Malaysia Bagus News
Meghan, Britain's Duchess of Sussex, has spoken about events following the death of George Floyd saying she was sorry that children had to grow up in a world where racism still existed and that current events in the United States were "devastating".
"I know you know that black lives matter," Meghan said in a video she recorded for students graduating from her old high school in Los Angeles which was aired on Wednesday.
The death of Floyd has become the latest flashpoint for long-simmering rage over police brutality against African Americans and led to nationwide protests, some violent, with curfews imposed in some cities to quell the disorder.
"For the past couple of weeks I've been planning on saying a few words to you for your graduation and as we've all seen over the last week what is happening in our country, and in our state and in our home town of LA is absolutely devastating," said Meghan, whose mother is African American and father is white.
"First thing I want to say to you is that I'm sorry, I'm so sorry that you have to grow up in a world where this is still present," she said in her message to the girls at the Immaculate Heart High School.
The duchess, a former US actress and wife of Queen Elizabeth's grandson Prince Harry, said she wanted to say "the right thing" and was nervous her words would be "picked apart".
"The only wrong thing to say is to say nothing. Because George Floyd's life mattered, and Breonna Taylor's life mattered, and Philando Castile's life mattered and Tamir Rice's life mattered and so did so many other people whose names we know, and whose names we do not know," she said.
Britain's royal family by tradition does not comment on political issues.
However, Meghan and Harry stepped down from their official royal roles at the end of March and are now living in Los Angeles with their baby son Archie.
In her message, the 38-year-old reflected on her own memories of the 1992 LA riots.
"Those memories don't go away and I can't imagine that at 17 or 18 years old, which is how old you are now, that you would have to have a different version of that same type of experience," she said.
"That's something you should have an understanding of, but an understanding of as a history lesson not as your reality.
"So I'm sorry that in a way we have not gotten the world to the place you deserve it to be."
The coronavirus spreading in New York is unlikely to have come directly from China, but from infected people travelling to the United States from Europe, according to a new study.
Researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York said genetic analysis of samples taken from 84 Covid-19 patients in the city showed “limited evidence” of direct introductions from China, where the virus was first identified at the end of last year.
In most cases, the source of the infection was “untracked transmission between the US and Europe”, according to the study, which was published in Science magazine last week.
“Notably, the majority of introductions appear to have been sourced from Europe and the USA,” it said.
While most cases probably originated from Italy, Finland, Spain and France and other European countries, local transmission is likely to have contributed to the early community spread of the coronavirus, the researchers said.
The study was based on analysis of viral genotypes collected from patients cared for under the Mount Sinai Health System – a hospital network in New York – between February 29 and March 18.
Scientists can roughly correlate how a virus spreads around the world by examining small mutations in its gene sequence as it is transmitted from person to person.
The American researchers said their study, which involved 44 women and 40 men aged from their 20s to their 80s, was the first to involve genetic analysis of samples collected from patients in the New York metropolitan area.
However, a study carried out in April by genome scientists from NYU Langone Health, an academic medical centre in New York, who looked at viral samples from 75 Covid-19 patients in the city found that about two-thirds of the infections appeared to have been imported from European countries, including Britain, France, Austria and the Netherlands.
New York reported its first coronavirus case on February 29.
Since then, more than 200,000 people in the city have contracted Covid-19 and more than 20,000 have died, according to figures from the public health department.
PETALING JAYA - Former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had a meeting with top leaders of "Pakatan Plus" on Thursday (June 4) evening, although no PKR leaders were present.
The meeting at the Yayasan Al-Bukhary in Kuala Lumpur was attended by DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, DAP national secretary Anthony Loke, Parti Amanah Negara president Mohamad Sabu, and Warisan president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal.
Also present were former Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir and former Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) secretary-general Datuk Marzuki Yahya.
However, neither PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim nor other leaders from PKR were present at the meeting.
Dr Mahathir's former aide Adam Mukhriz Mohd Muhayeddin had uploaded a picture of the meeting on his Facebook account on Thursday.
"Tun M meeting Pakatan Harapan Plus (Bersatu, Tun M and Warisan), and after that with YB Shahruddin after he announced his resignation, " said Adam in a Facebook post.
Datuk Shahruddin Md Salleh, who resigned from his position as deputy works minister, had also met with Dr Mahathir Mohamad on Thursday.
Meanwhile, a PKR source claimed that Anwar had asked for another date, as he was unable to attend the meeting.
"He could not delegate it to anyone else, as it was a presidential meeting, " said the source.
This is the second time Anwar has not attended a meeting attended by top Pakatan leaders.
Anwar was not present during a press conference called by Dr Mahathir last month, with Anwar later saying that he has another meeting at the same time.
Pakatan Plus is an informal term referring to the Pakatan Harapan coalition after Bersatu and several PKR leaders left the coalition.
AN 11-year-old boy and his father were roller-skating on the road while his mother and two younger sisters strolled along the pedestrian walkway in Taman Botani Perdana, Kuala Lumpur.
Meanwhile, Hairul Anwar Hassan, 41, and his family were seen enjoying physical activities and the fresh air after recreational parks, which were closed under the movement control order (MCO) since March 18, had been reopened to the public but with some restrictions.
"It is important to maintain your stamina by exercising and sweating. If you stay indoors for too long, you may develop illnesses, " said the civil servant.
"However, we must still observe our distance from other park-goers.
"As for my family, we all live in the same house, so it is okay for us to do activities together, " added Hairul who lives in Taman Miharja, Cheras.
His wife Siti Fairus Yahaya, 35, said they preferred to spend time at the park, as there were fewer people there compared to other public venues such as malls.
"I ensure my children sanitise their hands immediately upon entering the car and shower when we get home, " said the 35-year-old housewife.
Hairul's family is among others with children who are happy that the parks have been reopened.
Many were seen walking, jogging and running while others enjoyed picnics on the grass or at tables and gazebos.
Those who did not wear face masks stayed put with their respective family groups.
However, some individuals have expressed concern over the large crowds at the parks, and called for the authorities to monitor the situation closely.
At Taman Botani Perdana, 32-year-old software engineer from Indonesia, Wisanggeni Hadi Hartoyo, who came with his wife and two young daughters, said the parks should remain open, albeit some extra safety measures were needed.
"Some enforcement personnel should be stationed to break up the crowd in case too many are congregating in one area, " he said, adding that the number of visitors at the park was not high enough to warrant closure.
Amirah Azmi, 22, said the decision to either open or close parks should depend on the number of active Covid-19 cases in the country."If the number of cases is low enough, then perhaps it is okay to open the parks to the public. But parks should limit the number of visitors.
"Looking at the number of visitors here, I think this park should be closed, " she said of Taman Botani Perdana.
Chuar Kia Lin, 25, who came from Jalan Ipoh for his daily run, noticed a significant drop in foot traffic at the park since the pandemic.
"I used to come here three to four times a week before the MCO. There were more casual visitors then compared to during the conditional MCO presently, " he said, feeling more comfortable now with the reduced number of visitors to the park.
If the parks are closed, Chuar said he would run in his neighbourhood.
Regular visitor to Taman Tasik Ampang Hilir in Ampang, Zehan Chong, 60, said parks should remain open, provided visitors take the necessary measures to protect themselves against Covid-19."People should not gather in large groups and they should maintain a safe distance from each other, " she said.
In Petaling Jaya, park visitors want the authorities to keep the recreational areas open to the public as they really need to use the facility.
One glad visitor is 80-year-old Theng Kim Foo who is a regular at Taman Jaya. He is happy that he can resume his weekday morning routine of tai chi exercise.
"It feels good to be able to come here and breathe in the fresh air.
"It was boring when we had to remain at home and not allowed to go to the park, " he said.
Software engineer Grace Odono, 35, noticed a gradual increase in the number of park-goers since the conditional MCO.
"I started coming here again since the first week of May after the conditional phase was announced.
"There were few people in those days, but then more and more people have been coming in the following weeks, " said the Filipino.
Yemeni student Albaraa Nashwan Maatoq Aldubai, 23, said the crowd size was still manageable.
"Everyone is doing their own activity and our distance between each other is quite far, so it is rather safe, " he said.
PETALING JAYA - The protocol to locate illegal foreigners at Immigration detention centres may need a relook as 270 new cases of Covid-19 were reported at the Bukit Jalil depot.
Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the new cases were detected after repeat tests were carried out on the detainees.
He said it was possible that the virus was in its incubation period when the first test was conducted on detainees before they were placed at the centre.
"Once they were placed in the centre, they could then infect others. The issue is also the crammed cells. If one case is positive, then definitely it would amplify the infection in a confined space.
"At the moment, the spread may be related to confined and congested areas," he said in his daily press briefing yesterday.
Altogether, a total of 608 cases have been detected at the Bukit Jalil Immigration centre, with 606 of them still classified as active cases.
Another 66 cases, 60 cases, and two cases have been identified at the Semenyih, Sepang and Putrajaya detention centres respectively.
Besides the new cases at the Bukit Jalil depot, there were seven other cases recorded, bringing the total number of infections in Malaysia to 8,247 cases. Of the seven cases, two were imported while the rest were local transmissions.
There was no Covid-19 death for the 13th consecutive day and the death toll remains at 115.
Dr Noor Hisham said 28 patients had recovered in the last 24 hours with a total of 6,559 patients discharged since the Covid-19 outbreak began, or at a 79.5 per cent recovery rate.
There are currently 1,573 active cases being treated in the country's health facilities with six patients being treated at the intensive care unit and two on ventilator support.
He said a committee had been tasked to review the protocol on placing detainees in the centres.
"There is a need to look at the foreign workers' issue holistically, requiring a whole government and whole society approach," he said.
KAJANG - Police will be investigating a foreign couple for allegedly leaving their daughter without supervision after the girl was found alone at the roadside near Taman Prima Saujana.
Kajang OCPD Asst Comm Mohd Zaid Hassan said a 51-year-old foreign woman had found the five-year-old girl and brought her to the police station at around 5.40pm Wednesday (June 3).
"We immediately searched for her parents and two hours later, the girl's mother came to us after realising her child was not at home," he said.
ACP Mohd Zaid said the girl's parents were in their 30s and worked at a restaurant in Kajang.
Police also brought the girl to the hospital for a health check and an investigation has been launched under Section 33 of the Child Act 2001 for leaving a child without reasonable supervision.
"The girl and her parents are safe but we would still need to question them further to complete our investigations," ACP Mohd Zaid said.
He also reminded parents to be mindful of their children as it is an offence to leave them without proper supervision.
Police also urged the public to immediately report similar incidents.
PETALING JAYA - The Health Ministry has received 9,338 calls to its mental health hotline to-date, with most callers requiring emotional support, says its director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah (pic).
Dr Noor Hisham said more than 50 per cent of people who have called the hotline required emotional support due to stress, loss of hope, loss of jobs, loss of income and even interpersonal problems.
He added that 18.8 per cent of people who have called the hotline had asked about Covid-19.
"We gave them counselling about their fears and worries on the virus, and have also taken the opportunity to give them the latest information that we have," he said during his daily press briefing on Wednesday (June 3).
Dr Noor Hisham noted that 7 per cent of the calls also involved issues such as domestic violence and family issues.
He added that people have also called the hotline for basic issues such as financial problems.
Dr Noor Hisham added that the ministry currently has 148 counselling officers, acknowledging that it was not enough.
He said the ratio of counselling officers to the population was currently one in 52,000 people, noting that ideally it should be one in 500 people.
