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INSIDE page Two defections 2 not enough for PN: Analysts

TELLING IT AS IT IS

page

‘Review plan to 3 hike fine for SOP violators’

ON MONDAY

MARCH 1, 2021 No. 7729 PP 2644/12/2012 (031195) www.thesundaily.my

RIGHT PICK ... Digital marketing trainer Sharina Mad Shah monitoring the ripeness of strawberries she cultivated in the compound of her house in Seremban yesterday. What started off as a test project during the first movement control order last March is now providing her with between RM3,000 and RM5,000 a month from the sale of strawberry seedlings. – BERNAMAPIX

Unholy links

█ BY CHARLES RAMENDRAN [email protected]

P3

o Ex-IGP says alliance with politicians allows

ETALING JAYA: Close ties with politicians are enabling crime kingpins to obtain honorific titles and run their illegal activities unhindered. Former inspector-general of police Tan Sri Musa Hassan said enormous political funding by drug lords, loan sharks and gambling kingpins has led to these crooks rubbing shoulders with politicians. He said favours such as the recommendations of state and federal honorific titles are rendered to the kingpins even when they have criminal records. “For a start, politicians should stay away from the patronage of these kingpins. “Politicians should know who their friends are. These kingpins present themselves as philanthropists but they have ulterior motives.

crime kingpins to get honorific titles, run illegal activities freely They run legal businesses such as nightclubs but these are just a front,” he told theSun. Musa said it is an uphill task to arrest the kingpins as they “do not get their hands dirty” and have runners to carry out their illegal activities. “They are very influential, powerful and dangerous. This is why witnesses dare not come forward to testify against them. They have backup from their political patrons who interfere in police investigations when they are arrested. “Enforcement has to be firm and not waver

due to any external interference,” he said. During his tenure as CID director, deputy IGP and eventually IGP between 2003 and 2008, Musa had aggressively pursued notorious kingpins, arresting about six Datuks and Datuks Seri who were involved in activities such as gambling, loan-sharking, drugs and prostitution. The kingpins were either charged Turn to or placed in detention under — preventive laws. page 2 Universiti Sains Malaysia research team on crime and policing head

A yearning for home

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2 theSUN ON MONDAY | MARCH 1, 2021 NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS

Johor to have biggest solar power facility in region JOHOR BARU: The state is set to become a major producer of eco-friendly energy in Southeast Asia, with the opening of a solar power park in Pengerang, Kota Tinggi, worth RM1.4 billion. The Sultan Ibrahim Solar Park will be the biggest of its kind in the region with a capacity of 450 megawatts, said

Need for extensive vetting process Assoc Prof Datuk Dr P. Sundramoorthy told theSun that beyond police scrutiny, a vetting committee must review the background of a candidate for such awards. He said the mandatory scrutiny should include a report by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and the candidates’ academic and other professional qualifications. “Their character should also be scrutinised (and verified) with credible persons. The number of those holding such titles should also be reduced,” he said. On Saturday, police said it had identified and are going after drug lords with “Tan Sri” and “Datuk Seri” titles who are running the country’s largest narcotics cartels under the guise of operating legitimate businesses. From Criminologist Datuk front Seri Akhbar Satar said page honorific titles should only be given to those with good standing and reputation. “Kudos to the police for investigating without fear or favour. Action should have been taken a long time ago and the honorific titles of these kingpins should be revoked.” Social activist Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said honorific titles should be given to deserving individuals for their contributions to society. He said the recipients should be viewed as deserving of the titles by the public. Otherwise, it will not be fair to those who earned it due to credibility and criteria. “Undoubtedly, this has been going on for years. Any candidate with a record for involvement in criminal activities and does not meet the criteria should be downright rejected,” he said.

PKR urged to reject turncoats KUALA LUMPUR: PKR should not accept elected representatives who quit from Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah), said Amanah youth chief Shazni Munir Mohd Ithnin. He said PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim should reject the culture of party hopping within Pakatan Harapan (PH), which is beneficial to only one party. “Accepting these party hoppers will only cause tension between the parties,” he said, adding that PH could generally agree that party hopping among elected representatives was a clear abuse of the country’s democratic system because “buying and selling” of elected representatives was a despicable and corrupt culture. “In a statement issued by PKR on Feb 27, it was clearly stated that the party rejects party hopping aimed at weakening any party in the opposition bloc. “However, also on the same day, the media reported that PKR had accepted a few elected representatives in Johor,” said Shazni Munir. – Bernama

Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Almarhum Sultan Iskandar yesterday. He said the solar park, which is the first large-scale private investment project secured by the state for 2021, came from his efforts to encourage investment and economic development for the people and

Johor, Bernama reported. The project is also in line with the Johor Sustainable Development Plan 2030, which prioritises environmental sustainability in the development of the economy and prosperity of the people. Sultan Ibrahim added that the project will have a positive impact on

the state’s economy and create job opportunities at various levels, as it will become the largest solar power storage system in the region when fully operational by 2023. The project will not only boost economic growth but also place Johor as a leading renewable energy producer internationally, he told the

Royal Press Office via his official Facebook page. “We are thankful that Johor is among the states that are blessed with high solar irradiance. It’s about time we explore this resource to improve power generation capacity and contribute to the production of renewable energy,” he said.

‘PN will need more’ oTwo Pakatan MPs pledging support for PM insufficient for ruling coalition to have firm footing, say experts BY RAJVINDER SINGH [email protected]



PETALING JAYA: The position of Perikatan Nasional (PN) as the coalition in power has received a boost with two MPs from the opposition Pakatan Harapan (PH) declaring their support for Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. However, political analyst Prof Dr Barjoyai Bardai said the defection of the two opposition MPs “was not a big thing”. “The main question is whether Barisan Nasional (BN) will continue to be a part of PN when Parliament reconvenes,” he said. Apart from BN, Bersatu and PAS

are also members of PN. Over the weekend, Julau MP Larry Sng and his Tebrau colleague Steven Choong, both of PKR, declared they were leaving PH and throwing their support behind Muhyiddin. This effectively raised the number of MPs on the government side to 113 out of the 220. Two seats remain vacant after the respective MPs died. A source told theSun yesterday that two more MPs could follow in Sng and Choong’s footsteps soon, thereby further strengthening support for Muhyiddin. However, three MPs from Umno – Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz of

Padang Rengas, Datuk Ahmad Jazlan Yaakub of Machang and Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah of Gua Musang – have withdrawn support for Muhyiddin, although they remain loyal to PN. This has put Muhyiddin in the unusual position of having less support than his government. Barjoyai said the crossover of Sng and Choong have strengthened Muhyiddin’s hand “but how long this will last remains to be seen”. Another political analyst, Dr Lim Teck Ghee, agreed with Barjoyai’s view that the few defections would do little to strengthen the PN government. “It will remain shaky when Parliament sits again. Both sides are still engaged in a behind-the-scenes tussle to get more MPs on their respective sides. Carrots and sticks and other unimaginable things will be brought into play,” he added. However, Lim said in such a situation, the incumbent

government will likely have an advantage given that it is in a position to reward or punish, apart from the fact that it has the privilege to determine the timing of Dewan Rakyat sittings. He also pointed out that the support of Umno MPs for PN is split. “The ability to win support from Umno could likely be the deciding factor in this political contest.” In a statement yesterday, PKR secretary-general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail expressed regret over the defection of Sng and Choong. He urged party members in both constituencies to “work harder to get closer to voters” and to prepare themselves to retake the two seats in the next general election. He said both Sng and Choong have been sacked from the party, adding that the party central committee has also discussed the possibility of taking legal action against them.

Muhyiddin receiving a pledge of allegiance from Choong at a meeting yesterday that was also attended by Sng. – PHOTO COURTESY OF PRIME MINISTER’S OFFICE

Rukun Tetangga agenda unveiled KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday launched the Rukun Tetangga Leadership Empowerment Plan 2021-2030 to strengthen the role of Rukun Tetangga Areas (RTA) at the grassroots level through the cooperation of ministries and relevant agencies. Under the plan, four RTA work agendas are to be introduced – safety, health, cleanliness and wellbeing – to increase the effectiveness of the Rukun Tetangga initiative Bernama reported. The plan is one of the strategies that has been outlined in the

National Unity Policy and National Unity Blueprint 2021-30. Muhyiddin said the safety agenda would be mobilised through a voluntary patrol scheme, in collaboration with the police. The health agenda will emphasise on efforts to cultivate a healthy lifestyle in the community as a result of collaboration with the Health Ministry through programmes under the national healthcare agenda. “The third agenda, cleanliness, focuses on cleaning and beautification programmes in community areas with the support of the Housing Development and

Local Government Ministry, under the implementation of the Local Agenda 21 programme. “The fourth agenda, wellbeing, aims to identify vulnerable groups such as single mothers, the disabled, elderly and the less fortunate, and provide assistance through the implementation of initiatives such as the Rukun Tetangga Economic Project and the ‘Sayangi Komuniti’ programme.” Muhyiddin was speaking at the launch of the Rukun Tetangga Leadership Empowerment Plan 2021-30 and the Rukun Tetangga 2021 Premier Award that was broadcast live through the National

Unity Ministry website and its @PerpaduanNegara Facebook page yesterday. He said the RTA, established in 1975, was an important component of the community in ensuring strengthening of national unity, and its role should always be supported as an agent in efforts to unite the people. He also said there are currently 8,274 RTA nationwide, with a total membership of 248,220, and he welcomes the increase in the establishment of RTA because it is a good indicator that proves public awareness on the importance of the role of neighbourhood watch.

3 NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS theSUN ON MONDAY | MARCH 1, 2021

‘Review plan to hike fines’ █ BY ELLY FAZANIZA [email protected]

PETALING JAYA: Law experts and policymakers have spoken out against the rise in fines for violation of movement control order (MCO) standard operating procedures (SOP) from RM1,000 to RM10,000, saying it is too steep. Lawyer Charles Hector said Parliament should enact a law specifically on fines and stipulate each offence under the SOP. “The offences are currently bunched together, such as not wearing a face mask and traveling beyond a RM10km radius. “If each offence is specified with its penalty, the public will understand the SOP clearer,” he told theSun yesterday. Parliament should also regulate the offences and penalties involved to ensure fairness to the public and small businesses.

oConcerns raised over ‘steep’ increase of compounds from RM1,000 to RM10,000 for violation of MCO offences Charles proposed that the fines correspond to the income of the offender. “We need to revisit it. Maybe it should not be more than a certain percentage of a person’s annual income or business’ revenue.” It was reported on Friday that any individual found to breach MCO regulations could be fined up to RM10,000, according to the e-Federal Gazette. This is according to the new Emergency (Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases) (Amendment) Ordinance 2021 published on the Federal Gazette website. The Ordinance comes into

operation on March 11, 2021, the gazette said. Subsequently, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador said enforcement would only be imposed on individuals who breach the MCO repeatedly, as well as those who have the potential to increase the spread of Covid-19. He said the government decision to increase the compound fine was not for all offences related to violations of the SOP. Meanwhile, the Federation of Malaysian Consumers Association said the decision to increase the fines was not right, given that many were experiencing pay cuts and

unemployment. Its president Marimuthu Nadason urged the government to be compassionate and assist those affected by the pandemic. Alliance for Safe Community chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye told Bernama the proposed increase was too heavy and does not fit the crime. “To increase the fine from RM1,000 to RM10,000 as proposed by the Health Ministry is too hefty and excessive, that’s a 900% increase,” he was quoted as saying. Lee added that not everyone could afford to pay, especially during these economically challenging times, nor it is fair to first offenders who probably forgot or were slow to comply. Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh called the increase “excessive, cruel and over-punishing”. “RM10,000 could be someone’s total income for the year,” she wrote on Twitter @hannahyeoh.

MAKING IT SAFE ... A private

sanitisation worker disinfecting a classroom yesterday at Sekolah Rendah Agama Pandamaran Jaya in Port Klang, Selangor ahead of the resumption of face-to-face lessons today for Year 1 and 2 pupils, while those in Year 3 to 6 are set to return to school on March 8. – ASYRAF RASID/THESUN

Anti-vaxxers urged to stop spreading misleading information LABUAN: An Islamic preacher here has reminded anti-vaxxers to stop spreading misleading information about Covid-19 vaccines. Muhammad Shafei Abdul Ghani said there should not be any dispute over the vaccination exercise, when the number of fatalities due to the pandemic is increasing. “We must make an effort to curb

the spread of this pandemic. This is in line with Islamic teachings, which stress that it is our obligation to take preventive measures against the spread of contagious diseases. “Anti-vaxxers cannot simply reject the vaccines by saying that they contain non-halal elements, unless the group has concrete evidence to support their claim,” he said.

Muhammad Shafie, who is also Layangan Mosque head imam, received the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid19 Vaccine at the Membedai Health Clinic yesterday along with a Labuan funeral management team. On Friday, Labuan acting police chief DSP Mohd Ibrahim Mohd Ghani said action would be taken against those who use social media to

spread inaccurate information on the vaccination programme. Mohd Ibrahim said anyone convicted of spreading anti-vaccine propaganda and misleading information could be jailed up to two years or fined, or both, under Section 505 (b) of the Penal Code and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act. – Bernama

Micro SME left outside govt aid scope KUALA LUMPUR: Micro small and medium enterprises (SME) which are neither registered with the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) nor business councils are feeling the effects of poor consumer sentiment and being left out of the government’s assistance programme for businesses, said a coalition of trade, business and professional associations. Datuk David Gurupatham, group coordinator of Industries Unite, a coalition of more than 40 local trade, business and professional associations, said there were a handful of micro SME that fall into this category. “Engage with business associations and representatives, especially on Prihatin (Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package) and Penjana (National Economic Recovery Plan) so that no one is left out and small businesses get accurate information. Ease the red tape and bureaucracy so that micro SME have easier access to assistance.” He said the current special electricity rebate under the Malaysian Economic and Rakyat’s Protection Assistance Package (Permai) did not reach micro SME and were focused on commercial sectors. The six sectors in the commercial category are hotel operators, theme parks, convention centres, shopping malls, local airline offices and travel and tour agencies, he added. Meanwhile, Wedding Professionals Association of Malaysia president Patrick Low said the wedding and event industry had often been overlooked although each event could involve between 25 and 50 sub-sectors. “More than 100,000 businesses were affected and the workers were jobless and there were also some who were self-employed or husband-and-wife teams, which neither have Social Security Organisation nor Employees Provident Fund coverage. These are micro-business owners who know how to do their job but not everyone knows how to run their business and grow it. “Adding to that, banks have rejected the majority of loan applications (from these individuals) as they do not have proper supporting documents.” According to the Department of Statistics, the wedding industry was estimated to be worth RM10 billion in 2020, while the retail sales value for plants, flowers, seeds and fertilisers were worth RM1.66 billion. In 2018, the wholesale sales value for flowers and plants amounted to RM809 million while cut flowers and plants totalled RM122 million. – Bernama

UTM students back to campus for practical training JOHOR BARU: After a year of online classes, students of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) have returned to campus to complete their practical training, which was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. For the students, meeting their classmates face-to-face and being able to share experiences will make their learning environment more

interesting and conducive. Nur Ezzatul Allieya Raduan, 22, who is studying Industrial Chemistry, said she is looking forward to starting face-to-face practical training on campus. “It’s fun to meet friends after (so long). The practical training requires me to use the lab here and complete the semester that was postponed,”

said the third-year student. Nurul Ainaa Salleh, 22, from Terengganu shared the same sentiment, saying she would use her time on campus to meet her lecturers and utilise the facilities on campus to complete the semester. “When studying online, there were things I could not understand. So I want to use the time on campus

to meet lecturers and to restore the learning momentum before I return to Terengganu and resume online learning next semester,” she said. Nur Ezzatul and Nurul Ainaa were among 618 students allowed to return to campus. Meanwhile, UTM Tun Fatimah residential college principal Dr Noor Mala Ibrahim said more than 300

female students were either undergoing a 10-day isolation or had completed their quarantine at the residential college, that started on Feb 18. “After isolation, they will be transferred to another residential college while those with symptoms will be transferred to a dedicated quarantine centre on campus.”

4 theSUN ON MONDAY | MARCH 1, 2021 NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS

Tourism sector rues new visa rule

300,752

o Comprehensive plan needed

26,205

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to help industry get back on its feet, say experts BY ALISHA NUR MOHD NOOR [email protected]



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PETALING JAYA: A comprehensive plan that balances economic recovery with efforts to curb Covid-19, rather than adhoc measures, is essential to help the tourism sector get back on its feet. Otherwise, industry players said, Malaysia will lose out to other countries in Southeast Asia that are tapping the same markets for the tourist dollar. By imposing hurdles on visa requirements, Malaysia will become less competitive than its neighbours, travel and hospitality experts told theSun. They were responding to a statement by Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin that citizens from China and India will no longer enjoy the visa-on-arrival privilege as part of Malaysia’s measures to curb the spread of Covid-19. Hamzah said the move was also to stamp out abuse of the facility. Many have been using Malaysia as a transit point for human trafficking activities as well as for “Macau” scams, he added. Visitors arriving from China and India have, until now, been granted entry through the Electronic Travel Registration and Information facility. Malaysian Association of Hotels vice-president C.S. Lim said the move will only hurt Malaysia in the long term. He pointed out that China and India are big

markets for tourism and Asean nations, including Malaysia, have been competing “fiercely” to tap these two markets. Records show that more than two million tourists from China had visited Malaysia each year since 2016. The figure peaked at 2.94 million in 2018. India is a growing market for the tourism sector in Malaysia. In the first six months of 2019, 354,000 tourists came from India, a 15.2% growth over the previous year. Lim said withdrawing the visa-on-arrival facility would have a significant impact on tourism. “We expect only a small number of tourists in 2021 given that vaccination rates (for Covid-19) are still very low,” he said. The Malaysian Travel Agency Association labelled the new measure as a “lame excuse”. “It’s too drastic. There are so many other ways to mitigate the situation (of Malaysia being used as a transit point for human trafficking),” its president Datuk Mohd Khalid Harun said. In any case, tourists would be required to observe international protocols that require them to show proof they have been vaccinated. “This can be documented in their passports, together with other medical reports. Malaysia can easily provide the necessary healthcare.” On the issue of human trafficking, Mohd Khalid said the Immigration Department could beef up security at the border to curb criminal activities. The Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council, on the other hand, is more receptive to the new measures. Its acting CEO, Nik Yazmin Nik Azman, said the council would stand by the government’s decision to prioritise national safety as well as the well-being of inbound travellers from India and China.

Joy of picking own fresh produce at agro farm LANGKAWI: Imagine picking your own fruits and vegetables as well as catching fish straight from the pond. Visitors to the Lang Agro Park, Ulu Melaka, can do just that. Lang Agro Sdn Bhd managing director Naira Azlin Mat Nasim said the 2.4ha farm, with agrotourism concept, was opened in January last year and allows visitors to harvest fresh vegetables and fruits. “This integrated farm grows about 50 types of vegetables and fruits, including eggplant, cucumber, pearl corn, spinach, golden melons, passion fruit and figs. “Lang Agro Park is the first farm to offer this harvesting concept in Langkawi, where visitors experience the joy of picking their

own produce,” she told Bernama recently. She added that the fruits and vegetables have their respective harvest schedule, which would be announced on their Facebook page. “Kangkung takes about two weeks to harvest, curly mustard takes four weeks and eggplant takes two months. “Since it was opened to the public, the response has been very encouraging,” said Naira Azlin, who is a graduate of the Department of Agriculture’s Youth Agricultural Entrepreneur Incubator programme. Naira Azlin said the farm also supplies vegetables to supermarkets and grocery stores in Langkawi.

Not hindered by visual impairment ARAU: Visual impairment is no barrier for three sisters to live independently by selling handmade craft and kekabu pillows. Halijah Ibrahim, 80, who is affectionately known as Mak Andak; Che Manai, 74, (Makcik) and Che Zainah, 69, (Maksu) have been living in the same house since childhood. “Mak Andak does the cooking, Makcik cleans the house and I go out to sell the handicraft,” Che Zainah told Bernama.

They were met after the handing of donations by Yayasan Dakwah Islamiah Malaysia in Kampung Titi Besi here on Satruday. Halijah and Che Manai weave the rattan to make various handicraft items such as handbags and food covers. They are currently short of rattan supply following the movement control order in the state and hence took the initiative to produce kekabu pillows.

