Archive for the ‘Ethnic languages & Elective Subjects.’ Category

King conveys condolences on the passing of NST’s former chief news editor

Monday, December 21st, 2020

His Majesty recognises the immense contribution by this legendary journalist to the media fraternity and to the nation and appreciates Francis’ passion, dedication and talent. -  Photo via Facebook/Istana Negara.

His Majesty recognises the immense contribution by this legendary journalist to the media fraternity and to the nation and appreciates Francis’ passion, dedication and talent. – Photo via Facebook/Istana Negara.

KUALA LUMPUR: Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah today expressed his deepest condolences and sorrow over the passing of former New Straits Times (NST) chief news editor Tony Francis.

Francis died of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) at about 8.15am today. He was 73.

In a post uploaded on Istana Negara’s Facebook page, His Majesty extended his sympathies to the late Francis’ family and loved ones and prays for their strength during this distressing time.

“His Majesty recognises the immense contribution by this legendary journalist to the media fraternity and to the nation and appreciates Francis’ passion, dedication and talent

“His Majesty pays tribute to the veteran newsman who loved sports, journalism, and above all, telling a story,” it wrote.

The post further described Francis as a well-respected writer, editor and also an avid golfer.

Francis spent more than 30 years with the NST group and was the sports editor for both the New Straits Times and The Malay Mail.

He was later appointed NST chief news editor.

In his distinguished career, Francis covered several international events including two Olympics and three World Cups, interviewed leaders of nations and mentored many young reporters

by Dawn Chan.

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Unite and play your part, says King

Monday, October 26th, 2020

PETALING JAYA: Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah has decided that there is no need for a proclamation of an Emergency in the country at this point of time.

Comptroller of the Royal Household of Istana Negara Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin said that Sultan Abdullah also reminded all politicians to immediately stop all forms of politicking that could disrupt the stability of the country’s administration.

“Sultan Abdullah is of the opinion that there was no need for Members of Parliament to continue with their irresponsible actions that could disrupt the stability of the existing Comptroller, ” he said in a statement yesterday.

Ahmad Fadil said that after Sultan Abdullah and the Malay rulers had gone through a proposal by the government to declare a state of emergency, the King felt that the government had successfully contained the pandemic well and effectively.

He said the Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on Friday requested the proclamation of Emergency under Article 150(1) and proclamation of Emergency (Essential Powers 2020) Ordinance pursuant to Article 150 (2B) of the Federal Constitution to combat the threat of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country.

“The King strongly believes in the ability of the government under the leadership of the Prime Minister to continue implementing policies and enforcement to curb the Covid-19 pandemic from spreading, ” he said.

Ahmad Fadil added that the Ruler stressed that the 2021 Budget to be tabled in Parliament was very important to the people in combating Covid-19 and restoring the nation’s economy.

“As such, the financial allocation is much needed by the frontliners to ensure the smoothness of their job and responsibilities, ” he said, adding that the King was very concerned about the people’s worry due to the emergence of several new Covid-19 clusters and the spike in daily positive cases.

Ahmad Fadil said that the King urged everyone, regardless of their background and their political leanings, to set aside all their differences to unite and play their respective roles in helping the government and the authorities to curb the spread of the disease.

The Malay Rulers had, at around 2.30pm yesterday, held a special meeting at Istana Negara in Kuala Lumpur to discuss the government’s plan to declare a state of emergency to tackle the worsening Covid-19 situation.

On Friday, the Prime Minister and several ministers presented the King with the Emergency plan at Istana Abdul Aziz Indera Mahkota in Kuantan.

They were accompanied by the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador, Attorney-General Tan Sri Idrus Harun and Health Ministry director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.


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Wishing Malaysia peace, progress and prosperity

Tuesday, September 15th, 2020
31 August 1957 : Tunku Abdul Rahman proclaims independence for Malaya at the Merdeka Stadium in Kuala Lumpur, after reading the declaration. - NSTP/File pic

31 August 1957 : Tunku Abdul Rahman proclaims independence for Malaya at the Merdeka Stadium in Kuala Lumpur, after reading the declaration. – NSTP/File pic

LETTERS: The year 2020 is very special for our country Malaysia. The numbers 57 and 63 are also meaningful for Malaysia. Why is that so?

