Malaysia Bagus News
PETALING JAYA: Road users are giving lame excuses such as sending clothes and raya cookies to friends for travelling inter-district and interstate without permission.
Petaling Jaya district police chief Mohamad Fakhrudin Abdul Hamid said no compound notices have been issued but they have been told to turn back.
However, he warned that compound notices would be issued to errant drivers immediately without compromise.
“Among their reasons were sending clothes to friends’ houses in Shah Alam, buying goods and taking families for a shopping trip in the Shah Alam area,” he told reporters after leading a check at a roadblock at KM34 of the Federal Highway last night.
Fakhrudin said police would open additional routes to facilitate the movement of traffic, but strict inspections would remain.
Meanwhile, a check by reporters at the Duta and Sungai Besi toll plazas found that traffic flow was under control despite some congestion due to strict inspections by the police at the roadblocks.
PETALING JAYA: Former prime minister Najib Razak said the government needs to have clear objectives in implementing movement restrictions, without bowing down to various business groups.
He said that this was crucial as economic recovery depended on the country’s success in handling Covid-19.
Speaking during an interview with reporters today, he said the movement control order should be strict, but over a short period.
He pointed to countries such as the US and UK that have successfully reduced their Covid-19 infection rates.
“When the emergency was announced, the US had 250,000 cases a day, but now it is down to 30,000 to 40,000 cases a day.
“The UK used to have about 60,000 cases a day but now it is down to 1,600. That means you can manage Covid-19, but measures must be strict and accurate,” he said.
He said the movement control order must have clear objectives, pointing to the contradictory SOPs during the second round of movement restrictions late last year which had caused it to fail.
“MCO 2.0 had multiple objectives. Some shops could open, others could not. Factories and construction sites with the most clusters were also allowed to open. Why? Because of pressure from the sectors.
“So we relaxed (SOPs) and bowed down to their pressure. We cannot have multiple objectives, we must have one objective,” he said.
He also said other countries like China have managed to improve their gross domestic product, as a result of their successful pandemic response.
However, he said Malaysia has yet to recover, all while government debt seemed to be increasing.
Meanwhile, he said the government needed a national consensus for economic recovery that would be able to improve both market and public confidence.
He added that, so far, foreign investors had withdrawn RM25 billion from the capital market.
“This is not a good indication,” he said. “We need to do something, and this is tied to Covid-19 and also the emergency.”
KUALA LUMPUR: The seafood section at the Kuala Lumpur wholesale market in Selayang is to be closed following a number of Covid-19 cases detected among the traders there.
According to a Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) spokesman, the closure will be from Sunday until May 16.
The spokesman told reporters a full statement will be released soon.
This would be the latest in a string of closures faced by the market linked to Covid-19.
In January, the fish, fruit and vegetable sections were closed after 118 cases were detected among workers.
The market was also forced to halt operations last April to prepare for mass screenings, after the surrounding area was placed under an enhanced movement control order.
PETALING JAYA: Najib Razak has questioned the lack of another stimulus package for the people to cope with the third movement control order (MCO 3.0) in several states.
The former prime minister noted that the government had previously announced six stimulus packages worth RM340 billion for the last two MCOs.
He also said the Employees Provident Fund’s (EPF) i-Lestari withdrawal programme had ended in March and its i-Sinar withdrawals would end on June 30. Many targeted loan moratoriums are also set to end next month.
“The people’s savings and reserves are depleting after facing MCO 1.0 and MCO 2.0. What are they expected to face MCO 3.0 with?” he asked in a Facebook post.
Najib reiterated his calls for a well-planned lockdown to avoid wasting more federal funds, “so the people’s sacrifices from MCO 1.0 don’t end in vain”.
“But (the previous MCOs) were ‘half-baked’ anyway. Now they want to make it three-quarters raw. As a result, the government and people are stuck in a pinch.”
Six districts in Selangor have been placed under the MCO from yesterday until May 17 after a recent spike in Covid-19 cases.
The MCO also began today for Kuala Lumpur, three districts in Johor, as well as 14 subdistricts in Terengganu and Taiping in Perak. It will run until May 20.
PETALING JAYA: A former deputy minister has called for standardised SOPs nationwide in anticipation of more lockdowns at scales smaller than the movement control order (MCO).
Dr Lee Boon Chye, who was deputy health minister when Pakatan Harapan was in power, said the different mobility restrictions were confusing the public.
“We cannot have one state allowing restaurants to operate till midnight and another allowing it till 10pm,” he said. “By now, when the government declares an MCO or a CMCO (conditional MCO), people should immediately know the dos and don’ts.”
The other two lockdown types are enhanced MCO (EMCO) and recovery MCO (RMCO).
Lee said the government was constantly changing SOPs despite more than a year of lockdowns.
