Selasa, 4 Februari 2014

The Star Online: Nation

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The Star Online: Nation

Be proactive and reduce global cancer burden

Posted: 03 Feb 2014 08:00 AM PST

PETALING JAYA: With more people expected to be diagnosed with cancer in coming years, there is an urgent need for Malaysians to undergo screening and early diagnosis for successful treatment and improve their chances of survival.

According to the National Cancer Society of Malaysia, about 37,000 new cancer cases and 22,000 cancer deaths are reported yearly.

Its president Dr Saunthari Somasundram said screening was the most sustainable way to reduce the global cancer burden in the long term.

"Cancer screening and early diagnosis have a major impact on the survival rate of patients in most types of cancer, including the more prevalent ones such as breast, cervical, colorectal and lung.

"Appropriate screening and secondary preventive interventions promote more successful treatments," she said in her message for the World Cancer Day celebration today.

She said effective cancer prevention should begin at the national level, with a control plan responding to the country's cancer burden and risk factor prevalence.

Dr Saunthari said early screening reduced the incidence of deaths from cancer, adding that early detection would make treatment easier and more effective compared to when the cancer is diagnosed at an advanced stage.

"With the knowledge that more than a third of cancers are preventable and a third of cancers are curable if detected early and treated correctly, public education and screening should continue to be the key areas of focus in the years ahead," she added.

Dr Saunthari said there was also a need to address cancer challenges such as negative beliefs and attitudes and for new campaigns conducted via websites and social media to reinforce the importance of cancer screening and early detection.

She added that the government, communities, employers and the media should play their roles to challenge perceptions about cancer in a culture where people are empowered to access quality cancer prevention and care.

Highways jammed with returning city folk

Posted: 03 Feb 2014 08:00 AM PST

KUALA LUMPUR: Traffic heading to Kuala Lumpur on the North-South Expressway was slow and congested at certain stretches yesterday, as many people returned to the city after the Chinese New Year and Federal Territories Day holidays.

A spokesman of the Traffic Control Centre at Plus Expressways Berhad said the congestion occurred on the highway from Port Dickson heading towards the Seremban R&R area; before the Juru toll plaza heading to Tambun; from Kuala Kangsar to the Sungai Perak R&R and from Ipoh to Simpang Pulai.

There was also congestion from just before the entrance to the Menora Tunnel heading towards Ipoh; from Gopeng to Tapah; from Bidor to Slim River and from Rawang to Rawang Selatan.

A Malaysian Highway Authority spokesman reported slow traffic and congestion from Port Dickson heading towards Nilai; from the Juru toll plaza heading towards Bukit Tambun and from the Bentong and Gombak toll plazas heading to the city.

He also said several accidents along the highway also contributed to the traffic congestion.

More information can be obtained from the toll-free Plusline at 1800-88-0000, the toll-free MHA line at 1800-88-7752 or on or — Bernama

D-minus on student affairs

Posted: 03 Feb 2014 08:00 AM PST

PETALING JAYA: The majority of complaints received by the Educati­on Malaysia Global Services, the one-stop centre for international students, concern issues connected to their universities.

For instance, EMGS investigations showed that the primary reason for students having their documents delayed was either due to late renewal submissions by the institutions or their failure to even make the applications to the centre.

"The institutions collected the (students') passports early but didn't put in the renewal application, which must be done at least six weeks before the expiry of existing passes," said EMGS chief executive officer Yazid Abdul Hamid (pic).

"EMGS doesn't need the students' passports to process renewal applications," he said.

He told The Star that the centre only needed the passports when the renewal applications would be given support letters and were ready to be submitted to the Immigration Depa­rtment for passport endorsement and sticker pass issuance.

"There were also many cases where we could not find the student's renewal application in our systems," he added.

Yazid said the centre went thro­ugh 65 cases with Deputy Education Minister II P. Kamalanathan last Dec­ember and found almost 90% were attributable to the university's own issues.

He admitted that while there were some applications which were stuck within the EMGS system, it was due to irregularities or infringements, such as the universities applying for visa renewals for students who did not meet the approval requirements of a minimum 80% class attendance and 2.0 CGPA.

"In this case, we can either reject the application, request an explanation or ask the institution to appeal to the department of Higher Education."

Another serious infringement was renewal applications for different courses from what the student originally enrolled in.

"This means the student pass and visa was approved for a certain course but renewed for a different one."

EMGS started last year to promote Malaysia as a global education hub. It was also set up to gather data on the quality of higher education institutions, monitor foreign students and approve foreign students' application process.

Last year, EMGS processed 24,506 applications, a 6% increase from the 23,107 processed in 2012.

The Star revealed last year that thousands of illegal workers had entered the country posing as foreign students, aided by dishonest education centres and colleges working with human trafficking syndicates.

The higher learning institutes and centres would go so far as to falsify attendance records and progress reports for the Immigration Department. Universities also profit off foreign students by charging exorbitant visa prices, with some demanding up to RM1,000 for a processing fee, which costs a mere RM140 with EMGS.

Other universities charge up to RM2,000 for a medical check-up. EMGS does it for only RM250.


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