Ahad, 21 Ogos 2011

The Star Online: World Updates

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The Star Online: World Updates

NEWSMAKER - Flamboyant Gaddafi no stranger to bloodshed

Posted: 21 Aug 2011 09:10 PM PDT

LONDON (Reuters) - Muammar Gaddafi appealed on Sunday night for his people to "save Tripoli" from a rebel offensive, but his four-decade-old rule appeared doomed.

Men hold a cartoon of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in Benghazi August 22, 2011 to celebrate the entry of rebel fighters into Tripoli. (REUTERS/Esam Al-Fetori)

While leaders of neighbouring Arab states folded quickly in the face of popular uprisings, Gaddafi had put up a bloody fight, taking on NATO as well as local insurgents who quickly seized half the country.

With his bedouin tents and heavily-armed female bodyguards, along with a readiness to execute his opponents and turn his tanks on his opponents, Gaddafi cut an eccentric and bloody figure as Libya's leader for more than 40 years.

For most of that time he held a prominent position in the West's international rogues' gallery, while maintaining tight control at home by eliminating dissidents and refusing to anoint a successor.

Gaddafi effected a successful rapprochement with the West by renouncing his weapons of mass destruction programme in return for an end to sanctions but he could not avoid the tide of revolution sweeping through the Arab world.

The Libyan leader, his son and his spy chief are wanted for crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court in The Hague for planning the violent suppression of the uprising.

As his oil-producing North African desert nation descended into civil war, Gaddafi's military responded with the deadly force that he had never been afraid to use, despite the showman image that captivated many.

When the insurgency began in mid-February, protesters were gunned down in their hundreds in Benghazi and other cities.


International pressure grew and Gaddafi found himself facing NATO bombing raids that knocked out his tanks and guns and also targeted his own headquarters in Tripoli. One raid killed his youngest son and three grandchildren.

It was not the first time that the West had killed a Gaddafi family member.

U.S. President Ronald Reagan called Gaddafi a "mad dog" and sent warplanes to bomb his Bab al-Aziziyah compound in 1986. One of the 60 people killed was Gaddafi's adopted daughter.

Gaddafi used the Tripoli building bombed in the raid, left unrepaired for 25 years, to deliver one of his first defiant speeches of the war, standing beside a memorial in the shape of a giant metal fist crushing an American warplane.

In televised addresses in response to the rebellion in the east, Gaddafi blamed the unrest on rats and mercenaries and said they were brainwashed by Osama bin Laden and under the influence of hallucinogenic drugs used to spike their coffee.

There was repeated speculation that Gaddafi has either been killed or wounded in NATO air raids, but he made carefully choreographed television appearances in response to the rumours.

In May, Gaddafi taunted NATO, saying its bombers could not find him.

"I am telling the coward crusaders that I am at a place you cannot reach and kill me," he said in an audio recording broadcast on al-Jamahiriya television. His later speeches were also delivered as audio recordings, presumably to conceal his whereabouts.

Earlier, rumours that he had fled to Venezuela proved wide of the mark, and he has maintained that he has no intention of going anywhere.


"I am not going to leave this land, I will die here as a martyr ... I shall remain here defiant," he said. Gaddafi insists that rebels are foreign forces and agents of al Qaeda.

One of the world's longest serving national leaders, Gaddafi has no official government function and is known as the "Brother Leader and Guide of the Revolution".

His love of grand gestures has been on display on foreign visits when he slept in a bedouin tent guarded by dozens of female bodyguards.

In Italy last year, Gaddafi's invitation to hundreds of young women to convert to Islam overshadowed the visit, which was intended to cement growing ties between Tripoli and Rome.

U.S. diplomatic cables released by the WikiLeaks website shed further light on the Libyan leader's tastes.

One cable posted by The New York Times describes Gaddafi's insistence on staying on the ground floor when he visited New York for a 2009 meeting at the United Nations and his reported refusal or inability to climb more than 35 steps.

Gaddafi was also said to rely heavily on his staff of four Ukrainian nurses, including one woman described as a "voluptuous blonde". The cable speculated about a romantic relationship, but the nurse, Galyna Kolonytska, 38, fled Libya after the fighting started.

In tandem with his eccentricity, Gaddafi had a charisma which won him support among many ordinary Libyans. His readiness to take on Western powers and Israel, both with rhetoric and action, earned him a certain cachet with some in other Arab states who felt their own leaders were too supine.

Gaddafi was born in 1942, the son of a bedouin herdsman, in a tent near Sirte on the Mediterranean coast. He abandoned a geography course at university for a military career that included a short spell at a British army signals school.

Colonel Gaddafi took power in a bloodless military coup in 1969 when he toppled King Idriss, and in the 1970s he formulated his "Third Universal Theory", a middle road between communism and capitalism, as laid out in his "Green Book".


Gaddafi oversaw the rapid development of Libya, previously known for little more than oil wells and deserts where huge tank battles took place in World War Two. The economy is now paying the price of war and sanctions.

One of his first tasks on taking power was to build up the armed forces, but he also spent billions of dollars of oil income on improving living standards, making him popular with the low-paid.

Gaddafi poured money into giant projects such as a steel plant in the town of Misrata -- the scene of bitter fighting -- and the Great Man-Made River, a scheme to pipe water from desert wells to coastal communities.

Before the war broke out, he had already made extensive use of harsh tactics against dissidents, including Islamists, and used "purification committees" of army and police officers, joined by loyal students, to keep control.

Gaddafi embraced the pan-Arabism of the late Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser and tried without success to merge Libya, Egypt and Syria into a federation. A similar attempt to join Libya and Tunisia ended in acrimony.

In 1977 he changed the country's name to the Great Socialist Popular Libyan Arab Jamahiriyah (State of the Masses) and allowed people to air their views at people's congresses.

However, for much of his rule he has been shunned by the West, which accused him of links to terrorism and revolutionary movements.

He was particularly reviled after the 1988 Pan Am airliner bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, by Libyan agents in which 270 people were killed.

U.N. sanctions imposed in 1992 to pressure Tripoli to hand over two Libyan suspects, crippled the economy, dampened Gaddafi's revolutionary spirit and took the sting out of his anti-capitalist, anti-Western rhetoric.

Gaddafi abandoned his programme of prohibited weapons in 2003 to return Libya into international mainstream politics.

In September 2004, U.S. President George W. Bush formally ended a U.S. trade embargo as a result of Gaddafi's scrapping of the arms programme and taking responsibility for Lockerbie.

However, the return to Libya last year of the convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, released from a Scottish jail on health grounds, angered Washington.

(Additional reporting by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit; Editing by Peter Millership)

Copyright © 2008 Reuters

Gaddafi's son says kept under house arrest - TV

Posted: 21 Aug 2011 09:10 PM PDT

BEIRUT (Reuters) - The eldest son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, Mohammed, told al-Jazeera television on Monday that he had been detained by rebels and was being kept under house arrest in Tripoli.

"Gunmen surrounded my house and I am still at home and they are outside," he said by telephone from Tripoli.

"They said they will guarantee my safety. They are besieging my house," he added. The sound of gunfire could be heard in the background. "Yes, the gunfire is inside my house," he said before the line was suddenly cut off.

He later clarified he and his family were well and unhurt.

(Reporting by Samia Nakhoul; Editing by Maria Golovnina)

Copyright © 2011 Reuters

Pyongyang orders South Koreans to quit joint resort

Posted: 21 Aug 2011 09:10 PM PDT

SEOUL (Reuters) - Reclusive North Korea on Monday gave South Koreans working at a jointly run tourism resort 72 hours to leave, saying time had run out to resolve a long-running dispute over what was once a symbol of cooperation between the rival Koreas.

The scenic Mount Kumgang resort has been closed since a North Korean soldier shot and killed a South Korean tourist there in 2008, drying up a lucrative source of hard currency for the impoverished North.

Pyongyang has suffered big losses due to the South's "unilateral suspension" of operations at the resort, a spokesman for the North's Guidance Bureau of Special Zone for International Tour of Mt. Kumgang.

The North "has so far provided several opportunities for negotiations and made every sincere effort, advancing a variety of choices so that the properties may be dealt with according to the will of enterprises of the South side," he said.

"This is not good," said Chung-in Moon of Yonsei University in Seoul. "North Korea has been sending a very clear message, but our government has been delaying the decision.

"I don't know why they have handled this situation like this."

The resort -- comprising hotels, restaurants and a golf course -- was opened in 1998 during a decade-long period of rapprochement between the two Koreas, known in the South as the "Sunshine policy" years.

That period ended with the election in South Korea of conservative President Lee Myung-bak in 2008, who declared there would be no aid for the destitute neighbour until the North abandoned its nuclear arms programme.

Inter-Korean ties have declined sharply in the past three years, hitting a low last year when 50 South Koreans were killed in two attacks and the North unveiled a uranium enrichment programme, giving it a second path to make a nuclear bomb.

However, tensions have eased on the peninsula this year and a flurry of diplomacy has raised hopes for a resumption of regional talks on disabling the North's nuclear programme.


After months of threats and counter-threats from both sides, Pyongyang said it would now "legally dispose" of South Korean assets from Mt Kumgang after Seoul failed to meet Friday's final deadline to agree on asset disposal.

South Korean assets at the resort, just north of the border, are estimated to be worth about $285 million.

North Korea said the South Koreans working there had 72 hours to leave. South Korea's Unification Ministry website said 14 of its nationals were stationed at the complex as of Monday.

"We cannot accept this ultimatum and hold North Korea responsible for all of the consequences that may follow," ministry Chun Hae-sung told reporters in Seoul.

The resort was built by an affiliate of the South's Hyundai Group at a cost of tens of millions of dollars. It was opened in 1998 and has been visited by more than a million South Koreans.

Hyundai Asan called an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss the North's latest announcement, local media reported.

North Korea's estimated $17 billion a year economy has been dealt a heavy blow by international sanctions over the past three years, imposed over its reluctance to rein in its nuclear programme, and by a botched currency reform at the end of 2009.

Since the 2008 shooting, Seoul has demanded an investigation by the North, an apology and safety guarantees. Pyongyang has expressed its regret and says that it has done enough.

The North said in June it had revised a law overseeing the resort, effectively ending Hyundai Asan's contract to run all cross-border tours.

Pyongyang has said it wants to redevelop the complex into an international tourist destination, complete with casino, with an eye towards luring big-spending Chinese tourists.

(Reporting by Jeremy Laurence; Editing by Alex Richardson)

Copyright © 2011 Reuters

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

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The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

'The Glee Project' ends with a twist

Posted: 21 Aug 2011 08:11 PM PDT

NEW YORK: If the creators of "Glee" are looking for new faces to bring into the fold then they've found it with "The Glee Project."

Nineteen-year-old Samuel Larsen from Los Angeles and 18-year-old Damian McGinty of Derry City, Ireland, both won the inaugural season of the talent competition show where they each get a seven-episode arc on "Glee."

Larsen, a rocker with dreadlocks, was described as having a "cool, indy, rock spirit" that has been missing from the hit Fox show.

The judges believed McGinty, however, was the most likable and most improved.

The show put 12 contestants through a "Glee" bootcamp where they were critiqued on their singing, dancing and acting throughout the 10-week series.

The other finalists, Lindsay Pearce, 20, and Alex Newell, 18, didn't go home losers. The show's co-creator Ryan Murphy was so impressed he decided to write them into two episodes of the show.

"Glee" returns for its new season in September.

Kardashian, Humphries wed in TV-friendly ceremony

Posted: 20 Aug 2011 08:29 PM PDT

SANTA BARBARA, California (AP) - Kris Humphries has officially caught up with Kim Kardashian. The basketball pro and the reality star are husband and wife.

Kardashian, 30, and Humphries, 26, tied the knot Saturday night in the exclusive Montecito area near Santa Barbara, California, Kardashian publicist Jill Fritzo told People magazine and E!

The ceremony will be televised as a two-part special on E! in October. It is the first marriage for Humphries, who last played for the NBA's New Jersey Nets, and the second for Kardashian, star of E!'s "Keeping Up with the Kardashians." She was married to music producer Damon Thomas from 2000 to 2004.

People and E! reported Kardashian wore an ivory gown designed by Vera Wang. Her stepfather, Bruce Jenner, walked her down the aisle in front of 440 guests, including Demi Lovato, Mario Lopez, Eva Longoria, Sugar Ray Leonard, Alan Thicke and Lindsay Lohan.

Kardashian's gown had a tulle skirt, basque waist and Chantilly lace, and was matched with a pair of Giuseppe Zanotti shoes, the media outlets reported. The bride planned to wear two other Wang dresses before the night and the party were over.

