CRACKDOWN STARTS: (Feb 28) The nationwide crackdown on illegal foreign workers has begun. The operation, codenamed Ops Tegas, involves some 25,000 Rela members, 680 immigration officers and 5,000 Rukun Tetangga members who will be deployed to flush out the 400,000 illegal immigrants still in the country.
11,000 A DAY: (Feb 27) Indonesia will process as many as 11,000 work permits per day at the 11 processing centres in Indonesia for its illegal workers who are heading back to Malaysia for re-employment.
PAK LAH'S CONCERN: (March 3) Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi took to the skies in a helicopter to see for himself the land degradation around the controversial Bukit Cahaya Seri Alam Agriculture Park in Shah Alam. He declared a series of measures to save and protect the country’s environment that he said was the nation’s heritage. He said the state authorities would be directed to buy back land left idle by private developers.
BLUE SKIES: (Feb 27) The air quality in the Klang Valley improved to moderate levels and visibility in most places returned to the normal level of more than 10km, thanks to a downpour last Sunday. Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting said 95% of the fires that had flared up in six states last week had been doused.
DIESEL PRICE UP: (Feb 28) The price of diesel will go up by five sen per litre to 88.1 sen from Tuesday. The Government raised the price because of skyrocketing crude oil prices and also to reduce its subsidy burden.
RM40MIL FOR THALASSAEMIA: (March 3) The Government will spend more than RM40mil to treat thalassaemia patients in the country, estimated to number between 600,000 and one million.
HELP FOR SCIENTISTS: (March 4) All scientists can now apply for financial aid to patent their inventions. Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jamaluddin Mohd Jarjis said scientists involved in R&D work in or outside the country could apply to have their inventions copyrighted.
BUDGET TERMINAL: (Feb 26) The RM110mil terminal for budget airlines at the KL International Airport is expected to be fully operational by next year.
KEEP DRILLING: (Feb 28) Petroleum giant Shell, which has been awarded the concession by Malaysia to drill for oil and gas in the Sulawesi Sea, should go ahead with exploratory works despite a protest lodged by Indonesia.
LIFELONG LEARNING: (March 1) The MCA’s Lifelong Learning campaign will help Malaysians erase its “Third World mentality”, said party president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting.
CHIN PENG WANTS TO COME BACK: (March 4) Former Communist Party of Malaya secretary-general Chin Peng, 81, is seeking a court declaration that he and his followers be allowed to return to Malaysia.
TUNG CHEE-HWA RESIGNS: (March 2) Hong Kong's chief executive Tung Chee-hwa, whose unpopular leadership led to pro-democracy protests in the territory, has resigned, sources close to the government and Beijing said.
ONLY 30 MONTHS: (March 3) A court sentenced militant religious leader Abubakar Ba'asyir to 30 months in prison for conspiracy in the 2002 Bali bombings, but cleared him of more serious terror charges.
GET OUT, BUSH TELLS SYRIA: (March 3) President George W. Bush demanded bluntly that Syria get out of Lebanon.
ANTI-TOBACCO TREATY: (Feb 27) A global anti-tobacco treaty came into force but a leading expert said it needs strengthening fast. Dr Derek Yach, the World Health Organisation's former anti-tobacco chief who oversaw the drafting of the treaty, hailed the accord known as the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control as a first step.
POPE RECOVERING: (Feb 28) Pope John Paul II's health “continues to be good”, he is eating regularly and has begun rehabilitation for his breathing and speech following a throat operation, said Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls.
SUPERSTAR TRIAL: (March 1) A prosecutor laid out the child molestation and conspiracy case against Michael Jackson, saying his accuser, identified for the first time in court as Gavin Arviso, now 15, was abused and that Jackson's employees had tried to silence him and his family by warning that his mother could be killed.
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