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Daily Archives: November 8, 2020

Mustapa hopes Biden will acknowledge ASEAN

— Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy), Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed expressed high hopes that Joe Biden, who just won the US Presidential election, would accord more attention to ASEAN.

He said Biden whose victory was generally well-received by the whole world, needed to make changes considering that his predecessor Donald Trump did not pay much heed to the region.

“We hope he will bring change. For example, we in Asia felt we were being ignored because the former president as we noticed did not pay much attention to Southeast Asia, especially ASEAN,” he said.

He said this in an interview with Bernama TV on ‘Ruang Bicara Khas’ to discuss on ‘Budget 2021: Economic Agenda for the People’.

Mustapa, who served as International Trade and Industry Minister from 2009 to 2018, said US is a major economic powerhouse, contributing about 20 per cent to the world economy.

“It is the largest military power to date. Anyway, it is a powerful country,” he noted.

He also hoped that Biden would strive to boost world trade without restrictions, particularly on goods from Malaysia and other countries.

“We hope tensions will be reduced, whether economic, trade and political. We have high hopes that relations between Malaysia and the US will improve,” he said.

On Budget 2021, Mustapa said the development of Sabah and Sarawak would continue to be given prominence including in the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP).

He said a Sabah and Sarawak socio-economic committee to address poverty would be set up by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah and Sarawak Affairs) Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Johnity Ongkili.

“We are aware of the high poverty rate in Sabah and Sarawak. So we need to look at the issue of poverty in a perspective different from previously,” he said.

In the 12MP, effective strategies will be drawn up to address poverty in states throughout the country.

According to the proposed budget that was tabled on Friday, Sabah and Sarawak will receive development allocations of RM5.1 billion and RM4.5 billion respectively for next year.

The allocations are for building and upgrading infrastructure such as water, electricity, roads, health facilities and education.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Tengku Zafrul wants EPF to be flexible in allowing withdrawals from Account 1

— Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz has advised the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) management to allow more contributors to withdraw from Account 1.

The minister said he had discussed with the fund’s management today and the latter had assured they would announce details on how to make a withdrawal and who would be eligible to do so.

“My advice to the EPF management is to increase the number (above the target under Budget 2021) and give the flexibility for more contributors to withdraw,” Tengku Zafrul said in an interview on TV3’s Buletin Utama programme tonight.

The request to the EPF was made after listening to the people’s grievances that only targeted Account 1 withdrawal would be permitted.

“Whether to increase, I will let them make the announcement. I have requested that they refine the proposals (based on feedback from Malaysians),” the minister said.

During his Budget 2021 speech on Friday, Tengku Zafrul announced the facility to withdraw EPF savings from Account 1 on a targeted basis. The amount allowed will be RM500 a month with a total of up to RM6,000 over 12 months.

This is to assist members who have lost their jobs, and the withdrawal is expected to lighten the burden of about 600,000 affected contributors.

Total withdrawals from Account 1 are expected to amount to RM4 billion. Eligible contributors can apply starting January next year.

Also on Friday, chief EPF officer Tunku Alizakri Alias said in a statement that details on this latest facility would be provided on Nov 11.

In April, the EPF had introduced the i-Lestari withdrawal facility that allowed members to withdraw RM500 a month for 12 months with a total of up to RM6,000. This facility has benefited 4.7 million members with a total value of RM11.6 billion.

Taking into account these two initiatives, the total allowed withdrawal will be up to RM12,000.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Obligatory, Friday prayers still allowed in Terengganu mosques

— The Sultan of Terengganu, Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin, has consented to allowing obligatory and Friday prayers in all mosques and surau in the state throughout the period of the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO).

However, worshippers are reminded to always comply with the existing standard operating procedures (SOP).

Terengganu Islamic Religious Council and Malay Customs (Maidam) president Datuk Osman Muda said all religious and social activities in mosques and surau are not allowed during the period.

“For mosques and surau in the Red Zone area, only three people (mosque committee members and officials) are allowed to perform the five obligatory prayers in the mosques using rotation system while Friday prayers are not allowed at all.

“Any changes will be notified from time to time,” he said in a statement today.

Osman said Sultan Mizan reminded the public not to take the SOP lightly.

“His Royal Highness also prayed for the people to be under the protection and mercy of Allah,” he said.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

LANGKAWIfm launches theme song ‘Ya Untukmu’ in conjunction with 27th anniversary

— LANGKAWIfm today launched a theme song titled ‘Ya Untukmu’, in conjunction with the radio station’s 27th anniversary.

The launching ceremony was officiated by Langkawi Broadcasting director, Zulkefli Mohd.

When met by the media, Zulkefli said the launch of the theme song was one of the initiatives to rejuvenate the station as well as to attract young listeners.

“In conjunction with the 27th anniversary, LANGKAWIfm needs a new dimension so we are trying to rejuvenate the station through the launch of theme songs and more versatile programmes to endear us to the listeners.

“Apart from these two measures, LangkawiFM also plans to broadcast live on the Facebook social site beyond the boundaries of conventional broadcasts and the station will continue to be fresh and find a place in the hearts of listeners,” he said at the 27th anniversary celebration of LANGKAWIfm, here today.

Zulkefli said LANGKAWIfm will also continue to go bilingual, using Malay and English languages to continue to provide the latest information to local and international listeners from the island in particular and the country in general.

Radio 3 Langkawi started broadcasting on Nov 1, 1993 at the Langkawi District Information Office, before moving to the Tabung Haji Building.

The station was later known as Radio Pelancongan Langkawi (Langkawi Tourism Radio) in 1996 before changing its name to Radio Malaysia Langkawi in 2002 and later LANGKAWIfm in 2005.

LANGKAWIfm broadcasts its transmission for 12 hours utilising 104.8 MHz frequency in two languages, namely Malay and English

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

PM Muhyiddin extends condolences to ex-national footballer’s family

— Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and his family today expressed their condolences to the family of the late Datuk Mohamad Bakar, the national football legend who died at the age of 75 today.

Muhyiddin, who shared his sadness over the loss in a posting on Facebook, hoped Mohamad’s family will be strong in facing this difficult period.

“On behalf of the government, I would like to say thank you for Allahyarham’s services and contributions throughout his footballing career, especially in helping the national squad qualify for the 1972 Munich Olympics,” he said.

The prime minister said the government will not forget Mohamad’s services to the nation, who went on to become assistant coach of the 1980 Moscow Olympics squad and national head coach five years later.

“His services and sacrifices will forever be cherished by the nation and the people,” Muhyiddin said.

The prime minister also prayed that the late Mohamad’s soul will be blessed and placed among the righteous.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Four-year results from patient-level meta-analysis confirm safety profile of Philips Stellarex .035” low-dose drug-coated balloon

November 07, 2020

Meta-analysis of two major randomized controlled trials (RCTs) show no difference in mortality between patients treated with the Philips Stellarex drug-coated balloon (DCB) and those treated with percutaneous angioplasty (PTA), the current standard of care

Amsterdam, the Netherlands Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), a global leader in health technology, today announced the results of a patient-level meta-analysis that confirms the safety profile of its Stellarex drug-coated balloon (DCB) at four years. Including data from two major randomized controlled trials (RCTs), the results show no difference in mortality between patients treated with the Stellarex DCB and those treated with percutaneous angioplasty (PTA), the current standard of care. The meta-analysis, which represents the highest level of the evidence pyramid, was presented at the virtual 2020 Vascular Interventional Advances conference (VIVA20).

The meta-analysis found that over four years, there was no significant difference in survival among patients treated with the Stellarex DCB (85.7%) compared to those treated with PTA (85.6%). The data includes two Stellarex RCTs: the ILLUMENATE EU RCT and the ILLUMENATE Pivotal RCT, comprised of 589 patients in the U.S. and Europe followed up to four years with a high compliance on vital status data.

“The meta-analysis reinforces previously presented results from the ILLUMENATE RCTs, demonstrating low mortality rates each year through four years, with no difference in rates between the two patient cohorts,” said Sean Lyden, MD, Chairman of the Department of Vascular Surgery, Cleveland Clinic (U.S.), who presented the data. Dr. Lyden is also co-Primary Investigator for the ILLUMENATE Pivotal trial, one of the two RCTs included in the meta-analysis, and a paid consultant to Philips. “This independent, patient-level meta-analysis continues to provide consistent, long-term data for a large group of patients.”

In addition to demonstrating no significant difference in all-cause mortality between patients treated with the Stellarex DCB and those treated with PTA (14.3% vs. 14.4%), the results of the meta-analysis also show no difference in cardiovascular mortality (3.6% vs. 4.0%) and non-cardiovascular mortality (10.8% vs. 10.9%).

“The results of this study confirm the safety and performance of our unique Stellarex low-dose drug-coated balloon,” said Chris Landon, Senior Vice President and General Manager Image Guided Therapy Devices at Philips. “We are committed to providing healthcare providers with accurate and transparent data in order to help them make an informed decision on the optimal treatment for each patient with peripheral arterial disease. Stellarex, with its low drug dose and unique drug coating composition, is a logical choice for those who require this option.”

Featuring Philips EnduraCoat technology, a unique coating consisting of a polyethylene glycol excipient with amorphous and crystalline paclitaxel particles dispersed in it, Stellarex .035” DCB is unlike any other drug-coated balloon for the treatment of peripheral artery disease. EnduraCoat technology provides efficient drug transfer and effective drug residency coupled with high coating durability and minimal particulate loss, thereby enabling a low therapeutic drug dose.

Philips’ Image Guided Therapy business provides complete procedural solutions of systems, smart devices, disease-specific software and services for minimally invasive procedures, helping caregivers decide, guide, treat and confirm the right therapy for each patient during their procedure.

For further information, please contact:

Mark Groves
Philips Global Press Office
Tel.: +31 631 639 916
E-mail: mark.groves@philips.com

Fabienne van der Feer
Philips Image Guided Therapy
Tel: + 31 622 698 001
E-mail : fabienne.van.der.feer@philips.com

About Royal Philips

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a leading health technology company focused on improving people’s health and well-being, and enabling better outcomes across the health continuum – from healthy living and prevention, to diagnosis, treatment and home care. Philips leverages advanced technology and deep clinical and consumer insights to deliver integrated solutions. Headquartered in the Netherlands, the company is a leader in diagnostic imaging, image-guided therapy, patient monitoring and health informatics, as well as in consumer health and home care. Philips generated 2019 sales of EUR 19.5 billion and employs approximately 81,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. News about Philips can be found at www.philips.com/newscenter.