Jumaat, 5 Oktober 2012

The Star Online: World Updates

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The Star Online: World Updates

Storm Gaemi to hit central Vietnam, coffee at risk

Posted: 05 Oct 2012 08:26 PM PDT

HANOI (Reuters) - Tropical storm Gaemi is forecast to slam into Vietnam's central coast later on Saturday, dumping heavy rains and strong winds in the Central Highlands coffee belt, which could result in a decline in output, the government and traders said.

The storm, the seventh to hit Vietnam this year, would be centred near the coastal provinces of Binh Dinh and Phu Yen, with winds travelling at up to 74 km (46 miles) per hour, a government statement said.

It would weaken after landfall and move further west by Sunday, dumping wind and heavy rains in the northern part of the Central Highlands while en route to Cambodia, the statement said.

"Rain may not harm coffee cherries now but strong wind can cause young cherries to drop," said a coffee trader from Daklak, the country's largest coffee growing province and one of the five provinces in the Central Highlands.

The northern part of the region includes the provinces of Kontum and Gia Lai, which are the smallest in terms of coffee areas among the five, ranking after Daklak, Lam Dong and Dak Nong.

Around 80 percent of Vietnam's coffee comes from the region, where harvesting of the new 2012/2013 crop will begin in 10 days, with output initially expected to ease 7-10 percent from a record high 1.6 million tonnes in the previous 2011/2012 season.

A larger decline could tighten supply from the world's largest robusta producer, putting pressure on prices. Demand for robusta is expected to be strong in the current season, with steady buying seen in Europe's market this week.

Vietnam, with a north-south coastline, is widely exposed to storms and typhoons. More than 200 people have been killed or missing in the first nine months due to natural disasters including floods and landslides, government data show.

(Reporting by Ho Binh Minh; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)

Copyright © 2012 Reuters

World Bank names former ICC prosecutor to head corruption panel

Posted: 05 Oct 2012 07:01 PM PDT

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The former chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court will lead a review of Bangladesh's investigation of alleged corruption tied to a major bridge project, the World Bank said late on Friday.

Luis Moreno Ocampo will head the three-member panel and deliver a report to the World Bank, one of several steps necessary for the Washington-based development institution to resume its $1.2 billion line of credit. Ocampo sought to prosecute individuals for crimes against humanity at the ICC, located in The Hague, Netherlands.

The World Bank cancelled funding for the Padma River development in Bangladesh in June, saying it had "credible evidence" of high-level corruption among Bangladeshi government officials.

The Padma Multipurpose Bridge, at 4 miles (6.2 km) long, would be the longest water crossing in the country, linking the underdeveloped south with the capital Dhaka and the main port of Chittagong.

The bank said it would resume financing of the project once agreed measures with the government were implemented.

These include an outside panel of experts to assess the credibility of the government's investigation into allegations of corruption in the bridge project by the specially appointed Anti-Corruption Commission of Bangladesh (ACC).

Joining Ocampo on the panel are Timothy Tong, the former commissioner of the Independent Commission Against Corruption in Hong Kong, and Richard Alderman, former director of Britain's Serious Fraud Office.

A report of its findings will also go to the government.

Bangladesh, as agreed, put all officials suspected of involvement in the alleged corruption on leave until a full investigation is completed, the World Bank said previously.

The other measures agreed were the appointment of a special inquiry and prosecution team within the ACC to conduct the investigation; and the introduction of new procurement arrangements for the project, with more oversight and transparency to ensure clean construction of the bridge.

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said the development lender is committed to ensuring the Padma project is implemented with integrity.

"This panel creates a unique opportunity for the people of Bangladesh to raise the bar on transparency, public accountability and governance," Kim said in the statement.

Two former executives from Canadian engineering company SNC-Lavalin Group Inc, which bid to supervise the contractor on the bridge project, appeared in a Toronto court in July accused of bribing officials in Bangladesh.

Canada launched an investigation last year into allegations of corruption in the bridge bidding process after the World Bank brought the issue to their attention.

Copyright © 2012 Reuters

Guinea's Conde sacks 11 ministers in surprise cabinet shake-up

Posted: 05 Oct 2012 06:00 PM PDT

CONAKRY (Reuters) - Guinea's President Alpha Conde sacked 11 of his government ministers in a surprise cabinet reshuffle announced on state television late on Friday.

The statement from the presidency gave no reason for the shake-up, but the move comes amid heightened tensions in the world's top supplier of the aluminium ore bauxite over long-delayed parliamentary elections.

Among the principle changes was the nomination of former prime minister and career diplomat François Louceny Fall to the post of state minister for foreign affairs.

Agriculture Minster Jean Marc Telliano and Construction and Urban Development Minister Mathurin Bangoura, whose conspicuous acquisition of wealth while in office had raised public accusations of corruption, were both sacked.

"Telliano was a problem for the president. He weakened Conde in respect to his fight against corruption. General Bangoura was seen in a bit the same manner," a source close to the presidency, who asked not to be named, told Reuters.

In addition to Bangoura, two other generals were dismissed, removing from the government the last remaining vestiges of a 2008-2010 military junta that seized power following the death of long-time dictator Lansana Conte.

President Conde was elected in late 2010 in a vote that ended military rule but which was tainted by deadly riots and opposition complaints of fraud.

His government has been trying to organise legislative elections, the last major step in the transition back to civilian rule and is key to unlocking millions of dollars in frozen aid. But progress has been slowed by opposition worries that the electoral body is biased.

Dozens of people were injured and at least one was killed in violent clashes between government and opposition supporters in the capital Conakry last month.

(Reporting by Saliou Samb; Writing by Joe Bavier; Editing by Eric Walsh)

Copyright © 2012 Reuters

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The Star Online: Sports

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The Star Online: Sports

Amazing Grace opens five-shot lead at Dunhill

Posted: 05 Oct 2012 06:13 PM PDT

ST ANDREWS, Scotland: Branden Grace drew on playing an Old Course practice round with former British Open winner Louis Oosthuizen to extend his lead to five shots in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Friday.

The 24-year-old South African, also with Oosthuizen's 2010 Open-winning caddy, Zach Rasego, now on his bag, carded a second round 67 at St. Andrews to move to 17-under par for the tournament.

Grace had teamed with Oosthuizen on Wednesday and carried the information he gleaned into his second round on the famed Old Course in a display that included six birdies, including four in succession from the seventh hole, and only one bogey.

