NST Leader: Free to hate?

October 29th, 2020
Men hold signs reading ' Places of Worship are Holy. Don't touch the Holy' during a demonstration against French President's comments over Prophet Muhammad cartoons, in Istanbul. - Muslims across the world have reacted furiously to French President's robust defence of the right to mock religion following the murder of a French schoolteacher who had shown his pupils cartoons of the prophet. (Photo by Yasin AKGUL / AFP)Men hold signs reading ‘ Places of Worship are Holy. Don’t touch the Holy’ during a demonstration against French President’s comments over Prophet Muhammad cartoons, in Istanbul. – Muslims across the world have reacted furiously to French President’s robust defence of the right to mock religion following the murder of a French schoolteacher who had shown his pupils cartoons of the prophet. (Photo by Yasin AKGUL / AFP)

TODAY, close to two billion Muslims around the world celebrate Maulidur Rasul, the birthday of the most revered man in Islam, Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.).

Yet, politicians in France, led by its president, Emmanuel Macron, have timed the moment to caricature the man and the religion that he spread to the world 1,431 years ago.

We hope politicians like Macron and Gert Wilder in Holland are doing it out of ignorance. Because hatred can be cured by education. This is why our Religious Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Dr Zulkifli Mohamad al-Bakri gifted the book, The Sublime Qualities of the Prophet Muhammad, to the French ambassador here. Consider this a Muslim generosity.

Not unlike the one shown by Prophet Isa (pbuh), or Jesus Christ (pbuh) to the Christians, more than 2,000 years ago.

The learned will know where free speech ends and hate speech begins. Admittedly, there is no international legal definition of hate speech.

But here is one sanctioned by the United Nations: any kind of communication in speech, writing or behaviour, that attacks or uses pejorative or discriminatory language with reference to a person or a group on the basis of who they are, in other words, based on their religion, ethnicity, nationality, race, colour, descent, gender or other identity factor.

The words and behaviour of Macron, Gilder and people of the ilk are surely one of these, if not all.

If the caricature of the Prophet and Islam is motivated not by ignorance but by some evil design then we are in dangerous territory.

A heart that is filled with hatred is a devil’s workshop. To these troubled souls, we recommend some worldly literature. Consider just one: the UN Charter. An “Idiot’s Guide to the UN Charter”, if there is one, would put the raison d’être of the world body thus: to end the scourge of war and hate speech.

The first is common knowledge, but the second, many give it a miss. The preamble to the UN Charter jogs the memory of the latter in these words of its second mission: to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small.

This is no surprise. After all, this 75-year-old charter was drafted not long after German hate speech against the Jews ended in the Holocaust. But as the UN Secretary-General António Guterres told the assembly of men and women gathered at the launch of the UN Strategy and Plan of Action on Hate Speech on June 18 last year in New York, “we are in danger of forgetting this lesson”.

He spelt out his fear thus: “In both liberal democracies and authoritarian regimes, some political leaders are bringing the hate-fuelled ideas and language of these groups into the mainstream, normalising them, coarsening the public discourse and weakening the social fabric.”

There is a Macron and Wilder somewhere there. Yet, there is no word from the UN on Macron and Gilder’s hate speech. This notwithstanding, Guterres’s language in the foreward to the hate speech action plan is a call to action: “As a matter of principle, the UN must confront hate speech at every turn.

Silence can signal indifference to bigotry and intolerance, even as a situation escalates and the vulnerable become victims.” Now the vulnerable have become victims, where is the UN?

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/leaders/2020/10/636189/nst-leader-free-hate

Deputy Health D-G: 8,506 beds to treat Covid-19 in Sabah with 43pc usage rate

October 29th, 2020

The Sandakan Sports Complex was converted into a temporary hospital to treat stable Covid-19 patients. – Photo by Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 29): There are currently 8,506 hospital beds in Sabah to treat Covid-19 patients, with a 43 per cent usage rate, Deputy Health Director-General Datuk Dr Rohaizat Yon said today.

In a Facebook posting shared by the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) director-general, Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, Dr Rohaizat said that the MOH also has enough Covid-19 beds in the event of an increase in cases.

“As of October 27, 2020, there are 25 MOH hospitals in Sabah with a capacity of 4,686 beds. Of the 25 hospitals, nine hospitals operate as Covid-19 hybrid hospitals. Covid-19 hybrid hospitals treat all types of patients, regardless whether they are Covid-19 patients or not. The nine Covid-19 hybrid hospitals have allocated 1,264 beds for the treatment of Covid-19 patients, with a usage rate of 59 per cent so far.

