OUTBREAK: (Jan 22) Thirteen children and an adult from a Penan community died in a measles outbreak in the Bakun area in Sarawak. Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam said 66 measles cases had been recorded, with 14 deaths. The Sarawak Health Department has vaccinated some 700 Penans from Long Urun and surrounding settlements in Bakun since the measles outbreak.
TNB LIABLE: (Jan 26) Tenaga Nasional Berhad is liable under the law for the loss suffered by consumers due to the Jan 13 blackout, said Energy, Water and Communications Minister Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik.
RM1.4BIL SUIT: (Jan 28) RHB Capital Bhd and two of its subsidiary companies have filed a RM1.43bil suit against the group’s founder Tan Sri Rashid Hussain and five other former office bearers for several alleged breaches and negligence.
FAMILY MORTGAGE: (Jan 25) Housing mortgage payments will be stretched over two generations to lessen the burden on borrowers under a move being studied by the Government. Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting said the idea was conceived to make it easier for poor and hardcore poor families to buy low-cost houses or apartments.
MANGROVE MASTERPLAN: (Jan 25) A nationwide plan to protect and preserve the country’s mangroves and wetlands has been drafted and will be submitted to the Cabinet for approval.
INTAKE FROZEN: (Jan 26) The hiring of new foreign workers for all sectors, including domestic maids, has been frozen for at least three months because the Government wants to give priority to illegal workers who took advantage of the amnesty programme to come back through the proper channels.
SERVICE WITH A SMILE: (Jan 27) If you are a civil servant, please smile, be helpful and never be rude for you never know who will be watching you. The Culture, Arts and Heritage Ministry will soon send its officers to government departments and agencies to monitor the extent of civility and the practice of noble values in the civil service.
STOP THE FINES: (Jan 22) Projek Lebuhraya Utara Selatan (PLUS) has been told to stop imposing fines on motorists for taking longer than usual to complete their journey on the North-South Expressway.
STANDARD FORMAT: (Jan 27) Applicants for low-cost houses nationwide will be given marks in six categories under a standard format to determine their eligibility soon. Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting described the categorisation and weightage as “scientific and objective”.
RM500 FINE: (Jan 22) Local authorities, which fail to rid areas under its jurisdiction of aedes mosquito breeding grounds, will be slapped with a maximum RM500 fine.
VISA EXEMPTION: (Jan25) Asean nationals will be able to travel to all 10 Asean countries without a visa by the end of this year.
WORKERS’ REHAB CENTRE: (Jan 22) The Government will set up a rehabilitation centre for injured workers this year, catering to those with neck, back and limb injuries.
DEADLINE FOR FUNDS: (Jan 24) All funds for Malaysian tsunami victims, including those set up by the media, must be closed by Feb 1.
DEATH TOLL RISES: (Jan 25) The death toll from the Indian ocean tsunami continued its sickening rise with more than 280,000 people now presumed dead as bodies continued to be recovered one month after the catastrophe.
STRONG QUAKE: (Jan 24) A strong earthquake shook Sulawesi, damaging dozens of shops and homes and prompting thousands to flee for fear of a repeat of last month’s tsunami. The quake measured 6.2 on the Richter scale.
DISEASE SPREADING FASTER: (Jan 25) Vietnam warned that bird flu is spreading even faster this year than in last year’s disastrous Asian outbreak, while Thailand approved an emergency budget to fight the disease amid concern that the world is ill-prepared for an overdue pandemic.
RAIDS HALTED: (Jan 23) Indonesian troops have stopped launching attacks against separatist rebels in tsunami-hit Aceh so the government can pursue peace talks, the nation’s military chief said.
STAMPEDE KILLS 300: (Jan 25) As many as 300 Hindu pilgrims, including women and children, were crushed or burned to death in a stampede and subsequent fire near a temple in western India, the district’s top official said. Officials said a short-circuit might have sparked a fire in roadside stalls when nearly 300,000 people were on an annual pilgrimage to the popular Mandher Devi temple.
SNOWSTORM HAVOC: (Jan 23) A paralysing snowstorm swept out of the Midwest and spread across the north-eastern United States with winds gusting up to 80kph, leading to cancellations of hundreds of flights and stranding people at airports, shutting businesses early and keeping people indoors. Temperatures plunged to -26°C.
HOLOCAUST REMEMBERED: (Jan 27) Leaders from 30 countries gathered to remember the victims of the Holocaust on the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazis’ notorious Auschwitz death camp.
BLASTS MARK REPUBLIC DAY: (Jan 26) Indian soldiers shot dead 10 villagers in the volatile northeast, mistaking some of them for militants, as guerillas set off three bombs during Republic Day celebrations in the region.
FEES BENEFIT AXED: (Jan 22) Thousands of successful university applicants face a rude surprise after the Federal Government in Australia quietly axed the right of permanent residents to defer their university fees. The government has decreed that from Jan 1 permanent residents starting university must pay their charges up front.
SECRETS REVEALED: (Jan 22) Rains of liquid methane appear to regularly lash Saturn’s largest moon, forming pools, cutting river beds and rounding rocks – processes of erosion remarkably similar to those which also shape our planet, scientists said. The discoveries came from a European probe that landed on Titan a week ago.
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