Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Star Online: Nation

KUALA LUMPUR: Fifteen Malaysians, including nine students, have opted to stay behind in restive Syria despite being told to return home, said Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman.

He said that the ministry would like to repeat its travel advisory issued on July 21 and Nov 12 last year, urging Malaysians in Syria to return home.

Those intending to travel to Syria were also advised to postpone their journey for safety reasons, he said in a statement yesterday.

Anifah said that the ministry was monitoring the situation in Syria through the Malaysian embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, as the Malaysian embassy in Damascus was closed in July last year.

In Cairo, the remaining Malaysian students registered under the evacuation programme will be flown home from strife-torn Egypt at the latest by Friday.

Second Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said that so far 1,305 students had returned home while 1,056 more would follow suit.

"The National Security Council has done a good job. Compared to the 'Pyramid I Ops', the operation this time around is smoother and better," he told reporters at the Cairo International Airport before flying home together with 260 Malaysian students on Monday night.

Idris said that the registration for the evacuation programme had been closed for the time being.

Earlier, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said that the Government had decided to bring home Malaysian students in Egypt via commercial flights in view of the volatile situation there. -- BernamaKUALA LUMPUR: Existing and new Hong Leong MATTA credit card users will be able to enjoy special privileges at the WITM-MATTA Fair that will be held from Sept 6-8.

One of the highlights for existing cardholders is that they will be able to enjoy a 12-month, 0% inte rest instalment plan for purchases worth RM1,000 and above at the fair, while new card applicants will receive travel-related gifts and a multi-plug power adaptor upon approval of their application.

"In addition, those who spend at least RM1,000 within 60 days of the card's approval date will get a trolley bag," said Hong Leong Bank personal financial services (unsecured lending) general manager Genista Tan at a press conference here yesterday.

According to Tan, Hong Leong MATTA credit card holders will enjoy free entry to the WITM-MATTA fair at the Putra World Trade Centre via a VIP express lane, and if a friend comes along, he or she also gets in free with the cardholder.

The credit card also offers complimentary travel insurance up to RM1.7mil, including coverage for overseas medical expenses, and loss of money and valuables, including to snatch thieves, while overseas.

Fair adviser-cum-patron Datuk Mohd Khalid Harun said MATTA would also be launching the MATTA Kad during the fair.

"Some 50,000 cards will be given out to our customers when they buy entrance tickets," said Khalid, who added that those who purchase their entrance tickets online would be given the card when they collect their passes at the counters.

"Those with the cards will enjoy discounts, collect points that are redeemable for items, as well as enjoy other benefits from 2,000 to 3,000 merchants," he said.

It will be the first time that MATTA, or the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents, is holding the World Islamic Tourism Mart and the MATTA Fair simultaneously.

In conjunction with the fair, top industry players in the Muslim travel business will share with local players, through the WITM 7th Incomthu Conference, on how to successfully market to this segment of tourists.

For more information on the card and the fair, log on to and respectively.BATU PAHAT: Several police chiefs in Johor will be moved to other states in a move to strengthen the force, says Deputy Home Affairs Minister Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.

He said the reshuffle would also involve other senior officials as the ministry believed the move would prevent the officers from staying too long in certain places.

"The ministry is discussing with the relevant agencies on the matter and we hope to start the exercise soon.

"This is part of the Government's response to the people's views and opinions from the NGOs who had called for the capabilities of the police force to be strengthened," he said after closing the Civil Defence Univer sity Corps passing-out parade at Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia here yesterday.

Wan Junaidi said the police had done a good job in combating crime and that only a few bad apples had tarnished the force's image.

"We hope the public will continue their close cooperation with the police as combating crime needs the help of all sides."

On a separate matter, Wan Junaidi concurred with Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who had called for the resignation of Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Depart ment P. Waythamoorthy.

Waythamoorthy had earlier criticised the killings of five people suspected to be hardcore criminals in Penang by the police recently.

Wan Junaidi said the police were facing a life or death situation when the officers wanted to apprehend the suspects.

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