STAYING SAFE ... Frontliners (from left) Dr Chow Ting Soo, Hafizah Hamzah and A. Jayaprabagaran holding their Covid-19 vaccination card after taking part in an immunisation programme at the Penang General Hospital yesterday. – MASRY CHE ANI/THESUN

5 NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS theSUN ON MONDAY | MARCH 1, 2021

Court of Appeal to hear first online case

BRIEFS

KUALA LUMPUR: The Court of Appeal in Putrajaya will hear a case using video conferencing for the first time today, with the appellant following the proceedings from the Kajang Prison. The Chief Registrar of the Federal Court said the appeal is over the appellant’s conviction and sentence under Section 395 of the Penal Code for gang robbery. “During the proceedings, the judge will be at the Palace of Justice, while the lawyers and deputy public prosecutor will be at their respective offices,” it said in a statement yesterday. It said the judiciary always moved in line with development to ensure continuity of the administration of justice during the Covid-19 pandemic, including for prisoners. “Priority is given to prison inmates, whose sentences are nearing completion, child offenders and juveniles, cases of public interest and other considerations which the court deems fit,” it said, adding that the criminal appeal proceedings is only applicable for convicts serving time in prison. It said the directive was issued by Chief Justice Tan Sri Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, and can be accessed via https://tinyurl.com/ArahanAmalanKHN. – Bernama

HOPEFUL AND EAGER ...

Thashvein Chandran Nair, eight, from SJK Tamil Ladang Ketayong in Tanjung Malim, Perak is praying he is soon cured of leukaemia so he can join his friends as classes resume at schools nationwide today.

FOUR RESCUED FROM DAMAGED CRUISE SHIP

ALOR STAR: Four crew members were rescued after the cruise ship they were on almost sank after hitting a rock, off Pulau Lalang near Langkawi. Kedah and Perlis Maritime Enforcement Agency director Maritime First Admiral Mohd Zawawi Abdullah said the incident happened at 10.30pm on Saturday when the cruise ship Epic Princess was on its way to Langkawi from Tanjung Tokong in Penang. “The Langkawi Maritime Rescue Sub Centre activated a search and rescue operation after receiving a report from one of the crew. The incident was also reported to the navy, marine police force and Marine Department. “The 42-yearold captain of the ship and three crew members, aged between 26 and 54, were rescued by patrol vessel KM Tenggol,” he said in a statement yesterday. The ship was later towed to the Boustead shipyard in Langkawi for further action. – Bernama

BREEDER LOSES 25 GOATS IN BLAZE

KEPALA BATAS: A livestock breeder lost thousands of ringgit after 25 goats were killed in a fire that destroyed a goat pen in Jalan Permatang Kerai Besar here. A Penang Fire and Rescue Department Operations Centre spokesman said a fire engine from the Kepala Batas station rushed to the scene after receiving an emergency call at 10.18pm on Saturday. ‘’Ninety per cent of the wooden goat shed was already destroyed when we arrived, killing 25 goats,’’ he said yesterday. According to the owner, the fire was believed to have started from the burning of goat droppings under the pen. He said the fire was brought under control by the Penang Fire and Rescue Department, with the assistance of voluntary firefighters, who took 20 minutes to fully douse the fire. – Bernama

MISSING BOYS FOUND DROWNED

JOHOR BARU: Two boys, said to be close friends, were found drowned after they were believed to have fallen into Sungai Skudai, near Kampung Batu 8 here. Larkin Fire and Rescue station chief deputy superintendent Mohd Suhaimi Abdul Jamal said yesterday the body of nine-year-old Ahmad Daniel Abdullah was found at 9pm on Saturday, while eight-year-old Osmond Chan Wu Ye was found three hours later. He said a team rushed to the scene after a report on the two missing boys was lodged yesterday. Skin dive and windshield wiper searching techniques were used in the search for the two victims, he said, adding that the bodies were then sent to Sultanah Aminah Hospital. – Bernama

‘Clear vaccination plan needed for migrants’ oGovt should consult relevant parties for better coordination of programme █ BY SHIVANI SUPRAMANI [email protected]

PETALING JAYA: A clear vaccination implementation plan for undocumented migrants needs to be worked out and put forth to those concerned, said human rights activists. Tenaganita executive director Glorene Das said consultations need to be held with diplomatic missions, international organisations, civil societies and non-governmental organisations (NGO), ministries and departments concerned, and especially community leaders for a clear vaccination plan. “Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has said that the Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force was formulating a plan on how to approach undocumented migrants and refugees to convince them to take part in the programme without fearing arrest. “We truly hope civil societies and NGO will be called in for a discussion in the coming

weeks,” she told theSun. Das said that locating undocumented migrants was not an issue if the ministry could work together with organisations – both national and international – to facilitate the plan. “When testing and tracing began in March last year, many undocumented migrants, especially refugees, asylum seekers and those waiting for feedback from immigration on their relegalisation status, came forward to carry out testing and tracing, and received treatment,” she said. “Sadly, several raids were conducted in May and they have since disappeared into hiding. We cannot have this happening again. If such harsh actions are implemented, the entire population would be at risk.” She is positive that by working together, trust and confidence can be rebuilt in the affected communities. “Based on our research, we estimate that there are about three to four million undocumented migrants, if not more. This number includes refugees, asylum seekers, undocumented workers, stateless people and children, tourists who have overstayed due to expired visas and foreign spouses. “In regard to undocumented migrants who are not found and vaccinated, posing a threat to the masses, this (danger) also applies to all and not just the migrants.

“Many locals in rural areas are also unaware of the vaccination programme, which may result in them not coming forward to be vaccinated. With that being said, anyone who is not vaccinated is a possible threat,” she added. Country representative at Migrant CARE Alex Ong said the government should consider engaging embassies to set up one-stop amnesty services for all. “Under the one-stop centre, embassies could issue passports to those who qualify to work,” he said. “Another thing to consider is a one-way travel document for those who want to go home. Logistics should also be part of the services. He added that communication between government agencies was not properly coordinated. G25, a group of prominent Malays, said it will be hard to get undocumented migrants to come forward for vaccinations, with the fear of arrest present. “To reassure them, the government should use its powers under the Emergency to issue amnesty to legalise their stay in the country, and guarantee no arrests and forced deportations. “They can also be offered an incentive of getting jobs in the construction and plantation sectors as part of measures to revive the economy,” it said.

Foreigner held for lodging false report KUALA LUMPUR: An Uzbekistan national, who claimed he lost RM8,000 to police extortionists, was arrested on Saturday after he was found to have lodged a false police report. Brickfields police chief ACP Anuar Omar said yesterday that the 37-year-old foreigner had made the allegations in a police report last Thursday. He said the man, who works as a craftsman in Shah Alam, claimed that cash was taken from him by police patrolmen at Jalan Solaris

1 in Solaris Mont Kiara. Anuar said an investigation was carried out and when the foreigner’s statements were found to be inconsistent, police raided a premises on Jalan Selangor, off Jalan Travers on Saturday, where they found several bank cards, banking slips and cellphones. “The foreigner claimed that he had withdrawn the cash from a bank on Feb 21 but we found no such transaction was done by him,” Anuar said yesterday. “The man later admitted he had lodged a

false police report after he lost the cash. He wanted to gain sympathy from his employer, who had lent him the cash, with hopes of getting another loan from him.” He said the case will be referred to the Attorney-General’s Chambers, with recommendations that the suspect face charges for lodging a false report, and for other offences related to immigration laws. Anuar advised the public against lodging false police reports or making false statements as it is an offence. – by Charles Ramendran

6 theSUN ON MONDAY | MARCH 1, 2021 NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS

Bloodiest day of Myanmar protests oSeven dead, hundreds detained as police use deadly force in crack down on demonstrators protest with stun grenades, her daughter and a colleague said. Police also hurled stun grenades outside a Yangon medical school, sending protesting doctors and students in white coats scattering. Police also opened fire in Dawei in the south, killing three and wounding several, politician Kyaw Min Htike said from the town. The Myanmar Now media agency reported two people had been killed in a protest in the second city of Mandalay. Police broke up protests in other towns, including Lashio in the northeast and Myeik in the deep south, residents and media said. At least 10 protesters have now died in the turmoil. The army said a policeman has been killed. The crackdown would appear to indicate determination by the military to impose its authority in the face of widespread defiance, not just on the streets but more broadly in the civil service, municipal administration, the judiciary, the education and health sectors, and the media. Hundreds of protesters refused to leave the streets by early afternoon in Yangon yesterday. Many set up barricades while others chanted slogans and sang protest songs. “If they attack us, we’ll defend. We’ll never kneel down to the military boots,” a protester said.

A protester spraying a fire extinguisher as demonstrators clash with riot police during a rally against the coup in Yangon yesterday. – REUTERSPIX State-run MRTV television said more than 470 people had been arrested on Saturday when police launched the nationwide crackdown. It was not clear how many were detained yesterday. The police action came after state television announced that

Myanmar’s United Nations envoy had been fired for betraying the country, after he urged the UN to use “any means necessary” to reverse the coup. The ambassador, Kyaw Moe Tun, remained defiant. “I decided to fight back as long as I can,” he said in New York. – Reuters

Dozens of HK dissidents charged with security crime HONG KONG: Police here charged dozens of dissidents with subversion yesterday in the largest use yet of Beijing’s sweeping new national security law. Last month, 55 of Hong Kong’s best-known activists were arrested in a series of dawn raids. Police confirmed yesterday 47 of them had been charged with one count each of “conspiracy to commit subversion” – one of the new national security crimes – and would appear in court early today. Beijing is battling to stamp out dissent in semi-autonomous Hong Kong after swathes of the population hit the streets in 2019 in huge and sometimes violent protests. The security law, imposed on the

city last June, criminalises acts deemed to be subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces. Those charged are routinely denied bail until trial and face up to life in prison if convicted. The charged activists are a broad cross-section of Hong Kong’s opposition, from veteran former lawmakers such as James To and Claudia Mo to academics, lawyers, social workers and a host of youth activists. Some struck a cautiously defiant tone as they prepared to report to police yesterday to hear the charges. “Democracy is never a gift from heaven. It must be earned by many with strong will,” Jimmy Sham, a key

organiser of 2019’s huge protests, told reporters outside a police station. “We can tell the whole world, under the most painful system, Hong Kongers are the light of the city. “We will remain strong and fight for what we want.” Gwyneth Ho, a young journalist turned activist, posted on her Facebook page before being charged: “I hope everyone can find their road to peace of mind and then press forward with indomitable will.” The alleged offence of those arrested for subversion was to organise an unofficial primary last summer to choose candidates for the city’s partially elected legislature,

in hopes that the anti-Beijing bloc might take a majority for the first time. Many of those candidates were ultimately disqualified from standing, and authorities scrapped the polls because of the coronavirus. But Chinese and Hong Kong officials described the primary as an attempt to “overthrow” and “paralyse” the city’s government and therefore a threat to national security. Western nations have accused Beijing of using its crackdown to shred the freedoms that were promised under the “One Country, Two Systems” setup when the former British colony was returned to China. – AFP

Arrival of ‘sticky bombs’ in Indian Kashmir sets off alarm bells NEW DELHI: Security forces battling a decades-long insurgency in Indian-controlled Kashmir are alarmed by the recent arrival in the disputed region of small, magnetic bombs that have wreaked havoc in Afghanistan. “Sticky bombs”, which can be attached to vehicles and detonated remotely, have been seized during raids in recent months in the federally administered region of Jammu and Kashmir, three senior security officials told Reuters. “These are small IEDs and quite powerful,” Kashmir Valley police chief Vijay Kumar said, referring to improvised explosive devices. “It will certainly impact the present security scenario as volume

and frequency of vehicular movements of police and security forces are high in Kashmir Valley.” The Indian government flooded Kashmir, already one of the world’s most militarised regions, with more troops in August 2019, when it split the state into two federally administered territories. The arrival of the sticky bombs in India-controlled Kashmir – including 15 seized in a raid last month – raises concerns that an unnerving tactic attributed to the Taliban insurgents in nearby Afghanistan could be spreading to the India-Pakistan conflict. Afghanistan in recent months has seen a series of sticky bomb attacks targeting security forces, judges,

government officials, civil society activists and journalists. The attacks – some as victims sat in traffic – have sown fear, while avoiding substantial civilian casualties. None of the devices seized in Kashmir was produced there, a senior security official said, suggesting they were being smuggled from Pakistan. “All of them have come via drone drops and tunnels,” he said, asking not to be named. Kashmir has long been a flashpoint between nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan, which each claim all of the Himalayan region but rule only parts of it. India accuses Pakistan of backing

the insurgency in Kashmir, which has claimed tens of thousands of lives since the 1990s. Pakistan denies the charge, saying it gives only moral and diplomatic support to Kashmiris fighting for self-determination. New Delhi has attempted to maintain a tight grip over the Kashmir Valley, where high-speed mobile internet was suspended for 18 months until last month, but the insurgency has simmered on. Officials said the bombs are particularly worrying because they can be easily attached to vehicles using magnets, allowing militants to carry out assassinations or target military convoys that regularly criss-cross the valley. – Reuters

BRIEFS

YANGON: Myanmar police fired on protesters yesterday in the bloodiest day of weeks of demonstrations against a military coup and at least seven people were killed and several wounded, sources and media said. Myanmar has been in chaos since the army seized power and detained elected government leader Aung San Suu Kyi and much of her party leadership on Feb 1, alleging fraud in a November election her party won with a landslide victory. The coup, which brought a halt to tentative steps towards democracy after nearly 50 years of military rule, has drawn hundreds of thousands to the streets and condemnation by Western countries. “Myanmar is like a battlefield,” the Buddhist-majority nation’s first Catholic cardinal, Charles Maung Bo, said on Twitter. Police were out in force early and opened fire in different parts of the biggest city of Yangon after stun grenades, tear gas and shots in the air failed to break up crowds. Soldiers also reinforced police. Several wounded people were hauled away by fellow protesters, leaving bloody smears on pavements, media images showed. One man died after being taken to a hospital with a bullet in the chest, said a doctor who asked not to be identified. A woman died of a suspected heart attack after police swooped in to break up a Yangon teachers’

‘EXORCIST’ HELD AFTER CHILD KILLED

COLOMBO: Police yesterday arrested a self-proclaimed exorcist in Sri Lanka after a nine-year-old girl she had beaten as part of a ritual died. The unidentified woman allegedly struck the girl repeatedly with a cane, claiming it was a way to drive out a demon that had possessed the child, police spokesman Ajith Rohana said. The girl’s parents had taken her to the woman in the village of Meegahawatte where neighbours responded to the cries of the child but not in time to save her, he said. “She was dead on admission to hospital,“ Rohana said. – AFP

YEMEN REBELS CLAIM RIYADH STRIKES

SANAA: Yemen’s Iran-backed Huthi rebels claimed yesterday the attempted strikes that targeted Saudi Arabia’s capital and other regions overnight. “The operation was carried out with a ballistic missile and 15 drones targeting sensitive areas in the enemy’s capital of Riyadh,“ Huthi spokesman Yahya al-Saree said. “Our operations will continue and will expand as long as the aggression and seige on our country continues.” A Saudi-led military coalition – which backs the Yemeni government against the rebels – said on Saturday it thwarted a missile attack. – AFP

SWIMMER DIES AFTER SHARK ATTACK

NOUMEA: A 57-year-old man has died after a shark attack off an island in New Caledonia yesterday. The amateur yachtsman was swimming near his moored boat off Maitre islet in the French Pacific territory when the incident happened, according to an initial inquiry. “According to witnesses, the man was bitten on the leg by a 4m-long shark” and died before the arrival of a rescue helicopter, a civil official said. The man is believed to have died from a heart attack after the incident, according to local media. – AFP

7 NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS theSUN ON MONDAY | MARCH 1, 2021

Prince William warns social media ‘awash’ with lies It showed him and his wife Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, speaking to two women who are clinically vulnerable and eligible for first jabs soon. In one video call, a woman called Shivali, who has type 2 diabetes, said she had read a lot of social media posts that made her “a bit nervous” about getting vaccinated initially, while she was now confident about getting the jab.

The prince told her: “We have to be a little bit careful who we believe and where we get our information from, especially for those who are clinically vulnerable as well, it’s so important that these vaccinations are done. “Catherine and I are not medical experts by any means but if it’s any consolation we can wholeheartedly support having vaccinations, it’s really, really important.”

Vaccine uptake so far has been “amazing”, the prince said, while the task now is to ensure that younger generations “feel that it’s really important for them to have it”. The video came after the Queen, 94, last week urged people to take up the vaccine, saying it “didn’t hurt at all” when she received it in January, along with Prince Philip. She said that those who feared getting the vaccine, “ought to think

U.S. approves single-shot J&J vaccine for emergency use oBiden hails ‘exciting news’ but says Americans cannot ‘let guard down’ WASHINGTON: The United States authorised Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine for emergency use on Saturday, offering a glimmer of hope as Britain said farewell to fundraising war veteran Captain Tom Moore who died of the virus earlier this month. U.S. President Joe Biden hailed his country’s announcement of its third available vaccine but said the nation’s battle was far from over. “This is exciting news for all Americans, and an encouraging development in our efforts to bring an end to the crisis,” Biden said in a statement, but warned Americans “cannot let our guard down now or assume that victory is inevitable”. The single-shot J&J vaccine is highly effective at preventing severe

Covid-19, including against newer variants, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said before giving it a green light. The news comes following passage in the House of Representatives of a vast US$1.9 trillion package – including US$1,400 payouts to most Americans and billions of dollars to boost vaccine delivery, help schools reopen and fund local governments – which will now move to the Senate. The bill is on track to be the second largest U.S. stimulus ever, illustrating the huge effort needed to tackle the multiple crises unleashed by a pandemic that has killed more than half a million in the United States, with the toll climbing

by another 1,849 fatalities in 24 hours on Saturday. Meanwhile, Europeans continue to live under some of the world’s strictest restrictions – and in France they just got tougher. Two cities, northern Dunkirk and southern Nice, locked down over the weekends to halt the spread. “We have to do something as Covid is getting worse in the region,” Charlie Kentish, a British resident taking an early morning walk in Nice, told AFP. He was resigned to spending his weekends playing video games with his teenage children. In Britain, 100-year-old war veteran Tom Moore helped lift the Covid-induced gloom last year by staging fundraising events including completing 100 lengths of his back garden using a walking frame. He was knighted for his efforts. His funeral, a small family ceremony, was shown live on national television and he was

about other people rather than themselves”. Her eldest son, Prince Charles, 72, who contracted Covid-19 last year, has also received his jab. The royal family is speaking out as health officials have voiced concerns over lower take-up among ethnic minority communities. The U.K. so far has given more than 19 million people a first vaccine dose. – AFP

BRIEFS

LONDON: Prince William has warned that anti-vaccination messages are rife on social media and urged those eligible to get jabs, following a similar appeal by his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II. “Social media is awash sometimes with lots of rumours and misinformation,” the Duke of Cambridge said in video footage released by Kensington Palace on Saturday evening.

honoured with a flypast of a World War II plane. The rollout of vaccines has improved the prospects greatly for many older people, with Britain excelling in its distribution to vulnerable groups. Globally there is growing concern over cases of “long Covid”, where people suffer symptoms for months after the initial illness. Areli Torres, a 31-year-old engineer from Mexico, told AFP she fell ill for a few days last June, but months later she is still suffering symptoms including numbness in parts of her body. “Everything’s uncertain. Everything’s been an ordeal. “I’ve seen four doctors,” Torres said, adding it had taken seven months just to get the correct diagnosis. The World Health Organisation last week urged governments to prioritise understanding the long-term effects of infections. – AFP

AUCKLAND’S SECOND LOCKDOWN IN A MONTH

WELLINGTON: Exactly a year after New Zealand recorded its first coronavirus case, the biggest city of Auckland woke yesterday to a second lockdown in February, as authorities try to rein in a cluster of the more contagious U.K. variant. The seven-day lockdown of a population of nearly two million, announced late on Saturday by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, was prompted by the case of a person who had been infectious for a week but not in isolation. “It is more than likely there will be additional cases in the community,“ she told a news conference, although no new cases were recorded yesterday. The move follows a three-day stay-at-home order in mid-February after the U.K. variant of the coronavirus emerged in New Zealand. About 14 cases are linked to the cluster. – AFP

MINISTERS SACKED FOR RULES BREACH

AMMAN: Jordan’s interior and justice ministers were sacked yesterday for breaching health regulations to stem the spread of coronavirus, with their replacements named by royal decree. The pair were asked to step down by Prime Minister Bisher alKhasawneh, a move immediately endorsed by King Abdullah II, according to a statement from the royal palace. They are accused, according to a government source, of “having violated the emergency law” put in place to curb Covid-19. The news website Ammon claimed interior minister Samir Mobaideen and justice minister Bassam Talhuni had attended a dinner in a restaurant in Amman with a total of nine people, when the law allowed a maximum of six. – AFP

VIOLENT PROTEST IN IRELAND OVER CURBS DANCE BUBBLE ...

Stuttgart Ballet company dancers Elisa Badenes and Friedemann Vogel taking part in the performance ‘Social Distance Stacks’ of conceptual artiste Florian Mehnert at the John Cranko School in Stuttgart, Germany, on Saturday. – REUTERSPIX

DUBLIN: Hundreds gathered in a violent anti-lockdown protest in Dublin on Saturday, with police charging the crowd and arresting 23 demonstrating against ongoing virus curbs in Ireland. Irish prime minister Micheal Martin condemned the protest on the streets of Dublin that resulted in 23 arrests. Hundreds had gathered for a planned demonstration against coronavirus curbs at a city centre park but were blocked from the area by police. Scenes quickly turned violent with fireworks thrown at officers at close-range. Police charged the crowd numerous times with batons drawn. Demonstrators handed out leaflets reading “let Ireland live” and chanted “end the lockdown”. – AFP

Philippines receives first batch of Covid jabs donated from China MANILA: The Philippines received yesterday its first batch of Covid-19 vaccine doses in a shipment donated by China, a day before it was due to roll out a national inoculation campaign. President Rodrigo Duterte attended a ceremony to mark the arrival of the initial 600,000 doses of Sinovac Biotech’s CoronaVac, which were delivered by a Chinese aircraft.

The Philippines is due to receive another 25 million doses of CoronaVac in batches this year. The Philippines’ vaccination campaign will begin by targeting health care workers and police and military personnel. “With this very important shipment, I am confident that more batches of vaccines will be available with great dispatch until every

Filipino will be given the chance to be vaccinated at the earliest possible opportunity,” Duterte said. He thanked China for the “gesture of friendship and solidarity – the hallmark of Philippines-China partnership”. The Philippines has also negotiated vaccine supply deals with other manufacturers, seeking to secure up to 148 million doses so it

can inoculate 70 million people, or two thirds of its population. An initial shipment of 525,600 doses of the vaccine developed by Britain’s AstraZeneca was expected to arrive today. The Philippines is the last Southeast Asian country to receive initial vaccine supplies, fuelling concerns over recovery prospects for the domestic economy that suffered

its worst slump on record last year. The archipelago, which has the second-highest tally of infections and deaths in the region, has suffered lengthy lockdowns. However, there is little public support for the inoculation drive. One opinion poll showed that less than a third of Filipinos are willing to get vaccinated as they worry about potential side effects. – Reuters

8 theSUN ON MONDAY | MARCH 1, 2021 SPEAK UP

Life-writing needs moderation T HE trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism, and the winds of disapproval intensely blowing in every direction sometimes makes us dizzy with confusion. Do we have the maturity to accept constructive criticism as a gage for improvement? It has become a favourite hobby for politicians and highflying office-holders to indulge in life writing, inviting brickbats and praises in equal measure, most times. For the uninitiated, life-writing involves, and goes beyond, biography. It encompasses everything from the complete life to the day-in-the-life, embracing the lives of objects and institutions as well as the lives of individuals, families and groups. Life-writing includes autobiographies, biographies, memoirs, letters, diaries and more. I was midway reading Barack Obama’s memoir A Promised Land when another one hit the local scene with much ado. Naturally, I

succumbed to curiosity and momentarily ditched Obama and read the controversial work cover to cover only to make a selfassessment, and while doing so making a mental comparison of both works. Obama’s narrative was written with much poise and sublimity, to the point that his objectivity is maintained all through. Granted that he discusses the rot in the political scene in the US and does not try to hide his disagreements on some matters but it is expertly and deftly weaved in, warily, so that there is no collateral damage done in the process. I felt it was more of an arty presentation rather than a critique, I sensed the reverse for the other work. I am highly opinionated on the fact that when one embarks on life-writing, the writer stays cognizant that the narrative is his autobiography and not a biography of the people who were in the writer’s life. During my teaching days, I emphasised this time

and again. I would normally go on to stress on the need to seek permission to include the mentions and stories of other people in the life-writing genre. How fairly can one’s book be used as a platform to criticise and pass judgments about others? Just because someone appeared in a writer’s life, unwittingly or otherwise, it does not mean that he wants to be part of another’s life story. As a rule of thumb, I would tell myself and my students that a little prudence might help to serve as self-checks if certain sensitive matters are to be treated with extreme caution. One’s assumptions on how things should be, be it people or the world, is based on his experience and imbued ideologies of the world and he may communicate them in a way that feels right for him. That feeling of rightness is based often on a judgment call which is selfjustifying. Across our lives, no matter where we live or what we do, we are guided by conscience that helps us make decisions about how we ought to live and behave. Sometimes, this is straightforward and at other times, the

distinction is rather obscure, which is when we get into a spot. Incidentally also, how much hard sell should the auto-biographer indulge in? Now, that is a difficult question to answer and I can vouch that to rise above self, it needs magnanimity of a different kind. Obama kept it safely balanced, with his skilful mastery of language and writing acumen. The tender and captivating moments he shared with his wife are infused like pepper, adding just the right spice to break what otherwise could have been monotonous. Life-writing captures the self-defining memories of one’s life and it is to a large extent an exercise in self-discovery. There is no right or wrong way of doing it but there are principles that, again, may differ according to individuals. “Masterful lament of the fragility of hope”, says a reviewer about Obama’s memoir, and another sees it as “deeply introspective and at times elegiac”. For me, it is humble rendition of one’s journey in arriving at his destiny, a lifetime worth reminiscing and being proud of.

COMMENT by Amanda Yeo

Civic tech to boost citizen engagement THE on-and-off movement control measures and travel restrictions have made people, organisations and government transform the way they interact with one another. Many people have been forced to postpone social gatherings and meetings or resort to online learning. The recent e-Conomy SEA 2020 report by Google, Temasek and Bain and Company showed that one in three Malaysians started using digital services due to Covid-19. With the rising usage of online advocacy platforms, civic technology or civil tech for short, can be utilised for informing, engaging and connecting citizens with the government, or with one another to advance civic outcomes that have the potential for Malaysia to better inform and encourage citizen engagement through technology. Civic tech enhances the relationship between people and government with software for communication, decision-making, service delivery, and political process. It also includes information and communications technology supporting government with software built by community-led teams of volunteers, non-profit bodies, consultants and private companies as well as embedded tech teams working within government. There are four different types of egovernment services and civic tech falls within the category of government-to-citizen (G2C). The other categories include government-tobusiness (G2B), government-to-government

(G2G), and government-to-employees (G2E). The continuous challenges in conducting Parliament sittings during the pandemic, for instance, led several Malaysian youth organisations such as Challenger Malaysia, Undi 18, Liga Rakyat Demokratik and United Nations Association Malaysia (Unam) Youth to jointly organise Parlimen Digital, a virtual mock Parliament between July 4 and 5 last year. This event won plaudits from various parties who witnessed 222 young Malaysians representing respective parliamentary constituencies, debating issues ranging from economic challenges to the state of the nation’s education system. It could also be used to help simplify voter registration, host virtual dialogues and launch crowdfunding campaigns supporting civic causes. Although civil tech empowers citizens to take action and transform the nation’s democracy landscape, there are several challenges to consider. Sinar Project, a Malaysian-based civic tech initiative, could not register as non-profit. Due to the ongoing struggles with funding and sustainability, Sinar Project could not improve governance and encourage greater citizen involvement in public affairs as anticipated. As a result, the progress of creating a more open, transparent and accountable Parliament has been slow. To truly foster social change, civil tech also

needs to reach a large number of users. However, the lack of rigorous and consistent outcome-measurement and compelling evidence of impact have prevented civic tech organisations from attracting a relevant audience. As urban poor and rural citizens have limited access to digital devices or unstable internet connections, civil tech could not involve them. It limits the potential of civil tech to reach every segment of society to create a substantial community impact. Furthermore, the funding for civic tech organisations only caters to short-term implementation of specific projects and programmes. Often, civil tech has to carry out fundraising regularly to meet associated operational expenses such as for remuneration and utilities. Therefore, for civic tech to enhance citizen engagement in Malaysia, Emir Research has several policy recommendations for the Government to consider: 0 Integrate initiatives created by the private sector and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) into one streamlined website. For instance, the Ministry of Youth and Sports could combine all initiatives from the private sector and NGOs into its official website for Malaysian youths to access relevant information easily; 0 Take a lead in organising dialogues with different industries such as manufacturing, hospitality and retail sectors in Malaysia,

enabling different voices to be heard at all levels of government, company boards and multilateral organisations. This, in turn, would foster an intergenerational transfer of experience, knowledge and skills besides forming people-centric public policies; 0 Work on data collection, analysis and visualisation with relevant ministries, agencies and representatives from the private sector to bring better information to the people. With current, updated, trustworthy, accurate, reliable and complete data, industry players will be able to benchmark business performances based on their understanding of the current state of the industry and adopt the most appropriate business approaches to address citizen issues; and 0 Focus on citizen autonomy in taking decisions and direct democracy empowerment tools. The government could acknowledge civil tech by providing necessary funding for them, further advancing Malaysia’s democracy. By emphasising the importance of civil tech, the government could empower more citizens to engage in societal change, and have a better understanding of what the people want and need. The writer is research analyst at Emir Research, an independent think tank focused on strategic policy recommendations based on rigorous research. Comments:[email protected]

TELLING IT AS IT IS

LIFESTYLE

YOUTH

FASHION

ENTERTAINMENT

MONDAY | MARCH 1, 2021

Missing home Sape songstress Alena Murang releases a new single and music video

>>> Page 3

PICTURE COURTESY OF CLASH DONERIN

Deborah Lee is a food storyteller >>> Page 4 & 5

Jot down your thoughts to destress >>> Page 6

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ENTERTAINMENT theSun LYFE ON MONDAY | MARCH 1, 2021

The power of infectious beats oSinger Dameer breaks the stigma of mental health through catchy tunes █

BY JOHN TAN

A

T an age where most youths are just starting to discover their passions, 20year-old Dameer Khan has been busy making headlines for his artistic craft. At age 17, Bangladesh-born Dameer was signed by Majestic Casual Records, a prominent Berlin-based music label in the indie music scene. Coming from a family of musicians, Dameer is looking to make his own mark in the world with fresh and unconventional music. Dameer’s musical journey first began in high school when he would frequently upload his songs on Soundcloud. “I was slowly getting traction. Considering how small Bangladesh is, when you make a splash, people listen,” he says cheerfully. “And as soon as I gained more confidence, I started DMing my songs to a bunch of Youtube channels and music labels.” Fortunately for him, Majestic Casual Records replied and signed him instantly. Since then, this Dhaka native has been actively making music, even moving to Malaysia to pursue his craft. Currently, he is hard at work promoting his upcoming record, We Are Distant, which includes the track Believe. The song’s music video, released last November, was directed by film and music director Adam Sinclair, husband of renowned Malaysian singer Yuna.

still worth living and people are still worth loving. So honesty and sincerity is a big part of Bengali culture that I think is present in my music.”

Dameer taught himself the guitar after listening to Jazz and Latino music. – PHOTO COURTESY OF MAJESTIC CASUAL RECORDS

In the video for Believe, you incorporated some elements of Chinese culture. What inspired your decision to do so? “Adam Sinclair and I are massive fans of Wong Kar-wai. So, the entire music video is based on movies like In the Mood for Love (2000) and Chungking Express (1994). We were directly inspired by those movies. That’s why we wanted to go with the classic Hong Kong neon lights and 90’s aesthetic. “And when you listen to the song, you have the beat that is super steady. “I have been listening to it since [its release] and all it reminded me of was the classic neon Wong Kar-wai Hong Kong vibes. And Adam felt the same thing. Since we were massive [fans], it was cool to pay homage to him.” Your single, Sun, speaks of your relationship with your mother. Have you always been brave to tackle such personal and daring topics? “Yes, I think you have to be. Again, I really want to be honest about how absurd life is. I love pop music. Its pure escapism. It allows you to forget about your worries, but for me, I am more interested in writing about trauma, mental health, where and who you grew

Coming from a rich and beautiful country like Bangladesh, how have your roots influenced your music? “Conversation is a very integral part of Bangladeshi culture. We love talking to each other sincerely. And I think in all of my music, there is an honesty towards how absurd life is, and how neurotic people are. “But no matter how messed up life is, life is

up with and what that does to your life, and really get into the complexity of life. “I think a lot of my songs deal with that. A song like Believe deals with the aftermath of a bad relationship. If you look into the lyrics, it speaks about coming from a really bad relationship, and how it affects you when you decide to get back to the game. “As for Sun, it speaks about the conservative culture I grew up in. When I was growing up, I knew I wanted to be out there. I knew I wanted to be loud and rebellious and to express myself. “But that was just not accepted. I was always considered too loud. So, the song is about allowing yourself to be free, expressing yourself and being honest with the world. That’s exactly what I want to write about. I love handling tough issues, especially when it comes to trauma.” Would you collaborate with other musical acts to further push your sound?

“Absolutely! I mean just being around Yuna gave me so many ambitions. It would be a dream come true to be able to work with her. I also had the pleasure of getting to know other Malaysian artistes like Nadhira and SonaOne. They are some of the nicest people. “There’s also a really cool indie rock scene here that I have been paying attention to. There are also some venues here where I would like to play. One of them is the Bee at Publika. It’s a super cool venue.” What has been your favourite thing about Malaysia so far? “I have had the best time. I have travelled around a lot. I have been to Langkawi, Penang, Alor Setar and Cameron Highlands. I think the natural beauty of this country is awesome. The food is also great. I remember the first time I tried Village Park nasi lemak, it was mind blowing. I just love the culture and my friends here.”

SHINee returns with the genre bending Don’t Call Me █

BY JOHN TAN

AFTER a three-year hiatus, the fourmember band, SHINee has finally made its much anticipated comeback. Returning with their seventh studio album, Don’t Call Me, SHINee ushers in their new era with a whole brand new sound. Unlike their previous releases, this project marks their first album that features no contribution from their late member, Jonghyun. Kicking things off, the nine-track album starts with the title track, Don’t Call Me. This upbeat banger sees the group exploring the sounds of hiphop, trap and EDM. Seeing from their debut single, Replay to their hit single, Lucifer, it’s clear that the quartet has matured since their early years. In this track in particular, we hear them not only push their music limitations but also their lyrical approach. In fact, Don’t Call Me may possibly be their most daring song lyrically to date. Contrary to the libretto of their

early tunes like Replay or In My Room, the thrilling tune captures the intense emotions that comes with a toxic relationship – a topic that was not explored previously in their discography. In the chorus, we even hear them addressing the ex-lover to stay away; “I’m no longer your love. Erase it, forget about me please, I don’t know you, so don’t call me.” Its accompanying music video does a good job in supporting the message of the tune. The styling of the members is striking and the choreography is entertaining. Having said that, the album also has an abudance of happiness and romanticism to offer. With tracks like Kiss Kiss and Attention, the band sings of love in the trendy sounds of synthpop. Its chilling rhythm and smooth transition will even be a reminisce to the likes of current pop stars such as Lauv, HONNE and BTS. This transition was definitely refreshing to hear as the genre really blended well with their voices. As a matter of fact, their well immersed

The members of SHINee at the photo shoot for their lead single, Don’t Call Me. - PHOTO COURTESY OF SM ENTERTAINMENT

voices in the infectious upbeat tune screams for it to be commercially released as a single. Nevertheless, I felt the album could have been more complete if there were additional songs.

With the current playlist, the narrative to the album feels a little incomplete and impersonal. Therefore, the upbeat element to the album prevented it from having more emotional connection.

Regardless, the album is indeed a great work of art. With its contemporary killer tracks, it served well as a comeback album. The wait was definitely worth it.

ENTERTAINMENT theSun LYFE ON MONDAY | MARCH 1, 2021



BY AZIZUL RAHMAN ISMAIL

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CELEB SPEAK

A yearning for home

OTHING makes the heart yearn for home more than travel. When Alena Murang took the songs of the Dayak Kelabit and Kenyah to foreign lands around the world, her heart longed for the dense jungle, the rushing rapids, the longhouses, and the people of her ancestral home along the Baram River in Sarawak. Alena usually performs alongside her bandmates – co-writer Joshua Maran who plays the guitar, Jonathan Wong who is also on guitar, bassist Herman Ramanado, and drummer Jimmy Chong. While abroad, performing songs in the language of the indigenous people of Sarawak, and strumming on the sape’, a traditional musical instrument, one song, in particular reflected her feelings of being so far away from home. In the Kenyah language, an endangered Austronesian language spoken by the Kenyah people of Sarawak and Kalimantan, Belian Meno’ is a genre of wistful songs, and Meno’ means the feeling of yearning, thinking of something or someone that is not there. “In recent years I’ve been travelling a lot, and I would always sing this song on stage, thinking about how much I missed home at the time,” recalled Alena. She has performed this song at festivals like South by Southwest (USA), F ø r d e T ra d i t i o na l and World M u s i c Festival (Norway), and the OzAsia Festival (Australia). Those who have heard the song, she explained, find it peaceful and emotional, despite not knowing the meaning to the words. Like most of the songs that she performs, Alena learned Meno’ from an elder. “What makes these songs unique is that they are passed from singer to singer, and each performer would make changes to it,” she said. She learned to play her four-string Alena performing at the Colours of sape’ from an elder as Ostrava Festival in 2019. – PHOTO well. She learnt the COURTESY OF TOMAS PARKAN craft little by little, over

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Alena and her trusty sape’. – PHOTO COURTESY OF KENNY LOH

oAlena Murang talks about her efforts to take Dayak Kelabit music worldwide many visits. “There are more modern iterations of the instruments with more strings and more frets. As is, I play the traditional sape’ which only has notes in the pentatonic scale,” said Alena. Alena learned to appreciate Kelabit traditions from her parents, especially her father, who is himself Kelabit. Her methods of research however are not as academic as those of her mother, who is an EnglishItalian anthropologist. She admits that her way takes time, as do all methods of building lasting relationships. She would also ask the elders for permission before making a song her own. Recently, Alena released Meno’ as

the second single in her upcoming album, along with a music video. The music video was edited by Sabahbased Kelabit filmmaker Candy Yik, using video clips shot along the roads and rivers of the villages in the interior of Sarawak along the Ulu Baram river. The album is a part of the Roads To Our Heritage project, a collaboration between Alena, Estranged, and Stonebay, with the support of the Communication and Multimedia Ministry and funded under the Ministry’s 2020 Digital Content Fund for the creative industry. Roads To Our Heritage is made up of three albums, with a documentary series featuring the three acts as well as Dr Nadia Widyawati Madzhi of UiTM’s Music Faculty as a research partner. The documentary series will explore the stories and heritage

of the natives in Sabah and Sarawak over six episodes. One of the exciting components of the documentary series is that the artistes will be riding on Triumph Motorcycles, a partner of the project, as a part of their journey across East Malaysia. However, the second nationwide movement control order has slowed their progress. Alena shared that one of the reasons it took her five years to release a second album was funding. The Roads To Our Heritage project and support from the Dayak Cultural Foundation was key to making her efforts of preserving traditional music and delivering it to a contemporary audience a reality. Alena started her professional musical journey in 2015. Based on advice, she immediately took her

Woody Allen slams documentary on abuse allegation WOODY ALLEN (far right) and his wife Soon-Yi Previn have attacked a new HBO documentary that reexamines a decades-old allegation that the Oscar-winning filmmaker molested his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow, calling the television series a “hatchet job.” HBO debuted the first episode of the four-part documentary series Allen v. Farrow in February. The series includes extensive interviews with Allen’s former partner Mia Farrow and with Dylan Farrow, who repeated their accusation that Allen sexually assaulted Dylan in 1992 when she was seven years old. It also contains new material, including interviews with people

who knew the family. Shortly after the first episode aired, a spokesperson for Allen and Previn issued a statement saying the documentary makers “had no interest in the truth.” “Instead, they spent years surreptitiously collaborating with the Farrows and their enablers to put together a hatchet job riddled with falsehoods,” the statement said. “As has been known for decades, these allegations are categorically false,” it added. Allen, the four-time Oscarwinning director of Annie Hall and other comedies, has repeatedly denied molesting Dylan Farrow. He did not take part in the documentary.

