Selasa, 11 September 2012

The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

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The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

It’s hero time

Posted: 12 Sep 2012 02:53 AM PDT

Geeky superheroes rule even on Korean TV.

IT is the year 2020, and South Korea has gone bankrupt. The republic is now a broken country where crime rules and justice is obsolete. The divide has never been greater between the rich and the poor, who are segregated into slums. But from the shadows of the Depression, an unexpected hero emerges.

Whoa! With that premise, you know you are not getting a run-of-the-mill Korean drama.

Hero, the 10-episode action series showing on Astro's Celestial Movies, definitely delivers all the extraordinary thrills and intrigue it promises. From the opening minute, the kick is paramount.

We are taken to Mooyoung, a fictional city where corruption is rampant. It's Christmas Eve and a group of young orphans is preparing for the festivities in an old church in one of the slum areas.

Suddenly, a group of armed robbers led by a mysterious assassin (played by Japanese actor Ryohei Otani) storms into the church, and demand a "gift" from the pastor. When the pastor refuses them, the gang leader shoots him point blank in the head while his men open fire on the children.

Yup, that is the life in this future Korea. In Mooyoung, the cruel life is made harder by its corrupt Mayor, Kim Hoon (Sohn Byung-ho), who rules the city with an iron fist. He is aided by his oldest son, head prosecutor Kim Myung-chul (Choi Chul-ho), who is equally corrupt.

The only chink in their "throne" is the younger son of the family, a seemingly unambitious geek, Kim Huk-chui (Yang Dong-gun), whom they had banished to China after one debacle too many. But China deports him back to South Korea, and once home again, he continues his aimless, hedonistic life after seeing how his power-hungry family has not changed.

That is, until he meets a smart and passionate young police detective Yoon Ih-ohn (Han Chae-ah). While trying to date her, Huk-chui stumbles into a police sting and gets caught in the crossfire.

Huk-chui is hit by a bullet while trying to protect Ih-ohn and he falls into a coma. It looks like the end of the road for Huk-chui but his father convinces the doctors to use an experimental serum to revive him.

When Huk-chui wakes up, he discovers that he has somehow gained superhuman powers. As he realises that with great powers come great responsibilities, Huk-chui – with a little help from his best friend, tech genius Dong Min (Kwong Min) – decides to put his new super abilities to good use by fighting evil and helping the city's weak.

Each episode sees Huk-chui tackling different crimes while driving him closer to the inevitable face-off with his family, the source of all the malevolence in Mooyoung.

And he soon discovers that he may not be alone and there may be an army of super humans out there .... So, who says Korean dramas are all about long lost siblings and love triangles?

Part-Robocop and part-Six Million Dollar Man, Hero is inspiring and thought-provoking.

The series does not only play with contemporary tech ideas to depict a possible not-too-distant future, but also puts a spin on current apocalyptic concerns to paint a dystopian world that could scarily become reality.

And with its poor rich boy-turn-vigilante hero theme, you can't help be reminded of the Batman movies.

It does not help either that like The Dark Knight Rises, it too hints at the 99% versus 1% crisis, or that Mooyoung looks very much like Gotham, so much so that you sometimes expect to see the Batman insignia beaming off the buildings in the show.

Huk-chui, however, is no Bruce Wayne, and starts out more like a bumbling member of the Mystery Men. This does not make him less endearing as he goes after the hoodlums of Mooyoung. And for once, in Ih-ohn, he has a heroine who is more amazing than him, and she even rescues him from a scrap or two.

It is no surprise that Hero is the brainchild of the team behind the equally gripping Vampire Prosecutor (which tells of a prosecutor who, after he is infected with some vampire blood, uses his extraordinary senses to solve crime) and Special Affairs Team TEN (about a violent crime investigation unit).

Like the two earlier series, Hero manages to be both gritty and fresh. If you are getting sick of the usual K-drama fare, this is the perfect antidote.

Hero, which concludes this Friday, airs on weekdays at 8pm with repeats at 10.45pm on Celestial Movies (Astro Ch 322) and Celestial Movies HD (Astro Ch 309). The marathon (Episodes 6-10) airs this Sunday.

Another fad

Posted: 12 Sep 2012 03:00 AM PDT

Red FM has decided to move on to a new beat.

THESE days there is no escaping from Korean wonder hit Gangnam Style by Psy. Be it on English radio stations, Facebook, YouTube and even at night clubs, there is just no running away from Gangnam Style.

At Red FM – taking into account feedback from listeners and people in the office – the Red FM announcers and programmers decided to create a song and accompanying music video to express that enough is enough and that this video has seen way too many parodies.

People at Red FM were fans of Gangnam Style when it was initially released. A few announcers, including The Red Breakfast Show and The Red Fix, created mini videos of themselves dancing to Gangnam Style.

Linora from The Red Hub says: "Gangnam Style was fun when it first came out. It was terribly addictive, I had loads of fun with it even at the gym but it's just an overload now. I think it is time to move on to something else.

"Jeremy from The Red Zone says: "With every story there are two sides, in a world where everybody loves Gangnam Style, Red FM is the voice for those who are sick and tired of hearing the many parodies.

"We are not saying we are not fans of the parodies, some of them involve a lot of effort and creativity. We are just saying, as with life, too much of a good thing is a bad thing."

Prem, the all-new Red Breakfast Show producer, says: "We enjoy Psy, Gangnam Style and the video, we think the song and video are both very cool. First, it was fascinating to watch people coming out with their own versions of this video but now one could say it is getting boring with the extreme amounts of parodies and overplay. The original just needs to be left alone."

Prem is part of the team credited with creating So Sick Of Gangnam. The song was first played on air last Friday. The reaction to this song was immediate. A whole lot of listeners called in and messaged in to express their appreciation for this song. One listener even took it a step further to say this was long awaited for.

Ne-Yo's So Sick was picked as it is aptly named. Talented local singer James Baum was invited to be part of this as Prem had previously heard him sing So Sick and knew he would be a great voice for this song.

Red FM has shared this song on Listeners can look forward to the video this Friday. It will feature Red FM announcers and Baum.

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 Star Online: Business

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KLCI opens in the red, banks, plantations weigh

Posted: 11 Sep 2012 06:13 PM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI opened lower on Wednesday, weighed down by losses in banking stocks and plantations.

At 9am, the KLCI was down 2.19 points to 1,612.05. Turnover was 16.90 million shares valued at RM10.45mil. There were 71 gainers, 31 losers and 70 stocks unchanged.

HL Bank fell 20 sen to RM12.80, Public Bank gave up 10 sen to RM14.10 while RHB Cap shed two sen to RM6.91. However, AFG rose six sen to RM4.06 and Maybank five sen to RM9.20.

BAT was the top loser, down 32 sen to RM62.06, extending its recent decline. AirAsia shed eight sen to RM3.11 in active trade.

Among the plantations, Genting Plantations fell six sen to RM9.20 and heavyweight IOI Corp three sen lower at RM5.04

Brisk demand for local rigs

Posted: 11 Sep 2012 06:02 PM PDT


By UOB Kay Hian Research


WE hosted a luncheon for private company Gryphon, an aggressive accumulator of mobile offshore production unit (Mopu) rigs that is benefitting from thriving exploration and production (E&P) activities in the oil and gas (O&G) sector, to provide its outlook for the Malaysian rig market.

Gryphon expects especially brisk demand for the sparsely available Malaysian-flagged rigs driven by rising rig count in Malaysian waters, as Malaysia intensified its E&P activities to boost oil production, rising substitution effect as Malaysian-flagged rigs replace some foreign-flagged rigs (on charter expiry). Gryphon notes that the domestic charter rate for rigs has recently firmed up, and expects rates to inch up over time, which point to potentially rising margins for rig owners.

High extension chances for Perisai Petroleum Teknologi Bhd's Mopu charter contract for natural gas production at the Bekok production area. Recall that Perisai's Mopu is contracted out to Petronas at a daily charter rate of US$69,000 per day under a "2+1+1" contract that expires end-2013. Malaysia continues to face a significant shortage of domestic gas supply, and industry observers expect delays to Petronas' plan to rehabilitate a production platform which caught fire in Bekok-C, which augurs well for Perisai (which was mobilised to address the production shortfall in Bekok). The rig accounts for 50% of Perisai's 2012 earning before interest and tax (Ebit).

Continue to overweight the O&G sector, particularly in the rig sub-sector. Brisk demand and potentially rising charter rates could allow rig owners to positively surprise the market.

Among the listed rig owners Perisai, SapuraKencana Petroleum Bhd and UMW Holdings Bhd we maintain our buy calls on Perisai (target price (TP): RM1.59 based on 12 times 2013 forward price-to-earnings (PE) and the net present value from a prospective stake in floating, production, storage and offloading or FPSO Kamelia) and SapuraKencana (TP: RM2.80 based on 17 times FY14 forecast PE). Perisai in particular provides a significant upside to our target price, given its high likelihood of securing a contract for its jack-up rig (taking delivery on July 14) and to secure partial ownership of a FPSO vessel that shares similar demand dynamics and attractive mid-teen internal rate of return as rigs.

Brisk demand for Malaysian-flagged drilling rigs. We believe Petronas and its production sharing contract partners will intensify exploration activities, with a target to drill 50 exploration wells over the next three years. Thus, we foresee continuing strong demand for both jack-ups, mobile offshore production units (Mopu) and FPSO vessels. Demand for Malaysian-flagged rigs are particularly strong as out of the present 25 rigs in Malaysia (of which 15 are jack-up rigs), only one is locally owned (operated by UMW)

We foresee this substitution phenomenon to gain prominence from 2013 onwards, following the expiry of the typical short one to two years charter contracts for rigs, and with a handful of local companies in the midst of acquiring rigs Perisai, UMW and potentially Bumi Armada. Gryphon is also seeing rising demand for mat jack-ups, compared with the current punch-through jack-ups, as the former offers potentially quicker and cheaper deployment or de-commissioning.

Channel checks indicate that charter rates for new jack-ups have improved since two years ago, from more than US$130,000 per day to more than US$150,000 a day. Despite the availability of used rigs at cheap prices, new rigs will continue to be in demand to service more complex wells and harder-to-reach reservoirs.


By Kenanga Research


Target Price: RM3.60

WE are of the view that the group is likely to see a good earnings growth in the second half of this year with risk biased to the upside as the group had reduced its stake in Syarikat Takaful Malaysia by 3.12% to 62.1% over the last two months.

Its upcoming earnings growth will be even stronger as compared with the first half. The strategic decision in capitalising on the upward trend in Syarikat Takaful Malaysia's share price performance will benefit BIMB's profitability and valuation.

The current share price of RM3.09 works out to an undemanding entry price of just 1.36 times book value into its 51%-owned Bank Islam. As such, we believe BIMB is still deeply undervalued and we do not discount the possibility of some corporate actions by the management to unlock its value. BIMB continues to be our dark horse pick in the banking sector.

The group is starting to divest its stake in Syarikat Takaful to capitalise on the strong share price performance of the latter while still maintaining a majority control (51% equity stake). As at Sept 7, the group has divested a 3.12% equity interest in Syarikat Takaful or 5.08 million shares, at proceeds which could be as much as RM30mil. Syarikat Takaful has tripled its market capitalisation to RM1bil from RM326mil in December 2011, and is currently trading at a forward consensus price earnings ratio of 12.9 times its financial year 2013 (FY13) earnings and at 1.6 times price/book value.

According to the company's managing director, the group will continue to explore various strategies to enhance stakeholders value, including the possibility of its 51%-owned Bank Islam assuming BIMB's listing status.

As such, we do not discount the possibility of potential corporate actions by management ahead to unlock the value of the group.

In addition, Bank Islam's management is expecting to achieve a higher financing growth target of 25% year-on-year by end-FY12 with a better financing-to-deposit ratio of 60%. Its higher than the industry's 13% financing growth will mainly be contributed by ETP-related projects.

As such, we still expect Bank Islam to deliver a faster balance sheet growth and achieve a better asset quality similar to its peers in two-three years.

We are maintaining our target price at RM3.60 based on a targeted multiple of 1.7 times its FY13 book value per share of RM2.10.

We believe that any potential corporate actions mentioned above could act as a re-rating catalyst for the group.


By Affin Investment Bank

Neutral (Maintain)

CRUDE palm oil (CPO) three-month futures recovered to a high of RM3,091 per tonne on Aug 27 but has since eased to RM2,933 per tonne.

The high soybean oil premium of over US$300 per tonne (highest since November 2008) following the worst US drought in 50 years as well as forecast tightness in the global oilseed and vegetable oil markets until South American production are available from April 2012 are key bullish factors.

Otherwise, prices may have been dragged lower due to the following bearish factors: Prospects of rising production and closing stocks surging even higher above 2 million tonnes as production peaks in the next three months. There are no official statistics but Indonesian oil stocks may have surged to about 4 million tonnes, according to Dhorab Mistry.

Demand risks with key markets posting lower economic growth as the global economy slows. China and India accounted for 19% and 13% of total Malaysian exports.

A stronger US dollar and generally weaker crude oil prices as well as talks of the United States and European Union reducing biofuel mandates until recent tightness of supply and high prices are eliminated have also bearish implications.

Year-to-date, CPO 3-M futures average has dipped further from RM3,194 per tonne to RM3,173 per tonne while locally delivered spot prices averaged RM3,109 per tonne.


By Hong Leong Investment Bank

Buy (maintain)

Target Price: RM2.77

SAPURAKENCANA Petroleum Bhd announced that its subsidiary, SapuraAcergy Sdn Bhd a 50:50 joint-venture company equally owned by SapuraKencana and Subsea 7 S.A., has been awarded a contract for the charter of vessel, Sapura 3000 from Construcciones Maritimas Mexicanas S.A. de C.V. to undertake heavy lifts in the Gulf of Mexico region.

The contract is for a duration of 125 days and commenced on Aug 18. The contract quantum is US$45mil.

We view the contract award positively and in line with our view that SapuraKencana is a proxy to global growth in offshore oil and gas production expansion.

It also reaffirms our expectations that the company is in an excellent position to secure more contracts.

The contract exceeds our joint-venture level SapuraAcergy and overall orderbook assumptions by 22.6% and 1.4% as well as increase the orderbook to RM365mil and RM3.798bil respectively, largely in line.

Due to the relatively small size of the contract and overall orderbook in line with our expectations, we have not changed our earnings estimates for this year.

Some of the risks include execution risk and escalation of vessel running costs.

The positives include its strong balance sheet and know-how and global trend towards offshore production.

The negatives include increased competition for growth markets and complexities of running a larger organisation.

We maintain our forecasts and rate the stock as "buy."

Target price for the stock is maintained at RM2.77 based on 20 times financial year ending Jan 31, 2014 earnings per share of 13.9 sen.

Ranhill’s sees generating RM976mil from China water concessions

Posted: 11 Sep 2012 05:57 PM PDT

TIANJIN: Ranhill Bhd expects to generate a total revenue of two billion yuan (RM976mil) from the nine water concession projects that the company is undertaking in China.

Among the nine projects four of them are newly-inked deals which will provide a 1.41 billion yuan (RM687mil) boost to the company's earnings.

The water concessions are built and run by Ranhill Water Technologies Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ranhill Utilities under the group.

Ranhill Water Technologies chief executive officer Koh Boon Sian said as the company was mainly using equipments imported from Malaysia for the water and wastewater treatment plants, about half of the total revenue would contribute to Malaysia's total exports of equipments and services.

"The revenue stream has been very stable because our water and wastewater treatment facilities are built in industrial parks. The park operators are good paymasters.

"There is a clear directive from the Chinese central government to emphasise environment protection. Be it the city mayor or industrial park director, they will do all they can to protect the environment.

"Our company then works hand-in-hand with them to ensure the sustainable development of water resources in the area," he said after inking two of the latest water deals here in China yesterday.

International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed and Ranhill Bhd president Tan Sri Hamdan Mohamad witnessed the signing.

Ranhill Water Technologies entered an investment agreement with the Changfeng Heavy Industrial Park in Hefei, Anhui province, for a build-operate-and-transfer project comprising a 20 million litres per day (MLD) wastewater treatment plant and a pumping station.

The company will build another reservoir, a 100MLD potable water treatment plant, and two 50MLD wastewater treatment plants as part of an expansion of the Xinxiang Industrial Park in Henan province.

The other two new projects also involve building potable and wastewater treatment facilities in the Lujiang Industrial Park in Hefei and in northwestern Ningxia Hui autonomous region's Zhongwei city.

Koh said the four new projects would commence in the next six months after approvals were granted for their design plans.

He said the company was looking for more water projects in western China following its first in Ningxia, as the water management market in eastern and southern China was rather saturated.

The 100MLD potable water treatment plant in Jiangxi province's Yichun city was the first water project undertaken in China by Ranhill Water Technologies along with its joint-venture partner Pinang Water Ltd in 2005.

Ranhill Bhd has other water projects in Sri Gading in Johor, Amata Nakorn Industrial Park in Thailand and Madinah city in Saudi Arabia.


The Star Online: Sports

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The Star Online: Sports

McIlroy, Scott and Mickelson down to play in Lion City

Posted: 11 Sep 2012 05:03 PM PDT

SINGAPORE: World number one Rory McIlroy will headline this year's Barclays Singapore Open along with three-time winner Adam Scott and American star Phil Mickelson, organisers said yesterday.

McIlroy, who won his second Major title at the PGA Championship last month, adds significant celebrity power to the US$6mil event which is yet to announce next year's title sponsor.

The Northern Irishman, as well as four-time Major champion Mickelson, will also play a prominent role in the famous Ryder Cup team tournament taking place in Chicago later this month.

The Nov 8-11 Singapore Open, touted as "Asia's Major", started in 1961 but is competing in an increasingly crowded market. In May, British bank Barclays decided not to extend its current contract, which expires this year.

Last month, Asian Tour chief executive Mike Kerr told AFP he was in talks to bring an "iconic" tournament at a "similar level" to the Majors to Asia within three to five years, but did not reveal in which country.

McIlroy underlined his top ranking on Sunday when held off an elite field to claim his second consecutive win on the US PGA Tour play-off series, putting him in pole position for the series champion's US$10mil bonus.

The 23-year-old will play in Singapore as part of an Asian swing that will also take him to the BMW Masters in Shanghai and a one-day matchplay face-off against Tiger Woods elsewhere in China.

Australia's Scott, the world No. 5, can burnish his season after a heart-breaking outing at the British Open, where he threw away a four-shot lead with four holes to play to hand victory to Ernie Els.

He will feel at home in Singapore after winning a record three titles in 2005, 2006 and 2010, and finishing third in 2007 and equal third in 2009.

Left-hander Mickelson is seeking his first win at Sentosa Golf Club after competing in the last five Singapore Opens. His best finish was in 2008, when he placed ninth.

A field of 156 will compete for the US$1mil winner's cheque at an event which is also known for its weather delays.

Last year, Spain's Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano beat Filipino Juvic Pagunsan in a play-off which had to be completed early on the Monday morning after a series of tropical storms. — AFP

London looks ahead after Olympic summer of love

Posted: 11 Sep 2012 05:02 PM PDT

LONDON: Tears mingled with cheers on the streets of London on Monday as thousands of Britons hailed their Olympic and Paralympic heroes but also pondered the future after a glorious summer.

A sea of flags and Mexican waves transformed the capital for the victory parade, which ended at Buckingham Palace with a noisy and colourful flyby by the Royal Air Force Red Arrows aerobatic team.

But as a fleet of street-cleaners moved in afterwards, many spectators wondered whether London's new-found optimism would be swept up with the rubbish.

"I wasn't looking forward to it beforehand, in a typical English way I was moaning about it and thought it looked like too much hard work," said Juliet Holden, whose law firm sponsored Paralympic T42 200m winner Richard Whitehead.

"But since it's started, it's been amazing. London changed. It's got a real sense of community. It's going to be a let-down after today."

London mayor Boris Johnson highlighted the renewed sense of togetherness, writing in the Daily Telegraph that it was "as though the city has been crop-dusted with serotonin".

The medallists snaked their way past St Paul's Cathedral, theatreland, Trafalgar Square and along The Mall in 21 floats, passing on the way some of the iconic locations which served as memorable backdrops for Olympic events.

Almost all of those in attendance were waving Union Jack flags while others decorated buggies, pubs, city offices, churches and theatres in an unashamed display of patriotism.

A seller of the Big Issue, a homeless charity magazine, was dressed from head to foot in red, white and blue while a traditional city gent had the flag sticking out the top of his bowler hat.

A giant banner hanging from third floor of an office on the Strand read "So Proud", summing up the feeling on the streets.

Lizzy Muggeridge, 38, cheered on the athletes dressed in the nurse's costume which she wore while performing in the Olympic opening ceremony on July 27.

"I was in two minds whether to wear the outfit but I just saw someone else wearing one so I don't feel as silly," she explained.

"It remains to be seen whether this feeling will last. I've never been particularly patriotic but it was nice how everyone got together, it was inspirational. But then again it could all fade away," she added.

Cyclist Victoria Pendleton got the collective bottom lip wobbling with her teary response to supporters.

Crowds seven-deep lined the street along the two-mile (four kilometre) route with a host of different languages and regional accents adding to the collective din.

Hard-hatted builders hung off scaffolding while less fortunate fans mounted traffic lights and others clambered on top of the city's famous red telephone boxes to snatch a better view.

Police and volunteers kept the crowd amused by orchestrating mass performances of the Mobot, the celebration made famous by double-gold medalist Mo Farah, before a slow-motion Mexican wave of noise heralded the approach of the floats. — AFP

Murray ends the drought

Posted: 11 Sep 2012 05:01 PM PDT

HISTORY-MAKING Andy Murray ended Britain's 76-year wait for a men's Grand Slam champion when he beat 2011 winner Novak Djokovic 7-6 (12-10), 7-5, 2-6, 3-6, 6-2 in an epic US Open final on Monday.

Murray became Britain's first major champion since Fred Perry claimed his third American title in 1936, the year the Spanish Civil War started and Franklin D. Roosevelt was re-elected US president.

In a roller-coaster final, which witnessed a 54-shot rally, numerous 30-stroke exchanges, as well as a record-setting tie-breaker, the 25-year-old Murray held his nerve in a knife-edge final set.

The Olympic champion led 3-0 in the decider, dropped serve but broke again for 5-2 when Djokovic called a medical time-out.

But Murray wasn't to be denied, taking the historic crown when Djokovic went long with a forehand on a second match point in what was, at four hours and 54 minutes, the second-longest US Open final of all time.

Murray insisted it was a huge relief to finally have captured a major and put an end to the questions over whether or not he would do it.

"Most press conferences I would do I would get asked a question along those sort of lines, and it does build pressure a little bit," he said.

"You try not to think about it much when you're playing, but when I was serving for the match, I realized how important that moment was for British tennis. It's something that hasn't happened for a long time.

"And, yeah, I'm obviously proud that I managed to achieve it, and don't have to get asked that stupid question again."

Murray paid tribute to coach Ivan Lendl, who lost three finals in New York from 1982-1984 before clinching three titles in a row from 1985-1987. "He was one of the greatest," Murray said. "He has helped me through the tough times."

"Murray had lost all of his four previous Grand Slam finals - to Roger Federer at the US Open in 2008, the 2010 Australian Open and this year's Wimbledon, as well as to Djokovic in Australia in 2011.

But cheered on by fellow Scots, Sir Sean Connery and Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, he survived a thrilling fightback by Djokovic, a five-time major winner who had defeated Murray in an epic five-setter in the Australian Open semi-finals in January.

Djokovic had spent five hours fewer than Murray on the court in reaching his fourth US Open final, but fitness wasn't an issue in the opening exchanges.

It was a battle to see who could master the vicious wind that suddenly whipped up inside Arthur Ashe Stadium as play got underway.

Both players were broken in the first two games before Murray nipped ahead 3-2 with a break courtesy of Djokovic's third double fault in just three service games. Murray went to 4-2 despite Djokovic slamming a 54-shot rally.

The Serb retrieved the break for 4-4 before serving two love games going into the tie-break.The 24-minute tie-breaker, a record for a men's championship match at the tournament, featured a 30-shot rally and a 33-shot exchange before Murray took it on a sixth set point after a marathon 87-minute set.

Murray, sensing his place in the history books, raced to a 4-0 and 5-2 lead in the second set before Australian Open winner Djokovic, a five-time Grand Slam champion, clawed back to 5-5. But the Scot held for 6-5 and carved out two set points later. Djokovic saved one but handed the second set with a misguided forehand which sailed away. But the World No.2 wasn't going down without a fight.

A year ago, he came back from two sets and two match points down to beat Federer in New York but this time Murray prevailed and won. — AFP


The Star Online: Nation

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Anwar’s defamation suit over wife harassment case set for Dec 3

Posted: 11 Sep 2012 06:50 AM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court has set Dec 3 to hear a RM10mil defamation suit by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim against Deputy Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin over a "wife-harassment" issue.

Justice Rosilah Yop set the date after meeting the parties in chambers.

Lawyer Bani Prakash acted for the Opposition Leader while Datuk S. Satharuban represented the deputy minister.

Speaking to reporters later, Satharuban said the judge directed the parties to file their witness statements by Nov 28.

Anwar had filed the suit in August 2008 over Hamzah's allegations that he (Anwar) had harassed his (Hamzah's) wife in 1998.

Hamzah, who is Larut MP, had allegedly made the comment when campaigning during the Permatang Pauh by-election in August 2008.

In April 2010, the High Court rejected Anwar's application to strike out Hamzah's defence statement against the claim.

Judicial Commissioner Dr Prasad Sandosham Abraham had held that it was unfair to strike out the defence at interlocutory stages and ordered the case to go for full trial.

13 M’sians deported for abusing Umrah visa

Posted: 11 Sep 2012 06:46 AM PDT

SEPANG: A group of 13 Malaysians including a girl, aged 12, were deported from Saudi Arabia Tuesday for overstaying after performing the Umrah (minor haj to the holy land).

They were part of a group of 300 Malaysians who obtained their visas to perform the Umrah through packages offered by Destinasia Travels Sdn Bhd, and had left for Saudi Arabia in stages since July.

Destinasia manager Muhd Norzi Md Ghazali said investigations revealed the 13 wanted to stay in Saudi Arabia, for about five years, to study.

"Their action has brought difficulties for us in terms of time, energy and also money. We will lodge a report with the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA)," he said when met at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), here.

The group of nine men and three women, aged between 30 and 70, and the girl, arrived at KLIA at 1.30pm, but refused to give any comment when approached by pressmen.

Muhd Norzi also said only about 70 of the 300 Malaysians followed the schedule in the packages.

The rest created several problems like not sticking to schedules or not staying at stipulated accommodation.

Nevertheless, he said, the group of 13 was the last group of the 300 Malaysians, who had to be hunted down, after their visas expired on Aug 3, and detained for deportation.

Muhd Norzi said, according to normal practice, a visa would only be given out after an applicant had obtained a two-way ticket, and had stipulated accommodation, with his passport retained by the muasassah (agency responsible for the Umrah) upon his arrival in Saudi Arabia.

However, he said, many of the pilgrims changed their flight dates, refused to stay at accommodation provided, in the hope of staying longer in Saudi Arabia, or performing the haj or studying there. - Bernama

Will and Kate’s visit to strengthen M’sia-UK ties

Posted: 11 Sep 2012 05:43 AM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: The four-day visit to Malaysia by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, beginning Thursday, further enhances the prevailing close bilateral relations between the country and the United Kingdom, said the foreign ministry in a statement issued here Tuesday.

The visit of Prince William and Duchess Kate is on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II, in conjunction with the celebration to mark the 60-year reign of the Queen.

The ministry said while here, the Duke and Duchess would have an audience with Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Hajah Haminah, and attend a royal dinner at the Istana Negara.

They will also call on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, at the prime minister's official residence, Seri Perdana, before attending a luncheon with them.

Besides the official programme, the royal couple will also visit Hospis Malaysia, a charitable organisation which offers professional palliative care to patients suffering from terminal illnesses.

"The Duchesses of Cambridge, who is the Royal Patron of East Anglia's Children's Hospices, is expected to deliver her maiden public speech overseas," said the statement.

Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge will also attend a special cultural performance to be held at the Kuala Lumpur City Centre Park, and they will depart for Kota Kinabalu where they will be hosted by the Sabah Government.

"Their Royal Highnesses will end the visit in Malaysia after visiting Danum Valley, a primary tropical rainforest in Sabah," said the statement. - Bernama


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School to open after issues are resolved

Posted: 11 Sep 2012 04:22 AM PDT

THE school building committee of SJKC Tun Tan Siew Sin at Section 2, Putra Heights, Subang Jaya, hopes to resolve all outstanding issues to have the school ready for the new school term next year.

Committee secretary Ho Min Khang said the issues on external infrastructure, perimeter fencing, water supply and getting approvals from the relevant authorities are needed before a Certificate of Completion and Compliance (CCC) can be granted.

"Only after the CCC is issued can the state education department allow the school to be opened," he said.

After numerous meetings with the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) and state government representatives to resolve the matter on external infrastructure, Ho said the school will undertake the construction by June.

