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Taiwan Changing Passport, Fed-Up Being Confused With China

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Fed up with being confused for China amid the coronavirus pandemic and Beijing’s stepped-up efforts to assert sovereignty, Taiwan said on Wednesday it would redesign its passport to give greater prominence to the island’s name.

A complaint has been made by Taiwan during the outbreak that its nationals have encountered problems entering other countries, as Taiwanese passports have the words “Republic of China,” its formal name, written in large English font at the top, with “Taiwan” printed at the bottom.

Removing the large English words “Republic of China”, the new passport expected to come into circulation in January, though the name in Chinese Characters will remain, and enlarges the word “Taiwan” in English.

Joseph Wu, Taiwan Foreign Minister, said that the new passports were needed to prevent their nationals from being mistaken for Chinese citizens, especially with the stepped-up entry check many countries have begun since the pandemic started.

Wu said, “Since the beginning of the Wuhan pneumonia outbreak this year our people have kept hoping that we can give more prominence to Taiwan’s visibility, avoiding people mistakenly thinking they are from China,”.

Taiwan democratic claimed by China as its sovereign territory and says only it has the right to speak for the island internationally, a position it has pushed strongly during the pandemic, especially at the World Health Organization.

This has confused many countries and led them to impose the same restrictions on Taiwanese travelers as on Chinese, and has minimized Taiwan’s own successful efforts to control the virus and far lower case number.

This issue has been debating for years by Taiwan who it is and what exactly its relationship should be with China – including the island’s name. But the pandemic has shot the issue back into the spotlight.

Source: US News 

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IP On SOP Violation By Neelofa, Husband In Final Stage

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SEREMBAN, May  6 — The police are in the final stage of completing the investigation papers (IP) on celebrity Neelofa Mohd Noor and husband, Haris Ismail, for allegedly violating the standard operating procedures on the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO).

Negeri Sembilan police chief Datuk Mohamad Mat Yusop said the IP had been referred to the prosecution, but returned to the police for further investigation.

“There are some actions that need to be taken and we expect a decision on it to be made soon,” he said at the wearing of rank for Sergeant Mat Shah Kasim here today.

Investigation was conducted after photos and a video clip of the couple shopping at a carpet shop went viral on social media recently.

The couple was called to the Nilai police station last Tuesday to give their statement.

Meanwhile, Mat Shah, 57, was conferred the rank of a sergeant for his bravery in saving two victims, a senior citizen and her son, who is a person with disabilities (PwD),  in a fire in Kampung Seberang Batu Hampar, Rembau, last March 4.

The policeman was on his way home from work when he saw the fire, and without hesitation, rushed to help after watching a woman running back into the burning house to save her son.

Sources: BERNAMA

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COVID-19 Developments Remain Complicated In Regional Countries

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HANOI, May 6  — The COVID-19 development in several countries in the ASEAN region remain complicated, Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reported.

In Laos, the Health Ministry had confirmed 46 new COVID-19 cases on May 5, mostly in Vientiane and Bokeo province with 19 and 15 cases, respectively.

From May 4, the Lao government decided to apply lockdown for additional 15 days until May 20.

So far, Laos has discovered 1,072 COVID-19 cases, including 99 recoveries and no death.

Meanwhile in Thailand, the pandemic is still developing complicatedly with 2,112 new cases confirmed on May 5 and 15 deaths, raising the total cases to 74,000 cases, with 318 deaths.

Bangkok is still a hot spot of COVID-19 with 789 cases, VNA reported.

In Indonesia, 155,000 soldiers and policemen will be deployed within the framework of Operation Ketupat Jaya 2021 from May 6 to 17 to minimise the spreading of COVID-19 during the Muslims Eid al-Fitr holidays from May 13 to 14.

Some 4,276 personnel will be stationed in the capital city and its adjoining areas. The Jakarta Police will deploy these personnel at 14 isolation points and 17 check points.

The Operation Ketupat Jaya 2021 is being conducted to block access to and from Jabodetabek, to maintain security, and to monitor the implementation of health protocols to stem the transmission of the coronavirus disease before, during, and after Eid al-Fitr, among others.

Meanwhile, spokesperson for the COVID-19 Handling Task Force Wiku Adisasmito armed that all forms of homecoming activities, including the local homecoming, are banned during Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr to lower the rate of COVID-19 infection.

At the same time, Malaysia’s capital city of Kuala Lumpur will re-apply movement control order (MCO) from May 7. This will be the third time the city is placed in MCO to control the COVID-19 pandemic.

Malaysian Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said that the order is given after 17 new clusters were recorded.
The order will be applied until May 20. Food premises, such as restaurants, food trucks, hawkers and kiosks, are allowed to operate from 6am to midnight only. Dine-ins are not allowed and food served are for delivery and takeaways only.

Malaysia on May 5 logged 3,744 new cases in the last 24 hours to bring the total to 424,376. There were 17 more deaths, bringing the total fatalities to 1,591.

The MCO was applied for the first time on March 18, 2020 and the second time on January 13, 2021.

The same day, Executive Secretary of the Philippine Presidential Office Salvador Medialdea said that the Southeast Asian country will ban tourists from Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh from May 7 to 14 as part of efforts to prevent the entry of SARS-CoV-2 variants found in India.

Travellers coming directly from those countries, or with a history of travel to any of them within the last 14 days, would be barred from entering, he said.

Earlier, the Philippines banned travellers from India from April 29 to May 14.

On May 5, the country confirmed 5,685 new COVID-19 cases and 178 deaths, raising the count to more than 1 million with 17,800 deaths.

In Cambodia, VNA reported that Prime Minister Hun Sen had on May 5 ordered to vaccinate more than 52,000 people in all areas in the red zones of Phnom Penh with COVID-19 vaccines, with the administration of the rst dose to be completed soon and the second dose to commence once the stipulated time frame has been
reached.

To date, more than 1.5 million people have been vaccinated with either Sinopharm, Sinovac or Covishield (AstraZenacca vaccines) since February 10.

The same day, the Cambodian Ministry of Health confirmed 672 new cases, raising the total cases to 16,971, including 110 deaths.

Source: BERNAMA

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Facebook Oversight Board Upholds Ban On Trump’s Accounts

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SAN FRANCISCO, May 6 – Facebook Oversight Board (FOB) said on Wednesday that it has voted against reinstating the former United States President Donald Trump’s Facebook account, Xinhua news agency reported.

“The  Board has upheld Facebook’s decision on Jan  7, 2021, to restrict then-President Donald Trump’s access to posting content on his Facebook page and Instagram account,” the FOB said in an announcement.

“Given the seriousness of the violations and the ongoing risk of violence, Facebook was justified in suspending Trump’s accounts on Jan  6 and extending that suspension on Jan 7,” the board noted, adding that it was not appropriate for Facebook to impose an “indefinite” suspension.

The FOB required Facebook to revisit the case and then either restore Trump’s account, make the ban permanent or dene a suspension for a set period of time.

The FOB is a panel of about 20 former political leaders, human rights activists and journalists picked by Facebook to deliberate the company’s content decisions, according to media reports.

Source: BERNAMA

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