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Overnight camping, hiking allowed at half capacity – Forest Dept

KUALA LUMPUR Camping and hiking activities involving overnight stays whether done privately or with family members are allowed but limited to half the total capacity.


Peninsular Malaysia Forestry Department’s Forest Eco-Parks and State Forest Parks director Mohd Yussainy Md Yusop said that the move was among latest measures implemented to improve the standard operating procedure (SOP) for visitors to comply with when entering forest eco-parks and state forest parks during the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO).


“For instance, the capacity of the campsite in Sungai Pauh, Cameron Highlands, is set at 70 people compared with its maximum capacity of 150 people, while the number of people allowed for picnic and camping activities at Commonweatlh Forest Park, Rawang, is set at 100 at any one time compared with its maximum capacity of 250 people.




“At the same time, the state forestry departments can also set additional conditions to ensure full compliance with the SOP approved by the National Security Council (MKN), including the use of face masks while conducting static recreation activities in the forest,” he told Bernama recently.


Therefore, he said that visitors are required to submit an application to carry out activities in the forest eco parks and state parks via the online application system or obtain an entry permit directly through the state forestry departments.


Mohd Yussainy also said that for dynamic recreational activities including jungle trekking and mountain climbing, they should be done by practising physical distancing of three meters between each climber while maintaining the ratio of five climbers for each mountain guide.



He added that extreme sports activities such as motorcross, ATV, mountain bike, rock climbing, paragliding as well as rope activities such as abseiling and wall climbing which were previously banned have also been allowed.


Apart from that, gatherings of not more than 20 people in a group, boathouse rental services with a capacity not exceeding 50 per cent and the organisation of department courses or technical training are also allowed, he said.


“It should be noted that all extreme activity operators, enthusiasts or visitors must comply with the latest SOP including physical distancing of at least one to three metres and to wear face masks. They are also encouraged to bring their own equipment,” he said.



Source: BERNAMA News Agency


Pandan Job Fair offers 500 job opportunities

KUALA LUMPUR The 2020 Pandan Job Fair is being held today and about 500 jobs in various sectors are up for grabs.


Pandan Indah MP Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the one-day career guidance carnival was hoped to be able to help individuals who lost their jobs rebuild their careers.


“Our hope is that the carnival can match those who are in need of job with suitable employers,” she said in her speech while launching the carnival today.





Wan Azizah said the carnival offered interview sessions, employers’ briefings, resume workshops, labour advice and counselling service, as well as finance management consultancy.


She added participants are also eligible to participate and register with the Selangor government’s Peduli Rakyat initiative.


Job seekers can visit the carnival until 3 pm today, at Midpoint Shopping Complex, Pandan Indah.




Source: BERNAMA News Agency


JAIS orders closure of surau, school in Shah Alam over COVID-19


SHAH ALAM, The Selangor Islamic Religious Department (JAIS) today ordered the immediate closure of a surau and a religious school in Section 23 here after it was found that a worshipper at the surau had been in close contact with a COVID-19-positive individual of the Sivagangga Cluster in Kedah.


JAIS director Mohd Shahzihan Ahmad said the Surau Al-Jannah and the nearby Sekolah KAFA Al-Jannah will only be allowed to operate again after JAIS gives the word.


The surau will not be allowed to hold the fardhu prayer and Friday prayer as well as other religious activities as a measure to check the spread of COVID-19 infection among the local people, he said in a statement.




The surau and school will also have to be sanitised at once, he said, adding that the surau committee has been ordered to monitor the situation closely.


Mohd Shahzihan advised the local community not to panic because the closure of the surau is a normal procedure to prevent the spread of the disease.


The Health Ministry reported the Patient-Under-Investigation (PUI) Sivagangga Cluster on July 28, saying it originated from a restaurant owner and permanent resident who had returned to Jitra, Kedah, from India on July 13.



The individual tested negative for COVID-19 at the KL International Airport and was placed under home quarantine but did not heed the order and subsequently tested positive for the disease and was admitted to the Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital in Kedah.


