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Malaysia's MYEG Services Bhd said on Wednesday it had developed a coronavirus risk-profiling system for visitors from China and was offering the artificial intelligence-based service to the governments of Malaysia and the Philippines.
Malaysia has imposed a temporary ban on visitors from Chinese provinces placed on lockdown by the China's government, in a bid to stem the spread of the virus. Malaysia has reported 22 infections, and the Philippines has reported three confirmed cases including one death.
MYEG Services Bhd said its system creates a health-risk profile using a person's historical geolocation information and other parameters. MYEG has partnered with Beijing-based travel agency Phoenix Travel Worldwide for the project.
The fully-automated system analyses a "vast number of available data points, including visitors' previous known whereabouts as well as heart rate and blood pressure readings crossed-referenced against public transportation ridership and exposure to locations with incidences of infections," MYEG said in a statement to the stock exchange.
"In addition, the system provides ongoing engagement with the visitor within the country, thus enabling health authorities to be alerted of any anomalies and to take immediate appropriate measures such as in the event that evacuation or quarantine of affected persons are necessary."
PUTRAJAYA - As Malaysia continues to show improvement in the Covid-19 situation, the Health Minister has reminded the people to keep alert.
Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said the situation in neighbouring Singapore was still serious.
"While we express our gratitude over the improving situation in our country, we also thank and congratulate all the ministry's staff for their hard work in managing Covid-19.
"At the same time, I want to remind everyone that we should never be complacent. Singapore is facing a more severe situation than us," he said.
Dzulkefly said a joint working group had already been set up with Singapore.
"We will continue discussing several issues.... The people must continue maintaining personal hygiene and not take for granted the importance of washing and sanitising their hands," Dzulkefly said.
"If you have symptoms such as flu, fever or shortness of breath, please seek medical help."
Dzulkefly also announced that two Malaysian Covid-19 patients had recovered and discharged, bringing the total number of recovered patients in the country to 15.
Following the two recoveries, only seven Covid-19 cases are still being treated in hospitals.
With no new Covid-19 cases, the total confirmed cases in Malaysia remains at 22 cases.
Meanwhile, Dzulkefly launched a "Virtual Health Advisory" online platform created to disseminate information and reduce public misinformation on Covid-19.
The portal, accessible via www.moh.gov.my or www.doctoroncall.my/coronavirus, is set up by the ministry and digital telemedicine platform DoctorOnCall.
The public can search for verified and credible written articles about Covid-19, take self-assessment tests as well as chat with doctors to clarify their symptoms.
SEPANG - Investigations into the murder of a businessman has led to the arrest of his son and daughter-in-law.
The couple were apprehended by police on Feb 17 in Taman Puchong Perdana by Subang Jaya police.
Both have been remanded until Feb 24.
"We are still investigating the motive and we have not found any weapon," Selangor CID chief Senior Asst Comm Datuk Fadzil Ahmat said after a handing-over of duties ceremony at the Sepang police headquarters yesterday.
Former Sepang police chief ACP Abdul Aziz Ali formally handed over the duties to his successor ACP Wan Kamarul Azran Wan Yusof.
The event was officiated by Selangor police chief Comm Datuk Noor Azam Jamaludin.
SAC Fadzil said the male suspect, aged 37, had two prior police records.
On Feb 14, a 65-year-old businessman died after he was believed to have been slashed by an unidentified individual on his way to perform Friday prayers.
It is learnt that the victim was attacked as he was passing the LRT Station at Puchong Perdana on his way to the mosque.
Meanwhile, ACP Abdul Aziz was in tears after one of his former subordinates saluted him for the last time, while thanking him for his five-year tenure.
"The crime index for 2019 in Sepang showed that the crime rate had reduced by 2.58 per cent and I would like to thank ACP Abdul Aziz for his hard work and also that of his men, " Comm Noor Azam said.
KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian police chief Abdul Hamid Bador said four police personnel have been arrested for allegedly extorting RM3 million (S$1 million) from a businessman, in exchange to cover up a drug-processing lab in Cheras on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur.
Tan Sri Abdul Hamid said police are in the midst of collecting evidence and facts on the case.
"Stern action will be taken against them if the evidence points out that the police personnel were involved. There will be no compromise," he told reporters after attending an event. "We will leave no stone unturned in the case."
Mr Abdul Hamid said police have yet to recover the RM3 million extortion money.
It was reported in the Malay Mail online news that the four police officers were an inspector, two detective corporals and a corporal who were attached to the Serious Crimes division of the Selangor Criminal Investigation Department (CID).
An informed source familiar with the case said the suspects were detained at the CID office at Selangor police headquarters in Shah Alam at 9.45am on Tuesday (Feb 18).
The source said the arrests were made by a special CID team from Kuala Lumpur police's serious crimes division that acted on an extortion report made at Salak South police station in Cheras on Monday (Feb 17) by a 49-year-old Taiwanese businessman, who was earlier arrested on drug charges.
The suspects, aged between 37 and 38, are seasoned policemen, with each having more than 12 years of service in the police force, according to the source.
The source also said the Taiwanese businessman was said to have been unhappy that he and several of his friends were arrested despite "paying off" the policemen.
TAMPIN - A mother's decision to leave her 10-month-old baby alone at home while she made a quick stop at the post office came back to haunt her, after the infant was killed in a fire.
Tampin deputy OCPD Deputy Supt Ahmad Pilus Zainal said the 31-year-old mother had put her baby to sleep in an electric cradle at their home in Kampung Bangkahulu and told a neighbour to keep an eye on her while she went to the Gemas post office.
"The mum left her baby at home around 10.30am and told a neighbour to keep watch in case the baby wakes up.
"However, the mother later received a call from the neighbour and was told that her house was ablaze," he said, adding that a policeman on duty at the Gemas police station also received a call of the fire from a member of the public around 11.50am.
DSP Ahmad Pilus said the mother immediately rushed to their rented home and saw that the house was ablaze.
"Her baby had also died in the incident," he said adding that her husband was on duty at the Syed Sirajuddin Army camp when the fire broke out.
He said the Fire and Rescue Department was investigating the cause of the blaze.
"For now, we have classified the baby's death as Sudden Death.
"We are still probing if the fire was an act of arson or caused by other factors," he added.
The victim's remains have been sent to the Tampin Hospital for a post-mortem.
Fugitive financier Low Taek Jho - more commonly known as Jho Low - was active in the now virus-stricken Chinese city of Wuhan, according to Malaysia's police chief.
"We previously received intelligence that he was hiding in Wuhan," Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador told reporters at a Wednesday press conference, adding that there was no new information on whether Low had left the city following the Covid-19 outbreak.
He went on to quip that if Low, who is wanted in connection with the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) corruption scandal, "happens to get the virus", he should "come to Malaysia, our health facilities are the best so far as nine patients have recovered to date".
Abdul Hamid, who had previously promised to bring Low back to Malaysia by Christmas last year, also insisted that he was on Interpol's Red List but not on the public listing.
"[Low is] the second category, only available to the enforcement agencies for action to be taken," he said.
The national police chief told the press late last year that the manhunt for Low had been scuppered by "dishonest" foreign state authorities who were protecting the fugitive.
"Among the excuses they gave include Jho Low apparently having changed his looks by undergoing facial surgery to look like a bear," he said at the time. "Sometimes when he walks, he looks like a [bear]. So when we look at him from behind, that is how he looks. Do you think this excuse [given by the authorities of the country Jho Low is hiding in] is logical?"
Low, who is wanted in several jurisdictions, has been on the run for more than a year. He is believed to have been hopping from one nation to another to evade the authorities while the man the Malaysian government has pinpointed as his co-conspirator - former prime minister Najib Razak - is on trial for more than 40 counts of graft and abuse of power.
The pilfered 1MDB funds - totalling some US$4.5 billion (S$6.3 billion) according to the United States and up to US$7 billion according to the administration of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad - were allegedly used to fund Hollywood films, purchase designer jewellery and handbags as well as paintings by Monet and Basquiat, and throw A-list celebrity parties.
Low's US$250 million superyacht Equanimity - which has since been seized, sold and renamed Tranquillity by its new owners - was also allegedly bought with the stolen money.
Low was long thought to have been hiding in China, although more recently it was discovered that he owned a now-revoked Cypriot passport received through an investment-for-citizenship scheme. The Caribbean island nation of Saint Kitts and Nevis has also revoked a passport issued to Low.
It is also believed that Low is circulating through the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, and his spokespeople have said he is in a country that "acts in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and European Convention on Human Rights" - a statement that came soon after Low in October caved to the US Department of Justice and agreed to return assets worth over US$700 million, including a private jet.
Meanwhile, Najib's corruption trial is ongoing, as is that of his wife Rosmah Mansor. The legal proceedings of the erstwhile power couple have turned up new revelations about alleged bribes, expedited government tenders and gifts of luxury watches.
During Najib's trial, witnesses and Najib's defence team have also described Low as a "puppet master" and "master manipulator".