"Playing a practice round with Louis on Wednesday this week on the Old Course definitely helped today," said Grace.

"Louis gave me some lines off the tee which was very helpful, especially with the wind off the left.

"The first six holes are not the easiest driving holes out there, and also having Zach on the bag is a really big help."

Grace arrived in Scotland having won three events this year on the European Tour while he was successful in capturing last week's Vodacom Origins of Golf Final at Fancourt on the South African Sunshine Tour.

It was also at Fancourt in January that Grace defeated US Open-winning compatriots Ernie Els and Retief Goosen in a play-off for the Volvo Champions title.

And Grace intends to continue to draw on that victory heading into the final two rounds of the $5 million Dunhill.

Sweden's Joel Sjoholm matched Grace's round of 67 on the Old Course to move into 12-under par as the Gothenburg-based golfer looks to win for a first time on the European Tour.

The 27-year-old has had three top-10s this year including an eighth place in May's BMW International Open after heading into the final day just one shot off the lead.

Denmark's Thorbjorn Olesen is joint-second after matching Sjoholm's two-round total of 132.

Germany's Martin Kaymer is the best-placed of the four Ryder Cup players competing this week after adding a round of 71 at Kingsbarns to move to three under par.

"I'm very tired, and especially when you don't make the putts," he said.

"It has been a little difficult to get motivated and I had that fantastic experience on Sunday, and I'm still very inspired.

"I'm very motivated on one hand, but on the other, your body is just a little tired, and you have to listen to your body.

"And with all the time changes and the party on Sunday night there, it is what it is. But it's just difficult to motivate yourself sometimes."

After European captain Jose Maria Olazabal received a congratulatory Ryder Cup communication from the King of Spain, Kaymer said he did not expect a similar message from German Chancellor, Angela Merkel.

"Of course, a few athletes were tweeting and e-mailing me, texting me but no, nothing from the German Chancellor," he said.

"I'm sure she heard about it but she has better things to do." - AFP

Leading and selected second round scores in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on the Old Course St. Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns, Scotland on Friday (GBR/IRL unless stated, par 72):

At Kingsbarns

138 - Oliver Wilson 67-71, Phillip Price 71-67

139 - Gonzalo Fdez-Castano (ESP) 70-69

140 - Thomas Aiken (RSA) 72-68, Mathias Gronberg (SWE) 74-66, Graham Delaet (CAN) 71-69

141 - Robert Jan Derksen (NED) 74-67, Colin Montgomerie 71-70, Ricardo Santos (POR) 72-69, Martin Kaymer (GER) 70-71, Paul Casey 72-69, Mark Foster 72-69, Gregory Havret (FRA) 67-74, Thomas Levet (FRA) 71-70

142 - Pat Perez (USA) 72-70, Steve Webster 70-72, Peter Hedblom (SWE) 74-68, Pariya Junhasavasdikul (THA) 73-69, Tjaart Van Der Walt (RSA) 72-70, Peter Hanson (SWE) 72-70, Michael Hoey 71-71


143 - Dustin Johnson (USA) 72-71, Ernie Els (RSA) 73-70

144 - Hennie Otto (RSA) 72-72, Rich Beem (USA) 70-74, Louis Oosthuizen (RSA) 71-73, Paul McGinley 76-68, Padraig Harrington 71-73

145 - Charl Schwartzel (RSA) 75-70, Paul Lawrie 75-70, Darren Clarke 75-70

148 - Rohan Blizard (AUS) 75-73 At St Andrews

127 - Branden Grace (RSA) 60-67

132 - Joel Sjoholm (SWE) 65-67

133 - Anton Haig (RSA) 65-68 134 - Magnus A Carlsson (SWE) 66-68, Fabrizio Zanotti (PAR) 68-66, Graeme Storm 68-66

135 - Paul Waring 69-66

136 - Alejandro Canizares (ESP) 66-70, Lorenzo Gagli (ITA) 69-67

137 - Estanislao Goya (ARG) 69-68, Jorge Campillo (ESP) 68-69, Darren Fichardt (RSA) 71-66, Simon Khan 68-69

138 - Gary Boyd 69-69, Shane Lowry 69-69, Matthew Baldwin 69-69, Bradley Dredge 69-69 Selected

139 - Edoardo Molinari (ITA) 71-68

141 - Jaco Van Zyl (RSA) 72-69

142 - Keith Horne (RSA) 70-72, Nick Cullen (AUS) 71-71

143 - Josh Geary (NZL) 70-73, Christiaan Basson (RSA) 71-72, Allan Versfeld (RSA) 74-69, Henrik Stenson (SWE) 73-70

144 - David Gleeson (AUS) 73-71, Richard Green (AUS) 71-73, Matthew Griffin (AUS) 72-72

145 - Mohd. Siddikur (BAN) 73-72, Kieran Pratt (AUS) 70-75, Terry Pilkadaris (AUS) 71-74, Adam Crawford (AUS) 71-74

148 - Himmat Singh Rai (IND) 74-74 153 - Ryan Haller (AUS) 78-75

At Carnoustie

132 - Thorbjorn Olesen (DEN) 63-69

135 - Danny Willett 66-69, Victor Dubuisson (FRA) 62-73, Fredrik Andersson Hed (SWE) 64-71

136 - Alexander Noren (SWE) 64-72, Raphael Jacquelin (FRA) 69-67, Thongchai Jaidee (THA) 65-71

137 - Richie Ramsay 65-72, Stephen Gallacher 67-70, James Kingston (RSA) 68-69, Jamie Donaldson 65-72, Pablo Martin (ESP) 67-70, Ashley Hall (AUS) 64-73, Lee Slattery 67-70

138 - David Drysdale 66-72, Michael Campbell (NZL) 67-71 Selected

141 - Brett Rumford (AUS) 71-70, Shiv Kapur (IND) 71-70

143 - Thomas Bjorn (DEN) 68-75, Andrew Dodt (AUS) 71-72, George Coetzee (RSA) 71-72

144 - Jbe Kruger (RSA) 71-73, Dylan Frittelli (RSA) 68-76

145 - Miguel Angel Jimenez (ESP) 73-72, Peter O'Malley (AUS) 74-71

147 - Matthew Zions (AUS) 74-73, Richard Sterne (RSA) 66-81 - AFP

Marathon: Shobukhova to seek fourth Chicago title in a row

Posted: 05 Oct 2012 05:57 PM PDT

CHICAGO: Russia's Liliya Shobukhova will attempt to win an unprecedented fourth consecutive Chicago Marathon women's title in Sunday's 35th running of the event.

Shobukhova, unbeaten in three Chicago starts, was unable to finish the London Olympic marathon in August due to stomach cramps but will be among the elite favorites in a field of 45,000 runners that will compete Sunday morning.

"It was heartbreaking to withdraw from the Olympic Marathon after I had trained so hard and my preparation had gone so well," Shobukhova said.

"But I am still very fit and in good health. I'm going to focus all my energy on a great performance at the Chicago Marathon."

Shobukhova ran the third-fastest time in history last year to win in 2 hours 18 mins 20 secs.

"There's no place that I feel more comfortable than when I am competing in Chicago," she said.

"I love the course and appreciate the support from the fans. I'm especially motivated to win for the fourth time in a row."

The Russian's rivals will include Kenya's Lucy Kabuu, who owns a personal best of 2:19:34, and Ethiopians Ejegayehu Dibaba, last year's runner-up in 2:22:09, and Weknesh Kidane, the 2003 world runner-up.

On the men's side, Kenya's Wesley Korir, last year's Chicago runner-up and this year's Boston Marathon champion, will be a favorite.

Ethiopian Tsegaye Kebede, third in the 2008 Olympic marathon, and Kenya's Levy Matebo, whose 2:05:16 from last year in Frankfurt is the fastest time in the field, are also expected to contend for the men's title. - AFP

Greek swimmer wins 277,000 euros compensation for Olympic ban

Posted: 05 Oct 2012 05:54 PM PDT

ATHENS: The Greek Swimming Federation have been ordered to pay 277,000 euros to 100m freestyle swimmer Tonia Machaira for wrongfully excluding her from the Athens 2004 Olympics on the grounds she had failed a drugs test.

Machaira filed a suit for one million euros eight years ago after she was banned from participating in her home Olympics by the federation.

An Athens court decided on Friday to award the swimmer just over one-fourth of the amount she requested, deciding on 150,000 euros plus interest reaching 277,000 euros.

"The bitterness remains the same," Machaira told NovaSport FM radio.

"I wanted to participate in my third and final Olympics after a 20-year career but was denied this. I was always clean."

International drug testing organization WADA confirmed that Machaira had not failed the anti-doping test, as suspected by the Greek federation.

Machaira said that after the ban she walked through the streets of her native island Crete and everyone would look at her and make comments.

"For four months I did not even leave my house. The federation even asked me to return my national team uniform. It was a disgrace," she added.

Her lawyer Giannis Marakakis said: "The federation realized the magnitude of the blunder and tried to convince the sporting public that she was indeed doped. This was criminal behaviour which has remained unpunished." - AFP

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The Star Online: Business

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FGVH embarks on transformation

Posted: 05 Oct 2012 06:24 PM PDT

WITH its mission to attain a successful listing on Bursa Malaysia accomplished, cash-rich Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGVH) is powering ahead to achieve the objectives set under its Strategic Blueprint (2012-2020) that mainly encompasses mergers and acquisitions (M&As) and geographical expansion to better secure the group's growth prospects.

Group president and chief executive officer Datuk Sabri Ahmad says the plantation conglomerate's target mission is to become eight times larger in terms of size and capabilities within the next eight years.

By 2020, FGVH expects to be able to stand out as one of the top 10 globally integrated and diversified agribusiness multinational companies with a presence in the entire business value chain, he tells StarBizWeek recently.

The Blueprint, which was prepared by an independent foreign consultant prior to the group's listing exercise, has clearly outlined the strategic global positioning for FGVH to become a global leader in palm, top three global player in rubber and sugar, top three global player in industrial fats.

The plans also calls for FGVH to become an anchor in the upstream business in South-East Asia (SEA) and Africa, SEA's top five in palm consumer goods, technology innovation and fully optimising the US oleochemicals business. A tall order to realise in just eight short years.

"To achieve all of the above, we will have to bite the bullet by way of doing more M&As, cross-border expansions, seeking new revenue sources and boosting existing revenue via tackling efficiency issues such as aggressive replanting to address FGVH's high old-age palm tree profile," adds Sabri.

Therefore, FGVH has reorganised its business entities into four main clusters, namely plantation upstream (oil palm, sugar and rubber), sugar business, downstream and its 49%-owned associate company, Felda Holdings Bhd (FHB). FGVH has 44 subsidiaries while FHB alone 44 subsidiaries.

Of the total RM10.5bil (US$3.3bil) in IPO proceeds, RM6bil went to FGVH's principal shareholder, the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) and the remaining RM4.5bil into FGVH's coffers.

Cash for expansion

From the RM4.5bil cash hoard, Sabri says that more than 50% will be channelled towards expanding FGVH's core upstream plantation in oil palm, rubber and sugar. This is key because last year, the upstream plantation division contributed about 70% to the group's total revenue.

"The focus of our first phase expansion in the upstream plantation will be the Asean region namely Indonesia, Myanmar and Cambodia.

"We are actively looking for land either greenfield or brownfield as well as joint ventures (JV) in oil palm, sugar and rubber in these countries," adds Sabri.

He points out that Indonesia will remain an attractive destination for FGVH in terms of oil palm plantations.

FGVH is presently planting oil palm on 15,000ha greenfield in Pontianak, West Kalimantan. He adds that the group is keen to acquire more raw land and brownfield plantations in Indonesia partly to address its old-age palm tree profile in Malaysia.

FGVH is targeting to have 150,000ha of oil palm plantation in the republic within the next five years.

At the same time, FGVH is scouring for more rubber plantation land bank in Myanmar and Cambodia.

For economies of scale, Sabri says the group is looking for at least 30,000ha of greenfield rubber land in Myanmar, while in Cambodia, it would start with 10,000ha and expand it by 10,000ha annually, to reach 50,000ha.

FGVH together with a joint-venture partner plans to modernise and expand a rubber processing plant in Myanmar with the possibility of going upstream.

In addition, FGVH is looking at 30,000ha of sugar plantation via a JV in Myanmar.

"In Malaysia, our listed subsidiary MSM Holdings Bhd is the country's largest sugar refiner producing one million tonnes annually," says Sabri.

However, the group has to import 100% of crude sugar (the major raw material) to refine into sugar. "This is quite risky in terms of the value chain as we are too highly dependent on imports," explains Sabri.

"Therefore, we need to secure our own raw sugar supply between 20% and 30% by acquiring sugar plantations abroad," he adds.

Another JV by FGVH in Myanmar is to put up a RM20mil cooking oil packaging plant near Yangon, which is slated for commissioning by the middle of next year.

"FGVH is planning to bring in our palm-based cooking oil from Malaysia and get them packed in Myanmar," adds Sabri. Currently, FHB's subsidiary Delima Oil Products Sdn Bhd has already been marketing its Saji brand cooking oil in Myanmar. which has received very good response.

According to Sabri. once the group has completed the first phase of its upstream expansion in the Asean region, it will then focus on West Africa mainly for oil palm upstream operations.

"In fact, I have already sent my team there to identify suitable areas with good agro climate for oil palm, such as in Cameroon and Nigeria.

"FGVH aspires to implement and replicate the successful Felda scheme model in West Africa, Myanmar and Cambodia.

"Our agenda is also to share our experience in creating land for the landless and eradicate poverty so that people who are poor have a steady income from cultivating oil palm and rubber."

Apart from the upstream, FGVH is also looking at developing its downstream operations in Malaysia and overseas.

"Part of FGVH IPO proceeds will go into downstream business such as putting more palm oil mills, refineries overseas as well as specialty fats and derivatives.

"Even though the downstream ops is very challenging right now, FGVH needs to build up the downstream business to help protect and support its diversified upstream operations."

For the past two years, Sabri admits that his focus has been to turn around the group's downstream business overseas.

For example, Twin River Technologies US Inc. its oleochemcial business in Boston, US has returned to the black while its canola and soybean crushing plant in Canada, which is a JV with Bungee Canada, has also turned around.

Dealing with old-age palm

On the local front, Sabri says the group is implementing an aggressive replanting programme as well as looking to acquire small and mid-tiered plantation companies with younger aged palm profile in Malaysia and Indonesia to balance its existing old palm profile in the country.

"We recognise this issue (old-age palm) as a factor of performance and even highlighted it in our prospectus as a long-term challenge for FGVH."

The group is targeting to aggressively replant about 15,000ha per year. Up till June this year, FGVH has planted about 5,000ha at the Sahabat estates in Sabah with new planting material.

"This aggressive replanting will take place in the next three to five years which we believe will help restore our plantations to the normal mature palm age profile," explains Sabri.

Also, the replanting provides the opportunity for FGVH to replant with its award winning Yangambi material which is able to produce an oil extraction rate (OER) of 24% and boosts a yield of 30 tonnes per ha per year.

Sabri admits it is unfortunate that 50% of FGVH's plantations are above 18 years of age but also has about 30% of its plantations consisting of young and immature trees which is quite high compared to those of established listed planters. However, the pertinent point is often overlooked by industry analysts or FGVH detractors.

"Every year, a certain portion of this 30% or 70,000ha of FGVH-owned plantations will mature and so gradually balance the age profile."

He points out that most established plantation companies in Malaysia have 5% young palm and 5% old-age palm profile.

Sabri says FGVH will deal with how to increase its productivity within the next two to three years.

Nationwide, FGVH used to have 169 estates, but today it has reduced it to 135 estates. "We hope to further integrate the current number to 100 estates for economies of scale, better logistics and deployment of labour to make them more efficient."

Similarly, the group plans to integrate its 71 palm oil mills into 50 in the near future.

According to Malaysia Palm Oil Board (MPOB), out of the top 10 oil mills in the country, four are owned by Felda Global Group.

The top mill in Malaysia is Felda Jengka 21 mill with an OER of 24%.

"We want to ensure everthing is in place the integration to get bigger mills and estates, improvement in technology and productivity while extensively reducing cost," adds Sabri.

On research and development (R&D), Sabri says Felda Group is among the top especially in breeding oil palms in the country for the past 40 years. "I can certainly vouch on this fact because as the former MPOB chairman, I know the strength of all R&Ds conducted by the local plantation companies."

Annually, Felda Group produces about 60 million oil palm seeds and also about one million ramets (clonal materials).

Last year, the group's scientists patented the gene marker for Ganoderma, a basal rot disease affecting the oil palm trees. "Using the marker, we are going to produce planting material that is more resistant to the disease and hope to commercialise it in three years."

Sabri stresses that FGVH is a good long-term investment and is still in its early days.

"We will have more good news to share with our investors in the near future."

Related Stories:
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FGVH CPO prices versus M&As

Soft Space, MOL in card payment pact

Posted: 05 Oct 2012 06:19 PM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: Soft Space International Sdn Bhd has taken another step towards realising its cashless society dream by teaming up with MOL AccessPortal Sdn Bhd to form a mobile payment acquiring company.

It will focus on enabling small and medium-sized businesses to accept credit and debit card payments through a mobile device designed by Soft Space.

Both companies have signed a joint venture (JV) agreement to establish MOLCube Sdn Bhd which is 65% owned by MOL and 35% by Soft Space.

The company has a paid-up capital of RM2mil and the management has plans to raise its working capital to RM20mil.

As for the existing transaction payment acquisition partners that Soft Space has, founder and chief technology officer Chang Chew Soon said that there would not be any conflict as they would become MOLCube partners "working very closely with us rather than becoming competitors".

"There is no difference from working with only Soft Space, just that now we are working on a bigger scale, with a wider reach and we are going to have a lot more partners," he told a press conference after the JV signing ceremony here yesterday.

MOL expects to double its payment volume to RM3bil by the end of next year through the JV.

"With MOLCube, the merchants that we can reach and secure will be many. If we reach 50,000 merchants, we estimate we can process RM1bil worth of transactions easily," said MOL Global group chief executive Ganesh Kumar Bangah.

Currently, MOL has presence in eight countries. It plans to enter Vietnam, Turkey, the United States and Brazil by year-end.

Ganesh said that MOLCube intended to participate in the Digital Malaysia programme which has projects like the Asian e-Fulfillment Hub and Enabling e-Payment Services for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and micro enterprises,

"We have been in touch with Multimedia Development Corp and SME Corp but they have asked for proposals.

"MOLPay has already applied and MOLCube will also be applying," he said.

"Yes, we have intention to participate for both our e-commerce and mobile payment systems."

Asked why Soft Space chose a homegrown company over foreign establishments, Chang said the businesses of the two companies complemented each other.

"The reason why we chose MOL was because of its extensive knowledge in detecting credit card fraud and security. We are good on the technology side, so this is a good marriage," Chang said.

The device is tentatively priced at RM300 and MOLCube aimed to roll out the devices by the end of this quarter at 7-11 stores for the consumers.

MOL also aimed to launch the technology with a pilot group of merchants under tycoon Tan Sri Vincent Tan's group of companies.

Soft Space is a subsidiary of Feotus International Sdn Bhd, of which Datuk Vincent Lee is executive chairman.

Maybank may be able to raise RM2.64bil via shares placement

Posted: 05 Oct 2012 06:16 PM PDT

PETALING JAYA: Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) could potentially raise about RM2.64bil in a bid to further strengthen the bank's capital base and facilitate to meet more stringent capital requirement under the Basel III framework.

It intends to place out 300 million shares or 3.68% of its capital base at an indicative placement price of RM8.80 per share.

In filings with Bursa Malaysia, the country's largest bank said the assumption of the issue price was based on a 3% discount to the weighted average market price of Maybank shares for the five market days up to Oct 4 of RM9.0757.

"The final number of new Maybank shares to be issued and the issue price of the shares will only be determined and announced after the completion of the book-building process, which will commence on Friday," it said.

It said there is also possible upsize of the placement depending on investors' demand.

"The board is of the view that the proposed private placement is the most expeditious means of strengthening the company's capital base," it said.

Maybank said the proceeds from the share sale, net of expenses relating to the exercise, would be utilised for working capital and general banking purpose.

The bank ended the day nine sen, or 1%, lower at RM8.99 yesterday.

In line with the world's adoption to Basel III, banks across the world would have to have a common format for disclosing the size and quality of their capital safety buffers from 2013 to help reassure investors they are stable.

It would also force banks to hold more capital and liquidity from 2013 onwards and will require banks to hold at least 7% of core Tier 1 capital in the form of retained earnings or pure equity.

Recently, Maybank had also succeeded in pricing its US$800mil (RM2.4bil) Regulation S Tier 2 Capital Subordinated Notes under its US$5bil multicurrency medium term note programme. The proceeds from the notes were also used for working capital, general banking and other corporate purposes, the bank had said earlier.

The subordinated notes wereexpected to qualify as Lower Tier 2 capital as per the Bank Negara's guidelines and be eligible for Basel III transitional treatment.

It is the largest regulation US dollar lower tier 2 capital issuance by an Asian Bank outside Japan and also marked the largest ever US dollar bond issuance by a Malaysian financial institution.

The said transaction was priced at 5-year US Treasury + 260 bps or a yield of 3.254% and will pay a coupon of 3.25% per annum, to be paid semi-annually in arrears.

The subordinated notes had a tenure of 10 years from the issue date on a 10 non-callable 5 basis, maturing on Sept 20, 2022.

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The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies

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The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies

50 years of Bondage

Posted: 05 Oct 2012 02:57 AM PDT

Legendary Agent 007 celebrates his 50th onscreen birthday.

AS first appearances go, it was rather laid back. Unspectacular, if measured by the pyrotechnics and carnage that accompany most men (and women) of action in the movies these days.

And yet … what followed that scene, and most of all, the other films that came after it, have earned it "classic" status.

Fifty years have passed since that immortal moment when cinemagoers met one of the world's most enduring and famous heroes at a Baccarat table in an exclusive gambling club. Asked his name by a lovely but unfortunate gambler, the impeccably-dressed stranger – glimpsed only from behind up to then – pauses to light a cigarette.

The camera finally reveals the ruggedly handsome face, a freshly lit cigarette dangling from Manly Man's lips as he utters the 22nd greatest quotation in cinema history (according to American Film Institute's 100 Years Series): "Bond … James Bond."

Cue the theme by Monty Norman, and the moment – as well as the man – becomes the stuff of cinematic legend.

It was an early scene in a modestly-budgeted 1962 film with a storied history, as intriguing to students of film history as an Ian Fleming novel might be to spy fiction buffs.

The line was uttered by Sean Connery, best known up to that moment for his role in Disney's leprechaun fantasy Darby O'Gill and the Little People.

Dr. No was a gamble that received a mixed critical reception upon its release, but earned enough money to guarantee that James Bond would return. Again and again, 21 more times in the "official" series with a 22nd return (that means movie #23) on the way.

At the time, probably, not many people had an inkling of the phenomenon to come. Dr. No not only spawned the most successful film series of all time, it sparked off a craze for spy films and TV shows that hasn't slowed down much since it exploded in the 1960s: Matt Helm, Flint, The Man From UNCLE, The Wild Wild West, to name a few.

Looking at Dr. No now, it's clear that Connery's amazing turn as the spy pushed the character into the hearts and minds of millions, overcoming whatever weaknesses the film had.

Dr. No gave us many other scenes (apart from the abovementioned introduction of Mr Bond) that have carved their respective niches in cinema's hall of memorable moments. At the same time, it also had more than a few facepalm-worthy bits that may have been the result of the charming naivete of the times, or the use of consciousness-altering substances.

On this 50th anniversary of the release of Dr. No, we salute the best of these.

Honey Ryder's unforgettable appearance: That stunning moment when Ursula Andress emerges from the surf in a white bikini caused 007 to raise the era's equivalent of the People's Eyebrow. It also inspired 007 to sing a couple of lines from Under The Mango Tree to serenade her – a feat that no James Bond has attempted since. (And seeing how Mamma Mia! turned out, we're especially grateful that it never happened during the Pierce Brosnan years. Though the hottie-from-the-surf scene was repeated, in the form of Hottie … er, Halle Berry in Die Another Day.)

That ill-fated tarantula: For all his grand schemes and knowledge of physics, Dr Julius No (Joseph Wiseman) really should have left the biology to others. When henchman Prof Dent informs him about Bond snooping around, he hands the man a caged tarantula and tells him to kill 007 with it.

In keeping with the blissful ignorance of the times, moviegoers automatically presumed Bond was in dire peril from the spider's "toxic venom". In fact, the worst he might have suffered was a series of spasms over several days and some extreme discomfort from a bite that was about as painful as the sting of a wasp.

Intensely offended that he had been spooked by a mostly-harmless furry critter, Bond proceeded to squash the poor thing with his super MI6 spy shoe, which had its own orchestral accompaniment.

