Saturday, January 31, 2004

Malaysia prevents bird flu outbreak effectively: minister

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan. 30 (Xinhuanet) -- The measures taken by the government so far had been effective in preventing outbreak of the bird flu in Malaysia, Health Minister Chua Jui Meng said on Friday.

"Although many countries, including our neighbors, have been affected by the outbreak, we are still safe," he told a press conference at his office here.

Chua said Malaysia was prepared to face the outbreak and had taken initial preventive step by banning poultry imports from Thailand, apart from drawing up specific action plans if the disease spread to Malaysia.

He said his ministry had not received any reports of the bird flu or avian flu virus attacking the poultry bred in the country.

So far, 10 people -- eight in Vietnam and two in Thailand -- died of the epidemic, while countries like South Korea, China, Cambodia, Laos, Japan, Pakistan, Chinese Taiwan and Indonesia haveconfirmed the spread of the virus to the World Health Organization(WHO) in Geneva.

Chua said if the outbreak reached Malaysian shores, the first step that must be taken was to destroy the chicken and ducks in the farms to ensure the virus did not infect human beings.

"This step has been taken in Hong Kong, the United States and in the Netherlands not long ago, it proved successful to contain the disease," he said.

Chua also urged livestock breeders to monitor and submit reports to the ministry as soon as possible if they spotted signs of infection in their animals besides carrying out immunization.

The ministry had also ordered hospitals and medical laboratories to be ready to face the possibility of having to dealwith the virus like conducting early diagnosis of the disease, quarantine or monitor the affected areas, he said.

He said the Veterinary Services Department had also been asked to monitor bird sanctuaries and other locations to detect if the bird flu virus was carried by migratory birds.

Earlier, Chua attended a meeting in Bangkok, which discussed the bird flu outbreak along with agriculture and health ministers from the region, besides officers from the European Union, the United States, World Health Organization (WHO) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Enditem

Friday, January 30, 2004

Don't import chickens with bird flu, farmers told

POULTRY farmers have been told not to import chicken affected by bird flu, Sin Chew Daily reported National Public Health Laboratory consultant virologist Dr Chua Kaw Bing as saying.

He said poultry farmers should learn from the Nipah virus outbreak which was caused by a small group of pig farmers who purchased affected pigs due to low prices.

Dr Chua urged poultry farmers to follow the directive from the Agriculture Ministry and the Health Ministry.

The daily also reported that the Federation of Livestock Farmers’ Association of Malaysia as urging poultry farmers to report to the Veterinary Services Department if a large number of chickens died in their farms.

The association’s broiler unit chairman Yap Kim Hwah said this would enable the officers from the department to collect samples for tests to prevent any possible spread of the bird flu.

Yap said locally bred chicken was safe to consume and he had not received any reports of local farms being affected by the bird flu.

He said the department had also instructed the poultry farmers to increase hygiene standards at farms.

Yap said his association would brief members on the directives from the department so that they would carry out the preventative measures.

Nanyang Siang Pau quoted Veterinary Services Department director-general Datuk Dr Hawari Hussein as saying his department would intensify random checks to ensure locally bred chicken would be safe for consumption.

He gave assurance that affected chickens and eggs would not be on sale in the market.

Meanwhile, Sin Chew reported that the United Chinese School Teachers Association, or Jiao Zong, has urged those accepted for study in the Chinese Language section of the Teacher Training Colleges to report to their colleges.

Jiao Zong hoped they would become primary and secondary school teachers after undergoing the training as they could help ease the lack of Chinese language teachers in schools as well as contribute to Chinese education.
Note: Dr Chua Kaw Bing is the discoverer of the Nipah virus

Thursday, January 29, 2004

M'sia prepared to cull chickens if need arises

MALAYSIA said yesterday it remains free of the bird flu that has hit regional neighbours Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Indonesia - but is ready to take measures that could include the mass slaughter of chickens should the need arise.

Contingency plans, including practices 'institutionalised after the Nipah outbreak, are already in place', said Health Minister Chua Jui Meng.

In a one-year period over 1998 and 1999, the government oversaw the slaughter of more than a million head of swine, as well as some cats and dogs, in a bid to stem the outbreak of the Nipah strain of the Japanese Encephalitis virus, which claimed about 100 lives.

