Malaysia aspiring to be carbon-neutral, says Mustapa

MALAYSIA aspires to be a carbon-neutral nation in the future as it views climate change and sustainability as an issue of high significance, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Mustapa Mohamed said today.

Mustapa said although Malaysia contributed less than 1% of global greenhouse gas emissions, the administration is taking this issue seriously.

India announces US$6.7 bil to boost pandemic battle

FILE – In this April 26, 2021, file photo, people queue up for COVID-19 vaccine in Mumbai, India. Developing Asian economies will grow at a solid 7.3% pace this year after contracting slightly in 2020 due to the pandemic, the Asian Development Bank says in its latest regional outlook. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool, File)

MUMBAI: India released US$6.7 billion in cheap financing for vaccine makers, hospitals and other health firms today, to counter the devastating coronavirus surge gripping the country.

Reserve Bank of India governor Shaktikanta Das also vowed to deploy “unconventional” measures if the crisis worsens.

He spoke as India announced a record 3,780 deaths in 24 hours as well as 382,000 new cases.

This week it became the second country after the US to pass 20 million cases and hospitals across the country of 1.3 billion people have complained of chronic shortages of beds, oxygen, vaccines and key drugs.

“The devastating speed with which the virus affects different regions of the country has to be matched by swift and wide-ranging actions,” Das said.

The new measures – making it easier for banks to give cheap loans to hospitals, oxygen manufacturers and even patients – aim to improve access to emergency healthcare, he said.

The central bank will also give some general business borrowers more time to repay loans to help underpin the economy, Das said.

“The immediate objective is to preserve human life and restore livelihoods through all means possible,” he added.

India’s underfunded health care system has struggled to cope with the latest Covid-19 onslaught, with patients dying in hospital parking lots due to a lack of beds and oxygen.

Experts have warned that case numbers will keep rising until the end of May and could reach 500,000 new infections a day.

While New Delhi and other major cities have imposed curfews and other restrictions, the government has resisted opposition calls for a nationwide lockdown.

Even the supreme court has called on the government to consider tougher measures.

The Indian Premier League – the world’s richest cricket tournament – shut down this week because of the spread of the virus among players.

Many foreign stars are now struggling to get flights out.

Two more players, Delhi Capitals spinner Amit Mishra and Sunrisers Hyderabad’s Wriddhiman Saha, were recently infected.

The country has tried to claw back lost ground after a stringent, months-long lockdown caused the labour market to collapse and the economy to contract by nearly a quarter between April and June last year.

Asia’s third-largest economy was in the throes of a prolonged slowdown even before the pandemic, and the hit to global activity from the virus and one of the world’s strictest lockdowns combined to deal the country a severe blow.

Fearing a repeat of last year’s economic devastation, authorities have so far imposed limited restrictions, trying to strike a balance between keeping the economy going and targeting outbreaks in the hardest-hit regions.

New Delhi is hoping the economy will get a further boost from a massive vaccination drive that kicked off in January, with 160 million shots administered so far.

Bekalan vaksin mungkin tak cukup untuk Fasa 3 mula seperti dirancang, kata Khairy

Khairy Jamaluddin.

PETALING JAYA: Bekalan vaksin mungkin tidak cukup untuk memulakan Fasa 3 program vaksinasi Covid-19 pada Mei seperti dirancang.

Menteri penyelaras Khairy Jamaluddin berkata ia sebahagian besarnya bergantung pada bekalan vaksin.

“Fasa 2 berjalan dengan baik. Fasa itu sedang berjalan. Fasa 3 sepatutnya bermula pada Mei tapi saya tak tahu adakah bekalan kita mencukupi. Kita akan buat pengumuman berhubung perkara ini nanti,” katanya.

Khairy berkata program vaksinasi sukarela dengan vaksin AstraZeneca adalah istimewa dan dikategorikan bawah Fasa 4 kawalan penyakit di Kuala Lumpur dan Selangor, memandangkan penularan yang tinggi di situ.

Sementara itu, Khairy berkata setakat ini kesan sampingan yang dilaporkan daripada individu yang terlibat dalam ujian terkawal vaksin AstraZeneca hanyalah demam.

BERITA LANJUT MENYUSUL

Velestro Energy says investigating Naga 7 rig incident near Bintulu, assessing options

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KUALA LUMPUR, May 4 ― Velesto Energy Bhd is investigating the incident involving its drilling rig, Velesto Naga 7, which submerged today in offshore Sarawak, and is evaluating options.

