Sabtu, 16 November 2013

The Star Online: Nation

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The Star Online: Nation

Semporna kidnap: 'Incident will dent tourism industry'


PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents has voiced concerns that tourism would be affected by the shocking shooting and abduction of Taiwanese tourists in Sabah.

MATTA deputy president Jeffri Sulaiman said the incident was a blow to the industry, especially since the Lahad Datu incursion earlier this year.

"Sabah is one of the states that draws the biggest income in the tourism industry," he told The Star. "In addition, travel agencies have been gearing up for Visit Malaysia Year (VMY) 2014."

Jeffri added that he hoped Chang An Wei, 58, the missing wife of deceased victim Hsu Li Min, 57, would be found soon.

Tourism and Culture Ministry corporate communications head Dr Amerjit Singh said he was shocked and saddened by the incident.

He expressed his condolences to the victims' next of kin, adding that the ministry was maintaining constant communication lines with the police in Sabah.

"They are doing a detailed investigation. Let them complete it first," he said.

The Government set up the Eastern Sabah Security Command on April 1 following the invasion by Sulu gunmen into Lahad Datu and Semporna districts, which resulted in the deaths of 10 Malaysian security personnel.

The agency is tasked with safeguarding security in waters off 10 coastal districts placed under the Eastern Sabah Security Zone.

The United States has issued travel advisories in the past, warning its citizens to exercise caution when travelling to the Sabah's east coast.

The US state department said there had been several abductions and incidents of piracy in the area since 2000, adding that the Abu Sayyaf group based in the Philippines was responsible for some of them.

Meanwhile, it was reported in Sinchew Daily that the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Malaysia might change its travel advisory against Sabah from "grey" to the "yellow" alert. "Yellow" is the second stage warning.

Earlier, when contacted, the office said it was keeping close tabs on the events unfolding in Sabah following the shooting of the tourist.

Its information division first secretary Minford Yu said they learnt of the incident from The Star's reports.

"We contacted the police as well as the Foreign Affairs Ministry," he said. "We have confirmed that the victims are two Taiwanese people."

Elderly woman dies after snatch thieves push her off motorbike


SEREMBAN: A 65-year-old woman was killed when she fell off a motorcycle that she was riding pillion on and hit her head against the road following an attempted snatch theft.

Jamariah Ahir (pic), who was on her way home to the PWD quarters in Jalan Tunku Kurshiah after work, was killed on the spot during the 4pm incident along Jalan Haji Said.

She worked as a cleaner at a bank here.

Norain Mohd Yusof, 23, who had fetched her mother at the bank earlier, suffered injuries to her limbs after being thrown off her motorcycle.

Witnesses said two men, also on a motorcycle, had attempted to snatch Jamariah's bag but she refused to let go, holding on tightly to her daughter.

The thief, who was riding pillion became angry and kicked the motorcycle, causing both the women to fall onto the road.

The thieves bolted when they saw other motorists coming to the victims' aid.

They also failed to take Jamariah's bag.

Jamariah's remains were taken to the Tuanku Ja'afar Hospital for post-mortem before being released to her family.

Seremban deputy OCPD DSP Baharudin Mustapha, who was at the scene, said police had classified the case under Section 302 of the Penal Code for murder.

The thieves were believed to have tailed the victims from Jamariah's workplace.

Miros: 12 years old and your car may put you at risk


MALACCA: Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research said vehicles of more than 12 years old are not roadworthy anymore and could pose risks to drivers.

Miros director-general Prof Dr Wong Shaw Voon said these vehicles were exposed to mechanical-related glitches and its safety net ability would have diminished in a crash.

"Most vehicles are manufactured to function to optimum between five and 12 years," he said.

"Many owners are unaware that after this time frame, the automobiles are exposed to mechanical risks," he said after a crash test at the Asean New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP) lab in Tiang Dua here yesterday.

Dr Wong and Road Safety Department director-general Datuk Dr Tam Weng Wah witnessed the crash test conducted on a car manufactured in 1990 at a speed of 64km per hour.

Dr Wong noted that a vehicle's road worthiness was also based on several other factors, including its design, frequency of usage, style of driving and maintenance schedule.

For instance, he said taxis had a maximum lifespan of five years due to heavy usage.

He said new vehicles with the latest technologies were made to avert serious impact upon collision, and this would reduce road fatalities.

"The other vital factor is that the vehicles should be maintained accordingly to avoid any mechanical malfunction," he added.


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