Tag Archives: Aircraft

Beijing Flights Back To Normal, No Coup In China!

Beijing Flights Back To Normal, No Coup In China!

Flights in and out of Beijing are now back to normal, dealing yet another blow to rumours of a military coup in China!

 

Claim : Beijing Flights Were Cancelled By Coup In China!

The Internet has been abuzz for days with claims that there is a military coup underway in China, after over 6,000 domestic and international flights in and out of Beijing were just cancelled!

On top of that, about 60% of flights (about 9,583 flights) were cancelled across China on Wednesday, 21 September 2022.

  • Beijing Capital International Airport canceled 622 flights, with a 60% cancellation rate.
  • Shanghai Pudong International Airport had 652 cancelations of flights, with a 54% cancellation rate
  • Shenzhen Baoan Airport’s 542 flights were canceled, with a 51% cancellation rate
  • Guiyang Longdongbao Airport (Guizhou Province): 539 flights canceled, with a 99% cancellation rate
  • Lhasa Gongga Airport (Tibet): 157 flights canceled, with a 98% cancellation rate
  • Chengdu Tianfu Airport (Sichuan Province): 752 flights canceled, with a 87% cancellation rate
  • Urumqi Diwobao Airport (Xinjiang): 476 flights; with a 79% cancellation rate
  • Tianjin Binhai International Airport (about 84 miles east of Beijing): 353 flights; with a 74% cancellation rate
  • Harbin Taiping Airport (Heilongjiang Province): 275 flights canceled; with a 56% cancellation rate
  • Xi’an Xianyang International Airport (Shaanxi Province): 555 flights canceled; with a 56% cancellation rate
  • Nanjing Lukou International Airport (Jiangsu Province): 378 flights canceled; with a 54% cancellation rate
  • Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (Guangdong Province): 560 flights canceled, with a 40% cancellation rate

The number of flights to and from Beijing continued to decline from Wednesday until Saturday.

Read more : Are Beijing Flights Getting Cancelled By Military Coup?!

 

Beijing Flights Back To Normal, No Coup In China!

Although flights in and out of Beijing continued to be few through the weekend, it was soon restored by Monday, 26 September 2022.

The flight tracking site flightradar24 now shows air traffic back to normal at the Beijing Capital International Airport, and the Beijing Daxing International Airport.

Other airports across China were also operating as normal, with no mass cancellations that we saw earlier.

There has been no official word on why so many flights were cancelled, but flight cancellations are rather common in China. This is especially true during the COVID-19 pandemic, when flights have been grounded with little or no warning.

While most of the world is relaxing COVID-19 measures and opening up, China is still persisting with its Zero COVID policy. Hence, it is certainly possible that those flights are being cancelled to protect Beijing from COVID-19 outbreaks / surges in other parts of China.

The Beijing Capital International Airport, incidentally, regularly ranks as one of the airports with the most cancellations in the world.

The Chinese news portal Netease said that the cancellations were mainly due to the recent COVID-19 surges in multiple provinces in China, which makes quite a lot of sense.

Beijing is preparing to host 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) on 16 October 2022.

This is a major twice-a-decade meeting for the CCP, and one in which President Xi Jinping is expected to be re-elected as General Secretary for an unprecedented third term.

While the 20th National Congress is really just a rubber-stamp event, it is critical for President Xi that his Zero COVID policy is seen to work. Hence, it is critical that Beijing has no COVID-19 outbreak at that time.

Recommended : Did US Navy Fleet Escort Nancy Pelosi To Taiwan?!

Former Chinese investigative journalist Zhao Lanjian, however, suggested that the flights may have been cancelled due to a military exercise.

刚刚我问询一位墙内专业人士。这么回答的。这个大规模取消航班,必须是军方指令。空中交通管制权由中国军方决定,再下指令给民航管理部门。空域留出来,军方飞机才可以随便飞。这是军事计划,至少是有军备预演。但愿未来真的实施军事行动了,不要有太多赔偿品。

This mass cancellation of flights must be a military directive. Air traffic control authority is decided by the Chinese military, which in turn gives instructions to civil aviation management. The airspace is set aside so that military aircraft can fly at will. This is military planning, or at least with military prep.

 

China Coup Rumours : Much Ado About Nothing

Right now, much has been made about a short video showing military vehicles heading towards Beijing, and over 9,000 flights getting cancelled across China.

However, these “evidence” of a coup in China have not withstood serious analysis.

  • There is no evidence of an 80 km-long military convoy entering Beijing.
  • The viral video shows a minute or so of several military vehicles travelling on a highway, nothing more.
  • There is no evidence of any lockdown of Beijing, which would certainly occur during a military coup.
  • While there was a large number of cancelled flights in Beijing airports, quite a number of commercial flights were still allowed to fly in and out.
  • Airports in the rest of China were generally functioning normally, even though there were some cancelled flights.
  • Flight cancellation is pretty common in China, especially when it comes to COVID-19 mitigation.
  • Commercial air traffic in and out of Beijing was restored by Monday, 26 September 2022.
  • Xi Jinping issued two letters a day after he was supposedly under house arrest after being overthrown.
  • Sun Lijun and his anti-Xi Jinping “political clique” were sentenced to long jail sentences.
  • CCP delegates were “elected” as expected, together with Xi Jinping himself.
  • CCP mouthpiece, the People’s Daily, reaffirmed Xi Jinping as the party’s “core”.

To top it off, the CCP is continuing its business as usual, firming up support for Xi Jinping’s third term at the upcoming CCP Congress.

The People’s Daily editorial seals the case for Xi Jinping’s toppling in a military coup. That was nothing more than the wishful thinking of netizens who despise him, fuelled by unverified claims.

Read more : Are Beijing Flights Getting Cancelled By Military Coup?!

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Are Beijing Flights Getting Cancelled By Military Coup?!

Are thousands of flights into and out of Beijing being cancelled because a military coup is underway?!

Take a look at the viral claims, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : Beijing Flights Are Getting Cancelled By Military Coup!

The Internet is abuzz with claims that there is a military coup underway in China, with an 80 km military convoy heading for Beijing!

Many also believe that this was evidence of a military coup in China – over 6,000 domestic and international flights into and out of Beijing were just cancelled!

On top of that, about 60% of flights (about 9,583 flights) were cancelled across China on Wednesday, 21 September 2022.

  • Beijing Capital International Airport canceled 622 flights, with a 60% cancellation rate.
  • Shanghai Pudong International Airport had 652 cancelations of flights, with a 54% cancellation rate
  • Shenzhen Baoan Airport’s 542 flights were canceled, with a 51% cancellation rate
  • Guiyang Longdongbao Airport (Guizhou Province): 539 flights canceled, with a 99% cancellation rate
  • Lhasa Gongga Airport (Tibet): 157 flights canceled, with a 98% cancellation rate
  • Chengdu Tianfu Airport (Sichuan Province): 752 flights canceled, with a 87% cancellation rate
  • Urumqi Diwobao Airport (Xinjiang): 476 flights; with a 79% cancellation rate
  • Tianjin Binhai International Airport (about 84 miles east of Beijing): 353 flights; with a 74% cancellation rate
  • Harbin Taiping Airport (Heilongjiang Province): 275 flights canceled; with a 56% cancellation rate
  • Xi’an Xianyang International Airport (Shaanxi Province): 555 flights canceled; with a 56% cancellation rate
  • Nanjing Lukou International Airport (Jiangsu Province): 378 flights canceled; with a 54% cancellation rate
  • Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (Guangdong Province): 560 flights canceled, with a 40% cancellation rate

The number of flights to and from Beijing continue to decline from Wednesday until Saturday.

Read more : Was Xi Jinping Arrested In Sudden Military Coup?!

 

Truth : Beijing Flights Are NOT Getting Cancelled By Military Coup!

This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS that started as a rumour, but was used to generate page views for rumour / fake news websites.

Here are the reasons why… and what we know so far!

Fact #1 : Flights Are Being Cancelled In Beijing

First, let me confirm that the claims of mass flight cancellations into or out of Beijing are correct.

The flight tracking site flightradar24, for example, shows that the Beijing Capital International Airport and the Beijing Daxing International Airport have more or less come to a standstill with very few flights taking off, or landing.

Fact #2 : Some Flights Continue In + Out Of Beijing

While many scheduled flights at the airports either have a Cancelled status, or listed as Unknown, there continue to be some flights flying in and out of both airports.

It was not a total lockdown of the airspace around Beijing, as some have claimed. This would suggest that a military coup is not underway.

Fact #3 : Other Chinese Airports Are Operating Normally

According to flightradar24, other major airports in China, like the Shanghai and Hong Kong airports, appear to be operating normally, although some flights have been cancelled.

It seems rather unlikely that coup plotters would allow airports to continue operating while trying to take over the country.

Recommended : Biden To Hit China With More Chip Restrictions!

Fact #4 : Flight Cancellations Are Common In China

There has been no official word on why so many flights were cancelled, but flight cancellations are rather common in China. This is especially true during the COVID-19 pandemic, when flights have been grounded with little or no warning.

While most of the world is relaxing COVID-19 measures and opening up, China is still persisting with its Zero COVID policy. Hence, it is certainly possible that those flights are being cancelled to protect Beijing from COVID-19 outbreaks / surges in other parts of China.

The Beijing Capital International Airport, incidentally, regularly ranks as one of the airports with the most cancellations in the world.

Fact #5 : Cancellations Could Possibly Be Due To COVID-19

The Chinese news portal Netease said that the cancellations were mainly due to the recent COVID-19 surges in multiple provinces in China, which makes quite a lot of sense.

Beijing is preparing to host 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) on 16 October 2022.

This is a major twice-a-decade meeting for the CCP, and one in which President Xi Jinping is expected to be re-elected as General Secretary for an unprecedented third term.

While the 20th National Congress is really just a rubber-stamp event, it is critical for President Xi that his Zero COVID policy is seen to work. Hence, it is critical that Beijing has no COVID-19 outbreak at that time.

Recommended : Did US Navy Fleet Escort Nancy Pelosi To Taiwan?!

Fact #6 : Cancellations Could Possibly Be Due To Military Exercise

Former Chinese investigative journalist Zhao Lanjian, however, suggested that the flights may have been cancelled due to a military exercise.

刚刚我问询一位墙内专业人士。这么回答的。这个大规模取消航班,必须是军方指令。空中交通管制权由中国军方决定,再下指令给民航管理部门。空域留出来,军方飞机才可以随便飞。这是军事计划,至少是有军备预演。但愿未来真的实施军事行动了,不要有太多赔偿品。

This mass cancellation of flights must be a military directive. Air traffic control authority is decided by the Chinese military, which in turn gives instructions to civil aviation management. The airspace is set aside so that military aircraft can fly at will. This is military planning, or at least with military prep.

Fact #7 : No Evidence Of Military Coup In China

Outside of these flight cancellations and an 80 km military convoy, there really isn’t any actual evidence of a military coup in China.

If a military coup did occur, Beijing would be under martial law, with no flights allowed in and out. That would include a lockdown or curfew with military roadblocks all over Beijing and the rest of China.

These are all “noisy” actions that would be clearly visible, not only to the Chinese public but the entire world as well, especially in a time of smartphones and social media.

Yet, there was no mention of anything remotely close to a military coup of any kind, in any mainstream media or social media, either inside or outside of China.

It may be possible to keep a lid on such a major event in North Korea – the hermit kingdom, but not in China. Not even with the Great Firewall (防火长城).

 

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Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Did US Navy Fleet Escort Nancy Pelosi To Taiwan?!

Did a massive US Navy fleet of warships and fighters escort Nancy Pelosi safely to Taiwan?!

Take a look at the viral video, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : Massive US Fleet Had To Escort Nancy Pelosi To Taiwan!

People are sharing a video which claims to show a massive fleet of warships and fighters that the United States used to escort Nancy Pelosi safety to Taiwan.

Here are some of the accompanying descriptions :

Pelosi gets more firepower escorting her flight to Asia than any US President flying anywhere ever had in history.

See, how Nancy Pelosi reached Taiwan, Escorted by fighter jets and the strength of US Blue Navy

Retired Pakistani Brigadier Ashfaq Hassan also shared the video, claiming that the US Air Force was authorised to shoot at Chinese aircraft or warships interfering with her flight.

👇Arrival of US Air Force One in Taiwan with US official Nancy Pelosi.
20 Warplanes were escorting Nancy Pelosi’s plane including US fighter jets. US air force authorized to open fire in case of any Chinese interference on the plane carrying Nancy Pelosi.

 

Truth : US Fleet Did Not Escort Nancy Pelosi To Taiwan

This is another example of FAKE NEWS circulating on social media and WhatsApp groups, and here are the reasons why….

Fact #1 : Nancy Pelosi’s Flight Had No US Escort

Nancy Pelosi flew from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia to Taipei, Taiwan aboard a Boeing C-40C – the military version of the Boeing 737 airliner, operated by the US Air Force.

Her flight with the callsign SPAR19 flew to Taipei without US fighter or warship escort, but was met by Taiwanese fighter escorts on entering Taiwanese airspace.

Fact #2 : Video Was Recorded At Valiant Shield 2020

The video was recorded on September 25, 2020 – just over two years ago, and had nothing to do with Nancy Pelosi, or Taiwan.

If you watch the official Valiant Shield 2020 video, you will see the same aircraft fly over the same ships at around 1:39. Here was the official description of the aircraft flyover :

PHILIPPINE SEA (Sept. 25, 2020) From left, USNS Charles Drew (T-AKE 10), USS Comstock (LSD 45), USS Shiloh (CG 67), USS New Orleans (LPD 18), USS Chicago (SSN 721), USS America (LHA 6), USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), USNS John Ericsson (T-AO 194), USS Antietam (CG 54), USS Germantown (LSD 42), and USNS Sacagawea (T-AKE 2) steam in formation while E/A-18G Growlers and FA-18E Super Hornets from Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, a P-8 Poseidon from Commander Task Force 72, and U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors and a B-1B Bomber fly over the formation in support of Valiant Shield 2020.

In this screenshot, you can see the same 3 flights of aircraft flying over the same warships in Valiant Shield 2020.

Fact #3 : US Air Force Won’t Send A Bomber As Escort

The lead aircraft in the flyover has a very distinctive shape. Any military buff will immediately identify it as a Rockwell B-1B Lancer.

The US Air Force would never send the B-1B, because it’s a supersonic heavy bomber, and useless as an escort aircraft.

Fact #4 : P-8 Poseidon Is An ASW Aircraft

The aircraft that looked like a Boeing 737 is actually a P-8 Poseidon, which is based on the 737-800ERX.

It is an anti-submarine warfare aircraft, and is most certainly not a passenger transport aircraft like the Boeing C-40C.

Fact #5 : US Air Force Was Not Authorised To Open Fire

Retired Ashfaq Hassan falsely claimed that the US Air Force was authorised to open fire in case of Chinese interference with Nancy Pelosi’s flight.

It is such an absurd claim, because either party shooting at each other would have been considered an act of war.

In past confrontations, Chinese aircraft have only limited themselves to buzzing other aircraft and dumping chaff into their engines. No one ever fired a shot, because that would have led to an outbreak of war.

Read more : Did Chinese Bombers Fire On US Aircraft Carrier?!

Fact #6 : China Sent 10 Observers To Valiant Shield 2020

Interestingly, the Chinese are well-aware that this video is from Valiant Shield 2020, because that was the first time they were invited to observe the exercise.

China sent a 10-person delegation, including one high-ranking officer each from its Navy, Army and Air Force to observe Valiant Shield 2020.

Chinese Rear Admiral Zhang Leiyu – the leader of this delegation, even called it “a positive step in China-US military ties”.

Fact #7 : This Is Just Chinese Propaganda

This is just another example of Chinese propaganda created by the infamous Chinese 50 Cent Army (wumao, 五毛).

All of the wumao articles and videos that I looked at so far have proven to be false… at every instance. So please watch out for such false claims.

Please help us fight fake news – SHARE this article, and SUPPORT our work!

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Air Travel To Malaysia : Latest Covid-19 Requirements + SOP!

Here are the LATEST COVID-19 requirements and SOP for those plan to travel by air to Malaysia!

Updated @ 2022-07-03 : Malaysian citizens are no longer required to register for Traveller’s Pass.
Updated @ 2022-06-13 : Added the current COVID-19 vaccination requirements

Originally posted @ 2022-04-28

 

Malaysia Air Travel : Current COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements

Currently, travellers to Malaysia must provide documentation that they have completed a full regimen of a COVID-19 vaccine recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO), or by a stringent regulatory authority in the country of origin.

There are additional requirements on COVID-19 vaccination for travellers :

  • Those aged 60 years and above are required to receive a booster dose.
  • Those received two doses of Sinopharm or Sinovac vaccine, regardless of age, must receive a third dose (of any vaccine) to qualify as fully-vaccinated.

The definition of a full regimen of a COVID-19 vaccine includes the number of doses required to provide the full vaccine protection, as well as the time needed to achieve protection against COVID-19.

Currently, that means 14 days after the second dose of a two (2) dose vaccine, or 14 days after a one (1) dose vaccine. In the case of Sinopharm / Sinovac vaccine recipients, that would mean 14 days after the third dose.

You are also considered fully-vaccinated immediately after receiving your booster dose.

Please make sure you submit your vaccination information through the Travellers option in MySejahtera, before your flight to Malaysia.

After submitting your COVID-19 vaccination details, you will receive a Travellers digital card, which allows you entry into Malaysia on arrival.

 

Malaysia Air Travel Test + Quarantine Rules From 1 May 2022!

On 27 April 2022, the Malaysia Minister of Health Khairy Jamaluddin announced new test and quarantine rules for travellers flying to Malaysia.

These COVID-19 test and quarantine rules take effect from Sunday, 1 May 2022 onwards!

A. Children 12 Years Or Younger : No Test, No Quarantine!

Irrespective of their vaccination status, children who are 12 years old or younger do NOT need to :

  • undergo pre-departure test
  • undergo on-arrival test, or
  • undergo HSO quarantine

B. Fully-Vaccinated 13 Years Or Older : No Test, No Quarantine!

Fully-vaccinated adolescents and adults who are 13 years or older do NOT need to :

  • undergo pre-departure test
  • undergo on-arrival test, or
  • undergo HSO quarantine

C. Partially-Vaccinated / Unvaccinated 13-17 Years Old : No Quarantine!

Adolescents who are 13-17 years old, and are partially vaccinated or unvaccinated do NOT need to undergo HSO quarantine on arrival in Malaysia.

However, they will need to undergo :

  • a PCR test within 48 hours before departure to Malaysia, and
  • a supervised RTK-Ag test within 24 hours of arrival in Malaysia.

D. Vaccinated Adults : No Test, No Quarantine!

Fully-vaccinated adults (18 years and older), with or without a booster dose, do NOT need to :

  • undergo pre-departure test
  • undergo on-arrival test, or
  • undergo HSO quarantine

E. Unvaccinated with Medical Exemption : No Quarantine!

Unvaccinated individuals with a medical exemption will be allowed, on a case-by-case basis, to travel to Malaysia without a mandatory quarantine.

However, they must undergo :

  • a PCR test within 48 hours before departure to Malaysia, and
  • a professional RTK-Ag test within 24 hours of arrival in Malaysia.

F. Unvaccinated Adults : 5 Day Quarantine

Adult travellers (18 years and older) who are partially-vaccinated, or completely unvaccinated, must :

  • undergo a 5-day mandatory quarantine on arrival in Malaysia, and
  • undergo a PCR test on Day 4, or a professional RTK-Ag test on Day 5.

Travellers who are exempt from vaccination for health reasons must upload the evidence of medical exemption into the MySejahtera app.

G. Unvaccinated + Post COVID-19 : 5 Day Quarantine

Unvaccinated individuals who recovered from COVID-19 (infected in the last 6-60 days) must:

  • undergo a 5-day mandatory quarantine on arrival in Malaysia, and
  • undergo a PCR test on Day 4, or a professional RTK-Ag test on Day 5.

If they were not hospitalised, they must undergo :

  • a professional RTK-Ag test within 48 hours before departure to Malaysia, and
  • a professional RTK-Ag test within 24 hours of arrival in Malaysia.

If they were hospitalised, they can use a Fit To Travel letter from the hospital.

 

Latest Malaysia Air Travel Procedure From 4 July 2022!

On 27 April 2022, the Malaysia Ministry of Health issued the official procedure for travellers who arrive by air, that will take effect from 1 May 2022 onwards.

It was then updated on 1 July 2022, with the abolishment of the Traveller’s Pass for Malaysian citizens.

Before Departure

  1. Download the MySejahtera app, and register for your MySejahtera account. *
  2. Click on the Traveller icon in MySejahtera, and complete the pre-departure form
    a) fully-vaccinated travellers will receive a Digital Traveller’s Card *
    b) partially vaccinated / unvaccinated travellers will receive a Digital Home Surveillance Order (HSO).
  3. All unvaccinated or partially vaccinated travellers 13 years and above must undergo a PCR test 2 days before departure.
  4. Those who had a previous COVID-19 infection (within 6-60 days before departure) must undergo a professional RTK-Ag test 2 days before departure, or alternatively, have a Free-To-Travel letter if they were hospitalised for COVID-19 during that time.
  5. You do NOT need to purchase travel and COVID-19 insurance.

* No longer necessary for Malaysian citizens, starting 4 July 2022.

On Arrival

  1. All partially vaccinated or unvaccinated travellers 13 years and above must undergo a supervised RTK-Ag test within 24 hours of arrival in Malaysia.
    a) this supervised RTK-Ag test can be performed at any health facility of your choice, or virtually
    b) COVID-19 breathalyser / professional RTK-Ag tests are available at the airport
    c) Cost of on-arrival RTK-Ag test must be borne by the travellers.
  2. Children below the age of 13, and travellers from Singapore are exempted from the on-arrival test.
  3. Partially-vaccinated / unvaccinated travellers must undergo a mandatory 5-day quarantine.
  4. IMPORTANT : Travellers transiting through Malaysian international airports to Sabah or Sarawak must undergo professional RTK-Ag at the airport, before departing.

Testing Positive On Arrival

If you test positive on arrival, you must undergo a mandatory HSO quarantine of 7 days.

You can opt for the new Day 4 test and release procedure, by undertaking a supervised RTK-Ag test on Day 4 of your quarantine.

  • If you test negative, you are allowed to immediately terminate your quarantine.
  • If you test positive, you must complete your 7-day quarantine

Read more : Day 4 Test + Release For COVID-19 Positive In Malaysia!

Testing Positive During Quarantine

If you are a partially vaccinated / unvaccinated traveller, you will need to undergo a 5-day quarantine, and get tested on Day 4 (PCR) or Day 5 (RTK-Ag).

If you test positive on Day 4 or Day 5, your quarantine will get extended for 5 more days.

 

Malaysia Air Travel Test + Quarantine SOP : Summary

To make it easier to compare the myriad air travel requirements to Malaysia, I created this table to summarise the key requirements.

Vaccination Status Pre-Departure On Arrival Additional Test
or Quarantine
Child (< 13 Years) * No Test Required No Test
No Quarantine
Fully Vaccinated (≥ 13 Years)
Partially-Vaccinated or
Unvaccinated (13-17 Years)
PCR test
within 2 days
Supervised
RTK-Ag
within 24 hours
of arrival

On-Arrival
Professional
RTK-Ag
for travellers
transiting to
Sabah or
Sarawak
Not Vaccinated with
Medical Exemption
Partially Vaccinated or
Unvaccinated (≥18 Years)
5-Day Quarantine
with
Day 4 PCR or
Day 5 RTK

Partially Vaccinated
or Unvaccinated

+ Post-COVID-19
(6-60 Days)
Professional
RTK-Ag
within 2 days
or FTT letter **
if hospitalised

* By year of birth
** Also professional RTK-Ag if recovered from COVID-19 infection 6-60 days before departure
*** FTT = Fit To Travel

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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US Mil Contractor Admits Selling Aviation Secrets To China!

A US military contractor just pleaded guilty to selling classified aviation secrets to China!

 

US Mil Contractor Admits Selling Aviation Secrets To China!

On 23 June 2022, Shapour Moinian, 67, of San Diego, pleaded guilty to selling classified aviation secrets to “representatives of the Chinese government”.

Moinan admitted that he knew that those individuals were employed by, or directed by, t he government of the People’s Republic of China.

He also admitted making false statements to cover that up, by lying on his government background questionnaires in July 2017 and March 2020 that he did not have any close or continuing contacts with foreign nations, and that no foreign national had offered him a job.

He now faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, and a fine of up to $250,000 for action as an agent of a foreign government, and up to 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for making false statements.

His sentencing is scheduled for August 29, where federal prosecutors have agreed to recommend a sentence of no more than 20 months, as part of his plea agreement.

As Special Agent in Charge Stacey Moy of the FBI’s San Diego Field Office explains :

The defendant admitted to being an unregistered agent of a foreign power, lying on his background check paperwork to obtain his security clearance, knowingly providing proprietary information to people controlled by the Chinese government, and willingly receiving payments from them. This is another example of how the Chinese government enhances its defense capabilities through the illicit exploitation of U.S. technology.

When someone holds a security clearance, they know what information should be reported to security officials. In this case, the defendant betrayed his sacred oath, knew his actions were wrong, and subsequently lied about it. The FBI and our partners on the Counterintelligence Task Force will pursue anyone who abuses their placement and access to obtain proprietary information on behalf of a foreign government. I specifically want to thank the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) for their continued partnership on this case.

 

How This Military Contractor Sold Aviation Secrets To China!

Moinan was a former US Army helicopter pilot who served in the United States, Germany and South Korea from 1977 to 2000. After leaving the US Army, he worked for various “cleared” defence contractors in the United States.

The term “cleared” indicates that the contractor has been vetted and cleared to work on projects involving classified information.

While working for a cleared defence contractor on various aviation projects involving the US military and intelligence agencies, Moinan was contacted by an individual in China, who claimed to be working for a technical recruiting company.

This Chinese individual offered Moinan the opportunity to consult for the aviation industry in China. In March 2017, Moinan travelled to Hong Kong to meet with this recruiter.

At that meeting, he agreed to provide information and materials related to multiple types of aircraft designed and/or manufactured in the United States, in exchange for money. Moinan accepted between $7,000 to $10,000 during that meeting.

On returning to the United States, Shapour Moinan began gathering aviation-related materials for the Chinese government.

In one instance, he copied classified materials obtained from a cleared defence contractor into a thumb drive, which he handed over to Chinese government officials during a stopover in the Shanghai airport in September 2017.

Moinan arranged for payment for this transfer to be paid through his stepdaughter’s South Korean bank account. He told her that these funds were payments for his overseas consulting work, and instructed her to transfer the funds to him in multiple transactions – to avoid scrutiny.

Moinan also accepted a mobile phone, and other equipment from these Chinese government officials to securely communicate with them, and to aid in the electronic transfer of classified materials and information.

At the end of March 2018, Moinan travelled to Bali to meet with the same individuals again. After that meeting, his step daughter received thousands of dollars in her South Korean bank account, which she wired to him in multiple transactions.

Later in 2018, Moinan went to work for another cleared defence contractor, and in August 2019, he travelled with his wife to Hong Kong to meet with the same Chinese government officials.

This time, he received $22,000 in cash for his services, which Moinan and his wife smuggled into the United States that trip.

It is currently unknown how the US government discovered Moines’s activities, but he was investigated by the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division and the Naval Criminal Investigation Service (NCIS).

 

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You Can Now Fly To United States Without COVID-19 Test!

You can now fly to the United States without taking any COVID-19 test!

Here is what you need to know!

 

You Can Now Fly To United States Without COVID-19 Test!

17 months ago, the US CDC issued an order requiring all travellers to present a negative COVID-19 test before they can fly to the United States, or present documentation of recovery from COVID-19.

US CDC Director Rochelle Walensky just rescinded that order for all aircraft departing their point of origin on or after Sunday, June 12, 2022, at 12:01 AM EDT (Eastern Daylight Time).

I have concluded that continuation of the Order is not currently necessary. There being no operation need to delay implementation of this rescission for more than a short period of time, it shall take effect for all aircraft departing from their point of origin on or after Sunday, June 12, 2022, at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).

That said, the US Department of Health and Human Services Secretary, Xavier Becerra, said that this decision is based on “science and available data”, and warned that it may be reinstated if things change :

The CDC continues to recommend COVID-19 testing prior to air travel of any kind and will not hesitate to reinstate a pre-departure testing requirement, if needed later. Ensuring the safety and well-being of Americans is a top priority.

 

Current Requirements Before You Fly To United States

This order restores travel requirements to what it was before the pandemic – you will no longer be required to undergo a COVID-19 test, or show proof of COVID-19 recovery, before you fly to the United States.

However, the CDC still recommends that travellers get tested before and after travel, or after known exposure to someone with COVID-19.

They also recommend that travellers “remain up to date with vaccination against COVID-19“, and “wear masks in indoor public transportation settings“.

However, airlines may impose their own requirements, so please make sure you check with your airlines too!

American Citizens / Permanent Residents

The CDC recommendation to be up to date with your COVID-19 vaccination is no longer mandatory for American citizens.

Foreigners

For foreign travellers, you can fly to the United States without a negative COVID-19 test.

However, the CDC still requires foreigners to be fully-vaccinated before they can fly to the United States. A booster dose is not required.

Only selected foreigners may receive an exemption to this CDC requirement :

  • Persons on diplomatic or official foreign government travel
  • Children under 18 years of age
  • Persons with documented medical contraindications to receiving a COVID-19 vaccine
  • Participants in certain COVID-19 vaccine trials
  • Persons issued a humanitarian or emergency exception
  • Persons with valid visas [excluding B-1 (business) or B-2 (tourism) visas] who are citizens of a foreign country with limited COVID-19 vaccine availability (See list for updates that will be effective June 28, 2022)
  • Members of the U.S. Armed Forces or their spouses or children (under 18 years of age)
  • Sea crew members traveling with to a C-1 and D nonimmigrant visa
  • Persons whose entry would be in the national interest, as determined by the Secretary of State, Secretary of Transportation, or Secretary of Homeland Security (or their designees)

But note that if you qualify for the exemption, you may be required to :

  • get tested for COVID-19 within 3-5 days of arrival in the United States, and
  • self-quarantine for 5 days, even if you test negative in the post-arrival test (unless you have documentation of recovering from COVID-19 in the past 90 days), and
  • self-isolate if you test positive in the post-arrival test, or develop COVID-19 symptoms
  • get vaccinated against COVID-19 if you intend to stay in the United States for longer than 60 days

 

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Why Crashed Osprey Did Not Have Nuclear Material Onboard!

A US Marine Osprey aircraft crashed in the California desert, with “early reports” of nuclear material onboard.

Find out what happened, and why there could not have been nuclear materials onboard!

Updated @ 2022-06-10 : Added confirmation of casualties from the crash.
Originally posted @ 2022-06-09

 

US Marine Osprey Crashed, No Nuclear Material Onboard!

An MV-22B Osprey aircraft belonging to the US Marine crashed in the California desert on 8 June 2022, and “early reports” that it carried nuclear material sparked fear.

The crash was announced and then confirmed by Naval Air Facility El Centro :

EMERGENCY ALERT! #NAFEC has just received reports of a downed aircraft in the vicinity of Coachella Canal Road and the 78. Installation Federal Fire, and Imperial County Fire Department are responding.

We can confirm that an aircraft belonging to 3d Marine Aircraft Wing crashed near Glamis, CA. Military and civilian first responders are on site.

The Osprey belonging to the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing headquartered in Miramar, San Diego, was flying with a Marine unit of five onboard.

It crashed at around 12:25 PM local time in Imperial County, near Highway 78 and the town of Glamis. That’s about 50 km from the Mexican border, and 240 km east of San Diego.

On June 9, 2022, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar announced that all five Marines onboard the MV-22B Osprey were confirmed dead.

Press Release: 5 Marines dead in MV-22B mishap

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. – (June 9. 2022) Five Marines with Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 39, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW), have been confirmed deceased following an aviation mishap involving an MV-22B Osprey during a training mission near Glams, CA on the afternoon of June 8. 2022.

Maj. Gen. Bradford J. Gering, commanding general of 3rd MAW issued the following statement, “We mourn the loss of our Marines in this tragic mishap. Our hearts go out to their families and friends as they cope with this tragedy.

As a matter of policy, identities of deceased service members are not released until 24-hours after all next-of-kin notifications have been completed.

Equipment recovery efforts have begun and an investigation is underway.

While military service is inherently dangerous, the loss of life is always difficult. 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing is committed to providing support to the families, friends, and fellow service members of the fallen Marines.

While the US Marines has not announced the names of the five dead, family and friends confirmed that 21 year-old Nathan Carlson from Illinois was one of them.

 

Why Crashed Osprey Would Not Have Nuclear Material Onboard…

It is unknown who started the rumours that the Osprey had nuclear materials onboard, but even content aggregator / fake news websites like Vancouver Times jumped on the bandwagon, claiming “Military aircraft believed to be carrying nuclear material crashes in California, multiple people killed“.

Naval Air Facility El Centro refuted the rumours of nuclear materials on the Osprey, stating :

Contrary to initial reports, there was no nuclear material on board the aircraft. More information will be made available as we receive it.

The Boeing MV-22B Osprey is a tilt-rotor aircraft that can land or take off as a helicopter, and “transform” into a turboprop aircraft once it’s airborne.

The US Marines use the Osprey used primarily to carry troops and supplies, as well as for medevac and rescue missions.

There is no Osprey mission tasking that would involve the transport of nuclear materials, or the use of nuclear weapons. In fact, there is no history of any Osprey in service ever doing so.

The US Marines do not have nuclear weapons in its inventory, and the Osprey has a history of reliability issues resulting in multiple crashes and 46 deaths :

  • July 1992 : Pre-production Osprey crashed after its right engine failed. All seven people onboard died.
  • April 2000 : An Osprey crashed in Arizona, killing all 19 people onboard.
  • December 2000 : An Osprey crashed in North Carolina, killing all four people onboard.
  • April 2010 : An Osprey crashed in Afghanistan, killing four people and injuring 16.
  • April 2012 : An Osprey crashed in Morocco, killing two people and seriously injuring two more.
  • June 2012 : An Osprey crashed in Florida, injuring all five onboard.
  • May 2015 : An Osprey crashed in Hawaii, kill two people and injuring 20 others.
  • December 2016 : An Osprey crashed in Okinawa, injuring two crew members.
  • August 2017 : An Osprey crashed in Australia, killing three people with 23 survivors.
  • March 2022 : An Osprey crashed in Norway, killing all four crew members.

It would not have been safe or prudent to transport nuclear materials using the Osprey, particularly on the continental United States, where there are other safer options.

 

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Chinese J-16 Fighter Fired Flares, Chaff At Australian Plane!

A Chinese J-16 fighter jet not only buzzed an Australian P-8 recon plane, it fired flares and chaff that entered one of its engines!

 

Chinese J-16 Fighter Fired Flares, Chaff At Australian Plane!

On 5 June 2022, Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles announced that a Chinese J-16 fighter jet put the crew of an Australian P-8 reconnaissance plane at risk during a recent mid-air intercept on 26 May.

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) P-8 Poseidon was in the South China Sea conducting “routine maritime surveillance” activities in international waters when it was intercepted by a Chinese Shenyang J-16 fighter.

This time though, the J-16 pilot recklessly cut across the Australian recon plane’s flight path at close proximity, and fired flares and chaff.

Some of the chaff – usually aluminium foil or aluminium-coated glass fibres – were ingested by one of the Australian P-8 aircraft’s engines, potentially damaging it.

This was apparently done to forcibly end the recon aircraft’s patrol. Any potential damage to one of the engines would force the crew to return to base, even though the Boeing P-8 Poseidon can operate on a single engine.

What occurred was that the J-16 aircraft flew very close to the side of the P-8 maritime surveillance aircraft. In flying close to the side, it released flares.

The J-16 then accelerated and cut across the nose of the P-8, settling in front of the P-8 at a very close distance.

At that moment it then released a bundle of chaff, which contains small pieces of aluminum, some of which were ingested into the engine of the P-8 aircraft. Quite obviously, this is very dangerous.

The Australian Defense Ministry described the incident as “a dangerous maneuver which posed a safety threat to the P-8 aircraft and its crew”.

 

Chinese Justified J-16 Firing Flares, Chaff At Australian P-8…

In a statement released on 7 June 2022, Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Tan Kefei justified the J-16’s dangerous intercept by accusing the Australian P-8 aircraft of “approaching Chinese airspace” close to the Paracel Islands.

The Paracel Islands, which the Chinese call “Xisha Islands”, is a disputed archipelago in the South China Sea claimed by China, Vietnam and Taiwan.

While the Vietnamese were in control of the Paracel Islands since 1947, they were taken over by China after the Battle of the Paracel Islands in January 1974.

He also claimed that the Chinese pilot behaved in a “professional, safe, reasonable and lawful way“.

On May 26, an Australian P-8 anti-submarine patrol aircraft conducted close reconnaissance in the neighboring airspace of China’s Xisha Islands and approached the airspace continuously despite repeated warnings from the Chinese side.

The People’s Liberation Army’s Southern Theater Command mobilized naval and air forces to identify the craft and warned it off.

The Chinese military responded in a professional, safe, reasonable and lawful way.

Militaries from other countries should take note of what the Chinese government considers as “professional, safe, reasonable and lawful” conduct, and return the favour.

Perhaps once a Chinese jet or two have ingested chaff into their engines, they will reconsider such “professional, safe, reasonable and lawful” intercepts.

This was also the second time in the same week Chinese aircraft have aggressively intercepted reconnaissance aircraft from other countries.

Just a day earlier, the Canadian government revealed that Chinese fighters repeatedly “buzzed” Canadian CP-140 Aurora maritime patrol aircraft that were monitoring North Korea to enforce United Nations sanctions under Operation NEON.

The Chinese fighters flew so close, their pilots were “very clearly visible”, and the Canadian aircrews had to change course to avoid collisions. Canadian Armed Forces media relations chief Dan Le Bouthillie said :

In these interactions, PLAAF (People’s Liberation Army Air Force) aircraft did not adhere to international air safety norm.

These interactions are unprofessional and/or put the safety of our RCAF (Royal Canadian Air Force) personnel at risk.

The Chinese naturally claimed that their national security was endangered by the Canadian aircraft’s monitoring of a completely different country… Chinese Defense Ministry spokesperson Wu Qian said :

Recently, under the pretext of enforcing UN Security Council resolutions, Canadian warplanes have intensified close-in reconnaissance of China and acted provocatively, endangering Chinese national security and the safety of frontline personnel from both sides.

China urges Canada to face up to the seriousness of the situation, strictly control its frontline troops, and stop taking any risky and provocative actions; otherwise, Canada will have to take all responsibilities for any serious consequences from such actions.

In short, it’s never China’s fault, and everyone is always provoking them. Tut tut….

 

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EU Air Travel : Face Mask + Physical Distancing Not Required!

You will not longer be required to wear a face mask, or physically distance, during air travel to and from EU countries!

Here is what you need to know…

 

EU Air Travel : Face Mask + Physical Distancing Not Required!

On 11 May 2022, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) issued a joint statement, dropping their recommendation for the mandatory wearing of a face mask as well as physical distancing in airports and on flights.

From Monday, 16 May 2022 onwards, you will no longer be required to wear a face mask at airports, or onboard a flight across the European Union.

However, travellers with respiratory symptoms (coughing or sneezing) are strongly recommended to wear a face mask.

Airports are also no longer required to strictly implement physical distancing. Rather, they should adopt “a pragmatic approach”, and avoid imposing distancing requirements if they “will likely lead to a bottleneck”.

Airport operators are also not required to impose physical distancing if they are “not required at national or regional level”.

That said, they are still asking airport operators to encourage physical distancing where possible, particularly in the meet and greet areas and around baggage carousels.

 

Face Mask + Physical Distancing Not Required In EU, But Still Recommended!

While the EU will no longer require you to wear a face mask, or impose strict physical distancing during air travel, they are both still highly recommended to prevent COVID-19.

Here are selected excerpts from the latest EASA and ECDC guidelines (PDF) for air travel in the European Union :

Medical Face Masks

Medical face masks (hereafter referred to also as ‘face masks’) are among the most efficient means to prevent the transmission of SARS-COV-2 including existing VOCs. As such, the wearing of masks should be considered in crowded indoor and outdoor settings, including air travel.

If the departure or destination States require wearing of face masks in public transport, aircraft operators should require passengers and crew to wear a face mask beyond 16 May 2022.

In other cases, starting 16 May 2022, aircraft and aerodrome operators should continue to encourage passengers and crew members, as part of their pre-flight communications as well as during travel through signage and announcements, to wear a face mask during flight as well as in the airport as a way to protect themselves and others and that they should respect others’ decision to wear or to not wear a mask.

In their communication, operators should highlight that people at high risk for severe COVID-19 are advised to wear an FFP2 respirator mask during the flight for their own protection. Experimental studies indicate that respirators are more effective than medical face masks both in limiting the release of infectious respiratory droplets when worn by the infectious source and in limiting the exposure when worn by the exposed person. 

People with respiratory symptoms (coughing or sneezing) are strongly recommended to wear a medical face mask irrespective of the requirements on that particular flight. 

Physical Distancing

Physical distancing, alongside the proper wearing of face masks, has proven among the most effective non-pharmaceutical interventions to prevent SARS-CoV-2 (including VOCs) transmission. Physical distancing should be encouraged in all airport areas, the arrival terminal (with a particular focus for the meet and greet area) and around the baggage carousels. Signage and communication material should continue to encourage physical distancing where possible. 

However, implementation experience has shown that in some cases, strict physical distancing measures in the aviation environment (airport and aircraft) is not operationally feasible and creates additional unintended bottlenecks in other areas, increasing the exposure times and leading to operational delays touching the flight time limitation requirements and, consequently, flight safety. Physical distancing could therefore be added to the use of face masks where operationally feasible and where it does not result in additional crowding in other areas. If physical distancing measures cannot be implemented, the use of face masks should be encouraged for passengers. 

PPE For Airline / Airport Crew + Staff

Airport operators, aircraft operators and service providers/suppliers should provide the necessary PPE to their staff members and ensure that they are trained in its appropriate use: 

— Staff members who interact with passengers directly (e.g. cabin crew members, security check agents, assistants for passengers with reduced mobility, cleaning staff, etc.) should be encouraged to properly wear a medical face mask or, where available and the legal framework permits, a higher-standard face mask (e.g. FFP2/N95/KN95 respirators). 

— Staff should be encouraged to practise respiratory hygiene at all times as well as frequent hand hygiene, either via appropriate hand-washing or by applying an alcohol-based hand disinfectant. The use of a protective gown or a one-use plastic apron can be considered for tasks that may expose staff to splashes. 

— Flight crew members should be encouraged to wear a face mask whenever interacting with, or in the proximity of, other people. Once they are in the flight compartment and the door is closed, flight crew members may remove their masks subject to their operator’s policy and mutual agreement. Furthermore, the flight’s crew members should remove their masks for emergency situations and whenever requested by appropriate authorities for official purposes such as identification or alcohol testing. 

— Aircraft operators should have on board one or more Universal Precaution Kits (UPKs. Such kits should be used by crew members who are assisting passengers with COVID-

 

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Did Chinese Jamming Attacks Force US Navy To Withdraw?!

Was the US Navy forced to withdraw from the South China Sea after Chinese jamming attacks on their planes?

Find out what’s going on, and what the FACTS really are…

 

Claim : US Navy Withdraws After Chinese Jamming Attacks!

This was the Chinese article that went viral after the Chinese 50 Cent Army (wumao) and netizens promoted it excitedly in July 2020, and again in 2022.

It was allegedly translated into English by Hong Kong-based analyst, Thomas Wing Polin, whose translation was widely circulated on social media

It was this English translation that went viral again social media, after tensions rose between the US and China over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The post is very long, so feel free to skip to the next section for the facts…

Just now, the U.S. fighter plane flew over the South China Sea again.
Unexpectedly, it lost control halfway, and the U.S. finally admitted one thing.

Just now, the US CNBC website reported that several US Growler electronic warplanes were mysteriously attacked when they flew to the South China Sea again.

These warplanes were all out of control midway, but these warplanes were out of control for only a few seconds. Then the US military ordered the request. All fighters over the South China Sea withdrew.

 

US Navy Withdraws After Jamming : Just A Chinese Fantasy

That Chinese article was given some legitimacy after it was posted in Asia Times by Pepe Escobar.

However, it is COMPLETELY BOGUS, and is yet another example of Chinese propaganda warfare. Here are the facts…

Fact #1 : There Is No Such CNBC Report

A quick check on any search engine will show that CNBC never published a report on US Growler planes being attacked by Chinese jamming.

Fact #2 : No US Growler Planes Ever Lost Control From Chinese Jamming

No US EA-18G Growler planes ever lost control to Chinese jamming.

The Americans first detected Chinese jamming during USS Theodore Roosevelt’s deployment to the Philippines in 2018.

One EA-18G Growler pilot confirmed it in an interview with GMA News Online, but pointed out that they were not in danger :

The mere fact that some of your equipment is not working is already an indication that someone is trying to jam you. And so we have an answer to that.

A EA-18G Growler, XE 573 166857 of the VX-9 “Vampires” cruises over the desert during a mission. Shot 3/11/2009. RMS 227040

Fact #3 : EA-18G Growler Is An Electronics Warfare Aircraft

The Boeing EA-18G Growler is a two-seat electronics warfare aircraft, designed to jam enemy radar and electronics.

While the Growler is still vulnerable to powerful ground jamming, it is the worst aircraft for the Chinese to attack electronically because it’s the American aircraft most able to defend against, and respond to, a jamming attack.

Hence, the pilot’s response – “We have an answer to [Chinese jamming]“.

Fitted with a multitude of jamming pods and electronics, its electronics warfare officer can counter-jam Chinese radar and communications in the area.

And if they are ever in real danger, the pilot can fire an AGM-88 HARM (High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile) to destroy the Chinese jammer.

But perhaps that’s also the reason why the Chinese chose to attack the EA-18G Growler in 2018 – it was the aircraft best able to withstand such an attack.

Fact #4 : It Is Illegal To Jam Any Aircraft In International Airspace

China has the right to jam foreign military aircraft entering its airspace without permission, but the Chinese do not have the right to jam any aircraft, military or civilian, flying in international airspace.

While a jamming attack is not an act of war like firing a missile or shooting shells at the aircraft, it is still a hostile, provocative act that could result in the loss of aircraft and aircrew.

Needless to say – it is illegal for for anyone to electronically interfere with aircraft flying in international space, even if they are EA-18G Growler electronic warfare aircraft.

No nation that claims to be peaceful would behave so recklessly.

Fact #5 : China Pledged Not To Militarise The Spratlys

Back in 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping declared that China has no intention to militarise the Spratly islands :

Relevant construction activity that China is undertaking in the Nansha Islands does not target or impact any country and there is no intention to militarise.

President Xi Jinping also reiterated that China is “committed to freedom of navigation in the sea” and to “resolving disputes through dialogue“.

The presence of military jamming equipment in 2018 though would suggest that President Xi was lying, or has no control of what really goes on in the South China Sea.

It doesn’t help that the writer specifically pointed out how China has militarised those islands :

Since the construction of China’s island and reef defense began, the living space of US military fighters and warships has been shrinking. If China continues to develop like this, the United States will not have any chance of winning.

Fact #6 : Jammers Are Offensive Weapons

The claim that electronic jammers are defensive weapons is nonsensical. Electronic jamming is an offensive capability.

Imagine if your neighbour uses an electronic jammer to disrupt your Wi-Fi network, claiming that he has the right to defend his own Wi-Fi network. Which court in the world would agree with him?

The Chinese author of that fantasy piece actually debunked his own claim that jammers are defensive weapons, noting that “it is an electronic jamming device that can cut off the enemy’s radio system. The attacked fighter will be out of control. Since it cannot be controlled, these fighters will soon crash.

Does that sound like a defensive weapon to you? Serious lack of logic and common sense.

Russian Krasukha ground jamming system

Fact #7 : Electronic Jammers Do Not Affect Flight Controls

While electronic jammers can suppress or disrupt radar and communications, they cannot render an aircraft uncontrollable.

Airplanes will not crash simply because they lose radar and communications. Planes that lose radar and communications can still fly…

So the claim that Chinese jammers caused the Growler planes to almost crash is ludicrous.

Fact #8 : Chinese Jammers Do Not Cover Half The South China Sea

While the writer claims that the US military acknowledged that China’s electronic jamming system has covered more than half of the South China Sea, this is yet another fantasy.

The Chinese only deployed military jamming equipment to several artificial islands they created on Mischief Reef and Fiery Cross.

And as powerful as ground-based jamming can be, their effectiveness is greatly reduced by range. That’s why China introduced their Xi’an H-6G airborne jamming aircraft in 2018.

These long-range jamming aircraft would not be necessary if China is already capable of jamming electronics across such a vast distance.

Xian H-6G jamming bomber

Fact #9 : The United States Did Not Withdraw

The United States did not withdraw from the South China Sea in July 2020, as claimed by the article.

In fact, they sent two aircraft carriers – USS Nimitz and USS Ronald Reagan – together with their battle groups into the South China Sea just before the Chinese article was published.

It was the first time two carrier groups operated together in the South China Sea since 2009. The third US carrier – USS Theodore Roosevelt – was also nearby, in the Philippine Sea.

The US Navy Chief of Information left no doubt that the two carriers were there to assert that the South China Sea are international waters, not Chinese waters.

Not did it withdraw in April 2021 when the same article went viral again.

In April 2021, the US Navy posted this famous photo of the captain and executive officer of USS Mustin (DDG-89) –  an Arleigh Burke guided missile destroyer watching the Liaoning carrier group in the Philippine Sea.

The photo left no doubt that the US Navy was not going anywhere, and would shadow Chinese naval forces wherever they are in the South China Sea… and beyond.

Neither did they withdraw in 2022 when the same fake story went viral again.

On 20 January 2022, USS Benfold – an Arleigh Burke guided missile destroyer – conducted a Freedom of Navigation operation by sailing past the Paracel Islands (which the Chinese call Xisha Islands).

On 24 January 2022, two US aircraft carrier groups led by USS Carl Vinson and USS Abraham Lincoln entered the South China Sea for training exercises.

This fake story appears to be part of the disinformation campaign conducted by the Chinese 50 Cent Army (wumao, 五毛).

Please SHARE this fact check with your family and friends, so they know the truth!

 

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Air Travel to Malaysia : Test + Quarantine SOP For April 2022!

Here are the LATEST air travel procedures and SOP for those who are flying to Malaysia!

Updated @ 2022-04-12 : Added RTK-Ag option for Singaporean travellers, RTK-Ag testing requirement for transit to Sabah / Sarawak, and other updates
Updated @ 2022-03-31 : Added new updates to the air travel procedures
Updated @ 2022-03-25 : Added the air travel procedures
Originally posted @ 2022-01-24

 

Malaysia Air Travel Test + Quarantine SOP From 1 April 2022!

On 9 March 2022, the Malaysia Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, announced that new quarantine rules for travellers to Malaysia.

These COVID-19 test and quarantine rules take effect from Friday, 1 April 2022 onwards.

But there have been a few updates, so check the latest requirements below!

A. Travellers Undergoing Quarantine : Immediate Release!

For travellers who started undergoing quarantine prior to 1 April 2022, their quarantine orders will be rescinded on 1 April 2022.

They will no longer be under quarantine on 1 April 2022, irrespective of when they started their quarantine.

B. Children + Teenagers : No Quarantine!

Children and teenagers who are 17 years old or younger do NOT need to undergo quarantine, irrespective of their vaccination status.

Only children and teenagers 7-17 years old need to undergo :

  • a PCR test within 48 hours before departure to Malaysia, and
  • a professional RTK-Ag test within 24 hours of arrival in Malaysia.

Children who are less than 7 years old do not need to undergo any PCR test before departure, or after arrival in Malaysia.

C. Travellers From Singapore : No Quarantine!

Travellers from Singapore do NOT need to undergo quarantine, irrespective of their vaccination status. However, travellers 7 years and older age need to undergo :

  • a PCR or professional RTK-Ag test within 48 hours before departure to Malaysia

Children who are less than 7 years old do not need to undergo any PCR or RTK-Ag test before departure.

And all travellers from Singapore are exempt from testing after arrival in Malaysia.

D. Vaccinated Adults : No Quarantine!

Fully-vaccinated adults (18 years and older), with or without a booster dose, do NOT need to undergo quarantine on arrival in Malaysia. However, they must undergo :

  • a PCR test within 48 hours before departure to Malaysia, and
  • a professional RTK-Ag test within 24 hours of arrival in Malaysia.

E. Vaccinated + Post COVID-19 : No Quarantine!

Fully-vaccinated individuals who recovered from COVID-19 (infected in the last 6-60 days) do NOT need to undergo quarantine on arrival in Malaysia.

However, if they were not hospitalised, they must undergo :

  • a professional RTK-Ag test within 48 hours before departure to Malaysia, and
  • a professional RTK-Ag test within 24 hours of arrival in Malaysia.

If they were hospitalised, they can use a Fit To Travel letter from the hospital.

F. Unvaccinated with Medical Exemption : No Quarantine!

Unvaccinated individuals with a medical exemption will be allowed, on a case-by-case basis, to travel to Malaysia without a mandatory quarantine.

However, they must undergo :

  • a PCR test within 48 hours before departure to Malaysia, and
  • a professional RTK-Ag test within 24 hours of arrival in Malaysia.

G. Unvaccinated Adults : 5 Day Quarantine

Adult travellers (18 years and older) who are not fully-vaccinated, or completely unvaccinated, must :

  • undergo a 5-day mandatory quarantine on arrival in Malaysia, and
  • undergo a PCR test on Day 4, or a professional RTK-Ag test on Day 5.

After completing their quarantine, these travellers must comply with existing restrictions on individuals who lack the Fully Vaccinated status in Malaysia. For example, they will not be able to dine-in at restaurants.

Travellers who are exempt from vaccination for health reasons must upload the evidence of medical exemption into the MySejahtera app.

H. Unvaccinated + Post COVID-19 : 5 Day Quarantine

Unvaccinated individuals who recovered from COVID-19 (infected in the last 6-60 days) must:

  • undergo a 5-day mandatory quarantine on arrival in Malaysia, and
  • undergo a PCR test on Day 4, or a professional RTK-Ag test on Day 5.

If they were not hospitalised, they must undergo :

  • a professional RTK-Ag test within 48 hours before departure to Malaysia, and
  • a professional RTK-Ag test within 24 hours of arrival in Malaysia.

If they were hospitalised, they can use a Fit To Travel letter from the hospital.

 

Latest Malaysia Air Travel Procedure From 1 April 2022!

On 24 March 2022, the Malaysia Ministry of Health issued the official procedure for travellers who arrive by air, that will take effect from 1 April 2022 onwards.

Before Departure

  1. Download the MySejahtera app, and register for your MySejahtera account.
  2. Click on the Traveller icon in MySejahtera, and complete the pre-departure form
    a) fully-vaccinated travellers will receive a Digital Traveller’s Card
    b) partially vaccinated / unvaccinated travellers will receive a Digital Home Surveillance Order (HSO).
  3. All travellers 7 years and above must undergo a PCR test 2 days before departure.
  4. Travellers from Singapore can opt for either a PCR test or a professional RTK-Ag test 2 days before departure.
  5. Those who had a previous COVID-19 infection (within 6-60 days before departure) must undergo a professional RTK-Ag test 2 days before departure, or alternatively, have a Free-To-Travel letter if they were hospitalised for COVID-19 during that time.
  6. Non-Malaysian citizens (except Singaporean citizens) must purchase travel and COVID-19 insurance worth at least US$20,000.
  7. Partially-vaccinated or unvaccinated Singaporean citizens must purchase travel and COVID-19 insurance worth at least US$20,000.

On Arrival

  1. All travellers 7 years and above must undergo a professional RTK-Ag test within 24 hours of arrival in Malaysia.
    a) this professional RTK-Ag test can be performed at any health facility of your choice
    b) COVID-19 breathalyser / professional RTK-Ag tests are available at the airport
    c) Cost of on-arrival RTK-Ag test must be borne by the travellers.
  2. Children below the age of 7, and travellers from Singapore are exempted from the on-arrival test.
  3. Partially-vaccinated / unvaccinated travellers must undergo a mandatory 5-day quarantine.
  4. IMPORTANT : Travellers transiting through Malaysian international airports to Sabah or Sarawak must undergo professional RTK-Ag at the airport, before departing.

Testing Positive On Arrival

If you test positive on arrival, you must undergo a mandatory quarantine of :

  • Fully vaccinated : 7 days
  • Partially vaccinated / unvaccinated : 10 days

Testing Positive During Quarantine

If you are a partially vaccinated / unvaccinated traveller, you will need to undergo a 5-day quarantine, and get tested on Day 4 (PCR) or Day 5 (RTK-Ag).

If you test positive on Day 4 or Day 5, your quarantine will get extended for 5 more days.

 

Malaysia Air Travel Test + Quarantine SOP : Summary

To make it easier to compare the myriad air travel requirements to Malaysia, I created this table to summarise the key requirements.

Vaccination Status Pre-Departure On Arrival Additional Test
or Quarantine
Child (< 7 Years) * No Test Required No Test
No Quarantine
Travellers From
Singapore
PCR test or
professional
RTK-Ag **
within 2 days
No Test Required
Boosted (≥18 Years) PCR test
within 2 days
Professional
RTK-Ag
within 24 hours
of arrival
On-Arrival
Professional
RTK-Ag
for travellers
transiting to
Sabah or
Sarawak
Fully Vaccinated
Fully Vaccinated
+ Post-COVID-19
(6-60 Days)
Professional
RTK-Ag
within 2 days
or FTT letter **
if hospitalised
Children / Teenagers
(7-17 Years)
PCR test
within 2 days
Not Vaccinated with
Medical Exemption
Partially Vaccinated
or Unvaccinated
Day 4 PCR or
Day 5 RTK

5-Day Quarantine
Partially Vaccinated
or Unvaccinated

+ Post-COVID-19
(6-60 Days)
Professional
RTK-Ag
within 2 days
or FTT letter **
if hospitalised

* By year of birth
** Also professional RTK-Ag if recovered from COVID-19 infection 6-60 days before departure
*** FTT = Fit To Travel

 

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Latest Singapore-Malaysia VTL Air Travel Guide!

The Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) between Singapore and Malaysia allows for quarantine-free air travel!

Here is our latest guide on the Singapore to Malaysia Vaccinated Travel Lane!

 

Singapore-Malaysia Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) Announced!

After almost 2 years of border closures, Singapore and Malaysia have agreed to launch a Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) on 8 November 2021.

From 29 November 2021 onwards, fully-vaccinated individuals will be allowed to travel between Changi Airport and KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport).

From 16 March 2021 onwards, fully-vaccinated individuals will be allowed to travel between Changi Airport and PIA (Penang International Airport).

Travellers using this Vaccinated Travel Lane will NOT be required to serve any quarantine or Stay-Home-Notice. They will only be required to take COVID-19 tests!

However, I should point out that this VTL scheme will NOT be cheap, as you will need to undergo several COVID-19 tests.

Read more : Singapore-Malaysia VTL Land (Causeway) Travel Guide!

 

VTL Air Travel Guide : Singapore To Malaysia

On 19 November 2021, the Immigration Department of Malaysia released details of the Vaccinated Travel Lane rules for people travelling from Singapore to Malaysia.

On 2 March 2022, the Malaysia Ministry of Health announced that VTL travellers are no longer required to undergo daily COVID-19 tests.

On 4 March 2022, the governments of Singapore and Malaysia announced that the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) programme would expand to include Penang.

Pre-Departure

  • Travellers must remain in Singapore and/or Malaysia in the last 14 consecutive days.
  • Travellers must be fully-vaccinated with the full regimen of COVID-19 vaccine recognised by the Ministry of Health Malaysia (KKM), at least two weeks before arrival in Malaysia.
  • Travellers must book a designated Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) flight into Malaysia.
  • Travellers must register and pay for the on-arrival COVID-19 RT-PCR test at https://www.airport.doctor2u.my
  • Travellers must take a separate COVID-19 RT-PCR test within 2 days before departure.
  • Travellers must download and register the MySejahtera app.
  • MyTravelPass is not required.
  • Short-term visitors, including business and official travellers, must :
    a) apply for visa (if required),
    b) purchase a return ticket, and
    c) purchase COVID-19 travel insurance (minimum RM 100,000 coverage)

Check-In

  • Travellers will need to present these documents at check-in :
    a) Travel document (passport / electronic visit pass)
    b) Valid vaccination certificate (physical or electronic)
    c) Negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test certificate
    d) MySejahtera app with registered profile
  • Short-term visitors, including business and official travellers, only will also require to present these at check in :
    a) visa (if required)
    b) return ticket
    c) proof of purchase of COVID-19 travel insurance (physical or electronic)

On Arrival

  • Take the on-arrival COVID-19 RT-PCR test, and wait 1-3 hours at the designated area in the airport for the test results.
  • After obtaining a negative RT-PCR test result, proceed to the arrival immigration and present the following :
    a) Travel document (passport / electronic visit pass)
    b) Boarding Pass
    c) Visa (if required)
    d) Return / onward ticket and proof of accommodation (applicable to all, except Permanent Residents of Malaysia and holders of Long-Term Passes).

Stay In Malaysia

  • Travellers must adhere to the current public health measures
  • Travellers must activate MySejahtera app at all times.

 

VTL Air Travel Guide : Malaysia To Singapore

The Singapore Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) released details of the Vaccinated Travel Lane rules for travel to and from Malaysia :

  • The joint VTL between Singapore and Malaysia is limited to travel between Changi Airport and Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) starting on 29 November 2021, and Penang International Airport (PIA) starting 16 March 2022.
  • Vaccinated Travel Pass (VTP) applications for Short-Term Visitors and Singapore Permanent Residents will commence on 22 November 2021 – returning Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents who are fully-vaccinated will not need to apply.

The Singapore Minister of Transportation also announced that :

  • Applications for VTL will open on 22 November 2021.
  • Travellers to Singapore will be required to present a negative PCR test, or a professionally-administer ART (Antigen Rapid Test) taken 48 hours prior to departure.
  • Travellers to Singapore will be subjected to a PCR test on arrival.

Pre-Departure

  • Travellers must be fully-vaccinated with a WHO Emergency Use Listing (EUL) vaccine, at least two weeks before arrival in Singapore.
  • Unvaccinated travellers who are 12 years and below in the calendar year can travel to Singapore via the VTL if accompanied by a fully-vaccinated VTL traveller.
  • Travellers must be able to provide the Digital Certificate for COVID-19 Vaccination, either downloaded or shown on the MySejahtera app.
  • Travellers must have only travelled to, or transited through any VTL countries (like Malaysia) or Category I countries (like Hong Kong, Macao, Mainland China, Taiwan) in the last 14 consecutive days before departure to Singapore.
  • Travellers must travel to Singapore on a designated VTL flight from Malaysia.
  • Foreign short-term visitors must purchase a suitable travel insurance with a minimum coverage of S$30,000 against COVID-19 related medical charges from a Singapore or overseas-based insurer.
  • Foreign short-term visitors that require a visa to enter Singapore, must apply fro a visa.
  • Travellers, except those aged 2 and below in the calendar year, must undergo a COVID-19 PCR test / Antigen Rapid Test within 2 days before departure to Singapore.
  • Travellers under the VTL do not need a return flight ticket to enter Singapore.

Applying To Travel Under VTL

  • Singapore citizens and permanent residents do not need to apply for a Vaccinated Travel Pass, but must comply with the VTL requirements.
  • Unvaccinated children of Singapore citizens and permanent residents, aged 12 and below, do not need to apply for a Vaccinated Travel Pass either.
  • Foreign visitors, including Short-Term Visitors and Long-Term Pass Holders, must apply for a Vaccinated Travel Pass from 22 November 2021 (10 AM SGT) onwards.
  • Children aged 12 and below accompanying foreign visitors do not need to apply.
  • All applications must be submitted between 7 and 60 days before the intended date of entry into Singapore.
  • Every Vaccinated Travel Pass (VTP) is valid for 6 calendar days from the traveller’s chose date of entry.

Essential Documents

  • Travellers must carry along an electronic / physical copy of these documents to present to the airline staff and immigration officers.
Documents Singapore Citizens &
Permanent Residents
Long-Term
Pass Holders
Short-Term
Visitors
Accepted Proof of Vaccination
Negative Pre-Departure
COVID-19 Test
Valid Vaccinated Travel Pass
(VTP)
X
COVID-19 Insurance Policy X X
Valid Visa (If Required) X X

On-Arrival ART Test

  • Travellers, except children aged 2 and below in the calendar year and travellers who are certified positive for COVID-19 between 7-90 days before departure, are required to undergo a supervised self-administered ART test at a Quick Test Centre (QTC) or Combined Test Centre (CTC) within 24 hours of arrival in Singapore.
  • Except for attending the supervised ART, travellers are required to self-isolate in their declared accommodation until they are notified that they have tested negative. Travellers may only take private transportation, taxi, or private hire car between the QTC/CTC and their accommodation. Public transportation is not allowed.
  • Travellers should not wait for their test results at the test centre due to space constraints. They may leave the test centre once they have completed their self-administered ART and await notification of their test results via SMS or email.

 

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Will Russian Sanctions Bankrupt Airbus + Leasing Companies?

Will Russian sanctions bankrupt Airbus and European leasing companies?

Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : Russian Sanctions Will Bankrupt Airbus + Leasing Companies!

This message is going viral on social media, including WhatsApp and Facebook, claiming that the Russian sanctions will end up killing Airbus and European leasing companies.

It also suggests that the sanctions are being used by the United States to “screw the Europeans again”.

It’s a long post, so feel free to skip to the next section for the facts!

