Monday, 31 December 2012

High-risk walls to be checked

With questions being raised on the stability of shotcrete retaining walls in the country, the authorities are scrambling to ensure that safety is given utmost priority.

In the aftermath of the shocking wall collapse in the posh Bukit Setiawangsa area here on Friday night, Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) will go in search of all such structures to draw up a hazard map.

The Public Works Department (PWD), on the directive of the Government, has formed a special task force to monitor hillslope developments nationwide.

As the uncertainty lingers, experts continued to explain the various technicalities and issues involved with shotcrete walls.

Sensitive land development specialist Dr Tew Kia Hui said it was all right to build such structures along highways where there was no topload on the soil.

He said such walls were put up to control erosion on slopes and built with a mixture of sand, cement and gravel with water added on the point of application.

Muhyiddin: PWD will monitor and review all hillslope works

The Public Works Department has formed a special task force to monitor hillslope developments nationwide to ensure the safety of residents in such areas, said Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

The Deputy Prime Minister said the task force was needed especially after the shotcrete wall collapse in Bukit Setiawangsa.

“The task force will monitor and review all hillslope developments nationwide to prevent such a disaster from recurring.

“The landslide at Bukit Setiawangsa was unexpected but the department and other relevant authorities must stay vigilant,” he said after visiting the affected area here yesterday.

He said the department monitored hillslope developments but a task force would ensure that this was carried out more extensively.

“We have to learn from this tragedy that hillslope developments must not be taken for granted. The respective local councils have also implemented strict guidelines on hillslope developments and housing developers must adhere to them,” he said.

Soldiers on standby for floods

At least 20,000 soldiers have been put on standby for another wave of floods.

Based on the weather patterns announced by the Meteorological Department, there was a possibility that the floods in the three east coast states could worsen.

“The armed forces has all the expertise, logistics and the manpower to complement the authorities handling the floods,” Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said after visiting a relief centre at SM Pengkalan Kubor 2 here yesterday.

Dr Ahmad Zahid said the army would provide medical services, vehicles and cooks at relief centres.

“The 6th Division Brigade has been tasked to assist the state health departments anywhere in Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang,” he said, adding that the brigade members were now in Kemaman to help out.

The Meteorological Department predicted that rain was expected in the east coast states again and residents were reminded to be prepared for the second round of floods.

Meanwhile, the situation in Tereng­­ganu and Kelantan is improving with the number of flood victims at evacuation centres reduced to 3,171 from 16,083 on Saturday night.
Posted on 12:00 | Categories:

Education Ministry announces another 25 HPS

The Education Ministry has announced another 25 High Performance Schools (HPS), bringing the total number to 91.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin said RM18.7mil had been allocated so far for the schools to enhance their quality of education.

“Based on the success of the 66 HPS before this, the Government has agreed to continue the project from 2013 to 2015 with the target of 10 HPS a year,” he said in his speech yesterday.

The text of his speech was read out by Education Ministry's secretary-general Datuk Dr Rosli Mohamed.

Muhyiddin, who is also the Education Minister, said HPS should show that Malaysia's education system could improve to be on par with international standards.

“The HPS were also set up to ensure that every child has a chance to build a successful future regardless of socioeconomic background, who their parents are and where they are studying,” he said.

Dr Rosli later handed out certificates and mock cheques of RM700,000 each to principals and school heads.
Posted on 09:00 | Categories:

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Mardi: Local fruits are better

Malaysia is rich in tropical fruits like durian, mangosteen, rambutan, duku and langsat. However, many people believe that consuming a large quantity of these fruits may lead to health problems.

Some people believe that imported fruits like apples and grapes are more nutritious.

However, the results of a study conducted by the Malaysian Agriculture Research and Development Institute (Mardi), concluded otherwise.

“I do not believe that consuming seasonal tropical fruits like durian and mangosteen can lead to health problems. In fact, these fruits are unique, tasty and nutritious.

“Unfortunately, some people believe that imported fruits are more nutritious. This is not true,” said Mardi deputy director (Horticulture Research Centre) Dr Zabedah Mahmood.

The senior principal research officer said there should be greater awareness among the public with regard to the nutritional value of local fruits.

“People can purchase local fruits, which are fresh. Imported fruits are not as fresh as local fruits because imported ones are stored in containers. Hence, the nutritional value of imported fruits is lower,” she said.

Posted on 18:00 | Categories:

School bus cover for pupils from next month

Some 1.5 million students in primary and secondary schools who take school buses will be protected by an insurance scheme starting next month.

Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar said the scheme would provide coverage for personal accident, permanent disability and death with a limit of RM100,000.

The insurance scheme for students was announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak during the tabling of Budget 2013 in September.

Syed Hamid said tenders have been opened and asked insurance companies to submit proposals for the insurance scheme.

“The proposal with the most reasonable rate will be chosen as the provider. When schools open on Jan 1, we hope all students will be insured against personal accidents,” he told reporters after chairing a meeting between SPAD and Bentong and Temerloh Bus Operators here yesterday.

It was attended by SPAD chief executive officer Mohd Nur Ismal Mohamed Kamal, First Coach operations manager Chong Yee Hoong, City Liner chief operating officer Basri Baharom, officials from Konsortium Transnasional Berhad and East Coast Economic Region (ECER).

Source : CLICK

Posted on 12:00 | Categories:

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Tree whisperer coaxes greenery to grow healthy daily

Some may call it crazy or ridiculous, but “tree whisperer” Mohd Afendi Hussin swears by his methods.

Mohd Afendi Hussin spends at least half an hour talking to plants daily as part of his routine to ensure they grow up strong and healthy.

The 47-year-old arborist, who has been working with the Forest Research Institute Malaysia since 2005, has a simple explanation for what he does.