Low has maintained his innocence, and his legal team have said he never held a formal position at 1MDB and had never been employed by the Malaysian government.
PETALING JAYA - Jovial pictures were posted on Facebook of the married couple from China who recently recovered from Covid-19 and was discharged from a hospital in Johor Baru.
In some of the pictures, the couple, who were the seventh and eighth confirmed Covid-19 cases in the country, were displaying the thumbs-up sign while wearing hospital clothes and posing alongside healthcare professionals.
Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, who shared the pictures on his Facebook account, said the couple was discharged from Hospital Permai in Johor on Tuesday evening (Feb 18).
"A picture is worth a thousand words. A cheerful and blessed moment for case number seven and his wife case number eight, (who were) discharged this evening," he said in his post.
Dr Noor Hisham said the husband was admitted into the hospital on Jan 27, and his condition had worsened due to severe hypoxia on the third day of his hospital stay.
Chest radiography, he added, showed that he had worsening pneumonia and he had to be started on medications and had even required a high flow oxygen mask when he deteriorated further.
"On day nine of his treatment, he showed remarkable improvement, weaning off the oxygen requirement until he was tested negative for Covid-19 twice, and discharged," he wrote.
His wife, Dr Noor Hisham added, was diagnosed when she was screened due to close contact.
"She was initially asymptomatic at the time of screening. However symptoms appeared on the second day of her admission, namely dry cough and sore throat, though there was no fever," he said.
He added that although samples taken on Feb 5 were tested negative, she wished to stay on with her husband until he recovered.
"We repeated her samples again when her husband has fully recovered and the results were negative on two occasions," he said.
Dr Noor Hisham expressed his gratitude to the Health Ministry staff who worked tirelessly to handle the Covid-19 cases well.
He specifically thanked Dr Masliza Zaid, the Infection Disease Physician and her team; the state health director Dr Aman Rabu and his team; the medical staff and the Medivest cleaners who cleaned the isolation rooms.
"There are no more positive patients in Johor Baru. Alhamdulilah and God bless us all," he said.
The number of Covid-19 patients in Malaysia who has recovered and allowed to return home is 13.
The total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the country remains at 22, with nine patients still under treatment.
Out of the 22 cases, 15 are China nationals, six are Malaysians and one is an American.
KUALA LUMPUR - Datuk Seri Najib Razak had the power to veto ministerial-level decisions, a former Education Ministry secretary-general told the High Court here during Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor's corruption trial.
Tan Sri Dr Madinah Mohamad said Najib, who was also then finance minister, could still override her even if she exercised her discretion.
Madinah, who was under cross-examination by defence counsel Datuk Akberdin Abdul Kader, said this when explaining why Jepak Holdings' solar hybrid project was approved despite not meeting government guidelines.
"During direct negotiations, the guidelines should be followed but there exist situations where overriding decisions can be made by the Finance Minister under certain circumstances," she said.
Akberdin was questioning Madinah on why she signed a letter to ask the Finance Ministry to issue a Letter of Award (LOA) to grant Jepak Holdings the contract for the solar hybrid project.
The court had earlier heard that Madinah signed the LOA request letter on the last day of her service at the Education Ministry.
Madinah told the court that she did not have the power to disobey Najib's notes on a letter by Jepak Holdings on Nov 23, 2015 addressed to then education minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid to "agreed to implement".
Akberdin: You have the authority to disregard the orders?
Akberdin: Then, why are you making the U-turn today (in the witness statement)? "You complain about Jepak Holdings but here (in a memo written by Madinah) you supported the project?
Madinah: Back then as I have explained, I received instructions from Mahdzir to implement Najib's order so I forwarded the application to the Finance Ministry. The final decision then lies with the Finance Ministry and not the Education Ministry.
Akberdin then challenged Madinah on the contradiction between her witness statement and her actions.
Akberdin pointed out that Madinah, in her written statement, had said the diesel genset system was effective in providing electricity to the 369 rural schools in Sarawak that was earmarked for the solar hybrid project.
However, he said Madinah had on June 16, 2016 written a letter addressed to Mahdzir saying that the solar hybrid system was a better alternative.
Akberdin: Do you agree that today you said that the diesel genset is a better system but before you supported the solar hybrid system? Isn't that a contradiction?
Madinah: I disagree.
Akberdin: I am showing you that there is a contradiction. Before you supported solar hybrid system and now you support diesel genset.
"Based on that point there seems to be a contradiction," Madinah said before her explanation was cut off by Akberdin.
