No threat from China virus outbreak

  • Letters
  • Thursday, 13 Feb 2003

From the Chinese Press

THE Health Ministry has assured Malaysians that the virus outbreak in southern China poses no health hazard to neighbouring countries including Malaysia. 

Disease control unit director Dr Shafie Ooyub told Nanyang Siang Pau that Malaysians should not be unduly concerned at this stage because the World Health Organisation had not issued any emergency notice to countries in the region over the outbreak in China. 

Dr Shafie was commenting on news reports that an unidentified virus that caused pneumonia had killed five people and left 300 hospitalised in southern China.  

Rumours of the outbreak has prompted frightened residents to stock up on antibiotics. 

He said the Health Ministry had to ascertain the type of virus that caused pneumonia before any preventive measures could be taken, the daily reported. 

  • THE Chinese education movement Dong Jiao Zong has urged the Education Ministry to disclose more about the functions, objectives and other details of the proposed Teachers Council. 

    In an interview with Sin Chew Daily, Dong Zong president Quek Suan Hiang said teachers had always come underthe purview of the Education Ministry and that the ministry’s move to set up the council had given the impression that its system had gone wrong somewhere. 

    Quek said the ministry should disclose full details relating to the setting up of the council so that the public could understand what the council was all about. 

    He said the movement did not simply oppose changes for the sake of opposing, stressing that changes should only be made after a conscientious research and study. 

  • THE National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) said the number of teachers should be increased from the present 300,000 to 450,000 should the “one session school policy” be implemented nationwide. 

    NUTP secretary-general Datuk N. Siva Subramaniam said the full implementation of the policy in 2008 required not only more teachers but also more classrooms, Sin Chew Daily reported. 

    The NUTP would oppose the policy should it create excessive workload for teachers, he said. 

  • EDUCATION Minister Tan Sri Musa Mohamad has volunteered to act as the mediator between the Government and contractors of school projects who have not been paid for work done. 

    The Chinese press quoted the minister as saying that he was prepared to help the unpaid contractors claim their money. 

    Musa said he was aware that about 10% of the contractors were still awaiting payment for work completed more than three years ago.  

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