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REPUBLIC OF BETUTU LATEST NEWS, CURRENT AFFAIRS & EVENTS

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REPUBLIC OF BETUTU LATEST NEWS, CURRENT AFFAIRS & EVENTS

Postby Betutu » Tue Dec 29, 2020 8:58 pm

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Covid-19: Betutu records 160 new cases, no deaths

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Health workers in protective suit collect swab samples to be tested for Covid-19 in Gaguk December 8, 2020.

GAGUK, Republic of Betutu, Dec 29 — Betutu’s Covid-19 cases climbed again today, inching closer to the 200-mark after dropping several notches over the weekend.

Another 160 new Covid-19 cases were reported today, bringing the total number of infected to 9,052 cases.

All cases were locally transmitted except for 10 people who were infected while overseas.

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Dr. Albert Idden

Betutu Health director-general Dr. Albert Idden said no fatalities were reported and the Covid-19 death count remained at 38 cases since the virus reached the island nation.

He said said 10 patients are under the intensive care; and 5 need ventilators.
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Postby Betutu » Tue Dec 29, 2020 9:56 pm

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Betutu Cabinet should convene special parliamentary sitting to address Covid-19 third wave, urges opposition leader.

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Mr. Venantius Limjun

GAGUK, Republic of Betutu, Dec 29 — Opposition MP leader Mr. Venantius Limjun has called on the Betutu Cabinet today to set a special parliamentary sitting in January to check the “runaway” third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic here.

In a statement today, the Lair MP and leader of the People's Alliance said the 160 new Covid-19 cases reported in the country yesterday has put Betutu as among countries in the world with the highest daily increase of Covid-19 cases.

“The last Cabinet meeting of the year today should try to rectify its mistakes in the war against Covid-19 pandemic and should summon a special Parliament in January 2021 to address the runaway situation in the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic with a new ‘all-of-government’ and ‘whole-of-society’ strategy and to establish a Select Committee on Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.

Mr. Venantius said the matter should be at the top of the Cabinet agenda today, and a new strategy to bring the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic under control should be announced after its meeting.

He said Betutu is now among the worst-hit countries in Asean, pointing out that the number of Covid-19 cases here have surpassed Thailand (6,440 cases).

“What has gone wrong with the public health system in Betutu, as the country should be among the best instead of being among the worst in Asean.

“Health experts are calling for a different strategy in Betutu’s fight against Covid-19 to avoid further strain on the public health system,” he said.

Yesterday, the Betutu Health Ministry announced that 9,052 people have been infected with Covid-19 since the arrival of the coronavirus in the island nation of about 2.9 million.
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Postby Betutu » Tue Dec 29, 2020 10:38 pm

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Covid-19: Over 2 million people in Betutu received govt aid, says President Duim

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President Duim Kimpos

GAGUK, Republic of Betutu: A total of 2,144,408 individuals affected by the Covid-19 pandemic in Betutu has received assistance from the government, says President Duim Kimpos.

He said this included assistance in the form of Cost of Living Aid 2020 (Cola2020), financial grants for small and medium industries, wage subsidy programme for employers in Betutu, and Covid-19 special allowance for frontliners.

The government assistance also came in the form of food basket programme, one-off 300 Betutu Taler aid (around US$60), assistance for students in higher learning institutions, waiver of stall rental and permit licence fees for vendors as well as waivers for people’s housing project (PHP) rental.

The government also provided a one-off 1,000 Betutu Taler (around US$200) assistance to micro and cottage entrepreneurs in Betutu and a one-off 4,000 Betutu Taler (around US$800) assistance to 500 tourism-related companies in the island nation.

An additional one-off 300 Betutu Taler assistance to 400 Betutu Taler (between US$60 - 80) will be channelled before the end of this month, he said responding to a question from Ms. Moyra Bosinti (National Unity Front-Bangkutak) during the Betutu Parliament sitting on Monday (Dec 21).

As for contributions from non-governmental organisations (NGOs), President Duim said to date they received 27,067 food assistance, 1.12 million medical kit sets with a total donation of 6.76 million Betutu Taler (around US$1.4 million) channelled to the Betutu Covid-19 disaster fund.
Last edited by Betutu on Wed Dec 30, 2020 4:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Betutu » Tue Dec 29, 2020 11:35 pm

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Betutu opposition party’s election petition struck off

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Mr. Jenjeng Kuraman (left) and Mr. Mat Johar Matujo.

GAGUK, Republic of Betutu: The Election Court here today struck out with costs an election petition filed by People's Alliance (PA) candidate Mr. Jenjeng Kuraman for P.82 Pangal challenging the victory of National Unity Front (NUF) Mr. Mat Johar Matujo in the recent October general election.

Justice Mr. Peter Kamilan made the decision after allowing a preliminary objection raised by Mr. Mat Johar to strike the petition.

In his reserved verdict which was delivered in an open court via Zoom meeting, the judge also ordered the petitioner to pay 20,000 Betutu Taler (around US$4,000) cost to Mr. Mat Johar and 15,000 Betutu Taler (around US$3,000) to the returning officer (RO) of the said constituency and Betutu Election Comission (BEC).

Mr. Jenjeng had filed the petition on October 20 naming Mr Mat Johar, the RO and the BEC as first, second and third respondents respectively.

In his petition, Mr. Jenjeng, among others stated that the RO allegedly failed to conduct the said election and the BEC allegedly failed to ensure the RO conducted the said election in accordance to the principles of fairness as provided under Section 13 (1) (a) of the Election Act 1964.

Apart from that, the BEC also allegedly failed to ensure, inter alia, that the result of the said election was fair and accurate by allegedly contravening several regulations under the Election (Conduct of Elections) Regulations 1989.

The petitioner humbly prayed from the court a determination and/or declaration that Mr. Mat Johar was allegedly not duly elected as a member of the Betutu Parliament for Pangal.

The petitioner further sought from court a determination and/or declaration that the said election held on October 3 was allegedly void.

Apart from that, the petitioner also asked a certificate under Section 28 of the Election Offences Act 1962 be issued, costs and other orders and directions as the court deemed fit to make.

