Nicol David voted World Games Greatest Athlete of All Time

Malaysian squash queen Datuk Nicol David has been crowned ‘The World Games Greatest Athlete of All Time’ with a huge win in a global online poll. Being the only Asian candidate, the eight-time squash world champion, who had been the frontrunner since day one, garnered 318,943 votes to secure the win with an over 200,000-vote majority, according to The World Games’ official website. The 37-year-old Penangite, who had an unprecedented record nine-year reign as the world’s number one, outclassed 23 other athletes representing their respective sports from all editions of the World Games’ 40-year history in the poll. “It came as a surprise to see me amongst these other top athletes and I’m grateful for this…hopefully it can elevate attention for the future of squash, and it’s a proud moment to represent my country and Asia,” Nicol said. World Squash Federation (WSF) President Zena Wooldridge said Nicol’s victory is recognition of a wonderful career that saw her break numerous records and win everything there was to win in the sport. The Greatest Athlete of All Time poll was held in conjunction with the World Games 40th anniversary after the first edition was held in 1981 at Santa Clara, California. (Bernama)

FT minister: Over 30,000 families in Kuala Lumpur under poverty line

Over 30,000 families out of 1.8 million population in the capital are estimated to have an income of below RM2,200, which is under the poverty line, and need appropriate assistance, said the Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa. Annuar said the number was identified in 178 localities around Kuala Lumpur especially involving the People’s Housing Project (PPR) residents. “In the city (Kuala Lumpur), this group cannot meet basic needs such as food, clothes and shelter. (So) we feel that they need to be assisted with various facilities and aid and there must be special planning so that this group is not left behind,” he said. However, Annuar said the exact number of household heads who fall under the poverty line could not be ascertained as the matter was managed by various agencies, which caused some overlap. The ministry would distribute over 5,000 bags of rice per week to the needy under the MyBeras@Wilayah programme compared to 3,000 bags previously, due to the overwhelming response from contributors. (Malay Mail)

Malaysia’s economy to worsen on muted private consumption — Fitch

Malaysia’s economic outlook is set to worsen this year with gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2021 dipping to 10%, down from 11.5% projected earlier. Fitch Solutions, the research arm of Fitch Group, cited “muted private consumption”. “Employment and wages are likely to once again come under intense pressure, this time with even less scope for fiscal support, given that government finances are already strained and close to the raised debt limit of 60% of GDP,” it said. It added that a decline in GDP growth will further negatively impact the number of available funds needed to strengthen Malaysia’s healthcare system. Fitch Solutions said the surge in Covid-19 cases will paralyse Malaysia’s healthcare system. (The Edge)

50% of respondents uncertain about trajectory of Malaysia’s economy, government

One in two respondents in a survey conducted by Emir Research indicated they are unsure about the direction of the country, the standing of the economy, and the viability of the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government. 30% said they believed the country was going the right way while the remaining 20% felt the current trajectory was wrong. “We observe the respondents’ agreement with the three statements has been dwindling (while disagreement increasing) before the change in government in March 2020,” Emir Research said in its findings. The research also noted a marked increase in agreement and comparable decrease in disagreement since the current government came to power in early March 2020. However, the firm said negative views were starting to rise again. (Malay Mail)

Ismail Sabri: MCO violators to face stern action after Feb 4

Individuals who violate the movement control order (MCO) will be subject to stern action without compromise after Feb 4 following the drastic rise in Covid-19 cases, said Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob. He attributed the move to the rising number of daily Covid-19 cases, especially involving workers in construction areas and factories. Ismail Sabri said that all employers in both sectors throughout the country have been instructed to conduct Covid-19 screening tests on their foreign workers. Previously, only foreign workers in the two sectors in six states were required to undergo screening tests. “The Emergency Ordinance will be amended to ensure that employers provide better housing to their foreign workers, and the ordinance can ensure their compliance,” he said, adding that workers’ accommodation was one of the factors behind the rise in Covid-19 cases. (The Edge)