Malesia

Gurus and ‘pyramids’: Djokovic’s fondness for quirky remedies

Malay Mail - Lun, 10/01/2022 - 13:55

Novak Djokovic’s predilection to turn to the unusual — from hyperbaric chambers to meditation with Spanish guru Pepe Imaz, a former journeyman player who extols a ‘love and peace’ philosophy — makes him stand out from other tennis stars, who tend to embrace a more straight-laced lifestyle.― Reuters pic Novak Djokovic’s predilection to turn to the unusual — from hyperbaric chambers to meditation with Spanish guru Pepe Imaz, a former journeyman player who extols a ‘love and peace’ philosophy — makes him stand out from other tennis stars, who tend to embrace a more straight-laced lifestyle.― Reuters pic

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BELGRADE, Jan 10 — Healing “pyramids”, a personal guru, and a strict plant-based diet are some of the few eccentricities Novak Djokovic has dabbled in over the course of his stellar tennis career.

Djokovic’s predilection to turn to the unusual — from hyperbaric chambers to meditation with Spanish guru Pepe Imaz, a former journeyman player who extols a “love and peace” philosophy — makes him stand out from other tennis stars, who tend to embrace a more straight-laced lifestyle.

Born and raised in war-weary Belgrade amid the bloody break-up of Yugoslavia in the 1990s, he used to practise in a disused swimming pool and like many others waited in long lines for bread, milk and other basic necessities.

Djokovic has hailed his family roots for his on-court passion as well as the struggles in growing up in Serbia.

“Part of it is genes. We grew up in difficult times for my country and failure was never an option,” he said at Wimbledon last year.

“We had to find basic ways to survive, that strengthened my character.

“Also my upbringing in the mountains I spent a lot of time with wolves — this is wolf energy. I’m not kidding.”

The 34-year-old Serbian has cashed in over US$150 million (RM630 million) in prize money and lives in the millionaire’s playground of Monte Carlo.

But despite the money and fame, Djokovic has stayed close to his roots all the while embracing the occasional unconventional remedy.

The tennis ace is also known for his fondness of a Bosnian hill town of Visoko, where thousands flock every year to what some believe are an ancient man-made pyramid complex enshrined with healing powers — a claim questioned by scientists.

In 2020, Djokovic made back-to-back pilgrimages to the park and invited “all athletes” to take advantage of the healthy oxygen levels.

“I know there are many doubts and dilemmas about the authenticity (of the place),” he told AFP after a visit.

But “in order to fully understand what is going on here... you have to come”.

Positive results

Djokovic also made headlines after claiming it was possible to alter the composition of water and food through the power of positive thinking.

“I’ve seen people and I know some people that through energetical transformation, through the power of prayer, through the power of gratitude, they manage to turn the most toxic food or the most polluted water, into the most healing water,” said Djokovic during an online exchange with “wellness guru” Chervin Jafarieh.

“Because water reacts and scientists have proven that molecules in the water react to our emotions to what is being said,” he added.

At home in the Balkans, tennis buffs and the casual sports fans alike cheer for the Serb who is known for his humanitarian work as much as for his sports success.

Donations he made in 2014 to Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia, hit by catastrophic floods, as well as appeals to help them are still remembered.

And despite stoking controversy for his vaccine scepticism, Djokovic made early donations in Serbia to help fight the coronavirus pandemic while also purchasing ventilators for neighbouring Montenegro.

He has since tested positive for Covid twice, including in June 2020 during a controversial tour in the Balkans that turned into a “cluster” and last December when he appeared maskless at events in Belgrade.

In December, Djokovic briefly added his voice to concerns over a government-backed lithium mine in Serbia, writing on social media that “clean air, water and food are keys to health” amid mass protest against the future project.

“Without that, every word about ‘health’ is obsolete”, Djokovic added. — AFP

Categorie: Malesia

Flood victims in Johor, Melaka and Pahang continue to decrease

Malay Mail - Lun, 10/01/2022 - 13:47

An aerial view of the flood in Kampung Belimbing Dalam near Durian Tunggal in Melaka, January 4, 2022. — Bernama pic An aerial view of the flood in Kampung Belimbing Dalam near Durian Tunggal in Melaka, January 4, 2022. — Bernama pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 10 — The flood situation in Johor, Melaka and Pahang has continued to improve, with the number of victims decreasing further as of this evening.

In Johor, the number of victims declined to 2,935 people as of 4 pm, compared to 3,161 in the morning.

Johor Health and Environment Committee chairman R. Vidyananthan said four districts were still affected by the floods involving 37 relief centres, with Segamat still recording the highest number of victims at 1,089, followed by Muar (1,085), Tangkak (680) and Batu Pahat (81).

He said three relief centres were closed, namely Balai Raya Taman Suria and Dewan Serbaguna Kampung Paya Pulai in Segamat; and SMK Yong Peng in Batu Pahat, adding that it was currently sunny throughout the state.

“However, the public is reminded to be vigilant, as three rivers are still at the danger level, namely Sungai Pagoh in Kampung Olak Sepam, Sungai Muar in Liang Batu and Sungai Muar in Bukit Kepong,” he said in a statement today.

In Melaka, State Malaysian Civil Defence Force (APM) director Lt Col (PA) Cuthbert John Martin Quadra said the number of flood victims stood at 235 people from 64 families as of this evening, with all of them placed at three relief centres in Jasin.

In Pahang, the number of flood victims continued to decrease to 80 people in two relief centres this evening, compared to 141 people in the morning.

The State Disaster Management Secretariat said the reduction comes following the closure of the last relief centre in Maran which housed victims of the second wave of floods, as all 35 victims were allowed to return home.

The number of victims in Pekan and Rompin also decreased during the period. — Bernama

Categorie: Malesia

Nobel body slams 'politically motivated' Suu Kyi convictions

NST Online - Lun, 10/01/2022 - 13:47

OSLO: The Norwegian Nobel Committee, which awards the Nobel Peace Prize, denounced three new convictions handed down Monday against ousted Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

© New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd
Categorie: Malesia

Sports stars who share Djokovic’s Covid-19 vaccination scepticism

Malay Mail - Lun, 10/01/2022 - 13:43

Bayern Munich midfielder Joshua Kimmich suffered lung damage from Covid-19 that ruled him out of action till January. — AFP pic Bayern Munich midfielder Joshua Kimmich suffered lung damage from Covid-19 that ruled him out of action till January. — AFP pic

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PARIS, Jan 10 — Novak Djokovic’s scepticism over the Covid-19 vaccine is shared by other sports stars.

AFP Sport picks out five of those:

Aaron Rodgers

The Green Bay Packers legend and Super Bowl winning quarterback has been a leading voice against vaccination.

The 38-year-old has cast himself in the role of a victim of a “woke mob” and “cancel culture” following criticism when he tested positive.

Prior to that he had said he was “immunised” having sought alternative treatment. Rodgers claimed two of the vaccines contained an unspecified ingredient he was allergic to and refused to take the other after hearing of “multiple people” complaining of “adverse events”.

Rodgers counted the cost of his stance and his attack on those criticising him when an American health care company cut ties with him last November having taken a dim view of his remarks.        

Joshua Kimmich

Rodgers got a mild dose of coronavirus and still refused to be vaccinated but German midfielder Kimmich was not so fortunate when he contracted it in late November.

The 26-year-old Bayern Munich star suffered lung damage that ruled him out of action till January.

He had sparked fury when he revealed in October he was against being vaccinated due to “fears and concerns”.

“I thought I could protect myself from the virus if I stuck to all the rules and tested regularly,” he said.

Stranger still was that in 2020 he and team-mate Leon Goretzka founded the initiative “We kick Corona” by donating money to support vaccination campaigns and charitable projects.

He has, however, finally booked a vaccination appointment admitting “it would have been better to do it earlier”.

Bryson DeChambeau

The normally muscle-bound 2020 US Open champion looked leaner after he returned following a bout of Covid which cost him his place at last year’s Olympics in Tokyo.

The 28-year-old golfer revealed he had lost 4.5kg due to the virus. However, he insisted that experiencing it had made him no more enthusiastic to be vaccinated.

“The vaccine doesn’t necessarily prevent it from happening,” he told American media in August.

“I’m young enough, I’d rather give it (the vaccine) to people who need it. I don’t need it. I’m a healthy, young individual that will continue to work on my health.”

Dechambeau — both of whose parents have been vaccinated — said he would contemplate doing so if he felt the vaccine met his standards.

Kyrie Irving

The Brooklyn Nets NBA star has been welcomed back into the fold after spending the first two months of the season sidelined due to his refusal to be vaccinated.

The 29-year-old point guard said his much criticised decision was not because he was anti-vaccination, it was simply a personal choice.

“I am doing what’s best for me,” he said in October.

“I know the consequences here, and if it means that I’m judged and demonised for that, that’s just what it is, that’s the role I play.”

Even with his return Irving — who won the NBA title with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016 — can only play a role on the road because, as long as he remains unvaccinated, he cannot play home games due to New York’s vaccine mandates.      

Tennys Sandgren

Whilst Djokovic and his lawyers battle the Australian system, fellow tennis player Sandgren did not even try for a medical exemption.

The 30-year-old American, who posseses two Australian Open quarter-final spots compared to the nine singles titles of Djokovic, said he did not meet the conditions required to secure one.

“I have not quite the same pull,” Sandgren noted dryly prior to Djokovic’s stand-off at the airport in Melbourne.

However, once Djokovic was held up he was scathing of the Australian stance.

“Just to be crystal clear here,” he tweeted.

“Two separate medical boards approved his exemption. And politicians are stopping it. Australia doesn’t deserve to host a grand slam.” — AFP

Categorie: Malesia

Glitches, delays and court drama: Another day of twists in Djokovic saga

Malay Mail - Lun, 10/01/2022 - 13:43

Police officers pepper spray supporters to clear a road for Serbia’s tennis champion Novak Djokovic’s car in Melbourne, January 9, 2022. — AFP pic Police officers pepper spray supporters to clear a road for Serbia’s tennis champion Novak Djokovic’s car in Melbourne, January 9, 2022. — AFP pic

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MELBOURNE, Jan 10 — The day started with a website crash and ended with the stunning release of the world’s number one tennis player into Australia after nearly five days of detention.

As viewers around the world tuned in to a much-anticipated livestream of Novak Djokovic’s visa appeal hearing early today, they met the same fate the tennis star faced at Melbourne’s airport last week — being denied entry — as the site crashed.

It was perhaps a fitting twist in a saga that has rolled on since Wednesday, with the Serbian holed up in a notorious Melbourne immigration detention centre on Covid-19 health grounds rather than training for a record 21st Grand Slam.

Hours later, the hearing was abruptly restarted by Judge Anthony Kelly, who reinstated the Serbian superstar’s visa and ordered his release from detention — a decision that only prolongs what has become a humiliating global news event for the Australian government.

The online hearing — eventually streamed on YouTube — drew tens of thousands of viewers.

Djokovic watched proceedings with his barristers in Melbourne as the twists and turns kept coming throughout the day.

Outside Melbourne’s federal court, dozens of Djokovic fans and anti-vaccine mandate protesters waved flags and placards as journalists scrambled to report on the hearing.

Chants of “Nole!” — Djokovic’s nickname — and “let him play!” rang out back at the court as the buoyant crowd, some holding umbrellas with anti-vaccine slogans, continued their song and dance routine in the Melbourne heat.

Djokovic delight

The tennis star was released to the delight of his team, devoted nationalist supporters and anti-vaxxers who had rallied for him in recent days.

After his victory, police officers and private security guards descended on his lawyers’ offices.

If he is not detained again, he will be able to enjoy the freedoms that his supporters believe befitting of his status.

“He deserves 5-star accom and his private chef now!” read one placard held aloft by a Djokovic supporter outside the former Park hotel, where the player was held.

The Australian government has one last card up its sleeve: the immigration minister reserves the right to intervene and ban him again on different grounds.

But the day seemed to be ending without the resolution that Canberra so desperately wanted, and with Djokovic’s supporters in Melbourne’s Fed Square still cheering devotedly into the night. — AFP

Categorie: Malesia

Duo jailed for fish bombing

NST Online - Lun, 10/01/2022 - 13:42

KOTA KINABALU: Two Palauh (sea gypsy) men were sentenced to 10 months’ imprisonment each by the Sessions Court here for having various types of bombed fish.

© New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd
Categorie: Malesia

Justice has spoken so Djokovic should play in Australian Open, says Nadal

Malay Mail - Lun, 10/01/2022 - 13:42

Rafael Nadal of Spain serves during his men’s singles match against Ricardas Berankis of Lituania at the Melbourne Summer Set tennis tournament in Melbourne January 6, 2022. — AFP pic Rafael Nadal of Spain serves during his men’s singles match against Ricardas Berankis of Lituania at the Melbourne Summer Set tennis tournament in Melbourne January 6, 2022. — AFP pic

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MADRID, Jan 10 — Rafael Nadal believes “justice has spoken” and “it is the fairest thing” for Novak Djokovic to play in the Australian Open, following the decision of a judge.

“Regardless of whether or not I agree on some things with Djokovic, without any doubt, justice has spoken,” Nadal told Spanish radio station Onda Cero today.

“They have said he has the right to play in the Australian Open and I really believe that is the fairest thing if the issue has been resolved, which seems to be the case,” Nadal added.

The decision by Australian judge Anthony Kelly ordering the immediate release of Djokovic paves the way for the two great rivals to bid for an unprecedented 21st Grand Slam singles title.

The 34-year-old Serbian has been held for four nights in an immigration detention facility in Melbourne after he failed to present a solid medical reason for not being jabbed against Covid-19.

Djokovic is not vaccinated against Covid-19 and armed with a medical exemption from the Australia Open organisers had arrived in Melbourne last Wednesday ahead of the first Grand Slam of the season.

However, immigration officials decided the champion had failed to present a solid medical reason for not being jabbed.

Despite losing in court the Australian government has warned it could still force Djokovic to leave by cancelling his visa for a second time, which would see the Serb miss the Australian Open, which starts on January 17.

“On a personal level I would prefer that he doesn’t play,” Nadal said, laughing.

“Selfishly speaking for our sport, the best players being on the court competing is much better than that them being anywhere else,” added the 35-year-old Spaniard. — AFP

Categorie: Malesia

209 receive awards, medals in conjunction with Selangor sultan's birthday

NST Online - Lun, 10/01/2022 - 13:41

SHAH ALAM: A total of 209 individuals from Petaling and Klang districts were conferred awards and medals in an investiture ceremony today, held in conjunction with the 74th birthday of the Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah.

© New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd
Categorie: Malesia

Muhyiddin says only appointed Azam Baki to MACC due to chief secretary’s endorsement, accuses critics of trying to implicate him in fiasco

Malay Mail - Lun, 10/01/2022 - 13:38

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin speaks during a press conference in Shah Alam on November 6, 2021. — Picture by Miera Zulyana Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin speaks during a press conference in Shah Alam on November 6, 2021. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 10 — Former prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin claimed today there were certain quarters attempting to implicate him in the ongoing controversy surrounding Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief Tan Sri Azam Baki and the latter’s appointment as the enforcement agency’s head.

According to Muhyiddin, Azam’s appointment had been done in the right manner even though it took place during his administration.

“It is not me who appointed him but was certified by the committee led by the then chief secretary to the government who had proposed his name,” Muhyiddin was quoted as saying by Sinar Harian.

The chief secretary then was Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali, who is still currently serving that post.

This comes after Pengerang MP Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said questioned whether Muhyiddin had done necessary background checks before appointing Azam as MACC chief commissioner in March 2020.

Separately, a former principal private secretary to Muhyiddin affirmed that Azam’s appointment was made in accordance with existing regulations and due process stipulated in the public service under the provisions of Section 5 of the MACC Act.

“Under this section, the MACC chief commissioner is appointed by His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on the advice of the prime minister.

“The prime minister, in the appointment of any other senior government official, usually receives a recommendation from the chief secretary to the government or any other party provided for under the law.

“This recommendation is made to the prime minister in the form of a proposal paper for the appointment of officers in which there is a report on the qualifications of officers and the justification for appointment,” Datuk Marzuki Mohamad was quoted as saying by Sinar Harian.

Explaining further, Marzuki said there exist certain processes in the civil service that determine the eligibility of an officer to be appointed to any position.

“This includes security and integrity screening processes made by various agencies from time to time.

“For officers who are serving, they are subject to various rules and conditions including asset declarations,” he said.

Azam has been under public scrutiny in recent weeks over his acquisition of millions of shares in two public-listed companies back in 2015.

The MACC chief commissioner has maintained that he had done nothing wrong, that the shares bought since then were by his brother.

The Securities Commission has said it would call Azam in for questioning over possible conflict of interest after he admitted to proxy stock trading.

News about Azam’s holding of shares in several companies were brought to light by a freelance investigative journalist in December last year, and had received keen public interest.

Anti-corruption watchdogs have called for an independent body to investigate the allegations against Azam, such as a Parliamentary Select Committee.

Three senior MACC officers issued a joint statement proclaiming their full support for Azam and decrying the criticisms against him as politically motivated “attacks” tarnishing the commission as a public institution.

The statement was signed by Datuk Seri Ahmad Khusairi Yahaya, Datuk Seri Norazlan Mohd Razali and Datuk Junipah Wahid who are the deputy chief commissioners in charge of operations, prevention and management and professionalism respectively.

Categorie: Malesia

Gas prices up again as Russian pipeline remains stuck in reverse

Malay Mail - Lun, 10/01/2022 - 13:29

A worker checks pipes at a gas compressor station on the Yamal-Europe pipeline near Nesvizh, some 130km southwest of Minsk December 29, 2006. — Reuters pic A worker checks pipes at a gas compressor station on the Yamal-Europe pipeline near Nesvizh, some 130km southwest of Minsk December 29, 2006. — Reuters pic

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MOSCOW, Jan 10 — A pipeline that usually sends gas from Russia to Europe was stuck in reverse after three weeks today, pushing up prices in Europe at a time of political tension between Moscow and the West.

Wholesale prices in Europe were up 5 per cent today as gas on the Yamal-Europe pipeline flowed east from Germany to Poland, adding pressure on the market along with lower wind output and weather outlook.

It has now been flowing eastwards since December 21, data from German network operator Gascade showed.

Industry sources and analysts said last month that traders were preferring to take gas from stockpiles to supply European buyers and avoid paying near record-high prices. As Russian gas company Gazprom has not seen bids for westbound exports, the pipeline has switched flows.

Russian energy exports have been in the spotlight during a diplomatic standoff between Russia and the West, including over a Russian troop buildup near neighbouring Ukraine, which is trying to forge closer ties with Nato.

US and Russian officials were holding talks in Geneva today which Washington hopes can avert the danger of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, but diplomats on both sides sounded pessimistic before they began.

Some European Union lawmakers have accused Russia, which supplies more than 30 per cent of the bloc’s natural gas, of using the crisis as leverage. They say Moscow has restricted gas flows to secure approval to start up the newly built Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which will supply gas to Germany.

Russia has denied the allegations, and says the pipeline will boost gas exports and help alleviate high prices in Europe. It has said it is meeting its contractual obligations on gas deliveries.

Moscow also denies US assertions that it is planning an invasion of Ukraine, which it accuses of building up forces in the east of the country.

Prices stay high

Eastbound volumes on the Yamal pipeline stood at 7 million kilowatt hours an hour (kWh/h) on Monday, data from the Mallnow metering point on the German-Polish border showed.

The pipeline carries about one sixth of Russia’s annual gas exports to Europe and Turkey.

It is not clear when the pipeline will change the flows back towards Germany though a source close to Gazprom has said the company is expected to switch flows back at some point this month.

Preliminary Gascade data show the shipments are expected to remain in reverse at least until the early hours of tomorrow.

Adding to the European gas market pressure, Gazprom said today that it did not plan to hold spot gas sales this week.

The reverse flows have contributed to high wholesale prices in Europe, with some energy companies going bankrupt in recent months, and consumers have also felt the impact.

Benchmark gas price reached an all-time high last month of more than €180 (RM856) per megawatt hour, compared with €19 at the start of 2021.

Prices have eased to below €100, helped in part by arrivals of liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipments in Europe, but were trading up 5 per cent today at €88 on limited Russian supply and a forecast of lower temperatures.

Capacity nominations for Russian gas flows from Ukraine to Slovakia via the Velke Kapusany border point, another major route for Russian gas to Europe, stood at 287,321 megawatt hours (MWh) per day.

That level was steady compared to nominations seen since the end of last week but remained below levels of more than 900,000 recorded in early December, data from Slovak pipeline operator Eustream showed. — Reuters

Categorie: Malesia

Pope backs Covid immunisation campaigns, warns of ideological misinformation

Malay Mail - Lun, 10/01/2022 - 13:18

Pope Francis, who dedicated about a fifth of his six-page address to the pandemic, warned against ideological statements regarding vaccinations. — Reuters pic Pope Francis, who dedicated about a fifth of his six-page address to the pandemic, warned against ideological statements regarding vaccinations. — Reuters pic

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VATICAN CITY, Jan 10 — Pope Francis today condemned “baseless” ideological misinformation about Covid-19 vaccines, backing national immunisation campaigns and calling health care a moral obligation.

Francis spoke in his yearly address to the diplomatic corps accredited to the Vatican, sometimes called his “State of the World” address because it is a broad survey of the global situation.

His words to diplomats from nearly 200 countries marked the closest he has ever come to a de facto backing of vaccine mandates, which have become controversial in Italy and other European countries.

“We have realised that in those places where an effective vaccination campaign has taken place, the risk of severe repercussions of the disease has decreased,” he said.

“It is therefore important to continue the effort to immunise the general population as much as possible”.

Francis, who dedicated about a fifth of his six-page address to the pandemic, warned against ideological statements regarding vaccinations.

“Sadly, we are finding increasingly that we live in a world of strong ideological divides. Frequently people let themselves be influenced by the ideology of the moment, often bolstered by baseless information or poorly documented facts,” he said.

“Vaccines are not a magical means of healing, yet surely they represent, in addition to other treatments that need to be developed, the most reasonable solution for the prevention of the disease,” he told the diplomats gathered in the Vatican’s frescoed Hall of the Benedictions.

By saying that “health care is a moral obligation” in the context of a speech supporting vaccinations, Francis appeared to be responding to Catholics and other Christians, particularly in the United States, who say they have a religion-based right of conscientious objection to vaccines.

Francis, who is fully vaccinated, called for a global political commitment “to pursue the good of the general population through measures of prevention and immunisation”.

He renewed his appeal for the equitable distribution of vaccines to poor nations, saying that “monopolistic rules” regarding patents should be put aside for the greater good.

Francis also reiterated his defence of migrants, saying each country should accept as many as possible and that responsibility for their integration should be shared.

On climate change, he said the results of last year’s COP26 summit in Glasgow were “rather weak in light of the gravity of the problem” and hoped that action on global warming could be consolidated at COP27 planned for Egypt in November.

He repeated calls for dialogue in areas of conflict or crisis such as Lebanon, Ukraine and Myanmar as well as his call for a ban on the possession of nuclear weapons.

The Vatican, the world’s smallest state, has diplomatic relations with 183 states. — Reuters

Categorie: Malesia

Sweden takes more Covid measures as Omicron squeezes healthcare

Malay Mail - Lun, 10/01/2022 - 13:18

The new measures include a work from home mandate where possible. — AFP pic The new measures include a work from home mandate where possible. — AFP pic

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STOCKHOLM, Jan 10 — Sweden will introduce more measures to stem the rising number of Covid cases and an increased pressure on the healthcare system, Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said today.

“The situation has deteriorated, without doubt. The level of infections in Sweden is at a historically high level,” Andersson told a news conference.

The new measures include a work from home mandate where possible and a cap on the number of people allowed at public events.

Restaurants will have to close at 2300 and guests will have to be seated and in groups no bigger than eight people. Adults are also being asked to limit social contacts indoors.

The measures will be evaluated after two weeks, but are expected to be in place for at least four weeks.

While Covid infections have soared, hitting a new record last week, the number of people hospitalized as a result remains well below the peaks encountered in previous waves. The number of new deaths has also been comparatively low.

More than 1,000 patients are being treated in hospital for Covid and roughly 100 of them are in intensive care units.

The strain on healthcare is being exacerbated by spread by other respiratory viruses and staff shortages, the National Board of Health and Welfare said. — Reuters

Categorie: Malesia

Selangor govt's virtual CNY celebrations to feature 70s, 80s and 90s artistes, RM10k worth of angpows and more

NST Online - Lun, 10/01/2022 - 13:14

KUALA LUMPUR: The Selangor government will continue with its virtual Chinese New Year celebration this year as the Covid-19 pandemic remains unstable in the country.

© New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd
Categorie: Malesia

MIDF Research expects Malaysia’s industrial production index to grow 4.3pc in 2022

Malay Mail - Lun, 10/01/2022 - 13:11

A bird's-eye view of Kuala Lumpur July 8, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara A bird's-eye view of Kuala Lumpur July 8, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara

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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 10 — MIDF Research has projected Malaysia’s industrial production index (IPI) for 2022 to grow at 4.3 per cent, mainly due to the upward growth trend of the IPI in October and November last year.

Earlier today, the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DoSM) said the IPI increased 9.4 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) in November 2021, on the back of increments of 11.3 per cent in the manufacturing index, 5.1 per cent in the electricity index, and 3.7 per cent in the mining index.

MIDF Research said the strengthening of IPI growth is “an encouraging development, signalling Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) would rebound to positive growth in the fourth quarter of 2021 (Q4 2021) and will continue in 2022.”

“The reopening of the economy and the relaxation of lockdown restrictions point towards a better demand outlook going forward,” it said in a research note today.

Although there are challenges from pandemic-related supply constraints, material shortages and rising production costs, MIDF Research expects local producers to take the opportunity to increase supply in anticipation of continued recovery in domestic spending and growing external demand.

It also noted that the latest manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) also indicated stronger expansion in manufacturing activities in December 2021 as PMI rose to an eight-month high of 52.8.

On the employment rate, Malaysia’s labour market has improved further to reach a six-month high as the working force for November 2021 expanded by 2.7 per cent y-o-y while unemployed persons fell 9.2 per cent, the largest contraction rate since June 2021.

“The improvement of the labour market was in line with the reopening of economic activities and relaxations of containment measures which started in late September 2021,” it said.

However, the manufacturing employment share remains below 15 per cent despite robust exports growth.

“The average manufacturing employment growth for the eleven months of 2021 (11MCY21) was 0.9 per cent y-o-y against the national average at 1.6 per cent y-o-y.

“By share, manufacturing contribution to national employment was at the lowest point, 14.5 per cent for the 11-month period in 2021 against 15 per cent in 2015,” it noted.

Moving forward, MIDF Research is predicting Malaysia’s unemployment rate to trend lower this year, averaging at 4.0 per cent, underpinned by a further recovery in the domestic economy, continuous upbeat momentum in global trade, and elevated commodity prices.

“With a higher vaccination rate, hospitalisation and death rates remain on declining trends while the positivity rate has plateaued at around 3 per cent since late last year, so we do not expect Malaysia to face tight restriction measures such as a lockdown in 2022 which will affect domestic economic growth and recovery in the labour market,” it said. — Bernama

Categorie: Malesia

Johor MB says delays in aid reaching flood victims may be due to misunderstanding

Malay Mail - Lun, 10/01/2022 - 13:10

Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad brushed aside claims that there were delays in aid reaching flood victims at temporary flood evacuation centres in the state, saying that such occurrences may stem from misunderstanding, January 10, 2022. — Picture by Ben Tan Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad brushed aside claims that there were delays in aid reaching flood victims at temporary flood evacuation centres in the state, saying that such occurrences may stem from misunderstanding, January 10, 2022. — Picture by Ben Tan

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JOHOR BARU, Jan 10 — Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad brushed aside claims that there were delays in aid reaching flood victims at temporary flood evacuation centres in the state, saying that such occurrences may stem from misunderstanding.

He said there were no difficulties for those in charge of assistance from providing aid to flood victims.

“I have said before that this is not the first time that floods have struck Johor and if there is any delay, it is only considered an isolated case.

“Perhaps there was a slight misunderstanding in the delivery of assistance,” said Hasni after officiating the Johor Entrepreneurs Awards 2020 at the Persada International Convention Centre here today.

He was responding to claims by Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda) president Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman that a family had asked for the party’s help in Muar as they had been waiting a long time for aid which had yet to arrive.

Hasni, who is the Benut assemblyman, explained that for example those reported to have registered at the temporary flood evacuation centre may number 10 families, but those who actually arrived may be 15 families.

“At the same time, the additional tent (to fit the additional five families) may also take a little while to arrive,” he said, adding that such problems were small and can be easily rectified.

Yesterday, Syed Saddiq had questioned the standard operating procedures (SOP) set in providing assistance to flood victims.

“Yesterday, a family in Muar begged us to come and help, as they said help did not arrive.

“I went to deliver aid. When the police came to reprimand us, the villagers themselves defended us and reprimanded the SOPs that made life difficult for the people.

“It’s not the fault of the police, but the fault of the SOP. #DuaDarjat,” wrote Syed Saddiq on his Twitter today.

On the estimated losses due to floods in the state, Hasni said the amount could only be ascertained after the flood disaster had fully recovered.

He said this could only start after all temporary flood evacuation centres were closed and the victims returned to their homes.

“Among the measures taken by the government was to ensure that the promised aid reached those affected as well as for post-flood relief efforts,” he said, adding that the losses will also be ascertained in the form of damaged property belonging to the victims.

Categorie: Malesia

MMA: Unfair criticism aimed at government over Covid-19 handling

NST Online - Lun, 10/01/2022 - 13:09

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) said it found it unfair to criticise the Health Ministry’s management of the Health Ministry.

© New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd
Categorie: Malesia

Rosmah files bid to stop RM7m money laundering trial from starting this Wednesday, denies ‘judge shopping’

Malay Mail - Lun, 10/01/2022 - 13:03

According to court documents sighted by Malay Mail, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor stressed that it was most crucial for the High Court to stay her tax evasion and money laundering trial until the disposal of her ongoing appeal hearing at the Court of Appeal scheduled two months from now. — Picture by Miera Zulyana According to court documents sighted by Malay Mail, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor stressed that it was most crucial for the High Court to stay her tax evasion and money laundering trial until the disposal of her ongoing appeal hearing at the Court of Appeal scheduled two months from now. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 10 — Just two days short of tax evasion and money laundering trial is set to commence at the High Court, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor has today filed an application to stay proceedings.

According to court documents sighted by Malay Mail, Rosmah stressed that it was most crucial for the High Court to stay her tax evasion and money laundering trial until the disposal of her ongoing appeal hearing at the Court of Appeal scheduled two months from now.

Rosmah was referring to the notice of appeal she had filed over High Court judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan’s decision last month not to recuse himself from presiding in her second trial involving her money-laundering and tax evasion charges.

Rosmah’s second trial is scheduled to begin on January 12. The appellate court is scheduled to hear Zaini’s non-recusal ruling on March 23.

Citing infringement to her basic rights and freedom as enshrined under Article 5 of the Federal Constitution, Rosmah also provided several reasons as to why the stay application should be heard and her trial postponed.

“If the Court of Appeal does decide on the matter with me that Yang Arif Zaini is unsuitable to preside over the case, then the aforementioned trial will be nullified.

“It is also important for this honourable court to know that if the aforementioned trial proceeds, it will be in violation of my basic rights and cause irreparable harm if the trial is struck out in the future.

“If the stay application is dismissed, then my appeal against the High Court’s decision will be nullified.

“It is not my intention to ‘judge shopping’ but to obtain due justice in the matter,” she said.

Rosmah added that it was the basis of criminal law that she be treated “innocent until proven guilty”, further noting she had the right to defend herself entirely in the matter and be tried in accordance with the law.

Rosmah’s lawyer Datuk Geethan Ram Vincent confirmed the matter when contacted, adding that the stay application has been fixed for hearing on January 12.

Rosmah had previously argued that Zaini’s decision in her tax evasion and money laundering trial could be swayed directly or indirectly by statements and exhibits tendered in the solar project trial.

Her lawyer had pointed out that Zaini had allowed certain excerpts of Rosmah’s statement to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to be used by the prosecution to impeach her or to challenge her credibility as a witness over alleged contradiction of evidence.

Following which an application for recusal was made on the possibility that Zaini would be “exposed” to the facts of the case before its official hearing, which could create “bias” towards in the tax evasion and money laundering trial.

Previously in the solar project trial, the prosecution had sought to cross-examine Rosmah over her alleged contradictory statement that she had made to the MACC in relation to her money-laundering investigation.

The prosecution had intended to challenge Rosmah’s credibility by using the aforementioned statement that she had given to the MACC which allegedly contradicts the statement that she had made in court during her corruption trial.

On October 21, Zaini had ruled that Rosmah’s statement to the MACC was admissible as evidence and can be used by the prosecution to impeach the accused.

In this trial for her money laundering and tax evasion charges, the hearing before Zaini is due to take place on January 12, 23, 24, 25 and 26.


 

Categorie: Malesia

In Sarawak, GPS component parties agree with PBB’s move to establish new wing

Malay Mail - Lun, 10/01/2022 - 12:59

Some members of GPS component parties have deemed PBB’s move to establish a new wing for those aged 18 to 28 as the right move forward. — Bernama pic Some members of GPS component parties have deemed PBB’s move to establish a new wing for those aged 18 to 28 as the right move forward. — Bernama pic

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KUCHING, Jan 10 — Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) vice president Datuk Henry Harry Jinep welcomes the move by Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) to establish a new wing for those aged 18 to 28.

He said the move serves as a good idea for other Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) component parties to follow suit.

“We (PDP), a component party under GPS, welcome PBB’s move to set up a new wing for youth members aged 18 to 28.

“This move is done for the sake of the party (PBB) and the benefit of the people in GPS and as such ensures the youths to be on the right track,” Henry said when contacted by The Borneo Post today.

Meanwhile, Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) acting president Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum said the party will discuss on whether to follow PBB’s footsteps and set up a similar wing during its Supreme Council Meeting to be held on January 22.

He deemed it as a “right move” from the party, adding it was done in line with current needs.

On January 9 at a press conference after chairing a PBB Supreme Council meeting, Chief Minister Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg announced that PBB would establish a new wing specifically for members aged 18 to 28.

The PBB party president explained this would be realised once an amendment to the party’s constitution was passed in the coming PBB Convention or triennial general meeting (TGM) in June.

“PBB will amend its constitution due to a proposal to create another wing in the party. At present, there is women’s wing, youth wing and soon we will create a wing which focuses on youths aged between 18 to 28 years old.

“We will create a wing specifically for them because we want them to be together with us as we manage our society at large.

“While we are facing an ageing population, we also have to look into the needs of the young in this digital era. PBB as you know is a dynamic party, and we have to adjust ourselves to the aspirations of the young and Sarawakians at large based on current political and economic situation,” Abang Johari said. — Borneo Post Online

Categorie: Malesia

Indian hospitals have plenty Covid hospital beds for children

Malay Mail - Lun, 10/01/2022 - 12:57

The Health Ministry also said today that only 5 per cent to 10 per cent of all those people infected in India have sought hospitalisation. ― Reuters pic The Health Ministry also said today that only 5 per cent to 10 per cent of all those people infected in India have sought hospitalisation. ― Reuters pic

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NEW DELHI, Jan 10 — Indian states have reserved more than double the Covid-19 hospital beds for children than recommended by federal experts out of fear of being under-prepared, government data shows, although doctors say not many youngsters have needed critical care yet.

The Health Ministry also said today that only 5 per cent to 10 per cent of all those people infected in India have sought hospitalisation, compared with 20 per cent to 23 per cent during the last major wave. Authorities say most people have shown no or mild symptoms and have recovered quickly at home.

India reported 179,723 new cases on Monday, taking the total to 35.7 million, the highest in the world after the United States. Deaths rose by 146 to 483,936, only behind the tally of the United States and Brazil.

Data showed that India has more than 24,000 paediatric ICU beds, compared with a recommendation of fewer than 10,000 beds from a federal taskforce. Similarly, there are 64,796 non-ICU beds for children, much higher than the suggested 27,682.

Since the last major infection wave in India starting April, the Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College and Hospital (JLNMCH) in the eastern state of Bihar has kept aside 16 ICU beds for children affected by Covid-19.

“None of the beds has been occupied since the beginning, but we have reserved them in case the third wave affects kids,” Raj Kamal Choudhary, associate professor of medicine at the hospital with some 800 total beds, told Reuters.

“States are scared and prepared because kids below 15 years have not been vaccinated. I support the decision of states to have more beds ready than recommended.”

There is no centralised public data on how many children have needed hospital care due to Covid-19 in India, but countries such as the United States and Britain have seen a rise in hospitalisation in children due to the fast-spreading Omicron variant.

India has some 139,000 Covid-19 ICU beds in total, compared with 195,390 recommended. Oxygen-supported beds, which ran short during the second wave last year, have increased to nearly 495,000, still lower than over 519,000 suggested by experts.

Basic isolation beds, however, are a plenty at more than 1 million. — Reuters

Categorie: Malesia

Serba Dinamik’s suspension of trading continues until further notice

Malay Mail - Lun, 10/01/2022 - 12:57

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia today, Serba Dinamik said the suspension was in a view that the company has not complied with Bursa Malaysia’s directive to make an announcement on the findings from the Factual Findings Update on the Special Independent Review (SIR). — Bernama pic In a filing with Bursa Malaysia today, Serba Dinamik said the suspension was in a view that the company has not complied with Bursa Malaysia’s directive to make an announcement on the findings from the Factual Findings Update on the Special Independent Review (SIR). — Bernama pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 10 — Serba Dinamik Holdings Bhd (SDHB) has announced that the suspension of trading in the company’s securities will continue until further notice.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia today, it said the suspension was in a view that the company has not complied with Bursa Malaysia’s directive to make an announcement on the findings from the Factual Findings Update on the Special Independent Review (SIR)

“Kindly be advised that the company has issued its outstanding annual report that includes the annual audited financial statements together with the auditors’ and directors’ reports for the financial period ended June 30, 2021 on January 6, 2022,” it said.

On October 22, 2021, the exchange has issued a directive to SDHB in relation to a status update on the company’s SIR.

According to Bursa Malaysia, the directive issued was for SDHB to make an announcement on the findings from the Factual Findings Update by October 26, 2021 and announce Bursa Malaysia’s directive immediately.

“Bursa Malaysia notes that the findings from the Factual Findings Update as at September 30, 2021 on the SIR have been communicated to three out of four independent non-executive directors on October 21, 2021.

“In this regard, Bursa Malaysia notes that to date, SDHB has not announced the findings from the Factual Findings Update in accordance with Paragraph 9.03 of the Main Market Listing Requirements (MMLR),” it said.

On November 25, 2021, SDHB told the exchange that in view of the change of external auditor and the impact of the movement restrictions in Malaysia and overseas arising from the Covid-19 pandemic, the audit of the financial statements for the financial period ended June 30 (AFS 2021) was affected.

It said that the AFS 2021 could not be finalised in time for inclusion in the annual report for the financial period ended June 30, 2021 for issuance by November 30 via its letter dated October 25 (the first extension of time application).

Bursa Malaysia had rejected the company’s application and subsequent appeal to postpone the submission of its FY2021 annual report from the initial deadline of November 30, 2021.

The company’s market capitalisation currently stood at RM1.3 billion, with its shares last traded at 35 sen. — Bernama

Categorie: Malesia