News In Brief

Welcome to our ‘News In Brief’ column in which we digest all the news releases for you and write them in no more than five paragraphs. Below are snippets of all the media releases that we received from Sept 27 till October 3. Please check back throughout the week for more updates.

Radisson Hotel Group Appoints New VP of Finance

Singapore, Sept 28: Radisson Hotel Group has announced the appointment of Evelyn Wong Soo Pin as Vice President, Finance, Tax & IT, Asia Pacific, as the company moves ahead with its transformation strategy.
A Singaporean with more than 20 years of professional experience, Wong is a graduate of Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore, where she obtained a Bachelor of Accountancy Degree and a Diploma in Maritime Business Management. 
“I am very excited to be joining Radisson Hotel Group. I look forward to working with the entire team and providing the benefit of my experience and expertise, as we continue to expand our operations and roll-out state-of-the-art technologies across Asia Pacific,” Wong  (pictured above) said in a statement.
She is also a registered chartered accountant in Singapore, and joins Radisson Hotel Group from SGX-listed AMOS Group Limited, where she held the role of Chief Financial Officer.

Latest Updates On The AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road To Qatar

Kuala Lumpur, Sept 28: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has confirmed Qatar as the neutral venue for the AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar Group A tie between Iraq and Lebanon as well as the Group B match between Australia and Oman scheduled on October 7.
The Socceroos, who are the current Group B leaders after registering successive victories in September’s opening round of matches, as well as Iraq, who have registered a point in Group A, will both continue to play their home matches in a neutral venue.
Both matches will be played at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha with the Iraq and Lebanon showdown taking place at 5:30pm (local time) before Australia and Oman face-off four hours later.
Meanwhile, Korea Republic’s Group A home tie against opponents Syria scheduled for October 7, will be held at the Ansan Wa Stadium at 8:00pm (local time).
Please click here for the latest developments.

MR D.I.Y. distributes RM300 in cash via

Kuala Lumpur, Sept 28: Good news for close to 15,000 University Malaya [UM] undergraduates returning to campus this October as retailer MR D.I.Y. will be distributing RM300 to each student to help them purchase essential supplies to facilitate their return to campus.
The #DIY4UM aid programme, MR D.I.Y. Chief Executive Officer, Adrian Ong said the programme was aimed at helping students make the back-to-campus transition as smooth and worry-free as possible.
“The reopening of campuses is a major milestone for university students,” said Ong.
“After many months of lockdown, they will finally be able to reconvene on campus to fully benefit from the in-person learning experience and enjoy the academic social interaction with lecturers and fellow students alike.”
“We believe it’s important that they are well equipped with protective and learning essentials to keep themselves safe while staying focused on their studies, which is why we are distributing this cash aid to undergraduates at University Malaya.”
Dubbed #DIY4UM, the RM4.5 million cash aid distribution programme is being implemented in partnership with Touch ‘n Go via its eWallet platform in three equal payments of RM100 each on November 1 and 30, and December 30. 

FC Medical Committee Prioritises The Health And Wellbeing Of Players

Kuala Lumpur, Sept 28: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Medical Committee continued its commitment to expand the network of world-class medical centres in Asia by recognising The Kitchee – Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) Sports Medicine Clinic as the latest AFC Medical Centre of Excellence at its fourth meeting held virtually today.
The Kitchee – CUHK Sports Medicine Clinic will now be part of 10 AFC Medical Centres of Excellence, a concept launched in 2018 to provide better healthcare for footballers in Asia by recognising medical institutions and clinics which demonstrate leadership in clinical skills, rehabilitation, research, and education as well as injury prevention.
“Asia is a vast continent, and the AFC is continuously looking to expand the scope and access for players to obtain world-class medical attention and treatment.
“The AFC remains committed towards taking on a leading role in adopting the world’s best medical practices and through the ever-expanding family of the AFC Medical Centres of Excellence, we are committed to enhance the capabilities of medical practitioners through greater partnerships, which in turn will enable us to provide greater care for players in Asia,” AFC’s network of  Medical Centres of Excellence, Chairperson Datuk Dr. Gurcharan Singh said in a statement.
In its continued effort to keep football clean of doping, the Committee agreed to organise the AFC Anti-Doping Accreditation Course to be held virtually in December 2021 to keep AFC Anti-Doping Control Officers abreast of the latest changes in the WADA Code.

