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Foreign workers who had taken advantage of the Government’s amnesty programme early this year and have since re-entered Malaysia on social passes will be allowed to register for work documents. Even those whose social passes have since expired will be allowed to do so for the time being, provided that their applications are made through their local employers. Home Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid, however, said this offer would only be valid for a specific period of time. “We will decide when to stop this. After that, the workers will have to apply through the normal channels,” he told reporters at his office Wednesday. Azmi said the new system that had been approved by the Cabinet was only meant for foreign workers who were
The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) has told unit trust companies to stop misleading advertisements that compare returns between unit trusts and the EPF. The EPF has already warned one company to withdraw its advertisement and is monitoring others which make unfair claims that investments in unit trusts gave better returns. Its deputy chief executive officer Rusma Ibrahim said the advertisement was misleading. “In this particular case, the returns to the unit trust fund was highlighted instead of the returns to the individual investor,” she said. A leaflet sent to The Star claimed that an investment of RM30,000 (US$7,897) in a unit trust earned five times more than it would have from the EPF. Rusma urged the 10.5 million EPF contributors to understand how unit trusts work and
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Britain shelved plans for its own referendum on the EU constitution, driving a further stake into the heart of the stricken treaty and exposing a deep political rift with the European bloc. The move rebuffs calls from Britain’s EU partners, particularly France and Germany, for other members of the 25-nation European Union to go on ratifying the text despite its rejection by French and Dutch voters last week. “We see no point in proceeding at this moment,” Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said in a statement to parliament, although he declined to rule out holding a referendum “should circumstances change” in the future. “Until the consequences of France and the Netherlands being unable to ratify the treaty are clarified, it would not in
Japan was checking Friday if two elderly Japanese men found on a Philippine island plagued by an Islamic insurgency were soldiers left behind from World War II who were unaware of Tokyo’s surrender. “What a surprise it would be if it’s true,” Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said. The Japanese embassy in Manila sent three officials early Friday to General Santos city, 1,300 kilometres (806 miles) south of Manila, to meet the two men found on the lawless island of Mindanao. “The Japanese embassy in the Philippines received information yesterday that two men believed to be former Japanese soldiers are alive,” Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura told reporters. The diplomats will interview the pair, said to be in their 80s, to confirm whether they
Prime Minister John Howard asked Australians to accept an Indonesian court’s decision to convict a young Australian woman on drug charges, urging people to remain calm. Howard said he felt sympathy for Schapelle Corby but he and all other Australians had to accept the Indonesian court’s 20-year sentence imposed on Corby for smuggling 4.1kg (9lbs) of marijuana into Bali last October on a flight from Brisbane. “It’s not for me to make a judgment, it’s not for my fellow Australians, however strongly they feel, to make a judgment,” Howard told reporters. “She was subject to the justice system of another country … we have neither the power nor the right to intervene.” The sentencing of the 27-year-old student beauty therapist was carried live on Australian
Malaysian men have won the hearts of at least three Japanese girls. “Not only are their eyes big and sparkling, they are kind and perfect gentlemen.” The verdict came from full-time models Kaoru Asami, Aki Kogochi and Mai Akiyama, all 24-year-olds. The girls are in town as part of their activities to promote the Japan GT Championship Malaysia that will be held at the Sepang International Circuit on June 25 and 26. “For example, Malaysian men hold the door for us while Japanese men do not bother,” said Asami, an English-language graduate who spent two years in a home-stay programme in California. Asami said she also liked the way the men behaved, adding that while Japanese men were generally “very shy”, Malaysian men “do come
A compromise deal has broken the deadlock in air-rights negotiations between Singapore and Indonesia, though some sensitive issues remain. Under the deal, Singapore’s full-service carriers will get a “modest expansion” to operate more flights to Jakarta and Bali. In return, Indonesian carriers will get “fifth freedom” rights, which allow them to pick up passengers at Changi and fly them on to other foreign destinations. Ministers from both countries agreed to re-visit the issue of access for low-cost carriers in six months’ time. The sensitive issue of air rights arose in March, when Indonesia announced it would stop giving out new landing rights to budget carriers for Medan, Surabaya, Jakarta and Bali. At around the same time, Indonesian budget carrier Awair dropped its Singapore-Jakarta route after
A type of milk powder produced by international food firm Nestle has been pulled out after it was found to contain too much iodine, according to a survey conducted by quality inspection authorities in Zhejiang Province. The “Jin Pai Growing 3-Milk Powder,” produced by the Heilongjiang-based Shuang Cheng Nestle Co Ltd, failed to meet national standards over iodine content. Every 100 grams of milk powder for infants and young children is allowed to contain 30-150 micrograms of iodine, according to State standards. “This is the first time we have found milk powder containing excessive iodine in recent years,” said Bian Yuyang, an official from the Zhejiang Administration of Industry and Commerce. Bian said the iodine content of the milk powder was slightly higher
At least 36 people were killed and 72 wounded in southwestern Nepal when a powerful bomb ripped through a crowded passenger bus in one of the bloodiest attacks on civilians by suspected Maoist rebels since their revolt began nine years ago. “At least 36 civilians were killed and 72 others injured when the terrorists blasted their bus with a landmine at Madi in Chitwan,” the army said in a statement. Earlier state-run radio, quoting police, had put the death toll at more than 50 people. An army officer told AFP the bus was torn apart by the force of the blast and that the passengers were badly mutilated by shrapnel as well as by shards of metal and glass from the bus.