Friday, January 15, 2021

Pfizer Vaccine Kills Twenty-three Norwegians

Norway said Covid-19 vaccines may be too risky for the very old and terminally ill, the most cautious statement yet from a European health authority as countries assess the real-world side effects of the first shots to gain approval. 

As of Thursday, the country reported that 23 people had died a short time after receiving their first Pfizer dose of the vaccine. Of those deaths, 13 have so far been autopsied, with the results suggesting that common side effects may have contributed to severe reactions in frail, elderly people, according to Statens legemiddelverk. 

The Norwegian Medicines Agency admitted that the studies that form the basis for the temporary approval of the vaccine included very few people over the age of 85, and there is little known about how any side effects will affect these age brackets, but they said, "we assume that the side effects will largely be the same in the elderly as in those over 65 years of age". That assumption resulted in the deaths in nursing homes – and which is a sad outcome. 

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health downplayed the fatalities, saying “For those with the most severe frailty, even relatively mild vaccine side effects can have serious consequences”. 

Whatever lah – but the point is twenty-three people sacrificed their lives.

This is an early indication of what to watch as countries begin to issue safety monitoring reports on the vaccines. 

Emer Cooke (left), the head of the European Medicines Agency, has said tracking the safety of Covid vaccines, especially those relying on novel technologies such as mRNA, would be one of the biggest challenges once shots are rolled out widely.

93 Million Cases and a Malaysian Record

Coronavirus cases worldwide jumped again to 93 million. 

It’s not a surprise anymore because even Malaysia registered a record 3,337 cases and fifteen deaths yesterday.

The World Health Organization on Thursday said 95% of vaccine doses so far administered worldwide were limited to just ten countries and called for a more equitable distribution. In terms of total doses, the top countries are the US, China, the UK, Israel, UAE, Italy, Russia, Germany, Spain and Canada.

WHO's regional director for Europe, Hans Kluge (left) expressed his concern when he said: “Collectively, we simply cannot afford to leave any country, any community behind”. 

Kluge said the WHO are working to get the vaccine to every country but, “(they) need every country capable of contributing, donating and supporting equitable access and deployment of the vaccines, to do so”.

Hmm, why the worry? He himself said on September 01, 2020 that Europe can live with Covid-19 without a vaccine by managing outbreaks with localised lockdowns. 

He had told Sky News: "The day we are going to conquer the pandemic is not necessarily the vaccine. It is when we learn to live with the pandemic…”.  

According to website Our World in Data, over 32 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered so far. 

Like everybody else, Kluge continues to be optimistic. 

“2021 will be another year of the coronavirus, but this will be a more predictable year, the situation will be easier to control”, he maintains. 

From the way the world is heading with the numbers shooting upwards, I'm not so sure. Anyway, the pandemic will surely get worse before it gets better.

Thursday, January 14, 2021


The CSO Platform for Reform, a coalition of 75 Malaysian civil society organizations has labelled the Emergency announcement by backdoor prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin (right) as an assault on Malaysia’s civil liberties. 

Saying the decision is detrimental to parliamentary democracy, the group is now calling on the public to reject the proclamation through an online campaign using the hashtag #BantahDaruratMuhyiddin. 

“The CSO Platform for Reform firmly believes in good governance via institutional reforms, and we demand that the government uphold our fundamental human rights and not use the Covid-19 pandemic as a tool to justify actions, such as the emergency, to undermine our democracy and civil liberties”, said a CSO statement. 

Indeed, the pronouncement does not demonstrate a real necessity as expressly set out in Article 150 of the Federal Constitution to justify the unfettered executive power to Muhyiddin, especially when MCO was already announced the night before. 

#saynotoemergency #BantahDaruratMuhyiddin

92 Million Cases and Please Don't Tell Anybody You Work at Facebook

Global coronavirus cases have topped 92 million. 

In case you’re not aware, the World Health Organization on Thursday said four variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus responsible for causing Covid-19 are already circulating worldwide. 

I guess, there’s no stopping Covid-19. Besides, with the half-measures taken by governments in many countries, please don't expect the virus to make a retreat. 

Believe me, the best thing to do is to build and strengthen your body immunity  and you should be fine.

Work at Facebook? Best you keep that to yourself.

Facebook on Monday told employees to avoid wearing or carrying company-branded clothing and other items in public following the company’s suspension last week of President Donald Trump’s account and their more recent crackdown on content mentioning “Stop the Steal”, an online movement that falsely claimed the presidential election results had been corrupted. 

The Facebook management’s internal memo to employees about the issue, which was reviewed by The Information, reflects concerns that the company’s actions following the deadly trespass on the US Capitol last week could put staff at risk. 

But why only pick on Trump? There are countless other right-wing individuals and organizations spewing hate on Facebook – and yet they remain untouched.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

2nd MCO to Impair Malaysia's Economy

Malaysia’s economic recovery will be severely hurt by the government’s move to enforce a second Movement Control Order as key industries were still reeling from the first lockdown that ended just six months ago, Moody’s Analytics warned. 

Growth of South-east Asia’s third largest economy contracted 17 percent in the second quarter of 2020 as the MCO that spanned from March to May put businesses and trade to a near-total halt. 

“Another MCO-level lockdown would dent the Malaysian economy significantly”, Denise Cheok, economist at the Moody’s unit that oversees Malaysia, told Malay Mail. 

In fact, in the same Malay Mail today, there’s a news report saying that hotels in the tourist island of Langkawi saw bookings plunge as much as 60 percent following the government’s reintroduction of the MCO barring interstate travel nationwide. 

While the MCO is supposed to last only two weeks until January 26, Langkawi Tourism Association chief executive, Zainuddin Kadir told Utusan Malaysia that 100 percent of hotel bookings on the island for the Chinese New Year holidays next month have also been cancelled. 

There's no doubt about it  MCO 2 is a serious hit to the economy. 

Government ministers like every other civil servant will still enjoy their full salaries and perks – but for those in the private sector or who are self-employed, they’re on their own. It would seem that their livelihoods don't matter! 

Celtic’s home Scottish Premiership match with Hibernian went ahead on Monday despite the Parkhead squad being decimated by Covid-19 – with manager Neil Lennon and thirteen players having to self-isolate. 

And they led through David Turnbull's free-kick in the eighty-second minute – but their opponents’ equalizer (90+1) denied Celtic three points. 

The draw left Celtic – who still have three games in hand – 21 points behind Scottish Premiership leaders Rangers!

World Speech Day 2021 Bandar Seri Begawan

World Speech Day 2021 welcomes Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam!

#unexpectedvoices #worldspeechday

A State of Emergency

GK Ganesan (left) is a lawyer, and he has a YouTube channel called ‘GKtv Law’. 

Certainly, his videos are illuminating and insightful. And he spells out issues in plain language. 

Now, listen to him speak about the Malaysian Government’s intention* to declare an Emergency here:


*Note that in this video, it is an ‘intention’ because this clip was published October 25, 2020 – nonetheless, the arguments still stand today. 

Yesterday, Malaysia was put under a state of Emergency. An ominous event. A grim chapter in the country's history.

Malaysians know that the Emergency profits the Prime Minister, and his Cabinet. These people are the rakyat’s trustees; when they abuse the Constitution, they disobey their sworn oath. 

My poor, much-abused country!