Mr. Jenjeng was represented by counsel Mr. Zulakbar Dawud while counsel Mr. Malcolm Yeow represented Mr. Mat Johar.

Senior government counsels Ms Barinda Ishaq and Mr Harry Hewko acted for the RO and BEC.

In the election, Mr. Jenjeng lost to Mr. Mat Johar with slim majority of 16 votes. Mr. Jenjeng garnered 5,164 votes while Mr. Mat Johar obtained 5,180 votes in a six-cornered contest which included four other candidates.
Last edited by Betutu on Tue Dec 29, 2020 11:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Betutu » Wed Dec 30, 2020 12:22 am

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Betutu Govt receives 100 mln Betutu Taler dividend from 14 GLCs, statutory bodies

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Betutu Energy Corporation Chairman Mr. Jagoan Gata (left) presenting the replica cheque of 8.5 million Betutu Taler (around US$1.7 million) in dividend to President Duim Kimpos.


GAGUK, Republic of Betutu: The Betutu government today received dividend from 14 government-linked companies (GLCs) and statutory bodies totalling 100 million Betutu Taler (around US$20 million) for this year, which was 67.8 per cent more than the 59.8 million Betutu Taler (around US$12 million) paid last year.

At the same time, eight other statutory bodies and GLCs also paid up its loans totalling 22 million Betutu Taler (around US$4.4 million) to the government.

Betutu President Mr Duim Kimpos in congratulating the GLCs and statutory bodies said the government was implementing a new approach to assess their annual performance through its ability to contribute to the island nation’s revenue.

Under the new administration, he said a series of negotiations have been carried out to ensure the responsibility in paying dividends and loans are the priority of each statutory body and GLC.

The statutory bodies and GLCs played a vital role in the growth and socio-economic development of the people, as well as assisting in the implementation of government policies and programmes in accordance with good corporate governance practices.

He assured that the Government will continue to be committed in assisting and improving the capabilities as well as competitiveness of the Statutory Bodies and GLCs in order to achieve the objective of its establishment.

Having said that, Mr Duim who is also Betutu's Senior Finance and Economic Affairs Minister urged the statutory bodies and GLCs to continue taking measures to reduce dependency on the government and contribute to state revenue.

The dividend presentation ceremony held at the Betutu National Administration Building Complex was also attended by Betutu Deputy President Ms. Quennie Ya, Second Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Ms. Christina Fayzen, as well as the respective Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Statutory Bodies and GLCs.
Last edited by Betutu on Fri Jan 22, 2021 5:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Betutu » Wed Dec 30, 2020 12:43 am

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Betutu crime rate plunges 33 per cent — Inspector General of Police

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Inspector General of Police Mr. Filip Puralupa

GAGUK, Republic of Betutu Betutu’s crime rate has dropped by 33.57 per cent so far this year, to 3,758 cases from 5,657 cases in 2019, said Inspector General of Police Mr. Filip Puralupa.

He said property crimes recorded the biggest drop at 35 per cent, from 5,027 cases in 2019 to 3,291 cases this year.

“The movement restrictions enforced since March this year have greatly helped to control crime cases in the state, as most people are complying with it by staying at home most of the time.

“Following the imposition of the movement restriction order (MRO), police have also tightened enforcement and this gave criminals fewer opportunities to operate,” he told a press conference after witnessing the handing over of duty to the new Bubu Island police chief yesterday.

For Bubu Island, he said the duty-free island had also recorded a drop of 33 per cent in crime rate, to 180 cases from 270 cases last year.

Meanwhile, he said the Covid-19 pandemic had put significant pressure on Betutu police personnel.

“I cannot deny that our personnel, being frontliners in the fight against Covid-19, have been under a lot of stress since March this year. We must be thankful to other enforcement agencies like the Betutu Armed Forces and other agencies for their close cooperation.

“And when the Betutu general election was held in early October, it increased pressure on police personnel,” he added.

Mr. Filip said that nearly 1,000 police personnel in Betutu had undergone quarantine due to Covid-19 infections and being close contacts of patients.

“Like today, 46 police personnel of various ranks have been tested positive for Covid-19, and that led to 28 other personnel having to undergo quarantine,” he added.

He said more close contacts of the positive cases were being screened for Covid-19. He said police personnel had to be constantly reminded to practise the 3 Ws of “wear a mask, wash your hands and watch your distance” to protect themselves against possible infection.

“A new cluster emerged recently involving police personnel who conducted an operation against criminal suspects,” he said.

“Going to work during this Covid-19 pandemic has placed frontliners like police personnel under immense and unprecedented pressure, putting their physical, mental and social well-being at risk. Nevertheless, our personnel continue to devote their time and energy to contain this pandemic.

“We are humbled by their immense sacrifices, dedication, commitment and unwavering efforts in combating Covid-19,” Mr. Filip said.
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Postby Betutu » Wed Dec 30, 2020 1:13 am

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China Embassy donates anti-epidemic materials to Betutu Government

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President Duim Kimpos (left) and China Ambassador Mr. Shen Fu posing with the anti-epidemic materials.

GAGUK, Republic of Betutu The Ambassador of China to Betutu, Mr. Shen Fu, paid a courtesy call to Betutu President Mr. Duim Kimpos today and donated anti-epidemic materials to the government.

Both sides had an in-depth exchange of views on deepening anti-pandemic cooperation, resumption and strengthen post-pandemic cooperation in various fields between China and Betutu.

Mr. Shen firstly congratulated Mr. Duim on being elected as the President of Betutu. He believed that the new government will lead the people of Betutu to overcome the epidemic soon and achieve steady economic and social development.

He pointed out that in the year 2020, China and Betutu have always helped each other, shared weal and woe, and jointly faced the severe challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. The friendship between China and Betutu has been further enhanced through the test of the epidemic.

The Embassy of China in Betutu donated 50,000 masks to the Betutu government, mainly to express China’s firm support for Betutu’s fight against the pandemic and the determination of China and Betutu to help each other in overcoming difficulties together.

Mr. Shen said that Betutu is an important node of the “21st Century Maritime Silk Road”. Its strategic geographical location and rich resources are unique advantages and has great potentials for cooperation with China. In recent years, the China-Betutu cooperation in various fields have made significant and pragmatic progress. Many Chinese enterprises have set foot on the island nation.

It is believed that after the pandemic, China-Betutu cooperation will enter a period of rapid growth. In addition to conventional cooperation areas such as tourism, real estate, and infrastructure construction, it can be further extended to other areas such as advanced technology, telecommunications, agriculture and fishery.

“I believe that more Chinese companies will invest in Betutu. The Embassy is willing to maintain close communication and coordination with the President and his Government, work together to promote the resumption of China-Betutu cooperation as soon as possible in opening a new chapter of post-pandemic cooperation,” Mr. Shen said.

Meanwhile, President Duim expressed his sincere gratitude to China for the assistance provided to Betutu’s economic development in recent years, especially the strong support provided to Betutu’s fight against the epidemic.

He thanked the Chinese Embassy for donating masks to the Betutu government and hopes that China and Betutu will continue to strengthen cooperation in vaccines and other areas to jointly defeat the pandemic.

President Duim pointed out that the government has recently established an economic council to study and formulate plans and measures to promote the recovery and development of Betutu’s economy.

He hopes to learn from China, welcome more Chinese tourists to visit Betutu and more Chinese companies to invest in Betutu after the pandemic.

“The government looks forward to maintaining close communication with the Chinese Embassy on cooperation in various fields between China and Betutu,” he said.
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Postby Betutu » Wed Dec 30, 2020 1:45 am

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Betutu plans to introduce seaplanes in 2021 to boost tourism

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Picture for illustrational purpose only.

GAGUK, Republic of Betutu Seaplanes will be a new icon for Betutu’s tourism sector from next year with the investment on these planes to be worth about 500 million Betutu Taler (about US$100 million).

Betutu's Tourism minister Mr. Shao Ruo Lan said the seaplanes which could land on or take off from water, were manufactured by a local company and expected to be based in Lindung district, northeast from here.

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Mr. Shao Ruo Lan


“There will be further discussion with the company and investors on the matter soon,” he told reporters after officiating at the Tourism Betutu Futsal Challenge 2020, held at the Gaguk Sports Stadium Complex, here, today.

He said many more tourism products would be introduced next year to further attract domestic and foreign tourists, hence increasing the length of stay in Betutu.

Meanwhile, he said, foreign tourist arrivals in the island nation continued to rise in the last two weeks.

“We have received information from the industry players, particularly hotels, on the increasing number of bookings for rooms while some hotels have been fully booked until early next year.

“I also understand that Betutu Zoo here has received not less than 5,000 visitors who wanted to see the new theme park, Land of the Dinosaurs, which opened two days ago and the ticket sales have reached 800,000 Betutu Taler (about US$160,000) this month alone.

“The number of passengers for the Badus River Cruise has also increased, with about 3,500 recorded yesterday,” he added.
Last edited by Betutu on Fri Jan 22, 2021 5:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Betutu » Wed Dec 30, 2020 3:06 am

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Betutu lawmaker enlists food vendors to put food on the table for island’s poor, elderly

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Tapah MP Mr Budin Dison (left) posed for a photo during the launch of TCMP at Tapah Food Court.

GAGUK, Republic of Betutu, Dec 29 — As the virus continues to thin out wallets, one lawmaker in Betutu is doing his bit to ensure low wage earners and the elderly in his constituency will have warm meals to greet the new year.

Tapah MP Mr. Budin Dison has roped in hawkers at the Tapah Food Court near here to provide free meals and coupons for the poor for the next 10 days.

The Tapah Community Meals Programme (TCMP) will see each of the 35 participating food vendors provide three free meals to those who needed it for 10 days.

Four drinks stalls at the food court will also give out cash coupons valued at 1 Betutu Taler (about US$0.20) to the poor to purchase food at discounted prices for the same duration.

“As a start, I have allocated 300 Betutu Taler (about US$60) to be distributed to four coffee and drinks stalls to prepare the cash coupons while I have allocated 100 Betutu Taler (about US$20) to each participating hawker stall to give out the three free meals a day,” Mr. Budin said.

He said the cash coupons can be used to purchase any food at the participating food stalls in the food court.

For example, if a food item is priced at 4 Betutu Taler (about US$0.80), a customer using the 1 Betutu Taler cash coupon need only pay 3 Betutu Taler (about US$0.60).

“The food vendors in this food court are taking part in this to help the less fortunate and some of them are already giving out free meals to some individuals or senior citizens who had come to beg for food,” Mr. Budin said.

He said the hawkers are participating in this initiative to do their part for society and hoped customers at the food court will donate to the cause.

“We have placed donation boxes at the four coffee and drinks stalls in the food court so other patrons can donate and the funds will be used for this initiative,” he said.

He said the purpose of TCMP was to encourage the community to do their part to help the less fortunate.

The 10-day trial period of the initiative with the involvement of 35 food vendors meant that a total 105 meals will be given out free each day which is a total 1,050 meals in 10 days.

“The low-income group and the elderly can also take the coupons from any of the four coffee and drinks stalls to purchase food at discounted rates,” he said.

He said the long-term aim of this initiative was to collect contributions from other patrons and channel it back to the community by feeding the low-income group and the poverty stricken.

“If the response is good to this programme and we receive a high amount of contributions, then we can increase the coupons to 2 or 3 Betutu Taler (between US$0.50 - 0.60), it would be good if we have enough to provide more free meals to the poor,” he said.

He said the food vendors usually would know the low-income group patrons who often eat at the food court so they would know who to distribute the free meals and coupons to.

“If this programme is successful, I may introduce this initiative in different areas in my constituency so that more people can have access to free meals and discounted meals,” he said.

Mr. Budin said his office is also open to any feedback or ideas to improve the initiative.
Last edited by Betutu on Wed Dec 30, 2020 3:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Betutu » Wed Dec 30, 2020 3:27 am

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No new import licences and duty-free cigs from 1 Jan 2021: Betutu Customs Dept


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Mr. Jorden Belingi

GAGUK, Republic of Betutu: No new cigarette import licences will be issued from Jan 1, said Betutu Customs director-general Mr. Jorden Belingi.

However, he said existing import licences could still be renewed by the Betutu Customs Department, with tighter conditions.

There will also be no more duty-free cigarettes sold in the duty-free designated zones in the island.

“To tighten the renewal of cigarette import licence, the additional conditions for importing the minimum quantity of cigarettes that have been set within 12 months must be adhered to,” Mr. Jorden said in a statement today.

He said that from Friday (Jan 1), all transhipment of cigarettes, tobacco products, electronic and non-electronic cigarette devices including vape and nicotine-free liquids/gels used in electronic cigarettes, is only allowed at Gaguk port.

“ISO containers must be used for transhipment activities and they must only be Full Container Load (FCL) shipment as break bulk activities are not allowed,” he said.

Mr. Jorden said transit activities for export purposes by road are allowed, provided they are imported through Gaguk port, travel from the transhipment port has been set directly to the final destination abroad, and they comply with the provisions of the Betutu Customs Act 1973, Customs Regulations 2011 as well as department policies which are in force.

He said that from Jan 1, transhipment of cigarettes and re-export of cigarettes, tobacco products, electronic and non-electronic cigarette devices using small boats would be disallowed.

He said the imposition of tax on cigarettes with drawback facilities for re-export will only be allowed in the Free Zone, subject to Customs’ conditions.

He said re-export should be done within three months from the date duties are paid, while return claims can be made within three months from the re-export date.

Mr. Jorden added that the imposition of tax on cigarette products at the duty-free zones will also start on Friday.

“As such, duty exemption on cigarettes and tobacco products for visitors and tourists will no longer apply from Jan 1, 2021,” he said.

Mr. Jorden said the remaining cigarettes and tobacco products that had been imported into the duty-free zones and free zones before Jan 1, 2021 could be stored, owned, sold and disposed of in the same areas.

He said the remaining cigarettes labelled with red tax stamps and duty-unpaid tobacco products that are to be taken out to the Customs Main Area (CMA) should be settled before Jan 1, 2021.

In addition he said, from April 1, 2021 duties and taxes would be imposed on cigarettes and tobacco products imported from abroad or purchased from Duty Free Shops through all modes of transportation when products are brought into the CMA.

These measures are in line with the 2021 national budget as part of strategies to improve revenue collection and address smuggling activities especially for high duty goods.
Last edited by Betutu on Fri Jan 22, 2021 4:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Betutu » Wed Dec 30, 2020 4:44 am

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Congestion in Betutu's major port after ships hit by delays, bad weather, says port authority

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A general view of Port Klang

GAGUK, Republic of Betutu, Dec 30 — Gaguk Port is experiencing congestion as vessels and containers are stuck there after delays in preceding ports, said the Gaguk Port Authority (GPA) last night.

In a statement, GPA general manager Mr. Samsurin Nahabas said the congestion is affecting two of the port’s terminals, Terminal A and Terminal B, adding that similar situations are occurring at other major ports in the region.

“The situation is made worse by bad weather during the monsoon season where vessels are delayed at ports in China, Hong Kong and Singapore and subsequently omit some of these ports to arrive at Gaguk Port at about the same time,” he said.

He said this has resulted in a two- to three-day wait-time for ships to berth at the port.

“Further to this, some shipping lines have cancelled calls at Gaguk Port or have very limited space available to load export containers out of Gaguk Port due to high demand for slots in Chinese ports,” he said.

Mr. Samsurin added that some shipping lines have also requested that they be allowed to temporarily offload their shipments in Gaguk Port, before shipping them elsewhere.

“Both these factors have resulted in yard capacity utilisation of 95 per cent which is regarded as congested,” he said.

Mr. Samsurin said that the terminals’ management are taking various measures to improve the situation, including converting nearby vacant spaces into temporary shipping yards.

He added that there is also a lag in clearing refrigerated containers — also known as reefers — at Terminal B, because consignees who are meant to receive them are delaying their responsibilities.

“This morning there was a complaint from the importers of fruits and vegetables who claimed that their consignments were delayed at Terminal B and delivery which usually takes two to three days is now taking up to seven days,” he said.

He said because the consignees are not clearing their reefers, the containers are taking up space and preventing more reefers from being transferred in and being processed by authorities.

“Therefore, GPA urges all consignees to take delivery of all inspected containers immediately to enable more containers to be inspected and cleared in the coming days,” he said.

Mr. Samsurin added that additional space is being created for the reefers, and that he is confident the problems will be resolved soon.
Last edited by Betutu on Fri Jan 22, 2021 4:56 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Betutu » Wed Dec 30, 2020 5:19 am

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Betutu's preventive laws don’t apply to us, claim Chinese detainees

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The six Chinese nationals were arrested by police in October and remanded for 59 days from Nov 23.

GAGUK, Republic of Betutu, Dec 30: Six Chinese nationals detained by police for alleged online gambling claimed today they were not subjected to Betutu’s prevention laws.

Lawyer Ms. Fauziya Sayak, representing the six men, told judicial commissioner Mr. Jayrison Kambur in the High Court the Prevention of Crime Act (Poca) used against them was “limited to only Betutuans”.

“There is no dispute that Poca was enacted based on Articles 141 and 143 of the Betutu Constitution, which give powers to Parliament to legislate laws against action prejudicial to public order, including preventive detentions.

“We would like to point out that under Article 143, the law is clearly limited to our citizens. It cannot be extended beyond that,” she said during argument on a habaes corpus application by the six.

Ms. Fauziya said that, in a normal situation, a detainee could make his or her representation to the Advisory Board, and the board would have to submit its representation within three months to the Betutu President for his consideration.

The six – Mr. Hao Li, Mr. Zhan Bao, Mr. Zhu Hai, Mr. Tan Yi Mu, Mr. Xun Feng and Mr. Wu Shun – claimed their detention was unlawful.

They were arrested by police in October and remanded for 59 days from Nov 23.

Ms. Fauziya also told the court that the Poca by-law – the Prevention of Crime (Identity Card) Regulations – could not be applied against the six as they do not possess identity cards (IC).

“This is an interesting regulation, which requires detainees to hold special identification cards or ‘brown cards’ that identify them as Poca registered persons.

“We would say that this cannot be used on the six men because ‘identity cards’ as defined under Regulation 19 refer to our ICs,” she said.

In response, senior government counsel for the Betutu Home Affairs Ministry Mr. Mohd. Shabar Jelah told the court that Poca was also applicable to non-Betutuans.

“There is nothing in Poca’s preamble to say the law cannot be used against non-citizens,” he said.

This prompted judicial commissioner Mr. Jayrison to ask Mr. Mohd. Shabar if the government was taking the stand that only Betutuans could submit representations to the Advisory Board.

“Are you saying that only Betutuans can make their representations before the board?” Mr. Jayrison asked, adding that Poca and its by-laws were enacted through provisions under the Betutu Constitution.

Mr. Mohd. Shabar answered in the affirmative, adding that this was based on “literal reading” of Poca and its by-laws.

Mr. Jayrison then asked Mr. Mohd. Shabar if non-Betutuan detainees could seek legal recourse, but the senior government counsel said Poca was not meant to exclude non-Betutuans.

“Article 143 should not be read in isolation in that way and must be read with other provisions,” Mr. Mohd. Shabar said.

The court set Jan 22, 2021 for its decision on whether to grant freedom to the six men.

“I think both parties have interesting points that have not been raised before the courts,” Mr. Jayrison added.
Last edited by Betutu on Wed Dec 30, 2020 4:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Betutu » Wed Dec 30, 2020 5:39 am

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Betutuan man denies rape charge, claims married girl who bore his child

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The young man was charged with raping the victim aged 16 at a room of a house in Kadurau district in March 2019.

GAGUK, Republic of Betutu, Dec 30 — A man, who pleaded not guilty in the Sessions Court here today to a charge of raping a teenage girl, claimed that he had married the girl and admitted that a toddler is his child.

The young man who appeared before Judge Ms. Savariah Ting Kodon, was charged with raping the victim aged 16 at a room of a house in Kadurau district, about 80km northeast from here, on March 2019.

The accused was charged under Section 368 of the Betutu Penal Code which provides for a jail term of up to 20 years and whipping, upon conviction.

Earlier, the unrepresented accused who works as lorry driver's assistant, had admitted to the charge but then retracted his guilty plea to one of not guilty after learning that the prosecution did not offer any bail.

The prosecution had objected to bail on the grounds that the accused allegedly stayed under the same roof with the victim.

The prosecution submitted that there was high possibility for the accused to tamper with the prosecution’s key witness.

However, the accused insisted that he had allegedly married the victim and admitted that the toddler is his child.

The accused further pleaded in court not to separate him with his family and he claimed to have been a responsible person in feeding his family.

The court fixed January 19, 2021, for pre-trial case management and the accused was denied bail.

He will be further detained in custody pending disposal of his case.
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Postby Betutu » Wed Dec 30, 2020 6:16 am

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To prove COVID-19 vaccine is safe, Betutu President will be among the first to get the jab

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A screengrab of President Duim's Facebook live streaming session, Dec 30.

GAGUK, Republic of Betutu, Dec 30 — Betutu President Mr. Duim Kimpos has volunteered to be among the first individuals to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Betutu.

He said this during his Facebook live stream to provide updates on the current COVID-19 vaccine procurement.

He assures that the government will ensure that the vaccines are safe and effective before it is given to the public.

To convince Betutuans that the COVID-19 vaccines are safe, he will be among the first to be vaccinated followed by frontliners before it is administered to targeted groups including high-risk individuals, senior citizens, individuals with non communicable diseases (NCD) and chronic respiratory diseases.

The government has allocated an early funding of nearly 160 million Betutu Taler (about US$21.2 million) to secure vaccines to cover over 80% of Betutu’s population, which is around 2.9 million people.

The COVID-19 vaccines will be given to Betutuans for free. The government has signed purchase deals with Covax, Pfizer and AstraZeneca, and they are finalising agreements with Sinovac, CanSino and Gamaleya.

President Duim added that a Special Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee Committee has been formed and it will be co-chaired by Betutu's Minister of Health and the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation to ensure that the vaccine supplies can be obtained immediately.

The first batch of 1 million doses from Pfizer is expected to arrive as early as February 2021.

The President said the Betutu Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (BPRA) of the Betutu Ministry of Health will continue to monitor the effectiveness and safety of the vaccines once they are obtained and used.

He also reminded Betutuans to continue to adhere to the SOP which include frequent washing of hands, wearing of face masks and maintain social distancing.
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Postby Betutu » Wed Dec 30, 2020 6:38 am

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No celebrations in public, open spaces – Betutu police

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GAGUK, Republic of Betutu, Dec 30: The public has once again been reminded that any new year celebrations in public and open spaces are strictly prohibited.

In a statement by Betutu's Inspector-General of Police Mr. Filip Puralupa, he emphasised celebrations at the beach, as was “customary” among Betutuans.

“In Betutu, particularly, bathing in the sea and celebrating by the beach to usher in the new year has become a custom. That said, police would like to remind the public that any celebration involving gathering in public and open spaces are strictly not allowed, such as recreational parks and beaches.

“Betutu police will continue to monitor Covid-19 standard operating procedure (SOP) compliance with the strength of 260 surveillance team, comprising General Operations Force and MPV patrol units in each district and patrols throughout the state, especially at beach areas of public interest,” said Mr. Filip.

He stressed that action will be taken against any violation of SOP, whether through compound or arrest.

He also urged the public to avoid the beach and bathing in the sea, following a weather warning by the Betutu Meteorology Department, which predicted heavy rain and strong winds of up to 50 kilometres per hour. The department also predicted ocean waves of up to 3.5 meters beginning today till January 2, 2021.
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Postby Betutu » Wed Dec 30, 2020 7:06 am

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No midnight church services on New Year’s Eve in Betutu, says churches association

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Midnight church services will not take place as churches adhere to the new SOPs in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

GAGUK, Republic of Betutu, Dec 30: There will not be any midnight church services tomorrow (Dec 30) to welcome the New Year, said Betutu Christian Churches Association (BCCA) chairman Archbishop Gregory Sunga.

He explained that the decision was made to comply with the latest standard operating procedures (SOP) issued by the Betutu government which stated that all church services to welcome the New Year are to end by 10pm tomorrow night.

“With Covid-19 still lingering around us, we know that any large gatherings are potential hotspots for infections, especially with a countdown party, where physical distancing and safety SOP will be difficult to maintain.

“When midnight services were held in our churches in the last few years, I had to remind our church members to remain vigilant when driving home from Church as there would be many other drivers returning from countdown parties. Police road blocks would often be set up to check that all drivers remain sober.

“In view of the safety of our church members, let us adhere to the newly-issued government SOP. When all our churches are not gathering after 10pm on New Year’s Eve, we witness our Christian solidarity in this fight to contain Covid-19. This is also an act of our Christian charity for the common good of all people in Betutu,” he said today.

Regarding church services on New Year’s Day on Friday, Archbishop Gregory said the government SOP does not set any time schedule or time restriction which means that churches have the option to hold their services at any time on the day, which also happens to be a public holiday.

“For the Catholic Church here, instead of New Year church gathering, I am scheduling live-streaming of New Year's Eve Mass Service from the Cathedral starting at 11.30pm on Dec 31 (tomorrow).

“I encourage your respective churches to do similar online prayer services at midnight or to schedule Church Services on New Year’s Day 2021,” added Archbishop Gregory, who is the Betutu Roman Catholic Archbishop.
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Postby Betutu » Wed Dec 30, 2020 5:15 pm

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Betutu lawmaker goes bald on ‘live’ TV after successfully raising funds for needy constituents

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A combo picture of Mr. Podorik before (left) and after shaving his head bald.

GAGUK, Republic of Betutu, Dec 31 — Simpur MP Mr. Podorik Patui stuck to his pledge and shaved his head bald on “live” TV tonight after his fundraiser for underprivileged families in his constituency was a resounding success.

In a special session broadcast live by local network Enjoy today, the political secretary (Youth and Sports Affairs) to President Duim Kimpos and executive council member of the ruling National Unity Front's Youth Wing spent more than 20 minutes letting his mother—teacher Mrs. Elizabeth Dalung—remove his locks using scissors and electric hair clippers.

“I feel a bit of regret,” Mr. Podorik told Enjoy presenter Mr. Didacus Lumbu when asked what he was feeling before the session.

Mr. Podorik also said that as at 7pm today, the “A Laptop for A Family” project managed to raise more than 383,000 Betutu Taler (around US$76,600), almost two times its original target of 200,000 Betutu Taler (around US$40,000).

“And we also have about 120,000 to 150,000 Betutu Taler (between US$24,000 to US$30,000) in kind donations of refurbished laptops for the families,” he said.

During the session, he joked around with his mother and Mr. Didacus, mentioning several times about being teased on his new hairstyle.

“I pity all the bald people,” he joked."But it is for the good of the people.”

On December 26, Mr. Podorik announced via his social media channels a fundraising effort to help 500 underprivileged families in the constituency of Simpur, a coastal district east from here, by giving them a laptop each and will have his hair shaved bald if the goals of 200,000 Betutu Taler are met.

The 36-year old first-time MP has also been teased by his followers online for referring to himself as #the Bald One alongside photos relating to baldness.

Mr. Podorik said that he will start to give away the laptops tomorrow as his team has identified the families whose income is less than 1,500 Betutu Taler (around US$300) a month.

“We will give them ‘Chromebooks’, and I3 and I5 laptops to them,” he said.
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Postby Betutu » Wed Dec 30, 2020 6:12 pm

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Ban on exotic wildlife import to Betutu stays until further notice

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BWFFNP Director-General Ms. June Ailin Gaab said wildlife that were native species in Betutu would also be under threat from exotic species, usually brought in illegally to be kept as pets.

GAGUK, Republic of Betutu, Dec 31 — Betutu Wildlife, Fisheries, Forestry & National Parks Department (BWFFNP) today announced that it would not be issuing any permit to import any exotic wildlife into the state until further notice.

Its Director-General Ms. June Ailin Gaab said wildlife that were native species in Betutu would also be under threat from exotic species, usually brought in illegally to be kept as pets.

“If (these animals) are being imported illegally, they will not be passing through veterinary or public health checks and may be harbouring unknown viruses or other pathogens that could potentially proliferate in pet shops and homes in Betutu,” she said in a statement.

She said that when these exotic pets were released into Betutu’s forests and waterways, they could deprive the local species of food sources, with some being more aggressive to outcompete the local species and this could cause major declines of native species.

“Major decreases in the range of munias (birds) including the Betutuan Chanticleer are caused by the exotic Eurasian Tree Sparrow, common or Indian mynas displacing native birds, and the proliferation of the American bullfrog in our gardens, displacing our grass frog (Fejervarya limnocharis),” she added.

Ms. June said BWFFNP would continue to work with the various border control agencies, such as the Betutu Customs Department to stop the smuggling of these exotic species into the state.

She said seizures would be made at the border control areas such as airports, ports, customs checkpoints and also pet stores that do not have licences or permits.

“In the next six months, BWFFNP will tag legal, licensed exotic wild animals in the state, and invest in veterinary health checks on these animals,” she added.
Last edited by Betutu on Sat Jan 16, 2021 9:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Betutu » Wed Dec 30, 2020 6:39 pm

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Betutu man charged with having drugs claims to be mentally sick

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GAGUK, Republic of Betutu, Dec 31 — A 37-year-old man who was charged in the Sessions Court here with having drugs, claimed that he had mental illness.

Mr. Shim Agta Hir, brought before Judge Ms. Jen Chong Chien, said that he needs to continue medical review at Mental Health Hospital (MHH) here.

However Police Prosecuting Officer Inspector Mr Jaman Azrin replied that the accused did not have any medical documents to prove his mental condition.

Mr. Jaman also presented that the accused does have four previous conviction records with the latest being on March 17, 2017, and if he had any mental problems, he shouldn’t have any criminal records at all.

Thus, no bail was offered by the prosecution until Mr Shim’s family are able to produce his medical documents.

