A piece of good news brightens the day

Dear Diary,

There was plenty of bad news early in the day but my Thursday was saved with the announcement that there are only 10 new Covid-19 cases – the lowest since the Movement Control Order (MCO) began on March 18.

And for the sixth day in a row there are no fatalities, increasing the chances of the Conditional MCO being lifted on June 9 – although we must not let our guard down as a vaccine is still nowhere in sight.

Meanwhile, the planned launch of SpaceX was postponed just 17 minutes before it was supposed to happen, due to bad weather.

It will now, hopefully, take place on Saturday (early morning Sunday in Malaysia). As a reminder to watch it, bookmark this page.

Here’s how Day 72 of MCO unfolded.

7.45am: BAD NEWS 1 – Five Covid-19 patients die in a hospital fire in the Bangladesh capital Dhaka early this morning.

8.15am: BAD NEWS 2 – Covid-19 deaths in the United States surpass 100,000 while Brazil’s tops 25,000.

9.47am: BAD NEWS 3 – Hundreds of jobs to be lost as Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp says it will stop printing more than 100 regional and local newspapers in Australia. Meanwhile, dozens of towns and cities across England will lose their distinctive local radio stations later this year after the commercial group Bauer announced plans to fold almost 50 regional outlets into a national radio network.

10am: LET’S GO FOR A SWIM

11.01am: TROUBLE – Hong Kong Legislative Council adjourned amid tense exchange between democracy and pro-establishment camps.

12.05pm: NO FUNNo screaming allowed in Japanese rollercoasters as amusement parks are allowed to reopen.

12.13pm: WHAT THE … — A Twentytwo13 reader saw this in Giant in Kota Damansara today.

1pm: WHAT’S COOKING? – Here’s a rendang recipe from the show, Quarantine Raya. I enjoyed watching it last week and will surely try this soon.

2pm: STOPING ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS – Op Benteng, which involves personnel from the Armed Forces, police, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency and the Malaysian Border Security Agency has nabbed 327 foreign workers and 41 tekong (boat captains) who were trying to sneak into the country from May 1 until yesterday.

Another seven people, believed to be smugglers, were also arrested and seven vessels intercepted. The enforcement agencies also foiled illegal entry attempts by 86 immigrants, three tekongs and three vessels. Another 1,515 foreigners who trespassed Malaysian borders were also nabbed.

However, the government will not take legal action against foreigners whose visas or social visit passes expired as the Immigration Department and related government agencies are closed.

Yesterday, 64 compounds were issued for visits on the fourth day of Hari Raya while 842 vehicles had to turn around after attempting to cross state lines without authorisation. The states with the worst offenders are Selangor (514), Negeri Sembilan(54) and Melaka (51).

Separately, quarantine fees at hotels for students returning to Malaysia after completing their studies will be shouldered by their sponsors such as the Public Service Department.

3.58pm: BROTHERS IN ARMS – Taiwan offers to settle Hong Kongers who flee the Chinese-ruled city due to political reasons, promising jobs and counselling.

4.18pm: CAR PLANT CLOSING – Spain says Nissan to shut its Barcelona car plant which employs 3,000 people.

5.03pm: DOWN TO 10 – Only 10 new cases – the lowest yet – which take the tally to 7,629. Fatalities remain at 115 while 86 patients have been discharged. This means 6,169 people have been cured.

6pm: HAIR-RAISING

6.30pm: DANCE ME TO THE END OF LOVE – Here’s a number from the movie Failure To Launch, dedicated to SpaceX. I’m more familiar with the Leonard Cohen version but Madeleine Peyroux’s take which was featured in the movie, is just as poignant.

7.05PM: SACKED – Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, Datuk Amiruddin Hamzah and Maszlee Malik have been sacked by Bersatu for opposing the Perikatan Nasional government.

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