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Make “Road To Oscar” a reality – Saifuddin

 

KUALA LUMPUR Films that revolve around the Malay world, culture and religions can bring the local film industry to greater heights including going to the Oscar, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.

 

He said local film industry players through collaboration with the National Film Development Corporation (FINAS) should formulate effective strategies and plans in order to achieve the goal.

 

“(Produce a film) a project that can export our culture and identity to the international level. Not necessarily for profit making. The aim is (to promote) patriotism.

 

 

 

 

“This can be a catalyst,” he said during his visit to FINAS in Petaling Jaya today.

 

Also present was FINAS Chief Executive Officer Ahmad Idham Ahmad Nadzri.

 

Saifuddin said in order to further develop the industry, assistance should also be given to industry players and production companies including those in the incubator and special categories.

 

 

Saifuddin said if other countries are able to achieve an Oscar nomination, local film industry players must dare to aim high, accept the challenge and realise it.

 

“The content (of the film) should be in line with the national creative policy, broadcasting ethics and government policies, and must as well be planned properly,” he added.

 

Earlier in his visit to the Broadcasting and Information Tun Abdul Razak Institute (IPPTAR), Saifuddin said creative industries players must be able to multitask and be versatile to steer the industry to greater heights.

 

He said there was a need to create individuals or groups that are not only expert in their fields, but could also make important decision for the advancement to the industry.

 

 

 

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

 

COVID-19: Penang Hill Festival postponed

 

GEORGE TOWN The Penang Hill Festival 2020 (PHF2020) has been postponed until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

In a statement today, Penang Hill Corporation (PHC) said the event would be rescheduled subject to compliance with guidelines by the Penang state government and relevant authorities.

 

The annual festival was scheduled to take place from July 16-19 to celebrate the history, natural and cultural heritage of Penang Hill.

 

 

“The postponement is a measure to safeguard participants, exhibitors and supporters of PHF2020 in light of the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic,” the statement said.

 

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

 

Fans says ‘hello’ to Adele’s transformation

KUALA LUMPUR Internet users across the globe, including Malaysians, were thrilled and surprised when English singer-songwriter Adele shared a photograph showing off her physical transformation, making her look almost unrecognisable.

Fans were stunned when the Grammy Award winner, known for her hit song ‘Hello’, uploaded her picture on Instagram, looking slim in a black dress in conjunction with her 32nd birthday.

The recent post by the singer, who had been inactive on Instagram, is now trending among social media users.

She penned a special message thanking everyone for their birthday wishes and expressed her gratitude to frontliners battling the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Thank you for the birthday love. I hope you’re all staying safe and sane during this crazy time.

“I’d like to thank all of our first responders and essential workers who are keeping us safe while risking their lives! You are truly angels,” she said in her caption today.

The picture went viral and received more than two million likes and over 60,000 positive comments in less than 24 hours after being uploaded.

Most of them praised her for the change and took it as a motivation to lead a healthy lifestyle while some fans hoped the picture was a sign for the release of a new song this year.

Adele released her last album ‘25’ in 2015.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Thai water festival called off to curb COVID-19

BANGKOK, March 14 — Thailand’s annual water festival, Songkran will literally be washed out this year as public celebration of the popular festival has been cancelled to avoid mass gatherings in the effort to contain COVID-19 outbreak in the kingdom.

Thais celebrate Songkran, the traditional new year from April 13 to 15 by splashing water on each other under the scorching sun and visit temples to pray and make offerings.

Popular backpacker district of Khaosan Road in the Thai capital called off its celebration to prevent the spread of the virus. Every year, thousands of tourists join locals in splashing water and other activities along the popular district.

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) also announced it will not organise Songkran events and activities under its jurisdiction.

BMA also urged the private sector in the district to avoid organising celebration activities to stop mass gatherings.

Besides that, celebrations in Chiang Mai, Patong beach in Phuket, Hat Yai and Khon Kaen are also cancelled to reduce the risk of infection.

Meanwhile, Thai Public Health Ministry permanent secretary Dr Sukhum Kanchanapimai said Thailand today confirmed seven new COVID-19 cases, bringing the tally to 82.

The seven new cases including a 41-year-old Thai actor and a 63-year-old woman who had close contact with a COVID-19 patient.

He said the other new cases included four from a family of a 57-year-old woman who visited Japan.

”The woman’s daughter, 30, son-in-law, 33, and granddaughter, 4, were tested positive for COVID-19,” he said at a COVID-19 daily briefing here today.

He added another new case included a 20-year-old female student who returned from Japan.

To date, Thailand has recorded 82 COVID-19 cases with one fatality and 46 patients are still being treated in hospitals while 35 have been discharged.

Meanwhile, the Royai Thai Embassy in Kuala Lumpur urged all 132 Thais who attended the tabligh (missionary) convention at Masjid Jamek Sri Petaling in Kuala Lumpur to undergo screening at nearby hospitals.

It was reported that 30 participants each from Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat and another 42 from the other provinces of the kingdom had attended the event.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

April 15 hearing of ex-AmBank manager’s application to strike out Najib’s suit

KUALA LUMPUR, The High Court is to hear on April 15 the application by former AmBank Relationship manager Joanna Yu Ging Ping to strike out a suit filed by former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak against her for alleged mismanagement of his bank accounts.

Justice Datuk Khadijah Idris set the date during case management in chambers in the presence of counsel Datuk Dr Gurdial Singh Nijar, representing Yu, and counsel Muhammad Farhan Muhammad Shafee, representing Najib.

Muhammad Farhan, when approached by reporters, said Justice Khadijah also ordered the first and second defendants, AmBank and AMMB Holdings Berhad, to file a similar application by March 2 if the two parties intended to do so.

He said the court has set Dec 14 to 17 as trial dates for Najib’s suit.

Meanwhile, Gurdial said the court allowed Yu, as the third defendant, to delay filing her defence to Najib’s suit until her application to strike out the suit have been heard by the court.

“We have said that we need not file defence until the striking out application (is heard) because we feel that there is no course of action for him (Najib) to proceed (with the suit) in the first place.

“So the court has agreed with us that as far as Yu is concerned, she need not file a defence until the disposal of the striking out application,” he said.

Najib, through Messrs Shafee & Co, had filed the suit on Dec 9 last year at the High Court and named AmBank, AMMB Holdings Berhad and Yu as the defendants.

According to the statement of claim, the plaintiff claimed AmBank and Yu had committed negligence when handling his bank accounts (ending with 694, 880, 898 and 906) by disclosing it to fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho or Jho Low.

Najib claimed that the defendants without authorisation had disclosed his bank statements, debit and credit remittance transactions, and balances of funds of account 694 to Low as the third party.

Najib claimed that the defendants did not engage with him to report on Low’s action regarding the said bank account and that the bank had facilitated unauthorised third party to make money transfers between accounts 880, 898 and 906.

The Pekan member of Parliament contended that he had been kept in the dark on the details of his own bank accounts statements and other related documents by the bank under Low’s instruction.

He alleged that Low with the help of other unauthorised third parties, had made 20 transactions to regularise the accounts totalling RM12 million through several local and foreign remittances of funds and that the accounts had been ‘red-flagged’ by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM).

The former prime minister said the defendants failed to report and get direct instructions from him despite the accounts being red-flagged.

Najib also claimed that he only discovered the act committed by the defendants during the SRC International trial after the prosecution had revealed the conversations between Yu and third parties.

He is seeking special, general, aggravated and exemplary damages from the defendants.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)

Stern action awaits those who spread fake news on coronavirus

KUALA LUMPUR, The Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) and Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) today issued a warning that stern actions will be taken against irresponsible parties who spread fake contents or news or rumours on the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

In a joint statement here, they said such actions could disrupt and jeopardise the country’s stability.

“PDRM and MCMC will not tolerate any quarters who spread fake news that cause fear, panic or anxiety among the members of the public, they said.

Meanwhile, PDRM and MCMC have identified four individuals to help in the investigations into the spread of the fake news related to the coronavirus.

The statement also said based on the monitoring of the two authorities, social media and online messaging services have become the main platform for spreading the fake news about the coronavirus.

According to the statement, those who spread the fake news could face action under Section 505 of the Penal Code which provides a jail term of up to two years or fine, or both.

They also could be prosecuted under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 which provides a maximum fine of RM100,000 or a one-year jail, or both, said the authorities.

Members of the public were also urged to verify the authenticity of the information or news about the coronavirus they had received before sharing it, especially if the information came from parties other than the Ministry of Health (MOH).

For accurate and authentic information on the coronavirus, the public is advised to refer to the official sources namely MOH (www.moh.gov.my) or international health bodies (https://www.who.int/), said the statement.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)

Kuantan shoplot fire triggered by short circuit

KUANTAN, The fire that razed the third floor of a shoplot lined with rented rooms in Jalan Bukit Ubi here on Thursday and which killed a foreign worker was triggered by a short circuit.

Pahang Fire and Rescue Services Department deputy director Mohd Zahar Abdullah said investigations found that the fire began in one of the rented rooms on the third floor.

That particular room was not occupied and the short circuit was caused by old wiring, he told Bernama here today.

The 12.53am fire killed restaurant worker, Manikandan Murugan, 28, from Chennai, India whose charred remains were found near the stairs.

Firemen, however, managed to rescue 27 other tenants, who are said to have opted for the shoplot rooms for its cheap rent.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)