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Four Family Members Burnt To Death In House Fire In Penampang

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PENAMPANG,  Sept 7  — Four family members, comprising three men and a woman, were burnt to death in a house fire  in Taman Hungap caught fire early today.

Sabah Fire and Rescue Department assistant director Misran Bisara said the department was alerted of the fire at 2.52 am, following which a team of firefighters rushed to scene and managed to control the fire at 3.40 am.

He identified the victims in the fire as Matthew Wong, 50; Jecky Vun Kon Fung, 48; Brendan Wong, 18; and Eric Wong, 15.

Their charred remains were found at about 5 am after the fire team managed to control the fire and went in the house for inspection, he said, adding that the fire-fighting operation ended at 6.10 am.

He said the fire caused 90 per cent damage to the double-storey terrace house. Two cars at the premises were also damaged.

Sources: BERNAMA

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12MP Passed, Two More Days Left For First Meeting of Fourth Session of 14th Parliament

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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 8  — The fourth week of the Dewan Rakyat sitting witnessed the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP), the country’s new five-year plan, being approved by the house after it was debated for four days, followed by the winding-up session by 27 ministries.

A total of 106 Members of Parliament (MPs)  from the government and opposition blocs took part in the debate on the 12MP, which is for the period from 2021 to 2025 after it was tabled by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob on Sept 27.

The winding up session began last Tuesday, with the participation of all ministries in replying to issues raised by the MPs when they debated the 12MP.

Among the highlights was the country’s future in vaccine development when Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba told the House that Malaysia could become a vaccine producer within 10 years through the National Vaccine Development Roadmap to be launched soon.

For a start, the Tenggara Member of Parliament said a national vaccine centre would be set up, to be known as the Malaysian Genome and Vaccine Institute (MGVI).

The Dewan Rakyat was also informed of the senior citizens act, whereby a study on its enactment had been completed, towards preparing Malaysia to become an ageing nation by 2030.

The Act aims to protect the rights and welfare of senior citizens in terms of care, protection, empowerment and support, encompassing the family institution and the community.

Issues pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic are also still a concern, where the house was informed that a Letter of Acceptance was issued by the government to three companies to supply COVID-19 self-screening test kits for schools on Sept 13, involving a total contract value of RM9.72 million.

The delivery of the self-screening test kits have been completed by the companies to 140 district education offices and state education departments nationwide on Sept 25 in preparation for the school re-opening session from October to December this year.

The MPs were also informed that the government had no problem to allow private companies to offer Internet and telecommunication services through satellite technology provided it is offered at a reasonable price to the people.

Generally, the Dewan Rakyat sitting this week went calmly, with only a few rare moments of commotion, especially when some MPs questioned Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun about Pengerang MP Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said’s position as she was still invited as temporary Deputy Speaker.

The issue arose when Azalina, who resigned as Deputy Speaker on Aug 23, was appointed Special Adviser to the Prime Minister (Law and Human Rights), and Azhar explained that the matter was not an issue as Azalina’s appointment did not carry a ministerial status, which meant she was not part of the administration or the executive.

A related issue that stole the spotlight was when Pontian Member of Parliament Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan withdrew his nomination for the post of Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker.

There were also issues outside Parliament that got the attention of the MPs,  including on the Pandora Papers and the political crisis in Melaka.

Meanwhile, the National Trust Fund (KWAN) (Amendment) Bill 2021 was tabled for the first reading this week.

The current Dewan Rakyat sitting is for 17 days until Oct 12.

Sources: BERNAMA

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Tourism Activities In Pangkor Island To Follow Existing SOP If Interstate Travel Resumes

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IPOH, Oct 7 — Tourism activities in Pangkor Island will be conducted according to the existing standard operating procedures (SOP) if interstate travel is permitted in the near future.

Perak Housing, Local Government and Tourism Committee chairman Datuk Nolee Ashilin Mohamed Radzi said, as such, there would be no tourism bubble for the resort island if the announcement on interstate travel preceded the decision to implement such initiative.

“If the government allows interstate travel, we already have an SOP to enter Pangkor Island. Insya-Allah there will be no problem,” she said when contacted by Bernama.

Under the current SOP, fully vaccinated individuals are allowed to conduct tourism activities by presenting their COVID-19 vaccination card or digital certificate when checking into hotels or homestay facilities.

Last Saturday, Nolee Ashilin had reportedly said that the preparation of SOP for the travel bubble to Pangkor Island was in the final stage and would be submitted to the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture for review before the resort island could be reopened to visitors.

The draft SOP included control measures at entry points, health checks and an 80 per cent vaccination rate among the population, while employees in the tourism sector need to be fully vaccinated.

Sources: BERNAMA
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Government Will Not Arbitrarily Open Borders – PM Ismail Sabri

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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 7  — The government will not arbitrarily open the country’s borders to foreign travellers as permission for entry will depend on the COVID-19 situation in their countries of origin, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said.

Right now, he said the government only allowed those who were fully vaccinated to enter the country, but the borders are still closed for tourists.

“If we were to open the country’s borders to foreign travellers, every development (related to COVID-19) in their countries of origin will be taken into consideration.

  “In every decision, we (the government) will seek the advice and recommendations from the Ministry of Health based on their risk assessments. We will not arbitrarily open the borders,” he said during question time at the Dewan Negara sitting today.

The Prime Minister was replying to Senator Datuk Razali Idris on whether the government had a backup crisis management plan if the number of COVID-19 cases spiked again following the spread of new variants if the borders were to be opened.

Sources: BERNAMA

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