“To further strengthen the readiness to deal with the increase in cases of Covid-19 patients, MOH also provided extra beds through the establishment of Quarantine and Low Risk Covid-19 Treatment Centres (PKRC) in Sabah, where so far there are 27 PKRCs operating with 7,242 bed capacity and its usage rate is 41 per cent. With this, the total number of beds for the treatment of Covid-19 patients in hospitals and PKRC in Sabah is 8,506 with a usage rate of 43 per cent,” he said.

Dr Rohaizat added that the MOH is also preparing an additional six PKRCs as a proactive preparedness initiative, based on the upward trajectory of new Covid-19 cases in Sabah.

He said that following the relatively high bed usage rate at Likas Hospital, four PKRCs were readied and provided with a capacity of 433 beds, and another two PKRCs, with a capacity of 350 beds, to support the Likas Hospital operations.

“In addition, allocations have also been made for Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Kota Kinabalu for the construction of additional Intensive Care Units (ICUs), as well to upgrade the existing ICU facilities, including purchasing critical medical equipment such as ventilators, patient beds and patient monitors. The Duchess of Kent Hospital, Sandakan also received an allocation for the construction of an additional ICU.

“As laboratory services are important, allocations for the preparation of laboratories for the Department of Pathology of Tawau Hospital and Lahad Datu Hospital, in addition to upgrading the laboratory of Queen Elizabeth Hospital, were also provided,” Dr Rohaizat added.

by Malay Mail.

Read more @ https://www.theborneopost.com/2020/10/29/deputy-health-d-g-8506-beds-to-treat-covid-19-in-sabah-with-43pc-usage-rate/

649 new Covid-19 cases today; no fatalities

October 29th, 2020
Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah (left). -- Bernama File PixHealth director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah (left). — Bernama File Pix

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia has for the first time in more than two weeks recorded no new fatalities due to Covid-19 today.

Since Oct 11, an average of two fatalities were reported, with 10 being the highest daily death toll on Sept 23 recorded in Sabah.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the death rate in the country remained at 246.

Meanwhile, he said there are 649 new Covid-19 positive cases bringing the cumulative figures to 30,900.

Of the 649 new patients, seven are imported cases involving two Malaysians and five foreigners who had arrived in the country from Indonesia (five cases), India (one case) and the Philippines (one case).

Dr Noor Hisham said Sabah and the states in the Klang Valley, which are currently under the Conditional Movement Control Order, contributed 511 new cases or 78.7 per cent to the daily Covid-19 positive statistics.

He said today, there were 352 cases registered in Sabah and 159 cases in the Klang Valley.

There are 36 cases reported in the prisons cluster today, of which 34 are from Tembok Cluster and two are from the Penjara Reman Cluster.

Dr Noor Hisham said there are five new clusters detected in Sabah, Selangor and Negeri Sembilan which all involved local Covid-19 transmissions.

“In Sabah, there are 352 cases from the existing clusters. This is including 11 cases from the new Sakti Cluster and Tuguson Cluster.

“In Selangor, there are 132 cases from existing clusters as well as six from the new Taman Laut Cluster and the Bah Medan Cluster.

“There are 43 cases in Negri Sembilan including 16 from the new Taman Bunga Cluster,” he said in a statement today.

Dr Noor Hisham said the other new cases recorded are in Kedah (37), Kuala Lumpur (21), Labuan (17), Penang (13), Johor (10), Sarawak (8), Perak (5), Pahang (1), Melaka (1), Terengganu (1) and Putrajaya (1).

He said 685 patients who had recovered from Covid-19 have been discharged today making the total recoveries so far since the pandemic at 19,757.

In Sabah, 458 patients have recovered, 94 in Selangor, 68 in Kedah, 18 in Labuan, 15 in Negri Sembilan, 13 in Penang, nine in Melaka, four in Sarawak, four in Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya as well as two in Johor.

There are 106 patients who are currently being treated at the Intensive Care Unit where 23 are intubated. There are 10,087 active infectivity cases.

by Dawn ChanTeoh Pei Ying .

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2020/10/636424/649-new-covid-19-cases-today-no-fatalities

Rotarian’s bring Deepavali joy for underprivileged children

October 29th, 2020
Children at the JB Seva Gurukulam Care Centre pose with the RCPL members for a group photo. - NSTP/VINCENT D’SILVAChildren at the JB Seva Gurukulam Care Centre pose with the RCPL members for a group photo. – NSTP/VINCENT D’SILVA

JOHOR BARU: There was a rare ray of celebratory joy for 35 children of the JB Seva Gurukulam Care Centre here when members of the Rotary Club of Puteri Lagoon (RCPL) visited them to bring early Deepavali joy.

