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Unemployment Rate Continues Downward Trend

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KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 9 — The country’s unemployment rate continues to record a downward trend from 5.3 per cent or 826,100 people last May to 4.6 per cent or 737,500 in September, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.

Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan said the unemployment rate in December is expected to decline to 4.5 per cent and that the trend would continue into 2021.

“The recovery in the Malaysian labour market can be seen with the unemployment rate declining from the highest level of 5.3 per cent in May to 4.9 per cent or 773,200 people in June. The unemployment rate continued to decline to 4.7 per cent to 745,100 people in July and remained the same in August.

“The latest Labour Force Survey (LFS) data in September indicates that the unemployment rate has dropped to 4.6 per cent with the number of the unemployed stood at 737,500 people,” he said during Question Time.

The minister was replying to Datuk Ahmad Jazlan Yaakub (BN-Machang) who wanted to know the number of jobs affected by the second Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) enforced on Oct 14 and the extent to which the enforcement has an impact on the labour industry and labour economy as a whole.

Saravanan said based on the ministry’s data, the number of layoffs reported by the Social Security Organisation’s Employment Insurance System until Nov 27 was 99,696 people.

“At the same time, a total of 120,296 out of 372,934 job seekers managed to secure jobs. The government has provided various stimulus packages to help reduce the negative impact of this pandemic on the economy, including the labour market,” he said.

He added that based on the LFS data from the Department of Statistics Malaysia, employees in the aviation, hospitality and tourism sectors are deeply affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, Saravanan said only 2.06 per cent or 6,175 workers contributed to the Gig Economy Platform Programme (PenjanaGig) as opposed to its target of 300,000 people.

The programme seeks to ensure the social security and welfare of the self-employed individuals involved in the gig economy.

Therefore, the minister said the ministry would intensify efforts to ensure self-employed individuals who are mostly from the B40 group would contribute to the programme and enjoy the perks provided such as medical benefits as well as temporary and permanent disability allowances.

In reply to Datuk Amiruddin Hamzah (Bebas-Kubang Pasu)  who claimed that the annual contribution rate to the PenjanaGig was expensive at RM69.80, Saravanan said the rate was cheaper than the rate charged by conventional insurance providers in the market.

He said under the PenjanaGig, 70 per cent of the annual contribution of RM232.80 or RM163 was paid out by the government and that the self-employed individuals would have to pay the remaining 30 per cent under the Second Plan contribution for service providers.

He said the income insured under the Second Plan is RM1,550 where the self-employed contributors only have to pay RM69.80 a year.

Source: BERNAMA

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SPM, STPM 2021 Candidates Will Be Vaccinated With Pfizer-BioNTech From July – Khairy

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KUANTAN, June 18  — The candidates for Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) and Sijil Tinggi Pelajaran Malaysia (STPM) 2021 will be vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine starting next month, said National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme Coordinating Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

The vaccine shots will be administered at schools that will be used as vaccination centres (PPV), he said.

“We will start giving the vaccine to them in July as a preparation before they return to school later,” he told a press conference after attending the Pahang-level COVID-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) meeting here today.

Also present were Pahang Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail and state Secretary Datuk Seri Dr Sallehuddin Ishak.

Yesterday, Senior Education Minister Datuk Dr Radzi Jidin said the COVID-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) has agreed to the Education Ministry’s (MOE) proposal that students sitting for major examinations this year be given the priority to be vaccinated.

Radzi said this was due to the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency’s (NPRA) approval of the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children aged 12 and above.

Sources: BERNAMA

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Safawi Apologizes For ‘Unpleasant’ Goal Celebration Against Thailand

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KUALA LUMPUR, June 18 — National winger Muhammad Safawi Rasid has apologized for the way he celebrated after scoring the goal that saw Malaysia beat Thailand 1-0 in their final Group G match in the second round of the 2022 World Cup/2023 Asian Cup Qualifiers on Wednesday.

The Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) mainstay, who was also named the country’s Most Valuable Player at the National Football Awards for two straight years in 2018 and 2019, has given an assurance that he would not repeat the “unpleasant” goal celebration.

“Alhamdulillah, grateful and thank you to all the supporters who are always behind us. I apologize for the celebration that was not very pleasant. It will not be repeated, sorry one more time,” he tweeted.

In the match against Thailand, Muhammad Safawi, 24, who took to the field as a second-half substitute, emerged as the hero when he slotted home from the penalty spot to help the Harimau Malaya tame the War Elephants 1-0 at the Al Makhtoum Stadium in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

It was his third goal in the qualifying campaign, having scored a brace in the 2-0 win over Indonesia at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil in November 2019.

However, some fans deemed his behaviour in celebrating the 52nd-minute goal against Thailand as being over the top, especially since he has not been performing up to par so far this season.

Muhammad Safawi had, after scoring, sprinted to the corner flag while pretending to press a keypad before putting his index finger to his lips.

Sources: BERNAMA

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(Video) Lucky Them! These States Lifted Up Most Covid-19 Restrictions After Achieving Vaccination Milestones

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California and also New York are the two states that imposed strict COVID-19 measures throughout the pandemic and also were among the hardest hit have recently lifted most restrictions on the 15th of June to much fanfare. They had lifted virtually all coronavirus restrictions on businesses and social gatherings as both states hit milestones in vaccinating their residents.

Most states have lifted all or most of their COVID-19 restrictions, with remaining measures typically involving mask use for unvaccinated residents. Among those states that haven’t yet, Washington is set to lift all restrictions by the 30th of June and Maryland and Michigan by the 1st of July. New Mexico is set to end restrictions by the 1st of July.

@newyorkbucketlistNew York has lifted all COVID restrictions! Thank you to all of our heroes ❤️ Shot on a @flynyon 🚁 tonight by Bucket Listers

♬ Empire State of Mind (Part II) Broken Down – Alicia Keys

In New York, where 70 percent of adults have received at least one dose of the vaccine, the order from Governor Andrew Cuomo means that restaurants will no longer be forced to space tables 6 feet apart, movie theatres will be allowed to pack their auditoriums without spacing seats apart and entrance to commercial buildings would not require a temperature check.

In California, the most populous state and the first to implement a stay-at-home order, that meant the end of a county-level, color-coded system that guided capacity limits and other mitigation measures. Venues, restaurants, and bars can now operate at 100% capacity, indoors and out.

Even with the restrictions lifted, California and New York residents should still expect to see some signs of pandemic life. Both states will still abide by mask guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has advised that unvaccinated people should wear masks indoors and maintain social distancing.

Sources: New York Times, TikTok New York Bucket List.

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