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Apple Pay Is Now Available In Malaysia!

Apple Pay Is Now Available In Malaysia!

Apple did not announce anything official, but Apple Pay is now available in Malaysia!

Here is what you need to know, and find out how you can start using Apple Pay in Malaysia!

 

Apple Pay Is Now Available In Malaysia!

Apple Pay was first launched way back in September 2014, together with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. However, its global availability was slow and some would say, tortuous.

For years, Apple fans in Malaysia have requested for Apple Pay to be introduced in Malaysia, and could only look at Singapore in envy, when Apple Pay was introduced there more than six years ago in April 2016!

But the wait is over! The steady drip of leaks has finally culminated in actual confirmation that yes, Apple Pay is now available in Malaysia!

Apple did not announce anything, but you can now add your debit / credit cards to Apple Pay and start using it in Malaysia!

This makes Malaysia only the second country in Southeast Asia to support Apple Pay. The first was Singapore in April 2016.

Malaysia is also only the 10th territory in Asia to support Apple Pay, after Australia, China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Japan, Kazakhstan, New Zealand and Singapore.

 

What Banks Currently Support Apple Pay In Malaysia?

Right off the bat, I have to warn you that support for Apple Pay is still pretty limited in Malaysia, to just three banks as far as I can tell.

Banks In Malaysia That Support Apple Pay

You will be able to register debit and credit cards issued by these banks :

  • AmBank
  • Maybank
  • Standard Chartered Bank

Banks In Malaysia That Do Not Support Apple Pay

You won’t be able to add debit or credit cards from these banks :

  • CIMB
  • Citibank
  • UOB
  • OCBC

I will update this article as and when I find out what other banks in Malaysia support, or don’t support, Apple Pay.

 

How To Register Apple Pay In Malaysia?

To help you register your debit / credit card with Apple Pay, here is my step-by-step guide :

Step 1 : Open the Wallet app in your iPhone.

Step 2 : Tap on the Add button to “Add a credit or debit card to get started using Apple Pay”.

Step 3 : In the next screen, tap on the Continue button.

Step 4 : You will now be asked to “scan” your debit / credit card using your iPhone camera, positioning it within the frame.

Step 5 : The Wallet app will try to pick up important details of your credit card like :

  • Name
  • Credit card number
  • Expiry date

If nothing happens, that means it cannot read the details off the card. Then you will need to tap on the Enter Card Details Manually option at the bottom.

Step 6 : Whether your card details are detected or not, verify the key card details required by Apple Pay :

  • Name
  • Card Number
  • Expiry Date
  • Security Code

If the detected details are wrong, edit them to make sure they match your debit / credit card.

Step 7 : You will need to key in the Security Code, which is a 3-digit or 4-digit CSC (Card Security Code) / CVV (Card Verification Value) / CVC (Card Verification Code) usually printed on the back of your debit / credit card.

Step 8 : If your credit card is not supported, you will get a pop-up message saying :

Your Issuer Does Not Yet Offer Support for This Card

Ask your issuer if they offer cards that support Apple Pay.

If your card is supported, you will see a list of Terms and Conditions. You will need to tap on Agree to continue.

Step 9 : The screen show details of your credit card while the Wallet app sets it up for Apple Pay. Just wait for a few seconds.

Step 10 : You will now be asked to verify your card for Apple Pay, usually through Text Message. Tap Next to continue with the verification process.

Step 11 : You will receive an SMS with a 6-digit One Time Password (OTP). You need to key that in within 2 minutes :

Card enrolment OTP for your digital wallet is XXXXXX. It will expire after 2 mins. If you have not performed this, please contact the bank.

Step 12 : Tap Next after keying in the OTP, and you should see the Card Activated notice.

That’s it! Your credit card is now ready for Apple Pay. When you open your Wallet, you should see that debit / credit card listed.

 

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Confirmed : Apple Pay Is Launching Soon In Malaysia!

Multiple leaks confirm that Apple Pay is launching soon in Malaysia! Here is what you need to know…

 

Leaks Confirm Apple Pay Is Launching Soon In Malaysia!

Multiple leaks have more or less let the cat out of the bag – that Apple Pay is launching soon in Malaysia!

This would make Malaysia the second country in Southeast Asia to support Apple Pay, and the 10th territory in Asia, after Australia, China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Japan, Kazakhstan, New Zealand and Singapore.

AmBank Sent Apple Pay SMS

The first to leak was AmBank, when they sent out an SMS to their customers in July 2022, prematurely telling them that they can now use Apple Pay.

It appeared to have been a test run that ran awry, as their Apple Pay website was not yet ready. But it alerted everyone to the fact that Apple Pay is coming to Malaysia.

Shopee Added Apple Pay As Payment Option

The second to leak was Shopee, which released an Apple Pay option in version 2.91.28 of their app on 2 August 2022.

If you tap on it, you will simply be asked to “ensure there’s an active card in your Apple Pay wallet to proceed“.

Of course, you can’t actually add any credit / debit card to your Apple Pay wallet yet, but you can see that it is listed as a payment option.

Maxis Accidentally Promotes Apple Pay As Payment Option

On 5 August 2022, a Maxis Centre accidentally put out a cardboard sign announcing “Apple Pay accepted here“.

The tweet was deleted by its poster, but the cardboard sign was traced to the Sri Muda Maxis Centre in Shah Alam.

sorry guys had to delete the tweets atas permintaan pihak tertentu. but don’t worry cuz apple pay is coming soon to Malaysia!

AmBank Released Their Apple Pay Portal!

On 8 August 2022, AmBank (accidentally?) released their Apple Pay portal, confirming that the contactless payment system is ready to launch in Malaysia!

The AmBank Apple Pay portal has now been removed, but here are some of the details it revealed :

  • There is no transaction limit for Apple Pay, as opposed to a transaction limit of RM250 per purchase, with a RM750 daily limit, for other contactless payment platforms.
  • There is also no transaction limit for online purchases using Apple Pay through your iPhone, iPad or Mac computer.
  • AmBank also offered some promotions, including cash back for the first purchase using Apple Pay.
  • There were two unlisted YouTube videos (now removed) showing how to pay for your purchases using Apple Pay. Basically:
    a) Look for the Apple Pay and EMV contactless payment logos at the retailer
    b) Simply tap your iPhone or Apple Watch on the credit card terminal to pay
    c) Use either Face ID, Touch ID or your passcode to verify the payment

 

Apple Pay Is Now Available In Malaysia!

You would have thought that AmBank would have learned from their July 2022 SMS mistake, but no… they didn’t.

Then again, they may have “accidentally” leaked the Apple Pay website to drum up some hype ahead of the official launch.

These “accidents” have a habit of happening…

In any case, Apple Pay is now available in Malaysia, even though there was no official launch!

Read more : Apple Pay Is Now Available In Malaysia!

Most likely, Apple will roll it out in Malaysia with the next iOS update – probably iOS 15.6.1.

Currently iOS 15.6 does not support Apple Pay in Malaysia. When you try to add a debit / credit card to the Wallet app, you get this pop-up :

To add cards, keys, tickets and passes to Wallet, look for the Add to Wallet button in apps, emails and websites.

Until Apple adds this functionality through an iOS update for Malaysia, there is simply no way to add any card to the Wallet app.

 

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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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Meta Accuses PDRM Of Running Political Troll Farm!

Meta accused the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) of running a troll farm to corrupt or manipulate public discourse!

Here is what you need to know!

 

Meta Accuses PDRM Of Running Political Troll Farm!

On 4 August 2022, Meta issued the Adversarial Threat Report for the Second Quarter of 2022. In that report, they directly named the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) as being responsible for a troll farm designed to “corrupt or manipulate public discourse“.

Here were the key findings that the Meta team revealed about the individuals behind the PDRM troll farm :

  • They were active on Facebook, TikTok, Twitter and Instagram.
  • They posted memes in Malay, in support of the current government coalition
  • They posted claims of corruption amongst the current government coalition’s critics
  • They created Facebook Pages that posed as independent news entities, and promoted police while criticising the opposition.
  • Their posting activity were greatest during weekdays, taking breaks for lunch.
  • Their fake accounts were under-developed, and some of them used stolen profile photos.

The troll farm was initially suspected to have originated in China by researchers at Clemson University in South Caroline. But when the Meta team investigated it, they found links to the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM).

The Meta team also revealed that the PDRM troll farm spent about $6,000 (~RM26,750) in Facebook and Instagram ads, paid for primarily in Malaysian Ringgit.

They also shared how successful the PDRM troll farm was in garnering followers on Facebook and Instagram :

  • Facebook Pages : About 427,000 accounts
  • Facebook Groups : About 4,000 accounts
  • Instagram Accounts : About 15,000 accounts

As a result of their investigation, Meta removed 595 Facebook accounts, 180 Pages, 11 Groups and 72 Instagram accounts that were linked to this PDRM troll farm, for violating their police against “coordinated inauthentic behavior“.

What Is Inauthentic Behavior?

Inauthentic behaviour (IB) as an effort to mislead people or Facebook about about the popularity of content, the purpose of a community (i.e. Groups, Pages, Events) or the identity of the people behind it. It is primarily centered around amplifying and increasing the distribution of content, and is often (but not exclusively) financially motivated.

IB operators typically focus on quantity rather than the quality of engagement. For example, they may use large numbers of low-sophistication fake accounts to mass-post or like their content — be it commercial, social or political. They often use tactics similar to other large-scale online activities, like spam.

This behavior pattern distinguishes IB from Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior (CIB) where operators invest in mimicking human social activity as closely as possible.

 

PDRM Denies Meta Accusations Of Running Political Troll Farm!

On 6 August 2022, PDRM issued a short notice (with my English translation) stating that it takes Meta’s allegations seriously, denies them, and is currently gathering information about those allegations.

Penafian PDRM Atas Dakwaan Syarikat Meta Platforms Incorporated

Police Diraja Malaysia (PDRM) memandang serius laporan pihak syarikat Meta Platforms Incorporated yang mendakwa terdapat akaun-akaun palsu di media sosial yang “mempunyai hubungan dengan PDRM”.

PDRM menafikan dakwaan tersebut dan sedang mengampul maklumat lanjut mengenainya.

PDRM Denies Allegations By Meta Platforms Incorporated

The Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) is taking seriously the report by Meta Platforms Incorporated which claimed that there are fake social media account “with ties to PDRM”.

PDRM denies these allegations and is gathering more information about it.

 

PDRM Troll Farm : Is That Even Legal?!

The Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) enforces the laws of the country, including the Internet. In fact, they have a Cyber & Multimedia Criminal Investigation Unit under the Commercial Crime Investigation Department.

The PDRM works together with the National Cyber Security Agency (NACSA) to tackle cybersecurity threats, and these would include malicious influence campaigns.

All the more reason why it is both perplexing and troubling that Malaysia’s national police force has been linked to a troll farm designed to promote the current government coalition, while denigrating the opposition.

These are specifically the cybercrimes that NACSA should be looking out for, and the PDRM should be assisting them in arresting anyone in Malaysia who participated in such activities.

The PDRM will no doubt be under tremendous pressure to explain / refute Meta’s allegations.

 

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

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

 

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Did US Navy Fleet Escort Nancy Pelosi To Taiwan?!

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

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

 

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

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

Here are some of the accompanying descriptions :

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

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

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

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

 

Truth : US Fleet Did Not Escort Nancy Pelosi To Taiwan

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

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

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

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

Fact #2 : Video Was Recorded At Valiant Shield 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fact #7 : This Is Just Chinese Propaganda

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

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

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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 No Longer Requires Traveller’s Pass!

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

Here is what you need to know…

 

Currently : Foreign Travellers Need Traveller’s Pass 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 foreign 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 used to apply to Malaysian citizens too, but was waived starting 4 July 2022.

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

 

Now : Traveller’s Pass No Longer Required To Travel To Malaysia!

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin announced on 31 July 2022 that all travellers will no longer be required to obtain the Traveller’s Pass.

Starting Monday, 1 August 2022, all travellers to Malaysia – citizens and foreigners alike – 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).

With this relaxation, travelling to Malaysia will essentially return to pre-pandemic norms. All you need to enter Malaysia is a valid passport, and a visa (if required).

 

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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 Officially Bans Thor: Love and Thunder!

Malaysia just officially banned the release of Thor : Love and Thunder, likely over censorship requirements!

 

Earlier : Thor : Love and Thunder Postponed!

Thor : Love and Thunder was scheduled to be launched in Malaysia on July 7, in line with the 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 announcementthe release date for Thor : Love and Thunder in Malaysia has been postponed for two weeks, to 21 July 2022!

Then, on 13 July 2022, Disney postponed the release of Thor : Love and Thunder in Malaysia indefinitely.

Read more : Why Thor: Love and Thunder Is Likely Banned In China!

 

Now : Thor : Love and Thunder Officially Cancelled

Unfortunately, on 28 July 2022, Disney announced that Thor : Love and Thunder would not be released in Malaysia.

This was announced by Malaysian cinema chain, GSC :

THOR: Love and Takde. Officially. ⚡️💔

Dear Valued Customers,

Please be informed that Disney has updated us that Marvel Studios’ Thor: Love and Thunder will not be releasing in Malaysia after all.

We appreciate your patience and we apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Please buy our merchandise ok.

We Malaysians all saw this coming, didn’t we?

 

Thor : Love and Thunder Faced Censorship Hurdles

It is currently unknown why the release date for Thor : Love and Thunder in Malaysia was banned from its cinematic release.

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 was possible that the earlier 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.

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

There is also the “sensitive” issue of LGBTQ+ themes that have already gotten the movie banned in China. There are several short LGBTQ+ scenes in the movie.

But censoring them is likely a line too far for Disney / Marvel to cross.

  • Bisexual Asgardian King Valkyrie (Tessa Thomson) kisses a maiden’s hand
  • At two other scenes, characters reference and discuss King Valkyrie’s late girlfriend.
  • Korg (Taika Waititi) is shown to be gay.
  • Korg references having two dads.
  • Korg settles down with a fellow Korean named Dwayne.

It is likely that Malaysian film censors could not accept those short LGBTQ+ scenes either, and so Thor: Love and Thunder ended up banned from being shown in the cinemas, like in China.

 

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Maybank MAE + M2U Apps Running Again After Going Down!

Maybank just announced that their MAE and M2U mobile banking apps are now up and running, after going down for several hours!

Here is what you need to know…

 

Maybank MAE + M2U Mobile Apps Down!

On the morning of 25 July 2022, the MAE and M2U mobile apps went down, which Maybank confirmed.

As it so happened, both apps failed on the 25th of the month, which is when Malaysian civil servants and many other employees receive their pay.

That led to a lot of complaints, as people could not transfer the funds using the apps.

Fortunately, the Maybank website itself was operational, so users were advised to access the Maybank2U website using their web browser instead.

#MBBAlert Dear valued customers,

Kindly be informed that you may perform your banking services on Maybank2u web. We are currently experiencing intermittent slowness on our MAE and M2U MY apps.

Our sincere apologies for the inconvenience caused and we are working to resolve the matter as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience and continuous support.

Maybank did not reveal what was the reason both their M2U mobile banking app, and their MAE ewallet failed.

They finally resolved it several hours later, just before 2:30 PM.

#MBBAlert Dear valued customers,

Kindly be informed that all our services are back to normal and you may perform your banking transactions across our platforms.

Our sincere apologies for the inconvenience caused today. We thank you for your continued patience and support.

This isn’t the first time Maybank users had trouble with their banking services. On 17 January 2022, all of Maybank’s online and banking services went down!

 

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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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No More Cash Payment At KKM Hospitals + Clinics!

Public hospitals and clinics under KKM will no longer accept cash payments starting 1 October 2022!

Here is what you need to know…

 

No More Cash Payment At KKM Hospitals + Clinics!

From 1 October 2022 onwards, public hospitals and clinics under the Malaysia Ministry of Health (KKM) will no longer accept cash payments.

They will only accept payments through e-payment methods like :

  • debit card
  • credit card
  • e-wallet

They will, however, accept cash payment if the customer has no other payment options, or a bank account.

KKM is aiming to achieve 95% cashless transactions by December 2022.

 

Why KKM Hospitals + Clinics Will No Longer Accept Cash Payments

This initiative to eliminate cash payments at KKM health facilities is part of the 2021 Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint, which called for all federal and state agencies to prioritise cashless payments by the year 2022.

The 2021-2022 KKM Anti-Corruption Plan also called for cash payments to be eliminated at public hospitals and clinics.

The Malaysia Ministry of Health believes that eliminating cash payments at their health facilities will :

  • reduce the risk of leakage of public funds
  • increase efficiency by making payments at the counter faster, easier and safer
  • reduce the cost and work process of collecting payments
  • reduce the risk of COVID-19 infections through contactless payment

To that end, KKM had ordered the implementation of cashless payment systems at all health facilities back in June 2022, with full implementation starting 1 October 2022, targeting 95% cashless payments by December 2022.

 

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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 Offers 2nd Booster To 50+ Years + Travellers!

Malaysia is now offering the 2nd booster dose to those who are 50 years or older, as well as people planning to travel overseas!

Here is what you need to know…

 

Earlier : Malaysia Gives 2nd Booster Dose To High-Risk Individuals!

Back in mid-April 2022, the Malaysia Ministry of Health (KKM) offered a second booster dose to high-risk individuals :

  • High-risk senior citizens aged 60 years and above, with co-morbidities like
    – diabetes
    – chronic lung disease
    – chronic renal disease, underlying dialysis
    – chronic liver disease
    – cerebrovascular disease
    – heart failure, ischaemic heart disease, cardiomyopathy
    – chronic neurological diseases
    – BMI of over 40
    – residents of long-term care facilities
  • Individuals who received the Sinovac or Sinopharm booster dose for travel purposes
  • Healthy senior citizens are advised to consult a doctor for second booster dose recommendation

Read more : Second Booster Dose Offered To High-Risk Individuals!

 

Now : Malaysia Gives 2nd Booster To 50+ Years + Travellers!

On 19 July 2022, the Malaysia Minister of Health, Khairy Jamaluddin, announced that the government will now offer the 2nd booster dose to :

  • individuals those who are 50 years and older, even if they do not have co-morbidities, and
  • individuals who are planning to travel overseas

The group in the 50-59 age bracket without any chronic diseases and anyone 50 and below who wants to travel overseas can receive second vaccine boosters.

As announced earlier, the second booster dose will continue to be offered to high-risk individuals living in long-term care facilities, adults 18 years and older with co-morbidities, and COVID-19 frontliners.

The second booster dose will be the Pfizer COMIRNATY vaccine, and it will be given :

  • at least 4-6 months after the first booster dose for senior citizens,
  • at least 3 months after recovery for senior citizens who had a COVID-19 infection,
  • and at least 1 month after the first booster dose for Sinovac / SInopharm recipients.

This second booster dose is optional, and is not compulsory. Your vaccination status will not change, whether you take the second booster dose or not.

You can either book your booster dose appointment on MySejahtera, or look for a nearby private healthcare facility offering a booster dose.

These booster doses are offered for FREE by the Malaysian government, as part of the PICK vaccination programme.

 

Why 2nd Booster Dose For Travellers Leaving Malaysia?

Even though many countries have opened up their economies, and even to travellers; the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t over.

Many countries are now facing spikes in COVID-19 cases, thanks to new Omicron subvariants that are highly contagious, and evade protection from both previous infections and vaccinations.

Thus, a second booster dose before travelling overseas will offer a short  but useful boost in antibodies that could protect travellers as they fly out of Malaysia into other countries.

This is particularly important for those who received the Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines. Both Chinese vaccines offer markedly lower protection, which quickly wane over a matter of weeks.

A Yale University study, for example, showed that Sinovac vaccine recipients will require TWO Pfizer booster doses, to adequately protect against the Omicron variant.

Therefore, if you received Sinovac / Sinopharm vaccine earlier, I highly recommend that you get the booster doses, even if you are not planning to travel overseas.

Read more : Why Sinovac recipients may need TWO Pfizer booster doses!

There is also a more practical consideration for people travelling overseas – some countries in Europe do not recognise the Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines, both as a primary series vaccine or a booster dose.

Therefore, they will be allowed to obtain a second booster dose, at least one month after receiving their first booster dose.

 

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JPJ + PDRM 50% Discount Scam Alert!

Please be warned – the viral JPJ and PDRM 50% discount offer is a scam!

Find out what’s going on, and why it is just a scam!

 

The Viral JPJ + PDRM 50% Discount Scam

This message (with our English translation) has gone viral on WhatsApp, claiming that PDRM and JPJ are offering a 50% discount on summons until 20 July 2022.

Saman JPJ dan PDRM 50% Discount
50% Discount On JPJ And PDRM Summons

Rm300 = Rm150
Rm250 = RM125
Rm150 = Rm75
Rm100 = Rm50

Mahkahmah Court
Non- Compound
Blacklist
Accident
Rm350

Untuk semak saman jpj kene bayar Rm10 untuk satu no.ic
To check for JPJ summons, must pay RM10 for each identity card number

Promosi ini tanya sampai 20/7/2022
This promotion is only until 20 July 2022

For more information xxxxxx (WhatsApp) +60-11-xxxxxxx

Read more : PDRM + JPJ Traffic Offences : How To Get 80% Discount?

 

Why JPJ + PDRM 50% Discount Is A Scam!

Here are the reasons why this is yet another scam circulating on WhatsApp…

Fact #1 : There Is Currently No PDRM / JPJ Discount On Summons

First, let me just confirmed that there is currently no discount on PDRM or JPJ summons.

In the past, PDRM and JPJ offered PDRM + JPJ Traffic Offences : How To Get 80% Discount?, but that was long over – ending in December 2021.

If they actually introduced new discounts on summons, you can be certain that it would be announced on their official websites and social media accounts, and not spread by WhatsApp messages.

Fact #2 : PDRM Confirmed It’s Fake News

On 17 July 2022, PDRM confirmed that the viral WhatsApp message is fake. They are not offering any discount on summons.

PDRM secretary Datuk Noorsiah Mohd Saaduddin said the police are tracking down the individuals responsible for the fake advertisement, which offered up to 50 per cent discount on PDRM and the Road Transport Department (JPJ) summons.

Fact #3 : You Will Lose Money You Send These Scammers!

Needless to say – DO NOT send them money to pay your traffic summons at the “50% discount”.

Any money you send them will not go towards paying off your summons. It is a SCAM.

If you have money to spare, consider supporting my work here at Tech ARP instead.

Fact #4 : Checking JPJ + PDRM Summons Is FREE!

The scam does not just involve tricking you into sending them money. It also involves the RM 10 fee for checking your summonses.

Here is what you need to know – you can actually check your summonses for FREE!

So even if they don’t trick you into sending them the “discounted” fee for your summonses, they are still tricking you into paying them the RM 10 fee for doing something that is free.

Fact #5 : Viral Message Has Horrendous Grammar

An official announcement would not have such bad grammar. The scammer couldn’t even spell mahkamah (court) correctly!

If you see offers on WhatsApp or even social media (Facebook, Twitter) with bad grammar – they are probably scams.

Please help us FIGHT FAKE NEWS by sharing this article, and please SUPPORT our work!

 

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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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Can Bak Kut Teh Herbal Soup Cause Liver Damage?!

Can a herbal soup like Bak Kut Teh cause liver damage, as alleged by an Australian study?!

Take a look at what the study showed, and what the facts really are!

 

Study : Bak Kut Teh Herbal Soup Can Cause Liver Damage!

Australian scientists recently caused a ruckus when their study alleged that the Asian herbal soup called Bak Kut Teh can cause liver damage.

The media excitedly jumped on it, with alarming titles to draw attention (and drive traffic?) :

ABC : Bak kut teh herbal soup may cause liver damage and interact with medication, study finds

Medical Xpress : Popular Malaysian soup can cause liver damage when mixed with medication

Adelaide Now : Adelaide forensic expert issues safety warning over liver failure soup

The Epoch Times : University Professor Warns of Risks Caused by Popular Chinese Soup

Says : Australian Researchers Find Bak Kut Teh Can Cause Liver Damage When Taken With Medicine

Truth : Study Does Not Show Bak Kut Teh Causing Liver Damage!

Despite the alarming titles, there is no need to panic… because the study does NOT show the herbal soup, Bak Kut Teh, causing any liver damage.

Here is a quick summary for those who just need to know the basics :

  1. It was a laboratory study, which means the results may not translate into actual effect in a living human being.
  2. What we eat is digested and broken down, so our body absorbs the nutrients and not the actual food. Hence, the study does not accurately replicate what happens in our body.
  3. They didn’t test bak kut teh… they only tested four soup bases used to make bak kut teh.
  4. The soup concentrations were unspecified, so it is unknown if the doses are equivalent to what our livers are subjected to after a meal.
  5. They did not test drug interactions, so it is amazing how so many media outlets claimed that the study showed that bak kut teh may interact with medication!

In short, this study does not show that bak kut teh causes liver damage. Neither does it show bak kut teh causing drug interactions of any kind.

I understand Professor Byard’s concerns about the “unknown” contents of these soup base preparations. Certain traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) have been associated with acute liver failure.

However, that isn’t so much a “bak kut teh” problem, but rather a problem with traditional Chinese medicine or Chinese herbal medicine.

For those who are interested in the details, please scroll down to the next section.

 

Why Study Does Not Show Bak Kut Teh Causing Liver Damage

Let’s start with the basics, and work our way through the Australian study.

Fact #1 : Study Was Conducted By Australian Scientists

First, the study was conducted by University of Adelaide and University of Melbourne scientists – Susan M. Britza, Rachael Farrington, Ian F. Musgrave, Craig Aboltins and Roger W. Byard.

It was published in the journal Forensic Science, Medicine and Pathology, and you can read the study here.

Fact #2 : It Was A Laboratory Study

It is important to note that this was an in-vitro study – a laboratory study, not a clinical study.

In-vitro studies are important, but they cannot be extrapolated to make any conclusion about what actually happens in a human body.

For example, in-vitro studies have shown that hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin have an inhibitory effect on the SARS-CoV-2 virus; but once tested in actual human beings – they were shown to have no clinical benefit.

In other words – what happens in a test tube, may not happen in an actual human being.

Read more : Did Study Show Pfizer Vaccine Altering Liver DNA In 6 Hours?!

Fact #3 : What We Eat Is Not What Our Body Absorbs

There is one big problem with doing in-vitro tests on food – what we eat is not what our body absorbs.

Food gets digested, and broken down into nutrients that are absorbed in our intestines. Even simple sugar gets broken down into glucose, fructose, galactose, maltose, sucrose, etc.

So soaking liver cells in a bak kut teh soup would most definitely not reflect what our liver cells actually experience after a bak kut teh meal.

In short, this study does not replicate what happens in our liver when we eat bak kut teh.

Fact #4 : There Are Many Types Of Bak Kut Teh

Bak Kut Teh is not so much a “herbal soup” as it is a pork soup dish. The name “bak kut teh” literally means “meat bone tea” in the Hokkien dialect, but there is no tea in it.

It is usually just a dish of pork ribs simmered for hours in a broth of common herbs and spices like star anise, cinnamon, cloves, dong quai, fennel seeds and garlic.

But there are many variants of bak kut teh. In Malaysia and Singapore where bak kut teh is most popular, there are at least four main “styles” :

  • Teochew style : light in colour, with more pepper and garlic
  • Hokkien style : darker and more fragrant, thanks to a variety of herbs and soy sauce
  • Cantonese style : includes medicinal herbs for a stronger flavoured soup
  • Klang style : a thick and sticky gravy, like a stew

On top of that, there are also chicken and beef versions of bak kut teh. Muslims, for example, love the chicken version, which is colloquially called chi kut teh, chi being short for chicken.

And the Malaysian town of Melaka serves a delicious beef bak kut teh, which is based on a unique black pepper soup with red fermented bean curd.

Fact #5 : They Tested Four Soup Bases

The Australian team were somewhat aware of the wide variety of bak kut teh soup bases. They tested four varieties :

  • Formulation 1 : Dried hawthorn
  • Formulation 2 : Goji berries, ginseng, bark, and dried mushrooms
  • Formulation 3 : Polygonatum odoratum, ligusticum chuanxiong, codonopsis pilosula, cinnamomum cassia, angelica sinensis, illicium verum, piper nigrum, and Eugenia caryophyllata
  • Formulation 4 : Spices, pepper and salt

It is important to note that instead of preparing bak kut teh like you and I would – with meat, vegetables, bean curd slices, etc., the researchers tested soups that were created only using the ingredients listed above.

In short, they did not actually test bak kut teh… they tested soups made from the ingredients above.

Fact #6 : Soup Concentration Was Unspecified

To prepare the four soups for testing, researchers added a sachet of each soup mix to boiling water (of unspecified quantity) for 5 minutes.

The concentration of each soup base was unspecified. They only listed the dilution factor. As such, it is quite impossible to draw any sort of conclusion from the results.

As any toxicologist will tell you – the dose makes the poison. This is why the concentration of any substance is critical in any study. Even water and oxygen – essential to human life to be sure – is toxic at high doses.

Fact #7 : Soups Were Prepared In 5 Minutes

It is important to point out that the soups the researchers used were prepared in just 5 minutes. Bak kut teh is usually prepared by simmering the meat in the soup for hours.

It would have been a good idea to prepare the soup bases like real bak kut teh soup, because boiling the soup for several hours could potentially break down toxins present in its ingredients.

In fact, it would have been better for the researchers to just buy real bak kut teh, instead of resorting to their soup bases prepared in just 5 minutes.

Fact #8 : They Tested Using HepG2 Liver Cancer Cells

It is also important to note that the researchers tested the soup bases by adding them to HepG2 cell cultures, not normal liver cells.

HepG2 is a hepatoblastoma (a type of liver cancer) cell line that was obtained from a 15 year-old boy suffering from liver cancer in 1975.

Now, there is nothing wrong with that – HepG2 is commonly used to test cytotoxicity of substances. Still, it must still be pointed out that HepG2 is not the same thing as normal liver cells.

In-vitro studies based on these cells should not be used to draw any conclusion, only used to drive further research.

Differences HepG2 Cells Normal Liver Cells
Cell Size 12-19 µm 15 µm
Cell Shape Polygonal Cube
Nuclei Single large nuclei
with 3-7 nucleoli
Two or more nuclei
Mitochondrial Content Low High
Smooth Endoplasmic Reticulum Poorly Developed High
No. of Chromosomes 50-60 46
DNA Content 7.5 pg ~6 pg
Genome Stability Unstable Stable

Fact #9 : Spices, Pepper + Salt Did Worst In Their Tests

What I found most interesting in their results was the fact that the most “toxic” soup was Formulation 4, which consisted of nothing more than spices, pepper and salt.

Formulation 4 showed the most significant toxicity to the HepG2 cell line with approximately 83% cell death before dilution (p < 0.0001) and persistent toxicity even with dilution 1:10 (15% ± 3.7, p = 0.023) and 1:1000 (14% ± 3.8, p = 0.024)

Well, that’s gonna worry fans of Kentucky Fried Chicken, which boasts 11 herbs and spices, including pepper and salt!

Jokes aside, this result suggest that common spices, pepper and salt are more toxic to HepG2 liver cells than the more fanciful bak kut teh preparations!

Fact #10 : They Did Not Test Drug Interactions

I’m not sure how this study touches on drug interaction, since they didn’t test the soup bases with common hepatotoxic drugs like paracetamol to see if there is a synergistic effect.

No matter how you slice and dice this study’s results, they tell us nothing about any possible interaction with other herbs / drugs.

Yet so many media outlets made the startling claim that the study showed that bak kut teh may interact with medication! Nowhere in the study does it say that!

It seems obvious that most of these journalists did not even bother to read the study, and only paraphrased what other people were writing.

 

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Is Lianhua Qingwen More Effective Than Paxlovid?!

Is the Chinese herbal medicine Lianhua Qingwen more effective than the Pfizer Paxlovid antiviral combination?!

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

 

Claim : Lianhua Qingwen Is More Effective Than Paxlovid!

People are sharing a link to a Bloomberg called “Pfizer’s Covid Pill Doesn’t Work For Healthier Patients, Will Focus On Those With higher Risk”, together with this message :

Pfizer scams the world with US$22 billion in sales of Paxlovid to treat Covid.
Now finds that Paxlovid does not work and may cause rebound of disease.
Malaysia has ordered 200,000 doses at a cost of RM500 million –
RM2,500 per dose compared to a few bucks for China’s effective Lian Hwa pills.

 

Truth : Paxlovid Is More Effective Than Lianhua Qingwen!

This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS created by the Chinese 50 Cent Army (wumao, 五毛) as part of their campaign to support Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : Paxlovid Is Combination Of Two Antiviral Drugs

Pfizer PAXLOVID is an antiviral treatment that consists of two protease inhibitors :

  • two 150 mg tablets of Nirmatrelvir (the new protease inhibitor developed by Pfizer)
  • one 100 mg tablet of Ritonavir (an old antiviral approved in 1996)

Protease inhibitors work by binding to proteolytic enzymes used by the SARS-CoV-2 virus to replicate. This prevents the virus from replicating in the infected cells, stopping the infection and preventing transmission.

Drug combinations like this offer a synergistic effect, above and beyond their individual abilities. In this combination, ritonavir helps to slow down the breakdown of nirmatrelvir, allowing it to remain in the body for a longer period at higher concentrations.

Fact #2 : Paxlovid Was Proven To Work Against COVID-19

Unlike Lianhua Qingwen, Paxlovid underwent and passed an actual randomised double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial.

In the EPIC-HR clinical trial, Paxlovid was shown to reduce hospitalisation or death from COVID-19 by 88%, compared to placebo.

That statistically significant result was why the US FDA issued an Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) for Paxlovid on December 22, 2021.

The EUA allows Paxlovid to be used for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adults and children 12 years and older, who are at high risk of developing severe COVID-19.

Read more : Did Cornell Name Ivermectin Most Effective Drug vs. Omicron?

Fact #3 : Paxlovid EPIC-HR Trial Involved High-Risk Patients

I should point out that the EPIC-HR trial involved adults who have a high risk of developing severe COVID-19 :

  • 18 years and older with a risk factor for developing severe COVID-19, or
  • 60 years and older, regardless of chronic medical conditions

All these patients also were not vaccinated against COVID-19, which puts them at higher risk of developing severe COVID-19.

Fact #4 : Paxlovid Not Effective In Normal Risk Patients

After successfully proving that Paxlovid worked for patients who are at high risk of developing severe COVID-19, Pfizer tested it on “standard risk patients”.

Their study showed a 51% relative risk reduction of developing severe COVID-19, which was not statistically significant.

That was why Pfizer halted further enrolment in its Paxlovid trial for “standard risk patients”, which are people who do not have co-morbidities – health conditions that put them at risk of developing severe COVID-19.

This “failure” actually shows the value of running clinical tests, before approving any drug. Unlike Paxlovid though, Lianhua Qingwen did not undergo any clinical trial to prove that it can treat or prevent COVID-19.

Fact #5 : Lianhua Qingwen Not Proven To Work Against COVID-19

Lianhua Qingwen (连花清瘟) has been heavily promoted by the Chinese government and the Chinese 50 Cent Army (wumao, 五毛), leading to massive sales in the global Chinese diaspora.

It then gained oversized importance when both Hong Kong and Shanghai distributed boxes of these capsules to help stave off the surge of COVID-19 in both cities.

Yet, the mass distribution of Lianhua Qingwen has done nothing to stop the spread of COVID-19 in both cities.

That’s because, unlike Paxlovid, there never was any evidence that Lianhua Qingwen can treat or prevent COVID-19.

Its main “call to fame” was a small Chinese study conducted early during the pandemic, which showed that it had only a modest effect on symptom recovery :

  • time to recover from fever : 2 days, instead of 3 days
  • time to recover from fatigue : 3 days, instead of 6 days
  • time to recover from coughing : 7 days, instead of 10 days

There was NO DIFFERENCE in the viral load, or the risk of developing severe COVID-19.

In other words – Lianhua Qingwen only helped to reduce symptoms, and was no different from taking over-the-counter drugs like paracetamol.

Read more : Did US NCBI Confirm Lianhua Qingwen Treats COVID-19?

Fact #6 : Lianhua Qingwen Should Not Be Taken To Prevent COVID-19

Official Chinese media outlets like CGTN and China Daily have falsely claimed that that Lianhua Qingwen was “proven effective for the treatment of COVID-19” and that it was “approved to treat [COVID-19] virus”.

However, Lianhua Qingwen cannot prevent COVID-19, and should not be taken on a long-term basis to prevent it, due to potential side effects.

The medicine could cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and rash.

Fang Bangjiang, doctor from Long Hua Hospital of the Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, said that Lianhua Qingwen has complex ingredients and is mainly suitable for COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms of fever and pneumonia but unsuitable for prevention.

Its ingredients will affect the renal system.

Fact #7 : Chinese Official Admits Lianhua Qingwen Cannot Kill Coronavirus

When Chinese Deputy Consul General in Vancouver, Kong Weiwei, was confronted about these claims, he said that people should be “mature enough” to do their own research and understand that Lianhua Qingwen cannot kill the COVID-19 virus :

They’re not babies. We don’t want to be like a nanny telling every one of them that these [Lianhua Qingwen capsules] cannot kill the virus.

Read more : Lianhua Qingwen Finally Tumbles Over Efficacy Concerns!

Fact #8 : Singapore HSA Warns Against Lianhua Qingwen Claims

The Singapore Health Sciences Authority (HSA) continues to warn the public not to believe the many misleading claims made about Lianhua Qingwen’s ability to treat or prevent COVID-19.

To date, there is no scientific evidence from randomised clinical trials to show that any herbal product, including Lianhua Qingwen products, can be used to prevent or treat COVID-19.

All herbal products formulated for common cold and flu, including CPM, should only be used to manage symptoms such as headache, runny or blocked nose, sore throat and cough.

We strongly advise members of the public not to fall prey to unsubstantiated claims or spread unfounded rumours that herbal products can be used to prevent or treat COVID-19.

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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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Will Scanning RFID Bar Codes Hack Your Phone?!

Will scanning an RFID bar code cause your phone to be hacked?!

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

 

Claim : Scanning RFID Bar Codes Will Hack Your Phone!

This warning about an RFID bar code scam has gone viral on WhatsApp, and social media.

It claims that scammers are sending people RFID stickers, and asking them to scan the bar code.

Allegedly, scanning the RFID bar code will cause your phone to be hacked by these scammers!

They send the RFID to you. When you scan the bar code they hack your hp
It’s a scam

他们将 RFID 发送给您。 当您扫描条形码时,他们会入侵您
这是一个骗局

Mereka menghantar RFID kepada anda. Apabila anda mengimbas kod bar mereka menggodam anda
Ia satu penipuan ☠️👻💩😱😰

 

Truth : Scanning RFID Bar Codes Will NOT Hack Your Phone!

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

Fact #1 : There Is No RFID Bar Code Scanning Scam

First of all – let me just say that there is no such thing as an RFID bar code scanning scam. No one can hack your phone just because you scan an RFID bar code.

The bar code is nothing more than a series of numbers, which you can readily see printed under the bar code. These numbers cannot possibly hack your phone / smartphone.

Fact #2 : RFID Bar Code Is Used To Register Sticker

The bar code visible in the clear window of the TNG RFID self-fitment kit is merely the serial number for the RFID sticker (also known as an RFID tag).

This serial number is used to register the RFID sticker, by scanning scan the bar code using the TNG eWallet mobile app.

All it does is link the RFID sticker to your TNG eWallet account, so that all toll charges are automatically deducted from that account.

Read more : TNG RFID Self-Fitment Guide : How To Do It Yourself

Fact #3 : There Are Easier + Cheaper Ways To Hack Your Phone

Truth be told – there are far easier and cheaper ways to hack your phone, than send you a free RFID sticker and ask you to scan the bar code.

These scammers will have to put in considerable expense and technical expertise into hacking the TNG eWallet app, and inserting their malware that the fake RFID number would trigger.

But why bother? If they can hack the TNG eWallet, they don’t even need to send you any fake RFID bar code to scan!

Making fake RFID stickers (tags) that look like genuine TNG RFID self-fitment kits costs money. Sending these fake kits also put them at risk, because deliveries can be traced.

There are many other ways to compromise your smartphone. There is simply no reason why scammers to waste time and money on such a convoluted scheme.

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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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Does Malaysia Have 2nd Most Debt In Asia, After Sri Lanka?!

Did the IMF warn Malaysia about having the second most national debt in Asia, after Sri Lanka?!

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

 

Claim : Malaysia Has 2nd Most Debt In Asia, After Sri Lanka!

This post about IMF warning Malaysia about having the second most national debt in Asia, after Sri Lanka, has gone viral.

People are sharing it as a warning of how Malaysia could very soon descent into the economic chaos and misery affecting Sri Lanka.

International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned that Malaysia is in a huge economic dilemma.

The second largest debt country in Asia after Sri Lanka is Malaysia.

Good Luck to Malaysian… [sic]

马民有福了😱😭

 

Truth : Malaysia Does Not Have 2nd Most Debt In Asia, After Sri Lanka!

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

Fact #1 : IMF Did Not Say Malaysia Is In Economic Trouble

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) did not warn that Malaysia is in huge economic trouble.

In April 2022, it warned that Asian nations, like the rest of the world, are at risk of stagflation from being battered by the war in Ukraine and the slowdown in China from COVID-19.

The region faces a stagflationary outlook, with growth being lower than previously expected, and inflation being higher.

Inflation is now expected to rise 3.2% this year, a full point higher than expected in January.

Despite the downgrade, Asia remains the world’s most dynamic region, and an important source of global growth.
– Anne-Marie Gulde-Wolf, acting director of IMF Asia and Pacific

Fact #2 : Malaysia Does Not Have Second Most Debt In Asia

The claim that Malaysia has the second highest national debt in Asia is also false.

On both the GDP percentage and per capita basis, Singapore has the second highest national debt in Asia, behind Japan. Even Sri Lanka has less debt, per capita or as a percentage of its GDP, than Singapore or Japan.

Malaysia has far less national debt than Sri Lanka as a percentage of its GDP, but twice the debt on a per capita basis.

Here is a comparison I created of countries with the highest national debt in Asia :

Country Year National Debt Debt
(% of GDP)
Debt Per Capita
Japan 2020 $13,054 billion 259% $103,386
Singapore 2021 $536 billion 132.8% $98,410
Sri Lanka 2020 $81.7 billion 101.2% $3,726
Mongolia 2021 $14.3 billion 94.7% $4,294
India 2020 $2,402 billion 90.1% $1,741
China 2020 $10,115 billion 68.1% $7,164
Malaysia 2021 $239 billion 63.4% $8,644
Philippines 2021 $226 billion 57.5% $2,055

Fact #3 : IMF Optimistic Malaysia Will Expand By 5.75% In 2022

In May 2022, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) actually announced that it is optimistic that Malaysia’s economy will expand by 5.75% in 2022, driven by pent-up domestic demand and continued strong external demand.

It also said that Malaysia’s high vaccination rates, and limited movement restrictions are supporting economic expansion.

Fact #4 : High Debt Is Not Necessarily Bad

While a high national debt is not ideal, it is not necessarily a bad thing either. It really depends on how much interest needs to be paid on the debt, and what the government is using it for.

Unlike individuals who will die eventually, the government of a country can last for hundreds of years. So governments do not have to pay back all of their debts within a certain amount of time.

As long as the government can keep paying interest on its debt, it can continue to borrow money to service deficits in its budget, or to invest in projects that grow the economy.

Fact #5 : How Governments Use Money Matters More

Just like how you can use borrowed money to invest in assets or splurge on liabilities, how the government uses the borrowed money matters more than how much it borrows.

If the government uses borrowed money to invest, that will spur growth that allows it to easily repay its debts while driving down the interest it pays.

But if the borrowed money is lost through corruption or wasteful projects, the government will find it harder to pay interest on the debt and may even default on payments.

Fact #6 : High Government Spending During Pandemic Is Expected

Practically every government in the world was forced to spend significantly more during the pandemic. Most run into large deficits during the pandemic because :

  • lockdowns reduce economic activity, reducing taxes
  • governments need to spend more on healthcare to combat COVID-19
  • governments cut taxes to support citizens and businesses
  • governments provide monetary support for citizens and businesses

This isn’t unique to Malaysia, but applies across the world. That’s why Malaysia’s national debt jumped significantly after January 2020.

Fact #7 : Malaysia Has Sufficient Foreign Reserves

Malaysia’s national debt increased from $228.7 billion in 2020, to $239 billion (RM 979.8 billion) in 2021 – an increase of about 4.5% year-on-year.

While this increase pushes Malaysia close to a national debt of 65% of its GDP, it is still much lower than many other countries.

More importantly, Bank Negara Malaysia reported international reserves of $116.9 billion as of 31 December 2021, which is enough to finance 7.7 months of retained imports, and is 20% higher than the total short-term external debt.

In other words, Malaysia is not anywhere close to collapsing economically, like what happened in Sri Lanka.

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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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Palm Cooking Oil Price In Malaysia Shoots Up By 44%!

Palm cooking oil in Malaysia shot up by 44% on the first day price control was lifted! Here is what you need to know…

 

No More Price Control For Palm Cooking Oil!

On 21 June 2022, the Malaysian government announced that price control for palm cooking oil would be removed starting 1 July 2022.

Since 1 August 2021, palm cooking oil was subsidised with the price fixed at :

  • 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

While Malaysians were hoping that the government would U-turn on the price control of palm cooking oil like it did for chicken, that didn’t happen.

Read more : Malaysia Removes Price Control, Subsidy For Chicken, Eggs, Cooking Oil!
Read more : 
Malaysia Cancels Chicken Price Float, Maintains Water + Power Rates!

 

Palm Cooking Oil Price In Malaysia Shoots Up By 44%!

On 1 July 2022, Malaysians finally realised how much palm oil prices have gone up since the price control and subsidy scheme was put in place last year.

Depending on the brand and bottle size, palm cooking oil prices have shot up between 38% and 44%.

Brand Bottle Size Old Price New Price Difference
Alif 1 kg RM 6.70 RM 9.50 +42%
Buruh 1 kg RM 6.70 RM 9.45 +41%
Saji 1 kg RM 6.70 RM 9.50 +42%
Seri Murni 1 kg RM 6.70 RM 9.25 +38%
Vesawit 1 kg RM 6.70 RM 9.40 +40%
Alif 2 kg RM 12.70 RM 18.05 +42%
Buruh 2 kg RM 12.70 RM 18.15 +43%
Saji 2 kg RM 12.70 RM 17.90 +41%
Seri Murni 2 kg RM 12.70 RM 18.10 +43%
Vesawit 2 kg RM 12.70 RM 18.25 +44%
Buruh 3 kg RM 18.70 RM 26.95 +44%
Vesawit 3 kg RM 18.70 RM 26.65 +43%
Alif 5 kg RM 29.70 RM 42.50 +43%
Buruh 5 kg RM 29.70 RM 42.60 +43%
Saji 5 kg RM 29.70 RM 42.20 +42%
Seri Murni 5 kg RM 29.70 RM 42.70 +44%
Vesawit 5 kg RM 29.70 RM 42.25 +42%

However, the government is maintaining the subsidy for cooking oil sold in 1 kg polybag packages, which will remain priced at RM 2.50 per packet.

The abolishment of the palm cooking oil subsidy would save the government about RM 20 million a month.

On social media, Malaysians are generally resigned to the fact that they will have to put up with increased food prices going forward. Some have suggested buying an air fryer, or boiling / steaming food, to cut down on the use of oil.

Looking at the bright side of things – perhaps, this will spur Malaysians to adopt a healthier diet with less fried foods!

 

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CIMB Online Services Up Again, After Going Down For Hours!

CIMB online and mobile banking services are finally up after failing for most of the day! Here is what you need to know!

 

CIMB Online + Mobile Services Down Most Of The Day!

At around 10 AM on Friday, July 1, 2022, CIMB started experiencing issues with their online and mobile banking services.

Some users could not load the CIMB Clicks website completely, while many users complained that they could log in, but were unable to complete any online transactions, like :

  • Interbank GIRO (IBG)
  • Instant transfers
  • DuitNow transfers

Instead, they received error messages like :

Sorry, service is temporarily unavailable. We apologise for the inconvenience caused. [CLK00495]

We’ve encountered an unexpected error. Please try again later. [CLK00507]

[/su_note]

Please enter valid Email or Mobile Number. [CLK00494]

 

CIMB Online Services Up Again, After Going Down For Hours!

This system-wide issue is not only affecting their online banking portals – CIMB Clicks and CIMB BizChannel, but also their Clicks mobile app.

At 4:37 PM, CIMB announced that Interbank GIRO (IBG) transfers were back online, but not DuitNow transfers.

Please be informed that DuitNow To Account (Instant Transfer) is unavailable at the moment. As an alternative, you may perform transaction by using Normal Transfer (IBG). Thank you.

At 5:22 PM, CIMB announced that they resolved their DuitNow services, although many of their BizChannel customers complained that they are still not able to view their statements, or make online transfers.

Their social media team is asking BizChannel users still experiencing problems to contact the BizChannel team at 1300 888 828 or +603 2297 3000 for further assistance.

CIMB ATM and counter services were not affected by this issue, so you can still head over to a nearby CIMB ATM if you need to withdraw money.

 

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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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Maxis Network Down : Full Restoration Soon!

The Maxis mobile network has been down for several hours in the Klang Valley, but they say that the network will be fully restored soon!

Here is what you need to know…

 

Maxis Network Down : No Calls, No Internet

On Friday, June 30, 2022, Maxis experienced a significant network failure in the Klang Valley, with many people unable to make calls, or connect to the Internet using mobile data.

Maxis issued a press statement this morning, stating that they are working on restoring their network.

We are aware that our customers have been experiencing service disruptions. Rest assured that our team is working hard to identify and resolve the matter as soon as possible. We would like to thank our customers for their understanding and patience, and apologise for the inconvenience during this time.

There was a complete loss of signal, with some people being reverted to EDGE, instead of 4G LTE.

People from various areas of Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, like Damansara Perdana, Ara Damansara, Puchong, Cheras, Ampang, Mutiara Damansara and Bandar Utama reported this problem.

 

Maxis Network Down : Full Restoration Soon!

At about 1:45 PM, Maxis announced that their network is being restored gradually, and they expect full restoration soon.

We would like to update our customers who were experiencing network disruptions earlier, that services are being restored gradually, and expect full restoration soon. We would like to once again thank our customers for their understanding and patience.

Just in case your connectivity isn’t restored automatically, you can try reset your phone’s connectivity by turning the Airplane mode on, and then off.

This will disconnect your phone from the Maxis network and reset the connection, hopefully restoring your access to the network.

You may have to do this 2-3 times. When I did it the first time, they switched me to the EDGE network and while I could make calls – they didn’t seem to be connecting.

I could only connect to the 4G LTE network after reconnecting for the second time. So keep trying, and you should get connected again.

Let’s see if Maxis issues its affected users some kind of compensation for this network failure… 😉

 

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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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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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Dell Introduces 14-inch Portable Monitor + S Series Displays!

Dell just introduced a slew of new S Series monitors, as well as its first 14-inch Portable Monitor!

 

Dell Introduces 14-inch Portable Monitor + S Series Displays!

Thanks to the pandemic, the workplace has changed globally, with many companies now adopting a hybrid workplace policy.

Dell just introduced a slew of new S Series monitors, as well as its first 14-inch Portable Monitor, to address the need for employees to work between home and the office.

Dell 14 Portable Monitor (C1422H)

Built to be the ultimate laptop companion, the C1422H is Dell’s first ever 14-inch portable monitor, designed to deliver dual-screen productivity to work, present and collaborate anywhere.

Professionals working in the office, at home or on the go  will appreciate the Dell Portable Monitor’s lightweight design. It weighs just over half a kilogram, and is less than a quarter-inch thick at its slimmest, making it extremely easy to travel with.

With an IPS panel that offers a Full HD display resolution, with an 16:9 aspect ratio, the Dell C1422H Portable Monitor offers easy plug and play with USB-C connectivity. Simply press the quick access buttons to adjust brightness (up to 300 nits) and the ComfortView feature that reduces harmful blue light emissions.

This sleek yet practical portable monitor complements all workstyles and productivity demands with a small continuous tilt stand that bends from 10 to 90 degrees. It also features Energy Star and EPEAT GOLD certification.

Dell 24 and 27 Video Conferencing Monitor (S2422HZ and S2722DZ)

Hanging out virtually with friends, family and co-workers will be easier with the new 27-inch QHD / 23.8-inch FHD monitors that are specifically designed for video calls.

For an easy out-of-box experience, these monitors come with a built-in 5 MP privacy pop-up camera, noise-cancelling microphones and dual 5 watt speakers. The pop-up camera stays hidden until you’re ready for video chatting, for privacy.

These video conferencing monitors feature Dell’s TÜV-certified ComfortView Plus – an always-on low blue light reduction technology that optimises eye comfort while retaining colour accuracy.  Other features include USB-C connectivity, AMD FreeSync technology and a 75 Hz refresh rate for smoother graphics.

Dell 27 4K UHD USB-C Monitor (S2722QC) and Dell 27 USB-C Monitor (S2722DC)

These two USB-C monitors offer the convenience of a single cable solution with USB Type Connectivity, to deliver video, audio, and data; while charging your laptop with up to 65 watts of power.

These monitors are great for those who want a clutter-free workspace, with a single-cable monitor to complement their laptops.

 

Dell 14-inch Portable Monitor + S Series Displays : Price + Availability!

These monitors are available with immediate effect from Dell online and authorised stores, at these starting price points :

  • Dell 14 Portable Monitor (C1422H) : RM 1,499 (about US$341 / £277 / A$491 / S$471)
  • Dell 24 Video Conferencing Monitor (C2423H) : RM 1,439 (about US$327 / £266 / A$471 / S$452)

Online purchase options in Malaysia :

Online purchase options in Singapore :

  • Dell 14 Portable Monitor (C1422H) : S$498 | S$515
  • Dell 24 Video Conferencing Monitor (C2423H) : S$479 | S$479
  • Dell 24 Video Conferencing Monitor (S2422HZ) : S$428 | S$499
  • Dell 27 Video Conferencing Monitor (S2722DZ) : S$589 | S$599 | S$599
  • Dell 27 4K UHD USB-C Monitor (S2722QC) : S$595 | S$599 | S$629
  • Dell 27 USB-C Monitor (S2722DC) : S$469 | S$479

Online purchase options in United States :

  • Dell 14 Portable Monitor (C1422H) : $319.97
  • Dell 24 Video Conferencing Monitor (S2422HZ) : $385.98
  • Dell 27 Video Conferencing Monitor (S2722DZ) : $299.99
  • Dell 27 4K UHD USB-C Monitor (S2722QC) : $399.99

Online purchase options in United Kingdom :

  • Dell 24 Video Conferencing Monitor (S2422HZ) : £250
  • Dell 27 USB-C Monitor (S2722DC) : £299.99

Online purchase options in Australia :

  • Dell 27 Video Conferencing Monitor (S2722DZ) : A$915

 

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

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

 

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Did Sukma Athlete Stephanie Sim Die From Vaccine Stroke?!

Did 19 year-old Sukma athlete Stephanie Sim die from a stroke caused by the COVID-19 vaccine?!

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

 

Claim : Stephanie Sim Died From Stroke Caused By COVID-19 Vaccine!

People are starting to claim that 19 year-old Sukma athlete Stephanie Sim Shu Ming died from a stroke caused by the COVID-19 vaccine.

Many are also sharing her news in anti-vaccination groups and websites, as “another example” of Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS) from the vaccines.

BAAM 💥endnu en, må af ‘ukendte årsager’ og helt ‘pludseligt’ forlade os blot 19 år gammel 😌

BAAM 💥another one, must for ‘unknown reasons’ and completely ‘suddenly’ leave us just 19 years old 😌

The Sarawak shooting community is saddened by the loss of Sukma shooter Stephanie Sim Shu Ming who passed away on Tuesday evening. Stephanie, 19, suffered #SuddenAdultDeathSyndrome #SuddenDeath

Rip… sudden deaths among young people r becoming common since mid of last year

Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS) ? #Vaccines

Read more : Did Ravens Linebacker Jaylon Ferguson Die From Vaccine?!

 

No Evidence Stephanie Sim Died From Stroke Caused By COVID Vaccine!

This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS created and propagated by anti-vaccination activists, and here are the reasons why… and the current facts that we know so far.

Fact #1 : Stephanie Sim Died From A Stroke

19 year-old Stephanie Sim Shu Ming suffered a stroke on Thursday, June 16, 2022, and went into a coma.

She was hospitalised at the Sarawak General Hospital, where she passed away on Sunday, June 19, 2022. She was buried at the Nirvana Memorial Park in Bau on Friday, June 24, 2022.

Sarawak State Youth, Sports and Entrepreneurship Minister Abdul Karim Hamzah confirmed that Stephanie’s cause of death was a stroke.

Stephanie Sim did not die from Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS), also known as Sudden Adult Death Syndrome.

Fact #2 : There Are Thousands Of SADS Deaths Every Year

To be clear, Stephanie Sim died from a stroke, not Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS).

But I would like to point out that SADS was first documented in 1977, and occurs at a rate of 0.12 to 0.21 per 100,000 people every single year.

In other words, approximately 9,000 to 16,000 people die from SADS every single year, before the COVID-19 vaccines were invented.

Despite what anti-vaccination activists may tell you – SADS is not a new vaccine-related syndrome.

Fact #3 : Stephanie Was Healthy + Well Earlier

There is no evidence that Stephanie was suffering from any vaccine adverse effects like myocarditis or VITT.

There would have been very noticeable symptoms like breathing difficulties, chest pain, bleeding tendencies, etc. and she wouldn’t be able to train properly.

Yet she trained with the Sarawak Sukma shooting squad just days ago – on Saturday, June 11, 2022.

Read more : Did Hundreds Of Athletes Die Of COVID-19 Vaccine Effects?!

Fact #4 : Her Vaccination Status Is Unknown

It is unknown if Stephanie Sim was vaccinated against COVID-19. She did not publicly mention her vaccination status, and neither did her family.

Despite the high adult vaccination rate of some 84%, COVID-19 vaccination is not mandatory in Malaysia. A significant number of people in Malaysia remain unvaccinated.

While it is very likely she was vaccinated, we simply do not know if she received the COVID-19 vaccine.

Fact #5 : Vaccine Side Effects Appear Within Hours / Days

If Stephanie Sim was vaccinated against COVID-19, she would have received her vaccine doses last year – at least half a year ago.

She cannot possibly be suffering from a vaccine side effect, because they appear within hours or days, not months later.

Mild side effects like injection site pain, fever, muscle ache, headache, lethargy develop within minutes to hours of the vaccination.

Anaphylaxis develops within minutes, while other severe adverse reactions like myocarditis and VITT develop within days.

Fact #6 : Deaths / Injuries From COVID-19 Vaccines Can Be Proven

Despite anti-vaccination activists chalking up sudden, unknown deaths to the vaccine, death or injury from rare vaccine adverse effects like anaphylaxis, myocarditis and VITT can be proven.

Anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction) from Pfizer or Moderna mRNA vaccines happens within minutes. That’s why people are asked to wait for 15-30 minutes after getting the vaccine. People who get an anaphylactic shock will require an epinephrine shot to quickly relieve it.

Vaccine-induced myocarditis has distinct histopathology findings that are different from typical myocarditis, so a pathologist will be able to determine if the myocarditis was caused by the vaccines or otherwise.

Vaccine-induced Thrombotic Thrombocytopenia (VITT) is very specific to the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. It is also easily differentiated by its unique combination of blood clots in large veins of the brains, abdomen and lungs, together with low platelet counts leading to bleeding tendencies.

Read more : Did Thai Student Die From Mixing Of COVID-19 Vaccines?!

Fact #7 : COVID-19 Infections Cause Myocarditis + Blood Clots Too!

What anti-vaccination activists won’t tell you is that COVID-19 infections also cause myocarditis and blood clots in the cerebral vein too.

They also won’t tell you that the risk of developing cerebral vein blood clots is 170X higher with a COVID-19 infection, than it is with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Cerebral Vein
Thrombosis Risk
Per Million
People
Difference
Patient with COVID-19 207 +8,525%
AstraZeneca Vaccine 3.6 +50%
Normal Population 2.4 Baseline

They also won’t tell you that the risk of developing myocarditis is hundreds of times higher with a COVID-19 infection, than with three doses of any COVID-19 vaccine!

Myocarditis
Risk
Per Million
People
vs
Sinovac
vs
AstraZeneca
vs
Pfizer
COVID-19 Infection 450 +300x +214x +167x
3x Pfizer 2.7 +1.8x +1.3x Baseline
3x AstraZeneca 2.1 +1.4x Baseline -0.2x
3x Sinovac 1.5 Baseline -0.3x -0.4x

Fact #8 : COVID-19 Vaccines Proven Safe + Effective

COVID-19 vaccines underwent massive clinical trials, and were only approved after they were proven to be safe and effective.

In addition, they were constantly monitored after they received their approvals, which picked up rare side effects after they were administered to billions of people.

Anti-vaccination activists have often claimed that those who received the vaccine would die. Yet, the opposite was true – the vaccines are not only safe, they are effective in protecting people from getting hospitalised or dying from COVID-19.

Fact #9 : Claims Of Celebrities Dying From COVID-19 Vaccine Proven False

This is yet another example of anti-vaccination activists abusing celebrity deaths / injuries to create and propagate FAKE NEWS about the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines.

So far, claims of celebrity deaths / injuries due to the COVID-19 vaccine have been proven false at every instance.

Will these anti-vaccination activists apologise for lying to you? Nope! They will just move on to the next celebrity death…

Please help us FIGHT FAKE NEWS by sharing this fact check article out, and please SUPPORT our work!

Don’t forget to protect yourself, and your family, by vaccinating against COVID-19!

 

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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 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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Fact Check : Foods You Should Never Eat With Durian?!

Are there foods that you should never eat with durian, because they will make you sick… or even worse, kill you?!

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

 

Claim : These Are Foods You Should Never Eat With Durian!

Durian has long been popular in South East Asia, and yet, there are so many myths and misinformation about this King of Fruits.

Many of these myths and misinformation have been circulating on social media, and spread on websites.

Even TikTok influencers, like a certain Malaysian Dato, are trying to ride on the durian gravy train to Internet stardom.

Here is a list of foods these “Internet gurus / experts” claim you should never eat with durian, because they will make you sick… or worse, kill you!

  • Coca-Cola
  • Coffee
  • Milk
  • White wine / alcohol
  • Crabs / seafood
  • Beef / mutton
  • Brinjal / Eggplant / Aubergine
  • Mangosteen / Lychee

I will add more, as and when I find new foods that people believe are dangerous to eat with durian.

 

Truth : You Can Eat These Foods With Durian!

The truth is – these claims are made up by self-professed Internet gurus / experts who have absolutely NO IDEA what the heck they are talking about, and here are the reasons why…

Note : Some of these claims are based on Chinese traditional medicine “beliefs”. I can only tell you what has been scientifically proven or known.

Fact #1 : You Can Drink Coca-Cola While Eating Durian

There is no scientific basis for the claim that Coca-Cola or other soft drinks are dangerous to drink while eating durian.

Coca-Cola and other soft drinks are nothing more than flavoured carbonated water with a lot of sugar in them. They do not interact with durian to produce anything toxic.

However, it is not advisable to imbibe in durian and soft drinks often, as they are both very high in calories.

Fact #2 : You Can Drink Coffee While Eating Durian

There is no scientific basis for the claim that drinking coffee while eating durian can increase your blood pressure and cause a heart attack!

In fact, there are many companies selling durian coffee – basically coffee with durian extracts. Such drinks would have caused many deaths if this claim was true.

It is possible that this false claim originated from a 2018 case in Penang, Malaysia; where two Nepali men were hospitalised after drinking durian coffee that had been tampered with an unknown drug.

The coffee mixture also contains a foreign green substance which is not available in the original packaging. There is a marked difference in weightage, contents and packaging.

The instant durian coffee mixture is laced with a kind of drug, which has yet to be identified, based on the symptoms shown by the two men.

Besides, heart attacks are caused by blockage of your heart’s arteries, by blood clots and arteriosclerosis that develop over years. The mixing of durian and coffee cannot produce instant arteriosclerosis or blood clots.

Read more : Can Coffee Compounds Cure / Prevent COVID-19?

Fact #3 : You Can Drink Milk While Eating Durian

The claim that drinking milk after eating durian is lethal, because it will increase your blood pressure and cause a heart attack, is nonsense.

It is also not logical. Heart attacks are caused by blockage of your heart’s arteries, by blood clots and arteriosclerosis that develop over years. The mixing of milk and durian cannot produce instant arteriosclerosis or blood clots.

Fact #4 : You Can Drink Some Alcohol While Eating Durian

It is claimed that drinking alcohol while eating durian can cause severe indigestion, heartburn and even death. Allegedly, the high sulphur content in durian helps to break down the alcohol in your body… killing you?

As you can tell, even the premise behind this claim is ridiculous – how does the higher metabolism of alcohol injure or kill you? If the high sulphur content in durian increases metabolism of alcohol, it would allow you to better sustain higher levels of drinking!

It is really the other way around – durian have disulphide (disulfide) compounds that may have a disulfiram effect.

Popularly known as Antabuse, disulfiram is a drug that prevents our body from properly metabolising alcohol, causing unpleasant side effects like headache, nausea, vomiting, sweating, chest pain, hyperventilation, vertigo, etc. – what you would experience with an alcohol hangover.

A single 2009 laboratory study showed that the raw durian fruit has disulphide compounds that inhibit up to 70% of the acetaldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) enzyme, potentially producing the disulfiram effect. However, this  has not yet been confirmed in actual human or animal studies.

There is, therefore, no actual scientific basis for the claim that drinking alcohol while eating durian is dangerous. Even if the disulphide compounds in durian do produce a disulfiram effect, it will only cause hangover-like effects that are unpleasant but won’t kill you.

However, out of an abundance of caution, it would be a good idea to limit your alcohol intake while eating durian, while monitoring for the disulfiram effect. If you do experience it while eating durian, you should stop consuming alcohol.

Read more : Timah Whiskey Brand Sold + Moving To China?

Original credit : Year of the Durian

Fact #5 : You Can Eat Crabs / Seafood While Eating Durian

This myth is based on TCM belief that crabs / seafood are “cooling” while durian is “warming” or “heaty”.

Apparently, they believe that it is not good for “cooling” and “warming” foods to mix in your stomach, because it “confuses” the digestive system and causes the stomach to be “upset”.

This belief is not backed by any scientific evidence. It isn’t even consistent – TCM practitioners also advise against mixing alcohol and durian because they are both “warming” foods.

There is no reason or evidence that eating crabs or any kind of seafood with durian, or after eating durian, is bad or dangerous in any way.

Fact #6 : You Can Eat Beef / Mutton While Eating Durian

This myth is based on TCM belief that beef and mutton are “warming” or “heaty” foods. Apparently, they believe that eating two “warming” foods together increases the “heatiness” of your body, and cause inflammation.

There is simply no scientific evidence that any of that mumbo-jumbo is true, never mind any actual evidence eating beef or mutton with durian causes any harm.

These false claims are not even consistent. In Fact #5, I shared how TCM believes the opposite is also true – that mixing “cooling” and “warming” foods is bad.

Read more : Can You Eat Durian Before / After COVID-19 Vaccination?

Angus beef burger with D24 durian by Lombardo’s

Fact #7 : You Can Eat Brinjal / Eggplant With Durian

This myth is based on TCM belief that brinjal / eggplant and durian are both “warming” foods, and that eating them together will make you sick by increasing the “heatiness” and inflammation of your body.

Again, this is utter nonsense that has no scientific evidence or basis whatsoever.

Fact #8 : You Can Eat Mangosteen / Lychee With Durian

Now, this is a real test in logic. TCM practitioners say that mangosteen and lychee should not be consumed with durian because… get this – they are “cooling” and “warming” foods respectively!

Mangosteen + durian is apparently bad because mixing “cooling” and “warming” foods confuses the digestive system, leading to an upset stomach.

Lychee + durian is apparently bad because mixing two “warming” foods increases your body’s “heatiness” and causes inflammation.

Twisted yourself into a pretzel trying to figure this nonsense out? Don’t bother.

There is simply no scientific evidence or basis whatsoever that it is dangerous or bad to eat mangosteen or lychee with durian.

Please help us FIGHT FAKE NEWS by sharing this fact check article out, and please SUPPORT our work!

Warning : Please avoid creating TikTok videos after eating durian, because it apparently makes you Tok Kok (talk cock)!

 

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

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

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

 

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Are MySejahtera 68808 SMS Messages A Scam?!

Are MySejahtera messages sent through the 68808 SMS service really a scam?!

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

 

Claim : MySejahtera 68808 SMS Messages Are A Scam!

People are sharing this warning on social media – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, as well as in WhatsApp and Telegram groups :

MySejahtera 通过 68808 发送短信要求用户 重置资料,请不要点击链接,这是钓鱼陷阱 骗局。
请转发广传出去给大家警惕,谢谢。

MySejahtera sending sms through 68808 to ask users to reset, pls do not click link. It’s a scam.

 

MySejahtera 68808 SMS Messages Not Necessarily A Scam!

Many Malaysians are rightfully wary about clicking on links sent by SMS or WhatsApp.

There have been many scams involving fake SMS or WhatsApp messages, which we covered here in Tech ARP :

However, Malaysians are also too gullible, accepting all warnings on WhatsApp as genuine, without first verifying if they are even true.

Here are the reasons why the MySejahtera reset messages delivered by the 68808 SMS service are not necessarily a scam!

Fact #1 : 68808 Is Used By MySejahtera

Despite what people may tell you – 68808 is an official SMS service number used by MySejahtera.

In fact, MySejahtera uses three SMS service numbers to send you notifications (like your vaccination appointments), as well as your password renewal link :

68808
68088
63001

Fact #2 : 68808 Messages Are Generally Legitimate

Despite what is shared on social media, messages sent through 68808 are genuine. What you need to be wary of are SMS messages sent via other numbers.

Take a look at this example of fake news shared on social media, and some websites. It was touted as an example of fake MySejahtera messages sent by 68808.

The truth is “original” message was sent through 63839, which is not a legitimate MySejahtera SMS service. The “fake” message was sent through 68808, which is a legitimate MySejahtera SMS service.

In this misleading example, you can also see a prior SMS message on vehicle servicing in the 63839 channel. Official MySejahtera SMS channels (68808, 68088 and 63001) will only show messages from MySejahtera, not other services.

Note : The links in both messages appear to be genuine, linking to https://mysejahtera.malaysia.gov.my/.

Fact #3 : MySejahtera Sends Reset Links Via SMS

Despite what social media “experts” may tell you – MySejahtera will send password reset links through SMS, as a verification method.

If you are trying to reset your MySejahtera password (because you forgot it), you will be sent an SMS message with a link to https://mysejahtera.malaysia.gov.my/, as the example above shows.

Fact #4 : SMS Messages Can Be Spoofed

That said, SMS messages can be spoofed to appear to come from the three legitimate MySejahtera channels – 68808, 68088 and 63001.

So you should avoid clicking on MySejahtera password reset links, even from legitimate channels, unless you have specifically asked to reset the MySejahtera password.

Fact #5 : MySejahtera Team Clarified This In April

The MySejahtera team actually refuted these false claims in April 2022. Unfortunately, people still continue to share this fake news.

So please help us fight fake news – share this fact check with your family and friends!

 

How To Avoid MySejahtera (Or Other) SMS Scam!

So here is what I recommend when it comes to SMS messages, whether they were sent by MySejahtera, banks, etc. :

  1. Always check to make sure they come from legitimate SMS channels. For MySejahtera, that’s 68808, 68088 and 63001.
  2. If you are not sure about an SMS message from the authorities / banks / telcos, please do not hesitate to call them to verify the authenticity of that message.
  3. Never click on a link to log into a website (like your bank). Always use your banking app, or log in manually using a Internet browser on your computer or phone.
  4. Only click on a link in specific circumstances that do not require a login – for example : to verify your request to reset your MySejahtera password.
  5. Do NOT click on any link to confirm that you are resetting a password, or confirm your new SIM card, unless you just requested to performed those actions.
  6. Before you click on a link, always check the link goes to the official website (like https://mysejahtera.malaysia.gov.my/). Never click on a link that goes to suspicious websites.

I hope this article helps you differentiate between fake claims circulating on social media and WhatsApp groups, and proper cybersecurity measures we should take to prevent being scammed of our hard-earned money!

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

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

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

 

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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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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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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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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 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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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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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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