Rarely, if ever, have these underprivileged kids, aged between three and 14, have meat with their meals at the daycare centre simply because the place struggles under the financial burden of its upkeep.

Madam Thavanantheny Muniandy manages the place with two female helpers who cook, clean, and help supervise the children.

The cost of rental of the upper floor of the shop-house in Skudai where the centre is located, the utilities bill and salaries for the helpers gobble up the shoestring budget that keeps the centre going just barely.

Not surprisingly, vegetarian dishes are all that the caregivers can afford provide for the kids.

Children at the JB Seva Gurukulam Care Centre take their seats at tables arranged for them. -- NSTP/VINCENT D’SILVAChildren at the JB Seva Gurukulam Care Centre take their seats at tables arranged for them. — NSTP/VINCENT D’SILVA

Thus when the RCPL members visited the centre with packed meals from Marrybrown that featured fried chicken, chicken nuggets, French fries, coleslaw, biscuits and Ribena, the kids lapped up the treat.

The visitors also brought stationery items like pencils, colouring pencils included, erasers and sharpeners. The items left the kids momentarily feeling what they have not felt before – an embarrassment of riches.

RCPL president Yee Woon Seng said he was moved to see some of the children speak to him in Mandarin, and hear others chat in Bahasa Malaysia and Tamil with the ethnically diverse members of the RCPL team that came a visiting.

“In whatever the language stream these children are being educated in, they appear to have the potential to do well,” Yee said.

“It was heartwarming to see the good cheer we brought them with the Deepavali season so close,” he remarked.

He mentioned that the sponsorship of foods and stationery could bring some light cheer and happiness to the lives of the children during this festive season and inspire the public to continue to care for the underprivileged notwithstanding the global pandemic.

On a daily basis, the children are kept busy at the centre before they go off to afternoon school sessions.

Similarly, the morning session pupils are kept busy with their homework when they return after school in the afternoon.

The children are the offspring of parents in the B40 group who either because of abandonment by spouses or from other ills that plague poor families, are compelled to place their kids at the day care centre while they are away at work.

Work for these parents are mainly in the menial categories such as janitor, cleaner or manual labourer, usually at factories near where the day care centre in Skudai is located.

The parents leave their children at the centre before they go off to work each day and fetch them on the way back.

For some of the kids who live nearby, they are able to get to the centre and back on their own. The centre opens at 7 in the morning and closes at 9pm.

Thavanantheny, who supervises the brood of 35 kids, a few of whom are orphans, said the centre is entirely dependent on the donations of well-wishers and sympathisers.

“There is no surplus after we pay the rental, utilities bill, and the salaries of the two women minders who cook for the kids, clean the premises and otherwise see that the children are attended to,” she said.

“That is why vegetarian meals are all that we can provide the kids,” she added.

“It is a rare occasion when private donors like this RCPL comes along to give the children a treat,” she remarked.

Thavanantheny said the centre will have to subsist on a shoestring until such time when a slew of donors of generous bent come to their rescue.

By VINCENT D’SILVA.

Read more  @ https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2020/10/636420/rotarians-bring-deepavali-joy-underprivileged-children

Stop being litterbugs, please!

October 29th, 2020
This file pic dated Jan 17, 2018, shows rubbish thrown a long a road in Pantai Dalam. -NSTP/File picThis file pic dated Jan 17, 2018, shows rubbish thrown a long a road in Pantai Dalam. -NSTP/File pic

LETTERS It is regrettable that some of us have decided to turn into litterbugs! I’m sure we have seen how some irresponsible individuals blatantly throw their rubbish from their cars on to our public roads and highways.

They calmly open their car doors or wind down their vehicle windows and dump their trash either while driving or stationary. These litterbugs should be ashamed of themselves.

It is disappointing that they are not embarrassed at all and will commit their act in broad day light and in the full presence of the public eye.

Please spare a thought for Mother Nature. Stop your selfish act of harming the environment and landscape. Also, unbeknownst to you, the trash you discard poses a hazard to other road users.

The pieces of tissue paper you have just thrown can be sucked into the engine bays of other car drivers causing damage to property and who knows possibly human lives too.

