Tag Archives: Aircraft

Singapore-Malaysia Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) Announced!

Latest Singapore-Malaysia VTL Air Travel Guide!

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

Here is what you need to know about 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).

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.

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 ticket (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.
  • 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 PCR Test

  • Travellers, except children aged 2 and below in the calendar year, are required to undergo a PCR test on arrival in Singapore.
  • After taking the PCR test, travellers must immediately take private transportation, taxi or private hire car (e.g. GrabSHN, Go-Jek, MVL(TADA), Ryde to their declared place of accommodation.
  • Travellers may also be picked up from the airport by their company / family member / friend in a private vehicle, but there should be no more than one person picking up the traveller from the airport.
  • All persons in the private vehicle must wear face masks throughout the journey.
  • Travellers must travel directly to their declared place of accommodation to await their COVID-19 PCR test results.

 

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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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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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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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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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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 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!

 

Please Support My Work!

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

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
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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!

 

Help Support My Work!

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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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Fact Check : US Withdraws After Chinese Jamming Attacks?

Did the US Navy 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 with Chinese netizens and Sinophiles sharing it excitedly in July 2020.

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

It is this English translation that has begun circulating again on social media, after tensions rose between the US and China.

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.

In this regard, the United States was at a loss as to why this happened. Finally, they mobilized reconnaissance satellites to discover that many electronic jamming devices appeared on the islands and reefs in the South China Sea. It was these devices that caused the short-term loss of control of the U.S. fighter planes. According to the pilots, when they were attacked electronically, all the instruments in the cabin were chaotic. The fighter planes were completely out of control and could not communicate with the outside world, but they did not know what happened.

After the accident, the United States negotiated with my country, demanding that my country dismantle the electronic equipment immediately, but it was rejected. These electronic devices are an important part of my country’s maritime defense and are not offensive weapons. Therefore, the US military’s request for dismantling is unreasonable. So why does this electronic device make the United States so afraid? First of all, 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.

The second is that its attack method is unpredictable. Compared with conventional air defense missiles, electronic jamming systems are more concealed. Because its attack method interferes with the radio, enemy fighter planes are often hit inadvertently. At the same time, this type of attack is almost impossible to intercept. That’s why the US military asks my country to dismantle these weapons.

On the same day, Swift, the former commander of the US Pacific, finally admitted that the US military had lost the best time to control the South China Sea. He believes that China has deployed a large number of Hongqi 9 air defense missiles, H6K fighter jets, and electronic jamming systems on islands and reefs. The defense can be said to be solid. If US fighter jets rush into the South China Sea, they are likely to encounter “Waterloo.”

In fact, 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.

Whether it is islands or reefs or electronic jamming systems, these are part of our national defense system. According to the US military, my country’s electronic jamming system has covered more than half of the South China Sea. It can be seen from this that American fighters must be careful when entering the South China Sea.

 

US Navy Withdraws After Chinese Jamming : A 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

While China has the right to jam foreign military aircraft entering its airspace without permission, 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 used 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 debunks 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 launched 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.

 

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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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AirAsia Domestic Unlimited Pass : How To Book Your Flight!

If you have already purchased the AirAsia Domestic Unlimited Pass, here is our step-by-step guide on how to plan your travel and book your tickets!

 

AirAsia Domestic Unlimited Pass : Planning Your Travel!

As we pointed out earlier, the AirAsia Domestic Unlimited Pass is not for everyone. But if you are able to benefit from it, here is our guide on how to plan your travel and book your tickets.

 

AirAsia Domestic Unlimited Pass : Available Destinations

Before you start flying, you should first make sure you are flying to one of the sixteen local destinations supported by the AirAsia Unlimited Pass Cuti-Cuti Malaysia.

The available destinations depends on where you are flying from :

  • From Kuala Lumpur : Alor Setar, Langkawi, Penang, Johor Bahru, Terengganu, Kota Bahru, Kuching, Sibu, Bintulu, Miri, Labuan, Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan, Tawau.
  • From Penang : Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi, Johor Bahru, Kota Kinabalu, Kuching
  • From Johor Bahru : Kuala Lumpur, Alor Setar, Langkawi, Penang, Ipoh, Kota Kinabalu, Kuching, Sibu, Miri, Tawau
  • From Kota Kinabalu : Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Johor Bahru, Kota Bahru, Kuching, Sibu, Bintulu, Miri, Sandakan, Tawau
  • From Kuching : Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Kota Bahru, Johor Bahru, Kota Kinabalu, Miri, Bintulu, Sibu

 

AirAsia Domestic Unlimited Pass : How To Book Your Flight

Once you are ready, here is how you can book your flight using the AirAsia Domestic Unlimited Pass :

Step 1: Visit www.airasia.com/deals or click on the ‘Deals’ tab in the AirAsia App

Step 2: Log in with your Big Member account

Step 3 : Click on ‘My Purchases’ , select ‘View Now’ AirAsia Unlimited Pass’

Step 4: Click on ‘REDEEM’ which will take you to the flight search widget on airasia.com

Step 5: Search for flights

Step 6: Choose flights marked “100% off” which are applicable under this pass

Step 7: Make payment to complete your booking

Step 8: Your redemption is successful. We hope that you enjoy your offer.

 

AirAsia Domestic Unlimited Pass : Warning!

AirAsia would like us to remind you that your Unlimited Pass cannot be returned, refunded or transferred.

They will also void your Unlimited Pass if you are no-show for 3 consecutive times for your confirmed flights.

So make sure you REALLY want to fly to those destinations on those dates before booking!

 

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AirAsia Unlimited Pass Cuti-Cuti Malaysia : Not So Fast!

The AirAsia Unlimited Pass Cuti-Cuti Malaysia promises UNLIMITED AIR TRAVEL to local sixteen destinations, for a whole year!

But as usual – there are caveats with this offer that makes it a joke to call it Cuti-Cuti Malaysia….

 

AirAsia Unlimited Pass Cuti-Cuti Malaysia : 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.

After purchasing it, they will be able to redeem flights from 25 June 2020 until 31 March 2021.

 

AirAsia Unlimited Pass Cuti-Cuti Malaysia : 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 Unlimited Pass Cuti-Cuti Malaysia : 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 Unlimited Pass Cuti-Cuti Malaysia : 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 Unlimited Pass Cuti-Cuti Malaysia : 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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Flight Unlimited Las Vegas : FREE For A Limited Time!

Flight Unlimited Las Vegas – a flight simulation game – is FREE for a limited time!

Find out how to get it FREE, and make sure you tell your friends!

If you miss this great freebie, well, next time join the Tech ARP Facebook page to get these updates quickly!

 

Flight Unlimited Las Vegas : A Quick Primer!

Enjoy flying over the city of Las Vegas in one of 9 unique aircraft. Explore the city or embark on a campaign of missions for the Las Vegas Mob Boss.

The famous Las Vegas strip includes over 50 hotels that are modeled with photo realism.

Fly past the Luxor, buzz the New York New York, or attempt a landing on top of the Bellagio. Over 130 sq miles of the city of Las Vegas are modeled in incredible detail. This level of detail hasn’t been seen in any flight simulator on any platform.

This is without a doubt, the most graphically advanced flight simulator in the app store. Weeks after flying you’ll notice meticulous graphical details for the first time.

Tires smoke as the plane hits the ground, aircraft metal deforms in a crash, the Bellagio fountains spring to life, sun glare blinds your view, and more.

 

Flight Unlimited Las Vegas : How To Get It FREE!

Flight Unlimited Las Vegas is FREE to download and keep, if you get it by 30 March 2020.

  1. Log into your Microsoft account.
  2. Go to the Flight Unlimited Las Vegas page in the Microsoft Store.
  3. Click on the blue Get button on the right.

That’s it! You will be able to install and play Flight Unlimited Las Vegas on up to ten Windows 10 devices using your Microsoft account!

 

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United Airlines Offers FREE Flight Changes For A Whole Year!

COVID-19 is putting a real damper on air travel, and United Airlines just responded by offering FREE flight changes for a whole year!

Here is what Oscar Munoz, United Airlines CEO, just blasted out in an email to all United Airlines customers!

 

Worried About COVID-19? United Airlines Offers FREE Flight Changes!

Now that COVID-19 is seriously threatening air travel in the United States, United Airlines is trying to make things a little easier on jittery flyers by offering them free flight changes for a whole year!

And they are extending the offer to all bookings, irrespective of the ticket or fare type, or destination. But note that this only applies to flight bookings made from now until 31 March 2020 :

To give you the greatest flexibility, when you book any flight with us now through March 31, you can change it for free over the next 12 months – any ticket, any fare type, any destination.

We are not sure if United Airlines will extend the offer into April or May, but that ought to give their customers some peace of mind.

Here are the specific terms and conditions for the free flight changes policy at United Airlines :

Tickets: For tickets issued March 3 through March 31, 2020, customers will be permitted to change free of charge to a flight of equal or lesser value up to 12 months from the original ticket issue date. If the new flight is priced higher, the customer may change for no fee but must pay the fare difference. If the new flight is priced lower, the customer may change for free but no residual value will be given. If the customer decides to cancel their flight, they can retain the value of the ticket to be applied to a new ticket without fee for travel up to 12 months from the original ticket issue date.

Cancellations: If the customer decides to cancel the flight they booked between March 3 and March 31, 2020, they can retain the value of the ticket to be applied to a new ticket without fee for travel up to 12 months from the original ticket issue date.

Fare Validity: This applies to all tickets, all fare types, all destinations, all points-of-sale, all travel dates available for sale, provided ticket number starts with 016.

Minimum Stay: No minimum stay.

Blackout Dates: No blackout dates.

Miscellaneous: Fares, fees, rules and offers are subject to change without notice. Seats are capacity-controlled and may not be available on all flights or days. Fares are nonrefundable except during the first 24 hours after purchase. Other restrictions may apply.

 

United Airlines On COVID-19

In the mass email, Oscar Munoz also explained what measures United Airlines is taking to minimise the COVID-19 risks to its passengers :

On The Ground

Our team of in-house medical experts and industrial hygienists oversee our aircraft cleaning procedures to ensure they meet or exceed all CDC guidelines.

Hard surfaces such as lavatories, tray tables, window shades and armrests are thoroughly wiped down with a high-grade disinfectant and multi-purpose cleaner.

And when we are advised by the CDC of a person who has traveled on board and is potentially exhibiting coronavirus symptoms, that aircraft is taken out of service and sent through a full decontamination process that includes our standard cleaning procedures plus washing ceilings and overhead bins and scrubbing the interior.

In The Air

Our aircraft are equipped with state-of-the-art circulation systems, similar to those found in hospitals, which use a high-efficiency (HEPA) filter to circulate the air and remove more than 99% of airborne particles.

We’re also adjusting our inflight service to limit person-to-person contamination. This includes handing beverages directly to customers instead of allowing customers to touch a tray and ensuring all flight attendants wear gloves during service.

 

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AirAsia Unlimited Pass Guide : Planning Your Travel!

If you have already purchased the AirAsia Unlimited Pass, here is a step-by-step guide on how to plan your travel and book your tickets using the AirAsia Unlimited Pass!

 

AirAsia Unlimited Pass Guide : Planning Your Travel!

As we pointed out earlier, the AirAsia Unlimited Pass is not for everyone. But if you are able to benefit from it, here is our guide on how to plan your travel and book your tickets.

Step 1 : Log into your BIG Member account.

Step 2 : Make sure your BIG Member profile name is exactly the same as the name in your passport.

Step 3 : If necessary, please change your profile name to match your passport.

You only have one (1) chance to change your name and you cannot change it once your first flight redemption is confirmed, so make sure you do it before redeeming your first flight!

Step 4 : Go to Deals and look at the My Purchases tab for your AirAsia Unlimited Pass.

If you cannot locate your Unlimited Pass after purchasing, check back after a few hours. If the problem persists, email AirAsia at support_deals@airasia.com.

Step 5 : Generate your Unique Code.

Step 6 : Click Apply Now, and the page will refresh to show a flight search page.

Step 7 : Select your destination and travel date.

The AirAsia Unlimited Pass allows you to redeem these flights :

  • From Kuala Lumpur (return) : Melbourne, Gold Coast, Perth, Sydney, Changsha, Chongqing, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai, Wuhan, Xi’an, Amritsar, New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Sapporo (Chin Chitose), Osaka, Fukuoka, Tokyo (Haneda), Tokyo (Narita), Jeju, Seoul, Busan, Taipei

  • From Bangkok (return) : Brisbane, Shanghai, Sapporo (Chin Chitose), Osaka, Tokyo (Narita), Nogoya, Fukuoka, Seoul

  • Others (return) : Taipei – Osaka, Taipei – Okinawa, Osaka – Honolulu

Recommended : AirAsia Unlimited Pass : A Waste Of Money, Unless…

Flights with seats listed as 100% OFF are available to be booked by AirAsia Unlimited Pass holders.

If your selected flight has no 100% OFF sign, that means the AirAsia Unlimited Pass is NOT available for the selected date, or the selected date falls on the Embargo Period.

AirAsia defines the Embargo Period as a travel blackout period, during which you cannot use the Unlimited Pass. It includes these upcoming holidays in Malaysia :

Step 8 : Insert your Unique Code into the “Promo Code” field.

You will see the airport taxes and fees payable for that sector, with the total payable taxes and fees at the black box at the bottom for the return trip.

Here is a list of mandatory government taxes and fees for a 2-way return trip for available destinations :

Step 9 : Add your baggage, meals and seat allocations!

Step 10 : Complete your booking by paying the necessary taxes, fees and add-on fees.

 

AirAsia Unlimited Pass Guide : Warning!

AirAsia would like us to remind everyone that your Unlimited Pass cannot be returned, refunded or transferred.

They will also void your Unlimited Pass if you are no-show for 3 consecutive times for your confirmed flights.

So make sure you REALLY want to fly to those destinations on those dates before booking!

 

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How Did Iran Shoot Down UIA Flight PS752 By Mistake?

It seems incredulous that Iran could shoot down UIA Flight PS752 by mistake, but the sad fact is that no military can always correctly identify bogies.

We examine how Iran mistook UIA Flight PS752 for a US cruise missile, and shot it down with a Tor M1 missile, killing all 176 people onboard.

 

The Circumstances Surrounding UIA Flight PS752

On 3 January 2020, US President Donald Trump escalated tensions with Iran by ordering the assassination of Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani.

Soleimani’s assassination by Hellfire missile could be construed as an act of war against Iran, and naturally compelled a military response. That came in the form of 22 ballistic missiles fired on two US bases in Iraq.

Recommended : Is Donald Trump RESPONSIBLE For UIA Flight 752 Deaths?

The Iranians expected a US cruise missile attack in retaliation, and appeared to have prepared for such an eventuality with the deployment of short range missile defence systems around Tehran.

Five hours after they fired those ballistic missiles, UIA Flight PS752 took off from the Imam Khomeini International Airport.

Unfortunately, a SAM operator mistook it for a US cruise missile, and shot it down with a Tor M1 missile.

So how could Iran’s veteran military forces have made such a colossal mistake?

 

Tor M1 / SA-15 Gauntlet

First, let’s consider the SAM platform that shot down UIA Flight PS752 – the Russian Tor M1, also known by its NATO designation SA-15 Gauntlet.

The Tor (Russian for Torus) missile system is an armoured tracked vehicle with a pulse-doppler radar, and eight 9K331 Tor M1 missiles.

