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Johor girl makes it to English Language Olympiad



BATU PAHAT: An 11-year-old girl will head to Italy to compete in an English Language Olympiad, her fluency honed by years of devouring Harry Potter and Percy Jackson books.

After rounds of exams and months of preparation, Year Five Isabel Lim Yu Tong is one of nine finalists from Malaysia who will be in Rome to compete against students from around the world from September 28-30.

“I don’t feel any pressure. In fact, I am looking forward to making new friends from all over the world,” said Isabel, who has always been interested in learning English since she was little.

He said he enjoyed immersing himself in fantasy novels like the Harry Potter and Percy Jackson series.

“I also watch TV shows. My favorite is The Big Bang Theory. I like to watch the way the actors talk.

“I’m also not ashamed to talk to my classmates and teachers in English,” he said.

The Olympiad is organized by the Global Hippo Association, a non-profit organization founded in 2012 with the purpose of promoting the importance of knowing the English language and bringing together children from different countries.

The annual competition saw 67,748 students from 45 countries participate in this year’s preliminary round, of whom only 183 qualified for the final round.

Isabel, a student at Sekolah Rendah Seri Presbyterian, said she didn’t expect to get this far.

She participated in the same competition last year, but was eliminated in the semifinal round.

“I am happy to go to Europe for the first time and represent Johor and Malaysia on the international stage,” he said.

Isabel is the only student from Johor heading to the Hippo English Language Olympiad this time.

“I will do my best in the final,” he added.

Her parents and a teacher will accompany her on the trip. They will leave today for Rome.

“We never imagined that our daughter from a small town of Batu Pahat would represent the country on the international stage,” said her mother, Kuo Chiew Yen, 40.

“Although we know it will be quite competitive, we have faith and confidence in her to do her best and we will be there to support her at all times.”

Kuo, a real estate agent, added, “When Isabel didn’t make it past the semi-final stage last year, we kept motivating her and encouraging her not to give up.”

The Olympiad, he said, would test finalists on skills such as reading, listening, writing, use of English and speaking (conversation and improvisation).

She also expressed her gratitude to Isabel’s school for being supportive and providing extra classes to help her prepare for the competition.

Yesterday, Isabel received a token of appreciation from the Batu Pahat Education Office where her Deputy Education Officer from the School Directorate, Mohamad Aizel Mohamad, gave her words of encouragement.

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Selangor Sultan grants audience to Anwar



PETALING JAYA: Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah of Selangor granted an audience to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim at Istana Bukit Kayangan, Shah Alam.

The matter was announced in a post on the Selangor Royal Office Facebook page on Tuesday (Dec 6).

Anwar was appointed prime minister on November 24, the publication added.

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Anwar: Don’t call me ‘papa’



PETALING JAYA: Social media users have coined the term “PMX” for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (Photo), who has made it clear that he does not want to be called “dad” or by any other paternal nickname.

PMX refers to him as the country’s 10th Prime Minister, PM being the acronym for Prime Minister, while “X” is 10 in Roman numerals.

There have been several news articles and social media posts referring to the Tambun MP as PMX since the Yang di-Pertuan Agong took office on November 24.

On Tuesday (December 6), Anwar had

asked Malaysians not to call him dad after a netizen wished him “Good morning dad” on Twitter.

Anwar had responded with “Please don’t do that”.

Anwar, who is married to Datuk Seri MP Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail of Bandar Tun Razak, is called “dad” by his six children.

Anwar’s refusal to use a paternal nickname with the rakyat is considered to be a departure from the practice of former Prime Ministers Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who were comfortable presenting themselves as the father figure of the nation.

Ismail Sabri and Muhyiddin were referred to as “Pak Long” and “Abah” respectively.

A tech-savvy Anwar has always been active on social media, where he could be seen interacting and joking with netizens.

On December 4, Anwar, who is also the chairman of PKR and chairman of Pakatan Harapan, said that despite the increased responsibilities after assuming the country’s highest post, he will still find time to respond to tweets.

“Many complain that I rarely reply to tweets. The responsibility is increasing, but I still follow my friends’ comments on Twitterjaya. InshaAllah, I will try to find space and reply to all my friends’ tweets,” he said in a post.

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Don’t challenge me, Anwar tells Muhyiddin



PUTRAJAYA: There were several processes and procedures that former Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyuddin Yassib did not follow, says Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

The prime minister said this includes the participation of companies linked to his relatives.

“I would like to remind Muhyiddin not to challenge me as it is clear that various processes and procedures were not followed,” he told the media after registering with the Finance Ministry on Monday (Dec 6).

Anwar, however, did not elaborate on the companies and the nature of the businesses they are involved in.

He said that while his intention was to focus on economic growth and people’s well-being, the matter needed to be addressed as it was being questioned.

He said certain parties had claimed they were clean.

“However, they are not, since it was found that there were approvals made without following the rules.

“This includes approvals made during the movement control order,” he said.

There have been calls for an ICR on government spending during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Muhyiddin, who is also the president of Perikatan Nasional, said he never embezzled or embezzled funds meant to help people and if he had, investigations would have started long ago.

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