Selasa, 18 Februari 2014

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The Star Online: Nation

Talks on boosting trade in southern Philippines

Posted: 17 Feb 2014 08:00 AM PST

PUTRAJAYA: Boosting the economy in southern Philippines will be among the main topics of discussion between Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Philippines President Benigno Aquino next week.

The leaders are expected to exchange ideas to boost trade activities in the region.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said both leaders would want to see how investment could be increased in the region especially after the signing of the peace agreement between the Philippine government and that Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

"Besides boosting the economy, the other main topic will be the illegal immigrant issue in Sabah," he told newsmen after receiving a courtesy call from his Australian counterpart Julie Bishop at Wisma Putra here yesterday.

Anifah was asked to comment on the matters to be discussed by the Prime Minister and Aquino, who is scheduled to arrive in Malaysia on Feb 27 for a two-day visit.

He said Aquino was expected to extend an official invitation to Najib to attend the signing ceremony in Manila.

"Malaysia is very happy with the progress of the negotiations and we hope there will be lasting peace in the southern Philippine which will be good for all," he said.

The Star reported yesterday that the final agreement of the Malaysia-brokered peace deal was ready.

The Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) is expected to be signed by the Philippine government and the MILF later this month or in March with Malaysia being the official witness at the ceremony.

On a recent report of three Chinese navy ships patrolling James Shoal, an area located 80km from Bintulu, Sarawak, Anifah said he had not received any information on the matter.

"Nevertheless, any intrusion into our waters will not get a good response from us.

"We have not sent any diplomatic note to China on the matter because, as I've said, there is no confirmation," he said.

Bishop, meanwhile, said Australia would continue to cooperate with Malaysia in tackling the issue of human trafficking and finding ways to stop it.

Congratulating Malaysia for being selected to host the Asean Summit in 2015, she said the regional grouping had played an important role to overcome various issues such as the sovereignty disputes in the South China Sea and other matters.

Syabas water tankers hijacked

Posted: 17 Feb 2014 08:00 AM PST

KUALA LUMPUR: As the water cut in Balakong, Selangor reached Day Seven, things were turning ugly with foreign residents hijacking Syabas water tankers during its rounds to distribute water.

Syabas corporate communications assistant general manager Priscilla Alfred confirmed that at 7pm on Friday, their tanker WNP 9067 was sending water to Block J and K at the apartments in Taman Setia Balakong when a resident from another block started brandishing a switchblade.

"He was not happy that our tanker did not stop at his place. At that time, the tanker was heading to Block J and K before going to Block H and I.

"However, the residents' committee managed to intervene to help ease the tension," she said, adding that a police report had been lodged.

Balakong assemblyman Eddie Ng told The Star that the residents in the area had claimed of other violent encounters with foreigners and Syabas tankers.

"I was told by the residents that on some occasions, the tankers would be ambushed by foreigners with parang.

"They would threaten the driver and ask them to go to their residence first to distribute the water."

Residents around Taman Impian Ehsan said they had been without regular water supply for more than a week and squabbles among those who "fought" for water from the tankers had become a daily affair.

In Kluang, Johor, Syarikat Air Johor Holdings (SAJ) Sdn Bhd said a factory owner used sandbags and even dug a water channel to redirect water from a river in Sembrong Timur to his oil palm plantation, causing a drop in water levels in a water treatment plant there.

Following a sudden drop in water levels on Feb 12, the company investigated the matter and found the diversion point about 3km from the plant.

Officials then removed the sandbags, but the owner instructed his workers to rebuild the barge the following day.

When the officials went back again several days ago, the owner scolded and prevented them from removing the barrier.

The company's corporate communications manager Jamaluddin Jamil confirmed the incident, saying that the barrier had caused water levels at the plant to drop from 0.4m to 0.2m.

"Anything below 0.2m is considered critical.

"This could cause problems with the water directed to about 10,000 consumers around the area," he said.

Subra: Dengue outbreak a tough fight

Posted: 17 Feb 2014 08:00 AM PST

PETALING JAYA: The Health Ministry says it is facing a tough fight against dengue due to the aggressiveness of the disease.

"What we are seeing now is something very different from before, in terms of numbers and also the aggressiveness of the disease, and the aggressiveness on chance of mortality," said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam in an interview that was aired in Al-Jazeera yesterday.

He added that the effective management of the outbreak revolved around control as there was no effective treatment for dengue.

"This is unfortunate, as we don't have a vaccine; we don't have an effective anti-viral treatment for it.

"The entire management of dengue revolves around control," said Subramaniam.

MIC Depety President and Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr.S.Subramaniam.(22/08/2013/S.S.KANESAN/The Star)

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam

The Star recently reported that the current surge of dengue cases was the result of a change in variation of the dengue virus. It was reported that there was usually an outbreak whenever there was a change in the dengue virus serotype as fewer people would be immune to the serotype after the change.

The current serotype DEN-2, which was discovered some time mid-last year, is more virulent.

Dengue infections are caused by four closely related viruses, namely serotypes DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3 and DEN-4.

Deaths from dengue fever have nearly tripled this year. It was reported that 10,712 cases and 19 deaths had been reported up to Feb 6 compared to 2,836 cases and eight deaths over the same period last year.

Based on previous reports, Malaysia experienced its worst dengue outbreak in 2008 with 49,225 cases, while the highest death toll was in 2010 with 134 fatalities from 45,901 reported dengue cases.

The figures dropped in 2011 until last year when it began to increase again.

In Kuantan, Pahang health department director Datuk Dr Norhizan Ismail said the state recorded an upswing in dengue cases this year.

Until Feb 16, the number of cases were 165, an increase by 74 cases when compared to the same time period last year.

"Kuantan has the highest number with 104 cases, followed by Jerantut (15cases), Temerloh (14), Maran (10), Raub (six), Pekan (five), Bentong (three) and Rompin, Bera, Lipis and Cameron Highlands at two each," he said in a statement yesterday.

Dr Norhizan said there were currently three active outbreak localities. They were Taman Balok Makmur in Kuantan; Taman Seri Kemuning in Temerloh and Felda Klau 1 in Raub.


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