“The rig is covered by insurance and recovery efforts are ongoing and being monitored,” it said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia.

The offshore drilling services provider said the incident occurred at the worksite due to rapid penetration into the formation on Monday while operating for a client.

The rig tilted and subsequently submerged at the location today.

Velesto said drilling activities had not started and no well had been drilled.

“All personnel on-board are safe on the rescue vessels, and the majority have been transferred to Miri, Sarawak. The remaining personnel are in the process of being transferred,” it added. ― Bernama

Myanmar charges Japanese journalist over ‘fake news’

THE Myanmar junta has charged a Japanese journalist under a “fake news” law, a report said today, in the latest blow to press freedom since the military seized power.

Freelance reporter Yuki Kitazumi was arrested last month and charged yesterday – World Press Freedom Day – with spreading fake news, according to a report by Kyodo news agency.

Undi Sarawak files judicial review against delay of allowing 18-year-olds to vote

The voting advocacy group for Sarawak youths claimed the delay in implementing the lowering of the voting age from 21 to 18 is irrational, illegal, disproportionate and amounts to voter suppression. — Bernama pic
The voting advocacy group for Sarawak youths claimed the delay in implementing the lowering of the voting age from 21 to 18 is irrational, illegal, disproportionate and amounts to voter suppression. — Bernama pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, May 4 ― Undi Sarawak has filed a judicial review against the government, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and the Election Commission (EC) for delaying the lowering of voting age to 18 at the Kuching High Court today.

The voting advocacy group for Sarawak youths claimed the delay in implementing the lowering of the voting age from 21 to 18 is irrational, illegal, disproportionate and amounts to voter suppression.

Naming five applicants in the suit, Undi Sarawak said it is seeking to quash the government’s decision to delay lowering the voting age and seek to compel the named parties to bring into effect Section 3(a) of the Constitutional (Amendment) Act 2019 on or before July 2021.

“Undi Sarawak holds firm to our belief that youth between the ages of 18 to 20 are owed their constitutional right to vote. This is made more pertinent for approximately 125,000 to 135,000 Sarawakians aged 18 to 20, as Sarawak State Elections ought to be held by August 7 2021 once the ongoing Emergency period ends in early August.

“Hence, the Undi18 bill must be implemented by July 2021 to ensure these young Sarawakians can exercise their rights as first-time voters during the upcoming state elections.

“Therefore, five Sarawakian youths from the ages of 18 to 20 years old (‘the applicants’), representing the Undi Sarawak movement, have filed a judicial review against the government of Malaysia,” the group said in a statement.

Parliament had passed the Constitution (Amendment) Act 2019 in July 2019 to reduce the voting age eligibility from 21 to 18 years by amending Article 119(1)(a) of the Federal Constitution after it received broad bipartisan support from both sides of the House of Representatives.

It was gazetted on September 10, 2019. Several EC officials estimated that the Act, which would have approximately added up to 1.2 million new voters once the changes come into effect according to some political analysts’ estimates, could be implemented by mid-year.

But in a statement that surprised many, Election Commission chairman Datuk Abdullah Ghani Salleh said on March 25 that implementing the lowering of the minimum voting age to 18 and automatic voter registration could only be accomplished after September 1, 2022.

He cited constraints and difficulties brought about by the movement control order that began in March 2020.

On April 29, minister in the Prime Minister’s Department handling the law and Parliament portfolio Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan said the EC eeds to resolve some legal and technical issues including updating its software systems before it can lower the voting age from 21 to 18.

Eric Tan ordered to pay RM68 million income tax

THE Kuala Lumpur High Court has ordered Eric Tan Kim Loong, who is alleged to be an associate of fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, or Jho Low, to pay income tax of RM67,996,891.87 after failing to enter an appearance in a suit filed against him by the government through the Inland Revenue Board (IRB).

Deputy registrar Farah Shuhada Ramli issued the order during the case management today.

Jenaka rogol: Ahli Parlimen wanita kerajaan, pembangkang tulis surat kepada PM, desak tindakan segera

Sebelum ini, seorang pelajar menjadi tumpuan di media sosial selepas memuat naik video di TikTok, memetik guru sekolahnya berkata “jika kamu (pelajar) mahu merogol, jangan rogol seseorang bawah 18 tahun. Rogol orang melebihi 18 tahun.”

