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Goodbye, Racist Landlords!

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Image via The Star

Ever tried to rent a place but got turned away because of your skin colour? Well, be turned away NO MORE!

The government is coming up with a new anti-discrimination law to protect tenants against racist landlords. It’s called the Residential Tenancy Act and provides protection for homeowners as well, but very few details are known at this point.

The act follows a recent survey that found 1 in 5 Malaysians claim to have been discriminated against when trying to rent a room or a house.

However, during the same survey, there were landlords who responded saying that as homeowners, they have the right to choose their renters.

Either way, it’ll be interesting to see how the government dances between that thin line of encouraging inclusiveness and protecting the rights of homeowners.

By Irene Chooi

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The KJ LRT Line Suffered Technical Difficulties This Morning That Contributed To The Massive Crawl In KL

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We’ve all been through our fair share of awful traffic delays on Mondays. But today’s jam in Kuala Lumpur was worse than usual!

via GIPHY

It all started with a whole lot of rain in the earlier part of the morning. Thunderstorms were reported in the Klang Valley, which started around 2am and lasted until 5am.

Then, at around 7am, Rapid KL tweeted about technical difficulties at the LRT from the KLCC line til the Kelana Jaya line.

And of course, this caused outrage on social media, with many Malaysians worrying that they’d be late on the first day of the week.

Rapid KL updated the public frequently about the situation, with a picture of the technical team trying to fix the issue. They also advised commuters to take buses that had been specially provided to ferry them between the KLCC Station to KL Sentral.

The problem with the LRT also affected traffic surrounding LRT stations. According to Astro Radio Traffic, traffic was especially horrible near the Bangsar LRT station, as there was a MASSIVE 2 hour plus delay from Jalan Templer and Taman Desa on the NPE towards Jalan Bangsar.

Traffic was also very bad for most of the Klang Valley's main roads and highways.

Meanwhile, Rapid KL has clarified that a signalling fault was to blame for this morning's disruption. This small power unit is the main cause of the 19-train failure. However, the rail operator has assured LRT commuters that they do maintenance on the system every month.

via GIPHY

Anyway, if you were stuck in terrible traffic this morning and needed proof to show your boss it wasn't your fault for being late, you're welcome!

By Dzamira Dzafri

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Japan Is Using Recycled Gadgets To Make Their 2020 Olympic Medals!

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Image via Reuters

You can definitely count on Japan to come up with smart and innovative ideas!

via GIPHY

In 2017, the organising committee for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics announced that they will be making the gold, silver and bronze medals awarded at the game from materials extracted from electronics donated by the public.

Image via The Verge

The project began in April 2017 with the committee asking consumers to drop off their old electronic devices, such as smartphones, cameras, and laptops into collection boxes placed at over 2,400 NTT Docomo (a mobile phone operator in Japan) stores, as well as at a number of post offices and other public buildings.

Recently, the organising committee announced that they expect to be successful with their plan to make the medals out of recycled electronics. The Japanese municipal authorities managed to collect about over 47 thousand tons of electronic waste, including more than five million recycled mobile phones.

Image via Medium

According to the committee, the Japanese public, companies across Japan, as well as national and international athletes showed huge levels of support for the project.

via GIPHY

The organising committee’s target of 2,700kg of bronze was met in June 2018, while 93.7% of the 30.3kg of gold and 85.4% of the 4,100kg silver target was met by October 2018.

“It is estimated that the remaining amounts of metal required to manufacture all Olympic and Paralympic medals can be extracted from the devices already donated.”

Speaking about the project, Sports Directior of Tokyo 2020 Koji Murofushi told press during a news conference in 2017 why they’ve come up with the project.

“There’s quite a limit on the resources of our earth, and so recycling these things and giving them a new use will make us all think about the environment.

Having a project that allows all the people of Japan to take part in creating the medals that will be hung around athletes’ necks is really good.”

According to Smithsonian Magazine, promoting sustainability isn’t the only reason for the recycling program. The 2020 Olympics was met with criticism over the game’s soaring price tag and the recycling project is seen as a public indicator that the committee is taking cost-cutting measures seriously.

The program ends on 31st March and the designs for the Olympic and Paralympic medal designs will be revealed this summer.

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Should Malaysia Bar Paralympic Israeli Swimmers From Competing In The Country?

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Malaysia recently disallowed the Israeli Paralympic Swimmers from competing in Malaysia, which resulted in us losing the right to host the tournament.

Hafidz Baharom is a columnist from The Sun Daily. He wrote a widely shared piece on the issue where he criticised Malaysia’s decision to not allow the Israeli swimmers from competing in our country, calling the decision a hypocritical one. Many Malaysians agreed with his stance.

Puan Seri Norma Hashim is the Treasurer of Viva Palestina Malaysia. She has been involved with the plight of the Palestinian people for several years and has published two books to share their stories.

We spoke to both of them to hear their thoughts on the issue.

On Malaysia Barring Paralympic Israeli Swimmers From Competing In Malaysia

Malaysia recently disallowed the Israeli Paralympic Swimmers from competing in Malaysia, which resulted in us losing the right to host the tournament.We spoke to Hafidz Baharom from The Sun Daily and Puan Seri Norma Hashim, Treasurer of Viva Palestina Malaysia to hear their thoughts on the issue.

Posted by SYOK on Tuesday, 12 February 2019

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Is The Course You’re Studying Accredited? Here’s How To Check!

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Image via MMU Malaysia

With the recent news about some of our politicians coming under fire over their academic qualifications, there might be some of you out there who are concerned about whether your own degrees are genuine. Especially now, when there are so many colleges and online courses available.

As such, the Education Ministry is urging the public to exercise caution when taking up online courses from universities abroad.

Image via Study London

This is because the Private Higher Education Act is only applicable in Malaysia. Hence, it does not regulate foreign universities.

But, fret not. The Education Ministry has stepped in, urging students going abroad to check if their course is accredited on the Malaysian Qualifications Agency website. Here’s the link to the website so you can check if the uni and course you’re interested in are legit.

via GIPHY

In Malaysia, the Ministry says unis and colleges must ensure all courses they introduce are accredited before the first batch of students graduate. Otherwise, the students’ qualifications will not be recognised by the government.

But to save you from that… just check if your uni is registered here!

via GIPHY

Here’s some good news. The Ministry has actually been actively combating the mushrooming of private higher unis and colleges.

For the past 5 years, the number of such institutions has decreased to about 460, from over 500. This is after it imposed a ban on new unis and colleges in 2013, and shut down non-competitive institutions. You can also do your part by informing the Ministry if you’ve come across unregistered unis or colleges for them to take action.

Image via Air Charter Service

So, make sure you don’t graduate with a fake degree, coz applying for a job with such a degree can get you in serious trouble!

By Roshini Ravindran

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Jalan TAR Will Be Closed Off To All Vehicles Except Buses And Pedestrians Starting 15 March!

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Image via Malaysiakini

Drivers! Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman (Jalan TAR) in KL will be closed to all vehicles except buses beginning 15 March 2019! Federal Territories Minister, Khalid Samad announced the news during a press conference which was held yesterday, in conjunction with Federal Territories Day.

Starting from Jalan Esfahan all the way to Jalan Melayu, the 1km stretch of road will be closed to allow the public complete foot access without them having to worry about traffic in the area.

via GIPHY

“The Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) conducted an online survey on the closure of the road, and the majority of respondents agreed to the proposal.

We intend to make the route starting from the Sogo shopping complex to Wisma Bandar a vehicle free or pedestrian mall where visitors can walk about and shop.”

This stretch that we lined in red right here 😅

He said that if the situation in the area was good after the road closure, DBKL is ready to allow bazaar traders to operate in the area during the Ramadhan period. He also said that the closure would safeguard the interests of business owners whose shops are at the old site of the Ramadhan bazaar too.

According to Khalid, the entire stretch could fit up to 200 lots, making the area suitable to be used for other festive periods.

Sounds like a pretty good idea to us! Hopefully, the large buses will give pedestrians right of way on the road though!

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Commencing Shut Down Sequence. PayPal Malaysia To Close Their Doors From April 2019!

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Have you ever used PayPal? The famous online payment system will be shutting down their Malaysian offices by the end of the year. They will be starting their VSS process (Voluntary Separation Scheme) this April until August 2019.

According to the fellers at Amanz, the shutdown was announced yesterday (11 Feb) by PayPal HQ in the US.

Image via Amanz

The statement said that while the Operations Center in Malaysia has done a great job since it was opened in 2011, the company has decided to realign its investment to other sites that are better equipped to cater to the needs of its customers and the company.

If you’re an existing Malaysian PayPal customer, don’t freak out yet. Apparently, Malaysians can continue using PayPal as per normal and you won’t be affected by the shutdown.

via GIPHY

Since the Operations Center mainly handles customer support for their products and services. This role will simply be transferred to other locations, which is said to be in Bangalore, India and Shanghai, China.

The shutdown will be affecting the entire PayPal Malaysia workforce. However, the company will be offering “comprehensive separation packages” to its staff in Malaysia and will also be providing them with assistance to help them transition to other job opportunities through an on-site career center.

Image via Amanz

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Animal Lovers! You Can Take Part In Naming A Baby Tapir At The Edinburgh Zoo!

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The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland has released the first snaps of a rare Malayan tapir calf born at Edinburgh Zoo. The unnamed calf was born to mother, Sayang and father, Mowgli on 31 January. He is the eighth tapir calf to arrive at the zoo since 12 years ago.

Malayan tapirs are a threatened species as a result of habitat loss and hunting. The European conservation breeding programme is crucial to protect them from extinction.

Speaking about tapirs, Jonny Appleyard, team leader for hoofstock at Edinburgh Zoo commented, saying:

“Malayan tapir populations in the wild are continuing to decline, so all births are incredibly valuable to the breeding programme and we’re really excited about our latest arrival. At the moment, he is staying very close to Sayang but will soon find his feet and start to follow her outside,”

An online poll has been set up by Edinburgh Zoo to name the baby calf. Suggestions for these names are inspired by Malay words and places. For instance:

  • Penang
  • Haruun (Warrior Lion)
  • Bintang
  • Megat
  • Amal (Charity/Hope)
  • Bernam (A Malaysian river)

Which of the above do you think would suit the calf best?

By Rachelle Chee

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You Can Have A Little Marijuana Garden If You Have Permission from MOH.

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It turns out that Malaysians are allowed to grow marijuana plants! As long as the plants are for medical and research purposes, and only if they have permission from the Ministry of Health.

via GIPHY

Berita Harian reported that Chief Director of the National Anti-drug Agency (AADK), Datuk Seri Zulkifli Abdullah said that there’s actually a legal provision that allows anyone to grow cannabis plants, terms and conditions applied, of course.

“Recently, I read about Malaysians successfully producing cannabis oil overseas. It would be better if the research was done in Malaysia itself.

If we look at the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952, the cannabis tree can be cultivated for medical purposes. That is why it is important to seek approval from the Ministry of Health first.”

Zulkifli is referring to the three Malaysians who managed to successfully produce and market CBD (cannabidiol) oil from the cannabis sativa plant.

Image via CBD Oils Malaysia/Facebook

The three Malaysians,  married couple Abdul Halim Pauzi and Nurul Ain Sahbudin, and their friend, Mohd Roslan Abdullah, have been living in the UK for the past 15 years and founded the company, CBD Oils Malaysia – Malaya Hemp. Besides successfully conducting research on the health benefits of CBD oil, the trio also managed to obtain a valid license to market their products to 50 countries in the European Union.

CBD Oils Malaysia – Malaya Hemp currently operate out of Manchester, UK and are registered under the Cannabis Trades Association, United Kingdom, (CTA UK). Their products compete with 300 other big European companies who also produce marijuana and hemp-based health and beauty products.

Image via Oh Media

Zulkifli said that if cannabis is proven to be medically beneficial, the relevant parties should consider developing the industry locally, as long as their plans are in accordance with the provisions of the law.

via GIPHY

“We can’t have the plant cultivated all over the place because the substance is considered a drug. That’s why we need regulation. In fact, a number of countries have already started an industry around the marijuana plant. Perhaps one day, Malaysia can become an exporter of the substance provided we follow the law.

This is why it is important for the ministry of health to verify marijuana can be used for medicinal purposes because they have the authority to do so.”

via GIPHY

Is Malaysia really taking another step towards legalising medical marijuana? Tbh, we’re still sceptical- what do you think?

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This WhatsApp Scam Compromised The Accounts Of 10 People Last Month!

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Image via BBC

In the good old days, all you’d need is someone’s mother’s maiden name, place of birth and the name of their first pet to hack into their accounts. Yet, it was rare to hear that someone’s account had been hacked. Now, even though everything uses some kind of verification code, people are still getting cheated, in fact, it happens even more frequently.

via GIPHY

Last year it was TAC numbers for bank accounts. This year, scammers are going for WhatsApp verification codes. Wah, hackers also got yearly KPI issit? According to Straits Times, at least 10 people reportedly fell prey to the scam last month.

via GIPHY

Here’s how the scam works:

  • First, victims receive a message from a friend asking for their WhatsApp verification code.
  • After sending over the verification code, victims lose access to their WhatsApp account.
  • The scammers use the verification code to register the account under a new number and lock the victim out of the account.
  • The scammers then use the accounts they took over to deceive other unsuspecting victims into transferring money or sending over Money Online points.

However, the most sayang part about this whole ordeal is how easy it actually is to avoid becoming a victim to this scam–don’t give out verification codes to ANYONE. Not even your partner or close friends. It’s super shady to ask someone for their verification code K!

via GIPHY

If you really think your friend has a logical reason for needing the verification code from you, call them to confirm this.

Nevertheless, it’s probably a good idea to enable the two-step verification feature to protect your WhatsApp account as a backup plan. You wouldn’t want to risk losing money or all those cheesy love texts you and your significant other send each other in the first few months of your relationship, now would you?

via GIPHY

Two-step verification is an optional feature that adds security to your WhatsApp account. When it’s enabled, any attempt to verify your phone number on WhatsApp must be accompanied by the six-digit PIN that you created using this feature.

Follow the simple guide below on how to set it up:

  1. Open WhatsApp > Settings > Account > Two-step verification > Enable.
  2. Punch in your six digit PIN number
  3. Confirm your six digit PIN number
  4. Add an email address. This email address will allow WhatsApp to send you a link via email to disable two-step verification in case you ever forget your six-digit PIN. So, make sure it’s the correct email address.
  5. Confirm the email address and you’re all done!

Important note: If you receive an email to disable two-step verification, but didn’t request this, don’t click on the link. Someone could be attempting to verify your phone number on WhatsApp. For more information on two-step verification, click here.

Now, go forth and text safely. Also, please don’t get scammed!

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YAAS! Malaysia Is The World’s Best Healthcare Provider! Here’s Why!

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Malaysia healthcare crew members

No one plans to get sick or hurt, but most people need medical care at some point in their lives – which is why a good healthcare system is so important. Thankfully for us, healthcare has always been easy in Malaysia. Sure, our private healthcare facilities can be pretty expensive, but most of the time they’re affordable. Meanwhile, the cost of going to government healthcare facilities is dirt cheap, and the service is still tip-top.

Apparently, we’re a lot luckier than we’ve realised because Malaysia has actually just been ranked as the World’s Best Healthcare Provider! For reals, you guys!

According to International Living’s 2019 Global Retiree Index, Malaysia scored 95 out of 100 points as the ‘Best Healthcare’ under the ‘World’ category of the 2019 International Living Global Retirement Index. Pretty neat huh?

via GIPHY

After Malaysia, France ranked as second place. Followed by Thailand at third place and Ecuador at fourth. Costa Rica and Mexico tied with each other at the fifth spot. Read on to find out why Malaysia managed to beat all these countries for the World Best spot!

#1 We provide world-class healthcare services!

The Joint Commission International is considered the gold standard in healthcare assessment around the globe, and it certifies 13 hospitals nationwide including four hospitals in Kuala Lumpur, and two in Penang. Our medical service is also considered to be world class with up-to-date and sophisticated infrastructure. The pharmacists, like the rest of Malaysia’s medical staff, are also well trained and informed.

#2 Majority of our doctors are trained in the United Kingdom, United States and Australia!

Because of this, communication between patients and doctors are flawless in Malaysia.

#3 Both private and public hospitals provide specialist services.

Our patients can choose whichever hospital suits their needs without compromising over quality. Moreover, you don’t need an appointment or a referral from a General Practitioner (GP) to see a specialist. All you need to do is register at a hospital of your choice and be in line to see a specialist.

#4 The prescription costs are affordable!

The private hospitals tend to be a bit more expensive but are more up to Western standards than the public hospitals. Even at the private hospitals, the treatment is so affordable that for minor visits some people pay out of pocket.

#5 Medical staff are genuinely interested in their patients!

Last but not least, the article mentioned that while Malaysians are generally friendly people, it’s the genuine interest that the medical staff take which impresses.

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