Malaysia’s economic stimulus package of RM20bil to mitigate Covid-19 impact


Video: https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2020/02/28/gdp-target-within-reach?jwsource=cl

Minimum EPF contribution by employees to be reduced by 4% from 11% to 7%, with effect from Apr 1 to Dec 31, 2020. This will potentially unlock up to RM10 billion worth of private consumption. Malaysian workers have the option to opt out from the
scheme and maintain their contribution rate
    • KUALA LUMPUR: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had on Thursday unveiled the RM20bil stimulus package to offset the fallout from the Covid-19 coronavirus.

Below are the highlights:

    • Based on three strategies: counter Covid-19 impact, boost people-based growth, encourage quality investments

 

    • • Bank Simpanan Nasional provides RM200mil micro credit at 4% interest rate

 

    • • MAHB to cut rental for tenants, landing charges and parking fees at airports

 

    • • Postponement of income tax monthly payment for tourism-related companies

 

    • • Bank Negara provides RM2bil guaranteed financial aid for SMES at 3.75% interest rate

 

    • • All banks required to reduce monetary burden in the form of postponement of payments or rescheduling of loans

 

    • • Temporary six months discount of as much as 15% for electricity bills for hotels, tourism agencies, airlines, and shopping centres

 

    • • Hotels to get service tax breaks from next month to august

 

    • • Economic growth for 2020 expected to be between 3.2% and 4.2%

 

    • • Minimum EPF contribution by employees to be reduced from 11% to 7%, with effect from april 1 to dec 31. This could unlock up to RM10bil worth of private consumption. Malaysian contributors have the choice to opt out from the scheme and maintain their contribution rate

 

    • • A payment of RM200 to all bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH) recipients scheduled for May will be brought forward to March. an additional RM100 will be paid into the bank accounts of all BSH recipients in May. Subsequently, an additional rM50 will be channelled in the form of e-tunai

 

    • • As a result of the stimulus package, fiscal deficit estimated to increase to 3.4% of GDP from targeted 3.2%

 

    • • Grants of RM1,000 to RM10,000 for entrepreneurs to promote the sale of their products on e-commerce platforms

 

    • • Securities Commission and bursa Malaysia will waive listing fees for one year, for companies seeking listing on Leading entrepreneur accelerator Platform (LEAP) or Access, Certainty, Efficiency (ACE) markets, as well as companies with market capitalisation of less than RM500mil seeking listing on the main market

 

    • • Import duty and sales tax exemption on importation or local purchase of machinery and equipment used in port operations for three years commencing april 1

 

    • • Enough source of money for now, no issuance of bonds needed

 

    • • Stimulus package to be funded by RM2 trillion savings from bank Negara, Tabung Haji, EPF

 

  • • Bureaucratic procedures will be expedited to disburse stimulus

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Cutting-edge satellite launched by private Chinese company: GalaxySpace


Galaxy Space plans to establish a low Earth orbit 5G constellation. Credit: Galaxy Space.

China’s most powerful low-orbiting communication satellite, also the biggest spacecraft ever built by a private Chinese company, was launched in Northwest China.

The GalaxySpace 1, designed and built by the Beijing-based startup GalaxySpace and launched yesterday, is also widely considered the country’s first 5G-capable satellite.

The 200kg satellite was lifted at 11.02am atop a Kuaizhou 1A rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in the Gobi Desert, according to a statement by GalaxySpace.

It has a transmission capacity of 10 Gigabits per second and uses multiple bands such as Q/V and Ka, the company said.

China has been going all-out to boost and promote 5G communication technology, regarding it as one of the major driving forces for future social and economic development.

China lofts 4 satellites into orbit with its second launch of 2020 …

https://www.space.com/china-long-march-2d-satellites-january-2020-launch-success.html

 

China launches Yinhe-1 commercial low Earth orbit 5G satellite

 

Liftoff of the Kuaizhou-1A light solid rocket from Jiuquan at 10:02 p.m.
Eastern Jan. 15 carrying the Yinhe-1 5G satellite. Credit: CASIC

China sends six satellites into space with a single rocket

Blockchain: Internet of Value/ Currency of Trust; Private cryptocurrency a misallocation among blockchain technology, say research & economist


  • Blockchain embodies the internet of value. How will it revolutionize our lives and our pockets?

  •  And, we look at the qualities Blockchain needs to spark mass adoption.

