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The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

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The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

Creating waves of change

Posted: 26 Jun 2011 01:18 AM PDT

Filmmaking duo Ahmad Yazid and Lydia Lubon talk about their love for documentaries, and their latest provocative doc on the fugitive terrorist, Mas Selamat.

AHMAD Yazid and Lydia Lubon are more impressed with real life than with fiction.

Yazid's love affair with documentary filmmaking began much earlier than Lubon's.

Evidence exists in the form of a discoloured photograph documenting his three-year-old self with a Lego camera, which relatives say he carried around all day much to the amusement of onlookers at his aunt's wedding a long, long time ago.

During his childhood, he never tired of trailing his father, who worked as a cameraman stringing for Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM).

At age nine, when kids his age were playing video games, Yazid was glued to his father's editing suite. He soon started helping his dad edit videos and, when he was strong enough to carry the camera, he began filming.

Needless to say, no one in his family was surprised when Yazid finally said he wanted to become a film director. He's now 27 and living his dream, having co-founded local production house Rack Focus Films with Lubon, 32, three years ago.

Lubon, on the other hand, had her epiphany just after the advent of the new millennium. She was 23 and had just returned from Colorado, United States, after getting a degree in Communications.

Her mother had installed satellite broadcast television, Astro, in their Ampang, Selangor, home, and Lubon finally discovered the Animal Planet channel. "I'd always thought of filmmaking as a job for people who make fiction," she says, explaining why it was such an important moment for her.

Having made the transition from her teen years – when MTV and Beverly Hills 90210 seemed a lot more interesting – Lubon found that the documentaries about wildlife and the plight of critically-endangered species across the planet had a powerful impact on her.

Says Lubon: "The power of film and the fact that really important messages could be delivered in a very powerful way to someone who was totally unaware of a particular issue – that's what drew me. I just thought, I want to be a part of this."

Armed with a series of internships, stints as a production assistant and endless lists of game shows under her belt, fate finally placed her on the same set as Yazid. They clicked instantly through shared ambition and a similar outlook on life.

"We found common ground in the fact that we were both young and wanted to do something bigger than what we were doing then," Lubon shares.

Today, along with two new employees and an intern, they inhabit a nice airy white office space surrounded by jungle in Bukit Tunku, Kuala Lumpur. When they started Rack Focus Films they were the youngest production house in Malaysia; today they're producing documentaries for international satellite television channels.

Their last few documentaries, Al Maunah: The Malaysian Arms Heist and A Brotherhood Of Bandits, were both aired on the Crime & Investigation Network channel, and Al Maunah was also screened on the History Channel. Both featured guns, men in uniform, violations of national security and truckloads of suspense, and were about the biggest arms heist to take place in Malaysia and the country's most notorious organised crime ring, the Mamak Gang.

Their latest documentary, however, is special, both due to the controversy surrounding its subject matter and Yazid's personal interest in exploring the psychology behind terrorism. Mas Selamat: The Fugitive Terrorist, which premieres on Thursday on the Crime & Investigation Network channel, will feature never before seen live footage of the arrest of a man who was once the region's then most wanted criminal.

The making of

It doesn't take a genius to guess that a man was behind the last two action-packed documentaries. Lubon and Yazid smile when asked whose idea the documentaries were.

Yazid is fascinated by guns, action and the psychology behind terrorism.

After Mas Selamat, leader of the Singapore branch of the Al-Qaeda-linked militant Islamic organisation Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), was caught in 2009, Yazid couldn't resist pitching a documentary on the subject.

"The reason I chose this subject matter was because when I was younger I would idolise (the late Al-Qaeda leader) Osama bin Laden. I was in religious school and I thought the Taliban were great. But at the same time, while I held super religious views by day, at night I would read my Tom Clancy novels – Jack Ryan was my hero!" he laughs, referring to the terrorist plot-foiling all-American CIA agent featured in the Clancy novels.

Yazid's childhood was full of contradictions. He attended a Chinese primary school where he learnt to speak Mandarin and made lots of friends. At the same time, he was confused by his religious classes where he learnt that unbelievers would be condemned.

Then, on Sept 11, 2001, Yazid came to a turning point. If it hadn't been for the 9/11 terror attacks in America, Yazid says he may just have ended up somewhere very different in his life. But the visual of a passenger jet airliner crashing into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York, and the haunting images of terrified people jumping out of the building changed everything for him.

"Back then, I didn't know any of this, it was not uncommon for people who came from where I came from, to believe that suicide bombers were martyrs," he explains. "But I made up my mind that day that I definitely wanted to head down the path of non-terrorism."

When Mas Selamat escaped from Singapore's Whitley Road Detention Centre in 2008 and resurfaced in Johor Baru where he was caught by Malaysia's Counter Terrorism Department, Yazid says he wasn't surprised.

"Johor was a hotbed of terrorism in the 1990s," chips in Lubon. A crackdown by the Suharto regime in Indonesia in the late 1980s meant there was a constant stream of hardcore JI leaders who fled to neighbouring Malaysia, settling in Johor Baru.

It was at the now-defunct religious school Luqman Al Hakiem in Johor Baru that Mas Selamat, a Singaporean, was caught and revealed to be Malaysia's – and the region's – most wanted terrorist.

Mas Selamat's escape in 2008 from detention on suspicion of plotting to destroy a number of Singapore's major landmarks, including Changi International Airport, had caused widespread panic during the year he was at large. The blogosphere was full of conspiracy theories. Singapore launched its biggest manhunt, with three of its telecommunications companies sending out 5.5 million MMS messages with warnings to the public.

Yazid says their documentary will help to set the record straight about the episode, and also provide some context to Mas Selamat's supposed transformation from regular father-of-five into a terrorist.

"I was once brainwashed into thinking blowing yourself up is justifiable, so I've realised it's not really about the ideology itself, it's about education and the kind of people you're exposed to in your surroundings."

Yazid says he doesn't believe all terrorists start off as bad people, but are often a product of their environment.

"I wanted to explore that through the documentary. How he grew up, how he got into the movement and how sometimes life's hardships and the lack of a good basic education – I'm not just talking about religious education, by the way – can lead into things."

Aside from that, the documentary also shows how Malaysia's Counter Terrorism Department, which used to be a branch of Malaysia's Special Branch up until 2009, managed to gather enough intelligence to eventually capture the fugitive.

"This will be the first time video footage of the Counter Terrorism Department or any special operation by the Malaysian Special Forces has ever been released for public viewing," says Lubon, referring to live footage of the raid on Mas Selamat's hideout.

Malaysia's Counter Terrorism Department, which Lubon had never heard of until she made this documentary, has one of the best de-radicalisation programmes in the world and even advises the United States and Australia, according to the filmmaker.

"They find the radicals through intelligence gathering, detain them under the Internal Security Act and then de-radicalises them.

"One thing I've learnt during the course of this documentary is you cannot change strong ideologies, that's almost impossible. But you can help these people realise that just killing random innocent people is wrong and making suicide bomb attacks is not the best solution."

Most of the information about Mas Selamat in the documentary was obtained through expert interviews and open source information. The filmmakers did try to interview officials from Singapore but were instead referred to the Singaporean Ministry of Home Affairs website.

They also tried to interview Mas Selamat while he was being held in Perak's Kamunting detention centre following his capture; however, the issue was deemed too sensitive at the time.

Another feature of watching the documentary is that it offers a sense of the danger that our Special Force officers put themselves in.

"It shows operations are risky for them, and they do risk their lives on a regular basis. They do these things that many Malaysians don't know about."

There is a touching scene in the documentary: grainy footage of the task force huddled together and reciting a doa (prayer) together before a raid.

"It never occurred to me that, to them, these operations are a really big risk," says Lubon earnestly.

"There's this one line that is our favourite, and that is uttered by one of the intelligence officers. He says: 'You know, these guys (the terrorists) are not afraid to die, but we are afraid to die. They only need one lucky chance (to blow us up), but we have to be lucky every time.' "

To catch Mas Selamat: The Fugitive Terrorist, tune in to the Crime & Investigation Network (Astro Ch 732). The documentary premieres on Thursday at 10pm; repeats will be shown on July 1 and 2 at 11pm, and on July 4 at 9pm.

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CNN sportscaster Nick Charles dies of cancer at 64

Posted: 25 Jun 2011 07:01 PM PDT

ATLANTA (AP) - Nick Charles, a former taxi driver who became CNN's first sports anchor and served in that role for nearly two decades, died Saturday after a two-year struggle with bladder cancer, the cable network reported.

He died peacefully at his New Mexico home, his wife Cory told the network. He was 64.

Nicholas Charles Nickeas grew up in Chicago, working late-night jobs in high school to help his family, according to CNN. He eventually went to Columbia College Chicago to study communications and drove a taxi to help pay his tuition.

He was still driving taxis in 1970 when he landed his first gig with WICS in Springfield, Illinois. That's when he adopted the name Nick Charles at the urging of his news director, the network said.

Charles later left Springfield to work at local stations in Baltimore and Washington and then began at Atlanta-based CNN on the network's first day on June 1, 1980.

He made his name before a national audience teaming with Fred Hickman for almost 20 years on "Sports Tonight," a daily highlight show that battled with ESPN for viewers. Charles became such a popular TV personality that Topps put his face on a trading card, CNN reported.

"We just clicked from the very beginning," Hickman told CNN in an interview. "In television, you always have personality conflicts. Nick and I never had one. Nick and I have always had a tremendous relationship."

Hickman said Charles was a "great inspiration" to him, and described his former colleague as a "tremendous storyteller."

"He could literally do a story about a horse and make you think this horse was like a person," Hickman said. "He could take boxing and turn it into something poetic."

Charles told CNN recently that boxing was "one of my loves," whether reporting on Muhammad Ali's later years or covering the ear-biting incident involving Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield.

With his well-coiffed, curly black hair and sharp-looking suits, Charles brought GQ-like style to CNN's broadcasts. But he also was known as a skilled interviewer who related easily to subjects while not being shy about asking tough questions.

"I think when people look back on Nick in years to come, they're going to remember - the hair," former CNN sports anchor Jim Huber quipped to the network. "He loved that hair. It used to just drive us crazy. But in all seriousness, I think they're going to look back on one of the great sports journalists of all time."

CNN Worldwide president Jim Walton said Saturday that Charles helped put CNN on the map.

"He brought intelligence, style and heart to his work - qualities that translated to our company and inspired those of us who were fortunate to work alongside him," Walton said. "His passing is a loss to CNN, to the sports world and to the fans and friends everywhere who were with him to the end of his extraordinary life.

In recent months, Charles served as an inspiration to many as he openly discussed his battle with cancer, with which he was diagnosed in August 2009. He made video diaries for his five-year-old daughter Giovanna to see in years to come.

"I'm a forward looking person but also a living-in-the-moment person," Charles recently told CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta, whose special report "Nick Charles: No Regrets, Lessons from the Fight" will re-air at 7:30 a.m. Sunday. "So I wake up every day expecting to have a good day. It may sound trite, Sanjay, but life as you get older is about 20 percent of what happens to you and about 80 percent how you react to it."

Charles also is survived by three grown children from two previous marriages In an interview in March, he told the network his message was to "never give up on life" even though it's imperfect and filled with huge adversities. "People won't remember who you are or what you said. It's really about: Are you going to be remembered as a good person?" he said. "That's victory to me. That's success."

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The Star Online: World Updates

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LulzSec hackers say disbanding after last data dump

Posted: 25 Jun 2011 08:29 PM PDT

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Lulz Security group of rogue hackers announced it was disbanding on Saturday with one last data dump, which included internal AOL Inc and AT&T documents.

Screens at the Reuters offices in London in this undated handout photo in this undated handout photo. (REUTERS/Jon Jones/Handout/Files)

LulzSec, which gained wide recognition for breaching the websites of Sony Corp, the CIA and a British police unit among other targets, said in a statement that it had accomplished its mission to disrupt corporate and government bodies for entertainment.

"Our planned 50 day cruise has expired, and we must now sail into the distance, leaving behind -- we hope -- inspiration, fear, denial, happiness, approval, disapproval, mockery, embarrassment, thoughtfulness, jealousy, hate, even love," the group said.

Known for irreverence and a fondness for naval metaphors, the hacker group took to Twitter -- the microblogging site where it had more than 277,000 followers -- to release its statement.

A link to the release also was posted on but there was no way to independently contact the group to confirm the release.

The abrupt dissolution came a few days after LulzSec threatened to escalate its cyberattacks and steal classified information from governments, banks and other major establishments.

LulzSec also had said it was teaming up with the Anonymous hacker activist group to cause more serious trouble.

"... Our planned 50-day cruise has expired," the hackers said in their statement, "and we must now sail into the distance, leaving behind -- we hope -- inspiration, fear, denial, happiness, approval, disapproval, mockery, embarrassment, thoughtfulness, jealousy, hate, even love. If anything, we hope we had a microscopic impact on someone, somewhere. Anywhere."


In what could be a sign that cyber police were making progress toward shutting down LulzSec, British police said on Tuesday they had arrested a 19-year-old man on suspicion that he was connected to the attacks on Sony, the CIA and a British police unit that fights organized crime.

London police declined to say if the teenager was a member of LulzSec but the hacking group said on Twitter that he had hosted one of its chatrooms on his computer server.

The arrest came after Spanish police earlier this month apprehended three men on suspicion they helped Anonymous.

So far LulzSec's publicized assaults have mostly resulted in temporary disruptions of some websites and the release of user credentials.

The data the group released Saturday was a mixed bag.

Reuters was not able to access all of the files but those that were available included a list of routers -- devices that handle Internet traffic -- and their passwords, as well as account information for an Irish private investigation service. The AOL documents appeared to be elements of an internal technical manual.

A file list on a download site indicated there also was some AT&T internal data in the dump, although the nature of that data was not immediately clear.

AOL was not immediately available for comment, while an AT&T spokesman did not have immediate comment.

(Reporting by Ben Berkowitz and Paritosh Bansal; Editing by Tiffany Wu and Bill Trott)

Copyright © 2011 Reuters

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Libyan soccer stars join rebels in blow to Gaddafi

Posted: 25 Jun 2011 08:29 PM PDT

BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) - Four members of Libya's national soccer team and 13 other football figures have defected to rebels in a blow to Muammar Gaddafi's government, the rebel authority in eastern Libya said on Saturday.

Gaddafi has faced a string of defections by officers and diplomats but has resisted efforts by rebels backed by a NATO bombing campaign to dislodge him after four decades in power.

Rebels pose for a photograph at a checkpoint near the village of Riyayna June 24, 2011. (REUTERS/Anis Mili)

Abdel Hafiz Ghoga, vice chairman of the rebel council, said the footballers had been in touch with the insurgent leadership in Benghazi and were staying in neighbouring Tunisia.

"It's a direct reflection of opinions and feelings of all people across Libya. These 17 members were on their way to Mali when they declared their defection," he said.

"This is not just symbolic but it's also very important. It (shows) that whenever a person is able to set themselves free and announce their defection, they do so. There are many of those who are not able to do that."

National goalkeeper Juma Gtat and Adel bin Issa, the coach of Tripoli's top club al-Ahly, announced the defections in the rebel-held Nafusa Mountains in western Libya, the BBC reported.

"I am telling Colonel Gaddafi to leave us alone and allow us to create a free Libya," it quoted Gtat as saying at a hotel in the town of Jadu. "In fact I wish he would leave this life altogether."

Bin Issa told the BBC he had chosen to come to the Western Mountains "to send a message that Libya should be unified and free", adding: "I hope to wake up one morning to find that Gaddafi is no longer there."

(Reporting by Maria Golovnina in Benghazi and Alistair Lyon in London)

Copyright © 2011 Reuters

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Prominent Chinese dissident freed from jail

Posted: 25 Jun 2011 08:29 PM PDT

BEIJING (Reuters) - One of China's most prominent dissidents, Hu Jia, was reunited with his family early on Sunday after serving three-and-a-half-years in jail on subversion charges, but he needed rest and was not ready to speak in public, his wife said.

Zeng Jinyan, the wife of jailed Chinese dissident and AIDS activist Hu Jia, holds a photo of the couple during an interview in Beijing, December 1, 2010, on World Aids Day. (REUTERS/Petar Kujundzic/Files)

Hu, 37, was convicted in 2008 for "inciting subversion of state power" for criticising human rights restrictions in China, and was seen by some supporters as a potential recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize before it went to another jailed Chinese dissident, Liu Xiaobo, last year.

"He is back home with his parents and me," his wife, Zeng Jinyan, told Reuters in a brief telephone interview.

"I don't know if he can speak later. At the moment, I want everything to be peaceful. I'm worried that doing interviews at this stage might cause problems. Please understand."

Hu's long-scheduled release followed this week's abrupt freeing from detention of the prominent artist and activist Ai Weiwei, and has come while Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao is visiting Europe on trips to Hungary, Britain and Germany.

Asked how Hu's health was, his mother, Feng Juan, said by telephone: "It's so so. He was in a very good mood. The first thing he did after coming home was to take a bath. Then he had a meal."

China's Communist Party has cracked down on dissent since February, responding to fears that uprisings across the Arab world could also inspire challenges to its one-party rule, especially ahead of a leadership succession late in 2012.

Many dissidents detained in that drive have been ordered by authorities to stay silent after their release. Hu's wife, Zeng, and other advocates have voiced concern that Chinese authorities might also impose restrictions on him amounting to house arrest after his formal release.

Zeng, a prominent activist in her own right, told Reuters in late May that she was worried by the trend of rights activists coming under informal house arrest after their release from formal detention or jail.

"If we are put under house arrest or disappear, I don't want our daughter to be with us when we endure life under house arrest," she said. "I have sent her to be with my relatives."

Zeng posted messages on Twitter, the micro-blogging site, describing harassment from authorities before Hu's release.

"A prohibition on contact with the media was a condition of Hu Jia's sentence, with the one year's deprivation of political rights on his release, and no doubt the authorities will remind him of that," said Phelim Kine, a researcher for Human Rights Watch, a New York-based advocacy group that has denounced the conviction of Hu and other Chinese dissidents.

"Given the current climate of oppression, he will be under extreme pressure to obey," Kine said by telephone.


Hu and Zeng have live in an apartment complex in east Beijing called Bobo Freedom City. Many police officers and security guards patrolled the area on Sunday morning.

"A sleepless night and Hu Jia came home at 2:30. Peaceful. Very happy. Needs a period of time to recuperate," Zeng wrote in her latest Twitter entry in Chinese. Most Chinese people lack the know-how to read Twitter, which the government blocks with a censorship firewall.

Hu was detained in late 2007 and then tried and convicted in the following year on subversion charges that stemmed from criticism of the government he had made in Internet writings and interviews with foreign reporters.

China often uses the broad charge of "inciting subversion" to punish dissidents, and when Hu was convicted, state media said that he had bowed to the accusations against him.

Before he was jailed, Hu pursued an energetic career as an environmental protection campaigner, advocate for rural victims of AIDS, and vocal critic of China's restrictions on political dissent. Shaven-headed and wearing bookish spectacles, he was a familiar sight at activist gatherings in Beijing.

Hu is also a vegetarian and Buddhist who has criticised China's controls on that religion in Tibet and voiced sympathy for the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader reviled by Beijing.

Asked about Hu's future plans, Zeng said her husband studied law in prison and has no plans to move abroad.

"According to law, if you have any criminal record you cannot become a lawyer. But he is studying to gain more comprehensive knowledge," Zeng said in May.

"I think he has very clear and fixed ideas about the future, but we don't know what the conditions will be like (after he gets out) ... I think he will (focus) on rights defending."

(Additional reporting by Michael Martina and Benjamin Kang Lim; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)

Copyright © 2008 Reuters

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The Star Online: Business

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A resort island in Nilai?

Posted: 25 Jun 2011 12:52 AM PDT

THE idea of offering island living in Nilai, Negri Sembilan, sounds like pie in the sky, but to gain attention in the competitive property market, you have to think big and different sometimes.

The 350-acre Green Beverly Hills development in Putra Nilai (formerly known as Bandar Baru Nilai), with its inland resort island concept, is said to be the first of its kind in the world.

The brainchild of GD Development Sdn Bhd, Green Beverly Hills is on freehold land, and plans includes a five-star health-themed hotel, a 500,000 sq ft club house, condominiums, semi-detached homes, villas, and a shopping mall. The project, due to be completed in eight years, has a gross development value of RM4bil.

GD Development chief executive officer Lim Ching Choy says Green Beverly Hills was conceptualised as a upmarket residential community on a iconic lifestyle resort island.

"As far we know, there is no other similar development in the world," says Lim in an interview with StarBizWeek.

At present, there are five lakes within the development. "We will link the lakes, and flood other areas, to create a canal system around the development, thus turning it into a man-made inland island," he says.

According to Lim, it is the company's joint chairman Datuk David Yeat Sew Chuong who comes up with the idea.

"He was inspired by the castles and palaces he visited in Europe, South Korea, Japan and China that are surrounded by moats and lakes."

Yeat is also the founder and chief executive officer of INS Bioscience Bhd, which is listed on the ACE Market of Bursa Malaysia.

Lim has extensive experience in property development, having served as chief executive officer in Mah Sing Group Bhd and Magna Prima Bhd within the past nine years. He was also formerly the managing director of Ho Hup Construction Co Bhd.

Engineering firm Angkasa Consulting Services Sdn Bhd, which has been involved in wetlands and lake developments in Malaysia and China, is the consultant for Green Beverly Hills.

Lim says water discharge and flow in the canal will be controlled by mechanical systems. "During periods of heavy rain, we can discharge the water when it reaches a certain level."

Access to the development, over its water channel, will be via three roads. The development is touted as being strategically located, with the South Klang Valley Expressway and North-South Expressway as highway links.

"From Green Beverly Hills, it is a 10-minute drive to the KL International Airport (KLIA), a 15-minute drive to Putrajaya, a 35-minute drive to the Kuala Lumpur City Centre, and a 20-minute drive to Seremban. The Salak Tinggi KLIA Transit Station is just a five-minute drive away," says Lim.

He points out that institutions of higher learning such as the Inti International University, Nilai University College, Nilai International School and Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia are located close to the development.

Also in the vicinity are the Nilai Springs Golf & Country Club, NCI Hospital as well as Tesco and Giant hypermarkets.

Lim says other highlights of the gated and guarded development includes the availability of broadband Internet services, a "green environment" and a density of 5.7 units per acre (including condominiums) with about 2,000 planned property units.

He adds that a 50-acre forest, 20-acre organic farm and 20 acres of water (surrounding the island) are in the works. "Residents can buy produce from the organic farm with points accumulated via their property maintenance fees."

A closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera surveillance and CMS (central monitoring system) will be put in place for better security on the island. "Each house is linked to the CMS," says Lim.

Also, the company will make a submission for certification from Malaysia's Green Building Index soon. "All our buildings will incorporate a rain water harvesting system."

Earlier this year, two blocks of Sky Bungalow condominiums with 334 units sized from 932 to 1,816 sq ft per unit, were launched.

A unique feature of the Sky Bungalow condominiums, priced from RM487,200 to RM910,800 per unit, with one to three-bedroom types, is that each unit comes with a swimming pool.

Smaller units have 5 x 10 ft pools while bigger units have 5 x 14 ft pools. "We can provide an option for heated water in the pools, depending on request," says Lim.

Another highlight here is the 12-ft ceiling of the units. One block of the Sky Bungalow condominiums is a 25-storey tower, while the other is a 20-storey tower.

Each floor has six to eight condominium units, with each allocated a car park bay. An extra car park bay for each unit can be rented at less than RM100 per month. "For those who need more than two car park bays, we are providing an additional 66 bays."

To date, the Sky Bungalow condominium project has a 70% take-up rate. According to Lim, the Sky Bungalow condominiums will be the only high-rise residential units on the development. "All other residential units here will be landed types."

Also launched earlier this year were 17 units of four-storey Water Villa bungalows, each with a built-up area of 4,769 sq ft and priced at RM3.167mil.

Each unit comes with a private lift. There are also 44 units of three-storey Garden Villa bungalows, each with a built-up area of 3,858 sq ft and priced at RM2mil. Lim is pleased by the take-up for the bungalows, as only two and 18 units of Water and Garden Villas respectively remain available for sale.

The condominiums and bungalows are due to be completed by the end of 2014 and 2013 respectively.

In July, Lim plans to launch 148 units of three-storey semi-Ds, each with a built-up area of about 3,600 sq ft and priced at RM1.7mil onwards. According to Lim, to date, about 30% of the buyers are foreigners. "The foreign buyers are mainly from Singapore, with the rest from Indonesia and Hong Kong."

Green Beverly Hills is GD Development's maiden and only foray in property development. The company was incorporated in 2009. Lim says the company has no other property development plans. "For the next eight years, we will focus only on Green Beverly Hills."

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The Star Online: Sports

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Anuar wants to add national champion’s jersey to his collection

Posted: 25 Jun 2011 04:34 PM PDT

RAUB: Cyclist Anuar Manan has numerous stage wins in the International Cycling Union (UCI) Asia Tour races and has worn the yellow jersey on several occasions.

But the one he cherishes most and missing from his collection is the black and white tiger-striped national champion's jersey.

In 2009, Anuar was beaten in the mass sprint down the finish line at the national meet in Malacca and he ended up fifth.

Last year, the hilly terrain of Seri Menanti in Negri Sembilan worked against him as Mohd Adiq Hussainie Othman rode to victory. Anuar finished fifth, again.

In the national meet today, the Terengganu Pro-Asia Cycling ace has vowed to make amends and be third time lucky.

"It was not easy for me as the terrain in Seri Menanti was not suited to my style of riding. I tried my best but several riders got into the break and Adiq went on to win it," said Anuar about last year's race.

"To my knowledge, the route here (Raub) is not hilly ... maybe slightly undulating but nothing too difficult for me. I hope I can win this time".

He said it was important for him to win the national title as it would help him gain vital points for the UCI rankings.

As of May 25, Malaysia are fourth in the UCI Asia rankings with 181 points, behind South Korea (217). Iran lead the rankings with 754 points, followed by Japan (688).

The top three nations in the rankings on Aug 15 will qualify for the World Championships in Copen­hagen, Denmark, in Septem­ber.

"It's not just about wearing the jersey. The points at stake is much more important for me. I'm just 25 this year and I believe I can always try to win it after this. But we are in a good position to fight for a spot in the world meet and I cannot let this chance go," said Anuar, who is the biggest points earner for Malaysia with 66.

His team-mate in the Tereng­ganu Pro-Asia team, Mohd Harrif Salleh, has raked in 28 points thus far.

Meanwhile, Anuar's Terengganu Pro-Asia team-mate, Mohd Saufi Mat Senan, clocked 3'46:04 to win the 164km race in the fourth leg of the national grand prix yesterday.

Former national champion Suhardi Hassan finished second with the same time while Nik Mohd Azwan Zulkiflie of Police was third just two seconds be­­hind.

In the women's event, Mas­ziyaton Mohd Radzi won ahead of Kimbeley Yap and third-placed Mariana Mohamad. All clocked 3'14:44 in the 113km race.

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MHF defer starting date for Malaysia Hockey League

Posted: 25 Jun 2011 04:33 PM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) competitions committee have deferred the decision on the starting date of the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) pending a more detailed discussion with the parties concerned.

A one-day workshop for the state secretaries, clubs and team management will be held on July 16 to discuss the issue.

MHF competitions committee chairman Datuk Abdul Rahim Mohd Arif said the MHL would not be scrapped.

"The plan is to go ahead with it as planned in September," he said after chairing the nearly four-hour long competitions committee meeting at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

"But the national team seem to have their plates full with programmes every month. That is why we have decided on the workshop so that all parties can attend and help us decide.

"Whatever the decision, we must make sure it is a win-win situation for all parties."

It was decided at the meeting that national players would not be barred from playing in the MHL. This means the national players will have to divide their time between club and national duty each week.

"We have agreed to let the national team have the players for three days a week and then for the them to be released to play for their clubs over the weekends," he said.

"The only problem is that we were unable to make a firm decision as the national team management committee were not present to give their views.

"That is why we have deferred the decision on the starting date of the MHL."

The national team are preparing for the Olympic qualifiers next year and have lined up several programmes for the next few months.

The national players will be released to play in the Razak Cup in July while August is out of the question because of the fasting month.

The MHF want to start the MHL in September, after the national team have finished playing in the Asian Champions Trophy from Sept 3-11 in China.

They plan to complete the preliminary round by end of October and then release the players to the national team to prepare for the Champions Challenge I in South Africa from Nov 29-Dec 6.

The knockout stage of the MHL is slated for December. But this date will depend on where and when the Olympic qualifiers will be held next year. That decision will be known on Nov 18.

On the Razak Cup, the committee will wait for the qualifying round to end before deciding on the groupings for the final round, which will be held in Malacca from July 22-28.

Rahim confirmed that Te­­reng­ganu, who had pulled out earlier last month, have changed their minds and will take part in the East Zone qualifiers, which will begin next weekend and end by July 9.

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‘Lucky’ Malaysia set up final clash with South Korea

Posted: 25 Jun 2011 04:32 PM PDT

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia scored a goal in each half to beat Singapore 2-1 and qualify for their second straight final in the Under-18 Asia Cup at the Sengkang Hockey Stadium in Singapore yesterday.

Malaysia, who lost 1-3 to Pakistan in the 2009 final, will meet South Korea in today's title showdown (6pm).

The Koreans defeated Pakistan 2-1 in the other semi-final.

Malaysia and South Korea drew 2-2 in the preliminary round.

In yesterday's semi-final against Singapore, Malaysia shot ahead in the 10th minute when Fitri Saari scored from a penalty corner rebound.

Malaysia doubled their advantage in the 50th minute through a Mohamed Aziq field goal.

Mohd Ashriq then pulled one back for Singapore in the last minute with a field goal. But it was too little too late.

National coach K. Gobinathan admitted that his boys did not play well and "we were lucky that the Singaporeans only came alive late in the second half".

"It was a tough match .. but it was of our own doing. We played badly overall. I hope the players will improve tomorrow (today) against the Koreans," said Gobinathan.

"In the preliminary round, we also had the lead and allowed the Koreans to hit back late in the match."

The Koreans, meanwhile, had to come from behind to edge favourites and defending champions Pakistan.

Pakistan took the lead in the 24th minute through Waseem Abas off a penalty corner set piece move.

The Koreans equalised through Hwang Weon-ki in the 48th minute before Kim Ji-won scored the winner in the 53rd minute.

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The Star Online: Lifestyle: Bookshelf

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The Star Online: Lifestyle: Bookshelf


Posted: 25 Jun 2011 01:22 AM PDT

Tribal Leadership: Leveraging natural groups to build a thriving organization

Authors: Dave Logan, John King and Halee Fischer-Wright

Publishers: Harper Business

Every organisation composes tribes. These are naturally occurring groups of between 20 and 150 people. Until today, only a few leaders could identify and develop their tribes, and those rare individuals were rewarded with loyalty, productivity and innovation. This book shows leaders how to assess, identify and upgrade their tribes' cultures one stage at a time. The result is an organisation that can thrive in any economy.

