Kyra Alegria

A writer with a knack for details and creative writeups.

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Crowded Cenang beach in Langkawi driving away tourists

LANGKAWI: Once, one of Langkawi’s most sought out beaches, Cenang is now at risk of losing its charm due to over-development, which is driving tourists away. What was once a tranquil seaside village, with its long stretch of pristine beach, is now hazy with dust from ongoing construction and heavy traffic along the main road. A tourist from the Netherlands, Hendrik, who visited Langkawi a few years ago, said this trip would likely be his last to Cenang beach as it had turned into a chaotic, di

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‘Legacy of gratitude’ working for Dr M among Langkawi voters

LANGKAWI: Although former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has left Umno for the opposition, his contributions to Langkawi’s development have left a “legacy of gratitude” that is pulling voters in both ways as the next general election nears. People interviewed by FMT generally acknowledged their debt to Mahathir for putting Langkawi on the world map, but many of the islanders appear still staunchly with Umno. “Umno remains strong in Langkawi. The Langkawi-born remain strong supporters of Um

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Adoption easier said than done, says orphanage founder

PETALING JAYA: An orphan home founder has refuted claims by a baby hatch centre that orphanages are reluctant to cooperate in facilitating adoption for abandoned children. “Adoption is not a simple matter. It is easier said than done,” Joseph Pang, who founded the House of Love (HoL) orphanage, told FMT. According to Pang, many factors can affect the adoption process, especially the age of the child in question. “It is easier to adopt a newborn baby than it is to adopt children aged two years

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Study linking atheists and morality unreliable, says academic

PETALING JAYA: A study that is said to link morality and atheism should not be wrongly assumed to be the sole indicator that atheists are morally-depraved, says a professor. Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) lecturer Christopher Teh Boon Sung, who is also an active science-related blog writer, claimed that the social study done by an international team, led by University of Kentucky psychology professor Will Gervais, should not be misinterpreted as it was merely based on human perceptions – which

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The importance of training for adoptive parents

PETALING JAYA: Babies may be bundles of joy, but for parents who adopt a child, special training is often crucial in helping them navigate the complexities that arise from the experience. Mohd Nazri Mat Nawi and his wife count themselves lucky for having successfully adopted a child from OrphanCare, a baby hatch centre. Speaking to FMT after the launch of OrphanCare’s new centre at Bukit Gasing here, Nazri said he and his wife had tried to adopt a child for 14 years, and were elated when they

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Orphanages reluctant to work with baby hatch centres

PETALING JAYA: Although orphanages should work closely with baby hatch centres to help find homes for abandoned children, this is far from the case in the country today. OrphanCare, which operates baby hatch centres, said by right, abandoned children should be reintegrated into families as soon as possible. “We would like to encourage these orphanages to reach out to us and help the children be part of a family again,” its chairman Faizah Mohd Tahir said, adding that every child needed to belo

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'I accept who I am and what I am,' says adopted child

PETALING JAYA: Barely a day old, an innocent baby girl, oblivious to the fact that her mother had rejected her, was handed over to a married Muslim couple longing for a child after numerous failed attempts to have one of their own. 26 years later, Alana Maulad Azmi (not her real name) has grown up to become a successful entrepreneur, holding her head high, despite the stigma she had to live with because she was adopted. “I am one of them,” Alana told FMT. “I accept who I am and what I am.” Bo

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Refugees can’t afford doctors, choose life of pain, says NGO

KUALA LUMPUR: Sick refugees have to bear with any pain or ailments they suffer as they can’t afford to pay medical bills, claims a medical NGO. Islamic Medical Association Malaysia’s Response and Relief Team (Imaret) chief coordinator Dr Ahmad Munawwar Helmi Salim said many refugees were diagnosed with chronic diseases. However, they cannot seek further medical attention due to their refugee status and financial constraints. “Some of the refugees we treat are diagnosed with chronic diseases s

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Time to break the stigma on old folks' homes

KUALA LUMPUR: Taking care of the elderly has its own challenges, but caretakers at nursing homes say the real battle lies in dealing with the stigma and negative perceptions that accompany their vocation. Perhaps the most common view is that children who send their parents to old folks’ homes are disrespectful and lack filial piety. However, they are not the only victims of such perceptions as nursing home owners and workers say they too feel unfairly treated by the public. An owner of a nurs

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Unwanted treasures, giving leftover food a second chance

KUALA LUMPUR: One man’s waste is another man’s treasure. The words ring true as many local shelter homes and deserving communities are able to benefit from The Lost Food Project (TLFP) initiative – where they receive weekly supplies of edible surplus. TLFP is an NGO established by PINK (Parents International Welfare Association of Kuala Lumpur) with a goal to create an awareness and tackle the food wastage issue in Malaysia. TLFP which was established over a year ago collects tons of unwanted

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Proton: A saga of ups and downs

PETALING JAYA: It’s been a roller coaster ride for Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional Bhd (Proton) since it rolled out its first car more than 30 years ago. The first Proton Sagas hit the streets in 1985, when Malaysia was going through a recession. In that year, the national car company produced 17,000 cars. By 1993, production had reached 500,000 units. Although Proton certainly saw many ups and downs in production, sales volumes and market share, it endured as a national car company, eventually e

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Former shelter kid to raise RM100,000 with Kinabalu climb

PETALING JAYA: We often hear of well-known individuals or NGOs who are willing to give away or raise a huge sum of money in the name of charity. What are the odds, however, for those who had lived in a children’s shelter to give back to the community of underprivileged kids in their adult years? Jia Huai, 21, is determined to repay the community that cared for her by participating in a charity programme called Shelter Charity Climb 2017 which entails going up Mount Kinabalu in an expedition fr

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Silent fear, a tale of two maids in Malaysia

KAJANG: Imagine living in a constant state of anxiety or fear, unsure of when you’ll be paid, and knowing that many of your friends are in a similar situation, with some of them facing daily threats of abuse. This is the story of two Indonesian maids, who told FMT of their life as domestic helps in Malaysia. Nurul, 33, recalled watching helplessly as the authorities dragged away one of her friends who had attempted to flee Malaysia illegally. “She desperately wanted to go back to her hometown

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Indonesian cobbler dreams big

PETALING JAYA: Suwardi Badurani looks up once or twice at the people walking past him as he fixes the sole of a shoe, without breaking his focus. Having been a cobbler for a little over a decade, repairing shoes seems to be an easy task for the 58-year-old from West Sumatera, Indonesia. But life hasn’t entirely been fair to him. Suwardi used to own a shoe shop in Jakarta 25 years ago but was forced to close it when he ran into financial trouble. In 2010, he decided to come to Malaysia in sea

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Girl turns children's book author by sharing experience on autism

KUALA LUMPUR: It started with a simple class project. Little did Huda Ryaz Patel know it would lead her to becoming one of the youngest children’s book authors. At the age of 18, the Garden International School (GIS) student has managed to publish her own children’s book about a child named Nadia who has autism. More than 3,000 copies have already been sold across Malaysia, Singapore and the United States since the launch on April 2, with the sales amounting to RM10,000. Huda’s book, My Name

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