Her sisters and TV co-stars Kourtney Kardashian, 32, and Khloe Kardashian, 27, served as co-maids of honor.

The groom wore a white peak lapel tuxedo jacket, black tuxedo pants and, a white shirt and a white bow tie, all designed by Ermenegildo Zegna.

Kardashian and Humphries began dating late last year and announced their engagement in May. He proposed on bended knee with a 20.5-carat ring by spelling out "Will you marry me?" in rose petals.

Since the couple's engagement, the pending nuptials have provided constant fodder for the media and the Kardashians, who posted updates about the wedding on their blogs and websites.

The waves of hype that preceded the ceremony didn't seem to faze the bride.

Earlier this week, Kardashian said she was "totally calm" about the ceremony.

"I think that freak-out moment kind of already passed," she said at a party Wednesday to launch her new clothing line at Sears.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Business

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The Star Online: Business

Global oil prices should fall with Gaddafi's overthrow

Posted: 21 Aug 2011 05:55 PM PDT

NEW YORK: Oil prices around the world should start falling if Libyan rebels succeed in toppling Muammar Gadhafi's regime, though the full effect won't be felt for months.

On Sunday night, rebel forces pushed into Tripoli without meeting much resistance, hours after they overran a major military base that defended the capital. Opposition fighters captured Gadhafi's son and one-time heir apparent, Seif al-Islam.

Independent analyst Andrew Lipow said oil markets will likely respond Monday by sending prices lower in "a sign of relief that conflict has come to the end." But Lipow said it will take time for the market to erase the hefty price increase that resulted from the suspension of Libyan oil exports since the rebellion began in February.

When fighting broke out, oil was trading at around $84 a barrel. It quickly spiked above $93 and kept rising to a high above $110 at the end of April. Demand from emerging markets including China was also a factor in the rise. Oil has fallen recently along with stocks because of concerns about the global economy.

Libya used to export about 1.5 million barrels of oil per day, almost all of which have been cut off. Although Libyan oil amounted to less than 2 percent of world demand, its loss affected prices because of its high quality and suitability for European refineries.

The European refineries have struggled to make up for the production loss despite an increase from Saudi Arabia. As a result, European markets should see the first and most significant drops in oil prices, Lipow said.

He added that any developments in the ongoing European financial crisis could also move stock markets around the world this week and oil prices along with them.

Independent analyst Jim Ritterbusch said that even if rebels manage to push Gadhafi out soon, the near-term effects on oil prices will be limited.

"Psychologically anyway, it's going to force some additional selling," Ritterbusch said. "But selling may not be pronounced because there's still a lot of question marks remaining" on how long it would take for production to resume.

Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research, said that once Gadhafi is pushed out, Libya's new government could take the path of the Iraqis after the fall of Saddam Hussein and spend years fighting over every detail. Or it could follow Kuwait's example and quickly decide to bring in an outside company to get production restarted right away

He added that there's always a chance that the process could come to a halt if one of the rebel generals tries to seize power, or if different factions get caught up debating the country's new constitution and put off making decisions about oil production.

"They do have a good cadre of educated people, but they don't have a long record of competent self-government," Lynch said. "It would not be a bad bet to think there might be a chaotic period for a few months till they get organized." - AP

Latest news, pictures and videos on the Libyan situation from the AP-Wire

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Call for EU finance minister to lead the eurozone out of its debt crisis

Posted: 21 Aug 2011 05:34 PM PDT

FRANKFURT: A European finance minister with sway over member states' taxes and budgets is needed to lead the eurozone out of its debt crisis, said the chief executive of Germany's second-largest lender, Commerzbank.

"We need a real European finance minister, who is endowed with the appropriate powers," CEO Martin Blessing said in an op-ed to be published in Sunday paper Welt am Sonntag, which was in parts made available to the media yesterday.

"With the introduction of a fiscal union, Brussels should have the right to take budgetary powers from countries that do not stick to the rules. It should have the right to levy its own taxes and to set up a common debt agency to issue bonds," said Blessing, whose bank is 25% owned by the German government.

The CEO said the bundle of measures proposed by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel this week was not enough.

The idea of a common economic government leads in the right direction, he was quoted as saying, but "the implementation under consideration heads of state convening twice a year under Herman Van Rompuy's leadership will not be enough to create trust in a sustainably improved political framework."

France and Germany unveiled far-reaching plans for closer eurozone integration on Tuesday but they disappointed investors by declaring any thoughts of common euro bond issuance would have to wait.

Their message was that the focus should be on further economic integration rather than signing bailout cheques, and suggested that straying from eurozone rules and fiscal targets would no longer be tolerated.

Blessing said a return to national currencies would be the only alternative to creating a fiscal union, but that giving up the Euro would lead to economic and political breakdown in Europe.

"Should we come to the conclusion that despite all the efforts we cannot find a legal and political framework for our common currency, we should not shy away from abandoning the euro." - Reuters

Latest business news from AP-Wire

Volatility in the US stock market is far from over

Posted: 21 Aug 2011 05:28 PM PDT

NEW YORK: The historic swings in the US stock market over the past two weeks have investors struggling to figure out where equities may be headed next. Only one thing seems clear: The volatility is far from over.

A lack of progress on some of the economy's biggest issues from sovereign debt in Europe to growing signs the US economy is in danger of slipping back into recession will drive more uncertainty and moves from one extreme to another.

However, with the S&P 500 down 17.6% from its 2011 high, many investors say a bottom could be near and bargain hunters could trigger at least a momentary bout of buying.

"We're not even close to the end of volatility but given a decline of almost 17% in 13 days, we could see a rise from these levels," said Mike Gibbs, chief market strategist at Morgan Keegan in Memphis, Tennessee.

"If there's something major with the European situation, that could be a catalyst for value investors to come back in."

The situation in Europe has been dictating much of the market's recent movement. Last Tuesday, shares fell after a meeting between the heads of France and Germany failed to squelch fears about eurozone leaders' ability to contain the region's debt issues, which could impact global growth and the profit outlooks of US banks.

Market participants will also be looking ahead to comments from Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke at the central bank's annual meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, on Friday.

The Fed recently pledged to keep interest rates "exceptionally low ... at least through mid-2013," news that sparked a short-lived rally, suggesting that there may be little new information coming out of the Jackson Hole meeting that could move markets.

"There's nothing Bernanke can do that's likely that will help stocks," said Matt McCormick, a money manager at Cincinnati-based Bahl & Gaynor Inc, which has US$3.2bil in assets under management.

"If you see potential bank problems out of Europe before then, he might have some ammo for another round of quantitative easing but absent that, investors hoping for an August surprise will likely be disappointed."

The S&P 500 fell 4.7% last week, extending losses of 12.4% over the previous three weeks, its worst streak of that length in 2 years.

In a note, Birinyi Associates wrote that while the market remained difficult in the short term, there were indications that stocks were attractively valued.

Noting that the S&P 500 was 10% below its 50-day moving average, Birinyi said, "This is the most oversold the market has been" since March 2009.

Birinyi pointed out that the 2.25% dividend yield on the S&P 500 was higher than the 10-year US Treasury note's yield, making this "only the second period since the 1950s where stocks have yielded more than bonds."

Issues in Europe may take on outsized influence next week as the US earnings season draws to a close, with Tiffany & Co and Applied Materials among the few S&P 500 companies on tap to report.

Earnings, while often overshadowed by macroeconomic themes, have largely come in stronger than expected, giving investors at least one reason for optimism.

This week, investors will have plenty of US economic indicators to watch, including the release of data on new home sales data, durable goods orders, consumer sentiment and gross domestic product. Should the data follow the recent trend of weak reports, which have contributed to the growing sense that growth will be muted, it could cause further selling.

"There's still something of a sense that this is just a weak patch in the economy but prolonged weak data would point more definitely to a double dip," said Marc Scudillo, managing officer at EisnerAmper in New York. "There's a good floor to the S&P 500 at 1,100 right now. If we go under that, there's room to move even further to the downside."

While US growth concerns remain a primary focus for investors, the issues in Europe are seen as the primary driver of the US stock market in the near term.

Last Tuesday, markets fell as the leaders of France and Germany failed to discuss boosting the size of the eurozone's rescue fund or the sale of euro bonds, though they detailed closer eurozone integration. Many investors believe more aggressive policies are needed to restore stability to the area. - Reuters

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The Star Online: Sports

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The Star Online: Sports

BAM need to prove they are still relevant, says minister

Posted: 21 Aug 2011 06:01 PM PDT

KEMAMAN: The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) have to prove that they are still a relevant body to ensure continuing excellence in national badminton, said Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek.

He said if more players decided to follow the footsteps of Zakry Abdul Latif and Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari (pic), who left the national elite squad, it could be construed that the association was no longer relevant.

Expressing his shock over the departure of the duo, Ahmad Shabery said the development would tarnish BAM's integrity as it was not able to retain players under its ambit.

"BAM had been given the mandate to develop players, and if more players decided to leave, we are worried old wounds will bleed again as in the departures of Muhammad Hafiz Hashim and Misbun (Datuk Misbun Sidek), much to the detriment of all quarters," he said before presenting aid to the needy from the Ayer Puteh state constituency here yesterday.

BAM president Datuk Seri Mohd Nadzmi Mohd Salleh told a news conference on Saturday that BAM had accepted the resignation of Zakry and Fairuzizuan after 15 years of service without any conditions.

Ahmad Shabery said the National Sports Council (NSC) would get to the bottom of the matter as the ministry was concern on the backlash if more players decided to leave BAM or whether the incident was merely an isolated case.

Zakry, 29, and Fairuzizuan, 28, sent their resignation letters to BAM on Aug 17 stating their intention to become independent players.

They were former second-ranked pair before coach Rexy Mainaky decided to split them and pair them up with Hoon Thien How and Ong Soon Hock respectively. – Bernama

MHF confident of a good show in Asian Champs Trophy

Posted: 21 Aug 2011 06:00 PM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) have set a top-four target for the national team in the inaugural six-nation Asian Champions Trophy in Ordos, China from Sept 3-11.

Besides Malaysia and hosts China the other teams in the fray are Pakistan, India, South Korea and Japan.

Malaysia, who are ranked 15th in the world, played well to finish a creditable second to Pakistan in the Guangzhou Asian Games last November.

MHF president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah said that the national team should finish among the top four in Asia.

Korea are the highest ranked team in the world at sixth followed by Pakistan (eighth), India (ninth), China (14th) and Japan (16th).

There are 25 players in the training squad and national coach Tai Beng Hai is expected to name the final squad of 18 players on Aug 26.

The players will take a few days break to celebrate Hari Raya before the national team leave for China on Sept 1.

Malaysia, who are the fifth ranked team in Asia, will open their campaign against Pakistan who are coached by Dutch coach Michel Van Den Heuval on Sept 3.

The final and third-fourth and fifth-sixth matches will be played on Sept 11.

After the tournament the national players will be release to play in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL), which begins on Sept 17.

And after the final of the MHL on Oct 23, the 25 national trainees will prepare for the Champions Challenge 1 in Johannesburg, South Africa from Nov 26 to Dec 3.

Eight teams divided into two groups will feature in the tournament. Malaysia are drawn in Group B with Argentina, Canada and Japan.

South Africa, Belgium, New Zealand and Japan.

Tengku Abdullah added that they have set a top-five finish for the Malaysian team.

"It's important tournament for the national team in preparation for the Olympic qualifiers next year. It's also important for the national team to finish fifth to improve their world rankings," said Tengku Abdullah.

Meanwhile, Tengku Abdullah said that International Hockey Federation (FIH) want MHF and the MWHA (Malaysian Women's Hockey Association) to merge before the end of this year.

"They (FIH) have given us deadline before end of the year to merge and the new association will be known as the MHC (Malaysian Hockey Confederation)," said Tengku Abdullah.

Zulfahmi will skip Hari Raya celebrations for the third time

Posted: 21 Aug 2011 06:00 PM PDT

PETALING JAYA: Malaysian MotoGP 125cc rider Mohd Zulfahmi Khairuddin will be giving the Hari Raya celebration a miss for the third time as he prepares for the Indianapolis Grand Prix this weekend and the San Marino GP the following week.

The 20-year-old rider from Banting, has not been able to celebrate Hari Raya with his family since 2009.

But despite the setback, Zulfahmi is all focused on achieving his target of finishing in 15th spot overall with seven more races to go until the end of the season.

"I hope I can maintain or even improve my performance for the upcoming races. During the fasting month, I have not been idle, but I have been busy maintaining my fitness at the gym," said the AirAsia-SIC-Ajo rider.

Reminiscing his first Hari Raya far away from friends and family, Zulfahmi said he would go out riding his mountain bike to kill time.

"I will really miss my family. Hari Raya is a joyous celebration in my kampong and the most meaningful as all my family and relatives will converge at my house since my grandmother is staying with my parents.

"I really miss spending time with them but what I really miss most is the food, especially the ketupat and the rendang," said Zulfahmi.

After 10 starts for the season, Zulfahmi currently sits 16th in the standings on 20 points, a major improvement to his meagre four points collected in his first season last year. His best finish this season was in the Czech GP where he finished in ninth spot.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Lifestyle: Bookshelf

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The Star Online: Lifestyle: Bookshelf

You’ve been booked

Posted: 21 Aug 2011 04:40 AM PDT

The "Books That Rocked My World" Survey

MOST avid readers will attest to the fact that the books they read can often exert a profound influence over their lives. University of Illinois-Chicago's Prof Dr Alfred Tatum, however, goes one step further and says that you are, in fact, what you read. He calls this a "bookprint" – the mark a book leaves on our lives that shapes who we are and who we become. This forms a "textual lineage", or a reading auto and writing biography that shows that who you are is in part developed through the stories and information you've experienced.

Based on this concept, publisher Scholastic has developed an online community called You Are What You Read at youarewhatyouread.scholastic.com. The site allows readers to share the books that have most influenced their lives, and you can also see the bookprints of famous names from around the world, including from the fields of sports, entertainment, (Daniel Radcliffe's is currently featured!), arts, business and publishing personalities.

Spurred on by this, we bookworms at Star2 are eager to know what Malaysian readers' bookprints would be. Share with us those books that inspired you, changed you or simply shaped the person you are today.

To participate, go to thestar.com.my/lifestyle/lifebookshelf/ and look for the "Books That Rocked My World" survey and answer the questions. You can also snail mail or fax us (see The Star newspaper). The survey closes on Aug 28, 2011.

Read to them

Posted: 21 Aug 2011 01:13 AM PDT

Today's busy, multitasking parents have an easy-to-use stress buster right there at home: children and books. Bring them together and watch the day's problems fade away.

PARENTS these days are likely to guffaw uncontrollably – and slightly hysterically since the question would terrorize most – when asked whether or not they read aloud to their small children. I know: amidst the hustle and bustle of life and what with the cutthroat competition at work, they simply do not have the luxury of time and patience.

I believe that modern parents, while reading to acquire the information they need to survive, tend to skim with a light hand over web pages, leaving no trace of their passing in books. And this has become even more prevalent with the advent of e-books; some young, tech-savvy parents increasingly regard books as a medium soon to die and book reading a pastime of past generations. Some go as far as replacing books with gadgets and tablets, believing that their children are better off being well versed in the World Wide Web rather than being passionate about old fashioned books.

Dear reader, you might have guessed already that I am not one of those parents. As a book lover of many decades – since I was a child myself, actually – I love reaping the benefits of the days when I read to my two children. These immense benefits will also shape their characters, and that of any young child, and are likely to affect them positively throughout their lives.

I think that reading to infants is one of the very best things that parents can do for them. I do know that babies like being read to.They will giggle in delight at the calming or funny voices of their parents even though they may not understand the words. Soon, they will associate reading with attention, love, laughter, and pretty pictures.

My son's first book, just before turning one, was Rod Campbell's Dear Zoo, a pretty little board book that is fun to listen to if it is read in a drawling voice. My playful tone must have resonated in his mind all these years, for when he first read to his little sister, he mimicked that cheekiness, causing her to drool and laugh.

As babies get older, parents can introduce them to pictures. Even at a young age and long before they know the alphabet, they can begin to learn a lot about reading. They will discover that books are read from front to back and that pages are read from top to bottom and left to right. As we continue to read to them and introduce them to stories, they will realise that the print on the pages are words and that pictures represent real objects.

And reading to young children is an excellent preparation for formal lessons in school. My daughter, having been read to since she was an infant, has progressed from letter recognition to word identification very fast. "I love cats," she recently wrote. How cool is that for a four-year-old?

Much of children's intelligence is developed before they even get to school. When you read to them, you are building the pathways in their brains needed for future successful reading experiences. And they will gain the auditory perceptiveness that allows them to think about how words sound.

Furthermore, reading stimulates children's language development, as they are like little sponges mimicking everything they hear when they are young. Thanks to Lemony Snicket and his bestselling series – A Series Of Unfortunate Events – my eight-year-old son now aspires to be an author who tells a story rather than just write stories for people to read. It is no wonder this series is loved by so many children aged between eight and 12 – it is written as if Snicket is sitting right there with the child, telling his stories directly to them!

Listening to stories will enhance children's vocabularies and help them use longer sentences. And it increases their attention spans and ability to focus on what is being said. In addition, reading makes children more curious – a trait that must be fostered in young children or they will never acquire it, I've discovered. And, of course, their knowledge of the world will expand.

More than anything else, reading to young children gives them a desire to read on their own. Most children who have been read to since they were young will begin reading on their own without being told to. As they come to love books, children will come to know the secret passages through which they can obtain pleasures that cannot possibly be understood by computer games or television junkies.

Reading books, playing games, each a pastime but one brings forth the imaginative power to invent the other. And for parents, while there are many means to alleviate one's stress, reading aloud to children is surely one of the most effective. Yet, the practice is often overlooked and even seen as a "waste of time".

Read to your children not as a parent but as their friend so you, too, can find that secret passage to those pleasures that you once had as a child. If you have not had the pleasure of being read to in your childhood, that secret passage may possibly take you back to experience it.

Abby Wong urges all parents to go to the bookstore or library today with their children and pick out a book for them – and, better still, start reading together.


Posted: 21 Aug 2011 01:10 AM PDT

FOR the week ending Aug 14, 2011:


1. A Doctor In The House: The Memoirs Of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad

2. The Power Of X: Enter The 10 Gods by Joey Yap

3. Lee Kuan Yew: Hard Truths To Keep Singapore Going by Han Fook Kwang, et al

4. Heaven Is For Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story Of His Trip To Heaven And Back by Todd Burpo & Lynn Vincent

5. Einstein: The Life And Times by Ronald W. Clark

6. Three Cups Of Deceit by John Krakauer

7. Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff

8. At Home: A Short History Of Private Life by Bill Bryson

9. Once A Jolly Hangman: Singapore Justice In The Dock (revised and updated edition) by Alan Shadrake

10. We Are A Muslim, Please: One Girl, Two Lives by Zaiba Malik


1. Fall Of Giants by Ken Follett

2. A Dance With Dragons (A Song Of Ice And Fire series) by George R. R. Martin

3. Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King

4. One Day (movie tie-in) by David Nicholls

5. Love Always by Harriet Evans

6. The Confession by John Grisham

7. A Game Of Thrones (A Song Of Ice And Fire series) by George R.R. Martin

8. Priceless by Nicole Richie

9. The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obreht

10. Satori by Don Winslow

Weekly list compiled by MPH Mid Valley Megamall, Kuala Lumpur; mphonline.com.

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Blue thunder

Posted: 21 Aug 2011 01:33 AM PDT

How The Smurfs took control of the box office.

HOW could so many people be wrong about Sony's The Smurfs? The retro kids movie emerged this weekend as the surprise box-office hit of the summer after being dismissed by box-office trackers and critics alike.

Coming from nowhere, the film's little blue men overshadowed Steven Spielberg's widely-hyped little green men and took in US$36.2mil.

The winning combination came from basic elements that escaped the mainstream water cooler: a clever, targeted marketing campaign, parental nostalgia and a live star-plus-CG character formula that has worked for several other kids movies.

"We were always bullish about this film,'' studio distribution chief Rory Bruer said. "Every test screening we had was terrific.''

Perhaps it was only those working on the Sony lot who knew what they had – a clever mix of timeless characters who have already proven irresistible to kids, and Neil Patrick Harris to tie it all together.

Parents, it turned out, were looking for a way to entertain their young kids on a weekend. Indeed, about 65% of the Smurfs audience included parents taking their kids.

Film critic Alonso Duralde, who like most of his peers panned the film, counted Gen Y nostalgia as a factor in the movie's success.

"If you were six in 1982,'' Duralde noted, "you're 35 now, and you've either got a lingering affection for the Smurfs or you're one of the frazzled parents.''

It's not the first time a studio flew under the radar with a kids movie full of cuddly CG characters, with a live-action TV comedy star to tie it all together, only to watch the term "box office shocker!'' erupt.

In late 2007, Fox dug out of the vault some decades-old singing-chipmunk characters out of the vault, hired Jason Lee (star of My Name Is Earl at the time), and spent about US$60mil to create the CG/live-action hybrid Alvin And The Chipmunks. The movie grossed over US$360mil for the trouble and was able to spawn a successful franchise.

Earlier this year, Disney took about as much industry ridicule as Sony did for Smurfs when it released a CG-based Shakespeare adaptation featuring funny cartoon lawn gnomes.

But Gnomeo And Juliet, which cost Disney only US$36mil to make, grossed almost US$190mil worldwide.

Further back, Universal's talking-pig movie Babe was the surprise hit of 1995, grossing more than US$254 mil worldwide.

Indeed, talking cuddly CG characters mixed with live action works consistently – so long as budgets are kept in line and the execution is good.

At US$110mil, the Smurfs production budget was hardly cheap, but still only about half of what the typical CG-3D tentpole runs.

Acquiring the project out of turnaround from Paramount, Smurfs was an inhouse collaboration, with Sony divisions including Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation chipping in on development.

They all went to work on a film that pretty much followed the Chipmunks winning formula: live-action Neil Patrick Harris stumbles on adorable characters who are pursued by shrewish evil; young adult character learns to care for others and helps save the oh-so-cute CG sentients from harm in the process.

Sony added enough funny lines to keep the parents engaged – "Did it ever occur to you that that song is annoying?'' Harris asks at one point, when the Smurfs break into their signature "la-la-la.'' – Reuters

Window to the world

Posted: 21 Aug 2011 01:29 AM PDT

Jordanian award-winning Captain Abu Raed is a story of dreams, friendship and forgiveness.

IN Hollywood's commercially driven movie market, Jordanian director/script writer Amin Matalqa's Captain Abu Raed seems like a typical film that could easily slip under the radar due to its poetic storyline.

But who would assume that Amin's directorial debut would serve as Jordan's first film shown in international theatres as well as the first ever film submitted to the 81st Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film in 2008? And judging from the number of awards it won at the Sundance Film Festival, Heartland Film Festival, Dubai International Film Festival and Kuala Lumpur International Film Festival clearly proves this film deserves more recognition.

Set in contemporary Jordan, the movie is about Abu Raed (Nadim Sawalha), a lonely janitor at Amman's International Airport. Having never realised his dream of seeing the world, he experiences it vicariously through books and brief encounters with travellers.

Finding a discarded pilot's hat in the trash while at work one day, he is followed by a neighbourhood boy who spots him wearing it as he walks home. The next morning, he wakes up to find a group of neighbourhood children at his door, believing him to be an airline pilot. And thus the friendships begin. Happy for the company and attention, Abu Raed "takes" the children to colourful places around the world through his fictional stories and inspires them to believe in their own ambitions.

Angry outsider Murad (Hussein Al-Sous) attacks Abu Raed and the sense of hope that he instills in the children. In his quest to prove that Abu Raed is a liar and a fake, Murad begins to discover new possibilities in his life. Meanwhile, Abu Raed's friendship with female pilot Nour (Rana Sultan), begins to grow as she deals with her own set of pressures from life in modern Amman.

Amin describes his movie as a universal story of friendship, inspiration and heroism.

"The film revolves around dreams, friendship, forgiveness, and sacrifice. I have always been interested in the difference between social classes, and coming from a family of pilots (Amin's father and brother are commercial pilots), what better place than an airport to set a story where the poor and the rich meet?" said Amin in the production notes provided by GSC Movies.

Producer Laith Al-Majali said: "Amin and I started thinking of jobs that fit the description of a lowly person and the idea of a janitor was a logical progression. The idea of a well-read, self-taught airport janitor followed and Abu Raed came alive."

After the first draft, Amin decided to inject a universal conflict using characters and their intersecting lives.

"After some research, I found a topic that gave me the opportunity to bring in some realistic psychological textures and with each rewrite the blend of humour, pathos, drama and suspense became more organic," said Amin, who had given up a career in telecommunications in Ohio and moved to Los Angeles to fulfil his dream of becoming a filmmaker.

Once their script had been sealed, the filmmakers faced some hurdles selecting cast members for lead roles. Their first choice to play Abu Raed was London-based Jordanian actor Nadim Sawalha whose credits include two Bond films, The Spy Who Loved Me and The Living Daylights, and Syriana alongside George Clooney.