(An arborist studies trees, shrubs and other plants to ensure the health of the flora under his care.)

“We exhale carbon dioxide when we talk and plants absorb it. In a way, we are feeding them to become healthier,” he said in an interview yesterday.

Mohd Afendi's routine involves cooing and cajoling the trees, especially the young and newly-planted ones, to “please grow”.

For flower and fruit plants, he talks softly to them and urges them to “flower”, while telling mature trees “you have served well and you are very good”.

His daily duties also include carrying out health inspections on trees at the institute and training people on landscape work.
Posted on 18:00 | Categories:

Orang asli in dire straits

Years of protests have come to naught for an estimated 10,000 orang asli who are living in dire straits due to extensive logging and forest conversion in Kelantan.

Orang asli activists, who have accused the state government of turning a deaf ear to their grouses, are now upping the ante in the battle to have their land rights legally recognised.

One of them, Dendy Johari, 20, claimed that Mentri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat's administration was not taking responsibility for their welfare.

“The MB must understand our problems as they affect us directly, day in and day out. We are not greedy for a lot of land.

“We just want our native territory to be ours and left unspoiled.

“We want to live in a forest full of natural resources.”

He said the orang asli were also disappointed with the state Orang Asli Development Department (Jakoa) as it had not assisted them despite numerous complaints about logging.

Water tanks were installed at the villages in 2010 but the water ran out within weeks, he claimed.

Friday, 28 December 2012

Round-the-clock rescue efforts by authorities to assist people affected by floods

When floods hit Kelantan during the past week, many members of the rescue agencies and relevant authorities have been working around the clock to help the people in the state.

About 5,000 rescuers from the Fire and Rescue Services Departments, Civil Defence Department, police and soldiers from the army Eight Brigade camp have been tirelessly rescuing stranded residents, giving foodstuff and medicine and transporting people from flooded areas.

Volunteer groups from here, Kuala Krai, Machang, Tanah Merah, Pasir Mas and Tumpat have also chipped in to help in their respective districts.

Firemen, who are coordinating the rescue and relief operations, also have to contend with the danger of rescuing people from rooftops of houses or trees at night, carrying elderly and bed-ridden victims and capturing venomous snakes trapped in houses.

Policemen are also hard-pressed with maintaining security and preventing looting even as they are helping to rescue victims.

So far, about 7,000 flood victims are now being housed at 38 flood relief centres in the state.
Posted on 21:00 | Categories:

Health Ministry collects RM7.6mil in summonses

The Health Ministry issued 16,786 summonses for a total of RM7,674,165 from January to November through enforcement of the Destruction of Disease-Bearing Insects Act 1975 to prevent and control dengue.

According to a statement from the ministry here yesterday, a total of 1,651 cases were registered for court action while 769 people were convicted and fined a total of RM279,920 during this period.

“Throughout November, the Health Ministry has issued 1,271 summonses worth RM596,750 through enforcement and 115 cases were registered for court action, while 83 people were convicted and fined a total of RM37,480,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, the ministry said 28,062 notices were issued under the Control of Tobacco Product Regulations 2004 from January to November.

During the same period, 15,020 offences were compounded for RM3,384,293.

Meanwhile, 21,444 dengue cases with 35 deaths were reported from January until last Saturday, a 10% increase in cases compared to 19,534 cases in the same period last year.

Health Deputy Director-General Datuk Dr Lokman Hakim Sulaiman in a statement here said Selangor, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya and Perak recorded the most cases and fatalities.
Posted on 18:00 | Categories:

Muhyiddin : RM500 for each family to help reduce financial burden

Families staying at flood relief centres nationwide will each receive RM500 to help reduce some of their financial burden caused by the floods, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

He added that he had instructed the State National Security Council to channel the aid quickly, as soon the victims return to their home after the flood receded.

“The Government, through the Agriculture and Agro Based Industries Ministry, is also thinking of providing assistance to farmers and domestic animal breeders for their loss of income as a result of the floods,” he said after visiting flood victims at flood relief centres at Gual Tinggi here yesterday.

Also present were Muhyiddin's wife Puan Sri Norainee Abdul Rahman and International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamad.

However, Muhyiddin, also the Umno deputy president, said the assistance provided for the farmers and breeders was not a compensation but to offset the losses incurred.

Muhyiddin advised flood victims to heed the advice of the authorities when evacuation orders were issued.
Posted on 15:00 | Categories:

Still powerful memory of tsunami

Villagers recall seeing monstrous waves heading towards their homes on Dec 26, 2004

SUNGAI PETANI: FOR 26 years, the sea was Mohamad Hasli's friend.   It was his playing ground since young and when he got old enough, he lived off it. As is true for any fisherman, he had his fair share of harrowing episodes, but he trusted the sea.

On Dec 26 eight years ago, that changed. The tsunami that hit his village, Kampung Kepala Jalan, left him so traumatised that he stayed away from the sea for six months after the horrific incident.

Now 34, Mohamad recalled how tidal waves pounded on his wooden house, destroying it.

"Everything happened so fast. Fortunately, my mother, along with the rest of my family members, managed to escape. I suffered frequent nightmares from then on. I did not have the courage to go back into the water. For six months I did odd jobs, including carpentry."

Another villager, 45-year-old Md Hafidzi Ismail said he remembered the screaming when villagers, most of them who were at a wedding feast on that day, saw a monstrous wave heading towards them.

"There were about 200 of us. We just panicked." Hafidzi said he was with his wife, Rosilah Saad, 41, and their four children when the first wave struck their village.
Posted on 12:00 | Categories:

RapidKuantan resumes ops despite downpour and floods

The RapidKuantan bus operations are back to normal despite the rain and floods in Pahang.

Its chief operating officer Zainurul Hakim Mohd said RapidKuantan was working to keep to its schedule of 15 minutes during peak hours despite the massive challenge of heavy rain and flash floods currently hitting Pahang and the entire east coast.

“Yesterday, we ran normal operations with 29 buses and three buses on stand-by. So far, everything is under control.

“Our services were only interrupted on Monday when we had to stop service for three hours from 11am because of flash floods in some areas in the town of Kuantan itself,” he said in a statement yesterday.

RapidKuantan, an operating arm of the bus division of Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad (Prasarana), commenced operations on Dec 1, servicing three routes under its first phase of operations with a fleet of 32 buses and 60 drivers.

“When we first started we had an average ridership of 5,000 passengers daily. But, we have had touched 13,000 passengers a day,” he said.
Posted on 09:00 | Categories: ,

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Oil tanker crash causes traffic snarl on NSE

An oil tanker went out of control and skidded off the road, spilling its contents and causing an almost 15-hour traffic snarl near the Menora Tunnel in Kuala Kangsar here at the North-South Expressway.

The petrol tanker landed in a drain during heavy rain. It was heading towards Tapah from Butterworth when the accident occurred at 1.30am yesterday.

Lorry driver Khalid Jaafar, 48, escaped unhurt.

Kuala Kangsar police chief Asst Comm Abdul Gaffar Muhamad said all lanes along the expressway were blocked off to enable a crane to lift the tanker out of the drain.

A PLUS spokesman said traffic volume was heavy due to the clean-up of the oil spill, which took 20 minutes.

Posted on 21:00 | Categories:

Two dead and number of evacuees in three East Coast states rising

The situation in three East Coast states which are inundated has worsened with the number of victims moved to relief centres in Kelantan, Pahang and Terengganu rising.

Up till 4pm yesterday the number of evacuees stood at 16,873.

According to the official flood portals of the three states, the latest figure showed that a total of 10,412 victims in Terengganu were moved to 129 temporary centres with one death reported in the state.

A woman drowned after she slipped while putting up a net to catch fish with her husband at Sungai Lanjut near the Permaisuri Bridge at 3pm on Tuesday while a 15-year-old boy drowned after he fell off a sampan near his home in Bukit Mentok, Kemaman yesterday.

In Kelantan, the water level at Sungai Golok in Jenob, Tanah Merah has changed to warning level but the reading of the river at Rantau Panjang still exceeded the danger level.

Sungai Kelantan at the Guillemard Bridge, Tanah Merah was also above the danger level. The level of other rivers were still at warning mark.
Posted on 18:00 | Categories:

Bad weather and floods worsen festive traffic crawl

Holiday-makers, who are still celebrating Christmas and the year-end school holidays, will not only have to put up with the usual festive traffic crawl on the roads but some bad weather and floods.

The weatherman has forecast that it will be wet over the next few days, which means motorists would face poor visibility and treacherous conditions.

North-South Expressway (NSE) concessionaire PLUS Berhad said about 1.5 million vehicles are expected to be on the road during the year-end holiday season.

PLUS chief operating officer Mohammad Fuad Khusairi said there would be more vehicles plying the NSE from now until Jan 1.

“Motorists should follow our Travel Time Advisory (TTA) to ensure smooth traffic flow during this period,” he said in a statement.

He advised motorists to adhere to the speed limits and take adequate rest when they return from their holidays during the rainy period.

Mohammad Fuad said motorists heading to the Klang Valley should begin their journey before 11am or after 8pm, while those using other roads should travel between 11am to 8pm.
Posted on 15:00 | Categories:

MILF chief: We will lay down arms when Bangsamoro govt in place

The decommissioning of firearms for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) fighters will only begin once the Bangsamoro government is in place and operational in Mindanao, southern Philippines.

MILF chairman Al-Haj Murad Ebrahim said that at this point in time the issue of decommisioning of firearms by the MILF fighters was still under discussion with the Philippine government.

He disclosed this to Bernama when approached while attending the just-concluded 8th World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF), here.

Murad reminded that the relevant parties needed to create the proper situation on the ground first, before kick starting the process of decommissioning of firearms by his fighters.

He said the issue of decommissioning of firearms should not concern the MILF fighters only, but also involved the government's militias called the Civilian Volunteers.

"They should also be subjected to decommissioning (of firearms)," according to him.
Posted on 12:00 | Categories:

Local icons to help fight crime

District police chiefs have been ordered to identify local icons who can be roped in to help promote the police force and their activities, especially on crime prevention, at the grassroots.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar said those selected as police ambassadors would be conferred honorary ranks after they had attended a basic course on police and relevant laws.

"We have already appointed ambassadors at the federal level, including community leaders, artistes and sportsmen, and are now focusing on the district level," he said after giving honorary ranks to five recipients here yesterday.

They were Malaysia Crime Prevention Foundation (MCPF) vice-chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, who was conferred a Assistant Commissioner (Honorary), while Superintendent (Honoraray) was accorded to Datuk Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar, Datuk Johny Ching Ewe Gee, Dr T. Alagaratnam Sivarajah and Ranjit Singh. Among those appointed as police ambassadors were film director Datuk Yusof Haslam and crime analyst Kamal Affendi Hashim.

Ismail said those selected as police ambassadors would learn various skills at the Police training centre (Pulapol), including firearm handling and citizen's arrest.
Posted on 09:00 | Categories:

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

IJN wooing patients from India

Malaysia's National Heart Institute (IJN) is looking at attracting Indian patients by offering advanced healthcare at a fraction of the price they pay at hospitals in the United States and Europe.

