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Daily Archives: May 23, 2020

Ismail Sabri chokes up when seeking Aidilfitri forgiveness

PUTRAJAYA Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob who usually appeared calm during the daily media conference after the special ministerial meeting on  Movement Control Order (MCO) at Perdana Putra here was seen overcome with emotions today.


After the media conference today, he admitted feeling emotional when seeking the forgiveness of Malaysians in conjunction with the first Syawal during the live media conference.


“I just choked up when asking for forgiveness in conjunction with Aidilfitri tomorrow,” Ismail Sabri told his Press Secretary, Datuk Ruhaidini Abdul Kadir, Prime Minister’s Department personnel and media representatives after the live media conference today.



At the end of the media conference today and before taking on any questions, Ismail Sabri said today is the last day in the month of Ramadan and tomorrow Muslims will be celebrating Hari Raya Aidilfitri.


He said he has been holding the daily MCO media conference for 67 days.


“In delivering the latest daily information, I am also a human who errs. Therefore I took the opportunity to wish Muslims “ Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Maaf Zahir Batin,” he said.



He also announced that the daily MCO media conference would not be held tomorrow and it would resume on the second day of Aidilfitri.



Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Border security tightened, ready for anticipated influx of illegals -Ismail Sabri

PUTRAJAYA Security along the country’s borders, including each and every rat route, will continue to be tightened to prevent illegal migrants from sneaking in once the Aidilfitri celebrations are over in yet another effort to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.


Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the government has directed border enforcement agencies to enhance security.


There are concerns, he said, that migrants from neighbouring countries would be trying to sneak into Malaysia as soon as the manufacturing sector resumes operations after Aidilfitri.



“We will ensure our border security is tightened. The efforts under Op Benteng undertaken by the National Task Force membered by, among others, the Police, Malaysian Armed Forces, Malaysian Border Security Agency and the Immigration Department have so far detained 287 migrants and 28 ‘tekongs’ for attempting to enter the country illegally.


“Those detained were caught trying to sneak into the country’s borders along the Peninsular’s West Coast, the Malaysian-Thailand border, the Sarawak-Indonesian border and Eastern Sabah,” he said at the daily media briefing on the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) here today.


Ismail Sabri said besides this, the authorities also thwarted attempts by 29 illegals and three ‘tekongs’ to cross borderlines.



“We will tighten security at the borders, especially the rat routes and those caught will have action taken against them,” he said.


Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri, when asked on whether foreigners serving sentences in the country’s prisons need to undergo COVID-19 screenings as they make up more than 20 per cent of the inmate population, said he has yet to receive any report on foreign inmates being infected.


“There are no reports on this, perhaps they had been imprisoned way before the pandemic hit, so this is not an issue,” he said.


On whether there will be a change of guard for the Immigration personnel stationed at the Bukit Jalil custody depot, where a new COVID-19 cluster has emerged, Ismail Sabri said to date, 114 Immigration personnel on duty there have tested negative for the virus.


“COVID-19 screening is also being done at the custody depot in Semenyih, so the issue of whether they (immigration personnel) have been infected and would need to be replaced does not arise,” he said.


Bernama reported yesterday that the Immigration Department will send out officers from its headquarters and state offices to take over management and operations at the Bukit Jalil custody depot after a new COVID-19 infection cluster surfaced there.


Its director-general Datuk Khairul Dzaimee Daud said operations there will be assisted by Immigration officers from Kuala Lumpur and People’s Volunteer Corps (RELA).




Source: BERNAMA News Agency



CMCO: Sombre Aidilfitri for prisoners longing to meet loved ones

TAPAH After a month of fasting, the arrival of Aidilfitri is eagerly awaited by all Muslims especially those behind bars, to meet face-to-face with their loved ones.


This year, however, following the implementation of the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) which has been extended until June 9, this yearning is likely to be left unfulfilled.



An inmate who wants to be known as ‘Sam’, 33, who was charged under Section 302 of the Penal Code for murder and robbery at a gold shop in Taiping in 2012, said he missed his parents and two children.


“The last time I saw my parents was through the prison glass partition before the Movement Control Order (MCO) came into force. I was hoping to seek their apology this Raya but alas, it was not meant to be.


