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KENINGAU – The police have confirmed there are no signs to indicate that terrorists from Marawi in the Philippines have taken shelter in the Sabah interior, particularly Keningau.

Keningau Police chief DSP Ahmad Jawila said today all measures had been taken to ensure that Muslims in the interior, Keningau included, were able to celebrate Aidilfitri peacefully.

He said police had stationed personnel at various places, including Tawau, Keningau, Tenom and Penampang, as a security measure.

“The priority of the police is the security of the people. All security personnel have been reminded to be always on the alert,” he said to reporters at the Aidilfitri open house at the Keningau District Police headquarters here.

Ahmad said Keningau was safe and peaceful for the public and foreign tourists.

Daesh-linked militants laid siege to Marawi about a month ago and are battling Philippine soldiers in what is seen as a protracted insurgency. – BERNAMA

PUTRAJAYA – The beauty and uniqueness of the Putra Mosque and its Islamic architecture here, which resembles the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey has made it a tourist attraction for domestic and foreign tourists.

An estimated 2,000 visitors daily visit the mosque located at Precinct 1 daily with tourist buses, rental vans seen parking around it while women visitors lined up to don the robes or jubah before entering the compound.

A tourist from Indonesia, Mohd Budi C Lubis, who is on holiday with his family in Malaysia, described the pink Putra Mosque as attractive and unique with its impressive architectural design that combined traditional Malay and Middle Eastern elements,

“This is the second time I visit this mosque with my family. It’s so beautiful and charming and I feel so calm and comfortable,” he told Bernama when met at the compound of the Putra Mosque.

For a tourist from China, Han Dongyin, 47, his first visit to the mosque had opened his eyes to look at close range the uniqueness of mosques in Malaysia and enabled him to understand Islam.

Meanwhile Putra Mosque receptionist Mohd Bakri Wahab said as early as 8.30am daily, tourist buses and vehicles began entering the Putra Square compound bringing foreign tourists to see for themselves Putra Mosque, which is adjacent to the Prime Minister’s Office here.

“Every day, we receive over 2,000 tourists and locals visiting Putra Mosque except yesterday when people are not allowed to visit the mosque because we have several functions in conjunction with Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration,” he said.

According to tour guide June Abdullah, throughout his nine years of experience, Putrajaya is the ultimate destination for foreign tourists and among the must visit places are the Putra Mosque, Wawasan Bridge, Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC) and Prime Minister’s Office. – BERNAMA

 

KUALA LUMPUR – Most parts of the city was ‘flooded’ with foreigners, especially foreign workers and tourists on the second day of Hari Raya Aidilfitri, although most city folks are celebrating Hari Raya Aidilfitri in their respective home towns with their loved ones.

A visit by Bernama to popular tourist spots in the city, namely Jalan Chow Kit, Pasar Seni, KL Sentral, Masjid Jamek, Petaling Street and Jalan Silang, showed that most of them were in festive or rather carnival mood, ushering the celebration in their own way.

The Light Rail Transit (LRT) stations and public transport hubs were also packed with  foreigners, especially foreign workers from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar and India.

An Indonesian who only wanted to be known as Yudi, 38, said he was used to celebrating Hari Raya Aidilfitri away from his loved ones, friends and relatives.

“My wife and children are in Gerisik, Indonesia. These days it is difficult to go back often due to the rigid documentation process. We need to go through various processes and the cost involved is high. I simply cannot afford because I am just a construction worker and don’t earn much,” he said.

Yudi said he had requested for three days leave from his employer to celebrate the auspicious day with friends and by visiting several interesting places in the city.

“I will also be going to Ipoh to celebrate the festival with my friends who are also from the same village in Indonesia. During my stay in Ipoh, I will be looking for a better employment opportunity since my contract with the current employer ends soon,” said Yudi who has been a construction worker in Malaysia for the past 10 years.

Another foreign worker from Bangladesh who only wanted to be known as Tarek said he took the opportunity of the long holidays in conjunction with Hari Raya Aidilfitri to visit his friends in Kuala Lumpur.

“It has become a norm for me to come to Kuala Lumpur every year during the Hari Raya holidays to meet my friends. For us (friends) it is difficult to spend time together because not all of us can get leave at the same time,” he said.

Many foreign workers from Muslim countries who were not able to celebrate Hari Raya with their loved ones back home were seen at the KL Sentral, wearing their own traditional outfits to usher in the celebrations.

For security guard Md Masir, 34, from Bangladesh, it was a good opportunity go shopping with friends.

“I have been working in Malaysia for five years but I do not have enough money to go and celebrate Hari Raya with my family in Bangladesh. It is sad but fortunately I have friends here,” said the father of three. – BERNAMA

SEBERANG JAYA – The federal government’s RM400 million upgrading project involving the Seberang Jaya Hospital is currently underway and expected to reduce congestion currently faced by the hospital.

Health Deputy Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya said the hospital which currently had 393 beds and 1,960 staff was unable to accommodate the annual increase in the number of patients.

He said the upgrading project involved the construction of a new nine-storey building costing RM400 million which was expected to be completed by 2021.

“The population in this district is very large and requires a large hospital. It will get the additional 316 beds once the upgrading work is completed,” he told Bernama here today.

He said the project to upgrade the 20-year-old hospital is proof the federal government was striving to improve the standard of services needed by the people.

Meanwhile, on the issue of the hospital’s dearth in parking space, Dr Hilmi said he was currently discussing the matter with the hospital authorities to build a multi-storey car park.

He has suggested to the authorities to build a steel structure which is more cost-efficient and involves shorter construction time but the idea is still at the discussion stage.

Earlier, the Balik Pulau MP visited hospitals in Penang to show his appreciation to the doctors, medical officials and hospital staff working during the Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

He also handed over goodie bags, Hari Raya cookies and hampers to over 1,000 staff of six public hospitals, namely Balik Pulau Hospital, Penang General Hospital, Hospital Sungai Bakap, Hospital Bukit Mertajam, Hospital Kepala Batas and Hospital Seberang Jaya.

“This is our way of showing appreciation to our dedicated medical staff who could not make it home to celebrate Aidilfitri with their families due to work commitment,” he said. – BERNAMA

KOTA BHARU – Kelantan UMNO aims to strive to garner the support of young Kelantanese living outside the state to wrest Kelantan from PAS in the next general election, said UMNO Information Chief Tan Sri Annuar Musa.

He said there was a switch to UMNO in the support from this group of people.

“Many want a change in the state. They have an understanding of the development in Kelantan because they are from among the intellectuals.

“Right now, we are getting strong support from undergraduates, and this can lend strength to UMNO,” he said to reporters at the Aidilfitri open house at his residence in Bukit Marak here today.

Annuar, who is the MP for Ketereh, said he was confident that these young voters would be able to bring about a change in the 14th general election. GE14 becomes due in June 2018.

“The young people have given many opportunities to PAS, and now they are not rejecting the good done by UMNO,” he said.

Asked to comment on the ‘flag warfare’, whereby party flags are placed at places where aid is given to the people, Annuar said UMNO was not involved because it preferred to help the people on the quiet without any publicity.

He said that in his constituency of Ketereh, more than 20,000 people had been provided aid without any publicity.

“If we start putting up flags, we will lose sight of our objective to help people,” he said. – BERNAMA

KUCHING – Indonesia has adopted systematic measures to address the cross-border haze that affects Southeast Asia, in keeping with its assurance to ensure an end to the problem by 2020, said Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.

He said he had held numerous discussions with the Indonesian authorities from the provincial to the national level on the matter.

The Indonesian government had also signed an agreement on a Transboundary Haze-Free ASEAN by 2020, convinced that it can address the problem by that year, Wan Junaidi said to reporters at his Aidilfitri open house here today.

Transboundary haze pollution arising from land and forest fires, mainly in Indonesia, over the past two decades have had social, economic and environmental impacts in the ASEAN region.

Wan Junaidi said Indonesia had established a task force comprising 3,000 police and military personnel to put out forest fires.

It had also set up a department to coordinate the task of extinguishing the forest fires and established a monitoring centre in Jakarta to provide information on forest fires, he said.

He also said that Indonesia had withdrawn over 2,000 concessions for oil palm cultivation on peat soil which, it is believed, could trigger forest-clearing fires in that country.

Wan Junaidi said he had also met representatives of Indonesian plantation associations to discuss how to address the haze problem.

The minister said that last year, a plantation company from Sarawak was also found to have engaged in open burning in Indonesia.

He advised plantation entrepreneurs, especially those managing oil palm plantations in the state, to refrain from engaging in open burning.

Wan Junaidi said he had instructed enforcement departments and agencies to take the necessary regulatory measures to curb open burning in the dry season.

“We do not want a repeat of what happened in the oil palm plantation in Baram last year that can cause severe haze in the state,” he said.

He said he had also ordered a stop to open burning in peninsular Malaysia in view of the approach of the dry season. – BERNAMA

As a father to three, adorable children, Shuib Sepahtu of Raja Lawak fame only wants the best for them- and that includes providing top-of-the-line healthcare.

Being happily married married to singer Siti Sarah Raissuddin since 2011, the comedic actor and father to Uwais Alqarni, Dzahira Talita Zahra and Ariq Matin recently joins other celebs such as Amyra Rosli and Hanis Zalikha to spread awareness on the importance of vaccination.

Despite being a ‘funny man’, Shuib is serious and committed in fulfilling his responsibilities as a father.

Sharing a minute-long video on the subject on his official Instagram page, Shuib was joined by his youngest son and another ‘special guest’– a monkey plushie!

“Don’t forget to bring your children to their scheduled vaccinations as it is crucial to their well-being.

“Immunisation helps prevent from serious ailments and complications that can cause greater harm in the future,” he says in the video.

But what catches our attention is how cute his son, Matin is while Shuib was recording the video.

Making funny faces and doing raspberries to the camera, Matin seems to have got the comedian blood running through his veins!

“Immunization can help prevent illnesses and death among children. Vaccination is very safe and effective and are given to curb the spreading of malicious diseases.

“All children have the right to proper immunization, so it doesn’t matter how busy you are with work, but as parents you have to make sure that your children gets vaccinated.

“I myself am always busy but I never forget my responsibilities, and parents out there should be mindful, too. #JanganLupaCucuk #LengkapkanImunisasi,” he writes on the caption.-MYNEWSHUB.CC

PUTRAJAYA – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his Cabinet members today feted about 75,000 visitors at the Aidilfitri  open house held in Seri Perdana here.

The open house, which began at 10am and ended at 4pm, was also attended by foreign tourists, with some arriving since 9am.

Najib, dressed in an orangey red Baju Melayu and wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, adorning a modern Baju Kurung, looked very cheerful as the couple greeted and shook hands with visitors at the function.

Earlier Najib said this year’s Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration received an overwhelming response and described it in two words – many and varied.

He said the 2017 Open House was a very meaningful event that was a complete celebration which exuded spontaneous merriment.

Despite having to host so many guests at their official residence, Najib and Rosmah untirelessly continued to fete each and every guest with warm hospitality.

At 3pm Najib and Rosmah were joined by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi in cutting the Aidilfitri cake at the open house.

Guests were also entertained and they applauded when the prime minister and his wife sang ‘Anak Kampung’, the song made popular by Sabah born singer, Jimmy Palikat.

Today’s hot weather did not deter the people, including foreign tourists thronging to the open house, in which a variety of local dishes such as satay, chicken soto, ketupat, rendang and other Raya delicacies were served.

Following the threat of militant groups in the country, all visitors to the event were subjected to security screening. – BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR – A Youtube video clip, ‘Despacito Raya’ starring Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek has gone viral on social media drawing about 2,400 views.

The one minute and 47 seconds recording which showed Ahmad Shabery on the drums and in other video clips edited into it, received almost 1,200 ‘likes’ in Facebook,1,722 retweets and 1,005 ‘likes’ in Twitter.

The original ‘Despacito’ was sung by Luis Fonsi featuring Justin Bieber and Daddy Yankee.

The ‘Despacito Raya’ version sung by Damian Mikhail featuring Amira Aman and Farique Frequensi NSSN was uploaded on June 23 in conjunction with Aidilfitri.

It is available for viewing via Ahmad Shabery’s official Facebook and Twitter. – BERNAMA

 

PUTRAJAYA – Malaysian haj pilgrims need not panic over the suicide bomb attack near the Al-Haram Mosque yesterday as Tabung Haji security personnel monitor the movements of pilgrims when they perform their pilgrimage in Makkah. 

Tabung Haji chairman Datuk Seri Azeez Abdul Rahim said pilgrims need only adhere to the advice and instructions given by Tabung Haji personnel to ensure all proceeded smoothly.

“I believe pilgrims will follow the advice as has been the case previously. What happened (suicide bomb attack) was obviously worrying the pilgrims and their families.

“Pilgrims should be calm over what had occurred. Do not panic, or worry. Security forces will monitor the movements of pilgrims in the prayer areas. I will be there myself,” he said when met at the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers Hari Raya Aidilfitri Open House here today.

It was reported the suicide bomb attack left 11 people, including five Saudi Arabian policemen, injured.

A total of 30,200 pilgrims will be departing for Makkah, starting July 24 to Aug 25 at eight major airports in the country. – BERNAMA