Selasa, 9 Oktober 2012

The Star Online: World Updates

0 ulasan
Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

The Star Online: World Updates

U.S. officials say frantic search failed to find envoy in Benghazi

Posted: 09 Oct 2012 07:58 PM PDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. State Department officials on Tuesday offered their most detailed description yet of the dramatic events in Benghazi that led to the death of a U.S. ambassador, but they backed away from earlier assertions that the events were triggered by protests against an anti-Islam video.

An interior view of the U.S. consulate, which was attacked and set on fire by gunmen yesterday, in Benghazi September 12, 2012. REUTERS/Esam Al-Fetori

An interior view of the U.S. consulate, which was attacked and set on fire by gunmen yesterday, in Benghazi September 12, 2012. REUTERS/Esam Al-Fetori

The officials were briefing reporters on the eve of a congressional hearing into on the attack last month, which is expected to focus on security missteps by the department.

They described frantic and prolonged efforts to rescue Ambassador Christopher Stevens from a smoke-filled "safe haven" inside the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi where he apparently died of asphyxiation.

Stevens' death and confusion over the attack has become the subject of fierce partisan debate in Washington in the final weeks before the U.S. presidential election on November 6.

The State Department officials said agents crawled on their hands and knees through thick diesel smoke to try to find the missing envoy, who somehow was transported out of the compound to a local hospital.

The U.S. government learned where he was after someone called numbers in his cell phone, the officials said.

"We do not know exactly how the ambassador got to the hospital. That is one of the issues that we hope to resolve in the ongoing reviews, and the information we are still seeking," one official said.

The officials also said there was "nothing unusual" around the Benghazi mission before the assault. Earlier accounts by White House and State Department officials, including U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, suggested that the attacks were triggered by protests over an anti-Muslim video made in California that insulted the Prophet Mohammad.


Officials of the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security will testify at a House of Representatives hearing on Wednesday and one key subject of the inquiry will be whether the State Department rejected requests from diplomats to increase security at the Libya mission after months of violent incidents.

One senior official described the Benghazi attack as unprecedented and said security measures were always being adjusted. "We attempt to mitigate our risks. We cannot eliminate them," the official said.

The officials described the rented villa in which Stevens was hiding as a large residence with numerous bedrooms. Half of one floor was a "safe haven" barricaded with a gate and locks.

Stevens, Sean Smith, an information management officer, and five armed American security agents were in the compound the night of attack on September 11. There were also four members of a Libyan militia, assigned as the local government's protection force.

Stevens arrived in Benghazi on September 10 and the next day held a series of meetings at the compound. His last visitor was a Turkish diplomat, whom he escorted to the main gate at 8:30 p.m. local time, a State Department official said.

"There had been nothing unusual during the day at all outside," the official said.

The State Department officials downplayed earlier assertions that the anti-Muslim film was a trigger for the violence. "That is the question that you would have to ask others. That was not our conclusion, that's not saying we had a conclusion, but we outlined what happened," one official said.


At 9:40 p.m., security agents in Benghazi heard loud noises at the gate, gunfire and an explosion. A large number of armed men entered the compound.

One agent went to fetch the ambassador from his bedroom as well as Smith. The three entered the so-called safe haven, which had window grills and a central windowless closet area where people could take refuge.

The security agent was armed with a submachine gun and a sidearm. He radioed to other agents that he was with Stevens in the safe haven.

Other agents tried to enter the villa, but they encountered a large group of armed men and retreated to another building in the compound where they barricaded themselves in.

The attackers swarmed into the darkened villa and walked around in the living area. They looked through the grill into the safe area and tried to enter it but could not.

The agent protecting Stevens watched their movements with a gun trained on them, ready to shoot.

The attackers carried cans of diesel fuel that they sprinkled on furniture and set on fire.

The building filled with smoke and fumes, and the air inside grew black. Stevens, Smith and the security agent moved to a bathroom in the safe area where they opened a window but still could not get enough air.

They decided to leave through an adjacent bedroom. Outside, there were shots, tracer bullets, smoke and explosions.

The officials said the security agent, whom they did not identify, was suffering "severely" from smoke inhalation and could barely breathe. He left the villa first, following protocol, but when he turned back he did not see the other two.


He returned to try to rescue Stevens but he could not find him. He went in and out of the building several times before he was overcome by smoke.

The agent went up a ladder to the roof, collapsed and radioed other agents who arrived to continue the hunt for Stevens and Smith.

"They take turns going into the building on their hands and knees, feeling their way through the building to try to find their two colleagues. They find Sean. They pull him out of the building. He is deceased. They are unable to find the ambassador," one official said.

Six security personnel from a U.S. annex nearby arrived with members of the Libyan militia, known as the February 17 Brigade.

They took people from the compound and transported Smith's body to a secure annex, running into traffic, hand grenades, and two flat tires.

The annex came under fire, killing two security personnel and wounding another. They spent hours securing the annex, then evacuated everyone on two flights.

There were no classified materials that had to be secured at the mission site where Stevens had been, the official said.

Asked whether anyone had counselled Stevens against going to Benghazi on September 11 - the 11th anniversary of the 2001 attacks on the United States - the official said: "Ambassadors must travel, ambassadors must get out and meet with a variety of individuals especially in countries that have multiple centres of energy or power. This just must happen."

(Editing by Marilyn W. Thompson and Christopher Wilson)

Copyright © 2012 Reuters

Mexico says it killed top Zetas drug lord but body snatched

Posted: 09 Oct 2012 07:49 PM PDT

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico says it has killed Heriberto Lazcano, the leader of the brutal Zetas drug gang and the most powerful kingpin to fall in a six-year battle against cartels, but in a surreal twist his body was snatched from a funeral home by armed men.

Heriberto "The Executioner" Lazcano, head of the Zetas drug gang, is seen in this undated police handout file photo. REUTERS/Courtesy of the Procuraduria General de la Republica/Handout/Files

Heriberto "The Executioner" Lazcano, head of the Zetas drug gang, is seen in this undated police handout file photo. REUTERS/Courtesy of the Procuraduria General de la Republica/Handout/Files

Mexico's navy said on Tuesday fingerprint tests had confirmed Lazcano was killed in a firefight in a small village in the northern state of Coahuila on Sunday afternoon.

But it appeared the military may have been unaware it had killed Lazcano until his corpse was stolen from the funeral home in the northern town of Sabinas before dawn on Monday.

Lazcano, alias "The Executioner," had a $5 million (3 million pounds) U.S. bounty on his head and was the highest profile drug lord to be killed or captured in a military offensive launched when President Felipe Calderon took office in late 2006.

Just hours after he was killed, in a scene straight out of a movie, an armed group snatched Lazcano's body and that of another Zetas member from the funeral parlour.

"A masked, armed group overpowered the personnel, took the bodies and forced the owner of the funeral home to drive the get-away vehicle," Homero Ramos, Coahuila's state prosecutor, told a news conference on Tuesday.

It was not immediately clear how the bodies were so easily snatched, and local security officials declined to say whether the funeral home was being guarded. A spokeswoman for the home declined comment on how Lazcano's corpse was taken.

If Lazcano's men took the body, it would not be the first time something of the kind has happened in Mexico's drug war. In 2010, police killed Nazario Moreno, leader of La Familia cartel, in a firefight in western Mexico, but gunmen carried off his body into the hills before it could be recovered.

While the government and rival gangs may welcome Lazcano's death, the failure to guard his body is an embarrassment, and a battle for control of the Zetas could become a big headache for President-elect Enrique Pena Nieto, who takes office on December 1.

Calderon hailed the navy in a speech on Tuesday saying that "all the available evidence clearly indicated" Lazcano had been gunned down on Sunday. But the president did not say that he knew for sure Lazcano was dead.

U.S. authorities were also unable to confirm the death of Lazcano, who was identified in Mexico from the prints of three fingers on his right hand, the navy said.

However, Interior Minister Alejandro Poire said on Tuesday evening there was "no doubt" that the dead man was Lazcano.

Photographs published by the navy showed the body of a man in a dark shirt stained with mud lying on a table, his face similar to mugshots of Lazcano, a former Mexican special forces soldier who defected to join the Gulf Cartel in the 1990s.

The navy has played a major role in the crackdown on the cartels, claiming three of the most wanted bosses in the past month alone. Some experts say it is more trusted by U.S. intelligence services than the army and the federal police.

Coahuila prosecutor Ramos said Lazcano and the other man were confronted on Sunday by Marines who had received a tip-off about two men in a vehicle acting suspiciously.

In the ensuing fight by a welcome sign to the arid village of Progreso about 80 miles (130 km) from the U.S. border, the men attacked the Marines with grenades. A grenade launcher and a host of other weapons were later found inside the vehicle.

Some Mexican media said Lazcano had been watching a baseball match on an open field nearby before the firefight began.

Security experts said the decapitation of the Zetas would likely spark a scramble for power and an increase in violence in the cartel's northern strongholds.


Lazcano and other army deserters built up the Zetas as enforcers for the Gulf Cartel but broke away in 2010 to fight a bloody turf war with their former bosses and other drug gangs.

The Zetas are considered one of the two most powerful drug gangs in Mexico and have carried out some of the worst atrocities in a drug war that has killed about 60,000 people during Calderon's term.

Lazcano, also known as "Z-3," was one of Mexico's most-wanted men. Only Joaquin "Shorty" Guzman, boss of the Sinaloa Cartel, would represent a bigger prize to the government.

Under Lazcano's leadership, the Zetas grew into a gang of more than 10,000 gunmen with operations stretching from the Rio Grande to deep into Central America.

Lazcano's Zetas have rapidly displaced Mexico's older cartels in many areas, giving them a dominant position in the multi-billion-dollar cross-border drug trade, as well as in extortion, kidnapping and other criminal businesses.

But the Zetas have lately appeared to be splitting, with a longstanding rivalry between Lazcano and his deputy Miguel Trevino, alias "Z-40," exploding into violence.


Alejandro Hope, a security analyst who formerly worked in the government intelligence agency, said most of the gang's leadership had been either captured or killed in the past year.

"They are in something of a death spiral. Each capture has led to snitching and more snitching," he said. "A lot of people in the organization will find it better to just slip out before they are turned in."

Since 2009, government troops have caught or killed more than 20 major drug lords. Senior Zetas boss Ivan Velazquez, also known as "El Taliban" or "Z-50," and Gulf Cartel head Jorge Costilla, alias "El Coss," were both captured last month.

Gonzalo Villanueva, a hotel worker in Mexico City, said Lazcano's killing showed Calderon's policy was succeeding.

"Before this one, no president had taken on the drug gangs. And let's hope the next government continues the fight," the 46-year-old said.

The Zetas' alleged leader in Tamaulipas state was arrested on Saturday. He is believed to be responsible for the murders in 2010 of dozens of migrants and an American who was killed as he jet skied on a lake on the Texas-Mexico border.

Despite their brutality, pockets of Mexican society see the Zetas and other gangs as part of an insurgency against a corrupt state.

"It's an anarchist rebellion. They're fighting for people's liberty against the government," Rafael Benitez, a 21-year-old manual labourer in Mexico City, said of the Zetas.

Wearing a cross studded with miniature skulls and a T-shirt emblazoned with the image of Santa Muerte, or Holy Death, a female skeletal grim reaper revered by drug gangs, Benitez said the Zetas should continue the fight after Lazcano's death.

"What we need is for there to be no more poor and no more rich, we need everyone to be equal," he said.

(Additional reporting by Michael O'Boyle, Dave Graham, Cyntia Barrera and Mexico Newsroom; Writing by Simon Gardner and Dave Graham; Editing by Kieran Murray and Todd Eastham)

Copyright © 2012 Reuters

Vice presidential debate could be a tale of two Ryans

Posted: 09 Oct 2012 07:39 PM PDT

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (Reuters) - Republican Congressman Paul Ryan is a changed man.

Vice President Joe Biden (R) speaking in Charlotte, North Carolina September 6, 2012, and Republican vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan, speaking in Tampa, Florida, August 29, 2012, are shown in this combination photo. REUTERS/Mike Segar (L)/Jason Reed (R)

Vice President Joe Biden (R) speaking in Charlotte, North Carolina September 6, 2012, and Republican vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan, speaking in Tampa, Florida, August 29, 2012, are shown in this combination photo. REUTERS/Mike Segar (L)/Jason Reed (R)

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney's running mate made a name for himself as a bold fiscal crusader, willing to make big, unpopular cuts to entitlements to get U.S. finances in order.

But since Romney tapped him in August to join his campaign, the vice presidential candidate has become more prudent, avoiding detailed discussion of his budget plan and earning the nickname "mini-Mitt" for displaying a cautious streak like his boss.

For Vice President Joe Biden, a major question heading into his debate with Ryan in Kentucky on Thursday is "a choice of which Ryan we're going to see," a Biden adviser said.

Instead of promoting his own budget plan, which includes caps on future Medicare spending, Ryan is talking up Romney's more voter-friendly version, which has no spending limits, at campaign events.

"The vice president has been studying up on (Ryan's) real positions and is prepared to call him out on his actual positions," said the adviser, who warned that "maybe there will be some dishonesty," from the Republican.

The stakes are high for Biden, who is charged with righting a listing ship after President Barack Obama's disastrous first debate against Romney in Denver last week, which lost him the momentum in polls ahead of the November 6 election.

Democrats have targeted Ryan's budget, a severe series of spending cuts, as proof that he would hurt seniors and the middle class.

One top Republican strategist said the best way for Biden to battle his opponent is to tease out the "wonky" Ryan, the congressman who loves mind-numbing fiscal details.

"If I was prepping against Ryan, I would be looking for issues that Romney and Ryan disagree on and try and pull out Ryan the wonk, as opposed to Ryan the running mate," the strategist said.

That would turn off television viewers not used to detailed policy arguments, and could give Biden a chance to paint the Republican team as holding different positions on Medicare.

The Romney campaign has worked overtime to emphasize that House Budget Committee chairman Ryan has fallen in line with the presidential candidate on fiscal issues.

"You have to remember this is a Romney-Ryan ticket, and there's one presidential candidate, there's one person at the top of the ticket," Romney spokesman Kevin Madden told reporters on Tuesday.


An image of Ryan as a congenial Midwesterner rather than a congressional budget hawk has been enhanced on the campaign trail, where he has worked to build a reputation for an easy manner with voters.

Much was made in the media of Ryan cutting short an interview this week with a local television reporter whose questions he did not like, but the Wisconsin congressman was in good spirits immediately after the interview, and did not storm off as was suggested.

Economic issues aside, Ryan is clearly taking his lead from Romney on foreign policy, a weak spot for the 42-year-old congressman against Biden, who spent more than 10 years on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

In Ohio on Monday, Ryan echoed much of the language and themes that the former Massachusetts governor laid out in an attack on Obama's handling of world events during a speech at the Virginia Military Institute.

"The president is not offering the kind of spirited and principled leadership we need to create jobs here at home or to keep us safe," Ryan said.

At a rally, he pressed home criticism of Obama over the killing of four Americans in Libya, a favourite foreign policy attack line of Romney.

Ryan told voters to just turn on their televisions: "You will likely see the failures of the Obama foreign policy unfolding before our eyes," Ryan said. "You see if you look around the world, what we are witnessing is the unravelling of the Obama foreign policy."

Leading up to Thursday's debate, Ryan retreated to Florida to prepare, spending Tuesday morning focused on policy briefings before switching to debate prep.

Ryan aides in recent days have begun the typical campaign ritual of playing up your opponent before a debate, portraying Biden as a seasoned professional.

"Vice President Biden has done 18 presidential or VP debates over the years - 14 in 2008," said one Ryan aide. "He's always a focused debater. It's not a setting in which he makes gaffes."

Brendan Buck, a Ryan spokesman, noted that Thursday night will be Ryan's "first time on the big stage."

"After the president's performance last week, we know Joe Biden will (be) coming at us like a cannonball," Buck said.

Copyright © 2012 Reuters


The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

0 ulasan
Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

Undead and loving it

Posted: 10 Oct 2012 04:45 AM PDT

Drop Dead Diva gives new meaning to soul switching.

TAKE away the brilliant comic lines, the fabulous clothes and make-up, the quirky spin on leading a secret double life and Drop Dead Diva would just be another show about lawyers. Instead, the series is everything and more. In fact, it's a show with such a broad appeal that it's a wonder it hasn't lost the plot.

For those not in the know, Drop Dead Diva, which stars the irresistible Brooke Elliot, is about overweight, overachieving lawyer Jane. She also has a drab wardrobe and, oh, dies.

At the same time, soon-to-be-married aspiring model Deb meets her demise at the backend of a truck. In heaven, Deb hits the "return" button on the "sorting room" computer and Deb's soul finds its way into Jane's body. And this is when the heart and humour of the show begin.

In contrast, Jane and Deb are as alike as peas and carrots. But watching self-absorbed, fashion conscious Deb settling into Jane's skin – and discovering that she's not only racked up a few dress sizes but acquired a brain, was the hook that viewers latched onto.

Elliot's juggling of the two personalities is spot on, and as the seasons have progressed the Broadway star has just continued to captivate audiences with her deft handling of the two personalities while resolving court cases.

Now, of course there are many loopholes in the story. The burning question being how is it that Jane has lost her memory but can remember case studies and everything she learnt at law school? But, if you wanted cleanly plotted out scenarios and straight-laced drama, then you'd be watching The Good Wife.

Drop Dead Diva is on point though in terms of creating interesting and believable dynamics between the ensemble cast – Margaret Cho (Jane's assistant), April Bowlby (Deb's best friend), Kate Levering (Jane's work rival), Jackson Hurst (Deb's fiancé) and Josh Stamberg (Jane's boss) – and sparking the imagination with intriguing court cases.

Season Four kicks off with Jane on vacation with new-found love interest Owen (Lex Medlin), the judge.

After three seasons of dangling the forbidden love angle (because Jane can't reveal herself as Deb) between Jane and Deb's fiancé Grayson, who ironically works at Jane's law firm, it is refreshing for loyal viewers to see Jane – to put it bluntly – get some.

This new perspective, ultimately will beget the suspense throughout the season on whether Jane will have her happily ever after, and the addition of guest star Kim Kardashian to Season Four, may seem like a ratings ploy but it just reaffirms that with Drop Dead Diva viewers can always expect the unexpected.

The much-hyped about inclusion of Kardashian, which also potentially could cause a wedge between Stacy and Jane's friendship, also serves to allow for breakout star Stacy (Bowlby) additional screen time to continue to wow audiences with her over-the-top and affable ditziness. Another addition to the character pool is Luke (Carter MacIntyre), who is Jane's new guardian angel.

Among the terms of coming down from heaven is that the job of the guardian angel is to ensure that Deb/Jane manoeuvres through her new life with ease, and never lets on the truth about the soul switch.

Luke's presence is a fun relationship because he enters Jane's life at a time when she thinks she's got it all sorted, and doesn't need a Jiminy Cricket type to keep her honest.

While there are a lot of character developments revolving and evolving this season, it does not detract from the courtroom action, which largely contributes towards the reason why viewers keep tuning in and the success of the show.

Elliot, who in an interview admitted that though she's always prepared to be surprised by some of the court cases in her script, was left completely floored by the case of the woman who eats her dead fiancé's ashes!

This formula of infusing risqué stories with quirky details pretty much covers the theme of the season.

Though Drop Dead Diva often plays up absurdity and fantastical moments, it never loses its credibility or integrity.

Its very endearing qualities and underlying message of finding beauty in imperfections and battling for the underdog sum up all that has made this series easily accessible and relatable.

Drop Dead Diva (Season Four) airs on weekdays at 8.30pm on beTV (Astro B.yond Ch 720).


The Star Online: Business

0 ulasan
Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

The Star Online: Business

KLCI falls in early trade

Posted: 09 Oct 2012 06:28 PM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: Blue chips fell in early trade on Wednesday, with banks and plantations among the major decliners but in very thin trade, as investors were cautious after the overnight fall on Wall Street.

At 9.10am, the FBM KLCI was down 5.2 points to 1,658.12. Turnover was 60.05 million shares valued at RM39.82mil. There were 75 gainers, 102 losers and 118 counters unchanged.

Bloomberg reported Asian stocks fell, with the regional benchmark index heading for a one-month low, on concern China's economic slowdown and its territorial dispute with Japan are weighing on corporate earnings.

At Bursa Malaysia, CIMB slipped eight sen to RM7.70 and RHB Cap gave up four sen to RM7.21 but Public Bank rose four sen to RM14.60.

Among plantations, SOP fell nine sen to RM5.99 with 100 shares done, Sime gave up eight sen to RM9.70 while TH Plantations lost four sen to RM2.30.

UMW fell eight sen to RM10.04, IGB and Genting five sen each to RM2.41 and RM8.68. Asia Media continued to lost ground, falling five sen to 53 sen.

On a more positive note, Pharmaniaga climbed 37 sen to RM8.10 following a positive report from a research house.

Glove makers advanced, with Top Glove up five sen to RM5.22 and Adventa four sen to RM1.89.

Pesona Metro, which took over the listing status of Mithril nder a restructuring exercise, jumped 20.5 sen to 45.5 sen with 20.04 million shares done.

Malaysia, Indonesia in talks to form joint body to support palm oil price

Posted: 09 Oct 2012 06:23 PM PDT

JAKARTA: Indonesia and Malaysia, the world's dominant palm oil producers, are in talks to form a joint body that will seek to support prices by reducing stocks and controlling supplies of the edible oil, government trade officials said.

Malaysia and Indonesia together account for about 90% of global palm oil supplies of around 40 million tonnes.

Trade and commodities ministers discussed bilateral proposals for palm oil at a meeting on Monday, and floated the idea of limiting plantation expansion and stepping up industry and biofuel use.

Although no decisions have yet been made, Indonesia's Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan said future cooperation would be similar to that already in place for the region's rubber industry.

"We will sit together to discuss our action to drive the palm oil price," Wirjawan told reporters yesterday. "We are looking for bilateral cooperation on this issue. It may be similar to what we have done on rubber."

The International Tripartite Rubber Corp and the International Rubber Consortium, which groups senior government officials from top producers Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, meet regularly to discuss how to help the industry.

Benchmark Malaysian palm oil futures edged up yesterday, supported by the prospect of a possible export tax change in Malaysia, after having slipped to a near 3-year low last week on concerns over rising stocks and slowing demand.

One analyst was sceptical on how far the two countries would cooperate, since they have to compete for customers.

"I'm in two minds about this," said Abah Ofon, a commodities analyst at Standard Chartered in Singapore. "If they do come together in a genuine fashion to get more involved in the market, it's going to be a tad more effective than what happened with the rubber industry."

Attempts to boost rubber prices by the three top producers are often fragmented because the issue is very political in Thailand, while Malaysia is a small producer even though it is a leading consumer.

"Even in the short term, if they do decide to have a stranglehold on the market, they can," added Ofon. - Reuters

Pesona Metro jumps on trading debut

Posted: 09 Oct 2012 06:15 PM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: Pesona Metro Holdings Bhd, which took over the listing status of Mithril Bhd under a restructuring exercise, saw its share price jump in early trade on Wednesday.

Shares of the construction company opened at 46.5 sen, or a premium of 21.5 sen above the reference price of 25 sen. There were 2.9 million shares done.

At 9.01am, it was up 22.5 sen to 47.4 sen. There were 6.42 million shares done.

The FBM KLCI fell 5.16 points to 1,658.16. Turnover was 19.50 million shares valued at RM11.71mil. There were 54 gainers, 65 losers and 87 counters unchanged.

Pesona's paid-up share capital of RM115.95mil comprising of 463.82 million shares of 25 sen each arising from the restructuring scheme was listed.

The reference price for Pesona shares was 25 sen and the upper trading limit would be RM1.25 and lower trading limit was 0.5 sen.

The listing exercise saw the company raising RM10mil from the issuance of 400 million new shares at 25 sen each.

The company is bidding for RM1.5bil worth of contracts while its orderbook is RM705mil.

Persona will invest in industrialised building systems and plans to secure contracts under the PR1MA housing programme.


The Star Online: Sports

0 ulasan
Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

The Star Online: Sports

Make new velodrome a one-stop centre for several academies

Posted: 09 Oct 2012 06:51 PM PDT

IT IS not cheap to build an indoor velodrome, which explains why only a handful of Asian countries have one.

An indoor velodrome, like a swimming pool, is one of the costliest sports facilities to build and it is the public's hope that it is properly maintained and does not become a white elephant.

It took two years for the government to say "yes" after careful evaluation and deliberation and include it in the 2013 Budget with a proposed allocation of RM80mil, which also includes the construction of a new badminton academy in Bukit Kiara.

Cyclists in the country have been clamouring for a new track that is in line with international specifications.

The Velodrome Rakyat in Ipoh is a timber track while the Kuala Lumpur Velodrome in Cheras is a concrete 333m outdoor track.

Both velodromes, managed by their respectivey City Halls, are outdated as the current rules specify that world class races must be be held on 250m timber track.

This brings us to the question as to how it is to going to benefit the cycling community.

Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek got an idea of what to propose to the government after visiting the Darebin International Sports Centre in Melbourne.

The centre houses the Victorian Bowls Centre, a state cycling indoor velodrome and the state Australian football centre.

The velodrome, one of several in the state of Victoria and the second in Melbourne, has a 250m indoor timber cycling track with seating for more than 500 people and standing room for 400 spectators and an indoor synthetic bowls green at the centre of the velodrome.

It cost A$16mil to build and plans for the new velodrome in Nilai is believed to be of a similar scale and will be a joint-venture with Sime Darby.

Ideally, it should also be a one-stop centre for several academies, including badminton and cycling, while the private sector can run a driving range or tennis courts.

It will be part of a plan to develop the Nilai area into a sports and education hub and its proximity to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang should ensure that it is not under-utilised.

More importantly, it will be a boon to cycling in the country and help to further promote the sport.

Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF) president Abu Samah Wahab has been quoted as saying that Malaysia could host a leg of the Track World Cup Classics in 2015 as the new velodrome is supposed to be ready before the Rio Olympics the following year.

If it comes true, then Malaysia will be the third host country in Asia after China and Kazakhstan.

Interestingly, it will be much easier on the cyclists chasing qualification for the Rio Olympics because it will mean less travelling time.

Participation in the World Cup Classics are necessary to have any chance to fight for the coveted spots at stake for the track disciplines at the Olympics and it is better for the cyclists to fight in their own backyard than travel halfway around the world to do so.

For the coming 2012-2013 season, track cyclists will be competing in Colombia, Scotland and Mexico.

The country's No. 1 track cyclist Azizulhasni Awang, who reached the London Olympic final, said the velodrome would boost the country's image.

"Local cyclists have been waiting for a long time for this as there is a dire need for the country to construct a world-class indoor track," he said.

"I trained and raced at the Cheras velodrome during the Asian Cycling Championships earlier this year but the facilities there are outdated ... training is risky and can lead to injuries."

Young karter Muizzuddin out for the season

Posted: 09 Oct 2012 06:40 PM PDT

PETALING JAYA: The season is over for Malaysia's young international karter Muizzuddin Musyaffa Abdul Gafar after he broke his right leg in a crash at the WSK Finals Cup in Castelleto, Italy, last weekend.

The 10-year-old, jostling for prime positions with 35 other karters in the mini-60 category, was flung into the air after his kart bumped into the side of rival karter Noah Watt before the machine landed on his right leg.

Muizzuddin, whose parents were watching from the stands, was rushed to the Medical Centre for medical attention before being sent to the hospital for further treatment, where his worst fears were confirmed.

"The doctors have advised him to rest for at least a month. That means his season is over. Muizz will miss the next three events," said Muizzuddin's team manager Zainuddin Radzi.

The three events are the 2012 ROK Cup World Finals at Lonato near Milan this weekend; the Trophio dell Industry at the same venue the following weekend; and the season-ending WSK Championship in Udine (Nov 13-14).

"Knowing Muizz, he must be totally distraught. I really feel sad for the kid. Hopefully, he recovers soon and we can start working for next season," said Zainuddin, who has been Muizzuddin's personal coach since the Kuala Lumpur lad began karting three years ago before moving to Italy to join Gamoto Racing Team.

Zainuddin believes that Muizzuddin, who is now resting at his parent's rented apartment in Sicily, was trying to push for a front row start at the qualifying session in Castelleto.

"Things were actually going well for Muizz. He was already among the top five and was actually on P3 at one stage. But with three minutes to go before the end of the session, Muizz tried to get past Watt, who was working hard to defend his line.

"Their karts collided, sending Muizz's kart flying into the air. It then fell on Muizz's right leg. It's unfortunate for Muizz. I don't think he was trying anything extraordinary. But these things happen in racing," said Zainuddin, who expects Muizzuddin to return home soon to recuperate.

Muizzuddin made a bold decision at the beginning of the year to leave his comfort zone and compete full-time in Italy, including in the CSAI Italian Karting Championship, the WSK series and several other major meets.

He made a big impression when he won the rookie crown at Italy's prestigious go-kart competition for the country's license holders – the 2012 ROK Cup Italia Finals last month.

Competing in the 43-driver mini-60 category at the di Sienna International Circuit in Castelnuova, Sienna, Muizzuddin stunned his rivals – including some 13-year-olds – to lead the field for the first eight laps of the 12-lap contest before finishing third to qualify for the Finals this weekend.

With a 40-point total, Muizzuddin finished the season 13th overall in a field of 37 karters. Italian Leonardo Lorandi topped the five-round championship with an amazing 206 points.

"We can still be proud of Muizz's achievements. Remember, this is only his first season in Italy. This is a very competitive championship, with the participation of top karters from Europe and the United States," said Zainuddin.

"Many see this championship as the No. 1 go-kart championship in the world in terms of gaining exposure and experience and testing their skills. That's why we put Muizz here. We must also not forget that he is only 10 and is competing against older karters, including 13-year-olds, which is the maximum age for this Mini-60 category."

Ramlan backs Tunku Imran’s view and wants the NSAs to get moving

Posted: 09 Oct 2012 04:10 PM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: Start preparing for the 2016 Olympics now! That's the view of former National Sports Institute (NSI) chief operating office Datuk Dr Ramlan Aziz.

He is the second person to slam the National Sports Associations' (NSAs) lackadaisical approach towards the Rio Games.

Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Ja'afar had, on Monday, hit out at the lack of urgency in improving sports development in the country. "Our trend here is to concentrate on the SEA Games, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and then the Olympics – in that order," said Ramlan after the launch of OCBC Cycle Malaysia 2013 at Chinoz on the Park in Suria KLCC yesterday.

"That's what happened in Beijing 2008 and London this year. Our athletes only started preparing for the Games two years earlier, instead of four. This shouldn't be the way.

"Our athletes need a solid four years to prepare for the Olympics. If we are really serious about the 2016 Games, our preparations need to start by 2013. The athletes identified for the Games, like Azizulhasni Awang and Pandelela Rinong, must be provided with the best facilities, equipment and support for the next four years to give them the best shot at the Games."

Ramlan, who is now the special advisor to the Ministry of Youth and Sports, also warned that Rio should not be the end game.

"It shouldn't just end with Rio. We should also be looking at our world junior champions and those who can compete after 2016. We need to get the system aright," he said.

Meanwhile, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek hopes that the proposed indoor velodrome in Nilai, as announced during the 2013 Budget, will be the catalyst that will transform Malaysia into a cycling nation.

"The velodrome is a necessity. We want to build the best velodrome not only in the country, but the region as a way to develop the sport further," he said.

Ahmad Shabery, who was first to sign up for the OCBC Cycle Malaysia 2013's The Challenge category, was quick to point out that Britain only became a cycling powerhouse after building a velodrome for the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester.

"Our main aim is to make cycling accessible to the public. We're looking into making Malaysia a cycling-friendly nation with smart urban planning that will support a cycling lifestyle," he said.


The Star Online: Nation

0 ulasan
Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

The Star Online: Nation

Witness tells court he pleaded with Kelantan prince to seek acting Sultan’s permission

Posted: 09 Oct 2012 07:27 AM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: The Sultan of Kelantan's private secretary told the High Court on Tuesday that he had pleaded with Tengku Muhammad Fakhry Petra to seek the permission of the then Acting Sultan to drive the Bentley Brooklands car out of Istana Mahkota in Kubang Kerian on July 30 2009.

Datuk Nik Shafriman Nik Hassan, 35, testified that Tengku Muhammad Fakhry ignored his plea and instead said he would contact the Acting Sultan, Tengku Muhammad Faris Petra, after he had driven the car out of the palace grounds.

"The plaintiff (Tengku Muhammad Fakhry) said he'll seek permission from the Acting Sultan if I unlocked the Bentley's steering lock," he said at the hearing of the RM150mil wrongful confinement suit brought by Tengku Muhammad Fakhry against Inspector General of Police (IGP), Tan Sri Ismail Omar and three others.

The plaintiff filed the suit on Dec 9 last year, naming the IGP; the Kelantan Sultan's chief personal bodyguard , Insp Norazman Ismail; Kelantan police chief at the time, Datuk Abdul Rahim Hanafi, and the Royal Malaysian Police as the first to fourth defendants respectively.

In his statement of claim, Tengku Muhammad Fakhry alleged that he was wrongfully confined on July 30, 2009 in the compound of Istana Mahkota, Kubang Kerian as he was about to leave in a Bentley Brooklands car.

He is seeking RM100mil in general damages, RM50mil in aggravated and exemplary damages, interest at a rate of four percent, costs and other relief deemed fit by the court.

Nik Shafriman added that Tengku Muhammad Fakry only had the car key but not its steering lock key.

The third defence witness said the car's steering lock key was with the official driver of the vehicle at the time, who later came to the palace and handed it over to him.

During cross-examination by defence counsel A.S. Dhaliwal, who suggested that none of these incidents had actually taken place, Nik Shafriman refuted it saying there were no other witnesses there at the time apart from Tengku Muhammad Fakry and himself.

Meanwhile, the Sultan of Kelantan's chief personal bodyguard at the time, Insp Norazman Ismail, told the court that at 9 pm of July 29 2009 Nik Shafriman had contacted him to relay the Acting Sultan's order prohibiting Tengku Muhammad Fakhry from taking the car.

The fifth defence witness said Nik Shafriman had also informed him that Tengku Muhammad Fakry and his entourage would be arriving at Istana Mahkota the next day to take the Bentley.

Cross-examined by Dhaliwal, Noorazman, 40, said he carried out the order relayed by Nik Shafriman without checking with the acting Sultan.

He agreed with Dhaliwal that he considered the order to be appropriate but disagreed with the counsel's suggestion that he had erred by not checking on it.

Earlier in the proceedings, first defence witness, DCP Datuk Abd Rahim Hanafi, who was Kelantan police chief at the time, testified that there were no orders prohibiting Tengku Muhammad Fakhry from entering or leaving the palace grounds.

Abd Rahim, who is now Penang police chief, also admitted that on duty police personnel had to be issued with regulation fire arms under the Inspector General of Police Permanent Orders.

The defence proceedings came to an end Tuesday and Judge Datin Zabariah Mohd Yusof fixed Oct 17 for submissions. - Bernama

Dancer Ramli Ibrahim receives prestigious artiste award from President of India

Posted: 09 Oct 2012 05:22 AM PDT

NEW DELHI: Ramli Ibrahim, Malaysia's cultural icon and legendary dance choreographer of the Indian classical dance, received on Tuesday the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi Award 2011, the first for a Malaysian.

The award is recognised as the highest national honour conferred on performing artists, gurus and scholars of the performing arts. It is the most coveted honour artistes aspire to get.

Ramli, 59, received the award from Indian President Pranab Mukherjee at a special ceremony held at the Presidential House.

Thirty-five other artistes from different fields received the award, as well.

The award is in recognition of his contributions to Odissi, said to be the oldest surviving dance form of India, on the basis of archeological evidence.

Originating from Orissa, an eastern Indian state, it is one of eight classical dance forms of India.

"The Sangeet Natak Akademi Award is something I will revel in," said Ramli, who was obviously over the moon after receiving the honour.

"Being the first Malaysian to receive the prestigious award, it is something to be treasured, said the internationally-renowned dancer who has performed overseas for more than three decades.

"It has been a great struggle to be someone in the Indian classical dance and certainly, in Odissi, as with over one billion population, there are already a critical mass of very talented people in India.

"Hence, one has got to be really good to be able to stand out and be recognised.

"So, the recognition is something I will treasure," he told Bernama in an interview.

Ramli is instrumental in transforming the dance scenario in Malaysia by boldly charting new paths and single-handedly establishing Odissi as a widely appreciated dance form.

Accomplished in ballet, modern, and Indian classical dance, he is the artistic director of the Sutra Dance Theatre, having choreographed stunning works and nurtured some of the brightest dance talents from Malaysia.

Was he vying for the prestigious award?

"Not at all. It came as a great surprise. I never do things because I want a result like this," he said.

The eminent representatives of music, dance and theatre honoured with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for 2011 each receive a cash price of Rs1 lakh (RM5,894) angavastram (long cotton or silk scarf worn on the shoulder by men) and tamrapatra (engraved copper plate).

The Sangeet Natak Akademi, established by the Government of India on May 31, 1952, is the National Academy of Music, Dance and Drama.

It was created as the apex body in the country for the task of preservation and promotion of the performing arts tradition of India.

Penang second bridge to ease congestion on first bridge by up to 30%

Posted: 09 Oct 2012 04:57 AM PDT

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang Second Bridge, now under construction, is expected to ease traffic congestion of the first bridge by 20 to 30 percent.

Jambatan Kedua Sdn Bnd (JKSB) Public Relations and Communications adviser, Datuk Mohammad Salleh Rafie said the existing congestion problem would be reduced when the second bridge is ready in September next year.

He was met by reporters at a seminar with the Information, Communications and Culture Ministry's Penang Coordinating Committee on the progress of the Penang Second Bridge project.

Some 100,000 vehicles use the existing bridge daily to travel between the mainland and the island, with heavy traffic congestion during the peak hours.

Mohammad Salleh said the completion of the second bridge would further spur development, especially industries, in Seberang Perai Selatan on the mainland.

The RM4.5bil Penang Second Bridge spanning 23.5 km with 16.9 km over the sea, will link Batu Kawan on the mainland and Batu Maung on the island. - Bernama


The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies

0 ulasan
Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies

Paying for his sins

Posted: 09 Oct 2012 03:50 AM PDT

Enter the seedy underbelly of the Thai mob world in the film, Antapal (The Gangster).

Director Kongkiat Khomsiri wanted to depict gangsters as everyday people in his latest film, Antapal (The Gangster), who just happen to be involved in criminal activities and lots of violent goings-on.

Inspired by Thailand's worrying situation in the 1950s, when it was experiencing the full force of gangsterism, Khomsiri kicks off his tale with two characters – Dang and Jod (portrayed by Somchai Kemklad and Krisada Sukosol Clapp, respectively) – in Bangkok, during the said period.

Dang and Jod are feared by the older folk while some of the younger ones want to emulate their seemingly glamorous life. Despite being a thug, Jod has his own moral code – which sets him apart as one of the more honourable guys in the underworld.

In an e-mail interview, actor Clapp described Jod as a man caught between two worlds – someone who holds on to the dignity of being a gentleman and a gangster, even when no one else seems to offer him the same courtesy. It is this very contradiction that attracted Clapp to the role.

The 41-year-old actor explained: "(He is) a violent man who operates with much purity; someone who doesn't want to be where he's at, but does so through loyalty. A man with dreams, but knows they will never come true."

Things really start to go haywire for the two hotshots when military man Field Marshall Sarit Thanarat is put in charge of the country. This man decides to put a stop to all criminal activities, especially those that involve drugs, gang fights and gambling. Nevertheless, with all the power play, a corrupted and hypocritical establishment starts to emerge.

At the collapse of order, Jod begins to question his life and think about giving his dream of getting out of "the hood" a more serious thought. According to Clapp, Jod is no different than anyone else – it is only the circumstances and fate that are working against him.

"There's an ugliness in all of us. I believe most people are born decent and civilised, but when pushed far enough we can sometimes become animals."

In that sense, too, violence is very much part of the formula when it comes to storytelling in this genre. Since Antapal is based on the country's history, director Khomsiri took great pains in showing the passage of time with cultural influences (rock 'n' roll to hippie lifestyle), social changes and different forms of violence to capture the moment in time.

Clapp theorised that audiences are perennially interested in this theme because the protagonist in this type of film dares to defy the system. Of course, these films also feature the visually-enhanced (cinematic) blood and gore that audiences like.

"Gangsters make up their own rules. They do what they believe is correct by their own codes and 'religion'. It's a fantasy that we're all drawn into, because in our real lives we have to live by the law ... be it the law set down by our parents or the law in the towns we live in. Unfortunately, gangsters often dictate the law through violence, and I have to admit that violence is an attraction to the masses. No one would go see a gangster movie without violence."

Although Clapp himself never mixed with gangsters, he has had his own brush with fights during his younger days.

"I have been beaten up by seven or so guys in a nightclub," he revealed.

"And the only time I've ever acted like a gangster was when my wife's ex started to harass us. Maybe I was immature, but I felt 'it' at the time and told him, 'This is Thailand. Don't mess with us in Thailand'. He never bothered us again."

To get into the role, Clapp worked hard on getting his body to be as hard as possible while making sure he was neither too big nor bulky.

"I wanted to become 'vascular' and layered, so I worked out like hell to become, basically, a muay Thai fighter in a gangster's body."

While violence is the result of this lifestyle, Clapp thinks the message behind the film is totally something else. He said: "Ultimately, Antapal is a story about friends. Nothing lasts forever, except, maybe friendship."

Born to a Thai mother (who is a singer and the owner of Siam City Hotels And Resorts chain) and an American father, Clapp has always been into physical activities. He was an athlete before getting into performing arts – he formed the music band Pru with his older brother in 2001, and got his first movie role in 2003 (the same year he got married). Between being involved in sports and becoming a performer, he studied anthropology at Boston University in Massachusetts.

"I reached college level in the sports arena but soon realised I wasn't good enough to turn pro. I then studied anthropology but started missing the adrenaline of letting it all out before the crowd. That's where an athlete, a singer, a stage actor, and perhaps a politician, are one and the same – these are professions in which you can sometimes become another being and move the crowd.

"Through anthropology, I enjoyed studying people, and through sports, I enjoyed the emotional pressure to perform. That's when I thought acting and singing might fit the bill. But sure, the rush is much stronger as a singer on stage than a film actor."

Acting and singing aren't the only things Clapp is currently involved in.

"I've just finished building a hotel called The Siam. My mum always told me to never put your eggs in one basket. You gotta try to have many passions and do your best to make them happen.

"Not everyone is Mick Jagger or Meryl Streep who can perform forever. Ultimately, showbiz is a young man's game. I don't yet have any films in the pipeline, but I do think I have one more album left in me."

> Get into the ring with Antapal (with English subtitles) from Oct 11.

Singapore bans satirical local film

Posted: 09 Oct 2012 12:48 AM PDT

SINGAPORE: Singapore has banned a satirical local movie three days before its theatrical release because it was deemed offensive to the island's ethnic Indian minority, a media watchdog confirmed Tuesday.

"Sex.Violence.FamilyValues" had originally been rated suitable for viewers aged 18 and above, but a review panel concluded that one of the three stories in the 47-minute independent movie was unsuitable for public exhibition.

"An overwhelming majority of the panel members have expressed that the film should not be allowed for public exhibition in view of its overt racial references which are demeaning and offensive to Indians," said a statement sent to AFP by the Media Development Authority (MDA).

"Should the film owner wish to pursue the matter, they may lodge an appeal with the Films Appeal Committee."

The film's Facebook promotional page carried a news report about the ban on Tuesday, generating strong criticism of the MDA and calls for Singaporeans to be allowed to judge the movie for themselves.

Despite the ban, a trailer showing local film and stage star Adrian Pang making fun of a co-actor's Indian ethnicity in a story entitled "Porn Masala" could still be viewed Tuesday on the film's official website.

The website described the movie, which premiered last week and was due to open in a cinema for a limited run on Thursday, as "three iconoclastic stories in a short film that pitches political correctness out the window of Singapore mainstream cinema".

The Straits Times said the film was made by first-time director Ken Kwek, 33, for just Sg$100,000 ($81,000).

Singapore has relaxed censorship rules on film nudity and violence in recent years. But it has strict laws against inciting racial or religious hatred in a predominantly ethnic Chinese society with Malay and Indian minorities.

The movie was banned on the same day an ethnic Chinese executive of a national labour group was sacked for insulting members of the Malay community in a Facebook posting. -AFP

Esquire names Mila Kunis 'sexiest woman alive'

Posted: 08 Oct 2012 10:55 PM PDT

Actress Mila Kunis has been dubbed "the sexiest woman alive" by Esquire magazine in its November issue out this week.

Kunis, 29, a one-time star of the TV comedy "That '70s Show," was lauded by the men's magazine on its website as "the most beautiful, opinionated, talkative, and funny movie star that we've all known since she was nine."

As a grown-up, the native of Ukraine electrified audiences with a solid performance opposite - and sometimes in bed with - Oscar-winner Natalie Portman in 2010 ballet movie "Black Swan." She recently showed her comic chops in the surprise summer hit, "Ted."

Near year she will star in "Oz: The Great and Powerful," and she is the voice of Meg Griffin on the animated Fox comedy "Family Guy."

Runners-up this year included Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway, "Precious" star Gabourey Sidibe and newly divorced Katie Holmes.

Kunis joins the ranks of past Esquire choices, including Oscar winners Charlize Theron and Halle Berry, and last year's winner, Rihanna. - Reuters


The Star Online: Metro: Central

0 ulasan
Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

The Star Online: Metro: Central

Metro watch

Posted: 09 Oct 2012 06:57 AM PDT


In conjunction with the Interna-tional Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Pantai Hospital Kuala Lumpur will be organising the "Wear It Pink Charity Gala Musical Night" showcasing Spanish Sensations at 8.30pm on Oct 13 at the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO), Petronas Twin Towers. Proceeds from the musical will be channelled to the Breast Cancer Support Society Negri Sembilan. Dress code is long-sleeved batik or formal wear (with a dash of pink). To purchase tickets, call 03-2296 0773 (Hema) or 03-2296 0706 (Carol).


Syabas is conducting an arrears operation in the Klang Valley this month. Customers are advised to pay their bills to avoid water cuts. The affected areas are Kuala Lumpur, Hulu Langat, Klang/Shah Alam, Gombak, Kuala Selangor, Hulu Selangor, Petaling, Sepang and Sabak Bernam districts. For details, call 1800 885 252, SMS by typing Puspel and send to 39222 or visit


Nalanda Buddhist Society is organising a monthly dhamma discussion at the Nalanda Centre, 3357, Jalan 18/31, Taman Sri Serdang on Oct 12 from noon to 1.30pm. The programme aims to encourage progressive understanding of the dhamma within a supportive group setting. The topic for this month is "Reaping Good Fruits". All are welcome. For details, call 012-936 9050 (Mudita).


A free talk on a process which helps children 'fix' negative issues or improve the child's self-esteem and "Sleep Talk for Children" conducted by Advance Dynamics Asia will be held on Oct 20 (4pm to 5pm and 6pm to 7pm) and Oct 21 (11am to noon and 2pm to 3pm). For details, call 03-7886 7655 or visit


Academy of Destiny Science is having its new intake for Zi Wei Dou Shu and Zi Wei Feng Shui courses in October. A free course preview seminar will be held at the academy at 2pm on Oct 13. The public can attend the preview seminar by registering via or call 010-429 8788.


Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman is offering a short course on English for Business at its Centre for Extension Education, Petaling Jaya Campus. The course will commence on Oct 11 (every Thursday) from 7.30pm to 9.30pm. For details, call 03-7957 2818 / 016-223 3563 or email


Sakyamuni Dharma Centre and Vajrayana Buddhist Council of Malaysia will be organising a blood donation drive on Oct 14 at USJ19 City Mall, Subang Jaya from 11am to 5pm. Free gifts will be given to first 60 donors. For enquiries, call 016-217 2189.

Former international Mogan organises coaching clinic for students

Posted: 09 Oct 2012 06:57 AM PDT

THE Race Walkers Association of Malaysia (RWAM) organised a coaching clinic as well as competition at SMK Bukit Mewah in Seremban, Negri Sembilan recently.

Former international R. Mogan, who won a gold medal in the 1995 Chiangmai SEA Games, was given the responsibility to organise the programme. He also conducts a weekly training programme at SMK Bukit Mewah.

Mogan said about 100 participants, including a group from Kuala Lumpur, attended the programme.

"We had invited some former walkers as well as technical official to brief the participants on the correct walking techniques. We strongly believe in teaching the juniors the right way. If they learn the wrong techniques, it could lead to disqualifications when they race,'' said Mogan.

After the two-hour clinic, the participants were given the chance to take part in the competition. There were two age groups — Under-12 and Under-18 — for both boys and girls. There was also section for men and women.

Mogan said he was impressed with the enthusiasm shown by the participants.

"They were prepared to learn. Some of them showed excellent techniques and had the potential to excel. They should be given the opportunity to take part in more competitions. Otherwise it will be difficult for them to improve,'' said Mogan.


The Star Online

Copyright 2010 All Rights Reserved