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The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

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The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

"Trekkies" break world record at London convention

Posted: 20 Oct 2012 08:51 PM PDT

LONDON: Star Trek fans made history on Saturday by breaking the record for the largest gathering of people dressed as characters from the TV series at the "Destination Star Trek London" convention.

An estimated 1,083 costume-clad "trekkies" assembled at the event at London's ExCel centre, narrowly beating the previous record of 1,040 characters, which was set at the bigger, annual Star Trek convention in Las Vegas in August.

The achievement will be officially verified by Guinness World Records within a few days, but organisers were confident they had topped the Las Vegas record.

The majority of record-breakers dressed in the colour-blocked uniforms of the Starfleet, with Vulcans, Klingons and Romulans peppering the crowd.

Trekkie Mark Whitfield went to extreme lengths to participate, wearing a full-body suit to emulate a mugato, a beast from "Star Trek: the Original Series".

"It looks silly, it's just a gorilla suit painted white with horns on it. It's very, very hot. In fact, I was on the verge of collapse when a very kind person gave me a bottle of water because I dehydrated quite badly," he said.

"Destination Star Trek London" is the first live Star Trek event in Britain for over a decade. Around 17,000 fans came to London to celebrate the 46-year-old TV and film franchise, which has spawned six television series and 11 feature films.


Dawn Harris, 26, who had created an Orion slave girl costume and painted herself metallic green, said there was great enthusiasm for the world record attempt.

"There just hasn't been a convention in the UK for so long. So I think everyone wants to be involved in everything as much as they can. Everybody saw that guy jump out of a plane in space so people are drawn to things like that," she said, referring to Felix Baumgartner's record-breaking jump from a balloon near the edge of space last Sunday.

"Nerds like achieving missions. We've been set a quest and it must be achieved," Harris's fiancé, Ryan Croft, added.

Outlandish costumes were ubiquitous at the event, which saw Britain's first Klingon wedding on Friday. Swedish couple Jossie Sockertopp and Sonnie Gustavsson tied the knot in full Klingon attire and exchanged vows in the fictional and guttural-sounding language of the Star Trek characters.

The three-day convention also saw all five captains from the TV series appear on stage together for the first time.

The captains played by actors William Shatner (Captain Kirk), Patrick Stewart (Captain Picard), Avery Brooks (Captain Sisko), Kate Mulgrew (Captain Janeway) and Scott Bakula (Captain Archer) joined forces to officially open the convention on Friday night.

Speaking ahead of the opening ceremony, 81-year-old Shatner appeared moved when discussing the show's loyal and sometimes obsessive fans in an interview with Reuters [ID:nL3E8LJ5KR].

"It's an accumulation of a lot of work and a lot of people travelling from all over the world here. It's sort of monumental in its worth," Shatner said.

The veteran actor turned filmmaker has released the documentary "Get a Life!", which examines why fans attend conventions.

"The conclusion that I come to is that it's (Star Trek) mythological," Shatner told Reuters. "It's a desire for mythology that we don't have in this age." - Reuters

Creepier and darker zombies

Posted: 21 Oct 2012 02:26 AM PDT

The third season of The Walking Dead promises to be its darkest yet, as it ventures into one of the comic book's most pivotal and iconic story arcs.

FIGHT the dead, fear the living. That's the tagline for season three of zombie apocalypse drama The Walking Dead, which premieres on Malaysian TV tonight. And judging from the finale of season two, this new season promises to be the series' darkest and most devastating one yet, living up to every word of that ominous tagline.

By the end of the last season, two series regulars – Dale and Shane – lay dead, the latter at the hands of his best friend Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), who then declared that their little group of zombie apocalypse survivors was "no longer a democracy".

As the episode ended, the camera panned out to reveal a sight that fanboys of Robert Kirkman's critically acclaimed comic book series have been clamouring for since the TV show began – a huge prison in the background.

Yes, the TV series is finally heading to "The Prison", the stage for one of the comic's most important and pivotal story arcs. It is also the arc that established The Walking Dead comic series as not just another zombie story, but one where the humans are a lot scarier than the shuffling undead – hence the tagline.

Having spent the last two seasons on a very long road trip to nowhere, Rick's motley crew of survivors finally find a place to call home ... well, sort of. The fact that the safe haven they eventually settle in happens to be a prison is a great example of the sort of twisted irony that The Walking Dead comic is well known for, and which has been translated exceptionally well into the television medium.

For the cast and crew, the location is a welcome respite from the previous two seasons.

"It's nice that we have sets this year! The last two years, we never had a set, and were always shooting outside. Now that we have a covered set, whenever it rains, we can go somewhere instead of shooting in the rain," said Greg Nicotero, co-executive producer, director and special effects make-up designer on the show.

"The interesting thing about the prison is that it is probably full of dead prisoners, so if the gang wants to hole up there, they'll have to take it by force and fight for it," he said when we met him before a special San Diego Comic Con press breakfast cum conference on the rooftop of the Andaz Hotel.

"For the past two seasons, they have always been on the road. But now they'll have to hone their skills, otherwise they're not going to survive."

The level of intensity and horror has also been amped up on every level, according to Nicotero.

"We ended the last season with a big finale, and a lot of people responded to the fact that there was some action and a lot of jeopardy. This season, we've picked up on that, so there is even more action and suspense. We want to make sure the show feels scary and creepy on top of all the good character bits," he said.

"The show has three main components – a great monster, a great storyline and great characters. It's a delicate balance, and if you throw one of them out, it all goes out of sync. The whole thing would just collapse."

With his background in makeup and effects, Nicotero started out on The Walking Dead solely handling the "zombie stuff", for which he won two Emmy awards. Later, he started becoming more involved creatively, and his role soon expanded to executive producing and also directing a few of the episodes.

"Shooting the zombie stuff is second nature to me, but what's more important is getting the dramatic bits right, which is the hardest thing on the show," he said.

With the prison arc, the drama certainly looks set to be even more intense.

During the press conference, Lincoln teased that this will be the season where Rick reaches his breaking point and snaps.

"Rick gets pushed and pushed, and this season there's a point he reaches ... where he breaks. I believe the expression is 'bat-shit crazy'," he said.

This season also introduces two of the comic's most popular characters – fan-favourite, katana-wielding zombie killer Michonne (played by Danai Gurira), who appeared in the season two finale as a hooded figure accompanied by two armless and jawless zombies; and one of its most chilling antagonists – The Governor (David Morrissey), a dictator-like figure who runs Woodbury, a small town that at first appears to be a safe haven for apocalypse survivors, but soon turns out to be something more disturbing.

"People who know the graphic novel will know The Governor's sinister side, and having him as part of the storyline this season means that Rick's group has to face a whole new scenario altogether," said Nicotero.

"It's all about survival now, and I love the idea that in his head, The Governor is (doing) what he thinks is right and running the world the way he would want it, just like Rick does."

According to Morrissey, The Governor is not bad, he's just "terribly misunderstood".

"The Governor created this oasis in the middle of this apocalypse, which is Woodbury. He's slowly building a life there that has some sort of normality and certainly has comforts; it has hot water, it has food, it has clean clothing, it has structure," Morrissey explained in the transcript of an interview done on the set of the show.

"He's managed to do that by a mixture of an iron fist and a kid glove. He has to rule with a very strong sense of discipline. People have to stay within the rules of the community.

"But he also has a caring nature. He rules the people there and they see the benefits of living in this way, compared to what it's like outside. He's created a very idyllic life for these people."

Morrissey also reckons there is a slight difference between his version of the Governor and the one in the comics.

"The Governor in the comics arrives fully formed, and we see very quickly that he does crazy stuff; whereas this Governor (on the show) is someone trying to survive in this world. If people threaten that security or act in a foolish way that could endanger the community, then he acts."

Coming to a set with zombie extras shuffling around took a bit of getting used to at first, though.

"On my first day I got slightly lost on the set and I walked into this room and there were two zombies in there having a chat and it freaked me out," Morrissey said.

"You do see sights (like that) all the time ... it's very odd. For a long time Michonne's zombies really freaked me out whenever I bumped into them."

The Walking Dead's zombies have Nicotero to thank for making them look so scary, whether on set or in the show proper.

"While editing the scene where Dale is killed by a walker, every time he (the walker) blinked, I cut it out. So in the end it looked like he never blinked, that was really scary!" Nicotero said.

He reckons that with every season of the show, there seems to be more and more interest in zombies. If the record-breaking 10.9 million viewers who watched the third season's opening episode last week in the United States is any indication, the brain-munching undead horde certainly isn't shuffling off the air anytime soon.

"The Walking Dead made zombie stories much more accessible to a wider audience than any of us anticipated. It's interesting that people who you never thought would watch a zombie show are now watching The Walking Dead!" he said, adding that fanboy response went through the roof after last season's finale.

