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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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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Malaysian minority citizens being marginalized in Malaysia! We want leaders with calibre!

 

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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WHO decision makes little effect in curbing China; New strategies needed for Malaysian tourism


US travel alert an overreaction, shows unilateralism: experts 

 A staff member, wearing a facemask, waits for customers near the Forbidden City in Beijing on Friday. The Chinese people have just experienced an unforgettable Spring Festival as the whole country has been forced to endure the spread of the novel coronavirus.Photo: AFP

 

‘There is no reason to panic’  

 

 Drones equipped with speakers assist during coronavirus outbreak:

Drones creatively used in rural areas in battle against coronavirus

 Using Drones to warn it’s people to go home & wear masks….China is putting every effort to fight the Coronavirus

万万没想到!武汉告急!最先对中国动手的竟是这7国!3大无耻行为暴露真实面目!这笔帐中国人永不忘记!

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared on Thursday (local time) in Geneva the novel coronavirus outbreak a global public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC), putting pressure on China amid the deadly virus battle, as more countries are likely to issue travel advisories and impose trade restrictions.

 

Chinese analysts said although there is no need to exaggerate the impact of the declaration, the country needs to focus on containing the spread of the pneumonia as its top priority, as countries would adjust travel and trade policies based on the changing situation, and a complete recovery also depends on progress made during China’s nationwide fight against the virus.

The WHO emphasized that the declaration was not a vote of no confidence on China. Over the past few weeks, the WHO has witnessed the emergence of a previously unknown pathogen, which has escalated into an unprecedented outbreak, and which has been met by an unprecedented response, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a press conference on Thursday.

After considering multiple factors, WHO designated the coronavirus as a PHEIC. However, WHO continues to have confidence in China’s ability to control the outbreak.

Following the PHEIC declaration, the US State Department warned Americans not to go to China, becoming the first country of issuing travel alert to its citizens, despite the WHO emphasized on Thursday that it did not suggest other countries impose travel and trade restrictions on China.

A US State Department notice said travelers should be prepared for travel restrictions with little or no advance notice. Commercial carriers have reduced or suspended flights to and from China.

Those currently in China should consider leaving using commercial means, it said, noting that the department has requested all non-essential US government personnel to defer travel to China because of the novel coronavirus. The travel warning is the highest Level 4 – Do Not Travel – in the US.

At least 98 novel coronavirus cases have been reported in 18 countries outside of China, including eight human-to-human transmissions in Germany, Japan, Vietnam and the US. The majority of the cases outside of China involved people who had traveled to Wuhan, or were in contact with someone who had visited the city, according to the WHO.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the WHO. Photo: VCG

Damage to both sides

The US travel warning may cause other nations to follow, considering its geopolitical influence, some Chinese analysts forecast, reminding other countries to heed the WHO advise.

The US is overreacting and the warning would greatly hurt global tourism and hinder people-to-people exchanges, Ni Feng, deputy director of the Institute of American Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times.

Ni predicted that other Western countries may follow the US in issuing travel restrictions to China.

Zeng Guang, chief epidemiologist of the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention, noted that the US government’s move shows its unilateralism, which is unsurprising.

The WHO clarified that they did not suggest other countries impose travel and trade restrictions on China. The advise was made based on multidimensional considerations and global public health interests, which the US ignored, Zeng told the Global Times.

The US government had ordered the departure of all non-urgent US personnel and their family members from Wuhan, Central China’s Hubei Province, the coronavirus’ epicenter, on January 23.

Some foreign airlines have suspended flights to China including Air Canada, United Airlines, British Airlines and IndiGo.

Imposing restrictions on personal exchanges between the US and China would significantly weigh on US interests in China, considering the huge presence of American companies in China, said Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of the China Foreign Affairs University.

“It may also trigger a humanitarian crisis, as American citizens have married Chinese people, and if they are forced to leave, many families would be separated,” Li said.

Many US companies are becoming increasingly entrenched in China, including major US-listed firms such as Tesla, Starbucks, Apple and Boeing, therefore restricting personnel exchanges between China and the US would also have an impact on the US stock market, according to analysts.

The US government had also issued travel alerts on previous public health incidents declared by the WHO, including the H1N1 virus that caused an influenza pandemic in 2009, Ebola outbreak in West Africa and polio in 2014, media reported. During the Ebola outbreak, the State Department alerted US citizens to follow screening procedures and travel restrictions, and reduce air travel to countries including Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Mali.

People make protective suits at a medical company in Hefei, east China’s Anhui Province, Thursday. To help fight the outbreak of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus, workers of some medical material companies rushed to work ahead of schedule to make protective equipment. Photo: Xinhua


Top priority

According to the International Health Regulations (IHR), if the WHO declares a PHEIC, the director-general shall issue temporary recommendations, including health measures regarding people, baggage, cargo, containers, conveyances, goods and parcels to prevent or reduce the spread of the disease and avoid unnecessary interference to international traffic.

However, temporary recommendations are non-binding advisories issued by the WHO and are on a time-limited, risk-specific basis, according to IHR.

When WHO declared the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo as a PHEIC, the organization emphasized it was essential to avoid the punitive economic consequences of travel and trade restrictions on affected communities, in a statement published on its website in July 2019.

Under the IHR, countries implementing additional health measures going beyond what WHO recommends will be required to provide a public health rationale and justification within 48 hours of implementation for WHO to review, WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic told the Global Times on Thursday.

The WHO is obliged to share information about measures and the justification received with other countries involved, Jasarevic said, noting that countries are asked to provide public health justification for any travel or trade measures that are not scientifically based, such as refusal of entry based on suspected cases or unaffected persons to affected areas.

Chinese analysts said it was not necessary to overreact or interpret the news as a hostile attitude toward China from the global community. The shared priority is to prevent the deadly virus from spreading across the globe.

“Indeed, it may place extra pressure to China, with both economic and political implications,” said Shen Yi, director at the Research Center for Cyberspace Governance of Fudan University.

“But it depends on how China continues fighting the epidemic in order to help its economy recover,” Shen said, noting that the WHO decision has little influence on how other countries handle economic ties with China amid the pneumonia outbreak.

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New strategies needed for Malaysian tourism


Cautious visitors: Tourists seen wearing face masks as they enter Malaysia through the Johor Baru Custom, Immigration and Quarantine Complex recently.

IT’S an unfortunate start to Visit Malaysia Year 2020 with the outbreak of the coronavirus putting a tumble to travelling, and it’s a tad more ominous that mainland China tourists have been our key market.

The Chinese government has already placed its faith in Malaysia by launching the Malaysia-China Year of Culture and Tourism 2020 to boost bilateral ties and friendship between the Asian nations.

However, the World Health Organisation’s declaration of a global health emergency has further dented the promotional efforts of Tourism Malaysia. To suggest minimal impact on Malaysia is a fallacy, to put it mildly.

Tourism revenue has always been regarded low hanging fruit, and with the improved performances of 2019, this year was supposed to kick off with more tourist arrivals.

Malaysia reported its half-year tourism results, until Aug 2019, declaring that tourist arrivals reached 13.35 million, up 4.9%, while tourist receipts improved 6.8% over the same period in 2018.

Tourism Malaysia’s data summary indicates the travel industry had contributed RM41.69bil in revenue to the country’s economy from January to June in 2019.

Apparently, the performance also saw growth in terms of per capita expenditure, rising by 1.9% to RM3,121.6, while the average length of stay climbed by 0.4 nights to 6.2 nights.

The top 10 source markets for arrivals were Singapore (5,381,566), Indonesia (1,857,864), China (1,558,782), Thailand (990,565), Brunei (627,112), India (354,486), South Korea (323,952), the Philippines (210,974), Vietnam (200,314) and Japan (196,561).

There are plenty of day trippers from Singapore and Indonesia, given our close proximity.

So, the numbers from China are significant. It’s glaring that East Asian and Asean arrivals continued to dominate the share of tourist arrivals to Malaysia with a 70% contribution.

The medium-haul market and long-haul market represented 20.8% and 9.2% share, respectively.

Tourism Malaysia reported that the top five countries with highest receipts were Singapore (RM11.56bil), China (RM7.09bil), Indonesia (RM5.71bil), Thailand (RM1.70bil) and Brunei (RM1.52bil).

The five countries with the highest average length of stay were those from Saudi Arabia (10.5 nights), France (8.7 nights), Germany (8.3 nights), Netherlands (8.1 nights) and Canada (7.7 nights).

In 2018, Malaysia registered 25.8 million tourist arrivals and RM84.1bil in tourist receipts. For 2019, tourist arrivals reached 28.1 million with tourist receipts of RM92.2bil.

While Malaysia, like most countries, has understandably become concerned with China’s continuing struggle with the virus, it’s crucial we maintain our renowned hospitality when interacting with Chinese tourists.

Chinese travellers have heeded caution by staying home, and for those travelling, the last thing they’d want is to feel unwelcome, or even discriminated.

News reports have already filtered in that Chinese tourists – and in some cases, even Singaporeans – have been asked to leave restaurants and tourist spots in some countries.

Our Prime Minister has made the right move by announcing that the decision to close mosques and tourist attractions to travellers, given the novel coronavirus outbreak, is not government policy.

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad went so far as to describe such moves as irresponsible, saying the government never declared that mosques or museums were closed to tourists because they could be infected by the coronavirus.

“This is not a government policy and it is an irresponsible act, ” he told a press conference after chairing the weekly Cabinet meeting last week.

Among the mosques that have closed temporarily to tourists are the Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin mosque and the Putra Mosque in Putrajaya, as well as the Federal Territory mosque in Kuala Lumpur. They have since been opened.

Dr Mahathir also warned the public against spreading fake news meant to stir ill feelings between races.

Closing mosques to non-Muslims also doesn’t make sense when there are many Chinese citizens who are Muslims. The fact is there are more Muslims in China than Malaysia. However, unlike people, this virus doesn’t discriminate and will make victims of any race or religion.

Thermal detectors

So, it will be more effective and sensible to install thermal detectors at these popular mosques, and place medical personnel there to monitor the situation.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi has rightly said that tourists, particularly Chinese nationals, should not be discriminated and said tourists coming into the country would have been screened at the entry points, including airports.

Recently, West Sumatra Governor Irwan Prayitno drew flak from netizens after amateur video recordings of him welcoming Chinese visitors in a well-attended parade at the Minangkabau International Airport in Padang went viral on Twitter, amid concerns over a domestic coronavirus outbreak.

A video uploaded on Sunday by Twitter user @dedetsaugia, in which Irwan could be seen addressing the tourists, has been viewed over 2.1 million times and retweeted over 6,000 times at the time of writing. As reported by kompas.com, Irwan welcomed the foreign visitors after they were declared healthy in a medical examination conducted with thermal scanners installed at the airport.

“The arrival of these tourists is expected to increase the number of foreign tourists visiting West Sumatra in the future, ” Irwan was quoted by Antara news agency.

“We cannot reject foreign arrivals when they have prepared all the required documentation. We have taken anticipatory measures by conducting a detailed check-up.”

The reaction of these netizens is in bad taste, and reeks of xenophobia. Credit to the West Sumatra authorities for showing much greater grace.

Asean and East Asian tourists will continue to dominate our tourist arrivals.

Like SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, which hit Hong Kong and southern parts of China in 2003, the coronavirus appears to be a winter phenomenon. Over 700 people died then. China is now still in a cold season, although it’s already spring.

But this time, unlike 2003, it has happened during the Lunar New Year festival when millions travel home, across China, to be with their families. The CNY season is also a time for many Chinese to holiday abroad.

According to Wuhan officials, there are still over 4,000 Wuhan tourists overseas as of Jan 27, and certainly, this can’t be comforting for many.

China has adopted a more transparent approach this time, unlike in 2003, when it didn’t reveal the health threat until five months after the SARS outbreak.

This time around, it has done things differently by updating the world on developments with the epidemic.

Last week, the Chinese Embassy here even started a Whatsapp group – with a long list of media people – where everyone is kept informed, and the channel is used to share information, verify reports and keep the local media in the loop.

While China is fighting against time to battle the virus, it isn’t likely that this will drag on until the summer season.

Although this is very much a Wuhan problem, many travellers have postponed plans to fly and even going as far as avoiding crowds.

Malaysia is a country with a hot climate and open spaces, but that hasn’t stopped many of us from wearing masks as a precaution. Never mind that our streets and MRT aren’t congested unlike how it is in Japan, China or Hong Kong.

My relatives from Singapore called to say they were no longer coming to Kuala Lumpur for a CNY reunion! Talk about over-reaction!

For sure our tourist numbers will be hit, but Malaysia can’t afford to wait.

It must work on the right markets for us to meet the numbers and ensure the success of Visit Malaysia Year.

Mohamaddin has downplayed the fear that tourism numbers will decline, saying the loss in tourism revenue from the ban will be minimal, and added that the ministry will not revise its campaign target of getting 30 million visitors this year.

“The travel ban will only cause a small impact as it is only for those from Wuhan. But people from other countries such as Australia and England are still able to visit Malaysia. So, the target remains as it is, ” he said.

Of course, Malaysia will be affected. Australians, Britons and Americans may stay longer when they visit Malaysia, but their numbers are negligible, and they are certainly not the biggest spenders.

In fact, for 2017, the East Asia market showed a 6.3% growth, while other markets saw a decline, i.e., Asean markets dropped by -3.9%, Europe (-1.7%), Americas (-4.3%), Oceania (-5.4%) Central Asia (-6.4%), Africa (-7%), West Asia (-12.3%) and South Asia (-13.3%).

Asean, or the short-haul market, dominated with a 75.1% share of total tourist arrivals and brought a total of 19,478,575 tourists to Malaysia. The medium-haul market share was 19.1%, with 4,948,123 tourists, while the long-haul market share was 5.9%, with a total of 1,520,389 tourists.

For 2017, the top 10 tourist source markets for Malaysia were Singapore with 12,441,713 tourist arrivals, Indonesia (2,796,570), China (2,281,666), Thailand (1,836,522), Brunei (1,660,506), India (552,739), South Korea (484,528), Japan (392,777), the Philippines (370,559), and Britain (358,818).

For China, the market surpassed the target for this region with an increase of 7.45% to 2.28 million arrivals, while an increase of flight frequency by AIRASIA X made Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu choice destinations for Koreans.

Arrivals from Indonesia and China, which made up Malaysia’s second and third largest respectively, have been increasing. In 2018, the number of Chinese tourists visiting Malaysia climbed by 29% year-on-year, while the number of tourists from Indonesia increased by 17%.

This is a good time to re-design our strategies and engage with stakeholders – including tour operators, food and beverage outlet owners, hoteliers, mall operators and media – to see how we can support Visit Malaysia Year 2020.

We should also seek the support of famous Malaysians like Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh, Datuk Lee Chong Wei, Datuk Jimmy Choo, Henry Golding and others to be our Tourism Ambassadors since they have millions of fans worldwide.

We are all rooting for a resounding success.

The views expressed here are the writer’s own.

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Containing Novel Coronavirus 2020 Outbreak in China: public gatherings cancelled, cities under lockdown …


Live: Press conference on the novel coronavirus outbreak国家卫健委通报疫情和防控工作最新进展

https://youtu.be/xQxOeUA0jRQ

Coronavirus Latest Live Update from Shenzhen China.

https://youtu.be/ZgnjiEd4gVU

Malaysian Embassy in Beijing establishes Emergency Response Team

https://youtu.be/6cuE3RAJJQs

Chinese medics give up new year celebrations to head to coronavirus quarantine zone

A 46-year-old man has become the first patient in east China’s Zhejiang Province to recover from the coronavirus. The man, surnamed Yang, left the hospital on Friday after undergoing treatment for a week. The patient had been living in Wuhan for a long time. Yang will continue to visit the doctors for regular checkups.

19 Chinese provinces, municipalities launch highest-level emergency response

Over 1,317 coronavirus cases have now been confirmed globally. So far, 42 infected people have died in China. A total of 19 provinces and municipalities in China, including Beijing, Shanghai and Jiangsu provinces have declared the highest level of public health emergency to combat the coronavirus outbreak. Some traditional holiday celebrations, such as temple fairs and cultural performances and other public gatherings have been canceled. At least 16 cities in the worst-hit province of Hubei have suspended public transportation, including local buses, subways, ferries and long-distance coaches. 

Around 450 military medical personnel have been deployed in the province, while nearby Sichuan Province has also sent 135 medical staff members. China’s Finance Ministry has allocated a total of one billion yuan to support Hubei. 

In addition, the provincial capital of Wuhan is building a special hospital on the outskirts of the city to treat patients with the virus. The 1,500-bed facility is expected to open by February 3.

Subscribe on YouTube: https://goo.gl/lP12gA

11 million people are under lockdown in Wuhan

Wuhan lockdown leads to empty streets, train stations

 

China shuts down multiple cities in an effort to curb coronavirus outbreak

The Science of Viral Outbreaks / Global Firms on Strategy amid Uncertainty

Is travel to China safe?

Wuhan is closed to travelers.

 The CDC advises travelers to China to:

  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid animals, animal markets, and products that come from animals.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based sanitizer if that’s not available.
  • Seek medical care right away if you have a fever, cough, or a hard time breathing. Tell your health care professional about your travel.

What are the symptoms, and how is the virus diagnosed?

China created a test for the virus and shared that information with other countries. The CDC has developed its own test.

Symptoms include a fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. They may appear 2 to 14 days after you’re exposed to the virus.
What is the source of the virus, and how is it spread?

Health officials are not sure of the source of the virus yet or how easily it can spread. Coronaviruses are found in many different animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. One research paper also suggested snakes as a possible source. The new virus may be linked to a seafood and live animal market in Wuhan that has since been closed

The virus can spread from person to person. Health officials are seeing this happen most often where people are close together and in health care settings. To date, 16 health care workers have been infected.

The CDC believes that severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), two other types of coronavirus, are spread through droplets when someone coughs or sneezes.

Is there a vaccine?

There is no vaccine, but the National Institutes of Health is working on one and hopes to begin testing in several months. That testing would be for safety. If it’s safe, there would be testing to see how well it works.

How is it treated?

There is no specific treatment for the virus. Patients are generally given supportive care for their symptoms, such a fluids and pain relievers. Hospitalized patients may need support with breathing.
Are you in danger of catching the coronavirus? 

5 questions answered :

1. Am I at risk?

Not now, because currently every case of the novel coronavirus is linked to Wuhan.

There are lots of different coronaviruses that group into three types. The common cold can be caused by both alpha and betacoronaviruses.

Coronavirus was never really taken that seriously until 2003, when a coronavirus jumped species – likely from bats to humans via civets – and led to SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome. This species-jumping ability of coronaviruses is being observed again, now in Wuhan at the seafood market. This coronavirus is in the betacoronavirus group. China has now put travel restrictions in place to limit spread from Wuhan.

2. What’s the big concern with this virus?

For the novel coronavirus from Wuhan, there is no vaccine, and we’re lacking a specific therapy. So it is key to limit spread through quarantine of infected individuals and by tracing of contacts.

3. What is so unusual about this coronavirus?

This is a coronavirus that has never been seen in humans before. It likely came from bats, and it’s much more serious than the common cold coronavirus. This is only the third time that we’ve seen a coronavirus jump species from animals to humans. The concern is that this coronavirus is going to behave like SARS and MERS, or Middle East respiratory syndrome in 2012, both of which were serious.

4. Do the deaths appear to be among people of a certain age?

Many were in older men with pre-existing conditions.

5. How can I stay safe?

First of all, you need not be concerned about catching this right now. Practice the same precautions that you would to prevent catching a cold. Viruses that cause the common cold are on surfaces of handrails and doorknobs, so wash your hands, use sanitizers and stay home when you are sick.

Read more:
Salute to Wuhan citizens for their sacrifice

 

Rationality and unity needed in fight against virus

Zhou Xianwang, the mayor of Wuhan, Central China’s Hubei Province, where the ongoing spread of coronavirus pneumonia began, said at a press conference on Sunday night that more than 5 million people have left the city because of the Spring Festival and the epidemic. The news came as quite a shock.

 Wuhan pneumonia response reflects progress in China’s system

More adjustments and improvements are needed in China’s governing system. In the Wuhan pneumonia case, is it possible to release information more timely and comprehensively? It will prove to be a test of China’s system. But more and more Chinese people believe the system will stand the test and improve itself amid the challenge.

Wuhan pneumonia a wake-up call for basic Chinese research

Time is needed for basic research. But times waits for no one. Any attempt to seek quick success and instant benefits must be avoided. However, it is time for China to increase investment, focus on talent training, team building and policy adjustments in this field.

Virus attracts global efforts

The World Health Organization (WHO) is scheduled to convene a special meeting in Geneva, Switzerland on Wednesday to discuss whether the epidemic caused by a novel coronavirus detected in China and now spreading across the world should be declared a global emergency.

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Countdown to the Chinese New Year around the world for the year of the mouse

Tweet #Rightways   https://youtu.be/3JS4eBnDVdw A live countdown to the Lunar New Year (also known as Chinese New Year) for Hong Kon…

 

Countdown to the Chinese New Year around the world for the year of the mouse


A live countdown to the Lunar New Year (also known as Chinese New Year) for Hong Kong, Hanoi, Vietnam, and New York on January 25, 2020.

While most of the world celebrates the New Year on January 1, many people also celebrate the traditional new year based on the lunar calendar. Celebrate as the clock strikes midnight and the new year arrives. Happy New Year from the Youtube Battles community! 🙂

At the beginning of this year we did a live countdown to 2020 with coverage for all 35 time zones in the world so that everyone could celebrate the moment as the clock struck midnight in their time zone on New Years Eve and the new year began. As the day progressed, the countdown was updated to show the next time zones to hit the year 2020.

Chinese New Year 2020 falls on January 25 | Human World …

春晚合家欢系列之同一种乡愁 | 订阅CCTV春晚

北京时间1月24日20:00,2020年中央广播电视总台春节联欢晚会将如约而至!锁定CCTV春晚频道,春晚直播等你来看,我们不见不散!
2020年中央广播电视总台春节联欢晚会直播地址:https://bit.ly/2R6DIOK

Celebrating Spring Festival with KOLs at the CGTN office 四位外国网红齐聚央视大楼喜迎春节

 

 

Moderate gains for year of the rat – StarProperty



Chinese people around the world prepare for the year of the mouse

People in Qingdao, East China’s Shandong Province pick hangings with Chinese character “Fu (fortune)” at a market on Monday. Photo: cnsphoto

The Chinese Lunar New Year will arrive on Saturday. Chinese people across the country and around the world are preparing to welcome the year of mouse with various traditions.

Chinese people value celebrating the New Year with families.

As of Monday, the national railway has served 12.24 million trips within 11 days since the peak travel season started, a 19.8 percent year-on-year increase. A total of 1,370 temporary trains have been added, China National Radio reported Tuesday.

Traditional conventions in Spring Festival vary across China.

In Chaozhou, South China’s Guangdong Province, people march with god sculptures from temples. “The gong and drum band would follow the firecrackers in the march,” Chen Aijing, a Chaozhou resident, told the Global Times.

“Each village would have different dates to celebrate. There would be performance for Chaozhou operas and traditional puppet play,” she said.

Several days before the New Year day, people in Guangzhou, Guangdong’s capital city go shopping in “Flower Street” where one can buy almost anything. On December 28 of the Lunar Calendar, families clean their houses. On the New Year Day, they make rice cakes, according to Zhao Shi, a local resident.

In Wuhan, Central China’s Hubei Province, there used to be dragon and lion dances, but the convention has been replaced by a lighting show. “Dried fish, meat and sausages are a must for Spring Festival,” a local university student Wu Han said.

Wu interns in Chongli, North China’s Hebei Province. Due to the spread of pneumonia in his home city, Wu hesitated whether he would return home.

In the northeastern provinces, people usually stay indoors during the festival due to cold temperatures.

“Watching the Spring Festival gala is a must for us,” Lun Yu, a resident from Da-

qing, Northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province, told the Global Times on Tuesday. Her big family gathers together on the New Year eve and makes dumplings with fillings of sauerkraut and pork. The dumplings are served on the table right at midnight.

For Chinese living overseas, it is often difficult for them to go home at Spring Festival. Tina Ma, who lives in Melbourne, Australia, decided to visit a friend in Brisbane. “We plan to have a big meal and watch the gala on the internet,” she told the Global Times.

Police officers perform traditional dance at a Spring Festival gala in Du’an Yao autonomous county, South China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region on Sunday. Photo: cnsphoto

Colored lanterns featuring the Red Army displayed in Zunyi, Southwest China’s Guizhou Province. Photo: cnsphoto

A child is attracted by holiday decorations at a Spring Festival market in San Francisco. Photo: cnsphoto

A child tries the head decoration of Chakhar clan in Hohhot, North China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region at an event to celebrate Spring Festival. Photo: cnsphoto

A man is writing couplets at the National Library of China in Beijing on Tuesday. An Exhibition on folk arts and intangible cultural heritage about Spring Festival kicks off here. Photo: Li Hao/GT

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Spring Festival dinner tables underscore digital advantage

From Norwegian salmon, Bostonian lobsters to Chilean cherries, the dinner tables of Chinese people have never been more globalized in the run-up to the Lunar New Year, the most important reunion time for Chinese families.

What’s behind the most important feast for Chinese points to the key to China’s economic appeal – the government’s opening-up efforts, growing consumer demand for diversified choices and better quality, and a digital economy that helps accelerate the country’s consumption upgrading.

As China is shifting toward a consumption-based economy, its rising household consumption and enhanced opening-up to the outside world indicate the great potential of the Chinese market, which attracts attention from foreign companies and exporters.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, China’s retail sales rose 8 percent year-on-year to some 41.16 trillion yuan ($6 trillion) in 2019, with the contribution of consumption to GDP expansion reaching 57.8 percent and remaining the top growth engine for the economy. Moreover, the country’s per capita GDP exceeded the $10,000-mark last year. By any measure, there is still plenty of room for China’s consumption to grow.

But most importantly, a large-scale digital market has taken shape in China, offering a significant boost to consumption, which may be the biggest difference between China’s consumer market and those in other countries. With the upgrading of internet services, the popularization of e-commerce and the change of consumption habits, China’s internet generation of consumers have become accustomed to buying all their daily necessities online. Such efficiency and simplicity have greatly encouraged consumption innovations, providing more and better goods and services options for consumers.

In the process of promoting its consumption upgrading, China’s digital economy has not just boosted its foreign trade but also offered a lift to the rural economy. According to information from Tmall, it sold 190 million kilograms of agricultural commodities during a shopping campaign in early January this year, with income for each participating farmer increasing by 1,037 yuan.

With the rise of the digital economy, Chinese farmers are also using the tool to expand marketing channels for their output so as to improve the living standards. That’s a big difference between China and India. While rural Chinese are embracing the internet and making use of it, Indians in rural regions are resisting the shifts e-commerce will bring, which somehow explains the great vitality in the Chinese economy.

In short, China’s economic prowess lies largely in its digital economy, which sees all parts of society connect with one another to generate continuous momentum for the country to maintain strong growth.

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Chinese people to celebrate festival despite disease impact

The specter of the Wuhan novel coronavirus hovers over China with at least 544 confirmed cases across the country, and most provinces have reportedly had suspected cases, but due to the approach of the most important festival in Chinese tradition – Chinese New Year – many people across the nation maintained optimistic and will go ahead to celebrate the festival.

 

Celebration for Chinese Lunar New Year held in Chinatown of Yangon
Celebration for Chinese Lunar New Year held in Chinatown of Yangon

S.Korea’s real GDP growth hits 10-year low in 2019

South Korea’s real gross domestic product (GDP), adjusted for inflation, posted the lowest growth in 10 years last year, central bank data showed Wednesday.

S.Korea posts lowest growth in a decade

South Korea’s economy expanded at its slowest pace for a decade last year, the central bank said Wednesday.

Chinese economy in good position for future growth: US economist

The Chinese economy is in a good position for future growth as the country is making headway in further reform and opening-up at an appropriate pace, a senior US economist has said.

Tariff war risk may go beyond economic loss

When US President Donald Trump announced he would be attending this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, many expected a toned-down version of the free trade-bashing Trump, whose tariff …

The usually staid Japanese media lambasted the “cowardly” Carlos Ghosn on Wednesday, after the tycoon jumped bail and fled to Lebanon to avoid trial in Japan.

 

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China will develop the world’s largest rocket, with an altitude of more than 100 meters

 

China’s nuclear industry celebrates its 65th anniversary

 

https://youtu.be/VMO2o1-79Ho 

 

Can Davos meeting cool brewing world technology war?

The easing of the trade war does not offer sufficient relief to concerns over a potential China-US technology war.

 

China outraged by US law on Hong Kong


Beijing slams meddling in internal affairs

The nature of this is extremely abominable, and harbours absolutely sinister intentions.
Chinese foreign ministry statement

HONG KONG: China summoned the US ambassador and threatened retaliation after US President Donald Trump signed legislation supporting Hong Kong protesters, just as the world’s top two economies edge towards a trade truce.

Trump signed the legislation under heavy pressure from Congress, where it attracted rare bipartisan support, and in a statement spoke of his “respect” for Chinese President Xi Jinping, calling for both sides to “amicably settle their differences”.

But Beijing lashed out furiously, summoning the US ambassador, threatening unspecified “firm countermeasures” and warning Washington not to implement the legislation.

“The nature of this is extremely abominable, and harbours absolutely sinister intentions,” the Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement.

“China strongly urges the US side to correct mistakes and change course,” the ministry added later.

In Hong Kong, the government expressed “extreme regret” after Trump signed legislation requiring an annual review of freedoms in Hong Kong and banning the sale of crowd control equipment like tear gas.

“The two acts are obviously interfering in Hong Kong’s internal affairs,” the city government said in a statement, warning the move would “send the wrong message to the protesters”.

And Beijing’s liaison office in the city condemned Washington’s “disgusting conduct”, saying it would bring “trouble and chaos” to Hong Kong.

Hong Kongers have protested in huge numbers over the last six months.

The territory’s leaders have offered few concessions and police have cracked down on protesters in increasingly violent clashes.

More than 5,800 people have been arrested and nearly 1,000 charged, with detentions skyrocketing in the last two months.

Yesterday, police entered the campus of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, to which they have laid siege for days.

Most protesters have now left, some of them arrested and beaten as they tried to flee, and police were collecting evidence including Molotov cocktails and archery bows at the ransacked site.

The violence has done little to dampen public support though, with pro-democracy candidates winning a landslide victory in local council elections over the weekend.

The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act requires the US president to annually review the city’s favourable trade status and threatens to revoke it if the territory’s freedoms are quashed.

Trump also signed legislation banning the sale of tear gas, rubber bullets and other equipment used by Hong Kong security forces in putting down the protests. – AFP

Read more:.

Hong Kong society needs to jointly resist US provocation


“One country, two systems” is China’s independent
constitutional arrangement and US intervention damages its external environment. Hong Kong society should be vigilant. To maintain “one  country, two systems,” the Chinese mainland and the HKSAR need to work together. Anyone who colludes with external forces to undermine “one country, two systems” must pay a heavy price.

 

US move on Hong Kong dims deal hopes


US President Donald Trump’s decision to sign a bill into
law that interferes with China’s internal affairs related to Hong Kong has cast a cloud over prospects for a highly anticipated phase one trade deal, with Chinese experts warning Washington of countermeasures if it attempts to link Hong Kong affairs with the ongoing negotiations.

 

Greater connection to the mainland would safeguard HK stability

If China can take the initiative in its competition with the US, it would build confidence among Hongkongers and inspire them to love the country while making the mainland more attractive from their perspective.

Pompeo’s futile efforts to discredit CPC

The CPC has led Chinese people to be truly independent, realize great economic growth in the past decades, fundamentally reshape people’s livelihood, and regain dignity in the world. The CPC has
dedicated itself to the great rejuvenation of China. This is a consensus of Chinese people, and many Westerners cannot imagine how unshakable it is.

Time for HK pan-democrats to build consensus

Pan-democrats gained more seats, but they should maintain
political sobriety. The young newly elected, in particular,   hould keep a distance from those who betray the country and Hong Kong, and have
the courage to explore a new political path in accordance with the “one country, two systems” principle. Hong Kong is a part of China, and never will it belong to the US or the West. Only by keeping this in mind and acting accordingly will they have a solid political career.

China needs to counter Western public opinion war

The most effective way to counter US public opinion war
against China is to raise our voices while doing our own things well. We must strengthen our ability to expose slander and Western lies. Since the US launched the trade war with China, China has been expanding its openness while fighting back. China’s image in international trade is becoming increasingly better than the US’ and people can see it.

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US’s ‘Support Hong Kong Violence Act’ condemmed


The US Senate on Tuesday unanimously passed the “Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act,” a move that seriously tarnished sacred terms like “human rights” and “democracy.” The bill’s real title should be “Support Hong Kong Violence Act” as it has overtly taken sides with rioters who are destroying the rule of law in Hong Kong. And it has targeted the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government and Hong Kong police, who are struggling to prevent chaos from turning into anarchy.

The core of the new US bill is to oppose HKSAR government’s efforts to stop violence, end chaos as well as to prevent the Chinese central government from saving Hong Kong under any circumstance. The most prominent clause subjects the city to an annual review for its special trade status, which would strip Hong Kong of the status.

Some opposition figures in Hong Kong stupidly kowtow to Washington and express their gratitude for US support for the radical protesters’ “democracy struggle.” But if the US imposes economic sanctions on Hong Kong, all Hong Kong people will have to bear the consequences.

Once the bill is signed by the US president, subtle changes will take place in Hong Kong’s international business environment, because of the uncertainties caused by the US. American investors in Hong Kong will panic, and the city’s geoeconomic status and function will be reevaluated.

Some may expect this to deter Beijing. Such thinking is naïve. Hong Kong is in a mess, but the country hasn’t intervened so far.

Instead, the Chinese central government encourages the city to stop violence and end chaos under the leadership of the HKSAR government, solve the conundrum under the framework of the Basic Law and not use the provisions of the Basic Law for emergency situations.

However, if the chaos continues, even paralyzes the city and destroys ordinary people’s lives, how can the central government not intervene?

Passing the act is the US attempt to disrupt the People’s Republic of China’s governance over Hong Kong, weaken the HKSAR government, and compel the police to be afraid of cracking down on radical rioters in accordance with the law.

The US is hoping that Hong Kong falls into disorder for a long time. If we take this US bill seriously and shrink from tackling riots, Hong Kong will suffer from an accelerated collapse of the rule of law and be erased from the modern world.

Hong Kong has long acted as an interface linking China and the West. The US move will undermine that function of the city. But no matter what challenges Hong Kong will have to face, it will be far better than what it faces now: Streets are full of roadblocks; subway stations are burned; schools cannot re-open; and many businesses are forced to stop.

If riots continue, Hong Kong is doomed. The threat from the US is much less than the damage the city is currently suffering.

What the bill brings is not fear, but anger. People see certain US politicians’ malice against Hong Kong and the entire China between the lines.

It is believed that with the central government’s support, Hong Kong will resolutely reject the US threat. Hong Kong’s special trade status is entitled by the Basic Law. The US attitude does not represent the international community’s. Hong Kong’s future is bound to that of the entire China, instead of the US.

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Read more:

China ready to  ‘fight back’ over US  Hong Kong bill

US Senate’s passage of HK ‘rights act’ condemned | The Star …

image: https://apicms.thestar.com.my/uploads/images/2019/11/21/397785.jpg

Strong words: Yang said the passage openly supported protesters and radicals in Hong Kong and completely exposed the hegemonic nature of some politicians in the United States. — Reuters
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‘We lied, we cheated, we stole’, ‘the Glory of American experiment’ by US Secretary of State/Ex-CIA director Mike Pompeo

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: “I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole. We had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment.”

Pompeo said this at an event at Texas A&M University on April 15, 2019. Here is the official State Department transcript:https://www.state.gov/secretary/remar….

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Hong Kong Riots, engineered by CIA, nothing but true!

Inside America’s Meddling Machine destabilizing the world order

 https://youtu.be/NzIJ25ob1aA

Hong Kong’s social problems stem from British rule, faces risk of Beijing rule as UK’s ‘toothless threat’ against China

Hong Kong’s youngters barking up at the wrong tree: preaching the West’s cheats, divide-and-conquer, farce hearing !  https://youtu.be/n9Modr_sVr0

Inside America’s Meddling Machine: NED, the US-Funded Org Interfering in Elections Across the Globe https://youtu.be/NzIJ25ob1aA

 

Behind Hong Kong’s chaos lie deep-seated social ills

Hong Kong in decline

 

 

 

Malaysian talent lost due to racial bigotry


Leng Siew Yeap

Leng Siew Yeap, a Malaysian, a graduate of UMS applied for a scholarship to do a doctorate degree but was refused outright by the local govt.

She was however offered scholarships by University of Edinburgh, London University and Cambridge University. She chose Cambridge University’s Dorothy Hodgkin postgraduate award to study stem cell.

On graduation she accepted the offer from Harvard to study human immunology. She is now working in research for a Shanghai university hospital.

She has successfully helped to create an method/procedure 4 the body to secrete
an antibody to fight HIV. She is now married to a Shanghai citizen, living and working in Shanghai. She and her achievements are never mentioned in any Malaysia newspaper.

View Full Profile – Shanghai Institute of Immunology

 

 

Shanghai Institute of Immunology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University
School of Medicine, China.
Research Interests

Our body is constantly attacked by pathogens. To fight against various pathogens, B cells produce a large antibody repertoire through different processes that involve genomic DNA alterations. During B cell development, a DNA cut and paste mechanism called V(D)J recombination generates a primary antibody repertoire by producing V(D)J exons that
are made up of combinations of different V, D and J segments. Upon activation by pathogens, mature B cells undergo secondary antibody diversification, whereby Somatic Hypermutation (SHM) generates antibodies with higher affinity, while Class Switch Recombination (CSR) generates antibodies with different effector functions. In theory, our body has the capability to generate all necessary antibodies to fight against different pathogens through antibody diversification mechanisms. However, this is not the case. For example, in certain infectious diseases such as Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection/ acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), only a small percentage of the infected patients were able to produce effective antibodies. Our research aims
to elucidate molecular mechanisms that facilitate approaches in generating highly effective antibodies to fight pathogens and infectious diseases. We employ various approaches including mouse models, cell line systems, CRISPR-mediated genome editing and next-generation sequencing technologies (Yeap et al., Cell, 2015, Figure below) to address our aims.

 

 

Top Malaysian researcher working to wipe out infectious diseases

Dr Yeap heads the antibody diversification team at Shanghai Institute of Immunology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, China.

LIKE many of her peers, Dr Yeap Leng Siew, 39, was raised believing that noble careers only include doctors and lawyers.

So when the Selangorian failed to enter medical school because she didn’t get straight As in the Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM), her childhood ambition of becoming a doctor came crashing down.

She was upset for awhile but remembered that as a secondary school girl, she had done well in Biology.

It encouraged her to take up Biotechnology at Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS).

“I passed with flying colors and was the best student at university. If I hadn’t been rejected to do medicine, I wouldn’t have the career that I now enjoy. It was a blessing in disguise.”

Now married to a Chinese national and living in Shanghai, the mother-of-two graduated with first class honours from UMS in 2003, and received the Royal Educational Award and Tunku Abdul Rahman Medal. These awards recognise the country’s best student from each public university. After graduation, she was still unsure about her career path until a research stint at the Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS) sparked her interest in cell biology.

She went on to do her doctorate in stem cell biology at the University of Cambridge, before continuing as a Harvard Medical School postdoctoral fellow at the Boston Children’s Hospital.

“Initially I wanted to do a Ph.D in Singapore but my GRE score (a US-based graduate entrance exam) was not great.”

Though she did not receive any offers during the first round of application, she was determined to pursue a Ph.D degree.

“People are bitter about rejections because they do not have backup plans. Prof Bing Lim, my supervisor at GIS, once told me to be open-minded because a narrow mind narrows potential. His words were etched in my heart ever since.”

She was later granted the Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) Dorothy Hodgkin Postgraduate Award – a full scholarship for outstanding students from developing countries to pursue a Ph.D degree at the University of Cambridge.

She continued to make her mark when she was awarded the St Catharine’s College Graduate Prize for Distinction in Research during her stint in Cambridge. She then went on to receive the prestigious Cancer Research Institute Postdoctoral Fellowship in the United States.

Disappointment, she said, is part of life.

“It is how we overcome disappointments and take up challenges that distinguishes us from the rest.”

The former research assistant at GIS now heads the antibody diversification team at Shanghai Institute of Immunology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, China.

“Prof Huck Hui Ng from GIS once told me, ‘work hard, and the sky is the limit’. I now tell my students those very same words.”

In 2017, Yeap was selected by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) to receive the Excellent Young Scientist Fund, which is aimed at nurturing young talents with innovative potential.

She speaks to StarEdu about her work and advises young science students to expand their horizon. The world doesn’t end just because you didn’t get into medical school. There are many opportunities for those interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

> What is your area of research?I am interested in understanding why some people develop effective antibodies to fight diseases while others do not. For example, only a small percentage of HIV-1 infected patients develop potent antibodies against the virus, which is why this remains a major health problem globally. Another example is how despite being vaccinated for the flu or hepatitis B (HBV), some do not develop protective antibodies and are still susceptible to these illnesses. My research group is studying how the antibodies acquire high levels of mutations and other special characteristics. Understanding how these rare antibodies develop will shed light on developing HIV or new vaccines for the flu or HBV.

> How long have you been away from home? Sixteen years. During the final semester of my undergraduate studies, I did a 10-week research attachment at the National Cancer Centre of Singapore. It was a time when biological research was just starting to bloom there. I was very fortunate not to be sent home because of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak, and even luckier, because I landed my first job as a research assistant at the Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS).

Seeing that I graduated from a university that didn’t even exist when he left his hometown, Kota Kinabalu, my supervisor at GIS, Dr Bing Lim, decided to hire me. He has been a great mentor ever since. In his laboratory, we were trying to culture human stem cells and I was fascinated by the idea that these cells may be turned into any type of cells for therapeutic purposes.

I realised then that I would have to pursue a Ph.D degree if I want to move further along in my research career. Two years later, I moved to the United Kingdom to begin my postgraduate studies in the lab of Prof Azim Surani at the University of Cambridge. When I completed my doctorate, my parents were expecting me to come home. So when I told them that I had planned on continuing my postdoctoral training in the United States, they were shocked. It took a while to convince them that a Ph.D degree is just the beginning of a career in research and that to have a chance of running my own laboratory one day, I would have to undergo a postdoctoral training as well.

In 2010, I started my postdoctoral training in the laboratory of a top immunologist, Dr Fred Alt at Harvard Medical School. During the five years of postdoctoral training, I met my husband and gave birth to my first child.

In 2015, we decided to move closer to home to start our career as independent researchers.

> What is it about home you miss the most?The food definitely – nasi lemak, durian, and my mum’s cooking.

> You helped find a way for the body to fight HIV. Tell us about that breakthrough.During my postdoctoral training, I developed mouse models to study how different antibody genes undergo mutation. We found that certain DNA sequences are more prone to mutations and that the same DNA sequences are also prone to deletions, another common characteristic of anti-HIV broadly neutralising antibodies.

These results suggest that DNA sequence direct the evolution of antibodies and these results were published in Cell in 2015, a top journal in the biological field. In 2017, we published in Proceedings of National Academy of Science on a related work where we analysed a mouse model carrying a human antibody gene and found that many mutations in anti-HIV antibodies are not easily achieved. Understanding how our bodies are able to elicit these rare antibodies will help in vaccine design strategies.

> What are you currently working on?We are continuously trying to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying highly effective antibody generation and developing approaches to guide our bodies to produce such antibodies during infection. We use animal models, cutting-edge gene editing techniques and next generation DNA sequencing in our research. We hope to one day wipe out infectious diseases like HIV.

> Are there any plans to work with other Malaysian researchers moving forward?We are constantly reaching out to researchers from all over the world, and Malaysia is definitely a priority. On Aug 9, I was in Malaysia with a delegation headed by Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine chancellor Prof Guoqiang Chen, and Shanghai Institute of Immunology director Prof Bing Su, to promote collaborations with Universiti Malaya’s Faculty of Medicine. We also visited the International Medical University (IMU).

With the Chinese government’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative, there are plenty of funding opportunities for academic exchanges and scholarships for graduate studies. Hopefully, more people will come to know about research and academic opportunities in our school.

I have been exposed to different research environments in top laboratories and research institutes around the world, and the current biomedical research environment in Shanghai and other major cities in China, is definitely on par with the places that I have been to.

>What is the most challenging aspect of working in a lab?As an independent researcher, my job is to design and supervise experiments, analyse the results with my students and postdocs, and write manuscripts for publications. I also have to make sure that the lab has enough funding to do research.

Some of the challenging aspects include dealing with failed experiments, manuscripts and grants being rejected, and harsh criticisms by peers. But the satisfaction in being the first in the world to discover something new and potentially textbook-changing, makes all the hard work worthwhile.

> What qualities would a young, aspiring researcher need?Passion, persistence and determination. In the labs I’ve been to, I’ve seen college or even high school students doing research internships during school holidays. These kinds of opportunities allow students to experience the laboratory culture and life as a researcher. Being exposed to different career options at an early stage allows students to make better career choices and develop greater potential. I hope young Malaysians can be more pro-active and seek out such opportunities to enrich themselves in their spare time. I didn’t know there was such a possibility when I was in school.-Source link

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A meaningless Merdeka


This Merdeka is a meaningless Merdeka for the nation as it entrenches itself into old political mindsets. A meaningless Merdeka …mysinchew.sinchew.com.my

By Prof Dr. Mohd Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi

After 21 years of writing ideas, criticisms and advice for Malaysians, Malays and those in power in academic, religious and political institutions, I have no more to give. Malaysia is on a certain road of destruction with the Malay Muslims driving it to the ground. I have looked hard and deep into many other ways than I have mentioned and I have no more ideas to bring to the table.

This is the most difficult article to write for me and I have thought many times to just call up Sin Chew and refuse a requested writing for the first time in my entire career as an academic. I see no more hope for this country. The Malays will eventually destroy itself and others with it. The only hope for the idea of a Malaysia lies in the nations of Sabah and Sarawak. If these two quit the partnership, then the idea of Malaysia is just a joke. If I were younger by three decades, I would take my family outside this country and resettle in others or at least in neighboring Singapore and the nations of Sabah and Sarawak. At least they still have teh tarik there.

With muftis sounding like gangsters in a terrible movie plot and unchecked by their patrons, the Malays will continue to be educated in that manner. With veteran Malay politicians and businessmen helming the fate of the country, the Old Malaysia has just been given a new lease of life by a heart-bypass. With academia still counting their H-indexes and SCOPUS papers, these institutions of learning will continue to be irrelevant entities to social and political development getting fat by the tax payers money and their own sense of self grandeur. Religion, academia and politics of the Malays are safely entrenched to bring the country to a precipice of oblivion.

The editors of this article wants to know from me what can be changed? Well, I no longer have any more ideas except to say…save yourself and your family by hunkering down, tightening the stomach and strategically plan for the children to be placed outside this country.

I have now begun to seriously think about such a strategy for two of my children. There is nothing here in Malaysia that would be anything of a dignified existence of a person.

When a mufti with extremely low knowledge on the history of the Indian people can make simplistic and racist statements about them, and get away without any reprimand or reminder from his patrons, then the game is ended. When he calls on hardworking and dedicated groups of Chinese educationist to be outlawed without measuring their six decades of contribution, what dignity is there left? Worse, when a peddler of religious capitalism comes to this country blaring insults not only to other religions but also the presence of our own community of generations of people, ministers have dinner with him with smiling photo ops. Susah-lah ini macam.

Then there is a political party with Islam as its name spew venoms of Islamic brotherhood being more important than citizenry and that those who oppose the peddler of religious evangelism from another country as enemies of Islam, and the police sits quietly without any reaction. Apa lagi nak cerita?

I have trained myself to be an expert at identifying success and failure in everything I do. I can also expertly predict success and failure in some things others do. I can definitely say that Malaysia is a failure. It was failing badly before May 9th 2018, it has failed even worse after merely over a year.

In the beginning, this failure was caused by a reluctance of the Malay voters to change. Then, this failure was fueled by the marriage of the two discredited Malay parties. Now, the trust of the people has been totally betrayed by the smallest and least ideological party which happens to helm the leadership and is engineering a 1990s come-back formula.

Unless a miracle happens, Malaysia will be the first country to be listed as the ‘fourth world’ of a three world category. We will go nowhere, be no ‘thing’ and simply become stuck to the ground with our old ideas about economy, education, religion and having no sense of dignity to others and the world. When one day, Muslims will be rejected entry into most countries of the world as with their favorite penceramah, then the old Malay proverb of sudah jatuh ditimpa tangga or sudah jatuh baru tertenggadah becomes a stark reality.

What is this miracle that may reignite the fires of Malaysia? Only three things. First, by a stroke of miracle, the civil society restrategize itself with other existing political parties and puts up 70 independent candidates to oust the cancerous elements in PH and combine with the dignified parties of Sarawak and Sabah, then there may be a chance.

How hard is it to find 70 credible candidates of all races dedicated to nation building? The names are already on my computer list. The civil society, good and nation-conscious NGOs can work together with the grassroots of rejuvenated veteran parties that lost their shorts in the last election. Those civil leaders appointed by the PH must return to the fold when the time of GE15 draws closer.

The second miracle would be 100,000 Malay children and more to come out of their UEC education and these children must be tracked and given support so that they can be the savior of a nation from the old bigotry of Muslims and Malays in the public schools.

That is why Malay political parties despise the UEC as the new Malays who are trilingual and globalized networked with China and the West will reformulate new national constructs based on their times with the other communities in the UEC schools.

Regardless of whether the PH government will recognize or not, I see the UEC as the only savior of this nation. The sons and daughters rejected by the majority of their own race will come back to revive the idea of Malaysia and thus, we Malaysians must ensure that the UEC survives and thrive.

Those of our sons and daughters educated in the international schools with international curriculum would be the other force that can cure an ailing nation, and that too must be protected and expanded so that it becomes affordable to send our children too. Leave the public schools entrenched in its own issues and problems.

The third miracle would be the private education tertiary institutions. These institutions have gone through the economic gauntlet and is now secure with a mixed group of academics to lead the nation where public universities fail in their own ethno-centric constructs of self-delusion and irrelevant academia. If these private universities can wake up to fill the minds of young Malaysians with the right mind set and ideas to lead the future, than the future can be theirs for the taking.

Private universities must get out of their balance sheet mindset and show that they can take over what was left out by the big brother universities and strike out on their own. The private university academics can form their own Professor Council and produce strategies for real impactful research and ideas that can move Malaysia 50 years into the future and pool its student talents to research and recharge industries linking the world. The future industries are in a mapless world and do not require a Malay Majlis Perbandaran to give the okay to start a factory. The new ‘factories’ are in cyberspace and offshore. Countries will work with these students who do not display any sense of ethnic or religious superiority complex and shun those that do. The world belongs to the private enterprise as government fails to change because of Old Politics.

The third miracle would be the pooling of resources by private companies and enterprises across a maples world to provide financial and infra-structure backings to clear thinking and hard working graduates and young skilled individuals freeing itself from any governmental ‘requirements’. Again, governments do not control cyberspace and off shore dealings. Malaysians will be everywhere in the world working, living, playing and worshipping while still rooted to their ‘tanah tumpah darah ku’.

This Merdeka is a meaningless Merdeka for the nation as it entrenches itself into old political mindsets. But this Merdeka is a new Merdeka for all Malaysians who love the idea of living with deep respect to each other’s faith and cultures and working with each other for mutual prosperity.

What we need is a Merdeka from the old rules of the game towards a new game play of global dimension that frees us from the old 90s ball and chains.

To save this Malaysia, our children must ‘leave the present Malaysia’ and embrace the future Malaysia that lies beyond its shores into a global and universal construct rooted in our traditional faiths and cultures.

(Professor Dr. Mohd Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi is Professor at UCSI University.)

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