Sunday, January 29, 2017

Malaysians not affected by Trump's immigration ruling

Source:The Star

The Star reported that:

Malaysians are not affected by United States President Donald Trump’s Executive Order temporarily blocking the entry of refugees and citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries.

A spokesman from the US Embassy clarified that Malaysians are not affected by the ruling.

“Malaysian citizens are not affected by the Executive Order. Malaysians can continue to travel to the United States with a valid visa,” the spokesman said in a text message on Sunday afternoon.

The spokesman added that the US government is committed to facilitating legitimate travel for international visitors while ensuring the security of its borders.

The suspension provided for in the immigration ruling will allow the US government to review current screening procedures while protecting national security, the spokesman added.

On Friday, Trump signed the Executive Order, titled “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States”, which effectively suspended refugee entry for 120 days and Syrian refugees indefinitely.

It also bars the issuing of visas for 90 days for citizens of six predominantly Muslim countries linked to concerns about terrorism.

Those countries are Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.

It was reported that green card and visa holders from the affected countries had been blocked from entering the US within hours of the order being signed.

However, Trump’s plans might be derailed after a US Federal Court judge temporarily halted parts of the Executive Order late Saturday night.

Trump has been criticised over the move, and in particular due to the fact that a few of the Muslim-majority countries not listed as part of the order despite facing terrorism concerns, such as Turkey and Saudi Arabia, have business dealings with the Trump Organisation.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Terengganu and Kelantan are flooded

Malaysia is in the midst of the monsoon season. We have not one but two monsoon seasons in a year.

The east coast states of peninsular Malaysia are still flooded as we speak. We are experiencing the north-east monsoon at the moment.

Terengganu, for instance is seeing the number of flood evacuees here increased drastically from 54 victims to 1,303 this Saturday morning.

The Star reported that:

'The victims have been placed at 25 evacuation centres.

"In Setiu, eight evacuation centres have been opened housing 266 victims from 47 families.

"In total, as of 6am, there are 1,303 flood victims from 350 family housed in 33 evacuation centres."

While in Kelantan the floods have worsened in Kelantan, requiring the evacuation of 3,232 people in seven districts as at 8am this morning.

The state of Kelantan is the other east coast state that is affected by bad flooding this time each year during the north-east monsoon season.

35 relief centres have been set up in the districts of Kota Baru, Pasir Mas, Pasir Puteh, Bachok, Machang, Tanah Merah and Tumpat where 866 families are being temporarily housed, according to the Social Welfare Department's "infobanjir" app.

But hey, if you are still planning to visit Malaysia this time of the year, there are many places not affected by the floods. Take the west coast for instance, there's the capital city of Kuala Lumpur that has many attractions to provide you with a full and interesting itinerary.

Penang, in the north, is one other place not to be missed if you are here in West Malaysia. The island of Penang has gained much popularity recently. Penang along with Kuala Lumpur has been listed in a survey as one of top destinations for medical-tourism. Penang is also popular as a place to retire for foreigners.

Malacca, a two-hour road-drive away south of Kuala Lumpur. It is a city chockfull of tradition and culture and is rich in history as well - Dutch and Portuguese.

And then there is East Malaysia, i.e., the states of Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo. If you are a diving enthusiast, Semporna in East Malaysia offers one of the world's best diving sites.

Malaysia has been voted Best Travel Destination in Asia

People take advantage of the good weather to be outdoors at the Petronas Twin Towers park. Photo: The Star/Muhamad Shahril Rosli

Image source: The Star

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Malaysians do feel they don’t have enough holidays

I've always thought Malaysian workers enjoy one of the highest public holidays in the world but I found out recently that there are a good number of countries that are way ahead.

Still, to some of us 16/17 public holidays in a year (depending on location/states) is plenty already -- for many of us are still not able to get away from work for various reasons.

According to the 2016 Expedia Vacation Deprivation survey across 28 countries worldwide, it was found that many Malaysians can only dream of a holiday by a beach, as their circumstances do not allow them to take a vacation.

Based on the results, Malaysians are the third most vacation-deprived nation globally! The slightly good news is that we don’t seem to be as deprived compared to 2015 when the nation was the second most deprived in the world.

The majority are taking only 25% of their allocated leave days. The main reason most Malaysians don’t take their vacations is likely poor finances (36%).

The survey also reveals significant disparity in the number of vacation days received across the globe. From countries like Germany and France where average annual allocation for leave is 30 days, Australia (20) and Singapore (18), Malaysia is close to the lowest world bracket with its 16 days a year.

Only 51% of Malaysians use up all their allocated vacations days. But even then, there seems to be difficulty disconnecting from work as 35% admit to checking work e-mails or voicemail at least once or twice while on holiday.

You can read more about it here: Malaysians feel they don’t have enough holidays

Image source: The Star

Monday, January 09, 2017

Don't drink in public areas in Johor Bahru

Johor Bahru, just across the causeway from Singapore is the go-to place for shopping and entertainment for Singaporeans living on the north side of the island, according to a survey.

With the currency to their advantage, and why not? For one Sing dollar you can now get RM3.11 last time I checked.

Singaporeans, making their Sing dollar stretch even more, now shop, eat and play in Johor Bahru, during weekends. I know. I have relatives who do just that.

A tip here... drinking alcoholic beverages in public is an offence in Johor Bahru. You can only drink alcoholic beverages in licensed or private premises.

Police will take action against those found to be intoxicated especially if they are driving a vehicle as they are a danger to themselves and other road users.

The police would be cooperating with the Johor Bahru City Council (MBJB) to ensure people do not drink alcoholic beverages in the open. Individuals caught drinking alcoholic beverages would be asked to leave the area.

Now you know.

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