Earlier Mr. Shim pleaded not guilty to having 34.28 grams of methamphetamine at a house in a village in Bancingot district on August 31 this year at about 8.05am.

He was charged under Section 20 of the Betutu Dangerous Drugs Act 1960.

The indictment provides for a jail term or not less than five years and whipping of not less than 10 strokes of the cane.

The court fixed January 26, 2021 to re-mention the case and ordered the accused to be referred to MHH for mental observation.
Last edited by Betutu on Mon Jan 04, 2021 5:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Betutu » Wed Dec 30, 2020 7:17 pm

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Betutu's marriage rates down, divorces up in 2019

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GAGUK, Republic of Betutu, Dec 31 — The number of marriages in 2019 decreased by 1.2 per cent to 16,985 as compared to 17,196 in 2018, the Betutu Marriage and Divorce Statistics 2020 Report revealed yesterday.

The report, which presents the statistics on marriage and divorce for 2018 and 2019 by demographic characteristics also revealed that the number of divorces had increased by 12 per cent to 4,748 last year from 4,239 in 2018.

Commenting on the publication, Betutu Statistics Department Director-General Ms. Bronya Gazali said in tandem with the decline in the number of marriages, general marriage rate for grooms declined from 50.7 to 50.1 per thousand population of unmarried males aged 18 years and above.

A similar trend was also recorded for brides, where a decline from 47.0 to 46.2 per thousand population of unmarried females aged 16 years and over was observed, she said in a statement.

Ms. Bronya said the general divorce rate for males increased to 7.2 per thousand population from 6.5 of married males aged 18 years and over, with similar trend was also reported for females, increased from 7.0 to 7.7 per thousand population of married females aged 16 years and above.

“The median age of grooms remained at 28 years. The median age for brides increased from 26 years (2018) to 27 years (2019),” she said.

Ms. Bronya also said the increase in the median age of brides was also attributed to the average age of mother at first birth that rose, 0.1 years from 27.8 in 2018 to 27.9 years in 2019.

“The current scenario shows that the tendency for late marriages is among those who are educated and working towards strengthening their individual economic stability, especially those living in urban areas,” she said, adding that this was in line with the increase in urbanisation rate in Betutu from 70.9 per cent in 2010 to 76.2 per cent in 2019.

Ms. Bronya meanwhile said the statistics also showed that the oldest groom and bride were recorded at 93 and 86 years old last year.

“Approximately 0.3 per cent grooms aged 65 years and over has married younger brides at the age group of 24 years and below, while 0.2 per cent brides aged 65 years and over has married younger grooms at the age group of 24 years old and below,” she said.
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Postby Betutu » Wed Dec 30, 2020 8:00 pm

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Cockfighting event broken up by Betutu police amid COVID-19 pandemic

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Picture for illustrational purpose only.

GAGUK, Republic of Betutu, Dec 31 — At least 16 birds (roosters) were seized and four men arrested after police broke up a cockfighting session in a forested area of a village in Pandik district, northeast from here.

Betutu Inspector General of Police Mr. Filip Puralupa said the raid at around 3.30pm on the illegal cockfighting ring was made after receiving numerous complaints from villagers.

During the raid, the spectators fled the scene, leaving only four individuals with the roosters, he said, adding the four, aged between 18 and 54, were being remanded for further investigation.

“Whether you bet on the fight or your rooster fights, or just being there helping your gambling friends, you get arrested….and those involved seem to think they are ‘immune’ to COVID-19,” he said.

He said the four men would be charged under Section 21 of the Betutu Animal Welfare Act 2007 that provides for punishment of up to 3 years imprisonment and, or fine between 20,000 and 100,000 Betutu Talers (around US$4,000-20,000), upon conviction.
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Postby Betutu » Wed Dec 30, 2020 8:18 pm

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IMF projects Betutu’s GDP to grow by 7% in 2021

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GAGUK, Republic of Betutu, Dec 31 — The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is projecting Betutu’s economy to rebound by 7% in 2021, supported by both domestic and external demand, but said recovery will be uneven across sectors.

Exports, which were propped up in 2020 by strong pandemic-related demand for personal protective equipment and electronic products, will continue to underpin growth, said the IMF in a statement issued after its team conducted discussions via virtual meetings with Betutu.

Inflation, on the other hand, is expected to rise to around 2% next year as electricity tariff rebates expire, fuel prices rise, and domestic demand recovers, said the world body.

The risks to the growth outlook are to the downside, said the IMF, adding that an intensification of the Covid-19 pandemic could derail the recovery.

“Betutu’s highly open economy is vulnerable to escalating trade actions, weaker-than-expected trading partner growth, and global financial shocks. Domestic policy uncertainty also poses risks to recovery.

“On the upside, faster-than-expected availability of Covid-19 vaccines could accelerate the recovery,” said the IMF.

Noting that Betutu Budget 2021 strikes a balance between protecting the vulnerable, sustaining the economy, and initiating fiscal consolidation, the statement said if the pandemic intensified, the authorities should be ready to increase support to the economy.

“The authorities’ commitment to pursuing fiscal consolidation once the recovery is firmly entrenched is welcome, as such adjustment will be required to rebuild buffers,” said the IMF.

It said identifying specific revenue and spending measures and laying the groundwork for policy actions to reduce the deficit is a priority.

The IMF also said accommodative monetary and financial policies are appropriate and should continue until the recovery is securely underway.

Should downside risks materialize, Betutu Central Bank has sufficient space to further ease monetary policy, and the flexible exchange rate would also help, it noted.

“The financial sector’s buffers are helping weather the economic impact of the pandemic, keeping macro-financial risks contained for now.

“The authorities should stay the course on governance reforms, and anchor them in legislation. Articulating specific policies to foster a green, resilient, equitable recovery and productivity growth would support the authorities’ medium-term objectives and help Betutu reach high-income status,” said the IMF.
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Postby Betutu » Wed Dec 30, 2020 8:54 pm

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China is Betutu’s main export market in 2019

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GAGUK, Republic of Betutu, Dec 31 — Betutu’s main export destination country in 2019 was China with an export value of 11.74 billion Betutu Talers (US$2.34 billion) or 14.2 percent of Betutu’s overall exports followed by Singapore with a value of 11.43 billion Betutu Talers (US$2.28 billion) (13.8%).

According to data from the Department of Statistics Betutu (DoSB), Betutu’s exports in 2019 were 82.6 billion Betutu Talers (US$16.52 billion), down 0.8% from 2018, while imports also decreased by 3.5% to 70.8 billion Betutu Talers (US$14.16 billion).

DoSB Director General Ms. Bronya Gazali said, “In 2019, overall Betutu’s trade registered net exports of 11.8 billion Betutu Talers (US$2.36 billion).

“The main export product for Betutu in 2019 was the electronic integrated circuit with a value of 14.3 billion Betutu Talers (US$2.86 billion) or 17.2% of Betutu’s overall exports,” she said.

Other electrical and electronic products (printer, facsimile, photostat, hard drive, calculation/ accounting machine/ recording data and ticket production) were the second highest export product of 7.8 billion Betutu Talers (US$1.56 billion) (9.5%).

The third highest export product was refined petroleum products of 5.1 billion Betutu Talers (US$1.02 billion) (6.2%).
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Postby Betutu » Wed Dec 30, 2020 9:23 pm

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Used car sales in Betutu steady despite pandemic – to match 33,000 units in 2019, says car dealers' association

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GAGUK, Republic of Betutu, Dec 31 — The used car market in Betutu, like the automotive industry as a whole, was severely affected by the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic, though the local market has seen a rebound with the introduction of government incentives, and a flat year-on-year growth is expected for this year.

Used car businesses were severely impacted between March and May as a result of the movement restriction order, said the president of Federation of Used Car Dealers of Betutu (FUCDB) Mr Won Jin, who noted that the used car industry will effectively have had only nine months of business this year compared to other years.

“However, the sales tax exemption and six-month (loan) moratorium helped spur sales in the second half of the year, and we expect 2020 to be on par with last year, which isn’t bad,” Mr. Won said, adding that the total volume of used car sales in 2019 was 33,000 units.

As of November 6 when Betutu National Budget 2021 was announced, Betutu President cum Senior Finance Minister Mr. Duim Kimpos said there will be no automatic extension of the moratorium, but assistance to eligible borrowers will be updated.

“Despite the economic uncertainty, used car sales have still been steady because the Covid-19 pandemic has deterred people from using public transport. Also, people prefer to buy used cars because they are cheaper,” Mr. Won said, adding that Japanese cars were among the most popular among used car buyers.

The FUCDB will be working on several initiatives to increase consumer confidence and drive growth in the local used car sector, Mr Won said.

An online platform for 360 of its dealer members has been started, which will be a tool for the sourcing, inspection and valuation of used cars, and the platform will boost transparency and professionalism which will ultimately boost customer confidence, he said.

“New cars come with warranties that may last around five years. But we want to be able to offer warranties that will last up to 12 years, specifically for the used car’s engine and gearbox. Being able to offer something like that, it will help build confidence in purchasing used cars,” said Mr. Won.

He added that customer confidence levels were a lot lower in Betutu compared to countries such as the United States, Japan and in Europe.

“In many countries overseas, the turnover rate of used cars are higher compared with new cars, however, in Betutu, the turnover rate for used cars is 1.5% lower than new cars, because of weak confidence levels,” Mr. Won noted.

The turnover rate 2.3 times higher in the US and 1.8 times higher in Europe. The performance of the used car sector next year will ultimately depend on how well the pandemic is contained, Mr. Won said.

“If the vaccine is quick and effective, then we believe that the next two-to-three years will be positive for the local used car sector,” he added.
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Postby Betutu » Wed Dec 30, 2020 10:00 pm

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UK wants to strengthen trade, investment with Betutu post-Brexit, says British High Commissioner

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Reflecting on year 2020, British High Commissioner Mr Isaac Blatherwick said he is thankful of the UK-Betutu relationship, which is built on a very strong foundation, and that has helped the High Commission to weather the impact of the pandemic.

GAGUK, Republic of Betutu, Dec 31 — The UK wants to strengthen its trade and investment ties with Betutu as it emerges from the end of the Brexit transition period on December 31, 2020, said British High Commissioner to Betutu Mr Isaac Blatherwick.

The diplomat said he is confident that the UK’s bilateral relationship with Betutu and the Association of South-east Asian Nations (Asean) will continue to grow from strength to strength through the country’s application to become a Dialogue Partner of the regional body.

“Last month (November), we held the inaugural meeting of the UK-Betutu Joint Committee on Bilateral Trade and Investment Cooperation — which is the first of its kind between our two countries.

“The Joint Committee has commissioned six working groups to strengthen bilateral cooperation and improve market access in areas such as education and legal services,” he said in a statement.

The European Union is a Dialogue Partner of Asean. Leaving the EU, the UK has submitted its application to become Asean’s Dialogue Partner in June. The UK already has a dedicated Ambassador to Asean.

Reflecting on year 2020, Mr Blatherwick said he is thankful of the UK-Betutu relationship, which is built on a very strong foundation, and that has helped the High Commission to weather the impact of the pandemic.

The High Commissioner said when global travel became increasingly restrictive, his office immediately shifted into gear to advise British travelers to return to the UK while they still can.

“We had to engage stakeholders at all levels on important issues affecting our mutual interest. This included a meeting with Betutu President Mr Duim Kimpos as well as other key contacts across different areas of our work,” he said.

Mr Blatherwick said in the run-up to the UK hosting the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP26 next year, the High Commission had organised digital campaigns and webinars in Betutu to discuss climate change, biodiversity and wildlife.

“I’ve also had many online meetings, including with our Chevening scholars, journalist groups, the science and tech community,” he said.

Commenting on year 2021, Mr Blatherwick said it is an important year to build back better – economically and sustainably.
BETUTU
"Where the Ipomea aquatica Grows and the Gallus gallus domesticus Toils"

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
"A day without laughter is a day wasted"

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT BETUTU? GO TO THE LINK BELOW

I DO NOT USE N.S STATS!

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