Agong Plays a Vital Role in a Political/Public Health Crisis

The decision from Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah to deny Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s call for an emergency came as a relief to Malaysians who had doubted the reasoning behind the move right from the start.

According to Articles 40 and 150 of the Federal Constitution, a power exists to stabilize the administration of the government in its battle against the Covid-19 pandemic; the King’s intervention in these crisis, both health and political, proved that the office of the King is anything but symbolic in terms of ruling the country.

Democracy during Covid-19

Malaysia practices a parliamentary democracy with the Agong as the paramount ruler above all, this not only gives saying rights to the King but also ruling rights whenever deemed needed.

For the King to not intervene, he must be confident that the government is in line with his expectations of ruling a country. 

According to Constitutional law expert Associate Prof Dr Shamrahayu Abdul Aziz, the significance of the King’s role has now been forced out of the curtains as the ongoing political and health crisis granted the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to exercise his role of a much-needed mediator.

“Certain difficulties have surfaced during this political crisis, especially when dealing with some sensitive matters and legal questions not clearly stated in the Constitution.

“However, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has demonstrated his wisdom and the people are now more confident than ever that the political crisis will be resolved smoothly.” Shamrahayu told Bernama in an interview.

Agong during a public health crisis

When rumors of a state of emergency loomed, it was clear that the King had a decision to make as he solely holds the power to implement an emergency.

The decision by the Agong to deny PM Muhyiddin’s proposal for emergency were music to the public’s ears as most agree that an emergency would do little to no good to the current situation that the country is in right now. 

According to Opposition Leader and PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, this decision has further strengthen the country’s democratic system.

“The Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s historic decision in rejecting the prime minister and Cabinet’s motion for the declaration of emergency clearly strengthens the Constitutional Monarchy and parliamentary democracy system,” he said in a statement tonight, referring to the system of governance practised in Malaysia.

Agong during a political crisis

BERNAMA (2020) COPYRIGHTS RESERVED

The Agong too has the power to dissolve or prorogue (discontinue a session of Parliament without dissolving it) Parliament; the decision to not do so may be a turning point in what is today’s political crisis and also when the PM’s majority coming into question by Anwar’s claim of majority.

In a bid to establish a conventional and constitutional practice for the country, the Agong is merely seeking one thing – for political leaders including MPs to not engage in excessive politicking. According to opposition leader Anwar, this proves that the decision conforms with the need to lessen the public’s anxiety and to let their voice be known by political leaders , civil society, academic figures and the media

Covid-19 Surge Won’t Stop Sarawak Elections as “Other Countries Did It Too”

After the Sabah state elections leading to a rise in Covid-19 cases, you might think that Malaysian politicians have learnt their lesson; well, you thought wrong.

Although it went as far as PM Muhyiddin himself admitting that the elections were a mistake as it directly led to the surge in positive cases that we see today.

As much of trouble the nation seems to be in, certain ministers would rather look at other countries instead of focusing on our own. Deputy Chief Minister of Sarawak, Tan Sri James Masing has recently announced that the pandemic would not stop Sarawak from hoolding its 12th state elections as they would just have to follow the rules and SOPs that will be set in place.

“Covid-19 is one factor but there are other countries who have held elections during this pandemic. This includes Singapore, South Korea, and New Zealand,” he said in statement recorded by Sinar Harian.

When questioned about the people’s well-being and the possibility of Sarawak going through what Sabah is experiencing right now, the Deputy Chief Minister said that the elections will take place will strict adherence to regulations and SOPs. 

“They will hold the elections without facing any problems as long as the SOPs are followed.”

“We don’t have a choice. If we don’t hold the elections now, after five years, the State Legislative Assembly will be dissolved,” he said, adding that he didn’t know any options that would allow the elections to be postponed. 

“The decision to dissolve the State Legislative Assembly to give way to the elections rests with the chief minister,” he added

The Chief Minister, Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg had said previously that the Sarawak state election will still happen because of the capabilities and effectiveness of the Sarawak government in containing the Covid-19 spread effectively.

Thousands of Thais Rally on Despite Government Ban and Water Cannons

Since 2014, the military in Thailand seized power over the nation; however, that changed following the elections in Thailand last year, as many of the youth and first-time voters saw this as an opportunity for a change from military rule.

Prayuth Chan-ocha
Thanthorn Juangroongruangkit

Prayuth Chan-ocha had the all-important military backing and was re-installed as prime minister. The Future Forward Party (FFP) who was pro-democratic and lead by Thanthorn Juangroongruangkit was popular among young voters and garnered the third largest share of seats.

The party was fored to disband after a court ruled that FFP had received a loan that was deemed an illegal donation from Mr Thanarton, thousands of young Thais were unhappy with the decision and eventually took to the streets to show their disapproval.

