close
Please assign a menu to the primary menu location under menu

ASIAN (H)

ASIAN (H)

Malaysia general election will be over before July Haj season begins: Najib

no thumb


Malaysia’s general election will be held before the annual Haj pilgrimage season begins in July, prime minister Najib Razak hinted on Friday (February 2).

He was speaking to more than a thousand recipients of a special Haj programme sponsored by state investment fund 1MDB’s charitable foundation, Yayasan 1MDB.

“By July 14, two major events would have taken place. One is the Hari Raya Aidilfitri and the other is another raya,” said Najib, in a clear reference to pilihan raya which means elections in Malay.

Hari Raya Aidilfitri falls on Jun 15 this year, marking the end of the fasting month. The pilgrims are scheduled to leave for the Haj on July 14.

“So, when you are there (in the Holy Land), pray for the success and prosperity of the country in order to make Malaysia a model among Islamic nations,” Najib added.

Some people at the event, attended mainly by imams, community leaders and village chiefs, took it as an indication that the election will be held right after Hari Raya, while others believe that the polls are likely to be called before the fasting month begins in May.

“The hint he gave just now, it’s likely (the election) will be held just after Hari Raya. After that, they will (leave) for the Haj. There will be a short window there after Hari Raya,” said Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi, a state assemblyman for Sarawak.

Last Friday, speaking after the UMNO supreme council meeting, Najib told the media that he’s still waiting for “the spark of inspiration”, before calling an election.

Sources within UMNO said the prime minister wants to wait for the redelineation exercise, the drawing of electoral boundaries, to be completed and tabled in Parliament.

The current term of Parliament expires on Jun 24 and the 14th general election must be held within 60 days after that date.

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/malaysia-general-election-will-be-over-before-july-haj-season-9921360

 

Category: Malaysia


Print This Post



Source link

read more
ASIAN (H)

Internet users in Malaysia up from 2.5mil in 2006 to 24.5mil in 2017

no thumb


Internet user population in Malaysia recorded a staggering growth by a whopping 880 per cent since 2006 until last year.

Minister in the prime minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said internet users in the country have increased to 24.5 million people last year compared to 2.5 million people in 2006.

Nancy, who is also the Batang Sadong Member of Parliament, said 80 per cent of the internet users last year accessed the web to log into the social media networks with average usage period of over four hours daily.

“Moreover, 76.1 per cent of the internet users are youths between the age 20 and 49 while 5.8 per cent comprises of those aged 18 and below.

“We have to accept the fact that internet, cyberspace and online content as a way of today’s life, which is irreversible.

“All we need to do is to help the younger generation to be more discerning,” she said in her speech during the launch ceremony of Sarawak Islamic Information Centre’s smartphone application here today.

On a related matter, Nancy said the revolution of technology has given the Muslims community more avenues to learn more about their religion.

Previously, she said, the learning of Islam were restricted to only attending religious or education institutions or learning from the ulama’ (Islamic scholars).

“The younger generations of Muslims are now adopting and using technology to move away from conventional practices.

“Technology has enabled Muslims to learn, question, teach and establish a network through networking sites and mobile application.

“Muslims can now download and utilise a myriad of (mobile) applications to help them with prayer times, (ascertained the direction) of the qiblat, find the nearest mosque, halal restaurant and travel destination.

“In fact, there are also application that can help us to improve our recitation of the Holy Quran and verify facts particular to Islam,” she said.

Hence, she said it was imperative for Muslims to be receptive of the evolution in technology including embracing the era of digital economy.

Nancy said this was to ensure that the Muslim community in the country particularly in Sarawak will not left behind as the nation move forward.

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/internet-users-malaysia-2-5mil-091137216.html

 

Category: Malaysia


Print This Post



Source link

read more
ASIAN (H)

Najib gives strong hint GE14 will be before July 14

no thumb


Prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has given the strongest hint yet that the upcoming 14th general Election will be held before July 14. Speaking to 1,200 recipients of the 2018 (PM-1MDB) Foundation Special Haj programme here today, Najib said the pilgrims would witness two ‘raya’ occasions before performing their Haj. “July 14 means that two occasions would have passed, one being Hari Raya Aidilfitri and the other being another ‘hari raya’. “You will depart (for Mecca) after the other ‘raya’,” he said in an apparent reference to the Malay word ‘pilihan raya’, which translates to election in English. The recipients are scheduled to leave for Mecca on July 14, and the national election must be held by August 24. Hari Raya Haji falls on August 21.

“Please keep this in mind – if the existing government remains in power, all of you will be able to perform the Haj. Everything will remain unchanged as long as the government remains unchanged,” he said in his speech at Masjid Putra. He also urged the recipients to pray for Malaysia’s wellbeing and for the country to remain prosperous in the years to come. On Malaysia’s strong ties with Arab Saudi, Najib said the country had benefited from it, including getting bigger haj quota. “During my meeting with King Salman (Abdulaziz Al Saud), I requested for Malaysia’s haj quota to be restored or be given a bigger quota. “Before I could even finish my sentence, King Salman granted my request. Just imagine how many Malaysians will be able to perform their haj due our strong relations with King Salman,” he said. The good ties with Saudi Arabia were also reflected in King Salman’s decision to visit Malaysia first during his first trip to Southeast Asia and the region.

“The King has also agreed to establish the King Salman Centre for International Peace in Malaysia and it is located here in Putrajaya,” he said. The prime minister also shared his experience visiting Prophet Muhammad’s burial place and entering the Kaabah, which were possible because of Malaysia’s strong ties with Saudi Arabia’s king. Najib also advised his critics to stop spreading lies especially regarding 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB). “1MDB did not lose RM42 billion. It was the amount of debt owed, which can be settled compared to how much was lost (under the Bank Negara Malaysia’s foreign excahnge trading scandal in the 1990s).

“Do not simply spread malicious lies. When mistakes happened, corrective measures will be carried out. When there are discrepancies, actions will be taken,” he said. The prime minister also told those present that only God could determine if one would get “haji mabrur (haj accepted by God) or otherwise. “There are those who said pilgrims who were sponsored to perform their haj via the 1MDB (foundation) will not get `haji mabrur’.

“It is Allah’s rights, and not human beings’, to determine if our haj is accepted or not. Allah decides on our `rezeki (sustenance)’ and `pahala (reward for good deeds)’. Such things should not be politicised,” Najib added. The prime minister also said Tabung Haji had decided not to raise the haj fee to be paid by pilgrims this year, which he had endorsed. “Malaysian pilgrims will need to pay the same fee of RM9,980 as before, despite the rising cost from RM19,550 to RM22,450 “This means Tabung Haji subsidised RM12,470 for each pilgrim, which is a big amount,” he said. Najib was also upbeat by Tabung Haji’s proposal to build a complex each in Mekah and Madinah to house Malaysian pilgrims. “I will support such idea as long as it is for the people’s wellbeing,” he said.

On the 1,200 people who would perform their haj this year via the 2018 (PM-1MDB) Foundation Special Haj programme, the prime minister said they were chosen because of their big contributions as grassroot leaders and educators in line with the government’s struggles. One of the recipients was Muhamad Sonan Surni, who broke into tears as he shared his feelings about being chosen to perform haj this year.

“If I have to pay for my own expenses, it will take at least 10 years for me to save enough money for it,” said the 73-year-old retiree from Petaling Jaya. Sonan said he started working as an office boy at the prime minister’s office when Tunku Abdul Rahman was the prime minister.. “I earned about RM74 per month at that time. I also did other jobs over the years including working with Telekom Malaysia,” he said, urging Malaysians to always be grateful for what they had

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/najib-gives-strong-hint-ge14-093607889.html

 

Category: Malaysia


Print This Post



Source link

read more
ASIAN (H)

Korea confirms H5N6 bird flu at duck farm, raises bird flu alert level

no thumb


South Korea on Sunday said it had confirmed an outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N6 bird flu at a duck farm in the south west of the country and raised its bird flu alert level to the highest ranking.

The virus was discovered on a farm on Saturday with some 12,000 ducks in Gochang county, over 270 km (167.77 miles) southwest of Seoul. All of the ducks were slaughtered after the discovery, the agriculture ministry said in a statement. This was the country’s first such outbreak since June this year.

The ministry has stepped up disinfection measures to contain a wider spread of the highly contagious bird flu virus and issued a temporary nationwide transport ban of poultry for 48 hours, starting from midnight on Sunday in Seoul.

Bird flu outbreaks typically occur in the winter.

The virus was discovered on a farm on Saturday with some 12,000 ducks in Gochang county, over 270 kilometres southwest of Seoul. (CNA)

South Korea had its worst battle over bird flu late last year which lasted more than six months, leading to a record culling of farm birds and a nationwide shortage of eggs. But no cases of human infections were reported in the country.

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/south-korea-confirms-h5n6-bird-flu-duck-farm-145436871.html

 

Tags:

Category: Health


Print This Post



Source link

read more
ASIAN (H)

Philippines suspends world-first dengue vaccine

no thumb


The Philippines said Friday it had suspended use of a landmark vaccine for the potentially deadly dengue virus after its manufacturer warned it could worsen the disease in some cases.

French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi announced Wednesday that its world-first dengue vaccine could lead to more severe symptoms for people who had not previously been infected.

The Philippines has vaccinated more than 733,000 children with Dengvaxia since 2016 when it became the first country to start using it on a mass scale.

But it said Friday the programme had been suspended.

“In the light of this new analysis, the DOH (Department of Health) will place the dengue vaccination programme on hold while review and consultation is ongoing with experts, key stakeholders, and the WHO (World Health Organization),” Health Secretary Francisco Duque said.

Sanofi had initially said its Dengvaxia vaccine was “critical” in the fight against dengue, the world’s most common mosquito-borne virus.

It said Wednesday that a new study has confirmed Dengvaxia’s benefits for “those who had prior infection”.

“For those not previously infected by dengue virus, however, the analysis found that in the longer term, more cases of severe disease could occur following vaccination upon a subsequent dengue infection,” Sanofi said.

Duque stressed that the government had not yet received reports of any problems with Dengvaxia.

“Currently, there is no reported case of severe dengue infection among those who received the vaccine,” he told reporters.

– Strengthened surveillance –

Duque said the new findings did not mean all those who have never been infected would get severe dengue if they were vaccinated.

But he said the department would strengthen its ongoing surveillance of those who received Dengvaxia and would investigate any cases of people falling ill.

Despite the suspension, Duque said “vaccination is essential to the integrated approach in dengue prevention and control.”

Asked about any legal liability that might arise from the vaccine, Duque said “our legal services plan to review the contract” with Sanofi.

The WHO said in a statement that in the light of the new findings, “as a precautionary and interim measure, WHO recommends that Dengvaxia is only administered to subjects that are known to have been infected with dengue prior to vaccination.”

The WHO’s advisory group on vaccination, the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE), will meet in two weeks to decide if the suspension should remain in force, it added.

Dr Julius Lecciones, director of the Philippine Children’s Medical Centre, said they had also received no reports of severe illness from Brazil, another country that has used the vaccine on a wide scale.

In Thailand, authorities have allowed the vaccine to be used in private hospitals on a case-by-case basis since September 2016, but it is not yet approved for state facilities, said Suchada Jiamsiri, deputy director of the health ministry’s Division of Vaccine Preventable Disease.

“So the vaccine is not available in public programmes in Thailand,” she added.

Jiamsiri said Thai health agencies had planned on consulting with WHO experts on the matter.

More than 1,000 people in the Philippines died from dengue last year, out of more than 211,000 suspected cases, according to the government.

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/philippines-suspends-world-first-dengue-vaccine-071338634.html

 

Category: Health


Print This Post



Source link

read more
ASIAN (H)

361 new HIV cases in Singapore in first 10 months of 2017: MOH

no thumb


From January to October, 361 new cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections were reported among Singapore citizens and permanent residents, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Friday (1 December).

In a press release on World Aids Day, MOH noted that about 43 per cent of these new cases over the period were detected by HIV tests conducted in the course of medical care. Routine programmatic HIV screening accounted for another 28 per cent, while a quarter were detected through voluntary HIV screening.

MOH noted that there was also a higher proportion of homosexuals or bisexuals (32 per cent) who had their infection detected through voluntary screening, compared with heterosexuals (14 per cent).

Nevertheless, the ministry said that the number of HIV/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (Aids) cases reported had been declining over the previous three years. There were 456 cases in 2014, 455 cases in 2015, and 408 cases last year.

“MOH and the Health Promotion Board urge individuals at risk of HIV protection to go for regular HIV testing. Regular HIV testing can help diagnose an infected person at an early stage of infection,” said an MOH spokesman. “Early diagnosis allows for early treatment and care, and provides the opportunity for those infected to learn about protecting their partners from infection.”

With early and effective treatment, those living with HIV can delay the onset of Aids and continue to lead an active and productive life, MOH added.

According to an analysis of 194 of the cases reported between January and June, 96 per cent of these were men. Nearly half (46 per cent) were aged between 20 and 39 years old.

For these cases, the main mode of HIV transmission was sexual intercourse, accounting for 97 per cent of the cases. About 34 per cent of the cases resulted from heterosexual transmission, while 53 per cent were from homosexual transmission and 10 per cent were from bisexual transmission.

MOH reiterated that the most effective way to prevent HIV infection is to remain faithful to one’s spouse or partner and to avoid casual sex, and sex with sex workers.

Those who engage in high-risk sexual behaviour, such as having multiple sexual partners or engaging in casual or commercial sex, are strongly advised to use condoms to reduce their risk of HIV infection, MOH added.

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/361-new-hiv-cases-singapore-first-10-months-2017-moh-070529831.html

 

Category: Health


Print This Post



Source link

read more
ASIAN (H)

Philippines prepared for ‘worst-case scenario’ after 733,000 given dengue vaccine that could worsen disease

no thumb


The Philippines is prepared for a “worst-case scenario” after warnings that a vaccine against dengue fever could cause symptoms of the disease to become more severe.

French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi Pasteur on Wednesday admitted clinical data showed Dengvaxia the first licensed dengue vaccine could make the disease worse in people who had not previously been infected with the virus.

The government suspended a school-based immunisation programme following the revelations, which came after more than 733,000 children had been immunised.

Sanofi Pasteur said Dengvaxia did provide persistent protective benefit in those who had previously had dengue.

(Independent)

“The Department of Health is prepared for a worst-case scenario,” Department of Health spokesman Eric Tayag told ABS-CBN television.

Tayag said the vaccine was only given to children aged nine or older and that the immunisation scheme only operated in areas where dengue was already widespread.

Those who had been vaccinated “are being followed up for adverse effects”, he said.

He added that the health department was checking hospital records for acute cases of dengue.

But Sanofi had said it could take around five years for such severe dengue cases to become evident, Tayag added.

Out of more than 211,000 suspected cases of dengue fever in the Philippines last year, at least 1,000 people had died, according to government figures.

Announcing the suspension of the vaccination programme, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said new recommendations would be released later this month by the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation, an advisory body of the World Health Organization (WHO).

For those not previously infected by the dengue virus, analysis found vaccination prevented severe illness for at least 30 months, Duque said.

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/philipines-prepared-apos-worst-case-161721654.html

 

Tags:

Category: Health


Print This Post



Source link

read more
ASIAN (H)

New bird flu case discovered in Korea

no thumb


South Korea culled 197,000 chickens at a farm close to the capital city after a new case of avian influenza was discovered, the government said on Wednesday.

The government has imposed a 48-hour ban on transporting poultry products in the north of the country, Efe news reported.

The affected farm is located in Pocheon, 45 km north of Seoul, and had recorded the deaths of 30 birds since Tuesday, with preliminary tests showing that they were infected with bird flu, said the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

In order to prevent the virus from spreading, the government decided to cull the birds and inspect farms located within a 3-km radius of the affected site.

Inquiries were ongoing to determine whether the case involved the same highly pathogenic strain currently affecting the southwest of the country.

The latest case, the first of its kind in the northern province of Gyeonggi, caused alarm among quarantine officials, who have been fighting to contain the expansion of the H5N6 strain in the southwest of the country since November.

In the province of Jeolla, one of the worst affected, the government confirmed that nine farms had been infected by the virulent strain.

About 36,700 birds had been culled in three provinces and disinfection processes were being carried out in farms in the whole region.

After an H5N6 infection was discovered in the area in December, authorities culled 201,000 ducks.

In 2016, South Korea culled more than 30 million birds to contain the worst outbreak of bird flu in the country’s history.

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/bird-flu-case-discovered-south-korea-135610364.html/

 

Category: Health


Print This Post



Source link

read more
ASIAN (H)

First Zika case in Singapore since September 2017: MOH

no thumb


The Zika virus is back in Singapore, almost four months after the last reported case.

The latest case was reported last Thursday (18 January), the National Environment Agency (NEA) said in an update on its website published on Tuesday (23 January). The website does not list any Zika cluster.

It is the first Zika infection in Singapore since 29 September 2017, said the Ministry of Health (MOH). The patient reportedly sought outpatient treatment and is recovering well, according to a report by Channel NewsAsia citing MOH.

Following the first case of locally transmitted Zika in Singapore in August 2016, some 450 cases were reported by the end of that year.

(Yahoo News Singapore)

The virus is spread by the aedes aegypti mosquito and has been associated with neurological diseases such as microcephaly, which can cause babies to be born with a smaller head.

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/first-zika-case-singapore-since-september-2017-moh-100659606.html

 

Tags:

Category: Health


Print This Post



Source link

read more
ASIAN (H)

How to fall asleep faster: writing a ‘to-do’ list will help you doze off quicker, new research shows

no thumb


Can writing “to-do” lists help you fall asleep at night?

The short answer: yes

What keeps you awake until the early hours? If you answered, “Trying to remember what I need to do tomorrow” or, “Worrying about things that need to be done”, read on.

New research from Baylor University in Texas, in the United States, found that people who don’t write to-do lists worry more about unfinished tasks and have difficulty falling asleep at night.

Wake up! It’s time to stop treating sleep deprivation as a badge of honour

“We live in a 24/7 culture in which our to-do lists seem to be constantly growing and causing us to worry about unfinished tasks at bedtime,” says Dr Michael Scullin, director of the university’s Sleep Neuroscience and Cognition Laboratory. “Most people just cycle through their to-do lists in their heads, and so we wanted to explore whether the act of writing them down could counteract night-time difficulties with falling asleep.”

The study, which was published in January in the American Psychological Association’s Journal of Experimental Psychology, was conducted on 57 healthy university students, aged 18 to 30. The subjects were split into two groups, with one group instructed to write a to-do list for the next few days, and the other group, a list of tasks they had completed over the previous few days.

Both groups were given five minutes to make their lists and were instructed to sleep at 10.30pm. As the subjects slept overnight in the controlled sleep laboratory, researchers monitored their electrical brain activity using electrodes. The results revealed that the students who wrote to-do lists fell asleep significantly faster than those who wrote about their completed activities. Interestingly, the more detailed the to-do list, the faster the subjects fell asleep.

“The take-home message from the study is that writing works,” says Scullin, who is also an assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience. “Writing might reduce worry because, once they have a list on paper, people don’t feel that they have to rely on their brains to remember what needs to be done.

Another idea is that people are worried about these tasks, but as they begin to write them down, they realise that they will be able to get everything done and will therefore stop worrying about it.”

He says there is another theory, that any task that is unfinished will rest at a heightened level of cognitive activation in your brain. “Perhaps writing down the task is akin to mentally checking off items, thereby reducing cognitive activation.”

Hongkonger Carrie Chan relies on detailed to-do lists to stay on top of her work and personal tasks. She says that her lists are a means for her to clear her mind and “offload” her worries.

“I divide a Post-it note into four quadrants, each one dedicated to specific tasks related to my job, my professional networking, my volunteer work, and my personal aspirations,” says the 42-year-old. “I always aim to accomplish these tasks within 24 to 48 hours. If I don’t manage to complete a task within 48 hours, I’ll move it to the next Post-it note.

“The same goes for tasks I need to follow up on. If something’s a priority, I’ll underline it or draw a star next to it. And, when I complete a task, I’ll cross it off immediately.”

Long working hours and digital devices blamed as more than 2 million Hongkongers suffer from insomnia

Chan, who works in property development project management, says that if she didn’t have a to-do list, her mind wouldn’t be able to stop thinking about, or trying to recall, specific, urgent or last-minute tasks. As a result, she would find it impossible to focus on anything else during the day or relax enough to be able to fall asleep at night.

“Before leaving the office at the end of a work day, I’ll write down the tasks that need to be done the next day, and I don’t think about them until I’m back at work the next morning,” she explains. “Just that simple act of writing a list alleviates my anxiety, which in turn makes for a better night’s sleep.”

If your to-do list is made up of big, seemingly insurmountable tasks that make you feel overwhelmed just thinking about them, it might help to break each one up into smaller, more specific goals or tasks that you can easily tackle every day.

Instead of having “clean the flat” as one massive task to complete in one day, you may want to try cleaning just one room every day until your entire flat is clean. This idea is based on what Gestalt psychology calls the Zeigarnik Effect, that people remember uncompleted or interrupted tasks better than completed tasks.

Why stressed Hongkongers should take a hike, not a pill, and let nature heal them

Every time you complete a mini-goal, you’ll feel a rush of pleasure and satisfaction, which will motivate you to repeat the process all over again the next day. With less daunting to-dos on your list and a greater desire to see them through, you’ll have less anxiety on the brain and feel more relaxed – just what you need to help you drift off to dreamland.



Source link

read more
1 229 230 231 232 233
Page 231 of 233