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Here’s The Lowdown On The Chemical Dump Disaster In Pasir Gudang, Johor



Image via The Straits Times

On Thursday, 7th March, 35 people were rushed to the hospital after showing signs of chemical poisoning in Pasir Gudang, Johor.

The 35 people who fell ill were students and canteen employees of SMK Taman Pasir Putih and SK Taman Pasir Putih, aged between 7 and 40.

Image via Free Malaysia Today

Here’s everything we know of the incident so far.

Authorities suspected that a tanker lorry had illegally dumped chemical waste into Sungai Kim Kim in Pasir Gudang after the Fire and Rescue Department received a report from a resident of a nearby housing estate at 5.15am.

“After detecting methane in the air, we ordered an evacuation of anyone within a 500m radius of the source of the leak,”

Subsequently, 1,400 students from both SMK Taman Pasir Putih and SK Taman Pasir Putih were ordered to vacate the premises and the schools were shut while investigations took place.

Johor Health, Environment and Agriculture Committee chairman Sahruddin Jamal told the press that eight people who were sent to Sultan Ismail Hospital (HSI) were in critical condition and in the Red Zone while the rest were in Yellow Zone.

“The situation is under control and there is less smell of the gas. However, anyone showing symptoms like nausea and throat irritation must go to a hospital as quickly as possible,”

At 9.30 pm, 8th March, the number of victims who had inhaled the gas increased to 79 people. The victims consisted of both students and residents of Pasir Gudang. 32 of the 79 were being treated as outpatients while 47 others were being treated at HSI.

The next day on 9th March, a special meeting of the Chemical Waste Spill Disaster Relief Committee In Sungai Kim Kim Pasir Gudang, Johor Bahru, was held by the authorities involving all relevant government agencies.

Based on feedback from various departments and agencies, the two affected schools which were ordered to close were not permitted to open until Monday, after a thorough cleaning job was done.

On 11th March, the two Pasir Putih schools were reopened after an air assessment deemed the schools to be safe. But five hours later, the weather triggered a second wave of fumes and 61 people (57 students and 4 staff) experienced breathing difficulties, nausea and vomiting. They were rushed to HSI and the schools were then shut down again.

Image via Malaysiakini

Two male factory owners suspected of illegally dumping chemical waste into Sungai Kim Kim and one man suspected to be involved in the incident were arrested by authorities. One of the suspects owns a chemical-processing plant while the other is the owner of a used goods-processing factory. Both factories were sealed by the authorities following the arrests and all three of them were investigated under Section 34B of the Environmental Quality Act 1974.

Image via Malaysiakini

The number of those affected by the chemical dump reached 207 people as of 11pm on this day.

On 12th March, eight students from SK Tanjung Puteri Resort were rushed to HSI after they complained of difficulty breathing and nausea. Following that, both SK Tanjung Puteri Resort and SMK Tanjung Puteri Resort were ordered to close by noon as a precautionary measure. The principal of SK Tanjung Puteri Resort was quoted by The Star saying:

“In the 10am incident, four schoolchildren were rushed to the school’s treatment room after showing symptoms of gas poisoning. The number of pupils suffering from dizziness, nausea, and vomiting increased gradually. They were rushed to the Taman Pasir Putih Community Hall for treatment.”

Image via The Malay Mail

Whatsapp messages claiming that HSI declared a ‘red alert’ and that the incident had caused several deaths were circulated online. These messages were deemed to be false information and the Johor Health Department urged members of the public to avoid believing or spreading misinformation.

A meeting of the working committee was held to address the chemical dumping and a decision to close nine more schools indefinitely in the Pasir Gudang area was reached.

The schools closed were SK Pasir Putih, SK Kota Masai 2, SMK Kota Masai 2, SK Kota Masai 3, SMK Kota Masai, SK Kota Masai, SK Perigi Acheh, SA Kampung Pasir Putih and SA Taman Pasir Putih.

Meanwhile, a check by Malay Mail revealed that over 100 primary and secondary school students from SK Tanjung Resort and SMK Tanjung Puteri Resort are receiving temporary treatment at the Taman Pasir Putih multipurpose hall

Image via The Malay Mail

The working committee also agreed to appoint a contractor licensed by the Environment Department (DoE) to carry out cleaning works along the affected 1.5km stretch of Sungai Kim Kim.

On 13th March, the total of people reported to have been affected by the chemical dump was 506, nine of these people were in ICU while 166 were warded. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education ordered all 111 schools in Pasir Gudang to be closed.


Posted by Dr Maszlee Malik on Wednesday, 13 March 2019
Image via New Straits Times

Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin said the DoE had completed and submitted their investigation paper on the case to the Public Prosecutor’s office.

“The suspect, one of the three arrested earlier this week, is the owner of a tyre recycling plant in Kulai. He will be charged under Section 34B of the Environmental Quality Act,”

Upon conviction, a person can be sentenced to a maximum of five years in jail and fined RM500,000 under Section 34B of the Environmental Quality Act 1974.

She added that the suspect may be charged under the Penal Code or other laws once the authorities had gathered more evidence. Yeo also said that the DoE identified several chemical compounds from the substances dumped in the river. The chemicals are methane, hydrogen chloride, acrylonitrile, acrolein, benzene, toluene, xylene and limonene.

“We will use this (evidence) to cross check with the 252 factories in the area to find out if they match with any of the substances,”

Today, the Johor Chief minister Osman Sapian said that the situation has stabilized and cleaning works at the site are ongoing and should be completed within a week.

Osman, who is also the chairman of the state disaster management committee, said that the state government has approved an emergency allocation of RM6.4 million for the cleaning works and to assist the victims.


Najib Razak Got Schooled By Facebook User For Complaining About The State Of Our Hungry University Students




Recently, we found out from the news that Malaysian university students are so broke they can hardly afford to eat once a day. On the same day, the government released a statement informing press that a foodbank initiative had been launched and was already on the way to help these broke students.

Several hours later, ex-premier, Datuk Seri Najib Razak took to Facebook to voice his concerns over the students and how the current government was not handling the situation properly.

Here’s a translation of his post:

“I am tearing up just reading this news.
Only eating once a day,
forced to go hungry because they don’t have enough money and the price of goods is high.
That’s the fate of our students today.
I still remember during the presentation of Budget 2019.
What did they say?
The biggest budget in history!
The education sector will get the biggest share!
Malaysia is a credible, dynamic economy and the people will prosper!
Yes, Budget 2019 had RM314.5 billion. But where did it go?

Yes, the budget for the education sector had RM60.2 billion. But what it used for?
What’s the use if our students are starving?
What’s the meaning (of Budget 2019) if we can’t afford to buy things on our own land?
What is the use of the government if not to defend, help, and improve the life of the people?
Please sympathise with the people, Ministers of PH.
I can’t believe that citizens today need to kneel and beg for charity from Putrajaya.”

Thennnnnn, a Facebook user, Hayati Ismail wrote an “open letter” to Najib on her Facebook. You can read her reply below:


Based on what we can see from her other Facebook posts, Hayati Ismail is a member of the Foodbank Foundation that is currently working with the government on the foodbank initiative for the starving B40 students.

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Watch Out! This Hot Weather We’re Having Could Bring Snakes Out!




It turns out that the probability of finding snakes in your garden, under your car or around your house skyrockets during hot weather, much like the weather we’re having right now!

Case in point, Facebook user Arif Azmi recently shared the shocking moment he found a 4.8-metre long python in front of his house.

Image via Facebook

According to herpetologist (TIL a herpetologist is someone who specializes in reptiles and amphibians, including snakes.) Dr Teo Eng Wah, hot weather encourages snakes to come out in search of a bite to eat and some shade.

“It is the extreme heat that forces snakes to seek refuge in residential areas, primarily to look for food and shelter,”

FYI, the Civil Defense Department records show that since January, at least 1,046 snakes have been caught by the department in Terengganu alone. The types of snakes caught include pythons, the venomous king cobra and the equally dangerous pit vipers.

Video courtesy of Arif Azmi

State Civil Defence chief Lt-Col Che Adam A. Rahman explained to New Straits Times that his department is working closely with the Wildlife and National Parks Department with regards to the matter of these snakes.

“We are working with the Wildlife and National Parks Department, which the snakes were handed over and released at locations unknown to us, but far from human habitation,”

Dr Teo, who himself has been bitten four times by snakes, advises the public to refrain from trying to catch snakes themselves unless they are properly equipped and trained to handle the animals, regardless of whether or not the species of snake found was venomous.

“Avoid contact. The next best way to prevent snakes from appearing in or near your house is to make sure that the surroundings are clear of rubbish or leftover food, which attracts rats.

But if you stumble into one, call agencies that handle such creatures.

Some species of snakes are protected, like those in the cobra family.

Some of the smaller species, such as the venomous pit vipers are not easily spotted, unlike the huge king cobra or python. But most snakes will avoid human contact,”

So, clear up the clutter around your house, have the emergency services contact number, 999, on speed dial, and hope for the best, everyone!

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Govt Is Providing Free Food For Starving Uni Students With Foodbank Malaysia!




Image via Malaysiakini

It appears that our university students are starving!


University students, some of whom come from the B40 group, have to resort to extreme budgeting, such as eating only once a day and ordering the cheapest meal on the menu, just to make sure they can eat on a daily basis due to insufficient pocket money.

A report by Berita Harian found that their food options included instant noodles and nasi bujang (rice, egg, soup and sambal belacan) which costs between RM2 – RM2.50.

UM Malay Studies Academy student, Ilmah Ismail, 21, from Semporna Sabah said she only eats one meal a day to save money.

“Sometimes, lecturers will cook something for us, the poor students. Apart from that, student associations also chip in by providing RM5 food coupons, but not everyone can get it.

As for me, I get only RM100 per month, courtesy of Tamanni Scholarship Project, for food and drinks.”

Meanwhile, dentistry student Nur Atikah Ghazali, 22, from Bachok, Kelantan, whose father is a lorry driver making between RM500 – RM1,000 per month, said that she only eats RM1 nasi lemak every day.

“Sometimes, I prepare boiled eggs on the go. This is because most of my money goes to paying rent, off campus.

I stay in an apartment unit with nine students near the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre. We pay RM267 each, not including electricity and water.

The owner allows only four people to stay in the unit but we have no choice as we don’t have enough money.”

Apparently, some students also take part in university-organized events due to the fact that these events serve free food, and consider quitting their studies to work full time instead. The only thing that’s stopping them is the knowledge that with a university degree, they’re more likely able to better provide for their family, with a higher paying job.


Thankfully, there’s some good news.

Today, New Straits Times reported that the government has mobilized their Foodbank Malaysia initiative to help these starving university students from the B40 families.

Image via New Straits Times

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister, Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said that food bank trucks were already on da way to universities with some food.

According to him, the programme started in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia on 26 February and at University Malaya on 7 March.

“Tentatively, the Foodbank Malaysia programme will start at Universiti Putra Malaysia on March 21, Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Pulau Pinang (March 23), Universiti Malaysia Pahang (April 1), Universiti Sains Malaysia (April 8), Universiti Utara Malaysia (April 15) and Universiti Malaysia Sabah (April 22),”

He also said that the Finance Ministry has agreed to tolong a bit with a special allocation of about RM3 million to get 14 refrigerated trucks. These trucks will be used to distribute free food to students from B40 groups at 20 public universities.

Speaking on how students could access the free food, Saifuddin said this was discussed during a meeting with vice chancellors of the universities and they have come to an agreement.

“In some universities, they have hotel catering courses which come with big kitchens to cook the free food and distribute them to their students.

University students’ associations have agreed to form volunteer groups who will help their fellow colleagues by cooking the food received (under the Foodbank Malaysia) for distribution.

The universities even agreed to provide the full list of students from the B40 group on their campuses. I have been told that on an average nearly 50 per cent of the students come from the low-income group,”

If you’re wondering where all this food comes from, a couple of supermarkets agreed to contribute their food surplus to help the hardcore poor and B40 students via the programme.

The supermarkets involved are:






Hero Market


TF Value

99 Speedmart

My Family Store





We applaud the supermarkets who have agreed to take part and help our starving students! We hope that the initiative really helps the financial situation of these students.

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Attention Shoppers, This Year’s Jalan Masjid India Bazaar Ramadhan Will Be Relocated To Jalan Raja




Image via The Malaysian Times

Jalan TAR in Kuala Lumpur is a shopping haven, especially during the holy Muslim month of Ramadhan.

For KLites, it is THE Bazaar Ramadhan to visit, with Muslims thronging the area every year shopping for their breaking fast meals and Hari Raya Aidilfitri essentials.

Last year, DBKL confirmed that they would be moving the iconic bazaar and it appears that they have held true to their promise cause this year, the Bazaar Ramadhan that’s usually operated at Lorong TAR on Jalan Masjid India will be relocated to Jalan Raja, in front of Bangunan Sultan Abdul Samad.

According to Berita Harian, KL Mayor, Datuk Nor Hisham Ahmad Dahlan said that the 0.2km long bazaar will start from the traffic light at the Jalan Geraja intersection and continue until the traffic light at the Leboh Pasar Besar intersection.

He added that the stalls will be specially arranged so that they will be comfortable for traders and visitors while avoiding traffic disruptions.

“Even when the Ramadan bazaar is in operation, public vehicles can still pass through Jalan Raja. There will be no full closure of the road,”

He also said that the Lorong TAR night market would not be affected for now, and will still be located on Lorong TAR.

We’re definitely gonna miss the nostalgia of Jalan TAR and Jalan Masjid India, but we’re also looking forward to a brand new bazaar at Jalan Raja! What about you?

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Malaysian Injured In New Zealand Mosque Attack




At least one Malaysian has been injured in the mass shootings at two New Zealand mosques in the city of Christchurch. The Malaysian High Commission in New Zealand says he is seeking treatment in hospital. It has also urged Malaysians there to check on their family and friends, especially those in Christchurch. 

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Adern confirms 40 people were killed, in what she described as a terror attack.  Four people are in custody, and one of them is confirmed to be an Australian citizen. 

The attack was live-streamed, and police have urged the public to stop sharing the distressing footage of the incident. 

Indonesia’s foreign minister says 6 Indonesians were inside one of the mosques when the shooting occurred, with 3 managing to escape while the other 3 are unaccounted for. Meanwhile, the Bangladesh cricket team, who are on tour in New Zealand, narrowly avoided being caught up in the shooting. They were arriving for prayers at one of the mosques when the shooting occurred. 

Meanwhile, Malaysian Timothy Lian was at a school near the scene when the shooting occurred. He told us the whole school and the surrounding area was placed under lockdown for their safety. 

We at SYOK cannot even begin to express how saddened we are by this tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those affected.

By Roshini Ravindran

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Twitter Has A Bunch Of RM6 Lunch Options Thanks To The #RM6Challenge




Early last week, EPF released their BELANJAWANKU guide, which provides an estimated minimum monthly expense for goods and services for several types of households. The guide also aims to help Malaysians with their personal and family budgeting.

After the BELANJAWANKU guide was released, Malaysian netizens were appalled at the guide’s proposed expenditure for simple things like cost of rent and food per month.

Malaysians were like…


Here’s an example of one of the expenditure guides proposed by them:

Anyway, Malaysians were saying the guide was delusional and that there’s no way anyone could keep to a budget that small while living in KL.

Then, a group of scientist-worthy Twitter users took it to themselves to actually test the food budget and see if it’s possible to achieve.

They tried out the budget for one week. Sticking to spending only RM6 a day for lunch. Why RM6 specifically? Because RM550 / 30 days / 3 meals a day = RM6.111…

Here’s what they managed to come up with.

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Some of these foods don’t actually look that bad, and if you ask us they pretty much aced the challenge.

Do you think you could do this challenge? Discuss in the comments!

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4 Ways to Survive a Social Media Outage




Image via MakeUseOf

Most of you are probably slowly recovering from Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp’s global outage this morning.  

The cause of the interruption has yet to be made public, but it was Facebook’s most severe outage ever, no doubt leading to a massive case of social media withdrawal. Yes… social media withdrawal is actually a thing. 

Scientists have found that some people are so addicted to Facebook and Instagram, that even a brief period away from such services can trigger the same areas of the brain that are affected by drug or alcohol addiction. The symptoms are similar to other forms of addiction…including increased urges, boredom, mild depression or a bad mood…not to mention a severe bout of FOMO (fear of missing out). 

So in your best interest, here’s a ‘survival checklist’ to help you deal with the next social media outage. 

1. Focus on yourself.  


Take the opportunity of this alone time to complete all the urgent tasks you’ve been putting off. Or simply sit quietly with your favourite food or beverage and savour the peace and quiet. 

2. Focus on your friends IRL. 


FB and Insta have taken the act of social interaction into the virtual world to the point that some of us feel awkward about having an actual conversation with someone.  

Use the social media downtime to engage your friends in real life. Find out how they’re doing…and update them about what’s new in your life IN PERSON. With actual spoken words. Yes, we’re serious.

3. Take in your surroundings. 


Most of us live life through a screen. If we see something interesting…we film it or take a photo. Why not try experiencing it instead. Who knows… you may even appreciate your fancy meal better if you didn’t have to worry about finding the perfect angle/lighting/background to post a pic of it on Instagram. 

4. Read. 


There’s a countless option of books, magazines and newspapers out there in the world… in the form of both physical copies and digital versions. So, instead of scrolling through your (endless) feed of cat videos/food pics/rants on social media, why not catch up on some actual reading. 

Now you know how to survive the next social media outage. You can also use these tips if you’ve been thinking of going on a social media detox, which, let’s face it, all of us need once in a while. 

By Nicholas John

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Another Man Has Been Detained For Some Kurang Ajar Comments on Facebook




Seems like there’s a witch-hunt going on on social media recently. Netizens are holding each other accountable for what they post online.

KENYATAAN MEDIA KETUA POLIS NEGARA: Tangkapan Ke Atas Suspek Yang Menghina Agama Hindu di Laman Facebook.

Posted by Polis Diraja Malaysia ( Royal Malaysia Police ) on Monday, 11 March 2019

Just today, a 52-year-old man kena tangkap for posting insulting comments towards Hindus on Facebook. According to the official press release by PDRM, the suspect is being investigated for misusing the social media platform and inciting disunity through his remarks.

His arrest happened just a couple of hours after he posted the rude comments online as other users quickly called him out and tagged PDRM on Twitter, requesting for his immediate arrest.

This case follows two other recent cases of Facebook users being detained for insulting Islam. The two other users were sentenced to prison for 7 months and 10 years respectively. In response to this, Minister of Communications & Multimedia YB Gobind Singh urged Malaysians to exercise their freedom of expression responsibly while his ministry considers new laws to regulate insensitive comments on news portals and social media.   

“Freedom of expression is not meant to promote lewd, vulgar or sexist comments. Neither should we condone physical threats or threats of bodily harm on social media.”


Posted by Gobind Singh Deo on Monday, 11 March 2019

May these cases serve as cautionary tales, reminding us to be sensitive towards people of other backgrounds while we post on social media. No matter where you say it, there will always be consequences.

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After Harith Iskander Sued Laugh Factory, Now They’ve Saman-ed Him Back




Two weeks ago, Harith Iskander posted on Facebook confirming that he was indeed suing Laugh Factory and its founder Jamie Masada for allegedly not paying him the full amount of the prize money he was promised after winning the “Funniest Person In The World’ competition.

It has been a roller coaster ride since I entered (and won) the competition in Dec 2016. My main intention for…

Posted by Harith Iskander on Friday, 22 February 2019

Now it seems that Laugh Factory has decided to saman him back. The Laugh Factory has filed a USD10 million-plus lawsuit against Harith Iskander.

In their countersuit, they are denying any breach of obligation to Harith. Instead, they are claiming that Harith failed to meet the performance obligation of their contract and that he main tipu to win their competition!


Further info about the issue just sounds like a lot of saya kata dia kata. Ie. Harith said an agent approached him from the Laugh Factory, then Laugh Factory said Harith was the one who initiated contact with them.

The Laugh Factory also claimed that Harith contacted a Laugh Factory representative, inquiring about the competition and offering to open a Laugh Factory clubs in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Jakarta with his “silent partner”, Najib Razak.

They also alleged that Harith stole their intellectual property while pretending to prepare opening Laugh Factory comedy clubs in Southeast Asia.

Harith has denied the allegation that he claimed Najib was his silent partner, calling the allegation “laughable”.

Wow. This case has quickly escalated to a different level 😅After bringing a case against Laugh Factory to pay me…

Posted by Harith Iskander on Thursday, 7 March 2019

You can read the full countersuit below. FYI, it’s super long.

Iskander v Laugh Factory Co… by on Scribd

Who do you think is at fault here? Tell us in the comments!

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Massive Storms Hit Putrajaya and Shah Alam Over The Weekend, Causes One Fatality




Man, have we had some weird weather lately! For the past couple of weeks, MET Malaysia reported high temperatures as Malaysia was experiencing a heatwave. Then, over the weekend, Putrajaya and Shah Alam were hit by powerful storms that caused widespread damage.

One man was killed after being struck by lightning and some areas in Shah Alam even reported hailstorms!

On Saturday evening, a storm began in Putrajaya at about 5.30pm bringing heavy winds, and driving rain that damaged houses and public facilities, uprooted trees and created traffic chaos.

Precints 9 and 11 were reportedly the areas that were hit the worst, Putrajaya Fire Station received dozens of calls from alarmed residents requesting assistance.

Freak storm with strong wind in Cyberjaya and Putrajaya this evening (Video credit kadeq streamerz)

Posted by Cyberjaya Community on Saturday, 9 March 2019

According to fire station chief, Che Shaari Abdullah, many trees were uprooted and some fell onto roads and blocked them. Personnel from the station were deployed to several areas to remove debris.

Then on Sunday, Shah Alam was hit by heavy rain and thunderstorms. Social media posts showed falling tree branches blocking roads in the area, while others reported experiencing hail.

Posted by Ahmad Yeopmatdali on Sunday, 10 March 2019

After the storm. Seksyen 9 Shah Alam.

Posted by Norikhzan Ahmad Yahaya on Sunday, 10 March 2019

And that wasn’t even the worst of it. According to The Malay Mail, one man died while four others were injured after being struck by lightning in Setia Alam. The men were playing football in an outdoor field at Setia Badminton Academy when lightning struck them.

Klang Utara police chief, ACP Nurulhuda Mohd Salleh confirmed the incident, saying:

“For now, one victim is confirmed dead, while four more are injured including one who is critical, sent to Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Klang for further treatment,”

Based on a report by Harian Metro, the men were of Rohingya descent.

For those who were shocked to see hail (or ice rain) in Shah Alam, hailstorms in Malaysia are not as rare a sight as you might think.

In 2016, Cili Sos reported hail, and they too pointed out that hailstorms have happened in Malaysia many times before. In their article, they cited news sources from 2007, 2011, 2012 and 2014. A quick Google search will also show that several hailstorms also happened in Malaysia in June 2016, March 2018, and August 2018.

If you wanna know more about hailstorms, MET Malaysia released an infographic explaining thunderstorms, hail and lightning safety. You can take a look at it below.

Fakta Cuaca: Ribut Petir dan Kilat

Posted by Malaysian Meteorological Department on Sunday, 10 March 2019

With all this extreme weather, we want to remind everyone to be cautious, and stay safe!

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