Bring back school ranking system, says Idris

GEORGE TOWN: A nationwide school ranking system based on grades ought to be revived as a remedy to push for better overall academic performance, a former minister said today.

Idris Jala said the approach is two-pronged – one to detect teachers who are performing poorly and helping them to improve their teaching methods; and the other, motivation for students to do better.

The former minister in the prime minister’s department said when the system was put in place, there was a big shift in academic performance, with the “worst performers” jumping up to higher bands, while the average ones did better.

“We have had a 75% reduction in worst-performing schools such as band six and seven (the lowest rung), while there was a 47% jump in the top tier band one and two.

“It was a silent revolution. By publishing these rankings publicly, we were putting their feet close to the fire – teachers, principals and students,” he said in a G25 talk titled “Reflections On The Malaysia Education Blueprint”.

In the mid-2010s, a rank system was introduced for all schools, with band one and band two being the higher-performing schools, and bands five, six and seven being the lower-performing schools.

Idris said without granular data on how schools were performing through data analytics, one was going “blind”. He said key data from top schools could be used for other schools so results can be obtained.

However, he lamented the doing away of public exams such as the Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR). He said without public exams, schools were given a free hand to assess themselves to be the best.

“I am going to bet with anybody, a few years down the road, this is going to be a big-time misadventure. We need exams that are robust,” he said.

On the topic of English, Idris said some years back, all 70,000 English teachers were made to sit for the Cambridge Placement Test, but 70% of them did not pass at a satisfactory level.

He said the action plan was to have these teachers undergo remedial classes to improve their English.

Idris also dismissed the notion that the poor curriculum used in our schools was the reason the country’s education system fared badly.

He said it boiled down to students and teachers, with the latter’s teaching method playing an important role. He cited the example of SK Ulu Lubai in Limbang, Sarawak, which had often come out tops academically despite being in an interior region.

Idris said the teachers were from the same pool of 400,000-odd teachers in the country, trained in the same teaching institute, but they outperformed schools in the city.

He said a school in Kelantan had sent 20 of its worst-performing students there and two months later they returned to their hometown and became among the brightest students in school.

“That is why I say that we need to emulate the same teaching methods from these success-story schools. We don’t need to look at Finland or Norway,” he said.

Teach For Malaysia trustee Chen Li-Kai said that while one could learn from the best schools through how they fared in public exams, the focus should be on schools that have made a leap.

“It is not about learning from the best schools, but from the most improved schools,” he said.


Source: FMT

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Screenshot 2022-11-29 at 5.12.47 AM

Learning Together: Global Lessons in Tackling COVID-19

Sir Michael Barber and Idris Jala discuss the key learnings from our new in-depth report and share insight into the successful practices of the top 20 countries that have maintained a strong recovery in the fight against COVID-19.

Sir Michael Barber and Idris Jala were joined by Dr. Rifat Atun, professor of global health systems at Harvard University, and Dr. Jemilah Mehmood, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister of Malaysia, to discuss the opportunities for global collaboration and learning.

Source: Sir Michael Barber

Watch full webinar here.


Facing the Nation’s Poultry Problem

The Government has recently imposed export controls on locally farmed chicken in an effort to control prices of the ‘essential product’ for local consumption. This comes on the back of significant public pressure on the rise in the cost of living especially in a post-pandemic environment.

The implementation of price control although altruistic in nature by the Government has side effects that are usually not well understood by the public at large. It is important to recognize that the poultry industry sustains itself by Malaysians for Malaysians. As a general economic rule, business owners increase their prices because factors like supplies have become scarce, or the cost of production has increased. In this case, the recent price hike is impacted by the global turmoil in supply chains caused by the economic sanctions on Russia.

The measure by the Government is a logical approach, but we must be aware of the likely repercussions:

1. The livelihoods of those involved in the poultry supply industry.

2. The tangible and intangible subsidisation of any essential items by the Government

3. The view by investors on whether Government interventions are good for business – in this case, likely to be negative.

