Now more than ever an appreciation for science needs to be instilled in the public, particularly in our youths who will become tomorrow’s doctors, biologists and science communicators.© New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd
Now this is all fine if businesses are making money, but during the Movement Control Order and its subsequent variations, a huge number of businesses made zero or negligible revenue, making it tremendously difficult to pay their full rent on commercial spaces, without the threat of bankruptcy.© New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd
DUBAI, July 15 — A key Opec+ ministerial panel agreed today on moving to the next phase of a pact on oil output cuts by easing reductions from August, an Opec+ source said.
The panel, known as the JMMC, also agreed on a compensation schedule by some countries who have produced above their targets in May and June, which means the effective oil cuts will be deeper even after curbs are formally eased, the source said. — Reuters
LONDON, July 15 — Sterling was dragged up by a weaker dollar and an improvement in risk sentiment on Wednesday, with analysts saying it was likely to face further weakening due to economic damage inflicted by the coronavirus crisis and Brexit.
The pound was up 0.5 per cent at US$1.2610 (RM5.37), having risen to US$1.2649, its highest since Monday.
Against the euro, sterling rose by 0.2 per cent to 90.58 pence, a whisker off the two-week low of 91.12 it fell to the day before.
“From an FX perspective it is always about the relative, and we would argue that the relative macro position for the UK is looking grimmer than most other major economies. That will lead to further sterling weakness ahead,” said Derek Halpenny, head of research at MUFG.
“With the Brexit impediment thrown in on top, sterling will increasingly be viewed as part of the solution in providing stimulus through further depreciation ahead,” Halpenny added.
Talks on Britain’s future relationship with the European Union will be a major topic of bloc business from September, but until now Britain has shown insufficient realism about what can be achieved, Germany’s Europe Minister Michael Roth said.
After gross domestic product data for May rose by a smaller amount than expected, investors question whether the already announced fiscal stimulus measures will be enough to prop up the economy, expecting the Bank of England to increase its quantitative easing programme and lower interest rates further.
Britain’s five-year government bond yields fell last week below zero and “more subdued recovery in the UK will see market rates go more negative over the coming weeks,” Halpenny estimated.
Speculators are shorting the pound, with most recent CFTC positioning data showing that leveraged funds held US$1.28 billion in shorts, though the amount had decreased in recent weeks and was not nearly as high as around the same time last year. — Reuters
SINGAPORE, July 15 — The total number of votes cast at the just concluded Singapore General Election 2020 is 2,540,359 or 95.81 per cent of the 2,651,435 registered electors.
According to Singapore’s Elections Department (ELD), the number includes overseas votes.
In a statement today, the department said the overseas votes cast at the election, polling which was held on July 10, were counted today at the counting centre at ELD Training Centre.
The ELD said 4,794 registered overseas electors turned up at the designated overseas polling stations to cast their votes.
“This is 72.97 per cent of the number of registered overseas electors,” it said.
The ELD had said before that there were 6,570 registered overseas voters and 10 polling stations set in 10 cities, namely in Beijing, Canberra, Dubai, Hong Kong, London, New York, San Francisco, Shanghai, Tokyo and Washington.
The statement also said the total number of votes cast is inclusive of 45,822 rejected votes.
The People’s Action Party (PAP) retained power in Singapore’s intensely-contested general election Friday, winning 83 of the 93 parliamentary seats at stake.
The party garnered 61.24 per cent of the popular vote. — Bernama
NEW YORK, July 15 — Risk sentiment revived in currency markets today as progress toward a Covid-19 vaccine helped equities rebound and commodity currencies strengthen, pushing the dollar to a one-month low.
The dollar index fell below 96 for the first time since June, dropping to a one-month low of 95.770. It was last trading down 0.20 per cent at 95.960.
The US company Moderna has produced an experimental Covid-19 vaccine that provoked immune responses in all 45 volunteers, sparking a risk-on mood.
But there was still some cause for caution, with worsening US-China tensions and fears about the economic impact of a second wave of coronavirus in the United States.
Florida, which has become an epicentre of the new outbreak, reported 133 new Covid-19 fatalities on Tuesday, and raised its death toll to more than 4,500.
Among the riskier commodity-linked currencies, the Canadian dollar was 0.62 per cent stronger; the Australian dollar was up 0.60 per cent and the New Zealand dollar was up 0.52 per cent.
“The main driver here is from the US dollar side,” said Commerzbank’s head of foreign exchange and commodity research, Ulrich Leuchtmann.
The euro extended overnight gains to a four-month high of US$1.145 versus the dollar, close to the euro-dollar’s peak of US$1.150 (RM4.90) in early March. It was last up 0.18 per cent at US$1.142.
The single currency was boosted by a combination of dollar weakness and hopes that European Union leaders will reach an agreement about a proposed coronavirus recovery fund at the EU summit on Friday and Saturday.
“The pair has been floated by a combo of broader dollar softness, which has come amid a risk-on backdrop, and by the recent broad underpinning the euro has seen amid expectations for EU leaders to green-light the proposed 750 billion euro recovery fund this week,” wrote analysts at Action Economics.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a news conference with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on Tuesday that Germany would push for a compromise. France believes it is possible to reach agreement on the recovery plan and budget, the office of the French presidency said today. — Reuters
IPOH, July 15 — The passing of Datuk Mohd Khusairi Abdul Talib, the assemblyman of Slim, today, is a great loss not only to Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN), but also to the people of Tanjung Malim, says Perak Umno Liaison Committee chairman Datuk Saarani Mohamad.
He said Mohd Khusairi had done a lot for UM Umno NO and BN, and his loyalty to the party and his voters was proven after the 14th General Election (GE14).
“His service and sacrifice to remain with Umno and BN at a time when we had lost power showed his commitment to the welfare and best interests of the people,” he said in a statement here, tonight.
Saarani, who is the state’s Rural Development, Entrepreneur Development, Cooperatives and Consumer Affairs Committee chairman, also expressed his condolences to all of Mohd Khusairi’s family members.
Mohd Khusairi, 59, who was also the Tanjung Malim Umno Division chief, was confirmed to have died of a heart attack at the Bentong Hospital after he suddenly fainted while playing golf at the Awana Genting Highlands Golf and Country Resort.
Meanwhile, Tanjung Malim Umno Division secretary Sulong Jamil Mohamed Shariff said the funeral prayers would be held at the Felda Sungai Behrang Mosque at 9am tomorrow before the burial takes place, while those who wished to pay their last respects could do so at Mohd Khusairi’s mother’s house at Jalan Q, Felda Sungai Behrang, beginning 7am.
Mohd Khusairi, who was also an Umno Supreme Council member, leaves behind his wife, Datin Jamilah Nordin and seven children.
The winner of the Slim state assembly seat for four terms since 2004, had a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) degree from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia in Bangi, Selangor and served as a press officer to the Sukau assemblyman in Kinabatangan, Sabah, 1988 for three years, beginning in 1988.
The native of Perak had also been a sub-editor for several newsletters, including Suara Bersatu of Partu Bersatu Sabah.
The recipient of the Pingat Pekerti Terpilih (PPT) award in 1998 also held the chairman’s position at the National Film Development Corporation (Finas) in 2015.
In GE14, he retained the Slim state seat with a majority of 2,183 votes against Bersatu candidate Mohd Amran Ibrahim who contested under the PKR ticket, and Muhammad Zulfadli Zainal of PAS.
Slim is one of three state seats within the Tanjung Malim Parliamentary constituency, besides Behrang and Sungkai. — Bernama
LONDON, July 15 — Harry Kane says winning is “everything” to Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho as Spurs scramble to qualify for European football after an inconsistent season.
The England captain said it had been a disappointing campaign for a club who reached the Champions League final just 12 months ago.
Victory over Arsenal on Sunday kept Spurs, in eighth place, in the hunt for a Europa League place, but they are jostling with a clutch of other clubs for just two spots.
“It would be a real shame if a club like us — especially with the past five or six years we’ve had — to not be playing in Europe,” Kane told BT Sport. “It would be a huge disappointment.
“We know how much it means to the club, fans and the players to be playing in Europe.”
The club’s run to the Champions League final, where they lost to Liverpool, was not enough to save Mauricio Pochettino, who was sacked in November after an indifferent start to the season.
Kane spoke of his shock after the Argentine’s dismissal but said he had built up a good relationship with Mourinho, whom he described as a different style of manager.
“Obviously we’ve had a long period where I was out injured doing rehab, having to watch the team from the sidelines and we’ve had a long time to get to know each other with Covid-19,” he said.
“We’ve built up a good relationship and we talk very often.
“He wants to win, he’s here to win. Obviously there are no trophies to play for this season but next season that’s his aim. Everything is about winning and he’s made that clear.” — AFP
NEW YORK, July 15 — Wall Street gained today with the S&P 500 hitting its highest in more than four months following a strong quarterly showing by Goldman Sachs and promising early data for a potential Covid-19 vaccine.
The US lender jumped 1.4 per cent as its trading revenue doubled in the second quarter, driven by big swings in stock and bond markets since March.
Morgan Stanley gained 0.6 per cent and Bank of America 1.1 per cent ahead of their results on Thursday, which would wrap up earnings from the big six US banks. The broader banking index climbed 2.0 per cent.
Energy, industrials and materials led gains among the major S&P sectors.
“We’re being led by the cyclical investing which means people believe that the economy has reached a nadir and is going to start trending higher,” said Robert Pavlik, senior portfolio manager at SlateStone Wealth LLC in New York.
The three main US stock indexes have recouped most of their losses from the coronavirus-led slump, with a raft of stimulus measures and encouraging economic data lifting the S&P 500 to within 5 per cent of its record high hit in February.
With the second-quarter earnings season now underway, investors are looking for annual forecasts from marquee companies for signs of the pace of the rebound in Corporate America.
Wall Street’s fear gauge eased for the second straight day after spiking on Monday amid a record surge in US coronavirus cases.
“The market started off strong on the news that Moderna is finding some success in their interim phase one trials for a Covid-19 drug and the news from Goldman Sachs feeding by a wide margin,” said Pavlik.
UnitedHealth Group Inc fell 0.3 per cent after warning of rising costs later this year as Americans catch up on less urgent surgeries halted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Moderna Inc surged 12.4 per cent after a small-scale study showed its experimental Covid-19 vaccine produced high levels of virus-killing antibodies, bolstering hopes the shot could prove effective in later stages of testing.
Travel-related stocks Carnival Corp, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, Marriott International and Wynn Resorts rose between 7 per cent and 11 per cent, with the S&P 1500 airlines index up 6.4 per cent.
At 10:49 am ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 342.12 points, or 1.28 per cent, at 26,984.71, the S&P 500 was up 38.89 points, or 1.22 per cent, at 3,236.41. The Nasdaq Composite was up 114.95 points, or 1.10 per cent, at 10,603.52.
Apple rose 1.6 per cent after Europe’s second-top court rejected an EU order to the iPhone maker to pay 13 billion euros (US$14.78 billion) in Irish back taxes.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 6.41-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 5.63-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 24 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 54 new highs and no new lows. — Reuters
MIAMI, July 15 — NBA scoring leader James Harden arrived in Orlando to join the Houston Rockets ahead of the season restart but the Sacramento Kings will have to wait for coronavirus-positive Harrison Barnes.
Team workouts continued Wednesday on the Disney World campus where 22 NBA clubs will reside and play without spectators when the league resumes play July 30 after shuting down March 11 when Utah’s Rudy Gobert tested positive for Covid-19.
Harden, who was averaging an NBA-best 34.4 points a game when the season went on hiatus, is on pace for a third consecutive NBA scoring title.
He arrived on the NBA campus in Florida yesterday night, five days after the Rockets moved into the hotel. No reason was given for Harden’s delayed arrival but he must quarantine in his hotel room before being able to join the Rockets for practice sessions.
Houston is also missing Russell Westbrook after he announced Monday he had tested positive for Covid-19. It’s not known when he will be able to arrive.
The Rockets, sixth in the Western Conference at 40-24, resume their NBA season against Dallas on July 31.
Also present yesterday in the NBA bubble was Denver’s Nikola Jokic.
He had tested positive for Covid-19 in June while in Serbia and was in quarantine while testing negative several times before being allowed to join the Nuggets, who return to action August 1 against Miami.
But one player who won’t be in Orlando for a while is Sacramento’s Barnes, who tweeted yesterday night he has tested positive for Covid-19.
“Prior to the team leaving last week, I tested positive for Covid-19,” Barnes tweeted. “I’ve been primarily asymptomatic and am doing well. I’m quarantined and am abiding by the safety protocol until I’m cleared for action.
“I hope to rejoin my team in Orlando when it is safe to do so! Stay safe out there.”
Barnes will be tested daily and once he tests negative twice, he can join the Kings in Disney World, although upon arrival he would be subject to more tests and two days of self quarantine in his room away from the rest of the club.
The eight-year NBA forward, who was traded from Dallas to the Kings in February 2019, is averaging 14.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists a game for Sacramento, which is 28-36 and chasing Memphis for the last Western Conference playoff spot.
The Kings resume play on July 31 against San Antonio. — AFP
LONDON, July 15 — The BBC said today it will go ahead with hundreds of newsroom staff cuts delayed during the coronavirus crisis, as UK media outlets reel from the pandemic’s economic fallout.
The British broadcaster, which announced in January it planned to axe 450 newsroom jobs to meet changing audience needs and savings targets, said it now intended to implement 520 cuts.
The redundancies, which were paused as the Covid-19 crisis hit Britain severely from March, will now be implemented “in stages”, it said.
“If we don’t make changes, we won’t be sustainable,” Director of BBC News and Current Affairs Fran Unsworth, who heads the department’s workforce of around 6,000 people, said in a statement.
“This crisis has led us to re-evaluate exactly how we operate as an organisation,” she added, noting it was focused on delivering “fewer stories, more targeted and with more impact”.
In separate streamlining moves previously unveiled, the BBC will also shed hundreds of jobs in its sprawling regional operations.
It will axe 450 positions in England, as well as 150 in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, as the broadcaster tries to cut costs and shake up its local radio stations and TV news.
The cuts came on the same day the Guardian newspaper said it plans to axe 180 jobs.
The left-leaning paper became the latest British publisher to announce redundancies as the pandemic drives readers online but slashes advertising revenues.
In a staff memo it said the cuts would affect around 70 editorial roles, with the remainder in areas such as advertising, marketing and events.
Editor-in-chief Katharine Viner and Guardian Media Group chief executive Annette Thomas added revenues would be down by more than £25 million (RM134.6 million) this financial year, and the pandemic had created an “unsustainable financial outlook for the Guardian”.
The move follows an announcement last week by Reach, which publishes national newspapers the Daily Mirror and Daily Express, and a string of local titles, to cut about 550 jobs.
It also blamed the fallout from the coronavirus crisis, which had accelerated “structural change in the media sector”, with increases in digital revenue not making up the shortfalls from lost advertising income.
Reach’s proposed reduction of 12 per cent of its workforce was part of plans to make annual cost savings of £35 million, it added.
The Guardian announced its cuts alongside financial results for the 2019-20 financial year, which cover the 12 months to the end of March—when Britain’s three-month virus lockdown was just a week old.
They showed company revenues had fallen to £223.5 million. Income from readers through subscriptions and donations made up for a drop in advertising income.
The paper, which switched to a new tabloid format in 2018 to help cut costs, has kept its online content free-to-read and, in contrast to many rivals, not adopted a paywall model.
Viner and Thomas told staff they remained committed to the strategy.
“Despite the pressures that coronavirus has placed on our business, our unique reader relationship model has proved successful, and the strategy of the past few years has been the right one,” they added. — AFP
BERLIN, July 15 — Borussia Dortmund announced today they had cancelled the contract of Andre Schuerrle by mutal consent a year early after the 2014 World Cup winner failed to make his mark in four years at the Bundesliga runners-up.
It was Schuerrle’s cross in extra time during the 2014 World Cup final which Mario Goetze volleyed home to seal Germany’s 1-0 win over Argentina.
The 29-year-old Schuerrle joined Dortmund from Wolfsburg in 2016 for €30 million (RM146 million), but failed to hold down a first-team place.
He was loaned out to Spartak Moscow last season after spending 2018/19 at Fulham.
“Looking back, it was a time with ups and downs, but also with many valuable experiences,” said Schuerrle.
He is now without a club despite 57 appearances for Germany and 22 goals, including two in the historic 7-1 thrashing of hosts Brazil in the semi-finals of the 2014 World Cup.
His last international appearance was in 2017 and in the last four years, Schuerrle managed only 51 games and eight goals for Dortmund.
As the transfer window opened in Germany on Wednesday and closes on October 5, Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke told website Sport1: “It definitely wasn’t a success story for either side.
“For this reason, it was better to cancel the contract prematurely.”
Schuerrle’s departure follows that of Goetze, who left Dortmund last month when his contract expired and neither party sought an extension.
Goetze failed to impress head coach Lucien Favre as Dortmund finished second to Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga. — AFP
DOHA, July 15 — Qatar will kick off the 2022 World Cup at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, organisers announced today, as they revealed the schedule for the finals.
In a joint statement, Fifa and Qatar’s Supreme Committee organisational body said that the gas-rich Gulf nation will start the World Cup at the 60,000-capacity ground on November 21.