Blockchain, one of the buzzwords in technology, is set to rise in China. Recently,
Chinese President Xi Jinping underscored the fledgling technology as the country increasingly views Blockchain as key to future innovation. Has a digital game changer arrived? How will a boom in Blockchain impact our lives? Today we delve into the world of the new technology and talk to Don Tapscott, co-founder and executive chairman of the Blockchain Research Institute, to find out more.

Currency of Trust

Blockchain has the potential to be revolutionary. But, what hurdles must it overcome before it can hit the mainstream? In London, we invited Patrick McCorry, founder and CEO of PISA Research, a grant funded by a group of Blockchain companies, to decode this ever-changing world.

Private cryptocurrency a misallocation among blockchain technology, says economist

Cryptocurrency is digital-based cash among the internet world nowadays. Born from blockchain, this kind of “currency” is blooming in terms of high privacy. Acknowledging that, Nobel Prize-winning economist and Harvard professor Eric Maskin commented that private cryptocurrency is a misallocation.

“The most important application of blockchain so far has been cryptocurrency, and that is a terrible misallocation. In my view, cryptocurrency, at least private cryptocurrency like bitcoin is a mistake,” said Maskin.

“Because the public currency like RMB and U.S. dollar are much more useful than private currency. [Public currencies] they preserve the power of central banks to conduct monetary policy. If no one is using the dollar, then the U.S. monetary policy is useless. So I’m worried about cryptocurrency only to the extent that it reduces the use of currencies like RMB or dollar,” he added.

He also pointed out that cryptocurrencies could interfere with central banks’ monetary policies.

Meanwhile, Maskin supports the idea that blockchain is a technology. He noted that it is one of the exciting developments that have come along in recent years.

“Blockchain can make all sorts of transactions much easier and much more secure. It can also ensure that only the information that people need to have gets transmitted,” said Maskin.

“Blockchain is a way for me to guarantee that only what you need to about me gets told. And that’s valuable in a world where we’re beginning to worry about privacy issues,” the professor explained.

Besides, Maskin supports building the country’s own digital currencies. With the backdrop of e-payment booming around the world, Maskin said the digital currency can make transaction easier but it won’t have all of the unpleasant side effects of these private currencies.

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Blockchain with Chinese characteristics

 

 

 

US cannot break China’s supply chain


The US has once again disparaged the Chinese economy to entertain itself. US President Donald Trump on Saturday claimed China’s supply chain was “all broken, like an egg,” and said China wanted a deal more than the US did.

The fact is, however, senior US officials are talking about trade wars and trade deals almost every day, while Chinese officials rarely do this. Anyone who knows a little bit about psychology can figure out that such responses of the US reflect anxiety, rather than calmness.

Is China’s supply chain broken like an egg? Chinese telecom giant Huawei has not begged the US to be “magnanimous.” It is now US companies that are asking to be excluded from US restrictions.

Being placed in the Entity List has certainly caused difficulties for Huawei, but such hardships are far from delivering vital blows to fling the company down. Some US elites are clamoring for knocking Huawei down, but their indecent acts have only stimulated Huawei’s strength and growth. And Chinese people generally believe that this high-tech company will be increasingly strong.

The US cannot even defeat one Chinese enterprise by making full use of its whole country’s power. Now it is claiming it will break the supply chain of all of China as an egg. Is such bragging too exaggerated? We wonder how the public opinion and voters in the US can tolerate such a boast. The voters are seemingly quite gullible.

The US is suffering an economic downturn, and many indicators demonstrate that its good days are coming to an end. US state leaders and senior officials are like cheerleaders, taking turns to cheer up the stock index.

In terms of economic situations, Chinese officials’ description is absolutely more objective and calm than the US side. China recognizes that the trade war has brought negative impacts, and our efforts to eliminate such effects are open and timely. The US, however, is trying to cover up the effects of the trade war it has launched.

China has already focused its efforts on solving its own problems. We will not bet on the idea that reaching a deal will fundamentally change China-US economic relations. Most Chinese believe that whether there is an agreement or not, turmoil between the two countries will not end. Chinese society is in favor of reaching a trade deal, but it is also patient.

Including Chinese companies such as Huawei in the Entity List will cause long-term damages to US business community’s reputation. Foreign companies may be on guard against US enterprises in the future while building their own supply chains, which will certainly offer more opportunities for US competitors.

The US is so keen on imposing sanctions, and is fond of applying sanctions on related third-parties. Betting on US companies may work in a short term, but cannot serve as a long-term strategy. The US has trodden business ethics under foot in this round of China-US games. It is even pleased with itself for overtly destroying China’s supply chain. At the strategic planning in the US, there are no such concepts like honesty and morality. The Chinese society has clearly observed this, as has the entire world.

Fortunately, China has the widest range of manufacturing sectors in the world, which has given the country a special strength in the global supply chain. China is not afraid of any game against the supply chain. Producers without China’s supply chain will certainly feel more pain than China.

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Huawei launches ‘fastest’ AI cluster, challenging Google in computing; unveils flagship Mate 30 series, along with Watch GT 2 smartwatch and Vision TV snap on like a pro!


https://youtu.be/bxGdjMLrDho

 Snap on like a pro, Mate

Huawei Launches ‘World’s Fastest AI Training  Cluster

Huawei launches “world’s fastest AI training cluster” – Verdict

Huawei launches Atlas 900, world’s fastest AI training cluster

Focus on computing could challenge industry leaders like Google: analysts

Visitors check out devices at the Huawei Connect 2019 in Shanghai on Wednesday. Photo: Shen Weiduo/GT

Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies on Wednesday unveiled its ambition in the computing sector by laying out its strategy for the $2 trillion sector and releasing what it claims to be the world’s fastest artificial intelligence (AI) training cluster, the Atlas 900, a move that industry analysts said could challenge industry giants like Google.

Huawei’s foray into the computing area also comes after steady progress it made in 5G businesses and the proprietary operating system HarmonyOS, showing the industry giant’s defiance and resilience amid the US intensified crackdown over the past year. it also marks another milestone for the company, said analysts.

“When most people think Huawei, they think connections…But our work doesn’t stop at connectivity. Both connections and computing are key,” Ken Hu (Houkun), deputy chairman of Huawei, spoke of Huawei’s ambitions in the industry at the Huawei Connect 2019, an annual conference held by the industry giant in Shanghai, which runs from Wednesday to Friday.

“In terms of Huawei’s investment, they’re equally important. In the past, we mostly talked about connections. Today I’d like to focus on computing,” Hu said. The future of computing is a massive market worth more than $2 trillion by 2023, where Huawei wants to carve out a space.

Huawei also introduced sectors it will focus on in the industry, including architectural innovation, investment in its all-scenario processors and the construction of an open ecosystem, which will involve an investment of another $1.5 billion in its developer program.

From the launch of its chip series and proprietary operating system to servers, to the computing layout, it is stepping up efforts to build up a comprehensive ability amid the US’ intensified crackdown, Xiang Ligang, a Beijing-based veteran industry analyst, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

Xiang said these moves indicate the US crackdown will not contain the company’s growth.

Apart from the official debut of its computing strategy, Huawei on Wednesday also unveiled the Atlas 900, which it claimed is the fastest AI training cluster that combines the power of thousands of its proprietary Ascend processors.

Building on the technical strength it has developed over the past decade, Huawei said that Atlas 900 takes only 59.8 seconds to train ResNet-50, a type of artificial neural network that is the gold standard for measuring AI training performance. This is 10 seconds faster than the previous world record.

“The layout in the computing sector and launch of training clusters mainly aim to serve as rivals to industry giants like Google, which now has the strongest computing power in the world. The world’s major breakthroughs in the AI sector also come from Google,” Jiang Junmu, chief writer at the telecom industry news website c114.com.cn, who covers Huawei closely, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

The biggest barrier to AI development is the lack of computing ability, but this is also where Huawei sees opportunity, Jiang said.


US ban effect

Being on a US blacklist since May 16, which restricts many US companies from selling products to Huawei, has cast a shadow on its businesses. While playing down the US effect, Hu said on Wednesday during the opening remarks that “Huawei has been doing just fine, like the good weather in Shanghai today.”

He told reporters that Huawei has secured more than 50 contracts even amid the baseless security accusations from the US, and the number is still increasing. He estimated that 5G businesses will start contributing to revenue by the end of next year with the full roll-out of 5G services in China.

Still, insiders pointed out uncertainties for the giant. For instance, the company, which is also the world’s second-largest smartphone maker, is scheduled to launch a high-end smartphone Mate 30 series on Thursday. Whether the new handset will be able to run Google’s Android operating system and apps may affect its sales.

Huawei rotating chairman Eric Xu (Zhijun) said last month that while the impact of the US curbs was weaker than previously expected, there would still be at least $10 billion in losses in its smartphone unit’s revenue this year.

An insider told the Global Times on the sidelines of the conference that it’s unclear whether Huawei’s own computing architecture and proprietary HarmonyOS could support its devices and meet consumer expectations.

“The company is doing OK, but it still has holes to be fixed in the face of unclear prospects,” the insider said.
Newspaper headline: Huawei launches ‘fastest’ AI cluster

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Huawei unveils flagship Mate 30 series, along with Watch GT 2 smartwatch and Vision TV


Design-wise, the Mate 30 Pro comes with anarrow notch, slim bezels and an edge-to-edge Horizon Display, whichcurves at an 88° angle, to maximise the screen real estate. — Photos:KHOR SOW YEE/The Star

Huawei has unveiled its latest flagship smartphones, the Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro – along with a Mate 30 Pro Porsche variant and a Mate 30 Pro 5G model – at a launch event in Munich, Germany.

The Mate 30 range is powered by the new Kirin 990 SoC chipset. The 5G models, however, are powered by the Kirin 990 5G chipset – the first to integrate both processing units and a 5G modem on the same chip – making these devices the “world’s first second-generation 5G smartphones that support 4K video calls”, claims Huawei.

“The era of 5G is an opportunity to rethink the smartphone technology and the Huawei Mate 30 series is the ultimate expression of what’s possible,” said Huawei business group CEO Richard Yu.

Design-wise, the Mate 30 Pro comes with a narrow notch, slim bezels and an edge-to-edge Horizon Display, which curves at an 88° angle, to maximise the screen real estate.

It has also eliminated the side volume buttons and replaced them with virtual keys, allowing users to position them on either side of the phone – a handy feature for both left- and right-handed users.

The Mate 30 series sports a triple/quad camera system, with a ring design surrounded by a metallic “halo”.

Mate 30 Pro has a 40-megapixel SuperSensing camera with wide-angle lens, a 40-megapixel camera with ultra-wide angle lens, an 8-megapixel camera with telephoto lens, and a 3D depth sensing camera.

Mate 30 Pro has a 40-megapixel SuperSensing camera with wide-angle lens, a 40-megapixel camera with ultra-wide angle lens, an 8-megapixel camera with telephoto lens, and a 3D depth sensing camera.

For the Mate 30, this comprises a 40-megapixel SuperSensing camera, a 16-megapixel camera with ultra wide-angle lens and an 8-megapixel camera with telephoto lens.

The smartphone also boasts optical image stabilisation (OIS), along with laser focus, which together are capable of 2.5cm macro photography and max ISO of 204800.

Meanwhile, its larger sibling the Mate 30 Pro comes with a 40-megapixel SuperSensing camera with wide-angle lens, a 40-megapixel camera with ultra-wide angle lens, an 8-megapixel camera with telephoto lens, and a 3D depth sensing camera.

The SuperSensing camera features a dual main-camera system with a max video ISO rating of 51200 to capture videos at super slow-motion at up to 7,680fps (frames per second), as well as 4K ultra-wide angle low-light time-lapse video and real-time Bokeh.

The second of the dual-camera system promises brilliant results in low-light conditions with ISO 409600 light sensitivity.

Huawei says that the 8-megapixel camera on the phones offer 3x optical zoom, 5x hybrid zoom and up to 30x digital zoom.

The front-facing camera on the Mate 30 also comes with 3D depth sensing that is purportedly able to deliver pro-Bokeh effects with accurate depth-of-field info for selfies and portraits.

The front-facing camera on the Mate 30 also comes with 3D depth sensing that is purportedly able to deliver pro-Bokeh effects with accurate depth-of-field info for selfies and portraits.

The front-facing camera also comes with 3D depth sensing that is purportedly able to deliver pro-Bokeh effects with accurate depth-of-field info for selfies and portraits.

Other features include an always-on display with a lock screen that changes colour throughout the day, AI gesture control for contactless interaction, HiCar smart travel for seamless connectivity with a car’s on-board communication and entertainment systems, 3D face unlock and in-screen fingerprint sensor (Mate 30 Pro only).

Huawei has eliminated the side volume buttons and replaced them with virtual ones on the Mate 30 Pro (pic) and Mate 30.

Huawei has eliminated the side volume buttons and replaced them with virtual ones on the Mate 30 Pro (pic) and Mate 30.

The 6.62in Mate 30 has a 4,200mAh battery, while the 6.53in Mate 30 Pro has with a 4,500mAh battery. Both support fast wired and wireless charging, while the Mate 30 Pro provides upgraded reverse wireless charging for other compatible devices.

The Huawei Mate 30 with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage will retail at €799 (RM3.700), while the Mate 30 Pro with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage will go for €1,099 (RM5,100) for the non-5G version and €1,199 (RM5,550) for the 5G model.

The phones will be available in Emerald Green, Space Silver, Cosmic Purple, and Black, while the Forest Green and Orange will be available in vegan leather.

The Porsche Design Huawei Mate 30 RS, a variant of the Pro, has 12GB RAM and 512GB storage, and will be available in red or black with leather finishing on the back and will retail at €2,095 (RM9,700).

Local prices and availability have yet to be announced.

Besides the Mate series, Huawei also announced the Watch GT 2, which is powered by the Kirin A1 chip and boasts a claimed battery life of 14 days per charge.

It will also come with new functions such as 15 smart workout modes with 10 training modes just for running, an enhanced music player, and the ability to answer voice calls on the watch via Bluetooth.

The Huawei Watch GT 2 smartwatch will come in two sizes; a 42mm version with a 1.2in Amoled display and a 46mm version with a 1.39in Amoled display, and will be available in October for €229 (RM1,050) and €249 (RM1,150), respectively.

Huawei also announced the availability of its FreeBuds 3 wireless Bluetooth earphones which feature active noise cancellation and ultra-low audio latency.

The black and white versions of FreeBuds 3 will be available in China, Europe, Middle East, Russia, Asia Pacific and Latin America from November at €179 (RM850).

One more device that was revealed was a TV dubbed Huawei Vision, with a 4K quantum dot screen (55in, 65in, 75in) and refresh rate of up to 120Hz, as well as “perceptive AI-eye” function with AI video call, face recognition and tracking features, and control centre for smart home devices. However, no pricing or availability was announced.

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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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Facebook delves into Cryptocurrency, the Libra coin plan


Cryptocurrency and Facebook logo are seen together in this photo. Photo: IC

Experts raise concerns over privacy and regulation

Facebook unveiled plans Tuesday for a new global cryptocurrency called Libra, pledging to deliver stable virtual money that lives on smartphones and could bring over a billion “unbanked” people into the financial system.

The Libra coin plan, backed by financial and nonprofit partners, represents an ambitious new initiative for the world’s biggest social network with the potential to bring crypto-money out of the shadows and into the mainstream.

Facebook and some two dozen partners released a prototype of Libra as an open source code for developers interested in weaving it into apps, services or businesses ahead of a rollout as global digital money next year.

The nonprofit Libra Association based in Geneva will oversee the blockchain-based coin, maintaining a real-world asset reserve to keep its value stable.

The Libra Association’s Dante Disparte said it could offer online commerce and financial services at minimal cost to more than a billion “unbanked” people – adults without bank accounts or those who use services outside the banking system such as payday loans to make ends meet.

“We believe if you give people access to money and opportunity at the lowest cost, the way the internet itself did in the past with information, you can create a lot more stability than we have had up until now,” Disparte, head of policy and communications, told AFP.

Facebook will be just one voice among many in the association, but is separately building a digital wallet called Calibra.

“We view this as a complement to Facebook’s mission to connect people wherever they are; that includes allowing them to exchange value,” Calibra vice president of operations Tomer Barel told AFP.

“Many people who use Facebook are in countries where there are barriers to banking or credit.”

But the move raised questions about how such a new money would be regulated, with one lawmaker calling for a pause on Libra.

“Given the company’s troubled past, I am requesting that Facebook agree to a moratorium on any movement forward on developing a cryptocurrency until Congress and regulators have the opportunity to examine these issues,” said Maxine Waters, chair of the financial services committee in the US House of Representatives.

Meanwhile French Finance Minister Bruno le Maire said such digital money could never replace sovereign currencies.

“The aspect of sovereignty must stay in the hands of states and not private companies which respond to private interests,” Le Maire told Europe 1 radio.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said Facebook’s new currency would have to withstand scrutiny of its operational resilience and not allow itself to be used for money laundering or terror financing.

ING economists Teunis Brosens and Carlo Cocuzzo said in a research note it was not clear what Libra was or how it might be overseen while US Senator Sherrod Brown, a Democrat and banking committee member, voiced concerns over Facebook’s checkered record on protecting users’ privacy.

Backed by real cash

Libra Association debuted with 28 members including Mastercard, Visa, Stripe, Kiva, PayPal, Lyft, Uber and Women’s World Banking.

Calibra is being built into Facebook’s Messenger and WhatsApp with a goal of letting users send Libra as easily as they might fire off a text message.

Libra learned from the many other cryptocurrencies that have preceded it such as bitcoin and is designed to avoid the roller-coaster valuations that have attracted speculation and caused ruin.

Real-world currency will go into a reserve backing the digital money, the value of which will mirror stable currencies such as the US dollar and the euro, according to its creators.

“It is backed by a reserve of assets that ensures utility and low volatility,” Barel said.

The Libra Association will be the only entity able to “mint or burn” the digital currency, maintaining supply in tune with demand and assets in reserve, according to Barel.

“It is not about trusting Facebook, it is effectively trust in the association’s founding organizations that this is independent and democratic,” Disparte said.

New directions

The launch comes with Facebook seeking to move past a series of lapses on privacy and data protection that have tarnished its image and sparked scrutiny from regulators around the world.

Chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has promised a new direction for Facebook built around smaller groups, private messaging and payments.

The new Calibra digital wallet promises eventually to give Facebook opportunities to build financial services into its offerings, offer to expand its own commerce and let more small businesses buy ads on the social network.

“We certainly see long-term value for Facebook,” Barel said.

Facebook said it would not make any money through Libra or Calibra, but rather was seeking to “drive adoption and scale” before exploring ways to monetize the new system.

Financial information at Calibra will be kept strictly separate from social data on Facebook and won’t be used to target ads, Calibra vice president of product Kevin Weil told AFP.

Libra will be a regulated currency, subject to local laws in markets regarding fraud, guarding against money laundering and more, Weil said.

‘Watershed’ moment?

According to Facebook and its partners, local currencies and Libra may be swapped at currency exchange houses or other businesses.

And the ubiquity of smartphones means digital wallets for Libra could make banking and credit card services and e-commerce available in places where they don’t now exist.

Analyst and cryptocurrency investor Lou Kerner said Facebook’s move has the potential to open the door for cryptocurrency to a wider public.

“What Facebook is really good at, is making things really simple to use,” Kerner told AFP.

“And that’s what is super exciting for the crypto industry, is somebody comes along who understands user experience and has billions of users that they can roll this out to.”

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Huawei: A Coffee With Ren; Innovation is a driving force within China’s economy today


 

Huawei Founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei hosted “A Coffee With Ren” discussion at the company’s headquarters, where he invited two distinguished guests to join him. Futurist, author and venture capitalist, George Gilder and Co-founder of the MIT Media Lab, Nicholas Negroponte, participated in this live streaming where the gentlemen shared their thoughts on Huawei’s contribution to science & technology, commitment to partners all over the world, the US sanctions and many more.

For more details, watch the full discussion.

 

Huawei CEO Ren: We have a globalized economy

https://youtu.be/f6y6ka32-qs

“To me, the fundamental problem is the necessity of cooperation,” said Ren Zhengfei, founder and CEO of the world’s largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer Huawei, in a discussion with two U.S. technology gurus George Gilder and Nicholas Negroponte in Shenzhen, China on Monday. #China #Huawei #Technology

Innovation is a driving force within China’s economy today. Yet behind that innovation, what’s the role of research and development?

 

 

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https://youtu.be/7_kKAiHjJyY They say a good conversation could be just like drinking a cup of black coffee and as stimulating as it is..

Minds without borders: A coffee with Huawei Ren: We will be reborn by 2021


They say a good conversation could be just like drinking a cup of black coffee and as stimulating as it is hard. Today’s conversation is certainly stimulating intellectually and thought-provoking. The panelists on stage are trailblazers in their respective fields and certainly very outspoken about the challenges that we are facing today. First up, Ren Zhengfei, the founder and CEO of Huawei. Next, Catherine Chen, the senior vice president and director of the board of Huawei. Also on stage are George Gilder, a tech guru and futurist and Prof. Nicholas Negroponte, a tech visionary who’s the co-founder of the MIT Media Lab.

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Category:  News & Politics

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If the trade war goes on, it will exert an overwhelming impact on the world industrial chain. The US cannot remain unaffected. Its supply and marketing network, which plays a significant role in American people’s living standards, will be hit hard.

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Proposed US tariffs on Chinese imports will hurt US companies and consumers more than they might imagine and will damage an industrial chain that connects the world’s two largest economies, industrial representatives from both China and the US said on Tuesday

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Why does the West fail to understand China? The West misreads, China is rising, said Cambridge Prof 

 

A phoenix has risen from the ashes – THE RISE OF CHINA

The oppression of a civilization:

The world was turned into an ocean of colonies of subject people during the few centuries of ‘friendly’ European conquest. The Africans were turned into slaves, the natives of both Americas massacred. The ancient civilization of China was crippled and dismantled into pieces. After the Western powers brought down the decadent Qing Dynasty with the might of modern firearms, the Chinese civilization was turned into a pariah race of nothingness by the invaders in their country. The foreigners did not bring anything good but oppression, bullying and raiding China ’s wealth and dignity by all kinds of barbarian and deceptive means, and by the barrel of the gun. The Japanese joined in and even thought of conquering and ruling the whole of China as their colony.

There was a moment of salvation when Japan attacked Pearl Harbour and declared war on the Western power. China and its peasant soldiers were needed to open another front to sap the fighting power and resources of the Japanese. A large part of the Japanese Imperial Army was held down in China by the peasant soldiers. History would not be the same if the Japanese could run through China without resistance and conquer the whole of Asia .

After the war there was a brief moment of equality for China as a key member of the Allied Forces that fought against the Japanese. Chiang Kai Shek was seated with the Allied leaders like Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt in Potsdam and Cairo to divide the world among the victorious Allied Powers. China was lucky to have its lost territories back. But Chiang was more like a flower vase and inconsequen-tail, would not be deserving of any war loot. His presence among the leaders of the big powers was a consolation that gave China a little recognition as a big nation.

This little moment of dignity did not last long when Mao Zedong defeated Chiang and China adopted communism as a state ideology. This turn of event led to a renewed and concerted Western effort to brand and condemn the Chinese civilization as peasants, rogues, dumb, uncivilized, aggressive and the pariahs of the human race, a good for nothing race that was lack of talent, unproduc-tive and unimaginative, and unfit to join the advanced nations of the West.

This was the hopeless China painted by the West. They kept repeating the misinfor-mation daily in all western media, like they are doing to North Korea today, that the whole world simply believed so. Chinese are useless, Chinese are lame, Chinese are bad.

Cold Wars, containment policies, encirclement, depriving China of its rightful seat in the UN, blocking China from joining international organizations like the WTO and the Groupings of rich nations, were history now. In the last 40 odd years, China came storming back on its own despite all the sanctions and barriers and threats against its rise as a nation and the Chinese people as a civilization, old, ancient, but not useless and remote of talents.

Throughout the two hundred years of Western oppression and suppression, the Chinese civilization was not allowed to surface, no opportunity to break out and be the equals of other nations. The Chinese civilization was down and out, the Chinese in despair. Many Chinese had doubts in themselves, and were ashamed to be Chinese. The Westerners reinforced this belief by sneering at them, contributing negative literature furiously to debase the Chinese, discriminated against them in practically every human endeavour and industry. In the USA there were racist laws forbidding the Chinese from higher skill jobs. The image and perception of useless and untalented Chinese became a self fulfilling prophecy. The Chinese civilization was a joke, a condemned race that was lacking in industry and innovation.

On its own, slowly and steadily the Chinese rebuilt their nation and their civilization, with little foreign talents and assistance, China has overtaken Japan and is closing in on the US as the number Two world power, economically and militarily. They have proven that they could match the West in every field of industry. The oppression and suppression of a civilization have failed, and a revitalized China has assumed its rightful place as a proud nation among nations. The Chinese civilization is no longer to be spitted at, to be kicked around by the Western powers or by teeny weeny little Asian states. It is now a force to be reckoned with and to be respected on its own merits.

The tag of being the Sick Man of Asia, a semi colony of the West, a broken country with nothing, no inventions, no modern industries, no talents except poverty and all the trappings of a poor and backward third world country vanished over a few decades. There is renewed pride as a people, a nation and a civilization in the new China. A phoenix has risen from the ashes. There is no turning back. The Chinese have found their way back and will leap frog over the West in science and technology and in all things, while the West are still trying to restrain their advances by hook and by crook.

Today, the overseas Chinese are also starting to rediscover themselves, their pride and dignity as a respectable people. They too find some renewed confidence that they are not rubbish and useless as the West wanted to hole them in, to be bullied by even little third world people, to be told to go home in western countries. They too share the pride of an ancient civilization seeking a second chance in renaissance, to achieve in whatever they seek to do, to be a respectable people and civilization on par with the best in the world. They no longer lower their heads in shame as they go about their lives. They are standing tall, heads and shoulders to the Western civilization with the knowledge that they are just as good if not better. The Chinese civilization is reviving and will no longer be oppressed and suppressed again.

After reading this, you can now benefit from a short history lesson of mankind and their actions on earth and the generations to come….DONT BE DECEIVED ANYMORE BY THE WEST…

Huawei’s HongMeng OS 60% faster than Android !


Huawei’s Hongmeng will be 60 times Faster than Android

Finally!!!!! Huawei make come back

Huawei is fighting back with the US by introducing their new Operating System Hongmeng which is 60 times faster than Android. Which will release in 2020.

According to Huawei, they had been working on their own OS for the last seven years and further said that the production of the new operating system is far more than ready.

Google has currently lifted the ban on Huawei for 90 days, meaning the current Huawei customers will continue to get updates for the next 90 days, including their Android app and all.

As CTO of Huawei confirms that their OS will be able to run the android apps, this will be the biggest setback for Android. And to achieve that cause, Huawei is in talks with Apptoide which is a standalone alternative for Google play.There are some rumors which are suggesting that not just Android but this new OS will be able to run iOS applications too.

So will Hongmen be really better than Android? We’re still unsure as we didn’t get any UI/UX of their new OS so right now it is not the perfect time to comment on this situation. But after listening to a number of conferences done by Huawei, we’re sure that this new Operating System Hongmeng is indeed that can shake the foundations of Android, and Android may suffer a lot.

But, this is clear that Android will put up a great trouble to come ahead of this Hongmeng. This is surely going to be one hell of a rift between Huawei and Android to get the market lead. If Huawei succeeds in making their new OS better and more reliable than android than the world will soon see a revolution in the field of technology and innovation.

Huawei’s Android replacement is not, apparently, ready to be launched.

After reporting that Huawei was preparing their own new operating system for a possible launch, Huawei has told TechRadar that its home-grown Operating System will not be rolled out next month. Instead, the company plans for the OS to be ready in China later this year, with an international launch in 2020 with a few modifications in it.

Like most manufacturers, Huawei relies on Google’s Android to power its Huawei phones. Earlier this month, Google announced that it would no longer grant an Android license to the Chinese company by following a White House executive order that effectively blocked the company in the US.

The company has been working on its own Operating System since 2012, a report from CNET sister site TechRepublic revealed in 2018.

“Huawei knew this was coming and they were preparing. The OS was ready in January 2018 and this was our ‘Plan B’,” Alaa Elshimy, managing director and vice president of Huawei, told TechRadar.

“We did not want to bring the OS to the market as we had a strong relationship with Google and others and did not want to ruin the relationship.”

According to the report, existing Android applications will work with the new OS, which could mean it is based on the open-source version of Android. Huawei has its own app store on Android, called Huawei AppGallery, which could host the new apps of future world.

Huawei phones in China do not use Google service so there’s a high chance of adoption of its own Hongmeng OS. But how does Huawei plan to deal with not being able to use popular applications like YouTube, Maps, Gmail, etc. on its Hongmeng OS outside China? Will the company develop competing apps for its Operating System or has Huawei done that already?

So many questions are asked now-a-days. But I guess we may never find out until Huawei unveils the supposed “Hongmeng” operating system expected to substitute Android on its own powered devices.

Huawei’s decision to sue the US government comes as they face increasing rift from the US and its allies over the security of its telecoms network equipment. The Shenzhen-based firm has been banned in the US from supplying to federal agencies under the country’s National Defence Authorization Act.

“The US government has long branded Huawei as a threat. It has hacked our servers and stolen emails and source code,” said Guo. “Despite this, the US government has never provided any particular evidence supporting the accusations that Huawei poses a cybersecurity threat. Still, the United States government is sparing no effort to smear the company and mislead the public about Huawei .” May be the reason behind this could be an expected defeat from Huawei in the race of becoming the king of IT world.

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Huawei’s HongMeng OS 60% faster than Android: reports

China’s Huawei is reportedly intensively testing its proprietary operating system (OS) HongMeng with internet giants and  domestic smartphone vendors, and the new system will be launched in the  next few months.

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