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KUALA LUMPUR – Badminton world No. 1 Kento Momota has been injured in a car accident in Malaysia, with the driver of the vehicle killed in the crash.

The pre-dawn vehicle collision took place along the Maju Expressway early Monday morning (Jan 13), just hours after he secured his first victory of the season at the Malaysia Masters. 

The Japanese shuttler was with three other players en route to Kuala Lumpur International Airport when the hired van they were in rammed into the rear of a 30-tonne truck, the local fire and rescue department said in a brief statement. Pictures showed the front of the van crushed against a lorry but the back section appeared intact.

The driver of the van, named as N. Bavan, was killed in the accident. The fire and rescue department said it was still working to extricate the driver’s body from the wreckage. 

Momota and the others – named as the Japanese player’s compatriots Yu Hirayama, Morimoto Arkifuki and Englishman William Thomas by official news agency Bernama – suffered slight injuries, the department said. 

Malaysian daily The Star said Hirayama, 35, and Morimoto, 42, are part of the Japanese coaching team while Thomas is a Badminton World Federation (BWF) court official.

The vehicle crashed into the back of a lorry, which was travelling slowly, Bernama reported.

“The victim’s body and all the injured” were sent to hospital in the administrative capital Putrajaya, fire and rescue department senior official Norazam Khamis was cited as saying.

The injured “were able to walk out of the van by themselves with some scratches”, he added. 

The survivors were reportedly in a stable condition, according to a statement from Serdang police.

This was confirmed by Malaysian Tan Kim Her, who is the men’s doubles coach for the Japanese national team. 

“They are in stable condition but are currently under observation for another six to seven hours to see if they are okay,” The Star quoted him as saying.

“It’s truly tragic, especially involving a badminton icon like Momota,” Malaysian sports minister Syed Saddiq told reporters after visiting the injured in hospital. But he added those hurt were “recovering well, (and) all four are also in stable condition”.

The others hurt suffered facial, leg, hand and head injuries, according to the police.

The Badminton Association of Malaysia said in a statement it was “saddened” by what happened.

The incident has cast a pall over Momota’s celebrations after he had captured the Malaysia Masters title with ease on Sunday, when he beat Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen 24-22, 21-11.

It remains to be seen if the accident will affect his preparations for the upcoming Olympics, where he is bidding to win a first gold at his home Games – the only major individual title to elude him so far.

The reigning world champion had told reporters that he was eyeing more success in 2020 after Sunday’s victory.

Momota, currently the best player on the planet, enjoyed a stellar 2019, winning a record 11 titles including the World Championships, Asia Championships and All England Open. 

“My condition was not perfect coming into this tournament, but I was focused on this week and was able to play calmly,” said the Japanese star, who pocketed US$30,000 (S$40,500).

“I do not think I am the strongest, but I am sharp and confident especially after winning the World Tour Finals last year. I know when to focus on attack and defence.” 

AsiaOne

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The fact that more local than foreign students populate international schools in Malaysia is not news.

Since enrollment into international schools was opened to local students back in 2006, reports state there are 44,575 Malaysians compared to 25,220 foreigners to date in 163 international schools here.

But as the number continues to rise, local academics and education experts worry this may lead to an “identity crisis” among local students ― that not being educated in a national school may lead to them feeling (and being) less Malaysian.

A member of the National Education Advisory Council Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim said there is nothing to worry about as the percentage of Malaysian students in international schools only make up less than five per cent of the total number of Malaysian students nationwide.

Independent senior researcher and education consultant Tan Ai Mei feels nation-building efforts are not predicated merely on enrolment in national schools.

“What it means to be Malaysian is the sense of belonging to a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic country.

“This is not reflected in most national schools due to the overwhelming percentage of a single race ― Malays ― in most of them,” she added.

On the other hand, Tan said, while international schools do teach Bahasa Malaysia to Malaysian students, the syllabus merely scratches the surface.

“Perhaps the government could sit down with international schools to improve the Bahasa Malaysia syllabus.

“This is important as these are the future leaders of the country. To lead the country, they need to be conversant in Bahasa Malaysia apart from English and Mandarin,” she said. 

While acknowledging that national school standards are trailing behind that at international schools, Noor Azimah who is also Parents Action Group for Education (Page) chairman, said all is not lost.

“I sent my children to national schools. They turned out fine. Some parents are spoilt but if they have the means, it’s up to them,” she said when contacted by Malay Mail.

That said, Noor Azimah suggested that the government look into how it can improve and raise the standards of national schools to gain public confidence.

From her observations on the ground, Tan also said that education in the country has been politicised too much.

She feels that national schools end up becoming “more like religious schools” because of the hours allocated to religious classes.

“I have spoken to some of the teachers and also religious non-governmental organisations, telling them that a school is not where you spread ideology or religious teachings.

“School is where children are groomed to be leaders of the country through education,” she added.

Meanwhile Fairview International School director of corporate affairs Jonson Chong viewed allegations by local academic and education experts that international schools are only interested in profits as unfair.

Through meeting with parents, Chong found they are concerned about the learning experiences their children are going through in national schools. 

“If the government wants Malaysians to be more patriotic, then show that there is a lot for us to be proud of, and we are accepted like Malaysians,” said Chong. 

Conversations with several parents whose children are in international schools show that the main reason for enrolling their children in these schools is to ensure a smooth transition into university later.

Cheah Seng Chye said the Education Ministry’s decision to abolish the Teaching and Learning of Science and Mathematics in English (PPSMI) definitely influenced parents’ decision to send their children to international schools.

Cheah said he made the decision to send his daughter to an international school after his son’s rough transition into university.

Cheah’s son had completed his secondary school education in a national school, and later was awarded a scholarship to continue his studies in Singapore.

“But when he went down to Singapore, he realised that the standard was totally different… for the first semester he was struggling. He didn’t do very well to the point that the school called us to have a chat.”

He added that going to an international school will not make a person less Malaysian.

Another parent Malay Mail spoke to also sent her daughter to an international school for the same reason.

“We wanted to be sure that our daughter was able to master both Maths and Science, apart from English as they were equally important,” said Sofea Ahmad.

Sofea said this does not make her child less Malaysian as they converse in both Bahasa Malaysia and English at home.

 “She will not become less Malaysian, I can assure you of that. She knows the value of being a Malaysian and what it’s all about.

“My husband and I constantly teach her the values of being a Malaysian, Malaysian historical figures and we visit historical sites around the country,” she said.

Instead, she expressed concern about her daughter missing out academically if she had opted to send her to a national school.

Celina Tong also took her children out of national schools when the PPSMI policy was abolished.

She added that, if anything, students in international schools are not subjected to the idea of “separation.”

“Unlike at national schools where we were always separated for Islamic religious classes and Moral classes, everyone is taught the same subjects at international schools.

“In fact, they learn about integration at a young age ― getting to know about other countries so they don’t get a culture shock when they leave school,” she added.

At the time of writing, Malay Mail’s attempts to reach out to the Education Ministry have not been successful.

-malaymail

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KOTA KINABALU – The seven students who were held in connection with a rape case in Tawau will get to sit for their Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination.

This follows a decision by the police not to apply for a remand extension to assist them in the case.

On Friday, the suspects, all aged 17, were picked up after a report was filed the same day over the alleged rape of a Form Two student at a secondary school here.

“The victim has been sent to the hospital to undergo a medical check-up.

“Since the case has been solved with all the suspects caught, we will not apply for a remand extension.

“They will be given police bail when the three-day remand ends, so that they can sit for their

SPM, ” said Tawau police chief Asst Comm Peter Umbuas yesterday.

He said the police were still gathering evidence before pressing any charges.

The victim, a 14-year-old girl from the same school, was found crying at around 11am by a teacher.

She claimed two of the suspects raped her while the other four forced her to perform oral sex.

Another suspect was said to be watching the incident, which occurred at a switch room in the school.

The teacher alerted the victim’s mother who then lodged a police report.

AsiaOne

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School may be frustrating for students in many ways, especially when assignment deadlines and examinations push stress levels to a whole new level.

Very often, dealing with the pressure of academia can be a difficult thing to do. However, a group of Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP) students in Perak, Malaysia came up with a (literally) straining way of relieving their stress during the exam period.

The 27-second-long video was shared last week by Malaysian Twitter user (@_amrlhakim) with a meme-inspired caption that explores what boys are really doing when their girlfriends aren’t around. 

The clip shows the group of UTP students, whose identities remain unknown, playing an all-out game of tug of war barefooted along the dormitory hallway. 

In the game, the losing team on the right could be seen giving way to the other team on the left. 

The clip has since been viewed over 700,000 times, bringing much laughter into the dreary hearts of students.

Some have pointed out at how envious and amazed they are at how creative UTP students can be when it comes to having fun, while others were laughing at how hilarious one of the guys in the losing team was seen sliding across the hallway.

PHOTO: Twitter/sun4ijaa
“Hey HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA you were sliding forward like a dumb kid.” PHOTO: Twitter/aminnazhar

Several users considered the stunt to be one of the reasons why being a dude is the best (questionable). At the same time, others were thoroughly amazed and had given it a try themselves.

“I want to be a guy” PHOTO: Twitter/finnashaarii
PHOTO: Twitter/memes4lifr

It definitely wouldn’t hurt to have fun along the way. Or at the very least, make the best of one’s school life with impromptu shenanigans. 

AsiaOne

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The recently-concluded Star Search 2019, held in Singapore, has picked a Malaysian as its champion.

Teoh Ze Tong, 26, emerged the winner of the talent competition organised by Mediacorp, according to a recent news report.

An assistant manager with Carousell, a classifieds marketplace, Teoh was among the favourites in the competition.

“It was actually a lot of pressure on me. I felt so stressed by those predictions and it was only through the help of my mentor and staff that I was able to let go of those stresses and do well,” he said.

-nst

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Malaysians on social media are seemingly outraged by a beauty pageant that referred to the country as the “Republic of Malaysia”.

Miss Crystal Angel International 2019 pageant, which took place on Monday (Nov 4) in Yangon, Myanmar, apparently had two contestants from Malaysia – one dubbed Miss Malaysia, and the other as Miss Republic of Malaysia.

However, the event organizers later apologized and changed all usage of the “Republic of Malaysia” to “Borneo” on its official Facebook page on Tuesday (Nov 5).

Official announcement We from the organizers of the Miss Crystal Angel International organization of Myanmar 2019 wish…

Posted by Miss Crystal Angel International on Isnin, 4 November 2019

“This mistake did not come from Malaysian participants but it is from our side. Again, we apologize for the misunderstanding,” the statement read.

Despite the apology, the post continued to receive backlash from Malaysians in the comments section.

Based on the Facebook page, the pageant is supposedly “focused on young women’s strength in empowering their rights and passion in culture, heritage, art, tourism and social media.”

It also explained that the purpose of the pageant is “to make beauty pageants more relevant by providing platforms in these millennial times”.

-asiaone

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A Malaysian bridal boutique is attracting backlash after they went a little too far off the beaten path for a recent photoshoot.

The offending photos featuring models using actual gravestones as props circulated on Malaysian Twitter after user chrissytwittwit posted a series of tweets on Nov 5 calling out Mumyqueen Wedding Couture for their tone-deaf photoshoot in a Christian cemetery.

She wrote: “People surely will do anything just for the sake of attention. If you sit on my family’s grave, I will find you right away girl.”

“For us Christians, the cemetery is considered as a sacred/holy ground that has been blessed by the priest, ” she explained.

In response to some Muslims who were apologising on behalf of the models, she added: “There is no need for you guys to say sorry on behalf of your religion.”

“No matter your race or religion, If you’re an idiot, you’re an idiot. We’re not angry because of their race or religion but because they lack respect for the places of others.”

A video of the photoshoot showed at least two photographers and seven models at the cemetery.

The models, dressed in intricate gowns and toting flower bouquets, sat on several different graves for the shoot.

One model even went so far as to lie between two graves while a photographer hovered over her with one foot on each grave.

According to chrissytwittwit, she had tried contacting the boutique owner via social media to request that they take down the photos but had gotten blocked instead.

The photos ignited a heated debate among Malaysian netizens, with many slamming the company for their insensitivity.

“I know the concept you are trying to go for. But this concept doesn’t fit in Malaysia. Respect other religions.”
PHOTO: Screengrab/Twitter
“Let’s see their reaction if there are non-Muslims posing on the grave of their family …. cheap marketing.”
PHOTO: Screengrab/Twitter

Others placed the blame on the photographers and said that they should have known better.

PHOTO: Screengrab/Twitter
“The photographer is also stupid. They could be doing it for the money.”
PHOTO: Screengrab/Twitter

On the other hand, some argued that there was nothing wrong with taking photos at a cemetery.

“But really .. those who are shooting horror movies or involved in shoots at the cemetery, are those accepted? Same case with this post I think.”
PHOTO: Screengrab/Twitter

Nur Amirah Mohd Amiruddin, 26, the founder of Mumyqueen Wedding Couture, apologised for the photoshoot in an interview with Harian Metro today (Nov 6), saying in Malay: “I admit my mistake and apologise to all that I offended.”

Amirah also clarified that the pictures taken on Sunday (Nov 3) were shared “for fun” and were not intended to ridicule any other religion or to seek publicity.

She had chosen to take the pictures in a cemetery to “be different” and had taken inspiration from photoshoots from other countries.

“At any rate, I accept the criticisms of the public with an open heart and admit my mistakes but please do not blame the models,” she said.

AsiaOne

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You know how mum always says to separate the whites from colours. Seems like this guy missed the memo. 

A Malaysian man by the name of Adli Amirullah (@AdliAmirullah) was in dire need of help after he ruined his wife’s white laundry in the wash — he had tossed in a red shirt.

What was once a spotless white blouse had since been dyed in unsightly hues of pink.

His desperate call for help went out on Twitter on Wednesday (Oct 29) when he discovered the state of his wife’s blouse, with a caption that reads: “Guys, I need help. I accidentally washed my wife’s new white blouse with his new red’s blouse. And now the white blouse became pink! I have not told her this yet. Trying to solve first. HELP”

Things got even direr the more he tweeted about the situation. His wife had specifically bought a new white blouse because she didn’t have one in her closet. She even sent him a message asking him about the new blouse as she couldn’t find it. 

Following the tweet, netizens went on to give suggestions as to how Adli could still rectify the issue.

Determined to fix the issue, he decided to heed the most popular advice: soaking the stained blouse in a mixture of Clorox and soap. 

After giving it a good wash, he found that the colour did not budge at all. 

Even so, the netizens continued to suggest what he should have done in the first place. Some recommended a different solution of removing the pink stain while several others gave him tips on how he should do the laundry. 

Others had pointed out that he would have solved this issue easily by buying his wife a brand new blouse. Along with some romantic gestures to appease her.

Having given up on clearing the stains, Adli went on a wild hunt at a mall in a bid to replace the blouse without raising any suspicions. Thankfully, he managed to find the white blouse, which was apparently the last one in stock. 

In the end, he came clean with his wife about the shenanigans. She was fine with everything — except for the fact that he went to the mall without her. 

AsiaOne

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KUALA LUMPUR – A mobile phone shop owner was fined RM8,250 (S$2,686) at the Magistrate’s Court here on Wednesday (Oct 30), for possessing more than 50 lewd videos in his phone.

See Foo Hoong, 36, pleaded guilty when the charge was read in front of Magistrate Nur Farahain Razlan.

See was charged under Section 292 of the Penal Code, which carries a jail term of a maximum of three years or a fine, or both, upon conviction.

According to the charge sheet, See was found to have 55 obscene videos in an iPhone X at an Old Town White Coffee branch at Bandar Baru Sri Petaling on Oct 25, 2018.

According to the statement of facts, police and officers from the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) had gone to see See at the Old Town White Coffee branch to investigate him under an offence related to Section 233 of the MCMC Act 1998 for distributing prohibited content.

During the investigation, the authorities seized the phone from See and found 55 obscene videos on the phone after a forensic analysis was conducted on the phone.

MCMC prosecuting officer Nazrul Nizam Zameri asked for a deterrent sentence to be handed to See as a lesson for the accused and the public.

See’s lawyer KT Tang then asked for a lesser sentence, seeing that this was the accused’s first offence.

Tang said that See also has to provide for his family.

“The accused has also learnt his lesson and won’t repeat the offence,” he added.

Magistrate Nur Farahain ordered See to be sentenced to three months’ jail should he fail to pay the fine.

AsiaOne

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Perhaps the movie Titanic is to blame for popularising certain activities in the car.

Two college students from Penang, aged 19 and 25, were getting frisky in their ride when a police officer tapped on their window on Saturday night (Oct 19).

The officer’s sudden appearance shocked the couple, resulting in a high-speed chase after they took off in a panic.

Police officers had been inspecting cars that were stopped along an emergency lane when they came across the couple in their car, reported China Press.

Upon being discovered, the pair panicked and immediately sped off.

According to the assistant director of the police district, the couple’s unusual behaviour raised suspicion, prompting the police to give chase.

In their attempt to escape, they lost control of the car and crashed into a toll booth railing, knocked over a motorcyclist before their vehicle veered off the highway and dived nose-first into a large drain.

The pair were arrested the moment they escaped from the sunken vehicle.

While they made it out of the wreck largely unscathed, the motorcyclist was not as lucky — he had to be taken to a nearby hospital to treat his broken legs.

Further investigations revealed the two were not under the influence of drugs or substances. The case is currently under investigation for reckless driving.

AsiaOne

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