Usaha cari penawar baharu kanser MUHAMAD ADZHAR TAJUDDIN

Publication: Sinar Harian
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IPOH – Majlis Kanser Nasional (Makna) sedang giat melakukan kajian bersama beberapa buah universiti tempatan dalam mencari penawar baharu bagi merawat penyakit kanser yang disifatkan antara tertinggi dihidapi masyarakat di negara ini.

Presiden Makna, Datuk Mohd Farid Ariffin berkata, kajian melibatkan beberapa jenis tumbuhan tempatan yang dikenal pasti berkemungkinan mampu menyembuhkan kanser itu berjalan lancar.

Menurutnya, usaha itu dilakukan bersama Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) sejak 2001.

“Saya tak mahu memberi harapan tetapi berkemungkinan besar beberapa jenis tumbuhan mungkin boleh menjadi penawar baharu kepada penyakit kanser,” katanya.

Beliau berkata demikian kepada pemberita ketika ditemui pada Majlis Penghargaan Sukarelawan Makna di Hotel Syuen, di sini, semalam.

Hadir sama, Pengurus Besar Makna, Farahida Mohd Farid dan Ahli Makna, Prof Dr IshakMat.

Menurutnya, antara punca ribuan penduduk di negara ini menghidap penyakit kanser adalah disebabkan pengaruh gaya hidup dan faktor pemakanan.

“Paling kritikal adalah pemakanan, orang Malaysia ini ada yang sehari makan sampai tujuh kali sedangkan kita mengetahui bahawa kebanyakan jenis makanan tidak mempunyai khasiat dan menyumbang kepada pelbagai penyakit,” katanya.

Sementara itu, Farahida berkata, penduduk di Sabah dan Sarawak khususnya di kawasan pedalaman bakal menikmati kemudahan pusat rawatan bergerak yang menawarkan perkhidmatan mamogram tahun depan.

“Ia lebih kepada perkhidmatan mamogram iaitu pemeriksaan saringan sinar X yang dilakukan untuk mengesan peringkat awal kanser payudara,” katanya.

Beliau berkata, pusat rawatan bergerak itu dianggarkan bernilai lebih RM3 juta dan semua kos tersebut dibiayai Makna.

In yoga, an unlikely friendship forged BY PATHMA SUBRAMANIAM

Publication: The Malay Mail Online
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KUALA LUMPUR, March 4 — The Indian monsoon brings a lot in its wake. At first a cool respite after the usual four-month long blistering summer and as it progresses, melancholy shrouds the vast region as rapid floods bring about a swathe of destruction almost annually.
But for Angeline Liew and Raymond Lim, the monsoon — during their sojourn in Mysore, Karnataka — in October 2010 brought about an opportunity for the two successful corporate high flyers to try their hand at entrepreneurship in one of the oldest spiritual forms of well-being – yoga.

The duo came to know each other through a mutual friend, who is also a yoga instructor, in 2009 when they had expressed intentions to pursue professional lessons in Hatha yoga at a teachers’ training ashram in the royal city.
But when even the best of friends think twice, if not more, about striking a partnership, Liew and Lim — who had just become friends for about a year at that point — decided to take the plunge, leaving the rest to hard work.
Yoga practitioners, Liew and Lim — trained by Bharath Shetty, a direct disciple of BKS Iyengar, the yoga guru who helped take the ancient Indian spiritual practice to the rest of the world — decided to open up their own studio, aptly named Prana Yoga, not just as a platform to practise yoga but to cultivate mindfulness and acceptance.

“It was the rainy season and we had the day off from class… we were talking about where this is going in a few years from now and we thought it would be nice to have our own space so that we can really share what we believe in, and two years later the dream came true,” related Liew.

Liew dabbled in yoga after a forgotten back injury began bothering her in 2000 from stress at work, marriage preparations and moving into a new house; things came to a head onboard a longhaul flight to the United States, when upon arriving at her destination Liew could hardly walk.

“I realised then my spine was bad. I immediately saw a chiropractor but it didn’t help. A friend suggested I try yoga, I tried one class and I liked it. It felt good to stretch out and so I kept going back,” she said.

“Everywhere I went because of work and travel, I would pop into a class whenever I could and I made it a point to do that but the downside to that is that there is no fix teacher to guide you… I was window shopping for different styles just so I could get my yoga fix,” related Liew.

Having had a sedentary lifestyle for most parts of her career, yoga asanas or poses eased her lower back pain by gently stretching and strengthening the muscles of the lower back and legs.

“You are as healthy as your spine and we often try to fix things rather than to maintain what we already have,” she said.

Late 2008, Liew resigned as a regional marketing consultant for a multinational company and took off for a month discovering India, and at the near end of her impromptu tour Liew signed up for a yoga teachers’ training programme at Ananda Ashram in Mysore, and upon returning to Malaysia she discovered Lim had joined the same programme.
But unlike Liew, Lim’s draw to yoga started with a fascination for a tricky asana he spotted on a billboard five years ago.
Lim, who began his career as a chef at a five-star luxury hotel, too suffered from bad back due to poor posture from standing more than 10 hours daily.
He subsequently traded the demanding job in the kitchen, in 2007,for the front desk — in the food and beverages industry — but it not alleviate his back problems.

“I saw a billboard of a guy striking a yoga pose, a very fancy yoga pose and I thought to myself “so cool I also want to be able to do that” — that was my initial motivation. I signed up for yoga but even after a year I couldn’t achieve that pose.
“Nevertheless I started getting amazing results, not just did my back pain disappear but I started to have less instances of fevers. Before getting into yoga, I often came down with fever due to weak immunity and severe gastric all because of irregular eating hours from my days as a chef,” he said.

After two years, the chef-turned-yogi decided to take the teachers’ training programme to be able to convey how yoga had helped him.

“While I was in the F&B industry after a certain period I used to get bored and I always looked for something to inspire me and to motivate me to move forward but the cycle repeats itself.
“But doing yoga has been different… yes, we have to make some money from teaching — in order to survive — but most importantly it’s been a way of improving ourselves and others along the way, which is more rewarding than money,” said Lim, who signed up for the same course as Liew in 2009 and eventually quit his job to focus on yoga full-time.

In 2012, Liew and Lim opened Prana Yoga, which is located in Taman Tun Dr Ismail. The studio now holds 11 different programmes and more than 20 classes a week — suited for all levels — with six other teachers.
Among the unique features of their programmes are prenatal and postnatal exercises — which is one of their most attended class.

For both of them, yoga, which began as a therapeutic escape, is now a means to help others.
To make the experience all the more wholesome, the duo had concurrently initiated the Pledge A Ringgit, to encourage selfless service.
The studio donates RM1 to charity for every class an individual attends for a term ranging three months to a year.
In the first month after their launch, they collected RM1,000 in three months — which was donated to the National Cancer Council Malaysia (Makna).

“It is just sharing what you love and making that other person the priority and making that person live their best life by coming to terms with what the mind and body can or cannot do and being relatively okay with it,” explained Liew.
“What we teach you is what is relevant for your body and mind — you may come with an external objective, you may want to lose your muffin top, get a bikini body or improve your golf swing, or you are just someone who needs a break from a stressful job… whatever your objective is when you get on the mat we will make the class work for you, that’s the personal touch we deliver,” she assured.

Prana Yoga KL
Unit 2.3, 2nd Floor, Pusat Kreatif Kanak Kanak Tuanku Bainun, 48 Jalan Tun Mohd Fuad, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: 012-976-4866

Get Ready For A Major Fashion Fiesta In Town With A Record-Breaking Runway

Publication: Malaysian Digest
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When entrepreneur and fashion enthusiast, Ezza Yusof, started her franchise shoe label 2morrow Shoes in 2012, little did she know that 3 years down the road she would be reaching greater heights and producing what will soon be one of Kuala Lumpur’s major fashion events.
The first of its kind, the 2morrow Fashion Blast Fiesta this year is expected to paint the town fashionably red, kicking off on 9 and 10 May at the breathtaking rooftop of Avenue K.

“When I started, the shoe label was a Thailand owned brand, but now we will be rebranding it with our new line of shoes which are locally designed, and will be launched in conjunction with the fashion event,” she tells Malaysian Digest.
Now a successful entrepreneur, Ezza understands how starting in the lows with a first few online sales and then shifting into a bigger consumer market can be challenging.

But after a few struggles, her brand is now available in outlets like Tangs and Robinsons Malaysia − that’s what inspired her to provide a platform in support of local designers and entrepreneurs alike.

“I would like to encourage local designers, and online entrepreneurs to move out of their comfort zones and onto a bigger platform to be seen and heard. We’ve previously participated in Urbanscapes and the 4th Malaysia International Shoe Festival, but this will be even grander.
“We are expecting 70 vendors, a variety of musicians, with multiple activities going on at the venue. Besides that, part of the sales collection from the booths will be going to the National Cancer Council (MAKNA),” Ezza explains.

However, the highlight of the event would be its runway which is deemed to enter The Malaysia Book of Records as the longest runway ever built in Malaysia. With a length of 405 meters, the exclusive runway will be graced by 30 model finalists selected via a competition called ‘The Face of 2morrow’ that the company is concurrently running.

“The runway stage is definitely the highlight of this event as it has never been done before, beating the previous record. It would take at least 2 to 3 days to build this runway, and I’m excited! Meanwhile in search of ‘The Face of 2morrow’, 10 male, 10 female and 10 hijabista models will be shortlisted to walk the runway during the finale. Prior to the event, the winners will be selected by celebrity judges which we have yet to disclose at this point of time.
“Those interested can still sign up on our website with requirements as stated. It’s pretty simple, just submit your best photo and you might just stand a chance of winning a modelling contract with ML Model agency.
“I’m happy that we’ve been getting a lot of support from the Muslimah community too. Our event will also be highlighting the latest on the Muslimah fashion front. All young fashionistas online will be competing against each other in selection of the most stylish Muslimah,” she shares.

Don’t know about you but we’re already excited to know who will be ‘The Face of 2morrow’, and how the majestic setup for the longest runway in Malaysia will turn out to be. If you’re just as eager as we are, the fashion affair happening this May 9 and 10 will be open to public. So, don’t miss out and do look dressed to kill!

Universiti Malaya aims for zero waste

Publication: The Star Online
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Universiti Malaya maximises recycling to minimise its waste.
With populations that run into the thousands, each university campus is a community in itself, generating as much trash as say, a village.

Their discards can be anything from five to eight tonnes a day, according to Dr Sumiani Yusoff, a solid waste management scientist at Universiti Malaya.
With there being 20 public universities and 200 private ones in the country, she estimates that the trash from these academic institutions amount to some 1,500 tonnes a day.

“They generate between 5% and 10% of the country’s total waste. And almost all are dumped into landfills,” says the associate professor in the department of civil engineering.
“The country now produces 33,000 tonnes of waste each day. It’s a pertinent issue that needs to be settled. We cannot rely on the Government … we should also take stock and do something about it.”

And that is the push behind UM’s Zero Waste Campaign. The scheme started out as a final year project on recycling by students in the environmental engineering department in 2009 and expanded to include segregation of food and garden wastes for composting.

In late 2010, it grew into the ambitious Zero Waste Campaign (ZWC) with funding from CIMB Foundation. Today, aside from recycling the usual paper, plastics and metals, wastes such as food scraps, garden trimmings, textiles, electronics and wood are also diverted from landfills.

“Waste management is not just waste treatment. It is complex as it is about managing waste,” says Sumiani, principal co-ordinator of the project.
“It entails various aspects such as generation, collection, reuse, recycling and disposal. Waste, if recovered, can be a resource. We should re-look our waste disposal hierarchy. We should first reduce, reuse, recycle, process and finally only landfill if we cannot do anything with it.”

Guided by that philosophy, the ZWC team adopted a multi-pronged strategy as the various waste-types have to be dealt with differently. It also collaborates with various private companies to ensure proper handling of the waste after collection from campus grounds. As a start, the placement of recycling bins all over the campus encourages waste separation. The recyclables are collected by janitors and sold to recyclers.
To ensure proper disposal of electronic waste, there is a drop-off bin at the ZWC project site located at the university’s waste storage area. Occasionally, special collections and pick-ups are organised for e-waste, which is then recycled by the company T-Pot E & E. The project, however, does not handle hazardous waste such light bulbs and laboratory waste; that is the domain of the UM occupational health unit.

Reusing waste
A key focus of the campaign is organic waste since that forms between 50% to 60% of our total discards. “If we ignore organic waste, we’re ignoring the bulk of our waste problem,” explains Sumiani.

“Landfills are the biggest source of man-made methane (released when organic waste decomposes). Methane is a potent greenhouse gas. Although its concentration (in the atmosphere) is 200 times lower than that of carbon dioxide, it accounts for 20% of the current warming capacity. If we tackle organic waste, half of our waste problem is already solved. Another 20% to 30% of waste can be recycled. That leaves a small amount which cannot be recycled. Then only can you talk about incineration of the remaining waste.”

The 20 food outlets in the UM campus generate some 400kg of food waste daily. To deal with that, in September 2011 the ZWC team started a composting scheme to turn the waste into compost. Cafe operators have to separate their waste; food scraps go into white plastic bags so as to distinguish them from the recyclables and general waste which are put into black bags.

The food waste, together with garden trimmings, are sent to the waste storage area. The waste is piled into heaps and stirred daily to encourage aerobic decomposition by microbes. After four to five weeks, it would have broken down and mature into fertile compost, which is used to enrich the soil. The compost is distributed free to UM communities.
At the site, some organic waste is treated in an anaerobic digester. The UM team is researching the performance of the machine, provided by the company CH Green. This method produces liquid compost and methane.
The volume of the gas, however, is too small for conversion into energy. So, it is merely flared or used as cooking gas by the workers.

Currently, the composting effort can only handle four out of the 10 tonnes of organic waste thrown out each month. The remaining waste still has to go to landfills.

“Nevertheless, through the composting scheme, some four to five Ro-Ro bins (dumpsters) of organic waste are diverted from landfills each month and turned into a resource,” says ZWC manager, Jaron Keng. “It also leads to savings in transport costs, fuel and tipping fees as well as non-tangible benefits such as emission reductions and environmental protection.”

After four to five weeks, these heaps of food and garden waste will be transformed into useful compost.
Until December 2014, over 145,300kg of organic waste has been treated, producing 4,700kg of compost and curbing the emission of 70 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.
Challenges remain, however. The need to purchase the white plastic bags – some 80 bags are given free initially – might deter cafe operators from using them. To counter that, the team plans to seek the help of the university administration to subsidise the bags.

“Continuous campaigning is needed to educate food outlet operators as they change when contracts expire. The waste separation is now voluntary … some couldn’t care less and are not helpful. We hope to get the university to make waste separation a policy,” says Sumiani.
The team also tied up with Kris Biofuel to turn used cooking oil into biodiesel, but faces difficulties in collecting the waste. “Cafe operators prefer to sell to recyclers who pay a higher price. We cannot offer a high price as diesel price is low,” explains Sumiani.

Saving old clothes
To handle textile waste, the team collaborates with a recycler, Life Line Clothing. The collaboration started a year ago with only two drop-off bins. Now, there are 10 bins all over the campus for people to dispose of their old clothes and household textiles such as curtains and bedsheets.
Old toys, bags and shoes are also accepted. Life Line donates a certain sum (undisclosed) for every kilogramme of waste dropped into the bin, to three charities – the Malaysian Association for the Blind, Spastic Children’s Association of Selangor and Federal Territory, and the National Cancer Council.

Some three tonnes of wastes are collected each month. At the textile recycling factory located in Port Klang, the items are graded. The usable items are sold as second-hand goods here as well as shipped abroad. The rest are turned into industrial cleaning rags or sent to another facility which processes the waste into fuel.
In December, the campaign expanded to cover wood waste – mainly old furniture and tree cuttings. Some five tonnes are collected each month. The waste is used by TSP Waste Management to run boilers in its paper mill in Rasa, Selangor, thus avoiding the use of fossil fuel.
Sumiani estimates that the ZWC project has stopped some 13% of waste from ending up in dumps. “This is better than the national recycling rate which is at 10.8%.” The project has ambitious goals – a waste diversion target of 15% by 2020, 30% by 2030, and 60% thereafter.

What about reaching “zero waste”?

“It is an elusive goal to get zero waste but we’re striving to reduce as much as possible. We called it Zero Waste Campaign as we have to think big and aim high. It is also to challenge ourselves so that we keep improving and one day, we will be zero waste. Europe is almost zero-organic-waste. When we started, we were only recycling, then we tackled the organic waste. Now, the project has expanded to handle e-waste and also textile waste,” says Sumiani.

Indeed, the ZWC has developed several key projects that have raised the recycling rate in the campus and diverted waste from landfills. Waste disposal costs have also been reduced, as have environmental pollution and carbon emissions. The pioneering project is a role model for integrated waste management and will boost UM’s aspiration to be a green campus.