Introduced in 1991, this mobile SAM system is designed to accompany and protect troops in a battlefield against hostile aircraft and cruise missiles.

It is not usually parked in defence of fixed installations, and have greater autonomy than centralised air defence systems. It is likely that the Iranians brought in these mobile SAM systems as the last line of defence in an impending conflict.

 

War-Like Situation Before PS752 Flight

Next, we have to consider the war footing that the Iranian military, and specifically, the IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) found itself in, after launching ballistic missiles at US bases.

Besides, the United States did earlier just assassinate one of their top military leaders – an action that could be considered an act of war.

Even if the Iranian government does not want a war with the United States, the Iranian military and the IRGC would have been compelled to prepare for the worst.

It is with that mindset in mind, that we consider how Iran could have mistaken UIA Flight PS752 for a cruise missile, shooting it down.

 

How Did Iran Shoot Down UIA Flight PS752 By Mistake?

Poor Training?

As one of Iran’s older SAM systems and a short range system at that, the Tor M1 is likely to be assigned to less elite units. So it is plausible that inexperience or poor training led to the tragedy.

No Central Command?

Multiple Tor vehicles can be linked to a Ranzhir-M mobile command center, for increased detection range and centralised command.

It is possible that the Tor vehicles were dispersed for localised defence, and not linked to a central command system. That would leave the decision to fire in the hands of a junior officer, possibly even a conscript!

Short Reaction Time?

The Tor M1 missile also has a narrow engagement range of 1.5 km to 12 km. It cannot be used against anything closer than 1.5 km, or further than 12 km.

When Flight PS752 popped up just a few kilometres from this Tor M1 vehicle, it would give the missile operator just a matter of seconds to identify it and decide whether to fire or not.

Heightened Expectations Of A Strike?

The expectation of a retaliatory strike would, no doubt, weigh heavily on the mind of the missile operator. After all, they just fired 22 ballistic missiles on two US bases.

In normal circumstances, the Tor missile system would not be “weapons hot”. But they were expecting a salvo of cruise missiles, so the missile operator would have been light on the trigger.

Failure To Whitelist Flight PS752?

When Flight PS752 popped up on the Tor missile system’s radar, the operator would have to decide if it was a hostile aircraft or a legitimate civilian aircraft.

Unfortunately, its pulse-doppler radar would not be able identify the type of the aircraft, only its speed and direction. But Flight PS752 and a Tomahawk cruise missile would have roughly similar subsonic speeds.

An example of a pulse doppler radar’s display

That’s why civilian airliners use transponders and the IFF system to ensure that everyone knows that they are not a threat. Flight PS752 would definitely have been squawking its transponder code.

Normally, SAM crews would receive the flight plans and transponder codes for airliners scheduled to fly in and out of the area, so they can be eliminated as threats.

It is plausible that this Tor missile operator did not, or could not, clear Flight PS752’s transponder code, and assumed it was a cruise missile attempting to masquerade as an airliner.

Failure To Establish No-Fly Zone

One thing is for sure though – the Iranians should have established a no-fly zone around Tehran, after firing their ballistic missiles. It was a serious and fatal mistake.

The danger of jittery, trigger-happy Air Defence crews in charge of weapons hot SAM systems cannot be understated.

It would also have made it easier to identify hostile aircraft in Iranian airspace. Yet they continued to let civilian aircraft fly in and out of Tehran.

 

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Edifier W860NB vs Edifier W828NB : What’s The Difference?

The Edifier W860NB and W828NB are both active noise cancelling Bluetooth headphones, with an over-ear design.

In this article, we will compare both models to find out how they differ, and where they are similar. Find out which is the best option for you!

 

Edifier W860NB Primer

The Edifier W860NB is their first active noise cancelling Bluetooth headphone, targeted at the value premium market. Hence, it sports a premium design with touch controls.

It also has folding ear cups with neodymium drivers, NFC support and a complete set of accessories including a hard travel case.

Recommended : Edifier W860NB Active Noise Cancelling Headphones Review!

 

Edifier W828NB Primer

The Edifier W828NB, on the other hand, is a newer model, with Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity and a lower price point.

However, it only comes with a soft travel case, and lacks both touch controls and an aircraft audio adaptor.

Recommended : Edifier W828NB ANC Bluetooth Headphones Review!

 

Edifier W860NB vs Edifier W828NB : What’s The Difference?

The Edifier W860NB has a more refined design, while the W828NB has a sportier design.

They can both be folded for more compact storage, but the ear cups of the W860NB can further be tilted inwards to fit its hard travel case.

If touch controls are important, then obviously you will prefer the W860NB, but the W828NB has a BIG advantage – Bluetooth 5.0.

Bluetooth 5.0 is more than twice as fast as Bluetooth 4.1, letting the W828NB avoid audio synchronisation issues. It is also more power efficient, which means a longer battery life.

 

Edifier W860NB vs Edifier W828NB : Our Recommendations

If you prefer an all-in kit or a more premium build and arguably better audio and noise cancellation performance, you should definitely get the W860NB.

But if you want the best possible Bluetooth connectivity for better audio synchronisation and battery life, then get the W828NB.

One thing is for sure – they are both very affordable active noise cancelling Bluetooth headphones, and offer great value for your money.

