Anti-terror Plan: (Jan 14) Parliamentarians from 23 Asia-Pacific countries, including the United States, unanimously backed Malaysia’s stand that a multilateral approach be used to combat terrorism. A great majority of the Parliamentarians also supported Malaysia’s position that the United Nations should take the lead in the anti-terrorism war. More than 150 delegates attended the three-day 11th Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum annual meeting.
Fatal Fire: (Jan 12) Five primary pupils of SK Iban Union in Ulu Balingian, Mukah Division in central Sarawak, perished in a hostel fire. The victims, two boys and three girls, were believed to be all Ibans. Thirty other pupils managed to escape from the fire, which was discovered by the school warden. This is the worst school hostel fire in Sarawak after the 1996 tragedy at SRK Abang Moh in Saratok, which claimed the lives of 14 primary pupils and injured several others.