In the book, the threat came from a centipede – not much more dangerous but certainly creepier, if only because it is crawlier.

You have to love the Cracked.com piece on movies' most pointlessly elaborate murder plots, which lists this at #3. The writer notes the silliness of the plotters by "releasing the tarantula in Bond's bungalow where, for all the villains knew, it could have waited for six weeks before accidentally hanging itself in his chest hair."

That hair on the closet: Speaking of Bond's formidable follicles, Dr. No also features a scene where – to maintain the "integrity" of his hotel closet – Bond spit-sticks one of his hairs (from Sir Sean's toupee) over the door so he can tell if anyone has been rummaging where he shouldn't be. Bondian resourcefulness at its best? Perhaps, or a sign of MI6's lack of funds. Q Branch was no doubt forced to operate on a shoestring budget in those early days, with Aston Martins that were invisible because they really weren't there.

Killing in cold blood: After the failed assassination-by-tarantula, Prof Dent decides to shoot Bond but is duped into emptying his clip at a pillow. Bond gets the drop on the dope and they have a brief exchange of dialogue. Dent, no doubt named for the brain-function-impairing depression in his skull, forgets he has emptied his clip and tries to shoot Bond again. In the words of a certain Inspector Callahan, he was s**t out of luck. "You've had your six," Bond announces, before shooting the guy and putting another bullet into his prone form, for good measure.

Killing an unarmed man was not something "heroes" did very much at the time, but this scene successfully established James Bond as an ice-cold killer. This was something you had no problem believing of Connery's Bond, especially when he repeated such ruthless acts numerous times over his next five (plus one "unofficial") 007 movies.

Goodbye, Doctor No: The evil genius of the first movie wanted to disrupt the US space programme with a nuclear-powered radio beam. He also had metal hands to replace his own, which were lost in an accident (thereby allowing him to inspire the villain Mr Han in Bruce Lee's kung fu/espionage extravaganza Enter The Dragon). These same metal hands contributed to his demise when Bond left him to drown/boil in radioactive water – he just couldn't get a grip on the ladder and climb to safety.

A painful way to die, but possibly a lot more dignified than Dr No's fate in the Ian Fleming novel – he was smothered to death under a mound of guano. Which, given his bats**t-crazy tarantula idea, is kind of appropriate.

Happy 50th, Dr. No.

Actress Daryl Hannah arrested in Keystone pipeline protest

Posted: 05 Oct 2012 12:45 AM PDT

SAN ANTONIO: Actress Daryl Hannah was arrested in Texas on Thursday after she stood in front of an earth-moving machine clearing ground for the construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, her representative said.

The protest took place outside Winnsboro, Texas, about 80 miles (130 km) east of Dallas, said Hannah's agent, Paul Bassis.

Hannah, 51, a longtime environmental activist, was arrested last year outside the White House in another protest against the pipeline.

The Keystone XL pipeline, a project of TransCanada Corp, would ship more than half a million barrels a day of oil sands-derived crude to the Texas Gulf Coast from Canada.

On Thursday, Hannah stood in front of an excavator being used to clear trees and brush in order to build the pipeline, Bassis said. Joining her was the site's property owner, Eleanor Fairchild, 78, whose land was taken by eminent domain for the project, he said.

"Ms. Hannah and Ms. Fairchild were defending Ms. Fairchild's property from eminent domain abuse by TransCanada," Bassis said. A spokeswoman for the Wood County Sheriff's Office said no officials were available to discuss the incident. Booking information from the Sheriff's Office said Hannah was held on charges of trespassing and resisting arrest.

A representative for TransCanada could not be reached for comment, but a company statement said the pipeline would be "safe and reliable." The southern section of the pipeline - the project Hannah was protesting - will take oil from the glutted Cushing, Oklahoma, storage hub to refineries in Texas.

President Barack Obama lent his support to the project, which is being built. But the northern section of the $7.6 billion project, which would take crude across the Canadian border into the United States, was rejected by Obama last year on environmental and water supply grounds about its route through Nebraska.

TransCanada has reapplied to the State Department for approval of the full project. The State Department has jurisdiction because the line would cross a border. Hannah played the mermaid in the 1984 film "Splash," and also had roles in films such as "Wall Street" and "Blade Runner." - Reuters

Movies coming soon

Posted: 04 Oct 2012 04:03 PM PDT

Stolen – Nicolas Cage again teams up with Con Air director, Simon West, to play a reformed thief who must pull off another big heist. This heist is to pay off the kidnapper who has taken his daughter. Also starring Josh Lucas, Malin Akerman, Danny Huston and Sami Gayle.

Universal Soldier: Day Of Reckoning – UniSols is a group of elite soldiers who have been genetically revived from the dead. However, memories of the soldiers' past lives have been replaced by those provided by the government. In the fourth instalment of the Universal Soldier franchise, GR44 Luc Deveraux and GR13 Andrew Scott expose the UniSols to this truth, leading them to start a revolution and rebel against the government. Starring Scott Adkins, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren.

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PM wants creative ideas, solutions to help achieve developed nation status by 2020

Posted: 05 Oct 2012 08:32 AM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has called on the support of all Malaysians as the country undergoes its last but challenging phase of transformation into a developed country by 2020.

He also called for creative thinking and methodology to achieve this.

"I want creative ideas and solutions. I know the next and final stage of this Malaysian journey will be the most challenging part undertaken with all Malaysians.

"For that journey to be successful, I need your support and I need your mandate when the time comes," he said in his speech before launching the three-day 'MalaysiaKu Expo 'Land of Countless Blessings' at the Putra World Trade Centre here Friday.

The country, he added, had come a long way both economically and socially since it first achieved independence with the poverty rates declining drastically.

However, he said the Government would not rest on its laurels and would continue to strive to fulfil the people's needs despite the challenges faced.

"We are not a Government that is not willing to change.

"We have a clarity of direction.

"We know how to get there but we need to work hard and think creatively in order to get there," he said, adding that the expo renewed their strength and dedication to achieve the vision.

Hishammuddin: Home Ministry will investigate Suaram allegations

Posted: 05 Oct 2012 07:25 AM PDT

PETALING JAYA: Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said allegations of a civil servant having received bribes from Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) in return for national secrets will be investigated.

