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  1. KUALA LUMPUR: The Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah yesterday visited the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

    In the two-hour visit from 11.30 am Her Majesty was given a briefing about the museum that houses artistic treasures and artifacts of human creativity design belonging to the British state which are about 5,000 years old.

    Istana Negara in a statement on its Facebook account yesterday also said Her Majesty was accompanied by the wife of the Malaysian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Nor Ain Abdul Rahman.

    The visit to the Victoria and Albert Museum was among the itinerary for a 10-day special visit to the UK by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah and Tunku Hajah Azizah

    After the special visit, the Royal couple would be taking a rest in London beginning Sept 27 and is scheduled to return to Malaysia on Oct 23.-Bernama

  2. KUALA LUMPUR: The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah yesterday visited the Tun Abdul Razak Research Centre (TARCC) in Brickendonbury, Hertford, United Kingdom (UK).

    He was welcomed by TARCC chief executive officer Dr Lee Jiang Jun, its top management and staff upon his arrival at 9.40 am (local time).

    During the two-hour visit, His Majesty was given a briefing on the natural rubber development and research programme conducted at TARRC.

    Istana Negara said in a statement uploaded to its official Facebook page said His Majesty planted a Sweet Gum tree (Liquidambar styraciflua) in the TARRC compound to mark his visit, adding that the King also took the time to survey the facility.

    The Malaysian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Zakri Jaafar was on hand to accompany Al-Sultan Abdullah during the visit.

    Originally known as the British Rubber Manufacturers Research Association, TARRC is a research and promotion centre for the Malaysian Rubber Board which was established in 1938.

    Al-Sultan Abdullah and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah are in the United Kingdom for a 10-day special visit starting Sept 17.

    Their Majesties visited the Battersea Power Station in London as well as the Malaysian High Commission in Belgrave Square on Friday, where they spent time meeting with the Malaysian community in London.

    According to Istana Negara, Al-Sultan Abdullah is scheduled to leave for the second session with the Malaysian community in The Shire, London at 11 am (local time) today.

    Al-Sultan Abdullah is also scheduled to attend the Sandhurst Reunion Dinner at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, where His Majesty studied between 1978 and 1979.

    His Majesty will hold a meeting with the UK’s Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir Nicholas Carter to discuss bilateral military cooperation between Malaysia and the UK.

    Carter also attended the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst before.

    After the special visit, Their Majesties will stay back in London and are scheduled to return home on Oct 23.

    The special visit is His Majesty’s second to the UK since he became the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, with the first being a seven-day trip from Dec 9, 2019.-Bernama

  3. KUALA LUMPUR: Improving preparedness in the face of new waves or pandemics needs to be given attention in the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) to ensure that the country's health sector is at its level best.

    Occupational health, emergency and general health specialist Dr Hanafiah Bashirun said the readiness included the addition of ventilators as well as being ready to develop field hospitals at critical times.

    “We don’t know if there may be new viruses and new pandemics. Therefore, we must ensure that the health workforce is always sufficient in accordance with the current situation,“ he said when contacted by Bernama yesterday.

    Malaysian Public Health Physicians’ Association president Datuk Dr Zainal Ariffin Omar(pix) said as the country is moving into the endemic phase, there are three important things that needed to be focused on in the 12MP including enhancing surveillance in monitoring the sudden existence of large clusters and the existence of new variants so that the country is ready to act.

    In addition, health facilities also always need to be prepared to accommodate the increase in patients in the event of a sudden wave.

    In addition, he said health facilities needed to be added in three important areas, namely overcrowded and poor urban areas, rural and remote areas, as well as in Sabah and Sarawak.

    “(The government needs to) focus on this (area), increase facilities, add staff and add services, not just basic facilities, but also expertise and laboratories as it may reduce the focus on large hospitals in the city,“ he said when contacted yesterday.

    Zainal said the development of human resources should also be given attention in enhancing the expertise of physicians such as doctors, pharmacists and nurses, as well as providing training and expertise opportunities to be balanced with current needs.

    He said not only expertise in the field of infectious diseases, but non-communicable diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease as well.-Bernama

  4. KUALA LUMPUR: Reform is necessary to strengthen United Nations’ (UN) effectiveness as a multilateral organisation in a world that has changed significantly since the world body came into existence 75 years ago, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

    Reform is also needed to bring more transparency to the world body and enhance its credibility, he said.

    He said this in his inaugural speech at the General Debate of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York today, via a pre-recorded video. The text of his speech was made available to the media here by the Malaysian Foreign Ministry (Wisma Putra).

    “On this, we must work together to reform the organisation and we hope member states will demonstrate openness, flexibility and political will in the interest of international peace, security and prosperity,” he said.

    UN has to keep pace with a rapidly changing world as it continues to face a crisis of expectations, he said.-Bernama

  5. KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia strongly believes that the United Nations (UN) membership must speak with one voice on the need for an immediate cessation of hostilities in all corners of the world, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob(pix).

    He said this in his inaugural speech at the General Debate of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York today, via a pre-recorded video. The text of his speech was made available to the media here by the Malaysian Foreign Ministry (Wisma Putra).

    “It is unfortunate that the world is far from realising global ceasefire with many places still experiencing instability.

    “Malaysia will continue to do what it can in promoting peace and preventing conflict in the conduct of its foreign policy.

    “In this regard, Malaysia also reaffirmed its commitment towards global peace, security and prosperity by continuing to lead on the issuance of a Joint Communique on global ceasefire in June this year,” he said.

    The Prime Minister said Malaysia has always been a firm believer in all efforts and initiatives that promote peaceful coexistence between nations, different peoples, faiths and cultures.

    Commenting further on global ceasefire, he pointed to the situation in Myanmar since the military seized power from the civilian government on Feb 1 saying the situation in the country remains a grave concern for Malaysia.

    “Malaysia is particularly worried about the humanitarian situation, now further aggravated by Myanmar’s healthcare system which is stretched thin by the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.

    “It is absolutely essential for aid to reach those in need,” said Ismail Sabri, adding Malaysia currently hosts more than 150,000 refugees from Myanmar, who make up 86 per cent of its refugee population.

    He said Malaysia fully supports the work of the ASEAN Chair’s Special Envoy on Myanmar, but remains concerned as Myanmar’s authorities have yet to allow the envoy to visit the country.

    “We urge the authorities to accept the visit and assist the Special Envoy in his duties as well as expedite the implementation of the ‘Five-Point Consensus’ agreed upon by ASEAN,” he said.

    The 10-member bloc named Brunei’s second Foreign Minister Erywan Mohd Yusof as the special envoy to Myanmar to facilitate the mediation and dialogue process.

    On the issue of the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), Ismail Sabri said Malaysia is appalled by the deaths of many Palestinian civilians including women and children following the brutal attacks by Israel in May this year.

    “The systematic oppression of Palestinians over many years through discriminatory policies; denial of basic civil rights; imposition of harsh conditions; large scale land confiscation and inhumane acts committed against them is tantamount to the crime of apartheid,” he said.

    Malaysia reiterates its call for Israel be held responsible and accountable for all its wrongdoings, including its flagrant violations of international law.

    Malaysia also welcomed the establishment of an international commission of inquiry by the Human Rights Council to investigate violations of international human rights law during the 11-day crisis, he said.-Bernama