As the country records 4,029 daily news cases yesterday, health director general Noor Hisham has once again reached out to remind people on how “the worst is yet to come”.
“If we do not get this MCO right, the worst is yet to come. A daily reminder to all “please stay at home”. Stay home and stay safe” he said in a tweet yesterday upon news of the record breaking daily new cases.
He also mentioned of how red zones will be a common sight if this MCO is not taken seriously.
In an earlier Facebook post, he also mentioned of the challenges faced by healthcare workers who are barely managing the burial rites for victims who had from Covid-19.
“It is not an easy task for the health frontliners to manage the remains of patients who died from Covid-19.
“Under the hot sun, they (health and medical staff) would be drenched in sweat since they are required to don complete personal protective equipment (PPE) until the remains of Covid-19 patients are laid to rest and the burial rites concluded.
“I hope all of us understand the odds and challenges faced by all frontliners. Let us all help (to control the spread of Covid-19 in) the country by continuing to embrace the ‘Kita Jaga Kita’, ‘Kita Jaga Keluarga’ spirits.
“May all of us be protected from the fury of Covid-19,” he said.
Fresh out of inciting a mob that ran rampant over the U.S. capitol building, Donald Trump, who is clearly making headlines for all the wrong reasons is currently facing an impeachment trial again and critics aren’t writing out the possibilities of him being impeached again after the U.S. House of Representatives had voted to do so.
Trump was always one to go out with a bang, this however, may not be the bang that he was hoping for as the final days of his presidency comes closer.
Incitement of Insurrection
Following hours of debating, the House of Representatives on Wednesday passed an article of impeachment that charges Trump with “incitement of insurrection” for his role in the deadly riot at the US Capitol. The mob had done so in a bid to overturn the “stolen” election but had failed as Joe Biden’ presidency was confirmed by the joint session of Congress.
On a 232 to 197 vote, the House’s impeachment article called on Vice President Mike Pence to remove the powers of presidency from Trump, but Pence later on wrote a letter to speaker of the house, Nancy Pelosi that he would do so as it “would set a terrible precedent.”
With that option out of the window, the House has moved to impeach the president by holding him accountable for actions of sedition against the U.S. government.
Democrats and Republicans alike
Although the impeachment was a go to for most democrats, a number of republicans in the house were also vocal for Trump’s impeachment, such as Rep. Liz Cheney and Rep. Adam Kitzinger, Sens. Pat Toomey and Lisa Murkowski on the Senate side.
According to the New York Times, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is reportedly leaning towards convicting Trump, believing the president offenses are impeachable.
“It’s ridiculous. It’s absolutely ridiculous,” Trump said, departing the White House for an event in Texas.
“For Nancy Pelosi and [Senate Minority Leader] Chuck Schumer to continue on this path, I think it’s causing tremendous danger to our country and it’s causing tremendous anger.”
Other than that, Trump also defended his now deleted speech to the January 6th mob, calling it “totally appropriate”.
Requirements for an impeachment
A total of 216 are required from the House of Representatives; a trial is then heard in the Senate where two-thirds of the 100 senators must vote to convict.
A process that often takes months, the house intends to sped up the process and bring the articles of impeachment to a floor vote.
In short, the house votes, the article of impeachment is passed and presented to the senate where a trial must be held, the House prosecutes while the Senate sits as jury and Supreme Court Chief Justice presides, Trump is given the opportunity to defend himself.
Known widely as the hot head that he is, world renown chef, Gordon Ramsay, is soon to be opening his first restaurant in Malaysia.
Scheduled for June, the restaurant is rumored to be called “Gordon Ramsay Bar & Grill” and will be located at Sunway Resort in Bandar Sunway, Selangor.’
“For the first time outside of the original Mayfair outlet, Gordon Ramsay Bar & Grill will open with a varied all-day menu offering everything from snacks and light bites, to Gordon Ramsay’s signature dishes such as Beef Wellington and Sticky Toffee Pudding,” said Sunway Resort on its website.
The restaurant will offer all-day dining and will be located at the lobby level of Sunway Resort. Door to ceiling frames also allow views of Sunway Lagoon outside.