"The external infrastructure includes a pathway, bus stop, zebra crossing and pedestrian crossing with lights, all of which costs about RM300,000," he said.

"We submitted an application via our local assemblyman Shuhaimi Shafiei to apply for funding from the state government last month."

Shuhaimi said the allocation will be determined at a state meeting by October.

Ho said Syabas has yet to approve the school's application for water meter and piping structures, despite the application made in November last year.

"We hope to get Syabas' approval soon, as without water supply we are unable to submit our application for the Fire and Rescue Department's approval," he said.

Another issue involves the perimeter fencing for the school boundary that is parallel to Persiaran Putra Perdana.

"The fencing was supposed to be built at the base of the slope. Out of concern for the pupils' safety, it was built at the top of the slope," said Ho.

"However, we were informed that MPSJ cannot issue approval for the building plan because of this."

As the school building committee has submitted an application to the Land Office to allow the fencing at its present location for the safety of its students, Kota Raja MP Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud said she would follow up with the Land Office to check on the status of the application.

"Although the fencing should not have been constructed on a road shoulder at the top of the slope, there is a logical reason for its location, to ensure the pupils are not in danger," she said.

"Previously there had been some confusion on the issue of who would construct the external infrastructure and the type of infrastructure needed," she said.

"MPSJ suggested that some safety measures needed to be installed for the pupils safety, but it was not the council's responsibility to construct the structures."

Ho and Dr Siti were speaking after a site inspection at the school.

MPSJ councillors Pooi Weng Keong and Ng Sze Han said MPSJ is only one of the supporting agencies involved in the matter, and that the CCC can only be issued by professional bodies such as architects and engineers.

Meanwhile, Ho urged parents to visit to register their interest and help the school board determine the number of classes to be opened for Years 1 to 3 pupils.

The closing date for the survey is Sept 30.

Rugby club VP says youngsters have trained hard for ARFU

Posted: 11 Sep 2012 04:13 AM PDT

THE Malaysian youngsters are aiming to rise to the occasion in the Division Two contest at the Asian Rugby Football Union (ARFU) Under-19 championships in Colombo, Sri Lanka from Sept 12 to 15.

Cobra rugby club vice-president T.J. Tan said their young charges were well-prepared for the challenges based on their thorough preparation under the CIMB Foundation-Cobra development programme for schools for more than a month as a build-up to the upcoming campaign.

"The initial first and second stages of selection in mid-July drew an encouraging turnout of 84 players aged between 17 and 19.

"We reduced the training squad to 30 hopefuls for the third phase before naming the final 26 players after the five-day final selection early this month," said Tan.

"They showed great character and went through the paces during the recent fasting month. Judging from their performance in two recent friendly matches, they have a very solid defence. However, they will need to complement their good defence qualities with attacking moves," added Tan, who served as the project manager in assembling the final line-up of 26 players aged 18 and 19.

Besides the coaching duo of Mohd Romli Saad and Mohd Faiz Md Ali, the trio of Mark Finlason, Kini Rasolosolo and Muhammad Zaki Hasan also contributed in preparing the team.

In the Division Two comprising four teams, Malaysia will be facing Taiwan in the opening match on Sept 12 in their bid to keep their hopes alive and book a place in the championship encounter on Sept 15.

Hosts Sri Lanka will take on Singapore in the other match-up.

The victorious side will gain promotion to join the fray in the top flight Division One as well as earn a shot in qualifying for the Junior World Cup Under-20 trophy in 2014.

The losing semi-finalists will be featuring in the play-off for third and the bottom fourth ranked side will be relegated to Division Three next season.

"We want to groom the current batch of emerging talents to scale greater heights at higher level competitions. Winning the tournament will serve as an extra boost for us to carry on with our intention to nurture the side," Tan said.

Recently, CIMB Foundation trustee Datuk Shukri Hussin presented the new playing stripes to Malaysia team manager Jerome Carrouee to reinforce the foundation's commitment in supporting the cause.

"It has been a fruitful partnership with Cobra along with the Education Ministry and Malaysian Rugby Union (MRU) in developing game at the grassroots. Since introducing the initiative in 2005, we have invested a total of RM2mil thus far. Our aim is to continue to assist and strengthen our connection with the reliable partners," said Shukri.


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