Drivers and motorcyclists as a possible natural reaction will often try to avoid litter on the roads regardless of size and will swerve to other lanes while doing so. This may catch the driver in the other lane unaware and potentially cause an accident.

The government, local authorities and even highway operators have always been pushing for a stop to littering with countless signage and info graphics and reminders to heighten the awareness and sensitivity of the public to stop that shameful act.

Direct and indirect campaigns or reminders like these involve monetary cost and effort which should be channeled to more important matters such as the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Once again, I humbly urge all litterbugs to please stop your selfish act. This is not the mentality and attitude you should be carrying into the New Year. Pause and reflect. Think about what you are doing to the environment.

by YEAP MING LIONG.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters/2020/10/636263/stop-being-litterbugs-please

In Maulidur Rasul message, Muhyiddin calls on Muslims to spend time in ‘munajat’ amid pandemic

October 29th, 2020

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 29 (Bernama) — In conjunction with Maulidur Rasul celebration today, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin called on all Muslims to engage themselves and spend more time in ‘munajat’ as the country is still facing challenges resulting from Covid-19 as well as trying to revive the economy and strengthen unity among the people.

‘Munajat’ is making supplication or special prayer in the form of zikir to pray for Allah’s blessings, help and protection.

The Prime Minister said all those challenges should at least strengthen the commitment of Muslims to loving and gaining more understanding of the teachings of Prophet Muhammad who never stop making supplication for his Ummah even in his final prayer.

“Hopefully, with all our efforts, we will attain the abundant mercy and blessings of Allah SWT, and may all of us be placed among those He loved and the believers who will get the blessed syafaat of Rasulullah SAW. InsyaAllah,” he said in his special message posted on Facebook.

Muhyiddin said Prophet Muhammad is the ultimate example and source of reference of the one with unparalleled qualities of Rabbani (everything that Allah loves) and praiseworthy morals.

“Each year, we commemorate the birthday of Prophet Muhammad SAW as proof of our love and appreciation for his struggles and the sacrifices he made for his ummah. The theme of this year’s celebration is Ummah Rabbani Negara Harmoni,” he said.

Muhyiddin said the theme was chosen to illustrate the importance of Rabbani qualities and the obedience of servants to the Creator which will eventually lead to the harmony of the ummah and the country.

“In conjunction with Maulidur Rasul celebration, I would like to call on all of you to recite as many salawat as you can upon our Prophet Muhammad SAW, to learn his seerah (life story) and to follow the sunnah (practices) of the most noble and beloved Prophet,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister also praised the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) for initiating the ‘Malaysia Berselawat’ campaign.

Through the campaign, Malaysian Muslims from all walks of life were encouraged to make a video clip of their recital of salawat upon the Prophet and share it on their social media platform using the hashtag #SemarakCintaRasul and to tag Jakim on the post.

“This is not just a good initiative which complies with the new norms that we must adopt in our daily life, but more importantly, the recital of selawat is also to show our love for Rasulullah SAW,” he added. —

by BERNAMA.

Read more @ theborneopost.com/2020/10/29/in-maulidur-rasul-message-muhyiddin-calls-on-muslims-to-spend-time-in-munajat-amid-pandemic/

King, Queen wish Muslims Happy Maulidur Rasul Celebration

October 29th, 2020

Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah. – Bernama file photo

KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 29): The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah and the Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah wished Muslims in the country a happy Maulidur Rasul celebration in observance of the birthday of Prophet Muhammad.

Their Majesties conveyed their wish through a posting on the Istana Negara Instagram account today.

“Rasulullah is the best leader of all times who should be emulated by every Muslim. Let us together emulate the attitude and sunnah of the Prophet in our daily lives.

“Let us also together increase our selawat (prayers of peace and blessings) upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad SAW. May we receive intercession from Him at Mashyar,” it said.

by BERNAMA.

Read more @ https://www.theborneopost.com/2020/10/29/king-queen-wish-muslims-happy-maulidur-rasul-celebration/

Stress, sleepless nights but we are holding on – Health DG

October 29th, 2020

PUTRAJAYA: Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah yesterday admitted to facing sleepless nights, stress as well as mental and physical fatigue in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said these were also what others in the Health Ministry have been facing, but added they continue to persevere despite the multiple challenges faced in the past 10 months.

“Everyone in MoH has been doing the best they can. Perhaps some may have been affected by stress, including the Health DG himself, who goes through high levels of stress at times.

“There have been sleepless nights thinking how we are going to get through this problem, but so far, we can still deal with it,” he said at the media conference on Covid-19 developments here yesterday.

Dr Noor Hisham said while participating in a video conference with medical experts in Sabah this morning, he found most of them still in high spirits.

Dr Noor Hisham said health workers must be good at managing rotating work schedules so that they have time to rest.

“But sometimes, when there is time to rest, it is not possible to do so, you are up in the middle of the night thinking about how to solve the problems. These are all challenges for all of us whether on the field, frontline or behind the scenes,” he said.

On the total number of health workers infected with Covid-19, Dr Noor Hisham said so far, 949 health workers had tested positive.

He said most of them were infected in the community and not from Covid-19 wards or the intensive care unit (ICU).

“What is important is that when they are exposed to positive cases, we have to quarantine them within a certain period. The important thing is that they have to comply with standard operating procedures (SOPs).

“For example, if they serve in the ICU and Covid-19 wards, they have to comply with the existing SOPs, but many of the infections do not happen in the ICU or Covid-19 ward but from the community.

He said the two groups most at risk of being infected are family members to positive patients and health workers.

by Bernama.

Read more @ https://www.theborneopost.com/2020/10/29/stress-sleepless-nights-but-we-are-holding-on-health-dg/

Revitalised relationship continues to grow

October 29th, 2020
Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan last year, when Erdoğan attended the Kuala Lumpur Summit 2019. Also present were Raja Permaisuri Agong, Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah, and the first lady of Turkey, Emine Erdoğan.Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan last year, when Erdoğan attended the Kuala Lumpur Summit 2019. Also present were Raja Permaisuri Agong, Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah, and the first lady of Turkey, Emine Erdoğan.

A relationship that goes as far back as the 16th century, bolstered by similar interpretations of Islam as well a democratic system of governance, are just some of the reasons why Turkey and Malaysia have such strong ties with each other.

This relationship was further revitalised in 2014 with the landmark visit by then Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to Malaysia in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Turkish Ambassador to Malaysia Dr Merve Safa Kavakci said with that momentous visit, the relationship between both countries was elevated to a strategic partnership, and this gave impetus to further promote our relationship in multiple areas.

This led to a bilateral Free Trade Agreement which came into force in 2015, as well as a strong emphasis on defence collaborations, which continues to be among the biggest areas of cooperation between the two countries.

The latest round of high level visits from Turkey to Malaysia was in December 2019, when President Erdoğan arrived with five ministers. Even though the Covid-19 pandemic slowed down visits in 2020, we are ambitious to restart it once the situation gets better.”

“Turkey’s stance towards important issues such as Palestine, Rohingya and UN reform is quite similar to Malaysia’s. Thus, we are in good cooperation not only bilaterally, but also in multilateral platforms,” added Kavakci.

Among the areas for further cooperation included the defence industry, information technologies, health, food, tourism, agriculture, housing, environment, infrastructure, education and security.

“As the world is going through a global pandemic, we can further our cooperation in the field of public health and vaccination, while focusing also on all other areas as each of them bears importance.

In this regard, Kavakci said, as two friendly and brotherly countries, Turkey and Malaysia can cooperate a lot.

“As our two leaders agreed during their phone conversation in May, both countries are ready to fully utilise each other’s strengths in combating the spread of the coronavirus and facing the challenges post-Covid-19. Furthermore, as listed by the World Health Organisation, the Covid-19 vaccine studies in Turkey will enter the human trial phase soon.”

In the area of defence, Turkey and Malaysia have had a strong relationship since the early 2010s with the supply of armored vehicles, remote controlled weapon systems and shipbuilding projects.

Kavalci said in the last three years, intensive efforts have been put in place to bolster further collaboration, in terms of new deals between firms on both sides or attention to areas such as aerospace and maritime.

During the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition last year, Turkish defence companies concluded 10 deals and Turkey was the biggest participant in the exhibition.

“We believe that the defense aspect of the relationship will continue to be important one to watch within broader ties into years ahead,” she said.

The fight against terrorism in also an area in which both countries share similar opinions.

“I would like to thank again Malaysian authorities for their support in Turkey’s fight against the Fetullahist Terror Organisation (FETO) that was responsible for the coup attempt in 2016, which resulted in martyrdom of 251 people and injury of 2192. Condemning the July 15 treacherous coup attempt, Malaysia did not hesitate to hand over the suspects associated with FETO to the justice of our country, in 2016, 2017 and finally, in 2019,”.

