Kakitangan syarikat penerbangan bimbang 3 bulan cuti tanpa gaji

Industri penerbangan terjejas teruk akibat Covid-19 yang menyaksikan kebanyakan syarikat penerbangan menggalakkan kakitangan mengambil cuti tanpa gaji.

PETALING JAYA: Awal bulan lalu, Luke (bukan nama sebenar) mendapat satu e-mel daripada Jabatan Sumber Manusia syarikat penerbangannya yang memintanya membenarkan pengurangan gaji sebanyak 50% untuk bulan itu.

Memandangkan Luke dan isterinya memperoleh pendapatan kira-kira RM10,000, beliau dapat bertahan dengan potongan gaji itu. Lantas dia bersetuju kerana tahu langkah itu dapat membantu syarikat melalui tempoh sukar.

Kini, kira-kira 20 hari kemudian, Luke menggunakan jenama susu dan lampin pakai buang lebih murah untuk anaknya kerana ada kemungkinan beliau tiada pendapatan untuk 3 bulan akan datang.

Pengorbanan yang sepatutnya hanya 2 minggu mungkin menjadi cuti tanpa gaji selama 3 bulan kerana syarikatnya terjejas akibat perintah kawalan pergerakan (PKP) dan peningkatan sekatan penerbangan antarabangsa.

Industri penerbangan terjejas teruk akibat Covid-19 dan syarikat penerbangan menggalakkan pekerja mereka mengambil cuti tanpa gaji.

Malaysia Airlines dilaporkan mengambil langkah itu, seperti Singapura Airlines, Cathay Pacific dan British Airways.

“Kami mendapat memo seminggu lalu mengatakan syarikat hanya memerlukan sekitar 15% tenaga kerja,” kata Luke kepada FMT.

“Semua orang dijangka meneruskan cuti tanpa gaji selama 3 bulan dan ia boleh dilanjutkan hingga akhir tahun ini.”

Beliau tidak termasuk dalam golongan 15% itu. Lebih teruk apabila isterinya yang meraih pendapatan lebih kecil daripadanya, turut dipotong gaji sebanyak 50% kerana syarikatnya berdepan masalah aliran tunai.

Beliau tertanya-tanya berapa lama keluarganya dapat bertahan.

“Tiga bulan berikutnya tidak menentu untuk keluarga saya. Kami menyewa rumah yang kami duduki sekarang. Jadi, moratorium pinjaman bank tidak terpakai ke atas kami. Saya masih berunding dengan tuan rumah untuk mengurangkan sewa sebanyak 50%.

“Ibu bapa saya yang berusia tinggal bersama kami. Saya anak tunggal mereka, jadi saya turut menyara mereka.”

Luke berkata, sebahagian rakannya mencadangkan syarikat membenarkan mereka terus bekerja dengan gaji 50% supaya mereka boleh membayar bil.

Tetapi, katanya, setakat ini tiada sebarang berita berhubung cadangan itu dan bulan depan beliau tiada pendapatan.

Beliau mengurangkan bayaran perkhidmatan yang digunakan seperti pakej telefon bimbit dan internet, serta berhenti memberi elaun kepada ibu bapa dan mertuanya.

Satu-satunya perkara yang melegakan Luke ialah pinjaman keretanya sudah habis dibayar.

“Tetapi, isteri saya berjalan jauh untuk bekerja. Beliau memandu dari KL ke Sepang setiap hari. Jika berlaku sebarang kerosakan serius, saya tidak tahu dari mana hendak mendapat wang untuk membaikinya.”

Luke berharap kerajaan mencari jalan bagi membantu golongan sepertinya.

Sarawak Disaster Management Committee receives RM290k from public-listed companies in Covid-19 fight


Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah (third from right) receives the donations from Datuk Richard Wee April 2, 2020. — Picture courtesy of the Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister’s Office
Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah (third from right) receives the donations from Datuk Richard Wee April 2, 2020. — Picture courtesy of the Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister’s Office

KUCHING, April 2 — Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) today received RM290,000 in donations from two-state based public listed companies and their directors to help fight the battle against Covid-19 in the state.

