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Author: savemalaysia   |   Latest post: Tue, 26 Jan 2021, 7:18 PM


Federal Govt approves RM33mil to upgrade S'wak district hospitals to treat Covid-19 patients

Author: savemalaysia   |  Publish date: Tue, 26 Jan 2021, 7:18 PM

KUCHING: The Federal Government has approved RM33mil to upgrade district hospitals in Sarawak to be able to treat Covid-19 patients, says Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah.

The Deputy Chief Minister said the state disaster management committee had requested for the upgrade since in September last year, as only the Sarawak General Hospital here along with the Sibu, Miri and Bintulu hospitals were designated Covid-19 hospitals at the time.

"We foresaw the need to increase our capacity to handle the situation if cases rise, so we requested other hospitals such as Kapit, Serian, Bau, Sri Aman, Sarikei and Limbang to be upgraded.

"Lately we've been informed that they are approving RM33mil for upgrading these hospitals. It's a bit late but never too late.

"We hoped they could have given us (the funds to upgrade the hospitals) earlier because we foresaw that if the numbers increased to where they are today we would have problems with facilities," Uggah said at the committee's briefing here on Tuesday (Jan 26).

Sarawak currently has 1,706 active Covid-19 cases after more than a week of triple-digit daily new figures.

The state reported 205 new cases on Tuesday as well as three more deaths, bringing the tally of confirmed cases to 3,704 and the death toll to 33.

Uggah said all three deaths were in Sibu Hospital, involving men aged 59,76 and 91.

Sibu continued to report the highest number of cases with 51, followed by Kanowit (41), Miri (32), Dalat (22), Bintulu (19), Kuching (10), Kapit and Lawas (five each), Julau and Sarikei (four each) and Simunjan (three).

Pakan, Betong and Meradong reported two cases each while Samarahan, Saratok and Marudi had one each.

Uggah also said Sarawak had received RM21mil to upgrade its testing facilities and increase the daily capacity.

"We are using Borneo Medical Centre from the private sector and also Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas). Up to today we have a capacity of 5,500 tests daily.

"Limbang has had a testing facility for the past seven months. We are building one in Kapit and upgrading in Sarikei.

"We hope that in three to four weeks' time, we will have a capacity of 6,500 tests daily, including from the private sector," he said, adding that the increased capacity would help reduce the waiting time for results to under 36 hours.



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Ismail Sabri: 2.8 million Malaysians risk losing jobs, 2.5 million more may lose income if lockdown returns

Author: savemalaysia   |  Publish date: Tue, 26 Jan 2021, 7:18 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 26 — Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has today painted a grim picture for Malaysians should another full lockdown is imposed on economic activities like last year, revealing that 2.8 million people may risk losing their jobs.

In his press briefing today, Ismail, who is also defence minister, said that 2.8 million more people also stand to lose their income if another movement control order (MCO) as strict as 2020’s is imposed to tackle Covid-19.

“The B40 group will lose wages in a month, which is estimated to cost RM2.45 billion, with an average of RM2,400 per family,” he said, referring to bottom 40 per cent households.

Ismail said that according to a report from the Companies Commission of Malaysia, 13,445 factories have since shuttered since the initial MCO was imposed in March last year.

Malaysia is now under a second, more relaxed MCO dubbed MCO 2.0.



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iProperty sees subsale property market trend moving outskirts

Author: savemalaysia   |  Publish date: Tue, 26 Jan 2021, 7:18 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 26 — More people are seeking houses in outskirt areas, lowering demand and residential property prices in the cities, according to iProperty.com.my.

Its spokesperson and REA Group Asia general manager (Customer Data Solutions) Premendran Pathmanathan citing the property portal’s 2020 Property Demand Analytics said Shah Alam and Seremban recorded positive demand of +1.7 per cent and +0.9 per cent, respectively.

On the other hand, iProperty found that housing demand in Kuala Lumpur City Centre contracted by -8.9 per cent with -11 per cent capital growth decline; similarly, demand in Georgetown contracted by -11.9 per cent with -8.7 per cent capital growth decline.