The Agriculture Ministry's Veterinary Services Department 'already has a plan and we are happy with the plan' in the event that bird flu is detected in Malaysia, Mr Chua said yesterday.

Singapore's Agri-food and Veterinary Authority said on Monday that it will curtail imports of live chickens from Malaysia, estimated at some 120,000 a day, should bird flu spread to Malaysia.

Malaysia's poultry farming industry is almost self-sufficient, and the latest figures from the Agriculture Ministry show the country exported RM580 million (S$259 million) of live poultry, processed chicken and eggs in 2001.

According to data released in the Economic Report 2004 in September last year, the government expects output of eggs and poultry this year to increase 16.2 per cent and 13.8 per cent respectively.

Poultry farmers continued to remain upbeat yesterday, although investors on the Malaysian Securities Exchange (MSEB) sold down poultry-related counters for a second straight day.

'We are not affected as there have been no cases of the virus in Malaysia,' said Alex Ding, group managing director of DBE Gurney. DBE, which is among the top five live-broiler producers in Malaysia, intends to proceed with plans to expand operations to include producing frozen chickens and chicken parts for exports, he said.

DBE's RM14 million initial public offer for a second board listing on MSEB closes this week.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Malaysia: High alert against unusual flu cases

MALAYSIA is on high alert for any unusual deaths among its poultry stock and any spike in human flu cases despite barring chicken imports to prevent the avian influenza from entering the country.

Officials said they are prepared to start culling livestock if the bird flu infects animals.

Malaysia produces more than one million chickens a year and Singapore imports live chickens - some 120,000 a day - only from Malaysia.

Malaysian Customs and veterinary officials are keeping an especially close watch on the porous Malaysia-Thai border for any attempt to bring in poultry from Thailand.

'There must be no smuggling of chicken. This happened during the Nipah virus outbreak,' said Health Minister Chua Jui Meng yesterday. When the deadly Nipah virus struck Malaysia's pig population in 1999, unscrupulous farmers breached quarantine rules by smuggling out infected pigs to uninfected farms.

This led to the disease spreading throughout the country. More than 100 farm workers died as a result.

'I want to ask Malaysians not to be tempted by cheap prices and engage in smuggling,' Datuk Chua said.

He said procedures for dealing with any possible outbreak of the avian influenza had been institutionalised and was based on lessons learnt during the Nipah and Sars outbreaks.

Health officials at all government clinics, especially in the rural areas, have been asked to report any unusual flu cases, particularly among farm workers.

Farm workers and government veterinary officials are also on the lookout for unusual deaths among the chicken population.

Datuk Chua said government laboratories have so far only detected the human flu virus among cases sent for tests.

'It is very comforting. So far, there has been no big jump in flu cases,' he added.

The minister will attend a meeting in Bangkok today on the bird flu crisis.

Monday, January 26, 2004

Malaysia to cooperate with Singapore and ASEAN to contain bird flu

SINGAPORE: Malaysia's Health Minister said his country will work with Singapore and other ASEAN countries to prevent the bird flu from spreading.

Speaking to reporters in Singapore, Mr Chua Jui Meng says ASEAN Health Ministers will meet in Thailand next week to discuss the issue and prevent the smuggling of birds and animals across borders.

"We have banned the imports of meat as well as live chicken from Thailand. That's done by their agriculture ministry and health officers, public health officers are working very closely with the vets to make sure there's no infiltration of any animals or birds illegally.

"The Ministry of Health is helping to advise the farmers to protect themselves in the unlikely event of any infection but there is none so far in Malaysia and we intend to keep it that way," said Mr Chua who was part of the Malaysian delegation on a visit to Singapore led by Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi.

The deadly strain of avian influenza has killed six people in Vietnam and had infected both humans and chickens in Thailand. - CNA

Saturday, January 24, 2004

Chicken products from Thailand banned


Malaysia has banned with immediate effect the import of live chicken, eggs and chicken meat from Thailand following an outbreak of bird flu in the kingdom.
Thailand has also voluntarily stopped all chicken exports following the confirmed cases of bird flu in the country today.

