Malaysia Bagus News
PETALING JAYA: The Selangor government has decided to donate some RM2 million to three states that have been hit by floods recently – Pahang, Kelantan and Terengganu.
In announcing the special aid package today, Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari said RM1 million will be channelled to Pahang and RM500,000 each to Kelantan and Terengganu.
PETALING JAYA: A political analyst says Anwar Ibrahim’s move to challenge the proclamation of emergency in court gives the perception that the opposition leader prioritises politics over the people’s welfare.
Azmi Hassan, formerly of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, said the opposition has only been criticising the government’s management of the pandemic without offering solutions on how to better manage the crisis.
“In the US, when Joe Biden criticises Donald Trump over the pandemic, Biden gives alternative suggestions. That’s what the people want, the opposition’s alternatives.
“But, sadly, that hope has not been made use of by Anwar. Is the opposition also clueless about how to manage the pandemic?” he told reporters.
Azmi said Anwar’s decision to challenge the emergency proclamation in court was akin to challenging the wisdom of the King. “But if the strategy is to plead with the Agong (to rescind the proclamation), that’s acceptable.”
He acknowledged that the proclamation of emergency might have a political element to it, with the aim of preserving the government, but said the opposition was also at fault over its calls for Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to resign.
“Why didn’t they raise the same issue when an emergency was proclaimed in Batu Sapi and Gerik? The reason is similar, which is to delay the by-elections in order to prevent the pandemic situation from worsening,” he said.
Anwar had recently written to all MPs, urging them to write to the King to plead with him to revoke the proclamation and call for a parliamentary sitting as soon as possible.
He had expressed hope that the King would consider their request to revoke the order and direct a Parliament sitting before Jan 31 to debate the need for an emergency and matters related to Covid-19 and the economic crisis.
Later, he said he would take the government to court to challenge the emergency, describing it as an “egregious abuse of power”.
On Jan 12, the King declared an emergency on the advice of the prime minister to last until Aug 1, or an earlier date, depending on the Covid-19 situation. This came a day before the second movement control order was enforced.
PETALING JAYA: Umno Supreme Council member Tajuddin Abdul Rahman has tested positive for Covid-19.
The Pasir Salak MP is the latest Umno leader to contract the virus, after Padang Rengas MP Nazri Aziz revealed he tested positive yesterday.
“Those who came into close contact with him (Tajuddin) should take a Covid-19 test. Dato Seri Tajuddin apologises for any inconvenience and thanks everyone for their prayers,” a post on Facebook said.
Last week, Nazri and Tajuddin held a press conference, criticising the emergency proclamation, at Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) in Kuala Lumpur.
Blogger Zaharin Mohd Yasin, 68, who attended the event, posted on Facebook on Jan 14 that he had tested positive for Covid-19. This prompted Nazri to take the Covid-19 test.
Among those reported to have tested positive for Covid-19 recently are national unity minister Halimah Sadique, minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (economy) Mustapa Mohamed, women, family and community development minister Rina Harun; home minister Hamzah Zainudin, deputy communications and multimedia minister Zahidi Zainul Abidin, and Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.
JOHOR BAHRU: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has arrested three more Malaysian Quarantine Inspection Services (Maqis) enforcement officers in Johor over the meat cartel scandal.
According to an MACC source, the trio, aged 40 to 55, are suspected of accepting bribes for the import of meat not authorised by the Veterinary Services Department.
The suspects were brought to the Johor Bahru Magistrates’ Court this morning, where they were remanded for five days.
Johor MACC director Azmi Alias confirmed the arrests but declined to comment further.
The arrests follow those of two Johor Maqis officers on Jan 7, who were also suspected of accepting bribes for smuggling in frozen meat from banned source countries.
PETALING JAYA: The Child Act has a provision to separate children from adults when held in lock-ups but the police are not strict in enforcing the law, says a rights group.
Srividya Ganapathy, a lawyer and co-chair of the Child Rights Innovation and Betterment Foundation, said Section 85 of the law states that the child, if a girl, must be under the care of a woman while under police custody.
This means there must be a policewoman in a police station to look into the welfare of female minors held in custody.
“Sad to say, the police are lax in enforcing the law that was passed 20 years ago when children are under their custody,” she said.
Srividya said this in response to a case where a 16-year-old girl was allegedly raped by another inmate while being held in a police lock-up in the Miri police station on Jan 9.
The case, highlighted by DAP senator Alan Ling, allegedly took place a day after the teenager was picked up in a gambling raid.
Srividya said the situation was also no better when children were brought to courts as their identities were exposed to the media.
Lawyer Baljit Sidhu said the law also allowed for the appointment of protectors, that included social welfare officers, to look into the plight of children who were held for criminal investigation.
“The police or the protector should liaise with each other to ensure a girl is kept in a welfare home when a lock-up is not conducive for detention,” he added.
Baljit who is a Bar Council criminal law committee member, revealed that only a few lock-ups in police stations nationwide were gazetted to detain children.
“In Jinjang police station, children and adults were put in the same facility but in different lock-ups,” Baljit said adding that policemen, particularly the officers in charge of police stations, also need to be sensitised.
Baljit hopes the Miri incident would be an eye opener to the government to ensure that sexual assault on children never happened in police lock-ups.
Lawyer M Viswanathan said there was no necessity for the police to detain the girl for an alleged gambling offence. “She could have been freed on a bond and sent home or kept in a welfare home pending the completion of the investigation,” he said.
Visvanathan said those who abetted in the crime should also be prosecuted. He said the girl’s family could sue the police for negligence and assault.
Miri police chief Hakemal Hawari said a detainee has been charged with rape at a Sessions Court.
PETALING JAYA: An MP has urged the government to explain its plans for home-based learning following the closure of schools, including when it will deliver on the 150,000 laptops promised in the federal budget.
In a statement, Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching said with only one Covid-19 green zone left in Peninsular Malaysia, home-based learning is inevitable.
The education ministry recently announced all students in primary and secondary schools are to stay at home and follow online classes from Jan 20.
The former deputy education minister said Putrajaya previously announced government-linked companies would contribute RM150 million for the provision of laptops to 150,000 students in 500 schools.
She said an education ministry survey involving 670,000 parents last year found 36.9% of some 900,000 students did not own any device to follow online lessons.
“To ensure home-based learning can be carried out effectively, the education ministry should explain to the parents especially those from B40 when these 150,000 laptops will be ready and distributed to the students.”
Teo also said students should be provided with both hard copies of textbooks on top of digital textbooks as many did not have access to digital devices.
“Even for those with digital devices, prolonged usage is not advisable for young children.
“Parents and students should be given the option to collect textbooks from school for their home-based learning.”
She said the ministry should realise there was no “one-size-fits-all” approach and must take into consideration differing income levels and digital gaps across the country.
IPOH: Three men were charged in the Magistrates’ Court here today with hacking a man to death with a parang last month.
N Avinesh Sarma, 21, S Linggeshwaran, 23, and P Sivaraman, 33, along with two others still at large, were charged with killing Arun Krishnan in a forest near the Ladang Tanjung Rambutan temple on Dec 31.
No plea was recorded.
If convicted under Section 302 of the Penal Code, they will face the mandatory death sentence.
Deputy public prosecutor Fatimah Hannah Abd Wahab prosecuted, while the trio were represented by Shahrul Nizam Mohd Rabi and C Kaladevi.
Magistrate Noor Azreen Liana Mohd Darus fixed March 18 for re-mention to allow for the post mortem results and chemical report to be handed over to the prosecution.
On Jan 1, it was a reported that the body of a man with 12 police records, including two linked to murder, was found with slash woulds to his hands and torso in a forest near a temple.
PETALING JAYA: The Perak government has ordered all quarrying work near the Tanjung Batu waterfall in Segari to be stopped immediately following reports that it has caused the near destruction of the popular tourist spot.
In a statement, Menteri Besar Saarani Mohamad said the government has also instructed the forestry and environment departments to investigate the matter.
“Menteri Besar Incorporated (MIB Inc) has been asked to prepare a detailed report on the quarrying activities,” he said.
Yesterday, residents and an environmental group urged the government to stop the quarrying activities which are reportedly being carried out by an MIB Inc-appointed contractor. The quarrying began last July.
The environmental group, Friends of the Earth Activists Association (Kuasa), also wants the state to gazette the entire forest reserve as a state park.
PETALING JAYA: Banks will continue to extend repayment assistance, including an extension of the moratorium where applicable, to those affected by the latest movement control order (MCO) imposed on a number of states and federal territories.
In a joint statement, the Association of Banks in Malaysia (ABM) and Association of Islamic Banking and Financial Institutions Malaysia (AIBIM) said the industry is ready to assist its borrowers and customers.
Extensions will apply to all previously announced Targeted Repayment Assistance schemes. Those who have lost their jobs in 2020 or 2021 may apply for payment relief for three months any time before the end of June.
The banks said anyone who had suffered a loss of income due to the pandemic but are still employed may apply to lower their instalment amounts in line with their reduction in income.
For M40 borrowers registered under the Bantuan Prihatin Nasional scheme and whose household incomes have been reduced due to the pandemic, banks will accept the borrower’s self-declaration as evidence of reduced household incomes.
Borrowers in the B40 category registered in the Bantuan Sara Hidup or Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat database may request for a three-month deferment of instalment, or pay only half of their instalments for a period of six months.
Microenterprises with loans or financing where the original principal amount is under RM150,000 may also request for the same relief as that of the B40 group.
These assistance plans are applicable for loans approved before Oct 1, 2020 and are not in arrears for more than 90 days when the request is submitted.
The associations said all other customers and borrowers seeking assistance are welcome to contact their banks to discuss suitable alternative plans that meet their needs.
ABM chairman Abdul Farid Alias said banks remain committed to helping customers who continue to face challenges in the current environment.
“We are able to customise our financial assistance schemes to the specific circumstances of the borrowers so that they can quickly stabilise their financial situation and focus on other aspects of their lives which may need more pressing attention.”
AIBIM president Adissadikin Ali said he is confident the country and industry is well prepared to deal with the current challenges.
“The communication between the affected customers and banks must continue to happen to ensure the benefit for both parties. The payment assistance is still available for those affected.”
As of Dec 31, 2020, 95% of the 1.3 million applications for repayment assistance had been approved.
PETALING JAYA: Barbers have been left high and dry by Putrajaya’s decision not to allow them to operate during the second movement control order (MCO 2.0).
This has left them without a source of income, yet again.
Hanif Harun, 30, who had only opened his barber shop four months ago in Tanjung Karang, Selangor, said he was facing an uncertain future.
His concern is not just for himself but his six workers, who depend on commissions and a salary from him.
“Since I’ve only just started operating, I haven’t seen any profit yet. We’ve just started getting regular customers and then this MCO happened.
“If we don’t open for business, how are my workers going to survive? I may have to use my own money to help them,” he told reporters.
Hanif said he may be able to survive if the MCO only lasts two weeks, but he feared the lockdown would be extended.
“I need RM8,000 every month for my operational costs. I’m really hoping that after these 14 days some leeway will be given by the government and we will be allowed to operate again.”
MCO 2.0 was enforced on Wednesday in six states, including Selangor, which has been recording the highest number of daily Covid-19 cases, reporting 1,036 infections yesterday.
The MCO sees restrictions on interstate and inter-district movements, with several economic sectors not allowed to operate until Jan 26 at least.
TN Winda Tahir, president of the Malaysian Bumiputera Barbers Association, acknowledged the need for strong action to combat Covid-19 but expressed surprise and disappointment at Putrajaya’s decision not to allow hairdressers to operate.
He said barbers had yet to recover from the economic effects of the first lockdown.
“Maybe they can limit the operating hours or for haircuts to be arranged by appointment only. Barbers have been complying well with the standard operating procedures,” he told reporters.
He said operators still have to bear the high cost of rentals and have yet to receive any specific aid from the government.
Winda was also concerned that barbers may accept customers’ requests for a haircut at their houses, as was done by some last year. This would increase the risk of barbers transmitting the Covid-19 virus, he said.
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