Stadium Named After District Officer, Spelt Backwards, “Ffira Mikah” Is a No-Go

What was to be the “Ffira mMikah Mini Stadium” in Kedah, has backfired after the state government interfered due to the widespread criticism it has received for its name.

The naming of the “Ffirah Mikah Mini Stadium” controversy was allegedly tied to be an inverted spelling of Padang Terap district officer Hakim Ariff Mohammad Noor’s name. The controversy wasn’t known by the state government until images of the stadium started spreading around social media.

According to the state health and local government committee chairman Mohammad Hayati Othman, they were not aware of the naming of the mini stadium until criticism came in from the public on the 12th of December.

“I was surprised when I found out the (new) name, we were not informed on the proposed name as it was under the jurisdiction of the Padang Terap district council (PTDC).

“By right, we should not use such names as people may have a negative perception, but I consider the issue has been solved as it will be renamed after this,” he told Berita Harian in an interview.

Hayati also added that the local government has been advised to use names of the district’s historical figures or names of individuals that had contributed to replace the current name.

Hakim Ariff himself had also been the subject of criticism due to the “Ffira Mikah” naming of the stadium.

Although, Ariff has since denied that the stadium was named after him and claimed that “Ffira Mikah” has nothing to do with his name and the incident was entirely coincidental.

“It is not related to my name, there is a meaning behind the name, it was nominated during an administrative meeting.

“In Spanish or Greek, ‘Ffira’ means something great, while ‘Mikah’ is the name of an angel in Arabic,” he said.

Ariff also added that the name was selected with hopes of it making the stadium more attractive after its upgrading and rebranding.

“I am not after glamour, I want Padang Terap to be cleaner and better, I don’t want the district to remain the same, they have made accusations without knowing the real story.

“I was the one that requested for an allocation of RM200,000 from the state government to upgrade the stadium that was dilapidated before this.”

The signage of the stadium has since been removed and is expected to be renamed as the Kuala Nerang Mini Stadium.

31% of Malaysians Have Felt Lonely Ever Since Covid-19 Happened

Think that MCO is the biggest effect of Covid-19 so far? Think again, because some Malaysians have been lonelier than usual during all this time spent at home in 2020.

AFP PHOTO / Robyn BECK

According to a Snapchat Inc. study on how Covid-19 has impacted friendship, 31% of Malaysians said that they have felt lonely ever since the pandemic started.

In their research that interviewed over 30,000 people across sixteen countries, they found that it was also 10% higher when compared with data before Covid-19. Almost a third of the surveyed (35%) also said that this pandemic has also affected their friendship.

54% of Malaysians also said that social distancing had led to their relationship with friends actually being that much more distant, 46% also agreed that they “felt more distant from friends because they couldn’t spend time in-person”.

Dr. Nur Hafeeza Ahmad Pazil is a senior lecturer of Anthropology and Sociology at Universiti Sains Malaysia and she says that social distancing doesn’t help with the initimacy that relationships often need.

“People perceive friendships as important relationships and idealise a close friend as a person whom they trust, love unconditionally, feel comfortable with, and show their real self to.” she said.

“Self-disclosure is a part of the process of building the qualities of intimacy in which disclosing self and intimacy are associated with high levels of trust, and people usually relate intimacy by keeping ‘others’ at a distance,”

Although a sad statistic, people are still making efforts to improve their relationships at this time. 54% are making an intentional move to reach out to long lost friends and 81% are using online channels to communicate more than during before Covid-19.

Conversations are also getting deeper for 59% rather than simple conversing and it was also revealed that digital communications helped an 85% maintain their relationships regardless of age. Amid the digitalization of things and communication, 29% have lost touch with a close friend.

For the 59% that want to rekindle their relationships, 52% would send a memorable photo , 49% would send an image that reminded that reminded them of their friend and 44% would utilise a funny meme of GIF image.