Also known for his hit television series such as “Kitchen Nightmares” and “Hell’s Kitchen”, Malaysians are excited for what is to come and were quick to let it be known on Twitter, with many of them referring back to Ramsay’s most infamous scenes such as the “idiot sandwich” scene and of course, “where’s the lamb sauce”.
Other than Malaysia, Ramsay has more restaurants that can be counted spanned across the globe.Gordon Ramsay Bar & Grill is already accepting calls for reservations and bookings
While America tries to deal with the Trump-catastrophe happening, more so after the pro-Trump riots at the U.S Capitol, social media companies in the other hand have also been busy to help curb the spread of misinformation and also any that could incite more violence.
Most notably with Twitter who have long been flirting with the move of banning Trump’s personal Twitter account, a lot more have been joining hands to prevent the current U.S. president to spark more violence.
Here’s a list of social media platforms that Trump is currently banned from.
The first of many, Twitter banned Trump’s personal account, followed by his campaign Twitter account and also deleted tweets from his official government account hours after the riots and look to have a near permanent ban moving forward.
A video where Trump spoke to and “professed his love” for the rioters proved to be the last straw for Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg and co have deleted said video and have banned his accounts from posting for at least the next two weeks in a bid to allow a peaceful transition of power to president-elect Joe Biden.
Being owned by Facebook, the same two week ban until the successful transition of power also applied to Instagram as well.
Being one of the first to take serious action on Trump’s content, Snapchat spokesperson Rachel Racusen told Axios “earlier today we locked President Trump’s Snapchat account,” because it believes the account promotes and spreads hate and incites violence.
Following trending hashtags like #stormthecapitol, #stopthesteal #qandanon and #patriotparty, TikTok has and continues to remove said content and hashtags citing that “Hateful behavior and violence have no place on TikTok. Content or accounts that seek to incite, glorify, or promote violence violate our Community Guidelines and will be removed,”
In other words, TikTok banned Trump before Trump banned TikTok.
After reports of people using right-wing friendly social media app, Parler to spread riot information, Apple has pushed the app to lay out a plan to moderate its content with said email being sent to Parler.
“We have received numerous complaints regarding objectionable content in your Parler service, accusations that the Parler app was used to plan, coordinate, and facilitate the illegal activities in Washington D.C. on January 6, 2021 that led (among other things) to loss of life, numerous injuries, and the destruction of property. The app also appears to continue to be used to plan and facilitate yet further illegal and dangerous activities.”
YouTube has fast forwarded their efforts to reducing violent inducing content, which began with removing the video Trump posted Wednesday that addressed the Capitol violence without fully condemning it.
“Due to the extraordinary events that transpired yesterday, and given that the election results have been certified, any channel posting new videos with these false claims in violation of our policies will now receive a strike, a penalty which temporarily restricts uploading or live-streaming. Channels that receive three strikes in the same 90-day period will be permanently removed from YouTube,” Alex Joseph, a YouTube spokesperson, told Axios.
The subreddit group “r/DonaldTrump,” has been banned, according to a spokesperson that confirmed to Axios on Friday. Although not an official group or page hosted by the president, it’s one of the company’s largest political communities dedicated to support for President Trump.
Google has pulled “Parler” from its Playstore after its users had been accused of promoting violence. A spokesperson for Google added that it “require that apps displaying user-generated content have moderation policies and enforcement that removes egregious content like posts that incite violence,”
Shopify took down two online stores affiliated with the President for violating its policies on supporting violence. Based on recent events, we have determined that the actions by President Donald J. Trump violate our acceptable Use Policy, which prohibits promotion or support of organizations, platforms or people that threaten or condone violence to further a cause. As a result, we have terminated stores affiliated with President Trump.” – a spokesperson told The Financial Times.
In a bid to force users to share data with its parent company, Facebook, WhatsApp said users would have to agree to let Facebook and its subsidiaries collect WhatsApp data including users’ phone numbers, contacts’ phone numbers, locations, and more. Users who don’t agree by February 8th can expect to lose access to the messaging platform by then.
A WhatsApp spokeswoman told Ars Technica that this was to allow businesses to store WhatsApp chats using Facebook’s broader infrastructure.
A WhatsApp spokesman did not clarify why the platform decided to make the change but said it would not affect EU and UK-based users.
So what exactly is WhatsApp gathering data on? Here’s all of them.
Other Diagnostic Data
Other User Content
WhatsApp has actually been sharing your data with Facebook since 2016, but the latest option to not have an option is deemed as crossing a line for many.
In a recent release by Apple’s App Store, “App Privacy” labels also shows how much data are being collected by WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
A level of data-sharing that some users disagree with and even fear has already been going on under their noses for years, and people are starting to realize it.
While Malaysians and Singaporeans alike were excited to hear about the billion ringgit Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) in the beginning, they may not have to look forward to a direct route to and from anytime soon as the project has been ultimately scrapped a few days back.
Citing that both nations being unable to reach an agreement on several changes proposed by the Malaysian government, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong broke the news in a joint statement on December 31st last year.
“In light of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the Malaysian economy, the government of Malaysia had proposed several changes to the HSR project. Both governments had conducted several discussions with regard to these changes and had not been able to reach an agreement. Therefore, the HSR agreement lapsed on Dec 31, 2020.
“Both countries will abide by their respective obligations, and will now proceed with the necessary actions resulting from the termination of the HSR agreement,” said the statement, released in the morning of January 1st.
The termination was also confirmed by The Edge who called it in their article as “Malaysia to go it alone with HSR project, pay RM300m compensation to Singapore — source”.
Due to contract regulations, it is also understood that Malaysia is to compensate 300 million ringgit in result of the termination. Proposed back in 2010, the change of government in 2018 and COVID-19 pandemic had also put the project on halt at one time and went pretty stale after that.
Changes proposed by the Malaysian government was to change the alignment to link HSR to KLIA and it didn’t sit well with our counterparts; ultimately, minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Mustapa Mohamed took to Facebook to further explain the cause of termination and reasoning behind it.
“Other changes proposed by Malaysia include that the HSR be connected and integrated with the available transportation network in the country,” he said in a lengthily post.
“The proposed new structure could also help the country avoid committing RM60 billion for 30 years, apart from providing the government with flexibility in terms of funding for the HSR project.
“In addition, the government also proposed several other changes, including to the design of the rail stations, which would help reduce almost 30 per cent in expenses for the project,” he added.
“Our Prime Minister (Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin) also had a video conference with his Singaporean counterpart (Lee Hsien Loong) on Dec 2 last year. However, we failed to reach an agreement (over the proposed changes to the HSR project).
“As an individual who was directly involved in the discussions for the project over the past six months, (I can tell you that) we had done our best for the interest of the country,”.
Sources say that Malaysia is to switch their focus towards undertaking the project with a new alignment stretching from Kuala Lumpur to Johor Baru instead of joining both the Southeast Asian capitals and offering another alternative to one of the busiest flight roads in the world.
If you haven’t start working from home yet and expect it to be a breeze when it comes about, think again as you just might be setting yourself up for disaster.
As work from home became a new norm for us throughout 2020 and perhaps even for the majority of 2021, let’s take a look at a few misconceptions of working remotely and how unrealistic expectations brings out the worst of working from home.
1) Work schedule
Expectation: “Who needs an alarm clock when I can start whenever I want to?”
Reality: You still have deadlines to meet and colleagues to communicate with. If you don’t have a set work schedule for yourself, don’t expect the same for others as work from home means more conference calls than usual now that everyone is not seeing each other in the office anymore.
2) Resting hours
Expectation: “Yeah I’ll stop working whenever I want, who’s here to stop me from taking a day off anyway”
Reality: You won’t be calling it a week on Thursday and give yourself an early weekend. In fact, you might find work hours overlap with your resting hours since work and rest are all in the same space. Tasks that aren’t done before the weekend might just roll on over and take up your resting days, get a solid understanding of how you can maximize productivity while you’re still in the week.
3) Work-life balance doesn’t exist at home
Expectation: “I feel more productive today, I think I might as well work throughout the night while at home”
Reality: Burnouts happen whether you’re overworking in the office or at home. Take time off occasionally to tend to your own well-being and life when you find yourself taking off more than can chew. While overworking can be a might convenience, it is far too easy to slip into the dark hole of overworking yourself to the extremes.