Thai medical authorities also announced the first death of a person suspected to have contracted the disease, a 56-year-old man who raised fighting cocks at his home.

Agriculture Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said today that he had asked Veterinary Services Department director-general Datuk Dr Hawari Hussein to inform all importers of the ban.

He said the ministry had initially suspended the import of live chicken and eggs several days ago following reports of possible bird flu cases in Thailand.

"With confirmation now, we are banning imports totally," he said. The ban remains effective until further notice.

A similar ban is imposed on Vietnam where another 17 people are believed to be infected with the H5N1 strain of avian influenza which has also been reported in Japan and South Korea.

Meanwhile, wire agencies confirmed yesterday that two Thais have caught the bird flu which has already killed five Vietnamese.

"The result from the Department of Medical Science said two were positive and one was negative," Health Minister Sudarat Keyuraphan said, referring to tests on three patients.

The two, boys aged six and seven from different provinces west of Bangkok, were in "critical but stable" condition, she said.

Children appear most at risk. No one knows why, but four of the five killed in Vietnam were children.

Bird flu affects people who have come into contact with diseased chicken. The first symptoms are fever and bronchitis.

The World Health Organisation has expressed fears that bird flu could evolve into an epidemic worse than SARS. The European Union, Hong Kong and Bangladesh have also banned Thai poultry.

Leong Hup Holdings Bhd executive director Datuk Francis Lau, one of the country's largest producers of chicken, said that Malaysia was self-sufficient in meeting the country's chicken demand and imports very little chicken meat for processing.

"Malaysia is free from the avian influenza," Lau added.

"We produce RM400 million worth of chicken meat per year, and less than five per cent, about RM20 million worth, is imported.

The Leong Hup Group operations cover poultry breeding, slaughtering, processing and retailing. Its products are marketed under the brand name of "Ayam A1". Its breeder farm is one of the largest in the country producing about 100 million chicks a year, about 26 per cent of the local market.

In Brussels, Alberto Laddo-mada, a European Commission expert in animal health told a news conference, that there was only a tiny risk of people catching bird flu by eating infected poultry meat.

"It's unlikely humans would get the infection from eating poultry meat," Laddomada, said, adding that people were catching bird flu after being in contact with poultry.

There is no evidence of the virus jumping from human to human, a doomsday scenario where bird flu in poultry and the virus in humans would mix to unlease a killer bug similiar to the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, he added.

Saturday, January 17, 2004

MALAYSIA BUSINESS BRIEFS: Pantai Buys Cheras Hospital
KUALA LUMPUR (Dow Jones)--Malaysian health care group Pantai Holdings Bhd. (8036.KU) is buying hospital operator Cheras Medical Center Sdn. Bhd. for 8.8 million ringgit ($1=MYR3.80) which will be paid through the issuance of 8.3 million new Pantai shares. Pantai is also buying a piece of land and a five-storey hospital building - where Cheras Medical Center operates - for MYR25.4 million, which it will pay for by issuing 24.0 million new shares.

Friday, January 16, 2004

Health Minister: No avian flu cases in Malaysia

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s poultry industry is not affected by the recent outbreaks of avian flu in the Asia region and the world situation is being watched closely, said Health Minister Datuk Chua Jui Meng.

“As far as we are concerned, there is no avian flu in the country. The Institute of Medical Research as well as the laboratory technicians with the Veterinary Services Department are monitoring the situation,” he said.

Chua said the ministry had issued an advisory to the department on guidelines for farmers should there be an outbreak in Malaysia.

“It is a precautionary measure which I am sure is taken by other countries.

“The advisory is based on scientific evaluation, which is part of modern agriculture,” he told reporters after the official opening of the Regulation and Safety of Dietary Supplements in Safeguarding Public Health seminar yesterday.

Asked for details of the advisory, Chua said it was drawn up based on lessons learnt from the JE, Nipah and the recent SARS outbreaks.

“It serves as a reminder to farmers. Usually protective clothing is used to protect the animals as human beings can infect animals.

“But in the event of an outbreak, the clothing can provide protection for farmers. It is part of good agricultural practice,” he said, adding that other measures included preventing importation from affected countries.

Chua said the issue was brought up at the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday and the Health Ministry and Agriculture Ministry had been directed to take action as required based on current developments.

“The Public Health Division has also been watching the situation closely through the World Health Organisation’s website and is also contacting our counterparts in the affected countries,” he added.

When asked if there was any advice for Malaysians travelling to Vietnam, South Korea and Japan, he said it was not likely that Malaysians would visit chicken farms.

On the three suspected SARS cases reported in Singapore, he said Malaysia was working closely with Singapore to monitor the latest developments.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Malaysia on high alert against bird flu

KUALA LUMPUR : Malaysia is on high alert against the bird flu virus following the recent outbreak of the disease in Vietnam and Japan.

It plans to impose a ban on avian products from all affected countries to try and keep its poultry industry disease-free.


Malaysia, one of the biggest poultry exporters in Southeast Asia, said its top priority now was to prevent the importation of the disease by banning all avian products from the affected countries.

Health Minister Chua Jui Meng assured the public that Malaysia is free from the disease, according to studies done by the ministry's Institute of Medical Research.

But while the poultry industry is not affected by the current outbreak in Vietnam and other countries, he stressed the need for precautions.

Mr Chua said: "It is our mission and duty to ensure this does not take place in this country. We have sent advisory to departments to advise farmers on actions to be taken in the unlikely event there is avian flu in this country."

Besides preventing the importation of the disease from affected areas, Malaysia chicken farmers are also advised to step up precautionary measures including putting on protective clothings at all time."

Mr Chua said Malaysia's veterinary and health officials were working closely with the World Health Organisation to monitor the situation.

He said no travel advisory would be issued against visiting affected countries as it has not been proven that the bird flu virus can spread from human to human.

With Singapore a major export market for Malaysian chickens and ducks, the Health Ministry assured its closest neighbour that Malaysia will stay as alert when it comes to developments on the bird flu, as for the SARS outbreak. - CNA

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

New drug for erectile dysfunction now available: "KUALA LUMPUR: A new oral treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED), called tadalafil, is now available in Malaysia.
The drug is said to be effective up to 36 hours after consumption, longer than what is currently available.
�The longer hours of efficacy mean that men with ED do not have to worry so much about when the drug will wear off. Thus, they would be able to regain the spontaneity in sexual intercourse that they once enjoyed,� said Dr Gerald Brock, associate professor of the department of surgery in the urology division at the University of Western Ontario in Canada, who was speaking at the launch of the drug at Carcosa Seri Negara yesterday. "
M'sia's largest private hospital eyeing Brunei

The biggest private hospital operator in Malaysia, KPJ Healthcare Bhd is planning to spread its wings to Brunei Darussalam in the near future.
In a statement, the private hospital said it has initiated talks with relevant authorities in Brunei Darussalam. The hospital is also interested in expanding their healthcare activities to other countries such as the Middle East, China, Indonesia and Singapore.

Initial talks to open doors for the hospital to operate here were held during the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) and Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) meetings in Kuala Lumpur recently. KPJ Healthcare's managing director Datin Paduka Siti Sa'adiah Sheikh Bakir said since the September 11, 2001 attacks, Middle East countries had shifted their focus away from the US and Europe for healthcare expertise.

KPJ Healthcare started 22 years ago and had developed enormous hands-on experience in almost every aspect of the healthcare business, right from the feasibility and design stage to the implementation and running of operations.

Other than hospitals, KPJ also provides support services such as retail of pharmaceutical products undertaken through PharmaCare Bhd, and a nursing college through Puteri Nursing College Sdn Bhd.

As for design and construction, it has already built a number of hospitals, including the Ampang Puteri Specialist Hospital and Damansara Specialist Hospital, using its own in-house design and expertise.

"We are already in talking terms with several interested parties locally and abroad to have working relationship in the management, building and commissioning, healthcare technical services, bio-technical engineering support and maintenance of their hospitals," she said.

In Malaysia, KPJ owns 11 hospitals, following the injection of nine from Kumpulan Perubatan Johor Sdn Bhd, Tawakal Holdings Sdn Bhd and Medical Centre (Johore) Sdn Bhd in late 2002.