The donations were received by SDMC chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah, who is also the deputy chief minister, from Datuk Richard Wee, vice chairman of both Hubline Berhad and Supreme Consolidated Resources Berhad, at Wisma Bapa Malaysia here today.

Hubline Berhad, a main board’s listed company with interest in the shipping industry, contributed RM100,000 to SDMC to provide essential medical supplies and equipment for healthcare professionals as well as frontliners who put their lives at risk battling the pandemic.

Wee, managing director Dennis Ling and director Royston Ling also contributed a total of RM50,000.

Supreme Consolidated Resources Bhd, a company that deals with import, trading and distribution of frozen, chilled, dairy and dry food products, donated RM100,000 while Wee and director Lim Ah Ted contributed RM40,000.

The donation will also be used to purchase essential medical supplies in collaboration with the SDMC.

Speaking at the handing over of the donations, Wee said the two companies hoped that their contribution would help ease the burden of the state government and Health Ministry in buying medical equipment, medicines, disposable items and other medical necessities.

“We hope that our small contribution will encourage more Sarawakian companies to come forward to stand together with our state government in fighting this unprecedented Covid-19 crisis,” he said.

“This effort is the empathy and solidarity towards the difficulties encountered by the people during this challenging time during the Movement Control Order(MCO),” he added.

Seminary students get community service for playing football during MCO

An aerial shot showing the men playing football on the grounds of the College General Catholic seminary.

GEORGE TOWN: The 24 men arrested for playing football at a seminary in Tanjung Bungah pleaded guilty today to violating the movement control order (MCO) under disease control laws.

The men, who are in training to be Catholic priests at the College General Catholic seminary, were sentenced to three hours of community service on weekdays for three months.

Magistrate Rosnee Mohd Radzuan handed down the sentence under the Offenders Compulsory Attendance Act 1954 which allows the prisons director-general to decide on the nature of community service according to court orders.

The men were charged with committing the offence at about 5pm on March 31, on the college grounds at Jalan Cengai in Tanjung Bungah.

The offence, under Rule 3(2) of Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures within Infected Local Areas) Regulations 2020, carries a fine of RM1,000 or jail time.

The 24 are Addie Frank Anak Lingge, 36; Adrian Linus Lojikip, 31; Brywinedren Godon, 30; Joel Rut Markus, 28; Jonathan Seah, 24; Lincoln Lee, 40; Timothy Galisin, 32; Ashley Stephen Chau, 39; Cantona Anak Cyril, 25; Heldy Amin, 32; Jerome Loganathan Amudalingam, 43; Joseph Wong Pak Yii, 32; Lordkennylister P James, 34; Mark Edward Calady Muniandy, 39; Patrick Hilary Sandnasamy, 32; Tan Yee Ping, 38; Tarence Joe Anak Japar, 28; Uvarajah Dhamodaran, 32; Ashvin Andrew Xavier, 32; Lincoln Lewis De Silva, 40; Ronfernandez Sandanasamy, 31; Stephen Suhaili, 37; Sinnapan Maniam, 34; and Ryan Innas Muthu, 48.

During mitigation, deputy public prosecutor Nabila Huda Muhammad Nazim argued for a deterrent sentence to show that MCO regulations are to be taken seriously.

However, the men’s lawyer K Simon Murali said the seminary had imposed strict measures within its grounds prohibiting the men from leaving at any time during the MCO.

He added that they were not allowed any social interaction with outsiders, and lived as a family unit. Each had undergone medical examination and had been given a clean bill of health.

“The football game was part of a health maintenance regime for seminarians to keep fit, and the field was within the confines of the College General compound.

“The perimeters are fenced and there’s a security guard post at the main entrance with strict checks,” Simon said when contacted.

