Malaysia will not re-impose coronavirus curbs for now despite spike

Malaysia will not re-impose coronavirus curbs for now despite spike
The Malaysian government has come under criticism for the increase in coronavirus cases. (Reuters)
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Updated 03 October 2020

Malaysia will not re-impose coronavirus curbs for now despite spike

Malaysia will not re-impose coronavirus curbs for now despite spike
  • Southeast Asian country has seen a steady climb in cases in the past week
  • Malaysia has reported a total of 11,771 infections, with 136 deaths

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will not re-impose widespread coronavirus restrictions on travel despite a recent spike in infections, which a government minister said was partly caused by migrants from neighboring countries.
Malaysia imposed a nationwide lockdown in March but has been gradually lifting the curbs, though authorities have warned that they could be reinstated if daily increases in infections reached triple-digits.
The Southeast Asian country has seen a steady climb in cases in the past week and on Friday reported 287 new infections, the highest daily rise since it began tracking the pandemic.
But security minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the government did not see the need to reimpose the lockdown as the majority of cases were being reported in detention centers and isolated districts.
“There’s only one or two cases in each state so it’s not something that’s worrying at this point,” Ismail told reporters.
The government has come under criticism for the increase in cases, many of which have been in or linked to the second-largest state of Sabah, on Borneo island, which held an election last week.
Several politicians have been accused of violating social distancing protocols on the campaign trail, while authorities were criticized for not imposing control measures such as a mandatory 14-day quarantine for travelers from Sabah.
Ismail said the Sabah outbreak stemmed from the illegal entry of migrants. The government would increase resources and personnel to guard the state’s borders, he said.
“The cases in neighboring countries have gone up and the entry of illegal migrants from there have impacted on our efforts to control the spread of COVID-19,” he said.
Malaysia has avoided the level of outbreaks seen in neighbors the Philippines and Indonesia, which have 319,330 and 299,506 cases respectively.
Malaysia has reported a total of 11,771 infections, with 136 deaths.


Greece, France to sign $2.8 billion fighter jet deal amid Turkey tensions

Greece, France to sign $2.8 billion fighter jet deal amid Turkey tensions
Updated 25 January 2021

Greece, France to sign $2.8 billion fighter jet deal amid Turkey tensions

Greece, France to sign $2.8 billion fighter jet deal amid Turkey tensions
  • Florence Parly, the French defense minister, signed the agreement in Athens to deliver 12 used and six new aircraft
  • France has sided with Greece in a dispute with Turkey over boundaries in the Aegean Sea and eastern Mediterranean

ATHENS, Greece: Greece signed a 2.3 billion-euro ($2.8 billion) deal with France on Monday to purchase 18 Rafale fighter jets, as tensions remain high with neighbor Turkey.
Florence Parly, the French defense minister, signed the agreement in Athens to deliver 12 used and six new aircraft built by Dassault Aviation over two years, starting in July.
France has sided with Greece in a dispute over boundaries in the Aegean Sea and eastern Mediterranean that has brought NATO members Greece and Turkey to the brink of war several times in recent decades.
Tension spiked again last summer when a Turkish exploration mission in disputed waters triggered a dangerous military build-up.
Greece and Turkey have agreed to restart talks aimed at resolving the dispute peacefully. Senior diplomats from the two countries met in Istanbul Monday to resume the process that had been interrupted for nearly five years.
But Athens says it will continue a multibillion-euro program to upgrade its military following years of cuts due to the country’s financial crisis.
France and the United States are in competition to provide the Greek navy with new frigates, while Greece’s government recently approved plans to cooperate with Israeli defense electronics firm Elbit Systems to create a new military flight academy in southern Greece.
“The upgrade in the capabilities of the Hellenic Air Force by means of both the acquisition of new fighter aircraft and the new state-of-the-art training center is critical for Greece to present a credible deterrence,” Michael Tanchum, a senior fellow at the Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy, told The Associated Press.
“It also provides Athens an enhanced ability to exercise more strategic autonomy when EU and NATO frameworks are deemed inadequate, making Greece more of a player in its own right.”
Starting in May, mandatory national service in the Greek Armed Forces will be increased from nine to 12 months to boost the number of people serving in uniform. While in Athens, Parly will also holding talks with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.