Since its listing in 1994 until that injection, KPJ had only been operating two hospitals under its wing, the Johor Specialist Hospital and Ipoh Specialist Hospital.

Shortly there will be two more hospitals: one in Kuching will open for outpatient services business soon while the other in Seremban will be operational by April this year.

With the injection, KPJ is set to see improvement in its financial results in 2004. Its nine months to September 2003 showed pre-tax profit of RM17.95 million on turnover of RM375 million.

"Medicines, laboratory resources and even food could be procured through one centre and there should be tremendous savings just from these activities," she said.

She said KPJ had been able to maintain profitability as most of the hospitals in the group were "matured" and their healthy and well-balanced composition had enabled the company to manage its earnings at a profitable level.

Saturday, January 10, 2004

Malaysia remains SARS-free


Malaysia, which remains SARS-free, will closely monitor the situation abroad as China reported a new suspected case today.
Health Ministry's Disease Control Division deputy director Dr Cheng Hoei Hom said Malaysia need not worry as all precautions have been put in place to ensure the disease did not reappear here.

She said the World Health Organisation had not issued any warnings yet as they were still confirming with China on the suspected case.

It was reported today that health officials in the southern province of Guangdong said a 20-year-old waitress was under quarantine at a hospital with SARS-like symptoms.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Practise hygiene, travellers told

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians travelling to China should practise a high level of personal hygiene and avoid coming in contact with people having Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) symptoms such as coughing, Health Minister Datuk Chua Jui Meng said.

He said that precautionary measures were necessary though the current situation did not warrant a travel restriction.

He gave this advice after the Chinese Health Ministry confirmed that a 32-year-old man down with SARS symptoms had the virus yesterday.

In an immediate response, Communicable Disease Control director Dr Ramlee Rahmat said that Malaysia would have to wait for World Health Organisation (WHO) advice on the next course of action.

However, he said the ministry had activated its surveillance and screening for SARS while hospitals were on alert.

“We are keeping tabs on the situation and doing all we need to do at the moment,” he said.

On a 31-year-old Malaysian woman isolated at Kuala Lumpur Hospital on Sunday upon her return from Guangzhou on Saturday with high fever, cough and sore throat, Chua said she was found to be healthy yesterday.

He said she would not be discharged until doctors were satisfied it was safe for her to leave.

“As of today, the patient’s fever was down, her chest X-rays were clear and she had no symptoms of SARS,” Chua said.

A ministry official said the woman was diagnosed to have suffered from viral fever, adding that results of specimens sent for testing at Institute of Medical Research would be known in a few days.

Chua said the ministry started screening passengers from Guangdong at four international airports - KLIA, Bayan Lepas, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching – since Saturday.

“Of the 3,270 screened so far, only one had fever,” he said, adding that the 31-year-old woman had visited Guangdong, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Macau and Zhuhai before returning to Guangzhou to board a flight back to KLIA.

Friday, January 02, 2004

Malaysia and S'pore screen Guangdong passengers for SARS

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - Malaysia has begun screening airline passengers from China's southern Guangdong province following news of a SARS case there, a report said on Wednesday.
Health Minister Chua Jui Meng said staff had been put on full alert and had begun the screening process and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) preventive measures.

"So far, we have screened more than 440 passengers from Guangdong and all were given clean bills of health," Ramlee Rahmat, director for communicable disease control, was quoted as saying by the New Straits Times newspaper.

There are two flights daily from Guangdong into Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). The health checks began on Monday.

All travellers from Guangdong are required to fill out health declaration cards, Ramlee added.

The SARS virus returned to haunt China for the first time in six months as a health official from Guangdong on Tuesday announced a suspected case in the province had been upgraded to a confirmed case.

SARS triggered a worldwide health crisis after emerging in Guangdong in November last year, causing 774 deaths and more than 8,000 infections, the vast majority in Asia.

The disease spread globally, devastating economies across Asia with travel and tourism sectors losing hundreds of millions of dollars.

Meanwhile, in Singapore, passengers from Guangdong are being subjected to stepped-up fever screening at Singapore's Changi Airport because of the suspected SARS case in the Chinese province, the health ministry said Wednesday.

A ministry spokeswoman said the special checks began on Saturday after China's health ministry announced a 32-year-old man in the southern province of Guangdong was a suspected SARS case.

"It's just a precautionary measure," she told AFP.

Arriving passengers from other countries normally pass in front of high-tech thermal scanners after they enter the terminal building.

Those from Guangdong are also being screened at the aerobridge which connects the plane to the terminal in addition to the normal checks.

"So they are screened twice," the spokeswoman said.

Fever is an initial symptom of SARS.

Feng Shaoming, spokesman for the Guangdong Centre for Disease Control, told AFP on Tuesday that the case was confirmed to be SARS, but the World Health Organisation (WHO) said it needed more time to complete its own diagnosis.

Feng said three experts from the WHO were in Guangdong's provincial capital Guangzhou and were going over the test results.

Singapore has been praised for implementing the toughest measures to contain SARS earlier this year. Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong said the city-state is better prepared this time for any recurrence of the epidemic.

Thursday, January 01, 2004

Malaysia woos health tourists from Middle East

KUALA LUMPUR (AP) - Malaysia unveiled plans Tuesday to become a medical hub for Muslims with promises of halal meals at hospitals and doctors who pray before performing surgery.
The government will launch a publicity campaign in the Middle East early next year to encourage patients to seek health care in this Southeast Asian nation instead of traditional destinations in the West, where officials said some Muslims fear encountering anti-Arab sentiment and distrust.

"We'll be the world champion in getting people to come enjoy our medical services," Tourism Minister Abdul Kadir Fadzir said Tuesday at a ceremony where health institutions agreed to boost efforts to attract foreigners.

Officials will organise information roadshows in the Middle East, publish brochures, screen commercials on the popular Qatar-based satellite channel Al-Jazeera and invite health authorities to Malaysia to endorse its facilities, said Abdul Kadir.

Former Malaysian diplomat Syed Hussein Al-Habsee said the campaign would focus on the Persian Gulf states of the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait, where he said health infrastructure lagged behind Malaysia.

Officials will emphasise that halal food is served in major hospitals, special prayer rooms are available and Muslim doctors hold prayers before operations, Syed Hussein said. Travel packages will include hassle-free visa and interpreter services.

Each year Malaysia treats about 100,000 foreign patients, mostly from nearby Muslim countries Indonesia and Brunei, said Ridzwan Bakar, head of the Association of Private Hospitals of Malaysia.

Patients from the Middle East have risen since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States, with many bringing their families and spending at least two weeks in the country, Ridzwan said.

Foreign patients come for a variety of procedures, including heart bypass operations, hip transplants, infertility treatment, corrective laser eye surgery, dental work and cosmetic operations.

Treatment also comes comparatively cheap - a heart bypass patient would spend less than US$7,000 in Malaysia, double that amount in neighbouring Singapore and 10 times more in the United States, Ridzwan said.

The sector, which Malaysia calls "health tourism," brought 150 million ringgit (US$40 million) in revenue last year. Officials hope to triple it to more than 540 million ringgit (US$140 million) by 2005.
Health aid criteria eased

THE Finance Ministry has agreed to make it easier for applicants to receive aid from its Chronic Disease Fund, by raising the eligibility condition of RM600 monthly household income to RM1,500, Utusan Malaysia reported.

The easier condition is expected to be approved next month, it said quoting Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Suleiman Mohamed.

The decision was made following a discussion between the Finance and Health Ministries after a report revealed that there were no takers for the RM100mil fund, due to the strict criteria of rejecting applicants whose monthly household income exceeded RM600.

Dr Suleiman said RM600 was impractical as the poverty rate was RM1,200 in urban areasand RM300 in rural areas.

To date, he said, his ministry had only received RM1mil from the fund, which had yet to be used, as none of the applicants were eligible for it. He said the ministry would receive RM5mil from the fund next year.

“With the criteria eased, certainly more applicants will be eligible for it.”

Utusan Malaysia quoted a source, as saying that the Health Ministry’s RM1mil allocation this year could not be brought forward to next year because the money was in the form of management expenditure and no time frame was set to use up the annual allocation.