Ahad, 3 November 2013

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Malaysia hit hard by dengue virus


PETALING JAYA: The country saw the highest number of dengue cases in a single week this year with 1,680 cases recorded from Oct 20 to 26, with Selangor bearing the brunt of the assault by the Aedes mosquito.

Selangor had the largest increase with 1,142 cases, up by 272 cases from the previous week.

From Jan 1 to Oct 26, a total of 28,707 cases has been recorded, which represents a 58% increase compared to the corresponding period last year, said the Health Ministry in a statement on Friday.

The Health Ministry is concerned as the weekly cases this year, at more than 900, is more than twice of last year's weekly average of 400.

The analysis for Selangor (up to June) noted that it hosted 323 of the 408 dengue hotspots nationwide, with 26 high risk areas found in the Petaling district, 19 in Hulu Langat, eight in Gombak and one in Sepang.

The rest of the outbreak areas were located primarily in Johor (37) and Kuala Lumpur-Putrajaya (16), with the rest spread out over the other remaining states.

Johor saw 167 cases of dengue last week, while Perak had 64.

Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya remained steady over the last two weeks with 60 cases.

The good news is that Malacca (71, compared to 92) and Kelantan (33 compared to 38) are some states that had fewer cases last week than the previous one.

The cumulative mortality from dengue so far is 60, up from 29 for the same period last year.

In the statement, Health Ministry deputy director for public health Datuk Dr Lokman Hakim Sulaiman urged Malaysians to cooperate with relevant agencies to destroy mosquito breeding areas.

Zulkifeli: No secrets leaked


KUANTAN: Armed Forces chief Jen Tan Sri Zulkifeli Mohd Zin said there could not be any leak of national security information into other hands.

Although there have been inter-countries exercises conducted bet­ween the Malaysian army and that of other countries, he said the country's top secrets could not have been leaked out in any way.

"We have specific measures to determine and ensure that our secrets will not be leaked or fall into other hands," he said after closing the Setia Padu joint exercise which involved various national security and rescue agencies in Gebeng here on Friday.

He was asked to comment on reports that the Australian High Commission office in Malaysia was said to be among those that were used by the United States as a centre of secret electronic data.

According to Australian news agency Fairfax, other such centres were in Jakarta, Bangkok, Hanoi, Beijing, Timor Leste and Papua New Guinea.

However, Jen Zulkifeli said their job of ensuring there was no leakage of national security information had become tougher due to the advent of sophisticated electronic devices and Internet communication technology.

Cops nab two employees a few hours after Setapak robbery


KUALA LUMPUR: Two staff members of the security company that hired the rogue guard who robbed a jewellery store in Setapak has been detained by the police for questioning.

City CID director Datuk Ku Chin Wah said the two men, age 26 and 51, were detained in Shah Alam and Sentul respectively on Thursday night, a few hours after the robbery.

"They will be remanded until Nov 8," he said.

Police picked up the 26-year-old, who is the guard's friend at around 9pm in his Shah Alam house.

The 51-year-old who is believed to be the suspect's supervisor was picked up soon afterwards.

During the robbery, the suspect, who was identified as Hikman Jacob from Kampung Bingkor, Sabah, threatened employees with a pistol while they were opening the jewellery shop at around 9.30am on Thursday.

He later escaped with a tray of 100 necklaces of a yet unknown amount. He had reportedly only been working for the jewellery store for two months.

City deputy police chief SAC Datuk Amar Singh said the suspect used a fake MyKad.

Meanwhile, the management of the security firm declined to comment when contacted yesterday,

According to the Security Services Association of Malaysia's (SSAM) website, a former Inspector-General of Police is one of the directors of the firm.

Deputy Home Minister Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the ministry was also investigating how the suspect was employed.

However, he said the ministry wants to investigate the matter first before action can be taken against the firm.

"I am looking at how to strengthen the procedure, vetting recruitment and guidelines on the background of individuals to be engaged as security guards," he said.

Branch manager Robert Lourdusamy said despite repeated requests, the suspect had never produced his identification card.

"(On Wednesday) he showed me a copy of his IC. It looked exactly like any other IC, but it was soft and felt as if it was a piece of cardboard.

"I told him that he would have to show his original IC today (Thursday) as we had to make him a punch card," he said.

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