"The final three episodes were like the launching of a rocket (in terms of fan response). First, Dale gets killed, then Rick kills Shane, and then the finale ..." he said.

"This year, we've already hit the stratosphere, so now we have really got to hit the booster and keep going, because that's the bar we set for ourselves."

The Walking Dead (season three) premieres tonight on Fox Movies Premium (Astro Ch 413) at 11pm.

Designing contestants

Posted: 21 Oct 2012 01:17 AM PDT

AFTER its very first episode, on Thursday, The Apartment: Style Edition has already lost a pair of contestants – and the pressure will only get worse on Asia's first interior design reality TV show.

In this second season, participants are expected to show how they develop their styles as they design their dream home, and they have to do it while contending with timed challenges, too. These are not professional interior designers or handymen, mind you, so viewers will surely be able to relate to them as they try their hand at DIY on camera.

There are bound to be skinned knuckles and lost tempers galore! But it will all be worth it to the pair that makes it to the finish and wins a unit at the Veo in Desa Melawati, Kuala Lumpur.

The Veo is a project by Sime Darby Property, which also developed the East Residence where the series was filmed. The East Residence courtyard homes, located within a gated and guarded community, are part of the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club's integrated development.

Which of the remaining seven pairs is going to end up with keys to this dream property?

Here's a quick introduction to the contestants to help you choose who you want to root for over the next nine episodes of The Apartment: Style Edition.

Agri and Clarissa (Indonesian/Singaporean)

OF all the contestants on The Apartment, this pair has the most interesting beginnings to their friendship: "We used to hate each other!" says Agri, 24. But she and Clarissa, also 24, bonded when they were sent to the same detention session at school nine years ago and have been best friends ever since.

The bond must be strong because, personality-wise, they are poles apart. While Agri says that Clarissa is "too systematic ... she has a plan for everything", Clarissa worries that Agri won't be reliable about deadline because "she's a party animal ... and she also has a time management problem!"

What they do share is attitude, as they are both go-getters in their fields. Agri, a fashion blogger who began by advising friends, launched her own clothing line, Agri Velt, in 2010. Clarissa is also in a creative field: she's a makeup artist who particularly loves doing bridal makeup.

With all that creativity in their daily lives, you'd think these women would be confident of sweeping the prize but they are actually worried about choosing the right design concept, they say. They're hoping, though, that determination and solid teamwork will get them to the top.

Design detail: Agri's personal style is "full of surprises and never boring" while Clarissa's is "princess-y and glamourous".

Alex and Chelsea (Malaysians)

THEY only met five months ago but something clicked and they're now firm friends, even though Chelsea has moved with her husband and son to the United States. They catch up whenever Chelsea, 34, returns to Kuala Lumpur, which is quite often, as she's pursuing a career in fashion here.

Alex, 25, a radio host, is practical and down to earth – though not a morning person, he admits. Chelsea, who is accustomed to having her perfectly made-up game face on even at the crack of dawn because of her job, worries that Alex might struggle with meeting tight deadlines.

But the pair believe they'll work well together as a team by sharing the workload and focusing on their respective strengths. "Two versions of me will do no good," admits Alex, who is planning on leaving the more aesthetic elements to Chelsea and concentrating on functionality himself.

Design detail: Colours that neither would ever, ever (ever!) use in a living room are pink (Alex: "If my friends were to visit my place, there would be a laugh fest!") and neon yellow (Chelsea: "Too glaring!")

Cynthia and Paula (Singaporean/American)

WHO would have thought an outgoing performer accustomed to the spotlight would become good friends with a homemaker? But then, both are passionate about the important things in their lives, not to mention fun and feisty by nature, so perhaps it's not so surprising after all....

Cynthia, 33, the performer, worries that she'll have trouble making up her mind when it comes to design decisions but she's hoping she'll be balanced by Paula, 32, who has to make quick decisions daily thanks to two young sons who keep her on her toes.

They have very different approaches to problem solving, too: while Cynthia confesses to being kind of confrontational, Paula prefers to take a step back from the situation and take a walk around the block to think things over. When it comes to working under pressure with tight deadlines to meet, you can bet there will be problems galore on the show – will the women's different styles lead to explosions, we wonder?

Design detail: Cynthia's personal design style is "eclectic or shabby chic" while Paula's is "pretty classic with a tinge of trendy".

Iva and Philippe (Argentinian/French-German)

TALK about your life changing romance: Philippe and Iva met, fell madly in love, and, a year ago, went off to sail the wide seas together!

Yes, that story really is true, though a little more prosaic, as Philippe was already living on a boat when they met; he had been bitten by the sailing bug in 2003 when he took a year and a half off to crew on cruise ships in the South Pacific and, in 2009, he gave up his day job to spend his life afloat.

While it all sounds rather dreamy, the reality is not all roses. "Life on a boat is thrilling but also constant hard work ... and space is limited," acknowledges Philippe. What the hard life has done is give Iva, 25, and Philippe, 32, a lot of training in operating together under pressure, which they are planning to put to good use on The Apartment.

If they win, though, they will have a luxury apartment on their hands – what will the seafarers do with it? While they will never completely give up their ocean view, they say, the condo could begin a new chapter in their lives and perhaps even get them started on the road towards making a family....

Jesper and Killian (Canadian/American)

THESE brothers lived continents apart for years but they're still the best of friends who always have each other's backs. No, they're not twins – Jesper is 33 and Killian, 29 – but you would be forgiven for thinking they are, what with their very similar good looks.

When it comes to their personalities, though, they've very different. Adventurous Jesper, who is a freelance photographer, feels that "creativity comes a lot easier to Killian but I'm more of a risk taker". Killian doesn't dispute that; the graphic designer says "Jesper has embraced a rather free-spirited reality, something that I am quite envious about, as I hold a nine to five job – we have very different lifestyles".

But those personalities will complement each other on the show, the brothers think. Not that won't be arguments! Says Jesper, "I think we will disagree a lot, but constructively. I like to jump right into things and figure them out on the go while Killian is a strategist."

Design detail: His personal style is "constantly evolving" says Jesper, while Killian's is "eclectic".

John Paul and Daniel (American/Malaysian)

HERE'S The Apartment's strangest pairing by far: they were actual strangers before they ended up on the show together! They had both been told about auditions for the show by a mutual friend but turned up alone, hoping to later persuade a friend or family member to join them. When neither had any luck with that, their friend introduced JP (as he's known) and Daniel — and so was born this dynamic duo.

But can two total strangers come together to design a house? Ah, but JP and Daniel think that's actually an advantage because their working styles will be all the better for being unburdened by history and familiarity. "It's an opportunity and a risk," JP acknowledges, "but as long as we can learn to trust each other, we are going to dominate this competition – bring it on!"

JP, 31, is a fashion designer and brings a solid background in the field to the contest, having studied at the prestigious Parsons the New School for Design in New York City; he's also passionate about exploring new ideas.

Daniel, 36, manages a boutique hotel which makes him quite practised at handling stress and the kind of anger that can erupt when people work under pressure. He brings his calming attitude to the team, which should prove useful in The Apartment's high-stress environment – he quips that he always "takes deep breaths, counts to 10 and then counts to 10 again" when he's in a confrontational situation.

But don't look for explosions from this pair because both are hoping to make a lifelong friend out of this experience.

Design detail: Daniel would never use neon colours on walls and JP's ideal colour palette for a bedroom is "greys, from warm to neutral greys".

Paul and Ash (Australian/Malaysian)

JUST as Alex and Chelsea forged their firm friendship in a blink, these two are another pair of contestants who only met recently but made a strong connection – so much so that people often mistake them for a married couple!

Says Paul, 27, "There is nothing I dislike about Ash!" while biology and chemistry student Ash, 23, exclaims that Paul is her inspiration.

Well, with that sort of a foundation for their friendship, we wouldn't be surprised if something happens on The Apartment and these two end up as a couple. See if you can spot the signs over the next nine episodes....

Paul, who manages a wine distribution company and bistro in Singapore, reckons he's quite the experienced handyman; put that together with the flair for design that Ash has, and you have a formidable team here.

Design detail: Ash's perfect leisure room would have "a huge TV, disco balls, cosy couches and lots of room for dancing" while Paul's would be a man cave with "a pool table, computer games, a fridge full of alcohol, a massive plasma TV, and comfortable long couch".


The Star Online: World Updates

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Sierra Leone opposition plans to review mining code, contracts

Posted: 20 Oct 2012 06:26 PM PDT

FREETOWN (Reuters) - Sierra Leone's main opposition party plans to introduce a raft of reforms to the mining and oil sectors if it wins elections next month, according to its election programme released on Saturday.

