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‘Mechamato’ animation series grabs local, international attention

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 12 — Monsta’s latest animated series, Mechamato has grabbed the attention of local and international fans despite not yet been aired on television.

Monsta, in a statement today, said that Mechamato received the TOP 5 nomination at the 34th Berita Harian’s Popular Star Awards (ABPBH) for the ‘Popular Animated Character 2021’ category recently.

Internationally, media portal C21Media from London, United Kingdom has listed the animated series among the 50 most anticipated television series worldwide for this year.

Monsta’s Head of International Brand and Sales, Faiz Zainal Aabidin in the same statement also thanked the audience and fans for their support of the Monsta animated series.

“We are very proud and hope that the fans will continue to give their full support to these two animations. Do vote for Mechamato and BoBoiBoy at the awards (ABPBH),” he said.

Monsta said that the Mechamato Series will begin airing throughout Asia Pacific, including in Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand on Dec 4, and in Japan in March 2022 via the Cartoon Network channel.

It said Cartoon Network channel subscribers can watch a special ‘sneak peek’ episode a month earlier, on Nov 6.

“This series is currently in the process of dubbing into various languages including Korean and Japanese in preparation for the international market,” it said.

‘Mechamato The Animated Series’ is distributed by the world’s second-leading distributor, Jetpack Distribution from Europe as Monsta’s official distributor outside the Asia Pacific.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Vital to make disaster preparedness a ‘Malaysian Family’ culture

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 5 — It is important to make disaster preparedness a Keluarga Malaysia (Malaysian Family) culture, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Special Functions) Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad.

He said this was due to the frequent occurrence of various forms of disasters of late.

He explained that the culture of being prepared should not only be practised in October, in conjunction with the launch of the National Preparedness Month (BKN), but should be the norm until the country achieved community resilience.

He added that, as emphasised in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, the responsibility of disaster risk reduction should be a concerted effort.

“All Malaysians must make an effort to maximise their level of disaster preparedness to ensure the safety of lives is prioritised and minimise damage to infrastructure and reduce losses to society, industry, government and countryD,” he said in a statement today.

This year’s BKN 2021, with the theme “Keluarga Malaysia Siaga Bencana” (Malaysian Family Prepared for Disaster), was officiated by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob at the Putrajaya Corporation Complex here today.

The event was held in line with the International Disaster Day, which is celebrated on Oct 13 every year.

Abdul Latiff said that the BKN, which is celebrated in Malaysia every October, was aimed at enhancing awareness and preparedness of various parties in times of disaster, especially during the monsoon season, such as floods, mudflows and landslides.

He also said that throughout the month, 36 programmes and activities had been lined up by the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA) with the cooperation of various departments, agencies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

Among the activities are the Community Based Disaster-Risk Management, Webinar: Identifying the Hazards and Disasters in and around Malaysia and the National Climate Forum-Northeast Monsoon 2021/2022.

He hoped that all parties would give a high-level of commitment to the programme so that it is in line with the government’s aim to make disaster risk reduction an important national agenda.

“The government always ensures that the coordination of disaster management can be handled more efficiently and effectively so that disaster victims will get protection and assistance from all parties,” he said.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Socso’s song Sifar comes out tops at IMFP in Canada

— The song ‘Sifar (Zero), produced by the Social Security Organisation (Socso), came out tops in the Music is Key category at the International Media Festival for Prevention (IMFP) in Toronto, Canada on Sept 22.

The single, Socso’s collaboration with composers Asfan Shah, Lady D, Tripdisz, and Kmy Kmo, won one of the six categories contested at the IMFP, beating 288 entries from other countries.

Socso Prevention, Medical and Rehabilitation Division head Dr Azlan Darus said the song inserted the concept of Vision Zero, which is an effort to prevent work injuries and promote care among employees, introduced by the International Social Security Association (ISSA).

“The one thing that stood out in the song was its lyrics, which combined the elements of safety, health and well-being of employees at the workplace while the song’s contemporary genre struck a chord with the listeners, especially the younger generation.

“This is our third participation and second win in a different category. We first won in 2014 (Germany) and were third in 2011 (Turkey),” he told at a virtual press conference here today.

The song Sifar will be used as a promotional medium for Socso’s programmes and a platform to educate the public on the importance of the safety of workers and social protection.

Meanwhile, Socso chief executive officer Datuk Seri Dr Mohammad Azman Aziz Mohammed described the victory as a gift for Malaysians and a recognition of Socso’s hard work to increase people’s awareness of the importance of social safety nets.

Singer and lyricist Asfan Shah admitted that the process of composing the song was quite challenging as it had a specific theme on social safety awareness.

“I am very excited because this is the first time I’ve composed such a song for a government agency. The words used in the song play an important role so as it is easily understood and appropriate.

“The inspiration and idea to compose the song with Lady D and Kmy was based on the movie Warkah that was produced by Socso in 2019, and we added rap elements to the song which led to our win,” he said.

The song Sifar, performed by Asfan, Kmy and Tripdisz and launched in 2019, could be streamed on YouTube and it has, so far, garnered more than 700,000 views.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Launch of ‘Mechamato The Animated Series’ on Dec 4

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 23 — Animonsta Studios Sdn. Bhd. (Monsta)’s highly anticipated animated series “Mechamato” is set to launch on WarnerMedia’s Cartoon Network for Asia Pacific this coming December.

The company, in a statement today, said the series premiere is slated for official airing on Dec 4 for Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand, which will be followed by the official airing in South Korea on Dec 11 and Japan in March 2022.

A sneak peek episode from the series will be aired especially for Cartoon Network subscribers on Nov 6, it said.

Monsta chief content officer Anas Abdul Aziz, at the recent Kre8tif! 2021 Virtual Conference hosted by Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), unveiled the main official poster for ‘Mechamato The Animated Series’, together with the official release dates for all available countries.

During the conference, the main characters of the series, Amato and MechaBot, made a special appearance during which both the English and Malay versions of the series theme song were heard for the first time.

According to Monsta, the main theme song for ‘Mechamato The Animated Series’ was produced in-house with the Malay version sung by Shah of indie band Modescape from Malaysia, while the English version was sung by Nil Cardoso and recorded in the United States.

Mechamato follows the adventures of a young boy named Amato who inadvertently becomes the master of MechaBot, a robot with the power to mechanise any daily life object into high-tech devices.

Meanwhile, speaking on the challenges to produce the series during the COVID-19 pandemic, Anas said it was indeed a big challenge for the team as Malaysia was under lockdown for more than half a year and everyone needed to work remotely from home.

“Even though we have to work apart and communicate via online video calls, we are glad that the team sailed through many unexpected hiccups and challenges during the production period, and managed to successfully deliver the episodes to Cartoon Network,” he said.

Mechamato is now open for pre-sales, and several different rights such as video on demand (VOD), over-the-top (OTT) and Free TV are still available for broadcasters and content platforms, while Monsta has partnered with a well-known global leading distributor, Jetpack Distribution as their worldwide distributor to market the series outside of Asia Pacific territory.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

HKTB extends ‘Hong Kong Neighbourhoods’ promoting art and culture tourism

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 9 — The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) has officially launched a West Kowloon neighbourhood programme, after featuring popular promotions ‘Old Town Central’ and ‘Sham Shui Po – Every Bit Local’ in the ‘Hong Kong Neighbourhoods’ campaign.

The latest programme highlights the West Kowloon neighbourhood’s rich heritage and vibrant street life in Yau Ma Tei and Jordan along with its two new world-class museums – M+ and the Hong Kong Palace Museum in the West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD) – which will open in year-end and next and become landmarks in art and cultural tourism.

According to a statement, the programme builds a bridge between the local life of the bustling communities, home to many historical architectures and traditional craftsmanship, and the artistic lure of the WKCD.

HKTB Executive Director Dane Cheng said: “The HKTB has chosen to launch this large-scale programme before borders reopen because we want residents to savour the experience first and discover hidden gems in their community, rekindling their enthusiasm and appreciation and creating a harmonious art-life aura in the West Kowloon neighbourhood.”

“We hope Hong Kong people will then share their experiences with friends and relatives outside Hong Kong. Besides, visitors around the world are eager to travel as soon as travel restrictions are eased, and we will be able to capitalise on the opportunities if we are well prepared in advance.”

Starting from the beautiful shoreline at the WKCD, the programme extends to Yau Ma Tei and Pitt Street, and spans along Nathan Road to reach streets and paths around Austin Road, Jordan.

To reflect the unique characteristics of each area, the HKTB has devised five thematic walking tours focused on Heritage & Craftmanship, Cultural Arts and Culinary Arts.

The routes cover many little-known corners of the city, such as a bookstore hidden in the Tin Hau Temple, a seafood restaurant transformed into an art hotel, and a condiment store promoting western dishes fused with traditional fermented tofu.

The routes offer recommendations for more than 50 points of interest, shops, and restaurants, and are available as an interactive e-map on the HKTB website.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Cinemas allowed to operate, open to fully vaccinated individuals from Thursday (Sept 9) – PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 7 — Cinemas in states that are in Phase One of the National Recovery Plan (NRP) will be allowed to operate at 50 per cent capacity beginning Thursday (Sept 9), with only those who have completed their COVID-19 vaccination allowed to enter the halls.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob in a statement today said live performance activities such as theater, musicals, music and comedy shows (pre-registered) will also be allowed to resume at 30 per cent capacity of the premises comprising fully vaccinated individuals.

“This decision is among the government’s ongoing efforts to stimulate the economic viability of artistes and the creative industry,” he said, adding that the artistes themselves, as well as industry workers, should also be fully vaccinated.

Ismail Sabri said art exhibition activities in exhibition halls, museums and art galleries (by appointment) were also allowed to resume at 30 per cent capacity comprising those fully vaccinated.

He said the relaxation also involved the development and broadcasting of creative content through recordings or live broadcasts.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Frequent Urination Treatable, Not A Life Sentence

– With many people homebound and working from home due to the movement control, there has been a rise in complaints pertaining to frequent urination, according to a urologist.

In most cases, the patients suspect they have an overactive bladder (OAB) and request treatment for this condition.

However, before any medication or treatment is prescribed, the doctor would want to ascertain the cause of their frequent visits to the toilet as it could also be due to a urinary tract infection or simply consuming more fluids now that people are staying at home mostly.

Said consultant urologist at Gleneagles Kuala Lumpur Dr Warren Lo Hwa Loon: “To determine whether you have OAB, the first thing to rule out is overdrinking or consuming too much fluids. Nowadays, many people who work from home tend to drink more than usual and that inadvertently results in frequent toilet visits.

“Usually, the normal fluid intake per day is about two to 2.5 litres which roughly equals seven to eight glasses of water. Some people tend to subconsciously overdrink whenever they are not occupied, creating unnecessary urinary frequency and urgency which is similar to having an OAB.”

According to Dr Lo, OAB is a symptom complex of urinary urgency, usually accompanied by urinary frequency and nocturia (night urination), with or without urinary incontinence and in the absence of urinary tract infection or other obvious pathology.

He said in Malaysia, OAB is observed more often in women (39.5 percent) than men (26.8 percent), with the condition usually associated with incontinence or loss of bladder control.

“Among women, 9.3 percent reported having OAB with incontinence. Among men, only 2.6 percent reported having it with incontinence,” he said.

While OAB is not necessarily a part of aging, there is evidence indicating that it becomes more common as people age, he said, adding that about 20 percent of people aged 70 and above report symptoms while 30 percent of those aged 75 and above do so as well.

“In general, it is not an uncommon condition among the population,” he said.

Dr Lo said to ascertain whether one is having OAB, it is necessary to strike out other possible underlying contributing factors before going into various treatment regimes and options for OAB.

He said besides overdrinking fluids, OAB can be caused by neurological disorders such as Parkinsonism or stroke, spinal cord injuries or even post-spinal surgeries.

Bladder outflow obstruction due to prostate enlargement, bladder stones or urethral narrowing can also lead to symptoms of OAB.

“It is also important to rule out bladder cancer as this disease can often present with urinary urgency, frequency and blood in the urine, mimicking urinary tract infections or OAB.

“A common perception is that urinary tract infection, or UTI, will give us a sensation of urgency, associated with OAB-like frequent urination, but with a burning sensation and occasionally foul-smelling and cloudy urine. Sometimes UTI patients who do not experience some of the other symptoms think that they are suffering from OAB instead. Treatment with antibiotics will solve the urinary tract infection,” he added.

Dr Lo also said many people tend to cope silently with OAB or think that urinary incontinence is an inevitable part of aging. Fortunately, most overactive bladders can be treated with lifestyle modifications.

“Caffeinated and carbonated products and citrus and alcoholic beverages are known to be bladder stimulants and are largely lifestyle choices. Avoiding these drinks and avoiding overdrinking (including plain water) will definitely reduce the OAB-like symptoms. For milder OAB symptoms, Kegel exercises can also help by relaxing the pelvic floor muscle,” he explained.

He said patients with severe symptoms may be given medications which, in many ways, help to relax the bladder, thus allowing for more urine storage and reducing urinary urgency and frequency or even incontinence. Medications are useful especially for those with neurological conditions.

“It is life-changing for many who have been long troubled by their condition. Many people tend to endure the inconvenience and would shy away from social activities due to the possibility of accidentally wetting their pants or smelling of urine due to urinary incontinence,” said Dr Lo.

However, in some patients, the medications may lead to side effects such as dry mouth and constipation. Also, patients with cognitive impairment, glaucoma or thyroid issues who are prescribed medications for OAB need to be supervised and monitored by their healthcare personnel on a regular basis.

According to Dr Lo, Botox (an injectable drug usually used to relax muscles that cause wrinkles) can also be injected into the bladder to help its muscles to relax, adding that it can be a viable treatment option if medications do not work or they are not suitable for the patient.

“Botox usually lasts for six months. Injecting Botox into the bladder is a day-care procedure and seasoned patients can have it performed under local anaesthesia. There is a small risk of urinary retention and urinary tract infection post-surgery,” he added.

Implanting a sacral neuromodulation (bladder pacemaker) is the last resort if all the above treatment options do not provide relief. The device is designed to modulate the nerves that control the contractility of the bladder. It works for two polarising conditions: severe overactive bladder and underactive bladder.

Dr Lo said the patient can control the intensity of the device to suit the severity of their OAB symptoms. The device has to be changed every five to seven years, depending on the voltage used.

“It is an invaluable device for those with intractable overactive bladder with severe urine leak problems. It also remains the only device to stimulate bladder contractility, and used by patients with bladder failure who would otherwise rely on urinary catheters to drain their urine. It allows them to pass urine naturally on their own without the need of a catheter,” he added.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency