CMCO extension likely

December 3rd, 2020

Masidi (file photo)

KOTA KINABALU: The Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) which is supposed to end in Sabah this Sunday is likely to be extended again as daily reports of Covid-19 cases are still at around triple digits.

Sabah Covid-19 spokesman Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said the government is not confident in lifting the CMCO with the current high daily figures.

“Looking at the three-digit cases every day, looks like it is clear we are still in the danger zone. The number goes up and down all the time, so looking at the statistics, we should take it as a sign that we still need to comply with SOPs.

“It would be irresponsible to stop it now when the problem still persists,” he said in a virtual press conference last evening.

However, he said state and health officials are monitoring the situation daily.

Sabah recorded 229 new Covid-19 cases yesterday, with Lahad Datu recording the highest number of cases with 56 cases followed by Kota Kinabalu (55) and Tuaran (27).

“No new cluster was detected in Sabah today (Wednesday),” Masidi said.

Meanwhile, Sabah also recorded two Covid-19 fatalities in Kota Kinabalu yesterday.

No new red zone was detected yesterday.
A total of 260 Covid-19 patients in the state recovered from the virus.

Meanwhile, the National Security Council (NSC) has decided that Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) on Kg Nahaba and Kg Tegudon in Kota Belud will end today.

A risk assessment by health officials showed the infection rate in the two areas has decreased and is now under control.

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Holding off general election is in public’s best interest

December 3rd, 2020
The final data collected shows 54 percent of Malay respondents, 34 per cent Chinese respondents, and 12 per cent of Indian and other ethnicities in Malaysia. - NSTP/ASWADI ALIASThe final data collected shows 54 percent of Malay respondents, 34 per cent Chinese respondents, and 12 per cent of Indian and other ethnicities in Malaysia. – NSTP/ASWADI ALIAS

LETTERS: Youth Generation in Action (Y.O.G.A) conducted an independent survey that shows the public reject a general election amidst a pandemic.

Job opportunities remain a high concern for the public and lacking so can prevent the public from voting.

The study shows that a lack of job opportunities correlates with a lower voter turnout rate.

If the situation in the country worsens or stays stagnant, then voters are inclined to feel disengaged from politics and less willing to turn up to vote.

Almost 60 per cent of the respondents are most concerned about the pandemic and political instability.

When asked if voters feel comfortable to vote if SOPs are enforced, only one-third of the respondents replied positively to the question.

Most of the respondents also replied that they are tired, frustrated, and confused with the ongoing politicking.

The online survey was conducted between the 15th to 22nd of October 2020 with 419 responses collected.

Non-Malaysians are automatically discontinued from the survey whilst racial population tries to mirror the demographics presented by DOSM July 2020.

The final data collected shows 54 percent of Malay respondents, 34 per cent Chinese respondents, and 12 per cent of Indian and other ethnicities in Malaysia.

The top three factors that deter people from voting are: the Covid-19 pandemic, unrepresentative parties/candidates, and being disappointed by the current political situation.

Amongst these three factors, voters who believe that their interests are not represented by the running parties or candidates will most likely choose not to vote.

Whilst 90 per cent of the respondents are aware of current issues and our studies find a positive correlation to voter turnout rate (i.e. respondents who are more aware of current affairs are more likely to come out and vote), social media remains the most popular news source at 87.77 per cent.

As information is not obtained from primary sources and social media is not held accountable for accuracy, misinformation can be spread easily without being verified.

Over-reliance on social media allows the public to be susceptible to fake news and populist statements.

With Budget 2021 currently in debate, it is to the nation’s best interest to hold off a general election and work together to rebuild Malaysia’s economy.

A bleak economy and political instability adversely affect the people’s livelihoods and rebuilding the economy should be Malaysia’s number one priority.

People need to ensure their daily bread-and-butter issues are met before having the time and consideration for politics.

On this matter politicians who also work towards this goal are representing the people’s best interest and able to garner more support.

As older voters are more likely to vote, an ongoing pandemic can deter them from turning up as older people are more susceptible to life-threatening complications if infected with Covid-19.

The recent Sabah state election sees a 66.61 per cent voter turnout rate but also a spike in Covid-19 cases thereafter.

As Sarawak’s state assembly is also nearing the end of its term, it is necessary to study countries that have conducted general elections in the midst of a pandemic and see how they fare, namely Singapore, South Korea, New Zealand, and the US.

We in Malaysia must consider the factors that led to their success in containing the spread of the virus before, during, and after a general election and the possibility in replicating a similar situation for ourselves should a general election be held soon.

Finally, though young voters are less likely to vote compared to their older compatriots, they are not completely disassociated from society in such that they cannot be moved to make a difference.

Youth empowerment strikes a chord with many young Malaysians and Environmental issues will most likely draw a crowd.

As Undi18 has been passed in parliament last year and automatic registration is on its way, political parties and politicians that move quickly to capture the votes of youths will have an added advantage over the rest.

by Yuen Jan Li.

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Covid-19: Back to four digits

December 3rd, 2020
The Klang Valley recorded the bulk of the cases (508 or 47.3 per cent of the total new cases), where 459 (90.4 per cent) of them were reported in Selangor. - NST/file pic. The Klang Valley recorded the bulk of the cases (508 or 47.3 per cent of the total new cases), where 459 (90.4 per cent) of them were reported in Selangor. – NST/file pic.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Health Ministry logged 1,075 new Covid-19 cases today, with the Klang Valley registering the highest number.

This brings the daily cases back into four digits after yesterday’s 851.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said this raised Malaysia’s cumulative tally of infections to 69,095, including 10,802 active cases.

Of the new cases, he said only three were imported.

“The Klang Valley recorded the bulk of the cases (508 or 47.3 per cent of the total new cases), where 459 (90.4 per cent) of them were reported in Selangor.

“This is followed by Sabah with 310 new cases (28.8 per cent) and Johor (78 or 7.3 per cent),” he said in a statement today.

Meanwhile, he said 948 more Covid-19 patients have recovered and were discharged from hospitals increasing the number of recoveries to 57,917.

He said 116 patients were being treated at intensive care units, with 46 requiring ventilator support.

Dr Noor Hisham added that the total death toll from the virus has risen to 376 with 11 more deaths reported to the National Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre (CPRC) as of noon today.

“Three deaths were reported in Selangor, two in Sabah, two in Johor, one each in Negri Sembilan, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, and Kelantan.”

By Tharanya ArumugamMohamed Basyir.

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Covid-19: 851 new cases, two new fatalities bring death toll to 365

December 2nd, 2020

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia recorded 851 new Covid-19 infections on Wednesday (Dec 2), with 68,020 cumulative cases since the beginning of the pandemic.

Most of the cases were detected in the Klang Valley (334), with Selangor recording 249 cases.

INTERACTIVE: Latest figures (Malaysia)

This was followed by 229 cases in Sabah, 102 in Johor, 85 in Kuala Lumpur, 62 in Negri Sembilan, 60 in Penang, 34 in Perak, and 26 in Kedah.

The number of recoveries was lower than new cases, however, with 658 patients being discharged in the past 24 hours.

In total, 56,969 patients, or 83.8% have recovered from Covid-19 in the country, while the number of active cases now stands at 10,686.

INTERACTIVE: Latest figures (Worldwide)

In a press conference, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said there were two new Covid-19 fatalities, taking the country’s death toll to 365.

Currently, 122 people are being treated at intensive care units, with 47 of them requiring ventilator support.


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Warning of heavy rain in several states

December 2nd, 2020

The Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) today issued a yellow-level weather alert, warning that heavy rain can be expected in several states until tomorrow. – File photo

KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 2): The Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) today issued a yellow-level weather alert, warning that heavy rain can be expected in several states until tomorrow.

The rain has been forecast for Perlis; Kedah; Penang; Perak (Hulu Perak); Kelantan (Tumpat, Pasir Mas, Kota Bharu, Jeli, Tanah Merah, Bachok, Machang, Pasir Puteh and Kuala Krai) and Terengganu (Besut, Setiu, Kuala Nerus and Kuala Terengganu), it said in a statement.

It also said that heavy rain can be expected in Terengganu (Hulu Terengganu, Marang, Dungun and  Kemaman) and Pahang (Jerantut, Temerloh, Maran, Kuantan, Bera, Pekan and Rompin) from tomorrow to Saturday.

In a later statement, MetMalaysia said thunderstorms and strong winds can be expected in Perak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, Johor, the interior of Pahang, western Sabah and Sarawak and the federal territories of Kuala Lumpur and Labuan in the evening and early part of the night during the period.

It said the heavy rain can trigger flash floods in low-lying areas and cause structural damage.

