Agriculture Ministry slaps ban on Australian rockmelons over listeria concerns


MO,9/3/2018, CYBERJAYA: The Agriculture and Agro-based Ministry has imposed a temporary ban on imported rockmelons (cantaloupes) from Australia following reports of listeria contamination. Its minister, Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek, said that the ban is a safety measure to prevent a listeria outbreak here through the consumption of contaminated melons.

“Also, the Australian government stopped the export of its rockmelons after an outbreak in the country. “In this respect, we also advise Malaysians to be extra careful following the outbreak,” Ahmad Shabery said after the ministry’s excellent awards presentation on Friday. On Tuesday, the Health Ministry was reported as saying that rockmelons imported from Australia after March 1 are safe for consumption and not contaminated with listeria.

It said its Food Safety and Quality division is working closely with the Australian High Commission here on the matter. According to Australian authorities, the listeria outbreak in the country is linked to melons from a farm in Nericon, New South Wales. The growers there had voluntarily stopped producing melons since Feb 23, following the contamination.

It was reported that three people have died and 12 others have fallen ill from exposure to the Listeria monocytogenes bacteria, and that more cases are expected in Australia this week.


Source link

read more

Florida Senate rejects ban on assault weapons votes to arm teachers

FORT LAUDERDALE: The Florida Senate rejected a proposal to ban assault weapons, and voted for a measure to arm some teachers, weeks after 17 people were killed in the deadliest high school shooting in U.S. history.

An amendment that would have banned assault weapons attached to a wider bill failed on Saturday in a largely party-line vote, in response to the Feb 14 killing of 14 students and three faculty at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in the Fort Lauderdale suburb of Parkland.

The vote was 20-17 against the assault weapon ban, with two Republicans joining all of the senate’s 15 Democrats in support of the proposal, the Miami Herald reported.

The full bill, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act, is expected to pass the state Senate on Monday, then go to the Florida House.

After the Senate rejected the ban, Stoneman Douglas student Jaclyn Corin tweeted, “This breaks my heart, but we will NOT let this ruin our movement. This is for the kids.”

Fellow classmate David Hogg, who has become one of the school’s leading activists on gun safety, tweeted, “Elections are going to be fun!”

Also, an amendment to remove a provision to train and arm some teachers failed.

The bill raises the minimum age to buy a rifle or a shotgun to 21 from 18 and bans the use, sale or possession of bump stocks, which were used in the Oct 1 shooting deaths of 58 people in Las Vegas. The device effectively turns semi-automatic weapons into automatics.

The bill includes US$400 million in funding for schools to address mental health issues, the Herald reported.

Nikolas Cruz, the accused 19-year-old killer who was expelled from Stoneman Douglas, had a history of run-ins with the law and school officials. The Broward County school system and sheriff’s department have been criticized for not acting on red flags on Cruz’s mental health problems and potentially violent behavior.

Source link

read more

Malaysia’s ambassador to meet Indonesian minister over maid ban

PCFjoin 5

MO,20/2/2018, KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s Ambassador to Indonesia Datuk Seri Zahrain Mohamed Hashim will meet the Indonesian Manpower and Transmigration Minister over a proposal by Indonesia to ban its maids from coming here. Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid said he had contacted Zahrain over the matter and had asked the latter to convey four points to the Indonesian minister, Muhammad Hanif Dhakiri.

“The first is that abuse cases which have occurred are isolated; the second is that the Malaysian Government and its enforcement authorities will never protect or cover up any abuse cases, not just involving maids but all foreign workers here. “Third, we ask that the MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) between both countries which expired in 2016 be updated and that further negotiations must be carried out between both countries.

“Fourth, I asked Zahrain to convey that the commitment of the Malaysian Government to continue working with Indonesia must be accepted with an open heart because we need each other,” said Dr Ahmad Zahid, adding that Malaysia hoped to achieve a win-win outcome with Indonesia on the matter. Dr Ahmad Zahid said this at a media conference following the launch of the International Exhibition on National Security for Asia (Natsec) 2018 which will be held here from April 16-19.

The exhibition, which will showcase products and services related to national security, is organised by DSA Exhibition and Conference Sdn Bhd. It is hosted, supported and co-organised by the Home Ministry, the Defence Ministry, the Malaysian Armed Forces and the Royal Malaysia Police.


Source link

read more

Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand ready to retaliate on EU palm oil ban


MO,9/1/2018, KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand will retaliate if the EU’s ongoing discrimination and attack on the palm oil industry becomes legislative, said Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong. On April 4 last year, the EU Parliament made a resolution to introduce a single certification scheme for palm oil entering the EU market and phase out the use of palm oil based biodiesel by the end of 2020.

On Oct 23 last year, Industry, Research & Energy Committee (ITRE) endorsed the move and this was followed by support by the Parliament’s Environmental Committee (ENVI) on Nov 28. Mah noted that global trade politics is akin to crop apartheid as the EU Parliament has erected trade barriers. This risks breach of the EU’s World Trade Organisation (WTO) commitments and likely to jeopardise the Malaysia-EU Free Trade Agreement negotiations.

“If these hate campaigns and discriminatory policy against palm oil were to go on, we can also retaliate. Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand are collectively big purchasers of EU products,” Mah told reporters today. The minister was officiating at the Reach and Remind Friends seminar and dialogue organised by Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) here today.

Also present were Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry’s secretary general Datuk K. Yogeeswaran, Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) chairman Datuk Ahmad Hamzah, MPOB director general Datuk Dr Ahmad Kushairi Din and Malaysian Palm Oil Council chairman Datuk Lee Yeow Chor. For the past year, Mah said he had met and spoken with many EU ambassadors here.

“We hope the EU will do by right and stop discriminating against the global palm oil industry.” Mah reiterated that oil palm planters across Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand deserve equal opportunities to trade and the EU should stop discriminating palm oil in favour its own rapeseed and sunflower sector. He explained Malaysia’s 650,000 small farmers’ daily income and livelihoods are stunted by trade barriers put up by developed nations under the guise of environmental protection.

“Why is oil palm cultivation demonised when it is proven to be the most sustainable oil crop when compared to rapeseed and sunflower grown in the EU? “Why are our oil palm planters being discriminated? What we want are equal opportunities to trade our palm oil. Is that too much to ask?” he asked.

When asked to estimate Malaysia’s 2017 palm oil exports, Mah said it is expected to surpass RM75 billion. “This year, our planters are hopeful of a higher target of RM80 billion as production is forecast to surpass 20 million tonnes while prices firm up on strong global demand,” he added.



Source link

read more

U.S. top court lets Trumps latest travel ban go into full effect

WASHINGTON: The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed a victory to President Donald Trump by allowing his latest travel ban targeting people from six Muslim-majority countries to go into full effect even as legal challenges continue in lower courts. The court, with two of the nine justices dissenting, granted his administration’s request to lift two injunctions imposed by lower courts that had partially blocked the ban, which is the third version of a contentious policy that Trump first sought to implement a week after taking office in January.

Source link

read more

It makes no sense to ban the headscarf – CENBET

KUALA LUMPUR: Local hotel operators should be more flexible in imposing dress code for their employees.

The local management of international hotel chains should request their headquarters to waive the ban on
frontline female Muslim staff from wearing the headscarf.

Rightfully, the hospitality industry should reflect the country’s diversity, that has been a major draw
for foreign tourists over the years.

Islam is a major religion in this country and it makes no sense to ban the headscarf. Just because the rule has been in place for a long time does not make it right.

This issue should be considered in the wider context of plural Malaysia that celebrates diversity. Hotel
operators need to play their part in promoting the “Malaysia, Truly Asia” slogan.

They should protest one-size-fits-all rules that do not take into account local sensitivities, that reeks of discrimination.

So long as the attire does not hamper an employee from effectively carrying out their jobs, the clothing should not be banned.

On a related note, clothing preference is a personal choice. In public, no one should be told what is
proper attire and what is not, so long as it is within the confines of the law.

Of late, some government agencies had stepped into moral policing by denying entry into its premises, some members of the public deemed to have dressed inappropriately.

Such decisions are often arbitrary. These civil servants who try to impose their personal values on the public’s dress code, is behaving no differently from multinational companies imposing dress codes that are insensitive to local settings.

Such attitude is not helpful in a plural society, which ought to embrace diversity. Embracing diversity
can go a long way in building the much-needed bridges in a society riven by radicalized elements that
manifests in issues like how a shop in Johor only serves one ethnic group.

* Gan Ping Sieu is the Co-president of the Centre For A Better Tomorrow (CENBET)

Source link

read more
Show Buttons
Hide Buttons