Also appearing for the 24 men was lawyer Joy Appukuttan.

The men were arrested on Tuesday afternoon after a resident of a nearby apartment informed the police that a football match was being held at the field.

WHO expects Malaysia’s coronavirus cases to peak in mid-April


An Alam Flora personnel sprays disinfectant in Kampung Baru to curb spread of Covid-19 in Kuala Lumpur March 31, 2020. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
An Alam Flora personnel sprays disinfectant in Kampung Baru to curb spread of Covid-19 in Kuala Lumpur March 31, 2020. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, April 2 — The number of coronavirus cases in Malaysia is expected to peak in mid-April, the World Health Organisation said today, adding that there are signs of a flattening of the infection curve.

“Based on available data, the WHO Country Office has projected that Malaysia will see a peak in hospitalised cases in mid-April,” Ying-Ru Lo, the WHO’s head of mission and representative to Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore told Reuters in emailed comments.

The number of critically ill patients is estimated to reach the peak within the next week, she said. Malaysia has the highest number of infections in Southeast Asia with 2,908 confirmed cases. — Reuters

Inappropriate to hold Ramadan bazaars now, says Johor sultan

SULTAN of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar today decreed that it is unsuitable and inappropriate time to organise Ramadan bazaar during the fasting month this year as the country is currently at war with Covid-19.

He said at such bazaars, the risk of having close contact with someone infected with Covid-19 is extremely high, which could have a negative impact on the overall health of the community.

Hong Kongers embrace confined space workouts during pandemic

IN an empty park overshadowed by Hong Kong’s cramped apartment blocks, personal trainer Kristen Handford presses record on her phone and begins a workout for clients trying to stay fit at home during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Alright guys, we’ll get started with just a 10 minute body workout that you can do at home in a small space,” she says at the start of a video which will later be sent to clients.

Automakers tool up to make ventilators

THE automotive industry is offering its expertise and manpower to the hospital sector as it gears up to build mechanical ventilators during the coronavirus pandemic, an initiative that is being met with some scepticism.

American auto manufacturers General Motors and Ford, French car companies PSA and Renault, and Formula 1 engineers have joined the ranks in response to a massive global shortage of the vital piece of medical equipment. 

Premier League, EFL and PFA to discuss wage deferral agreement

LONDON: Premier League and English Football League clubs are seeking agreement on a collective wage deferral plan at a meeting with the Professional Footballers’ Association on Wednesday, the BBC has reported.

The report said the proposal is one option to help clubs safeguard their financial future during the coronavirus shutdown.

English football has been suspended until at least April 30 and league authorities have said they will resume action “only when it is safe and conditions allow”.

Players at Championship leaders Leeds United have volunteered to take a wage deferral, while Birmingham City have asked some players to take a 50% pay cut over the next four months.

Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy has called on Premier League players and managers to help English football deal with the crisis.

“We have seen some of the biggest clubs in the world such as Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Juventus take steps to reduce their costs,” said Levy, who revealed Spurs had imposed a 20% pay cut on 550 non-playing staff in April and May.

“We hope the discussions between the Premier League, PFA and LMA (League Managers Association) will result in players and coaches doing their bit for the football ecosystem.”

Jonas Baer-Hoffmann, general secretary of Fifpro, has praised the players who agreed to take pay cuts but warned that the example should not be used to pressure those at smaller clubs.

“We can only appeal to common sense that those measures taken by the elite clubs and players cannot just be transferred downwards,” he added.

How can Malaysians stay active at home during MCO? How about lifting a sofa, says Health Ministry


A man uses a sofa as weights. — Twitter screencap
A man uses a sofa as weights. — Twitter screencap

KUALA LUMPUR, April 1 — The Health Ministry today urged Malaysians to remain active while staying at home during the movement control order (MCO) until April 14, sharing an example of weight lifting using a sofa.

The Health Ministry’s official Twitter account, which has been sharing the latest daily updates on Covid-19 statistics and news, today asked Malaysians what they have been doing to stay fit.