Wanchalearm Satsaksit

Covid-19 had initially put the demonstrations to a halt but then resumed in June when Wanchalearm Satsaksit, a prominent pro-democracy activist, went missing. 

The activist who had been living in Cambodia since his exile in 2014, was allegedly grabbed off a street and force into a vehicle; protestors accused foul play and the Thai state for masterminding the kidnapping in which the police and government have denied.

Protestors have also called on the King’s decision to declare Crown wealth as his personal property, which would result in him being the wealthiest person in Thailand. There was also enquiries over the King’s decision to take personal command of all military units based in Bangkok.

Thousands of Thais have rallied on for days, despite a ban on gatherings and authorities’ use of water cannons on demonstrators.

“We had no armour, just umbrellas,” a 25-year-old public servant told the AFP news service amid claims that the water contained a chemical that stung the eyes.

Another protester, Min, was carrying a helmet and gas mask, 18, said: “I’m concerned for my safety but if I don’t come out, I have no future.”

Protesters who gave the three-fingered salute of resistance, inspired by the Hunger Games film, also carried signs saying “You can’t kill us, we’re everywhere” and “stop hurting people”. 

According to the Bangkok Post, at least 20,000 had turned out to protest at Lat Phrao, Wongwian Yai and Udomsuk.

Police spokesman Yingyos Thepjamnong says that they will “primarily negotiate” and “Enforcing the law will be step by step, using methods that follow international standards.”

As of now, dozens of activists have since been  arrested including a human rights lawyer Anon Nampa, student activist Parit Chiwarak – widely known by his nickname “Penguin” – and Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul.

9 Malaysian Cities Could be Underwater by 2050 Due to Rising Sea Levels

As the we continue to adapt to our planet’s changes such as the rising climates and decreasing ozone layer, one change that could have a major significant impact on our lands are the rising sea levels.

Yes, sea levels are rising at a rate higher than that of the current century and causing dangerous flooding everywhere. Other than that, more people are being forced to migrate to higher ground as the writing of this article.

At this rate, major cities around the world could quite literally go under by 2050; it is going as far as countries such as Indonesia relocating its capital to East Kalimantan because of Jakarta going underwater by 2050. Coming nearer to home, Singapore is also bracing itself by implementing infrastructural policies that would build polders along its beaches.

At home, Malaysia is also in the talks as well as The Centre for Governance and Political Studies (Cent-GPS) says that nine Malaysian cities could be submerged in the next 30 years.

9 Malaysian cities underwater by 2050

The research firm ran a simulation that showed the following that Alor Setar will be an island by 2030 with areas around Parti Buntar and Taiping being submerged.

The North-South Highway which links travel between Negeri Sembilan and Kuala Lumpur will also be underwater too. 

Country-side small cities such as Bagan Datoh, Teluk Intan, and Kuala Selangor would disappear while Port Klang will be underwater together with Muar and Pekan.

Shah Alam and Kuala Terengganu will be smaller while the Kuala Lumpur International Airport will be located next to a beach.

Across the waters, in Sarawak, Kuching will reduce in size as well to become an island.

Other parts of Asia

70& of Asia is vulnerable to the rise in sea levels, including 43 million people from China, 19 million from Bangladesh, 26 million from Vietnam and 17 million from Thailand would be affect by this.

Major state capitals such as Ho Chi Minh city in Vietnam would be submerged underwater while Bangkok, Mumbai and Shanghai would disappear too.

“It would be worse if we are to factor in the melting of the polar caps,” Cent-GPS said, warning that many would be forced to dislocate. Many housing projects would go to waste, agricultural lands spoilt, and a food crisis takes place,” the research firm warns

5 Tips To Survive a Movement Control Order

According to the Minister of Defense, Ismail Sabri Yaakob, the government is to implement a Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) for Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Putrajaya from October 14th to October 27th.

A movement control order isn’t particularly new to Malaysians as we’ve went through different variants of it such as the Movement Control Order (MCO) and Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO).

Now that we’ve been through half a year’s worth of these “orders”, how exactly do you deal with it?

1) Maintain a daily routine

If you’re staying indoors, it doesn’t mean that you should forgo any of your routines, especially from your kids. The public is advised to maintain a regular daily routine and a healthy diet; exercise regularly, get a sufficient amount of sleep and avoid alcohol and caffeine intake.

2) Limit media time and usage

Take the time to watch movies, read a book or listen to music and the news. Be sure to set a limit for media usage so that you don’t get too overwhelmed with the content. Social media can be useful at these times but it’s important to consider what we are consuming.

3) Communication is vital

Stay in touch with friends or family if you’re living alone. Even if you aren’t living alone, the CMCO gives you that much more of a reason to contact them. At times of doubt and loneliness, communication is vital and should be a peach with modern digital technologies.

4) Social distancing doesn’t mean social isolation

Create a schedule for learning and relaxing activities to help the kids and yourself cope with extra time spent at home. Social isolation doesn’t mean isolation for all, as there is an abundance of activities can be done together at home while maintain social distancing. On top of that, teleconferencing allows easy communication that is vital during all the time spent along. Make sure to utilize all that around us in order to not be isolated mentally at a time like this.

5) Take care mentally

It is normal to experience stress during this time as there’s an increase in fear and anxiety that can be increasingly overwhelming as well. Be sure to keep your mental health on point and respond accordingly to your emotions, be sure to talk when you need to and the take the much-needed initiatives to take care of yourself and of the people around you.

10 Tips to Prepare You for a Water Outage

The last major water outage left many stranded, and those who were affected had to resort to buying bottles of water out of desperation to provide for their daily routines that involved the use of water.

When disaster such as this strike, it doesn’t mean that you should be left with a dried-up tap. Here are 10 tips to prepare you for the next water outage so you’ll never have to repeat what millions had to go through before this.

1) Plan & Manage

There are many alternative actions to take in order to ensure your daily routines can be carried out as usual; plan out your actions, manage them as the day goes by and be prepared to adapt to any problems that eventually arise.

2) Clean laundry

If you know that you’ll be without water for the rest of the day, do your laundry ahead of the crisis in order to have enough clean clothes to get you through the day.

3) Sealed containers for drinking water

Refrain from storing water in a container that can’t be sealed as contaminants can enter if there isn’t a tight seal.

4) Store water in a tub

Spend on a water bladder to put in your tub as average ones could easily hold up to 100 gallons of water.

5) Rainwater collection system

Invest to install in a rainwater collection system as it’s a good way to take advantage of a never-ending natural resource.

6) Hand sanitizer/hand wipes

Prepare hand sanitizers in advance as by replacing your soap and water supply with it, you can stretch your water supply that much further during an outage.

7) Utilise the empty sinks

Extra water comes in handy at times like this and even if you can’t drink them, you can use them for washing and flushing

8) Flush using buckets of water

Pour the water into the tank instead of bowl as it uses less water than pouring it directly into the bowl. Use unpurified water such as those stored in the tub as it is perfect for toilet flushing.

9) Disposable utensils

Stock up on disposable plates and utensils to minimize the number of dishes you have to wash.

10) Avoid unnecessary physical activities

Decrease unessential activities and keep cool to minimize the water you need to stay hydrated.

How to Handle Negative Reviews as a Business Owner

As business owners, a good day at the office would result in positive reviews on your business’s online profile; however, when things go bad, it too reflects on there for all to see.

One negative review in a haystack of reviews may not seem like a big deal at first, but that doesn’t mean that you should let the review go unaddressed. 

According to the broadly.com, 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation; that just gives that much of a reason to manage your reviews both positive and negative that are out there for the world to see.

So how do you do it?

1) Acknowledgement

Even if you think the customer is wrong, it’s important to show that you are acknowledging the issue and not sweeping it under the rug. Thank the customer for taking the trouble to leave a review and bringing it to your attention; it never hurts spend a minute to show that you’re taking the first step in resolving this issue.

2) Apologize

Where do you move on from acknowledgement? Apologising. It is important to stress that even when standing on opposing paths, you should be the one to take the step back to issue an apology.

3) Explain, if it’s necessary

Sometimes, there’s more to be done than just an apology. To rectify the issue, you’ll be needed to provide more information for your customer when needed. Tell the issue from your perspective in order to clear up any misunderstanding that may have arisen.

4) Compensate

As consumers, there’s nothing like having an unresolved issue with a business, as in their eyes it would be seen as a waste of their time or money. Go above and beyond to ensure that the consumer leaves with compensation of incentives that would attract them back to your doorstep again.

5) Discuss the matter offline

If the matter could not be brought to a conclusion online, go offline to reach a resolution with your customer. Make sure that you don’t come off as aggressive and present your intentions transparently in order to not bring up any miscommunication.

Uncle Roger Finally Approves of a Chef’s Egg Fried Rice!

Malaysian comedian Nigel Ng recently returned with his out-of-the-box cooking reaction videos, this time of famed hot headed and Michelin-starred chef, Gordon Ramsay.

Suggested by one of his users, the video showcases Ramsay trying his hand at a staple Indonesian Fried Rice dish.

“He said leftover rice? Oh, first step correct!”. A good sign at the start, Uncle Roger seemed hopeful and was looking forward to the rest of the video.

According to Uncle Roger, Ramsay got the staples spot on, which includes eggs (obviously), apparently the “fry” and leftover rice.

Ramsay started with the aromatics such as chillies, and surprisingly an authentic Indonesian ingredient: Galangal.

“Not many white people know about Galangal. A bad chef would just use ginger.” he said.

He then took a shot at Jamie Oliver who he did a video on earlier.

“Or even worst, chilli jam.” Referring to when Oliver added a spoonful of chilli jam into his version of fried rice.

To make things better, Ramsay has a wok! 

In the midst of cooking, Ramsay switched woks, which greatly impressed Uncle Roger.

“Oh my god, even Uncle Roger at home I only got one wok” he added while the wok hay filled up Ramsay’s fried rice.

Ramsay then added sambal and rendang into his fried rice before finishing it up with a toss up to stop the rice from sticking together.

“Fuiyoh, that is good tossing”. Uncle Roger then explained on how “fuiyoh” is the opposite of “haiya”, giving his viewers in insight on Malaysian slangs.

“Uncle Roger like, this is how you know egg fried rice good. After cooking the fried rice, the chef look like he got Covid” joking about Ramsay’s short of breath after the whole cooking process.

“Good job, I like this guy”. Uncle Roger then ended the video with a short compilation of Ramsay’s usual ways of those we see in episodes of “Hell’s Kitchen”.

How did Tik Tok Escape a U.S. Ban? For Now

Popular video streaming app, TikTok was threaten with being banned from the U.S. earlier this year; however, a federal judge granted TikTok a temporary injunction against the Trump administration’s initiative on Sunday.

Talk surrounding it is highly political and highly confusing. Back in July, Trump said that the decision comes after “what they’ve done to this country and to the entire world”, citing the coronavirus pandemic.

The decision that overturns Trump’s ban is a win for TikTok the move would have been “extraordinary action at the very time when the need for free, open and accessible communication in America is at its zenith” John Hall, an attorney representing TikTok, said during an emergency hearing Sunday morning.

Government lawyers are at the other side of things though as they argued that the platform’s ownership by a Chinese firm poses as a threat and represented an “immediate danger” to U.S. national security.

Trump’s administration has also claimed that Americans using the app risk having their data wind up in the hands of the Chinese government.

The U.S. commerce department initially announced that TikTok was to be banned on September 20th onwards, further restrictions were also due to be going into effect; news of the delay came out last weekend as along with an agreement involving TikTok, ByteDance, Oracle and Walmart. The deal which is still not finalized, was intended to address said “national security concerns” about the app and give at least partial ownership to American companies and investors.

TikTok stated that it was “pleased” with the ruling. 

“We will continue defending our rights for the benefit of our community and employees,” the company said in a statement. The Commerce Department also said on late Sunday that the U.S. government has intentions to “vigorously defend” its order.

“Basic TikTok will stay intact until November 12,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told Fox Business News. “If there is not a deal by November 12 under the provisions of the old order then TikTok also will be, for all practical purposes, shut down.”

6 Smartphone Security Practices You Need

A huge chunk of our lives are dedicated towards using our smartphones or tablets as compared to the bulky computers of the past.

As our devices and gadgets evolve, so do we and so does the hackers that may threaten our digital security. With the vast amount of information that is easily accessible through a simple click or swipe away, it is essential that the devices we purchase have certain features prepared to combat the threats that are out there. However, those wanting to infiltrate the security of our devices are always improving and we can never be sure if we are truly safe from them.

Although it may be considered a one way fight, we as users can always pick up certain practices on how to maintain a secured and protected digital presence.

1) Set-Up a Lock 

It may come as a surprise, but not everyone has a lock set in place for their smartphones. Reports also show that up to a third of smartphone users do not practice this.

It is as simple as it gets as every smartphone nowadays has initiative set up for users to do so. You can always lock your device with a pin code, or swipe pattern; users can also rely on fingerprint or facial recognition for that extra touch of security.

2) Refrain from Jailbreaks

Jailbreaking my open up a world of possibilities but it may open up a world of unexpected possibilities as well. Major manufacturers advise against as it will usually invalidate your device’s warranty and expose it to unnecessary risks.

3) Apps from the Offical Store Only

Combine a jailbroken phone with a fishy and unofficial app store can lead to problems as apps there don’t go through the various processes needed to make sure it’s not malicious. Official stores regularly remove dangerous apps, keep in mind that unofficial app stores don’t and you can only trust yourself to believing what is safe and what is not.

4) Security Software

People tend to consider their smartphone to being a personal computer then a phone. Whatever the reason, smartphones are similar to PCs and laptops as they are both susceptible to attacks. Reputable softwares like Malwarebytes could save you from ever running into software issues or problems as such.

5) Be Sceptical

Phishing scams exists all around and comes in various forms. Educate yourself and your loved ones to be wary of these kinds of threats and links as there’s no going back after being “phished” in.

6) Don’t doubt what others can do

With a little research and planning, the security of your device cannot only be ensured but also be enhanced. You never know how the hackers are improving; so, by implementing various precautions such as these, you’ll be ready to deal with anything that does come up.