KUALA LUMPUR, Sultan of Kelantan Sultan Muhammad V conferred the state’s highest award, the Darjah Kerabat Yang Amat Dihormati (Al-Yunusi) D.K (Kelantan), on Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah at Istana Kelantan here today.

According to Istana Negara’s official Instagram, Al-Sultan Abdullah also conferred the Darjah Kerabat Sri Indera Mahkota Pahang Yang Amat Dihormati D.K (Pahang) on Sultan Muhammad.

‘Present at the ceremony were Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah, Sultanah of Kelantan Sultanah Nur Diana Petra Abdullah, Regent of Pahang Tengku Hassanal Ibrahim Alam Shah Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, Tengku Arif Bendahara Pahang Tengku Muhammad Iskandar Ri’ayatuddin Shah Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah and the children of Their Majesties,’ according to the statement.

Istana Negara said also present were Kelantan Menteri Besar Datuk Mohd Nassuruddin Daud and Pahang Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency


Popular 80’s singer, Ibnor Riza Ibrahim, died of lymphoma cancer at the Tunku Mukhriz Chancellor Hospital (HCTM) today.

Famously known as Ibnor Riza, the singer, whose hit songs include Mimpi Yang Tak Sudah, was 62.

The news was announced by fellow artiste, Nizam Din, in a Facebook post.

Nizam, when contacted by Bernama, described Ibnor as a humble individual who was loved by both old and new artistes as well as fans.

“I have too many memories with the late Ibnor, from when I was 14 until now. He was someone I knew to be very strong-spirited, even when faced with various illnesses. He was not stingy with knowledge and loved to share his earnings, making him well-liked by many.

“May the soul of the late Ibnor Riza be blessed. My condolences to the entire family. Al-Fatihah,’ he said.

It was reported that the singer had undergone brain surgery at HCTM on Dec 2 after the cancer spread.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Cambodia’s Water Festival Expected to Boost Domestic Tourism

Phnom Penh, Cambodia: The upcoming Water Festival in Cambodia is anticipated to significantly revive the domestic tourism industry, which had seen a downturn in the past few years due to the festival’s suspension.

According to Agence Kampuchea Presse, Mr. Ho Vandy, an adviser to the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents (CATA), expressed optimism about the potential increase in domestic tourism during this year’s festival. “I am optimistic that, little by little and especially during this year’s Water Festival, Phnom Penh will be able to attract more domestic tourists after the annual festival was postponed for many years,” he stated.

Vandy also believes that the Water Festival 2023 will benefit tour operators, who are likely to see an increase in revenue from tourists traveling across the country. This positive outlook is supported by reports from provincial tourism officials who have observed a marked rise in internal tourists to popular holiday destinations throughout Cambodia.

In Kratie province, for instance, Mr. Chan Sokunthy, Director of the Kratie Provincial Tourism Department, noted a significant increase in hotel and guesthouse bookings by Cambodian travelers, with a noticeable decrease in foreign tourist numbers. Kratie province boasts 55 guesthouses and 15 hotels.

Similarly, Preah Sihanouk coastal province is attracting a large number of tourists, thanks to its developed infrastructure, including an expressway. Mr. Taing Sochet Kresna, Director of the Preah Sihanouk Provincial Tourism Department, highlighted that the province now offers more than 10,000 rooms across over 100 hotels, along with numerous bungalows.

In Siem Reap, the province renowned for the Angkor temples, tourism is also experiencing an uptick. Mr. Ngov Sengkak, Director of the Siem Reap Provincial Department of Tourism, reported that as of November 25, the booking rate for accommodation services was between 80 to 90 percent, with areas around Pub Street already fully booked.

The Water Festival is a major cultural event in Cambodia, drawing people from all over the country to the capital, primarily along the riverside, to enjoy boat races, a parade of illuminated floats, firework displays, art performances, and other entertainment activities. Concurrently, many Cambodians take advantage of the three-day holiday to visit various tourist destinations across the nation.

Phnom Penh Businesses Thrive During Water Festival Celebrations

Phnom Penh, Cambodia: The Water Festival in Phnom Penh, known for its traditional boat races and vibrant festivities, has brought a wave of optimism to local businesses, anticipating a significant boost in sales during the event.

According to Agence Kampuchea Presse, the festival, which took place from November 26 to 28, transformed the capital into a bustling hub of activity, with the grandest celebrations unfolding in front of the Royal Palace. Business owners like Mrs. Keung Huang, who runs Tube Coffee, a local coffee chain, reported a remarkable increase in sales. “I see more people joining the festival. It is a big hope to businesses. I expect to see higher sales during the holiday,” she stated.

Similarly, the Grand River Sport Bar, located on the corner of Sisowath quay, Riverside Path, also experienced a surge in sales, according to its manager, Mr. Touch Chanthel. The festive atmosphere along the riverside, drawing both locals and foreign tourists, contributed to the establishment’s successful business during the festival.

Various stalls set up along the riverside roads offered an array of products, ranging from drinks and snacks to local handcrafted goods. These stalls added to the festive air, catering to the diverse needs of the festival-goers.

In addition to the traditional events, concerts sponsored by the private sector were part of the festival’s agenda, adding another dimension to the entertainment and attracting more visitors.

The Water Festival is one of Cambodia’s largest and most popular festivals. It is a time when people from all over the country converge on the capital, especially along the riverside, to enjoy boat races, illuminated float parades, firework displays, and art performances. The festival also provides an opportunity for many to enjoy a three-day holiday exploring various tourist destinations across the country.

Prime Minister Samdech Moha Borvor Thipadei Hun Manet encouraged Cambodians nationwide to partake in the annual festivities. He also directed relevant ministries and institutions to bolster security and public order, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable experience for the influx of locals and international visitors during the festival.

Film “magiK” Highlights Communication Challenges in Deaf Community Using Fireflies Metaphor

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – The upcoming movie “magiK,” premiering on November 30, brings to light the communication struggles of the deaf community through the story of a seven-year-old deaf girl named Kit, living in Kampung Kuantan, Kuala Selangor, a locale famed for its fireflies. This Malaysian film, a passion project by writer-director duo Bea and Yasu Tanaka, aims to create greater awareness and understanding of the deaf experience.

According to BERNAMA News Agency, the film took about three years to complete and is set to captivate local film enthusiasts. Her inspiration for the story stems from her 15-year background as a teacher for the deaf. She expressed her desire to share her experiences and provide insights into the deaf community’s world. Bea emphasized that being deaf should be seen as a different ability rather than a disability, with the primary difference being the mode of communication – sign language.

Yasu Tanaka explained that the capital ‘K’ in the movie title signifies the communication (‘komunikasi’ in Malay) challenges faced by Kit, both with the fireflies in her village and with other characters in the film. He shared his aspiration for the film to encourage continuous efforts in communication and understanding, drawing inspiration from Steven Spielberg’s ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind,’ a movie that inspired him to become a film director.

“magiK” features a talented cast, including well-known actors Beto Kusyairy, Nadia Aqilah, Mak Mah, Roy Azman, Nam Ron, Iman Corinne, and newcomer Qisya Hairulzain, who portrays the character Kit. The film delves into Kit’s world, her interactions with her mother Fiza, who encourages her to learn sign language, and her unique connection with the fireflies, symbolizing the challenges and beauty of non-verbal communication.

Through this narrative, “magiK” seeks to shed light on the often-overlooked experiences of those living with hearing impairments and to challenge the perceptions surrounding disabilities and communication barriers.