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Fama buys farmers’ sugarcane harvests

JELEBU The Negeri Sembilan Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (Fama) has purchased 11,190 sugarcane sticks worth RM17,803 from 24 local farmers here during the enforcement of the Movement Control Order (MCO) between April 22 and 30.

The purchase was to assist sugarcane farmers in the state as there was no Ramadan bazaar this year and the sugarcane could not be exported to Singapore.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food Industries Datuk Seri Ahmad Hamzah said the state Fama had taken the initiative to process the fresh sugar cane into sweet cane juice to maintain the sugarcane marketing chain.

“Thirty-six sugarcane farmers are affected by the MCO throughout Negeri Sembilan covering 64 hectares, 28 of them are from Jelebu, Seremban (three), Kuala Pilah (two) Rembau (two) and Tampin (one).

“Between April 22 to 30, 24 sugarcane farmers signed an agreement with Fama involving a purchase worth RM17,803. The remaining 12 farmers will sign the agreement in stages soon,” he told reporters during his working visit to Jelebu district here today.

Ahmad said the state government had also allocated RM100,000 to Negeri Sembilan Fama for the purchase of farm produce.

He said two sugarcane processing centre operators had been appointed to process the sugarcane, namely Sweetcane Enterprise in Simpang Durian, Jelebu and Charmecanne Enterprise in Selangor.

“From April 22 to 30, the appointed operators have processed and produced 20,000 bottles of sugar cane juice which have been distributed to Fama operations centres nationwide since April 28,” he said.

Ahmad also visited the Mardi station in Simpang Durian and the Sweetcane Enterprise Sugarcane Processing Centre and Triang Hilir Cluster Padi Scheme Centre here.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Kuala Lumpur Wholesale Market needs facelift – Annuar Musa

KUALA LUMPUR The image of the Kuala Lumpur Wholesale Market must be upgraded after the Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) in the area is lifted, said Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa.

He said the condition around the market should not appear to be unkempt as it is now and the foreign workers in the area must register with the relevant authorities.

“With the lifting of the EMCO, I am compelled to find a solution to spruce up the (Kuala Lumpur) Wholesale Market. This is because as a developed nation we cannot have a wholesale market looking like one from a third class country.

‘’So, I will find the best solution for the Kuala Lumpur Wholesale Market and will collaborate on the matter with various parties,” he said during a live Facebook telecast today.

The Pusat Bandar Utara and the Kuala Lumpur Wholesale Market areas in Selayang are currently under the EMCO from April 20 until May 3.

Meanwhile, Annuar said only 500 illegals staying around the Jalan Masjid India EMCO area were arrested in an immigration raid carried out yesterday as part of the efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.

He said they would be handed over to the Immigration Department of Malaysia after they had undergone the compulsory 14-day quarantine and tested negative for COVID-19.

“There was a misunderstanding yesterday that all foreigners in the area had been detained. That is untrue. The 3,000 to 4,000 foreign nationals there are not detained at all. They were given free food and had undergone COVID-19 screenings,” he explained.

Although the EMCO would end, Annuar said foreigners must continue to respect and obey the laws of this country.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

RON 95, RON 97, diesel prices remain unchanged

KUALA LUMPUR The retail prices of RON95 and RON97 petrol will remain at RM1.25 and RM1.55 per litre respectively, for the period May 2 to May 8.

The Finance Ministry in a statement today said, the retail price for diesel will also remain at RM1.40 per litre.

The prices are based on the weekly retail pricing of petroleum products using the Automated Price Mechanism (APM) formula.

“The government will continue to monitor the impact of global crude oil price changes and take appropriate measures to ensure the welfare and well-being of the people,” the statement said.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Comply with SOP or we will shut down your premises, Health DG told industries

PUTRAJAYA All business and industrial premises which fail to comply with the standard operating procedure (SOP) set by the Ministry of Health (MOH) while operating under the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) will face stern actions including premises shutdown.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah also said that the enhanced MCO (EMCO) would be enforced if COVID-19 cases are detected at the premises or nearby areas.

“The SOP is very clear, so the most important is to comply with the SOP. If they do not comply with the SOP then we will close the locality or premises,” he told the daily COVID-19 media briefing here today.

He also said that the MOH would monitor the situation from time to time to ensure full compliance of the SOP as well as carry out joint enforcement with other authorities including local government authorities (PBT).

On a question whether MOH had provided inputs to the government’s decision to impose the CMCO, he said it was a collective decision.

“MOH will provide the advisory, unlike during the peak of the cases, we are a bit concerned at that point of time a few weeks ago because there was an exponential increase.

“…now it is clear that we are in the recovery phase, if we continue to do so, this will improve the situation further,” he said.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today announced that the government would enforce CMCO with most economic and social activities are allowed to resume beginning May 4.

Elaborating further, Dr Noor Hisham said Malaysia had met all six criteria set by the World Health Organization (WHO) to enforce CMCO which include enhanced border control and the ability of MOH facilities in dealing with the outbreak.

“On April 14, we have succeeded in flattening the curve and today’s cases are under control in double digits,” he said.

Meanwhile, asked on whether the ministry would introduce a new guideline including making it compulsory for the people to wear face masks when going out, Dr Noor Hisham said for the time being members of the public are encouraged to wear masks while in public places.

He also said that the ministry has not yet planned to make mask-wearing compulsory.

“WHO recommended that only those who have symptoms must wear face masks, while for others to wear it when going out to the public places,” he added.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Call for checks on retailers raising prices of goods

KOTA BHARU The Malaysian Muslim Consumers Association (PPIM) has asked the authorities to conduct frequent checks on the estimated 50 retail outlets operated by foreigners in Kelantan reported to be selling goods at hiked-up prices.

Its president, Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Fared Abdul Ghani, said the people had been forced to patronise these shops during the Movement Control Order (MCO) as they are located within the restricted 10-km radius of travel allowed by the MCO,

“We have received over 300 complaints that these shops sell the goods at prices 20 per cent than the usual,” he said, adding that they sell essential goods such as cooking oil, sugar, eggs and vegetables. It is learnt that the shops are owned by locals who have engaged the foreigners to run them.

Mohd Fared spoke to reporters after handing over essential goods contributed by Yayasan Che Mas to the Kelantan Darul Naim Media Club (Kemudi) for its members.

He said the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs should conduct frequent checks on these outlets to ensure that they do not raise prices arbitrarily.

“Firm legal action should be taken against anyone who raises the prices of goods arbitrarily during this difficult period,” he said.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Electrical shops among allowed to operate five days a week in Kedah

ALOR SETAR The Kedah state government has allowed hardware stores and shops selling electrical and electronics products, vehicle spare parts and agriculture inputs to operate five days a week during the fourth phase of the Movement Control Order (MCO) which began yesterday.

State Industrial and Investment, Local Government and Housing Committee chairman Tan Kok Yew said these shops are now allowed to operate from Sundays to Thursdays, compared to just two days a week – Mondays and Thursdays – previously.

“Their operating hours are as per pre-MCO. If they operated between 9 am to 5 pm before then they are to operate within that period.

“The operating hours are also must be between 8 am and 8 pm,” he said in a statement here.

Tan said the matter was agreed at the state COVID-19 special security committee chaired by Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir today.

As for other sectors such as convenience stores and petrol stations, their operating hours remain from 8 am to 8 pm, he said.

“On economic sectors to be allowed to operate without restriction, we are still waiting for further explanation and standard operating procedure from the federal government,” he added.

Yesterday, it was reported that the Ministry of Health had recommended for the economic sectors to be reopened first before considering lifting the MCO for other services.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

KPLB conducts online draw for 22 projects in Selangor

PUTRAJAYA The Rural Development Ministry (KPLB) today conducted an online draw for 22 pilot projects in Selangor under the Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package (PRIHATIN), with RM1 million allocation.

The projects include eight village road projects(JPD) ; three social amenity programme (PAMS) projects and 11 Hardcore Poor People’s Housing Project (PPRT) in four districts namely Kuala Langat, Kuala Selangor, Petaling and Sabak Bernam.

KPLB in a press statement noted that 554 contractors registered and applied online while witnessing the balloting results through the ministry’s official Facebook account.

Due to the ongoing implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO), KPLB said the usual practice such as site visit and the contractor’s physical presence, was not possible.   

“The balloting sessions were held live on KPLB’s Facebook account. The process was done manually and witnessed by the contractor’s associations representative and the Ministry’s Integrity Unit. The draw results were also announced live,” the statement said.

Under the PRIHATIN initiative, the government introduced the Economic Stimulus Package (PRE) which includes several small rural projects implementation, where KPLB was entrusted as the pioneering ministry to conduct the online draw for JPD, PAMS and PPRT projects.

The Ministry of Finance has provided the standard operating procedure to execute online contractor registration for projects valued at between RM20,000 to RM100,000.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency