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Don’t Make Emergency An Issue, Free M’sia From Virus First, Says Legal Expert

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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 28  –  The emergency proclaimed by the King to arrest the COVID-19 pandemic in the country should not be made an issue because Malaysia is not the only country that has  declared it, said legal expert Datuk Mohd Haaziq Pillay Abdullah.

He said countries such as New Zealand, Japan, Australia, France, Finland and Indonesia had also taken the same path.

The senior lawyer underscored that although some may argue that it was against the principles of democracy, the overriding need to save lives took precedence.

“In my point of view, the declaration is necessary as the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342) is no longer adequate to contain the worsening spread of the virus as the act requires procedures which may be time consuming and the decisions require lengthy discussions.

“It does not provide a fast and efficient remedy. A declaration of emergency is important. For instance, with the declaration of emergency, private hospitals can now be ordered to take in COVID-19 cases. This is just one example of where an executive order can be given without the need of bureaucratic processes,” he told Bernama.

“There is no closed list and under the current situation when the country is facing a worsening of the pandemic, decisions must be made on the spot. For those who think that the emergency is politically driven, their view is misguided. In fact, it would appear to be a direct challenge on the powers of the King which is clearly provided for under the Constitution,” he stressed further.

Sharing the same sentiments, lawyer Muhammad Akram Abdul Aziz said COVID-19 cases have been on the rise daily lately, and if the current State of Emergency could stabilise the current political situation in Malaysia while curbing the cases, then it might be a good thing.

“After all, this is part of the prerogative of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong as stated in Article 150(1) of the Federal Constitution. It might be an issue from the perspective of local politicians, as some would view the emergency proclamation as a means of protecting the current government more than it is to curb the rise of COVID-19 cases.

“As it stands, people are still going on with their daily lives as normal as they can (within the terms of the Movement Control Order), and as such it may be argued that the emergency proclamation is a non-issue to most of the Malaysian citizens,” he explained.

As for Universiti Sains Malaysia’s School of Social Sciences lecturer Prof Dr Sivamurugan Pandian, he was of the view that during this period, all members of Parliament (MPs) should put the people first rather than other issues and that people-driven priorities during the emergency should be addressed.

Lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla, meanwhile, urged  the government to use its powers to instruct financial institutions to stop chasing after debtors at least until the emergency is over.

“Under the emergency ordinance, the government has the power to instruct hotels or any other buildings to become quarantine centres. Same method should be applied to the banks. By doing this, people can see the benefits of the emergency,” he said.

On Jan 12, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, proclaimed an Emergency which will be enforced up to Aug 1 as a proactive measure to contain the worsening COVID-19 pandemic in Malaysia.

Source: BERNAMA

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WhatsApp Introduces New Feature of Voice And Video Calls Using Desktop App

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WhatsApp has recently decided to introduce the brand new feature of voice and also video calling just by using its own desktop app. According to a statement, WhatsApp stated that they are providing relief to countless of people that are sitting in front of computers who have had to reach for their phone every time their WhatsApp rang.

WhatsApp company said: “Throughout the last year, we’ve seen significant increases in people calling one another on WhatsApp, often for long conversations. Last New Year’s Eve, we broke the record for the most calls ever made in a single day with 1.4 billion voice and video calls”.

Picture: WhatsApp

They also added, “With so many people still apart from their loved ones, and adjusting to new ways of working, we want conversations on WhatsApp to feel as close to in-person as possible, regardless of where you are in the world or the tech you’re using”.

Using the new feature by WhatsApp, users can answer on a much bigger screen through the desktop app which gives you the opportunity to see your family and loved ones clearly on a bigger canvas. WhatsApp also stated that to make the desktop calling feature more useful, they have made sure it works seamlessly for both portrait and landscape orientation

Other than that, the new feature will also allow you to resize the window on your computer screen and is set to stay on the top so you will never lose your video chats in a browser tab or stack of open windows. When you are in the website, WhatsApp will remind users that the voice and video calls on WhatsApp are end-to-end encrypted, so WhatsApp can never hear or see the conversations, regardless of whether you call from a phone or computer.

Picture: WhatsApp

Please be reminded that the desktop calling feature is only available when the app is installed on your own computer. Desktop calling is also supported on Windows 10 64-bit version 1903 and newer as well as macOS 10.13 and newer. You will also need an active internet connection on your computer and phone as well as granting WhatsApp permission to access your computer’s microphone and camera.

Sources: WhatsApp

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Two Individuals Infected With Nigerian Covid-19 Variant In Malaysia Discovered – MOH

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Recently, the Ministry Of Health Malaysia (MOH) has discovered the first two cases of individuals that got infected with the Nigerian Variant of SARS-CoV-2 or also known as B1.525 in this country. The detected cases are actually from two foreigners who just arrived in Malaysia from Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Both of them were found to be tested Covid-19 positive through the RT PCR Covid-19 swab test.

For a better recognition, The Institute for Medical Research (IMR) then performed a full genome sequencing as it takes into account both of the foreigner’s travel history. The Nigerian COVID-19 variant was first detected in the UK and also Nigeria in the month of December 2020.

MOH also stated that these discovered Nigerian variants can cause an increase in the likelihood as well as a possible decrease in the immune response. Worry not because MOH reassured that IMR and CPRC will continue to monitor the development of the virus mutation and to inform the public from time to time.

Other than that, they also reminded that even though the national immunization program is going smoothly, public health actions are still required as herd immunity has still not been achieved yet.

Sources: Twitter MOH

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Food Waste: Amount Thrown Away Totals 900 Million Tonnes

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AMMAN, March 5  — More than 900 million tonnes of food is thrown away every year, according to a global report.

The UN Environment Programme’s Food Waste Index revealed that 17 per cent of the food available to consumers – in shops, households and restaurants – goes directly into the bin, according to Petra.

Some 60 per cent of that waste is in the home.

The lockdown appears to have had a surprising impact – at least in the UK – by reducing domestic food waste.

Source: BERNAMA

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