Tag Archive : malaysian

/ malaysian

The corona virus, also known as COVID-19, has put a halt on many important events across the globe. This ranges from major sporting events like Formula One, to film and music festivals like South by Southwest (SXSW).

But perhaps nothing stings more than the unlikelihood of a proper graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020.

After spending years in university, we all look forward to stepping up on that stage and collecting our well-deserved scrolls. Unfortunately, the coronavirus doesn’t care about what you want.

But one university in Malaysia is proposing the use of robots as real-life student avatars in a pandemic-stricken world.

Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA) is a public university located in the state of Terengganu, along the North-East coast of Peninsular Malaysia.

Like many educational institutions across the country, UniSZA has been forced to cancel all convocation ceremonies in order to abide by the government-imposed Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO), which prohibits large gatherings.

Of course, it’s always important to remember that these measures are put in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. But the pain still rings true for those who worked hard to finish their diplomas and degrees in 2020.

In an effort to lift spirits and inspire hope, the university posted a video on YouTube showcasing the use of robots as physical placeholders for graduating students who may never get to experience a graduation ceremony in real life.

In a corresponding post on their Facebook page, UniSZA lamented the fact that the corona virus has caused a wide disruption with important activities like convocation ceremonies. The majority of them have been postponed to 2021.

But they also demonstrated a sense of optimism for what the future of education may look like, in the face of the coronavirus and the ‘new normal’.

“Where UniSZA would like to say that, we are ready to implement a virtual convocation if necessary,” reads the Facebook post, adding that it can be used as a viable alternative to the traditional convocation ceremony, especially for students who live far away and don’t have easy access to transport.

“It’s no longer a fantasy, but it can be made a reality,” affirms the university.

How does it work exactly?

In their YouTube video, the robots, “Naseem” and “Seeba”, were draped in graduation gowns, complete with their own mortarboards.

Using the power of live-streaming, the graduates’ faces were displayed on screens located on the robots’ heads. Of course, this is just a cute way of emulating a “real” face. But because of the remote-controlled nature of the robots, students will still able to interact with their surroundings, vicariously of course.

Thanks to deployable arms, the robots can even collect the students’ hard-earned academic scrolls.

Reactions to the robots were mixed.

A lot of Facebook users who commented on the post placed heavy emphasis on the opportunity to physically collect their academic scrolls in person, seeing that the use of robots took the vital human element out of the picture.

A few users even stated that they’d be more than willing to wait for a delayed convocation, just so they can rejoice in the achievement in-person.

Others expressed excitement for what the future really holds, especially in the name of technological advancement.

UniSZA has also stressed that the video they posted was only a proof-of-concept, to be tabled for further discussions in the future, should more interest arise.

-mashable

As we all know, Malaysians who return from overseas are mandated to be quarantined in quarantine centres for 14 days. Most quarantine centres are established hotels such as Hilton and even the Palace of Golden Horses. Unfortunately, despite all this comfort, there have been certain people who still managed to find something to complain about.

Amidst that, Abiramy Komaraswamy, an LLM student from the UK reached out to us to share her experience.

Abiramy shares with WORLD OF BUZZ her story of being quarantined at the Impiana KLCC for the past 14 days. She had nothing but praises towards the hotel staffs and frontliners who took care of them in the quarantine centre.

“Today I’m a proud lady of Malaysia. I would shout out loud and say I love Malaysia.”

“I’m extremely amazed with how Malaysia is handling, managing and protecting everyone in the country during this pandemic.”

Abiramy, whose quarantine ends today told that everything was extremely systematic and properly handled. She added that she has nothing to complain about and that she’s even amazed.

“Meals were always given on time and we had proper health screenings with so many essentials given, without us even requesting,” she said.

She also said that she would like to thank all out hardworking frontliners who’ve been battling this Covid-19 pandemic day and night. In the end, she simply said how proud she is to be Malaysian today and that Home means Malaysia!

We need more Malaysians like Abiramy who truly appreciate the effort by our Malaysian government. Let’s never forget what our frontliners did for us during this pandemic!