It is important to recognize that the root cause of the problem is not malice, but one that is related to the current global supply chains. Support for price controls ideally should be handled at the source. Perhaps it is better to allow prices to float temporarily even if they are very expensive but instead work with the industry to identify catalytic projects that could address the shortage of raw materials that go into the production. There could be a formation of a consortium to buy the raw materials for the industry in bulk. There could even be an opportunity for alternative products to be proposed that are less dependent on the affected raw materials. Ideas like these are not new and have been brought up before in many of the transformation labs on Agriculture PEMANDU Associates have been involved in around the world. Various initiatives that incentivise technology adoption and innovation to catalyse higher productivity and efficiency have been endorsed in these engagements. Some even involve the development of programmes to encourage collaboration amongst small farmers into larger entities to improve economies of scale.

Subsidies and price controls have been important policy tools in many developing countries to promote socioeconomic growth. However, as economies mature, the costs of maintaining such policies begin to outweigh the benefits. As a result, after reaching a certain level of growth, more countries are opting to reduce subsidies in favour of more liberalised policies.

Similarly, Malaysia has maintained a blanket subsidy on fuel for the better part of the last decade to foster economic development. However, the ultimate goal is to eventually transition to a market-price system to encourage fiscal and environmental sustainability – and the first step toward that is to reduce subsidies. The petrol subsidy programme (PSP) was intended to be implemented in tandem with a gradual float of RON95 petrol and diesel prices. The PSP was designed to encourage better fiscal responsibility while still protecting those who needed it the most.

Dato Seri Idris Jala, our President and Chairman, stated in 2010 that “Malaysia could still go bankrupt if annual growth remains below 4%, debt continues to rise at 12% per year, and the country continues to spend borrowed money on operational expenditure such as subsidies.”

In this case of chicken and food security identifying the root cause is vital and addressing it through collaborative efforts and innovative ideas involving the private sector.

At PEMANDU Associates, we believe that transformational initiatives should deliver long-term sustainable impact to the rakyat, with emphasis on improving economic development, attracting investments and job creation. The Government cannot do this alone and will require a winning coalition with relevant private sector companies to make the effort a success. Only then will solutions cease to be stop-gap measures, and instead become sustainable for the long haul.

Woody Ang Woo Teck is joint managing director of Pemandu Associates

Source: The Edge Markets

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Rwanda: New Projects Expected to Speed Up Country’s Development Targets

More than 50 projects are expected to enable Rwanda to reach its goal of achieving a middle-income economy by 2035, and a developed economy by 2050.

Projects worth more than US$ 6 billion were identified during a four-week workshop that ended yesterday June 10, led by the government, private sectors, banks and consulted by PEMANDU Associates, a global consultancy company, to generate impactful and fast results through collaborative program solving and detailing implementation plans.

The ready-to-go projects identified in Rwanda Private Sector-Led Transformation Program (RPTP) Laboratory using Big Fast Results (BFR) methodology, focused on three areas of;

Agriculture and Agro-processing, Manufacturing and Infrastructure and Energy, and the projects from these areas are expected to contribute Rwf 2.9 trillion to the country’s GDP.

Private investors will play a big role in implementation of the projects, to enhance private sector-led economic transformation.

According to Dennis Karera, the chairperson of Gold Capital Investments, the programme has provided new models to implement projects and shared knowledge between the investors and government in implementation of the projects, to escalate the country’s GDP.

“We have learnt ways to evaluate our projects, at least every one year, set monitoring mechanisms, specify assessment period and to invest in projects that deliver quick impact and are measurable on the GDP, “Karera said.

He requested the programme to be extended at the district level, for the project investors to work with people who also understand the project and the same line, to avoid misunderstandings between authorities and implementers.

Eric Murenzi, a businessman from Umuyenzi City Centre and stakeholder in one the projects in RPTP, said, RPTP will not only benefit business sectors and private sectors, but citizens of the country.


“Investors will not only increase the GDP, they will also create more jobs and more opportunities in Rwanda, with the aim of being the ‘Singapore of Africa’ and becoming a high income country by 2050,” he said.

Murenzi added that Rwanda is a safe country with its government willing to support investors in terms of security provision and especially a great climate calling for more foreign investors.

“The methodologies used to consult here in Rwanda, are the same ones proved to work in other countries like Malaysia, among others we have worked with, 25 of them over the last ten years, ” Aida Azmi, the executive vice president of PEMANDU said.

In her closing remarks, Clare Akamanzi, CEO of the Rwanda Development Board, said investors and the government have to do things differently and new things, to achieve the goals of 2032 and 2050 faster and on time.

“If we keep doing things the way we are doing today, vision 2050 will be achieved in 2077,” Akamanzi said.

She concluded by encouraging investors to identify goals and achieve them on time, in order to enjoy the benefits of their hard work.

RPTP, includes two types of intervention; identifying existing projects that are not implemented optimally, looking at how they make the most out of them to accelerate at 100%, and identifying new projects that do not exist in the country but are possible to be applicable.

The one year project will also ensure these targeted private sector investments are able to realise its intended impact through effective facilitation and problem solving, complemented by relentless monitoring and delivery driven interventions at the highest level of government.

Source: All Africa

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Rwanda: How RDB is Leveraging Partnerships for Economic Growth

Different stakeholders and partners need to work together if the private sector is to drive Rwanda’s economy and GDP.

This observation comes a few weeks after Rwanda Development Board partnered with PEMANDU Associates, a global consultancy company, to implement the Rwanda Private Sector-led Transformation Program (RPTP).

Rwanda Private Sector-Led Transformation aims to fast-track private sector-led transformation by fostering collaboration and accountability between the government and the private sector.

Larvin Rengasamy, Managing Director at PEMANDU Associates said, “There is a lot of promise in the private sector. We need to get all stakeholders and partners together, if the private sector is to drive Rwanda’s economy and grow the GDP.”

He said that over the past seven weeks, RPTP has been progressive, where the private sector, ministries and government agencies have been collaborative in problem-solving and detailing of projects in an accelerated manner.

“This process is called Lab 50, and it is part of PEMANDU Associates’ Big Fast Results 8 Step Transformation methodology.”


Rengasamy added that through Lab 50, new opportunities worth more than US$6 billion, in three focus areas of agriculture, agro-processing, manufacturing, infrastructure and energy, that are catalytic for Rwanda’s future growth, have been identified and will be clearly detailed.

“The effort now would need to focus on inviting investors in a targeted and selective manner, for quality investments that can assist Rwanda in realising its ambition of achieving a high-income nation by 2050 through private sector investments.”

Desire Rusatira, Head of reinvestment and investor aftercare department at RDB, said PEMANDU is here to help and facilitate how they can address challenges in the private sector.

“What is the gap, and how can it be filled? We have the National Strategy for Transformation (NST1) that can help us reach these goals, since our mission is turning Rwanda’s economy to a private-led economy,” he said.

This is the second-week PEMANDU Associates is working together with RDB to address challenges in the private sector and how present gaps can be filled.

The consultants have partnered with the Government to implement Rwanda Private Sector-Led Transformation Program (RPTP). Key targets of RPTP are GDP contribution, job creation, private sector investments and export potential.

Source: All Africa

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Warga berjalan dengan membawa nisan keluarganya di area pemakaman khusus COVID-19 di TPU Rorotan, Cilincing, Jakarta Utara, Kamis (15/7/2021). Berdasarkan data Worldometer, Indonesia resmi masuk empat besar kasus aktif COVID-19 terbanyak di seluruh dunia, pada Kamis (15/7/2021) kasus aktif di Indonesia mencapai 480.199 kasus, melampaui Rusia yang tercatat 457.250 kasus, Indonesia juga jauh melampaui India yang tercatat 432.011 kasus. ANTARA FOTO/M Risyal Hidayat/foc.

Penanganan Corona di RI Peringkat 69 dari 180 Negara, Malaysia 160

Penanganan pandemi corona di Indonesia memang masih jauh dari kata sempurna. Apalagi jika melihat polemik soal angka kematian yang dicoret sementara dari indikator penanganan corona.

Pemerintah berdalih data yang tertumpuk menimbulkan distorsi pada analisis terhadap level PPKM di daerah. Oleh sebab itu, pemerintah akan kembali memasukkan indikator kematian apabila datanya sudah rapi.

Lantas, bagaimana sebetulnya kualitas penanganan corona di Indonesia?

Berdasarkan data yang disajikan oleh Global COVID-19 Indeks (GCI), Indonesia tak masuk ke dalam peringkat 50 besar dalam urusan penanganan pandemi. Nilai indeks pemulihan Indonesia adalah 54,34 dan ada di peringkat ke-69 dari 180 negara di dunia.

Indonesia masih kalah dengan Madagaskar yang berada di peringkat ke-66. Selain itu, Indonesia juga tertinggal dari Filipina yang berada di peringkat ke-59. Penanganan corona di Tanah Air juga ada di bawah India yang berada di peringkat ke-43.

Meski demikian, penanganan corona di Indonesia jauh lebih baik dari Malaysia. Negeri jiran tersebut ada di peringkat ke-160.

Sementara itu, peringkat teratas ada Singapura dengan nilai 87,94. Diikuti oleh China dengan nilai 85,29.

CGI sendiri merupakan tools yang dibuat oleh perusahaan konsultan PEMANDU yang berbasis di Malaysia. Konsultan itu berkolaborasi dengan Kementerian Sains, Teknologi, dan Inovasi Malaysia dan WHO untuk menyajikan data seberapa baik performa satu negara dalam menghadapi pandemi COVID-19. Pemeringkatan tersebut pun bersifat real time.

Lantas bagaimana metodologinya?

Tujuan GCI menyajikan data-data ini adalah untuk memungkinkan negara-negara untuk membandingkan kinerja relatif mereka dengan negara-negara lain, sehingga kemudian memungkinkan identifikasi praktik terbaik yang sesuai dari negara-negara yang berhasil.

GCI menggunakan metode minimal-maksimum dengan menetapkan nilai indeks antara 0-100. Kemudian nilai indeks tersebut dijadikan ke dalam skor antara 1-5. Skor 5 menunjukkan peroleh terbesar sementara 1 adalah yang terkecil.

GCI sendiri membagi penilaiannya berdasarkan 2 variabel, yakni pemulihan dan keparahan. Kedua variabel ini merupakan kombinasi dari analisa GCI dan WHO serta Disaster Risk Management Knowledge Centre (DRMKC) INFORM Risk Index Uni Eropa dengan proporsi 70 persen GCI dan 30 persen WHO dengan Uni Eropa.

Dalam konteks pemulihan, skor 5 menandakan bahwa negara tersebut punya nilai indeks yang tinggi. Indeks tersebut menggambarkan bahwa suatu negara punya kinerja yang paling baik menuju pemulihan.

Sementara dalam konteks keparahan, skor 5 menandakan bahwa negara nilai indeks tinggi yang menggambarkan bahwa suatu negara punya tengah dalam keadaan yang buruk dalam menghadapi pandemi COVID-19.


Source: kumparan

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Six leadership secrets

KUCHING: A former minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Idris Jala outlined six secrets of transformational leadership in a souvenir programme book for the official launch of the Orang Ulu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OUCCI) here, today.

The secrets, according to Idris, who is executive chairman of the Global Transformation Forum (GTF), are:

  • Play the game of the impossible
  • Use key performance indicators (KPIs) as anchors
  • Discipline of actions
  • Exercise situational leadership
  • Build a winning coalition
  • Accept divine intervention

GTF is a platform for key policy makers, global opinion makers and corporate leaders to share ideas on how socioeconomic transformation can effectively take shape in a global environment.

On secret number one, Idris said it’s okay to set one’s goals high, realise how impossible they are to achieve, and accept the fact that it’s alright to fail.

“Only when people move from fear of failure can transformation happen because new ideas emerge to meet impossible challenges,” he added.

The second secret is to work backwards from KPIs to identify the outputs and activities necessary to ‘move the needle’.

This, he said, allows conversations that challenge traditional recommendations and permit the change of course when off-track, he stressed.

On the third secret, Idris said reform should be broken down into highly detailed activities with funding and executed by responsible persons.

“The work of identifying objectives is only the start. The real work occurs in defining action at three feet, not just planning at 30,000 feet.”

Touching on the fourth secret, the former CEO of Performance Management and Delivery unit (Pemandu) stressed that a good leader should read organisational signs and adapt their style to the situation.

“Normally, at the start of a reform process, a leader may need to be more directive, especially when uncertainty and anxiety is generating resistance. As fear settles and consensus emerges, a leader’s style should become more empowering,” he said.

Secret number five entails building and maintaining collaborative networks, recognising conflicting views and political polarities.

“Engagement should reach out beyond traditional stakeholders, and include strategic communication as a critical aspect to generate wider support.”

On the final secret, Idris said regardless of the amount of effort put in, humans have limited control of  the outcome of their plan and as such should accept divine intervention.

“We operate in highly complex systems and a leader must acknowledge this uncertainty,” he said.

Idris’s secrets to transformational leadership philosophy are a popular teaching material for world leaders at the World bank, World Economic Forum (WEF), Harvard and Oxford.

He is currently the president and CEO of a consultancy firm, Pemandu  Associates, which helps organisations and countries to achieve transformation and business turnaround.

Idris, who has a global reputation for rescuing ailing ventures or confronting difficult scenarios to turn around, is steadfast in his belief that all organisations can lift themselves out of even the worst situations.

Through his signature Big Fast Results (BFR) methodology, he has achieved remarkable transformation results when he was with the government, Pemandu, Malaysia Airlines (MAS), Shell Middle Distillates Bintulu (SMDS), and Shell Sri Lanka.

“People who pursue goals are transformed during the journey because they are forced to be unconventional in how they think and how they do things,” he said.

Idris, a Kelabit from Bario highlands, hoped OUCCI members will be inspired by his stories and experience to take big and bold actions.

Earlier, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg officiated at the launching ceremony of the OUCCI at Waterfront Hotel Kuching.

Source: New Sarawak Tribune

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QICCA Holds Webinar on Business Recovery and Resilience for Enterprises

Doha, February 17 (QNA) – Qatar International Center for Conciliation and Arbitration (QICCA) held, through visual communication technology, a webinar on ” Business Recovery and Resilience for Enterprises “, aimed at raising corporate awareness of companies in a way that contributes to the recovery, stability and sustainability of business.
HE Qatar International Center for Conciliation and Arbitration (QICCA) Board Member for International Relations Sheikh Dr. Thani bin Ali Al-Thani said in a speech, opening the webinar, that Arab economies attach special importance to companies of the private sector as they play a pivotal role in achieving regional visions and advancing economic growth.
HE Sheikh Thani added that the speed of the economic recovery depends mainly on the ability of companies to resume their usual activities and to establish programs to enhance productivity and promote competitiveness and involve them in the development plans developed by the State.
HE noted that companies and business institutions faced during the crisis of COVID-19 pandemic a sharp decline of revenues and activities, pointing out that this governments of some countries to issue decisions that included postponing the payment of loan installments granted to companies or exempting them from electricity, water or rent consumption fees, etc., as well as activating the national guarantees program to respond to the repercussions of Corona in order to facilitate the companies’ exit from the crisis that affected it.
“In view of the interest of countries to monitor the activity of emerging companies as a key driver of sustainable economic diversification, many companies sought to survive during the crisis by providing fast e-commerce solutions or setting up quick communication platforms with their customers, but some of them stumbled as a result of changing circumstances and inability to fulfill of their obligations,” HE Sheikh Dr. Thani bin Ali Al-Thani pointed out.
HE Sheikh Thani also highlighted the legal challenges facing companies, stressing that the pandemic has caused great difficulties for companies to implement their contractual obligations as a case of force majeure or an emergency accident. To solve these legal difficulties, he said that it is necessary to establish mechanisms that allow contractors to negotiate and review contract terms or suspend the implementation of obligations for a specific period.
For his part, Executive Director of Badeal for Business Solutions Dr. Ahmed Alfaqeeh said that the webinar is an extension of the guideline that was launched in October 2020, which dealt with the most important issues related to recovery and resilience of businesses, noting that the webinar aims to raise corporate awareness of companies that may contribute to recovery, stability, and sustainability of businesses.
Alfaqeeh also noted that Badael in cooperation with QICCA would introduce the Business Resilience Index to concerned entities in the State, affirming that it would be beneficial for all institutions, especially SMEs.
The panelists included Minas Khachaturian, Legal Counsel of the Qatar International Center for Conciliation and Arbitration (QICCA), who outlined avoiding commercial disputes by using alternative means, while Khalid Al-Mana, Executive Director of Business Finance of Qatar Development Bank (QDB), delivered a presentation on Current Business Models and the Future of SMEs. On his part, Associate Professor at College of Law, Kuwait University, Adviser to the World Bank Dr. Fahad Al Zumai spoke about laws resulting from the Corona regulation and its impact on Kuwaiti companies.
CEO of Gamar Leadership Group and Teacher of Adaptive Leadership at Harvard Adel Gamar explored the role of adaptive leadership and capacity building in business recovery and resilience. while Associate Professor at College of Business and Economics, Qatar University – An expert in Operations Management and supply chain Abdullah Al Suwaidi highlighted the strategic transformation for the supply chain management. Managing Directors & Partner at Pemandu Associates Larvin Rengasamy spoke about managing business during and after crisis. (QNA)

Source: Qatar News Agency

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Malaysia wins big at 2020 WITSA Global ICT Excellence Awards

They include the Global ICT Awards Winner in Sustainable Growth which was bagged by Telekom Research & Development Sdn Bhd for its “Smart Water Integrated Management System (SWIMS)”; and runner-up for the Covid-19 Tech Solutions for Countries & Regions, which was clinched by the Health Ministry for “Malaysia’s Pandemic Response Systems”.

Malaysia also bagged two Merit Awards for the Covid-19 Tech Solutions for Cities & Localities, which was won by the Chief Minister Incorporated (CMI)’s “PGCare Penang Contact Tracer” and Local Government Division, Penang State Secretary’s “Initiative to reduce contact via Cashless Transaction”.

Pemandu, a consulting firm focused on socio-economic transformation, business turnaround and digital marketing and design, was also nominated in the Covid-19 Tech Solutions for Countries & Regions category for its dynamic dashboard that consolidates Covid-19 data from 184 countries into a comprehensive Global Covid-19 Index which governments, businesses and communities can reference.

Pemandu joint managing director Woody Ang said they were truly honoured to have been given the accolade by the WITSA Committee.

“Through the years of helping governments and corporations around the world in transformational efforts, we learnt that the key to good decision-making is when data is distilled to simple, easy-to-understand metrics that show results are being achieved. The GCI is an amalgamation of this.

“The GCI is an innovation of our own and it is also Pemandu Associates’ contribution towards the spirit of Open Data and Open Science.”

Meanwhile, Telekom Research & Development Sdn Bhd (TM R&D) was the Global ICT Awards Winner in the Sustainable Growth category for its Smart Water Integrated Management System (SWIMS).

Commenting on the milestone achievement, TM R&D chief executive officer Dr Sharlene Thiagarajah said this was indeed a proud moment for them.

“TM R&D is optimistic that this effort will improve financial and social well-being without compromising the prosperity of future generations, while simultaneously supporting TM’s aspirations and unique role as the enabler of Digital Malaysia,” she added.

This was the first Virtual Global ICT Excellence Awards, and it included three new Covid-19 related award categories.

There were nine categories for the competition this year; Covid-19 Tech Solutions for Cities & Localities, Covid-19 Tech Solutions for Countries or Regions, Covid-19 Best Industry Solutions, Public/Private Partnership Award, Digital Opportunity/Inclusion Award, Sustainable Growth Award, Innovative eHealth Solutions Award, Digital Innovation Award and E-Education & Learning Award.

Nominees hailed from Argentina, Bangladesh, Costa Rica, Egypt, Greece, Hong Kong, the Republic of North Macedonia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Republic of Korea, Romania, Singapore, Taiwan and the United Kingdom.

Taiwan bagged the most awards ahead of Bangladesh (six) and the UK (five).

To date, WITSA Global ICT Excellence Award winners have positioned themselves as leaders and top innovators by fully realising the potential of ICT to grow the bottom line as well as to provide better services to citizens, improve health care, and provide trust and transparency in government.

Source: NST

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