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Raja of Perlis wants mosques to be used as knowledge development centres

— The Raja of Perlis, Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Putra Jamalullail wants the mosques in the state to continue to be used as centres for learning and knowledge development.

He said the mosques should provide a balanced education and give emphasis on the Ahli Sunnah Wal Jamaah to educate the community so that they will be able to practice the teachings.

“At the same time, mosques must be kept away from political parties and distance themselves from sensitive issues that can cause public concern.

“To ensure the quality of delivery of religious teachers in the state mosque can be improved, the parties involved should also get a teaching certificate issued by the Perlis Mufti Department,” he said in the opening ceremony of the Tuanku Syed Faizuddin Putra Jamalullail Mosque in conjunction with his 79th birthday last night.

Also present was Raja Perempuan of Perlis Tuanku Tengku Fauziah Tengku Abdul Rashid.

Also in attendance were Raja Muda of Perlis Tuanku Syed Faizuddin Putra Jamalullail, Raja Puan Muda of Perlis Tuanku Lailatul Shahreen Akashah Khalil and their daughter Sharifah Khatreena Nuraniah.

Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azlan Man with his wife Datin Seri Noraswana Omar, Perlis Mufti Prof Madya Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin and the state executive council members were also present.

Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin said the teaching staff who delivered lectures using weak arguments, abusive words and causing division were not welcome in this state.

“The same goes for those who do not respect the religious beliefs enshrined in the Constitution of the State of Perlis,” he said.

He also wanted the mosques to intensify their religious-related programmes and activities so that they can be an attraction not only among the locals but also to the outside community.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Universiti Malaysia Sabah invents machine for cleaning rivers

KOTA KINABALU, April 23 (Bernama) — Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) has come up with a new innovation, a machine to clean rivers which can collect rubbish that floats in the rivers, as well as sewage that causes pollution of the rivers.

UMS Innovation Management and Commercialisation Centre (PPIP) director Associate Professor Dr Jidon Adrian Janaun, who is a researcher at the centre and the inventor of the machine, said the production of the prototype, costing RM100,000, started in 2018 and was completed last February.

It is capable of collecting up to 90 percent of the garbage floating in the river, he said, adding that the machine, which is shaped like a rotating swing, had so far, been used by UMS only for research work.

He said a model of the machine could be installed for operation in the river with a little modification.

“At UMS, this machine is operated using electricity to show how it rotates to trap garbage floating in the river before the rubbish is channeled into a garbage collection bin installed at the machine.

“However, for river use, we need a new machine from the same model, but the material has to be lighter and there has to be a floating platform or jetty so that the machine will not be swept away should flood occurs,” he told Bernama.

Jidon Adrian said the machine for river use could be operated using solar energy and would rotate according to the speed of the flow of the river water to trap the floating garbage, such as plastic and bottles.

However, he said, the process of installing the machine at the river would be by the company gthhat obtained the right to commercialise the machine.

UMS would only provide guidance in terms of design, advisory services on suitable components to the company, selection of durable materials as well as the use of low production costs, he added.

On the challenge in producing the prototype, Jidon Adrian said it was getting a workshop that could install the machine as it would require the use of suitable equipment.

He said the machine is also installed with a. sensor that will give a warning when the garbage collection bin has been filled up.

“The benefit of this machine is that it facilitates river cleaning work,” he said, adding that the project received the support of the Sabah Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (KSTI) which contributed RM30,000.

One of the students involved in making the machine, Alexander Emmanuel Segong, 23, from the Faculty of Chemical Engineering, said the machine is also installed with a device that is capable of “pulling” the floating rubbish in the river to it.

“The device will be afloat with a turbine under it that will rotate when in the water to attract the garbage to the cleaning machine,” he added.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Axiata Foundation launches Back To School Programme for B40 students

KUALA LUMPUR, April 20 (Bernama) — Axiata Foundation, a nation-building and community outreach initiative by Axiata Group Bhd, has launched a Back To School Programme to enable deserving students from lower-income backgrounds to pursue their education despite facing financial difficulties.

Axiata’s president and group chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Izzaddin Idris said a total of 700 top-performing students from 48 MARA Junior Science Colleges (MRSM) nationwide have been identified and would receive school uniforms, shoes and RM100 in cash.

He said beneficiaries identified for this programme, which is in partnership with Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA), were from low-income families, with 60 per cent of them having been orphaned due to COVID-19 and other various reasons.

“Beneficiaries identified for this programme will now have opportunities to be nurtured further through our Axiata Young Talent Programme, mentoring and coaching from AxiataCares Volunteers, and the provision of Axiata Foundation scholarships to pursue their tertiary education, for those who qualify,” he said at the programme’s launching ceremony here today.

He said that he believed assistance and support should be approached in a manner that is holistic, structured, and sustainable with the interests of these deserving students at the core of the foundation’s initiatives.

Izzaddin said Axiata Foundation has also pledged RM115 million for the next 10 years (2022-2031) to be channelled towards programmes under its education pillar initiative in promoting equitable education and nurturing young talent including the Axiata Young Talent Programme.

Axiata Foundation focuses on developing and nurturing future-ready talents and leaders under the education pillar initiative as well as addressing community needs, especially for underserved and vulnerable groups through its community investments pillar.

Meanwhile, Axiata Foundation CEO Kamal Nawawi said its education pillar programme has even expanded into an area known as the Axiata Digital Leadership Programme (ADLP) which aims to reach out to university students, while also working with third parties to look at programmes in schools.

He said programmes for ADLP are in line with the foundation’s aspiration of becoming a digital champion in 2024, which was to provide needed digital skills to Malaysia’s future leaders for them to contribute to the country.

“We also added another area which is Equity in Education Fund Axiata and we are going to launch our scholarship fund hopefully in the next quarter, to reach the target of having about 40 students per year accepted into local universities, including those from the B40 families,” he added.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

In-depth study of plan to create job opportunities for Rohingyas – Saravanan

KUALA LUMPUR, April 20 (Bernama) — The Human Resource Ministry and Home Ministry (KDN) are carrying out an in-depth study of a plan to create job opportunities for Rohingyas in the country due to security factors.

Human Resource Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan said a detailed review was important to prevent more Rohingya refugees from coming to Malaysia if the plan to create job opportunities was implemented.

“I have discussed with him (Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin) regarding the security factor, where the KDN is worried that if we allow (the creation of employment opportunities) without proper planning, then many more refugees might head to Malaysia.

“So, we must study in detail in terms of implementation. For now, (we) still do not have a decision,” he told a media conference after the Perkeso 2022 breaking of fast ceremony here tonight.

Saravanan was commenting on the incident where 528 Rohingyan detainees escaped from the Sungai Bakap Immigration Detention Depot at about 4.30 am today.

As of 8 pm today, a total of 351 refugees have been rearrested and police are still tracking down the remaining escaped detainees.

Meanwhile, six others were killed after being hit by a vehicle while crossing the road at KM 168 of the North-South Expressway (PLUS) heading south near Jawi, Penang.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

FRIM’s Herbal Technology Centre gets international certification

KUALA LUMPUR, April 11 (Bernama) — The Herbal Technology Centre (HTC) of the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) has received the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certification for food and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP).

FRIM, in a statement today, said HTC received the GMP certificate for food (MS 1480: 2019) and HACCP MS 1480: 2019 from the KIWA International Certification (M) on Sept 3, 2021.

According to the statement, FRIM HTC also received the TQCSI HACCP Code: 2022 certificate on Sept 16, 2021 for its new extraction facility which was upgraded in 2020 under the 11th Malaysia Plan project.

FRIM director-general Dr Ismail Parlan said the certification proved that HTC’s services in detecting, assessing and controlling sources of contamination were significant to food safety, thus ensuring the products produced were safe for consumption.

“I hope this recognition can further increase the trust and confidence of consumers and the industry towards FRIM’s products as well as HTC’s ability to provide services that are satisfactory.

“The achievement is in line with FRIM’s transformation efforts towards becoming a leading research institution that is capable of providing services to produce and commercialise research and development products and technologies, not only in the country but also globally,” he said in the statement.

FRIM also mentioned that the internationally recognised certification was able to meet the global needs and requirements in food safety issues.

HACCP certification is accredited by the Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand (JAS-ANZ) while HACCP and GMP are recognised by the Department of Standards Malaysia.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Ed Sheeran Wins Copyright Case Over 2017 Hit ‘Shape of You’

Grammy Award-winning songwriter Ed Sheeran won a U.K. copyright battle over his 2017 hit “Shape of You” on Wednesday, then slammed what he described as a “culture” of baseless lawsuits intended to squeeze money out of artists eager to avoid the expense of a trial.

The British pop star and his co-writers, Snow Patrol’s John McDaid and producer Steven McCutcheon, had denied allegations that the song copied part of 2015’s “Oh Why” by Sami Chokri, who performs under the name Sami Switch.

“Whilst we’re obviously happy with the result, I feel like claims like this are way too common now and have become a culture where a claim is made with the idea that a settlement will be cheaper than taking it to court, even if there is no basis for the claim,” Sheerhan said in a video posted on Twitter. “It’s really damaging to the songwriting industry.”

Andrew Sutcliffe, the lawyer for the co-writers of “Oh Why,” argued that there was an “indisputable similarity between the works.” He claimed that Sheeran had “Oh Why” in his head “consciously or unconsciously” when “Shape of You” was written in 2016.

The plaintiffs alleged that the refrain “Oh I, Oh I, Oh I” in the chorus of “Shape Of You” was “strikingly similar” to the line “Oh why, Oh why, Oh why” in their track.

During the 11-day trial, Sheeran denied allegations that he “borrows” ideas from unknown songwriters without acknowledgement and said he has always been fair in crediting people who contribute to his albums.

In Wednesday’s ruling, High Court Judge Antony Zacaroli concluded that Sheeran “neither deliberately nor subconsciously” copied a phrase from “Oh Why” when writing his smash hit.

Sheeran, McDaid and Mac said in a statement that the cost of the case was more than financial. The stress of going to trial also hurts creativity, means less time to make music and takes an emotional toll, they said.

“It is so painful to hear someone publicly and aggressively challenge your integrity,” the trio said. “It is so painful to have to defend yourself against accusations that you have done something that you haven’t done, and would never do.”

“Shape of You” was the biggest-selling song in the U.K. in 2017.

Source: Voice of America

AKM: Excited parents help eager children build robots at MOSTI kiosk

KANGAR, March 27 (Bernama) — Parents were excited as their children when they helped them to build solar-powered robots at the kiosk set up by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) at the Tuanku Syed Putra Sports Complex here.

The kiosk was set up in conjunction with the three-day 2022 Perlis Keluarga Malaysia (Malaysian Family) Aspiration (AKM) Tour Programme from March 25.

One visitor, Ahmad Danial Nordin, 42, said he made use of the weekend holiday to take his two children Ahmad Mirza, 14, and Farisah Alia, 10, to experience for themselves how to build a robot.

“I can see that Abang Long (Mirza) and kakak (Alia) were quite good at building a robot. Maybe, it is because they are used to assembling Lego pieces prior to this.

“I only observe and help read the instructions to them,” he said when met by Bernama today.

The public servant praised the programme because it could foster an interest in science and technology in children.

Meanwhile, MOSTI Strategic Planning Division secretary, Ruziah Shafie said building robots was one of the activities which had succeeded in luring the public to MOSTI’s kiosk.

“The objective of the programme is to impart knowledge to the public concerning science and technology so that all levels of society can understand them,” she said.

MOSTI has received 950 visitors since the programme started on Friday and this was expected to go up to 1,200 people before the kiosk closes this evening, she added.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency