Khamis, 8 September 2011

The Star Online: World Updates

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The Star Online: World Updates

What's going on at Japan's crippled nuclear power plant?

Posted: 08 Sep 2011 09:14 PM PDT

TOKYO (Reuters) - Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) has edged another step closer to its near-term goal of bringing the crippled reactors at its quake and tsunami-hit Fukushima Daiichi plant to a state of cold shutdown by January, as the temperature at the second of three damaged units fell below boiling point this week.

Stack drain pipe of exhaust stack of Units 1 and 2 are seen at the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima prefecture, in this handout picture taken on August 4 and released on August 5, 2011. (REUTERS/Tokyo Electric Power Co/Handout/Files)

The utility said it would be cautious on officially declaring cold shutdown had been achieved, however, even when the temperature at the third reactor has dropped significantly, saying the government and the nuclear watchdog would need to give their seal of approval to such a move.


Cold shutdown is when water used to cool nuclear fuel rods remains below 100 degrees Celsius, preventing the fuel from reheating.

But even when the temperature at the third reactor falls below 100 degrees, Tepco said it would not automatically declare that a cold shutdown has been reached.

"According to our definition for this case, cold shutdown will not be reached until the spread of radiation from the reactors has been suppressed," a Tepco spokesman said.

"And whether cold shutdown has been reached will only be decided after the matter has been discussed with the government and the nuclear safety agency."

Declaring that a cold shutdown has been achieved will have repercussions well beyond the plant as it is one of the criteria the government said must be met before it begins allowing residents evacuated from the area around the facility to return home.

Tepco said in August that the radiation level measured on the fringes of the Daiichi plant compound was 0.4 millisieverts per year, below its 1 millisievert target.

But the utility downplayed the achievement, saying it was still only a rough calculation.


After cooling systems were knocked out on March 11, causing meltdowns of nuclear fuel rods at three of the plant's six reactors and triggering the world's worst nuclear crisis in 25 years, Tepco has been trying to cool the plant's reactors and four of its spent fuel pools.

Immediately after the March disasters Tepco tried to cool the reactors by pouring in tens of thousands of tonnes of water, much of it from the sea. But the method left a vast pool of contaminated runoff, some stored in huge tanks and some in the basements of the reactor buildings, that threatened to leak into the ocean.

It alleviated this problem by building a cooling system introduced in June, designed to decontaminate the tainted water and then reuse some of it to cool the reactors and spent fuel pools.

The system has repeatedly stalled but, as of Tuesday, Tepco had treated about 78,000 tonnes of water. It estimates that 120,000 tonnes of highly radiated water has accumulated at the plant.

Temperatures at all four of its spent fuel pools had fallen to levels considered stable by August. As of Tuesday temperatures at all the spent fuel pools were at or below 40 degrees.

The temperature at the No 1 reactor dropped below 100 degrees in July and that of the No 3 reactor fell below the threshold this week, leaving only the No 2 reactor above boiling point. As of Tuesday the temperature at the No 2 reactor was 112.9 degrees.


The decontamination system was built in a hurry from a patchwork of technologies from France, the United States and Japan and its very complexity -- it has to remove oil and radioactive substances and desalinate the water in different steps -- has left it prone to breaking down.

Apart from working on the reactors, Tepco also has to divert resources to other expensive and labour intensive tasks, such as putting a giant cover on one of the reactors to prevent radiation from spreading and building a wall underground to stop contaminated water leaking into the ocean.

Providing a measure of how long the cleanup could take, Tepco recently said it wanted to remove fuel stored at spent fuel pools within three years and fuel from reactors within 10 years.


Nearly 80,000 people have been forced to evacuate their homes, most of them from a 20-km radius around the plant. Living in fear of radiation has become part of life for residents both near and far from the plant.

The crisis prompted then Prime Minister Naoto Kan to say he believes Japan should wean itself off nuclear power and to rely more on renewable sources such as solar power.

The Japanese parliament passed a feed-in-tariff bill in August that promotes the use of renewable energy.

(Reporting by Shinichi Saoshiro; Editing by Joseph Radford)

Copyright © 2011 Reuters

US sees credible but unconfirmed terrorism threat

Posted: 08 Sep 2011 09:14 PM PDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Thursday ordered a redoubling of U.S. counter-terrorism efforts in the face of a "credible but unconfirmed" threat ahead of the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

New York Police Department Inspector James Kehoe stands in the street and directs a "Critical Vehicle Response" deployment in New York August 24, 2011. (REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)

U.S. officials, speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said the threat involved Washington D.C. and New York City, which were targeted in al Qaeda attacks a decade ago this Sunday that killed nearly 3,000 people.

A law enforcement source said a manhunt was underway for two or three suspects. One person familiar with the matter said they were suspected of having links to al Qaeda.

But the officials used strong caveats when discussing the threat information privately, with a national security official cautioning that experts thought the threat would ultimately not check out.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg also stressed that the threat had not been corroborated, even as he announced heightened security measures "some of which you may notice, some of which you may not notice."

"There is no reason for any of the rest of us to change anything in our daily routines," he told a news conference.

Still, Bloomberg asked citizens to report suspicious or dangerous activity, adding: "Over the next three days we should all keep our eyes wide open."

The White House said Obama was briefed on specific threat information on Thursday morning, and noted that the U.S. government had already "enhanced its security posture" ahead of the anniversary.

"Nevertheless, the President directed the counterterrorism community to redouble its efforts in response to this credible but unconfirmed information," a White House official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.


White House spokesman Jay Carney said "we're hyper-vigilant to this specific report that's just coming in." He told MSNBC television that the U.S. government was taking all necessary precautions, without offering details.

Documents discovered in Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, after he was killed in a raid in May by Navy SEALs, highlighted his persistent interest in attacking the United States around the anniversary of the 2001 attacks. But it is unclear if the plans ever evolved beyond aspiration.

"As we know from the intelligence gathered following the Osama bin Laden raid, al Qaeda has showed an interest in important dates and anniversaries, such as 9/11," said Jan Fedarcyk with the FBI's New York field office.

Bloomberg said he spoke with the head of New York's public transportation authority, which was hiking security. He added: "For the record, I plan to take the subway tomorrow morning."

New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly announced measures including more bag inspections on the subway, more bomb-sniffing dogs on patrol and increased deployment of radiation monitoring equipment.

"There will be increased focus on tunnels and bridges and infrastructure in general, as well as landmark locations, houses of worship and government buildings," he said.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which said only last week that there was no credible information that al Qaeda was plotting an attack around the Sept. 11 anniversary, declined to offer details on the threat.

It cautioned that there were always threat reports before important dates like the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

"Sometimes this reporting is credible and warrants intense focus, other times it lacks credibility and is highly unlikely to be reflective of real plots under way," spokesman Matt Chandler said.

"Regardless, we take all threat reporting seriously, and we have taken, and will continue to take all steps necessary to mitigate any threats that arise."

A second law-enforcement source played down an ABC News report about missing rental trucks -- saying the vehicles had been recovered and there was no connection to terrorism.

(Additional reporting by Jeremy Pelofsky, Alister Bull and JoAnne Allen in Washington and Michelle Nichols in New York; editing by Anthony Boadle)

Copyright © 2011 Reuters

Interim PM warns Libya battle not over

Posted: 08 Sep 2011 09:14 PM PDT

TRIPOLI (Reuters) - The man tasked with running the new Libya reminded his forces that the war was not yet over as the latest deadline for the surrender of pro Muammar Gaddafi towns loomed and fighters massed on both sides.

Anti-Gaddafi forces fire a Howitzer at the artillery line in Om El Khanfousa September 8, 2011. (REUTERS/Esam Al-Fetori)

Earlier on Thursday, the voice of the on-the-run former leader boomed out from his hiding place, denying he had fled Libya and cursing as rats and stray dogs those whose efforts to start governing in his place are being frustrated by his die-hard followers.

Interim Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril, in Tripoli for the first time since transitional council forces seized the capital, hailed a great victory. But he told his rebel allies that "the tyrant" was not yet finished and warned against the kind of factional in-fighting which some see as a growing threat.

"This is a stage where we have to unify and be together," said Jibril, who noted Gaddafi still had bastions of support, two weeks after the capital Tripoli fell. "Once the battle is finished ... the political game can start."

"If we discover that we are not on common ground, then I will retreat and leave it to others who may be more capable of taking part in this experiment," he said.

Graphic on rebel leadership click

Graphics on Libya/Middle East click

Gaddafi said in what Syria's Arrai TV said was a live broadcast from Libya: "We will not leave our ancestral land ... The youths are now ready to escalate the resistance against the rats in Tripoli and to finish off the mercenaries.

"Our resolute Libyan people, the Libyan land is your own," said the 69-year-old who ran the country from the age of 27 until two weeks ago.

"Those who try to take it from you now, they are intruders, they are mercenaries, they are stray dogs."

Backing up his words, volleys of Grad missiles flew out of Bani Walid, a desert town south of Tripoli where a hard core of loyalists -- estimated by their opponents at about 150 -- are under siege by the new interim government's forces. Some of its commanders suspect Gaddafi himself might be hiding inside.

Two of the defenders were killed and one of the siege force wounded in overnight skirmishing, though a military spokesman for the National Transitional Council (NTC) said the new rulers would abide by a truce until Saturday to allow negotiated surrenders at Bani Walid and Gaddafi's home town of Sirte, on the coast.

"We can do it within two hours maximum," Ahmed Bani said of taking over Bani Walid. He said he believed Gaddafi's son and heir-apparent Saif al-Islam was there, though he did not share the belief of some others in the NTC that his father was.

Referring to the arrivals this week of senior Gaddafi aides in Niger, across the desert, which prompted talk that Gaddafi might already have fled Libya, Bani said: "He's a fox. Maybe he wants us to believe that he's out. But he's inside ... close to the border so that in an emergency he can escape."

In remarks which clearly indicated he was speaking after the reports from Niger came out, Gaddafi himself said: "This is not the first time that convoys drive in and out of Niger."


Anti-Gaddafi fighters inched forward to about 5 km (3 miles) outside Bani Walid late on Thursday, with NATO planes monitoring the advance from the sky, Reuters witnesses said.

As dusk fell, dozens of NTC men gathered to pray quietly on the tarmac at the vast checkpoint outside the city, unfazed by the sound of distant shelling from Gaddafi's side.

"We are approaching from the Misrata side as well. Bani Walid will be liberated no matter what," NTC field commander, Abdurahman el Kazmi, said.

Residents fleeing Bani Walid, 150 km south of Tripoli, have said Gaddafi loyalists were intimidating people and supplies were low. Information from the town is limited.

Jibril, head of the NTC's Executive Committee, said the die-hards in the town appeared set on fighting and warned that, despite the ceasefire, NTC forces would hit back if fired upon.

But on a first visit to establish a presence in the capital after months touring world capitals drumming up support, Jibril seemed more concerned about the risk of premature politicking among those so far united largely by their hatred of Gaddafi:

"Perhaps some thought the tyrant had already left and that the regime had toppled. And this has brought to the surface some differences," he told a news conference in a city where militias from potentially rival political and regional factions have been staking out territory for the past two weeks.

Despite the sweeping and sudden nature of their victory in Tripoli two weeks ago after six months of civil war, the new leadership is struggling to impose its authority across the capital and the rest of the sprawling, oil-rich desert nation which is home to just six million people.

The stalemates around Sirte, Bani Walid and south into the desert town of Sabha -- all pro-Gaddafi bastions -- mean the original rebel stronghold of Benghazi is still largely cut off from Tripoli, an 800-km (500-mile) drive away to the west.

NTC leaders have said they hope to be pumping oil again next week, and the new head of the central bank briefed the media on Thursday to assure Libyans and their foreign business partners that the bank had not been looted by fleeing members of the old regime. Business as usual was the watchword.

Jibril assured people in Tripoli that the NTC would have completed its move there from Benghazi by the end of next week -- though previous forecasts have been followed by delays.

Some of that hesitation seems to stem from long-standing regional rivalries and from a sense that Tripoli may not be a safe place for every Libyan official, as potential political rivalries coalesce around the rebel brigades which swept in to the city from different towns and provinces, eager for a share of power that for 42 years was in the hands of one man only.

(Reporting by Christian Lowe in Tripoli, Sherine El Madany in Ras Lanuf, Maria Golovnina in Wishtata, Barry Malone, Sylvia Westall and Alastair Macdonald in Tunis, Ahmed Tolba and Edmund Blair in Cairo, Daniel Alvarenga in Lisbon, David Brunnstrom in Brussels and Joseph Nasr in Berlin; Writing by Alastair Macdonald and Barry Malone; Editing by Michael Roddy)

Copyright © 2011 Reuters


The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

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The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

Chilling view

Posted: 09 Sep 2011 04:23 AM PDT

Television channels commemorate the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

THIS Sunday marks the 10th anniversary of 9/11. CNN, National Geographic Channel, History Channel, Biography Channel, Discovery Channel and BBC join the rest of the world to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Sept 11 terrorist attacks with a powerful and poignant line-up of 9/11 shows and documentaries. Over 30 hours of programming relating to the event will air on these channels from tomorrow till Sept 14.

CNN will provide global, multi-platform live coverage and simulcast from Sept 11 at 8.30pm to Sept 12 at 1am from New York, Washington DC, Shanksville, Pennsylvania and Afghanistan. CNN's special live coverage will air on CNN International.


> Beyond Bravery: The Women Of 9/11 (CNN/Astro Ch 511, 8pm): The show profiles the sometimes overlooked female rescue workers who raced to the Twin Towers in the wake of the attack. Anchor and special correspondent Soledad O'Brien looks at the work of these rescue workers over the decade following their life-altering experiences.

> The 9/11 Hijackers: Inside The Hamburg Cell (History/Astro Ch 555 at 8.30pm): For years, they remained nearly invisible, a small group of dedicated men waiting for the perfect chance to strike. On Sept 11, 2001, after five years of preparation, they swung into action. The men's full stories and the details of their ambitious plan have now come to light. The show tracks the progress of this unlikely group of young men who developed from unassuming college students into religious martyrs.


> Beyond 9/11: Portraits Of Resilience (CNN/Astro Ch 511, 4am & 6pm): Captured in words and moving images, this documentary features untold stories drawn from 40 people who led and sacrificed for the United States in the hours, days, and months that followed the attacks. Working with the editors of TIME, award-winning photographer Marco Grob produced an astonishing set of portraits which are coupled with dramatic recollections from government leaders, survivors of the towers and first responders.

> The Conspiracy Files: 9/11 Ten Years On (BBC/Astro Ch 512, 11.10am): A decade after the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania, this special looks at why some people still question what really happened on 9/11.

> CNN Presents: Footnotes Of 9/11 (CNN/Astro Ch 511, 3am & 5pm): Features interviews with people who went to work on that fateful day and unexpectedly became part of history. Each of the eight people profiled by investigative correspondent Drew Griffin for this documentary is mentioned in The 9/11 Commission Report – their unique experiences are drawn from the 1,742 footnotes of that report and offer critical details to the tragic events of that day.

> BBC News Special: 9/11 Ten Years On (BBC /Astro Ch 512, 1.30pm): Live coverage from New York, including a special ceremony to mark the 10th anniversary of Sept 11.

> I Survived ... 9/11 (Biography Channel/Astro Ch 731, 6.30pm): The terrorist attacks on American soil claimed the lives of 2,977 people in New York City and another 125 in the Pentagon. These are the stories of 12 survivors who went to work on that sunny day, unaware that their lives were about to be forever changed.

> Seconds From Disaster: 9/11 (National Geographic Channel/Astro Ch 553, 8pm): On Sept 11, 2001, four planes changed the United States and the world, forever. Nineteen men armed with small knives and boxcutters dealt a stunning blow against a global superpower. Before the dust settled, the largest criminal investigation in American history began.

> Making The 9/11 Memorial (History/Astro Ch 555 at 8pm): There will be but one structure at Ground Zero by the dawn of the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks: the National September 11 Memorial – nestled in eight acres of the footprints of the Twin Towers with two 10-meter waterfalls cascading into submerged reflective pools. The architect Michael Arad and one of the builders, Chris Powers, guide the viewers through the making of the 9/11 Memorial.

> 9/11: 10 Years On (History/Astro Ch 555 at 8.30pm): On the rebuilding of Ground Zero through the lens of five heroic people personally connected to and completely changed by the events of 9/11.

> 102 Minutes That Changed America (History/Astro Ch 555 at 8.46pm): A minute-by-minute first-person video and audio account of the events of 9/11. This two-hour special features original footage from more than 100 individual sources meticulously woven together in chronological order, without narration or commentary, to provide a seamless historical record of that fateful day. Emotional and immersive, the documentary faithfully preserves that historical morning as it happened and the way it was experienced.

* This is a global event for 9/11 10th Anniversary. All AETN partners worldwide are telecasting this programme at the same time which is the exact time when the first plane hit the World Trade Centre 10 years ago.

> 9/11 And The American Dream (National Geographic Channel/Astro Ch 553 at 9pm): The promise of the American Dream – that hard work and determination will ultimately be rewarded – has attracted millions to the United States from across the globe. And for many, to live in New York and work at the World Trade Towers was the fulfilment of that dream. They include Malaysian husband and wife, Raji Navaratnam and Param Sivapakiam, who recount the loss of their son Vijayashankar Paramsothy. Despite the magnitude of this tragedy, belief in the American dream persists.

> 9/11 Phone Calls From The Towers (History/Astro Ch 555 at 10.30pm): This film is about how it feels to hear from a person trapped somewhere in the midst of that crisis and how family members can use those words to make sense of their loved one's final moments and to find peace and closure within them. Whilst no single call can describe scenes that were unfolding, taken together, the words contained in the 9/11 calls provide not just a chilling view of tragedy within the towers.

> Inside 9/11: The War Continues (National Geographic Channel/Astro Ch 553 at 11pm): This show follows the evolution of al-Qaeda in the last 10 years, as well as the emergence of key players from other terrorists groups, the numerous terror plots thwarted by officials and the deadly terror attacks that have occurred around the globe since 9/11.


> Our World: That September Day (BBC/Astro Ch 512, 12.30am): Laura Trevelyan meets three New Yorkers who were affected in different ways by 9/11. Their minute-by-minute recollections of that morning convey the chaos and confusion which engulfed Manhattan as the twin towers were hit by hijacked planes.

> 9/12: The Day After (History/Astro Ch 555, 8.30pm): The programme examines the legacy of 9/11 – constructing an evocative, engaging and immersive narrative using exclusive archival audiovisual material assembled without contextualising narration or interviews. The result is an authentic, unflinchingly honest look at what happened after the tragedy – a chronicle of life in a changed world.

> Beyond: Messages From 9/11 (Biography Channel/Astro Ch 731 at 10pm): This special delivers heartfelt stories of comfort and hope for anyone that has ever lost a loved one. Families of victims share their stories of the messages they received from beyond, and the love and hope that live on knowing that life doesn't end at death – but is instead transformed.


> Rising: Rebuilding Ground Zero (Discovery Channel/ Astro Ch 551, 9pm): The series showcases those determined to rebuild and restore a sacred site – constructing the new, 104-story One World Trade Center. From the iron workers who lost brothers and friends, the architect who envisions a new dawn for New York City to the family members who seek closure and solace, Rising: Rebuilding Ground Zero assembles a cast of real people facing the highest stakes in their professional lives – to meet their construction deadline and to do honour to the victims and their families.

The rest of the series are Museum (Sept 21), Tower 1 (Sept 28), Tower 2 (Oct 5), Memorial (Oct 12) and New City (Oct 19).

More on History Channel's 9/11 programming in Star2 on Sunday.

Caught red-handed

Posted: 09 Sep 2011 03:25 AM PDT

IT was a fun and exciting game of grown-up catch for Khor Thong Soon, the first winner of Red FM's Runaway DJs, when he tracked down one of the deejays in this exciting month-long hunt.

With the opportunity to win a brand new Proton Inspira, this lucrative contest had participants racing against time as they tried to decipher clues given on air and online that would lead them to the Red FM deejays at different locations each day.

The first person to turn up and identify the deejay wins a cash prize in addition to a key to enter the final for a chance at winning the car. Following these clues, Khor turned up at the Proton headquarters in Shah Alam, Selangor, for his chance to be in the running to win his first ever car.

Meanwhile, being on the other end of the hunt was just as exhilarating for Fiqrie as he was the first deejay to be "caught". Having done stints in modelling, acting, voiceovers, emceeing and sports commentating, the multi-talented Fiqrie hosts weekend segments on Red FM. With his cheerful and spontaneous personality, Fiqrie is the ideal host in keeping listeners company as they chill out over the weekend. If you have any song requests or dedications, call him up (% 03-7728 1049) as he's more than delighted to receive your calls.

Clues of the Red FM's Runaway DJs whereabouts will be given out every hour on air, through Red FM's Facebook Fan page as well as Twitter from Monday to Friday. Bonus prizes such as iPad 2s and iPod Nanos will be given out at designated times to make the search even more rewarding. You can also pick up the much sought after key from the Red Ryders as they join in the fun. The Red Ryders will be giving out special car stickers in conjunction with the hunt. Grab one from them to paste it on your car and if they spot your car, they will hand you a key.

For terms and conditions of the contest, log on to Also, join the Red FM Malaysia Facebook fan page ( and follow us on Twitter (@iloveredfm) for the latest updates.

Red FM is owned and operated by The Star.

Red FM's station frequencies: Taiping, Kedah, Perlis and Pulau Langkawi: 98.1 FM; George Town and Seberang Prai: 107.6 FM; Ipoh, Perak: 106.4 FM; Klang Valley, Negri Sembilan and Tapah: 104.9 FM; Kuantan, Pahang: 91.6 FM; Batu Pahat and Malacca: 98.9 FM; Johor Baru and Singapore: 92.8 FM.


The Star Online: Business

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The Star Online: Business

New sportier-looking Myvi 1.5 to drive up its sales

Posted: 08 Sep 2011 06:14 PM PDT

PETALING JAYA: A new and sportier-looking 1.5-litre variant of the Myvi is expected to boost vehicle sales at Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd (Perodua) this year, motor analysts said.

Pictures of the more powerful Myvi variant have surfaced on automotive blogs recently, and industry observers say Perodua is likely to launch the car by year-end.

"This will open a new market segment for Perodua. Judging from the online photos, the 1.5-litre Myvi variant looks quite sporty with a full body kit, revamped front end and rear roof spoiler. People have been modifying the previous-generation Myvi anyway with similar looks," an analyst told StarBiz.

A CIMB Research motor analyst concurred, saying a sporty 1.5-litre Myvi variant would expand Perodua's product line-up and enable the firm to better compete against Proton Holdings Bhd, which offers the Saga FL 1.6 Executive at RM46,549 (on-the-road with insurance).

"Depending on its price tag, a 1.5-litre Myvi would definitely boost Perodua sales," the CIMB Research analyst said.

However, another motor analyst with a local bank was more cautious, pointing out that the top-end variant of the new 1.3-litre Myvi is priced at RM50,800 (on-the-road with insurance).

"A sporty 1.5-litre Myvi variant could be considered to be slightly expensive by buyers if it is priced in the mid RM60,000 range. Buyers will compare its pricing against the Saga FL 1.6 Executive's price tag," the analyst said.

Perodua has seen brisk sales of the 1.3-litre Myvi since its launch in mid-June, and has delivered 18,000 units to date. A further 16,000 units are due to be delivered over the next two months. The carmaker, which aims to sell 190,000 vehicles this year, has to-date sold about 115,000 units.

Toyota to build new US$388mil factory in Indonesia Nikkei

Posted: 08 Sep 2011 06:05 PM PDT

TOKYO, Sept 9 (Reuters) Toyota Motor Corp plans to spend nearly 30 billion yen($388 million) to build an assembly plant in Indonesia that it aims to launch in the first half of 2013, the Nikkei business daily said, as it taps demand from the fastgrowing Southeast Asian auto market.

The move would enable Toyota to nearly double its production capacity in Indonesia to about 200,000 vehicles a year, the Nikkei said.

The plan comes after three years of limiting capital investment to expanding existing plants in Japan and abroad, the Nikkei said.

The facility will be built adjacent to its existing factory in the Jakarta suburbs of Karawang and is expected to assemble three subcompact models, including a lowpriced strategic vehicle under development for the country, the paper said.

Officials at Toyota were off on Friday and unavailable to immediately comment on the report.

Toyota aims to increase its output in Southeast Asia's biggest economy and said in May it would spend 16.5 billion yen to boost production capacity there to 140,000 vehicles a year in early 2013 from 100,000 units.

Last year, auto sales in Indonesia totalled around 750,000 units, approaching Thailand's roughly 800,000, with the number seen exceeding 1 million units in the coming years, the Nikkei said.

Toyota controls about 60 percent of the Indonesian market when contributions by group firms such as Daihatsu Motor Co are included.

But as competition grows with Nissan Motor and Suzuki Motor announcing plans to boost output, Toyota aims to improve cost competitiveness through increased local production, the Nikkei reported.

Other global automakers are looking to increase production in Indonesia. On Thursday, the Indonesia head of Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd told Reuters that the Chinese automaker plans to set up a car factory in country by 2015.

Shares of Toyota were down 0.1 percent in early morning trade on Friday, in line with the benchmark Nikkei average. ($1 = 77.365 Japanese Yen)

Shanghai banks tighten mortgage lending paper

Posted: 08 Sep 2011 06:00 PM PDT

BEIJING, Sept 9 (Reuters) Chinese banks in Shanghai have either stopped mortgage lending or are making it harder to get loans, the official China Securities Journal reported on Friday.

The central bank's recent move to widen the base of total deposits that banks must set aside for reserves further crimped banks' ability to lend, while record high home prices are also making them nervous, the newspaper said, citing unnamed banking sources.

Banks in Shanghai that the newspaper visited have taken various steps including halting mortgage lending, extending loan approval times because of tight quotas, excluding applicants whose homes are old or expensive or raising mortgage rates beyond regulatory requirements, the paper said.

China has rolled out a slew of measures since late 2009 to curb property speculation and rein in runaway housing inflation.

So far, they have yielded some results and there are growing signs that home prices are starting to fall in some cities where they have gained rapidly in the past few years.

The top banking regulator has constantly warned against lending to the real estate sector, but has also repeatedly reaffirmed that Chinese banks could withstand home price falls of up to 50 percent.


The Star Online: Sports

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The Star Online: Sports

Roddick overcomes another court hiccup to reach semis

Posted: 08 Sep 2011 05:57 PM PDT

NEW YORK, Sept 8 (Reuters): Former champion Andy Roddick fumed over another snafu regarding court conditions on Thursday before shifting to another court to book his place in the U.S. Open semi-finals.

Roddick, the 2003 U.S. Open winner, beat fifth-seeded Spaniard David Ferrer 6-3 6-4 3-6 6-3, completing the quarter-final on distant Court 13 after a wet spot behind the baseline on Louis Armstrong Stadium court could not be fixed.

When they called Roddick and Ferrer back to the court, after using a vacuum cleaner and thin rubber hose and towels to try and fix the problem, the American was angered to see water still bubbling up to the surface.

"I'm baffled, I'm baffled. Why are we out here?" he railed at tournament referee Brian Earley. "Find us a court."

Roddick went back into the hallway and continued to vent his frustration at not getting on with his match, given the compressed schedule forced by two successive washouts at Flushing Meadows.

When the players were asked whether they would be willing to move to Court 13 rather than wait for a chance to get on the grandstand showcourt, Roddick said: "Let's go play, let's go play. We just want to play."

On Wednesday, Roddick, Rafa Nadal and Andy Murray together lodged their complaints about being asked to compete in damp conditions to tournament officials before play was halted for the day.

Once resettled on Thursday at Court 13 after a delay of about one hour, Roddick played some of his best tennis to set up a last four showdown with Spaniard Nadal.

It was a rare trip outside the confines of the main courts for Roddick, who as the leading U.S. player for most of the last decade has exclusively played on the showcourts.

"I enjoyed it," said the 29-year-old Roddick. "I like playing kind of the smaller, more intimate stuff when I can.

"It was a little bit of everything. We had some Van Morrison wannabe playing music in the courtyard...there was a guy scaling the fence in the back for a second...(and) a couple of people wanted to do commentary from the service line.

"There was a repetitive screaming from the courtyard at one point. It was actually kind of shrill. It was a little stressful. It sounded like someone was getting hurt. So I don't know if that's what it's always like out there."

Djokovic moves on to semis after Tipsarevic retires

Posted: 08 Sep 2011 05:56 PM PDT

NEW YORK, Sept 8 (Reuters): Top seed Novak Djokovic advanced to the semi-finals of the U.S. Open when his Serbian Davis Cup team mate Janko Tipsarevic retired in the fourth set of their quarter-final on Thursday.

World number one Djokovic was leading 7-6 6-7 6-0 3-0 when Tipsarevic, who had his leg strapped during the match, quit after three hours, 27 minutes of play at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

"Congratulations to Janko for a fantastic tournament and a great effort today," Djokovic told the centre court audience. "He's a great friend of mine and it's not easy to play against him today."

Djokovic said he realised his compatriot was in trouble after the first two hotly-contested tiebreaker sets. The top seed won the first tie-break 7-2, and lost the second 7-3.

"I sensed when I made a break in the third set that he lost a lot of pace on his first serve and was not able to move so well," the Serb added.

Djokovic also gave onlookers a scare when he doubled over and called for the trainer after making a spectacular sliding forehand winner in the first game of the fourth set.

After getting the big toe on his left foot treated and bandaged, Djokovic went back to business before the 20th-seeded Tipsarevic signalled he had had enough.

"My left toe is bleeding," explained Australian Open and Wimbledon champion Djokovic. "These things happen all the time when you're sliding like I do."

Djokovic will meet the winner of Thursday's night match between five-time Open winner Roger Federer and France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Serena rolls into semi-finals at US Open

Posted: 08 Sep 2011 05:48 PM PDT

NEW YORK, Sept 8 (Reuters): Serena Williams struggled with her serve in the first set before finding the range to score a 7-5 6-1 victory over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia on Thursday to reach the semi-finals of the U.S. Open.

Three-time winner Williams lost serve three times in the opening set as the first six games went against serve before the American got on track, breaking the 17th-seeded Russian in the 12th game to end the opening set.

"It was a slow start, and once I lost serve, I was determined to break serve so I wouldn't be down a break," said Williams. "Then I just kept losing serve in the beginning. Very weird."

The 29-year-old Williams found a way to get fired up.

"I tried to move my feet a little better and just tried to get pumped up, because I felt like I wasn't at my best. I just tried to do everything just a little bit better."

The formula proved good enough. Williams ended up striking 26 winners, double the number posted by Pavlyuchenkova, who struggled to win points on her weak second serve.

Williams, who won 22 of 26 points on the Russian's second serve, got on a roll in the next set, losing just three points on serve and ending the 79-minute match with her sixth ace.

The victory lifted Williams into the last four against top-seeded world number Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, a 6-1 7-6 winner against 10th-seeded German Andrea Petkovic.

Wozniacki will play 13-time grand slam winner Williams on Saturday with the winner going onto the final, which will be played on the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

"I think everyone that lives in America ... has been affected by 9/11," said Williams, who is playing in just her sixth tournament this year due to injuries and illness. "I was in (Washington) D.C. at the time, and I just remember seeing a lot of Army trucks.

"It's hard to believe it's 10 years later, but it's good. Good we are kind of coming together, and New Yorkers and New York has been so strong."


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PM sends Onam greetings to Malayalee community

Posted: 08 Sep 2011 06:40 AM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has sent Onam greetings to the Malaysian Malayalee community.

Writing in his Facebook Thursday, the Prime Minister said: "As the Malayalee community in Malaysia ushers in the harvest and thanksgiving festival of Onam, a festival which is celebrated by all Malayalees, I call upon Malaysians to join me in wishing them 'Onam Ashamsegal'.

"In the spirit of 1Malaysia, let us join our Malayalee friends in celebrating this festival together."

Onam falls during the first month of the Malayalam calendar (Chingam, which is between August and September) and marks the homecoming of the legendary Emperor Mahabali. - Bernama

Mais: Shah Alam MP Khalid not allowed to give religious ceramah in S'gor

Posted: 08 Sep 2011 06:35 AM PDT

SHAH ALAM: Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad does not have the credentials to teach or give religious ceramah or talks in mosques and surau in the state, the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) confirmed Thursday.

As such, the Selangor Islamic Religious Department's (Jais) move to call up Khalid for his statement over a complaint that he gave a religious ceramah at a surau in Klang last month was valid under the existing law, Mais chairman Datuk Mohamad Adzib Mohd Isa said.

"YB Khalid Samad cannot give any religious talks, including tazkirah, ceramah, lectures or any religious input at mosques and surau in the whole of Selangor state as he does not have any credentials from Mais," he said in a statement here.

Mohamad Adzib said the decision of the Mais Credentials Committee meeting on June 23, which rejected Khalid's appeal on the withdrawal of his credentials, was made in line with the consent of the Sultan of Selangor not to grant any politician credentials to teach or give talks on Islam in mosques and surau in the state. - Bernama

Related Stories:
Khalid admits violating state law by preaching without a permit

Singer-actress Marsha Londoh in hospital

Posted: 08 Sep 2011 06:03 AM PDT

PETALING JAYA: Singer and actress Marsha Milan Londoh was admitted to the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre here Wednesday morning after she was found unconscious at her home.

A spokesman of the centre said the 26-year-old Akademi Fantasia third season finalist was sent to hospital by a woman.

"She is now under observation in the normal ward. Visitors are not allowed," said the spokesman. - Bernama

Meanwhile, a close friend of Marsha Milan Londoh denied that she had collapsed after overdosing on pills as claimed in media reports, but instead suffered from a trauma after an accident.

"Since Marsha suffers from a low blood pressure condition, the incident took a toll on her until she lost consciousness," Afeeq Abdul Wahab, 25, told mStar Online.

The singer, from Tamparuli, Sabah, was reported to have collapsed at her home after swallowing 30 pills.

More in The Star Friday


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Reese Witherspoon struck by car while jogging

Posted: 08 Sep 2011 05:01 AM PDT

LOS ANGELES: Oscar-winning actress Reese Witherspoon was home and recovering from being hit by a car while jogging in the beach community of Santa Monica on Wednesday, her representative said.

"The actress was not seriously injured and is resting comfortably at home," her spokeswoman said in a statement.

No further details were available. Santa Monica is a community immediately adjacent to Los Angeles.

Witherspoon, 35, became a box office sensation and A-list Hollywood star in her "Legally Blonde" comedy movies, and she won an Academy Award for best actress in drama "Walk the Line." (Reporting and Writing by Bob Tourtellotte; Editing by Zorianna Kit)

A secret mission

Posted: 08 Sep 2011 04:04 AM PDT

Officially, Apollo 17, launched on 17 December, 1972 was the last manned mission to the moon. But a year later, in December 1973, two American astronauts were sent on a secret mission to the moon funded by the US Department of Defense. What you are about to see is the actual footage which the astronauts captured on that mission. While NASA denies its authenticity, others say it's the real reason we've never gone back to the moon.

Watch what happened to Apollo 18 when the movie hits cinemas this month. We have Apollo 18 merchandise to give away. Answer the questions below.

1. Who directs this movie?

2. What is the name of the US spacecraft featured in this movie?

Email your answers with your details (name, address, IC number and contact number) to Title the subject: MOON LANDING. All entries must be mailed between the contest dates (8-14 September).

Movie Prizes

10 X Apollo 18 t-shirts

5 X Apollo 18 tool kit

5 X Apollo 18 organizer bag

5 X Hydraskins laptop skins

Rules & Regulations

1. The contest is open to all Malaysian residents residing in Malaysia only.

2. To qualify for a prize, contestants must include relevant personal details (full name, address, new IC number , contact number).

3. Contestants may only submit one entry each. Multiple entries will be disqualified.

4. One prize is allowed per contestant only.

5. Prizes are not exchangeable for cash and the organizer reserves the right to exchange the prize with that of a similar value without prior notice.

6. Staff of The Star Publications (Malaysia) Berhad, sponsors and their immediate families are not allowed to participate.

7. Judges decision is final and no correspondence will be entertained.

8. Judges will be from The Star Online.

9. For enquiries, please e-mail

Perfecting the art

Posted: 08 Sep 2011 12:23 AM PDT

Some hot Asian stars relive the glorious days of the Chinese opera in My Kingdom.

CHINESE opera has long fascinated viewers with its sumptuous imagery and dramatic presentation but still retains an air of mystery as it is rarely seen on the silver screen.

My Kingdom, the latest Chinese actioner to hit Malaysian screens, brings this vivid heritage to life with hot young Asian stars of today.

Filmed in Shanghai, this RMB70mil (RM32.7mil) martial arts epic stars Brunei's Wu Chun, China's Han Geng, Taiwan's Barbie Hsu in the title roles, ably supported by veteran action stars Yuen Biao and Yu Rongguang, as well as singer Annie Shizuka Inoh and magician Louis Liu Qian.

The Mandarin title for My Kingdom is Da Wu Sheng, which refers to the martial action performers playing warriors or kung fu heroes in a Chinese opera troupe.

Playing Guan Yilong, the elder brother who is expected to succeed his mentor and promote his northern-style opera teachings, Wu is expected to be entrusted with a fair share of the action scenes.

As a health and fitness advocate, the buff actor has taken his passion further by opening a chain of gyms. His penchant for fitness means Wu is an easy choice for action flicks although he may not necessarily be on a lookout for such roles.

Being suspended from wires until his legs were bruised and his arms were lacerated and tumbling about while fighting with spears and double broad swords may be daunting to others, but Wu found the putting on of the make-up and costumes to be the most trying of all.

"I feel that the make-up itself is already extremely challenging. Apart from applying very thick and heavy make-up, we have to bind our heads to lift our eyebrows upwards and tie our hair back very tightly to fix the headdress. If we don't loosen the head-bindings after half an hour, we would feel very dizzy and nauseous. Even the opera costumes we wore were bound very tightly," Wu offered in a phone interview from China, where he is currently filming Raymond Wong-produced Saving General Yang with Ekin Cheng, Adam Cheng, Raymond Lam and Vic Chou.

"On the whole, it would take about two and a half hours to get in character, complete with make-up, hair and costume. So, I've got the utmost admiration for dawusheng (martial action Chinese opera stars); their passion and dedication to their art is phenomenal. This has led me to understand why Chinese opera is so awe-inspiring," declared the dashing actor who will turn 32 next month.

My Kingdom is produced by Hollywood producer Andre Morgan, directed by mainland Chinese musician-turned-film director Gao Xiaosong and features choreography by award-winning Hong Kong action star Sammo Hung.

Set in 1920s, the story begins with the mass execution of the entire Meng clan under the orders of the Prince Regent of the Qing Dynasty. Saved by opera star Master Yu Shengying (Yuen Biao), Meng Erkui (Han Geng) becomes sworn brothers with Yu's disciple Guan Yilong.

Years later, the Prince Regent rewards Master Yu with the coveted golden "Wu Sheng Tai Dou" ("The Mightiest Warrior") plaque, but it is seized by his archrival Master Yue Jiangtian (Yu Rongguang) in an all-or-nothing duel.

Perfecting their skills as they grow up, Guan and Meng head south to regain their mentor's honour. The two men manage to reclaim the plaque and become overnight sensations of the opera scene along with Master Yue's protégé and former lover Xi Mulan (Barbie Hsu). Basking in the glory of their success, they gradually get entangled in a web of vengeance, love, and deceit.

With famed Chinese magician Liu on the set (playing patron of the opera General Lu), Wu had fun picking up some magic tricks.

"I'm not sure if I'm any good at it though, as I've not had a chance to demonstrate to others what I've learnt so far. Han Geng learnt some tricks, too, and he should be better at it as he has an audience to practise with," Wu replied to questions about who was better at conjuring up illusions and performing sleight-of-hand.

Wu used to be part of the four-member Taiwanese boyband Fahrenheit, while Han was part of the 13-member South Korean boyband Super Junior. So, it was inevitable that there would be some comparison.

When asked if he would accept a role as a magician, Wu said he was constantly seeking new challenges.

"As an actor, I hope for new experiences with every project I undertake. As of now, I'm filming a war movie, so I hope to try out something different next."

With seven TV series, four movies, four albums and three singles under his belt, Wu split from Fahrenheit this year to concentrate on his acting career. He has also recently filmed a TV drama titled Sunshine Angel (the Taiwanese version of South Korean drama The Successful Story Of A Bright Girl), opened his third Fitness Zone gym (he has two in his hometown of Brunei and one in Shanghai) and is even publishing a book.

My Kingdom opens in cinemas nationwide today.


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Heritage stroll in Chinatown a revelation to participants

Posted: 08 Sep 2011 05:23 AM PDT

The peeling paint and the mouldy walls of some of the buildings in Petaling Street give away their age, offering a glimpse of an bygone era.

However, little clues that actually tell the history of the place tend to go unnoticed by tourists and locals alike.

Leong Hao Yen has fond memories of shopping for Chinese New Year goodies in Petaling Street with his family but he did not know there were so many stories behind the buildings until he went on a heritage walk recently.

The 25-year-old teacher said he learned a lot from the heritage walk.

"I did not know the significance of the buildings despite being a local," he said.

Leong was one of the 40 participants who were taken on a tour of the area.

The heritage walk was organised by the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (Klscah) and the Lost Generation Space under the Petaling Street Community Art Project

Klscah chief executive officer Tang Ah Chai pointed out the details and stories behind the buildings during the walk.

"The crest on Plaza Warisan is made up of the initials of Chua Cheng Bok, who used to own the building," he said, adding that Chua was the founder of Cycle & Carriage.

He said 1918, the year the building was constructed, was etched on the wall and remains even though it was rebuilt later.

More than 40 signed up for the walk within half-a-day of the announcement and the organiser had to turn away people wanting to attend the event.

Tang gave a brief introduction of the history of Kuala Lumpur and showed old photographs of the city before the walk.

"In 1857, Raja Abdullah sent a team of 87 Chinese prospectors to Kuala Lumpur to look for tin and the town became a tin-mining area and trading hub in 1860, attracting more Chinese.

"Yap Ah Loy was appointed the third Kapitan in 1868 to administer Kuala Lumpur. There were about 1,000 Chinese in the city in 1870," he said.

Yap rebuilt the city after the Selangor Civil War that ended in 1874.

In 1880, Kuala Lumpur replaced Klang as the capital of Selangor. It later became the capital of the Federated Malay States in 1896.

During the two-hour walk, Tang drew the participants' attention to the architecture style, year of construction, building names and even the people who calligraphed the name of buildings.

"The Chinese characters, za huo hang (grocery store), written on the building which houses Grocer's Inn Hotel today was written by Lin Sen, one of the top leaders of the Kuomintang of China.

"It is proof of the close relationship between the Chinese in Kuala Lumpur and their counterparts in China in those days," Tang said.

Tang singled out a few buildings along the way, telling stories of their past glory.

"Yan Kee Records and Recording located next to a carpark, was where artistes performed and met their fans in the olden days," he said.

He said Petaling Street was commonly referred to the whole area that includes Jalan Sultan, Jalan Tun H. S. Lee, Jalan Tan Cheng Lock and Lebuh Pasar.

Tang explained that heritage preservation could be done on a building, a street or an area.

"In the issue of Jalan Sultan, we should be looking at preserving the whole community.

"When the old buildings are torn down and replaced with modern structures, the property value of the place will go up and so will the rental.

"This augurs well for the owners, but traders who cannot afford the rental will be forced to move or change their businesses. Gradually, the whole area will lose its original character," he added.

Angeline Tung, a tour guide, signed up for the walk as a refresher course in history.

"When tourists visit Kuala Lumpur, they want to see how the locals live and want to hear stories about the history of the place.

"I always start by telling them about Raja Abdullah and Yap," she said.

The organiser was looking at having similar events in the future while Chong Keat Aun from the Lost Generation Space encouraged the participants to walk their friends through the heritage trail.

"Let's do this together to let more people know about the historical values of Petaling Street," he said.

For details on Petaling Street Community Art Project, visit

Metro watch

Posted: 08 Sep 2011 04:13 AM PDT


Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman will be having a talk on "Mastering Your Future: Career, Health and Relationships" on Sept 14 from 7.30pm to 9.30pm at Auditorium PD011, Level B1, Centre for Extension Education, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman at 9, Jalan Bersatu 13/4, Petaling Jaya. Admission is free. For enquiries and registration, call 03-7957 2818/016- 2233 563 or email


There will be a public health talk on antenatal and baby care on Sept 10 from 1.30pm tp 4.20 pm at Tung Shin Hospital (Level 5, Chinese Medical Building). The talks entitled "Antenatal Care" and Normal New Born Baby Features will be conducted in English and Mandarin. Admission is free. To register, call 03- 20372388 or 016-9099665.


The National Blood Bank will be organising blood donation drives today at Ampang Hospital (9am- 5pm), Matriculation Centre in Universiti Islam Antarabangsa (9am-5pm), Management and Science University in Section 13, Shah Alam (10am-4pm) and National Heart Institute (8.30am- 4pm), Selayang Hospital (10.30am- 5.30pm), Putrajaya Hospital (9am- 4pm), President College Kuala Lumpur (10am-4.30pm) and Ampang Gleneagles Hospital (9am- 4pm).


The National Textile Museum will be hosting a talk entitled "Dream of a Drape" by Dr Aruna Gopinath who will explore the history of the saree and the techniques of tying. Admission is free. The talk will be held on Saturday (6pm-9pm) and Sunday (3pm- 6pm) at the Galeri Saindera, Level 2, 26, Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin Kuala Lumpur. To register, email or call Syahrul 012-674 2512/ Nor Asmah 019-366 7275.


Kinrara Metta Buddhist Society of Puchong is organising an Introduction to Buddhism course every Friday at 8.30pm starting on Friday until Oct 21. For registration or enquiry, call Julie at 016-270 2120 or Swee Hong at 012-370 6644 or visit


UiTM Transport Alumni will be having a Raya gathering at Kelab Darul Ehsan on Oct 1 from 2pm to 6pm. For more details, contact Amshida at 016-731 9548 or email to


Embassy of Ecuador is having a photography exhibition entitled "Sons of the Sacred Waterfall" at Pentas 2 foyer, KLPac now until Sept 18. Admission is free.


All Malaysia Malayalee Association would like to announce that the Onam Festival this year falls on Sept 9.


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Faster Internet access in Malacca

Posted: 07 Sep 2011 08:02 PM PDT

MALACCA: Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) has finally expanded the much-anticipated high-speed broadband (HSBB), UniFi, to the historic city. The UniFi was first launched in Klang Valley in March.

TM Bhd chairman Datuk Dr Halim Shafie said that in Malacca, the company had been offering high-speed broadband service since July 15 and it started with residential areas in Malim.

"We chose Malim as the first site to be equipped with the high-speed broadband because it is the biggest development in the state, with 15 residential areas.

"Our target is to make the service available to more than 5,600 premises, which will be connected to the Malim exchange, by the end of the year,'' he told reporters after a launching ceremony by Deputy Information, Communications, Art and Culture Minister Datuk Maglin Dennis D'Cruz at the Bachang Japerun here recently.

With an investment in infrastructure costing about RM9mil, Malacca is the second state outside of the Klang Valley to have UniFi service. The other state is Johor, where the service is available in Iskandar Malaysia.

Dr Halim said the broadband coverage would be expanded to the Tangga Batu exchange next year, with a progressive rollout to other areas to be conducted in phases.

Maglin, in his speech, noted that the HSBB project was a much needed national infrastructure initiative to ensure the country's competitiveness in the region.

"It is a catalyst towards transforming Malaysia into a Knowledge Economy while also boosting local industry growth in the areas of content, creative multimedia, e-commerce and information technology.

"Indirectly, the HSBB network also serves to attract international content providers to base their operations here,'' he said.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said the availability of HSBB service here was a significant achievement as it was realised ahead of its scheduled availability for the state in 2012.

"I hope the provisioning of UniFi will encourage information technology and communication adoption among the local citizens, which is in line with the Malacca's aspirations as a Green Technology City,'' he said.

UniFi is offered in three packages comprising triple-play services of high-speed Internet, video (IPTV) and phone, with speeds of 5Mbps, 10Mbps and 20Mbps. It is priced at RM149, RM199 and RM249 respectively per month.

UniFi is currently available at 72 exchange areas. It reached 937,000 premises passed as of July 26 and is aiming to complete 1.3mil premises passes by next year.

War on betting outlets

Posted: 07 Sep 2011 08:01 PM PDT

MALACCA: Malacca police will embark on a collaborative effort by implementing close coordination with all local governments in the state in an all-out-war against illegal Internet betting outlets that are mushrooming here.

State police chief Senior Asst Comm Datuk Chuah Ghee Lye acknowledged that such cooperation was vital to thwart the activities relating to cyberspace gambling.

"We have taken multi-prong measures to eliminate this menace and it is now vital for us to join hands with local governments to limit the licences and reassess aspects such as the issuance of licences to dubious outlets.

"Effective enforcement and monitoring are necessary to nip such activities in the bud. Hence, we need the cooperation of stakeholders," he said here on Tuesday.

SAC Chuah said this in relation to the state police's success in confiscating 80 computers worth about RM160,000 in 20 raids throughout the state recently.

He said the raids were carried out in Melaka Tengah, Alor Gajah and Jasin while 35 individuals were apprehended during the police operations.

He added that 14 of those detained were patrons of such outlets while more arrests were expected, to facilitate police investigations.

"We are able to carry out the raids with the tip-offs and information provided bythe public," said SAC Chuah

He said those detained would face charges under Section 4(A) of The Common Gaming House 1953.

Gutsy Englishwoman sets a shining example

Posted: 07 Sep 2011 08:01 PM PDT

KOTA KINABALU: Living with cerebral palsy never stopped Sue Rickell from pursuing her dream of getting a college degree and live life as a useful person.

Believing that the sky is the limit for her, the mother of one earned a degree in Social Science and is now the director of the Allies in Change Disability Equality Consultancy in United Kingdom. She has been heading this organisation since 1990.

The Englishwoman is an advocate in championing the rights, equality and inclusion of disabled people in society.

Born with the condition, Rickell faced a really tough time growing up as most people in her community – especially her peers – looked down on her.

* For more story in The Star today.


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