The filmmaker, 85, has long asserted that Mia Farrow fabricated the molestation claim against him and planted them in Dylan’s mind after learning that Allen was having an affair with the actress’s then-22year-old adopted daughter Previn. Allen has never been arrested or prosecuted over the allegation of sexual abuse, which was first made in 1993. It was investigated by state police in Connecticut, where Mia Farrow and her children lived. The new statement from Allen and Previn’s spokesperson said “multiple agencies” had investigated the allegation at the time “and found that, whatever Dylan Farrow may have been led to believe, absolutely

no abuse had ever taken place.” The statement also said it was “sadly unsurprising that the network to air this is HBO – which has a standing production deal and business relationship with Ronan Farrow.” Ronan Farrow is Dylan’s brother and has spoken in support of his sister. “While this shoddy piece may gain attention, it does not change the facts,” the statement said. A spokesperson for HBO, a unit of AT&T Inc, had no i m m e d i a t e comment on the matter. – Reuters

music abroad, where she earned accolades such as the recent Best Styling Award at the Buenos Aires Music Video Festival in Argentina for her music video, Midang Midang. Only then did more Malaysians take notice. Last year, Alena and her cousin Joshua launched Project Ranih, an online platform to preserve Kelabit traditions, especially children’s folk songs. The project was made possible thanks to partial funding from the Foundation of Endangered Languages, a Britain-based nonprofit organisation, and donations. In addition to being a musician, Alena also paints. Between the two arts, she said that painting is more personal to her as it is a solitary form of expression.

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FEATURE

theSun LYFE ON MONDAY | MARCH 1, 2021

Art of food photography oDeborah Lee aims to be a storyteller through her captivating visuals



BY S. TAMARAI CHELVI

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HOTOGRAPHER Deborah Lee captures fascinating visuals of food which she shares on her Instagram account (@saveurmalaisie).

However Lee is not just another food blogger who loves to take photos of fancy food. What makes her images stand out is her focus on capturing a moment in the narrative. She focuses on the ambiance, ingredients, the preparation process and all those behind the scenes moments that add depth to her images. For instance in a recent photograph of Roti Jala, a popular Malaysian dish, Lee played with the idea of Colour Theory, highlighting the contrast of the green banana leaf with the blue tableware and yellowcoloured Roti Jala, giving the image depth and texture. In most of her photographs Lee, a former fashion writer and deputy editor of a magazine, focuses on Colour Theory, using complementary and monochromatic colour combinations. A story to share “My objective is to showcase the beauty of Malaysian food,” said Lee, who is currently a full-time commercial food photographer. “I believe in story-telling. I want to tell a story with a human touch (element). To present an honest photograph, rather than a studio-made or product photography with no human involvement or no emotions. “I always add human elements. A pair of hands holding a plate or chopsticks or [taking] a peek while someone is cooking,” said Lee, who focuses on Southeast Asian and East Asian cuisines and beverages, including cocktails. She has also taken photographs of herself preparing food, including a recent shot of herself preparing a traditional Chinese dish “I was preparing Cantonese steamed chicken and I decided to take a photo of myself. The picture is special because I used mirror-reflection. It’s like a peek into a private moment in someone’s life while they are preparing lunch or dinner.” In each photograph, she hopes to convey the emotions behind the food which has a special meaning to her culture and heritage. Beauty in the raw Recently, Lee picked up a fresh octopus and took a very dark but intriguing photograph. She styled the octopus by presenting it raw, alongside fish, prawns and green vegetables. She propped the octopus on top of a chair and attached the tentacles to fishing lines. “It’s a dark and moody photograph, but I played with natural light,” Lee said. “I manipulated the light to create the shadows and contrast. I controlled the light by using a light reflector and black foam boards and allowed a tiny shaft of light through the window, with the dark back-drop. “Then, I edited the light and colours with computer software.

“It’s my tribute to the beauty of that which is raw, and the nature of life as nature inspires me.” Passion and props Aside from nature, Lee, who began doing food photography during the first movement control order (MCO) in March last year, was inspired by 16th and 17th-century paintings by artists such as Johannes Vermeer, who played with colour contrasts to present raw food. “I love to see how light falls on a pineapple, the texture on the different fruits. Nature is an art and nature gives us a lot to draw inspiration from,” said Lee. She has even tried to capture food on fire, but failed. However, she is determined to succeed one day. Lee believes a food photographer must have knowledge about the different types of lenses, how the DLSR camera works, techniques of composition, Colour Theory, natural and artificial light, food styling and post-production skills with computer software to edit photographs. “ F o r

instance, if you want to style a bowl of curry, then it is important to know how to highlight the main ingredients, colours and textures. Curry and soups are very tricky to style, compared to other food like baked goods. “Have you ever tried to make bean sprouts, fresh herbs and garnishes stay fresh and ‘afloat’ on the top of the curry, without sinking to the bottom of the bowl? Or tried to make ice-cream stay frozen throughout a photoshoot without melting? While trying to shoot it 50 times?” she asked. Lee said a photographer needs to plan a shoot carefully, while food stylists will make it work by using secret tips and tricks. According to her, a photographer needs to know which props work. A variety of props such as plates, bowls, utensils, napkins, and linens are needed to complement the ‘hero’, which is the main dish, without drawing too much attention away from the main subject in the photograph. A good backdrop and the surface is also important. In the future, Lee plans to start a website, film cooking videos and blog about recipes, with her own twist on popular dishes around the world.

Lee in a self-portrait.

FEATURE

theSun LYFE ON MONDAY | MARCH 1, 2021

From far left: Lee took this selfportrait with a timer. She also cooks, bakes and takes photographs of her food. Lee’s photo of Roti Jala in which she utilises Colour Theory. A raw octopus, along with fish, prawns and green vegetables.

(left) A shot featuring hands as the human element.

From left: The details are in the presentation – A Babka Chocolate Kaya cake. A photo of pumpkins and mandarin oranges. Lee used fruits which she bought for the Lunar New Year. Another shot feauturing a hand, striking a contrast with a Bhindi Masala dish on a banana leaf. – ALL PICTURES COURTESY OF DEBORAH LEE

French chef credits femininity for her five Michelin stars IN a business still dominated by men, French chef Helene Darroze credits a feminine, “emotional” touch for her unprecedented leap from three to five Michelin stars this year. Darroze is already a household name in France thanks to her appearances on Top Chef – famous enough even to have a Barbie doll in her image. And when the latest Michelin guide was published last month, the 53-year-old became the first woman to pick up two stars at once: a third for her London restaurant at The Connaught hotel and a second for Marsan in Paris. That puts her in a tiny club of just seven women worldwide who run a threestar kitchen. She is adamant that her womanhood is the reason for her success: “Men and women are not made in the same way,“ she told AFP. “And it shows on the plate.” “A man primarily wants to show off what he can do, whereas a woman wants to please. It is more about emotion, to which technique is added, rather than technique with emotion added later,“ she said. Darroze is careful to stress that she has “great respect” for male chefs. But her message to the fast-growing generation of female chefs is “Live your passion as women... do not try to be someone else.” ‘Don’t call me chef’ That attitude shows not only in her cooking, but in her approach to the workplace. She says she has been fortunate to be spared the misogyny suffered by many female counterparts in this “male environment” and has tried to avoid the abrasive, military style of the typical kitchen with its ranks and barking orders. “Problems aren’t solved by yelling or throwing a spoon,“ she says. Not all her efforts at creating an informal atmosphere have worked, however: “I never wanted to be called ‘chef’, just Helene. But though I keep telling my colleagues that you don’t earn respect with a title, a few still don’t call me by my name.” Darroze credits a ‘different’ approach for her success.

She now has more Michelin stars than any woman other than her compatriot Anne-Sophie Pic (who has eight) – an achievement she still “can’t quite believe.” But because of the pandemic, Darroze has not even been able to travel to Britain to celebrate with her team at The Connaught, or with her friend Clare Smyth of London’s Core who also became a three-star chef last month. Comfort Darroze is the fourth generation of her family to go into the business, and her restaurants are renowned for the Basque flavours of her home region in southwestern France. She almost didn’t follow in the family footsteps, opting for business school in the 1980s (”It was the done thing”), until famed chef Alain Ducasse encouraged her to launch herself into haute cuisine at his Louis XV restaurant of Monte Carlo. Being a woman has imposed some difficult decisions throughout her career, not least delaying motherhood until the age of 40, when she adopted two Vietnamese girls. By then, she already had two Michelin stars. Recipes such as poached lobster with tandoori butter, and grouse with foie gras and whiskey sauce, helped win her the title of “Best female chef in the world” in 2015 from Britain’s “50 Best Restaurants”. Even someone of Darroze’s skill has not escaped unsinged from the ravages of the past year, however: it has taken government support and a click-and-collect service at her other Paris restaurant Joia to stay afloat. But overall she is optimistic. “When all this is over, we will want a cuisine that comforts us.” – ETX Studio

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HEALTH

theSun LYFE ON MONDAY | MARCH 1, 2021

BY ANANSA JACOB

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IVEN the uncertainties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s no wonder that many people are feeling increased levels of stress and anxiety, brought about by worries regarding the illness, isolation from family and friends, and even job loss or a disruption in income. In the 2021 Budget tabled last year, the government announced it was allocating RM325.5 million out of the national health budget to address mental health issues. While there is no easy solution for those difficult feelings, there are steps you can take – even while stuck at home – to help relieve anxiety and improve your mental well-being. One proven coping mechanism is journalling. There has been plenty of evidence to show that recording our thoughts and feelings on a regular basis can help us identify and process negative emotions, and ultimately alleviate anxiety. There are many ways to journal, and few limitations on who can benefit. You can add a journalling habit to your life whether you journal daily, weekly, or on an as-needed basis when stress gets to be too intense. It’s also a good problemsolving tool; oftentimes, one can hash out a problem and come up with solutions more easily on paper. Journalling about traumatic events helps one process them by fully exploring and releasing the emotions involved, and by engaging both hemispheres of the brain in the process, allowing the experience to become fully integrated within one’s mind. How to start You can use any medium to record your thoughts. You can choose from the most beautiful blank books you can find, or a more functional notebook, or even a Word file on your computer. Pick a time of a day to write, whether you choose to do it daily, or on a less frequent schedule. Start by journalling for five to 15 minutes. Write about whatever is on your mind or is bothering you. Try to keep going until you feel you have written what needs to be said but haven’t delved into a mode of rumination. Describe the events that are currently causing difficulties for you. Keep in mind that with anxiety, sometimes it isn’t what is currently happening that causes stress, but the concerns you have about what could happen. As you write about what you are concerned about might happen, think critically, and try to argue with yourself. Write anything that calls into question whether or not your worry is truly a

Destress by journalling

oThe simple act of jotting down your thoughts can help heal your mind and body concern. Journalling strategies to try For those who want a more targeted form of expression, here are several practices you can try: Gratitude journal: List three or more aspects of each day for which they are grateful. This is a highly effective strategy for relieving stress because it helps you to focus on the resources you have in your life already and create a more positive mood at the moment, both of which have been shown to build longterm resilience. If you’re feeling down in the future, you can cheer yourself up with a few pages of reminders for the things you have to appreciate in life. Emotional release journal: You may also write about your emotional responses to events that have happened

throughout the day as a way of coping with the stress. This is also a great way to expand on the positive and manage the negative things that happen in your life, increasing your positivity ratio, which is an important aspect of stress management. Bullet journal: Some people simply keep journals to track what they need to do each day, goals they have, memories they create, and other things they don’t want to forget. Because writing things down can help keep your mind uncluttered and help you to remember what’s important to you, this can relieve stress as well. If you truly cannot decide which method would work best for you, there are several pre-made journals you can buy to start with. Some of them include writing prompts. Others incorporate dates. Once you have gotten comfortable with the idea of journalling, you may want to decorate your journal with stickers and washi tape, or even begin doodling in it. Your journal is a place to share your thoughts and be creative, so feel free to express yourself however you want. Remember, you don’t need to be an accomplished writer or a literary genius to benefit from writing down your thoughts and feelings. Your journal is for you and you alone, and keeping this in mind can make you feel impossibly free to pour yourself onto the page. Give it a try.

Keeping a journal is a way to focus your mind and express your thoughts in a positive and creative manner.

How to take control of your mental health ANXIETY, stress, depression, and unhappiness are direct consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has been going on worldwide for more than a year. While health professionals continue to sound the alarm about this public health problem, consumers seem keen to take their personal wellbeing in hand and find ways to be kind to themselves in uncertain times. Self-love and self-acceptance – two notions gaining traction in the media – seem to be of particular concern to the world’s population right now. According to data published by Pinterest, searches on the network for the questions “how can I love myself?” and “how can I heal myself?” have increased six- and fourfold, respectively, in recent months. It seems that people have decided to take control of their mental health, tackling these issues head-on to keep themselves afloat during the crisis. Amid the various lockdowns, curfews, and periods of restricted movement, people are searching for ways to learn how to love themselves and to take care of their emotional wellbeing. This has been seen in an uptick of searches for

positive ideas and inspiration for boosting mental health. Pinterest has seen strong growth in searches for “mental health painting,” which have doubled compared to last year, as well as searches for “mental health journalling”, which have increased tenfold. Autosuggestion also seems to be riding high, with users of the social media site indirectly showing interest in this technique for guiding thoughts, feelings, and behaviour. In fact, inspirational quotes are particularly popular, with searches for “self-love quotes” up seven times, and searches for “self-acceptance quotes” up 80% on last year. “People have always come to Pinterest to discover different ways to practice mindfulness or meditation and to find mental wellness inspiration. Since last year, searches for ‘mental health check in’ (12x), ‘healthy mindset quotes’ (5x), and ‘accepting yourself ’ (+40%) all continue to rise. It seems people are finding stability within themselves more as the outside world becomes less predictable,” explains Pinterest Insights Manager

Mental health is a key issue worldwide.

Swasti Sarna. Back in September, the social network highlighted how users were looking for ways to take control of their emotional wellbeing and happiness. Yoga, feng shui, occupational therapy for kids, ASMR, food, and mindful eating were

just some of the popular search topics. – ETX Studio Note: The evolution of these trends is calculated by comparing normalised global searches in December 2019 to December 2020.

BEAUTY

theSun LYFE ON MONDAY | MARCH 1, 2021

7

Dream big

oKim May Chee is the founder of the first blow dry bar in Malaysia █

BY JOHN TAN

K The interior of COCOdry in Bangsar Baru. – PHOTO COURTESY OF COCODRY

IM May Chee, more fondly known as Kim among loved ones, is an entrepreneur and a businesswoman. More specifically, she is the owner of COCOdry, the first blow dry bar in the country that aims to empower women to feel more confident about themselves through salon treatments. Since establishing its footing last year, COCOdry has gone on to serve and inspire individuals from all across the country. In this interview, she speaks about the steps she took, hurdles she has faced and lessons she learnt along the way while building her very own company at the age of 26. Taking daring risks In the world of business, entrepreneurs are always encouraged to take risks in order to

grow their companies. Having said that, there is an unspoken rule that every entrepreneur lives by – that the pros to every part of their business decisions must always outweigh the cons. In Kim’s case however, she had more to lose, considering the limited experience she had in running a business. “I had so much that I had to figure out along the way, such as raising funds, getting the right partners, hiring the right team and so much more! It was scary particularly after realising that my next paycheque is not guaranteed, and that I may even lose all my savings,” said the Penang native animatedly. Nevertheless, Kim believed in her vision, and refused to back down despite the many doubts she faced from clients and sponsors alike. After a year of research in the field, Kim flew to the United Kingdom to speak with three blow dry bar owners to understand their success. More

Prior to founding COCOdry, Kim was working in an advertising agency. – PHOTO COURTESY OF COCODRY specifically, to understand how she could emulate their working principles into an Asian community like Malaysia. “After a year of research, I found that there was a gap in the Malaysian market. In fact, there were many issues faced by customers while visiting regular salons.” Hence, this gave Kim an opportunity to explore and embark into an uncharted area in the Malaysian beauty industry. “I wanted to start a business that resonates with the values that I believe in – women empowerment, community

building and sustainability. Sometimes, it’s the smallest change that will bring upon big impact. Being able to impart those values by creating a new category in the Malaysian beauty industry is quite rewarding.” Adapting to uncertain circumstances Like any other company in the past year, COCOdry was faced with the harsh circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic. The outbreak caused a huge decline in the company’s sales and revenue. Instead of wallowing in despair, Kim saw this as an opportunity for growth. “Our team focused on improving our online presence by sharing content that matters to our customers. We posted countless videos, ranging from seasonal messages to hair tutorials. Simple yet important short clips that could spread positivity and joy. We also went on to launch our COCOdry e-Commerce in early April, selling natural hair products and treatment. The response was great.” Before she knew it, the pandemic accelerated both the company’s digital transformation growth and cash flow. Inspiring women When asked about her future aspirations, Kim shared her hopes to serve and inspire customers from international shores. As for herself, she aims to continue building her business empire in hopes that it will inspire other women to achieve their dreams. Kim encourages aspiring entrepreneurs to follow their gut and surround themselves with supportive company. “Just do it and figure it out along the way. You don’t need to have the answers to everything. Take a risk – it can really pay off and open doors. Most importantly, talk to people, validate your ideas, surround yourself with people who are supportive and who believe in you!”

Glow from within █

The Sulwhasoo Perfecting Powder comes in three shades. – COURTESY OF SULWHASOO MALAYSIA

BY JASON LIM

FOLLOWING Sulwhasoo’s globally sought-after Perfecting Cushion EX which needs little introduction, the Korean luxury beauty brand has just expanded its Perfecting Makeup line with the all-new Perfecting Foundation and Perfecting Powder makeup base. A virtual launch was held via ZOOM and joined by Amorepacific global makeup artist from Korea, Jane Kieun Park who demonstrated the efficacies of the two new additions as guest attendees tuned in to watch. The Perfecting Makeup line inspired by hanji (paper mulberry) takes pride in its breathability. It combines airpermeable formula that doesn’t clog the pores and skincare ingredients for more comfortable wear throughout the day while keeping the skin nourished and

hydrated. The signature of the line – the Perfecting Foundation offers full coverage that lasts up to 12 hours long without oxidising. And despite its fluid texture, it gives off a semimatte finishing and covers up skin imperfections and uneven skin tone. The Perfecting Powder on the other hand is a powder compact formulated with squalene – a plant base moisturiser that helps to retain skin moisture while smoothing out the skin’s fine lines without the cakey effect. What was the inspiration behind the full coverage Perfecting Foundation? Currently, there are two foundation trends in Korea – the first is all about achieving that subtle, luxurious and glossy look with light and natural coverage, and the second is the perfect and sophisticated semi-matte look. The Sulwhasoo Perfecting Foundation falls under the latter trend. Its formula prevents dryness of the skin which is often the case with full coverage foundations. It has fine nano moisturising particles to keep the skin moist and comfortable without feeling tight.

What would be the best doesn’t rub off on a face method of application? mask? I would recommend using To ensure the foundation a foundation brush to stays in place even better, apply. However, you may after applying the foundation also use a beauty sponge with a brush, clean the brush or even your fingers to with a tissue and then pat in apply, as each method of the foundation one more time applications can result in a so that it adheres onto the skin even better. Next, apply different finishing. Applying with a beauty the Perfecting Powder to seal sponge is effective for Park also shared several tips and coat your skin for an concealing acne patches for better application of the added layer of protection. and dark eye circles. Using products for the benefit of your fingers would help guest attendees. On what occasion would you adhere the foundation choose the Perfecting onto your skin better due to the warmth Foundation over the Perfecting generated from your fingers. Cushion? The Perfecting Foundation is great for long How will the Perfecting Foundation fare hour wear. It also adheres onto the skin in Malaysia’s hot and humid climate? really well and won’t easily transfer, which It is suitable for hot and humid climates is perfect if you’re working indoors in the and will last up to 12 hours. It also has a office or even if you’re outdoors. The Perfecting Cushion’s compact size semi-matte finish, which is perfect to use and typically performs better even in is convenient and great as an on-the-go tropical climates like Malaysia. makeup for touch-ups as well. Its lightweight formula offers full coverage What can we do to ensure that the and a flawless, natural and radiant Perfecting Foundation stays put and finishing too.

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MEDIA & MARKETING theSun LYFE ON MONDAY | MARCH 1, 2021

Workplace surveillance

Take a break and dream away

oPrivacy faces risks in tech-infused post-Covid workplace

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CELEBRATE new beginnings with the arrival of the dreamiest and creamiest beverage lineup to arrive in Starbucks Malaysia. Launching in all stores this Spring is the Starbucks Caramel Cloud Macchiato, the latest innovation from the same team that introduced the signature Caramel Macchiato, which first debuted in the Starbucks menu in 1996. The Cloud Macchiato is also joined by the Salted Caramel Cloud Macchiato, Salted Caramel Cold Brew and Salted Caramel Nitro Cold Brew. These silky and exhilarating treats are the perfect beverages to bring your own positivity to the season – every sip reminding you to free your mind and fill it with new possibilities and ideas.

The new Cloud Macchiato Series from Starbucks.

EOPLE returning to work following the long pandemic will find an array of tech-infused gadgetry to improve workplace safety but which could pose risks for long-term personal and medical privacy. Temperature checks, distance monitors, digital “passports”, wellness surveys and robotic cleaning and disinfection systems are being deployed in many workplaces seeking to reopen. Tech giants and startups are offering solutions which include computer vision detection of vital signs to wearables which can offer early indications of the onset of Covid-19 and apps that keep track of health metrics. Salesforce and IBM have partnered on a “digital health pass” to let people share their vaccination and health status on their smartphone. Clear, a tech startup known for airport screening, has created its own health pass which is being used by organisations such as the National Hockey League and MGM Resorts. Fitbit, the wearable tech maker recently acquired by Google, has its own “Ready for Work” programme that includes daily checkins using data from its devices. Fitbit is equipping some 1,000 NASA employees with wearables as part of a pilot program which requires a daily log-in using various health metrics which will be tracked by the space agency. Microsoft and insurance giant United HealthCare have deployed a ProtectWell app which includes a daily symptom screener, and Amazon has deployed a “distance assistant” in its warehouses to help employees maintain safe distances. And a large coalition of technology firms and health organisations are working on a digital vaccination certificate, which can be used on smartphones to show evidence of inoculation for Covid-19. ‘Blurs the lines’ With these systems, employees may face screenings even as they enter a building lobby, and monitoring in elevators, hallways and throughout the workplace. The monitoring “blurs the line between people’s workplace and personal lives”, said Darrell West, a Brookings Institution vice president with the think tank’s Center for Technology Innovation. “It erodes longstanding medical privacy protections for many different workers.”

A report last year by the consumer activist group Public Citizen identified at least 50 apps and technologies released during the pandemic marketed as workplace surveillance tools to combat Covid-19. A report last year by the consumer activist group Public Citizen identified at least 50 apps and technologies released during the pandemic “marketed as workplace surveillance tools to combat Covid-19”. The report said some systems go so far as identifying people who may not spend enough time in front of a sink to note inadequate hand-washing. “The invasion of privacy that workers face is alarming, especially considering that the effectiveness of these technologies in mitigating the spread of Covid-19 has not yet been established,” the report said. The group said there should be clear rules on collection and storage of data, with better disclosure to employees. A delicate balance Employers face a delicate balance as they try to ensure workplace safety without intruding on privacy, said Forrest Briscoe, professor of management and organisation at Penn State University. Briscoe said there are legitimate reasons and precedents for requiring proof of vaccination. But these sometimes conflict with medical privacy regulations which limit a company’s access to employee health data. “You don’t want the employer accessing that information for work-related decisions,” Briscoe said. Biscoe said many employers are relying on third-party tech vendors to handle the monitoring, but that has its risks as well. “Using third-party vendors will keep the data separate,” he said. “But for some companies their business model involves gathering data and using it for

monetisable purposes which poses a risk to privacy.” The global health crisis has inspired startups to seek innovative ways to limit virus transmission, with some of those products shown at the 2021 Consumer Electronics Show. Taiwan-based FaceHeart demonstrated software which can be installed in cameras for contactless measurement of vital signs to screen for shortness of breath, high fever, dehydration, elevated heart rate and other symptoms which are early indicators of Covid-19. Drone maker Draganfly showcased camera technology which can be used to offer alerts on social distancing, and also detect changes in vital signs which may be early indicators of Covid-19 infection. A robot from Misty Robotics, also shown at CES, can be adapted as a health check monitor and can be designed to disinfect frequently used surfaces, says the company. But there are risks in relying too much on technologies which may be unproven or inaccurate, such as trying to detect fevers with thermal cameras among moving people, said Jay Stanley, a privacy researcher and analyst with the American Civil Liberties Union. “Employers have a legitimate interest in safeguarding workplaces and keeping employees healthy in the context of the pandemic,” Stanley said. “But what I would worry about is employers using the pandemic to pluck and store information in a systematic way beyond what is necessary to protect health.” – ETX Studio

9 * SPEAK UP

theSUN ON MONDAY | MARCH 1, 2021

COMMENT by Jamari Mohtar and Sofea Azahar

Matching grants can boost EPF funds D ESPITE 2020 being a bad year in terms of the pandemic and economic downturn, the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), a retirement savings fund responsible for ensuring members’ retirement wellbeing, has been able to declare a dividend of 5.2% for conventional savings and 4.9% for syariah savings for 2020, with a total payout of RM47.64 billion. And this could be the main reason why it had earlier announced its readiness to allow an unconditional withdrawal of EPF funds for those who are mostly affected by the economic downturn brought about by the pandemic. The reason why the retirement fund is able to dole out a respectable dividend is because its investments overseas and on fixed income instruments in 2020 had produced good returns. With some 14 million contributors, the fund has achieved a net investment income of RM37.83 million for the first nine months of 2020, with its fixed income portfolio recording an income of more than RM22 billion for the same period. EPF’s fixed income instruments comprise largely government debt papers and highly rated corporate papers, which are actively traded with only a small portion held to maturity. With a low interest rate regime expected throughout the pandemic, its fixed income portfolio is sitting on good profits as bond prices rise when interest rates fall. In 2019, EPF disbursed 5.45% dividend to its conventional account holders and 5% for syariah account holders. Although a 5.2% dividend for 2020 would be lower compared with the preceding year, it is remarkable considering the volatile equities market.

This is indeed a piece of good news for the people as it means they would likely receive fairly attractive returns despite withdrawals from their EPF accounts. On Feb 18, EPF said members below the age of 55 who have applied for the iSinar withdrawal facility will be given approval beginning March 8, which includes new applications received thereafter, subject to the available balance in their Account 1. Those who have RM100,000 and below in Account 1 can withdraw up to RM10,000, and the payments will be staggered over a period of six months with the first payment of up to RM5,000. Those with RM100,000 in Account 1 can withdraw up to 10% of their Account 1, subject to a maximum amount of RM60,000. Many have welcomed the move as timely because of the hardship faced by the people during the second movement control order (MCO 2.0) along with the rise in unemployment in the last quarter of 2020. This revision will help increase people’s disposable incomes, which will be necessary for many to make ends meet. Additionally, this will augur well for the economy by increasing private consumption expenditures, as consumption is an important driver of growth, and hopefully will prop up the gross domestic product (GDP) of the country. As reported by a local daily, one EPF member, who goes by the name Rashid Ramli, said he welcomed this move because of his struggles to pay for his wife’s dialysis treatments and to support his children. Some have reportedly said they need to use their EPF savings to repay their loans and to meet other commitments. It is indeed a sign the economics of

“It is indeed a sign the economics of empathy is still alive and kicking in government agencies during this unprecedented time of the third wave of the pandemic.

empathy is still alive and kicking in government agencies during this unprecedented time of the third wave of the pandemic. But as cautioned by Emir Research in an article “Be vigilant of an unconditional i-Sinar withdrawal”, the government needs to be careful on this unconditional withdrawal because the primary aim of the EPF is to ensure savings for the rakyat during their retirement. According to estimates by the Department of Statistics, Malaysians are expected to live longer, with a life expectancy of 75 years. Although this longevity of life should not be generalised, one must prepare for old age with sufficient amount of savings. So, this unconditional withdrawal of EPF funds should not be allowed indefinitely. Perhaps for a period of three months, after which an extension of this scheme could be allowed only if the economy remains sluggish and the performance of the fund for the first quarter of this year remains good. Most importantly, there is a need to be aware and mindful that a portion of these funds are allocated for investments to ensure good dividends for contributing members, which will increase their nest egg for retirement. But due to this expanded coverage for withdrawals, the amount of funds will be less, thus resulting in likely lower dividends for this year. The other concern over this relaxed iSinar withdrawal is the poor social safety net of informal sector workers. Statistics in 2019 showed that employment in the informal sector made up 8.3% of the total employment in Malaysia (1.26 million). Anecdotally, since the pandemic, it can be observed that more people are

Bad diet not due to ignorance but poverty █

BY IAN HAMILTON

MANY of us are guilty of knowing what we need to do to be healthy but failing to do it, including eating a balanced diet. This is not a choice all of us enjoy, however. Healthier foods, including fruit and vegetables, can cost more than less nutritious options, which often go further and last longer. It means that accessing healthy meals can be a challenge for low-income households. As if this was not bad enough, a troubling narrative has taken hold in recent years, suggesting that all we have to do is “educate” the poor about their ill-informed diet. Once they see the error of their ways, the argument goes, they will make the right choices. New research challenges this myth of “ignorance” among poorer households. It makes clear that these families have the knowledge about good quality food and nutrition, but lack the resources to purchase it. The research, based on more than 600 participants, concludes that “lower income households and those living with food insecurity struggle to afford a level of fruit and vegetable consumption that approaches public health guidance for maintaining a healthy diet, despite high awareness of the constituents of a healthy diet”. So there you have it: these families are aware of the problems that access and affordability of highly processed foods have on their health – yet another commonly held myth

dispelled by evidence. If you live in a neighbourhood where fast-food outlets dominate provision stores and greengrocers or where fresh food markets are rare, this kind of “healthy food desert” has a significant influence on your diet. The same goes for major supermarket stores, which usually offer a better choice of products than local shops. Unfortunately, they are often found on the perimeter of towns and cities, requiring a car to get to. People in poverty have little choice over where they live and are subsequently blocked from accessing healthy food choices simply because of their postcode. Yet the toll of an unhealthy diet is profound. One in 10 deaths in the United Kingdom are attributed to an inadequate diet, and the problem is estimated to cost the National Health Service (NHS) £6 billion (RM34 billion) annually. Poverty is not new, but the acceleration in numbers of those living in it is. The government has not only done little to address the root causes of food insecurity but also denied that it is a growing problem. This, despite the expansion of food banks and the need for footballer Marcus Rashford to take the lead on trying to provide for those who are routinely skipping meals. Before the pandemic, 13% of people in the UK experienced food insecurity. This proportion has increased over the last year. It rose to 16% of adults – equivalent to about 7.8

million people – by the summer of 2020, when more people reported skipping meals or reducing the amount they eat because of a lack of money or food. Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic has amplified inequality, including nutritional inequality. As unemployment continues to rise and disposable income drops, this type of inequality will be experienced by increasing numbers, some for the first time. Indeed, food banks have seen significant growth, driven by political inaction and denial. Food is a basic requirement for survival, but in 21st-century Britain we have to be more ambitious than simply surviving. The right food is critical for health, education and wellbeing. While our government continues to drag its feet over extending the modest £20-aweek (RM113) uplift for those on universal credit, it does not seem to have the appetite to improve the chances of those with the least to be able to eat healthily. We know they have the ability to spend billions on agreeing to private sector contracts for services that have sometimes proved to be poor value for money. So, if the humane argument does not win political hearts and minds, the economic one should. By ensuring everyone has access to a nutritious diet, the government could yield substantial savings for the NHS, since health and diet are so closely entwined. – The Independent

going, or have gone into the informal sector. Although informal sector workers have been encouraged to voluntarily contribute for their retirement savings through EPF’s i-Saraan scheme, it appears that the number of people contributing is not very encouraging. For instance, it has been reported that there are less than 10% of 2.7 million self-employed individuals who contribute to the scheme and only 18% of these 10% contribute consistently. Therefore, the revised i-Sinar scheme for informal sector workers would likely put their unstable savings at risk given their unstable/uncertain source of income or would not even benefit some if they don’t contribute to the federal statutory body. Perhaps one measure to consider in efforts to encourage more savings in EPF by informal sector workers is through a ringgit-to-ringgit matching contribution, as has been done in Singapore. Under the Matched Retirement Savings Scheme in Singapore, the government will match every dollar of cash top-up made to the retirement account of Central Provident Fund Board members of up to S$600 (RM1,832) annually. Or, perhaps because Malaysian society on the whole observes filial piety, this kind of matching grant could be given to parents whose children top-up their parents’ EPF savings or vice versa. The extra matching of monies would mean EPF will have more funds to invest further, despite the withdrawals.

Jamari Mohtar and Sofea Azahar are part of the research team at EMIR Research, an independent think tank focused on strategic policy recommendations based on rigorous research. Comments:[email protected]

LETTERS

[email protected]

Quick police action praised POLICE have to be lauded for quickly arresting the suspects seen in a recent viral video where a Proton Waja car was shown blatantly ramming and reversing into other cars at a traffic light in Sungai Buloh. The action by the police has not only saved more people from becoming victims of the reckless driving by the Waja driver, but also led to the seizure of 1.7gm of heroin in the vehicle with the help of dog and forensics units. Any amount of this illegal substance kept away from society is a step in the right direction in the nation’s battle against illicit narcotics and drugs. I would like to share a personal experience which happened about a decade ago. An old, frail and hunched woman was manning a tender coconut water stall in Kuala Lumpur. Despite her advanced age and pitiful state, she was seen working hard to cut open coconuts to meet orders, and she always refused to accept more than the advertised price. People from the

neighbourhood told me that she was still working as she needed the money to sustain herself as her son was a drug addict, who left her to fend for herself. Her case, while disheartening, is a reflection of the ugly truth of drug addiction. My advise is simple. Do not get yourself involved in illegal narcotics and drugs. It is a disease to which far too many individuals have fallen victims. Some may kick the habit and turn over a new leaf, while others pay for their mistakes with their lives. Pause and reflect. Whatever enjoyment derived from the abuse of drugs is only temporary, but the damage done goes beyond the individual as it affects family members and society as a whole. Countless reminders against drug abuse have been ongoing for years and it is regrettable that much of these have fallen on deaf ears and blind eyes. Do the right thing. Don’t get involved. Yeap Ming Liong Subang Jaya

S E C U R I T I E S

S D N.

B H D.

197201001092 (12738-U)

A Participating Organisation of Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad A Trading Participant of Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Berhad

Participation

Bought

Sold

Net

%

RM m

RM m

RM m

39.1

Institutions

2669.1

2801.6

-132.5

35.6

Retail

2602.3

2389.7

212.6

25.3

Foreign

1733.6

1813.7

-80.1

7005.0

7005.0

0.0

100.0

Preliminary stats (excluding trade amendments). For final data, please refer to www.bursamalaysia.com Source: Burs Malaysia

KL MARKET SUMMARY February 26, 2021

INDICES FBMEMAS FBMKLCI CONSUMER PRODUCTS INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTS CONSTRUCTION FINANCIAL SERVICES ENERGY TELECOMMUNICATIONS HEALTH CARE TRANSPORTATION PROPERTY PLANTATION FBMSHA FBMACE TECHNOLOGY

11,614.10 1,577.75 622.21 185.34 170.55 15,002.30 931.89 699.68 3,191.67 780.67 695.99 7,177.13 12,979.10 10,873.50 88.87

TURNOVER 9.816 BIL

CHANGE

-61.68 -3.79 +3.12 -2.23 -1.83 +16.55 -6.25 -3.16 -32.42 -8.20 -3.90 -35.90 -102.50 -89.68 -1.99

VOL 779,023,500 322,028,400 287,757,600 234,426,800 181,057,800

CLSG (sen) 37.5 72 9 7.5 10

+/– (sen) +2.5 +0.5 UNCH +3.5 +3

5 TOP February GAINERS 26, 2021 STOCK NESTLE F&N HLFG PETDAG HAPSENG

VOL 229,700 146,900 501,600 1,348,200 1,652,400

CLSG (RM) 137.90 31.26 16.96 20.00 8.51

RM 1.90 1.28 0.76 0.60 0.59

5 TOPFebruary LOSERS 26, 2021 STOCK FANG-2XL MPI KESM HSI-CBY AJI

VOL 13,700 544,900 112,000 13,000 91,700

EXCHANGE RATES Foreign currency

1 US DOLLAR 1 AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR 1 BRUNEI DOLLAR 1 CANADIAN DOLLAR 1 EURO 1 NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR 1 SINGAPORE DOLLAR 1 STERLING POUND 1 SWISS FRANC 100 UAE DIRHAM 100 BANGLADESH TAKA 100 CHINESE RENMINBI 100 HONGKONG DOLLAR 100 INDIAN RUPEE 100 INDONESIAN RUPIAH 100 JAPANESE YEN 100 NEW TAIWAN DOLLAR 100 PAKISTAN RUPEE 100 PHILIPPINE PESO 100 QATAR RIYAL 100 SAUDI RIYAL 100 THAI BAHT

CLSG (RM) 13.68 37.00 15.10 1.05 15.36

RM 1.06 1.00 0.80 0.65 0.44

FEBRUARY 26, 2021

Bank sell

Bank buy

TT/OD

TT

4.1080 3.2470 3.1030 3.2580 5.0150 3.0340 3.1030 5.7630 4.5360 113.5900 4.9440 63.6000 53.7400 5.7600 0.0299 3.8860 15.9000 2.6500 8.5500 114.4800 111.1400 14.2200

3.9820 3.1190 3.0110 3.1710 4.8520 2.9210 3.0110 5.5800 4.4310 107.6800 4.6410 61.1000 51.0600 5.4100 0.0270 3.7640 N/A 2.4800 8.0500 108.6800 105.5100 12.6100

24.50

1,093.96

75.97

1,202.26

498.38

86.74

160.76

KLCI 1,577.75

STI 2,949.04

HANG SENG 28,980.21

SCI 3,509.08

NIKKEI 28,966.01

TSEC 15,953.80

KOSPI 3,012.95

S&P/ASX200 6,673.27

Earnings recovery momentum continues BY AMIR IMRAN HUSAIN SAFRI [email protected]

5 MOSTFebruary ACTIVES 26, 2021

Bank buy OD

3.9720 3.1030 3.0030 3.1590 4.8320 2.9050 3.0030 5.5600 4.4160 107.4800 4.4410 N/A 50.8600 5.2100 0.0220 3.7540 N/A 2.2800 7.8500 108.4800 105.3100 12.2100

Source: Malayan Banking Berhad/Bernama

Editorial: Tel.: 03-7784 6688 Fax: 03-7785 2624/5 Email: [email protected] Advertising: Tel: 03-7784 8888 Fax: 03-7784 4424 Email: [email protected]

3.79



VALUE RM7.004 BIL

STOCK DNEX-WD DNEX XOX GFM-WC SIGN-WA

SunBIZ

MONDAY MARCH 1, 2021

PETALING JAYA: Analysts have opined that the latest batch of quarterly corporate earnings are commendable despite rising Covid-19 infections that led to a reimposition of movement restrictions, which were mitigated by a strong performance on the trade front. JF Apex head of research Lee Chung Cheng views the latest round of corporate results as above market expectations. “There had been some signs of recovery in third quarter earnings, and fourth quarter earnings demonstrated that the recovery momentum is moving forward,” he told SunBiz. Nonetheless, Lee noted that there were not many surprises for the quarter, as the strong performance of certain sectors such as gloves and technology were within his expectations. On the flip side, he said the weak performance of certain sectors, such as tourism, was unavoidable due to the movement restrictions. “Moving ahead, the Covid-19 vaccine rollout would be the biggest driver for equities in the coming quarters as investors shift from recovery play to reopening play,” he said. The shift to a reopening play, Lee elaborated, could translate into investor interest for sectors that would stand to

oLatest round of quarterly corporate results seen as commendable, vaccine rollout bodes well for equity market benefit from the lifting of restrictions such as banking and even gaming counters. Inter-Pacific Securities head of research Victor Wan holds a similar view, pointing out that countries which embarked on a vaccine rollout earlier have started to see brighter prospects, indicating an earlierthan-expected recovery. On the domestic front, he said this catalyst is contingent upon the government’s vaccination programme, which is projected to be completed around the end of this year. “However, things definitely look rosier,” he said. As for the latest round of corporate earnings, Wan views it as a mixed bag of results and the expected outperformance of glove players indicated that it is still about recovery play for local counters. He noted that the forecast-beating performance of the tech sector – driven by unexpectedly strong demand for electric & electronic products – was a surprise this quarter. MIDF Research head of strategy Syed Muhammed Kifni Syed Kamaruddin said only six out of 10 of the companies under the research house’s coverage have

announced their financials. About 38% of the results exceeded expectations, 17% disappointed and the remaining 45% fell within expectations, he added. For comparison, Kifni pointed out that the quarter saw the highest percentage of outperformers in the past five was 22%. “Hence the 4Q’20 results season can thus far be categorised as very encouraging,” he said. Going forward, he opined that the gradual strengthening of the ringgit, as well as the firming of commodity prices, particularly crude oil and crude palm oil price, will attract funds to the local equity market and underpin recovery in the primary sector of the economy to the direct benefit of commodity-related companies, respectively. On crude palm oil, Lee and Wan opined that favourable prices commanded by the commodity is likely to continue for the first half of the year but are expected to taper down in the second half of the year. “An expectation of a bumper harvest in the second half of 2021 could translate into depressed prices for the sector,” according to Wan.

China’s factory activity expanson slows in February BEIJING: China’s factory activity expanded in February at a slower pace than a month earlier, hitting the lowest level since last May and missing market expectations after brief Covid-19-related disruptions earlier in the year. The official manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) fell to 50.6 from 51.3 in January, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed yesterday, remaining above the 50-point mark that separates growth from contraction. Analysts had expected it to decline to 51.1. Chinese factory activity normally goes dormant during the Lunar New Year break as workers return to their home towns. This year, the government appealed to workers to remain local to curb the spread of Covid19. Generally, China’s economic recovery has been gathering pace due to robust exports, pent-up demand and government stimulus. The official PMI, which largely focuses on big and state-owned firms, showed the sub-index for new export orders was 48.8 in February compared with 50.2 in January, slipping back into contraction after months boosted by overseas demand. A sub-index for activity among small firms stood at 48.3 in February versus 49.4 a month earlier. Smaller firms were more affected by the seasonal effects of the Lunar New Year, said Zhao Qinghe, an official with the NBS in comments released with the data. A sub-index for employment in the

Chinese factory activity normally goes dormant during the Lunar New Year break as workers return to their home towns but this year, the government appealed to workers to remain local to curb the spread of Covid-19.. – REUTERSPIX official PMI stood at 48.1 in February, down from January’s 48.4 as firms laid off more workers and at a faster pace. Still, some manufacturing sector firms are seeing increasing pressure from rising labour costs and a shortage of workers, said Zhao. China’s factory gate prices rose on year in January for the first time in a year, as months of strong manufacturing growth pushed raw material costs higher. China eked out 2.3% economic growth

last year. This year, the government may avoid setting a growth target for fear of provincial economies feeling pressured to take on more debt, policy sources previously told Reuters. China will reinforce policy support for foreign trade and ensure the smooth operation of supply chains, its new commerce minister said earlier this week. In the services sector, activity expanded for the 11th consecutive month but at the slowest pace in a year. – Reuters

11 * SUNBIZ

theSUN ON MONDAY | MARCH 1, 2021

LEGALLY SPEAKING

Covid-19 – no vaccine, no job? WITH the first phase of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme moving forward as scheduled, and the reopening of various economic sectors subject to strict standard operating procedures, corporations will now have to consider, especially from an employment law perspective, whether their employees must get the Covid-19 vaccine before they are allowed to return to the workplace. In essence, this consideration stems from the absence of any legislation compelling employers to ensure their employees are vaccinated. The duty to provide a safe system of work vs the employee autonomy The duty to provide a safe system of work is codified under section 1(1) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1994 (OSHA 1994) which imposes a duty on employers to ensure the safety, health and welfare of their employees. Consequently, employers must now contemplate the importance of introducing policies and tackling the issue of whether they will compel their employees to be vaccinated. Alternatively, employers may need to consider whether it would suffice to only compel employees within a certain category or job description to get vaccinated. It is imperative when evaluating this, that employers should ensure it is not a one-sided decision and to take into account their employees’ feedback on this matter. This is particularly important as not every employee will react positively to the idea of vaccination (even if funded by their employers) following concerns about adverse medical reactions to the Covid-19 vaccine. Would an employer be able to justify compulsory vaccination? At a press conference in January, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin stressed that the government has no plans to make the Covid-19 vaccine compulsory. Therefore, while employers are generally not encouraged to compel their employees to get vaccinated, there may be justifiable exceptional circumstances requiring compulsory vaccinations. Healthcare workers or frontliners who are at higher risk may fall within the category of employees requiring compulsory vaccination, given their daily exposure to Covid-19 patients. By doing this, it may not only provide a safety net for the frontliners themselves, but also for patients who receive treatment at the hospitals. The ease of transmission of the Covid-19 virus between healthcare workers and their patients can be seen in the two clusters identified in Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah, Klang – the Batu Sembilan Cluster and the

Employers must be mindful of the various legal considerations and repercussions when it comes to formulating employee-centred policies relating to the Covid-19 vaccine. – REUTERSPIX Yayasan Cluster, which affected 62 medical staff and 81 patients. Another category of employees most likely to be compelled to be vaccinated before they are allowed to commence work would be the foreign employees and expatriates from high-risk countries. What if an employee refuses to be vaccinated? The refusal to be vaccinated is unlikely to amount to just cause for termination. One may argue that the cause for termination is intertwined with the nature of employment; however, termination on such grounds would arguably be seen as an extreme measure, given that countries like Australia, Singapore and the US are not making the Covid-19 vaccination compulsory. In January, the case of an in-home care worker in Australia who lost her job after refusing to take the Covid-19 vaccine (as compelled by her employer’s vaccination policy) was heard before the Australian Fair Work Commission. The employee argued that the requirement was unreasonable given the anaphylactic reaction she previously had to a flu shot she received as a child. In considering the reason for her refusal, the Commission ruled that the care worker had a basis to argue that she had been unfairly dismissed by her employer. While this is an Australian decision by the Commission, it could set the tone on how courts may treat cases where employees who refuse to be vaccinated are dismissed. In light of this,

while employees in the healthcare industry are more likely to be compelled to receive vaccination as a condition of employment, there could be exceptions to this rule, especially when it comes to employees who may be likely to exhibit adverse reactions to the Covid-19 vaccine. Ultimately, the duty would remain with the employer to mitigate the risk of potential transmission of the Covid-19 virus at the workplace despite the vaccine. Conclusion With the Covid-19 virus disrupting our lives and businesses at unprecedented levels, the development of Covid-19 vaccines has been positively received by many, in the hope of being able to return to our pre-pandemic lives. However, the emergence of Covid-19 vaccines comes with its own set of legal and other challenges, especially from the employment law perspective. Therefore, employers ought to be mindful of the various legal considerations and repercussions when it comes to formulating employee-centred policies relating to the Covid-19 vaccine. Given the likelihood of various novel legal issues arising following the rollout of the Covid19 vaccines, employers should consider the legal position carefully, and seek legal advice before formulating these policies. This article was contributed by Michelle Lim from Christopher & Lee Ong.

WARRANTS WATCH

Heightened volatility in markets, HSI’s bullish run ends FOLLOWING the largely bullish start to 2021, the Hang Seng Index (HSI) lost its bullish momentum last week as it tumbled from a 32month high of 31,084.94 on Feb 17 to close at 28,980.21 for the month, 5.4% lower week on week, though still seeing a 2.5% rise month on month. Volatility rose last week, with the index alternating each day between rising and falling, and finally plunging 3.6% on Friday, in line with the broader markets, as a rout in global bonds sent yields flying and dampened appetite for riskier assets, resulting in heavy selling in sectors such as consumer, healthcare and new energy firms (Reuters, Feb 26). HSI warrants saw a total of RM116.8 million’s worth traded, about 30% of last week’s total turnover of RM406.4 million. Put warrant HSI-HGK and call warrant HSI-CFK placed first and second in the top traded warrants by turnover,

Top warrants by value traded Warrant name

Value (RM mil)

Issuer

Exercise level/price

Expiry date

HSI-HGK HSI-CFK D&O-CB VS-C43 SP500-HR

52.6 38.8 22.6 14.1 10.7

Macquarie Macquarie Kenanga Kenanga Macquarie

27,000 31,000 RM1.88 RM2.48 3,500

28 May 2021 29 Jun 2021 8 Nov 2021 27 Sep 2021 21 Jun 2021

respectively. Warrant investors net bought 17.1 million units of the call warrant HSI-CFK over the week, with 12.3 million units net bought on Friday alone as investors expect the index to stage a rebound in the coming week. They net sold the put warrant HSI-HGK, with the largest movement of 11.1 million net sold in one day last Wednesday as the warrant bid price rose 37.8% on that day, moving in an opposite direction to the 3% decline in the HSI. Both these warrants have an

effective gearing of around 10 times, meaning the warrant price tends to move by 10% for every 1% change in the underlying. Meanwhile, warrants over the S&P 500 Index and the iShares China A50 ETF (A50CHIN) also drew attention the last week, collectively taking up 4.8% of trading value. Put warrant SP500HR made it into the top traded list with RM10.7 million traded as the SP500 closed at 3,811.15 on Friday, down 2.4% on the week. On the local front, call warrant

D&O-CB came in third on the top traded list with RM22.6 million traded as the shares of underlying, semiconductor company D&O Green Technologies rose for an impressive fifth consecutive week, finishing at RM4.02, 12% higher. The shares jumped 19.8% on Thursday after it reported an alltime high full-year earnings. To view the full list of structured warrants available on Bursa Malaysia, visit malaysiawarrants.com.my. Provided for Malaysian residents’ information only. This commentary has not been reviewed by the Securities Commission Malaysia. It is not an offer or recommendation to trade and is not research material. Past performance is not indicative of future performance. You should make your own assessment and seek professional advice. The warrants will not be offered to any US persons.

AMMB in RM2.83b settlement with finance ministry on 1MDB transactions PETALING JAYA: AMMB Holdings Bhd has reached a global settlement of RM2.83 billion with the Finance Ministry (MOF), following the review by the relevant authorities of historical transactions by 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and its related entities. “The group has since strengthened and enhanced its processes to meet the current stringent regulatory standards. To this end, the AMMB Group has decided to resolve these historical matters to allow the group to focus fully on its business. “In this respect, the AMMB Group has to date reached an agreement with MOF for a sum of RM2.83 billion to be paid towards the full and final settlement in relation to all these historical matters,” it said in a statement on Friday. As a result of the settlement, the group said, a material impact on its financial results for the period ending March 31, 2021 is expected, as a provision for the sum of RM2.83 billion will be reflected in its fourth quarter earnings. Consequently, the group will not be proposing any final dividends for the year ending March 31. “The group remains financially resilient and has sufficient financial resources to absorb this settlement without having to raise additional equity capital.” As of Dec 31, 2020 the proforma impact to Core Equity Tier 1 and Total Capital Ratio is estimated to be reduced from 13.52% to 11.01%; and 16.39% to 13.88%, respectively after the proposed provision for the global settlement. AMMB stressed that as part of the global settlement it will continue, as it has for the past five years, to strengthen its fundamentals, particularly in terms of corporate governance, by continuing to improve its systems and processes to strengthen due diligence.

Chinese investment in Australia sinks 61% in 2020 SYDNEY: Chinese investment in Australia fell by 61% in 2020 to the lowest level recorded by the Australian National University (ANU) in six years, coinciding with a worsening diplomatic dispute. The annual tracking study from the university's East Asian Bureau of Economic Research recorded A$1 billion (RM3.17 billion) of Chinese investment in 2020, consisting of real estate (45%), mining (40%) and manufacturing (15%) deals. Shiro Armstrong, the bureau director, said: “It reflects the effects of Covid but also more scrutiny of foreign investment by the Australian government, particularly that from China,“ he said. Chinese investment in Australia peaked at A$16.5 billion in 2016. – Reuters

12 theSUN ON MONDAY | MARCH 1, 2021 SUNBIZ

Why are oil prices trending upwards?

QSR Brands appoints Jamaludin as chairman

oThe macro landscape for the energy market at the moment is pretty strong WE have again made the right call in 2021 in the oil market. As the year commenced, we at Juwai IQI shared with our valued clientele, through our newsletter, that according to our global market intelligence reconnaissance, oil prices will meander around US$50 to US$70 a barrel and that the forward price curve is very strong in the market. Oil prices are up 29% trading at US$66.17 a barrel as of Feb 23, 2021. Many investors are now asking me that if higher oil prices are upon us. It looks very likely, but the March 4 Opec meeting is important for the oil market as it provides forward guidance to the investors. Goldman Sachs, UBS and Juwai IQI are bullish on the energy market which is based on a solid premise. The macro landscape for the energy market at the moment is pretty strong and oil prices are heading in the northern territory. I have been quite buoyant since November 2020, as I have been sharing in the market with press and media that the most bullish signals are: 1. The geopolitical risk is growing bigger than ever with tight supplies. 2. A depreciating dollar would support the higher price call in the near future. Many oil pundits working in North America were predicting oil prices at US$1020/barrel since last year and bragging about shale gas revolution. Pretty delusional. Many shale gas companies in the US are bankrupt

with zero cash flows and zilch capex structure. According to the latest update from Goldman Sachs: “Brent prices will reach US$70/bbl in 2Q21 and US$75/bbl in 3Q (US$10 above the prior forecasts). We expect this rally to be driven by both rising long-dated prices as well as a sustained steep level of backwardation. This leads us to recommend investors go long either (1) a front-month rolling index to capture a crossasset high 10% level of annualised carry, or (2) the Dec-21 Brent future position that we first recommended last August. We in turn recommend consumers restart hedging forward price exposure while producers wait to add to hedges.” Strategic market insights According to the latest report from Baker

Hughes’ rig count showed that as of Jan 31, 2021, there were just 295 rigs in the US drilling for crude oil — more than 400 fewer rigs than were active a year ago. Global capital expenditure is down by US$100US$300 billion, supply constraints and increasing demand, all are heading in one direction, that is, spot prices are higher than future prices. Backwardation is back in the energy market. Energy demand remains strong and is back in the market. Oil is set for a strong bounceback in 2021. It’s only a matter of time until global demand climbs back over 100 million barrels per day by first quarter 2022 or second quarter 2022 as the supply/demand equation is getting tight in the energy market calculus. This article was contributed by Juwai IQI global chief economist Shan Saeed (pix).

PETALING JAYA: QSR Brands (M) Holdings Bhd has appointed Tan Sri Jamaludin Ibrahim (pix) as chairman effective today. Prior to this appointment, Jamaludin’s last executive position was at Axiata Group Bhd where he retired on Dec 31, 2020. He was the managing director/president & group CEO for almost 13 years since its inception in 2008. Prior to that, he was the group CEO of Maxis Communications Bhd. “It is a great honour and responsibility to be appointed as chairman of QSR Brands. I look forward to partnering with the managing director, Nehchal Khanna, the board and the team at QSR Brands to further transform and solidify our position as the leading food chain brand that is entrusted to feed the hearts and minds of Malaysians and our customers in the region,” Jamaludin said in a statement. QSR is the first and only fully integrated food operator in Malaysia and franchise owner of KFC restaurants in Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, and Cambodia, as well as Pizza Hut restaurants in Malaysia and Singapore. Jamaludin is a member of the country’s Economic Action Council. He is also a member of the national Digital Economy and Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) Council.Both councils are chaired by the prime minister. Jamaludin has also served the government in many other roles.

Buffett optimistic on US and Berkshire, buys back record US$24.7 billion of stock NEW YORK: Warren Buffett’s enthusiasm for the future of America and his company Berkshire Hathaway Inc has not been dimmed by the coronavirus pandemic. Buffett used his annual letter to investors to assure he and his successors would be careful stewards of their money at Berkshire, where “the passage of time” and “an inner calm” would help serve them well. Despite the disappearance last year of more than 31,000 jobs from Berkshire’s workforce, Buffett retained his trademark optimism, buying back a record US$24.7 billion (RM100 billion) of its stock in 2020 in a sign he considers it undervalued. He also hailed the economy’s capacity to endure “severe interruptions” and enjoy “breathtaking” progress. “Our unwavering conclusion: Never bet against America,” he said. Tom Russo, a partner at Gardner, Russo & Gardner in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and longtime Berkshire investor, said: “He’s a deep believer in his company and the country.” The letter breaks an uncharacteristic silence for the 90year-old Buffett, who has been almost completely invisible to the public since Berkshire’s annual meeting last May. But while touching on familiar themes, including Wall Street bankers’ avarice for dealmaking fees that benefit them more than

Buffett at Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholder meeting in Omaha, in May 2019. On Saturday, he hailed the US economy’s capacity to endure “severe interruptions” and enjoy “breathtaking” progress. – REUTERSPIX companies they represent, Buffett did not dwell on the pandemic, a prime factor behind Berkshire’s job losses. He also did not address recent social upheavals or the divisive political environment that some companies now address more directly. “The letter highlighted the innovation and values that have become the backbone of America, and that’s perfectly acceptable,” said Cathy Seifert, an analyst at CFRA

Research with a “hold” rating on Berkshire. “Given the reverence that investors have for him, the letter was striking for what it omitted,“ she added. “A new generation of investors demands a degree of social awareness, and that companies like Berkshire set out their beliefs, standards and goals.” Buffett also signalled a long-term commitment to Apple Inc, where Berkshire ended 2020 with US$120.4

billion of stock despite recently selling several billion dollars more. He called Apple and the BNSF railroad Berkshire’s most valuable assets – “it’s pretty much a toss-up” – other than its insurance operations, and ahead of Berkshire Hathaway Energy. “The family jewels,” he called those four investments. Berkshire on Saturday also reported net income of US$35.84 billion in the fourth quarter, and US$42.52 billion for the year, both reflecting large gains from its stocks. Operating income, which Buffett considers a more accurate measure of performance, fell 9% for the year to US$21.92 billion. The stock buybacks have continued in 2021, with Berkshire repurchasing more than US$4 billion of its own stock. It ended 2020 with US$138.3 billion of cash. However, Buffett bemoaned fixed income as an investment, saying that “bonds are not the place to be these days.” The income from a 10-year US Treasury bond fell 94% from a 15.8% yield in September 1981 to 0.93% at the end of 2020. Benchmark Treasury yields have jumped since but are still low by historic measures. “Fixed-income investors worldwide – whether pension funds, insurance companies or retirees – face a bleak future,” the letter said. Berkshire, based in Omaha,

Nebraska, has more than 90 operating units including the BNSF railroad, Geico car insurer, Dairy Queen ice cream and See’s candies. Its workforce declined 8% from a year earlier to about 360,000 employees. Bigger drops were reported at BNSF, which shed 5,600 jobs, and See’s, where employment fell 16%. The pandemic hit no Berkshire business harder than Precision Castparts Corp, which shed 13,473, or 40%, of its jobs. Berkshire bought the aircraft and industrial parts maker in 2016 for US$32.1 billion, Buffett’s largest acquisition, and took a US$9.8 billion writedown as the pandemic decimated travel and punished Precision’s aerospace customers. “I paid too much for the company,” Buffett wrote. “I was simply too optimistic about PCC’s normalised profit potential. “PCC is far from my first error of that sort,“ he said. “But it’s a big one.” Berkshire said some businesses are beginning to recover form the pandemic. “Certainly 2021 is going to be a much stronger year, dependent upon the speed of vaccinations and the opening of the US economy,” said Jim Shanahan, an analyst at Edward Jones & Co with a “buy” rating on Berkshire. – Reuters

13 * SPORTS

theSUN ON MONDAY | MARCH 1, 2021

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IN THE MATTER OF INGENIOUS PROPERTIES SDN. BHD. (Company No. 199501031113 [360319-M]) (In Members’ Voluntary Liquidation) NOTICE OF FINAL MEETING NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN pursuant to Section 459 of the Companies Act, 2016 that the final meeting of the abovenamed Company will be held on Friday, 2nd April 2021 at 11.am at No. 8-01, Jalan Bestari 5/2, Taman Nusa Bestari, Iskandar Puteri, Johor for the following purposes:1. To receive an account from the liquidators showing the manner in which the winding up has been conducted and to hear explanations that may be given by the liquidators. 2. To determine by ordinary resolution in the manner in which the books, accounts and documents of the Company and the liquidators thereof shall be disposed of. ALINA BINTI MOHD TAHIR Liquidator Dated this 1st March 2021 Johor Bahru Note : A member entitled to attend and vote at the above meeting is entitled to appoint a proxy to attend and vote instead of him. A proxy need not be a member of the company.

IN THE MATTER OF THE COMPANIES ACT, 2016 AND IN THE MATTER OF PRIMA COATING SDN BHD (390745-H) (IN MEMBERS’ VOLUNTARY WINDING-UP) NOTICE OF FINAL MEETING NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that pursuant to Section 459(2) of the Companies Act, 2016, the Final Meeting of the Contributories of the Company will be held at No. 3-1, Jalan Indrahana 2, Off Jalan Kuchai Lama, 58200 Kuala Lumpur on 2nd April, 2021 at 10.00 a.m. for the following purposes of:i) To receive an account from the liquidator showing the manner in which the winding up has been conducted and of hearing any explanations that may be given by the liquidator;

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IN THE MATTER OF THE COMPANIES ACT, 2016 AND IN THE MATTER OF MESTI UNTUNG ENGINEERING SDN. BHD. (201501008733 (1134068-W)) (IN MEMBERS’ VOLUNTARY WINDING UP) NOTICE OF RESOLUTION NOTICE IS HEREBY given pursuant to Section 439(2) of the Companies Act, 2016, that the Special Resolution set out below was duly passed by the members of the Company on Tuesday 23 February 2021: 1. THAT, the company will be liquidated by way of members’ voluntary winding up. 2. THAT Lee Chan Hing of Lee Yip Tax Advisory Sdn. Bhd., 13 Persiaran Greentown 5, Pusat Perdagangan Greentown, 30450 Ipoh, Perak Darul Ridzuan be appointed as Liquidator to act for the purpose of winding-up the company’s affairs and distributing its assets. 3. THAT, the said Liquidator be and is hereby authorised to distribute either in cash, specie or in kind amongst the contributories the assets of the company in accordance with their respective rights and interest therein. 4. THAT, the Liquidator be indemnified by the company against all costs, charges, losses, expenses and liabilities sustained by him in the execution and discharge of his duties as liquidator and in relation hereto. Goh Yok Tek Director Ipoh, Perak Dated: 1 March 2021 NOTICE FOR CREDITORS NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the creditors of the abovenamed Company which is being wound up voluntarily are required on or before 31 March 2021 to send their names and addresses with particulars of their debts or claims and the names and addresses of their solicitors (if any) to the undersigned, the Liquidator of the said Company; and if so required in writing from the said Liquidator, are by their solicitors or personally to come in and prove their debts or claims at such time and place as shall be specified in such notice or in default thereof they will be excluded from the benefits of any distribution made before such debts are proven. Lee Chan Hing Liquidator Ipoh, Perak

TAN BOON SENG - Liquidator A member entitled to attend and vote at this Meeting is entitled to appoint another person (whether a member or not) as his proxy to attend and vote in his stead. Proxy forms must be deposited with the Liquidator at the above address not less than 48 hours before the meeting. IN THE MATTER OF THE COMPANIES ACT, 2016 AND IN THE MATTER OF YNK LINK SDN. BHD. 201401021047 (1097133-T) (In Members’ Voluntary Liquidation) At a general meeting duly convened and held at No. 5-3-7, 3rd Floor, Jalan 3/109F, Danau Business Centre, Taman Danau Desa, Off Jalan Klang Lama, 58100 Kuala Lumpur on the 25th day of February, 2021 the following Special Resolution was duly passed:“That the Company be wound up voluntarily and that Mr. Gan Kok Hwa of No. 1, Jalan PU 9/6A, Taman Puchong Utama, 47100 Puchong, Selangor be appointed as Liquidator for the purpose of such winding-up.” Teoh Peng Hua Director Kuala Lumpur Dated this 25th day of February, 2021 NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN THAT the Creditors of the above named Company, which is being voluntarily wound up, are required on or before 25th day of March, 2021 to send in their names and addresses and the particulars of their debts and claims and the names and addresses of their solicitors (if any) to Mr. Gan Kok Hwa of No. 5-3-7, 3rd Floor, Jalan 3/109F, Danau Business Centre, Taman Danau Desa, Off Jalan Klang Lama, 58100 Kuala Lumpur, the Liquidator of the said Company and if so required by notice in writing from the said Liquidator, to come in personally and be represented by the solicitors to prove the said debts or claims at such time and place as shall be specified in such notice or in default thereof they will be excluded from the benefit of any distribution made before such debts or claims are proved. Gan Kok Hwa Liquidator Kuala Lumpur Dated this 25th day of February, 2021

Notices

… but Koepka, Simpson and McIlroy lurk at WGC

C

IN THE MATTER OF THE COMPANIES ACT, 2016 AND IN THE MATTER OF SEOK PROPERTIES SDN. BHD. (200101022513 (558271-H)) (IN MEMBERS’ VOLUNTARY WINDING UP)

OLLIN MORIKAWA went on a front-nine birdie spree to open a two-shot lead at 15-under after three rounds of the World Golf Championships – Workday Championship at The Concession in Bradenton, Florida. Morikawa, the 2020 PGA Championship winner, had six birdies over his first nine holes, including a career-best five consecutive starting at No. 5, and shot a 5-under 67 in the third round. The second of those five consecutive birdies came at the par3 sixth hole, moving Morikawa into sole possession of the lead at 12under. It came as Australia’s Cameron Smith fell from the top spot after a triple-bogey 7 at No. 5, when he found the water twice.

NOTICE is hereby given pursuant to Section 439 of the Companies Act, 2016, that the special resolution set out below was duly passed by the members of the Company at a General Meeting held on 26 FEBRUARY 2021. “That the Company be wound up voluntarily and that Ms. WOON MEE MEE @ SEOK MEE MEE (NRIC No.: 710218-10-5726) of 21, Jalan Perdana 5/2, Pandan Perdana, 55300 Kuala Lumpur, W.P. Kuala Lumpur be and is hereby appointed as Liquidator for the purposes of such winding up with all powers given by Section 456 of the Companies Act, 2016.” WOON MEE FOONG @ SEOK MEE FOONG Director Kuala Lumpur Date: 01 MARCH 2021 IN THE MATTER OF THE COMPANIES ACT, 2016 AND IN THE MATTER OF SEOK PROPERTIES SDN. BHD. (200101022513 (558271-H)) (IN MEMBERS’ VOLUNTARY WINDING UP)

NELLY KORDA grabbed a one-shot lead heading into the final round of the Gainbridge LPGA, firing five birdies in a four-under 68 at Lake Nona in Orlando, Florida. Korda’s second straight 68 gave her a 13-under total of 203, one shot clear of Patty Tavatanakit, who stormed home with three straight birdies in a six-under 66. World No. 1 Ko Jin-young of South Korea also carded a 66 to head a group sharing third on 206, alongside American Angel Yin (65) and New Zealand’s overnight leader Lydia Ko, who posted an even par 72. Korda, ranked fourth in the world, started the day one behind Kiwi Ko and after six straight pars picked up birdies at the seventh, ninth and 12th. She bounced back from her lone bogey of the day at 13 with back-to-back birdies at the 15th and 16th. “I think I just played pretty consistent all day,” Korda said. “Any time you can get ahead

WOON MEE MEE @ SEOK MEE MEE Liquidator Lot No. C-UG-132, Level UG, 1 Shamelin Mall, 100 Jalan 4/91, Taman Shamelin Perkasa, 56100 Kuala Lumpur, W.P. Kuala Lumpur Date: 01 MARCH 2021

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IN THE MATTER OF THE COMPANIES ACT 2016 AND IN THE MATTER OF TENAKO INDUSTRIES SDN. BHD. [Registration Number : 198701007453 (166171-K)] (In Members’ Voluntary Winding Up)

Notices

At a General Meeting of Tenako Industries Sdn. Bhd. duly convened and held at Suite 28.02, 28th Floor, Menara Zurich, No. 15, Jalan Dato’ Abdullah Tahir, 80300 Johor Bahru, Johor on 25th February 2021, the following special resolutions were duly passed :MEMBERS’ VOLUNTARY WINDING UP THAT the Company be wound up voluntarily by way of members’ voluntary winding up pursuant to Section 439(1)(b) of the Companies Act 2016. APPOINTMENT OF LIQUIDATOR THAT Ms. Teo Huwi Yan of Suite 28.02, 28th Floor, Menara Zurich, No. 15, Jalan Dato’ Abdullah Tahir, 80300 Johor Bahru, Johor be and is hereby appointed as the Liquidator for the purpose of such winding up, with all the powers given by Section 456 of the Companies Act 2016. DISTRIBUTION OF SURPLUS ASSETS THAT the Liquidator be hereby authorised to divide all or such parts of the surplus assets of the Company as he shall think fit in specie or in kind amongst the members of the Company. Ong Koon Chong Director Dated this 1st March 2021 IN THE MATTER OF THE COMPANIES ACT 2016 AND IN THE MATTER OF TENAKO INDUSTRIES SDN. BHD. [Registration Number : 198701007453 (166171-K)] (In Members’ Voluntary Winding Up) NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Creditors of Tenako Industries Sdn. Bhd. are required on or before 30th March 2021 to send their names and addresses, details of their debts or claims and the names and addresses of their solicitors (if any) to the undersigned Liquidator and if so required by notice in writing from the said Liquidator, by their solicitors or personally, to come in and prove their debts or claims at such time and place as shall be specified in such notice, or in default thereof, they will be excluded from the benefit of any distribution made before such debts or claims are proved. Teo Huwi Yan Liquidator Suite 28.02, 28th Floor, Menara Zurich No. 15, Jalan Dato’ Abdullah Tahir 80300 Johor Bahru, Johor Dated this 1st March 2021

IN THE MATTER OF THE COMPANIES ACT, 2016 AND IN THE MATTER OF SANCTUARY DEVELOPMENT SDN. BHD. (CO. NO.: 199301010528 (265265-K)) NOTICE OF SELECTIVE SHARE CAPITAL REDUCTION BY WAY OF REPAYMENT OF SHARE CAPITAL NOTICE is hereby given pursuant to Section 117(10) of the Companies Act, 2016, that a Special Resolution to reduce the share capital of SANCTUARY DEVELOPMENT SDN. BHD. (CO. NO.: 199301010528 (265265-K)) (“the Company”) has been duly passed by the Members on 25 FEBRUARY 2021. An extract of the Special Resolution is set out below: THAT pursuant to Section 117 of the Companies Act, 2016 the Board of Directors be and is hereby given the authority to:Exercise the selective share capital reduction from RM400,000 comprising 400,000 units of ordinary shares to RM1,000 comprising 1,000 units of ordinary shares by way of repayment of share capital amounted to RM399,000. Pursuant to Section 118(2) of the Companies Act, 2016, any creditor of the Company may apply to the Court for the Special Resolution to be cancelled within six weeks from the date of the Special Resolution. A copy of the Solvency Statement made by all the Directors of the Company in relation to the reduction of share capital shall be available at the Company’s Registered Office at No. 29-2, Jalan 46A/26, Taman Sri Rampai, 53300 Kuala Lumpur, W.P. Kuala Lumpur, for inspection during business hours, by any creditor of the Company for a period of six weeks from the date of the Special Resolution. TAN CHING MENG Director Date: 01 MARCH 2021

CALL TO PLACE CLASSIFIED ADS

MS. SHOBA T 03 7784 8888 F 03 7784 4424

“I think anytime you have birdies like that you’re just kind of in the zone,” Morikawa said. “Golf was really simple, I was hitting great shots, got away with a great birdie putt that kind of hit the back of the cup, I think on 6, but other than that I was just hitting quality shots. “I was hitting my numbers, hitting my spots and that’s what feels great for literally the past couple weeks is that’s what I’ve been seeing.” Billy Horschel and Brooks Koepka were tied for second place at 13-under. Horschel shot a 3-under 69 thanks to a birdie at No. 16 and an eagle at the par-5 17th hole. Koepka shot a 2-under 70 despite working his way through a sore neck and shoulder. He had a one-shot

lead at the start of the third round. “Yeah, go get some treatment here now and get worked on in the morning, and from there just hope for the best,” said Koepka, who has been dealing with the discomfort since the Jan 21-24 event at La Quinta, California. “Hopefully it loosens up. I have to go through a whole bottle of Aleve and Advil just trying to make it for two days. It’s annoying because I spotted a few shots just to the field, but it is what it is.” Webb Simpson was alone in fourth place at 12 under after shooting a 3-under 69. Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy and defending champion Patrick Reed were tied for fifth place at 11-under. – AFP

Korda grabs lead as Ko falters

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the creditors of the above-named Company which is being voluntarily wound up, are required on or before 23 MARCH 2021 to send their names and addresses with particulars of their debts or claims and the names and addresses of their solicitors (If any) to the undersigned, the liquidator of the Company, and, if so required in writing from the liquidator, are, by their solicitors or personally to come in and prove their debts or claims at such time and place as shall be specified in such notice, or in default thereof they will be excluded from the benefits of any distribution made before such debts are proved.

Dated: 1 March 2021

ii) To resolve that under Section 518(3)(b) of the Companies’ Act, 2016, the books, accounts and documents of the Company be destroyed after the expiration of three (3) months from the date of the final meeting. Date: 1st March, 2021

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IN THE MATTER OF THE COMPANIES ACT, 2016 AND IN THE MATTER OF PK LUMBER CO. SDN. BHD. (198701002313 (160984-K)) (IN MEMBERS’ VOLUNTARY WINDING UP)

IN THE MATTER OF THE COMPANIES ACT, 2016 AND IN THE MATTER OF TAT KHENG TRADING SDN. BHD. (200601013708 (733459-W)) (IN MEMBERS’ VOLUNTARY WINDING UP)

NOTICE OF RESOLUTION

NOTICE OF RESOLUTION

NOTICE IS HEREBY given pursuant to Section 439(2) of the Companies Act, 2016, that the Special Resolution set out below was duly passed by the members of the Company on Tuesday 23 February 2021:

NOTICE IS HEREBY given pursuant to Section 439(2) of the Companies Act, 2016, that the Special Resolution set out below was duly passed by the members of the Company on Tuesday 23 February 2021:

1. THAT, the company will be liquidated by way of members’ voluntary winding up.

1. THAT, the company will be liquidated by way of members’ voluntary winding up.

2. THAT Lee Chan Hing of Lee Yip Tax Advisory Sdn. Bhd., 13 Persiaran Greentown 5, Pusat Perdagangan Greentown, 30450 Ipoh, Perak Darul Ridzuan be appointed as Liquidator to act for the purpose of windingup the company’s affairs and distributing its assets.

2. THAT Lee Chan Hing of Lee Yip Tax Advisory Sdn. Bhd., 13 Persiaran Greentown 5, Pusat Perdagangan Greentown, 30450 Ipoh, Perak Darul Ridzuan be appointed as Liquidator to act for the purpose of winding-up the company’s affairs and distributing its assets.

3. THAT, the said Liquidator be and is hereby authorised to distribute either in cash, specie or in kind amongst the contributories the assets of the company in accordance with their respective rights and interest therein.

3. THAT, the said Liquidator be and is hereby authorised to distribute either in cash, specie or in kind amongst the contributories the assets of the company in accordance with their respective rights and interest therein.

4. THAT, the Liquidator be indemnified by the company against all costs, charges, losses, expenses and liabilities sustained by him in the execution and discharge of his duties as liquidator and in relation hereto. Chan Chon Yee Director Ipoh, Perak Dated: 1 March 2021

4. THAT, the Liquidator be indemnified by the company against all costs, charges, losses, expenses and liabilities sustained by him in the execution and discharge of his duties as liquidator and in relation hereto. Tang Yoke Yue Director Ipoh, Perak Dated: 1 March 2021

NOTICE FOR CREDITORS

NOTICE FOR CREDITORS

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the creditors of the abovenamed Company which is being wound up voluntarily are required on or before 31 March 2021 to send their names and addresses with particulars of their debts or claims and the names and addresses of their solicitors (if any) to the undersigned, the Liquidator of the said Company; and if so required in writing from the said Liquidator, are by their solicitors or personally to come in and prove their debts or claims at such time and place as shall be specified in such notice or in default thereof they will be excluded from the benefits of any distribution made before such debts are proven.

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the creditors of the abovenamed Company which is being wound up voluntarily are required on or before 31 March 2021 to send their names and addresses with particulars of their debts or claims and the names and addresses of their solicitors (if any) to the undersigned, the Liquidator of the said Company; and if so required in writing from the said Liquidator, are by their solicitors or personally to come in and prove their debts or claims at such time and place as shall be specified in such notice or in default thereof they will be excluded from the benefits of any distribution made before such debts are proven.

Lee Chan Hing Liquidator Ipoh, Perak

Lee Chan Hing Liquidator Ipoh, Perak

Dated: 1 March 2021

Dated: 1 March 2021

Nelly Korda

of the pack going into Sunday is a positive. There are some good players there, so it’ll take good golf to win.” Thailand’s Patty was 2-under for the round through nine holes but made the most of the scoring opportunities offered on the back nine with birdies at 14, 16, 17 and 18. “I was driving the ball pretty well,” the Thai rookie said. “Hit it pretty well. Felt a little slow in the start. My body wasn’t feeling the best in the morning, but hung in there and got through it and just keep my head down, just kept playing golf.” LPGA great Annika Sorenstam, who parred her final hole on Friday to make the cut in her first tour start since 2008, seemed to run out of steam as she posted a seven-over 79. “I just put myself in really difficult positions and it’s hard to score, so it gets tiring,” said Sorenstam, who is playing the event as a tuneup for the US Senior Women’s Open. – AFP

Lyon joins Ashwin in solidarity over Ahmedabad wicket AUSTRALIA off-spinner Nathan Lyon has joined India counterpart Ravichandran Ashwin in defending Ahmedabad’s spin-friendly pitch where India thumped England inside two days of the day-night third Test last week. Several former England players questioned the suitability of the pitch after 30 wickets fell in five sessions in what was the shortest completed Test match since 1935. Ashwin launched an angry defence of the track on Saturday citing similar batting collapses in recent day-night Tests, saying batsmen were still not used to the pink-ball novelty. The spinner in Lyon was thrilled with the turn and irked by the criticism of the pitch that offered it. “We play on seaming wickets around the world and get bowled out for 47, 60. Nobody ever says a thing (about the pitch),” Lyon was quoted as saying by the Australian Associated Press. “But as soon as it starts spinning, everyone in the world seems to start crying about it. “I don’t get it. I’m all for it, it was entertaining.” The 33-year-old, a former pitch curator himself, said he was up all night watching the match. “It was absolutely brilliant. I’m thinking about bringing that curator out to the SCG (Sydney Cricket Ground).” He was also amused by England’s decision to field a pace-heavy attack on a spinners’ paradise with Jack Leach as their only specialist spinner. The selection blunder was all the more evident as part-time spinner and skipper Joe Root went on to claim his maiden five-wicket haul. “The best thing about this Test match that just passed is that England went in with four seamers,” Lyon said. “That will do me. I don’t need to say any more.” Lyon’s views echoed Ashwin, who hit back at claims that the Ahmedabad pitch was not a good surface as it assisted the spinners. “What makes a good surface? Who defines this? Seam on the first day, then bat well, then spin on the last two days? Come on, who makes all these rules? We need to get over it,” Ashwin said. – Reuters

14 theSUN ON MONDAY | MARCH 1, 2021 SPORTS

B

ARCELONA reignited their title hopes after Lionel Messi and Ousmane Dembele scored in a 2-0 victory over Sevilla yesterday to put them two points behind Atletico Madrid. Atletico still have two games in hand, the first of those coming against sixth-placed Villarreal overnight, but a dip in form from La Liga’s leaders has given their chasing rivals hope. Barca looked dead and buried a few weeks ago but this was their ninth win out of 10 in La Liga, a surge that has put them back in contention, with Atletico playing against Real Madrid next weekend. “We’ve taken some big hits and we have got up again,” said Barca’s Gerard Pique. “Of course the title race is on, there is confidence and a lot of hope in this team.” Sevilla started the day as arguably the form team at the top, having won all of their last six league games, the last five of those without conceding a goal. But they were second best at the Ramon

Barca reignite La Liga hopes Messi, Dembele on target as Koeman finds right formula to fire Catalan Sanchez Pizjuan, a dominant performance from Barcelona exposing them still as slightly short of Spain’s top three. It also creates an intriguing back-drop to Wednesday’s Copa del Rey semifinal second leg when these two teams meet again, with Barca hoping to overturn a 2-0 deficit at Camp Nou. Although Pedri and Ronald Araujo could be doubts after both were substituted in the

Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele (right) shoots at goal during yesterday’s La Liga match against Sevilla at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium. – REUTERSPIX

28/02/2021 (SUN)

5248/2021

second half with injury problems. “We believe we can come back but Wednesday is a different game,” said coach Ronald Koeman. “We have to play a perfect match, only then do we have a chance.” Koeman could well stick with his new 3-52 system, which saw Jordi Alba and Sergino Dest playing as wing-backs ahead of a back three and Dembele deployed up front

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alongside Messi. The Dutchman commended the defensive work of his players after the match, telling Spanish sports daily Marca: ”We tried to press our opponent by playing with three centrebacks and high wing-backs. “It made it easier for us to stop Sevilla playing. That was the key. It was a risky system. Without the ball, we pressed, we tried to play man to man. Our game without the ball was key. It was a very complete match.” The system left no place for Antoine Griezmann, who watched from the bench as Dembele and Messi combined well in attack. ”It’s not a message,” Koeman said on Griezmann’s lack of minutes. “We decided to change the system and, to be able to get in behind, we put Dembele up top. “With the first goal, we said that we needed someone quicker than Griezmann on Messi’s side. It’s not a punishment.” – AFP/Agencies

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Ron on target but Juve held CRISTIANO RONALDO scored his 19th goal this campaign but champions Juventus had to settle for a 1-1 draw at Hellas Verona in Serie A yesterday. “We managed to take the lead, which was the hardest part, it’s a pity not being able to hold it,“ said Juve coach Andrea Pirlo. Pirlo’s side paid for their many absences and a redesigned defence with Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini out injured and Danilo suspended. Also missing were Juan Cuadrado, Arthur and Paulo Dybala to injury with Alvaro Morata recovering from a viral infection. “We lacked experienced players, we had many youngsters on the pitch and there are details that they don’t understand,” continued Pirlo. “I asked Ronaldo and Alex Sandro to make their voices heard, but it wasn’t enough.” Ronaldo broke through four minutes after the break connecting with a perfect lay-off from Federico Chiesa to fire in.

SHORTS Leipzig keep pace with Bayern A LAST-GASP Alexander Sorloth goal sealed RB Leipzig’s dramatic 3-2 comeback win at home to Borussia Moenchengladbach yesterday and kept them in the thick of the Bundesliga title race. Leipzig fought back with second-half goals by Christopher Nkunku and Yussuf Poulsen before Sorloth’s winning header in the 93rd minute after Gladbach had led 2-0 at half-time. “We’ll try everything to keep the Bundesliga exciting,” said Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann. “We have to keep the momentum. It was an extremely important victory in terms of the table. “We didn’t look good when we conceded the goals, but were incredibly strong in the second half.” The victory keeps second-placed Leipzig two points behind leaders Bayern Munich, who earlier romped to a 5-1 home win over Cologne. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting headed Bayern into an early lead before Robert Lewandowski struck twice to increase his league tally to 28 goals this season. Serge Gnabry came off the bench to

Antonin Barak headed in an equaliser with quarter of an hour to go and the hosts were denied a late winner with keeper Wojciech Szczesny deflecting a Darko Lazovic effort onto the crossbar. Lazio’s European ambitions took a knock with a 2-0 loss at Bologna, days after a heavy defeat by Bayern Munich in the Champions League. Ciro Immobile missed a penalty with goals in either half from Ibrahima Mbaye and Nicola Sansone sealing all three points for Bologna who snapped their 15match winless league run against the Romans. “The missed penalty set the tone for the game,” said Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi. Inzaghi’s side showed signs of fatigue as they came off a 4-1 Champions League last 16, first leg loss to holders Bayern Munich. “We must forget about these two defeats which hurt. An ambitious team like ours needs to roll up our sleeves and do better.” – AFP claim two late goals behind closed doors at the Allianz Arena on his first appearance since tearing a thigh muscle in Bayern’s Club World Cup final win in Qatar.

Mbappe at the double as PSG cruise KYLIAN MBAPPE scored twice to take his tally to 18 goals in Ligue 1 this season as Paris Saint-Germain eased to a 4-0 victory at bottom club Dijon yesterday to keep the pressure on leaders Lille in the title race. Moise Kean and Danilo Pereira also scored for Mauricio Pochettino’s team, who bounced back from a 2-0 home defeat by Monaco last weekend and moved back up to second in the table, a point behind Lille. “I am very proud. We were very professional and it was important for us to get back to winning ways,” Pochettino told Canal Plus. PSG, who go to Bordeaux in midweek, have now won seven and lost two of Pochettino’s first 10 league games in charge. “The team needs to be more consistent in the league,” Pochettino added. “Of course it is a mental thing, but it is also physical, it is about performance.”

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theSUN ON MONDAY | MARCH 1, 2021

RESULTS & STANDINGS ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE: Crystal Palace 0 Fulham 0, Leicester 1 (Tielemans 6) Arsenal 3 (Luiz 39, Lacazette 47-pen, Pepe 52), Manchester City 2 (Dias 30, Stones 68) West Ham 1 (Antonio 43), West Brom 1 (Bartley 11) Brighton 0, Leeds 0 Aston Villa 1 (El Ghazi 5), Newcastle 1 (Lascelles 52) Wolves 1 (Neves 73). Man City Man Utd Leicester West Ham Chelsea Liverpool Everton Aston Villa Arsenal Tottenham Leeds Wolves Crystal Palace Southampton Burnley Brighton Newcastle Fulham West Brom Sheffield Utd

P 26 25 26 26 25 25 24 24 26 24 26 26 26 25 25 26 26 26 26 25

W 19 14 15 13 12 11 12 12 11 10 11 9 9 8 7 5 7 4 3 3

D 5 7 4 6 7 7 4 3 4 6 2 7 6 6 7 11 5 11 8 2

L 2 4 7 7 6 7 8 9 11 8 13 10 11 11 11 10 14 11 15 20

F 52 53 45 40 41 45 35 38 34 37 43 27 29 31 18 26 27 21 20 15

A Pts 16 62 32 49 30 49 31 45 25 43 34 40 35 40 26 39 27 37 27 36 44 35 33 34 43 33 43 30 30 28 33 26 44 26 32 23 55 17 41 11

CHAMPIONSHIP: Barnsley 2 Millwall 1, Birmingham 2 QPR 1, Blackburn 1 Coventry 1, Bournemouth 1 Watford 0, Brentford 2 Stoke 1, Luton 3 Sheffield Wednesday 2, Middlesbrough 1 Cardiff 1, Preston 3 Huddersfield 0, Rotherham 0 Reading 1, Swansea 1 Bristol City 3. TOP 10 Norwich Brentford Watford Swansea Reading Bournemouth Barnsley Cardiff Mid’boro Stoke

P 32 33 33 31 33 33 32 33 33 33

W 20 18 17 17 16 14 15 14 13 11

D 7 9 9 8 6 10 6 8 8 12

L 5 6 7 6 11 9 11 11 12 10

F 45 61 43 39 45 47 38 49 38 38

A Pts 25 67 35 63 24 60 22 59 37 54 32 52 36 51 35 50 35 47 37 45

LA LIGA: Eibar 1 (Diop 83) SD Huesca 1 (Ramírez 81), Sevilla 0 Barcelona 2 (Dembele 29, Messi 86), Alaves 0 Osasuna 1 (Barja 77), Getafe 3 (Arambarri 39, Mata 55, Alena 87) Valencia 0. TOP 10 P W D L F A Pts Atletico 23 17 4 2 45 16 55 Barcelona 25 16 5 4 55 22 53 Real Madrid 24 16 4 4 42 19 52 Sevilla 24 15 3 6 34 18 48 Real Sociedad 24 11 8 5 41 20 41 Villarreal 24 8 13 3 33 25 37 Real Betis 24 11 3 10 32 38 36 Levante 25 7 11 7 35 34 32 Athletic Bilbao 24 8 6 10 34 28 30 Granada 24 8 6 10 29 41 30 SERIE A: Spezia 2 Parma 2, Bologna 2 Lazio 0, Hellas Verona 1 Juventus 1. TOP 10 P W D L F A Pts Inter Milan 23 16 5 2 57 24 53 AC Milan 23 15 4 4 45 28 49 Juventus 23 13 7 3 45 20 46 Roma 23 13 5 5 47 35 44 Atalanta 23 12 7 4 53 31 43 Lazio 24 13 4 7 38 32 43 Napoli 22 13 1 8 47 25 40 Sassuolo 23 9 8 6 37 34 35 Hellas Verona 24 9 8 7 31 27 35 Sampdoria 23 9 3 11 33 34 30 BUNDESLIGA: Borussia Dortmund 3 Arminia Bielefeld 0, Bayern Munich 5 Cologne 1, VfL Wolfsburg 2 Hertha Berlin 0, VfB Stuttgart 5 Schalke 1, RB Leipzig 3 Borussia Moenchengladbach 2. TOP 10 P W D L F A Pts Bayern 23 16 4 3 67 32 52 RB Leipzig 23 15 5 3 43 20 50 Wolfsburg 23 12 9 2 37 19 45 E. Frankfurt 23 11 9 3 46 32 42 Dortmund 23 12 3 8 48 31 39 Leverkusen 22 10 7 5 40 24 37 Union Berlin 22 8 9 5 35 25 33 B. M’gladbach 23 8 9 6 40 36 33 Stuttgart 23 8 8 7 44 36 32 Freiburg 22 8 7 7 35 34 31 LIGUE 1: Bordeaux 1 Metz 2, Dijon 0 Paris Saint-Germain 4.

Magpies rue misfortune R Neves salvages point for Wolves against injury-stricken Newcastle

UBEN NEVES denied beleaguered Newcastle a priceless Premier League win as Steve Bruce’s relegation-threatened side had to make do with a point against Wolves. Skipper Jamaal Lascelles had headed the Magpies into a 52ndminute lead at St James’ Park but Neves levelled with an equallyimpressive headed finish 17 minutes from time to ensure that the game – like the previous four between the two sides – finished 1-1. However, both might have snatched victory in a late flurry during which Wolves defender Romain Saiss unwittingly blocked Joelinton’s shot on the line and saw the ball spin agonisingly over before home keeper Martin Dubravka,

restored to the starting line-up, turned substitute Fabio Silva’s pointblank header on to the crossbar in stoppage time. Skipper Lascelles says Newcastle “need to stop talking and put points on the board” after missing a chance to move further clear of the relegation while manager Bruce was concerned at losing the influential Miguel Almiron, saying he “fears the worst” about the Paraguayan’s injury. “We had very good chances and we are lost for words,” Lascelles told BBC’s Match of the Day. “We got a point but it should have been three points. A lot of positives but we need to stop talking and put the points on the board.” Bruce was frustrated by the space

Neves found himself in to score Wolves’ goal, admitting there was confusion over his side’s defensive positioning after Matt Ritchie replaced Emil Krafth. “The instructions Matty didn’t get on to the team quick enough on how we were doing it,” said Bruce. “When you look at the goal, we should have stopped the cross and when the keeper looks at it, could he have done better?” Wolves had won three of their past four heading into this one after a run of eight Premier League games without a win, but were lacking their recent clinical edge in the north east. Their return to form seems to have come since the arrival of forward Willian Jose, who has started the past six games since joining on

loan from Real Sociedad. But the Brazilian, who is yet to open his goalscoring account, struggled to make an impact and instead it fell to Neves to o find the net. “I’m not looking too much at the result. I’m looking more at the performance,” boss Nuno Espirito Santo said. “I think we had good spells of possession and found the right spaces. We were in the game in a good way. I’m disappointed with the way we conceded but the reaction was good. We finished the game well. “It’s not difficult to beat our best run of this season. Our expectations are high. We expect good things from the players.” – The Independent/Agencies

Villans outwit Leeds ANWAR EL GHAZI’S early goal clinched Aston Villa a 1-0 win at Leeds and lifted his side to within a point of the Premier League’s top six. Anwar was left unmarked to turn home the only goal from close range in the fifth minute and dogged defending saw Villa avenge their 30 home defeat to Leeds in October. Villa secured just their second win in seven League games on the road, while Leeds’ seesaw first season back in the top flight continued. Marcelo Bielsa’s side were denied back-toback home wins after Tuesday’s 3-0 defeat of Southampton and were rarely allowed to hit the same heights. When Raphinha went close to scoring inside the opening 30 seconds it appeared this would be another game at Elland Road this season that you could not take your eyes off. But while it ebbed and flowed in the first

half, Villa shut down their opponents after the interval and for Leeds the game ended in a whimper. “We dominated 80% of the game and the goal they scored was opportunism, Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa told BBC Sport. “In the first half we created enough chances to score a goal but in the second half we couldn’t finalise the attacks.” Now, with two games in hand on the sides above, Villa will be plotting a return to Europe for the first time since 2010. “Not many people would have fancied us against Leeds and they make you work hard,” Aston Villa manager Dean Smith said. “We got an early goal and showed lots of character. “We’ve got the chance (to finish in the top six) but there are some top teams in there. We’ll just take it game by game.” – The Independent/Agencies

484/21

28/02/2021

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01 08 18 23 25 27 31 36 Players from Middlesbrough and Cardiff City in action during the English Championship match at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday.

19 35

Cardiff run hits speed bump MIDDLESBROUGH ended Cardiff City’s run of successive wins as Paddy McNair’s close-range finish earned them a point in a 1-1 draw at the Riverside. The visitors were second best in the first half but took the lead against the run of play through a Sean Morrison header from a throw-in on 37 minutes. But McNair was able to get the vital touch after Aden Flint failed to clear late on. The draw sees Cardiff slip to eighth in the Championship and out of the playoff places, while Middlesbrough remain ninth. Cardiff’s revival under Mick McCarthy has been nothing short of incredible. The Bluebirds were 15th in the Championship when he took charge, but they have taken 21 points from a possible 27 since then and are a side positively brimming with confidence. The attention in this contest was always likely to centre around the two managers, who have managed 2,480 matches between them and who are both extremely popular figures in

the Welsh capital. McCarthy (912 games as manager) and former Bluebirds boss Neil Warnock (1,568 games) have both presided over big turnarounds in fortune for the South Wales club, with Cardiff heading into yesterday’s contest as the form side in the Championship. Former teammates at Barnsley, where McCarthy served as Warnock’s apprentice, both veteran managers are eyeing a playoff berth, with just three points separating their sides. “I think a draw was fair, yes, I couldn’t sit here and say we deserved to win the game,” McCarthy told BBC Sport. “I can sit here and say we should have won the game from that position. “I can say we will take the point as once they got momentum we had to fight it out. I will take the point all day. “That throw-in is a really good weapon, whoever is throwing it in, be it Will Vaulks or Rory Delap, because it is so flat.” – Wales Online

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QUOTE OF THE DAY

We managed to take the lead, which was the hardest part, it’s a pity not being able to hold it. We lacked experienced players, we had many youngsters on the pitch and there are details that they don’t understand. I asked Ronaldo and Alex Sandro to make their voices heard, but it wasn’t enough.” Juventus manager Andrea Pirlo

MONDAY • MARCH 1, 2021

Arteta delighted as Gunners hit back to beat Leicester

Arsenal’s Alexandre Lacazette (right) in action with Leicester City’s Ricardo Pereira during their English Premier League match at the King Power Stadium yesterday. – REUTERSPIX

ARSENAL delivered a hammer blow to Leicester’s faint hopes of winning the Premier League with an impressive fightback to win 3-1 yesterday. Mikel Arteta’s side fell behind to Youri Tielemans’ early goal at the King Power Stadium. They had lost nine of 11 League games when they conceded the opening goal this term. But David Luiz equalised and Alexandre Lacazette’s penalty gave the Gunners the lead just before half-time. Nicolas Pepe’s second half goal sealed Arsenal’s second win in their last six League games. The north Londoners’ stirring escape act left Leicester in third place, trailing leaders Manchester City by 13 points with 12 games remaining. After Thursday’s shock Europa League exit against Slavia Prague, it was a week to forget for Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers. Arsenal have virtually no chance of finishing in the top four, but this was still a significant result as it underlined the potential in Arteta’s team. With Arsenal languishing in mid-table, Arteta has prioritised winning the Europa League as his side’s only hope of qualifying for next season’s Champions League. Having picked his best team for the dramatic come-from-behind 3-2 win against Benfica in the last 32 second leg on Thursday, Arteta made six changes. He left Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Bukayo Saka on the bench after the long trip back from the neutral venue in Greece. Arsenal’s reshuffled line-up initially lacked cohesion and Leicester took advantage to open the scoring in the seventh minute. Tielemans was gifted time and space by the lumbering Granit Xhaka to break into the Arsenal area. Pablo Mari was slow to react to the danger, allowing the Belgian midfielder to advance unchecked before drilling a low strike into the far corner. Willian, who has endured a difficult first season at Arsenal after his move from

Chelsea, finally enjoyed a moment to savour as Arsenal drew level in the 39th minute. His out-swinging freekick arrowed towards Luiz and the defender stooped to direct a powerful header past Kasper Schmeichel from 10 yards. Arsenal took the lead in first half stoppage-time after Pepe’s cross hit Ndidi’s out-stretched arm and VAR ruled the block had taken place just inside the area. Lacazette stepped up to slam the penalty past Schmeichel for his 11th goal of the season. Leicester were on the ropes and Arsenal landed the knockout punch in the 52nd minute with a superb counter-attack. Xhaka found Pepe wide on the right and the Ivorian picked out Martin Odegaard on the edge of the area. Odegaard clipped a deft pass to Willian and his cutback was perfectly placed for Pepe to tap into the empty net. Arteta was delighted after the game, telling BT Sport: “I’m really proud of the team. “The connection we showed, passion and how we reacted to a disappointing start again because it puts this team in the worst scenario. “Then we looked composed, confident. The energy and the positiveness around the team was really good. We created some good moments and scored some good goals.” On whether he’s now found his best system, he continued: “Depends on the players we have available, the moment the team is living and the game plan we want to produce against the opponents. “It’s not that we have to rotate. I want to rotate and have the chance to the players. They deserve. The way they train everyday, behind all the players. “Only way to do it is to play them. You can use many ways to motivate but at the end of the day it is to be on the field. And I’m so pleased even making a lot of changes we were able to produce this performance.” – Express Newspapers

Grit of champions Guardiola hails below par City after record 20th consecutive win in all competition

T

HE mark of a champion side is one that can win when they are not playing well. Once again Manchester City found a way when a point would have sufficed and that is why they are streaking away with the Premier League. If City last season managed to come up with creative ways to beat themselves, the 20/21 version refuses to countenance anything other than winning. On Saturday, City made it a remarkable 20 consecutive wins across all competitions by overcoming a resilient West Ham at the Etihad. Goals from centrebacks Ruben Dias and John Stones gave the Citizens the full three points after Michail Antonio had levelled for the Hammers in the first half. West Ham were stubborn opposition but City eventually found a way through to continue an astonishing winning run that puts them 13 points clear of second-placed Manchester United, who play Chelsea overnight.

If they manage a draw or a victory against Wolves on Wednesday (4am Malaysian time), City will match their best-ever undefeated streak under two-time Premier League-winning boss Pep Guardiola. Guardiola hailed City’s record 20th consecutive win and said it was one of their “greatest achievements”. “It is so difficult,” he told the Manchester Evening News, when asked about the 20 wins, which have been cramed into the last 10 weeks, over the hectic winter schedule. “Twenty in this period, in this era, with this situation around the world, to be able to do 20 is maybe one of the greatest achievements we have done together in our careers. “A game every three days, with Covid situations, injury situations. Winning, the strength mentally.” Guardiola loves his teams to play beautiful football, but this time he was in awe of the sheer will which saw them through against a tough

West Ham, just three days after the Blues had a Champions League last 16 tie against Borussia Monchengladbach in Budapest. “Today we didn’t paint anything nice,” he said. “There are many of these games. We didn’t create much but we didn’t concede anything. “After 10 or 15 minutes we said, ‘OK we’re not going to paint something beautiful. Today’s the game to take the three points.’” The manager also said it was important that his squad and the fans brace themselves for the end of that winning run. “We want to do it, but in the same time we know (it will end) – what we have done so far is unusual, an exception,” he said. “Normally you drop points, a draw, defeats, that is the normality in football.” “Today we have to enjoy it. Tomorrow again and then prepare (for) Wolves, we don’t have time to rest.” Guardiola praised David Moyes’ Hammers and said his players were “lucky” to get all three

points given how well the visitors played. “Definitely (as tough as I expected). First of all the quality of the opponent after 26 fixtures, they’re fourth in the table, so it means a lot (to beat them),” the Catalan told BT Sport. “We were lucky, we were lucky for the players to take the three points.” There was talk in the aftermath of the 2-0 loss to Tottenham in November that this City team needed a rebuild. But since then they are 27 unbeaten across all competitions and have built a lead at the top of the table that seems uncatchable. They are able to clinch 98 points if they win their final 12 matches, having claimed 100 points and then 98 in their two title-winning 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons. Guardiola added of his side’s turnaround this term: “It’s not bad! After 12 or 13 years, that (statistic about the poor start) means the previous ones were so good. – Express Sports/Agencies

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