US is now the new epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic with active cases over 85,505 patients!


 Coronavirus death toll, infections and recoveries 

WHO Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) -Get the latest information from the World Health Organization about coronavirus.

Donald Trump again struggled to reassure a fearful nation on Thursday as it emerged the US now has the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the world. News that America had surpassed virus hotspots China and Italy with 82,404 cases of infection, according to a tracker run by Johns Hopkins University, broke as the president was holding a press conference at the White House.

His instinctive response was to question other countries’ statistics. “It’s a tribute to the amount of testing that we’re doing,” Trump told reporters. “We’re doing tremendous testing, and I’m sure you’re not able to tell what China is testing or not testing. I think that’s a little hard.”

Trump later spoke to the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, by telephone and had what he described on Twitter as a “very good conversation”. The two leaders discussed the coronavirus in “great detail”, adding that: “China has been through much & has developed a strong understanding of the Virus. We are working closely together. Much respect!”

 

 

China leads in coronavirus vaccine clinicals to combat Covid-19


The first clinical trial of the novel coronavirus vaccine in China has kicked off as volunteers taking part in the project started to share
their experience on social media, a Chinese newspaper reported on Saturday. China Daily/ANN

The first clinical trial of the novel coronavirus vaccine in China has kicked off as volunteers taking part in the project started to share their experience on social media, a Chinese newspaper reported on Saturday.

On Thursday, a female volunteer posted two pictures of her taking the vaccine shot as a part of the phase 1 clinical trial for recombinant novel coronavirus vaccine on China’s Twitter-like social media platform Sina Weibo, according to the Science and Technology Daily.

The clinical trial was filed in the Chinese Clinical Trial Registry on March 17.

According to its registration information, the trial is jointly sponsored by the Institute of Biotechnology, Academy of Military Medical Sciences, People’s Liberation Army and CanSino Biologics Inc based in Tianjin.

The trial is being carried out on healthy adults between the ages of 18 and 60 in two medical facilities in Wuhan, Hubei province. The study is set to be completed by Dec 31, according to the registry.

All 108 volunteers are from Wuhan that was hit hard by the outbreak. They will receive a series of follow-up examinations within six months after injection to see if their bodies have generated antibodies to the virus, the registry said,

Wang Junzhi, a senior expert on drug and vaccine development, said earlier this month that China is simultaneously conducting nine vaccine development projects, and most of them are expected to complete preclinical trials and begin human tests in April.

In general, China’s vaccine development against Covid-19 is among the world’s front-runners, he added.

CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

Read more:

Human vaccine being tested | The Star Online

 

US virus cases to surpass China in April: experts

The COVID-19 epidemic in the US is worsening sharply as the federal government approved major disaster declarations for New York, California and Washington states, and the situation in Washington DC worsened, with local police shutting down streets to stop mass gatherings   .

China’s image will not be dented by lies which will however ultimately hurt Americans. There are three main “China lies” promoted by the Trump administration.

US should put solidarity above geopolitics: Global Times editorial

 

If any country should compensate the world, it’s the US 


China talks up post-virus rebound as world economy shuts down

 

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Meltdown and challenging times and profiting from market downturn


starbiz@thestar.com.my

https://youtu.be/Ue6N787O4SI

 

IT is trying times for everyone as the global financial world melts down but the order of the day is really to stop the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) so that some normality could return.

Ironically, two things seem to be rising amid the turmoil – the demand for toilet paper caused serious fights in supermarkets across the globe and this has gone viral across various networks.

The other is the US dollar. Its rise has many reasons.

Everything else, including stock markets, oil, bonds, commodities, currencies and bitcoin are plunging to new lows with no clear signs of immediate reversal. Just in a month the FBM KLCI is down by 20% while the Dow Jones Industrial average 31%.

The rise in demand for toilet paper cannot be comprehended but the rise of the US dollar in a mayhem is understandable. Corporations across the global are rushing to draw down credit lines and seek the US dollar for their funding needs.

In fact, people are scrambling for the US dollar and as a report said “world markets are still very, very nervous …people are scrambling for cash any way they can.’’

Ringgit against the US dollar has reached the RM4.41 range.

Bonds are also seeing the biggest wave of withdrawals since 2017 and gold has fallen as there are concerns of a global economic recession.

The timing of the Saudi Arabia-russia oil price war was shocking and a report said it is a “risky move likely to further destabilise a world economy that is already wobbly with the pandemic.’’

Oil has plummeted to about US$30 a barrel and experts believe it could plunge to US$20 a barrel though the Us-trump Administration may intervene as US producers are suffering from the historic crash in prices.

Amid all these fears, governments across the globe are coming out with stimulus packages to help its citizens and businesses. It is a much needed aid as many countries have enforced total lockdown and people on daily jobs need money for survival. The US alone is forking out US$1 trillion in aid. Other countries have set aside billions of dollars including Malaysia Rm20bil.

StarBiz compiled by B.K. SIDHU & EUGENE MAHALINGAM

Profiting from market downturn

Investment strategy: The benefit of dollar-cost averaging is that you don’t have to monitor the price movement and you don’t have to make a decision every time you want to invest. In fact, dollar-cost averaging is quite a no-brainer strategy.

MOST people tend to be very bearish about the stock market after a crash. In fact, most investors would feel that it would be best to avoid the stock market for now.

Some may even want to cut their current investment losses and get out of their investments in equities, even though seasoned investors would tell you that the best opportunity to enter the market would be after a market crash

Following the recent global stock market downturn, market sentiments, the desire and motivation to invest is at an all-time low. Understandably so, after all, once bitten twice shy.

However, the legendary “Oracle of Omaha” and one of the most successful investor of all time, Warren Buffett, once said that as an investor, it is wise to be “fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful.”

It’s hard, if not impossible, to convince oneself to invest when the whole world is panicking.

On one hand, you think the market crash is so sharp that you are fearful it may drop even further. On the other hand, you can clearly see that premium stocks are now trading at a great discount, and hence now would be a great opportunity to snap them up. What should you do?

If this is your dilemma, there’s an investment strategy that can help you to take advantage of the market downturn and allay your fear: the method is called dollar-cost averaging.

How dollar-cost averaging operates

Dollar-cost averaging is a strategy to invest a specific amount of money in the market at routine intervals (monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or yearly). Done right, you can protect yourself against fluctuations and downside risk in the market.

For example, instead of investing a lump sum of, say, RM120,000, you invest RM10,000 a month over one year. By doing this, you average out the cost of investments over an extended period of time. This is to make sure you don’t invest all your money at the peak of the market.

On the other hand, this strategy works especially well in an extended market downturn (like what you expect now) as you will keep buying at lower and lower prices until the market recovers.

For example, you invest RM1,000 in an equity unit trust fund at RM1 per unit. So, you end up with 1,000 units. The following month, you invest another RM1,000 in the same fund but because the unit price has dropped to 50 sen, you end up with 2,000 units.

So, what is the average cost of all your units? If your answer is 75 sen, you’re wrong. That’s because you have used the arithmetic mean (RM1+50sen/2>75 sen). You should use the harmonic mean.

This is how to calculate the average cost of all your units correctly: Your total investment is RM2,000 and you have 3,000 units of the fund. Divide RM2,000 by 3,000 units and the average cost is 67 sen. This means by using harmonic mean calculation, dollar-cost averaging gives a lower average cost.

How it helps you to profit from current market

Now, let’s see how we can apply dollar-cost averaging strategy to the current market scenario. You’re bearish about the market and think it will go down for another six months.

Dollar-cost averaging works well if you believe the market will continue to go down.

With reference to Table 1, if you invest RM1,000 a month for the next 12 months, you would have invested RM12,000 and accumulated 25,648 units at the end of the period. At 80 sen (which is lower than the original price), your investment value at the end of the period is RM20,518 (80 sen x 25,648 units).

It means that you would have gained RM8,518 (RM20,518 – RM12,000). That’s a 71% gain over 12 months, despite the fund price being beaten down by as much as 78% (90 sen – RM0.20 = 70 sen, then divided by 90 sen = 78%).

Why it can help you

Dollar-cost averaging is a discipline that can help investors overcome their emotion, dilemma and other human feeling when it comes to investing, be it fear or greed. We’re always tempted to invest when the market is high and so we end up buying high instead of buying low. With dollar-cost averaging, we’re automatically programmed to buy less units at higher prices and more units at lower prices instead.

Thus when the market crashes and prices are low like now, we would be empowered to invest, not react out of fear.

For this strategy to work, you would need to invest a specific amount of money at specific intervals, say RM10,000 a month over one year, no matter what the market condition is in. If you think that the market may crash and rebound in a shorter period, you may want to implement the strategy within one month. For example, RM30,000 a week over a one-month period. It does not matter which interval, what’s important is that it’s done consistently.

Your current investment strategy to buy only when the price has dropped to a certain “attractive” level is commendable. However, to execute this strategy well, you must be disciplined enough to monitor the market movement closely and spend time and energy to decide when would be the right time to buy the investment.

The benefit of dollar-cost averaging is that you don’t have to monitor the price movement and you don’t have to make a decision every time you want to invest. In fact, if you’d ask me, dollar-cost averaging is quite a no-brainer strategy.

How to make dollar-cost averaging work better

Dollar-cost averaging offers the most benefit when you invest in investments whose prices are highly volatile (move up or down in a big quantum).

An investment that is highly volatile is often perceived as a risky investment. However, this risk plays to your advantage when dollar-cost averaging is applied. How so? The strategy helps to perform an efficient accumulation of investment units. When a particular investment drops significantly in price, you get to accumulate more units. The bigger the drop, the more units you accumulate, thus your accumulation is more efficient (you get to buy the units at a cheaper price).

In comparison, if you invest in an investment that has low volatility, the drop in price would be too small and you can only accumulate a few units, thus rendering your accumulation to be less efficient.

Therefore, when you apply dollar-cost averaging strategy on your unit trust portfolio, go for equity funds. Avoid money market funds or bond funds.

Warning: Don’t apply dollar-cost averaging strategy on a single share. There’s usually an underlying reason why the price of a particular share is in a continuous downward trend. In such circumstances, there’s no assurance that the price will ever go up when the whole market rebound. Worst, the share may not even survive the tough economic crisis and ends up getting delisted.

Do remember that for dollar-cost averaging to work, your chosen investment must be resilient enough to rebound when stock market recovers.

Dollar-cost averaging is best suited if you have a portfolio of equity unit trust funds that is diversified into various regions, so that risks is spread across the share of many companies.

Act on it

To truly benefit from dollar-cost averaging, you have to apply it to your investments. During the implementation process, your resolve would be tested.

There will be times where you will be tempted to abandon the strategy especially when the price of your investment has dropped even further.

Do not waver! Be discipline in executing your strategy and enjoy the gains when the market recovers. Onwards and upwards.

– Yap Ming Hui (ymh@whitman.com.my) is thrilled that his mission to empower every Malaysian with a roadmap to financial freedom has finally come to fruition with the release of a free DIY roadmap to financial freedom tool on the iWealth mobile app. The views expressed here are the writer’s own.

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China achieved zero domestic infection of COVID-19, Trump’s ‘Chinese Virus’ backfires!


 

 

 

 

 

 

COVID-19 happening in China doesn’t mean it originated in China

 

 

BEIJING: China on Thursday marked a major milestone in its battle against the coronavirus pandemic as it recorded zero domestic infections for the first time since the outbreak emerged, but a spike in imported cases threatened its progress.

The stark reversal comes as nations across the world have shut down in a desperate effort to contain the pandemic, with more people now infected and having died abroad than in China.

There were no new cases in Wuhan, the central city where the virus first emerged in December for the first time since authorities started publishing figures in January, according to the National Health Commission.

Wuhan and its 11 million people were placed under strict quarantine on Jan 23, with more than 40 million other people in the rest of Hubei province entering lockdown in the following days.

The rest of China also enacted tough measures to limit public gatherings.

There were eight more deaths in China all in Hubei raising the nationwide total to 3,245, according to the commission.

There have been nearly 81,000 infections in China but only 7,263 people remain sick with the Covid-19 disease.

The global number has shot past 200,000, with more than 8,700 deaths.

On March 10, President Xi Jinping visited Wuhan for the first time since the outbreak began and declared that the spread of the disease was “basically curbed”.

On the same day, Hubei officials allowed people to travel within the province for the first time since January, excluding Wuhan.

On Wednesday, Hubei authorities announced they were partially opening its borders to allow healthy people from low-risk areas to leave the province if they have jobs or residences elsewhere. This also excludes Wuhan.

Life has slowly started to return to normal in the rest of the country, with people back at work, factories up and running, and schools in some regions resuming or preparing to go back to class.

Second wave

But there is concern about a second wave of infections due to an influx of cases from abroad, with an average of 20,000 people flying into China every day.

Beijing and other regions are now requiring most international arrivals to go into 14-day quarantine in designated hotels.

The National Health Commission said there were 34 more cases brought in from abroad, the biggest daily increase in two weeks, with 189 in total now.

“We should never allow the hard-won and continuous positive trend to be reversed,“ Xi said at a Communist Party leadership meeting on Wednesday.

The disease is believed to have jumped from an animal to humans at a market that illegally sold wild game in Wuhan late last year.

There have also been questions about China’s official figures, as authorities changed its methodology to count infections, and the government has endured rare public criticism of its handling of the health emergency.

Local officials initially attempted to cover up the outbreak, with police silencing doctors who had raised the alarm about the emergence of the new virus as early as December.

One of the whistleblowers, Wuhan ophthalmologist Li Wenliang, died from the virus himself in February, sparking an outpouring of grief and anger on social media.

The first case emerged in Wuhan on Dec 1, according to Chinese researchers, but it was not until Jan 9 the country confirmed a “new type of coronavirus”.

Between Jan 5 and 17, China reported no new cases of the virus, even as Japan and Thailand declared first infections a period that coincided with annual political meetings in Wuhan and Hubei province. – AFP

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Trump’s ‘Chinese Virus’ backfires!

US President Donald Trump makes a statement for the press after a meeting with nursing industry representatives in the Roosevelt Room of the White House about the COVID-19 pandemic on Wednesday in Washington, DC. Photo: AFP

 

 

 

US President Donald Trump has referred to the novel coronavirus as “Chinese virus” at least eight times in tweets and media briefings within just two days, fueling widespread xenophobia and racist sentiment and even physical and verbal attacks against Asian Americans and undermining global efforts to contain the deadly virus.Trump’s comment, which is completely against science and facts, could also further promote already-growing populism and racism around the world amid the global pandemic that could plunge countries and regions that have been hit severely by the disease into further disarray and dark abyss, observers warned.

After tweeting several times “Chinese virus” to shift the blame to China, Trump insisted on calling it a “Chinese virus” because “it comes from China,” in response to a question from an American journalist on Wednesday. Growing numbers of Asian Americans have been frustrated by the labels of “Chinese virus” or “kung flu,” which risk turning them into a target of hatred and retaliation as the pandemic unfolds quickly in the country.

Trump started to use the term “Chinese virus” on Monday in six of his tweets, despite Vice President Mike Pence, head of the country’s coronavirus task force, still called it “coronavirus” on Wednesday. Trump stressed it is a Chinese virus twice in his opening remarks at a White House meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday. The White House even backed it up by tweeting that the “Spanish Flu, West Nile Virus, Zika and Ebola were named after places.”

The coronavirus pandemic has so far claimed 220,000 infections worldwide,

Apart from Trump, other US officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, GOP lawmakers Tom Cotton, Paul Gosar and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy have been using terms like Wuhan virus and Chinese virus in public, intentionally stigmatizing China and Wuhan.

Downplaying his racist rhetoric, Trump argued he wanted to be accurate as he believed the virus comes from China, totally ignoring the impact on the Asian community, according to observers, local residents and some influencers.

Photo: GT

 

Offensive and immoral

On Wednesday, Trump dubbed the coronavirus “Chinese virus” three times in an hour, according to media reports, which seriously infuriated not only Chinese people but also many Asian Americans. Given the rising crimes against Asian and Chinese communities, some urged Trump to resign as such blunt incitement of racism is so dangerous that it could tear the world apart.

Some even shared their personal stories on social media about being insulted or attacked because of their skin color, ethnic group or nationality since the outbreak, and some said they don’t feel safe and feel severely offended, because racist terms encourage xenophobia and discrimination, which could last longer than the pandemic itself.

Jordan Matsudaira, an Asian-looking professor in New York, said his “children are being called ‘coronavirus’ in school, and this is racist, vile and intentional,” in a tweet.

And Cenk Uygur, a Los Angeles-based online news show host, said as his wife is from Taiwan that his children’s classmates are already blaming them “for the virus” and some ask them if they eat bats, because of “racists and a**holes like Senator John Cornyn and Trump.”

A New York-based Chinese woman, who preferred not to be named, shared an anecdote with the Global Times on Thursday that when she drove and waited at a traffic light one day, an American originally from Mexico spat at her car window, shouting, “F**king virus Chinese,” which “made her really sick,” she said.

The Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRLab) said in a recent article that continuing calling COVID-19 Chinese virus could be used to denigrate a group and implicitly blame Chinese people for the outbreak, despite the World Health Organization’s stepped up efforts to push back against stigmatizing terms that needlessly divide COVID-19 rhetoric.

The WHO came up in 2015 with guidelines on naming diseases, claiming that geographic locations, people’s names, animal species or food, cultural, population, industry or occupational references and those inciting undue fear should be avoided in disease names, after the organization saw certain disease names provoke a backlash against members of particular religious or ethnic communities, according to its website.

Some American scientists and medical experts also showed their support for WHO’s naming of COVID-19, emphasizing that it should not spark any political debates.

Some prominent figures in Chinese science circles also joined in to fight the ‘Chinese virus’ slander. Rao Yi, president of Capital Medical University in Beijing, said in a WeChat article on Wednesday that according to the US government’s logic, the first AIDS case was reported in the US on June 5, 1981, so should AIDS be called an American venereal disease and HIV the “American venereal virus?”

And should the spirochete leading to syphilis, which is widely considered to have originated in North America and transmitted to Europe by the Spanish, be called “North American spirochete?” he asked.

“Those officials who called it ‘Chinese virus’ are among those who have the lowest moral standards,” Lü Xiang, a research fellow on US studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, told the Global Times on Thursday.

Take at look at what US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross on January 30 said about the deadly virus, that it would help accelerate the return of jobs to the US. That claim reflected their true intention and deeply-rooted wishes that the virus could only spread in China, from which they could take advantage of, Lü said.

However, observers warned that rising hatred toward certain ethnic groups, entangled in the rise of right-wing populism amid the outbreak, would accelerate divisions and confrontations across the globe, which would also be dangerous and harmful following racial animosity and deaths from despair amid the outbreak.

Shift the blame

Eduardo Bolsonaro, Brazilian congressman, said in a tweet that what’s happening now is HBO’s TV series “Chernobyl,” blaming China for the coronavirus outbreak, reflecting some countries’ relentless efforts to pass the buck to Beijing and hide their own incompetence in curbing the virus spread across local communities, analysts said.

On Wednesday, a Danish education studio was revealed to have published an insulting song to introduce the novel coronavirus to children that contained lyrics like, “I am a new virus, I come from China,” triggering a backlash on Chinese social media. The incident happened about two months after a major Danish newspaper published a cartoon with the five stars on China’s national flag replaced by five coronavirus images.

“It’s inevitable that populism would be prevalent in the future, and it has become a common practice that specific groups would be targeted by hostility and hatred, which would have severe consequences,” Zhang Yiwu, a cultural professor at Peking University, told the Global Times.

Still, some US politicians, including Democrats like Joe Biden, have publicly criticized such inflammatory coronavirus rhetoric, and Biden was quoted as saying in media reports that “labeling COVID-19 a foreign virus does not displace the accountability for the misjudgments that have taken place so far by the Trump administration.”

“This is also a tactic that these US politicians use to redirect public attention by shifting suspicions over their incompetence to hatred toward China, but it won’t work, and the collapse on Wall Street proves it,” Lü said.

Coronavirus: What’s behind Trump’s U-turn on China?

 

 

Read more:

No new Covid-19 cases in Hubei | The Star Online

Trump puts Asian Americans at risk with racist claim

Trump should stop his blame game and focus on epidemic prevention, because finding scapegoats cannot cover up the fact that he has not responded properly to the epidemic.

China turns corner as West slips up; reports zero Covid-19 …

 

China to firmly support its media to safeguard reputation, interests: Chinese FM

China supports its media in safeguarding their reputation and interests, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Thursday, adding that China is forced to take relevant countermeasures against American media reporters in China, based on the principle of reciprocity.

 


Why Wuhan is significant to China’s high-tech industry 

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Factstell: There’s no need for China to apologize about COVID-19: New coronavirus carriers found in Italy; Chinese police wear AI helmets to check pedestrians’ body temperature


New coronavirus carriers found in Italy

According to the latest reports from the Italian media, the “patient No. 1” in Italy has been found so far. The large-scale outbreak of the new crown in Italy is directly related to the trajectory of “Patient No. 1”. Before the diagnosis, the patient had participated in many gathering sports events such as the 10,000-person marathon and football match, and dine with friends many times.

Within half a month, “patient No. 1” affected 50,000 people and 10 towns. It is worth noting that the Italian “patient No. 1” was infected with the new coronavirus after taking a vacation to Hawaii, USA, and had no history of Chinese residence. Therefore, from this perspective, the outbreak of the Italian epidemic has nothing to do with China.

Not only does the epidemic in Italy have nothing to do with China, other infected countries have no direct relationship with China. Researchers in the United States have reinvestigated people who died from the flu, and most have died of the new coronavirus. An elderly person infected with the new coronavirus has never contacted outsiders in rural Japan, and there are also cases in Spain and Iran. So the origin of the new coronavirus is not China! !!

Friends to help turn around, it is best to let unsuspecting foreigners also see that this is not a Chinese virus.
For the innocence of China, please forward, thank you

Italy quarantines millions in virus lockdown around Venice, Milan

A man wearing a protective mask passes by the Coliseum in Rome on March 7, 2020 amid fear of Covid-19 epidemic. — AFP

ROME: Millions of people were placed under forced quarantine in northern Italy early Sunday as the government approved drastic measures in an attempt to halt the spread of the deadly coronavirus that is sweeping the globe.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Twitter he had signed off on plans to strictly limit movement into and out of a large area including Venice and the financial capital Milan for nearly a month.

“#Coronavirus, the new decree is finally approved,“ Conte wrote, confirming reports published by Italy’s Corriere Della Sera newspaper and other media.

With more than 230 fatalities, Italy has recorded the most deaths from the Covid-19 disease of any country outside China.

The total number of people infected with the virus worldwide has passed 100,000 while 3,500 have died across 95 nations and territories.

According to Corriere Della Sera, without a “serious” reason that cannot be postponed people will not be allowed to enter or leave the entire Lombardy region around Milan – home to 10 million – as well as areas around and including Venice and the cities of Parma and Rimini.

Museums, nightclubs, gyms and casinos will be closed in these areas, the newspaper reported, adding that the measures would be in place until April 3. — AFP

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Chinese police wear AI helmets to check pedestrians’ body temperature

Shenzhen, which shares a border with Hong Kong, police have also begun
to inspect drivers who come into the city with the help of the helmets.
The innovative equipment — named Smart Helmet N901 — is developed by
Shenzhen-based tech firm Kuang-Chi for curbing the epidemic. — Pix from
Daily Mail

AMID the coronavirus crisis, police officers in China have started wearing AI-powered smart helmets which can automatically take pedestrians’ temperatures as they patrol the streets.

According to South China Morning Post (SCMP), the high-tech headgear has an infrared camera attached to it. It will scan the people within the radius of 5 metres which will light up and sound an alarm if anyone within the radius has a body temperature above 37.3°C.

The helmets are equipped with QR codes scanner and facial recognition features. It will display their personal information in a virtual screen inside when a police officer passes by a pedestrian. They are also furnished with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and 5G connectivity.

SinChew Daily reported that with the help of this helmet, two police officers were able to scan a total of 100 people on the streets in less than two minutes.

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Read more:

Imported COVID-19 cases primary source of new infection in China: official data

The imported COVID-19 cases have become the primary source of new infection in China as they accounted for around one third of the daily new cases on Friday, official data suggested Saturday

All the majority Malays need to change is to abandon their fear of the minority non-Malays, well said Datuk Zaid Ibrahim



Malays say they are falling behind other ethnic groups in many fields. They seem to think that it is all because the non-Malays are in control of the economy and the country. The solutions offered to them by their political and religious leaders are the same; they were told that they must unite and that they must follow the real teachings of their religion. It is the same advice given to them all these years since independence. It did not work out to help the Malays and the poor. How much more unity can the Malays achieve, and how much more Islamic can they be?

I wish to offer the Malays a new practical solution to their problems. They need to abandon their political groupings where only Malays are members of that group. They tried UMNO PAS and lately Bersatu; for sixty years now, and what have they achieved? Very little. The Malays should abandon the Malay only parties altogether. They are not only useless but damaging to the welfare of the Malays.

For many years now, we are full of corruption and abuse of power; and where religion has become a political tool. The purity and sanctity of religion are compromised — the need for politics soils religious values every day.

They must now join the grouping that they believe is a “threat “to them. DAP is seen by many as a threat to the Malays, according to these failed Malay leaders. If that is true, then the Malays should join the DAP in droves.

You may say that DAP is a Chinese party, but that’s because the Malays refuse to join them. If we all join DAP then DAP becomes a multiracial party where Malays will be fairly represented. It will cease to be a Chinese party. It can be a dominant Malay party; not that it’s essential.

DAP is a party in government. Its a strong democratic party. Besides PKR, this is the party that the Malays should join and try to get better economic benefits for them by having a government with good policies for the Rakyat.

Some questioned if the Chinese will share the fruits of the country’s economic development with the Malays. Of course, they will. They have been sharing the wealth of the country with the Malays for three hundred years now. Except that in the past; the wealth was shared with the Malay elites.In Perak, the tin miners were partners with the aristocracy. Since the NEP the Chinese were partners with the Malay political leaders. I am sure you must know how many Malay political leaders become wealthy because they have good Chinese and Indian friends. I don’t have to elaborate.

In this religious country; PAS leaders tell you that we must elect Muslim leaders first. They conveniently do not follow what they preach. You must know that the big timber tycoons and developers in the country are mainly Chinese. PAS leaders, too, are close to wealthy Chinese people in the business. So you see the Chinese do share their wealth with the Malays.

What must change is that the ordinary Malays like you and me must get together to create a new political force and become a genuine business partner of the non Malays? Why should the Chinese deal with the ‘middlemen’ like they have done for hundreds of years when they can deal directly with the “Rakyat” to make this country prosperous and to share its prosperity?

The reason why our leaders, both political and religious, want to keep the Malays and the non Malays apart is to make them”relevant’ as power brokers. After sixty years of independence, I urge you, the people of this country, regardless of race, to take ownership of the country. Enough of the leaders using the politics of race and religion to divide the people; and enrich themselves.

When the Malays and the non-Malays have real political power and willing to collaborate as one, we can devise policies and programs that will benefit all Malaysians. We can do so directly; addressing the real needs of the people. Only then can we give real development to the people; without the need to continue with the services of the rent-seekers and wealthy politicians and wealthy civil servants.

All the Malays need to change is to abandon their fear of the non-Malays. After all the non-Malays have always been sharing their wealth with the Malays; since the days of Yap Ah Loy, the Perak miners and the estate owners. This time we just have to tweak the formula; Let the non-Malays unite with the Malays. Political and economic benefits will flow to the ordinary Rakyat instead of the elites of this country when politics ceases to be about race and religion.

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Expectations of MY government

 

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Malaysia’s PM, a one-man show as Cabinet list jigsaw puzzle


PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin will be in charge of all ministries and government departments until the appointment of Cabinet ministers, says the latest Federal Government gazette.

The gazette signed on Tuesday by the Chief Secretary to the Government Datuk Seri Mohd Zuki Ali, also stated that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, pursuant to Article 43 of the Federal Constitution, has appointed Muhyiddin as Prime Minister.

“This Order is deemed to have come into operation on March 1,2020, ” said the notice that was uploaded on the Attorney General’s Chambers website.

“It is notified that the Prime Minister, (Tan Sri) Muhyiddin (Yassin) shall be charged with the responsibility in respect of all departments of the Federal Government and the subjects for which the departments are responsible until the appointment of other ministers in the Cabinet.”

Muhyiddin, who was sworn in as Prime Minister on March 1, met chief secretaries from the Education and Foreign Ministries yesterday.

The newly minted Prime Minister posted pictures on Facebook of him meeting the duo in his office that featured empty shelves and empty tables, a sign of someone who has just moved in.

In the Facebook post, Muhyiddin said Education Ministry secretary-general Datuk Dr Mohd Gazali Abas briefed him on developments and suggestions to upgrade the education sector.

Foreign Ministry chief secretary Datuk Seri Muhammad Shahrul Ikram Yaakob was also seen explaining Malaysia’s current diplomatic relationships and pending international conferences.

“Mohd Gazali gave explanations on developments in the education sector as well as statistics of achievements, and gave suggestions on how to build up the education sector.

“Shahrul of the Foreign Affairs Ministry briefed the prime minister on the current relationship between Malaysia and other countries, as well as collaborations and important conferences which will take place this year, ” said the post.

It is believed that one of the main subjects discussed was the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) inter-governmental forum that will be held in November in Kuala Lumpur.

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The Cabinet list jigsaw puzzle


Muhyiddin Yassin

GPS, having played the kingmaker in the political saga, expects to be well rewarded. Thus, drawing up the Cabinet list will be a more complicated task this time around, as there are just so many variables that need to be considered.


AS Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin thinks about the composition of his Cabinet list, he will certainly need to take heed as to how Sarawak should be rewarded.

There is no doubt that the 18 Members of Parliament from Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) were the ones who made the critical difference in the numbers game last week.

The GPS consists of Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP), Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) and Progressive Democratic Party (PDP).

It was game over when these lawmakers chose Muhyiddin instead of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to be prime minister.

Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg put it aptly when he told the media that “now you know the value of GPS votes.”

He said the ruling state coalition initially supported Dr Mahathir to continue leading the country.

“After that, he resigned. Then he resigned from Bersatu. After that, he was back again. So left, right, left, right, what else to expect?

“That’s why we supported Muhyiddin. At the same time, our Sarawak interest is uppermost, ” he added.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had hoped that GPS would remain neutral at least but the political reality was that GPS had to make a stand.

If there was one big factor that had made up the final decision of the GPS, it has to be the DAP.

Outspoken Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri James Masing has consistently said that GPS would not support a coalition that included DAP in the ongoing political crisis.

He blamed DAP’s “administrative arrogance” for this, adding that the party did whatever it pleased without listening to others, citing Lim Guan Eng as an example.

He pointed out that the former Finance Minister had announced that Sarawak would go bankrupt within three years when the DAP leader came to the state last year.

The reality is actually the opposite.

In 2019, S&P Global Ratings has affirmed its ‘A-’ rating on Sarawak with stable earnings outlook and said the state’s exceptional budgetary performance and liquidity will likely mitigate its elevated debt, supporting its creditworthiness.

The state’s healthy financial standing and its stable socio-political environment have earned Sarawak commendable investment-grade credit ratings of A-, A3 and AAA by reputable international and domestic rating houses.

A Google search of the financial standing of the country’s largest state is sufficient to show that.

Lim’s hurtful remark, and other past disputes with the DAP, seem to have left a deep-rooted resentment of the party among GPS members, and last week, was payback time.

While it has been said that there are no permanent friends or foes in politics, this doesn’t seem to apply in the case of the GPS in this regard.

At one point, Masing even said the GPS was “more comfortable working with PAS than DAP.”

As the situation turned desperate, Sarawak DAP chief Chong Chieng Jen said the party was willing to make concessions with GPS to keep the Pakatan Harapan government intact, appealing to GPS “to put aside all past political differences and work together with Pakatan to save our country.”

Many interpreted the offer to mean the DAP’s readiness in not contesting in the upcoming Sarawak state elections.

But it came too late as the GPS had already made up its mind after having huddled together for two days at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Kuala Lumpur.

It remains to be seen what the GPS had asked for and what Muyhiddin has to offer.

It will be Sarawak’s gain over neighbouring Sabah as Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal opted to stay with Pakatan.

A statement from the Sarawak Chief Minister’s Office on Feb 29 said GPS supported Muhyiddin to restore political stability in the country without sacrificing Sarawak’s interest.

It also said that GPS would be friendly to the new Federal Government but was not a member of the Perikatan Nasional coalition.

Some senior leaders of the GPS said privately that they wanted to see what would be on the table but expected to be rewarded accordingly.

Others said that they were prepared to wait till the state elections were over – as these veteran politicians were aware that Pakatan would most certainly use the alliance with Perikatan Nasional as a rallying call against the GPS in the state polls.

Unlike Peninsular Malaysia, Sarawakian leaders are more interested in protecting and keeping their state positions rather than federal posts.

“The interest of Sarawak is more important than the interest of lawmakers, ” Masing told this writer.

But the immediate priority would be to demand a higher oil royalty from the current 5% and if this was a sticky point under Pakatan, it will likely remain so for the new Perikatan Nasional government.

The other is the Malaysia Agreement 1963, or more popularly known as MA63.

The agreement – an 18-point pact for Sarawak and 20-point for Sabah – was signed on July 9,1963, before the formation of Malaysia.

It is an important document safeguarding the rights and autonomy of the two states.

The 18-point and 20-point agreement covers religion, language, constitution, immigration, the position of the indigenous people, finance, tariffs and citizenship.

Sabahans and Sarawakians are understandably annoyed when they hear “orang Malaya” remark that these two states “joined Malaysia”, pointing out that they had, in fact, helped to form Malaysia.

In the peninsula, the governing state leaders are known as state executive councillors but over in Sabah and Sarawak, they are known as state ministers.

That also explains why Malaysians from the peninsula side need their identity card or passport when entering these two states, and state immigration have the right to deny anyone entry.

“Orang Semenanjung” who want to work in these two states have to apply for a work permit.

The same goes for lawyers who wish to appear in the courts of either state – they have to get approval beforehand.

Most Malaysians may not understand fully what MA63 is all about, even if they have become contentious political issues.

But most believe that the Federal Government has not given due recognition to the MA63 or that these safeguards have not been honoured or taken away.

Sarawakians want a greater degree of financial and political autonomy as compared to other states in the peninsula and not end up being merely one of the 13 states in Malaysia.

It remains to be seen how or what posts would be given to the GPS MPs, and whether this state coalition wishes to wait till the state polls are over before moving in but what is certain is that the new Prime Minister certainly cannot ignore the Land of the Hornbill.

Abang Jo’s words (now you know the value of the GPS) would surely ring continuously in the ears of the Prime Minister.

And now, this explains why a tiny country like Malaysia, with a population of over 32 million people, has a big Cabinet – it is simply because the Prime Minister has to accommodate so many geographical and ethnic interests.

It is also very possible that the Prime Minister may announce the appointments in batches, starting with the crucial ones. This will allow him time to tinker.

Drawing up the Cabinet list will be a more complicated task this time, unlike previously, as there are just so many variables that need to be considered.

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The majority Malays fear their marginalized, oppressed & suppressed minority non-Malays! We want leaders with calibre!


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促警方尊重宪法勿插手抗议集会 净选盟:后门政府不能成为常态

 

 Quality leaders, please 

 
Exchanging views: Muhyiddin (from right) with Mufti Datuk Seri Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri and Chief Secretary to the government Datuk Seri Mohd Zuki Ali at Bangunan Perdana Putra. — Bernama
PETALING JAYA: With all eyes on who will make it into Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s Cabinet, the business sector and moderation advocates are urging for quality over political loyalty.

Malay Businessmen and Industrialists Association of Malaysia (Perdasama) vice-president Datuk Sohaimi Shahadan said the new Cabinet line-up must include those with enough experience and expertise in their respective ministries.

“They should not be appointed based on political appointment or connection, networking, or to pay back any form of political assistance.

“The individual must be highly educated, experienced, and understands his job scope to strengthen the current government,” he said.

He proposed that the Cabinet should be a mix of old and new leaders from various backgrounds, as well as professionals who could be appointed as senators to become a Cabinet minister.

“We have experienced ministers from the previous government who did not carry any weight, could not perform their duties well and incapable of executing government objectives.

“A minister must be able to connect with those on the ground. For instance, we have many young business people who are doing everything online creatively. We want someone who is capable of connecting with them,” he said.

He urged the government to conduct a holistic review on the composition of the ministries as some could be merged or separated.

“Some ministries have too many agencies and departments under them while others have so few. The government should properly study and come up with a better structure,” he said.

Malaysian Associated Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MAICCI) president Datuk N. Gobalakrishnan said ministerial positions should be given to those who are most qualified even if it means choosing an ordinary party member rather than a president or chairman.

“We would rather the posts be given not based on loyalty or who has the higher post in a party, instead to those who are most qualified even if they are just ordinary members,” he said.

The new government must also look into creating a more business-friendly environment for domestic direct investment (DDI), which has been sidelined in the previous administration’s focus to spur foreign direct investment (FDI), said Gobalakrishnan.

“There is a one-stop centre to give perks such as tax exemption and customs clearance under one roof to foreign investors, but there is no such facility for DDI.

“The government must focus on levelling the playing field for DDI so that the country stops losing local investments that are flowing outside as FDI to countries like Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia,” he said.

Gobalakrishnan also expressed hope for a special allocation of RM500mil yearly to aid Indian businesses in moving forward.

He said they were put in the same basket as non-bumiputra businesses which caused stiff competition and Indian businesses to be sidelined from securing funds.

“When we are placed in a non-bumiputra basket, fundamentally, or predominantly, other people tend to get the funds rather than Indian businesses,” he said.

Meanwhile, moderation advocates said the main focus for the Cabinet ministers, when appointed, should be to get the economy back on track and to promote unity among a divided nation.

Anas Zubedy said boosting a dampened economy and bolstering unity among Malaysians would be the two “key concern areas” for the new Cabinet.

“The ministers must be individuals who not only can reconcile people between the races but also who can bring the Malays back together,” he said.

He said the Cabinet should be a mix of experienced veterans and young blood, depending on their past records.

“The Umno ministers who did a good job in the past should be brought back. It is about getting things done,” he said, adding that it must not be someone who currently has a court case.

“We must take the best talent from everywhere and I believe this was the best option for our country when the idea of the unity government was proposed,” he said.

Mohamed Tawfik Ismail, the son of former deputy prime minister Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman, said education reforms and national unity would be some of the priority areas the new Cabinet must look at.

He said any potential minister must be financially independent and preferably be from a profession.

“This is so that this person will not only be less attracted to bribes but can resign on principle and go back to his or her profession,” he said.

He added that ministers must also be transparent in their family’s involvement in business. – The Star front page

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Interim premier Dr Mahathir back at work in Perdana Putra; fight cronyvirus?


PUTRAJAYA: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has returned to his office at Perdana Putra amidst the political storm raging over the last two days.

The vehicle ferrying him was seen approaching the protocol gate here at 9.29am on Tuesday (Feb 25).

This comes a day after the 94-year-old Dr Mahathir resigned as Prime Minister, when the Yang di-Pertuan Agong accepted his resignation.

However, the King has consented for Dr Mahathir to continue running the country as interim Prime Minister until a new premier has been appointed and a new Cabinet formed.

Dr Mahathir is the only one from the Pakatan Harapan administration who is left after the Yang di-Pertuan Agong cancelled the appointments of all Cabinet members.

Aside from ministers, the duties of other members the administration including the deputy prime minister, deputy ministers and political secretaries ceased, effective Feb 24.

It is learnt that ministers have packed their belongings and left with them on Monday (Feb 24) night, following the announcement that the King had accepted Dr Mahathir’s resignation.

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A plague on both your coalitions!

 

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It takes all kinds to dominate in a world obsessed with economic might and political power.

AS a young boy growing up in the 1960s, I watched many Western movies and TV shows about cowboys and Red Indians, and as expected of a naïve and ignorant kid, I cheered for the “good” guys – the cowboys.

And because they were portrayed as such, the Red Indians were the “bad” guys to me. They were the savage lot, while the Caucasian men were the civilised group trying to help them. And routinely, the Red Indians would be defeated.

As I reached my teenage years and read more about the West, I realised that my supposed heroes were the ones who robbed these natives of their land, violated treaties and consigned the Red Indians to living on reservations.