Interesting side effect of european sanctions on russia (as per Phil Seymour – President of the association of European Leasing Companies.

All over the word airlines don’t own their own planes, they lease them.

 

Truth : Russian Sanctions Will NOT Bankrupt Airbus + Leasing Companies!

This is yet another example of pro-Russian fake news that was created to mislead people about the Russian sanctions, and drive a wedge between the United States and Europe.

Here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : There Is No Association of European Leasing Companies

There is no such thing as an Association of European Leasing Companies.

There is the International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading (ISTAT), but it is an international organisation for commercial aviation professionals, and not restricted to leasing companies.

Fact #2 : Phil Seymour Is President Of IBA Group

Phil Seymour (LinkedIn) is the President of the IBA Group, not the President of the non-existent Association of European Leasing Companies.

In case you are wondering, Phil Seymour (left) is not the President of the ISTAT organisation either. That’s Dean Gerber (right).

Fact #3 : IBA Group Is An Aviation Consultancy Firm

The IBA Group is an aviation consultancy firm based in the United Kingdom. It is not an association of leasing companies.

Fact #4 : Airlines Do Not Always Lease Aircraft

Until recent years, airlines generally own most of the aircraft they use.

Aircraft leasing only started in earnest in the 1990s. Even then, it took until 2020 for 50% of commercial aircraft worldwide to be leased, which topped at 51% in 2021.

The claim that airlines do not own their planes, but lease all of them is false.

Fact #5 : Russia Has 515 To 758 Foreign Leased Aircraft

According to Cirium, Russia has 980 commercial aircraft, of which 777 are leased :

  • 515 aircraft leased from foreign companies, and
  • 252 aircraft leased from Russian companies

IBA claims that Russia has 905 leased commercial aircraft, of which :

  • 713 are registered in Bermuda
  • 34 are registered in Ireland
  • 158 are registered in Russia (11 are owned by foreign banks / lessors)

Depending on your definition – owned or registered – Russia has either 515, 747 or 758 foreign leased aircraft.

The figure of 520 foreign leased aircraft attributed to Phil Seymour appears to be made-up.

Fact #5 : Not Only European Leasing Companies Are Affected

Ireland-based AerCap Holdings NV is the most leasing company most affected by the sanctions on Russia with :

  • 96 aircraft leased to Aeroflot, and
  • 17 aircraft leased to Pobeda

However, European companies are not the only ones affected. After AerCap, these companies are most affected (ranked from top to bottom) :

  • SMBC Aviation (Ireland-based leasing arm of Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group of Japan)
  • BOC Aviation Ltd. (based in Singapore)
  • Air Lease Corp. (based in Los Angeles, United States)

Fact #6 : Handover / Repossession Need Not Take Place In Russia

The claim that the Russians are insisting that leasing companies recover their planes in Russia is nonsense. There was no such demand.

While Russian airlines may make it difficult for leasing companies by insisting they recover the planes from Moscow, they will likely fly their leased aircraft to other countries like Dubai, for instance.

As Phil Seymour himself pointed out that, “Russian airlines would likely cooperate to safeguard access to planes in future years.

Only 33 countries banned Russian commercial aircraft from their airspace (as of 2 March 2022) :

  • All 27 European Union countries
  • Albania
  • Canada
  • Norway
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America

Russian airlines can still fly into many other countries to handover their leased aircraft, as this map shows.

Countries that banned Russian aircraft (blue), as of 2 March 2022

Fact #7 : Russia Banned Airlines, Not Leasing Companies

On 28 February 2022, Russian Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviation) banned airlines from 36 countries in response to the banning of Russian airlines from their airspace.

The ban only applied to airlines from those 36 countries, with my own emphasis underlined and bold :

In accordance with the norms of international law, as a response to the ban of European states on flights of civil aircraft operated by Russian air carriers and/or registered in Russia, a restriction on flights of air carriers of 36 states has been introduced.

Therefore, leasing companies will have no issue repossessing their aircraft in Moscow and flying them back.

Fact #8 : Leasing Companies Need Not Pay Termination Fines

The claim that leasing companies will have to pay Russian airlines hefty termination fines for cancelling their lease is false.

Phil Seymour himself said that leasing companies are protected by the Material Adverse Change clause.

Plane-rental contracts generally contain a “material adverse change” clause and leasing firms could argue that airspace closures and sanctions imposed on Russian carriers amount to just such a breach. That would allow them to declare default and seize back their aircraft.

In fact, he also pointed out that leasing companies have grounds to repossess their aircraft, regardless of sanctions or ability to pay – as long as they believe that the lease is “compromised by the developing situation” or deem that the “aircraft to be at risk now or in the future”.

Fact #9 : Boeing Aircraft Are Affected Too

The claim that Boeing aircraft are not affected by the sanctions is an outright lie.

The EU sanctions apply to “any plane owned, chartered or otherwise controlled by a Russian legal or natural person“, not just those manufactured by European companies like Airbus.

In fact, the first four aircraft known to be repossessed from Russian airlines are all Boeing 737 planes :

  • Interfax reported that three Boeing 737 aircraft are being recalled from Pobeda (Aeroflot’s low-cost airline).
  • Russian media outlet RBC reported that a Boeing 737 operated by Pobeda was seized from the Havalimani airport in Istanbul, Turkey.

Pobeda Boeing 737 flying in happier times

Fact #10 : Both Boeing + Airbus Suspended Operations In Russia

It is ludicrous to claim that the US will sell Boeing aircraft to Russia, when the United States also imposed sanctions on Russia!

In fact, both Boeing and Airbus announced on 1 March 2022 that they are suspending support for their aircraft in Russia. This includes supply of spare parts, as well as maintenance and technical support.

Fact #11 : Russia Is Not A Very Big Market For Aircraft

It is also ludicrous to claim that Airbus will be bankrupt by the sanctions on Russia.

For one thing – all Airbus aircraft leased to Russian airlines are owned (and paid for) by the leasing companies. So Airbus won’t suffer any financial loss, even if the leasing companies do not get their planes back.

Russia is also not a very big market for commercial aircraft. The complete loss of the Russian market will be painful, no doubt, but it won’t be enough to bankrupt Airbus.

Worldwide fleet of commercial airliners 2019, with 2040 projections

Now that you know the truth, please help us fight fake news by sharing this fact check article with your family and friends!

 

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Singapore – Malaysia VTL Suspended Due To Omicron Variant!

Malaysia has temporarily suspended the VTL (Vaccinated Travel Lane) with Singapore, due to the Omicron variant!

Here is what you need to know…

 

Singapore – Malaysia VTL : What Is It?

Announced in November 2021, the Singapore – Malaysia VTL (Vaccinated Travel Lane) allows fully-vaccinated citizens of both countries to travel, without being subjected to a mandatory quarantine.

There are currently two VTL (Vaccinated Travel Lane) options between Singapore and Malaysia :

  • By Air : Between Changi Airport in Singapore, and KLIA in Malaysia
  • By Land : At the Johor Bahru Causeway.

Read more : Latest Singapore-Malaysia VTL Air Travel Guide!
Read more : Singapore-Malaysia VTL Land (Causeway) Travel Guide!

 

Singapore – Malaysia VTL Suspended Due To Omicron Variant!

On 22 December 2021, the Malaysia Minister of Health, Khairy Jamaluddin announced a temporary suspension of the Singapore – Malaysia VTL, due to the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

In his statement, he pointed out that the Singapore Ministry of Health announced a local cluster of three COVID-19 cases, of which two were likely of the Omicron variant, while the other case is still pending. All three cases did not have history of overseas travel.

In light of that development, the Malaysia Ministry of Health (KKM) decided to temporarily suspend the VTL with Singapore from Thursday, 23 December, 2021 until Thursday, 20 January 2022.

Travellers who have already purchased tickets for Land or Air VTL, and still comply with the VTL requirements can continue with their travel plans.

Bus and plane ticket sales for both Air and Land VTL initiatives will reopen on 21 January 2022, after a risk assessment is conducted in both countries. However, the ticket quota will be lower than the current limit.

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

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Was US Nuclear Submarine Damaged By Chinese Planes?!

Was the US nuclear submarine, USS Connecticut, attacked and damaged by Chinese planes?

Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the FACTS really are!

 

Claim : US Nuclear Submarine Was Damaged By Chinese Planes!

There have been several blogs claiming that the US nuclear submarine, USS Connecticut, was actually attacked and damaged by Chinese planes.

Here is an example that is being eagerly shared on WhatsApp. It’s really long, so just skip to next section for the facts…

Dear Good People, (MP) This is the real story behind USA nuclear submarine incidence near to China’s Paracel Islands. The nuclear sub was tracked and China jammed all its electronic system. The submarine moved aimlessly and hit by China’s submarine trap wall. The nuclear submarine was damaged and know no direction. It has to emerge to China satisfaction. China of course, knew USA has learned a lesson. Next time, in a real war, the nuclear sub would be sunk….

RED ALERT

Only a handful of geopolitical gbstrategic analysts have fully understood the significance of the damage and humiliation suffered by the Pentagon, the US Navy and the British Empire Dreamers, when it was belatedly reported by the Pentagon that the USS NUCLEAR ATTACK SUBMARINE, USS Connecticut limped home, and rendered totally useless, after the disastrous attempt to provoke China into a War.

 

Truth : US Nuclear Submarine Was Not Damaged By Chinese Planes

This is yet another example of Chinese propaganda / fake news, which attempts to overwhelm the reader by sheer volume of misinformation.

The creator intentionally writes such a long, rambling story to make it appear more convincing to readers who are likely not very knowledgeable about military technology.

Here’s another example : US Withdraws After Chinese Jamming Attack?

Here is a quick summary of the facts, which prove that the writer is a liar and the “article” is simply FAKE NEWS.

  1. It is incredibly difficult to detect and track USS Connecticut.
  2. It is not possible to jam a submarine’s electronics system.
  3. China does not have a submarine trap wall.
  4. The USS Connecticut was not crippled, and did not require assistance to return to Guam.
  5. China was not holding any war games at that time of the collision.
  6. China did not attack the USS Connecticut.
  7. China did not know about the collision until 5 days later.
  8. There is no evidence of any mutiny aboard the USS Connecticut
  9. Only 11 sailors were injured, not 15
  10. Submarines do not have radar, they only have sonar.
  11. There are no fixed sea or air lanes over international waters.

For those who want the details, here are the reasons why this is just Chinese propaganda / fake news.

Fact #1 : USS Connecticut Is Super Hard To Detect

The USS Connecticut is a Seawolf-class submarine, which is noted for being extremely quiet and hard to detect.

Thanks to a slew of advanced noise suppression design features and technologies, including pump jet propulsion, it has an operational noise level of only 95 decibels – just 5 decibels above the background ocean noise.

That’s why the United States uses one of the Seawolf submarines – the USS Jimmy Carter – to conduct clandestine missions.

It would be a major feat to detect the USS Connecticut underwater, much less track it. Unless the writer can back up his/her claim, it is hogwash.

Fact #2 : China Did Not Jam Its Electronics System

With only a few exceptions, submarines like the USS Connecticut are made of high-tensile steel.

The strong steel hull not only protects the submarine from the crushing pressure when it dives, it literally works as a Faraday cage – protecting the submarine against electromagnetic fields.

Therefore, it is not possible to jam the electronics system of any submarine. That is complete and utter nonsense.

Fact #3 : China Does Not Have A Submarine Trap Wall

The writer appears to believe that it would be possible to build some kind of underwater Great Wall of China.

There is no such thing as a submarine trap wall. What does that even mean???

Fact #4 : USS Connecticut Was Seaworthy

The crew of the USS Connecticut did not lose their sense of direction. Neither was the submarine crippled.

They surfaced after the collision, because it was their standard operating procedure after any non-combat collision.

According to the US Pacific Fleet, the submarine was in a “safe and stable condition” :

The submarine remains in a safe and stable condition. USS Connecticut’s nuclear propulsion plant and spaces were not affected and remain fully operational. The extent of damage to the remainder of the submarine is being assessed. The U.S. Navy has not requested assistance. The incident will be investigated.

It should be noted that the USS Connecticut sailed to Guam for 6 days, without assistance.

Fact #5 : China Was Not Holding Any War Games At That Time

When the USS Connecticut collision happened on 2 October 2021, China was in between two naval war games :

  • 23-27 August : Seaborne assault war game in Vladivostok, Russia
  • 14-17 October : Russia and China held naval drills in the Sea of Japan.

So the writer’s claim that China was conducting naval war games at that time is completely false.

The only war game being conducted around that time involved the HMS Queen Elizabeth and the USS Ronald Reagan and USS Carl Vinson carrier groups in the Philippine Sea on 4 October 2021.

Fact #6 : China Did Not Attack USS Connecticut

The claim that China sent out waves of over a hundred attack aircraft to hunt for the submarine is false.

So many flights would have raised concerns by surrounding countries, and unless they are anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft, they would be useless in the hunt for a submarine.

China certainly would not be so stupid as to attack the USS Connecticut, which would have been considered an act of war against the United States.

Fact #7 : China Did Not Know Until 5 Days Later…

China was not even aware of the collision until the United States Naval Institute (USNI) reported on the accident FIVE days later on 7 October 2021.

By then, the USS Connecticut was just a day away from reaching Guam for inspection and repairs.

The Chinese think tank SCSPI only located the USS Connecticut on 8 October – in a 5 day-old satellite photo that showed it sailing on the surface.

At that time, the USS Connecticut was about 43 nautical miles (79 km) southeast from the Paracel Islands, and about 454 km away from Hainan Island.

Fact #8 : No Evidence Of Mutiny

The writer claimed that there was a mutiny onboard the USS Connecticut because the Commander refused to surface the submarine.

How does he know that? What evidence has he proffered? None at all. It’s all one big fantasy.

It doesn’t even make sense – why would the sailors mutiny? Why would the submarine commander or his XO (Executive Officer) refuse to surface a submarine in trouble?

The SOP for any submarine in trouble is to surface, and that’s what the USS Connecticut did. That very fact proves that there was no mutiny, and the writer lied.

Fact #9 : Only 11 Sailors Injured

The writer even made up the claim that 15 sailors were injured in the mutiny. That’s nonsense.

11 sailors aboard the USS Connecticut suffered mild to moderate injuries, none life-threatening.

If the writer can lie about a simple fact like that, you have to ask yourself – what else is he lying about?

Fact #10 : Nuclear Submarines Do Not Use Radar Underwater

The writer falsely claimed that a nuclear attack submarine like the USS Connecticut would be able to avoid obstacles because it would have the most sophisticated radars.

The truth is – submarines do not use radar systems underwater, they use sonar systems. Even then, military submarines rarely use active sonar, as it exposes their positions.

It is not possible for USS Connecticut to “see” undersea structures using its passive sonar system. Instead, the crew relies on underwater charts and inertial navigation systems to avoid underwater obstacles.

But unless they regularly fix their position using GPS, small errors in their position will compound over time, potentially placing the submarine hundreds of metres out of position. This could be the reason for the collision.

It is shocking that the writer is unaware of such basic military / scientific facts.

Fact #11 : No Fixed Sea / Air Lanes Over International Waters

The writer falsely claimed that commercial ships and airliners have to strictly travel in fixed international lanes.

In reality, commercial ships and planes use routes that are best for fuel economy and/or safety over international waters. Ships and planes are also free to adjust their bearings to avoid bad weather, for example.

Countries can only control movement of ships and planes within their territorial waters and airspace.

It is therefore false for the writer to claim that ships or planes that deviate from fixed international sea / air lanes will be shot down or sunk.

 

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MyTravelPass : Who Needs To Apply + Who Don’t?

The Malaysian government just clarified who needs to apply for MyTravelPass, and who can travel without applying for it!

Here is what you need to know!

Updated @ 2021-10-12 : Added details of abolishment and new travel requirements.

Originally posted @ 2021-09-16

 

MyTravelPass : What Is It?

Launched in October 2020, MyTravelPass is an online system that lets Malaysians and foreigners apply for entry or exit permits during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is meant to replace email applications, and reduce the application time to a maximum of five days.

Even so, travellers must apply for MyTravelPass at least 14 days before the expected date of travel.

Read more : Latest Foreign Travel Rules For Malaysian Citizens!

MyTravelPass (MTP) : https://mtp.imi.gov.my/

MyTravelPass Enquiries : http://eapp.imi.gov.my/spo *
* Note :
This page lacks SSL encryption, so your web browser may warn you about this.

Check MyTravelPass Application Status : https://mtp.imi.gov.my/myTravelPass/semakan

Check Immigration Travel Status : https://sspi.imi.gov.my/SSPI/

MyOnline Passport : https://eservices.imi.gov.my/myimms/myPassport *
* Note :
This Immigration Malaysia website is using an outdated security configuration, so your web browser may warn you about this.

 

MyTravelPass : Over 127K Applications Rejected!

On 23 June 2021, the Malaysian government posted a summary of the latest travel rules, including who needs to apply for MyTravelPass and who don’t.

However, from 7 October until 10 September 2021, the Immigration Department had to reject 127,465 (35.8%) out of 356,510 applications received, mainly due to four reasons :

  • Name is in the Immigration Department’s blacklist
  • Incomplete documentation
  • Uploaded documents are unreadable
  • Forged documents

 

MyTravelPass Abolished From 11 October Onwards!

MyTravelPass has been abolished. From 11 October 2021 onwards, there is no need to register for MyTravelPass in order to travel overseas from Malaysia.

However, only FULLY-VACCINATED individuals (and children who are 17 years or younger) can travel overseas for work, business, education or even holidays.

In addition, travellers returning to Malaysia must also :

  • undergo a swab test three (3) days before returning to Malaysia,
  • undergo a swab test on returning to Malaysia, and
  • undergo a MANDATORY QUARANTINE of 14 days.

Read more : New Interstate + International Travel Requirements In Malaysia!

 

MyTravelPass : Who Needs To Apply + Who Don’t?

Note : In light of international travel liberalisation, these requirements are no longer valid.

The Malaysian government noted that some airlines have insisted that all passengers must show their MyTravelPass, even though certain categories are exempted from such a requirement.

The Minister of Transportation, Wee Ka Siong, will remind those airlines to follow the Immigration Department’s guidelines on who needs to apply for MyTravelPass, and who don’t.

Must Apply For MyTravelPass

  1. Malaysian citizens who just received a job offer, or offer to study overseas.
  2. Students who wish to sit for examinations overseas.
  3. Those who wish to attend meetings / seminars / conduct business overseas.
  4. Those who wish to participate in exhibitions / sporting competitions / training oversees with supporting letter from the Agency in charge.
  5. Matters of emergency involving immediate family members, like death, accident or sickness.
  6. Holders of spouse / fiancé (marriage that is not officially registered) visa
  7. Those joining humanitarian assistance or religious missions with approval letter from the JPM Joint Committee, together with other supporting documents

Do NOT Need To Apply For MyTravelPass

  1. Diplomats and Malaysian embassy officers who are going on duty overseas, or returning from duty, with their dependents.
  2. Students and dependents who are continuing their education, with the condition that they already have a valid student visa or dependent’s visa.
  3. Holders of Long Term Passes (Permanent Resident / Resident’s Pass / Work Pass and so on).
  4. Those working with petroleum companies, or shipping companies who need to sign-onto ships overseas.
  5. Those escorting students travelling overseas for their studies, limited to two (2) escorts only. These escorts must travel out of Malaysia with the student at the same time.

 

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Did US Air Force Pilots Resign Over Vaccine Mandate?

Did US Air Force pilots and bomber crews resign and walk off their jobs over the COVID-19 vaccine mandate?

Take a look at the viral video and article, and find out what the FACTS really are!

 

Claim : US Air Force Pilots Resigned Over Vaccine Mandate!

A video by a bodybuilder called Justin Y. O’Donnell, and an article by Real Raw News have gone viral on social media, claiming that US Air Force pilots and bomber crews walked off their jobs over the COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

In his video, Justin claimed that “my dad just let me know” that the Secretary of Defense sent a text message at night to all active members of the military, threatening them with a court martial if they did not get a COVID-19 vaccination by 10 AM in the morning.

The Real Raw News article is very long, so just skip to the next section for the FACTS and the video!

Twenty-seven active-duty U.S. Air Force pilots have resigned their commissions over the unconstitutionality of Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s mandate requiring all Armed Forces members to at once receive a Covid-19 vaccination, Real Raw News has learned.

The exodus began on August 27, with 12 pilots from the 1st Fighter Wing at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, submitting to their commanding officer letters of resignation only hours after they received a 4:00 a.m. text message instructing them to submit to mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations by 10:00 a.m. that same day. It’s unknown whether the pilots collaborated ahead of resigning, but all 12 resignations were handed in within a 90-minute period.

 

Truth : US Air Force Pilots Did NOT Quit Over Vaccine Mandate!

The truth is the whole story is fake news created by Real Raw News – a known fake news website, and here are the FACTS…

Fact #1 : Viral Video Was Based On Fake News

In his viral video monologue, Justin Y. O’Donnell claimed that his father told him the Secretary of Defense sent out that text message.

The truth is – the story was created by the notorious fake news website called Real Raw News.

We just don’t know whether Justin’s father told him the fake story, or he made that part up to make it sound more believable.

Fact #2 : Real Raw News Is A Fake News Website

Real Raw News is a known fake news website, that capitalises on making shocking but fake stories to generate page views and money.

The entire article – including the F-22 Raptor pilot quote – is FAKE.

To protect himself from legal repercussions, the owner and writer, Michael Baxter, claims that his articles are “humour, parody, and satire“.

This disclaimer lets him keep creating fake news that will go viral, and generate him money.

His articles have been regularly debunked as fake news, so you should NEVER share anything from his website.

Read more : Did US Marine Corp Reject Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination?

Fact #3 : USAF Announced Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination

The US Air Force announced mandatory COVID-19 vaccination on 3 September 2021, which required all Airmen and Guardians to be FULLY-VACCINATED against COVID-19 by :

  • Active duty personnel : November 2, 2021
  • Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve personnel : December 2, 2021

There was no need for a force-wide text message because the notice was officially issued earlier.

Fact #4 : Secretary Of Defense Did Not Send Any Text Message

Defense Department spokesman, Charlie Dietz, confirmed that Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin never sent a text message to all active members of the military.

It is also not logical for him to only give active military personnel all over the world only a few hours to get vaccinated.

Fact #5 : You Cannot Just Quit The US Air Force

Whether you are on Active Duty, or in the Reserves or Air National Guard service, you cannot just quit and walk away from the US Air Force.

Literally walking off the job is considered going AWOL (Absence Without Leave) – a court martial offence under Article 86 of the US Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Fact #6 : No F-22 Pilot Quit Over COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

A spokesperson for Joint Base Langley-Eustis confirmed to Reuters that :

“To date, no pilots from the 1st Fighter Wing have resigned their commission due to the COVID-19 vaccination mandate”.

Fact #7 : No B-52 Crew Member Quit Over COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

A spokesperson for Barksdale Air Force Base told Reuters that the viral story was “completely false“.

Now that you know the truth, SHARE this fact check with your family and friends, so they won’t get fooled by it!

And remember – NEVER SHARE ANYTHING from Real Raw News!

 

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Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Did Chinese Bombers Fire On US Aircraft Carrier?!

Did Chinese bombers fire on the US aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt in the South China Seas?

Take a look at the viral news, and find out what the FACTS really are!

 

Claim : Chinese Bombers Fire On US Aircraft Carrier In South China Sea

A YouTube video is going viral on WhatsApp, claiming that Chinese bombers fired on an US aircraft carrier in the South China Sea.

It is usually shared without commentary because the title speaks for itself, and the video itself repeats the same claim.

 

Truth : Chinese Bombers Did NOT Fire On US Aircraft Carrier

This is fake news by an unknown YouTube channel called M News, and here are the FACTS.

Fact #1 : Chinese Bombers Did Not Fire On US Aircraft Carrier

It bears repeating – this is FAKE NEWS. Chinese bombers did not fire on any US aircraft carrier.

If that really happened, it would have been a major news story all over the world. It would have certainly started a major war between the United States and China.

You didn’t hear anything about it, did you? What makes you think some unknown YouTube website called M News would have an exclusive scoop on this story?

Fact #2 : The USS Theodore Roosevelt Incident Happened In January 2021

Eight Chinese H-6K bombers, escorted by four J-16 fighters and a single Y-8 anti-submarine warfare aircraft practiced a mock attack on USS Theodore Roosevelt as it sailed between Taiwan and the Philippines on 23 January 2021.

The H-6K bomber pilots could be heard in cockpit conversations confirming orders for the simulated targeting and release of anti-ship missiles against the carrier.

However, the Chinese strike group remained more than 250 nautical miles (463 kilometres) away from the carrier group – beyond the 248 mile (459 km) range of their YJ-12 anti-ship missiles.

Fact #3 : M News Ripped It Off Popular Mechanics

M News used stock footage, and a text to voice software to recite a Popular Mechanics article by Kyle Mizokami on the USS Theodore Roosevelt incident, word for word.

The creator didn’t even bother to edit out the part about the “the map embedded in the tweet above” – the tweet was in the article, but not the video.

The only original thing the creator did was to insert the fake news chyron claiming that Today: Chinese Bombers fire on US Aircraft Carrier in South China Sea.

And of course, sharing it on WhatsApp so you would share it too.

Fact #4 : The Date Changes Daily

M News garnered more than 2 million views for this video, but only because they changed the date in the title on a daily basis!

This allows them to keep sharing the video on social media, and WhatsApp, to fool people into clicking and watching their video.

They first posted the video on 3 February 2021, but they keep changing the date in the title, to make it look “new” and “current”.

Now that you know that M News posts fake videos and fake news, please WARN your family and friends.

And please STOP sharing M News videos, and definitely DO NOT visit their YouTube channel!

 

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Did Israel Reject Al Jazeera Request For 10 Extra Minutes?

Did Israel reject a request for 10 extra minutes to vacate the Al Jazeera building in Gaza, before bombing it?

Find out what’s this viral claim all about, and what the FACTS really are!

 

Claim : Israel Rejected Al Jazeera Request For 10 More Minutes!

A video showing a man pleading with Israeli authorities for 10 more minutes before a building is demolished, is being circulated, together with this message :

Director of Al Jazeera Palestine was begging for extra 10 minutes to Israel Army officer. But he refused to give any extra time and destroyed the Al Jazeera Building in Palestine in minutes.

They asked them to evacuate the building first and then used GPS Coordinate guided Bombs to destroy the Al Jazeera Palestine Head office building. The punishment is for broadcasting Fake news about Israel.

 

Did Israel Reject Al Jazeera Request For 10 Extra Minutes? Not Quite…

Irrespective of our views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, we must agree that they should be based on facts.

We investigated this video and claim, and here are the FACTS :

Fact #1 : That Is Not The Director Of Al Jazeera Palestine

The man in the video is not the director of Al Jazeera Palestine.

He is Jawad Mahdi – the owner of the al-Jalaa building that was destroyed by an Israeli airstrike on 15 May 2021.

Fact #2 : There Is No Al Jazeera Palestine, Or Al Jazeera Building

There is no organisation known as Al Jazeera Palestine, or a building called Al Jazeera Building.

The building in the video is the al-Jalaa, a 12-storey office tower which hosted the bureau offices of the Associated Press and Al Jazeera in Gaza.

Fact #3 : Israel Gave Them One Hour To Vacate

The IDF gave al-Jalaa occupants an hour to vacate the building. They would normally drop “roof knocker” bombs as a final warning before destroying the building.

However, it is impossible for anyone to vacate such a large building in such a short time frame, with anything more than some belongings.

Fact #4 : Israel Rejected The Request For 10 Extra Minutes

Jawad Mahdi was seen in the video asking an Israeli intelligence officer for an additional 10 minutes, so that four journalists can go in to retrieve their belongings.

The Israeli intelligence officer rejected his request, and the video shows the building collapsing after being bombed.

Fact #5 : Israel Claimed Hamas Secretly Used The Building

IDF and the Israeli government claimed that Hamas secretly used the building for “military intelligence purposes” and a unit operating out of the building had been “conducting sabotage operations against the IDF”.

However, they did not offer any evidence, or explain why it was justifiable to demolish a 12-storey office building that was “secretly” being used by Hamas.

It was also not explained why it was not possible to give journalist the extra 10 minutes to retrieve their belongings, when they had no issue giving the other occupants (and the secret Hamas operatives inside) an hour to evacuate the building.

 

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Did China Threaten West With Waterloo In South China Sea?

Did China threaten the West with a repeat of the Battle of Waterloo in the South China Sea?

Find out what is this Chinese threat going viral on social media, and what the FACTS really are…

 

Claim : China threatens West with Battle of Waterloo in South China Sea!

In the viral poster being shared on social media, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying is seen warning Western powers – Don’t Let It Become Your Waterloo! with a hypothetical scenario.

It was originally posted sometime in July 2020, but was “reactivated” in May 2021 during heightened tensions with the West.

WARNING ISSUED TO WESTERN ALLIES IN SOUTH CHINA SEA

Don’t Let It Become Your Waterloo!

The scenario :

  • An attack by US, UK, Australia & Japanese naval forces will be met with electronic disabling of all ships and planes making them sitting targets…
  • US & allies missiles will fail to fire & if they do may explode mid air or re-directed to return to base!
  • The Chinese will give them one warning to withdraw or be sunk!
  • WATERLOO REPLAYED IN 60 MINUTES OF LESS

 

China threatens West with Waterloo in South China Sea : Complete BS

While it may excite pro-China netizens, this is yet another piece of “fan fiction”, like US Navy withdrawing from South China Sea or Mark Zuckerberg’s Not Pretty China Wife.

Fact #1 : Hua Chunying Never Threatened Waterloo

Anyone who checks Hua Chunying’s official Twitter account can confirm that she never posted such a threat.

She may be sarcastic and controversial in her remarks, but she is the official spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

Such an overt threat of military action against the US, UK, Australia and Japan, will be seen as an official declaration of hostile intent by China.

It would certainly free the West to ramp up their support of Taiwan, and to actively prepare for hostilities with China.

Fact #2 : Chinese Censors Would Not Have Allowed Such Fake News, Unless…

Such a fake post would not be allowed to be shared on social media, especially Chinese microblogs, without the expressed permission of the Chinese government.

Chinese censors actively and quickly remove all references to anything remotely critical of the Chinese government, like the 1989 Tiananmen Square protest and massacre, or the Hong Kong protests.

We should also not forget that they quickly clamped down on Dr. Li Wenliang when he tried to warn his fellow doctors about COVID-19, forcing him to sign a letter promising not to do it again.

So it would only be possible for any Chinese-related fake news to be spread so widely, with the tacit approval of the Chinese government.

Fact #3 : EMP Weapons Can Disable Ships + Planes, But…

EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) weapons can be used to disrupt or destroy electronics on ships and planes, but they are not magical weapons as claimed in the post :

  • High-Altitude EMP (HEMP) weapons detonate nuclear warheads in the stratosphere to disrupt electronics in a wide area.
  • Non-Nuclear EMP (NNEMP) weapons that use high explosives to deliver a much smaller electromagnetic pulse.
  • High-Powered Microwave (HPM) weapons like magnetrons and vircators – think of them as primitive versions of the ion cannons you see in Star Wars.

A Chinese HEMP weapon would destroy electronics in a very large area (including their own), so it won’t be deployed close to their own coast. This is something they would deploy against the US homeland.

An NNEMP missile would be something the Chinese would use against a carrier group, affecting a relatively small area – several dozen kilometres. However, these missiles would require constant targeting data, or the carrier group could simply move out of danger in mere minutes.

HPM weapons are still rather primitive with very short range. They also cannot target mass targets like EMP weapons.

Fact #4 : Disabled Missiles Won’t Return To Base

We applaud the writer for his/her creativity, but unlike regular mail, missiles don’t come with a return address.

Missiles disabled by EMP weapons, or electronic jammers, will just lose direction or fall harmlessly out of the sky.

They won’t, however, fly back to their base like homing pigeons. Neither can the Chinese reprogram them to return to base…

Fact #5 : China Is The Aggressor Here

While the writer warns of reprisals if the US, UK, Australia and Japan attack, the fact of the matter is – China is the aggressor in the South China Sea.

Whatever may have happened in the past, the US, UK, Australia and Japan are not the ones illegally building artificial islands, or militarising them, or threatening harm to passing ships and planes.

There is no danger of the US, UK, Australia or Japan attacking China. No one in the right mind would believe in such nonsense.

Rather, the danger lies in Chinese overreach in the South China Sea sparking a war, like how Hitler’s overreach with the invasion of Poland started World War 2.

Arguably, only an attack on Taiwan would draw the Western powers (sans Japan) to intervene militarily, and a military occupation of the Senkaku Islands would force Japan and the US to respond militarily.

Fact #6 : China Would Be The French At Waterloo

It’s not certain why China would warn the Western powers and Japan that they would face their own Battle of Waterloo.

In the Battle of Waterloo, it was Napoleon who attacked the allied forces from Prussia, the UK, the Netherlands, Hanover, Brunswick and Nassau.

In this fan fiction, China would be the French at Waterloo, fighting against the allied forces from the US, UK, Australia and Japan.

Is the writer suggesting that China is bound to lose against the allied forces? Interesting…

 

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Travel SOP For Sabah, Labuan + Sarawak (March 2021)

The Malaysia National Security Council just released new travel SOP for Sabah, Labuan and Sarawak.

Take a look at what are the new requirements to travel to and from Sabah, Labuan and Sarawak.

 

Travel SOP For Sabah, Labuan + Sarawak (March 2021)

On 4 March 2021, the Malaysia National Security Council (MKN) released new travel SOP for Sabah, Labuan and Sarawak.

They did not mention when it would take effect, so the assumption is that it takes effect from when the notices were posted.

Travel SOP For Sabah

Here is the SOP MKN released for travel to Sabah on 4 March 2021 :

  • Individuals may travel to Sabah, with police permission
  • Travellers to Sabah must undergo a swab test within 3 days prior to their trip.
  • Travellers from Sabah to Sarawak or Labuan must undergo a swab test within 3 days prior to their trip.
  • Travellers from Sabah to Peninsular Malaysia do NOT need to undergo any swab test.

Travel SOP For Labuan

Here is the SOP MKN released for travel to Labuan on 4 March 2021 :

  • Individuals may travel to Labuan, with police permission
  • Travellers to Labuan must undergo a swab test within 3 days prior to their trip.
  • Travellers from Labuan to Peninsular Malaysia do NOT need to undergo any swab test.

Travel SOP For Sarawak

Here is the SOP MKN released for travel to Sarawak on 4 March 2021 :

  • Individuals may travel to Sarawak, with police permission
  • Travellers to Sarawak must undergo a swab test within 3 days prior to their trip, and undergo a 14-day quarantine on arrival.
  • The cost of the swab test and quarantine is only FREE for Sarawakians. Everyone else will have to pay for the cost on their own.
  • Travellers from Sarawak to Peninsular Malaysia do NOT need to undergo any swab test.

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Sinovac Vaccine Arrives In Malaysia, But Not Approved Yet

The first batch of the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine – CoronaVac – just arrived in Malaysia.

There was not much fanfare, because the Sinovac vaccine has NOT actually been approved for use in Malaysia.

 

Sinovac Vaccine Arrives In Malaysia!

The first batch of the Sinovac vaccine – CoronaVac – arrived at the KL International Airport aboard MH319 at 8:47 AM on 27 February 2021.

Unlike the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, the Ministry of Health obtained CoronaVac through Pharmaniaga Lifescience Sdn Bhd – an intermediary company.

Hence, the Sinovac vaccine arrived in the form of 200 litres of CoronaVac bulk vaccine, which would then have to be bottled by Pharmaniaga.

Once bottled, these 200 litres of bulk vaccine should produce over 300,000 CoronaVac doses – enough to vaccinate approximately 150,000 people.

The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Khairy Jamaluddin, said that the government is paying Sinovac less for the vaccine because bottling is done by Pharmaniaga.

However, he declined to disclose more information, so it is unknown how much the government is saving, once the costs of Pharmaniaga’s bottling and distribution are included.

 

Sinovac Vaccine Not Approved In Malaysia Just Yet

While the CoronaVac vaccine has arrived in Malaysia, we should point out that it has not been approved by the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA).

Therefore, the CoronaVac vaccine will not be used just yet in the Malaysia COVID-19 vaccination program.

According to the Science, Technology and Innovation Minister, Khairy Jamaluddin, this is because the CoronaVac vaccine has not been bottled.

One of the criteria for approval by the NPRA is the evaluation of the bottling process by Pharmaniaga. Until that happens, the CoronaVac vaccine cannot be approved for use in Malaysia.

It should be pointed out that China only just approved this Sinovac vaccine for general use on 6 February 2021.

 

Sinovac COVID-19 Vaccine : A Quick Primer

Developed by Sinovac, CoronaVac is an inactivated virus vaccine – an older method of creating vaccines.

The SARS-CoV-2 viruses are cultured (grown) in Vero cells, and inactivated (killed) before being administered as a vaccine.

The CoronaVac vaccine only needs to be refrigerated at 2–8 °C (36–46 °F), which makes it easy to distribute.

This is a 2-dose vaccine, which the second dose delivered 14 days after the first.

Its Brazil clinical trial results showed that the CoronaVac vaccine was 50.4% effective in preventing COVID-19, just crossing the 50% mark for regulatory approval.

It was about 78% effective in preventing “mild to severe” COVID-19 disease, which is nevertheless good news.

Recommended : CoronaVac Vaccine By Sinovac : Your Questions Answered!

 

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Pfizer Vaccine Arrives Early, Vaccination Starts 24 February!

The Pfizer Comirnaty vaccine arrived early, and COVID-19 vaccination will kick off earlier – on Wednesday, 24 February 2021!

 

Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Arrives Early!

The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was originally expected to arrive on 26 February 2021, but the first tranche arrived a few days earlier than planned.

At 10 AM on Sunday, 21 February 2021, the first shipment of 312,390 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (also known as Comirnaty or BNT162b2) arrived.

The vaccines were flown from the Pfizer manufacturing facility in Puurs in Belgium to Singapore by DHL, before MASKargo flight MH604 flew this shipment to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

The Pfizer vaccine doses will not be limited to the Klang Valley, but are being distributed to different states.

Johor

At 3 PM, the Ministry of Health announced that Johor will receive 73,710 doses – enough to vaccinate 36,855 people.

Those vaccine doses will be stored in 4 Vaccination Storage Centres (PSV), which will then distribute them to 54 Vaccination Centres (PPV) across the state of Johor.

Penang

Penang received what appears to be a single thermal shipper container. Each thermal shipper can hold up to 4,875 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

 

Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccination Begins 24 February 2021!

The Malaysia Ministry of Health also announced that the COVID-19 vaccination program will kick off early, on Wednesday, 24 February 2021.

The Malaysian Prime Ministry, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and the Director-General of Health, Tan Sri Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah, will be the first to receive the first shots of the Pfizer Comirnaty vaccine.

Phase 1 : 24 February – April 2021

Phase 1 will involve immunising 500,000 front line workers, divided into two groups :

  • Group 1 : public and private healthcare workers
  • Group 2 : frontliners providing essential services and national defence (like teachers, the police, civil defence (RELA), firefighters, rescue workers, and the armed forces).

* Originally scheduled to start in first week of March, it was brought forward to 24 February 2021.

Phase 2 : April – August 2021

Phase 2 will focus on immunising 9.4 million high-risk adults, divided into two groups :

  • Group 1 : remaining healthcare workers and frontliners (including defence)
  • Group 2 : senior citizens 65 years or olderdisabled adults, and vulnerable adults with chronic diseases, like heart disease, obesity, diabetes and hypertension

Phase 3 : May 2021 – February 2022

Phase 3 will make the COVID-19 vaccine available to the rest of the population :

  • adults 18 years or older
    – prioritised from red zones > yellow zones > green zones

This may be the last phase, but it is the most critical phase to build herd immunity that will protect the rest of the population that cannot be vaccinated against COVID-19.

 

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MCO 2.0 Changes : Driving + Flight Schools Can Reopen!

Malaysia just announced that driving and flight schools will be allowed to reopen in MCO areas!

Find out what has changed, and what it means for the MCO SOP in Malaysia!

 

MCO Changes Today : Driving + Flight Schools Can Reopen!

On 11 February 2021, Malaysia National Security Council (MKN) announced that the government has decided to further liberalise the MCO SOP, to protect the economy.

Here are the changes announced by Senior Minister (Security) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob :

Driving Schools

  • Driving schools may reopen from 12 February 2021 onwards.
  • Both practical and theory classes are permitted.
  • Operational hours : 7:30 AM until 8:30 PM
  • Both teacher and student must wear face masks at all times.
  • Only the student scheduled for that time slot is allowed to be present at the premise.
  • Physical distancing of 1 metre must be maintained at the counter and waiting area.
  • The vehicle must be sanitised after each training session.

Flight Schools

  • Flight schools may reopen from 12 February 2021 onwards, with hybrid training.
  • Trainees must remain within the Approved Training Organisation (ATO).
  • Trainees must obtain letter of authorisation for inter-state or inter-district travel

 

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Singapore Receives First Batch Of Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine!

Singapore today received their first batch of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, making them the first country in Asia to receive it.

 

Pfizer BNT162b2 : mRNA Vaccine Designed By BioNTech

The Pfizer BNT162b2 vaccine, also known as Tozinameran, is an mRNA vaccine designed by BioNTech.

Like the Modern vaccine, it uses messenger RNA (mRNA) technology to teach our cells to manufacture the SARS-CoV-2 protein spike.

Those SARS-CoV-2 protein spikes will trigger the immune response that teaches our body how to fight the real disease.

Recommended : Pfizer + Moderna mRNA Vaccines : How Do They Work?

 

Singapore Receives First Batch Of Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine!

Singapore today became the first country in Asia to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

The vaccines were transported onboard a Singapore Airlines Cargo Boeing 747-400 freighter, SQ7979, that departed Brussels on 20 December, and arrived in Singapore at 7:55 PM on 21 December 2020.

The vaccines were immediately transferred to the SATS cold chain facility, Coolport, for subsequent storage and ground transportation.

During the flight, the internal temperature of each thermal shipper box was actively tracked on an end-to-end basis. They also measured the sublimation rate of the dry ice in the boxes.

 

Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Programme In Singapore

On 15 December 2020, Singapore was the first Asian country to approve the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

In a national broadcast, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced that the vaccines will initially be administered to healthcare workers and the elderly.

The vaccine will be provided free-of-charge and on a voluntary basis. To show that the vaccines are safe, senior leadership in Singapore including the Prime Minister will be vaccinated early.

 

COVID-19 : How To Keep Safe!

Here are a few simple steps to stay safe from COVID-19 :

Recommended : Soap vs Sanitiser : Which Works Better Against COVID-19?
Recommended : Surgical Mask : How To CORRECTLY Wear + Remove!
Recommended : COVID-19 Food Safety : Fruits, Vegetables, Takeouts

 

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How Honeywell Is Helping Industries Tackle COVID-19!

Find out how Honeywell has pivoted to deliver new services and products that help critical industries tackle the COVID-19 pandemic!

 

How Honeywell Is Helping Industries Tackle COVID-19

Honeywell have long been a solution partner for critical industries, with over 100 years of global experience in various industries.

In an exclusive roundtable session, Norm L. Gilsdorf, President of Honeywell ASEAN, detailed how the COVID-19 pandemic has created a crisis for critical industries.

On the other hand, it offered Honeywell the opportunity to showcase their expertise in creating new solutions and products to meet the new challenges.

 

Honeywell Products + Services That Help Industries Tackle COVID-19

Honeywell have quickly pivoted to develop these new solutions and products to help critical industries In ASEAN countries and around the world better handle the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Honeywell UV Treatment System

The Honeywell UV Treatment System is a deep ultraviolet (UVC) sanitising system for airlines that significant reduces certain viruses and bacteria on airplane cabin surfaces.

It is roughly the size of the typical airline beverage cart, with arms that extend over the top of seats, to sweep the cabin with UVC light.

The Honeywell UV Treatment System can service an aircraft cabin in less than 10 minutes for just a few dollars per flight for midsize to large airline fleets.

Currently, several major airlines in the ASEAN region are testing this system on their aircraft.

Honeywell Healthy Building Solutions

The Honeywell Healthy Building Solutions are not new, but they go a long way to help companies protect their workforce from COVID-19.

By integrated air quality, safety and security technologies, they help to improve the health of building environments, operate more cleanly and safely, and help enforce social distancing policies.

The same technologies can also be employed in other public and commercial facilities like hospitals, airports, factories, educational institutions, etc. to enhance safety and compliance.

Honeywell Remote Industrial Solutions

The Honeywell Remote Industrial Solutions are being used by customers to handle COVID-19 related constraints and maintain business continuity, while protecting employees.

This software suite, which includes Experion Remote Operations, allow for remote management as well as work-from-home abilities for employees.

Honeywell Forge Cybersecurity Suite helps customers ensure business continuity in the face of mounting cyber threats, uncertain business conditions and supply chain disruptions.

Warehouse and logistics solutions help drive the exceptional growth of e-commerce in the ASEAN region and beyond, during the pandemic. They also support cold chain services for delivering medical products, including vaccines.

Other Honeywell Solutions That Help Against COVID-19

Other Honeywell solutions that help people and industries handle COVID-19 include :

  • Gas and flow sensors for ventilators, oxygen concentrators and respiratory machines;
  • Thermorebellion, a new temperature monitoring solution that incorporates advanced, infrared imaging technology and artificial intelligence algorithms to conduct non-invasive, preliminary screening of personnel entering facilities such as airports, hospitals and plants;
  • Dual layer face masks, personal safety packs and N95 masks.

 

COVID-19 : How To Keep Safe!

Here are a few simple steps to stay safe :

Recommended : Soap vs Sanitiser : Which Works Better Against COVID-19?
Recommended : Surgical Mask : How To CORRECTLY Wear + Remove!
Recommended : COVID-19 Food Safety : Fruits, Vegetables, Takeouts

 

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Fact Check: Somaliland Reps Wear Koteka To Taiwan Meeting!

Did Somaliland diplomatic representatives fly to Taiwan wearing kotekaspenis gourds? That’s what a new viral post is alleging.

Take a look at the photo taken of that event, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : Somaliland Reps Wear Koteka To Taiwan Meeting!

This viral post is circulating on social media, and has been excitedly discussed in certain regional forums. Check it out :

Taiwan Finds An Unexpected New Friend in Somaliland

Thomas J. Shattuck
1 July 2020

On July 1, news broke that Taiwan and Somaliland, an unrecognized state that broke away from Somalia in 1991, would set up representative offices in their respective countries. The two countries did not announce the establishment of formal diplomatic ties. They are strengthening existing relations with the new offices in the hopes that relationship flourishes. If they do eventually announce formal relations, then Taiwan would become the first country to diplomatically recognize Somaliland, which is considered an autonomous region of Somalia.

On 9 August 2020 A small group of Somaliland officers arrived in Taiwan to set up a representative office. Taiwan Foreign Affairs sent its officer Joanne Ou to receive the arrival of their guests.

Joanne Ou couldn’t control herself and almost dropped dead when she met the Somaliland officers!

Note : We intentionally added the Misleading overlay to prevent the picture from being further abused.

 

Somaliland Reps Wear Koteka To Taiwan Meeting : Bullshit

The story that was being shared is partially true, but the photo is NOT of Somaliland diplomatic representatives meeting Taiwanese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Joanne Ou.

Therefore, the claim that Somaliland representatives met Joanne Ou wearing kotekas – penis gourds – is categorically FALSE.

Fact #1 : Thomas J. Shattuck Only Wrote The First Part

Thomas J. Shattuck is a real person – a Research Associate in the Asia Program and the Managing Editor at the Foreign Policy Research Institute.

He wrote the article – Taiwan Finds an Unexpected New Friend in Somaliland, and it was posted on 1 July 2020, as shared in the viral post.

The fake post’s creator copied the second paragraph’s of Shattuck’s article, and added the fake story about Somaliland representatives meeting Joanne Ou, the Taiwanese Foreign Ministry spokesperson

Fact #2 : Somalis Do Not Wear The Koteka

The koteka – a penis gourd – is worn by some ethnic groups in Papua New Guinea, not the Somali people.

Bloggers and netizens claim that the original picture was originally taken on a PNG Air or a Singapore Airlines flight, but we believe they are mistaken.

Based on the kebaya-like uniform (which we cannot identify) of the air stewardess, and the Malay word Keluar (Exit) in the background, this was most likely taken on one of Indonesia’s budget airlines.

Fact #3 : The First Somaliland Rep Met With The Taiwanese Foreign Minister

The first Somaliland representative was Mohamed Omar Hagi Mohamoud, a political scientist, research and analyst, who arrived in Taiwan on Friday, 7 August 2020 (tweet).

But instead of meeting with Taiwanese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Joanne Ou, he met instead with Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu on Sunday, 9 August 2020.

He has this picture taken that day, wearing a suit… and no koteka.

Fact #4 : Somaliland Has Yet To Establish A Representative Office

As of 23 August 2020, Somaliland has yet to establish a Representative Office in Taiwan even though it plans to do so.

It was Taiwan who first established their Representative Office in Hergeisa, the capital city of Somaliland on 17 August 2020.

 

Why Would Someone Create This Fake Story?

With China’s aggressive foreign stance in recent years, it is not uncommon to see such fake stories being created and shared.

Some believe it’s part of a concerted attempt by China to tarnish Taiwan’s reputation globally.

Others believe the many fake stories are being created to drown out the negative coverage of China’s controversial Belt and Road Initiative, and their aggressive moves in the South China Sea.

Whatever the reasons may be, it is our duty as global citizens to stop the proliferation of such fake stories.

 

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Fact Check : AirAsia Banned Wheeled Cabin Luggage?

People are outraged that AirAsia has apparently banned wheeled cabin luggage to facilitate social distancing during embarkation and disembarkation.

Find out what is this AirAsia cabin luggage ban all about, and what the facts really are…

 

Claim : AirAsia Temporarily Bans Wheeled Cabin Luggage!

Quite a few websites are sharing what they claimed are a new AirAsia cabin baggage policy, which temporarily bans wheeled luggage to ensure social distancing during embarkation and disembarkation.

All guests (except infants) are allowed to carry on board ONLY 1 piece of cabin baggage which can be either:

One (1) Laptop bag or one (1) handbag or one (1) small bag:

  • MUST NOT exceed the dimensions of 40cm (H) X 30cm (W) X 10cm (L).
  • MUST FIT under the seat in front of you.
  • MUST NOT weigh more than 7kg.

If your cabin baggage cannot fit under the seat in front of you:

  • You will be given a complimentary check in for the cabin bag that weighs less than 7kg. Please check-in your baggage at the counter.
  • If the bag weighs more than 7kg, extra airport charges apply for each kg of weight.
  • The 7kg complimentary check-in baggage should be treated separately from the standard check-in baggage.

People also shared the news on social media. Here is one example :

This new policy sure is shocking because it would mean that AirAsia travellers will have to cough up for checked luggage, or worse – end up paying A LOT MORE at the airport.

But wait… is this even true? Let’s find out…

 

AirAsia Banned Wheeled Cabin Luggage : Yes, But No Longer…

This temporary AirAsia cabin luggage policy which got everyone riled up is true, but is no longer in effect… starting tomorrow! Here are the facts…

Fact #1 : AirAsia Did Temporarily Ban Wheeled Cabin Luggage

First of all, we have to point out that this isn’t exactly fake news. It is just OLD NEWS.

The restricted cabin luggage policy was part of preventive measures against COVID-19, when AirAsia was permitted to restart domestic flights in:

  • Malaysia (29 April 2020),
  • Thailand (1 May 2020),
  • the Philippines (1 June 2020),
  • India (4 May 2020), and
  • Indonesia (7 May 2020).

Here is the relevant section on their FAQ on precautionary measures while flying with AirAsia during the COVID-19 pandemic, which was posted on 29 April 2020 :

7. What are my cabin baggage limits?

To facilitate social distancing and minimise physical contact when boarding and disembarkation, only ONE piece of cabin baggage is allowed for each guest. More details are available here. All other baggage aside from handbags or laptop bags will need to be checked-in. Please proceed to the check-in counter if you have any enquiry.

Fact #2 : That Restricted Cabin Luggage Policy Ends 6 July 2020

AirAsia actually updated the cabin luggage policy page today, to state that the old policy will be reinstated effective 7 July 2020.

In other words, the restricted cabin luggage policy they introduced on 29 April 2020, ends today.

You are allowed to bring onboard two (2) pieces of bag as part of your cabin baggage allowance with the total weight of both items not exceeding 7kg.

One (1) piece of cabin bag must not exceed 56cm x 36cm x 23cm including the handles, wheels and side pockets. This bag must be able to fit in the overhead compartment in the aircraft cabin.

You may also carry one (1) piece of laptop bag, handbag, backpack or any other small bag which must not exceed 40cm x 30cm x 10cm. This item must be able to fit under the seat in front of you.

Fact #3 : Infants < 2 Years Old Never Had Cabin Baggage Allowance

At least one website claimed that infants under the age of 2 no longer have any cabin luggage allowance, under the new policy.

However, that was always the case even before the COVID-19 pandemic. Only children 2 years and older have cabin luggage allowances – 7 kg, the same as adults.

The only exception is on AirAsia India flights – starting 10 July 2020, infants below 2 years of age will be allocated 7 kg of hand baggage.

Fact #4 : Baby Strollers / Buggies / Prams Are Carried FOC

At least one website claimed that baby strollers must meet cabin baggage allowable dimensions, or you must purchase a checked baggage allowance.

That is not true.

Baby strollers / buggies / prams are carried free of charge on AirAsia flights as checked baggage, provided they are being used by a child or infant.

Those who wish to carry their strollers into the cabin must make sure it can be folded to fit the cabin baggage allowances.

 

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AirAsia Domestic Unlimited Pass Extended : Poor Response?

AirAsia just extended their Unlimited Pass Cuti-Cuti Malaysia by another two days, arguably due to poor response.

Anyone who read the rules and understands the limitations will know why it is a joke to call it Cuti-Cuti Malaysia….

 

AirAsia Domestic Unlimited Pass : What Is It?

Now that Malaysia is under Recovery MCO, AirAsia announced the Unlimited Pass Cuti-Cuti Malaysia promotion to spur domestic tourism.

This is the domestic version of their earlier international Unlimited Pass, which we pointed out was a waste of money for most people.

It promises to let you book unlimited flights to sixteen local destinations within Malaysia for a year, for just RM 399 per person.

AirAsia BIG Members can purchase this special pass from 11 June to 13 June 2020. This has been extended to 15 June 2020.

After purchasing it, they will be able to redeem flights from 25 June 2020 until 31 March 2021.

 

AirAsia Domestic Unlimited Pass : TLDR Advice

It looks like the AirAsia Unlimited Pass Cuti-Cuti Malaysia isn’t doing well at all…

AirAsia tried to spin that 12,000 flight tickets were booked, mostly to Kuching and Kota Kinabalu. That’s actually pretty poor response, since they flew over 13 MILLION passengers in Q4 2019 alone…

In addition, people usually book two ways and use these Unlimited Passes to book multiple trips. So arguably, they only sold 6,000 or less of these domestic Unlimited Passes.

 

AirAsia Domestic Unlimited Pass : TLDR Advice

For those who don’t have the time to read, here is our quick summary of what you need to know :

  1. COVID-19 will prevent / discourage you from using this Unlimited Pass for many months.
  2. You are NOT guaranteed tickets, because there are limited promo seats on each flight.
  3. It will not apply during embargo periods – weekends, public holidays and school holidays.
  4. Families should NOT bother. Holidays should be fun, not torture.
  5. You must be willing to book your ticket, and be seated, separately from anyone you are travelling with.
  6. It is best purchased and used by retirees, or singles / couples who have flexible working arrangements and can travel on working days.
  7. We also recommend it for business travellers – this can really save them a lot of money!

Since it may not be available during weekends, public holidays and school holidays, the Cuti-Cuti Malaysia tagline is really misleading…

 

AirAsia Domestic Unlimited Pass : Who Should Buy It?

Based on the severe restrictions AirAsia places on this pass, the best people to buy it should meet these requirements :

  • retired, single or a couple
  • able to travel on normal working days / need to travel for work
  • willing to put up with booking / travel hassles

Everyone else should not bother. Really. Travel should be fun, not torture.

We however recommend it for BUSINESS TRAVELLERS. The 14-day advanced booking may be a problem, but if you need to travel a lot for work, this pass will save you a lot of money!

Recommended : AirAsia Domestic Unlimited Pass : How To Book Your Flight!

 

AirAsia Domestic Unlimited Pass : Not For Holidays!

Reason #1 : Remember COVID-19?

Even though Malaysia did very well in the fight against COVID-19, the pandemic isn’t over. In fact, COVID-19 is likely to persist and spread back and forth from various countries for many more months to come.

Until a vaccine is approved and administered worldwide, it is possible that Malaysia may encounter additional waves of COVID-19 infections.

If you are unwilling to take this risk, you may end up not flying all that much, if at all!

Reason #2 : You’re NOT Guaranteed A Flight

The pass does NOT guarantee you to any flight. You can only use it to redeem flights that AirAsia has earmarked with 100% OFF signs.

You can select flights without the 100% OFF sign, but you will have to pay full price for them.

Reason #3 : Severe Limitations On Tickets

It’s stated in their Q&A (conveniently located in a separate Q&A page) that :

  • tickets are limited, and may not be available for all flights during public holidays, school breaks and weekends.
  • you can only buy it for direct flights, no connecting flights allowed.
  • every passenger must book the flight individually – you cannot book as a group, even if everyone has the Unlimited Pass.
  • you must be 12 years or older, and have your own BIG Member account.
  • you must book your tickets at least 14 days in advanced.

These limitations are designed to reduce your ability to fly as often as you would like using the Pass. Families, for example, must be willing to be seated separately.

Unless you are single or a couple, and able to travel during work days, you may not even have the opportunity to use the AirAsia Unlimited Pass Cuti-Cuti Malaysia at all!

Reason #4 : Forced To Pay Full Price

Flying as a group will be problematic, because there are limited seats available for this Pass.

What will likely happen is that a few members of your group will be able to use their Pass, while the others will have to pay full price for their tickets.

The way out would be to split the group up, and fly on separate flights. But obviously, this makes travel much more of a hassle.

And remember – even if you get to fly out with the Unlimited Pass Cuti-Cuti Malaysia, you may not get to do so on the way back.

You may have to pay full price, unless you are able and willing to adjust your return date according to what’s available for the Unlimited Pass.

Reason #5 : Fuel, Baggage + Other Fees

Even if you manage to book many flights using the Unlimited Pass, they aren’t free. You will still need to cough up extra money for ancillary fees.

Budget airlines like AirAsia make a large percentage of their profits not from flight tickets, but from ancillary revenue – administrative fees, baggage fees, assigned seat fees, flight insurance, cancellations, documentation, meals, merchandise, fuel surcharges, etc.

In Q3 2019, almost a quarter of AirAsia’s revenue came from such ancillary sources – a whopping RM 686 million. And unlike revenue from flight tickets – they have relatively low costs – and so they contribute substantially to the airline’s PROFITS.

Frequent AirAsia travellers will tell you that these ancillary fees often cost as much as, or even more, than the flight tickets!

 

AirAsia Domestic Unlimited Pass : The Caveats

AirAsia conveniently lists the caveats of the Unlimited Pass in two sections in a separate Q&A page, which we have combined and summarised here (with our emphasis) :

  • It is only applicable on direct flights with the AK carrier code.
  • Flight redemption is limited and may not be available for all flights during public holidays, school breaks and weekends.
  • Flight redemption is only valid for base fare only and do not include optional add-ons, passenger service charge, regularity service charge, or other charges.
  • Booking must be made at least fourteen (14) days before the flight departure date.
  • All applicable taxes, fees or charges imposed by the regulatory bodies must be paid at the time of purchase unless otherwise stated.
  • It is available for BIG Members within Malaysia who are at least 12 years of age on the date of departure and the passenger must be the BIG Member who made the booking. Each AirAsia Unlimited Pass is assigned to one (1) passenger only with one (1) BIG Member account.
  • You can only book for yourself, and cannot select multiple passengers using the AirAsia Unlimited Pass.
  • In the event any travel agency or party other than an individual BIG Member purchased the AirAsia Unlimited Pass and subsequently made flight bookings using the AirAsia Unlimited Pass, AirAsia shall have the right to cancel/forfeit such AirAsia Unlimited Pass and the flight bookings, without any liability on the part of AirAsia to such agency, third party or any passenger.
  • AirAsia reserves the right to cancel or forfeit your Unlimited Pass, if you miss more than three (3) flights.
  • The AirAsia Unlimited Pass cannot be sold, bartered, assigned or transferred to another person. Any attempt to transfer the AirAsia Unlimited Pass or book travel using the AirAsia Unlimited Pass for someone other than the holder of the AirAsia Unlimited Pass will result in immediate forfeiture of the AirAsia Unlimited Pass.
  • Use of the AirAsia Unlimited Pass will not earn any BIG Points, and flights flown using the AirAsia Unlimited Pass will not count towards any offers or bonuses. Redemption of BIG Points is also not allowed for the purchase of the AirAsia Unlimited Pass.
  • When purchasing the AirAsia Unlimited Pass, passengers must ensure their details in the BIG Member account (i.e. name and date of birth) are as per passport or identity card. These details will be used for booking during the redemption process.
  • The AirAsia Unlimited Pass Cuti-Cuti Malaysia is non-refundable.

 

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Fact Check: Changi Airport Passengers Must Wear PPE Suits?

Are Changi Airport passengers required to wear PPE suits before they board their flights? A video seems to show that.

Take a look at the video yourself, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : Changi Airport Passengers Must Pay For + Wear PPE Suits!

A video showing Changi Airport passengers wearing blue PPE suits is going viral, together with this message :

Changi Airport.
Passengers must wear this suits on board like going to an operation room
Cost included in the air ticket.
So kiasu kiasi style

 

Changi Airport Passengers Must Wear PPE Suits : The Facts!

Fact #1 : The Video Is Genuine

First of all, the video is genuine and was recorded on 31 May 2020.

It showed real passengers in blue PPE suits waiting for their flight in Terminal 3 of Changi Airport in Singapore.

Fact #2 : They Are Vietnamese Citizens

In the video, you can hear them speaking Vietnamese. They are actually part of 340 Vietnamese citizens being repatriated from Singapore after COVID-19 infections there approached 35,000.

They include the elderly, pregnant women, those with pre-existing health conditions, the young (under 18 years of age), or tourists whose visas had expired – all of whom paid their own fares for the flight.

Fact #3 : PPE Requirement Was By Vietnam Government + Vietnam Airlines

Those being repatriated were required to don those blue PPE suits, as well as face masks and gloves, by the Vietnamese Ministry of Health, and Vietnam Airlines.

This was a requirement since 15 May 2020, after two Vietnam Airlines flight attendants tested positive for COVID-19 after a repatriation flight from Russia.

They actually had to wear all that for the entire duration of the flight, and were quarantined upon arriving at Can Tho, a southern Vietnamese city.

Fact #4 : PPE Requirement Not Exclusive To Singapore

This requirement to wear blue PPE suits, face masks and gloves was not exclusive to Singapore or Changi Airport.

It was mandated for all Vietnamese citizens being repatriated from COVID-19 hotspots by Vietnam Airlines.

Here are photos of the same precautions being carried out on Vietnamese citizens being repatriated from Taiwan :

According to the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, both the Vietnam Airlines cabin crew and flight crew had to don the same blue PPE suits, face masks and gloves for the entire flight as well.

Fact #5 : Singapore Does Not Require PPE Suits In Changi Airport

Changi Airport in Singapore does not require passengers to wear PPE suits. They only require everyone to wear a face mask.

Here are Changi Airport’s official measures against COVID-19 :

  • All arriving, transit and departing passengers at Changi Airport are subject to temperature screening. Passengers who are febrile or display respiratory symptoms will be referred to a doctor on duty.
  • All airport staff entering the transit area will have to undergo temperature screening. Staff who have a high temperature will be asked to consult a doctor immediately.
  • All passengers, air crew and airport staff must wear a mask at all times at Changi Airport. In addition, all passengers and crew members must also wear a mask for the entire duration of their flight to and from Changi Airport.Passengers who need to purchase a mask may do so at the airport pharmacies and convenience stores such as Guardian, Watson’s and 7-11.
  • Changi Airport conducts frequent cleaning and disinfecting across its terminals and at Jewel Changi Airport.High-contact areas across the airport such as door handles, water coolers, counter tops, baggage trolleys and lift buttons are cleaned and disinfected more frequently.Frequent swab tests are conducted at these areas to ensure the efficacy of cleaning and disinfection.
  • For an added layer of protection, frequently-touched surfaces such as automated check-in kiosks, trolleys, lift buttons and security trays are coated with a protective antimicrobial coating to reduce the risk of virus transmission.
  • Autonomous cleaning equipment are deployed throughout the airport cleaning and disinfecting the floors and carpets at Changi Airport daily.
  • Prayer rooms, baby care rooms and smoking areas are available for use. Passengers must observe safe distancing and adhere to the markers.Frequent cleaning and disinfecting is done at these areas and frequently-touched surfaces are sprayed with a protective antimicrobial coating to reduce the risk of virus transmission.
  • There are more than 1,200 hand sanitisers available across all terminals and Jewel Changi Airport, from check-in rows to gate holdrooms. Hand sanitisers will only be allowed in cabin baggage if kept in containers of not more than 100ml each.

 

COVID-19 : How To Keep Safe!

Here are a few simple steps to stay safe from COVID-19 :

Recommended : Soap vs Sanitiser : Which Works Better Against COVID-19?
Recommended : Surgical Mask : How To CORRECTLY Wear + Remove!
Recommended : COVID-19 Food Safety : Fruits, Vegetables, Takeouts

 

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