Malaysia Bagus News
GEORGE TOWN: The question has been answered – there are no laws against driving your private vehicle barefoot or while wearing slippers.
Transport regulators have clarified that footwear is only compulsory under the law for commercial vehicle drivers.
The Road Transport Department (JPJ) said it was an offence for drivers of public service vehicles (PSVs) such as taxis, buses, lorries and e-hailing rides, to drive without any footwear.
Under the rules, a JPJ spokesman said a PSV driver could be fined RM150 for not being neatly dressed and/or not having footwear while driving.
Those driving PSVs may be inspected from time to time under provisions of the Public Service Vehicles (Licensing and Conduct of Drivers, Conductors and Passengers) Rules 1959.
“However, for offences of driving without footwear in a PSV, there are no specific provisions on the ban on the use of slippers under the Road Transport Act,” the spokesman said in a written reply to reporter.
The questions over driving without footwear arose recently when a video went viral showing a traffic policeman checking a driver of a car in Penang, apparently for not wearing shoes.
However, an expert said that while it was all right under the law to not wear any footwear while driving a private car, it was not right – and could lead to trouble.
Automotive academic Chew Kim Loong said wearing driving shoes is always ideal as it would prevent pedal misoperation and accidents caused by it.
He said an ideal driving shoe should not be too thick or thin, with enough grip to depress the pedal, and enable the driver to sense how far the pedal has gone in or out while helping him to brake with force in an emergency situation.
The shoes should also not be too wide so as to prevent accidental pressing of other pedals.
“The idea of driving barefoot is simply driven by wanting to feel the pedals of the car, that tactile sensation,” the Despark College training manager told reporter.
“Professional drivers also want that feeling, but they know your bare feet alone will not help in emergency situations, and hence they wear proper driving shoes.
“Going barefoot or wearing flip flops (clippers) might cause disasters. It if gets wet, you might lose control of the pedal and cause a crash. Worse yet, it can cause severe injuries to your bare feet.
“With the right footwear, you will be able to brake on time and provide support in long journeys. Low profile shoes are always best for driving.
“My best advice is to always drive with your shoe on.”
PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) has urged the government to be quick in announcing the outcome of last week’s Cabinet meeting regarding contract doctors’ demand for improved pay and perks.
MMA president Subramanian Muniandy said the announcement was urgent because the doctors were threatening to go on strike next week.
“We hope the government will make an announcement as soon as possible to avert any form of action by the junior doctors,” he told FMT.
Subramaniam also asserted MMA’s opposition to the strike, saying it would be wrong not only legally, but also morally, because Covid-19 was raging.
“I have said it before and I am saying it again. We are totally against any form of strike that will affect healthcare during such a crucial period.
“I would advise those planning the action to think again. It will not go down well with the people.”
But he also said he believed Malaysians were supportive of the call for better terms for the 23,000 contract doctors. “And that itself is a victory for now.”
On Tuesday, a representative of the Hartal Doktor Kontrak group said the absence of a government response had left the group with no choice but to go ahead with the strike on July 26.
Last week, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said the Cabinet would, on July 14, discuss the appeal by contract doctors to be appointed to permanent positions in the civil service.
He said the matter had to be discussed thoroughly as it would involve a cost of more than RM2 billion to the government.
The issue gained momentum recently after a social media campaign known as #HartalDoktorKontrak kicked off with calls for the strike.
Subramaniam said MMA recently proposed to the health minister that the government give the affected officers a 10-year contract and allow them to do their specialist courses with public hospitals during the period.
“This means they will finish their housemanship and mandatory service in about four years and spend the next four years doing their specialist courses. The additional two years are for those who may need more time.
“With this, the government will also be able to resolve the serious problem of shortage of specialists. Those wanting to leave the government service will also be better qualified and it will help their career too.”
PETALING JAYA: A businessman claimed trial in the magistrates’ court here today for not wearing a face mask in public five days ago.
J Shyamalan, 33, is alleged to have committed the offence at a nasi lemak stall along Jalan Desa Bakti in Taman Desa, Kuala Lumpur, at about 10.30am on July 18.
He was charged under Rule 17(1) of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Regulations 2021 for failing to comply with Covid-19 SOPs.
Those found guilty of the offence can be fined up to RM50,000 or six month’s jail or both.
Magistrate Wong Chai Sia imposed bail at RM1,500 in one surety.
In the same court, Shyamalan also pleaded not guilty to uttering offensive words towards Cherrilyn De Centino at the same time and place.
The accused was charged under Section 509 of the Penal Code which carries a jail term of up to five years, or a fine (at the discretion of the court) or both.
Wong imposed a further RM2,500 bail in one surety for the second case.
Lawyer John Das appeared for the accused while deputy public prosecutor Wan Ahmad Hakimi Wan Ahmad Jaafar prosecuted.
The magistrate fixed both cases to be mentioned on Aug 24. The accused was freed after posting the bail amount.
A police report was lodged after the accused berated the nasi lemak seller and a customer after being told to put on his face mask.
In a video that went viral, the accused, in a black singlet and shorts, could be seen taunting the customer, who was dressed in an orange T-shirt, to call the police.
Police obtained a two-day remand two days ago before he was charged with the two offences today.
PETALING JAYA: The government might not be able to finance current stimulus packages or any others in the future due to various constraints that it is facing, says Fitch Solutions.
The research arm of international ratings agency Fitch Group noted that Putrajaya had announced a number of stimulus packages in 2020 and 2021, running into billions.
According to finance ministry data, in 2020 the Perikatan Nasional government rolled out four packages valued at RM305 billion with a fiscal injection of RM55 billion. In 2021, it rolled out four packages valued at RM225 billion with a fiscal injection of RM26.8 billion.
“However, the Malaysian government is reaching a point where it may not be able to finance the current plans, or other future stimulus plans,” it said in a report on the country’s consumer outlook.
It said any stimulus measures announced by Putrajaya in the coming weeks were not likely to top the packages announced last year, although the 2020 stimulus plans were relatively smaller compared with that of countries like Singapore and Hong Kong.
“The high public debt load is likely to have a negative impact on investor sentiment towards Malaysia and could raise its borrowing costs further.
“We highlight this as a significant risk to the Malaysian consumer, who is likely to face another six months of restrictions and subsequent job losses and/or pay cuts,” it added.
It forecast consumer spending recovery to prolong and spill over into 2022 due to the protraction of Covid-19-related economic pressures, noting continued restrictions on non-essential retail sectors, movement limitations and the limited fiscal space for renewed support.
According to Fitch Solutions, the recent and ongoing lockdowns would result in a spike in unemployment, thus affecting recovery prospects in domestic demand, while government consumption was not likely to provide meaningful support.
It reviewed its real household spending projection to 3% year-on-year in 2021 compared with 11% previously, although this was still a recovery from the 3.7% contraction estimated over 2020.
“We also note that continued restrictions on interstate and inter-district travel within the Klang Valley, which accounts for about 60% of retail sales in the country, will delay this recovery.
“However, these restrictions continue to speed up the development of the country’s e-commerce sector.
“The online retail sales index, which portrays e-commerce activity, continued to surge to record 23.1% growth year-on-year.”
While inflationary pressures were rising globally, Fitch Solutions forecasts inflation to remain modest in Malaysia at an average of 1.3% and 1.9% year-on-year over 2021 and 2022 respectively.
GEORGE TOWN: Two reminders on the rules for prayers were ignored by the hundreds of people who gathered outside a surau in Taman Pelangi flats in Juru here for prayers on Hari Raya Haji two days ago.
Penang’s deputy chief minister I Ahmad Zakiyuddin Abdul Rahman said the residents were informed that only 100 people, who had at least received one dose of the vaccine, would be allowed into the prayer hall.
He said announcements on this were made on the eve of Aidiladha and on the morning itself, but hundreds of people who had gathered there were adamant in wanting to go on with their prayers in the adjacent car park.
The Tuesday morning incident saw netizens expressing shock over the large-scale prayer session at a time when the country is battling with more than 10,000 new Covid-19 cases a day.
A total of 49 men, comprising 48 Bangladeshis and one local, were remanded for investigations by police yesterday.
In a statement, Zakiyuddin thanked the police for taking quick action but raised concerns over how the 49 were treated during their remand process in court.
“I’d like to express my uneasiness to see many of those remanded being brought to court without footwear and in handcuffs.
“It is hoped that the police would exercise some discretion in such matters.
“It is also hoped that this incident becomes a reminder to all, especially those administering mosques and suraus in Penang, to take Covid-19 SOPs seriously.”
PUTRAJAYA: The legal fraternity is waiting anxiously to know the direction the Federal Court will take to determine if the basic structure doctrine regarding the separation of powers is part of Malaysian law, a lawyer said.
Syed Iskandar Syed Jaafar Al Mahdzar said the apex court had to decide on the matter as individual judges had taken opposing views since early this year.
“The judges have to decide whether under this doctrine, there is a separation of powers between the three branches of the government and whether the judiciary is subordinate to Parliament,” he told FMT.
Under the basic structure doctrine, the written constitution of a sovereign state has certain characteristics – such as the independence of the judiciary – that cannot be erased by its legislature.
Syed Iskandar said this in response to a five-member Federal Court bench allowing a review application last week by a man held under a preventive detention order for alleged criminal activities.
The court set aside a Feb 19 majority (4 to 1) ruling and will proceed to rehear the appeal of M Nivesh Nair on a date to be fixed soon.
Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, in allowing the review under Rule 137 of the Rules of the Federal Court, said there was a breach of natural justice in Nivesh’s habeas corpus appeal hearing.
In his application, Nivesh said his counsel and government lawyers agreed that the basic structure doctrine was part of the Federal Constitution but the majority of four judges had ruled otherwise.
“We were not afforded the right to be heard. The matter was decided by the Federal Court based on an issue that was not raised or addressed by parties,” Nivesh said in his application.
He said the majority also relied on a Jan 8 ruling in the case of Maria Chin Abdullah v Ketua Pengarah Imigresen.
Gopal Sri Ram, who represented Nivesh, said the Feb 19 Federal Court ruling went against four previous apex court verdicts, delivered between 2017 and 2019.
“This conduct by the majority is contrary to judicial courtesy and established precedent,” he had submitted.
The majority rejected a challenge to an ouster clause in the Prevention of Crime Act (Poca) and upheld the constitutionality of a provision that excludes the law from judicial review.
Judge Zabariah Mohd Yusof, who delivered the judgment, said Parliament was empowered to pass the Act as a special preventive law.
Zabariah had said the majority was of the view that the provision against judicial review of detention orders did not offend the Constitution as Parliament had been conferred powers to set up an “institutionalised mechanism like the court”.
The dissenting judge, Nallini Pathmanathan, had, however, held that the ouster clause was unconstitutional.
Meanwhile, lawyer A Srimurugan said the judiciary must be independent of the executive and legislative arms of the government.
“Judges are the guardians of the Federal Constitution and it is the judicial branch that must give effect and interpret the laws passed by Parliament,” he said.
He said last week’s verdict had now rendered the majority verdict in the cases involving Maria Chin and Nivesh as no longer a good law.
Nivesh, along with J Devandren, K Rovin Joty, V Ragu, Darweesh Raja Sulaim and R Vellu, had been held under Poca and ordered to be detained without trial in the Simpang Renggam and Bentong prisons for two years.
They filed habeas corpus applications for their release but were rejected by the High Court. They then appealed to the Federal Court on constitutional grounds.
PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Association of Theme Park & Family Attractions (Matfa) has made a “passionate appeal” for the reopening of the industry’s core businesses under Phase 2 of the national recovery plan.
In a letter to the prime minister, it said the current timeline of the recovery plan, when tourism sectors would only be allowed to operate in October at the earliest, “will further break the tourism industry in ways it has already broken”.
It said 3.6 million workers were on the verge of losing their livelihoods.
Matfa called for the reopening of theme parks and attractions, cinemas, family entertainment centres and spa wellness centres, together with shopping malls, resorts and hotels, under Phase 2.
It also said the government should work with the private sector to draw up a tourism recovery plan for the immediate and medium term, adopting best practices by other countries like Thailand and those in Europe.
The association proposed new metrics to gauge the pandemic situation, such as using the positivity rate, number of serious cases and ICU admissions, with mortality expressed as a number of deaths per 100,000 population.