Expectation: “Home is so quiet, there should be lesser distractions for me when compared to the annoying co-workers I have in the office”
Reality: Even an everyday object such as a flowerpot is enough to stray your attention away from work. Don’t underestimate your senses as the teeniest tiniest bit is enough to break your focus, this reflects much more especially when you have pets that are constantly on the run or simply doing nothing, laying there in all that cuteness.
5) Alone time
Expectation: “Imagine all that I can get done with all this alone time! This is the ultimate work experience!”
Reality: Too much alone time may be the reality we are facing now, but it might just be the bit that breaks us as well during this whole pandemic situation. With long periods of time spent at home, face-to-face interaction is often taken for granted until one realizes of the overwhelming quietness of long periods without human interaction.
As the new year comes about, so does new politic feuds as seen recently with the alleged UMNO-DAP partnership to form a new government and several political leaders who have appeared on both sides of the feud.
Can UMNO and DAP really put aside their differences to unite though? Analysts interviewed by FMT have sme serious doubt about that and rightfully so based upon the history between the two.
After ousted BN- secretary-general, Annuar Musa had said that several supreme council members within UMNO had been in talks with DAP, prominent members Najib Razak and Lim Guan Eng had downplayed the statement, with Najib rejecting the idea completely while Guan Eng maintains that any cooperation should first be discussed by both the party leaders.
According to academic Azmi Hassan, “blood runs deep” between the two and it would take a mighty effort from the UMNO leaders that Musa had mentioned about to convince their colleagues of the partnership with DAP.
“The leadership of both parties might be able to work together, but the same can’t be said for the grassroots. It’s up to the leaders to articulate the importance of this kind of partnership.” said Hassan when interviewed by FMT.
“If the grassroots put out a big ‘NO’ towards working with PPBM, it’s an even bigger ‘NO’ when it comes to DAP.”
James Chin of the University of Tasmania’s Asia Institute on the other hand, had dismissed the possibility entirely, citing that the differences between the two play a major part as to why it would not work.
“Talks will not lead to any agreement, ideologically they are too far apart. I doubt very much they can come together and actually form a government.
“DAP doesn’t believe in separating the country into bumiputera and non-bumiputera, but for Umno that is their minimum requirement for the country, to practice Malay supremacy,” he said.
Chin also added that UMNO would be abandoning their whole principle and ideology of Malay supremacy if they had chosen to partner with DAP.
Although bad blood, Azmi said that prior working relationship between PAS and DAP is reasons why the UMNO-DAP partnership shouldn’t be out of the question, but he ponders on the legality of the move by UMNO.
“Maybe Umno is trying to weaken Pakatan Harapan (PH). Maybe they have no intention of working with DAP. They just want to rattle PH and raise doubts about their cohesion. The possibility is there.
“Annuar’s bombshell will no doubt rattle Umno too, especially the president. In my opinion, Umno will face the most negative effects.”
Nonetheless, Azmi believes that such partnerships can be “momentous” and could be the key to patching up the often shaky relationship between Chinese and Malay communities.
Fast forward to June 2021, the Covid-19 pandemic has been happening for a year and a half now as the virus continues to spread slowly and very dangerously; half the world is still in lockdown as sights of healthcare workers in full body hazard suits just isn’t surprising anymore. At least 200 million are infected worldwide while 1.75 million are dead.
Before you start panicking, this is just one of the many scenarios that might play out in 2021. As we try to paint an early depiction of what to expect in 2021 in terms of the Covid-19 pandemic, this would definitely help as it works as a way to prepare for and even reduce infections for the upcoming year if possible.
Covid-19 is here to stay
Although their predictions vary with one another, modelers agree that Covid-19 would be here to stay, and the future depends on a lot of factors that are yet to be known, which also includes on whether a long-lasting immunity is developed, whether we can control the spread ad even down to the actions of governments and individuals.
According to Rosalind Eggo, an infectious disease modeller at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), we don’t really know what’s in store yet.
“A lot of places are unlocking, and a lot of places aren’t. We don’t really yet know what’s going to happen,” says Eggo.
Joseph Wu, a disease modeller at the University of Hong Kong, adds on that “the future will very much depend on how much social mixing resumes, and what kind of prevention we do,”.
According to nature.com, researchers have modelled how the pandemic has unfold and estimates up to 294 million infections globally by March 2021.
Working from home, again
Whilst leaders such as Google has extended the work-from-home policy until June 2021, it’s all also dependent greatly on how fast a vaccine starts arriving. Working from home could even take a large part of the year as the World Economic Forum predicts the number of remote workers to double in 2021.
According to Enterprise Technology Research (ETR) who surveyed 1,200 chief information officers around the world, 72% of their workforce is currently working remotely; 48.6% reported that productivity has improved since workers began working remotely and only 28.7% of respondents indicated a decline in productivity.
“The productivity metric is proving that remote work is working,” Erik Bradley, chief engagement strategist at ETR, told Reuters in an interview.
“So we all thought that there would be some increase in permanent remote work, but we didn’t expect that to double from pre-pandemic levels. There would be huge ramifications of this in a lot of areas, whether that is real estate, retail, restaurant or transportation.
How soon can we expect normality to return?
Similar to the Australian bushfires in early 2020, this pandemic is like a bushfire, a worldwide one that is. A vaccine is the key towards a new beginning but we aren’t quite sure how many people are actually vaccinated and if it has helped reduce the infection rates.
As of now, Malaysia is set to receive its share of the vaccine in February while Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) has been extended well into January. Will we start seeing change then? Rest assured, it’s not going to take long for us to find out.
The power of photographs could be an understatement especially when so much could be told with so little.
When it comes to 2020, most of our mind’s images of it could be pretty blurry as when we look back, it is as if we only saw one thing – the pandemic. On top of that, we couldn’t in fact remember all the places we’ve been and record all that has happened; So, how would you remember what you couldn’t even picture?
TIME’s photo department release their top 10 photographs of the year at every end of it, similar to 2020, they did so once more and made 2020 that much more personal to each and every one of us.
Pictured is the staff and patients at the Brooklyn Heights Medical Center. Thousands were killed by Covid-19 in New York City and millions more around the world. Taken on April 22nd, Kohut captures a lone Kyle Edwards gathering lanterns from inside one of the refrigerators that stored these corpses.
Iran mourned as the assassination of major general Qasem Soleimani sparked hurt and vengeance in the country.
Hoda Kinno, 11, is carried by her uncle Mustafa after a massive explosion at the port in Beirut on August 4th. “I was taking pictures of everything when I saw men holding two injured girls on the highway opposite the port. I followed one until they reached a military vehicle that was being loaded with injured people to be evacuated to a hospital.”
A drop cloth hung from a clothlines, serving as a simple barrier between two family members who began embracing nonetheless. Bello captured the embraces over 45 minutes, including that of Sileo and granddaughter Olivia Grant, shown here. “They were long hugs,” he says.
Jacquelyn Booth mourning the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
A man lies on the ground, merely a block away from a hospital in Wuhan, China. When they saw us, they shouted at us. They seemed to tell us not to get any closer,” Retamal remembered. After a while, others in protective suits arrived; they approached the man but would not touch him.
Peter van Agtmael
Trump went head to head with Biden for the U.S. hot seat, it’s hard to know what he knows at times.
3 billion animals, that’s how much animals were killed or displaced during bushfire season in Australia. When on a photographic mission around Kangaroo Island, he noticed something grey afar. “As I approached, I realized it was a koala,” he recalls. A volunteer from a nearby fire-response team noticed and came over with water. “Under normal circumstances, the koala would have scrambled up a tree,” says Ferguson, “but it was exhausted and dehydrated as the woman approached with her offering and poured it on its head.”
George Floyd’s murder by police in Minnesota was the final straw for many as protests soon took over the country and lasted throughout the year. Being there, Sidibe says, “changed the way I view the world and how I carry myself in this world.”
Following a U.S. and the Taliban peace agreement, Huylebroek and his colleagues took advantage of this by visiting insurgents in the eastern Laghman province. “They welcomed us in a friendly way, but things felt a bit tense,” he says. As two children walk up to road and past the fire fighters, “For me,” says Huylebroek, “it shows the harsh reality in which children grow up.”