“By right, it should be simple and easy. Once the level of lockdown is announced, the standard SOPs should come into force.”
He also spoke of the lack of standardisation with regard to Ramadan bazaars.
Yesterday, federal territories minister Annuar Musa said Ramadan bazaars in Kuala Lumpur would be allowed to continue operating under the MCO.
However, on Wednesday, Selangor, which is also under MCO, imposed a ban on bazaars.
Lee also asked the education ministry to come up with a list of clear SOPs for schools.
Another activist, Dr Mathen Nair, said SOPs should be under the federal government and not the states.
“It is a national problem and they should be standardised,” he told reporters.
He said Selangor had a good task force to manage Covid-19 cases. “But what about Perlis and Kelantan? Do they have effective committees for Covid?”
He also urged the government to announce SOPs for detention centres, prisons and construction sites, where many Covid-19 cases have been reported.
“There are so many active cases in immigration facilities and prisons. But we are still in the dark over the SOPs,” he said.
KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here has ordered a full hearing of the lawsuit filed by an NGO and several individuals to declare certain provisions on citizenship under the Federal Constitution as discriminatory.
Judge Akhtar Tahir dismissed the government’s bid to strike out the suit, on grounds that it is not frivolous, vexatious and an abuse of court process.
“In short, I’m disallowing this striking out. For this matter, there seems to be discrimination against the mother (in passing her citizenship to her children) but there is no justification for it,” he said.
The court also ordered the government to file its affidavit in response to the suit before May 27.
The NGO Family Frontiers and six mothers had filed the suit to get the court to declare several provisions – namely Article 14(1)(b) and Sections 1(b) and 1(c) under the Second Schedule of the constitution – as invalid as they are discriminatory against women.
They claimed that the constitution only allows a father to pass his nationality to his children born outside the federation, but a mother cannot do so.
Akhtar also said the court will hear the merits of the case on June 30, after the NGO and government have filed their submissions.
Speaking to reporters after the decision, lead counsel Gurdial Singh Nijar said the court also granted their application to include the home minister and the National Registration Department’s director-general in their suit.
“We want them to be directly accountable for any decision that might be made by this court. The AGC (Attorney-General’s Chambers) has been ordered to provide its justification through an affidavit and we will reply accordingly,” he said.
Meanwhile, Family Frontiers president Suri Kempe said the group and the mothers were pleased with the court’s ruling.
“We are excited because our voices can be heard,” she said.
Segambut MP and former deputy minister Hannah Yeoh, who was also present to support the parties, urged the home minister to prioritise citizenship reform, instead of politicking.
She said there are citizenship applications pending and causing the affected children, who are seeking citizenship, to miss schools.
Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching described the decision as a “good Mother’s Day present”.
The former deputy education minister also urged the ministry to take a more humane approach in allowing children, who are stateless due to pending citizenship applications, to attend schools.
“We don’t want this and the MCO to affect their studies,” she said.
PETALING JAYA: As more districts prepare to re-enter a third movement control order period, former prime minister Najib Razak said he has been losing sleep over the spike in cases and clusters.
It was announced on Tuesday that six districts in Selangor would be placed under another MCO from today. In addition, Kuala Lumpur and parts of Johor, Terengganu and Perak will also be under MCO.
In a Facebook post published in the early hours of the morning, the Pekan MP lamented the poor handling of the pandemic by the government, and said his public complaints had routinely fallen on deaf ears, which has resulted in the surge of infections over the last few weeks.
He reiterated his calls for a “very tight and short” MCO to break the chain of infection, to allow the country to return to normalcy as quickly as possible.
“The MCO doesn’t need to be prolonged and repeated, and the government can avoid the need for new aid packages that add more fiscal burden to the government,” he said.
Reflecting on the last MCO, imposed in certain states in January, Najib said that because the “half-baked” MCO was lifted when case numbers were still high, it allowed the virus to spread more widely and embed itself in the community.
Now, he said, the conditions are worse than when MCO 2.0 was implemented, with more active clusters no longer primarily confined to workplaces and factories.
He said the emergence of new variants is also troubling, adding that the government should never have reduced the quarantine period for arrivals from 14 days to seven, as it allowed the overseas mutations to enter the community.
Najib also expressed concern over the country’s fiscal position, with Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin recently saying the government is short in funds after spending RM340 billion on economic stimulus measures and RM322 billion on the 2021 budget.
He said a “never-ending” MCO would have dire consequences for the country, as a slow economy and increased government borrowing would end up hurting the people in the long run through national budget cuts and taxes.
“It’s very easy for the government to borrow multiple times or dig into their assets in order to help the people and claim to care about them.
“The MCO doesn’t need to be prolonged and repeated, and the government can avoid the need for new aid packages that add more fiscal burden to the government.”
He reminded the people to avoid going out unless necessary during the MCO, and to limit Hari Raya visits wherever possible.
KOTA KINABALU: Three former students of a Sabah school who sued their English teacher for allegedly failing to turn up for class for several months are still waiting for the defendants to file their defence.
Rusiah Sabdarin, Nur Natasha Allisya Hamali and Calvina Angayung, now 19-year-olds, filed the lawsuit at the High Court here on Dec 20 last year.
They named their former Form 4 English teacher, Mohd Jainal Jamran, who was transferred in 2020, and former principal Suid Hanapi, now retired, as the first and second defendants.
The other defendants in the public litigation case are the education director-general, the education minister and the government.
The trio had previously claimed that Jainal had not attended their English class at SMK Taun Gusi in the northern Kota Belud district between March and November 2017, when they were still 16, despite repeated reminders.
The teacher was also said to have failed to turn up entirely after July in the same year.
In their previous statement of claim, they said the other defendants failed to rectify the situation regarding the teacher’s alleged prolonged absence, and were hence in breach of their statutory duties as stated in the Federal Constitution, the Education Act 1966 and the Public Officers (Conduct and Discipline) Regulations of 1993.
However, after more than 130 days, the trio said the defendants have still not filed their defence at the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak.
In a statement issued by their legal team here, Rusiah, Nur Natasha and Calvina said the defendants have 14 days to file their defence after a writ of summons is issued.
They said the last case update on the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak’s portal regarding the case states that the final e-review for the defendants to file their defence has been fixed for June 4.
According to the statement, the trio are “supremely confident” of proceeding to a full public trial against the defendants and exercising their rights under the constitution.
Their litigation is the second against the same defendants.
Siti Nafirah Siman, another former student of the school, was the first to sue Jainal, Suid and the other defendants in 2018 for the same reason.
Nafirah, now 18, had alleged that Jainal had failed to turn up for class for seven months in 2015.
PETALING JAYA: The United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) Malaysia has launched an urgent appeal for funds to help India fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
Unicef said hospitals and health centres across India were struggling to cope with the overwhelming number of new cases and need more oxygen concentrators, rapid testing kits and critical healthcare.
Unicef’s representative in Malaysia, Dr Rashed Mustafa Sarwar, said the health system in India was severely stretched because of the latest deadly wave of Covid-19 cases in the country.
“We cannot leave India to fight this alone. We must act urgently to prevent further loss of lives.
“Unicef has provided lifesaving oxygen supplies and other critically needed emergency equipment for an immediate response, but much more is needed as the outbreak continues to spread rapidly,” he said.
Unicef said it was seeking RM86 million for the urgent delivery of critical supplies, including oxygen products and rapid testing kits, as well as more than RM205 million for lifesaving Covid-19 interventions across all sectors in India.
“A unit of oxygen concentrator that can help Covid-19 patients breathe and save lives costs RM3,200. It takes just 10 generous donors to give RM320 each to help us reach that goal,” it said.
It said critical lifesaving supplies, including 3,000 oxygen concentrators, 500 high-flow nasal cannulas and 85 RT-PCR test kits, were sent to help India in its battle with Covid-19.
The UN agency also said it had been assisting the Indian government in ensuring critical services for the most vulnerable continue functioning.
It said organisations that would like to raise funds for India could contact the Unicef donor services team.
PETALING JAYA: Subang MP Wong Chen has slammed the government for failing to effectively analyse Covid-19 data despite over a year of dealing with the pandemic.
In a Facebook post, he said the Perikatan Nasional administration’s style of announcing a movement control order (MCO) before the SOPs were ready was also “just stupid and unacceptable”.
He said the current confusion over the SOPs was similar to when the previous MCO was announced.
Wong, who is part of the PKR Covid-19 task force, said they had been crunching limited available data and observing models of the pandemic since last year.
The current Covid-19 situation in Malaysia, he said, was “completely expected and predictable” as the country was normally three to six weeks behind Covid-19 incidences in Europe.
“What is beyond stupidity is that after more than 400,000 infections in Malaysia, and this represents a very, very large pool of data, the government still cannot provide proper public advisory on who are most at risk, where are these risks and what economic or social activities are risky,” he said.
Instead, he said, the government chose to adopt a “one-size-fits-all” mentality that hurts the economy and the people’s financial well-being.
He also questioned the lack of transparency regarding data from the MySejahtera mobile application and why it had not been shared with state and local governments.
“Or, is this government just too lazy to do proper analytics?”
Senior minister for security Ismail Sabri Yaakob told a press conference yesterday that six districts in Selangor – Hulu Langat, Petaling, Gombak, Klang, Kuala Langat and Sepang – will go under MCO from tomorrow until May 17.
According to Ismail, the full SOPs for work-from-home policies in the private sector and the closure of schools will be released by the international trade and industry and education ministries, respectively.
JUSTCLICK & CONNECT