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Daily Archives: August 10, 2019

Storm disaster: reports of more than 300 fallen trees received in Penang

GEORGE TOWN, More than 300 incidents of fallen trees were reported throughout Penang following heavy rains and strong winds which began at 10 pm last night.

State Housing and Local Government Committee Chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said the Penang City Council (MBPP) had received 150 complaints, while the Seberang Perai Municipal Council (MPSP) received 152 complaints about the fallen trees which blocked traffic and damaged properties.

“The clean-up work has commenced since last night, where 815 MBPP and MPSP personnel have been working to clear the tree branches which are blocking traffic,” he said at a press conference attended by Penang Mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang and MPSP president Datuk Rozali Mohamud here today.

He added that nearly 90 per cent of the areas in the state affected by the fallen trees had been cleared by the local authorities.

Jagdeep, who is also Datuk Keramat state assemblyman said 20 victims had to be evacuated to a temporary relief centre set up at the Hashim Yahaya Mosque, while 31 victims from six families were housed at two relief centres in Seberang Perai.

“I would like to request all the victims of the storm yesterday to lodge police reports on property damage as soon as possible, so that they can make claims from the Penang TYT Disaster Fund,” he said.

Meanwhile, in KEDAH, the Malaysian Civil Defence Force (MCDF) received 315 calls – the highest recorded so far – on fallen trees in 10 districts involving 56 residents in the state following the storm last night.

MCDF deputy chief commissioner (operations) Norhafifi Ismail said the calls were received via the MERS 999 hotline from in the districts of Langkawi, Kubang Pasu, Pendang, Padang Terap, Sik, Kuala Muda, Kota Setar, Yan, Kulim and Pokok Sena.

Among the cases recorded were of trees fallen on main roads, as well as public and residential areas. The operational and cleanup works are being carried out by all involved agencies including the Fire and Rescue Department and the police, he said in a statement today.

He added that about 560 homes were damaged in 11 districts in Kedah due to the storm.

In PERLIS, Sate Education Department school management sector chief Zainodin Ahmad said a total of 50 schools were damaged by the storm, 35 of which were primary schools.

“We will try to get them repaired before the schooling session begins,” he told reporters after visiting one the schools.

Heavy rains followed by strong winds last night affected several northern states of the Peninsula, which resulted in hundreds of fallen trees, power outages, as well as damage to homes and public facilities.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency

Human resources ministry: no report received on Bernama’s EPF contributions

IPOH, The Human Resources Ministry has not received any report so far on the Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) allegedly failing to make Employees Provident Fund contributions and remititing loan repayments of staff although deductions were made.

Minister M. Kula Segaran said his office would take action if it received a report on these matters from any party.

“If there is a complaint made to us, we will take action…since Bernama is a government agency, the issue will be settled by the government.

“It is best to refer this matter to the Finance Ministry and the Communications and Multimedia Ministry,” he told reporters today after distributing about 1,000 pieces of the national flag to the public at the Kampung Tawas market here, in conjunction with National Day celebrations.

According to a news portal report yesterday, Bernama allegedly faced financial constraints which affected the contributions to the EPF and the repayment of loans of the staff despite the salary deductions having been made.

In KUALA LUMPUR, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng in a statement today said that he had instructed the ministry to investigate a claim that Bernama had used contributions meant for the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) to pay the July salary of its staff.

Lim said the Finance Ministry took a serious view of the claim, given that the facts pertaining to the issue are to the contrary.

In an immediate response, Bernama issued a statement saying that it had taken note of the statement and would extend full cooperation to the Finance Ministry to undertake the probe.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)

Met dept: no repeat storm anticipated for northern states

KUALA LUMPUR, The Malaysian Meteorological Department said the thunderstorm and strong winds which lashed the states of Penang, Perlis and Kedah last night, are not expected to recur.

When contacted by Bernama today, its director-general Jailan Simon said the situation in the three states had returned to normal, with the possibility of cloudy weather and normal rains taking place.

The positive angle to last night’s occurrence which resulted from the tail end of Typhoon Lekima, was that the heavy rains had reduced the haze, he said.

Meanwhile in Kedah, a total of 140 schools in eight districts suffered damage to roofs and ceilings, while the teachers quarters in Kuah, Langkawi lost its roof, as a result of last night’s storm.

According to state Education and Human Resources Committee chairman Dr Salmee Said, the eight districts were Kuala Muda, Yan, Padang Terap, Kubang Pasu, Pendang, Baling, Kota Setar and Kulim-Bandar Baharu.

In a statement issued today, he said the state education department would attend to the repairs to the schools immediately, adding that the damage would not affect students as they were on a break until Aug 17 in conjunction with the Aidiladha celebration and the school break.

In another storm-related incident in Kedah, the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency said in a statement today that a search operation was underway for Azimat Hasan, aged 62, who is believed to have been thrown overboard from a boat during rough sea conditions in Titi Tok Arab waters off Jerlun.

