Selasa, 22 April 2014

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The Star Online: Nation

Japanese oil tanker robbed, three crew believed kidnapped in dramatic dawn raid

Posted: 22 Apr 2014 09:29 AM PDT

PETALING JAYA: A Japanese oil tanker carrying five million litres of diesel was allegedly robbed and three of its crew are believed kidnapped in the Straits of Malacca early Tuesday morning.

Port Klang Marine Police commander DSP Norzaid Muhammad Said said the ship was sailing 16 nautical miles off Pulau Ketam, on its way to Myanmar, when it was boarded by several armed thieves.

"The incident occurred at about 1am and it was only realised by the crew members when they saw about five or six men armed with a pistol and a parang aboard the ship.

"All of the victims were tied and locked in a room," he said.

Two tankers then approached the ship and three million litres of diesel were pumped out.

"They fled about five or six hours later," he said.

DSP Norzaid added that the crews managed to free themselves several hours after the incident and upon doing a headcount, they realised that three of their Indonesian crew were missing.

"The crew members comprised Indonesian, Thai, Myanmar and Indian nationals. But the Indonesians were nowhere in sight.

"We suspect that they have been kidnapped by the suspects.

"The ship has now has been anchored and we are investigating the case," he said.

Autism hub to be ready by May 2015

Posted: 22 Apr 2014 09:00 AM PDT

PUTRAJAYA: The first National Centre of Excellence for Autism, scheduled to be fully operational in Kuala Lumpur by May next year, is set to change the landscape of special education in Malaysia.

Also known as the Permata Kurnia project, the centre will provide early intervention and early childhood special education to 300 children with autism aged between two and six years old. This would be the first-ever project for children with disabilities to be fully funded by the Government, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

"It will also be the first-ever project where a multidisciplinary team, consisting of early educators, speech therapists and occupational therapists, work together to provide a holistic service to children with autism.

"This project will serve as a benchmark in implementing autism service-provision best practices which we hope will be a model for future centres," Najib said in his opening speech at the International Seminar on Autism Malaysia 2014 here yesterday.

He said the profound impact of the developmental disorder on families and nations was great as the number of autism cases had been rising at an alarming rate.

From three to four cases for every 10,000 births, the prevalence of autism in advanced nations was now one for every 68 births, said Najib.

Various researches have also highlighted the importance of early intervention for children with autism, with one suggesting that the cost of providing lifelong support would triple for every child who has not learn to be independent during the formal schooling years.

"It is important to note that Malaysia aims to become a fully developed nation by the year 2020 and to achieve this aim, one of the objectives that we have agreed is to ensure inclusive education, whereby children with disabilities shall receive education in the same manner as their typically developing peers.

"With proper infrastructure, the right curriculum and trained teachers, children with autism along with their peers will be an asset to the nation and their families in the future," Najib said.

Inclusive education is also part of the United Nations' Declaration on the Rights of Children and Declaration on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Both have been ratified by Malaysia.

The two-day international seminar on autism here was attended by more than 1,000 participants from over 30 countries, including dignitaries such as the first ladies from Sudan, Sri Lanka, Albania and Morocco.

Also present were Najib's wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, who is patron of both the seminar and the Permata programme, as well as Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and his wife Puan Sri Noorainee Abdul Rahman.

Earlier in the opening ceremony, autistic pianist Clarence Kang wowed the crowd with his self-taught skills in playing the musical instrument.

According to a blog post written by his mother, Kang, 16, was already capable of reading difficult musical scores by the time he started formal musical training in 2008, a feat which a regular student may take years to achieve.

Kang's extraordinary talent attracted requests for his performances as well as media attention, including a feature article on his success published in The Star on July 27, 2011.

Rosmah: Sharing intervention approaches key to helping autistics

Posted: 22 Apr 2014 09:00 AM PDT

PUTRAJAYA: Educators and medical practitioners need to learn, understand, practise and share intervention approaches that will enable individuals with autism to best cope, thrive and excel in their lives.

The Prime Minister's wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, added that parents of children with autism must be empowered to encourage them to achieve their fullest potential.

Delivering her welcome remarks at the International Seminar On Autism Malaysia 2014, Rosmah said low rates of prevalence of autism reported in the third and developing countries could be due to ignorance or lack of awareness.

"It is estimated that the prevalence rate of autism in Europe and the United States is currently 1% of the population.

"Researchers found that more than one in three adults having Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have no opportunity to further their education or being employed for the first six years after high school," said Rosmah, who is the patron of the seminar.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak opened the two-day event. Also present were his deputy Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and wife Datin Seri Noorainee Abdul Rahman.

Rosmah said the seminar was designed to include topics ranging from the epidemiology of autism, service provision, early detection and diagnosis, state-of-the-art intervention as well as best practices in public health for ASD.

Rosmah expressed her gratitude to the First Ladies of Sudan, Sri Lanka, Kyrgyz Republic, Albania and Morocco for taking time to attend the seminar and share their experience on autism in a special slot called "Voices of First Ladies".


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