Jumaat, 22 November 2013

The Star Online: Nation

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The Star Online: Nation

Mercy Malaysia lends a helping hand


KOTA KINABALU: Medical services at a central Philippines city devastated by Typhoon Haiyan are slowly returning to normal, thanks to the Malaysian Medical Relief Society (Mercy Malaysia).

The NGO has deployed a field hospital within the grounds of the severely damaged Ormoc District Hospital.

Mercy team member Dr Cheah Phee Kheng (pic) said the field hospital was functioning as an outpatient department as well as a temporary emergency department while the original hospital was being repaired.

He said all that was left of the 100-bed Ormoc hospital after the typhoon, which struck on Nov 7, was its emergency unit.

Despite that, patients from more devastated areas such as Tacloban city, which is about 100km away, have been coming to Ormoc for medical treatment.

"All the wards, including the operating theatre, delivery suites and neonatal intensive care units, were destroyed.

"The only department that could function was the emergency department, which became the centre of all activities.

"Patients were placed along the corridors and hospital lobby," Dr Cheah said, adding that Mercy had deployed four doctors who had so far treated more than 250 patients.

He said some very ill patients from the interior areas arrived at the hospital by tricycle.

Mercy vice-president Norazam Samah said the NGO would also help in the reconstruction of the Ormoc hospital, beginning with the replacement of the roof.

"As it is a double-storey building, water collects on the second floor and leaks when it rains heavily," said Norazam, an architect by profession.

Mercy would also be involved in rebuilding the male, female and paediatric wards.

Donations can be channelled to the Mercy Humanitarian Fund, MBB 562179504126 Swift Code: MBBEMYKLA. Mercy Malaysia can be contacted at 03-2273-3999. For online donations, visit www.mercy.org.my.

Meanwhile, World Vision has set up its first "Child Friendly Space" (CFS) in Tabugon, a remote community of northern Cebu, to give children who survived Typhoon Haiyan much-needed emotional support and a safe area to play and learn.

Those who wish to help either by sponsoring a child via World Vision's International Child Sponsorship Programme or donating to the typhoon survivors can contact World Vision Malaysia at 03-7880-6414.

Cheques can be mailed to World Vision Malaysia Bhd, PO Box 8171, Kelana Jaya, 46783 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

Kindly indicate "Haiyan" behind each cheque.

Flying in K-pop artistes justified


KUALA LUMPUR: The expenditure to fly in the K-Pop artistes for the National Youth Festival last year was found justified by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

The contentious issue was finally laid to rest when the explanation by former Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek was accepted by the bi-partisan committee.

Ahmad Shabery, who spent three hours with the PAC committee, said the ministry had merely made advance booking and commitment payments of RM900,000 for the three K-Pop groups, and not RM1.6mil as reported.

"The remaining expenditure was for items such as accommodation, flight tickets, transport including entertainment taxes and working permits for the groups," he added.

The 2012 Auditor-General's Report revealed that the Government paid RM1.6mil to bring in the South Korean groups, contrary to an earlier claim that private companies had sponsored the show.

The three K-Pop groups are U-Kiss, Teen-Top and Dal Shabet.

Ahmad Shabery yesterday said the cost of bringing in the K-Pop artistes came from RM2.3mil in private cash contribution to the ministry for the National Youth Festival.

"The contributions were made in instalments, and as such, the ministry had to make the payments first.

"However, every transaction is accounted for," he added.

Ahmad Shabery added, "I explained to them that we need to look at the outcome or returns derived from the festival as a whole."

Public Accounts Committee chairman Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said, "We do not intend to call Ahmad Shabery in again as his explanation was comprehensive.

"We have found no discrepancy or wrongdoing involved in the organisation of the K-Pop performance, or of Hari Belia as a whole."

He said this at a press conference after the PAC meeting at Parliament yesterday.

We never made such a proposal, claims Miros on lifespan cap of cars


PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research Malaysia (Miros) had never recommended or proposed that cars older than 12 years old be scrapped.

Its director-general Dr Wong Shaw Voon clarified that he had never called on the Road Transport Department to put mea­sures in place to enforce the policy or made any other similar comments as wrongly implied.

"What I did say was a sizeable number of cars, which are more than 12 years old, are likely to have less effective safety features to protect occupants from death and injury in the event of a crash. This risk can be reduced if the car has been carefully used and properly maintained according to the manufacturers' maintenance sche­dule," he said.

Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi was previously quoted as saying that the Road Transport Department would decide soon on a policy to impose a lifespan on cars.

Dr Wong said that in a crash, older cars would provide less protection than newer cars.

"This does not mean that old cars are necessarily the cause of accidents or are not roadworthy," he said.

"However, from an engineering perspective, cars older than 12 years old would be subject to various possible higher risks, including degraded structural integrity, and may thus not provide the best protection to their occupants from fatality and injury in a crash."

He added that the Miros' views, as an agency specialising in the research of road safety, were purely from the technical standpoint.

"We are well aware that before any findings can materialise into policy, its social and economic impacts must first be seriously consi­dered as asserted by the Transport Ministry," he said.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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