“I would like to underline that Turkey’s cooperation with Malaysia in combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations did not stop and it will continue. I also want to reiterate and assure that Turkey will never host any element that might pose a threat to Malaysia, in its territory,” added Kavakci.

Turkish Ambassador to Malaysia Dr Merve Safa Kavakci. PIC BY ANADOLU AGENCY

Turkish Ambassador to Malaysia Dr Merve Safa Kavakci. PIC BY ANADOLU AGENCY

Moving forward, especially with the current global situation with the Covid-19 pandemic, Kavakci said countries must consider how they can be better prepared, especially in building sustainable trade chains.

“With this spirit, we give utmost importance to further develop the economic and trade relations with Malaysia. With the new measures Turkey has taken for facilitation of trade, we now offer more opportunities for foreign importers and investors with the country’s highly developed industry, wide range of industrial and agricultural production and high-quality products.

She said with the importance placed on food security, the supply of food and agricultural products from Turkey to Malaysia has risen following the pandemic.

“Another opportunity we should work on is the halal sector. I consider that it would be beneficial for both countries to increase cooperation in halal, particularly on halal food, halal cosmetics and Islamic finance,”.

Furthermore, she added, Malaysia and Turkey can also cooperate on digitalisation and e-commerce which are two important pillars against fighting the economic side effects of the pandemic.

She said both countries, who have considerable experience in e-commerce, should bring their knowledge and experience together to find ways to cooperate in building joint e-commerce projects.

“The pandemic crisis has accelerated the pace of digital transformation. During this period, virtual trade organisations have become one of the fundamental platforms for businessmen to come together and form business relations. Turkish trade authorities are also organising virtual organisations like trade delegations, fairs etc. We invite your public institutions, industry chambers and other authorities to encourage your valuable business people to come together with their Turkish counterparts in these digital platforms,”.

“Since our economic relations rely heavily on the US dollar for trade and investment transactions, we should also encourage Turkish and Malaysian businessmen to use local currencies in their trade transactions,” added Kavakci.

With Malaysia’s key position in Asean, which has 650 million people, and Turkey’s strategic access to 53 countries including all European countries, Russia, Middle East, Middle Asia and Northern Africa and 1.6 billion people with the potential of 8 trillion dollars of trade volume, Turkey is ready and eager to collaborate with Malaysia in the field of investments.

“We are open to joint investment projects especially in defence industry, high-technology production, automotive, machinery and equipment and halal production with our Malaysian counterparts.

Kavakci said both Turkey and Malaysia were countries in strategic positions in significant regions and both countries were also similar in their interpretation of Islam and democratic system of governance.

“I can say that with the frequency of high level visits in recent years, new mutual investments, increasing trade and growing mutual interest have contributed a lot to this close relationship. Our special ties continue to flourish in an atmosphere of mutual trust and friendship,”.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2020/10/636361/revitalised-relationship-continues-grow

UN expresses ‘deep concern’ over Prophet Muhammad cartoon tensions

October 29th, 2020
French President Emmanuel Macron is seen on a TV screen in Paris on October 28, 2020, as he delivers an evening televised address to the nation, to announce new measures aimed curbing the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, caused by the novel coronavirus. - AFP picFrench President Emmanuel Macron is seen on a TV screen in Paris on October 28, 2020, as he delivers an evening televised address to the nation, to announce new measures aimed curbing the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, caused by the novel coronavirus. – AFP pic

UNITED NATIONS, United States: The head of a UN anti-extremism body expressed “deep concern” Wednesday about growing tensions over satirical cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, urging “mutual respect” between people of different faiths and political views.

The statement by Miguel Angel Moratinos – who heads the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations – follows growing anger in the Muslim world over France’s response to the beheading of a teacher who had shown his pupils the images as part of a class on free speech.

President Emmanuel Macron has vigorously defended the publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad on free speech grounds, sparking angry protests across swathes of the Muslim world and campaigns to boycott French products.

The UN High Representative “is following with deep concern the growing tensions and instances of intolerance triggered by the publication of the satirical caricatures depicting Prophet Muhammad,” according to the statement.
“The inflammatory caricatures have also provoked acts of violence against innocent civilians who were attacked for their sheer religion, belief or ethnicity,” Moratinos said in the statement, without explicitly referring to Macron’s defence of the images.

“Insulting religions and sacred religious symbols provokes hatred and violent extremism leading to polarisation and fragmentation of the society,” he warned.

by AFP.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/world/world/2020/10/636302/un-expresses-deep-concern-over-prophet-muhammad-cartoon-tensions