“We need to shift away from a pandemic approach to an endemic approach, outlining a radical departure from the ‘zero-Covid’,” it said.
However, if the government still decides to keep the sectors on the negative list, it said, adequate compensation for the tourism businesses in the form of financial aid, accelerated wage subsidies, operational costs, statutory leave, utility discounts and tax obligations should be considered.
Matfa also suggested a vaccination campaign for all tourism-related sectors under the tourism, arts and culture ministry.
“We hope that the prime minister will restore the confidence in our faltering economy and give the imperative that the tourism industry direly needs.
“It cannot be an option anymore – it is mandatory- because 3.6 million workers are losing their livelihoods and the RM100 billion losses by companies cannot be dialled back. It is lost forever if we can’t stem this tide,” it said.
PETALING JAYA: No money, no job and no food. These are the struggles faced by a large number of the residents at the Panorama Lapangan Perdana flats in Ipoh.
Its maintenance manager, Ivan Lourdes, said at least half of the residents had lost their sources of income because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It’s really sad. So many cannot afford to pay their rent as they have lost their jobs. They also struggle to buy food for their families. As part of the flats management, we are asking the public to help these residents,” he told FMT.
Lourdes said it was a huge concern that the children living in the flats do not have nutritious food or clean clothing to stay healthy and keep up with their hygiene against the virus.
He said his management had tried its best to help the residents by reaching out to political parties like Pakatan Harapan (PH) as well as NGOs to provide food and groceries.
“Former deputy health minister Dr Lee Boon Chye came over and provided 100 packets of nasi lemak last week and a few days ago, he donated grocery items such as rice, sugar, salt, dry noodles and more.
“However, the grocery items he provided could only help 30 units. The flats have 600 units and at least 300 units need help,” he said.
Lourdes said the residents need essential items such as rice, dry noodles, powdered milk, sugar, coffee and diapers.
He also hoped that companies that were hiring workers could distribute flyers to the flats and use the management office to hold job interviews if they wanted to.
“A semiconductor company’s representatives came to the flats and put up flyers. I reached out to them and said they were more than welcome to use our office to hold open job interviews. I hope others come, too.
“These people are really struggling. It’s important to help them get jobs so they can start earning an income soon,” he said.
KUALA LUMPUR: The sessions court here today ordered a Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) deputy director to enter his defence on two counts and one alternative charge of corruption involving RM87,000 over a telecommunication project.
Judge Rozina Ayob said the prosecution had proven a prima facie case against Mohd Iskandar King.
The court fixed July 27 to 29 to hear the defence.
Iskandar was initially charged with one count under Section 16(a)(B) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act and an alternative charge under Section 165 of the Penal Code.
He was also charged with two further counts under Section 165 of the Penal Code.
He is accused of accepting RM87,000 from a company director to help him secure a Universal Provisions Service contract.
A total of 31 prosecution witnesses testified against Iskandar.
Lawyers Sivahnanthan Ragava and Haziq Abdullah Abdul Aziz represented Iskandar, deputy public prosecutors Siti Noor Hafizan Zakaria, Francine Cheryl Rajendram and Abdul Muntaqim Abdul Aziz appeared for the prosecution.
PETALING JAYA: Police are looking for three individuals wearing pink wristbands who patronised a pharmacy in Puchong Perdana, as seen in a viral photo shared on social media since last Friday.
Subang Jaya police chief Khalid Othman said the Subang Jaya Op Covid-19 compliance task force visited the pharmacy, where a supervisor related what had happened.
“The supervisor said the incident happened on July 15 at 11.20am, when a man wearing a pink bracelet entered without scanning the MySejahtera app while another man and a woman waited outside,” Khalid said.
“According to the supervisor, the pharmacy workers ordered the man, who is believed to be under a home quarantine order, to leave the pharmacy immediately.”
Following the incident, four employees of the pharmacy were instructed to undergo self-quarantine and testing.
“Preliminary investigations found that the two men and the woman had violated the quarantine order issued by the health ministry,” Khalid said in a statement today, adding that police were tracking them down.
He said police had also fined the pharmacy under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Regulations 2021 for failing to ensure that only customers with a low-risk status entered the premises.
He said the investigation was also being conducted under Section 270 of the Penal Code.
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