Compiled by C. ARUNO, RAHIMY RAHIM and R. ARAVINTHAN
MALAYSIAN Chinese have been urged to marry early and have children in a bid to make up for the falling birth rate, Sin Chew Daily reported.
The president of the Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia (Huazong) Tan Sri Goh Tian Chuan, who is also an assistant registrar of marriage, made the call when conducting his first marriage registration for two couples at the Federation of Chinese Associations Sabah on Saturday.
It was earlier reported that the birth rate of Malaysian Chinese fell to 1.4 babies per family in 2015 from 7.4 in 1957.
If the trend continues, the numbers of Chinese – the second largest ethnic group after the Malays in Malaysia – would drop to third place after the bumiputra and foreign migrant workers by 2030.
> The daily also reported that the leaf of pokok ketapang (Indian almond tree), which is commonly found in Malaysia, is selling like hot cakes on an online selling platform recently.
Traditionally thought to have a cooling effect when consumed, a seller on shopee.com.my managed to sell 6,100 packets (each containing 25 leaves) at RM2 each.
A reporter from the daily located dozens of such trees in Nibong Tebal and picked the leaves which had fallen at the foot of the trees for free.
He remarked on the ingenuity of the online seller for peddling something which could be obtained outdoors for free.
When interviewed, nearby residents said they would often brew tea using the leaves which were thought to help cure liver diseases.
Fish enthusiasts would sometimes fill their aquariums with leaves from pokok ketapang as they are believed to help sick fish recover.
Pokok ketapang, whose scientific name is terminalia catappa, is found mainly in the tropical regions of Asia, Africa and Australia and can grow up to 35m tall.
It is known by several other common names including country almond, Indian almond, sea almond and tropical almond.
The above articles are compiled from the vernacular newspapers (Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese and Tamil dailies). As such, stories are grouped according to the respective language/medium. Where a paragraph begins with a >, it denotes a separate news item.