Asia Briefs: Malaysian mass hysteria cases 'due to stress'

Malaysian mass hysteria cases 'due to stress'

KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysia's Education Minister Mahdzir Khalid has said that the mass hysteria that broke out in several schools in Kelantan last month was due to stress, anxiety and depression.

He told Parliament yesterday that the causes behind the hysteria cases at the three schools affected were determined through tests conducted by medical experts, Malaysiakini reported.

Dozens of students at the schools had fallen victim to mass hysteria, with many claiming to have seen supernatural entities. As a result, the schools were shut down for several days.

Chinese translator of Don Quixote dies at 105

BEIJING • Chinese playwright, author and translator Yang Jiang died yesterday at the age of 105, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences told Xinhua news agency.

Madam Yang was fluent in English, French and Spanish, and her translations of classics such as Don Quixote and French picaresque novel Gil Blas remain the definitive versions for Chinese readers.

Born Yang Jikang in Beijing, Madam Yang studied at Soochow University and then Tsinghua University in the 1930s. She was married to Mr Qian Zhongshu, well-known for his novel Fortress Besieged that depicted the lives of Chinese intellectuals in the 1930s. Mr Qian died in 1997.

Madam Yang's death was the top search term on the Chinese microblogging site Weibo yesterday, Associated Press reported.

Malaysia, China may strengthen defence ties

KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysia is set to discuss further possibilities for joint military collaboration with China, as part of efforts by the two sides to tackle extremism, terrorism, kidnappings and other crimes, the Prime Minister's Office said yesterday.

In addition to responding to the threat of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the two countries may work together on other areas of defence and military practical cooperation, including exchanging intelligence and setting up a secure communication link.

China has expressed its gratitude to Malaysia for its cooperation in fighting terrorism and international crime, the statement said.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 26, 2016, with the headline 'Asia Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe