2009 was a year for Malaysians to forge closer ties with one another and look up out-of-touch friends and family as evidenced by the presence of facebook, Friendster, MySpace, Twitter and Tagged in the top and fastest-rising searches for Malaysia. It was also a year that saw new faces, led by YouTube sensation Zee Avi in the entertainment field and politican Elizabeth Wong on the newsmakers list. Malaysians were also clearly interested in the recently-announced 1Malaysia F1 team that was granted permission to compete in next year’s Formula One season. Check out the lists below to get a better sense of the Malaysian Zeitgeist, or spirit of the times, in 2009!
SINGAPORE, Dec 31 — Singapore companies will win virtually unfettered access to almost two billion consumers from tomorrow when the world’s largest free trade area is launched.
The Asean-China FTA, which has been in the pipeline since 2002, is set to be worth about as much as the European Union or the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta), and will be bigger than both combined in terms of population.
Chinese Rear Admiral Yin Zhou, are you considering Co Co Islands of Myanmar?
BEIJING, Dec 30 — A Chinese rear admiral has urged the nation to set up navy supply bases overseas in an interview posted on the Ministry of Defence website after China paid ransom to free a ship held for nine weeks by Somali pirates.
China has operated patrols for a year now in the narrow Gulf of Aden, escorting Chinese and foreign ships through waters menaced by pirates operating off the Somali coast.
But coal and ore shipping lanes off the east coast of Africa have proved harder to defend. The De Xin Hai, captured 700 nautical miles east of Somalia in October, was ransomed for US$4 million (RM13.7 million) on Sunday.
Reflecting on the hardships endured by the Chinese patrol ships in the anti-piracy effort, Rear Admiral Yin Zhou floated the idea of bases abroad to support the vessels.
The head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned the global swine flu pandemic is not yet over and the virus could still mutate.
Dr Margaret Chan said it was important to “guard against complacency” despite signs the disease had peaked in North America and parts of Europe.