“My wife and I are already divorced. I deeply regret my past actions causing my ex-wife to prohibit me from seeing my children who are now 12 and eight. I long for my youngest child to call me ‘ayah’ as I have not seen him as he was only a month old when I was sentenced to prison,” he told Bernama recently.



The first year in prison proved to be a bitter pill for him to swallow since he also lost his wife and family. He could not have regretted his actions enough, he said.


As for ‘Salmah’ (not her real name), 31, who committed an offence under Section 39 (B) (1) (a) of the Dangerous Drugs Act (ADB) in 2013, she dreamed of making a pudding which happened to be her son’s (born in the prison seven years ago) favourite dessert.


Recalling her dark past, Salmah was two months pregnant when she was arrested at Kuala Lumpur International Airport seven years ago for drugs possession.


She managed to take care of her child for only ten months before handing him over to a close relative to be cared for. She said the prison was not a conducive place to raise a child especially since he was always sick.


Meanwhile, Tapah Prison director Abdul Razak Darus said under normal circumstances, one week after the first day of Syawal, several prisoners would be allowed to meet their loved ones through the ‘Jalinan Kasih’ programme in conjunction with Aidilfitri celebration but the event was unlikely to be held this year.


“Each year, we give inmates especially those serving life sentences or those with families living far away, the opportunity to meet. However, this time around, no face-to-face meeting is allowed during CMCO,” he said.


However, in order to make up for their longing, Tapah Prison will allow selected prisoners to make phone calls to their families for 10 minutes, to be monitored by prison officials.



Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Businessman who ran amok in Pekan Bukit Sentosa remanded for five days

KUALA LUMPUR  A businessman who ran amok and crashed his vehicle into five people at a hawker site in Pekan Bukit Sentosa has been remanded for five days from today to help facilitate investigations.


Selangor Criminal Investigation Department (CID) chief Datuk Fadzil Ahmad said the remand order against the 32-year-old suspect was issued by the Shah Alam Magistrate’s court.


The case is being investigated under Section 307 of the Penal Code and Section 90 of the Police Act 1967.



“Police also arrested the businessman’s girlfriend, a 23-year-old Myanmar national. She has been remanded for two weeks until June 6 for not possessing valid travel documents,” he said in a statement here today.


Meanwhile, Hulu Selangor district police chief Supt Arsad Kamaruddin, when contacted, said the five individuals had been called in for their statements to be recorded.


Today, the media reported that a man went berserk because he was dissatisfied with another man who had knocked the side mirror of his car when he sounded the horn to go through a traffic congestion near Jalan Besar Bukit Sentosa.



He also injured five people — four men and one woman — aged between 40 and 50 when he crashed his vehicle into them.


A one-minute-eight-second video and another 44-second video went viral on the social media showing a four-wheel-drive vehicle crashing into hawker stalls and people at the Pekan Bukit Sentosa hawker site.



Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Govt to boost digital connectivity to revive economy – Saifuddin

PUTRAJAYA Digital connectivity is a vital aspect in the daily lives of the people, more so when the country is facing the threat of COVID-19 pandemic.


Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah in a statement today said good and comprehensive digital connectivity is not only facilitating the people in their daily activities but it is critical to revive the country’s economy.


“Yesterday (May 22) , I held a meeting with representatives of various ministries, and agencies among them, Education Ministry, Higher Education Ministry, Communications and Multimedia Commission and the Malaysian Digital Economic Corporation (MDEC) on digital connectivity,” he added.



Saifuddin said the meeting was aimed at finding the best solutions so that the country’s digital infrastructure would be further enhanced in terms of coverage, quality and level of capability.


It is also to assist the people, traders and all involved to better carry out their daily lives and businesses following the preventive measures taken to combat COVID-19 outbreak, he said.


He said improvements to digital connectivity would assist the country’s economy as it involved various investments apart from providing employment to the people.



It must be stressed that in the education sector there is a need for pupils and tertiary students to continue their studies away from schools or campuses, Saifuddin added.


In this regard, he said access to quality and affordable broadband service is vital, he said.


The minister added that the digitalisation of the small and medium industry is also important considering the sector creates employment opportunities and is a major contributor to the country’s economy.


