Putrajaya announces 14-day administrative EMCO in Kota Setar, Kedah

Putrajaya announced an administrative enhanced movement control order (EMCO) will be imposed on the Kota Setar district in Kedah after a spike in Covid-19 cases. Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said that since cases in Kedah, including the Tawar, Sivagangga, and Sungai cluster were increasing, the special committee has decided to impose the administrative EMCO. The administrative EMCO will be implemented in Kota Setar from 12.01am September 11 until September 25. Around 366,787 people in 28 townships will be affected by this. Apart from that, the international entry point at Bukit Kayu Hitam will be shut down for the duration of the administrative EMCO. Only essential stores will be allowed to opened, including food providers, grocery stores, petrol stations, clinics and hospitals. Only the head of the family or one person per family is allowed to go out to buy supplies. “The EMCO here is the same as elsewhere,” said Ismail. (Malay Mail)

California, Oregon cloaked in blood-red haze as fires worsen, deaths mount

After turning skies blood red in California’s Bay Area and Oregon, the wildfires raging across the Western U.S. worsened on Thursday, destroying hundreds more homes, forcing further evacuations and killing at least seven people. Residents of the Bay Area and parts of Oregon woke up Wednesday morning to skies turned orange-red from a mix of fog and smoke from the fires, blocking sunlight and dropping temperatures. Dozens of fires—spurred by hot temperatures and dry conditions, exacerbated by climate change—are burning across California, Oregon and Washington during a particularly difficult fire season. The wildfires have scorched at least 2.5 million acres of land in California, forcing the closure of all national forests, while several Oregon towns have been destroyed by the blazes. The discoloration of skies is expected to last through the rest of the week. At least four others have died outside of California. (Forbes)

A man takes a selfie with the Golden Gate Bridge amid dark orange skies in San Francisco. -HEARST NEWSPAPERS VIA GETTY IMAGES

24 PR1MA projects cancelled, Ministry to pay RM42 mil, says Zuraida

The Ministry of Housing and Local Government (KPKT) will pay compensation amounting to RM42 million to contractors who had carried out preliminary works for 24 projects of the PR1MA Corporation Malaysia which have been cancelled. Its Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said in this regard the government has identified 27 sites to be developed for PR1MA affordable houses outside Selangor and Kuala Lumpur. “We will be starting (the projects)…we just received approval from the Finance Ministry for eight sites. Later, with the 27 sites we have acquired we will process their locations and land before starting the projects,” she said. According to Zuraida the project was coordinated under a National Housing Department system including Malaysia Civil Servants Housing (PPAM) and Syarikat Perumahan Negara Berhad (SPNB). Earlier, Zuraida reported that 24 out of 94 PR1MA projects had been cancelled, with 70 still going on. (The Edge)

Ministry to find long-term solution to KL floods

The Federal Territories Ministry will study the cause of severe flash flooding which struck the capital yesterday, and find a long-term solution to prevent crippling inundations from recurring. Its Minister, Tan Sri Annuar Musa, said he will request a report from the Irrigation and Drainage Department (JPS) and Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) on the capabilities of existing irrigation and flood mitigation systems, including the Smart Tunnel. He said the ministry will also explore whether ongoing developments in several locations in the city have exacerbated the situation. Annuar also said the volume of rainfall yesterday was higher than usual and overwhelmed the existing drainage system. The floodwaters rose to as high as three metres in the affected areas. Fifteen victims who were trapped by floodwaters were rescued by firemen. (NST Online)

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Eateries can stay open till 2am

Dealing with late-night hunger pangs will no longer be a problem as restaurants and convenience stores are now allowed to stay open until 2am. Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the National Security Council (MKN) agreed to extend the operating hours following requests from operators bemoaning the lack of income. “There have been complaints, especially in tourist areas like Langkawi. Entertainment is still not allowed, so all that tourists can do is eat. Restaurant owners have asked for an extension of operation hours. “MKN has agreed to allow food outlets and convenience stores to open until 2am,” he said. Currently, all businesses have to shut at midnight under the recovery movement control order (MCO). (The Star Online)