"I cannot confirm or deny the allegations but we will monitor sensitive matters pertaining to national interest be it information, funds or outsiders," he told reporters after launching a Women's Safety Campaign at a school here Friday.

He was commenting on yesterday's newspaper statement by Jaringan Melayu Malaysia president, Azwanddin Hamzah, who claimed that RM100mil in foreign funds were believed to have been brought into the country since Suaram's establishment.

Several Government servants were also believed to have been bribed with the funds to make decisions in favour of Suaram associates and for government information and secrets.

Meanwhile, Hishammuddin, who is also Umno vice president, advised the public not to be influenced by certain parties politicising the wedding dinner of Malacca chief minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam's son.

"I want to remind people that there are limits and boundaries in politics too, so let's not be influenced by hatred and personal attacks, with even weddings being politicised," he said. - Bernama

Perlis prepares for floods

Posted: 05 Oct 2012 06:51 AM PDT

KANGAR: Perlis has made preparation for the possibility of floods due to the heavy rain that had started to fall in the state, said its Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Md Isa Sabu.

He said that the preparation included creating temporary flood shelters and providing adequate food supply for the flood victims.

"So far, there has been no evacuation of flood victims although several low-lying areas have been inundated," he told reporters after attending a meeting with residents, who are involved in the West Diversion Flood Mitigation project, here Friday.

He said the flash flood that occurred this morning was attributed to the heavy rain that started from midnight last night to 8am Friday, which was made worse by the high tide in Sungai Perlis, causing clogs in drains and culverts in certain areas.

He said the water level at Timah Tasoh Dam was still at 28.34 metres, which was below the alert level at 29.6 metres. - Bernama

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Unforgettable tale of love

Posted: 05 Oct 2012 06:30 AM PDT

There are plans to adapt this brilliant debut novel for the big screen. Our reviewer says: read the book first — you won't be disappointed.

The Light Between Oceans
Author: M.L. Stedman
Publisher: Doubleday, 362 pages

IMAGINE you live alone, with your husband or wife, tending a lighthouse on a small island far out to sea, remote from all humanity. You have just buried your third child, stillborn. You feel unbearable grief. Life is hopeless and forlorn. Then, while attending to the grave of your recently departed son, you hear a baby's cry on the wind. Startlement turns to hope. You rush to investigate and find a baby in a boat that has washed ashore. In the boat is a dead man, presumably its father. What would you do? Would you report the lost baby as found? Or would you, in your grief, take the baby as your own, to replace the others lost?

That is the dilemma facing Tom Sherbourne and his wife Isabel at the opening to this heart-rending book. It is an unforgettable opening to an unforgettable tale that will stay with you long after you have turned the final page. It is a story that prompts one to reflect on life, love and what it means to be good in a world that so often isn't.

At its core, this is a book about love. However, its take on love is far from traditional. Stedman shows us how love can corrupt a life, and lead even the most moral of people astray for the very best of reasons. I cannot recall a book in which love, the most potent and rewarding of human emotions, brings about so much misfortune to all touched by it, except perhaps Shakespeare's Romeo And Juliet.

It is also a book about how the past may haunt people throughout their lives. Tom Sherbourne is a former soldier who survived World War I without a scratch while many of his comrades died in horrific circumstances. Those memories haunt him, indeed pursue him, for many years. He chooses to work in a lighthouse far from civilisation in order to find peace away from the horrors of war – yet within him he carries those echoes of death: they fill his dreams and colour his days. He is never truly free of death.

Yet he finds love and a new life, and through it he undergoes a kind of rebirth. However, this love is not without its price – and the ramifications of that love, and its consequences, permeate the entire book, lending it an unexpectedly tragic quality.

Stedman shows an often touching understanding for human feeling and relationships. She attends to the merest details of how people relate to each other and the meanings that lie behind the simplest of deeds and words. Her writing style is clear and simple, adorned on occasion with pithy phrases that memorably capture a thought, a feeling, an intention, or a person's character.

Another theme is that of madness – and of how it may be intertwined with love, the latter evoking the former in times of great distress. However, I must note that I found some elements of this aspect of the book less convincing than the rest, in that I believe that few people would be driven to the actions of one of the main characters even in the dire circumstances described. This plotting showed a little less faith in the power of love by Stedman than I myself hold. Yet, as written, the tale does evoke an entrancing degree of emotional tension in the reader.

This is Stedman's first published novel. As such, it exceeded my every expectation, for what a first literary outing it is. I am rarely emotionally affected by a book, yet by the end of this one I found myself deeply moved. There is, perhaps, no greater a sign than this that Stedman is a writer of talent. Her gift lies in conveying the intricate geography of human relations, the anatomy of love, and the manner in which great love seeps into every corner of a life, changing it forever – though not always for the better. She is a writer who not only understands human feeling and has clearly reflected much upon it, and life, but is able to invoke feelings in the reader, too. In short: her words touch the reader.

The Light Between Oceans is being published in at least 24 territories and is going to be made into a film. There is a definite filmic quality to the plotting, the characterisation and the emotional intensity of the book that makes me believe that this film will definitely be one worth watching. However, I will say this: read the book first. You won't be disappointed.

Not all black cats bring bad luck

Posted: 05 Oct 2012 05:45 AM PDT

With its gorgeous art and marvellous characters, Blacksad proves that not all black cats bring bad luck.

JOHN Blacksad is one hip, cool cat. And we mean this quite literally: Blacksad is a large black feline, complete with whiskers, claws and all.

He's also a hard-boiled private investigator hot on a case that will lead him on a scandalous trail of drugs, jazz and betrayal through 1950s New Orleans.

Blacksad is the protagonist of Spanish writer Juan Díaz Canales and artist Juanjo Guarnido's critically acclaimed Blacksad series. Nominated for three Eisner awards, and winner of the Angoulême Prize for Artwork at the biggest comics festival in Europe, the series is a gritty and atmospheric crime noir featuring anthromorphic animals. A Silent Hell is the fourth volume in the series, after Somewhere Within the Shadows, Arctic Nation, and Red Soul. Translated from its original French by Katie LaBarbera, the graphic novel is published by Dark Horse Books.

In the latest instalment of the series, Blacksad finds himself investigating a missing person: famed canine jazz pianist Sebastian Fletcher has left his wife and is missing, and the curious cat is tasked by ageing record producer Faust Lachappelle to track him down.

