Home / 2020 / July / 03

Daily Archives: July 3, 2020

Mexico’s candidate for WTO’s top post can benefit developing countries — Ambassador Corona

KUALA LUMPUR Mexico’s candidate to vie for the post of World Trade Organisation’s  (WTO) Director-General, Jesus Seade Kuri, is an experienced negotiator with vast knowledge in global trade matters.


Mexico’s Ambassador to Malaysia, Carlos Felix Corona, said coming from a developing country and with his experience on negotiating important trade agreements between the developing and the developed countries, Seade is prone to working with them and to defend the interests of the developing countries.




“In this pandemic scenario, the WTO needs an experienced and sensitive person with an inclusive vision to confront the economic and trade challenges.


“(Therefore) Mexico considers Seade as the best option to the post for the benefit of the developing and developed countries to advance agreements and actions of the WTO with an inclusive compromise and vision,” he said to Bernama.


Seade is an experienced negotiator whose roots are in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, and the WTO itself. He has also been working with the developing countries in Africa, Latin America, and Asia.



He was also Mexico’s ambassador to the GATT and chief negotiator for Mexico during the creation of the WTO, and had represented Mexico as the chief negotiator to the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations that led to the creation of the WTO in 1995.


Seade, 74, also served as WTO’s founding deputy director-general.


In this part of the world, Seade’s active engagement includes having served as Hong Kong’s Lignan University’s Vice President, Associate Vice President for Global Affairs at the Hong Kong-Shenzhen China University, as well as Senior Advisor for Hong Kong Secretaries of Financial Services and Commerce and Industry.


According to Corona, Seade’s vast knowledge in the challenges and opportunities of free trade was a substantial element during the negotiations to craft an updated version of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as the chief negotiator of the USMCA (US-Mexico-Canada Agreement) – which was signed last year and has initiated its operations on Wednesday (July 1).


This free trade agreement is the largest of its kind on the planet.


Seade’s nomination, announced by Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, was made following incumbent Roberto Azevedo’s decision to step down at the end of August this year.


According to the website of WTO, four other candidates have formally submitted their candidacy to vie for the top post to date besides Seade.


They are Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala from Nigeria, Abdel-Hamid Mamdouh of Egypt, Tudor Ulianovschi of Moldova, and Yoo Myung-hee from South Korea.


The nomination will close on July 8.


Source: BERNAMA News Agency


Cradle Fund Murder Case: Nazrin’s sister disagrees siblings were not close

SHAH ALAM The elder sister of deceased Cradle Fund CEO Nazrin Hassan told the High Court here today she disagreed with the notion that she was not close with her younger sibling.


The 21st prosecution witness in the Nazrin murder case, Che Elainee Che Hassan, 63, said although she rarely communicated with her brother via the WhatsApp application, this did not prove that they were not close.


“I disagree (with the opinion) that I am not close to Nazrin. Although I rarely communicate with him through WhatsApp, there were other forms of communication between myself and him. There were telephone calls, SMS and meet-ups.




“… and I communicated with him (Nazrin) not only through one number, there was also another number (belonging to Nazrin),” she said in response to DPP Siti Rohaida Che Hamid’s question about her relationship with Nazrin, before Justice Datuk Ab Karim Ab Rahman.


Earlier, Che Elainee explained that she had communicated with Nazrin via WhatsApp at least three times a month.


Che Elainee also told the court she disagreed with the opinion that another younger brother, Dr Malek Reedzwan, was not on good terms with Nazrin.



“Our relationship (with Nazrin) remained good until Nazrin’s death. Samirah (Nazrin’s wife) herself had witnessed that the relationship among us siblings was good,” she said.


On March 12, 2019, Nazrin’s wife Samirah Muzaffar, 44, a former senior executive at the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia, and two teenagers, aged 17 and 14, were charged, along with Indonesian citizen Eka Wahyu Lestari, who is still at large, with Nazrin’s murder.


They were alleged to have committed the offence at a house in Mutiara Homes, Mutiara Damansara between 11.30 pm on June 13, 2018 and 4 am on June 14, 2018.


The trial continues Monday.


Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Chini By-election: MOH to closely monitor voters for COVID-19 symptoms

PEKAN The Health Ministry (MOH) will be closely monitoring voters for COVID-19 symptoms during the Chini state by-election tomorrow.


Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali said those whose body temperature exceeded 37.5 degrees Celcius or show other symptoms would be isolated in a special tent.


“Voters with symptoms will be provided with latex gloves which must be discarded after voting and they are required to undergo thorough checks by the medical team.




“The checks will determine whether they need to be referred to the hospital especially for COVID-19 screening,” he told reporters after visiting the polling centre at Mempelas Hall, Kampung Baru PPSK Salong, here, today.


He called upon all voters to cooperate by complying with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) to ensure the voting process can be carried out smoothly.


