Sabtu, 17 September 2011

The Star Online: World Updates

0 ulasan
Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

The Star Online: World Updates

China's growing might adds urgency to Taiwan arms calls

Posted: 17 Sep 2011 08:28 PM PDT

BEIJING/TAIPEI (Reuters) - China's growing military strength, from stealth jets to aircraft carriers and anti-satellite missiles, has shifted the balance of power in the Taiwan Strait to Beijing's advantage, and this will not be materially affected by an imminent U.S. arms deal with Taiwan.

A visitor to the China Aviation Museum located on the outskirts of Beijing, takes a photograph of a row of old anti-aircraft guns on display August 17, 2010. (REUTERS/David Gray/Files)

The duration of any potential conflict between China and Taiwan will be a matter of days, not weeks or months, analysts and experts say.

The Obama administration is expected to notify formally Congress next week on an arms package including F-16 upgrades for the self-ruled island China claims as its own, but not the new fighters Taipei wanted.

Beijing, meanwhile, has shown no sign of ending an arms build-up that is strategically focused on Taiwan, and analysts say the arms deal will do little to alter the balance.

China's military advances have continued despite a warming of ties across the narrow Taiwan Strait that followed the election of Ma Ying-jeou as president of the democratic island in 2008, and his signing of landmark trade and economic pacts.

Taiwan's military can do little to disguise its unease.

"There have also been no signs of adjustments to military deployments facing our country," Taiwan Defence Minister Kao Hua-chu wrote in July in the foreword to its annual white paper.

"We must build forces that are as impregnable as a rock."

The U.S. Defense Department's annual assessment to Congress last month warned that China "remains focused on developing the pre-requisite military capabilities to eventually settle the dispute on Beijing's terms".

Taiwan once held the military edge against a backward Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA). Today, experts generally agree that in the event of conflict, Taiwan would have at most only a few days to hold off China and get help from outside, most likely the United States, if they were to stand any chance.

"No one's really asking the question, could Taiwan beat China in an all-out conflict," said Matt Durnin, a researcher with the World Security Institute.

"The question they're asking is whether or not Taiwan could survive long enough in a conflict it would be able to recruit other countries to support it politically or militarily."


China has not compromised on its long-term demand that Taiwan is sovereign Chinese territory and must eventually come under its control.

Beijing's military strategy, despite the warming of ties, remains focused on securing Taiwan, wrote security analyst Dean Cheng of the Heritage Foundation in Washington.

"Coupled with limitations on U.S. weapons sales, Taiwan is falling behind," Cheng said. "Worse, the steady modernisation of the PLA has not been matched by Taiwan."

Taiwan in the past was able to rely on China's inability to project power across the strait which separates them, its own technological superiority and the help of the U.S. armed forces in the event of conflict, who would easily outclass China.

"China's increasingly modern weapons and platforms threaten to negate many of those factors upon which Taiwan has depended," the Pentagon said, pointing to China's rapidly modernising navy and air force and new, formidable ballistic missiles.

Unlike China, Taiwan has no nuclear weapons, and only a small number of Patriot missiles to defend against any missile attack.

Meanwhile, China's military spending spree continues. Beijing in March said it would boost defence spending by 12.7 percent in 2011 to 600 billion yuan ($94 billion), marking a return to double-digit growth.

China downplays its spending, saying it is upgrading its outmoded forces and that its plans do not pose a threat to any country. It also notes its defence budget is far lower than that of the United States.

But President Hu Jintao has made modernising the navy a priority. China is upgrading its destroyers and frigates to provide capability to sail further and strike harder, and is developing fearsome anti-ship ballistic missiles to take out U.S. carriers.

Last month, China's first aircraft carrier made its maiden run.

Taiwan, which for years relied on better equipment and better training, has been hobbled by the refusal of any country aside from the United States to sell it weapons, fearing an angry response from China. The advantages it once maintained in the air slipped away over the past decade as China modernised.

Despite Taiwan's public calls for weaponry, defence spending has not kept pace. The NT$300 billion ($10 billion) earmarked for this year is just 2.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). Ma had promised in his 2008 election campaign to raise that to 3 percent.


The aging of Taiwan's fleet of fighters came into stark focus this week with the crash of two U.S.-built F-5 fighters, which it first put into service in the 1970s and still uses for training and reconnaissance missions.

The backbone of Taiwan's air force is made up of some 140 U.S.-made F-16s, about 60 French-built Mirage 2000s and about 130 Ching-kuo Indigenous Defense Fighters. Jets lost in accidents over the years are nearly impossible to replace.

This has spurred Taiwan's requests that the United States sell it 66 new F-16 C/D jets, a more advanced version of the ones they already operate.

The Taiwan-U.S. Business Council, which had lobbied for the sale of advanced weapons, said on Friday Obama had instead approved an upgrade for the existing fleet.

Without new jets, experts say, Taiwan would not last long in a conflict.

Training is the air force's strong suit, but experts say that a well-planned early Chinese missile strike could take out most Taiwan air base runways and leave the island's aircraft, hidden in fortified or mountain bunkers, trapped on the ground.

If the air force is old, Taiwan's navy makes it look like a paragon of modernity. It has four submarines -- two of which date from World War Two and still have some of their original brass fittings -- compared with more than 30 for China, including a few of which are nuclear powered. ($1 = 29.615 Taiwan dollars) ($1 = 6.392 Chinese yuan)

(Additional reporting by Paul Eckert in Washington, Editing by Brian Rhoads and Raju Gopalakrishnan)

Copyright © 2011 Reuters

Daughter of late Senator Ted Kennedy dies at age 51

Posted: 17 Sep 2011 12:47 PM PDT

BOSTON (Reuters) - Kara Kennedy Allen, the only daughter of the late U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy, has died at age 51, according to a Kennedy family friend.

Kennedy, who had been battling lung cancer since 2003, died on Friday evening at a sports club in Washington, they said on Saturday.

Sean Richardson, a family friend, said a statement would be issued shortly.

Kennedy was the oldest child and only daughter of the late Democratic Senator and the mother of two teenage children, a son and a daughter.

She graduated from Tufts University in Massachusetts. She served on the advisory board of the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and was also a director emeriti of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library.

She accepted the Presidential Medal of Freedom on behalf of her father shortly before his death from brain cancer in 2009.

She is survived by her two children, her mother Joan Kennedy and her brothers, Edward Kennedy Jr. and Patrick Kennedy.

(Reporting by Toni Clarke, editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Sandra Maler)

Copyright © 2011 Reuters

U.S. links Pakistan to group it blames for Kabul attack

Posted: 17 Sep 2011 12:47 PM PDT

Islamabad (Reuters) - The United States accused Pakistan on Saturday of having links to a militant group Washington blames for an attack on the U.S. embassy and other targets in Kabul and said the government in Islamabad must cut those ties.

U.S. ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter delivers a lecture on "Pakistan-United States: A way Forward," at the Institute of Strategic Studies in Islamabad April 11, 2011. (REUTERS/Faisal Mahmood/Files)

"The attack that took place in Kabul a few days ago, that was the work of the Haqqani network," the U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, Cameron Munter, told Radio Pakistan in comments aired on Saturday.

"There is evidence linking the Haqqani Network to the Pakistan government. This is something that must stop."

The Haqqani network is one of three, and perhaps the most feared, of the Taliban allied insurgent factions fighting U.S.-led NATO and Afghan troops in Afghanistan.

Insurgents in a bomb-laden truck occupied a building in Kabul on Tuesday, raining rockets and gunfire on the U.S. embassy and other targets in the diplomatic quarter of the Afghan capital, and battled police during a 20 hour siege.

Five Afghan police and 11 civilians were killed.

Washington has long blamed militants sheltering in Pakistan for violence in Afghanistan. Islamabad says its forces are taking high casualties fighting insurgents, and bristles at any suggestion it provides support for fighters.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warned Pakistan on Wednesday the United States would "do everything we can" to defend U.S. forces from Pakistan-based militants staging attacks in Afghanistan.

For Pakistan blog: click

Munter suggested ties with Pakistan, which relies heavily on billions of dollars of U.S. aid, were still heavily strained, despite recent comments from both sides on strong counter-terrorism cooperation.

"These relations today need a lot of work," he said.

The Haqqani network is perhaps the most divisive issue between the two allies, whose ties have been badly damaged by the unilateral American raid that killed Osama bin Laden in a Pakistani town in May.

Pakistani officials were not immediately available for reaction on Munter's comments.

"The key here is that this is going to take a real effort to work together, to agree who the enemy is, to make sure that we identify those people who will attack Pakistanis, Afghans, and Americans, that we do not give them any space anywhere," Munter told Radio Pakistan.

"These people have to be pursued everywhere. We will work with our Pakistani friends to make that happen but we cannot put up with this kind of fight. We have to make sure that in our talks with your leadership, we figure out the best way to put these attacks to an end."

The United States has repeatedly pressed Pakistan to go after the network, which it believes is one of the most lethal organisations in Afghanistan and enjoys sanctuaries in North Waziristan, a global hub for militants near the Afghan border.

Pakistan's powerful Directorate of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has long been suspected of maintaining ties to the Haqqani network, cultivated during the 1980s when its founder Jalaluddin Haqqani was a feared battlefield commander against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.

Asked if the Haqqani network was behind the Kabul assault, Sirajuddin Haqqani, the group's leader, told Reuters in a telephone interview on Saturday from an undisclosed location:

"For some reasons, I would not like to claim that fighters of our group had carried out the recent attack on U.S. embassy and NATO headquarters. Our central leadership, particularly senior members of the shura, suggested I should keep quiet in future if the US and its allies suffer in future."

The Haqqanis are thought to have introduced suicide bombing to Afghanistan, and are believed to have been behind high-profile attacks there, including a raid on Kabul's top hotel and an assassination attempt on the president.

In one example of the Haqqani group's effectiveness, they are believed to have helped an al Qaeda suicide bomber who killed seven CIA agents at a U.S. base in eastern Afghanistan last year, the deadliest strike on the agency in decades.

(Writing by Michael Georgy; Editing by Diana Abdallah)

Copyright © 2011 Reuters


The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

0 ulasan
Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

Stellar cast

Posted: 18 Sep 2011 04:37 AM PDT

He was born in the year John F. Kennedy was assassinated. But there's more to Greg Kinnear's uncanny resemblance to and portrayal of the charismatic president of the United States than just that.

ACADEMY Award-nominated actor Greg Kinnear has continued to build upon his already impressive resume with roles in the most diverse of projects, from Little Miss Sunshine to Fast Food Nation and As Good As It Gets. This week, Malaysian television audiences will get to see the 48-year-old actor play JFK, the 35th President of the United States, who served from 1961 until his assassination in 1963.

Indeed he's come a long way from his first starring role as a playboy in Sydney Pollack's remake of Sabrina (opposite Harrison Ford and Julia Ormond); this time Kinnear tackles the role of the Harvard graduate, war hero and beloved US president, earning himself an Emmy nomination for outstanding lead actor in a miniseries or movie in the process.

The Kennedys, from producer/writer Joel Surnow (of 24 fame), also stars Barry Pepper as Bobby Kennedy, Katie Holmes as Jackie Kennedy and Tom Wilkinson as Joseph Kennedy Sr and is a sprawling eight-hour miniseries about America's premier political dynasty.

It is a story of epic achievements and private failures, about loyalty and love, resentment and betrayal; it skirts family loyalty, of lives built on the deaths of siblings, and of sons bending to the will of their dominant father.

In the United States, The Kennedys courted much controversy. According to a report in the Los Angeles Times earlier this year, the History channel decided, in January, to yank the US$30mil miniseries off its schedule, saying it was "not a fit" for the network's brand, and slogged through an embarrassing and heavily publicised quest to find a new home for the project. It finally premiered in the US on ReelzChannel, a little-known, independent cable network.

The controversy has not travelled across the seas, thankfully, and Asian viewers will get a chance to watch the show on History this week. Here, Kinnear shares some thoughts about the making of the miniseries.

What was it like getting the part to play John F. Kennedy?

After I said yes to the role, I felt the weight of responsibility. I admit that it was a very daunting and intimidating role to take on, but also a great one as it was a six-month history class for me.

(I was) playing somebody who is deeply resonated in the American consciousness; Jack Kennedy – the 35th President of the country – is still somebody who is deeply admired and revered. I found that he's not just a fascinating person but also had a fascinating legacy as a politician. If you look at Barack Obama today, he has a pretty tough hand to deal with in the world today ... crises come and go in history, and Jack was dealt a very tough hand himself. At that time, if you think of the the Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Bay of Pigs Invasion, and the series of events that took place in his administration, it's kind of overwhelming.

Were there any challenging moments playing JFK?

Definitely! Getting Kennedy's speaking voice and accent right was one of the big challenges I faced. He had a very fast mind and spoke quickly and clearly. We are all familiar with his strong Boston sound, but only few people realise how often that sound changed. It was different when he was on a platform speaking to 5,000 people, from when he was sitting discussing political options with his cabinet and executives. His sound changed at one-on-one interviews.

After filming The Kennedys, tell us a little about John F. Kennedy from what you've learnt.

John F. Kennedy was a very complicated person who meant a lot of things to a lot of different people. I have my own interpretation of who he was and what his legacy was but the gist of it is that Kennedy served as President of the United States during an extraordinary period of time and brought us exceptional social and political changes in a short time, in 1,000 days. He gave the country a sense of purpose and enthusiasm which was much needed at that time.

When he was a 30-year-old congressman, he was very wooden and awkward in his speeches. But as he matured, he grew into the presidency. He developed confidence and a great ability to communicate to crowds of people and more intimately on television. He was the first president to use television to advance his own platforms.

Kennedy worked hard to appear strong and masculine; therefore, he and his staff hid the fact that he suffered from various ailments including Addison's disease. The American public didn't know that John was in absolute acute pain in his lower back most of the time and had been plagued by illness his whole life.

How was your experience working with your co-stars?

Barry Pepper is, hands down, unbelievable as Bobby Kennedy. His performance is staggering great work. I felt like it when I was doing it. I had a great partnership come out of this with Barry. He is a hardworking guy. He took this role and completely made it his own. I have the highest respect for him.

As for Tom Wilkinson, if you asked me one or two years ago whom I would like to work with, he'd be on a very short list of people that I would have said to you.

I had worked with Katie Holmes before in The Gift. I was killing her in the woods when I last worked with her. But this was a vastly different thing. Her work in The Gift was really fantastic. Her playing Jackie Kennedy, in a certain way, was the hardest role to take on. I have great respect for her because she worked incredibly hard and really gave a nice performance.

Don't miss Greg Kinnear in The Kennedys on History (Astro Ch 555) from tomorrow until Thursday this week, every night at 9pm. At the Emmys, The Kennedys' nominations include one for outstanding miniseries, as well as several more for acting performances; Greg Kinnear and Barry Pepper are up for best actor in a miniseries; and Tom Wilkinson is up for supporting actor.

Hostess with the mostest

Posted: 18 Sep 2011 04:30 AM PDT

JANE Lynch is no longer losing sleep over her Emmy hosting duties.

"I'm okay," the Glee star affirmed with a smile last Wednesday after rolling out the red carpet in front of the Nokia Theatre in downtown Los Angeles. "I actually slept okay last night for the first time in about a week. I've been having some anxiety issues."

Lynch has been hard at work backstage on the show with longtime pals Jill and Faith Soloway from Chicago.

The trio previously worked together on Annoyance Theatre's The Real Live Brady Bunch in the 1990s. (Lynch played matriarch Carol Brady.)

The first-time host promised that the Chi-Town ladies would bring "kind of a Chicago feel" to today's 63rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards.

"Jane is certainly going to be central to our experience," said Academy of Television Arts and Sciences chairman John Shaffner.

"I think the host of a programme like this is the best friend who sits on the sofa and tells you great stories as the evening goes on and comments on the work. She's here to keep us engaged in that way as a best friend."

Lynch has won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for her performance as Sue Sylvester on Glee and is up for another Emmy this year. She was the first choice of executive producer Mark Burnett to host this year's show.

The Apprentice and Survivor mastermind said he voted for the 50-year-old actress to lead the show even before clearing it with his alliance.

"My only choice I wanted was Jane Lynch," said Burnett. "I had not yet gotten permission to ask her from the Academy or Fox. I ran into Jane on a plane. We were both coming back from the upfronts in New York. I just went over to her and said, 'I have no permission right now, but if I can get permission, would you host the Emmys for me?"' – AP

Hanging in the balance

Posted: 18 Sep 2011 04:28 AM PDT

Carell, Hamm, Laurie: Emmy also-rans yet again?

IT'S hard to picture TV stars such as Steve Carell, Jon Hamm and Hugh Laurie as perennial also-rans. But that's what they've been in recent years at Emmy time, as rival nominees hog the golden statuettes.

Will any of the threesome shed his also-ran status this year? That question is on Emmy-watchers' minds as awards night draws near.

– Here's Carell, nominated as outstanding lead actor in a comedy series for his fifth and final year starring on The Office – and already snubbed four years running.

– Here's Hamm, who has seen his series, Mad Men, reap best-drama Emmys all three of its seasons while best-actor nominee Hamm got shut out.

– And up against Hamm, here's Hugh Laurie, a six-time nominee (and, up to now, annual washout) on the medical drama House, about to start its last season.

Mind you, there's no disgrace in a series star being stuck with an also-ran streak.

Among actor nominees, the beloved Angela Lansbury wears the crown as all-time Emmy loser. She was rebuffed a dozen times for Murder, She Wrote and has lodged six more losses for other nominated TV performances.

Fellow unanointed actors include five-time loser Jackie Gleason (even as Art Carney picked up six Emmys for his work with "the Great One"), and Andy Griffith, who was never nominated as Sheriff Andy Taylor, while his goofy sidekick, Don Knotts, raked in five trophies.

And let's not forget (though Emmy judges long have) Bill Maher, who has yet to win an Emmy after 26 bids stretching back to 1995. His current series, Real Time With Bill Maher, has earned him 11 nods: producing (six); writing (four); and hosting (one). Real Time is nominated again this year for best variety, music or comedy series - but it faces The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, which has won the past eight years straight.

Handicappers think Hamm has a good shot this year for best actor in a drama. One hopeful sign: Bryan Cranston, the actor who has made Hamm an also-ran by winning for Breaking Bad the past three years, is out of action this year. Breaking Bad didn't air in the qualifying period.

Besides Laurie, Hamm is facing Steve Buscemi, Michael C. Hall, Kyle Chandler and Timothy Olyphant – none of them slouches. Still, you can't overstate the impact of an Emmy nemesis such as Cranston – or his welcome absence.

Recall how, in 1996, Candice Bergen withdrew from consideration as a nominee for her starring role in the sitcom Murphy Brown. Having collected five Emmys by then, she said she wanted to give other actresses a chance. With Bergen out of contention, Helen Hunt won for Mad About You annually until its end four years later. For the three years before Bergen bowed out, Hunt had been a jilted nominee.

"I think it's finally Jon Hamm's time to win," says Tom O'Neil, editor of the award websites and

Short of peeking inside the sealed envelopes, O'Neil may have the sharpest insight of anyone as to who the winners will be. So consider his analysis:

First, Mad Men this year submitted a doozie of an episode to spotlight Hamm's range as 1960s ad man Don Draper. Among Emmy's actor categories, a jury considers just one sample episode per nominee, so it better be persuasive. (Angela Lansbury's Murder role as a writer-detective always put her in the service of each episode's crime-solving, while, in the process, denying her the sort of Emmy-worthy actorly scene she could have handled with ease.)

O'Neil thinks this year Mad Men got it right by submitting the episode called The Suitcase.

"It's a big acting showcase for Hamm," says O'Neil. "He gets every emotion: He cries; he's drunk; he's confessional; he's humble; he's boisterous and bawdy."

By contrast, Laurie could continue to suffer from a problem endemic to his role on House: "He plays an unlikable character," says O'Neil. "You don't want to hug crusty, cranky Dr House. I think that has backfired on Hugh Laurie."

A similar problem may have plagued Steve Carell: Michael Scott, the paper-company branch manager he played on The Office, is "creepy," O'Neil sums up.

This year, Carell may have overcome that character deficit by submitting as his entry his farewell appearance on the series. That episode, O'Neil notes, "has a sense of history, and heart-tugging moments."

Maybe so. But who can say if it's enough to make an also-ran a winner? – AP


The Star Online: Business

0 ulasan
Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

The Star Online: Business

Beauty within reach

Posted: 16 Sep 2011 08:29 PM PDT

L'Oreal believes in providing affordable innovation for all

A Hundred and two years of building a vibrant empire and L'Oreal group is still charging ahead full steam to strenghen its grip.

With global sales hitting 20 billion euros, operations in 130 countries and one billion consumers, L'Oreal has set a target to capture a bigger market.

"What's really exciting now is our mission to double our customers by another billion by 2020," says L'Oreal Malaysia managing director Andrew Stanleick tells StarBizWeek.

It has taken L'Oreal over a century to garner a strong following. No doubt, doubling the figure in 10 years would be a feat. However, Stanleick's aspirations are unfettered.

"We really feel that the potential customers will come from markets in Asia, Latin America, Russia and eastern Europe. Asia alone is a reservoir of growth for us," he says. Asia currently represents 15% of the group's total consumers. The group has adopted the "universalisation" concept to achieve its goal.

The core idea is to "make beauty available to everyone in the world, wherever you live, whatever your ethnic group, income level or buying power," says Stanleick.

"We have something called accessible innovation and this is our secret to how well we reach consumers. It's about removing the financial barrier to be in every market by tailor-making products so that they are affordable for everyone," he elaborates.

L'Oreal has 23 international brands under its stable. In Malaysia, it carries 16 brands that cater to various groups of consumers with products selling from a few ringgit to RM600 each.

"That's the strength of L'Oreal. We have very accessible brands like Garnier, Mabelline New York and L'Oral Paris but moving up through the income levels, we also have premium brands such as Lancme and Krastase which are catered to consumers who can afford to spend more money on themselves," Stanleick says.

Quantitative research

Consumer research is a strategy not lost in L'Oreal which spends 3% of its group annual turnover on research and development.

Besides quantitative research, it holds focus groups and home visits to better understand consumer needs.

"We're not just taking European formulas like many companies did in the past as we have innovation centres in Asia creating products tailored to the specific needs of Asians. There is a lot of ongoing research in Malaysia to create formulas for the skin types and needs of the local consumers.

"Malaysia is interesting for the group because we can share formulas with Indonesia, China and also India because of the unique ethnic backgrounds here. The consumer insights we obtain from working in Malaysia showed us the different needs and approaches to beauty.

"For example, the Malay approach to beauty is somewhat different from the Chinese or Indian," he says.

Stanleick and his team of senior managers make monthly home visits to understand consumers fromall walks of life in the urban and rural areas.

"We find out what the different ethnic groups are using, their approach to health and beauty, their spending habits, the products they use or what would they like to have," he says.

L'Oreal Paris' Revitalift was created following a home visit more than a year ago. It essentially led to the creation of a single product with whitening and anti-aging properties so that consumers would not need to buy two separate products.

Tailoring the products to Asian needs was reflected in the group's advertising campaigns.

"A decade ago, corporations used international stars as their spokesmodels but our research tells us that it is no longer enough. Local consumers want reassurance from a local spokesmodel," says Stanleick, adding that local spokesmodels like Maya Karin, Liyana Jasmay and Aaron Aziz are just as successful if not more popular than some of the global spokesmodels.

L'Oreal now uses a combination of local and foreign celebrities in its advertisements.

Not slowing down

L'Oreal Malaysia which enjoys a 15% market share of the local cosmetics industry has seen double-digit growth in the past five years with an annual turnover in excess of RM500mil. Last year, it became the number one cosmetics company in Malaysia.

"Malaysia is a key contributor of growth in Asia as its consumption of beauty products is higher. Although losing out to some Asian countries in terms of population, it punches above its weight," he says.

The per capita spending on beauty products here is 10.7 euros compared with Thailand's 10.1 euros, China, 4.1 euros and India, 1.4 euros, according to Nielsen Retail Audit.

He also points out that the men skin care market in Malaysia has "accelerated despite the economic downturn of 2008".

"Interestingly, the men's market has really expanded. From our research, men are starting to use grooming products at a younger age and there is pressure on them to look good at the office," he says.

One example is Garnier Men, the men's range of products which was launched in January 2010.

With a 22% market share, the brand, according to Nielsen has seen a 157% average growth in the past year and three times the growth rate of the mass male skincare market.

In the global arena, L'Oreal has not shown any "sign of aging". Even with recent economic turmoil in its core markets - Europe and the United States - Stanleick believes that the group can still sustain sales.

"The cosmetics market is very resilient in times of crisis or recession. We've seen that during the Great Depression, Second World War and in current economic downturn."

He points out that while people may not commit to big ticket items like cars or houses, they will still spend on themselves to look good.

"Women in particular, still want to put on a brave face' to get through the day. They may not be able to afford the Yves Saint-Laurent dress or Giorgio Armani handbag but they can afford our brand of fragrances," he says.

While economic uncertainty will be cause for concern, the past has shown that this industry is recession-proof. That said, L'Oreal responded well to the crisis of 2008.

"We had to adjust our business model and I think one of the things that we've done successfully was launching accessible and better value products," he says.

Giving back to society

Besides enhancing external beauty, L'Oreal gives back to society through four of its philantropic initiatives - L'Oreal for women in science campaign (recognises and supports young female researchers), hairdressers of the world against AIDS (educational training kit for hairdressing instructors), Look good feel better workshops in collaboration with Cancer Society of Malaysia (makeovers for cancer patients) and the Keep in school scheme which supports 100 children affected with AIDS alongside the Malaysian AIDS Foundation.

The company encourages staff engagement during weekend charity activities to promote interaction and team-building.

"Internal communication is really important," Stanleick says, adding that the company has newsletters, monthly town hall meetings where he takes questions from the staff.

"More and more young people are willing to challenge, ask questions about the direction and decisions of the company," he notes.

He adds that the need for talents in Malaysia is also a catalyst for corporations to retain those with potential.

"The country has suffered an element of brain drain so there is quite a small pool of talent from which so many corporations are fighting to get their workers," he says.

L'Oreal has an employee engagement programme called MyConnect Team and an integration programme called FIT to help newcomers integrate into the company with the guidance of a mentor.


The Star Online: Sports

0 ulasan
Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

The Star Online: Sports

Presidents Cup spots up for grabs at BMW Championship

Posted: 17 Sep 2011 06:05 PM PDT

LEMONT, Illinois, Sept 17 (Reuters) - A $1.4 million purse for the winner and a shot at a $10 million bonus will be riding on the final round of the BMW Championship but for Australians Geoff Ogilvy and John Senden there is something just as valuable to be won on Sunday - a place on the International team for the Presidents Cup.

Ten of the 12 places on both the International and United States teams will be decided after Sunday's final round of the BMW and Ogilvy and Senden both put themselves right in contention.

Senden finished Saturday's third round of the BMW in outright second place, behind Britain's Justin Rose, while Ogilvy was tied for third after a 68.

The two Australians are also battling to make it into next week's lucrative Tour Championship in Atlanta, but Ogilvy was clear about what he values more, particularly with the Presidents Cup being played in his backyard at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club in November.

"I think The Presidents Cup surely has to be a bigger deal," Ogilvy told reporters.

"Those team events are pretty special to play in and it happens to be not only my home golf course but a golf course that I grew up right next door. The BMW is the last chance for players to automatically book their places on both the United States and International rosters.

Ten of the 12 places on the U.S. team will be determined by the PGA money list after Sunday's final round while the top 10 International berths will be decided by world rankings.

The two team captains will also select two picks of their own on Sept. 27. The U.S. captain Fred Couples has already said Tiger Woods would get one of the American spots but the International captain, Australian Greg Norman, has not yet indicated who he will pick.

Ogilvy is currently 10th on the International order of merit and will secure a place as long as he finishes in the top 20 at Cog Hill, the host course of the BMW, unless Senden, who is currently 23rd, wins the tournament. In that case, Ogilvy would have to finish in the top five.

But the Australian plans to kill two birds with the same stone, knowing a top three finish will guarantee him a place in the Tour Championship, which features only the top 30 players on the FedEx Cup standings fighting for a $10 million jackpot.

"The Presidents Cup is a pretty big deal and I would love to play Atlanta," Ogilvy said.

"If I have a good round tomorrow, I'll get both goals achieved."

For Senden, the equation for making the Presidents Cup team is simple. He needs to win the BMW or rely on the goodwill of Norman.

"To represent the International team with Greg Norman as the captain, who we idolised as young guys, would be fantastic, and making it to Atlanta would be fabulous," Senden said.

The Presidents Cup is also on the minds of several U.S. players, including Jim Furyk.

The top six places on the U.S. team are already locked up by Matt Kuchar, Steve Stricker, Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Nick Watney and Webb Simpson, leaving a handful of others, including Furyk, scramblinf for the other spots.

"I's on the back of my mind, it's weighing on me," said Furyk. "Obviously I want to make the team but the only thing I can really control is how I play.

"It's hard not to look at the leaderboard but ultimately all I can control is how I play, and I need to go out there and probably play a little bit better."

Random dope tests to be carried out again in the MHL

Posted: 17 Sep 2011 04:25 PM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: Random dope tests will again be carried out in this year's Malaysia Hockey League.

Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) secretary Maninderjit Singh said the National Sports Institute (NSI) would be deploying doping squads to selected league matches.

"Our aim is to clean up the sport. It is an on-going exercise. We have been carrying out dope tests regularly for the last few years. Coaches and team officials in the league can also request for their players to be tested if they have any doubts on any of their players," added Maninderjit.

To date, three hockey players have been tested positive for drug use. They were, however, caught for using recreational drugs and not performance-enhancing drugs. A Sapura player was tested positive in the 2009-2010 MHL and was subsequently banned by the MHF for two years.

The other two players were caught at the Sukma in Malacca last year. No action has been taken against the duo yet.

Sapura to kick off campaign without forward Rodhanizam

Posted: 17 Sep 2011 04:25 PM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: Sapura will kick off their Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) campaign without forward Mohamed Rodhanizam Radzie.

Rodhanizam was suspended for two matches for a deliberate foul against KL Hockey Club in the 2010-2011 MHL final in March. As he did not play in any Malaysia Hockey Federation-sanctioned tournaments like the Razak Cup or the qualifiers in July, he will now serve out his suspension in the MHL.

Sapura coach I. Vicknesweran, however, is not too distraught by Rodhanizam's absence.

"We will make do with the 17 players in the first two games. We do have capable players and should be able to fill the vacuum," he said. Sapura will begin their season against Armed Forces followed by Maybank on Wednesday.

"There are no easy matches this season. We are not going to take Armed Forces or Maybank lightly. The soldiers have the same side that played in the recent Razak Cup where they qualified for the semi-finals. They are a very fit side.

"As for Maybank, they have always been a tough and experienced team," said Vicknesweran.

Sapura have bolstered their goalkeeping department with the recent recruitment of former national junior Mohamed Khairulnizam Ibrahim following the retirement of Mohamed Nasihin Nubli.

"I think we have a safe keeper in Khairulnizam. He played very well in the Razak Cup. We need to start well and keep it going. Khairulnizam will be crucial to a good start," said Vicknesweran.


The Star Online: Nation

0 ulasan
Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

The Star Online: Nation

Child among four M'sians killed in Golok blasts

Posted: 17 Sep 2011 07:38 AM PDT

SUNGAI GOLOK (Southern Thailand): Three Malaysians, including a child, were killed and at least 50 others injured after three bombs exploded in this popular border town.

The blasts occurred along Jalan Cheroen Ket, a popular nightlife haunt, near a hotel and a cultural centre. The first blast took place at 7.30pm Friday (Malaysian time), according to residents.

Sungai Golok deputy mayor Rusdi Che Omar on Saturday said police identified the dead as Foong Foo Keah, 45, from Kuantan, Pahang, Wong Hong Yep, 63 and his three-year-old grandson Wong Kai Sien, both from Jalan Hamzah, Kota Baru.

Another Malaysian Chan Yew Soon, 63, also from Kota Baru, passed away at 8.30pm.

A Thai national, an unidentified 38-year-old volunteer worker, was also killed in the blasts.

Wong and his grandson arrived here with friends on Thursday to do some shopping.

Nineteen other Malaysians, two in serious condition, are receiving treatment at the Yala Hospital.

More in Sunday Star.

Johor DAP leader under probe over party funds

Posted: 17 Sep 2011 05:19 AM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): The DAP disciplinary committee is to investigate a Bakri division leader in Johor over alleged misappropriation of funds amounting to RM45,000.

Committee chairman Tan Kok Wai told Bernama that two DAP branches in the state lodged a report with the committee on the matter two weeks ago.

"We (the disciplinary committee) will meet this Friday to look into the allegation. Those involved have been notified to appear before the committee," he said. An allegation surfaced in recent weeks through email that a DAP leader in Bakri had misappropriated party funds collected over the past four years.

According to the allegation, the leader had transferred the funds into a company account and used the money to purchase a four-wheel-drive vehicle which was not registered in the party's name. BERNAMA

Video clip showing Anwar and Shazryl Eskay surfaces

Posted: 17 Sep 2011 05:13 AM PDT

PETALING JAYA: A video clip has surfaced showing a man resembling Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in an apartment building with businessman Datuk Shazryl Eskay Abdullah at the time when Anwar was alleged to have sex with a prostitute.

The clip, posted on the blog, showed CCTV footage of both men going into and exiting the lift of the apartment.

The time stamp on the clip showed that the recording was done on Feb 21 (at 10.09pm and 10.52pm which showed both men at the lift), the day Anwar was alleged to have been with the woman.

Shazryl Eskay, former Malacca chief minister Tan Sri Rahim Thamby Chik and former Perkasa treasurer-general Datuk Shuib Lazim - or the Datuk T trio - have admitted to screening a sex video allegedly showing Anwar with the woman.

They were fined a total of RM5,500 by a magistrate court.


The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies

0 ulasan
Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies

Pearl Jam opens up on 20 years of rock fame

Posted: 16 Sep 2011 05:59 PM PDT

TORONTO, Sept 16 (Reuters): Cameron Crowe's documentary "Pearl Jam Twenty" takes viewers on a 20-year behind-the-scenes journey with a band that has reached the top of the rock 'n' roll pantheon while refusing to embrace the spotlight.

"It's more than just a rock documentary," Academy Award winner Crowe said of the film he pieced together from over 1,200 hours of archived footage and recent interviews.

Highs like Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder slow-dancing with Nirvana's Kurt Cobain beneath a stage while Eric Clapton plays "Tears in Heaven" above intersect lows like the suffocation deaths of nine fans at the band's Roskilde, Denmark concert in 2000, throughout the two-hour film.

"I'm still emotionally coming down from parts of it," guitarist Mike McCready said in an interview along with the rest of the band and Crowe following the premier of the documentary at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).

"I had to sit down a while ago because I was overwhelmed ... much like a concert, but even more so."

Crowe, director of "Jerry Maguire" and a rock journalist in Seattle in the '80s, spent three years making the film. It hits movie screens worldwide on Sept. 20 for a one-night showing, then runs for a week in select markets starting on Sept. 23.

The Seattle-based group is also releasing a 384-page book and a 29-song soundtrack to mark its first two decades. A DVD of the documentary with extra footage will follow.

There are points in the film where the band appears near collapse, such as during its battle against Ticketmaster in the mid-90's, or the Roskilde tragedy, which drummer Matt Cameron said was for him the most wrenching part of watching the film.

"But it's an important part of our story too, of our survival, because we could have easily thrown in the towel," he said. "It brings memories to the front by sort of reliving it with an audience. That catharsis was very real with all of us."

The birth of Pearl Jam followed the drug overdose of Andrew Wood, the charismatic singer of Mother Love Bone, in 1990. That group's guitarist Stone Gossard and bassist Jeff Ament later hooked up with McCready and Soundgarden's Cameron. Together they brought in Vedder, a surfer from San Diego, to sing.

Pearl Jam played their first show six days later.

Fame came quickly, but the band turned their backs on it. Vedder did not want to make videos, and in his acceptance speech for best hard rock performance at the 1996 Grammy Awards, he said, "this doesn't mean anything."

Twenty years on, Pearl Jam is ready to open up about its rise to fame and struggle to avoid its trappings.

"We've kept it all pretty tight," Gossard said, adding that at this point, "it's good to not be afraid to kind of let out some stuff and let people in to see how the process works and what the personalities are like."

In the film, Cameron interviews the band members in their homes, and Gossard has a hard time finding any Pearl Jam paraphernalia. All of the band members have side projects that keep them busy, from Vedder's ukulele album, to Cameron's work on a new Soundgarden CD, and Ament's new band Tres Mts.

"When we do put on the shoes that we wear in this band, it's such a treat," Ament said. "We're not always under the lights and when we played Montreal the other night, I was like, 'Oh my God, wow! This is the most insane thing ever!'"

The band squeezed in TIFF just days into a 22-date tour.

They played a two-and-a-half hour set in Toronto on Sunday to a sold-out arena that ended with an epic version of Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World," featuring "uncle Neil" himself wailing away with the band to the thrill of the crowd.

Pearl Jam has worked with Young in the past and credits the nearly 66-year-old with being a major inspiration. Vedder attended Young's premier before dashing off for Pearl Jam's second sold-out Toronto concert on Monday.

Back in 1991, when the band played their first show, they had eight songs. "Now we can play, literally, almost 140 songs at any given time," Vedder said. And do they have another 20 years in them?

"I dare you to come up and try to keep up with me, Matt, or any of us," Vedder said.

Pearl Jam, Cameron Crowe recount favorite rock docs

Posted: 16 Sep 2011 05:57 PM PDT

TORONTO, Sept 16 (Reuters): "Pearl Jam Twenty" is a film by Academy Award winning director Cameron Crowe that chronicles the first two decades of the band's existence.

It debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival, where documentaries about music and those who make it took center stage this year, with films featuring U2, Paul McCartney, and Neil Young also being screened.

Crowe and the band sat down with Reuters after a screening of their film and talked about some the music documentaries that really affected them. Here's what they had to say.

Cameron Crowe: "Can I do two? Okay, 'Gimme Shelter,' and 'Don't Look Back.' 'Gimme Shelter,' because it's just amazing, on-the-fly filmmaking on this incredible event - Altamont."

"'Don't Look Back' just captures the white-hot heat of somebody who's exploding and there are cameras and microphones heading their way everywhere they go and it's Bob Dylan and they expect him to be profound and he's that and he's everything else and they caught it all on film and it's great.

Eddie Vedder: "'The Kids are Alright,' and 'Last Waltz.' I got caught smoking pot and I got grounded for a week in the summer and it wasn't that bad, because all I did was listen to 'Last Waltz' for 18 hours-a-day."

Matt Cameron: "I saw 'Jimi plays Berkley.' And the film '(Jimi) Hendrix.' Those two movies kind of blew my mind as a teen ... And also, Freddie and his friends, ('Freddie Mercury - The Untold Story') about Freddie Mercury's home life. It had nothing to do with Queen, just how he was as a person, and all of these people just loved the hell out of him. It was mind-blowingly cool."

Jeff Ament: "There was a documentary that came out three or four years ago called "American Hardcore." That was sort of the music that I learned how to play to to some degree and I saw some of those bands, but ... to see some of the footage of some of the Detroit bands and the Boston bands was pretty amazing."

Stone Gossard: "'Spinal Tap' has got to be in there too. It really is something that affected me hugely."

Mike McCready: "I would say life-changing was 'Woodstock,' when it was on TV. Certainly, my first concept of a rock singer ever was probably Roger Daltrey at Woodstock doing his thing and going, 'Fuck! There's a rock singer, that's what they look like.' And Hendrix, of course - his version of 'The Star Spangled Banner' was the one that went into my soul and I grabbed it, grabbed it and I ran with it.

"And in terms of just changing my way of playing, probably seeing The Band, 'Last Waltz' and watching Muddy Waters on that - that changed my mind-set in a day in moving away from metal and going, 'hey, it can be a lot more simple and a lot more emotional. You don't have to play a thousand notes, or wear a silly-ass jacket."


The Star Online: Metro: Central

0 ulasan
Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

The Star Online: Metro: Central

Rakyat turn up in full force for Merdeka, M'sia Day celebrations

Posted: 17 Sep 2011 05:07 AM PDT

PATRIOTISM was in the air at Dataran Merdeka as thousands of Malaysians and tourists turned up as early as 7am to join in the 54th Merdeka and 48th Malaysia Day celebrations.

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Nur Zahirah, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and wife Puan Sri Noorainee Abdul Rahman attended the celebrations.

A total of 10,073 people consisting of government workers, schoolchildren, armed forces, non-governmental organisations, uniformed bodies and bands took part in the parade.

The parade was a sight to behold as drumline troupes made their way, playing loud music, while groups from several organisations performed various dances.

There was also a parade with antique cars carrying public figures, including badminton champion Datuk Lee Chong Wei.

The highlight was the performance by the armed forces with fighter jets and helicopters flying past.

Families, teenagers and foreigners were seen waving the Jalur Gemilang.

Two of the most outstanding characters were Jenny Lee Lai, 56, a regular at most patriotic events as well as first timer Rosli Yusuf, 44.

Lee, who is somewhat of a celebrity among Malaysians these days, was seen showing off a 1Malaysia sign and the Jalur Gemilang as well as a batik pants to complete her ensemble.

"I love doing this for my country. No one else in my family shares the same passion as I do but this is the way I show my love for Malaysia," said the tuition teacher.

Rosli, a trader from Uptown Damansara, said this was his first time at the parade, dressed in Jalur Gemilang overalls while walking on stilts.

The trader, who is known as Uncle Ting Tong, said he intended to join the festivities last year but could not do so due to his busy schedule.

Friends, Kamzailan Kamal, 47, Ahmad Soofi Jaafar, 53, Shamsul Bakri Padhil, 33 and Safri Osman, 53, made baju Melayu with the traditional "Jippa" cutting at the side to represent the unity in Malaysia.

Lone ranger Kamarudin Salleh was seen waving a large flag on top of a boulder at the Dataran Merdeka. A cashier with Jaya Jusco, he was seen wearing his tag and a T-shirt with the Sarawak flag, a feat Kamarudin has been doing since 1995.

"I come here every year to celebrate our National Day as a Sarawakian because I feel the need to honour our country," he added.

Parents also took the opportunity to bring their young children to the parade to teach them the spirit of 1Malaysia and the essence of patriotism.

Zulkafli Abdul Rahman, 46, from Setapak Jaya, said he felt it was important to instill the love for Malaysia in his 10-year-old daughter Humaira Huda.

His wife also took part in the march past during the Merdeka celebrations in Bukit Jalil last year.

"It is a wonderful feeling to be a part of the celebrations and we wanted our daughter to feel the same way," said Latifah Azlan.

University Malaya Medical Centre's radiography students Nor Ashila Kamis, 19, Siti Khadijah Mislan, 22, and Nurul Asyikin Samat, 19, were enthralled to see the march past and cheered on each contingent that walked past.

Tourists from Australia Earle Taske, 60 and Ann Taske, 61, said they loved watching the bands perform.

The couple, who have been to Malaysia four times, said this was their first Merdeka and Malaysia Day parade.

"It is fun to see so many people here and they all look happy and proud to be Malaysians," said Taske.

Both would love to come back to the country to experience National Day again.

Over 100 booths taking part in Epicure M’sia this weekend

Posted: 17 Sep 2011 05:05 AM PDT

FOODIES take note. Mark your diaries for today and tomorrow. Make your way to the Sime Darby Convention Centre in Bukit Kiara and embark on a culinary journey at the Epicure Malaysia 2011 event.

More than 100 exhibition spaces will be featuring a variety of gourmet food, fine wines, gourmet coffee as well as home appliances, fitted kichen ware and much more.

Apart from the exhibition booths, there will be more than 70 live workshops featuring the usage of fine foods like chocolates, cheese, fine wines and spirits and the best part is the public can indulge in a sampling session and taste a variety of cuisines served.

Meanwhile, the Malaysia International Gourmet Festival 2011 is back and will be held for one month starting Oct 1 to Oct 31 with 28 restaurants participating this year.

"It's Raining Chefs! is the theme for this year," said festival organising chairman Datuk Steve Day at the media launch at Pavilion KL recently.

The event was launched by Tourism Malaysia secretary-general Datuk Dr Ong Hong Peng who was representing Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen.

"We deliberately choose a lighthearted tagline aimed at giving the festival universal appeal,'' explained Day.

"Malaysia is relaxed and a friendly food destination. Fine dining here is not only about serving the best cuisines and having top-notch service standards — it's about having fun too!'' he added.

Throughout October, 28 of the country's leading restaurant's will serve up their own culinary creations. There will be a Festival Gala Launch on Sept 29, where all the restaurants will showcase their dishes from their festival menus at the Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa, while the festival's grand finale will sign off on Nov 3 at the Sunway Lagoon Surf Beech.

For details log on to


The Star Online: Lifestyle: Arts & Fashion

0 ulasan
Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

The Star Online: Lifestyle: Arts & Fashion

The Art Race: A race with a difference

Posted: 17 Sep 2011 12:18 AM PDT

'Tis a race with a difference – participants hurry to six art galleries in George Town, perform tasks in double-quick time (hopefully), and then race to the finish line for their rewards.

SCENES reminiscent of popular reality television shows will play out at several art galleries in George Town tomorrow as participants in an art race try to beat each other to the finish line and win the grand prize of a holiday in Langkawi.

The Art Race, believed to be the first of its kind to be held in Penang, will involve six galleries around the city, and is arguably the highlight of the 1Malaysia Contemporary Art Tourism Carnival's (1MCAT) three-day festival, which began at No. 57 Macalister Building yesterday.

The festival, themed In-Sight Penang, is part of the month-long 1MCAT event which ends on Sept 30, and is organised by the Tourism Ministry and Tourism Malaysia, Muzium & Galeri Tuanku Fauziah, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) and the Penang State Museum Board.

Of the 20 galleries around Penang involved in the art festival, six were chosen to play host for the seven pit stops in the art race because of their location in the city centre. Nurul Ashikin Shuib, curator of the Muzium & Galeri Tuanku Fauziah, says the race is a novel idea mooted by the organising committee to attract people – in particular those who have never set foot in an art gallery – to visit and explore the works contained inside.

"We hope the exciting nature of the event will entice people with limited art knowledge to come and broaden their horizons. Besides enjoying the games, they will also get to explore the world of art and gain some knowledge.

"It would be even better if some are sufficiently inspired to take up the brush themselves," she says hopefully, explaining that participants will be required to complete tasks or answer questions at the six galleries.

If they're successful and get their answers right, they will earn a stamp in "passports" specially made for the race. The first to the finish line with all seven stamps will win a return Penang-Langkawi flight ticket, with accommodation for three days and two nights.

The second prize is a similar package at Naza Hotel Penang, while the third prize is a two-day/one-night stay at Cititel Hotel Penang.

Stressing that it's important to expose the younger generation to art, Nurul says they hope to attract at least 200 participants for the race which flags off at 10am. The race is open to anyone aged between 13 and 45. Participants are free to select any of the galleries as their starting point.

"The galleries have been selected due to their location within the city centre, making it logistically less taxing on participants. But they will still need to be healthy to run the race! The current exhibitions held at the respective galleries are what we feel will appeal to both newcomers to the world of art, as well as budding art aficionados," Nurul Ashikin adds.       

Galeri Seni Mutiara, whose two outlets at the Whiteaways Arcade and Armenian Street are among the pit stops, will have lovely depictions of flora and fauna in exhibitions titled Garden Of Art and Wildlife respectively. Director cum curator Koay Soo Kau believes that in a concrete jungle world characterised by steel and glass megaliths, art provides a good medium to cultivate a sense of appreciation for the wonders of nature before they (heaven forbid) become mere footnotes in the annals of history.

A staunch supporter of the industry who jokingly refers to himself as a "servant of artists", Koay believes that art and culture play an indispensable role in any developing country's make-up, and helps to create a refined and sophisticated society.

"The current exhibitions are great for the race participants as they not only get to view different artistic styles, but will also gain a new-found appreciation for the environment. It has always been my passion to promote art in this region, and this festival is a timely one, which I hope will reinvigorate the local art scene which has been brimming with talent for decades," he adds.

The other participating galleries for the Art Race are the Penang State Art Gallery (with the exhibit Utara – After 3 Decades); Alpha Utara Gallery (20 Malaysian Contemporary Artists' Group Exhibition); Studio@Straits: Straits Collection (Cats & Dogs); Alyssa Galeri (The Colours Of Life Art And Photography Exhibition) and Rozana's Fine Heart (Art From The Heart).

Besides the race, a host of art-related activities will keep the public engrossed, ranging from talks and workshops by artists, to interactive activities.

The remaining 14 galleries involved in 1MCAT are Equator Academy of Art; Galeri Art Point – Sunny Point Complex; Shaparel Art Studio; Galeri Kampung Nelayan; 3Quarters Studio; Penang Malay Art Gallery; Island Gallery; WAF Fine Art Gallery; The Gallery @ KDU; A2 Gallery; Galeri Adiwarna USM; Galeri 27 USM; Muzium & Galeri Tuanku Fauziah and AWAS Artworks/Artspace.

Those who wish to take part in the Art Race may walk in for last-minute registrations at No.57 Macalister Building at 9am tomorrow. For details, contact 04-653 4789 / 653 2137.


The Star Online

Copyright 2010 All Rights Reserved