Thousands on brink of starvation in Sibu
SIBU: More than 1,000 people in Sibu district are in desperate need of food aid after having lost their jobs or income following the closure of their work sectors due to the enforcement of the movement control order (MCO) since Jan 16.
Sarawak Dayak National Union (SDNU) Sibu branch chairman Chambai Lindong said those affected were from rural areas working as general labourers, cooks and helpers at coffee shops, restaurants and bistros, helpers at hair salons, electricians and welders, lorry drivers and attendants, shop assistants, security guards and cleaners.
He said since Jan 26, they had submitted their names through the SDNU Sibu branch to apply for the food aid but many complained they had not received the “Sarawakku Sayang” food assistance.
“We have been receiving their requests for food aid via WhatsApp and to date, we have submitted more than 1,000 names to the Sibu disaster management committee (SDMC) via the Sìbu district Office to coordinate the distribution of the food baskets.
“And the names of those needing food aid still keep on coming to us,” he said in a statement, here, today.
Having no money to buy food for their families, Chambai said they needed food urgently and in some cases, their mood of desperation could be detected quite easily.
“We believe their situation is genuine. There are 11 more days of MCO 2.0 in Sìbu. Unless they receive food aid immediately, their situation will get worse. Their savings, if any is left, will dry up. And if that is the case, many people will starve,” he said.
The organisation is also concerned over the rural folk in Sìbu Jaya who are in a similar situation as many of them do not know what to do and where to go for help.
Chambai said the situation faced by those rural folk staying in Sìbu town was indeed worrying.
“Many of them wanted to go back to their respective longhouses but under the MCO, they were not allowed to do so.
“Their hope now lies with the Sibu disaster management committee. The earlier the food aid is given to them, the better,” he added. FMT
It’s fake, health DG says of ‘resignation’
PETALING JAYA: Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah has denied claims he has resigned as the health director-general, supposedly over the number of Covid-19 cases in the country.
“This is another fake news,” he tweeted, saying such claims, which have been circulating on social media, was misleading the public.
Noor Hisham also uploaded a screenshot of the message, albeit a partial one, that was making rounds on WhatsApp.
According to the message, Noor Hisham had tendered his resignation.
“Finally, Dr Noor (Hisham) has put his foot down. The daily figures for Covid-19 are backlogged from last year,” it read.
A few days ago, Noor Hisham confirmed that the recent spike in Covid-19 cases had been caused by a backlog in case reporting, including positive cases detected in 2020.
“There were also delays in reporting through the public health laboratory information system by registered private facilities, such as private clinics and hospitals,” he had said. FMT
Muhyiddin to make two-day official visit to Indonesia
JAKARTA: Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin will make a two-day official visit to Indonesia, beginning tomorrow, at the invitation of Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi).
The prime minister and his wife, Puan Sri Noorainee Abdul Rahman, are scheduled to arrive at the Halim Perdanakusuma Airport, Jakarta at 5pm (western Indonesia time).
Malaysian Ambassador to Indonesia Datuk Zainal Abidin Bakar said it would be Muhyiddin’s first visit to Indonesia, after being appointed as the 8th Prime Minister on March 1, 2020.
“There are several things that touch the interests of both countries that require the highest level, face to face and heart to heart discussions,” he told a press conference at the Malaysian Embassy here today.
On Friday, the prime minister will be given an official welcoming ceremony at the Istana Merdeka in Jakarta, and then the two leaders will hold a four-eye meeting before conducting a joint press conference.
“Among the issues expected to be discussed are related to the palm oil discrimination, haze, potential investment and trade joint ventures, implementation of the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL), and cooperation in addressing Covid-19,” he said.
Zainal Abidin said the delegation would follow a strict health protocol including undergoing swab test before departure, on arrival, as well as quarantine upon returning to Malaysia on Friday evening.
“Recognising the importance of Malaysia-Indonesia bilateral ties and the Covid-19 pandemic challenges, the prime minister himself has requested that the visit be held briefly with small delegations.
“Indonesia also respects this request, initially the official welcoming ceremony was planned to be held at Istana Bogor but later changed to Istana Merdeka in Jakarta, because Indonesia understands the situation and the importance of logistics during the pandemic,” he said.
Indonesia is Malaysia’s ninth largest trading partner globally and the third largest among ASEAN countries.
“In 2020, the total bilateral trade recorded RM66.17 billion (US$15.7billion), while Malaysia’s total investment in Indonesia is the second largest in Indonesia at US$1,045.3 million,” he said.
Several world leaders had also visited Indonesia and met Jokowi during the Covid pandemic including Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga in October 2020, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (October 2020) and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (Jan 13, 2021).
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein is also scheduled to arrive tomorrow morning, and will hold a meeting with Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi. – BERNAMA
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