 

Edifier W860NB vs Edifier W828NB : Specifications

Specifications Edifier W860NB Edifier W828NB
Type Over-Ear Active Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones
Ergonomic Features Adjustable Headband (up to 6 cm total)
Padded headband and ear cups, with faux leather covers
Noise Cancellation Yes, Active Noise Cancellation
Connectivity Options Wireless : Bluetooth 4.0
Wired : 3.5 mm audio cable
Wireless : Bluetooth 5.0
Wired : 3.5 mm audio cable
Touch Controls Yes No
NFC Support Yes No
Bluetooth Codecs Qualcomm aptX
A2DP SBC (sub-band coding)
Qualcomm aptX
A2DP SBC (sub-band coding)
Bluetooth Range 10 meters / 30 feet
Audio Drivers 40 mm Neodymium Drivers Not specified
Impedence 32 Ohms 24 Ohms
Frequency Response 20 Hz ~ 20 kHz
Sensitivity 97 dB 100 dB
Battery 1,400 mAh lithium-ion battery 1,400 mAh lithium-ion battery (estimated)
Rated Battery Life Standby : 1,500 hours
Music without ANC : 45 hours
Music with ANC : 25 hours
Standby : 1,500 hours
Music without ANC : 80 hours
Music with ANC : 25 hours
Rated Charging Time 4 hours @ 5 watt USB

 

Edifier W860NB Price + Availability

The W860NB has a recommended retail price of US$ 119.99 in the US, and RM 499 here in Malaysia. Here are some direct purchase links for your convenience :

 

Edifier W828NB Price + Availability

The Edifier W828NB has a recommended retail price of US$ 89.99 in the US, and RM 399 here in Malaysia. Here are some direct purchase links for your convenience :

 

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Edifier W828NB ANC Bluetooth Headphones Review!

The Edifier W828NB is their latest Bluetooth headphones to offer active noise cancelling capabilities, at a very low price point.

Edifier seems to believe that everyone should be able to afford a decent pair of wireless active noise cancelling headphones, with the W828NB as a more affordable alternative to the excellent W860NB.

In this review, we will take a close look at the Edifier W828NB and share with you our tests of its noise cancelling capabilities. Find out if this is the wireless ANC headphones for you!

 

Why Active Noise Cancellation?

One of the most important gadgets any frequent traveller must have is a good pair of headphones with active noise cancellation (ANC) capability. Whether you want a good night’s sleep, listen to music or watch a movie during a flight or a road trip, active noise cancellation is the way to go.

Passive noise cancellation using over-ear headphones or in-canal earphones may be sufficient for use in an office, but is quite useless on a flight. You can turn up the volume to hear through the noise, but that could damage your hearing.

The best way to listen to music or a conversation in a movie is to use active noise cancellation to literally “erase” the ambient noise. Then you can hear without actually turning up the volume!

 

Edifier W828NB Gold Specifications

Let’s kick this review off with a quick look at its key specifications :

Specifications Edifier W828NB
Type Over-Ear Active Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones
Ergonomic
Features
Adjustable Headband (up to 6 cm total)
Padded headband and ear cups, with faux leather covers
Noise Cancellation Yes, Active Noise Cancellation
Connectivity
Options
Wireless : Bluetooth 5.0
Wired : 3.5 mm audio cable
Touch Controls None
NFC Support No
Bluetooth Bluetooth 5.0
Bluetooth Range 10 meters / 30 feet
Audio Drivers Not specified
Impedence 24 Ohms
Frequency Response 20 Hz ~ 20 kHz
Sensitivity 100 dB
Battery 1,400 mAh lithium-ion battery (estimated)
Rated Battery Life Standby : 1,500 hours
Music without ANC : 80 hours
Music with ANC : 25 hours
Rated Charging Time 4 hours @ 5 watt USB

 

Edifier W828NB Price + Availability

The Edifier W828NB has a recommended retail price of US$ 89.99 in the US, and RM 399 here in Malaysia. Here are some direct purchase links for your convenience :

 

Unboxing The Edifier W828NB

The Edifier W828NB (US | AU | SG | MY) comes in a large premium cardboard box. Let’s unbox it and see what we find inside!

Once you fully unbox it, this is what you will find inside :

  • One pair of Edifier W828NB active noise cancelling headphones
  • One Edifier W828NB user manual
  • One soft travel pouch
  • One USB Type A to micro-USB 2.0 charging cable
  • One 3.5 mm audio cable

The soft travel pouch is big enough to fit the Edifier W828NB headphones, as well as its cables.

Unfortunately, the package does not include a 3.5 mm aircraft plug adaptor, which means you won’t be able to connect it to the audio system of older airliners.

Next Page > The Edifier W828NB Up Close + Key Features

 

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The Edifier W828NB Up Close!

The Edifier W828NB (US | AU | SG | MY) is a sturdy-looking pair of wireless headphones. Designed for travel, it can be folded for compact storage inside its travel pouch.

If you are used to gaming headsets, you may find its ear cups on the small side, but that’s because they are designed to hug your ears.

The build quality is good, with a blend of quality plastics, metal and faux leather. We like the choice of a smooth matte finish that is fingerprint smear resistant. Overall, it feels like a premium pair of cans.

Unlike the excellent but more expensive Edifier W860NB (US | UK | AU | SG | MY), the W828NB lacks touch controls or a hard travel case. On the other hand, it supports Bluetooth 5.0 and is 25% cheaper!

Let’s delve deeper and see what we find, shall we?

 

Edifier W828NB Controls

The Edifier W828NB (US | AU | SG | MY) saves cost by doing without the W860NB‘s touch controls.

The ANC switch at the bottom of the left ear cup controls its active noise cancellation circuitry. You can actually turn on its ANC feature on without playing any music, if you just want some peace and quiet.

On the right ear cup, you will find the Power button which turns on its Bluetooth connectivity, and the Volume control buttons.

You can actually use the W828NB without “turning it on”, or if it runs out of battery power. Just plug in the provided 3.5 mm audio cable and you are good to go!

But note that the Volume control buttons only work when you are connected to your smartphone or music player using Bluetooth.

 

Edifier W828NB Audio + Charging Port

You will find the 3.5 mm audio port at the bottom of the left ear cup, which allows you to connect the W828NB directly to your smartphone or music player, or the airplane’s audio jack.

Unfortunately, while Edifier provides a long 3.5 mm audio cable, they did not include an aircraft port adaptor. You will need to purchase a separate adaptor, if you wish to connect to the audio systems of older airliners.

The Edifier W828NB (US | AU | SG | MY) is rated to last for 25 hours, with ANC turned on and music playing wirelessly through Bluetooth. You recharge its battery through this micro-USB port at the bottom of the right ear cup.

Edifier did not include a USB charger, only a USB cable which you can connect to your computer, your smartphone’s USB charger or even a power bank.

According to Edifier, it will fully recharge in 4 hours using a 5 watt USB charger or USB 3.0 port. If you are recharging it using an older USB 2.0 port though, it should take twice as long.

 

How Comfortable Is The W828NB?

The Edifier W828NB (US | AU | SG | MY) has an adjustable headband that is padded at the top, and wrapped in soft faux leather.

The headband can be extended by 3 cm on each side, in 9 steps. When fully retracted, it is small enough to fit a child of about 8-9 years of age.

Its ear cups are amply padded and covered in faux leather. Being designed for travel, the ear cups are on the small side. The good news is that they hug your ears, preventing slippage even when you shake your head to the music.

On the other hand, faux leather does not breathe like real leather. So it will get humid inside the smaller space pretty quickly if you are wearing them in warmer weather.

The ear cups can be folded inwards, for a more compact form factor that allows it to fit into the soft travel pouch.

Next Page > Noise Cancellation Performance

 

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Edifier W828NB Active Noise Cancellation Capability

Active noise cancellation is conceptually simple. One or more microphones pick up ambient noise, which is used to generate opposing sound waves that cancel out the noise before it reaches the user’s ears.

However, it has not been easy or cheap to implement. For one thing – noise detection and the generation of its opposing sound waves happens in real-time.

It is complicated by the need to mix the noise-cancelling sound waves with the actual audio output (of your song or movie), and deliver the output without any noticeable lag.

The Edifier W828NB (US | AU | SG | MY) is one of the few affordable wireless headphones to boast active noise cancellation. It has an ANC microphone at the side of each ear cup, pointing backwards.

From what we can tell, the W828NB uses analogue negative feedback circuitry to generate its noise cancelling sound waves.

Analogue noise cancellation is simpler and cheaper to implement, but limits its active noise cancellation to the lower frequencies.

For active noise cancellation of higher frequencies, they would need to add a fast digital signal processor to handle the complex noise cancellation algorithms.

 

Edifier W828NB Noise Cancelling Performance

We tested the Edifier W828NB (US | AU | SG | MY) on seven flights, recording its noise cancellation capability using a cardioid microphone, the best examples of which you can see in this video.

Before you watch the video, please keep in mind that it was quite impossible to fully isolate our microphone in the ear cup. So the actual effect is more pronounced than what you’ll hear in this video.

In the airplane cabin clip, you can distinctly hear how the W828NB cuts out the low-frequency rumble, but the higher-frequency sound of the air-conditioning is still audible.

Turning on active noise cancellation will markedly reduce low-frequency noise. This gives you a better appreciation of whatever you are listening to. However, this includes voices of people around you. In fact, airline announcements were clearer with ANC turned on, than turned off.

However, we noticed some static feedback whenever the plane landed. It always happened right after the plane touches down – it’s as if the static feedback is caused by the sound of the airplane’s tyres. It tapers off as the plane slows down.

 

Bluetooth 5.0

The Edifier W828NB (US | AU | SG | MY) has a big advantage over the more premium Edifier W860NBBluetooth 5.0.

Its Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity is more than twice as fast as the W860NB‘s Bluetooth 4.1, allowing it to deliver audio data at lower latencies. It also uses less power.

This should let the W828NB avoid audio synchronisation problems that sometimes affects Bluetooth 4.x devices.

It is also the reason why the W828NB can wirelessly play music for 80 hours (without ANC), compared to just 45 hours for the W860NB.

Next Page > Edifier W828NB : Our Verdict | Where To Buy?

 

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Edifier W828NB : Our Verdict

Anyone who has ever tried using headphones with active noise cancellation on a flight will appreciate what a difference they make.

They will also realise just how useful noise cancellation can be in other applications – better audio clarity at lower volumes, concentrating better in a noisy office, sleeping better, etc.

The key impediment for the widespread adoption of active noise cancellation can be summed in one word – COST.

Headphones with active noise cancellation are generally much more expensive than regular headphones, and some are prohibitively so. This is where the Edifier W828NB comes in.

Priced at just $89.99 / S$157 / A$119.99 / RM 399, it is incredibly affordable. In fact, you can equip a family of three with W828NB wireless headphones for the same price you would pay for a single pair of Sony 1000XM3 (US | UK | MY) headphones!

But just how effective are its noise cancellation capabilities?

The Edifier W828NB (US | AU | SG | MY) is best at cancelling out low-frequency noise. At higher frequencies, it is limited to passive noise reduction courtesy of its over-ear design and padding.

That means it will effectively cut out most of the annoying rumble of jet engines and road noise; leaving voices quite audible.

If you really need to cut out the higher frequencies, then you need to splurge on headphones that perform digital noise cancellation like the Sony WH-1000XM2 (US | UK | MY) or the latest Sony 1000XM3 (US | UK | MY) headphones.

The ability to block voices may or may not be a good thing, depending on your point of view. It may be nice to cut out annoying chatter and crying babies, but that may mean you won’t be able to hear important announcements or alerts.

We also noticed that it has a static feedback issue whenever a plane lands. Edifier should definitely look into this problem.

However, we love that the Edifier W828NB used Bluetooth 5.0, with a large battery with enough battery life to last even the longest flight and then some. We also like its classy matte finish, and excellent build quality.

Overall, the Edifier W828NB (US | AU | SG | MY) offers a great combination of features, at a great price point. It really punches above its weight.

 

Edifier W828NB : Where To Buy?

The Edifier W828NB has a recommended retail price of US$ 89.99 in the US, and RM 399 here in Malaysia. Here are some direct purchase links for your convenience :

 

Recommended Reading

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DJI Mavic Mini : Everything You Need To Know!

DJI just introduced their smallest drone ever – the Mavic Mini – that weighs less than 250 g, and flies for a full 30 minutes!

Here is EVERYTHING you need to know about the new DJI Mavic Mini camera drone!

 

The DJI Mavic Mini Camera Drone!

DJI Mavic Mini, an ultra-light folding drone designed to be the everyday FlyCam. Weighing just 249 grams, Mavic Mini is portable, easy to fly, and designed for safety.

Despite its small and light body, Mavic Mini has a high resolution camera, whose footage can be enhanced using its new DJI Fly suite of creative features.

Portable and Safe

The Mavic Mini is the smallest and lightest DJI drone ever made, at just under 250 grams. This puts it in the safest category for drone flights by most aviation regulators around the world.

In addition, safety technologies like geofencing help you avoid restricted areas, AeroScope remote identification help protect sensitive locations, built-in altitude limits, and automatic return to the launch point if the drone loses connection to the controller or reaches critically low battery levels.

It also uses Wi-Fi connectivity for stable transmissions of a HD live feed, GPS receivers, and downward visual sensors to detect the ground below.

Long Flight Time

Thanks to its ultra-light design, and highly efficient motors, it has a flight time of up to 30 minutes, giving you more time to explore and capture content.

High Quality Content

The DJI Mavic Mini lets you capture 2.7K video at 30 fps, and 1080p video at 60 fps. You can also take 12 MP photos using its 1/2.3-inch sensor.

More importantly, it has a three-axis motorised gimbal to stabilise the camera, giving you smooth and cinematic footage.

New Creative Modes

You have a choice of three flying modes, depending on your experience and requirements :

  • Position (P) for basic operations,
  • Sport (S) mode for more experienced pilots,
  • CineSmooth (C) mode for smoother and more cinematic shots.

DJI QuickShots Manoeuvres

You can make use of four QuickShots pre-programmed flight manoeuvres for cinematic effect :

  • Rocket – Mavic Mini flies straight up into the air with the camera pointing downward following your subject. Set a height limit of 40, 60, 80, 100, or 120 feet.
  • Circle – Mavic Mini will circle around your subject at a constant altitude and distance.
  • Dronie – Mavic Mini flies backward and upward, with the camera tracking your subject. Set a height limit of 40, 60, 80, 100, or 120 feet.
  • Helix – Mavic Mini flies upward and away, spiraling around your subject. Set a height limit of 40, 60, 80, 100, or 120 feet.
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DJI Mavic Mini Price + Availability

The DJI Mavic Mini is available at these launch prices :

  • DJI Mavic Mini Standard Package : RM 1,599 / S$499 / US$399 / £369 / A$599
    – Mavic Mini, remote controller, one battery, extra propellers, all necessary tools and cables
  • DJI Mavic Mini Fly More Combo : RM 1,999 / S$669 / US$499 / £459 / A$799
    – Standard Package + 360° Propeller Cage, Two-Way charging Hub, two additional batteries, three sets of extra propellers, and a carrying case

Here are some online purchase links :

 

DJI Mavic Mini Accessories

These accessories will be available for purchase by end of November 2019 :

  • 360° Propeller Guard : Provides a 360° guard around the propellers for added safety.
  • Charging Base : Charge and display your Mavic Mini with this unique, illuminated station.
  • Propeller Holder : Travel easier with the propeller holder that locks the props into place.
  • DIY Creative Kit : Personalise your Mavic Mini with custom stickers or draw your own design.
  • Snap Adapter : Attach a toy building brick or a mini LED display to write custom messages.
  • Mini Travel Bag : A travel bag that fits your Mavic Mini and the remote controller perfectly.
  • Two Way Charging Hub : Charge up to three batteries or use the charging hub as a power bank.

Next Page > DJI Mavic Mini Specifications | Where To Buy!

 

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DJI Mavic Mini : Aircraft Specifications

Specifications Aircraft
Takeoff Weight 249 g
Folded Dimensions 82 mm wide
140 mm long
57 mm tall
Unfolded Dimensions
(with propellers)
290 mm wide
245 mm long
55 mm tall
Max Ascent Speed S Mode : 4 metres per second
P Mode : 2 metres per second
C Mode : 1.5 metres per second
Max Descent Speed S Mode : 3 metres per second
P Mode : 1.8 metres per second
C Mode : 1 metre per second
Max Service Ceiling 3000 m above sea level
Max Flight Time 30 minutes
(14 kph, windless condition)
Max Wind Resistance 8 metres per second (Scale 4)
Max Tilt Angle S Mode : 30°
P Mode : 20°
C Mode : 20°
Max Angular Velocity S Mode : 150° per second
P Mode : 130° per second
C Mode : 30° per second
Hovering Accuracy Vertical: ±0.1 m (Vision), ±0.5 m (GPS)
Horizontal: ±0.1 m (Vision), ±1.5 m (GPS)
Operating Temperature 0°C to 40°C
GPS GPS + GLONASS

 

DJI Mavic Mini : Gimbal Specifications

Specifications Gimbal
Mechanical Range Tilt : -110° to 35°
Roll : -35° to 35°
Pan : -20° to 20°
Controllable Tilt Default : -90° to 0°
Extended : -90° to +20°
Stabilisation 3-axis (tilt, roll, pan)
Max Tilt Speed 120° per second
Angular Vibration ±0.01°

 

DJI Mavic Mini : Camera Specifications

Specifications Camera
Sensor 1/2.3” CMOS (12 MP)
Lens FOV 83°
Lens Aperture f/2.8
Video ISO Range ISO 100-3200
Photo ISO Range Auto : ISO 100-1600
Manual :
ISO 100-3200
Shutter Speed 1/8000 s to 4 seconds
Photo Resolution 4:3: 4000×3000
16:9: 4000×2250
Photo Modes Single Shot
Interval : 2/3/5/7/10/15/20/30/60 seconds
Video Resolution 2.7K: 2720×1530 (25p/30p)
FHD : 1920×1080 (25p/30p/50p/60p)
Video Bitrate 40 Mbps maximum
Supported Storage SD Card (UHS-I Class 3 or faster)
Supported File System FAT32(≤32 GB)
exFAT(>32 GB
Photo Format JPEG
Video Format MP4 (H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC)

 

DJI Mavic Mini : Battery Specifications

Specifications Intelligent Flight Battery 1100 mAh Flight Battery
Weight 100 g 50 g
Battery Type Lithium-Ion 2S Lithium-Polymer 2S
Capacity 2400 mAh
17.28 Wh
1100 mAh
8.36 Wh
Voltage 7.2 V 7.6 V
Max. Charging Voltage 8.4 V 8.7 V
Max. Charging Power 24 W 18 W
Charging Temperature 5° to 40°C 5° to 40°C

 

DJI Mavic Mini : Where To Buy

Here are some online purchase links :

 

Recommended Reading

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Malaysian DCA Permits Galaxy Note7 Onboard Aircraft

On the 17 October 2016, the Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) issued a general directive on the carriage of the Galaxy Note7 onboard aircraft flying in or out of Malaysia. Titled “Carriage of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Device“, the directive explicitly permitted the carriage of the Galaxy Note7 onboard aircraft under the DCA’s jurisdiction.

This will surely come as a relief for foreigners here in Malaysia. A number who are here on holidays or temporary work assignments are “trapped” because they have not been allowed to bring their Galaxy Note7 phablets onboard any aircraft. This prevents them from returning their Galaxy Note7 phablets to Samsung, as this can only happen in the country of purchase.

 

DCA Directive Permitting The Galaxy Note7 Onboard Aircraft

Here are the screenshots of the DCA directive permitting the carriage of the Galaxy Note7 onboard aircraft in Malaysia.

The directive actually calls for the Galaxy Note7 from being checked into any luggage or carried into the cabin. But if you carry the Galaxy Note7 onboard, it sets out clear rules on what you should do :

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  1. You must power off the Galaxy Note7
  2. You cannot use or charge the Galaxy Note7
  3. You must prevent the Galaxy Note7 from accidental activation
  4. You must keep the Galaxy Note7 on your person
  5. You are not allowed to keep the Galaxy Note7 in the overhead compartment, the seat’s back pocket or the cabin baggage.

Even though the directive includes language that calls for the airports and airlines to ban the Galaxy Note7 from all aircraft, the explicit inclusion of Clause 3.3 means you won’t get booted out of your flight for carrying the Galaxy Note7. You just have to turn it off before you board the aircraft until you exit it at your destination.

 

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