“There is no specific medication and vaccine for COVID-19 and we are still bound by the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) which means we must maintain social distancing.



“It is a collective responsibility to show that we are responsible voters,” he added.


Meanwhile, Dr Noor Azmi said the ministry was considering replacing the current building at the Salong Rural Clinic with a new one for the convenience of its staff and patients, which he added would cost RM350,000.


Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Ahmad Zahid’s Trial: Over RM1 mln cheques issued to Yayasan Akalbudi trustee

KUALA LUMPUR A witness told the High Court here that a construction company had issued three cheques totalling RM1,011,520 under the name of Messrs Lewis & Co, a trustee of Yayasan Akalbudi belonging to Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.


Cergas Murni Sdn Bhd director Paul Latimer, 78, said part of the money was for the “protection money” for gangsters while the remaining was meant for the company’s operational matters which included payment to sub contractors and suppliers during the construction of the third bridge in Klang from 2014 to 2017.


He said this during cross-examination by defence counsel Datuk Rosal Azimin Ahmad on the 24th day of the trial of Ahmad Zahid, who is facing 47 criminal breach of trust, corruption and money laundering charges involving funds belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi.




However, Latimer said “I cannot recall” in his reply to a suggestion by Rozal Azimin that the company had issues with machinery in 2016.


Rosal Azimin: All these checks have nothing to do with Zahid (Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid), because you had no dealings with him?


Latimer: True.



Rosal Azimin: Your company was awarded the bridge project in Klang not because of Omar Ali (a money changer)?


Latimer: True.


During examination-in-chief by deputy public prosecutor Harris Ong Jeffry Ong, the 73rd prosecution witness said the three cheques, totalling RM447,773.42, RM259,047.05 and 304,699.54 respectively, dated March 29 and April 6, 2016, were handed to Omar Ali.


Another witness, HRA Teguh Sdn Bhd managing director Datuk Hashim Osman said that his company received a total of RM217,000 in March 2016 from Omar Ali.


Describing the money as a “friendly loan”, the 69-year-old witness said his company was facing financial difficulties to complete the highway project from Machang to Kuala Krai, in Kelantan.


“My company was handling a project and at times the payments from the client came in late…but as the project was already in progress, we need cash to keep it going,” said the 72nd prosecution witness.


Asked by Harris Ong whether he took the initiative to find out how Omar Ali acquired the money, Hashim said he did not.


“To me, we have to pay what we borrowed. I have no time to check (the source of the money). My concern was to ensure the project is completed,” he said.


For the 27th charge, Ahmad Zahid is accused of having committed money-laundering by instructing Omar Ali to convert for him a cash amount of RM6,885,300.20, which is income from illegal activities, into 30 cheques that were given to Messrs Lewis & Co for the opening of Maybank fixed deposit accounts.


Ahmad Zahid, 67, is facing 47 charges, with 12 of them involving criminal breach of trust, eight for corruption and 27 for money laundering involving tens of millions of ringgit of funds belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi.


The trial before Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues on July 14.


Source: BERNAMA News Agency

COVID-19: Malaysia records single-digit new cases for past five days – Health DG

PUTRAJAYA Malaysia recorded only five new positive COVID-19 cases today to mark a five-day stretch for the country with single-digit new cases.


Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said all the cases involved Malaysians with three of them being imported cases due to infections among people who returned from overseas.


“The two local transmissions involved Malaysians who were detected from pre-referral screenings at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. No non-Malaysian cases were reported today,” he said at a media conference on COVID-19 pandemic here today.




Dr Noor Hisham said the five new cases recorded today bring the total COVID-19 positive cases to 8,648 and the number of active cases are now at 81.


Nine patients have recovered and discharged, bringing the cumulative recoveries to 8,446 cases, thus putting Malaysia’s recovery rate at 97.7 per cent  which is almost reaching 100 per cent.


He said there were no COVID-19 related fatalities reported today and the death toll remains at 121 cases or 1.4 per cent of the overall infection cases.



On the worries by some members of the community that some COVID-19 cases have yet to be detected, he said the government had taken the approach of tracking COVID-19 cases through clinical surveillance as well as target group screenings.


“The approach takes into consideration the factor of cost effectiveness and it was also carried out successfully in several countries to combat the COVID-19 pandemic without undertaking large-scale testing.


“With this approach, resources could be conserved and effectively used to conduct tests and screenings as the fight against COVID-19 is still a long way off,” he said.


He said the clinical surveillance system for COVID-19 in Malaysia began on February 12 at MOH health clinics and hospitals and as at July 2, the MOH had cumulatively reported 113 COVID-19 cases from the system of surveillance.


The surveillance also acts as an early detection and early warning system on the spread of COVID-19 in Malaysia. The system has enabled the government to take quick preventive measures to curb its dissemination



Source: BERNAMA News Agency