Tag Archive : malaysian

/ malaysian

Malaysians became heroes in 2020

December 30, 2020 | News | No Comments

IT has been a long year. While we are likely to be flooded with year-end reviews that reiterate how miserable 2020 has been and how glad we all are to bid it good riddance, I would argue that Malaysians should remember 2020 as a year of triumph.

Human-caused disasters, wars, genocide, atrocities — these are catastrophic events that bring out the worst in us. But when humans face suffering they did not cause, such as natural disasters, we often see people being their best selves. Societies come together as never before to confront the crises that threaten us all.

Such has been the case in 2020 with the Covid-19 pandemic. Malaysia has shone bright in 2020; we proved to ourselves and to the world that we, as a nation, were up to the challenge. We
performed better than even we might have expected, and we surpassed some of the richest and most powerful countries in the world.

Compared with countries with a similar population size, Malaysia has been more successful in slowing the spread of the virus and played a leading role in Southeast Asia’s overall effort in flattening the curve. Malaysia’s management, by any objective standard, has saved hundreds and thousands of lives.

If our leadership had dropped the ball, Covid-19 could have quickly spread and ravaged not only our own population, but also the populations in the region. Because of our proactive, decisive and balanced response, Malaysia suffered no Bergamos, no Santo Domingos and no New Yorks.

Our success was not due solely to government measures, but also due to the extraordinary compassion, maturity and camaraderie of our people, and the solidarity between the government and the population. Malaysia is not an authoritarian country; enforcement of public health measures have been largely undertaken by the people themselves to protect one another.

While Movement Control Order restrictions have caused economic difficulties, the Malaysian government has led the region in providing stimulus packages to care for those affected. All told, Malaysia’s financial support for the people and sectors most impacted by lockdowns totalled approximately 21 per cent of the gross domestic product.

Malaysia’s high-tech industry and strong services sector have a more diversified base than most of our Asean neighbours, and we were better prepared to absorb the losses resulting from the unavoidable economic downturn caused by the pandemic.

We are forecast to recover faster than others, with an anticipated 7.8 per cent rate of economic growth in 2021 — the fastest rate among the Asean-5 countries.

It is completely understandable to be happy to see the end of 2020, but let us not look back upon
this year without recognising the tremendous feats we achieved in facing the worst health crisis the world has seen in over a century.

The lives that have been lost are surely a tragedy, but the many more lives that we saved are a triumph; and we saved them together, as individuals, as families, as communities and as a nation.

The greatest accomplishments, the proudest moments in human history always occur amid the greatest challenges and hardships; and to me, 2020 has been an inspiring year that showed us the power of compassion, of sacrifice, of responsibility and, most importantly, of solidarity.

Malaysians demonstrated to themselves and to the world what a nation can achieve when a society stands together, when the people have reason to trust their leaders and when those leaders genuinely focus their energies and efforts on the greater good.

As a people, we faced this crisis with patience and innovation, with resignation and commitment and with a sincere sense of collective responsibility. We actualised the sentiments expressed so long ago by John Donne in his famous poem:

No man is an island,

Entire of itself;

Every man is a piece of the continent,

A part of the main.

The pandemic did not force us to respond this way; different nations responded differently, each with varying degrees of tragedy and success. The way Malaysians responded was because of who we are as a people and we can be proud of that. So as we bid adieu to 2020, let us remember that it was a year in which we proved we can be heroes.


Pooping in space has always been a long-standing dilemma for astronauts.But thanks to a nine-year-old Malaysian boy’s invention, they may soon enjoy a hands-free loo experience.

Zyson Kang Zy Sun is the champion of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Lunar Loo Challenge 2020 in the junior category.

According to New Straits Times, Kang’s ‘Spacesuit Lunar Toilet’ can be installed into an astronaut’s spacesuit and works around microgravity in space by creating a vacuum to suck up liquids.

All astronauts have to do is to move their legs and press on a syringe attached to their boots to create a suction force to siphon out the human wastes from the discharge points to a container.

Kang’s invention has beaten out 897 participants from 85 countries

43-year-old Chong Soo Sheong, who has been coaching Kang at the I Discovery World science centre in Shah Alam, said the young inventor’s winning design was no fluke.

