The week that was.....


  • Nation
  • Sunday, 01 May 2005

Compiled by SHANTINI SUNTHARAJAH (From April 24 -30)

AGREEMENT AT LAST: (April 24) Malaysia and Singapore signed a Settlement Agreement on Tuesday, bringing an end to the dispute over the republic's land reclamation in the Straits of Johor. 

 

MULTILINGUAL MALAYSIA: (April 25) Chinese and Tamil languages will be included in the formal curriculum of all national primary schools in a move to make them the school of choice among all Malaysians. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the non-compulsory language classes will be offered within the formal timetable.  

 

MINIMUM AGE: (April 23) The minimum age for motorcyclists to obtain a licence will be raised from 16 to 17. A merit-based system will also be introduced soon.  

 

GRAFT WAR: (April 29) Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said he would not take the populist approach in making more arrests just so that he would be seen as doing something about graft. Recognising that the fight against corruption was highly complex, Abdullah said he had employed a two-prong strategy of punitive and preventive action. 

 

DIESEL TASKFORCE: (April 28) A multi-agency taskforce will be set up to crack down on diesel smuggling and fraudulent sale of the subsidised fuel to parties not entitled to it. The agencies include the Police, Road Transport, Customs and Immigration. 

 

BIOTECH BOOST: (April 28) Malaysia unveiled a national policy to give impetus to its biotechnology sector, providing tax breaks to attract private investments and setting up the Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation.  

 

MINISTRY APPROVAL: (April 30) From next year, all products and equipment touted to improve health or treat ailments will require the Health Ministry's approval before such claims can be made. Health Minister Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek said his ministry was presently drafting legislation to regulate medical and health promoting equipment and products flooding the market.  

 

‘TAK NAK’ REVIEW: (April 26) The Government will review the anti-smoking Tak Nak campaign following various complaints, including that it did not have direction. Health Minister Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek said there were also criticisms over the lack of counselling for those who had quit smoking during the campaign.  

 

PRESERVATION LAW: (April 25) The Selangor State Assembly passed an enactment to preserve Bukit Cahaya Seri Alam Agriculture Park as a state heritage site to protect the park from further destruction. The enactment will also prevent the land status from being converted for any other purpose.  

 

POMP AND PRAYERS: (April 23) Pope Benedict XVI was formally installed in a ceremony described by the Vatican as “a solemn liturgical rite of inauguration”.  

 

A380 FLIES: (April 27) The world's biggest airliner, the Airbus double-decker A380, soared effortlessly into the sky on one of the most eagerly awaited maiden flights since the supersonic Concorde took off in 1969.  

 

NEW CZECH LEADER: (April 25) Jiri Paroubek was appointed prime minister to replace Stanislav Gross, who resigned after weeks of political crisis sparked by a scandal over the financing of his luxury apartment.  

 

NEW GOVERNMENT: (April 23) Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi formed Italy's 60th government in as many years, naming a team of ministers closely resembling the one he led until stepping down days earlier in a power struggle with allies. After a meeting with President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, conservative Berlusconi read off the names of his new Cabinet in a move aimed at avoiding early elections.  

 

ASYLUM SEEKER: (April 24) Ousted Ecuador President Lucio Gutierrez left his country aboard a Brazilian air force plane, flying to asylum in Brazil four days after he was toppled following a week of massive street protests.  

 

PUTIN IN WEST BANK: (April 29) President Vladimir Putin became the first Russian leader to visit Palestinian territory, where he was expected to offer aid for chairman Mahmud Abbas' threadbare security forces. The trip followed negotiations in Israel – another historic first –and a two-day stop in Egypt.  

 

PREVENTING WAR: (April 29) Taiwan opposition leader Lien Chan and Chinese President Hu Jintao closed the book on decades of hostility with a simple handshake in the Great Hall of the People. The civil war enemies agreed in a two-hour meeting they described as frank and friendly to work to end enmity and avoid military conflict in the Taiwan Strait, one of Asia’s most dangerous flashpoints.  

 

DREAM ORDER: (APRIL 26) Boeing scored a big victory against European rival Airbus on Monday with a massive order from Air Canada worth up US$6bil (RM22.8bil), including 14 firm orders for the new 787 “Dreamliner.” This latest order means the 787 is essentially sold out through 2010.  

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