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TO START MASS PRODUCTION OF ELECTROLYSERS BY YEAR 2024, SAYS SEDC CHAIRMAN
KUCHIGN, SARAWAK (JANUARY 16, 2023) : Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) plans to start mass production of electrolysers by next year 2024 to meet the growing demands for hydrogen, said its chairman Tan Sri Datuk Amar Abdul Aziz Hussain.
He said the corporation, through its subsidiary SEDC Energy, needed to produce hydrogen to power the state's Autonomous Rapid Transit (ART) system in 2024.
" We will require about two tonnes of hydrogen a day for the ART next year and we need to ramp this up to five tonnes a day.
" As such, we need to produce electrolysers for that and we want to produce our own. We don't want to import from other countries and add to the cost, " he told reporters after witnessing the delivery of Toyota Mirai at Menara Pelita here today.
Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg received the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle from UMV Toyota Motor which also handed over four units to SEDC Energy.
Abdul Aziz said at present, SEDC Energy is working together with Petronas to produce electrolysers using technology that has been developed by the national oil and gas company.
" Right now, it's not a mass production yet but it is enough to meet the requirements of the state.
" We are also looking to export so hopefully we can do a mass production of electrolysers later on because there are also demands from other countries asking us to produce electrolysers for them," he said.
He expressed his confidence that the state would be able to improve and develop the technology for electrolysers in the coming years.
" Hopefully, we will be able to do the plant or the electrolysers for the big mass production of hydrogen in Bintulu later on.
" That is the target. At the moment, we are setting it up and starting the operation," he said.
An electrolyser is a system that splits water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen through electrolysis. It is through this process that the system creates hydgrogen gas.
Also present at the ceremony were Deputy Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Minister Datuk Seri Huang Tiong Sii, UMW Holdings Berhad Group chairman Tan Sri Hamad Kama Piah Che Othman, and UMW Toyota Motor deputy chairman Takashi Obata.
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HOSPITALS NEPALIS RETURN BODIES FROM AIR CRASH TO GRIEVING FAMILIES
POKHARA (JANUARY 17, 2023), TUESDAY : Nepali hospital staff began the grim task of handling over bodies to grieving families on Tuesday after a plane with 72 people on board crashed, the country's worst aviation disaster in three decades.
The Yeti Airlines flight with 68 passengers and four crew plummeted into a steep gorge, smashed into pieces and burst into flames as it approached the central city of Pokhara on Sunday.
All those on board, including six children and 15 foreigners, are believed to have died.
Rescuers have been working almost around the clock extracting human remains from the gorge strewn with twisted plane seats and chunks of fuselage and wing.
Seventy bodies had been retrieved by early Tuesday, January 17, 2023, police official AK Chhetri told AFP. Another senior official said the day before that the hope of finding anyone alive was "NIL".
" We retrieved one body last night. But it was three pieces. We are not sure whether it's three bodies or one body. It will be confirmed only after a DNA test," Chhetri said.
Drones were being used and the search for the two remaining bodies had been expanded to a radius of two to three kilometres (one to two miles), he added.
The black boxes from the plane, made by France-based ATR, were handed over to authorities on Monday, said Bikram Raj Gautam, chief of Pokhara International Airport.
Hospital workers in blue and white protective suits and masks loaded bodies wrapped in plastic onto army trucks on Tuesday as distraught relatives wept and hugged outside.
The trucks then left for the airport, where the bodies would be airlifted back to the capital Kathmandu.
The body of one victim, journalist Tribhuban Poudel, was laid out on a bier covered with orange marigold flowers outside his home as mourners filed past offering prayers in the winter sunshine.
" Eight bodies have been handed to families. We will hand over another 14 bodies after completing autopsies here in Pokhara. Forty-eight bodies have been sent to Kathmandu for DNA tests and handover to the families," Chhetri said.
The ATR 72 was flying from Kathmandu to Pokhara, a gateway for religious pilgrims and trekkers, when it crashed shortly before 11:00 am (0515 GMT).
" I was walking when I heard a loud blast, like a bomb went off," said witness Arun Tamu, 44, who was around 500 metres (545 yards) away and live-streamed video of the blazing wreckage on social media.
The cause of the crash was not yet known, but a video on social media showed the twin-propeller aircraft banking suddenly and sharply to the left as it neared Pokhara airport. A loud explosion followed.
Experts told AFP it was unclear from the clip whether human error or a mechanical malfunction was to blame.
Experts from the French accident investigation agency were due to arrive in Nepal on Tuesday, the body told AFP.
" We don't know whether (the crash) was due to any technical fault or reason," local official Tek Bahadur KC told AFP.
Raj Dhungana, the uncle of one the passengers, 23-year-old Sangita Shahi, told AFP outside a hospital in Pokhara that his whole family " is in pain ".
" GO HAS TAKEN AWAY SUCH A NICE PERSON," he said.
According to the Press Trust of Indian news agency, the pilot Anju Khatiwada joined Nepal's aviation sector after her husband was killed flying a small passenger plane in 2006.
Nepal's aviation industry has boomed in recent years, carrying goods and people between hard-to-reach areas, as well as ferrying foreign mountain climbers.
The sector has been plagued by poor safety due to insufficient training and maintenance.
The European Union has banned all Nepali carriers from its airspace over safety concerns.
Nepal also has some of the world's trickiest and most remote runways, flanked by snow-capped peaks with difficult approaches and capricious weather.
Its deadliest aviation accident was in 1992, when all 167 people on a Pakistan International Airlines jet were killed when it crashed on approach to Kathmandu.
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FIRST NEPAL PLANE CRASH VICTIM NAMED AS BLOGGER WHOSE FINAL POST WAS SELFIE IN HER SEAT ATR 72
THE FIRST VICTIM OF THE DEVASTATING NEPAL PLANE CRASH HAS BEEN PICTURED !
Moscow travel blogger Elena Banduro, 33-years-old uploaded an excited post about her trip just moments before the tragic flight came down as it approached Pokhara International Airport in the South Asian country on January 15, 2023.
Taking an image of herself on the plane, she captioned it wit " GO TO NEPAL " in English.
Her social media was that day full of messages of condolences, and she was described as " THE BRIGHTEST, KINDEST SOULD WE KNEW ".
The tragic blogger worked as a social media manager and travelled widely.
Three other Russians died on the flight, named as Viktoria Altunina, Yuri Lugin and Viktor Lagin.
" Unfortunately, four citizens of the Russian Federation died," he said.
" We are in constant contact with the Nepalese authorities and will provide all necessary assistance to the relatives of the dead Russians.
A total of 15 foreigners were among the 72 on board the stricken aircraft, including five Indians, four Russians, two South Koreans and one each from Argentina and France.
The passenger list included an Irish citizen, as well as an Australian.
Earlier morning on January 15, 2023 a distressing video showed the moment the plane lost control in mid-air just seconds before it crashed.
The low-flying plane ATR-72 twin engine turboprop plane en route from Kathmandu to Pokhara was seen on the video lurching to the right and apparently overturning as in hit the ground:
The footage filmed from a terrace including the noise of the moment of impact after the aircraft came down behind the building.
There was an explosion and huge flames at the crash site.
Thick some rose from the wreckage.
Reports said the aircraft crashed into forested land on the banks of the Seti Gandaki River.
It is believed there were 68 passengers and four crew on board the flight.
Dozens of corpses were pulled out of the wreckage.
" We expect to recover more bodies, " said army spokesman Krishna Bhandari.
" The plane has broken into pieces."
Flying conditions appeared good at the time the plane came down.
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NIL NUMBERS OF SURVIVORS IN NEPAL PLANE CRASH !
POKHARA (JANUARY 16, 2023) : Nepali rescue workers scoured a debris-strew ravine on Monday for three missing bodies from the mangled wreckage of a plane that crashed with 72 people on board, with hopes of any survivors now "NIL", according to authorities.
The Yeti Airlines ATR 72 plummeted into the steep gorge, smashed into pieces and burst into flames as it approached the central city of Pokhara on Sunday morning (January 15, 2023), in Nepal's worst aviation disaster since 1992.
The cause of the crash was not yet known but a video on social media - verified by AFP partner ESN - showed the twin-propeller aircraft banking suddenly and sharply to the left as it approached Pokhara airport. A load explosion followed.
Nepal, which has a poor record on air safety observed a day of mouring on Monday for the victims.
Soldier used ropes and stretchers to retrieve bodies from the 300-metre (1,000-foot) deep ravine late into the night, with recovery efforts continuing throughout Monday.
Officials said 69 bodies had been recovered so far, with autopsies on 24 ongoing. The plan was carrying 69 passengers and four crew when it went down.
" We pray for a miracle. But, the hope of finding anyone alive is nil," senior local official Tek Bahadur KC told AFP.
Debris from the airlines was strewn across the crash site, including the mangled remains of passenger seats and the plane's white-coloured fuselage.
Raj Dhungana, the uncle of one of the plane's passengers, 23-year-old Sangita Shahi, told AFP outside a hospital in Pokhara that his whole family " IS IN PAIN ".
He described a " VERY TALENTED " young woman who was a student in Kathmandu, and also ran a makeup studio and worked on an online business platform on the side.
" God has taken away such a nice person, " he said.
The passenger manifest included five Indians, four Russians, two South Koreans, and one person each from Argentina, Australia, France and Ireland. The rest were Nepalis.
" Incredibly sad news," Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese tweeted. Indian Premier Narendra Modi also expressed his condelences.
The ATR 72 was on a flight from the capital Kathmandu and hit the ground between Pokhara's brand-new international airport and the old domestic one shortly before 11:00 am (0515 GMT) on Sunday.
" I was walking when I heard a loud blast, like a bomb went off," said witness Arun Tamu, 44-years-old who was around 500 metres away and who live-streamed video of the blazing wreckage on social media.
" A few of us rushed to see if we can rescue anybody. I saw at least two women were breathing. The fire was getting very intense and it made it difficult for us to approach closer," the former soldier told AFP.
It was unclear if anyone on the ground was injured.
Aviation expert Greg Waldon told AFP that, from the video shared on social media, it appeared the plane may have had a " WING STALL ", meaning one wing suddenly stopped providing lift.
" When you're at low altitude and you have an event like that...it's major trouble," Waldon, Asia managing editor at industry publication FlightGlobal, told AFP.
France-based manufacturer ATR said in a statement on Sunday that its " Specialists are fully engaged to support both the investigation and the customer ".
Nepal's industry has boomed in recent years, carrying goods and people between hard-to-reach areas, as well as ferrying foreign mountain climbers.
Yeti Airlines, Nepal's second-biggest carrier, was founded in 1998 by entrepreneur Ang Tshering Sherpa, who died in a helicopter crash in 2019.
The aviation sector has been plagued by poor safety due to insufficient training and maintenance The European Union has banned all Nepalli carriers from its airspace over safety concerns.
Nepal also has some of the world's most remote and trickiest runways, flanked by snow-capped peaks with difficult approaches and capricious weather.
The country's deadlist aviation took place in 1992, when all 167 people on a Pakistan International Airlines jet died when it crashed on approach to Kathmandu.
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MALAYSIA PRIME MINISTER : STRONGLY CONDEMNS POLITICIAN'S QURAN BURNING ACT IN SWEDEN
KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA : Malaysia has condemned in the strongest terms the Islamophobic act of extremist Swedish-Danish far-right politician Rasmus Paludan in burning a copy of the Quran in Stockholm, Sweden.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said Malaysia also urged the Swedish Government to take urgent measures against the perpetrators of the vile act as well as ensure drastic steps in the future to address the alarming rise of Islamophobia in the country.
" SUCH A BLATANT DEFILEMENT OF ISLAM'S HOLY BOOK BY THE SWEDISH POLITICIAN AND THE INACTION ARE TANTAMOUNT TO FOMENTING ISLAMOPHOBIA AND CONSTITUTES A GRAVE PROVOCATION TO THE SENSITIVITIES OF NOT JUST TURKEY BUT MORE THAN TWO BILLION MUSLIMS IN THE WORLD.
" MALAYSIA DENOUNCES THE REPEATED HATE CRIMES TARGETING MUSLIMS IN THE WORLD AS WELL AS ALL FORMS OF INCITEMENT TO HATRED AND THE FANNING OF RACISM IN WORD OR DEED AND VIEWS WITH GRAVE CONCERN THE RISING TIDE OF HATE SPEECH ON ACCOUNT OF FAITH OR ETHNICITY," he said in s statement on January 24, 2023.
Anwar said Malaysia reiterates the paramount importance of upholding the principles of dialogue, engagement and mutual respect in the settlement of disputes.
He also called on the international community to reject race or religious baiting under the guise of freedom of expression and to remain united against all forms of incitement to hate and violence.
Rasmus Paludan, leader of the Danish far-right party Stram Kurs (Hard Line), was permitted to burn the Quran on Saturday, January 21, 2023 outside the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm, causing the Muslim world to erupt in anger due to the incident.
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SUMMONS SWEDISH AMBASSADOR OVER STOCKHOLM'S PERMISSION FOR QURAN BURNING - TURKIYE
AKARA, ISTANBUL: Turkiye has summoned the Swedish ambassador to Ankara over Sweden's permission for a planned burning of the Quran, Islam's holy book, near the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm.
Staffan Herstorm was told that Turkiye "STRONGLY CONDEMNS THIS PROVOCATIVE ACT, WHICH IS CLEARLY A HATE CRIME, THAT SWEDEN'S ATTITUDE IS UNACCEPTABLE, THAT ANKARA EXPECTS THE ACT NOT TO BE ALLOWED, AN INSULTS TO SACRED VALUES CANNOT BE DEFENDED UNDER THE GUISE OF DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS," the Turkish diplomatic sources said.
Turkiye warned Sweden that allowing propoganda activities that PKK-affiliated circles are preparing to carry out in the capital Stockholm on Saturday is a "CLEAR VIOLATION" of the tripartite deal, Anadolu Agency quoted the sources.
Rasmus Paludan, the leader of the Danish far-right party Stram Kurs (Hard Line), was given permission to burn the Quran outside the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm, according to Stockholm police.
Meanwhile, Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom said he was concerned that the demonstration risks further delaying Turkiye's ratification of Sweden's NATO bid. However, he added that it would be "VERY INAPPRORIATE" for him to call for a person not to be allowed to carry out a demonstration.
Last Week, Turkiye called on Sweden to take steps against terror groups after a demonstration in Stockholm, where supporters of the PKK terrorist organisation hung in effigy by the feet a figure of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and then uploaded footage of the provocation along with threats against Turkiye and Erdogan.
Sweden and Finland formally applied to join NATO last May 2022, abandoning decades of military non-alignment, a decision spurred by Russia's war on Ukraine, which started on February 24, 2023.
But Turkiye - a NATO member for more than 70 years - voiced objections, accusing the two (2) countries of tolerating and even supporting terror groups, including the PKK and the Fetullah Terrorist Organisation (FETO).
Last June 2022, Turkiye and the two (2) Nordic countries signed a memorandum at a NATO summit to address Ankara's legitimate security concerns, paving the way for their eventual membership in the alliance.
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WORLDWIDE CONDEMNATIONS POUR IN OVER QURAN BURNIGN IN SWEDEN
ISTANBUL / ANKARA :Condemnations continued to pour in from across the Arab and Islamic worlds over the burning of a copy of the Quran, Islam's holy book, by a Swedish-Danish right-wing extremist in the Swedish capital, Stockholm, Andolu Agency (AA) reported.
Rasmus Paludan, the leader of the Stram Kurs (Hard Line) Party, under the protection of police and with permissions from the government, burned a copy of the Quran outside the Turkish Embassy in Stockhold on Saturday.
Saudi Arabia condemned the Swedish authorities for allowing the far-right politician to burn the Quran.
In a statement, the Saudi Foreign Ministry affirmed " THE KINGDOM'S FIRM POSITION CALLING FOR THE IMPORTANCE OF SPREADING THE VALUES OF DIALOGUE, TOLERANCE AND COEXISTENCE, AND REJECTING HATRED AND EXTREMISM."
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry decried the Quran burning as a "DISGRACEFUL ACT."
A ministry statement warned that this "DISGRACEFUL ACT PROVOKES THE FEELINGS OF HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF MUSLIMS AROUND THE WORLD."
" These extremist practices are inconsistent with the values of respect of others, freedom of belief, human rights and human fundamental freedoms," it added.
Qatar also denounced in the strongest terms Sweden's permission to burn the Quran outside the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm.
" This heinous incident is an act of incitement and a serious provocation to the feelings of more than two (2) billion Muslims in the world," the Qatari Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) also condemned the incident and reiterated " its rejection of all practices aimed at destabilising security and stability in contravention of human and moral values and principles."
The UAE renewed its call to renounce hate speech and violence and underscored the need to respect religious symbols and avoid inciting hatred by insulting religions.
Oman termed the Quran burning as an "ACT OF PROVOCATION TO THE FEELINGS OF MUSLIMS AND INCITEMENT TO VIOLENCE AND HATRED, BY EXTREMISTS IN SWEDEN." It underlined the need for international efforts to consolidate the values of tolerance and coexistence and criminalise all acts that promote the ideology of hatred.
Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah also condemned the Quran burning, saying the incident "HURTS MUSLIMS" sentiments across the world and marks serious provocations."
Iran also termed the Quran burning as an attempt to stoke hatred and violence against Muslims. Tehran said some European countries under the false pretext of advocating freedom of speech "ALLOW EXTREMIST AND RADICAL ELEMENTS TO SPREAD HATRED AGAINST ISLAMIC SANCTITIES AND VALUES."
Jordan joined the chorus of condemnations, stressing "THE KINGDOM'S REJECTION OF THIS ACT THAT FUELS HATRED." Amman underlined the necessity to spread the culture of peace and acceptance of the other, adding that "CONDEMNING EXTREMISM IS A COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY."
Morocco said it was "SHOCKED" by the Swedish permission of the burning of Islam's holy book.
" THIS HATEFUL ACT, WHICH OFFENDS THE SENSIBILITIES OF MORE THAN A BILLION MUSLIMS, CAN FUEL ANGER AND HATRED BETWEEN RELIGIONS AND PEOPLES," the Moroccan Foreign Ministry warned in a statement.
Pakistan termed the incident as a "SENSELESS AND PROVOCATIVE ISLAMOPHOBIC ACT THE HURTS THE RELIGIOUS SENSITIVES OF OVER 1.5 BILLION MUSLIMS AROUND THE WORLD."
Such actions are "NOT COVERED UNDER ANY LEGITIMATE EXPRESSION OF THE RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION OR OPINION, WHICH CARRIES RESPONSIBILITIES UNDER INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS LAW, SUCH AS THE OBLIGATION NOT TO CARRY OUT HATE SPEECH AND INCITE PEOPLE TO VIOLENCE," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
In a statement, bangladesh's Foreign Ministry condemned the "ACT OF INSULTING THE SACRED VALUES OF THE MUSLIMS ALL AVER THE WORLD IN THE GUISE OF 'FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION'."
The Foreign Ministry of the interim Taliban government in Afghanistan also "STRONGLY" condemned the burning and desecration of the Holy Quran and urged the Swedish government to punish the perpetrators of this act.
In a statement, the ministry also urged Stockholm not to allow such people to take provocative actions against the Islamic Religion and Muslims in the future.
The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) also condemned the Quran burning as a provocative action that "TARGETS MUSLIMS, INSULTS THEIR SACRED VALUES, AND SERVES AS A FURTHER EXAMPLE OF THE ALARMING LEVEL REACHED BY ISLAMOPHOBIA" and asked Sweden to punish those behind a ' HATE CRIME."
Meanwhile, Azerbaijan also condemned the burning of a copy of the Holy Quran in Sweden.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry condemned the burning of Islam's holy book in Stockholm as a "VILE ATTACK."
" WE CONDEMN IN THE STRONGEST POSSIBLE TERMS THE VILE ATTACK ON OUR HOLY BOOK, THE QURAN, IN SWEDEN ON SATURDAY (JANUARY 21, 2023), DESPITE OUR REPEATED WARNINGS EARLIER," a ministry statement said.
In response to Sweden's permission for the incident, Ankara cancelled Swedish Defence Minister Pal Jonson's upcoming visit to Turkey.
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RASMUS PALUDAN BURNING KORAN IN STOCKHOLM PRIME MINISTER CONDEMS !
A PROTESTER holds a copy of the Koran
in front of the Consulate General of Sweden in Istanbul on January 22, 2023 (Sunday), after Rasmus Paludan, leader of Danish far-right political party Hard Line and who also has Swedish citizenship burned a copy of the Koran near the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm.
STOCHHOLM (JANUARY 23, 2023) : Sweden's Prime Minister has condemned as " DEEPLY DISRESPECTFUL " the weekend burning of a Koran in Stockholm, which has raised tensions with Turkeys as the Nordic country courts Ankara over its NATO bid.
Far-right politician Rasmus Paludan set fire to a copy of the Muslim holy book on Saturday in front of Turkey's embassy in the Swedish capital.
Furious that Paludan had been permitted by Swedish police to carry out the protest, Ankara cancelled a visit by Sweden's defense minister and summoned Stockholm's ambassador.
Late on Saturday, Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson tweeted: "FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION IS A FUNDAMENTAL PART OF DEMOCRACY. BUT WHAT IS LEGAL IS NOT NECESSARILY APPROPRIATE. BURNING BOOKS THAT ARE HOLY TO MANY IS DEEPLY DISRESPECTFUL ACT."
" I want to express my sympathy for all Muslims who are offended by what has happened in Stockholm today."
Paludan's demonstration has further damaged relations as Stockholm tries to convince NATO member Turkey to approve Sweden and Finland joining the military alliance.
Sweden's bid has been stalled amid Ankara's demands that Stockholm hand over Kurdish activists and prevent rallies attacking Turkey's leadership.
Many Muslim countries said they were outraged by the burning of the Koran on Saturday.
Morocco said it was " ASTONISHED " the authorities had allowed it to take place " IN FRONT OF THE SWEDISH FORCES OF ORDER "
Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates also condemned it, as did the Gulf Cooperation Council and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
Jakarta said " THE ACT OF BLASHPHEMY AGAINST THE HOLY BOOK HAS HURT AND TARNISHED RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE", ADDING THAT "FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION MUST BE EXERCISED IN A RESPONSIBLE MANNER".
Dozens of protesters gathered late Saturday in front of the Swedish consulate in Istanbul, where they burned a Swedish flag and called on Turkey to sever diplomatic ties with Stockholm.
Paludan, a Swedish-Danish activist who has already been convicted for racist abuse, provoked rioting in Sweden last year (2022) when he went on a tour of the country and publicly burned copies of the Koran.
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LOOKING FOR STUDENTS INVOLVED IN BULLYING INCIDENT IN SABAH - POLICE INVESTIGATE @Jackie San KOTA KINABALU, SABAH (JANUARY 18, 2023) : Pol...