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If you’re living in the Subang area, do take note!

Yesterday (31st March), it was announced that PDRM will begin enforcing 24-hour roadblocks at five locations, as well as road closures in 10 areas within the Subang area. This is done to align with the second phase of the MCO that is set to take place today (1st April) till 14th April 2020.

24-hour roadblocks will be placed in populated areas such as:

  • Seafield
  • South Puchong
  • PJS7
  • Putra Heights toll plazas

Along with these locations, roadblocks will also be placed at Jalan Subang Utama heading towards the New Pantai Expressway.

Of the 10 roads that will be closed, Subang citizens should take note these will include roads from:

  • Kesas Highway heading towards Subang Jaya
  • Jalan Subang Kelana Link
  • LDP towards Persiaran Kewajipan
  • Persiaran Tujuan.

“The public is advised to give their cooperation and to obey the MCO currently in place,” added authorities who said road users will have to use alternative roads if they are planning to leave Subang.

These measures will take effect today so do take note if you’re passing through the surrounding areas, guys! Stay safe. 

-worldofbuzz

KUALA LUMPUR (REUTERS) – Malaysia’s central bank said on Wednesday (Feb 12) there was “ample room” to adjust interest rates, after economic growth slowed to the weakest in a decade in the fourth quarter and the coronavirus outbreak threatened to pile on more pressure this year.

“We have ample room, inflation is still low,” Bank Negara Malaysia Governor Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus told a news conference when asked about the possibility of a rate cut after the growth figures were released.

The central bank unexpectedly cut its overnight policy rate last month by 25 basis points to 2.75 per cent, the lowest since March 2011.

South-east Asia’s third-largest economy grew 3.6 per cent in October-December from the same period a year earlier, due to lower output of palm oil, crude oil and natural gas, and a fall in exports amid the US-China trade war.

The pace was the weakest since the global financial crisis, well below the 4.2 per cent rise forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll, and slower than 4.4 per cent in the third quarter.

Full-year growth came in at 4.3 per cent, below the government’s forecast of 4.7 per cent and the weakest since 2016.

The coronavirus epidemic in China will put further pressure on the economy this year, particularly in the first quarter, the central bank said after releasing the data. The virus was named Covid-9 on Tuesday.

The Malaysian government, which has forecast the economy to grow at 4.8 per cent this year, is already working on a stimulus package for aviation, retailing and tourism to help cushion the impact.

“The economy is still being supported by very firm private sector spending, and that is a positive development in our economy. More importantly, private investment might turn around,” Nor Shamsiah said.

“But there are downside risks. It’s very difficult to predict how long it will take before (the virus) is contained… there are so many moving parts, but we do acknowledge it will impact us in the first quarter.”

Malaysia’s economy, like many in Asia, came under heavy pressure last year from the escalating US-China trade war and softening global demand, with the mining sector particularly hard hit.

While China and the US agreed a preliminary deal last month, the fast-spreading epidemic has raised fresh global growth risks and heightened expectations of more stimulus in some of the more vulnerable economies. The virus was named Covid-19 on Tuesday.

Capital Economics expects things to only get worse in the first quarter as tourist arrivals plummet due to virus fears. Tourism accounts for 11.8 per cent of Malaysia’s GDP, according to BNM.

Potential disruptions to Malaysia’s manufacturing sector due to factory shutdowns in China and falling oil prices could also drag on growth.

“While there is clearly a great deal of uncertainty, we are pencilling in a slowdown in GDP growth to just 1.5 per cent y/y in Q1 – a much bigger hit to the economy than during SARS,” Alex Holmes, an Asia economist with Capital Economics, said in a note to clients.

However, analysts say growth could snap back quickly if the virus is contained soon, much as it did after Sars.

-straitstimes

KUALA LUMPUR: Visitors especially Hindu devotees need not worry about attending the Thaipusam festival this Saturday in the wake of the 2019 novel coronavirus infections, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Senator P. Waytha Moorthy.

However, he advised those attending the festival to take extra precautions such as ensuring personal hygiene, wearing face masks and going for checks at medical facilities if necessary.

“In our country, the coronavirus infection is being handled professionally. The World Health Organisation (representative) also praised Malaysia and the Health Ministry for being transparent and managing it in a prudent manner.

“So, I think there is no need to worry but just be extra careful,” he said yesterday.

The pilot programme was launched to assist B40 Indian dialysis patients who do not have welfare support or the Social Security Organisation benefit for their dialysis treatment.

Meanwhile, Waytha Moorthy said Mitra has approved an allocation of RM2.9 million to assist 99 patients from the B40 who are eligible to receive the treatment for one year of the programme.

The programme is a collaboration between Mitra and three non-governmental organisations, namely St John Ambulance Association, Buddhist Tzu Chi Merits Society Malaysia and the Sai Ananda Foundation

-thesundaily

A clogged sink can be a nightmare to deal with – it’s troublesome, expensive, and just plain gross to clean out. But a clogged sink can be prevented simply by ensuring that you’re not causing it. Read on to find out what things you might be mistakenly pouring down your drain. 

Avoid a clogged sink by remembering never to pour these items down your drain

1) FLOUR

Thinking of showing off your prowess in the kitchen to your friends by baking up a batch of homemade pineapple tarts? Well, remember not to throw your excess flour into sink.

When you add water to flour, the flour forms a batter-like mass, clogging up your pipes.

Throw excess flour into the trash disposal, or save it be keeping it in an airtight container. If the flour has been exposed to air, freeze it in your fridge for around 48 hours before storing it in a dry, cool location.

2) EGGSHELLS

You might think that eggshells that have been crushed up are safe to throw down your sink. But the sharp edges of the shell bits may stick to other objects coming down your sink, possibly causing a clog.

Throw your eggshells in the bin, or since they’re biodegradable, add them to your compost.

3) COFFEE GROUNDS

PHOTO: Unsplash

You were in a rush in this morning, so after downing your morning cup of coffee, you absentmindedly dump your excess coffee into the sink.

That may seem harmless, but coffee grinds absorb a large amount of water. When wet, they clump together to form a large, sticky mass.

Simply pour your leftover coffee into a coffee filter over your sink, and toss out the stray coffee grinds, or compost them. There’s no need to get rid of your morning cuppa, which may have more health benefits than you think.

4) GREASE AND FAT

Before you put your oily wok into the sink after stirring up a batch of stir-fry, read this. Cooking oil, butter, mayonnaise, and other oil-based products should never go into your sink.

Why? The fats present in oil solidify upon cooling, such as when cold water comes pouring out of the tap and into your drain.

After cooking, pour the excess oil into a cup and dispose of it in a bag. If you’re boiling meat, a common step in preparing sauces, drain the top layer of water and fat into bowl.

Wait for it to cool or place it in fridge to allow the fat to congeal, after which you can throw it away.

If you’re wondering what to do with those meat chops still left lounging in your fridge, you might be interested in these four delicious recipes using beef cuts.

5) RICE, PASTA, AND POTATO PEELS

Be careful when washing your rice! You may think a stray piece rice grain  escaping down your drain is no big deal. But actually, starchy foods like rice and pasta absorb a lot of water and expand in size, possibly causing congestion.

6) KITCHEN TOWELS

Kitchen towels, tissues and other paper-based products dissolve in water, so it may seem tempting to just throw them in the sink.

However, only toilet paper is designed to break down in water. Meanwhile, paper towels are designed to be sturdy and absorbent and can cause a clogged sink.

7) STICKER LABELS ON FRUITS

These sticker labels are made of plastic, which is non-biodegradable. If enough debris build-up in your pipes, you may have to eventually remove the using a hair clog.

Do still wash those fruits and veggies properly though, to avoid ingesting any pesticides still lingering on the surface.

8) PAINT

Paints may not clog up your sink, but flushing some of them down the sink can be dangerous to your health and the environment.

Natural paints can be washed down the sink, but oil-based paints also contain hazardous chemicals and shouldn’t be placed where you wash your vegetables and meat!

While it should be okay for you to wash your dirty fingers in the sink after an arts-and-crafts session, unused paint should be allowed to dry, scraped up, and tossed.

9) MEDICATION

As with paint, medications poured down the drain can find their way into water bodies and soil, harming the environment. The Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore advises disposing of medicines in a tightly-sealed trash bag.

10) LIQUID DRAIN CLEANERS

PHOTO: Pexels

It almost defies logic. Drain cleaners are supposed to exist to help you clear your pipes! The problem is, many liquid drain cleaners are caustic, meaning they will cause the insides of your pipes to deteriorate too!

