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KUALA LUMPUR: Simpang Renggam MP Dr Maszlee Malik (pix) has rejected his appointment as Mara Corp Advisory Committee chairman.

The former Education Minister said he had taken note of the news report which linked him to the appointment as a committee chairman in a government agency.

“I cannot accept the appointment right now. We have yet to win the war against Covid-19. Our country must win this war first, we must be free from this disaster and the people must get back their normal, stable lives.” he said in a posting on his Facebook page today.

Yesterday, Bernama reported that the Ministry of Rural Development (KPLB) has announced the appointment of Datuk Dr Syed Muhamad Syed Kadir as Mara Corp chairman, and Dr Maszlee as Mara Corp Advisory Committee chairman. – Bernama

Dr Maszlee rejects appointment as Mara Corp Advisory Committee chairman
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PUTRAJAYA: The National Registration Department (NRD) has opened its offices nationwide to assist the public with pending identification document (ID) transaction on an appointment basis.

In a statement today, the NRD said most of its offices have been operating by appointment since the implementation of the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) on May 4, except the offices located at urban transformation centres (UTC) and in the CMCO areas.

“This is in line with the government’s announcement. All transactions with the NRD can be done by appointment between 8.30 am and 4 pm. Customers can set their appointments by contacting any of the NRD Customer Service offices nationwide.

“This appointment-based service is being offered to ensure compliance of the Covid-19 preventive measures, especially in terms of social distancing,” the statement said.

The statement also said that the NRD will also follow the strict standard operating procedure (SOP) during the CMCO, including taking necessary details of customers and their body temperature, using hand sanitizer and sanitising the counters from time to time.

It said customers who have secured an appointment are not allowed to bring other people to keep them company during the appointment so as to ensure social distancing and minimise the number of people in the office at any one time.

For Mykad application involving 12-year-old applicants or a wedding ceremony which requires the attendance of more than one person, they will be advised to come in a minimal number.

“The public are advised not to walk in to the NRF office without an appointment as service can only be rendered if an appointment slot was vacated. If the transaction is not urgent and can be postponed, they are also advised to come after the MCO is lifted,” it said.

The government’s announcement that birth registration could be made within 90 days after the end of MCO period without any penalty is still in force, hence no need for the public to rush to register births.

Further information on the NRD services during the CMCO can be obtained at its website at www.jpn.gov.my or its official social media sites. –Bernama

NRD opens all ID-related transactions by appointment during CMCO
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KUALA LUMPUR: The Social Security Organisation will only accept the ‘Reverse Transcriptase-Polymerase Chain Reaction’ (RT-PCR) method for Covid-19 screening under its Program Saringan Prihatin (PSP) initiative and not the ‘Rapid Test Kit (RTK) Antibody’ methodology.

Socso said it was taking this measure based on the latest guidelines from the Health Ministry (KKM) on Covid-19 screening which only recognises RT-PCR as the methodology and the National Security Council’s decision on the same matter.

“Socso views the recommendation on the Covid-19 screening methodology for workers at high risk very seriously, The screening tests will be undertaken by the existing service providers and also others who will be appointed to enable more efficient delivery.

“This screening is compulsory for foreign workers in the construction sector or those working in red zones only,” Socso said in a statement here today.

Prior to this, Socso had announced that under its PSP initiative on testing for Covid-19 on workers of companies operating during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period would entail two phases namely RT-PCR followed by the RTK Antibody.

Socso will be providing more information at its Portal Prihatin Perkeso at https://prihatin.perkeso.gov.my. –Bernama

Socso’s PSP for Covid-19 screening : Only RT-PCR tests will do
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The Speaker of the House of Representatives (Dewan Rakyat) has accepted a motion by Tun Dr Mahathir, Member of Parliament for Langkawi, that the present PM does not command the confidence of the majority of the Dewan.

The Speaker said he made this decision to be fair and just and to uphold the integrity of the Dewan and Parliament. He is perfectly within his right to so decide.

What next?

The motion must be put (tabled) at the sitting of the Dewan. There will be a debate on the motion. At the end of which there will be a vote by Members of Parliament present in the Dewan.

If the motion is carried, by a simple majority of those present and voting, then the PM must tender his resignation together with that of his Cabinet.

The PM may also, instead of tendering his resignation, request the King to dissolve Parliament. The King is not obliged to agree to the request. Recall that the then sitting MB of Perak made this request to the then Sultan Azlan Shah of Perak in the Perak State Assembly crisis. The request was not acceded to.

If the King agrees to the request to dissolve, and the Dewan is accordingly dissolved, a general election must be held within 60 days of the dissolution.

The King may, as an alternative to dissolution, invite a Member of Parliament to form the next government. This person must be one who in the King’s judgment is likely to command the confidence of the majority of the Members of the Dewan Rakyat. This is in his subjective discretion. It is his judgment and based on whom he thinks is likely to have the majority confidence.

How the King decides who has this majority confidence depends on His Majesty. He can invite members and interview them as to whom they support, as was done by the King recently when deciding on the appointment of the present PM. But he need not do so by this method. His Majesty can choose any method he thinks most appropriate to decide who in his judgment is likely to have the confidence of the majority.

There is also the possibility that this issue of who has the confidence of the majority be decided by the Dewan on a fresh motion, if accepted to be tabled by the Speaker.

Gurdial a former law professor, currently practises law.

Motion of No Confidence against the PM
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KUANTAN: The body of a labourer suspected to have slipped and fallen into Sungai Jelai in Lipis was found by rescuers today.

Lipis district police chief Supt Azli Mohd Noor said the body of Asri Sallih, 47, was found at 8.45 am at a spot about eight kilometres from where he had fallen into the river.

“The incident is believed to have happened when he was at the jetty in Kampung Tanjung Jati at 12.30 pm on Thursday to drain water from his boat,” he said in a statement today.

His family reported to the police when they failed to locate him at the jetty two hours later.

Following that, a 39-man party from the Fire and Rescue Department, police and Civil Defence Force launched an operation to search for Asri, he added. –Bernama

Labourer found drowned in Lipis river
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KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 2.3 million new applications and appeals for Bantuan Prihatin Nasional (BPN) have been approved, with a cumulative total payout of RM1.7 billion, Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz (pix) announced today.

The approval came after the Malaysian Inland Revenue Board (LHDN) completed its review of these new applications and appeals, he said.

“With the approval of these new applications and appeals, the total number of BPN recipients currently stands at 10.6 million, with a cumulative total disbursement of RM11 billion (an increase of RM1 billion on top of the initial allocation of RM10 billion),” he said in a statement today.

Tengku Zafrul said the government hopes the BPN will benefit the Rakyat and ease their burden during this challenging period.

The BPN is one of the government aids under the RM260-billion PRIHATIN Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package.

The MoF opened for new applications and appeals for the BPN between April 1 – 30, 2020. –Bernama

Treasury approves 2.3m new application for BPN, total payout RM1.7bln
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GEORGE TOWN: The free psychological first aid offered by Wawasan Open University (WOU) in partnership with the International College of Clinical Hypnotherapy Practitioners (ICCHP) Asia will now be extended until May 15 owing to the overwhelming response received.

The aid comes in view of the mental challenges that the people, especially families, are experiencing during the movement control order (MCO), which has now entered its 52nd day.

A total of 223 people had reached out for help in relation to the Covid- 19 pandemic from April 1 to 25.

The programme is scheduled to continue past the anticipated relaxation of the MCO to handle post-traumatic stress from the prolonged lockdown.

The team from ICCHP Asia assisted callers with tips and skills to better manage their challenging emotions.

Although the free psychological service was set up mainly for the frontliners, there were many calls from the people due to various losses and the restrictions, WOU said in a statement.

Suicidal cases were referred to the team’s on-call psychiatrists for clinical assessment, advanced help and close monitoring.

The team helped to calm distressed callers and enabled them to better cope with the current uncertainties and make informed decisions.

Where practical assistance was needed, they worked with the Members of Parliament in the areas concerned to provide urgent assistance, such as medical emergencies, ambulance services and food aid.

Sixteen professionals from ICCHP Asia, including six psychiatrists, are offering support over the telephone.

All conversations are private and confidential.

Students who are doing complete online learning remotely from their homes or elsewhere are also encouraged to call in if they are feeling stressed during the MCO period.

Feel free to call ICCHP Asia from 9am to 9pm daily from now until May 15 as per below, or email icchpcovid19@gmail.com to arrange a convenient time to chat: 0124447032 / 0169271240/ 0124856404 (9am-12pm);

0123021262 / 0124080675/ 0123741558 (12pm-3pm);

0174777746 / 0124736830 / 0164979876 (3pm-6pm);

0122212906 / 0195645868 / 0124252962 (6pm-9pm)

Free psychological help extended to May 15
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KUCHING: A Covid-19 case detection operation is being conducted in Kampung Tabuan Lot here today involving more than 2,100 people from 423 houses, said Sarawak State Disaster Management Committee (JPBN) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.

He said the operation, the second such exercise in Sarawak, was being undertaken from 8.30am to 5pm to screen the close contacts of Covid-19 positive patients.

“A (Covid-19) victim from the village had died while there was another case which could not be linked to any existing cluster. This programme was launched because the Covid-19 carriers might have unknowingly spread the virus to their families, neighbours and the community,” he told reporters after visiting the village today.

He said 171 personnel from the Sarawak Health Department, Royal Malaysia Police and Civil Defence Force are involved in the operation.

Fast and early detection of the deadly coronavirus was important because there were asymptomatic Covid-19 cases, he added.

A total of 15,583 people from 5,300 houses in Taman Desa Ilmu and Taman Uni Garden in Kota Samarahan were screened in the first case detection operation conducted from April 27 to May 3. — Bernama

Sarawak’s second active Covid-19 detection operation covers 2,100 people
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BINTULU: Two men met with a fiery end when the four-wheel-drive they were travelling in skidded, crashed into a concrete wall and caught fire near the Sungai Adai Bridge in Jalan Sangan/Merit near hear late yesterday afternoon.

Sarawak Traffic Investigation and Enforcement chief Supt Alexson Naga Chabu said the duo were identified as Nelson Kana Meliu, 32, and his brother-in-law Ginol Sanyu, 42.

“When the firemen arrived, the vehicle was almost 100% burnt with the two victims still pinned on their seats,” he said, adding that the charred bodies of the victims were later taken to Bintulu Hospital for post mortem. — Bernama

Two men burnt to death after car caught fire in Bintulu
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KUALA LUMPUR: The American Malaysian Chamber of Commerce (Amcham) supports the Malaysian Government plan to enforce S17A from June 2020 to bring the level of compliance by Malaysian companies on par with that of the United States and the rest of the developed world.

It said, the Malaysian Government introduced corporate liability for companies committing acts of bribery through Section 17A of the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission Act 2009, which was in line with the requirements of Article 26 of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC).

“As a reflection of Malaysia’s commitment to the UNCAC, Section 17A is to come into effect next month, given the concern about the seriousness of problems and threats posed by corruption to the stability and security of society, the undermining of institutions and values of democracy, and the jeopardizing of sustainable development of the economy.

“These prohibitions reflect the provisions of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act 1977 and are the terms on which all US companies conduct business,“ said Amcham in a statement.

It pointed out that there should not be any delay or suspension in the implementation of such key legislation, especially in these times of economic turmoil when businesses and consumers need certainty, especially to ensure that prices are not inflated due to corrupt acts or lax enforcement of the law. — Bernama

Amcham supports gov’t plan to enforce S17A of the MACC Act 2009
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