Today, Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said in a statement that the Sivagangga Cluster has registered 43 cases so far, 31 of them in Kedah, 11 in Perlis and one in Penang.


The cases include 12 reported as of noon today, of which 10 are in Perlis and one each in Kedah and Penang.




Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Two teachers die, two others injured in car crash

Two female teachers died and two others were injured when the car they were travelling in skidded before ending in a river bank, near Merotai Bridge at Kilometre 32 of Jalan Tawau-Merotai here, this morning.


Tawau district police chief ACP Peter Umbuas said in the 6 am incident, the deceased were identified as Dayana Damsah, 27, and Nurizyani Kafli, 24, while Nurzairah Aladin, 35, sustained severe chest injuries.


The 38-year-old driver of the car was slightly injured,” he said in a statement here.




He said the teachers were attached to Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) Umas-Umas.


According to investigations, the driver lost control of the vehicle which skidded to the right side of the road and struck the bridge causing the car to veer six metres in the direction of the river bank,” he said


At the time of the crash, the teachers were on their way to the school.


Source: BERNAMA News Agency

School session to start on Jan 20, 2021 – Radzi Jidin


KUALA LUMPUR, The school opening date for the first term of the 2021 session nationwide is set for Wednesday, Jan 20.


Senior Minister of Education Dr Mohd Radzi Md Jidin said that the date was set based on the 2021 calendar that had been finalised.


He said that the term calendar and school holidays for the year 2021 were prepared by taking into account various aspects that were affected by the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO) following the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak.




“Hence, the solution to the challenges that arise during this period, of course, requires an unusual approach and method. The same goes for the context of amendments to the school and examination calendars.


“Based on this new date, we will open (school) much later than usual. The school calendar for 2020 has been amended by maximising the duration of school days and reducing the year-end holidays,” he said when winding up the debate on the motion of thanks for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s royal address at the Dewan Rakyat sitting, here today.


Radzi said that the reduction in the year-end holiday will allow students to have an adequate face-to-face learning period in preparation for the following year.



This is because there are weaknesses in the implementation of teaching and learning (PdP) through home-based learning methods throughout the MCO period.


He said that the method was something new among teachers, students and parents, apart from the fact that many students could not follow online learning due to limited access to communications technology.


“If this situation continues, students will have difficulty in achieving the minimum level of mastery in each subject they take. This will affect the students’ interest and motivation to continue learning.


“The ministry has thoroughly conducted research for the medium and long term to ensure that students at least achieve the minimum level of mastery in each of their subjects,” he said.


He said that the ministry had also conducted a study on student readiness in online learning from March 28 to April 2 involving 670,118 parents with 893,331 students.


He explained that the findings of the study showed that six per cent of students have personal computers; laptops (9.3 per cent); tablets (5.8 per cent); and 46.5 per cent own a smartphone.


However, at the same time, there are still 36.9 per cent of school students who do not have any smart devices to enable them to follow online learning, he said.


“These findings show that most students are unable to follow online learning effectively because they don’t have a suitable device … there are also constraints in accessing the Internet. This situation causes learning unable to occur comprehensively and uniformly to all students,” he said.


Following that, Radzi said that home-based learning was also implemented through the TV Pendidikan (Educational TV) via TV Okey channel and Astro Tutor TV on channels 601 and 603, as well as through radio stations such as Kedah FM, Terengganu FM and Johor FM.


In addition, there are also teachers who implement PdP through the delivery of learning materials to students made through various methods such as postal services, delivery assistance by the Parent-Teacher Associations (PTAs) and drive-through counters in schools.




Source: BERNAMA News Agency


Malay version of popular COVID-19 e-book for kids launched

LeapEd, Malaysia’s first homegrown education service provider and social enterprise, today launched the Malay edition of the popular international e-book, Coronavirus: A Book For Children About COVID-19, to educate Malaysian children on the virus.


Chairperson of LeapEd, Shahnaz Al-Sadat said the 17-page translation of the e-book, Coronavirus: Buku Untuk Kanak-Kanak, is an effort to raise awareness and to inculcate understanding among Malaysian children on the COVID-19 pandemic.


“It is fundamental that our children are equipped with the relevant knowledge and understanding of the virus and how they can do their part to protect themselves and the people around them,” Shahnaz said in a statement.




The e-book was originally published in United Kingdom (UK) by Nosy Crow and illustrated by award-winning illustrator Axel Scheffer, and LeapEd was given the exclusive honour to translate it to transform the way children learn and the way educators teach.


Nosy Crow Managing Director, Kate Wilson, meanwhile said: “The e-book was meticulously crafted with the help of many experts such as teachers, child psychologists, and also scientific experts in related fields, we are very pleased to have been able to provide such useful resources.


The e-book can be downloaded at www.leapedservices.com/coronavirus-book for free, complete with a reading guide to help parents utilise the book effectively for their children.



Source: BERNAMA News Agency


Za’ba, a warrior, in fight for independence


JEMPOL His role in injecting the spirit of struggle among the Malays against the yoke of colonialism for national independence cannot be refuted and, in fact, his writings are indelibly fresh until today.


The figure in question is Tan Sri Zainal Abidin Ahmad, more popularly known as Pendeta Za’ba, a teacher, writer, linguist, philosopher, political figure and economic thinker who had vastly contributed to the progress of race and country.


The phrase “The pen is mightier than the sword”, conveyed in various forms over the ages, and coined by English author Edward Bulwer Lytton held true in Malaysia’s own fight for independence where writers and teachers like Za’ba wrote to ignite the struggle against colonialism.




The Negeri Sembilan-born Za’ba, the eldest of three siblings, had began to copy letters of the alphabets from various sources on banana leaf and stalks, even before he learnt the Jawi alphabet, which was commonly used by the Malay communities in the late 1880s.


Negeri Sembilan Museum Board director Dr Shamsuddin Ahmad said: “Since he was small, Za’ba liked to write using twigs on banana stalks and leaves. His father would observe his son from far, and, realising the boy love for writing, presented him with a stone tablet.


“That piece of stone tablet, which is now over 100 years, was made from black stone and framed with wood. Starting from that, Za’ba started to learn to write in Jawi and honed his writing skills,” he told Bernama in an interview recently.



The stone tablet was now being displayed at the Teratak Za’ba exhibition gallery in Kampung Bukit Kerdas, Batu Kikir, here.


Za’ba’s thoughts were beyond his time, and with this foresight and wisdom, he produced writings that inspired society on the importance of knowledge and education.


His writings, particularly essays, were published in newspaper and magazines such as Utusan Melayu and Lembaga Melayu, and he also published a series of monographs in the Malay language, besides books on ways of life according to Islam.


Za’ba was born on Sept 16, 1895 in Kampung Bukit Kerdas, 62 years before independence, and received his early education at Sekolah Melayu Batu Kikir, Jempol in 1907.


Shamsuddin said Za’ba was strident in criticising the British colonial administration, and he played a critical role in a political movement to unite the Malay groups, in effort to wrest independence from the British.


“Pendeta Za’ba was appointed as the president of Persatuan Melayu Selangor and acted as the All-Malaya Malay Congress organising committee chairman, which led to the birth of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), uniting the Malays under one entity in the struggle against English colonialism,” explained Shamsuddin.


He said Za’ba also contributed to the modern Malay language system, that is now used as the main medium of instruction in national schools and as a tool for unity.


“Za’ba was one the small numbers of Malays during his time, who had successfully placed himself in the professional field, despite coming from the rural areas,” quipped Shamsuddin.


His first job was as a teacher in English College, Johor Bahru in 1916, before moving to Malay College Kuala Kangsar in 1918.


He later became a Bahasa Melayu lecturer at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London in 1947 before being appointed as a senior lecturer and the first Head of the then newly formed Malay Studies Department in University Malaya, Singapore in 1953.


Za’ba died at the age of 78, on Oct 23, 1973.



Source: BERNAMA News Agency