Dr Noor Hisham also said the ministry has increased its mental health service capabilities through the use of digital technology.
"We hope more Malaysians will use more of our online services, and if need be after the counselling session, we will also advise if there is a need to be admitted to a hospital.
"Right now, it is sufficient to use the virtual or online method to provide psychosocial counselling to people," he said.
PETALING JAYA - Umno is ready to face the 15th General Election and has dismissed any allegation of a plot to overthrow Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
"We are ready for GE15. Are you ready to be with us?" Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said in a Facebook posting yesterday.
The posting followed a visit by former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to Ahmad Zahid's home on Tuesday night.
When contacted, Ahmad Zahid said he and Najib did discuss how Umno would face the general election, but it had nothing to do with overthrowing Muhyiddin.
"A new mandate is extremely needed for Muhyiddin.
"Najib came with his brothers Datuk Nizam and Datuk Nazim, as they are also like my siblings. That is all, " said Ahmad Zahid, brushing off an allegation by Datuk Abdul Kadir Jasin.
The former media adviser to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had asked in a Facebook posting whether Ahmad Zahid's announcement about his readiness for a general election meant that Umno was trying to engineer one.
Abdul Kadir further questioned whether Umno and Barisan Nasional were ready to bring down Perikatan Nasional, which is headed by Muhyiddin, to "force the 15th General Election to be held earlier".
Umno and Barisan Nasional are part of the ruling Perikatan government, together with PAS, GPS and several lawmakers from Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia and former PKR MPs.
Separately, Najib in a Facebook posting yesterday said as the country and the world strove to contain Covid-19, Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah had stated that the political situation and the government needed to be stable.
"He asked not to raise political scandals at a time when the nation is facing its biggest economic and health crises, but Pakatan still wants to oust the government by buying over Perikatan MPs.
"Even if Pakatan has enough (MPs), that number would be a slim one and Pakatan 2.0 would not be stable enough. One or two jumps and the government will change hands again, " he said.
"The King can then use his wisdom and power to dissolve Parliament to solve the country's political instability.
"At that time, Barisan Nasional will be ready to go down to the ground to battle Pakatan in the general election.
"We support Perikatan until the next GE but if Pakatan creates an issue again, Barisan would be ready for a general election so that political stability can be revived to ensure a stable government to fight and face the crises. Do you understand, Pak Kadir?" Najib said.
PETALING JAYA - The situation in Los Angeles is "brutal" following the protests over the death of George Floyd, says a Malaysian.
Stores were broken into and there were constant police sirens, and helicopters had been patrolling the neighbourhood for the past several days, said Kishaniah Dhamodaran.
"I live in the middle of downtown (Los Angeles). The protests are happening on my street, just a few blocks down.
"There are guards on duty 24/7 at my building, so as of now I am doing fine and staying indoors and safe, " she told reporters.
Kishaniah, who has been residing in the United States for the past four years, said local authorities had imposed a 6am-6pm curfew.
"To be frank, I was a little worried in the beginning as this is the first riot I've ever experienced and I wasn't sure what to expect.
"While the looting is happening, the majority of the protesters are peaceful and fighting the bigger fight, " said the 25-year-old lawyer.
However, she is concerned about the repercussions of the gatherings since the Covid-19 pandemic is ongoing, with Los Angeles among the cities badly affected by the virus.
"The number of cases will surely go up and it'll be another uphill battle trying to bring the number back down, " she said.
Another Malaysian, Usha Kesavan who is residing in St Louis, Missouri, with her family, shared about protests happening around the city and nearby areas, which prompted businesses to close earlier than usual.
"(However, this is) nothing compared to what has happened in Atlanta or Minneapolis.
"The injustice has been going on far too long but shame on those who are using this opportunity to hurt, loot and cause unnecessary damage. Keep safe everyone!" she wrote on Facebook.
ML Cheah, who is living in the suburbs of San Francisco Bay Area, wrote on Facebook that he was more worried about Covid-19 than the riots.
"People are frustrated from the Covid-19 lockdown and uncertainty in their financial future, " Cheah wrote, noting that police brutality controversy had riled up the people's fear and frustration.
She also lamented that some people who are not part of the protests had decided to use the situation to loot stores.
Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein had advised Malaysians living in the United States to exercise caution and remain vigilant.
"Most importantly, #StaySafe!" he tweeted.
He urged Malaysians there to register with the Malaysian Embassy for assistance if necessary.
"To all our Malaysians in the United States, there are missions responsible for the state you are residing in. Please give them a call/drop an email should you require further assistance, " he added.
Floyd, 46, died when a police officer knelt on his neck for over eight minutes in Minneapolis on May 25. He was arrested following a police report made about him using a fake US$20 (S$28) note to buy a pack of cigarettes.
His death sparked mass protests against police brutality and racial prejudice.
PETALING JAYA - Chin Jie Xun used to hold three jobs but found himself without income during the movement control order (MCO) period. The 34-year-old personal fitness trainer and kickboxing coach who was also helping his family run a learning centre for children could not carry out any of his tasks, and decided to take up his gym partner's offer of work at a wet market.
"I started working here a month ago, I wanted to supplement my income, " he said, adding that he had also wanted to help out his friend.
Although he admitted the work was tough, Chin was grateful because he could earn about RM80 (S$26) to RM100 (S$33) for six hours of labour.
He advised those entering the job market not to feel discouraged and to be ready to fight in a tough economic climate.
"If there's work to do, then just do it. It's better than staying at home and sleeping, which wouldn't bring you any money, " he said.
Like Chin, many fresh graduates are hit hard by unemployment and limited job openings amid a volatile Covid-19 economic landscape. But they cannot afford to give up.
IT graduate Althony Lim, 22, said although there is still a number of job vacancies in his field, the opportunities are fewer now.
"Looking for a job in my field is still considered fine at the moment.
"But there are fewer opportunities compared to a few months ago when I was looking for an internship, " he said.
Lim, who will graduate in about a month's time, said he had been actively applying for work since April but have not landed a job.
"So far, I've applied for close to 20 jobs through various hiring platforms and about 10 employers have reverted.
"I have yet to get any job offers, but I still consider it alright as the hiring process is still ongoing.
"However, the number of recruiters who searched for me on LinkedIn had dropped from over 90 a few months ago to an average of about 60 recently, " he said.
Like many of her peers, Serena, 22, is currently finishing her internship at a company but worries about the prospects of finding a job after that.
Serena, who studied International Business at the Tunku Abdul Rahman University College, said most of her coursemates were facing challenges in securing a job post-internship.
"After MCO started in mid-March, many of them had to either work from home or stop completely.
"I believe even after MCO or our internship, it'll be even more challenging for us to land a job as most companies will be focusing more on recovering rather than hiring fresh graduates for the time being.
"However, these may be different for companies under essential services which will require more employees to sustain and manage the surge in demand, " said Serena, who graduated in May.
Serena is also worried about the "Last In, First Out" policy practised by some companies, whereby the most junior employees are retrenched first.
"This will affect us more as we are lacking in experience and knowledge compared to those who have been in the workforce for years.
"However, I believe as fresh graduates, we should focus more on what we will be able to gain and learn from the company and how we can provide value to the company, " said Serena, who gained valuable experience interning with a company which fell under the essential services category.
"At the end of this month, I will be attempting to find another job more suited to the course I studied or something I'm passionate about, " she said.
Student Ching Xiang Jun, 22, said he is still waiting for his final results before he sends out job applications. "I have completed the syllabus and my coursework, so my university lecturer said I can start looking for jobs.
"However, looking at the market and the economic situation now, I think it will hard to get a job, " said the Bioscience with Chemistry student, adding there are limited job vacancies, especially entry-level jobs, in the research and development area of his field.