“Zyson has a knack for inventions. He is an avid reader with an extremely curious mind. Science simply excites him, especially astronomy,” Chong said.

Chong said Kang embarked on the project in June, before submitting his model to the NASA team for evaluation in August.

“On 29 October, NASA invited him to present his model at a webinar. The NASA team was impressed by the simplicity of his model.”

The toilet does not require batteries or an electricity supply. When you move your legs, the urine will flow down into a container in the astronaut’s boots.”

During the webinar with the NASA team, Kang added that his device can also be used by doctors and nurses

“This design can not only be used on the moon, [but] it also can be used as a medical toilet,” the nine-year-old told one of the panelists, who was smitten by Kang’s adorable delivery.

“Since we are now in a pandemic, sometimes doctors and nurses need to pee or poop. So they can just do it (with the device) even when they are saving people.”

To elaborate further, Chong said that Kang’s invention could help medical professionals to relieve themselves during an emergency without having to remove their Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

While he is now a successful inventor, Kang said he aspires to become a geneticist in the future.


On 24 October, families separated by international borders were able to briefly see each other close to Singapore’s shores

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the border between Malaysia and Singapore is not fully reopened, save for exceptional cases.

As a result, many Malaysians and their family members working or staying in Singapore have been apart for months.

An initiative called ‘We Reunite Love’ was organised by property developer R&F Princess Cove, where 20 families got to see their loved ones by boarding a yacht.

Families shouted words of affection and some were holding up signs saying ‘Love You My Dear’ and ‘We Miss You’

According to their Facebook postthe families have been separated for more than 200 days.

The yacht sailed from R&F Princess Cove in Johor to the middle of the sea, as close as possible to Singapore’s waters.


Local independent artiste Liyana Fizi is doing her part in helping small local businesses amid the newly-implemented conditional movement controlled order (CMCO).

Ahead of the CMCO, Liyana reached out on her Twitter page asking small businesses affected by the CMCO to tag her in their post so she could retweet it to her 100,000 plus followers.

Reason being is that she was giving back to her followers who previously supported her.

“I consider my followers on social media and on Twitter, my friends,” she said.

“They have always been there for me throughout the years — they bought my music and tshirts online, helped circulate flyers for my gigs through retweets, and also supported my small postcard business for a few years.”

“I remember how appreciative I felt to receive that kind of online support, so I want to give the same back,” she told Malay Mail.

If you own a small business, and you’re affected by the CMCO, please post your products & services here. Kita retweet ?

She admitted that she was amazed at how creative small local businesses were.

“The way small businesses market their products, is so engaging and fun,” she said.

“Malaysians are an enterprising lot, food, clothes, self care products, art and design, tuition services, you name it.

“I discovered so many cool and interesting things such as homemade organic sourdough banana bread, coconut clay beauty masks, ‘telur rebus’ (boiled egg) cookies, beautiful custom jewelry, fake eyelashes made from human hair and Durian Butter Chicken Sauce.”

Apart from that, the former Estrella lead vocalist also said that “Kita jaga Kita” is important even without a pandemic and as a Muslim, she was taught to always care for fellow humans, animals and the planet.

“So trying to be a good human is a continuous effort.

“As rakyat, we all need to stay at home for now, and find ways to stay positive and productive throughout the CMCO,” she said.

“Although it’s challenging in so many different ways, for different people, I personally feel that the restriction is a good thing, with less movement, it helps to slow down the spread of the virus.

“To face this challenging time, let’s come together, support each other, and lend a helping hand in whatever way we can.”


The Honor MagicBook Pro is here! Honor has announced pricing and availability details for their flagship laptop in Malaysia, and as it turns out, we’re getting the range-topping configuration.

Building upon the value-for-money MagicBook 14, the MagicBook Pro is the company’s first laptop to be powered by an AMD Ryzen 4000 series chip — the Ryen 5 4600H. 16GB of DDR4 RAM and 512GB of PCIe NVME SSD storage is available in a single variant for Malaysian consumers, with official pricing as follows:

If you purchase the MagicBook Pro, limited stocks of freebies are also available: Honor Magic Earbuds, a Bluetooth mouse, and a backpack.