Its manager for medical tourism and business development, Chow Khoon Liam, said the focus on India was part of a wider marketing effort to get people from South Asia to use Malaysia's top cardiac care centre.

At present, about 10 per cent of the institute's patients come from overseas, mostly from Southeast Asian nations, Travel News Alliance said.

"We get a lot of people from Indonesia, Myanmar and Cambodia. Now we want to get a little bit further; we want to venture into South Asia," Chow told the online portal.

An angioplasty procedure that may cost US$100,000 (RM305,741) in the US is, for example, available for US$13,000 (RM39,750) in Malaysia, according to Chow.IJN will be working with Indian healthcare facilitators to promote its packages.


Posted on 21:00 | Categories:

RM600,000 worth of syabu seized off Batu Pahat

The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) foiled an attempt to smuggle in 1.2kg of drugs, believed to be syabu, worth RM600,000 using a fiberglass boat, in Tanjung Tohor waters, near Batu Pahat two days ago.

Batu Pahat Maritime Base enforcement chief Lt Commander Iskandar Ishak said the boat, believed to from a neighbouring country, was discovered at about 5.30am near the Sungai Pulai coast following a report from the public.

"The boat skipper jumped into the sea and swam to the mangrove swamp nearby as soon as he realised the presence of the authorities. He could not be tracked down due to the darkness," he said in a statement.

Lt Cdr Iskandar said MMEA personnel discovered a four-wheel-drive tyre in the boat in which packets the drugs were hidden.

He said the boat, measuring four metres long with a 40 horse-power Mercury engine, together with the drugs seized would be taken to the MMEA Batu Pahat Base for further action.

Source : CLICK
Posted on 18:00 | Categories:

Armed Forces to help out at flood-hit areas

Armed Forces staff and equipment have been mobilised to help flood-hit areas in the east coast states.

Armed Forces chief General Tan Sri Zulkifeli Mohd Zin said even before the floods started, the staff had been in a state of preparedness for rescue and evacuation operations.

"Such areas include Ulu Tembeling, Pahang where we have arranged for prompt action to avoid the areas from being cut off from one another.

"If we delay team coordination, we cannot station our members for rescue missions and this might endanger the lives of the flood victims," he told Bernama.

Over 6,000 people have been moved to evacuation centres in Terengganu, Kelantan and Pahang due to rising flood waters.

Zulkifeli said the staff would be stationed at schools, police stations, community halls and Territorial Army camps.

He added that the army's kitchens would also be used at the evacuation centres.

Posted on 15:00 | Categories:

Civil servants required to attend five-day programme

From next year, civil servants will be required to attend a five-day Program Transfor-masi Minda (PTM) before being confirmed in service.

The mind transformation programme replaces the Kursus Induksi, a month-long course which was followed by a government examination.

In a circular, the Public Service Department said full-time officers appointed on or after Jan 1, 2013, and those on probation who had not attended the Kursus Induksi Modul Umum, must attend the programme before they can be confirmed.

“Current officers who are transferred to other agencies in the service are exempted from PTM, on condition that they had attended the Kursus Induksi or passed the government examination in their previous agency,” the circular stated.

The programme has three main segments – nation and civil service, officer’s roles and responsibilities, and first class work ethics.

Officers who pass the programme will receive a certificate and have their attendance noted in service records.
Posted on 12:00 | Categories:

Healthcare boost for Sabah folk

All five 1Malaysia clinics in Sabah will be open by the end of the week, bringing the total number to 23 statewide.

Assistant State Resource Development and Information Technology Minister Datuk Jainab Ahmad said the clinics located in Kampung Likas, Tanjung Aru, Kepayan and Telipok here and in southwestern Sipitang were in the final stages of completion.

She said this after officially opening the Kampung Likas 1Malaysia clinic yesterday.

“More 1Malaysia clinics will be built next year, including in Beau-fort, Kinabatangan, Kota Belud, Lahad Datu, Pitas, Sandakan and Tenom.”

Jainab said 1Malaysia clinics were not just being built in rural areas but also urban locations as many people there need access to affordable healthcare, too.

“Many are in the low-income group and they need help because of the higher cost of living.

“Such clinics will help reduce the financial burden of these people who include the disabled and single mothers,” she said.
Posted on 09:00 | Categories:

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

KP1M to help typhoon victims in Davao

Kelab Putra 1Malaysia (KP1M) volunteers left for Davao, southern Philippines on a humanitarian mission to assist victims affected by Typhoon Bopha.

A Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) C-130 aircraft took off from the Subang RMAF airbase with 47 volunteers comprising club members, doctors, aid workers and journalists.

Club president Datuk Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim, who will be leading the mission, said KP1M would distribute a total of 36 tonnes of necessities including 11 tonnes of medical aid and 25 tonnes of food to the victims.

“We are trying to bring some good news to them ahead of the Christmas and New Year celebrations,” he told reporters at the RMAF airbase in Subang Airport yesterday.

On Dec 3, Typhoon Bopha slammed into southern Philippines, killing more than a thousand people. Hundreds are still missing.

An advance team of five volunteers from KP1M left on Thursday to check the situation at the typhoon-hit area.
Posted on 17:00 | Categories:

In the mood for Xmas

GEORGE TOWN: The spirit of the season is apparent in many churches here as they are being spruced up for Christmas.

Many churches, including the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit in Island Park and the Church of the Immaculate Conception, are going for decorations which remind their congegration of the presence of God in their lives.

The Cathedral's assistant priest, Rev Father Martin Arlando, said the decorations were created in conjunction with its grand Christmas musical titled God Speaking.

The musical will be held today at 8.30pm.

“The message of the musical this Christmas is that God is speaking to us through various means,” he said.

The church had also set up a Christmas tree while a baby crib representing the nativity scene had been placed outside.

The Christmas mood has set in at the Immaculate Conception in Pulau Tikus with its entrance being decorated with lights strung up in the shape of a tree to greet its parishioners.
Posted on 11:00 | Categories:

Monday, 24 December 2012

Family burnt to death in car-bus accident

A couple and their two daughters were burnt to death when the car they were in burst into flames after it collided with an express bus at Km26 Jalan Kuala Terengganu-Kuantan near the Institut Kemahiran Belia Negara (IKBN), Kemasik here.

The dead were Mohd Sabirin Sulaiman, 50, a teacher, his wife Halina Saif.

Terengganu police chief Datuk Jamshah Mustapa said that in the 1.30am incident yesterday, the family were on their way from Kuantan to Dungun when their car went out of control and into the path of the express bus coming from the opposite direction.

“The express bus on its way from Kota Baru to Malacca dragged the car for about some 30m.

“The car then caught fire which also spread to the bus which was ferrying eight passengers,” he told reporters at the scene.

He said the bus driver and passengers escaped with only minor injuries except for one passenger who broke a leg when jumping out to safety.
Posted on 21:00 | Categories:

92 evacuated from villages in Dungun due to floods

DUNGUN: A total of 92 people from 16 families in three villages here were evacuated since last night when floods hit the district.

Seven of the families, involving 39 people, are from the Kampung Bukit Gendut Housing Project for the Hardcore Poor (PPRT), Pulai Serai, and they were evacuated to the relief centre at Sekolah Rendah Pulau Serai at 9pm on Saturday.

Six families, comprising 33 people, are from Kampung Tanjung Pagar Lima, and the three remaining families (20 people) are from Kam-pung Seberang Pintasan.

They were evacuated to the community hall in their respective villages.

Dungun MP Datuk Matulidi Jusoh, when met after visiting the victims yesterday, said floods hit the villages following heavy rain since 6am on Saturday.

The water in Sungai Pimpin also overflowed its banks and caused flooding at the Bukit Gendut PPRT, he added.
Posted on 18:00 | Categories:

MATTA gets ISO cert

After more than a year of meticulous auditing, the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) has been certified with the MS ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management System.

MATTA is the first travel trade association in Malaysia to be ISO certified.

Its president Datuk Mohd Khalid Harun said that having the certification would give its existing and potential business partners more confidence in MATTA's reliability.

“It will also ensure that MATTA lives up to the expectations of our 2,800 members in terms of quality, as we will now have to work hard to keep up our standards, since we will be audited yearly to stay certified,” he said at the ISO certificate presentation ceremony at Wisma MATTA here yesterday.

He said this would set the pace for all travel agents and tour operators to further improve the quality of their services.

“Only with improved standards will our industry grow and go on to greater heights, thus contributing to the economy,” he said.
Posted on 15:00 | Categories:

Police aim to reduce public anxiety on crime

Police aim to reduce public anxiety on crime to 24% compared with 50% currently.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar said this would be done through the implementation of the second phase of the National Key Result Area (NKRA) on crime next year.

He said police were aware that the public still feared for their safety despite the drop in the crime rate and an international report indicating that Malaysia is a safe place.

“The effort now is to change the people's perception on security,” he said after the presentation of awards to winners of the Balai League Table (BLT) competition at the Subang Jaya district police headquarters here.

Prior to this, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein had announced that the second phase of the NKRA on crime reduction next year would focus on managing public perception on the security situation around them.

On the BLT competition, Ismail said it had contributed to the drop in the crime index and street crime this year.
Posted on 12:00 | Categories:

ETP had positive impact on Malaysia

The Malaysian Associated Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Maicci) said the Government's Economic Transformation Programme (ETP), has had a positive impact on the country.

Its president Datuk K.K. Eswaran said among other achievements, per capita Gross National Income (GNI) has grown dramatically by 45% in two years to reach US$9,700 (RM29,643) in 2011.

In 2009, the GNI was US$6,700.

“If we continue to grow at the same pace, we may even be able to achieve a high-income economy before 2020,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Eswaran said that during the MAICCI management council meeting on Dec 15, where the council unanimously endorsed the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and the Barisan Nasional government.

Posted on 09:00 | Categories:

Sunday, 23 December 2012

App-solutely necessary for new students Down Under

A young Malaysian broadcast journalist has created applications for iPhone and iPad users to help newly-arrived Malay-sian students make a smooth transition to life here.

The “Malaysia in Melbourne” application created by Juliet John (pic), among others highlights the services and events held at the Malaysian Consulate and information on affordable restaurants and shops that sell Malaysian groceries, including halal eateries and outlets.

It will be launched next March for free.

John, who holds a Masters degree in Global Media and Com-munications from the University of Melbourne and a Bachelor of Psychology from the University of South Australia, is the head of public relations at MELVIA, an application and game development studio here.

She said many Malaysian students felt lost after arriving here, and hoped her iPhone and iPad app could help them to adjust well in Australia.

“Many don't get to experience the Australian way of life because they are young, shy and timid to venture out with Australian friends.
Posted on 17:00 | Categories:

Ensure family members aren’t swayed by movements that support violence

Malaysians have been urged to keep a close watch on their families as militants are known to recruit and influence people to join their cause via various methods, including through the Internet, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.

The public should take heed of the death of suspected Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) member Mohd Noor Fikrie Abd Kahar in southern Philippines last week, he said.

Mohd Noor Fikrie was gunned down by Davao police in a stand- off after he was suspected to be in possession of an explosive device.

“I would like to take this opportunity to advise all Malaysians to be on the alert on the movements of their family members.

“This is to prevent our family members from being influenced and easily deceived by any ideologies as well as militant movements that support violence,” Hishammuddin said in a statement yesterday.

Mohd Noor Fikrie, 26, and his Filipina wife, Annabelle Nieva Lee, were checking out of the Sampaguita Hotel when they were cornered by local police.
Posted on 11:00 | Categories:

Saturday, 22 December 2012

100 turn up at funeral of suspected JI militant

The family of suspected Jemaah Islamiyah militant Mohd Noor Fikrie Abd Kahar who was shot dead in the Philippines cannot accept that he was an extremist.

According to Mohd Noor Fikrie's brother Mohd Noor Hafiz, 24, his brother was a soft spoken man who cared for his three young children and was always ready with a smile.

“I still cannot believe that he was part of a militant group as it was not like him to hold grudges against anyone,” he said at the burial ceremony of Mohd Noor Fikrie at Tanah Wakaf Perkuburan Islam Kampung Parit Hj Abdul Rahman in Benut here.

Some 100 people, mostly Mohd Noor Fikrie's relatives and close friends, attended the funeral despite a slight rain on early Thursday morning.

Mohd Noor Fikrie's body arrived at Masjid Jamek Temenggong Daeng Abdul Rahman at 5.30am from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) after arriving from the Philippines at 1am on the same day.

Among the family members who attended the ceremony was his former wife Siti Sarah Raihana with their three young children Aina Sofia, six, Aisah Nadiya, five, and Yani Izzati, four.
Posted on 17:00 | Categories:

Strong winds and high waves forecast in South China Sea

The world may not be ending soon, but life is starting to get a little less comfortable as weather patterns worsen.

Activities in the waters off the South China Sea are expected to be risky for at least a couple of days, due to very strong monsoon winds and rough seas.

“Very strong winds and rough seas are forecast in the east coast, Sabah and Sarawak, which is dangerous to all coastal and shipping activities, including fishing and small ferry services,” the Malaysian Meteorological Department said in a statement yesterday.

Strong northeasterly wind with a speed of 50kph to 60kph with waves up to 4.5m in height are expected to hit the waters off Kelantan, Terengganu, Samui, Con-dore, Reef North, Layang-Layang and Palawan until Jan 3.

In the same period, strong winds with a speed of 40kph to 50kph with waves up to 3.5m are forecast in waters off Pahang, East Johor, Tioman, interior of Sabah, the West Coast, Kudat and Sandakan in Sabah, Labuan, Sarawak, Bunguran, Reef South and Sulu.

Coastal areas in Kelantan, Tereng-ganu, Pahang and east Johor are also vulnerable to rising sea waters until next Wednesday.
Posted on 11:00 | Categories:

Friday, 21 December 2012

MCA: Have AES trial run

MCA has reiterated its call for a six-month trial period to educate road users on the implementation of the Automated Enforcement System (AES).

Central committee member Datuk Chua Tee Yong said this would give road users time to adjust to the system.

For example, said Chua, road users caught flouting traffic laws could be issued summonses but would not have to pay during the trial period.

“MCA's stand is that the AES requires time so people can understand how the system works.

“We are concerned with the rise in road accidents and the AES is okay. The issue now is the implementation,” Chua said when met after the launch of the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry's Innovation Day here yesterday.

Chua, who is the ministry's deputy minister, said this in response to the Attorney-General's Chamber's statement (A-G) to freeze all court proceedings related to summonses issued under the AES.
Posted on 21:00 | Categories:

AES firm gets leave to challenge council

A company awarded the Automated Enforcement System (AES) cameras contract has obtained leave from the High Court here to challenge a decision by the Sepang City Council to demolish two AES cameras pillars on two highways.

High Court judge Justice Zaleha Yusof granted leave for a judicial review in chambers in the presence of lawyers Alex de Silva and Fiona Bodipalar who represented Beta Tegap Sdn Bhd, and M. Indrani and K. Kandiah, who represented the council.

Justice Zaleha granted an order for the council not to take any action to demolish or cover the AES cameras until the end of the matter, which the council agreed to.

The court fixed Feb 6 next year for case management.

Beta Tegap, one of two companies awarded the AES contract, is seeking an order of certiorari to quash a council decision made on Nov 19, ruling it had to have planning permission to install the two cameras and pillars.

One AES camera is located at KM301.7 of the North-South Highway (PLUS) heading to Kuala Lumpur while the other is at KM6.6 of the South Klang Valley Expressway (SKVE) heading to Kajang.
Posted on 18:00 | Categories:

Awareness programme to help students eat healthy

A public-private initiative to educate teenagers on healthy eating habits and encourage an active lifestyle among students to reduce obesity has kicked off.

The three-year “Cara Hidup Sihat” programme, which started last September, was carried out jointly by the Education Ministry, Nestle Malaysia Bhd and Universiti Putra Malaysia.

Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong said it aimed to create awareness among students on how to make informed choices on their daily intake of food.

“The programme will also measure the weight and height of the students twice a year and teach them to calculate their own BMI (body mass index) as a reference to stay healthy,” he said after launching the programme here yesterday.

The ministry, he said, would monitor the programme closely to see if there was any improvement in the students' eating habits and their body weight.

The programme involved some 5,000 lower secondary school students from 100 day boarding schools nationwide as well as their teachers, wardens and food operators.
Posted on 15:00 | Categories:

Rosmah condemns violence against women

An average of nine cases of domestic abuse and sexual assault have been recorded by police each day since 2010, said the Prime Minister's wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.

“Based on the latest police statistics, we found that there have been 9,314 domestic abuse and sexual assault cases since 2010. The reason that these statistics must be shared is because violence against women is a universal problem that cuts across region, religion, race and culture and affects women across the globe.