Efforts in e-commerce should also be stepped up so that the community could participate and seek new markets in the digital economy especially after the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.


He said among the driving factors for the success of digital economy, is the protection of consumers.


As such issues raised by buyers such as billing, coverage and so on should be taken seriously, said Saifuddin.


He said the meeting also agreed that a comprehensive approach should be taken by all service providers to ensure the rights of consumers are protected.


He added that the meeting also agreed on the cooperation of various parties including the local authorities and state governments as well as other agencies to facilitate the construction of digital infrastructure.


“I welcome the calls and proposals made at the meeting and would ensure the matters would be resolved through consensus on various platforms,” he said.



Source: BERNAMA News Agency

COVID-19: New cluster detected in Semenyih Immigration Detention Depot


PUTRAJAYA The Ministry of Health (MOH) has detected a new COVID-19 cluster involving foreigners at the Immigration Detention Depot (DTI) in Semenyih, Selangor, said Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.


Detailing the new cluster, he said that so far a total of 1,752 samples had been taken from 1,631 detainees and 121 personnel.


“Of the total, 21 tested positive while the rest are awaiting their results,” he said at the daily COVID-19 media briefing here today, adding that the source of the new cluster was still under investigation.



He said the situation at the location was under control and screening activities had been conducted on all personnel as well as detainees, just like in Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) areas.


“We are handling it as if it’s an EMCO area… but we are not implementing EMCO because the situation in the area is under control. For example, at the Bukit Jalil DTI (in Kuala Lumpur) we conducted all the screenings and today there is no more increase (in cases),” he said.


The Semenyih DTI is the second cluster involving depot for foreigners to be detected to have COVID-19 infection after the Bukit Jalil DTI.



Dr Noor Hsham said that prisons were also high-risk areas due to the crowded and confined spaces.


Meanwhile, he said the MOH had conducted screening at 272 old folks homes so far, with 23 people testing positive.


“Out of the 23 people, 13 are senior citizens while the other 10 are staff members,” he said.


Asked about the cause of the infection, he said it was possible that hospital staff who had gone to the care centres could have infected them.


He had earlier said that the two age groups found to be at a higher risk of death if infected were those aged 55 to 59 and 60 to 64.



Source: BERNAMA News Agency



MOH confirms PM and 34 others on 14-day self-quarantine


PUTRAJAYA The Health Ministry (MOH) has confirmed that Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is among 35 people asked to self-quarantine at home for 14 days after an officer, who attended the post-Cabinet meeting chaired by the PM on Wednesday, tested positive for COVID-19.


Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said swab tests were conducted on all 35 of them and the results were negative.


“Having said that, we need to quarantine them as part of our standard operating procedure (SOP).



“We (MOH) have advised them. Hopefully all the 35 members will self-quarantine at home and, on the 13th day, we will repeat the swab tests again. If negative, they can return to work,” he said at his daily press conference on COVID-19 here today.


A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said that Muhyiddin had tested negative for COVID-19 but would be in self-quarantine at home for two weeks beginning yesterday.


Dr Noor Hisham said the officer, who was tested positive, had been admitted to hospital for isolation and treatment.



The MOH, he said, would conduct active case tracing and focus mainly on the officer’s family members a well as those who attended the meeting.


“But, more importantly, what we have done over the last couple of months in terms of SOP at our meetings is to have spacing of at least one meter, just like the press conference in MOH. Social distancing has been practised.


“Secondly, officers attended the meeting have to wash their hands before coming into the meeting room and thirdly (they are) to avoid confined spaces,” he said.


Commenting on the pregnant woman in Kelantan who was tested positive after travelling interstate from Ampang, Selangor recently, Dr Noor Hisham said 26 out of the 30 close contacts who underwent screening in Kelantan were found to be negative.


“The remaining four close contacts in Selangor have been identified, with one testing negative while the other three are still awaiting their results,” he said.


Commenting further, he said that although their COVID-19 screening came back negative, they would still be quarantined for 14 days.


The MOH had confirmed on Wednesday (May 20) that the 35-week pregnant woman was found to be COVID-19 positive after undergoing a routine checkup at a women and children’s health clinic in Kuala Krai, Kelantan.


She had returned to her hometown in Kelantan to deliver her second child.



Source: BERNAMA News Agency