What you need to know

So, what are you getting for that? Honor promises that you get a larger display that maintains a similar footprint as a “typical” 15.6″ laptop. This is done by keeping the bezels relatively slim — just 4.9mm for the top and side bezels.

A 90 per cent screen-to-body ratio makes gives this a near all-screen appearance, which I can testify to based on my quick hands-on with the laptop. Honor also talks a lot about the colour accuracy of the MagicBook Pro’s 16.1″ FHD (16:9) display, with its screen capable of displaying 100 per cent of the sRGB colour gamut.

Dual speakers (that flank the keyboard) also add to the laptop’s capabilities as a media consumption device, with Honor promising “virtual 3D sound”. You get quite a number of ports, including legacy USB-A ports: 1x HDMI 2.0, 3x USB-A, 1x USB-C, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Charging the MagicBook Pro’s 56Wh battery is done via USB-C, and the included 65W charger. For offline 1080p playback and office use, the laptop is rated for 11 hours on a single charge, and for web browsing, nine hours.

At 1.7kg, this is also a relatively light 16″ laptop, and the laptop feels small — thanks to the small footprint. There are a few quirks you need to take note of, however. Honor is going with a pop-up camera in the function key row, so get used to some awkward video call angles, and this also means that Windows Hello isn’t supported.

Meanwhile, there’s also a “Honor Magic-link” sticker next to the trackpad alongside the Ryzen 5 sticker. As a PSA, do not remove this sticker. This is required to use the laptop’s NFC capabilities with compatible Honor/Huawei smartphones.

So, what do you think? If you’re keen, the Honor MagicBook Pro is now available in Malaysia on Shopee, Lazada, or authorised retailers, as well as Honor’s online store.


The Cloud Is Still There, directed by Malaysian filmmaker Mickey Lai Loke Yee, follows a young woman struggling with clashing religious beliefs as she prays for her dying grandfather

Xiao Le (played by Tan Cheong Bee), a Christian, faces a dilemma regarding her family’s staunch Taoist rituals. Driven by a desire to save her grandfather’s soul, she prays by his bedside in secret.

After her mother (played by Tang Ling) catches her in the act, she is devastated. They quarrel until the grandfather passes away. For Xiao Le, her attempt at saving her family may have just made things worse.

In an interview with SAYS, Lai – who is a Master of Fine Arts graduate from the MetFilm School of London – based The Cloud Is Still There on her own experiences.

Lai shares that she grew up as the only Christian in her conservative Taoist family.

“I remembered I cried so badly during the script consultation with Tan Seng Kiat (director of Shuttle Life, 2017) right after I came back from the UK, as he was trying to help sharpen my script by questioning and digging for something really deep from my heart, in order to understand the story and those characters better.”

“In a nutshell, I hope that The Cloud Is Still There will resonate with audiences’ memories of dealing with the grief of their dearest, and that they could see the precious gift beyond the grave.”

Lai believes that the eyes are an important aspect when delivering a performance

“I always believe that eyes are powerful and they don’t know how to lie in film.”

Lai thinks that actress Tan’s eyes are “very powerful in delivering her character’s emotional state.”

She said that the actors’ performances were “so authentic and it exposed the pains that we as the audiences try to hide”.

Lai had spent a long time looking for cast members, especially the role of the mother.

“When I was doing the casting after they did the audition for the role, I spent more time to chat with them, shared my ideas about the character on my mind, and listened to their feelings and feedback about the story and characters.”

Knowing Lai’s personal and religious beliefs are reflected in the film, we asked how her family reacted towards it

“I didn’t show it to my family members at all, I am too afraid to do so.”

A scene in the short film took place at her grandfather’s temple in Perak. She had to figure out how to get her grandmother’s permission to film inside the temple without giving away the plot.

Her family had been bugging her to show them The Cloud Is Still There, though she isn’t sure if she will do so in the future.

“But I will do it once I am ready.”

The Cloud Is Still There bagged several international awards and was selected for screening at multiple film festivals


The Malaysian police have recently caught a husband and wife duo behind a syndicate that targets and scams people into purchasing fake holiday “deals” and “packages”.

Although many were victims to the syndicate, Malaysian police were able to make the link when many victims came forward. Some of the victims even included medical frontliners.

According to the Selangor Commercial Crime Investigation Department, a total of 519 people had fallen prey to the scam just in the state of Selangor.

In The Star, Superintendent Shafa’aton Abu Bakar said that the police were on high alert when a nurse was scammed by purchasing one of the “special packages” on September 13, 2020.

The nurse saw an advert on WhatsApp via a group with her colleagues about a holiday package to Port Dickson for between RM88 and RM499 and she contacted the company.

The syndicate then offered her a place as an agent in the company and a 10% commission if she referred more customers to them.

The nurse then shared the information about the package with her colleagues and 26 of them made bookings amounting to RM7,778 to the company.

She lodged a police report when she checked with the hotel and discovered no bookings were made.

The investigation by the police revealed that the scammers received payment from customers and made up fake bookings and invoices. There were never any packages on offer.

Since then, the police has seized four mobile phones and a laptop and remanded the couple until Sept 29, 2020 to assist in the investigation/

The case is being investigated under the Malaysian Section 420 of the Penal Code for cheating.

It also gained traction on social media where users were spreading awareness to stay away from the couple.


In the midst of everything that is happening this year, let’s not allow any positive things to fly under the radar. Local Malaysian, Dr Chan Yoke Fun, was announced as the winner of the ASEAN-US Science Prize for Women 2020!

Dr Chan, who is also the Head of the Department of Medical Microbiology at the University of Malaya’s Faculty of Medicine, received a US$20,000 cash award along with the prize.

Her research focused on developing a vaccine to combat a virus that causes hand, foot, and mouth disease and brain infection diseases in children. She has also worked alongside local experts to raise awareness regarding the dangers and prevention of the virus in her community and beyond.

“This award is timely in demonstrating the active role of women in preventive healthcare. It is a recognition for work well done and signifies an opportunity for her team to do more. It has also empowered all ASEAN women scientists.”

“Passion, perseverance and positive thinking help us to achieve greater heights,” she said as reported by BERNAMA.

Dr Chan presented her research to a panel of judges through a head-to-head pitch competition held in a virtual judging session on Aug 13. She was also competing against Dr Shefaly Shorey from the National University of Singapore (NUS) who received an honourable mention.

The panel who did the judging consisted of the ASEAN Committee on Science, Technology, and Innovation (COSTI) members, representatives from the ASEAN Secretariat, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), and Underwriters Laboratories.

From a pool of ten national finalists, two of them were selected and they represented the brightest women scientists working in the field of Preventive Healthcare. This was the theme for the 2020 ASEAN-US Science Prize.

This award was created to recognise promising, early- to mid-career female scientists for their academic and professional achievements. We would like to congratulate Dr Chan Yoke Fun on her outstanding achievement that has certainly made Malaysians proud.


Do you ever get worried that your pet might forget their heritage (or as we call it in Malaysia’s national language: asal usul)? No?

Well, do you just want to get your pet an adorable passport just so you can show off your pampered fur baby to your friends?

If you said yes and you’re in Malaysia, you’re in luck because pet passports are a thing here.

Twitter use @ShazGhaF recently showed off their beautiful orange cat with a shiny blue passport.

According to the Twitter post, @ShazGhaF’s domestic long-hair floof Pablo received the pet passport after getting microchipped.

The process was quick and easy.”Make sure to go really early in the morning to beat the queue, you should be done by noon,” @ShazGhaF wrote in a reply on their Twitter thread.

Apparently, Malaysia has been assigning pet passports since 2010 under the Malaysian Animal Traceability System (MATs) Project!

The project organized by the Department of Vet Services Malaysia (DVS) aims to build a formal animal identification database system to help with animal disease control while promoting pet ownership responsibility among Malaysians.

Currently, four types of animals can be registered for a pet passport.

According to @ShazGhaF, all this cost just RM85 (US$20)!

If you’re interested in getting your pet a shiny new blue passport and a microchip, you can do so at Hospital Veterinar Kuala Lumpur at Cheras.

Now if you’d excuse me, I need to go get my cat a passport of her own so she doesn’t forget her heritage by accident.

Totally just for her benefit and not for me to also be able to post cute pictures on social media.


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.