For that, we have to go back “63″ years ago to 31st August 1957 when Malaya achieved her independence from Britain.

We did it through diplomacy. The strong shouts of “Merdeka” seven times by our first prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman reverberated in the newly built Stadium Merdeka. We even had a new stadium specially built to usher in our new nation.

Tunku Abdul Rahman, through his leadership and diplomatic skills managed to repeat his feat by getting Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak come together to form a new country called Malaysia on 16 September 1963.

Tunku knew the mind of the British and he also knew how to negotiate with them. With that, we have a new nation, Malaysia, which is bigger in terms of population and land area. It straddles the strategic South China Seas.

The formation of Malaysia is unique, it came so soon after the birth of Malaya. Tunku had the distinction of being the first prime minister of Malaya and later the first prime minister of Malaysia.

This year 2020 is the 57th anniversary of Malaysia (consisting of Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak, Singapore left in 1965 to become an independent country). So we see the numbers 57 and 63 keep coming up.

The old Malaya achieved independence in 1957, some 63 years ago and the new Malaysia achieved independence in 1963, some 57 years ago. 2020 is indeed special on this count.

On the occasion of impending Malaysia Day we wish our beloved nation continued peace, progress and prosperity.


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Govt firm in safeguarding sovereign rights in South China Sea

Monday, September 14th, 2020

KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 14): The government safeguards the nation’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and national interests including over areas in the South China Sea, by ensuring that patrol and activities are conducted by the related enforcement agencies.

However, Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Kamarudin Jaffar said, at the same time, the government adopts a cautious approach to avoid any action which may lead to rising tension and unwanted incidents in the country’s waters.

“During the Asean Foreign Ministers’ Meeting from Sept 9 to 12, the government once again reaffirmed Malaysia’s stand on the South China Sea and the issue must be amicably resolved through a diplomatic approach in line with international legal principles,” he said.

He said this in response to a question from Senator Datuk T Mohan on the steps taken by the government in curbing the ongoing intrusion of the Chinese navy and maritime enforcement agencies in the country’s waters, during the Dewan Negara sitting today.

Kamarudin said the presence of large number of warships in a specific maritime area such as in the South China Sea has the potential to cause rising tensions and pose a threat to national security and stability.

“This matter has been raised at the regional and international levels and the government has taken a diplomatic approach, stressing  that the South China Sea should remain as a sea of peace and trade,” he said.

In addition he said, Malaysia would also ensure that the Code of Conduct (COC)  to manage the South China Sea, to be finalised between Asean and China, would be adhered to, so that  the country’s sovereign rights is maintained.

by Bernama.

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Clear choices await voters in Sabah snap elections

Saturday, September 12th, 2020
Voters can go for the emotional jugular and cast ballots in favour of those who play up sentiments of state pride. -- Pix: NSTP/ ASWADI ALIASVoters can go for the emotional jugular and cast ballots in favour of those who play up sentiments of state pride. — Pix: NSTP/ ASWADI ALIAS

TODAY is nomination day for the 16th Sabah state election, which will be held on Sept 26. It is a snap poll as the Sabah State Legislative Assembly was dissolved just a little over two years after it was elected simultaneously in the 14th General Election (GE14) in May 2018.

Shafie and Musa had been political rivals from even their time together as Umno stalwarts before Shafie left it to form Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) just before GE14. In the aftermath of the historic defeat of the Umno-led Barisan Nasional (BN) in GE14, politics in Sabah became splintered like never before.The dissolution was triggered by a running feud between incumbent Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal and his predecessor, Tan Sri Musa Aman, which culminated in the latter claiming he had secured a simple majority of defecting assemblymen of the now-dissolved assembly.

This is best seen in the twists and turns on the eve of nomination day. There is bound to be surprises galore even after tomorrow right up to polling day and beyond. All eyes will be fixated on Sabah over the next two weeks.

Political practitioners and pundits alike will scour the landscape there for any clue of where the nation may or may not be headed in what, after all, is the first mass electoral test after the first-ever change in federal government in 2018 and latest political alignments with Perikatan Nasional (PN) in power nationally earlier this year.

What should Malaysians be looking for? Most crucially, it must be to see if Warisan and its allies under the Warisan-Plus coalition consolidate and prove themselves capable of forming a more durable state government than its first attempt. Early signs thus far are mixed. Warisan’s main allies in Pakatan Harapan — DAP and PKR — give every indication they are far from satisfied with their seat allocations and other arrangements.

The first indication of trouble came with DAP agreeing — most reluctantly, it appears — to fight this election using Warisan’s symbol rather than its own. PKR will have none of that and is smarting over having only half its hoped-for number of seats to contest in.

Is DAP giving up its rocket symbol this time an indication that Sabah-based parties rather than national ones are gaining political ascendancy? If so, will it spell trouble for PN and BN and other parties aligned to them? What of the prospects of Parti Cinta Sabah, headed by former foreign minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, which stated it will contest all 73 seats?

What bears scrutiny is also what Anifah’s brother, Musa, the ex-chief minister, will do now that he has been rebuffed by Umno and Bersatu. He is, however, still widely regarded as Shafie’s main opponent. That speaks primarily of how little party affiliations and loyalties ultimately count in deciding who and which existing or new combination of parties end up ruling Sabah come Sept 26.

In which case, whatever mandate any winning coalition eventually secures will be subject to varying interpretations. The expected multi-cornered fights in many seats will mean anything is possible, including infighting and backstabbing even within supposed political allies. Not for nothing is Sabah often referred to as the “wild, wild East” of Malaysian politics.

But, as in any general election, even one as perplexing and confusing as this one appears shaping up to be, clear choices are confronting Sabah voters — if they can rise above all the discordant noises in the heat of campaigning.

Voters can go for the emotional jugular and cast ballots in favour of those who play up sentiments of state pride.

Or they can attempt a more dispassionate calculation of where theirs and the state’s interests really lie.

As the simmering Philippine claim to Sabah intrudes rudely in the run-up to this electoral exercise and brings into sharp relief that even foreigners cast “lascivious” eyes on the state, the “us-versus-them” political rhetoric that some politicians cast state-federal ties is misplaced and even false.

A good and stable relationship between Sabah and the federal government is the sine qua non for real progress and development in Sabah.

By John Teo.

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Over 4,000 illegal immigrants detained since May

Thursday, September 3rd, 2020
The government will take stern action against any party who tries to enter the country's borders illegally and enforcement agencies will continue to tighten border control, especially at rat lanes. - NST/file picThe government will take stern action against any party who tries to enter the country’s borders illegally and enforcement agencies will continue to tighten border control, especially at rat lanes. – NST/file pic

KUALA LUMPUR: The authorities detained a record 4,889 undocumented migrants and 713 tekong (boat captains) who had attempted to enter the country via rat lanes between May 1 and Sept 2, as part of Ops Benteng.

Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said enforcement agencies also detained 246 smugglers and seized 446 boats and 481 vehicles.

“Ops Benteng under the National Task Force involves the Armed Forces, police, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) and the Malaysian Border Security Agency (AKSEM), who joined forces to ensure that the country’s borders are safeguarded; and to eliminate cross-border crimes and prevent the spread of Covid-19,” he said in a statement today.

Ismail Sabri also said police yesterday mounted 63 Ops Benteng roadblocks nationwide and inspected 23,368 vehicles to prevent illegal immigrants from entering the country, particularly via rat lanes, or illegal routes.

“The police had arrested one foreign national for immigration offences.

“The government will take stern action against any party who tries to enter the country’s borders illegally and enforcement agencies will continue to tighten border control, especially at rat lanes.”

Meanwhile, he said the Housing and Local Government Ministry had since March 30 conducted 9,815 sanitation operations in 134 zones.

Ismail Sabri said a total of 12,925 premises were sanitised – 2,705 business premises, 5,697 government offices, 1,596 housing areas, 2,573 public places, and 354 supermarkets.

He said yesterday, eight sanitisation operations were carried out covering eight zones including one yellow zone and seven green zones in five states – Sabah (two operations), Melaka (one), Sarawak (three), Perak (one) and Pahang (one).

“This operation involved 39 personnel from the Fire and Rescue Department as well as 70 from the local authorities.”

In a related matter, the senior defence minister said the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry’s enforcement team had yesterday conducted daily monitoring of supplies of 12 goods in 831 business premises including retailers (622), wholesalers (185) and manufacturers (24).

“The supply of essential necessities is sufficient, continuous, easily available and able to meet the needs of the people in the country.

“The enforcement officers have also conducted 1,201 special RMCO SOP Compliance inspections and found that 1,175 premises complied with the SOP, while 26 premises were given advice for failing to obey the SOP set.

“During this period of RMCO, the government would like to urge businesses and the public to always practice self-discipline in observing physical distancing and personal hygiene, especially in activities involving buying and selling of daily necessities.”

by Tharanya Arumugam.

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Who can win in South China Sea clashes?

Sunday, August 23rd, 2020

IF the current tense situation in South China Sea leads to military clashes between China and the United States, who will have the upper hand? This is a hot question asked by many who are monitoring developments in the region.

Without a blink, most people are likely to say the US will reign over China as America is a more advanced military/defence power with vast combat experience in the many past and present wars it has provoked or created in various parts of the world.

“In terms of military strength, it must be the US,” said Global Times’ editor-in-chief Hu Xijin in an Aug 7 comment piece on South China Sea. As the official media outlet of the Communist Party of China (CPC) headed by President Xi Jinping, Global Times’ comments are closely monitored by China watchers.

However, the influential journalist remarked that if military clashes occur off China’s coastal waters, the outcome may be “uncertain” as China’s maritime strength combined with onshore combat power may pose challenges to the US navy. But if the showdown occurs in East China Sea and it involves Taiwan, then there will be “a contest of wills as well as a contest of strength”.

Taiwan, though permitted to self-rule after 1949, is jealously guarded as part of China’s territory.

“Whoever commands a upper hand (in clashes involving Taiwan) will be decided by a combination of military strength plus morality plus the will to fight,” said Hu in his comment.

In Chinese social media, the US and its allies are reminded that present-day China cannot be bullied. It is no longer the sick man of Asia, as perceived in the 19th century. Chinese commentators often end their YouTube clips stating that a modern and powerful China will win against aggressors at all cost, with the support of 1.4 billion strong-willed and patriotic Chinese.

The will to drive the aggressor off is an important element in warfare. The withdrawal of the US from the Vietnam War (1955-1975) has shown that its military might was not enough to defeat and kill the fighting spirit of the Vietnamese people.

It is clear to many people that intensifying military exercises in South China Sea is part of the US global strategy to contain a rising China, seen by Washington as the most serious threat to its economic, technological and military superiority. With Donald Trump gearing up for a presidential election in November that many polls have indicated he is likely to lose, nobody dares rule out that this unpredictable leader may start a war outside America as a ploy to win more domestic support within the US.

Former Australian premier Kevin Rudd has warned in an article in the Foreign Affairs journal of an “especially high” risk of armed conflict between the two powers as Trump seems hell-bent to win at all cost.

“The once unthinkable outcome – actual armed conflict between the US and China – now appears possible for the first time… We are confronting the prospect of not just a new Cold War, but a hot one as well,” he wrote early this month.

There has been a greater frequency of the deployment of US warships conducting military exercises in the South China and East Seas. In response, China has also increased its drills.

Indeed, tension in the South China Sea has escalated after Washington announced on July 13 that Beijing’s claims to most parts of South China Sea are “unlawful”.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had declared in a statement: “The world will not allow Beijing to treat the South China Sea as its maritime empire. America stands with our Southeast Asian allies and partners in protecting their sovereign rights to offshore resources.”

The harsh tone of the US on the South China Sea has drawn support from its Western allies – particularly Australia and the United Kingdom. But within Asean – the biggest trading bloc of China since early this year, most nations have taken a neutral and cautious stance.

These states, some of which have overlapping claims with China over certain parts of South China Sea, are concerned they will become pawns and suffer when the two superpowers actually fight.

On Aug 8, Asean foreign ministers issued a joint statement calling on “all countries to exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities that would complicate or escalate disputes and affect peace and stability, to refrain from the threat or the use of force, and to resolve differences and disputes by peaceful means in accordance with international law”.

The statement reiterates the grouping’s commitment to maintaining South-East Asia as a region of peace, security, neutrality and stability.

Many analysts believe that Pompeo’s tough talk is a ploy to help Trump’s re-election and partly an effort to divert attention from Trump’s bungled response to the Covid-19 pandemic and his falling poll numbers.

Pompeo’s tough stance on China, though not openly supported by Asean, is quietly welcomed by some anti-China quarters within the blog. It is to be noted that China’s construction of islands and reefs in the South China Sea in recent years has caused discomfort among Asean members.

Though China has often said the construction is carried out on their waters and mainly for civil purposes, it has also built and placed defence facilities on them.

Regardless of the reaction from China and Asean, Washington has not lessened its military manoeuvres.

According to the mainland’s think tank, the South China Sea Strategic Situation Probing Initiative, the US military has significantly increased large reconnaissance aircraft activities to 67 in July, compared to 35 in May and 49 in June.

For the first half of this year, the US has conducted more than 2,000 military exercises and drills in the South China Sea, the Taiwan Straits and the East Sea.

US spy aircraft reportedly made intensive flights when the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) was conducting operations.

In July, US reconnaissance aircraft entered areas within 70 nautical miles of China’s territorial sea baseline nine times, six times within 60 nautical miles, and in the closest event, about 40 nautical miles away from China’s sea baseline.

The close-up spying is seen by China as a demonstration of military muscle and a provocation by the US, which reportedly has all-round, advanced spying technologies and high frequency aerial reconnaissance.

Hence, based on military strength alone, a Forbes magazine writer shares the view of most

military analysts that the

US has an upper hand.

On Aug 9, Forbes’ aerospace and defence writer David Axe wrote: “The US military probably has enough warplanes to win a war with China in the western Pacific.”

But he cautioned a caveat. He noted the US doesn’t have enough bases in that faraway part of the world as a battleground.

“The amount of air power China and the US can bring to bear in a war over the South China Sea depends in large part on how many bases each country can set up, supply and protect within 500 miles of the major battle zones.

“Distance is the greatest destroyer of tactical airpower. Most modern fighters can fly no farther than 500 miles from their bases. Refueling tankers realistically can add a few hundred miles to a fighter’s combat radius.”

The writer suggested that the US army could create bases by “dropping paratroopers or landing marines” on some of China’s islands and reefs.

However, in the same breath, he conceded that this strategy may not succeed as China has since 2013 built unmoving aircraft carriers in the form of outposts in the Spratly and Paracel island chains.

The island bases, plus the airfields along the coast in southeast China, allow Beijing to disperse its warplanes. This dispersal can help to protect planes from US missile and bomber raids, he wrote.

But if the US military really occupies China’s islands and reefs, it will spark the start of a full scale war with China, Global Times’ editor warned.

“The US troops will have to face an all-out counterattack from the PLA and will certainly pay a heavy price for their reckless decisions,” warned Hu in his comment in Global Times.

According to a South China Morning Post report dated Aug 9, America is looking to outgun PLA in the Indo-Pacific and its military chiefs are reviewing their deployments to ensure they have sufficient firepower and troops.

However, Beijing-based naval expert Li Jie believes the PLA has sufficient firepower to take on American fleets in the event of an offshore battle.

“China’s Type PCL191 multiple launch rocket systems, which have a range up to 400km, and other rocket launchers are the most efficient low-cost option for dealing with head-to-head conflicts,” the Post quoted Li as saying.

Despite facing all kinds of insults from the US, political interference in Hong Kong and military incitement in the South China Sea, China has exercised restraint.

It may not fire the first shot, most reports indicate.

China has told its service personnel “not to fire the first shot” in the increasingly frequent stand-offs with US planes and warships, South China Morning Post reported on Aug 12 citing sources familiar with Chinese thinking.

But still, the combat-ready PLA armed with its advanced equipment is always on its highest alert, said military experts last week on China’s CCTV Mandarin channel.

Due to the tense situation, countries in the region are worried that there may be “accidental clashes” that could lead to full-scale war that will hurt regional and global trade.

As a vital artery of trade for many of the world’s largest economies, about US$4-5 trillion (RM16.7-RM20.9 trillion) worth of goods transits through the waterway annually. Hence, if a war erupts in South China Sea, all will be losers – including the US and China.

It certainly will not boost Trump’s electoral chances if the war drags on to become another “Vietnam War” for the US and Americans.


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PM: Deep love for nation binding us all

Wednesday, July 29th, 2020

PUTRAJAYA: The deep love for Malaysia is one of the powerful forces binding the people together, says Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

In kicking off the National Month celebration, he said this deep sense of love for the nation must be nurtured well.

“I believe the deep sense of love for the country among the people will bind us all,” he said at the launch, which was held at Dataran Perdana yesterday.

The event saw the full attendance of Cabinet Ministers, Chief Secretary to the Government Datuk Seri Mohd Zuki Ali, Chief of Armed Forces Jen Tan Sri Affendi Buang and Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador.

The theme for this year’s National Month celebration, “Malaysia Prihatin”, is aimed at instilling patriotism, unity and love for the country.

“Malaysia Prihatin” is also the government’s motto in its efforts to revive the economy and improve the lives of its people while continuing the fight to end the Covid-19 pandemic.

Muhyiddin observed that the “Malaysia Prihatin” spirit of caring for one another during challenging times was practised by Malaysians from all walks of life.

“This is evident when people come forward to extend help and support in times of need, regardless of race, religion or political belief.

“This is a good sign to prove that Malaysians are together during good and difficult times,” he said.

In conjunction with the celebration, which will be until Malaysia Day on Sept 16, the Prime Minister called on the people to fly the Jalur Gemilang at homes, office buildings, business premises and vehicles in a show of love for Malaysia.

“We should fly the Jalur Gemilang all year round without having to wait for the National Month celebration.

“The Jalur Gemilang is the symbol of sovereignty and independence of our nation, not merely a piece of cloth that defines our constitution,” he said.

At the event, the National Day and Hari Malaysia celebration’s theme song – Malaysia Prihatin – was played for the first time.

The song was composed by Datuk Mokhzani Ismail while the lyrics is by El Sol Akhmad.

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Children’s mental health shouldn’t be overlooked: Lee

Monday, June 22nd, 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: Mental health issues in children need to be acknowledged and addressed properly, said Befrienders Kuala Lumpur patron Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye (pic).

He said although there have been intensive discussions on mental health in the last few years, most of them focused on adult’s mental wellbeing.

“This is good considering how mental illness is such a taboo subject. It is time for us to acknowledge the importance of mental health for both adults and children.

“According to the National Health and Morbidity Survey 2019, a total of 424,000 children were found to be struggling with mental health issues. This is a great concern to all of us and this issue needs to be addressed properly as children are our future and our hope,” he said in a statement, Sunday.

Lee said the ability to recognise that a child needed help was crucial as early intervention could improve their wellbeing, and with proper care and treatment, most mental health issues could be treated.

He stressed that parents should play their role in ensuring their children’s mental wellbeing, including providing a conducive environment at home which is filled with love and care, and also encouraging healthy conversation by listening actively and allowing them to talk without being judgmental and critical.

“They would be more open to talk about their problems, including difficult and uncomfortable feelings, and reaching out for help whenever they encounter difficulties in the future.

“If you are concerned about your child’s mental health, please reach out for help, speak to a professional, such as to psychiatrist or counsellor,” he said and adding that the Befrienders Kuala Lumpur offers emotional support to anyone feeling distressed or suicidal, by calling their 24-hour helpline 03-7627 2929.

Lee said the healthy environment in the school was also very important as children would spend a long period of time at school and they needed to be equipped with skills on how to manage stress efficiently, problem-solving skills as well as skills to build resilience.

He added by incorporating these elements into the school syllabus could help improve mental health in children while teaching staff could help make school a safer place by keeping an eye on any bullying incident as it could severely affect a child’s mental health and in some extreme cases, could even lead to suicide.

“Children go through many constant changes in their upbringing, such as going to a new school, meeting new friends and all these can make them feel stressful or anxious,” he said, adding that learning about the symptoms and early signs of mental distress would play a part in the preventive efforts.

By: Bernama.

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Strict enforcement, conviction needed

Monday, June 15th, 2020
Expressing deep concern, Federal Datuks Council vice-president Datuk Abdul Razak Dawood (2nd from left) said the matter was made worse by such ‘datuks’ who misuse, misbehave or commit crimes. - NSTP/ROHANIS SHUKRIExpressing deep concern, Federal Datuks Council vice-president Datuk Abdul Razak Dawood (2nd from left) said the matter was made worse by such ‘datuks’ who misuse, misbehave or commit crimes. – NSTP/ROHANIS SHUKRI

PETALING JAYA: The lack of enforcement and conviction against bogus, unrecognised and unaccredited ‘datukships’ is threatening the sanctity of the honorific title.

Expressing deep concern, Federal Datuks Council vice-president Datuk Abdul Razak Dawood said the matter was made worse by such ‘datuks’ who misuse, misbehave or commit crimes.

“Our council has only about 200-odd members who were bestowed the federal title (Panglima Jasa Negara, or PJN) by the king.

“Yet, it has come to our knowledge and through media reports that over 50 persons are using such titles by claiming it through self-entitlement, are unrecognised or unaccredited ones purportedly issued to them from overseas, which are not recognised by the laws of the country.

“Many of them appear to have obtained them via dubious means, while some have been linked to criminal cases like fraud,” said Razak at a media conference at the Windmill Restaurant in Subang Jaya.

He said that what was more baffling was the lack of enforcement by the authorities, with agencies like the police claiming ignorance to the Offences Relating to Award 2017 (Act 787) and Emblems Act, 1963 (Act 414) (Amended A1525, 2017 Section 5) which called for severe, deterrent and stiff punishment upon conviction.

As such, Razak said that many of those flouting the law easily got off with just RM2,500 fine under the unamended Emblems Act 1963.

“This was the scenario in the most recent case reported to police, where the offender got away with the paltry fine for being involved in a RM1 million cheating case.

“The punishment does not meet the severity of the offence. Had the amended Act 414 been applied, he would have faced a maximum RM20,000 fine, three years’ jail or both upon conviction.

“Additionally, had he been charged under the more comprehensive Act 787 he would have been fined a maximum of RM500,000,” said Razak, adding both Acts had already been gazetted by Parliament.

He was commenting on the June 5 case involving 62-year-old businessman Mohsin Bujang who was fined RM2,500 after he pleaded guilty for fraudulently claiming to be a “Datuk”.

Razak called on the authorities to check on the menace by those who used such titles for their agenda to cheat and deceive the public for financial gains and social standing.

“The more severe punishment, under Act 787 and the amended Act 414, must be meted out as a deterrent to stamp out this malaise in Malaysia, against the crooks who bring disrepute to the genuine holders of such honorifics.

“This will restore the honour of the titles, bestowed by the king, the rulers and governors, which have taken a beating on its prestige and standing in the country,” he said.

Razak said the council would seek the assistance of the Inspector-General of Police and the registrar of societies to check on the menace.

In a related move, the council lodged a report at the Bandar Kinrara police station in Puchong on Sunday against the Gabungan Dato-Dato Malaysia based at the diplomatic enclave in Putrajaya.

The report was lodged by Datuk Samson David Maman against the organisation, which comprises members with overseas honorifics, for alleged misuse of the national emblem and flouting Act 787 and the amended Act 414.

The council claimed that the Putrajaya organisation’s members were promoting honorifics obtained from the Philippines, Brunei, Thailand and Indonesia, which infringed Section 3 to 17 of Act 787.

By Adrian David.

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