“Violence against women must be addressed as it will have a negative impact on the family institution and can disrupt a country's economic agenda,” she said during the National Anti-violence Against Women Day organised by the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry at Universiti Tenaga Nasional (Uniten) here yesterday.

The Government, she noted, had taken several initiatives, including amending the Domestic Violence Act, the Employment Act and enacting the Anti-Human Trafficking and Anti-Migrant Smuggling Act, to further strengthen the laws to protect women in Malaysia.

“We saw 2,252 women, who were victims of human trafficking, rescued between 2008 and 2010 under the Anti-Human Trafficking and Anti-Migrant Smuggling Act,” she said.

However, she said improvement in policies and laws would not address the problem of domestic violence in a holistic manner without the enforcement of other mechanisms.

“Other initiatives, such as Talian Nur, the hotline to enable early intervention for victims of domestic violence, child abuse and natural disasters cases, have greatly boosted our efforts in trying to reduce these in Malaysia,” she said.

Malaysia, as a country that has ratified the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (Cedaw), was committed to support and take affirmative action which would ensure that women's rights continue to be protected, said Rosmah.

Posted on 12:00 | Categories:

App for Malaysian students get adjusted in Melbourne

A young Malaysian broadcast journalist has created an iPhone and iPad app to help newly-arrived Malaysian students make a smooth transition to life here.

The "Malaysia in Melbourne" app created by Juliet John, among others highlighted the services and events held at the Malaysian Consulate and information on affordable restaurants and shops that sell Malaysian groceries, including halal eateries and outlets.

It would be launched next March for free.

John, who holds a Masters degree in Global Media and Communications from the University of Melbourne and a Bachelor of Psychology from the University of South Australia, is the head of public relations at MELVIA, an app and game development studio here.

She said many Malaysian students felt lost after arriving here, and hoped her iPhone and iPad app could help them to get adjusted well in Australia.

"Many don't get to experience the Australian way of life because they are young, shy and timid to venture out with Australian friends.
Posted on 09:00 | Categories:

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Government launches big bike initiative earlier to further combat crime

The Government has implemented the police motorcycle patrol initiative to further combat crime, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

The Prime Minister said it was introduced to show the Government's commitment and seriousness in fighting crime.

“We are launching the police motorcycle patrol, involving 560 motorcycles, in housing estates, covering four states, 20 districts and 49 housing areas,” he said.

Najib wanted the initiative launched before the year ended, although the RM20mil initiative was slated for implementation under Budget 2013.

The motorcycle patrols, he said, would help reduce crime in housing areas and enable the police to respond faster to distress calls.

“A review of the concept will be carried out in six months,” Najib said.

“And, if found to be effective, the Government will increase the number of motorcycle patrols without the need to wait for additional allocation under Budget 2014,” he said at the launch in conjunction with the United Against Crime police community programme at Bandar Kinrara here yesterday.

Nine investors sue Genneva for fraud

Nine investors have filed a suit in the High Court here against Genneva Malaysia Sdn Bhd and four others for misrepresentation and fraud.

Lawyer Mohamed Siddiq Azani, representing the nine investors, told reporters here Thursday that his clients are claiming RM2mil that they have invested.

He said his clients are suing for misrepresentation by the four defendants on the pretext that the scheme was shariah-compliant.

They have named Genneva and its directors Tengku Muhaini Sultan Ahmad Shah, Philip Lim Jit Meng, Ahmad Khairuddin Ilias and Tan Liang Keat as defendants in the suit.

Source : TheStar
Posted on 18:00 | Categories:

Body of Malaysian shot dead in Philippines buried

The body of a Malaysian militant who was shot dead in Davao, Philippines was buried Thursday at the Kampung Parit Haji Abdul Rahman Muslim Cemetery, in Benut.

The remains of Mohd Noor Fikrie Abd Kahar, 26, were buried at about 7am, attended by almost a 100 relatives and friends during a light drizzle.

The body had arrived at the Masjid Jamek Temenggong Daeng Abdul Rahman, Benut at about 5.30am.

Mohd Noor Fikrie's body was flown from Davao at about 9pm Wednesday and arrived at the KL International Airport at about 1am.

Meanwhile Mohd Noor Fikrie's father, Abd Kahar Sirun, 53, thanked the Malaysian government for having made arrangements to bring back the body of the eldest of his four children.

The media had previously reported that Mohd Noor Fikrie was shot dead by Philippine police at a hotel in Davao last Friday, after struggling with the police who wanted to check the sling bag containing a home-made bomb carried by his wife.

Posted on 15:00 | Categories:

Freeze on AES court cases

The Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) has freezed all court proceedings related to summonses issued under the Automated Enforce-ment System (AES).

This is to allow time for the Chambers to study legal concerns that were raised in these cases, it said in a statement yesterday.

Nevertheless, it maintained that the AES summonses issued by the Road Transport Department were valid.

“However, in view of the concerns expressed by certain quarters on the law and other technicalities, the AGC has decided to look into this matter and directed that all proceedings be withheld until the concerns have been addressed.

“A decision will be made within the next few days on the above mentioned issues,” the statement added.

In respect of the four AES summons cases that have been discharged not amounting to an acquittal, the AGC said they would be re-studied and re-registered if they warranted any prosecution.
Posted on 12:00 | Categories:

Huge gambling slot machines draw punters to illegal centres

GEORGE TOWN: Some video games arcades in Penang are doubling as mini casinos where punters can try their luck on huge gambling slot machines.

One, in Bandar Baru Air Itam here, looks just like any other video games arcade as children, women and the elderly can be seen having a fun time inside the premises.

But it turns out that the main draw at the place are the huge slot machines which can be played by six punters at a time.