Former Sierra Leonean junta leader retired brigadier Julius Maada Bio poses for a picture in the country's capital Freetown August 10, 2011. REUTERS/Simon Akam

Former Sierra Leonean junta leader retired brigadier Julius Maada Bio poses for a picture in the country's capital Freetown August 10, 2011. REUTERS/Simon Akam

The Sierra Leone People's Party's (SLPP) presidential candidate, former junta leader Julius Maada Bio, hopes to dislodge incumbent Ernest Bai Koroma's All People's Congress government in the November 17 poll.

The SLPP's manifesto proposes a review of all existing mining and oil deals as well as the law that governs the mining sector, according to a copy obtained by Reuters.

"It is now glaringly obvious that the APC government is raping the Sierra Leone mining industry," the manifesto said, referring to President Koroma's ruling All People's Congress Party, which came to power in 2007.

"Such rape is wide-ranging but primarily borders on signing fiscal agreements that are not in line with best practices and undermine our national taxation laws," it said.

Sierra Leone has abundant natural resources including iron ore, diamonds, gold, bauxite and the titanium ore rutile. Oil was found offshore in 2009 but it remains unclear if commercial quantities are present.

Ten years though after the end of its bloody civil war, which left some 50,000 dead, Sierra Leone remains one of the world's poorest countries.

The mining law the SLPP proposes to review was drawn up in 2009 with donor support.

"We are saying for the first time we will review everything about mining in Sierra Leone to make sure it accords with international best practice," the party's national secretary general Banja Tejan-Sie told Reuters.

The SLPP manifesto launch comes two days after the ruling party presented its own document, which promised to increase revenue from mining.

The government has scored points for infrastructure projects but attracted condemnation for signing mining deals that did not conform to the law.

In particular an agreement with British iron ore firm London Mining specified a tax rate of 6 percent rather than the 37.5 percent stipulated by statute, though that deal has since been renegotiated.

The opposition's manifesto also proposes to make all mining contracts public.

President Koroma's spokesman Unisa Sesay was dismissive of the opposition's plans on Saturday.

"When you are not in government there is a lot of talk you talk," he told Reuters. "When you are in government you have to contend with where to get the resources."

Sesay said the APC government had renegotiated some deals and was "exploring new ways for getting even more resources from mining activities".

The opposition SLPP said in its manifesto it would allocate 10 percent of the country's budget to agriculture to help the west African state become self-sufficient in rice and cassava.

Though it has the potential to be a major agricultural exporter Sierra Leone is currently dependent on imported foodstuffs, in particular staple rice.

(Editing by Bate Felix and Andrew Roche)

Copyright © 2012 Reuters

U.S. says willing to meet with Iran on nukes but no talks set

Posted: 20 Oct 2012 06:25 PM PDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The New York Times reported on Saturday that the United States and Iran have agreed in principle to hold one-on-one negotiations on Iran's nuclear program but the White House quickly denied that any talks had been set.

The Times, quoting unnamed Obama administration officials, said earlier on Saturday the two sides had agreed to bilateral negotiations after secret exchanges between U.S. and Iranian officials. The newspaper later said the agreement was "in principle."

The White House quickly denied the report, which came two days before President Barack Obama is due to face Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in a debate focused on foreign policy.

"It's not true that the United States and Iran have agreed to one-on-one talks or any meeting after the American elections," National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said in a statement.

"We continue to work with the P5+1 on a diplomatic solution and have said from the outset that we would be prepared to meet bilaterally."

The P5+1 group is composed of the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council - the United States, Britain, China, France and Russia - plus Germany.

Iran had insisted the talks with Washington not begin until after the November 6 U.S. election determines whether Obama will serve a second term or whether Romney will succeed him, the Times said.

The New York Times report looked likely to fan campaign debate over foreign policy, where Romney has been hitting Obama with charges that he has been an ineffective leader who has left the country vulnerable.

The Obama administration counters that it has pressed hard on all major security challenges while at the same time winding down unpopular and expensive wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But tensions with Iran continue to simmer, leading many analysts to say it is the largest security issue facing the United States and a potential flashpoint for broader conflict in the Middle East.


The United States has been working with the P5+1 to pressure Iran on its nuclear program but with few results. The United States and other Western powers have charged that Iran's nuclear program is aimed at developing nuclear weapons, but Tehran insists the program is for peaceful purposes.

Israel has said it would use military force to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power but has in the past had differences with Washington over when Tehran would actually cross the "red line" to nuclear capability.

The Times story quoted an unnamed senior administration official as saying the United States had reached the agreement for bilateral talks with senior Iranian officials who report to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

But the White House said the Obama administration was intent on its current "two-track" course, which involves both diplomatic engagement and a tightening network of international sanctions to pressure Iran.

"The president has made clear that he will prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and we will do what we must to achieve that," Vietor's statement said.

"It has always been our goal for sanctions to pressure Iran to come in line with its obligations. The onus is on the Iranians to do so, otherwise they will continue to face crippling sanctions and increased pressure."


The P5+1 has held a series of inconclusive meetings with Iranian officials in the past year. In July, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Tehran's proposals to date had been "non-starters."

While Western officials say there is still time to negotiate, they also have been ratcheting up sanctions, which are contributing to mounting economic problems in Iran.

The United States has expressed a willingness for talks narrowly focused on specific issues, preferably on the sidelines of multilateral negotiations. But Iran has been pressing for broader direct negotiations that include other regional issues including Syria and Bahrain - something the United States opposes.

"We've always seen the nuclear issue as independent," the administration official told the Times, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the delicacy of the matter. "We're not going to allow them to draw a linkage."

The Times included the White House denial in a subsequent version of its story and said reports of the agreement had circulated among a small group of diplomats involved with Iran.

Even if the two sides sit down, American officials worry Iran could prolong the negotiations to try to forestall military action and enable it to complete key elements of its nuclear program, particularly at underground sites, the Times said.

Any talks would open a diplomatic window for the United States and Israel that could provide strategic cover should they see the need for military action down the road.

"It would be unconscionable to go to war if we haven't had such discussions," R. Nicholas Burns, who led negotiations with Tehran as undersecretary of state in the George W. Bush administration, told the Times.

(Additional reporting by Todd Eastham; Editing By Paul Simao and Bill Trott)

Copyright © 2012 Reuters

With Romney closing in, Obama to launch swing state blitz

Posted: 20 Oct 2012 05:19 PM PDT

WASHINGTON/DEL RAY BEACH, Florida (Reuters) - Facing a cliff-hanger re-election attempt, President Barack Obama will launch a round-the-clock, two-day campaign blitz through six battleground states next week to try to fend off the challenge from Republican Mitt Romney.

U.S. President Barack Obama stops mid-stride to greet supporters during a campaign rally at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, October 19, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Reed

U.S. President Barack Obama stops mid-stride to greet supporters during a campaign rally at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, October 19, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Reed

Polls show Obama's strong debate performance this week gained him little or no ground against the former Massachusetts governor with just over two weeks until the November 6 election.

The pair are essentially tied in most surveys as Americans remain split between giving Obama more time to fix the economy or choosing a former business executive who argues he knows best how to create jobs.

Obama will campaign in Iowa on Wednesday, then hit Colorado, Nevada, Florida and Virginia, cast his ballot early in his home town of Chicago, then stop in Ohio to end the tour.

"As the President criss-crosses the nation, he will spend time on Air Force One calling undecided voters, rallying National Team Leaders and volunteers and continuously engaging with Americans," his campaign said in a statement.

Obama usually comes back to Washington after one-day campaign trips, or stays in hotels on longer visits, but on this tour he will overnight on the presidential jet between Las Vegas and Tampa to save time for campaign appearances.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll on Saturday showed him with a razor-thin lead, 46 percent to 45 percent. The margin has narrowed from Friday when he had a three-point lead, which showed the limits of any bounce the Democrat might have received from the second debate in Hempstead, New York, last Tuesday.

"It's very much neck and neck. I anticipate actually that we're going to see these numbers neck and neck all the way to Election Day," said Ipsos pollster Julia Clark.

More closely watched than the national polls, however, are surveys in individual swing states where the election will be decided. Romney has erased Obama leads in many of them or is challenging him for the lead.

The key to the election may be in Ohio, the Midwestern state where Obama has been clinging to a narrow lead.

A RealClearPolitics average of polls on Saturday showed Obama ahead in Ohio by 2.5 percentage points and Romney ahead in Florida - another of the large swing states - by 2.1 percentage points.


Romney hunkered down at a Florida seaside hotel on Saturday for intensive preparation for his third and final debate with Obama on Monday night. It will focus solely on foreign policy.

Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman, who plays the role of Obama in mock sessions, helped put Romney through his paces. Most of the Romney brain trust was there, including top advisers Stuart Stevens, Bob White, Beth Myers, Lanhee Chen and Eric Fehrnstrom.

Obama picked the leafy, cloistered confines of the presidential retreat at Camp David, Maryland for his own debate preparation on Saturday.

Both Romney and Obama were judged the winner of one debate apiece in their two previous sessions, so they are under pressure to perform well when they meet again in Boca Raton.

Helped by the killing last year of Osama bin Laden, Obama has a strong foreign policy record. But he has been under mounting pressure over the death of the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans in an attack in Libya last month.

Top Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee are questioning why U.S. spy agencies and government spokesmen initially played down suspected al Qaeda links to the September 11 attack.

But Romney stumbled while trying to criticize Obama over the Libya incident at a debate on Tuesday.

More comfortable on domestic economic issues, former businessman Romney's campaign put out a new television ad painting a future with a slow economy with rising gasoline prices and debt if Obama stays in office for four more years.

A pro-Obama group, Priorities USA, attempted to raise doubts about Romney with a new ad targeting his tenure at private equity company Bain Capital.

Romney attended the last fund-raising event of his campaign, at a donor's home in Palm Beach, Florida.

(Editing by Alistair Bell and Todd Eastham)

Related Stories:
Democratic donors energize 'Super PACs' as US election nears

Copyright © 2012 Reuters


The Star Online: Sports

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Alexander beats Bailey to take welterweight title

Posted: 20 Oct 2012 07:07 PM PDT

BROOKLYN: US southpaw Devon Alexander took the International Boxing Federation welterweight crown on Saturday with a unanimous 12-round decision over compatriot Randall Bailey.

Alexander dominated from the start, opening a cut over Bailey's right eye in the 10th round, and winning by judges' scores of 115-111, 116-110 and 117-109.

Former junior welterweight champion Alexander improved to 24-1 while Bailey fell to 43-8 in the leadoff title bout on the first fight card at the new $1 billion Barclays Center, home of the NBA Nets after their move from New Jersey.

The fight was the first major bout in Brooklyn since August 5, 1931, when Max Rosenbloom beat Jimmy Slattery to retain the light heavyweight world title at Ebbets Field, the since-demolished home of baseball's Brooklyn Dodgers.

Fans booed the lopsided fight but Alexander defended his achievement.

"I'm champion again. That's nothing to scratch my head about," Alexander said.

"I know I could have did way better. But Randall is a veteran. I had to be cautious. He's got more knockouts than I have wins. He throws that bomb he has, that right hand."

Bailey, 38, and Alexander, 25, had been due to fight on September 8 but Bailey hurt his back in training a week before the bout and it was postponed.-AFP

Jorge breaks Sepang lap record to take pole

Posted: 20 Oct 2012 04:33 PM PDT

SPANIARD Jorge Lorenzo gave his quest for a second MotoGP world crown a much needed boost by taking pole position in fantastic fashion in the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix in Sepang ahead of championship contender Dani Pedrosa.

Lorenzo, currently holding a 28-point advantage at the top of the MotoGP standings, blazed to a new Sepang lap record of 2:00.334 on his Yamaha, edging his Repsol Honda Team title rival and compatriot Pedrosa to second spot.

Lorenzo snatched his seventh pole of the season on his final lap as the seconds ticked away to erase Valentino Rossi's old record of 2:00.518 set in 2009.

Pedrosa was fastest in the three practice sessions but could only respond with 2:00.528 while the last place on the front row went to Monster Yamaha Tech 3s Andrea Dovizioso of Italy, who was on blistering pace all session to time at 2:00.567.

Heading row two in fourth is Pedrosa's team-mate and two-time world champion Casey Stoner of Australia with 2:00.811 while Tech 3s Cal Crutchlow of Great Britain put in a solid performance for fifth with 2:01.178.

Alongside the Briton in sixth place is Yamaha's American rider Ben Spies, who recovered from a fall in the morning session, to clock 2:01.185.

Sepang crowd favourite Rossi finished 11th on his Ducati on 2:01.783.

Rossi will be returning to Yamaha next season where he is expected to renew his rivalry with Lorenzo.

But, in the meantime, it is very much looking like a showdown between the two Spaniards.

A full capacity grandstand crowd at Sepang are expected today and they can even witness Lorenzo's being crowned the new world champion as he can mathematically seal his second title here if his rival fails to finish higher than 13th today. There are 75 points left to fight for with three races remaining.

And he was pleased as punch to be in a position in what he expects to be a very demanding race today.

"We made a very good lap at the end of the session with the new qualifying tyre. In the middle of the session we struggled because we had a bit of chattering and the rear tyre was not working as well as it had been in the morning session.

"We still need to work a little on our pace as its not extremely good yet but we have some options for tomorrow. Lets see what happens. It is going to be a long race in difficult conditions," said Lorenzo, who won his first MotoGP world title in 2010.

Pedrosa, is not, giving up and is determined to take the title fight down to the wire.

"We had a lot of chattering problem today. It is difficult to ride like this but we hope to resolve it tomorrow," said Pedrosa, who won in the Japanese Grand Prix last week to make it four wins from the last five races.

Qualifying times

MotoGP: 1. Jorge Lorenzo (Spa) Yamaha 2:00.334, 2. Dani Pedrosa (Spa) Honda 2:00.528, 3. Andrea Dovizioso (Ita) Yamaha 2:00.567, 4. Casey Stoner (Aus) Honda 2:00.811, 5. Cal Crutchlow (Gbr) Yamaha 2:01.178, 6. Ben Spies (US) Yamaha 2:01.185, 7. Hector Barbera (Spa) Ducati 2:01.294, 8. Stefan Bradl (Ger) Honda 2:01.491, 9. Nicky Hayden (US) Ducati 2:01.526, 10. Alvaro Bautista (Spa) Honda 2:01.640, 11. Valentino Rossi (Ita) Ducati 2:01.783, 12. Aleix Espargaro (Spa) ART 2:02.842, 13. Randy de Puniet (Fra) ART 2:03.389, 14. Karel Abraham (Cze) Ducati 2:03.774, 15. Michele Pirro (Ita) FTR 2:04.152, 16. James Ellison (Gbr) ART 2:04.515, 17. Danilo Petrucci (Ita) Suter 2:04.726, 18. Colin Edwards (US) Suter 2:04.941, 19. Roberto Rolfo (Itaz) ART 2:05.100, 20. Ivan Silva (Spa) BQR 2:05.921.

Moto2: 1. Pol Espargaro (Spa) Kalex 2:06.962, 2. Scott Redding (Gbr) 2:07.399 Kalex, 3. Marc Marquez (Spa) Suter 2:07.566, 4. Takaaki Nakagami (Jpn) Kalex 2:07.617, 5. Johann Zarco (Fra) Motobi 2:07.672, 6. Bradley Smith (Gbr) Tech 3 2:07.721, 7. Esteve Rabat (Spa) Kalex 2:07.774, 8. Thomas Luthi (Swi) Suter 2:07.832, 9. Alex de Angelis (Rsm) FTR 2:07.849, 10. Dominique Aegerter (Swi) Suter 2:07.872.

Moto3: 1. Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Mas) KTM 2:13.885, 2. Jonas Folger (Ger) Kalex KTM 2:14.151, 3. Sandro Cortese (Ger) KTM 2:14.599, 4. Louis Rossi (Fra) FTR Honda 2:14.681, 5. Luis Salom (Spa) Kalex KTM 2:14.817, 6. Miguel Oliveira (Por) Suter Honda 2:15.316, 7. Efren Vazquez (Spa) FTR Honda 2:15.366, 8. Brad Binder (Rsa) Kalex KTM 2:15.469, 9. Alex Rins (Spa) Suter Honda 2:15.814, 10. Adrian Martin (Spa) FTR Honda 2:15.858.

SIC hoping to nurture young talent by hosting schoolkids

Posted: 20 Oct 2012 04:33 PM PDT

IN another effort to nurture the young, generating deeper interest and building a tradition of motorsports amongst Malaysians, Sepang International Circuit (SIC) hosted some 2,000 schoolchildren to an experience of a lifetime.

They were given a closer look at the worlds fastest and most powerful racing machines on two wheels at the circuit.

The students moved from pit garage to garage, snapping photos with cameras and their mobile phones with some immediately uploading the pictures to Facebook and Twitter to share with their envious friends at home.

Some even had the opportunity to take photographs with the riders as they mingled with thousands of eager Grandstand ticket holders for photo opportunities and freebies handed out by the competing teams during the one-hour session.

Said SIC chief executive offier Datuk Razlan Razali: "This session has always been a big attraction with the fans and every year we have massive crowd joining us on the Friday public pit walk, which we opened for free to all Grandstand ticket holders and special invited groups.

"This year we worked with Dutch Lady Malaysia to bring 2,000 school children from 30 selected schools in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Negri Sembilan and Putrajaya for the show.

"I am happy to note that they are having the time of their lives."

SIC are hosting Round 16 of the FIM MotoGP World Championship, which features three categories – the 1,000cc prototype MotoGP class, the 600cc Moto2 class and the new 250cc Moto3 class, which was introduced this year to replace the 125cc class.

"For Malaysia to progress further and prosper in motorsports, consistent efforts needs to be undertaken to nurture interest amongst the young. They are the future of Malaysia's motorsports and we need to create motorsports as a tradition and a lifestyle.

"On our part, we will continue to organise programmes like this to involve the school children.

"Here, at the pit walk, the youngsters are exposed to the technological side of MotoGP. They were given a thorough explanation about the workings of the bike by the riders and technical staff and how they prepare the machines. These are all interesting stuff for the young."


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Counter offer for F&N

Posted: 19 Oct 2012 09:21 PM PDT

SINGAPORE: A Singapore hotel and property firm backed by Indonesia's Lippo Group may team up with Japan's Kirin Holdings to thwart a US$7.2bil takeover offer for Fraser and Neave Ltd from companies linked to Thailand's third richest man, sources said.

In an unexpected move, Overseas Union Enterprise Ltd (OUE) said yesterday it was seeking partners in a potential takeover bid for F&N, without identifying the parties. Kirin Holdings Co Ltd is one of the companies involved in the preliminary discussions, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks were private.

Kirin Holdings, F&N's second biggest shareholder, said this week it was considering all possible options for its stake in the Singapore beverage and property conglomerate. The Japanese brewer declined to comment on the OUE talks.

OUE's approach may force the Thais to raise their S$8.88pershare offer, which F&N had described as "not compelling but fair."

Shares in F&N jumped 3% to S$9.20 after trading of the stock resumed on Friday afternoon. The shares have been trading above the Thai offer and are up 47% so far this year.

"This will definitely complicate the Thai bid because the S$8.88 offer that they put on the table has already met some scepticism from some shareholders as well as some of the F&N directors," said Goh Han Peng, an analyst at DMG & Partners Securities.

The fight for F&N's businesses has shifted to the group's property portfolio, worth more than S$8bil (US$6.56bil), after F&N agreed last month to sell its nearly 40% stake in Tiger beer maker Asia Pacific Breweries Ltd to Heineken NV.

Earlier in October, F&N rebuffed a S$1.4bil offer for its hospitality and serviced apartments unit.

Sources said OUE was behind the bid.

"From OUE's perspective, the attraction from F&N side is the property side. They might tie up with a third party like a food and beverage player as such a partnership would be complementary for both," Goh said, adding that potential partners could be Kirin or Coca-Cola Co.

Kirin had said previously it was interested in F&N's food and nonalcoholic drinks business.

The companies linked to Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi are collectively F&N's largest shareholder with a nearly 34% stake. Kirin owns almost 15%.

"OUE wishes to state that it is in discussions with certain parties and is considering all options with respect to F&N, including an offer for F&N shares," the Singaporelisted company said in a statement.

Forbes magazine, on its Indonesia rich list published last November, ranked Lippo Group patriarch Mochtar Riady at No. 38 with an estimated net worth of US$650mil.

The Lippo group comprises private and public companies in China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore and South Korea with US$11bil in assets.

"Given the significant value in F&N, especially its property assets and its strong F&B franchise in Malaysia and Singapore, it would make sense for the Lippo group to make a counter offer," Jit Soon Lim, an analyst at Nomura, said in a report. - Reuters

Richard Li returns to insurance with ING deal

Posted: 19 Oct 2012 09:21 PM PDT

HONG KONG: Hong Kong businessman Richard Li, the younger son of Asia's richest man, is buying ING's

Hong Kong, Macau and Thailand insurance units for US$2.14bil in cash, bringing the Dutch financial services company a step closer to paying off its state bailout.

Li's bid, through unlisted Pacific Century Group, marks his return to an industry he exited in 2007 and would help expand his business empire, which is now made up of telecoms, media and funds management.

He is paying 24.3 times estimated 2012 earnings for the three units. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2013, according to a statement from ING.

ING is divesting assets across the world to repay the 10 bil euro (US$13.1bil) state bailout it received during the 2008 financial crisis.

Last week, the company announced the sale of its Malaysian insurance business to AIA Group Ltd for US$1.73bil in cash, its first deal in a ninemonth drive to sell off its Asian insurance and investment management assets.

AIA paid 14.3 times 2011 earnings for the Malaysian business.

With the latest deal, ING would be raising a total of US$3.87bil so far from its Asia exit plan, with the divestment of its much bigger Japan and South Korean operations still pending.

"It seems to be going well," Cor Kluis, an analyst at Rabobank, said on Thursday when Reuters reported the news of Li's purchase based on sources.

Kluis said he had expected the Hong Kong and Thai businesses to be sold for 1.4 billion euros (US$1.84bil) and for the Asian insurance and investment assets to raise 6.1 billion euros in total.

Negotiations to sell ING's Japan and South Korean operations have been dragging on and it was not immediately clear when the sale of those two units would be announced. Li has also bid for parts of the Japan business, while the South Korea unit is expected to be sold to KB Financial Group.

Li, 45, previously ran an insurance business in Hong Kong, which he sold to Dutch and Belgian financial services firm Fortis in 2007.

Li was a surprise bidder for ING's insurance operations which attracted interest from global insurers. - Reuters

BP board considers Rosneft bid for TNK-BP

Posted: 19 Oct 2012 09:20 PM PDT

LONDON: Rosneft is poised to secure a tighter grip on Russia's oil industry by buying BP's 50% stake in TNK-BP, the country's third largest producing company. The British oil company's board met yesterday to consider a cash and stock offer worth over US$25bil. It was not tied to asset deals or exploration tieups with Rosneft although those might come in the future, sources said.

Rosneft has already made an offer of around US$28bilto BP's equal partners in TNK-BP, the AAR consortium owned by four Soviet-born tycoons, according to the sources in London, Moscow and elsewhere.

Other sources familiar with BP, Rosneft, their advisers and financiers said the terms of two offers might differ, but that they valued the whole of TNK-BP at over US$50bil.

Some British newspapers reported that BP's chief executive Bob Dudley would be recommending the offer to the board.

"The offer is in. It's a split of the two," (cash and shares). It's a clean offer and there's no other plan on the table," said one source. "If he thinks it's the best offer Dudley will recommend it but the board may say we need to reconvene and consider this aspect or that. It's not an automatic tick in the box."

Over the past few days sources painted a picture of a three-way deal that could emerge over the coming weeks, with some details to be hammered out during a visit to London this week by Rosneft chief executive Igor Sechin.

"BP is reviewing options (with regard to the offer)," said one source.

The sources said BP and the four tycoons could emerge with minority stakes in an enlarged Rosneft plus billions of dollars in cash in exchange for the highly profitable company.

The combined group would dominate Russia's increasingly state-controlled oil industry.

President Vladimir Putin has been determinedly regaining state control of assets that passed cheaply to a small group of businessmen when privatised in a hurry in the 1990s.

Rosneft's absorption of another oil firm, Yukos, and the imprisonment of its former owner Mikhail Khodorkovsky in the mid-2000s was the biggest step in this process until now. Reuters


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MCA Youth to investigate low Malaysian Chinese acceptance rate into UKM

Posted: 20 Oct 2012 08:03 AM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: MCA Youth will form a special taskforce to investigate why only 9% of students enrolled in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) this year were Malaysian-Chinese.

MCA National Youth chief Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong said it was time for the Government to look into methods of how public universities recruited students.

"Even though the Higher Education Ministry has granted public universities the power to make decisions on various issues on their own, that does not mean the institutions can use its own methods to recruit students," he said this before closing the debate during MCA Youth annual general meeting here on Saturday.

He said UKM should also explain why they had accepted only 290 Chinese students.

Dr Wee, who is also Deputy Education Minister, said the taskforce would carry out its investigation as soon as possible.

"MCA central leaders will then deliberate on data collected," he said.

Malaysians can apply to vote by post from November onwards

Posted: 20 Oct 2012 05:46 AM PDT

PETALING JAYA: All Malaysians overseas can apply online from as early as next month to vote by post at the coming 13th general election, Election Commission deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar said.

To do so, a special version of the "Form 1" application form will be made available for download from the EC website.

The Commission will also conduct a public awareness campaign to encourage Malaysians abroad to vote.

"Very soon, maybe next month, we will upload the form that can be accessed by Malaysians all over the world who are already registered voters, to request to receive their ballot papers by post," he said.

He was speaking when met after attending a forum entitled "Citizens in a free and fair elections" organised by the National Institute for Electoral Integrity (NIEI), a non-governmental organisation.

To qualify as an overseas postal voter, one must already be registered with the Commission as a voter and must have returned to Malaysia at least once in the past five years.

A Parliamentary Select Committee recommendation that all Malaysians abroad be allowed to vote by post was passed in April. Prior to that, only full-time students and civil servants, as well as their spouses, were eligible for postal voting.

Amendments to the regulations and forms needed to register as postal voters would not require any amendment to the Federal Constitution, and is expected to be laid down in Parliament soon.

Wan Ahmad reminded all Malaysians abroad that they must first sign up as a voter before they qualify to apply for their ballot papers to be sent by post.

Overseas Malaysians who wish to register as voters can do so by downloading "Form A" application that is already available online at the EC's website (

The forms, after being filled out, should then be attached with a copy of the applicant's passport or MyKad and then mailed to the respective Malaysian Embassy's assistant voter registrar appointed by the EC.

On another matter, Wan Ahmad said six local non-Governmental organisations would serve as observers for the next general election in Peninsula Malaysia, while several more would be appointed to observe polls in Sabah and Sarawak.

They are the Merdeka Centre, The Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) and The Association for the Promotion of Human Rights (PROHAM).

Also appointed are Transparency International, Centre for Public Policy Studies (CPPs) and the Malaysian Youth Council. A number of local Sabah and Sarawak based NGOs would be appointed as monitor in the two respective states.

Each monitoring NGO would be allowed to have three representatives each in all 222 parliamentary constituencies. The observers will not be allowed to issue statements during the polling period but will be allowed to publicise their reports to the public after the completion of the general election.

"This move is to increase the transparency and confidence of the people towards our election really follows the rules, because we will be allowing the NGOs to observe the polls, although they will come under certain conditions," said Wan Ahmad.

Dr Chua: Malaysian Chinese aware of DAP, PAS hudud lies

Posted: 20 Oct 2012 05:44 AM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: Many Malaysian Chinese are now more aware that DAP and PAS lied about the implementation of the hudud law, said MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek.

He said Malaysian Chinese knew that the promise hudud law would reduce crime was false, among other claims from DAP.

"I'm sure the Chinese know this by now. The hudud law affects a lot of things including the investment climate of our country," Dr Chua said after giving a pre-annual general meeting (AGM) briefing for party central delegates at Wisma MCA here on Saturday.

He added that the hudud issue was the most popular topic brought up by central delegates during the briefing and dialogue.

Many of the total 2,341 central delegates arrived from all over the country on Saturday evening for the party's AGM to take place on Sunday.

On the Opposition's proposal in their alternative budget to set minimum wage at RM1,100 a month, Dr Chua explained that an additional RM12bil would have to be spent every year to meet this standard.

"This means that the cost of workers for a company will shoot up by about 30%. This will cause companies to downsize their staff and cause unemployment," he said.

He said such a policy would cause the country to go bankrupt.

Dr Chua went on criticise another proposal by the Opposition to abolish tolls as such a move would eradicate jobs for toll collectors and others.

On Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's comment on the importance of mastering Bahasa Malaysia, Dr Chua agreed as it was the national language.

"Everybody realises the importance of Bahasa Malaysia but our mother tongues can also be spoken as well as the English language," he said.

He said there was nothing racial about the matter, likening the situation to not knowing Mandarin in China or English in the United Kingdom.


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Posted: 19 Oct 2012 07:49 PM PDT

The Transformative CEO: Impact lessons from industry game changers

Author: Jeffrey J. Fox and Robert Reiss

Publisher: McGraw-Hill

THE authors give new definition to leadership and how companies need to be transformed in today's challenging times.

Peppered with quotes from CEOs from various sectors, they write about strategies in turning a company around, the importance of leading with love and inspiration and the need to set clear-cut guidelines and principles.

Resilience: Why things bounce back

Author: Andrew Zolli

Publisher: Free Press

WHAT causes one system to break down and another to rebound? Is it possible, in the face of constant challenges, to build shock absorbers for ourselves personally and as a community? By encouraging adaptation, agility and cooperation, a new resilience comes into force to build a better and a stronger community. Thought-provoking.

Managing for People who Hate Managing: Be a success by being yourself

Author: Devora Zack

Publisher: Berrett-Koehler

OFTEN, professional success means becoming a manager. For some, managing people can be among the hardest things to do because each person is different. There are emotions to deal with which give rise to conflicts and personality clashes. This guidebook takes readers through various situations. Chapters conclude with exercises and tips list.


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Saturday Events

Posted: 20 Oct 2012 06:15 AM PDT


The Jumbo Queen 2012 finals will be held at Concourse Level of Sungei Wang Plaza on Oct 23 at 7.15pm where 12 finalists will vie for the Miss Jumbo Queen 2012 title. For details, call 03-2142 6636 (KK Lim) or e-mail


Canon Marketing (M) Sdn Bhd is organising the Canon Photo Marathon 2012 — the region's largest photo competition at the Boulevard Central, Berjaya Times Square today from 10am to 5pm. For details, call 1300 888 988 or visit


SMK Damansara Jaya 1 is organising a fund-raising event called Flashmobton at its school field today from 7.45am to 2pm. There is also a flash mob competition as well as several food and merchandise stalls. For details, call 03-7728 8770 or e-mail


A fashion show titled "Great Expectations", featuring well-known British brands such as Ben Sherman, Wallis and Warehouse as well as Malaysian designer extraordinaire Eric Choong will be held at Bangsar Village II, Bangsar Baru today at 2.45pm.


The National Blood Centre is having a blood donation drive today at SIB Lake Church Setapak (9am-12.30pm), SMK Taman Tun Dr Ismail (9am-2pm), Columbia Asia Hospital Cheras (9am-3pm), KPJ Damansara Specialist Hospital (9am-3pm), UiTM - Anggerik College (9am-2pm), Tesco Rawang (10am-4pm) and tomorrow at IOI Mall (12pm-4pm), Summit Subang Jaya (10am-4pm), Aeon Metro Prima (10am-5pm) and Publika, Sri Hartamas (10am-5pm). For details, visit


Tropicana Medical Centre is organising a free health talk titled "Exercise for a Healthy Lifestyle" today at its Auditorium from 10am to 12.30pm. Participants can learn to incorporate simple steps into their daily lives to enjoy a healthier lifestyle. For details, call 03-6287 1206 (Mei Yee) 018-211 6789 (Benjamin) or email


A reunion dinner for SM Vivekanan-da, Brickfields Class of 1985 students will be held today at 6.30pm at Best Western Premier Dua Sentral, Kuala Lumpur. For details, call Swee Gim at 012-212 5680 or email


The Information, Communication and Culture Ministry will be organising a children's theatre titled "Si Peniup Seruling" at Panggung Eksperimen, National Academy of Arts, Culture and Heritage (Aswara) today (3pm and 8.30pm) and tomorrow (3pm). Admission fees are RM10 (adults) and RM5 (students). For details, call 03-2671 5046 (Royah) or 03-2697 5513.


Dress up your dog in the most creative "Frankenstein" style and stand a chance to walk home with amazing prizes. The contest is held at Level 5, Splash Park, The Mines shopping mall on Oct 27 at 5pm. For details, call 03-8949 6333 or log on to and


Wei-Ling Gallery is featuring 41 artworks of Malacca-born artist Paiman until Nov 30. The art exhibition is located at 8, Jalan Scott, Brickfields and opening hours are Mondays to Fridays, from 11am to 7pm, and Saturdays, from 10am to 5pm. For details, call 03-2260 1106 or visit


A free talk on helping children 'fix' negative issues and improve their self-esteem as well as a talk titled "Sleep Talk for Children" conducted by Advance Dynamics Asia will be held today (4pm-5pm and 6pm- 7pm) and tomorrow (11am-12pm and 2pm-3pm). For details, call 03-7886 7655 or log on to


Samadee Studio is holding a colour ink-painting exhibition by Malaysian artist Loo Foh Sang titled "Colourful Life" at its studio at 6-1, Block 4, Jalan Jalil Jaya 4, Jalil Link, Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur until Oct 24. For the past four decades, Pahang-born Loo has held numerous shows locally as well as abroad. Admission is free and the studio is closed on Mondays. For details, call 012-235 5661 or 012-227 2308.

Malacca Yang Di-Pertua Negeri Tun Mohd Khalil Yaakob’s birthday honours list 2012

Posted: 20 Oct 2012 05:33 AM PDT

Darjah Gemilang Seri Melaka (DGSM)

H. Gatot Pujo Nugroho

Darjah Cemerlang Seri Melaka (DCSM)

Tan Sri Ismail Omar, Datuk Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah, Datuk Azman Mohd, Datuk Ameer Ali Mydin, Datuk Tan Chang Yong and Datuk Lee Wah Chong.

Darjah Muli Seri Melaka (DMSM)

Datuk Mohamad Zabidi Zainal, Zainal Abu, Dr Narimah Nor Yahaya, Saidin Amin @ Mohd Amin Hussin, Azrulnizam Abdul Aziz and V. T. Vijeyaratnam, Oukhna Othsman Hassan, Chai Xi, Tenas Effendy, Lee Jin Bok, Masahiro Kato, Prof Dr Abdullah @ Zakaria Ghazali, Loh Kian Chong, Datuk Mohd Nasir Said and Zubir Embong.

Darjah Pangkuan Seri Melaka (DPSM)

Tengku Putra Haron Aminurrashid Tan Sri Tengku Hamid Jumat, Laksamana Pertama Yaakub Husin, Roslan Ibrahim, Prof Ismail Sagap, Borhan Dolah, Christopher Tan Chie Kiong, Mohd Rosdi Ismail, Dr Rozaidah Talib, Dr Shimi Sumathi Muthu Kunju, Lt Col (R) Arsad Abd Salam, Abdul Rahim Mat Sah, Abidah @ Abaidah Zainuddin, Abidullah Salleh, Ahmad Ikmal Ismail, Bahtiar Adnan, K. R. K. S. Benjamin, Chin Kui Yin, Chua Hock Gee, Chung Hon Cheong, P. Jayakumar, Khan Mohd Akram Khan, Koo Hock Fee, Lai Fui Pin, Lam Nyit Wah, Mahad Nor Abdullah, Mariam Minhat, Md Zubir Ansori Yahaya, Mohamed Salim Abbas, Mohd Tahir @ Abdul Aziz Hashim, Nasarruddin Datuk M. Zin, Nor'Aini Abdul Wahab, Norazman Ahmad, Phang Ah Tong, Rosli Boni, I. Shanmuga, Siaw Teck Swee, Stanley Yap Koon Teck, V. Subramaniam, Tan Hong Lai, Zainal Abidin Ujud, Abang Sallehuddin Abg Shokeran, Adiwijaya Abdullah, Ahmad Ishak, Ahmad Loman, Ahmad Jamil Hashim, Dr Ahmad Khairuddin Mohamed Yusof, Ali Ab Majid, Arbaisah Othman, Chai Ka Hin, Chin See @ Chin Mok Sung, Chua Eng Pu, Datin Dr Faridah Hanam Mohd Rashid, Foo Tak Hei Rudy, Hamzah Mohd Tahir, Hasan Sirun, Idris Muhamood, Ismail Awang, Dr B. S. Jagjit Singh, J. S. Jasbir Singh, Kamarulzaman Zainal, Koh Chui Ming, Dr S. S. Kulwant Singh, A. S. Lakhbeer Singh, Lee Won Fah, Leong Low Pew Ronald, Lim Chon Hoo, Md Zabidi Arifin, Mohd Khalid Nasir, Mohd Najib Alwi, Mohd Radzuan Abdullah, S. Muniandy, Mustafah Abd Razak, Ngu Ung Wei, Oon Get Haw, Dr Pang Chau Leong, Piong Chee Yu, Prof Dr Raduan Che Ros, SAC Datuk Shah Gzali Khan Shahadad, Shireen Ann Zaharah Muhiudeen, Soh Man Tong, Prof Dr Su'aidi Safei, Syed Zaid Syed Jaffar Albar, Tee Kian Lip, Teo Tiew, Dr Wong Kim Fatt and Yusof @ Abdul Aziz Hashim.

Darjah Seri Melaka (DSM)

Ayub Mohamed, Gan Hon @ Gan Siang Koon, Mohd ariff Shah Abdullah Sani, P. Ramani, Tajol Azhar Md Tahir, Wang Poo Keong, Abang Abdul Nasser Abang Hadari, Dr Abd Razak Ahmad, Ahmad Kamel Abdul Munin, Datuk Ahmad Shahazmi Abd Samad, Berahim @ Taib Nordin, Choo Too Seng, Kee Tek Huat, Md Shukor Haron, Mohd Mansor Yap Abdullah, Mohd Yusof Osman, Mohktar Manan, Nazary Ahmad, Ng Thien Phing, B. Reghu, Capt Rusli Ramli, Wong Seng Foo, Zahit Abu Hassan and Zulkifli Osman.

Jaksa Pendamai (JP)

Datuk Seri Dr Tan Chin Woh, Datuk Seri Mohd Khamil Jamil, Datuk Mohd Khusairi Abu Talib, Datuk Wong Chin Hee, Datuk Harpal Singh Dhillon, Datuk Tan Ser Lay, Wong Kwai Hua, Abdul Nasir Bazid, A. Anthony, Chong Baba, Kalsom Noordin, Lau See Mang, Md Sharif Ab Rahman, P. Panirchelvam, Subhan Yunus, Tan Soo Chye, Yau Chwee @ Yeow Kek Swee, Datuk Dr Ahmad Zaini Mohd Amin, N. Amaruiton, Datuk Amiruddin Mohd Radzi, Datuk Ayub Bahari, Chan Teong Huat, Chin Show Kim, Choo Lai Chiew, G. S. Harjit Singh, Datuk Ibrahim Katop, Lim Teck Chai, Loh Chee Yau, Nik Othman Yusoff, Datuk Ong Eng Hong, Siti Rofa'ah Yaakob, Suhaimy Othman, Tan Lee Kiang, Teh King Seang and Yong Cheau Ling.

Bintang Cemerlang Melaka (BCM)

Dr Yahya Ismail, Abu Bakar Alim, Borhan Md Zain, Fahariyah Md Nordin, Faridah A. Jabbar, Goh Ah Tong, Kamarudin Md Said, Maimun Aziz, Md Damanhuri Hussin, Mohd Azman Ahmad Tajuddin, Noor Azlina Yunus, Rahimi Harun, Sampol Akop, N. Sundaram, Tai Nyon Kiam, Abdul Jalil Mohd Hassan, Abdul Mutalib Osman, Col Abdul Rahman Ibrahim, Abu Bakar Kamis, Ahnad Fadhil Che Muda, Anis Ali Hasan @ Mohd Yasam, Borhan Hasan, Gafar Othman, Ghafar Misdar, Hadzir Abdullah, Haelmy Mohd Hanifah, Husin Bagus, Col (R) Dr Imran Yahya, V. M. K. Nagayah, Lt Col Md Zain Mahamod, Mohamad Dahlan Md Maamor, Mohd Baharim Mohd Sharip, Mohd Noor Ibrahim, Mohd Sharil Abdullah, Noorezan Md Yusof, Razali Che Mat, Rina Mohd Harun, Saiful Hazwa Kipli, Shahrol Shahabuddin, Supt Soh Hock Sing, Sulaiman Atan, Tai Lam Kee, Tan Tian Huat, M. M. Thamilyanan and Zainuddin Md Alip.

Bintang Khidmat Terpuji (BKT)

Datin Wira Rabiah Hasan, Maj Ismail Abdul Rahim, Supt Abdul Malek Hashim, Dr Lau Kim Hwee, Abu Shukor Jangga, Anuar Sukri Sulaiman, Arba'in Subki, Baharin Ahmad, P. Cheven, Chow Thien Hock, S.Govindasamy, Hamdan Mohamed, Ho Fong Sing @ Ho Si Chern, Aszad Jeffri Ismail, K. P. Supramania Pillay, M. Krishnan, Lee Boo Ee, Md Yusof Ujang, Mohd Hassan Ahmad, Mohd Zufri Yazid, Omar Abdul, Ramby Adam, Roslinda Abd Rahman, Saleh Said, M. Sri Krisnan Kutti, Syed Badrul Hisham Syed Idrus, Syed Zuber Syed Ali, Taufik Rashidi Omar, P.Vaithilingam, Yahya Sa'adon, Abdul Rasif Osman, Abdul Razk Sabtu, Abu Yamin Kalam, M. Arumugham, Azlinda Abdul Manap, Azman Makmor, P/DSP Chan Teck Paing @ Steven, Chen Chin Siong, Chin Soo Kim, Choo Bon Chai, Francis Leong, Goh Jin Teck, Goh Teck Kuan, Hafidzuddin Jaafar, Hamzah Madzin, Hedzir Zakaria, Ho Lin Thim, Idirs Hasan, Ismail Jantan, Maj Ismail Nasaruddin Yeop, Jeferyl Nordi, June Mohamed Razali, Lt Col Khairul Anwar Soib, Koh Yee Yah @ Koh Seok Kim, Lailah Hamid, Lee Chong Leng, Lee Kin Fah, Lew Chee Choong, Loh Seck Tiong, Mohamad Arifin Hashim, Mohd Amran Hasan, Mohd Nasruddin Ab Rahman, Mohd Nor Md Husin, Lt Col Mohd Shukor Arshad, R. S. N. Muralitharen, Ng Kian Seng, Nor Azlinda Nordin, Norizan Hashim, Pang Tong Hwa, A. Rajesh, Dr Rosni Jaffar, Salehan Maulana, Salleh Wari, Sani Shukor, K. Shashi Kumar, Sim Yeow Chong, Puan Sri Wangi Sujud, Sulaiman Md Ali, Tan Kea Hoe, Tang Cheng Chuan @ Yee Ching Chuan,Teoh Swee Poh, Commander Maritime V. Pannir Selvan and Wong Sook Lan.

Pingat Jasa Kebaktian (PJK)

ASP Sang Swe Teck, A. Maniveloo, Abd Yazid @ Abd Aziz Mohd Amin, Abdul Rahman Endin, Abu Bakar Lasim, Ahmad Yassin, Asmah Mohamed Ali, Aziz Jaafar, Azmeer Md Nor, S. Balakrishna, Borhan Alin, Chan Ah Kau @ Chen Ling Kau, Chong Wee Chung, Dalib Ahmad, Edward Sow Yuen Seng, A. Francis, Goh Choon Chai, Hamidah Abdul Rahman, Haslan Hamzah, How Sey King, Idris Arshad, Jariah Ismail, Jasmi Basirun, Junaidah Mohammed Ali, P. Kemarasamy, Khatijah Bahari, S. Latha, Lim Lay Yong, J. Lohamba, Mariah Md Taib, Md Zin Che Man, Mohamad Yusoff Abdullah, Mohammad Fauzi Sharif, Mohd Hairol Abu Talib, Mohd Rasit Mohd Hassan, Mohd Sharif Neemat, Muhamad Sabiri Ngah Bazir, Mustapa Mohd Arif, Ng Moo Eng, Nor Hartini Jalil, Nora Mokhtar, Noriah Amin, S. Palani, Poh Kim Chow, K. R. Segaran, Ramli Sogimin, Rosidah Ramli, Shaharizal Abdul Halim, Sharul Azian Jasmi, Siti Khadijah Abu Bakar, S. P. Subramaniam, Suhairi Yunos, Tai Sin Yong, Vivian Khoo Choon Huey, Yew Chee Mei, Zainab Abu, Tukiran Sardian, Zali Wahil, Rozana Hasan, Abd Bari Ahmad, Abd Wahab Koming, Abdul Rahim Ahmad, Abdul Rahman Mohamad, Abdul Wahid Kassim, Abu Bakar Ma'ali, Abu Bakar Tamam, Ahmad Azlan Ahmad Salleh, Ahmad Abdullah, R. Amaran, Anizan Che Mat, Ashman Ahmad @ Wahab, Azian Aawati Abdullah, Azman Abdullah, Azmi Mohammad, Bejo Ad Raji, Borhan Ma'aras, Chai Cheng Ho @ Dennis Chai, Cheong Yet Kiew, Chiew Keng Boon, Chua Teck Kwong, Zaiton Zain, A. G. Dharmasenan, M. Edumpayan, Foong Siow Kee, Gan Yew Hoon, Ghazali Idros, Goh Teck Siang, Hamidah Abu Bakar, Hasan Samad, Hassain Siaman, Ho Wee Choo, Husain Ghamat, Huzailah Hamzah, Ismail Dogol, Ithnin Minhat, A. L. G. Jeyaraj, John Francis Theseira Jr, K. Rajasekharan, Kamaruddin Jantan, P. Kandasamy, Khalijah Ahmad, Koo Hian Lun, Lai Nai Lan, Latipah Ab Wahab, Lim Ser Yam, Liow Son, M. P. Manickam, Mas Muhammad Hakin Masika, Mazlan Omar, Md Zain Samad, Mehalah C Rajathurai, Misron Matleham, MohamedMusa, Mohd Ali Yusop, Mohd Anuar Baharudin, Mohd Janis, Mohd Ithnin Mohd Ali, Mohd Nazri Mohd Said, Mohd Rizal Mustaffa Mohd Isa, Mohd Sari Yaakop, Maj Mohd Yusof Othman, K. Mugunthan, Muhammad Khalid A. Rahman, Musrafa Alias, Neng Hayati Hayatullh Md Ali, Nooridah Baba, Nor Haliza Muhamad Kasim, Norazle Sulaiman, Norizah Md Nor, Omar Jantan, Pang Ah Lek, Patimah Kidin, M. Ponnusamy, K. K. Puspa, Raja Khairul Anuar Raja Mahdon, S. Rayapen, Rohaya Mahmood, Rusilah Ibrahim, Saat Mohamad Tan, Asp Sahimi Husin, Sapiah Jaffar, S. R. Selvanathan, Shahrul Naimah Zulkifli, Shamsuddin Harun, Siou Yin Har, Siti Mazlina Maidin, K. V. N. Sobhana Nair, S. Subramaniam, Suhaimi Saleh, Tai Ah Kau, A. Tanggamala, Tew Kim Toh @ Teo Hoo Kim, Umar Raship, Vivien Seela Wijaya Pala, Wong Juat Kim, Yew Fong Meng, Zailiyaton Ali, Zainah Hassan, Zainul Bidin Md Taha and Zorita Ahmad.

Pingat Bakti Masyarakat (PBM)

Sergeant Major Razali Ahmad, Corporal Nor Azzman Yaakob, L/Kop Mohamad Yusri Mohd Yusoff, Abd Aziz Saharom, Abdul Malek Md Yusop, Abdullah Othman, Ahmad Sabudin, Ali Hasan Ali, Amran Yahya, Ayob Mohd Samidi, Azmi Basir, Baharom Sabtu, Chu Mong Hong, Edmund Sow Yong Ming, Fadzilah Tompang, G. Viktoria, Hanita Halil, Hayati Mohd Yusof, Ho Yew Meng, Iylas Ismail, M. K. Anthonisamy, Kamal Baharin Salim, Kintan Yaakub, Lahmai Keling, M. Ramesh, Marzaedah Mat Zin, Mazita Abu, Md Razib Mean, Mohd Firzuanshah Jaafar, Mohd Said Che Mat, Mohd Zambry Majid, Nekmat Che Din, Nor'Aini Ibrahim, Norihan Bahari, Nur Aina Mohd Dantalmura, Othman Romli, M. Perumal, K. Ramesh, Rosidah Roslan, Rozitah Mohd Kassim, Salimah Minin, Saron Jalil, S. Singaram, Soo Sin Bee, Tambi Mahmud, Wahab Bulat, Yang Chik Yon, Zahratan Nor Mohamad Yusoff, Zuhaidi Md Noor, Abd Aziz Abu Samah, Abdul Aziz Ahmad, Abdul Latip Daud, Sergeant Maj Abdul Majid Abd Gaffor, Abdullah Hassan, Abu Bakar Yahya, Adnan Omar, Ainah Sulaiman, Sergeant Ali Nordin Abd Kadir, Aminah Amin, Amzah Ab Hamid, P. Archunan, Azety Saleh, Azlan Ahamad, Aznah Abu Hanafiah, Bahar Borhan, Chong Chin Peng, Eddy Shamsul Anuar Abdollajis, Erdzuan Jamaluddin, Fadilah Kamal, Fatimah Othman, Gan Eng Kaa, Halimah Samsudin, Hasnah Husin, R. Hema, Hisham Hashim, Ismail Othman, N. K. Jegathesan, Julia Alias, Kalsom Timan, Kamsinah Mohd Zaid, Kevin Chew Yew Gin, V. Kuheantharan, Latifah Abd Latif, S. Letchmy, Made Bakri, Majid Jaafar, Maslinah Bakar, Mazelan Muhamat Saleh, Mazni Ramli, Md Jailani Mongin, Mohamad Ishak, Mohd Azman Mustaffa, Mohd Nizam Md Yunos, Mohd Rosli Ithnin, Mohd Yusop Sabran, Nasri Buchik, Ng Kong Han, Noorizan Hassan, Nor Haliza Baharum, Nor Hisham Nasir, Noriani Saramidi, Norhanaab Rauf, Normal Abu Talib, Norwati Sabudin, Othman Jema'ain, K. Palanppan, Pauziah Ahmad, Rafeah Ab Latif, Ramlah Mahadi, Ramli Mohd Yatim, Ridzuan Shah Jaafar, Rohan Noordin, Roslinda Mohd Kassim, Rosin Latif, Rumlah Ahmad, Sabarudin Abas, Sergeant Sahizam Said, Salleh Abdullah, Samsudin Abdul Rahman, Shahril Rohaizad Nattershah, Siti Aishah Aman, Siti Khatijah Daud, Sulaiman Md Isa, Tay Soo Pin, Wee Chee Kwang, Ya'akob Abdul Wahab, R. Yogeshwaran, Yusri Basar, Zaidah Ismail, Zainal Gani, Zaiton Sarmin, Zalinah Hamzah and Zurina Bidin.

Pingat Khidmat Lama (PKL)

A. Razak Mohd Dan, Ahmad Din, Foh Hong Suan, Md Yunus Kordi, Mohd Sarif Dolah, Sharifuddin Mohd Shariff, Abdul Razak Gemor, Abu Husin Cheros, Borhan Mat, S. S. Ganesan, Harun Abdul Rahman, Kadir Md Akip, Lim Lay Hong, Md Shah Bachik, Mohd Salehudin Ithnin, Omar Ahmad, Salimah Sulaiman and Yawah Limat.


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