FATAL RAYA RUSH: (Nov 24) Despite numerous warnings on road safety from the Government and enforcement units, lives are still being lost in road accidents throughout the nation during the Hari Raya festive period. Federal traffic police chief Senior Asst Comm II Koh Hong Sun lamented the total of 48 fatalities in the first three days of Ops Sikap V, which began on Thursday.
MOTORISTS WARNED: (Nov 28) Banning errant motorists from driving up to five years and imposing higher fines will be considered as ways to teach such road users a lesson in safe driving, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said.
TEENS TAKING RISK: (Nov 25) More than half of Malaysian teenagers would have sex with their new partner within the first three months of meeting, according to the 2003 Durex Global Sex Survey. The survey said one in four would even do it with a new partner on the first night or within the first week and one in five would wait until their wedding night. The survey was compiled from 5,645 Malaysians who responded, with 90% of them between the ages of 16 and 34.
ROCKFALL AT NKVE: (Nov 27) Motorists returning to the Klang Valley from Hari Raya holidays will have to put up with numerous diversions for up to two weeks after a major rockslide on Wednesday left an 8km-stretch of the New Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE) near the Bukit Lanjan interchange impassable. Thousands of tonnes of boulders and soil crashed onto the expressway forcing the closure of the busy Damansara-Sungai Buloh stretch of the expressway.
REHAB HOSPITAL: (Nov 27) Non-governmental organisations and specialists have welcomed the setting up of the first rehabilitative hospital as a positive move. National Stroke Association of Malaysia (Nasam) chairman Janet Yeo said the hospital would fill the gap between a stroke patient leaving the hospital and seeking help at a Nasam centre.
IMPROVE SERVICE: (Nov 28) A furious Datuk Seri Aseh Che Mat, who made a surprise visit to the Immigration Department headquarters, ordered the staff to process all applications coming in and not limit the number of customers served. Aseh, who is the Home Ministry secretary-general, said this was a measure taken to ease the crowd as it was anticipated that more people would be at the department these few days.
ALOR STAR CITY: (Nov 29) Alor Star, one of the region's oldest towns with a colourful past spanning 268 years, has been officially made a city – the ninth in the country. The proclamation ceremony to declare the Kedah capital a city is scheduled on Dec 21 at Dataran Tunku, Alor Star.
FOREIGNRIDING A MERCEDES: (Nov 24) For many car-mad Iranians, having a drive in a Mercedes is something of a dream come true. And now thousands from all social classes will have the chance, although getting a space in the luxury car will require being dead. According to the city's official Hamshahri newspaper, the sprawling city's main cemetery has recently purchased a fleet of 40 Mercedes hearses at the cost of 14bil rials (RM6.3mil).
REFERENDUM GETS THE NOD: (Nov 28) Lawmakers passed a historic proposal giving Taiwan the power to hold an independence vote if China uses force to try to make the island unify with the mainland. The passage of the “defensive referendum” article with a 108-82 vote was a major show of defiance to Beijing, which has warned the island that such moves could lead to a devastating war. Beijing insists that self-ruled, democratic Taiwan – 160km off the mainland's coast – is part of China's territory.
DON'T LEGALISE: (Nov 28) Thai prostitutes and academics told a public forum that they strongly opposed legalising the nation's sex industry, arguing it would increase child exploitation and lure more women to the trade. Weerada Somsawasdi from the women's studies unit of Chiang Mai University said the experience of western countries that had decriminalised prostitution showed that trafficking in humans destined to be sold into the sex trade had exploded as a result. Child prostitutes increased three-fold in these countries, she said.
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