available here.

Kelantan Unity, Culture, Heritage and Tourism Committee chairperson Major (Rtd) Md Anizam Abdul Rahman was also present at the ceremony.

Bernama

Compounds issued to political parties for flouting SOP - Malacca police

 


Political parties were compounded in Malacca for failing to comply with the standard operating procedures (SOP) under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342).

Malacca police chief Abdul Majid Mohd Ali (above) said that among the violations of SOP were encouraging the public to gather in a place, no physical distancing, not wearing face masks, not providing MySejahtera QR Code and did not provide sanitiser.

“We take action regardless of the party (committing the violations) because our priority is to protect public safety. We are colour-blind about political parties because PDRM is a government agency which is entrusted to uphold the law,” he told reporters after an Op Jihad Dadah operation in Krubong today.

He said this when asked to comment on two compounds issued in Malacca involving Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda) on Oct 27 and PKR yesterday.

On the amount of compound imposed, Majid said the affected party could refer the compound to the Ministry of Health and appeal for a reduction.

Bernama

Nasir Ibrahim is new Finas CEO

 


Prof Md Nasir Ibrahim has been appointed as the Malaysian National Film Development Corporation (Finas) new chief executive officer effective tomorrow (Nov 1) until Oct 30, 2023.

Communications and Multimedia Ministry secretary-general Mohammad Mentek in a statement today said Nasir would replace Ahmad Idham Ahmad Nadzri whose service ended on Oct 15.

He said Nasir received a Doctor of Philosophy in Arts Education from the University of Tasmania, Australia in 2008 and a postdoctoral qualification in the same field from Sheffield Hallam University, the United Kingdom in 2014.

“His vast experience and prominence in the field of creative industry management as well as policy development, governance and education in arts and culture at the local and international levels has been proven by his excellence in carrying out responsibilities including as deputy rector of Academic Affairs at the National Academy of Arts, Culture and Heritage and a lecturer at Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris.

“The ministry is confident that his expertise and vast experience in the field of creative industry, especially cultural arts can drive Finas as a leading body to encourage, preserve and contribute to the development of the country's film industry.

"I believe the synergy between him and Finas Corporation members will continue to enhance the direction, planning and implementation efforts to boost the film industry and the creative economy locally and internationally," he said.

Bernama

EPF to rebuild savings, over 6 million have less than RM10k left

 


Employees Provident Fund (EPF) members are seeing their retirement savings depleting after the government allowed them to dip into the fund during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The EPF said after three rounds of allowing members to withdraw from their retirement fund under the i-Lestari, i-Sinar and i-Citra programmes, some 6.1 million EPF members now have less than RM10,000 in their EPF accounts.

Out of the 6.1 million, 3.6 million have less than RM1,000 in their EPF accounts.

The retirement fund said it will now work on helping members to rebuild their savings for their retirement future.

“Following the special withdrawal facilities due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the EPF is now focused on assisting members to rebuild their savings for their retirement future.

“The withdrawal facilities were exceptional in nature and were introduced considering the circumstances at the time where the pandemic severely impacted the local economy.

“Against this need to safeguard members’ future and rebuild their retirement funds, future exceptional withdrawals will need to be very carefully considered,” said the EPF in a statement today.

The EPF is required by law to provide a guaranteed dividend of at least 2.5 percent a year, but has consistently offered dividend rates well above five percent since 2009.

In their statement today, EPF said the drop in savings is particularly worrying for bumiputera members as they made up 78 percent of the withdrawal applicants.

As a result, 4.4 million bumiputera members now have less than RM10,000 and two million have less than RM1,000 in their EPF accounts.

The exceptional withdrawals have also caused the distribution of savings to become increasingly skewed, it said, with the bottom 40 percent of members – about five million members – seeing their savings drop by 38 percent to just RM8 billion.

This translates into a median savings balance of only RM1,005.

Similarly, the middle 40 percent also suffered a decline of 18 percent in their savings, leading to a median balance of RM24,995.

Inadequate funds to retire

Only the top 20 percent of members saw an increase in savings but even this only translates to a median of RM152,043 in savings, which the EPF said is equivalent to just RM633 per month for 20 years.

“The three exceptional withdrawals have left 73 percent or nearly three-quarters of members in a serious state of having inadequate funds to retire about the poverty line.

“The EPF estimates that members will need to work between an extra four to six years to rebuild the savings that have been utilised during the pandemic,” it said.

The fund said it hopes that the measures put in place to support the economy and spur employment will help towards addressing the needs of the rakyat.

The National Recovery Plan (NRP) and the vaccination programme have made improvements to the Covid-19 situation, paving the way for economic recovery, it said.

This has enabled economic sectors to be revived as Malaysians are able to go back to work, thus improving their livelihoods, it added.

The EPF also pointed to Budget 2022, which includes an RM8.2 billion allocation for Bantuan Keluarga Malaysia (BKM) and RM4.8 billion for Inisiatif Jamin Kerja Keluarga Malaysia (JaminKerja), among other measures to assist the rakyat.

Incentives such as the i-Saraan and Kasih Suri Keluarga Malaysia should also go some way towards addressing the shortcomings of the country’s social protection system for the vulnerable members of society, it said.

The social protection agenda is being overseen by the Malaysian Social Protection Council (MySPC) which is chaired by the prime minister, it added.

“The EPF is in full support of these moves, and will work closely together with the government to ensure a secure and protected future for our members and the rakyat." - Mkini