Thursday, 30 January 2014

Ten major outlets offering price cuts

Ten major supermarkets and hypermarkets nationwide will reduce prices of 4,000 selected products by up to 70% to ease the burden of the rakyat due to the rising cost of living.

“Today, we are laun­ching a Price Reduction Campaign and 10 major companies with 955 outlets nationwide will participate,” Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said when launching the campaign at AEON Balakong here yesterday.

He said that discounts of between 15% and 70% would be offered on some 4,000 selected products for a period of six months.

“The price reductions are big and this will surely be felt and enjoyed by the rakyat,” he said, adding that the exercise is part of the Govern­ment’s effort to cushion the rising cost of living.

The companies participating in the campaign are AEON, AEON BIG, Econosave, Mydin, NSK, 99 Speed­mart, Sego Fresh Mart, Giant, KK Mart and Tesco.

Among the 4,000 on the reduced-priced list are fresh produce, frozen food, dried food, canned food, drinks, baby and children products and non-food items.

“As an open economy, Malaysia is surely exposed to external factors that are beyond our control.

“The issue of rising prices must be tackled by all quarters as it was be­­yond one’s control, including that of the Government,” he said.

Najib said mandarin oranges from China were costing more this Chi­nese New Year as poor weather in China had greatly reduced the supply of the item.

“From what I had gathered, similar oranges imported from Pakistan are being sold two ringgit cheaper than those from China.

“I am giving this as an example so that consumers will make informed decisions,” he added.
Posted on 10:36 | Categories:

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Robbers hijack security van and flee with RM3.4mil

A security van carrying RM3.4mil was hijacked by a gang of robbers at a petrol station near Ijok, Batang Berjuntai, here.

It is believed that the van, manned by four guards, stopped at the station at about 9.50am yesterday to replenish money at the petrol station’s ATM when their vehicle was blocked by a Nissan van and two men on a motorcycle.

Sources said between four and six men alighted from the van and tied up the guards, enabling the motorcyclists to drive the security van away.

Kuala Selangor OCPD Supt Mohd Taib Ahmad said initial investigations revealed that the suspects drove the security van to an oil palm plantation at Bukit Badong.

“We believe the suspects forced all four security guards to get off the vehicle before unloading nine bags of money from the van and taking the guards’ pump guns. They were all wearing full-faced helmets.

“The gang then set the van ablaze before escaping with the loot in their van,” he said.

He added that two of the security guards were scalded by the fire and were sent to the Tanjung Karang Hospital for treatment.

They are in stable condition.

A Bukit Berjuntai Fire and Rescue Department source said they received the distress call at 9.58am and five firefighters were sent to the scene to contain the fire.

The firefighters managed to put out the fire by 10.47am.


Posted on 12:24 | Categories:

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Sulu invaders' 'white flag' came at gunpoint

A Sulu intruder held a stick with a white paper attached to it while two others flanking him pointed their guns at two police commandos at an oil palm estate in Kampung Tanduo, the High Court here heard.

Police VAT 69 commando Kpl Azman Ampong said he was not sure what the intruders were trying to signal with the A4-sized paper when they approached him and Kpl Mohd Tarmizi Hashim.

Kpl Azman said this when replying to defence counsel Datuk N. Sivanathan on whether the armed men were trying to surrender, since they had brought a “white flag” and walked towards the security forces at that time.

“I am not sure what their intentions were because although one of the armed men had brought the stick with the white paper attached to it, two other men on his left and right sides were pointing their guns at us,” he said at the trial of 30 men involved in the Feb 12 incursion into Kampung Tanduo in Lahad Datu last year.

The encounter occurred before a breakout of shootings at about 10am on March 1, 2013.

The trial was held at a hall declared as a High Court room at the Kepayan Prison.

Testifying before High Court Judge Stephen Chung, Kpl Azman said he fully understood that a “white flag” was an indication of an enemy willing to surrender.

Asked whether they had received orders to attack the gunmen after the first gunshot was fired, he said they had not.

“When the shots were fired by the enemies, I informed my team leader DSP Anuar of the confrontation and he asked us to retreat,” said Kpl Azman, reiterating that they had been briefed earlier to exercise maximum restraint.

Kpl Azman said he and his partner decided to retaliate when they were shot at, adding that a call for assistance was made via walkie-talkie immediately after that.

Twenty-two of the 30 accused, including two Malaysians, are being jointly tried on a charge of waging war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and being members of a terrorist group.

One of them faces two additional charges of recruiting members for a terrorist group and harbouring individuals believed to be members of a terrorist group.

Five of the accused are charged with being members of a terrorist group, while another, a Malaysian woman, is accused of harbouring individuals believed to be members of a terrorist group.

Two others are charged with attempting to harbour individuals believed to be members of a terrorist group.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Philippines advises illegal Filipino workers in Malaysia to leave voluntarily

Philippine Labour Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz has advised illegal Filipino workers in Malaysia to seek assistance from its Overseas Labour Office and voluntarily leave the country, following the crackdown on undocumented foreign nationals, the Inquirer reported Monday.

She stressed that those with complete and authentic immigration documents should not panic.

"Our office in Malaysia is ready to assist those who may not only have documentation problems but also problems arising from their work," the news portal reported her saying.

She also reminded Filipinos employed legally to always carry their work permits or passports with a valid visa with them, in case of spot immigration checks.

Citing reports from the Philippine Embassy, Baldoz said Malaysian authorities had indicated that those leaving voluntarily would not be prosecuted but would only have to pay fines for overstaying.

Those arrested will undergo deportation proceedings and will be detained for the time being.

The Home Ministry launched the large-scale Ops 6P on Jan 21 to flush out illegal foreign workers.

Posted on 11:25 | Categories:

Friday, 24 January 2014

No more lame excuses

Motorists who commit serious offences during the 15-day Ops Selamat beginning today will not escape traffic summonses even if they apologise profusely or offer other cooked-up excuses.

Police and Road Transport Department (JPJ) enforcement officers have been directed not to entertain appeals from errant motorists as the authorities attempt to reduce the number of road accidents and fatalities which have reached worrying levels.

Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Bakri Zinin said this was part of the “total enforcement” strategy to make the roads safer, especially during the festive period.

“Previously, we used to advocate and create awareness on the need for us to be extra careful on the road but these approaches were not effective in checking the high number of accidents and fatalities.

“We cannot allow motorists who endanger their lives as well as of other road users to escape by merely apologising or giving lame excuses,” he said after launching Ops Selamat at the Seremban R&R area on the North-South Expressway.

Also present were PLUS managing director Datuk Noorizah Abd Hamid, heads of several other enforcement agencies including JPJ and Road Safety Department and Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research officials.

Serious offences include speeding, beating the traffic light, overtaking along double lines, driving on the emergency lane and jumping queue.

Bakri also advised those going on long holidays during the festive period to notify the police if they were leaving their homes unoccupied.

“They can either do so using the Rakan Cop line or inform us online through the PDRM portal,” he said adding that policemen would also be making more regular patrols during the period.

Earlier, Noorizah said the highway concessionaire would issue its travel time advisory on Monday so that motorists could better plan their journeys during the festive period.

She said the number of vehicles on PLUS highways was expected to increase from 1.2 million on a normal day to 1.5 million during the period.

“Since most Malaysians will start travelling between Jan 29 and 31 and return beginning Feb 1 and 9, we are confident that the advisory will help distribute traffic accordingly, thus allowing for smoother travel,” she said.v

Posted on 10:16 | Categories:

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Over a thousand immigrants detained on first day of ops

 A total of 1,565 immigrants were detained for various immigration offences on the first day of the crackdown against illegals.

Among them were 695 Indonesians, 225 Bangladeshis and 157 Myanmars who were arrested along with nationals from other Asian countries and Nigeria.

The authorities checked on the status of 6,149 immigrants in 107 operations yesterday, Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi told reporters at the Police Training Centre here.

He advised employers whose legitimate workers were arrested during the crackdown to come forward and produce their work permits to get them released.

His ministry launched a special three-month programme on Oct 21 last year to allow employers claiming to have been cheated by employment agents to register their illegal workers and apply for them to be legalised, or to sort out any documentation that was pending.

This was after the 6P Illegal Immigrant Comprehensive Settlement Programme, launched in June 2011, where about 1.3 million of the estimated two million foreigner workers were registered. But a large number did not come back for further processing.

The ongoing roundup of illegals which began at the stroke of midnight follows the crackdown last September, where some 17,180 foreigner s and 223 employers were detained.

Earlier during an operation at an oil palm estate in Sepang at about 2am, Dr Ahmad Zahid told reporters that foreign workers without the required documentation would be deported within seven days of their arrest.

He said the Ops 6P Bersepadu would be carried o ut until all illegal foreign workers were flushed out of the country.

Posted on 10:44 | Categories:

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Marketing personnel rescued his friends with his ability

BALIK PULAU: Marketing personnel Muhammad Nazirul Waziri thought he would drown when his struggling colleagues pushed his head into the water to stay afloat.

But his life-saving ability and experience as a member of the Civil Defence Department taught him to be alert and stay calm during the critical moment.

Muhammad Nazirul, 22, said he managed to pull three of his colleagues to safety and the body of P. Yogambigai, 24, to the shore.

 He said he immediately sprang into action upon learning that six of his colleagues were facing difficulties while swimming off the Pantai Kerachut coast in Teluk Bahang on Saturday.

B. Gopinathan, 22, was actually the first to jump into the water to help but he got into difficulties himself.

Muhammad Nazirul added that he then swam towards Gopinathan and Norhayati Nasrul as they were nearest to shore, and tried to help them while a third colleague Nurain Nabilah Mokhtar was a distance away.

“I tried to hold my breath and kept telling Gopinathan and Norhayati to stay calm. I told them that they were safe but they still struggled, and pushed my head under the water to stay afloat.