-worldofbuzz

So this one is for all the stubborn Malaysians that claim you need to exercise, stretch, keep fit outside despite the deadly-killing disease just beyond the horizon. This man known as Yim Heng Fat did a 36-hour marathon INSIDE his house. I mean he exercised, stretched and kept fit all without attempting suicide and murder. Like can you imagine? 

According to a report by the Malay Mail, Yim, who is a runner took pictures and videos of his home run and showed it to the world, proving that you literally can do everything from home.

He began his indoor run, covering a 50 metre route inside his house with eating, showering and resting breaks, at 6am on April 4th. After almost two days, he reached the finish line on April 6th, after 36 hours, clocking in to 263 kilometres in total. He decided to stop once he reached 263 because he believed the number sounded like a lucky Cantonese phrase meaning “to live eternally”.

He then shared a video of the route he took inside his home which went through his living room, foyer, kitchen and dining room. He wanted to prove to people that it was possible for people to keep active during this MCO period from within the bounds of their homes. Noted, it may not be as efficient, liberating or effective as outdoors, but he understood that sometimes sacrifices have to be made.

On top of that, Yim also listed some of the advantages that came with marathon-ing at home. The first was his ‘water station’. He shared pictures of his ‘water station’ which was located in his kitchen, stocked with ‘energy drinks’ (cold drinks) and ‘supplements’ (bread), to help him refuel whilst running. As a matter of fact for every 50 kilometre that he did, he even opened a can of beer to celebrate.

The second was the weather.

“The good thing about running indoors is the ability to control the weather. Out come the fans and even the air-conditioning when it gets hot and muggy during the late afternoon”, he noted.

“Plus, you can virtually run naked,” added Yim as another benefit number three.

Since his peculiarly effective post, many users have been commending Yim on a job well done for his considerate cum healthy efforts.

So all in all, it seems to be like you can listen and not put everyone’s lives in jeopardy. Good on Yim for not being one of those people who further increases our chances at another MCO extension. May we all be like h(Y)im!

-worldofbuzz

PETALING JAYA – It seemed an uphill task, but overweight musician Muhammad Helmi Shahuddin kept at overhauling his lifestyle and following a strict diet plan.

The result of his perseverance – losing over 50kg and bidding adieu to diabetes and high blood pressure.

Having struggled with his weight for most of his life, the 33-year-old revealed that it was not until two years ago that he decided to turn his life around and reduce his over 120kg frame.

He adopted the keto diet and the one meal a day (OMAD) plan, a form of intermittent fasting stretching 22 hours daily with just a small window to eat.

Also known as the ketogenic diet, it involves a low-carb, high fat eating plan that drives the body into a state of ketosis, whereby the body uses fat as a primary fuel source instead of carbohydrates.

“It started when I met a friend who lost a lot of weight and I asked what was his secret.”

“He told me about a weight loss expert called Dr Eric Berg who has these Youtube videos, which I started to look up, ” said Helmi.

After watching the videos, the guitarist was inspired to embark on his weight loss transformation.

“I started to diet during Ramadan in 2018. I would only drink plain water for sahur (pre-dawn meal) then break fast by eating two pieces of beef patties, three eggs and some salad.”

“Ever since then, I’ve been following the keto diet by eating high fats but no sugar and no carbs, ” said Helmi, who lives in Subang Jaya with his wife Yazrin Azrina Yunus, 33.

Following this, Helmi dropped to a much healthier weight, recording 71kg at his lowest.

When Helmi went to see his doctor, Dr Ng Siew Nee six months after his weight loss, she was impressed.

“Last month, I was cleared of diabetes, high blood pressure and dirty urine, ” said Helmi, who now weighs 77kg, with muscles to show.

“I go to the gym about three times a week and have started to take some carbs to build up muscles.”

These days, Helmi’s menu includes five eggs daily plus beef or chicken breast and some vegetables. He also regularly fasts for 22 hours a day.

“When I was trying to lose weight, I would fast for 16 to 17 hours only. But now I’m used to a 22-hour fast.”