Overworking? Maybe These Five Steps Would Help with That

One of the many effects of Covid-19 on 2020 has been the majority of workers having their homes transformed into their office, and it only makes it that much harder to have that work life balance when work has followed you into your home.

The usual 9 to 5 schedule is sometimes just not there anymore when work is so easily accessible and when you’re tempted to just get more done. Working more has gradually become the new working well as both the employer and employee are willing to stretch their hours into midnight and the weekends as well.

What one would see as building their careers with the extra work they are putting in could actually take a heavy toll on health, productivity and also family life. Other than that, overworking has also been found to be the number one cause for work-related health disorders like stress, fatigue and exhaustion.

One of the many reasons people tend to overwork is down to wanting to prove themselves, wanting to follow suit their bosses who are staying late at the office, having too much work, too little time or just plain competition in their industry among many others. 

So, if you find yourself overworked and fatigued, your body would show and let you know the dangers. Amid the warning bells now, how do you deal with it anyway?

Prioritize time management

Break up your tasks into urgent or non-urgent in order to have a healthy workflow and not cram up the priorities for the end of the day. Make a checklist of tasks arranged with their level of urgency and set time for each of them accordingly. You’ll be able to get done with urgent matters earlier and make more time for daily and non-urgent matters throughout the rest of it.

One step at a time

What may seem like a simple thing can be tricky when most of us are so very used to multi-tasking. Take small steps by finishing one task before starting with the other as doing ten things all at once not only puts a lot of stress on one’s mind but would also leave space for unwanted errors.

Delegate to divide and conquer

As much as you want to, you don’t necessarily have to do everything by yourself as you could always split the tasks. The writing of a proposal can be done by the writer while you can be in charge of the editing and finalizing of it, same goes with calling a customer and data entries. Junior staff members can pick up on simpler tasks while you can put your focus on other matters.

Short breaks 

It may seem like a normal thing at first, but short breaks can do wonders once you start taking them every now and then. Try going out for lunch once in a while instead of gibbering down at that sandwich everyday and understand that these short breaks help with working better especially after coming back refreshed.

Adequate sleep

A good day starts with a good start, and that can’t be possible when you’re up all night with your smartphone against your face. Resist from working at night or looking at any work-related stuff during off-hours as nothing is worse when your body clock is going haywire at a time when so much time is spent confined to home.

Planning to Skip Christmas? Postpone It Instead!

As public health officials across the world are repeatedly advising to refrain from attending indoor gatherings especially during the holidays, some of us are pondering on the idea of skipping Christmas entirely. 

So how do you tell your family that you’re planning to skip one of the most festive times of the year anyway? 

1) Show that your reason is because you care

A woman walks past a window display with Father Christmas wearing a protective mask, during the second COVID-19 national lockdown in Lille, France, November 30, 2020. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

According to Dr. Nancy Hurst, if you say “I don’t feel safe…I look forward to having that spring get-together,” the relationship will likely strong enough to endure. Others say to use phrases such as “postponing” the holiday instead of “cancelling” it. 

2) Covid-19 vaccine talk

Turning the focus on Covid-19 vaccine development could also help soften the blow by convincing those around you that perhaps the pandemic could be over sometime soon. Utilise the opportunity to suggest following local guidelines and also to find alternatives to large gatherings especially during this time of the year.

3) Go virtual

Video dinners, they are a thing. Facetime and Zoom are just among the many virtual options; make them seem more personal by sharing Christmas recipes prior and also to drop off on each other’s porches, that way you will be able to let people know that you want to see them and that you’ve thought about them enough to think of alternatives to be able to see their faces.

4) It’s not personal

If your family does in fact go ahead with Christmas plans and gatherings without you, don’t take it personal as you have no control over that. All in all, experts agree that there isn’t a safe in-person Christmas gathering and it takes just one person to start an outbreak

Feeling Like Time Goes By Faster Lately? Here’s Why?

Do you ever get the realization that time somehow goes by faster as you age? If you do, you’re not alone as physics and the lockdown may have the answer to that.

Our perception of time shifts constantly and also dependent on the activities we partake in and also on how much rest we get. Research done by Duke University mechanical engineering professor, Adrian Bejan, uses physics to explain the changing senses of time and why years seem to go by faster the older we get.

The mind’s eye

Each of us have our own “mind time” that is unrelated to the passing of hours, days, years and clocks, which is all effected by the amount of time we rest and other factors. These changes in factors give us a sense of time’s passage, as he writes:

“The present is different from the past because the mental viewing has changed, not because somebody’s clock rings. The “clock time” that unites all the live flow systems, animate and inanimate, is measurable. The day-night period lasts 24 hours on all watches, wall clocks and bell towers. Yet, physical time is not mind time. The time that you perceive is not the same as the time perceived by another.”

Time goes by with the mind’s eye, it is related to the number of mental images the brain encounters and organizes and the state of our brains as we age. 

The rate of which these images are perceived decreases because of the transforming physical features such as vision, brain complexity and later in life, the degradation of pathways that information is transmitted at. This shift allows us to perceive as if time is sped up.

Time spent in lockdown

Young man wearing pyjamas with feet up on desk using computer

You’ve made fewer memories than usual in a week and time seems to have disappeared. Since most of us spend our lives in one location, time spent at home is different than time spent in the outside world. 

When you take dozens of Zoom calls in a week all from the same setting, everything can start merging into one when compared in real llife where everyone would be meeting with each other at a number of different places. When we look back on the time of coronavirus, it might be hard to delineate different parts of our months in lockdown.

Because of the lack of other markers in time, once lockdown had begun we might find the weeks hard to differentiate, hence, time passing by as if your days didn’t happen.

We create our own subjective experience of time in our minds and it doesn’t always match up with reality and what we read on the clock or the calendar. A 20-minute lunch with a friend goes by in a flash, while a 20-minute wait for a delayed train can feel unending, yet in reality of course the duration is both in fact, 20 minutes.

Malaysians’ Face Masks Go from Being Life Savers to Toxic Waste

Face masks are now an essential part of life especially against the coronavirus, but the way that we dispose of them are creating a whole new environmental and litter crisis.

The pandemic is said to have led to a huge surge in the use of single-use face masks, gloves, sanitizer bottles and Personal Protective Equipment, and the concern is about where all these ends up when they’ve fulfilled their one-time purpose.

Sides of the roads, public parking lots, outside restaurants, drains and rivers are just among the many place that these face masks end up and this is a worrying concern not only for us but also the environment, obviously. 

Permata Greenland Organisation chairman Dr Sharifah Mazlina Syed Abdul Kadir described the phenomenon as the “new unhealthy norm” that is damaging to the environment.

“It is sickening to see people throwing used face masks. It’s as if they have no civic-mindedness.” she told the New Straits Times.

“You can see discarded face masks anywhere and everywhere and people ignore them.”

She also said that irresponsible disposal of these facemasks cause the same damage as other plastic products. It is also estimated that 10 million face masks are being discarded daily in Malaysia and that’s just the least of it. 

Landasan Lumayan managing director Syaiful Azmen Nordin told Malay Mail in April that new types of waste such as face masks, hand sanitiser bottles, and gloves were being found in the Klang River.

Syaiful, who oversees cleaning and rehabilitation operations along the river, warned that face masks that are littered on the ground can get washed into the drains during rainy weather and end up choking our rivers.

Surgical face masks are partly made of a plastic material known as polypropylene which means it takes up to 450 years for to decompose, hence, it will stay in the environment for some time. This all spells trouble, especially if these face masks are ingested by an animal.

“If a sea creature digested a contaminated face mask, then it will spread the virus in the ocean too. Imagine if the seafood we eat is infected by a virus from a used face mask.” said Sharifah.

“We know the virus (Covid-19) can survive in water too.”

Malaysian Nature Society president ,Professor Dr Ahmad Ismail says that education on the matter is essential.