The final will be held at the 80,000-seat Lusail Stadium in Doha nearly a month later on December 18.
The opening match will begin a group stage that will feature four matches a day for 12 days, spread over eight stadiums around Qatar.
Group matches will kick off at three-hour intervals, beginning at 1pm local time (1000 GMT), with the late match kicking off at 10pm local time.
The tournament will then jump straight to the last 16, with two matches a day until two rest days and the start of the quarter- and semi-finals, which will both be spread over two days.
Qualification for the World Cup has begun in Asia and Africa but is yet to start in Europe, the Americas and Oceania. Organisers said today that the draw for the finals would be made “after the March 2022 international match calendar qualifying window”.
Both the Al Bayt and Lusail stadiums are still under construction, although the Al Bayt ground — which takes its shape from the traditional tents used by nomadic peoples in the Gulf region — is nearing completion, according to World Cup organisers.
Last week rights group Amnesty International claimed that around a hundred migrant workers at the Al-Bayt stadium, which is 50 kilometres north of Doha, have yet to receive outstanding wages in full after not being paid for up to seven months.
Earlier this month several sources told AFP that World Cup organisers will lay off an undisclosed number of staff as Qatar cuts costs amid the coronavirus economic downturn.
Qatar has one of the world’s highest per capita infection rates. — AFP
SINGAPORE, July 15 — Singapore Airlines Ltd today flagged a hit to its revenue making ability in full-year 2021 on seeing a slower than expected recovery as the ongoing coronavirus crisis saps demand for air travel.
The airline, considered a bellwether for premium travel in Asia, also said it would report a material operating loss in the first-quarter of fiscal 2021 on fuel hedge losses stemming from sinking oil prices.
The carrier’s announcement follows its first ever annual loss and an update in May when it warned of fuel hedging losses and negative operating cashflow for the quarter ending June 30 as most of its fleet remained grounded.
The airline said in February it had entered fuel hedging contracts through March 31, 2025. A collapse in the global oil prices this year led to big losses on those contracts, including S$710 million (RM2.2 billion) logged in the fourth quarter.
For the month of June, Singapore Airlines said the SIA group carried 17,700 passengers, barely a fraction of last year’s 3.2 million figure.
The company will provide the first-quarter trading update on July 29, it added. — Reuters
MAKASAR, Indonesia: The death toll from floods on Indonesia's Sulawesi island has risen to at least 21, authorities said Wednesday as residents tried to salvage a few belongings from their inundated homes.© New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd
LONDON, July 15 — Premier League clubs have agreed a 10-week summer transfer window, which will open on July 27.
Subject to the approval of football’s world governing body Fifa, the window will open the day after the 2019/20 league season finishes and end on October 5, the date Uefa had recommended for the closure of registration periods across Europe.
The Premier League said that following consultation with the English Football League, a domestic-only window will also be added from October 5 and close on October 16.
Transfers between Premier League clubs will not be able to occur during this period, but top-flight sides can trade with EFL clubs and loan or sign players permanently.
The EFL confirmed its window would open on the same day as the Premier League’s but clubs would have an extra two weeks for domestic-only business. — AFP
MADRID, July 15 — Zinedine Zidane has warned his players not to believe La Liga is already won as Real Madrid chase the last victory they need against Villarreal tomorrow.
With a four-point cushion ahead of Barcelona and only two games left to play, Madrid will be uncatchable if they win at the Alfredo di Stefano Stadium, regardless of Barca’s result at home to Osasuna.
It means a third league title in eight years is now firmly within their grasp, following a relentless run of form that has seen Madrid win nine games out of nine since the restart from coronavirus lockdown.
Madrid could even afford to lose to Villarreal if they beat Leganes on Sunday but Zidane is wary of complacency.
“There is a lot of noise about celebrations and holidays and all that but tomorrow we have a game, period,” said Zidane in a press conference today.
“We have to focus all our energy on tomorrow, nothing else. There is a lot of talk but all the players, everyone who works at the club, is only thinking about the game.
“Nobody knows what will happen until it happens.”
While Barca’s ageing squad has struggled with the frequency of matches since the suspension, Madrid appear to have revelled in the intensity of a compressed calendar.
“It was something quite particular that when we started to work again after lockdown and after three months at home, the players had this desire to do something great,” said Zidane.
“I saw the players and they wanted something more, they were staying after training to do extra. That says everything you need to know about this team.”