For RM10, a punter is given 20 tokens worth 100 credits to gamble with.

At one machine, punters earn credits if they are able to hit targets.

A check revealed that several video games arcades and amusement centres here as well as in Sungai Nibong, Macalister Road and Bandar Baru Air Itam have such slot machines apart from the usual video games for children.

Some even have snooker tables and indoor golf simulation games to make them one-stop entertainment outlets.
Posted on 09:00 | Categories:

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

No riot in Sg Petani

SUNGAI PETANI: Kedah police have refuted a rumour that a riot had taken place here and a curfew had been imposed on the township since Sunday.

In a midnight press conference, state police deputy chief Senior Asst Comm Datuk Abdul Ghafar Rajab said that there was no such incident.

He said the rumour was spread through the social media and police had detected postings on Facebook and Twitter after a purported video of the incident was uploaded on YouTube yesterday.

“It is the work of irresponsible quarters. The public order in Sungai Petani is under control,” said SAC Abdul Ghafar.

Posted on 21:00 | Categories:

Philippine police ready to release Fikrie’s body

Philippine police are ready to release the body of suspected Jemaah Islamiyah bomber Mohd Noor Fikrie Abd Kahar, who was gunned down in Davao City recently.

Its city police chief Senior Supt Ronald de la Rosa said police were expecting Mohd Noor Fikrie's family to claim the body yesterday.

“We are ready to release the body. We expected the family to arrive and claim the body today but they have not,” he said yesterday.

Mohd Noor Fikrie from Kedah, was killed in Davao city on Friday night after he threatened to blow up an explosive device in a rucksack.

He was identified based on a Malaysian passport on him while his Philippine wife, Annabel Nieva Lee, a native of Sorsogon, was arrested. Since the failed terror plot on Friday night, de la Rosa explained local police have been working closely with their Malaysian counterparts.
Posted on 18:00 | Categories:

Police Ninjas to roll out today

Housing areas in six states under the National Key Result Area (NKRA) initiative will soon be hearing the roar of motorcycles, thanks to 1,000 high-powered vehicles allocated to patrol these estates.

Federal Police NKRA Secretariat chief Datuk Wira Ayub Yaakob said the first batch of 560 Kawasaki Ninja 250 (STD) X machines would be deployed after its launch today.

"The motorcycle patrol units will monitor housing areas in six states under the NKRA initiative, namely the Federal Territories, Selangor, Johor, Perak, Penang and Kedah.

"The second batch will be rolled out early next year. If successful, this effort will be expanded nationwide," Ayub said during the rehearsal prior to the launch in Bandar Kinrara yesterday.

The RM20 million purchase was announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak during the unveiling of the 2013 Budget in September.

The patrol unit will comprise 50 officers and 950 men from police contingents in the six states. Five women were also among the 560 in the first batch.
Posted on 15:00 | Categories:

90% of public services online by 2015

Ninety percent of the services provided by civil servants will be implemented online by the year 2015, said Chief Secretary to the Government (KSN) Datuk Seri Dr Ali Hamsa.

He said the innovation, emphasised under the National Key Economic Area (NKEA), besides reducing official intervention, would also reduce the opportunity or space for corruption and power abuse.

"With the online services provided, it will be more convenient for the people to deal with the government.

"As such, each department and agency must ensure that the target set for 2015 is achieved by studying and developing the online application system concerned beginning now," he said when launching the Innovations Day of the Prime Minister's Department 2012 at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC) on Tuesday.

Ali pointed out that in realising the government's aspiration, all civil servants must ensure that there was no leakage of documents at the government level.

He said civil servants must understand the responsibility of ensuring that the security aspect continued to be given priority although electronic equipment was used as the medium in channelling communication and information delivery.
Posted on 12:00 | Categories:

Customs confiscates 300,000 Erimin-5 pills worth RM6mil shipped from Taiwan at KLIA

Customs officers seized almost 300,000 Erimin-5 pills, with a street value of about RM6mil, which were shipped to Malaysia from Taiwan in crates declared as surgical gloves.

“My men ran through the contents of the boxes and found they did not contain surgical gloves, as stated.

“Upon closer inspection, we confirmed the contents as Erimin-5 pills,” Customs assistant director (narcotics) Liah Omar said at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport cargo section here yesterday.

He said it was the second largest seizure of Erimin-5 pills at the KLIA cargo section this year.

Liah added that his men had been on alert for the goods following a tip-off that there were attempts by a syndicate to bring in the drugs from Taiwan.

He said they had nabbed a 36-year-old man, who was tailed from the KLIA to Yong Peng in Johor, after he took delivery of the goods in a van at the cargo section here.

“He had tried to flee on foot after he was cornered by Customs officers at an oil palm plantation,” said Liah, adding that the arrest was made at about 9.30pm on Dec 13.
Posted on 09:00 | Categories:

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Noor Fikrie’s chilling messages before his death

Mohd Noor Fikrie Abd Kahar purportedly wrote a series of chilling messages about welcoming death in an online forum a day before he left on a terror mission in the Philippines.

The 26-year-old was reported by a local Malay daily to be a member of a local online forum, writing under the name “gooddjinn”.

According to information in local web portal, which hosts the “Religious Talk” forum, the user gooddjinn had posted 11 messages on April 26, during which the writer spoke about fighting Islam's enemies.

“Death is a friend. It follows you even when you have forgotten about it. Get to know it before it comes to you.

“It is for the martyred Muslim the final resting place, where his weariness in his fight in the way of Allah will be eased,” read one of the postings.

Mohd Noor Fikrie had left Malaysia via Sandakan the next day, staying in southern Zamboanga City before moving to Cotabato City in Mindanao and then to Davao.
Posted on 21:00 | Categories: