Selasa, 4 September 2012

The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

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The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

Fix of the day

Posted: 05 Sep 2012 02:29 AM PDT

Scream or laugh out loud, if that's what you need to do to fix a bad day.

THE dynamic duo of Terry and Azura is there for you on Red FM's The Red Fix (weekdays, 4pm-7pm), when you're stuck in a traffic jam while on your way home after a busy day.

When others are too occupied to lend an ear, give Terry and Azura a call instead to get an instant fix. They are constantly coming up with current topics to discuss and debate to end your day on a high note. Terry and Azura want you to share your views with them as no opinion is too petty or too serious for them. So do not hesitate to give them a call.

Now you have more reason to tune in to The Red Fix as the generous deejays will give you another reason to scream and laugh with joy.

In the segment What's The Movie, a movie sound clip will be played and if you guess the movie title correctly, you stand to win cash. The number to call is 03-7728 1049. If your answer is wrong, the prize money of RM100 will snowball to the next day. Currently the amount is RM3,000.

Talking about extra cash, keep yourself tuned to Red FM as the station is running the easiest radio competition ever!

Red FM's Sure Can Win started on Monday and will run till Sept 16. All you have to do to win is be yourself. The Red FM announcers will be calling out descriptions of people at five random times daily, should you match the description, give them a call and answer a simple question and walk away with a portion of the RM100,000 that is to be given away.

For more information, log on to Join the Red FM Malaysia Facebook fan page on and follow them on Twitter @iloveredfm.

Red FM is owned and operated by The Star.

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

The shopping game

Posted: 05 Sep 2012 02:29 AM PDT

BE smart and we'll pay your bill. This month, Chinese radio station 988 and Brand's invite listeners to take part in supermarket sweep at selected Giant Hypermarket.

From now till Sept 28, tune in to 988 to win qualifying opportunities for the shopping game. Stand a chance to have 988 foot the bill for you. On top of that, the smartest consumer will walk away with RM30,000 cold hard cash. What a game!

Household supplies are daily necessities. Hence, 988 wishes to reward its listeners with goodies that are practical, in a fun way.

Stay tuned this whole month from Monday till Friday for the contest cues. Then send an SMS to 33988. The 98th and 99th listener will get to pick a mystery box with random prizes, freebies plus RM500 cash.

On top of that, these lucky listeners stand the chance to participate in one of the four regional rounds of Be Smart, Pay Your Bill supermarket sweep.

Sharing is caring, the eligible listener will get to share the fun with three buddies to form a four-member team to take on the challenge.

Four regional rounds will be held at selected Giant Hypermarket in Penang, Johor Baru, Puchong, Selangor and Ipoh. The top two finishing teams in each round will be eligible to participate in the final round of Be Smart, Pay Your Bill supermarket sweep that offers RM30,000 cash to the winning team.

For a start, participating teams in the regional rounds will each receive RM100 shopping voucher.

Participants will be "given" an amount of money and selected brand items to shop within a time frame. After the mad rush, 988 will foot the bill for the top 10 qualifying teams with items of the closest value to the given amount.

Eventually, all eight finalists that have progressed to the final will each receive RM1,000 shopping voucher and RM30,000 goes to the champion.

Be Smart, Pay Your Bill is organised by 988 and sponsored by Brand's with venue support by Giant Hypermarket.

988 is operated by The Star.

Tailored for fun

Posted: 05 Sep 2012 02:30 AM PDT

Here's a teen-centred drama that is appropriate for its age group but that can entertain adults, too.

JANE Quimby (Erica Dasher) is a secondary school student. She's a good student but she isn't one of the popular (read: mean) girls; in fact she's quite often the target of scornful looks and hurtful comments from Lulu Pope (Meagan Tandy), the school's resident It girl.

Lulu is rich, beautiful, wears nice clothes and is not a very nice person. Yeah, quite the stereotype. Thankfully, Jane's not too bothered by Lulu's scorn as she has her best friend, Billy Nutter (Nick Roux) by her side always.

Plus, she has bigger problems to contend with: her mother ran off without a word when she was a little girl and her father recently died. Jane now lives with her jobless brother, Ben (David Clayton Rogers), a baseball player who had to move back home to look after Jane after their father died. Her unfortunate family circumstances has made Jane quite independent and very capable. In fact, sometimes it seems like she's looking after Ben.

Jane's real passion lies in fashion. She designs and sews her own clothes; her style is eclectic and she seems fond of tutu skirts – makes me wonder if she grew up watching Carrie Bradshaw on Sex And The City. Oh, well.

So Jane applies for an internship at Donovan Decker, a fashion house in the city. Somehow, her internship application gets lost and she is mistaken for an applicant for a parttime job as assistant to Gray Chandler Murray (Andie MacDowell), Donovan Decker's creative director.

Apparently, everyone at the fashion house thinks Jane is an adult. It's ridiculous but it's also quite fun – it's all about suspension of disbelief. It was 19th century poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge who introduced this idea. He believed that if a writer could infuse his or her tale with a human element and just a semblance of the truth, readers (or, by modern extension, TV and movie audiences) will suspend their disbelief at the implausibilty of any narrative. And Jane By Design definitely has both – but more on this later.

Jane's first instinct is to clarify the mistake and tell Gray that she's just a schoolgirl looking for work experience. Then she learns how much she will earn (which is a heck of a lot!) and she changes her mind. After all, her brother is jobless and they are behind on their mortgage payments.

So Jane juggles school and work: apparently she only works half-days – heck, this could be MY dream job – and she keeps this a secret from everyone except Billy, who is her accomplice on days when she needs to skip out of school early.

Turns out, Jane's brilliant at her job. Gray is quite a slave driver – think Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada – but Jane still manages to impress her with her dedication and ability to handle any challenge thrown at her.

And there are many challenges: back-stabbing colleagues, tight deadlines, demanding clients – that's more than any teenage girl should have to deal with.

Add to that the stress of having to keep her double life a secret from her brother, teachers and schoolmates and make sure her boss and colleagues never find out she's just a kid ... phew, I'm tired just describing all of it!

So here's where Coleridge's theory comes into play. Sure, it's a stretch to believe that Jane can actually pull this off or that a show can run on such a far-fetched premise. But it works. And it's fun. Yes, it is fantastical (kind of like a fairytale) but it's easy to get lost in Jane's fantasy because Dasher is so charming and cute as Jane Quimby (the human element, remember). Also, although she pretends to be an adult half the time, she is very much a naive teenager (semblance of reality).

Jane By Design is a refreshing teen/family drama; we don't have many dramas that are simply fun and wholesome, apart from what you get on the Nickelodeon channel, of course. My nieces tell me there is a show called True Jackson that has a similar premise though perhaps a little more fantastical and more suited for tweens, not teens or adults.

Most of the teen-centred dramas we have on prime time seem too adult for a local teen audience: they're very sexual and are full of intrigue (Pretty Little Liars, The Secret Circle) or complicated romantic relationships (Gossip Girl, 90210). Sure, they're all fun to watch as well but if I were a parent, I'd want a family drama that is uncomplicated and earnest. And Jane By Design fits the bill.

Sure, Jane and her school mates fall in love and harbour crushes but there are no epic romantic twists. And add to that the winning performances of MacDowell (she ain't no Miranda Priestly but she's credible as the cold and demanding boss) and Nutter, and you have one fun series.

Jane By Design airs on StarWorld (Astro ch 711) every Tuesday at 9pm.


The Star Online: Sports

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The Star Online: Sports

Malaysian archery squad fails to make quarterfinals

Posted: 04 Sep 2012 06:59 PM PDT

LONDON: The national archery squad failed to advance to the quarterfinals of the men's open team competition at the London Paralympic Games Tuesday.

In their first round shoot-off in the qualifiers for the quarterfinals at the Royal Artillery Barracks here, Malaysia lost to Turkey 190-197.

"We could have beaten Turkey after the third set when we were leading by two points (145-143).

"In the final set (fourth), Hasihin (Sanawi) faced some slight problems with his arrows and their launch. Our focus was somewhat affected and this gave an advantage to Turkey," team coach Amirullah Ahmad said.

He added that the team tried their very best but it was not to be.

For the record, Malaysia, since competing in archery at the Athens Paralypmic Games in 2004, have won medals in the individual events but have yet to land a medal in the team events.

However, this London Games have been a good hunting ground for the archers as Hasihin clinched a silver medal Monday in the men's individual recurve W1/W2 final. - Bernama

Paralympics: Sharifah Raudzah makes no headway in powerlifting

Posted: 04 Sep 2012 06:59 PM PDT

LONDON: Sharifah Raudzah Syed Akil, Malaysia's final contestant in powerlifting at the London Paralympics, failed to make much headway at the Games, just like her other compatriots.

"I tried my very best. I admit the Paralympics is a different ball game altogether.

"The lifters who won medals in my event today were all much younger and their performance getting better and better," she said Tuesday.

In the women's 82.5kg powerlifting event held at ExCel London, Sharifah Raudzah only managed to lift 97kg, way off her personal best of 110kg which she did at the Arafura Games in Sydney, Australia last year.

The event was won by Nigeria's Loveline Obiji who lifted 145kg.

Egpyt's Randa Mahmoud took the silver after lifting 140kg while Xu Yanmei of China lifted 129kg for the bronze. - Bernama

Play suspended for remainder of night at US Open

Posted: 04 Sep 2012 06:44 PM PDT

NEW YORK: US Open officials suspended play for the remainder of the day on Tuesday night after rain forced players off the court for the fourth time since matches began in the morning. - AFP

Earlier report:

Rain returns at US Open

NEW YORK: Rain halted play for the fourth time Tuesday at the US Open with former champions Andy Roddick and Juan Martin Del Potro in a first-set tie-breaker in their fourth-round match.

Roddick won the first point of the tie-breaker before rain made conditions unsafe to continue on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Prior rain delays have lasted for about 75 minutes, 88 minutes and three hours.

Two other men's fourth-round matches were also halted with Serbian defending champion Novak Djokovic leading Stanislas Wawrinka 2-0 and Serbian eighth seed Janko Tipsarevic leading Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber 5-2.

In the only completed women's match, top seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus beat defending champion Samantha Stosur of Australia 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 (7/5) in a quarter-final.

French 11th seed Marion Bartoli led Russian third seed Maria Sharapova 4-0 when their match was suspended and US Open officials postponed the resumption until Wednesday.

The only men's match to be completed was Spanish fourth seed David Ferrer downing France's Richard Gasquet 7-5, 7-6 (7/2), 6-4 in a fourth-round match. - AFP


The Star Online: Business

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The Star Online: Business

KLCI down in early trade, HL Bank, GentingM weigh

Posted: 04 Sep 2012 06:31 PM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: Blue chips slipped in early trade on Wednesday, mirroring the cautious key regional markets, with Hong Leong Bank and Genting Malaysia among the decliners.

At 9.13am, the FBM KLCI was down 2.08 points to 1,652.03. Turnover was 110.32 million shares valued at RM33.89mil. Losers beat gainers 100 to 777 while 137 stocks were unchanged.

Bloomberg reported Asian stocks fell, with the regional benchmark index headed for the longest losing streak in eight weeks, as U.S. manufacturing contracted for a third month, adding to signs the world's biggest economy is slowing.

At Bursa Malaysia, HL Bank fell 10 sen to RM13.40 but with only 1,900 shareas done while Genting Malaysia gave up five sen to RM3.52. Dutch Lady lost 48 sen to RM42.52 with just 100 shares done.

Plantations fell, with SOP down 20 sen to RM6.61 with 100 shares done, IJM Plantations lost six sen to RM3.54 and Genting Plantations down five sen to RM9.30.

GAB rose 10 sen to RM15.90 with 100 shares transacted. MNRB gained eight sen to RM3.35 while Lafarge and CIMB added four sen each to RM8.68 and RM7.81. Ingenuity climbed four sen to 26.5 sen after falling on Tuesday.


Glove makers to invest RM300mil to RM500mil to improve automation system

Posted: 04 Sep 2012 06:26 PM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian rubber glove makers will invest between RM300mil and RM500mil in the next five to 10 years to enhance their automation system and reduce labour costs, an industry official said.

Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association (Margma) president Lim Kwee Shyan said automation would help manufacturers reduce labour workforce by 30% in less than five years and up to 50% in a longer period.

Glove manufacturers would be hiring more skilled workers like local graduates and reduce non-skilled workers, including foreigners, with better automation in production, he said after the 6th International Rubber Glove Conference and Exhibition.

Currently, 30,000 out of the 50,000 to 60,000 workforce in the glove manufacturing industry were foreign workers, Lim said.

The RM900 minimum wage policy, which takes effect next year, would increase labour costs.

By adopting newer technology, it would help players improve productivity and reduce costs, he added.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said in his opening speech: "Revenue per worker annually has improved tremendously to RM300,000 to-date compared to the 1990s which only recorded a value of RM50,000."

He also said the labour requirement of the industry improved 60% with only eight workers to produce one million pieces of gloves compared to 20 workers to produce the same amount in the 1990s.

"The Government, through the Malaysian Rubber Board (MRB), has plans to build five new facilities to facilitate rapid development of the rubber production sector in years to come," Muhyiddin said.

He added that the facilities would create a more conducive environment and opportunities for businesses in the rubber industry to generate investments and re-investments.

Margma vice-president Denis Low said with re-investment, players were able to mitigate risks that arose from the hike in labour costs.

Low said rubber gloves manufacturing was a mature industry as it faced stronger headwinds in 2008 when natural gas price increased by 12%, latex price was at RM7.20 and there was a shortage of foreign workers.

On the disposal of Rubber Research Institute of Malaysia's land in Sungai Buloh to Employees Provident Fund's subsidiary Kwasa Land Sdn Bhd, Lim declined to comment but said "development was unavoidable".

The question was raised because the divestment was deemed as contradicting MRB's aim to enhance modernisation and development of the industry.

"They (MRB) are going to bring back the money (from selling the land) into the industry.

"Their masterplan to build a better complex with the money would bode well for research and development in the rubber industry," he said.

As for the rubber price mechanism, Lim said: "The aim of the Tripartite (International Tripartite Rubber Council) is to stabilise (rubber) price. Whatever the mechanism is, we will have to work with our clients."

Low concurred, "We hope there is stability for rubber price. The mechanism should be transparent and systematic."

It was reported that Thailand suggested US$2.80 (RM8.70) per kg for natural rubber while Malaysia and Indonesia proposed US$2.70 (RM8.37) per kg for the pricing mechanism.

Lim said if the price of natural rubber was to rise to RM10, rubber gloves manufacturers would have to negotiate with their clients and possibly pass on the cost to them.

On the outlook of rubber price, he said it was based on a free market mechanism, depending on market demand.

Rubber price for the last few days was between RM7.80 and RM7.90, he said.

Temporary profit-taking seen as elections approach

Posted: 04 Sep 2012 06:21 PM PDT

PETALING JAYA: The impending general election will inspire profit-taking among investors as they intuitively brace for any political uncertainty but history has shown that the impact of elections on the market is only temporary and usually not as bad.

Alliance Research said although the market could intuitively succumb to selling pressure when there was political uncertainty, past experience proved that it was not as bad as one might perceive.

"Furthermore, our analysis of the last general election shows that market selldown due to political shock' is temporary and will normalise in three months," it said in its report.

In Alliance Research's survey on investors' expectations on the coming elections, the research house said "market performance over the long term is dictated by fundamentals and macro outlook."

It noted that investors had been risk-averse, resulting in defensive sectors such as consumer, telecommunication and real estate investment trust outperforming the FBM KLCI during the first eight months of the year.

However, cyclical sectors such as construction, property and technology have significantly underperformed the FBM KLCI over the same period.

Alliance's recommendation for investors who need to be more liquid or short-term oriented to stay defensive because "despite yield compression to levels not seen before, dividend paying stocks such as those in the telecommunication, consumer and real estate investment trust sectors will continue to see sustained market performance."

"However, for value investors who have longer investment horizon, there are opportunities to pick up beaten down cyclical stocks. For these investors, we would like to highlight four postgeneral election investment themes.

Alliance recommended exposure to the construction, utilities and gaming sectors as post-election investment themes. "Our top stock picks for the post-election theme are Gamuda, Mudajaya, Tenaga and MPHB." Conversely, the research house believed a de-rating could happen for consumer stocks after the 13th general election as investors return to higher beta plays.

"Potential implementation of Government Service Tax, subsidy rationalisation and fuel cost pass through due to higher electricity tariff are de-rating catalysts for consumer stocks. From the survey, majority of investors appeared bearish on the market once the Parliament is dissolved with 68.1% expecting a decrease in the FBM KLCI.

"Few were bullish that the FBM KLCI would head north once the dissolution is announced as only 6.9% expected an increase. On the other hand, 13.9% expects the FBM KLCI to remain flat while 11.1% remained unsure of the potential market direction," it reported.

On the political tussle, the survey results indicate that investors are generally pessimistic that Barisan Nasional (BN) would recapture more Parliamentary seats in the 13th general election with only 12.5% expecting an increase.

However, 52.8% of the respondents expect the results to remain status quo like in the previous elections with a more or less than 5% variance. On the downside, 34.7% expect BN to lose more seats.

Concluding it, the survey implied that most of the respondent expects the ruling BN to form the next Federal Government.

On strategy, 16.7% of respondents which included fund managers and buy-side analysts from domestic institutional funds said elections had no influence on their investment strategy.

"We believe this segment of respondents is likely to consist of government-linked investment funds which tend to have a longer term investment horizon. For the majority of other investors, the results indicate that elections do influence their investment strategy," Alliance reported.

Of the respondents, 40.3% said that the impending elections had caused them to avoid sectors influenced by the elections while 37.5% said that they were avoiding politically linked stocks.

Alliance believes this is largely why sectors such as construction have underperformed the FBM KLCI although it also points out that even if the incumbent BN does not improve its Parliamentary seats tally, there is little risk in terms of project implementations.

"We have witnessed since the 12th general election that projects still do get implemented even with a strong opposition party in place."

In terms of asset allocation, 20.8% of the respondents said the elections caused them to reduce exposure to Malaysian equities. On the other hand, 26.4% said that they had been riding on the election theme by looking at "post-election plays".

In terms of popular vote, there were a slightly higher proportion of investors, 16.7%, who expected BN to witness an increase. Despite this, the downside was also greater with the majority of 47.2% expected a decrease. The remaining 36.1% of the respondents expected no changes in the popular vote outcome.

As for when the general election is expected to be held, 50% of the 72 respondents said it would be after Budget 2013 announcement on Sept 28 but before year-end.

Only a meagre 4.2% believe that the polls will take place before Budget 2013 while 19.4% expect the polls to be called next year in the first quarter.


The Star Online: Nation

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The Star Online: Nation

Downpour causes massive jams on several major roads in Klang Valley

Posted: 04 Sep 2012 08:17 AM PDT

PETALING JAYA: An evening downpour caused flash floods that snarled traffic for hours on several major roads in Kuala Lumpur, Serdang, Bangi, Nilai and Kajang.

Houses and cars in low-lying areas in Kajang and Serdang were submerged in waters at the height of the flood.

Floodings were also reported in several housing estates in Kajang Heights, Country Heights, Sungai Ramal Dalam, Taman Sri Serdang, Serdang Jaya and Seri Kembangan.

Traffic was slow, at times at a standstill, for those heading out of the city southbound before the Sungei Besi toll with the jam stretching to Jalan Istana and TUDM due to the rain and floods.

At about 9pm, PLUS officials opened an alternative route before the toll plaza to allow motorists to make a U-turn back to the city.

On the Besraya Highway, floods in front of the KTM Serdang station caused congestion around the Palace of the Golden Horses, Mines and Balakong with only one lane accessible on many stretches.

A bottle neck also occured in front of the Minlon building heading towards the KTM station.

The water level rose at KM303.8 of the Universiti Pertanian-Kajang route forcing both sides of the road to be impassable to traffic.

On the SILK Highway, floods around Bandar Sg Long forced the road to Cheras and Kajang to be closed and traffic diverted to Putrajaya.

On the KESAS highway, the crawl started near the Vista Commonwealth heading towards the MRR2 and the KL Seremban Highway towards Sri Petaling.

Massive congestions were also reported in Subang Jaya around the Pesiaran Kewajipan roundabout and Sunway areas, NPE and on the SPRINT Highway.

Yen Yen gets honorary doctorate from Japanese university

Posted: 04 Sep 2012 08:04 AM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Josai International University in Japan for significant contributions in tourism industry development, nation building and forging of closer relations and cooperation between the university and Malaysia.

The private university's chancellor, Noriko Mizuta, bestowed the doctorate on Dr Ng at a ceremony in the university in Tokyo, Tourism Malaysia said in a statement Tuesday.

In her acceptance speech, the minister said she received the award, not just for herself, but also for her family which had supported her endeavours, and for the women and men who had worked with her for a better Malaysia, better tomorrow and for 1Malaysia.

This year, Malaysia welcomed 11.63 million tourist arrivals in the first six months, registering a growth of 2.4 per cent as compared to 11.36 million for the same period last year.

Tourist receipts from January to June this year, have also risen by four per cent, generating RM26.8 billion to the country' revenue as compared to RM25.7 billion last year. - Bernama

Families of Batang Kali victims lose London court battle

Posted: 04 Sep 2012 07:54 AM PDT

LONDON (AFP): The relatives of 24 Malaysian rubber plantation workers killed by British troops in 1948 on Tuesday lost their High Court battle for a full inquiry by the British government.

Britain said last November it would not hold a formal probe into the Batang Kali killings in British-controlled Malaya, but the families' lawyers claim there is enough evidence to justify an independent inquiry.

British soldiers surrounded the Sungai Rimoh rubber estate in Batang Kali on Dec 12, 1948, shot the 24 workers and set the village on fire, London's High Court heard.

The incident happened during the so-called Malayan Emergency, when British troops conducted military operations against communist insurgents.

The court heard that Britain's 1964-1970 Labour government had launched a police investigation into the deaths, but the incoming Conservative administration dropped it in 1970, claiming a lack of evidence.

The current British government argued that the decision not to hold an inquiry was reached lawfully.

"There are no grounds for disturbing their conclusion," Judge John Thomas said on Tuesday.

But lawyers for the victims' families claim that statements given by soldiers to the original investigation showed they admitted unlawful killing.

"We are appealing. As long as the injustice remains, the families will be pursuing legal action," said John Halford, a solicitor representing the families.

A relative of one of the victims of the killings said he was disappointed by the judge's decision.

"I am disappointed with the finding that no inquiry is required. The truth has not been fully revealed," said Chong Koon Ying - whose father Chong Voon was killed - in a statement released by lawyers.

The families hope an investigation could lead to an apology and reparations. - AFP


The Star Online: Metro: Central

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The Star Online: Metro: Central

Inconsiderate neighbours

Posted: 04 Sep 2012 05:37 AM PDT

After spending three quarters of the day away from home — attending to work, business and other pursuits, all you want is some peaceful time with your family.

Unfortunately, this does not happen when you have inconsiderate neighbours that threaten to take away what you've enjoyed all these years.

The common scenario begins with the gathering of youngsters and adults within the housing area.

Most of the time they indulge in smoking, playing firecrackers, playing music and singing loudly and organising motorcycle shows.

Because of this, there is no more peace and quiet in the neighbourhood. Some residents are even afraid to leave home while others feel restless while at wor as they worry about the security of their homes.

Some have sleepless nights worrying about their safety.

Are there laws prohibiting such activities? How can these be prevented once and for all?

Who are the people involved in preventing such gatherings — the police, government agencies, neighbourhood watch groups?

The presence of the police will temporarily disperse such gatherings but they normally regroup once the policemen are gone.

Government agencies may be linked to the police but no enforcement is being established.

The neighbourhood watch group is in a dilemma — if they take action, they worry that their properties will be vandalised.

What is the solution for this? Can such situations be eliminated? Can we regain peace?

Fellow Malaysians, let's brainstorm to manage inconsiderate neighbours once and for all.

Free our neighbourhoods from distress and restore peace.

VICTIM OF Inconsiderate Neighbour
Kuala Lumpur

Metro Watch

Posted: 04 Sep 2012 05:37 AM PDT


Syabas is conducting an arrears operation in the Klang Valley this month. Customers are advised to pay their bills to avoid a water cut. The affected areas are Kuala Lumpur, Hulu Langat, Klang/Shah Alam, Gombak, Kuala Selangor, Hulu Selangor, Petaling, Sepang and Sabak Bernam districts. For details, call 1800-88-5252, SMS by typing Puspel and send to 39222 or visit


Challenges magazine in partnership with 1Malaysia Cardiff City is organising a football clinic for persons with learning disabilities for age groups Under-12, Under-15 and Under-18 at Batu Road Boys School on Sept 6 from 9am to 1pm. Requirement calls for fit boys and girls who are able to run and no football skills are required. To register, call 03-7804 0639 or email


The International Psychology Centre is offering a public talk titled "Anxiety Ruins Your Life. How Can You Prevent That?" on Sept 8 at 10am at the International Psychology Centre, 11-1, Wisma Laxton, Jalan Desa, Kuala Lumpur. The talk is recommended for those who wish to understand what is anxiety, why it happens, and how to prevent that and lead a happier life. For enquiries, call 03-7982 4424.


A talk on exercise and obesity will be held on Sept 9 from 3pm to 5.30pm at Sri KDU Secondary School Hall, Kota Damansara, Petaling Jaya. The talk will be given by Dr Maxime Buyckx, director of Nutrition and Health Sciences at The Coca-Cola Company's Beverage Institute for Health & Wellness. To register, RSVP by Sept 5 by sending an email with the subject matter titled "Sri KDU talk" to


Shelter Home for Children is organising a bazaar/ jumble sale as part of its fundraising initiatives. It will be held on Sept 8, from 9am to 1pm, at No. 4, Jalan Tinggi 6/12, Petaling Jaya. Those who have good, reusable items to donate can drop them off at the above address, or contact Roland /Edwin at 03-7955 0663 /


The Public Relations Consultants Association of Malaysia (PRCA) is holding a members' night as part of its efforts to nurture and galvanise the public relations industry in Malaysia. The event will take place on Sept 5 at 7pm at the Red Beanbag, Lot A4-1-08, Solaris Dutamas, Kuala Lumpur. To RSVP, email


"Photograph Exhibition for Charity 2012" will be held from Sept 8 to Oct 7 at Rose Hall, Global Business & Convention Centre, Level 3, No. 8, Jalan 19/1, Section 19, Petaling Jaya. Opening hours are from 9am to 6pm, Mondays-Saturdays (except public holidays). For details, call 03-7960 6118.


The Star Online: Lifestyle: Arts & Fashion

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The Star Online: Lifestyle: Arts & Fashion

Drawing the young

Posted: 02 Sep 2012 01:14 AM PDT

Watching Penang's youth rediscover their hometown through his murals is compliment enough for a Lithuanian artist.

FORGET stuffy, CCTV-rigged art galleries where even standing too close to a painting will immediately send the security guards into a frenzy. Visit George Town's streets instead if you are in the mood for an artistic experience like no other.

The narrow criss-crossing lanes of Penang's Unesco World Heritage Site is arguably the hottest open-air gallery these days, especially among the Gen Y social networking site fans.

Log into Facebook and chances are, more than half of your friends have posted pictures of themselves with 25-year-old Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic's modern masterpieces, some measuring more than 15m high!

While excited tourists mostly flock to his two murals on Lebuh Ah Quee, the artist himself doesn't have a favourite.

"I created them all so it would be strange to prefer one or the other – it would be like having a favourite among your children," he says in an email interview.

His seven gigantic murals now adorn the pre-war heritage walls along Lebuh Ah Quee (a boy on a bike and another boy walking his pet dinosaur); Chew Jetty (a couple of children with their cat on a boat); Lebuh Muntri (Zacharevic's eight-year-old art student practising wushu as she hangs on a beam); Lebuh Canon (a boy standing on tiptoes on a chair); Lebuh Armenian (kids on a bicycle), and Upper Penang Road (a man sitting in a trishaw).

Zacharevic will be back in Geoge Town to work on what is likely to be his last wall mural in Carnarvon Street.

"I will start work at the end of September or beginning of October. Penang is quite small so I don't want to do too many murals because they will loose their appeal," he adds.

Once completed, the Murobond paint artworks imprinted on the heritage walls will be presented as part of a self-guided Art & Heritage Walk tour with their locations marked on a map featuring short stories, interesting facts on Penang and impressions of the people depicted in the murals.

Zacharevic seems genuinely surprised at the attention his work has garnered. "There is nothing special about me. I'm very simple. I like to eat, sleep and paint."

He finds his new-found "celebrity artist" status a little overwhelming.

"To be honest, it is nice that people like the murals. I get so many requests for pictures and autographs (but) I think the fact that young people are inspired to rediscover their hometown is the biggest compliment ever."

The artist credits George Town Festival director Joe Sidek for the unorthodox "canvas". The murals were created as part of the Mirrors George Town street art project for the recent George Town Festival 2012.

"Joe has a clear vision of what he wants for the festival. Without his support, this project would have never happened," Zacharevic says.

He spent some six months on the groundwork before he could start weaving his magic on the brick and mortar canvas.

"It was a very long process. First, we needed to get all the necessary permits. Then, it was choosing the walls, discussing the visuals and making sure everyone was in agreement.

"Next up was sorting out the logistics, scaffolding, etc, before I could even start painting."

It was loads of research, photo shoots, digital mock-ups, and of course, buckets of sweat under the scorching tropical sun, before the visuals – the most time-consuming process – were ready.

Zacharevic says the murals weren't too difficult to paint but the biggest challenges he faced were time limitation and the heat.

"I could not paint at night because you can't see the colours properly, so it had to be daytime. In Penang, it gets quite hot during the day."

Photographs of the murals and his artwork in the island have since been published in the Street Art Notebook.

"This is an extension of the mural project. It is like a DIY street art book in which people can draw their own murals," he says.

Zacharevic is holding a competition for the public to post their drawings, photographs, montages, or anything that is creative, on, to win prizes. The most interesting works will be featured in an exhibition.

Besides the murals, he also joined five Malaysians in the RESCUBE exhibition (held at Beach Street, Penang, in July), which highlights the interdisciplinary marriage between visual arts and music.

The cube, now on display at the 23 Love Lane boutique hotel, is based on the structure and the concept of "one cube, six walls, one entity, six sides".

While growing up, Zacharevic had always wanted to paint – well, that and to juggle.

"I like juggling and have been doing Diabolo (an action role-playing video game) for almost 10 years now," he shares.

The Middlesex University (London) fine art graduate has studied art since he was little, attending the National Art Boarding School, where they teach sculpture, painting, design, even textiles and stained-glass.

His next big project will be in Selangor – an art installation for the Urbanscapes Festival in November.

"It should be a fun project and (Icelandic folk band) Sigur Ros is performing, so I am really looking forward to it.

"I also have a few requests to create a series of murals in Kuala Lumpur which are similar to what I've done for Penang. But that's next year, so we'll see how it goes. Most of KL's buildings do not have heritage status, so it will be very different, but still interactive and fun," he says.

Sharing his thoughts on George Town, where he is currently based, Zacharevic echoes what Penangites had been saying even before the 2008 George Town World Heritage listing – that is, the city is an amazing place to live, heat aside.

His "extended stay" was apparently unintended.

"I just came for few days and never left. Penang is an amazing place and I really like it here. My girlfriend likes it as well, so there's no reason not to extend a visit for few more months," he says.

Apparently, size does matter to him.

"I like the size of the place. It is not too big and there's a sense of community and things are accessible. Yet, it's also not too small and you can still buy the things you need, meet interesting people and eat food from around the globe."

Apart from his work in Penang, Zacharevic has also left his "mark" in Singapore's Little India district, and Shoreditch, London.

Glamour on Mumbai’s walls

Posted: 02 Sep 2012 01:12 AM PDT

Two film buffs pay tribute to the Hindi silver screen ahead of its centenary.

FRUSTRATED by the lack of old Bollywood glamour on the streets of Mumbai, two film buffs are trying to brighten up India's movie capital with mural tributes to mark the industry's 100th birthday next year.

The iconic image of a reclining, cigarette-smoking young Amitabh Bachchan, the biggest star of Hindi cinema, has been lovingly recreated on a roadside wall, replicating the dying style of hand-painted poster art. Bachchan's character Vijay joined the underworld of the city's mean streets in the 1975 hit Deewar (The Wall), but the film's antihero now has pride of place on a lane in the hip Bandra suburb, home to many film stars.

Despite the abundance of slick new posters plastered around Mumbai, artist Ranjit Dahiya says he was struck by how the city's rich film heritage was being forgotten in recent years.

"I couldn't see any Bollywood in Bombay, yet this is the city of Bollywood," adds Dahiya, using the city's old name. "So I thought I should paint the walls on the street."

The mural in Bandra was the second to be completed as part of the Bollywood Art Project (BAP), a self-funded venture set up by Dahiya and his friend Tony Peter to create film artwork "accessible for everyone".

The duo hope to finish about one painting a month in the run-up to next May, when India will celebrate a century since its first silent feature film, Raja Harishchandra, opened in Mumbai in 1913.

Getting permission is not always straightforward, with plans for a 21m dancing girl thwarted by unimpressed locals. "It depends on the people," said Dahiya. "Some people are sensible and really know about the art."

BAP began life last April with a mural of the 1953 classic Anarkali, one of the greatest hits of its decade, which told the tale of an ill-fated love affair between a beautiful court dancer and a Mughal prince.

"With Bollywood having run for 100 years, the films have run into the hundred thousands at least. We're skimming the surface," says Peter, who runs a film and design company.

Their murals also pay tribute to Bollywood's old poster painters, whose art Dahiya laments "is going to die" as digital media technology takes over. It is one of many aspects of the prolific film industry that some fans would like to see preserved in Mumbai, whose role at the heart of the movie world may have passed its glory days.

"There was a time when 'Bombay' and 'Bollywood' were synonymous," says a recent Hindustan Times article, wistfully recalling the days when more film premieres were held in Mumbai and star-struck fans thronged film studio gates.

"Since Bollywood has gone global and premieres have shifted to Dubai and Singapore, the city's studios lie forgotten."

Much of the studio action now happens in a Film City complex in north Mumbai, and film historian Amrit Gangar says that old heritage gems such as the once-famed Bombay Talkies studio have been left to crumble in recent decades.

Gangar laments India's attitude to its film heritage and history – from the studios to original film frames to hand-painted billboards – saying that it is crucial for future generations to have reference material from the past.

"At this point of time, not much has been left with us. But whatever we can salvage has to be preserved with a lot of care and respect and made public."

Next year's anniversary could provide a crucial impetus, with other projects springing up across the city in the countdown.

A recent exhibition at the National Gallery of Modern Art explored the relationship between Mumbai and the movies, while the first part of a museum dedicated to Indian cinema is due to open in December.

"It's going to be pretty huge," says D.P. Reddy, joint secretary of India's information and broadcasting ministry, adding that 1.2bil rupees (RM62mil) will be spent on the project.

He also lists plans for various festivals, exhibitions and other events to mark the centenary of not just Hindi-language Bollywood, but all Indian cinema.

Last March, the UTV Stars television channel launched a "Walk of Fame" in the style of the famous boulevard in Los Angeles, but Mumbai still has some catching up to do to match the legendary landmarks of the US film capital.

"Hollywood is a location but Bollywood is just an entity without a specific location," adds Peter, who hopes to attract more funding to keep their project alive. "Maybe if our paintings help to create the feeling of being in Bollywood, that will be something we have achieved." – AFP Relaxnews

Urban hub for arts

Posted: 01 Sep 2012 04:44 PM PDT

What would it take to make KL a lively arts paradise?

CAN Kuala Lumpur ever become an arts hub like Melbourne (in Australia), Seoul or Singapore?

We do have a vibrant arts scene in this country as every week sees a play or musical or art exhibition being held in KL. And although our arts community is relatively small, the practitioners are nevertheless a busy bunch.

But how ready are we to turn KL into an arts city that never sleeps?

The Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) recently held a panel discussion on "Arts and the city" with members of the arts community, on how to empower the arts community, how much money matters in artistic endeavours, and what's on the arts community's wish list.

It is the ETP's belief that arts and culture will play a major role in turning KL into "an iconic and vibrant city", from both a social and an economic perspective. Thus the panellists explored the economic value of the arts, the impact of policies and incentives, and what can be done to help KL move in that direction.

On the panel were Low Ngai Yuen, head of Kakiseni, the arts portal that organises the annual Boh Cameronian Awards; Bilqis Hijjas, president of MyDance Alliance; Lee Weng Choy, co-director of The Substation Arts Centre, Singapore; dance choreographer, writer and educator Dr Zulkifli Mohamad; and Nor Asmah Mohd Noor, senior manager of communication, content and infrastructure of Pemandu (the Performance Management and Delivery Unit).

Zulkifli felt that transparency in fund-giving is of top priority, and there should also be more spaces for different types of performances.

"Thirdly, we should have platforms. For instance, if we have a KL arts festival, then we should also have a fringe section for the more experimental works," he said.

The panellists wanted the government to lead the way, although everyone should be proactive in making things happen.

"The government should have a little bit more courage and vision in its funding," said Lee. "It can identify a few key projects and key individuals that deserve long-term investment."

He believes this will lead to the development of leadership in the arts community, which will then be empowered to speak for itself.

On whether there are models to emulate, Bilqis said: "If you look at any country or city now – Seoul, Singapore, Melbourne, Berlin – they all have enabling policies in place. But we also have to remove the disenablers, the disincentives.

"Obviously, censorship is a big issue here. Malaysian artists would feel much happier if we knew very clearly where the lines are drawn, what is allowed and what is not."

Zulkifli added that dance also has problems with censorship, citing the recent case of Singapore Dance Theatre's (SDT) permit being denied because, reportedly, the dancers had to wear tutus.

(Earlier this year, the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre claimed it was told, verbally, by a ministry official that the SDT's application to perform in KL had been rejected because of "costumes and foreign performers".

Information, Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Rais Yatim later denied that the dancers' tutus were a problem, and approved the permit, by which time it was too late for the group to come.)

Lee cited the government-commissioned censorship review committees in Singapore as an example of how the arts community was mobilised to take a stand for a more regulatory position instead of censorship, even though the community had initially accepted that censorship is necessary.

On whether an arts council is needed, Low said: "A few years ago, we tried to have an arts council but it didn't happen. We are putting together something almost similar and will be moving towards a proper structure soon."

Lee said the arts needs a public figure in a high position who thinks the arts is important and will "defend" it.

For example, The Substation worked really closely with the Arts Council in Singapore, but the latter "couldn't really defend us against the higher-ups in government. That's what you really need – a really strong supporter."

Should the government should be a leader or a partner?

"The government can't be leading in everything," Nor Asmah said. "The right role for the government is that of a facilitator. Of course it would like to see the (arts scene) united and provide constructive feedback.

"We need a list of projects on a long-term basis. But this has to come from the (arts scene) itself. The government can't be expected to fund the projects 100%. We need to come up with more reliable business models.

"Matching grants would be good. At least, you can see the commitment from the private sector to make it happen. And we can tell the public, 'Look, the government is very serious about making this city a lively arts centre.'"

But is the arts community united? Bilqis replied: "Is there a community? Yes. Is there a single voice? No."

Zulkifli thought it is difficult to get everyone together. "I think that's why we have MyDance, the ballet society – all dance people but in different societies. I suppose, for the good of the arts and its future, people should get together."

The Boh Cameronian Awards is a good example of getting artists together to celebrate as a single community. But does it want to develop a voice?

"I think a lot of people will (want to work with the government)," said Bilqis. "Obviously, there will be those who are suspicious. But judging by the effort it took to set up the previous version of the arts council, a lot of people came together ... it takes a lot of work, but it's not impossible."

Said Lee: "You have so many great individuals moving in different directions. Occasionally, you get very strong leadership at a particular time, because there's an issue, opportunity or occasion. It's like history. Who knows why things happen?"

Finally, on what the focus should be to make KL a vibrant arts city, Low said discussions should be encouraged and everyone should act on whatever plans that result from that.

"This country is still in its infancy in terms of the growth of the performing arts," she added. "The growth is minimal and it needs a little push from all sectors."

Zulkifli felt the capacity of those who work behind the scenes should also be built up. "The leaders in the arts scene are not just the artists themselves but also the producers, fund-raisers, managers and technical people."

Bilqis called for greater transparency, more discussions, and more information from the government about what it is trying to do.

"Sometimes there are opportunities that no one knows about, and the government doesn't get any response to what it's trying to promote," she said.

Nor Asmah said come November, the government will hold a Kuala Lumpur Creative Content and Information Mart.

"We're trying to get all the players in the creative scene to participate and promote what they do," she said. "(We hope to have) people from the performing arts, music, film and other genres.

"There have been a series of discussions. I hope those in the arts community will take proactive steps to be involved."


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Residents: End to water woes

Posted: 03 Sep 2012 05:18 PM PDT

LABIS: Residents in Taman Segar in Tenang are seeking a dialogue with Syarikat Air Johor (SAJ) Holdings Sdn Bhd, the state's water utility company, to resolve frequent water cuts during festive periods.

Labis MP Datuk Chua Tee Yong, who visited Taman Segar in Tenang recently, said residents complained that they were facing water disruption from time to time during festive periods due to high water usage.

"It causes great inconveniece to them especially when it is during festivities," he said.

Chua, who is Agriculture and Agro-based Industry deputy minister, said some 80 families were affected and he would arrange a dialogue between SAJ and residents to resolve the water supply issue.

He added that Taman Segar is located on a high slope, therefore, increase in water presssure to force the water flow would lead to major water main in the housing area to burst.

"If such incident happens, it will also affect the water supply to other nearby housing areas," he said.

Chua said he would suggest to SAJ to transport water to Taman Segar during festive periods to alleviate the water supply problem.

He added that residents in Taman Segar had taken initiative to record the frequency of water distrubtion such as time and day and he would present the data to SAJ for further actions.

Chua said Taman Tenang situated next to Taman Segar used to faced similar issues.

"However, we managed to resolve the problem with the assistance of state executive councillor Tan Kok Hong and the late Tenang assemblyman Datuk Sulaiman Taha," he said, adding that they had met with the SAJ official and requested the company to resolve the matter.

Chua said water supply to Taman Segar is good during normal day.

Technical issues causing project delay

Posted: 03 Sep 2012 05:19 PM PDT

LABIS: The first automated teller machine (ATM) project in Tenang Station has been delayed till October due to technical issues.

Labis MP Datuk Chua Tee Yong said the ATM by Maybank could not be completed in July as schedule because of unavoidable technicalities of the project.

He said Maybank had sent its technical officers to Tenang Station to inspect to the ATM construction site and work on layout plans on April 17.

"We have been following up with the ATM project closely. According to Maybank, the project is delayed as it needs time for approval from its headquarters and for it sort out techinical issues," he said recently.

Chua, who is Agriculture and Agro-based Industry deputy minister, said the project had been approved and contractor was also identified.

"We hope the installation of the ATM can be done by October as it is important for the residents in Tenang Station and its surrounding areas," he said and thanked Maybank for its contribution towards the residents in Tenang Station.

In May, Chua said Maybank became the first financial institution to have an ATM, which would be build next to the police station here.

He said the ATM would be extremely helpful in helping people to save a trip to the nearest bank in Labis town or Segamat town, located about 20 minutes from here.

He added that the installation of the ATM, costing between RM60,000 and RM100,000 was part of Maybank's corporate social responsibility.

Residents in Tenang Station found it unsafe to travel to the banks to withdraw money, especially at night, Chua said, adding that he hope the new ATM would also help to improve businesses in Tenang Station as people could withdraw money and spend it in Tenang Station.

Ops Selamat a success with lower road fatalities

Posted: 03 Sep 2012 05:18 PM PDT

KUANTAN: Ops Selamat resulted with a decrease in road fatalities here.

State Public Order and Traffic chief Supt Mohamed Fauzi Abdul Rahim said three deaths were reported during the first four days of the ops compared to 13 deaths on last year's Ops Sikap.

During Raya, some 60 police personnel and three officers were on duty along the highway.

"Our force was beefed up to create a huge perception of being caught so motorists would avoid breaking the law," he said.

Supt Mohamed Fauzi added that the Ops Selamat was more comprehensive in that it covered the road safety as well as crime prevention aspects.

On separate matter, Kuantan OCPD Asst Comm Mohd Jasmani Yusoff said police had stepped up measures to reduce road accident deaths and crimes in the district during the holidays.

Police, he added, had increased patrols on areas identified as hotspots and for crime deterrent, special forms were distributed to residents leaving their home for outstation visits.


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