Sabtu, 24 Disember 2011

The Star Online: Nation

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The Star Online: Nation

NFC chairman: Detained Datuk not related to my family

Posted: 24 Dec 2011 06:18 AM PST

Published: Saturday December 24, 2011 MYT 10:18:00 PM

KUALA LUMPUR: National Feedlot Centre (NFC) chairman Datuk Seri Mohamad Salleh Ismail said in a statement Saturday that a businessman detained to facilitate investigations into the NFC case was not related to him or other members of his family.

"The individual was also not and has never been an employee of NFC," he said.

Meanwhile, the businessman has been remanded for a further three days starting on Friday.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigation director Datuk Mustafar Ali said the 45-year-old man was initially remanded for two days.

"The remand was extended to complete and facilitate the case under the MACC Act 2009," he said.

The NFC issue surfaced following the 2010 Auditor-General's Report in October, which stated the centre had failed to comply with the objectives of its formation.

The opposition parties also alleged misappropriation of funds, particularly in relation to the purchase of a luxury condominium in the city. - Bernama

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Hasan Ali refutes allegations he is pursuing Umno’s agenda

Posted: 24 Dec 2011 03:53 AM PST

KUALA LUMPUR: Former Selangor PAS commissioner Datuk Dr Hasan Ali on Saturday denied accusations by PAS secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali that he (Hasan) was pursuing Umno's agenda.

"I refute any allegations of meetings between me and Umno leaders at the higher, lower or mid-levels at the time and date (Mustafa) mentioned.

"As the secretary-general of an Islamic-based party, he should not even utter such wild accusations," he told a news conference at his home here Saturday.

Previously, Mustafa was reported as claiming that he had evidence to link that Hasan was working with Umno leaders to sabotage PAS.

Mustafa was quoted saying that he had knowledge of a meeting between Hasan, former PAS deputy president Nasharuddin Mat Isa and three other individuals at a hotel in the city last Ramadan.

Hasan, who is also Selangor Religious Affairs, Malay Culture, Infrastructure and Public Utility Committee chairman, urged Mustafa to clarify the accusations made against him.

"I want an explanation from him on when the secretary-general's office set up an investigation unit at the PAS office.

"I also want to know the need for spying on members in the context of party unity," he added.

In response to a question, Hasan said he had turned down an invitation from Pertubuhan Pribumi Perkasa Malaysia (Perkasa) president Datuk Ibrahim Ali to join the right-wing Malay movement as he really wanted to continue his struggle to uphold Islam and the Malays.

"I have no intention of doing so and plan to continue championing Islam, the Malay race and the royal institution," he said.

On the accusation that he was using Umno-owned media to seek publicity for himself, Hasan said he was open towards working with the country's media.

"I would like to say that I basically accept any media. It's natural to choose a media that has power over us and the media is open enough to make room for people like me," he said.

He claimed that PAS' organ, Harakah, never allowed him to voice his opinion and preferred to feature other individuals besides party members.

Meanwhile, Hasan also said that he was withdrawing his statement regarding PAS' welfare state concept he made at a news conference on Tuesday, admitting he went too far when commenting on the party's struggles. - Bernama

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PM’s X'mas message: Seize chance to understand each other better

Posted: 24 Dec 2011 03:51 AM PST

PETALING JAYA: Malaysians must continue to seize the opportunity to forge better understanding between different cultures and faith, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

"I underscored this belief when in July, I led the government delegates to pay a courtesy call to Pope Benedict XVI in his summer residence at Castel Gandolfo, and shared my vision of the Global Movement of the Moderates.

"From that working visit, Malaysia and the Holy See (Vatican City) agreed to establish diplomatic relations, which I hope will lead to closer links and inter-faith dialogue between us," he said Saturday in his Christmas Day message in his blog.

The Prime Minister added that the Government was committed to further strengthening the long existing interaction with the Christian community.

"I have always made a special effort to meet with people of all faiths. I look forward to continuing this practice of seeking your ideas and hearing your thoughts for the betterment of our society," he added.

Najib said celebrations that were specific to cultural and religious communities had become increasingly accepted and celebrated by the larger Malaysian population, such as the gift-giving custom commonly practice during Christmas.

"It is fascinating to observe how the nation's multi-cultural as well as multi-religious practices blend into the society," he said.

He also urged Malaysians to spend Christmas to understand other fellow Malaysians better, and appreciate them for the diversity and strength they contribute to the nation.

"Last but not least, I wish all Malaysians of Christian faith a Merry Christmas," he said.

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The Star Online: Lifestyle: Bookshelf

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The Star Online: Lifestyle: Bookshelf

Building an attractive you

Posted: 23 Dec 2011 08:44 PM PST

Title: You, Inc.
Authors: Harry Bechwith and Christine K. Clifford
Publisher: Hachette Book Group

YOU are a brand. It doesn't matter if you work for someone or you've just set up shop and are hoping to make it big; you've got something to sell – yourself.

This is the premise that Harry Beckwith and Christine K. Clifford explore in their book You, Inc: The Art of Selling Yourself.

"Living is selling," says the first sub-heading of the first chapter.

While most of us do have a socially inculcated dislike for salespeople (we imagine them as smooth-talking, advantage-taking individuals), we forget that all of us have been "selling" things from when we were still children.

It doesn't matter what age one is. Beckwith and Clifford write that when we were children, we created "sales pitches" to convince our parents to take us to an amusement park or to buy us a toy we've been eyeing.

And then we grow up and we use the "sales" knowledge we learned as children to write college applications and ace job interviews.

Beckwith and Clifford claim that "life is a sale" and that "the path to success at both living and selling is the same". After reading You, Inc., I'm ready to buy that concept.

The book is divided into chapters ranging from what people buy to tips and tactics on how to sell it to them. Those chapters are further divided into shorter portions and with each portion presenting only a single point, You, Inc. is an extremely easy read.

An interesting thing is that this book began as three different books.

Clifford was writing a book on sales called How to Make $1 Million in Sales ($3 Million Before Taxes).

Beckwith, meanwhile, was working on two books – Seat Belts and Twin Airbag, a guidebook for those taking their first steps into the "Real World" and Who Moved My Salad Fork?, a book on manners.

This makes a lot of sense seeing as You, Inc. not only teaches how to sell; it also includes lessons on how to treat people and other seemingly small matters that could turn out to be catalysts in achieving one's goals.

Both Clifford and Beckwith are acclaimed speakers and consultants and in this book, they give lessons based on their vast experience.

One of the book's plus points is that in its early stages, it was conceived for their sons who were about to begin their careers.

With the way the book is written – snippets with summations in bold – it could easily be a compilation of advice from a parent to a child.

Unlike most self-help books, this one doesn't place utmost importance on goal setting.

While it recognises the importance of goals, it also reminds one that it's not just the goal reaching that's important. The lessons we learn along the way are the point of setting goals in the first place.

Of course, parts of it are common knowledge among marketing and advertising folks. "What is your story?" asks Beckwith and Clifford. "Find your story, tell it well," they summate. This is an old branding concept but what's new about what they're saying is that it doesn't just apply to products; it applies to people as well.

Especially amusing is the part on "Tricks and Shortcuts". According to the authors of You, Inc., "there are none". And that's the last we hear of that.

As someone extremely interested in absorbing new information, I like that the book touches on lifelong education. "Keep reading, keep listening, keep learning," the couple wrote.

Unlike the Asian mindset that our education has to contribute to our career, Beckwith and Clifford wrote about how education expands our minds.

While we may think that education is limited to the things we learn in classrooms, this is far from what the authors had in mind.

They write about how learning about other things outside of our fields of work can make us more attractive to potential employers, clients or colleagues.

By knowing more, we are able to strike up engaging conversations. And that makes selling a whole lot easier.

At times, I found myself recalling Sun Tzu's The Art of War, especially when I read seemingly cryptic lines like "cultivate your mastery, but cultivate the rest of you".

In this example, the quote means that while your skills may be important, your personal traits are just as important as well so work on improving them.

As intended, this book teaches how to sell, provides tips on how to survive in the "Real World" and teaches some basic etiquette – "don't be late", "show up", "look people in the eye."

Some of the points mentioned did prick at my conscience and I found myself nodding along and drumming into my own head that I need to do this or make sure I do that in the future.

Although no longer a fresh graduate, the lessons given by You, Inc. are still applicable to me. For those looking to learn new things, this book is a quick and informative read.

Because the print is large and the vocabulary kept simple, it's easy to sneak read the little snippets in the book. The summations at the end of each section also make it easy to grasp the ponts within the text.

Overall, You, Inc. is a good book but it's not something that's worth re-reading. It's something that I may beg, borrow or steal but I doubt I would buy.

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Posted: 23 Dec 2011 05:26 PM PST

High Performance Companies

Author: Nitin Pangarkar

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons (Asia) Pte Ltd

IN an increasingly competitive and fast-paced environment, a good strategy has become a matter of necessity rather than an option of choice.

In High Performance Companies, Nitin Pangarkar – a world-recognised authority on business strategy – looks into the strategies of a diverse range of companies to see what makes them tick and how they have become more perennial over-achievers.

A combination of both short and long case studies in each chapter demonstrates the general applicability of the principles and also improves the relevance to the reader.

The Power of LEO

Author: Subir Chowdhury

Publisher: McGraw-Hill

SUBIR Chowdhury is an established authority on the importance of quality and now takes it to the next level by showing how to infuse quality into the DNA of your organisation.

In The Power of LEO, he describes how continuous focus on quality improvement can revolutionise any process – from manufacturing operations to managerial decision making. The secret is to cease delegating responsibility of quality to specific teams or department and to permanently lodge it within the core of an organisation's culture.

LEO (listen, enrich, optimise) is the encompassing strategy that can be embraced by everyone within an organisation, resulting in measurable improvements in your operations, products and bottom line.

Find your Next

Author: Andrea Kates

Publisher: McGraw-Hill

IF you're a manager, an executive, or an entreprenuer, you understand that your business is unique, with its own challenges and rewards. But thanks to the new science of Business Genome process, you'll be surprised to see how many businesses share a similar "genetic" structure. And by understanding what works and what doesn't for your business's genomic type, you can play to your strengths, adapt to your weaknesses, and change the course of your company's future.

Once you unlock the secret of your company's DNA, you can evolve your strategy, build your future, and find your next, which is a field-tested, customised blueprint for mapping out your business DNA.

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The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies

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The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies

How comedian Louis C.K. made $1M and gave half away

Posted: 23 Dec 2011 03:59 PM PST

NEW YORK ( - Louis C.K. cut out TV networks by selling his latest comedy special online - then used network airtime to promote it. The strategy helped him earn a cool million dollars in a matter of days, half of which he's giving away to his staff and charities.

It's hard to think of a more stick-it-to-The-Man approach to distributing your work. But The Man - in this case TV networks and the conglomerates that own them - don't seem to mind. Networks have given him prominent platforms to promote the special, ''Live at the Beacon Theater,'' and its success has only added to the prestige of C.K.'s FX comedy, ''Louie.''

It hasn't hurt C.K.'s reputation, either: The New York Times said this week he's ascended to show-business sainthood.

And that was before he announced plans to give $280,000 to charities. They include the Fistula Foundation, which helps battered women; Green Chimneys, which works with children and animals; the Pablove Foundation, which help children with cancer, Charity: Water, which provides clean drinking water; and Kiva, which gives microloans. He will also pay out $250,000 in bonuses to staff.

If you pitched C.K.'s success with the special as a Christmas movie, people might say it was too corny to be believable.

The comedian did his last three specials for HBO, Showtime and Comedy Central. This time, he sold it on his website for $5, including a note asking people please not to pirate it. It went on sale Dec. 9.

''People told me everyone's gonna steal it,'' he told Jimmy Fallon. ''So I just wrote a note that said please don't do that ... And they didn't.''

C.K. has sold the special to about 220,000 people so far. Besides the more than half a million dollars for his staff and charities, he paid about $250,000 in production costs. He'll pocket the rest.

He said he decided to give much of the money away because ''I've never had a million dollars all at once ... I felt uncomfortable about having that much money.''

His D.I.Y. approach wouldn't work for everyone. C.K. is one of the best comedians alive, and could draw nearly a quarter-million people to download his material. He's also the rare talent who can not only write, star in, and produce and direct his own special, but also develop a simple and convenient way to sell it.

He used TV networks to promote, seizing on a long relationship with NBC to appear on both ''Late Night with Jimmy Fallon'' and ''The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.'' (Besides writing for ''Late Night'' when Conan O'Brien was its host, C.K. has also guest-starred on ''Parks and Recreation.'') He also appeared on ABC's nightline.

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Robert De Niro welcomes baby girl

Posted: 23 Dec 2011 03:58 PM PST

LOS ANGELES, Dec 23 (Reuters) - Actor Robert De Niro and his wife Grace Hightower have become the proud parents of a baby girl born via a surrogate, the actor's spokesman confirmed on Friday.

The child is the second for De Niro, 68, and Hightower, 56. She is named Helen Grace Hightower De Niro, and weighed a healthy 7 lbs 2 oz at birth.

The "Meet the Parents" star married actress Hightower in 1997, and the couple have a son, Elliot, born in 1998.

De Niro also has a son and adopted daughter with ex-wife Diahnne Abbott and two twin sons with former girlfriend Toukie Smith.

The actor can currently be seen in the star-studded, feel-good film "New Year's Eve."

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Mel Gibson, wife finalize divorce

Posted: 23 Dec 2011 03:57 PM PST

LOS ANGELES(Reuters) - A judge on Friday approved a divorce settlement between actor Mel Gibson and his estranged wife Robyn, ending their 31 years of marriage.

Robyn Gibson will return to using her maiden name, Robyn Denise Moore, but other details of the divorce were kept confidential. The settlement becomes effective on January 9.

Gibson, 55, and his wife married in Australia in 1980 and have seven children together.

The couple separated in 2006 after Gibson was arrested for drink driving in Malibu, California, and made anti-Semitic remarks that generated headlines around the world.

The actor's wife sued for divorce in April 2009, citing irreconcilable differences following Gibson's relationship with Oksana Grigorieva, with whom he has a 2-year-old daughter.

The "Lethal Weapon" star pleaded no contest to misdemeanor battery following an altercation with Grigorieva in 2010, and was sentenced to three years' probation.

He recently settled a custody battle with his former girlfriend, agreeing to pay Grigorieva $750,000 and share custody of their daughter.

The Oscar winner's turbulent five years since his arrest and the anti-Semitic rant have tarnished his reputation and set back a remarkable career that had made him one of Hollywood's highest paid actors, directors and producers.

While no details of the divorce settlement were released, the actor was previously estimated to be worth $900 million, and he owns several properties in the wealthy, seaside enclave of Malibu, outside Los Angeles.

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The Star Online: Metro: Central

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The Star Online: Metro: Central

Saturday Events

Posted: 24 Dec 2011 05:36 AM PST


Indulge in 1Utama's Christmas shopping and its fun and unique approach to Christmas decorations and activities with its dazzling underwater-odyssey theme from today until Monday. Be sure to also catch an exclusive production 'Splashing Over The Big Blue' throughout selected show dates this month. Taking inspiration from Grecian elements with elaborate ethereal costumes, the show brings the story of an exciting underwater world to life. Get immersed in this all-new performance with everything from water nymphs to sea angels dancing to superbly choreographed moves. For details, contact the Customer Service Centre at 03-7710 8118, or visit /


THE Soka Gakkai Malaysia (SGM) is organising an art exhibition "HOMMAGE à Tan Tong Son Art et Son Temps (Homage to Tan Tong His Art & Times)", from now to Jan 1, 2012, 11am-6pm at Wisma Kebudayaan SGM 243, Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. Tan Tong has gone through half a century in the cultivation of art creation with extensive research on Picasso. For details, call Chia Kok Peng at 03-9075 6876/ 012-212 6761.


NN Gallery is holding a group exhibition entitled "The Prayer" from now till Jan 7, 2012 at White Box, Solaris Dutamas. The Prayer is an art exhibition inviting 25 Malaysian artists to present their reflection on the theme. Participants include Datuk Sharifah Fatimah Zubir, Ilse Noor, Ismail Latiff, Ahmad Zakii Anwar, Syed Thajudeen, Cheong Laitong, Tengku Sabri Ibrahim and Mastura Abdul Rahman. For details, call 03-4270 6588.


Crescent's biggest book sale is back offering discounts of up to 80% from today to Jan 1, 2012, from 10am to 9pm at the Petaling Jaya Municipal Council's Multi-purpose Hall in Jalan BU3/1 Bandar Utama, PJ. For details, call 03-6184 2448 or e-mail


Shelter Home for Children has come out with colourful desktop calendars for 2012 with a theme "Children are a precious gift of God" and it is priced at RM10 each. For details, call 03-7955 0663 (Edwin or Brian).


Tropicana City Mall, Petaling Jaya, is organising a Book Charity Drive with Cambridge English for Life. The public are invited to donate English language books, story books (fiction or non-fiction for children aged four to 17), picture books and encyclopedias. Members of the public can pass the books at the Book Charity counter (next to the information counter) on the ground floor level. The books will be donated to poor children. For details, call 03-7883 0912/7710 1818.


PAVILION KL has lined up an array of fun and exciting events this holiday season. Step into Christmas Wonderland and spend quality time with your loved ones. There will be a fun balloon sculpting session tomorrow and Dec 31 at 11am (limited to 15 kids per session). Don't miss a chance to channel your artsy talent into the colouring contest at Nando's tomorrow at 3pm. Kids are requested to bring their colour pencils (limited to 20 kids per session). For details, contact Pavilion KL Concierge at 03-2118 8833 or get live updates on Twitter at @Pavilion_KL.


The Nalanda Buddhist Society is organising an event to offer robes and other requisites to the Buddhist monastic in cultivation of generosity tomorrow at 2pm at the Nalanda Education & Outreach Centre at Happy Garden, Kuala Lumpur. All are welcome. For details, call 03-8938 1500 or visit


MUSIC for mind, spirit and self realisation programme will be organised by Astro Vannavil on Jan 7, 2012, from 9am to 12.30pm. It will be held at MBPJ library hall at Lot 389, Jalan Selangor, Section 3, Petaling Jaya. Admission is free. For details, call 012-210 0481 (Ching Hooi).

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Move to protect athletes

Posted: 24 Dec 2011 05:36 AM PST

THE Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM)-Carlsberg Athletes Retirement Scheme has a total value of RM3,075,000 and a total 88 athletes are beneficiaries of the programme.

Carlsberg came on board OCM as sponsor in 1994. The scheme was launched in 1998 when Malaysia hosted the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur.

Carlsberg Malaysia managing director Soren Ravn said the scheme was initiated with the aim to provide insurance coverage to deserving athletes.

"The scheme was also aimed at motivating athletes to excel and strive to reach greater heights. We hope to see Malaysia winning her first gold medal at the London Olympics in July,'' said Ravn after the sponsorship ceremony in Kuala Lumpur recently.

Under the OCM-Carlsberg Athletes Retirement Scheme, a Whole Life policy valued at RM160,000 will be awarded to a gold medallist while it is RM80,000 for a silver and RM40,000 for a bronze. For medal-winning teams, the value of each policy will be divided equally by the number of team members.

For the Asian Games and the Common-wealth Games, a Whole Life policy valued at RM50,000 is provided for a gold medallist; RM25,000 each for members in a doubles team and RM10,000 for each member in a gold medal winning team (more than two players).

OCM secretary Datuk Sieh Kok Chi said the council would pay the annual premium for the policy until the 14th year.

"After this the benefiting athlete has the option to surrender the policy for cash; to continue with the policy without premium payment, with a death benefit of RM50,000 and still having the option to surrender the policy for cash. The athlete can also continue with the policy by paying the premium privately,'' said Kok Chi.

Squash star Nicol David's policies has a total value of RM250,000. The amount was for her gold medal-winning feats in the 1998, 2006 and 2010 Asian Games and the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Badminton ace Lee Chong Wei has policies worth RM180,000 while wushu exponent Chai Fong Ying, karate champion R. Puvaneswaran and squash player Ong Beng Hee have policies valued at RM100,000 each.


1998 Commonwealth Games

Athletics: G. Saravanan; Badminton: Cheah Soon Kit, Choong Tan Fook, Lee Wan Wah, Ong Ewe Hock, Wong Choon Hann, Yap Kim Hock, Yong Hock Kin; Boxing: Sapok Biki; Rhythmic gymnastics: Thye Chee Kiat, Carolyn Au Yong, El Regina Tajuddin, Sarina Sundararajah; Shooting: Nurul Huda Baharin; Bowling: Kenny Ang Ah Tee, Heng Boon Hian; Weightlifting: Muhammad Hidayat Hamidon.

1998 Asian Games

Billiards & Snooker: Sam Chong, Ooi Chin Kay; Karate: C. Muralitharan, R. Muniandy; Squash: Nical David; Swimming: Lim Keng Liat.

2002 Commonwealth Games

Badminton: Ang Li Peng, Chan Chong Ming, Chew Choon Eng, Lim Pek Siah, Mohammad Hafiz Hashim; Lawn Bowls: Siti Zalina Ahmad; Weightlifting: Amirul Hamizan Ibrahim.

2002 Asian Games

Karate: S. Premila, R. Puvaneswaran; Squash: Ong Beng Hee; Bowling: Wendy Chai, Sarah Yap, Shalin Zulkifli; Wushu: Ho Ro Bin.

2006 Commonwealth Games

Badminton: Lee Chong Wei, Chan Chong Ming, Koo Kien Keat, Wong Choong Hann, Choong Tan Fook, Wong Pei Tty, Chin Eei Hui, Wong Mew Choo, Julia Wong Pei Xian, Ooi Sock Ai; Lawn Bowls: Siti Zalina Ahmad, Nor Iryani Azmi, Nor Hashimah Ismail, Azlina Arshad; Weightlifting: Mohd Faizal Baharom.

2006 Asian Games

Badminton: Koo Kien Keat, Tan Boon Heong; Squash: Ong Beng Hee, Nicol David; Bowling: Heng Boon Hian, Aaron Kong Eng Chuan, Daniel Lim Tow Chuang, Esther Cheah Mei Lan, Zandra Aziela, Wendy Chai, Choy Poh Lai, Sharon Koh, Shalin Zulkifli; Wushu: Chai Fong Ying; Sailing Rufina Tan Hong Mui.

2008 Olympic Games

Badminton: Lee Chong Wei

2010 Commonwealth Games

Badminton: Lee Chong Wei, Koo Kien Keat, Tan Boon Heong, Mohammad Hafiz Hashim, Chan Peng Soon, Chin Ee Hui, Wong Mew Choo, Lydia Cheah Li Ya, Woon Khe Wei, Goh Liu Ying; Cycling: Josiah Ng; Diving: Pandelela Rinong; Rhythmic gymnastics: Elaine Koon; Shooting: Bibiana Ng, Nur Suryani Mohd Taibi, Nur Ayuni Halim; Squash: Nicol David; Weightlifting: Amirul Hamizam Ibrahim, Aricco Jumitih.

2010 Asian Games

Cycling: Mohd Azizulhasni Awang; Karate: R. Puvaneswaran, Ku Jin Keat; Squash: Nicol David, Low Wee Wern, Sharon Wee, Delia Arnold, Mohamad Azlan Iskandar; Bowling: Alex Liew, Adrian Ang; Wushu: Chai Fong Ying.

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The Star Online: Metro: South & East

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The Star Online: Metro: South & East

Better PMR results

Posted: 23 Dec 2011 05:35 PM PST

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah students continued to show an improvement in English as the state crossed its targeted 61% passing rate in the Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR) examinations this year.

State Education director Datuk Dr Muhiddin Yusin said more than 70% of the 37,780 students, who sat for the English paper, passed compared to 67% last year.

He also said the passing rate achieved this year was 63%, with PMR candidates in three schools namely SMK Sains Lahad Datu, SMK Sains Sabah and SM Agama Inanam obtaining 100% passes.

Muhiddin said 1,025 students achieved As in all the subjects they took compared to only 807 last year.

Other than English, the subjects of Mathematics and History also showed improvements, he added.

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School finally gets its own compound

Posted: 23 Dec 2011 03:08 PM PST

YONG PENG: SJK (C) Yong Peng 2 has its own grounds finally, after sharing classrooms with another school in Yong Peng new village for decades.

Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong said the Government had allocated 17.45mil to build the school, including RM3mil to construct a bridge over Sungai Temehel and a 300m access road to the school.

The school, located some 2km away from its current location in Jalan Sekolah Cina, has four interconnected blocks with 25 classrooms, staff rooms, sports facilities, hall and others.

Dr Wee said the ministry had approved the operation of the school starting January 3 next year.

"This school has unconventional design and completed with facilities for the disabled, changing room and showers," he said after visiting the school last Sunday (dec18).

Dr Wee said the school, on a 2ha land allocated by the Johor government, was a success project under the Ninth Malaysian Plan.

School headmaster Chiew How Fan said the school had 600 pupils and it needed a new building due to growing population.

He said SJK (C) Yong Peng 1 has more than 1,000 pupils and both of the schools rotate between two sessions — morning and afternoon — every year.

"Finally, students in both of the schools will attend only morning session," he said.

The Chinese primary school was set up in 1927 and located in Jalan Batu Pahat here before it was relocated to the new village nearby during the Emergency period.

The school was split into two – SJK (C) Yong Peng 1 and SJK (C) Yong Peng 2 – in May 1, 1967, due to increased population.

Pupils of both schools had been sharing classrooms within a same school compound since then.

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Terengganu allocated RM28mil for salary increment

Posted: 23 Dec 2011 05:49 PM PST

KUALA TERENGGANU: Terengganu has provided an additional allocation of RM28 million to implement the New Remuneration Scheme in the Public Service (SPBA) next year, state secretary Datuk Mazlan Ngah said.

Of the amount, RM14 million will be for the salary of state civil servants while the rest will be for the staff of local authorities and statutory bodies.

"We have discussed this at the recent executive council meeting," he told reporters after here.

The amount involves a 10% salary increment for state civil servants and staff of statutory bodies and local authorities.

He added that the Public Service Department would give a briefing on the SBPA next week.

There are about 12,000 state civil service posts of which 8,000 have been filled up, he added.

"The intake for the rest of the posts is still being frozen," he said, expressing confidence that they would be filled up once the SBPA was enforced. — Bernama

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The Star Online: Entertainment: Music

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The Star Online: Entertainment: Music

Taylor Swift, T-Bone Burnett on "Hunger Games" album

Posted: 23 Dec 2011 04:52 PM PST

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Country singer Taylor Swift will lead a host of musicians collaborating with Oscar-winning artist T. Bone Burnett for a companion album to the upcoming film, "The Hunger Games."

Movie studio Lionsgate said on Friday that Burnett has joined forces with Swift, The Decemberists, Arcade Fire and The Civil Wars to create original songs for the film, set for release in March 2012.

"We are thrilled to have such a hauntingly beautiful companion album taking shape," said Joe Drake, co-COO of Lionsgate.

Swift and The Civil Wars' collaborated together on the single "Safe and Sound," which was released on iTunes on Friday and topped the iTunes songs chart.

"The Hunger Games," starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Woody Harrelson, is based on the young adult series of novels, and tells the story of teenage boys and girls fighting to the death on a nationally televised event in a country called Panem, built on the remains of North America.

The film is set for release in U.S. theaters on March 23, 2012.

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