PETALING JAYA: Dua puluh Ahli Parlimen wanita daripada kerajaan dan pembangkang menulis surat kepada Perdana Menteri, Muhyiddin Yassin, berhubung tindakan guru berjenaka mengenai isu rogol ketika sesi pembelajaran.

Mereka berkata, kes itu wajar diberi perhatian serius dan diambil tindakan segera oleh kerajaan.

“Walaupun laporan polis telah pun dibuat oleh mangsa, kami Ahli-ahli Parlimen wanita telah meminta pihak kerajaan menyemak semula prosedur operasi standard (SOP) serta dasar sedia ada berhubung kaedah siasatan dilakukan terhadap laporan gangguan seksual yang berlaku di sekolah seperti ini dan di semua institusi pendidikan,” kata Ahli Parlimen berkenaan dalam kenyataan.

Mereka turut mendesak kerajaan bersikap serius, prihatin dan menjaga kepentingan pengadu, khususnya pelajar sekolah, dengan menangani segera isu berkenaan.

“Kami menuntut komitmen perdana menteri untuk memberikan jaminan keselamatan kepada pelajar yang berada di sekolah.

“Pelajar seharusnya berasa selamat di sekolah serta dilindungi oleh guru mereka dan bukan sebaliknya,” katanya.

Ahli Parlimen terbabit adalah Azalina Othman Said (Pengerang), Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (Pandan), Nancy Shukri (Batang Sadong), Mas Ermieyati Samsudin (Masjid Tanah), Teresa Kok (Seputeh), Yeo Bee Yin (Bakri), Hannah Yeoh (Segambut), Teo Nie Ching (Kulai), Fuziah Salleh (Kuantan), Isnaraissah Munirah Majilis (Kota Belud).

Kasthuriraani Patto (Batu Kawan), Maria Chin Abdullah (Petaling Jaya), Rusnah Aluai (Tangga Batu), Nurul Izzah Anwar (Permatang Pauh), Nor Azrina Surip (Merbok), Alice Lau (Lanang), Azizah Mohd Dun (Beaufort), June Leow Hsiad Hui (Hulu Selangor), Noorita Sual (Tenom) dan Wong Shu Qi (Kluang).

Sebelum ini, seorang pelajar menjadi tumpuan di media sosial selepas memuat naik video di TikTok, memetik guru sekolahnya berkata “jika kamu (pelajar) mahu merogol, jangan rogol seseorang bawah 18 tahun. Rogol orang melebihi 18 tahun.”

Religious knowledge pointless if you turn a blind eye, ex-IGP tells PAS

Abdul Hamid Bador says he raised the issue of Hamzah Zainudin’s interference with the prime minister and the chief secretary to the government.

PETALING JAYA: There is no point in acquiring religious knowledge if it is not used to help correct wrongdoing, including political interference in the police force, Abdul Hamid Bador said today.

“To the ‘political ‘ulamas’, please open your eyes and listen to my explanation before criticising my move to expose the interference by the (home) minister in police matters,” the former inspector-general of police was quoted as saying in a report by MalaysiaGazette.

“What is the use of having a lot of religious knowledge (if you) are afraid to tell the truth and act?”

Hamid said this in response to a PAS Dewan Ulama leader’s criticism of his expose in the days leading up to his retirement yesterday.

Yesterday, Mohd Nor Hamzah, the Dewan Ulama information chief, questioned why Hamid did not act on the political interference earlier.

He also accused Hamid of making allegations against home minister Hamzah Zainudin without going through the proper channels.

Hamid, however, said he did raise the issue of Hamzah’s interference with the prime minister and the chief secretary to the government.

“Do the ‘political ulamas’ understand this explanation?” he was quoted as saying.

Hamid also claimed that Hamzah wanted to install a new Bukit Aman Special Branch director to better control the division.

On Friday, Hamzah confirmed he was the voice in a widely shared leaked audio clip that featured him discussing plans to place “our boy” in key positions in the force.

Melor state seat declared vacant

Kelantan state assembly speaker Abdullah Ya’kub today declared the Melor state seat vacant following the death of its incumbent Md Yusnan Yusof on April 30.

Abdullah made the declaration after receiving Md Yusnan’s death certificate which was verified by the National Registration Department.

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