Akberdin then accused Madinah as having a vested interest in seeing the solar hybrid proposal being approved.
"You have vested interest that's why you absolutely (mati-matian) wanted the project to go through," said Akberdin, to which she disagreed.
He singled out a statement she made in court which said: "I informed the Finance Ministry that the implementation of this project was under Najib's orders and not from the Education Ministry's initiative."
Akberdin said the statement was made in bad faith, adding that Madinah placed the blame on Najib to mask her own shortcomings in performing her duties.
"You pin everything on the prime minister. When you are pushed into a corner, you find a scapegoat and push the blame on others," he said.
To this, Madinah disagreed.
Akberdin claimed that Madinah failed to fulfil her duties by not performing due diligence on Jepak Holdings' proposal, a claim she denied.
He added that Madinah did not brief Najib on the feasibility of the solar hybrid project, despite claiming in her witness statement that she did not see any tangible or intangible benefits of the project.
Akberdin: As an officer with the Education Ministry, did you take the initiative to write directly to the prime minister and explain to him that the project is not viable?
Madinah said that she instead told Najib verbally during a meeting at Parliament that the Education Ministry lacked the allocation to implement the project.
The trial before High Court judge Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan continues today.
PUTRAJAYA - Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has reiterated his commitment to step down after Malaysia hosts the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit. The Prime Minister said this three days ahead of the Pakatan Harapan presidential council meeting, which is expected to discuss the issue of power transition.
However, Dr Mahathir does not know if the date of power transition will be fixed at the Pakatan council meeting.
"I don't know (if the issue will be raised). I have said that I am ready to resign at any time when asked.
"But my promise to resign remains. Whatever the decision (by the presidential council), I will resign after the Apec meeting," he told reporters after launching the national anti-drug month here yesterday.
Malaysia has already started hosting a series of Apec-related meetings which will culminate in the November summit for leaders of member countries.
Asked if he would raise the issue at the presidential council meeting himself, Dr Mahathir said he would not.
"I'm going to be the chair," said the Prime Minister.
Last week, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said that in a meeting with Dr Mahathir, the latter had told him he would relinquish his position as Prime Minister as promised after the Apec Summit.
Anwar added that the issue of power transition would be discussed at the Pakatan presidential council on Friday.
PUTRAJAYA - The first confirmed Malaysian Covid-19 patient has recovered and has been discharged.
The 41-year-old from Selangor tested positive for the virus on Feb 3 and had been treated at the Sungai Buloh Hospital where he was put at an isolation ward.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said his recovery means that in Malaysia, a total of nine Covid-19 patients have recovered and were discharged.
"They underwent repeated Covid-19 tests, and found to be negative on two consecutive tests," said Dzulkefly in a statement here.
The man had no recent travel history to China. However, he had travelled to Singapore on a business trip from Jan 16 to Jan 23.
During the trip, he attended meetings which involved delegates who came from Wuhan in China, the epicentre of the outbreak.
On Jan 29, the man went to a private clinic in Selangor where he sought treatment for fever and cough.
He was then referred to the Sungai Buloh Hospital on Feb 2, and the following day, he tested positive for Covid-19.
Meanwhile, the man's 40-year-old sister and 65-year-old mother-in-law, who contracted the coronavirus from him over Chinese New Year, are in stable condition. The sister is currently in isolation at Hospital Sultanah Bahiyah in Kedah while the mother-in-law is treated at the Sungai Buloh Hospital.
Dzulkefly also said that there were no new Covid-19 cases in Malaysia, keeping the tally at 22 cases, with 13 still receiving treatment in hospitals.
Earlier Monday, Dzulkefly had a 15-minute telephone call with Cambodian Health Minister Mam Bunheng on the status of the American woman who tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Malaysia from Cambodia.
"I informed His Excellency regarding the improving health status of the US national patient. I have also informed that the patient underwent Covid-19 tests, and she was still found to be positive. We hope the health of the patient will continue to improve.
"Our ministry will work closely with all countries involved and with the World Health Organisation in the management of Covid-19 infection as well as coordinating information in implementing close contact tracing activities, " he said.
The 83-year-old American woman was a passenger of MS Westerdam, a cruise ship which had docked at Sihanoukville in Cambodia.
She arrived at KLIA on a Malaysia Airlines flight, which was chartered by the cruise ship company to bring several of its passengers from Cambodia to various destinations.
Upon arrival, the woman and her husband were found to be symptomatic and were then referred to the Sungai Buloh Hospital.
Her 85-year-old husband tested negative but remains in isolation at the hospital to be monitored.