But, the established actor was sceptical when approached to work with the greenhorn director.

"I was thrilled to be offered a starring role in the first Jordanian film, but at the same time I was apprehensive about working with a first-time director and not certain if anyone could actually produce an independent film in Jordan. All of this seemed a little far-fetched to me, but the screenplay was powerful and in my many phone conversations with Amin, I was convinced he could deliver a quality film. And now that I have seen the finished film, I am ecstatic and honoured that I worked with Amin on his first film," said Nadim.

Casting the children's roles proved to be the filmmakers' biggest challenge.

"We needed 12 young kids that would take direction without being disruptive on the set. And most of all, they needed to portray working-class children.

"We wanted simple yet complex children who could bring a certain rawness to their performances. We travelled throughout Jordan to various children's charities and spent months searching for the right boys to play the roles," said Amin.

Filming was done at Jordan's Amman International Airport and historic locations including the Temple of Hercules and a town called Salt, known for its architecture dating back to the Ottoman Empire.

Captain Abu Raed opens on Thursday in GSC international screen cinemas in 1 Utama, Mid Valley Megamall and Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur.

Raoul Ruiz, Chilean-born filmmaker, dead at 70

Posted: 19 Aug 2011 06:31 PM PDT

PARIS (AP) - Raoul Ruiz, the Chilean-born filmmaker who made more than 100 films in his teeming, international career, has died. He was 70.

A favorite of cinephiles, Ruiz rebelled against the conventions of moviemaking in an extensive, varied body of work that didn't result in a widely-known masterpiece, but left behind a vast, labyrinthine collection of experiments, curiosities and innovations.

Ruiz died Friday at Saint-Antoine Hospital in Paris following complications from a pulmonary infection, said Francois Margolin, a producer of several films by the director. Ruiz had lived in Paris since fleeing Chile in 1973 to escape the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.

An avid reader, his filmography is lined with literary adaptations, including versions of works by Franz Kafka ("The Penal Colony," 1970), Nathaniel Hawthorne ("Three Lives and Only One Death," 1996, starring Marcello Mastroianni), Pedro Calderon ("Life Is a Dream," 1987), Shakespeare ("Richard III," 1986) and Marcel Proust in "Time Regained" (1999), perhaps Ruiz's best regarded film.

Ruiz's sprawling 4 {-hour "Mysteries of Lisbon," based on the 19th century novella by Portuguese author Camilo Castelo Branco, was released in New York and Los Angeles earlier this month. The film has drawn excellent reviews and in December was awarded the Louis Delluc Prize for best French film of the year.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy described Ruiz as a man of "immense erudition and infinite curiosity" and a "worthy son of the Enlightenment."

Born July 25, 1941, in Puerto Montt, Chile, to a middle class family and the son of a ship captain, Ruiz studied law and theology at the University of Chile before a Rockefeller Foundation grant in 1962 afforded him the opportunity to devote himself to writing.

He wrote a huge quantity of plays before he was 20 years old (he boasted that it was more than 100 plays) and worked as a writer on TV novelas. His first feature film was 1968's "Three Sad Tigers."

Later in Europe, he would continue to work in French television. He also taught film at Harvard and served as the co-director of the Maison de Culture in Le Havre, France, where he was able to produce his own films and those of others.

"Ruiz is the least neurotic of filmmakers," film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum wrote. "He doesn't even seem to care whether what he's doing is good or not (and, as he's aptly noted, bad work and good work generally entail the same amount of effort)."

Ruiz dismissed conflict as an unnecessary quality in drama. He spelled out this belief in his 1995 book, "Poetics of Cinema."

"America is the only place in the world where, very early, cinema developed an all-encompassing narrative and dramatic theory known as central conflict theory," he wrote.

Few of Ruiz's films have been available in the United States. He made a handful of American films, including "Shattered Image" (1998) and "The Golden Boat" (1990). He also directed 2006's "Klimt," a biopic of Austrian painter Gustav Klimt starring John Malkovich.

"Film is often considered something inert, as something that can be manipulated: you organize it; you cut it," Ruiz said in a recent interview with The New York Times. "We forget that the cinematographic image exists by itself. The quantity of information that the image carries - against the will of whoever is trying to organize it - is enormous."

At the time of his death, Ruiz had been editing a film about his childhood in Chile. He was also preparing a film set in Portugal about a Napoleonic battle. Ruiz is survived by his wife, filmmaker Valeria Sarmiento.

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Saturday Events

Posted: 20 Aug 2011 06:44 AM PDT

Dance Performance

Watch the multi-cultural dance performances of Swatari Dance Troupe during this Hari Raya season at Sungei Wang Plaza. A variety of colourful and energetic dance moves comprising different races and culture will sweep you off your feet. The dance showcases are today and tomorrow, Aug 26-28 and Sept 2-4, 8.30pm at Concourse stage of Sungei Wang Plaza. For details, contact the promotions/ public relations department at 03-2142 6636.

Photo exhibition

A photo exhibition entitled "A photographic journey of the Dhammafarers" by Ven Ajahn Cagino will be held in three locations. The exhibition is to raise funds for Dhammagiri Foundation to build an orphanage in Thailand. It will be held today and tomorrow at the Malaysia International Exhibition & Convention Centre (MIECC), The Mines. It will then move to MAP@PUBLIKAS, Level G2-01, Block A5, Solaris Dutamas 11, Jln Dutamas, KL on Sept 4 to 6 and at Citta Mall, 1, Jln PJU 1A 48, Ara Damansara, PJ on Sept 8 to 20. For details, call 019-600 1352, 017-479 7687 or log on to www.Dhammagiri.or.th

Batik Celebration

Malaysian Batik has always been synonymous with traditional art and culture. The famous textile will be showcased in a big way at 1Utama during the Hari Raya celebrations until Sept 4. Visitors stopping by LG Oval will be welcomed by majestic bamboo structures wrapped with colourful batik and creative handmade rattan chandeliers. There will also be performances by Group Angklong (Bulola), a unique instrumental performance, Malay dance, cultural fusion dance and Gamelan. Kraftangan Malaysia will organise bamboo painting and wau making workshops. Popular artistes Maya and Fazli Zainal are set to entertain visitors. For details, contact 03-7710 8118 or visit www.1utama.com.my / www.onecard.com.my

Raya celebrations

This Raya, Pavilion KL will be embarking on a journey of divulging well-kept secrets of the season. Get into the groove of 60s music in a special Glam 60's musical today and tomorrow at 8.15pm at Centre Court, Level 2. Be inspired to get Raya gifts ideas at the Fragrance Fair until Sept 4 at the Bukit Bintang entrance. Enjoy buy-one-free- one, early bird specials and limited edition fragrance sets. Enjoy discounts and offers at Pavilion KL until Sept 4 at Centre Court, Level 2 and at the Bukit Bintang entrance with the many offers and promotions. Break fast at the many participating restaurants at Pavilion KL offering special break fast menu with the best deals in town. For details, call Pavilion KL Concierge on 03-2118 8833 or get live updates on Twitter @Pavilion_KL.

Jumble sale

A Buy4love Jumble Sale will be held today at Jaya One, Petaling Jaya. Proceeds from the sale will go to the Assunta Foundation which helps fund treatment for breast and cervical cancer patients from low-income groups. Items available include clothing, accessories, jewellery, books and magazines. There will also be health talks, breast checks and cervical cancer vaccinations conducted by Assunta Hospital. The Jumble Sale is one of the activities as part of the Passionately You breast and cervical cancer awareness campaign. For details, call 03-7628 3888 at ext 8103 (Pearl) or ext 8115 (Mandy).

Blood Donation

Calling all Malaysians to join in a morning blood donation drive today from 11am to 3pm at 1st floor, Subang Parade (in front of Style Design. The programme is in conjunction with Global Peace Day on 11.11.11 at 11.11am. The target is to achieve 111 donors on the day.

Health talk

Abundantlife will be holding a talk on Cancer Prevention, keeping a healthy lifestyle by a herbalist tomorrow from 3pm to 5pm at Amcorp Mall, Petaling Jaya. Admission is free. It is on a first-come, first-served basis, no registration required. For details, call 012-915 1356 (Michael) or 012-220 1238 (Peter).

Arts Festival

The Genting Arts Festival 2011 will be happening at the Resorts World Genting today and tomorrow. The event is aimed at celebrating Malaysia's talented pool of contemporary artists and supporting the nation's arts industry. During the Genting Arts Festival 2011, three main activities will be held for visitors to experience including the Arts Exhibition held at the Resort Hotel, the Food Art Dinner at the award-winning The Olive and a Transparent Glass Painting workshop for the public to participate at RM50 per person, by renowned artist, Phillip Wong.

Artwork display

Capture the various displays of Malaysian designers' artwork organised by Sungei Wang Plaza in collaboration with Saito College in conjunction with Malaysia Contemporary Art Festival 2011. Six creative artworks namely, "The Wishing Tree", "Ubi", "Lepak", "Bersatu", "Kita" and "U" are on display along Fiesta Street until Sept 30. The exhibition focuses on the multi-racial and cultural aspects of Malaysia with the aim of promoting synergy and togetherness. For details, contact 03-2142 6636. Log on to www.facebook.com/sungeiwangplaza for immediate updates, events and promotion.


There will be a River Meets Light exhibition featuring video, photography, sculptures and music from the mixed-media performance at the MAP @ Publika, Level G2-01, Block A5, Dutamas 1 Jalan Dutamas 1, Off Jalan Duta, Kuala Lu mpur until Aug 28. The exhibition is aimed at advocating the need to conserve the rivers. The exhibition will include performances by National Laureate Datuk A. Samad Said and son Az Samad on guitar as well as theremin player and composer Ng Chor Guan. The opening reception for the exhibition is today at 8pm. Admission is free.

City Watch

Posted: 20 Aug 2011 06:44 AM PDT


There will be a water supply disruption in Petaling and Hulu Selangor from 11pm to 5am on Aug 22 the following day to facilitate installation work for pipes at the Setiawalk development site, Bandar Puchong Jaya. The areas involved are Jalan Bandar 3 until Jalan Bandar 8 in Pusat Bandar Puchong, Taman Kancing Jaya, Taman Tun Perak Rawang, Taman Tun Teja, Taman Jati/PKNS Batu 17, Rawang Batu 16 and Taman Rawang Perdana and Taman Amansiara in Gombak. For enquiries, call 1-800-88-5252.


In conjunction with the coming Hari Raya holidays, Puspakom Sdn Bhd will be offering free voluntary inspection for private cars at all branches from Aug 22 to 26. Their qualified examiners will conduct inspections on Emission Test, Brake Test, Suspension Test, Side Slip Test and a few others. The free inspection is part of their corporate social responsibility initiative to ensure vehicles are roadworthy for the coming festive holidays. For more details, call 1-800-88-6927 or visit www.puspakom.com.my.


The Brahma Kumaris Malaysia invites you to an inspirational evening talk on 'Be Inspired Be Happy' by BK Vedanti, regional director of Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, Africa Region on Aug 23 from 7.45 - 9.30pm at Harmony House, 10 Lorong Maarof, Bangsar Park, 59100 Kuala Lumpur. Registration will commence at 7pm. Join us to discover the master key that unlocks the source of inspiration and happiness. Admission is free. For details, call Ms. Soon at 012 2080731 or Ms. Bajo at 012-3325243.


Sunday Star columnist T. Selva will present a talk on ancient Indian secrets and Vasthu Sastra for peace, health and prosperity tomorrow at 6pm at Dewan Freemason No 15 Jalan 18/16, Taman Kanagapuram off Jalan Klang Lama, Petaling Jaya. Admission is free. To register, call 012-3299713.


There will be a free dharma talk tomorrow at the multi-function room, ground floor, Kenchara House, 7, Jalan PJU 1/3G, Sunwaymas Commercial Centre, Petaling Jaya. The topic of the talk is A simple guide to powerful practices: An introduction to the Buddhas of Kechara. For more details, contact education@kechara.com.


The Malaysia Australia Business Council (MABC) in collaboration with the EU Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (EUMCCI) will be hosting a talk on Blue Ocean Strategy by UCSI- Blue Ocean Strategy Regional Centre on Aug 25 at Mezzanine 7, Crown Plaza Mutiara Kuala Lumpur at 5.30pm. To register, please visit www.mabc.org.my or email mabc@mabc.org.my or call the secretariat office at 03- 7960 9490.


Christ Lutheran Church (CLC) Setapak will be having a Blood Donation drive in collaboration with the National Blood Bank on Aug 27 from 11am to 4.30pm. CLC is located at No 52, Jalan Genting Kelang, Setapak next to Court Mammoth. For details, please contact 03-40230374 website: enquires@clc.org.my

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