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Sarawak hikes random testing of Sentosa cluster – Uggah


KUCHING The Sarawak State Disaster Management Committee (JPBN) will increase further random testings for the Sentosa cluster which recorded eight new positive COVID-19 cases today, said its chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.


Uggah, who is also the Deputy Chief Minister I, said since the positive cases for the cluster were increasing, the Sarawak State Health Department had been instructed to further expand the random testings in the areas around Kota Sentosa.


“To date, a total of 643 people have been screened and swabs taken for rT-PCR testings involving the Sentosa Cluster. From the number that has been screened, 16 people or 2.49 per cent are found to be positive with COVID-19, “he told a press conference on COVID-19 here.




Meanwhile, he said the JPBN meeting today had also decided that movements between divisions in Sarawak were not encouraged except for the movements of the public for certain cases, as positive cases in Kuching and Samarahan divisions were increasing.


“Among the cases that are allowed are to perform official duties, essential service workers, the death of immediate family members, family members seriously ill and the need for health screening,” he said.


In addition, Uggah said the meeting also decided that all Sarawakians flying home from abroad and transiting in Peninsular Malaysia, Labuan, Sabah, Brunei or Singapore were required to undergo quarantine at the final destination for 14 days.



He said JPBN had also discussed with Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) and decided to postpone the admission of its Pre-University Programme students until a date to be announced later.


“Besides that, also announced was the expansion of the postponement of the reopening of school sessions for Padawan District to SJK Chung Hua, Siburan involving years one to six while school sessions for pre-school classes are continued as usual. The postponement is until August 3, “he added.


Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Rukun Negara club, secretariat to be rebranded

BANGI The National Unity Ministry will strengthen the appreciation of the principles of Rukun Negara through the rebranding of Rukun Negara clubs in primary and secondary schools as well as the Rukun Negara secretariat at the institutions of higher learning.


Its Minister Datuk Halimah Mohamed Sadique said the Rukun Negara club module and the Rukun Negara secretariat also needed to be re-evaluated so that it was in line with the current scenario.


She said the Rukun Negara club should also involve all schools including Chinese and Tamil national-type schools and not just focus on national schools.




She said the National Unity Ministry, the Communications and Multimedia Ministry, the Education Ministry and the Higher Education Ministry have started discussions to ensure that the principles of Rukun Negara are included in the national education system.


Halimah said this to reporters after witnessing the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the National Unity Ministry and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) here today, to focus on working on updating four documents.


The documents are related to the preparation of the National Unity Index, the improvement of the National Unity Action Plan, the implementation of the Rukun Negara education based on the Pillars of Unity and the empowerment of the National Integration Research and Training Institute.



Source: BERNAMA News Agency


UTM inks MoA with IUIU for campus blueprint

JOHOR BAHRU Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) has signed a memorandum of agreement (MoA) for Institut Sultan Iskandar (ISI) to work with Islamic University In Uganda (IUIU) on the development of a Mbale university campus blueprint.


The Islamic Development Bank in Saudi Arabia has provided the US$120,000 (RM1 = US$4.26) grant funding for the research collaboration with UTM’s wholly-owned research and development company, ISI.


ISI executive director, Prof Dr Syed Ahmad Iskandar Syed Ariffin, said the six-month collaboration began early this month, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, discussions have been held via video link.




“UTM and IUIU have architects working together on the site and sociocultural aspects,” said Prof Syed Ahmad during a press conference today after a virtual MoA signing ceremony between UTM vice chancellor, Prof Datuk Ir Dr Wahid Omar, and IUIU rector, Dr Ahmad Kawesa Sengendo.


ISI was established by UTM in 1991 and manages research involving urban planning, transport planning, real estate and more.



Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Rukun Negara not just to be displayed on book covers – Education D-G


PUTRAJAYA The people’s acceptance and understanding of Rukun Negara which was introduced 50 years ago is part of the compass which has guided them.


Whether they realise it or not, the five principles which form the national philosophy were already practised by the majority of the people who helped the nation attain peace and harmony as envisaged when Rukun Negara was developed on August 31, 1970.




Based on this objective, schools and educational institutions became the most important medium to instil and develop an understanding in the people of the principles of Rukun Negara which should be from the pre-school stage.


However, there are those who feel that this is still lacking, resulting in the younger generation not fully understanding it.


During the launch of the 50th anniversary celebration of Rukun Negara on July 9, the Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said he wanted the Rukun Negara to be the main thrust of the government to ensure this national philosophy continues to be passed on to and practised by every generation.



The Education Ministry has made various efforts to instil an understanding of the Rukun Negara philosophy among students.


The principles of the Rukun Negara are not just posted on the back covers of school exercise books, but are also included in the teaching-and-learning (PdP) process, said Education Secretary-General, Datuk Yusran Shah Mohd Yusof.


The philosophy is also propagated through the Rukun Negara Club which is a component in the school co-curriculum, and set up in 6,621 primary and secondary schools throughout the country.

“The Rukun Negara Club has been set up in all schools to instil the Rukun Negara among primary and secondary school students,” he told Bernama when met at his office here recently in conjunction with the 50th anniversary celebrations of Rukun Negara.

The understanding and embodiment of Rukun Negara among students are still high, he said, and the national philosophy was the foundation for the ministry in building the students’ understanding and practice of the concept of unity in life.

He said the essence of unity which was the basis for Rukun Negara is included in the teaching-and-learning process in the schools.

Using the example of the first principle of Rukun Negara, which is ‘Belief in God’, Yusran Shah said schools are encouraged to celebrate every festival in the country.

“This is in the context of ‘Belief in God’ which means that we respect every race and religion, while ‘Loyalty to King and Country’ is already in the syllabus and co-curriculum which explains in detail the concept of Constitutional Monarchy.

“We try to instil the values of Rukun Negara from the pre-school stage right up to Form Six. For instance, the module for civics education in pre-schools emphasises civic literacy and practice,” he said, adding that this will hopefully encourage students to think and be ethical in life, with the spirit of unity.

He added that in the history subject for Year Five, the students are introduced to the concept of national sovereignty and identity, and the role of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong as “Payung Negara”.

Yusran Shah who joined the Education Ministry on July 1 said the Rukun Negara is taught in the history subject as part of the approach used in schools.

He said the effort to instil the Rukun Negara should not be left to the schools alone, but requires cooperation from all parties including parents, non-governmental organisations and private companies to ensure that the aspirations of the national philosophy are practised by every member of the society.

However, he said, what could be worrying is that the students forget the Rukun Negara after they leave school.

“I feel that understanding and embodiment of Rukun Negara among students in schools are high, but the issue is what happens when they finish school and begin working, because they are influenced by their surroundings,” he said.

Yusran Shah said various programmes had been drawn up as part of the golden anniversary celebrations of Rukun Negara, including poster drawing, short video, essay writing, speech and mural drawing contests, all related to the elements of  Rukun Negara.

The Rukun Negara was proclaimed on Aug 31, 1970, during the 13th independence day celebrations, following the May 13 incident in 1969.

The 50th anniversary celebrations of Rukun Negara began on July 9, and will continue until Sept 16.



Source: BERNAMA News Agency

ABIM welcomes efforts to uphold Malay language, calls to discontinue PPSMI

KUALA LUMPUR The Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (ABIM) welcomes efforts to amend the Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) Act 1959 (Revised 1978, Amendment and Extension 1995) to empower the use of the Malay language in the country.


Its president Muhammad Faizal Abdul Aziz said ABIM supports any effort to consolidate laws on the use of the national language, to ensure the correct use of the language.


“As we already know, language is an important medium to strengthen the role of institutions and be able to uphold the language, literature and knowledge among the people,” he said in a statement here, today.




Muhammad Faisal was referring to the draft amendment of Section 2 of the National Language Act 1963/67 (Act 32), which will give DBP the authority to enforce laws relating to the use of the Malay language, which has been prepared since early 2019.


Meanwhile, in another statement, he said ABIM fully supports the government’s decision not to proceed with the Teaching and Learning of Science and Mathematics in English (PPSMI), and at the same time called for the Dual Language Programme (DLP) to be abolished.


The government should revert to the national language policy in national education, which has been sidelined due to the implementation of DLP, he said.



“The implementation of the DLP will not only continue the failure of PPSMI which has been proven through academic studies but is also a form of victimisation of students, parents and teachers.


“Giving the autonomy to schools, parents and teachers to choose between DLP/ PPSMI and the Upholding the Malay Language and Strengthening Command of English Language (MBMMBI) policy does not make any sense and at the same time is against the mission to uphold the Malay language,” he added.


ABIM urges the Education Ministry to return back to focus on efforts to strengthen the English language by upgrading and revising the learning modules in schools.


On July 15, Senior Education Minister Dr Radzi Jidin said the ministry has no plans to reintroduce PPSMI in schools.


Source: BERNAMA News Agency

NUTP to help family of teacher who died in fall from school building

KUALA LUMPUR The National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) will assist the family of the teacher who died after falling off the balcony on the first floor of Sekolah Kebangsaan Batu Gajah, Tanah Merah, Kelantan yesterday.


NUTP secretary-general Harry Tan Huat Hock said the late Rosli Abdul Aziz was a union member and had participated in its Diamond Accident Protector insurance scheme, which provides a benefit of RM113,000 to his families.


He said NUTP would also extend its help through a welfare fund and death benefits.




“He was only thinking of what’s best for the safety and comfort of his students and that cost him his life.


“This is a very noble thing and should be praised by all parties. NUTP is extremely touched by his sacrifice,” he said in a statement today.


Meanwhile, Tan advised all teachers to be careful in carrying out their duties and to obey the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994 as well as instructions from the Education Ministry.



Rosli, 54, died after falling off the balcony on the first floor of the school building while inspecting the plumbing and sink system in preparation for the school’s reopening today.


In the 12.30 pm incident, the victim was standing on a plastic chair when he suddenly slipped and fell. He died on the spot due to serious head injuries upon impact with the drain.



Source: BERNAMA News Agency



Ministry to create roadmap for National Vaccine Development – Khairy

KUALA LUMPUR A roadmap serving as a blueprint for the National Vaccine Development will be created to ensure the country’s safety and self-reliance and safety concerning vaccines.


Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Khairy Jamaluddin said the roadmap was critical for Malaysia following the global COVID-19 pandemic where a vaccine for the disease has yet to be found.


He said his ministry, together with the Ministry of Health, would chair the committee to monitor the formation of the roadmap.




“The roadmap will be prepared in the next six months and we will announce how far away we are.


“The pandemic has revealed that this is a very important area for Malaysia to have this capacity,” he told reporters at a media conference in Parliament here after attending the second National Science Council meeting chaired by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.


Khairy said that Malaysia currently only has the capacity to develop vaccines for animals, and not for humans like other countries such as Thailand and Indonesia.



“So the prime minister stressed on the importance to be a human vaccine-manufacturing country,” he said.


Meanwhile, Khairy said the meeting agreed to approve the National Science, Technology and Innovation Policy for the year 2021-2030, adding that it would be tabled at the Cabinet meeting to replace existing policy which ends this year.


He added that the National Science, Technology and Innovation Act would be formulated and scheduled to be tabled in Dewan Rakyat next year.




Source: BERNAMA News Agency