“The trend of moving outskirts is mainly because of the reduction in commuting as people are working from home and they want to look for bigger and more comfortable houses.

“Among areas that are also gaining traction are Kepala Batas in Penang, Muar in Johor, and Puncak Alam in Selangor,” Premendran said in his virtual presentation on iProperty’s analytics today.

The report noted that the national demand for subsale property in 2020 fell by -1.3 per cent year-on-year (YoY). The demand for high-rise properties is down in line with prices while the demand for terrace houses remained positive at a capital growth of +2.6 per cent.

As of December 2020, Premendran said unique visits to iProperty’s portal for subsale property listings saw an upward recovery of 85 per cent since the imposition of the movement control order (MCO) in March 2020.

He said positive direction has also been observed for home loans applied, where the surge in user visits to iProperty.com.my is aligned with the increase in value of home loans applied by Malaysian consumers in November 2020, based on official national data.

“However, as people are also facing challenges in pay cuts and losing their jobs, interest in properties within the lower priced property range listings has dropped, hence there was also a drop in visits in the portal.

“On the other hand, we hope the initiatives provided by the government in Budget 2021 including  reducing some upfront costs would be able to help especially first time buyers to have more disposable income and increase their chance of getting loans approved,” he said.

He mentioned the upfront costs as exemptions of stamp duty and waivers on legal fees, reduction in Employees Provident Fund (EPF) contribution and the progressive reduction of the Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) to 1.75 per cent,

Moving forward, he said the subsale property demand is expected to remain challenging in the first half  2021 due to the surge in Covid-19 cases, and MCO 2.0 which limits people’s movement.

“As economy is highly connected to mobility, people may not be able to look for houses and this will likely soften the property market.

“Rules such as limiting visits by (potential home buyers) to apartments and condominiums are also contributing to this factor,” he said.

Nevertheless, he said iProperty believes that the property market will recover after the much anticipated roll out of the Covid vaccine programme which could help to boost the economy. — Bernama



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Ismail Sabri reminds public, private sectors not to breach MCO’s physical meeting ban

Author: savemalaysia   |  Publish date: Tue, 26 Jan 2021, 7:17 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 26 — Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob today warned the private and public sectors against holding physical meetings within the movement control order (MCO) as these were prohibited.

The senior defence minister the restriction applied equally to both and without exception.

“No one can be exempted from this rule and order issued,” he said, adding that the National Security Council (NSC) meetings also took place virtually.

“So there is no reason for those in the ministries to not abide by the order issued. So we don’t not want double standards. If the rakyat can follow, on the ministries’ part, they too must abide by the orders issued,” he said.

He was responding to a question during his press briefing on whether physical work meetings are still allowed, as some were reportedly still engaging in such programmes.



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Non-radioactive rare earth elements research to be conducted in four states, says Greensnow Tech D-G

Author: savemalaysia   |  Publish date: Tue, 26 Jan 2021, 7:17 PM

PUTRAJAYA, Jan 26 — The research and development of non-radioactive rare earth elements (NR-REE) mining pilot tests will be carried out in four states — Kelantan, Perak, Pahang and Kedah.

The research will be conducted in collaboration with the Malaysian Nuclear Agency (Nuklear Malaysia) and a mineral mining-based company, Greensnow Technology Sdn Bhd (GTSB).

GTSB director-general, Nik Abdul Mubin Nik Mahmood said the company would fund the research costs amounting to RM450,000 over a 12-month period, while Nuklear Malaysia would conduct research on NR-REE mining exploration.

“The exact locations have not been finalised as we are still waiting for permission from the state governments before we can start the research work,” Nik Abdul Mubin said in a virtual press conference after the virtual exchange of a memorandum of agreement (MoA) between GTSB and Nuklear Malaysia.

Nik Abdul Mubin signed the MoA on behalf of GTSB while Nuklear Malaysia was represented by its director-general, Dr Siti A’iasah Hashim.