Mixing Education and Sports 

Sydney, Sept 27: Australian athletes are being encouraged to balance education and career pathways
with their sporting ambitions as the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) today launches a $200,000 education scholarships program.
The AIS is partnering with the John and Myriam Wylie Foundation to expand the AIS Education Scholarships program, which began as a $100,000 pilot last year and supported 40 athletes with education scholarships.
Wylie said the way Australian athletes pursued their sporting goals was truly admirable but added it should not have to be a choice between high performance sport and education.
“Our Aussie athletes are determined, resilient and tenacious in their pursuit of sporting success, but it doesn’t have to be at the sacrifice of their other ambitions, especially education and career pathways,” Wylie said in a statement.
“Our Foundation is passionate about supporting this AIS Education Scholarship program because we want athletes to know that Australians support them on their sporting journeys and we celebrate their success, but we equally value the transferable attributes and skills they can bring to life beyond sport.

Palo Alto Networks Introduces Prisma SASE

Kuala Lumpur, Sept 28: Palo Alto Networks has introduced Prisma SASE, bringing together Prisma Access and Prisma SD-WAN into an integrated cloud-delivered service with industry-leading network security and next-generation SD-WAN to ensure that organisations stay secure and productive while working fluidly between branch offices and home offices, and on the road. A recognised SASE industry leader with nearly 2,500 SASE customers, Palo Alto Networks is introducing further innovations for Prisma SASE, including SD-WAN with integrated 5G to accelerate SASE deployments to branch offices and ADEM to provide an enhanced digital experience for users regardless of location.
“Hybrid work is here to stay, and organisations are in need of a solution that enables them to secure all applications used by their employees on their network regardless of location — remote, mobile or from the office,” said Anand Oswal, senior vice president of products, Firewall as a Platform at Palo Alto Networks. 
“Prisma SASE is a massively distributed cloud service that provides the industry’s most complete SASE solution on the market, making it extremely easy for organisations to scale and secure their hybrid workforce while delivering an exceptional user experience.”
According to the recently released State of Hybrid Workforce Security 2021 report, 61 per cent of organisations have struggled to provide the necessary remote security to support work-from-home capabilities — accelerating the critical need for SASE to improve the security, connectivity and productivity for hybrid workers.

NTT Named As A Leader In The IDC MarketScape

Petaling Jaya, Sept 28: NTT Ltd., a global technology and business solutions provider, has again been named a Leader in the IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Network Consulting Services 2021 Vendor Assessment.
NTT’s network security capabilities was recognised for its ability to expand into new markets and global geographies, and improved employee efficiency. 
“Over the last several years, business reliance on the cloud has grown immensely,” NTT Ltd, Chief Marketing and Demand Generation Officer Matt Preschern said in a statement.
“This reliance is only set to grow as organisations continue to shift to a hybrid working model.”
The report also described the important role NTT has in the industry because of its continued investment and business growth.

AFC Launches First-Ever Academic Centre Of Excellence

Kuala Lumpur, Sept 29: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC)’s commitment to strengthen the capabilities of its Member and Regional Associations was further underlined today with the launch of the AFC Academic Centre of Excellence (ACE) – a virtual education initiative aimed at developing the skill sets and expertise of the future “ACE” leaders of Asian football.
Anchored in the core values of inspiring excellence, instilling innovation and the passion for football education, creating future leaders and leadership by example, the AFC Academic Centre of Excellence will commence with the delivery of two main programmes – the AFC Football Management Certificate (FMC) and the AFC Football Management Diploma (FMD).
“Success on-the-pitch is only guaranteed by our dedicated work off-the-pitch; and all our work off the pitch is guaranteed by the professionalism and pursuit of excellence of each individual involved in our beautiful game,” AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa said.
“With the launch of the AFC Academic Centre of Excellence, the AFC is committed to nurturing the future leaders of Asian football by placing a strong emphasis on interactive learning, with a vision and mission to enable football professionals to acquire the knowledge and skills relating to analysis, problem-solving, creativity and decision-making required in today’s dynamic world of football business
Both the FMC and FMD are open to all 47 AFC Member Associations (MAs) and five Regional Associations (RAs), Asian football and independent stakeholders, each designed in partnership with the AFC’s academic partner – the renowned Football Business Academy (FBA) based in Switzerland.

NTT Strengthens Alliance With Microsoft

Petaling Jaya, Sept 29: NTT Ltd. has announced the next phase of its strategic alliance with Microsoft, to deliver secure and reliable solutions that help enterprise customers accelerate digital transformation initiatives. 
NTT has been selected as one of the launch partners for Operator Connect for Microsoft Teams, which brings PSTN calling to Teams, providing integrated calling functionality that simplifies business communications. 
Available today, Operator Connect provides carrier-grade telephony and support services in 39 countries, with added extras such as compliance recording, dynamic E911, Call Queue and video interoperability. NTT’s Support and Managed Services capabilities also provides full lifecycle support to help clients activate holistic solutions across all workloads, including calling, collaboration, integrated customer experience, and productivity.
NTT as a launch partner for Operator Connect represents another key milestone in the strategic alliance between NTT and Microsoft.
In 2019, the two companies committed to building a new generation of managed service offerings that provide enhanced employee and customer experience based on Microsoft 365, Microsoft Viva, and Azure Communications Services. 

Alibaba.com Teams Up With Matrade, MDEC

Photo Supplied.


Kuala Lumpur, Sept 29: Alibaba.com today launched its Pandemic Recovery Support Program in collaboration with the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation  (MATRADE) and Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), to help more Malaysian  small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) build their cross-border e-commerce capabilities as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be felt. 
With an aim to equip up to 1,000 SMEs by the end of this year with hands-on e-commerce  operations skills, the Program will provide participants with complimentary access to the  Alibaba.com Seller Training E-Course (ASTE) to fast-track their onboarding process.  
“With the  global B2B e-commerce market valued at USD23.9 trillion and growing, we want to help local  SMEs get prepared for the shift of global trade towards e-commerce and emerge stronger from the pandemic,” Alibaba.com Head of Asia Pacific Stephen Kuo said.
Designed for suppliers new to the Alibaba.com platform, ASTE is an intensive two-day online  training program that offers 12 hours of online classroom sessions in four modules as well as guidance from experts and experienced online sellers.  
In addition to the complimentary ASTE training, which is worth USD2,000 (approximately  RM8,300) and originally only open to Alibaba.com’s paying members, Alibaba.com will offer  further benefits to participating SMEs upon completion of the Program. 
These include  discounts on membership and onboarding service packages, up to USD500 keyword  advertising credit and a free Value-Added Services voucher worth US$D600.

AFC Agrees Media Rights Deal With ESPN Exclusively In Latin America

Kuala Lumpur, Sept 30: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) announced its partnership with ESPN as their new media partner in Latin America, Central America and non-exclusively in the Caribbean to broadcast AFC competitions for the 2021 to 2024 rights cycle.
The agreement includes all major AFC national team and club competitions, including but not limited to the AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar, the AFC Asian Cup China 2023, as well as the AFC Champions League and AFC Cup from the 2021 season, the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022, AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Paris 2024, among many others.
ESPN’s pan-regional Latin America network was launched in 1989 and broadcasts high-definition content in Spanish, Portuguese and English to audiences in more than 15 countries.
ESPN and its impressive portfolio of rights covering all major soccer leagues, rugby, tennis, cricket, golf events to MLB, NFL and the NBA is accessible for over 39.5 million homes across the various territories.
Moreover, ESPN is also present on Star+, The Walt Disney Company Latin America’s streaming service for general entertainment and sports content, including live sports events and ESPN’s regional original productions.

Cash Slammed On Reforms 

Sydney, Sept 30: New laws proposed by Michaelia Cash today will cripple the capacity of everyday Australians to take legal action against corporations and governments, which – according to the peak body for class action law firms – is precisely their intent.
Cash released an exposure draft bill that would severely limit the ability to get worthwhile class actions off the ground, by applying a cap on class action funders and banning common fund orders (CFOs).
Class Actions Australia spokesperson and Maurice Blackburn’s National Head of Class Actions, Andrew Watson, said it was preposterous for the government to claim the laws were being introduced to help everyday Australians participating in class actions.
“This isn’t reform, it’s sabotage,” Watson said.
“The Morrison Government wants class actions de-clawed and de-fanged so corporations can use their power and size to get away with hurting people.

NtechLab Enters the Malaysian Market

NtechLab Enters the Malaysian Market with its World-Leading Face Recognition Technology. Supplied.

Kuala Lumpur, Sept 30: NtechLab, a global leader in video analytics, today announced its entry into Malaysia with FindFace Multi, a groundbreaking tool that accurately detects faces and silhouettes of people, and cars in real-time video streams. 
NtechLab algorithms are designed to help organisations and businesses make better decisions. The technology empowers governments and security services to act with greater speed and confidence and provides commercial companies with richer audience analytics. 
Using an intelligent criteria-based facial search, the system can detect and track ‘persons of interest’ in a split second. 
It also has high levels of accuracy in detecting faces when they are partially covered with medical masks or clothes.
Silhouette recognition enables the identification of people by the colour of clothes and accessories while vehicle recognition identifies the type of body, colour, manufacturer, and model of a car. It works even if license plates, or part of the car, are not visible. 

MR D.I.Y. Group adds 35 new stores across 7 states

 MR D.I.Y. Group drives growth with 35 new stores across seven states. Supplied.

Kuala Lumpur, Sept 30: Malaysia’s favourite home retailer MR D.I.Y. The Group will become even more accessible to Malaysians in October, when the group opens 35 new stores in seven states across the country.  
The new stores will comprise 14 MR. D.I.Y., three MR. D.I.Y. Express, six MR. TOY and 12 MR. DOLLAR stores, bringing the total number of stores across the group to 830.
“MR DIY is committed to taking our promise of “Always Low Prices” at convenient locations to even more Malaysians,” Andy Chin, Vice President of Marketing, MR D.I.Y. Group (M) Berhad said.
‘We realise that buying patterns have changed — consumers are shopping closer to home, and also looking for stores that can meet their need for a diverse range of products, which is something we do very well with our 830 stores and close to 20,000 product types.  
These 35 new stores will allow more customers to access us more easily, and further drive the growth of our business.”

New Translated Guide On Rent Relief For Business And Landlords

Melbourne, Oct 1: Victoria’s small business tenants and their landlords can now access the latest guidance on rent relief in Simplified Chinese, Arabic and Vietnamese.
These new web pages explain the Victorian Government’s Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme , which has been reinstated to ease the financial pressure that small business tenants are under because of coronavirus (COVID-19) and trading restrictions. 
The Scheme will help tenants with an annual turnover of less than $50 million who have experienced a fall in their turnover of more than 30 per cent during the pandemic. 
Under the Scheme, eligible business owners can get rent relief that matches their fall in turnover and are also protected from rent increases and eviction until 15 January 2022.
Small business tenants and landlords can access free help from the Victorian Small Business Commission (VSBC) – whether or not the tenant is eligible for the Scheme.

Mega Savings On Back-To-School Essentials

Photo Supplied.

Kuala Lumpur, Oct 1: There’s a flurry of excitement in the air as schoolchildren across the country prepare to return to school in stages, after close to 18 months in lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  
And as always, Malaysia’s favourite retailer MR D.I.Y. will mark the occasion with a mega “Back to School” campaign, designed to help parents and students stock up on school and safety essentials at low prices.  
The campaign, which runs through the month of October, offers up to 50 per cent discounts on 51 essential back-to-school items at all 742 MR. D.I.Y. stores, as well as at their e-commerce website.
The MR D.I.Y. “Back to School” product lineup includes children’s face masks at RM1.40 for 10 pieces, the all-important face mask case at RM2.50 each, while children’s face shields will be priced at RM1.20 per piece.  
Other return-to-school essentials include hand sanitisers in convenient 30ml refillable bottles at  RM2.50 each, cutlery sets at RM2.90, and lunch boxes at RM2.00 each.

Ni Hsin Ventures Acquires Stake In PLA

Managing Director of Ni Hsin Ecologistics Sdn Bhd, Khoo Chee Kong. Supplied.
Managing Director of Ni Hsin Ecologistics Sdn Bhd, Khoo Chee Kong. Supplied.

Kuala Lumpur, Oct 1: Ni Hsin Ecologistics Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Bursa Malaysia Main Market-listed Ni Hsin Group Berhad has entered into an Investment Agreement for the acquisition of a 60 per cent stake in Pride Logistics Alliance Sdn Bhd (PLA).
Established in 2014, PLA is principally engaged in providing freight forwarding services. 
“We are diversifying into the logistics industry to complement our food and beverage business as we see this acquisition as cementing the last mile of the ecosystem where we are using electric vehicles for delivery,” Managing Director of Ni Hsin Ecologistics Sdn Bhd, Khoo Chee Kong said.
PLA has an experienced team with the knowledge and expertise in logistics that we can leverage on.”
The Company’s business includes freight, forwarding, haulage & transportation, warehousing and international agency services.

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