This shouldn't be too difficult for Blacksad: after all, he's faced far worse than this in the past. But Blacksad soon meets a cast of colourful characters, which include the hard-pressed members of Sebastian's old band, and the crooked investigator hippo, Ted Leeman. Soon he finds himself caught up in a web of intrigue involving ruined lives, broken families and cold-blooded murder, and the daring detective finds he may have to put one of his nine lives on the line to solve the case.

Blacksad is your standard-issue private eye: relentless, resourceful, and respectful, and extremely dangerous in a fight. A scene where he takes out two conniving donkey innkeepers is beautifully brutal yet comic at the same time. Providing comic relief is Blacksad's naive reporter sidekick Weekly, a weasel with hygiene problems (his unusual nickname apparently refers to the frequency in which he changes his underwear.)

The most impressive feature of A Silent Hell is its impressive artwork. Done primarily in watercolour, every panel is mesmerising, every page amazing to behold. Guarnido's strong, clean lines and vivid colours bring the rich world of Blacksad's New Orleans to life, and his wonderfully plotted-out panels bring a cinematic quality to his art.

Of particular note are his amazingly detailed Mardi Gras parade scenes, which are lush with colour, action and character. Also noteworthy is a delightful vignette where Faust visits a sinister voodoo practitioner, chimpanzee Madame Gibraltar: here, Guarnido focuses primarily on two colours, yellow and grey, to invoke a shady, almost mystic atmosphere.

Guarnido also has amazing range with his characters. The cast of Blacksad's world come from every class of the animal kingdom, but whether it is goats, roosters, toads, apes, leopards or even hippos, every character is expressive and memorable. You wouldn't think it possible for skunks to be seductive, penguins to look disappointed, or hippos to look suave and dapper, but Guarnido excels in doing all that, and more.

While previous issues tackled issues such as inter-racial segregation and communist scares, A Silent Hell concerns itself with class struggle, as illustrated by rich manager Faust's exploitation of Sebastian and his fellow struggling musicians. (An interesting note: the makeup of the Sebastian's band, namely a dog, a rooster, a horse and a cat, is perhaps an allusion to the Grimm Brothers fairytale The Town Musicians Of Bremen).

True to the gritty feel of noir, abandonment is also an important theme. Sebastian abandons his pregnant wife to concentrate on music, despite her begging him not to, while ignored son Thomas becomes estranged from his father Faust, who similarly turns his back on Sebastian's band and Leeman.

The only minor flaw with A Silent Hell is a strange deus ex machina climax involving a mysterious character, which we will hopefully learn more about in future Blacksad volumes. Another issue is its relatively short length: at slightly under 60 pages, the graphic novel can be devoured in one short sitting. Given how compelling the story is, this may feel a little unsatisfying.

Perhaps to compensate for this, the graphic novel comes with several interesting extras, including two one-page stories, Spit At The Sky and Cats And Dogs. Interestingly, both stories are thematically contrasting, with Spit being a cynical fable of political exploitation and Cats being a heart-warming ode to friendship.

Comic art enthusiasts, however, will be drawn to The Watercolour Story feature; where Guarnido explains the visual choices he made in A Silent Hell. Providing details on all matters artistic, from colour contrasts, lighting effects and watercolour techniques to the challenges of large crowd scenes, this illuminating section will give readers new appreciation for the amount of effort put into making this graphic novel.

Canales and Guarnido's Blacksad: A Silent Hell proves that black cats don't always bring misfortune. Featuring gorgeous art and marvellous characters, this graphic novel is recommended for all, particularly furry enthusiasts (who will love this, trust me) and crime noir fans.

> Blacksad: A Silent Hell is available at Kinokuniya, Suria KLCC, Kuala Lumpur.

Start something - buy a pair of Toms shoes

Posted: 05 Oct 2012 05:41 AM PDT

Start Something That Matters
Author: Blake Mycoskie
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau, 209 pages

THIS book is by the guy who brought us the famous Toms shoes (toms.com), where you buy a pair of shoes and a pair is given to a child in need. Blake Mycoskie's inspiring social entrepreneurship has shown the world that it is possible to start a socially responsible and profitable business.

The book tells the story of how he started out wanting to help poor kids in Argentina who were exposed to infections and sores because they couldn't afford to buy shoes. Mycoskie takes us through the early days of the business, where he was called loco (crazy) by the shoemakers in Argentina whom he approached to make his shoes for him. He also talks about the lean startup – how to get things going on a shoestring budget and through cultivating a lot of human capital (in the form of aspiring interns and family and friends).

You would probably get that in most business how-to books. The difference here is that the author is urging you to start something that will impact the world in a positive way. Now isn't that genius? It's all about taking your aspirations that much higher.

And it all makes sense: if you're doing something you love, and it's helping someone somewhere in the world, that's double the motivation to succeed.

There are stories of other social entrepreneurs in the book, such as Lauren Bush who started the FEED projects, Zappos founder Tony Hsieh, Scott Harrison, who founded charity: water and the method boys Eric Ryan and Adam Lowry. Mycoskie uses their stories as teaching moments throughout.

Some would call this book idealistic, that he is writing in the context of the American market, which is huge compared to the Malaysian market. With a market that size, it is easier getting things to move. The population of California is estimated at 37 million people in 2011, and Toms is based in Santa Monica, California. The population in Kuala Lumpur is 7.2 million (with about 1.9 million in the urban areas). If you compare a social business in California and one in KL, each with a similar profit margin, you will have an idea which one will take off faster, assuming similar concepts in both.

Of course, the Internet has opened up the world to all entrepreneurs, and Malaysian business owners can sell globally. So what's standing between a social entrepreneur in this country and world dominance, really?

A really good idea helps, but what really worked for Mycoskie and his fledgling start-up was that he lived and breathed his business concept.

He gives very creative solutions to running a business, which may or may not be applicable to all businesses. You get the distinct feel that he's very much speaking to like-minded compatriots in the social crusade. A ruthless business mogul would probably have no time for all this idealistic nonsense.

So if you're only in it for the money, I suggest you give this book a miss. Because doing good is a big part of the business model he pushes. Giving is part of the company motto.

The ideas put forth in the book appear suitable for those interested in humanitarian causes, because there are tried and tested methods of creating positive impact by rallying resources, people and goodwill.

Like all motivational books, though, it'll only take you so far. No doubt it'll inspire and fire you up to pursue your passion, but the next step really depends on you. You are the one who's going to take the first steps towards your dream business.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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