Kuala Kedah maritime zone director Maritime Commander Mahmad Faizal Ahmad said the agency was alerted to the emergency at 9.50pm by the missing man’s relative, and launched the search operation at 10.15pm – it was later suspended due to bad weather with waves of three to five metres high and limited visibility.

The search resumed at 7am this morning with local fishermen also assisting.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)

TH does not profit from haj packages offered by travel agencies

MAKKAH, The Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH) does not profit from any haj packages offered by the travel agencies which have been issued with licence by the TH Haj Pilgrims Organiser (PJH).

PJH operations director Mat Admara Alang Azizdin said TH only imposed a service fee of RM500 per pilgrim brought by the travel agencies for access to various services provided by TH in the Holy Land, including health and financial services.

The packages depending on the travel agencies that currently offer between RM24,590 and RM180,000 per pilgrim, but I wish to emphasise here that the TH does not take 10 or 20 per cent profit, only RM500 service fee.

To date there are 22 companies with valid PJH licences and to date 6,140 pilgrims have chosen to perform the haj pilgrimage using packages offered by these companies, he told a press conference at TH Makkah headquarters in Abraj Janadriyah here today.

This year’s haj season saw 30,200 Malaysian pilgrims are being housed at nine ‘maktab’ (accommodation) here and assisted by 640 TH officials.

Mat Admara said only pilgrims who received offer to perform haj pilgrimage by TH during the year could choose to do it via packages offered by the travel agencies licenced by PJH.

He said TH would not subsidise pilgrims who use the packages offered by the PJH-licensed travel agencies and TH had saved about RM80 million in last year alone, by this move.

There is no limit to the maximum number of pilgrims for the company to manage but the minimum must be 50 pilgrims, if the company fails to get the minimum number and does not bring any congregation in two consecutive years, the company must then apply for a new PJH licence, he said.

It was important for the travel agencies to deliver what they offered in the packages and TH would send staff to monitor the services provided, especially in terms of food and lodging, he said.

If the package offers accommodation for two pilgrims sharing a room, it needs to provide that. If we find out that it squeezes four pilgrims in one room instead, we will take action. Food provided must be adequate too and if the package says it offers lodging less than 100 metres from Masjidil Haram, it must honour that pledge.

Usually the distance between the hotel and the Masjidil Haram for this package is less than 300 metres and if we find it is not delivered during our first inspection we will issue a first warning to rectify everything. But if it happens for the second time, there is no mercy. We are strict when comes to the welfare of the pilgrims, he said.

Meanwhile, the Furada Haj Consultation Centre (PPHF) is ready to help 26 Malaysians stranded at the Jeddah International Airport following problems pertaining to their furada visa on Tuesday.

PPHF director-general Ahmad Tajuddin Idris Al-Manhaji said the stranded pilgrims could contact the centre so that they could be considered for a place to perform the fifth pillar of Islam next year.

We urge the stranded pilgrims to come to our office in Shah Alam to give us their details and information so that we can assist in the consultation process.

We will provide the information to the Saudi Embassy and request to obtain a furada visa for next year. However, it is still subject to the decision of the embassy, he told Bernama today.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)

TH does not profit from haj packages offered by travel agencies

MAKKAH, The Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH) does not profit from any haj packages offered by the travel agencies which have been issued with licence by the TH Haj Pilgrims Organiser (PJH).

PJH operations director Mat Admara Alang Azizdin said TH only imposed a service fee of RM500 per pilgrim brought by the travel agencies for access to various services provided by TH in the Holy Land, including health and financial services.

The packages depending on the travel agencies that currently offer between RM24,590 and RM180,000 per pilgrim, but I wish to emphasise here that the TH does not take 10 or 20 per cent profit, only RM500 service fee.

To date there are 22 companies with valid PJH licences and to date 6,140 pilgrims have chosen to perform the haj pilgrimage using packages offered by these companies, he told a press conference at TH Makkah headquarters in Abraj Janadriyah here today.

This year’s haj season saw 30,200 Malaysian pilgrims are being housed at nine ‘maktab’ (accommodation) here and assisted by 640 TH officials.

Mat Admara said only pilgrims who received offer to perform haj pilgrimage by TH during the year could choose to do it via packages offered by the travel agencies licenced by PJH.

He said TH would not subsidise pilgrims who use the packages offered by the PJH-licensed travel agencies and TH had saved about RM80 million in last year alone, by this move.

There is no limit to the maximum number of pilgrims for the company to manage but the minimum must be 50 pilgrims, if the company fails to get the minimum number and does not bring any congregation in two consecutive years, the company must then apply for a new PJH licence, he said.

It was important for the travel agencies to deliver what they offered in the packages and TH would send staff to monitor the services provided, especially in terms of food and lodging, he said.

If the package offers accommodation for two pilgrims sharing a room, it needs to provide that. If we find out that it squeezes four pilgrims in one room instead, we will take action. Food provided must be adequate too and if the package says it offers lodging less than 100 metres from Masjidil Haram, it must honour that pledge.

Usually the distance between the hotel and the Masjidil Haram for this package is less than 300 metres and if we find it is not delivered during our first inspection we will issue a first warning to rectify everything. But if it happens for the second time, there is no mercy. We are strict when comes to the welfare of the pilgrims, he said.

Meanwhile, the Furada Haj Consultation Centre (PPHF) is ready to help 26 Malaysians stranded at the Jeddah International Airport following problems pertaining to their furada visa on Tuesday.

PPHF director-general Ahmad Tajuddin Idris Al-Manhaji said the stranded pilgrims could contact the centre so that they could be considered for a place to perform the fifth pillar of Islam next year.

We urge the stranded pilgrims to come to our office in Shah Alam to give us their details and information so that we can assist in the consultation process.

We will provide the information to the Saudi Embassy and request to obtain a furada visa for next year. However, it is still subject to the decision of the embassy, he told Bernama today.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)

TH does not profit from haj packages offered by travel agencies

MAKKAH, The Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH) does not profit from any haj packages offered by the travel agencies which have been issued with licence by the TH Haj Pilgrims Organiser (PJH).

PJH operations director Mat Admara Alang Azizdin said TH only imposed a service fee of RM500 per pilgrim brought by the travel agencies for access to various services provided by TH in the Holy Land, including health and financial services.

The packages depending on the travel agencies that currently offer between RM24,590 and RM180,000 per pilgrim, but I wish to emphasise here that the TH does not take 10 or 20 per cent profit, only RM500 service fee.

To date there are 22 companies with valid PJH licences and to date 6,140 pilgrims have chosen to perform the haj pilgrimage using packages offered by these companies, he told a press conference at TH Makkah headquarters in Abraj Janadriyah here today.

This year’s haj season saw 30,200 Malaysian pilgrims are being housed at nine ‘maktab’ (accommodation) here and assisted by 640 TH officials.

Mat Admara said only pilgrims who received offer to perform haj pilgrimage by TH during the year could choose to do it via packages offered by the travel agencies licenced by PJH.

He said TH would not subsidise pilgrims who use the packages offered by the PJH-licensed travel agencies and TH had saved about RM80 million in last year alone, by this move.

There is no limit to the maximum number of pilgrims for the company to manage but the minimum must be 50 pilgrims, if the company fails to get the minimum number and does not bring any congregation in two consecutive years, the company must then apply for a new PJH licence, he said.

It was important for the travel agencies to deliver what they offered in the packages and TH would send staff to monitor the services provided, especially in terms of food and lodging, he said.

If the package offers accommodation for two pilgrims sharing a room, it needs to provide that. If we find out that it squeezes four pilgrims in one room instead, we will take action. Food provided must be adequate too and if the package says it offers lodging less than 100 metres from Masjidil Haram, it must honour that pledge.

Usually the distance between the hotel and the Masjidil Haram for this package is less than 300 metres and if we find it is not delivered during our first inspection we will issue a first warning to rectify everything. But if it happens for the second time, there is no mercy. We are strict when comes to the welfare of the pilgrims, he said.

Meanwhile, the Furada Haj Consultation Centre (PPHF) is ready to help 26 Malaysians stranded at the Jeddah International Airport following problems pertaining to their furada visa on Tuesday.

PPHF director-general Ahmad Tajuddin Idris Al-Manhaji said the stranded pilgrims could contact the centre so that they could be considered for a place to perform the fifth pillar of Islam next year.

We urge the stranded pilgrims to come to our office in Shah Alam to give us their details and information so that we can assist in the consultation process.

We will provide the information to the Saudi Embassy and request to obtain a furada visa for next year. However, it is still subject to the decision of the embassy, he told Bernama today.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)

Sultan Nazrin launches book on genealogy of Perak Sultanate

IPOH, Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Shah launched a book entitled ‘Titles and Ceremonial Traditions of the Royalty and Nobility of the State of Perak, Malaysia’ here today.

His Royal Highness was accompanied by Raja Permaisuri Perak, Tuanku Zara Salim.

Also present were Human Resources Minister M. Kula Segaran, Perak State Assembly Speaker Ngeh Koo Ham, State Secretary Zainal Azman Abu Seman and state executive councillors.

The 960-page book was written by Dr. Adib Vincent Tung Abdullah, who is the chairman of the Perak Academy, a privately-funded organisation with the primary objective of promoting Perak through discussions and research.

The work recounts the genealogy of the Perak Sultanate, various ceremonies including the ceremonial installation of the Sultan of Perak and the passing of Sultan Idris Shah and Sultan Azlan Shah.

Adib Vincent, when met by reporters, said the book, which was completed last year, had taken almost 20 years to complete because various parties had to be interviewed such as Orang Besar Jajahan (OBJ) and the palace before being presented to Sultan Nazrin for approval.

“The challenging part while writing this book was that I needed to translate the terms used by the Perak Sultanate from Bahasa Melayu into English.

“These included titles or customs that require detailed and in-depth research by interviewing well-known individuals on the Perak Sultanate and making reference to museums,” said the Ipoh-born Adib Vincent.

He said the book, the retail price of which is RM399 a copy, is available at the Perak Academy branch in Jalan Tun Sambanthan here.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)