“Public attitude and concerns about irresponsible disposal of single-use plastics, including face masks, are worrying.” he said.

“Environmental problems linked to plastic waste have become a major concern.

“The country is ranked eighth in the world for the worst managed public waste, with China ranking No. 1.”

There are many common practices for properly disposing off a used face mask and that Malaysians should learn about them while adhering to the instructions given by the authorities on disposal of face masks and other plastics.

What Does a Future with 5G Looks Like?

In a world where communication modes are essential, it’s not a surprise to see that 5G networks are already widely available in most parts of the world.

Along with the release of 5G-capable devices such as the iPhone 12, groundbreaking internet speed is now more available than ever before among prior generations; this increase in speed and decrease in latency also provides new possibilities for the fight against Covid-19 in term of vaccine innovation and patient care as well.

In order for that to happen though, something must be changed in the infrastructure of facilities as development and upgrades for the current wireless infrastructure is needed in order to carry the weight of 5G for the future.

So, how does a future with 5G look like?

1) A fourth utility

5G Sunset Cell Tower: Cellular communications tower for mobile phone and video data transmission

Current generation of 4G is a is a series of measures that defines the demands of a 4G network and the standards that must be met; for example, a common standard specifies a 4G network as one that offers 100 megabits per second (Mbps) for devices on the move. 5G testing has reached nearly 300 Mbps, these small cells would also increase in density and not be able to pass through types of building walls; this is why 5G service has selected certain cities as of today.

2) More than watching videos on a device

Regular hospital check-ups that require scheduling, travel for the patient and imperfect data will be enhanced to ensure a quicker process; ambulances too can use this to stream video of the patient to the emergency department physician while en route, enabling better treatment. The capabilities of telemedicine will expand due to better quality video and better data.

We could see the start of a “smart hospital” in the making, as instant feedback, streamlined workflow and enhanced patient care are just a few areas where IoMT can benefit from 5G-type speeds. With its low latency, large files would be easily transferrable and limitations would be a thing of the past along with the improvements on wearable health devices.

3) Infrastructure

5G technology is cellular based and operates in specific blocks of the wireless spectrum. While it’s possible for 5G to run on unlicensed bands, interference between Wi-Fi and cellular technologies should be evaluated inside of a facility. The ideal way to eliminate interference is to install a building wireless system that is also known as distributed antenna system (DAS), that ranges from fiber-based, cloud-based to carrier-funded and hybrid fiber/coaxial.

Transitioning from 4G to 5G wireless frequency will require an enterprise-, system- and building-level evaluation of any existing DAS implementations. The need for low latency and speed will require a deep evaluation of all cable infrastructure to provide multiple levels of support for wireless technologies.

4) Other factors

Fiber optic cable strand with glowing luminous ending.

Other than infrastructure changes, quality or service protocols would be needed as well. For example, the move to 5G capability will require fiber deeper into networks than ever before due to latency and capacity demand; understanding these options and requirements will be a critical step towards developing the strategic plan and  facility vision. While evaluating baseline measurements, the type of building also comes into question due to buildings becoming more energy efficient by the building material itself.

Plan plan plan

5G technology and wireless infrastructure developmet go hand-in-hand and potentially brings important connectivity benefits; wise planning for the steps needed to be taken will be essential not only now, but also for the future of 5G.

Man Photographs Mt. Fuji’s Sunrise for 600 Days and The Results Are Out of This World

Yu Yamauchi: DAWN

3,048 meters above sea level, being able to see the sunrise at the top of Mt. Fuji is a once in a lifetime experience for many, but it is one that this man has seen at least 600 times.

For four years and five months straight, Yu Yamauchi lived in a hut near the summit of Mt. Fuji, where he ascended daily when it was still dark to photograph the wondrous phenomenon of Mt. Fuji’s sunrise.

Yu Yamauchi: DAWN

Every morning he would go to the exact same location and photograph the sun as it was peaking over the horizon and all that it brings with it, resulting in a series titled “Dawn”, a stunning collection of not many people could feast their eyes upon.

Yu Yamauchi: DAWN

“Constantly shifting, the clouds look like a membrane encapsulating the Earth”, Yamauchi said in a statement regarding the collection that is now available on his website.

“When the Sun rises behind a clud-forming horizon, the world that was painted in blue just a moment before suddenly looks completely different.

“I witnessed this magical transformation many times.”

Yu Yamauchi: DAWN
Yu Yamauchi: DAWN
Yu Yamauchi: DAWN

Yamauchi captured all these with a vintage analog camera which meant that it was likely he couldn’t immediately access the photos when taken; being a film camera, he had to wait until the film from each roll was developed to see what he had captured.

“No matter how complicated society gets or how fast times change, we are a part of a vast unknown terrain that creates this rhythm.”

“Thinking this way, it seems to me that our existence itself is also a vast unknown terrain.

“For me, this work offers a simple reminder: We are present in the here and now”. 

UNIQLO is Bringing Their Stores Out to You, On The Streets

The first UNIQLO store in Malaysia opened its doors on November 2010; fast forward to today, it is opening its first roadside store to mark its 10th anniversary in Malaysia.

Announced by UNIQLO in a Facebook post, the store will be located next to a road that is yet to be announced; it would be in Bandar Sri Damansara as they want it to be surrounded by residential townships, schools and office buildings, all in all ensuring accessibility to members of the public.

According to the Facebook post, the store is carefully designed to allow enough space and walking traffic in and out for families with children, elderly people and people with disabilities even though being next to the street.

Other than it, it will feature its own parking lot as well for customers.

The store is set to launch in December 2020 on a date that will be announced later.

Singapore’s Royal Descendants Live on With Low-Key Lives

A treaty by Sultan Hussein Shah with the British in the 19th century led to a Singapore that was ruled colonially and also to the modern country that we know today; the royal descendants of Sultan Hussein however, live on today with low-key lives.

Seemingly ordinary people at first, several office workers or even taxi drivers can claim to be of royal blood and descendants of the 19-th century monarch who had yielded control of the island to the British.

Sometimes, even those that call Singapore home are rural to the lineage, a fact that doesn’t sit well with Tengku Shawal, acclaimed by some members of his family as “head of the house of Singapore.

“They still exist?” is a response the 51-year-old says he often receives when he tells people he is one of the descendants of Sultan Hussein Shah.

Up until 1999, most of them still lived in the crowded and dilapidated palace that they call home; they were then offered pay-outs to move out by the government, although many of the others were already living overseas.

Despite having personal issues financially, Shawal still regularly visits the palace-turned-museum, nearby mosque and cemetery at Kampung Glam. He spends most of his time keeping the royal heritage alive and attending celebratory events.

Tengku Shawal writes notes against a list of names of royal descendants. Photo: Reuters

“We are not a dynasty. It is not important whether you are a descendant of the royal family or not,” said Tengku Indra, a 67-year-old consultant who had lived in the palace grounds as a child.

“What is crucial is you must earn your life through meritocracy instead of enjoying an ascribed status based on ancestral position.”

Indra was described as the great-great-great-great grandson of Sultan Hussein in an article by government-affiliated heritage society Friends of the Museums Singapore.

Indra has a son, who himself has a daughter, but she thinks that future generations may not take much interest in the Sultan’s history.

“The past inadvertently takes a back seat and remains uncherished,” he said.

Life outside the palace may also be to much to adapt to, as Tengku Faizal, 43, recalled on when he left the palace in 1999, took a job as a cleaner in a condominium and would get teased for being the prince who handles garbage. 

He now drives a taxi but still struggled and has been given financial assistance to cover his daughter’s childcare fees while his wife has started a part-time job in a McDonald’s outlet.

“We are not smart, we are not rich,” Faizal said, speaking in English. “We got title only.”