Sabtu, 11 Jun 2011

The Star Online: World Updates

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The Star Online: World Updates

Suspected suicide bombing kills 34 in Pakistan

Posted: 11 Jun 2011 09:11 PM PDT

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - At least 34 people were killed in a suspected suicide bombing in the Pakistani city of Peshawar late on Saturday, the latest attack since Osama bin Laden's killing last month.

Security officials survey the site of multiple bomb blasts in Peshawar on June 12, 2011. (REUTERS/Fayaz Aziz)

The bombing took place near a building that houses several newspaper offices as well as apartments. The attack occurred when a large number of people were dining in the nearby restaurants.

No one claimed responsibility for the attack but Taliban militants have vowed to avenge the killing of al Qaeda chief bin Laden by U.S. SEALS in a secret raid in the northwestern town of Abbottabad on May 2.

A small blast preceded a big one, which senior police official Banaras Khan said police suspected was carried out by a suicide bomber.

"After the second blast, a fire broke out. Several charred bodies were lying on the ground while some wounded people were crawling away from the site," witness Naeem Ahmed told Reuters.

Television footage showed twisted window frames, shards of broken glasses and fallen electricity cables strewn on roads as rescue workers were loading wounded men on stretchers into ambulances.

Mian Iftikhar Hussain, information minister of the northwestern Khyber Pukhtunkhuwa (KP) province, told reporters that doctors had said the death toll was 34, "but it may rise as many wounded people are in critical condition".

Peshawar is the capital of KP, which borders Afghanistan.

Hospital officials said 100 people were wounded, 21 of them seriously. Several journalists and policemen were among the wounded.

"As I arrived here, one of the wounded man cried 'please take me to hospital, I am alive'," another witness told Express television at the site of the attack.

Since bin Laden was killed, militants have attacked a heavily guarded naval base in Karachi; killed nearly 100 people in twin suicide bombings at the headquarters of a paramilitary force in the northwest; attacked U.S. consulate convoy in Peshawar and killed a Saudi diplomat in Karachi.

(Additional reporting by Kamran Haider; Writing by Zeeshan Haider; Editing by Alison Williams)

(For more Reuters coverage of Afghanistan and Pakistan, see:

Copyright © 2011 Reuters

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Berlusconi faces another test with Italy referendums

Posted: 11 Jun 2011 09:11 PM PDT

ROME (Reuters) - Italians vote in four referendums on Sunday and Monday that could strike a new blow against Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who is still stinging from heavy local election losses last month.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi looks down before a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at Villa Doria Pamphili, a day after a military parade to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy, in Rome June 3, 2011. (REUTERS/Alessia Pierdomenico)

The centre-left opposition has been leading a spirited campaign to get the voters out to cast their ballots on the questions, which concern the privatisation of water utilities, nuclear energy and whether government ministers can be exempt from attending trials against them.

A central issue will be whether enough voters turn out to ensure the necessary quorum of 50 percent plus one vote. But if they repeal existing laws by voting yes, the result will likely have repercussions on his fractious centre-right coalition.

Saturday newspapers said the opposition was confident that the quorum would be reached, which would be a setback to Berlusconi because his ministers have urged voters to either boycott the polls or vote no.

For some, the votes will be a way to demonstrate their disappointment with Berlusconi himself, who is facing a lurid sex scandal and three fraud trials.

The referendum on nuclear power is the most emotive of the four, in the wake of the disaster at Japan's Fukushima reactor in March. Polls say most Italians are against nuclear energy, which they consider unsafe in a country prone to earthquakes.

Berlusconi is a big proponent of nuclear power, which the centre right says is indispensable for the future of a country that imports nearly all its energy.

Last year the government passed a law to re-start a nuclear energy programme, which was halted in 1987 by another referendum. Aware of the likely backlash following Fukushima, the government has suspended the plans but a referendum could block atomic power for decades.

Another referendum would repeal the so-called "legitimate impediment" that allows ministers to skip trial hearings against them on if they are on government business, which Berlusconi's critics say is for his personal benefit.

Two others concern the privatisation of water utilities. The government says privatisation is essential to finance better services. Opponents say it would just lead to higher prices.

Copyright © 2011 Reuters

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Fighting in Zawiyah shuts Libya road to Tunisia

Posted: 11 Jun 2011 09:11 PM PDT

ZAWIYAH, Libya (Reuters) - Libyan troops loyal to Muammar Gaddafi fought gun battles with rebels in the town of Zawiyah on Saturday, witnesses said, shutting the coastal highway that links the capital Tripoli with Tunisia.

Two Reuters reporters travelling via the town, which lies just 50 km (30 miles) outside of Tripoli, on two separate trips six hours apart, were diverted via backstreets with a police escort while the fighting raged on.

They said the highway was deserted except for lots of soldiers, police and armed men in civilian clothes. One heard bursts of gunfire coming from the direction of the city.

"The situation is very bad in Zawiyah. There's been fierce fighting since the morning," said the resident, who gave only his first name, Mohammed, fearing reprisals.

Four months since Gaddafi's forces crushed a popular uprising against his four-decade rule that then morphed into an armed rebellion, Libya's civil war is in stalemate.

Nearly three months of bombings by NATO war planes against Libyan military targets have failed to unseat Gaddafi or enable the rebels to launch an offensive on his territory in Tripoli.

Several explosions were heard in Tripoli throughout the afternoon, as late as 8 p.m. (1800 GMT), suggesting NATO was ramping up attacks after a quiet morning.

Libya TV reported that "the imperialist aggressors" had bombed several sites in and around the Libyan capital, in the town of Yafran, then showed footage of what it said were children wounded in past NATO bombings, to violin music.

Rebel spokesman Ahmed Bani said a senior Gaddafi aide had been wounded in a NATO strike on a city close to Tripoli on Saturday evening and was in hospital. There was no independent confirmation and Libyan officials were not available to comment.


The rebels control the east of Libya, the western city of Misrata and the range of mountains near the border with Tunisia. They are seeking to encircle the capital and cut it off, an aim that would be advanced if they manage to capture Zawiyah.

The highway has been used throughout the conflict by Gaddafi's officials -- including fleeing defectors -- to reach the outside world, and by trucks bringing in food and other supplies to territory under Gaddafi's control.

After a lull in fighting in the western, rebel-held city of Misrata, pro-Gaddafi forces which have besieging it started shelling its port late on Saturday, Al Jazeera TV reported.

A doctor at the Hekma hospital said 31 people were killed and 110 wounded in shelling by Gaddafi forces on Friday.

Pro-Gaddafi troops encircled the city of Zlitan, 160 km east of Tripoli, on Saturday, rebels said, after fighting broke out there that could also open up the coastal road to the capital.

Some clashes between Gaddafi's forces and rebels continued in the city, rebel spokesman Bani said, after the rebels took some parts of it. The toll remained 22 rebels killed.

Government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim played down the clashes.

"There is no serious fighting going on in Zawiya or Zlitan. What has happened is that we've had small groups of rebels who have made their way from Zintan and the Western Mountains to cause trouble in these areas," he told Reuters.

Zlitan is one of three towns that are largely government controlled between the rebel-held Misrata and the capital. Were it to fall, it could allow the anti-Gaddafi uprising to spread from Misrata, the biggest rebel outpost in western Libya, to Gaddafi's stronghold in Tripoli.


World powers have given mixed signals on how the war might play out, with Russia trying to mediate reconciliation. Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday he had offered a "guarantee" to Gaddafi if he left Libya, but received no reply.

Gaddafi has refused to step down, describing the rebels as al Qaeda terrorists and Western intervention as an oil grab.

As diplomacy falters, several new battle fronts have opened.

Gaddafi's forces also shelled for the first time the UNESCO world heritage-listed city of Ghadames, 600 km (370 miles) southwest of Tripoli, on the Tunisia and Algeria borders, overnight, opening a new front in the war, rebels said.

Rebels said the oasis town, with a population of about 7,000 people, mainly Berber, was under attack after an anti-government protest in the old Roman city on Wednesday.

"This is a retaliation for anti-regime protests," spokesman Juma Ibrahim said from the rebel-held town of Zintan.

The report could not be independently verified.

The old town was de-populated by Gaddafi in the 1990s and its inhabitants moved into modern buildings. It was not clear if the attack hit the old town, a labyrinth of narrow, underground passages and houses known as the "Pearl of the Desert".

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Friday some NATO allies of failing to pull their weight:

"The mightiest military alliance in history was only 11 weeks into an operation against a poorly armed regime in a sparsely populated country -- yet many allies are beginning to run short of munitions," he said.

(Additional reporting by Mussab Al-Khairalla in Tripoli, Sherine El Madany in Benghazi, Joseph Nasr in Rabat and Tarek Amara in Tunis; Writing by Tim Cocks; Editing by Alison Williams)

Copyright © 2011 Reuters

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The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

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The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

Tunes of hope

Posted: 11 Jun 2011 04:43 PM PDT

Astro aspires to foster unity through music via its new and purpose-designed channel MyMusic.

WHAT defines Malaysia? Is it the people or the culture? Is it the food or the music? The answer to that simple question is: all of the above! And media group Astro is celebrating that diversity that unifies us with its all-new MyMusic channel, Astro Ch 318. In conjunction with the 54th Merdeka Day, the new free channel invites Malaysians to celebrate 1Malaysia by sending their own music videos to be aired from the auspicious Aug 31 (Ch 318, get it?) to Sept 16, which is Malaysia Day.

The Malaysian-themed music videos should feature anything from instrumental or vocal performances using traditional instruments, local folklore songs, performances using home-made instruments, alternative performing arts (beat boxing, rapping etc) incorporating original lyrics containing Malaysian elements, to describing Malaysian life through song, with original lyrics, of course. Truly, the sky's the limit.

Living in a country as diverse and culturally-rich as Malaysia, any number of musical instruments, lyrical subjects and sound sources are available. For those completely stunted by musical ability, by all means, record the sounds of birds chirping, or horns tooting in rush hour traffic, or the sound of cutlery during lunch hour at a kedai mamak.

Astro chief operating officer Henry Tan sees this exercise as the perfect opportunity for Malaysians to express themselves in the name of song and unity.

"Some of us may not be able to express our thoughts and feelings in words, but we are more than capable of doing so with music. MyMusic allows these expression to be made and shared by all Malaysians alike," he said during MyMusic's recent launch at Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur.

The MyMusic endeavour targets the younger generation, in particular, though there are no age restrictions.

"Malaysian youth are viewed as individuals with plenty of energy and passion ... and they also have time on their side, so why not make videos that can be shared with the nation?" reasoned Tan.

He also pointed out that music is a universal language of unity, bringing communities together, stressing that it's integral in all entertainment, education and worship.

"Music is deeply rooted in our own community, as Malaysia boasts a rich history of music with legends such as P. Ramlee and Sudirman, musical instruments like the angklung, sape and gendang. Then there's music which exists in the combination of vocal, dance and theatrical music such as mak yong, dikir barat, dondang sayang and boria featured in our cultural history," Tan explained.

MyMusic takes from Astro's endeavour last year, MyStory, which invited Malaysians to talk about their lives as citizens of this nation, sans the constraints of race, religion or social strata.

For MyMusic, each video submitted must not exceed five minutes in length. All videos can be uploaded onto, snail mailed or passed on to Astro's ground crew (in any format), yes, those radio personnel who cruise around the city in sleek machines, all by the closing date Aug 8, though.

MyMusic, the channel, which will be available for free to all subscribers in the duration between Aug 31 to Sept 16.

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Tracy Morgan apologises for anti-gay comedy rant

Posted: 10 Jun 2011 09:54 PM PDT

NEW YORK (AP) - Tracy Morgan said Friday that he was sorry for telling an audience in Nashville, Tennessee, that if his son were gay, he would "pull out a knife and stab" him.

The comedian and "30 Rock" actor apologized to his fans and the gay and lesbian community for what he called "my choice of words" but what was characterized by others as an anti-gay rant during his June 3 appearance at the Ryman Auditorium.

A Facebook account posted by an audience member said Morgan's stand-up performance was full of homophobic references. The Ryman issued its own apology afterward for Morgan's behavior.

In his statement, Morgan, who has three sons, denied being a hateful person and acknowledged that "even in a comedy club" what he said went too far "and was not funny in any context." Late Friday, Morgan's apology was welcomed by Tina Fey, the star and executive producer of NBC's "30 Rock," where Morgan is a cast member, and by NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt.

Fey said "the violent imagery of Tracy's rant was disturbing to me." Then, with a wry touch, she added, "I hope for his sake that Tracy's apology will be accepted as sincere by his gay and lesbian co-workers at '30 Rock,' without whom Tracy would not have lines to say, clothes to wear, sets to stand on, scene partners to act with, or a printed-out paycheck from accounting to put in his pocket."

In a more sharply worded statement, Greenblatt said Morgan's comments "reflect negatively on both '30 Rock' and NBC - two very all-inclusive and diverse organizations - and we have made it clear to him that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated."

Morgan's outbursts triggered heated comment on Twitter, making him a "trending" topic Thursday and Friday.

Meanwhile, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation called on Morgan to remove anti-gay remarks from his routine "and send a strong message that anti-gay violence is not something to joke about." GLAAD wants Morgan to meet with families who have lost children to anti-gay violence, and with gay and lesbian young people who have been estranged from their families because of their sexual orientation, said spokesman Rich Ferraro.

The Human Rights Campaign also said apologizing wasn't enough. The gay civil rights organization said Morgan "now has a responsibility to make amends for his horribly hurtful and dangerous 'comedy' routine."

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The Star Online: Sports

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The Star Online: Sports

Yani Tseng takes LPGA Tour lead

Posted: 11 Jun 2011 06:43 PM PDT

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois (AP): Top-ranked Yani Tseng shot her second straight 6-under 66 on Saturday to take a one-stroke lead over Mindy Kim in the LPGA State Farm Classic.

Tseng reached 17 under, birdieing all four of Panther Creek's par 5s in her bogey-free round. She won the season-opening LPGA Thailand for her sixth tour title in four years.

Kim, the leader after the first two rounds, bogeyed the final hole for a 69. Playing a group apart, Kim and Tseng battled through most of the day, with Kim maintaining at least a share of the lead until her final hole.

"My goal is to have fun and make birdies," Tseng said. "You're not going to shoot even and then wait for another player to miss. You need to be aggressive. I can't wait to go out there tomorrow and make a lot of birdies."

In addition to dominating the par 5s, she added birdies on the par-4 12th and par-3 17th in tough afternoon wind.

"I just tried to be patient and hit the fairway and green and make two putt," she said. "I feel really good. It was great even though I miss a putt on 18. I tried my best."

Kim struggled with her ball-striking.

"My ball wasn't going so straight," she said, "but my round turned into a good round."

She had six birdies on the day, including three in a row to start the back nine, but she also had three bogeys. Still, she's playing in the final group with a chance to win her first LPGA Tour title.

"I'm excited about Sunday," she said. "I'm playing with the No. 1 player in the world. I'm very excited to be playing with her. Hopefully it will be a good day."

Brittany Lincicome, coming off a victory Sunday in New Jersey, shot a 66 to join Shanshan Feng (69) at 14 under. Defending champion Cristie Kerr (66) was another stroke back at 13 under.

Lincicome birdied five of the first eight holes.

"I was happy to be 3 under though four holes. I wanted to stop then," she said. "I'd have taken 69."

Kerr missed a 3-foot putt on No. 9, then birdied four of the next five holes en route to a back-nine 31.

"I got pretty mad that I three-putted," she said. "I hit a perfect 5-iron into the green and just kind of hit (the par putt) a little thin and right. That putt kind of got me going. I started hitting it better."

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Recovering Rudisha expects to be ready for the world meet

Posted: 11 Jun 2011 06:39 PM PDT

RALEIGH (North Carolina): Kenyan 800m world record holder David Rudisha's long injury layoff should not affect his chances of winning gold at this year's world championships in South Korea, his manager said on Friday.

Rudisha, who broke the world record twice in a week last year, has not competed since running in Australia in March because of tendinitis in his left ankle but is now ready to resume racing.

The IAAF world athlete of the year will return on June 24 in Nancy, France before his first real test at the Lausanne Diamond League meeting on June 30.

His manager James Templeton told Reuters THAT Rudisha was confident he would be over his injury problems and at his peak for the world championships in August.

"He told me 'JT don't worry, by the time August comes around, I will be at my very best,'" Templeton said in a telephone interview.

The tendinitis, on the inside of the left ankle around the shoe line, caused the 22-year-old Kenyan to miss three races, including Diamond League meetings in Doha and Rome.

"But he has been training nicely for the last three weeks in training shoes," Templeton said.

"He still had some lingering soreness when he tried it in spikes, so it is only been this week that he has been back in spikes.

"He is feeling strong and looking healthy and is looking forward to racing."

In August last year, Rudisha stopped the clock at 1:41.09 for 800m, shaving 0.02 off the previous mark set by Wilson Kipketer 13 years earlier.

Seven days later, Rudisha clipped another 0.08 off his own record and has predicted he can eventually go under 1:40.00. – Reuters

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Ferrari set the pace

Posted: 11 Jun 2011 06:39 PM PDT

MONTREAL (June 10-12)

FORMULA One leader Sebastian Vettel smashed into the 'Wall of Champions' while Ferrari's Fernando Alonso set the practice pace on a crash-filled Canadian Grand Prix on Friday.

Double world champion Alonso roared around the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in a best time of 1:15.107, offering hope that Ferrari, without a pole position since Singapore last September, might be able to take the fight to Red Bull.

"It was definitely one of our best Fridays," Alonso told reporters. "It doesn't happen often that we see our cars in the top five places.

"It's hard to drive in these conditions and there are three or four places where the slightest error sees you end up in the wall. In the race, I expect the safety car will play a part."

The sunny afternoon session was interrupted by several crashes with Sauber's Japanese driver Kamui Kobayashi, Belgian Jerome D'Ambrosio for Virgin and Force India's Adrian Sutil all causing delays when they skidded off the track into the wall.

World champion Vettel, winner of five of the season's first six races and sure to be the man to reckon with again in Montreal, damaged his Red Bull in the morning.

With 34 minutes remaining in the opening session, Vettel drifted wide coming out of the chicane into the home straight and joined a list of illustrious names to have hit the notorious wall over the years.

Vettel was one of the first on track in the afternoon and set a time that immediately sent the 23-year-old to the top of the timing screens, remaining there until finally being nudged into second by Alonso.

The reigning champion ended up with the day's second best time of 1:15.476.

"I lost the rear but by the time I hit the wall I had low speed, so the crash was quite mild," said Vettel.

"There wasn't much damage so we could fix the car and get back in the afternoon. It's a special circuit here, it's quite rough with the kerbs and chicanes but I like it."

Brazilian Filipe Massa was third quickest in the afternoon followed by the McLarens of Lewis Hamilton, a double winner in Canada, and fellow Briton Jenson Button.

Another Briton, Paul di Resta, was sixth for Force India.

"It was a very good session, a good day for me and we got through a a lot of tests," said Hamilton, who took his first Grand Prix win in Montreal in 2007 and led a McLaren one-two from pole position last year.

"I think the speed is there. It looks very close between us, the Ferraris and the Red Bulls. We're competitive it looks like we have good race pace."

Spaniard Pedro de la Rosa, a McLaren reserve driver, was 18th fastest in the Sauber after being drafted in as a race replacement for Mexican rookie Sergio Perez, who was still feeling the effects of his big Monaco crash.

"Just 10 minutes before the session I was told (to go), if I was ready," said De la Rosa, who raced for Sauber last year until he was dropped.

"After that it was all bang, bang, bang. It is the latest call in my whole career but I am extremely happy McLaren released me and Sauber thought about me to replace Sergio. I have a lot to learn but we will build on today."

Virgin will also have a lot of building to do, the team reporting that D'Ambrosio would need a chassis change after his crash: "This is a big job that will take us late into the night," said team principal John Booth. – Reuters

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The Star Online: Business

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The Star Online: Business

Buying a car or a house first?

Posted: 10 Jun 2011 10:06 PM PDT

Alan Tong justifies putting a house before a car but admits this is only possible when a comprehensive public transportation system is in place.

AFTER you have graduated and secured your first job, what would be the first big ticket item that would appear in your purchase list? Many would think of a car before any other item.

Owning a car has become the first priority for many young people in Malaysia.

However, in China, their youths have a different thought. They would prefer to own a house instead of a car as their first asset.

This is an interesting difference in mindset between the youths in Malaysia and China.

What makes our young people decide to purchase a vehicle which will depreciate in value over the years instead of a house which has the possibility of gaining capital appreciation over time?

There are many reasons influencing this mindset. Chief amongst them is the macro development of the country and in particular of our public transportation.

Regrettably, although our current public transportation system has improved, it has not reached the level of that of a developed country.

Waiting in a queue to board a bus or train which may not arrive on time has become a hassle to many who have to depend on them for their daily transportation.

Therefore, in order to move around in the most convenient and comfortable manner, Malaysians in general have little choice but to acquire their own vehicle as their first asset.

The situation is different when compared to that in cities with a comprehensive public transportation system. Let's look at China for example. As one of the fastest growing nations in the world, China is an inspiring example for us to study.

For the past 15 years, I have been travelling frequently to China and have witnessed the vast changes in its transportation system. Its government had envisaged the need to have an efficient transportation system to support its fast paced economy and was bold enough to implement and develop a transportation network ahead of demand.

Fifteen years ago, I hardly saw vehicles throughout a 100 km journey on well constructed highways in China (and even at that time some highways came with 14 lanes). Those highways are now supporting high traffic flow with millions travelling from one province to another every day.

In addition, many cities in China are now well connected with an efficient network of public transportation.

This comprehensive public transportation service has allowed its people to travel around easily. Owning a private vehicle is therefore not a necessity but a prestige. With its people moving to the big cities for jobs or business opportunities, the priority is to own a property for accommodation or business if possible.

If not, renting a property would be the next best option.

This explains the divergence in mindset between the youths in Malaysian and those in China when it comes to the question of wheather to own a car or a house first.

To address this situation, the government should take initiatives in developing an extensive public transportation system and subsidising the relevant projects, such as the latest Mass Rapid Transit plan.

Public transportation is an avenue where the government could channel resources to good use and benefit the lower income groups as a whole. Comprehensive public transportation at affordable fares would reduce the burden of travelling, and people could consider more capital investment tools, such as properties.

Although buying a house is also a major financial decision and there are a lot of factors to be considered, proper financial planning would help our young people to start saving towards their goal of owning a property at an early age.

We look forward to the day when our local public transportation system is well established. That day will also be the day where our Malaysian youths have the foresight and drive to own a house first before anything else.

Datuk Alan Tong is the group chairman of Bukit Kiara Properties. He was the FIABCI world president from 2005 to 2006 and was recently named Property Man of The Year 2010 by FIABCI Malaysia.

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Asia’s new growth model

Posted: 10 Jun 2011 10:05 PM PDT

LED by Asia, the share of the global economy held by emerging markets has risen steadily over recent decades.

For the countries of Asia especially its rising giants, China and India sustainable growth is no longer part of a global challenge.

Instead, it has become a national growth-strategy issue. This marks a sea change in the global structure of incentives with respect to achieving sustainability.

Over the next few decades, almost all of the world's growth in energy consumption, urbanisation, automobile usage, airline travel, and carbon emissions will come from emerging economies. By mid-century, the number of people living in what will be (by then) high income economies will rise to 4.5 billion, from one billion today. Global GDP, which currently stands at about US$60 trillion, will at least triple in the next 30 years.

If emerging economies try to reach advanced-country income levels by following roughly the same pattern as their predecessors, the impact on natural resources and the environment would be enormous, risky, and probably disastrous. One or several tipping points would most likely bring the process to a screeching halt. Energy security and cost, water and air quality, climate, ecosystems on land and in the oceans, food security, and much more would be threatened.

At present, almost any standard measure of the concentration of global economic power would show a declining trend. If that were to continue, the result would be a world in which each country's contribution to pressure on natural resources and the environment would make sustainability a major global challenge, as the free-rider problem in its most extreme form would prevail. To change course, global agreements that impinge on growth would be needed, along with systems that ensure compliance.

But the trend in concentration will reverse about a decade from now, owing to the size and growth rates of India and China, which together account for almost 40% of the world's population. Although their current combined GDP is still a relatively small fraction of global output (about 15%), that share is rising rapidly.

By mid-century, India and China will account for 2.5 billion of the 3.5 billion additional people with advanced-country incomes. By themselves, they will cause global GDP to at least double in the next three decades, even in the absence of growth anywhere else. For India and China separately, and certainly together, sustainability is no longer mainly a global issue; it is a domestic challenge to long term growth. Their growth patterns and strategies, and the tradeoffs and choices they make with respect to lifestyle, urbanisation, transportation, the environment, and energy efficiency, will largely determine whether their economies can complete the long transition to advanced-income levels. Moreover, both countries know it. There is a growing awareness among policymakers, businesses, and citizens in China and India (and in Asia more broadly) that the historical growth paths that all of their predecessors followed simply will not work, because they do not "scale" to a world economy that is triple its current size.

As a result, these countries will have to invent new growth patterns to reach advanced-country levels of development. They are too big to be free riders, so the incentives relating to sustainability are becoming internalised as national priorities. Perceptions are rapidly coming into line with the reality that sustainability must become a critical ingredient of growth. The old model won't work. Of course, no one currently knows how to achieve sustainability at three (or more) times the size of the current global economy. That objective will be determined by a process of discovery, experimentation, innovation, and creativity, with tradeoffs along the way.

But the incentive to ignore these issues is gone, independent of what other countries choose to do and whatever global agreements may be reached.

The large, high growth emerging economies have certain advantages. Integrating sustainability into growth strategies and policies is in their self-interest, and it is consistent with their long term time horizons.

The legacy assets that one finds in advanced countries the way cities are configured, for example don't have to be replaced to the same extent. China's 12th Five-Year Plan lowers the growth forecast (to 7%) to create "space" to deal with issues like equity, sustainability, and the environment. The process of discovering a new growth path has started.

The emergence of sustainability as a critical element in growth strategies in the worlds' future largest economies is an extraordinarily positive development, because national needs, goals, and priorities remain much more powerful incentives than international agreements.

This all may seem to be at variance with common wisdom. How could a tripling of global GDP and a four-fold expansion of the world's high income population be good news, given all that goes with it?

Well, it depends on what one thinks the alternative is. Slow global growth would benefit natural resources and the environment. But that will not happen unless the world's resource supplies and environmental underpinnings collapse. So the baseline is high emerging-market growth, the key to which is innovation and adjustment of the growth path.

As Asians drive growth toward more sustainable patterns, they will increase the incentives for others to do so by generating new technology, lowering the environmental cost of growth, and undercutting the argument that leadership incurs competitive and other economic costs, but few benefits.

To say that free-rider problems are gone, or that multinational agreements are no longer desirable, would be incorrect. But real parallel progress, driven by necessity and self-interest, is becoming the most likely medium term path. - Project Syndicate

Michael Spence, a Nobel laureate in economics, is Professor of Economics at New York University's Stern School of Business, Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. His latest book is The Next Convergence The Future of Economic Growth in a Multispeed World (

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Tough times for MAS

Posted: 10 Jun 2011 09:51 PM PDT

Talk of being No. 1 in Asia is premature, returning to and sustaining profit must be priority.

ALL is not well with Malaysia Airlines (MAS) (see MAS: On a wing and prayer). While the situation is dire, it is not impossible for the airline to recover its fortunes but it needs some nifty strategic changes and deft execution.

While key officials say they want the airline to be Asia's top one by 2015, they don't say clearly in terms of what. MAS is already among the best in the world in terms of service but that does not spell profit with the airline slipping into an operating loss of RM267mil for the first quarter of this year.

This airline has been through tough times, slipping into massive losses at several points during its history. With help it has come back from the brink of failure but it has not been able to show the kind of sustained profitability that other airlines such as Singapore Airlines have exhibited.

MAS' fortunes have deteriorated so much that low-cost carrier AirAsia overtook it in terms of market value earlier this year (see chart) and seems set to widen its lead as it made a profit in the latest quarter while MAS reported a substantial loss.

MAS has a good product going by the continuing rave reviews for its cabin services. That alone is not enough to make it profitable. As with any business, you arrive at a profit or loss after subtracting costs from revenue.

For an airline, the revenue is dependent on capacity and how much it grows or reduces its routes, the load factor which is a measure of capacity utilisation, and the crucial pricing through which you maximise revenues.

This is to be juxtaposed with costs, of which the major and most volatile one is oil prices on which the jet fuel price depends. Sometimes, your cost savings justify a cutback in routes but a prudent airline will also consider the long-term impact of such a move because you don't want to constrain future growth.

Because airlines are so dependent on oil costs, they try to hedge their positions to cap their costs but when wrongly or improperly done, this can wipe out airlines.

In fact in 2009 MAS had to provide a massive RM3.95bil in provisions for it's hedging which nearly oblitereated its shareholders' funds, requiring it to ask an exemption from de-listing procedures under Bursa Malaysia's Practice Note 17.

In that episode, MAS had hedged at an oil price of US$100 per barrel but what it failed to do was to structure the hedge so as to benefit fully from any fall in the oil price below US$100. Paradoxically, as the oil price collapsed, MAS' profits collapsed too.

For the subsequent quarters, MAS made enormous profits because the oil price rose again, reversing some of the earlier provisions but there were massive operational losses nevertheless.

For the latest quarter, MAS again blames rising oil prices for the losses but there is no explanation as to how many other airlines still manage to make profits, albeit at lower levels.

One has to suspect that this lies in revenue management. Perhaps it does not have enough business class or first class seats. Perhaps it has got its pricing wrong and is cannibalising some of its own market via cheap offerings and through its low-cost airline, Firefly. Perhaps it has given up too many routes to be able to grow rapidly.

Perhaps, MAS has become so obsessed with cutting fares and offering value comparable to low-cost airlines that it is losing its own high yielding market by people who book earlier to take advantage of lower fares.

Perhaps the airline is not very clear about where it should stand in terms of the kind of strategy it must adopt to maximise its revenue. You don't leverage great service by offering value (read low-cost) fares. In fact you do the exact opposite.

Yes, one must agree that new airplanes are more cost efficient and that could make the difference between profit and loss, but does that imply that MAS has been negligent in its fleet planning?

In terms of broad strategy, MAS should just focus on being an excellent full-service carrier, market it as such and leave low-cost operations to subsidiary Firefly. It should get the best people and systems to manage its fleet and price its fares.

It should focus on continued cost reduction in other areas without seriously undermining its service standards, its promotional efforts and its brand reputation and positioning.

And it should engage in prudent hedging policies which allow it to take advantage of falling oil prices instead of being locked into high-cost oil when the price of oil is falling.

Once it has sorted all this out and is back on the firm path of profit, then it can talk about being Asia's number one airline in every respect, not just service.

Managing editor P Gunasegaram is willing to bet that Malaysia Airlines will not meet its own target of becoming Asia's top airline by 2015. Any takers?

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The Star Online: Nation

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FA Cup latest: Kelantan leads by 80th min goal

Posted: 11 Jun 2011 07:33 AM PDT

Published: Saturday June 11, 2011 MYT 10:34:00 PM

KUALA LUMPUR: Kelantan has taken the lead with a goal from Nurul Azwan Roya in the 80th minute of the FA Cup final at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

More to come.

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No more monopoly of TV for popular sports, says Dr Rais

Posted: 11 Jun 2011 05:53 AM PDT

KOTA KINABALU: The Ministry of Information, Communication and Culture will implement a new policy to ensure that popular television programmes, especially popular sports, are no longer monopolised by a particular broadcasting or media corporation.

Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said the matter had been conveyed to the parties concerned including Astro.

"We want Astro, for example, to create a productive and fair cooperation network with Media Prima and especially RTM.

"Those without Astro facilities don't get (TV sports programmes) whereas RTM is a government broadcasting body, and in this matter, I apologise on behalf of the ministry," he told reporters after the simultaneous launching of the 1Malaysia Community at Sabah state level and Mobile Post as well as appreciating the election workers for the Batu Sapi (Sandakan) parliamentary by-election.

Dr Rais was commenting on the complaints, especially from those who don't subscribe to Astro, who could not watch the Malaysia Games (Sukma) held in Kuala Lumpur this year,

"We want to implement the new policy and under the licence issued by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), we will change this situation.

"In other words, there will be no more monopoly," he said. - Bernama.

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FA Cup final: Kelantan declares Sunday holiday

Posted: 11 Jun 2011 05:39 AM PDT

Published: Saturday June 11, 2011 MYT 7:30:00 PM
Updated: Saturday June 11, 2011 MYT 8:39:06 PM

Picture gallery

KOTA BARU: Kelantan has declared Sunday a public holiday in conjunction with the FA Cup final between Kelantan and Terengganu at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium.

The announcement was made by Kelantan State Secretary Datuk Aiseri Alias to ensure the safe journey of the state football fans on their return after watching the game.

He said the state government took the initiative to declare a holiday in appreciation of the sporting spirit showed by the state football fans.

"This is the third time the state government has declared a public holiday in the state because of football.

"The first time was when Kelantan became the vice-champion in the Malaysia Cup in 2009 and then last year, when it became champion after beating Selangor," he said when contacted by Bernama.

He hoped that with the holiday, it would give more time for the football fans to plan their journey home. BERNAMA

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The Star Online: Lifestyle: Bookshelf

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The Star Online: Lifestyle: Bookshelf


Posted: 10 Jun 2011 06:51 PM PDT

Return on Customer: Creating maximum value from your scarcest resource

Authors: Don Peppers and Martha Rogers

Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

SHOULD you invest in customer acquisition, in product development, opening new stores, plant efficiency or cost reduction? The list seems endless. While you may believe that a particular decision creates shareholder value, there is no financial metric currently available to tell you how much shareholder value you have actually created, or even whether you created any at all. This book focuses on how firms create value, not just by driving current profits, but by preserving and increasing customer lifetime value. The authors take readers beyond marketing, sales and service.

Dice Have No Memory: Big bets and bad economics from Paris to the Pampas

Author: Bill Bonner

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

AUTHOR Bill Bonner writes that economies around the world are suffering from the biggest multi trillion dollar bets ever wagered on big governments and miraculous financial interventions in pretend "free markets." He writes on the true health and well-being of the US and offers tips for investors, elegies for economists. He also guides readers to what he calls "modern finance". At the same time, he says he does not have any magic formulas, just a little practical guide book that will help readers to think clearly and act wisely as you wade through this mess.

The Globalization of Chinese Companies: Strategies for conquering international markets

Authors: Arthur Yeung, Waldemar Pfoertsch, Katerine Xin and SengJun Liu

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

LEADING professors from China-Europe International Business School (CEIBS) address the issue of organisational capabilities required to establish themselves. They use case studies from Chinese companies like TCL, BenQ, China International Marine Containers Group, Trend Micro and Galanz. They also draw on the experiences of Lenova, Huawei, Haier as well as international names like Sony, Samsung and Proctor & Gamble. A useful read for anyone interested to know more about global Chinese companies and how they compare with the more established international names.

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How to grow from disruption

Posted: 10 Jun 2011 06:51 PM PDT

Author, Luke Williams tells bussinesses what they need to do and how to do it to remain at the top of their game.

Disrupt: Think the Unthinkable to Spark Transformation in Your Business

Author: Luke Williams

Hardcover: 208 pages

Publisher: FT Press 1st edition (December 18, 2010)

You see things as they are and ask, "Why?" I dream things as they never were and ask, "Why not?" — George Bernard Shaw (Quoted by Robert F. Kennedy)

MANY business books tell us that we need to "disrupt" our businesses to remain competitive. However, almost no books describe how you can do this in a clear, concise and methodical manner. Luke Williams' book Disrupt: Think the Unthinkable to Spark Transformation in Your Business slides into this gap to provide the perfect prescription. In 200 odd succinct pages, Williams shows us how to create and transform disruptive ideas into breakthrough business strategies.

This book reflects Williams' experience as creative director of Frog Design, one of the world's leading innovation firms. He argues that by steadfastly clinging on to the increasingly irrelevant "differentiate or die" mantra, businesses have made it extremely difficult for their customers to tell the difference between "deep, meaningful change and shallow, superficial novelty." We now have an excess of marketplace offerings all claiming to be "different" but are fairly similar i.e. that "look like the last one with a few bells and whistles added."

Williams notes that many companies try to gain a competitive edge by making only incremental changes to their existing products and services. They fear that the new will cannibalise the old. Instead of stimulating innovation, they end up stifling it and will go down "a path that gets narrower and narrower" until the end point where their customers forsake them for a new offering nobody saw coming. They will only take disruptive risks when backed into a corner with no other choice.

More than ever, businesses need to constantly be making bold moves, even at their performance peak. Williams recommends that the real mantra today should be "differentiate all you want, but figure out a way to be the only one who does what you do, or die". A bit of a mouthful, but we get the point.

Finding a way to be "the only one that does what you do is a provocative goal" but involves significant changes to "the way you think…a way of thinking that surprises the market again and again with exciting, unexpected solutions… that turns consumer expectations upside down and takes an industry into its next generation." The disruptive thinking Williams promotes in his book is not about how to spot and react to disruptive changes in technology (the subject of many other books) but how to be the disruptive change.

Williams asserts that disruptive thinking can be learned and applied not only by new start-ups and SMEs but just as effectively by large organisations and industry incumbents. The Internet and the colossal connectivity it provides have already reinvented many industries. However, we have "barely scratched the surface" as we are "still surrounded by countless products, services, and business models built on the logic of the past."

The good news is that disruptive thinking is already being taught in schools. The bad news is that instead of being taught in MBA programmes, this new thinking is being taught in design schools. Both disciplines suffer as business schools teach analysis but not how to create convincing emotional connections, whilst design schools show how connections can be created but not how they can be commercially viable.

In a simple five-stage process, Williams shows us how to fuse the fluid, intuitive and creative process of design with the analytical rigour that defines business. He teaches us how to craft a disruptive hypothesis (be wrong at the start, to be right at the end), discover our best disruptive opportunities by exploring the unexpected (defining opportunities and generating disruptive ideas), shape our disruptive solution (avoiding the resource-killer: "novelty for novelty's sake") and make a winning disruptive pitch (by underpreparing the obvious and overpreparing the unusual).

It uses many great illustrations from different industries and discusses radical hypotheses that force people to challenge clichés. The book tells of how director Quentin Tarantino denies the cliché that "the-hero-is-not a-murderer" in his films and talks about how the magazine Monocle rejected the traditional subscription sale model; creating instead a subscription premium model where its annual subscription is 50% more than its newsstand price but allows exclusive access to premium content and events.

Being insightful is a question of awareness; being mindful of cultural and social constructs that surround you and your customers. For example, the moment you decide you are going to buy a yellow MINI Cooper, you start seeing them all over town as your awareness has now been focused. Being truly insightful involves "immersing yourself into the world of your customers to try to see how things look from their viewpoint"

Williams quotes a New Yorker article entitled "The Eureka Hunt" ­— a story of a firefighter named Wagner Dodge who survived an out-of-control fire in the Mann Gulch in Montana in 1949. Thirteen other smoke jumpers died in the fire, but Dodge was saved by a brilliant insight. Fleeing for his life, he suddenly stopped running and ignited the ground around him. He then lay down on the smoldering embers and inhaled the thin layer of oxygen clinging to the ground. The fire passed over him and, after several terrifying minutes, Dodge emerged from the ashes, virtually unscathed. Dodge had been a firefighter for many years and knew that fire needs three things to exist: fuel, air, and heat. By getting rid of the grass (i.e. fuel) around him, he took his chances with the fast moving fire and was able to save himself. This illustrates that insight and intuition is the "outcome of earlier intellectual experience."

We should look beyond "pain points" i.e. problems that need fixing. More often than not, it is the "small, seemingly unbroken aspects of a situation that provide the richest opportunity areas for innovation." It can be in an area in which everyone suffers the same predicament and nothing has changed in a very long time or where profit performance is average and should be more successful than it currently is. We should address these subtle, small "tension points" i.e. things that are not big enough to be considered problems; little inconveniences that people have grown complacent about.

Disrupt is the "business equivalent of a cookbook that provides you with the framework and motivation you need to discover and execute bold new (ideas) recipes." The book works wonderfully as a workbook that allows you to practise and sharpen your disruptive thinking skills. It provides the tools to help transform your disruptive ideas from compelling opportunities into truly commercial offerings. Buy this book. Shake up our status quo.

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The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies

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The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies

Status quo

Posted: 10 Jun 2011 05:26 PM PDT

IF YOU liked David Fincher's The Social Network, a movie about Facebook, then you might like Khairil M. Bahar's (Ciplak, 15Malaysia) upcoming Relationship Status, an indie flick that could have only been written in the 21st century.

Scheduled for a year-end release, Relationship Status tells the stories (some fictional but mostly true) of KL-ites whose relationships are created, changed and sometimes even ruined by social networking and the way we communicate today.

Khairil, 31, got the idea for the movie when he realised most of his relationships were tied to Facebook, either playing a part in getting to know the person better or resulting in the break-up. He thinks people pay a lot of importance to the relationship status because the nature of Facebook feels a lot like the real world, unlike social networking sites.

"There's always that opportunity to represent yourself as something you may not be.

You could pass yourself off as single — and that's a scary thought for anyone in a relationship," he says.

Khairil has kept his relationship status blank regardless of whether he is seeing someone or not. He feels that there is no "one rule" on whether you should or shouldn't display your relationship status. It all depends on the couple.

"Fifteen years ago, this wouldn't even be an issue. It used to be 'How long should I wait till I call her?' Now it's 'Who should change their status first? How long should I wait? Should we talk about it?' "

What I do disagree with is forcing someone to display their relationship status. To me, it's a personal thing.

"I don't display my status because I don't think it should make a difference to your life or relationship or how anyone else perceives you. I don't like the idea of adding more weight and importance to something which is, in its essence, incredibly trivial – it is a website, after all. Don't give it anymore power than it already has," he adds.

Khairil is confident that the public will relate to his movie as he often gets replies such as "OK, that's a bit close to home" or "I actually know someone this happened to" when he discusses his script with his cast and crew.

The trailer is quite intriguing. It opens with a forlorn-looking guy staring at his phone before deciding to call Anna, the girl he fancies.

Anna sees his picture appearing on her phone and rejects his call. Troubled, he turns to his computer to check her Facebook page which shows her status as "single".

Inspiration hits him and he begins to type out his thoughts on the computer: "When historians of the future look back at the 21st century, there's no doubt in my mind that social networking will be one of the 'great inventions' that they will claim changed the landscape of civilisation."

The character cites examples of how social networking changed the concept of marketing and advertising, how it has won elections and even overthrown governments.

"The act of sharing information on social networks has changed the way we communicate with each other. And by doing so, it has changed the way we form relationships with one another as well as how we react when those relationships dissolve.

"Take the relationship status on Facebook, for example. We can tell the entire world whether we are single, in a relationship, married, divorced or whatever we want. We can even tell the world that it's complicated. But here's my question. Aren't all relationships complicated?"

If that teaser doesn't want to make you see the movie, I don't know what will.

o For more information about the movie and to watch the trailer, visit or follow Twitter updates @RStatusUpdates.

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The Star Online: Metro: Central

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The Star Online: Metro: Central

Metro Watch

Posted: 11 Jun 2011 05:05 AM PDT


A temporary lane closure and traffic diversion will be implemented on the Sungai Besi Highway on Monday from 11.30pm-4am, from Km16.4 to Km16.6 of the highway. The measures are to facilitate the installation of bridge beams for the Sungai Besi Highway extension project. For enquiries, call the Besraya Infoline at 1-800-88-0999.


The MGS Kuala Lumpur Alumni will be having a Meet the Old Teachers Hi-Tea on July 16 from noon to 4pm at Citi Cafe, Lobby Level, Cititel Mid Valley Hotel, Kuala Lumpur. For details, contact 012-333 2478/ (Mabel)/ 019-352 3801/ (Mary)/ 019-331 3000/ (Kim Lan).


The Interact Club of ELC International School is having its International Understanding Day today from 9am to 2pm at the school located at Lot 3664, Jalan Sierramas Barat, Sierramas, Sungai Buloh. For details, contact 017-621 9639/ (Rozhana) or 016-287 6256/ (Nyoomi).


A talk on Follow Your Dream will be held today from 4pm to 6pm at The Pure Life Society, Batu 6, Jalan Puchong, Kuala Lumpur. The talk, themed Making of Community, will feature speakers Tan Teng Koon, a water specialist and HS Wong, whose topic is on natural farming and the chi farm. To register, SMS your name and e-mail address to 012-396 1654/ 017-218 0333.


THE Bloggers Universe Malaysia 2011 Forum will be held today from 7.45pm at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall auditorium, Jalan Maharajalela, Kuala Lumpur. Admission is free. For details, visit or call 012-970 2285 (YL Chong).


The University Women Association is organising a Humanitarian Values workshop from 9am to 4.30pm today at Kolej Za'ba, Universiti Malaya. For details, call 016-3790 600/ 03-2084 1807 (Lili).

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Posted: 11 Jun 2011 05:05 AM PDT

Ultraman Merchandise Fair

FANS of Ultraman can shop for merchandises at the Ultraman Merchandise Fair over the weekend at the Concourse Level of Sungei Wang Plaza from 10am to 10pm. Ultraman figurines, transforming devices, gadgets, toy vehicles, stationery, DVDs, collections of Ultraman action figures (Ultraman Mebius, Ultraman Cosmos, Ultraman Max, Ultraman Tiga, Ultraman Dyna and Ultraman Gaia) are available for purchase at the fair. Get up close and personal with both Ultraman Mebius and Ultraman Cosmos as they show off their heroic ultimate powers on stage and greet their fans. Catch them at 1pm, 4pm and 7pm today and tomorrow. For details, call 03-2142 6636.

Leather Art

Leather artisan Wendy Tang captured Mother Nature on leather at her solo exhibition. Using special carving and stamping tools, she created the three-dimensional looks on all her art pieces. The exhibition is open till tomorrow, 11am-8pm, at the The Annexe Gallery, 1st & 2nd Floor, Central Market Annexe, Jalan Hang Kasturi, Kuala Lumpur. Admission is free. For details, call 016-888 0351.

Heroes & Villains

The Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) will be performing showcases themed Heroes & Villains at 8.30pm tonight and at 3pm tomorrow at Dewan Filharmonik Petronas, KLCC. Conductor Julian Kuerti will lead the orchestra to perform works such as Don Juan, composed by Richard Strauss and Symphony No. 3, composed by Ludwig van Beethoven; otherwise most commonly known as Eroica. The MPO will also perform Violin Concerto No.1 in G minor (Op.26) with violinist Lidia Baich. For details, call 03-2051 7007 or visit and

Metro Man Search

IN conjunction with the 1Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival, The Mines Shopping Fair is organising the Metro Man Search. Auditions will be held today at level 3, Centre Court and 15 finalists will proceed to the grand final on June 19. It is a competition for men to showcase not only their masculinity, but also their fashion sense, style, confidence and grooming.

Teddy Bear Fun

Have a fun day out tomorrow at KLCC Park & Convention Centre through the Teddy Bear & Friends Day Out organised by Suria KLCC. Parents (welcomed to join at no charge) can purchase the tickets for their children at Suria KLCC Concierge counter on ground level. Each ticket costs RM35 and proceeds will be channelled to the National Autistic Society of Malaysia. Themed "Adventure Land, Safari Jungle", the first component of the programme is treasure hunt at the KLCC Park. Other activities include sand art, face painting, colouring contest, fridge magnet-making workshop and many more.

Watercolour Works

YOUNG artists Sukor Romat, Haafiz Shahimi, Siti Norhidayah Muhd Mohktar and Radin Erus showcase their mixed-media work at the H2O Colour exhibition, 11am to 7pm, at the Art Village Bangsar South, G2, Bangsar South, No. 2 Jalan 1/112H, Off Jalan Kerinchi, KL. Exhibition runs till June 13.

Stamp Fair

The Philatelic Society of Malaysia (PSM) is holding a Stamp Fair today and tomorrow at the Petaling Jaya Community Library, from 9.30am to 5.30pm. There will be a display of philatelic exhibits. Also present will be many stamp dealers with a wide range of Malaysia/Malaya, foreign and thematic stamps, First day covers and other philatelic items. There will also be a colouring competition for children and daily lucky draws. Admission is free. For details, contact Maniam (012-604 3563) or Wong (012-679 7931).


FANS of Transformers can now get their fix with one-of-a-kind life-sized 6.7m-tall Optimus Prime at 1 Utama's main concourse today with lots of Transformers activities. Don't miss this opportunity to take pictures with the super cool characters from the latest Transformers: Dark Of The Moon movie during the meet-and-greet session. To complete the whole Transformers experience, get the limited edition Onecard free for the first 500 applicants. This event is open to public.

Art Exhibition

See Unmask.Ed, Syahidah Osman Cawley's first solo art exhibition from now till June 19 at KLPac, from 10am to 10pm daily. Her artworks reimagines the human face and combine the essential lines with symbols, to portray the inner truths of her subjects. Admission is free. To buy her artworks and art T-shirts, call 017-693-0911 or email

Holiday Fun

Catch Professor Cosmo and Ooort, and redeem a free ticket to Berjaya Times Square Theme Park during a carnival at ground central till tomorrow, 12.30pm–1pm and 5.30pm–6pm. There is also the Gadget Hunt from 11am to 9pm at the theme park. To participate, purchase two tickets to the theme park, find the scrolls and produce them with proof of purchase of the tickets and you could walk away with fabulous gadgets. For details, visit

Art Exhibition

Purplehouz Fine Arts Exhibition Space features Lee Eng Beng, an award-winning watercolourist, as he enters a new foray with acrylic on canvas. On display are more than 80 artworks depicting Penang street life, family ties and a limited number of watercolour paintings. The new Purplehouz art gallery is located at 94, Jalan Gasing, PJ. The exhibition will run till June 21 and open from 10am-pm (Monday-Saturday). Admission is free. For details, call 03-7960 8005.

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