Sabtu, 25 Ogos 2012

The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

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The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

Bringing heroes home

Posted: 26 Aug 2012 01:09 AM PDT

A documentary looks at the forgotten Iban heroes who did not receive a proper burial when they died fighting the communists during the Emergency.

LIEUTENANT Colonel (Rtd) Robert Rizal Abdullah was shocked to see the undignified conditions of a roadside grave in Alor Star, Kedah. It belonged to a Sarawak Ranger killed in the battles of the First Malayan Emergency (1948-1960) against the communists.

"I saw it four years ago in a blog. It was unbefitting of an Iban warrior who had sacrificed his life to defend a country that he didn't even know at that time," says Robert, referring to the fact that the soldier died before the formation of Malaysia in 1963.

"That's when the idea to bring back the remains of 21 Iban Trackers and Sarawak Rangers who had perished in the Emergency came about."

Formerly known as Robert Madang Langi, he is an Iban soldier who has received the Panglima Gagah Berani, the nation's second highest military gallantry award, after a courageous battle with communist fighters in 1973.

Robert's journey to exhume the heroes' graves is the subject of an upcoming documentary entitled Last Journey To Sarawak, which will be shown today on the History channel, in conjunction with the 55th Merdeka celebrations.

This is a story about forgotten heroes. Today, many unmarked graves of Iban Trackers can be found across Malaysia. Nameless and faceless, these fallen warriors were never given the proper burial they deserved.

Despite their important contribution to the safety of the nation, Robert believes the sacrifices of the Iban Trackers and Sarawak Rangers have almost been forgotten. For some of the families and relatives of the fallen heroes, their last ever contact was before they left for Malaya 60 years ago.

So he brought this to the attention of the Sarawak Chief Minister, Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, at the end of 2008 and suggested all the remains be brought home to Sarawak, where they could be properly taken care of and be closer to their loved ones.

Preparations started immediately, recalls Robert, and after "two long years", the remains were finally brought home to their final resting place in Kuching in a Heroes Memorial on July 27, 2011.

"The relatives of the deceased were most thankful," says Robert. "It was beyond their wildest dreams of ever 'seeing' their long-lost brothers, fathers and husbands again. The reunion in 2011 was a heart-wrenching sight that could make even the stoutest of hearts shed tears."

In fact, the report of the event in The Star entitled "Home at last" described it this way:

"Family members of some 21 brave Iban Trackers and Sarawak Rangers, who fought against the communist in the peninsula during the Malayan Emergency, can finally find closure after about 50 years of separation.

A wave of honour, respect and pride swept through the hundreds who went to the Malaysian Air Force Base here yesterday to await the arrival of the remains of the heroes who were killed in action between 1948 and 1960.

After lying in graves throughout the peninsula and Singapore for years, the remains were flown back under Operation Mai Pulai ("come home" in Iban) in urns in wooden boxes draped in the Jalur Gemilang to be reburied in the state.

Accompanied by war veterans led by decorated Iban warrior Temenggong Kanang Langkau, the remains arrived at the base here at 1.15pm on a C130 military transport aircraft.

Officers on the tarmac saluted as the urns containing the remains of the trackers and rangers were carried out of the plane. Some came back only in name, as their bodies could not be retrieved."

How did Robert and his team manage to trace the graves?

"The Iban Trackers and Sarawak Rangers were serving under the British and Commonwealth forces at that time. Proper records were kept by the British Army on where those killed in the Emergency were buried," he explains.

"Many of them were killed and buried deep in the jungle, as it was impossible to bring the bodies back to base due to the difficult terrains. Thus, only their names are displayed in a Memorial Wall in Terendak Military Cemetry in Malacca."

Robert joined the Malaysian Rangers in 1969, after the era of the Iban Trackers and Sarawak Rangers and received the Pingat Gagah Berani for his role in crippling the 1st Company of "Pasukan Gerila Rakyat Sarawak" (PGRS) near Kuching in 1973.

"I was the Section Commander and killed seven communists in that assault. It helped expedite their surrender one year later."

However, after all these years, he has never met the former communists that he fought against.

"I've only heard of them. Some are doing very well now. They were not evil – they were misled and misguided."

What does he think of the Ibans and others who have been fighting for their NCR (native customary rights) land against encroachment by timber and oil palm companies in the past 10 to 20 years?

Robert sidesteps that question and replies, "Logging destroys habitats of wild animals as well as the eco-systems. Rivers become polluted and unfit for drinking. Indiscriminate logging must stop in order to bring back our formerly clean rivers."

Last Journey To Sarawak will air on History (Astro Ch 555) today. For more information, visit or


The Star Online: Sports

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The Star Online: Sports

Abraham crowned new world super middleweight champion

Posted: 25 Aug 2012 06:29 PM PDT

BERLIN - Germany's Arthur Abraham is the new world WBO super middleweight champion after his unanimous win over compatriot Robert Stieglitz on Saturday.

Abraham, 32, who defended his IBF middleweight title 10 times between 2005 and 2009, is now the world champion at the heavier weight after the judges scored the fight 116-112, 116-112, 115-113.

"This is an emotional moment for me and it's hard to describe how I feel," said Abraham.

"I always wanted to be the middleweight world champion and now I am the super middleweight champion too.

"I trained hard for this and I had to box cleverly against such a good champion."

Having held the title for three years, Stieglitz was well beaten with heavy bruising and cuts around both eyes at the end of the punishing title bout, while Abraham was left relatively unmarked.

Abraham lived up to his 'King Arthur' moniker and the new champion now has a record of 27 knock-outs in 35 wins and three defeats.

Having laboured to a points win over Piotr Wilczewski to defend his European WBO title in March, Abraham was back to the best fighting for the world title.

Abraham started the stronger of the pair, but the champion twice pinned the challenger to the ropes in the second and started to exert his authority.

Stieglitz raised the tempo in the third and Abraham fell clearly behind on points going into the fourth, but responded with some body-head combinations and one sharp hook left Stieglitz with swelling above his left eye.

By the fifth, Stieglitz's face was marking noticeably while Abraham started to let his guard drop to lure the champion as he landed some punishing shots.

Stieglitz put together some good combinations in the seventh round and kept up his impressive work-rate, despite a cut above his right eye needing the attention of the ring doctor in the 10th.

Abraham raised his fists to the Berlin crowd in early celebration before the start of the 12 and finished clearly ahead on points as Stieglitz, 31, suffered the third defeat of his career in his 45th fight.

Germany's WBA super-middleweight and IBF middleweight title-holder Felix Sturm, who fights next Saturday against Australia's Daniel Geale, has said he will fight the winner of Saturday's bout. - AFP

Retiring Clijsters praised as a champion, role model

Posted: 25 Aug 2012 06:28 PM PDT

NEW YORK - Maria Sharapova and Andy Murray led a torrent of praise for Kim Clijsters on Saturday as the three-time U.S. Open champion prepared for the final tournament of her storied career.

Clijsters is chasing a fairytale ending at Flushing Meadows before retiring at the age of 29. She first retired in 2007 but returned two years later to become the first wildcard to win the U.S. Open and the first mother to win a major championship since Australian Evonne Goolagong Cawley in 1980.

"What's there to say about Kim?" Sharapova said. "There's so many great things besides the fact she's been an incredible tennis player and champion. She's someone that went away from the sport to commit herself to being a mother and a good wife and then coming back and being a professional and winning a few more grand slams.

"She was always so focused and determined. One of the best athletes the game saw in women's tennis," Sharapova said.

"And just a really great person, very humble. At the end of the day, just a down-to-Earth person that reflected on life in a very good way."

Clijsters praised Murray's ability to handle pressure at Wimbledon this year and the Scot returned the favour in New York.

"As a person, which is much more important than the tennis, she's a lovely person," Murray said.

He also admired the competitive side of Clijsters, Murray said.

"Early in her career she obviously had a lot of tough losses. She was competing with Justine Henin and a lot of pressure came with that. She lost a lot of tough matches to Henin. She managed to turn that around after taking a break. To come back to win a slam, or a couple more slams, is pretty incredible.

"I'm sure she will be remembered as one of the best players of the last 15, 20 years, and also one of the best people."

Venus Williams said Clijsters' successful return to the tour in 2009 fuelled hope that her own recovery from an autoimmune disease was possible.

"Kim has had a resurgence like no other, coming back to win two majors," Williams said.

"I think she's inspiration for everyone who has said if you put your mind to it, if you have a dream, you can do whatever you want."

Top seed Victoria Azarenka described Clijsters as the ideal role model.

"For the kids she's one of the people who you always like to be around," she said. "Obviously a lot of people love here. She's definitely one everybody is going to miss. "

Defending U.S. Open champion Samantha Stosur said women's tennis would be poorer for the loss of Clijsters.

"She's still so young and she's accomplished so much," Stosur said. "I can imagine this is the perfect place for her to stop given the success she's had here in the past." - Reuters

Power on Pole at Sonoma

Posted: 25 Aug 2012 06:27 PM PDT

SONOMA, California - Australia's Will Power earned pole position for the IndyCar race at Sonoma for the third straight year Saturday, with team-mate Ryan Briscoe beside him on the front row.

Series points leader Power, who has started on the pole and won the last two races on the 2.31-mile, 12-turn course, turned a lap in 1min, 17.2709sec to put himself on pole for his 100th career start in the IndyCar series.

"It's great when you're in the fast six that you give it everything you got," Power said of the decisive final phase of qualifying.

"You go as hard as you can for as many laps as you can. It's great to get the car on pole. It's important around here. The windows for strategies tomorrow are going to be wide open, because they increased the race by 10 laps."

Power is on pole for the fourth time this season. He came into the week with a five-point lead atop the standings over Ryan Hunter-Reay, who missed out on fast six qualifying shoot-out and will start from seventh on the grid.

"It is important to start up front here," said Power, who won here the past two years.

"I just really like this track and I would love to make it three in a row. The whole team has worked hard all year and we'll just continue to push to win the championship."

He said changes to the course should make for a lot of overtaking.

"Hopefully not of me," Power said. "I don't want to let anyone by us."

Briscoe completed a fast lap of 1:17.4347. France's Sebastien Bourdais was third-fastest with Brazilian Helio Castroneves and New Zealand's Scott Dixon rounding out the top five. - AFP


The Star Online: Business

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The Star Online: Business

Samsung to contest US verdict in favour of Apple (Updates)

Posted: 24 Aug 2012 10:10 PM PDT

SEOUL: South Korea's Samsung Electronics said Saturday it will contest a US court ruling that it must pay rival technology giant Apple damages of more than $1 billion for patent violations.

"We will move immediately to file post-verdict motions to overturn this decision in this court and if we are not successful, we will appeal this decision to the Court of Appeals," Samsung said.

The statement came just hours after a jury in San Jose, California awarded Apple $1.05 billion for infringement of patents for its iconic iPhone and iPad, while rejecting Samsung's counterclaims of infringement of wireless patents.

The decision appeared to be an overwhelming victory for Apple, but it was not immediately clear whether it would halt sales of Samsung devices or affect newer models released since the case was filed.

Samsung in an earlier statement said the verdict was "a loss" for consumers and that Apple had "manipulated" the patent system.

The South Korean firm also said the verdict was "not the final word" in this case or other similar battles around the world.

"It will lead to fewer choices, less innovation, and potentially higher prices," it said.

"It is unfortunate that patent law can be manipulated to give one company a monopoly over rectangles with rounded corners, or technology that is being improved every day by Samsung and other companies." - AFP

Earlier Report:
Apple wins $1bn in patent suit against Samsung

Business spending plans hint at factory weakness

Posted: 24 Aug 2012 06:50 PM PDT

WASHINGTON: U.S. businesses cut back on their spending plans for a second straight month in July, suggesting slower growth ahead for the factory sector.

The data from the Commerce Department on Friday underscored the toll on the U.S. economy from the uncertainty spawned by the possibility of tighter fiscal policy next year and the debt crisis in Europe.

It led some economists to consider ratcheting back forecasts for economic growth and spurred traders to ramp up bets on further monetary stimulus from the Federal Reserve.

"We are looking at a very soft trend in capital spending in the coming months," said Millan Mulraine, senior economist at TD Securities in New York. "Until we get some clarity on the fiscal outlook and the situation in Europe, the recovery is unlikely to gain the kind of traction needed to make it self-sustaining."

Non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business investment plans, declined 3.4 percent after falling by a revised 2.7 percent in June.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected a 0.7 percent rise after a previously reported 1.7 percent decline in June.

The weakness in the business spending gauge was in keeping with regional manufacturing surveys showing a cooler growth pace of activity in a sector that has shouldered the economy's recovery from the 2007-09 recession.

The softness, which was also evident in shipments, could favor additional monetary easing by the Fed next month, even though other data on jobs, consumer spending and the housing sector suggested a bit of improvement in the economy early in the third quarter.

"Firms seem very nervous about committing to investment projects at the moment," said Jeremy Lawson, senior economist at BNP Paribas in New York. "If they (Fed officials) look at this report, they will be concerned about the investment outlook."

In a letter to a congressional oversight panel obtained by Reuters on Friday, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said the U.S. central bank had room to ease policy further to boost the economy.

Hopes of more action by the Fed and news the European Central Bank was considering setting targets in a new bond-buying program that could help contain euro-zone borrowing costs helped U.S. stocks to end higher.

Prices for U.S. Treasury debt were little changed, while the dollar rose against a basket of currencies.

Shipments of non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, used to calculate equipment and software spending in the gross domestic product report, were flat after rising 1.5 percent in June.

Unfilled orders of these so-called core capital goods fell by the most since August 2009, suggesting little need for factories to step up production for these items.


Minutes of the Fed's July 31-August 1 meeting released on Wednesday suggested further monetary stimulus could come soon unless economic data pointed to a "substantial" and "sustainable" strengthening in the pace of the recovery.

Fed officials meet on September 12-13, and investors will look to a speech by Bernanke at the central bank's high-profile gathering in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, at the end of next week for clues on the monetary policy course.

While businesses largely pulled back their horns in July, strong demand for civilian aircraft lifted overall orders for durable goods by 4.2 percent after a 1.6 percent increase in June. Last month's increase was the largest since December and beat economists' expectations for a 2.4 percent rise.

Durable goods are items from toasters to tanks that are meant to last at least three years. Orders excluding transportation fell 0.4 percent, the second straight monthly decline.

Orders for transportation equipment jumped 14.1 percent, with demand for civilian aircraft surging 53.9 percent. Boeing received orders for 260 aircraft, up from 24 planes in June, according to information posted on the planemaker's website. United Airlines placed an order for 150 planes last month.

Motors vehicles orders were also strong, rising by 12.8 percent, the most since July last year.

Away from transportation, there were gains in new orders for primary metals, computers and electronic products. But new orders for fabricated metal products, electrical equipment and appliances and machinery fell.

While unfilled orders for core capital goods fell, the backlog for durable goods overall increased 0.8 percent due to the strong demand for aircraft.

The inventory of unsold durable goods increased 0.7 percent.

"Statistically, faster inventory growth may be a plus for GDP growth in the third quarter," said Michelle Girard, a senior economist at RBS in Stamford, Connecticut. "However, the combination of lower orders and rising stockpiles does not bode well for future production." - Reuters

Best Buy founder calls on Wall Street to pressure board

Posted: 24 Aug 2012 06:47 PM PDT

NEW YORK: Best Buy founder Richard Schulze has reached out to some of the retailer's top shareholders and Wall Street analysts, hoping they will press the company to allow his up to $8.8 billion buyout proposal to move forward, sources familiar with the matter said.

Schulze's advisers at investment bank Credit Suisse and law firm Shearman & Sterling LLP have reached out to investors including Putnam Investment Management LLC and Fidelity Management & Research Co, the sources said. Putnam and Fidelity account for 11 percent of Best Buy.

Schulze's team has also reached out to at least half a dozen analysts who publish research about Minnesota-based Best Buy, the sources said.

The tactic comes as Schulze's team resumed negotiations with the world's largest consumer electronics chain, after talks broke down last weekend, other sources familiar with the situation said.

The company, Schulze's advisers and a representative for the former Best Buy chairman declined comment, as did the two investors.

Schulze, who owns 20.1 percent of Best Buy, needs the board's approval before he can make a formal bid. A Minnesota anti-takeover law prevents shareholders from launching a bid for a company for four years if they accumulate a stake without prior board approval. That means Schulze cannot form a buyout group with private equity firms or firm up financing for a potential bid until the board gives a go-ahead.

Moreover, sources have said private equity firms want to be able to do due diligence on the company - which is struggling against competition from rivals such as Inc and Wal-Mart Stores Inc - before they commit to a buyout bid along with Schulze.

At this stage, Schulze's team is pitching analysts and shareholders to put pressure on the company to at least open its books to them, so that they can put together a firm bid for the retailer.

But some of the analysts who met with Schulze's advisers were still hoping for more details of his plan. One analyst who spoke with Schulze's advisers said he was not given "any granularity on how they plan to get the deal done."

These analysts said they believed it was hard for anyone to buy Best Buy. The company hired a new CEO on Monday and the board may want to first give him time to craft a turnaround strategy.

Best Buy investors "are skeptical about a deal getting done," said Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter, who decided against taking a meeting with Schulze's advisers.

But dismal quarterly results from Best Buy earlier this week could also add credence to Schulze's argument that value is eroding by the day.

Two analysts said Schulze's original proposal of $24 to $26 a share for Best Buy could be more palatable now to investors.

Best Buy's shares closed down 3.9 percent at $17.31 on Friday. - Reuters


The Star Online: Nation

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The Star Online: Nation

Police want security firms to review SOP on transporting cash

Posted: 25 Aug 2012 07:34 AM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: The police have suggested that security companies review their standard operating procedures (SOP) when transporting cash to automated teller machines (ATM).

Bukit Aman CID director Datuk Seri Mohd Bakri Zinin said the move was advisable following the recent spate of ATM break-ins, which were believed to be masterminded by staff of security companies.

"Security companies should review their SOPs on transferring cash and tighten measures to make it harder for the robbers, because they know the system," he told Bernama.

Saying police would meet the association of banks soon to discuss tighter security measures, he advised them to place ATMs at crowded spots and not at secluded locations.

Meanwhile, Securiforce executive director Datuk Shaheen Mirza Habib, denied that any of his company personnel were involved in such activities.

"Each time a security guard opens the ATM, the password is changed and provided by another personnel. How can they break-in?" he said.

Shaheen Mirza, who is Security Services Association of Malaysia president, added that staff appointed to transport cash had clean background in order to prevent breach of trust. "At least six months to a year is needed before a security guard is appointed to 'Cashing Transit' and during this time, the Home Affairs Ministry and the police are also involved in evaluating them," he added.

Emphasising that banks should be responsible for ATM security, he said, banks should station 24-hour security guards and install the best state of the art security systems to prevent such incidents.

Fifteen ATM robberies have been reported so far this year, amounting to almost RM2 million in losses. - Bernama


Dr Chua: MCA willing to give up seats to BN parties

Posted: 25 Aug 2012 04:51 AM PDT

IPOH: MCA is willing to give up seats it has contested all along to its Barisan Nasional (BN) partners on the condition they are confident of winning them and get the nod of BN chairman, its president Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek said. He said MCA had total confidence in Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's leadership and that the party was willing to forego seats it stood no chance of winning.

"As for me, there is no need to discuss seat distribution, we have confidence in the wisdom of the BN leadership under Najib.

"I am stating openly that MCA will not demand seats that we will not win or are not confident of winning.

"We are not a component that likes to "syok sendiri" (likes self flattery)"," he told reporters after meeting hawkers at the Gunung Rapat market here.

He was commenting on reports that MCA's BN partner Gerakan stood a better chance of winning the Gopeng parliamentary and Malim Nawar state seats, which are traditionally MCA seats, in the next general election.

The report came about following an earlier report in an English daily on Aug 14 which said that MCA would be contesting the Puchong parliamentay seat which had been contested by Gerakan in the last two elections.

On this, Dr Chua said the two parties need not swap seats if each was confident they were more "winnable".

"I am of the opinion that whether a candidate of a certain party can win or not depends on some criterias, firstly the division (of the party) must be active, second, do they have sufficient members and third, is their election machinery up to the task?

"Fourth, are they united, committed and willing to go the extra mile to ensure the BN candidate wins and lastly, which party the voters prefer, whether it is MCA, Gerakan, Umno or MIC. That is why we prefer to leave it to the (BN) leadership to decide," he said.

As such, he said, MCA was confident that Najib, who is also Prime Minister, had many sources of feedback to decide which of the parties would be the most suited (for a particular seat).

Following the visit, Dr Chua also announced that Perak state executive councillor Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon would be holding discussions with the hawkers at the market on upgrading the facility using a RM500,000 allocation that would be made available by the Housing and Local Government Ministry. - Bernama

Missing executive found dead in Kelmin forest

Posted: 25 Aug 2012 04:40 AM PDT

DUNGUN: An advertising executive, who went missing after venturing into the Kelmin forest in Pasir Raja here to take photographs of the environment, was found dead near a river by a search and rescue team.

Dungun police chief Supt Dahlan Mohd Nor said the body of Harry Nian, 40, from Selangor, was found at 9.40am Saturday by the bank of the Kelmin River here.

"The victim is believed to have been dead for three to four days.

"He was said to have gone alone to the forest located about 30 kilometres from Kampung Kuala Jengai on Aug 18.

"He is understood to have entered the area a number of times to take photographs," he told Bernama.

Dahlan said police received a missing person report on Friday and immediately mounted the search operation with the assistance of other departments.

He said the body had been sent to Dungun Hospital for a post mortem. - Bernama


The Star Online: Metro: Central

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Of patriotism and ambition

Posted: 25 Aug 2012 06:11 AM PDT

MOST children have an ambition and the group from Iris Gloria Children's House are no different.

During a double celebration for the 55th National Day as well as Career Day recently, about 80 children aged between two and six, sang and danced to patriotic songs for the crowd comprising mainly of family members.

Many of them were dressed in various uniforms and attire to portray their ambition. The most common professions chosen were as doctors, teachers and company directors.

Iris Gloria Children's House managing principal Jessica Stanley said besides educating and nurturing the children, equal importance was given to inculcate values and respect for one another.

"We want them to believe in themselves to achieve their dreams.

"The cooperation of the parents in preparing their children by getting them dressed accordingly and attending this function is testament of their unwavering support for their young ones.

"Most of the time, it is only the mothers who attend this kind of function but this time around, many fathers also came to support," she said.

At the event, doting mother Capt Nirmala Krishna was beaming with pride over her son Darrshan Sureshkumar, who was dressed like a doctor.

"He is motivated to become a doctor like his aunt and I am confident that he will make it. He is a very caring and affectionate boy. He wants to be a doctor and serve the Government just like my husband and I. I am in the army and my husband is working with the Foreign Affairs ministry," she said.

Another mother, Low Kat Bee, said it was a good initiative by the kindergarten to organise events because it benefitted the children as well as the parents.

"My daughter Yumico Yap Meng En wants to be a Chinese language teacher when she grows up. I think it a good idea that Career Day is also given importance in kindergarten because it enables them to set a target and work towards it from young.

"I will definitely support her ambition. Besides, she always scores high marks for Chinese language in exams," she said.

Another parent, Aishah Parveen also made the effort to attend the event to support her daughter who also wants to be a doctor.

"It is important for parents to support their children and that is why I am here. Although the reason she wants to be a doctor now is because she likes the idea of giving patients injections, we want her to know we will be supportive of her choice," she said.

Saturday Events

Posted: 25 Aug 2012 05:52 AM PDT


The Tiger Street Football National finals, a two-day event at The Curve, Mutiara Damansara, will see 32 teams battling it out for the title on Aug 25, with the top four teams competing against international teams from Europe and Australia the next day. The winning team will represent Malaysia to compete against foreign teams for the grand prize of US$30,000. Visit for more details.


"Everything Forever Now - Designs for a sustainable future" is an exhibition featuring designs by a new generation of environmentally conscious designers, thinkers and creators. The exhibits feature solutions which take "reduce, reuse and recycle" to a new level with new ideas. The exhibit ends on Sep 13.


Organised by Kuala Lumpur City Hall, the tour begins at 9am, with participants being exposed to historical buildings and Kuala Lumpur's architectural and cultural heritage. Meet at the Vivekananda Ashram (220, Jalan Tun Sambanthan, Brickfields). Those interested must gather at the ashram by 8.30am for registration and a briefing.


Sungei Wang Plaza is organising its Esok Hari Raya musical at 8.30pm today and tomorrow. Sing along to the musical's tunes led by composer Pak Ngah, while members of the Swatari Dance Group take on the performance. For more details, visit


BookFest@Malaysia is one of the largest book expo, with international publishing houses and stationery distributors displaying their wares and book titles at Halls 1 to 5, as well as Grand Ballroom 1 and 2 on Level 3 of the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. Admission is RM2.50 per ticket, with free admission for students below 18 years, and senior citizens 60 years and above. For more information, visit


Artist Chen Wei Meng's latest exhibition showcases how the artist viewed the storms as they approached, along with the serenity and peace he experienced. The exhibition is being held at Wei-Ling Contemporary, The Gardens Mall until Sept 4, from 10am till 9pm daily. Admission is free. For more details, call 03-22828323 or email for more information.


Warisan Kertas 2012 is the fourth annual exhibition and sale of old and antique books, maps, and other print material in Malaysia. Organised by Badan Warisan Malaysia, the exhibition runs from 10am till 5.30pm at Badan Warisan Malaysia, No. 2 Jalan Stonor, Kuala Lumpur. Admission is free. Call 03-2144 9273 or visit for more details.


The Star Online: Metro: South & East

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Sabah needs studios to produce movies

Posted: 24 Aug 2012 07:22 PM PDT

KOTA KINABALU: Movie production support facilities such as studios are needed in Sabah to complement the state's potential as a film-making centre, said National Film Board (Finas) chairman Datuk Affendy Hamdan.

He added that a smaller version of Khazanah Nasional's Pinewoods Studio in Johor is needed in Sabah to encourage movie producers to use the state as a backdrop for their films.

He said Sabah and Sarawak are suitable venue for film production due to the numerous scenic areas coupled with its diverse ethnic cultures.

"Sabah is gaining attention as a filming destination.

"I was told that a Bollywood film crew has quietly done some shooting around the Tunku Abdul Rahman marine park," he said at his Hari Raya open house here recently.

Movie production support facilities should include rental of equipment as well as dubbing, mixing and editing suites as such could be set up as joint venture entity between state owned firm and private companies.

Affendy said such a facilty would also attract movie makers from around the region such as the Philippines, Indonesia and Hong Kong.

Affendy, who was also executive producer of the movie Gerimis Mengundang which was shot mainly in Sabah, said having movies filmed in the state would be a boon to the tourism sector.

He added that that the movie was shown for 21 days at dozens of cinemas around Indonesia and the tour companies had recorded a sharp increase of visitors from the country to Sabah recently.

Two-storey house on fire during Hari Raya

Posted: 24 Aug 2012 07:23 PM PDT

JOHOR BARU: A family's Hari Raya celebrations was dampened after a fire licked their two-storey home in Kampung Bendahara here.

The house, along Jalan Keledek, was empty when the fire broke out at around 1.15pm as the residents were out visiting relatives yesterday.

Single mother Tomi Mohd Said, 68, said that she had just reached a relative's house in Kota Tinggi with her children when neighbours called to inform her about the fire.

"My heart dropped when I received the call. After this we are forced to put a stop to our Hari Raya celebrations and focus on cleaning the house," she said.

Tomi's son, technician Mohd Zain Mohd Amin, 44, said he rushed from his wife's hometown in Malacca to Johor Baru after hearing the news.

"All four of our siblings were supposed to reunite at my mother's house on the third day of Hari Raya but now that such an unfortunate incident happened, we had to throw our plans out the window.

"My 40-year-old brother, who stays in the house with my mother, is a teacher and all of his books were burnt to ruins along with a brand new flat screen television he bought for the festive season," he said when met by reporters at the scene yesterday.

Meanwhile, a Fire and Rescue Department spokesperson said that they received a distress call at around 1.17pm and arrived 10 minutes later.

"Three fire engines were sent out and we managed to control the fire at around 1.33pm.

"We are investigating the cause of fire," he said.

Health checks help 20% of residents to discover illnesses

Posted: 24 Aug 2012 04:19 PM PDT

BATU PAHAT: About 20% of residents were not aware that they had various non-communicable diseases prior to a check at the health examination camps organised by 1MCA Medical Foundation.

The Batu Pahat division chief Dr King Ban Siang said the foundation had conducted eight health checks at housing areas since last year.

"More than 2,600 residents participated in the health check, however, many of them are unaware of their health conditions.

"We detected some 20% of the participants found to have high cholesterol, hypertension and high sugar level in their blood.

"The condition of some 3% to 5% of the participants is quite worrying and need medical attention," he said at the camp held at Taman Makmur and Taman Banang here recently.

Also present at the camp were MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek and local community leaders.

More than 400 people participated in the camps, which provided bone density, eye, glucose, hypertension and others health checks.

Dr King said response towards the medical examination camps was overwhelming.

"We are happy to see many people care about their health and took time to have a health screening," he said.

Dr King added that people should go for regular health checks as non-communicable diseases do not show symptoms sometimes.

"This will allow them to receive early treatment and avoid complications in the future," he said.

Dr King also said the foundation needed more volunteers to help up at the health examination camp and urged those who interested to contact them.


The Star Online: Entertainment: Music

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Barbra Streisand's new album to be released in October

Posted: 23 Aug 2012 11:13 PM PDT

Barbra Streisand's private music vault holds all the master tapes she's recorded for five decades. Now, she's sharing 11 previously unreleased songs, spanning a cross-section of her career from 1963 to the present. The collection titled, Release Me will be available on Vinyl September 25th and CD October 9th. In an unparalleled career, Streisand has released more than 60 albums. Many of the sessions for these albums yielded extra recordings, which weren't included on the albums they were intended for. They've all been stored in her vault until now. Over the past year, Barbra has painstakingly gone through the recordings to come up with this collection, Release Me. Highlights include: Didn't We written by Jimmy Webb - recorded in 1970 for an unreleased album project titled The Singer; the standard Willow Weep For Me - an unreleased track recorded in 1967 for Simply Streisand, arranged by Ray Ellis noted for his legendary work with Billie Holiday; A striking version of Randy Newman's I Think It's Going Rain Today, with Barbra on vocals and Newman on piano - from the 1971 Stoney End sessions; an unreleased studio version of With One More Look At You from A Star Is Born; Two tracks from the unreleased sequel to the acclaimed The Broadway Album, titled Back To Broadway - Home (from The Wiz) and How Are Things In Glocca Morra? / Heather On The Hill (from Finian's Rainbow / Brigadoon).

Reflecting on the album, Streisand noted, "The thing I'm happiest about is that I still have great affection for all these songs. They appealed to me at the time…and still do. Listening now, I actually think to myself, 'The girl wasn't half bad.'" With the exception of two songs where the original masters couldn't be located, all the tracks on Release Me were transferred from first generation master tapes. Every attention was paid to preserving the sonic perspective of the sessions as they were originally recorded and mixed.

Speaking of the unreleased recordings that reside in Barbra's music vault, her long-time A&R man and co-producer of Release Me, Jay Landers says in his liner notes, "All of Barbra's glorious music...her ideas…the collaborative efforts of the fortunate songwriters, arrangers, mixers and producers who have come into her orbit…the experiments…the occasional missteps and the many triumphs - all driven represent the unstoppable force of one woman's vision."

John Lennon's killer denied parole for 7th time

Posted: 23 Aug 2012 08:29 PM PDT

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The man who shot and killed former Beatle John Lennon 32 years ago, Mark David Chapman, was denied parole for a seventh time, New York State's Department of Corrections said on Thursday.

Chapman, 57, is serving a prison sentence of 20 years to life for shooting Lennon four times in the back outside the musician's New York City apartment building on Dec. 8, 1980. He pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.

Chapman has come up for parole every two years since 2000 and has been turned down each time.

"Despite your positive efforts while incarcerated, your release at this time would greatly undermine respect for the law and tend to trivialize the tragic loss of life which you caused as a result of this heinous, unprovoked, violent, cold and calculated crime," parole board member Sally Thompson wrote to Chapman, the department said in a statement.

A parole board hearing on Chapman was held earlier this week at Wende Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison in Alden, New York, where he is being held, the department said.

Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, remained steadfast in her objection to parole for her husband's killer, who she has said in the past posed a risk to her, Lennon's two sons, the public and himself.

"Mrs. Lennon's position remains consistent with the prior letters," said Ono's attorney, Jonas Herbsman, in an e-mail to Reuters.

In a 2000 letter to the parole board, Ono said Chapman's release would be a betrayal of justice and encourage others who feel inclined to murder celebrities to gain attention.

"If it is at all possible, I would like us not to create a situation which may bring further madness and tragedy to the world," she wrote.

Herbsman said Ono would not be commenting on the 2012 parole board's decision.

Chapman was transferred in May to Wende from Attica Correctional Facility, the maximum-security penitentiary in Attica, New York, where he had been held for 31 years.

A corrections spokesman said at the time Chapman was placed in protective custody at Wende, but the reason was not made public. Wende is in western New York, east of Buffalo.


Chapman learned on Monday that he had been re-approved for the prison system's family reunion program, allowing him visits from his wife and stepfather, a spokesman for the corrections department said.

Under the program, Chapman will be able to spend 48 hours with his relatives in a trailer within the prison at least once a year, although he is allowed to apply for additional visits. The trailer has a lounge, a kitchenette and two or more bedrooms, and there are no cameras or guards inside.

"We regard the family reunion program as a management tool that encourages good behavior by inmates under our custody as well as keeping them connected to their families while they're in prison," said Peter Cutler, the spokesman for the state's Department of Corrections.

"Many studies have proved that by staying connected to their families inmates have a far better chance of returning to the community successfully," Cutler said.

Chapman was previously approved for the program, but had to reapply after transferring from Attica to Wende, Cutler said. The corrections department said it does not make public the reasons for inmates being transferred.

Normally, Chapman is housed in his own cell in the prison's protective custody unit, where he sees only other inmates within the unit, Cutler said.


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