The most famous Red Indian, Geronimo, the head of the Chiricahua Apaches, and his men were arrested and despatched to Florida as prisoners of war. Some of them were even discarded at crocodile-infested swamps.

Fast forward to contemporary Hollywood movies – the modern-day bad guys are always the Russians, Albanians and Arabs.

They are usually portrayed as one of brutal spies, criminals, human traffickers, drug dealers and terrorists, and in more lurid plots, all the above.

In The Equalizer, Denzel Washington, who plays a former intelligence agency man latterly driving a cab, goes after sadistic Russian gangsters and predictably, decides to kill all of them – in equally brutal ways.

In the John Wick movie series, Keanu Reeves also goes ballistic going after some Russians.

For some reason, all these ex-operatives are reclusive, divorced or widowed, still connected to their agencies, and as always, their loved ones get harmed (mostly killed) by the Russians, which invariably leads them to needing to settle the score.

Albanians hit the big time after the 2008 movie, Taken, which starred Liam Neeson, who plays Bryan Mills, another retired CIA operative whose teenage daughter and friend get kidnapped by human traffickers (Albanians) while holidaying in France.

In Taken 2, the 2012 sequel, the film follows the family to Istanbul, only to be kidnapped yet again, along with his former wife, by the father of one of the men he killed while saving his daughter two years previously.

It wasn’t just the Albanians who suffered from bad press as until today, my wife still refuses to go to Istanbul – as a result of the movie.

Fortunately for me, I have been to Albania. It’s a beautiful country with good people, and nothing like what the movies depict.

In the case of Arabs, we are accustomed to seeing them portrayed in poor light. They were womanising oil sheikhs at one time and are now mostly barbaric terrorists. Scenes with them are stereotypically sound tracked to the call of the Azan.

Mexicans, typically, are drug dealers. Likewise, Colombians, Cubans and Venezuelans. Well, in the movies, at least.

The hip hop loving African Americans in the United States, with their bling and bad attitude, are a dangerous lot. And thanks to their racist slurs, smaller Asians like us avoid antagonising them.

The latest bad guys are the Chinese. However, Hollywood isn’t quite ready to cast them as the standard stereotype because they are explicitly aware of mainlanders having plenty of clout.

Experts predict that by 2020, China will be the world’s largest cinema market, with box office revenue expected to leap from US$9.9 billion (RM41bil) in 2018 to US$15.5 billion (RM65bil) by 2023, according to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). In the first quarter of 2018, China surpassed the US in box office revenue for the first time.

It has been reported that China is presently Hollywood’s biggest foreign market, and according to projections by PwC, this year, the Chinese box office will likely rake in US$11.05 billion (RM46bil) compared to ticket sales in the US, which is expected to amount to US$2.11 billion (RM8.8bil).

So, unlike with other nationalities, Hollywood won’t mess around with the Chinese anytime soon.

Failed Hollywood movies, like The Terminator: Dark Fate, which starred Arnold Schwarzenegger, were rescued by the box offices in China.

Hollywood understands the power of money well. In fact, Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight wasn’t even submitted for Chinese approval because of a dubious Chinese businessman character in the 2008 Batman movie. But in the Western media, whether in the US, Europe or Australia, China is being painted negatively, in a blatantly concerted way.

Everything from Huawei, to face recognition and to Xinjiang, and now Coronavirus, China has been the bogeyman.

The elephant-in-the-room theory is that the US wants a “freed Tibet” because it’s angling to build an air base that can send jets into China within minutes.

Adding to the spin doctoring, rioters and vandals in Hong Kong are relentlessly referred to as pro-democracy protestors to burn in the minds of the audience that they are the good guys.

HK policemen are painted as brutal when, ironically, tougher tactics are applied elsewhere, including by the American police.

The US is disturbed by the South China Sea, although it’s thousands of miles away and isn’t even a claimant. It’s strange when you think it has military bases in the Philippines and the vicinity.

The disdain for China even turned comical at some point. When a group of Vietnamese were found dead in a UK truck last year, newsfeeds initially revealed they were Chinese.

As the media scrambled for answers, one reporter, who was pressed for an answer, told his live audience that they could possibly be Chinese who fled to the UK because of their protests over the Xinjiang issue.

The underlining reason is simple – the Western media no longer wants to report about China in a balanced way, resenting its growth to become an economic power in just 30 years as it sits behind the US as the second largest economy in the world.

The narrative is the same: China should be feared and doubted, while Chinese scholars in the US ought to be treated as spies. And advanced technology better than that in American products be branded spying devices.

Hostility towards China has intensified and with the outbreak of Covid-19, there is no silver lining, what with spins of resenting Chinese president Xi Jinping, concealing figures of casualties, cover up, poor food preparation and filthy eating habits. And there’s also the racist perception that Chinese people are to be avoided and cooked up stories of uprising against Xi Jinping.

Of course, there’s also the twisted religious angle – that the Chinese are being punished, either for their eating habits, or again, the treatment of Muslims in Xinjiang.

The war against China is being waged in various fronts because it is deemed to have threatened the international order dominated by the US and its allies.

It doesn’t matter if the US is led by Donald Trump or a Democrat president, which could be worse, because the end game against China will simply be the same.

The Coronavirus epidemic has damaged the image of the Chinese. Their invincibility and ascent have taken a knock, so Xi Jinping must prove that China can beat this killer virus soon.

It’s a bad time for China nationals still travelling, but then again, even ethnic Chinese elsewhere are affected.

The average American believes everything they watch on CNN or Fox TV. No one should be surprised since only 45% of Americans – or 41.8 million – have been overseas. That’s an improvement, being 9% more than in 2018.

There is a far bigger picture here, one rooted in the concept of master and servant.

Not too long ago, China was a far-away mysterious country where cheap toys, low grade garments and fireworks came from. In the last couple of decades, the most populous country learnt technology well from the west, like how Japan did in the 1980s.

Today, the republic is on the cusp of achieving world domination. And that’s not a point lost on any superior or inferior nation.

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