Chinnovation: How Chinese innovators are changing the world

Author: Yinglan Tan

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

Drawing on a wealth of on-the-ground stories and thorough research, this book shows how Chinese companies have dispelled the myth that China's entrepreneur class has grown due to their knowledge of the domestic market and their adaptation to change. The author is of the view that it is innovation that has helped the Chinese entrepreneurs, although a knowledge of the domestic market is also important.

Drucker's Lost Art of Management

Authors: Joseph A. Maciariello and Karen E. Linkletter

Publisher:McGraw Hill

A much-needed blueprint to make corporate America management more functional and redeeming. Management guru Peter Drucker made clear connections between the liberal arts and effective management but he passed away before providing a detailed exposition of his ideas. Maciariello and Linkletter integrate their Drucker expertise in management and the arts to redefine the corporate world.

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Hitting the right notes

Posted: 24 Jun 2011 06:20 PM PDT

STARBIZWEEK caught up with Datuk Wong Sulong, who recently launched his first book, Notes to the Prime Minister, in which the senior journalist told the story of how Malaysia got through the Asian financial crisis. Wong relates how reading, writing and his friendship with a long-time friend paves the way for him to write the book.

StarBizWeek: How and when did this assignment to write "Notes to the Prime Minister" come about?

Wong: Sometime in October 2010, shortly after I had returned from a pilgrimage to Eastern Europe, I received a call from my friend Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, in charge of the Economic Planning Unit. He had met up with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and sounded the former Prime Minister about the idea of publishing the extensive notes that he (Nor Mohamed) had written to Dr Mahathir when the latter was battling the currency speculators during the Asian financial crisis of 1997-98. Mahathir was positive about the idea, saying those notes were of historical and public interest. He volunteered to write the foreword.

Nor Mohamed asked me whether I could edit those notes and put them in context. It took me a couple of days to go through the notes and I realised that to put them in perspective, it was important to write about the origins of the Asian financial crisis, but also the work of the Government – post crisis – to revive the battered economy. Here too, Nor Mohamed played a critical role in the Malaysian economic transformation; that phase dubbed as "Malaysia Inc. v2.0" in his role as Economic Advisor and later as Minister.

Having been a journalist for over 40 years, mainly in the business and economics section, would you consider "Notes to the Prime Minister" as the epitome of your journalistic career and why?

Being group chief editor of The Star (January 2004 to December 2006) was the epitome of my journalistic career. Writing "Notes to the Prime Minister" is another high point. As you know, every journalist dreams of writing a book. But please remember, this is a joint effort as this is a book about Nor Mohamed's notes and his role in helping Dr Mahathir beat the currency speculators.

Having worked in Malaysia, Hong Kong and Australia as a journalist and having been a correspondent with the Australian Broadcasting Corp and Britain's Financial Times, in what way did your work in the foreign media help you in your book?

My experience as a journalist with the foreign media was very useful. It greatly broadens my perspective and that's reflected in the book. The Asian financial crisis was a regional, even an international, phenomenon, and my work as a foreign journalist helped me appreciate the global forces at work.

What gems of inspiration did you derive from James Joyce?

James Joyce is my favourite author. To me, he was the most influential author of the 20th century. He taught me to realise that even the most insignificant object or event can be interesting if you know how to approach it.

Who are your other favourite authors?

I enjoy reading the works of Mikhail Bulgakov and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. For history and biography, Plutarch's "Lives" and Sima Qian's "Records of the Historian" are great classics.

Which part of the writing process of "Notes to the Prime Minister" did you find most challenging and why?

There were two main challenges:

(1) How to devise the structure of the book so that Nor Mohamed's original notes to Dr Mahathir, which are quite technical, form the central core of the book, yet capturing the drama of the Asian financial crisis in a manner that is interesting and meaningful to the reader; and

(2) How to maintain a balance between my friendship with Nor Mohamed, and an objective assessment of his role and that of others during and after the crisis. The notes to Dr Mahathir are of historical and academic interest. Not only have these notes never seen daylight, they also throw new light on Malaysia's almost hopeless battle against the currency speculators. Nor Mohamed's role in finding a way for Dr Mahathir to beat the currency speculators was pivotal. By then, they had already brought the Thai, Indonesian and South Korean governments to their knees, forcing them to seek financial rescue packages from the International Monetary Fund. Therefore, when Nor Mohamed asked me to do this book, I felt a sense of excitement and responsibility.

What made you use different styles for "Notes" from the straight reporting approach, to the question-and-answer format, to interviews, commentary and other styles?

That's true. Usually, a writer uses one style in a book. I used different styles in the book as I felt this would make it more interesting. Here, I am influenced by James Joyce.

Also, when one of your subjects is telling his or her story in such an interesting manner, why not let it be, instead of trying to edit it to your style. It's good to respect and acknowledge another person's originality. Of course, you still have to verify the facts and ensure balance.

Since Nor Mohamed gave you this opportunity to write "Notes to the Prime Minister" you must have a special relationship with him. Would you like to tell readers about this friendship and what it means to you as a person, as a journalist, and now as an author?

My friendship with Nor Mohamed goes back a long way. We were classmates in St Xavier's Institution in Penang. We have remained friends through thick and thin. And that's the challenge I mentioned earlier: maintaining the friendship and my responsibility to be fair and objective. But in the end, it was not that difficult because we had always respected each other's professionalism.

Did you know that after weeks of tough negotiations, he and his team finally succeeded in getting the Government to take over the Renong/UEM group? That night, he invited me for teh tarik but he never told me about the deal. Neither did I ask. It was during teh tarik that the Twin Towers in New York were attacked on September 11, 2011.

We collaborated very well in the book. There were many who played a role in helping Malaysia overcome the currency crisis and in the economic recovery and I have tried my best to acknowledge them in the book.

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The Star Online: Nation

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Fatwa Council to decide on "halal beer"

Posted: 25 Jun 2011 04:32 AM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: The National Fatwa Council is to decide on whether a beer branded as halal being sold in the country is permissible.

Principal assistant director of the dakwah division of the Islamic Development Department (Jakim), Mat Ali Sarbini, said the beer "is regarded as illicit until and unless the council rules otherwise."

He said samples of the beer were being analysed at a university laboratory.

There was no decision yet because the contents of the beer were still being investigated by the laboratory which had a long queue to attend to, Mat Ali told reporters.

The "halal beer" issue arose after a newspaper reported on May 28 that the bottled drink was increasingly popular among Muslims in Johor.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom was reported the following day as saying that Muslims must not consume the drink because it contained 0.5 per cent alcohol while the National Fatwa Council allowed only 0.01 per cent.

The "halal beer" is imported from a Middle East country and sold here for RM3 to RM5 a bottle. - Bernama.

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Ireland warns Israel against attacking second Gaza flotilla

Posted: 25 Jun 2011 03:18 AM PDT

LONDON: Ireland has warned Israel against any repeat of last year's massacre of nine human rights activists aboard the Gaza Freedom flotilla when the second convoy of 10 boats sets sail this weekend, reports Iran's IRNA news agency.

Ten Malaysians, including two media representatives, are joining the second humanitarian flotilla to Gaza.

"Israel must exercise all possible restraint and avoid any use of military force in attempting to uphold their naval blockade," said Irish Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore, who is deputy prime minister.

"In particular, I would expect that any interception of ships is conducted in a peaceful manner and does not endanger the safety of our citizens or other participants," he said after holding talks with Israeli Ambassador to Dublin Boaz Moda on Thursday.

He reiterated that Israel's four-year siege of Gaza was "unjust and counterproductive", warning against a repetition of last year's attack which he described as "completely unacceptable and unjustified".

The warning comes after Gilmore was urged by Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) to seek safe passage for the second flotilla, which includes Irish boat MV Saoirse.

Some 25 Irish participants, including Socialist Party's Paul Murphy, Sinn Fein councillor Gerry MacLochlain, Siptu trade union official Mags O'Brien and former Irish rugby international Trevor Hogan are among the passengers on the Saoirse.

They are being joined by ships from Greece, Spain, Italy, France, Canada, the United States, Germany/Switzerland, Sweden and the Netherlands carrying medical supplies and other essential equipment in the latest attempt to break the siege. - Bernama.

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Longest keropok lekor

Posted: 25 Jun 2011 03:06 AM PDT

KUALA TERENGGANU: Terengganu's favourite keropok lekor has made its way into the Malaysia Book of Records.

All 479m of the traditional snack was showcased at the Bank Rakyat Carnival held at the Dataran Shahbandar on Saturday.

The keropok was made in three days using 1,200kg of flour and several types of fish.

Malaysia Book of Records representative Leona Paul said: "It broke the previous record of 200m displayed during the Pesta Terengganu in 2006. So this 479m of keropok lekor truly deserves its place in the record books."

Over 20 people from the Industri Keropok Warisan Sdn Bhd led by managing director Mohd Zaman Muda and 20 students from Universiti Teknologi Mara students took part in preparing the keropok.

Mohd Zaman said it took them three days to mix the ingredients consisting of flour, selayang, tamban and lolong species of fish.

"The process to shape the keropok took two hours. Another three hours were needed to boil it," he said.

Proceeds from the sale of the keropok will go to charity.

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The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies

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The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies

John Carpenter returns to horror after 10 years

Posted: 24 Jun 2011 08:01 PM PDT

LOS ANGELES (AP): The creator of Michael Myers and "Halloween" is returning to horror after a 10-year hiatus.

John Carpenter is back to his beloved genre with "The Ward," opening July 8.

The film stars Amber Heard as woman who finds herself in a mysterious mental institution in the 1960s with no memory of her life before. Carpenter, 63, calls it "a character study."

"It was the first feature opportunity that I had since 2001," he says. "It was a limited vision, a limited location, and limited cast.

It was something I could do and thought it would be a lot of fun." He took a break from filmmaking after 2001's "Ghosts of Mars," saying he was "burned out."

"I was really tired from making movies," he says. "I thought, 'I got to stop for a while. I can't do this anymore.' And the public agreed with me, 'Stop."'

But he couldn't stay stopped. He was drawn back to telling stories on the big screen and to horror, which he calls "a universal emotion that we all feel."

"Every person in every country, every human being alive feels, has the same fears. We all are brothers and sisters together in fear," he says. "Horror crosses international boundaries in terms of an audience. Sometimes comedy doesn't travel. Sometimes other dramas don't travel, they don't translate. But horror, fear does."

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The Star Online: Metro: Central

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The Star Online: Metro: Central

Metro watch

Posted: 25 Jun 2011 06:18 AM PDT


There will be a water supply disruption from 10am on Monday to 4am on Tuesday at Kampung Kerdas and Kampung Tengah, Gombak, due to installation of interconnection pipes at Kampung Tengah. In the Petaling and Sepang district, pipe repair work and a valve replacement will affect the following areas from 9am Tuesday until 9am the following day: Lestari Perdana, Lestari Puchong, Taman Desaminium area, Kota Perdana, Bandar Putra Permai, Taman Pinggiran Putra, Bandar Bukit Jalil, Saujana Puchong, Bandar Puncak Jalil, Lestari Putra, Prima Tropika, Pasar Borong Selangor (Sri Kemabangan), Taman Datok Demang, Hospital Serdang, Kompleks Agrobio Serdang, Serdang Vetinerary Serdang, IOI Sepang, Ikram, Taman Suria Tropika, Mardi, Uniten, LLM, Dato' Abu Bakar Baginda, Taman D'Alpinia, Taman Prima Tropika, Taman Alam Putra, Ayer Hitam toll plaza (SKVE). For more information, call the Puspel hotline at 1-800-88-5252.

Acoustic performance

LOCAL singer-songwriter Reza Salleh, will perform his personal brand of alternative acoustic folk rock at the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas on Monday 8.30pm. Singing songs from his debut album Realize, the concert will also feature collaborations with guitarist Az Samad, and fellow singer-songwriters Liyana Fizi, Zalila Lee and the choir of the Philharmonic Society of Selangor. Tickets priced at RM48. For telephone bookings, call 03-2051 7007.

Charity carnival

The National Stroke Association of Malaysia (Nasam) will be having the Carnival at the Park fundraising food and fun fair tomorrow, 9am to 3pm, at the Taman Jaya in Section 10, PJ. There will be a variety of food, bargains and games. The carnival will go green by using eco-friendly dining ware and you are encouraged to bring your own food containers and reusable bags. For details, call Nancy or Alice at 03-7956 4840.

Laughter Therapy

A Laughter Therapy Session will be held tomorrow from 7.30am to 9.30am at Taman Tasik Titiwangsa, Kuala Lumpur by the Universal Peace Sanctuary Malaysia. Point of meeting is at the Sports Complex. The theme is Healthy Happy 1 Malaysia. Let's get together and laugh away. Bring your friends and family. Admission is Free. Call 03-5636 7986 or Supriya at 016- 328 6191 for registration.


The Bandar Country Homes Residents Association (BCHRA) and Lions Club of Rawang are organising a blood donation campaign tomorrow from 9am to 4pm at the BCHRA Building, Jalan Desa Ria (in front of Jalan Desa 12/9), Bandar Country Homes, Rawang. For details, call Peter Chong (016-238 7299) or Soong (012-396 6373).

Anniversary FEST

The Banting Mar Thoma Prish is having its 75th anniversary celebration in Morib tomorrow. For more information call George Thomas at 016-322 1414.


There will be a Crocs warehouse stock clearance from July 1- 3, 10am to 9pm at the Corus Hotel ballroom.


HOSPIS Malaysia will be having a charity bazaar on the July 3 at Tesco Cheras Extra from 10am to 4pm. Everyone is invited to have fun while helping to raise funds. Hospis Malaysia provides support and care for patients with life-limiting illnesses and their families. For more information, log on to or call 03-9133 3936.


THE BSN Sijil Simpanan Premium (SSP) Carnival will be on until tomorrow (Sunday, June 26) on the ground floor of e@Curve, Mutiara Damansara, Petaling Jaya. Activities include performances by Adibah Noor, Lah VE, Imran Ajmain, Kelvin Lau and many more. Stand a chance to win various exciting draws.

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Saturday Events

Posted: 25 Jun 2011 06:18 AM PDT

Shopping contest

BERJAYA Times Square is having the Win Brilliant Toys by Shopping contest with a spanking new Mazda2 up for grabs. From now until Aug 31, shoppers who produce their receipts at the ground floor information counter will receive a form for every RM50 spent in the mall. They will then have to count the total number of letters B, T and S found in the 'I Love BTS' structure at the main entrance, write the answer and submit the form at the Information Counter. Winners will be selected based on the correct number of letters, or the nearest sum on the entry form. For details, call the customer care hotline at 1-300-888-988

Mobile counters

The Ampang Jaya Municipal Council will be having mobile assessment payment counters today at Bukit Antarabangsa (in front of Restoran Wangsa) from 8.30am to 12.30pm and tomorrow at the Pandan Perdana morning market from 8.30am to 12.30pm.

Race pack collection

Participants of the Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2011 can collect their race packs from today, from 11am to 6pm at the Dewan Sri Putra, Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur.

Health exhibition

THE Wilayah Malaysian Medical Association is having the Health Education and Health Awareness exhibition today and tomorrow at the Mid Valley Exhibition Centre (Hall 1). Empower yourself on matters pertaining to health. Meet doctors and get answers to your queries on health. There will also be live demonstrations on CPR and basic first aid. For more information, visit

Solo exhibition

THE Valentine Willie Fine Art Kuala Lumpur is featuring a solo exhibition by Cinanti Astria Johansjah, a.k.a Keni, a Bandung-based artist whose works have been known for her idiosyncratic approach toward narratives and fantasy. Keni has mostly worked with watercolor but this exhibition titled Mamihlapinatapai marks her first-time exploration of three-dimensional objects using ready-made glass jars and sculpted resin.

Blood donation

The National Blood Bank will be having mobile donation units today at the following places: SM Tsun Jin, No 6 Jalan Loke Yew, Kuala Lumpur (8am to 4pm); Mid Valley Exhibition Centre Hall 1 (10am to 5pm); and Hot Nite Bazaar, Terminal Klang Sentral, Meru, Klang (9am to 3pm).

RC Powerboat race

The annual Petaling Jaya RC (Remote Control) Powerboat Championship will be taking place today (June 25) and tomorrow (June 26) from 10am to 5pm at the Tasik Bandaran Kelana Jaya. Watch enthusiasts from around the country race their boats against each other at the lake.

Shopping promotion

IN conjunction with the Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival, 1Utama is running the Shop For Exciting Rewards! campaign. With purchases made in the mall, shoppers will be rewarded with free goodies from now until September 1. Shoppers who spend RM200 and above in a single receipt can redeem a Tier 1 gift (limited to 250 units on weekdays and 500 on weekends and public holidays) and those who spend RM600 and above, a Tier 2 gift (limited to 300 units on weekdays and 550 on weekends and public holidays), on the same day of purchase.

Organic day

Hari Organik 2011, organised by the Center for Environment, Technology and Development Malaysia (CETDEM) and sponsored by Tesco, will feature talks, demonstrations and fun games on organic and sustainable lifestyle from 8:30am to 2pm today at Tesco, Kepong Village Mall – Bandar Manjalara, KL. Entry is free. Call 016 219 5826 for more details.

Dance performance

There will be a dance drama performance titled Nitya Sumangali: The Eternal Wife at the KLPac in Sentul Park today at 8.30pm and tomorrow at 3pm. Directed and choreographed by Lex Lakshman Balakrishnan, the drama is set in an old temple of Shiva,where dancing girls become women of pleasure and forced into the flesh trade. Tickets priced at RM25 and RM15 for students and the disabled. For details, call 03-4047 9000.

MPO showcase

In the final concerts in the Discovery series, the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) will perform its Heartfelt Pleas-themed programme at 8.30pm today and at 3pm tomorrow. All showcases will be conducted by Polish maestro Krzysztof Urbanski. The MPO will also collaborate with German-Canadian cellist Johannes Moser who will unlock the mystery of Schumann's enigmatic Cello Concerto in A minor (Op.129). Tickets priced between RM20 and RM95. For bookings, call 03-2051 7007.


Inheritance, an exhibition of new paintings by Australian figurative painter Stewart MacFarlane, will be on display until June 30 at the Wei-Ling Contemporary, G212 & 213A, Ground Floor, The Gardens Mall, Lingkaran Syed Putra, Mid Valley City, Kuala Lumpur. Using bold colours and dramatic lighting, his mysterious paintings are a surreal look at the convoluted intricacies of human relationships, set against a backdrop of familiar Australian cityscapes and landscapes. Viewing times: 11am to 9pm daily. Tel: 03-2260 1106 or 0 17-887 7216.

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