According to Nik Abdul Mubin, among the studies to be conducted by Nuklear Malaysia would be to identify the effects of mining by using the “in-situ leaching” techniques to dissolve valuable REE such as neodymium, praseodymium, cerium and others found in clay and rocks.

“The MoA is expected to benefit both parties. Nuklear Malaysia can use the data to conduct further studies related to REE while the company can leverage the data to do rare earth mining work in the future,” he said.

Meanwhile, Siti A’iasah said through the MoA, GTSB would look for potential areas while Nuckear Malaysia would look at the suitability of an area for mining and compliance with the environmental safety requirements.

“What we do is pre-mining or before doing a mining activity, we ensure that the area to be mined is economically feasible and meets the environmental control aspects,” she said.

She said the study to be conducted would not only focus on the presence of NR-REE but could also detect if there were other minerals including petroleum.

When asked about the existence of radioactive elements in the mining areas, Siti A’iasah said the cooperation involved mining of rare earth materials that were not radioactive and if any, the radioactive elements were very low.

“There is no need to worry about the possibility of radioactive pollution or similar pollution,” she added. — Bernama



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PAS’ Hadi claims minorities racing to vote for chance at political power, while Malays weakened by ‘colonialist demons’

Author: savemalaysia   |  Publish date: Tue, 26 Jan 2021, 7:17 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 26 — PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang published today a lengthy critique that again took aim at ethnic minorities, suggesting that they are scheming for political power and that this is the underlying reason why they are keen to go to the ballots.

The allegation was made as a conclusion to his theory about the growing public disgust of politics, which Hadi claimed is ultimately a result of a deep-seeded conspiracy by Western colonialists whose endgame is to sow suspicion towards “Islamic governance”.

As a result, the Malays now lack “self-belief” and are even distrustful of their own faith, the Marang MP added.

This quagmire, he went on to write, had made the ethnic majority weak and allowed other races to chance upon the community whose political awareness are still left wanting compared to the minorities.

“We witness the hatred towards politics happening because they are influenced by demons wearing human masks, which is happening to the Muslims themselves who are used by their own puppet masters,” Hadi said in Facebook posting published this evening.

“Their own understanding of Islam itself lacks vigour... today in our own country we witness how the Malays who are Muslims remain the slowest to register as voters because the demons inherited from the colonial era have succeeded in possessing them,” he added.

“At the same time, we see races who are not Muslims are racing with each other to grab the chance at political power.”

Hadi’s party is facing minority backlash after the PAS-led Kedah state government said this year’s Thaipusam, a religious event celebrated by the country’s two million over Hindus, will not be a public holiday.

Kedah Mentri Besar Sanusi Md Nor said the call had taken into account the ongoing movement control order, enforced since January 13 and to last until February.

Critics, among them Barisan Nasional’s Indian-based component member MIC, immediately blasted the move as racist. Some said Sanusi’s action underpinned PAS’ long standing problem with religious bigotry although the party has continued to deny this.

Both PAS and MIC are members of the ruling coalition.

It is unclear if the issue had prompted Hadi to make the allegations. Labelling western political ideas as colonialist conspiracy has been a standard trope the PAS president has used repeatedly in his lectures and public speeches.

In today’s posting, the Marang MP again suggested that the Malay community is rife with self-doubt and is suspicious of politics and Islamic governance, which he blamed on Western conspirators.

“They have spread ‘tasykik’ towards Islamic teachings, particularly against its political ideas by drawing parallels Islamic politics with others,” he wrote, using the Arabic term that roughly means “spreading doubt and suspicion”.

“They dumped Islam in the same basket as other brands which led to [people thinking] all politics are dirty and treacherous.”

Last year, PAS had backed the Perikatan Nasional’s government takeover led by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, and was rewarded with several posts in the Cabinet, government and government-linked agencies and companies.



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Sslee Haha,
Are Malays weakened by ‘colonialist demons' or
Weakened by Pas' 'Ketuanan Islam'?or UMNO' 'Ketuanan Malay'?
26/01/2021 8:21 PM

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