“North-easterly winds at speeds of 50 km per hour to 60 km per hour and waves as high as 4.5 metres can occur in the waters off Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang during the period.

“These can cause an overflow of seawater along the coast and river mouths in the areas,” it said.

by Bernama.

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Speaker says did not see middle finger gesture due to eye problem

December 2nd, 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun (pic) says he is unable to make a ruling on allegations that a deputy minister had showed the middle finger towards Opposition MPs in the House on Tuesday (Dec 1).

Azhar explained that he is still unsure on the details, despite going through videos of the alleged incident that have since gone viral.

The Speaker said he did not make an official ruling on the incident on Tuesday as he was unclear about the situation.

“I honestly did not see what happened because I am having some problems with my eyesight.

“I even asked the deputy minister to explain and he denied showing such gestures.

“I also saw the videos that went viral many times, even in slow motion, but I am still unable to tell if (the alleged gesture) happened or not.

“My decision is, I cannot determine if the incident did take place or not,” said Azhar in reply to Khoo Poay Tiong (PH-Kota Melaka) who asked if the ruling made by the Speaker on Tuesday was final.

Azhar said those who are unhappy with the alleged actions by Deputy Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Willie Mongin could write a motion to refer him to the Rights and Privileges Committee for him to defend himself.

“I truthfully cannot determine if this incident took place or not, although there are differing arguments from both sides of the House on this issue,” said Azhar.

Some Opposition lawmakers said Azhar should watch the Dewan’s CCTV footage, to which, the Speaker said he has done so.

“I watched the CCTV but it was from the back so I couldn’t see it clearly,” he said.

Khoo then said he has a clear video of the alleged incident and would happily show that to the Speaker.

Azhar then invited Khoo to come to his office later so he can look at it as well.

Datin Paduka Dr Tan Yee Kew (PH-Wangsa Maju) also interjected and said she witnessed Mongin’s alleged gestures clearly.

“I am sitting right in front of Puncak Borneo (Mongin), I saw it very clearly,” she said.

Azhar said he needs to determine all the facts in order for him to make a decision.

“Both sides are saying different things so I need to look into this.

“Kota Melaka, thank you for volunteering, please come and see me later,” said Azhar.

On Tuesday, Parliament descended into chaos following Mongin’s gesture towards Opposition MPs in the House after a bloc vote was called.

The issue began right after bloc voting was called in the House as MPs from both sides of the political divide then started taunting each other before having their microphones muted.

Pakatan Harapan MPs could be heard chanting “pengkhianat” (traitor), while banging on their respective tables.

It was at that point that Mongin had allegedly showed the middle finger.

Several Opposition lawmakers demanded that Mongin apologise to the House.

Azhar had then asked Mongin if he had made the alleged gesture.

In response, Mongin denied that he showed the middle finger in the House, saying that MPs might have mislooked.


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Creativity, innovative mindset integral to producing talent for IR 4.0

December 2nd, 2020
We are constantly bombarded with the imagery of robots, machines and  on-screen data projections, so much so  that  some of us might have misconstrued the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR4.0)  as being an era where only the technical, engineering and programming experts can thrive.  - NSTP/File pic

We are constantly bombarded with the imagery of robots, machines and on-screen data projections, so much so that some of us might have misconstrued the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR4.0) as being an era where only the technical, engineering and programming experts can thrive. – NSTP/File pic

IN a tumultuous economic landscape which is at the mercy of a raging pandemic that is disrupting supply chains, consumer demands, bottom lines and operations, many businesses are struggling to keep afloat.

But, there are those that manage to tackle these challenges and not only salvage their business, but pave new revenue streams.

None, perhaps, is more spectacular than Airbnb. At a time when the hospitality industry is driven to the brink of collapse — the world’s five largest hotel chains lost over US$25 billion while the airline industry lost over US$84 billion this year — Airbnb reported its second-biggest quarter ever with a revenue of over US$1.34 billion this year.

MKM Partners analyst Rohit Kulkani predicted that Airbnb’s bookings next year could exceed its levels last year. New York University (NYU) Stern School of Business’s Scott Galloway described the San Francisco hospitality firm as the “most valuable private firm in the world” and will likely be worth more than the three largest hotel chains in the world.

What amazes and inspires me, though, is that unlike most tech companies where the founders possessed a strong technical background, Airbnb’s co-founders are graduates of the Rhode Island School of Design. Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia launched Airbnb initially as a way for designers to find a reasonably-priced place to stay while travelling.

