January 21, 2021 @ 9:00am
KUALA LUMPUR: Private hospitals are urging the government to compel insurance companies to revise their policies and cover the treatment cost of Covid-19 patients.
Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia (APHM) president Datuk Dr Kuljit Singh said this was the most decent solution in light of the state of emergency.
"Rejecting patients for us means coughing up fines up to RM5 million or jail time.
"While we are happy to help the government, some of us will take in patients at the risk of going belly-up.
"But the same is not expected of insurance companies."
"The government has to make similar demands (with the insurance companies) so that we can treat them without burdening taxpayers," Dr Kuljit told the New Straits Times.
He was referring to new laws under the state of emergency which allow the government to direct private hospitals to take in Covid-19 patients and give public healthcare facilities some breathing space.
Earlier, Dr Kuljit appealed to the government to consider the plight of insurance policyholders who could not go to hospitals that were full and had no option but to come to private facilities and pay out of their own pocket.
Januari 20, 2021 12:52 MYT
KUALA LUMPUR: Kerajaan diminta campur tangan untuk mengawal selia kos ujian swab COVID-19 yang dilihat masih berada pada kadar yang tinggi.
Pakar Kesihatan Awam, Fakulti Perubatan dan Sains Kesihatan, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Prof Madya Dr Malina Osman berkata, satu mekanisme penetapan harga perlu dibuat lantaran ujian tersebut dilihat sebagai satu keperluan pada ketika ini.
"Saya bagi contoh, macam kos saringan daripada tahun lepas hingga sekarang, jika kita bandingkan dalam tempoh 10 bulan, tidak banyak berkurangan dalam tempoh tersebut.
"Masih lagi dalam julat tiga digit iaitu antara RM100 ke RM300.
"Dalam keadaan sekarang ini, apabila jangkitan sudah meningkat dalam komuniti, wajar kos tersebut dikurangkan dan dimanfaatkan oleh lebih ramai individu," katanya ketika ditemu bual Astro AWANI hari ini.
Jelasnya, sekiranya kos saringan dapat dikurangkan, banyak manfaat akan diperoleh termasuk mengurangkan beban proses pengesanan kontak yang perlu dilakukan pihak Kementerian Kesihatan (KKM).
"Apabila murah, di kalangan keluarga yang dekat ataupun kontak rapat, mereka dapat tampil ke hadapan untuk membuat saringan secara sendiri dan seterusnya mengambil tindakan lebih awal.
"Ia jauh lebih baik daripada menunggu barisan hadapan untuk hadir atau memberi cadangan-cadangan dan arahan yang berkenaan.
January 19, 2021 1:45 PM
PUTRAJAYA: The calculation for late delivery payment to house buyers begins from the date the booking fee is paid, and not when the sale and purchase agreement (SPA) is signed, the Federal Court ruled today.
Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat said the Housing Development (Control & Licensing) 1966 and its subsidiary laws were social legislation and that was a settled law.
In a dispute brought before the court, the developers contended that the scheduled contracts must be read literally and in accordance with the intention of parties.
“It is our view that the submission is untenable. When it comes to interpreting social legislation, the courts must give effect to the intention of Parliament and not the intention of parties,” Tengku Maimun said.
“Otherwise, the attempt by the legislature to level the playing field by mitigating the inequality of bargaining power would be rendered nugatory and illusory,” she said in the judgment to allow seven appeals by purchasers.
The purchasers, from Melaka and Kuala Lumpur, had hauled the developers – PJD Regency Sdn Bhd, GJH Avenue Sdn Bhd and Sri Damansara Sdn Bhd – before the housing tribunal over the payment of the liquidated ascertained damages.
January 25, 2021 @ 4:37pm
SURGING Covid-19 cases worldwide has recorded up to 2 million fatalities to date (that is about 10 per cent of the total death during WW1), witnessed an overwhelming demand for medical attention in hospitals, necessitating medical institutions to have sufficient supplies of personal protection equipment (PPE).
The demand for polymer-based PPE is also observed among enforcement personnel and civilians. PPE such as gloves, face masks, face shields, and coveralls are not just used in the medical sector but also heavily used as a part of household products and among service industries including cashiers, petrol pump and flight attendants, customer service staffs, and security guards to limit and eventually inhibit the Covid-19 infection.
Many food handlers and eateries used more plastic than usual to protect their edibles from being medium of infection. The continuous demand for polymer-based PPE is alarmingly jeopardising the environment.
The disposal of used PPE in the medical sector is regulated by the local authorities, which are normally classified as biohazards. A more dire situation of polymer waste handling is focused on single used PPE among civilians.
Recently, we were alarmed with the news of plastic waste found in marine life carcasses and an unborn baby's placenta, which an indication of our negligence and improper plastic waste handling.
Used face masks and gloves were also seen being thrown away in the landfill and public areas. The pandemic emphasised the essential role of polymer in our daily life and at the same time, creating a distressing issue of waste accumulation.
January 18, 2021 @ 9:45am
LONDON: Malaysian students in the United Kingdom can now turn to Mercy Care Helpline to deal with issues that affect their mental health in the time of Covid-19.
Mercy Care Helpline or Talian Kasih Mercy is a confidential helpline from Mercy Malaysia UK (MMUK) in collaboration with the Malaysian High Commission, Education Malaysia Global Services, Public Service Department, Majlis Amanah Rakyat, Health & Wellbeing IKRAM UKE and the United Kingdom & Eire Council for Malaysian Students.
"There are many challenges in what we do. But for students in particular, away from friends and family in Malaysia, things can be much more difficult," said Zahid Rastam, the charge d'affaires ad-interim at the Malaysian High Commission in the UK, who launched the helpline virtually on Saturday.
Zahid described the initiative as timely and necessary, considering the current situation.
"This helpline is for Malaysian students to talk, to share whatever they feel (so that) early intervention can be provided to those who need help or have mental health issues," said Zahid.
He added that students faced academic pressures and expectations apart from financial problems and issues with accomodation and rent.
Covid-19 also created a lot of uncertainties and restrictions on people's movements and travel, forcing them into isolation.
Zahid said students were also concerned about whether they could see their families and friends in Malaysia again soon.
January 18, 2021
PUTRAJAYA (Jan 12): Malaysia Airline System Bhd (MAS) today questioned whether the Malaysian Competition Commission (MyCC) was the rightful body to take action against MAS and AirAsia Bhd in relation to a collaboration agreement entered into in 2011 by the two airlines as well as AirAsia X Sdn Bhd.
Submitting in the Court of Appeal, MAS’ counsel Logan Sabapathy said the matter was within the purview of the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) since its formation in 2016 as a specialised body to look into the aviation industry.
The High Court had in December 2018 allowed MyCC’s judicial review application and quashed the decision of the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT). It reinstated the March 2014 decision of MyCC, which imposed a fine of RM10 million each on MAS and AirAsia.
Noting that the aviation industry and CAT had accepted that MyCC should not have imposed the fine, Logan questioned why MyCC had proceeded to appeal against the decision made by its own appeal tribunal.
Logan said Mavcom had been set up specifically to regulate the aviation industry and should be the body to oversee the airline industry.
January 17, 2021 11:24 PM
KUALA LUMPUR: Insurance and takaful companies said today they are working with the health ministry and Bank Negara Malaysia to explore ways to ease some of the expenses of Covid-19 patients who are treated in private hospitals.
In a joint statement, the Life Insurance Association of Malaysia, General Insurance Association of Malaysia and Malaysian Takaful Association said pandemic-related risks are generally not covered under any insurance and takaful plans worldwide.
“The exclusion stems from the difficulty in pricing for coverage relating to an event like a pandemic that may occur once in a lifetime, having an incalculable impact and cost. Covid-19 is a pandemic; hence it is not insured or covered under medical and health insurance or takaful benefits,” they said.
However, most life insurers and takaful operators in Malaysia had provided supplementary benefits such as daily hospital income to be paid to the affected policy holders, the associations said.
They said they had put in place various relief measures to help policy holders cope with the financial impact of the pandemic.
January 15, 2021 2:13 PM
PETAING JAYA: The Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (Fomca) has urged the government to offer workers a minimum wage and extend the loan moratorium in the wake of the second movement control order (MCO).
Its president, Marimuthu Nadason, said the government must seriously consider the impact the reimposed MCO will have on workers and businesses.
“They will need financial support. Fomca urges that all affected businesses and workers will be supported at least with a minimum wage to help them through the crisis. Abandoning the workers without any support is just plain cruel.
“Next, Fomca calls on Bank Negara to extend the loan moratorium until at least August. Bank Negara’s silence and indifference to the plight of the rakyat is deafening. There should be an immediate moratorium on all loans to assist those impacted by the MCO,” he said in a statement.
He also suggested that insurance companies be prevented from increasing premiums during the period.
While movement restrictions were necessary, Marimuthu said, it was important to ensure vulnerable communities were not left behind.
“Let us not forget or neglect the low income and the vulnerable who are suffering and will be impacted even worse by these new measures. A responsible government should take concrete and firm measures to support them,” he said.
According to the Malaysian Employers Federation, the economic fallout of the various movement restrictions caused 30,000 businesses to cease operations, resulting in 100,000 job losses, last year.
15 Jan 2021
LETTER | It has indeed been a harsh new reality for consumers living under the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ).
In its obsession to “go digital”, MBPJ is demanding that assessment billing can only be made through digital means, without an alternative, and further warning that the council will not entertain exceptions for late payments. Harsh action that reflects how the local government has not considered the plight of the digitally disadvantaged.
They seem to deny that there is gross digital inequality between the rich and the poor; the rural and the urban and the able and senior citizens. There are indeed many poor and vulnerable groups in MBPJ's jurisdiction who due to poverty, lack of confidence or digital skills are unable to navigate the digital world confidently. They also deserve fairness and justice.
Even private utility companies provide online as well as physical bills and incentivise consumers through discounts to shift towards online billing platforms. The authorities should indeed be more sensitive towards the suffering of the vulnerable rakyat.
No effort has been made to identify and empower vulnerable consumers to help them through the process.
What is extremely disappointing are the so-called counsellors and local politicians who we had hoped would act to protect consumers and enhance their well-being. They have chosen to remain silent instead.
It is indeed laudable for the local government to go digital. It reduces paper wastage as well as brings savings to the agency. But please think of the welfare of all the rakyat, not just the technically savvy.
Januari 13, 2021 @ 11:21am
KUALA LUMPUR: Gabungan Persatuan-Persatuan Pengguna Malaysia (FOMCA) mencadangkan supaya moratorium dilanjutkan bagi membantu golongan terkesan, susulan pengisytiharan darurat dan pelaksanaan Perintah Kawalan Pergerakan (PKP).
Timbalan Presidennya, Mohd Yusof Abdul Rahman, berkata dalam situasi semasa, ada rakyat yang belum mendapat pekerjaan selepas diberhentikan, berdepan pemotongan gaji, selain tidak jelas mengenai masa depan mereka.
Selain itu, ada golongan yang bekerja sendiri seperti peniaga kecil yang turut mengalami kesukaran, dengan sesetengah daripada mereka mungkin terpaksa menutup perniagaan.
"Walaupun kedai makan dan gerai penjaja di negeri yang dikenakan PKP dibenarkan beroperasi, namun jumlah pelanggan mereka berkurangan kerana ramai yang tidak keluar rumah.
"Selain itu, rentas negeri dan daerah juga tidak dibenarkan, yang menyebabkan sesetengah perniagaan kecil yang menjadi tumpuan pelancong turut terjejas," katanya kepada BH, hari ini.
Kelmarin, Perdana Menteri, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin mengumumkan pelaksanaan PKP di enam negeri selama 14 hari bermula tengah tadi membabitkan Pulau Pinang, Selangor, Wilayah Persekutuan (Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya dan Labuan), Melaka, Johor dan Sabah, susulan peningkatan besar jumlah kes COVID-19 di negara ini.
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