Luis Suarez said in an interview with Diario Sport this week that winning La Liga is now “almost impossible” for Barcelona, who play Osasuna, hoping to take the title race to the final day.
“That’s his opinion,” said Barca coach Quique Setien. “The truth is La Liga is not yet lost because anything can happen but we know it is difficult.
“Not so much because of our failings, that we have had three draws, but Madrid’s success. They have done things better but we will continue fighting until the end.”
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu said on Sunday that Setien will remain in charge for the Champions League but doubts remain about next season.
When Bartomeu sacked Ernesto Valverde in January, Barca were top of the table, albeit on goal difference, but Setien insists he is not entirely to blame.
“I take responsibility but not all of it,” said Setien. “When people look for a scapegoat they always look at the coach but I don’t feel like I did things so badly.
“I would more give credit to Madrid, who have won all their games.”
Setien said Frenkie de Jong has recovered from a calf injury and and is ready to feature against Osasuna while Zidane reported Eden Hazard is now “totally fine”.
Hazard has not started any of Madrid’s last four games after feeling pain in the same right ankle he had surgery on in March. “He’s better and he’s with us,” Zidane said.
Zidane also reacted with frustration when asked if it would be best if Gareth Bale left the club this summer.
Bale’s future has again been the subject of debate after he was pictured with his face mask over his eyes during the win over Alaves on Friday.
“This question again. You try to put things between us but you won’t be able to,” said Zidane. “We’re united. Gareth, James (Rodriguez), everyone.” — AFP
IPOH, July 15 — Hours after the death of Slim assemblyman Datuk Mohd Khusairi Abdul Talib, Perak PKR chief Farhash Wafa Salvador Rizal Mubarak has said that it will contest the seat representing the Opposition.
Farhash said that the party will nominate someone from the constituency for the by-election which is expected in the near future following the death of the 59-year-old Umno assemblyman.
“I would like to extend my condolences to the family of Mohd Khusairi who passed away this afternoon.
“PKR will defend his legacy by nominating someone from the area,” he said in a statement.
“We will continue our efforts in defending the welfare of the people as the Opposition during this challenging time,” he added.
Farhash said that the reformasi movement will continue for the sake of justice even as the country faces the Covid-19 pandemic and economic crisis.
Khusairi was pronounced dead at Bentong Hospital at 4.15pm today.
The four-term Slim assemblyman was believed to have suffered a heart attack while playing golf at a resort in Genting Highlands.
He is survived by his wife, Datin Jamaliah Nordin, and seven children.
During the 14th general election, Khusairi secured a 2,183 majority to win the Slim state seat by defeating the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) and PAS candidates.
With Bersatu, PAS and Umno in an alliance, the Perak Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition will now have to decide which party will be contesting the seat.
TAWAU, July 15 — The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) today arrested three individuals including a married couple in Tawau, in connection with two separate bribery cases.
According to a source, Tawau MACC arrested a couple in their 30s at 10.30am for allegedly submitting false information to the District Education Office (PPD) in 2017.
The couple is believed to have resorted to the move to get a school canteen tender worth RM100,000.
In a separate case, a 54-year-old hospital administrative assistant was detained at 2pm this afternoon, for using his position to obtain a RM16,000 bribe.
It is learned that the man had approved payment for maintenance works on a government quarters, which was for his benefit.
Sabah MACC director, S Karunanithy when contacted confirmed the arrests. — Bernama
ALOR SETAR, July 15 — The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) has activated a search and rescue (SAR) operation for a fisherman who was believed to have fallen into the sea while fishing about 4.1 nautical miles north of Pulau Payar, Langkawi, this morning.
Kuala Kedah Maritime Zone director Maritime commander Mahmad Faizal Ahmad said the agency was alerted about the incident by the boat skipper before the Langkawi Maritime Rescue Sub-Centre (MRSC) team launched the SAR operation at 9.50am.
“The victim, whose identity has yet to be identified, is believed to be a local man in his early 20s, was reported to have gone out to sea with a skipper and another fisherman in a fishing trawler boat.
“The victim who was said to be working for the first time on the boat was found missing at 8.50am,” he said in a statement here today.
Mahmad Faizal said currently the search covers an area measuring 25 square nautical miles and involves assets from the Malaysian Maritime, Fisheries Department as well as several local fishing boats.
“People who have lost a family member or have any information about the incident are urged to contact the Maritime Operations Centre in the Kuala Kedah Maritime Zone at 04-7310579,” he said. — Bernama