“During the duration of this movement control order, make sure you do physical activities or exercise at home to ensure your physical health is at its best level.

“This is among the examples of physical activities that you can do. What is the healthy activity that you do?” the ministry asked in Malay, also attaching a photograph of a man lying flat on the floor while lifting a sofa.

 

Twitter users gamely responded to the tweet, with some responding in jest by instead suggesting the “exercise” of mouths by chewing food and eating, eating and sitting on the couch while watching an exercise video, asking if tapping on computer keyboards count as exercise, while others said they could lie on or lift themselves from beds or sofas but were yet to have the will to lift sofas.

Others cautioned about the possible dangers and injury risks of using a sofa for weight-lifting exercises, such as Twitter user @mykluangviews who said: “This type of activity is accident waiting to happen.”, while Twitter user @ilmyxsa wrote in Malay: “This is highly hazardous. To build up the arms, carry out safer exercises, such as lifting a full pail of water.”

Some Twitter users also commented on the possibility of the sofa falling on the individual lifting it and the potential of dying from such an activity, with @WateverWA sternly saying “Quite irresponsible post. This should definitely NOT be tried at home. Can we sue KKM for suggesting accident-prone activities to do while staying at home?”

Others however saw the humour of the sofa-lifting example by seeing it as a joke by the administrator of the ministry’s Twitter account, including Twitter user @MrFaizAhmad who wrote “Oh KKM you funny”.

Many Twitter users, however, also took the ministry’s question seriously by sharing various tips or physical exercises that they have been doing, including rope-skipping, push-ups, sit-ups, zumba, cardio exercises, doing workouts using Youtube tutorials, cleaning up the house and doing household chores.

Yesterday, Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah also urged Malaysians to adopt a healthy lifestyle while staying at home, giving them four tips including the practising of “an active lifestyle by doing physical activity or indoor light exercises”.

“Eat healthy by preparing a healthy and balanced menu. Reduce intake of sugar, salt and fat; and eat more fruits and vegetables,” he had said yesterday.

“For those who smoke, take this opportunity to quit smoking. Non-smokers can also speak out to family members who smoke to reduce exposure to cigarette smoke and the dangers of smoking.

“Cultivate a positive mindset for yourself and family members. Practice proper relaxation techniques and calm your mind every day,” he had also said.

Oil worker in BP’s Alaska facility tests positive for virus

ANCHORAGE: A worker at BP Plc’s operation in Alaska’s North Slope has tested positive for the novel coronavirus that has killed more than 42,000 people worldwide, the company confirmed on Tuesday.

It is the first case at an Alaskan oil instalment in the North Slope, where most of the state’s oil is produced.

The worker at BP Prudhoe Bay has been isolated, the state’s chief medical officer said.

“BP is following procedures and protocols to minimise the risk of Covid-19 and ensure the safety of our people,” said Megan Baldino, spokeswoman for BP Alaska.

“We are eliminating all non-essential activity on the slope.”

More than 850,000 people have been sickened worldwide by the coronavirus pandemic, and governments have imposed quarantines or other restrictions to try to stop its spread.

Fuel demand has dropped precipitously as motorists stay out of cars and commercial aviation has largely stopped.

The worker was an Alaska resident who had recently travelled out of state, its department of health and social services said in a statement, clarifying earlier remarks by the chief medical officer, Dr Anne Zink.

The patient returned to Alaska before travel curbs imposed on March 23, going to the North Slope on March 25.

Oil companies in the isolated North Slope had already put safety measures in place to try to avoid infection, including paring workforces, lengthening shift rotations so there are fewer flights in and out, and conducting health screenings before workers fly in.

BP had also imposed a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine for all workers and contractors, in-state and Alaska residents before they board planes bound for the North Slope.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Alaska had a total of 133 positive cases, Zink said.

Click here for our live update of the Covid-19 situation in Malaysia.

Merdeka Center