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Floods: Perzim to carry out repair works on historic mosques promptly

MELAKA, Jan 6 — Repair works will be carried out immediately on three historic mosques that were damaged in the recent round of floods in the state, said Melaka Museums Corporation (Perzim).

Its General Manager Mohd Nasruddin Rahman said the mosques, namely Lubok China Mosque, Brisu Mosque and Datuk Machap Mosque in Alor Gajah were among 56 mosques gazetted as heritage mosques under the National Heritage Act 2005.

He said Datuk Machap Mosque, which was built in 1865, was the most affected, adding that inspections found that the damages were quite serious involving its roofs.

“We have submitted an application to the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture and God willing, we will get the allocation to repair the mosque which is also gazetted under the Melaka State Heritage Enactment,” he told Bernama here today.

Mohd Nasruddin said besides roof work, drains around the mosque would also be repaired and enlarged.

He said Perzim would repair the other two mosques as well as other affected mosques through the allocation under the state conservation fund, based on priority.

“If it is very bad like the Lubok China Mosque and Brisu Mosque which were hit by the floods, we will make good use of the allocation. However, based on our monitoring, everything is under control despite their old structures,” he said.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Zarinah Anwar appointed UM’s first female chairman of the board

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 5 — Universiti Malaya (UM) has appointed Tan Sri Zarinah Anwar as its board chairman for three years effective Dec 13, 2021.

The letter of appointment was issued by the Ministry of Higher Education (KPT) last Dec 10 in accordance with Section 17 (1) (a) of the University of Malaya Constitution (Chairman), a statement today said.

A UM law alumnus, she is also a prominent corporate figure and has held several important positions such as Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) independent non-executive director, chairman of Malaysia Debt Ventures Bhd (MDV) and member of the board of directors of Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB).

She was chairman of the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) and deputy chairman of Shell Malaysia.

She is presently a member of the board of trustees of the Razak School of Government, Yayasan Hasanah and Jeffrey Cheah Foundation.

“At the international level she is an Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, UK and a member of the board of advisors of the Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority, UAE,” the statement added.

She is pro-chancellor of Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) and sits on the council of academic advisors of Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP) and the National Women’s Advisory and Consultative Council (MPPW).

“We hope Tan Sri Zarinah’s appointment as UM board chairman will help the university make a global impact,” said UM vice chancellor, Prof Datuk Ir Dr Mohd Hamdi Abd Shukor, of the first woman to be at the helm of Malaysia’s oldest varsity.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Decision to suspend umrah travel permission prioritises public interest – Minister

SEGAMAT, Jan 3 — The decision to temporarily suspend umrah trips has been a difficult one to make but it is done in the public interest following the threat of the new COVID-19 Omicron variant, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Senator Idris Ahmad.

He said there was no discrimination against Muslims as alleged by some parties.

The decision was made following careful deliberation between the relevant agencies taking into account the recommendations from the Health Ministry regarding the latest threat of the deadly virus, he said.

He said it was a national issue involving members of the public therefore such allegations were highly inconsiderate.

“Don’t slander us, claiming that we want to oppress Muslims. MOH provided data…facts of how the disease is being transmitted from all these countries,” he told reporters after visiting flood victims housed at Sekolah Agama Kuala Paya, near here, today.

Idris said the proposal to make it compulsory for the umrah pilgrims to undergo quarantine at designated hotels or venues instead of at their respective homes could not be implemented due to a shortage of logistics.

“We need at least 1,000 beds a day. In the end, the authorities had to make the decision (to suspend umrah trips). We don’t want the disease to spread, which could cause even more problems (in the future),” he said, adding that he hoped the people could accept the government’s decision as it was made in their interest.

The government had decided to temporarily suspend travel permission to perform umrah starting Jan 8 to curb the spread of the Omicron COVID-19 variant which led to allegations of discrimination against Muslims hurled by some quarters.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Illegal sand mining persists in Manjung despite several stop-work orders – PTG

IPOH, Jan 3 — An illegal sand mining operator at Pasir Panjang beach, Manjung continued with its activities despite being given warnings by the authorities to stop work at the site.

Perak Land and Mines Department (PTG) director Datuk Mohamad Fariz Mohamad Hanip said work at the site was detected in November last year and PTG with the cooperation of the Manjung Municipal Council (MPM) had ordered it to stop operating while waiting for approval.

“There was no approval or permission issued for the land owned by a manufacturing company so far. An application was made but it has to be brought to the committee stage for study and to obtain technical comments,” he said when contacted by Bernama here today.

He said based on a review of the application, the company wanted to develop the area as it has the potential for silica sand mining.

However, he said the latest situation was under control as a Perak PTG team with MPM had inspected the site so that sand is not transferred out from the turtle landing site.

Asked whether there were cases of sand mining carried out in other parts of Perak, Mohamad Fariz said there were no reports received so far.

Earlier Sahabat Alam Malaysia posted two pictures on its Twitter site showing sand excavation in the area which is a level one environmental sensitive zone.

According to the association, the area is a sensitive environmental site in which no development could be carried out except for limited tourism and research activities as stated in the regulation or National Physical Plan as well as Local Plan.

Bernama had earlier reported that MPM did not receive any application and no permission was given by the council to date and in fact it has ordered the project work to stop immediately.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

SAR operation in Telemong suspended

KUANTAN, Dec 29 — The search and rescue (SAR) operation for an elderly man who went missing during the floods in Telemong, Bentong on Dec 18, has been suspended.

Pahang Fire and Rescue Department assistant director Ismail Abdul Ghani said the suspension of the SAR operation was decided today until new clues were found, but the department would continue to monitor from time to time.

“The SAR operation, conducted on land and water, involved 96 officers and members of various agencies as well as tracking dogs,” he said in a statement here today.

Ismail said members of the public had also joined the search along the river banks.

The victim, Ahmad Yahya, 71, was among those swept away by strong river currents while on the Telemong bridge.

Sixteen people were rescued and five bodies have been recovered.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Selangor: SWCorp deploys 200 workers to assist in cleaning operations

KLANG, Dec 28 — A total of 200 workers of the Solid Waste Management and Public Cleansing Corporation (SWCorp) under the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (KPKT) have been mobilised to assist in the post-flood cleaning operations in Selangor.

SWCorp Enforcement and Regulatory Division director Zaidi Tuah said 130 units of machinery under its concession companies, namely Alam Flora Sdn Bhd; South Waste Management Sdn Bhd and Environment Idaman Sdn Bhd were deployed to flood-hit areas in the state.

Zaidi, who is also SWCorp’s Head of Post-Flood Operations, said entering the seventh day, about 1,000 tonnes of waste was collected, especially in the districts of Hulu Langat, Sepang, Kuala Langat and Klang.

“This will not be possible without the help of the residents who had placed the rubbish in an orderly manner to be easily accessible by excavators and rubbish trucks,” he told Bernama and RTM when met at Taman Cempaka Sari Phase 3 here today.

Zaidi also advised residents affected by floods to separate domestic and bulky rubbish to facilitate clean up.

The area coordinator for the SWCorp’s clean-up ops, Mohd Najib Abd Razak, 36, said the operation had been carried out since last week, involving Phase One and Phase Two of the residential area.

“Since Dec 19, together with KPKT we have been helping to rescue flood victims and cleaning their houses, especially the elderly,” he said.

Meanwhile, in Kuantan, state SWCorp director Sharudin Hamid said the company has transported a total of 6,785 tonnes of flood-related waste to landfills from Dec 22 until yesterday excluding waste placed at 14 transit sites waiting to be collected.

He said the company is actively carrying clean-up works in badly-hit districts especially Kuantan, Temerloh and Bentong.

“Our focus now is to speed up the process of removing rubbish from the houses of the affected residents and transporting it to the transit sites. In addition, the number of lorries will be increased to carry the rubbish to the landfills,” he said when met by reporters at the transit site in Bukit Rangin Perdana, here today.

Apart from Alam Flora, various agencies including local leaders had taken the initiative to provide lorries to assist in transporting waste to the transit sites, he added.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

JAIS opens collection centres for Quran, Religious books damaged by floods

SHAH ALAM, Dec 28 — The Selangor Islamic Religious Department (JAIS) has opened collection centres for copies of al-Quran and religious books damaged by floods at six locations in the state from yesterday to Thursday.

Its director Datuk Mohd Shahzihan Ahmad said the six centres were located at the Sungai Serai Muslim cemetery (Hulu Langat), Johan Setia Muslim cemetery (Klang), Masjid Al-Madaniah USJ 18, Subang Jaya (Petaling), Masjid As-Solihin Kancong Darat (Kuala Langat), Kompleks Islam Daerah Kuala Selangor (Kuala Selangor) and Masjid Raja Haji Fi Sabilillah, Cyberjaya (Sepang).

“The floods that hit Selangor resulted in the damage and destruction of properties including the al Quran and religious books in mosques, suraus, schools and private homes.

“JAIS has taken steps to preserve the sanctity of the verses of the Quran,” he said in a statement today.

Mohd Shahzihan also advised Muslims in flood-hit areas to send the damaged al-Quran and religious books to the nearest kariah mosque.

“The mosque management must make sure that all copies sent to them be placed in an appropriate room, safe and clean, away from human or animal paths to avoid being stepped over and trampled as well as placed at an elevated level.

“If the Quran and religious books are stored in an open area, the mosque must ensure that they are covered with plastic sheets or canvas to avoid them from getting wet due to the rain,” he said.

In a separate statement, Mohd Shahzihan said flood victims could request for replacement of their missing or damaged documents issued by JAIS related to marriages, divorces or reconciliations for free.

He said they could come to the district religious office from today until Jan 31, 2022.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency