Tag Archives: Government

Did Dutch Gov Close Farms To Fight Climate Change?!

Did Dutch Gov Close Farms To Fight Climate Change?!

Did the Dutch government just close thousands of farms and cattle ranches to fight climate change?!

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

 

Claim : Dutch Government Closed Farms To Fight Climate Change!

People have been sharing videos angry farmers blocking roads with their tractors, claiming that they are protesting the closure of farms and cattle ranchers by the Dutch government.

Such videos are now being spread in pro-CCP groups as “evidence” of corrupt Western governments, or how Western governments oppress the common people.

28 June 2022
As the Dutch government closed dozens of farms and cattle ranches to reduce nitrogen by 30%.
Angry and hungry farmers blocked the roads nationwide
Corrupt Dutch govt trying to artificially create food shortage.

Following politicians’ decision to close dozens of farms and cattle ranches to reduce nitrogen to comply with absurd EU rules on nitrogen pollution, angry Dutch farmers have issued an ultimatum and are threatening to block the country’s airports, ports and distribution centers.

The Dutch government wants to close 17,000 farms out of 50,000 by 2030 to reduce Nitrogen emissions. Their “leaders” have bought into the climate change hysteria during a time of impending global food shortages. These bozos have a few screws missing.

 

Truth : Dutch Government Did NOT Close Farms To Fight Climate Change!

These posts appear to be an intentional “misunderstanding” of the facts surrounding these Dutch farmers’ protests.

These protests have been covered extensively, and so have the Dutch government’s proposal. So it seems incredulous that people would continue to lie about this issue.

Fact #1 : Dutch Government Did NOT Close Any Farm / Cattle Ranch

Let’s start with the most basic fact – the Dutch government did not close any farm or cattle ranch. This is complete and utter nonsense.

There are no laws in the Netherlands that would permit the Dutch government to forcibly take over, or shut down, any farm or cattle ranch.

This kind of blatant lie can only perpetuate in the minds of conspiracy nutcases, and Chinese netizens because only authoritarian governments (like the CCP in China) are capable of such actions.

Seizing and closing farms and cattle ranch may be possible for the government in China, but not in the Netherlands.

In fact, the Dutch government has offered BUY OUT (not close) farms near nature reserves.

Fact #2 : Dutch Farmers Have Been Protesting Since 2019!

What many of these “concerned netizens” (intentionally?) do not tell you is that Dutch farmers have been protesting against such climate change laws since 2019.

Dutch farmers protest in October 2019

Fact #3 : The Government Was Complying With A Court Order

This issue actually started way back in May 2019, the Dutch Administrative Court of the Council of State (the highest administrative body in the Netherlands) ruled that the Dutch government breached EU rules on protecting nature reserves from ammonia and nitrous oxide.

The Dutch Administrative Court suspended permits for all construction projects that pollute the atmosphere with nitrogen compounds, stalling the building of new homes, roads and airport runways… as well as the expansion of dairy, pig and poultry farms.

Fact #4 : Dutch Government Tried Other Measures First

To comply with the court order, the Dutch government tried other measures first.

For example, in 2020, they cut the maximum speed limit on roads in the Netherlands from 130 km/h to just 100 km/h for most of the day, to reduce nitrous oxide emissions.

The government also allocated more money to help farmers reduce emissions from pigs, and changed the composition of animal feed.

Fact #5 : Dutch Farms Produce A Lot Of Pollution

The problem is partly caused by Dutch farmers themselves. Their farms are highly concentrated, with four times more animal biomass per hectare than the EU average.

Dutch agriculture is responsible for 40% of the nitrogen pollution in the Netherlands. The entire construction sector, for example, is only responsible for 0.6% of nitrogen emissions.

Thanks to its large livestock sector, and intensive use of fertiliser, the Netherlands – the world’s second-largest agricultural exporter – is also one of the top greenhouse gas emitters in Europe.

Fact #6 : Only Farms Near Nature Reserves Are In Danger

Depending on their proximity to nature reserves (Natura-2000 areas), Dutch farms will have to reduce their nitrogen emissions by 12% to 70%.

Those located in or close to the Natura-2000 areas will be particularly hard-hit by the new nitrogen limits :

  • 40% of the nitrogen sensitive Natura-2000 areas must be below the critical deposition value (< 255 mole per hectare) in 2025,
  • 50% of the nitrogen sensitive Natura-2000 areas must be below the critical deposition value in 2030, and
  • 74% of the nitrogen sensitive Natura-2000 areas must be below the critical deposition value in 2035.

Fact #7 : Provincial Government To Formulate Emission Reduction Plan

While the Dutch government came up with the plan to reduce nitrogen emissions to meet EU requirements, it is up to the Dutch provinces to develop the necessary measures to hit those targets.

Provincial governments have a year to formulate their own plans, to meet the pollution reduction targets.

Fact #8 : This Is Part Of EU Natura 2000 Conservation Efforts

This isn’t just a Dutch issue, it is actually part of the EU effort to protect the Natura 2000 network of vulnerable and endangered plant and animal habitats.

The Natura 2000 sites cover some 18% of the European Union land area, and 8% of its marine territory.

Fact #9 : Dutch Government Is Financing Agricultural Reforms

To help farmers meet those targets, the Dutch government has earmarked an extra €24.3 billion (about US$25.6 billion) to finance agricultural reforms and their existing buy-out programs.

Farmers who accept the government buy-out program can still open a new farm at a less sensitive location, as long as they substantially reduce nitrogen emissions.

Fact #10 : Protests Are ALLOWED In Real Democracies

What Chinese netizens may not be aware is that protests are not only common, they are allowed in real democracies.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, for example, defended the farmers’ right to protest, but reminded them not to break the law :

Freedom of speech and the right to demonstrate are a vital part of our democratic society, and I will always defend them.

But … it is not acceptable to create dangerous situations, it is not acceptable to intimidate officials, we will never accept that.

With the exception of a few farmers setting bales of hay on fire outside town halls and near roads, and attacking police officers, the majority of farmers have protested the proposed plan peacefully.

So what the Chinese 50 Cent Army (wumao, 五毛) and pro-CCP netizens are deriding as chaos, is really just people expressing their real freedom of speech, which includes the right to protest. Try that in China, and see what that gets you.

 

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Canadian General Cadieu “Captured” By Russia Is OTW Back!

Canadian general Trevor Cadieu, who was allegedly captured by Russia, is on the way back to face sexual assault charges in Canada!

Find out what the heck is going on!

 

Claim : Russia Captured Canadian General Cadieu In Azovstal!

Pro-Russian websites, Chinese netizens and the Chinese 50 Cent Army (wumao, 五毛) have claimed since May 2022 that Russia captured Canadian Lieutenant General Trevor John Cadieu when he tried to escape from the Azovstal metalworks in Mariupol, Ukraine.

General Trevor Cadieu (Trevor John Cadieu), captured by Russian troops while trying to escape from the cellars of Azovstal, was the commander of the Canadian Ground Forces, APA reports citing Mailbd.

Seated in the catacombs under the Mariupol steel plant “Azovstal” nationalists staged a provocation, trying to hide the Canadian general’s attempt to escape. After the capture of a high-ranking foreign soldier by units of the RF Armed Forces, it became clear why so many efforts were made to save him.

A high-ranking mercenary tried to break out of the encirclement at Azovstal several times. It was for this that the West insisted on humanitarian corridors for the exit of civilians: among them, foreign specialists had to leave the catacombs.

This Chinese example even claimed that NATO lost 5-6 helicopters and a ship trying to get General Cadieu out of Azovstal.

A lot of rumors that Russia has captured a Canadian general trying to escape thru sewer tunnels. Could be a few more NATO military advisers still in the plant

They have spent losing 5 or 6 helicopters and 1 ship trying to get the VVIP out.

 

Canadian General Cadieu “Captured” By Russia Is OTW Back!

Despite debunking it several times, both Russian and Chinese supporters continue to push the claims, even after Azovstal fell on 16 May 2022, and General Cadieu was nowhere to be found.

Russian and Chinese propaganda shifted course, claiming that General Cadieu was likely being held by Moscow as a bargaining chip, or being interrogated for his knowledge of Ukrainian and NATO plans to invade Russia.

There are a couple of problems with those claims :

  1. In mid October 2021, Lieutenant General Trevor Cadieu was accused of sexual assault that he allegedly committed as a cadet in 1994.
  2. He resigned and left the Canadian armed forces on 5 April 2022, after his appointment to head the Canadian army was derailed by those sexual assault charges.
  3. He only left for Ukraine in April 2022 – weeks after Azovstal was surrounded by Russian forces. So it would have been impossible for him to be captured in Azovstal.

Read more : Did Russia Capture Canadian General Cadieu In Azovstal?!

Now even their new claims are being proven false.

The months-long investigation into those sexual assault charges was completed, and he was formally charged with sexual assault on 15 June 2022.

According to the Ottawa Citizen, General Cadieu was informed of the charges, and he indicated in an email from Ukraine that he was “making arrangements to return to Canada from Ukraine“.

Yet again – Russian and Chinese propaganda have proven to be false.

Not only is former General Trevor Cadieu still not captured by Russian forces, he is arranging to return to Canada to face two sexual assault charges.

No NATO soldiers or generals were caught fighting in Ukraine, because there are no NATO soldiers or officers in Ukraine.

All NATO forces that were helping to train Ukrainian soldiers were pulled out before the Russian invasion began.

Read more : Did Russia Capture NATO Officers After Fall Of Azovstal?!

Russia is having trouble defeating Ukraine because it has a shitty army, not because thousands of NATO soldiers and officers are fighting with the Ukrainians.

No amount of fake news will change the fact that over 30 thousand Russian soldiers have been killed by the Ukrainians – twice as many Russia lost in their invasion of Afghanistan.

No amount of fake news will also change the fact that Russia lost over 1,500 tanks, and over 3,700 armoured fighting vehicles, as of 3 July 2022.

The Russian “special operation” is bogged down by tenacious Ukrainian defences, with nary a NATO soldier or officer in sight. Just a lot of NATO supplied weapons.

If NATO was truly involved, they would have rolled the piss-poor Russian army back into Russia. Instead, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has now stagnated into a slow artillery siege of the Donbas region.

Variants of this FAKE NEWS are now being shared in pro-Russia and pro-CCP websites and groups.

Please help us FIGHT FAKE NEWS by sharing this fact check article out!

 

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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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India Just Banned Almost All Single-Use Plastic Items!

India just imposed a ban on almost all single-use plastic items, to combat plastic pollution!

 

India Just Banned All Single-Use Plastic Items!

On Friday, July 1, 2022, India imposed a ban on all single-use plastic items – everything from straws and disposable cutlery to cigarette packets!

With the ban in effect, the manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of all identified single-use plastic items are hereby prohibited in India.

Those who violate this single-use plastic ban may be jailed for up to five years, or fined more than 100,000 rupees (about US$1,267 | £1,046 | RM 5,582).

The Indian government has setup special control rooms to monitor and enforce the ban at national and state levels.

 

India Still Allows Some Single-Use Plastic Items

This measure was announced more than two years ago by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on January 26, 2019. The list of prohibited single use plastic items include :

  • plastic straws
  • plastic cups, glasses, plates, trays, spoons, forks, knives
  • ear buds with plastic sticks
  • plastic flags
  • plastic stirrers for tea / coffee
  • wrapping and packaging films
  • plastic sticks for balloons, candy and ice-cream
  • cigarette packets, sweet boxes, invitation cards
  • polystyrene (thermocol / styrofoam) decoration
  • plastic or PVC banners less than 100 microns thick

The items have been chosen on the basis of three criteria – their low utility, high littering potential and availability of alternative materials.

We know that the manufacturers of these banned items have already shifted or are in the process of shifting, and notices had been sent out by the CPCB last year to these companies alerting them of the ban and to begin the process.

We have given manufacturers plenty of time for preparation – 11 months – before the ban was to come into force. We believe that we have their support and cooperation.

– Indian Environment, Forests and Climate Change Minister Bhupender Yada

The only single-use plastic items exempted from this ban are PET plastic water bottles, and thick plastic bags.

In 2021, India had already banned plastic bags with a thickness of below 75 microns thick. The government has asked manufacturers and importers to increase the thickness of plastic bags, to promote reuse.

India’s Central Pollution Control Board is also asking people to switch to cotton and jute bags, clay cups, bamboo or wooden cutlery, as well as items made of biodegradable materials.

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

Originally posted @ 2022-04-28

 

Malaysia Air Travel : Current COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

However, they will need to undergo :

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

D. Vaccinated Adults : No Test, No Quarantine!

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

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

E. Unvaccinated with Medical Exemption : No Quarantine!

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

However, they must undergo :

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

F. Unvaccinated Adults : 5 Day Quarantine

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

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

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

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

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

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

If they were not hospitalised, they must undergo :

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

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

 

Latest Malaysia Air Travel Procedure From 4 July 2022!

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

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

Before Departure

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

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

On Arrival

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

Testing Positive On Arrival

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

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

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

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

Testing Positive During Quarantine

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

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

 

Malaysia Air Travel Test + Quarantine SOP : Summary

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

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

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

Partially Vaccinated
or Unvaccinated

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

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

 

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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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Thor : Love and Thunder Postponed, May Be Censored!

Malaysia just postponed the premiere of Thor : Love and Thunder, possibly over censorship requirements!

 

Thor : Love and Thunder Postponed To 21 July 2022!

Thor : Love and Thunder was scheduled to be launched in Malaysia on July 7, in line with the July 7 global release (July 8 in the United States).

Cinemas had already opened up booking for the tickets, with many Malaysians purchasing them in advance.

However, on 1 July 2022 came the shocking announcement – the release date for Thor : Love and Thunder in Malaysia has been postponed for two weeks, to 21 July 2022!

Those who purchased advance tickets will receive a full refund within 14 working days, and will have to rebook their tickets at a later date.

If you purchased your tickets online, they will be automatically refunded. If you purchase them at the counter or through the e-kiosk, you will need to claim your refund at the cinema.

 

Thor : Love and Thunder May Be Censored

It is currently unknown why the release date for Thor : Love and Thunder in Malaysia was postponed by two weeks, at such a late juncture.

But Malaysians have long expected the film to be censored, especially the scene of Thor’s naked butt.

As director Taika Waititi shared, the movie will showcase Chris Hemsworth’s mighty cheeks in their full glory.

So it is possible that the delay was to allow certain cuts or mosaicking to be made to the film to allay the delicate sensitivities of the Film Censorship Board of Malaysia.

Unlike the brief LGBT kiss that got Lightyear banned in Malaysia and 14 other countries, it seems that Disney may be open to at least blurring Thor’s ass.

I guess we will find out if Thor : Love and Thunder will look like a JAV movie, when it finally opens in Malaysia!

Read more : The Brief Kiss That Got Lightyear Banned In 14+ Countries!

 

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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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Malaysian Citizens Don’t Need MySejahtera Traveller’s Pass!

Citizens returning to Malaysia will no longer be required to obtain the Traveller’s Pass in MySejahtera!

Here is what you need to know…

 

Currently : MySejahtera Traveller’s Pass Required To Enter Malaysia!

Since 1 May 2022, the Malaysian government has liberalised air travel into Malaysia, waiving both quarantine and insurance requirements.

However, they still require all travellers to fill in their details in MySejahtera, to obtain a Traveller’s Pass, prior to departure.

  1. Download the MySejahtera app, and register for your MySejahtera account.
  2. Click on the Traveller icon in MySejahtera, and complete the pre-departure form
    a) fully-vaccinated travellers will receive a Digital Traveller’s Card
    b) partially vaccinated / unvaccinated travellers will receive a Digital Home Surveillance Order (HSO).

This requirement applies to both citizens and foreigners alike – everyone must apply using the Traveller option in MySejahtera.

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

 

Now : Malaysian Citizens Don’t Need MySejahtera Traveller’s Pass!

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin announced on 1 July 2022 that Malaysian citizens will no longer be required to obtain the Traveller’s Pass.

Starting Monday, 4 July 2022, travellers to Malaysia will no longer be required to fill in their details using the Traveller option in MySejahtera, to obtain a Traveller’s Pass or Digital Home Surveillance Order (HSO).

However, this is currently limited only to Malaysian citizens. The government will gradually extend this privilege to other groups like social pass holders, students, and permanent residents.

Therefore, all travellers who are not Malaysian citizens must continue to fill in their details using the Traveller option in MySejahtera, and obtain the Traveller’s Pass.

 

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

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

 

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Malaysia Announces July-Aug Ceiling Price For Chicken, Eggs!

The Malaysian government just announced the ceiling price for chicken and eggs for July to August 2022!

 

Earlier : Malaysia U-Turns On Chicken Price Float

Just 3 days after announcing that the price of chicken and eggs would be freely floated, the government of Malaysia announced a U-turn.

At 5:45 PM on 24 June 2022, the Prime Minister of Malaysia Ismail Sabri announced that the government has cancelled the floating of chicken price, and will continue to impose a price ceiling.

Read more : Malaysia Cancels Chicken Price Float, Maintains Water + Power Rates!

 

Malaysia Announces July-Aug Ceiling Price For Chicken, Eggs!

On Wednesday, 29 June 2022, the Agriculture and Food Industries Minister Ronald Kiandee announced that the ceiling price for chicken and eggs for Peninsular Malaysia for July and August 2022.

From 1 July until 31 August 2022, the price of a standard whole chicken would be capped at RM 9.40, but there was no mention of a price cap for the super whole chicken (slaughtered and cleaned without legs, head, liver and gizzard).

The price for eggs would also go up in tandem, with Grade A eggs capped at 45 sen each, Grade B eggs capped at 43 sen each, and Grade C eggs capped at 41 sen each.

Here is a comparison table of the current and new prices, with my calculations on the difference :

Feb to June July to Aug Difference
Standard Whole Chicken RM 8.90 per kg RM 9.40 per kg +5.6%
Super Whole Chicken RM 9.90 per kg NA NA
Grade A Eggs RM 0.43 each RM 0.45 each +4.7%
Grade B Eggs RM 0.41 each RM 0.43 each +4.9%
Grade C Eggs RM 0.39 each RM 0.41 each +5.1%

In general, the ceiling price for chicken and eggs in Malaysia would be raised by about 5%, which is significantly lower than the 33% hike expected if their prices were freely floated.

This subsidy though isn’t really free, as taxpayers are ultimately footing the bill.

According to the government, it will spend RM 369.5 million for this additional subsidy on chicken and eggs, bringing the total amount spent to RM 1.1 billion since February 5, 2022.

 

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China Slashes COVID-19 International Travel Quarantine!

China just relaxed entry requirements, by slashing more than half of its COVID-19 international travel quarantine!

Here is what you need to know…

 

China Slashes COVID-19 International Travel Quarantine!

On June 28, 2022, the Chinese National Health Commission announced a reduction of China’s quarantine requirement for international travellers.

China had earlier mandated that most inbound travellers must undergo a 14 + 7 quarantine protocol – at least 14 days at a government quarantine facility, followed by 7 days of self-isolation at home.

The new quarantine requirement will be a much shorter 7 + 3 protocol – travellers only need to spend 7 days at a quarantine facility, followed by 3 days of self-isolation at home.

 

Shorter Travel Quarantine, But China Still Maintaining Zero COVID

While China has relaxed its international travel quarantine requirements, that doesn’t mean it is going to quit its Zero COVID policy.

On the same day China announced the shorter quarantine policy, Chinese President Xi Jinping reaffirmed the Zero COVID policy on a visit to the Wuhan – where the pandemic started.

According to Chinese state news agency Xinhua, he said that he would rather “temporarily sacrifice a little economic growth” than “harm people’s health“.

This announcement came one day after Beijing Daily – the official CCP newspaper – published a quote by a senior Communist Party official who said that Beijing would remain under the Zero COVID policy “for the next five years”.

That sparked panic, causing Beijing Daily to remove the quote after claiming it was an “editing error”. Chinese censors also went into overdrive, removing all references to the quote.

According to CNN which analysed the entire speech, Beijing party chief Cai Qi did discuss at length the possibility that Zero COVID policies may remain in place for Beijing over the next five years.

Those measures, he said, would include routine PCR tests, strict entry rules, regular health checks in residential neighbourhoods and public venues. There will also be rigorous monitoring and testing for people entering and leaving Beijing.

So Chinese citizens and foreigners willing to tolerate the travel quarantine will have to continue putting up with mass testing and lockdowns of entire cities over small outbreaks. How long that lasts is anyone’s guess…

 

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FCC Commissioner Asks Apple + Google To Remove TikTok!

FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr just publicly asked Apple and Google to remove TikTok from their app stores!

Here is what you need to know about the renewed heat on TikTok!

 

FCC Commissioner Asks Apple + Google To Remove TikTok!

On June 29, 2022, FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr publicly called on Apple and Google to remove TikTok from their app stores.

This move came after leaked TikTok audio recordings obtained by Buzzfeed News revealed that ByteDance staff in China (and possibly the Chinese government) retained extensive access to data on US citizens.

Read more : TikTok Leak Showed China Repeatedly Accessed Private User Data!

In his public letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, and Google CEO Sundar Pichai, the FCC Commissioner asked that TikTok be removed for “its pattern of surreptitious data practices”.

It is clear that TikTok poses an unacceptable national security risk due to its extensive data harvesting being combined with Beijing’s apparently unchecked access to that sensitive data.

But it is also clear that TikTok’s pattern of conduct and misrepresentations regarding the unfettered access that persons in Beijing have to sensitive U.S. user data – just some of which is detailed below – puts it out of compliance  with the policies that both of your companies require every app to adhere to as a condition of remaining available on your app stores.

Therefore, I am requesting that you apply the plain text of your app store policies to TikTok and remove it from your app stores for failure to abide by those terms.

FCC Commissioner Carr also labelled TikTok as a “sophisticated surveillance tool” that is designed to harvest “personal and sensitive data“.

At its core, TikTok functions as a sophisticated surveillance tool that harvests extensive amounts of personal and sensitive data.

Indeed, TikTok collects everything from search and browsing histories to keystroke patterns and biometric identifiers, including faceprints – which researchers have said might be used in unrelated facial recognition technology – and voiceprints.

It collects location data as well as draft messages and metadata, plus it has collected the text, images, and videos that are stored on a device’s clipboard. The list of personal and sensitive data it collects goes on from there.

This should come as no surprise, however. Within its own borders, the PRC has developed some of the most invasive and omnipresent surveillance capabilities in the world to maintain authoritarian control.

Carr ended his letter with an “ultimatum” of sorts – if Apple and Google do not remove TikTok from their app stores, they need to provide “separate responses” to him by July 8, 2022, explaining why TikTok does not contravene their App Store policies.

As of June 30, 2022, TikTok is still available to download in the US app stores of both Apple and Google.

If Apple and Google acts on the FCC Commissioner’s request, TikTok will only be removed from their US app stores. It won’t affect downloads in other countries.

Neither would it prevent users in the US from continuing to use TikTok. They just won’t be able to download it any longer, or update to newer versions.

 

FCC Commissioner Lists History Of TikTok Data Practices!

While the leaked TikTok audio recordings may have precipitated this open letter to Apple and Google, FCC Commissioner Carr pointed to a list of questionable data practices by TikTok in the past.

The list makes for really interesting reading, especially for those who are not up to date on TikTok’s privacy and data security issues :

  • In August 2020, TikTok circumvented a privacy safeguard in Google’s Android operating system to obtain data that allowed it to track users online.
  • In March 2020, researchers discovered that TikTok, through its app in the Apple App Store, was accessing users’ most sensitive data, including passwords, cryptocurrency wallet addresses, and personal messages.
  • In 2021, TikTok agreed to pay $92 million to settle lawsuits alleging that the app “clandestinely vacuumed up and transferred to servers in China (and to other servers accessible from within China) vast quantities of private and personally identifiable user data and content that could be employed to identify, profile, and track the physical and digital location and activities of United States users now and in the future.”
  • In March 2022, a report included current and former TikTok employees stating in interviews that TikTok delegates key decisions to ByteDance officials in Beijing and that an employee was asked to enter sensitive information into a.cn domain, which is the top-level domain operated by the Chinese government’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
  • Earlier, in 2019, TikTok paid $5.7 million to settle Federal Trade Commission allegations that its predecessor app illegally collected personal data on children under the age of 13.
  • India- the world’s largest democracy–has already banned TikTok on national security grounds for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting user data in an unauthorized manner.
  • Multiple U.S. military branches have also banned TikTok from government-issued devices due to national security risks, including the Navy, Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Marine Corps.
  • U.S. government officials have also urged troops and their dependents to erase the app from their personal phones.
  • U.S. national security agencies have similarly banned TikTok from official devices citing national security risks, including the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and the TSA.
  • The RNC and DNC have warned campaigns about using TikTok based on security concerns and the threat of officials in Beijing accessing sensitive data.
  • Citing data security concerns, private U.S. business operations have also banned TikTok from company devices, including Wells Fargo.
  • Once accessed by personnel in Beijing, there is no check on the CCP using the extensive, private, and sensitive data about U.S. users for espionage activities because compliance with the PC’s 2017 National Intelligence law is mandatory in China.

 

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Did Ghislaine Maxwell Just Commit Suicide In Prison?!

Did socialite Ghislaine Maxwell just commit suicide in jail, a few hours after she was sentenced to 20 years in prison?!

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

 

Claim : Ghislaine Maxwell Just Committed Suicide In Prison!

Within hours of news breaking that Ghislaine Maxwell was sentenced to 20 years in prison for sex trafficking, Vancouver Times posted a story claiming that she just committed suicide!

Ghislaine Maxwell was found hanging in her cell hours after she was sentenced to 20 years in jail, according to sources at the detention center she was staying at. Similar to Jeffrey Epstein, the guards have stated that cameras were not working at her time of death.

Ghislaine Maxwell, the child raping socialite who once consorted with elite figures, was sentenced Tuesday to 20 years in prison for helping the financier Jeffrey Epstein abuse and torture underage girls.

Activists are cheering on Maxwell’s death, stating that they are happy that Maxwell is no longer on this planet, but dismayed she didn’t spend more time in jail.

Her partner in crime, Jeffrey Epstein, killed himself in 2019 while awaiting trial. Epstein, along with Maxwell, sexually abused children hundreds of times over more than a decade, exploiting vulnerable girls as young as 14. Prosecutors said Maxwell gave him the help he needed to make it happen.

When Maxwell was found hanging in her cell, prison medics were unable to revive her. She was rushed to the hospital and pronounced dead on arrival.

The mainstream media and big tech want to hide the truth. Beat them at their own game by sharing this article!

 

Truth : Ghislaine Maxwell Did Not Commit Suicide In Prison!

This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS created by Vancouver Times to generate page views and money from gullible people.

Fact #1 : Vancouver Times Is A Fake News Website

Vancouver Times is a “content aggregator” (copy and paste) website that is known for creating fake news to generate more page views and money.

To look legitimate, they copy and paste news from legitimate news organisations. To drive traffic, they create fake news, sometimes masked as “satire”.

To give themselves a veneer of deniability, they label themselves as a “satire website” in their About Us section.

Vancouver Times is the most trusted source for satire on the West Coast. We write satirical stories about issues that affect conservatives.

Here are some of their fake news that we debunked :

Fact #2 : Ghislaine Maxwell Did Not Commit Suicide

There is no evidence Ghislaine Maxwell committed suicide in prison.

For one thing – the US Bureau of Prisons would have to publicly announce her death, if not the circumstances of her death.

You may also note that no mainstream media, not even celebrity blogs, have reported on her death, never mind suicide by hanging.

It would have been worldwide news, and yet there has been zero coverage, because it never happened.

Fact #3 : Ghislaine Maxwell Was Not Suicidal

A psychologist evaluated Ghislaine Maxwell on Saturday morning, June 25, 2022, and determined that she is not suicidal.

The evaluation was ordered because her attorney claimed that she was unable to properly prepare for her sentencing.

Fact #4 : Ghislaine Maxwell Was On Suicide Watch

Ghislaine Maxwell was placed under suicide watch prior to her sentencing, even though she was deemed not to be suicidal.

She was removed from the general population at the Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center, together with her normal clothing; and given a “suicide smock” to wear in supervised solitary confinement.

Fact #5 : Her 20-Year Sentence Was Expected

Prosecutors have asked for Ghislaine Maxwell to receive between 30 and 55 years in jail, after her conviction last year, while the probation department recommended 20 years.

Judge Alison Nathan herself calculated that the sentencing guidelines called for about 15½ to 19½ years in prison.

Her final sentence of 20 years was in the ballpark of what was expected. Even though it was slightly higher than what the judge calculated, it is much lower than what the prosecution asked for.

So there is really no reason for her to commit suicide. It was not like the judge issued a harsher than expected jail sentence.

Fact #6 : There Is No Such Thing As A Publication Ban

Vancouver Times likes to use the “media blackout” claim, to explain why you can’t find any reputable media outlet reporting on Ghislaine Maxwell’s suicide.

That’s utter and complete bullshit. No one – not a judge, not even the US government – can control the worldwide media, or prevent anyone from writing about her suicide.

You can also be sure that even if the mainstream media in the US refused to run the story, it would have been reported by the celebrity websites and bloggers.

Yet, not a single celebrity blogger or online website published their account of this incredible story? That’s because IT NEVER HAPPENED…

Read more : Was Prince Andrew Just Arrested For Human Trafficking + Child Porn?!

Fact #6 : Mainstream Media + Big Tech Would Have Loved The Hype

Vancouver Times is gaslighting you about how mainstream media and Big Tech want to hide the “truth” about Ghislaine Maxwell’s suicide.

They would all loved such shocking news, because it would have driven tons of traffic and engagement to their websites / platforms.

In fact, that was precisely why Vancouver Times created the fake story – to drive traffic, for the ad money.

Everything that Vancouver Times publishes should be regarded as FAKE NEWS, until proven otherwise.

Please help us fight fake news websites like Vancouver Times – SHARE this fact check out, and SUPPORT our work!

 

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KKM Announces Extra COVID-19 Vaccine Doses!

The Malaysia Ministry of Health, KKM, just announced extra COVID-19 vaccine doses for selected groups!

Here is what you need to know!

 

KKM Announces Extra COVID-19 Vaccine Doses!

On 29 June 2022, the Malaysia Ministry of Health (KKM) announced a slew of changes, including extra COVID-19 vaccine doses for selected groups.

Booster Dose For Immunocompromised Individuals Considered 3rd Dose

For individuals who are 5 to 17 years old, with moderate or severe immunocompromise, the primary series vaccine is now considered to consist of 3 doses.

  • Those who received a booster dose earlier, will be considered as fully-vaccinated with 3 doses
  • Those who did not receive a booster dose yet, will need a third dose to be considered fully-vaccinated.

3rd Primary Dose For Immunocompromised 5-11 Years Old

Individuals who are 5 to 11 years old, with moderate or severe immunocompromise, are recommended to receive a third dose to complete their primary series vaccination.

The third dose is to be given at least eight (8) weeks after receiving the second dose.

3rd Primary Dose For Immunocompromised 12-17 Years Old

Individuals who are 12 to 17 years old, with moderate or severe immunocompromise, are recommended to receive a third dose to complete their primary series vaccination.

The third dose is to be given at least 28 days after receiving the second dose.

1st Booster Dose For Immunocompromised 12-17 Years Old

Individuals who are 12 to 17 years old, with moderate or severe immunocompromise, are recommended to receive a first booster dose after completing their 3-dose primary series vaccination.

The first booster dose is to be given at least three (3) months after receiving the third primary dose.

2nd Booster Dose For High-Risk Adults

KKM is also recommending a 2nd booster dose for high-risk adults, currently defined as :

  • 18 to 59 year old individuals who are at high risk of developing severe COVID-19
  • Frontline medical professionals, like medical officers, nurses, etc.

The second booster dose is to be given at least six (6) months after receiving the first booster dose, and after discussing with a registered medical professional

CanSino Booster Dose For All Adults

KKM is also offering the Convidecia vaccine from CanSino Biologics as a heterologous booster dose for all adults 18 years and older, who have received all doses of a primary series COVID-19 vaccine, other than Convidecia or Sinovac.

This CanSino booster dose is to be given at least three (3) months after receiving the second dose of the primary series vaccine.

 

KKM To Announce How To Get Extra COVID-19 Vaccine Doses!

KKM has not finalised the mechanism or the procedure to obtain these extra COVID-19 vaccine doses, and will announce the details later.

But they are calling on Malaysian citizens and residents to step forward to get the extra COVID-19 vaccine doses, once the details are announced.

 

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Russia Defaults On Foreign Debt For First Time Since 1918!

Russia has officially defaulted on its foreign debt for the first time since 1918!

 

Russia Officially Defaults On Foreign Debt!

Russia was due to pay a $100 million interest payment on May 27, 2022; but creditors did not receive it 30 days later.

Russia says they sent the money to the Euroclear bank, which would distribute payments to its creditors. However, those payments were not made – Euroclear wouldn’t say if they were blocked, but would only say that it is adhering to all sanctions.

The US Treasury had earlier decided not to renew the special sanction exemption allowing investors to receive interest payments from Russia, letting it expire on May 25, 2022.

Russia could have paid that interest before the interest payment exemption expired, but opted not to. It has so far managed to make its payments on time, despite sanctions kicking in after Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

But after missing that June 26 deadline on Sunday, Russia officially defaulted on that payment – their first foreign debt default since 1918, and their first default of any kind since 1998.

  • In 1918, Vladimir Lenin refused to pay the outstanding debts of the Russian Empire during the Bolshevik Revolution.
  • In 1998, the Russian. government was rocked by the rouble crisis, and defaulted on domestic bonds, but managed to pay its foreign debt.

 

Russia To Pay In Roubles, To Avoid Future Defaults On Foreign Debt

Russia called the default artificial, because it has the money to pay its debts, but sanctions have frozen its foreign currency reserves held abroad.

The Kremlin announced on 23 June 2022, that it would make all future debt payments in roubles through a Russian bank – the National Settlements Depository, even for bonds that are denominated in dollars or other foreign currencies.

The Russian Finance Ministry said that it would offer “the opportunity for subsequent conversion into the original currency” as a way to avoid future debt defaults.

While embarrassing to the country, and would make it expensive or difficult to borrow money in the future, this technical default does not have a significant effect on Russia right now.

For one thing, Russia is already barred by sanctions from borrowing in Western markets. Russia is also not interested in borrowing foreign money, thanks to a healthy influx of money from its sale of oil and gas.

In fact, Russia had been preparing for such an eventuality by paying down its foreign debt since it annexed Crimea in 2014.

All it does at the moment is ensure that Vladimir Putin goes down in history as only the second Russian leader to be responsible for a foreign debt default.

 

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Travellers To Europe Must Apply + Pay For ETIAS From 2023!

It’s official – travellers to Europe must start applying and paying for ETIAS from 2023! Here is what you need to know…

 

Travellers To Europe Must Apply For ETIAS From 2023!

The European Commission has just announced the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) for all travellers to the Schengen States.

Slated to start in May 2023, ETIAS is meant to “identify security, irregular migration or high epidemic risks” amongst visa-exempt travellers.

EU travellers are exempt from ETIAS, and will continue to have freedom of movement throughout the EU, and the freedom to spend as much time as they want in any state in the Schengen zone.

ETIAS will only be obligatory for travellers from countries that currently do not require a visa to travel to the EU – about 60 countries including the US and the UK.

Travellers who currently need a visa to enter the EU will still need to apply for a visa. They will not be allowed to use ETIAS.

 

How Does ETIAS Work For Travellers To Europe?

Travellers will need to apply for ETIAS through a “largely automated IT system”, with approval granted “within minutes” for about 95% of applicants. But that could drag out to a month for “very exceptional cases”. Those who have their application denied will be allowed to appeal.

While applying for ETIAS will be quicker, done online, and requires no biometric information, there is a cost attached.

Every traveller aged 18 to 70 will need to pay an ETIAS fee of €7 (about US$7.40, £6, A$10.60, S$10.20, RM32.50). It is currently unknown if ETIAS will be free or cheaper for other age groups.

Applicants will be required to submit their data in the online application, which is said to take only “10 minutes” :

  • Unspecified personal data
  • Travel document (passport or equivalent document)
  • Member State of first intended stay
  • Background questions relating to previous criminal records, presence in conflict zones, orders to leave the territory of a Member State or third countries, return decisions issued.
  • Identity of the person / company assisting the applicant in the application process (if necessary)

The ETIAS system will automatically check the information provided against several EU databases, and approve or transfer it to ETIAS National Units for manual processing.

Once approved, the ETIAS will be valid for 3 years, or until the expiry date of the passport. So if possible, travellers should definitely renew their passports before applying.

But note that the ETIAS can be revoked at any time, if the conditions for that travel authorisation are no longer met by the applicant.

 

ETIAS : Selected FAQs

Here are selected FAQs on the European Travel Information and Authorisation System for those who want to learn more.

What is the difference between a Schengen visa and an ETIAS travel authorisation?

The ETIAS authorisation is not a visa. Nationals of visa liberalisation countries will continue to travel the EU without a visa but will simply be required to obtain a travel authorisation via ETIAS prior to their travel. ETIAS will be a simple, fast and visitor-friendly system, which will, in more than 95% of cases, result in a positive answer within a few minutes.

An ETIAS travel authorisation does not reintroduce visa-like obligations. There is no need to go to a consulate to make an application, no biometric data is collected and significantly less information is gathered than during a visa application procedure.

Whereas, as a general rule, a Schengen visa procedure can take up to 15 days, and can in some cases be extended up to 30 or 60 days, the online ETIAS application only takes a few minutes to fill in. Only in very exceptional cases, could the ETIAS procedure take up to 30 days. The validity will be for a period of three years, significantly longer than the validity of a Schengen visa. An ETIAS authorisation will be valid for an unlimited number of entries.

The ETIAS travel authorisation will be a necessary and small procedural step for all visa-exempt travellers which will allow them to avoid bureaucracy and delays when presenting themselves at the borders. ETIAS will fully respect this visa-free status; facilitate the crossing of the Schengen external border; and allow visa free visitors to fully enjoy their status.

Read more : EU Digital COVID Certificate : A Comedy Of Errors!

What will visa-exempt travellers have to do before their travel?

Travellers will have to complete an online application via a dedicated website or an application for mobile devices. Filling in the application should not take more than 10 minutes and should not require any documentation beyond a travel document (a passport or other equivalent document). In case of an inability to apply (due to age, literacy level, access to and competence on information technology etc.) applications may be submitted by a third person.

An electronic payment of a €7 fee for each application will be required for all applicants between the ages of 18 and 70. The electronic payment methods will take into account technological advancements in the visa-free countries in order to avoid hindering visa-free third country nationals who may not have access to certain payment means.

The automated assessment process will start after the fee collection is confirmed. The vast majority of applicants (expected to be more than 95% of all cases) will be given automated approval which will be communicated to them within minutes of payment. If there is a hit against any of the searched databases or an undecided outcome of the automated process, manual handling of the application will take place by a Central Unit in the European Border and Coast Guard Agency or by a Member State team. This can prolong the response time to the visa-exempt third country national by up to 96 hours. In very exceptional circumstances further information may be asked of applicants and further procedural steps may be necessary, but in all cases a final decision shall be taken within four weeks of their application.

Of the roughly 5% of applications which produce a hit, it is expected that 3-4% will receive a positive decision after ETIAS Central Unit verifies the data, with the remaining 1-2% being transferred to ETIAS National Units for manual processing. After the decision applicants will be given a response by email with a valid travel authorisation, or a justification for the refusal.

Read more : EU Officially Accepts Malaysia’s Digital COVID Certificate!

What happens if a person has been refused travel authorisation from ETIAS?

If the travel authorisation is refused, the applicant retains the right to appeal. Appeals can be launched in the Member State that has taken the decision on the application and in accordance with the national law of that Member State. The applicant will be informed which national authority is responsible for the processing and decision on his or her travel authorisation, as well as information regarding the procedure to be followed in the event of an appeal. If the traveller considers their treatment to have been unfair, he/she is also given the right to seek redress or request access to the information through the national authority.

What is the validity of an ETIAS travel authorisation?

The validity of the travel authorisation will be three years (or until the expiry date of the travel document).

What are the obligations for the carriers?

Prior to boarding, air and sea carriers, as well as carriers transporting groups overland by coach will have to verify the status of the travel document required for entering the Schengen Area, including the requirement to hold a valid ETIAS travel authorisation. A transitional period is foreseen for carriers transporting groups overland by coach during which it will not be obligatory for them to check the presence of a valid travel authorisation.

What will happen at the border crossing point? 

Upon arrival at a Schengen area border crossing point, the border guard will electronically read the travel document data, thereby triggering a query to different databases, including a query to ETIAS in the case of visa-exempt travellers. If there is no valid ETIAS travel authorisation, the border guards will refuse entry and record the traveller and the refusal of entry in the Entry Exit System.

If there is a valid travel authorisation, the border control process will be conducted and the traveller may be authorised to enter the Schengen area if all entry conditions are fulfilled or refused access as provided by the Schengen Border Code.

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

What databases will be checked by ETIAS?

When verifying and assessing the information submitted by visa-exempt travellers, the system will automatically cross-check each application against: 

A. the existing EU information systems:

  • the Schengen Information System (SIS),
  • the Visa Information System (VIS),
  • Europol data,
  • the Eurodac database (once the Eurodac recast is in place),

B. future EU information systems:

  • the Entry/Exit System (EES), 

C. Interpol databases:

  • the Interpol Stolen and Lost Travel Document database (SLTD),
  • the Interpol Travel Documents Associated with Notices database (TDAWN),

D. a dedicated ETIAS watch list and specific risk indicators.

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

How will ETIAS ensure and guarantee the respect for fundamental rights and data protection?

Personal data recorded in ETIAS will not be kept for longer than is necessary for its purpose. Data shall be stored for: 

  • the period of validity of the travel authorisation or, 
  • five years from the last decision to refuse, revoke or annul the travel authorisation. 

The data could be stored for an additional period of no more than three years after the end of the period of validity of the travel authorisation if the applicant freely and explicitly consents to keep his or her data longer. After the expiry of the data retention period, the application file and personal data will be automatically deleted from the ETIAS Central System. 

Member States’ law enforcement authorities and Europol will have access to ETIAS, under strictly-defined conditions, for the prevention, detection or investigation of terrorist offences or other serious criminal offences. The designated authorities and Europol should only request access to ETIAS when they have reasonable grounds to believe that such access will substantially help them in carrying out their duties. 

 

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US Mil Contractor Admits Selling Aviation Secrets To China!

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

 

US Mil Contractor Admits Selling Aviation Secrets To China!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

How This Military Contractor Sold Aviation Secrets To China!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Malaysia Cancels Chicken Price Float, Maintains Water + Power Rates!

The Prime Minister of Malaysia just cancelled the floating of chicken price, and maintained water and electricity power rates!

Here is what you need to know…

 

Earlier : Malaysia Removes Price Control + Subsidy For Chicken!

On 21 June 2022, Malaysia’s Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) Minister Alexander Nanta Linggi, announced that price control for chicken and chicken eggs, as well as subsidies for palm oil used for cooking will be removed.

From 1 July 2022 onwards, the price of chicken was supposed to be floated, and would depend on market forces. The price of chicken was expected to increase from RM8.90 per kg currently, to about RM11.90 per kg, once its price was floated.

The government needed to remove the price control on chickens because they would stop giving subsidies to poultry farmers on 1 July 2022 as well.

Read more : Malaysia Removes Price Control, Subsidy For Chicken, Eggs, Cooking Oil!

 

Now : Malaysia Cancels Chicken Price Float, Maintains Water + Power Rates!

Just 3 days later, the Prime Minister of Malaysia announced a U-turn on removing price control on chickens.

At 5:45 PM on 24 June 2022, the Prime Minister of Malaysia Ismail Sabri announced that the government has cancelled the floating of chicken price, and will continue to impose a price ceiling.

However, this does not mean the chicken price will remain at its current ceiling prices of :

  • Standard whole chicken : RM 8.90 per kg
  • Super whole chicken (without legs, head, liver and gizzard) : RM 9.90 per kg

According to his official statement, the government will announce the new ceiling price for chicken later.

He also announced that the government has decided to maintain the current water and electricity tariffs in Peninsular Malaysia, by continuing to provide subsidies worth approximately RM 5.8 billion.

  • Domestic users : A rebate of 2 sen per kW-hour will be maintained, with no surcharge.
  • Commercial and industrial users : A surcharge of 3.70 sen per kW-hour will be maintained.

This is good news for domestic users, but not so good news for commercial and industrial users who have to put up with the surcharge.

 

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Malaysia To Give RM100 / RM50 Subsidy To B40 Group!

The government of Malaysia just announced that it will give RM100 / RM50 subsidy to the B40 group to cope with the increased cost of living!

Here is what you need to know…

 

Malaysia Removes Price Control, Subsidy For Chicken, Eggs, Cooking Oil!

On 21 June 2022, Malaysia’s Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) Minister Alexander Nanta Linggi, announced that price control for chicken and chicken eggs, as well as subsidies for palm oil used for cooking will be removed.

There was an immediate uproar from consumers, as it would mean additional increases in food prices, that have already shot up in recent weeks.

Read more : Malaysia Removes Price Control, Subsidy For Chicken, Eggs, Cooking Oil!

 

Malaysia To Give RM100 / RM50 Subsidy To B40 Group!

To assuage the concerns of many citizens who are struggling to make ends meet in a time of high inflation, the Prime Minister of Malaysia Ismail Sabri today announced that the government will give a small one-time subsidy to the B40 group :

  • B40 families will receive RM100 (about US$22.70)
  • B40 individuals will receive RM50 (about US$11.35)

This small cost-of-living subsidy is meant to help the B40 group cope with the increased food prices.

It will be paid to their accounts together with Phase 2 of Bantuan Keluarga Malaysia (BKM) programme for the B40 group.

For example, if you are a B40 senior citizen who is supposed to receive RM150 in Phase 2 of BKM, you will now receive RM200 = RM150 (BKM) + RM50 (additional cost of living subsidy).

 

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New Taxes On Small Online Purchases + Delivery In Malaysia!

There will soon be new taxes on small online purchases and delivery in Malaysia! Here is what you need to know…

 

New Taxes On Small Online Purchases + Delivery In Malaysia!

There will be soon new taxes on low-value purchases from overseas, and delivery services in Malaysia!

These taxes were announced in Budget 2022, but you may not be aware of it.

6% Service Tax On Delivery Services

From 1 July 2022 onwards, delivery services are subject to 6% service tax, for delivering goods other than food and beverages, and logistics delivery services.

This 6% service tax applies to e-commerce platforms as well, so expect the cost to be passed to you – the customer.

10% Sales Tax On Low Value Imports

Currently, goods imported from overseas that are delivered via courier services through specific international airports in Malaysia are not subject to the 10% sales. tax, if the value of each consignment (parcel) does not exceed RM 500.

Budget 2022 removed that exemption, which means all imported goods will be taxed, regardless of value.

From 1 January 2023 onwards, online sellers of low value imported goods delivered by air courier worth less than RM 500 per consignment must charge their customers a 10% sales tax. Otherwise, the purchaser will be subject to an import tax.

This sales tax applies to both local and foreign merchants. But the government has yet to reveal the mechanism by which foreign merchants will register, process and forward the collected sales tax.

 

Why New Taxes On Small Online Purchases + Delivery?!

Taxing low cost value goods purchased overseas is a way to level the playing field between local and foreign manufacturers.

Malaysian products are already subject to a 5% or 10% sales tax, which places them at a disadvantage when competing with low value imports that are currently tax-free.

That’s why many countries like Australia and New Zealand implement similar taxes, to align with local sales tax.

Even Singapore will be implementing a 7% GST on low value goods (LVG) from 1 January 2023 onwards, increasing it to 9% by 2025.

This sales tax on imported LVG will no doubt raise revenue for the government, but it is inline with what other countries are implementing to level the playing field, and encourage purchases of local products.

The 10% sales tax may seem high, but it does not apply to low value goods imported via sea or land.

This sales tax will not affect the RM1,000 exemption for travellers bringing in goods purchased overseas through the seven designated international airports in Malaysia.

The 6% service tax on delivery services is a new revenue stream for the government, although they have exempted food and beverage deliveries, as well as logistics deliveries.

Whatever the reasons are – expect to pay more for your online purchases!

 

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John Albert Laylo Was Mistakenly Shot, Not Killed By Antifa!

Philippine government attorney, John Albert Laylo, was mistakenly shot by a gunman, not assassinated by Antifa!

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

Updated @ 2022-06-22 : Added updates on the Philly police investigation.
Originally posted @ 2022-06-21

 

Claim : Antifa Suspected Of Assassinating John Albert Laylo!

Within hours of news breaking that Philippine government attorney, John Albert Laylo, was shot and killed in Philadelphia, Vancouver Times posted a story claiming that Philadelphia police are warning the public that an Antifa cell may be responsible.

Police in Philadelphia are warning the public that an Antifa cell may be responsible for assassinating a high-level government attorney. John Albert Laylo was gunned down while he was en route to the airport, travelling with his mother in an Uber. It is unclear why Antifa would choose to murder an elected official from another country, but police have speculated it was due to his relationship with Duterte.

Antifa has committed acts of murder before. In 2020, a Trump supporter was shot dead by a members of the notorious far-left terrorist group.

Philippine Consul General Elmer Cato stated that the Philippines government would help his Laylo’s widow transport his body back to the country.

The mainstream media and big tech want to hide the truth. Beat them at their own game by sharing this article!

 

Truth : Antifa Not Suspected Of Assassinating John Albert Laylo!

This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS created to generate page views and money from gullible people.

Fact #1 : Vancouver Times Is A Fake News Website

Vancouver Times is a “content aggregator” (copy and paste) website that is known for creating fake news to generate more page views and money.

To look legitimate, they copy and paste news from legitimate news organisations. To drive traffic, they create fake news, sometimes masked as “satire”.

To give themselves a veneer of deniability, they label themselves as a “satire website” in their About Us section.

Vancouver Times is the most trusted source for satire on the West Coast. We write satirical stories about issues that affect conservatives.

Here are some of their fake news that we debunked :

Fact #2 : Philly Police Cannot Identify Suspect Yet

The Philly police could not have suspected an Antifa cell as being responsible for John Albert Laylo’s murder, when they did not identify the suspect at that time.

According to Philly police, John Albert Laylo and his mother were travelling in an Uber ride from University City to the Philadelphia International Airport at around 4:10 AM on Saturday, 18 June 2022, when they stopped at a red light.

The shooter who was driving a black Cadillac, pulled up behind their Uber and fired several rounds into their vehicle, before pulling alongside the driver’s side and firing more shots.

Police officers who responded to the shooting transported Laylo to the Penn Presbyterian Hospital, where he was placed on life support. He subsequently died from a single gunshot wound to his head at 10:33 AM on Sunday, 19 June 2022.

On 21 June 2022, police were able to identify the gunman through surveillance video footage, but did not reveal his identity.

Fact #3 : Philly Police Suspects Road Rage, Not Antifa

The Philly police did not warn people that an Antifa cell may be responsible for John Albert Laylo’s murder. Vancouver Times made up that false claim to trigger right wing supporters, in a bid to go viral.

On 21 June 2021, they told CBS News that the gunman mistook the Nissan car Laylo was riding in, for another dark-coloured Nissan.

The surveillance video they obtained confirmed that “the shooting was targeted, but of mistaken identity“.

The video showed the shooter’s black Cadillac was in close proximity to another Nissan (that was not Laylo’s Uber ride) blocks before reaching the intersection of 38 and Spruce.

Philly police believe that the shooter mistook Laylo’s Uber ride (which was also a dark-coloured Nissan) for that earlier car, and fired as many as 15 shots into it, in what is possibly a case of road rage.

Fact #4 : No Reason For Antifa To Kill A Filipino Lawyer

Vancouver Times (intentionally) framed Antifa for the Laylo’s murder because “Antifa” is a trigger word for right wing activists and supporters who would likely share their fake story, and help it go viral.

Antifa is an anti-fascist and anti-racist movement in the United States, that rose up against alt-right and far right extremist groups, like neo-Nazis and white supremacists.

It has no interest in Philippine politics, much less a Philippine government lawyer. There is simply no reason for Antifa activists to murder John Albert Laylo.

Fact #5 : No Evidence John Albert Laylo Is Married

Vancouver Times appears to have (falsely) claimed that Laylo is married.

There is no evidence he is married. The only family members mentioned in media reports were his mother, Leah Bustamante Laylo, and his sister, Althea Ann Laylo.

My investigations of their social media also showed that his father is Trebla Laylo, and his other sister is Ann Lorraine Taylor Kamatoy.

The Laylo family, January 3, 2021 | Credit : Leah Bustamante Laylo

Fact #5 : There Is No Such Thing As A Publication Ban

Vancouver Times likes to use the “media blackout” claim, to explain why you can’t find any reputable media outlet reporting on Antifa being responsible for John Albert Laylo’s murder.

That’s utter and complete bullshit. No one – not a judge, not even the US government – can control the worldwide media, or prevent anyone from writing about such a momentous arrest.

You can also be sure that even if the mainstream media in the US refused to run the story, it would have been reported by the Filipino media and right-wing websites.

Yet, not a single press / right-wing outlet published their account of this incredible story? That’s because IT NEVER HAPPENED…

Read more : Was Prince Andrew Just Arrested For Human Trafficking + Child Porn?!

Fact #6 : Mainstream Media + Big Tech Would Have Loved The Hype

Vancouver Times is gaslighting you about how mainstream media and Big Tech want to hide the “truth” about Antifa assassinating John Albert Laylo.

They would all loved such shocking news, because it would have driven tons of traffic and engagement to their websites / platforms.

In fact, that was precisely why Vancouver Times created the fake story – to drive traffic, for the ad money.

Everything that Vancouver Times publishes should be regarded as FAKE NEWS, until proven otherwise.

Please help us fight fake news websites like Vancouver Times – SHARE this fact check out, and SUPPORT our work!

 

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Malaysia Removes Price Control, Subsidy For Chicken, Eggs, Cooking Oil!

Malaysia is removing price control for chicken and chicken eggs, as well as the subsidy for palm oil used for cooking!

Here is what you need to know…

 

Malaysia Removes Price Control, Subsidy For Chicken, Eggs, Cooking Oil!

On 21 June 2022, Malaysia’s Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) Minister Alexander Nanta Linggi, announced that price control for chicken and chicken eggs, as well as subsidies for palm oil used for cooking will be removed.

Read more : Malaysia To Give RM100 / RM50 Subsidy To B40 Group!

Currently, the Malaysian government imposes the current maximum retail price for chicken and palm oil used for cooking in Peninsular Malaysia.

  • Standard whole chicken : RM 8.90 per kg
  • Super whole chicken (without legs, head, liver and gizzard) : RM 9.90 per kg
  • 5 kg palm cooking oil : RM 29.70 per bottle
  • 3 kg palm cooking oil : RM 18.70 per bottle
  • 2 kg palm cooking oil : RM 12.70 per bottle
  • 1 kg palm cooking oil : RM 6.70 per bottle

From 1 July 2022 onwards, the price of chicken will be floated, and will depend on market forces; and the subsidy and price limit on bottled palm cooking oil of 1 kg, 2 kg, 3 kg and 5 kg will be abolished.

The abolishment of the palm cooking oil subsidy will save the government about RM 20 million a month. However, they will maintain the subsidy for cooking oil sold in 1 kg polybag packages, priced at RM 2.50 per packet.

The government needed to remove the price control on chickens, because they would stop giving subsidies to poultry farmers on 1 July 2022 as well.

The inflation of food prices will inevitably increase in July, so please be prepared!

 

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Fact Check : Was Prince Andrew Just Arrested?!

Was Prince Andrew just arrested for human trafficking and child porn, amongst other crimes?!

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

 

Claim : Prince Andrew Was Just Arrested For Human Trafficking + Child Porn!

Vancouver Times just posted a story claiming that Prince Andrew was just arrested for numerous crimes, including human trafficking and child porn!

Prince Andrew has been arrested by police and charged for numerous crimes, including human trafficking and possession of child porn. He also faces similar charges in the United States, as was announced today. This comes after years of calls from critics to have Prince Andrew arrested for crimes he committed alongside Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein.

Prince Andrew has announced that he plans on co-operating. Experts have speculated that the prince may offer a list of Epstein’s clients in exchange for immunity. Prince Andrew more than likely knows more about the inner workings of the Epstein-Maxwell human trafficking ring, and has every reason to co-operate with authorities. According to sources, Prince Andrew will spend the rest of his life in prison if he’s convicted.

The mainstream media and big tech want to hide the truth. Beat them at their own game by sharing this article!

 

Truth : Prince Andrew Was NOT Arrested For Human Trafficking + Child Porn!

This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS created to generate page views and money from gullible people.

Fact #1 : Vancouver Times Is A Fake News Website

Vancouver Times is a “content aggregator” (copy and paste) website that is known for creating fake news to generate more page views and money.

To look legitimate, they copy and paste news from legitimate news organisations. To drive traffic, they create fake news, sometimes masked as “satire”.

To give themselves a veneer of deniability, they label themselves as a “satire website” in their About Us section.

Vancouver Times is the most trusted source for satire on the West Coast. We write satirical stories about issues that affect conservatives.

Here are some of their fake news that we debunked :

Fact #2 : Prince Andrew Was Seen Leaving Windsor

On the same day Jason Pires of Vancouver Times claimed that Prince Andrew was arrested for human trafficking and child porn, he was seen leaving his home on the Windsor estate in his Range Rover.

Fact #3 : No Criminal Case Against Prince Andrew

There is currently no criminal case against Prince Andrew, so there is no reason for the police to arrest him.

The case Virginia Giuffre v. Prince Andrew was a civil suit, and ultimately settled out of court on 15 February 2022.

Fact #4 : He Is Currently A Potential Witness In A Civil Lawsuit

He is currently embroiled in a civil lawsuit involving Jeffrey Epstein, albeit as a potential witness.

The accuser, Caroline Kaufman, claimed that the Duke of York was visiting Epstein’s house in New York on the night she was raped by Epstein.

He was never accused of human trafficking or possession of child porn. Vancouver Times created those false claims to go viral.

Fact #5 : There Is No Such Thing As A Publication Ban

If Prince Andrew was really arrested for human trafficking and child porn, it would have been worldwide news.

Vancouver Times likes to use the “media blackout” claim, to explain why you can’t find any reputable media outlet reporting on Prince Andrew’s purported arrest for human trafficking and child porn.

That’s utter and complete bullshit. No one – not a judge, not even the UK government – can control the worldwide media, or prevent anyone from writing about such a momentous arrest.

You can also be sure that even if the mainstream media refused to run the story, it would have been gleefully published by celebrity bloggers and websites.

Yet, not a single press / gonzo outlet published their account of this incredible story? That’s because IT NEVER HAPPENED…

Read more : Was Paul Pelosi Arrested For Child Porn + Cocaine!

Fact #6 : Mainstream Media + Big Tech Would Have Loved The Hype

Vancouver Times is gaslighting you about how mainstream media and Big Tech want to hide the “truth” about Prince Andrew’s (false) arrest.

They would all loved it if Prince Andrew was really arrested for ANY crime. The news would have driven tons of traffic and engagement to their websites / platforms.

That is why the media have breathlessly reported on Prince Andrew’s legal predicaments for many years now.

In fact, that was precisely why Vancouver Times created the fake story – to drive traffic, for the ad money.

Everything that Vancouver Times publishes should be regarded as FAKE NEWS, until proven otherwise.

Please help us fight fake news websites like Vancouver Times – SHARE this fact check out, and SUPPORT our work!

 

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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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The Brief Kiss That Got Lightyear Banned In 14+ Countries!

Take a look at the scene that got the Disney-Pixar movie, Lightyear, banned in 14 countries, and likely China too!

 

Lightyear Movie Banned In 14 Countries + Maybe China Too!

Lightyear – the long-awaited Toy Story prequel from Disney-Pixar – has been banned in  14 Asian and Middle Eastern countries, and quite likely China too!

The ban started in the UAE, whose Media Regulatory Office of the Ministry of Youth and Culture announced on 13 June 2022 that Lightyear was banned from screening in all cinemas for “its violation of the country’s media content standards“.

A Variety report claimed that the UAE initially approved Lightyear for release, but revoked the licence after social media posts accused the movie of insulting Muslims and Islam.

That ban was then followed by other countries. The current list includes, but is not limited to :

  • United Arab Emirates
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Egypt
  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia
  • Singapore
  • Lebanon
  • Oman
  • Qatar
  • Kuwait
  • Bahrain

Although not confirmed yet, it is very likely that Lightyear will also not be allowed to screen in China.

Lightyear producer, Galyn Susman, said that Chinese authorities “asked for cuts”, which Disney declined to make. So she assumed that the movie would not be allowed to screen there either.

I’m assuming it will not make it to China. I know we’ve gotten requests for things to cut, Disney isn’t going to modify the material.

We’re not going to cut out anything, especially something as important as the loving and inspirational relationship that shows Buzz what he’s missing by the choices that he’s making, so that’s not getting cut

 

The Brief Kiss That Got Lightyear Banned In 14+ Countries!

The reasons why Lightyear has been banned in at least 14 countries, and possibly China too, is over a brief kissing scene.

In the first 30 minutes of Lightyear, Alisha Hawthorne (voiced by Uzo Aduba) – a female space ranger and a close friend of Buzz Lightyear – shares a brief kiss with her same-sex partner.

That kiss was part of a scene showing milestones in the couple’s relationship. It also shows the couple’s son, although it is not known if he was adopted or conceived through assisted reproduction.

But it was the brief kiss between two fictional characters that broke the camel’s back for censors in those countries. They demanded that the scene be cut from the film.

Normally, Disney would quietly cut such a controversial scene from the movie to comply with “local sensibilities”, since it doesn’t affect the plot.

However, Pixar employees had earlier penned a letter complaining that Disney corporate executives were censoring “nearly every moment of overtly gay affection” in their projects.

We at Pixar have personally witnessed beautiful stories, full of diverse characters, come back from Disney corporate reviews shaved down to crumbs of what they once were.

Nearly every moment of overtly gay affection is cut at Disney’s behest, regardless of when there is protest from both the creative teams and executive leadership at Pixar.

Disney caved to the pressure, and decided not to censor the kiss from Lightyear. And so, all those countries refused to grant a licence to screen the movie in theatres.

Read more : Lightyear Movie Banned In 14 Countries + Maybe China Too!

 

Lightyear Stars On Why Lightyear Was Banned…

Chris Evans, who voiced Buzz Lightyear in this prequel, labelled such objections as “frustrating”.

It’s great that we are a part of something that’s making steps forward in the social inclusion capacity.

But it’s frustrating that there are still places that aren’t where they should be.

He also told Variety magazine that he was frustrated that news coverage of the movie would be focused on such an issue :

It’s tough to not be a little frustrated that it even has to be a topic of discussion. That it is this kind of ‘news.’

The goal is that we can get to a point where it is the norm, and that this doesn’t have to be some uncharted waters, that eventually this is just the way it is.

Taika Waititi, who voices the character of Mo Morrison in the film, added :

We’re hoping for a time when we don’t even have to have this conversation. We can watch a movie and we don’t even have to bat an eyelid.

We don’t have to think ‘Oh wow, weird’. It’s not weird, it’s normal and it should be normalised.

Whenever you have these small steps that studios are making – sometimes they may feel small but also, they are steps – and it’s steps towards normalising humanity and love. I really feel sorry for countries who don’t want this film because of a tiny, weird little thing like that

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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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Rapid KL Survey NOT Required For Taxpayer-Paid Free Rides!

You are NOT required to fill in their survey for the free rides on Rapid KL trains or buses subsidised by Malaysian taxpayers!

Here is what you need to know!

 

Free Rapid KL Rides For 1 Month : Subsidised By Taxpayers!

On 16 June 2022, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Ismail Sabri Yaakob officially launched the opening of Phase 1 of the MRT Putrajaya Line.

In conjunction with that launch, he announced that all Rapid KL train and bus rides will be free of charge for a month, from 16 June to 15 July 2022. This free ride program also includes KTM Komuter rides in the Klang Valley.

However, it was not some kind of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) or launch promotion by Rapid KL. These free rides were subsidised by the Malaysian government, to the tune of RM155 million – RM140 million will go to Rapid KL, while KTM will receive RM15 million.

In other words – taxpayers are ultimately footing the bill for these free rides.

Read more : All Rapid KL + KTM Rides Are FREE For 1 Month!

 

Initially : Rapid KL Requires Survey For Gov-Paid Free Rides?!

About a day after the announcement of the free rides, Rapid KL released its Terms and Conditions (PDF download), in which passengers were asked to participate in their survey, in order to enjoy the Rapid KL Free Rides (RKLFR) programme.

Passengers were asked to either install and register an account the MyRapid PULSE app, and fill in the survey there; or fill in a physical form at the stations. They were also asked to “keep a screenshot or the top portion of the completed [survey] form to enjoy the RKLFR“.

Its Terms & Conditions stated, explicitly, that (with my emphasis in bold) :

5. Customers who are using tokens are required to redeem the token at any of Rapid KL Customer Service Offices (LRT/MRT/Monorail/BRT/ Selected Bus Hubs) and fill up the form in MyRapid PULSE or fill up the hardcopy survey form before entering the gates.

6. Customers who are using cashless (My50 pass, Touch ‘N Go card and Concession card) need to fill up the form in MyRapid PULSE or fill up the hardcopy survey form before entering the gates. 

There was an immediate social media backlash to the requirement to participate in the Rapid KL survey, in return for the taxpayer-sponsored free rides.

 

Now : Rapid KL Survey NOT Required For Taxpayer-Paid Free Rides!

Rapid KL quickly responded to the furore by “clarifying” that passengers are not forced to download the PULSE app, or participate in the survey.

When I took the MRT and LRT recently, there was no one enforcing the survey requirement. I just tapped my Touch ‘n Go card through the gantries. No one asked to check for a completed survey.

However, it is unlikely that the RapidKL Terms & Conditions was a misunderstanding. Rapid KL repeated the “requirements” in social media posts, like this example (with my English translation)

Terma Dan Syarat

2. Muat turun aplikasi MyRapid PULSE untuk menebus 30 hari perjalanan percuma.

Terms And Conditions

2. Download the MyRapid PULSE app to redeem 30 days of free travel.

In another Facebook post, Rapid KL specifically asked passengers to complete the survey to obtain the free rides.  Here is my English translation of their requirements :

To redeem free rides:

  1. Users are encouraged to download the MyRapid PULSE app in Google Play or Apple Store, and register for an account and fill in the provided [survey] form. After the form is completed, users need to take a screenshot and show it to the officer at the station, while passing through the gantry, or on entering a bus.
  2. Forms are also provided at all RapidKL passenger service counters, selected bus hubs, in the bus, and downloadable through the Rapid KL website and social media platforms. Passengers must take a picture or the top portion of the complete form to enjoy RKLFR.
  3. For passengers who do not have Touch ‘n Go card or other passes, they can obtain a free token at the customer service counter by filling in their information through the MyRapid PULSE app or the provided form, before entering the station.

It appears that they genuinely wanted people to participate in their survey, and only backtracked on those requirements after the social media uproar.

Based on my ride experience, they did not appear to station officers to check for the completely survey forms.

But it was possible that they asked people to fill in the form to obtain a free token. I can’t confirm that as I used my own Touch ‘n Go card, and didn’t collect a free token.

In any case, there is NO LONGER a need to fill in any survey form, to enjoy the taxpayer-sponsored rides on Rapid KL trains or buses. If anyone insists on seeing a completed survey form, just say NO.

 

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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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Chipmakers Brace For Noble Gas Shortage, After Russia Cut Supply!

Chipmakers worldwide are bracing for a noble gas shortage, after Russia cut supplies! Here is what you need to know…

 

Chipmakers Brace For Noble Gas Shortage, After Russia Cut Supply!

On June 2, 2022, the Russian government issued a decree stating that export of noble gases will be subject to Moscow’s approval until December 31, based on the recommendations of the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

This effectively cuts or limits the export of critical noble gases to “unfriendly” countries, and was a direct response to the fifth round of sanctions imposed by the European Union in April.

Russia and Ukraine were leading producers of noble gases since the days of the Soviet Union, and jointly supplied about 30% of the chipmaking industry’s supply of neon gas.

Both countries were closely intertwined in their noble gas supply to the world. Russia produced raw neon gas as a byproduct of its steelworks, and sent it to Ukraine for purification. That ceased with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

 

How Badly Will Russia Noble Gas Cut Affect Chipmakers?

Noble gases like neon, argon, xenon and helium are critical in the production of microelectronics that power everything from computers to smartphones and cars.

Neon, in particular, plays a critical role in the optical lithographic process used to etch patterns on silicon wafers, creating circuits in semiconductor chips.

The state-of-the-art excimer pulsed laser used to create semiconductors, for example, requires an argon-fluorine-neon mixture, up to 95% of which is made up of exceptionally pure neon gas.

That’s why about 70% of the world’s supply of neon gas (about 540,000 tonnes) is used by the semiconductor industry.

Fortunately, Russia’s decision to cut noble gas supplies may have less impact that they assumed, because chipmakers prepared for such an eventuality.

The semiconductor industry used to rely on Ukraine and Russia for about 80% to 90% of their neon gas supply, but they started diversifying their noble gas supplies after Russia invaded and annexed Crimea in 2014.

Over the last 7-8 years, they managed to cut down their dependence on Ukraine and Russia to about 30%. And the industry generally maintains gas reserves that would last 3-6 months.

China is the main beneficiary of reduced noble gas supply from Russia. Since the war started, Chinese noble gas producers said that their daily order enquiries have jumped 5X to 6X.

For now, the semiconductor industry does not need to reduce production, but the reduced market supply will mean noble gas prices will remain elevated for some time to come.

Needless to say – this will increase the cost of semiconductors, the cost of which will be passed onto consumers.

 

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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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TikTok Leak : China Repeatedly Accessed Private User Data!

Leaked audio from internal TikTok meetings show that private user data has been repeatedly accessed from China!

Here is what you need to know…

 

Privacy Promise By TikTok : Overseas Data Stored In US + Singapore

For many years now, TikTok has repeatedly assured users that all data collected from users outside of China, stays out of China and is thus, not accessible to anyone in China.

To ensure that the Chinese government has no access to the data, one of the measures they took was to store all data collected overseas in servers located in the United States, with backups in Singapore.

This was explicitly stated in their New Privacy Policy :

We store the information described in the What Information We Collect section in servers located in the United States and Singapore.

Most people may not realise this, but they also added a caveat right after that, stating that their Corporate Group (in China) may remotely access the data…

When entities in our Corporate Group need information to help us provide the Platform, they remotely access the information pursuant to authorised and secure access controls.

 

TikTok Leak : China Repeatedly Accessed Private User Data!

Buzzfeed News recently received audio recordings from more than eighty (80) internal TikTok meetings, in which employees admitted that engineers in China accessed private user data.

This was despite a TikTok executive’s sworn testimony at an October 2021 US Senate hearing at the same time period, that a “world-renowned, US-based security team” decides who gets access to the private user data.

Instead, the leaked audio revealed that US staff did not have permission or knowledge of how to access the data. Rather, it was their colleagues in China who determined how and who accessed the private user data.

The leaked tapes ultimately show that TikTok may have misled lawmakers, users, and the public by downplaying the fact that their private data is readily accessible by employees in China, and potentially, the Chinese government.

Everything Is Seen In China

Eight different employees stated in nine statements that they had to refer to their colleagues in China to make those decisions.

Everything is seen in China“, said a member of TikTok’s Trust and Safety department in a September 2021 meeting.

In another September 2021 meeting, a TikTok director referred to a Beijing-based engineer as a “Master Admin” who “has access to everything“.

There’s Some Backdoor To Access User Data…

Fourteen of the leaked audio recordings were with, or about, a team of Booz Allen Hamilton consultants that TikTok brought in to investigate how data flows through TikTok and ByteDance’s internal tools.

In September 2021, one Booz Allen Hamilton consultant told colleagues that the tools felt like they had backdoors to access user data :

I feel like with these tools, there’s some backdoor to access user data in almost all of them, which is exhausting.

Oracle Only Providing Storage For Project Texas

TikTok has been working on what they call Project Texas – securely storing overseas data in Oracle cloud servers to comply with CFIUS (Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States).

Project Texas is limited to protecting the private information of US users, like phone numbers and birthdays – details that are not publicly visible, or have been set to private.

Such data will be stored at an Oracle datacenter in Texas – hence the name, and would only be accessible to specific US-based TikTok employees.

However, TikTok’s head of global cyber and data defense made clear that Oracle was only providing the data storage space for Project Texas. Ultimately, TikTok would be setting up the servers, and controlling everything.

It’s almost incorrect to call it Oracle Cloud, because they’re just giving us bare metal, and then we’re building our VMs [virtual machines] on top of it.

Unique IDs Not Protected Information

In one of the leaked audio recordings from a January 2022 meeting, TikTok’s head of product and user operations announced with a laugh that the Unique ID (UID) will not be amongst the protected content under the CFIUS agreement.

The conversation continues to evolve. We recently found out that UIDs are things we can have access to, which changes the game a bit.

Other Data Not Stored On Oracle Servers

The problem with Project Texas is that it only addresses US users… and only a small subset of their data.

Everything else – including private user data from non-US countries – will stay in their US and Singapore servers that remain accessible to ByteDance’s Beijing offices.

 

Response By TikTok : 100% US Data Traffic Routed To Oracle

TikTok publicly announced on the same day – June 17, 2022, that it changed the “default storage location of US user data“, and that “100% of US user traffic is being routed to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure“.

Although they “expect” to fully pivot to Oracle cloud servers located in the US, they will continue to use their existing US and Singapore servers for backup, and delete US users’ private data over time.

While this may address some of the privacy concerns for US users, it does not address the other privacy concerns revealed in the leaked audio recordings… or the privacy concerns of non-US users.

 

Please Support My Work!

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

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

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

 

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Lightyear Movie Banned In 14 Countries + Maybe China Too!

The Disney-Pixar movie, Lightyear, has been banned in 14 countries, and quite possibly China too!

Here is what we know so far…

 

Lightyear Movie Banned In 14 Countries + Maybe China Too!

Lightyear – the long-awaited animated feature film from Disney-Pixar – has reportedly been banned in 14 Asian and Middle Eastern countries.

The ban started in the UAE, whose Media Regulatory Office of the Ministry of Youth and Culture announced on 13 June 2022 that :

The Media Regulatory Office announced that the animated film Lightyear, which is scheduled for release on 16th June, is not licensed for public screening in all cinemas in the UAE, due to its violation of the country’s media content standards.

A Variety report claimed that the UAE initially approved Lightyear for release, but revoked the licence after social media posts accused the movie of insulting Muslims and Islam.

That ban was then followed by other countries. The current list includes, but is not limited to :

  • United Arab Emirates
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Egypt
  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia
  • Singapore
  • Lebanon
  • Oman
  • Qatar
  • Kuwait
  • Bahrain

Although not confirmed yet, it is very likely that Lightyear will also not be allowed to screen in China.

Lightyear producer, Galyn Susman, said that Chinese authorities “asked for cuts”, which Disney declined to make. So she assumed that the movie would not be allowed to screen there either.

I’m assuming it will not make it to China. I know we’ve gotten requests for things to cut, Disney isn’t going to modify the material.

We’re not going to cut out anything, especially something as important as the loving and inspirational relationship that shows Buzz what he’s missing by the choices that he’s making, so that’s not getting cut

 

Why Lightyear Was Banned In Those Countries…

In Lightyear, the character of Alisha Hawthorne (voiced by Uzo Aduba) shares a brief kiss with her same-sex partner.

That’s it – a little kiss between two fictional characters. Unfortunately, it was a kiss too far for those countries.

Normally, Disney would quietly cut such a “controversial” scene from the movie to comply with “local sensibilities”, since it doesn’t affect the plot.

However, Pixar employees had earlier penned a letter complaining that Disney corporate executives were censoring “nearly every moment of overtly gay affection” in their projects.

We at Pixar have personally witnessed beautiful stories, full of diverse characters, come back from Disney corporate reviews shaved down to crumbs of what they once were.

Nearly every moment of overtly gay affection is cut at Disney’s behest, regardless of when there is protest from both the creative teams and executive leadership at Pixar.

Disney caved to the pressure, and decided not to censor the kiss from Lightyear. And so, all those countries refused to grant a licence to screen the movie in theatres.

Read more : The Brief Kiss That Got Lightyear Banned In 14+ Countries!

 

Lightyear Stars On The Movie Ban By 14+ Countries

Chris Evans, who voiced Buzz Lightyear in this prequel, labelled such objections as “frustrating”.

It’s great that we are a part of something that’s making steps forward in the social inclusion capacity.

But it’s frustrating that there are still places that aren’t where they should be.

He also told Variety magazine that he was frustrated that news coverage of the movie would be focused on such an issue :

It’s tough to not be a little frustrated that it even has to be a topic of discussion. That it is this kind of ‘news.’

The goal is that we can get to a point where it is the norm, and that this doesn’t have to be some uncharted waters, that eventually this is just the way it is.

Taika Waititi, who voices the character of Mo Morrison in the film, added :

We’re hoping for a time when we don’t even have to have this conversation. We can watch a movie and we don’t even have to bat an eyelid.

We don’t have to think ‘Oh wow, weird’. It’s not weird, it’s normal and it should be normalised.

Whenever you have these small steps that studios are making – sometimes they may feel small but also, they are steps – and it’s steps towards normalising humanity and love. I really feel sorry for countries who don’t want this film because of a tiny, weird little thing like that

Please Support My Work!

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

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

 

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Where + How To Renew Driving Licence In Malaysia!

Find out where and how you to renew your driving licence in Malaysia!

 

Why You Need To Renew Your Driving Licence ASAP

The Road Transport Department (JPJ) has discovered that hundreds of thousands of people are driving with expired licences.

They recently reminded motorists that the moratorium on expired driving licences will end on 30 June 2022.

Right now, those that JPJ caught were “only” been slapped with a fine. But after 30 June 2022, they will be issued with a summon and their licences may be revoked.

These are the four categories of expired licences that may be revoked, if they are not renewed in time :

  • Learner’s Driving Licence (LDL) : Up to 2 years
  • Probational Driving Licence (PDL) : More than 1 year
  • Competent Driving Licence (CDL) : More than 3 years
  • Public Service Vehicle / Goods Driving Licence (PSV / GDL) : More than 3 years

If your licence is revoked, you will need to undergo the full process to re-qualify and obtain a new licence.

Recommended : JPJ : Renew Driving Licence Or Retake Full Driving Test!

 

Fine For Driving Without A Valid Licence In Malaysia

If you are caught driving without a valid licence, you will be fined based on how long your licence has expired.

How Long Your Licence Has Expired Delivery Fee
1-15 Days RM 150
16-30 Days RM 200
31-60 Days RM 300

But as noted earlier, if you do not renew your licence for more than 3 years, you will not only be fined, you will be required to take the driving exam again.

Even worse, you will have to submit an eRayuan letter to obtain a learner’s licence (LDL) which costs RM30, and after passing the exam, you be issued a probationary licence (PDL) for 2 years.

 

How To Check Your Licence Expiry Date In Malaysia

Did you know you can check your driving licence expiry date, even if you are overseas? Here is what you need to do :

  1. Go to the official JPJ Licence Expiry Date enquiry page.
  2. Select your identification type
    – Temporary Resident (MYKAS)
    – Permanent Resident (PTM)
    – Malaysian Public (MYKAD)
    – Police (POL)
    – Military (TEN)
    – Non Malaysia (LLN)
  3. Key in your Identification Number (without dash)
  4. Key in the CAPTCHA security code – the 4-digit number in the image.
  5. Click Search.

You should get a report like this, which shows you when your driving licence was last renewed, and when it will expire.

 

Where To Renew Driving Licence In Malaysia

You can renew your driving licence in person, or online, depending on the licence type.

For in-person renewal, you can even get a representative (a friend, relative or runner) to renew it for you.

JPJ Licence Type Expiry Where To Renew
Learner’s Driving Licence (LDL) Up to 2 years JPJ
Pos Malaysia
Probational Driving Licence (PDL) Over 1 Year JPJ
Competent Driving Licence (CDL) Over 3 Years JPJ
MyEG
Pos Malaysia
Public Service Vehicle (PSV) /
Goods Driving Licence (GDL)
Over 3 Years JPJ

In Person Renewal Options

  1. Pos Malaysia post offices
    – this is where I prefer to renew my driving licence
    – post offices located within shopping malls are open on weekends, which makes them super convenient
    – unless there is a queue, you can get your licence renewed within 15 minutes
  2. JPJ state and branch offices
  3. Urban Transformation Centres, where you will find a JPJ branch
    – UTC Kuala Lumpur
    – UTC Sentul, Kuala Lumpur
    – UTC Keramat, Kuala Lumpur
    – UTC Kedah
    – UTC Sungai Petani, Kedah
    – UTC Perak
    – UTC Melaka
    – UTC Johor
    – UTC Pahang
    – UTC Terengganu
    – UTC Kuching, Sarawak
    – UTC Sibu, Sarawak
    – UTC Miri, Sarawak
    – UTC Sabah
    – UTB Tawau, Sabah

Online Renewal Option

Currently, the only online renewal option is MyEG. While convenient, just be aware that :

  • they can only renew the Competent Driving Licence (CDL)
  • you will need to submit a photo (with a white background)
  • they will charge a fee for delivery of the new driving licence
  • you won’t get your driving licence immediately
Area Fee Max. Delivery Time
Klang Valley RM 6 2 working days
Peninsular Malaysia RM 8 Towns : 2-3 working days
Rural : 5 working days
Sabah + Sarawak RM 10 5 working days

 

What You Need To Renew Driving Licence

Competent Driving Licence (CDL)

Renewal Options : 1 Year, 2 Years, 3 Years, 4 Years, 5 Years
Fee :

  • RM 2 per year for Class A or A1
  • RM 20 per year for Class B, B2 and C
  • RM 30 per year for Class D and above

Required Documents

  1. Original MyKad / passport, or copies if renewal is undertaken by representatives
  2. Original MyKad / passport of representatives, if necessary
  3. Original / copy of driving licence
  4. 1 colour photo (white background) with dimensions of 25 mm x 32 mm
    If you are applying in JPJ offices, you can take the picture at the counter, or use the picture embedded in your MyKad

Vocational Driving Licence (PSV / GDL)

Renewal Option : Only 1 Year
Fee : RM 20 per year
Required Documents

  1. Original MyKad / passport, or copies if renewal is undertaken by representatives
  2. Original MyKad / passport of representatives, if necessary
  3. Original / copy of driving licence
  4. Certification from medical officer (JPJL8 Form)
  5. 1 colour photo (white background) with dimensions of 25 mm x 32 mm
    If you are applying in JPJ offices, you can take the picture at the counter, or use the picture embedded in your MyKad.

 

Please Support My Work!

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

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

 

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KL : Lorries + Heavy Vehicles Banned During Peak Hours!

To alleviate traffic jams in and around KL, lorries and heavy vehicles are now banned during peak hours!

Here is what you need to know…

 

KL : Lorries + Heavy Vehicles Banned During Peak Hours!

On 2 June 2022, the Malaysia Department of Transportation (JPJ) announced that lorries and other heavy vehicles are banned from KL roads during peak hours!

This ban was instituted to relieve the heavy traffic jams that KL has experienced recently, particularly during the morning and late afternoon.

With this order, lorries and heavy vehicles are now banned from 6:30 AM until 9:30 AM every morning, and from 4:30 PM until 7:30 PM every afternoon and evening.

 

Lorries + Heavy Vehicles Ban In KL : The Details

Here are the details of the ban on lorries and heavy vehicles in KL :

Which Vehicles Are Affected?

All vehicles with Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) / Berat Dengan Mutton (BDM) of 7,500 kilograms and above (7.5 tonnes and above).

Where + When Are These Vehicles Banned From Entering KL?

Those heavy vehicles are banned at least 5 kilometres from the KL city centre, at entry points into city.

JPJ will erect signboards to notify drivers where they are banned from driving their lorries and heavy vehicles into KL.

Here are the lists of locations and when lorries and heavy vehicles are banned :

Morning + Afternoon Ban

Lorries and heavy vehicles are banned from entering these locations in KL at these times :

  • 6:30 AM until 9:30 AM
  • 4:30 PM until 7:30 PM

Locations :

  1. All roads in the KL city centre
  2. Jalan Kuching, from Taman Wahyu, Jalan Ipoh until the KL city centre
  3. Jalan Cheras, from Taman Midah until the KL city centre
  4. PLUS highway, from Rawang R&R heading towards KL
  5. PLUS highway, from the Bukit Raja toll plaza (Klang) heading towards KL
  6. Jalan Tun Razak
  7. Jalan Istana
  8. Jalan Segambut
  9. Jalan Sentul

Afternoon Only Ban

Lorries and heavy vehicles are banned from entering these locations in KL at these times :

  • 4:30 PM until 7:30 PM

Locations :

  1. Jalan Kepong
  2. Jalan Ipoh, from the Kepong roundabout to Jalan Batu Caves
  3. Karak Highway
  4. Jalan Gombak, from Jalan Kampung Bandar Dalam until the KL border
  5. Jalan Genting Kelang
  6. Jalan Cheras, from Jalan Pudu until Jalan Tenteram
  7. Jalan Sungai Besi, from Jalan Kuchai Lama until the KL-Seremban Highway.
  8. Jalan Kelang Lama (Old Klang Road), from Federal Highway until Jalan Kuchai Lama

What Is The Penalty?

Those who caught driving their lorries or heavy vehicles into KL during the banned hours, will be subject to :

  • a compound of not more than RM300, or
  • charged in court, where the fine of RM300 to RM2000 may be imposed on conviction.

 

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

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

Here is what you need to know!

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Current Requirements Before You Fly To United States

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

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

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

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

American Citizens / Permanent Residents

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

Foreigners

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Please Support My Work!

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

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

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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JPJ : Renew Driving Licence Or Retake Full Driving Test!

If your driving licence has expired, you need to renew it ASAP, or you will be forced to retake the full driving test!

Here is what you need to know…

 

JPJ : Renew Driving Licence Or Retake Full Driving Test!

The Road Transport Department (JPJ) is warning that the moratorium on expired driving licences will end on 30 June 2022.

The moratorium actually ended on 31 December 2021, but many drivers were under the impression that the moratorium was still in effect.

After checking their records and conducting operations across the country, JPJ found that hundreds of thousands of drivers have yet to renew their expired licence.

Thus, they are reminding those with expired licences to renew them before the end of the month.

Right now, those that JPJ caught were “only” been slapped with a fine. But after 30 June 2022, they will be issued with a summon and their licences may be revoked.

These are the four categories of expired licences that may be revoked, if they are not renewed in time :

  • Learner’s Driving Licence (LDL) : Up to 2 years
  • Probational Driving Licence (PDL) : More than 1 year
  • Competent Driving Licence (CDL) : More than 3 years
  • Public Service Vehicle / Goods Driving Licence (PSV / GDL) : More than 3 years

If your licence is revoked, you will need to undergo the full process to re-qualify and obtain a new licence.

Recommended : Please DO NOT Walk-In To Renew Your Malaysian Passport!

 

JPJ Fine For Driving Without A Valid Licence

If you are caught driving without a valid licence, you will be fined based on how long your licence has expired.

How Long Your Licence Has Expired Fine
1-15 Days RM 150
16-30 Days RM 200
31-60 Days RM 300

But as noted earlier, if you do not renew your licence for more than 3 years, you will not only be fined, you will be required to take the driving exam again.

Even worse, you will have to submit an eRayuan letter to obtain a learner’s licence (LDL) which costs RM30, and after passing the exam, you will need be issued a probationary licence (PDL) for 2 years.

 

How To Check Your Licence Expiry Date

Did you know you can check your driving licence expiry date, even if you are overseas? Here is what you need to do :

  1. Go to the official JPJ Licence Expiry Date enquiry page.
  2. Select your identification type
    – Temporary Resident (MYKAS)
    – Permanent Resident (PTM)
    – Malaysian Public (MYKAD)
    – Police (POL)
    – Military (TEN)
    – Non Malaysia (LLN)
  3. Key in your Identification Number (without dash)
  4. Key in the CAPTCHA security code – the 4-digit number in the image.
  5. Click Search.

You should get a report like this, which shows you when your driving licence was last renewed, and when it will expire.

 

JPJ : Where To Renew Driving Licence

The four licence types can be renewed at all JPJ state and branch offices, as well as JPJ offices in Urban Transformation Centres (UTC).

However, those with a learner’s licence (LDL) can also renew it in any Pos Malaysia branch; while those with a regular licence (CDL) can also renew it at Pos Malaysia or MyEG.

Please don’t wait until the last minute, as there will inevitably be a rush of people trying to do just that. And the police and JPJ will, no doubt, be conducting more traffic stops and roadblocks to look for people with expired licences and road tax.

Here is a summary of the four licence types, and where you can renew them :

JPJ Licence Type Expiry Where To Renew
Learner’s Driving Licence (LDL) Up to 2 years JPJ
Pos Malaysia
Probational Driving Licence (PDL) Over 1 Year JPJ
Competent Driving Licence (CDL) Over 3 Years JPJ
MyEG
Pos Malaysia
Public Service Vehicle (PSV) /
Goods Driving Licence (GDL)
Over 3 Years JPJ

 

What You Need To Renew Driving Licence

Competent Driving Licence (CDL)

Renewal Options : 1 Year, 2 Years, 3 Years, 4 Years, 5 Years
Fee :

  • RM 2 per year for Class A or A1
  • RM 20 per year for Class B, B2 and C
  • RM 30 per year for Class D and above

Required Documents

  1. Original MyKad / passport, or copies if renewal is undertaken by representatives
  2. Original MyKad / passport of representatives, if necessary
  3. Original / copy of driving licence
  4. 1 colour photo (white background) with dimensions of 25 mm x 32 mm
    If you are applying in JPJ offices, you can take the picture at the counter, or use the picture embedded in your MyKad

Vocational Driving Licence (PSV / GDL)

Renewal Option : Only 1 Year
Fee : RM 20 per year
Required Documents

  1. Original MyKad / passport, or copies if renewal is undertaken by representatives
  2. Original MyKad / passport of representatives, if necessary
  3. Original / copy of driving licence
  4. Certification from medical officer (JPJL8 Form)
  5. 1 colour photo (white background) with dimensions of 25 mm x 32 mm
    If you are applying in JPJ offices, you can take the picture at the counter, or use the picture embedded in your MyKad.

Recommended : Where + How To Renew Driving Licence In Malaysia!

 

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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Thailand Decriminalises + Encourages Marijuana Cultivation!

Thailand has not only decriminalised marijuana, they are actively encouraging its cultivation!

Here is what you need to know…

 

Thailand Decriminalises + Encourages Marijuana Cultivation!

On 9 June 2022, Thailand removed marijuana (ganja) from its banned narcotics list, effectively becoming the first country in Asia to decriminalise it.

People in Thailand are now allowed to grow cannabis plants and sell them. In fact, the government is even giving away one million cannabis seedlings to encourage its cultivation!

This is part of the government’s plan to promote medical marijuana, as part of its medical tourism industry. Thai Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said recently :

We should know how to use cannabis. If we have the right awareness, cannabis is like gold, something valuable, and should be promoted.

 

Recreational Marijuana Use Is Still Banned In Thailand

Officially, recreational use is still banned, with cannabis approved only for medical use (since 2018), but the government is unlikely to prosecute anyone smoking marijuana privately.

After all, every household that registers with the government is allowed to cultivate up to six cannabis plants at home!

People smoking marijuana in public though could be arrested, and potentially invite a 3-month jail sentence and a 25,000 baht ($725 / RM3.2K) fine under the Public Health Act.

Thai Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said :

We still have regulations under the law that control the consumption, smoking or use of cannabis products in non-productive ways.

We [have always] emphasized using cannabis extractions and raw materials for medical purposes and for health.

There has never once been a moment that we would think about advocating people to use cannabis in terms of recreation — or use it in a way that it could irritate others.

On the other hand, the Thai government will also release about 4,000 people who were convicted of cannabis-related offences and imprisoned.

That suggests that the Thai government is working to relax rules on recreational use, with a wider law on cannabis trade and control being considered.

The current rules also allow people to smoke marijuana in private, as long as they declare it is for medical purposes.

It is also allowed to be used in food and drinks, or other products, as long as they contain less than 0.2% of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the chemical compound that gives people the “high” feeling.

That said, it is quite impossible for the authorities to monitor and regulate how much THC goes into food and drinks… so the line they drew in the sand is already blurred.

 

Please Support My Work!

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

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

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.

 

Recommended Reading

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