Posts tagged with "Malaysia"

Wildlife Rescue

Wildlife conservationist/veterinarian on the front lines says it is possible for orangutans, elephants and monkeys to coexist with palm oil plantations 

The island of Borneo, divided among Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia, is home to one of the world’s oldest rainforests. Borneo also produces about 80 percent of the world’s palm oil, a vegetable oil considered vital for global food security. Here in the U.S., palm oil is widely used in everything from snack foods and chocolate to cosmetics. 

But palm oil production is also blamed for Borneo’s disappearing rainforest, destroying wildlife habitats including those of the orangutan, which has become the face of a global anti-palm oil movement. 

“In the past 50 years, things have gone from bad to worse. Efforts to preserve the area’s wildlife need to be ramped up,” stresses wildlife conservationist and veterinarian Nathan Sen, DVM, whose first job out of vet school involved rescuing orangutans. 

Now as manager of Malaysia’s Wildlife Rescue Unit and leader of the Sabah Wildlife Department’s new endangered species conservation unit, Sen is boots-on-the-ground in Borneo. He sees the sad realities. 

Forest destruction is a rallying cry for the anti-palm movement. “Palm oil is called a golden crop. Its production is a valuable source of income, which has contributed to this worldwide ecological concern. In some areas of the world, local farmers dreaming of a better livelihood have burned down forests and converted the land to oil palm plantations,” Sen explains. 

But more recently, he sees glimmers of hope that may cause people to have a different perspective on the palm oil controversy. 

The situation is shifting toward peaceful coexistence

“The forest is one of Mother Earth’s greatest gifts to humans,” says Sen. “Palm oil can be produced more efficiently than other vegetable oils such as soy or rapeseed (canola).” It can also be produced responsibly. “By national law here in Malaysia, for example, all palm oil must be produced sustainably. There is also a strict ban on forest burning, as well as other initiatives to change palm oil production’s impact on our planet. 

“One of the government’s initiatives is to stop the development of any new palm oil plantations and improve production of our existing plantations. This is being done by introducing better trees that can produce more oil, and by improving the oil extraction process to increase the output, so the industry does not require more land,” Sen elaborates. 

Another program involves creating wildlife reserve areas along riverbanks. “By not planting against the rivers, orangutans, elephants and proboscis monkeys can now use the river’s edge for their habitat,” says Sen. 

In the Malaysian parts of Borneo, the states of Sabah and Sarawak, there is a stable population of orangutans numbering between 11,000 and 13,000. The Malaysian wildlife and forestry authorities have taken necessary measures so now this wild population lives mostly inside a protected natural habitat area, where they can thrive.  

This strong governmental support of national wildlife conservation programs is having a positive influence on the country’s palm oil farmers. 

“Ten years ago, farmers wanted to keep wildlife out of their plantations. I see a big change in that mentality,” Sen confirms. “More farmers now feel comfortable about coexisting with wildlife. They realize they share the forests with elephants and orangutans. They are allowing them to roam freely across their land. They are coming to understand that if we treat our wildlife with respect, the damage they may cause to the crop is quite negligible.”

He adds that he is very encouraged to see that orangutans are beginning to use Malaysia’s palm oil plantations as their habitat. It’s yet another sign that the country is managing the delicate balance between caring for its wildlife and its economy. 

Is the war on palm oil still justified? 

If palm oil were to be banned, it would need to be replaced by less land-efficient crops. And as Malaysia has proven, palm oil production can be accomplished while protecting wildlife and forests. 

But there is still much work to be done. “Many people still don’t realize that palm oil is the most sustainable choice. For sustainable palm oil production to expand globally, there must be demand by the public. Be vocal about asking companies to source their palm oil from producers who are protecting the rainforests. And buy from companies that have already made that important commitment, such as Coca-Cola, Nestle and Unilever,” recommends Sen.

“While you may never see an orangutan in the wild, your food and personal care product purchases can help ensure these wonderful creatures have safe homes for generations to come.”

 

Chinese Laundry Event photo by Kai Yeo for use by 360 Magazine

Chinese Laundry × JuneShine

By: Kai Yeo

Outstanding quality, unique designs, and an affordable price tag – our shoe choice for this season has got to be Chinese Laundry. With groundbreaking styles season after season, it is no surprise that this brand is also celebrity approvedBlake Lively and Miley Cyrus among the list – featuring trendy designs as well as refined classics perfect to transition from day to night. On Wednesday, we got to preview the new Chinese Laundry summer and fall collections at JuneShine, paired with hard kombucha and a floral arrangement session.

With the cutest balloon arch entrance set up, we were welcomed with hard kombucha and charcuterie boards along with the prettiest decorations. As I arrived ahead of time (in my Summer Rayva Sandals), I got the opportunity to mingle with the team and talk more about the current summer launch and upcoming fall collection, a mix of styles and trends ideal for today’s fashion-forward landscape.

If you’re new to Chinese Laundry, they have been in the shoes business since 1971. Growing to become a globally recognized fashion footwear distributor, the brand has now expanded into a family of four unique brands:

  • Chinese Laundry – Styles range from dress heels to casual flats, all designed to meet the season’s most desired trends
  • Dirty Laundry – Designed with edge in Los Angeles. Dirty Laundry is casual and vintage-inspired, with a twist of California rocker-cool. Iconic designs and bold silhouettes embody the brand’s timeless collection.
  • CL By Laundry – Responds to trends in the market and translates designs into affordable, easy-to-wear styles. The collection transitions seamlessly from work, weekend, and everything in between.
  • 42 Gold – Destined to elevate any look for the busy on-the-go woman. Indulge in luxury inspired designs without breaking the budget. Quality craftsmanship and versatile silhouettes are designed to meet the needs of a modern lifestyle. Jamie Chung collaborated with them in 2019 for a 12-piece shoe collection launch.

In the mini preview we saw, Chinese Laundry has proven to us yet again that their style is on point. Their new collection of shoes ranges from classic formal to trendy, offering a great array of styles. With so many options to choose from, you’ll be sure to find something you love for the next season! As more guests started to trickle in, we decided to look around the space and found the entire backroom filled with a gorgeous array of flowers – aided by florist Tess, we even got to make our own special denim bouquet.

With so many conversations and activities going on, it was time for some food and a second glass of kombucha. JuneShine is an all-natural, organic, gluten-free hard kombucha made from green tea and honey. The primary fermentation is done by pitching yeast and honey to create a probiotic kombucha, and more yeast and cane sugar is added during the secondary fermentation (which brings the kombucha to 6% alcohol). If the alcohol percentage is a little overwhelming for anyone, JuneShine also offers flights of three which allows you to get a little sampler of everything. They also serve good empanadas (chicken, beef, and caprese) and a really mean vegan pizza haute pocket. While there are no meal options, eating a couple of those empanadas will have you fuller than you expect!

By the end of the Summer Launch Party with Chinese Laundry, we had our bellies filled and hands busy with flowers, kombucha, shoes, and even a little gift bag filled with local and sustainable goodies such as stainless steel drinking straws and my personal favorite – Lotus and Luna bracelets. Discovering that Lotus and Luna takes pride in making accessories and committed to helping their Thai artisans escape the cycle of poverty by providing them a proper wage and housing made the gift bag from Chinese Laundry very special.

Knowing that Chinese Laundry is not just a one-stop shop for vegan and fashionable footwear but that they also support small socially responsible brands has just increased our love for this brand, and we can’t wait to style our new shoes!

Highlights: Grapefruit Paloma Kombucha, Chicken Empanadas, flower bouquets wrapped with sustainable denim, and of course, shoes!

About the Author:

Kai Yeo is from Singapore and has traveled on various occasions to Thailand since she grew up in the area.

Chinese Laundry Event photo by Kai Yeo for use by 360 Magazine

Chinese Laundry Event photo by Kai Yeo for use by 360 Magazine

Chinese Laundry Event photo by Kai Yeo for use by 360 Magazine

Chinese Laundry Event photo by Kai Yeo for use by 360 Magazine

Chinese Laundry Event photo by Kai Yeo for use by 360 Magazine

Mina Tocalini, 360 Magazine, COVID-19

New COVID-19 Strain In Southeast Asia

By Eamonn Burke

A mutation of the COVID-19 virus called D614G has been discovered in Southeast Asia, mostly in Malaysia and the Philippines but also in China. The outbreak can be traced back to a man who did not quarantine after his trip from India, causing a 45-case outbreak in Malaysia. The man has since been fined and sentenced to five months in prison. D614G is the leading strain in the United States and Europe, after being discovered in Chicago in June. Now the mutation is quickly spreading across Asia and the entire world.

The mutation is estimated to be up to 10 times more infectious, but “We still don’t have enough solid evidence to say that that will happen,” says Phillipines’ Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Verviers. A study from Johns Hopkins points to evidence showing that the new virus is not more deadly than the previous strain. Benjamin Cowling of University of Hong Kong agreed: “(D614G) might be a little bit more contagious. We haven’t yet got enough evidence to evaluate that.” A Cell Press paper also corroborates this, saying that the strain will most likely not impact vaccine development. However, Malaysia’s Director-General of Health, Noor Hisham, warns that this may mean that vaccine studies may be incomplete without accounting for the new strain.

A mutating virus is far from an exceptional thing, because it is how they can continue to spread. In fact, the genome of the coronavirus changes about 2 times a month, according to Science Magazine. Some of them help the virus reproduce, others damage it, and some are neutral. These changes can be just a single letter in the genetic code, but it can make the virus much more transmissible. Dr Thushan de Silva, at the University of Sheffield, says that there is not enough evidence to say whether the D614G mutation helps or harms the virus, but he knows that it is not neutral.

This comes as the FDA has just granted emergency authorization for COVID-19 spit tests, which will make testing much easier and much wider spread. The SalivaDirect test, developed at Yale University, will expedite testing by eliminating a time consuming step in the process.

Meanwhile, the United States passes 170,000 deaths from the virus, with infections of children rising as they return to school. New information from the CDC says that rates of COVID-19 in children are increasing. While they make up only 7% of cases in the country, they are responsible for over 20% of them. In addition to this, and in contrast to previous beliefs, “Recent evidence suggests that children likely have the same or higher viral loads in their nasopharynx compared with adults and that children can spread the virus effectively in households and camp settings.”

Data to reinforce this claim can be found in the rising cases among children at schools that have already reopened, including 7,000 in Alabama. Many schools have debated or committed to reversing course and going online. These rising cases correlating with schools reopening “may explain the low incidence in children compared with adults,” says the CDC, suggesting that children’s perceived resistance to transmitting the virus may have been partly a result of simply staying inside – a sobering reminder of the ever changing narrative of COVID-19.

Welterweight World Championship: Pacquiao vs. Broner

Power, speed and a clash of styles will be on display this month when two of boxing’s biggest stars go toe-to-toe for the welterweight world championship. Ending his two-year hiatus from a U.S. boxing ring, boxing’s only eight-division world champion Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao returns to defend his WBA welterweight title against former four-division world champion and must-see attraction Adrien “The Problem” Broner.  Broadcast live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Pacquiao vs. Broner,” and its co-featured fights, will be shown on big screens across the nation.

Tickets for “Pacquiao vs. Broner” can be purchased online at www.FathomEvents.com or at participating theater box offices now.

The live broadcast of “Pacquiao vs. Broner” presented by Fathom Events and SHOWTIME PPV, is set for Saturday, January 19 beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET / 8:00 p.m. CT / 7:00 p.m. MT / 6:00 p.m. PT / 5:00 p.m. AK / 4:00 p.m. HI. Boxing fans throughout the U.S. will be able to enjoy the event in more than 350 select movie theaters through Fathom’s Digital Broadcast Network (DBN). A complete list of theater locations is available on the Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change).

Pacquiao, 40, is coming off a vintage performance in Malaysia in July where he stopped Argentine slugger and world champion Lucas Matthysse inside seven rounds to regain the welterweight title for a fourth time. Broner, one of the most talented fighters in boxing, is aiming for his second stint as 147-pound champion. If victorious, Broner also will add a career-defining win against a first-ballot Hall of Famer to his already stellar resume.

A three-time Fighter of the Year and the Boxing Writers Association of America’s reigning Fighter of the Decade, Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs), who hails from Sarangani Province in the Philippines, is the only sitting Congressman and Senator to win a world title. Pacquiao’s boxing resume features victories over at least seven current and future Hall of Famers, including Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley, and Juan Manuel Marquez.

Cincinnati’s Broner (33-3-1, 24 KOs) is a former four-division world title holder and one of boxing’s most popular and colorful personalities. The brash and outspoken 29-year-old has faced some of boxing’s best en route to winning titles at 130, 135, 140 and 147 pounds, including Mikey Garcia, Paulie Malignaggi and Shawn Porter. Broner, who will face his 10th world champion in Pacquiao, scored a draw in his last fight in April on SHOWTIME against former two-division world champion Jessie Vargas.

“Boxing fans have been eagerly awaiting Pacquiao’s return to a U.S. boxing ring and we are proud to partner with SHOWTIME PPV, to bring it to local cinemas,” said Ray Nutt, Fathom Events CEO. “Fight fans won’t want to miss this match-up of two of boxing’s biggest stars – live and larger-than-life on the big screen.”

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