“I eat only once a day at 2pm. My body is used to it,” he said.

Since losing weight, Helmi said he was now more confident and energetic when performing onstage.

“I’ve always been heavy. When I was 15, I weighed about 80kg.”

“People would make fun of me. People treat me differently now, ” said Helmi, who mostly performs in concerts and TV programmes.

He just finished a gig as a guitarist for Ramli Sarip and Ella at Istana Budaya and played in the house band for TV show Gegar Vaganza and Mentor Milenia.

Helmi, who has a music degree from UiTM Shah Alam, credited Dr Ng for motivating him to lose weight, saying: “She is a one-in-a million doctor who is an excellent motivator.

“My wife is also very proud of me that I managed to lose weight and become a healthier person.”

Dr Ng said after seeing Helmi’s successful weight loss, she too began fasting and taking on a low-carb diet and shared it with her patients.

“As it’s not yet very popular among mainstream medicine practitioners, I’m trying my best to share it. Hopefully, more people will benefit, ” she said.

AsiaOne

TAMPIN – A mother’s decision to leave her 10-month-old baby alone at home while she made a quick stop at the post office came back to haunt her, after the infant was killed in a fire.

Tampin deputy OCPD Deputy Supt Ahmad Pilus Zainal said the 31-year-old mother had put her baby to sleep in an electric cradle at their home in Kampung Bangkahulu and told a neighbour to keep an eye on her while she went to the Gemas post office.

“The mum left her baby at home around 10.30am and told a neighbour to keep watch in case the baby wakes up.

“However, the mother later received a call from the neighbour and was told that her house was ablaze,” he said, adding that a policeman on duty at the Gemas police station also received a call of the fire from a member of the public around 11.50am.

DSP Ahmad Pilus said the mother immediately rushed to their rented home and saw that the house was ablaze.

“Her baby had also died in the incident,” he said adding that her husband was on duty at the Syed Sirajuddin Army camp when the fire broke out.

He said the Fire and Rescue Department was investigating the cause of the blaze.

“For now, we have classified the baby’s death as Sudden Death.

“We are still probing if the fire was an act of arson or caused by other factors,” he added.

The victim’s remains have been sent to the Tampin Hospital for a post-mortem.

AsiaOne

Malaysian doctor reaches out via WeChat group

February 18, 2020 | News | No Comments

BEIJING – Nothing could stop Dr Jerome Liew from reaching out to his audience, not even Covid-19.

When the Kuching-born general practitioner was asked to address the concerns of Malaysians in Sichuan province about the coronavirus, he relied on social networking to get his job done.

He gave a health talk last week to a WeChat group of over 150 Malaysians, mostly based in this southwest Chinese province well known for its spicy food and giant pandas.

Malaysian Embassy officials started the group chat to better communicate with Malaysians in Sichuan.

Dr Liew, who is based at a hospital in Sichuan’s capital city of Chengdu, was approached by a member of the group to give the talk. And he was more than happy to share his knowledge.

There was a minor setback though.

Dr Liew, 35, had given countless health talks previously and he had never doubted whether his audience could follow or understand what he said.

Last week’s WeChat talk was different for him as he was unsure whether the participants could grasp his message.

During the one-hour session, he sent out over 100 voice and text messages plus dozens of materials in image forms.

“I could not see their expressions, so I did not know if they understood me or whether I was going too fast or too slow, ” he added.

Dr Liew said that face-to-face sessions would allow him to interact better with his audience but the current situation did not permit him to do so to minimise the risk of spreading the virus.

Among the popular questions posed to him during the WeChat talk were those that concerned the travel advisory to China, the incubation period of the virus, its symptoms, personal healthcare and vaccine-related matters.

“If you are overseas and you can afford not to come back yet, I would advise you to stay there as long as you can, especially those with children, ” he said, adding that travelling and staying in crowds would carry the risk of getting infected.

He also corrected the misinformation that the audience gathered from the Internet.

One common fallacy is the way to wear a surgical mask.

Dr Liew explained that the side of the mask with a darker shade – whether green, blue, pink or white – should always face out regardless of a person being ill or healthy.

The medical doctor, who spent the past 17 years in Australia, came to Chengdu six months ago.

“I came here five years ago to visit a friend and I love the city, so when I got the opportunity to work here, I grabbed it, ” he added.

He said he enjoyed the tea culture in Chengdu and socialising with the people at the parks.

And he has started learning to play mahjong, the most popular past-time of the locals.

AsiaOne

BEIJING – For Malaysians returning to China for work after the Lunar New Year break, festive cookies share space in their baggage with medical supply to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Unlike previous years when they would bring back their favourite Chinese New Year goodies in bulk, this time their bags were stuffed with face masks, gloves, hand sanitisers, alcohol swabs, antiseptic disinfectants and safety goggles.

Some even brought back sanitisers with high alcohol content, only to find this inflammable item forbidden on board the flight.

Most Chinese cities officially started work on Monday after a two-week respite, which included the week-long Spring Festival holiday.

Operations director Asthy Tan and her husband flew from Malaysia to the Chinese capital with four pieces of baggage.

“We have 10 boxes of disposable masks, three boxes each of N95 masks and gloves and 25 bottles of sanitisers in various sizes.

“Some of them are for our friends,” she said.

To prepare for her 14-day quarantine at home, Tan, 40, also brought back an assortment of biscuits, packets of cooking pastes, bee hoon and her favourite instant teh tarik.

Film director Michael Wong took an extra step in protecting his family from the disease.

As soon as they boarded the plane, they wiped their seats, arm rests and trays with disinfectant.

“Luckily, no one complained,” Wong, 48, said.

In preparation for the two-week quarantine, his house has now become a mini store and pharmacy with 500 sachets of Malaysian coffee, six containers of biscuits, a variety of pastries and 10 boxes of surgical masks, gloves, alcohol swabs and sanitisers.

“It’s a whole new experience for me this time even though I went through the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) epidemic in 2003.

“I had just got married then but now I have two children and three cats.

“The responsibility has grown so I have to be extra careful,” he said.

Scheduled to fly from Sabah on Feb 16, project manager Arthur Pang has decided to leave behind bulky and heavy clothing like jeans to make room for medical supplies and food stuff.

“I bought a lot without realising that my bags were already full,” said the 46-year-old.

Pang said he would be bringing over 100 pieces of masks, 500 pieces of alcohol swabs, 200 latex gloves, a thermometer, a few bottles of cod liver oil and Vitamin C.

“I am also going to stuff my luggage with instant noodles, beverages and canned food like sardines and curry chicken, ” he added.

-asiaone

In concerning times such as these, a little wholesome humour is appreciated — especially since the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak could soon be declared a pandemic

A viral outbreak ain’t stopping the Chinese New Year festivities from carrying on, and according to recently shared clips on Facebook, a lion dance troupe in Malaysia is still getting gigs to bless up a business. 

Precautionary measures need to be taken first, of course, and a video uploaded by a Low Choon Fui last Friday (Jan 31) showcased how troupe members had to get their temperature checked by an auxiliary police officer before getting the green light to perform. 

Low Choon Fui 发布于 2020年1月31日周五

They aren’t the only ones getting screened though. A second clip has the officer checking the temperature of the two lion dance heads (via their ears, no less) in jest. With the two lacking fever symptoms, the officer welcomed the troupe into the building. 

Low Choon Fui 发布于 2020年1月31日周五

According to Malay Mail, commenters were happy to play along, with one asking if the lions would be referred to a veterinarian if they failed the temperature screening. 

On a serious note though, Malaysia is facing 12 confirmed cases of coronavirus patients so far, with one suspected case reported at the Kuala Lumpur City Centre complex. A journalist accused of spreading fake news about the coronavirus was charged in court today with the intention to cause public fear. 

The situation in China is even more dire with 490 deaths from the viral outbreak. It’s gotten to the point where copies of an erotic video game are being given out for free to keep people indoors and avoid close contact. 

AsiaOne

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

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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