“Luckily, they managed to regain their composure and I managed to pull them ashore. I then went back to save Nurain and on my way to shore, I saw Yogambigai with her face down in the water and I knew something bad had happened,” he said when met at the site yesterday.

He added that he went back in again to retrieve Yogambigai’s body.

It was earlier reported that a team-building event organised by Prai-based Oriental Advertising turned tragic when five of the participants were swept away by strong waves.

The body of 23-year-old Ashwan-paljit Singh Charnjit Singh was found on Sunday several metres away from where he was swept away, some 24 hours after he went missing.

The site of the tragedy in Pantai Kerachut was a restricted zone to swimmers due to strong winds and unpredictable waves.

Muhammad Nazirul, who suffered cuts on the sole, was part of the search and rescue operation team looking for Ku Muhammad Ilyas Ku Abdul Halim, 19, who was feared drowned after going for a swim with four others.

Norhayati, 22, was discharged on Sunday night from the Penang Hospital while Nurain, 21, was still hospitalised in the intensive care unit.

Nurain’s mother, who declined to be named, said her daughter’s condition had improved since Saturday.

“Please pray for my daughter. The doctor had reduced the amount of sedative and she opened her eyes briefly when the doctor checked on her this morning. Her condition is stabilising but she is still drowsy and feverish,” she said at the hospital yesterday.

Posted on 12:18 | Categories:

Monday, 20 January 2014

Hagel praises Malaysia’s role in regional security

 The United States is increasing its bilateral military training exercises with Malaysia to strengthen regional defence capabilities.

Praising the country’s contribution towards regional security, Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel said Malaysia was an important partner for the United States in South-East Asia.

“Malaysia has contributed much towards regional security and defence, either on its own or via collaboration with its Asean partners,” said Hagel, after his meeting with Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein at the Pentagon in Washington on Saturday.

It was Hishammuddin’s first visit to the United States as Defence Minister.

The two men discussed a range of international security issues, including Afghanistan, North Korea, and the role of Asean in addressing regional security stability.

The secretary and the minister also talked about improving their defence relationship, including bilateral exercise and training opportunities and exploring defence trade cooperation.

Hishammuddin said bilateral military training and exercise would be increased to strengthen defence collaboration between the two countries, adding that it was important to build confidence in defence capabilities in the Asia-Pacific region.

The two defence leaders are expected to meet again during an informal US-Asean meeting in Hawaii in April.

Meanwhile, Hishammuddin also held talks with Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed, who is a senior member in the US military services committee.

Reed had, in 2002, voted against Resolution 114 to empower then President George Bush to attack Iraq.

Hishammuddin and Reed discussed regional security issues, as well as the impact of economic development on the stability of other nations.

The Star

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Sabah's interior cut off by flash floods

Flash floods hit five districts following two days of continuous downpour that cut off links at three major roads into Sabah’s interior.

The heavy rains also pushed water levels at the Babagon dam in Penampang to its maximum 130.5m, with sirens sounded to alert villagers to stay away from the overflowing river.

Incessant rain since Monday had caused flooding in Menggatal as well as the Penampang districts.

Floods were also reported in Kota Belud as well as in Tuaran district where a low-lying bridge was completely submerged by Sungai Tamparuli for several hours.

The rains also brought traffic heading into Sabah’s interior to a halt with landslides blocking the Penampang-Tambunan trunk road.

Sabah Public Works Department director Datuk John Anthony said landslips also occurred at four locations along the Menggatal-Kokol road.

A road collapse also cut off links between the Tamparuli and Kiulu districts, leaving about 40,000 people stranded.

Posted on 10:53 | Categories:

Monday, 13 January 2014

Number of evacuees increase in Kelantan

The number of flood victims in Kelantan, particularly in Rantau Panjang, rose to 1,423 Monday morning compared with 1,188 Sunday night.

According to the official portal of the state government, this was due to the continued increase of evacuees in Rantau Panjang to 1,224 compared with 979 Sunday night.

The evacuees, comprising 532 families, were from several villages in Rantau Panjang who were taken to eight relief centres.

In Tanah Merah, the number of evacuees dropped slightly to 199 compared with more than 200 people previously.

They comprised 54 families who were evacuated to five relief centres in Hulu Kusial, Jedok and Bukit Panau.

The water level at Sungai Golok, Rantau Panjang was reported to remain at 10.42m, exceeding the danger level of nine metres.

This resulted in the Rantau Panjang duty-free zone being inundated. Light vehicles are advised to avoid the area for the moment.

Two alternative roads, namely Jalan Rantau Panjang to Panglima Bayu heading to Jeli and Jalan Tanah Merah to Kusial have been closed to light traffic temporarily.

In KUANTAN, the number of flood victims at the evacuation centres in Pahang dropped to 57 compared with 136 Sunday evening.

According to a spokesman of the Flood Operations Room at the Pahang Contingent Police Headquarters, the Lipis district still had 50 evacuees from 13 families from six villages at two relief centres.

He said that in Jerantut, seven victims from two families were still staying at the relief centre at the Kampung Paya Teh Community Hall. - Bernama

Posted on 13:13 | Categories: