KUALA LUMPUR, Jan.13 — Malaysians in Washington DC and nearby areas were told to remain vigilant, avoid protest areas, and adhere to guidelines and safety instructions imposed by the local authorities following the issue of security concerns in the United States’ (US) capital.
The Malaysian Embassy in the US said this was necessary to ensure the safety and well-being of Malaysians, in line with the guidelines issued by authorities in Washington DC.
“So far, the Embassy of Malaysia has not received any reports from Malaysian citizens concerning the (security) issue.
“Nevertheless, the Embassy in Washington DC, as well as the Consulate General offices in New York and Los Angeles will continue to monitor developments and will advise Malaysians, including students, as and when necessary,” the embassy said in a reply statement to Bernama via WhatsApp.
The embassy said this when responding to media reports of planned protests in all 50 US state capitals in the final days leading up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20.
The embassy, however, said the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had underscored that the news are mostly speculation, and that the relevant authorities in the US are enhancing the security ahead of the inauguration to ensure public safety.
“Overall, the security situation in Washington DC and the United States at large is under control.
“The state of emergency was approved by the President of the United States (Donald Trump) at the behest of the Mayor of Washington DC, to seek financial assistance from the federal government.
“With the support of federal agencies, Washington DC would be able to better prepare for President-elect Joseph Biden’s inauguration on January 20, 2021,” it added.
It was widely reported that on Jan 6, a group of Trump’s supporters stormed the US Capitol building, clashing with police, damaging property, seizing the inauguration stage and occupying the rotunda. The unrest took place after Trump urged his supporters to protest the legitimising by Congress of what he claims was a stolen election.
The embassy said to date, it has not received any reports of Malaysian students having difficulties with access to food or basic necessities.
It added that the relevant student affairs departments at the Embassy are also in touch with the students and will reach out to assist them wherever necessary.
The contact details of the Malaysian Consulates in the US are as below:
Temenggor Lake Reopens For Business Friday
IPOH, Oct 8 — After 19 months of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, tourism activities in Temenggor Lake, Gerik, located some 170 kilometres away from here, have finally reopened today.
Tourism Perak Management Berhad, in a statement, said the reopening of the sector would bring a ray of hope to houseboat operators and indirectly help to boost the economy of the local community.
However, it said the relaxation for tourism activities is subject to several conditions that need to be adhered to by houseboat operators, in addition to the standard operating procedures (SOP) stipulated by the National Security Council.
“Among the requirement is that any houseboat operators who wanted to resume operation need to register with the Hulu Perak District and Land Office and the Fisheries Department,” the statement read.
It added that disinfection and sanitation works should be carried out three times a day during operation hours, especially at public areas such as surau, restrooms, storeroom and counters, and all quarters are required to observe other SOPs including physical distance and wearing face masks during activities.
According to Tourism Perak Management Berhad, overnight stays in houseboats were also allowed for three days and two nights, provided that the boat is within the area of the Royal Belum State Park.
“The maximum number of passengers in a boat, including the helmsman, should not exceed 50 per cent of the original capacity and only individuals aged 18 to 60 are allowed to participate in the activities,” it said.
Meanwhile, it said visitors and tourism product operators who wish to enter the Royal Belum State Park are required to follow the SOP set by the Perak State Parks Corporation including no overnight stays for fishing activities and to only accept visitors from Perak.
“Operators and visitors who have been fully vaccinated are required to present their COVID-19 vaccination certificate and permit application forms.
“The boat passenger capacity is 50 per cent of the original capacity while visits to the Orang Asli villages are not allowed,” it said, adding that the SOP was subject to changes announced by the government.
Sindumin Assemblyman Yusof Yacob Quits Warisan
KOTA KINABALU, Oct 8 — Sindumin assemblyman Datuk Dr Yusof Yacob today announced that he has quit Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) and is now an independent who will support the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS)-led state government.
The former Warisan Information Chief said he made such a decision as he wanted to help the people in the Sindumin state constituency and Sipitang district resolve various problems as well as to bring development to the area.
“My action is a personal decision without any pressure and influence from anyone. I want to focus on working for the people I represent and not just talking around in coffee shops without doing anything for them,” he told a press conference here.
In the 14th General Election in 2018, Yusof, 66, won the Sindumin state seat with a majority of 760 votes in a three-cornered fight and retained the seat at the 16th Sabah State Election last year with a 424-vote majority in a six-cornered fight.
With the latest development, Warisan now has 20 state seats after Bugaya assemblyman Manis Muka Mohd Darah died in November last year and Sebatik assemblyman Hassan A Gani Pg Amir quit the party last February. Warisan won 23 seats in the state election last year.
Elaborating, Yusof said he had discussed his intention to quit Warisan with party president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal and the Semporna Member of Parliament offered no objection.
“We discussed as friends and he has no objection because, in politics, this is just the way it is. I personally do not want to be enemies with anyone, I only want to take care of the people and the state.
“I have no issues with Warisan and I am ready to face any action after this. I will also send an official notification to the State Assembly Speaker (Datuk Kadzim M Yahya),” he said.
Asked about the reaction of the Sipitang Warisan division and Sindumin voters, he said it was up to them to say anything or follow in his footsteps.
Commenting further, Yusof said by being an independent assemblyman, he could work with anyone including politicians as well as government agencies and departments without any restriction.
“I can meet and discuss with the Chief Minister (Datuk Hajiji Noor), state Works Minister (Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin), GRS or any parties to resolve my people’s problems such as water issues and the Pan Borneo (highway).
“Our people have been struggling for a long time, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, we have to work for them. I only have four years left (as an elected representative), so I want to focus on helping the people,” he said.
New Ceiling Price For COVID-19 Test Kit To Be Known Next Month
PUTRAJAYA, Oct 8 — The new wholesale and retail ceiling price for the COVID-19 antigen rapid test kit (self-test) will be issued next month, said Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi.
In a statement here today, he said the ministry was making an assessment of the matter and had received feedbacks from the industry on the price level that should be considered to ensure adequate and continuous supply of the product.
The government had previously set the maximum retail price for the COVID-19 antigen rapid test kit at RM19.90 per set, while the wholesale price was set at RM16 per set, effective Sept 5.
Yesterday, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the ceiling price of the COVID-19 antigen rapid test kit would be lowered as an incentive for the public to make their own checks when inter-state travel is allowed.
According to Nanta, there are about six million COVID-19 antigen rapid test kits already in the market.
He said the ministry was also in discussions with the Health Ministry to enable more premises, like supermarket, to sell the test kit.
The sale of the COVID-19 antigen rapid test kit by supermarkets is expected to be implemented by the end of this month, he added.
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