Don’t think that Airbnb is not a tech company — it is. It has a more employees with an engineering background than Amazon or Uber. But, the leadership and innovation of its two art-based co-founders are the “secret sauce” that made it so different from other firms. Airbnb co-founders are not the anomaly. Think of what the late Steve Jobs brought to Apple or Steve Wozniak, the engineer, who is credited for Apple’s era-defining products such as the iPod, iPhone and Macbook. However, it was Job’s creative vision that breathed a new lease of life to Apple with the “Think Different” campaign.

The creatives, artists, humanities and social scientists are not the people who would cross our minds when we envision the workforce of the future.

We are constantly bombarded with the imagery of robots, machines and on-screen data projections, so much so that some of us might have misconstrued the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR4.0) as being an era where only the technical, engineering and programming experts can thrive.

The US$160 billion global gaming industry certainly disagrees. Content and creativity are integral parts of the continually innovating and growing workforce of the future. Action-adventure video games with a cult following like Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us were credited for its exceptional attention to the game’s storyline, character arc and emotions.

Video games investor and NYU lecturer Joost Van Dreunen said that content development made up over one-third of the gaming industry. Xbox’s parent company, Microsoft, acquired ZeniMax media — the creator of the best-selling video game franchise, including Fallout — for US$7.5 billion in cash.

It is impossible to talk about content without talking about the biggest and fastest-growing content hub on the planet — Netflix.

As it faces tough competition from Disney+, Amazon Prime, and HBO Max, the streaming platform is expected to invest over US$17 billion on content this year from all over the world. According to Bloomberg’s intelligence data, Netflix’s investment in content and those of other streaming services, are only going to get higher every year.

So, to the storytellers, the creatives, the creators, the artists, and those who dare to dream big, the future of work in the era of IR4.0 is a global open field to explore. Our desire to connect, to realise our purpose and to express that makes the usage of technology in all aspects much more fulfilling.

As the conventional movie theatre business is grappling with the expansion of streaming giants and consumers’ receptiveness to live-streaming content as well as the growth of the “fanfic” industry, our content industry can also learn to move forward with an innovative mindset.

Perhaps, it’s time we relook at the national dream of winning the Best Foreign Film category at the Oscars, and instead focus our policies, research, and development, on nurturing, growing and producing talents that can compete in the industry with products that matter.

By Nuradilla Noorazam.

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Thousands of ex-Covid-19 patients still unwell months after shedding virus

December 2nd, 2020
This picture taken on November 28, 2020 shows Juno Simorangkir, a Long Covid campaigner, posing at a park in Jakarta. - AFP picThis picture taken on November 28, 2020 shows Juno Simorangkir, a Long Covid campaigner, posing at a park in Jakarta. – AFP pic

PARIS: Snatching moments of clarity through the brain fog that was among the lingering symptoms of her coronavirus infection, Hannah Davis joined a team of similarly ill researchers and launched a study of what is now called “long Covid.”

The survey was initially “for ourselves, to understand what was happening with our own bodies”, Davis said. But with so little data available, it was soon informing global policymakers.

Davis is part of an international patient-led movement of people who, when they were struck down with unexplained, debilitating symptoms, developed social media networks, research and advocacy from their sick beds.

The 32-year-old likens her neurological symptoms to a “brain injury” that meant she could not drive for months and was barely able to look at a screen.

But she said the online community and her work with Patient-led Research for Covid-19 – led by a team of five people who have never met in person – has been “awe-inspiring.”

“I really don’t think that I’ve ever done any work that has been nearly as meaningful,” said Davis, who specialises in machine learning and AI, whose group is working on a new study supported by University College London.

We now know that the novel coronavirus, which has killed at least 1.4 million globally, can leave even otherwise-healthy young people with lingering symptoms.

“To a significant number of people, this virus poses a range of serious long-term effects,” World Health Organisation director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in October.

He listed fatigue and neurological symptoms as well as inflammation and injury of major organs – including the lungs and heart.

But in the early days of the pandemic most people believed that infection would either result in hospitalisation, or a “mild” respiratory illness that would pass in around two weeks.

Soon thousands of people were turning to social media, desperate to understand why they were not getting better.

Many share the date of their first symptoms – Day One – to mark the beginning of a journey with an indeterminate end.

For Davis that was March 25, when she struggled to decipher a text message from friends and later found she had a fever.

In “a hotspot within a hotspot” in Brooklyn, New York, she quickly realised it was Covid-19 and expected the illness to pass quickly.

It did not.

In April, as her neurological symptoms worsened, Davis found a Slack support group run by queer feminist wellness collective Body Politic that was attracting members from around the world.

Within days, Davis joined several other members with research backgrounds to launch a patient survey, hoping data would help sketch out a clearer picture of coronavirus recoveries.

The study involved 640 people – mainly women in the US who most readily responded – and was completed at lightning speed.

It flagged symptoms like fatigue and brain fog that were not yet widely recognised.

In London, Ondine Sherwood was suffering fatigue, post-exertional malaise and gastrointestinal problems when she discovered the Body Politic group and was “astonished” to see so many people with similar – or worse – symptoms.

She was among a group of British members who decided to form their own organisation, Long Covid SOS, to send a message to the government.

But how?

“We thought we might march on parliament, which of course would have been impossible because most of us wouldn’t have had the strength or the ability to march, so we thought maybe we would go in wheelchairs, but it was lockdown,” said Sherwood, a systems developer.

In the end they made a film montage of “long-hauler” stories called “Message in a Bottle” and shared it online, hoping to raise the profile of long Covid.

It worked: The film caught the eye of the WHO and the group was tasked with gathering patients for an August meeting that saw Davis present the Body Politic study and included stories of long-haul children and testimony from doctors with persistent symptoms.

The WHO has since said more research is needed into why symptoms persist and called on governments to recognise the condition.

But many patients struggle to be believed, particularly without a positive test.

Pauline Oustric represented patient groups in France, Spain, Italy and Finland at the WHO meeting, calling for recognition, research, rehabilitation and better communication.

The 27-year-old French national fell ill in March while working on her PhD at Britain’s Leeds University.

She spent several months incapacitated and struggling to get help from health authorities, who told her she was not in a high risk group, before being repatriated to France in June in a wheelchair.

There she worked with other patients to set up a long Covid association, with the French hashtag apresJ20 – after day 20.

In Italy, where long Covid is not officially recognised, 59-year-old Morena Colomb was told by her doctor she should seek psychiatric help for her ongoing symptoms.

Colomb, who has lobbied the government for recognition, set up the Facebook support group “We who have defeated Covid” that now has 10,000 members.

“I don’t feel alone anymore, I don’t feel crazy,” she told AFP.

Juno Simorangkir, 36, created the “Covid Survivor Indonesia” group after finding support on the Body Politic network for his symptoms including heart palpitations, “extreme fatigue” and tinnitus.

Covid-19 is a “taboo”, he said, and those with long-term symptoms can face disbelief from doctors, employers and even family.

A key challenge is a lack of information about the symptoms and scale of long Covid.

Research published in July by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 35 per cent of symptomatic adults had not returned to normal two to three weeks after testing positive.

A study by the Desert Research Institute in Nevada, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, found that around a quarter of confirmed cases still had at least one symptom after 90 days.

Davis and her Patient-led Research colleagues have been praised as “citizen scientists” by the head of the US National Institutes of Health.

Their ongoing patient survey involves almost 5,000 participants in 72 countries.

Davis said common lingering effects include respiratory problems, memory loss, difficulty concentrating and in tasks “like being able to drive, or watch your kids, or work.”

Many also suffer post-exertional malaise, drawing comparisons with myalgic encephalomyelitis and chronic fatigue syndrome, although she cautions that more research is needed.

Nisreen Alwan, an Associate Professor in Public Health at Britain’s University of Southampton and a long-hauler, has campaigned for governments to count more than the virus death toll.

But she said defining recovery could be complicated, with some patients avoiding activities that trigger symptoms.

“You’re adapting your life so that you can function,” she told AFP, adding that she now limits exercise and has even changed her sitting position.

A specialist long Covid clinic in Paris diagnosed Oustric with dysautonomia – a disorder of the autonomic nervous system.

She is back living with her parents and can only work on her thesis in 30 minute bursts.

“Research-wise it’s impacted me a lot and life-wise, I can’t do any physical activity, I can’t lift things, I have pain every day, I’m on lots of medicines. My life is a bit of a mess,” she told AFP.

“Hopefully I’ll get back to my energetic self.” – AFP

Experts: Do not extend CMCO

December 2nd, 2020
An armed forces personnel dismantling the concertina wires following the government’s decision to  end the Enhanced  Movement Control Order at Putra Point in  Nilai yesterday.  --BERNAMA pic  An armed forces personnel dismantling the concertina wires following the government’s decision to end the Enhanced Movement Control Order at Putra Point in Nilai yesterday. –BERNAMA pic

KUALA LUMPUR: Experts believe that there is no need to extend the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO).

They said the authorities should instead focus on targeted measures such as eradicating workplace-related Covid-19 clusters and those in high-risk areas.

They also believe that fatigue from the standard operating procedures (SOP) in place may result in more harm in the long run.

Malaysian Public Health Physicians Association president Datuk Dr Zainal Ariffin Omar said an extension of the CMCO was not necessary based on the distribution of cases and clusters. This assessment, he said, was also based on the experiences gained through the various phases of the MCO.

“The authorities need to focus on workplace-related clusters and high-risk places such as factories and workers’ quarters, especially those involving foreign workers. Targeted MCOs should be enforced in these areas and in Covid-19 hotspots.”

Dr Zainal said the authorities must open up state borders in phases until the end of the year.

“For example, an MCO could be enforced only in the Klang Valley and not in areas that are already green zones. They can enact a ban on cross-border travel from red zones in the Klang Valley, as well as boost monitoring and testing in Targeted EMCO areas.

“Federal agencies, such as the Health Ministry and the National Security Council, can work with the state authorities in Selangor and Negri Sembilan.”

He said it was time the public “learn to live with Covid-19″ and the authorities switched their focus to this instead.

Epidemiology and biostatistics expert Dr Malina Osman said there should be a balance between disease prevention and economic needs.

She said the key was in compliance with Covid-19 SOP.

“It’s very likely that the CMCO in the Klang Valley and Negri Sembilan will be extended to at least another month.

“Over the last five days, Klang Valley and Negri Sembilan patterns showed a slight decline, but the active numbers are still at four digits,” said the Universiti Putra Malaysia associate professor.

Dr Malina said public support was imperative and could be gained only via exemplary behaviour by respected figures or local leaders. This, she said, should be followed by continuous reminders on Covid-19 and preventive measures from the authorities.

Members of the public, meanwhile, say they are concerned about the effects of SOP fatigue if the CMCO were to be extended.

Qistina Sallehudin, 23, a final-year university student, said the extension would affect her work placement next year.

“I’m worried it will delay my internship and, in turn, my graduation. Times are difficult and some companies may not take in interns, while others are working remotely.

“There have been cases where students had to delay their internship with some doing it online. This makes us (students) anxious whether we can graduate on time.”

Part-time baker Iman Nadira, 27, said the authorities could study ways to enable people to live normally during the pandemic instead of relying on another CMCO.

“My in-laws, who are in the medical field, are comfortable going out for grocery runs because they comply with the SOP.

“Conversely, my parents are hesitant due to the fear of other people ignoring the SOP. I believe many people are in the same boat as my parents.

“If the awareness about SOP is heightened, I think people will be inclined to follow the rules and look out for each other.”

By Teh Athira Yusof.

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Yi Yi’s return to China delayed due to Covid-19

December 2nd, 2020
Yi Yi, the giant panda was supposed to be sent back to China in April. - NSTP/File picYi Yi, the giant panda was supposed to be sent back to China in April. – NSTP/File pic

KUALA LUMPUR: The government will come up with a new formula to ensure Zoo Negara, its other counterparts nationwide and permanent wildlife exhibition centres can continue to operate.

Energy and Natural Resources minister Datuk Dr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah told the Dewan Rakyat today that this was to ensure these premises can run continuously amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Discussions are on-going to ensure a new model can be introduced to the zoos and the centres,” he said without elaborating while winding up the Supply Bill 2021 for the ministry at the committee stage.

Shamsul added that the ministry will meet with the Zoo Negara management tomorrow to look into its problems.

“This is so we can appropriately resolve the issues they are facing and address the concerns raised by the people,” he said.

Shamsul added the second giant panda cub born in Malaysia named Yi Yi, who turned two on Jan 4 this year, was supposed to be sent back to China in April.

“However, it had to be postponed as the conservatory in China is still closed due to the pandemic.

“The ministry will facilitate the process of sending Yi Yi back to China the soonest possible as per the Malaysia-China Giant Panda International Conservation Agreement that was signed between both countries.

“We had (earlier) initiated the process but it had to be delayed because of the pandemic,” he added.

By Dawn ChanHana Naz Harun.

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