So, what do you do if your sink does becomes stuck? Learn three easy ways to unclog a sink if it unfortunately does occur.

You might be in a rush in the morning, but take care not to pour these foods down the drain. You’ll save yourself time from mucky unclogging afterwards!

AsiaOne

NEW YORK – US fast food giant McDonald’s said on Wednesday (Jan 29) it closed all of its restaurants in Hubei, the Chinese province at the epicentre of a virus outbreak that has spread beyond the country’s borders.

The novel coronavirus outbreak traced to the provincial capital Wuhan in central China has killed more than 130 people and infected nearly 6,000 people across the country.

That has prompted factories and businesses to close, airlines to cancel flights to the country and governments to discourage travel to China.

McDonald’s chief executive officer Chris Kempczinski called the situation “fluid” and “concerning,” and said the chain decided to close all of its restaurants in Hubei, which amount to “several hundred.”

But three thousand outlets elsewhere in China remain open, he said, during a call to discuss the company’s fourth quarter financial results.

“Right now, as you would expect, our priority’s really on our employees, on our customers, doing everything we can to make sure that they are safe and taken care of,” Kempczinski said, adding that the company would establish a special team to deal with the outbreak.

China accounts for 9 per cent of all McDonald’s restaurants but only about 4 to 5 per cent of its sales and 3 per cent of its income, he said.

But commenting on the potential financial hit from the virus, he said “its actual impact on our business is going to be fairly small, assuming, again, that it stays contained to China.”

There are now 16 countries that have confirmed cases of the illness, from the United States to the United Arab Emirates.

American coffee chain Starbucks announced on Tuesday that it had shuttered half of its cafes in China, and Disney shut down its theme parks in Shanghai and Hong Kong.

The McDonald’s announcement came as they reported healthy fourth quarter results, that showed sales growing worldwide by 5.9 per cent with revenues of US$5.35 billion (S$7.2 billion), compared to the final three months of 2018.

The earnings were the first since chief executive Steve Easterbrook left the chain following a “consensual relationship” with an employee that violated company policy.

AsiaOne

Many people may already know that Influenza A is a pretty severe disease that can land you in hospital for days, if not weeks. The symptoms can be difficult to endure and the disease itself is also highly contagious. But what many didn’t know is that Influenza A, if not treated properly, can claim the lives of many people, especially those who are most prone to the disease ie; children  and the elderly.

Unfortunately, the widespread outbreak of Influenza A in Malaysia has allegedly claimed yet another victim, according to Oriental Daily. Nur Dinie Damia Muhammad Noor Ain, who was only seven-years-old, had succumbed to complications due to suspected influenza.

Prior to this, she was being treated at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Sultanah Aminah Hospital (HSA), where doctors had said that she had been suffering from physical organ failure, heart failure, and impaired brain function, but still had a heartbeat. Her father announced her death to the media via WhatsApp.

It was said that she had suffered from a severe high fever on 5th January and when brought to a clinic, was diagnosed with Influenza A. However, a PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) test was conducted and found that she did not have Influenza A.

An autopsy will be conducted to obtain more information about the cause of her death.

We extend our deepest condolences to the family of Nur Dinie during this difficult time, and would like to remind everyone reading this to keep an eye on your health, as there can be no telling if you are suffering from Influenza A or not. 

-worldofbuzz

Label food with amount of exercise, not calories

December 18, 2019 | Food, Info | No Comments

Labelling food and drink with the amount and type of exercise needed to burn off the calories in it might be a more effective way of encouraging people to make “healthier” dietary choices, indicates research published online in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

Given that the current system of food labelling by calorie and nutrient content is poorly understood, and there’s little evidence that it is altering purchasing decisions or having any impact on obesity levels, it may be worth trying, suggest the researchers.

If widely applied, it might, on average, shave off up to 195 calories per person per day, they calculate.

Physical activity calorie equivalent or expenditure (PACE) food labelling aims to show how many minutes or miles of physical activity are needed to burn off the calories in a particular food or drink.

For example, eating 229 calories in a small bar of milk chocolate would require about 42 minutes of walking or 22 minutes of running to burn off.

The UK Royal Society for Public Health has already called for PACE labelling to replace the current system, but to date, there’s been little strong evidence to back this stance.

The researchers trawled research databases and other relevant online resources for studies that compared PACE labelling with other types of food labelling or none for potential impact on the selection, purchase or consumption of food and drinks (excluding alcohol).

They found 15 relevant randomised controlled trials and pooled the data from 14 of them.

The results showed that when PACE labelling was displayed on food and drink items, and on menus, on average, significantly fewer calories – 65 fewer per meal – were selected.

PACE labelling was also associated with the consumption of 80 to 100 fewer calories than no food labelling or other types of labelling.

Based on their findings and average consumption of three meals a day plus two snacks, the researchers suggest that PACE labelling might potentially slice around 200 calories off daily intake.

But they caution, the number of included studies was small and the design of each varied considerably.

Most weren’t carried out in real life settings, such as restaurants and supermarkets.

Nevertheless, they suggest: “PACE labelling shows some promise in reducing the number of kilocalories (calories) selected from menus, as well as the number of calories and the amount of food (grammes) consumed.”

The evidence shows that even a relatively small reduction in daily calorie intake (100 calories) combined with a sustained increase in physical activity is likely to be good for health and could help curb obesity at the population level.

PACE labelling may help people achieve this, they say.

“PACE labelling is a simple strategy that could be easily included on food/beverage packaging by manufacturers, on shelving price labels in supermarkets, and/or in menus in restaurants/fast-food outlets,” they write.

“Public health agencies may want to consider the possibility of including policies to promote (it) as a strategy that contributes to the prevention and treatment of obesity and related diseases,” they conclude.

-thestar

How to tame the negative self-talk within you

December 3, 2019 | Health, Info | No Comments

There is a saying that we are our worst enemy. Despite how well adjusted you may think you are, a bad day or period of time can trigger off a battery of negative thoughts.

This in turn can cause you to experience everything from anxiety, guilt, anger and even fear.

Additionally, such negative emotions can trigger a vicious cycle of both physical and mental effects: feeling overly stressed, causing hypertension, experiencing bouts of insomnia, spiking one’s cortisol levels – all in all, it’s bad news and a lot more than just unkind, unforgiving thoughts about oneself or one’s situation. 

“We all can successfully reverse the negative spiral of our own thoughts if we practice this [positive speech] regularly,” shares Ralitsa Peeva from Como Shambhala Singapore.

Be it positive affirmations, writing down a list of everything good in your life to actively re-framing a perceived negative scenario, the common denominator is to be mindful and to take active action.

Here’s what Ralitsa advises…

WHAT ARE THE FIVE MOST COMMON NEGATIVE PHRASES AND WHAT ARE SOME OF THE EMOTIONS THAT USUALLY DRIVE SUCH NEGATIVE SELF-TALK?

Our usual negative self-talk is remarkably similar across nations, gender, time, profession or age. Most often we beat ourselves with the following phrases:

“I am not good enough.” “If people really see who I am, they will not love me.” “I am such a disappointment.” “What’s wrong with me?” “I should, I have to, and I must.” 

What we say to ourselves in a particular situation defines how we feel but we rarely notice that it is our thought about the situation rather than the situation itself that triggers our emotions.

Our negative self-talk (or negative automatic thoughts) is embedded deeply in our minds and it takes time and practice to become aware of it and to start replacing it with self-compassion, acceptance and patience.  

WE HAVE SIMILAR THINKING DISTORTIONS WHEN WE THINK ABOUT EVENTS

For example, some of the most common ones, familiar to each of us are black or white thinking (when we think in absolutes with no room for middle ground), catastrophising (when we tend to magnify the impact of events and how awful they would be), personalising (when we take blame and responsibility for anything unpleasant even when it is not related to us), negative filter (when we tend to focus on the one negative comment instead of paying attention to ten positive ones), mind reading (when we believe we know what another person is thinking).

HOW CAN ONE REFRAME THEIR SPEECH TO REFLECT A MORE POSITIVE MANNER?

The key first step is awareness. Notice your usual negative thoughts. Pay attention to what is it that your “inner critic” is constantly berating you with.

Learn to notice when that critic has “hijacked” your mind and you are in the spiral of the negative self-talk.

Notice the thought you are holding. Then ask yourself “What is the evidence?” “Is this a fact or is it my perception right now?” “What would I say to a friend who is in a similar situation?” “Is this one of the thought distortions?” “Am I looking at the whole picture?” “Will this be important in one year?”

When you stop yourself from going down the spiral of the negative thinking, take the next step – think what would be a more helpful thought in this situation?

Did your friend cancel on you because she doesn’t like you, or because she’s had a really difficult day and she needs to rest?

Is your boss really in a bad mood because of your job performance or because the planned merger didn’t turn out the way she was expecting? 

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE LITTLE THINGS ONE CAN LEARN TO DO TO SPEAK FROM A PLACE OF SELF-COMPASSION VS SELF-PITY?

Notice if you are in the “poor-me” mode.

Don’t slip into that mood for too long though because the victim mode rarely gives you a chance to look at the situation differently, and learn and grow from it.

Self-compassion involves personal growth work and giving yourself time to rest, to heal, and to replenish your energy.

Take a few minutes off. Treat yourself with the same respect and empathy with which you would treat your best friend.

WHEN FACED WITH A NEGATIVE PERSON, HOW CAN ONE RE-FRAME THE CONVERSATION?

I encourage clients to put what we call a “titanium shield” where you feel centered, grounded and present and you don’t allow someone else’s storm and drama to spill over because negative moods are “contagious.”

Try to use sense of humour. People who reside more in the negative mood tend to think and speak with phrases like “always” and “never.”

Challenge that; ask “Is it really always true?” Remember that to understand doesn’t mean you have to agree.

You may be present for that person and help them get through an issue but you don’t have to think like them.

INSECURITY IS OFTEN THE CAUSE OF ONE’S NEGATIVE OUTLOOK? WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE TO IMPROVE ONE’S SELF-ESTEEM?

Practice the positive self-talk that works for you. Find the positive affirmations that really resonate with you and keep playing them in your mind.

Take a moment to see all the good qualities that you have. Remind yourself how you’ve managed to get through difficult times and to help other people when they needed you.

The more we notice what works for us and what it is that we bring to the world, to our friends and family, the stronger our self-esteem will be.

-asiaone

How to avoid burnout at work

November 28, 2019 | Health, Info | No Comments

Feeling long drawn exhaustion, unsatisfied with your job and unproductive? You may be heading toward “burnout”, according to a newly recognized World Health Organisation (WHO) diagnosis.

Around 1 million people skip work every day for reasons linked to professional stress. While it is hard to undo the damage, here are the things you can do to avoid burnout at work according to Business Insider.

KEEP TRACK OF TIME

Life is far too valuable to make work your sole priority. The key to happiness is to find a balance in life, therefore it is important to make time for your own purposes as well.

Use a scheduler or a digital calendar to keep track of how much time you spend in the office, how much work you do at home and how much time you have fully for yourself.

SEPARATE HOME AND OFFICE

When you’re out of the office, but the thought of work suddenly strikes you, that’s when you know that burnout might be coming.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s the evening after work, on the weekend, or during vacation, it is important to disconnect from work in your personal time. Your phone does not need to be always on standby.Also, focusing on different aspects of your life can make you feel inspired and energized when you’re back in work mode.

VACATIONS ARE ALWAYS NECESSARY

Not only do vacations help with productivity and creativity, they are also good for your mental health.

Working through your vacation days might feel right for your career and dreams, however, it is equally as important to take a breather.

Go on a relaxing trip, without the hassle of connecting flights and excessive planning. Even a short getaway nearby can go a long way toward helping you fight workplace burnout.

CHANGE OF SCENERY

Another alternative is to work remotely. This way you can breathe fresh air and enjoy the view without the fear of falling behind.

Working away from the office is also proven to increase the productivity and overall work satisfaction necessary for a successful career.

-asiaone

Online shopping may be about convenience, but there’s nothing quite like touching and feeling an item at a physical store before buying it.

Taobao hopes to do just that by diversifying its market and including those who are not familiar with shopping online.

“When people shop on Taobao, they often have a lot of questions about the product and its quality… With the physical store, they can touch and feel the product and know exactly how to operate it,” Tmall World Malaysia marketing manager Jess Lew said, according to Malay Mail.

Spanning at 5,000 square feet, the retail space will sell a large collection of Taobao products, including homegrown brands

Baby items, electronics, furniture, and beauty tools, among other items from both Chinese and Malaysian companies, will be available for customers to test out and purchase.

Shoppers will be able to buy an item by scanning its QR code and making the purchase through the app. Staff will also be at the store to assist users.

The retail store will open on 29 November at MyTOWN Shopping Centre in Cheras, KL

SAYS

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